Summary: Jenny faces a threat and finds a friend who knows the threat.
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: Jenny/Captain Jack Harkness
Original story: The Machines Are There by studyofrunning
Notes: I have never done this before, so it's a leetle scary. But I hope I did good. Brother beta-d
Jenny left her ship in an almost deserted fueling dock and wandered through a series of equally, eerily deserted corridors. The few people she did see didn't meet her eyes, didn't even look at her, just scurried on to wherever they were going. After a few attempts at getting directions, she gave up, relying on intuition and (mostly) chance to find out where she was and where she could find food. She got very lost.
The translator she picked up a couple of weeks back wasn't much help here – she suspected that going swimming with it in her pocket hadn't helped, even if it had been the only way to escape the Godat. So her translator might not work, but at least she was alive. Lost but alive. And hungry.
Ahead of her, a shadow danced on the wall. It moved more... gracefully than the people she'd seen so far, and it swore in a language she understood. She crept closer to the wall, surprisingly nervous suddenly, and edged forwards. The shadow had gone though, the corridor was empty.
She had come to a Y junction, and was faced with another decision. The disappearing shadow had gone down the left hand corridor, and she was about to go after it, when she heard noises coming down the right hand corridor. There was at least one turn between her and whatever was approaching, but the noises were metallic and angry, definitely threatening. As she tried to decide between running back to her ship (not a chance), hiding down the left hand corridor (only slightly more likely) and facing whatever was coming to find out what it was, two things happened simultaneously. One of them was the appearance of three metal... things around the corner ahead of her. The other was a hand clamping over her mouth which, combined with the arm around her waist, tugged her back into the left hand corridor. She struggled fiercely, even bit the hand across her mouth, but whoever it was lifted her off the floor with ease to reduce her struggles and bent to hiss in her ear. “If they see you, they'll kill you instantly.”
That stilled her enough for him to risk putting her down again. “Don't struggle. If you stay with me, they'll pass by without noticing you. And, I really hate to say it, but we'll have to stay in full contact like this.” Her back was pressed against his front, and his arm was still tight across her waist.
She frowned and tried to look up at him as he shook the hand she'd bitten, examining it. “Why do you hate to say that?” Her next shift provided her answer. “Is that a gun in your pocket?”
He sighed heavily and moved her again so that his interest was less obvious against her back, whispering fiercely, “Shut up.” Those three metal things appeared again at the end of the corridor and the body and arm tensed. They stayed silent and still as three robots, she assumed, or cyborgs, glided down the corridor, oblivious to their presence. They had domed tops, with a stalk coming out of the front, then sheer sides with rounded domes. There were more stalks, one that appeared to be a grabby thing and one that looked like a sucky thing. All this analysis to ignore the fact that the man holding her was shaking.
She found his hand and squeezed it, relieved when he squeezed it back and released her. She crept to the end of the corridor and looked at the retreating figures, then turned to look at him again. His arms were folded defensively, and he gave her an assessing look. She mirrored his stance and smiled in appreciation; he was gorgeous, even if he was too old for her. There was one other issue too. “You smell really good.”
He laughed and put his hands on his hips, his tone accusatory and defensive. “And you've got two hearts,” her eyes widened, “which means that we're neither of us from around here, Time Lord.”
She stared at him. “How did you know?”
“It's hard not to notice that when you're pressed against me like that, but I'm guessing that's not what you're asking. For the answer you want, you'll have to follow me.”
He turned and walked away from her down the corridor, and she didn't think before following him. Sure, he could be a murderous lunatic, but he did smell really, really good. And he had answers, spoke a language she could understand and was prepared to meet her eyes. And might have food.
“So if you're 'not from round here',” she mimicked his accent, “what are you doing here?”
“Trying to survive, and trying not to screw up history.” He reached a door and entered a code, holding the door open for her. When she hesitated, he sighed and put his foot in the door instead, folding his arms. “Look, I promise not to harass you too severely. You can stay out here with the Daleks, or you can come in here and I'll put a deadlock seal on the door so they can't get in.”
She considered this for a moment, then surged forwards to stand on her tiptoes to kiss him, quick and chaste. Her grin was just as teasing. “Surely it's only harassment if I object?”
As she passed him into the room, she felt his stunned exhalation.
The room, more of a cabin really, held a bed, a desk with a chair, a computer and what appeared to be navigational charts, a bookcase and a small table, with another chair. Her rescuer sat in the chair by the desk and offered her the choice between the other chair and the bed. She hopped up onto the table and sat with her legs crossed. He laughed again. “I'm sorry I can't offer you refreshments, we'll have to go out and get some later, if you're planning to stick around.” He leaned over and offered her his hand. “Captain Jack Harkness, and which one are you?”
