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Secret Crowds

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This story is No. 12 in the series "Life in A Minor". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Rose wasn't the ninth doctors first companion, there was another ...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Dawn-CenteredDamiaFR715,0990102,25010 Jun 0910 Jun 09No
Artist: Angels and Airwaves
Song: Secret Crowds

Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy, Angel nor Dr. Who or Torchwood.
Note: Working on a second part that will take place during the 2-part season finale of season 4.

(If I had my own world)
(I'd build you an empire)

"Is this how you see the world?" Dawn turned to look up at the taller man. He smiled a bit, looking around at the people that continued on with their every day lives, not having a single clue at the end they had almost come to. This was the man she was falling in love with, far too old (or young depending on how you looked at it) and not with the classic 'cute' look she normally went for, but handsome in his own way. Big ears and all.

"Every day," He nodded his head in satisfaction as he crossed his arms over his chest and continued to just watch the crowds. Dawn turned forward, gazing at the group below them with a Mona Lisa smile of her own.

The two creatures, neither human though both looked it, had saved the world from The Great Horde of Meg'lanth'iliac. The Great Horde had been ready to take over Earth, using humans as cattle and wasting every natural resource until their planet was dead. She didn't even know how she'd gotten caught up in it all, except that she'd been skipping time for a long while since she'd slipped into this dimension so very long ago. When she'd realized that she wouldn't grow older than her 24 year old self, when she'd watched her family grow old and die, and their children, and their childrens children and their children and their children until she stopped keeping track. When she'd found that she couldn't be explained away any longer, and that she didn't want to be. She slipped into a nearby dimension and began a new life. Then she'd discovered that Time Travel was rather well abused in this new universe and she'd taken advantage.

"I like your view," She told him after a moment, her gaze following a younger mother that was chasing after a tiny red-haired girl clutching a yellow bunny. The food court of the mall was packed, as was usual for a mall in July. Chatter clogged the air until everything was white noise with a vague word popping up here and there. It was full of life and laughter and all the qualities that made Humans so wonderful.

If I had my own world
I'd fill it with wealth and desire
A glorious past to admire
And voices of kids out walking dogs,
Birds, planes, cleanest cars

"So, where to now?" Dawn leaned her hip against the strange console that was the console of the TARDIS. The Doctor looked up, the mad gleam of delight in his eyes. Again, she felt drawn to him in a way that she'd never felt drawn to anyone else. Maybe it was because when they'd first bumped into each other he'd been so cold, so distant. As though nothing matter except whatever self-appointed duty was driving him to go on. The last of his kind.

When they had first met he hadn't understood what she was, he still might not. She was an enigma, he couldn't read her age, her people, her planet. He couldn't read the very structure of what she was like he could with any other living creature in the Universe. He'd been fascinated despite himself. He'd asked what she was. Dawn had smiled and answered 'Everything, nothing.' Then shrugged and walked straight onto the TARDIS, amused by the inside and outside proportions.

"Does it matter?" The Doctor asked, throwing up a lever and grabbing hold of a rail as the TARDIS shook and started to move. Dawn laughed along with the delighted smile the man was wearing, clutching his leather clad arm with one hand and the railing with the other. As they shuddered and slammed to a stop Dawn raced to the doors, throwing them both open wide to take in the sites before decided on proper attire.

"This is amazing," She walked straight out onto silver sand, looking high above her to a pale blue and green sunset. There were no clouds in the sky, though there was an ocean nearby.

"The silver sands of Drekksor, everyone should see them at least once in their lifetime," He told her as he came to stand by her side, his hands buried deep in his pockets. He was looking about with the brightly interested look on his face that said he was feeling quite proud of himself. She bumped him in the side with a small smile of her own. He was taking her on a site-seeing tour of the Universe.

