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Times Arrow (3/?)

Title: "Time's Arrow,  Chapter 3"
Copyright Notice: All characters owned by the BBC, BBC America and Tiger Aspect Media.
Plot spoilers: Torchwood: Season 2, Doctor Who: Season 4, Robin Hood: Season 2  Up to ends of Current Seasons of all  Three Shows.
Pairings: Gwen/Martha, Ianto/Jack, Robin/Much
Warnings: None for this chapter
Rating: PG- 13 (For suggestive slash content)

Summary:  Third chapter of my multichapter, multi fandom, fic.  This series brings together characters from Robin Hood, Torchwood, and Doctor Who.  

Previous Chapters Below:
Cover Art, Chapters 1, 2,


Dedicated to my ever patient beta

zooeyrye

Such a brilliant writer!  She takes my Southern  Yank drivel and turns it into poetry.  

And my dear friend,

demotu

Who introduced me to the insane wonderful world of fanfiction with her Torchwood fic,  A Matter of Time.  No one writes Jack/Jack/Jack/Ianto slash like her!  Don't know what I mean? Just read it!
 

Chapter 3: "OWWW!"

Robin didn't know how long they had been lying on the ground after the light released them.  Much was there, out cold and foetal, but still alive.  Still expecting the Sheriff and Guy to appear from behind a tree and reveal their latest plot; his hand went for an arrow out of his quiver.  He wasn't disappointed when, out of the darkness, a menacing figure ran over to them.

The man's greatcoat flapping behind him made him seem much larger and threatening than he really was. “Don’t be frightened! We're....”

 
The sound of an arrow echoed through the air, shhhhhhhhooooooooook thunk!

Sheer terror and reflex from too many battles had caused Robin to fire automatically at such a blatant and immanent threat and as always, his arrow found its mark.  Captain Jack fell silently backward with an arrow in his left eye.

Robin, sad and remorseful, bent over the figure.  The wide eyed glassy stare from the remaining good eye told him his unintended target was quite dead and he reached out to close it in respect.

“I wouldn't do that!”  Came a thickly accented voice behind him.  The grim-looking dark haired Welshman stood over him, in odd clothing, looking even more the nobleman than he was.

He held a strange grey object in his hand, pointed at Robin's head.  Instinctively knowing this to be a weird weapon of some kind, by the way it was pointed at him and just as eager not to know what it did at this close range, Robin relented.

“I thought he was going to attack us.  I am sorry,” Robin looked up at his captor solemnly. 

Still grim, Ianto casually walked over to Jack's cooling body and placed a foot on his shoulder.

 
Steeling himself for the nasty task ahead, he half whispered to Jack, “You really don't pay me enough!”  Then he grasped the arrow's shank and pulled the offending rod from Jack's eye socket.

What happened next sent Robin reeling back in horror and disbelief.  The body jerked and let out a loud gasp as all the air—that had left its lungs—rushed back in.  The man sat up and Robin could see all the tissues in the stranger's ruined eye repairing themselves, finishing with the hole in the lid.

Standing up, Jack walked over and winked his new left eye at a spellbound Robin, “Hi!” He said breathlessly, “We’re Torchwood.  Captain Jack Harkness at your service!  And you are?”

 
He reached out his hand to the disbelieving Robin, taking the young man's slack one in a firm shake.  Robin's eyes were so wide, they could have fallen out of his head.


Ianto and newly arrived Gwen and Martha, all gave Jack an exasperated look after a few moments.  Jack knew that look.  It was the one he got from people who knew him too well, when he was leaning in too close to someone he fancied.  He became painfully aware of how long he had held the shocked Robin's hand while his other hand absently caressed the young archer’s shoulder.

“Awkward...” Martha muttered softly to Gwen, eliciting a giggle.

Jack suddenly rolled his eyes and said sarcastically in their direction, “I was just saying hello!” He turned back to Robin, “Oh, and by the way....OWWWW!”

 

***

 

The ride in the strange black carriage that night was one of the longest he had traveled.  There were no horses, but it moved quickly and effortlessly down the smooth grey road guided by the brooding Welshman’s hands.  He didn't want to get in it with the strangers.  More still, he objected when the two men insisted on loading his hurt friend in another similar one without him.  He was finally convinced when his friend and loyal servant looked so pale and didn't wake up.  The pretty dark girl said she could help him get better.  She showed a good deal of care as she fussed over Much, in a way Djaq would have done.  He gave in, knowing whatever the outcome, he had to do it for Much's sake.  He owed his friend that.

“This must be a nightmare or hell, or both,” he said under his fingers as he pressed his head to the cool window glass.

“It's Cardiff,” the pretty Welsh woman called Gwen offered.

He turned and glanced in the direction of her warm smile and large caring eyes.  Then catching the strange flameless torches by the side of the road in his eyes, he sadly mumbled, “I've been to Cardiff…this is not how I remember it to be.”

