you need… (Part 1 of 4)
Characters/Pairings: Rose/Ten, original characters
Word Count: 7,500
Warnings: Character Death (but in a very good way)
Disclaimer: Rose, the Doctor, and the TARDIS all belong to the BBC, Russell T. Davies, and everyone else in the production team.
Summary: The Doctor finds his way back to Bad Wolf Bay where he meets Thomas, a young boy charged to his care.
To my Gramum.
A little boy sat on a big rock on a windswept beach. It was really important that he was there, the most important thing in the world. He had a letter and he was waiting for the man in the blue box to come and pick it up. Because it was important to him, and to his Grampa, and most importantly, his Gramum. So important to his Gramum.
But, he didn't understand why he couldn't be with her right now. She was up in the house on the cliff in her bedroom, and he had been there, too. She was asleep, and he couldn't understand why she was asleep. It was so early in the day, Camberwick Green was still on the telly, and she should be awake; she was awake earlier after all. They sang together before breakfast and he even told her his ABCs. They needed to play. Play and sing their silly songs, as his mum put it. So silly. But he still didn't understand why his Gramum wouldn't wake up.
He did understand a few things. He was Tommy Turner after all, five years old, and the best member of the Turner family of Bad Wolf Bay. He was really good at running and games, and his Gramum said that he was the best at math and science. And he was too. His Gramum taught him that.
But he still didn't understand all the adults in her room that day. His mum and his dad were both crying, and so were his aunt and uncle. And aside from Tommy, all the other kids were sent away that day. Grampa stood next to Gramum and held her hand while she slept. Why wouldn't they wake her up? He climbed up onto the bed next to her and his dad pulled him away.
"I want to be with Gramum!" he shouted, hoping that being loud would wake her up. Loud things always woke him up after all, and if he were loud, then she would wake up too. "I have to sing to her!" he yelled as his father put him alone in the living room, telling him to wait there like a good boy. He didn't understand why they didn't take her to the doctor. The doctor helped him in the past when he couldn't wake up.
He had been out playing with his friends in a big tall tree earlier that year. It was getting late and his mum called him in for his tea. But it wasn't late enough as he knew he could climb up that tree even higher. He always wanted to see the stars, he dreamt of it each and every night. He even told his Gramum that he knew that one day he would see them. So Tommy climbed and climbed, reaching for those stars that were starting to come out, when with a great big crash of branches and leaves he fell to the ground.
When he woke up, he was in a bed in a strange room and his head hurt badly. His mum stared down at him worried and his dad looked over his paper with a stern look in his face. He didn't like the way they looked at him. But his Gramum was there, holding him in her arms and singing those ancient songs to him. She told him that he was in a place called a "hospital" and the doctors were there to make his head all better. They made him better when he was sick, so why wouldn't it work now that she was sick too? Why couldn't they make her better? He started kicking around a pillow as if it were a ball.
Tommy's father came back out and said a few words to him. Big words, words he never understood. He always remembered his father that way - big words and that strong spice of his aftershave he couldn't play with. His father said something else and walked away, leaving Tommy alone.
So little Tommy hid under a pile of pillows on his couch, hiding from the adults who wouldn't let him sing to his Gramum. He buried himself deeper and deeper until he couldn't go any further. Maybe if he could pretend he was alone, the adults would think he was invisible and he could go back in the room with them. It had to work, didn't it?
A single tear rolled down little Tommy's cheek as someone came out of his Gramum's room. He wanted to be in that room with everyone, not just for his Gramum, but his mum and dad too.
"Tommy, your Gramum's going away," Grampa said to him, sitting behind him on the couch.
"Why won't she wake up?"
"She can't anymore Tommy," Grampa pulled an old yellowed envelope out of his pocket. There was something written on it, but Tommy was too young to know how to read well yet. There were a few words he knew - cat, hat, bat, hot, pot - all the words he needed to know when he started school next year. Gramum made sure of that so long ago. Gramum taught him other things too - that one plus one made two, and always tie your shoes so you don't trip on the laces. Tommy really liked Gramum. Especially when she would sing to him.
Everyone told Gramum not to bother with those songs, that no one knew them anyway. She said that they were songs an old friend taught her, old songs from a faraway place called, "Gallifrey." And it was up to Tommy to remember all these songs, because one day, he might need them. His Gramum told him so herself. Just like he might need to know how to tie his shoe or to know not to cross the road without looking. And he needed to know the color blue and to always say please and thank you. And always be polite.
"Tommy, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, but your Gramum won't be able to sing to you anymore. She's going somewhere; somewhere far away and we can't go with her."
Tommy looked up at Grampa with tears in his eyes. "Is she going to Gallifrey?" he asked. Afterall, she had a friend from Gallifrey, and she would tell Tommy stories about it late at night when they couldn't sleep.
Grampa looked down at the young boy, young man as Gramum used to tell him, and a tear twinkled in the corner of his eye. "Maybe. Maybe she will." He smiled at him and looked down at the paper in his hand. "Tommy, I have something very important for you to do…"
And that's why Tommy was out here on the rock, waiting for the postman, the man in the blue box, to come to collect his letter.
To be continued…