Labor's Love by enchantment
Chapter 1: I'll Do Anything For Love But…
Chapter 2: The Little Rascals
Chapter 3: The Oncoming Swarm
Chapter 4: Nursery Run
Chapter 5: You Don't Know Jack - Part One
Chapter 6: You Don't Know Jack - Part Two
Author's Notes: I am reposting this story as I am currently working on the last remaining chapter in honor of the fiftieth anniversary. I love Doctor Who and itâs so rich with history with all of the different Doctors, that I wanted to celebrate that. If youâre familiar with Classic Who, youâll recognize a lot of the references.
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Author's Notes: I simply adore the entire history of Doctor Who and am quite surprised that it's not referred to more in actual canon. This story will reflect some canon and some famous quotes and not so famous quotes from the various Doctor's throughout the series. This just makes it more fun for me. :)
Brolly is British slang for umbrella and nappies are diapers. Loki is a god from Norse mythology who was known for being a trickster.
The children's names are taken from various actors during the show's history and two have even provided double duty such as Ian for the character of Ian portrayed by William Russell and Ian Marter who played Harry Sullivan, and Sarah for the ever famous Sarah Jane Smith and also for Sarah Sutton who portrayed Nyssa. I'm sure you'll recognize the third as well as all the rest. ;)
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Author's Notes: Jack met all of the Doctors in So, 11 Doctors Walk Into A Bar, it's also when he lost all memory of those two years. ;) You also might remember Four's hookah from Deadly Assassin.
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Author's Notes: Sylvester McCoy, AKA the Seventh Doctor, played a butler named Crud on Sky TV's Ghoul-Lashed series. The memories that Susan and David will be referencing are from The Dalek Invasion of Earth, it was Susan's last televised story with the Doctor until The Five Doctors.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who or Sky TV's Ghoul-Lashed.
Susan is lying in her hospital bed, gazing lovingly at her two newborns while David sleeps peacefully in an armchair in the corner. She starts when she hears the sounds of eleven TARDIS engines and smiles softly in excitement as she informs the twins, "Get ready, you two, you're about to meet your great-grandfather."
The door soon flies open to the sight of all of the Doctor's filing in one by one as the Eleventh Doctor, being last in line, assures the harried nurse, "No, honestly, it's fine. I'm a Doctor. More importantly, I'm her Doctor," he insists as he gestures towards Susan before slamming the door in the nurse's face.
The First Doctor immediately heads towards Susan and the bassinettes and before she even has a chance to ask, he waves a hand dismissively and states, "The children are fine, there's no need to worry, my dear, none at all. They're being watched by a friend of my later selves." He mutters too low for her to hear, "And it serves him right too, the cretin!"
Several coos of excitement at the sight of the twins are heard along with various loving murmurs of 'Susan, my precious child' and 'our dear girl'. The First Doctor stands tall as both hands clutch his walking stick in front of him and he stares at Susan smugly while asking, "Is there something that you'd like to tell us, Susan? Perhaps, there's something that you might have been keeping from us, hmmm?"
Susan's expression is sheepish as she exclaims, "I had twins again, Grandfather! Isn't it marvelous?" She ends her question on a hopeful note.
The Fifth Doctor replies sarcastically, "Oh, yes, just brilliant in fact!" He shoves his hands deep inside his pockets as he gives her a wry look. "And is there any particular reason that you failed to mention this little bombshell?"
Susan's tone is apologetic as she twists her hospital blanket fretfully and explains, "Well, Grandfather, actually there are several reasons. One is that you've been around for so many of our children's births that I wanted to surprise you and another is that we wanted it to be a surprise for the children as well and I was afraid that they would work the secret out of you. You know how they are, after all."
The Ninth Doctor stands with his arms crossed over his chest as he rolls his eyes and mutters under his breath, "Do we ever."
"Anything else?" demands the Sixth Doctor with a knowing smirk aimed specifically at his granddaughter.
"Oh, alright, Grandfather!" huffs Susan. "The main reason that I didn't tell you is because I still wanted you to continue visiting us." She mock glares at him accusingly. "You never did fully recover from finding out that I was expecting twins the last time."
"Yes…well…that's true Susan," admits the Second Doctor, "but having, shall we say, experienced life with your previous children?" At everyone's nod of agreement, the Second Doctor adds, "Well, in saying that my dear girl, you can hardly blame us."
The Third Doctor chimes in, "Besides Susan, it was hardly necessary. You had to know that we would check into the timelines once we knew that you were expecting, just as we have with all of your other children." He walks over and tweaks her nose playfully. "Now don't you feel silly?"
Properly chided, Susan laughs and relents, "Yes, alright, Grandfather, perhaps it was a bit silly of me to keep it from you. But still," she stares at him lovingly, at all versions of him, "I would miss you so much if you didn't come and see me as often as you do now."
The Eighth Doctor bends down and places a kiss on top of her head. "Now that, my dear Susan, is a concern that you need never have."
Susan's eyes are shining brightly with unshed tears as she sniffs, "Thank you, Grandfather, you're always such a comfort to me." She accepts his proffered handkerchief and blows her nose. "Oh, these wretched hormones are just awful! I can't wait until these bloody things are gone!"
"Susan Campbell!" cries the Seventh Doctor. "You mind your language, young lady! I hear enough of that from Ace! Regardless of the situation, there's no need for that type of talk!" He nudges the Ninth Doctor in his side. "Don't you agree?"
The Ninth Doctor startles abruptly from staring at the newest members of his family. "What? Oh, yeah, absolutely. There's no need for that…Ow! Bloody hell!" He spins around and turns on the First Doctor. "Do you mind? Watch it with that thing!"
The First Doctor hastily makes his apologies while he shifts the tip of his cane that's he's been holding in the crook of his arm away from the Ninth Doctor's nether regions. "Oh, I'm sorry, my dear boy. I'm just trying to find my welcoming presents for the children."
He continues to dig into his pockets as he remarks, "My Third and Eighth selves are right though Susan, there never was a need to conceal it from us and there was a never a chance that you would be able to either! Why the day that I found out that you were expecting again, I immediately looked into your child's timelines and was ever so surprised, and yes, even joyful, to find two stunningly bright timelines traveling far out into the future." He releases a hearty chuckle when he declares, "I dare to say that they were so bright that they could have burnt out a sun! Ah, yes! Here they are!"
The First Doctor walks over and gently eases himself down onto the bed and picks up Susan's hand. "Now my dear, before we give you our meager offerings for today's blessed event, how are you feeling?"
Susan smiles grandly and proclaims, "I'm fine, Grandfather, honestly." She turns her gaze onto her children before returning it to the Doctor. "I'm just wonderful in fact!"
He lightly squeezes her hand and enthuses, "And well you should be, my girl!" He peers down at the children and congratulates, "It's an excellent job that you've done here, Susan! Absolutely splendid!"
Wearing a self-satisfied grin, he then hands her something that feels like lumps, both large and small, wrapped up in tissue paper. He taps the gift before stating, "It's a brand new pair of running shoes to replace the ones that were ruined during the Dalek invasion of Earth. Now, I know that I may be a bit late in getting them to you but I know that you'll appreciate them even more now that you have so many Time Tots to run after, and I've included a pair for the little ones as well!"
"Thank you, Grandfather," replies Susan sweetly with a slight twinkle of mischief in her eye. "I knew you'd remember about them eventually." With the barest 'Harumph', swiftly followed by a soft chuckle at her teasing, the Doctor leans forward and graciously accepts a kiss on the cheek from his grandaughter.
The Second Doctor rapidly moves to stand alongside the First Doctor and offers him a hand up off the bed. The First Doctor shoos him away berating, "I'm not an invalid, young man! I'm perfectly able to stand on my own!"
The Second Doctor retorts angrily, "I know that, you young upstart! I'm just trying to hurry you along, you're in my way!" He takes his turn to sit down on Susan's bed and clasping his hands in front of him mentions, "I also saw those same shining timelines and I instantly thought of something that every child needs." First, he hands her a small bow tie and a tiny bow tie headband.
"Oh, Grandfather," murmurs Susan zealously, "I love them!" Susan has to bite her lip to keep from laughing when the Eleventh Doctor makes a disgruntled noise and starts digging through his pockets for another gift. She smiles widely at the Second Doctor and darts a loving glance at the Eleventh as she adds, "Bow ties have always been my favorite!" The Tenth and Seventh Doctors clear their throats rather loudly and Susan looks abashed and notes, "Sorry, Grandfather. Neck ties are lovely too."
The Second Doctor then announces, "I also brought you these, I had them especially made for the children," and holds out a pair of recorders.
Not wanting to seem unappreciative, Susan offers a tight smile as she accepts them and utters, "Um..well..yes, thank you, Grandfather. That was very thoughtless…I mean thoughtful of you." Not noticing her slip of the tongue, he pats her cheek fondly and cheerfully makes room for the next Doctor.
The Third Doctor strides over and hands her two boxes, one large and one small. Always the gentleman, he opens the larger box for her first to which he remarks, "Transdimensional diapers!" He and Susan both share a laugh as they simultaneously declare, "Bigger on the inside!"
While the others share fond memories of their discovery of the diapers for when Susan had needed them, the Third Doctor discreetly places the smaller box into her hand and covers it with her own as he comments, "I had these especially made as well." While bending down to kiss her cheek, he whispers in a conspiratorial tone, "They're hand crafted ear plugs. I believe that you and David will find these quite useful."
He leaves her with a sly wink before the next Doctor takes his place. Much more sincerely, Susan enthuses, "Oh, thank you, Grandfather! We'll make sure to keep these handy!"
The Fourth Doctor approaches and leans over to kiss both of Susan's cheeks before he plops himself down onto the bed. Smiling grandly, he reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a rumpled white bag and politely inquires, "Jelly baby?" Susan shakes her head in the negative and the Doctor pops a few into his mouth and thoroughly chews them before asking, "Now my dear, is there anything that I can get for you?"
Susan responds kindly, "No, thank you, Grandfather, I'm fine."
The Doctor nods and says, "Well, alright then…" he searches through his inside coat pockets until he finds his prize, "now, then what do you think of these?" And he whips out a pair of TARDIS blue matching onesies that read 'I LOVE JELLY BABIES' across their fronts as well as a matching pair of K-9 shaped booties.
"Oh, Grandfather! They're adorable and just perfect for the twins!" gushes Susan.
The Doctor readily agrees, "Yes, they are rather marvelous, aren't they? And speaking of the twins, I have something else to give you. I picked it up on the way here." He reaches behind him and picks up a shopping bag off the floor and hands it to her.
She peers down into the bag excitedly and then looks back up again, her brows furrowed in confusion. "Grandfather, don't you think that the babies are a little too young to play with yarn?"
His tone loses a bit of its joviality as he declares ardently, "It's not for these twins, it's for the other two. They owe me a new scarf!" With a huff of indignation, he jumps off the bed while Susan takes another peek into the bag and silently muses, Maroon? Really?
The Fifth Doctor beams at Susan before reaching into his pockets and pulling out two cricket balls. He tosses them into the air and she catches them with practiced ease. Susan asks teasingly, "Two more to add to the collection, Grandfather?"
His expression is sheepish as he sticks his hands deep into his pockets and admits, "Yes, but this way I have to come back and teach them how to play."
Susan grins fondly at the Doctor and divulges, "I know, and that's what makes all of the broken glass worth it."
The Sixth Doctor approaches and gives the Fifth a slight shove that knocks his hat askew when he decides that he's not moving fast enough. He is carrying two quilts over his arm, both in the exact same pattern as his coat. "To match the vibrancy of their timelines, Susan," he declares wholeheartedly and then leans down to pull her head forward so that he can place a kiss on her forehead.
The Fifth Doctor mutters behind them, "Those must be some timelines. Poor Susan, no chance of them getting to sleep now, not with Joseph's technicolor dreamcoat staring them in the face."
Six glowers at Five while Susan grabs his hand in a loving squeeze and soothes in a grateful tone, "Thank you, Grandfather, they're lovely and I'm sure that they'll inspire the children to be as full of life as you are." With a quick cradling of her cheek and a last sneer towards Five, Six makes way for Seven.
