you need… (Part 4 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.
A couple of hundred years passed in the life of Thomas Turner, grandson of Rose Tyler and a Time Lord named the Doctor, when a blue box appeared on the stormy, windswept beach of Bad Wolf Bay. A young man and a young woman stepped out together.
"This is it," the woman said as she swept a scanner across the horizon line.
"This can't be. It's so terrestrial," the man said. "Gramps would never have set foot here."
"He was born here Benjamin. Don't you remember his stories of old Earth?"
"Yeah, and he was here until he was five. Delilah, why did he want to come back anyway?"
Delilah scanned the overgrown path up the hill. "He wanted to see his home one last time before he joined his family." Delilah walked up towards the path. "There used to be a house here somewhere," she said as an old man made his way out of the TARDIS with a cane, a cape draped over his shoulders to keep out the chill from his bones.
"It's gone now. It's all gone, the Daleks made sure of that. The last Time War. My grandfather said that it would forever set right the course of the stars."
"Grandpa Thomas, you shouldn't be up!" Benjamin yelled as he ran back to the old man, steadying him on his feet.
"No Benny, I need this one last time. You may never return here again, but this is my home after all. Your Great-Great-Grandfather would have done anything to go back to his home one last time. I'm living his dream for him." Thomas looked up at the top of the hill where the little cottage he had once called home now stood in ruins. "We had every intention of returning, to see my mother again, and then each trip would take us further from here until it became a distant memory. And then the Time War came. We returned just as my mother was killed, she called out my name…" Thomas held back one last tear, trying to forget the pain he had caused everyone. He stood looking up at the hill for a few minutes. When he looked down however, he smiled as he made his way over to a big rock at the base of the path. "At least this old thing is still here. Older than me," he patted the rock with his hand as he pulled off his cape. "Something of my childhood survived."
"Really Grandpa Thomas, you'll catch pneumonia," Delilah said as she tried to put the cape over Thomas's shoulders.
"Delilah, for once let me be," Thomas said as he took his granddaughter's hands in his. "Let me enjoy the warmth of this sun on my face one last time." He looked into her eyes and she seemed to understand.
"No, you can regenerate, one more time!" she pleaded.
"I can't. I'm not full Gallifreyan, only one-quarter."
"Please Grandpa!" she pleaded; Benjamin came over to support his sister's argument.
"Grandpa, please, let's just-"
"No Benny, Delilah. This is the time." Thomas looked up at his grandchildren who sat on either side of him on the rock. "Did I ever tell you the story of this rock?" he asked.
Delilah smiled; the memory of the story came back to her, though she had never seen the place with her own eyes before this day. "Tell it again Grandpa," she whispered as she smiled through sad eyes. So he told the story of his Gramum's passing and how he first met the Doctor, his true grandfather, while waiting on the rock. He told the story of how he first came to the stars and of planets and aliens and creatures from everywhere. He told the happy stories and he told the sad ones. But there was one left to tell that he could not tell.
"Benjamin, my dear boy. Do you have the letter?"
Benjamin reached into the pocket of his black leather coat, the one found in the wardrobe of the TARDIS so long ago. His grandfather often told him that he looked like old pictures of the Doctor when he first met Rose, with his daft face, floppy ears, and bright blue eyes "I have it here," Benjamin said.
"Read it to me one last time."
Benjamin swallowed hard as he opened the letter and read it to his own grandfather. Delilah held the frame of the old man in her arms, he had once been so strong, but he fought so many good fights.
"…you taught me these things Thomas. You taught me to enjoy and live life, and most importantly to love.
And I love you.
Yours, beloved forever,
Thomas looked to his two grandchildren. "It's up to you now," he said and he looked up across the beach. "There's Anne. And my Gramum and Grandfather. And Mum and Dad, and Grampa. They're waiting. Do not cry for an old man my grumlies,for I have lived a long life. I'll finally get to go to Gallifrey. Mye'Seo. Thia'Lyliet,"
Tommy Turner squeezed the hands of his grandchildren and took the last breath of life. He was buried on the top of the hill under an old ruined tree with broken branches scattered about and the weathered frame of an old home just barely visible amongst the weeds and the trees now growing on the cliff. His grave was marked with a simple stone; the letter from their Grandma Anne to their Grandfather buried with him.
Benjamin and Delilah Turner walked down the overgrown path to the beach below and took one last look at the Earth around them. For so many years they had heard so many stories of this place, but never stepped foot on the planet itself. And now that they had, they each made sure that they would see it at least one more time, with their children, and their grandchildren, and every generation after them that they could. For the Doctor, a man who scoffed at tradition, his grandchildren seemed to cherish it.
Notes on Gallifreyan phrases and concepts:
--Thia'Lyliet "I walk in eternity."
--Grumlies children's slang for adults
--Rassilon Imprimatur alterations to the genetic structure of Gallifreyans that allows regeneration, extended life span, time sensitivity, and telepathy.