Authors note: Last chapter then! Wow! Finally got there. Thanks again to those people who reviewed the last chapter.
MissHaunted-Moonlight: I know, I'm sorry! I left it in a really cruel place. Hope you like the conclusion. Thanks for all your reviews, you're great.
Wyldcat: Thanks for being really loyal and sticking with me all the way. Thanks for all the comments, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Hope you like the ending!
Syreene: Thanks! Glad you liked. Pls comment on this one.
ZenPotter: Wow yourself! Thanks so much. You rock too for reviewing. Enjoy this last chapter
Grumpygrim: Thanks so much. As if I'd leave it there! I love the Doctor too much! Enjoy.
Talaayn: Sorry to keep you waiting! Enjoy!
OK, without further ado I give you:
Jack's arms tightened around Martha as the two of them continued to hold each other, locked in their embrace, each attempting to console the other. Jack forced himself to look again at the Doctor's body, part of him still not believing what was right before his eyes. The Time Lord simply could NOT be dead. He had always been so full of life, this latest incarnation perhaps even more so that the last version Jack had known.
It hurt so much; Jack had to close his eyes. The ex time agent had lived for a long time but he had never met another person who had tried so unselfishly, so bravely, to help others. Whether it was complete strangers or friends, The Doctor had tried to make other people's lives better. And now the Doctor was gone, destroyed by one of his own race. That fire inside Jack burned again. At that moment, he had made up his mind. If he couldn't die, if he really was going to live forever, then his one desire, his one wish for his long lonely life was get to watch the Master die, slowly and painfully at his hand. And he would never rest until that desire was fulfilled.
"Martha," Jack whispered.
Martha pulled away from Jack and wiped her eyes. "Yes?"
He knelt down beside his friend and, with a jolt, realised the Doctors eyes were still open and staring. He quickly reached forward and closed the Time Lord's eyes, annoyed with himself for not noticing this earlier. Didn't the Doctor at least deserve more respect? Gazing at the body again, he suddenly got the crazy notion that the Doctor could get cold, lying on the hard floor. Quickly, he took off his long coat and gently draped it over the body; he couldn't bring himself to cover the Doctor's head though. That was too much, to final.
Trying to pull himself together, Jack forced himself to look away. He turned again to the stricken girl behind him.
"We need to, erm, sort out some kind of..." His words trailed off.
Martha finished the sentence for him. "A Gallifreyan funeral," she said softly. "That's what we should give him."
Jack nodded. "I'm not sure what ceremonies the Time Lords performed to honour their dead."
Martha rounded on him, her voice rising in anger. "We have to do our best for him! God Jack, we let him down! We let him the die, we let the Master torture him and, and..." She began to sob once more. Jack tried to embrace her again but she pushed him away. "Don't touch me!"
Jack, just succeeding in holding himself together for the pair of them, turned quickly to the console and switched on the scanner. "There must be something about Gallifreyan burials or funerals in the TARDIS database," he said, more to himself. "We'll give him the hero's send off he deserves Martha, I swear." He gave her a determined smile. She nodded in acknowledgement and slowly walked over to join him.
Suddenly, Jack heard the female voice in his head, the same as before, only this time so loud that he had to grip his head, trying to block out the pain. Martha was staring at him, She thought it was over and now Jack was in agony. She closed her eyes and covered her ears. Every part of her longed to leave, to go home. She wanted her Mum and her Dad. She wanted to feel safe.
Jack was now on his knees, right beside the Doctor's still form.
"Help him," boomed the voice in his head.
"He's dead," Jack gasped. "It's too late."
The vortex was grieving, that was clear to Jack. But what could he say, what could he do to make it understand?
"He's gone." Jack tried again. "There is nothing we can do for him. Martha and I, we want to give him the honourable send off he deserves. Can you help us?"
"Jack?" Martha whimpered. "Is it the TARDIS again?"
The Captain couldn't hear her. He didn't just understand the Vortex's words, he could feel her. And it hurt him.
"You must help him, Jack Harkness. Bring him back."
Jack froze. He backed away from the Doctor's body.
"I told you, he's dead. I can't bring him back. It's over."
"Use the gift she gave you Jack. She wanted him safe, just as I do."
Rose. Jack felt tears well up again. "You think I don't?"
"Then you miss him Harkness?"
"Of course I do!" Jack shouted back at the voice. "You can see into my mind. You know how I feel. How can you ask me that?"
Martha was only hearing half of the conversation but she was getting the gist. She stood back, listening intently, her hands held in front of her, as if she was praying. Perhaps she was.
