Doctor Who: Life with Theta

The Fantastic Four

“...yeah. Jenny, the Master and the TARDIS hatched a plan. Can you believe it? The Master... anyway, according to Agent Pendergast, we just have to wait for their signal, now that the TARDIS has control again, she can shield us for a while from the Old One.”

Always, for his team, for his friends and lovers, Jack Harkness smiled brightly, expectantly. The dutiful Captain. But now, inside, his single human heart threw itself against his chest, a dirty pool of wet paper mush caught behind his lungs, trying to break free. Once it had been a piece of origami paper, a perfect white crane molded into shape by the careful hands of a Time Lord. But his Time Lord was gone... maybe for good.

“What... what does it entail, this plan?”

He looked up, only half-listening to what was being said as he continued, numbly, to throw himself into what he’d been doing for the past twenty minutes.

“I want to thank everyone involved for sparing the gory details. The triplets are here now, and probably registering all of this. We really don’t want another Master on our hands fifty years down the road.”

“Need I remind you that I am part of this little shindig, Captain Harkness? Play nice, or I’ll tell the TARDIS to send you to your room. This is no time for a bout of childish moping. Rassilon help me for saying this... but we’ve got more than just one idiot to save,” came the Master’s voice in his mind.

But Jack didn’t even care that the man had invaded his citadel, his most private place. That was the state he was in. Pendergast had seen it, to use a trite cliché, several miles off.

“I can see that look on your face, Aloysius,” the captain said with a thick tongue, not bothering to move from the console seating. Everyone else was on their feet, “... I haven’t given up. I just...”

Sighing, Jack tucked a finger into one of the little white bundles in his arms.

“I just don’t want them to die without knowing the scope of it all, you know? I want them to know what he is to all of us. What he is to them.”

“We’re waiting, Harkness. Hurry it up. I can’t hold this lot off forever. ‘s bad enough with the supplicant and the fledgling to deal with... you don’t want to see Jenny-girl’s lovely brains all over daddy’s long, slim fingers and luscious mouth like in those sodding zombie films, do you?”

“You’re an ass. If anything happens to Jenny you’ll wish Theta had eaten you.”

Jack raised his fingers in Pendergast’s direction and snapped them into place, one word, two, three. Soon, as the two women watched them both like hawks, the two men began exchanging complex sentences in sign.

Jack: I don’t trust him.

Aloysius: I don’t blame you. However, we need to observe the situation for a while longer, regardless.

Jack: As much as I’m loathe to admit it, you have a good point, as always. Damn I hate it when I’m right.

Aloysius: Ah, Jack. I understand more than you might realize, in one respect at least.

Jack: If you say so. Why don’t you tell me the plan? The Master’s been pestering my neurons.

Aloysius: How can we be sure he won’t catch on? We have no proof of his redemption. I, for one, do not trust him either. He is too much like my brother for my comfort.

Jack: I heard about that. Sorry.

Aloysius: No need, Captain. I had an epiphany at sea late in life. It... changed things between us. At least for me. He happened to be declared dead at the time. In any case, shall we get on? I fancy a cup of tea before dying.

Jack: That’s the spirit! Does the TARDIS know which one and how? You seemed quite the connoisseur, when we met in my flat.

Aloysius: Oh, she is quite the perfectionist.

“You know, Aloysius,” Jack said aloud as he stood and moved toward the console to blare his newborns’ lilting voices over the barren fields outside the TARDIS, in the hope of a favorable reply from the first pair of hearts on the screen, “... it’s a shame you never met Jackie. You two would have gotten on.”


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