“What do you mean, which one? I'm Jenny.” She frowned.
Captain Harkness waved his hand again, that gesture seemed to mean a lot of things really. “Well I've been... I've met the Master and the Rani, heard stories about the Celestial Toymaker, the Meddling Monk. Borusa, Rassillion, Romana of course. And then there's the Doctor, of course.”
“You know my Dad?”
“Are you about to tell me that you're the Doctor's daughter?” He looked beyond worried, and groaned when she nodded. “He's going to kill me.”
She giggled. “I take it you know my Dad then?”
“You could say that.” He went to the bookshelf and pulled out a leather-bound photo album, flipping through it to show her a photo of him with her Dad. “He thinks you're dead though. I got him drunk one night and he talked about you.”
She checked her watch and looked back at him. “What year is it?”
“3876.” He chuckled, “I take it you can do time travel then?”
“Yeah.” She counted off on her fingers. “Started out in the sixty-first century on Messaline, met up with a time agent a couple of years later who gave me a lift back to the fifty-third, got a job – an actual job – with a firm specialising in time tourism, from there I got head hunted to work for a firm on Rubicundior, trained as a pilot, got my license for small passenger ships and was given a two man Starjet to ferry me around. Kept the ship when the firm folded.”
He laughed, a warm, rich sound. “That's a very corporate way of doing it, how long did it take?”
She beamed. “Eighteen months.”
“Well done.” An alarm went off above them and he waved her back down. “Best to ignore the alarms, they tend to forget you exist if you're not where they expect you to be. Either that or they kill you, but they think I'm dead anyway.”
“What are they?”
He sighed, studied his hands, and then looked up at her, weariness heavy in his gaze. “They're called the Daleks. They exist solely to wipe out all other life in the universe, they are built to kill, are virtually indestructible and there is nothing I can do about their presence here. They have this entire station under their control.”
“What do you need to do, could I help?”
He shook his head and stood up, pacing restlessly. “No, there's nothing we can do. And I don't mean that in a fatalistic 'we're going to die' way, all we can do is sit it out. This happened, it has to happen for stuff in my past to happen.”
“So we just have to let it happen?” Her hands balled into fists at the defeated tone in his voice. “There's nothing we can do.”
He eyed her up, either amused or impressed by the way she'd jumped in to the fray. “You are definitely his daughter.” But he shook his head. “To start with, I kept people safe as best I could, persuaded the resistance that there was no point. The Daleks will leave once they have what they want, their target is in my past. But these days, there's nothing for me to do. People have stopped fighting. I just...” He sighed, “I just want to leave, I can't stand being here, seeing the people so crushed, and those monsters.”
“Who did you lose?” She dragged the chair over to sit next to him and took his hand, lacing their fingers together and staring at the way his hand dwarfed hers.
He turned his hand over and engulfed hers, covering their hands with his other. “I didn't lose anyone, not this time. I just... The first time I met them, I died, and then I came back to life. And since then... I come back, every time, nothing can kill me. But I still remember, my body remembers the first time I died.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “It feels like the first time, all over again.”
“That's why they think you're dead, isn't it? They killed you.”
“Yeah. And then I've been using this,” he held up a plain key on a chain around his neck. “It's a key to the Doctor's TARDIS. It has a perception filter, keeps me unseen.”
“So you've just given up?” She slapped his leg. “There's something we can do.”
“What?” Jack looked up at her in surprise.
“We can give them what they want.” She held out her hand to him and beamed when he took it.
They checked the corridor and dashed to her ship. Jack paused outside it and rested a hand on the side, looking over it. “You didn't say it was Chula technology.”
She peered around the door and reached out to pull him in. “You know how to fly one of these?”
“Yeah.” He grinned at her as he sealed the door, looking around the cluttered space. “Used to have one myself. Of course, I stole mine a bit more directly than you did.”
“Oh good,” she cleared a pile of books off the pilot's chair. “You can show me.” She grinned and span the chair around for him. “What are we looking for?”
He was silent, forcing her to look up at him to read his expression. It was haunting. “If we find it, if they get it, people will die.”
She stopped and advanced on him, crouching down in front of him. “And if we don't?”
“They'll die anyway.”
“And if we draw the Daleks away from here, steal it and run?”
She stood up, dropped into his lap and span the chair around, making him grab onto her waist to keep her in the chair. “Been there, done that. Come on Captain, where's your sense of adventure?”
He was still for a moment, and then his hands joined hers on the console, using dials and buttons she'd never figured out how to use. “Jenny, I think I like you.”
She beamed, leaned around to kiss him on the cheek, laughed at his surprise and ran.