Title: Of Eggs, Shoes and Flying Saucers
Pairing: Nothing obvious, although you could read into it in places.
Rating: PGSpoilers: 2005 series up to and including Boom Town (episode 11)
Characters: Nine, Rose, Jack
Word length: 3,800-ish
Summary : Exactly what happened with the Raxicoricofallapatorian egg which the Doctor and his companions were left with at the end of Boom Town? Giving Blon the Slitheen her second chance at life turns out to be rather more perilous than they had expected.
Of Eggs, Shoes and Flying Saucers
She made a pretty cute egg, he had to admit.
Jack stood admiring what was left of Blon as the TARDIS sped them on their way to Raxacoricofallapatorius. It was rather sad really; she couldn't even be called a Slitheen any longer. But with any luck she'd have nothing more to do with that family in her new life.
Speaking of which—
"Doctor," he called absentmindedly over his shoulder as he adjusted their flight path. "Where exactly do you want her dropping off? Now? Or sometime in the future? I'm thinking not in the present, don't want to risk a parado-" he stopped, realising that he was getting no response.
"Doctor? Rose?" The control room was completely empty and he hadn't even noticed them leaving.
His face dropped for the barest of moments, before he brightened up once more.
"Well, guess it's just you two ladies and me for the moment," he grinned, pausing to pat the softly humming TARDIS, before bending over the console once more. "Good job there's enough of me to share."
It had been some hours since he'd seen either of them. Now that he'd landed them on Raxacoricofallapatorius (he'd eventually decided on the year 2706, after humans had made contact so they wouldn't look too out of place, anachronistic leather jackets aside), Jack reckoned that they'd had more than long enough to stew. Rose first, he decided – she was easiest. After all, who better to cheer a brokenhearted girl up than Captain Jack Harkness himself?
"Rose?" He tapped softly on the door – something he'd learned to do very quickly after his first attempt to find Rose in her bedroom. How should he have known that it was still a custom in the early Twenty-first Century to knock on doors? Or that it was a rule to which Rose stuck resolutely? Although, when he thought about it, that might have had something to do with what she'd been doing that first time he walked in… Not that there was any need for her to be so uptight about it, really, he'd rather enjoyed the view, but – really, she could be quite old fashioned about some things!
Anyway, all of this meant that he always, always knocked on Rose's door – even if he never actually waited for her to answer. This time was no different – he pushed the door open (quite sweet really, she insisted on an old Twentieth Century style hinged door) and stuck his head round.
And was very glad that was all he'd done, as a shoe hit the door with a solid thunk, followed by a half shrieked, half sobbed, "Go away!"
"Damn. Seems I did leave it too long." He knocked again, waited for a second thump as Rose's other shoe hit the door, then entered the room - safe in the knowledge that, strange as she could be, Rose would only have two shoes.
"Rose, love, you wanna talk about it?" He gingerly approached where she was curled on the bed, face buried in a pillow. The reply was so muffled he couldn't make it out.
"Well, I guess that's a 'no' then," he hesitated, then gently sat down beside Rose, putting his hand on her shoulder. She let out a quiet sob, and Jack shifted so he could stroke her hair. She took a deep, shuddering breath before bursting into tears.
After a few minutes, Rose's crying tailed off and he said gently, "You never could have kept them both, you know."
"I know," Rose said sadly, moving her head so that it rested in Jack's lap. "But I wanted to think that I had someone waiting, someone dependable, someone other than my mum. Which isn't fair, I know, but..." She sniffled a little, and he passed her a tissue. "Life here is – amazing, fantastic - I can't describe it, but it's so dangerous. I wanted to know that I had something to go back to, just in case anything happened."
"And you think it will?"
"Oh, I know it will. Look at us! This can't last, it's too perfect." She lifted her head and looked Jack in the eyes. "But, I think I'm ok with that. Live in the moment, and all that. As if you could do anything else with a Time Lord!"
"But it's still a shock to finally break it off with someone you were with for a long time."
