The Writer They Call Tay (awanderingbard) wrote,
The Writer They Call Tay

Doctor Who: Cat's Cradle

Title: Cat's Cradle
Rating: PG (for Captain Jack Harkness-ness)
Characters: Jack, Ten, Donna
Spoilers: General for season 4. Set in AU 'verse where Donna gets to travel with Jack and Ten.
Word count: 1500ish
Summary: The Doctor and Donna are drugged. Jack is looking after them. 'Nuff said. Crack!fic.
Author's notes: Apparently I've got my Doctor Who on this week. Ages ago, _medley_ had a migraine and mentioned that she felt like Ten would be if he were drugged. I replied that someone needed to write that and she agreed and since she's having a hard go of it with Ike, I thought I'd post this for her to read when she gets power again. Hope you like it, hun!

There were some days, Jack reflected, where it just wasn’t worth getting resurrected. He reflected this as he carried Donna Noble over one shoulder and guided the Doctor along towards the TARDIS. The Doctor was shuffling behind him, staring serenely into space. One of Jack’s bootlaces was tied around the Doctor’s wrist and the other end was attached to Jack’s belt, so the Time Lord didn’t wander off without him noticing.

Jack wasn’t sure the name of the planet they were on or the galaxy they were in or what the creature that had attacked them was called. He’d forgotten; which wasn’t unusual after a death. Sometimes he could get up and know what was happening instantly. Other times it took him a moment to catch up.

What he did remember was that the creature’s spit was highly narcotic and he had taken most of it when it was spat at them. The result was rather a pleasant death. Jack lay there, thinking lovely thoughts until his heart stopped. He also remembered the Doctor attempting to shoo the creature away, not wanting to hurt it since it was the explorers who were invading its space and not the other way around. The creature was gone when Jack ‘woke up’ again, so the Doctor must have succeeded.

Donna was unconscious from her dose and the Doctor, who was awake and sitting very calmly next to Jack’s body when he woke up, was lulu.

“Almost there,” Jack urged, swishing his hips slightly to tug on the Doctor’s lifeline. “C’mon.”

“S’pretty sky,” The Doctor mumbled, happily. “D’you see it? S’all...” He made a vague waving gesture with one hand. “You know?”

Jack opened the door to the TARDIS and brought his companions inside. He lay Donna down on the seat and checked her pulse and breathing. Both were very steady. She’d taken a midline dose. The fact that she was unconscious was kind of a bonus, Jack thought. The woman could talk – and slap. And pinch. A little peace and quiet wasn’t going to put him out any.

Jack untied himself from the Doctor and convinced him to sit down on the floor. In some situations, being tied to the Doctor would have been fun. This was not one of those situations. The TARDIS console lit up and made a funny, grumpy noise.

“Oh, he’s alright,” Jack told her, fondly. “Stop fussing.” He gave the console a reassuring little pat. “It wasn’t my fault.”

He didn’t think she believed him.

“Blue!” The Doctor said, suddenly. “Shoebox! No, that’s not right...”

“Phone box?” Jack suggested.

“Phone box!” The Doctor agreed. He grinned. “I love phone boxes! My ship looks like one. S’a secret, though.” He put a finger up to his lips. Or he tried; he was a few inches off. “Sheep! I like sheep too. D’you who know else liked sheep?”

Jack shook his head, checking on Donna again before seating himself between the two of them. “Who liked sheep?”

“I like sheep,” the Doctor said.

“Good for you,” Jack said. He felt like he was talking to a two year old. Which, given the Doctor’s hyperactive attention span, wasn’t probably that far off. “I like giraffes.”

The Doctor...giggled. Jack tried to think of a better, less insulting word for it, but there wasn’t one. The Doctor giggled like a little girl. Jack stifled his own laughter.

“They have giraffes in the Tonina arch-i-pel-a-go,” The Doctor informed him, sounding out the last word carefully. “Well, giraffe-like things. Well, in the same family. Actually, they’re more like zebras...zebras with three heads.” He lit up and beamed. “Let’s go there! Right now! Allons...Allons-y!” He tried to get to his feet and instead toppled into Jack, who was trying to keep him from getting up. “Oi! Stop moving the floor,” he complained.

“Let’s just stay here for a minute,” Jack soothed, lowering the Doctor back to the floor.

