Child of Earth
Chapter One: Skye: Dropped on the Doorstep
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters.
AN: Welcome back to the Guardians of Earth. This is it, the final Earth based story! I'm super excited with what I have lined up for you this time. Some interesting retellings and mostly original episodes! If you missed the Christmas special: Under the Mistletoe Moon then I strongly urge you to go and read that before starting this.
Rose Marion Tyler was twenty-one years old with her head buried underneath the thick purple duvet of her bed and her body half curled around a stray pillow. It was late September and classes had started back at Cambridge with Rose in her fourth year of uni. In her defense, the fourth year was due to her concurrent degree, but Rose found herself back at Bannerman Road on this fine Sunday morning thanks to Tosh's 'freedom party'.
Not really much of a party of course, but UNIT scientific division staff had spent Saturday at Tosh's new flat moving furniture and unpacking boxes around eating delivery pizza and drinking a bottle or three of wine. Well more like making the soldiers like Mickey that they'd dragged along move furniture while they supervised. Mickey had been a good sport about it, Ross, too thankfully and left Tosh a stuttering grateful mess. In the end, Toshiko Sato was now considered a free woman whose parole had been lifted and would be remaining with Malcolm and Kate in the scientific division.
Groaning softly, Rose shifted under the duvet and began the internal debate of 'to get up or to not get up' that was a well-known issue on Sunday mornings. She felt warm, comfy and very lazy and there was lots of time to gather her things and return to Cambridge. Rose wasn't sure what time it was, but it felt early. Rose was considering rolling over and going back to sleep for a few more hours.
Though she had wanted to have lunch with Sharon and Shareen so getting up at a reasonable time was important. The beeping of her mobile made Rose groan, but she rolled over and let her arm slide out from under the warm duvet to retrieve the phone. Bringing it under the blankets with her, Rose forced her eyes open and looked at the screen. A jolt of adrenaline rushed through her at the words:
Help! Come quickly. SJ
Leaping out of her bed, Rose grabbed her clothes for the day and got dressed in a flash. Out of habit she ran a brush through her hair and tied her hair back in a ponytail as she shoved her feet into her still tied trainers. Grabbing her keys and sonic pen, Rose quickly slid on her translator and rushed out of her room. Her mother's bedroom door was still closed and Rose finally paused to look out the window at the end of the hallway. The sun was just beginning to rise and Rose inwardly groaned even as she started moving again. When she reached the ground floor, she could hear the soft hum of Rita Anne's CPAP machine two doors down. Rushing to the front door, Rose stopped just long enough to write a quick note to her mother that Sarah Jane needed to see her. Nothing more than that, though Rose did briefly wonder if she should tell Rita Anne the truth about her job and hobbies.
After all, the woman was Mickey's grandmother and lived with them. Plus after recent events, most people were beginning to accept the idea of aliens. Rose shoved the thought aside and slipped out the front door, braced for trouble. But everything was still and quiet on the street. One of the neighbors from down the road came around the corner in their jogging wear and waved quickly to Rose before moving on.
The neat brick homes of Bannerman Road in Ealing were all a little different from each other with Sarah Jane's probably being the most distinct. It was only a few houses down and across the street from Rose's and several stories tall with a stained glass window at the attic level. Rose scanned the house carefully as she approached for any signs of trouble. Half of the streetlights were out and a couple more were flickering oddly, casting long shadows.
Everything looked normal, Sarah Jane's old car was parked in the front and there were a couple of oddly low lights on in the house. Rose paused for a moment and looked back and forth down the street and up at the roofline. She didn't see any signs of an intruder, but as she walked to the front door Rose could hear something odd from inside of the house. It sounded like crying, but not Sarah Jane. The door was unlocked and Rose was reaching for the knob when Rani and Clyde came rushing up to join her.
"You too huh?" Rani asked nervously.
"What do you think it is?" Clyde questioned as he shifted between his feet.
"Won't know until we go in," Rose said. She fixed her eyes on them each seriously in turn. "Stay behind me."
