Disclaimer: Dr. Who & Torchwood do not belong to me. Kevla and her people do. Note: some dialogue taken directly from First Doctor arc: An Unearthly Child.
In this chapter: The First Doctor, Susan, Ian, Barbara, and Ianto
The Doctor liked to visit Kevla. While the Kevlans themselves were nowhere near as advanced as his own people, they were all possessed of rather advanced mental arts; more than that, he enjoyed spending time on their planet, especially in the years since he had left Gallifrey, because they often presented to him interesting problems for him to solve. This trip was no different, even with his bringing the young human with him for training.
In truth, the Doctor would have preferred to simply drop off the human and return to Susan. However, the TARDIS had made it very clear, (well, as clear as a TARDIS could do so), that she was not budging from Kevla. He knew from experience that if his ship was not willing to move… well, he couldn't force her to do what she did not want to do - at least not without some very good justifications. For some reason, the TARDIS had taken a liking to the young Earth human. He also knew that she actively shielded the boy from the emotions of others. He suspected that was the reason his ship did not wish to leave Kevla. They needed to be in the same general area as the human in order for her to maintain the shields. This meant he was effectively stuck on Kevla until the boy no longer needed the TARDIS and her help.
Fortunately, he did not truly object to remaining here. Kevla was unique in the current Galactic Empire, in that nearly all its population had psychic gifts. They had discovered the best way to use what they had long before they had contact with another planet. This had aided them when they had begun to broker treaties and alliances with others. By agreeing to use their gifts for others, they had managed to make Kevla a protected planet. In order to gain contracts with Kevlan psychics, the planetary governments within the Empire consented to protect the planet against attack by another. Kevla had a finite resource and wielded it expertly: everyone knew the best way to ensure the rest of the Empire paid attention to an alliance, or trade agreement, or any type of political business, was to hire a Kevlan psychic.
More than that, the Doctor enjoyed visiting the Temple on Tyyneys. The meditation rooms located in the very middle of the building were nearly as nice as those on Gallifrey. He always felt refreshed when he left. It also helped that the Kevlans believed in ignoring their visitors, unless they themselves invited conversation. And so, after the Doctor had dropped off Ianto into the care of the High Priest, he had retreated to one of the rooms set aside for guests and prepared to relax and unwind.
Two Kevlan weeks later, the Doctor emerged from the Temple and went to find the current High Priest. He had first met Tapani when he was a young man, still in training. The Doctor had liked the curious young man, who desired nothing more than to know everything about everything. He had especially liked that the young Kevlan did not simply demand information, but rather, did his best to learn all he could on a subject before asking for further assistance. It had not surprised him to learn that Tapani had ascended to the position of High Priest; it was something of a lifelong dream for the Kevlan. The Doctor was certain he held his position with the greatest honor.
"Ah, Lääkäri. I see you have emerged from your meditations," Tapani commented as he saw the Doctor enter his office. "I trust it was fruitful?"
"Yes, yes. Quite peaceful."
"Good. The young one that you brought has shown great promise. Lahja has begun to teach him the basics of shielding. I do not think it will take him very long."
"Humph. That is a surprise. I didn't think apes like him were so talented. Still, I suppose it's good that he learns quickly. I don't want to stay away from my granddaughter too long."
"As you say," Tapani said, inclining his head. He was well-used to the Doctor's attitude and belief towards virtually anyone not of his own people. "Since you will be here yet awhile, I presume you do not wish to remain idle?"
"No, no… The TARDIS won't let me tinker with her here," the Doctor pouted. He was a little miffed at that too. But just because he couldn't work on her here, didn't mean he couldn't pick up some parts if he found them and work on her back on Earth. He would have to see what the Kevlan markets had. He was especially concerned because it looked as if her chameleon circuit was broken. He had been very surprised to see the TARDIS retain the police box design she had adopted for 1963 London when they had landed on Kevla. She should have changed her appearance to match her new surroundings, and that she didn't caused him some worry. Hopefully, he could find the necessary parts to fix that aspect of her circuitry.
Tapani's lips quirk with amusement. The Doctor's relationship with the TARDIS was well-known to him. The Doctor had spent many an hour speaking of it with him, in his youth. "If it would not be too much of a bother, we could use your help with the Tsarkin alliance." He waited patiently because while the Doctor often aided them on his visits, he would not help them if doing so affected the time stream too much. He might be considered a renegade by his own people, but the Doctor did adhere to the basic principles of the Time Lords of Gallifrey.
The Doctor thought for a moment, wracking his brain and stretching his senses to determine whether his participation in this would affect time. The general sense he received was that his presence didn't affect time in any significant way. He was rather happy about that; working with the Kevlans on this would keep him busy while Ianto learned what he needed to in order to survive with his gift. "I would be happy to help," he told Tapani.
"Thank you Lääkäri. Your presence will be most welcome."