"Three years… And yes, it is. Even though we're completely different people now, and even though it would never have worked…" Jack nodded solemnly.
"But now, seeing as you're alright, and we just so happen to be in your room, on your bed, how about…" He started, grinning at her.
"Jack!" She pushed him playfully, laughing.
"Good, you are ok then. How about you go make us all a drink while I go and fetch the Doctor?" He said, standing up.
"Yeah, alright. And Jack?" He paused by the door. "Thank you."
"It's alright," he laughed, raising one eyebrow and grinning. "You can repay me later…"
He made a quick exit after his parting shot, relieved that she wasn't too upset. Ricky wasn't worth it, not where Rose was concerned.
Well, that was job number one sorted. Now for number two – infinitely trickier, as he wasn't sure exactly what Blon had said to the Doctor when they were out. Dealing with emotionally wrought Time Lords was a new experience, even for him. Still, there was nothing Jack liked better than trying new things.
He didn't bother trying to find the Doctor's room; he'd never yet managed it. Instead, he wandered idly without concentrating, until, surprised, he found himself back in the control room. But the Doctor was there, examining the egg.
"Works like a charm," Jack patted the wall fondly. "Thanks, baby."
"Are you chatting up my ship?" The Doctor asked, rather tiredly. Jack was a little affronted – it wasn't as if he'd ever manage to win the TARDIS' affections from the Time Lord, whatever he tried. Still, better play it cool.
"Can't help myself. She's a beautiful thing. Not that there's any point, this ship practically worships you."
"You say that like you're surprised," the Doctor said, smiling fondly. "She is mine, after all. But she is beautiful, isn't she? I don't know how I'd manage without her…"
Jack kept silent, hoping that it would prompt the Doctor into opening up a little. Even so, he was surprised when this actually seemed to work.
"She – Blon -- just wanted to get back to her family, you know? Again, Jack kept silent. The Doctor gazed at the egg on the console, without really focusing on it.
"She just wanted to stop being so alone. And I half agreed with her. I would do a lot to see Gallifrey again, let alone another Gallifreyan. What does that make me?" He whirled suddenly to face Jack. "Am I a killer, Jack? Do I have any right to dictate to these silly apes what they should be doing? What right did I have to whisk Rose away from her life like that?"
"She chose to come, Doctor. She knew what she was doing..." Jack began, unsure as to where this was going.
"Did she? Did she?" The Doctor's voice rose as he spoke, until he was almost shouting. Jack felt completely out of his depth; he had no idea what Blon had said to the Doctor, but it had clearly cut deep to trigger this release. He had no doubt that this guilt, this fear for Rose's safety was nothing new, but still he had no idea how to handle it. His silence, however, seemed to encourage the Doctor's outpouring.
"I don't think she did. She couldn't have done, and I knew that – but I took her anyway." The Doctor's voice was low now, deep and melancholy. Jack was about to reassure his friend – Rose certainly didn't regret her choices now, no matter how ignorant she might have been to begin with – but the Doctor continued.
"And now she's stuck with me. Even assuming nothing happens to her, there's only her mum to go home to now, and Jackie won't live forever. I didn't think twice about playing with her life, Jack. Rose is as alone as me now, and it's all my fault. Mine."
"What's yours?" Rose came in, precariously balancing three mugs in her hands, making the two of them jump. There was a momentary uncomfortable silence at her unexpected interruption. Then the Doctor, in a startlingly rapid change of mood, grinned at her.
"Life, the universe, and, well, everything really!" he said playfully, as she handed the tea round.
If Rose noticed that he seemed a little subdued, she didn't mention it. She laughed, rolling her eyes at Jack and lightly smacking the Doctor on the arm. "Be serious! Come on, what's the plan for this egg then?"-
He should have known better, really. They'd thought it'd be simple – which had just been tempting fate, considering their past record.
