Days of Spring:

A Doctor Who fanfic written by myself and tardis-mole, the genius!

Disclaimer: Don't own em. Wish I did. I would be happy, then. The poem is mine though. NO TOUCHIE.

chapter one: Funeral Crashers

"Luke, Luke! This was not, I repeat not, -nor could it ever be- your fault! People die, my lad. They cease. It's nature's way, the way of the universe. Nothing much us mortals can do about it."

Jack smiled. Whoever the very pregnant woman was, she certainly had a way with children. And he had yet to catch her name...

As she touched him, Lucas Smith melted into sobs at once. Her hands held him close, perhaps a tad more closely than her swollen body would allow, but she held him none the less. Then, when his tears had dried enough, and her crinoline blouse had roughened enough with the salt of his let, she began to recite a poem, softly at first, always so softly, yet soon her words had drifted over the crowd that had gathered for the funeral of their friend like a sweet pall of petals.

"But for the fickle days of spring, what dance away their warmth in careless play, may ever we be mindful of the sacrifice of those more good than we, gone by the way. For if ever we forget the treasure of our solitude in gentle smiles once witnessed by those days, what should we do to fill our sad heart holes but grieve? Live in hope and breathe, I pray thee, live in hope and breathe for me."

Jack found himself enthralled with the woman's every word, despite not knowing a thing about her. In her own way, she was as mysterious as... as The Doctor had been, as he himself would always need to be.

But the whole preparation for this funeral had been strange; everyone who had ever known The Doctor had been asked to attend, and of course, those left behind had all come running. It would have been just like old times, if the man had been in attendance.

But Jack had yet to see his smiling face amidst the crowd of faithful companions who had gathered for the big day. He still couldn't believe it. There was quite an air of mystery about the thing, as though everyone involved in the behind the scenes planning somehow expected their Lord of Time to show up, cheeky as always, handing out jelly babies and playing with the smaller children, gabbling on about chocolate digestives or some sort of alien tech he'd just expropriated from some unlawful body for the cosmic good.

But that woman... she was still running her thumbs over the three older teenagers' sob-reddened cheeks when Jack came to see her again. She wasn't yet sitting down, odd for a woman in her condition, she'd been standing for what seemed like hours to him. Even still, despite all his careful glances at her person, he'd never quite expected her to look up.

"You've been watching me, Jack Harkness..." she said in that quiet, soothing tone, her voice like honey in his ears. He liked honey, it was sweet, organic, good for all sorts of pleasurable pursuits. But for some striking reason he just couldn't hit on, it wouldn't have been right to flirt with her, wouldn't be... clean. What was stranger was that everyone seemed to defer to her, in that wordless, absolute authority sort of way. Not like with The Doctor at all, most days.

Jack shivered as she looked him over gently with cornflower eyes full of pale morning. He couldn't speak, a singular occurrence for a man such as he. Normally it was the other person who did all the staring. Only Him, only The Doctor, he thought sullenly, as his body betrayed its desires to this beautiful creature before him. He had not felt such a stir of echoes since the wild night he'd first met Rose, and then her beloved Time Lord, so long ago.

Suddenly she looked to Luke, Maria and Clyde, who were looking back at her with blotchy smiles and wet eyes, and she said, faintly and so very sombrely, "Well, my lads and ladies, shall I tell them?"

But then the coffin was brought in, a simple affair in ash wood with one little grey pearl inlay sparrow sitting perched just so, nice and tight in the center of the lid.

"Ah, now it starts again. I loathe eulogies, I'm rubbish at them. But here I go..." her smooth, clear voice seemed at odds with her face, and as she straightened to the task, she seemed to pale slightly. Of course it would be difficult for all of them to say goodbye to Sarah Jane.

Jack hoped the woman wasn't feeling tired already, with her pregnancy so far along; it was bound to be a trying day for all of them. Shaking himself free of whatever was nagging his subconscious, he came up behind her and took her arm as she plodded toward the stage in slow, graceful steps.

"Thank you, Jack," she chided merrily, and for a moment it seemed her weariness had gone, so he went to his assigned seat and settled himself in, eagerly awaiting the moment when she would speak again, this time to the crowd, and to Sarah Jane in her coffin.

But before she could clip the miniature mic to her blouse, there rose a familiar protestation from the back of the building.

"I thought I told you to have someone put a chair up there for you, you mad old thing! How many times do I have to tell you not to stress yourself in your state? And seven months gone with multiples no less! What am I to do with you?"

Martha Jones? But what was she doing here? Didn't she have work? Jack nearly fell out of his seat as the woman on the platform placed a hand on her rather grand baby bump and gave a small grin. "Oh, Martha, sweetheart...really! I'm pregnant, not dying! What kept you, anyhow? I was only going to deliver my-

But the redhead in white didn't finish her sentence.

Doctor Jones sprinted down the aisle and was about to grab a decently padded lawn chair for the woman when a sharp intake of breath resounded through the atrium. All faces turned to the speaking platform, where the woman was holding on the podium as if it were the only thing keeping her on her feet. It was, but they didn't have to know that, did they?

"..as I was saying," the woman groaned, clutching her lower belly and blinking back tears, "I was only going to deliver the short version, and then the -oooh- festivities would start! I had -oh that definitely hurt- every intention of getting someone to fetch me a chair, Doctor Martha Jones! Of course, if my hearts rate goes any higher I'll be delivering something -oooh- significantly larger! -Ow- Oh I'm so rubbish at this! Oooooh...Bloody Braxton-Hicks! They're like...they're like -ooooh- like the ending to that one movie with Keanu Reeves! You know, that -ow ow ow- remake? "

Martha sighed and helped her to a chair. "What, all build up and no punch line? Tell me about it. Speaking of speaking...you know, you could just tell him."

Eyes like blue dwarf suns drifted up in a glaze. "What? And spoil the surprise? Oh all right. If it makes you happy, Martha. Jaaaaack!"

"Yes, ma'am?" Jack was upended, but this was no time for that. There was a pregnant woman in front of him, a woman who could not -could not- be who he thought she must have been.

And yet...that...sumptuous mouth. Those curves, those lines of... force...

"Jack Harkness! It's me! The 945 plus year old Time Lord, remember? Now get over here and give me your hand so I can crush it into a bloody -oooooooh- pulp!"

"Yes, sir!" Jack leaped up and rushed to the Doctor's side, a smirk growing steadily over his features. "You all right down there, Doc? No bleeding?"

"Ohhhhh! Ah, it's fading now, gone down quite a bit. Thank you, Jack, Martha. Whew, almost passed out there. No, no, no bleeding, thank Rassilon. I just need a minute." The Doctor drew a too deep breath and sank back in her chair, closing her eyes against the terrible exhaustion of the past few minutes. "Oh, and... whew. Maria sweetheart, tell Sarah Jane she can get out of the casket now. Poor thing. Hope she didn't get claustrophobic..."

Jack Harkness sighed and pulled up a chair himself. "You know Doc, it's a good thing you're so far along, or I would put you over my knee..."

The Time Lord shot the man a half baked glare and drew another deep breath. "You wouldn't dare, Monkey Boy."