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An Artist's Soul

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Every soul has a matching counterpart, their other half, and the moment they meet they are immediately drawn to one another. Once in a while, though, one soul can belong to more than one other. A certain Major was about to learn how true this can be.

 

*****

 

Drifting peacefully in the vast silence of the void gave Jack and the TARDIS the time they so desperately needed to heal from the Master’s cruelty. Jack's body was mending from the endless torture and death he had experienced at the hands of the madman, although his mind and his soul were healing at a much slower rate.

 

The Doctor had been able to repair the damaged TARDIS, successfully removing all traces of the Paradox Machine from her systems and then he'd disappeared into her depths to lick his wounds in private. Despite his isolation, the TARDIS could feel the aching loneliness that engulfed her solitary angel as if it were her own.

 

She was not a fool; she'd always known that her beloved Doctor was lonely. It had been the pervading emotion within her four walls ever since the day the Time War ended and her Doctor realised that he was the last of his kind. When he'd first boarded her, the TARDIS had thought that the brash Captain Jack Harkness would be the one to ease that loneliness and she welcomed him with open arms. Then, she looked into his future and saw the soul-binding love that would unite Jack with another, and they would be together, forever.

 

The TARDIS opened herself more fully than ever before so that she could soak up the overflowing waves of love that came from Jack and Ianto. Before heading to the void, the TARDIS had made a brief stop in Cardiff in order to pick up Jack’s Ianto. She knew that the Welshman’s loving touch was just what the broken soul of her beloved immortal was going to need to truly heal.

 

The TARDIS deeply regretted that she could not grant Jack's greatest wish of having a mortal life to spend with Ianto but she could grant Ianto’s wish that he would never have to leave Jack. Without realising it, Jack, himself, had already laid the groundwork by sharing his vortex with Ianto; all the TARDIS had to do was wait for the right moment to inform them that Ianto was well on his way to becoming immortal.

 

Satisfied that she had done all she could to help Jack, the TARDIS happily entrusted her beloved captain to the safe hands of his soul mate while she focused on helping her lonely angel and the wounded Martha.

 

Being in the void meant that she could put the majority of her systems on automatic and devote herself to the search through all of time and space until she found his other half, the one soul that would resonate with her Doctor’s, The TARDIS hummed with boundless joy as she found him in the distant Pegasus Galaxy on Atlantis. He was the only person in the Universe who would fit with her Doctor perfectly; she could hear the way his heart echoed with the same desperate loneliness that her dear Doctor's did.

 

A brief survey of her memory confirmed her suspicions that the Doctor had never visited Atlantis, although he had on one occasion met with a direct descendent of the Ancients. She peeked in on the Doctor; he was sprawled across a sofa in the Library, sound sleep – at last! – with a book on his chest and a half-empty cup of tea on the floor next to him. Able to study him without him knowing it, the TARDIS saw that there were new silver and gray strands in his hair and deep lines on his fact that hadn't been there before their journey to Malcassairo. Even though she'd been trapped below decks on the Valiant, she'd felt her Doctor's desperation and hopelessness during the Year That Never Was, and she'd been heartbroken that there was nothing she could do to help.

 

To her surprise and delight, the TARDIS was beyond pleased when she found a similar soul clearly intended for Martha, also on Atlantis. She was pleased the young medical student had finally realised that the Doctor would never look at her the way she wished he would and had finally opened her eyes to other possibilities. 'While Tom Milligan was a wonderful choice for Martha, he was not the only one or the best.' No, the TARDIS had found the perfect soul for Martha Jones.

 

‘Oh, yes, I believe a visit to Atlantis is in order,’ she thought gleefully. Workingcarefully to hide her match-making plans from her Doctor, the TARDIS began to seek out the best time to go and collect Major Evan Lorne. ‘It’s been a long time since we’ve had an artist onboard, I wonder if I could get him to paint me?’

 

******

Major Evan Lorne was excited; it was his first weekend off in what felt like forever. In fact, all of Atlantis was excited about finally getting some well-deserved down time. He was going to enjoy his time by finishing his latest painting.

 

‘First, a nice relaxing hot shower,’ Lorne quickly decided and in a matter of moments had stripped out of his gear and was headed towards his bathroom. 'I am really going to enjoy soothing his aching muscles under the hot water.' He sighed with pleasure as the spray hit his body, and he bowed his head and leaned against the wall so the shower could pound onto his shoulders.

 

*****

The seemly permanent happy, contented smile on Jack’s face soothed an ache deep in the Doctor’s soul; he was so very happy that Jack found his soul mate in Ianto Jones. It was the young man's unwavering love for the immortal that was helping Jack to heal from his torture at the hands of the Master. Ianto stayed with Jack through thick and thin, celebrating his joys by day and enduring his nightmares at night. Through it all, the young Welshman remained warm, loving, and forgiving, although the Doctor had come across him late one night in the library. Ianto had been huddled in a corner, sobbing as though his heart were breaking. The Time Lord had quietly closed the door and wisely left Ianto to his privacy.

 

The Doctor didn't think there was any way he would ever be able to fully come to terms with the crushing guilt he felt for having used Jack the way he did. It was only because the Master had been kept so entertained by torturing and killing Jack that the Doctor had been able to tune himself in to the psychic power of the Archangel Network. If it weren't for the unending sacrifices Jack had made of his mind and body, Earth and the Universe would have fallen to the Master's evil vision.

 

The Doctor knew he had done great wrongs to Jack, just as he knew he had a long way to go to fix their friendship. But the Doctor also knew that whatever love Jack had for him once upon a time was gone, having been replaced with feelings of friendship. There was absolutely no doubt in the Doctor's mind that the one who now held Jack’s heart was Ianto Jones. The Doctor was happy that Jack had found someone he could love truly and completely and more importantly, who could accept everything about the immortal. Ianto Jones was one in a million.

 

Yet watching them together made the Doctor’s loneliness all the stronger and he occasionally begged off a group activity because their happiness was just too much to endure. He wished with both his hearts that he had someone to love and support him like Jack had with Ianto. In truth, the Doctor was the tiniest bit jealous that Ianto could so easily accept Jack for who he was, immortality included, when he himself still found it hard to even look at Jack without flinching. Adding to his list of sins against Jack was the fact that he'd never been able to hide his grimace of revulsion, however small, whenever he saw Jack.

 

It wasn’t it until the TARDIS shuddered and wheezed through her typical landed did the Doctor break out of his dark, sombre thoughts. ‘What are you up to?’ the Doctor wondered as he studied his console. 'Where have you taken us, Idris?' He would have sworn that he heard her give a light, airy giggle in response to his questions.

 

“Doc, where are we?” Jack asked as he wandered over to the centre console to see what the man was looking at so intently, and since he was still holding Ianto’s hand, the young Welshman was dragged along with him.

 

The Doctor stared at the console in disbelief, not sure if he was reading the displays right. "Well..." he began slowly, “I think the TARDIS brought us to Atlantis.”

