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Title: Leap of Faith
Author: [livejournal.com profile] amberfocus
Characters/Pairings: John Smith (alt!Nine)/Rose Tyler, Toshiko Sato, Jake Simmonds, Mickey Smith, Ianto Jones, Jackie Tyler/Pete Tyler, Tony Tyler, various original characters.
Genre: Romance, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Fluff
Rating: Adult
Betas: [livejournal.com profile] thetesh
Summary: Hiding from the Family of Blood, the alt!Ninth Doctor turns himself into John Smith via the chameleon arch and with his companion Toshiko Sato, takes a job at Torchwood. He clashes with everyone he meets and Rose Tyler, the beautiful young director of Torchwood Field Operative Training and the daughter of his boss, is no exception. AU after season 2.

Previous Chapters: http://amberfocus.livejournal.com/327895.html


Chapter Thirty-Five: Blue Invader





Toshiko might not have spent much time hiding in cupboards, but she’d certainly spent enough time crawling through air ducts and maintenance tubes in her time with both UNIT and the Doctor. It was never any easier on the knees, no matter how much practice one had at it, she thought ruefully. Though she did have to admit that the view of Owen’s backside in front of her was rather nice. She sighed. What was she going to do about him?

It was clear to her that he was smitten. But what was she supposed to do about that? Yes, he was an attractive man, but so was Mickey. So was Jake. So was Ianto. That didn’t mean she was ready to start a relationship with him. Of course it wasn’t Mickey or Jake or Ianto that had kissed her, was it? It had been Owen and he had done it well. Very well.

Getting involved with him would be a major mistake on her part and she knew it. He had a kid and he had other things that would tie him to one location. She wasn’t ready to be tied to one location for more than a year. She certainly wasn’t ready to take on the role of girlfriend or eventual step-mother to Kathlyn if things went well.

She didn’t really want to think about what would happen if the Doctor stranded her on Earth and he ran off with Rose instead. But would he? Would the Doctor love Rose the way John Smith loved Rose? Or would he run from what that all too human relationship represented to him? And if he didn’t, was there room for two women on the TARDIS? Not physical room, of course, but emotional room.

She didn’t want to lose her spot with the Doctor, but she wouldn’t fight Rose for it. She knew that much. She’d go travel on her own, stuck on Earth, but with still so much she’d never seen. But then what? Back to work for UNIT or Torchwood? Stay in London? Move back to Cardiff so she could keep an eye on her family? Date Owen? A girl could go mad thinking like that.

A year ago she’d had only two choices, stay at UNIT and be prosecuted for blowing up Downing Street and injuring the Prime Minister or run away with the Doctor. Normally she pondered things for weeks, weighed the odds, and logically and analytically made her decisions. There had been none of that when the Doctor had asked her to come with him. It had been such an easy decision. She had a feeling her time for easy decisions was long since passed.

Owen stopped suddenly and in her distraction she head-butted him. Literally. He banged his head on the grate in front of him and issued a sharp curse of complaint. “Sorry,” Tosh murmured.

Owen harrumphed, but then said, “I think this is the room we’re looking for. Your bag, is it black and red?”

“Yes,” said Tosh.

“Okay, I’m going to see if I can get this grate loose.” He reached into his vest and pulled out a multi-tool, opened the screwdriver, and set to unwinding the screws. They were numerous and tight so it was a slow and tedious process. Tosh stifled a sigh and waited without comment until he finally pulled it free.

“I’ve got to get turned around,” Owen told her. “I don’t dare go out of this thing head first.” He crawled to the side and managed to swing his legs around and jack-knife his body feet first through the opening. From there he held tight to the edges of the opening and lowered himself down into the examination room.

“Should I come down?” Tosh asked.

“I don’t know yet. I need to see if the coast is clear first.”

“Can you throw me up an energy bar first?” Tosh asked as her stomach growled loudly.

“Yes.” She watched Owen rummage through her purse and then he quickly handed one up to her. She tore off the black and gold wrapper as he did the same with his. They made short work of the food.

Owen searched the room and found some specimen cups that were wrapped in plastic. He tore two open, filled one with water, and handed it up to Toshiko, before doing the same for himself. They both drank several refills and then Owen said, “I’m going to hazard a look now.”

“Be careful,” Tosh told him.

“Not sure how,” he replied. “I have to open the door and stick my head out. There’s no other way.”

