A fan-series by Ahn-Li Steffraini
Summary: An future AU of a 15th Doctor where a close member of the Doctor's own family continues his legacy after his final death in his 13th incarnation, taking his name and the TARDIS and following in his foot steps.
A/N: Was originally "Female of the Species" but decided to take that fic and turn it to a multi-chaptered fiction formatted like episodes, only in prose instead of script. I also, if you have read Female of the Species, completely retouched that to fit and make more sense.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Doctor Who, Torchwood or the Sarah Jane Adventures. All of the characters are property of the BBC. I'm just playing in a really large sandbox. All I own is a few books and DVDs. I'm not making any money off of this either - I'm likely putting someone's kids through college, lol...
FEMALE OF THE SPECIES
It was often said that a quiet day in the Hub meant all hell was breaking loose elsewhere. For a long time Jack Harkness refused to believe it. He still didn't. Although Mickey Smith replaced Tosh at the massive computer bank, even he was almost dozing at his desk. Alonso sort of replaced Ianto... and Gwen was still Gwen. They were a man down as Dr. Martha Jones, who while being married to Mickey, had taken a sabbatical to go back to practicing medicine as a family physician in London.
Not that he blamed her.
Being in Torchwood for the past few years was almost boring.
And, in retrospect, it wasn't that his new team replaced the old as no one could or should. They were their own people. Mickey was still as funny to be around as he always was.
It seemed like Mickey went from being drowsy to being awake in less than a second as he watched the news on his computer. Jack saw the change in wakefulness and came over as Mickey yanked out the cord to his headphones so that the broadcast could be heard by everyone.
"... London police are confused and stymied by the disappearance of Dr. Martha Jones earlier this week. All that is known is that on Monday morning she went to work as usual, and then simply vanished without a trace. If anyone has seen or heard from Dr. Jones, or has any information, they are asked to call police with what they have..."
Jack watched in silence, and he was opening his mouth to say something about getting the information, which Mickey had already obtained by hacking the database, and even then what he could have said afterward was cut off as the phone began to ring. With a vague confused look on his face, he picked it up, "Cardiff Plas Tourist Center."
"Uh, actually, I'm looking for Torchwood," came the man's voice.
"You've found it, we're Torchwood... who is this and how did you get this number?" he asked.
"My name is Mr. Pond... and my daughter and her husband are missing. I don't know why, but she said that if anything ever happened to them to call... well... someone I can't get a hold of right now because frankly I don't know how... and then someone suggested you."
"Me?" asked Jack, puzzled. What the hell is going on here?
"Yes, you see, long story short of it, a few years back my daughter and son in law evidently got tangled up with this strange fellow in a blue police box... and..."
Wait... what? "Back up, did you say a blue police box?" asked Jack as suddenly the puzzle pieces slid together. "Excuse me sir, but are you saying your daughter and son in law traveled with a man simply known as 'the Doctor'?"
"Yes!" exclaimed the man. "Oh, I wasn't sure if you'd believe me and I had no idea what to do."
"Well, I traveled with him myself. When did your daughter and son in law go missing? When did you last see either of them?"
"Day before last," he answered, sounding far calmer now that he had reached someone who knew what to do.
If he only knew. Jack wasn't sure what he could do, if anything, if it involved the doctor. And wasn't he supposed to be dead? Wilf had been certain that the Doctor had taken enough radiation to kill him stone dead, and from the way the Doctor had ranted it sounded like it might have been a final death. "When was the last time you saw this Doctor?"
"Two years ago, around that. When my daughter got married. Damnedest thing – he showed up in the police box, in the middle of the reception. One minute there was nothing there and the next it was, and he came out, cool as a cucumber. Strange, but decent enough fellow."
"Was he a tall man, with brown hair?"
"Well, not tall, but not short. Brown hair yes."
"Skinny as a rake?"
Different Doctor again, mused Jack. Wilf had been wrong, thankfully. Evidently, contrary to even what the Doctor himself had thought, there had been another regeneration in him. Now the count was up to eleven doctors. "Okay, leave this with me, but also report them missing to the police... don't make any mention of the Doctor or his box, okay? Maybe it's not related but if you mention him they won't do a damn thing for you. I'll look into things that could be related to him."
"Okay, I will do that. Can you keep us informed on your end?"
"I will most definitely try," answered Jack. "Good day sir."
Knowing the conversation to be over Mr. Pond hung up the phone. Jack leaned back in his chair. "This isn't happening," he shook his head, then hit a button on the phone. "Mickey, we have a problem."
Martha sat up slowly, waking again for the fourth time since she had been taken. She scratched the ground where she was keeping track of just how long it had been so far. Four days. The other two watched her cautiously. They had been brought in yesterday and they kept to themselves on the other side of the barrel that their captors had left them to burn wood to keep warm at night and during the day. With a sigh she looked around.
It was a warehouse, of that she was most certain. It was also close to some sort of shipping lane - she could hear seagulls and occasionally the blare of a fog horn or container ship horn as it pulled into harbour. She could not hear any sounds of water, though, which led her to believe that they were close, but not right on the water. Out of the way and likely in an area not normally used. All the better - even if they screamed they would not be heard.
It was still freezing cold and they could see their breath in the air each time they breathed. Finally, mostly tired of the silence, she asked, "So, where do you come from?"
The red headed woman looked from the man to her, and when she spoke she had a Scottish bur. "Leadworth. You?"
"London," answered Martha. "I'm Martha. Dr. Martha Jones."
