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                Page Three

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Amy and Rory ran out of the room. "Blood curdling shrieks of blind panic coming up."

Cap saw them leave. "This wall has collapsed, Doc. I sure hope they know to avoid entering
the effected hallway behind it."

"Can't miss two meter flames. They're not so stupid." the Doctor quipped, checking his
internal motion monitor again.

A big booming masculine voice suddenly erupted out of the intercom speaker. "Oh, yes. They
are. Thank you so much for making this easier, Doctor."

"What!? Waitasecond. I think I know who this--- Tenor voice. Flippant. Teeth that go on

"And always immune to fire, Especially after I die, Doctor.
Hi again, it's me!" said the voice cheerfully. "Don't bother looking on your instruments.
I can't be found unless I allow it. Having a Timelord's wrist watch comes in handy."

The Doctor's face drained of all color around the blood on his mouth. "Jack Harkness.."  

"In the flesh. And in the Tardis, too."

"How did you get in?"

"Let's just say I'm a friend for life. She seems to think so, too. She's the one who let
me in when I knocked three times."

"Why are you here?" the Doctor asked, holding very still.

"As usual, you have something I want. Two somethings actually. I have an urgent need
for both of them. And they're so conveniently ending up where I planned for them to go."
said Jack Harkness's voice. "You might say we're leaving on a little trip down memory
lane together."

The Doctor sucked in a breath and tried to shout out an intercom
warning to his companions. "Amy! Rory! Get out of there!"

It was too late. Amy and Rory, jogging and yelling in their guinea pig luring roles rounded
a corner into a dead end corridor that had a pair of ugly wired and red light blinking devices
stuck at opposite ends of the hallway on the center of their walls.

Rory instinctively recognized them as bombs. He threw Amy forward to the middle of the
corridor and fell down on top of her to protect her with his body. That was when the devices
blew up in a deafening roar of shearing forces.

The last thing Amy and Rory knew, both they, and the corridor in which they found
themselves, was severed at its end points from the Tardis's architectural main frame.
Its whole length and the two humans inside of it went spinning deep into the yawning
time vortex over which the rest of the Tardis was suspended.

The Doctor screamed even as he heard theirs diminishing from the telepathic
influence of the Tardis. "Boobytrapped!  Jack, tell me they're still alive!"

There was no reply to that for long seconds. "Why should I keep them that way, Doctor?"
came Captain Jack Harkness's voice over the Tardis intercom. "You abandoned me on
that space ship intentionally the first time we met. So now I make you abandon them, for
all time."

"Jack, you had a way out. I left you the transmat wrist watch!!"

"I didn't find it until those pirates killed me over and over again for months! Do you think
that was at all fun for me?" came the immortal man's voice. "You left me behind like
an old shoe." he growled. "No, it was worse than that. I was mud. I was the mud
ON your shoe. I didn't even realize until you scraped me off!"

"Why 1976?" the Timelord spat, desperately grasping at straws. "Why falsely alter Amy's
memories to include this fire fighting crew from 1976?" he demanded, furious.

There was no answer in the loud silence that followed. Jack Harkness being quiet
quickly became the scariest experience the Timelord had ever encountered.

The Doctor yelled at the Station 51 gang. "Captain Stanley! How long until the fire's out?
We can't fly until it's completely snuffed!"

Cap whirled to face him. "Problem?"

"Yes! We've crew fallen overboard times two!" he said, setting coordinates for the Tardis
to go diving after the ejected part of herself that was still registering as containing

It killed him to not be able to press the follow button.

"Five minutes!" Hank promised, throwing up five gloved fingers.

"Jack!" the Doctor said to the air, knowing that the Tardis pick ups were conveying his
voice to the farthest reaches of the time machine.  "Give me a reason. Answer why!"

"I can't tell you that, Doctor. There's something they need to do and only I can bring
them back to the moment they need to be in order to get it done." said Harkness's stressed,
breathless words from the speaker.

"Laws of Time." the young Time Lord blanched. "Did you meddle? I'm already running
totally against all of Creation even talking about them!"

Again, the silence stretched even over the roar of the machine spewing out the foam
the gang was applying generously to the fire around the collapsed Tardis wall.

The Doctor's throat felt tight as he waited for Jack to speak again.

"My reply to your question might effect their personal temporality." came a smug reply.

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"Stop being a cocky, pompous immortal man from turn of the century Earth! I warned
you that immortality would make you drunk with power." the Doctor shouted. "You didn't
listen, you wouldn't listen, you NEVER... listen... to the one who knows!" he said, hitting
his own chest with a hand full of spread wide fingers.  "Your condition is a trap, Jack.
Built in! Don't lose yourself inside of it."

"How would you know?" Jack's voice finally came, suddenly breaking with a clear sadness.

"Because I have lived long enough to experience the tiniest taste of it myself through
my regenerations. Let me help you with whatever it is that's torturing you."

The Doctor's breath rattled sourly in his chest as he strained to hear Jack's next words.

There came the faintest sound of agonized sobbing over the intercom. Jack's voice was
barely audible, soaked in grief.  "I've got to save her,  Doctor. But we both know that
neither one of us are legally allowed to do it. We're too close."

"Who's her? Who's she, Jack?" the Timelord urged angrily. "Is this person the reason
you've entwined yourself with me and mine, and six other strangers?"

Jack's audio only connection to the Tardis snicked off.  Then the Doctor's horrified look
briefly caught Jack's through the Tardis monitor as the man who could not die
suddenly leaped into camera view inside of the escape pod room.

"No, Jack! Don't! You can't ever enter finite time."

"I'm sorry, Doctor. This time doing things my way is the way it has to be." Jack Harkness'
hand hit the launch button. The pod room fell away, tumbling after the spinning corridor
containing Amy and Rory.

Both of their silhouettes disappeared into the heart of the Time vortex and vanished.

"What can he do out there? He's just a man in a room all by himself." Cap asked the

"He can completely alter all time for Earth, everywhere." the Doctor hissed. "Just by existing.
He's an abomination against nature. All things die, captain. Jack can't. Now he's so
bored with living that he's playing with others' memories by using the temporal transmat
watch I gave him. I don't even think he realizes yet that Amy, knowing you six gentlemen,
when she was never meant to have any knowledge of you, has already changed Earth's
timeline in your 1976. All of England is a ruin of earthquakes.  Most of America will most
likely fall down, too, because of the repercussions. We felt the beginnings of it at the

Mike Stoker shut off the nozzle on the reel line pumping out foam. "That's it! We've got
everything extinguished!" he said of the flames that had been burning along the
glowing wire the Doctor had ignited to draw out Captain Jack Harkness. The engineer
firefighter startled, and took a few steps backwards towards Engine 51 when he
saw the Tardis's white flooring begin to suck up and absorb the fire retardant he had
laid down, like a water puddle sinking into sand.

Captain Stanley gaped in awe as the still steaming, fire melted walls reinflated and
neatly grew back together into the roundels and flat surfaces identical to the originals.
All sooty brown black stains, slowly returned to softly glowing unmarred alabaster.
Hank addressed the Doctor. "I think we've knocked out your fire completely, Doc.
Things, ah...appear to be growing back like new?" he guessed.

