Pathways in Time

Story 5 – Precursor
The quest for lost memories leads to all sorts of trouble. Leads straight into Glitz and Glamour.

They spend a month or two doing what they always do, before they discover something startling about his old companion's past.

And a new lead on those missing two years that burns a hole in Jack's brain.

They wind up back in Cardiff, 3 years off their target date, and Jack's there waiting for them. He's groomed Gwen to take over, and the city is calm, for once. He can afford to leave.

This time, when he asks, Jack says yes.

They set off into the vortex, hot on the trail of Jack's lost past, and he bites down the twinge that it brings to share stories over chips, doing the saving-the-world bit with old and new friends at his side once more.

The new quirk develops on the planet Johsan, much to Martha and Jack's chagrin.

Martha locked up by the resident megalomaniac, and Time Agents out for Jack's hide. He nearly has a coronary when Jack runs afoul of the bastards who were responsible for the amnesia trouble, and winds up in the dirt at the Time Lord's feet, his blood pooling like paint over a gossamer canvas, lifeless eyes gazing to the stars.

He's so relieved that he actually kisses the man – really kisses him, not just a peck on the cheek – when Jack rouses from his sprawled position and cracks a dry joke, sufficiently spooking his would-be murderers.

Later he admonishes himself for forgetting Jack's new powers. He's still getting used to the fact, after all. He doesn't think it'll be the last time he forgets, either. He starts doing a fine mother-hen impression over his two charges after that, but he's trying to stop. No, really, he is.

The good news is they got the memory disk. The bad news is that they can't return the memories to Jack's head. But Jack's still hanging around. He suspects Martha has sweet-talked him into sticking around for a while. Secretly, he's utterly grateful, and makes a mental note to take them to the Eye of Orion.

They never quite make it.

The Doctor sighed, his hands shoved in his pockets as he glared ruefully at the tea kettle, floating three inches below the kitchen ceiling. "Jack, do you know anyplace to make a good pit stop?"