"So, what's the plan?" Jack was leaning casually against the wall, watching his two companions. They had all gathered around the main console, Blon's egg perched proudly between them. Bathed in the greenish light from the console, it looked as unearthly as it was. Rose kept eyeing it nervously, as though she expected Blon to jump out from it any moment and announce that it had all been a joke.
The Doctor paced energetically in front of them, arms waving excitedly as he explained his 'plan', his earlier outburst forgotten. "Easy! We take the egg, pop it on the desk – none of that basket-on-a-doorstep stuff, just a quick in and out, and Bob's your uncle!"
Jack had been mildly puzzled at that last phrase, raising an eyebrow and shooting a questioning look at the Doctor. Rose had giggled at his confused expression, the soft sound of her laughter echoing in the large room even over the sound of the Doctor's footsteps.
"Bob's… Oh, I remember. Twentieth century saying, am I right?"
Rose had rolled her eyes at him, laughing. "You know you are!"
"Once you're done flirting –" The Doctor interrupted.
"Never!" The Doctor's turn to roll his eyes this time.
"-we could perhaps get this over with? Then do some exploring – I've only been to Raxacoricofallapatorius a couple of times." He had stopped in front of the egg, and was eyeing it speculatively.
"Don't worry Doc, you'll get your fix of sneaking around." Jack lazily pushed himself upright, stretching his arms above his head.
"Jack; never, ever call me 'Doc' again. Please." He had shaken his head despairingly.
"Why not? I think it rather suits you…" Rose had shot a sly wink at Jack as she said this, whilst the Doctor buried his face in his hands.
"I'm doomed, doomed! They're ganging up on me!" Then he had laughed, turning to face them, unable to keep up the charade. "Come on, it'll only take ten minutes. Easy!"
"Easy." Jack and Rose had both agreed
Easy my ass, Jack thought, trying to look as innocent and harmless as possible. Quite difficult with his roguish good looks, but he felt he was making a passable job of it.
The Doctor was currently attempting to convince the local sheriff – a title which, really, was taking retro a little too far, a little like shoulder pads or codpieces – that they were merely travellers passing by, and that they hadn't at all realised that they were currently trespassing in a restricted area. And that they honestly hadn't dropped a suspicious package off at the local crèche. Or that they hadn't tried to avoid getting arrested by using highly illegal psychic paper.
They'd been stopped just outside a large glass building which the Doctor had deemed 'interesting' and had insisted they take a look at before they left. Jack hadn't really thought twice about the fact that they had seen fewer and fewer humanoids as they neared the building. It was only when they were standing right outside it and they could see the words 'Laying Place' (although it probably wasn't, Jack thought wryly, what it sounded like) emblazoned upon a plaque by the door, that he noticed that the three of them and the sheriff's assistant were the only vaguely humanoid beings in sight.
In fact, the only other being whatsoever in the street was the sheriff. A large, angry looking Raxacoricofallapatorian sheriff, with a sonic blaster pointed straight at them. Ah.
Now that he had met some of the creatures, Jack had a newfound respect for the Doctor and Rose, and their previous encounters with Raxacoricofallapatorians – they were pretty intimidating. They were being charged, it seemed, with trespassing and intent to harm, and it was proving difficult to convince the sheriff of their innocence – particularly now that their psychic paper hadn't worked. The huge Raxacoricofallapatorian was explaining in a very slow and patronising manner that they had just broken one of the city's greatest taboos. Aliens never went near the Hatchery (and Rose's face, when she had realised that they were the aliens being referred to, had been a picture).
It seemed that they had inadvertently wandered into the strictly native area of the city – where the females (and, occasionally, the males) went to lay their eggs. Simply by being there, the three of them had broken the law, and the fact that they had been seen leaving the crèche seemed to mean that there was enough evidence to arrest and convict them. Of what, Jack wasn't sure, but it wasn't looking good.
Although the sheriff's friend – some subordinate or other, Jack assumed – certainly was. She had rather lovely dark hair and great figure, – very tall, with curves in all the right places - and if her complexion had an unusual greenish tinge to it, Jack wasn't one to comment. He was trying to discreetly catch her eye whilst her boss was distracted. His attention was, therefore, occupied when Rose sneaked up behind him and whispered in his ear.
