Disclaimer: I don't own either Doctor Who or Torchwood, though it truly pains me to say so. But if I did own either show, there would have been at least one crossover episode like this fic. :D
A/N: Yes, this is a story with David Tennant's Doctor in it, despite the fact that he regenerated so long ago. *sniffles* I've been writing this fic for a few months, and just now finished it to be posted. So please review, and I'll post a new chapter really soon! :D
Summary: When stopping for refueling at the Rift in Cardiff, the Doctor learns of a possibly lethal being that plans to travel out of the Rift and into the unsuspecting city. He has no choice but to go to Torchwood for help. Things don't exactly go as planned…
Timeline: After Journey's End for the Doctor, but before Fragments for Torchwood.
The ancient engines of the TARDIS ground and wheezed as its police public call box shell slowly materialized into existence. Anyone walking by on the Cardiff sidewalk would have seen the blue box appear where there had previously been nothing. But lucky for the heart conditions of any of these said people, no one was around to notice such a phenomenon.
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor raced around the control console with his usual maniac excitement, pushing buttons and pulling levers and occasionally whacking something with a rubber hammer. At last, he came to a halt and flicked a single switch into its upright position. The light above the console flickered strangely, signaling that the Rift absorption had begun, loading the TARDIS up with fresh fuel.
"You've never been so quiet, Donna," the Time Lord said loudly, polishing a gleaming lever with his sleeve. "Does that mean you're–" He broke off suddenly, throat working as he swallowed hard. He looked up from the console, blinking several times as he studied the cavernously empty room stretched out around him.
He'd forgotten, just for a moment. There was no Donna, nor anyone else. They were all gone, even Rose. And…he was all alone, as he would be for eternity. That was the curse of the Time Lord, one which he should have learned to accept by now. And yet he hadn't.
The Doctor cleared his throat, sniffing once. "Right, then. I'll just finish up here, then head off again. Maybe to the past. I haven't really been there in a while. And it should be snowing. Definitely snowing. Real snow, not ash from explosions above the planet or atmospheric disturbances. Real, white, and fluffy snow." The Doctor grinned at the thought, trying to pretend that he couldn't feel the lack of response to his words all too well.
Something on the control console bleeped, a small white light flashing a warning. The Doctor, brown eyes becoming almost comically wide, reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his glasses. Setting them haphazardly atop the bridge of his nose, he leaned forward and studied the flashing light. "Why're you bleeping, then? You never bleep. Well, when I say never, I mean not often. Well, when I say not often…"
An image appeared on the small screen of the console, and the Doctor jerked it around to face him. He stared for several moments at the grainy image, along with the swirling symbols of his native language that accompanied it. Then he frowned. "Well, that's not very good," he said to no one in particular. "I'm no expert of course – well, who am I kidding? I am an expert – but I highly doubt that a Lohk should be in even the general vicinity of Earth. It's a level five planet, and consuming even one-third of it is against Law 225 of the Shadow Proclamation."
The Doctor swept the glasses from his nose and stuffed them into his pocket. "Right, then. Even I can't convince a Lohk not to devour the planet, so I'm going to need a little help…" He broke off and groaned at his own thoughts, pulling a face. "Unfortunately for me, Torchwood is full of guns. And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's guns."
Reaching into a cupboard under the console, the Doctor rummaged around for a tick and finally produced a handheld DNA explorative device. Shaking it round for several seconds, it finally started glowing a bright yellow. "Brilliant!" the Doctor exclaimed, idly tapping the little dish with one finger. "Captain Jack Harkness, here I come!"
"From what I can tell, these things are organic, made of living materials." Owen, dead man and medic of Torchwood, poked with his scalpel at a lump of rock-like material that sat on the examining table in his lab. As he spoke, he turned round to face Jack, waving the scalpel through the air to finish his statement.
Jack raised both eyebrows expectantly, from his position at the railing above the lab area. "And that means…?"
"They're eggs," Owen said simply, shrugging once.
"Eggs? What the hell do you mean, eggs?" Gwen, who was stationed along with Jack at the rail, took an involuntary step back. Ever since she had been impregnated with an alien creature on the day before her wedding, several months earlier, she wasn't too fond of eggs. Rhys couldn't even get her to eat scrambled for breakfast.
"Calm down, Gwen. I doubt they're going to bleeding jump down your throat," was Owen's supposedly calming statement. "They seem basically harmless, except for the fact that they're eggs."
Jack immediately picked up on the other man's thoughts. "And that we have absolutely no idea what could come out of them at any minute," he finished.
"Right," Owen agreed. "Could be a deadly virus, some more of those mayfly things, or a big fat zero. There's really no way of knowing."
"Can you run more tests?" Jack asked.
"I've done all of them that I can possibly do, Jack. The shells are like lead, and can't even be bloody x-rayed."
Ianto walked up to join Gwen and Jack at the rail, leaning over slightly to peer down at the strange objects. "Is it possible that this is the way Weevils reproduce?" he suggested. "We did find it down in the sewer."
