|Hearts and Minds
Author: elfmaiden4legs PM
Jack is injured and the TARDIS needs to make an emergency landing. Rose is delighted to be home again, but the people of 21st century London are dying and when Jack sucomes to the sickness only the Doctor, Rose and a reluctant Jackie can help him.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Angst - Chapters: 24 - Words: 39,529 - Reviews: 92 - Favs: 32 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 05-23-07 - Published: 02-17-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2805531
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey to all my lovely loyal readers! Well here it is! The final chapter! Its been a whole year and three months but I finally completed this story and God how I have enjoyed writing it! You've all been brilliant and I would like to thank you all for your patience with me over the past year! I know that I haven't always been the most regular updater and throughout the writing of this story I have been through many stages in my life including taking my final exams, graduating college and moving onto work and then having to reheares for auditions for my degree next year but I promised when I started writing this that I would not leave this story unfinnished and here id your reward! I for one hate an incomplete story and I am so grateful to those of you who have stuck with me since the beginning! I guess it's going to feel kind of strange now not having this to write...
...but there is one more thing that you can still do for me if you would, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW MY FINAL CHAPTER! PLEASE!
Love you all:D
A couple of days later the Doctor, Rose and Jackie were back standing outside the industrial style block of West London flats, which had been the scene of so much disarray and devastation upon their initial arrival more than a week ago now. Although the following few days had proven nothing short of an ordeal for them all, especially the Doctor and Rose being the closest to Jack and therefore the most effected by his unforeseen turn for the worse, everything appeared to have returned to normal for the people of London now and Rose realised with a sudden pang of regret that the time would soon come for them to depart once more, although without her mother present this time. She had never before considered the extent to which her rather unorthodox life with the Doctor may effect those she had left behind… until she had almost lost everything which had ever meant anything to her whilst growing up, and she only hoped that Mickey could keep his promise to take care of Jackie for her… although somehow she had no doubt that he would.
He claimed to have heard the TARDIS materialising three streets away. A place where he and Rose had spent the better part of their early relationship eating chips out of greasy paper bags before kissing each other goodbye on the graffiti etched street corner, much to the disdainful looks of many of the elderly residents who had occupied the grubby council flats and nearby streets of run down houses at the time. It had been exciting once to catch the disapproving looks that they attracted as they would smile and wave mockingly in the direction of their nosey observers before parting ways as they headed on their own very separate ways home… and she had been happy with this once… she had been content. But now she realised that it had only been a happiness born out of ignorance. That, like most of her own who lived out their monotonous existence, characterised by routine and the false comfort of familiar things here of Earth, she had simply accepted life for what it was because she had known no different… and no matter how much the circumstances of the previous few days had prompted her to reminisce about her past she had never known true excitement before she met the Doctor, nor had she ever been happier than she was now, in the company of himself and Jack.
Jack meanwhile was still weak, although had made significant progress over the past couple of days. Since regaining consciousness his strength had improved dramatically and he was already up and around, taking his first steps on the road towards a steady recovery. There was however still a long way for him to go before he would be fully recovered, and the Doctor was keeping a close eye on him to be sure that there was no sign of him suffering a relapse, just in case any of Arnie's microbes were still lying dormant in his system.
"You sure you've remembered everything you need?" Rose asked, turning back now to the farewell in hand as she hugged her mother for the innumerable time in the last few minutes.
"I keep telling you sweetheart," Jackie responded as she tightened the embrace between herself and her daughter, "There's nothing for you to worry about. Everything that I need is still right here where I left it."
"I still don't understand how things can suddenly appear so normal though." Rose continued as she looked around in a state of bewildered puzzlement at the familiar scene of unorganised calm all about them. "When we left a week ago this place was a mess… people didn't know what to do with themselves, even where to go they were that scared, and now they're walking around as if nothing happened?"
