Congratulations! You found the last Chapter!!! With the alerts being down I have put off posting hoping they would be running again by now but unfortunately they are against us. "And now, the end is near and so I face the fnal curtain" No, wait that's Sinatra! When did that happen?! Oh my, the world really has gone mad! what I meant to say was...
It is with heavy heart that I post the last Chapter of this story. Welcome to the end folks.
It's been Fantastic! And you know what? So have you!
"What's the use in trying to protect a world from what's up there," The Doctor pointed to the ceiling, "if you don't know what is actually up there? Only four galaxies can be seen by the human eye but only two at a time. In the Southern Hemisphere you can see the large and the small Magellanic Clouds. In the northern hemisphere you've got Andromeda and of course the Milky Way. That's you lot. On a very clear night you can actually see the rest of it. A blanket of stars across the night sky with hardly a pin prick of space between them. But do you know what else is in the Milky Way other than the earth?"
The others watched fascinated as he bounded around the control room, pushing a button here, throwing a lever there, pumping what looked like and ordinary bicycle pump, twisting something that looked decidedly like a glass paperweight.
"Anyone? Okay, stunned silence. Always a good thing as long as the audience isn't dead or scowling. Let's put it this way; there a more than a hundred billion galaxies in this universe and each have between ten and a hundred billion stars." Pulling a final lever the column in the middle began to pump up and down and the whole place shook a little. "Hold on folks." He called. His eyes flicked to the monitor that was currently showing Rose's room.
"So that's what you've been doing all this time, watching her in secret. That's kinda perverted Doc." Jack told him.
"Well an alien's gota get his kicks somewhere. Kidding. It only lets me see into her room when she's unwell. The TARDIS values privacy as much as the next person, as long as it's not mine anyway." He told his friend with a rueful smile. "Right then"
The TARDIS had stopped shaking and the Doctor made his way to the front doors. "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Planet Earth." He threw them open and smiled at them all as their mouths dropped.
"That's beautiful!" Tosh exclaimed stepping closer.
"Easy Tosh, don't wana lose you." Owen said, giving the Doctor a suspicious look.
"Oh don't worry you can't fall out. The TARDIS wont let you." The Doctor folded his arms and leant against the frame as they all stepped to the edge. He leant to mutter into Owen's ear. "I on the other hand, am a completely different creature."
Jack caught the twinkle telling him that the Doctor was teasing Owen really but the edge to his voice was enough to convince anyone else otherwise.
"And did you notice, no great wall of china!" The Doctor declared brightly.
"Yeah, where is it?" Gwen asked.
"You can't actually see it from space." Tosh told her.
"Not strictly true seeing as space starts about sixty miles up from the earth's surface. So technically you can see it from space. When it comes to outer-space however; Miss Sato is absolutely right. There are no man made features that you can see from up here. You'll be lucky to make out continents. Now, lets see. Lets see how much further out I can take you before your little minds get too full." He pulled the doors shut, ran over to the consol, twisted a few dials then threw the lever again. The TARDIS shuddered and shook and lurched from side to side slightly then settled again.
"Go ahead." The Doctor nodded at Gwen to open the door.
As she did a red glow filled the doorway as they laid there eyes on what looked like a big red shimmering dust cloud.
"That is the middle of your galaxy glowing like that. All big and red." He looked up at the monitor to check on Rose again and smiled to himself as she rolled in her bed.
"That's pretty amazing." Ianto breathed.
"You think? Oh have I got something to show you. Jack? The doors if you please?" The Doctor grinned.
"Where we going now?" Jack asked, moving back beside the Doctor.
"You'll see." He reached out and felt his hand begin to tremble. Shaking his head and sighing he clenched his fist a few times then shook it out before turning the dial.
"Nope. Okay Ianto your turn." He watched as the sight before them took their breath away. "That is Andromeda, your neighbour, so to speak. That galaxy has more than a hundred billion stars and is just two and a half million light years from the Milky Way."
"It looks like a Catherine Wheel." Gwen said causing Owen to roll his eyes. "What? It does!"
"Trust you to point out the bloody obvious instead of noticing that he just said we are two and a half million light years from home. Now that's incredible."
No one could take their eyes off it. The centre was a warm soft yellow which deepened the further out it spun until it turned into blue and lilac, stars glittering in the whirls.
"Shame Rose isn't here to see this." Jack said.
"I can bring her here anytime." The Doctor said softly. "Tell you what, just this once, I'm going to put the TARDIS in its own orbit so you can show them just how far the universe really goes while I check on Rose."