The Doctor was both gratified and suspicious that the diplomatic work with which he helped the Kevlans finished just as Ianto ended his empathy training. He snorted at the message from Tapani informing him of Ianto's progress. Damned clairvoyants. They had probably informed Tapani of the best task for which to ask his help so that he would not be bored while waiting for Ianto to finish up with what he needed to know. As soon as the transport left him at the Temple, he stalked off to find the boy. Might as well inform him of their imminent departure.
He eventually found the young human at the top of the path they had taken into Tyyneys their first morning on Kevla. He appeared to be drawing - again. Seemed to be a habit of his. Not that the Doctor particularly cared. He wanted to return to Susan and make sure all was well with her. He hadn't been away from her for this long in many years and he worried, even if he knew the TARDIS would return him to the afternoon he had left.
"So, er… Ianto Jones, wasn't it? Yes. Well. The High Priest informs me you have been trained," the Doctor told the human. The boy looked at him as if he did not recognize him.
"Oh, it's you, Doctor," Ianto replied.
"Yes. Well. How do you feel?" The Doctor leaned forward on his cane, wanting to make sure the boy had learned what he had been brought here for. He pushed into Ianto's mind, testing the human's shields. He was pleased when he felt the empath deflect his mind probe with great ease. It appeared that Tapani's reports had not exaggerated Ianto's abilities. "Good. Good. Glad to see you've learned what you came here to learn."
"Are we leaving then, sir?" Ianto asked.
"Well. I do need to get you back home. And my granddaughter is probably worrying. So. You're trained up. I've done what I said I would."
"Do you wish to leave now? Or may I say goodbye to my teachers and friends?"
The Doctor inwardly sighed. He would much rather leave today, but if the reports were true, Ianto had made several friends in the months he had been on Kevla. Tapani had also mentioned how much Lahja had enjoyed teaching the young empath. He couldn't, in good conscience, just leave without giving him the chance to say his goodbyes. The likelihood of him ever seeing Kevla again were so slim as it were. "We will leave tomorrow morning."
As Ianto hurried back to the Temple, presumably to inform his friends of his departure, the Doctor wondered when he had gotten so soft.
The goodbyes the next morning were not nearly as prolonged and painful as the Doctor had expected. He was surprised to see the pendant around Ianto's neck. He wondered if the boy knew its significance. The sormustinkukka flower was the symbol of Kevla; the punasusi represented the gift of empathy. Taken together and positioned as they were, it indicated that Ianto was a Kevlan-trained empath and afforded all the privileges as if he were a native-born Kevlan. While it likely would not mean much in the long run, as Earth did not gain official contact with alien species until the late 21st century, it did mean that if someone stumbled upon the boy and he was in danger, they were obligated to aid him. It also meant that Ianto could be called upon to help broker treaties.
The Doctor watched as Ianto said the last of his goodbyes before turning to the Doctor, luggage in hand. The Doctor said his own goodbyes to Tapani and led the way back to the TARDIS. He could feel her contentment as they neared her doors. He could only assume she was pleased that Ianto had gained the help he so desperately needed. Once inside, he sent the boy to rest in his room. While it would not take very long to arrive back on Earth 1998, he did not want him underfoot.
One day, he would discover the reason why the TARDIS decided not to listen to him. He stared in frustration at the TARDIS's console; the screen before him indicated that she had re-materialized in the junk yard in which he kept her hidden, in 1963 London. This was most certainly not 1998 Wales. "Why? What is so important about this boy that you will not let me return him home?" he asked his ship. He was not overly surprised when his only answer was stubborn silence. He sighed. He did not like this, not at all.
"Have we arrived?" Ianto asked quietly, satchels in hand.
"No. Well, yes. But not 1998," the Doctor replied. "Welcome to 1963. It seems the TARDIS wants you to remain. So remain you shall. Go on. Return your things to your room. We'll talk later."
"Uh… yes, Sir." He watched as Ianto scuttled back down the hall. The TARDIS pulsed happily in his mind. He sighed and shook his head, leaning on his cane. He just wished he knew what was going on.
Susan breathed a sigh of relief as she pushed open the door leading to Foreman Scrap Merchant and saw the familiar blue police box, which the TARDIS had opted to disguise herself as. It was not that she had feared it would be missing, but the TARDIS was temperamental and just because Grandfather insisted he would return by the time school let out, did not mean he and the TARDIS would be present. So it was with a great deal of relief that she saw the ship sitting where it was meant to be.
She honestly didn't know what she would have done if the TARDIS not been there. She did not really have any friends with whom she could spend the night - for the most part, her fellow students thought her too strange to want to spend time with her. Her teachers were suspicious of her home life and she did not want to give them cause to examine her or Grandfather more closely than they already did. But it seemed as if her worries were ill-founded; she smiled with excitement. She couldn't wait to hear what Grandfather had to say about whatever the TARDIS had decided to involve him in.
The TARDIS sent out a small pulse in welcome as she neared the door. She used her key to open the door and entered the gleaming white console room. "Grandfather! It is wonderful to see you!" she called out in greeting.