He moved to the door, put his hand on the knob and took a deep breath. He thrust his head out into the hallway and quickly looked both ways, before withdrawing back into the room. “It’s safe. They must be on reserve power or something because the hall is dark. Hopefully we can move around without anyone noticing us. Come on down.”

Toshiko scrambled around so her legs slid out first. She felt Owen’s hands on her, easing the rest of her descent to the floor. “Oh, it feels good to stand up again,” she said, shaking out her arms and then her legs, then rubbing at the knot at the back of her neck that had formed with all the crawling in tight spaces.

“It looks like they’ve taken the computer away,” she said. “We’ll have to find a different one.” Owen was busy searching through all the drawers and the cupboards and just grunted at her. “Anything useful?” Tosh asked.

“No.” He moved to the second door, the one that didn’t lead into the hall, and opened it. “There’s a toilet,” he said. “Don’t know when we’ll find another one.”

They took turns using it and washed up before finally braving the dark hallway. “Which way?” Owen asked.

“Left leads to reception,” she said.

“Then we go right.” Sticking closely to the wall, they ventured onward.



Delilah Morgan had personally made sure that Kathlyn Harper was taken care of when Owen and Toshiko had disappeared. Now that it looked like they wouldn’t get the pair back any time soon, she’d picked the little girl up from her temporary accommodations and brought her back to the hub and up to Jane’s office and the two women had broken the news to the little girl that her father was missing.

Kathlyn took it stoically. This wasn’t the first time something had happened to her dad and she was almost used to it. He always came back and she had faith that he would again this time. “So are you sending for Gran again, or what?” she asked.

“No,” said Jane. “You’ll be staying with me.”

“What happens when the baby comes?” Kathlyn asked.

“Hopefully your father will be back before then,” Delilah said. “But if not, you’ll come home with me.” Kathlyn smiled, as she quite liked the older woman, despite her gruffness and no-nonsense exterior.

“Just for a couple of weeks until we are settled with the new baby. Then you’ll come back to me again. You know Owen’s named Fred and me your guardians?” Jane asked.

“Yes, but he’ll be back before then,” Kathlyn said confidently.

“Li?” Delilah turned to see Mickey.

“What?”

“Martha needs you to come and look at some test results.”

“I’ll be there in a minute.”

Mickey nodded and headed back down the stairs. “So you’ll stay with Jane today.”

“Can I see Marcie?” Kathlyn asked.

“Maybe later. Dr. Jones is running tests on her.”

“She’s still sick?”

“Yes, but we’re getting closer to fixing her every day.”

“Good,” Kathlyn said. “You can go then.”

Delilah smiled wryly at the sudden dismissal. She glanced at Jane. “Let me know if you need anything.”

“We’ll be just fine,” Jane said reassuringly.

Delilah nodded, mouthed a silent thank you to Jane, and turned on her heel, hurrying down the stairs and heading towards the basement lab to see what Martha had for her.



Martha Jones was studying a brain scan when Mickey returned to her side. “She’ll be down shortly. She’s getting Owen’s daughter settled with Jane.”

“Okay.”

Mickey looked over her shoulder. “What’s that?” he asked, pointing to a dark shadow that was vaguely slug-shaped.

“Something that most definitely should not be there,” Martha told him.

“Dr. Jones,” Delilah said striding into the room. “What do you have for me?”

“I’ve found something in Marcie’s brain,” she said. She pointed out the object on the scan. “It may be the source of the problem.”

Delilah frowned. “Is that some kind of implant? Are we dealing with some kind of Cyber tech?”

“I don’t think so,” Martha said. “It appears to be biological in nature. I can see that the entry point for the creature was through the nose. It’s left a small trail of damage.” Martha traced the path.

“So it’s alien.”

“Very likely.”

“Can you get it out?” Mickey asked.

“Brain surgery is a tricky business and one I’m not trained for. Anyone who is trained would hesitate to perform it on a patient so young,” Martha said. “Even UNIT doctors who are used to some weird things tend to balk at babies.”

“So you found the problem, but you can’t do anything about it?” Delilah asked with a sigh.

“I didn’t say that. I don’t know that this is the problem. It may be something else entirely, like a parasite or a tumor. All I can rule out at this point is that it isn’t mechanical.”

“Does Mayumi have it as well?” asked Mickey.

“I don’t know. I’ve only scanned Marcie so far and I’ve been interpreting the data all morning. Mayumi is my next step, but I’d like to call in another specialist, Dr. Elias Cooper, a pediatric brain surgeon. But that may be tricky as well.”

“Why’s that then?” Delilah asked.

“He works for NAATF,” she said slowly.

