Author's Notes: I do not own Doctor Who, the Doctor, Donna or anyone really. This is the sequel to I Said Not A Space Cave which was the sequel to a lot of other stuff which you can just find the order of on my Profile page if you're totally lost at this point. I also would like to acknowledge tkelparis because she invited me to look at a list of Doctor Who prompts and Jane Austen/Regency was one of them. I don't know that this was exactly what she had in mind, but that's what gave me the idea to set the story here, so thank you. All historical inaccuracies will be my fault and I apologize in advance, don't think it's some sort of plot twist that they're in a holodeck or dead or something. Anyway, thank you for reading, hope you enjoy the first chapter, let me know what you think.
Gwen Cooper looked over at Mickey Smith across the spacious new Torchwood Hub.
It was quiet.
"Didn't they say they would be back by now?," asked Gwen.
"You're not worried?"
Mickey scoffed. "You've never travelled with the Doctor."
"I have so! I went to that shopping mall planet, we snuck into Thames House and we all went to Puerto Rico that time to stop the 456."
"Yeah, but those trips all went how they were supposed to go, that's not how trips with the Doctor usually go."
"Yeah, yeah, we all know about you and the parallel world and being trapped with your ex..." She rolled her eyes.
"Hey, you're not qualified to talk about that, you weren't there."
"Fair enough," said Gwen. She had never met Rose, just seen her on the screen that one time, but had gotten an earful from Jack and Mickey later. She was beginning to think it was fortunate she hadn't.
"Actually, you were there," said Mickey, interrupting Gwen's thoughts.
Gwen looked at Mickey in shock. "What?"
"Yeah, in Pete's World, there's another Gwen Cooper. Your duplicate."
"Why did you never mention this before?"
"Well, what's she like? Does she look like me?"
"Yeah, actually. She works for Torchwood."
Gwen's mind was suddenly full of questions. "What else is there? Is she married? Is there a parallel Rhys?"
Mickey paused. "She doesn't talk about it. Cybermen."
They went on with their work, Gwen was just about to ask Mickey another question when a glowing gold form appeared in the Hub.
"Oh, my God," said Gwen.
"What the hell is that?," asked Mickey.
"Like I know!"
Mickey hurried to the Hub's internal sensor panel as the form seemed to turn and watch him. Gwen drew her weapon.
"Some kind of massive energy displacement," said Mickey.
"Is it coming through the Rift?," asked Gwen.
"No," said Mickey in surprise. "It's not. No signs of elevated Rift activity at all."
They looked at each other and the form disappeared. Gwen glanced up at the Torchwood CCTV monitors.
"Oh, bloody hell it went outside!"
Gwen and Mickey ran outside, no easy task for Gwen considering she was six months pregnant.
The form was in the center of Roald Dahl Plass. People were screaming and running, even the seagulls were flying off as the form continued to search around looking for something. Gwen and Mickey had no plan but to follow it around.
"Do you think it can hear us?," asked Gwen.
"I don't know anything about it!," said Mickey.
Gwen decided to try. She sided up to the thing, speaking gently as if to a skittish horse. "Hey, who are you? Where did you come from?"
The form continued to look around frantically as Mickey filmed it.
"Are you lost?," asked Gwen. "We can help you get back if you'll just talk to us, yeah?"
The form turned to look at Gwen and then she knew it was conscious.
"I'm not going back," said a female voice, that sounded as if it was a million miles away and underwater.
Then it vanished.
Gwen looked at Mickey. "So... any ideas?"
"Good news, Donna," the Doctor said. "It's not a space cave."
"Then what is it exactly?," asked Donna.
The Doctor looked back at the sitting room and the woman who eyed him curiously and was probably wondering who he was speaking to.
"Well, it's a sitting room..."
Donna groaned and walked towards the TARDIS door, brushing the Doctor as she went past. She saw the young woman and smiled.
"Hello, sorry about ending up in your sitting room, see sometimes my husband has disagreements with his spaceship..."
The woman seemed to take it with aplomb. "A perfectly understandable mistake, I am sure."
"Could you possibly tell us where we are?"
"Of course. This is Steventon in Hampshire."
"Right, of course, Hampshire..." said the Doctor. "And could you possibly tell us what year it is?"
"Oh, you can't tell by smelling?," asked Donna.
"Something's thrown off my time sense..." the Doctor muttered sheepishly.
"Isn't that just wizard?," asked Donna.
The woman cleared her throat. "It is the year of our Lord, seventeen ninety six." She looked at the pink baby sling. "I am not familiar with that sort of costume. Is that the fashion in Town this season?"
Donna looked. "What? Oh, the sling, no, that's just Chloe." She pulled back the material a little, revealing the baby. "Just a way to carry her around and keep my hands free for smacking my husband," said Donna with a smile.
"Ingenious," said the woman.
"Sorry, we're being rude," said the Doctor. "I'm the Doctor, this is my wife, Donna Noble, that is Chloe and there are some others, but we really should be going."
The woman curtsied. "It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir. I am Jane Austen."
"What?," said Donna.
Jane looked at them in surprise. "Is my reputation so notorious?"
"No!," said Donna. "It's just that I-"
"Donna," said the Doctor, pulling her aside, he whispered quickly. "It's seventeen ninety-six. She hasn't published anything yet, she's just written a first draft of Pride and Prejudice."
Donna rolled her eyes. "Fine. Not saying anything, no destroying the Earth, got it." She turned to Jane. "Will you excuse me just one moment?"
Donna ran back in the TARDIS. The Doctor was left to smile at Jane politely.
"Your wife is most spirited, sir," said Jane.
"You don't know the half of it," replied the Doctor.
The others attempted to decipher the suddenly elated look on Donna's face as she re-entered the TARDIS.
