Characters: Ray (Stanley) Kowalski, Nine, Rose, Jackie, Fraser, Diefenbaker
Summary: Ray finds a little catharsis. Written for joonscribble's prompt for the Six Degrees meme. She wanted Ray Kowalski and The Ninth Doctor.
Spoilers: Due South Season 3 "Seeing is Believing"
Author's Notes:: I had to get my brain working for this one. For some reason, the less cracktastic pairings were harder for me to write. Done a bit of jiggery-pokery with timelines for this to work. I've pretended that Due South Season 3 took place at roughly the same time as Doctor Who Series 1, despite the former being eight years earlier. Ray is approximately six years old in the first bit. As usual, total crack.
Stanley Kowalski closed his eyes and clung to the Funny Man’s neck. With his eyes closed, he didn’t have to see the very, very scary monsters that had been trying to eat him until the Funny Man showed up to rescue him. He now carried the boy down the long corridor as he ran, monsters in pursuit.
“Almost there,” the Funny Man said, in his funny accent. “Hold on.”
Stanley didn’t have any plans of letting go. He clung for dear life and even when the Funny Man tried to let go of him, he still clung.
“S’alright now,” the man soothed, in a gentle voice. “We’re safe. Jus’ gotta get outta here, alright?”
Stanley reluctantly removed his arms from around the man’s neck and opened his eyes. He’d be rather unceremoniously dropped on a small couchish thing in the middle of a very large, very round room with a variety of neat looking things in it. Stanley curled up in a ball and tried to be very still in case the monsters were nearby.
“Alright, so...let’s see, Greater Chicago Area, 197...2? There we go.”
A large tube running up to the ceiling began to pulse up and down and make a very loud screeching noise. Stanley was on edge still and slammed his hands over his ears, terrified. The Funny Man continued his dance around the neat things and then stopped, breathing heavily. He looked over to Stanley again.
“We’re alright now,” he said. His voice was muffled as Stanley still had his hands over his ears. “No worries.” He grinned suddenly, in a way that made the boy relax a little. “Bit of an adventure, huh?”
Stanley took his hands from his ears and found that he was shaking all over. “W-what happened?”
“They’re not a very nice race,” the Man said, more to himself. “They like children.” He frowned. “That last moment...before the end. Opened a big rift in time and space. For a millisecond. Lots of things went through, though. Got places where they shouldn’t be. My fault. I’m sorry.” The Man looked very sad.
“...S’okay,” Stanley said, feeling like he should even though he didn’t understand anything of what the man had said. “You didn’t let them eat me.”
The Man grinned again. “No, that’s true.” He stopped grinning. He came over and crouched in front of the couchish thing. Stanley thought his eyes looked very red, like he’d been crying a lot lately. But boys didn’t cry. His father always said that. “What’s your name, eh?”
“Stanley Raymond Kowalski,” Stanley said.
“S’bit of a mouthful,” The Man said. “Well, Stanley Raymond Kowalski, I’m the Doctor.”
“Hi,” Stanley said.
The Doctor smiled. “Hi. I’m gonna touch your head now, is that alright?” Stanley thought for a moment, and then nodded. The Doctor put his finger tips on Stanley’s temples and rubbed in soothing circles. “Right then, Stanley Raymond Kowalski, I’m gonna do a little jiggery-pokery with your brain. Won’t hurt a bit. Here we go.”
Stanley felt like parts of his brain were running to the opposite side of his head. He rolled his eyes upwards like he could see it happening. Within a few moments, things started to blur. He couldn’t remember exactly why he was in the big round room, or why the Doctor was there with him. He just knew it was okay and the Doctor was someone to trust. His eyelids felt heavy and he closed them. He started to droop sideways and the hands on his temples (whose hands? He couldn’t remember) gently guided him onto something soft. Stanley fell asleep, curling in on himself on the soft thing.
“There now,” a funny voice said. “Just a bad dream, this was. No worries at all.”