To Robin, this was confirmed when the SUV reached downtown Cardiff and he saw the city for the first time.  The bright lights and tall buildings looked larger than any citadel he had seen in the Holy Land nor any Lord or Sheriff’s castle he had crossed the moat of.  Only when they reached Cardiff Castle, did he finally recognize some familiarity but even then it was changed with strange spires and towers he didn't remember.

“How is the other rift victim?” The large-eyed Welsh woman asked, although she seemed to be speaking to the air. When the air answered back, Robin involuntarily jerked at the oddly accented voice of the “Lazarus-like” man.

“He's still out, but breathing...heh heh, I think he just asked for more pork in his sleep.  That's a good sign isn't it Martha?”

The voice of the pretty dark woman came from nowhere, “Tell his friend I think he's going to be okay.”

Robin looked at Gwen’s large kind eyes as she squeezed his bicep gently and he smiled for the first time since he came to in this strange place.  He spoke inaudibly to himself, “Good old Much!”

When they got to the tunnel in the rear entrance to the hub, Robin’s anxiety returned.  The rough tile walls instantly reminded him of the Sheriff’s dungeons which he had seen too many times and he again suspected a plot from treacherous enemies, half expecting the see Gisborne come out from any corner.  “What is a rift?” he asked softly, looking cautiously toward Gwen.

“I’m sorry?” Gwen asked gently leaning in to the forlorn, confused man.

 “You named us, ‘rift victims.’” His sad green eyes connected with her moist brown ones. “What is a rift?”

Gwen used the kindest voice she could muster. It was the one she reserved as a C.P. for people crying, confused; angry and in pain.  It wasn’t her favorite voice and she had used it way too often. “We don’t really know exactly.  All we know is that it takes people from their homes, their lives and their time and brings them somewhere else.”  She placed a reassuring hand on his arm and tried to sound genuine.  She was fighting tears from the feeling of helplessness she knew way too well. “We’ll take care of you and try to get you home.”

“Try?” He measured his thoughts and placed his head against the cool glass again as he looked at the grey walls outside. “I do not even know where my home is.”

 

***


Getting Much to the exam room from the SUV wasn’t an easy task.  He was still out of it, but beginning to come around and was twisting incoherently in Jack and Ianto’s arms with amazing strength as they struggled to get him on the gurney.

“Where are you taking him?” Robin demanded, looking worried and untrusting again.  He eyed Much struggling against the straps of the bed as he rubbed his left arm.

Martha finished securing Much and walked over to him. “He might have a head injury and we need to check him. You’re rubbing your shoulder.  We need to check you too, alright?”

Robin looked at her soft brown eyes and at Gwen nodding in approval.  “Just don’t hurt him.”

He leveled his eyes at her. It was almost a threat.


***

From the walkway to the exam room, Robin watched as the team carefully undressed the unconscious Much and attached wires and devices to him.  Martha removed his skullcap and examined the nasty bruise under it that was forming.  He looked so vulnerable without it: a naked, blonde child.  His long pale lashes were plastered to his cheek as he shifted incoherently against the straps holding him.

“I don’t think it’s serious, just a mild concussion.  When they arrived he must have landed head first.  He’s lucky, it could have broken his neck.” She gazed up at Jack who was standing on the other walkway. “I’ll do a full series of tests and blood work on him, then a physical when he awakes.”

“AHHHHHHHHH! Master Robin!” The manservant let out a terrified scream, having awakened to a scene worse in his mind, than in any of the sheriff’s dungeons.

Every person in the room turned to the screaming patient on the bed.  Much’s pale blue eyes were like saucers as he gazed up from his restraints to his former master in horror.  Alarms started going off around him as the monitors registered his anxiety, making his condition even worse.

“Oh look, he’s awake now.” Martha sounded strangely and clinically calm as she pushed buttons to stop the alarms. She put a hand on his shoulder, “You’re safe! You’re alright.”

“My head hurts and I cannot move!” he yelled pleadingly to the dark woman standing over him.  He was not sure if she was a friend or foe but he was sure she had the power over his present situation.

“You hit your head.  You’ve been out of it for a while and we had to strap you down so you wouldn’t injure yourself further.  If you promise not to get up and fight, or run, I will loosen the straps, okay?”

Much, knew that was exactly what he wished do, but her kind expression made him nod his head in agreement. Martha loosened the straps on his arms and Much grabbed his wrist and rubbed at the marks, eyeing the young doctor cautiously.

 Martha helped the confused man raise up on the bed. “I need to check your eyes okay?” She pulled a small metal looking pencil out of her coat pocket and it flashed a small light at the end.

Much shrank back and squinted away from it screaming, “Master Robin, please do not let them blind me!”

Martha pulled back, hurt at first then she smiled, “I’m not going to blind you silly.” She waved the penlight into her own brown eyes to show him, like she was treating a scared child. “I just want to look into those pretty blue eyes a little closer,” she cooed.

