Survivors of Gallifrey
Chapter One: First Movement
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who and gain nothing from the creation of this story
The Level 3 planet, Zyphone was a calm and tranquil place with a very peaceful native population. A soft west wind blew about the long green grass on the highland cliffs and far below the black sand of the great desert blew up into dunes. High above the surface in the pale violet sky, the blue moon's white rings were glowing softly, illuminating the land. Then the sounds of blasting echoed in the air and a moment later the Doctor, Rose and Timothy were rushing back to the TARDIS perched on the edge of the highland cliffs. Glancing back, the Doctor did a quick count of the humanoids chasing after them with their delta blasters and tightened his grip on Rose's hand. He quickly opened the TARDIS, pushing Rose inside and letting Timothy slip past him before leaping in himself.
Timothy slammed the TARDIS door as the Doctor scrambled up the ramp to the controls with Rose's hand still clutched in his own. The blond boy leaned against the door panting as the Doctor put the ship into flight.
"Okay I guess the people of Zyphone aren't as friendly as they used to be," the Doctor said. Rubbing the back of his neck, he sighed in relief as the TARDIS entered the Vortex.
"What tipped you off to that Doctor?" Rose asked. "The guns pointed at us or their decision to sacrifice us to their goddess?" There was no malice in her voice and instead, she looked ready to start giggling as soon as she caught her breath.
Leaning against the rail, Timothy watched them with interest. Even after seven months of travelling with them, he still found that their way of interacting with one another was fascinating.
"So I forgot that the Zyphone natives all have brown hair! It's an easy mistake and since their goddess is blonde it makes sense that they would want you and Timothy."
"I'm not that blonde," Rose retorted. She frowned and tugged at a strand of her dark blonde hair. "I don't dye my hair anymore."
The Doctor nodded at them but shrugged. "You're still blond compared to them," he said a bit sheepishly. He rolled on the balls of his feet and looked at Rose nervously.
Timothy watched for a moment as the Doctor grinned at Rose and her expression melted into a sweet smile that only caused the Doctor to grin more widely. Watching, the Doctor retake Rose's hand and pull her close to him, Timothy blinked and blushed slightly. Timothy turned away at this point, knowing what was to follow. Despite knowing that they considered him a dear friend and didn't care if he saw them kiss, his upbringing was too hard to overcome. So instead the boy walked through the TARDIS and listened to her soft humming with a smile as he headed toward the kitchen.
In the last few months, he had become comfortable in what Rose called 'practical time travel clothes' or jeans and jumpers with running shoes. While he wasn't inclined to admit it out loud he did have to give her credit, Rose was right that solid, but unrestricting clothes were the best option. At this point, he'd mastered the different machines in the kitchen that had originally confused him to no end. He was sure his late mother would have been in awe of many of these items, but his father would have taken an axe to them. His uncle was the curious member of his family who liked to examine everything. Timothy brushed the thoughts of his family away turning instead back to thoughts of his hunger.
Pulling out some bread, Timothy made himself a simple sandwich and smiled as he heard Rose and the Doctor move past the kitchen to their room. He spent much of his time on the TARDIS alone and thinking, whenever Rose and the Doctor were together at least. Of course, he wasn't bored by any means. There was a large garden in the TARDIS and the library would take centuries to read. Rose had introduced him to the media room and there was a great pleasure in discovering things that he'd have never lived to see.
Timothy felt at home on the TARDIS. While Rose and the Doctor often went off alone he enjoyed a warm friendship with them both. In many ways, Rose was like the sister he'd never had but wanted: kind, thoughtful and supportive. The Doctor was more difficult for him, he knew so much of the Doctor's past and had seen the conflicting emotions that marked the man. Still, they understood each other on a certain level. Timothy had felt the Doctor's mind brush against him a few times in the last seven months and knew that the Doctor liked having him around.
Leaning back, Timothy finished his sandwich and cleaned up with a frown. Something was weighing on his mind, something he couldn't quite pin down and identify, but it felt like the hours before a storm when the sky was still clear. You couldn't be certain what it was, but you could feel the energy in the air. Timothy could feel it now, creeping towards them. Something was coming.
Smiling up at the Doctor with a happy and sleepy smile, Rose giggled as he kissed her hand gently and then her forehead. The room around them was silent except for the distant hum of the TARDIS.
"I love you, Doctor," she whispered as she curled down into the bed. Rose saw him nod before he propped himself up on his arm behind her. Shivering as he dropped a kiss on her shoulder, Rose asked, "Where are we going tomorrow?" She felt his lips twist into a smile as he kissed her shoulder again.
"We'll decide that tomorrow," he said softly to her. "You're tired."
Rose nodded with a small smile still on her face and sunk her face into her pillow. "Goodnight Doctor," she sighed as she closed her eyes.
Feeling his lips brush her forehead, Rose smiled as he whispered, "Goodnight Rose. I love you too."
Surrounded by a feeling of contentment, Rose sighed and snuggled deeper into the nest of blankets. As she dozed off, the Doctor stayed next to her. He watched the right and fall of her breathing and continued his memorization of all her features. It wasn't for another hour before he carefully climbed out of the bed and redressed.
Looking up, Timothy gave the Doctor a nod as the Time Lord leaned against the door frame of the library. He adjusted the heavy tome in his hands and waited for the Doctor to say something. There was an air of thoughtfulness around the Time Lord that made Timothy wonder if the Doctor could feel what was coming. He almost asked, but couldn't force out the words.