Jack grinned, excited at showing people something new and utterly breathtakingly amazing.
"Doctor?" Gwen called as he turned to leave the control room. "Where's your home?"
"Long gone." He told her and they all saw the sadness there. "It was in a Galaxy called Kastaborous…."
"Bless you." Owen quipped, earning himself a smack on the back of the head from Gwen, Ianto and Tosh. "Okay over kill on the smacks. One was enough." He didn't see Jack move behind him before he felt the fourth smack and growled.
The Doctor's lips quirked. "It was called Gallifrey. Now it's just rocks and dust drifting through space."
"What happened?" Ianto asked.
"The universal plague that strikes and destroys. War." Pressing his lips together he turned to leave.
"With the Daleks?" Tosh asked, stopping the Doctor in his tracks. They all saw his shoulders hunch slightly as he turned his head and regarded them.
"And you lost." She assumed.
"No. I won the battle but I lost everything else. Rose ended the war." Turning back to the doorway he hurried down the corridor to Rose.
Rose breathed in deeply and smelt the familiar musky smell of incense and knew she was in her bedroom. She stretched out like a cat, and a smile touched her lips.
"Feeling better?" a husky voice whispered through the darkness.
"Doctor?" blinking she peered over to the doorway and saw his silhouette in the doorway.
"I didn't want to wake you."
"You didn't." She sat up and switched on her lamp.
"You okay?" The Doctor crossed over to her bed.
"I think so. I don't really know." She laughed. "What's going to happen now?"
"Well. I thought we'd take them home and then take you to get some clothes because cute as you look in my shirts its not really a suitable look for space travel."
She smiled softly. "I meant what's going to happen to me? The whole two hearts thing, what does that mean for me?"
"I know what you meant and the truth of it is I'm just not sure."
"But you have an idea?"
"Are you going to tell me?"
He heard the worry in her voice. "Lets unload the excess baggage first. Then we can talk properly."
"You promise it's not gona kill me?" Her voice cracked.
"Rose," He sat and wrapped his arms round her. "I told you earlier. It's not going to kill you I promise." He felt her desperately clutch at the front of his shirt. "Hey, come on. Having two hearts isn't that bad, you get to beat out funky tunes."
Rose couldn't help but giggle. "It's not that, I just really want to hug you."
"Oh. Well it's not illegal." He was confused.
"But I don't want to hurt you."
"Ah. Well if it helps I don't think I have any nerve endings left to hurt." He uncurled her hands from his shirt and draped her arms round his neck before engulfing her once more in his arms. "Although oxygen will be an issue in a little while." He pretended to gasp as her arms instinctively tightened around him. Rose wasn't really listening she was just enjoying having him to herself; instead she climbed onto his lap and buried her head in the crook of his neck.
The Doctor smiled to himself and swayed gently from side to side.
He walked into the control room and paused. Jack was stood at the doors, staring out into the stars, a slight breeze ruffling his hair. Smiling to himself the Doctor couldn't resist creeping up behind him.
"Don't do it!" He said, giving Jack a slight shove forward causing the Time Agent to yelp.
"You ass! That was not at all funny."
"Oh contraire, it was a little funny." The Doctor grinned and Jack found himself laughing.
"You know, I think I like this you better. You're slightly more fun and not so broody."
"Mmm. The brooding thing gets a bit old after a while. Where are you colleagues?"
"Having one last look around and collecting their things."
"Hope they don't get lost. It'll take me years to find them."
Jack hadn't torn his gaze from space for even a second.
"You miss it don't you?" The Doctor asked, leaning against the wall and looking out into the universe.
"Sometimes…. All the time. But I have a job to do."
"Torchwood." The Doctor nodded. "So just stay for a little while. I know Rose would love to have you around again."
"I can't there's too much to do. I couldn't leave them alone for long. Look what happened last time."
"Captain you are standing in a time machine. You could be gone years but to them and the rest of earth it could be a matter of hours or days. You seem to be forgetting this. Don't need to be able to read your thoughts to do that. Not that anyone can read your thoughts."
Jack looked round at this and found the Doctor watching him carefully, his glasses propped on the top of his head.
"Your thoughts have no reflection in you just as mine have no reflection in me. Memories maybe, but not thoughts."
"How do you know that?"
"You were in my head." The Doctor shrugged. "How many more secrets do you have Jack Harkness?"
"Less than you I'll bet but enough."
The Doctor nodded looking back through the doors. "So what do you say Captain. Want one more whirl in the old girl?"
Jack's face seemed to brighten at the thought.
"Maybe some time away is just what you need. A lot has happened over the last year by the sound of it."
"You don't know the half of it."
"Well I know you weren't shot in the head five times. One in the head, two in the chest according to the scanners." The Doctor raised an eyebrow, a lopsided smile gracing his face.
"I may have overstated." Jack shrugged not even trying to hide his smile. "Besides I know you've licked more than two things and one was a telephone wire!"
The Doctor's smile grew as he waited for Jack to make a decision "You can go back whenever you want to." The Doctor said in a singsong tone, tempting his friend.
A wolfish grin spread across Jack's face. "You're a wicked man, Doc. The embodiment of temptation itself."
"Oh yes!" The Doctor's smiled turned into a full on manic grin. "Life's more interesting that way! So, Whaddaya say?"
"You're on." He held out his hand and shook the Doctor's. "What is with the trembling hands? Do I excite you that much?" he laughed.
"Oh it's not just the hands, my legs do it too. But sadly it's not your, nor Rose's effect on me. It'll wear off soon, I hope, maybe. The electricity has frazzled my muscles a little I think. Like when you drive for a long time and the vibrations from the steering wheel make your hands tingle when you finally stop."
"Done much driving have ya Doc?"
"On occasion. I'll have to introduce you to Bessie sometime."
"Oh and who's she?"
"Nice little runner is Bessie. Bit temperamental at times but I'm sure once you're tinkering around she'll soon loosen up."
"Sounds like my kinda girl." Jack grinned. "Wouldn't have you down as some one who knows that kind of girl."
"What girl?" The Doctor said absently, scanning the TARDIS' monitor for Jack's companions.
"Bessie. Wakey wakey Doc."
"Jack, Bessie is my car."
"Well folks. This is your stop." The Doctor announced as the TARDIS fell silent.
"All ashore who's going ashore huh?" Jack smiled as he opened the doors and stepped out into the Torchwood hub the others close behind.
"Something like that."
"All seems a bit mundane down here now." Gwen sighed.
Rose smiled at her. "Yeah, tell me about it."
"Space bug bites again." The Doctor grinned.
"So what are you going to do now?" Tosh asked.
"Probably get into more trouble. Hopefully somewhere without electricity." The Doctor told her.
"Actually could we do something on Earth first?" Rose asked hesitantly.
"What did you have in mind?"
"You're going to laugh at me."
"When has that ever stopped you?"
"Oi! I was wondering ……. Never mind."
"Spit it out." The Doctor chuckled.
"Nah, it's a silly idea." A pink hue crept up her cheeks.
"And since when has that ever stopped us? Tell me later. Well it was…. I want to say nice to meet you but I think educational would be a better word." He said holding his hand out to each of them. "But thank you for everything. Just try not to open big gaping wounds in time and space?" He grinned at them. "Jack." He nodded to him before moving back to stand in the TARDIS doorway.
"Thanks." Rose said smiling hugging each one in turn but hesitating when she got to Owen. "Thank you for making him better."
Owen nodded and offered his hand, noticing the looks on Jack's and the Doctor's faces.
Rose smiled lightly a pressed a feather light kiss against his cheek before returning to the Doctor's side.
"Well I suppose I better get that motor running." The Doctor smiled at them.
"What, head out on the space highway?" Rose laughed.
"Very good Miss Tyler."
Suddenly the chorus to 'Born to be Wild' came blaring through the TARDIS' speakers causing everyone to laugh.
"Always have to be the centre of attention, don't you?!" The Doctor rolled his eyes in mock annoyance.
"Be there in five Doc." Jack called as he turned into the TARDIS.
"No hurry, we've got all the time in the world." The Doctor grinned at the Time Agent, pulling a confused Rose inside.
"What's going on?"
"Jack's coming with us." The Doctor winced and ran to the other side of the control panel ready to dodge her if she came at him.
"Yeah, sorry. It just sort of happened. I think it'd do him good."
"You think I mind?"
"I don't know. I mean you said earlier it was too crowded."
"Jack doesn't count. Jack's one of the family." She smiled moving beside him.
"Oh? And just how many are in your family?"
"These days? Just you two." She watched an almost shocked smile creep across his face.
"When are you coming back?" Gwen asked, her eyes glistening.
"The Doc's promised that when I decide to come back only a short time will have passed."
