Author's Note: David's ability to teleport was first established in Mr. McDonald Checks In. The 'going dutch' joke and Jake's credit card charges go way back to Blast To The Past. :)
Susie and Sadie, who were first mentioned in Valentine's Day? What's That? are not quite my creations, but two adorable dogs who belong to a very dear friend of mine. Hence the many dog references. The characters are in tribute to her. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who.
Chapter 1 I'll Be There For You
Early Sunday morning finds Liane Piper strolling towards Piper's Pastries, ready to start a new day. She's soon standing outside her bakery's front doors searching for her keys in her purse when a voice greets her from behind. "Hello, Liane Piper."
Liane's startled gaze instantly morphs into one of alarm when she finds herself staring directly into the eyes of David McDonald. "You!" she squeaks. "What are you doing here?" Her head seems to spin in every direction as she asks, "Where's Jake?"
"He's still at the Malt O'Benny paying for our coffee," he replies cheerfully. "I was waiting outside for him when I saw you."
"But that's twenty blocks away!" exclaims Liane in disbelief. Her eyes narrow suspiciously as she asks, "Were you using binoculars?"
"Don't need them, lass. I have excellent eyesight." He leans in close and with a cheeky wink and intones, "All the better to see you with, my dear."
Liane presses flat against the shop's double doors before quickly spinning around to shove the key in the lock. In her haste to open the door, she twists it in the wrong direction causing it to jam.
"Allow me, love," offers David. He places his hand over hers and with a few jiggles of the key, the lock promptly clicks open. Before Liane can push her way inside, David grips her hand tighter. "You know, I'd be more than happy to take a look at that lock for you or perhaps you just need a new key. Why don't you give me your shop key and I'll check it out or I could simply change the locks and keep some extra keys on hand for an emergency?"
Liane smiles tightly as she pries David's hand off of her own. "That won't be necessary, Mr. McDonald, but thank you for your kind offer." She uses his surname and the doors to put some emotional and physical distance between them and leans her head against the 'CLOSED' sign once she's safely inside the shop.
"It's David, Liane, not Mr. McDonald," he insists from behind her. Liane does a doubletake between David and the locked door, unable to comprehend how he was now standing inside her shop. "It's honestly no problem for me to look at your lock. Just let me know if I can be of any assistance."
Still shaken by his sudden appearance, Liane's hands tremble slightly as she tries to re-open the double doors. David reaches over to help her and she smacks his hand away while firmly maintaining, "I've got it!" She turns and informs him, "I'm sorry, David, but you need to leave now. I only allow employees on the premises when the bakery is closed."
David grins widely and declares, "No worries, lass. If anyone can understand rules and regulations, it's me. It's the same in the construction business." She's slowly pushing him out of the doors as he continues, "You do remember that I said that I was a construction supervisor? I'm quite capable of supporting a large family." He's gripping the doorjamb while Liane steadily moves him forward. "How many children would you like?"
A final shove sees David outside the shop and Liane bolts the deadlock for good measure. When he continues to stand on the doorstep, she taps the 'CLOSED' sign in hopes that it will deter any further conversation and hurry him on his way.
David nods his head in understanding and his muffled voice through the glass panes assures her, "I'll just be right over there until you open," as he points at her main window which displays her pastries.
With a defeated sigh, Liane grumbles, "Whatever happened to my luck of the Irish?"
"Liane!" greets Susie and Sadie in unison as they shuffle through the kitchen door with hot, fresh trays of baked goods. "How are you doing this fine morning?" inquires Sadie in a thick Irish burr.
"Good morning, ladies," returns Liane with a warm smile, "I'm fine, thank you." She chances a quick glance at David who is waving through the window and shouting, 'Still here!' before blowing on his hands for warmth. She turns back to the women with a pained expression. "Considering."
"Is that young man a friend of yours, Liane?" queries Susie. "Should we let him in?"
Liane's response is instantaneous and alarming. "Don't you dare! If either of you take one step towards that door, I'll…I'll…"
"You'll what?" asks Sadie shrewdly, knowing full well that Liane has never been a woman to make threats, much less carry them out.
"I don't know," admits Liane with a sigh, "but it'll be really, really bad."
The sisters roll their eyes in amusement and Susie chuckles, "Well, now that we're out of the doghouse, can we ask about that stray out there? He's been walking back and forth past the shop window since we arrived this morning." A light suddenly shines in Susie's eyes as she surmises, "He's that daft nutter that you went on about from that Torchwood delivery, isn't he?"
