A/N: Last chapter.
Chapter 49 – A Minty Flavoured Discomfort Part Two
Captain Jack Harkness was holding a cup of coffee in both hands, staring intently at the TARDIS kitchen wall with wide-eyes. Rose watched him from across the kitchen in vague amusement, taking the latest stack of toast to put in the rack in the centre of the table.
"Jack?" she asked, waving her hand infront of his face. No reply. He didn't even blink. That cup of coffee he was holding had to be stone cold by now. "Jack? Can you hear me?"
"Morning!" the Doctor's cheery voice suddenly came from the doorway, skipping into the kitchen and dropping into an available seat at the table. Rose stared at him in surprise.
"Why shouldn't I be?" the Doctor asked with a grin. "It's a beautiful day: the sun is shining brightly, the birds are singing their happy songs, the animals are bounding free though the fields …" – his eyes snapped to Jack sitting opposite who still hadn't even twitched – "…and Jack is in a catatonic state…"
Rose set down a cup of tea infront of the Time Lord as he leant forward, clicking his fingers infront of Jack's unresponsive eyes. Suddenly realisation dawned on him.
"Oh," he muttered. "Wasn't a dream, was it?"
Rose shook her head. He took the cup of tea into both hands, suddenly going completely rigid as his eyes began to gaze over. Rose leapt forward instantly and tapped him lightly on the cheek.
"Oh no you don't. Wake up."
He blinked, suddenly startled to find himself where he was. "What happened?"
"I'm pregnant, Doctor."
He went instantly rigid once more. Rose slapped him again, this time with meaning.
"It's okay Doctor, it's not bad! Mum will understand."
"No she really won't!" the Doctor replied in a voice too squeaky to be sane, setting the cup down to rub his wounded cheek. "I swore no more, she'll have my anatomy this time; knife straight from the kitchen!"
Rose resisted the urge to laugh. "It's okay, really. I don't mind. I actually wanted another one. I'll tell her. I think you'd better have a word with Jack though."
He nodded, accepting her brief peck of a kiss on his cheek before she left the room. He closely regarded Jack for a moment, wondering what the trigger word might be to get him out of this state.
"Shag?" he tried. Nothing. "Tongues?" Nothing. "Lust?" Nothing. "…Baby?" Jack instantly snapped out of his shock-state, blinking a few times before focusing on the Doctor. He frowned.
"Has she had it yet?" he asked, and the Doctor shook his head.
"Nope, still nine months to go."
"Oh God. I'm gonna have a baby, Doc. I'm gonna have a baby. I'm gonna have a little version of me running around pooing and screaming and crying and…I don't want a damn baby! This is bad Doctor, seriously, I mean, what the hell am I gonna do?!" He was getting more and more hysterical by the second. "I can't have a baby! Where would I keep it?!"
The Doctor got onto his feet, moving around the table to take the seat next to the ex-Time Agent. The Doctor pulled Jack's cold cup of coffee from his hands, setting it down on the table before pulling the human around to face him. "Okay, calm!" he commanded. "Jill and Rose are both pregnant. We are both in deep poo-poo. But we can sort this out-"
Then as if on cue, suddenly there came the distant sound of crying children in their ears.
Without a word, the Doctor got up out of the chair and made for the doorway. Almost automatically Jack pushed himself onto two feet and followed him, heading straight to the nursery were Lottie and Zoë currently dwelled. He gestured for Jack to handle Zoë and he moved to Lottie, taking her into both arms and holding her close. He hummed a gentle tune, pressing a kiss to her forehead. Gradually she began to quieten until her multicoloured eyes slipped closed, and started to sleep. He sat down in a handy chair, just holding the child protectively to his chest silently for a few moments. Jack watched carefully, having comforted Zoë.
"Maybe it wouldn't be so bad," he voiced his thoughts out loud. The Doctor looked up.
Jack stared unblinkingly at Lottie and the Doctor for a moment, and the Doctor got that unnerving feeling of being assessed.
"Having a kid," Jack continued, moving his gaze from father and daughter to Zoë in his arms. "Holding your daughter is a great feelin', and it'd probably be even better with my own."
The Doctor nodded. "It is. It's like a priceless jewel created from part of yourself you must protect at all times. If anyone apart from you, Rose, Jill, Jackie, Howard, Sarah-Jane or Mickey laid a finger on any of my children without my consent I would not hesitate to rip them apart."
Jack raised his eyebrows, watching the Doctor set Lottie back down into her crib and move forward to receive Zoë.
