Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
Author's Note: Blast To The Past chapter 6 was when the D & D Bistro was first introduced, along with Jack, Pete and Jake's love for their favorite game.
And just a quick reminder for the beginning of this story, the Doctor and Rose spent their honeymoon at a fairytale resort in chapter 7 of The Great Escape.
Chapter 1 The Enemy Within
"Oi, it's the newlyweds! Welcome back you two!" greets Jake as he rises from his chair to give them a hug. "So, how was it?" he questions with a lecherous waggle of his eyebrows towards Rose. "Was it everything that you hoped for?"
Rose and the Doctor share a quick glance and a secret smile before she divulges, "It was just like a fairytale."
"Wow, really?" responds Jake wonderingly before deadpanning, "Sounds boring." He deftly avoids Rose's attempt to swat his arm while maneuvering towards the gift bags that the Doctor is holding and trying to peek inside. "Lovely, it looks like you've brought over some gifts! Do any of those happen to be for me?"
"Not anymore," replies the Doctor with a saccharine smile before being nearly bowled over by an overenthusiastic Jack.
"Doctor, I'm so glad you're finally back! I've been waiting ages for you to return to work!" proclaims Jack with a huge grin.
"That's sweet, Jack," replies the Doctor with an indulgent smile, "but you always could have come over to the hotel when we'd arrived home if you'd missed me that much."
"Oh, I didn't miss you," denies Jack casually, "I need you to unlock one of your files. I can't finish my report without it and Donna's been asking when I'll have it done."
"Aw," teases Rose with a shoulder bump to a pouting Doctor, "it's nice to be appreciated isn't it, love?"
"Yes, it is," declares Donna as she walks over to the group and pulls Rose into a tight hug, "and you've been missed very much." She beams at Rose before facing the Doctor with a stern expression. "And what I've missed from you is Jack being able to complete his work on time due to your negligence. Next time, leave your password with him so he can unlock your files and now that you're back to work, get back to work!"
"I come bearing gifts!" announces the Doctor as he lifts the bags in the air in hopes of a peace offering while leaning slightly away from her.
"How sweet," thanks Donna with a smile, "now unlock that file!" Jack hands a tablet computer to the Doctor with a pleading gaze while Donna turns back to Rose with an expectant gleam in her eye. "I hope you chose the gifts."
The Doctor pulls a face behind Donna's back while Rose laughingly answers, "Well, some jewelry for you and Mum anyway, and the Doctor bought t-shirts for you, Jake and Jack."
"All on your account, I suppose?" inquires Donna shrewdly. "I can see it all now," she mocks as she mimics the Doctor's voice, "I'm sorry, I'm so, so, sorry, Rose, but it seems that I've forgotten my wallet. I hope that you can forgive me but it was just being so wrapped up in the thought of our wedding and of course thoughts of you."
The newly married couple both sport tight lipped expressions in response to Donna's gibe, Rose's because she's biting her lip to contain her laughter and the Doctor because he's wearing an annoyed grimace.
"What's the matter, Doc?" questions Jack knowingly. "Was what she said better than what you came up with?"
"Oh, shut up, Harkness!" grouses the Doctor while tossing out to the other three, "And the same goes for you lot as well unless you want to try cracking my password."
Everyone mimes zipping up their lips while Rose reaches into the bag containing the t-shirts and starts passing them around. Jake is the first to shake out his shirt to reveal a picture of Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall. "You know, once he fell he had all the king's men at his beck and call," he notes with a wistful sigh. "That was one lucky egg."
Donna rolls her eyes, in disgust or exasperation, nobody's quite sure. She unfolds her t-shirt to exhibit a picture of Snow White's evil step-mother with a caption underneath stating, 'All Hail the Evil Queen!"
"And what's this supposed to mean?" growls Donna as she directs her question at the Doctor.
"Why, nothing at all, Donna," voices the Doctor in a tone born of the utmost innocence. "It's just that when I saw it, I thought of you." He then turns to his best friend and urges, "Well go on and check out yours! I knew they were perfect for you the moment that I laid eyes on them."
Jack's grin is full of excitement as he rapidly unfurls his two shirts to reveal one stating 'Jack and the Beanstalk' with a matching print and the other bearing the image of the British flag. Jack takes a moment to stare down at the shirts pressed against his chest before commenting, "Doc, I understand the Beanstalk shirt but why the British flag?"
"Isn't it obvious?" inquires the Doctor in wide-eyed amazement as he notes everyone's befuddled expressions. "Now you're a Union Jack!"
The entire group groans at the Doctor's jest until Jack remarks with a small chuckle and an amused smile, "Doc, that's just terrible."
"Not as terrible as this shirt," opines Donna as she tosses hers back into her gift bag. "Or the fact that you two managed to make it back into work on your first day back from your honeymoon just in time for the lunch hour," she ends with a deliberate stare.
"That wasn't our fault!" protests the Doctor in earnest. "Pete asked me to pick up some 'special ingredients', you might say, for an important V.I.P. who's going to be visiting today."
"Sure, he did," responds Donna sarcastically as she leans back against a desk and crosses her arms over her chest. "So what type of 'special ingredients' are we talking about here? Marmalade, Jelly Babies, various other assorted things that you can lick? Because we all know that it's not pears."
Rose fails to hold back a small laugh at the Doctor's affronted stance. "No, it's true, Donna. Dad asked us to pick up a few discreet items but he wouldn't say why. They were a little more difficult to get a hold of than usual so that's why we were so late."
"See?" returns the Doctor with a bit of a sneer. "I told you we were working!"
"Well, Spaceman, my mistake and in thanks for not adding a neener-neener to that statement, you two can go off to lunch with my blessing," suggests Donna a little too sweetly. "Go on," she prods as she pushes off from the desk and waves them off good-naturedly, "go off and have your lunch break so you two can finally settle down and get back to work."
"Your wish is my command," vows the Doctor with a graceful bow before he rises to grab his knapsack with the lunches that they picked up before arriving. "Rose, I'll just go ahead and heat up our lunches while you give Donna her other gifts." He leans over and gives his wife a quick kiss on the lips. "Come and join me as soon as you can," he whispers against her mouth before disappearing down the hall.
Pete is walking down the hall at a brisk pace with Torchwood's V.I.P. while apologizing, "I'm sorry about the lack of lab coats around here, Roger. We had a chemical fire the other day right before they were about to be laundered and everyone only managed to hold onto what they were already wearing."
Roger brushes off Pete's apology with a warm smile. "It's fine, Pete. Besides, with all of the toxic spills and other hazards that the janitors here have to take care of, it's much better suited for what I'll have to be dealing with today."
Pete claps Roger on the back and tells him, "Well, I'm going to go and make sure that the materials that I requested earlier have been set up in the lab while you enjoy your coffee. I'll catch up with you later."
As Pete heads off to complete his task, Roger enters the employee break room to find the Doctor with his head rooting around inside a smoking microwave while grumbling, "This wouldn't keep happening if Pete would just let me make it sonic."
When he hears the door opening, he thrusts his head up just long enough to make out Roger's janitorial coat through the smoke but not the man himself. He pokes his head back in the microwave and greets, "Oh, good, you're here! Usually I have to call or wait for you notice the smoke to alert you that there's a clean up!" The Doctor stands up amidst a cloud of smoke and brushes his hands off while casually noting, "However, you're here now so I guess I'll be off!"
"You're off your rocker if you think that I'm cleaning up this mess," voices Roger in a disdainful tone. "You have two hands, do it yourself!"
The surprising rebuke is enough to send the Doctor's head popping up and his eyes to stare agape at the man who issued it once the smoke has cleared. He can't believe his eyes when he sees who it is, or at least who he thinks it is, a man who appears to be an identical twin of the Master's last form, Harry Saxon.
The Doctor immediately whips out his sonic and aims it straight at Roger as he begins his interrogation. "What are you doing here? How did you arrive here?"
Roger calmly scrutinizes the screwdriver while he patronizes, "I'm grabbing a cup of coffee and I arrived here after I crossed the void that they have the nerve to call a parking lot." He releases a snort of disgust. "And then to add insult to injury, somebody's broken down Citroen parked in my usual spot." He sips his coffee and takes his time swallowing before inquiring, "And you are?"
"I'm the Doctor," declares the Time Lord metacrisis, his voice tinged with a hint of the Oncoming Storm.
Roger dips his head down to take another sip of coffee as he mutters under his breath, "Are you sure that you don't just need one?"
The Doctor carefully examines the sonic's readings and wrinkles his brow in consternation before questioning, "Alright, it's obvious that you're not who I thought you are so tell me, who exactly are you?"
Before Roger can answer, the door bursts open and Rose into the room along with it. "Doctor, I smelled smoke! Are you alright?" She's surveying the damage to the kitchen area when she spies Roger in the corner of her eye. Instantly spinning around and catapulting herself into his arms, she squeals, "Roger, Roger Pond!" Her delighted laughter quickly stops as she draws back far enough to notice the coffee that she inadvertently sloshed on his coat. "Oh, Roger, I'm so sorry! It didn't burn you, did it?"
Roger cradles her cheek as he soothes away her fears. "No worries, Rose, I'm fine. Besides, how would I have noticed a burn anyway?" He leans in close to her until their foreheads are resting against each other. "You've always made me feel hot and bothered."
Rose's responding giggles are cut off when the Doctor storms over and yanks her out of Roger's arms and jerks her behind him. Not taking his eyes off the startled man before him, the Doctor furiously growls, "Rose, what the hell do think you're doing? And who is this man?"
"This," declares Rose angrily as she roughly shoves his arm away from her and moves over to stand between her husband and her friend, "is my very dear friend, Roger Pond. We met shortly after I started working at Torchwood. He works with us as an outside consultant for alien tech and well…practically everything really. That is until you came to work here, since then we haven't needed to call upon his services as we usually would."
Roger's assessing gaze meets the Doctor's critical eye head on while he drinks the remainder of his coffee. "And which department do you work for?" inquires Roger curiously. "It's obviously not Intelligence."