"Planning some dancing, are we, Captain?" She joked, laughing wickedly as he jumped in surprise.
"Why not?" Jack winked suggestively at the girl, who looked distinctly uncomfortable, making Rose laugh even more.
The Doctor and sheriff both turned to see what all the noise was.
"Do you mind?" the Doctor asked indignantly, "I'm trying to stop us getting arrested here."
The sheriff, realising that things could quickly spiral out of control, decided to make a stand. "That does it. You lot, come with me. I'm detaining you for suspicious behaviour."
"Now see what you've done!" Rose hissed at Jack. He didn't have chance to do anything more than look offended before the Doctor interrupted.
"Now, really sir," he said (clearing things up a little for Jack, who had been trying to work out whether the Raxacoricofallapatorian was male or female for some minutes), "I'm sure we can work something out…"
"Your friend there was just eyeing up my niece. I don't think so." Rose's eyes widened at what this implied; Jack smirked. Bless her, but she had a long way to go.
"Dancing's what we do best, sweetheart, no matter what species." He winked again, then burst out laughing at the scandalised look on her face.
"No," the Doctor interjected, adding pointedly, "Or at least, you'd better hope it isn't. Right now, what you want to be best at –" he paused, looking both of his companions in the eyes to make sure they understood his point, "– is running."
Jack nodded to show that he understood – although he had a feeling that a brick wall could have understood. Subtlety wasn't one of the Doctor's strongest points. The sheriff and his pretty niece, however, looked rather perplexed at the Doctor's obscure comment, which they must have heard. Were they really that dim? Maybe stupidity rather than looks ran in the family.
The Time Lord had turned back to the sheriff. "Maybe we could work something out, I'm sure, if we – what was that!" His eyes widened and he flung his arm out, pointing at a rather confused looking local who had just left the building opposite. Definitely not good at subtlety.
Amazingly, however, it worked; the two locals had turned and looked in the direction the Doctor was pointing in. The Doctor winked at Rose.
"Now, run for your lives!" Even as he ran, Jack slapped his forehead with his palm in disbelief; no chance they were going to get away without being noticed now. Indeed, he could hear indignant shouting behind them, followed swiftly by a blaringly irritating claxon.
Luckily there weren't many people about, and those that were quickly moved out of the way, not wanting to get involved. But they were miles away from where they'd left the TARDIS, they didn't know their way around the city, and they were running without thought for the direction in which they were going. Ducking and dodging every person that might be the Sheriff and his cronies, they were soon hopelessly lost.
Up ahead, the Doctor had stopped. They had reached a dead end, and the distant shouts were definitely not so distant any longer. Breath heaving, Jack and Rose stopped too. "We'll – never – make – it – back!" He panted in between breaths to the Doctor, who smiled knowingly in response.
"No need. In here, quick!" The two companions found themselves being hauled inside a nearby doorway.
It was dark in comparison to the bright sunlight outside, and it took Jack's eyes a moment or two to adjust. From what he could see in the gloom, it looked like they were in an aircraft hanger. In fact, Jack realised as he further regained his bearings, it was an aircraft hangar. The acrid smell of oil filled the building, and what little light there was illuminated the large bulk of a spaceship in the centre of the hangar.
They crouched silently for a moment, catching their breath, listening to the sounds of their pursuers fading into the distance.
"Run for your lives?" Rose asked sardonically. "Touch dramatic, don't you think, for people that got distracted by a 'look out behind you!' trick? They were hardly anything to worry about."
"It worked, didn't it? Besides, I was reminiscing," the Doctor said, grinning.
"Now that's what you ought to worry about – when a nine hundred year old begins reminiscing, then you have problems." Jack quipped absentmindedly. He was distracted rather by the contents of the hangar. The star attraction was a classic Flying Saucer Mark III, suspended from the hangar's repair docking station.
