Here we go: a Tenth Doctor, Rose and Jack story with some Jackie here and there and anything else that might crop up.
Summary: Yes the Doctor gets ill, yes some type of aliens are probably going to be after him, yes they're back in London as usual, and yes Captain Jack is back for no apparent reason at all. (I like his character, so sue me. Let's just say they get him back after the Christmas invasion or some such other meaningless plot alteration that nobody cares about.)
Disclaimer: I don't own it, darn! I only own the smidgen of plot and any spelling mistakes/bad grammar that I've missed. Enjoy!
(thanks to TheLoneliest Dalek, for finding a mistake for me.)
The Doctor was sat in the library on a leather sofa, legs curled underneath him and nose hidden in a book. Rose and Jack had long since gone to bed, and once again he marveled out how much sleep they needed.
They'd only had the usual uneventful day of being chased around by homicidal aliens, getting caught, locked up, nearly executed, uncovering a wildly insane plot to take over the planet, getting caught again, escaping due to some strategically placed man-sized air vents, jumping off a cliff, hitching a ride on a humpback water-pigeon's back and legging it back to the Tardis.
Oh well, he could muse on the frailty of the human body later, right now there was more time to catch up on his reading. He pushed his glasses up his nose.
"No Charlotte," he muttered, eyes skimming the page, "That guy's not your father; he's an axe-wielding maniac in disguise!" the Doctor frowned. Hmm now, he definitely wouldn't have this type of lame horror in the Tardis library. "This must be one of Rose's books." He reasoned, flicking through the book absently, eyes widening as he uncovered a rather rowdy scene involving handcuffs and a rubber duck a couple of pages in. "Oops, my mistake, it's Jack's."
Plonking the book down the sofa, he got up and stretched. Maybe he'd tinker about the Tardis for a while; it had been a while since he'd done some well earned maintenance on her.
As he walked through the corridors to the console room, a dull ache started in the back of his cranium and the lights above his head started to flicker. The Doctor frowned, that certainly wasn't supposed to happen. He quickened his pace, hands deep in the pockets of his trousers, as the Tardis gave an unexpected jolt beneath his feet.
"What is it old girl?" The Tardis groaned in reply, tilting precariously. Not good, not good at all.
The console room was lit dimly as he strode in, giving the walls a sickly grey colour as sparks flew haphazardly out of the console itself. The Doctor gawked at it for a moment - what on the space time continuum was happening? "No no no," he started, propelling himself over to it and caressing the metal fondly.
He didn't even look up as he heard the familiar padding of feet into the room.
"Jack?" That was Rose's voice, sounding a bit flustered if he did say so himself.
"Yeah, is that you Rose?" Jack answered.
"No, it's the Doctor."
"Really? Sounds a bit feminine."
"I was being sarcastic. Jack, what's happened to the lights?"
"I dunno, maybe - Ow!"
"Are we landing somewhere?"
"Rose, you just stood on my foot!"
"Well sorry! I couldn' see where I was going – Ow! Jack!"
"Neither could I."
A dull clanging could be heard; the cloister bell. The Doctor tried to drown it out with his own voice, "Just keep calm!" he bellowed.
His companions immediately quietened, feeling a little embarrassed. Rose's bare feet padded across the grate. "Doctor is that you? What's wrong with the lights?"
The Doctor scanned the console panel, face paling with every flick of his eyes across the screen. "Oh no," he muttered, whipping out the sonic screwdriver and buzzing the blue glow around a flooring panel. It popped open and he lowered himself into it, immediately immersing himself in the multicoloured wires sprouting out around him.
"What is it?" Rose asked, arms folded as she felt the coldness through the thin fabric of her pyjamas, "Is something wrong?"
"It's nothing." He grunted, quick fingers sorting through the cables, "Don't worry I'll handle it."
Jack knelt beside the hole, watching the frantic Timelord with concern, "Can I help Doc?"
"No I - I'll be fine." Came his distant voice from the grate.
"Well what's wrong with the Tardis?"
"You call getting thrown out of bed in the middle of the night, when you're in the throws of the most amazing dream, nothing?"
"It is nothing Jack, just a malfunction. I'll have the lights back on in a second then you can all hop back off to your rooms and leave me to figure this out."
"Figure what out?"
"There!' he announced proudly, the lights flickering back on with a resonating hum. "That should do it." The Timelord ran a hand through his already chaotic hair, and stuck out a hand which Jack soon grasped, pulling him back out of the floor. He blinked dark eyes at them, and clapped his hands together with a smile, "Well come on now, we've had a long day. Back to bed with you, I don't want to put up with grumpy humans come tomorrow."
"Are you sure you don't want me to help?"
"No Jack, I can see you're tired, we had a long day. I just need to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow and we'll be back on track." Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, that was a good one.
To his relief they conceded; Jack inspecting him a little longer than usual before retreating to his room, and Rose giving him a tired smile. She looked so innocent in those pyjamas, he wondered if he'd made the right decision taking her along with him all that time ago. What happened when he wasn't there to protect her… and who had flying sheep on their nightclothes anyway?