 *****

Exiting his bathroom with a towel slung low on his hips with water running in rivulets down his chest, Evan Lorne was brought up short by the sight of the old-fashioned police box sitting in the middle of his room. 'Where the hell did that come from?' He looked around in bewilderment; 'it wouldn't even fit through the door!' Before coming to Atlantis, Lorne might have started freaking out, sounding alarms, and looking for either a weapon or a place to hide, but after everything he's dealt with since coming through the wormhole, having a mysterious blue box magically appear in his quarters seemed almost ordinary.

 

Before he could activate his comm link or reach for his gun, the doors of the police box swung open and out popped three good-looking men and one beautiful African woman. The first thing he noticed was the man wearing an odd combination of a suit with Converse trainers. He was bouncing on his feet and looking around with an excited grin on his face.

 

“Do you have any idea where we are?” Before the man could give his friends a chance to respond, he continued, “We’re on Atlantis! I’ve always wanted to visit Atlantis!” He flashed a wide smile at his companions and flung out his arms. "Atlantis!"

 

The man wearing what Lorne believed to be clothing from the 1940’s, including a World War Two greatcoat and captain's bars, nodded his head. With a confused look on his handsome face, the captain asked, “That’s nice, Doc, but why are we on Atlantis?” Lorne took note of the cautious look on his face and the way he took a protective stance in front of the younger man. Lorne looked closely at the other man; he was simply far too good- looking in a well-tailored three piece pinstripe suit and deep red shirt. It wasn't hard to figure out immediately that they are lovers.

 

Doc casually shrugged his shoulders and with the same cheery, slightly maniacal grin informed them, “I have no idea! The TARDIS does what she wants.” He beamed proudly and stroked a hand along the wooden panel of the blue box.

 

Realising that his current state of undress left him at a distinct disadvantage, Lorne decided that he would like to get dressed before finding out the answers to his questions: 'who are these people,' 'how did they got to Atlantis in a wooden box,' and finally, 'how in the world do they know about Atlantis in the first place?'

 

Clearing his throat, he made his presence known. “Excuse me but would you mind if I got dressed before you tell me just how you got here?”

 

Realising for the first time that they weren't alone, all eyes turned to look at Lorne. The man in the 1940’s dress openly leered, dragging his eyes up and down Lorne's body. “Well, hello there,” he purred appreciatively.

 

The man hadn't even finished speaking before his three companions all sighed deeply and in perfect unison uttered, “Stop it, Jack!” Lorne noticed that the well-dressed young man behind Jack added a fondly exasperated eye roll to his admonition.

 

A pout graced Jack’s face and his lower lip jutted out childishly. “I was just saying hello,” he informed his friends with a dramatic sulk. In an abrupt mood shift, he suddenly brightened up and pulled the man in the suit into his arms. “Why would I need anyone else when I have my gorgeous Welshman?” Pure emotion laced Jack’s voice as he nuzzled the other man’s neck.

 

The obvious love between those two brought a familiar ache to Evan’s chest; what he wouldn’t give to have someone look at him like that. From the wistful looks the couple's two friends were casting at them, Lorne could see that they felt the same way he did.

 

It was the female who broke the mood and got things back on track. “Right! Well... I think we should all head back into the TARDIS and let the half-naked man get dressed.” It wasn’t hard to miss that she was almost embarrassed as Evan was himself.

 

“I agree with Martha. We should return to the TARDIS and try and find out why she brought us here.” The smooth Welsh voice that cut through the air had Lorne raising an eyebrow; never before had accent sounded so sexy! 'Accept for maybe Carson's.'

 

Jack openly leered at the man and tightened his grip on his waist. “Ooh, say that again, Ianto. I love hearing those Welsh vowels of yours.”

 

The man that Evan still only knew as 'Doc' rolled his eyes at the couple. “Right, everyone, back into the TARDIS before Jack forgets where we are and jumps Ianto right in front of our guest.”

 

Before Evan could speak up and remind them that they were the guests in his home, the group turned their backs on him. He watched with amusement as Jack willingly followed Ianto back into the police box with the woman trailing in after them. Only the Doctor lingered behind and he paused at the door to look back at Lorne.

 

“I’m terribly sorry about this;" and he waved his arm in Lorne's general direction. "I honestly have no idea why the old girl decided to land in your room.” The Doctor apologised with a brief smile. "I'll be having a talk with her in just a... well, when I say talk... I mean, it's not like she... you know, um... talks back, but... she uh..."

 

“She’s sentient?” Evan knew from Sheppard that Atlantis was a sentient being, but to actually have a chance to meet a living creature that could make up its own mind was one in a million!

 

The pure awe in his voice and the fascination shining in Lorne's eyes halted the Doctor in his tracks and he bounced over to the towel-wearing man; he didn't care whether the man was dressed or not. “Yes, she is! Would you like to meet her?” Not waiting for an answer the Doctor snagged the man by the arm and dragged him towards the TARDIS.

 

Slightly shocked at the man’s strength he allowed himself to be pulled through the doors, and before Evan knew it he was inside the police box. As he came to an abrupt halt and looked at his new surroundings, he could think of only one thing to say; “It’s bigger on the inside!” He looked around in awe, his eyes the size of saucers as he took in the soaring coral arches, the glowing centre pillar encircled by its control console and the numerous hallways that led off to heaven knew where.

 

“See! Now that’s a proper reaction!” The Doctor pointed gleefully at Ianto; he still couldn’t believe that the young Welshman hadn’t been all that impressed by the size of the TARDIS. Instead of being suitably wowed by a miraculous ship that looked so deceptively small on the outside, Ianto had lectured him rather severely about not keeping her appropriately clean on the inside. The TARDIS had fallen in love with Ianto from that moment on.

 

“So Doc, since you dragged towel-boy in here does this mean your rule about always wearing clothes in the TARDIS is no longer valid?” Jack asked as he opening undressed Ianto with his eyes. "Is naked Friday back on?"

 

Martha giggled openly as the Doctor shook his head vehemently. "No! Absolutely not, Jack! Don't you ever run around naked in my ship again, Jack Harkness, or I swear I'll... I'll..." The Time Lord's rant sputtered to a halt and he looked at Ianto pleadingly. "Please don't make me looked at Jack naked again? Please!?"

 

"You can count on me, sir." Ianto took pity on the flustered Time Lord and shook his head at his lover. “It’s not happening, Jack.” Ianto calmly informed his lover as if he’d heard the Doctor's protests a thousand times. "We can have naked Fridays again once we're back in the Hub, okay?"

 

As Jack indulged in a pretty pout, Ianto turned his attention to the one person in the TARDIS who was half-naked, a confused-looking man who simply gaped at them all speechlessly. “I’m sorry about all this and it’s occurred to me that we haven’t introduced ourselves or learned your name. I’m Ianto Jones; this is Captain Jack Harkness, Doctor Martha Jones, and this is the Doctor.”

 

Pleased to finally know the names of the people he was standing in front of wearing nothing but a towel, Evan knew he was going to like Ianto. “It’s nice to meet you all. I’m Major Evan Lorne. Would it be too much of a bother if I got dressed?”