The Doctor turned around, a smile transforming his normally stoic face, as he saw his granddaughter. He had been away from her for far too long. "Susan. And how was school for you this day?"
"Oh, the same as always. I like it here, on Earth, but I do not understand why these humans can't understand the simplest of concepts."
"Have you decided you have had enough of this then?" the Doctor asked. For a moment, he hoped she was ready to depart this planet and this decade. Maybe then the TARDIS would allow him to return young Jones back to his time.
"Oh no, Grandfather. I do so enjoy living here. Why, humans are so very interesting!"
The Doctor sighed. Of course she would desire to remain here. Well maybe he could foist his new charge on her. Yes, she would find Ianto interesting. She had always liked empaths.
"How was your trip, Grandfather?" Susan could sense he was not wholly happy, though she suspected in part, it was due to her insistence on remaining here.
"Good, good. You'll like the boy," he told her. He smiled indulgently as she paused, her hand on the console. As if he had heard his cue, Ianto entered hesitantly from the hall. Susan looked back and forth from him to her grandfather in confusion.
"Grandfather?" she asked, and in her voice were all the questions he knew she had. In all the time they had travelled with one another, he had never voluntarily taken another passenger with him.
"Susan, this is Ianto Jones. The TARDIS decided he was to remain with us for a time. Ianto, this is my granddaughter, Susan. You will be attending school with her."
"Yes, sir." He did not sound all that happy about that, but the Doctor did not have any sympathy. It was bad enough the boy was here. Susan, on the other hand, looked thrilled. He suspected she and the TARDIS would conspire to keep Ianto on board as long as possible.
While they ate dinner, the Doctor and Susan planned Ianto's immediate future. The Doctor planned to introduce Ianto as the son of his nephew and his wife, both of whom had tragically died, leaving Ianto under the Doctor's care. After eating, Ianto excused himself to his room, needing space to think about all that had happened to him. He sank to his bed, knees to his chest and let loose his tightly controlled emotions. This… this all just felt surreal and scary.
What did he actually know about the Doctor? The Kevlans liked him well enough, but he was not on Kevla anymore, was he? The Doctor had found him, brought him to Kevla to learn how to use his gift. And now he was in 1963, and not by his or the Doctor's choice.
He was only fourteen - no wait. Fifteen, now. His birthday had passed whilst he was on Kevla. So now he was fifteen, thirty-five years in the past - twenty years before he was even born! His… minder? Guardian? Just what was he to call the Doctor? He didn't know and the Doctor didn't seem pleased to have charge of him. Stuck in the past because the TARDIS wished it. The Doctor had his granddaughter - who was to say that he would not decide Ianto was too much trouble to keep around, and just leave? Ianto was not owed anything by the Doctor - if anything, he was the one indebted to the Time Lord and his ship. He knew he would not have lasted very much longer had he not gone to Kevla. Lahja had not spared him the stories of what could happen to him if he ever completely lost his shielding.
He had no idea what was going to happen to him. The Doctor had found him yesterday, told him they were returning home the next day and that was that. Landing in 1963 had never been a part of the plan, but it seemed he would need to rethink what exactly he was doing on the TARDIS.
He sighed; in his mind, he could feel the alien warmth he associated with the TARDIS. He supposed she was offering him comfort. He snorted, falling backwards onto the mattress. He was fifteen, stuck in the past, and apparently, under the supervision of an alien, his granddaughter and their ship. When he left with the Doctor, he had hoped for some adventure, prayed for some way to control his empathy. Kevla had taken care of the latter and now it seemed as if the TARDIS had seen fit to provide him with the former. London, 1963. And from what the Doctor and Susan had said before he left them, he was going to be joining her at school. He wondered what it would be like, how different it would be from his own time.
The next morning, the Doctor accompanied the two teens to the Coal Hill School. He left Ianto with some pointed advice: "Remember, boy. This is 1963 and not 1998. Don't mess with the time line!"
"Yes, sir," was his quiet reply. In some ways, this was worse than arriving on Kevla. There, at least, everything was foreign, nothing familiar, except what he himself had brought. But this was Earth, albeit in the past. Still, he couldn't help but be thrilled. Here he was, in the past, and living on the TARDIS. He only worried that he might slip up, and accidentally reveal future information.
In many ways, school in 1963 was no different than school in 1998. Teens were teens; they formed cliques, content in the belief that they knew and understood the world in ways the adults did not. Ianto found himself adjusting to the superficial aspects of this new world.
The music sounded familiar, reminding him of his parents and home and Saturday nights with the whole of the family at home, laughing and talking and complaining about the minutia of life. Thirty-five year difference between his now and his own time, and he was still listening to the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Moody Blues. It excited him to be in London during this time. His parents had mentioned how exciting a time it was, but they had lived in Wales and not London, or Manchester or Liverpool. He had read about it, but it was so very different to be living here.