If I had my own world
I'd love it for all that's inside it
There'd be no more wars, death or riots
There'd be no more police, packed-parking lots,
Guns, bombs sounding off

Dawn climbed the spiral staircase that was in the middle of the Doctor's closet on the TARDIS. She had told him once that this was her favorite part of the ship. Not only did clothing just continually appear (she had a theory about that,) but it was a good 4 stories tall and in no order whatsoever. She was constantly finding new things to make her happy, including a cute pair of Monolo pumps that she'd been in lust over a few years ago. Monolo's never went out of style.

"We could always just take you shopping," The Lancashire accent didn't startle her like it used to. She turned from where she was caressing a soft golden gown, something from the fabulous fourties, she was sure.

"That isn't nearly as much fun," She told him, leaning a hip against the railing as he came close. It was one of those moments where she wished she knew where she stood with him, wished she had the courage to lean forward and press a kiss against his wide mouth. She continued to talk herself out of it, though it was getting harder.

"But you'd have things that fit," He reminded her. It was true that she was a bit taller and more slender than whoever else had been using most of the clothing before she got there, but she didn't mind. Anything she truly loved appeared a few days after she saw it, like the TARDIS was trying to accomodate her.

"I found 3 new pairs of jeans that fit perfectly," She told him, pointing toward a pile further up on the stairs. She pretended not to notice when his eyes traced down her body, taking in the tiny shorts and pale lilac camisole that she had been sleeping in.

"Cold?" He asked, his eyes back on her own. She leaned forward a little, her head cocked to the side.

"Not particularly," She said in a calm voice. They stared, eyes locked, for a bit longer. Moments take on new meaning to those that can feel them going by, people that cannot die and view eternity as a tangible thing. Moments can turn into infinity. They both turned away at the same time.

If I had my own world
I'd build you an empire
From here to the far lands
To spread love like violence

"Hey, you!" Dawn threw a rock at the large bipedal lizard that was picking on a smaller mammal that was crying for someone to help. "Pick on someone your own size," She demanded as the creature turned to see what had hit it in the head. Dawn had great aim.

"It's own size?" The Doctor demanded, turning to look at her incredulous. The lizard creature was at least 12 feet tall and not all that slender. The 'smaller mammal' probably had a good 80 pounds on Dawn itself. Dawn shrugged.

"You challenge me tiny creature?" The lizard hissed at her, stalking forward quickly, the other thing, a female, still in it's grasp.

"I haven't actually made up my mind on that front yet," Dawn told him with a shrug. Lizard-man paused, looking her over carefully.

"You mock me," He said afte ra moment of thought.

"No, she just acts without thinking. Her brain has a problem keeping up with her mouth," The Doctor shrugged.

"Whereas you're usually too busy talking to actually get anything done," Dawn retorted. He raised a mocking eyebrow and she stuck her tongue out at him. He didn't need words to remind her that usually he was talking WHILE getting things done.

"I don't know why I put up with you," She told him with a huff.

"The closet space," He reminded her. She glanced over and smiled when she saw that The Doctor had successfully used the creatures handcuffs to lock Lizard to a large door. She shoved the female in a different direction.

"Get Out of Jail Free," She said with a laugh before taking the hand the Doctor held out, and running with him to the TARDIS.

If I had my own world
I'd build you an empire
From here to the far lands
To spread love like violence

She watched him as he moved angrily through the TARDIS, his movements violent with poorly supressed emotion. It was her fault that he was like this. She'd been taken by slavers and after setting the other slaves free. She'd been beaten and left in a cold damp cell. Her Doctor had come and saved her, and she almost hadn't been able to remind him that he didn't kill just to kill. She wasn't a good enough reason to take their lives. Now she was standing in the doorway, back in her pajama's.

"You couldn't have stopped me, and you couldn't have stopped them," She told him. He turned quickly, surprised that she was there. His leather coat was thrown onto the random sofa, the sleeves of his marroon shirt shoved up to his elbows.

"Why can't you just think before you act?" He demanded angrily, shoving away from the console and stalking over to her. His face was hard with anger and more than a little guilt.

