"Blue Lines" (Alternate Ending)
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: See: the first part.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I don't know what Tegan's mother's name is since it was never mentioned on the show (at least, not that I can recall), so I gave her the name Janet in honor of the actress who played Tegan.
Tegan hid it for a reason, Peri reminded herself again. Perhaps Tegan had intended, or indeed had wanted it to be found after she left, but somehow Peri didn't think so. She thought it more likely that a panicked Tegan simply couldn't think of a way to get rid of the blasted thing for good without anyone seeing it, so she had hidden it temporarily until she could think of something or could decide what to do. Peri stood, resolving to go directly back to Tegan's rooms and remove the evidence once and for all.
She was certain that was the right thing to do.
Suddenly, she wasn't sure. What about the Doctor? she thought, sinking back down onto the bench. Doesn't he have the right to know? But do I have the right to tell him? She doubted that Tegan would feel that she did.
"Oh God, I'm so confused!" she wailed, putting her head in her hands.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Peri's head jerked around at the sound of the Doctor's voice.
"Doctor!" she exclaimed. "I didn't hear you come in."
"You did look rather absorbed in your thoughts," he agreed, sitting beside her on the bench and absently running a hand through his sandy hair. "What seems to be the trouble, Peri?"
"I'm… I'm not sure I should tell you."
"You must use your own judgment," he told her, watching her carefully, wondering what had her so upset. Peri looked into those big blue eyes that had no doubt melted Tegan's heart, and made her decision. She stood up and took a deep breath.
"Come on, Doctor," she said, tugging on his arm. "There's something I think I should show you."
Tegan stood at the kitchen sink, chopping vegetables for her mother's salad. She hadn't wanted to move back in with her mother upon her return from her adventures with the Doctor, but she was unemployed and didn't know what else to do. Her other, more serious situation (about which her mother was still blissfully unaware) worried her even more. She was pregnant with a half-alien baby that she barely allowed herself to believe she could carry to term. Surely a human/alien hybrid would have too many genetic and physiological problems to survive; she was actually surprised that the pregnancy had made it as far along as it had. She knew she would have to find a doctor eventually (the irony that it was a Doctor who was responsible for this mess in the first place did not escape her), but how would she explain? God alone knew how many hearts the baby had and she was afraid to go for a sonogram to find out. Certainly any doctor she might find would eventually become suspicious, and she didn't want to end up a guinea pig imprisoned in some government building; she had been to the future with the Doctor and had seen The X-Files on television. She heard the doorbell ring and her mother's voice announcing that she would answer it, which suited Tegan just fine. She didn't particularly feel like socializing, though her mother kept trying to push old friends and former boyfriends at her, insisting that young girls needed to go out with friends and have a social life. Tegan could not seem to get her to understand that she didn't want a social life. What she really wanted was –
"Tegan, dear," her mother said, hurrying into the kitchen. "You've got a visitor."
"I don't feel like seeing anyone, Mum, really," Tegan said, drying her hands on a dishtowel and turning. "Can't you just ask whoever it is to – " Her voice broke off in shock; standing behind her mother was the Doctor. "Doctor!" Tegan exclaimed, her face lighting up with happiness. Her mother gave her a quick smile.
"I'll just leave you and your friend to it, shall I?" she asked, scurrying away, delighted that one of Tegan's friends had come to call.
"Oh, Doctor, it's so wonderful to see you, I've missed you so – " Tegan beamed, her words tumbling over themselves in excitement. She went to him, intending to embrace him when something in his manner drew her up short, her ecstatic grin fading on her lips.
"Hello, Tegan." The Doctor's voice was like ice, his face totally expressionless. This wasn't simply her old friend and lover the Doctor; no, this was the Lord President of the High Council of the Time Lords of Gallifrey, standing incongruously in the middle of her mother's kitchen in all of his regal, icy Time Lord splendor. Uh oh, she thought, suddenly getting the feeling that she knew what this unexpected visit was all about. Waiting until he was absolutely certain that he commanded Tegan's full, undivided attention, the Doctor slowly withdrew a slender white plastic object from his pocket and held it up for her to see. Recognizing it, she put a hand over her eyes and groaned aloud. When he spoke again, his voice was still down in the subzero range. "Would you care to take a walk with me, Tegan? I think we have something rather important to discuss."
They walked up the sidewalk together in uncomfortable silence, very carefully not touching. The Doctor walked with his hands angrily thrust into his trouser pockets and his head down, not looking at her at all. Tegan kept stealing apprehensive glances at him; she had seen him angry before, but never completely and utterly furious. First time for everything, she thought ruefully.