This got a raised brow from the man and the woman grinned. "I'm Amy Pond-Williams and this is my husband Rory Williams," she answered. "Rory is a nurse. And... well... I'm a housewife now but I used to be a kissogram."
"Ohh, that's neat," said Martha. "Any kids?"
"Yeah, one," answered Amy, her smile falling off.
"Don't worry, Amy, I'm sure your Mum has her handled, yeah?" said Rory finally. "Never thought we'd be important enough to warrant a kidnapping."
"I haven't any," said Martha. "But I do have a husband who is probably worried sick about me, as well as my family. No matter what, and much as this place isn't the greatest, it is nice to have met you."
"Oh, the same here," said Rory, with a half-hearted laugh. "We're kind of used to meeting wonderful people in shitty places. Haven't happened in a while, but, in a way like old times even if the company is different again."
"Yeah, it always happened with the Doctor," said Amy.
Martha blinked and felt hope surge, even as she remembered with sadness the distant good-bye from the Doctor. She and Mickey had been chasing a Sontoran rogue through a very rough part of London when the Sontoran had gotten the drop on them instead. Except... the Doctor had shown up. She could see, with her trained eye, how very, very ill and thin he was. How old the eyes were in comparison to the last time she had seen him. And then he was gone. She and Mickey knew what it meant - that was a good-bye and it was meant to be permanent.
They had tried to find him, but with reports filtering in of similar sightings and then Wilf Mott telling them of the dying Doctor and his not so happy prophecy they had all come to the same horrific conclusion.
The Doctor had come to say one final good-bye and then gone to die by himself. And then he never came back. Then again, how was a dead man to come back?
For a long time Martha had cried herself to sleep over that. He got a good-bye but no one else did didn't leave anything for closure. Like he had come into their lives he left again.
But now these two claimed to have also traveled with him. "Was he a tall skinny bloke in a pinstripe suit?" she asked, her eyes brightening. "I also traveled with him. In the TARDIS... until a few years ago. I thought he died... oh tell me he's still alive!"
Amy and Rory blinked. "No, he... well, he was in the remains of what could have been a suit when I met him, but no, he always preferred tweed and bow ties. He wasn't tall or skinny, just kinda average," answered Amy. "And the TARDIS as in the blue police box on the outside, and a whole lot bigger on the inside?"
Martha blinked. "Well, that's mostly right," she answered, then remembered what Mickey had told her about Rose's first Doctor and the changed face and tastes. He did it again. "But, I suppose mine came before yours. He still talk a mile a minute?"
Amy grinned, then answered, "Oh yes."
"So, he's the common denominator," said Rory suddenly. "We're not the targets... he is."
Martha and Amy fell quiet, realizing the same thing. Now all that remained was to find out how long it would take before he did show up and then... what would come next?
"So, with you and Alonso going out in the field, what do you want me and Gwen to do?" asked Mickey.
Jack took a moment from packing his Torchwood SUV and looked over to where Alonso was also loading up his. "I want you and Gwen to look into his other Companions, those known, and see if anyone else has gone missing. Mickey, hack into UNIT. I know he had something to do with UNIT and they have more complete records of him and what he did there - not to mention who he tended to run with. See if those line up with any other missing persons case. Not to mention," he leaned in close at this, "See if you can get anything on him at all. Something tells me that if this goes south Dr. Jones is going to be practicing medicine because we both know what he can be like when others are in danger."
Mickey nodded. "You got it, boss."
"Alonso, you go to London and see if you can retrace Martha's steps to the point of disappearance. Take anything you can for evidence as the police likely missed anything alien as just that. Call in when you find something or when noon rolls around, whatever comes sooner. You don't call in I'm sending out Gwen after you," he ordered. "Got it?"
"Yeah!" called back Alonso as he climbed into the driver's side, waving as he left.
With a final nod and a wave, Jack was also gone in the second SUV, heading up the ramp and out as Gwen and Mickey watched. Finally, with a sigh, Mickey walked through the tunnel back to the Hub to do as Jack wished him to. Gwen went into the office and began sorting through paperwork.
Quiet descended back onto the Hub, only now there was a buzz of activity.
Jack pulled onto the country's version of a main road and began heading to Leadworth. He was accelerating when he saw it in the corner of his vision. With a surprised gasp, he slowed back down and pulled over.
In the middle of a grassy field sat the TARDIS. Jack looked one way and then the other before taking the SUV out of gear and getting out. He closed the door, pulled out his gun. While he knew the Doctor didn't like guns, the shared good-bye stories of a few years ago had him both spooked and suspicious. It wouldn't be the first time someone stole the TARDIS or kidnapped or even gravely injured the Doctor. And, by all rights, the Time Lord was suspected to be dead and most decidedly not traveling the universe and time. Jack walked around the blue police box and then put a hand cautiously on it. He could hear a mechanical hum, which was expected, even if the pitch was a little off.
Then again, if the Doctor was dead or dying that was to be expected. There was a faint mechanical vibration. Again... not too out of the ordinary considering the circumstance, even if it wasn't quite right. Something seemed to be missing and that put him on high alert. Finally he put his hand on the door, grasping the gun firmly, and pushed it open.
"What the hell?" he said as his eyebrows knit.
It was just as it appeared. A wooden blue police box. Not the TARDIS at all - although for some reason there was a generator within and the smell of diesel hit him. That was what was causing the hum and the vibration. The missing link was the telepathic and empathic nudges.
Jack backed away, instantly on high alert, every instinct screamed the word trap.
He was too right, as he caught motion behind him and whirled around. Something sank into his neck and he put a hand up to pull out the dart that had already dispensed whatever had been in it. His muscles relaxed on their own accord and he slumped to the ground. Everything was quickly losing focus and he tried vainly to stay awake long enough to call for help or warn Alonso.
