Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Times Arrow (19/27)

Title: "Time's Arrow, Chapter 19"
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:  Robin/Much, Gwen/Y2KJack/Guy, Ianto/Martha, Little John/Allan, Robin/10Doctor/Jack/Horace/Rhys/Matilda.
Warnings: Angst
Rating: PG (light slash content)
Summary: Nineteenth chapter of my multichapter, multi fandom, fic. This series brings together characters from Robin Hood, Torchwood, and Doctor Who.  Robin, Jack, Rhys and the Doctor rescue Horace and meet an old friend.  Gwen finds herself lost in time with two dangerous men.

First chapter after the holidays.   Only eight more to go!  Thanks as always to zooeyrye , my ever patient beta.

Previous Chapters Below:
Cover Art, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 1415, 1617, 18 Explicit content chapter rewrites 6; 9


Chapter 19: Cardiff or Bust!


The four men stood for a second and stared in shock at the empty cell where their friend and the two evil men once stood. Rhys was beside himself with grief at Gwen’s loss. “Where is she, Jack?”


Jack hesitated before speaking. “I don’t know Rhys, Cardiff in the 21st century maybe – I hope.”


“What do you mean ‘you hope’?” Rhys made a menacing step towards the man who he had already mistrusted and was beginning to dislike more by the minute.


 “Hold on, Rhys.” Robin held the large blonde man back. “We have to think and let Jack and the Doctor solve this. We will go back to camp and figure out a plan.”


 “I’m not leavin’! What if she comes back?” Rhys looked at the spot where his wife stood minutes before, like a child looking for a lost toy.


 “We will know,” the Doctor said, tapping Jack’s VM, now on his own wrist. “We have to go.” He indicated to the wounded man, now passed out on Robin’s shoulder. “He needs to be tended to or he won’t last much longer.”


“It seems we now have a larger problem,” Robin’s brow furrowed. “Prince John is not going to take the disappearance of Vaisey and Gisborne particularly well. He certainly didn’t the last time the sheriff went missing.”


 “What did he do?” Jack cocked an eyebrow at his words.


Robin frowned at the three men, “He sent Jasper to burn Nottingham to the ground.”




 “We should have heard from Jack by now.” Martha was doing her best to keep herself together but watching Robin die and her concern for Much and the other gang members’ loss had taken its toll. The distraction of looking after her new patient with the sparse medical supplies she brought with her was the only thing keeping her going.


“They are probably trying to recover Robin’s corpse for the gang to bury.” Ianto studied the vegetable he was slicing with little interest. “We changed things today.”


“What do you mean?”


“According to historic records, Robin should have died after being bled for a fever or killed by Sir William. None of the ballads say anything about being hung by Sir Gisborne. We changed things, we changed past events.” Ianto stuck the knife into the wooden table as if to emphasize his point.


“Yeah, but we also know that our Robin, the real Robin, had little to do with the ballads. It may have really happened this way.” Martha bit her lip in thought, grasping what her team-mate was saying.


“Yes, that’s true. But I’m still worried about the butterfly effect his death might have caused.” The Welshman studied the doctor as he spoke. “If we do get the TARDIS back, I wonder if we will have the future we remember – to go home to.”




Allan listened silently as the two Torchwood agents spoke to one another. Since he had returned to camp, something about these strange speaking people didn’t sit right with the poacher. He walked over to where the large bearded outlaw was sitting, stoking the fire. “Interestin’ pair, those two.”


“Who?” John looked up at his fellow gang member.


 “The bird and Mr Tall, dark and joyful over there.”


John pursed his lips. “What about them?”


“The way they talk. How they look – I don’t think they’re from around here.”


The giant studied the two people Allan indicated. “They look out of place. Him claiming to be from Wales and her from London. They’re just not from around these parts.”


“I dunno. I still don’t quite trust ‘em.”


John shrugged, “Much does and Robin did. That is good enough for me.”




Cardiff, Wales


1 January 2000


When she came to, it was dark and cold and she could hear water. Everything was hazy but vaguely familiar. She turned to the man in the leather cape, next to her, and shook him. He was still out cold. His pale skin almost glowed in the moonlight and his black shoulder length hair blended in with the shadows of the earth under him, “Guy!”


Uhh…where are we?” His ice blue eyes snapped open in memory.


Gwen sat up and looked around, “I think we’re in Cardiff! Roath Park, if I’m not mistaken.”


“Impossible!” The sheriff got up and stared in disbelief at the new world around him. Guy’s face was a mask of horror and confusion. “What witchcraft is this? How did we get here?”


“I’ll try to explain later. Vaisey is missing. I don’t know if he woke up before us and got away or if he even came here with us but I have to find out.”


“We have to find out,” he glared at her. “He is a dangerous man. I wouldn’t want to be the first person he crosses.”




Getting out of Nottingham castle proved to be deceptively easy after what the soldiers and guards witnessed in the dungeon. Everyone who was a threat had scattered in fright and the three time-travellers and one outlaw went into the forest as fast as they could carry the injured man.


“How is he doing?” Jack called back to Robin and Rhys as they bore the man’s weight, the Doctor checking his pulse.


“Not good. I hope Martha kept a good dose of antibiotics in her medical kit. He is going to need them. He’s concussed but I don’t think he has a skull fracture.”


Jack motioned with his hands for the group to keep silent. “We have visitors!”


Two women were walking through the forest together and upon spotting the group of men, the older one drew a dagger from her apron. “Advance only if you know what is good for you, you ground wallowing salamanders,” she sneered. “We are armed and know how to defend ourselves!” One of the men caught her eye and she whispered to the younger woman then started to move forward.


“Great! Just what we need…more outlaws.” Jack said as the two women approached them with weapons drawn.


Robin grinned broadly, “No Jack, I don’t think so. Only one woman I know can hurl insults like that.” He ran forward with outstretched arms as he called out to the older of the two women. “Matilda!”


“Robin?!” The older lady put the dagger back in her apron and ran up to hug her young friend but stopped short when she saw the other man with the crudely bandaged head. “What the gods are you doing with my nephew?”


 “Your nephew?”


 “Horace,” she gestured at the unconscious man. “He left word that he was coming through Sherwood Forest. We were coming to meet him. He had something to give me.”


“He got ambushed,” Robin replied flatly. “Sheriff Gisborne’s guard attacked him and my men at our camp and took him to Nottingham.”


“And the carriage?”


“Still at the castle no doubt,” Robin frowned.


Something about the woman bothered Jack. He had the oddest suspicion they had met before and he turned on the charm as he offered his hand. “Hello, my name is…”


The midwife shuddered for a moment and she suddenly gave a wicked sneer, “Captain Jack Harkness! You conniving, double-crossing, sack of hormones.” Without warning she shot an impressive punch to the Torchwood leader’s jaw.


The Doctor clucked impatiently as he helped the fallen man from the ground, “Is there anyone in any time you haven’t offended, Jack?”


Jack dusted himself off and rubbed his quickly bruising face. “What was that for?!”


“You know fully well what that was for!” She then turned on her heels and faced the outlaw again. “Strange company you keep, Robin!” She answered his puzzled look quickly; “I’ll explain everything once we get back to your camp. By the looks of Horace we don’t have much time if he is to live out the day.”




Much wound up at the edge of a small creek having walked through the forest aimlessly. The memory of seeing his friend hang and the bitter words he shouted at the traitor still rang in his ears. Perhaps a bath would help me forget, he thought, and if a few wild rose petals happened to fall into the water from a nearby bush, that would not be so bad either.


The water was surprisingly warm for late spring and he carefully removed his cap and vest, placing them on the grass by the bank. He splashed his face with the cool water and tried to forget his problems. The feeling of déjà vu that came over him, made him shudder. “This is the creek from my dream,” He said aloud.


Looking down at the water, he saw the face of his friend behind him and started.


 “Hullo, Much.” Robin’s familiar, ‘I messed up’ expression, greeted him.


He gazed sadly at the water without turning around, and then closed his eyes, “Oh Master no. This is just another nightmare. It isn’t real. I failed you and you are dead. You have come again to have me join you.”


“What are you on about, Much?” Robin expected a hard time from his friend, for the deception but did not expect such a maudlin reaction. His annoyance was turning to worry. “Why won’t you turn around and face me?”


“Because you are dead and have returned from the grave. Please Robin, don’t stab me, I beg you. It will hurt too much. Allow me to just drown myself instead.” With that the blonde man ran into the water, immersing himself as the shocked outlaw leader yelled after him.


“Much wait!” Robin smirked and shook his head at the strange actions of his friend but took off his boots and tunic and followed him. With a slight splash he dove under the water to retrieve his suicidal friend and a second later, broke the surface. He held the wet struggling man from behind and wrapped his arms around him tight.


Much took a deep gasping breath of air; his eyes were crazed with fear. “Let me go! Please master, let me go!”


“Not until you promise to calm down and stop trying to drown yourself!”


At times like these, Robin appreciated his former servant’s deceptive upper body strength and was losing ground trying to hold him. He placed his lips close to the frantic man’s ear and softly whispered, “This is not a dream, Much! I am here. I am alive and I will not harm you…I love you.”


The shock of hearing the words he lived for, from the man he adored, stopped Much’s struggle. “Master?” He turned to face the person holding him. He was no longer afraid. He blinked water drops away from his impossibly bright blue eyes. “You are real! I thought you were dead.” Much stifled sobs, smiling as he grabbed his friend and pulled him in a crushing embrace.


“Ugh! That’s better! I think…” Robin laughed, hugging back and nuzzling into Much’s neck, taking in the smell of creek water, wild rose petal and the unmistakably welcome scent of his friend.


“Oh Master, I thought I lost you forever. I had such a bad nightmare. Your eyes were gone and you were going to kill me.” He allowed himself to let go and the tears fell. 


The archer held his former servant in the water, shushing softly as the blonde man cried. “It is all right now. My dear, sweet simple Much, it is good to have nightmares, without them, there would be no dreams.” That said, he covered the still sobbing man’s mouth with his own.




The walk from Roath Park was cold and silent as they made their way toward the city. Guy offered the shivering woman his cape but she pulled away. “I’m fine!”


He looked at his reluctant travelling companion morosely, “You are freezing, Lady Gwyneth.”


“And that mattered to you when you put my husband and I in that cage?”


“Husband? That bumbling fool was your…”


She turned angrily. “Yes, Rhys is my husband!”


Guy was in no mood to handle an angry female at the moment. His mind was still processing the new world around him, “I am sorry. I didn’t mean any disrespect.”


The Torchwood agent visibly relaxed, “None taken. You didn’t know.” Gwen was too busy picking up clues to their situation to even pay much attention to his apology.


Millennium banners in shop windows confirmed her suspicions. This was Cardiff but not in her time. “We’re eight years before the time I came from.” She looked at all the late night celebrators still roaming the streets and was grateful that the outlandish costumes she and Guy were wearing made them even less conspicuous than usual.

A young couple passed them and the girl punched her husband on the arm. “See! Someone had a Middle Ages themed New Years Party! Why couldn’t we have one?” He turned and glared at the strange couple but the medieval sheriff’s scowl made him quickly turn and walk away with his wife in tow, fussing.


 “Where are we going?” Guy questioned.


“The one place I know we can get help.” Gwen tried to keep her teeth from chattering while she talked. Although she was determined not to take the cape from this detestable man, the long walk to the Millennium Centre was starting to take its toll on her and when the sheriff offered his cape once again she reluctantly, though gratefully, accepted.


They finally arrived at the nonchalant looking newsstand outside of the arena and Gwen made her frozen hands work the combination lock on the door. “I don’t have my pass card but it wouldn’t work anyway. I have to use the universal pass code that Jack gave me.” After a few moments, the lock opened and the welcoming relief from the icy wind greeted them. She reached behind the desk and pressed the hidden button that opened the door to the hub. “We’re almost there.”


“I am at your mercy.” Gisborne replied. He was taken by the true resonance of these words. He had no power here. He was apparently a long way from any control over his present situation.


They descended the short stairwell and Gwen used the emergency protocol code to override the main door. She relaxed at the familiar sound of the metallic rumblings as the round door rolled away and the eerie hum of the hub greeted her.


“Make yourself at home,” said Gwen as she went to search the locker room for something more comfortable than the rank, impractical gown she was wearing.


Guy surveyed the even stranger place the woman had taken him to. Even if he wanted to escape he wasn’t sure he knew how to go about it or what he would do in the strange world that would greet him if he did free himself. He sat in a strange but comfortable chair and awaited her return.


She came back wearing grey, baggy clothes that, in his opinion, were quite unbecoming to any female. “You find those more comfortable?”


Gwen was quite obliviously satisfied that the hub computer had granted her access and was happily drumming away at the keyboard in front of the large screen. “Yes I do,” she smiled. “I’m sure Lady Marian would agree as well.”


He bristled at the mention of his former fiancée’s name. “You jest at my expense.” He looked at the Torchwood agent sadly. “I did not mean to kill her, you know.” Guy stared down at his hands as if looking at bloodstains that only he could see.


Gwen stopped what she was doing at the monitor and looked at the man who, until lately, was her captor. “I’m sorry, what are we talking about?”


“Marian… I didn’t mean to kill her. I know you think I am some sort of monster.” He looked up with eyes of winter, on the verge of tears. “I was blinded by what she said to me. I just…I just wanted to silence her. She was right; I was a pawn of Prince John and Vaisey.” He looked away disgustedly, “I guess I still am.”


Gwen was torn between compassion for someone who realised his wrongdoing and repulsion to the act he committed. “We all make mistakes we regret. Sometimes we have to bury them after the fact.” She went over to place her hand on the black knight’s shoulder but was stopped by a shadow in the corner of the hub.


The figure in the shadows held up the definite outline of a gun, “If I were you, I wouldn’t make another move.” He stepped forward and smirked at the unwelcome visitors after what was, to say the least, an already hectic night, “Hands up gorgeous! And you, tall, dark and handsome…up against the wall and spread ‘em!”


“Do as he says, Guy,” Gwen quietly ordered. She then put her hands up as told, “Jack… is that you?”


“How do you know my name?!”


“You’re not going to believe me if I tell ya.” By now, Gwen’s heart was thumping so loudly; she could hear the rush of blood in her ears. She didn’t know what scared her more, the cocked gun in her friend’s hand, or the fact that this Jack had never met her and certainly didn’t trust her. The metallic click of the weapon’s hammer being returned to its cradle calmed her.


He looked older, sadder and a lot more haggard than the Jack Harkness she knew from eight years later. His voice shook a little as he spoke, “Lady, I just got through mopping up the brains of all my team-mates, from one hell of a New Years Eve party. Try me!”




Much couldn’t have been any more content. The grass was warm and he was listening peacefully to the constant beat of his former master’s heart as he laid his head on the archer’s chest. Their underclothes were drying in the evening air and they were lying naked in a nest of brush, in each other’s arms. “I am so glad you are alive, Master.”


“Apparently!” Robin said teasingly as his lips, once again, sought out his former manservant’s.


The blonde outlaw leaned on one elbow as he gazed at his lover and smiled, “I did not hear any complaints from your end either, Master.” He absently ran his hand down Robin’s bare chest as he spoke, letting the stimulation of over sensitised skin make the outlaw shudder at the touch and chuckle softly. Much’s tone turned serious as he looked up into the half open green eyes of his friend and lover, “I shan’t mourn you if you should ever die on me again, you know.”


The archer’s brow furrowed, “You shan’t? Why not?”


Much traced the faint lines of the scars on his master’s chest and stated matter-of-factly, “I mourned you enough today to last a lifetime. In my grief, I realised I have loved and been loved by you enough to last forever. If anything should happen, and I pray daily it will not, I will miss you but I will never mourn you, my master. I will choose to celebrate you and what you have stood for instead.”


Robin smiled and ran his hand through his former manservant’s soft, sandy blonde hair. “Whatever you choose to do my friend, mourn me or honour me, I am just glad that I’ll always be in your thoughts as you are in mine.” The outlaw leader was half napping by now as he leaned back, “Oh, we have guests in the camp tonight.”




“Matilda, Rosa and the baby, it seems our Matilda is an old friend of Jack’s.”


Much blinked in astonishment, “This is a small world we live in.” He got up and started to dress. “I must go prepare a proper meal for them.”


Robin grabbed his wrist and drew him back. “Ianto and Martha seemed to have things well at hand when I left.”


“Well… my camp, my kitchen, I should go help.” He pulled away, quickly put on his braies and stopped to take in Robin’s still nude, recumbent and slightly disappointed form. “Are you coming Master?”


The outlaw lay back with a slightly impish, contented grin and closed his eyes. “I may nap…summon me when dinner is ready.” He was answered with his leggings and tunic hitting him in the chest.




He studied the two strangers with equal interest and equal caution, “What were you doing to the hub computer? And how the hell do you know my name!?”


“Jack, I think we need to sit down and talk.”


“I’m just fine where I am! Who are you?” He then smiled lecherously in the familiar way that always made her groan in the future. “And who is the toy boy in leather?


“I beg your pardon!” Guy was getting tired of this little game. “What is going on? You know who I am! I am the Sheriff of Nottingham and I demand respect!”


“He doesn’t know who you are Guy.” Gwen patiently explained, “Nor me, for that matter. He hasn’t met us yet.”


“Yet?” The immortal cocked an eyebrow, “What time are you from?” Jack didn’t give a second thought to the preposterousness of such a statement.


“Two thousand and eight.” The readiness in which she supplied the answer told the Torchwood agent the woman before him was speaking the truth.


“He is certainly not from the future.” Jack thumbed at the crudely dressed nobleman, “12th century from the looks of the getup he’s wearing and how he talks.”


“No, and it’s hard to explain. That’s why we are here. I’m tryin’ to get us back to where we belong. I didn’t think you would be here. I was hopin’ to find the information I needed and leave before the team returned.”


“You’re a Torchwood Three operative.” He stated flatly. “The rift alarm went off while I was cleaning. Was that you?”


“Yes, the device that brought us here triggered it. I was hoping that the energy signature from it would help us catch the man who used it to bring us here.”


“You let a guy escape and run around Cardiff with a V.M. on the first New Years Eve of the millennium?” He made a clucking sound. “Sloppy work there, officer.”


“It wasn’t like I had a choice.” Gwen said, feeling the old playful banter she shared with her future friend and employer return. “Considering I was unconscious.”


“Yeah I guess you didn’t,” Jack smiled at his attractive, new comrade. “I’d have my medical officer check you both out but since he’s lying in his own morgue with a ventilated cranium right now, I figure we had better self medicate with a bottle twelve year old scotch.” He then motioned for the two guests to relax and withdrew his firearm. He took the beautiful young woman in the tracksuit by the arm, lavishing the familiar 51st century charm on them both. “Shall we abscond to my office?”


Gwen took it wistfully; glad to have a part of her old Jack back, “I would love to.”


They turned to leave and he turned around and nodded his head at the sulking 12th century lord. “Coming with us, pretty boy?”


Guy snorted at the mysterious man with distrust, but something in the man’s smile made him soften, uncross his arms and follow the twosome up the metal steps.




When Robin and Much returned to camp, the activities were well under way. Martha and the Doctor were tending to Horace who, after a massive dose of antibiotics, was improving. Little John had his hands full with the baby as Rosa and Allan looked on beaming. Ianto and Mickey were busy getting the meal ready. Jack and Matilda were having a heated argument.


“How did I know the people in that transport were civilians?”


“You’re a Time Agent. You could have checked before you barged in with your stunners!” She bristled at the memory of Jack’s apparent misdeed. “I should have killed you myself when I had the chance.”


“So instead you became a time squatter?” Jack spat; “I always knew you were a little obsessed with the past but slumming around in the Middle Ages Mattie, seriously!”


Slumming? Slumming! After what you did, you have the raw nerve to call me a time squatter! I helped give birth to a legend.” She gestured over to the archer and manservant as they walked into the camp, “What did you do in the past twenty-four years?”


Robin walked up to them with cautious curiosity, “Matilda, is something the matter?”


Matilda smiled at her favourite patient, “Oh Robin, there you are. Let me have your dagger to slit the throat of this odious toad and there won’t be!” She then haughtily turned to check on the progress of the evening meal and the status of her nephew.


Robin raised an eyebrow, “It seems, my friend, you two have a history.”


Jack laughed, “I guess you can say that, or a future depending on how you look at it.”


“I don’t understand.” Robin’s puzzled, curious look made Jack want to kiss him.


“There might be some things Mattie…Matilda might not have told you about herself.”


“Like what?”


“Not my place to say,” he motioned to the midwife, as she tended her patient and consulted with the Doctor and Martha. “Best to ask her yourself.”




“You know me.” Jack stated as he swirled ice cubes in the tumbler he held, looking through the amber liquid at his unexpected guest.


“I’m from your future, eight years from now. You recruited me…will recruit me, right out of the police department.”


“We must really be desperate in 2008 if we’re recruiting cops.” His amused grin then turned serious. “You don’t want to work for Torchwood.”


“Why not?” She frowned, “I enjoy working for you. Yes the job is dangerous but we work well together.”


“I just hauled five good reasons not to work here, down to the morgue. People have a nasty habit of dying around this place, except for me...”


“Because you’re immortal.”


He stopped his rant and stared at her, “I must really trust you to have told you that.”


“I kinda found out the hard way, Jack.” Her eyes levelled at him as she rolled the tumbler between her palms. “Your …problem… has gotten us out of many situations.”


“Then you know why I have to shut this place down! I can’t risk anyone else getting hurt or killed over what we do.”


“I’m sorry to hear that Jack, because a lot more good people will die if you do.”


“What do you mean?”


“Spoilers, Jack. I’m not quite as good as you and the Doctor about this time-space thing, but I know I can’t tell you too much about your future or it will change things.”


“You know the Doctor! When does he come back? You have to tell me!” By this point he was out of his chair and around the desk and had Gwen by both arms. The look of wide-eyed desperation on his face made her gasp.


Guy had his Saracen knife at Jack’s throat instantly, speaking in a low and menacing tone, “Put the lady down. I won’t hesitate to spill your blood right here.”


Jack released the young Torchwood agent, seeing the threat in the other man’s eyes, “Easy there handsome. I just had one shirt ruined this evening and they aren’t cheap.” He looked at Gwen and smiled. “I’m sorry. I’ve just been waiting a long time to find the Doctor again. I need to ask him how I got this way and if he can fix me.”


“I wish I could tell you when, Jack but you know I can’t.”


“I know,” he replied sadly, “But I’m just so tired. After what I saw tonight, I don’t know if I want to go on. I can’t take the loss anymore. They were my team-mates and I couldn’t help them.”


Gwen could read her friend like and open book, even this past version of him. She could see her future friend’s veneer of complacence crumble as he broke down. Something happened before they arrived that had deeply disturbed him. She put her hand on his shoulder, “Talk to me. What happened tonight, Jack?”


He looked at her in anguish, as the tears fell, “He killed them, Gwen. I wasn’t here to stop him and he murdered them all!” He unexpectedly collapsed in her arms crying and she looked up at Guy helplessly.



Next Week …

 Chapter 20: Picking up the Pieces



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
You're a freakin' wizzzzzzard!!!!

Matilda? Brilliant. I love her.

Guy, Jack, and Gwen? Nice! Love that Harkness is in the dark about somet things. Gwen is second only to Tosh! (God rest her!)

And Much is always total "Yay!"

Jan. 4th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
Love suspicious!allan: The bird and Mr Tall, dark and joyful over there.

oh no!! where's Vaisey!?!?! Looks like trouble ahead!

You conniving, double-crossing, sack of hormones. Matilda!!!! OMG!!! Absolutely wonderful! And her history with Jack - this is just too cool! Great job on incorporating her into the storyline this way. As Alicia said above, brilliant!

The Robin/Much scenes are lovely... I am just glad that I’ll always be in your thoughts as you are in mine. OMG! make me weep, why don't you?

Coming with us, pretty boy? Great line! Jack through & through!

Bring on ch. 20!!

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



Latest Month

March 2010
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Teresa Jones