 

Before anyone could answer Lorne, the air around him was filled with the sound of whirring and grinding, and the ship began to shudder beneath his feet. Alarmed, he looked at the others, but they seemed to be taking this strange turn of events in stride. When he saw them all reach out to hold onto something, he hastily grabbed onto the nearest strut and help on for dear life.

 

Panicking by the sudden turn of events, the Doctor ran towards the console with Jack right behind him. “No, no, no! What are you up to?” the Doctor demanded from his ship as he poked buttons and twisted knobs. "You stop this right now!"

 

While they were trying to figure out what was happening Evan felt a soothing voice start whispering in his head and he frowned in concentration. ‘My beautiful angel has been lonely for far too long, Evan. He, like Jack, needs someone who can love him completely and accept him for who and what he is. I believe that you, Major Evan Lorne, are the missing piece that would make him whole. Will you travel with us, at least for a while?’

 

Knowing he should be alarmed that he was hearing voices in his head, Evan instead found himself considering the voice's request. After all, it’s not every day that a police box talks to you telepathically and he was quite intrigued by the experience. ‘I have to be back at work on Monday,’ he informed her firmly.

 

A joyful thrill went through the TARDIS when she heard Evan's unspoken agreement. 'I shall have you back on Monday,' she happily chipped. She didn't think it was the time to point out that as a Time Machine she would be taking her sweet time in bringing him back. 'Hmm, I wonder how long it will take to get them together? And if I can convince handsome Jack and my wonderful Ianto to help in playing matchmaker then maybe we can find someone for Martha as well.'

 

As the TARDIS plotted her romantic schemes, she made a note to have Evan get in contact with Atlantis so they wouldn't go looking for him. 'But that can wait until after our first adventure.' Humming happily to herself, the TARDIS set course for a nice little planet that was in the middle of a month-long celebration centred around its soul-bonding ceremony. 'I think that's something both of my couples could benefit from.'

 

'Of course there is another who may offer some objection to my matchmaking.' The TARDIS had studied Evan's timeline and she'd seen that another had already staked a claim to his heart. 'Two hearts looking after my lonely angel might not be such a bad idea.' Suddenly a new idea began to take form as the TARDIS hummed softly to herself as she wondered, 'Maybe a return visit to Atlantis is actually what's in order first.'

 

Ianto could sense that the TARDIS was up to something and he smiled; 'Now you be a good girl,' he thought to her and he heard her giggle in reply. Knowing that whatever she had up her sleeve it was for someone's benefit, he turned to face Evan with a gentle smile on his face. "Come along, Major, I'll show you a place where you can get changed."

 

"Thank you, Ianto." Evan was grateful that someone had finally realised that he wasn't comfortable wearing just a towel in front of everyone. 'I wonder whose clothes I'll be wearing?' Little did he know...

 

*****

From the moment they entered the wormhole that took them to the far side of the Universe, Atlantis personal had seen a lot of strange things, but the sight of a blue police box from Britain's 1960's fading in and out of their control room was something even they were not immune to. The on-duty gate personal exchanged startled looks and raised their weapons as the mysterious box became solid.

 

Rubbing the bridge of his nose in bewilderment, Lead Gate Technician Chuck Mistrik sighed deeply. 'I knew it was too much to hope for a peaceful and relaxing weekend.' Resigned to a typical day at work, Chuck began issuing orders, "All right, let's inform Colonel Carter and Major Sheppard. Looks like our down time maybe put on hold." Chuck wasn't at all surprised at the groans that filled the control room at his words and he silently joined in; he felt their pain.

 

*****

 

Evan was truly grateful for Ianto's thoughtfulness, as the Welshman was the only one to offer him clothing and a hot beverage. One sip of the coffee the Welshman brewed and Evan was ready to offer up his services as a new crew member. He even wondered if he could convince Ianto to come work at Atlantis. He was sure the young man would have almost everyone worshiping at his feet in days.

 

'I'd even be willing to be his sex slave although something tells me Jack wouldn't be too keen on that idea.' Despite telling himself not to, he found his thoughts drifting towards the one man he harboured deep feelings for. 'I wonder if John has noticed I'm gone?'

 

The TARDIS felt his wistful thoughts and she smiled; 'Oh yes, Evan, he misses you,' she told him, even though he couldn't hear her, yet.

 

*****

Major John Sheppard was not a happy man; he had gone by to talk to Lorne and see if the other man wanted to spend some time together, only to find that his second had somehow gone missing. John had checked the CCTV coverage, which showed Lorne going into his quarters but never coming back out. Unable to raise the major on the comm system, John was an inch away from putting out a alert and sending Atlantis into lockdown.

 

'Where are you, Evan?' As John reached for his comm one last time to see if he could get in touch with Evan, his comm link went off. 'Please let it be Evan, please!' "Sheppard, what's going on?"

 

Chuck's voice came over the line with a deep sigh, "Sir, we may have a situation in the gate room. Apparently a 1960's-style British police box has landed without coming through the gate."

 

John blinked. "I'm sorry, did you just say a 1960's police box is landing in our gate room?" Since coming to Atlantis, he'd has heard and seen some pretty crazy things but that had to be in the top five.

 

Once again, Chuck sighed over the comm. "Yes, I did, Sir; I'm watching it... well... I guess it's materialising right now."

 

'Oh sure, my first free weekend and this has to happen!' John's eyes narrowed as a sudden thought hit him.  'I wonder if they have something to do with Evan's disappearance. If they've harmed him in any way they will not make it off Atlantis alive!' he vowed darkly.

 

"Umm... Sir?" Chuck's worried voice came across the comm, pulling John out away from his murderous thoughts.

 

"Yeah, I'm here, Chuck, and I'm on my way." John turned on his heel and headed for the nearest lift at a swift jog. He wanted to know what they did with his Evan. 'Please let Evan be okay!' he prayed as he waited impatiently for the life to arrive in the Gate Room.

 

*****

"Well, this is odd." The Doctor scratched his head in confusion as he swung the monitor around, stared at the display for a moment, "What?" and then compared those readouts with the ticker tape of data spewing forth from a slot on the console. "What!!?" His mouth flopped open when he finally deciphered exactly where the TARDIS had decided to take them for Evan's first trip through time and space.

 

"What!?"

 

From his spot on the jump seat, Jack slouched lazily as he watched the Doctor's odd dance around the console. He stopped nuzzling Ianto's neck long enough to ask, "Where'd she take us, Doc?" He'd given up, for now, on trying to get Ianto naked; now he was just enjoying being tucked against his young lover's side and running his fingers through Ianto's dark locks.

 

The Time Lord shut his mouth with an audible snap and he looked up at Jack in astonishment. "For some reason the TARDIS has brought us back to Atlantis." He ran around to the other side of the console and peered closely at one dial in particular. "In fact, according to this, we've only been gone two minutes!" 'What are you up to now?' The Doctor wasn't all surprised when he didn't get an answer; his beloved ship could be downright stubborn and mysterious when she put her mind to something.

 

Alarmed by this unusual turn of events, Jack sat bolt upright with a very suspicious look in his eyes. "This isn't going to be like that time with Rose, is it?" he asked. "And we've returned to Atlantis a year later than we left?"