"Splendid! That was faster than five minutes. How good are you and your crew with
search and rescue operations?" the young Timelord gasped, rapidly running around
the center console, flipping on tracers and reactivating his ship's flight controls.

Captain Stanley stood up a little straighter in defense of his men, who actually
looked up at the comment in surprise. "We're trained and fully equipped to handle
the unexpected, Doctor. We're L.A. County Firefighters. So where's our next call
going to be?"

"To whereever Jack's taking Amy and Rory. I've locked the Tardis into following
her last two escaping parts. All she'll focus on now is getting close enough to
reintegrate the missing components back into a whole craft."


The rest of the gang had put away their equipment back onto the trucks and it
was only ingrained habit that made them gather back around Cap afterwards for
an accounting check.

Mike Stoker was the first to speak. "You're never going to believe this, Cap, but uh,
we're....not... missing any water from the tank."

The Doctor turned from where he and Stanley had been huddled by the viewing monitor.
"That's because the TARDIS is well behaved and put back what was borrowed, my
fine fellow boffin. Same goes for your breathing bottles. They're all topped off to perfect
pressures, I assure you."

Cap was the only one whose forehead didn't screw up in confusion at that bizarre report.

Chet Kelly leaned into Hank. "Just how are you so accepting all of this blahooey, Cap?"
He pointed to the view out the Tardis door windows. "I think that's outer space." Then
he pointed to the wall that no longer was burned down to a cinder. "I'm still
smelling the fire we just fought. But nobody's seeing any leftover char from it. It's like
it never happened!" Then he indicated the Doctor. "And why the heck are we still hanging
around this guy who let a criminal blow up part of his...  er  ....flying saucer?"

"Time ship.." whispered the Timelord to Chet sotto voce.

Stanley didn't even bat an eye as he squared up on his men. "If we're all sharing a
hallucination due to poisonous fumes right about now, we'll pass out soon enough,
and then some paramedics somewhere will just wake us up out of our shared
nightmares." He shrugged. "Until then, I'm going to keep us fighting fires and rescuing
people who need rescuing, until reality finally bails all of our butts out of here." he said,
matter of factly.

"That assessment's right on the mark about reality being the final judge." the Doctor
chimed in ominously, with a hint of worry.

The Station 51 crew ignored him. Pointedly. For their sanity if nothing else.

Hank spelled it out for them. "Amy and Rory are missing. They were in the bit
of this building got ejected. Somehow, our friend the Doc, is following where it's
going to land."

The Timelord broke in sincerely. "And they most likely will get hurt from the sudden stop."

Chet looked at him like he was a buffoon. "Yeah. Falls do that, buster. Just be glad we're
here already. Why don't you go call the cops or something on Jack. He's a lunatic."

Kelly's statement stunned the young Timelord to the core. His face brightened into a smile.
"What a fabulous idea! I AM going to need some more help with him." The Doctor beamed.
"Thanks for the gray matter donation, Mr. Kelly." he said, shaking the curly Irishman's hand
in full blown, genuine appreciation. "This is totally why I still keep humans around."

Chet's brain refused to work any more after hearing that comment, for about half an hour.


Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage were in serious discussion while pretending to double
check the contents of their drug box by the squad a short distance away from the Tardis's
center console.

"Should we sedate the weird guy and take him down? He's obviously kidnapped us."
Gage wondered with a little heat.

"Nah." said Roy. "He helped us, remember?  We both fainted. He went and got the guys
for us. He's a do-gooder so far in my book. Besides, does anybody else know how to
fly this spinning museum ..thing? Doesn't look like anything else I've ever seen."

"Maybe Mike can do it." Johnny suggested.

Stoker had overheard them with his engineer's super sharp listening ears.
"In your dreams. Not a single chance in Hell." he replied briskly in the negative.
"Leave me out of it, fellas."

"This is a private chat, do you mind?" Gage grumbled.

Mike coughed and turned away, getting mesmorized by the real time live sights on the
console's monitor again. He appeared to be admiring Earth there, that was growing ever

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Johnny tried not to dwell on the fact that he had no recollection of how they had
gotten off of Earth in the first place.

DeSoto reached over to their oxygen apparatus and stole a snort of pure O2 from
its mask wholeheartedly with his eyes clenched closed tightly.  Then he reopened them
again after he exhaled it all from his lungs. "Nope. Everything's still not looking right
with the world here. Maybe we should stop fighting it and start learning from it, Johnny.
What else can we do about it?"

"Nothing." Gage grudgingly agreed. "I think I'll help ya. Give me that." he said,
reaching for the demand valve. "Maybe it'll work for me."


Jack Harkness awoke from self inflicted dead amid the rubble of what was
left of Los Angeles. He sat up after screaming once or twice in residual pain and then
checked his temporal watch. It was reading 1976-trans. ::Right on the money.:: Jack
thought, levering himself up onto legs that still felt shattered into a million pieces. His
ears were still ringing and bleeding from the impact that the jettisoned escape room had
made against the soil of Earth.  ::Earth-trans.:: He fiercely corrected himself in his mind.
::An offshoot. A sport.::  Finally, he was in a time line which led to her...  "She's here." he
sobbed, still feeling pulverized in body and soul, from the leftover echoes from his latest of
endless deaths. ::Hang on, Rose. I'm coming for you.:: he thought, feeling the weight of
this newly quake destroyed world resting heavy on his heart.

Jack knew he had to get away quickly or the Tardis would orient on his position
while trying to reintegrate itself back together into one piece. ::The Doctor won't be able
to pass through the quantum barrier layer from real infinite time. He's not me.:: Harkness
thought gleefully of the Doctor. ::But time's a wasting! I have to go find them first.::
he decided, thinking of Amy Pond and Rory Williams.


Roy staggered from where he was crouched on the floor over their medical gear. "Amy!"
he shouted.

The Doctor glanced up sharply from the flight controls. "What about her, Mr. DeSoto?"

"I...can feel her. I think she's hit her head really hard." he answered.

"Is she conscious?" Johnny asked his partner, holding his shoulders in support.

"No." Roy gasped. "Not even close. And I'm.. Ughh.. *cough* I think,... I'm smelling natural

"Fossil fuels? So they've reached their destination. And it's back on Earth. It's the only planet
that can smell like petrol.  But which one?" the Timelord hissed to himself, stabbing at the
spinning, unsettling temporal measurement readouts.

Hank Stanley snapped his fingers as an idea came to him. "They were in a falling corridor...
How far can a rectangle bounce when it hits the ground, Doc?"

"Either right or left of center!" the Doctor exclaimed, catching on. "It won't fall and stick
itself upright on an end for that's nearly impossible, physics wise. Brilliant! Captain.
That narrows down where the Tardis needs to look. Earth-Trans 1976 or Earth-Cis 1976."

"Which one are we from then?" Marco asked.

Briefly, the Doctor looked up from his control fiddling in confusion at the question. "What?"

"Which Earth....because Amy knows us and we know her?"

