Remodelling Chapter 2
Well, after no less than 7 people put this on their author alert within the first 2 hours of it being posted, I thought it'd be worth putting the next bit up. Sure would be good if even one of those people had reviewed. -shrug- At least people are reading it, I guess?
Jack's head shot up, nostrils flaring as a particular sound wove its way into his consciousness. The sound of the universe. A massive grin spilt his face, and he looked at his TARDIS's console, stroking one hand over the controls. 'I think he heard that, girl,' he told her delightedly. He felt her answering hum in his head. She was as happy as him, finally fully formed, whole and together. And as the icing on the cake, the Doctor was arriving, just outside.
Unable to stop smiling, Jack patted her twice, then crossed to the door, a recent addition, constructed as a finishing touch to turn his TARDIS into a whole and discreet entity.
Opening the door, he leaned on the door frame, unwilling to leave his ship even for a moment, even for the sight of the blue box pulsing into existence mere metres away. The cavern resounded to the grinding, wheezing sound; something that Jack hadn't heard in so long that he'd almost forgotten the powerful surge of joy it inevitably roused in him.
There was a moment of stillness, the Doctor's TARDIS settling into reality, abruptly pretending as though she had always been there. Jack winked at her, and felt a small jealous murmur from his own TARDIS. She was joking, which made him grin. He'd always appreciated a sense of humour in his women.
Jack's heart fluttered as the other TARDIS's door was yanked open, revealing a figure in a pin-striped suit, dishevelled hair sticking out in all directions and gobsmacked expression on his face.
'JACK!?' The Doctor managed to successfully exclaim a question.
Jack licked his bottom lip, grinning impossibly wide. 'Doctor,' he replied, voice calm. It was difficult, a new skill, but he could sense the Doctor right before him; just a general awareness of the other's existence. Where had that come from? He was starting to understand the painful darkness that had once resided in the other's eyes as he had spoken of a dead race. The Time Lord had lived his entire life always knowing that he was not alone, until suddenly, he had been. Jack shuddered even to think of it.
Of course, until 5 minutes ago, when Jack's TARDIS had finally fledged, he hadn't known what it was like to sense other people in his head either. But now he was beginning to comprehend what it might be not to feel them, when one should be able to.
'But how…?' The question died on the Doctor's lips as he registered exactly what the doorway was that Jack was standing in. 'Oh Jack,' he murmured, unable to help himself. 'She's beautiful.'
Jack smiled, a proud, paternal smile. 'Thank you. She does come from your TARDIS, after all.'
The Doctor shook his head, grasping for words. 'Jack… I felt you all the way across the universe. I felt you, and I couldn't believe it. Rassilon, I still can't believe it. Do you realise what you've done?'
Grounded by the feel of his darling ship in his head, Jack shrugged easily. The Doctor was shocked, and it was a very good look on him. Still, Jack wasn't worried. Everything would be fine. 'Think you better come in, Doctor. We've got some things to talk about.'
'Haven't we just,' replied the Doctor, a grin spreading across his face to mirror Jack's. Skipping out of his own TARDIS, he shut the door and crossed to Jack's, roaming eyes taking in the organic, coral-like exterior, and the way Jack didn't step from its threshold.
Jack shifted to allow the Doctor inside, and closed the door. He didn't think there was any other person in the whole of space and time that he would have trusted inside his TARDIS at that point. But the Doctor always had been special.
Said Doctor was staring around him, at the interior of a type of time ship of which there should only be one left in the whole of the universe. 'You've done a good job,' he commented casually, reaching into a jacket pocket to extract a pair of spectacles. Putting them on, he walked over to peer closely at the console. Jack took the opportunity to ogle his pin-stripe clad backside from where he still stood just inside the doorway.
'It was mostly all her. She seemed to know what needed to be done.'
'They're like that,' replied the Doctor with a fond smile, putting the glasses away and turning to face Jack, hands in pockets. 'Now, given that I haven't talked to you since you were still running around with that Torchwood lot, you've got some explaining to do, young man.'
'Not so young anymore,' countered Jack with a wry smile.
The Doctor raised a delicate eyebrow. 'I suppose not, if you helped this girl grow herself right the way through. And of course you did, because I'm bloody sure there isn't another soul in existence that could of. Rassilon, you shouldn't have been able to, either.'
'Times change,' pointed out Jack enigmatically.
That got a grin out of the Doctor. 'Now I know I'm not dreaming. Only a Time Lord could come up with that level of irritating mysteriousness.'
That startled Jack. 'Time Lord?'
Doctor gave him a smile, gentle, reassuring. It made Jack's breath catch in his throat. 'Of course. What did you think? You've bonded to a TARDIS. There's only one race that could do that. And I can sense you, back here.' The Doctor tapped his head, watching Jack with a significant look.
'Time Lord though? You said… the time war. All extinct. And I'm human!' Jack was only managing to speak in fragmented bursts, stuttering and shocked in a way that was rare for him. He was over 500 years old, for gods' sake. He was meant to be developing ageless dignity by this time.
'Time Lords never were a species. More of a… society, for want of a better word. Before the war, Time Lords were Gallifreyans, of a certain caste, but not all Gallifreyans were Time Lords. And Jack, there's no way you're human any more.'
Jack let out a weak laugh. 'I suppose. It's not your average human who gets made immortal by a Dalek ray.'
'I don't think it was the Dalek ray that did it. I never realised… but I can sense that golden light about you. It was the TARDIS, my TARDIS. She brought you back, through Rose. She resurrected you, and changed you, just for this.'