"That's because technically nothing did. "The Doctor cut in, continuing rapidly in response to the questioning look which he received from Rose. "Time has a wonderful way of healing itself." He elaborated after a moment. "The people here don't remember anything about the past few days because by changing what happened in the past, consequently we also changed the future. As Krewcow and his assistant effectively dies before they were born they never got born at all and so nothing has really changed in the world of 21st Century London. Time is so temperamental, whole events can be erased with the click of a misplaced finger. Even dinosaurs could have evolved the intelligence to use microwaves…" He joked. "Or sharks to have tap danced and lived on the land… but of course we know that that's impossible." He winked. "But we're going to have to keep a very close eye on this planet from now on. Every time history heals itself it weakens the rift in the space time continuum leaving a scar very much like that left by a cut to human flesh. But scars are easily picked, and a sudden split to the rift could prove disastrous, not only to this planet but the entire universe and any other unfortunate dimension which happens to be connected to us via the rift."
"Love the comparison, the space time continuum weighed up against some grossly encrusted flesh wound." Rose responded sarcastically, screwing her face up indignantly with exaggerated disgust as the Doctor smiled charmingly at her. "But what about Jack? Where does that leave him?" She continued more seriously now, her tone heavy as her mind began to wonder back over the events of the past few days and the set of circumstances which had somehow managed to turn her world upside down even more so than it already had been during the previous few months since she had met the Doctor. "If we managed to alter history then why is he still so sick? Surely his condition should have corrected itself by now alongside everybody else's?"
The Doctor shook his head gravely. "We have simply added to the timeline rather than completely altering it." He explained. "Everything that happened to us still really happened, there's no way of escaping that. We have simply covered up one event with another, becoming part of a timeframe that we were never actually meant to be part of. Those people who fell victim to Arnie's experiment may never be quite the same as they once were, and it's going to take Jack a while to get over it himself I'm afraid. Although I'm confident that given rest and time he should be set to make a full recovery eventually."
"I thought it would be something like that." Rose smiled as she nodded her head comprehendingly before rolling her eyes in an exaggerated gesture at the Doctor as she adopted a more sarcastic tone, slapping playfully on the shoulder as she continued. "It usually is."
"Ow." The Doctor complained, rubbing his arm dramatically. "That hurt."
"Excuse me." Mickey suddenly cut in, "But may I ask you something?"
He shuffled uncomfortably as the whole group suddenly turned their attentions to what he had to say, the Doctor looking at him expectantly as he eyed the unsure looking young man before him with an element of superiority and mocking. "Ask away Ricky." The Doctor teased.
"Well," Mickey croaked, his voice beginning to break. "I was just wondering how it is that if everybody else seems to have forgotten everything about the past few days and what happened, how is it that I can still remember?"
"Argh." The Doctor sighed, his face suddenly falling in a gesture which reminded Rose of a man blessed with all the initial pride of a life changing idea only to fall at the final hurdle. "That's where it begins to get complicated I'm afraid." He explained. "You see the TARDIS works on a low frequency psychic wavelength, tapping into the most basic of cognitive functions; to see, to speak, to hear, even to taste and to remember. That's how she is able to interpret alien languages for Rose whenever they are needed, and why it is that you are able to remember everything that has transpired over the past few days even after everybody else has forgotten.
"But I've never even set foot inside the TARDIS before, so how does this apply to me?" Mickey asked.
"Well the influence of a single common denominator must also play its role." The Doctor added, turning to Rose.
"Hey, not so much of the 'common' you!" She responded playfully as she jabbed him hard in the ribs.
The Doctor smiled cheekily at her before continuing. "A small percentage of the connection that Rose shares with the TARDIS is transferred every time she makes contact with somebody new. For most this is insignificant, those who are more sensitive may experience a slight change in mood, body temperature or at worst even develop a sudden sharp headache which lasts only a few minutes and disappears as quickly as it comes as their own body struggles to decipher the new signals which disrupt the ones already being sent out by their own nervous system, but this is rare and most simply remain oblivious to it all. You have a very personal connection to Rose however Mickey, the TARDIS recognises this and grants you certain privileges which she wouldn't normally grant to everybody else, including an extension on the level of psychic energy which she allows you to receive."