Then he got it. "Oh, you're all from Earth-Meso. The one these two bounce distance
Earths from Cap's idea, parallels and mirrors."

"But aren't we from your Earth with its accurate history?" Mike Stoker wondered.

The Doctor realized how things sounded to his guests. "Well, But it doesn't
matter, not really. Thing's'll always feel true and right for anyone living, as long as they're
on their own Earth of origin, regardless." he tried to pass off convincingly. He failed.

"What aren't you telling us?" Johnny finally pegged.
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The Doctor minced with his bowtie around his neck and swallowed uncomfortably.
"It's a well known time law...that....people have to keep to their correct birth planet
universe or the whole planet, pastwards or futurewards or... the ones
we're headed to, will soon cease to exist."

Johnny's eyes narrowed in growing anger. "How soon, is soon?"

"One day? I'm guessing?  No one really knows for sure, because it's never happened
before now. Anyone who was effected if it has happened before, plus their whole world,
would have become extinct, leaving behind no record or account of it, for others to find."

"Why just 24 hours?" Chet Kelly gruffed.

The young Timelord took a stance, with a grip with both hands on the lapels
of his tweed jacket. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface
of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said,
“Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good,
and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,”
and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was
morning—the first day."  the Doctor spoke.

"That's the creation story from church I heard once when I was a kid." Chet
said. "It's a myth about God we created to explain how we came to be. Are
you saying the Creation's First Day is some kind of law of physics?"

"It is the First Law. He said so. I met Him personally." the Doctor whispered,
studying his feet. "And I believe Him. He's the one who told me which Tardis
was mine."

The gang became affronted and angry and everybody began to talk at once,
entirely convinced now that their host was utterly manic or crazy, to be
claiming to have met God.

"Maybe he's sick." Roy theorized, eyeing up the Doctor.  

"Oh, I don't doubt that at all, not since I lost Gallifrey." he mumbled at DeSoto.
"But that won't effect us accomplishing what we need to do. Are you with me?"

"Do we have a choice?" Gage said sarcastically.

"Always." said the Doctor, tenderly and a bit hurt. "I never keep travelling
companions against their will. When they want to go, I ...let them go." he said,
his lip trembling with remembered sadness.

"Who have you lost, who was a companion, whom you couldn't return back home?"
Hank asked, almost accusingly, feeling the tug of a captain's responsibility for his

The Doctor saw a brief flash of memory of blond hair, tears falling from black
masacara wet eyes, and hands pounding on an empty warehouse wall in a forever
empty world that had locked her up. Away from him... for all time.
He dropped his head and couldn't look at Stanley. "I paid the harshest penalty of all
for my sins. It was...entirely her choice, captain, to my absolutely ..horrified dismay."

Roy stepped forward in sympathy, reaching out, but not ...quite...touching the Doctor.
"I'm sorry. What was her name?"

"Rose Tyler. And I will never, ever, forget her."


Jack Harkness mumbled to himself, even as he stumbled over crushed city
and freshly dead bodies from Earth-trans, killed by a truly pan-global earthquake.
It was broad scope death, caused by all the underground fault lines of the planet
giving way all at once over the course of seven days. "I have not forgotten her,
Doctor. Her arrival here killed this world and all of its people, and you... Didn't.
Care!" he spat.

Back in the Tardis, the Doctor heard the telepathic rage Jack's temporal watch sent
to the Tardis. "But I did care. It tore me down to my bare roots." he whispered,
touching a control panel to feel the message more clearly.

"Not enough!" Jack shouted into his watch. "You left her all alone and just walked

Sucking in a breath, the Doctor lifted his hand away from the console to break the

DeSoto noticed. "You okay?"

"No. But I'm going to handle it." the Timelord told him. "I must. The issue is being

"By Jack?" Chet asked.

"Oh, yes." said the Doctor.  "It seems that if I want to save Amy and Rory,
...and Rose, I have to give myself up to him in the end, for their lives."

Captain Stanley was practical. "But how are we going to find him? You said you
couldn't reach where he was going. That he went into a world wide disaster of
some kind."

"A dead Earth, destroyed by earthquakes. Earth-trans."

"Weren't tremors happening on our Earth? Middle Earth or whatever you called it?"
Chet asked. "I thought you said Cardiff, England was gone."

"On Earth-Meso. Yes. But that was just a ripple, a mere shadow of the
planetary extinction event that's already coming, for breaking the First Law."

"So what can we do? We're just firefighters." Marco Lopez shrugged. "All of this
science fiction is almost outside of our ability to understand it."

"You don't have to. There's only one task facing you. Go save their lives."

The Tardis finally thunked down with a thud, jarring everybody's balance off of their feet.

"We're there." said the Timelord. "The Tardis says we're about fifty meters away from the
jettison room. The corridor segment should be located within a quarter mile of it. Use
your fire trucks. I can't go outside, but you can, since you're from a corollary Earth.  
Go save Rory and Amy. And I'll do what I can for Rose from here."


Jack Harkness aimed his wrist watch about like a GPS tracker and soon came up with
two blips on a map. "They're still alive. And that means there's still plenty of blood to
get from them." he chuckled gleefully. "She'll come for that. It's the smell of home,
all of that surging companion blood. Right, Rose? And any companion scent, she knows,
means the Doctor's near. She'll come running!"

Harkness found the Tardis corridor next to an office building fire in a smashed parking lot
in downtown Los Angeles. Broken sky scrapers leaned like a pile of sticks off of each
other, barely visible in the vast clouds of smoke rising from the destruction.  He
crawled inside and found Amy and Rory tucked safely away from any flames under
an angle of cracked and tented roundel wall.  They were both unconscious. Rory had
a hideously broken arm below the elbow. Amy had a large bruise on her forehead.

Harkness quickly felt for their pulses, "Good carotids, kids. You'll be fine." Jack set about
repositioning them carefully so they could breathe freely in the rarified air the Tardis
components were providing for them.  "I just need a pint each. That should be enough
paint for me."   He dragged out needles and two I.V. transfusion bags to fill.


After the firefighters had donned their coats, and had driven their vehicles out of the Tardis
Code 3 with their lights and sirens, the Doctor reluctantly moved over to a box recessed
into the Tardis console. He tapped the box lid once and its lid auto-opened. Inside, was
a test tube of cave water from a very special place.

The Tardis cloister bell began to sound.

The Doctor glanced around the ceiling and the walls of his time machine and
shouted. "I know this isn't the smartest idea, girl! But it has to be done! And
I can think of no better blood hound to track Jack than a weeping angel. He has
more life energy available as food for one, than any being ever born. I'm only
a close second."

The bell tolled louder.

"Too late! I've already made up my mind!" the Doctor yelled at the Tardis.
He popped open the tube's cork with a thumb and quickly poured the liquid
contents into one of his eyes. "One embryo weeping angel, down the hatch!"

Before he felt the angel bite down on his optic nerve, he slammed a hand
down onto the Tardis's telepathic circuit board. "Not so fast, dearie. Look
at what I'm sensing. Do you sense Jack, too? He's a virtual smorgasboard.
Go get him through the watch's TV. Jack's tuned in. I know you can do it."