"How long will it be for you?" Ianto asked, his voice barely a whisper.
"Who knows? Could be a couple of weeks, maybe months. Then again I could get so bored of not finding dead bodies that I come back after a couple of days." Jack smiled softly.
"But you are coming back?" Tosh asked, worry clear in her voice.
"I will always come back." Jack placed his hand on her shoulder, looking round the group.
"I hope you find what you're looking for soon." Gwen said, her bottom lip quivering slightly.
"Take care. All of you. Don't do anything stupid." He gave each one of them a meaningful glare. "'Cause we'll know and we'll be straight back to kick your asses if you do!"
"Yes boss." Owen saluted as Jack walked to the TARDIS.
"Jack?" Ianto called to him and the others dispersed around the hub.
Jack turned to see Ianto move hesitantly towards him.
"Just wanted to say….. be careful, Sir." Ianto nodded.
Jack smiled and placed his hand on the man's cheek. "Always." He whispered, pressing a light kiss to Ianto's lips.
Muffled laughter filtered through the quiet from inside the TARDIS as Thin Lizzy's 'The boys are back in town' filled the air.
"I better go." Jack sighed, resting his forehead against Ianto's. "I'll see you soon."
Jack gave a last wave to everyone and disappeared through the blue wooden doors.
"So Miss Tyler, can we keep him for a while?" The Doctor asked twirling Rose round the consol.
"Any reason why not?"
"You wouldn't let me keep Arthur."
"Arthur was a horse."
Jack smiled. "Well Rose, you know I have been told I'm hun…."
"Enough!" The Doctor him off. "There are something's about you I really don't want to know or be reminded of thank you very much." The Doctor sighed. "I suppose we're stuck with him for a while now then."
"Looks like." Rose grinned and ran at Jack who picked her up and spun her round.
"Right then troops. Where to?" It was the Doctor's turn to grin as Jack and Rose threw themselves at him engulfing him between them.
Tosh stepped up beside Ianto. "I once told you that all the risk was worth it to protect people and you asked who protected us, do you remember? Out in the Beacons?"
"I think we just met our protectors."
The grating and whirring of the TARDIS sounded as the blue light began to flash. Everyone stopped and watched Jack, his friends and the big blue box faded into nothing, the beginnings of new adventures for them all.
A/N: Well that's all folks. There is no more.
The sequel is already written and is just being 'tweaked' if anyone is interested. I know I've mentioned it before but as this is the end I may as well mention it again. I'm reliably informed it's fun but rest assured it's shorter than this fic. A lot shorter. There is also a plan for a third which is slowly bringing itself together. All of which will include Captain Harkness for the sheer fact I miss him! So keep your eye out for "Into the Void"!
Coming in "Into the void"
The bids were coming thick and fast and Jack was becoming more than a little conscious of the fact he was wearing what could only be called a loin cloth and nothing else while his body seemed to have a will of its own, posing for all and sundry as if trying to tempt them to make a higher bid. It seemed to be working too. Jack had to admit, it was a little gratifying knowing that no matter what the species he could still turn heads, unfortunately he was aware that this was not the time or place.
His eyes then fell on a familiar form and he suddenly felt sick.
Ooo it's just like the Oscars!
I suppose all that's left to say is:
To everyone that's ever reviewed; (97 reviews so far!)Thank you all so much for following me so far and for every lovely word you've written, you have no idea how much they mean to me. So thank you again. They are all printed and in my nice, shiny story folder.
Shady, thank you for the honour of linking my story on your website and guiding people here, that really was above and beyond!!
Thank you to Purple Pebble, Kiss-her-theta and RedDwarfAddict for your kind words and support and for joining me in annoyance at not being able to post for so long!
There are just far too many people to name over all and I'd be here forever so to everyone I haven't named, to everyone I've never met, that stayed hiding in the shadows, that spent even five minutes of their attention on this fic, all I can say is thank you so very much. You guys really are fantastic and the friendliest people on the entire website.
I loved every minute of writing this story and I'm more than a little sad that it's over. I've loved hearing what you've all thought and I've met some lovely people that I hope I will be in touch with for a very long time.
And finally, to all that have stumbled across this fic, deep in the Doctor Who archives and are reading this months/years after the final chapter was posted; welcome to my world, I hope you enjoyed your stay and no matter how long it's been complete for drop me a review or PM and let me know what you think.
I hope you will set foot in my world again for more adventures. Don't forget to review folks, it's the last chapter so cheer me up!
"Catch ya on the flip flop!"