"It isn't easy for me," She said after a few seconds of silence. She walked forward a few steps. "I see the outcome of their choices, I see what's going to happen to them if they continue on that path, a thousand possibilities threading out in front of them, and so many end in senseless death, that I'm too busy stopping those outcomes to see what will happen to them now that I've changed their paths, too busy to see what will happen to me," The key was so much more than they had originally though, all those generations ago. So much more than they could have understood at that point in time.

"I can't lose you," He stepped forward and his hands were grasping her face, pulling her into him as his mouth closed over hers. She was the rock that he needed to keep him from falling apart after he'd locked his people, his family, his world and so many other, in time. She was the only one that could be with him always, forever.

"You couldn't lose me if you tried," She told him as they broke apart, she grabbed a handful of his shirt and tugged him closer, both of them needing the meeting of flesh, something primal to remind them what it was to be alive.

Let me feel you, carry you higher
Watch our words spread hope like fire
Secret crowds rise up and gather
Hear your voices sing back louder

"London, England. 1845," The Doctor announced as they landed. Dawn walked over to the doors to check outside. "Oi!" The Doctor sent her a dark look to show her what he thought of her need to double check his landings.

"Date?" She called out to a street urchin selling papers.

"May 3rd, 1845 mum," The boy said, staring at her clothing in confusion. She shrugged and closed the doors, turning to walk past a smugly grinning Doctor.

"I guess there has to be a first time," She shrugged a bit and smiled when she heard him growl lightly. She giggled and ran for the back when she heard the first step he took in her direction. It was a balm they both needed in their lonely lives. It didn't take long to catch up to her and soon her back was against steel walls, her arms around his neck, her legs around his hips as they breathed life into one another.

"How about we stay in?" He offered, walking toward the bedroom with her still tangled around him, holding on her dear life.

"I think I could live with that plan," She agreed quickly, fingers playing with the tiny hairs on the back of his neck. He shoved the door open wider with one foot and turned to sit slowly on the bed. Sometimes she forgot just how strong he was. Not as strong as a Slayer but certainly stronger than one would expect, of course, considering he was technically an alien that shouldn't really be that much of a surprise. Of course, she was a supernaturally created humanoid created out of a metaphysical creation that spanned all dimensions. Sometimes it put things in perspective.

"What's going on in that pretty head of yours?" He asked a moment later, looking at her carefully, his face relaxed and curious. She smiled lightly, brushing a thumb over his ears.

"Wondering how many channels you pick up with these things," She tugged lightly on the lobe and burst into giggles as he leaped to his feet only to toss her onto the bed and pounce on top of her.

If I had my own world
I'd show you the life that's inside it
The way that it glows when you find it
The way it survives with its families,
Friends or its enemies

Dawn stopped in her tracks, turning to trace the strange feeling she was getting. Tall man, short hair, long grey greatcoat. She turned and followed him as he moved through the streets, a distracted look on his face. The only good thing about Cardiff was that it was the easiest place to fill up the TARDIS. On their other trips everything had been boring enough that she and the Doctor would part ways for a bit, each doing their own things. She frowned and turned, she'd lost the man she'd been following.

"Stalking is illegal," An American voice whispered into her ear. Her elbow smashed back into his stomach while a big hand caught her other wrist, pinning her to his chest. A glance at the arm confirmed gray wool the shade of the man she was following.

"I was just curious," She told him after a slight pause. He felt different than other humans, he had the taste of eternity on him.

"Curiosity killed the cat," He informed her in a dark tone.

"Satisfaction brought it back," She reminded him. The arms pinning her to the man suddenly dropped and she spun to look at him curiously.

"What business do you have in Cardiff?" He asked her, eyes narrowed.

"Refueling," She told him, cocking her head to the side as she watched his eyes grow wide and suddenly frantic.