"Martha! It's Jane bloody Austen!," she said,
"What? Seriously?," asked Amy.
"Oh, my God! We're meeting Jane Austen!," said Martha.
"You have got to be kidding me," said Jack.
Outside the TARDIS, the Doctor looked at Jane.
"You seem to be taking this all rather well," he said.
"Pray tell your meaning, sir."
"Blue box lands in your sitting room, two people step out of it, well, three if you count the baby and you haven't run out of here screaming."
"I leave the dramatics for my mother, sir. She is best suited to it."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow at her. "But it's not as if it's the sort of thing that happens in Hampshire everyday..."
Jane smiled. "Your accounts of Hampshire must be quite out of date then, sir. We've had many strange occurrences as of late."
"Really? In Hampshire?"
"Surely, you have heard about the apparitions that have plagued Steventon this spring."
"Apparitions? You mean ghosts?"
Donna, Martha and Amy carrying Zara bounded back out of the TARDIS. The Doctor gave them an exasperated look.
"They just wanted to make Miss Austen's acquaintance..." said Donna.
"Miss Jane," he corrected.
"Yeah, okay," said Donna, "this is Miss Amelia Pond and Doctor Martha Jones and the little one is our oldest daughter, Zara."
Jane curtsied again. "Miss Pond, Doctor Jones."
"Hi," said Amy, with a goofy smile.
"Hi," said Martha, with a similar smile.
"Hi," said Zara.
"Well, hello, Miss Noble," said Jane with an amused smile.
"Smith-Noble," said Donna, "but that's alright, that's just this thing."
"Miss Jane was just telling me of the apparitions in Steventon as of late," said the Doctor.
"What? You mean like ghosts?," asked Martha. "But she doesn't write-"
The Doctor cleared his throat and rolled his eyes. Martha stopped.
"Never mind," said Martha, she said trying to put off Jane's suspicious look.
"What sort of apparitions?," asked Amy, putting Zara down on the floor.
"Well, the first appeared at the church during my father's sermon, a fortnight ago," said Jane. "A glowing form, with the voice of a girl, shouting some sort of babble. The shock and the stress put my mother to her bed, I am sad to report. News of it reached the Archbishop of Canterbury and so my father was obligated to journey to London to report on it."
"Can you describe it?," asked the Doctor.
"My sister has done some watercolors, would that be useful?"
"May we see them?," asked the Doctor.
"I shall fetch my sister. I am sure she would be most happy to make your acquaintance. Excuse me." Jane curtsied and left the room.
At which point Amy and Martha lost all composure.
"We're in Jane Austen's house!," said Amy.
"And there's ghosts," said Martha. "Why are there ghosts?"
Jack, Ianto and Rory came out of the TARDIS.
"Okay, are we staying at Jane Austen's all day?," asked Jack.
"You watch your behavior," said Donna.
"What did I do?"
Donna walked closer. "I'm not having you run round seducing impressionable young girls along the countryside and ruining their reputations! For all we know, you're the inspiration for Mr. Wickham!"
Jack looked appalled. "I am not Mr. Wickham! When have I ever seduced anyone to get their fortune?"
"I know, you just do it for the sport," said Donna.
"So, I guess I'm not that high in the godfather rankings then?"
Donna rolled her eyes.
"You read Pride and Prejudice?," asked Ianto.
"No," scoffed Jack. "I watched the miniseries. Colin Firth in the lake..." he trailed off dreamily.
"So, we are staying with Jane Austen then?," asked Rory. He paused. "Why is it the longer I spend with you the more I keep having to say sentences I thought I would never say?"
"Jane Austen's being haunted," said Amy.
"Right," said Ianto, he looked at Rory. "That would be another one."
"Definitely," agreed Rory.
"We ought to make a list."
Jane came back in the sitting room with her sister, a tall, blonde woman, a bit older than her.
"There are more of you," said Jane.
"Yeah, sorry," said the Doctor. "This is Mister Rory Williams, Mister Ianto Jones and Captain Jack Harkness."
"This is my elder sister, Cassandra."
Ianto's mobile rang.
"What is that?," asked Cassandra.
"Nothing, just this toy..." he took it aside.
"You didn't put your mobile on silent?," asked Jack.
"I've never visited the past before! I don't know the protocol!" He walked away and talked quietly on the phone.
They finished the rest of the introductions and Cassandra showed them some paintings of a glowing golden form as they took seats and the servants brought in tea, wondering all the while why they had never seen these particular guests enter the house.
"What do you think?," Donna asked the Doctor.
"That's not a ghost," said the Doctor, "looks like some sort of massive energy discharge..."
"Exactly what would a ghost look like?," asked Rory.
Donna sighed. "Energy discharge is Martian for...?"
Cassandra and Jane exchanged curious glances about the visitors who had just appeared in the sitting room and seemed to talk such nonsense.
Ianto came back to the group. "Sorry to interrupt, that was Gwen. There's a glowing form that appeared in the Hub and then on the Plass."
The Doctor held up the watercolor. "Like that?"
"Do you mean to say they have the same apparitions in other places?," Jane asked in surprise.
"In Wales even," said Jack.
"I know," said the Doctor taking Zara into his lap.
"I don't understand," said Amy. "How can the same ghost be in 1796 and 2010?"
"In different places?," added Martha. "What's the connection?"
The Doctor realized all eyes were trained on him.
He looked at Donna. "I thought you wanted to go home."
Donna shook her head. "Yeah, don't think so."
"Shall I ask the servants to set some more places for dinner?," asked Jane.
"If it's not too much trouble," answered the Doctor with a grin.
"It is a great deal of trouble, sir," said Jane with a smile, "but it shall be worth it if you can shed some light on these frightening events."