The Doctor screamed horribly as the weeping angel dimensionally shifted
out of his retina and into the telepathic frequency connecting the Timelord
to Jack Harkness.  He felt his hearts falter under the strain, and finally snap.

Darkness descended.
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Captain Stanley and the gang roared out of the Tardis in the Engine and Squad 51 with their lights flashing and
sirens on full.  Hank squinted painfully the instant they were out in the open air.   ::There's no smog here?.:: Hank
noticed. ::That can't be right. ::

Next to him in the driver's seat, all thought Mike Stoker had of how they managed to fit back out the Tardis' door
fled, when the first sight of this Earth hit them. Both vehicles screeched to a gravelly halt on a fractured avenue,
stunned frozen at a view of disaster on a global scale.  Death and absolutely total destruction was brought into
sharp relief under the hideously clear, white sunlight.  Stoker sucked in a deep breath and tightened his grip on the
Ward's steering wheel, his eyes darting left and right. He tried to find anything even faintly familiar. Or anything alive.

Heavy clouds of dust blew, howling faintly in the utter silence of what was left of an entire city. . All of the sky
scrapers were shattered ruins, choked with perpetual fire or falling water from ancient, ruptured utility lines. Rubble,
and crushed, rusted out shells of cars, were strewn in every direction. Snapped off palm trees were splintered into
flattened shards and dried up brown. A fog bank of smoke and haze rolled continuously in a sharp, surprisingly cold
wind. Breaks in it revealed buckled faultlines fissuring deep into the ground. The firefighters began to spot huge,
debris covered crevasses every few yards. Some were still rumbling non-audible, body felt geological
subsonics that terrorized their nerves.

"Whoa.. No more driving!  Not over those." Stoker warned over their HT radioes, seeing the danger.

They stumbled out of the trucks and gathered instinctively into a protective circle with their backs turned towards
each other' as they tried to cope with earthquake destroyed surroundings on a massive scale. A sour, dry odor
that Station 51's crew already knew very intimately, invaded their sinuses. What they thought were bits of building
among the mummified plants and trees were actually dismembered skeletons laying partially covered in tattered
clothes by the thousands, amid the ruins.

"Madre De Dios!" Marco spoke in a whisper. "Is everybody dead?"  

Hank took in an analyzing breath of the stench."It's been more than a few days, guys. Or even a few months."
Cap spoke quietly to the gang, to calm them. "Far more."

"It's got to have been many years since it happened." Roy added. "These corpses are stripped. No flesh left." he
said, squatting down over one of them.

"I'm not seeing any insects. So what ... ate them?" Chet wondered, shivering.

"Whatever else that didn't die right away when these earthquakes came." Roy replied, squatting down to take a
closer look at the nearest one littering the ground at their feet. "Probably scavengers, or if it was really bad,

"Impossible... This is.... downtown L.A., Roy!" Gage gasped as he picked up a crushed and bent street sign that
declared, "R-deo Dr--v-".  "Don't tell me nobody's left!  Even in the biggest catastrophes we've known, there were
always survivors."
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"Does it feel like we'll find somebody to you?" DeSoto asked Gage seriously.

Johnny looked away, feeling his gut instinct telling him that the answer wasn't just no, but also a resounding
never again.

They were on a completely dead Earth. And it did not feel good at all to be standing on it.

Hank Stanley stepped between them to end the paramedics' continuing horrible debate.
"Doesn't matter. These dead are dead. And all of the rest of whatever happened here, happened a very long time
ago. It's time to protect and save the still living, okay? That's us and the four the Doctor said were here."

"What do you mean four, Cap? Isn't one of them the dude that was hiding out in the ship that tried to blow us
up?" Chet asked.

"Him, too." Hank barked. "We're not going to make any distinction between the good guys and bad guys.
Any life is a life to be saved. We're firefighters, not Timelords or whatever the Doctor thinks he is." The cloying odor
of decay and traces of natural gas from a violently disrupted La Brea Tarpits immediately made them cough when
the wind shifted and started blowing from directly downtown. "Masks!" Cap ordered. "Assume anything liquid is
toxic! Pace it off in teams of two. Fan out in a search in a 360 from here!" he shouted, swinging a brightly
colored fire axe down to bite and stick upright in the gray and white charred soil as a visual marker. "Stoker, you're
with me. The Doctor said the ejection room landed very near the Tardis corridor that Amy and Rory were in
when it broke off and....uh,.. fell to the ground. Keep on your radios and for God's sake, keep in line of sight! We're
all we've got!"


Jack Harkness splashed the last of the blood samples he had taken from Amy and Rory onto another line of rocks
pointing the way towards the Tardis. "Come on.. Find me." he murmured. "Can't be hard. This is the smell of
home, Rose. Where are you?" He spun about in place and eyed the horizon but saw nothing but gray stillness
and dust. An inner part of him goose pimpled in morbid attraction for what he could never have, being surrounded
by an entire world full of the dead. He finally started shouting after five minutes of impatient waiting. "Rose Tyler!
Can you hear me?  I've finally found a way here!  I've come to bring you back!"

Harkness' voice echoed and bounced around the ruined skyscrapers surrounding him. But only silence answered.

That, and the lonely wind.


Young Rose Tyler had found Harkness's irresistible alternate universe lure and had transmatted there.  How
could she not?  The smell of blood in this world meant people were around. The thought of a body scent being
used sickened Rose to her very core once she fathomed it. Grunting, she cast off the spent and smoking transmat
watch that she had carried for so many years. It had served its single use purpose for which she had fiercely
preserved its power. ::Am I still human?:: her mind whispered.  She had so very nearly forgotten herself.

Soon, she found them.
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"I can h-hardly remember my family any more. B-But I remember that I was once a Companion." Rose said, her
voice rough and cracking from disuse. She rushed over and crouched near where Amy and Rory lay unconscious
in the shattered Tardis corridor. "I have to help them. They still have their Doctor. I will not deny their experiences
with him." she sobbed, feeling their faces and necks and torsos, finally convincing herself that they were still truly
alive and breathing. It was so, so strange to see flush, pink skin on someone else other than herself after so many
centuries alone.  Rose Tyler grew alarmed over Rory's shocky pallor. She covered him with one of her tattered vestments,
made from scavenged building flags, to give him much increased warmth. She didn't know these newcomers' names, but
she still cared deeply and instinctively for the young man and the flame haired young woman all the same.  Her eye fell
on the pair of wedding rings they each wore on their fingers. Rose unexpectedly started crying. She immediately
understood that these two latest Tardis travelers, were husband and wife. It was a bond she thought she had craved
during the final seconds she felt with the Doctor through the warehouse wall before the permanent dimensional rift closed
down between them.

Every night following the cataclysmic armageddon of this universe's Earth, Tyler had been haunted over and over
again by the last interrupted conversation she had had with the Doctor on that lonely beach in Norway on regular Earth.
The Doctor had burned up all the power of his Tardis to reach her to have just another two minutes together. Then, Tyler
had still been absorbing the enormity of her sacrificial consequence when she told the Timelord that she loved him. He
had gotten a look in his eye that both warmed and wounded her as he opened his mouth to reply to her confession. ::I---::
was the last word she heard spoken from his lips. Even roiling now in her abandonment trauma, newly awakened because
of Jack's arrival, Rose would not go to Harkness face to face. Not yet. She remained completely hidden from his line of sight.
From what little she knew of the man, he could not be trusted when he was in one of his....moods. It usually happened
after he had died and then lived again. ::Brain scrambling. Happens to Timelords, too, when they regenerate.:: she
remembered more clearly than pictures.

A scuffle of feet on rocks startled Tyler. Rose shrank down behind a cracked roundel, jarred from its place on a corridor
wall. ::Jack found me anyway?!:: she quailed, cringing lower and lower.   Suddenly the shadow on the wall doubled,
and quadrupled and kept on dividing until six figures were outlined on the wall in the lurid sunlight. Tyler suddenly knew
them for what they were.  Rescuers!  She shot to her feet and went runnng forward. "They're over here! Hurry!" Rose
shouted, weeping and frantic. Her mind was racing. ::How did the Companions who were a married couple, get separated
from the Doctor?:: she wondered. ::Did something happen to the Tardis?::

At her feet, Amy Pond began to moan faintly. "Hey,.. you..." Rose urged, shaking one of the woman's shoulders firmly.
"Can you tell me who you are? Wake up!"  

Pond didn't open her eyes.  Rose left her and ran outside.

It was only then the Station 51 gang saw her frantic arm waving from the opening in the end of the Tardis corridor and they
rushed towards her with medical gear and rescue equipment.

'Hang on! Don't move!" Cap shouted at her as they carefully closed the distance between them from the torn road to her.
"Now show us the way."

Rose did, pointing out the safe places to step on the debris piles.

Soon they were there.

'So glad you're here. I don't know what else to do for them.." Rose sniffed, very worried as Roy and Johnny each took
a patient.

Roy quickly felt for a carotid on both. "They're alive. He's the worst of the two. Acute shock, Johnny. She's hypothermic."

Gage took off his turnout coat and passed it over to Rose. "Cover the girl with this. Try not to move her head and neck
when you do it. See that forehead injury on her?"

"Yes..." Tyler replied. "It's from when they fell after the bomb went off."
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Cap guided Rose to her feet once she was through with Amy, to give his men more room to work. "How did you
guess that, Miss--?"

"Tyler. Rose Tyler. It's because I know the both the Tardis and not so much about the creep who's here after me."

"Are you talking about Jack?" Mike asked as he got some oxygen set up for Amy and Rory off their engine's resuscitator.

"Who else? Captain Jack Harkness. Born in 5094, he linked up with the Doctor and I uninvited one day.  Under a Dalek
influence, I brought him to life, and I guess he stayed that way. Fell in battle once in 1892 but didn't die. Guess
he's been a thorn in the Doctor's side ever since..." she broke off, suddenly weak kneed. "How long has it been?"

"How long has what been?" Hank asked.

"How long have I been trapped on this side of the wall?" Rose asked, getting suddenly wobbly. She attempted to sit
down. "I can't ...remember that." she said, looking up in distress.

Chet thought she was light headed and sat down with her, holding her shoulders. "Easy, there. I got you. Just get
your breath back a little. You're safe now."

"Okay.." she sobbed, trying not to panic. "Am I? Am I really?"

"You're not trapped, Rose." Roy tried to explain to her as he rushed through examining Rory and Amy. "The way out is
right over there. We just came through it. Don't you remember?" He turned to Gage. "We might need to start
an I.V. on her, too."

"I'll get one ready." Gage nodded.

Tyler's eyes cleared a little from their glazed look. "No, you don't understand. I'm from another place. Another time.
Another Earth."

"Oh. We sort of know about that." Kelly nodded, not smiling, but fearful. "The Doctor explained part of it to us before we
came out here to find Amy and Rory."

At the sound of their names, Rose closed her eyes and smiled. "Ah, still from good ol' England and Wales you
choose." she sighed, about the Doctor's source place for his companionship choices.

"What?" Chet asked, only half hearing her.

"Nothing. Where is he, Mr. Kelly?" she asked, reading Chet's name tag. "Sorry. I'm feeling better now. Just a little hungry.
There's been no more food left for the longest time."

Roy frowned at that. He hadn't seen anything edible outside since he arrived. His attention was diverted when Amy Pond
reacted faintly to the pressure he put on her scalp wound to control some bleeding. "Amy? It's Roy. Lie still. You've got a
cut on your forehead and a possible concussion."

"R--?" she moaned, unable to open her eyes.

"He's fine." Gage said loud enough for her to hear him as he firmly splinted Williams fractured lower arm. "Nothing
major that a little intravenous fluid won't fix. You worry about yourself now. Do you know where we are and what

Pond finally growled. "Nowhere good because Jack happened! " She batted feebly at his hands, but the effort soon wore
her out. "So cold.." she shivered.

"We can fix that." DeSoto promised. "Here's some oxygen. Breathe normally."  Then Roy nodded at Stoker to put
on the non-rebreather mask.  "Cap, we'll be ready for two stokes in a couple of minutes. We're not finding any
spinal problems on these two."

"Mike, Marco. Get them set. And keep an eye out for our mysterious friend, too."

"Yes, do that." said Roy. "I don't think we want him in here." he said, pointing to two puncture wounds that
looked for all the world like needle marks in the inside bend of the elbow on their patients' arms. "Looks like he
either drew samples or injected something into Amy and Rory's circulatory systems before we got here."

Tyler spoke up, still shivering heavily inside the shelter of Chet's fire jacket. "They're all right that way. They're taps
for blood. Jack knew I'd be scanning for fresh signs of living human beings with my watch----"  she broke off at a noise.

A slow, deep sonorous bell-like chime began to echo in the distance. "Oh, no.."  Rose shot to her feet, driven by a
familiar fear.  And a little rage. The sounds got louder.  

"That's the cloister bell again?" Cap wondered. "What now?"

"It can only mean one thing. More trouble!" Tyler frowned. "Everybody stay here!" she shouted.

"Wait!" Chet yelled after her.

"Let her go, Chet. The worst first." Cap hissed, waving a glove towards the still forms of Amy and Rory.
"Rose won't go far. There's nowhere else to go."
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Rose Tyler heard him before she saw him.  

"Rose Tyler." Jack's voice came softly, and with genuine relief and affection.

Tyler whirled in place on the shattered street to face him. He stood about twenty feet away and the bloody i.v. bags
he had drained were still in one hand.  Jack Harkness's long gray, wool, flight captain's trench coat was too clean for
the pulverized, dessicated surroundings that seemed somehow to be a vile testament to how this world had died.

"Why?!" she demanded of the immortal man. "Amy and Rory have never harmed you."

"A litte blood donation's nothing." Jack shrugged. "I needed a calling card so we could meet up."

"They were hurt and needed every drop of their blood to cope with their injuries, Jack." Tyler spat.