"Would you look at this beauty? I used to have a ship like this," he trailed a hand lovingly across the side of the ship. "Gorgeous little thing, flew like a bird."
"Don't give me that," the Doctor scoffed, "I've been in one of them. They land about as well as bird, if said bird happens to be an ostrich."
Rose ducked underneath the ship. "I still can't quite believe it," she said, shaking her head as she examined it. "You get real flying saucers. It's crazy. But I have to say, I think I'd rather stick with the TARDIS. Reckon it's safe to get back to her yet?"
"No need!" the Doctor announced smugly. "Remote control, remember?" He produced the key with a flourish. "All I need to do is give this a quick blast of the sonic screwdriver, and we're out of here."
"Saves remembering where you parked it, I suppose. Still think you ought to fit a teleport though." Jack commented.
"I don't. I hate those things." Rose said with a shudder. "And they play havoc with my hair."
"Mine too!" The Doctor said, a comment which neither Rose nor Jack deigned to dignify with a response. "Well, I thought it was funny." He muttered to himself as he used the sonic screwdriver.
They sat around in silence for a few minutes as the Doctor continued to tinker with the sonic screwdriver. Rose was still staring bemusedly at the Flying Saucer, whilst Jack continued to wander round it, admiring the engineering work.
"Um, Doctor?" Rose ventured after a while. "Shouldn't something be, you know, happening?"
"Yes, it should." He frowned.
"Well?" she asked again, "Is it broken?"
"I don't see how…" He trailed off into silence. He frowned again for a moment, glancing around the hangar. Suddenly, he leapt up. "The ship! The Saucer, it's blocking the signal somehow."
Jack's eyes lit up. "Of course! Doctor, it must be the anti-grav field, or maybe even the security system. We'll have to break into it to stop it!"
The two of them raced round to the ship's hatch, Rose following with a rather bemused expression on her face.
"So, we're going to break into this spaceship to turn off its security alarm?"
The Doctor hesitated, then nodded, smiling. "Yes!"
"Oh, brother." Rose rolled her eyes, then, resigned, sat back down again, making herself comfortable.
"Doctor," Jack started as he watched the Doctor using the sonic screwdriver on the hatch's lock, "We're going to all this trouble to break into it –"
"You don't even know what I'm going to say!"
"Yes I do, and no, we're not going to fly this to the TARDIS instead of bringing her here."
"Oh, come on! We might as well, we have to do all the hard work of breaking in anyway, and it's not as if we aren't already in trouble. Besides, I haven't flown one of these things in ages."
"Then you'll be out of practice and dangerous. No."
Jack sighed; it looked like he was going to have to play dirty. "Well, I bet Rose would like to. She'll never an opportunity like this again."
He could see the Doctor wavering. Ridiculous – they had a time machine, they could find a Flying Saucer any time or place they wanted, and yet he was falling for it. He really would do anything for Rose; sweet, really. Although, Jack suspected, part of the Doctor's willingness was guilt that he had stolen Rose's life from her – a misconception which the Time Lord, of all people, ought to have known was completely wrong. But his (admittedly, underhanded) tactic was working. He decided to press his advantage.
"Rose!" he called her over. "How do you like the idea of getting back to the TARDIS in style?"
She looked puzzled for a second, then her face lit up in delight. "In a flying saucer? Really? That'd be amazing!" She smiled up at the Doctor. "Fantastic, in fact!"
"Well," the Doctor began, "I thought you might like to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity."
Jack grinned. Damn, he was good.
– Fin –
This was written for gomalley, for Cam's Doctor Who Easter Egg Fic Exchange. Specifications were for action/adventure involving 9/10, humour/quick witty dialogue, and angst. Hopefully I've ticked all the boxes; let me know! My eternal gratitude goes to textlife, without whom this would be far, far worse than it is - you did a fantastic job, thank you so much!
I'm sorry if any of the formatting is a bit off; seems to hate me. You're welcome to stop by my journal (see my profile) and read it, or if you want to find out where the rest of the fics written for the exchange are!