“I don’t want to stay here,” the Doctor complained. He landed with a thump on his backside and pouted. “I hate staying here. I want to travel, all over the place!” He made an expansive gesture. “Every place! I...” He frowned down at the bootlace that was still tied to his wrist, swinging back and forth from the ‘every place’ gesture. “Did I put that there? Am I supposed to be remembering something? No, that’s around your finger, isn’t it? Well, not your finger personally. Anyone’s finger, really.” He undid the lace and knotted it in a loop. “Let’s play Cat’s Cradle!”

Jack found himself persuaded, rather disturbingly easily, by the Doctor’s enthusiasm. He grabbed the X’s of the Cat’s Cradle and pulled them through into the Church Window figure. He’d been taught how to play by a little girl he was interviewing for a Torchwood investigation.

“Napoleon liked sheep,” the Doctor said, as he pulled the string into the Candles figure. “He was a nice bloke. Bit full of himself. Wouldn’t listen to me ‘bout Russia. I tried!”

Jack hooked his pinkies around the Candles. “Isn’t that messing with the past?”

“Nah,” the Doctor said. “’Cause, s’like a time locked event, right? So, no matter what I say, he’da done it. For all you know, I shoulda been there and f’I hadn’t been there to tell him not to go he wouldn’t have gone. He was like that, Boney. I love the French.” The Doctor looked down at the Manger Jack had created and frowned. “S’upside down.”

“It’s supposed to be,” Jack said. “Just do what I did before, but backwards.” Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly really, the Doctor had no trouble following the cryptic instructions. “So, what you’re saying is that because you were supposed to be there, it didn’t matter that you weren’t supposed to be there?”

The Doctor nodded eagerly. “’Xactly. ‘Cause, you know, s’all just a big ball of timey-wimey stuff, Time.” He circled his hands around with the Diamonds figure on them to demonstrate. “Didn’t they teach you that wherever you went to become the Captain of whatever you are?”

“Not in so many terms,” Jack said. “Though, honestly, I didn’t pay a lot of attention. The professor for Laws of Time 101 was really hot. Well, one of his heads was. The other not so much. Still, the possibilities were very distracting.”

He took the opportunity of having his hands free to check on Donna again. Her pulse was still strong and as he moved her head to check it, she started to snore.

“Are we flying?” the Doctor asked, looking around. “You said we couldn’t!”

“It’s just Donna,” Jack said.

“Donna’s not flying, she’s right there,” the Doctor said, pointing at her. As he did so, the string unraveled from his fingers. It was just as well, Jack could never remember what came after Diamonds.

“Donna’s snoring,” Jack said.

“Well of course she is, look at her!” The Doctor agreed.

Jack laughed. “You’re a lot more fun when you’re stoned, Doc. I should try to get you drunk.”

“I’ve got a very fast met-metab-...thingy,” he said. “But I like banana daiquiris.”

“I’ll remember that,” Jack said, wiggling his eyebrows. It was a wasted move, considering the Doctor was now looking at the ceiling. It never hurt to practice, though.

“I need to clean,” the Doctor decided.

“Doesn’t the TARDIS clean itself?” Jack asked.


“Then why do you need to clean?”

“’Cause lemon cleaner smells nice,” the Doctor explained.

“I don’t think you need to be inhaling anything right now,” Jack said.

The Doctor giggled again. Jack sighed and leaned against the seat where Donna snored. The Doctor continued to gape at the ceiling, slumped against the TARDIS console. A moment later, he shook his head and looked to Jack.

“What happened?” he asked. His eyes were back in their usual sharp focus. “Is everyone all right?”

“Fast metabolism,” Jack muttered, with an impressed shake of his head. “Fine. We’re all good. Donna’s sleeping it off.”

“You died,” the Doctor said, pointing a finger at Jack. “I don’t like it when you do that. It’s rude.”

Jack held his hands up peacefully. “Sorry. I’ll try not to do it in the future.”

The Doctor nodded, then shuffled on his knees over to Donna. He tapped her cheeks a little. “Donna?”

The red-head came to life with a loud ‘oi!’ and smacked the Doctor soundly across the face. “Whatchu think you’re doin’, mister?” she crowed. She sat up and looked at the two men. “Watchin’ me sleep...”

“I think she’s all right,” Jack noted.

The Doctor nodded, muttering something about ‘at least it wasn’t her mother’ and then he grinned his characteristic manic grin. “Right then, no more cave monsters for us! Where to?”

“How about the Tonina archipelago?” Jack suggested. “I hear they have giraffes.”
Tags: fandom: doctor who, length: oneshot, rating: pg

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