Summary- Regeneration takes the pieces of you and turns them into something else. But what if a part of you didn't want to leave. What if your old self didn't agree with what you were doing? What if the animal within got out?
The Darkness Within Prologue (PG13)
The Darkness Within 1 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 2 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 3 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 4 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 5 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 6 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 7 (PG 13)
“Jack?” Gwen’s voice was her usual blend of unease and confidence that entranced Jack as she poked her head into his office. She was sure of herself, but unsure if she was welcome and it made him smile as he spun his chair to face her.
“Yeah.” He leaned his hands on his hips and regarded her over his booted feet, which he propped on the desk.
Gwen bit her lip and inclined her head, her hair swinging to half cover her face. “This Doctor, you know ‘im?”
Jack sighed. He’d known this was coming. In the few hours that the Doctor had re-entered his existence he had spun Jack’s world on its axis—again. In truth Jack wasn’t surprised that his team wanted to know about the unexpected and, in some cases, unwelcome visitor.
He glanced out of his office to see Owen glowering murderously at the Doctor who had usurped Toshiko’s hero worship…Oh, and his desk.
He rubbed his hand across his face. “Honest, Gwen, I don’t know. I thought I did but he’s so different and yet the same. It’s like he’s changed but not and I can’t put my finger on it.”
Gwen perched on the edge of the desk. “The thing is, Jack, he doesn’t seem particularly stable. I mean one second he’s laughing and the next he has Owen by the throat.”
Jack managed a grin. “Something we’ve all wanted to do at one time.”
Gwen nodded in amusement but quickly sobered. “Can we trust him?”
“Yes.” The reply was immediate and Gwen blinked in surprise at the rapidity of his response.
Jack explained. “The Doctor is a force for good in this universe; his methods are a little…odd, maybe. But I’ve seen him save planets and civilisations at great cost to himself. He won’t destroy the world or the universe.”
Gwen watched him for a moment before saying softly. “You don’t really believe that.”
Jack swallowed hard, not sure he liked someone being able to read him so well. “I used to,” he admitted. “You gotta understand, Gwen, the Doc and Rose were like soul mates. Two sides of the same coin.”
“I did some checking up on Rose Tyler,” Gwen interjected sheepishly. “The records show she was only a teenager, maybe 21 now.”
“22,” Jack amended. “She lost a year travelling with the Doctor. Space time…” he waved a hand. “Never mind.”
“She’s so young and he’s so old. 900 odd, Jack, and an alien. How can they be soul mates?”
Jack sighed again and placed his hands behind his head, watching memories play against his eyelids. “You had to see them together. For an innocent girl—well, as innocent as any teen in the twenty-first century could be—and a Time Lord it worked.” He gave a bemused bark of laughter at the image of a man with a heavy leather jacket and big ears being wrapped around the finger of a blonde girl. “He died for her and she’d do the same for him.”
“No,” Jack dropped his feet to the floor and gave her his most intense stare. “Rose kept him grounded, pulled him back from the edge so many times. She healed him while I watched. Her smile did more than million years of therapy could ever do. She made him stop, made him think. Appealed to his conscience if you like.”
“And that’s why you don’t want to trust him?” Gwen guessed. “Because Rose isn’t around to tell him when to stop?”
Jack smirked at how in tune they were. “Next we’ll be picking out china patterns.”
“You couldn’t afford me,” she shot back and dusted off her trousers as she stood up. “He says he’s almost ready. He’s hooked his machine—”
“Right, he’s hooked it up to the rift manipulator to give it the energy boost and the stability of Artron energy and Tosh is inputting the spatial coordinates now for the temporal shift. The equations are done, that…round thingy is in place and it looks like full steam ahead in an hour.”
Jack nodded and got to his feet. “You know, you sounded so smart, right up until ‘round thingy’. I was almost impressed.”
“Glad you were,” she said as she held the door open for him. “Cuz I didn’t have a bloody clue what I was saying.”
The Doctor had regained some of his manic energy and bounced around with cables draped around his neck like an eccentric with his snakes.
“This goes there,” he snapped at Owen. “Not there!”
