Chapter One – Foreigner
Fay looked around curiously from his perch on the captain's chair, a warm mug of tea cupped in his hands, a green glow casting alien shadows across his face.
He watched the tall, dark-haired man as he seemed to dance around the central column of the room, flicking switches and pulling levers and… hammering things.
Fay figured that Mokona had somehow managed to drop him right into wherever he was, and for some reason he wasn't really meant to be there. However, as if luck had decided to screw him over further, he also seemed to be outside of Mokona's translation range, as the enigmatic man had not understood him in the slightest.
Not that he had understood the man either.
The extent of their communication existed with crude doodles, an odd version of charades and a common love of nice, sweet tea.
Fay shuddered as another pulse racked through him. For some reason, since coming to this world, Fay had felt ill and every now and again, waves of strange energy would shoot through him. It was like sensing magic, only this magic wasn't omnipresent and at a constant like all other magic he'd come across in his long, unforgiving life.
This magic didn't feel like magic at all; but Fay thought of it as magic, mostly because he was at a lack for any better word. It was more like random earthquakes, and for the split seconds they occurred, Fay's insides felt like they were rearranging themselves and on two occasions he had nearly thrown up because of the ferocity and the adrenaline the shock brought with it.
The odd man seemed to notice his discomfort and as such, he had offered the only thing he could: a nice, hot cup of strong tea, with just enough milk to settle his stomach and just enough caffeine and sugar to keep him alert and awake and his nausea at bay. Fay took a sip and smiled, sighing happily. There really was nothing like it.
The pinstriped man glanced over at Fay and grinned, which was probably the wrong thing to do, as sparks suddenly flew out from the central column and he ended up flinching away from the console, cursing and sucking his finger. He picked up the hammer and gave a swift whack to the panel, and Fay noticed that the humming in the room rose in pitch for a second or so before returning back to how it was.
Fay watched intently, naturally curious about the level of technology this planet possessed. He didn't think that even Piffle was this advanced, even if the stranger was using a rubber mallet and a blue light on a stick to work on it.
The man tapped the hammer against the panel a few times, flicked a switch and turned to Fay.
"My name's the Doctor," the man said, though it was all gibberish to Fay, "what's your name?"
Fay tilted his head to the side and smiled apologetically. The Doctor sighed and ran a hand through his hair in irritation, before gesturing melodramatically at himself, "the Doctor", before then gesturing at Fay, hoping the obvious body language would make the blonde understand him.
No luck, as he just blinked and shrugged. The Doctor clicked his tongue and pointed to the tea, "Tea", then down on the console, "TARDIS", then back at himself, "Doctor"
"Tea… TARDIS… Doctor?" he repeated unsurely, and the Doctor grinned widely, before gesturing at the blonde again. Blue eyes widened in understanding and his face broke out in a wide smile and he nodded enthusiastically.
"Fay!" Fay exclaimed, pointing to himself.
The Doctor whooped and Fay looked very pleased with himself, but their celebrations were interrupted when the console started to ring. Fay, forgetting his 'speech impediment' and acting completely on the instinct that every human being has, got to the phone before the Doctor could.
"Ans... lyh E cbayg du dra Doctor?"
Fay blinked and laughed sheepishly, handing the phone over.
While some foreign conversation took place, Fay decided to take a look around. Surely it'd be ok if he didn't wander too far. He wasn't too sure he could trust the Doctor, but he was fairly certain there was a possibility of him running into someone less charitable, and seeing as he couldn't speak the language (three words didn't count), he wouldn't be able to get himself out of any problematic situations.
He grinned wryly, thinking that just giving a charming smile instead of conversation would only get him from one sticky spot to another, so to speak.
After a quick look around the room, spotting two sets of doors opposite one another, he decided to take the one that looked like it lead to the outside.
His feet tapped along the metal gratings of the floor and he ran his fingertips along the edge of the console as he walked by, suddenly no longer feeling apprehension towards this new world or to the person who had been so kind as to look after him, even after Fay had literally fallen into his house, or whatever this was. Fay grinned and hugged the Doctor as he walked past, getting a confused look and then a grin in return.
Maybe when they found Mokona, Fay would be able to thank him properly.
The Doctor was caught off-guard with the sudden warm hug, but when he saw the man's cheerful expression he couldn't help but smile back. He watched as Fay nearly skipped across the room and jumped down the stairs, pausing by his long brown overcoat and picking it off of the railing, throwing it on and giving a small twirl, laughing the whole time.
Even though the blonde was probably mocking his coat, the Doctor was glad to see that he had finally relaxed, and even though he himself was a little uncertain of Fay, he could tell the blonde meant no harm. Or that if he did, he was damn good at hiding it.
Alarm bells set off in his head as he saw Fay reach for the door handle, but luckily something else distracted the blonde before he could push the door open and he skipped off around the room again, still wearing the Doctor's coat.
Shaking his head, the Doctor set in co-ordinates.
Cardiff, 1st of April 2008.
The phone call had been from Jack, which was odd as the only time Jack had ever called the TARDIS was when he was drunk and wanted to go on a date. Even though the Doctor politely refused and not-so-politely told Jack to push off, the man persisted in asking the Doctor for 'a quick shag in the infirmary'. Needless to say, the Doctor was not too beaten up about hanging up on him.
Fay stopped his frolicking and turned to look at the central column with a look of awe on his face as it started pulsing and shuddering from flight, but that was soon stopped as the room gave a lurch and Fay was thrown into a railing. Ignoring the pain in his stomach, Fay clung to the metal as they swayed side to side, staring at the Doctor, who was running around the column, completely unbothered by the turbulence as he flicked more switches and checked a monitor.
With a final shudder, the room stopped moving and Fay sagged down to the floor, his hands cramped but still clinging to the rail, desperately trying to get his breath back. The Doctor smiled at him and said something that sounded unintelligible, but apologetic, so Fay nodded in mock-understanding and pried his fingers away from the bar, flexing them with a hiss and a grimace.
The Doctor wished he could prepare Fay for what was outside; considering most of his companions' first reactions to finding themselves on a different planet, in a different time, were usually bad.
He was surprised, however, when Fay strode out of the TARDIS as if he did a similar thing every day, paying no notice to the fact that he was now in Cardiff as opposed to wherever he had been before. The Doctor would have been sceptical, if the TARDIS hadn't assured him that Fay was human, however the ship also found something strange. It wasn't alien, not exactly, and it wasn't using Fay's body as a parasite, as the Doctor suspected such a thing would be.
The strange substance was as much a part of Fay as Fay was of it. It was wound deep into the blonde's DNA; it was like Fay was some sort of hybrid human.
This and the man's lack reaction to space/time travel made the Doctor even more intrigued, and even gladder that they were heading to Torchwood.
The Doctor locked the TARDIS, turning his back on Fay, only to turn back to see his past companion and the blonde seemingly deep in conversation, which was odd unless Jack happened to speak… whatever it was Fay spoke.
"Hi, Captain Jack Harkness," Jack introduced himself, voice smooth, "what's your name?"
The Doctor rolled his eyes in exasperation.
"Enough of that," he interrupted, accepting his coat back from Fay, "I thought even you would be able to realise that he doesn't speak English."
"Well, I hadn't really gotten too far into the conversation," Jack joked, "Don't I even get a hug? It's been what, two years and it's still work, work, and work with you."
"This isn't exactly a visit though, is it?"
They both turned to the blonde, who was smiling charmingly.
Jack looked back at the Doctor, smirking. "I thought he didn't speak English."
"He didn't," the Doctor agreed, "I just happen to be a fantastic teacher."
Fay seemed to be handling his experience rather well, considering he'd been flown across the universe and taken into the most top-secret place in Wales, maybe in the entire United Kingdom, all in the space of three hours.
Like in the TARDIS, Fay was looking around curiously with a childish wonder. It was dark and dreary and reminded him of the hospitals they had a few worlds back, however this place had random bits of technology shoved into it; as if the people doing the place up had no time. They were only in the main room, but it was easy to tell that the hub was huge, if not for the passageways opening out randomly on the floor but for the way their voices echoed around them. Someone had obviously tried making the place more homely, but unfortunately the few sofas and carpets dotted around weren't enough to stop the shiver going up his spine and the goose bumps creeping up his arms.
Jack and the Doctor talked while Jack showed him various news clippings and scan results on the computer monitors, leaving Toshiko and Ianto to keep Fay occupied.
Suddenly, Myfanwy, the team's 'pet' Pterodactyl, swooped on the small group and they dropped to the floor, Tosh shouting out in surprise.
Fay's face lit up, despite the shock from the aerial predator.
("I know that word!") he exclaimed happily, ("Kuro-chan usually says it! Though he usually says 'off', too…") he trailed off.
["You speak Japanese?"] Toshiko asked.
"You understand him?" Jack and Ianto asked at the same time.
Tosh looked sheepish momentarily, "Well, not all of it, only two words. Well… one word and an honorific. He seemed to understand what I said though."
They all turned expectantly to Fay, who had yet to reply. He looked thoughtful, tapping his chin with a finger, before replying slowly. Tosh paused. He certainly seemed to be speaking Japanese, but some of his words were odd, and archaic, so it took her longer to really understand what he meant.
"What did he say?" Ianto asked, the other men silent but equally interested.
"Something along the lines of having to learn Japanese in an army," Tosh ignored the unbelieving looks from Jack and Ianto at this statement, though she agreed with them; the blonde looked much too skinny to have ever been involved in an army, "and his teacher, 'Kuro-rin'"
Fay smiled at the mention of his Big Puppy and nodded cheerfully, and they all felt a sense of achievement at managing to hold a conversation longer than "Tea, TARDIS, Doctor" with him.
Fay then said something else, which Toshiko relayed to the others.
"He's talking about someone," Fay held up three fingers, "okay, he's talking about three someones and a… rabbit? A Mokona?"
Fay nodded happily and then his face took on his pensive look and he tapped his temple, muttering to himself in his own language.
He gestured at the Doctor, "'English'," at himself, ("Celestrian,") at Toshiko, ["Japanese"]. They all looked puzzled, so he repeated it, still with no luck. He decided to try something else.
He pointed at the Doctor again, "Doctor," then at Toshiko, ["Sensei,"] and finally back at himself, ("Tuldun.")
"Language?" Ianto guessed, surprised when the others suddenly agreed with him. Toshiko repeated it in Japanese to Fay and he grinned and nodded when he recognised the word, laughing with relief. He thought they'd be there all day making strange gestures.
"So whatever this 'Mokona' is," the Doctor summarised, "It's serving as a translation device for him and his companions,"
Tosh nodded, "I suppose so."
Jack looked curiously back at the Doctor, who shrugged.
Fay waved to get their attention and held up his three fingers again, before quickly making his Mokona impression after, then he brought his hands to his eyes and circled them to look like he was using a pair of binoculars.
"And he's looking for them."
The three Torchwood members turned to the computer, leaving the Doctor and Fay alone, the blonde watching Myfanwy carefully through his 'binoculars'.
"Gwen? Everything ok?"
"We traced and followed that signal, and let's just say it's not what we expected." Owen filled in, "Two kids and a foreign guy with a temper and a long-sword."
"Drop your weapon!" Gwen commended.
They didn't get to hear the reply, because as soon as the first word was said from the foreigner, Fay gasped and a massive grin broke out on his face.