A/N: Sorry it took so long. Finally! The Doc can rest in peace after his strange fanatical ending. I had a craving.
Eleven years later…
She was staring at that picture again. The one with her on. Jackie could somehow never move on from it. Sometimes for hours she'd just sit there and stare, absorbed in thoughts, memories and feeling of the past. Sometimes he would try to ask her about Rose, about what she was like and what she did for a living. She always replied with enthralling tales of intelligence and beauty – a long life of willing servitude to both country and the world.
"Save the world every other day, she did," his gran repeated every other sentence though tears of loss and pain.
But Jesse couldn't help but notice alongside Rose there was another face. A man – thin, brown hair, brown eyes and a grin that could probably even melt a block of ice. He had his arm around Rose, protecting above all else. They were a couple, no doubt it. Jesse had tried to ask his gran who he was, but this seemed to send Jackie into a state of disrepair, managing to mumble the word 'doctor' before having to switch on the television to take her mind off of it.
So he'd never asked past that. She said that they'd died in a car crash on the M1, and although Jesse felt hurt she couldn't tell him more he had no choice but to remain curious.
He'd tried asking Uncle Mickey and Granddad Pete about it, but they just replied that he should ask Jackie. He'd even tried asking Lily about the couple, not that he actually expected a structured reply of any kind from the nine-year-old, and he didn't get one. Rose was Lily's sister and even she knew nothing about her or the mysterious doctor man.
Jesse was only eight at the time.
But now he was ten, the big one-oh, double figures of a decade and his curiosity was understandably peeked.
And now she was staring at the picture again.
He decided, just this once, he'd try not to cause any trouble. He'd always seemed to have a problem with that, whether it was intentional or not. Slowly he turned back around to go back to his room to play with his new birthday things – but a voice stopped his movement.
"Jesse? I need to talk to you."
"I didn't do it," he said instantly, looking to the floor. She shook her head, smiling.
"Ten's a big age, and that makes you a big boy. I think you're old enough to know about your parents now."
He sniffed. His gran had always been melancholic on the subject that he was an orphan. "What about them?"
She gestured for him to sit down next to her on the sofa, which he did. For a moment they just stared at the picture on the mantle before Jesse opened his mouth to voice his thoughts out loud – but thankfully Jackie stopped him.
"'Ow much d'you know 'bout them?"
He shrugged. "Nothing past that picture and your stories, gran," he said, pointing at the picture on the mantle where Rose and the doctor man stared back. Jesse attempted to push his wild brown hair out of his deep brown eyes as Jackie looked back at him, taking in exactly how much like his father the Doctor's son looked.
She reached inside her jacket pocket, bringing out a small key hanging on a thin gold chain. She reached out and dropped the key into his hand. He stared at it, bewildered as it began to gently throb a golden colour – and then died down.
"This was your dad's," she explained, "there's only one thing that it fits."
"A time machine."
"Whoa!" Jesse exclaimed with amazement, staring down at the key in his palm. "You said he was a doctor, not a scientist."
"'E was a Doctor of everythin' sweetheart. We all called 'im the Doctor; no one knew 'is real name. 'E travelled 'round the universe savin' peoples' lives – 'e was a hero."
"That's so weird!"
"'E was an alien. A Time Lord."
Jesse blinked, unable to believe his ears.
"My dad was an alien? That's so cool! Wait a minute…am I an alien too?"
She took his hand, and rested it on his chest. First one side: boom boom, boom boom, boom boom. Then the other side: boom boom, boom boom, boom boom.
"You said it was a birth defect gran."
She shook her head. "Time Lords 'ave two hearts."
"Well good…" he was grinning again, just like the Doctor. "Was my mum an alien too?"
She shook her head. "No. Just a normal human girl with the willpower of a million. That was how your parents died."
"In the car crash?"
She shook her head. "It wasn't a car crash."
Jesse's head was spinning at one thousand miles per hour. "What happened?"
She began to explain the battle of Canary Wharf between the Cybermen and the Daleks – how Rose had gone back to save the Doctor, of how he'd fallen in the void of nothingness. She described the delight in her daughter as she worked out how to open the void and get back the Doctor, the hit the Doctor had taken, the way they had been unable to control themselves as they smashed into the wall…
Tears were in Jackie's eyes once again. "Your mum died on impact. We tried to save ya dad but he died later in 'ospital of a broken heart. He chose to die, Jesse."
"Why?" Jesse suddenly looked to his shoes, guilty. "Was it 'cause of me?"
