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October 2010

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hardison- not the average geek

trillianastra in jack_jenny

Child of the Machine

The sequel to "Who Are You?", featuring one very, very, very overprotective Doctor.

As usual, I don't own Doctor Who :(


Child of the Machine
(with one very overprotective Gallifreyan father, a time-travelling spaceship for a stepmother and an Immortal for a (potential) boyfriend)

“Dad? What are you doing?” Jenny walked into the control room, seeing the Doctor entering something into the computer.
“Oh, it’s nothing. We just need to make a little stop to refuel, that’s all.”
“Refuel? Where?”
“Cardiff. You remember when you got pulled through the rift and ended up there?”
“Of course.”
“Well, the rift also releases energy. Every so often I need to stop off there, park the TARDIS somewhere safe and let her recharge.”
“Oh. How long does that take?”
“Usually a few hours, unless the rift’s been active.”
“So while we’re waiting, what do we do?”
“Anything you like. Jack’ll still be there, we could go and see him. Or we could find something else.”
“No, I think I’d like to go and see Torchwood again.”
“All right then. To be honest, they need keeping an eye on anyway. Hold on to something.”

The TARDIS shook as it moved out of the Vortex, but soon came to a halt.
“ ‘kay, now Jenny, if you go and get Donna, I’ll just get this set up for the refuel.”
“Sure, Dad.”

Fifteen minutes later, Donna emerged, followed by Jenny, and the three left the TARDIS and headed for the Tourist Office that served as Torchwood’s cover story for the rest of the city. Ianto was sitting at the desk, and he sat up a little straighter in his chair when he saw the Doctor come in.

“Ah.. Ianto, isn’t it?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Oh, don’t call me sir. Is Jack around?”
“I’ll call him on the intercom.”

Ianto disappeared into a back room, and emerged a moment later. “He’s in his office. I’ll take you down there.”


“Jack? Your visitors are here.” Ianto stood in the doorway of Jack’s office.
“Oh, yeah. Thanks, Ianto.” Jack stood up, as the Doctor, Jenny and Donna walked in. “Hey, Doctor, ladies. What can I do for you?”
“Oh, y’know. The TARDIS is refueling, we needed something to do, so we thought we’d see how everything’s going down here.”
“Okay. Fine by me.”

With that out of the way, Donna went to find Martha – who had transferred from UNIT to Torchwood a few months back. They had actually become friends, over the course of several rather sporadic meetings, all of which involved the Doctor, peril, and lots of running.

The Doctor wandered around the Hub, looking at the various bits of alien tech that were being worked on. He came across one particular object, and called to Jack.
“Jack! What’s this?”
“What?” Jack looked over at the Doctor. “Oh… we don’t know. The rift spat it out last week, we’ve been trying to figure out what it is.”
“Do you mind if I take a look?”
“Not at all, go ahead. Just don’t do anything that’ll result in the Hub being blown up, okay?”

The Doctor then started work on the as-yet-unidentified piece of alien tech… which left Jack and Jenny alone - Jack standing by the door of his office, Jenny perched on the edge of his desk. Jack noticed that she’d changed a bit since they first met – instead of the plain olive-green t-shirt and black trousers she’d worn then, now she wore dark blue jeans, black converse trainers, and a purple camisole. She also wore her hair down, instead of the plain ponytail, and he thought he could see just a hint of make-up. She seemed less child-like now, more grown-up.

“So, how’s life with the Doc- uh, your dad, treating you?”
“Oh, it’s amazing. We’ve been to so many different places, I’ve seen so much. He’s taught me so much about… about everything. Um… except for clothes and things. Donna taught me about that.”
“Yeah, your dad’s not exactly an expert. Was there anything you wanted to do? Your dad’s apparently found something to keep him busy, and Donna’ll be busy catching up on the gossip with Martha…”
“Well… I never did get to see much of Cardiff last time. I’d quite like to explore a bit.”
“Would you like a guide? I know the city pretty well, and your dad probably won’t want you wandering around on your own…”
“Jack! I’m not a child, you know.” She considered his offer for a moment. “But it would be more fun with someone else around. Okay. You can be my guide.”
“Great. I’ll just let your dad know then we can go.”

Jack went down to the main part of the Hub, where the Doctor had partially dismantled the unknown tech and was scrutinising part of it closely.