The Seventh Doctor immediately pulls out a book from his coat pocket and delivers it to Susan. He taps the cover and suggests, "It's best that you read it while you're here, before you have no chance at home." Susan looks down at the tome to find it is a book on hypnotism. "After today, I realized that I should have given it to you several Time Tots ago."
Susan begins to flip through it eagerly as she breathes, "Finally!" Her eyes are alight with the anticipation of future plotting as she remarks, "This is just what we need, Grandfather, I will definitely put this to good use! If only so that I can have enough free time to watch the old Ghoul-Lashed re-runs on Atmosphere Televid!" She reaches up to give him a hug and laughs, "Honestly, thank you so much!"
The Eighth Doctor strolls over and casually drops down onto the bed next to Susan and declares, "I present you with these," as he hands her two tiny Doctor kits. He holds up a hand to prevent any protests and states, "Yes, before you even say anything, I know that they're too young for them now but they'll grow into them. Besides, everyone should have a chance to play the doctor at least once in their life."
Susan giggles at his joke and heartily embraces him. "They're wonderful, Grandfather, thank you."
The Ninth Doctor appears and gently sits beside his granddaughter. "Are you doing alright, love?" He tucks her blanket in around her and plumps up her pillow. "Anything you need besides an extra set of hands?" he asks cheekily.
Susan laughs aloud until she glances at her children and ruefully admits, "Yes, I might need those soon, actually." Her smile widens again as she notices the Doctor smoothing out her bedcovers and she places her small hand on his large one and promises, "I'm fine, Grandfather, there's no need to fuss so."
She leans back against her pillows and considers, "You know, all of you here reminds me of when Barbara met the Aztecs." At his quizzical glance, she expounds, "With all of these lovely offerings, I feel like a goddess being worshipped."
He chuckles softly, "Well after today's, excuse the pun, labors, you most definitely deserve it." He hands her a bunch of books, all bound together in rough twine, and decrees, "And as one of your most loyal subjects, allow me to present you with this."
Susan turns the collection of books to face her and reads the various titles of author Charles Dickens. She looks at her grandfather shrewdly and he grins in response, "Yeah, they're for all of those nights that you and David will be walking the wee ones up and down the halls trying to put them back to sleep. Babies love to hear the sounds of the voice that they love the most."
Susan smiles softly at a far off memory. "Yes, I remember you doing that with me. Even as much as I loved Dickens, I never could make it past too many chapters. Thank you, Grandfather," she whispers as she reaches out to hug him and kiss his cheek. "I'll treasure these as much as I treasure you," she nods to the twins, "and so will they."
He pulls back from her embrace with his usual manic grin and stands up with more than a hint of pride as he puffs out his chest. As he passes Ten, he taunts, "Top that!" Ten gives a snort of derision and scoffs, "In my sleep!"
Nine smirks just a little too knowingly and inquires smugly, "Yeah? That's probably how you'll start out your regeneration and all." When Ten stares at him agape, Nine shoves him towards Susan and urges, "Well, go on then! Don't keep our girl waiting! Although, you're pretty good at that, aren't you?"
The Tenth Doctor shoots a glare at Nine before he sits down on Susan's bed and while he pats her hand, he calmly consoles her, "Don't worry, Susan, the bad man's gone now." He gives a little bounce on the bed and then a few more until he realizes Susan's not looking all that well. "Susan, are you alright?"
He whips out his brainy specs as he studies her. "Hmmm, I bet it's the hospital food, just one more reason to hate hospitals." His gaze darts around the room as he asks in an anxious tone, "You haven't seen any cat nuns around here have you?"
Susan gives him an odd look and assures, "No, Grandfather, I haven't but I'll be sure to keep an eye out."
He nods and praises, "Good girl, you do that!" He digs in his outer coat pocket and boasts, "And now for the best gift of all!" Ignoring his other selves various eye rolls, scoffs or other assorted forms of disbelief, he pronounces, "A year supply of Spitumup baby food straight from Villengard!"
He becomes a little sad as he tells her, "The first month is pears but you can ring them up and tell them that you want to exchange that particular month's offering."
Susan grimaces in distaste. "Pears? Oh, that's disgusting! Thank you for the warning, Grandfather, and for the lovely gift." His only response is a pointed stare. With an apologetic glance towards his other selves, she amends, "I mean, thank you for the best gift."
Ten proudly struts away just in time to hear Nine mutter in passing, "Jerk." Seeing Susan's reprimanding gaze, Nine throws his arms out to his sides in a helpless gesture and asks, "What? I was just discussing the TARDIS dematerialization sequence with my prior self here," as he indicates an agreeing Eight, "and noting how it seems lately with each regeneration process that it seems to come out with a bit of a jerk."
Susan shakes her head in surrender while Ten opens his mouth to fire off a retort. Nine holds up his hands and instantly expresses regret. "Sorry, mate. That was very petty of me but then you remember how I was. I apologize," he states as he pats him on the back.
As Ten nods in acceptance and makes his way to the other side of the room, the other Doctors try their best to avoid Susan's chastising glare and hold in their snickers of amusement at the post it that Nine stuck on Ten's back that reads 'Pear Lover'.
The Eleventh Doctor walks past Nine and whispers, "I approve," before he sits down next to Susan and he sighs in frustration. "Well, I had a lovely pair of bow ties for the little ones," with a slightly heated gaze at Two, "but never, ever, let it be said that I'm repetitive. Fortunately, I also brought these," and he pulls out two knitted wool baby-sized red fezzes.
Susan squeals in pure delight. "Oh, Grandfather, I absolutely adore them!" She looks at the top of his head and recalls, "They match yours perfectly and they remind me of the first trip that we took on Earth."
He nods his head and the smile he wears is one of fond remembrance. "Yes, we went to Egypt and you wouldn't quit pestering me until I bought each of us a fez so that we would fit in with the locals. I've treasured that memory of our time together and every one after that along with the one who shared them with me ever since." He taps his own fez and quizzes, "See? This way you're always with me." He leans down and kisses her head, "Just as I always will be here for you whenever you need me."
Susan replies genuinely, "Just as you always are, Grandfather." She suddenly drags him down towards her and hugs him fiercely and sniffs, "Thank you for coming today, Grandfather. It's meant everything to me."
The Doctor withdraws enough to remove his handkerchief from his pocket and dry her tears and soothe, "Of course I'd especially want to be here today of all days, Susan." He smoothes her hair away from her face as he reminds her, "I've already told you earlier that there was no place that I'd rather be than at your side and I meant every word."
Susan and Eleven, their hands clasped tightly together, are so caught up in each other's devoted gazes that it takes Ten clapping his hands together to break into their reverie as he broadcasts, "Alright, that's enough of that, you two!" He nods his head to indicate a few of the other Doctors dabbing at their eyes with their own handkerchiefs. "Otherwise we won't have a dry eye in the house. Besides, we have to start the naming part of our visit and I vote for Alonzo!"
The Fourth Doctor clears his throat along with the final vestiges of sentimentality at the previous scene and poses, "I like Fred."
"No!" refuses a petulant Ten. "Alonzo's a much better name for a boy than Fred!"
The Fourth Doctor stares back at him in confusion before pointing to the baby girl in the bassinette. "I meant for her."
"Oh," deflates Ten. "Well, that's alright then."
"Fred?" questions the Third Doctor in distaste. "How unfitting for one of my progeny. I'm sure that you've all seen as I have that she'll have a great gift for the second sight," as he strokes the baby's cheek. "What do you think of Cassandra?"
"No!" and "Are you out of your mind?" rage the Tenth and Ninth Doctors as Ten rolls the bassinette away from Three and growls, 'Give her back to me!"
Three recoils at their vehement reactions and rebukes, "No need to be so rude! It was just a suggestion." He pulls on the hem of his jacket to straighten it and then tugs on his cuffs as he poses, "I had also considered…"
"No!" interrupts Nine hotly. No second chances! One suggestion is all that you're allowed, you know the rules!"
Ten nudges Nine in his side and moans, "No second chances is my line."
Nine rolls his eyes and replies, "Don't worry, mate, you'll get around to it."
The Second Doctor snorts in derision at Three as he passes him. "Chose Cassandra, did you, after the seer? Well, you didn't see that reaction coming, did you?"
The Third Doctor rounds on him and hisses, "I don't know which is smaller, the size of your body or the size of your mind!"
The Second Doctor glowers and spits, "Oh, please! You wish you were me!"
"You imbecile!" retorts the Third Doctor. "I was you!"
The Second Doctor returns, "Which only proves that newer isn't always better!"
When Susan begins to rub her temples with a frustrated sigh, Eleven decides to intervene. "Gentlemen, please!" begs the Eleventh Doctor. He looks pointedly at the Second Doctor and poses, "I believe that you have a name to suggest?"
"Why yes I do," remembers the Second Doctor as he pulls out his recorder and readies himself to blow into the mouthpiece. "What do you think of Melody, like a pleasant tune?'
The Eleventh Doctor shakes his head gently and places his hand over the mouthpiece as a wave of sadness radiates from his being. "I'm afraid that particular name won't bring up the best of memories when associated with a baby." He glances over at two of his counterparts and relates, "Besides, you know how humans love nicknames. All too soon they'll be calling her Mel and…"
"Absolutely not!" huffs the Seventh Doctor.
"You've said quite enough!" orders the Sixth Doctor.
He and Seven walk over and adjust the babies' blankets. Six mutters, "I will not have carrot juice memories attached to either of these little ones!" Seven nods his head in full agreement and concurs, "Most definitely not! And no slurs on their impeccable fashion sense either!"
Seven leans in close to Six to whisper, "Which of course means that particular set of Eleven's hat wear will have to go!"
Six whispers back, "Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. I mean truthfully, fezzes? What in Rassilon's name will we be thinking?"
The First Doctor taps his cane on the floor to draw everyone's attention and then offers, "Dorothy's a rather lovely name, like the little girl in those Oz books that Susan used to enjoy so much!"
The Eighth Doctor shakes his head firmly as he runs his fingers over the little ones hair. "We can't, Ace would have our hide." He casts an apologetic glance over at his first self as he had always thought it to be a lovely name, despite Ace's numerous protests, and confides, "You haven't met her temper yet, but believe me, it's not worth incurring it."
The Fifth Doctor suggests, "Well, let's work on the boy's name for a bit, shall we?"
The Tenth Doctor asks, "What? Why? I thought that we had all settled on Alonzo!"
The Fourth Doctor scoffs, "Honestly? That tripe was disregarded the moment that it was mentioned aloud."
The Tenth Doctor squawks in protest while Five reaches under the little boy's chin and tickles it while declaring, "Well, it definitely won't be Jack, will it young man?"
Murmurs of agreement at this statement are heard all around until Susan announces, "Actually, Grandfather, as wonderful as all of your suggestions have been, they're not necessary. David and I have already picked out the children's names."
"Oh really?" questions the Sixth Doctor? "And who said that you could do that?"
The Fourth Doctor bumps his elbow against Six's arm and states, "She's perfectly well within her right to name her own child." He wears a bit of a pout and stares down at the floor as he scuffs the toe of his boot against it. "I suppose."
The Eighth Doctor asks, "So what do we call them, then?'
Susan answers enthusiastically, "Their names are John and Rose. We chose John, after your Earth alias, and Rose, after David's grandmother."
The Eighth Doctor leans over the boy's bassinette and introduces himself. "Hello there, John, I'm your great-grandfather, or at least one version anyway. You're going to do great things one day and I'm going to do everything in my power to assure that you have the chance to do them. I will do whatever it takes to keep you and our family safe." He strokes the baby's head as he vows, "You, your siblings and your mother, you're what will keep me fighting," and then places a kiss on John's head.
The Ninth Doctor moves over to Rose's bassinette and picks up one of her tiny hands between his thumb and forefinger. "Hello, little one. I'm another version of your great-grandfather. When you're older, I'm going to take you on trips in the TARDIS and show you the universe, just as I did with your mother." He aims a manic grin at Susan who returns it wholeheartedly. His gaze returns to Rose and he adds sternly, "Except for planets with pretty boys, we'll skip those."