Classes were a different story. He quickly understood why Susan, despite loving this time and this people, became so frustrated with school. He had trouble all on his own, remembering what was current and in the news: the history he had learned not even six months ago, occurring right now. The sixties were a tumultuous decade and his classmates spoke about the nuclear test ban treaty signed that summer, the more exciting Great Train Robbery, and the latest government scandal, that looked as if it was going to bring down the current Prime Minister. It had taken him a few days to realize that the Cold War was very, very real; the Soviets were considered an actual threat.
But it wasn't just in history that he had to watch what he said. Science with Mr. Chesterton was a trial. The equipment they used was clunky in his view; Susan despaired of it.
"It's so, so… antiquated, Ianto! I don't know how you can use this and still get acceptable results," she complained.
Susan had difficulty in Mr. Chesterton's class. The problem was that Time Lords were very advanced. The science taught on Earth was so far beneath them, that it was, quite literally, child's play to her. Her mind worked at such a higher level that she couldn't wrap her mind around the far simpler concepts Mr. Chesterton tried to impart.
Ianto had his own problems. Simple ones, such as realizing that there were only 103 elements on the periodic table (and hadn't that tripped him up!) to more complicated ones that he eventually determined came from the language transfer on Kevla. The transfer hadn't simply given him what amounted to a dictionary, providing the appropriate word in Kevla for its English or Welsh equivalent. It had literally provided him with the grammatical, cultural and world context of the language. It was as if he grew up speaking the language. Kevla had more advanced science than Earth in the twentieth century did, and he started to find that the transfer worked with his studying to give him a better understanding of science. He knew he was one of the more advanced students in the class.
It rather freaked him out.
At first, it was strange to be in school. The other teens gave him some leeway because they all "knew" he was there because his parents were dead. But, he was also the cousin of Susan, and Susan did not have many friends. She was far too smart and yet, she often made simple mistakes, like confusing the UK measurement system with the American one. She more often than not remained by herself - until Ianto had arrived.
Ianto was the seventh child of his parents, and his older siblings had ensured that he was comfortable with strangers and a wide variety of different personalities. While he preferred quieter activities - like his art - he could and did play sports, dragged into pick up games of rugby or football by his siblings and their friends. He preferred rugby, but football was the sport of choice in London, so he quickly adapted. He also gained friends because, despite being from Wales, he seemed to have intimate knowledge of bands and songs that were just now becoming popular.
If his fellow students were less than pleased when he dragged Susan with him, they soon came to accept her - she was weird, and too smart, but she seemed to genuinely like people. Her overt friendliness went a long way towards gaining her some acceptance with their classmates.
Susan, and to a lesser extent, the Doctor, made sure Ianto had all he needed in order to survive in 1963. Money never seemed a problem, and the TARDIS provided them with appropriate clothing. London was all about fashion, and the way you dressed defined who you were in a way far dissimilar to his own time. He had never really cared about the way he looked or the particulars of what he wore, but it seemed to dominate the conversations of his peers. He considered himself fortunate that being an artist seemed hip, and afforded him a leeway in his choice of dress and actions.
But it wasn't just the physical amenities that the two provided him. The Doctor might not have wanted Ianto with him, but he took his responsibility seriously. Ianto never knew if it was something Susan had said, or if the Doctor himself had noticed, but the Time Lord came to his room about a weeks after he came to 1963.
"Hm.. How are your shields holding up, boy?"
"Pretty well, sir," Ianto told him.
"Uhuh," the Doctor said, his gaze piercing. Ianto flushed under his scrutiny. His shields had been holding, but he could feel the strain of keeping the emotions of his classmates from breaching them. Teens, as he discovered, felt an awful lot. "Well, come with me," the Doctor instructed, and Ianto followed. They went through several hallways and turns, and Ianto only hoped he could remember the way in the future. Though he also suspected the TARDIS would aid him, should he need to find his way again. At last they reached their destination. "Here you go, then," the Doctor said and they stepped into a gorgeous garden, reminiscent of the few he had seen on Kevla.
Ianto recognized plants and flowers from Earth and Kevla, and he figured the ones he didn't know came from worlds the Doctor and Susan had visited. He had no idea how the TARDIS was able to maintain something like this, but figured it was just another example of the magic the TARDIS seemed to encapsulate.
"I want you to come here and meditate for a little bit each day. Work on your shields. I don't want all that you learned to go to waste!"
"Yes, Doctor," Ianto replied, already relaxing as the peace and serenity of the garden soothed him in a way he hadn't even realized he needed. "Thank you." The Doctor grunted before leaving him to the garden and the peace it brought. Ianto wandered for a little while, looking for the perfect spot, and it didn't take long for him to find it. He sank into the ground, letting the aromas that should have clashed - but didn't - surround him, and drifted into meditation. Everything just melted away and he lost himself, in a way he had not since he left Kevla.
The Doctor was right. He needed this.
"I am so happy you are here, Ianto," Susan told him one afternoon as they studied. "School is so much more interesting, now."