Jack thought about this for a long moment, whilst the Doctor watched him intently. 'I always did get that feeling that I had been brought back for some special reason,' he murmured, slowly.
The Doctor nodded, encouragingly. 'Yes. That, combined with creating a TARDIS of your own. That's something that very few Time Lords ever did, even back when there were thousands of us. To sit around for 500 years, just waiting on an inert lump to morph itself into a fully formed ship- we've got patience, but that was usually more than Time Lord pride could cope with. The duty tended to be shared between dozens, or even hundreds.'
Jack frowned. 'But… helping her grow… It was wonderful- the only thing that kept me sane-'
'Because you couldn't die? Doesn't surprise me. You're not human now, but you were. Humans are meant to be finite, mortal. You were never equipped to deal with watching loved ones die around you. Your relationship with your TARDIS is almost symbiotic, it seems. Could be dangerous if you ever need to be separated. You relied on her, almost as much as she relied on you, through some of the most tumultuous times of your lives.'
Jack arched an eyebrow at the Doctor's near-poetic language. 'A love story through the ages, huh?'
The Doctor grinned at his wry tone. 'You could put it that way.
'So…' started Jack, uncertainly.
The Doctor cocked an eyebrow.
Jack tapped into his long-ignored libido, and found the courage to ask the question. 'Wanna procreate?' His grin was wide and devoid of anything resembling innocence.
The Doctor sighed long-sufferingly, although he too was smiling.
'Your TARDIS seemed to manage. It does put you to shame a bit if you're not going to at least give it a go.'
'500 years of maturity, and you're exactly the same as when you started,' the Doctor stated in amused exasperation.
'Not exactly the same,' pointed out Jack with a lewd smile. 'Now I can do this.' Frowning momentarily in concentration, he clumsily attempted to broadcast a thought at him.
The Doctor dryly raised an eyebrow. 'Oh really?' he replied to Jack's thought. 'Interesting proposition. Except I somehow doubt you're that flexible.'
'Aw Doc. I'm wounded. I've been working out.'
'I'm sure you have. All of this is overlooking one small issue though, Jack.'
'And that is?' asked Jack, not put off in the slightest. Propositioning the Doctor had always been one of his favourite pastimes. Lack of success had never bothered him one iota.
'Presuming we mix progeny up in a vat, even with two of us now, there isn't enough genetic diversity to restart a whole species.'
Jack's TARDIS gave a murmur, and he cocked his head, listening intently. The Doctor looked on feeling a budding sense of wonder. It had been so long… he'd missed the feel of another Time Lord, even doing something as simple as just communicating with their ships.
'She says…' Jack paused, frowning. He wasn't entirely sure he'd heard her right. 'She says there will be others.'
The Doctor looked momentarily stunned. 'But that's…'
'If you're about to say impossible, Doc, I'd think again.'
'You're got a point,' conceded the Doctor with a sheepish grin. 'Considering that I'm standing in a TARDIS that shouldn't exist, talking to another… Time Lord.'
'Still feels weird to have you call me that,' muttered Jack. 'Feel like a traitor to my species.'
'Sorry,' said the Doctor unapologetically. Jack didn't honestly seem that bothered, and proved this by rolling his eyes at the older man.
'Well then... what do we do about this?' Jack asked.
'Which 'this' are you talking about specifically?' returned the Doctor archly.
'You have a point. I was talking about what my TARDIS was saying. She's sort of intimating like… like they'll find others like me- time travellers. And, well, do what your TARDIS did to me. Bring me back, and the thing with the golden light…'
The Doctor was nodding in agreement. 'Mine's making similar sounds actually. She seems quite proud of herself over this, by the way.'
Jack grinned indulgently. 'I would be, if I was her. Big old plan to recreate an entire species. She certainly thinks big.'
'Indeed,' said the Doctor dryly. 'I think I'll have words with her though. Just in case she gets any other big ideas into her cortex. Would be nice to get some warning first.'
'Aw, don't be like that Doc. It all turned out for the best. Now… we just gotta find some more.'
'More? Oh, yeah, sure. Easy as that. "Excuse me madam, how would you like to become part of a race of immortal lords of time?" No to mention that we don't have a planet any more. The whole of our culture was destroyed. A race isn't just a species. It's a culture, a-'
'We have the TARDISes,' Jack said firmly, cutting him off. 'And it's a bit late to be saying it's too hard. It's already been started. As for finding people, I daresay the TARDISes will take care of that. It worked for me.'
'Indeed it did,' sighed the Doctor. It didn't seem like his opinion was necessary in this matter. He had one Time Lord and two ships against him. Besides… despite his objections, he longed for the vision Jack was speaking of. The Time Lords, recreated. Differently this time though. No longer some ancient and dusty race of senators, sitting back and watching. People who could change, and grow, and live.
Jack grinned as he saw the Doctor warm to the idea. 'So,' he started, insinuatingly. 'Want to come for a joy ride?'
'I think my mother warned me about riding in cars with boys,' retorted the Doctor dryly.
Jack guffawed. 'I promise I'll be a gentleman. I've matured you know. Besides, I might need someone to show me a bit of this flying business, at least for the first few trips.'
The Doctor rolled his eyes, notionally giving in. 'You win. Let's see what the first of the new TARDISes can do.'
'Thought you might say that,' grinned Jack. Prowling around the console, he reached for a lever. The Doctor grabbed hold of a wall, and held on tight.
I really don't like this story. Even the bits that aren't exposition feel like exposition. Anyway, there it was. Make what you will of it.