He waited a full five minutes after he heard their doors click shut, before lowering himself back into the hole in the Tardis' flooring. His poor ship.
There was something seriously wrong with her, he'd known it the minute the warning flashed up onto the screen, Gallifreyan symbols wavering in front of him just as the alarm bells went off in his head. She'd contracted a virus, where from he didn't know, but her systems were failing quickly. She was dying.
"Come on old girl; don't give up on me now." The Tardis groaned in reply, it was all she could do to keep the lights on, and his companions safe in their rooms. The wires sparked and fizzed under his skillful fingertips as he worked. "Ow," he murmured, sucking a burned digit with a frown. "I know you're hurting, but I'm trying to help."
He could almost hear her in his mind. There's nothing you can do. The lights dimmed again, and she whimpered and beeped around him. "No, no, you're going to be fine." He told her soothingly, but she wasn't. He knew she wasn't. They were falling through space and time, her engines failing around him, and he didn't know what to do.
The lights dimmed further, and he found himself hoping that Jack and Rose were asleep by now and hadn't noticed. He placed a gentle hand against her, reaching out with his mind. She retreated first, backing away from him as if knowing what he was trying to do.
But it was he only thing that could work. It was either lose the Tardis and risk his companions lives or…
He breathed out, preparing himself, "Forgive me old girl."
"Doctor?" Jack poked his head around another corner of the Tardis, "I knew he was acting off last night." he grumbled to himself. He'd woken up later than usual, realising that he must've been tired last night. And not for the usual reason either, it was all that running they'd been doing. Jack wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, not the sort of exercise he enjoyed most.
He'd clambered out of bed and gone looking for the Doctor. He'd been too exhausted last night to make argue with him about the Tardis. If something was wrong, he wanted to know about it.
The Timelord wasn't in his room, or the kitchen, or the bathrooms, or, at first glance, the console room. Jack checked Rose's bedroom, occasionally if Rose had a bad dream during the night the Doctor would keep her company for a while. But he could only see her still form curled up in bed, a tuft of blonde hair poking out of the top of her duvet. He smiled a little, and closed the door before the pale sliver of light from outside could disturb her from her sleep.
Backpedaling into the console room, he remembered the hole in the flooring was still open. The Doctor could still be tinkering away. He peered into the hole, squinting slightly as his eyes adjusted to the light.
There he was, curled up at the bottom as if he'd fallen amongst the spray of colourful wires, eyes closed and dark hair standing out starkly against his pale skin. Jack swallowed. "Doctor?" No movement. Not even a flicker of an eyelid.
He shouldn't have left the Timelord alone - he knew there was something wrong last night, why did he have to leave him on his own? Jack shook his head, pushing back the unhelpful thoughts and clambering inside, dropping amongst the cables as the Doctor had done. He knelt hastily, tapping the Timelord's pale face with insistent hands. "Doc?" he pleaded, "Come on, wake up!"
To his surprise the Doctor opened his eyes, blinking dark foggy orbs up at him as he tried to get his bearings. "Jack?" he muttered tiredly, frowning at his surroundings, "Where..? "
Jack's heart fluttered, "Let me help you up Doc."
"… must have fallen asleep." The Doctor got unsteadily to his feet, with Jack's help. Jack watched him intently for any sign that he was anything but fine, keeping a steadying hand on his arm. "Forget I need to sleep sometimes." He said as way of explanation then brushed off the subject before Jack could even ask.
The switch was so fast, one minute the Doctor was vulnerable and exhausted, and the next - "So, fancy some breakfast?" the Timelord grinned, practically jumping out of the hole and smiling down at Jack's startled face as he offered him a hand, "Well don't stay down there all day, it's bad luck to leave a gaping hole in the Tardis you know."
"You think?" said Jack, clambering out of the hole with a little less grace than the Doctor had done. It was still early in the morning after all.
The Doctor ignored him, "Now what do you fancy? Toast? Bit of toast and butter? Smidge of Jam? Eggs? Scrambled, boiled or fried, omeletted, pouched or whatever else you can do with an egg... Bacon? An English muffin? Orange juice? Yoghurt? Pancakes?" he took a breath, waving his hands around, "Or Cereal? Some tea maybe? Porridge? Melon balls? Coffee?"
Jack blinked, "Doc, are you all right?"
"Perfectly!" The Doctor defended with a frown; his feathers as ruffled as his hair, "Now come on Jackie Jack Jack, I fancy some marmalade."
Jack could do nothing but stare dumbfoundedly after the Doctor as he disappeared into the kitchen. Jackie Jack Jack? The ex time agent shook his head. He ought to make sure the Timelord didn't have anything too sugary for breakfast.
Drop me a review if you'd like me to continue (this is my first Who fic). Some Tenth Doctor pain coming up… just to warn you. Sorry for the short chapter and thanks for reading!