At least he knew how those Companions had been caught... likely the same way. They had likely seen what they had thought to be the TARDIS and when they went to investigate this happened.
Cunning bastards... was his last thought before everything slid away into black.
Alonso knocked on the door to the house in London. It took a few moments but a woman with coffee coloured skin and tightly curly hair answered. She was into her middle age, perhaps a bit older, but she wasn't old either. "Hello, my name is Alonso... I'm from Torchwood Three out of Cardiff. I'm here investigating Martha Jones' disappearance."
For a long moment she was silent. "Torchwood."
"Where she worked before," asked the woman.
"Yeah," he answered, only he dragged it out.
"Come in then," she moved out of the way. "Martha didn't talk about Torchwood much. But she wasn't the first to work for it. Her cousin Adeola did as well... and she also didn't come back one day. However, this is the first time anyone has ever investigated it."
"We already know what happened to Adeola," said Alonso. "I'm sorry. However, Martha is another matter and she isn't yet beyond help. When was the last time you heard from her?"
"Four days ago, in the morning. She called to say good morning," answered the woman. "It's not like her. I know my daughter. She wouldn't just take off."
"This may come as a funny question, have you heard from the Doctor lately?" asked Alonso.
For a very long moment she was silent and then her whole demeanor changed. At first he saw rage building and then she sighed. "I shouldn't be angry at the poor man. Especially not since... anyway. Enough of that. No I haven't. Not in years. Why... does he have something to do with this?"
"We aren't sure yet," answered Alonso. "Maybe."
"Well, he wouldn't just take her, if that's what you're implying."
"Oh, no... I was hoping you'd say you had heard from him. Then we could say where she is and not have to worry. Well, too much," he answered with a smile. "Then we'd know that they'd simply got caught up in something. But, if you haven't I have to write that lead off."
The woman smiled finally. "Good, because, much as I disliked him at first, he's a good man. He'd never hurt her and he'd likely do something drastic if something did happen to her. No chance you haven't heard from him lately?"
"No. That would make this so much simpler," he admitted.
Alonso continued to follow her steps. From her mother's house he then went to her new flat. It was far larger and better placed than her last. Alonso picked the lock and let himself in. He took pictures, although, as far as he could see nothing seemed out of place. But he wouldn't leave anything to chance. Maybe Mickey would know something.
He relocked the door, making sure he left without leaving any trace.
From there he drove the exact same route she took to work, according to the CCTV that Mickey had hacked. Since she had disappeared it had been closed. Again, he investigated. This time he didn't break in but used his clearance at Torchwood to get her secretary to open the doors for him.
He then tracked her back the same route.
Perhaps it was in the way he drove that gave him another angle, but he came to a stop at the gravel clearing. On the CCTV footage, this area wasn't covered very well. It was one of the few dead spots. He pulled over and walked around. There was something in the air, something that pervaded the stones.
One small area seemed more indented, more compacted that others. He couldn't see a very clear outline but it appeared to be square. He knelt down, taking a picture of the area as well from a few angles. Using flagged sticks he traced the barely perceptible square and took more pictures. As he was kneeling close to the square, he could smell something like... "Diesel fuel?" he wondered aloud.
Alonso took a sample of the rocks and dirt anyway. He was handy in a lab. Maybe it was what he suspected, but he couldn't tell. It was too faint. He took all the little flags back and stood up, cracking his back as he stretched before he walked back to his SUV. For a moment he felt watched, and he looked around before quickly getting back into the SUV and driving away.
Mickey sat down after getting another coffee. It seemed to be the only thing he lived on some days. It was then that he noticed that his comparison program had hits on it. He sat down quickly and brought up the information.
"Shit!" he swore, startling Gwen at the same time, and grabbed his phone just as it started to ring.
Martha was just about asleep when the cage clanged open and two more people were thrown inside. She stood up quickly as she recognized one but not the other, although she recognized the uniform of UNIT. The captors were getting bold. The second person looked up and saw Martha, ran over and hugged her tightly. "Oh God, Martha and I ever glad to see you still alive!" exclaimed Sarah Jane Smith. "Mike, this is Dr. Martha Jones..."
"Pleased to meet you, even if the situation isn't the greatest," said Martha as she held out her hand.
"Mike Yates," he introduced himself as he shook her hand.
"UNIT?" asked Martha. "They're getting bold."
"What is this place?" asked Sarah Jane.
"As far as I can figure they're targeting the Doctor," answered Martha, as she then introduced Amy and Rory. "This is Amy Pond and her husband Rory Williams - they also traveled with the Doctor. I traveled with the Doctor, and so did you. Mike..."
"No, sorry, I didn't travel with him but I did work closely with him at the same time Sarah Jane did."
"Close enough," came Rory's voice.
"Indeed," agreed Sarah Jane. "Have they made any demands?"
"Not even talked to us since we've been thrown into this cage," answered Amy, then she raised her voice. "Now that we figured it all out, it'd be nice to have something else to keep us all warm!"
She received no answer.
"So... we're bait and they've got one very old and wily fish to try to catch," said Mike.
Alonso held the mobile phone to his ear as he waited for either Gwen or Mickey to answer the phone. It was well past noon, and while he had reported in, he had not been able to get a hold of Jack to see if he wanted back-up in Leadworth. He was done in London and on his way back to Cardiff. Finally Mickey picked up. "Bloody hell, mate, you a mind reader?" demanded Mickey.
