Fifteen minutes later Jack walked out from the TARDIS, his eyes red from crying.

The Doctor was there to meet him.

"So, what did she say?"

"She asked me to take care of her turtles. And she told me to keep an eye on you, Doctor, even though you'd deny you needed it."

Jack smiled wanly and the Time Lord laughed at him.

"She warned me it'd be a tough assignment."

"Anything else, Captain?"

"Yeah, some other stuff…"

The two men were silent for a long minute as The Doctor waited.

"She invited me to look her up in a couple billion years. She said by then she might be ready for some company."

Tears were running down Jack Harkness's face.

"Come here," said the Lord of Time as he opened his arms and enveloped his friend.

Warmly embraced, his face nestled close against his precious friend's neck, Jack thought he heard The Doctor softly singing.


Not Sickness stains the Brave,
Nor any Dart,
Nor Doubt of Scene to come,
But an adjourning Heart —

Emily Dickenson


The sequel to "Plague" is called "Revelations".