"Glad I'm on your side then," he breathed. The Doctor grinned as he held Zoë, giving her a kiss before he set her too down in her own crib.
"For the record, if you're worried about where to stay you'd be welcome to live in the TARDIS with Rose and me," he said offhandedly, watching Zoë sleep for a few moments more. "There's plenty of space."
"Yeah, and mine would be able to grow up with yours," Jack said after a moment's pause. "Wow, if you had another daughter what would you name her?"
The Doctor thought for a moment. "Not really sure. I guess Rose will end up doing the naming anyway, not really my choice."
"Okay, if you name mine, I'll name yours. Deal?"
After a moment, the Doctor nodded. "Deal. If you can convince Rose and Jill, that is."
"…So mum, as you can see, it's not the Doctor's fault and I do want to have this child."
Well, Rose thought that went rather well. Her mother hadn't even looked at the Doctor yet. She was just glancing between Rose's face and her belly, as if trying to comprehend what she was telling her. Finally she turned to stare at the Doctor. He gave a small smile, and a wave. Her face began to darken and he instantly dived to scoop up Lottie, holding her out infront of Jackie. Lottie giggled, waving her arms about infront of her granny with a broad smile on her face.
"Just think of it Jackie," the Doctor began as Lottie started bouncing up and down in his grip. "Another little baby – just like this one!" and just to reinforce his point, Lottie burped, then giggled again.
Jackie paused for a moment, finally reaching out and taking the little girl from his hands.
"You're just lucky she's so cute Doctor," Jackie finally said, and the Doctor breathed out a sigh of relief. He was off the hook. "Is it a boy or girl?"
The Doctor glanced at Rose. "We don't know. We were going to scan Rose and Jill later together for that."
"Well, what is it?"
The change in Jack had been astounding – going from extreme shock to major excitement in the space of two hours. He was now jumping around the Infirmary like a child who'd had too many E-numbers, unable to wait to find out the gender of his baby. The Doctor almost felt like doing it himself. It was his fourth biological child, but the feeling never got old.
"Two seconds," the Doctor muttered, running the ultrasound device over Rose's womb for a few moments more. There was his baby, a blip of an embryo. "Okay Jack," he said, lifting the ultrasound device and setting it down on the side. "I can confirm the gender of your baby with my super-super technology."
"What is it?" Jack asked anxiously, bouncing on his heels.
"It's a little…" He held a pause, taunting Jack for a moment as the man infront of him slowly began to melt in a pool of expectancy. "…Girl!"
Jack punched the air with a whoop. "Hell yeah!" he cried, giving Jill a kiss of joy. After a moment his attention snapped back to the Doctor. "What's yours?"
The Doctor looked back to Rose and smiled. "It's another boy. Due in the standard nine months, this time."
"Perfect!" Jack turned around to Rose and Jill. "Me and the Doctor had a deal that we'd name each other's."
"Be my guest," Rose muttered, settling down on the examination table. Jill also nodded, slightly intrigued.
Jack turned to the Doctor. "Shoot."
"What?!" the Doctor said in shock. "That wasn't part of the deal!"
Rose sniggered, resting her hand on her belly. "Good name, Jack. I like Jack."
"But…but…" the Doctor stammered in disbelief, "th-that's…"
"That's what you've gotta name him," Jack finished with a grin. "It was a deal, remember?"
The Doctor sighed, turning back to the embryo in Rose's womb. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," he said seriously to it, and everyone laughed at him.
"But she's called Dawn," Jill said with a reassuring smile at the Doctor, "I like it."
"Jack and Dawn," the Doctor surmised, shaking his head in disbelief. "What a pair."
The Doctor had always had his uncertainties about having a family. He feared so much he would lose them all in a single swipe that every time danger lingered near them he'd throw himself infront of it, not wanting to be the one left alone. But he was a survivor – the Last of the Time Lords – watching blood and fire cascade around him as he stood alone on the hill…and he hated it.
Even now as he progressed to Jackie's flat along the balcony he was almost paranoid for the little girl Lottie in his arms. She was so tiny. She was his daughter. She was one of the six lights of his life, standing up there tall against Rose, the TARDIS, Rory, Zoë and the unborn Jack. He could lose any of them at any moment.
But he tried not to think about that.
Jackie was more than delighted to hear it was a boy. She began suggesting names straight away, before the Doctor muttered that they'd already named him Jack. Jackie instantly looked up at the Captain, giving a broad smile.
"Aww, that's nice isn't it, they named him after you!"
"You could say that…" Jack mused, raising a smile at the Doctor. The Doctor ignored him.