 

"A year!? I can't be gone for an entire year!" Evan had arrived back in the console just in time to hear Jack's question. He'd been off discovering the joys and miracles of the TARDIS' vast wardrobe and was now dressed in snug-fitting the blue jeans and a long-sleeved black shirt that Ianto had helped him find.

 

The Doctor whirled around to face him. "I'm sure that's not the case!" he hastened to reassure Evan, although he wasn't sure why he was concerned about the newcomer. All he knew was that he didn't want to see him upset. The Time Lord watched silently as Evan finished rolling up his shirtsleeves, exposing gracefully muscled forearms. "The chronomatograph itself is never wrong; it's synced to the master Universal timepiece overseen by the Shadow Proclamation," he explained, hoping to set Evan's mind at ease.

 

Jack and Martha's eyebrows rose at the Doctor's telling words but Jack got there first. "You mean to tell us that all the times we've arrived too late or too early weren't the TARDIS fault?"

 

Realising what he'd just admitted, the Doctor tried to recover. "Um... no... well yes... I mean she..."

 

"So you've been blaming her for all this?" It was Martha's turn and she was really pissed off, "when it's your fault we're never on time!"

 

The Doctor gaped at her for a moment, desperately trying to think of an answer but nothing came to mind so he simply gave up and turned back to Evan. "As I was saying, Major, you have nothing to worry about. I'm sure we're back just a few minutes after we left." He motioned for Evan to join him at the console; "See?" he pointed anxiously to the time-keeping chronomatograph. "It doesn't let us run late."

 

Jack and Martha glanced at each other in consternation; they didn't understand why the Time Lord was acting so strangely, why he was so anxious to please this stranger. Ianto, on the other hand, just smiled knowingly; he had a pretty good idea what the TARDIS was up to and why she'd sought out Major Evan Lorne in the first place. Now he suspected that Lorne's happiness was part of the reason that they had returned to Atlantis so unexpectedly.

 

'Oh yes, Ianto is a keeper!' The TARDIS purred with happiness as she heard Ianto's thoughts. 'I hope he'll be able to help my lonely angel see what's right before his eyes when I bring in the two that complete the Time Lord's empty soul.'

 

As he watched the Gate Control Room appear on the TARDIS' monitors, Evan's heart skipped a beat as it always did when he saw John. He could tell by and the look in the man's eyes that he was clearly not happy. As the Doctor turned to exit the TARDIS, Evan put his hand on the Time Lord's shoulder. "I should go first, explain that you guys are not the enemy and that you won't cause any trouble to the citizens of Atlantis." Evan also wanted to find out why his CO was so angry.

 

"I think that's a good idea. I for one don't want to get shot." From his seat within the circle of Jack's arms, Ianto voiced his agreement to Evan's plan. "We can be a little overwhelming."

 

And as he expected, Jack turned and leered at his lover. "You can overwhelm me anytime."

 

Ianto rolled his eyes as he fondly stroked the side of Jack's face. "And we need to warn them about Jack," he added, softening his words with a kiss on Jack's cheek.

 

Martha chuckled. "How does one warn and prepare a new world for someone like Captain Jack Harkness?"

 

"You don't." The Doctor shook his head knowingly. "Believe me, I've tried. It's best if you just hold on tight and go along for the ride." He grinned wickedly. "Of course, you can always make sure a certain sexy Welshman is within groping range." Even though the Time Lord had never seen Jack so devoted to one person and he was happy for the immortal, he still couldn't resist putting in a teasing little dig once in a while.

 

'At least I was spared having to break Jack's heart again.' The Doctor was sorry that he'd abandoned Jack on the Game Station, and they had begun to slowly repair their relationship. The Doctor doubted that it would be going so well if he'd told Jack that he never loved Jack the way Jack had loved him once upon a time. Now the Doctor knew that Jack saw only one person through the eyes of love, a soft-spoken, sweet but strong Welshman. At the same time, however, the Doctor wished he could find that one person who would complete him. For a while, he'd thought – for a while he'd even hoped –  it would be Rose but no matter how much he cared for or how deeply he loved her, it just never felt right.

 

He never felt whole.

 

None of his Companions had ever filled that empty void and the Doctor was well aware of the fact he'd hurt them. He was simply unable to return their feelings, and nothing he said or did or tired could change that. The most recent person was, of course, Martha. Oh, he knew he'd hurt Martha with the constant comparing of her with Rose, and it didn't help that he'd taken Martha to the same places he been to with Rose. He knew he should have taken her to new and different places that she would have liked to see. 'I think I wanted to distance myself from Martha so she wouldn't fall for me. Boy, did that plan blow up in my face! I really hope that the TARDIS has somebody in mind for Martha; maybe it'll make up for me putting her second and all' While the Doctor couldn't be sure, he did know his TARDIS; he had a feeling his ship was playing matchmaker and for some reason that seemed to involve Major Evan Lorne.

 

Pausing at the door with his hand on the latch, the major turned back and looked at the assembled group. "I'll come and get you once I've explained everything to them." The last thing Evan wanted was for his new friends, especially the Doctor, to get hurt by his old friends.

 

The TARDIS brushed gently against Evan's mind. 'Do not worry; everything will work out just fine,' she promised. The TARDIS had sensed Evan's worry just as she had his increasing attraction to her lonely angel. She knew it might take some time but she was confident that the three of them would find their way to one another. She was also quite sure that with some careful guidance and a little prodding on her part, it wouldn't take too long. 'I hope.'

 

*****

Samantha Carter had seen a lot in her time at Stargate Command and even more as a member of the elite SG-1 but even she found the sight of a 1960's British police box sitting in the Gate Room just a little on the strange side. Her study of the strange blue intruder was broken by the arrival of an jaw-clenched John Sheppard.

 

"Major Lorne is missing." Despite the frantic worry for his team-mate that was gnawing at his very soul, John fought the urge to growl out his report. He was more convinced than ever that this strange ship had done something to Evan. "Report!"

 

'Ahh, that explains everything.' Sam wanted to shake her head in exasperation; John was acting just like Jack had when Daniel had disappeared. 'Men in love and denying it are all the same! They're just overprotective babies who freak out when their loved ones go missing.'

 

Sam rolled her eyes; it was like watching Jack and Daniel all over again. 'I wonder which one of them will cave in first? This bizarre intruder could be the key to finally getting John and Evan to make a move.' A thought struck her; 'I need to place a new bet in the pool!'

 

Suddenly the doors to the blue box swung open and John's hand automatically fell to the gun at his side but before he could draw his weapon, a very familiar figure stepped out. John immediately forgot all about the gun at his side as he crossed the distant between them. Anxiety had him grasping Evan's arm a little tighter than he intended as John pulled his errant friend away from the blue box. "Are you all right? Did they hurt you in any way? How did you escape?" John fired question after question in rapid-fire succession as he looked Evan over from head to foot. "What do they want? Are you sure you're okay?"

 

"Aye, laddie, maybe you should let me give our Major a quick check-up." Carson's voice drifted over to them as he came to stand next to Sam. "It is my job after all."

