WARNING: This chapter contains spoilers for Torchwood’s Exit Wounds.

Chapter Three

Donna, Martha, and Rose were excited. Finally, after a fortnight, they had finished preparations for the Doctor’s birthday party.

It had all started out innocently enough. Donna’s birthday came up and to celebrate, the Doctor, with help from the TARDIS, threw her a huge party. That led to Rose wondering when the Doctor’s birthday was, to which the Doctor merely shrugged and gave her a non-committal grunt. He then changed the subject, but that didn’t dampen Rose’s curiosity. When no one was looking, she had asked the TARDIS about it, but not even the TARDIS knew, since he had never celebrated his birthday. That led to a discussion between Rose and her friends and it was decided that rather than find out the exact date of his birthday, they would just throw him an all-purpose birthday party instead. Partly because to their knowledge, he had never had one and partly to thank him for all the times he had watched over them and saved them from danger. The TARDIS, learning of their plans, offered to help. So, the four conspirators went out and gathered up materials for a surprise party whenever they got the chance. The TARDIS helped them by constructing a few gifts for the Doctor and hiding the rec room, where they had assembled everything, from the Doctor whenever he came too close. Now, they were ready. The three friends stood in the rec room looking at the decorations, the table that was crammed with food, and drinks, and a huge birthday cake, made in the shape of a TARDIS, and the pile of gift wrapped presents stacked around one of the legs.

Martha looked around at the bright and cheery room and frowned. She had a thought and turned to the others.

“You know what? I think Jack oughta be here too. After all, he’s the Doctor’s friend and he deserves to be a part of this.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Rose said, “except, how are we gonna sneak him in here without the Doctor knowing?”

Leave that to me. The TARDIS thought to them.

The Doctor stood at the console, humming while he looked through his database and tried to figure out some possible destinations to take his girls. As he looked through the possible choices, he felt his mind become foggy and his eyes become heavy. He blinked and yawned.

“Blimey, all of a sudden I feel knackered,” he said.

Ignoring the sleepiness, he continued with his search, but slowly his eyelids started to droop and it became harder and harder to concentrate on what he was doing. He shook his head, trying to jar himself awake, but it was no use. His eyelids felt like they had lead weights on them and he found himself looking behind him at the comfy captain’s chair.

“Well, maybe a quick nap won’t hurt,” he said.

Yawning, he walked over, lay down, stretched out, and fell asleep.

The TARDIS, having dealt with the Doctor, stoked the back of his mind. She turned her attention from the slumbering Time Lord to the console and set the coordinates for the Hub.

“Okay, guys, I think we’ve got a definite lock on that new nest of Weevils,” Jack said, walking up to Ianto and Gwen.

He let out a sad sigh.

“Course, it wasn’t easy to do. Tosh was always better at…”

He trailed off and got a faraway look in his eyes while Ianto and Gwen glanced at each other. Jack shook himself out of his reverie and smiled at them.

“Still, I managed to do it,” he said, “and I think if we move out tonight when they are asleep, we can tranquilize and…”

He trailed off when he heard the familiar wheezing sound. He and his team looked around, half expecting to see the TARDIS materializing in the corner of the room as usual. Instead, they were shocked when the TARDIS materialized around them. The interior of the TARDIS came into view and Jack saw Rose, Martha, and Donna standing there, with shocked looks on their faces. The TARDIS finished materializing and Jack, Gwen, and Ianto looked around.

“Rose? Martha, Donna. What’s going on?” he said. “Why are we in here? Is something wrong with the Doctor?”

Rose glanced at her friends and stepped forward.

“Nothing’s wrong, Jack. It’s just that…”

She gestured all around her. Jack looked up and his eyes widened when he read, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOCTOR, on a huge banner strung across the room. He looked at her.

“It’s the Doctor’s birthday?” he said.

“Well, um…not exactly. I mean, we don’t really know when his real birthday is and he won’t say, so…we’re giving him one,” Rose said.