"I get it." Rose nodded. "A little bit like a friendly prerogative?"
"I guess you could say that." The Doctor grinned.
"I'm glad somebody understands all of this." Mickey muttered under his breath after a moment. " Because I certainly don't."
Rose smiled, the Doctor's impatient expression conveying that he had already outstayed the time he wished to spend on this lowly little planet and that he was itching now to got back inside the TARDIS and go. Rose took one final look around her at the place she used to call hole before turning back towards her mother for one final goodbye.
"You know I think I'm really going to miss having you around." She explained at last. "It felt kinda strange at first but I guess I kinda grew used to having you around eventually. I guess I may have forgotten how much I used to miss that when I first joined the Doctor."
Jackie smiled. "Your life isn't for me sweetheart." She explained as she embraced her daughter one last time. "Besides, it's like you've always said… time is so fragile. You could be off exploring new worlds and galaxies or whatever else it is that you do with this new life of yours with the Doctor, and by the time you return ten seconds will have passed… just ten seconds."
Rose gave a melancholy smile at her mother's false expression, wondering who it was that she was trying harder to convince, her or herself. "Do you really mean that?" She asked after a moment.
Jackie looked at her thoughtfully as though carefully considering the answer to that question before offering up a response. "If I was to say no." She sighed at last. "If I was to beg you not to go back, tell you how dangerous it was, how much I miss you and worry about you whilst you're gone, just as I have pleaded with you so many times before, would you stay?" She asked.
Rose considered this for a moment, thinking of everything that she had already been through with the Doctor, all the things she had seen, the places he had taken her to and those she was still yet to explore, the difference that they had already made to so many lives and she shook her head. "I'm sorry, I can't." She explained. "I have to go back."
"But why?" Jackie pleaded.
At this Rose glanced back briefly at the Doctor, feeling tears of regret welling up in her burning eyes as she did so. "I'm all he has." She said at last as she planted a final affectionate kiss on her mother's subtly made up cheek.
Jackie sighed heavily. "Rose I won't pretend that I agree with what you do." She spoke bluntly after a while. "Especially now after experiencing the dangers of the life that you lead myself, but I'm always going to be here for you if you need me… both of you," She added, turning to the Doctor, "and Jack… I know now that they both have your best interests at heart."
"Its time to go rose." The Doctor informed her, managing to disguise at least some of the impatience in his voice now as he did so.
"Just make sure that you take care of her Doctor." Jackie warned him as she watched them both retreat back inside the TARDIS, wondering when she would next see her daughter again, and hoping that it wouldn't be too long.
"Oh, he will." Rose reassured her, before the door closed behind them and she was gone.
Inside the TARDIS control room Jack was busying himself at the controls. His face pale, his cheeks still flushed with the remains of a slight fever, although significantly stronger than he had been a few days previous as he held his one bad, still bandaged, hand at a comfortable angle to his body. He smiled at them as they entered.
"Ready to go?" He asked.
"Hey, I thought I was in charge around here." The Doctor looked at him, his eyebrows raised in mock severity, although his facial expression conveying something of a more lighthearted disposition than Rose supposed he had intended.
"Sorry." Jack grinned, and in that moment she noticed the playful glint return to his tired eyes, his voice stronger, his tone rich with the characteristic charm which had had first attracted her to him what felt like a lifetime ago now, and for the first time since the Doctor had first uttered the unthinkable and devastating revelation to her that he thought that Jack was dying she knew that in the long term he would be alright.
Suddenly she realised that the two men were laughing as she focused her attentions back to the present moment couldn't help herself but join in with their lighthearted cheer.
"So where are we going next?" She asked at last, once she had managed to regain much of her composure.
"Wherever the TARDIS decides to take us." The Doctor responded, grinning manically as he dashed over to the controls, fiddling with switches and checking their co-ordinates as he did so. "We've had our little adventure, now it's time for her to have hers."
Rose looked at Jack, still smiling. "And I wouldn't have it any other way!" She laughed.