"All systems appear to be back online. But we're pretty low on fuel. I guess that trip through the universe-hole took more out of the TARDIS than she is willing to admit. I think we have fuel enough for one more trip."
The Doctor turned to face Rose, a manic smile spread all over his face.
"Rose, fancy a trip to Cardiff?"
Jonathan Gallifrey Tyler had always known he was different. He had excepted it as a matter of fact in his young life that he was not like anyone else. For one thing, he had come to the realization that he was not in fact fully human. This insight, which would have been startling if it had occurred to any other little boy, did not bother Jonathan too much. He knew that not all aliens were bad, and that his father had been an alien, and that the fact had not much bothered his Mum. As long as his Mum loved him, it didn't really matter that he had two hearts.
His father had seemed like a remote icon to him, an amazing figure of his mother's stories, saving the world and looking rather like Superman in his imagination. Superman with either a black leather jacket or a brown suit. Mum said he wore both, at different times. There had always been an undercurrent of sadness in Mum's tone when she talked about Dad, and Jonathan could tell that she missed him very much. When he was very young, Jonathan could not understand why she was so sad, but gradually he had come to the knowledge that sometimes she was sad when she looked at him because he reminded her of Dad. Jimmy Baker at school had said that Dad was gone because he didn't want Mum or him any more, but Mum said it wasn't true. She said Dad loved them, and wanted to get back to them, but couldn't.
But then he had. He suddenly appeared, and Mum was suddenly really, really happy. Happier than she had ever been before. Jonathan smiled at this. He loved when Mum was happy. They were with Dad now, in his blue box. His blue box that was a lot bigger on the inside than the outside, that had millions of rooms and one that was his. They were traveling with Dad now to another universe. Jonathan was more curious to see how the box flew than to think about how it was jumping universes. Dad was like Superman- he could do anything.
Jonathan sat on the floor of the TARDIS control room, humming tunelessly to himself as he screwed a bolt in tighter with his screwdriver. He was surrounded by a mess of wires and spare parts that Dad had given him to rummage through. Apparently the TARDIS needed fixing all the time, so there were always spare parts around. Jonathan didn't know what he was building with his box of parts, but he would know once it was made. Poking his tongue out form between his teeth in concentration, Jonathan carefully attached another wire to his creation.
That task finished, he glanced up to see if Mum was around. She was lying sprawled across the captain's seat near the consol in the middle of the room, fast asleep. Jonathan took a minute to watch her. He loved watching Mum sleep. She looked so happy. Usually, she was running all around trying to do things for work, and talking on her mobile, and fighting aliens. Her face was scrunched up with worry lines, and when she smiled it didn't reach her eyes. But when she was asleep the lines went away, and there was always a small smile tugging at the corners of her lips, as if she was dreaming of something pleasant.
Her hand was flung over the side of the chair, and hung there, unmoving. On her finger was a shining ring with a sparkling blue stone. Jonathan grinned to himself. He was very proud of that ring. He had helped Dad choose it himself when they were on Barcelona, the planet with the funny dogs.
"Will you help me find Mum a ring while she's busy getting food?" Dad had asked.
"Why?" Jonathan question, confused. "Mum doesn't like jewelry very much."
"But this is a special ring. It will tell her how much we love her,"
Jonathan had thought about this for a minute.
"The kind of ring Gramma wears that Grampa gave her when they got married?"
Dad had grinned.
"Yeah. Exactly that kind of ring. I want to ask your Mum to marry me. What do you think?"
"Will I have to wear a tie?" Jonathan asked, skeptically. "I hate ties."
Dad had laughed, but Jonathan didn't see what was so funny.
"I hate them too. The only one I like is the one I'm wearing now. No, you won't have to wear anything special. We're going to surprise Mum, ok?"
Jonathan had agreed, and while Mum was busy shopping for food ("Honestly, Doctor, how do you travel the universe with nothing to eat except hot chocolate and crackers?") he and Dad had canvassed the market stalls for the perfect ring. It was Jonathan who had spotted it. For some reason. Dad had only been looking at the white ones. But Jonathan knew that Mum's favorite colour was blue, so he had been looking at the blue ones. And then he found the perfect one.
It had a silver band and one single stone in the middle of deep, shimmery blue. It was the same colour blue as the sea side when he and Mum had gone to Norway two years ago. Only that wasn't such a fun holiday because Mum had cried the entire time. But the water was beautiful.
When Dad saw the ring, he didn't say anything at first, and Jonathan was worried he didn't like it.
Dad had shaken his head.
"It's perfect, Jonathan. Just perfect," he said, holding it up to the light so that it sparkled. He took out his sonic screwdriver and touched it to the band. When he pulled it away, there was twisty writing spiraling all over it.
"What's that?" Jonathan had asked.
"I wrote something there in my own language. You should be able to read it," Dad held out the ring so Jonathan could see the letters.
"F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Forever. What does that mean?" Jonathan had asked, confused.
Dad had shaken his head, a wistful expression on his face.
"Just something you Mum said to me once. Now, let's go find her!" Dad held out his hand, and Jonathan had taken it eagerly.
Mum was so surprised when Dad gave her the ring. She had cried, although Jonathan didn't see what there was to cry about. But she said she was really happy, so that's what matters. They had stood in front of a large stone, and an alien had tied a piece of red string around their hands.
"As your hands are bound, so too are your hearts," the alien had intoned. Jonathan didn't know what that meant. But after that Mum and Dad kissed, and then they had all gone out for dinner. Everyone was laughing and happy, and Jonathan thought it was the best day he had ever had.
Dad smiled all the day after, and Mum was really tired, falling asleep on things. She was asleep again in the captain's chair now, and Jonathan had been given a box of parts to play with. Dad came into the room, whistling to himself.
"Shhhhh! Mum's sleeping," Jonathan instructed.
"Oh. Sorry," Dad had said in a quieter voice. He sat down next to Jonathan on the floor. "What're you making?"
"Dunno," Jonathan shrugged. "Something I guess. I think it will turn off and on the lights, when I'm done."
"Sounds like a remote control transponder," Dad said, looking interested.
"Yeah. I think it will even turn the lights off and on in the street outside. When we get somewhere with streetlights."
"That's pretty interesting," Dad dropped his voice. "I can teach you to make sonic things. Maybe a sonic screwdriver of your own?"
"Absolutely not," came a sleepy voice from the chair. Mum had woken up.
She sat up, and her hair was all tousled.
"Doctor, what have I told you about teaching our son to make things sonic. It's bad enough with one of you in this TARDIS, never mind two people making random sonic things. Remember what happened to the sonic toaster?"
"Awww, come on, Rose," Dad complained.
"What happened to the sonic toaster?" Jonathan asked Dad.
"It burned toast."
"You mean it made toast burst into flames," Mum said. She got up from the chair, and plopped down on the other side of Jonathan. She looked at all the wires.
'Why can't you be a normal kid and play with Lego?" she asked, putting her arm around him.
"I left it all at home," he said. "Besides, it's not as fun as this."
Mum yawned sleepily.
"Oh, right. What was I thinking?" she asked.
Jonathan felt a sense of wellbeing spread over him. Here he was, with his Mum and his Dad, and they were together, and they were off to have adventures. Life was good.
Author's Note: Yeah! Long awaited sequel to Not Alone! Yes, I have in fact been planning this story since Christmas, but I have had absolutely no time to write it in. As it is I should be studying for exams, but instead I chose to procrastinate, and write this.
This is just the beginning, and more chapters should follow soon, I promise.