Title: Lesson From A Mother

Author's Notes:Written for the Doctor/Rose Last Author Standing.

Prompt 1: Write an account of the Doctor/Rose relationship from another character's point of view.

Jackie Tyler was, for the most part, a practical woman. She knew about making money stretch to its fullest, which color hair dye made her look younger, and which pub to visit when she was seeking male companionship. She knew the value of having people owe her favors, the benefits of being plugged into the gossip circle, and how to fall in love with a man who was full of dreams and good intentions but was rubbish at every day life. She also knew about big things like life and death and raising a child on her own.

Jackie had planned, as all parents do, on sharing her accumulated knowledge with her child, hopefully preventing her daughter from making the same mistakes. Life on the Powell Estates was far from glamorous, but it did allow Jackie to teach Rose how to survive in a tough and sometimes unforgiving world. And as a parent, she took pride in the fact that she taught her daughter how to attract boys and how to defend herself when said boys got out-of-line.

And then one day, Rose met a time-traveling alien. He carted her off to distant universes and showed her wondrous and terrible things, and Jackie suddenly felt inadequate. The precious gift of knowledge she had handed to Rose seemed such a trite and insignificant thing in the face of the entirety of space and time. How well did survival skills learned on Earth hold up in outer space? Did boys from other worlds have the same intentions towards her daughter as those on Earth? What about a time-traveling alien with a head full of stars, a heart full of grief, and who was certainly rubbish at every day niceties? How could Jackie teach Rose to defend herself against things she herself had never experienced?

So, Jackie worried. She could see the changes traveling wrought in her daughter, could see the relationship developing between Rose and the Doctor. They could not hide from her the hand-holding, the smiles, the sly touches when they thought no one was looking. And Jackie harbored no illusions as to what it meant. After all, Rose Tyler was very much her mother's daughter. So, each time they disappeared in that blue box, the ancient wheeze of time following in their wake, Jackie wondered if this was the adventure from which Rose would not return.

And then one day, Rose arrived in a panic. She told them about a war far into the future and how the Doctor had sent her home while he stayed to die alone. Jackie was glad the Doctor had upheld his promise and kept Rose safe. She offered all the comfort a mother could, but Rose refused to be consoled. Rose felt sure her place was at the Doctor's side and nothing Jackie said could dissuade her.

They argued in the TARDIS, the great machine now quiet with the sound of death. And as Rose told her about being with her Dad as he died, Jackie crumbled. She ran crying from the TARDIS, not because of the argument, not even because Rose wanted to leave her once again.

Jackie Tyler cried because of the expression on her daughter's face. It was full of heartbreak and utter desolation. Jackie had seen this expression before. It had stared out at her from the mirror the day her husband died. The only thing that kept her together on that horrible day was the small babe in her arms. Suddenly, she knew what lesson she could still teach her daughter, and it was the most important lesson in the world.

Rose had learned of love and loss out amongst the stars, but Jackie knew there was one thing humans must have in order to survive the cycle of life and loss that constantly surrounded them. And she was quite sure the Doctor was too broken himself to be able to teach it.

Jackie Tyler was going to teach her daughter, and maybe the Doctor, about the power of hope.

She pulled up outside the TARDIS in the huge recovery truck she had borrowed from Rodrigo. She looked at her daughter, iher/i hope, as she disembarked. Even though she may lose Rose, Jackie felt sure that this was the right decision, and that Pete, wherever he was, would approve.

"Right. You've only got this until six o'clock, so get on with it."