"Yeah, that's him." She watches him inspect the pastries in the window with keen interest. "I can't believe he's here so early."
"Aw," teases Sadie, "he's following you around like a little lost puppy." Her demeanor instantly changes from mischievous to cynical when she snorts, "Figures. Men are such dogs."
"True," agrees Susie wisely, "but you know how much we love dogs."
The older women cackle in impish glee causing Liane to laugh outright and shake her head in amusement. "Honestly! What am I going to do with the two of you? Somebody needs to put you two on a leash."
Sadie gives Liane a sly wink as she replies, "Trust me, love, it's already been tried."
Liane turns away with a blush and after one last peek at David's whereabouts, she goes into the kitchen to start her day's work.
"How did I know that I'd find you here?" huffs Jake after a twenty block jog.
"Jake!" greets David as he accepts the coffee that he's holding out to him. "Thanks, mate. I hope you didn't spill any."
Jake simply glowers back in response before asking, "So what did you do now? Anything that I can fix or did you fall back onto your ever so suave panic mode?"
David pulls a face and then announces smugly, "You don't need to fix anything. I decided to take your advice and relax and allow my own personal brand of charm to…well…work like a charm." He gestures towards Liane through the window as she exits the kitchen with her arms full of linen tablecloths and napkins to set up for the breakfast diners. "See that? You can see the results for yourself."
Jake looks through the window to see Liane's lips clamp together in frustration before she stalks over to the main window to communicate with the two of them.
"What are you talking about? She seems no different to me."
David darts a glance over at Jake and boasts, "Didn't you see the way that she ran over to the window when she saw me? And now she's mouthing, 'Court her, Court her'. How are you missing this?"
"I don't think that I'm the one missing anything here, lad. That would be you," informs Jake sadly. "You see, she ran over here because she's upset, not enamored, and she's not mouthing, 'court her", she's mouthing, 'court order, court order'. So you see David, things are not going as well as you had hoped."
"Are you sure that she's not suggesting marriage with the court thing?" pleads David. "Because we were discussing having a large family earlier."
It only takes Jake a moment to accept the fact that David is not kidding him in the slightest before he leans his face against the window and mouths to Liane, 'I am sorry, so, so sorry'. He turns back to David and whacks him hard on the shoulder while berating, "Pillock! What's the matter with you? We talked about this!"
"Careful, Jake, you almost spilled my coffee!" grits David. "Besides, I don't see what you're so upset about. Everything seems to be going according to plan." He offers a little wave as he watches Liane take down the dining chairs and set up the tables and booths.
"Oh, really?" inquires Jake with great interest. "And would this plan of yours be one that involves taking hostages?"
"Ha, ha, very funny," replies David. "You'll see, Liane will be…" he trails off as a look of absolute fury crosses his features. "What's he doing here?"
Jake spins around to see the object of David's ire and spies Jack Harkness, Liane's best friend. Tagging along with him are the Doctor, Rose and Donna, chatting merrily away and heading in their direction.
The Doctor spots Jake and yells out, "Jake! Good morning! What are you doing here so bright and early?"
"We came out to grab some coffee and then David ever so kindly decided to treat me to breakfast. Isn't that right, David?" asks Jake with a smarmy grin.
"What?" questions David. "I thought we going to go dutch!"
Jack releases a laugh and praises, "You're a smart man, David. I find it's the best and preferably only way to pay."
"Aye," agrees Jake. "Speaking about paying," he pins the Doctor down with a glare full of accusation, "I find that I have some rather interesting and incredibly expensive charges on my monthly credit statement from our evening at the D & D Bistro."
Uh, oh, thinks the Doctor. I hope Rose brought some money with her.
"Never mind that, Jake," growls David as he circles Jack like an animal defending its territory. "The important thing is that you," he jabs Jack in the chest with his finger, "can't go in there! The shop's closed right now and I happen to know that Liane doesn't allow anyone but her employees on the premises until it's open."
"Well, that rule doesn't apply for everyone," explains Jack as he produces a key to Liane's shop. "Which is why Liane gave me this so that I could stop by anytime."
Jake cuts short any argument that David may be about to make by inquiring, "So what brings you lot down here?"
The Doctor exclaims excitedly, "Jack's finally going to buy a new car! Donna and I talked him into it."
"Badgered is more like it," retorts Jack. "And I said maybe, maybe I'll buy a new car. It's not definite."
"We're also here to drop off the specifications for our wedding cake," adds Rose. "When Liane heard that we'd be in the neighborhood, she told us to stop by so that she can ensure that everything is ready for the big day."
