A/N: Submitted as part of my coursework... :D Thought you might like a read. The paragraphs aren't split the same coz on they bunch together on this site and I don't like that, so it's better to try and split 'em as frequently as possible.

It's quite long, but meh. Inspired by a Xena episode, goddamn LOVE that show.


A/U where Jack was not killed by the Daleks in PotW, but instead joined Rose and the Tenth Doctor through TCI. Post Fear Her, TenRose.

Tomorrow Never Comes

The Doctor awoke with a start.

"Good mornin' campers!" a loud, painfully jolly American-accented voice came cutting through his sleep-ridden brain, along with a loud creak of a moving heavy oaken door. The Time Lord groaned loudly at the sound and pushed himself sluggishly up onto his elbows, opening his bleary eyes to the world outside.

The offender of the racket was one Captain Jack Harkness – no relation to Captain Jack Sparrow, of course – an ex-Time Agent from the twenty fifth century who both the Doctor and Rose had found hard to dislike. He was currently wearing a Daz white t-shirt under a light blue collared shirt, complete with braces and a heavy World War Two overcoat…completely out of the time period of fifteen-century Medieval England, but who was keeping track?

The Doctor narrowed his eyes and watched him saunter towards them with that morning's breakfast of a thick loaf of bread. Jack regarded the bedraggled nine hundred year old Time Lord currently scowling at him with chocolate brown eyes – it was evident he had not had a good night's sleep at all – ruffled brown hair and crumpled pinstripe suit only insignificant bystanders to his morning grouchiness.

Thud!

"Ow!" Jack gasped as the relatively light horseshoe that had seemingly dropped out of nowhere connected with his head and toppled uselessly to the ground. He looked up to the ledge where it had come from, taking a wary step backwards with his hand on the throbbing pain now in his head, as if he was expecting it to start raining horseshoes. The Doctor probably would have laughed if he could muster the energy.

Next to the Doctor Rose was rousing from underneath a hay bale, loudly blowing out all the grass that had gathered in her mouth during her overnight slumber in the barn.

"Ow my back…" she moaned softly. The Doctor glanced sideward at his nineteen-year-old human companion as she sat up and disturbed several chickens that had somehow managed to gather on top of her over the course of the night, clucking and cawing disapproval.

Rose Tyler. She was as beautiful as they came. Long blonde hair (although now matted and tangled with hay) fell elegantly down around her shoulders, her deep brown eyes sparkling vividly with the life and electricity of the runabout life she led. Her slim, well-muscled frame was perfectly toned and covered by a slight tan that was neither too orange nor too pale. Probably not the kind of person you'd expect to be waking up in a mouldy stable barn with manure for a neighbour.

The Doctor tried to recall what had happened the night before – the events that had led to him waking up in a rotten old stable that smelt of horse dung, rather than the inner warmth of the TARDIS time travelling machine. Swords instantly leapt to mind, shortly followed by a crowd of rather large angry men. Swords and spears of the angry mob as the three were chased out of the castle gardens without any chance of getting to the TARDIS first. Anyone would think they were insane trying to break back into the castle, but without the TARDIS they weren't going anywhere.

The TARDIS was the Doctor's time travelling machine; on the outside a 1960's police telephone box, yet on the inside there was an entirely new world to explore. TARDIS: Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Stepping into the Console Room from the outside never lost its sense of euphoria for any of his human companions.

The room was easily the most awe-inspiring in the TARDIS. A large, technical looking circular-shaped structure which looked more like it had been grown rather than made, sat in the centre of the room with a long cylinder-shaped tube glowing with blue and golden vortex energy, that basked the entire room in a warm glow, stretched up high to the ceiling. The supports struts were just as architectural as the console. Three skilfully carved alien shaped growths were dotted at intervals around the outside of the room, reaching into the heavens like the branches of a tree.

The TARDIS was obviously bigger on the inside. It may only be a police box to anyone else outside – but inside it was the energy of the Universe. It housed hundreds of rooms: bedrooms, gyms, toilets, kitchens…you name it; it had it. In the TARDIS you could travel anywhere and anytime in the entire Universe providing you knew the co-ordinates, the cost being your life if you weren't careful enough – though the Doctor was quick to assure Rose that no one had died whilst they had a companion status onboard the TARDIS. He didn't have a very convincing poker face in his Tenth body…

They took a moment to pull themselves together before heading out of the stable door into the early morning sunlight of the tiny rural village. They almost collided with the owner of the stable that they had taken the liberty of using as a motel, quickly apologising and offering some gold by way of a payment. Chaos was the last thing they needed right now.