"Are you here with the Doctor?" He demanded, grasping both of her shoulders tightly and shaking her a tiny bit. One of her hand reached up and brushed a stray strand of hair back into place. It was the work of a tiny instant to see into his heart. Dawn blinked sadly and sighed.

"He isn't your Doctor yet," She tried to imagine what could make her leave his side, what could turn him into this mans Doctor, this man and the pretty blond.

"What?" The man let go and took half a step back, his mind running through what that short statement meant. "He can still help me," The man informed her. Dawn shook her head.

"I'm not done helping him, he's not done helping me. You have to finish the task at hand before moving on to the next. Dawn Summers," She held out a hand and watched him as he struggled with himself, trying not to cry. He sucked in a deep breath and took her hand after a few minutes.

"Captain Jack Harkness." He scrubbed his hands through hair that needed a trim and turned his back to her for a moment. "He never said anything about you,"

"It isn't easy to talk about things that hurt," She agreed. He turned to look her in the eyes.

"Rose will make his hurt go away," He said it to hurt her the way he was hurting, to make her see the inevitable end. She nodded, wishing tears hadn't come to her eyes.

"Do me a favor, next time you see Your Doctor, tell him Dawn says best wishes and all her love. If he asks for anything else, tell him soon," She turned and walked away, not bothering to look back at the man she knew was watching her go.

Let's make this a new world
I swear you can go if you want to
I know that you have it within you
Inventing the first clean and usable,
God's greatest miracle

"We always do things in England," Dawn told the Doctor with a frown as she painted her toenails. He was fiddling with wires underneath the floor grating.

"We do things all over the universe," The Doctor reminded her affably, knowing she'd get to the point when she wanted to.

"What I mean, is that whenever we're on Earth we always seem to be in England." She told him, sending a dark look in his direction.

"Well you're wish is my command. Where do you want to go?" He asked, not stopping his movements or looking in her direction. She raised an eyebrow.

"Really?" She asked suggestively. A dark haired head popped up, blue eyes piercing her.

"Within reason," He added dryly before going back to his work. She sighed a little.

"United States," She offered, her arms resting on her knee and cheek on her shoulder. She sent him her best "I'm so sad and put upon and mistreated" look. He glanced up and raised an eyebrow.

"Whatever you want Sarah," He agreed. She grinned broadly, they'd been to see Sarah Bernhardt just the week before and it had been everything Dawn had hoped. He finished fiddling and closed up the hole as she blew on her nails. "Ready?" He asked.

"Now?" He nodded and she smiled. "Always," The both held on as the TARDIS shuddered her way through time and space. As she landed Dawn hopped over to the doors, opening them wide and snagging a paper. She came back with wide eyes and an otherwise blank face.

"What's wrong love?" The Doctor came over frowning. "Did we end up in Zambia?"

"Dallas, Texas. November 21, 1963." She said, looking up at him. The Doctors eyebrows were raised in surprise.

"Want to see the parade tomorrow?" He asked, always preferring to see firsthand the big events in history. Dawn nodded wordlessly and walked further into the ship.

If I had my own world
I'd build you an empire
From here to the far lands
To spread love like violence

"History isn't all puppies and kittens," The Doctor told her as she walked into the TARDIS in front of him. Dawn nodded wordlessly. "You can't just watch the good and ignore the bad, life doesn't work that way," He continued, kicking the door shut behind him. Dawn turned on him, eyes snapping in anger.

"I know that! I know it all too well! I've seen the bad, and I've seen worse. There isn't anything wrong with preferring to look at the puppies and kittens when you have a choice," Dawn poked a finger into his muscled chest, shoving at him a bit as she shouted. She pulled her hand back protectively against her chest and stared at him with wide haunted eyes, her voice going quiet. "I've seen enough bad things to last me quite a while. So much death, so much anger and hatred. I came here to leave it for a while," She turned to walk away and didn't fight when the Doctors hands grabbed her shoulders, pulling her back against his chest and wrapping around her protectively.

"Puppies and Kittens it is," He said quietly as he pressed a chaste kiss against the top of her head. It was one of those times where he wished he could see into her the way she could see into him. She'd said once that she was both far older and much younger than he was, and as he held her too him he believed her. He looked down as he felt her lean back to look up at him.

"We can't be together always and forever, but while we're together it can be always together. Just promise me you wont play house with anyone else," She grinned sadly up at him, tears coming to her eyes. The Doctor moved around her so they could be face to face. She was seeing, or had seen, something that he couldn't hope to understand until it came to pass.

"No domestication, got it," He agreed, his face serious as he pulled her into a hug and she clung to him, crying out frustration and the death of hope. She was a survivor and her hope would soon be renewed, as it always was.

"Just remember, you always have my love," She told him, leaning back to look at him with wet blue eyes. The look on his face was pained as he leaned forward to capture her mouth with his, demanded attention and satisfaction, claiming her for his own.

If I had my own world
I'd build you an empire
From here to the far lands
To spread love like violence

"There's living plastic in London," The Doctor announced as Dawn came to the hub. She bit her lip and nodded sadly.

"Doctor," One word, spoken sadly, had all of his attention. She was standing in jeans a deep purple long sleeved shirt, brown leather coat over the top, a green and blue scarf hanging off her neck. There was a bag clutched in one hand, stuffed full of something, he had the feeling it was clothes.

"It's time then?" He asked, turning back to fiddling with the controls of the TARDIS.

"A parting of ways, but our paths shall cross again. Listen for me?" She said the last part as though afraid he would forget her.

"Always," He agreed. still not looking at her.

"You can leave me in London, I'll be perfectly fine. No shopping with mannequins around," She grinned a little and he turned to look at her, pain and hope on his face.

"I don't know if I can go without you," He told her. She smiled.

"You don't have to be alone just because I'm not here. Find a companion, like you did in the old days. You'd be surprised how many people will take your hand if just you hold it out," She told him. He nodded and stepped forward quickly. The bag dropped to the ground as they took hold of each other, hugging tightly, closed mouths touching gently as the TARDIS shuddered around them, taking them to the destination. The broke apart and Dawn took hold of her bag, walking away. Neither of them cried.

Let me feel you, carry you higher
Watch our words spread hope like fire
Secret crowds rise up and gather
Hear your voices sing back louder

Dawn watched the television in the Diner as the newscaster talked about the strange student demonstration that involved pretending to be shop dummies and then attacking passerby's. The brunette shook her head and sighed a bit, glancing to her left and gesturing to the television. "Do you beleive some people? Acting as though they can do anything they like," She asked.

"Kids these days," The red-head agreed.

"I'm Dawn, do you think you can point me in the direction of a flat for rent?" She asked the other woman curiously.

"Donna Noble, around the corners a new building just went in, I'd try there," The red-head answered with a smile. Dawn smiled a bit and dropped some change on the counter. She'd need a job around here then. This Donna Noble creature would need some looking after if she was going to do so much good for Her Doctor. Of course, it wouldn't come quite to Donna needing her entire memory erased if she could pull it off ... but that wasn't for some time to come.

"I'll stop there first. Maybe I'll see you around," Dawn nodded as she left the diner and circled the block to come to a large building. Just put up and still sharp with paint. Dawn sighed and shook her head. She blamed the Doctor for needing something that felt lived in, something old and full of life. She hadn't needed that before him, but maybe that was the point. She'd needed him as much as he'd needed her. He still blamed himself for the Time War mess and the ending that had come from it, and she still felt alone in the universe with no hope of having anything resembling a family ... but they'd sort of become a bit of a family to each other. A domestic duo as the Doctor had put it once. Dawn stepped out to the street and lifted and arm. A taxi swung over to her and she climbed in.

"Don't suppose there are any old houses for sale around here that you know of?" She asked.

Let me feel you, carry you higher
Watch our words spread hope like fire
Secret crowds rise up and gather
Hear your voices sing back louder

"I forgot to tell you earlier," Jack said, grabbing the Doctors arm as he turned to walk away. The Doctor raised both eyebrows, wondering what could be so important when he was trying to leave. Martha had already told him that it was past time she went to become a Doctor herself. He was alone again.

"Yes?" He asked, trying not to sound irritated with the younger man. He'd already taken away the hope of death from the man, an end to the constant emptiness that he seemed to be feeling.

"Dawn says best wishes and all her love," Jack told him, watching the doctor carefully. It was true what he'd told that slender girl so long ago, the Doctor had never mentioned her name. Not once. He knew how much she meant to him when the Doctor took hold of Jack with both hands, shaking him, a panicked and desperate look on his face.

"Where was she? How was she? Did she say anything else? Anything at all?" The Doctor sounded desperate, as though she was the cure for all his ills, as though she could make everything better again. The Doctors Cure All.

"It was 1952 in Cardiff. She said you weren't My Doctor yet, that you guys hadn't finished helping each other yet. Then she said to tell you 'Soon'." Jack almost felt bad for the man that was clutching him so tightly. The pain in his face fading a bit as hope shone through. He nodded once.

"She was right, she was almost always right," The Doctor seemed to be talking to himself as he stared at his hands, wondering how many people had taken them when he'd held them out. Rose had, that first night without Dawn. Martha had, Sarah Jane had, so many others had.

"She was pretty," Jack added after a moment, remembering the big blue eyes and the long golden brown hair. He hadn't even noticed at first that she was wearing Jeans and a Ramones t-shirt. He'd been so focused on the fact that she was following him, and then that she might know the Doctor.

"Beautiful. She'll be back," He smiled brightly, looking at Jack as though he'd save the universe. "She'll be missing the closet in the TARDIS," The Doctors hands were shoved deep into his pockets as he walked off toward his ship, leaving Jack to wonder exactly who Dawn Summers really was.

Let me feel you, carry you higher
Watch our words spread hope like fire
Secret crowds rise up and gather
Hear your voices sing back louder

"Hey doll face! What's a girl like you doing in a place like this?" Dawn asked with a smile as she walked up to Donna Noble. Donna looked at her in shock and then spun around before staring at her friend again.

"What are you doing at the Shadow Proclomation?" Donna demanded. Dawn shrugged with one shoulder, looking around her for a moment.

"Heard planets are disappearing, figured I'd see what the what was," Dawn smiled brightly. "I asked you first though, what's a girl like you doing in a place like this? Heard you were travelling, just wasn't sure how far,"

"You heard I was travelling and somehow got space from the equation?" Donna shouted, not understanding and not likeing that at all. She'd always known the Yank was nutters, but this was still a bit strange.

"I knew the Doctor would take care of you," Dawn smiled a bit and turned when she heard irritated footsteps coming their way.

"Hello Doctor, room for another on the TARDIS?" Dawn asked with a smile. The Doctor stared at her for a few moments before running forward and taking Dawn in his arms, spinning her around as she clutched him back, both of them laughing.

"There's always room for you," He told her. She smiled and turned back to Donna.

"I'm glad you've been taking care of him, he forgots some of the most obvious things when he's distracted by something shiny," Dawn told her.

"I'm gonna be needing some explanations here," Donna informed the two of them.

"Let's go before they figure out what the Good Doctor here is up to then," Dawn held out a hand to the Doctor, and the other to Donna, they both took hold and the three ran to the TARDIS to find the lost planets and save the Universe.

"Oi, don't think I was kidding about that explanation,"

Let me feel you, carry you higher
Watch our words spread hope like fire
Secret crowds rise up and gather
Hear your voices sing back louder

The End?

You have reached the end of "Secret Crowds" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 10 Jun 09.

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