 

Crossing his arms over his chest in an almost belligerent fashion, Rodney McKay did his best to look unimpressed as he stared at the blue box sitting innocently in Gate control. "This is what's got everyone so worked up about? It looks like a piece of junk." In spite of his nonchalant words, his minds was spinning as he tried to figure out 'how in the hell did something like that travel through space without using the gates? I have got to get inside that thing!'

 

Evan felt an indignant huff tingling at the back of his mind and he could tell that the TARDIS wasn't all that pleased with McKay's opinion of her and Evan wasn't sure but he would swear that she even blew a very unladylike raspberry back at the irreverent scientist. "Doc, I'd be careful what you say; she's alive and your attitude is pissing her off."

 

While Evan knew that Rodney was just being Rodney, he couldn't help but feel a little upset on behalf of the TARDIS. 'I'm sorry, sweetheart, he doesn't mean anything by it. He just thinks he's being cool.' Evan distinctly heard the ship chuckle and he hoped that if she ever let Rodney inside, that she wouldn't do anything too bad to him.

 

"She's sentient?" Sam, Radek and Rodney asked as one and their eyes lit up with excitement.

 

Evan nodded his head proudly. "Yes, and if you promise not to throw them in the brig..." this was directed at John in particular, "I can bring out her pilot and crew to meet you. They can explain her better than I possibly can."

 

Like children at Christmas, Radek and Rodney both turned to Sam their eyes pleading with her for permission to open the best present they'd ever been given. Sam, however, was too busy studying Evan and the ship to pay any attention to nosey scientists.

 

"Anyone who can not only find Atlantis without using the gate system and gain access to the city without setting off any alarms could be a much-needed ally against the Wraith." She nodded decisively; "All right, Major, bring your friends out but tell them to come unarmed." As far as she was concerned, if Evan trusted them then that was good enough for Sam.

 

With a reassuring smile, Evan gently pulled himself out of John's grasp and turned back towards the TARDIS. Just as he was starting to push open the door, one thing struck him and he stopped and looked back at the men and women standing around the Gate Room. "Ahh, very important, don't anyone try and flirt with the sexy Welshman in a suit; his boyfriend won't like that," he warned before ducking inside the TARDIS.

 

"How in the hell do they all fit in there?" Evan heard Rodney's voice echo as the TARDIS door shut behind him.

 

"Damn right I won't!" Jack growled under his breath; he'd clearly heard Evan's warning. 'Of course Atlantis had to be filled with gorgeous men and women; why can't it ever be the uggos and the dogs!?' Jack thought in annoyed frustration before turning his gaze on to Ianto. "You're not leaving my side, ever,' he warned

 

"I won't, Cariad," Ianto smiled indulgently. He was well aware of Jack's possessive side; he even found it a little endearing at times, to have someone care about him so deeply.

 

 "And don't you dare make any of them a single drop of your coffee or they'll make it open season on trying to steal you away from me!" Jack knew how powerful Ianto's coffee was, and he wasn't taking any chances on someone in Atlantis trying to snatch Ianto away from him.

 

Evan had to admit that Jack had a smart idea; all of Atlantis lived on coffee. He'd been treated to a taste of Ianto's magical brew and it was like nothing he'd ever tasted before. Compared to the swill produced in the Atlantic mess hall, Ianto's coffee was pure heaven in a cup, but he wasn't going to say that out loud; no need to set Jack even more on guard than he already was.

 

"Colonel Carter has asked you to come unarmed." He looked around and saw agreement on everyone's faces, although it took Jack a bit longer than the rest to accept the colonel's terms. "I think she's hoping to form an alliance with you and the scientist side of her wants to find out more about this amazing little blue box of yours."

 

Evan smiled as a feeling of well-deserved smugness emanated from the TARDIS while the Doctor simply rolled his eyes.

 

"Now you've done it, Major now she's going to have a swelled head for centuries!" The Time Lord could count on one hand how many people his ship had loved right off the bat. First among them were Jack and Ianto, and now it looked like Evan Lorne was on that list. "Well, there's no need to worry about me; I never carry a weapon and neither does Martha. There's only two among us who think that guns are useful and... well... their weapons are safely tucked away." The Doctor looked directly at Jack as he said this, hoping that Jack would get the message.

 

He accidentally forgot to t mention his sonic screwdriver because technically it wasn't a weapon; it was a simple sonic device that could do everything from opening a locked door to destroying an entire computer network. Being a weapon was merely incidental to its primary function, looking and sounding really cool.

 

"Thank you, Doctor, I appreciate your cooperation." Evan smiled gratefully at the Doctor. "Well, come along then and I'll introduce you to Atlantis." Reaching out impulsively, Evan snagged the Doctor by the arm, pulled him close, and dragged him out of the TARDIS.

 

Jack snagged Ianto's hand and linked their fingers together; 'I'm going to make damn sure that everyone knows that my Ianto is a very taken man!' Rolling his eyes fondly, Ianto placed a gentle kiss on Jack's lips.

 

"You daft man, of course I'm yours! Nothing will ever change that." The Welshman had to admit it was rather sweet to see Jack so worried losing him to someone else. "We'll be together forever, Cariad, I promise."

 

Jack gave Ianto a rueful little smile. "I guess I'm just waiting for the moment you come to your senses and realize that you could do so much better than me." The immortal found it difficult to admit his biggest fear to the man he loved.

 

"Never going to happen," Ianto declared without any hesitation. "You're stuck with me, Jack. Now what do you say we actually help the TARDIS with her matchmaking plans?" Ianto thoroughly enjoyed the gobsmacked looks on both Jack and Martha's faces and judging by the by the musical laughter that brushed against his mind, so did the TARDIS.

 

Oh, yes, the TARDIS loved Ianto Jones so very much and she knew how fortunate she was to have found a trusted ally in the young Welshman.

 

"I think it's time we joined the Doctor; who knows what kind of trouble he could be causing in Atlantis on his own." Always the gentleman, Ianto offered his free arm to Martha who favoured him with a smile as she slipped her arm through his.

 

*****

 

 The moment the Doctor laid eyes on the sheer beauty of Atlantis, he was awe-struck. "This is brilliant!" he declared as he feasted his eyes on his first glance of the city. Much to the amusement of all those present, he began bounding around, dashing from place to place. He alternated between using his horn-rimmed spectacles and a pair of 3-D cardboard glasses to study each and everything her saw for a moment before bouncing off to the next fascinating thing that caught his eye.

 

Rodney shook his head in disgust. "That hyper-active child is the pilot of this strange ship?" He watched as the Doctor licked the side of the gate and then smacked his lips appreciatively before running over to the control panel. "Huh, I guess it does make sense," he muttered with a sad shake of his head. "Weird ship like this need a weird pilot."

 

The Doctor stopped in mid-stride and he whirled around to face Rodney with an incensed glare on his face. "Do you have any idea who I am, you stupid ape?!" His voice was a low roar. "I have seen things your puny mind would never be able to understand. You've barely begun to crack the knowledge of the Ancients! Your simplistic human mind would burn at the first hint of the knowledge I have." The Doctor would not stand for anyone to insult his beloved TARDIS.