The Doctor led the three down the path towards the castle entrance, using cover to get as close as possible to the shining metal gates. He gestured for them to hide behind a convenient rock, out of view of the castle guards.

"We split up," Jack suggested, "Rosie can distract them whilst the Doc and I slip past."

Rose shot him a withering glare. "I'm not Rosie!" she hissed angrily. "It's Rose, alright?!"

Jack just smirked, earning himself a grin from the Doctor.

"Good plan!" the Time Lord agreed. "When you're ready Rose. Just keep them distracted long enough for me and Jack to get past I'll signal and then you start running to the TARDIS."

"Gotcha," she answered with her beautiful smile, using the Doctor's shoulder to push herself into her feet into plain sight, side stepping a few metres from them.

The guards turned to face her, and the Doctor and Jack dropped a little lower.

"Hi boys!" she said in a sexy voice, giving a seductive wave to the crowd of patrolling guards. They all turned to see what the commotion was – and the Doctor stealthily slipped right past the cluster with Jack in tow. They jogged quietly through the gate into the castle grounds, before picking up the speed and rushing to the double blue doors of the TARDIS.

As Jack unlocked the door the Doctor turned back to Rose's direction, and gave a big thumbs-up. She gave one last wink to the guards before bolting through them and hurrying over to Jack and the Doctor.

Then the plan got turned straight on its head.

A sharp, burning sensation of pain suddenly shot right through her chest and she stopped dead in her tracks. Looking down at her ribs to see what the problem was, she was a little more than surprised to see the wooden arrow sticking straight through her heart.

Feeling nothing but the dim sensation of dulled pain through her cascading shock, Rose Tyler collapsed to the floor and knew no more.

"ROSE!" the Doctor hollered instantly, somehow forgetting the danger for the moment as he prepared to bolt it over to the fallen girl – but Jack was holding him from behind, restraining him.

"No Doctor!"

"Get off of me!"the Doctor yelled back angrily, wrenching himself out of the ex-Time Agent's grip with the all strength of a rhinoceros. He tore over to Rose and collapsed down beside her, somehow unable to take in the horrid sight before him as he fought to keep focused.

The guards were advancing towards him, but they were not his concern for the moment. His goal was to save Rose, no matter what. She wasn't going to die. Not here. Not now. Not ever.

He scooped up her blooded body in both arms and whirled away from the oncoming guards, running back over to the TARDIS where Jack was already standing holding the TARDIS door open.

"Come on!!!" Jack urged and threw out a hand as the Doctor neared, yanking him in through the doors and slamming them shut behind him. The Doctor didn't even bother programming the TARDIS before he was off to the Infirmary.

It wasn't until a few moments after they left that the reality of the situation hit Jack, hard. "Rosie…" he breathed, trying not to let his eyes water as he almost hesitantly jogged to the TARDIS Infirmary, miles behind the Doctor.

----------

The Doctor was still trying to resuscitate her when Jack got into the room. The Time Lord's eyes burnt like the sun with utter hatred and contempt at both himself and the guards for the assault. He should never have used her as a diversion; he knew it was too risky. The bloodstained arrow was now abandoned on a nearby metal table, although his face was just pale and gaunt with shock.

Jack watched the Doctor as he worked to save the girl; somehow already knowing it was useless yet willing his gut instinct to be horrifically wrong. Life without Rose Tyler in the TARDIS just didn't bear thinking about, not for one second.

It wasn't until the Doctor administered the tenth defibrillation to her heart did Jack finally decide to intervene, gently pulling him away from her and disarming him of his medical toys. Jack tried to pull him out towards the door of the room but the Doctor's feet remained welded to the floor, staring fixedly at her unmoving body. Instead, Jack pulled up a nearby chair and pushed him down into it; to which he didn't resist.

Jack had never seen him so vulnerable, so rigid, so scared. He couldn't reassure him because one: the Doctor was the one who was supposed to reassure him and two: he had nothing to reassure him with. He couldn't say, "it'll be okay," because it wasn't okay, and it never would be.

The Doctor didn't move for what seemed like hours to him as thoughts rushed through his head. What was he going to tell Jackie, Rose's mother? Her ex-boyfriend Mickey? What was he going to do? Could he even carry on travelling? Maybe Jack would leave the TARDIS…

Silence reigned for ten minutes before the Doctor finally got onto his feet.

"I'll have to tell her mother," he said simply.

Jack could only nod.

----------

Jackie Tyler cried. Mickey Smith cried. Even Jack let loose and cried. The only person who didn't cry was the Doctor, having been staring at a black spot on the otherwise bright and washed rug by the fireplace for three hours now.