“Er… Doc?”
“What is it, Jack?”
“Well, Jenny’s bored, and she wants to go and explore the city… I said I’d go with her, just to look after her, okay?”
The Doctor straightened up. “As long as it’s just looking after her, fine. And if she comes back and tells me you did anything at all that I don’t like, you’re in trouble, Captain.”
“She’ll be fine. You really need to start trusting me, Doctor.”
“Oh, I do. I just know what you’re like. She’s female and apparently “cute”, and that means I need to be careful leaving you alone with her.”
“Doesn’t sound like trust to me…”
“Sorry, but do you want me to change my mind?”
“No, no, not at all. Sorry. Forget I said anything.”

Jack made a swift retreat to his office, collected Jenny, and together they headed out. He took her out via the invisible lift, which thrilled her, and then they set off into the city together.


Jack and Jenny walked across Roald Dahl Plass in the warm summer sunshine together.
“So, Jenny… wait, what is your last name?”
“I don’t know. I don’t exactly have one. Do I need one?”
“No, not really. Your dad hasn’t got a name at all, and he manages. He does call himself John Smith sometimes, though. When he needs to be incognito. I suppose you could use Smith as your last name. Jenny Smith – it’s not bad, as names go.”
“Mmhm. I suppose. It seems kind of ordinary, though. I think I’d like something more unusual.”
“Well… use Smith for now. Then if you find a name you like better, you can use that instead.”
“What’s your last name, Jack? I think you said, but I forgot.”
“That’s a good last name. Jenny Harkness… sounds good.”
“Er, yeah… you might not want to go around calling yourself that, though. Your dad might get the wrong idea.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s a bit protective of you, right?”
“Of course he is. He’s my dad.”
“Yeah. Exactly. See, usually… fathers get suspicious of guys who get close to their daughters. Very suspicious.”
“So what?”
“Well… basically, if you announced to your dad that you were going to call yourself Jenny Harkness from now on, he’d start thinking that you and I were… um, that we were… y’know, a couple.”
“Ohhh…. So, like when wherever we go, people always think Donna and my dad are a couple? Like that?”
“They do? Huh. But yeah. Like that, except your dad would probably kill me. Or have a really good try, at least.”
“Right. Okay, I won’t use that name.”
“Maybe you could ask your dad. See if he’d give you a Gallifreyan name.”
“So. What do you want to do first?”
She looked up at him, and smiled. “Well… I’d like to go shopping… but I don’t have any money…”
“Ah. That won’t be a problem, because not only do I know where the good shops are, I also have this.” He pulled out a platinum credit card. “Official Torchwood credit card. I can charge anything I like to this, so I think I can safely say that whatever you want – within reason – it’s on me.”
She gave him a dazzling smile, and hugged him. “Thanks, Jack.”


They walked away together, Jack’s arm held protectively around Jenny’s waist, and for a while all that either of them thought about was having fun and laughing. For Jack, having Jenny around was nice. She was so… young, and happy, and cheerful… she had an air of innocence about her, and just being near her made Jack feel happier than he had done for a long time.

As they wandered around various clothes shops, Jenny trying on clothes and Jack telling her what suited her and what didn’t, it occurred to Jack that the idea of them as a couple might not be as far-fetched as he had thought. After all… they had fun together. It was easy to be around her. Easy to be himself around her.

Then he remembered what the Doctor had said, took a deep breath, and did his best to forget that he had ever thought of it. And laughed when Jenny came out of a changing room wearing an odd assortment of brightly-coloured clothing.


As they stepped out of the shop, Jack’s phone rang. He checked the caller ID – it said “Ianto”.

“Ianto? What is it?”
“You need to get back to the Hub, sir. Your friend the Doctor… he’s got a problem.”
“A problem with what? Did he damage anything?”
“Not as such, sir. It’s his, uh, blue box.”
“The TARDIS? What happened?”
“You’d have to ask him. But he’s running around trying to fix it, so I suggest you get back here.”
“Okay, Ianto. We’re on our way.”
“Oh, and sir… he gave me a message for you.”
“He said “Tell him that if he so much as touches her, he’s in trouble.” Does that mean anything to you, sir?”
“Er… yeah, unfortunately. And don’t call me sir, Ianto, please.”
“Sorry. Force of habit.”
“You’re forgiven. Tell the Doctor I’ll be back soon.”
“I will.”