Ianto just smiled. He was happy that his presence helped Susan, happy that she had someone to study with and learn what was current and not yet to pass. She was a lovely girl, and he could see why the Doctor would do everything in his power to keep her happy.
He did not know why the TARDIS had refused to return him home, but he was having too much fun to worry overly about it. He planned to enjoy his time with the Doctor, Susan and the TARDIS. It was all an adventure, despite having to attend classes. It wasn't like this counted for his future career, after all.
Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were certain that something was fishy about Susan Foreman and her cousin, Ianto Jones. They were both brilliant - that they agreed on.
"I sometimes feel as if they should be teaching the class and not I. The experiments I assign are far too simple for them. At least now that her cousin is here, she has a partner who can attempt to keep pace with her," Ian complained to Barbara one afternoon.
"But it is strange, isn't it, how they have the strangest ideas at times! It as if they don't understand the simplest concepts, and yet, they can both provide a well articulated argument on almost any given topic." Barbara sighed, shaking her head. She loved teaching, loved bringing history alive to her students. She had worried about Susan for a while now and had tried to set up a meeting with the girl's grandfather, only to be brushed off. "I worry about the two of them. There is just something… strange about the family."
"Are you sure you're not imagining things? I agree, the two of them can be… frustrating. But Susan's gotten better since Ianto arrived. As I said, they still manage to make me feel as if I don't possess a tenth of their knowledge. And Susan's homework, at least, is not the same quality it once was, but they both could just be adjusting to their new living situation."
Barbara shook her head. "I don't think that is it, Ian. There is just something so mysterious about the two of them, as if they know something that we don't."
"Well, what do you want to do about it?" Ian asked. None of their fellow teachers had noticed anything strange about the two children - and he knew that both he and Barbara had discreetly questioned them. When Barbara asked to meet with their guardian, they always excused him as being too busy to make an appointment.
"He's a Doctor, Miss Wright," Susan explained. "Very busy right now."
Ian couldn't explain why he felt uneasy around them, beyond the fact that they seemed to understand science in a way he did not. While Ianto had been quiet at first, he had quickly adapted to living in London, rather than Wales. He had also helped Susan to fit in with their classmates in the weeks since he had joined the school. He seemed to get along with everyone and brought Susan with him wherever he went. The art teacher adored him and bragged about his talent. Together, the two children produced quite a conundrum.
"You know, I asked the secretary for their home address, Ian. And when I went there, there was nothing! Nothing but a junk yard," Barbara said, interrupting his thoughts.
"The secretary probably just had it wrong," Ian soothed.
"I don't think that's it. Ian, I am worried about them."
"What do you want to do, then? Follow them home?"
"I just want to be sure that… that they aren't in any danger."
Ian smiled. "Alright, Barbara. We'll see where they'll take us, this afternoon."
"Good. Now, Susan is waiting for me. I have a book she wants to borrow."
Ianto laughed as Susan related the latest attempt by Miss Wright and Mr. Chesterton to try and discover what their secret was. Mr. Chesterton had thought he was being subtle when he had inquired whether they needed a ride home that day, but in reality, had all but telegraphed his real reasons for asking. Both Ianto and Susan found the two teacher's attempts at uncovering the truth about them vastly amusing. Susan wanted to let them follow them home; she argued that it was better for them to discover what they could now, rather than continue with their amateur attempts at sleuthing.
He didn't think the Doctor would appreciate the two teachers discovering the truth, but Susan was convinced it was the right way to go. He acceded to her wishes - especially since she agreed to come with him to the art supply shop on their way home.
"Oh look Susan! They have some of those sketchpads I like. I'm almost out of pages on my last one," Ianto said with some excitement. He loved this shop. In the weeks since his arrival, he had spent a great deal of time in there.
Susan just shook her head and laughed. Ianto went through the sketch pads so very quickly! Of course his talent was such as to warrant it, but she couldn't help but be amused that this was the third trip to the shop this week.
Ianto quickly became involved in a rapt discussion with the clerk, who had greeted the two of them with a friendly smile before turning to the young man and bringing him over to a new display of pencils. Susan watched with fondness as Ianto became lost in the conversation; she was content to browse while she waited for him to select his purchases. And if she got too bored, there was always the book Miss Wright had lent her.
Thirty minutes later, Ianto and Susan finally left the shop. It was growing dark and they hurried along the London streets, intent on reaching the junk yard as quickly as possible. Susan noted as the automobile that Mr. Chesterton and Miss Wright were in drove past them. "I suspect they will be waiting for us," she commented.
Ianto shrugged in reply. He was more interested in reach the TARDIS so he could experiment with some of his recent purchases. He was also still convinced the Doctor would not be pleased.
It was full dark by the time the reached the door that led to where the TARDIS stood hidden. Glancing around, Ianto did not see his two teachers and thought maybe they had decided to give up their quest. He and Susan slipped through the door and entered the TARDIS. Susan called for her grandfather, while Ianto shrugged off his coat and headed for his room. He sent a greeting towards the TARDIS and smiled at her response. It never ceased to amaze him how ialive/i she was.
