The Doctor was bored.
He acknowledged that this was almost never a good thing. In fact, the only worse thing that came immediately to mind was when he was angry. He slouched in the jump seat and tapped fretfully at the keys on the console, while simultaneously linking with the TARDIS in his mind. Any ideas, Sexy?
(blue-and-brown-boy, my child, another orange girl, blue-and-brown-boy)
These remarks were not remarks really, or even words as such, more like pictures. No, not really pictures either, that was rubbish, impressions, impressions of Jack Harkness, River Song, Evie Jones, and... Jack Harkness again, but... well, a Jack who felt even younger than he had been when the Doctor had first met him, back in the London Blitz, with Rose. The Doctor sat up slowly.
“This could be tricky.”
“‘Timey wimey’, Doc?” Jack asked, more than a little amused, “Is that a technical term?”
The Doctor was impatient. “Of course not, most humans can’t understand the technical terms for it. River can, but then she’s not entirely human, is she? You can’t understand it, not really. I wonder if Al-- never mind that, it’s rubbish, of course not, eleventh dimensional physics that even I can’t explain, not to someone who lives in only four...” he trailed off and gave Jack a measuring look. “Well, maybe six, Time Agent... right!”
Jack rolled his eyes. He should have known better than to interrupt the Doctor’s train of thought, because once that train was derailed... “So, Doc, what d’you need from me? Not that I would mind going anywhen with you, of course, with or without your other lovely wife--” here Jack sketched a little bow in the direction of the console and received a wash of affection - along with a headache - in return. “--but I would like to know what I’m getting myself into. If you can tell me.”
The Doctor shook his head. “Nope. I just need you, and River, and Evie...” he trailed off as Jack’s blue eyes lit up. “Thought that’d get your attention, and we’re going to be crossing your timeline, Jack, that’s all I know.”
“Mine?” Jack was surprised.
“Huh,” said Jack, and shrugged. He clapped the Doctor on the back. “What are we waiting for? Let’s go pick up our ladies...”
“Hello, Sweetie, Jack,” said River Song, and then leaned out the TARDIS doors and took a shot at something outside. “When are we?”
“Rescue at Luna University,” said the Doctor, “For me anyway.”
“Here too,” said Jack. “Want some help with that?”
“Just...about...” River leaned out the door one more time, closed one eye, and fired her disintegrator pistol. There was a squealing sound and she pulled the door shut as she entered the TARDIS. “...Done!”
“Sontarans?” asked the Doctor, “Again? River, you must stop baiting them.”
“Nope,” she grinned at them both, “Blowfish. More your thing, Jack, yeah?”
The Doctor huffed. “I’ve encountered my share of them,” he muttered, “Pandori... oops. Spoilers.” He grinned at his wife. “You never did say what you’ve done, my River. Jack and I have both done the rescue at Luna University... well, he was the rescu-ee, but still... what?” She was looking at him with that expression of exasperated affection, and a hint of sadness behind her eyes.
“Been there,” River said, striding toward him and blowing Jack a quick kiss on her way by. “Done that.” She reached the Doctor and stood nose to nose with him, and the part of his mind that just would not shut up babbled about how much it liked her in those heels, they made her just the same height as him, and... then it did shut up, because she was kissing him.
And kissing him.
The Doctor didn’t hear Jack clear his throat, but the sound of the TARDIS starting up yanked his attention away from what River was doing to his lips. He looked up, and saw that Jack was laughing, “Yes, well,” he said grumpily, trying to recover his dignity. “We’ll just see how you react when Evie comes on board.” He harrumphed and bent over to check a control on the console, not noticing River smirking at Jack over his head. “Right! Off to Luna University, circa 5130!” He slammed a lever down with unnecessary force and then stroked the console lovingly and murmured, “You and me, Old Girl, and our friends and family, eh?”
“But I’m needed here,” protested Evie. Her mentor smiled at her.
“You are needed here, Evie, and at top of your form, which is why you very much need to take a holiday. You’ve been working double shifts at the clinic since the quake, on top of teaching classes and your own private counselling sessions, and you need a break. You’ve plenty of holiday time, and you haven’t been off this moon in... it must be almost a decade.” His voice softened from stern professor to loving mentor and he patted her hand. “Go find yourself a friend or two and get off this rock. Don’t come back for at least a week.” She sighed and he smiled at her again, stepping around his desk to kiss her on the cheek. “Go on, Professor Jones, or you’ll be no good to your patients or your students.” He patted her arse and gave her a friendly little shove toward the door of his new office.
“You have my commcode?” Evie asked anxiously as he propelled her out the door, “In case I’m needed while I’m gone?” Her mentor nodded impatiently and leaned around her to open the door, which was caught by someone on the other side before it could smack him in the face.
A face topped with dark hair peered around the edge of the door, saying, “Professor Siggy, could I borrow Professor Jones for a few da-- oh.” Jack smiled down at Evie. “Hi.”
“Hi,” Evie replied, smiling up at him, and then she gave a little hop and wrapped her arms around his neck, legs around his waist, and fastened her lips to his.
Professor Siggy shook his head, amused. “Time Agents... no such thing as coincidence, I suppose. Go on, young Boe, or Jack. Or whoever you are this week. Take her to her room to pack and get her off this mudball for a week. A real week of durational time. At least. Go on.” He shooed them with his hands and Jack broke the kiss to set Evie back on her feet
“Yessir, Professor, right away sir,” Jack said cheekily, and saluted American style. Then he scooped Evie up again and carried her off giggling to her suite.
Several hours later - of real durational time - Jack and Evie walked to the TARDIS, which was perched on the rim of the crater that housed the University. Evie paused as they reached the top and turned around to look at her home spread out before her. “He’s right, you know,” she said softly, “Professor Siggy’s right. I haven’t left this planet in ten years. I’m thirty-one and I have not left this rock for a third of my life. I need to get out more.”
Jack laughed and put an arm around her. “You don’t count the TARDIS as off-planet? I know I do, but then I've travelled farther in her than you have. Come on, let’s get aboard her.” He squeezed her shoulder in a one-armed hug and turned them around to knock on the blue wooden door, which swung open. “Looks like someone’s expecting us.” They climbed in and Evie felt that lovely rush of welcome and affection that the TARDIS sent her each time she came aboard, and she just basked in it. She closed her eyes and let it soak in.
“Who needs a holiday?” Evie asked rhetorically, “When I’ve all of you for friends...” She beamed around the room at them all and bounded over to River to give her a resounding kiss, then paused to pat the console affectionately and kiss the Doctor briefly before retreating to Jack’s side and taking his hand. “Jack didn’t tell me anything,” she said cheerfully, “We were busy. So what’s up?”
“Well,” said River, “it’s a bit complicated. But the gist of it is that we have to save Jack.”