"You spend a lot of time in here Timothy," the Doctor observed with a small smile. "Hope you don't have plans to jump start Earth's technologies."
Timothy knew it was a joke on the surface, but he could hear another note of remembrance in the Doctor's voice. Holding up the volume he was reading, Timothy revealed that it was on Earth's ancient history.
"My uncle was stationed in Africa," he told the Doctor. "He sent me interesting items and some amazing stories."
He watched the Doctor nod and sit across from him, glancing at Timothy's stack of books. Timothy was well aware of the Doctor thinking back to the school and his time in the village in moments like these.
"I should take you there," the Doctor said suddenly, startling him.
"Perhaps you will," Timothy replied with a smile, "Of course the mystery is good too."
Timothy paused and yawned making the Doctor smile and chuckle. "You humans need so much sleep," he said fondly.
Knowing better than to argue, Timothy stood up. He set his latest book on the top of the stack and waited for a moment. Yet the Doctor said nothing more. "I'll turn in then. Goodnight Doctor."
The Doctor smiled as he stepped into the quiet bedroom and turned the light on a low setting so he could see without disturbing his sleeping lover. Rose was still curled up in their bed and now wrapped around his pillow instead of her own, he noted with a silent chuckle. Shoving his hands in his pockets, the Doctor walked over the side of the bed quietly and stopped just short of the edge. He took a chair from the corner of the bedroom and set it next to Rose's side of the bed and sat down comfortably in it. The Doctor pulled on his glasses and studied Rose intensely noting her breathing patterns and the movements of her eyelids.
She didn't know that he watched her like this in the quiet nights on the TARDIS and he always slipped away before she woke. A few times before she had been lost to him in the other universe, he had thought about indulging his desire to see her when the nights grew long and boring but had never allowed himself to get that close lest he lose his reason. There'd been so many reasons back then why this relationship had been a bad and dangerous idea. They were still there, on the edge of his mind.
Tilting his head, the Doctor carefully noted every breath and the way her hair fell about her face and onto the pillows in the soft dark blonde waves. Her full lips were open slightly and he could almost feel her soft breaths from between them where he sat. The Doctor was memorising her and put every detail of their time together into the deepest parts of his mind in preparation for the inevitable day when his memories would be all he had again. When it happened again, the Doctor intended to have no regrets and no holes in his memory. Everything that he had wished for or regretted during her absence was still in his mind and he was ensuring that he dealt with it all.
Time slipped by, the seconds ticking into hours, but he stayed still and watched her. It was strange, but he had no desire to leave or do anything else. Long ago the idea of just sitting still for hours while a human slept would have been alien. It would have been terrifying and yet here he was. Rose shifted a few times in her sleep and stray word would escape her lips from time to time, but she did not wake. And he did not leave.
The Doctor swallowed as his thoughts strayed back to her return. The weeping angels had by accident sent her back to him when he was a human in 1913. Even as nothing more than a human Rose had loved him and left him too weak against her love when he opened the watch. All choice had been removed, leaving him with only the ability to love her and no strength left to deny that he loved her. Still, in the quiet moments, he reflected on the life he might have had as John Smith with Rose. His son and daughter... he shook his head, pushing away the faces of his might have been children.
Noting that her breathing was slowly increasing and that the movements of her eyelids had slowed, the Doctor stood from the chair and moved it back to the corner. He indulged himself for another moment as Rose shifted and giggled in her sleep before he left the room to avoid her finding him like that. It wasn't that he didn't often stay with her at night, but since he didn't need nearly as much sleep they had agreed that there was no point in him just lying in bed bored. Even after seven months of having Rose back in his life and their relationship openly romantic, the Doctor still found it difficult to verbalise his thoughts and emotions to Rose. Time Lord culture didn't work that way, but the words meant the world to her. Yet in the back of his mind, he couldn't help but feel the seconds slipping away.
She was still human. So wonderfully human, but his time with her was slowly winding down. Slipping away like sand in an hourglass he could never turn. There were things that could be done to extend her life and in a year or two, he planned to bring it up with her. Yet it would never be enough. The end was always going to come, hence the early morning watching.
He shook off those thoughts as he entered the control room and found Timothy leaning back in the jump seat with a thick book from the library. Smiling at the boy, the Doctor tilted his head and grinned.
Timothy looked up sharply at him and gave him a sheepish smile. "Rose mentioned it," he said. The lad shrugged and looked at the cover as the Doctor watched with a smile. "I admit it is very creative and a nice change from Egyptian history."
"Wait til you finish the series," the Doctor grinned. "The Harry Potter Encyclopedia is in the library somewhere along with a copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard." Rubbing his hands together, the Doctor examined the TARDIS carefully, focusing in on the feel of his ship and her vibrations. A small frown slid onto his face, but he shrugged it off. "Not a problem," he declared straightening up.
"What's not a problem?"
The Doctor looked up with a grin at the doorway where Rose stood in jeans and a soft violet shirt. His hearts speed up the tiniest bit as she smiled with her tongue poking out and the Doctor didn't even bother holding back his grin. Laughing, the Doctor motioned to the TARDIS column and crossed his arms.
"She needs a bit of energy," he answered.
He watched Rose's soft look of affection for the TARDIS before she shifted her attention back to him. "Ah," Rose said as she stepped up next to him and slid her hand into his with a smile, "Cardiff it is then."