A Tenth Doctor Short, in which no danger happens, though some musing is given on life, the universe, and everything.
Characters: The Tenth Doctor, Rose, Susan Foreman
Set: A few days after Fear Her, and well before Army of Ghosts
Note: Even after extensive research I feel I do not know the character Susan as well as I should if I intend to write her. But I'm going to do my best here. However, to simplify things, I am going with the idea that Susan is NOT from Gallifrey. (The unbroadcast pilot version of "An Unearthly Child" contained different dialogue including a statement that Susan was born in the 49th century. - wikipedia.) This would enable her to be human and therefore to have survived the Time War's backlash, as well as prevent the Doctor from ever sensing her in his mind, so he still is (supposedly) the Last Time Lord.
I say supposedly because if the Daleks can survive complete obliteration three times in two seasons (see Dalek, Bad Wolf, and Army of Ghosts), then there's gotta be SOME chance that there are other Time Lords out there.
Also, I decree Susan's hair to be blonde...just because I couldn't find any color pictures of her (though I'm sure it's supposed to be brown) and when I think 'Susan' I think blonde hair.
Because when writing a story, one can play god like that.
Even though I don't own any of the characters whatsoever.
And now on to the badly written and horribly non-canon story.
A flicker of sun washed blonde hair entering a dusty old shop, just across the cobbled street in the small town not far from London. That was what had the Doctor's attention, even in the overcast clouded light that hinted rain was to come. And Rose wasn't sure why, but he had been staring intently at that antique shop for near an hour, and he hadn't said a word.
Not to mention the banana split he had gotten at the local ice cream parlour was melting away, untouched after the first eager bite had been interrupted by whatever was so fascinating.
The London-born child of the twenty-first century scowled slightly as she poked her spoon at her own melting hills of chocolate fudge ripple and strawberry cream. It had been nice till now, this little vacation. After setting the Isolus youngster right and rocketing it back into space to rejoin it's family, via the Olympic Torch - Rose had teased the Doctor for a day or two afterwards about the idiotic grin he had on the telly, the stubborn git - and watching the excitement of the Olympics, they had wound down their adventure with a quick stop off here, in 2167. The Doctor had boasted this little corner-shop parlour to have the best ice cream this side of the milky way, and so they had came, and bought their deserts, and sat out under the sheltered patio to chat excitedly about where their next adventure would take them.
The Doctor had just scooped up a spoonful of banana, vanilla ice cream, and caramel topping on his spoon, trying to describe the amazing levitating abilities of the bat-rays of Mantas 6 to his blonde-haired companion in a stream of techno-babble, when his spoon, and voice, froze halfway to his lips, and those dark eyes grew deeper as they strayed from her face, caught on the flash of gold. His hand lowered itself slowly, the spoon returning to the dish, it's contents uneaten, and he sat back, his color drained. Suffice it to say, he seemed to have aged ten years in three seconds.
Rose stared worriedly across the table, dropping her spoon to her dish. "Doctor? R'you alright?" She asked, leaning over and laying a hand on his arm. His response was less then ideal; the look in his eyes was haunted, aged, lost in thought as he glanced towards her with a brief, reassuring smile. "Yeah, just..." And his attention was back on the antique shop across the street, his sentence never finished.
That was an hour ago, and we return to the here and now.
Rose sighed softly, glancing up at her companion, her designated driver-slash-Time Lord, taking a bite of her own melting desert, before letting her spoon clatter back into the dish. The sound was enough to make him jump in his chair, and he blinked, coming out of whatever trance he had been in, and looking towards her curiously. She cast him an incredulous stare.
"Ok Doctor, I've gotta know. What's so bleedin' fascinatin 'bout an ol antique shop that you've chosen to ignore me the past hour?" She demanded, scowling at him. The tossled-haired alien winced slightly as he sat up, sighing as he finally turned back to his desert, poking at the melting treat.
"Not the shop in particular, Rose. It's all got to do with who's in it." He let his dark eyes flicker back across the street, and this time Rose followed his gaze, her scowl darkening as she caught sight of the Time Lord's quarry. A woman shook hands in a farewell gesture with the shop owner, her words unheard over the noise of a passing car. Rose couldn't say she wasn't beautiful. Her flaxen hair, though adorned back in a circlet of braids, still managed to drape gracefully over her shoulders, and her body wasn't entirely poorly endowed. Albeit her clothing seemed a little odd for the time period, but Rose could attribute that to her own lack of knowledge in 2167 fashion trends. Maybe jean jackets and long skirts were still 'in' here.
"Who is she then?" She questioned, an edge in her voice threatening to give away the rise of jealousy in her mind, despite how she tried to force it down. Remember, Rose, she reminded herself. He never focused that intently unless it was important, as in life-threatening.
The Doctor shook his head slightly, shifting his gaze between mystery woman and his curious companion. "An old friend. Companion." He answered shortly, and Rose was shocked to hear a waver in his voice, which he tried to cover up with a spoonful of banana split. Those words were enough though; the jealousy in her mind subsided, replaced by curiosity, as she glanced over at the woman, who was walking towards her car just down the street.
"Who was she?" She asked in a voice a bit gentler now, glancing towards the wistful, almost pained darkness in her traveler's eyes. "C'mon Doctor. Y'know I won't stop askin. I promise I won' fly ofta handle." The young-looking man gazed at her sadly, before stuffing another spoonful of caramel-drowned vanilla ice cream slush into his mouth.
"You remember, back in the TARDIS, how I mentioned bein' a dad once?" He answered cryptically, and her eyes grew wide. She turned her head around to find the woman again, who had returned to the shop. "You mean she's-"
"My granddaughter." He cut her off. He knew her first thought had been, 'she's his wife!' Though this look she gave him now, shock written across her features, wasn't much better then the accusing stares from before. He held up his spoon in a wait-a-moment defense. "Adopted granddaughter, Rose. I've never married." The Doctor nodded his head towards the blonde-haired young woman, sadness reappearing in his gaze. "Rose, meet Susan Foreman….Susan, Rose." His voice trailed away as he sat back, crossing his arms in a defensive self-hug. Rose stared at him in silence, glancing from her forlorn Time Lord to the woman he said was his granddaughter. Then she made a motion to rise from her seat.
A firm grasp on her arm stopped her from trotting across the street to say hello, and his gaze was almost frighteningly intent as he shook his head. "No, Rose. We can't meet her, not like Sarah-Jane. She wouldn't recognize me anyways. The Doctor she knew was my first life, and I did look the part of a crotchety old grandfather by that time." He pulled her back into her seat lightly, the faintest smile cracking his face for a few moments. Then he sighed softly, letting that smile grow warmer as he watched Susan load her things into her car. "As much as I wish I could, the past, her life, they're out of bounds for even me. She can never know I was here."
Rose gazed at him for a few moments, reading the emotions flickering across his face, before she smiled, and tugged on the sleeve of his pinstriped suit. "Hey…y'always have me, right? C'mon, finish up. I'm interested to see these giant stingray things you were telling me about. Still not sure I believe they can fly." She goaded, grinning at him; push a few buttons, and she'd have her old cheerful friend back.
He shifted his attention back to her, and grinned his familiar, manic smile, scooping his banana split from the tabletop and pulling her to her feet with the other hand. "Well if you don't believe me, I guess you'll just have to see for yourself!"
A rich laugh, bright and cheerful, reached Susan's ears as she laid her hand on the open trunk of her vehicle, causing her to hesitate. Across the street, a young man in a brown pinstriped suit and off-white trainers grinned as he pulled a blonde-haired young woman to her feet, balancing an ice cream in his hand. The once-traveler of time smiled thoughtfully, watching them walk off down the street. Ice cream always did bring back those fond memories of her grandfather. The Doctor. Her Time Lord.
The pinstriped young man glanced back over her shoulder, and Susan hesitated, as their eyes met, for just a brief moment. And his face spoke an apology, a beaming sense of pride, as she stared after them. Then it was gone, as he turned back to his companion, resuming his conversation excitedly. Susan watched them vanish around the corner, and blinked softly, shaking her head. Sometimes she wondered if she wished too hard for her grandfather to return.
Somewhere in a field, lost ages past and buried beneath the earth, a small key glowed, golden light thrumming from bright to dim as the rich, low, wheezing hum of a ratty old police box echoed distantly, and all was silent.