The Tenth Doctor peeks over Nine's shoulder at the children and applauds, "They're excellent names, Susan, both of them. Thank you for such a lovely honor."
A soft snuffle from behind reminds everyone that David is present, albeit still asleep in the corner. Susan whispers, "We'll have to try and be more quiet, Grandfather. Poor David, he's exhausted from working all night."
The Ninth Doctor spares a quick glance at David before going back to playing with Rose's fingers and remarking sarcastically, "Right, he must be worn out from watching you give birth to twins."
Susan defends, "Grandfather, that's not fair! David's been working the graveyard shift as well as double shifts twice a week for months so that we can have enough money for him to stay at home with me until we're settled into a routine!"
Nine merely grunts in response while Two, who isn't quite satisfied by Susan's explanation, slyly sidles up alongside David while pulling out his recorder to place it next to David's ear. Susan spots him though and scolds, "Grandfather, don't you dare wake David! Besides, you'll scare the babies, they're almost back to sleep!"
Two apologizes, "I am sorry, Susan. I simply thought the children would appreciate a soft lullaby, just as you used to when you were a child."
Four walks over to Two and tuts, "Susan's right, of course. What in Rassilon's name were you thinking?" Then he hisses in a much lower tone, "Be quicker next time! I've seen Ice Warriors that move faster than you!"
He and Two share a grimace before he turns to stare at David in disgust. "Look at him just laying there, a true lout."
"What are you saying, Grandfather?" questions Susan in suspicion. "Nothing much, my dear," replies the Fourth Doctor. "I'm just warning my younger self not to be too loud."
The First Doctor edges closer to the dresser behind David and purposely knocks a vase against David's head, thus startling him awake. David's Scottish brogue fills the room as he exclaims, "Ow! What? What happened? What's going on? Susan, are you and the children alright?"
The First Doctor acts contrite and utters in remorse, "Oh, I am sorry, my boy, but accidents do tend to happen. In regards to your last question concerning Susan and the children, well…you'd know the answer to that if you'd bothered to stay awake! They're all fine," he pulls David out of the chair, "but don't take my word for it." He thrusts David towards Susan and prods him with his cane. "Check on them yourself!"
When David begins stumbling as he's not fully awake yet, the Seventh Doctor hooks his brolly into the crook of David's arm and steers him towards Susan's bed. "Go this way, David. That's right, right next to Susan, where you should have been all along."
The Fifth and Eighth Doctors are busying themselves at Susan's bedside, seeing to her comfort by straightening her covers and fluffing her pillows. Five doesn't so much as glance at David as he greets, "David, how kind of you to finally join us." He smoothes the covers and tucks in the corners of the blanket. "I'm sorry but there's only room enough for one in here."
David rubs at his eyes in attempt to clear the sleep from his mind while the Eighth Doctor remarks, "Yes, we've missed your animated presence. It's so kind of you to make a conscious effort to visit with us." David watches them continue to fuss over Susan as he muses that he always thought that these two were the most gentle of all of the Doctors selves as they had always been the most kind to him. He figured that meant that they would probably kill him the quickest if he ever hurt Susan or the children.
"Yes, they would," agrees the Sixth Doctor aloud as he responds to David's thoughts. He moves to David's side and adds, "But I'm not so kind. In fact, I've been on trial, don't you know?"
The Third Doctor steps up as well and says, "As have I, even caused me to be exiled on Earth."
Six puts in, "And a man like that has nothing to lose."
Three requests, "So be a good chap and take care of our girl, won't you?"
Six places his arm around David's shoulder as he leans close to whisper in his ear, "Because I can always find you, you know. Any time, any place."
Susan rolls her eyes and reprimands, "Grandfather, that's enough!" She reaches out and grabs David's sleeve and tugs him closer to her. "Look, David," as she hand's him Ten's gift certificate, Grandfather gave us an assortment of baby food for the twins for an entire year!"
David stares down at the paper and exclaims excitedly, "Oh, pears! My favorite!"
At this declaration, the room goes silent and Ten speedily hooks a finger into each child's bassinette and slowly rolls them away from David. David casts a forlorn gaze at Susan and bemoans, "I was never supposed to mention that, was I?"
As the Tenth Doctor continues to move the children away from their father, Susan rolls her eyes and orders him to stop his shenanigans and to put them back. Ten cries, "But Susan, he likes pears! How can he possibly be trusted? I mean, how much do we really know about him anyway? Take his name for instance!" He casts a beseeching gaze around the room for support. "Does the name David sound even remotely Scottish to anyone?"
Exasperated, Susan proceeds to grab a pillow and hold it over her face while she groans into it until the Eleventh Doctor calmly walks up, plops down next to her on the bed and removes the pillow from her grasp. "Now, Susan, calm down." He stares hard at David. "There now, do you see what you've done to her?"
His gaze softens considerably as he turns to Susan. "My dear child, you mustn't upset yourself so! David knows that we only want what's best for you even if it does include him." He smiles benignly at David. "I'm sure that by now, I've made it perfectly clear on how I really feel about you, haven't I?"
David swallows uneasily before responding, "Crystal clear, Doctor. That's what makes me so nervous whenever you visit unexpectedly." The Eleventh Doctor slaps his hand hard against his thigh and declares, "Good! That mean's it's working! Remember David," he advises solemnly, "the only thing to fear is…well, me, actually."
He releases a soft sigh as he states, "Well, it's time to be off I suppose, before the twins aren't the only ones needing nappies. Am I right, David?"
David releases a soft chuckle and then a resigned sigh as he responds, "It's always a pleasure to see you, Doctor." He looks around the room as he adds, "Especially when it's all at once."
"All right, all of you," announces Susan in a firm tone. "That's more than enough of terrorizing my husband. Don't you have a house full of children to return to?" At their acquiescing nods, Susan's brow furrows slightly and she frets, "I hope they haven't been too much trouble, Grandfather."
She doesn't notice how deathly quiet they've become as she laughs, "It's a good thing that each of you brought your own TARDIS here. I remember how much trouble that I would get into when I would flip the Fast Return switch when I was little." She bears a worried expression again as she asks, "You did remember to lock it, didn't you?"
The Eleventh Doctor rapidly replies, "Of course I did, Susan!" With a nervous glance at the others he inquires, "How absent-minded do you think I am?" He ends his question with a small, wobbly laugh.
David squeezes Susan's hand reassuringly as he tells her, "I'm sure everything's fine, Susan. It's not as if the children are going to hijack the TARDIS and take off to Skaro." The couple laughs heartily until she takes note of all of the Doctor's horrified and stricken gazes. "Grandfather," she asks anxiously, "did something happen…"
Ten jumps in and fusses, "Yes, well, time to go everyone! We don't want to leave those Time Tots alone with Jack too long!"
Nine grouses, "Yeah, I can't even fathom a guess at who will be the worst influence on the other, Jack or the kids."
Ten gives a quick nod of agreement before growling low and tossing a glower back at David. "I can't believe how he almost dropped us in it! It's no surprise to me that he likes pears! Eleven darts his own glare at David and opines, "I bet he enjoys beans and all!"
Then each of the Doctors takes their turn and lines up to hug and kiss Susan and the twins goodbye, each of them issuing a tearful farewell. Ten is the last to stay near the children as the others move towards the door and he whispers in a gruff voice, "I don't want to go."
Eleven pats his shoulder consolingly and hushes, "None of that now, we'll be back." He throws a cheeky grin at Susan and his counterparts. "We always are."
Once Susan and David have waved the last of the Doctors out the door, David collapses onto the bed next to his wife and inquires, "Do you think that he'll ever forgive me for stealing you away from him?"
Susan snuggles into his side and answers, "No, I don't think that he will but that doesn't mean that he doesn't love you." When David shoots her a disbelieving look, Susan revises, "Oh, alright, what I meant to say is that doesn't mean that he doesn't accept you as a member of the family and accept how much that I love you," she finishes with a twinkle in her eyes.
"That's a bit more honest," declares David grudgingly.
"Besides," persists Susan, "it's all just an act, really, because he's so protective of me. You know, David, you impressed him greatly when you asked me to stay and marry you."
David leans away from Susan, slightly offended, and counters, "Of course I asked you to marry me when I asked you to stay with me, Susan! Your grandfather may think what he likes of me, but I am an honorable man!"
Susan laughs heartily at David's affronted expression. "David, you're so funny, that's not what I meant at all. I was referring to the fact that you asked me twice."
"Twice?" asks David in bewilderment. "Is that supposed to mean something, the fact that I asked you twice?"
Susan nods gently and replies in all sincerity, "It does to Grandfather."
David nods once in acknowledgement and in his own quiet way declares his love for his wife as he murmurs, "Thank you for staying, Susan."
She leans her head on his shoulder and grips his hand tightly while she responds just as softly, "Thank you for asking me, David." They share a quiet moment before David twists around to open her bedside drawer and pull out a small bag. "What's that, David?" queries Susan.
He reaches into the bag and teases, "Let's see if I can jog your memory," as he suddenly waves a pair of stuffed animals in her face and playfully chants, "Fresh fish, fresh fish!"
Susan squirms away from his teasing just as she did those many years ago before they shared their first kiss. She pushes the toy fish away and reproaches, "David, you idiot!" Their mutual laughter ends trails off to end in a gentle kiss and Susan whispers, "I do love you, David."
Her husband's gaze and reply are both overwhelming with emotion as he replies, "I love you too, Susan, so much."
He leans his forehead against hers and muses, "You know, it's nice to not be interrupted by your grandfather this time." Susan giggles in response and David adds, "However, in honor of your grandfather, I also bought these for the children." He reaches into the bag again and out comes two little stuffed monkeys holding tiny bananas.
"Oh, David," laughs Susan, "you should have shown him these! The bananas alone may have changed his whole outlook about you."
David offers her a wry grin before mentioning, "They reminded me of how he likes to tease you about being a little monkey because your cupboard on the TARDIS was always so muddled."
Susan smiles widely and shakes her head in amusement. "I can't believe that he still does that after all of this time, or that he even has the nerve to chastise me about it! Have you seen the state of his storage cupboards?"
David's answering grin is as indulgent as his demeanor, having heard this particular opinion many times over the years. "Well, regardless of that fact," he shifts to look at her tenderly, "I'll always be grateful to him for bringing you to me."
Susan looks back at him just as warmly. "Me too, David." She slowly pulls him towards her for another kiss and murmurs against his lips, "Me too."
Their brief moment of solitude is interrupted by a very loud reminder of what has brought them there in the first place. David comments jokingly, "I see that the twins have inherited your grandfather's timing."
Susan smiles happily as she watches David lean over the bassinettes and fuss over the children. Although, she is completely exhausted from both the labor and her grandfather's visit, Susan has never been more at peace or felt such contentment within her hearts. She loves to watch David with their children, the way he adores each one, encourages every single one of them to follow their own interests and dreams and always finds time in his busy day to make all of them feel like the miracle that they are. Her gaze is full of love as she watches him dart around, like the expert he is by now, seeing to the twins needs until it is obvious that only a feeding will soothe them.
As Susan reaches out to take John, who has thus far been the more gluttonous of the two, Susan reflects on how she would be more than happy to remain right here in this moment forever. However, Rose's cry quickly reminds her of her other children that are with all eleven versions of her grandfather. While she moves John into a more comfortable position for feeding, she recollects a long ago trip that ended in Rassilon's Tomb and wonders how each version of her grandfather is coping with the other. Foremost on her mind though is, What in Rassilon's name is going on back home?
To Be Concluded…
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Author's Notes: If I have managed anything with this story, I hope it is to inspire a few laughs and motivate a few people to discover the magic of the first eight Doctors if you havenât already. Theyâre not simply deemed classic because of their eras.
I did my best to honor a great series and I hope that I pulled it off. Iâm sorry that itâs in two parts but believe me, it would have just been way too long otherwise. :) So here you go, the first part of the final chapter of Laborâs love and believe me, it really was a labor of love and one I enjoyed more than I ever thought that I would. Happy 50th anniversary, Doctor Who! :D
Foremost on her mind though is, What in Rassilon's name is going on back home?
You Don't Know Jack - Part One
Susan's unspoken question is answered almost immediately as each TARDIS reappears in her home with each Doctor stepping cautiously outside of his blue box and dreading what he will find as he enters the living room only to be met with complete silence. Unfortunately, a quick survey around the living room is all that it takes to instantly reveal all that is being left unsaid.
A cardboard sign written in black marker is propped up on the coffee table with the words 'Torchwood Hub' in large block letters on it. The couches, arm chairs and several areas of floor are littered with dozens of inflatable humanoid figures, both men and women, which the last three Doctors recall having seen before in connection with Jack and a two week exile in the Vortex due to TARDIS repairs. The Fourth Doctor instantlytakes stock of the area and dejectedly closes his eyes while pleading, "I deny this reality."
"Too late for me, I've already lived it," grumbles the Ninth Doctor while his jaw tightens as he continues scanning the living room for Jack. "Those plastic dolls had better be Autons."
"They are, Sir," pipes up Ian from behind the couch as he runs over to the group of Doctors, almost tripping over his own feet as they tangle in his father's trench coat. "Uncle Jack brought them out for us to play with. Aren't they great?" He scratches his head as he curiously inquires, "Although, I wonder why he has so many? Training exercises, perhaps?"
"Never mind that," insists Eleven as he whips out his sonic screwdriver and scans for bacteria. "What's more important is have they been sanitized?"
One by one, the Doctors watch as the children start popping out of different areas of the house, a few more of them bearing coats, some from David's wardrobe and some from Susan's. "Why are you all dressed like that?" demands the First Doctor irritably.
"Isn't it obvious?" boasts Ten while he gestures towards his own overcoat laying over the back of the couch, "they're obviously emulating their hero."
"That's right!" declares Christopher as he points at the Time Agent strolling through the kitchen doorway with a cocktail in one hand and an overflowing laundry basket in the other while David enters alongside him. "We're dressed just like Uncle Jack!"
Nine watches the Tenth Doctor's face drop with fiendish glee and notes, "You know, it was worth it to hear the boy call him 'Uncle' just to see that face." He seems to consider his own words as his future self glowers at him. "Actually, it's the only thing that makes that face worth looking at."
"Why hello, Doctors," greets Jack smoothly after he takes a sip of his drink. "Back so soon? I hope that you didn't rush on our account, everything's been running ship-shape over on our end." He holds up the basket of clothes as proof. "We've even been doing a bit of housekeeping while you've been gone."
"That's very commendable of you, Jack," compliments the Tenth Doctor right before he does a double take and reaches out to withdraw two pairs of Susan's lace undergarments from Jack's shirt pocket.
"What?" cries Jack without an ounce of culpability. "The laundry basket was full!"
"Of course," remarks Ten with a patronizing tone and slight grimace as he motions towards Jack's person. "Do you have any more in there?"
"Gee, I don't know," claims Jack as if he were the epitome of virtue before he flashes a devilish grin. "Maybe you should frisk me."
"I'll do it," offers Carole readily until a swift glance at her great-grandfathers and the possible timelines advise her otherwise. "Oh," she peeps in a small voice, "never mind."
Jack tosses a wink over to the young girl before turning to the Fifth Doctor and calling out, "Cricket Pants!" He waggles his eyebrows and widens his smile at the young looking Doctor. "Remember me?"
"Yes, unfortunately," replies Five with a sigh. "As you can see, we've returned from our visit with Susan so you can feel free to take your leave as your services are no longer required."
Seeing the Doctor's rebuff as a challenge, Jack responds flirtatiously, "You only think that because you haven't tried them yet."
Rubbing his head as if trying to rid himself of a particular ache, or in this instance Jack, the Fifth Doctor briefly closes his eyes to relieve himself of Jack's smiling visage before spinning around and walking away leaving the Captain to turn his attentions onto the Sixth Doctor.
"Hi there, Curly Top! You know, I've always had a crush on Shirley Temple, there's just something about a mop full of curls," he teases Six as he takes a finger and pokes at a hanging blond tendril.
"Really?" inquires Six with great interest as he grabs Jack's finger and gives it a twist. "Well, I've always had a penchant for violence." Jack yelps in pain and hurriedly jerks his finger away while the Doctor mocks, "Well, they do say love hurts."
The Eleventh Doctor has been observing amusedly from the sidelines while unconsciously tapping his sonic against his head as he suddenly realizes, "Of course, that's where Susan learned that trick from! I remember quite clearly now!"
Tenaims a scowl at Six as that same memory forms in his mind as well. "Yes, thanks so much for that," he grouses when he recalls being on the receiving end of that particular injury earlier.
Jack aims a pout at the Sixth Doctor and scolds, "I can't believe that you did that! What are you a child?"
Not giving a whit for Jack's injured finger, the Doctor hums a tune that sounds suspiciously like 'neener-neener-neener' before taunting, "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
The Fourth Doctor comes up to stand alongside the Sixth and nods his head in consideration before acknowledging, "True, true. A rather brilliant man said the same thing to me, once." His eyes alight with the memory. "Oh wait, that was me!"
Six tosses his head with one final sneer of condescension towards Jack before walking away to leave Nine, Ten and Eleven to face Jack's wrath. He barely opens his mouth to let loose with a tirade when Ten wearily holds up his hand and orders, "Don't, Jack…just don't."
Billie, while shooting a rather dark glare at a taken aback Eleventh Doctor,approaches the Second Doctorand requests, "Great-Grandfather, I'm feeling a bit better now. Could you please make me something to eat that won't upset my stomach?"
The Doctor smiles down lovingly at her while he pats her cheek. "Why of course, my dear girl, of course, just let me find…," he looks around the room in consternation and not finding what he's looking for, reaches back and takes hold of Billie's hand, or at least what he thought was Billie's hand.
"Let go of me!" demands the Third Doctor as he roughly jerks his hand away from Two.
Horribly embarrassed by the accidental gesture, the Second Doctor hastens to compose himself while he attempts to pass blame. "Do you mind?"
"What are you on about, man?" blazes the Third Doctor. "I never took your hand!"
The Second Doctor suddenly clasps his own hands together in his typical humble fashion and casually remarks, "Well, in a way you sort of did when you regenerated, didn't you?"
The Third Doctor merely rolls his eyes in exasperation as Jack darts a wink in Billie's direction and nonchalantly mentions, "Actually, I believe that was me." The two Time Lords stare quizzically at him for a moment before each man rapidly takes up one of Billie's hands and drags her away from the interloper.
Jack's careless shrug of indifference gives way when he's almost knocked over by Christopher and David fighting over the same trench coat. "Give it over!" shouts David while tugging hard enough to nearly tear the coat in two. "It's my turn to be defrocked!"
Jack offers Nine an uneasy smile in exchange for his fierce growl and presents his own military coat from off of the coat rack to appease them. Regrettably, wearing their Uncle Jack's coat is deemed a prize worthy of continuing their battle over and the current overcoat is tossed aside with a hastily muttered, "Rubbish," from one of the boys before they renew their struggle.
"Rubbish?" cries the Tenth Doctor. Rubbish? That's my coat!" he exclaims heatedly while snatching it up off of the floor and dusting it off as the children as well as the adults ignore him.
"And why are you wearing my glasses?" he inquires as he looks down his nose at Sarah before tugging them away from her face.
"Hey, I need those!" she replies as she squirms away from him and pulls them back towards her and straightens them back onto her nose. "I'm the resident computer expert, Tosh."
"Tosh, yes, that's a perfect description of this situation," notes the Ninth Doctor with a befuddled shake of his head.
The momentary distraction of Matthew greeting, "Hiya Doc," while his little sister, Katy, waves her dolls around in her tiny fist and squeals, "Hiya Doll," give the other children just enough time to surround the Doctors while they withdraw their armory of whisks, hairdryers and water pistols.
"Nobody make any sudden moves, we're on Torchwood business and we're searching for aliens," pronounces Christopher with a wave of his hairdryer.
The Eighth Doctor merely offers them a dry stare and waves a hand around the room to indicate all of the Doctors. "Well, you're definitely in the right place; you'll find plenty of them here."
Ten storms over and without any warning, removes a water pistol right out of Ian's hand. "Can't you play with a flashlight or something? You know how I feel about guns!"
Ian immediately backs up and shouts, "Hostile alien! Hostile alien, we're on mauve alert people!" He never moves his gaze from Ten as he slowly circles him and cautions, "I must warn you, I do know Venusian Akido."
Ninechides the children with a laugh, "Alright you lot, calm down! You might scare the alien."
Ten gives him a withering glare while Eight kneels down to meet them at eye level and counsels them, "Besides, you children are forgetting everything that we've taught you! Not all aliens are bad, remember?" The children all smile and nod in assent as the Eighth Doctor remarks to Nine and Tenin an indulgent tone, "They've obviously been watching that John Hurt movie one too many times."
Eleven watches the children continue their play and without once taking his eyes off of all of the chaos surrounding them, nimbly unties his apron and tosses it into the First Doctor's unsuspecting face. Onesputters for a few moments before he turns on Eleven and demands irately, "What was that for? I thought you were covering kitchen and nappy duty!"
The Eleventh Doctor responds in a tone that is meant to inform the recipient that the matter is considered closed. "Only while you were on your break, of which you must have had a considerable one while I was on Skaro."
The First Doctor scoffs, "Skaro? Surely you jest, my boy! Skaro is nothing compared to this lot and you know it!"
"Nice try," replies Eleven as he plops his fez down on a nearby end table, "but fair's fair after all. You've had your break and now I'm taking mine."
"That's telling him, Doc," praises Jack with a wide grin. "It's always the young ones that need the most discipline." He turns his most charming grin towards both the First and Eleventh Doctors and offers, "Let me know if you need any help with that."
Eleven merely rolls his eyes while the First Doctor'seyes bulge with anger as his mouth curls into a sneer of disgust. "I can assure you, you shamefully wretched excuse for a lothario and a cur, that particular proposal will never be called upon!"
One spins on his heel intending to stalk off before pivoting back around when Jack cheekily comments to the Eleventh Doctor, "You used to have quite the mouth on you, Doc. Seriously though, that offer is still open whenever you're ready. Do you still have your old cane?"
The Eleventh Doctor so doesn't as much flicker an eyelash as he notes his first self coming up behind a completely ignorant Jack. "Is this what you're looking for?" inquires One harshly before swinging it hard against Jack's leg.
"Owwww!" yelps Jack in pain as he hops away from the First Doctor who smugly commands, "And don't call me, Doc!"
Eleven laughs heartily and tells his younger self, "Oh, I needed that after today," then he quickly points at Jack and states, "And so did you!" He turns back to One and says, "I'm glad that you came back though, I forgot to give you something."
"Another break?" questions One hopefully. "No," Eleven answers as he places Matthew into the First Doctor's arms, "this." He sniffs the air with a hint of repugnance while noting, "He definitely needs a change."
The First Doctor reluctantly accepts the boy and walks off with him as Matthew releases a series of raspberries in the direction of the Eleventh Doctor as One begins to search for a place to lay him down. He pats the boy's back and concurs, "I feel the exact same way my boy, the exact same way. Hmmm, let's see about freshening you up, shall we?"
A quick sniff of the air clears any occupants off of the couch that the Doctor has chosen to change Matthew's nappy and he rapidly pulls a baby blanket from his coat pocket to place on the cushion before settling the toddler down onto the couch. He works quickly and efficiently to change Matthew's nappy and comments satisfactorily with a tickle to the boy's tummy, "Now that's much better my boy, isn't it?" as he looks around for a bin to dispose of it.
When he doesn't spy one, he takes note of Eleven's fez left unattended on a side table with monstrous delight. He promptly deposits the soiled nappy into the hat with a smirk and sweeps Matthew into his arms as they hurriedly leave the scene of the crime. Stick me with the domestics, will you, my boy? Hmmph!
A few moments later Eleven sees something sticking out of his fez and peers down in horror at its contents before pointing down at it and demanding in a yell, "What in Rassilon's name is this?"