"You know what to do Jack. You must do it now. He's waiting, waiting for you.."
"STOP IT!" Jack had heard enough. "He wouldn't want me to do it. He'd hate me. If you knew him, you'd realise that. You're asking me to bring him back, so you can have him again. But I'd lose him forever wouldn't I?"
The Vortex seemed to think on this. "I am the Vortex, I am Time. He is my champion. I need him. If I want him to be alive then that is how it shall be. There will be no hole in the universe, Jack Harkness. It will simply be as if he never died."
Jack trembled. "But he'd sense it wouldn't he? He'd know what I did?" Tears were now streaming down his face. Martha touched his arm. She knew he had a dilemma to face, the hardest decision of his long life. And she couldn't help him make it.
Jack reached out and held Martha's hand for a moment and then dropped it. He walked to the Doctor and fell down at his side. He pulled the Time Lord up and cradled his head against his chest.
"He's peaceful! It would be wrong." Jack yelled.
"Bring him back." The Vortex repeated. "There will be no consequences, no harm will be done."
The tears still flowed as Jack, now clutching the man he loved, cried out again, "But will any harm be done to him? Will he remember?"
The Vortex didn't answer him. Jack closed his eyes, rocking the Doctor gently. Martha couldn't bring herself to speak, tears running down her on face, as she simply stood there and waited.
Finally, Jack opened his eyes. He gazed down at the face below him one more time. The Doctor could have been just sleeping. And it was with that thought that the ex Time Agent made up his mind. It was time for the sleeping Gallifreyan to awaken.
"I'm sorry," Jack told his friend, then brought his lips to the Doctor's and began to gently kiss the other man. Holding the Doctor tightly, Jack's kiss became more passionate as he put his heart and soul into the act. As he did, he could feel the power of the vortex flow from him to the dead Time Lord. He knew they were both glowing, this confirmed as he heard Martha's gasp. Jack reacted with shock when he felt those cold lips on his suddenly begin to respond to him.
His eyes flew open and he watched in awe as the Doctor, eyes tightly closed, kissed him back. Jack, wondering how far he could take this, licked the Doctor's lips, which then parted, allowing Jack's tongue entry. Jack's heart was singing. He had waited so long for this. He felt more power being sapped from him but he did not care. Wrapping his arms around the Doctor, he hugged the lean man to him and again the Doctor responded, gently moving his own hands down the Captain's body. The passionate embrace seemed to last forever until finally, the two men broke apart, both breathing heavily.
They stared at each other, the Doctor's large brown eyes were wide and perhaps even frightened, his gaze questioning. He turned to Martha, hoping for answers there but her eyes were firmly planted on the floor. His eyes then returned to Jack's. The Captain opened his mouth to speak, though his mind was a muddle. In the end, all he could do was smile. The Doctor, though he didn't know why, grinned madly back.
"Jack, what..." The Doctor began.
Suddenly, Jack gasped. And then, he fell to the floor.
Moving faster than Martha could believe, the Doctor dove forwards, catching Jack in time to stop his fall.
"Oh no you don't." The Doctor told him. "Come on, stay with me."
Jack laughed weakly. "Talk about a reverse of roles!"
Martha had positioned herself the other side of Jack and had taken his hand. She eyed the Doctor, wondering what he could do. She was stunned to see that he looked fine.
The Doctor was smiling, hiding his pain. "I don't know how you've done it, Jack, but I can't sense the vortex in you anymore. You're completely normal."
"You don't remember?" Jack whispered.
"Remember what?" The Doctor frowned.
Jack grinned. "Not important." Jack felt happy, comfortable. The voice was silent now but most importantly he felt – alive.
The Doctor swallowed hard. "Please stay with me." He said softly.
Jack chuckled. "I thought you wanted me gone."
"I was wrong." The Doctor told him. "You belong here, on this ship, with me."
Jack let out a contented sigh. And he closed his eyes.
Realisition suddenly dawned on Martha. She didn't have any powers, couldn't control the Vortex but what she could do was save lives. And Jack was a normal human again. Instructing the Doctor to lay Jack down on the ground, Martha began to perform CPR on the Captain, breathing into his mouth and pressingly heavily on his chest.
The Doctor watched for a few painful moments until finally whispering to Martha that he didn't think there was any use. Martha rounded on him angrily.
"Just let me try!"
The Doctor moved back, letting her go on.