"Grandfather isn't here," Susan announced as she stood in his door, watching as he put away his new art supplies.
"He's probably scavenging for new parts," Ianto replied, only half paying attention to her.
"I suppose you're right."
"Hm…" Ianto hummed a reply.
Susan watched him for a few more moments before deciding to return to the console room. Maybe she would try and see if she could find her grandfather, see if he needed any help.
It was with a great deal of annoyance that the Doctor greeted the two teachers who had wandered into the junk yard. A part of him acknowledged their concern for two of their students, but a greater part of him was annoyed at their persistence.
"I am certain that I saw Ianto and Susan enter here, Sir. Are you certain you have not seen two youngsters?" the female teacher persisted in asking. Her male companion wandered through the junk yard, peering around the larger pieces to see where the two children hid.
"Where would they hide?" the Doctor dissembled. He grew more irritated as they circled the TARDIS, seemingly fascinated by the police box located in a junk yard. He grew more agitated as they kept insisting that something was wrong. He was always amazed at how quickly the humans could latch onto the idea that something was wrong, even if they could not describe what was actually wrong, and yet. They often completely refused to admit what their minds told them to be true. He did not think they would be any different. He only wondered what he could do or say to encourage the two to leave the junk yard, without satisfying their curiosity as to where Ianto and Susan actually were. He really needed to speak to his granddaughter. It was completely unacceptable that these two teachers had found their way here.
He frowned as the two insisted on finding Ianto and Susan, insisted that they had to be here somewhere. And of course, Susan had to call out for him as they stood near the TARDIS. Trying to deny them entrance did not work. It was really quite annoying how they pushed past him, exclaiming as they found themselves not in the police box they had thought it was, but a much larger and stranger room.
"Susan, close the door," he ordered quietly and smiled as she obeyed.
"Susan! What is going on? Who is this?" Miss Wright asked.
"This is my grandfather."
Both teachers kept insisting that the TARDIS wasn't possible. They refused to believe the truth, despite Susan desperately attempting to explain it to them. Their disbelief and refusal to believe what was before their very eyes angered the Doctor. This - this was why he merely tolerated humans! Did they not trust their own senses?
And so, he decided to teach them a lesson. Even as Susan protested, he moved around the TARDIS, directing her to take them on a trip. Maybe if the two teachers experienced what the TARDIS could do, they would cease their silliness.
Ianto frowned as he felt the somewhat familiar sensation of the TARDIS traveling through time. The Doctor hadn't mentioned that they were going somewhere, nor, and this thought caused Ianto some amount of disconcertion, that Ianto was to return to his own time. The TARDIS passed along a sense of amusement when he lowered his shields enough to send an inquiry. He shrugged and went to find the Doctor and Susan - and find answers.
"Doctor, where are we going?" he asked as he entered the console room. He came to an abrupt halt when he saw Mr. Chesterton unconscious on the floor in front of Miss Wright, who had collapsed in a faint in one of the chairs, while Susan berated her grandfather for the trip.
"What happened?" Ianto asked. He was a bit concerned at the sight of his teachers.
"Grandfather was angry with Mr. Chesterton and Miss Wright and decided to prove to them that this ship could do what I claimed," Susan explained, her tone angry.
"Not now, Susan. Come, help me figure out where we are," the Doctor said, ignoring his two errant passengers as he fiddled with various instruments on the console. Susan just sighed before obeying her grandfather. She knew better than to disagree with him when he acted like this. Also, she was a bit concerned, since it was her idea to allow the two teachers to follow her and Ianto home.
"Can I help?" Ianto asked, though he knew even before he offered, it would not be accepted.
"No, no," the Doctor responded, absently. Ianto nodded and pulled out one of his ever-present sketchpads and pencil and started to draw. Both teachers had interesting features and it was too good an opportunity to waste.
Barbara woke first. She glanced around, noticed Susan and the Doctor at the console and Ian at her feet. She woke her colleague.
"Ugh… I must have hit my head," Ian said, hand to the back of it as he felt the knot that had formed. He followed Barbara's gaze, before sharing a look with her. "The movement's stopped."
"Pace is steady," Susan announced.
"Layer of sand, rough formation… Hmm… good," the Doctor commented, turning his attention back to the dials before him.
"We left 1963," Susan said, tentatively.
"Oh, yes, undoubtedly," the Doctor said. "I'll be able to tell you where, presently." He frowned as he looked at his instruments. "Zero. That's not right." Susan walked to look at the year-o-meter. "I'm afraid this year-o-meter isn't calculating properly." He looked up to the video monitor. "Hmm. Well. Anyway, the journey's finished." He turned to look at the two teachers.