Rose opened the door carefully and the unfamiliar crying became louder. Stepping inside, Rose braced herself for an attack but there was nothing. To her right, the living room was warm with light, but it was being lit by a collection of candles. None of the lamps were turned on and Rose looked around with a frown. Sarah Jane was standing in the middle of the living room still in her dressing gown and rocking a bundle with a frazzled expression on her face. It took Rose a moment to process that the soft crying sound was coming from the bundle and that it was actually a baby.
"Sarah Jane, what's-" Rani gasped loudly.
"Shush," Sarah Jane gasped desperately.
"That baby doing in your arms?" Rose finished with a frown.
"Shush. Don't make her cry. She cried earlier, and every light in the house blew," Sarah Jane said. She gestured weakly at the lamps. "Luke and Johnny went out for supplies."
"Okay I feel like that should have explained something and yet it didn't," Rose told Sarah Jane. She looked at the innocent looking baby, trying to process Sarah Jane's words.
"I found her on the doorstep. I was going to call the police, but I don't think they'll have much luck finding her parents," Sarah Jane told them with a weak chuckle. "Not on this planet."
The baby released another cry and the bulb of the lamp to Rose's right exploded in a shower of sparks making all four of them jump in surprise.
"Shush, it's all right. It's all right," Sarah Jane told the infant weakly in a strained voice before looking back at them. "Luke was born a thirteen-year-old boy. A teenager I can handle. But a baby? An alien baby? I need help." She looked more desperate and frazzled than Rose had ever seen her, even when an alien popped up at her wedding or when she found out that Rose knew the Doctor for the first time.
"Don't look at me," Rani retorted quickly.
"Or me, obviously," Clyde added with wide eyes.
"Yeah, well, your mums must know," Sarah Jane tried desperately.
"If I start asking Mum questions about how to look after a baby, well, she's going to totally freak," Rani reminded Sarah Jane. Rose almost laughed at the very true statement but focused on studying the baby. "Besides, she's an alien. What do any of us know?" Rani said.
The baby looked humanoid with a sweet though upset looking face and wide blue eyes. Very human in fact, Rose noted.
"What about Mister Spock?" Clyde asked.
"Ah. Mister Spock won't come out. Well, would you if you might get your circuits fried? K-9 went with Johnny and Luke and I won't be surprised if he refuses to leave the car."
The baby released a shriek that made another lamp flash. "Oh give her to me," Rose said.
Stepping forward, Rose slid her hand beneath the baby's head and helped Sarah Jane shift her into Rose's arms. The borrowed instincts of her other lives kicked in and Rose eased the child against her, rocking her softly. The infant quieted and hiccupped as Rose looked down at her. Sarah Jane signed in relief, almost collapsing onto the sofa. Adjusting her arms, Rose cradled the tiny thing against her chest as she kept moving around the room. 'The rock and walk' an odd little voice in her head offered. There was a tickle at the bad of her mind and she shifted her weight slightly to better support herself and the baby. She almost laughed, all those other lives that she had jangled around in the recesses of her mind were usually silent, but every so often they made themselves known.
"Okay, hopefully, the boys will be back soon," Rose said in a soft voice. "She's probably hungry."
As if summoned by her statement, the front door opened and Luke and Johnny came stumbling in with bags of stuff. Sarah Jane looked over at them but didn't move. Rani and Clyde rushed over to help them and Johnny glanced Rose's way as she followed them into the kitchen. In a low voice, Rose gave Clyde instructions for preparing a bottle as the baby began to hiccup again.
In a few minutes, she had a warm bottle in her hand and moved back into the living room. Everyone was watching her as Rose eased herself into one of the armchairs and positioned the baby before offering her the bottle. She began to eagerly suck at the bottle with one little hand coming up to grasp at it.
"There we go," Rose breathed with a smile. "Happy tummy, happy baby. Universal constant."
"You're a natural," Rani breathed in relief.
"I've taken care of babies before," Rose offered with a shrug, not interested in sharing that the last baby she'd looked after had been her own future daughter. "You've got to stay calm. They're very empathetic and pick up on stress."