The Sixth Doctor happens to be strolling by at that precise moment and opines, "Public opinion?" Eyes blazing with fury at his younger self's cheek, Eleven retorts, "You'd know!"
With an indignant sniff and yet dignified nod of his head, the Sixth Doctor takes his leave of a fuming Eleven and walks over to David while still casting an evil eye towards Jack as a blushing Carol chats with him across the room. "What's wrong, Sir?" queries David curiously. "Worried that Carole will catch his eye?"
"No," replies the Doctor in a worried tone, "more like a great number of diseases." When the Doctor turns his full attention onto David, he notices that he appears to look a bit too casual as he holds something behind his back. He narrows his eyes in suspicion and questions, "What's behind your back, David? And I want a straight answer, no preposterous gobbledygook that supposed Time Agent might have taught you."
David reluctantly pulls a very old bottle out from behind his back and the Doctor immediately recognizes drinking it. "Why, you little scoundrel! How did you manage to get a hold of this? I had it safely locked away on my TARDIS. When David remains silent, the Doctor informs him, "This particular bottle is from a case of Dexof wine that my old tutor, Azmael, gave me in congratulations for graduating from the Academy." His gaze grows distant and fond when he recalls, "The last time that I shared it with him, I was in my Fourth incarnation and I had to throw Azmael into a fountain to sober him up."
He snatches it out of David's hands and lectures him, "Are you out of your mind? Do you have any idea how potent Dexof is? You could lose all control of your bodily functions!"
"It could do all that from just one sip?" inquires David disbelievingly.
"Yes," replies the Doctor, "because that's exactly what would happen if your mother ever found out you'd been drinking!" He uncorks it and takes an appreciative sniff before darting a sideways glance at David. "Besides, this stuff is too good to be wasted on the young."
David expresses a pout and complains, "I don't see what the big deal is, it's not nearly as strong as the Hyperactive Vodka that I made up for Uncle Jack."
The Doctor gives him a slight glare and begins to reprimand him. "I told you not to call him Uncle Jack, he's not your —" He stares hard at David for a minute when he takes a moment to absorb the boy's previous statement. "Did you say that the Hyperactive Vodka? And that it's stronger?"
David nods sulkily while the Doctor immediately straightens with a huge smile and pats the boy heartily on the back. "Well then my boy, take me to it!"
"Do you really think that you should be imbibing while you're watching all of us?" inquires David in a shrewd imitation of his mother.
The Doctor gives him a condescending stare as he reassures him, "It's merely for medicinal purposes, my boy," while propelling him forward. "Trust me; I am the Doctor after all."
Across the room, the Tenth Doctor is patting down his inner and outer pockets, and having no luck finding a certain item shouts out, "Has anyone seen my pocket watch?"
Eleven continues to buff and sonic his fez as he notes off-handedly, "You were holding Katy earlier on Skaro, weren't you? She might have it," he ponders as he spares her a suspicious glance.
Christopher, who's currently next to his little sister gives her a quick pat down and concludes, "Nope, she's clean!" to the Tenth Doctor's utter dismay.
Eleven purses his lips in thought as he pulls out his sonic and taps it against his chin before ending his musings with a frustrated shake of his head. "Well, there's nothing for it then. Everyone needs to spread out, go on you lot, have a butcher's!" he commands with a wave of his arms. "That's right, I want everyone looking for it, even the littlest ones since they have the best eyes amongst us!" He looks over at Ten and points at him while earnestly insisting, "You're going to need that later!"
Carole sidles up alongside the Ninth version of her great-grandfather who is busy leaning against a bookcase as he watches everyone else search for the pocket watch and throwing out suggestions on where to look as needed. "So…whoever finds it, would they be rewarded?" broaches Carole. "Possibly even with a trip in the TARDIS?"
Nine stares down appraisingly at the girl and casually replies as he continues watching the hunt, "I don't know, I guess it depends."
"On what?" inquires Carole eagerly with an excited gleam in her eyes.
"On if withholding my personal possessions from me is worth incurring my wrath on your backside," he answers with a knowing glance.
Carole's gaze widens in alarm while still never once leaving the Doctor's own as she loudly announces to the room, "Everyone can quit looking now, I've found the watch!" and throws it over to a delighted Ten.
"Well, fancy that," deadpans the Doctor, "looks like it was here the whole time."
Carole holds up her head and twists her lips in a wry grimace. "Yes, well, there's no need to be facetious. And oh," she exclaims excitedly as she offers him a huge grin and hands him a book, "I forgot to give this to you! I found it in an antique store on an outing with Mum last month and I thought that you'd enjoy it."
The Doctor turns the book over and runs his hand over the old and worn leather cover to read in faded gold lettering, 'A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens', and a first edition at that if he knew his books and he did.
"And there's this as well," she adds as she hands him a homemade holodisc labeled Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller. "I know how special they both are to you, Great-grandfather," she comments quietly as she notices his eyes misting over from the gesture.
He rapidly blinks his eyes a few times to clear them of any excess moisture as his heart fills with love and affection, not just for the memories evoked from the items, but for the little girl, no make that young woman now, standing before him. She gently bumps his shoulder with her own and hopefully inquires, "Let me know if you fancy a dance later?"
The Doctor offers her his most manic grin before declaring, "If there's anything that an old time-traveler like me can tell you, love, is that there's never any time like the present. You'll find your feet at the end of your legs; you may care to move them."
Carole giggles like the young girl that she is as she is swept up into the Doctor's arms and into a waltz around their little corner of the room. Lost in the pure enjoyment and heart of the moment, neither of them are aware of Jack Harkness' presence until he begins to applaud. "Aw, you two are just so sweet, you know that?" He pushes himself off the table that he was leaning on and taps the Doctor's shoulder. "May I?"
"Leave?" clarifies the Doctor as he gives Carole a twirl. "Why yes, be my guest."
"Very funny, Doc," says Jack with a pout. "You know that I want to cut -"
"Your throat?" supplies the Doctor smoothly for the ex-Time Agent. "Yes, I can easily see that happening. Shaving mistakes occur all the time, Captain, can read timelines me."
When Jack advances once more, the Doctor dips Carole at the same time as he delivers a not so hidden warning aimed directly at Jack. "Sometimes other things get cut off as well." Jack nods once in understanding and hastily throws his hands up in a gesture of surrender as he very quickly steps backwards a few paces in retreat.
Over at the kitchen doorway, Billie is still awaiting her snack as she finishes refereeing yet another argument between the Second and Third versions of the Doctor. Fortunately for her, Three has just spotted Ian bent over something and with a quick nod and mental note to Two, leaves to go investigate.
Sighing with relief, Billie and the Second Doctor enter the kitchen and see One washing the dishes while immediately noting that Matthew is nowhere to be found. Panicked, Two hastily demands, "Where's Matthew?"
The First Doctor briskly orders, "Calm down, my boy! I couldn't very well accomplish anything with him underfoot, now could I? So I placed him in a Time Loop with a Jack in the Box." He waves a soapy hand dismissively in the air. "He'll be fine."
Feeling much calmer, the Second Doctor is able to take a more leisurely survey of the room and spy the boy sitting in the corner with his toys. "Oh well, that's all right then," he decrees with a relieved nod. Albeit slightly traumatizing for the boy.
Without turning around, One asks, "Now, what do you two want? As you can clearly see, I'm very busy and I don't need you two hanging about making a nuisance of yourselves!"
Ignoring his prior self's gruff attitude, the Second Doctor offers a reply as he inspects the refrigerator's contents. "We're here to find something for Billie to eat, she's hungry."
The First Doctor beams at Billie before gazing sternly at his successor. "Well, hurry up and be quick about it, and don't make a mess! I've just tidied up in here," he comments as he turns away from them.
"We'll do our best," answers Two in a tone that's far kinder than the face that he is pulling in regards to the First Doctor's behavior. He then shifts over to the counter stationed alongside the refrigerator with Billie in tow and rears back in disgust upon seeing Eleven's casserole on hideous display. Holding his finger up to his mouth in a shushing motion to Billie, he slyly looks around to ensure that nobody is watching him and then slides it into the waste bin, dish and all.
One's head jerk's up at the sound of the dish hitting the bottom of the bin. "What did you that for?" he asks irritably. "I wasn't done with that yet."
Two is completely gobsmacked. "You can't honestly tell me that you were intending to eat that…that!"
The First Doctor barks, "Oh course not, don't be a fool!" He turns back to attend to the washing up and releases a mischievous giggle. "It's just that I still have a few more plans for that fez."
Billie tugs on Two's sleeve and asks, "May I just have some apples, please?"
The Second Doctor smiles grandly as he chirps, "Why of course, my dear!" He reaches across the counter and pulls the bowl full of apples towards him. "An excellent choice apples, you can never go wrong with the fruit of knowledge, you know. Now, how many would you like?"
Billieeagerly holds out her hands and says, "All of them, please!"
Two holds the bowl close to his chest and advises, "You know, Billie, there can be too much of a good thing. Why don't we try just one apple for starters, hmmm?"
"Where would be the fun in that, Doc?" questions Jack from the doorway. He leans against the doorjamb as he addresses Billie while she pulls out Two's old Piper's hat and places it atop her head. "So, I see you're ready to practice those moves that I showed you, huh, Billie the Kid?" he inquires while mimicking shooting guns with his thumbs and forefingers. "Let me know when you're set up and I'll show you my William Tell."
The next thing Jack knows is a sudden stinging pain as a splash of soap suds lands in his eyesas the First Doctor orders, "You keep your William far away from that child, understand? And I won't Tell you again!"
"Yes," concurs the Second Doctor wholeheartedly, as he walks past Jack while cradling Billie protectively to his side, "I quite agree." He stops long enough to issue his own threat in a particularly harsh tone. "And if you so much think about showing any of your moves to any of my family members, I'll be sure to permanently pluck both of your apples from your limb. I'm sure you understand my meaning, don't you?" he ends pointedly with a hard stare.
Jack shifts uncomfortably under the Doctor's gaze as he gulps audibly before squeaking, "Yes, Sir. No worries on that end," he promises with a swift nod. Man, you sure don't change much, do you? he considers sullenly while thinking back on his hasty exit from his Ninth self and Carole.
Two proffers a tight grin and voices, "That's a good lad," and then gazes affectionately down at Billie. "Come along, Billie, I'm sure that we can find something more suitable for you than what the kitchen has to offer and in the meantime, you can tell me how you happened to come across my old hat. I'm sure that I had it locked safely away in the TARDIS," he muses as he glances at the antique frame on the living room wall still bearing Susan's TARDIS key and sealed tight with his own sonic shortly after David was born.
Jack pulls a face behind the Second Doctor's retreating back before turning his most charming smile onto One. "You know, you may not believe this, but I do grow on you."
"Like a fungus, I presume?" chuckles the Doctor at his own joke. "How do I end up with you as a companion anyway? You might as well tell me, I won't remember any of this you know."
"Really, why not?" quizzes Jack.
"Never mind that, young man," huffs the Doctor, "simply answer the question or is the answer too shameful for you?"
Jack straightens up to his full height and proudly declares, "I'll have you know that I was sacrificing my own life to save a planet full of people, Earth to be exact, when your Ninth self came back to save me."
The Doctor scrubs away at a particularly difficult spot as he shakes his head in amazement. "Hmmpph, I must become soft in my old age."
Taking pity on the old man, Jack divulges, "If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure that it was down to Rose's urging." He releases a wolfish grin. "There's not much that you'll deny that girl."
The Doctor rolls his eye in a mixture of disgust and disbelief. "Oh, so there's a woman involved now is there? This sounds better and better."
"Ah, ah, ah, Doc," tuts Jack, "that's a bit like the TARDIS calling the Vortex Manipulator blue, isn't it? Besides, I've heard all about your romantic overtures both from my travels during my time with and after your Ninth self." He leans in closer to the Doctor as he teases, "You little old cocoa bean lover, you."
