A/N: Shine – Take That coz it's a nice song that just says 'The End'! It was also on the Smith and Jones confidential if I remember rightly...and who am I to argue with the Confidential? I was tempted to use "Thanks For The Memories" but then I just mega-groaned and used a funkier song.
Last chapter! Couldn't think of an ending. Hope I did it justice :-/
Chapter 25 – Shine
"Take care, alright?" Rose was saying as they stood outside the TARDIS, giving Jhutsu a radiant smile. "We'll come back and see you soon."
"I hope so," he replied, returning the smile. "Good luck Rose, Jack, Doctor." He cast a glance over to the latter, who seemed to be fidgeting slightly.
"Well Jhutsu," the Doctor said hurriedly, giving a firm shake by the hand and a charismatic grin. "Looks like we'd better be off then, have fun, don't do anything I wouldn't do and try not to allow rampaging psycho murders into your gaming complex, it's not good for business you know."
"Yes," Jhutsu replied in 'default mode', still entranced by the large splatters of blood all over the Doctor. "Thank you," he added quickly.
The Doctor nodded, grabbing Rose and Jack by the collars and roughly pulling them in through the TARDIS doors, obviously eager to be off. Rose and Jack both waved at Jhutsu, both just as confused as him about the Doctor's sudden burst to hasten.
"Bye Jhutsu!" Rose managed to yell before the TARDIS doors slammed shut and the TARDIS light immediately began to flash, the image of the TARDIS pulsating in and out of existence before fading to nothing.
Jhutsu slowly turned back towards the mental hospital now sectioned off even more than before for police investigation, wondering how on Zodonia he was going to explain all this.
"Right Rose, Jack, we haven't gone much time, we gotta get going!" the Doctor was saying quickly, dashing around the console still covered in blood.
"Shouldn't we try to clean up first?" Rose asked, purposefully eyeing the red footprints the Doctor and Jack were leaving in their wake.
"Nope!" he answered immediately, bouncing around. "No time! Well, not for me, anyway. For you, yes, but not for me!"
"Doctor…" Jack started towards him, resting a hand on his shoulder to stop him moving as he addressed him in a slow, patronising voice, "you're…makin'…no…sense…"
"There's not enough time to make sense Jack m'boy!" the Doctor replied quickly, grabbing the handbrake and wrenching it down, sending all three of them tumbling into a heap as the TARDIS lurched into action. "We're going back to see your mother, Rose! About time we said hi, reckon she'd have any scrambled eggs?"
"Why don't you have enough time?" Rose demanded to know, before pausing, frowning, and then becoming immensely confused. "Hold on, we're goin' back to see my mum?!"
"Yuppers!" he answered quickly following the phrase Rose thought she'd never hear him say. The Doctor felt the momentum of a landing and dashed over to the TARDIS support strut, grabbing his coat and throwing it over himself despite the fact it was covered in even more blood. He bolted out the door, almost running straight into Jackie Tyler storming the other way.
"Hi Jackie!" he said brightly, giving her a huge hug in a moment of pure delirium. "Had to hurry before my muscles went dead!" He felt his legs weaken beneath him. "Whoops, there I go…"
He collapsed onto the floor, blinking at Jackie's slippers.
Rose came out of the TARDIS next, stepping over his body before turning and kneeling down on the carpet infront of him.
"You all right?" she asked, unsuccessfully trying to hide a snigger.
"Yeah I'm fine…" he muttered into the carpet, "could you err…help me up a sec?"
Rose rolled her eyes, slipping her arms beneath his armpits and dragging him across the living room, grunting as she hauled him onto the sofa.
"Anything else, sire?"
He raised a smile. "Say, you couldn't get me a cuppa, could you?"
"You're askin' for a slap, you are," she said, trying to hold her sincerity but ended up laughing. "Why don't you just rest for a bit? You do know what that is, don't you?"
"Is rest the thing that's really boring and you sit there doing nothing?" he asked vaguely, and she nodded.
"Yeah. Now do it, since you can't move to clean yourself up. Unless you'd prefer my mum to do it for you."
The Doctor's eyes widened, horrified. "I'll rest!"
Jack and Rose had just finished telling their tale (Rose purposely neglecting to mention her semi-pregnancy) to Jackie before the Doctor awoke. Rose rushed over to him as his eyes flickered open, looking a little more than confused.
"Why am I on the sofa?"
Rose frowned. "Huh?" she asked, but he was too busy checking himself over to look up at her.
"I'm covered in blood. It's not mine, is it?"
Rose was staring at him. "You don't remember?"
"Remember what?" he said, looking up at her, bewildered.
Jack quickly moved forward. "Don't you remember Doc? The…" – he struggled for a alien legend – "…Draconians turned nasty and knocked you out."
"Really? They were such a lovely bunch though." The Doctor pushed himself up to sitting position, holding his head. "That would explain the headache, though." He suddenly stopped, frowning and looking up at Jack as if he'd only just noticed him. "Hi Jack. When did you get back?" He didn't wait for an answer. "Sorry, head's hurting a bit. How did you two get back to the flat?"
"TARDIS took us here. Some kind of emergency programme," Rose immediately supplied. He nodded.
"Recorded so many have no idea what I've done anymore. Oh well. Are the Draconians sorted?"
"Good, good." He got onto his feet, centring himself. "Can I use your bathroom Jackie? Don't wanna wander time and space covered in blood after all."
"Sure sweetheart, you get yourself a shower. Leave your clothes outside the door; I'll get 'em washed for ya."
"I'll make you a nice cuppa tea aswell…" She got up, making towards the kitchen. "Fancy a bite to eat?"
The Doctor blinked again. Was this a trick question? Moments passed before he realised he was staring blankly at her. Oh Rassilon. What was he supposed to say? If he answered yes she might skewer him for daring to use her for his needs, yet if he said no maybe she'd take offence that he didn't like her offers of hospitality…
"Err…" he stammered, trying to find a neutral answer. "Maybe…?"
She sighed, swotting him over the head as she passed through to the kitchen. "A simple 'yes' would've done!"
The Doctor stared after her for a moment, before turning back to Rose and Jack and frowning.
"She's actually doing it? Did I die?"
"You did a lot of things, but you didn't die," Rose said as she got onto her feet, resting her hands on his shoulders and guiding him towards the bathroom.
"Hmm, really?" he asked, oblivious to the fact she was pushing him along. "Like what?"
"Doesn't matter, now get in the shower already!" Rose pushed him in through the doorway and pulled the door shut.
"But I don't have a change of clothes!" he complained from inside the room.
"Well that's your problem!" she replied before the Doctor heard her light footsteps pad away from the room.
"He really doesn't remember, does he?" he heard Rose say to Jack, and he sighed quietly, leaning against the bathroom door.
He remembered. Of course he remembered. How could he possibly forget? For one night he had learnt to love, and for a few days – just a few – he had been a father. Of course he knew it would soon be gone, but he had allowed himself to dream…just for a moment. It had been nice to pretend, but pretending wasn't his preference. Sometimes you just had to learn to accept it. He could never have another family whether he wanted to or not, not because he was no longer fertile, but rather because he knew he wouldn't be able to handle the loss again.
So for the sake of both Rose and himself, he would play the Pretender once more.
Jackie was the first to look up as the Doctor tried to subliminally pass through the Living Room with a towel wrapped around his midriff. She smiled at him – before smiling at his chest, then his chest hair, then his abdomen, and then his legs. Then her gaze began to lift up his legs slightly, and the Doctor moved quickly to the TARDIS and in through the double blue doors. By the time he was fully dressed and dry Jackie had finished making dinner and he stepped out of the TARDIS to find the three munching on…was that scrambled eggs on toast?
"Hey! Where's mine?" the Doctor demanded to know, grabbing Rose's plate instead from out of her grip and shoving everything into his mouth.
"That's mine!" Rose complained, pulling it back out of his grip.
"Is not!" He pulled it back.
The plate went flying and Rose watched it soar away, landing conveniently in Jackie's lap. Her face morphed into anger as the Doctor suddenly paled, making to get up and run as Jackie advanced towards him menacingly with her hand raised. Rose deliberately pinned him to the sofa before he managed to get free, tripping right over her and smacking his head on the desk.
He crippled, and lay still.
It took Rose a moment to realise what had happened before she launched onto her feet, dropping down next to the Doctor and shaking his shoulders roughly.