"So glad you remember my name. It's been five centuries after all. I'm surprised you've been able to hold it all
together for this long." Harkness quipped mildly, grinning with a show of wide white teeth and dimples. "A mere blink.
Believe me. I know how fast...or how slow.. time flies." he groaned with the memory of hundreds of very personal
physical deaths that he had lived through.

"Just a sec.." Rose murmured, cocking her head in incomprehension, holding up a finger. "Five hundred years?  
How come I'm not like one of--" she gestured vaguely at the pile of skeletons serving as this world's forever eternal
lawn ornaments. "How come I'm still young.. and not starving?!" she demanded of him. "There's been nothing to eat!"

The overly handsome, sandy haired Jack Harkness grinned and spread out his hands wide and indicated the landscape.
"None of this effected you, Rose, because these are consequences of a paradox and you are the paradox. Didn't the
Doctor warn you of that kind of thing before you decided to let go of that gateway handle?"

"I didn't decide to maroon myself!" Rose roared at him, her eyes watering in sadness and pain. "My fingers....slipped."

"And off you went my poor, dear, suffering, Rose Tyler." Jack soothed, turning his arms into a welcoming embrace to
hold her. "Please don't be mad. The Doctor couldn't rescue you from your fate. But I can. Because of my knack.
I can go anywhere in time, if I'm borrowing a Tardis, and not destroy where I've been for exactly one day."

Rose broke down and hugged him, crying out blindly, and in whole body shuddering gasps of relief.
"Oh, Jack. Am I truly still alive? Why do I feel s-so dead inside."

"I wish I knew." Harkness whispered, wondering what that kind of death felt like.

Tyler flinched when the distant cloister bell seemed to ring loudly inside of her skull as the Tardis re-established
telepathic contact with her through Jack's watch.  "The cloister bell! Something's terribly wrong, Jack. We have to get
back to the Tardis." she sniffled, distraught. "Right now!  She wouldn't be reaching out if everything was fine."

"Shhh. It's all going to be okay. I've only just found out that the Doctor walked away into the next phase of
his life and and didn't tell anyone about what happened to you. Can you ever forgive me that I took so long to
get you?" Jack whispered into her dusty hair.

She was more than soul deep tired. So Rose Tyler just sighed wetly and closed infinitely heavy eyelids as she
rested her chin on top of Jack's strong shoulder, finally resting.  Her weight in his arms seemed lighter than
a feather. "I want to be back so badly, Jack." she whimpered, giving up the fight.

"I know. You will be. Very soon. That's it. Sleep." Harkness said, sweeping her off of her scarred, bare feet
and into his arms. "I'll carry you home..."
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The gang reversed the engine and the squad's courses back up along their own tire tracks once Amy and
Rory's stokes were placed on top of the squad's roof racks and the Ward's hose bed. Stoker was not surprised
when the Tardis doors automatically opened up and enveloped them both at the same time to admit them
back into her interior spaces.  There was a loud pair of thuds as the empty Tardis corridor and the jettison room
were antigravity tractor retrieved from the landscape and re-absorbed back into the Tardis infrastructure.

Cap jumped down from the engine cab, still scratching his head over why the cloister alarm of the ship was
still sounding. There was no sign of fire. Amy Pond, in her half conscious state, seem to grow more and more
agitated while being exposed to it. Roy had his hands full keep her strapped down in the stretcher basket
once she was off loaded.

The paramedics continued their medical work while the others gathered around Hank.

"That's odd." said Cap. "The Doctor's friends are safely back. So where's our host? He was worried worse
than sick about them before we left."

"Why is the power off in here?" Mike Stoker wondered. "It's so dark."  

"Doesn't seem to be effecting the cloister bell." Chet shared. "It's still at a steady clang."

Puzzled, the gang pulled out their flashlights and started looking around.

"Doctor?!" Cap called out into the dimness. Then he spotted a pair of large shoed feet and a single limp, pale
hand curled palm up on the floor next to the Tardis console. "Oh, sh*t. Marco, Chet, Stoker, get over
here. Man down." he said quietly, hurrying forward. "Roy! Johnny! The Doctor's over here. He's unconscious!"

Hank slipped in a puddle of water that seemed to have come from a curious stone vial that lay broken open
nearby on the floor grilling, but Cap paid it no mind as he regained his balance enough to crouch down
by the Doctor's slack head.

They rolled him over onto his back. Cap opened an airway and listened for any sign of breathing. There
was none. "I was afraid of that."  He quickly filled the Doctor's lungs with a couple of breaths of his own
while Mike Stoker felt around Hank's face and hands to check for a pulse. "I can't find it." the engineer said
after a few long seconds.

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"Try again. We don't want to hurt him." Hank spoke softly, trying not to alarm Amy Pond who was very
groggy and almost awake and certainly well within ear shot.

Stoker dug nimble fingers again into a neck groove. "There's nothing here, Cap." he reaffirmed.

"Okay. Marco. Start in. Brisk and even. Not too deep." Stanley ordered.  "He's not a big man."

Lopez scrambled over on his hands and knees, with a pair of clothing shears in this teeth. Stoker snatched
them out of his mouth and cut away the Doctor's bow tie and shirt to bare his chest area around the C.P.R.
Lopez started delivering. Cloth parted beneath Marco's laced fingers, revealing cool, clammy skin to the

"Cap?!" Johnny called out in the pitch black.

"We need absolutely everything, Johnny. Now." Hank answered evenly, bending down to reposition the
Doctor's head farther back to get in even more air. It seemed to take everything he had in his lungs to
get even the tiniest amount of chest rise under his monitoring hand. "Either I'm getting distension into
his stomach or he's got a lung capacity the size of King Kong in there." he complained. "Even with a good

"I'll get suction ready." Gage promised, working fast to prep cardiac stimulants and a bolus of bicarb.

Stanley heard the sound of two stokes being dragged closer to where he and the others were working on
the Doctor's resuscitation. Then a green light chased away the shadows as Roy DeSoto flipped open the
lid of the Tetronix datascope. The gang could finally see what they were doing. "I'll grab a paddle read."
Roy told the others. "Keep going. Don't stop. Cap, can you switch to an ambu yet?" he asked Stanley who
was still giving breaths, mouth to mouth, to the Timelord. "Might solve the volume issue."

"Yeah." Cap said, grabbing the squeeze bag and mask out of the trauma kit Chet Kelly just flipped open.
"Kelly, hook up the O2, would you, pal?"

"On it." the curly haired fireman replied, complying.

Roy gelled up the plates on the defibrillator paddles and placed them in framing position. All eyes lifted
to the monitor screen.  DeSoto was in analyze mode, his concentration absolute. "There."

"It's a V-fib.. I think." Johnny said, tapping the trace in light they were seeing. "But it's fuzzy, like it
was doubled up or something. Hang on, might be a calibration problem." he told them. He fiddled
quickly with the yellow glowing cardiac sync button.  "Okay, try now." he said to DeSoto, who contacted
skin again around Marco's pumping arms. Johnny blew out a frustrated sigh. "Still duplicating. What the

"But it is V-fib, Johnny. If you read just one of those traces, that's what it says."