Just when Martha had began to feel that he may have a point, just when she was ready to give in, the miracle happened, just like it had done on the moon. Jack gasped for air and began to cough. Both the Doctor and Martha shouted out in shock and then grabbed for Jack in delight. Martha threw herself on Jack, hugging him tightly. He groaned from the pain but held her. Finally, she pulled back and glanced at the Doctor, who was grinning at them from ear to ear. With a shout of triumph, he flew to Jack and the two of them embraced and laughed. Martha joined them and the hug became three-way as all the pent up emotions the three of them had experienced through their ordeal came bursting out. It was over and they were OK. All of them.
The Doctor was now hunched over his controls, happily turning this switch and pulling that lever. He was giving the TARDIS a thorough going over but had said she didn't seem at all damaged. A miracle, he had declared. Martha had pointed out to him that it was the day for miracles. He had laughed and nodded.
Then, something strange occurred. The Doctor reached out to touch a control when he stopped and stared down at his hand as if it didn't belong to him. He moved his fingers, his face deep in concentration. Jack and Martha exchanged worried glances and Jack walked up to the Doctor and placed a hand on his back. The Doctor jumped, backing away from Jack. The Captain's worry intensified.
"Doctor, what's wrong?"
"Wrong," The Doctor murmured. Jack wasn't sure if he was echoing or answering him.
"Is the TARDIS.." Jack began but the Doctor cut across him, suddenly back to his normal self.
"No, no. She's fine. Working perfectly. Well, as much as can be expected. Getting on a bit you know." His tone darkened, his voice lower. "She's no different. Hasn't noticed a thing. Just me then. Am I Captain, am I different?" His eyes locked on Jack's.
Jack shifted where he stood. Fear flooded through him and he felt rage at the Vortex. "What do you mean, Doctor?" He breathed.
The Doctor kept up his stare for a few moments before suddenly turning away and running around the console. "Doesn't matter. Now, where was I? Oh yes! Master tracker!" And he activated a switch on the console and a beeping noise filled the quiet room.
Martha moved forward. "A trace? But how?"
The Doctor grinned. "Maybe the Master shouldn't have got so close once the TARDIS had perked me up!"
Martha shook her head in disbelief. "But that's amazing!" The Doctor laughed and winked at her.
Jack joined them at the console. "So, where is he?"
"We'll find out soon enough," The Doctor told him, "I've just got to work out the coordinates." As he spoke, he got to work, punching buttons.
Martha stepped closer to him, worry on her face. "Doctor, the Master may not have the Vortex power anymore, but he's still a Time Lord."
He didn't look up at her as he replied, "So am I Martha."
She frowned. "I know that Doctor," she said and then added in hushed tones, "but he's still dangerous."
This time he did stop. He fixed her with a glare as he replied, "So am I." She looked into his eyes and shivered. She thought she could hear screaming in her head and one especially loud voice cry out for her Grandfather... She looked away and the screaming stopped.
The Doctor turned his attention to Jack but didn't look at him.
"And you Captain, how do you feel?"
"I'm fine Doctor, the Vortex has gone. I'm nice and human again."
The Doctor nodded then added, "I can drop you off in Cardiff, Jack, if you'd prefer. This is my fight."
Jack smirked. "Why would I want to get back to work?"
The Doctor didn't laugh. "I'd imagine Torchwood would fall apart without you, Jack," he said softly.
"Good job you've got a time machine isn't it then?"
"You told me I belong here. Was that I lie?"
The Time Lord paused.
"You both nearly died today. I did die. Didn't I, Jack?" Those soulful eyes bored again into Jack's, who could not reply. He looked down. The Doctor watched him for a moment before adding, "I just want you two to be safe."
"This isn't just your fight, it's ours aswell." Martha told him.
"Exactly," Jack added. "And besides, you might need our help."
"There's nothing I can say to.."
Then together: "We're staying."
The Doctor smiled. "You'd both better hold on then," he whispered, grabbed a lever and pulled it down.
The TARDIS jumped into life, the column moving up and down. All three travellers were thrown to their right as the TARDIS resumed her journey through time and space. The ship plus it's three passengers, who were now either clinging onto the rail or console for deal life, had only two aims.
To find the Master – and to make him pay.
Well, that's it. I hope you thought that I concluded it ok and you didn't feel the ending was a let down. Obviously, I've left it open for a follow up and I will be writing a sequel. I do have Who/Torchwood crossover and Harry Potter plot bunnies that I want to turn into stories first but then I'll definitely get on with this! Thanks again for everyone who left comments; I hope you all review the ending for me, as I'd love to know what you thought. So, that's it, bye bye and see you all again soon!