Doctor Who: Life with Theta

Angel of the Morning

Iraj landed them in UNIT’s sub-level parking lot. Jack and Aloysius carried the Doctor inside the complex, where the entire command hub was crammed in, waiting for them. Martha had radioed ahead, meting out only the need-to-know pieces. The only thing that mattered was the Doctor’s health, because no one else had sustained any lasting injuries, and Jack, well... he’d regained an arm. Everything that could be reset, had been.

Martha and Grace were avoiding his gaze, discussing the medical miracle that had transpired on the TARDIS with Andrews and his team.

Aloysius had that insufferably calm look on his face again. Damn the man for his cool. When had he lost his?

No one said anything as Jack shifted Theta’s legs away from the albino and hefted them himself, turning into the dim cement of a corridor with his gangly prize. A stiff-lipped soldier showed him to the infirmary. He knew the way, of course, but he was in no mood to remember. The Doctor’s slim, nearly naked shape slid easily onto the hospital-style bed.

“Come on, under the sheets with you,” Jack said softly, easing his alien lover beneath the crisp linens.

At least the man was merely sleeping, now, instead of dying or in pain. Or possessed by his past. He reached for the soft bunch of thick forelock hanging left of the Time Lord’s face and brushed it away, revealing a slightly squarish bone structure, markedly different than the previous of course, but just as perfect. Just as Him. His Time Lord looked so peaceful, when he wasn’t conscious. Perhaps now that peace could carry over into waking, at long last.

Looking about the little room, Jack could see it was grey, painted with quiet, soothing tones of rain and concrete. Nothing like a bunker to ease the mind. The UNIT brass had tried, anyway. It had been such short notice, after all, the four dropping in with a newly regenerated, unconscious Doctor and three newborns five minutes before they were supposed to arrive. It was just like them to keep a room, just in case. Had something to do with the old guard, back when the Doctor had first joined them. Not much in the way of furnishings, just a small round-top side table and a washstand. There was an antique accountant’s desk lamp on the table, and near that lay a tottering stack of books of varying age on various poets, artists, alchemists, philosophers and scientists: Frost, Whitman, Leary, Michelangelo, Monet, Hermes Trimegistus, Michel de’Nostradame, Pythagorus, Plato, Pliny, Pasteur, Darwin, Curie, Einstein, Eddington. With the seasoned care of an aged philologist, Jack Harkness straightened the books, dusting them off with a hard breath as he laid them back into place. His eyes always found their way back to the bed though, where the rise and fall of the Doctor's youthful chest beneath the sheets proved, as always, a deep and lasting comfort. With a sigh he reached into a pocket of his greatcoat and pulled out a silverish pad with some paper still on it. A shiny metal pen was attached to the top by a thin chain on a grommet. He wrote for a little while, then slid a corner beneath the mirror lying next to the lamp. He laughed. Why hadn’t he seen it before? A mirror and a pile of books. How like the man, the love, he was about to leave. He had finally realized what Theta had meant that day in the rain, outside the smoking ruins of their favorite pub. His mind was set, because he knew the Doctor deserved someone he wouldn’t be able to char with those lovely old eyes. Those lovely... old... eyes.

The triplets would be accounted for, of course, more than accounted for what with UNIT, Torchwood, and all the human Companions, in case Theta decided to leave them on Earth. Not the best decision, though, so Jack doubted the Time Lord would make it. No, Theta Sigma would take his children with him on the TARDIS, deep into the roiling safety of the vortex, where they could grow and learn normally until he let them loose on the unsuspecting universe. Hell, he’d probably have enough genetic material to construct another Loom... Ah, but he would come for visits, maybe, probably, back to Earth to show the kiddies the wonders of banana sundaes and duct tape, but always, he would leave without saying anything close to a true hello. Or goodbye.

In any case, Captain Jack Harkness was grateful for the chance to save the man he most loved and looked up to in the world some guilt. So he turned on his heel and ran, throwing open the door to the Doctor’s room and crashing into the soldier who’d brought him, in his hurry to escape himself.

“Be sure and bring him some ginger beer,” he said to the grunt, who was eyeing him like someone had spilled coffee on his shiny new shoes.

“He’ll need a stiff drink, when he wakes up, and ginger beer’s the only thing that can get him roaring drunk. I’ve got to go see to our kids.”


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