“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Delilah replied.

“Well, but…” Martha bit her lip.

“Spit it out,” Delilah said impatiently.

“He’s former Cybus Industries, the U.S. division, and he still has Cyber tech in his head,” she said on a rush.

“Absolutely not!” Mickey exclaimed. “You can’t be serious.”

“He’s the only one I know who could do this.”

“No,” said Delilah.

“But—.”

“No,” she repeated. “We’ll find another way.”

“I’m not sure there is one.”

“There’s always another way,” Delilah insisted. “Anyway, Pete would never clear it. Neither would UNIT. Or NAATF.”

“We wouldn’t have to tell them,” Martha said. Delilah just stared at her, until she became very uncomfortable. “It may be the only chance Marcie has.”

“I cannot bring Cyber tech into Torchwood. I won’t,” Delilah said fiercely. “We fought too hard to get it out.”

“Can I at least consult with him?”

“No. He could infect our computers remotely. There is to be absolutely no contact with him whatsoever. I am not going to endanger my people or my city on the slight chance he can help. I cannot put one life ahead of many. Find another way.”

Martha held the older woman’s gaze for a long minute then nodded curtly. “I’ll see what I can do.”

She waited a good two minutes after Delilah left the room before letting out a sigh of frustration. “Damn it,” she said. “I don’t know what to do.”

“I guess start with getting Mayumi’s brain scanned,” Mickey suggested, “and go from there. Maybe something you’ll see in the comparison will give you an idea.”

“Or maybe I’ll just keep beating my head against the wall,” Martha muttered.

“You’ve been on this for just over 24 hours. No one is expecting you to work miracles,” Mickey said soothingly.

“Oh, they always do expect it, because I’ve delivered them too many times.”

“Well, then maybe they’ve a right to expect it. You’ll figure it out.”

“You don’t even know me. “How can you possibly have that kind of faith in me?” she wanted to know.

“Instinct,” Mickey said, “plus I’m a great judge of character.”

Martha gave a half-hearted smile. “Character has nothing to do with this, I’m afraid.”

“Sure it does. You have a reputation for not giving up. It’s in your character. You’ll solve this.”

“I hope so.” Martha gave herself a little shake, reframing her thought process and shifting her attitude back towards the positive. “Can you help me with the gurney? Let’s go get Mayumi into the machine.”

Mickey nodded. “Just call me your beast of burden,” he said with a good-natured smile. He fetched the gurney and together they headed to off to get Mayumi.



Rose smiled and stretched languorously as she woke from a nap. She turned over in the bed only to find it empty. “John?” she called out.

There was no reply so she sat up carefully and then stood up slowly. She felt perfectly normal. She eyed the injured shoulder and saw that it looked completely healed other than a slightly more pink section of skin. She felt wonderful and it wasn’t just the afterglow from all of their lovemaking. Maybe she ought to rethink getting the picogenes taken out.

“John?” she called again. There was still no answer. The bathroom door in her room was slightly ajar and the light was off. She ventured through the door that led to his room and didn’t find him there, either.

She frowned as she went back to her room, and then noticed the note on the bedside table. She picked it up.

“Went to get food. Stay naked. Please. John,” Rose read aloud and then laughed. He was succinct and to the point, as usual. She went to the loo and when she returned to bed she relived a few of the highlights of the last 36 hours.

John was a gloriously skilled lover. Not that she had slept with that many men to compare him to. Jimmy Stone has been impatient and selfish. Mickey had never left her wanting and she had always felt like he loved her, but it wasn’t the same. The Doctor had been…well, interesting in bed, but they’d barely started that part of their relationship when he’d been lost to her, and most of that had been frantic ‘we survived’ sex, not slow, all the time in the world sex.

She and John had definitely had all the time in the world sex. He was patient and giving, two things he was not in ordinary life. He had cared more about her pleasure than his own. He had made her body sing, coming alive in ways she wasn’t sure it ever had before. And he had made her want to give back to him more than she thought she had. She loved him and it ran all the way down to the cellular level.

Her stomach growled and she hoped he’d be back soon. She was starving. And bored. She picked up her phone and almost called Toshiko before remembering with a jolt that her friend and Dr. Harper were gone. She bit back hard on her emotions and then gave Mickey a call. When he didn’t pick up she looked through her contacts and called Gabe instead.

“This is Gabriel.”

“Hi, Gabe, it’s Rose.”

“Wasn’t expecting to hear from you for a while,” he said.

“Are you better?” she asked.