For his part, the Doctor wasn't quite sure how he felt now. Tegan's unabashed joy at seeing him had caught him completely off guard, though he thought he'd done a pretty good job of hiding it. The truth was, he hadn't expected such an enthusiastic reception from her, and he had secretly wanted nothing more than to respond by gathering her in his arms and kissing her all over. But then he'd reminded himself why he was there, of the secret she'd kept hidden from him. Perhaps she had a good reason for keeping her secret, and he was prepared to offer her the opportunity to explain herself if she were so inclined; in fact, he rather hoped that this was the case, and that the explanation would be so good that all of his anger would immediately melt away –
"Doctor," Tegan's tentative voice interrupted his reverie. "I… I thought you wanted to talk."
"I do," he replied curtly. "But not out in the open like this." He gestured towards an alley. "I've materialized the TARDIS in there." And just then they came upon it, Tegan actually giving a little yelp of joy when she spotted the battered old time machine; she hadn't admitted even to herself how much she had missed it. She blinked tears from her eyes as she watched the Doctor unlock the door.
"Everything's just the same," she said, staring around at the console room as if seeing it for the first time.
"Of course it is," the Doctor replied tetchily. "You've only been gone a few weeks. What did you expect?" Just then the door opened and a perky young brunette woman appeared from the interior of the TARDIS. She spotted Tegan and gave her a warm smile.
"You must be Tegan," she said. Her friendly, cheerful voice was American accented. She moved forward, extending her hand. "I'm Perpugilliam Brown, and I'm – " Peri suddenly noticed the Doctor watching her, his face expressionless and his eyes dark with that cold Time Lord fury that was somehow scarier than any of her stepfather's fiery ranting and raving had ever been. She let her hand drop to her side. "I'm just leaving," she finished hastily. She gingerly moved past the Doctor to grab a furry coat from the coat stand in the corner, and then hurriedly slipped out the main doors without another word. Tegan watched her go with more than a bit of envy; she would have given a great deal to be able to escape the conversation that she knew was coming up.
"Come on," the Doctor said shortly, and Tegan had no choice but to follow him into the interior of the TARDIS. As they passed what had been her rooms, she felt an ache in her heart; the door stood open and she could just make out the bed in the room's dark interior. However, she had no time to linger, as the Doctor was setting a breakneck pace and she had to hurry to keep up with him. At last she saw where he was taking her, and she felt another pang of homesickness as he motioned her inside the Cloisters and shut the door behind him. Feeling like a condemned man walking to the gas chamber, Tegan walked over to a stone bench and sat. The Doctor moved to stand in front of her. Wordlessly, he crossed his arms and stared down at her, waiting.
"I was going to tell you," she blurted out suddenly. "I really was. But then we went through all that business with the Daleks, and I just…" Her eyes filled with tears. "This kind of life," she said, indicating the TARDIS and by implication the Doctor's whole cosmic wanderer lifestyle with the sweep of a hand, "is OK for you. It was even OK for me, as long as I had you. But it's not OK for a child, especially when… when we're always in danger, when there's always a maniac or a lunatic or an ugly bug-eyed monster who wants to take over the universe or destroy a planet or steal the rest of your regenerations, or… or… or something." She wiped her cheeks with the back of her hand. "And that's another thing," she continued. "You have so many enemies who all want a piece of you, who all want their revenge. The Master. The Cybermen. And the Daleks… the Daleks tortured you, for God's sake."
"Yes, I do remember, Tegan," he said softly. That cold fury had drained out of him, taking the tension in his body along with it. He had allowed his arms to fall to his sides and was looking down at her with real concern, but she didn't seem to notice the change in him.
"What kind of life would that be for a child, Doctor?" she was saying. "Could you keep a little one safe? Why, you can't even keep yourself safe half the time! And anyway, there might not even ever be a baby! How can you and I produce a baby, Doctor? We're not even the same species. And I haven't been to a doctor to make sure it's healthy even though I should, but I've been too scared to go because who knows how many hearts it has and you know what they'll do then…" Tegan was dimly aware that she was babbling like a lunatic, but she couldn't seem to stop herself. "…They'll lock me up and take the baby and no one will ever know…" The rest of her words were lost in incoherent sobs. She was alone, so alone in the universe, and now she'd lost him forever, the one man she'd ever really loved… Gradually, she became aware of the Doctor sitting beside her on the bench, holding her in his arms and murmuring comforting nonsense sounds against her hair… or maybe they were Gallifreyan endearments, she wasn't sure. She did know that it felt good, oh so good, to be back in the safe circle of his arms again. She buried her face in his chest, smelling the scent of his body, that scent that was uniquely his, so familiar to her from their nights of lovemaking.
"It's all right, Tegan," he whispered when her sobs had finally subsided. "You… me… the child… we will all be safe. No one will harm us. Everything will be all right." And for the very first time since she'd held that pregnancy test stick in her hands and watched those two blue lines form in its little windows, she began to believe it.
With a wheezing, groaning sound, a TARDIS materialized outside the High Council's chambers, its chameleon circuit locking its exterior into the shape of a tasteful marble pillar that suited the formal décor perfectly. A door on its side opened, and members of the Chancellory Guard filed out, followed by the Castellan and a middle-aged woman. The Castellan led her to the doors of the High Council Chamber, which slid open at his approach.
"My Lord President," the Castellan said, bowing to the man in long glittering robes and a tall, winged headdress done in the scarlet and orange of the Prydonian chapter. "As you see," he said, indicating the woman, "she has arrived."
"Mmm," the Lord President replied, absorbed in the document he was reading. "Thank you, Castellan. That will be all."
"Yes, my Lord President," the Castellan said, bowing out of the room. Finally, the Lord President hastily scrawled his signature on the bottom of the document, and then removed his half-moon reading glasses, folding them neatly and slipping them into a pocket in his robes. He put the document down on a table and turned to the middle-aged woman, giving her a welcoming grin.
"Hello, Mum," he told her. He moved towards her, pulling off the elaborate headdress as he walked and tossing it onto a nearby chair. He gave her a hug. "It was so good of you to come on such short notice." He ran a hand through his fine, sandy blond hair.
"You know I'd never miss an opportunity to see my granddaughter!" she told him, smiling.
"And what am I, chopped liver?" Tegan asked as she walked into the room.
"Of course not, darling," her mother said, hugging her. "But grandchildren are special, aren't they?"
"Yes, they are," the Doctor agreed, thinking of Susan. The doors opened and Chancellor Flavia entered.
"Hello, Flavia," Tegan's mother said.
"Janet," the stately woman replied, acknowledging her with a nod. "So I suppose you and Lady Tegan will be off now, My Lord President?" He nodded, undoing the clasps on his outer robe.
"That's right, Chancellor," he agreed, pulling off the robe and tossing it aside. "Just a quick change of clothes and, as Peri used to say, I am so out of here. As usual, you will be acting President in my absence. I trust you will hold things together while I am gone."
"Of course, My Lord President," she agreed.
"And the baby?" Tegan's mother was asking her.
"Sound asleep when I left," she replied. "She shouldn't wake up again tonight, but if she does just give her a drink of water and make sure she has her Blankey."
"All right," her mother agreed. "And you two have a safe trip," she admonished, hugging her daughter again. Tegan laughed.
"We always do," she replied, watching as her mother hugged the Doctor goodbye.
"And you take good care of my little girl," she scolded him.
"Yes Ma'am," he agreed readily. As Tegan's mother and the Chancellor left together, she turned to the Doctor. "So where are we going?" she asked. Grinning, he took her hand.
"I don't care," he said, leading her out of the High Council chambers and up a corridor. "Just so long as it's not Gallifrey." She laughed.
"How about the Eye of Orion?" she suggested. They had reached his TARDIS and he was unlocking the door.
"Splendid," he agreed. "After all of the nonsense I have to put up with as Lord President, I could use the rest." He pushed the door open and motioned her inside. "After you, Milady," he said grandly.
"Why thank you, My Lord President," she said, matching his tone and giving him a slight, mocking curtsey as she moved past him. He followed her inside, shutting the door behind him. As the TARDIS dematerialized, the Doctor's voice could briefly be heard over the distinctive wheezing, groaning sound.
"Next stop, Eye of Orion… well, at least I hope that's where the old girl takes us… you can never really tell with her, you know…"
ADDITIONAL AUTHOR'S NOTE: I liked the idea of the Doctor returning home and taking up his duties so that his daughter could be raised safely on Gallifrey among the Time Lords. I also think that he would muscle the High Council into allowing him to come and go as he pleased as long as he wasn't away for too long. He would probably simply bide his time until his daughter was out of school and a Time Lady in her own right before leaving his duties in the hands of Flavia or another likely candidate and taking off with Tegan again to parts unknown. At least, that's what I had in mind when I wrote this totally AU alternate ending to my fic.