 

A gentle hand on his shoulder and it was as if a switch had been flipped; the Doctor felt all tension leave his body as he turned to stare into the warm, understanding eyes of Evan Lorne. "Please don't take what Doctor McKay said personally, Doctor, that's just the way he is. I've only spent a little time in the TARDIS but I know she is the most brilliant thing in the known universe," Evan quickly reassured the angry Time Lord.

 

Already feeling a bit giddy over the intense heat soaking into his shoulder from the touch of Evan's hand, he looked deeply into Evan's eyes. Seeing nothing but pure honesty shining back at him, the Doctor felt his hearts skip a beat at how much already loved his ship. "Thank you, Evan. After getting to know you at least I know that not everyone on Atlantis is an overly-caffeinated ape with a huge ego."

 

The Doctor wasn't sure why the TARDIS thought they should come back to meet such a backwards group of explores, but he hoped she had a very good reason, especially after hearing the way Atlantis' residents were insulting her.

 

As he watched the intimate moment between Evan the odd stranger who'd invaded his Gate room, John's hands clenched into fists. It took all his willpower and training to remain where he was as he fought the urge to rip his Evan away from the Doctor's dubious clutches. 'I wonder if he's being brainwashed in some way by this whack-job?'

 

Ronon crossed his arms over his chest and smirked broadly; Rodney looked lit a fish out of water as he stood gaping at the Doctor with his mouth opening and closing wordlessly. "I like him; anyone who can shut McKay up like that is okay in my books."

 

Quietly, Teyla studied the scene before her; the passionate jealousy on John's face did not go unnoticed, nor did the confused affection the new arrival obviously had for Evan. 'John, my friend, for so long you have hidden your true feelings from Evan and now you have a rival. I sense something different about this man and his ship, but I do not believe he is a rival for Major Lorne's affections. In fact, I believe he is going to be a powerful advocate for your romantic relationship. I have a feeling nothing will be the same again.'

 

An amused voice cut through the air. "Doc! Already making friends I see!" Jack took one look at Evan's hand still resting on the Doctor's shoulder and he wondered what the hell he and Ianto had missed.

 

Standing next to Ronon, Teyla was the only one to feel his body suddenly stiffen and to hear him growl low his throat. She followed his unwavering gaze to the dark-skinned female that had arrived in the blue box, and she saw that his eyes never left her face. She immediately realised what was happening and she smiled. 'It would seem, my friend, that you have found your other half.' Teyla was deeply happy for her friend; the mighty warrior had been alone for far too long.

 

Martha gulped in shock as she saw and more importantly, felt, the look the tall and very handsome man was giving her; never before had a man looked at her as if she was his whole world. It filled her with such an incredible sense of wonder, warmth and belonging. At the back of her mind, she heard the TARDIS' soft encouraging whisper, 'Go to him, child; he is yours just as you are his.'

 

It was as if an invisible cord was irresistibly drawing Martha and Ronon to one another. Slowly Martha slipped her arm from Ianto's and took a step forward; her eyes perceived only Ronon and nothing else. The moment he saw Martha move, Ronon took his own step forward.

 

Jack was thankful for Ianto's comforting hand in his; his young lover was the only thing that kept him in place as Martha moved towards the handsome man. Jack's eyes narrowed suspiciously; ever since The Year That Never Was, he'd become very protective over those who held a special place in his heart and that extended to Martha and her family. After seeing the way the Doctor's oblivious blindness had to her feelings broken her heart, he'd been worried about her getting hurt again.

 

"No, Jack," Ianto whispered softly to Jack as he tightened his grip. "Martha's okay." Despite how short  a time he'd travelled with them, he knew that the TARDIS would never do anything to hurt them.

 

Trying not to be too obvious about it, everyone watched as Martha and Ronon stopped mere inches from one another. Shyly Martha offered Ronon a small smile as she held out her hand. “Hello, I’m Martha Jones.”

 

“Ronon Dax,” Ronon mumbled as he took Martha’s hand in his own, and they both gasped audibly at the powerful surge of electricity and the absolute feeling of pure rightness that passed between them as their hands touched.

 

Ianto smiled knowingly while the Doctor and Jack glowered at the big man and Ronon's friends looked on with confusion. It took them all a few minutes before their own knowing looks appeared and they too realised what had happened; Ronon and Martha were soul mates.

 

"So I guess the old girl really did have a reason for bringing us here." The Doctor's glower faded away to a maniacal grin as he bounced on his feet; he was happy for Martha. He wasn't as blind as others thought he was and he knew that Martha had fallen for him. True, he adored Martha; he'd always and found her courage, compassion and honesty to be wonderful traits, but he saw her as nothing more than a dear friend.

 

'Even though this is great news for Martha, I can't help but wonder if my sneaky and mysterious ship has yet another reason for bringing me here.' The Time Lord found his gaze returning to Lorne and as he caught the good major's eye, he felt both his hearts speed up as the smile Evan favoured him with warmed him to the core.

 

The special smile that Evan gave the Doctor did not go unnoticed by Sheppard and he was less happy to see the looks this so-called Doctor was giving his Evan. "I'd still like some answer! Just who the hell are you people and why did you have my major on your ship?" John crossed his arms over his chest and glared daggers at the Doctor. "How did you get that ship in here without using the gate?"

 

Jack hiked an eyebrow as he cautiously tugged Ianto behind him; he easily recognized the look in Sheppard's eyes as that of an alpha male whose mate was being threatened. He'd had that look in his own eyes more than a few times when someone had gotten too close to his Ianto. 'Just what are you up to, old girl?' He waited for a moment, but there was no response from the TARDIS other than a sense of self-satisfaction.

 

Looking closely at the Time Lord Jack became aware of the fact that hadn't seen such a predatory gleam in the Doctor's eyes since Rose had been with them. Jack knew that even as much as he had loved her, Rose wasn't destined to be the Doctor's other half. Looking back and forth between the two men, Jack considered the fact that maybe this Evan was the one, 'although, it would appear that the Doc has some competition.'

 

A naughty thought crossed the immortal's mind. 'I've always wanted to see a Gallifreyan mating ritual! This is going to be good,' Jack thought with a wicked grin.

 

Ianto's eyes narrowed as he spotted the gleeful look in his lover's eyes. 'I'll have to keep a close eye on Jack; I don't need to be soothing over things in another galaxy!' Ianto knew he was going to have to either keep his lover occupied so he wouldn't cause any mischief, 'or I'll have to lock him in our bedroom on the TARDIS. Both options really suck cos I so want to see Atlantis!'

 

The Doctor wanted to groan as he watched Jack watch Ianto; the immortal had a gleam in his eyes that just screamed, 'I'm going to have some amazing sex!' The Doctor wanted to pout and he could actually feel his lower lip quivering just a little; while he was happy for Jack for finally finding his soul mate, he just didn't need to be reminded that Jack and Ianto were dancing all the time. And from the looks Martha and Ronon were giving each other he was pretty sure they soon would be doing dancing of some their own. 'It's just not fair!' he stuck his lip out and pouted slightly to himself.