“Good as new. And you? Have the picos done their job?” he wanted to know.

“Yes. I feel fine. Better than fine actually. Ready to get back to work.”

“It’s best you wait another 12 hours. The full 48 is really recommended after what we went through. It allows them to fully recharge so that if something else happens they’re at top performance levels.”

“You’re there.”

“But I’m not working,” he said. “Not yet. Delilah won’t sign off on it yet, and she won’t for you either.”

“Fine,” she said, “but do you at least know what’s going on? Any updates?” she asked.

“Dr. Jones found something in Marcie’s brain and is scanning Mayumi to see if she has the same anomaly,” he replied.

“And Tosh and Owen?” she asked hesitantly.

“There’s been no word.” Rose sighed. “Dr. Harper’s resourceful,” Gabe said. “And Tosh is smart. They’ll figure out a way to let us know where they are and we’ll get them back.”

“You can’t know that.”

“No, I can’t, but it is what I choose to believe. We’ll find them.”

“I hope you’re right. Any news on Emma Yates?” she asked.

“She’s stable. No regressions since we left her.”

“Any new victims?” she asked.

“Not that I’m aware of, no,” he told her.

“If anything changes—.”

“I’ll keep you in the loop. Is there anything else?” he asked with good humor.

“Not that I can think of. Thanks, Gabe.”

“Any time, Rose. Bye.”

“Bye.” She shut off her phone just as she heard a rustling at the door.

John entered carrying two large paper bags. “What’d you get?” Rose asked, her stomach reminding her that it had been many hours since she’d last eaten. “It smells fabulous.”

John laughed. “Hungry, are you?”

“Yes. And for more than food.” She gave him an impish smile. “But food first.”

“I got Vietnamese,” he said. “There’s pho hai san, ta hu chien, bo luc lac, goi du du, chao tom, hu tieu xao, and xoi man. Wasn’t sure what you’d like, so got a variety,” he told her.

“I recognized pho,” she said, laughing. “But I’m sure it’s all delicious.”

She started to get out of bed, but he stopped her. “No, you don’t. You stay put. We’ll spread it out on the bed.”

“I’m fine, John.”

“You can be fine from right over there.”

“You’re a bossy man.”

“You’re a beautiful woman. What’s your point?” he asked as he unpacked the boxes onto the bed from one bag and then the soup and drinks from the other.

“I’m not an invalid.”

“I know you’re not, but I don’t want to take any chances. Humor me?” he pleaded.

“Alright, but if I’m eating naked, you’re eating naked. Take off your clothes,” she ordered.

John laughed. “Your wish is my command.”

Rose grinned. For the first time in a long time, those words didn’t hurt to hear.



“Pete Tyler,” Pete said answering the insistent ringing of his phone.

“Hello, Pete, it’s Delilah Morgan.”

“Is Rose okay?” he asked immediately.

“Yes, she’s fine. Gabriel just spoke with her a half an hour ago. The picogenes have done their job well,” Delilah told him. “She’s almost completely healed. According to Gabe, they will also have taken care of the lingering effects of her concussion as well.”

“Good. Jackie will be glad to hear it. It was all I could do to keep her from rushing right down and getting mixed up in the middle of things,” Pete said.

“That’d be all we’d need,” Delilah said, “civilians mucking about getting in the way of everything. No, I’m calling because Dr. Jones told me something disturbing today and I thought you should know about it.”

“What’s that then?” he asked, interested.

“The North American Alien Task Force has someone working for them with Cyber tech still in his head. A Dr. Elias Cooper. He worked for Cybus before the war. Dr. Jones wants to bring him in to help.”

“You told her no.” Pete’s voice was hard.

“In no uncertain terms,” Delilah said fervently. “And she accepted that, albeit with poor grace. It took us too long to clear the Republic of Cyber technology. Did you know about this?”

Pete was silent for a moment. “I knew there had been some hold outs in Canada and parts of America, but I was given the impression that they were all under lock and key and kept in laboratory conditions. They were only partially changed and kept for research purposes. I didn’t know any of them were actively working with NAATF.”

“It can’t be allowed to stand.”

“I’m not sure we have much choice. You know how that continent is. They’re barely cooperative with UNIT and they have no use whatsoever for Torchwood,” Pete said.

“Then play dirty. Use a media blitz. If their people knew the truth they’d be forced to shut them down.”

“Or hide them even deeper.” Pete sighed. “The best I can do is talk to Harriet Jones.”

“You could stop Vitex exports there until they comply.”