Ianto smirked as he lowered his shields enough to capture the emotions on the TARDIS. Susan was… annoyed, worried, but excited. The Doctor was amused, but also very annoyed and a bit angry. Ianto wondered what the two teachers had said to set him off. Mr. Chesterton was confused and annoyed, concerned about… Miss Wright and Susan and Ianto. Miss Wright had similar emotions, though she seemed more concerned about the two children than herself and her fellow teacher. He shifted on the floor, getting into a more comfortable position. Susan captured his eyes and shook her head in slight amusement, before turning to look at her two teachers.
The Doctor looked at the two with a look of confusion. "What are you doing down there?" he asked Ian, wondering why the man crouched on the floor before the more sensibly placed female teacher.
"What have you done?" Barbara asked.
"Barbara, you don't believe all this nonsense?" Ian asked, astounded that his normally level-headed colleague was actually entertaining the notion that the Doctor and Susan had spoken the truth of the police box's capabilities.
"Look at the scanosphere," Susan urged, pointing to the monitor.
"Yes, look up there," the Doctor said absently, before returning his attention to the instruments before him. Ianto, curious to see where they were, stood to his feet from where he sat, secreting the pad and pencil in his backpack. His movement startled the two teachers, who looked at him with surprise. He smiled in greeting before moving behind the Doctor to look at the monitor.
The view showed a craggy surface, not something he was used to seeing. Mountains rose in the distance, standing stern against the sky. Scraggly brush dotted the surface, rock and sand showing the inhospitable nature of the environment.
"Looks pleasant," Ianto commented. Susan bit back a laugh and the Doctor just looked at him.
The two teachers got to their feet, and started forward to peer at the scanosphere. The Doctor looked at Susan with a harsh look. "They don't understand and I suspect they don't want to," he warned, as if continuing a conversation only they had had. He clasped his hands together as the two teachers moved into his view. "Well, there you are! A new world for you," he gestured, as if presenting the two of them with the finest of presents.
"Sand and rock?!" Ian asked.
"Yes. That's the immediate view outside the ship."
"Where are we?" Barbara asked.
"You mean this is what we'll see if we go outside?" Ian asked, talking over her.
"Yes, you'll see for yourself!" Susan replied.
Ian laughed. "I don't believe it."
The Doctor shared a glance with Ianto. Perhaps the young teen's easy acceptance of the TARDIS and what she could do had spoiled him. He didn't understand humans. "You're really quite a stubborn young man, aren't you?"
"Alright! Show me some proof, give me some concrete evidence!" Ian demanded. The Doctor walked around him. "I'm sorry Susan," Ian began. "I don't want to hurt you, but it's time you were brought back to reality."
"But you're wrong, Mr. Chesterton!" Susan started, trying to convince her teacher.
The Doctor laid a hand on his granddaughter's back. He was sorry to disillusion her belief that humans could accept the reality of the TARDIS and her capabilities. Oh yes, there were some that could, as evidenced by Ianto. But he suspected he was the exception and not the norm. "They are saying I'm a charlatan." He moved to the opposite side of the TARDIS. "What concrete evidence would satisfy you, hmm?" he asked.
"Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman!" Ian demanded.
Susan and Ianto looked at each other confused, even as the Doctor looked equally puzzled. "Eh? Doctor Who? What's he talking about?" He shook his head and turned his attention towards Ianto.
"He sounds so sure, Ian." Barbara started.
"Yes, I know," Ian interrupted.
"Remember the difference between the outside of the police box and the inside," Barbara persisted.
"Yes, I know," Ian said frustrated. "But are you going to open the doors or not!" he demanded of the Doctor.
"You see?!" Ian said rather pointedly towards Barbara.
"Not until I'm quite sure it's safe to do so." The Doctor continued, as if Ian hadn't interrupted him.
"Ianto, please tell me what you sense?" he requested of the empath, who had, for the most part, remained quiet and observing. He didn't want to open the door only to find danger. While the scanosphere didn't show anything dangerous, he wasn't risking Susan. There could be dangers that remained hidden to his instruments.
Ianto nodded before moving back and sitting in the chair Miss Wright had vacated. He slowed his breathing down, remembering the instructions Lahja had given him. He lowered his shields, stretched out his senses. Part of what Lahja had taught him, was how to use his empathy as if it were just another sense for him. "There will be times when your empathy can give you warning of something your other senses will not discover. Do not hide from your gift, Ianto. Embrace it. Use it as it is a part of you." He could not use it over long distances, but if he prepared, centering himself, he could go beyond his immediate person.
He identified and tuned out the emotions of his companions in the TARDIS. Such rich emotions! So powerful. He winced at their strength. He stretched out further, ignoring those emotions, trying to seek out any hidden threats. He frowned as he sensed… something. It teased at the edge of his senses.
"What do you sense, boy?" the Doctor asked, his voice oddly comforting in its familiarity despite the harshness of his statement. He ignored the looks of consternation on the two teachers' faces.
"Confusion… fear… something else, but they are too far away for me to tell," Ianto finally said. He opened his eyes and looked at the Doctor. "I'm sorry. Whatever is out there is at the edge of my range."
