Author's Note: This is the third part of the trilogy 3 Doctors, 9 Companions, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? and 4 Doctors, 12 Companions, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? and if you try to pick up and read this now it will be the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen in your life because you've missed out on 2.3 million words and over three whole years of lore and backstory.
If I Didn't Care
"Anchovies!?" Sally Sparrow exclaimed, even though she was under strict orders to be quiet because Clara was downstairs sleeping, "Anchovies!?" She made a beeline for the bin in the corner of the kitchen and spat out a whole lot of fish-flavoured crumbs, absolutely repulsed, "In cookies!? And you have two-hundred of them!? Are you a lunatic!?"
"Shh, shh! Clara's asleep, come on," Jenny whispered pleadingly. It was ten o'clock in the morning, and they were both incredibly lucky that Clara hadn't already been awoken by Sally's exploits in her house that day so far. Jenny's fault, she supposed, she had been the one to invite Sally over in the first place, earlier that day before Esther was awake, in an attempt to find somebody willing to take two-hundred anchovy cookies off her hands. That somebody, however, was most definitely not Sally Sparrow. "I don't think they taste that bad."
"Yeah, well, you come from space, don't you?" Sally remarked. Jenny couldn't really argue with that, she supposed she did come from space, but she didn't see why Sally Sparrow was generalising everybody who came from space as also liking anchovy cookies.
"Do you think Esther will eat them?" Jenny wondered, casting a glance at the stacks upon stacks of cookies along the work surfaces of Clara's kitchen. Clara, just like Sally, had downright refused to eat them last night. Then she'd started to go on about how she was getting worried about Jenny, or something, for not yet returning to the TARDIS. Well, she kept saying, she wouldn't go back until her father came to get her, and if he didn't, then she supposed there wasn't a place for her on that ship anymore. She supposed there might not have ever been a place for her on it.
"No, she won't eat them, because she's not mental," Sally said. Jenny scowled, "I thought you were supposed to be a master chef?"
"I am. I just have a very wide palette. For somebody who likes anchovies in cookies, that's a delicacy."
"And I'm sure the foxes who go through my wheelie bins think the same thing about the leftovers they scrounge."
"How dare you compare my food to leftovers!" Jenny exclaimed, a little annoyed.
"No, it's worse than leftovers, at least something being left over implies it was actually edible in the first place," Sally quipped.
"You can be so obnoxious sometimes," Jenny shook her head, "I have no idea what my girlfriend sees in you."
"It's the dimples," Sally assured her, smiling. If it had been, say, Esther Drummond who had criticised her food like that, she would have been horribly upset, but this was Sally Sparrow. All Sally cared about was trying to be funny and maintain her air of perpetual, unrealistic levity all the time. Jenny was, by this point, quite used to it. It was oddly endearing. "Seriously, though, do you have anything to eat?"
Begrudgingly, Jenny said, "There are strawberries in the fridge. Leftovers from dinner two nights ago, in fact. Suppose you're just as bad as those foxes." Jenny didn't have to go get the strawberries herself, because Sally was in her natural habitat when she was mooching off of people. She hadn't just come for the cookies, she'd also come in a desperate bid to borrow some teabags from Clara, because she didn't have any money to buy her own.
Jenny went about trying to fill re-sealable plastic bags with anchovy cookies so that they would keep long enough for her to find someone willing to eat them (she would eat some of them, of course, but not two-hundred of them) while Sally stood in the corner, lingering, eating strawberries out of a box.
"Where did you get these from?"
"Those? I picked them in France, in July, can't remember the year," Jenny said.
"You know, Jenny, there's these things called shops, and you can go to them and buy stuff, so that you don't have to go to all this trouble," Sally said knowingly.
"Going by what Esther tells me, you don't do an awful lot of buying stuff as it is, Sally," Jenny remarked, sticking cookies in a bag.
Somebody knocked on the door.
"Oh, get that, would you?" Jenny asked, "It'll only be Esther anyway, or Dylan, or something." Sally shrugged and said she would, disappearing out of the kitchen, Jenny calling after her that her keys were just in a bowl by the door.
There was only the one set of keys in the bowl, and Sally recognised, with a pang of nostalgia, a TARDIS key hanging off them. She briefly wondered if that was maybe the same key she had stolen from the Weeping Angels nearly ten years ago as she opened the door to a man she'd never seen before in her life, nor had she seen around Hollowmire. There he was, some guy, wearing a tweed suit, of all things, even though he could hardly be thirty yet. And he looked at her funny, like he recognised her.