"Then why haven't we found any of these things before now?" Jack pointed out.
Ianto shrugged his shoulders silently.
"It is a possible theory. Who's to say that Weevils don't bear their young in eggs?" Owen spoke up again, turning back to face his newest project. He poked again at an egg, squinting down at the gray shell. It for a moment seemed to swell under the metal touch, growing larger. Owen blinked in surprise, and found that he couldn't really tell if the egg had grown or not. It still looked the same, so he didn't say anything to the others.
"Jack?" Tosh, who had previously been typing away at her work station and translating a few documents, called to them. "I've just registered a high spike in Rift activity. It's nearly off the charts."
Jack jogged over to the final member of the team, placing one hand on her shoulder as he leaned towards the computer screen. "It looks like some of the energy in the spike is being drained away," he mused.
"I think you're right, Jack, which is why I called you," Tosh told him, adjusting her tasteful pink glasses. "I've never seen or recorded anything like it."
"The question is, where is it going?" Jack said softly, blue eyes widening. And then they widened again as a sudden thought struck him. "Toshiko, is there CCTV in the vicinity of the Rift spike?"
"Yes, I think so," Tosh said. "Within fifty yards of the location of the Rift activity."
"Bring it up on screen," Jack said tensely, leaning forward even more. Behind him, Ianto and Gwen exchanged a glance at his strange behavior. Owen paid none of them any attention, absorbed in poking away at the alien eggs.
Tosh typed several commands into the computer, fingers skating skillfully across the keys. The diagram displaying the Rift spike disappeared into cyberspace, and a grainy picture of downtown Cardiff appeared on the screen. Tosh, brow furrowing prettily, navigated the camera in a slow rotation, sweeping across the area. She landed its focal point on the sidewalk before a large building, shrugging at Jack. "I don't see anything, Jack. What exactly should I be looking for?"
But Jack didn't answer her. He had gone almost deathly still, staring at what appeared to be a blue phone booth in the center of the screen. He reached out and touched the image with a single finger, hand shaking. "Toshiko, can you zoom in here?"
"Of course," she responded, still frowning. She touched several keys, and the CCTV camera zoomed in to a close shot of the supposed phone booth. White lettering could be seen printed above the double doors, along with a flier posted at one of them.
Owen, oblivious of the captain's tension, felt his eyes grow wide when all five of the eggs suddenly grew in unison. This time he knew for sure that they had gotten bigger, that it wasn't his imagination. They had seconds before been the size of baseballs, and now they were each roughly as large as a Frisbee. "Uh…Jack?"
"What is it, Jack?" Gwen asked, hurrying over to stand by the workstation. Ianto quickly followed her, brow knitting as he saw the strange intensity that Jack was staring with at the computer screen.
"The TARDIS," Jack breathed, almost reverently.
"The what?" Gwen demanded, planting both hands on her hips.
"Time And Relative Dimensions In Space."
"I'm afraid I don't exactly understand, sir," Ianto said.
"Jack?" The eggs were now at least two times bigger than they had been moments before, about the size of footballs. Owen wasn't really liking the looks of them, as a third time they swelled in size before his eyes.
"It's the Doctor. He's come back for me again." Jack shook himself, as though trying to clear his head. "The Rift is where he stops to refuel his TARDIS. And that's what he's doing right now." He looked around the Hub almost frantically. "I've got to go; I've got to get over there before he leaves again–"
"What the hell are you talking about?" Gwen blurted out angrily, green eyes narrowing into slits. "You can't leave us again, Jack! The last time you went running off after that bloody Doctor of yours, you were gone for weeks!"
An unreadable expression crossed Jack's face, something like regret shimmering in his eyes. "Much longer than that, Gwen."
"And you always get all cryptic and secretive like that with us! You won't even bloody tell us where you were all that time!" Gwen yelled.
"She's right, Jack," Ianto agreed quietly. "You keep hinting, but you never tell us anything concrete. I thought you trusted us." His eyes were full of betrayal and quiet sadness.
The unreadable expression vanished, replaced by irritation. "Oh, for the love of…it's not like I don't want to tell you what happened, all of you," he explained tightly. "But I can't. None of you even remember what happened, and it would seem insane to you."
"What do you mean?" Tosh asked quietly, taking off her glasses. The others wore looks of confusion similar to her own, each of them wanting to know the answers to whatever Jack was hiding from them this time.
He hesitated. "I told you, I can't just tell you what happened–"
"Jack!" Owen shouted, taking a step away from the lab table. Each of the five eggs was now comparative to the size of a large dog, the table straining beneath their combined weight. "I hate to interrupt your little heart-to-heart, but we've got a situation over here!"
Jack glanced at Gwen, who was still glaring furiously at him, then looked towards the lab. "What is it, Owen?" he asked, snapping his attention to concentrate on this new problem.
Before Owen could answer him, the eggs hatched.
"Ha! The little dish is going round!" The Doctor grinned as he walked in the front door of the Tourist Information Center, holding his handheld DNA explorative device in one hand. He peered curiously around the supposed office, which was suspiciously lacking a receptionist. Stowing the glorified tracker into one pocket, both his hands swiftly followed.
