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AUTHOR:    sensiblecat 

WORD COUNT: 4967

SPOILERS: None, really. It's AU after Doomsday.

CHARACTERS: Ten, Rose, Jack

RATING - Teen to be on the safe side (sexual refs)

This fic has a complicated history. It's a reply to the following OT3 Ficathon prompt from
callme_al01  -

Any scenario that fits this quote: "Truth and tears clear the way to a deep and lasting friendship. True friendship is never serene." (Marie de Svign). Don't want: sex or death.

It's also a sequel to someone else's story. A while ago,
dave7  wrote a terrific reunion fic called Building Bridges for the first Support Stacie auction. The scenario is that, rather than setting up the first Bad Wolf Bay scene, the Doctor goes to Torchwood, even though he's had no contact with Jack since the end of S1, and gets Jack to open the Eye of Harmony, enter the Void and snatch Rose back from Pete's arms.

It all ends with the three of them back on the TARDIS together "just as it should be", but I couldn't help wondering where the conversation would go from there, with Rose discovering Jack wasn't dead after all, in such dramatic circumstances, and having to completely reassess her opinion of the Doctor just moments after Canary Wharf. I started scribbling conversations and it went from there.

I'd like to thank
dave7  for being such an inspiration and wendymr  for very patient beta work as it went through multiple drafts. I hope you like it, callme_al01  - I tried to stay within your boundaries and do our beloved threesome justice.

Thanks for reading so far. As always, any characters in the public domain are not my own invention and I'm not making any money out of this.

She knew he was lying. Not directly but by implication. He wanted her to believe it had all been the work of a moment or two. She could already see the cover story taking shape behind his grin – how Jack, of all people, had happened to run into the Lever Room, not dead after all, and wasn’t it just brilliant? The three of them together, just as it should be.

And she knew, without being able to identify the source of that knowledge, how to test that lie.


She couldn’t begin to explain what the last few minutes had been like. If they were actually minutes. For all she knew, they could have been hundreds of years. Time had lost its meaning, stretched out like a string of spaghetti, like her own body torn from the world she knew against her will as she lost the strength to hold on. It had been the most terrifying experience of her life – that alone was saying a lot – and yet fear hadn’t been the only emotion in her mind, or even the most important.

Had she screamed? He had. His face was locked into her memory for the rest of her life. Everything about him – hair, clothes - being carried away from her at inconceivable speed.

The Doctor – say that again – the Doctor, the bravest man in the universe – had screamed helplessly. She hadn’t been able to hear the word on his lips, but did she need to, anyway?

Then the sense of being sucked away down a gigantic tunnel of wind and light and terror. The ultimate roller coaster, and she couldn’t even close her eyes because she knew if she did she would still see him as he cried out her name and the air tore her apart from him, further than she could comprehend, apparently for ever.

But the universe (or universes?) hadn’t finished with her yet. She felt somebody slip a manipulator round her neck and her fingers immediately moved towards the switch – on, back to the Doctor – who was that? Mickey? Pete? Yes, Pete…No! Wait, it was…it couldn’t be….he was dead, wasn’t he? And Pete was gone, before she was even certain it had been him.

Then, suddenly, a flash of impossible blue and a crash into a pair of arms and it was over. Warm amber light. Tears. Not one pair of arms, but two, one barely more believable than the other. For a few minutes, every part of her shook as she clung to the Doctor’s familiar brown shoulder, sobbing into it, completely overwhelmed. One moment stretched into eternity.

Joy. Shaking, wordless, giddy happiness with no questions asked, not even about the dead man alive again and pulling her into his hug when the Doctor managed to let her go. Then laughter from them all, stupid and pointless and filled with release.

No words. Not yet.

Rose didn’t know which of them to look at first, until even as Jack clung to her she turned around and saw the Doctor, properly, for the first time. First time in how long? Two minutes? A hundred years? His face had changed. Exhausted, almost gaunt beneath his joyful smile, a paleness and a fraying round the edges of his always slightly shaky grip on grooming. Lines she hadn’t seen before around his mouth and eyes.