"This is Ravenwood's house? Clara's house, I mean?" he asked her. Sounded like he was from London.
"If you like," Sally answered, eating another strawberry (they were very nice strawberries.)
"Excellent – is Jenny here?"
"No, she's dead. I'm Clara's new girlfriend. I won her hand in a jousting competition, on motorbikes," Sally informed monotonously, and he narrowed his eyes. She just carried on eating strawberries with her best innocent expression.
"Sally Sparrow, isn't it? Thought I recognised you, yes, it's been a while, though. Three-hundred years, or something," he smiled, holding his hand out for her to shake. She shook it with the hand covered in strawberry juice, not that he minded, "My wife's a big fan, which I'm sure you're aware of, being as she's not a particularly subtle woman…" he trailed off, thinking, still shaking her hand. Then he brightened up again, "The Doctor, by the way, if you don't recognise the new face. Is my daughter in there?" He was still shaking her hand.
"You can let go now," she said. He had apparently not realised what he was doing. He let go immediately.
"Right, yes, sorry. Jenny, though? I'm looking for her."
Jenny was still putting cookies into bags when Sally stuck her head back into the room. She hadn't been listening to whoever was at the door, assuming it wasn't anything to do with her. Sally cleared her throat, and Jenny glanced up and frowned.
"Uh… your dad's here," Sally told her, and she dropped the bag she had been holding onto the wooden table top.
"No he isn't," Jenny said, "If this is one of your jokes, Sally, it's not very amuse…" The Eleventh Doctor stepped into the living room from the hallway, behind Sally, looking very out of place and awkward in Clara's house.
"…Lots of candles in here, aren't there?" he commented, "Quite dark."
"It's usually darker," Sally said when Jenny didn't say a word, "When the kitchen curtains aren't open. Lucky Clara's asleep or she'd be moaning."
"She is a vampire," Jenny pointed out, coming back to herself a little, though she was still stunned to see him there.
Sally rolled her eyes and ate another strawberry, "Excuses, excuses." Jenny scowled at her.
"Yes, thanks," she smiled, "I think I'll just go see if your girlfriend has anything decent recorded on the telly."
"Well don't delete anything," Jenny called after her, trying to ignore the presence of her father, like he was a blind spot. Jenny really wished that Clara's living room and kitchen weren't open plan at that moment. She left the cookies on the table and crossed her arms. "What do you want?" she asked the Doctor, quite sharply.
"I was just… how's your hand?" he asked, glancing at the blue, fibreglass cast on her arm. He didn't appear like he knew what to say.
"Quite painful, no thanks to you, of course." It was itchy, as well, and sweaty.
"I don't really think that it was my…" he decided, halfway through that sentence, that it wouldn't be a good idea to argue with her about that. Truthfully, the only reason she wasn't yelling at him was because Clara was asleep. "You're right. You're completely right, of course you are, if I'd listened to you about putting the Immeo onto the TARDIS in the first place, you never would have broken your thumb. And it was my fault he even thought of using you for leverage, and-"
"Sorry, hold on – Sally, do you think you could leave?" Jenny cut him off. Sally was flicking through channels and the volume was quite loud, still eating strawberries.
"Why?" she asked. Jenny glared at her, and she rolled her eyes, "Fine."
"Leave the strawberries," Jenny ordered her. Sally grimaced. She turned off the television and skulked back into the kitchen, putting the box of strawberries down on the kitchen table.
"I'll leave them, but I'm taking the teabags I came for to begin with," Sally said, snatching a whole box of Yorkshire Tea from the side. Jenny just raised her eyebrows, didn't even argue.
"Go on, go back to your wife now," Jenny fake-smiled, and Sally made a face at her over her shoulder before finally leaving. She'd been there for an hour already at least – it really was a miracle Clara hadn't woken up. Jenny was surprised Sally didn't slam the door on her way out, she had braced herself for the loud noise, and everything.
"Shouldn't you have stopped her from taking those?" the Doctor asked.
"No, it's not worth it, she always nicks things. I'll just text Esther and tell her to bring them back later," Jenny sighed, going to put the strawberries back in the fridge. There were hardly any left now that Sally Sparrow had got her dirty mitts on them. "What was it you were saying, then?"
"I was apologising, I believe, for… well, it was going to be everything, eventually, but everything will take a while. Possibly best not to do it here?" he said, "It's just, Clara is asleep, isn't she? And Clara – my Clara – said that if I run into your Clara, she'll probably kill me, for upsetting you. I'd rather not get killed by a vampire, to be entirely honest."