"No," answered Alonso. "I'm done here. You hear from Jack?"
"No, I haven't. Why? Haven't you?" asked Mickey.
"I wouldn't have called in again if I had, now would I?" asked Alonso, rolling his eyes. "You get any hits?"
"Yeah, you ain't going to like either. Neither will Jack. I'll get Gwen to call him," answered Mickey.
"So will I," answered Alonso quietly as he hung up and began to try to call Jack again.
In a field between Cardiif and Leadworth, a square impression made the grass flat, the ground indented. A phone, and a headset, lay abandoned in the square indentation, and it rang with no one to answer. Just as forlorn and abandoned lay a futuristic watch like device and a gun.
The black Torchwood SUV remained at the side of the road.
Just as Jack Harkness had left it before walking into the field.
It was a quiet corner. The alley way mostly abandoned, and in an area that the CCTV just didn't quiet catch. The pilot had long since learned not to put it where the CCTV could see it appear. It caused too much work for friends to erase evidence and simply would cause one too many questions to be asked.
As it was, if the right person was watching the little windstorm kicked up for no reason would have been suspicious anyway. Still far more subtle than the entire thing coming into existence, but still. Finally, in a groan and with a rhythmic flash of white light it settled in the alley way and two people came around the corner.
One was a man in blue jeans, a brown leather bomber style motorcycle jacket and dark button up shirt which was open enough at the collar to show a black t-shirt underneath. He wisely wore a pair of runners having long learned that he usually ended up running anyway. He was neither tall nor short, but in between. His hair was silver at the temples but dark brown otherwise, and his eyes were blue, and in the way he looked around showed a sharp intelligence.
The woman was petite, and she came up to his shoulder and that was including the three inch heels she wore with a confidence borne of long years of practice wearing heels, even if at the height they were a sensible heel as the boot was an English riding style in black leather and worn under a pair of modern cut with a small flare with a low rise jean. She wore a white silk dress blouse that was not frilly in the least but was feminine in cut, and an olive green cotton blazer that was fitted to her. Over this she wore a long brown trench coat and a dark brown knitted brown scarf. Her dark hair was cut short and spiky in a modern woman's cut and her skin seemed to be pale, almost as white as her shirt but with faintly healthy flush that suggested she just didn't get out in the sun much. She had hazel eyes that were closer to gold than hazel, but still hazel enough that people didn't notice. To protect her eyes against the sun she wore small lense sunglasses that were not a very dark tint, just enough to protect her eyes against the worst of the sun's glare.
The taller man was taking the lead of the conversation and every so often the woman would smile, if a bit sadly.
Moments later, another woman walked around the corner. She was taller than the other and pretty as well, if older. Her hair was long and her curly hair was curled so tight it appeared to almost bounce. Her name was River Song and she was traveling with the other two. In truth she had been traveling with the Doctor longer than the other one, but she didn't mind having the company every so often. It helped to relieve the tension that still seemed to pervade the TARDIS since the Doctor had regenerated last.
She wasn't kidding herself. She knew she wasn't sticking around very long this time. She just hoped the next Doctor she met up with was a bit different, much as she loved each and every one she had met.
For a moment she watched the two walk farther away, and then she let them get out of sight.
A car went by, and all that remained moments later was the handbag River had been carrying, dropped to the sidewalk as if the owner had forgotten it.
The other woman from the TARDIS came back, almost as if she could sense something was wrong. "River?" she called, confused.
The woman knelt at the bag, picking it up in alarm as the man came running up. "Where's River?"
"Gone," answered the woman.
If the people who had taken were looking for the Doctor's attention, they now had it.
Jack hit the ground in the cage hard enough to bounce once and the door slammed shut. Martha ran over and checked him over. He hadn't died. As far as she could see he was sleeping, but uninjured except for some bruising for hitting the ground as hard as he had. Rory and Mike helped drag him over by the fire so that he wouldn't freeze and they waited for him to come around. It didn't take long before he stirred and opened his eyes. With a bit of a groan he said, "Martha... please tell me I haven't been captured and that I'm back in the Hub and so are you."
"Wish I could," she answered with a smile as he sat up.
He looked around and asked, "What the hell is this place?"
"Some sort of warehouse," answered Mike.
"You're UNIT," noticed Jack. "I'd recognize those cute berets anywhere. And who are these?"
"Any and Rory," answered Martha, schooling her expression. "Jack... they traveled with the Doctor."
"Yeah, I know, Ms. Pond's father called Torchwood to report them missing," he answered, then he winked at Amy. "Didn't tell me they were both cute though. Doc has good taste."
"Jack!" came from both Sarah Jane and Martha, while Amy and Rory looked scandalized.
He was back to business immediately though. "I thought he was supposed to be..."
Martha shook her head. "I don't know but don't think for a second that I'm not glad to hear he's still alive somewhere. I wish he would have come back though. Just to say he was okay even."
"He's like that," snorted Sarah Jane. "But you have a point. This was a bit different."
"So, I found a blue box but it sure as hell wasn't the TARDIS. It was a fake - facade with a generator in it to sound and feel like it on the outside. Got tranked when I went to investigate it," said Jack. "You guys?"
Martha nodded, "Me too."
There were shaking heads from the others. Sarah Jane sighed. "They likely just knew where we'd be."
"Rotten bastards," came Amy's voice.
Jack checked himself and sighed. "FUCK!" he shouted in frustration, and the others started at the vehemence. "No Vortex Manipulator, no guns, no phone. They stripped me of anything useful."