"That does it, you bounder, you cad, out, out of this kitchen this instant with your impudent manner and scandalous ways! Out right now and don't call me D-"
"Yeah, yeah, I know," interrupts Jack as he races out the doorway to avoid the mop that the Doctor is swinging at him, "and don't call you Doc!"
To Be Concluded in You Don't Know Jack Part Two… and this time I really mean it! ;)
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Author's Notes: Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Scooby Doo.
You Don't Know Jack — Part Two
The Seventh Doctor is picking his way through the various bits of clutter of Autons and the children's toys strewn about the living room floor when he spies Christopher and Katy off playing together in a corner of the room. No wait, not playing together but fixing something, something that looks suspiciously like a TARDIS engine part.
He heads over to the children and looms menacingly over them as Katy stares in fascination at her brother as he works on the engine part, both Christopher and the part equally covered in an obscene amount of oil. "What are you doing with a brake option?" immediately interrogates the Doctor upon his arrival.
Christopher looks up in surprise at the Doctor's presence and beams a wide smile at him before announcing, "I'm fixing it up for you, Sir! I remember that you've been complaining that your current one is rubbish," he imitates the Doctor's rolling r's. He drags his sleeve across his brow and proudly declares, "It's all done now! See? I've lubricated it and everything!"
Seven narrows his eyes and hums, "Mmmm, yes, I can see that." He points the tip of his umbrella in the direction of the engine part. "And where did you happen to find this one?"
Christopher bats Katy's hands away from the brake option as he answers, "I found it in your Fourth self's storage room for TARDIS parts while we were traveling to Skaro." He puffs up as proudly as a peacock as he points out, "Now you won't have to keep patching up that old one."
The Doctor's returning smile is present as the boy expected but not as enthusiastic as he had anticipated. Seven leans down over the handle of his umbrella and inquires sensibly, "And did it ever occur to you that I wouldn't have had need of continuous repairs if you had simply left the replacement part where it belongs?" He straightens up as he notes irritably, "I've been looking for that particular piece for the past two regenerations!"
"Oh, really?" bleats Christopher. "I guess that I didn't take that into consideration."
"No, you didn't," chides the Doctor as he gives him a stern glance. Upon the rebuke, Christopher's countenance immediately becomes downcast and the Doctor's scowl morphs into a gentle smile while he pokes the boy in his tummy with the tip of his umbrella. "Oh well," he sighs resignedly and remarks, "oil's well that ends well," as he wipes the now greasy tip of his umbrella against the last clean area on the boy's shirt. As a relieved grin breaks out on the boy's face, the Doctor adds one last warning. "But no more taking things that don't belong to you, do you understand?" He eyes Katy unsympathetically as he catches her pulling a pair of spoons from his coat pocket and ignores her squalling when he stops her from reaching in for more.
"You're one to talk," mutters Christopher under his breath, but not quietly enough.
"That's enough fussing from both of you," orders the Doctor before wryly commenting, "There's no ornery among thieves."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, the Third Doctor is quietly standing behind Ian while he grumbles almost inaudibly as he attempts to repair an old broken model of the Fifth's Doctor's screwdriver causing a vast array of sparks to shoot out of the tip. "Watch it with that thing, will you?" barks the Fourth Doctor as he passes by. "That's not how I happened!"
After offering Four an apologetic smile, Ian all but jumps out of skin while releasing a squeak when the Doctor inquires, "Need some help with that, old boy?"
"Oh my giddy aunt, you nearly scared my remaining lives out of me!" wheezes the boy as he tries to catch his breath. "You shouldn't sneak up on people like that, especially your great-grandchildren!"
"I have found throughout my lives that it is especially my great-grandchildren who I need to sneak up on, particularly when they have one of my sonic screwdrivers." He picks it up from the table and inspects it. "Even if it does happen to belong to one of my future selves."
"But Sir," protests Ian, "you're not even using it! Why just look at the condition! It's barely fit for more than anything than the loss of an old friend."
"Be that as it may, Ian," concedes the Doctor as he appraises the state of the screwdriver, "that doesn't give you the right to pilfer your way through my belongings whether they are in working order or not. And you and I both know that we have discussed this before on several occasions and in several bodies, and you are not to have your own sonic screwdriver until your mother and I both deem the time to be appropriate!"
The Doctor crosses his arms across his chest as he gives his great-grandson a stern look of disapproval. "Now having heard this argument more times than I care to recount, what on Gallifrey possessed you to try and repair this pathetic pittance for use without our express consent?"
Wearing a defeated slump to his shoulders and the most pitiful expression the Doctor had ever seen since the first time that Susan had tried to make her shopping bags bigger on the inside at the Father Christmas Toy Shoppe on the Southern hemisphere of Polaris Kringle-Claus, Ian gazes woefully up at his great-grandfather and confesses, "I just wanted to be like you."
The Doctor's eyes rise up into his hairline as he recalls Susan telling him that very same thing during her misguided experiment with the shopping bags. Well, there was that and the simple fact that she just wanted more toys. That was also the first time that he had ever reversed the polarity of the neutron flow, he recalled with a soft smile. If he hadn't, the entire toy shoppe would have been sucked into a neverending vortex of endless space and so he had worked quickly and deftly to ensure that all was set right and that there was absolutely no chance in the universe that the Time Lords would catch even the slightest whisperings of what had happened.
Had they only known, he was positive that the mockery of his trial would have been considered the high point of his lives so far. His mouth twisted in a distasteful grimace as he gave a shudder and pondered the taunts of the High Council on the daydreams of a foolish girl and her exiled grandfather that they both surely would have received. Faced with a choice between the two, he knew instantly that he would have rather accepted the position of Lord President, as incredulous a possibility as that was and could ever be, than continually force Susan to endure their cruel jibes and you couldn't become any more domesticated than that.
At the time, that stunt had been one of his biggest gambles and now it seemed that he wasn't the only gambler in the family. "Ian, come here my boy," he requests kindly as he draws him into a comforting embrace. "Now if there's one thing that I never want you to ever do, it's to compare yourself to anyone, not even to someone as wonderful as me. "So why don't you take this," he pulls away from him as he hands him his own sonic screwdriver, "and show me what you can do."
The boy's eyes widen as to nearly pop out of his head as he gulps audibly. "I promise to do my very best, Sir."
"I can't ask for anymore than that, Ian," attests the Doctor with an encouraging smile and pat on the back. The Doctor watches the boy with a keen eye as Ian takes a deep breath to steady his nerves and adjusts the settings on the sonic before finally aiming it and setting it off.
Unfortunately that's not all he set off as the Sixth Doctor's shout of, "Do you mind?" resonates throughout the house as the toilet flushes of its own accord.
Ian spares the Third Doctor a slightly embarrassed glance and murmurs, "Sorry about that for later, Sir," before fiddling with the sonic again only to hear the First Doctor mutter a string of Gallifreyan curses from the kitchen as the garbage disposal shoots out it's contents in reverse covering everything, oddly enough, but the pink, frilly apron. "And sorry about before," mutters Ian dejectedly before handing the Doctor back his screwdriver.
"What? You're not going to quit now, are you?" he asks in a surprised tone. "After all, the third time is the charm and nobody knows that better than me," he finishes with a grand smile. He holds out the screwdriver to Ian and prods him to take it when he still looks unsure. "Go on, lad, I have the utmost faith in you."
A few twists and turns and one last aim at the experiment that Ian Campbell has worked so hard on and put every ounce of effort into that his two hearts could hold for the past three months, all in an effort to impress his great-grandfather, and…nothing happens…except for a peculiar clinking sound. Bewildered, the duo turn and face each other and then scan the area for the noise until their gazes land upon a tea cup sitting on a nearby table.
"Don't look so sad, Ian," urges the Doctor as he takes note of the boy's depressed countenance. "As you said, you tried your best and well…now there's simply nothing left for it."
Ian nods astutely at the Doctor's wisdom and queries, "You're saying that I just have to work harder and keep practicing until I get it right?"
"Yes, well, there is that of course," he concurs as he rubs at the back of his head while casting a chagrined expression at Ian, "but mostly I was wondering if you had any sugar to put in the tea."
Straining to hear One's burbled cursing from the kitchen, but still able to hear it all the same, Ian offers some sage advice of his own. "I don't think that either of us should enter the kitchen just now, Sir, especially me. Besides, if you're really thirsty, I happen to know of some Hyperactivevodka that David's enlightened your Sixth self about. Mind you," he considers with a furrowed brow, "that might be why he's in the loo."
Upon hearing the toilet flush again in accordance to an accompanying groan from Six, the Doctor makes a face of displeasure and suggests, "Why don't we start working on your experiment now, Ian?" as he begins to steer him back around towards his project. "I believe it would be best if we avoided both the kitchen and the Hyperactivevodka for now." They hear another groan from the loo. "And possibly we should include avoiding my Sixth self for the time being as well."
Pffttt! Pffttt! sounds Matthew as he and the Fourth Doctor rush past the curious gazes of the Third Doctor and Ian. "Well said, my boy, well said," as he rubs the boy's back consolingly while he searches out his little sister to play with and Matthew idly spins the wheels on his favorite toy truck. Imagine, placing the boy in a time loop with a Jack-in-the-box! Why, it's positively barbaric! Now had it been something that was bright, joyful and full of goodness, like a bag of jelly babies…well, that I could understand!
Upon spying Katy playing next to Billie and Sarah, the other Doctor immediately heads over to the three little girls and sets Matthew down next to his little sister. "Hello, ladies!" greets the Doctor jovially. "And what are you three up to?"
Katy clicks two more Legos together as she points to her newly made castle and pronounces it, "Lego-opolis!" Matthew joins in by rolling his truck into the side of the castle and declaring it, "Truck-in!"
"That's Trakken, my boy," corrects the Doctor with a pat to his head as he moves to stand next to the other two children. "Ah, cat's cradle, a splendid game full of skill and dexterity."
Sarah and Billie's matching grins of pride are short-lived when the Doctor's eye happens to spy a rather large amassed jumble of yo-yos on the floor that are all devoid of their strings.
Instantly recognizing his beloved yo-yo collection from Nacnud IV, he turns on the two young girls and growls, "That's my prize collection, you egregious thieves! How could you possibly have gotten a hold of these? I personally ensure that they're kept under lock and key in my Games Room whenever they're not in use!"
With a sympathetic gaze, Sarah blithely replies, "We know and you should seriously consider a much better lock, Great-Grandfather, as it was ever so easy to pick."
His eyes bulging in anger, the Doctor silently seethes as he turns to face Sarah's co-hort in crime for her side of the story thus immediately causing Billie to scoot behind her big sister for support and possibly shielding while she meekly offers, "You simply can't play cat's cradle without string."
A clattering of noise behind the trio interrupts any further explanation and they all turn to find Matthew and Katy chucking the black pieces from the Doctor's chess set against one lone white piece that is now lying on its side. "Take that, Melkur!" cries the boy triumphantly.
"And my chess set!" wails the Doctor. "I'll have you know that I play with my companions and K-9 when the occasion lends itself, I always win of course, and throughout all of those times I have managed to maintain it in the same condition in which I first obtained it!" He bends down to pick up the white piece being utilized as Melkur and notes in a petulant tone, "I think you've nicked it."
He lifts his gaze and watches the girls nonchalantly unraveling the string to start another game. "Why is it always my things that inspire you to wreak havoc?" he complains as he observes Sarah execute a flawless cat's cradle. "Exactly what is it in particular," he wonders aloud as he repeatedly plucks at the side of the cradle, "that attracts you pilfering pirates to my possessions, hmmm?"
Tugging the cradle away in exasperation, Sarah huffs, "It's nothing personal, Great-Grandfather! It's not as if we set out on a personal vendetta, we just happened to stumble across them."
"In a locked box?" he cries in disbelief.
"Those are the most intriguing kind," contributes Billie helpfully.
"Besides," interjects Sarah before the Doctor can continue admonishing them, if you truly want to be upset at something then you should direct your ire over there," as she points at David in the corner. "He's been looking at some of Ben Jackson's old magazines again."
