Torchwood/Dr Who: The Collar
You weren't fooled in the least, right?
Part 12: The Vote
No one stopped nor spoke to the Doctor as he walked to the amphitheater exit. He kept his head down and his hands in his pockets. It wasn't really up to him to decide the fate of an ancient race like the fae. Ancient and stubborn. Rigid. Completely unreasonable. They were rational beings, capable of making their own decisions.
As he neared the door, a whirr of cicada wings caught up with him. He half-turned. A small pixie hovered before him, glowing a faint luminescent green. She dropped something into his hand. "This I give freely."
He caught it. It was a small green leaf, still curled tightly in on itself. The Doctor's face lit up. "Oh, thank you!"
"Thank you," the pixie said in a completely un-fae show of gratitude. She darted forward and touched him on the nose. A spark lit briefly, tickling. Then she whirred off.
The Doctor turned to watch her go, and he saw the great oak. Black leaves were falling from its branches like soft rain. Yet as he continued to watch, green sprouts began to glimmer on the twigs and boughs. The tree was still dark, but the buds began to glow softly.
Still smiling, the Doctor went back to the TARDIS with a light step. He went inside and found a clear round storage unit to keep the delicate leaf in. He hung it from one of the support struts.
"There! Another disaster of epic proportions averted!" He clapped his hands together and rubbed them with glee. "Now, how about a bit of R and R, shall we?" He dashed around the central console, adjusting levers and flipping switches with practiced ease. The TARDIS' engine fired up with its universally unique sound.
Kwah-rhuuuhm... Kwah-rhuuuhm... Kwah-rhuuuhm... Kwah-rhuu-huh-huh-ktk-ktk-ktk-kk-kk-kk kpphfft.
"Kpphfft?" the Doctor imitated, spraying a bit of spittle. "What kpphfft? There's no kpphfft!" Frowning, he snapped a few switches. The engine remained stubbornly silent. He went through the prep sequence again, then threw the starter bar.
Kwah-rhuu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-huuk was all he got. He tried again, and even again, but the engine just wouldn't tick over.
"I don't understand," he told no one in particular. He slid the monitor over and checked the externals. They had moved. The TARDIS now stood outside the regular Galway Hotel. Then it had stalled. "But the energy tanks are topped off. The capacitors aren't incapacitated..." The Doctor flipped a switch again to triple-check. "What could possibly be wr-?" His eyes alit on the mobile phone sitting on the console. "Noooo." Reluctantly, he picked it up. "Come on, you can't expect me to remember how t- oh."
The little screen still said '*3,' just how Jack had left it. And the big button right under it, labeled 'DIAL' was kind of hard to miss.
"And that is why we have this latent primitive technology called 'a land-line,' Jack." Gwen was really chewing him out.
"Okay, okay, I promise! The next time I'm perfectly safe and nothing is happening, I'll be sure to phone up and tell you so!"
"Oooooh, men!" Gwen ranted. "You just can't pick up a bloody phone and call, can you?"
"Yeah, it's a guy thing."
"I give up!" Gwen tossed her hands in the air and left the office.
Ianto scooted past her and handed Jack another pair of pliers. Then he went to check on today's batch of coffee.
Jack propped a mirror up on his desk so he could see what he was doing. Though it took a lot of strength, it wasn't difficult to twist the large ring enough to create a gap to slip the jump rings to the chain off.
He ran the smooth metal between his fingers, ensuring the chain didn't twist. Then he linked the ring back on to close it into a loop once more. He held it between his hands a minute, watching the metal gleam. He wondered if Cat would return to the Otherland when they closed the Gateways, or if she'd stay on Earth. If she stayed on this side, she'd most likely lose her powers. And be truly homeless. Either way, he'd probably never see her again.
Which was probably best.
He dropped the chain into the lower drawer of his desk. He shoved it closed with his foot as the phone rang. He grabbed it. "Harkness."
"Uh... Hello, Jack? I'm sorta in town a while..."
Jack's eyebrows rose nearly to his hairline. For a moment, he was speechless. "Doctor? Are you... actually calling me?"
"Um, yes. So... how about we go out for a pint?"
"You're calling me and asking me to go out for a drink?"
"Oh, well... if you're busy..."
"No no no no! Not at all! Where are you? I'll come pick you up."
There was more fluff and nonsense they could talk about, and a joke about giving the TARDIS a jump-start. But... best to leave all that to the reader's imagination!