“All right, keep your hair on!” Owen muttered and the Doctor’s hand drifted to his head before he stopped, annoyed.
“Vain!” he hissed to himself and grabbed another cable.
Owen looked over at Tosh and made a circle near his ear, professing his opinion that the Doctor was one stethoscope short of a full lab.
Tosh simply ignored him which further exacerbated his annoyance.
“So, Doc, we open the rift, yeah, and then, what? You go through, find your lady misses and pull ‘er back?”
The Doctor gave Owen the rather specific “Owen-is-a-moron” look that had become so familiar in the past few hours. Unbeknownst to them it was a lesser version of “Adam-is-an-twit” but the next stage in the “Mickey-is-an-idiot” variety.
“This rift won’t necessarily open up in
“Can we hold the rift open while you search?” Toshiko asked dubiously. “It won’t be stable and might tear.”
“We close it,” Jack informed them as he came down the stairs with Gwen on his heels. “The Doc goes through with one of you and I’ll stay on the other side to open the rift again when the time is up. You get 24 hours and then we bring you back. I’ll place a tracer on you so it’s easier to locate.”
“Although, odds are if the rift coordinates were taken from Pete’s world we could end up in Torchwood tower,” The Doctor said with a smile. “Finding Rose—easy. Persuading Jackie to let her go again, could take some time.”
Owen leered. “Let’s hope they’ve not pulled the tower down, then or your trip could end up with us pulling you out of the
There was a brief inner struggle within the Doctor as to whether or not it would be a constructive use of resources to pull Owen’s tongue out of his mouth and throttle him with it.
“Easy,” cautioned his inner annoyance “Jack might take offence at your dismembering one of his team.”
The Doctor shot him a picture and he could feel his inner self wince.
“All right, dismembering not the right word—eviscerating. Definitely more blood involved in evisceration…have you considered therapy?”
Despite the words from himself, the Doctor could sense the underlying irritation that he felt towards Owen. It seemed even his future counterpart had low tolerance for idiocy. It wouldn’t take much to persuade the prisoner to take measures against the man.
After toying with the idea for a brief second, he decided that it would perhaps be better left until another time. He reigned in the dark beast that seemed to lurk ever closer to the surface and gave Owen a feral smile.
“Thanks for that vote of confidence, Ewan.”
Owen’s jaw clenched at the dismissive tone and he turned back to his computer.
The Doctor gave a satisfied smile and turned to an obviously worried Jack.
“All right, Captain?” he asked jovially and started to fold his arms across his chest.
“No,” Jack answered quickly, startling the Doctor who had expected him to at least give some semblance of bravado.
“Is this safe, Doc?”
“Safer than you will be, if you keep calling me Doc.”
That elicited a grin from Jack. “I’m serious, Doctor. This rift is unstable and dangerous at the best of times and this ain’t exactly the best of times. Is opening it a good idea.”
Jack blinked, not expecting that.
“It’s a terrible idea, bad, mad and dodgy. Foolish even and definitely dangerous, even if you are a Time Lord or an immortal. On the scale of bad ideas this is right up there with ‘at ‘em men they’re only goblins’.”
“So why chance it?” Jack urged him, searching for the slightest hint of doubt…or rationality.
The Doctor stared blankly at the far wall and thought for several seconds, his hands absently twisting wires. “Two things,” he said softly after some time. “One, it’s Rose.”
Her name was spoken on a hushed whisper of love and adoration, of broken promises and shattered hearts and Jack could feel the anguish behind every word.
The Doctor was willing to do this for her, to transverse universes and possibly shatter realities for her and he was really going to do it.
“You could never deny her anything, could you?” Jack said softly.
The Doctor chuckled, a low sound which was at odds coming from the youngish looking man in front of him.
“Never. I took her to see her Dad, even though I knew it was a bad idea. I took her twice in the same time line, almost caused the end of the world, hell, of the universe, just so she could spend a little time with him.” The Doctor closed his eyes. “I can see her now, you know, Jack, looking at me like I had all the answers, crying because she thought she was so cowardly when she couldn’t run to him and asking to go again.”
The fear of what could have happened in that particular scenario ran through Jack’s mind and he bit his tongue. “She went back? You took her back.”
“Breaking the rules of the Time Lords?” The Doctor smirked humourlessly. “Yeah, sort of. Hated to watch that mascara run. So brave though, my Rose. Went back, saved the world. Saved me and had to watch her Dad die.”
“Rose mentioned seeing her Father; that was with the old you wasn’t it?”
For a moment the Doctor was wrong footed, suddenly remembering that he was in his next body. “Yeah, course.”
Jack simply nodded, pretending he hadn’t noticed the hesitation. “So what was the second?”
“You said there were two reasons why you’d chance this. One was Rose, what was the second?”
The Doctor looked blank for a second. “Because I’m a genius.” He broke into a beaming grin and walked away, leaving Jack staring bemusedly at his back.
The time rotor was in place, the TARDIS was trussed up like a chicken at Christmas, hooked up to a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured wires, and the Hub was in a state of waiting anxiety as Tosh inputted the equations into the central rift manipulator.
“I feel like we should say something.”
Everyone turned to Ianto.
“Like what?” Owen asked.
“I don’t know, once more into the breach? Here we stand, we few, we happy few? Something.” Ianto shrugged. “Atmospheric.”
“Let’s hope we don’t destroy the universe?” Jack offered and everyone glowered at him.
“Another one bites the dust?” Owen chortled.
“No,” Gwen admonished, “Ianto is right, I mean, we’re crossing universes here, we should say something. It doesn’t have to be, one small leap or anything like that.”
“Shame,” the Doctor said with a shake of his head. “Good line, that. Neil was impressed with it, took it right off my napkin.”
It was the Doctor’s turn to be stared at.
“What?” He shrugged. “It was either that or “Hey, it’s not made of cheese after all!””
“Initiating now,” Tosh said as she hit enter and came to stand by the other members of Torchwood as they watched a small flicker of light start to glow in the centre of the room.
It was like fairy dust starting to twinkle in the air, surrounded by the shimmering glow of moonlight which throbbed and thrummed in resonance as it grew. Soon a blue glistening orb with frayed edges hung in the room, the orb shining like the moon.
The translucency waned and it became harder, harsher, and more real as the blue deepened to a baby blue and then the colour of a pure azure sky.
It changed shape from an orb to a cylinder and then elongated, ever shifting in colour until it resembled no more than a slit of glimmering, shimmering turquoise in the centre of the room—a tear in the fabric of reality.
“Holding,” Tosh whispered as she stared spellbound at the materialising rift.
“It’s beautiful,” Gwen said in a hushed tone and the Doctor clapped his hands.
“Right then let’s be off, places to go, people to rescue.”
Jack grimaced. “Way to break the moment.”
“Ewan?” The Doctor motioned for him to follow as he stepped towards the breach. Owen gaped.
“What, you want me to come?”
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Are you not part of this team, or is that bitching something you do to spend time?”
Owen’s mouth opened and closed.
“Toshiko is needed for the co-ordinates, Jack’s staying here to oversee, Ianto isn’t as field ready and Rose would slap me if I turned up with Gwen, and believe you me, nothing in this universe is more intimidating than a
“So I get there by default,” Owen looked slightly more comfortable.
“Yeah, that all right?”
“Good.” The Doctor turned to Jack. “24 hours, then open her up and beep me. I’ll come back to wherever it comes out.”
“You got it, Doc.” He pulled the Doctor aside. “Are you sure about taking Owen with you?”
The Doctor blinked. “Of course. I never said anything about bringing him back though.”
The Doctor gave Jack a beaming grin and sauntered towards the rift. “In you go, Ewan the useless.”
He shoved Owen through the rift with more force than strictly necessary and turned back to Ianto. “Uh,
Here we go through the breach, hoping that it’s Rose we reach.
If Rose we cannot reach in time, it’ll be the end of your universe and mine.”
He stepped into the bright light with a cheery wave and Toshiko closed it behind him.
There was a small silence.
“Not exactly what I was going for,” Ianto smoothed down his jacket. “But it’ll do.”