"What?" roars the Doctor in shock and outrage, "I thought that the TARDIS had hidden those the last time that Adric had came across them!" He begins to stalk off towards the unsuspecting boy when he suddenly changes direction and strides back over to the girls. "We're not through here, ladies, so I suggest that you start working on these yo-yos!"
"What do you mean?" queries Sarah with a trace of apprehension. The Doctor's smile is cool and almost sinister as he replies, "Something's going to be strung up here by the end of the evening, whether it's the yo-yos or you two, I shall leave up to your discretion."
Then after a last stern glare, the Doctor pivots on his heel and heads out in David's direction bellowing his name with each step. However, David being the eldest boy has long since grown accustomed to the Fourth Doctor's boisterous tones and remains completely unfazed. Pushing his Viking helmet up and away from his eyes, he announces, "Hello, Sir, look what I found! It's a helmet for space cows!"
"Yes, I can see that," acknowledges the Doctor as he notices David holding his hands behind his back, "I also heard that you found a few other things as well. Perhaps even whatever paper that I hear rustling behind you."
"Oh, that?" remarks the boy with pure innocence. "That's just schematics, Sir. I've had a few ideas on how we could fix your chameleon circuit."
"Have you now?" inquires the Doctor with great attentiveness as he nods in consideration before booming out his displeasure. "I know all about your 'schematics' as it were and I can imagine the designs that you're having." He stretches out his arm and moves his fingers in a beckoning motion. "Hand them over!"
Blowing out a stream of air in a disappointed manner, David reluctantly drags his plunder from behind his back and drops the magazines into the Doctor's awaiting palm. With his free hand, the Doctor removes the Viking hat while whacking David on the head with the rolled up magazines before neatly dropping the helmet back down all within a few seconds time.
"Sorry," mutters David with a wince, "I was only looking for some advice on girls."
The Doctor relents with a softened gaze and a dry chuckle. He places his arm around David's shoulders and begins to walks with him as he speaks. "Well, it's always been my experience, my boy, that women tend to bring nothing but trouble and they always seem to leave with your dog."
The Fifth Doctor shares a smile with a passing Four as he catches bits of their conversation as they walk by and then squints his eyes as he notices Carole reading a book and making notes in its pages. "A bit early for you to be doing homework, isn't it? I thought that you were still on holidays."
"I am," she replies without looking up from her reading while she makes another notation alongside a paragraph. "But we've already been notified of our upcoming curriculum next term and so I thought that I would make a head start." She glances up at him with a warm smile. "And it's quite an enjoyable read actually. Even though this story's a bit old fashioned, it's giving me the most fascinating ideas for my paper."
"Well, that's very studious of you," he complements, "but you really shouldn't write in a book no matter what brilliant bit of inspiration might strike you." The Doctor plucks it out of her hand to see what she's been reading and suddenly growls, "Especially this one!" He glares at her and says, "You wretched little fiend! This is my Black Orchid book, given to me by Lord George Cranleigh himself!"
"I know," defends Carole blithely, quite used to the Doctor's temper, in any incarnation, "but it's not as if I'm defacing anything, I'm merely updating the text to the current tongue, so to speak." She points to a specific section of the book. "I mean, honestly, can you believe this? The wording in this passage alone is so outdated that it makes your Type 40 look positively brand new by comparison!" She waves dismissively towards the book as she scoffs, "We don't even use that form of grammar anymore."
The Doctor is livid. "That's because this book was written in 1925 when story and substance were considered to be more important than the flashy, fast-paced, and over emotional tripe and drivel that's trotted out at the drop of a hat!" He drags a hand through his hair while shaking his head in disgust. "No one appreciates the classic writers anymore," he mutters loathingly before turning his full attention and temperament back to Carole. "This," he indicates the book as he holds it up in the air, "is not some common notebook, Carole! In the future, if you want to jot down your thoughts and ideas then use a diary!"
He glowers at her in frustration as she remains calmly sat on the sofa, completely nonplussed at her grievous error in judgment. "Do you have any idea what I had to go through to be awarded such a treasured tome of literary genius?" At the negative shake of her head, he says, "I had to win a cricket game, discover a dead body, be accused of the aforementioned body and solve the murder! Not to mention the ticket that I received from the local constable who monitors the train station for illegally parking the TARDIS!"
He takes deep calming breaths in an effort to reign in his temper which is just beginning to work when Carole inquires curiously, "How much was the fine?"
"That doesn't matter!" he cries exasperatedly. "The lesson that I am trying to teach you is that you should never, ever take something that doesn't belong to you!"
Carole releases a hearty laugh before mentioning with a smug smirk, "You mean like your TARDIS? Or your first two companions, clothes from hospital lockers after a regeneration, Bessie's predecessor, the Master's dematerialization circuit and not to mention all of the other things that I'm aware of and that this you hasn't done yet?" When he merely returns her taunts with a heated stare accompanied by a very noticeable muscle twitching alongside his jaw, she rapidly dawns a contrite expression and adds, "And did I mention how you stole both of my hearts?" as she points at her gold celery pin attached to her dress that he gave her at his last visit.
With a final knowing glare aimed directly at her, he sits down next to his great-granddaughter and opens the book and begins flipping through the pages one by one. "Shall we take a tour of these brilliant musings of yours, then?"
Carole presses her lips together anxiously before snuggling against his side and whispering, "I love you Great-Grandfather."
"As well you should," he grumbles good-naturedly before relenting and leaning down to whisper his reply along with a soft smile and a soft kiss atop her head.
Over by the alcove, the Fourth Doctor is discussing his mercifully brief conversation with David with his Eighth self, when he glances up with a slight grimace as he sees Christopher and Sarah approaching them while dragging a toy wagon in their wake. "So it's you two again is it, what do you want? We're very busy."
"What are you doing?" asks Sarah, ever the inquisitive one.
Without looking up from his work, the Eighth Doctor replies, "We're making a transdimensional dollhouse for Katy so your parents won't have to keep tripping over all of her dolls."
"That is so cool!" enthuses Christopher as he peeks between the Doctors' arms. "Could you do something like that for us when you're through?"
"Well, let's see," muses the Fourth Doctor as he and his future self make the necessary adjustments to finish Katy's surprise, "since you are being so especially kind to knit me a new scarf after you went to all of the trouble of destroying it in the first place…" He turns to them with a wide grin. "Well, I should think not!" Pocketing his sonic screwdriver, he begins to storm off in a huff when he suddenly spins back around and spying Christopher wearing one of his old hats, speedily snatches it off the boy's head and plops it down onto his own before continuing his exit in an angry stride.
A glimpse at his sister has forced Sarah's twin into fits of laughter as she pushes out her front teeth so that they're protruding out of her mouth and twining chunks of her hair so that they curl around her fingers. "Teeth and curls!" her brother snorts out, "that's brilliant!"
Almost doubled over in laughter, they both turn around to face the Eighth Doctor who looks highly less amused than either of them. Giving them a moment to compose themselves, he inquires, "Is there something that I can help you with?"
Christopher clears his throat and humbly requests, "Could we please borrow your cravat, Sir?" while his sister removes the blanket covering the article that she had been towing in the red Radio Flyer wagon that the Doctor had brought Susan so long ago when she was first pregnant with David.
"Well, that is an interesting request," remarks the Doctor in surprise, "have we finally decided to pick up some culture?"
"More like pop culture," declares Sarah. "We're going to reactivate K-9," she indicates the old model sitting in the wagon, "and play Scooby-Doo! We need your cravat so that Christopher can play Fred, I'm Thelma because I'll solve everything and Billie can be Daphne once she's done untangling some string."
Eight stands with his hands linked behind his back as he casually inquires, "And what about, Shaggy? Who's going to play him?" The twins only reply is to stare beseechingly at the Doctor who is already backing away with his hands in the air as he shakes his head in refusal.
"Oh, please, please," they beg in unison, "you're the perfect choice." "Look!" says Sarah as she points at the TARDIS, "you even have your very own mystery machine!"
"You stay away from that," he orders as he pushes her back a few steps. "The only mystery that would be involved in this scenario would be if I agreed, which I don't! Besides, why choose me?"
Christopher straightens to his full height and girds himself to protest with all of the vehemence of youth. "Because…because…," he casts a hopeful eye towards his sister who merely returns a baffled shake of her head in return, "because of your appetite! Yes, your appetite, your appetite for life and mystery and adventure!"
Christopher breathes a sigh of relief as the Doctor seems to nod in his head in deliberation and approval before noting, "That would be an admirable assessment if Shaggy wasn't such a coward."
"But that works for you too," insists Sarah excitedly.
Affronted, the Doctor gives them a cold stare and barks, "And what exactly do you mean by that?"
"Isn't obvious, Great-grandfather," quizzes Sarah with a touch of confusion. "You're always saying 'coward me'," she notes with air quotes, "and I don't know anyone better at running away than you."
Completely flabbergasted by both the audacity and the accuracy of the statement, the Doctor remains stock still until he is finally able to muster up a reply for the awaiting children. "I have no response for that," he relents with a sigh. He whips off his cravat and waves it in a gesture of surrender before handing it over to Christopher who deftly ties it into a proper knot. After the Doctor lays his coat over the back of the couch and kneels down to inspect K-9 and informs them, "Once I'm done here, we can go search for our Daphne, and while we do that, you two investigators can tell me how it is that you came across this particular version of K-9. Because I am absolutely positive that the last time that I fiddled with this model was during my sixth incarnation before I left the unfinished product in a lower level TARDIS storage room."
"Sir," queries Christopher, "as I recall from your other selves' stories, you always seemed rather fond of K-9. So why is it that you never finished this model?"
A lobster red flush spreads across the Eighth's Doctor's cheeks as he grudgingly admits, "You have to remember that I was rather a gruff sort in that particular incarnation and I wasn't usually the most considerate person when it came to other people's feelings." He glances shamefacedly over to the patiently waiting children and sighs. "After thinking it over, I didn't want to K-9 to be further competition for yet another person to be yapping in my ear as I felt that Peri met that requirement quite commendably without any assistance."
The twins lock astonished gazes with each other before mouthing 'wow' in unison and staring silently back at the Doctor. He uncomfortably clears his throat and says, "Yes, well, that was another lifetime…literally for me. And I'm sure that none of us see a need to mention this if we happen to run into Miss Brown during one of our TARDIS trips, correct? After all," he threatens in a tone that seems too casual, I would hate to see them come to an end."
A shocked gasp and a hurried promise of, "Cross our hearts and hope to regenerate!" practically leaps out of the children's mouths much to the Doctor's satisfied relief as they make the matching gestures to their sworn vows. "I don't think that it's anyone else's business what you've done, do you Sarah?" prods Christopher with a nudge to her ribs. "Absolutely not, Christopher," nods his sister fervently.
"Good," says the Doctor with a huge smile, "I'm so glad that we could come to an agreement. Now let's all work on K-9 in silence, shall we? I think the less said the better." And for once the only replies from the twins are two quick and very quiet nods.
Flopping back down onto the couch between the Tenth and Eleventh versions of the Doctor, David releases a disgruntled sigh. "What's wrong with you?" questions the Tenth Doctor as he throws on his glasses for a closer look. "You haven't been sampling that hideous casserole have you?"
"No," bemoans David while Eleven does his best to send his prior self a death glare. "I fancy a girl named Georgia, you know not like the city but like the planet, and I'm wondering how I can capture her attention."
"Ah," states the Eleventh Doctor as he and Ten share a knowing glance, "women troubles! Well, David, I dare say that you came to the right place. Have you tried anything to catch her eye so far?"
"No," answers David fretfully, "not yet. Do you think that I should impress her with my Venusian Akido skills?"
"Definitely not," declares Eleven with a firm shake of his head. "No, girls are more impressed by acts reflecting one's cultured refinement and gentlemanly attributes."
David waits patiently for all of five seconds before prodding, "For instance?"
Ten leans forward as he shares in confidence, "For example, refer to your worldliness by expressing your various travel experience. If you know another language than drop in a few foreign words into the conversation every now and then, impress her with the aptitude of your tongue."
Sudden realization begins to dawn in David's gaze and he looks at his great-grandfather as if seeing him through new eyes. "Is that why you always lick everything?"