"She won't wake up," Jenny said stiffly, "If she didn't wake up with Sally here, she won't wake up with you here. You don't smell edible."
"I have other things to… I thought, I mean… I didn't realise that I was supposed to have followed you to talk to you, and I didn't realise you were so upset because of Thirteen, and I thought eventually you would just come back to the TARDIS. But you won't, will you?" She didn't answer. She didn't really want to say she hadn't been planning on coming back to the TARDIS, because if she wasn't there, she didn't really know what she ought to be doing. Clara wouldn't let her move in. She didn't really want to move in. It was starting to grate on the pair of them, a little, Jenny being there all the time. "I brought something! I forgot. Yes. Brought you something. Or Clara, more, I suppose…" He pulled something out of his pocket that was much too large to fit in them if they weren't transdimensional, and then he held it out to her.
"A mirror…?" Jenny asked incredulously, taking it. Funny present to get a vampire. It was quite cruel, considering.
"Yes. Sort of. It's actually used to identify alien species, originally, but I modified it, so it doesn't really work anymore. But it does reflect vampires," he explained, "At least, I hope it does. Otherwise I've broken it, and it was a gift, you know, from my godmother, though I've only used it once, when I met Van Gogh, and… it's a story for another time, it doesn't matter now."
"This is, um… surprisingly thoughtful," Jenny said, looking at herself in it. She didn't really know what to do with it, though. She wasn't going to wake up Clara. She supposed she'd best hide it and show it to Clara later. "If this works she'll stop getting me to do her makeup for her… what do you mean about, um, going elsewhere?"
"Well… don't think that this an excuse for me to come and see you, because it isn't, I promise, just ask Clara because I was talking to her about this last night-"
"But?" she prompted.
"But, the TARDIS was docked in a Venusian colony this morning while Oswin's brother moved everything over there from Horizon, and she picked up a very odd distress signal that appears to be your name."
"Which name?" she asked, not sure if she believed him entirely about a mysterious distress signal not being an excuse. For all she knew, he had made it up for some strange reason. But he seemed… genuine. Though she hated to think it. "An alias?"
"No. Just 'Jenny.'"
"Coming from where?"
"A dangerous area of the Myoki Galaxy, with a stagnant black hole-"
"The Fowl Pocket," she realised.
"Yes," he confirmed, though it hadn't really been a question, "So it is for you?" The Fowl Pocket was an infamously inescapable area of space, completely full of shipwrecks that had been pulled in by the black hole. It was a very weak and odd black hole in that it didn't consume anything, but it pulled ships in, kept them there, drifting around through space until they collapsed in on themselves and decayed.
"Oh, yeah. It's for me. And it's not good. What was the year?"
"4221," he answered.
"Oh, fantastic," she grumbled.
"I don't understand, what is it?"
"A long story. Still. You didn't want to stick around here, did you?" she said.
"You mean you'll come?" he asked, surprised.
"I have responsibilities. Sort of. I might do. It's hard to explain, but I don't want to shirk them, I've been building up a pretty big I-told-you-so for the last eight months," Jenny said, thinking, running a hand through her hair.
"And you mean…?"
"That I'll come? Can come? As well?" he asked. She frowned. "That reminds me, I had another question for you."
"Do you remember what you were doing on the 16th of October? In 1941?"
"Uh… I haven't been in 1941 for a hundred and eighty years," she said, "Quite hard to remember specifically. I think I was in Plymouth? Why?"
"No reason… no reason…" he said quietly, "What are all these cookies for?"
"I baked two-hundred of them but nobody wants to eat them because they have anchovies."
"Anchovies? Sounds delicious."
"That's what I said! Have them if you want. God knows, no one else will. I have to go get dressed and leave Clara a note." She also needed to get one of her guns, and would prefer if he didn't know she had one on her, so she disappeared towards the cellar and down the stairs so that she could go put some clothes on and have a bit of a think.
She hadn't expected the Doctor to actually come and see her, she thought, casting a glance at Clara Ravenwood, still remarkably fast asleep and remarkably gorgeous. But he had. And he actually seemed like he was trying. Then again, perhaps he had been trying the other day, and she just hadn't been able to tell because she'd been practically blind with rage. And, like Clara had said she would, she had rested for a few days, and she did feel better. And he'd brought that mirror, too, he'd been legitimately thoughtful, and he'd apologised for what happened to her hand…
So, Jenny Harkness resolved, she was going to give the Doctor a chance.
AN: Like I said in the author's note of Chapter 1000 (what a disgustingly huge number), it would be cool if you would follow properly and stuff. And also review, always appreciate the reviews.