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Times Arrow (21/27)

Title: "Time's Arrow, Chapter 21"
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/Martha/Kate/Allan, Gwen/Y2KJack/Guy, Vaisey/OC, Little John/Robin/Much, Robin/10Doctor/Mickey/Much, Allan/Kate.
Warnings: Angst
Rating: PG (light slash content)
Summary: Twenty-first chapter of my multichapter, multi fandom, fic. This series brings together characters from Robin Hood, Torchwood, and Doctor Who.  Vaisey is loose in 21st century Cardiff.  Can the gang and team Torchwood, stop him before the body count rises?  Made possible by my ever attentive beta,

zooeyrye

 
Previous Chapters Below:
Cover Art, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 1415, 1617, 1819, 20 Explicit content chapter rewrites 6; 9

 

Chapter 21

Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day!

 

Gwen stared at Jack in shocked disbelief. “Why would you want to erase your memories? I told you things will get better.”

 

“Yeah but not for a long time. I can’t wait anymore. I just want to forget – about me, about Torchwood, the Doctor, the Daleks – everything! Just start over somewhere new.”

 

“I can’t let you do that Jack – and you know why. You’ll change everything!”

 

He shot her an angry look. “Maybe everything needs to be changed!”

 

“And they will, but not like this Jack, you make the changes. We need you, as you are now.” Her sad eyes pierced a hole into his soul. “You can’t do it this way.”

 

He sighed at her logic and looked down at the pill. “Can you promise me no one else is going to die?”

 

The Torchwood agent shook her head. “No I can’t do that. But we will build a team you're going to be proud of.”

 

“Until they die too,” the leader replied, tears falling down his cheeks.

 

She walked over to her friend, cradled his head in her arms as he sobbed and took the pill out of his hand. “I wish I could let you do this and make it all go away but it’s not that easy.” She looked down with her big brown eyes at him. Gwen was on the verge of tears herself. “If you kill all your demons, Jack, your angels will die too.”

 

He stopped crying long enough to raise an eyebrow. “Tennessee Williams?”

 

Gwen laughed softly, “It’s one of your favourite sayings from when I know you.” She took his hand in hers. “Jack, we will lose lots but we will do so much good as well. I can’t let you do this to yourself and to us.” She crushed the capsule under her heel, on the cement floor. “I’ll make another dose, twenty-four hours, long enough to forget about Guy and me.”

 

Jack nodded without looking up. “Thanks for coming here and helping me out.” He raised his head and smiled sadly. “I can’t wait to meet you, Gwen Williams.”

 

Gwen walked back over and kissed him on the forehead, placing her finger under his chin and looking into his sad blue eyes. “And I am glad I had the chance to meet you, Captain Jack Harkness.”

 

 

***

 

1193

Sherwood Forest

 

“It’s too risky Jack! You don’t remember where you were on the night they ended up in 2000.” The Doctor had his hands thrust deep into his trouser pockets, almost ripping out the seams. He was leaning against the tree and scowling at the time agent.

 

“It’s my V.M.!” Jack pointed out like a child, asked to share a favourite toy.

 

“And if you ran into yourself, while trying to locate Gwen and the others, you know what would happen.”

 

“And how many times have you run into yourself on your little adventures?”

 

The Doctor thought for a moment. “Doesn’t count! I was a different person when that happened…happens…will happen.”

 

Much leaned in to Robin with a confused and pained look on his face. “Master?”

 

“I know,” he sighed. “Go ask Lady Martha for two of her – what did she call them? Aspir-en?”

 

Much made his way from the group to where the Torchwood medic was changing bandages on her patients.

 

“Much!”

 

The cook looked back at his former master, “Yes, Robin?”

 

“Bring me back a couple of them as well.”

 

The Time Lord continued on, not noticing; “It’s just safer if you stay here Jack. I’ll take Mickey and Martha and you take Robin and the gang to try to locate the TARDIS and help Horace recover the coach from the castle.”

 

“It is a good plan but you do not know with whom you are dealing with,” Robin interjected as he rose up from the tree he was leaning against. “Vaisey and Gisborne are dangerous men. I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with them personally.”

 

“If you’re talking about coming with us – don’t. It’s just too risky to bring you back to the future again, Robin. I am sorry.”

 

“Hold on Doctor, Robin has a good point,” added Jack. “Take him with you. He can draw them out and distract them long enough to rescue Gwen.”

 

Much walked up at this time, with aspirin and water for Robin. “You mean you plan to use him as bait? Forgive me Jack; I cannot let you do that.”

 

“Much let us handle –”

 

“No! I am sorry Master but I will not! I almost lost you once today. I will not let you risk your life again.” The outlaw was on the verge of tears as he spoke.

 

“How about if you go with him?” Jack looked at the distraught manservant, then the Doctor.

 

Much looked up thoughtfully. “Well…yes. I guess I could…to look after Robin.”

 

“More like I will be looking after you.” Robin smirked, as his friend elbowed him for being cheeky.

 

“No! I’ll have enough on my plate what with trying to track down two 12th century runaways without having to baby sit two more.” The Doctor shoved his hands back into his pockets again.

 

Jack snorted. “You know, for a 900 year old Time Lord, you can be pretty thick sometimes!”

 

The traveller scowled at the men surrounding him. Studying each face. Then he grinned goofily. “Oh all right! But each of you is responsible for what happens. We are travelling to a niche time in history where everything we do, not only affects the past but the future as well, for everyone involved.” He shook his finger at his friends. “Remember one thing. Nothing – and I mean nothing – changes on New Year’s Day. Got that?”

 

***

 

2000

Cardiff, Wales

 

Vaisey had just found the most entertaining and violent program in the ‘television’ called The Evening News. He was giggling at the violence and mayhem on the screen when the news flashed of the man who was found beaten and robbed outside the nightclub.

 

“Tsk, tsk, who would do such a thing?” He said to the young naked man next to him. “Such a violent world this is, eh?” The young man didn’t say a word as he flicked to another channel. Vaisey perked up as two familiar figures walked past the reporter. “Why Sheriff Gisborne, how on earth did you get in my little box?” He grinned and poked the silent man next to him. “Look here, I know them and I bet they are looking for me.” The young man remained silent as Vaisey snorted. “You are not the most talkative young man are you?” He leaned in close to the young man’s ear. “A clue: no.” He nudged the young man with his elbow and the valet’s pale, lifeless face rolled over. Dead eyes faced him as he grinned, “What is the matter; sheriff got your tongue?”

 

***

 

Guy tried his best to work the kinks out of his shoulders and neck. He winced as he tried to make sense of the strange room around him. He almost missed the dreary castle with polite servants whose job it was to attend to his every need. A cup appeared out of nowhere.

 

“Coffee?” Gwen tried to smile kindly at him and hoped it would be reciprocated.

 

“What is coffee?” He questioned taking a cautious sip of the hot, bitter liquid. “Is this drugged?”

 

“Kind of …” She admitted, laughing softly. “It’s how we wake up in the 21st century.” She tried to smooth her tousled hair and rubbed her bloodshot eyes. “Or try to stay awake.”

 

He smiled weakly and took another bitter sip, making a face as he did so. “Worse than anything the court physician could cook up in Nottingham.”

 

“You get used to it.” 

 

“Oh I don’t think so,” he shook his head, handing her back the cup. Guy looked up at the office. “How is our new friend?”

 

“Better, now that he’s decided not to erase his entire life.”

 

Guy blinked in complete incomprehension. “How is that possible?”

 

Gwen patiently spent the next two minutes explaining Retcon, as he tried to understand. Gisborne smiled and she noticed that his whole face lit up like the sun coming out after a rainy day. She could see how Marian could find herself falling for such a complicated man.

 

“Sounds like I could use one of those tablets.”

 

The Torchwood agent shrugged. “As I told Jack, that’s the easy way out.”

 

She sat next to the sheriff and looked into his pale blue eyes as she leaned her elbow on the back of the small sofa. “You don’t strike me as the type to take the easy way out of anything.”

 

“Maybe I should start.” His smile faded. “On our way to the Holy Land, Marian begged me to stand up to Vaisey and help her escape. I should have listened. I was blinded by my own greed and lust for power. I should have just taken her and run from everything, started anew somewhere.”

 

“Why didn’t you?”

 

“Because I knew she loved him,” His face curled as if he had another sip of the strange dark liquid cooling in the cup on the table. “I thought if I could make her see how powerful I could become, she would see how foolish she had been for loving Loxley.” Guy sneered. “He was not even an earl anymore, he was just a common outlaw. If she could see me now – Sheriff of Nottingham, my title handed to me by none other than Prince John himself…”

 

“What’s the matter?”

 

“I just realised something. I have to go back!” He got up and paced furiously around the room like a caged animal, running his fingers through his long black hair.

 

“I’m working as fast as I can to find the VM. Why the sudden urgency?”

 

Guy clutched her arm “Please! We have to make sure I get back no later than twenty-four hours after we left.”

 

“Why what’s wrong?” Gwen followed after him.

 

He stopped and stared at her with the look of a madman. “I think my being here has just signed a death sentence for everyone in Nottingham.”

 

***

 

“Robin!” Kate shouted outside the camp. She was out of breath and her face was dirty. The outlaws wasted no time disabling the alarm and opening the trap door. They led the young lady over to the fire. Martha ran over with a cup of water. 

 

“Who is she?”

 

Robin was anxious. “Kate, my eyes and ears in Loxley.” He leaned over her as Much came with a clean rag and wiped her face. “What has happened, Kate?”

 

“Not now Robin. She is exhausted and probably injured,” Much huffed as he cleaned her cheek. 

 

“No, I’m all right,” Kate smiled, as she took Much’s hand in hers. “I am just out of breath. I fell down running here.” She looked up at the archer. “Jasper returned from Nottingham. He is furious. Apparently Sheriff Gisborne has disappeared.” She was on the verge of tears. “Robin, He is threatening to send Prince John’s men to burn the town.”

 

“So it begins,” Robin’s eyes smouldered like coals as he thought. He turned to the Doctor. “We must leave now! We don’t have much time!”

 

“I can get us back moments after we leave here, Robin.” The Time Lord checked the device with his sonic screwdriver one more time. “Well…give or take a couple of hours. 51st century time technology isn’t very accurate about these things.”

 

“Hey! That’s very accurate!” Jack spat half amused, as he took in a quick eyeful of the blonde maiden being tended to by the servant. He offered her his hand, “Captain Jack Harkness, at your service.”

 

She looked up at the strange man and back at Much in bewilderment. “Is he under some illusion caused by an ailment?”

 

Jack snorted and felt his cheeks grow hot. “I was just saying hello.”

 

“Did I say something wrong?” Kate asked innocently.

 

Much smiled knowingly, “I think you just, as Lady Martha once put it, burst his bubble.”

 

“Kate?” Allan came up to the blonde girl and hugged her. “I thought I ’erd your voice.” He winced a little as her hands brushed against his bruised sides. “Oh, easy there, luv.”

 

Much clucked his disapproval at the obvious closeness between the former traitor and the maiden.

 

Kate went on, not listening. “Oh my poor dear. The rumours from the castle were true, you did suffer at Gisborne’s hand.” 

 

“You should’ve seen the other guy.” Allan smirked. “’Sides, Lady Martha has me fixed up. I‘ll be right as rain in no time.”

 

“You need to be getting back home, Kate.” Robin cautioned. “Tell the villagers. Be prepared to come into the woods if the soldiers come. My men will do all they can to see to their safety.”

 

“You think it will come to that, don’t you?” Kate replied, feeling the dread creep up on her.

 

Robin’s expression darkened, “Last time we knew Vaisey was confined to the forest. We don’t know where he and Sheriff Gisborne could have ended up this time or if I can return them in time to save Nottingham and the surrounding villages.”

 

“I’ll see her back Robin, if that’s all right?” 

 

Allan’s love struck expression made the outlaw leader chuckle. “All right but I need you back here by sundown. We have to be ready to put our plan in action. Straight home you two, no time for romantic walks.”

 

Allan helped the blonde girl up and the twosome made their way out of the camp.

 

Much clucked after them, “I still don’t know what she sees in him.”

 

“Jealous, Much?” Robin mused at his friend.

 

“Of Allan A Dale? Certainly not! I am just concerned for Miss Kate’s honour around that Judas!” He marched back to the camp kitchen and finished loading provisions.

 

“He is jealous.” Robin winked at Martha as he joined his fussy friend.

 

***

 

When Allan felt he was sufficiently out of earshot of the gang, he leaned in to her, “Robin don’t know every walk with you is a romantic one.”

 

Kate stopped, put her hands on her hips and sized up her injured suitor. “Allan A Dale, even in your obviously unwell state you are still so cheeky”. She then broke out in a grin making him smile back. “He trust you, again?”

 

“I dunno.” Allan looked at the rutted path ahead as he walked with her, “Robin and I both lost so much when Marian died. She kept us from killin’ each other when I left the gang then she kept Gis from killin’ me. I just wish I could have saved her. I felt like I let Robin down.” 

 

Kate grasped his hand. “You atoned for what you did. No one could save Marian. It was her choice to confront Gisborne by herself.”

 

“If only I could have gotten to Nettleston sooner, we could have rescued her before they took her to the Holy Land.” 

 

“You did what you could. You can keep wondering and wishing all you want, it won’t change things.” She grabbed his face with both hands. “You are a changed man, Allan A Dale. Others cannot see that, but I can and so does Robin.”

 

“Much and John still give me a hard time.”

 

“They will come around,” she said as their lips connected softly.

 

“Easy for you to say,” Allan gasped as they separated. “Everyone adores you, even that little fuss body Much an’ he don’t like nobody when ’e first meets ’em.”

 

“And therein lies the problem.” Kate’s tinkling laughter matched the soft breeze that made the leaves in the trees dance.

 

Allan frowned, “What is the problem?”

 

“Well,” she smiled as they got closer to the village and softly kissed his cheek. “If you keep giving your outlaw friends such adorable nicknames as ‘fuss body’ of course they will not like you.” She looked ahead at the group of houses beyond the tree line and stole another quick kiss. “End of the line for you, my handsome outlaw.” She ran away, smoothing her apron and smiling at him over her shoulder.

 

“Much started it!” Allan yelled back as he grinned and walked back into the trees.    

 

He didn’t get far before the sound of horses hooves behind him, made his heart sink. He froze in place and instinctively put his hands up as the sword point touched his back.

 

Jasper’s voice made him wince. “You there! Halt in the name of Prince John! This town is under martial law and you are a known outlaw and enemy of the King!”

 

***

 

“Allan should have been back by now!” Robin had his hand to his lips as he propped his foot on a stump and waited by the trap door.

 

“We can’t wait for him.” Mickey put a hand on the archer’s shoulder. “Doc says if we’re going to go, we have to do it now, while the time signal is still fresh, otherwise we don’t know where we’ll end up.”

 

Robin sized up the man and nodded. “You are right. We do not have much time. Once again, I stand to lose everything I love and it is only myself I have to blame.”

 

Mickey smirked. “I felt that way a few times, mate. But what I learned is that standin’ around beatin’ myself up about it accomplishes nuthin’.”

 

“Right again, my friend,” Robin chuckled. “Let us join the others and bid our goodbyes.”

 

They walked over to where the group was forming and the Doctor was giving final instructions.

 

“Still no sign of Allan, we have to move without him.”

 

Little John grunted. “Do you think…?”

 

Robin cut him off with a glare. “I think nothing until I see otherwise. We just have to assume that there is a good reason for his delay and carry on.” Robin placed his hand on the back of the big man’s neck. “John, you know what to do if we don’t make it back. I can only hope that Kate has made it safely and sent word to the surrounding villages. When they come, take care of them. Remember whatever the outcome; you fight for England, my friend.”

 

John sombrely placed his hand on the outlaw’s. “We are Robin Hood.”

 

“Exactly!” Robin smiled back. “All of us.” He turned to his ever-faithful, former manservant. “Are you ready, my friend?”

 

“As ready as I will ever be.” Much pouted. “I just hope this trip will be kinder to us.”

 

Robin placed his hand over Much’s and looked into his servant’s eyes. “For Marian. For Djaq and Will.”

 

Much smiled back and whispered softly. “For Carter.”

 

“For Alice and Little, Little John,” said Little John. “And Allan too, I guess.”

 

Robin smiled whimsically. “And Allan too.”

 

They said in unison. “We are Robin Hood!”

 

Jack yelled out, breaking up the camaraderie, “Hey! No group chants unless we can all join in!”

 

Robin shrugged at the faux, hurt look the former Time Agent gave him. “Sorry, Jack. This is for outlaws only.”

 

Jack turned to the Doctor, “See! I told you we needed a slogan.”

 

“We have a slogan. You’ve just been too busy running your mouth to notice,” The Doctor shot his friend a slightly annoyed look as he went over readings on the VM again. “All right, everything’s good! Robin, Much and Mickey, grab my arm and don’t let go. Jack, take the others and help Little John.” He nodded to the men as they all joined hands. “Everyone Ready?”

 

The Time Lord then pushed a button and shouted out the aforementioned catchphrase, as they winked from sight.

 

Jack stared in amusement at the vacant spot where his friends once stood, “That’s it?”

 

Next Week…Chapter 22

Allons-y!


 

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
robinfanatic
Jan. 24th, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
yippee!! new ch. of TA!!!! Off to the reading now. See you on the light side...
robinfanatic
Jan. 24th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
I like vulnerable!Jack and the strength Gwen shows. Love these two!

“No! I am sorry Master but I will not! I almost lost you once today. I will not let you risk your life again.” The outlaw was on the verge of tears as he spoke.
Oh Much! How we love thee!

Allan/Kate, eh? This is a nice pairing! Will we see more? (I hope so!)

Much clucked after them, “I still don’t know what she sees in him.”
“Jealous, Much?” Robin mused at his friend.

More Much love. I just can't get enough of Much.

“Much started it!” Allan yelled back as he grinned and walked back into the trees.
Great line! :)

Can't believe poor Allan got captured by PJ!

Much smiled back and whispered softly. “For Carter.”
*flood of tears* I want Carter alive!!!!!!!!!!!!! waaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

Jack yelled out, breaking up the camaraderie, “Hey! No group chants unless we can all join in!”
Love this line!

Great chapter!!
aliciabmanley
Feb. 3rd, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. As usual. No big surprise. It's to be expected from you, because...well...you're brilliant!

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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