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23 August 2007 @ 06:13 am
Treasures of Lost Gallifrey: Chapter 3  
Title: Treasures of Lost Gallifrey
Rating: This chapter, G; later almost certainly PG or R
Characters: Nine, Jack, Rose (later, Nine/Jack with lots of angst)
Spoilers: None, really
Chapter: 3/?
Disclaimer: Characters and settings belong to the Beeb. I make no claim to them. I’m just here to have fun.

Summary: The Doctor, Jack, and Rose stop in a trade and resort town. During a shopping expedition, the Doctor finds something extraordinary, something rare, something that makes him very, very angry....

Comments: No comments at the moment except to say that one of the reasons it's taken me a couple of days to post this bit is that I've been writing the end of the story even as I write the middle part. Boy, am I enjoying writing that ending.... In the meanwhile, enjoy the build-up. --Comments are love. Enjoy!

Crossposted to dwfiction and A Teaspoon and an Open Mind

Chapter One: The Merchant's Wares
Chapter Two: Movement



Chapter Three: The Hunt

When Mischo was done, she hoisted her pack over her shoulder and turned to go. They let the woman pass between them, through the stall and out into the crowd. Jack, Rose and the Doctor followed.

They followed her for the next two hours. She went from stall to stall, making deals with local merchants. At the fourth stall--filled with colorful bolts of fabric and pillows of every size and shape--she stopped merely to chat with the four-armed humanoid tradesman, not to do business. Jack couldn't hear the conversation. She then handed her bag to the merchant, and ducked into a back chamber of the tent.

This was bad. They couldn't let her out of their sight. Jack and the Doctor exchanged a wordless glance: we've got to split up. The Doctor nodded. Jack took off.

Out of the stall, he turned the corner and dove between the curtains that covered the space between the stall he'd been in and the one directly behind it. He saw no one, but he also saw one curtain further down the fabric corridor billow and relax. He ran toward it, pulled it aside, and found himself in the back of a fruit stand. Mischa was nowhere to be seen.

###

The three of them sat in a cafe across from the stall where Mischa had disappeared, each munching on a skewer of spiced meat and sharing a large bowl of roasted vegetables drenched in a salty marinade. It was an easy way to monitor the stall if she decided to return--that was Jack's justification anyway--and they were all famished.

"While you were off chasing Mischa, we questioned the merchant," the Doctor said. "Seems this Mischa goes by several names. And the bag she left was empty."

"That leaves us with no leads," Jack said. So much for the surveillance, for all the good it would do them.

"Not exactly," the Doctor said, and bit a small chunk of meat off his skewer. When he was done chewing--he chews with distinction, Jack thought, just like everything else he does--he went on. "I scanned the bag. It had traces of Vortex particles, which confirms we're on the right track. But it also contains exhaust particles, and not just any exhaust particles: retin exhaust."

Jack picked up the thread immediately. "But you only get retin exhaust off of retinon drives," Jack said. He figured it out as he spoke, and felt his own blood beginning to pump with excitement. "That means Mischa's got a ship, a transport, an old one if it's got a retinon drive." Jack relished the thought of getting to see one of those babies up close.

"What's a retinon drive?" Rose asked. Jack couldn't help but sympathize. Every now and then he and the Doctor just sort of took off without her conversationally, not because they meant to, but because they simply had more experience than she did. He knew she'd catch up in time. In the meanwhile, the Doctor was explaining.

"Retinon drives were the hotrod engines of the last years of the Sargain Imperium. They were the muscle cars of their time. But like muscle cars they were fuel guzzlers, and they left behind a lot of exhaust and fumes. After a while, they went out of vogue in favor of more efficient engines. But there are collectors who still keep them, and apparently this Mischa is one of them."

"So where ever we find a ship with a retinon drive..." Rose began.

"We find Mischa," Jack finished.

###


The smell, Jack thought, was unparalleled. If the market had smelled sweet and sharp and heady, the Palla City space port was its exact opposite: sour, acrid, and poisonous. The stench of fuel was overwhelming. And they were still inside the blocky, unadorned concrete terminal. The place was prison-like, and Jack wondered how such a thriving tourist destination could have such an industrial port.

"This is the working port," the Doctor said. "Nothing needed here but flat floors to roll pallets of goods across."

Jack and the Doctor turned toward the exit to the tarmac, when Rose asked, "Where are you going?"

"We're going to find the ship," the Doctor said.

"We could, you know, ask," Rose said, cocking a thumb toward a counter. "You said every ship had to register."

Jack and the Doctor looked at her blankly.

"You're such men," she said, "never asking for directions."

She turned away from them and flounced over to the registration desk. Jack couldn't help but admire the view. The girl moved with such a bouncy grace. He glanced at the Doctor, who watched Rose with an altogether different expression: a half smile settled on his lips, but a faraway look in his blue eyes. Jack was going to have to do something about the two of them at some point.

After Jack had met the Doctor and Rose, and they'd flown off together in the TARDIS, he'd been pretty certain that one or both of them would find their way into his bed--with his assistance--fairly soon. What he hadn't counted on was the fact that though they were both attracted to him, they were head-over-heels for each other. This made them single-minded and altogether far more attractive than he'd anticipated. And the truth was, he was kind of in love with them both: smart, brave, principled people with a taste for adventure not to mention easy on the eyes. He'd never spent quite so much time just admiring people rather than physically expressing admiration. And boy, did he want to express himself.

But the Doctor, Jack soon discovered, had a level of survivor's guilt that kept him from following his desires where Rose was concerned. And Rose, he discovered, though assertive and cheeky, wasn't going to make the first move. Jack understood what she understood: that part of the Doctor's healing process would be to make a move on his own behalf, to let himself act on his emotions and desires and to believe he was worthy of what he received in return. Jack had a sense that the process had begun as he'd watched the two of them dance in the console room that first night he was aboard the TARDIS. A light seemed to infuse the Doctor that night, a light that had burned brightly until they came to Palla City.

Jack knew that the only way to revive that light was to see this thing through, and to make sure at the end of it, that the Doctor got some sort of affirmation that he'd done good, he'd done right, he was worthy of his people's legacy, and of the love that both Jack and Rose felt for him.

Rose came back with a scrap of flimsy metal. "The woman gave me this. Said it was the location of the ship we're looking for." She handed the note to the Doctor, and Jack looked over his shoulder at it. It was printed with an alien script he couldn't read.

Apparently, the Doctor could. He turned and headed for the tarmac without a word.
 
 
 
nina_dS: DW Rose nosenina_ds on August 23rd, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
"You're such men," she said, "never asking for directions."

I love that! Still intrigued and looking forward to more.
scarlett_key: Nine scruffyscarlett_key on August 24th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
:: chuckle ::

Glad you're enjoying it!
Sugarjovialien on August 24th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)
Ooo still good! More more!!!
Sugarjovialien on August 24th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
PS hope you don't mind if I friend you - I want to make sure I don't miss any parts!
scarlett_keyscarlett_key on August 24th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm delighted that you friended me, absolutely! I'm glad you're diggin' the story!
travels_in_time: DW--Jack bigger on insidetravels_in_time on August 25th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
Enjoying this--looking forward to more!
scarlett_key: DrWho: Jack Behind Youscarlett_key on August 25th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
partofthequeue2: Jack Harknesspartofthequeue2 on August 25th, 2007 11:07 am (UTC)
I've just read the first 3 chapters, and I'm really enjoying this, I like the way you write Jack, a bit of a flirt, but not outrageous.
Can't wait for the next chapter!
scarlett_key: Nine scruffyscarlett_key on August 25th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks!
Asitha: Mr. Coolasitha on August 27th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Just got done reading all three chapters and I have to say that I have lots of love for it. I'm really looking forward the Jack/Nine angst (though secretly I am an OT3 shipper, because it's *so there*)! Can't wait for the next chapter ^_^
scarlett_key: Nine scruffyscarlett_key on August 27th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
Glad you're enjoying it. Chapter four is actually live now; it went up yesterday. You can find it here.