Raising his eyebrows, he rocked back on his heels and waited for about six seconds. Then he reached over the desk and impatiently rang the little bell several times. He waited a few more seconds, with no results, then strolled casually round the desk and flipped the switch for the hidden door across the room. As it slowly slid open, he made his way through the entrance and down the winding hallway.
Along the way, he paused to study various bits of obviously alien technology, clucking his tongue with disapproval at what he saw. So that's why it took the Time Lord about twice the normal amount of time to reach the cog wheel door at the very end of the corridor.
"Jack, Jack, Jack. Always did like to do things as impressively as possible. And Torchwood has really come up since Queen Victoria founded the place," the Doctor murmured to himself absently, noting for future reference that the cog wheel rolled back when some machinery deep inside it sensed motion.
Making a vaguely interested noise in the back of his throat, the Doctor stepped over the threshold and peered around the inside of the Hub. More alien technology spanned the enormous area surrounding him, and he heard a suspiciously prehistoric cawing sound coming from somewhere above his head. "Hmmm…interesting place you've got here, Jack," he announced to the imaginary captain he'd been speaking to for the past few minutes. "Almost as homey as the TARDIS, and that's a real compliment. Well, when I say almost, I mean not quite. Well, when I say not quite…"
"Oi! How the hell did you get in here?" came a voice from across the room. The Doctor turned with minor surprise, and discovered a wiry bloke in a white coat standing behind a work station, waving a gun around like he owned it. Most of his features were concealed by shadows.
"I walked, actually," the Doctor said calmly. "Now, why don't you put down the gun before someone gets hurt, eh?" He recognized a psychopath when he saw one, and psychopaths waving guns about were never good. Besides, what else could the bloke be, when he was perfectly safe in his own base, waving a gun around like a mad Dalek was after him? Not that all Daleks weren't mad, of course...
A pretty Asian woman seemingly appeared from out of nowhere behind the bloke, also holding a gun. Her dark eyes were wide, quickly scanning overthe entire room.
"Blimey, at least I know I'm in the right place," the Doctor said, heaving a tremendous sigh. "Torchwood might as well just advertise the number of guns in their collection, because it has the makings of a big one."
The woman ignored him, staring at something out of his line of vision. "There it is!" she cried, raising her gun to fire.
And yet before she could pull the trigger, a wall of razor-sharp claws and teeth ran into the Doctor's back, plowing him over. He cried out once with shock from the blow, kicking out and managing to roll over onto his back. His attacker turned out to be a horribly fanged, gray-skinned Fddorian, poised to tear his throat completely out. It was, incidentally, a flesh-eater, preferring the taste of humans to anything else.
"Um…I don't suppose there's some way I could reason with you, is there?" the Doctor asked quickly. "I don't really want to move on to the next regeneration yet, understandably. If I do, I'll lose both these teeth and my boyish features. And the whole universe would suffer the loss of those, let me tell you."
For some strange reason, the Fddorian didn't seem sympathetic to the Doctor's pleas. It only smiled wolfishly, fangs flashing in the dim lighting, then lunged swiftly in for the kill. The Doctor flinched back, and squeezed his eyes closed, waiting for the pain of death followed by the burning glow of his regeneration cycle…
…Then dimly heard two shots from one of those ghastly guns, and felt the Fddorian's body jerk twice. Its full weight fell atop of him, but not to mortally maim him. It was instead limp and lifeless; the Doctor could practically feel the life bleeding out of the creature. His eyes shot open, and he stared incredulously at the deadweight atop him.
"Doctor!" Jack suddenly raced to fall melodramatically on his knees beside him. "Doctor, are you hurt?" He shoved the Fddorian's lifeless body away as though it weighed nothing, then quickly offered a hand to the Time Lord.
Accepting it, the Doctor pulled himself into a sitting position. Instead of answering Jack's frantic question, he stared down dejectedly at the blackish blood coating his front. "I really liked this suit," he declared gloomily.
Jack visibly relaxed, getting back to his feet. He sheathed his pistol, an easy-going grin coming to his face. "I'll take that as a yes, then."
The Doctor popped to his feet, nonchalantly brushing himself off. Glancing around the room once more, he briskly indicated the deceased creature with one hand. "I'd think Torchwood could afford to look over references better than this, Jack. I mean, hiring a Fddorian to work here? Sloppy, considering the fact that they eat people."
Another woman and a man wearing an impeccable suit had appeared beside the other two. The second woman tucked her gun into the back of her jeans, then crossed her arms. "Jack. Who the hell is this?" she demanded harshly.
The Doctor, forehead wrinkling, turned curiously to see what Jack would say to this. He couldn't have been more surprised when Jack put one arm around his shoulders and announced cheerfully, "This is the Doctor I've been telling all of you about. And Doctor, welcome to Torchwood."
Please review, okay? Okay. :D
Please review, okay? Okay. :D