"I'm so sorry Doctor! Wake up, please wake up!"
But he remained motionless, and although Jack had been laughing he seemed to now fade out, staring at the unconscious Time Lord.
"Jack he isn't breathin'!" Rose yelled hysterically, shaking the Doctor even harder. What if he had had a relapse? He said he was going to be weak for a few days…had the hit on the head been too much? Had all of the pain, suffer and worry been for nothing?
Playing the heroine, she pinched his nose and tilted his head back a bit, taking a deep breath. She pressed her lips to his and breathed out, forcing air into his lungs. She did it again, and then reverted to the chest compressions. He wasn't reacting.
"Jack! Help him!"
She slapped him lightly on each cheek, trying to bring him back. But as his head lolled about uselessly it began to dawn on Rose…there was no coming back from this one.
"Jack…" she gasped, feeling the tears behind closed eyelids. "…He's dead."
"RARGGH!!" the Doctor suddenly yelled from the floor and launched up to sitting position, grabbing her around the neck as she screamed in complete shock. He was almost hyperventilating with laughter as she pushed him roughly back down onto the floor, hands on hips.
"You bastard!" she yelled, raising a hand and fighting the overwhelming urge to slap him right across the face. His laughing only ceased when Jackie moved towards him and without the hesitation her daughter had displayed, brought her palm down against his cheek with a loud 'crack'.
Next thing he knew Jack was looming over him, complete with a jug of orange juice and his own plate of uneaten scrambled eggs. The Doctor tried to move but found himself pinned to the floor by Rose, so he could only watch helpless as Jack poured everything over his face.
"Good to have you back, Doctor!" Jack grinned down at the wet and egg-faced Doctor, who just smiled casually in return.
"It's good to be back!"
Jhutsu was finding the running of the Tyler Gaming Complex difficult without Amrok's presence. Amrok had always been the one to sort things out, and now he was gone Jhutsu was beginning to realise exactly how much he had relied on him.
Still, with Жemnas now gone Zodonia was back to how it always was. 'The Room' had been demolished, and Jhutsu had personally elected to go back to the old ways of gaming. This modern lark was far too realistic for his liking.
He leant back against the blanket stretched out onto the lawn, swirling his cup of T'lore around thoughtfully. He missed Rose and the Doctor, plus their new friend Jack. He wondered if he'd ever see them again.
Looking up at the ceiling and to the stars beyond his own, he knew he'd become a better person because of them. He'd saved a few lives. That would surely earn him some brownie points when the final judgement came in his afterlife.
He let his mind wander as he stared into the night sky, eyes glazing over when imagination took hold. He wondered, just wondered if his parents could see him now…and if they were proud.
Because let's face it – he was now alone in the Universe. The Gods above had taken everyone close to him without mercy…maybe he should've asked the go with the Doctor instead of staying here, clearing up the mess.
"Excuse me sir?"
It was a girl's voice, one he didn't recognise. He turned on the blanket to see a thin, ragged-clothed yet pretty young girl standing staring at him from a few metres away, her expression as if unable to grasp the idea of his presence.
"Can I help you?" he asked politely.
"Do you know a man named Jhutsu Porther?"
Jhutsu nodded. "That's me, who are you?"
She paused for a moment, just staring into his eyes. "…I'm your sister."
Jhutsu became involuntarily rigid with shock. "I-I'm sorry?"
"I come with a message from Gerok and Francia Porther. They're coming to see you."
"…What?! But…but…they're dead! And I don't have a sister!" Jhutsu managed to say as the cup of T'lore fell from his slackened grip onto the grass.
"My name is Dayna Porther, I was born five months after you left. Mother and father told me to tell you that they're expecting to see that big house you promised them."
Jhutsu's blank expression slowly began to turn into a smile, one of joy and release.
"They're alive. You're all alive."
He gathered her into a huge brotherly hug with tears of undivided joy, completely changed from the man sitting on the blanket but a minute ago.
Okay, so maybe the Gods weren't that bad.
A/N: Don't say the word 'sequel' coz I'll cry. I have nothing by way of sequels in my head. My plan so far is to finish the Ramble then think about doing something else...anyone who says sequel shalt be THROWN IN THE DEPTHS OF HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (Ahem)
So, do review and tell me what you thought!