"That's great!" congratulates Jake. "I can't wait to attend, it's been way too long in coming," he states with a knowing look at Rose.
"You're telling us," affirms the Doctor with a cheeky grin.
Silence falls upon the group and in an effort to break up the tension, Donna prompts, "So, you two are going off to breakfast then?"
"Yes, we are," declares Jake, taking the hint. He grips David's arm and starts tugging him away from everyone while insisting, "Off we go, now!"
"Okay," concedes David, "but we're coming back as soon as the bakery opens. And quit pulling on my arm, you're going to spill my coffee."
Jake rolls his eyes in exasperation and demands, "What is it with you and this coffee this morning? It's not like you paid for it!"
"I know," reasons David. "That's why I'm so determined not to waste a drop." He acknowledges everyone with a nod and a heartfelt farewell before facing Jack. "Harkness," he spits bitterly before walking off with Jake.
Jake waves goodbye as he drags a reluctant David down the street. The last strains of conversation they hear is David asking, "So, when did you break up with the copy repairman?"
"We broke up last week. We just didn't seem to fit right, you know? He wanted to do the same thing over and over again. Bor-ing!" He shakes his head in regret and then looks over at David in curiousity. "Wait a minute, how did you know that I broke up with him?"
"Easy," replies David. "You don't smell like toner anymore."
After they leave, Jack heads to the door but it flies open before he can insert the key. "It's about time!" hisses Liane. "Now, hurry up and get inside before he comes back!"
Once everyone's tucked inside the shop, Liane immediately locks the doors and faces her visitors with a sheepish expression. "I'm sorry about that, everybody. It's been an unusual morning." Her features light up in excitement as she prepares to enter her element and she asks, "Do you have your ideas for the cake?"
Rose grins widely in reply and squeals, "Oh, yes!" She pulls out a portfolio and hands it to Liane. "I have everything right here!"
The men leave the women to discuss the cake decorations and wander over to the counter to inspect the latest delicacies. Their heads immediately pop up in unison when they hear the double greeting of, "Hi, Jack!" from the O'Rufferty sisters.
Jack smiles his most charming grin and takes each of their hands for a gentle kiss. "Hello ladies, what a pleasure to see you again! I couldn't have better fortune today if I were visited by the Little People." He turns to the Doctor and introduces, "This is my best mate, John Smith, but if you would, he prefers to be called the Doctor."
The women give him the once over as the Doctor bows slightly and chirps, "Hello! Lovely to meet you! I always enjoy meeting the older generation!" He fails to notice their lack of smiles when he queries with a wink, "You won't be pinching me like you do Jack now, will you?"
"Only if you stand in the way of our reaching the cute one!" barks Sadie.
While Jack does his best to not laugh outright, the Doctor is taken aback by this response. How could they not like me? he ponders. They're not even parallels of anyone that I know.
The Doctor stands to his full height and informs the sisters with a bit of The Oncoming Storm in his voice, "Me, not cute? I'll have you know that in some circles that I'm considered to be foxy!"
Susie somehow manages to snort and chuckle all at the same time. "Really? I don't see that. To me, you look more like a weasel."
"What?" cries the Doctor.
"So, ladies," inquires Jack with a hint of laughter in his voice, "do you have any big plans later today?"
"As a matter of fact we do," declares Sadie as Susie bobs her head up and down. "That nice Wilfed Mott and his friend the Brig are coming by the shop later to take us out to lunch."
"The Brig?" giggles Jack. "You know, he's my uncle. I hope he's ready for the two of you."
"Okay, we're ready to go," proclaims Rose.
"What?" asks the Doctor in astonishment. "Already?"
"Yes," answers Liane. "Rose's details are so exact that it makes everything much faster. I wish all my customers were more like her."
"Except when it comes to French Tartes, eh Liane?" questions Rose guiltily.
"Well, I have a better understanding of where you were coming from, Rose. Now," replies Liane in sympathy and with a very pointed look at the Doctor.
"What?" whines the Doctor.
The women and Jack merely shake their heads in sad acceptance of the Doctor's blissful reality until Jack urges, "Come on, ladies, let's go and check out some cars. Goodbye, Liane!" He tips an imaginary hat to the sisters and purrs, "Ladies."
"Goodbye, Jack," the three remaining women croon in unison, each of them staring at the Doctor with their own reason of annoyance.
"What?" whispers the Doctor to his friends as they leave the shop.
To Be Continued…