The Eleventh Doctor taps the boy on his shoulder to regain his attention. "Also, dress to impress." Ten smirks as he queries, "So, no bow ties then?" Taking the higher road, Eleven smiles tightly as he remarks, "Bow ties are cool." The Tenth Doctor gives a slight shake of his head while insisting, "No, they're not."
Eleven gives his former self a once over and observes, "They're cooler than trench coats." Ten shakes his head more emphatically this time. "Again…no, they're not." Eleven shifts in his seat as he tries to find a more comfortable position and mocks, "Yes they are, you look like Columbo. Are you going to solve a murder?" Ten sneers, "Only if you were the victim but by that point, I'd most likely be under suspicion. And you're one to talk about a person's wardrobe, you look like you just invented Flubber."
The boy's eyes end their ping-ponging back and forth between the two and he loudly clears his throat as he rubs his temples to try and rid himself of his sudden headache.
"Oh…yes, sorry about that," offers Eleven while looking chagrined. "Anyway, another way to win a girl's heart is through her stomach. And by that, I mean give her a sweet, not literally as through her abdominal cavity."
David's eyes widen in mock surprise as he dryly notes, "I'll try to remember that."
Ten eyes the Eleventh Doctor in suspicion. "Please tell me that you're not about to suggest fish fingers and custard." Eleven actually surprises the other two males by appearing to scoff at the very idea of one of his favorite treats. "Of course not, don't be ridiculous, this isn't about fulfilling a craving, no matter how exquisitely satisfying that fine fare may be, in fact save it for later to make on your first date, no this calls for a heartfelt gesture of romance, this calls for…Jammy Dodgers!"
Ten stares at him in disbelief. "Honestly, that's the best that you can do?" Eleven stares back at him in complete bafflement. "And what's wrong with it? It's a tremendous idea, sure to win the girl." Ten contemplates his suggestion for a moment before proclaiming, "Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, if she were five years old." He turns to his great-grandson. "She's not, is she?" David shakes his head no. "That's not tremendous; it's molto male, which is very bad." Eleven leans back with his arms crossed over his chest and inquires with rapt attention, "And what's your brilliant idea? Banana pudding pops? Or no…how about jam tarts, after all we all know how much you love tarts, particularly French ones."
Eleven offers his counterpart a glowing smile while Ten's gaze blazes with fury as he hisses, "Oh you just wait until I get all the dirt on you, you just wait. Once I meet your next incarnation, I'm going to butter him up like a roll!"
The Tenth Doctor takes a moment to sulk before dispensing one last piece of advice. "Poetry's nice too, a lovely bit of poetry will work wonders in wooing a girl's heart. I prefer Robert Frost's The Rose Family myself."
Eleven releases an unexpected cry of delight. "I can't believe it, finally, something that we both agree on! Although something that you've spun from your own heart can work a treat as well. How's this? Roses are jeopardly friendly, violets are blue, some things are best left unsaid, like does it really need saying and quite right too." He grins a little too brightly at Ten and questions eagerly, "So, what did you think? Nine helped me write it."
The Tenth Doctor's just about to lunge for the Eleventh when David pushes them apart. "Well, that was very helpful and I will definitely take all of your advice into consideration. Now if you'll please excuse me, I would like to go off and ponder these amazingly creative options that you've presented me with so that I don't have to appear as a witness in any future trial."
"What?" questions Ten as the boy walks away. "I end up on trial again?" He looks over to his next self for an answer but Eleven merely shrugs and mutters, "Spoilers." They both stare after the boy's retreating back and Eleven murmurs, "Some people, they're simply incapable of taking any advice." "Yeah," remarks Ten with a pout as he leans back into the couch and links his hands to cradle his head. "And I thought it was some pretty excellent advice, myself." "Quite right too," pipes Eleven to which Ten swiftly replies with a hard whack of the pillow to Eleven's face.
Nine soon walks over and joins the bickering duo while gesturing to the other side of the room where all three men simultaneously cast dubious gazes over to the corner where Jack is leaning down to accept something from Billie while she whispers in his ear, "Thanks for lending us your TARDIS key, Uncle Jack, it's been great fun using it! And he hasn't even noticed half of the stuff that's missing since he came back from visiting Mum!"
"Anytime, Doll," he assures her with a grin, "nobody should be locked out of the TARDIS when they need to get into it, especially if they're hanging on to the outside of it!"
"Oh…okay," mumbles Billie quizzically before quickly taking her leave as she notices the Doctors watching her.
Not bothered in the least by their lack of trust, Jack saunters over to the Time Lords and explains, "Cute kid, she wanted a few tips on boys."
"It better have been on what kind to avoid," mutters the Ninth Doctor as he shoots Jack a wary gaze.
Bearing a confused expression, Jack faces the three Doctors and quizzes, "Doctor, the kids and I have been chatting a bit and I've been wondering something."
Nine asks, "Oh yeah, and what's that?"
Jack says, "Well, I know why I lost my memories," sending a heated and pointed look directly at Ten, "but you've been here on this day eleven times. Why was each version of you so surprised at being asked to remain here with the kids?"
The three men all return Jack's stare with that same sad expression he remembers so well, the one usually indicating that he's an idiot. God he's missed them. "Harkness," denotes the Ninth Doctor, "think about it, lad. Obviously we blocked our memories."
When his countenance continues to appear bewildered, the Tenth Doctor adds, "Jack, if you had to live through this day eleven separate times, would you want to remember it?"
Jack nods his head sagely admits, "Fair point."
Ten gives Jack a suspicious look and mentions, "And I've been meaning to ask you something as well. How is that you arrived here without hitching a ride on the TARDIS?"
Jack pulls up his sleeve to reveal his Vortex Manipulator. "I used this."
Ten grits between clenched teeth, "Jack, I told you not to use this again! That's why I disabled it in the first place!"
Jack is unruffled by the chastisement and impertinently retorts, "Sorry, Doc, but I needed a ride and since the best one wasn't available," he waggles his eyebrows suggestively at all three Doctors, "I had to settle for second best."
Eleven promises, "Well, you won't have to settle for long. You're going back home via the TARDIS once we leave here and I'm disabling this time meddler once and for all." He reaches out for the manipulator when Jack grabs his arm with one hand and wags a disapproving finger at the Doctor with the other.
"Ah, ah, ah," tuts Jack reproachfully, "I don't think so. See the kids told me all about how they absconded with the TARDIS to Skaro and how you made them swear not to tell their mother anything about it."
Nine grunts, "You can't trust anybody these days! Those wretched little ankle biters weren't supposed to breathe a word of that fiasco to anyone!"
Jack exhibits a devilish grin as he consoles, "Don't blame them too much, Doc. After all, it's pretty hard to keep a secret from their Uncle Jack." They all shoot daggers at him until their jaws all simultaneously drop when Jack nonchalantly inquires, "So, Theta Sigma, huh? Cute Academy nickname, I have a nickname too but I'm guessing that you wouldn't want the kids to hear it," he remarks before tossing them a cheeky wink.
Ignoring the Doctors worried gazes of what other secrets the children might have let slip, Jack begins to gather all of the children around for story time. Ninehurriedly grabs Jack by the arm and warns, "Oi, watch it, Captain! I don't want the children to hear any stories about you ending up or starting out naked."
Jack rapidly denies this harsh accusation and in a hurtful tone asks, "Geez, they're kids, Doc, just what kind of guy do you take me for?" He then goes over to stand amidst the circle of children and announces, "Okay, kids, it's time to sit back and relax and listen to your old yet incredibly handsome and flexible Uncle Jack tell the story of The Emperor's New Clothes!" Nine and Ten both groan and give identical eye rolls while Eleven merely holds his arms out to his sides as if silently pleading, 'What can you do?'
Deciding that the sooner this story is over the better, the Eleventh Doctor yells out, "Alright, you hooligans, settle down, settle down! Now I want you all to sit quietly while the rest of us take a moment to catch our breath and monitor you lot. We're going to turn this day around from the chaotic mess it started out as to the Day of the Doctor! Alright? Good! Now everyone turn your attention to Jack and keep your clothes on!" He points at Jack. "Especially you, Harkness!"
A hush falls over the room as Jack begins recanting the old tale and the First Doctor brings out a pitcher of lemonade along with some finger sandwiches for refreshments and upon seeing all of the children listening with rapt attention to Jack's story, decides to take a short break and settles himself down onto the couch. A moment later he's unexpectedly jostled when Eleven plops down alongside him and offers him a wide grin. "Hello, there!" he greets as he crosses his legs and throws an arm onto the back of the couch.
The Eleventh Doctor releases a sigh of relief as he observes his great-grandchildren, for once all sitting quietly, attentive and serene and shakes his head in amusement. "It's funny when you think about it, isn't it?" he inquires of the First Doctor. "You look at this lot, botching every time and space experiment ever invented, stealing a TARDIS, terrorizing a planet full of Daleks, not to mention their creator to boot, and drawing all sorts of the wrong type of attention into their lives," as he gestures at Jack with a wry grin and sighs. "How in Rassilon's name are we expected to cope with this group of troublemakers when they each inherit their own TARDIS?"
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about them too much. After all, that's how we started, isn't it, hmmm?" replies the First Doctor with a hint of laughter in his voice.
"Yes," agrees Eleven with his own chuckle, I suppose it is." He runs a hand through his hair with a weary hum and glances over at his younger counterpart. "So…any ideas on what we should do tomorrow to keep the children entertained?"
"I was planning on taking Matthew and Katy to the library but I haven't been able to find my library card," he remarks with a frustrated grimace.
"Oh, I have it right here," mentions the Eleventh Doctor, "but you might as well take it. I'm sure I'll find it again in the TARDIS when I need it."
"Thank you, my boy," accepts One as he tucks the card into his coat pocket. "I'm sure the children will have a lovely time. I spoke with the head librarian earlier and they're going to be showing a children's film called the Tenth Planet and I thought it might be good for a laugh." He roughly knocks a weathered old fist into the Eleventh Doctor's shoulder which he immediately starts rubbing. "Imagine thinking that there's only ten! My yes, these humans can be quite amusing, indeed!"
Appreciating the humor of the gest, Eleven acknowledges it with a quiet nod before turning his attention back to the scene before him. Jack is busy acting out each scene in full pantomime while imitating the characters voices in funny accents and the children love every moment of it. He scans the small gathering and notes each delighted smile, enraptured gaze, laughing grin and contemplative study of every sight and sound in the room, no matter how insignificant it may seem, and the wonder and joy that all of it combined manages to bring its participants. And it's not the children that he's watching for once; it's himself, all his other selves to be exact. The outpouring of love and emotion that shines from their eyes each time that they catch a particular expression on one of the children's faces or realize their potential, not as a Time Lord or Time Lady, not as a hero or heroine of a universe, but as the amazing and loving children that each version of him knows that they have the capacity to be, it makes each marvel of the universe that he has seen and all those that have yet to be discovered seem infinitesimal and for a moment, he could actually care less if he never experienced them again.
But then he comes back to himself and remembers that he is the Doctor after all and that he truly does hate domestic. For as crazy and unpredictable as his life can become at times, he wouldn't change a thing about it, not for one moment. He loves the excitement and adventure, the laughter and friendship, the good and the bad and knowing above all that there's always another place that he can call home to retire to when he needs to get away from all of it. He withdraws a crumpled crayon drawing of his current self riding a triceratops in Susan's backyard that he was recently given by Ian to remind him of this very thing and releases a huge grin. Yes, it is a manic life he lives indeed and he wants to share every minute of it with his family.
He catches the eyes of his Ninth and Tenth selves and knows that even without the aid of a innate or telepathic connection that they share the same sentiment. This life that they lead, with this family, it may be hard at times but it is generally a good life and one that makes him a better man. He'd even go so far and dare to say that it was fantastic and molto bene as he watches his two previous selves flashing approving smiles in his direction just before Nine aims a cautionary glance at him. He shakes his head slightly and releases a soft exasperated sigh. Because of course out all these things when it comes to his family, it maybe fantastic and even molto bene but it would never be at all sexy.
HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY DOCTOR WHO! :)
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