“Fraser, just drop it,” Ray Vecchio demanded.
Fraser did not just drop it. That wasn’t the Mountie’s way. He continued to give Ray his concerned Canadian look. “I’m just saying that it was clearly a traumatic experience for you and you’ve repressed the memory. It might be very cathartic to talk about it.”
Ray gripped the steering wheel harder and flicked a glance over to the Canadian. “I can’t talk about somethin’ I don’t remember, Fraser. Besides: I was not abducted by a UFO.”
“How can you be sure?” Fraser said. “You mentioned it quite clearly during your time under hypnosis.”
“Because there’s no such things as aliens,” Ray replied. “So I couldn’t have been taken by them.”
“Do you really believe that?”
“You believe in aliens?”
“I believe in the possibility,” Fraser said, solemnly. “I believe that there’s no discounting anything.”
“That’s just that polite Canadian crap,” Ray said. “Anything is possible means no one’s wrong in the end.”
“Where?” Fraser asked.
“The end isn’t an actual place, Fraser.” Sometimes Ray thought Fraser was having entire conversations that he couldn’t hear the other half of. “It’s just...ya know...a...not a smiley - “
“Simile,” Fraser corrected. “It’s a metaphor. Crime.”
He pointed out the window at the pavement on the last word.
“Crime is imminent,” Fraser said.
“That’s not a metaphor,” Ray said.
“No, a young man with a gun is about to enter that store,” Fraser clarified. He opened the car door.
“Fraser, the car is still moving would ya just - “
But the Mountie was already gone.
“Rose...d’you remember that wonky thing-a-ma-jig you asked me about awhile back?” The Doctor asked. “You know, the one where I said I didn’t know what it was so it couldn’t be that important and you could have it if you wanted?”
Rose thought back. “Yeah. The little green jewel thing that I thought was pretty.”
“That’s the one,” The Doctor said. “Um...do you still have it?”
“No, I gave it me mum last time we were back,” Rose said. “I put it on a necklace for her.”
“Uh-oh,” The Doctor muttered.
“I remembered what it was.”
“Well, I took it from the Geopolins years back and was keeping it in the TARDIS so its signal would be shielded.”
“And they were going to use it to rip open the universe and destroy all life in it.”
“Why would they want to do that?”
The Doctor shrugged. “I dunno. They’ve never been real big on life in general, the Geopolins.” His face got stormy. “Why would you just give it away like that?”
“You said it was nothing!” Rose objected.
“I said I couldn’t remember what it was,” the Doctor corrected. “Not to wrap it and give it to your Mum for Christmas!”
Rose shook her head, dismissing his anger. “So, now that it’s not being shielded - “
“The Geopolins will come looking for it.”
They stared at each other for a moment and then Rose grabbed her mobile and started dialing.
There were a few types of people that Ray hated to encounter in his job. Elderly people for one. Especially ones with canes or who smelled funny. He didn’t much care for young people either. Teenagers. He hated those crazy cat ladies who always saw crimes being committed from their vantage point at the blinds. And, he reflected, you’d think eccentric British women with too much make-up and under the impression they were about ten years younger than they were would go on his ‘annoying people’ list. However, the woman in front of him was rather entertaining.
“I thought I was going to die!” she exclaimed, in her thick British accent. “He was waving his gun around like a madman! My friend Debbie said before I came here ‘mind you don’t get mugged or somefink, Jackie, them American cities are full of crime’ and look what happens – my first day here and I’m nearly killed!”
Ray scratched at his notebook, not actually writing anything down but giving the impression he was. Fraser would be much better at dealing with a woman like this, but he’d run off in pursuit of the gunman. Not that the gunman had actually gotten around to doing anything. Fraser had gotten in the way. Detecting crime in progress was the Mountie’s 9th or 10th sense. That left Ray to interview witnesses – which turned out to be this woman. She was the only customer in the store at the time and the cashier, it seemed, had fled in terror as soon as the gunman entered.