A clang was heard and the cage was opened again and before anyone could do anything a woman was thrown in. This time Amy and Rory stood in shock. They at least knew this one. And if she was here - in this time and in this place - then so was the Doctor himself. Rescue couldn't be that far off. "River!" exclaimed Amy in relief as she hugged the older woman. "Tell me you brought him with you."
For a moment River was confused and then she smiled. "Amy and Rory. Of course. The girl who waited..."
"You're not the same River," said Rory. "Amy, she doesn't know who we are. She's a River from before she met us."
With a sad nod, River confirmed Rory's suspicion. "But I am guessing by him you mean the Doctor, right?" asked River. "Not far. I was leaving the TARDIS and lost track of the Doctor for a second when they nabbed me. Not seconds outside of it! Won't take long to be found, I'd say."
Alonso and Mickey stood in the grassy field where the other Torchwood SUV had been found. Gwen stood by the police talking to them about what they had found and who had found it, as well as when.
Gwen walked over. "It was found two hours ago by an elderly couple who live just up the road. It was just as we see it now."
Alonso had the perimeter of the indentation flagged off and was taking pictures. "It's exactly like where Martha went missing. The size of the indent was the same, and do you smell that?" he asked.
"What is that? Diesel?" asked Gwen.
"Yeah, I think so. I'm taking a soil sample. If the smell is still that strong chances are there'll be traces of it in the soil," answered Alonso.
"What do you make of it?" asked Mickey.
"Well, if you think about it, it's like someone is taking all the former Companions of the Doctor, right?" asked Alonso. "Well, look at the size of the indent. I don't know if you've ever seen the TARDIS but the indent is just about the right size, and shape, of the TARDIS. I think that someone has been parking fake TARDISes, using maybe a generator - which would explain the diesel smell - and when a Companion sees it, hears the hum, they go to investigate and bingo! They get nabbed."
Mickey thought for a moment and walked around the indent. "It is the right size."
"So you have seen it?"
"Yeah, once," answered Alonso. "A few years ago."
"I haven't seen it in years, " remarked Mickey.
"Well, I have no bloody idea what the two of you are on about," said Gwen. "Explain it later. Get your evidence, let's release the scene and head back to the Hub. I'm freezing."
The two left from the TARDIS wandered around Cardiff. The Doctor was in a bit of a mood again and the other didn't want to disturb whatever thoughts the other was in. Moments later it didn't matter as they were pulled into the same van that had taken River Song. The Doctor saw little but heard the hiss of the drug as it entered. Moments later neither the Doctor or the companion knew anything.
The trap snapped shut with the bait and the quarry both inside.
The next morning Martha did the same as she counted the six marks on the ground. Jack had already woken first and had stoked the fire from the embers to a roaring fire, warming the area up. As the others woke, they warmed the food and the water that had been left just inside the cage but outside of the ring of warmth. "If not for the cage, it'd be like camping," remarked Amy.
She trailed off as the cage opened and another, completely unfamiliar to them all but for River was shoved in while the man, still unconscious, was dragged past them. River stood up in alarm and screamed, "DOCTOR!"
Well, scratch not knowing if he was alive or dead, thought Martha. But at the same time she ran over to the woman and turned her over. Golden hazel eyes blinked up at her and for a moment she was sure she saw acute recognition in them, but it was soon flicked from one person to the other in quick succession. River helped the woman up and over to the fire. Jack used his coat to wrap around the other woman and then he startled. "Hey, I know this coat," he said cheerfully. "The Doc gave you his coat, the one Janis Joplin gave him."
For a moment she looked down and she was quiet, then she said, "So he did."
She was still looking around to each face with a very closed and even expression. "So many taken. Not going to be pleased about that," was her simple remark as she brushed off Jack's jacket to give it back to him and turning to the entrance of the cage where their captors were now sticking around.
One short, and male, scream was heard and both River and the woman, who hadn't still been introduced, stiffened. The other woman stalked to the door of the cage, grasping the bars. "Hey you!"
A gun clanged off the bars as the man hit it with the butt end of his rifle. The woman moved back a few steps but paced like a lion in a cage. Moments later the other, who was dressed in a suit and suit jacket came out. He looked enraged. He stalked up to the bars and demanded, "All right, a dirty trick that was. We should have checked for two hearts first, seeing as he has had men on the TARDIS before... now where is the Doctor?"
The man was thrown in and River ran to him, as did Martha. "He's not hurt bad," reassured their captor a bit coldly. "Now, I know I only saw three of you come out. Which means the Doctor is still inside that TARDIS of his. Key, now."
"Why the hell should I?" demanded the woman before Jack or anyone else could open their mouths. "If you know half as much as that stupid mind thinks it does, then you'd also know there would be no way the Doctor would give you access to something that can fuck around with the Time Stream."
"Maybe so," he answered. "But he also wouldn't let you or any others be hurt. Give me the key and no one else does. That includes your pretty face."
"Don't be so stupid," she laughed bitterly. "As if you could anyway."
"I could shoot you dead!"
"Oh, that's a very human thing to do. Stupid men and their guns," she threw her hands up in the air. "Of course, you feel so big and powerful right now, don't you? We're in a cage and you have the guns. Fish in a barrel. Stupid apes."
Jack looked up sharply and to the back of the woman's head. A ghost of a smile crept onto his face. It wasn't possible... was it? But the tone, the bearing... everything was right. Stupid apes. He remembered another Doctor, one with a leather jacket and big ears, who loved to use that. He looked at the jacket and his heart skipped a beat. Of course he'd use that jacket when he could. She was skinny enough to get away with it, even if it was longer than usual, a bit looser than usual.
How she ran in those heels was a mystery.
The three remaining members of Torchwood returned to the Hub in Cardiff. Alonso had gone to the lab to organize the evidence with Gwen while Mickey was left to see if anything else had come up. He checked his email and saw a link from the police in Cardiff. He watched the CCTV of the woman being snatched off the sidewalk. He back it up.
A windstorm, a flash of light that was familiar in pattern. Then a woman and a man came around the corner, followed by the kidnapped woman. For a moment he saw the mouthed call of, "Doctor, wait!" and then the van snatched her.
The woman and man came back to see their friend was missing.
He followed breathlessly as they searched, then began to make their way towards the Plas. Jesus, he was coming for help, realized Mickey. And then the same van snatched them.
Mickey's fingers flew as he followed the van from camera to camera as he tracked where it went. Finally, after six days since Martha went missing they had a break. A major break. With a whoop, he pulled up the location using Google maps and then called Alonso and Gwen.
They had a rescue op to mount.
The man who had captured them came back and paced outside. The Doctor, whom Jack had figured to be the small dark haired woman matched his pacing. "Now, it's clear that you're the first Companion here, my dear. Where is the Doctor?"
"Maybe he's wandering and looking for us. Does that scare you?" she asked. "Who are you? What do you want?"
"All in good time," he chuckled. "The Doctor chose well this time. All fire and intelligence, and beautiful as well. What would he do if he came and found you mutilated beyond recognition?"
"Have a problem with the Doctor then?" her eyes narrowed.
"Yes and no," he grasped the bars. "I want the TARDIS, and to break him in two."
"Oh, I'm scared. That small ape mind too much to grasp the basics of how to really woo a woman that you have to resort to fear. Nice try though. Try it with a bit of feeling," she answered sarcastically.
Finally, a vein ticked in the man's forehead. "Bring her out. Too bad. I might have been bluffing but you have a mouth on you that might raise the others morale a bit too high. Maybe you're scarred face will reinforce just who is in control here."
She walked out proudly. "Do your worst. Just tell me one thing - when 'the Doctor' asks me who did it, I want to be able to tell him and then watch as the Oncoming Storm breaks over you."
The man began to change and mutate until he was a tentacled mass. "Not even human!" she laughed. "All right, you're no stupid ape. I stand corrected. Doesn't happen often."
She reached behind her. At that moment the doors were kicked open and all hell broke loose. The other men began to fire blindly as gunfire returned. The woman knelt, and in her hand was something the others recognized.
The Doctor's sonic screwdriver. The alien roared as she said, "One other thing. When you didn't check him you also didn't check me. I'm the one with two hearts - the one with the TARDIS. I'm the Doctor."
She pressed the sonic screwdriver's button just as the alien reached out and slapped her into the wall. Her head cracked loudly against the concrete bricks. The sonic waves washed over him and it screamed in pain. One of its guards blindly fired in fear as he realized his boss was an alien. He missed, and since he had to leave his cover, he was shot by Mickey.
However, red blood blossomed and stained the Doctor's jacket as she slid down the wall, her eyes closing as she lost the grip on her sonic screwdriver.
Mickey and Alonso ran in. "Martha, you all right?" he asked anxiously.
She nodded through the bars as they hugged. "Just get us out of here. Use the Doctor's sonic."
Mickey turned and saw the sonic on the ground. "Bloody hell, she's been shot. How's the Doctor?"
"He's not the Doctor!" shouted River. "The woman is!"
Blinking, Mickey looked from the man in River's arms to the woman outside of the cage, and he saw the screwdriver not far from the woman's hands. "What?" he asked in surprised but still picked up the sonic screwdriver. "How the hell do you use this thing?"
River came up, took it from his hands and changed to to the right setting and unlocked the door. "Like this. Dr. Jones, could you please?"
Martha was aided shortly by Rory.
Martha walked into the infirmary to check on the Doctor, but was relieved to see that she was still sleeping comfortably, and that the wound appeared to be healing normally. Breathing a sigh of relief she pulled the blankets back up over her chest and smoothed the hair out of the woman's face.
Not that there was a lot of hair. The Doctor Martha knew, the tenth, had more hair than this one did as a woman, but it was loose curls and spiky in the back. A modern cut, if still a bit wild. Amy had brought in a change of clothes in the style this Doctor preferred – clean cut but shaped jackets in neutral olive greens or brown, white or cream dress shirt meant to be worn on the outside of her low rise boot cut jeans. As usual, it was the shoes that broke the mold, this Doctor liked sandals, although the sandal was a rugged, outdoors style meant to take punishment... or to allow for running which the Doctor seemed to always do a lot of. Either way the sandal wasn't exactly the same style of dress as the rest of the almost business outfit. The jeans seemed to break from that mold, brought her down a formality that Martha wasn't used to.
She still wore a similar long brown jacket as the tenth, but it was obviously meant for her frame which was significantly shorter, but no less skinny, than the tenth. She was petite, shorter than Martha by the same as Martha had been shorter than the tenth, and with her wispy frame made her look all the more fragile in the bed.
Martha turned as she saw Jack come into the infirmary as he stopped in front of the bed, "She looks so small in that bed."
"She is small in that bed," answered Martha. "I'd be surprised if she's five foot anything."
"Nah, she's at least five foot," he said. "I'd say between five foot two, maybe three, but no more than five foot four. But she is the record breaker for being the smallest Doctor on our files. Here."
He handed her the files he had on the Doctor, the Time Lords and what little they knew of Gallifrey. Martha put the binder on the desk and thumbed through it. "It has plenty in here on what he's done, where's he gone in relation to Earth to this point, and what precious little we both know about him... I mean her... dammit... but nothing else."