"And what's that little one's name?" Jackie asked, looking directly at Jill's invisible pregnancy.
"Dawn," Jack supplied. "The Doctor named her."
"Aww that's a nice name," Jackie commented.
"I like it, it's pretty," piped up Rory from next to his mother, holding her free arm. In the other she held Zoë, who was sleeping again. She really was extremely quiet for a baby, Lottie too. Rose wondered if Jack would cry as much as his brother did – with Rory she and the Doctor never got any sleep.
"You hungry?" Jackie asked suddenly, turning towards the Kitchen. "I was just 'bout to start dinner."
They all exchanged glances, nodding in approval. The Doctor walked over to the sofa with Lottie still in his arms, settling her down in his lap. Rory let go of Rose's hand and run over to the sofa, climbing up next to his father.
"Aah," Lottie said. The Doctor raised his eyebrows.
"So now you decide to talk. You took your time."
"Aah," she replied, burbling loudly.
"What d'you reckon what her first word'll be?" Rose wondered, sitting next to Rory on the sofa. Rory leant over and reached out to Zoë, finding her hand within the blankets. Zoë giggled. The Doctor shrugged, waving his finger infront of Lottie's face. She giggled, lifting her tiny hands to try and catch it.
"Banana?" he suggested.
"Ror," Zoë said quietly, and instantly all turned to face her. "Ror…Ror…"
Jack smiled. "I think she's tryin' to say Rory.
"Rory!" she burst out suddenly, "Ror-ry, Ror…Rory."
Everyone cheered, and Zoë just giggled.
The Doctor absently looked around the room, suddenly spotting a newspaper on the table – the exact one he'd been doing the crossword of two months ago before their wedding. Curiosity getting the better of him, he reached out and studied the half-finished crossword. He had only one left.
'A minty flavoured discomfort.'
His eyes widened.
"Polio!" he exclaimed, pointing out the clue to the girl in his lap. "Lottie, a minty flavoured discomfort is Polio!"
"Polio," she echoed perfectly.
"Oh God," Rose muttered, staring at the girl. "Her first word isn't…"
"Polio," Lottie repeated right on cue.
And just like that, the Doctor knew everything would be all right.
A/N: Well, it wouldn't be a Ramble without the usual thanks at the end, so here we go: The Reviewers. As always. You're an awesome bunch of people, really you are, I LOVE YOU AL!! (Megahugs for everyone) Ahem, anyway. As I've told you a millions times before, no reviews is no story. I love every single one of my reviews and the reviewers for doing them. Thank you for supporting me, especially on this story, the longest I've ever done. I'm so happy you've stuck with me until the end so thank you all.
The Teachers. Probably first thanks go to Miss S, History, for not noticing I was writing something completely different on the laptops – most of that was chapter 44 and onwards. Then to Mrs. M, Science, another victim of the same. Then to Mrs. C, French, also another victim. Then to Mr. G, Maths, for being a completely boring so and so.
To all my teachers, whatever subject you teach I'm guaranteed to have zoned out of it. But my biggest ever thanks go to Mrs. H, English, whose let me do so much Doctor Who stuff for GCSE. English will ALWAYS be my favourite subject!
Tardis-mole you are amazing! I love all of your stories and you've helped me so much throughout the Ramble series :D At the time of posting this it is around two hours till Who premieres, and really hope your satellite signal stays on! You're a medical genius, all credit to you for those horrible gory injuries the Doctor acquired. Moonbean and ZK are also thanked for the help on the wedding; I seriously did not have a clue at the start!
Okay, let's try and tackle that idea of the forbidden word I always dread yet slightly hope people will say. Sequels. (Agh! The devil speaks!) The Rambles have definitely come a long way since that rainy March day in '06 (Was it raining? Probably) where the thirteen-year-old me, quaking in her boots decided to launch a fic in the midst of the unnameable story I still loathe to this day. I always swore this would be a trilogy.
So what are you supposed to do when yet MORE ideas come flooding into your mind? I've had a ball! Throughout my broad range of school subjects many ideas have come to mind. I thought to myself, "the next one needs to lighten up a bit," and, "perhaps I should try and lay off the Doctor in the next one a bit…" and, "it's time for a dramatic change – does someone need to die?" are just a few to mention. But, as always, anything only gets written if someone wants it. I'll leave it there, let you lovely readers decide for yourself :D
I think I'm gonna shut up now 'cause this is getting longer than the chapter, but everyone have fun, if you're on holidays (like me :D) have a great holiday, and remember the sacred 6:20pm tonight!
Now I will go and read the three new Who books :D
Catch you later,