 Semi-assured, he turned to her and managed a weak smile of compliance as she leaned closer and lifted first one lid then the other.  The light made him wince at first, but then he locked onto the two soft liquid pools of her eyes in front of him. He could smell the sweetness of her perfume and became embarrassingly aware of his closeness to her.  His cheeks blushed crimson under the exam light.  The monitor connected to his arm betrayed this feeling by beeping a little faster as the numbers on the screen went up.

Martha looked at the machine, smiled at Much before looking to Robin, “Oh he’s going to be fine, alright.”

 The blonde servant remained calm through the rest of the exam, captivated by this sweet kind dark lady who smelled so good.

 ***

Robin sat next to Martha as she helped him slip off his tunic.  She gasped softly at the large scar extending from just under his left armpit down his side before carrying on.  She examined the bruise on his shoulder, making the young archer wince. “Well, we know it’s not broken since you obviously can still use your bow.”

“I’ll say!” Jack replied.

“I have had worse.” Robin said looking up at Jack suspiciously, only turning back to Martha as she fastened a cuff on his other arm.

“Judging by that scar I would say so.” 

“What does that do?” Robin watched Martha’s every move for the first chance of misdeed.

“It tells me how your heart is doing.  Hmm, good and strong,” She inflated the cuff, and gazed into his eyes while she waited.  Robin grunted at the mild discomfort, “It’s alright I don’t like that part either,” She confided with a smile.

 

Whatever the results from the strange device were, they seemed to please her and she quickly moved on to the next task, patiently explaining what she was doing to him so as to not raise anxiety in the young man.

When she went to draw blood, Robin grabbed her wrist at the sight of the needle. “What is that!”

“It’s a syringe, I just need to draw some blood...”

“Bloodletting?” he exclaimed, “But I am hardly feverish!”

“No, we test it to see what’s in the blood.  I’ll just take a little.  It won’t hurt, I swear.” Martha patiently patted his hand.

“Will you cut me?” Robin’s pupils widened at the thought.

“No, just a tiny pinch, you won’t even feel it,” Martha promised. When he relented, Martha tightened the tourniquet on his bicep, palpated the crook of his arm with her fingers and slid the needle effortlessly into his vein.  She released the rubber strap, pushed in the tube, and scarlet liquid filled it with a gentle hiss.

 “One more, then we’re all done.” She chimed happily as she quickly filled another tube. “Now put your finger on this.” She removed the needle and placed a gauze pad on the spot where it had been, then moving to place a bandage over the gauze. “There now, that wasn’t so bad was it?”

She smiled at him with warm eyes and Robin realized why Much had made the machine beep faster. “No, it was fine.” He answered, boyishly grinning as he put back on his shirt.

 
***

 
Martha leaned over Jack’s desk in his office on both hands and gave her report. “Subject one is a Caucasian male of about 24 to 28 years old. Height: 1.726 meters Weight: 11.1 stone. Hair color is brown, eye color, green.  Well nourished and all medical tests are within median range.  Visual acuity test, exceedingly high, better than 6/6 ...”

 
“Eagle eye, huh!” Jack interjected as he fingered the arrow he was holding.  It would’ve killed him had he been mortal.

Martha continued, “Yes, and according to the calluses on his hands and muscle development of his right arm, highly trained for archery I would assume.”

“The other one?” Jack leaned in as Martha read the chart.

 
“Subject Two: Caucasian male, blonde hair, blue eyes, 12 stone, a bit taller than the other, 1.8 meters and a year or two older.  Signs of early childhood malnourishment and neglect.  Vitals are good.   No lasting effects from head trauma sustained after falling through the rift.  And he keeps complaining about being hungry.” She added with a smile.

“Have Ianto show him to the kitchen and give him whatever he wants.” Jack, intrigued at the results, raised his eyebrows. “Any conclusions as to where they’re from.”

 
“Late 12th century I would guess based on language, physiognomy and dress.  The first one appears to be of nobility based on his general hygiene, mannerism and nutritional state.  The other might be a surf, or even a slave. Both have numerous battle scars and calluses.  Their severity and placement on the body would suggest military men or soldiers of the Crusades.”

“Crusades!” Jack sent an eyebrow straight up. “Where are they now?”

“Ianto has them washing up in the staff locker room, and he’s documenting and cataloguing their clothing—they were a bit rank.” Martha wrinkled her nose.

“800 year old dirt and sweat? I bet they were!” Jack grinned at the faces he pictured Ianto making at his task. “Ahh, that explains the Welsh swear words he used when I asked him for coffee earlier.  I really need to give him a raise or at least take him on a proper date…Soon as they’re cleaned up and dressed I want them and the team, in the conference room. We have to find out who these guys are.”


***
 
Next Week

Chapter 4: What to Say to a Living Legend

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
eppic
Aug. 15th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
More plz. I was giggling madly at Much and Robin's reactions. Poor babies. *clings to Much and Robin*
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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