Jackie wanted to slap him for losing her daughter. She was yearning to. But truth be told, she could see he would probably accept a slap there and then for what had happened without even flinching, and truth be told she could see has was accepting Rose's death at all well.

They all had dinner together that night. The Doctor didn't eat anything, not that Jackie had expected him to. She may not have been particularly open-minded to the alien Time Lord's interest in her daughter and her daughter's interest in him, but she knew love when she saw it. He seemed to be in a state of shock although she knew he would deny it no matter how hard she pressed.

"You need to grieve, sweetheart," she muttered quietly to him at a time when everyone else's attention was diverted away. "It's good to get it all out."

"I don't need to grieve," he said in an automatic voice, "I'm fine."

"'Ow 'bout I make up a bed for ya?" she suggested. "You look tired."

He remained resolute. "I told you, I'm fine. Go away," he replied sharply, almost hurtfully.

"Fine then," she shot back, injecting a little poison into her tone, "go and be mopey back in your bloomin' machine of yours. She's my daughter, Doctor, don't ya think it 'urts for me too?"

He fell completely silent, dropping his head to the floor dejectedly like a disciplined schoolboy.

"Sorry Jackie," he muttered quietly, "I just…well…a bed sounds great."

Her face broke into a broad, mother-like smile.

"Best thing's to sleep on it. Tomorrow's a brand new day."


The Doctor awoke with a start.

"Good mornin' campers!" a loud, painfully jolly American-accented voice came cutting through his sleep-ridden brain, along with a loud creak of a moving heavy oaken door. The Time Lord groaned loudly at the sound and pushed himself sluggishly up onto his elbows, opening his bleary eyes to the world outside.

As the Doctor watched him saunter towards them with a loaf of bread in hand he began to get a sense of incredible deja vu. His eyes narrowed at Jack as he strained to remember what this precognition could be pointing at.

Thud!

"Ow!" Jack gasped as the relatively light horseshoe that had seemingly dropped out of nowhere connected with his head and toppled uselessly to the ground. He looked up to the ledge where it had come from, taking a wary step backwards with his hand on the throbbing pain now in his head, as if he was expecting it to start raining horseshoes.

Okay. This was just coincidence. That was all it was. Maybe Jackie had redecorated whilst he was asleep? It was possible, wasn't it? Anyone could turn a flat in the centre of London into a smelly barn packed full of cow manure overnight, right?

"Ow my back…" a female voice suddenly sounded from his right, and the Doctor instantly whirled his head around to the sight of one Rose Tyler loudly blowing out all the grass that had gathered in her mouth during her overnight slumber in the barn. She sat up and disturbed several chickens that had somehow managed to gather on top of her over the course of the night, clucking and cawing disapproval.

The Doctor's eyes opened Bambi wide.

----------

"So what you're sayin' is, you've already lived through this day once before?" Jack clarified after the Doctor had finished his explanation, the three of them trundling through the village slowly towards the castle. "And Rose died?"

He nodded.

"I think you were given another chance by someone or somethin'," Rose said with a smile, holding onto his hand in the way that made his two hearts flutter. "To make things right."

"Which is why you're going to stick with me this time around Rose, got it?"

"Got it," Rose replied confidently, squeezing his hand as Jack gave him a supportive grin. They dropped to the ground and advanced quietly towards the castle, taking the cover they had taken last time before initiating their plan.

"We split up," Jack suggested, "I can distract them whilst you two slip past."

"Watch out for the arrow, Jack," the Doctor warned as Jack rose onto two feet, launching into 'distraction mode' as soon as the guards turned.

The Doctor made sure Rose's grip was tight in his own as he led her across the grass clearing, checking for threats at every open opportunity. A tight knot of tension resided in his stomach that seemed to expand within him every step…but he was never one to show fear. They managed to reach the TARDIS doors and the Doctor beckoned Jack like he had beckoned Rose before, watching Jack start to run across the clearing to the TARDIS.

Jack was expecting the arrow – that was easy – he dodged it and mentally relaxed at a job well done before he actually looked up, and saw the gleam of the silver sword flash in the early morning sunlight as it plunged straight through his solar plexus, and out the other side.


The Doctor awoke with a start.

"Good mornin' campers!" a loud American-accented voice called as the Doctor pushed himself swiftly up onto his elbows. Evidently trading Jack for Rose was not the way this was supposed to work.

He paused to consider the next event.

"Jack, take a step back."

Confusion was apparent. "Why?"

The Doctor smiled slightly to himself. "Oh, never mind."

Thud!

"Ow!" Jack gasped as the relatively light horseshoe that had seemingly dropped out of nowhere connected with his head and toppled uselessly to the ground. He looked up to the ledge where it had come from, taking a wary step backwards with his hand on the throbbing pain now in his head.