"It is alright, Ianto. You did not sense they would attack us the moment we step outside, did you?" the Doctor asked.
"No. Definitely not that," Ianto replied.
"Good. Here's good. Excellent, excellent," he said, looking at a different set of instruments with Susan by his side. "Look at that radiation counter up over there, what's it read?" he asked the young girl.
"It's reading normal."
Ianto watched as the Doctor continued his examination of the instruments. Mr. Chesterton kept insisting that the Doctor open the doors. The Doctor seemed rather amused by his actions.
"Grandfather, do you know where we are?" Susan asked, interrupted their posturing.
"Yes, we've gone back in time, alright," the Doctor assured her. "One or two samples and I shall be able to make an estimate."
Despite this, Ian continued to disbelieve the Doctor. Barbara, for her part, believed the man's claims. She didn't understand why, but she did. Perhaps it was the calmness with which her two students accepted the Doctor's pronouncements. She noticed Ianto had left to get his coat, and had brought back Susan's. Clearly, he expected to leave the police box.
"If you could touch the alien sand, and hear the cries of strange birds, and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?" the Doctor finally asked Ian.
"Yes." The Doctor smirked and moved to where he had been earlier. A click of a switch, and the door opened, showing them all the alien landscape.
"See for yourself."
"But that's not true!" Ian protested.
Ianto snorted. Really. What else did the man need to see in order to believe? Were not his own eyes enough? He shrugged his jacket on, grabbing his satchel that housed some food, and his art supplies. Susan grabbed the jacket he had brought her and smiled at Miss Wright as she stood hesitantly at the entrance of the TARDIS. Miss Wright looked back at Mr. Chesterton before walking, almost defiantly, outside. Susan and Ianto waited for him to follow, but he didn't move until Miss Wright called for him.
The TARDIS doors closed after them and Ian looked around with a sense of wonderment and disbelief. He could scarcely believe his eyes! This, this was so far outside his ken. He had no idea where they were, couldn't wrap his mind around it all. He allowed the others to take him with them, leaving the Doctor to conduct his sampling.
"It's all true, isn't it. I was wrong," he finally told Barbara.
"Ianto, are we alone?" Susan asked, a frown on her face. "I feel as if someone is watching us."
"I'll check," he agreed. He settled onto the ground and once again, stretched his gift. He was vaguely aware that the two teachers were examining the skull Susan had found on the ground.
"Where's grandfather?" Susan muttered, looking around anxiously. The feeling of being observed didn't go away. Just as Ianto's eyes shot open, they heard a scream from the Doctor.
"Grandfather!" Susan called out, panic in her voice. She rushed towards the sound, Mr. Chesterton and Miss Wright behind her as Ianto scrambled to his feet.
"Susan! Be careful!" he shouted, his long legs reaching the others as they found the spilled satchel the Doctor had been carrying.
"Grandfather! Where are you?!" Susan shouted. Mr. Chesterton grabbed her by the shoulders.
"Susan, don't panic!" he urged. Ianto stood by him, grabbing hold of her hand as she insisted she must find him. He tried to send waves of calm towards her, but was only partially successful, as she slipped past their grasps and ran to find the Doctor.
"I'll follow," Ianto said as he left the two teachers to see if they could discern something from what was left on the ground.
Susan ran over the other side of the rocky outcrop that bordered the flat land on which the TARDIS had landed, Ianto beside her. She knew her grandfather would not simply abandon them, or go away without telling her. For so long, it had been just the two of them, and he loved her more than anything. It was for her sake that they had left Gallifrey, stealing the TARDIS to do so. And for all that he had complained about the TARDIS forcing him to find Ianto, she knew he had some fondness for the boy and felt responsible for his well being. No, he would not just simply leave them, not here, not when they didn't know when they were or if it were safe.
"Where is he, Ianto?" she asked as they reached the edges of a forest. She could see a faint path.
"I don't know, Susan. But we need to see if Mr. Chesterton and Miss Wright have found anything. Come, Susan. We need to stay together, until we know what we are up against."
"I am so worried, Ianto!"
"I know, Susan. I know. Me too."
When they returned to Mr. Chesterton and Miss Wright, they found that the two teachers did not have any further information. Susan became hysterical again and Ianto and Miss. Wright attempted to calm her. After learning about the path, Mr. Chesterton and Miss Wright agreed that they should follow it - and hopefully find the Doctor.
Next time: The Doctor is found, fire is taught, Ianto over stretches, the Doctor informs Ian and Barbara that he can't get them home just yet, a Dead Planet is found, more adventure is had and much more...
Author's Note: I had forgotten until I was rewatching An Unearthly Child for this chapter, that it is not until the TARDIS brings them to the past that both the Doctor and Susan realize the TARDIS' chameleon circuit is broken. This means that the TARDIS should not have looked like a police box on Kevla, and perhaps even when Ianto first meets the Doctor in 1998. So, I decided to retcon that bit, and have the Doctor notice the problem on Kevla.