Not two minutes, then.

“You look older,” she said.

“Nothing you can’t sort out, Rose Tyler. Thought we’d lost you then!”

She knew he was lying. Not directly but by implication. He wanted her to believe it had all been the work of a moment or two. She could already see the cover story taking shape behind his grin – how Jack, of all people, had happened to run into the Lever Room, not dead after all, and wasn’t it just brilliant? The three of them together, just as it should be.

And she knew, without being able to identify the source of that knowledge, how to test that lie.

She looked back to Jack, and then at the Doctor, realising now that it had been Jack’s arms that had grabbed her and pulled her back into the TARDIS, which had somehow managed to make its way from the depths of Torchwood Tower into the Void.

That wasn’t the work of two minutes. Or at least, not the two minutes immediately after his scream as she was sucked away from him.

The Doctor wasn’t looking at her; his hands were still flying over the controls and he was muttering about regulators, thrusters and co-ordinates – that trance-like state she recognised so well. She guessed that their lives all depended on him getting some incredibly complicated manoeuvres right, otherwise she’d be in his arms right now.

“Got it!” he exclaimed, triumph personified. “Oh, she’s magnificent, my TARDIS!” And at last he was staring at her, beyond overjoyed, his arms wide and she rushed into them. Warm and safe and solid and above all, real! She didn’t care what they’d had to do, this was how everything should be.

“Brilliant!” he said, over and over again – she thought he meant the TARDIS, and he probably did, but then she sensed somebody else looking over their shoulder.

“Well, doesn’t Jack get a hug?” she demanded.

The Doctor retreated from her, folding his arms. He beamed at the two of them, but there was an awkward little line in the set of his lips that revealed the shallowness of his smile.

“Yeah,” he boomed. “Hug him for as long as you like! Couldn’t have done it without the Captain! Least you can do!”

“I meant you give him a hug,” she persisted. “You know, one of those good old-fashioned, ‘Everybody lives!’ type hugs? After all, he just jumped into the Void for us. Miracle it didn’t kill him.”

The Doctor froze.

Rose stood alone, exactly the same distance apart from them both, hands on her hips, noticing the way Jack’s mouth twisted and how he briefly looked down at nothing in particular. She’d always been able to read Jack Harkness. Yes, he’d seduce you as soon as look at you, but he’d never deny that was what he’d been doing. For all the flirting and the bull, there was something direct and straight and honourable about him.

All words she had rather more trouble associating with the Doctor. Particularly in this regeneration.

“Right,” she said. “Who’s gonna start?”

“Start what?” squeaked the Doctor, his eyebrows threatening to vanish under his fringe.

“What happened?” she asked. “What did you do? You did something to time, didn’t you? It’s been more than a couple of minutes for you. You don’t change like that in a few minutes. You don’t lose weight and get bags under your eyes.”

Then she turned to Jack. “And here’s a real live Time Agent, back from the dead. Not that I’m complaining,” she added quickly, unable to resist flashing Jack a cheeky grin, which he of course returned.

“Oi!” said the Doctor. “Don’t start!”

“How come you even recognise each other?” Rose asked. Jack had changed as well, she noticed; he looked older and less easy to fool. There wasn’t the openness in his face or the idealism in his eyes any more – or at least, if they remained there, they were filtered through more painful experiences than she liked to think about.

The very least time it could be since she’d seen Jack was almost a year. She’d a feeling it was much longer for him. He looked physically the same age but there was something about the eyes…something she’d never have spotted if she hadn’t learned to see it in the Doctor, the way it had spanned his regeneration.  If she didn’t know better, she could almost believe Jack was centuries old, too.

Rose shuddered and didn’t want to touch the Doctor for a  minute, remembering the way Satellite Five must have been when they left him there. Alone, with hundreds of dead bodies and a devastated planet below him. Dead, or so she’d thought. Been told, anyway.

She took a step towards Jack and touched his arm. The Doctor stayed apart from them.

“So, how was rebuilding the Earth?” she asked, gently.

“Now, just a minute!” the Doctor protested.

Her eyes remained on Jack. “That’s what he said, you know. When he’d just changed, and I didn’t know who the hell he was, and I…asked about you.” There was a brief kink in her voice at the final three words, but she was soon back on track. “ ‘Oh, he’s busy rebuilding the Earth,’ he told me.”

“Bastard,” Jack muttered, barely loud enough for her to make out the word.

“I believed him,” she said, very deliberately keeping her back turned to the Doctor, excluding him from their exchange. “I chose to believe him. I suppose that makes us all bastards now. Lucky bastards, but bastards just the same.”

The Doctor didn’t say a word.

“He’s got a gob on him, hasn’t he?” Jack observed, as if he already regretted his last remark and felt the need to lighten the tone. The atmosphere in the control room was darkening by the minute. “But it seems you’ve shut him up.”

“He didn’t go back to save you,” said Rose. She wished she could stop herself saying something so divisive, just snuggle back into the warm glow of their first reunion and, by some natural progression, the way things had been between the three of them. But already that hope was getting smaller and smaller, telescoped away like the image of the Doctor screaming.

“I didn’t…” the Doctor began, uneasily.

Jack let his anger surface at last. “Don’t you dare tell her you didn’t know!” he said. “You’ve always known. Told me that yourself.”

She looked from one to the other of them. “Known what?”

A whole, unspoken story hung in the air as the two of them exchanged looks, and part of it was an agreement to protect her. It made her furious.

“Stop this, both of you!” she demanded. “I’ve just been tossed back and forth between two universes like a tennis ball. There’s nothing you need to keep from me! Now, what’s going on?”

Jack’s will broke first. “Something happened to me,” he said. “I can’t die.”

“What do you mean, you can’t die?” she asked.

Her innocent question had a startling effect on the Doctor. He turned on her with sudden fury. “You’re not the only one who can make mistakes! It’s not my fault he’s walking around when he should be dead! I didn’t rip the TARDIS open and turn on a life force I knew nothing about! And now he’s standing here and I can hardly bear to touch him – because of you, Rose!” 

“You’re saying this was my fault?” she gasped, horrified. “Jack, is this true? That somehow I brought you back to life?”

He didn’t want to tell her. Silence, more meaningful than any explanation, flooded around them.

She looked at the Doctor. “Well? Is it?”

The Doctor’s shoulders slumped as he looked down. His hands slipped into his pockets and the slouch of his body confessed despair. It was impossible to recognise the person who’d welcomed her home so ecstatically just a few brief minutes ago.

Rose tapped her foot. “I’m waiting.”

Finally he nodded. “Yep.”

“How?” she gasped. The word stuck in the back of her throat.

“I wouldn’t mind knowing the answer to that myself,” Jack said.

Rose looked at them both in turn. No-one spoke.

“If my mum was here now,” she said, learning from the Doctor how to plough on through the barrier of an unbearable thought as she spoke, “she’d make us all sit down at the kitchen table and have a cup of tea.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” Jack agreed. “I could use one. How about you, Doc?”

Rose waited for him to complain about the hated nickname, which even Jack had barely been allowed to use, but he just nodded again.

“Well, then,” she said. “Let’s do that. Seems you both have a few things to tell me.”

*****

The Doctor followed Rose down the corridor with uncharacteristic meekness. It seemed to him that the TARDIS was adding to his discomfort by making the kitchen quite a long way further from the control room than it had been over the last few days – though, to be honest, food and drink hadn’t been high on his personal agenda lately.

He couldn’t quite believe that he’d misread the situation so disastrously. He’d expected awkwardness from Jack. Deserved it, even – and it took a lot to make him, the Last of The Time Lords, admit to deserving anything unpleasant of that sort. He’d sort of made allowances for it, predicting that Jack’s feelings for Rose would eventually overcome any grudge he might be harbouring. But there were two very significant factors he’d left out of the calculation.

The first was how his feelings towards Jack would change over the two days he’d watched over him as he lay, apparently lifeless, on the metal floor of his ship. He knew from Jack’s vital signs that he was in a state of deep coma and that he would surface in his own time. He’d expected to worry about whether that would be soon enough to help save Rose, but it hadn’t quite turned out that way. It was very difficult to have an old friend lying, apparently lifeless, on your floor for two days without it affecting you

It had started with a non-committal kind of touch whenever he happened to walk past. You could hardly just step over a body, after all. Then he began squatting down beside him and watching Jack’s face, sometimes for quite a while. Smoothing the hair from his clammy forehead, lightly brushing his cheek (just to check his body temperature, he’d told himself, though the sonic screwdriver could have done that far more accurately) and, eventually, just the one time, fingertips had become lips.

That had shocked him. Jack represented a fixed point in time, the ultimate in wrongness. He should have been running to the end of the universe to avoid the bloke, not thinking how vulnerable he looked in sleep, wondering what horrors he’d experienced and how much pain he actually felt when he returned from death after death. He’d tried to rationalise the kiss away – he was desperately lonely, overwrought and perhaps a little unhinged. Yes, definitely a little unhinged; it must be six months since he’d even slept. Thankful that nobody but the TARDIS was around to witness his indiscretion – and surprised that the old girl seemed not to mind – he’d backed off rapidly, muttered something along the lines of, “Get well soon, old chap,” and as something of an afterthought, bundled up his coat as a makeshift pillow, just as he used to do for Rose when she dropped off at his feet after watching him for an hour or four.

Jack would have no recollection of the incident, he was certain - and of course it would never happen again. He’d stopped touching him after that. The unsettling thing was how much he’d sometimes wanted to. Still, he was a Time Lord. Physical discipline was in his DNA. It would be easy enough to forget that it had ever happened.

The second of his miscalculations, and potentially far more serious, was the way he’d underestimated Rose. Hadn’t it so much as entered his supposedly brilliant mind that Rose would notice Jack was very much alive and want answers? Apparently not. He’d been alone too long. All he’d thought about was filling the horrible empty space where she had been, and he’d been arrogant enough to assume she’d feel the same. But Rose had only just lost him. She hadn’t had months to grieve and brood and scheme and become desperate enough to turn to the last person he’d ever intended to ask a favour of.

From the minute she was back, she’d noticed things. Always had been a noticer of things, had Rose. She could tell that serious time had passed, whereas he’d thought that as long as he was crafty enough to wear the same shirt and tie she’d be fooled.

It was all going to be like the good old days, wasn’t it? He’d done it deliberately this way – spanning the date of Canary Wharf precisely, knowing that the longer he left things the more enmeshed he would become in an alternative timeline, making the project impossible, not simply insane. What had driven him to act was that a kind of planning blight had fallen over his life. He was deliberately drifting, avoiding possible adventures in case he met a potential new companion. That had had the unfortunate effect of driving him deeper into depression, of course. And severely depressed Time Lords were bad for the entire universe, not just themselves. That was why he’d resolved to get Rose back. He’d never have done it for his own selfish reasons. At least, not unless they coincided with avoiding something very much bigger and nastier. Honestly.

So here they were, at Rose’s insistence, with lots of explaining to do. Oh boy, how he hated explaining. Technobabble that nobody liked to admit they didn’t really understand, that was a different matter. Loved that. Made him feel great. In fact, one reason he hated travelling alone was the complete lack of technobabbling opportunities. But getting back to the start of complicated stories that he didn’t come out of terribly well, trying to work out what had really happened and how A had led to B (apart from bog-standard causality, of course) – well, that involved things he’d never been very good at. Emotional stuff.