"Yeah, the Doc played it close to the vest," mused Jack as he gazed down at her. "I feel like I could break her in half but yet you know how tough she is, how tough she'd have to be. I want to protect her but I know better – she's got far more years on all of us put together. When did you say she'd be waking up?"
"Now you're just making feel old," came the soft reply from the bed.
"I'd say now," answered Martha with amusement as she came over, checking the Doctor's hearts and pulse rate. "Good morning. How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine," she answered, and then she went to push herself up to sit and the pain in her shoulder knocked her flat on her back. "Maybe I'll lay around a bit more."
Martha rolled her eyes and Jack smothered a snicker, "If we didn't believe you were the Doctor before, we certainly do now. Is fine a secret language for the complete opposite?"
What little smiled on the Doctor's face fell away. "Don't do that."
Martha blinked, "What?"
"Donna asked me that once, when... no, never mind, I'm all right," the Doctor took a deep inhale, one half to steady herself against the pain, the other for the same reason but the pain was from memories. Just as quickly, she seemed to bounce back, smiling, "So, Dr. Jones, when do you think your patient can stop laying around on her back?"
"Aw, but you look great on your back," Jack began.
"No," came the Doctor's horrified reply. "I like you, but as a friend, possibly one of the best that I could ask for. But really, you deserve better... oh... hello... look at all of you. Come on, I'm not going to break."
The other four came into the infirmary and Amy gently hugged her. "I thought we'd never see you again and then when we found ourselves altogether and this man asking for you we knew you'd come for us," she whispered into her ear, then pulled back. "Although I have to admit I like this version of you better than my raggedy one. Much more put together and easier to take seriously."
Rory stood behind Martha, talking and the Doctor caught that, knowing what they were likely discussing. Rory then came over and said, "I'm glad to see you're all right. I can't tell you, professionally, what I was thinking when you lay so still on the ground when you were shot. I was scared for you, scared for all of us."
The Doctor waved him off, but with a smile. "See, I'm fine. I'm fine," the Doctor answered, then she yawned. "Oh, that was unexpected. Why'd I do that?"
Martha looked at Rory, who nodded in agreement, "Okay, out, all of you. The Doctor still needs rest and you're crowding this very limited space. Let us handle her, all right? Now out."
"Your accent changed," remarked Jack. "It sounds more like mine, but not quite I can't put my finger on it."
"I'm not an American, if that's what you're asking."
Martha shooed Jack out finally as the Doctor yawned again, leaning her head into the pillows. Rory turned to the Doctor and asked, "Are you in pain?"
"I'm fine, really," she tried again, wincing as she moved her shoulder the wrong way to settle into the bed.
"The TARDIS gave us a comprehensive list of what you can take, not take, what is effective and not, as well as what to avoid at all costs," explained Martha. "It's how I preformed surgery on your shoulder to get the bullet out without you feeling it."
"That would explain the residual grogginess, the anesthesia is still likely in my system. I've just slept off enough of it to wake. I'm guessing I might not be feeling it now, but I will be later?" the Doctor asked. "It's one or the other. Pain or sleepy. Right now, I can't fight off the sleepy and not being in pain is a blessing..."
She trailed off and Martha thought she might have fallen asleep again, but when Rory smoothed the blankets she said, "Vortex...?"
"Yeah, River put us in the Vortex so that we'd be safe while you rest and recover," answered Rory.
The Doctor felt a soothing humming in his mind – the TARDIS was also relieved to see that she was resting comfortably. The humming was also insisting she sleep.
With a final gentle sigh, the Doctor slid into a deep, healing sleep while safe under the watchful eyes of the two medical professionals she trusted with her life.
In retrospect, she felt, perhaps it would have been better to simply accept the local instead of refusing it like the stubborn idiot she was. But no. Pride had demanded she not. Finally the long line of stitches were out, and while she was sure it would have been more unpleasant to put them in without a local, it wasn't comfortable coming out either. Martha looked at the Doctor and she tried to smile, but she was sure it came out rather sickly.
"You going to be all right?" asked Rory.
"Yeah," answered the Doctor. "Perfectly fine."
There was a snort of laughter from Martha. "I'm sorry, what was that?" asked the Doctor.
"Oh please. Really now. You were doing a whole lot of wincing the entire time and going rather pale."
For a long moment the Doctor was silent, and then they burst into peals of laughter until the Doctor leaned over, clutching her shoulder. "Ow, okay, laughing not a good idea. Especially not if it shakes the shoulder."
"I think you should rest," said Rory, helping her lay back before smoothing the blanket over her, checking her over. "Don't you think so, Dr. Jones?"
Martha felt her eyebrows raise, but hardly above the height the Doctor's did. "Oh, I think so too," agreed Martha, noticing those eyebrows elevating even higher. "Just for a bit. Long enough to get you some tea and toast with marmalade."
When the Doctor woke next, the infirmary was dark and the TARDIS hum was quiet, almost as if she was trying not to wake her Time Lord either. Now, how long did they let me sleep?
She sat up and pushed off the covers. The hum of the TARDIS grew a bit louder, a bit different in pitch, but no less relieved. Satisfied that the world was not going to tilt on its side or spin lazily out of control, she slid her legs over the side of the bed and stood cautiously. Nothing was so undignified as a Time Lord face first on the floor merely getting out of bed, and she wasn't about to be the first. Well, this time. In this incarnation.