"Yeah." Gage agreed, flicking air out of an epinephrine syringe to make it ready for use. "It does."

"I'm shocking based on that alone." Roy decided.

"We've got nothing to lose." Hank said. "He's already dead."

Beside them, Amy Pond reacted vocally, still half conscious. She moaned in fright, without words.
Her eyes fluttered as if she were fighting to wake up.

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5....." Marco counted out.  Cap hissed in a breath of pure oxygen on the bag. "This
is working better, Roy."

"Glad to hear it. Wish this was... Charging... 100,...200,...300,.....400 watt seconds.." DeSoto said.

"Clear!" Johnny warned.

Everybody lifted hands off of the Doctor. Roy delivered their first countershock firmly. He immediately
reapplied the paddles to get another reading. "...You're kidding.  Nothing again but that wavering
malfunction trace artifact."

"I see it." Johnny affirmed. "Weird.. Want another charge?"

Right then, Amy Pond sucked in a breath between her teeth and snapped partially awake. "Two..he's
got two.. Work for two.." she mumbled weakily..

"What?" Chet asked her, leaning close to her mouth.

She cried out desperately, but just gurgled, before blacking out again.

"Amy...Amy!" Chet shouted at her, shaking her arm. "Can you hear me? Say it again for us. Amy?"

But she had fallen unconscious once again.

"Damn.. I'll just bet whatever she was trying to say was important.." Kelly grunted.

Johnny's eyebrows shot up. "Wait a minute! I finally remembered! Not human! He did say that, Roy!
What impression did you get just now from Amy? Anything? Use your connection!"

Roy paused in his aid, focusing inwardly. Finally he spoke. "...two hearts?" he guessed.

"Where?" Johnny said, looking down in discovery at the Doctor's chest.
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DeSoto jabbed a finger with surety. "There and there. Parallel to each other."

Cap shouted. "Modify the C.P.R., Kelly you take the right side, Lopez, slide over to the left."

"Going opposite or at the same time?"  Chet wondered, moving quickly to take his shoulders over
his hands position.

"I don't know. Just start in! I guess it wouldn't matter, they're two separate blood pumping muscles."
Gage complained in high nervous energy. "It would make sense if they could work independently."

Roy began to smile about a minute into their change of tactics. "The traces are getting more coarse.
Variable V-fib now. Not so flat."

"That's good." Cap said. "His chemistry in there's starting to work again. Are you going to use any

Both Roy and Johnny glared at him. "Are you crazy?! He's an alien!" Gage sputtered.

"We don't want to poison him on top of everything else going wrong." Roy agreed.

"Sorry." Hank backtracked, pushing in another breath with the bag around Marco and Chet's double time
compressions. "Just do something! Don't just sit there!" Cap shot back.

"Alternate!" DeSoto ordered Kelly and Lopez. "Left, right, left, right, this time. I'll shock through his chest
from the sides through his ribcage walls underneath his arms. Get ready to pull away!" he warned.

Kelly and Marco found their tempo, bobbing up and down in opposition to each other's compressions
over each heart location above the Doctor's nipples.  "Come on, Doctor. We figured your weirdness out.
Come on! Fight for it!!" Gage urged their dying patient, close to his ear.

The firefighters didn't even look up as the Tardis doors opened to admit Jack Harkness and Rose Tyler.
The doors were still set on friend recognition mode. She was still cuddled, exhausted, in the cradle of
his arms.

The immortal man woke Tyler up with a soft tap to her cheek and let her regain her feet to take in
the situation with him.  "He's ...actually dead?!" Jack asked the room at large in full horror at
the reversal of what had often been true during Harkness and the Doctor's adventures together.

"Is he.. my Doctor?  He looks so.... terribly young.." Rose whispered, in shock, moving
to kneel beside him. She sat close by to where they were working, without touching him. "Jack, please
tell me that he didn't die before I got back. I really, really need to hear something good." she sobbed
in a little girl's voice through the grime on her face.  "Jack?"

Harkness's eyes were being blinded by tears. "I didn't know.. I didn't want this.." he pleaded, watching
the Doctor's death scene unfold.

Roy DeSoto called the shot. "This is as coarse as we're going to get with it. Johnny, go!"

Again Gage counted out the increasing power as the Datascope paddles recharged to top energy level.
"100, 200, 300,....4!"

"Clear!" DeSoto yelled. He shifted the paddles to the armpits so their plates were lined up
horizontally, facing each other in line with the Doctor's two hearts. "Shocking!"

Jolt!   A bright blue spark erupted from the Doctor's mouth, followed by a thin, glowing yellow trail
of energy fire. Then it slowly pulled back inside of his lips as if it didn't want to leave.

At the same second, the Tardis cloister bell ceased in mid-gong into silence.

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Following the defib's electrical delivery, the Tardis internal lights popped back on all at once and
surged into blinding brightness, just as the Timelord opened his eyes and sucked in a monstrous,
tortured breath of his own.

"He's alive!" Rose Tyler celebrated, tears streaming down her face. She reached over, clutching
one of his hands into a tight grip on her dusty lap.

Stoker dug the fingers of two hands to the Doctor's neck on both sides. "Pulses on both." he

Quickly over getting startled by the Doctor's sudden return to consciousness, Cap placed the mask
of the ambu bag back over his nose and mouth to keep up a flow of oxygen. "Easy, Doctor. Do
that again."

"...wh*ttt?..." the young old alien said in a half gurgled wheeze, his face still purplish blue.

"Breathe!" Hank roared at him.

The Doctor grunted, turning colors, his eyes started unfocusing.

"Not good enough." Roy told him, reaching over with a hand to help Cap push in a deep bagful of
oxygen into the Doctor's lungs. Three hands worth finally did the trick and the Doctor at last got
enough ventilation to work with. His breathing reflex kicked into normal and active.

Gasping, he jerked upright to a sitting position, coughing and grabbing his chest in a scramble
of terror. "Dead!  I was dead..  I was..."

"Not anymore." Harkness said with glee.

"You never were to me." Tyler smiled.

The paramedics and Station 51's firefighters celebrated his return to life with a few fist pumps
in the air, before they circled tightly around him to be sure that he stayed that way.


It was a few minutes later.  At his insistence, the firefighters were sent away to a different
room to afford the Doctor a little privacy with his old companions. Amy and Rory were safely
sleeping in the Tardis Zero Room, being watched by her carefully. They had already been healed.

The Doctor had been seated upright in a chair to rest while he recovered. The Timelord was fairly
chatty. "She turned back on because she could sense telepathically that I hadn't left her." he grinned
as he shared his story with the firefighters. But then his gaze fell on Rose Tyler. The irony of his
previous words weren't lost on him. "Rose Tyler... Is that really you?" he whispered, a tear glistening
from the corner of his eye.

Rose smiled, eyes watering. "In the flesh. I'm still full of that stuff. It was sorely lacking in the other
place." She drew up his hand to her cheek.

"...oh, wow..." he murmured, overwhelmed.

"I'm really here, Doctor." she whispered, eyes full.