“Milk and no sugar, wasn’t it?” he said brightly, making an unnecessary amount of noise as he brought together mugs and spoons. “Seems like yesterday, Jack, doesn’t it? Look, still got that mug you liked up here. Never forgot you, you know.”

Jack rested against the door frame, arms folded, his face a carefully-schooled mask.

“Stop digging,” he commanded.

“Digging? Me, digging? Ugh, very messy process, digging,” the Doctor burbled, loathing himself more with every word. “And a huge amount of effort, generally, for the rewards involved. Archaeology’s a game for patient men. Or women. Girl at Sutton Hoo was marvellous. And that Mrs Pretty, woman that owned the place - well she was a visionary, really. For years she insisted those mounds in her garden were worth a look and all people did was laugh at her….”

“You’re in a hole,” Jack said, calmly. “Stop. Fishing Rose out of the Void was the easy bit.”

“Had tea with her once, you know,” he went on. “Mrs Pretty, that is, of course. Not that I haven’t had tea plenty of times with Rose, but funnily enough we never got onto the subject of Saxon kings. Just never came up in the conversation. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes! Mrs Pretty. Wasn’t supposed to tell her about the treasure hoard, really – temporal hygiene and so forth, but when she asked me straight out if it was true about those Saxon ship burials I couldn’t resist. ‘It most certainly is,’ I told her. ‘Went to the funeral myself, as it happens. Basil Brown at the Ipswich museum. He’s your man.’”

“Stop it!” Rose ordered him. Her tone of voice was a bit of a shock. This wasn’t the girl who’d silently raged when he’d had a little fling with Reinette. When had that determined edge crept into her voice?

“Sorry.” He paused and scratched his head. “You remember – I mean you know - how I run on. You know, it doesn’t have to be tea, Jack. Not if you’d prefer something stronger. Couldn’t blame you, after today…”

“I haven’t touched liquor in fifty years.” Jack let the bomb drop with a quiet thud.

“How long has it been?” Rose asked.

“For me? I wound up back in Cardiff in 1869,” he replied. “Was aiming a hundred years later, but something happened back at the Rift and it seemed to pull me through…”

Rose’s eyes widened. She looked at the Doctor. “1869! Wasn’t that…?”

“The Gelth,” he said, quickly. “Yes.”

“And you can still travel in time?” she asked Jack.

“I’d a few tricks up my sleeve,” he replied. The Doctor couldn’t quite hide a quick frown, though he’d hardly have expected Jack to have come clean there and then about carrying a Vortex Manipulator, given the current uneasy state of their relationship. He realised there were a lot of questions he should have asked by now.

Jack sat down. “My manipulator was burnt out. I just had to stay put. But I probably would have done, anyway.” He looked over at the Doctor, who was rather obviously paused in the middle of spooning sugar into a mug of tea. “He’s not the only one who knows about protecting a timeline. I figured out the best way to find you guys again was to hook up with someone who wanted you locked up.”

The stab of pain was unmissable and the Doctor drew in a quick, angry breath as it registered in Rose’s eyes.

“Who was that?” she asked.

“You just met them,” Jack said. His interview technique was faultless, the Doctor noticed. He knew the value of a pause, and not using ten words where three or four would do. He’d been trained, of course. Not to mention over a hundred years’ experience.

“Oh, come on!” Rose faltered, horrified. “You’d never work with the Cybermen, Jack. Or the…”

She couldn’t even say it.

The Doctor stepped in. To be honest, his motives for taking over the reply were murky in the extreme, and probably included more than a little revenge.

“Not that lot,” he said, coldly. “He means Torchwood.”

Fifteen-all, Jack Harkness. He wasn’t the only bloke in the room who could drop an information bomb.

Rose stood up, hung onto the edge of the table and swayed a little.

“I need to get out of here for a minute,” she said. “I’m going to my room.”

******

Jack hated the Doctor so much at that moment that he could barely bring himself to look at him. He was more than ready to rearrange that pretty, pouting face of his. Bile clogged up his throat and he struggled to get the words out.

“Looked forward to dropping that little bomb, didn’t you?” he said.

“You can talk.” The Doctor was back to hands in pockets again, his lip stuck out like a petulant teenager. “ ‘Haven’t touched liquor in fifty years.’ ” His tone was sneering as he repeated Jack’s words back at him. “Had to get it in somewhere, didn’t you? Don’t you think she’s feeling guilty enough?”

“A little more guilt from you wouldn’t hurt!” Jack retorted. “No, not guilt. That’s self-indulgence. How about remorse? It’s all about Rose, isn’t it? She’s lost – let’s get her back. She’s upset – let’s pretend it didn’t happen. Hasn’t anybody ever told you there’s more than one human being whose feelings matter?”

The Doctor rolled his eyes. Cold eyes, Jack noticed. The dimples and freckles didn’t fool him. “You sound like that deadleg boyfriend of hers,” he said.

“Somebody else’s life you trampled all over,” Jack reminded him. “How many more have there been?”

“Enough.” The Doctor turned away. Jack reflected that it wasn’t a fair question to ask the man, but damn it, he didn’t feel fair right now. He was sick and tired of playing second fiddle to the Rose and Doctor double act. Mad at the pair of them for being so wrapped up in one another, madder still at himself for taking the bait so eagerly when the Doctor finally showed up and asked for his help. Mad enough to start breaking things with his bare hands. He balled them into fists and hid them behind his back instead.

Suddenly, the Doctor turned round and fixed him with a stare full of more pain and bitterness than he could easily deal with, and for the first time Jack felt he was beginning to get a handle on this new incarnation. The guy thought he was toxic – that was why he tried to be alone, but it always came back to the same thing, the realisation that being alone made him more dangerous than ever.

"You want to know how many lives I've ruined?” the Doctor asked.  “Thousands.  Maybe millions. Or would you prefer to know about people who cared about me? Two hundred and twenty-two. I can tell you their names, if you like."

Okay, so calling the Doctor out on his character faults wasn’t going to help. Jack relaxed his hands a little. The anger he’d been nursing for so long, the part of him that wanted to insist on satisfaction, explanations and apology, was fading once more. He probably hadn’t seen the last of it – like grief, it would attack in waves and hit him when he was least expecting it, but one thing was clear – the Doctor was more than capable of punishing himself.

“Who are you to say you ruined them?” Jack asked. “Don’t these people have choices? Do you make them follow you around?”

“You tell me, Jack. It happened to you, didn’t it?”

“You saved my life. And you bent your precious rules to do it. There’s no way you could have wound things up down there in the Blitz and then got back to offer me a ride before my ship went up.”

He didn’t deny it. Jack wondered whether Rose had argued in his favour that night. Screw wondering, he knew. The Doctor hadn’t wanted him on the TARDIS. It had taken him a long time to gain the Time Lord’s trust.

Maybe he never had. The guy had dumped him soon enough.

“I’m not perfect.” The words were dragged painfully out of the Doctor. “I’m weak. I didn’t deserve to survive, never expected to…”

Jack looked at the way the Doctor’s muscles had bunched up; there wasn’t a spare scrap of flesh on that body of his, nowhere that wasn’t tensed up and trying to be harder than his hearts were. But the Doctor’s weakness for melodrama was starting to grate on him.

“You don’t have to be perfect,” he told him. “They’re not watching you any more. They’re not condemning you for failing to meet their standards. Their standards destroyed them.”

“No – I did!”

“Stop it!” Jack ordered, grabbing him by the shoulder. “Nobody should’ve had to do what you had to do! God damn it, you were fighting a war – the ultimate war. Maybe you can never move on, never forget, but you don’t have to keep torturing yourself like this! So stop it – now!”

The Doctor tried to pull himself away, but Jack’s grip was stronger. When he did manage to wrench his hands out of Jack’s grip, he used them to cover his face. Jack realised he was struggling to hold himself together, and he regarded that as something of a breakthrough.