“No, I can’t. I’d be breaking trade agreements and it could cripple the company, which in turn could cripple Torchwood. Telling the president is the best thing, but she’s a high-ranking politician. It’s likely she already knows.”

“I can’t believe they’re taking such chances. Don’t they know if they get out again the whole world will be at stake? We’ve already lost so many people. Another incursion could limit the gene pool so dramatically we might never recover,” Delilah said.

“Li,” Pete began soothingly.

“I lost everything to them!” Delilah interrupted, emotion finally cracking her voice. “Everything!” My husband, my children, my parents, and my brother were all victims. They even killed my dog. You’ve got to find a way to shut this down.”

“Even if I could get the authority to operate over there, the death squads are all disbanded now.”

“Then send an assassin.”

“Delilah, be reasonable.”

“There is no reason when it comes to Cybermen. You know that.”

Pete was quiet for a moment. “There is one man who works for me that I could send. He seems to have a finger in every pie, and he can infiltrate anything. But only if President Jones agrees to it. And he does.”

“You don’t mean…”

“I do mean. But he’s deep under cover in Nairobi. This could take a while.”

“So long as it gets done,” Delilah said.

“I’ll see what I can do, but Li, I can’t guarantee anything. He might not say yes and he has enough influence with the people that can stop this before we start it.”

“He won’t say no. He lost his wife to them and his daughter. Only his granddaughter survived.”

“A cover that deep will take months to break. Martha’s took several weeks. And that’s assuming he wants to break cover,” Pete explained. “Keep your hopes in check meanwhile.”



Gabe had volunteered to play with the baby while Mayumi had her brain scan. He was having a grand time doing peek-a-boo, though the child was really too small to respond that much and certainly too young to laugh or smile. Still, her eyes seemed to track him.

It was peaceful to just sit and hold her, too. He didn’t have a lot of time for stillness in his line of work. He was, despite his rejuvenated appearance, old enough to be a grandfather, though if one of his teenage daughters had made him one, he wouldn’t be happy. And their mother would be furious.

He sighed as he thought of his wife. Life had been hard since he’d youthened. Despite the memories of the life they’d shared before, Jenna had issues. While she’d stayed in the marriage and kept their wedding vows and said she still loved him, she’d turned away from anything more than a platonic relationship. Not that he could blame her. Up until 2 months ago, he hadn’t even looked legal. Jenna said it would have felt like child abuse, even though mentally he was still in his 50’s.

Jenna claimed she would ride it out until he was himself again, but he feared that just like Marcie’s husband it might all become too much for his wife and she’d leave him. He worked as much as possible, taking as many assignments as he could that would take him out of London and away from her unwillingness to cope. Their romantic relationship still existed in emails and text messages and telephone calls, but she wouldn’t video chat him and in person she just didn’t want to deal.

Marcie had fallen asleep. Maybe having time for stillness wasn’t good after all. He thought too much about all the things he couldn’t change. Gabe was a patient man. He always had been, but there were days when, if he let loose the tight reign he kept on his emotions, he’d rail against the world for what had happened to him and that did nobody any good.

The baby gave a sudden shudder and let out a terrified squall. Her eyes flew open and she began to wail. Gabe noticed a trickle of blood coming from her ear and then something bright blue and scaled emerged from it. He wanted to scoop Marcie up and pull that thing out of her, but he feared that he’d do even more damage.

He strode to the door. “Help!” he hollered loudly. “Something’s wrong with Marcie!”

He hurried back to her side just as the thing finished its exit strategy and fell onto the mattress of her bassinet. Marcie’s sobs ceased. He grabbed it and made to toss it across the room when the thing fired an electrical shock into his system. He dropped the little invader and his body seized and he fell to the floor.

Gabe tried desperately to stop, but it was like he was no longer in control of his body. The little creature slid towards him and then he felt it climbing onto his face. A thousand pinpricks burst through his nerve endings as the thing began to crawl up his nose. He tried to cry out, but only a garbled sound emerged.

“Gabe?” It was Mickey’s voice, but it sounded far away and tinny. “Gabe!”

He heard footsteps and felt Mickey touching him, but he couldn’t see him. His eyes had been suffused in gold as his picogenes scrambled towards the threat. He could feel the thing as it edged towards his brain. Violent pain tore threw him and he knew no more.



Mickey shook Gabe’s arm and tried desperately to wake him up. “Help!” Mickey shouted. “Delilah! Martha! Jane! Anyone!”

He put his head to Gabe’s chest while his hand went to the man’s wrist, listening for a heartbeat, feeling for a pulse. “Gabe!” His own heart was racing so fast and loud that he couldn’t hear anything, but his fingers had found a slow, steady pulse.

Gabe’s picos swarmed from his eyes down his face and into his ears, nose, and open mouth. Mickey backed away. If his picos were active any interference would not be welcome. He glanced at the baby. Her eyes were open, her pupils fully dilated, and she lay unmoving.

He scrambled to his feet, scooped up the child, and laid her down on Mayumi’s bed and felt for a pulse, checked for breathing, and found nothing. The baby was dead. Quickly he began CPR, thankful that Jackie had forced him and Rose to take a class on infant life-saving techniques when Tony had been born.

“What’s wrong? What’s happened?” Delilah demanded.

“Marcie’s dead,” he managed to gasp out.

“I’ll get Dr. Jones.”

“I’m here,” Martha said. The young doctor stepped around Gabe and hurried to take over for Mickey. Mickey moved back in relief and looked back at Gabe. He was now covered in the glistering picogenes. He looked like molten gold, as wave after wave of the little biological machines rushed back and forth in full attack mode.

“I’ve got a heartbeat!” Martha cried out in triumph and as if on cue the baby started to cry. Martha scooped her up and held her securely against her body trying to comfort the traumatized infant.

“Can you help Gabriel?” Delilah asked.

“I can’t. Not when his picogenes are this active. We have to wait it out.”

“Come on, Gabe, fight!” Mickey said.

A strangled sound emerged from Gabe’s throat and his body arched up, leaving only his head, shoulders, and heels in contact with the ground.

“We have to do something!” Delilah exclaimed and knelt down, grabbing for Gabe’s hand. The picogenes shot out a streak towards her and she was whooshed backwards so hard she hit the wall. As quickly as they shot out they were absorbed back into the mass. “Ow!” she complained, rubbing her head and shoulder.

A horrible smell invaded the room and the picos scattered away from his nose as something blue and dripping emerged from his head. The picos swarmed back in and carried the ooze away from him, depositing it on the floor several feet away before returning to their human.

Then it was over. Several of the picogenes slid away from his body and dropped dead. A third of the remainder reabsorbed into his body. He was white as a ghost, his freckles standing out in sharp relief, but he was breathing.

“He’s aged!” exclaimed Martha. It was true. Gabe no longer looked eighteen years old. Whatever had happened in the battle between the picogenes and the blue invader had aged him. His red hair was now grey at the temples, wrinkles edged the corners of his eyes, and what looked like a three day’s growth of beard, much redder than his hair, had replaced the usual peach fuzz he’d previously sported.

“He’s over halfway back to where he should be,” Mickey said in awe. “Gabe? Gabe?”

The man did not respond. “Help me get him up,” he said as Delilah stood up. “Let’s get him on Mayumi’s bed.”

With Mickey doing most of the lifting, the pair managed to get him settled comfortably. Martha handed the baby over to Mickey and then checked his vitals. His breath was shallow and his heart was racing.

“I’m not sure what else to do for him. I think he’s back in a healing coma,” Martha said. “All we can do is wait.”

“And maybe someone should call his wife. I’m not sure if she’ll come, but she should be told,” Mickey said.

“I’ll do it,” Delilah said. “Where’s Mayumi?”

“I left her in the scanner,” Martha admitted. “It should be done by now. Here, give me the baby. I want to keep her close to me for the next 24 hours. And someone should sit with Gabe.” Mickey passed Marcie back over. “And can you scoop up that blue residue, Mickey? I want it analyzed as soon as possible.”

“I’ll send Jane to sit with Gabe,” Delilah said.

“Who’ll watch Kathlyn, then?” Mickey asked.

“Oh, I’d forgotten. Damn it, I wish Toshiko and Owen weren’t missing,” Delilah said. “We need help.”

“Call John and Rose,” Mickey suggested.

“No. I’m not putting Rose at risk,” Delilah said.

“Then just John. Rose should be healed enough to be on her own now,” Mickey said.

“No, she needs to be monitored,” Martha said.

“Then have her stay in Jane’s office. Jane’s already baby-sitting,” Mickey replied.

“Mrs. Morgan?” The voice was young and uncertain. Kathlyn was standing in the doorway, her eyes wide.

“How long have you been there?” Delilah asked.

“A while.” Her eyes were wide and her face was pale.

“You shouldn’t be down here, honey.”

“I know that, but I had to. Jane said to come tell you her water just broke.”

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