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Times Arrow (11/27)

Title: "Time's Arrow, Chapter 11"
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: Jack/10 Doctor, Jack/10 Doctor/Gwen, Jack/10 Doctor/Robin/Much, Gwen/Ianto, Jack/Ianto, Gwen/Rhys, Martha/Mickey/10 Doctor, Martha/10 Doctor.
Warnings: Generally safe with a dash of slash and a smidge of het.
Rating: PG (light slash/het content)
Summary: Eleventh 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, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10Explicit content chapter rewrites 6; 9

Made possible by my wonderful beta,

zooeyrye

She wades through the mire of bad grammar, misspellings and awkward sentences so you don't have to .  Brave girl indeed!


Chapter 11:  All Aboard for Merry Old England!

 

Jack sat behind the desk in his office and studied his ancient friend. The Doctor had not changed a bit since the last time he saw him, months ago. For all he knew, it could have rightly been a matter of days for the Time Lord; such was the way of time travel. Although the strange man before him seemed complacent and nonchalant, looking around the small glass enclosed room, occasionally picking up the random object and glancing disinterestedly at it. He knew the illusion was far from the truth. 

 

The Gallifrean was a walking laboratory and every thought was filled with calculations, permutations and general knowledge trivia about the world around him, including the man in the chair.

 

“So, I finally get to visit the mighty Captain Jack Harkness’ office in Torchwood III.” He grinned insanely and then settled down in the accompanying chair on the opposite side of the desk, before sobering and levelling his eyes at the Time Agent, “Why did you summon me, Jack?”

 

The shock of hair sticking up wildly on top of the Doctor’s head reminded Jack of a rooster in full stride in a barnyard. He couldn’t help but smile at the mental reference, “If you would answer your phone once in a while, you would already know.”

 

“I didn’t want to be disturbed and you know why.” The man in the pinstripe suit avoided Jack’s eyes as he played with one of the desk accessories. “Is Torchwood keeping an eye on her?”

 

Jack looked at his friend over tented fingers, “Yeah, she’s working as a temp at Wernam Hogg Paper Company. They may hire her full-time. They like her typing and her way with fixing dodgy office machinery and even dodgier members of the office staff.” He gave a half-hearted smile, “Wonder where she gets that from?”

 

“Is she happy?” the Doctor asked with an undeniable sadness in his voice.

 

“She seems to be.” Jack grabbed a bottle of cognac from the shelf behind him and offered it to the Time Lord, who shook his head.

 

“I just wish I could see her again. I never thought I’d miss her this much,” he said as he watched the former agent fill a tumbler half full of the golden liquid.

 

Jack grinned a little evilly, “Which one?”

 

“Touché, Jack,” the traveller grinned, grabbing the tumbler out of the other man’s hand. “On second thought, maybe I will have that drink.”

 

“Help yourself,” the former con man gave a flatly amused look then filled another tumbler and raised it. “A toast to all the dames that loved us and left us!”  

 

They clanked glasses, the Doctor added cheekily, “and the gentlemen too.”

 

“Yeah... them as well,” Jack mused.

 

***

 

“What did you bring me here for, Jack?” The Doctor said on his fourth refill, slightly slurring as he spoke.

 

“Not what...who.” He thumbed in the direction of the room across from them, “They’re in the guest quarters. It’s too late to introduce you now but maybe first thing in the morning? If that’s okay with you?”

 

“Okay by me.” The Doctor replied through his pleasant buzz.

 

They sat and talked about the good old days between them that had ended so tragically and so soon. The Doctor shared all the adventures, or misadventures he had after Jack had left. He looked for any trace in his friend, of what he was destined to be in the far future. The thought of Jack becoming a giant head was still just too much for the man looking at him to take in, especially in his inebriated state. So he let it go and enjoyed the moment with his friend.

 

“Have another?” Jack raised the half empty bottle of amber liquid to his guest. The Doctor had loosened the tie on the shirt of his slim, pinstripe suit, that always reminded Jack of a slightly looser version of his assistant’s, save for the red trainers.

 

“If I di’n’t know better Captain Jack Harkness, I would say you were trying to trick me into something devious.” The Doctor focussed on the man before him with one eye as he said it and rose slightly unsteadily on his feet. He then went over and fingered one of the other man’s braces, smiling conspiratorially.

 

“Nah! Just trying to get some lost merry men home.” Jack grinned slightly, “But now that you mention it, I do have a double bed on level four if you care to join me?”

 

The Time Lord grinned back, “And I still have that bedroom on board the TARDIS that you like.”

 

“The one with the red velvet...” Jack was interrupted by the sudden and awkward, crush of the Time Lord’s lips on his. Jack’s interest and eyebrows were both raised at full attention.

 

“Yeeeeaaaaappp–p!” the Doctor shot back, popping the ‘p’ along with a suspender strap against the Torchwood leader’s shoulder.

 

Jack leered back at his friend, “Then lead on!” The two men left the office arm-in-arm, and then Jack turned around in after thought and grabbed the unfinished bottle of cognac.

 

***

 

The next morning, Jack and a slightly hung over Time Lord strolled back up to the top level. “Banana daiquiris, I should just stick to banana daiquiris,” the Doctor groaned holding his head. 

 

“You do seem to have a fondness for bana...”

 

The Doctor shot Jack a pained expression, “Don’t go there, Jack. Time lord hangovers and innuendos are a terrible mix the morning after.” He managed a weak cheeky smile at his lecherous friend.

 

“How long has it been since you drank anyway?” Jack gave his friend a concerned but amused look.

 

The time traveller squinted his eyes trying to remember, “I think it was the 18th century with Renette...uhh...Madam Pompadour…Was that it? Oh no wait! I had something fruity on Midnight with...” he finished the thought sadly in silence.

 

“You really miss her, don’t you?”

 

“Nah! She was a total nuisance. Never followed orders. Always got lost. Always getting into trouble. Always complaining. Always with the cheeky remarks. I was almost glad to get rid of her.” He sighed deeply, “I miss her terribly.” As was the Doctor’s short attention span style, his mood brightened instantly. “But enough of that, let’s meet your new friends.”

 

***

 

The hub was already alive with the usual activities of the day when Jack and the Doctor finally surfaced. Gwen was hunkered over her station and looked up quickly. “I was gonna tell you that we had signatures of the TARDIS on our readouts but it looks like I don’t have to.”

 

The Doctor took the young woman’s hand and looked into her warm brown eyes “You do look so much like your great, great aunt Gwyneth and even lovelier in person.”

 

Gwen cut her eyes at Jack, “You did warn me he was a flatterer.” She then turned back to the time lord. “Turns out my family is indebted to you. It was a long standing question in my families’ history about what happened to dear Auntie Gwyneth.” She looked a little sad, “Now we know.”

 

“She was a brave woman, I’m sure you take more than your good looks after her,” he grinned.

 

The Doctor then shocked the young field agent by saying, “a lot more.” What shocked her was that his lips didn’t move. She smiled nervously as the Doctor and Jack turned to walk up to the Torchwood leader’s office. The Doctor’s pleased expression as he looked back over his shoulder at her, registered that she didn’t imagine it.

 

***

 

The Doctor and Jack were seated in the office when Robin and Much made their entrance. The Doctor got up excitedly, “You must be Robin Hood!” he exclaimed, walking over to Much and shaking the confused servant’s hand vigorously. Much smiled and said, “Actually, we are Robin Hood.” Indicating himself and Robin as he did so.

 

Robin clarified for the suddenly lost, Time Lord offering his hand. “Robert, Earl of Huntingdon and Lord of Loxley at your service. You may call me Robin,” He smiled. “And this is my good friend and future Lord of Bonchurch, Much.”

 

Much blushed at his friends kind words, “Are you going to take us home Master Doctor?”

 

“Doctor only, please!” The Time Lord kindly but firmly corrected the blonde man. “Hearing my name mentioned in the same breath as his, sends chills down my spine.” Seeing the poor servant’s obvious concern at having offended, he was quick to explain, “I had a friend by that name, he turned out to not be a very nice person.”

 

Much answered with a weak smile and said—rather unconvincingly; “I see.”

 

“Yes, I’m going to try to get you boys home.” He turned to the former time agent, “While we’re there Jack, I guess we also need to find whatever it was that brought them here.”

 

“The necklace.” Robin added, “We picked it up out of a trunk that we robb—took a donation to the poor from.” He grinned mischievously. “The driver was on the way to the Duke of York’s castle with spoils from a battle here in Cardiff. The Cardiff in our time that is.”

 

The Doctor lamented, “What is it with you humans and time devices?” He shot a look at Jack, “You know the problem? You humans have no sense of responsibility! You just can’t leave a vortex manipulator lying around for 12th century outlaws to pilfer.” He pointed to Robin and Much, “Exhibit A, nothing good comes of it!”

 

Jack defended, “It wasn’t mine! Besides we don’t know the whole story. We don’t know what happened to the original owner. She may be trapped in the past with no way home. And another thing, if it’s from the 51st century it could very well be a ‘he’ with a fancy taste in VM’s.”

 

The Doctor paused, “Very true. So we need to track whomever he or she is down, if he or she’s still alive and get her or him home as well.” He gave the Torchwood leader a cheeky grin, “How did you know I was bored!”

 

Much turned to Robin in a total daze, “Master, I think these two are starting to give me a headache.” The equally puzzled archer nodded in agreement with his friend.

 

***

 

Gwen wandered over to the kitchenette watching the Doctor, Much, Robin and Jack talking in the office. Turning on Ianto, she let out a toothy grin. “Isn’t this exciting? The Doctor, right here in the Hub. I finally got to meet him. All the stories Jack told about him. He seems so—normal! That suit and those cute red trainers he wears...”

 

Ianto stopped working on his espresso machine and sneered, “It isn’t that exciting Gwen. And you read all the reports. Everywhere he goes trouble seems to find him.”

 

“He saved the Earth from the Daleks!” she defended. “Countless times!”

 

“And according to Jack, he’s the one who originally brought them here!” Ianto spat back. He glared up at the office window, by chance meeting the cold gaze of his former lover. “They deserve each other.”

 

“Have you tried talking to him again? We’ve all been on edge and a lot has happened to us this past year Ianto, even more so for him. Don’t give up on Jack so soon.” She rubbed his arm and smiled as warmly as she could, “If Rhys and I could come out of this the other end, you and Jack can too.”

 

Ianto put down the towel and looked at the young woman. He sighed and put his hand on her shoulder, “I appreciate your help, Gwen. But what’s happening between Jack and me is just that—between Jack and me. I should have never got involved with the boss in the first place. It was a bad idea.”

 

Gwen studied her co-worker seriously before carrying on, “Your boss? After all we’ve been through…You, me and Jack, I would think that he would mean more to you than that.”

 

She turned on heel and walked away.

 

***

 

By the time Mickey and Martha arrived back at the Hub, it was awash with plans being made, equipment being loaded, and the usual nervous excitement that accompanied the Doctor. Both former companions paused, taking it all in. The Doctor had transported the TARDIS to the ground floor of the Hub, and Much and Robin were helping Jack load it for the trip home.

 

Martha and the Doctor’s eyes met from across the room. She smiled sadly and he grinned. Then, as if they had survived yet another near catastrophe, they ran to each other and embraced. “You keep looking more and more ravishing each time we meet,” he said sincerely. “And still no ring? What am I going to do with you Doctor Jones?”

 

Martha smiled sheepishly at his warmth burying her feelings and clearing the lump from her throat. “Use the TARDIS to kidnap my fiancé away from his job. Tommy just can’t get away. We keep setting the date and something comes up. But you are still so invited. And you?”

 

“Oh...the usual,” he grinned in wide-eyed enthusiasm. “You know me; always running about, getting chased by monsters, rescuing planets from destruction...discovering new uses for bananas.” Sobering and smiling fondly, he added, “I missed you.”

 

Martha smiled a touch wickedly, “Good!”

 

The Doctor then turned, “Mickey the idi....”

 

“Oi! Again with the insults!” The young man gave an eye roll and grabbed the Time Lord in a bear hug. “So what we fighting this time, Daleks, Cybermen, or flying toasters?”

 

“Just here at the pleasure of your team leader,” the Doctor replied, thumbing in Jack’s direction.

 

“If it was at his pleasure, you wouldn’t have your clothes on.” Mickey replied.

 

He elicited a laugh and a, “Hey! I heard that,” from across the room.

 

The Doctor grinned, “So what do you say guys? Up for another adventure for old time’s sake?”

 

Martha shrank back and looked at the doctor, “I’m sorry, Doctor, I have a life here. I can’t risk it anymore. I just can’t. You understand, right?” 

 

The Doctor looked at his former companion with a note of sadness. He thought how he would change everything that happened between them in an instant if he could, just to erase that look of unease in her eyes, “I understand.” he grinned, then turned again to Mickey, “And you Mr. Smith?”

 

“Oi! Already got my bags packed! Someone’s got to keep you and that one out of trouble,” the young man grinned and shot a look of playful defiance at Jack.

 

“Good! We’ll need your expertise to help find the VM in Sherwood,” Jack answered. He turned to Gwen and Ianto, “I want you two to come too. This time we all go together.”

 

Gwen’s eyes registered her shock and surprise, Oi! Can I bring Rhys too? Please Jack I’ll look after him and he can help us find the necklace.”

 

Her eyes were in full puppy dog begging mode and the Time Agent already regretted giving in once again, “Okay but he has got to listen and do as we say. And you’re responsible for him. Got it?”

 

Gwen was ecstatic, “Got it Jack! I gotta call Rhys, excuse me.” She smiled and ran off to grab her phone, leaving Jack and Ianto painfully close together. Ianto mumbled an excuse and started to walk away but Jack grabbed his arm. “I want you to come along too.”

 

“Why do you need me Jack?” he scowled, “You have him.”

 

“Because I need you!” Jack hissed, “We are a team, regardless of our personal problems. I’m not asking you as your lover I’m asking you as your team leader and boss.” He lifted Ianto’s chin to meet his, “More important, I’m asking as your friend.”

 

Ianto looked away for a moment and then back, “Okay, I’ll come. But I still don’t trust him.”

 

“Fair enough,” Jack grinned. “Give him a chance, he’ll grow on you.”

 

“I doubt it.” the assistant called back as he meandered off.

 

***

 

 Martha busied herself in the infirmary, trying to calm the jelly-like sensation in her knees from seeing the Doctor. She was amazed at how quickly she felt all the emotions bubble up to the surface when she saw him again. She had, once more, become the scared intern with the secret crush on a Time Lord and, she hated herself for it. She wanted to call Tom and hear his voice. Why did he always have to be out of town on business when she needed him most? Her thoughts were broken by a gentle noise at the top of the stairs. 

 

Much was standing at the railing looking like a sad child who was denied a new toy. “Lady Martha, do you mind if we talk?”

 

Martha smiled at her friend, “Of course not, Much. You’re going home. Aren’t you excited?”

 

Much grinned modestly, “Yes and no.”

 

Martha frowned, “Why? Is something wrong?”

 

“Well...,” his mouth quivered as he spoke, “Here I am a free man. I could do and go as I please. Back there I am an outlaw, a wanted man. I live in the forest and eat whatever I can find. I want to go. I really do; I belong there and I understand that. But a part of me wishes I could stay here, with you. I shall miss you.” He walked over to the young doctor, “When Ianto said you decided to stay, my heart sank. I so wished you could go with us.”

 

Martha looked at Much’s sad blue eyes and held his hand. “I wish I could go with you. I want to, but I had some bad times with that man and his machine. It wasn’t the Doctor’s fault, just the way things turned out. But I swore I wouldn’t put myself in that situation ever again.”

 

Much smiled, and touched her chin. “I understand, Lady Martha. It is just...”

 

“Just what, Much?” Martha smiled, gazing into the servant’s impossibly ice blue eyes and getting a feeling she never got with the Doctor or Tom Mulligan.

 

Much focussed on the young woman in his usual shy manner with a lady, “You were the first person I saw in this new world,” he said as he gazed into the caramel pools of her eyes. “You have shown me things I never thought possible and places I never knew could exist. I just wanted to return the favour and show you mine. But if this is goodbye milady, at least allow me the simple kindness to say it here and now.”

 

Having said that, he leaned in to kiss her. Any other man, Martha would have pushed away, maybe even slapped and warned that she was a soon-to-be married woman. With Much, she didn’t mind at all and found herself kissing back with greedy enthusiasm.

 

***

 

Rhys excitement was hardly containable as he bolted into the hub with an overnight bag slung over his shoulder. The large, dark-blonde man ran over to his wife and kissed her passionately. Jack looked up, smiling but with obvious mild jealousy. “I came as soon as I got your call! Joe is taking over for me for a few days at work. I suspended the paper and milk service. I’m so excited! I get to meet the Doctor and Robin Hood and travel in a time machine, an actual time machine! I’m the luckiest man on earth!”

 

“Rhys…” His poor wife tried in vain to get in a word in edgewise.

 

Rhys froze suddenly, “What’s the matter? Jack changed his mind and I’m not going?” 

 

“No.” Gwen suppressed a giggle.

 

Rhys went apologetic, “Oh no! I forgot our anniversary and this is my present. Oh Gwen, I’m…”

 

Gwen was outright laughing at her husband now. Suddenly Rhys looked totally stunned. His eyes went to her belly, “Oh my god! You’re pregnant and I’m going to be a dad. It’s not another alien baby. Is it?  Don’t worry hon, if it’s humanoid and non hostile, we’ll love it anyway. As if it was our own…”

 

Gwen thumped her husband on the head with a manila folder. “Rhys, you big idiot!”

 

He threw up his hands in complete surrender, “What then?!”

 

Gwen looked at her husband in weary amusement, “You cancelled the milk service and paper route and took the week off. It’s a time machine, Rhys!” She put her hands on her hips and blew out her bangs from her face in mock contempt, “We can be gone for months and still be back here the same day we left.”

 

Rhys sobered at the realisation, “Oh! Right then,” he deflated. “That means we still have to do lunch on Sunday with your Mum?” He squinted at the thought of not being let off the hook for the upcoming dreaded event.

 

Gwen nodded sadly, her big eyes twinkled with amusement, “I’m afraid so.”

 

Her husband sighed, “All right! I’ll re-establish the milk and paper service but I’m keeping the days off.” He grinned as he walked away, dialling his phone.

 

***

 

The group loaded everyone’s final belongings on board the time ship and Jack was getting ready to close the doors when Martha ran across the hub with her rolling suitcase in tow. “Wait for me!”

 

Jack looked at the Torchwood medical officer with a raised eyebrow and amused smile, “I thought you decided to stay behind?”

 

“And miss all the excitement? Seriously, Jack!” She grinned widely at her boss, “I called Andy. He’ll look after the hub while we’re gone.” She then walked over to the Doctor and gave a mock salute, “Permission to come aboard, Sir.”

 

The Doctor grinned at his former companion, “Permission granted! So, one final trip with the old Doctor, doctor?”

 

Martha looked up at the man she adored for so long, shyly, “One final trip.” They hugged briefly while everyone else in the room looked on with delight. The Time Lord broke the embrace and cocked his head at the young woman, “So what made you change your mind?”

 

Martha gave Much a conspiratorial grin, “I had a friend convince me it wouldn’t be half bad.” She then gave her old friend a concerned pout, “You will stay out of trouble? Won’t you?”

 

The Doctor looked wounded, “Why Doctor Jones, when have I ever sought out trouble?”

 

Three people started to speak at once as his brow furrowed. He raised his hands in mock surrender, “All right! I’ll try to stay out of trouble.” He grinned wickedly, “But it won’t be nearly as much fun.”

 

With everyone finally on board, Jack closed the TARDIS doors. The Doctor turned to the console, “Hold ’em if you got ’em boys and girls! All aboard for merry old England!” He flipped the switch and the TARDIS disappeared from the Hub.

 

Next Week:

 

Chapter 12: Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here!


 

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
robinfanatic
Oct. 12th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
behind in my reading! agh! this chapter is on my to-do list for today!
robinfanatic
Oct. 12th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
27 chapters, eh? Wow! Still so much to look forward to!!

These are just wonderful visuals:
...the Doctor shot back, popping the ‘p’ along with a suspender strap against the Torchwood leader’s shoulder.

The Doctor then shocked the young field agent by saying, “a lot more.” What shocked her was that his lips didn’t move.
Love it! LOL!

“Hearing my name mentioned in the same breath as his, sends chills down my spine.” Seeing the poor servant’s obvious concern at having offended, he was quick to explain, “I had a friend by that name, he turned out to not be a very nice person.”
Does this refer to something in the current series? or with an earlier version of the doctor? (one of these days I'll start watching Dr. Who... should I start at the very beginning, or would you recommend any particular dr.?)

Much turned to Robin in a total daze, “Master, I think these two are starting to give me a headache.”
Wonderful Muchness!

“If it was at his pleasure, you wouldn’t have your clothes on.” Mickey replied.
He elicited a laugh and a, “Hey! I heard that,” from across the room.

WOO-HOO!!!! Great exchange!

little copy edit note:
I never thought I’d miss her this much.” He said as....
Change the period to a comma, and lowercase "h" i.e., "...much," he said...."

Oh boy!! The lads are going home! Can't wait to see what you have in store for the Torchwood folks & the doctor in the 12th century!
darkentwisted
Oct. 13th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
“Hearing my name mentioned in the same breath as his, sends chills down my spine.” Seeing the poor servant’s obvious concern at having offended, he was quick to explain, “I had a friend by that name, he turned out to not be a very nice person.”
Does this refer to something in the current series? or with an earlier version of the doctor? (one of these days I'll start watching Dr. Who... should I start at the very beginning, or would you recommend any particular dr.?)"


This is a character reference to 'the Master'

The Doctor's former friend, mortal enemy and recurring villian in the show. End of series 3 he was particularly nasty.

Granted, Much referring to the Doctor as 'Master Doctor', till prompted not to do so, seems a little awkward now that you brought it up. (scratches head for a fix.)

"little copy edit note:
I never thought I’d miss her this much.” He said as....
Change the period to a comma, and lowercase "h" i.e., "...much," he said...."


Great catch!
Slipped by 10 re-reads, my Word grammar checker and a beta. Zooey and I must be overworked. :)

Thanks for reading and fixing.
Input keeps me slogging along.
*hfr*
robinfanatic
Oct. 13th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think it's awkward.... I just wanted to understand the reference to Master! Leave it alone! It's fine as is!
darkentwisted
Oct. 13th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Oh...Ok. :)

The Master is another Time Lord. Regenerates just like the Doctor so therefore he has been played by numerous actors during both old and new series.

Ironically, Sam Troughton (Much) has expressed interest to RTD to play the next incarnation of the Master. Hope he gets the part!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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