“You stupid bastard!” He couldn’t keep the frustration out of his voice. “Can’t you see how much people care about you? You’re never more dangerous than you are when you’re trying to punish yourself. Because do you realise what you do? You open up to people, you win them over, you change their lives, and then you panic and push them away. But that’s what does the harm – the pushing away. Not the opening up!”

The Doctor waved an arm in his direction and turned to leave “Leave me alone, Jack! Just take her and go!”

Jack pulled him back. “She’s nobody’s possession. Rose loves you, whatever you’ve done, and whoever you are. And no matter how far you try to run from her, she’ll never feel complete without you.”

The Doctor stopped by the doorway, his limbs still tensed and poised for flight and his face working. “That’s what I’ve done to her. I’ve taken her over, ruined her life and made it impossible for her to go back…”

“Let others be the judge of that,” said Jack.

The Doctor dropped his hands away and Jack saw a man at the end of his tether, exhausted beyond words, trying to carry the burdens of a whole race of super-beings on his aching shoulders. Right this minute, he’d have liked nothing better than to scoop the Doctor up and carry him off to bed, for nothing more exotic than a very long sleep.

 “I’ve news for you,” said Jack. “Maybe I’m a fool to do it, but I love you. I’m not gonna apologise for it, I’m not gonna run away. You’re just gonna have to deal with it.”

He pulled the Doctor towards him and felt him tremble as he forced his lips down on his in a rough, passionate kiss. And when the Doctor responded, he was overjoyed but strangely unsurprised.

After a moment they broke apart, and just stared at each other. The Doctor looked terrible, his cheeks blotched over the greyish pallor of exhaustion and an expression of pure terror in his eyes. For a split second there was also a flicker of hope, but he frowned and it was banished.

He wiped his lips with the back of his hand. Jack noticed streaks on the cuff of his suit – engine grease, maybe, or debris from snatched meals. He smelled of cooped-up, tethered male. The barely-dissipated tension between them just added an edge of danger to what was already becoming an untenable situation. It was a long time since Jack had wanted to shag somebody as badly as he wanted the Doctor right now.

The Doctor took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. Clearly he’d no intention of acknowledging what had just happened. “We ought to find Rose,” he said.

“Yeah,” Jack agreed. “She always did like to party.” And at last there was the ghost of a response in the Doctor’s eyes, a little twist of the lips that might become a smile.

Chapter Two - Reality Check


Chapter Three - Quite Right Too

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
dark_aegis
Mar. 21st, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like this. As always, you lay the Doctor's faults bare and it's wonderful to see. I look forward to seeing Rose's reaction to how the boys resolved their differences :) Can't wait for the next installment!
catsfiction
Mar. 23rd, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're liking it so far. It was really a challenge to write, to delve back so far into DW history and get everyone reacting appropriately to the different timelines involved. It's been in the works for over three months but Wendy's been fantastic and it's finished now.
maniacalshen
Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
Intense! I love it.
catsfiction
Mar. 23rd, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, it's intense all right. With those three, that's to be expected. I just loved the idea of playing with the situation dave7 set up.
scarfman
Mar. 23rd, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)

Whoa! I'm going to have to friend this journal, I didn't see this chapter announced in the usual places.

catsfiction
Mar. 23rd, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
I think wendymr, who organised the ficathon it's being written for, is holding back a bit until all three chapters are posted. That won't be long since, unusually for me, the story's already finished.

Glad you like it.
bananasandroses
Mar. 23rd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)

I’m not Jack’s biggest fan, but somebody needed to tell the Doctor all that and I think perhaps Jack doing it will shock the Doctor into believing it in a way that perhaps wouldn’t happen if it were Rose saying it.

I’m intrigued, and I wonder where you’re going to take this next.

lindenharp
Mar. 24th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
Beautifully written, and with all the emotions and tensions that would happen in that situation. It's not a painless reunion, and that makes it all the more plausible.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )