Chapter Seven

Jack let out a contented sigh as he picked his teeth with a toothpick. He had just got done feasting with a Cronion delegation after he got chummy with their leader, Lord Fatron. Now that his tummy was satiated, he was about to head off to a private chamber with two voluptuous Cronion women. He strolled down the corridor past artwork depicting the beelike Cronions doing different things. He stopped short when he heard a wheezing and saw the TARDIS materialize directly in front of him. He groaned and flicked his toothpick at it.

"Find another date for me, Doctor?" he said with a sigh as he put his hands in his trouser pockets and waited for the door to open.

He was shocked when the door opened and he saw a little girl peeking out at him.

"Gee, Doctor, your regeneration went a bit wrong this time," Jack said dryly.

"Are you Jack?" Hannah said, coming outside.

"Yeeeah, who are you?" Jack said as Hannah closed the door.

"I'm Hannah, I'm the Doctor's daughter and the Doctor sent me out here to tell you to stop doing naughty things."

Jack raised an eyebrow.

"The Doctor procreates? Now I've heard everything," he said.

"He also told me to tell you that he regenerated again."

"Again? Can't the man keep a body for more than a few years?" Jack said.

He fell silent and stared at Hannah.

"So do I get to see him or have you been sent to tell me these things before leaving?" he said.

"He just wanted to make sure you weren't doing naughty things and you knew he changed," Hannah said.

"And he had a kid," Jack said.

"Yes. Rose is my mum and she's in trouble."

"Why didn't you say that in the first place? Lead on," Jack said, gesturing to the TARDIS door.

"He wants to come in!" Hannah yelled at the door.

The door opened and Rory peeked out.

"Not bad, big nose though," Jack said. "I guess the nose makes up for the big ears in the ninth life?"

"I'm not the Doctor. I'm Rory Williams."

"Ah, Captain Jack Harkness. Nice to meet you. You traveling with him then?"

"Yes, me and my wife, Amy."

Amy peeked her head out and waved. Jack waved back.

"So…do I have to go through a gauntlet of people to see the Doctor?" he asked.

Amy and Rory stepped aside and the Doctor came to the door.

"You must be him. No one else would be seen in broad daylight in those clothes," Jack said.

The Doctor gave him a withering look. Jack beamed when Sarah Jane came up behind him and he bowed at the waist.

"Miss Smith," he said.

"Mister Harkness," Sarah Jane said as everyone stepped outside.

"So what's the occasion? What's wrong with Rose?" Jack said.

"Come inside and we'll tell you," the Doctor said.

Jack looked inside and raised his eyebrow.

"You changed the interior. I like it, very space age," he said to the Doctor.

"Thank you. I like it as well. Coming?"

"After you, oh fearless leader," Jack said.

Hannah took his hand and he smiled at her before everyone went back inside.


This time the Doctor did the explaining since he didn't want Hannah to keep telling her story over and over. The more he said though, the more Jack's anger grew until he finished and Jack let out an angry sigh.

"Jack, I know what you're going to say," the Doctor said as Jack glowered at him. "I'm not proud of what I did but at the time it seemed like the right decision."

"Rose is an adult and she made her decision to come back here and you dumped her back in the other universe like she was a kid," Jack said angrily. "She didn't want to be there and you decided for her and left her with someone she…"

He glanced at Hannah when he started to say, "didn't want," and shut his mouth.

"She didn't have a choice," he said instead.

"I know that, Jack, but I couldn't be the man she wanted me to be. I can't be an Earth husband."

"She didn't want an Earth husband, she wanted you," Jack said. "Rose is intelligent. I'm guessing she knew the risk of living with a man who doesn't age and accepted that. You keep pushing her away and now she's mentally ill because people keep breaking her heart."

"Jack, can we argue later?" the Doctor growled, pointing to Hannah.

Jack looked at Hannah and saw her distraught face and his anger left him as he put his arm around her and drew her near.

"I'm sorry, honey. It's just that your mom and me were best friends and I don't like to see her in pain. I'm thankful that at least you came out of all this."

"Mum said you can't die," Hannah said.

"No, I can't. And that's another thing, I can't die, Doctor, yet I gave my heart to someone," he added, looking at him.

He waited for the Doctor's caustic reply about him giving his heart to everyone along with his penis but the Doctor nodded.

"And you lost him as well," the Doctor said gently.

Jack's eyes lowered and he nodded.

"But it was worth every moment being with him," he said.

"It was worth every moment being with Rose. I'm not saying that I regret my time with her, I'm just saying that I don't want to watch her grow old and die and I don't want to put her through the same agony of watching me not grow old. I was thinking of her so I let her be with a man who could age."

"And die…" Jack said ruthfully.

"Yes. But that's life. Sarah reminded me of that when I was tempted to gain godlike power and keep the people I love with me throughout eternity," he said, gesturing to her.

"So what happens now? You gonna go over there, tell her to snap out of it and leave again?"

"I want to try to bring her back here," Sarah Jane said. "Hannah and Rose can stay with me while Rose recovers. That way we can visit her and make sure she's healing."

"Good because I'm all for that. I want access to Rose and not have her shut away in some universe where I can't see her or speak to her. But then what? Are you taking her back if she recovers?"

"I'll leave that up to her. My TARDIS is working on a version of her dimension cannon that we can use to go back and forth between dimensions. This time I won't force her to go back if she doesn't want to."

"And can I have access to this dimension cannon?"

"If you let me know where you are so I can come and get you," the Doctor said.

"Good, thanks."

"Now, we want to know if you have Martha's phone number because Hannah wants to meet her and Mickey. Do you?"

"Yes, I do," Jack said, reaching into his pocket for his mobile.

"Give her a ring and see if she'll meet us. Then we'll go see Wilf and after that, we'll see if we can get back to the other universe and find Rose."

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