His head snapped back to the Doctor as Rose awoke behind him.

"How did you know that?!"

The Doctor just groaned, and fell back onto the floor, jaded.

---------

"We stick totally together. No one leaves my side, got that?"

The Doctor was slightly beginning to scare Rose now, strangely agitated and direct in his orders. He had vaguely explained about a time loop or something but she had no idea what he had meant and he didn't seem to be willing to elaborate.

"Got it," Rose and Jack replied in unison like two perfect angel companions.

"Dodge the arrow and the sword. We should be able to make it…hopefully…"

Slowly and quietly they began to inch around their cover. The Doctor picked up a handy rock and threw it across the green to the other side and – as he suspected – all the guards turned to investigate.

They were off across the grass. They were so near the TARDIS…so near…so near…

"Hey, you lot!" one guard yelled from behind the running three and the next thing the Doctor knew he was helpless to move. A huge net had been thrown over him…Rose and Jack too.

"Doctor!" Rose's voice came screeching from right next to his eardrum as the net was suddenly yanked to the right, all of them falling to the grass floor. It was a few more seconds before they were finally out of the net with ruffled and messed up hair, and they all looked up.

They were completely surrounded by tens of sharp, nasty looking swords, currently being drawn back to stab the three knelt in the middle all at the same time.

Jack was the last to speak.

"Oh shi-"


"Good mornin' camp-ARGH!" Jack was suddenly cut off in mid-flow as both the Doctor and Rose knocked him clean off of his feet into the conveniently placed pile of horse manure where he landed with a squelch.

"Sorry Jack, time saving!" the Doctor's voice came from outside, "if we get there quick maybe they won't be out yet!"

"What the hell're you on about?!" Jack yelled back before looking down at himself, now mostly covered in manure. He winced. "DOCTOR?!"


"Good mornin' camp-"

The horseshoe had been thrown with excessive force to Jack's head before he even had to finish his sentence and he collapsed to the floor, unconscious.

With a contented sigh, the Doctor lowered his throwing hand and closed his eyes once more, letting himself fall back into the land of nod.


"I've got it. Foolproof."

As per usual, the Doctor was making absolutely no sense and Rose and Jack were smiling and nodding, pretending they knew why the hell he was rambling on about time loops when they just needed to get to the TARDIS.

"Pincer attack. I go straight on whilst you two come from each side and we pelt it to the TARDIS!" he looked positively delighted with himself.

"I don't get why we don't just ask for it back," Rose suddenly pointed out, and the Doctor's smile sank like a stone in water.

"Oh," he muttered.

----------

All three fell into the TARDIS in fits of laughter, not a scratch on any of them. So caught up in the time loops, the Doctor had not been thinking outside the box, but Rose Tyler was a genius in that she could always fill in the gaps in his mind. As the Doctor began to program the TARDIS to get away from this time period and planet, Rose walked up behind him and linked her arm fondly through his.

"Why were you livin' the same day over and over?" she asked, and all the Doctor could do was shrug.

"Must be an interior problem of the motherboard in the matrix of the vortex energy splitter," he reeled off, before catching Rose's confused expression. "…The vortex went all wibbly-wobbly," he summed up, waving a vague hand to demonstrate.

"Convenient," she replied with her smile. "So cap'n, where we off to?"

"How 'bout Planet of the Dancing Hamsters? I've always wanted to go there!"

Jack and Rose shook their heads in utter disbelief as the Doctor being to leap around the TARDIS console, flicking every switch, turning every knob and yanking every lever until the TARDIS began to dematerialise. The central column glowed and groaned as it started to pulsate up and down, taking the three friends to adventures unknown.


The Doctor awoke with a start.

"Good mornin' campers!" a loud American-accented voice came cutting through the air as the Doctor jerked straight up to sitting position in shock. They had got the TARDIS back yesterday, hadn't they? They'd asked for it back and dematerialised right out of there, not a scratch on any of them. The day wasn't supposed to repeat itself at all. Why was it repeating?

"I sorted it!" he screamed to the skies, arms flying out as he implored the Heavens, "I sorted it and no one died, why am I here again?!"

"Well Doc, funny though it is, y'know what I've got us all for breakfast?"

"Bread…" the Doctor grunted, collapsing back down onto the floor. Everyday was the same – Jack woke up everyone up holding a loaf of bread before a horseshoe fell on his head.

"Wrong!"

The Doctor went rigid. "Wha…what?"

Jack produced his right hand from behind his back and held it out to the Doctor. In his grip he clutched a fresh banana cluster; a cheeky grin awash on his face.

The End