"By my side.." he said weakily, smiling. "Oh, Rose.. I am so very sorry I never tried to come get you."
he beamed, his hearts aching with remorse.

"Don't be. I was not harmed. Well, not physically anyway, according to Jack. All's well that ends well.
That world's back. I saw it on the Tardis monitor. And no one has died just because I visited there." she
said proudly.  "The only two hurt are Amy and R--" she broke off, realizing what it was that she had
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The Doctor's memory of their hijacking suddenly returned full force. Tyler caught wind of his anger first
and just barely managed to keep the Doctor in his chair when he verbally confronted Harkness.

"Why did you do it, Jack? Why?!  You could have killed them in the process! You could have come to me
first, to explain your plan about rescuing Rose. I'm sure the Williamses would have agreed to be blood
letted freely. But you crossed the line of no return when you set off that bomb in my Tardis. You hurt my
companions, your own friends, purposely!" he gasped.  He didn't fight the nasal cannula he still wore under
his nostrils. In fact, the panting Timelord used its pure oxygen source to steady himself mentally. "What
have you got to say for yourself?!"

"Doctor I.. I lost everyone at Torchwood. They...all died and it was entirely my fault.." his voice broke, his
lower lip quivering. "I was so sick, I was still reeling from the hundreds of times the pirates, whose ship
you abandoned me on, killed me out of experimental curiosity. My brain didn't get all back into one piece,
until I had Rose Tyler safe and in my arms. Can't you see what happened to me?"

The Doctor was cold, in voice and in body. "No. I don't think I ever will, Jack."

"This is all your fault, Doctor. You abandoned Rose. You abandoned me. Why did you leave me behind?"

"Because I was afraid of you, Jack. A man who can't die isn't natural. In most cultures a being like you is
considered pure evil. I am from one of those."

"You made yourself my judge?! What gave you the right?!" Harkness shouted angrily.

"It was my duty to act to, at least, protect myself and my companions from you.  Because I knew your
sense of humanity and morality would grow thinner and weaker as time went on." the Doctor said quietly,
his tired eyes burning with intensity. "Just look at what happened today. What I feared back then has

"I could have killed you, Doctor. But I didn't. That bomb could have, just as easily, been placed in the Eye
Of Harmony, in the Tardis's power source. All I needed was a Tardis' shell to reach Rose. I didn't need

"But you needed those firefighters and someone to fly them there, and my companions' blood as bait.
I think we're done here, Harkness. Ever grateful you restored Rose to me. We have a lot to talk about in
future, she and I. But you're leaving, one way or another." the Doctor promised, lowering his head in a
dangerous stare.

"You can't threaten me." Jack scoffed. "I can't be killed off."

"Oh, know well that I can end you, Jack. I finally figured out how."

"With what?" Harkness laughed.

The Doctor suddenly lifted two trembling fingers to his lips and blew out a sharp whistle, like calling
a dog.
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Jack Harkness let loose a cry of pain when something powerful, stony and hideous leaped into life
from the face of his transmat watch and landed on the deck next to him. A full sized, menacing, snarling
angel sculpture was suddenly looming over Jack. Harkness froze in place instinctively and quickly, he
decided not to blink. His eyes were now locked with its. "Why are you doing this to me, Doctor?"

"You've overstayed your welcome. I'm showing you the door." The Timelord continued his world weary
speech, a lesson that he was very sad to give. "You see, a weeping angel feeds on the energy of life by
sending its victims back into time to relive the rest of their displaced lifetimes in the past, until they die.
Then it moves on. But you, it can send back the length of your life so far, to exactly when you were born,
if it's hungry enough." the Timelord said.

"But my life is infinitely long, Doctor."

"Exactly. Then you better not let it touch you.  Your immortality will end if you're sent back in time
eons before your actual, physical birth.  I'm pretty sure your knack will abandon you if you travel to
any time before your own existence."

"How did you figure that one out?" said Jack, feeling a drip of sweat tracing down his forehead,
threatening to cause an eye blink with its stinging salt.

"Because you've never done it. And what's more tempting than anything than to have a chance to tamper
with history itself with a personality like yours?" the Doctor got up and moved, with the help of Rose, over to
the main Tardis door controls. He activated the switch which opened them. "Just go. Before I change my mind.
I never want to see you again, Jack Harkness."

The immortal man from 1926 wearing a flight captain's wool trench coat finally backed away, feeling the steps
with the backs of his boots as he retreated. When he was half way there, the Timelord spoke again. "Ah, ah ah!
The watch. If you want a rat's chance in H*ll of escaping this charming, starving baby angel, drop it now. It
can use anything like a working TV like a game of hopscotch, didn't you know?"

The heavy black faced transmat device in the thick leather wrist band thunked with a hollow thud onto
the metal grilling of the floor. The Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to magnetically grapple hook it into
his hand.  He waved bye bye fingers. Once.

The Tardis doors closed when he had gone and the second they did, the angel broke free of the prey
lock on it and plunged through a last remaining dimensional crack remaining unsealed between
them, and after Jack.

Rose jumped for the dematerialization toggle and activated it.

Outside, on Earth-trans, Jack Harkness leaped foward around the weeping angel pursuing him, and
got a grip onto the Tardis before it disappeared. The life predator reached out with frightening speed
and almost touched him, when the time machine shifted into the travelling vortex.

Laughing, Jack Harkness let go of his final deliverance ride with the Doctor, and fell away into the
maelstrom of time, heading for the future.
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It was quiet in the Tardis two days later.

Rose Tyler leaned into the Doctor's arm and smiled. "What do you mean they couldn't remember?"

"Those firemen, Amy, Rory..." the Doctor elaborated. "Their memories of our little adventure are
all gone. How are yours, by the way?" he asked, poking her on the nose with an affectionate finger.

Rose screwed up her face. "Still there, a bit. But fading. So what happens now? Didn't we trick fate
or something equally nasty, and have to pay the price?"

"No, because we're not in an alternate universe and we're no longer breaking the First Law. He's quite
forgiving, you know. I was counting on that in a big way." the young Timelord murmured seriously as
he flipped switches and buttons until the Tardis was in hover mode above Carson California, 1976, on

"Hmm? That's America."

"Right first guess." the Doctor beamed.

"Why are we here?" Tyler wondered, studying the view on the Tardis monitor that the Doctor had
called up. It was showing a squat brick building with black rafters and a white front garage door.
Dimly, through the smog smeared windows, she could see two somethings shaded red and silver
through the glass.

"I want to see if they're safely back to their own lives and adventures." he replied.
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"See who safely back?" Rose asked, genuinely puzzled.

"The Station 51 gang. The firemen paramedics who saved my life, and Amy's and Rory's?" he dangled.

Rose just shook her head which the Doctor mirrored in a like frowning gesture. "Oh, never mind.
No longer important. Different strokes for different folks. Fancy a swim?" he invited.

"Oh, in the pool?" chortled Rose.

"Yes, Quite. With Amy and Rory. They're cooking up something called a BBQ afterwards. Are you coming?"

"In a heartsbeat." Tyler grinned happily.

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