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Time's Arrow, Chapter 24

Title: Time's Arrow 24/27
Author: DarkenTwisted
Rating: PG
Length: This chapter, 3583 words
Warnings: Spoilers  for RH Post 2:13,  DW Post 4:13, TW Post 2:13
Pairings: Y2KJack, 10Doctor, Gwen, Mickey, Jack, Ianto, Jasper, Ellingham, Martha, Matilda, Ceris, Allan, Kate,
Summary: Chapter 24 of my ongoing crossover novella; Torchwood, Robin Hood, Doctor Who.
Disclaimer: All Characters Owned by BBC, BBC Wales, BBC America, Tiger Aspect Media.
Posting  this using Semagic, Thanks lankyguy for the suggest!  
As usual, props to my long-suffering beta, zooeyrye.  Just 3 more chapters to go, hang in there babe! 
And to robinfanatic, thestorymaker, and aliciabmanley for spurring me along.

Previous Chapters Below:
Cover Art, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 1415, 1617, 1819, 20, 21, 22, 23 Explicit content chapter rewrites 6, 9, 23

Chapter 24, Set the World on Fire

Cardiff, Wales
Vaisey found himself on the streets again.  The cold air, in contrast to the modern heated room, made his skin tingle.  Sleeping next to a bloating corpse was bad enough but the new toy he picked off the man in the alley threatened to get him into even more trouble. He giggled hysterically, remembering the nice round holes it made in the dead boy – it also made a lot of noise and he barely gotten out the escape, before the cars with bright coloured lights, came.  He walked in the cold, looking for refuge.  He tried his magic card in another hotel but the magic seemed to be all gone and the clerk handed the cancelled card back, smirking.  He thought of making nice round holes in the clerk but he didn’t think that would get him anywhere. The tavern he came across was dark and busy and filled with all kinds of seedy characters; his kind of place, so he went in.
They had settled into an uneasy truce of sorts, Jack no longer felt like killing the Doctor every time he looked at him and the Doctor didn’t feel like he had to run every time he was around the time agent. They ended up in Jack’s newly acquired office with a bottle of scotch and two glasses. The agent studied his old friend like a fascinating insect under a microscope.

“You’re going to make me wait eight more years to find out you can’t do anything for me?” Jack looked at the Doctor as he sipped.
The Time lord shifted uncomfortably. This was the conversation he dreaded. “I have to, Jack and you know why. We shouldn’t be here. We won’t meet again till eight years from now and I’m going to need you, as you are then.  Letting you remember this will change everything.”
“Yeah, I know.” The agent gestured below to Robin and Much. “They need to forget too.”
“Yes they do.  When I get them home, we’ll take care of that.”
“Too bad they have to go back,” Jack smirked.  “That Much is a great kisser.”
“Aww, tell me you didn’t, Jack,” the Doctor rolled his eyes.  “Do I need to get everyone around you a chastity belt?”
“I was just–”  
“Yes, I know what you were doing.”  The Doctor said, “And thanks to the Jack Harkness brand of hospitality you so kindly offer, he is going to have a lot of explaining to do–to you, when he gets back.”
“You left me trapped in the 12th century?”  Jack glared at his friend. “How could you do that to me again?” 
“It was your choice,” the traveller replied.  “You’re not alone, some of your team members stayed behind with you to help Robin’s men defend Nottingham till we could get Guy and Vaisey back.”
“Oh,” Jack relented in amusement. “I’m in medieval England playing ‘Robin Hood,’ I wonder how that’s going for me.”
“Knowing you, you probably have Prince John himself in a very compromising position by now.”  The doctor replied with a touch of cheek.
They laughed together, for the first time in a century for Jack and he missed it.  This was his Doctor. But the fun ended way too soon, in an uncomfortably awkward silence, with both men looking at each other
“So.” Jack turned his attention to his partially empty glass, at the floor, anywhere else than at the other man in the room.
“So.”  The Doctor echoed, studying the complex immortal before him. Still the same Jack, yet something so imperceptible, had changed. Their detente mirrored the one of the two enemies below. He knew Jack had questions, questions he couldn’t answer, not yet.
“What happened to Rose?”
“She’s fine.”
“I didn’t ask that. I asked where she was,” said Jack testily.
“You don’t have to raise your voice, Jack.”
The Torchwood agent relented, “I’m sorry. You know how I feel about her. I never even got the chance to say goodbye. I went back to Satellite 5 so many times, before I finally used the manipulator, hoping you would come back. Why did you leave me?”
“I didn’t want to Jack. I had to. Rose was dying and I had to act fast. Saving her caused me to regenerate.”
“What happened?”
“I can’t tell you now.”
“I’m taking retcon before you leave, I’ll forget anyway.”  He drilled the Doctor with his eyes.  “I want to know.”
The Time Lord levelled his eyes at the man before him, not wanting to relive the events in his own mind, as he told him. “I sent her back in the TARDIS. I sent her home. She and Mickey figured out a way to open the console and operate the TARDIS to come back.”
“Bright girl.” Jack mused.
“Too bright. She looked into the time vortex. Only a time lord can do that and live.” He focussed sternly on Jack. “She created a meta-crisis and in doing so, she destroyed the Daleks and created you.”
“I heard her voice before I came back,” Jack said. “I always wondered why.”
“Her love for you was so great Jack, that she not only brought you back, she brought you back forever. It almost killed her. It did kill me. I had to reabsorb all that energy. All I could think about was getting her home before I changed.”
“So you left without even checking to see if I was okay?”
The Doctor glared, “No! I knew what happened to you Jack, what Rose did.  She made you a fixed point in time; an anachronism, and for my species, an abomination.” He looked away in shame. “As a Time Lord I wasn’t prepared to accept that.”
Jack’s shock at the revelation was apparent. He looked at the man who, up till that minute, he considered his mentor. “And now?”
“I’m getting used to the idea.” The Doctor sighed.
“That’s why you left me,” Jack’s blue eyes glistened at the truth. “You couldn’t stand what I had become.”
“You were immortal, you had your VM and you were close to your own time. I knew you would be fine.” The traveller took another sip then looked away. “If it’s any consolation, Jack, you’re not the first companion I’ve been forced to leave behind.”
“You mean there’s others?!” Jack felt the anger rising in his gut again.
“Several actually,” the Doctor replied, uncomfortably shifting; not meeting his friend’s gaze.
Jack snorted as he took another sip of the strong liquor. “It’s not fair!”
“Oh what isn’t fair now, Jack?”  The Time Lord lamented.
“You!  You come around and swoop us out of our lives. Make us fall in love with you. And then, before you get too attached, or when one of us becomes broken and no longer fits into your twisted little idea of what a companion is, you just leave us.  That is not fair, Doctor!”
“No Jack! Having to leave someone I’ve grown to care about – that is not fair!” The Doctor retorted. “You of all people know why I can’t stay around, why I can’t be with just one person forever.  I loved all of you.  Each time I had to leave one of you; you, Sarah Jane, Rose…and Donna…you took a piece of my hearts with you.”  He focussed on Jack as tears started to fall. “I loved all of you, but I did what had to be done.”