Rose swats Roger's arm in chastisement while the Doctor's jaw clenches in synch with the twitching in his left eye and his grip on the sonic screwdriver tightens to the point of nearly breaking it.
"I identify and analyze all of the alien technology in addition to being a Torchwood field operative when my expertise is required," announces the Doctor as he reaches out and tugs Rose firmly against his side. "I'm also her husband."
Roger exhibits an expression of distaste before releasing a sigh of resignation as he addresses Rose. "Yes, I know. Pete told me that you had recently married but I was hoping that he was just having me on." He flicks his gaze dismissively over the Doctor. "You have my condolences." Roger tilts his head to indicate the sonic screwdriver. "What is that thing anyway?"
"It's my sonic screwdriver," boasts the Doctor, "and it can do almost anything. It's small, slender, has multiple settings and vibrations and fits neatly into the palm of my hand."
Roger shoots him a dry look while he finishes off his coffee. "That must be very convenient for you. Fortunately, some of us can still make do with flesh and blood and a little imagination." He flashes a cheeky grin at Rose who darts him a cautionary glance. "You know, I've missed you, Rose Tyler, especially the missions that we used to go on together." He waggles his eyebrows at her. "Do you fancy coming across the pond for old time's sake?" Noting the amused shake of her head and the Doctor's growl, he suggests hopefully, "Or how about at least out to lunch?"
"No!" barks the Doctor instantaneously as Rose consents, "That would be lovely." Sparing his wife a quick glare, the Doctor composes himself the best that he can and stonily replies, "I mean, thanks for the offer but as you can see, I'm already making our lunch."
Both Roger and Rose lean their heads around the Doctor to view the microwave which at present was only faintly smoking but now also had the added addition of sparks shooting out of it. Rose grimaces at the mess that was once their beloved break room and hesitantly inquires, "Um, Doctor, exactly what happened to cause all of this?"
The Doctor examines the wreckage of the microwave with a detached scientist's eye as he explains, "I poked the cuisine with a fork to see if it was done but it still needed to cook a little longer." He tugs on his ear and offers her a sheepish expression as he adds, "And I might have left the fork in the microwave when I continued to heat it up."
Rose groans in exasperation and scolds, "Doctor! Again?"
While the Doctor turns his head away to avoid Rose's frustrated gaze, Roger claps his hand together in delight and poses, "So, change of plans then? I merely need to stop in at the Met and drop something off to my Cousin Amy and then we'll go to lunch. Afterwards, we can go and visit my sister Melody's store if you like. You remember here charity shop, don't you? The Pond Shoppe?"
"Wait a minute," exclaims the Doctor in disbelief. "Officer Pond is your cousin?"
"Yes," confirms Roger courteously with a wide grin and a nod before turning away from the Doctor and ignoring him completely for Rose. "She was still living in Leadworth when I was last here or I would have introduced you to each other." His gaze momentarily slides away from Rose's as he works out a problem and murmurs to himself. "Perhaps while we're there we can ask her to have that old wreck towed from my old parking spot."
"That's my car!" grits the Doctor between clenched teeth.
Roger gives him a swift once-over before declaring, "How fitting." He turns back to face Rose and taking her hand proclaims, "Well, we'll leave you to clean this place up," as he places a hand on her hip that falls just short of a caress. "Let's try that new Italian restaurant on Delgado Drive near Pertwee Park, shall we? I know how much you hate anything French."
"Excuse me?" interrupts the Doctor as he stiffens his stance as if readying for an attack. "But Rose isn't going anywhere with you unless I say so!"
The air seems to drop a few degrees in compliance with Rose's sudden cool demeanor. "Excuse me?" returns Rose icily. "But I don't take orders from you unless we're in the field and it's absolutely justified and at this particular moment, Doctor, it's not."
With a fast turn of her heel, Rose rejoins Roger and grabbing him by the arm, drags him to the exit and angrily strides out of the room. When the Doctor hurries after to follow them, he is once again nearly knocked over by Jack whose expression is so dazed as to suggest that he has been hypnotized.
"Damn it, Jack!" fumes the Doctor as he turns his head in every direction. "Did you see where that man went with Rose?"
As if in a trance, Jack drones, "Do you mean the Master?"
"What?" squeaks the Doctor as the high-pitched noise brings Jack back to himself and his surroundings. "Why would you call him that?"
"Because he's the Master, Doc, the Dungeon Master!" cries Jack excitedly. "Remember, I saw him that night at the D & D Bistro?" He shakes his head to clear it of his dream come true. "I can't believe that he's really here, that I'll actually be working alongside the Master! Maybe now I can finally get his autograph!" Totally oblivious to the Doctor glowering at him, Jack bashfully requests, "Do you think that Rose could introduce me to him? From what I hear from Jake, the Master used to fancy her rotten and they were really, really close."
The Doctor remains silent and still except for a final tightening grasp on his sonic screwdriver that accidentally triggers the last working setting on the microwave right before it explodes.
Next Chapter: Mind of Evil