Jack smiled.

“And you wanted us to come and celebrate with you?”

Rose looked at Ianto and Gwen.

“Well, um…to be honest, we were thinking only of you, but I guess when the TARDIS came down on top of you, it got Gwen and Ianto, as well.”

Jack looked over at them.

“Eh, they can help us celebrate too. I mean, they do know the Doctor now.”

“Yes, but Jack, what about the Weevil nest?” Gwen said.

“We’re in a time machine,” Jack said. “The TARDIS can take us back to the exact moment she got us. Besides, we kinda do need a break, especially considering what’s…happened recently.”

He noticed the confused looks on the women’s faces. He gave them a sad smile.

“Tell ya guys later,” he said. “I don’t wanna ruin the mood.”

He changed the subject.

“So, where’s the Doctor? Do we go get him, or…”

“Well, we were hoping this would be a surprise, so…we have to figure out a way to lure him back here without making him suspicious.”

“Oh, well, I guess that lets us out then,” Jack said.

“You can’t just ask him to come back here?” Ianto said.

The three women looked at each other.

“Well,” Rose said. “See, once the Doctor starts doing something in the console room, he doesn’t like to leave without a good reason. So whatever it is, it’ll have to be monumental to get his attention.”

“Tell him there’s a fire back here,” Gwen said.

“Or an alien got on board, “Ianto said.

Martha thought for a moment and smiled.

“I think I got something, guys. Something that’ll really get his attention!” she said.

They looked at her, waiting for her to continue. Martha looked at Rose.

“I think we can use my past crush on the Doctor and the jealousy I felt to our advantage,” she said, “and if the TARDIS will pull another ventriloquism act like it did before, we won’t have to leave the room.”

“What do you have in mind?” Rose said.

“Well, I was thinking that the TARDIS could say…”

As she explained her plan, everyone began to giggle hysterically.

“Oh, Miss Jones, that is pure evil,” Jack said, when she finished. “But, I love it.”

“I love it too; it’s just the thing to get back at him for all the times he pulled his little practical jokes!” Rose said. “Do it, Martha, I dare ya!”

Martha looked up at the ceiling.

“Did you hear everything I said, TARDIS?” she said.

The TARDIS rumbled. Martha looked at everyone.

“Then, do it. Bring the Doctor back here to us,” she said, glancing back up.

The Doctor’s eyes fluttered open when he felt something poking at the back of his mind. He smacked his dry lips together and opened his eyes wide.

“Ah, I feel better already,” he said. “I guess sometimes a good nap is just the thing to restore the body’s…”


The Doctor jerked his head up when he heard Martha scream. He grabbed the back of the captain’s chair and shot up, looking around.

“YOU ARE SO FULL OF SHIT, JONES!” he heard Rose say.

“Oh, am I?” Martha said.

The Doctor stared at the back door, confused. He could hear both of them arguing just beyond it.

“Wha?” he said.

“I’m sick and tired of you flaunting your relationship with the Doctor in front of my face!” Martha said.

“What’s wrong, Martha? Jealous?”

“No, I just think it’s sad that you think the Doctor still fancies you when he really wants me!”

“Oh no, oh, please, no. Not this,” the Doctor said.

He heard Rose snort.

“You’re dreaming, Jones. The Doctor never wanted you. He’s always loved me! You were just a warm body until I came back!”

The Doctor flinched when he heard a slap.

“How dare you!” he heard Rose say. “How dare you slap me! That is it! You and me, Jones, in the rec room, so we can settle this once and for all!”

“Fine by me!” Martha said. “I’m just dying to rake my fingernails into that pretty face of yours! Then we’ll see if the Doctor still fancies you afterwards!”

The Doctor was on his feet. Gritting his teeth, he started back towards the door, wanting to break up the fight before both women did something they regretted.

“Fine! Follow me! We’ll go to the rec room and have it out, once and for all!”


There was a pause.

“One problem though,” the Doctor heard Martha say, “I just brought this outfit and the last thing I wanna do is get your blood all over it.”

“Same here. So, here’s what we’ll do, Martha. We’ll fight in the nude. That way, we won’t mess up our clothes!”

The Doctor’s eyes bulged.

“Fine! I agree to that. So, come on, Tyler. You and me, naked catfight in the rec room, right now!”

“Bring it on, Jones!”

The Doctor was gobsmacked.

“Naked catfight?” he said, “what the hell?”

With equal parts alarm and titillation, the Doctor ran out of the console room and made his way back to the rec room.

Martha and Rose bent over laughing. The TARDIS had let them hear what she had said and they were barely able to get their breath.

“Okay, guys, I guess the Doctor’s on his way back, so hide now!” Martha said.

All of them scrambled and hid behind couches and chairs. The TARDIS dimmed the lights and everyone waited.

A few minutes later, the Doctor came into the room.

“All right, you two, that is it! As intriguing the notion of a naked catfight is to me, I will not have disharmony in this TARDIS. You will both cease…”

He stopped when he noticed the rec room was dark. He looked around.

“Martha? Rose?”

For a moment, he wondered if they hadn’t taken the fight someplace else. Then the lights came on and the Doctor was taken aback when he saw the decorations.

“WHAT?” he said, looking around.

“SURPRISE!” everyone said, leaping up.

The Doctor staggered back, flabbergasted. He looked at Martha and Rose and noticed that the two of them were standing side-by-side waving at him. Confused, he glanced over at Jack, Gwen, and Ianto.

“What is going on here?” he said, “what…is all this?”

“We decided to throw you a birthday party,” Rose said.

“But…it’s not my birthday.”

“Well, since you won’t tell us when it is, we decided to pick a day,” Donna said.

He looked at Rose and Martha.

“So…the two of you aren’t going to have a naked catfight?”

They burst out laughing.

“No, that was our way of getting you to come back here,” Martha said.

“Sorry, if you were expecting us to be naked in here,” Rose said.

“Well, how did you guys get back here so fast?”

They pointed up at the ceiling.

“Remember the day the TARDIS pulled that practical joke on all of us?” Rose said. “Well, we decided to put her ability to mimic our voices to a good use.”

The Doctor glared at the ceiling while everyone laughed.

“I suppose you were also the reason I suddenly got sleepy, eh?”

The TARDIS rumbled and nudged his mind.

“What am I gonna do with you?” he said.

He looked over at Jack, Gwen, and Ianto and spread his arms wide while he walked over to them. The three of them returned the hug.

“Oh, Doc, it’s great to see you again,” Jack said.

“Yeah, you too, except the TARDIS seemed to have missed two. If we’re gonna have a party, we’ll have to have the whole gang here, so I could ask her to go back and get…”

He trailed off when he noticed the anguish on their faces.

“What? What’s wrong?” the Doctor said.

Jack sighed.

“Tell ya later, alright? Let’s just say…there’s no need to go back for Tosh and Owen.”

The Doctor’s breath caught in his throat when he guessed the meaning of those words.

“No, oh…no, Jack,” he said, “how?”

Jack looked at Gwen and Ianto.

“I’ll tell you guys later. Right now, let’s just celebrate your birthday and have some fun.”

The Doctor grinned, enjoying himself.

He was sitting at the head of the table with his friends sitting along the sides. The TARDIS had constructed a golden throne for him. He was wearing a little cardboard gold crown that Martha had made. Written around it in big bold letters were the words, KING OF OUR HEARTS. A huge plate sat before him containing a burger, chips, chocolates, ice cream, and part of his cake. It was his second helping of everything. Beside him sat a huge pile of presents that he hadn’t opened yet. He had held off doing so, wanting to make the party last for as long as possible. He glanced over at his girls who were smiling at him and he marveled, for the hundred-gazillonth time, at how clever they all were. Finally, they were done eating and the Doctor moved on to his gifts. Jack muttered an apology that he, Gwen, and Ianto hadn’t brought him anything, but he held up his hand.

“You are here today, that’s all the present I need,” he said.

His smile grew wider and wider with each present he opened. There were rare books from a couple of alien bazaars that they had visited in the past week along with a new microscope. There were handmade signs that the three women had made and the Doctor giggled when he looked at them. Each one had drawn themselves with him and the monsters they had encountered when they had traveled alone with him. They were crudely drawn, but that’s what the Doctor loved about it. Just knowing that the drawings had been made from them and were made from the heart, touched him, and he felt his eyes mist over.

“Thank you,” he said, as he laid them aside.

Finally, one present remained. The Doctor opened it and gasped when an inflatable Dalek sprang up out of the box. He stared at it.

“It’s a stress reliever,” Martha explained. “You ever see those inflatable clowns you can hit? That’s what this is. No matter how hard you hit it, the Dalek will bounce back and you can hit it again.”

The Doctor laughed. He pulled the rest of the Dalek out of the box, took it over to the center of the room, and began to hit it repeatedly. His friends smiled when they saw the joy on his face.

“Where did you find this?” he said.

“TARDIS made it for ya,” Donna said.

He smiled at his ship.

“Great idea, old girl.”

She nudged his mind.

He gave the Dalek two more punches and then walked over to his girls. They stood up along with the members of Torchwood and he pulled the three women into a group hug.

“Thank you so much! This means a lot to me!” he said.

“We’re glad you like it!” Martha said.

The members of Torchwood went around the group and hugged them. They stayed that way for a moment, hugging one another before finally breaking it off.

A half hour later, there was another group hug in the console room. Jack had just told everyone what had happened to Tosh and Owen.

The Doctor’s hearts broke. He didn’t know Tosh and Owen as well as Jack did, but just the fact that they had died so tragically made him wish that somehow he could have been there to do something. Hearing that Jack’s brother, Gray, was the one who did it seemed unbelievable to him. He had no idea Jack even had a brother, let alone he was a murderer. That, coupled with the fact that Jack had been buried alive for almost 1900 years made his head spin and his hearts ache. The realization that Jack had gotten through all this torment with his sanity intact, boggled his mind, it proved to him just how strong, and resilient his friend was. He hated that Jack had to put his brother in stasis, but he knew it was for his own good, and he hoped that one day he might be able to get through to him and get back the relationship they once had when they were kids. The Doctor hugged the Torchwood team tighter, letting them know there were four people who cared for all of them and would support them no matter what. Reluctantly, they broke off the hug when the TARDIS landed back in the Hub.

“I’ll keep in touch with you guys,” the Doctor said to Jack.

Jack nodded.

“We’ll be fine. We all knew what we were getting into when we joined up,” he said. “They died heroically, which I know is what they both wanted.”

The Doctor nodded.

“All of you be careful, please,” he said. “I’ve lost enough friends in my lifetimes without losing any more.”

“Same here,” Jack said.

They gave each other one more hug. Jack hugged the three women and then with a wave, he stepped towards the door with his team.

“Next time you have another birthday, be sure to come get us,” Jack said. “We need a break every once in awhile from our weevil catching and Cardiff saving duties.”

They nodded. Ianto opened the door. All of them stepped out and Jack winked as he shut it.

The Doctor turned and smiled at his companions.

“Well, I think since you did that for me, I need to do something for you in return. So, you guys get to pick. Where do you want to go?”

The three women glanced at each other.

“You know, I’ve been wanting to go to the beach lately,” Donna said.

Martha nodded.

“That sounds good. A little sun, sand, and surf.”

“Yeah, I agree. I’d like to go to the beach too.”

“Beach, it is. I know just the place. Dedera. The sand there is white with tiny purple crystals mixed in. When the suns shine on it, it’s a sight to behold. Fancy that?”

The three women looked at each other and nodded. The Doctor smiled and slapped his hands together as he walked towards the console.

“Very well, then. Dedera, here we come!”

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