Chapter 9: Aftermath

She read every story she could get her hands on to the baby as she grew into a little girl. The only one she wouldn't touch was Peter Pan.

Five years later, Mickey Smith walked into a hospital to check out a small disturbance and met a beautiful young doctor with stars in her eyes and a cell-phone practically glued to her left hand. When he introduced himself as Mr. Smith, she was delighted. A few months later, he introduced her to his grandmother, then Pete, Jackie, and Victoria, then Jake, and finally Rose.

"You've caught a real winner," Rose told him from her bar stool in the pub where they usually met for drinks. "Be good to her." Then she walked over and sat down at their table. "Nice to meet you, Martha Jones," she said. "I'm the Doctor."

The lullabies Rose sang were alien and beautiful. Victoria heard them. Their younger brother John-Michael heard them. Mickey and Martha's daughter heard them. All the children born to Torchwood families for twenty-five years heard them. But no one understood them, and only Jackie Tyler ever saw the gut-wrenching pain in the eyes of the beautiful singer.
By the time Victoria was six, Rose had taught her to say "We are not amused" any time she was angry. It was Rose's idea of adorable. Even if it annoyed Jackie, it made Pete laugh every single time.
A young woman called Donna Noble caught Jake's fancy, much to Rose's complete amusement. She spent days and days teasing him that Donna was rather like her own mum. Still, he loved the valkyrie to pieces so Rose did everything she could for them, even going so far as to sort out all the baby shower things for them herself when Donna went into premature labor.
Six months after Mickey married, she finally sat down and read Peter Pan to her young siblings. If anyone heard her stumble over the phrase "Much older than twenty", they never mentioned it.
The tiny TARDIS took on the shape of a miniature Police Box one Thursday morning when Victoria was 16. Rose, who finally looked more like Victoria's sister than her mother, brought her over to her office to meet the machine and they sat and listened to it sing alien lullabies for hours.
If anyone noticed the brown-eyed blonde standing on the outskirts of Abigail Smith's funeral service, they didn't stop to speak to her. She didn't expect them to, as they hardly knew her, except in passing, Mrs. Smith's strange friend whose grandmother had supposedly known Abigail's grandmother, Victoria. When the service ended, she walked away. She had buried them all, even Victoria's last grand child, and done her service to her family.

The Doctor, as she was almost exclusively known these days, crossed the hillside and entered a strange, blue box. It was singing, not that anyone now living was competent to hear it, except the young Time Lady herself, who had outlived everyone she knew, and was ever so much older than twenty.

"So," she asked the ship, "are you sure this will work?"

The exquisite, golden, roundelled walls flashed once in agreement.

"All right then. It's your maiden voyage. We'll go wherever you like." And she touched the console, and raced around it, pushing buttons and nudging levers. And then, for the first time in more than two hundred years, an unearthly, other-worldly sound echoed through London and the cosmos itself. A new born TARDIS and a young Time Lord stepped into the Vortex together.

The young man staring at the strange blue box had an elegant, almost regal bearing. He was wearing a military uniform, however, and standing in shock in the middle of a trap. A small, feminine hand reached out and yanked him inside.

"It's bigger on the inside," he stammered in complete astonishment.

"Yeah," she agreed in a strange, Londonish accent. "What'd you expect, smaller? Who are you, anyway?"

"Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stuart," he said, still in awe of his surroundings.

"And I'm the Doctor," she replied.

"Doctor who?" he asked, as though he were reading from cue cards.

"Just the Doctor," she replied, with an impish grin, her tongue poking through her teeth, She laughed a merry twinkle and offered him her hand. "We'll be good friends, Lethbridge-Stuart, just you wait."

A/N: Thank you all for the reviews. I may write more for my "Rose-as-Doctor-verse" but probably not. If you want to borrow the concept, let me know so I can read your story.

For those of you following my updates, the next chapter of Kallisti will be up soon. I'll also be posting a two shot in a world where there are no parallel Universes and a matched pair of fictions entitled "How He Loved Her" & "When You're Older", which are going to be about 10 matching chapters each.