"Oh God no sweetheart, if your dad 'ad known 'bout you he'd be with us right now. Your mum didn't know 'bout you either, I don't think. None of us did. They were doing a post-mortem and they found ya, impossibly still just about alive inside 'er. So they grew ya artificially until you matured and then gave ya to us to look after."
Jesse was still trying to take in the fact his dad was an alien, never mind the fact he was equated to a test tube baby. He blinked and looked down at the key still in the flat of his palm, truly bewildered.
"When you're old enough I want ya to follow in your dad's footsteps. The TARDIS, his time machine should still be in the parallel world but you've gotta get there and find it for yourself."
Jesse grinned up at her with Doctor-like proportions. "I'll do it gran. I'll find it."
It had been six years since he'd uttered the words. He was sixteen now, having passed his GCSEs, A Levels and AS Levels with confident A stars when he was only twelve, the highest marks in the country. He had been put up so many classes in school and attended University at only thirteen. He instantly acquired a Doctorate for fifteen major subjects and a Master's Degree in six more. He refused for the media to publicise his accomplishments – he didn't want the attention. The only thing he'd ever been interested in was his destiny already laid out before him, the footsteps of his father set in the stone path he walked.
Here it was, the TARDIS, summoned by the TARDIS key through a lot of concentration and to be honest – Jesse was a bit disappointed. Fifteen-year-old Lily stood behind him gawping in amazement at what had just happened, his gran cheering him on beside his granddad and uncle.
"It's a bit small, isn't it?" he said loudly, peering around the side of the blue police box, shoving the key into the lock and turning. He pushed the door inward, expecting an extremely small interior but instead found something even bigger.
"It's…it's bigger on the inside!" he exclaimed to the crowd outside, rushing over to the console and glancing over all the buttons embedded in the surface. The entire interior was dark and dead looking, absolutely no light or sound from anywhere around him. Slowly, with eyes watching, he extended a hand to a lucky looking switch and flipped it carefully.
Everything instantly exploded into life.
He jumped as the console in the middle began to glow and beep in a frenzy, the lights below suddenly shining up through the metal grating and bathe the entire interior in a light glow.
"Wow," Jesse breathed. "Hello, TARDIS," he began hesitantly, knowing this wasn't a machine, it was perfectly alive. "I think you knew my dad."
The TARDIS dinged in approval.
"Can I fly you?"
Another ding of approval.
"Thank you," he replied happily, pausing for a moment before turning to the crowd still gathered in the doorway. "Thank you to you too. I guess this is good bye."
Jackie visually took in her grandson, dressed in black converses and black baggy jeans. He wore a red zip up hoody with a white undershirt, his floppy brown hair gelled up high on his head – just like his father used to have it, Uncle Mickey said.
"You come back and see us, won't you?" Jackie asked him as she stepped forward towards him, kissing the boy fondly on the forehead even though she knew he'd squirm. "Your dad never did."
Jesse indignantly wiped his head with his sleeve. "Hey that reminds me…won't I need like, a title or something? Like dad did."
The group glanced between each other in confusion for a moment.
"The Master?" Mickey suggested, and Jesse looked a little taken aback.
"Eww, no, don't like that. Any others?"
"The Med-student!" Pete contributed unhelpfully. Jesse laughed.
"How 'bout just, the Doctor's son?" Lily suddenly piped up, absently twiddling with her long blonde hair as all heads turned to her. "I mean, if he was like mum said then that's bound to get you into places, right?"
Jesse paused to consider this, a grin broadening across his face.
"Hey, you're right." He threw out his arms to the crowd like a leader to his people. "I am the Doctor's Son!" he bellowed, before stopping, frowning a little. "Is that too pretentious?" he asked, more to himself than the others. "…Nah," he finally decided aloud. Jackie laughed – this was the Doctor's son all right.
"Look after yaself, won't you?" she asked, and he nodded sharply.
Jackie ushered the crowd out of the TARDIS, her heart breaking to see him leaving but knew it had to be done. She and Mickey had told him everything they knew about his dad and what to expect – regeneration, residual cellular energy – but nothing could prepare him enough for the huge cosmos of thrills and spills that awaited him.
They turned, and began to watch as the TARDIS kicked into motion, disappearing from existence to explore the Universe, taking the teenage boy with it. The wind blew, ruffling Jackie's thin grey hair as it whistled in her ears.
And for a moment she thought she heard the Doctor's voice on the wind, whispering a simple 'thank you'.
"I owe it to you," she answered with a smile, turning away as the wind died down to nothing.