The Doctor closed her eyes for a second, letting herself catch a sense of Time as it passed. Opening her eyes she smiled. She hadn't been asleep that long, only about an hour. Still morning. She carefully took the IV out of the back of her left hand, wincing as it required moving her still very sore shoulder. Although, and she took a look here, it was now a pale scar on her skin. The underneath was what was taking so long to heal and hurt so much - all the tendons and muscles, and perhaps bone.
Even still, she could get dressed and then find the immobilizer so she wouldn't be confined to the infirmary. She doubted she'd be doing any piloting of the TARDIS for awhile. A flash of memory caused her to smile. So many years ago and so many incarnations... she remembered piloting with her feet. Not something she wanted to do now. That had been in a pinch, and she didn't feel the pressing need to do so right now.
In her clothes, and with her arm immobilized and the weight off her shoulder, the pain subsided to a dull ache. She wore the sling on the inside of her blazer, but over her shirt. She patted the inside pocket, feeling the reassuring presence of her sonic screwdriver. Now... about that promised coffee, not tea... still too early for that... and that toast and marmalade. Only now she wanted more than that. It was getting close to lunch time and she needed lunch.
The TARDIS had yet again changed her tone. It was of concern, but also happiness. "I'm fine," the Doctor reassured her by touching a wall, speaking in Gallifreyan. "Yes, I know, you can sense I'm in pain, but it's not bad. Not anymore."
She heard Jack clear his throat behind her and she turned. "Shouldn't you be in bed?" he asked, lifting a brow.
"I was," she answered, not even switching back to English as the TARDIS translated into English - she was being selfish, she knew, but she was lonely and not just for her Companions. "I got bored and hungry."
Jack furrowed his brows, but didn't say anything. He could see that her lips weren't in perfect sync with her English. When he spoke, he had a suspicion she wasn't hearing English either. He wouldn't know, but he was correct. The TARDIS had clued into her pilot's desire and was actually 'dubbing' his English into Gallifreyan for the Doctor. "All right, and then back to bed."
That got an eyebrow raise, and when the Doctor responded the sync was back to normal, as if she had suddenly decided to switch back to English. Too right. Jack wouldn't know, but his nuances and innuendo didn't translate well. More like not at all. Badly. It was a mistake to have attempted it in the first place. At least with Jack.
The Doctor nodded wearily and Jack walked with her to the galley where it had seemingly grown from the slightly intimate space for a few to one that could easily fit far more, as if the TARDIS had expanded it while she slept. She took the hint, although she didn't act on it.
She sat down in the comfortable chair, one with arms so she could rest her arm and shoulder on it, as well as lean back in the padded high raise. The Doctor knew where the chair came from and she hadn't seen it since her eighth incarnation from when it had been her - then his - reading chair in the console room when the console room had included a secondary library and informal living area.
Memories from her previous incarnations, and this one, reminded her of how much she had loved this chair. Now it sat at the head of the large polished cherry wood table. "Tea?" asked Jack.
"May as well. I had wanted coffee because the time of morning when I first woke," she said. "But it's the afternoon now. Jack, I'd hate to be a bother, but could you also get me some toast with marmalade and maybe a banana? I'm starved."
With a smile, Jack answered, "With pleasure, Doc."
The silence only lasted a few moments while Jack puttered in the kitchen, occasionally looking over the half wall that separated kitchen from dining area. "So... you're a woman now. How'd that happen?"
With a sigh, the Doctor knew it was a natural question that he'd want to know. "It's a long story."
"We have time."
"All right... I'm the Doctor, yes?" she asked.
"I certainly hope so... why... aren't you?"
"Yes. And no."
There was a sudden, very full silence from the kitchen. Even the activity had stilled. "And no?" came Jack's quiet, sort of dangerous question.
"Going to dance around it?"
"When?" asked Jack sharply.
"Now, if you'd let me," she answered, equally as sharply, although with a bit of a smile to take the bite from it. "A Time Lord gets thirteen incarnations, or twelve regenerations."
"And you're the twelfth, right?"
"Not exactly. More like the fifteenth. I say twelfth in case another, familiar with Time Lords, catches wind of me having a few more than I should. Then they'd know. They'd figure it out," she answered quietly, the last part nearly silent. "Yes, I am the Doctor. I remember who he was originally, and I have his memories. He passed them to me through the TARDIS, and through himself directly... but... that was a long time ago and when he was dying of age, Jack. Age. His last incarnation and he had lived so very, very long..."
"He's dead," said Jack and there was a clatter of something dropping in the kitchen. "Our Doctor is dead."
The TARDIS hummed in comfort, but there was a mournful tone to it suddenly. "Yes. Your Doctor, the one you all knew... he died. It was a gentle, peaceful passing. And in so doing he passed on an important task and trust to me. I could have used a different name when I locked away my real one, but... I felt it honoured his memory more to not only continue his work but to continue him. Especially considering... as I said..." She tapped her head. "I remember everything that there was to know about him. I carry his memories... literally... Jack. In many ways we melded into each other and so he still lives on while I carry on the legacy."
"Who are you, though?" he asked. "According to him, everyone died on Gallifrey."
"Everyone did," she answered gently. "But there were those who never returned to Gallifrey... surely you didn't think that all Time Lords kept to one planet, especially considering our technology? No, we lived on but lived quietly and out of the way. There are so few of us now that we can barely sense each other, if at all, unless we are in the same era and general place. It's not infinite anymore."
"So you're one of those?"
"Yeah, I am," she answered with a smile. "My name, and it wasn't my name really, but one I took so that I could pass off with humans... my name is Susan Foreman. The Doctor was my grandfather."