"Yeah that's the golden rule when I look after my cousin," Clyde agreed with a nod before smiling at the little girl. "She's cute, aren't you Sparky."
"Do you think so? I always think babies look a bit rubbery," Sarah Jane remarked with a small frown as she looked over at the baby.
"Which is why our son is adopted." Johnny chuckled as he set another bottle down in front of Rose on the coffee table and sat down next to his wife.
"Her mum and dad will be going out of their minds with worry," Rani observed sadly. "They must be scouring the galaxy."
"Maybe. Maybe not. Whoever left her on my doorstep, that was no accident," Sarah Jane pointed out. "I think someone needs me to protect this baby."
"Protect her from who?" Luke asked with a frown, eyeing the baby with interest.
"That's what we have to find out before they come looking for her."
"Well once she'd done eating, she'll probably fall asleep," Rose informed them all. "Maybe then Spock can make a scan of her without being in danger."
"So what we just wait?" Rani questioned with a frown. "Until she falls asleep."
"Rule one Rani: babies operate at their own pace and time, not yours," Rose told the younger girl before they all lapsed into silence as the baby ate.
"How did moving Tosh go yesterday?" Sarah Jane asked conversationally though her eyes were still fixed on the mysterious infant.
"It went fine, we just chatted and got her mostly sorted." Rose shifted the infant who was still sucking eagerly at the last bit of the first bottle.
"Did the conversation include that new spaceship that UNIT is building that no one is supposed to know about?" Sarah Jane teased.
Rose carefully pulled the first bottle away from the infant and she began to whimper. Thankfully she quieted and made a happy gurgle as Rose gave her the second bottle.
"Yeah." Rose shrugged and gave Sarah Jane a look. "That's the one." She chuckled and shook her head, "I suppose that Spock is talking."
"Well he is in my home and I'm the secondary controller."
"Malcolm is trying to convince them to call it the Enterprise though Kate favors the other top contender the Valiant."
"Oh Enterprise," Clyde said. "So much cooler."
"Dare I ask which one you prefer?" Sarah Jane asked Rose.
"Well the original plans for it as an orbital vessel only were the Valiant, but thanks to our work with the Tervtians several alternations were made that make it capable of real space travel," Rose explained with a smile. "Hence Malcolm's desire to see it get a new name." Rose blushed slightly and shifted the baby who was cooing up at her. "I do sort of like Enterprise, though."
"Shocking given Spock-"
"Hey, he named himself," Rose cut in.
"It must be fascinating to have your friends," Rani intoned very seriously, shaking her head. "And yet you're a natural with babies."
"Do you think you and the Doctor will ever have kids?" Luke suddenly asked making Rose tense up without meaning to.
Sarah Jane laughed at the idea, slumping back in her seat and Johnny chuckled. Forcing a small smile, Rose turned her attention to Luke. "I doubt it, we're different species after all Luke."
"Too bad," Luke said. He smiled and nodded towards the baby. "Seems like you'd be a good Mum."
"Oh well thank you, Luke," Rose answered. She hoped she didn't look too pleased as the little baby began to slow down her slurping. "That's nice of you to say, but this little one looks ready for a nap now."
"Thank goodness," Sarah Jane sighed, climbing to her feet. "Well, I'll go clean up and get dressed. Once she falls asleep try to have Spock scan her."
"And after that, any idea of where to start?" Rose questioned with a frown.
"Not yet." Sarah Jane shook her head before she rallied. "But we'll sort it out, we always do."
As the journalist vanished upstairs and Johnny stood up to go and organize the baby supplies, Rose shifted the baby in her arms as her right arm started to go to sleep. Clyde jumped up and vanished into the kitchen only to return with a carrier a moment later. Smiling in relief, Rose pulled the bottle away from the dozing infant and gently laid her in the carrier.
"How sweet," Rani cooed with a chuckle. "You wouldn't know that she makes things explode."
Rose almost laughed, but she didn't want to wake the little one. Instead, she just smiled and nodded in agreement. She was pretty cute when she wasn't making things explode.