“This wouldn’t have happened if I’d been in the Caribbean, y’know,” Jackie continued. She waved a hand in the air emphatically and a can of shaving cream fell off the shelf next to her. She was still right where Ray had found her – sitting on the floor in one of the aisles, surrounded by fallen sticks of deodorant and the contents of her shopping basket. “That’s where I wanted to go, but I got second prize. Fat lot of good that was.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” Ray said, breaking into her tirade. “Did ya get a look at the gunman?”
“He had crazy eyes,” she answered, widening her own. “And was huge. Big, thick arms and massively tall.”
“Right,” Ray said. “Cin ya’ - “
A cell phone rang. He plucked his out of his pocket but it wasn’t making any noise. The British woman sorted through the mess of her shopping basket and pulled hers out of the pile.
“Hello?...Rose! Sweetie, you’ll never guess where I am!...No, no, Chicago! I won a trip from the radio. It’s been horrible though - I was just in a hold-up! This man came in swinging his gun and tried to rob the store until this man in red came in with a wolf and chased him away. No, I’m not making this up. There’s a very nice Chicago bobby sitting right in front of me, isn’t there?” She held the phone out towards Ray and he could hear a very loud voice yelling through it.
“Um, yeah?” he offered.
That seemed to satisfy the woman. She put the phone back to her ear. “He’s rather cute, too.” She winked at him and Ray grinned, shaking his head a little. “...Yes, I remember, I’m wearing it right now. What d’y’mean where am I? I jus’ told you, sweetheart, I’m in Chicago. Oh...” she put her hand over the speaker. “Where am I?”
“North Michigan Avenue,” Ray said.
Jackie repeated this into the phone. “What’s the date?”
“July 13th,” Ray said.
Jackie repeated this, too. She looked at her watch. “About 3:30pm. No, I’m not going anywhere, Rose, I’m being questioned! What d’you mean you’ll be right there?”
The door to the store burst open and a tall man in a leather jacket and a younger blonde girl ran in. The girl had a cell phone to her ear.
“I mean, I’ll be right here,” the girl said.
Rose ran over to her mother, who looked rather in her glory with a cute man attending to her as she languished among hygiene products. There was no time for a hello, or even a smile to the cute man, though. She pulled at her mother’s shirt and tried to find the jewel that could apparently end the universe.
“Uh, Miss?” The cute man asked, in a delicious accent. “This is a crime scene.”
“She’s my mum,” Rose explained, absently.
“I get that,” the man said. He looked between Rose and Jackie a few times, then nodded. “I get that. But, you really can’t be here right now. She’s fine.”
There was a buzzing sound in the background that Rose knew was the sonic screwdriver starting up. It distracted the policeman long enough for Rose to find the jewel and snap the chain from around Jackie’s neck. The policeman got up and walked over to the Doctor.
“Oi!” Jackie complained, slapping a hand to her throat. “I liked that. Howard says it brings out my eyes.”
“I’ll get you a new one,” Rose promised. “One that’s not going to destroy the universe.”
“What?” Jackie asked.
Rose hurried back to where the Doctor and the policeman were standing.
“Do I know you?” The policeman asked.
“Nah,” The Doctor dismissed it. He was buzzing the screwdriver up in the air and listening. “I look like everyone, me.” He glanced to the man and then up again. And then back. He stared for a moment and then lit up. “Oi, Stanley Raymond Kowalski, that’s you.”
Rose thought the cop looked momentarily panicked, but it must have been her imagination. She was panicked and she thought everyone else should be too. The fact that everyone else was calm was just annoying.
“Detective Ray Vecchio,” the cop corrected. He held up his badge as though he needed proof of the claim.
“My mistake,” The Doctor conceded.
“Doctor!” Rose broke in. She shoved the necklace at him and he took it calmly from her. “Can you stop the signal?”
“If I could stop the signal, I would have done it years ago, Rose,” he said, in his ‘speaking to the daft human’ voice. “And we wouldn’t have had a problem at all.”