 

Sheppard wasn't one who liked to be ignored and he cleared his throat rather aggressively. "You know, I really don't like repeating myself. So, I'll ask this nicely one more time, what are you doing here? And why was Major Evan Lorne with you?" It took all his self-control and self-respect not to march over and drag Evan away from the man who was bouncing on his feet and grinning like an idiot.

 

Reluctant to leave the strange comfort he got from Evan's touch, the Doctor nonetheless hurried over to John, grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously. "I'm the Doctor and it's a pleasure to meet you. To answer your questions, I have no idea why my ship brought us here. The TARDIS does what she wants when she wants which brings us to why Evan is with us, and that's because something about him called to the TARDIS and I offered him a chance to travel with us for a bit to see the universe the way I do." The Doctor found himself explaining with rapid-fire speed even though he didn't really like Sheppard all that much.

 

Sam bit her lips to hide the smile that wanted to break free; she knew that Janet would have a field day with the idea of a matchmaking ship. 'I doubt John is going to set aside his feelings so easily. I honestly think they may be worse than Jack and Daniel!' Deciding it would be better if she took control of the situation before it escalated she took a step towards the Doctor and offered her hand in greeting. "I'm Colonel Samantha Carter, welcome to Atlantis, Doctor."

 

The Doctor's grin grew even more pronounced as he griped Sam's hand and pumped it eagerly. "The Samantha Carter? It's an honour to meet you! I'm a big fan of your work. I'm the Doctor and these are my companions, Jack Harkness and his partner, Ianto Jones, and you already know Martha." The Doctor cast a glance at Martha who was too busy talking to Ronon to pay any attention to anything else going on.

 

Sam's forehead crinkled in concentration. 'The Doctor? Where have I heard that name before?' It only took Sam a moment to realise that she was in the presence of the Time Lord she'd only ever heard rumours about. "Doctor, the honor is truly mine. Would you like a tour of Atlantis?" She could not wait to get the Doctor's take on the Ancient's technology; the man was a genius.

 

"That would be brilliant!" The Doctor whirled around to face Evan. "Come along, Evan, I want to see more of your city!"

 

To Sheppard's growing jealousy, his Evan favoured the Doctor with a shy smile, one that was normally meant for him alone. 'Oh hell! There is no way I am letting my Evan go anywhere alone with this Doctor!' John growled to himself. Plastering a fake smile on his face, he tried to take control of the situation. "I'd be happy to help Major Lorne show our guests around."

 

For a moment Evan's heart sped up as he realised he would be spending time alone with his CO, a man on whom he had a massive crush, and the Time Lord he'd just met and was quickly developing feelings for. "That would be wonderful, Sir."

 

The Doctor and John's eyes met and the air crackled around them, the atmosphere was electric with anticipation and hostility. Everyone shared a look that clearly said, 'the battle for Evan's heart is on and he has no clue.'

 

Jack chuckled. 'This is going to be an interesting visit.'

 

*****

As it turned out, Jack was right, their time on Atlantis was very interesting, indeed. Both the Doctor and John Sheppard were going all out in their attempts to woo Evan as they did and said everything they could think of to outdo the other. At least that's what Teyla and Martha told Jack and Ianto when the two men finally surfaced from their room on Atlantis.

 

Jack had a perfectly good reason why he was keeping Ianto locked in their room. Despite his warning against it, Ianto had made coffee for the Atlantis team, and once the scientist had a taste of what he grudgingly admitted was the nectar of the gods, McKay had launched an all-out campaign to snatch him away from Torchwood. His attempts to entice Ianto into staying on Atlantis even included offering Sheppard and Lorne both up as Ianto's personal sex slaves. As Lorne had earlier predicted, Jack didn't react well to that at all.  

 

During their time hidden away they were informed that John had alternated between being a jealous beast ready to pounce on the Doctor if he so much as looked at Evan funny, to a sulking child whose best friend had left him behind to play with the new kid in class.

 

As funny as it had been in the beginning, there were those on Atlantis who were rather fed up with such childish behaviour. At the head of that group was Doctor Rodney McKay.

 

McKay rolled his eyes – more than once, in fact – as he watched Sheppard acting like a caveman. Considering himself above such primitive emotions, he found it utterly ridiculous how both Sheppard and this Doctor person were fighting over Lorne like two dogs fighting over the same bone. "Will you just admit that you want into the Major's pants. This lovesick puppy-dog act is getting old!" he finally growled at John. He was absolutely fed up with the man grumbling and snarking about how much time Evan was spending with the Doctor.

 

Of course, John being John merely crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Rodney and Carson. He was quite annoyed that the two men were ganging up on him, "I have no idea what you are talking about." He was aiming for lofty indifference but he just sounded like a petulant brat. "I'm just worried about what will happen to Evan when the Doctor and his friends leave," he declared stubbornly.

 

Carson raised an eyebrow. "Well, I can tell you this much, Martha will be sticking around; she's going to join my medical staff. You can never be too far away from the other half of your soul which means either the Doctor will stay here on Atlantis or Evan will be going with him." The Scotsman took great pleasure in pointing out this fact with a wicked gleam in his eyes.

 

Carson's words made John's blood freeze in his veins. "You think Evan and the Doctor are bond mates?" That thought filled him with dread and shattered his heart.

 

Catching on to mischief his lover was up to Rodney raised his own eyebrow and grinned broadly. "You've seen the way they act around one another. It's clear to everyone that they have a bond." Knowing the effect his next words would have, he gleefully pointed out, "It's just not complete. It's like they're missing something or better yet, someone."

 

"Excuse me, I've got to go!" John shot to his feet so fast that his chair banged into the table behind him and then he was out of the mess hall before Rodney and Carson had time to blink. He needed to know if what the pain-in-the-ass scientist said was true. 'Do they really feel the pull like I do?' It was time to stop pretending and start acting on what he felt for not only Evan but the Doctor as well.

 

Rodney and Carson exchanged a look; nothing got a bond mate to act on their suppressed feelings faster than good old-fashioned, green-eyed jealousy. They saluted one another with a satisfying clink of their coffee mugs; it was a job well done.

 

*****

Standing on one of the many outdoor observation balconies and admiring the pure beauty of Atlantis, the Doctor watched the wind play with Evan's hair and he realised something was very important. He happier than he had been in a very long time but despite it all, it still felt like something important was missing, and from the look in Evan's eyes he felt it too.

 

"You know, they say everyone has a bond mate, their soul mate, the other half to them. I've seen that bond in action between Jack and Ianto and now with Ronon and Martha. The bond between souls is something that cannot be denied; you feel it from the moment you meet and Evan, I feel it when I'm with you. But as wonderful and fulfilling as it is, it's still not complete."

 

As he looked into Evan's eyes, the Doctor realised that what he'd once felt for Rose was a pale comparison to the intense and undeniable pull he felt for Evan and another as yet unknown person.

 

A sad knowing smile graced Evan's face as he stared out into the oceans of Atlantis. "I know how you feel, Doc. I've waited my whole life to feel that pull, that connection to that one. Until I came to Atlantis and met John, I didn't think I'd ever find it, but even then it still wasn't complete." Evan turned his gaze to the Doctor and reached out for his hand, "and then I met you and for the first time in my life I felt whole."