Jack hung up, and turned to Jenny, who was standing nearby with a selection of shopping bags around her. “I’m sorry, princess. Your dad’s gone and done… something, and there’s a problem with the TARDIS… we’re going to have to go back now.”
“…but we can probably do this again some time. When there aren’t any emergencies to deal with.”
“Sure, I’d like that.”
“Okay, come on.” He picked up most of the shopping bags, and they started back towards the Hub.


When Jack and Jenny arrived back at Roald Dahl Plass, they saw the TARDIS doors open, and the Doctor visible inside, fiddling with dials and occasionally kicking the console. Jack looked in while Jenny took her bags into the Tourist Office to keep them safe.

“Doc? Ianto called me, what happened?”
“There’s something wrong with the TARDIS.”
“Can you be more specific?”
“Uh. Not really, no. I think it’s an engine problem. She’s running on emergency power, and only barely.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means I need to take her out of action for a while, so I can fix it. And I need parts, if I can get them. Basically, it means we’re stuck here.”
“Stuck here? For how long?”
The Doctor ran a hand through his hair. “Could be a month or two, could be longer.”
“Right. Well, the first thing you’re going to do is come inside and calm down. If it’s going to take that long, there’s no point stressing yourself out about it now. I’ll get Ianto to make you some tea and you can relax for once.”
“Er. Yeah. All right. That sounds… good.”
“Come on, Doc.”
Jack ushered the Doctor out, and made sure the TARDIS was securely locked up before heading inside with the rather frazzled Time Lord. As they were about to go inside, the Doctor turned to him. “Jack… you did remember what I said, right? About Jenny?”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Have I got anything to worry about?”
“Not at the moment.”


When Jack had finally got the Doctor into the Hub, sitting in his office, and holding a cup of tea (courtesy of Ianto), he sat down. “Now, Doctor, tell me what you did. What happened to the TARDIS?”
“I was taking a look at that bit of tech you found… I think it’s a radio, by the way… Sort of. Anyway, you know that piece of kit you’ve got in the middle of all those workstations…”
Jack suddenly felt very worried. “You mean the rift manipulator?”
“Oh, is that what it is? Yeah, that.”
“Doctor… what did you do?”
“I looked at it, that’s all.” Jack just looked at him, one eyebrow raised. “Okay, so I might have experimented with it a bit. Thought I might be able to upgrade it a bit.”
“Doc, in the wrong hands that equipment could destroy the planet and take most of the galaxy with it!”
“Well… um… so, this is what I think happened… the TARDIS was soaking up the energy coming out of the Rift, right? Well, she was behaving sort of strangely because of you being so near anyway… I think, when I was experimenting with your rift machine out there, I might have accidentally overloaded the engines. I had a look earlier and it looks like the arcton energy conversion unit is blown.”
“What does that mean? Exactly?”
“Er… I’m stuck. The conversion unit’s sort of crucial. Without it she can’t fly, can’t do anything.”
“Right. How hard will it be for you to get another arcton unit or whatever you need?”
“Well, they’re not terribly complicated. If I had the right equipment I could probably build one.”
“Right. You should take a look in the Archives… some of the artifacts we’ve got down there might be helpful. Do you need any special tools?”
“Oh, no, basic manufacturing gear, soldering iron, that sort of thing. I’ve got tools in the TARDIS. Just need the ingredients.”
“Yeah. So, how long does it take to build one of these units?”
“About a month. If I’ve got all the parts. And assuming that nothing goes wrong, which could happen…”
Jack felt like burying his head in his hands, but instead took a deep breath and tried to hold on to his composure. “Anything else?”
“Er… yeah. Your rift manipulator… I think it’s functioning, but it might need a bit of attention too.”
“If it wasn’t, we’d know. But I’ll check with Ianto, see if there’s any change.”
“Oh, yeah… Ianto… are you two still, y’know…”
“Er. Not really. We sort of… dabbled. He’s great, but after what’s happened recently things have changed a lot.”
“Right. So, no-one else around?”
“Not at the moment, no. Like I said, things have changed and we’ve been very busy lately.”


The Doctor found Jenny sitting in the Boardroom, with her feet propped up on the table, watching TV and drinking a soft drink through a straw.

She muted the TV. “Dad? What did you do?”
“Er… there’s a bit of a problem with the TARDIS. She needs some repairs, and it’s pretty serious.”
“Jenny, we’re not going to be able to go anywhere for at least a month. It’ll take that long to fix the TARDIS. Aren’t you worried?”
“Not really. You’ll fix the TARDIS, and while you’re doing that I get a month on Earth. I like it here anyway, I’d like to spend more time here. I mean, it’s great travelling with you, Dad, but I’d like to try staying in one place as well. It’ll be fun, doing what normal humans do.”
The Doctor was just looking at her. “Oh, you are so much like me. You’re right. You should get a chance to stay in one place for a change.”
“Besides, I like the people here. Gwen and Martha and Ianto and Jack. And Donna’s friends with Martha, she won’t mind staying here a while.”
“Ooh, that’s a point… I should find her, let her know what’s going on…”

At that moment, Donna looked into the Boardroom, having heard her name mentioned.
“Doctor? Are you talking about me?”
“Oh, Donna… I was just going to come and find you. There’s a bit of a problem.”
“What’ve you done now?”
“Sorry, but could people stop assuming that this is because of me? I mean, technically it is, but I’d like everyone to stop assuming.”
“All right, all right. What happened?”
“The TARDIS needs some repairs done. Quite big repairs.”
“Like what?”
“The kind that are absolutely essential because she won’t fly without them.”
“Oh. How long’ll it take?”
“A month or so, if everything goes to plan.”
“So we’re stuck here for a month?”
“Yep. That’s about it, really.”
“Well, it’s not ideal, but okay.”
“You don’t mind?”
“Why would I? I might go and see Mum for a few days. And this lot could probably use our help while we’re here.”
“Er… okay, then. I’ll go and have a word with Jack, and oh… we’re going to need somewhere to stay… I suppose we could use the TARDIS, but I don’t really want to cause any more damage…”


The Doctor pushed open the door to Jack’s office.
“What now, Doctor?”
“I’ve told Jenny and Donna about what happened… I was wondering, we’re going to need somewhere to stay. Normally I’d use the TARDIS but with the energy levels so low I can’t, really. Any chance you could sort something out?”
“I’ll get Ianto on it. He ought to be able to find you a flat or a house somewhere.”
“Great. And we’re probably going to need money, for food and stuff…”
“I thought about that. With our current staffing problem… I could “employ” you and Donna as consultants or something, if you like. It wouldn’t be strictly official, but seeing as I sign the paycheques it doesn’t really matter. We can work something out for Jenny, too, if you like.”
“Like what?”
“Well, she doesn’t really have the same experience as you do… I can put her down as a junior operative. It’s up to you, though, being her dad.”
“I don’t know… I’ll ask her later. See what she wants.”
“Just let me know. I’ll sort out the paperwork for you and Donna now… oh, uh… I’ll probably have to pay you in cash. You don’t have a bank account, do you?”
“I think I did, when I worked for UNIT… haven’t used it for years though.”
“Right. Maybe we’ll get one set up for you then.”
“Er. Good.”


As it happened, Jack found Jenny first.
“Jenny, are you busy?”
“No, what is it?”
“Did your dad tell you what’s happened?”
“With the TARDIS? Yeah. We’re stuck here.”
“That’s right. Well… your dad and Donna are going to work for Torchwood for a bit. Or at least, Donna will, because your dad will probably be busy with repairs most of the time. Anyway… we wondered if you wanted to work here as well… what do you think?”
“I could work here? Really?”
“Yeah. You’d have to be a junior operative, because you aren’t as experienced as me or your dad yet. It’s up to you.”
“I’d love to! It’s perfect, I’d get to live like a normal person and see new things at the same time.”
“Are you sure?”
“Okay then. Great. I’ll get everything set up for you then.”


Jenny Harkness… sounds good. *thud*

I love it, it's so cute, and Jenny and Jack <33
next chapter!! more jack/jenny action! pleaseee! lol.

great chap x
Wow, that was good. You should totally write more.
loved it r u going 2 do a next chapter xx
Glad you liked it! This is actually one of my older fics... the rest of the chapters are up on my fanfiction.net account.

(there's a link on my journal)
thanks i will go on it now xx