Summary: What happens after Inconceivable
Blame: paranoidangel42 because she keeps asking for more.
Two chapters tonight, since I forgot to post one last week.
Chapter 1: Old Friends
Chapter 2: Girl Talk
Chapter 3: Ladies Who Lunch
Chapter 4: Back to the Beginning
Chapter 5: Retail Therapy
Chapter 6: Synchronicity
Chapter 7: Remember When
Chapter 8: Think of the Children
Chapter 9: Domestic Disputes
Chapter 10: A Slight Miscalculation
Chapter 11: Serendipity
Chapter 12: Road Trip
"Oh, lovely, Daleks to the right, cultists to the left. I knew I shouldn't have got out of bed today." Sarah spoke softly despite her annoyance. The four of them had found cover behind a hedge.
Tosh stared at her, "Okay, I know the Daleks; we've got files on them from the Canary Wharf fiasco, but what's this about cultists?"
"I'm not sure the Daleks are ever pleased about anything," Jack said, staring at her thoughtfully.
Sarah sighed and looked at Jack and Toshiko. "Welcome to my doomsday cult. I've tried asking them nicely to stop trying to kill me but it hasn't worked and running for your life while pregnant isn't fun, despite Sydney Bristow's attempts to make it fashionable."
Jack snorted at that. "You are much sexier than Sydney Bristow."
"Right, Jack." The man seemed to flirt as naturally as breathing, so Sarah didn't take it too seriously. "So anyway, the cult is divided into two chapters: the Crimson, who believe that my emergence as Herald signals an alien invasion fleet come to wipe out the earth. They want to kill me to stop it, and barring that kill everyone on Earth to protect them from the alien menace."
She paused and smiled at Jack, "Don't ask me which alien invasion - from where I'm standing they're ten a penny, but we're talking about civilians here. Watch it Jack." She reached for the Faren blaster in his hands.
"I was just trying to get it working. I suppose you think you can do better," Jack challenged her.
"Well, I won't blow us all to smithereens, if that's what you're suggesting."
She pulled a pocket knife and a cold solder tool out of her pocket and set to work, ignoring Josh's shocked look, and continued, "And of course there are those alien fleets who might be happy to have me dead before they invaded. I've made more than a few enemies in my time."
"It's the company you keep," Jack said dryly. "You do know what you're doing, don't you? The power supply on those things is so volatile, one wrong move and you'll blow up a third of Cardiff."
Sarah smiled again, oh so sweetly, as she lifted the cover off the power source, "Sometimes the desired result is worth the risk. As for the other, my past has been coming back to haunt me with alarming regularity over the last few years. To continue, on the other side we have the White Chapter, who think I'm the herald of benevolent aliens who will give humans knowledge that will be the start of a new golden age." She couldn't help rolling her eyes at Jack.
"Josh here is the Keeper of the White Chapter." She turned back to Jack. "He's also about to find out just how much of a hypocrite I really am."
"Sarah," Josh protested. "You're the most honest person I've ever known."
"I find that incredibly disturbing. I'm about the least honest person I know, except for Jack over there. Incidentally, Jack, if any of this ends up in Torchwood's files, I will hunt you down and tear you into little pieces, and I trust that will forestall your partner too. Oh, and I might end up writing an exposé that will discredit Torchwood, and I'd really rather not do that - you guys are pretty good at what you do."
Jack grinned at her, "Don't worry, I've got my own secrets to keep." He stared at her thoughtfully, then turned to Tosh and said, "I wouldn't dismiss that first threat lightly either."
"Don't worry, Jack. I can tell when someone's serious about something like that. Remind me never to play poker with her."
"I will. Sarah, what are you doing? You've bypassed the field regulator. That won't just blow us up, that will destroy everything in a thirty mile radius."
"No it won't. Trust me. I've done this before. The next step is to narrow the focus on the beam which will concentrate all the energy in one spot, enough to kill a Dalek fifty metres away. Just try not to miss. On second thought let me do it." She aimed the blaster and accurately took out the Dalek with her first shot, watching it explode violently before turning back to the others.
"You've done this before..." Josh couldn't help blurting out. "But you hate guns."
"Yeah, I...oh it's complicated." Sarah didn't know how much Jack's team knew, and she wouldn't betray him. She generally trusted the Doctor as a good judge of character, and now that she had met Jack she was inclined to believe that he had his reasons for working for Torchwood. Rather than discuss the past she said, "Pass me the other one, Jack." She offered him the working blaster.
He traded with her, and then looked over the work she'd done. "Ingenious."
"I didn't come up with it," Sarah replied, her hands moving expertly over the weapon.
Jack passed the blaster to Tosh, then checked in with the rest of the team, establishing that they were in position. Once Sarah had finished her repairs, he gestured to the other three to move out, taking the other blaster back from Tosh. "Stay back," he said to Tosh and Josh, "Let us cover you. Regular guns aren't going to work on those things. And since Sarah's used the blasters before, I'm not going to take the time to train you."
"You're sure there are only two left?" Sarah couldn't help asking. "I'm not exactly in shape for running long distances."
Jack checked his wrist computer. "Unless they've found some way of cloaking themselves, yeah, I'm sure. You're certain you're up to this?"
"Okay, they're both south-south east about 60 metres; you take the left one and I'll take the right."
To Sarah's surprise and relief, the plan worked, for once, and they managed to pick off both Daleks on their first shots.
"Nice shot," Jack said. He scanned the area again. Looks like we got them all. I'll send my team in for clean up and you and I can have a little chat."
"What's there to chat about? You tried to drug me to make me forget and it didn't work."
He smiled that bright, bright smile, "Care to explain how you managed that?"
Sarah pushed back her messy hair with her fingers before answering. "Too many people messing with my memories and my mind over the years. I seem to have developed a resistance." He didn't need to know the details. "Look, I never intended to write an exposé of Torchwood. I'll even send you a copy of the article to be vetted, if it helps."
"Fair enough." He started to say something else, but noticed that Tosh and Josh had almost reached them, so he just wrote down an email address. "Send it here. I'm having my team mend your tyres. Are you heading back to Cardiff?"
"Not if I can help it. Josh, can you collect my suitcases from the hotel? I think I've had enough of Wales for one day." Sarah suddenly felt old and tired. She wondered if not leaving the house for the rest of her pregnancy would prevent things like this from happening. The Doctor had wanted to lock her up somewhere safe for the duration, and she was beginning to regret she hadn't let him.
After she had arranged things with Josh, Sarah headed back to her flat, not caring how they had repaired the tyres. She couldn't help smiling at the thought of the packing that awaited her, after weeks of unpacking. At least she had less stuff to move, this time around. Even if sleep eluded her again tonight, she wanted to be home.