Jack shook his head, as he got up to leave. The room had just gotten too unbearably small for the both of them. “You’re wrong. You’re the ‘abomination.’” His lip curled in contempt. “What you do to your companions. That isn’t love, Doctor,” he scowled. “It’s a cry for help.”
Gwen and Mickey walked into the police station together.  “You sure this bloke was attacked by Vaisey?”
“No,” Gwen looked around suspiciously. “But they did find him naked, next to some sort of ‘medieval costume.’ I assumed at first it might be Vaisey himself, but they showed this man’s face on the telly. It all made sense then.”
“I don’t get it.”
“If you were stuck in a future time, what would be the first thing you would do?”
Mickey though, “Find clothes that matched the era I was in, so I wouldn’t stand out.
“Exactly. Oh shite!”  She quickly turned around a corner.
“What’s the matter?”
“I know him,” Gwen whispered to Mickey.
“You sure?”
“Yes, that’s Andy’s father!”
“The police constable?” He grinned. “Look at old Andy, following in dad’s footsteps.”
Gwen paused, “It wasn’t Andy’s wishes, to be a third generation policeman.  I always thought he would be happier doing something else.”  She looked at the group of men across the room. “I’m going to need you to talk to him for me.”
“Why me?”
“Cos Andy’s father will recognise me.”
“But, if you haven’t met him yet…?”
Gwen cast him a rueful look.
“Oh, you haven’t met him yet.”
“I would have a hard time explainin’ to him’ how I ended up in the Cardiff police station years before we met, when I was supposed to be in pigtails, in high school.”
“I would have liked to see you in pigtails,” Mickey replied playfully.
Gwen glared at her team-mate. “Just go talk to him.  I’ll wait here.”
She overheard part of the conversation as the, big man still with the slightest hint of ginger in his hair, exclaimed “Torchwood?!  I should have known you lot would come sniffing around all this…. Claims the man was small and smelled bad…knocked him out cold and stole his gold tooth and clothes…he apparently took the man’s gun as well…”
Mickey returned, “Did you hear?”
”Parts of it.  Do they have any leads on where he might be?”
“Better than that,” Mickey grinned.  “They have him.”
“Sleepin’ off his cups in the drunk tank.”
Loxley Village
The small group of cottages stood empty, as the prince’s mercenaries rode through, on their way to the Manor house. Jasper stood at the front steps as the gang of ruffians halted with lit torches.
Ellingham looked around as he spoke to the prissy man in front of him. He held little regard for the overdressed pompous twit and it showed, “Looks as if your subjects 'ave abandoned you, Jasper.”
“They ran away in the night when they heard I sent for mercenaries.  Into the forest, no doubt with help from Hood and his gang.  We’ll smoke them out as soon as we raze Nottingham to the ground. I want every man, woman and child found and made to pay, until someone tells me what happened to Gisborne.”
“And what concern is it of yours what happened to the sheriff?  Seems that puts you in a cherry place; Gisborne and Vaisey gone, leaving you the only authority in Nottingham.”
Jasper leered at the soldier for hire. “Too many hits to the head, Ellingham?  It is in the best interest of the king’s brother that we keep a close eye on the current and former sheriff.”  He sniffed at his handkerchief. “No, it wouldn’t do at all to have the sheriff of Nottingham go missing. Better to burn the shire to the ground and start over with a new one if that were the case.” He looked out at the small village, “And my cousin cannot wait to do just that.”
The arrow shot that knocked the torch out of the mercenary’s hand was well placed and surprised even the Torchwood leader himself. “There won’t be any burning done today lads!” he yelled in his best English accent.
“Hood?”  The mercenary leader grinned wickedly. “Back from your little trip to save the king, are you?  And where is your little manservant?  Trapped in a barn with pork?”  The other men joined in his laughter, to Jack’s confusion. 
The Torchwood leader went on not listening. “I said there will be no burning today.   My men have you surrounded.”
Ellingham yelled out, “And my men have Nottingham surrounded.  They start the fires on my orders or in the event that I do not return.  Like it or not Hood, kill me and your world will burn!”
“And if I find the sheriff?”
“You have the sheriff?” said Jasper.
“I know where he is.”
“Then it is your duty to return him to Nottingham.”
Ellingham hissed at Jasper; “You said we did not need the sheriff.”
“If we go on with our plans and Gisborne returns to see his shire in ashes, my head will roll.  No, let the outlaw go on this fools’ errand.  It will make my reason to reduce this place to cinders all the more believable.” Jasper called out. “You have one night to return the sheriff or I send the mercenaries to their deed.”
“Time enough, Jasper.” Jack turned his horse followed by Ianto and John as they melted into the forest tree line.
“I didn’t know you did impressions,” Ianto grinned, and then turned serious, “Twenty-four hours; what do we do if the Doctor doesn’t get back in time?”
The Torchwood leader flipped back his hood and gazed at his lover, “He will!” Jack added, with conviction.  “He has to.”
Martha and Matilda walked through the forest to the location where the healer last saw the Doctor’s strange transport.  It was pleasantly warm and the late spring air at dusk made their dubious task more like a casual stroll. 

“So, Jack says you’re from his time.” Martha looked at her new friend.
“A little later, but being with the Time Agency, our paths did cross from time to time,” Matilda smiled at the memory.  “We were good friends once.”
“You acted like you hated him when you first saw him.”
“I did.” 
Martha stopped walking for a second and leaned against a tree. “And now?”
Matilda paused, “He took my life from me. I know now he didn’t do it on purpose.  How could he know I was going to double cross the agency and run away with my family?”
“He killed your husband and son?”
“Not intentionally, we were on a transport to a colony on Vargus 5.  I used my credentials to sign on as a medical officer.  I knew the ship was smuggling weapons for the resistance.  What I didn’t know, was that The Time Agency would ambush the vessel.  I watched it burn with my family and two thousand other innocent people.  I don’t remember much after that.  Jack recognised me and took me to safety.  I woke up in a cruiser, cursing his and everyone else on board’s name.” She bristled at the memory.
“You came here?”
“I ran away, back in time.”  She pulled at her rough woven clothes and smiled.  “Now I’m a time squatter and midwife to Robin Hood.”  She took on the look of worried mother.  “Oh, I do hope those boys are well.”
“He’s with the Doctor, I’m sure he’s fine.”
Matilda eyed the young medic with reservation, “Is he?  You seem to have doubts yourself about the safety of being with that man.”
“Oh no, Being with the doctor is wonderful!” Martha bit her lip as she recounted.  “I just did it at the wrong time.  I guess you could say I was his ‘rebound girl’.”
“I’ve been there before,” the midwife smiled.  “It never ends well.”
“I’ll say!”  Martha stood up. “I can’t complain, it made me the woman I am today, it made me stronger.”
“At the cost of your innocence,” Matilda replied with a touch of melancholy.
Martha was already walking ahead.  She looked over her shoulder and smiled. “My innocence was a small price to pay for saving the world.  How much farther?”

“Just over the next rise.”  They came up to a ledge and flattened themselves as they spied a blonde woman busily sweeping out the inside of the TARDIS with a crude broom, as children played around it.
“Oi!  You all quit trackin’ mud into the house. Ya think I got all day to clean up after you snivelling brats?”
“Probably not considering you are too busy stealing things that are not yours Ceris!” Matilda called out.
“Well if it ain’t Matilda the midwife!” The con-woman sneered, pulling a dagger out of her apron.  “And what business is it of yours what I do?”
“That new home of yours belongs to a friend of mine.”
“Well, he shouldn't've left if then!  Finder’s keepers!  It is mine!”
Matilda marched up to the woman, as one of the children stuck his tongue out at Martha. “How on earth did you get it here anyway?”
Ceris batted her lashes, “Farmer Thomas owed me a favour. ’E helped me tow it here in his wagon. Took me nigh all day to get it here and I am not ‘bout to give it back!”

“Oh I think you will,” Matilda grinned maliciously.
 Ceris picked herself up off the ground with the help of her three children as a stunned Martha looked on disbelieving what just happened. Matilda had barely a scratch on her but the same could not be said for the thief.  Ceris scowled and spit as she grabbed her brood and walked away.  “Go ahead an’ take it!  It is too small for us anyway.”
As the con-woman walked away Martha walked over to where the midwife was adjusting her robes.  ”Wow!  Where on earth did you learn to fight like that?”
“Time Agency,” Matilda vaguely offered.  “Jack hasn’t trained you?”
“I took basic training when I went to work for U.N.I.T. but nothing like that.  I don’t think she even knew what hit her.”
“Good – serves her right!” Matilda looked at the odd blue box.  “So that has the supplies we came for?”
“Trust me, it’s a lot bigger than it looks inside,” Martha opened the door with a grand gesture and was surprised to see a sceptical look on the other woman’s face.  She turned and gasped.  Inside the TARDIS there was – nothing.   Grey walls and a dirt and leaf covered floor greeted her as she walked inside.  “I don’t understand?  It’s supposed to be vast in here!  Unending room after room of…stuff.”  She turned to the older woman, “Something’s wrong, terribly, terribly wrong!”
Kate passed by with the manure cart full of injured outlaw, as Matilda waived her down.
Matilda backed off as the stench reached her nose, “My goodness child could you not find a more suitable means of transport?”
Kate blushed and giggled, “Not for what I am carrying.”  She shouted over her shoulder, “You can come out now, luv!”
Allan peeked his dirty face over the edge of the cart, “I think I’m gonna be…”And he promptly was, as both women made faces.
Matilda laughed in spite of herself, “Oh, poor lad.”  She looked up at the young maiden.  “How did you…?”
“It was not easy,” Kate interjected, “I hope the guard did not get a good look at me when I knocked him out.  I would hate to have to go live with the outlaws full time.”
Allan wiped his mouth on the cleanest part of his dirty sleeve, “Oi! What is so wrong with being an outlaw?” He shot a hurt and confused look when both women burst out laughing.
Martha came up beside the two women, as they helped Allan out of the dung cart.
“Easy luv, they are tender!” He said, as Martha tried to hold her breath and examine his injuries at the same time.
“Well, the fact you can put any weight on them at all is good news,” the medic replied. “It means they aren’t broken.” She lifted his shirt and totted, “So much for all my suture work.”
“Think you can put me back together again?”  Allan questioned, as he winced from the prodding.
“Well, taking a ride in a dung heap wasn’t the most sterile thing to do.”
“I got him back alive, did I not?” Kate bristled.
Martha looked at the young woman under her lashes and acquiesced; “I’m sorry, Kate. I’m sure you did the best you could.” She looked toward the blue police box. “I just wish I had more bandages and antiseptic and…Ow!”
“What is the matter child?” Matilda exclaimed, as Martha fumbled in her pocket.
“Something’s burning me!”  She pulled out her key ring and one of the keys glowed red hot. “It’s the TARDIS key. I forgot I had it.”  Martha mused.  “When I travelled with the Doctor, on our last trip together, he made this for me.” She held up the key with the crudely soldered circuit welded to it. “I kept it for luck after we parted.” She walked over to the machine biting her lip and smiled as she opened the door. A vast chamber filled with humming equipment replaced where the dirty cramped interior had been moments ago. “The doctor must have built in a perception filter for the inside of the TARDIS.”
“Oh my stars!” Matilda whispered as Kate and Allan followed her in.
Former companion detected. Initiating emergency protocol one. A metallic voice said, as a shaft of light flickered in front of the time ship’s control panel. Scanning DNA profile. Martha froze as the light beam washed over her, catching both herself and the others by surprise, DNA identification complete.  The light shifted and the three dimensional image of the Doctor smiled warmly at the young medic, “Hullo, Martha Jones.”
Next week…Chapter 25


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
I can't believe there are only three chapters to go! I'm excited to find out how it all ends, but I'm a little sad that I won't get my crossover fix on a regular basis...you really have blended the three shows terribly well.

Okay! Get back to work, you!
Mar. 1st, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think I'm suffering pre-seperation anxiety from it.

But it will be nice to concentrate on oneshots and drabbles after this exercise.

(Especially since I have the attention span of a gnat and have to beat myself to finish it.)
Mar. 5th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
I missed Much in the chapter...

He giggled hysterically

So Vaisey!!

“That Much is a great kisser.”

: )

Great scene between Jack & the Doctor. Bravo!

And where is your little manservant? Trapped in a barn with pork?” The other men joined in his laughter, to Jack’s confusion.

Love the reference to 2x12 & Jack's reaction.

Inside the TARDIS there was – nothing.

Uh-oh…. Sounds like trouble!!!

Wow...only 3 more chapters to go!
Mar. 5th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
You won't miss our little manservant in the next one. ;) (the little scene stealer!)

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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