 

He paused and searched the Doctor's eyes for any sign of rejection and when all he saw was love shining back at him, he said, "As much as I care for you, Doc, and trust me, I care a lot, we're just not whole without John."

 

The Doctor nodded and then shook his head; the effect was that of a bobble-headed doll. "That man is as stubborn as Jack was when he first met Ianto. He denied his growing attraction to that young man until something drastic happened that forced him to see that Ianto was his one true bond mate."

 

The Time Lord used their entwined hands to draw Evan closer to him. "I've actually be giving this a lot of serious thought, and I think we should wait until John is ready to see what's right in front of him before we take our relationship any further." The pain in the Doctor's voice was evident, but he knew it just wouldn't be right to start anything without John as a part of their relationship.

 

"What if I stop being an idiot and finally act on what my heart has been telling me all along?" John's voice spoke from behind them. "Would that help?"

 

Evan and the Doctor whirled around to see a sheepish-looking John standing at the entrance to the balcony. Evan's heart fluttered as he took a step closer to John. "Colonel, are you saying what I think you're saying?" Evan asked quietly, not daring to let himself hope.

 

"I think you can call me John, given that our relationship is about to change, although I wouldn't have a problem with you calling me Sir or Colonel in bed." John leered at him and gave him a wink before turning serious. "From the moment I met you, I was drawn to you, I felt the pull but it didn't feel whole and so I was afraid that you weren't my bond mate." He reached out at took hold Evan's free hand.

 

"But when I saw you with the Doctor, I felt hot jealousy burning in my stomach with every smile you gave him. I couldn't stand it that you didn't smile at me that way. Imagine my surprise when I realised that you weren't the only person I was jealous of! I was actually jealous of how close you were to the Doctor. I wanted to be next to him, I wanted to hold his hand, and Heaven help me I wanted to kiss him!"

 

John completed the link between the three of them by taking the Doctor's hand in his as well. "I'm done denying what you both mean to me and I'm ready to take a chance if you are."

 

Releasing John and the Doctor's hands, Evan stepped into John's space and cupped his face. "I'm ready," Evan whispered before doing something he had wanted to do since he first met John; he kissed him.

 

The moment John felt Evan's lips against his, he felt a sense of completeness, and he returned and even deepened the kiss the kiss, as he wrapped his arms around Evan waist.

 

The Doctor watched the two men fondly, pleased that he'd been instrumental in bringing them together. He knew their relationship wasn't going to be easy, in fact, they were guaranteed some hard times in their future. In love or not, he was still the Time Lord and he had obligations he couldn't shirk.

 

 There would be times when he would have to leave; the call of time and space was too strong to resist and as much as he'd like to, the Doctor knew that he couldn't take Evan and John with him on every trip. They had their own duties on Atlantis and he couldn't love them as much as he did if they let things slide.

 

But more than anything else, the Doctor also knew that unlike Jack and Ianto, his time with his mates was very limited. It made his hearts ache to knew that there would come a time when either he would lose them or they would lose him. 'We need to make the most of our time, and we will!' 

 

Slowly the kiss between John and Evan ended and they turned to the Doctor, both offering him their hands. "Our future together is unknown, so we should grasp life and love with both hands because you never know when it may end," Evan stated persuasively to the Doctor as he silently pleaded with the Doctor to take his hand.

 

"Well said, my dear Evan." The Doctor took a step forward and grasped both Evan and John's hands; drawing them to his chest, he placed one over each of his hearts. For once in his life, he was going to take a chance on love.

 

*****

The next morning Jack took one gleeful look at the Doctor and clapped him on the back. "Doc, you finally got laid! I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it! So, about that no nudity rule in the TARDIS, can we talk?" Jack was determined that one of these days he was going to make love to Ianto in the TARDIS' console room whether the Doctor liked it or not.

 

As always, whenever Jack was thinking something naughty about Ianto, the Doctor was able to read his mind. "There will be no dancing on my TARDIS, unless you're in your room!" the Doctor growled ferociously.

 

John had a thoughtful look on his face. "So, no naked hide and seek in the TARDIS?" John asked with a pout on his face. The Doctor had told him and Evan all about his marvelous ship over dinner the night before, and his imagination had gone wild with the possibilities for gun and games that she presented.

 

Ianto, Evan and the Doctor groaned as Jack grinned wildly at John and flung his arm around the other man. "I think I'm going to like John," he tightened his grip around John to just this side of painful and said, "just stay away from my Ianto."  

 

John tried not to squirm in Jack's grasp. He could tell that the man was deadly serious. "Trust me, I've got my hands full with these two!" he hastened to reassure his captor.

 

"Will we become as overprotective of one another as Jack is over Ianto?" Evan asked softly as he leaned against the Doctor.

 

The Doctor shook his head. "No, Jack and Ianto's bond is very different than a normal bond, just as ours is." When he saw Evan's inquisitive look, the Time Lord explained, "the three-sided bond is very rare."

 

"I look forward to learning all about our bond," Evan murmured as he watched Jack release John and bounce back over to Ianto's side while John joined them. When he reached his mates John linked his hand with Evan's and smiled at the Doctor, and together, they waited for Jack and Ianto to join them.

 

Teyla's smile was tinged with sadness as she watched Martha and Ronon, Carson and Rodney all join John and the others. Sam would be joining them for lunch after she finished her daily talk with Janet. Teyla was truly happy for her friends but at the same time she couldn't help but feel alone and lonely; she had yet to find her other half.

 

The TARDIS sensed Teyla's loneliness and gently called out to her. Knowing she wouldn't be missed right away, Teyla followed the call of the TARDIS.

 

During the time the beautiful ship had been on Atlantis, all had come to love her and spend time in her. As she opened the door, Teyla let the TARDIS' song wash over her. "You had something to show me?" Teyla asked gently.

 

The next moment, TARDIS showed her an image of her and a rather beautiful young Asian woman embracing and sharing a tender kiss. Teyla gasped as she felt a wave of love wash over her. "Is she my future?" Teyla asked the magnificent ship.

 

A gentle whisper brushed against Teyla's mind, almost like a breeze on a summer day. 'Yes, Toshiko Sato is the one for you. Your path and hers intertwine into a strong love that will fill your days with love and your nights with warmth.'

 

Happiness and warmth filled Teyla as she realised she would soon find her bond mate. "Thank you, TARDIS. I think you knew all along that we needed you. John and Evan were denying their bond and Ronon kept himself closed off. We needed the others to complete us and I think your beloveds needed us as well. Thank you, again."

 

After Teyla left, the TARDIS hummed to herself as she felt the happiness of her precious ones wash over her. She knew there were still hard times to come in all their lives but it would be much easier for each of them to travel with their loved ones by their side. 'And someday soon I will have the pitter-patter of little feet roaming my halls.' Smiling joyfully, she hugged herself.

 

Yes, the TARDIS knew her Doctor had at long last found the place he belonged, safely in the loving arms of Evan and John.

 

The End