“What’s goin’ on here?” Vecchio demanded. He looked from Rose to the Doctor to Jackie and back. “Aside from some sorta British Invasion?”
“No worries,” The Doctor assured him. “Jus’ a bit of a cleaning up. We’ll be out of your hair in no time.”
Vecchio looked confused for a moment, then as though he had just realized something and then went very white. “Doctor.” The Doctor nodded, gently. The cop put his hands to his temples and rubbed. “Agh!” He crouched down in to a ball, obviously in pain.
Rose crouched beside him, putting a hand on his back. “You alright?”
The Doctor had crouched too, looking upset. “Sorry. That’s the jiggery-pokery unjiggery-pokerying itself. My fault. I shouldn’t have done it in the first place. I was just tryin’ to fix everything, then. Tryin’ to make it all better. Never could.”
Vecchio was muttering something about Mounties and Fraser and UFOs and hypnotism. It didn’t make any sense to Rose. “Jesus...my head...”
“But hey, look at you all grown-up,” The Doctor continued, with a sudden grin. “Life goes on, eh?” Rose touched the Doctor’s arm and waved the necklace in his face. He sobered. “I can put it back the way it was. Make it all go away again.”
Vecchio seemed to be recovering himself. He looked up again, locking eyes with the Doctor. His face was full of wonder – that look Rose thought everyone must get the moment they realized the universe is a thousand times bigger than they thought. He broke out a killer grin and shook his head. “I’m good.” He narrowed his eyes at the Doctor, thoughtful. “You good?”
The Doctor looked to Rose and back. “I’m good.” Both men stood then, as if there were some cue for it Rose missed. Not surprisingly as she seemed to be missing most of what was going on. “We should get back to the TARDIS, Rose. Before the Geopolins show up.” Rose nodded and looked to her mother, forgotten on the floor of the store, looking utterly and completely bewildered. “We can give your mum a lift, I guess.”
“And let her miss out on being questioned by the cute law official?” Rose scoffed. “She’d never forgive me.”
The cop looked a bit out of it. Side effect of encountering the Doctor, Rose thought. He had that effect on people. Rose went over to say goodbye to her mother, who protested loudly about people swanning in and out like she was some sort of cheap motel. Rose laughed and gave her a kiss on both cheeks.
“I love ya, you know,” she said.
“I know,” Jackie reluctantly admitted.
“Enjoy your interrogation,” Rose teased.
When she returned to the Doctor, he was finishing a handshake with Vecchio. Both of them were smiling. The Doctor gave Rose a grin and held out his hand. She grabbed it and the two of them went running off into adventure again.
When Fraser returned, toting the gunman with him, he found Ray and Jackie sitting on the floor, laughing. Diefenbaker trotted over to investigate the contents of Jackie’s shopping basket and chomped down on a jelly roll, running away with it.
“Ray...” Fraser began.
“I’ll pay for it,” Ray cut him off.
He stood up and read the gunman his rights, handing back Fraser’s lanyard back to him after the cuffs were on.
“Have a good trip, Jackie,” he called, as he lead the man toward the car. “Stay out of trouble, huh?”
“Trouble finds me,” Jackie replied. She smiled flirtatiously at Fraser when he stooped down to help her collect her things. “S’a wonder I look as young as I do, the stress I have in my life.”
Fraser helped her to her feet and held the door for her, earning him another flirtatious look that made him blush. She winked at him and headed down the street.
“You aren’t going to bring her to the station?” he asked Ray.
“Nah. Too much paperwork. You can be my witness. You love paperwork.”
The cop and the Mountie started for the car, lugging the cursing gunman between them. Ray tripped him.
Fraser gave Ray a disapproving look and opened the car door. Ray stuffed the gunman inside.
“Ya know, you missed the aliens while you were out showin’ off,” he said.
“Ray,” Fraser scolded. “I just trying to help.”
“Don’t need help, Fraser,” Ray declared with a grin. “The Doctor fixed me right up.”