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Impossible things: A Doctor Who story

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  • Impossible things: A Doctor Who story

    This story is set towards the end of Last of the Timelords, so spoilers for season 3

    Rating: PG
    Pairings: If you really want to know...
    Susan/Jack, Doctor/Master implied


    The Doctor was walking with Jack and Martha through the centre of Cardiff , back to Torchwood HQ. It was all over. The Master was dead, time had been rewound, the dead walked again as if nothing had happened. The bustling throng of shoppers around them had all forgotten the past year?forgotten the time lords?forgotten the Doctor. All except one of them, it seemed.

    "Doctor? Is that you?"

    The Doctor, Jack and Martha swivelled as one, to see an attractive brunette standing behind them. She wore a chic, 60s style suit, though with modern hints to the tailoring here and there. She also wore, Martha noticed, a rather fabulous hat. Funny?she remembered seeing one a little like it in the TARDIS wardrobe.

    The Doctor was staring at the newcomer as if she had two heads. No, two heads he could handle. "Susan," he said, after flapping his mouth open and closed a few times without making a sound. "But I thought?I heard?weren't you?"

    "Dead?" said the woman. She smiled. "No, Grandfather. But it seems from your altered appearance that you've gone through a few bodies yourself."

    It was Martha's turn to be stunned. "Grandfather? What the??"

    "Yeah," said the Doctor. "It's complicated. Long story. Involves aliens."

    "Like anything with you isn't," said Martha.

    " I'm alive," said Susan, coming closer. "And well, and living in Cardiff. Hello
    Jack," she said, giving him a cheeky wink.

    "What? You know him?" The Doctor looked at Susan. He looked at Jack. "Oh no. You didn't? You didn't! You did, didn't you!" He ran his fingers through his hair. "But how? Last time I saw you you were?in the?22nd century was it?with that freedom fighter blokie?whatsisface?"

    "I was. And then I wasn't," said Susan. Her eyes flicked up and down Jack. "You can probably tell why."

    "Bet he's wrecked a fair few homes," said Martha, giving Jack a grin.

    "Most of them by getting carried away on sub-standard furniture," Jack replied.

    "Well!" said the Doctor. He rubbed his chin, trying to get a handle on this turn up for the books. "Well, how'd you meet then?"

    "I fell through the rift," Susan explained. "Then we met at the Dog and Duck," She slipped her arm around Jack's waist. "It all went from there."

    "What can I say?she has your eyes," said Jack, apologetically, but the Doctor noticed that he gave Susan's arse a little squeeze.

    Susan kissed Jack. "Glad you managed to save the world, darlin. I had such a rotten time in the Himalayas . That Owen is such a little rat?he wouldn't leave me alone. And Tosh, too! Honestly, can't you hire some eunuchs?"

    "Team Torchwood take after the boss, do they?" said Martha. After a year of no sex and sleeping rough, or on people's floors, the idea of a nice warm bunk-up was rather appealing. Maybe she should think about signing up with Jack's lot?

    The Doctor shook his finger at Jack, feigning crossness. "Tut tut! With my GRANDDAUGHTER?"

    "Hey!" said Jack, holding up his hands. "Don't lay this all on me. She's the one who got me pregnant, after all"

    All eyes were suddenly on Susan. Even the Doctor was looking alarmed. Especially the Doctor. "No one ever told me Gallifreyan women could?" he said, going pale.

    "What do you think the Ramil tract is for?" said Susan. "You know, the valve just behind a Gallifreyan girl's?"

    "Oh!" The Doctor's eyes were wide. "I thought that was for excreting pheromones."

    "Left Gallifrey before you got a firm grasp on the birds and the bees, eh?" tutted Jack. "No wonder you've been single for so long!"

    Martha shook her head in disbelief. "Do you mean, you could've been?if you'd?with a Time Lady?" Her mind boggled at the idea of the skinny little Doctor in the family way.

    "Good thing Mum was from Quatzaplatory, isn't it, Grandfather?" said Susan.

    Jack chuckled. "Yeah! Quite aside from the male pregnancy issues?I hear those chicks can do some pretty crazy things with their prehensile?oof!"

    Susan had elbowed him in the stomach. There was a moment of awkward silence. Then the Doctor looked at Jack more seriously. "So. Why didn't you tell me, eh? That she was alive?"

    "Didn't really wanna complicate matters more than they already were," said Jack, not looking the Doctor in the eye. "We already had my Immortality coming between us."

    "You mean you were too chicken to tell him you were shagging his grandaughter?" suggested Martha.

    "You could put it like that," conceded Jack.

    "So, Grandad, why didn't you come to find me? In the future, I mean, I can see why you wouldn't think to look for me here."

    "I thought you were dead. Like I said. Oooh, listen to that, I'm rhyming." He grinned, but the smile faded away as quickly as it had appeared.

    "No, you're being evasive." Susan sighed. She inspected the Doctor's face. There was something tight and pinched about it, when it wasn't in motion. "You probably just heard a vague unsubstatiated rumour I was dead and felt rather relieved you didn't have to come and visit."

    "Nonsense! No, not at all!" The Doctor flapped his hand, physically pooh-poohing the very idea. "I...well, you had a life, and I didn't want to get in the should've got a message to me. Plenty of ways, resourceful girl like you."

    "I suppose I could have." Susan touched his arm and shushed him. "Can we just agree that we're both to blame? We are both just a little bit autistic, aren't we? When it comes to forming lasting bonds with people?"

    "I'm not autistic!" The Doctor frowned.

    "Little bit," said Martha and Jack, at once.

    "I'm good with people! I form bonds!"

    "Only with the ones you can't have," said Martha, regretting saying that out loud as soon as she had. But, since it was out there? "Rose?the Mas?" she hesitated. It was probably a bit soon to bring that up.

    The Doctor looked at her. His eyes looked almost black, they were so serious.

    "Forget it. Listen?Why don't we go and see your office, Jack?" Martha suggested. "I could murder a cup of coffee."

    "Sure. And we've got the pizza delivery service on speed dial," said Jack.

    "What do you say, Grandfather?" said Susan.

    "As long as none of your team try to kill anyone while we're there?or jump my bones?why not?" said the Doctor.

    As they walked towards the Torchwood offices, Martha, Jack and Susan chatted happily. Susan glanced backwards to see her Grandfather looking thoughtful. Moody, even. He'd changed more than physically since the last she'd seen him. Strangely, he looked older, though his body was far younger. Something in the depths of his eyes.

    She didn't know everything that had happened in the past year, just what Jack had told her on the phone, after the clocks were so thoroughly reset?but she knew that the Master was finally dead, and that he had died in her Grandfather's arms. He'd wept, Jack said. Wept for the last of his race?at which point in the telephone conversation, Susan had started to feel rather bad about not making more of an effort to get in touch?though she wasn't technically a Time Lord?and she didn't quite see why the Doctor was so upset?weren't all species supposed to be equal in his eyes? She knew they were in hers?but perhaps that's what came of being a mixed-species being?

    But, she suspected, there had been more to it than mourning the loss of the last fellow Time Lord. Susan remembered finding a letter one day, when she was a girl?it was squirreled away in a tiny storeroom in the vast TARDIS?she didn't get to read much of it before Grandfather had appeared and snatched it away, but she had read the words, "Please, D, I'm sorry?give me another chance? I just can't think straight sometimes?you know how I get?my head, it's so noisy in here?I made a mistake." It was signed M?and there was only one M that Gramps was so touchy about as to snatch something from her like that. The Doctor had point-blank refused to talk about it ? he'd been so agitated, he hadn't even tried to sneakily change the subject or steer her away.

    But from what little she'd read and guessed, she couldn't help wondering?if the Doctor had given "M" another chance, so very long ago?might everything have been very different?

    A few paces behind, the Doctor was locked in his own thought-world. He wasn't alone. No?Susan was here with him?and with Jack, apparently?He wasn't alone. But it didn't fill him with joy, not like he thought it might. Because he didn't want company, he realised.

    The Doctor didn't want company. He wanted his best enemy. He wanted his old, dear, lost?.Oh, he could move on, fine. He could fly to the stars, he could travel with Martha, with Jack, with Susan, if she fancied it?

    But he felt a yawning emptiness when he remembered?snatches, they seemed, almost like hallucinations?those balmy days beside the river, behind the Academy?sun on their faces?hands touching, casually?a sandy-blonde-haired young man with a cheeky smile. A wicked smile, you might've said?he a wild, mean streak?but there was still something good there. Something so alive, so present. He made you feel the whole universe was right there with you, spread out on the grass around them. Long ago, he'd been so afraid of losing that light, that fire?but in the end, he'd been the one to walk away. After?well. After the Master showed what he was truly capable of. But still?hadn't there still been something good in him?

    If I'd given you another chance?after the time you?if I'd only tried harder. But, couldn't you have tried harder too? Couldn't you have stayed, when I asked you to stay with me? Regenerated? Did you really die just to spite me?

    Couldn't you have known that I?

    I would have done anything for you. Once upon a time.

    The Doctor tried to shake off the thoughts. They were almost at the entrance to Torchwood. He couldn't bring the Master back. And if he could, what kind of life would it have been?

    I told him I would care for him. That I forgave him. But unless he forgave me?what would have been the point?

    But there would have been hope. And there would have been him.

    He clenched his jaw. It wasn't the time to think about impossible things. Not that kind of impossible, anyway.

    "So, Jack," he said, slapping on his broadest grin. "Let's see this invisible elevator then."

    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --