Authors Note: Written for mrs_roy who made a very generous donation on my behalf in the April Support Stacie Author's auction. Thank you!
A massively huge thank you to frakup and gioiamia for tackling this beast on such short notice. I greatly appreciate it!
A Different Sort of Family Reunion
It was strange the way it happened. Rose and the Doctor had been playfully arguing over the merits of visiting Edsma or Zerys when the TARDIS began to shudder and shake violently.
The Doctor raced toward the console, frowning at the readings he saw on the screen. "What? That's impossible."
"What's wrong?" Rose asked, coming to stand beside him.
"The time refractor seems to be malfunctioning. It's pulling us out of the time vortex on its own and hurtling us through space." As he spoke, he fiddled frantically with multiple switches and buttons on the console.
Rose peered over his shoulder. "Can you stop it?"
"I'm trying but the system is locked." The Doctor pulled out a mallet and banged it against the console with a loud thump.
"No!" The Doctor shouted suddenly as the bells began to toll through the cavernous room. "No, no, no, no, no, no!" He raced around to the other side of the console and began frantically tapping on the keyboard.
"What is it?" Rose looked at the screen, but all she could see was a series of incomprehensible Gallifreyan symbols.
"We're going to crash into that planet!" The Doctor pointed to a tiny character on the left of the screen.
"What planet is it?" Rose asked, even as she felt a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach.
After trying everything he could think of to stop the impending crash, the Doctor finally gave up and strapped himself and Rose to the captain's chair using a complex seat belt system he'd recently designed. Together, they braced themselves for the inevitable blow.
It seemed to take eons for the TARDIS to complete its disastrous descent, but finally they landed with a cacophony of sound, flame and sparks. Carefully, they trudged their way to the door, finding themselves in an empty, sterile corridor. It was completely dark, save for a tiny sliver of moonlight that shone though the TARDIS-shaped hole in the ceiling. The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver, illuminating the corridor with an eerie, blue glow.
They reached the end of the corridor and entered a small room off to the side. There was a yellow glow emitting from one corner of the room, and as they approached it they became aware of a woman lying in a heap on the floor.
Rose reached her first, brushing long, blond hair out of her way as she checked the woman's pulse.
"She's alive!" Rose proclaimed. She frowned as she looked up and noticed an odd expression on the Doctor's face.
He was standing a few feet away, perfectly still as he stared at the young woman, his eyes wide and his breathing ragged.
"Doctor?" she asked. "What's wrong?"
"Jenny," he whispered.
Rose froze. "Jenny?" she gasped. "But I thought she died!"
"I thought she had." He dropped to his knees beside the woman, cradling her head in his lap. "The last time I saw her was on Messaline. I held her in my arms as she died."
"Maybe she regenerated?" Rose suggested.
"I'd hoped she would," the Doctor said as he stroked Jenny's hair. "But I stayed with her a long time and nothing happened."
Rose was pensive. "Maybe it just took a while?"
The Doctor shrugged. "I don't know. She… she looks exactly the same." He studied her intently. "How'd she end up on Earth though?"
"Let's figure out the whys and hows later." Rose interjected. "Right now I think she needs help, she's bleeding." Rose pointed to a gash on Jenny's arm. "She's also unconscious, and her pulse was weak."
"Right," the Doctor agreed. "Let's get her to the TARDIS."
As Rose helped the Doctor roll Jenny from her side to her back so they could lift her more easily, she gasped. "Uhh, Doctor, there's something else."
Rose pointed to Jenny's abdomen and when the Doctor followed her finger with his gaze he could see a large, round, protruding bump.
"I think you're going to be a grandfather!" Rose said lightly.
The Doctor smiled and scooped Jenny into his arms. "I guess I am."
Two hours later, Rose was just pouring some fresh tea when the Doctor emerged from the infirmary, looking exhausted. He had performed a thorough examination and yet he still had more questions than answers.
"Is she awake?" Rose asked as she took out another cup and filled it before passing it to him.
"No, not yet, Love," the Doctor said fondly as he planted a light kiss on Rose's cheek before dropping into the nearest chair. "She's only sleeping now, though. I found traces of a sedative in her blood, but it's almost worked its way through her system so I suspect she'll wake up soon."
"What about her arm?"
"Mostly a surface wound that looked worse than it is. I think she hit it on something; maybe when she fell?"
"Is the baby okay?"
The Doctor grinned. "Both babies are just fine!"
Rose's eyes widened. "Both!?!?"
He nodded. "I did a full ultrasound. Jenny is having twins, and if my calculations are correct, and they probably are, she's going to deliver them within the next week!"
"Wow. That's soon."
They were interrupted by a sudden crash from the infirmary. They exchanged a worried glance before abandoning their tea and racing toward the sound.
Jenny was thrashing about on the small bed, knocking over everything within reach of her flailing arms.
Rose gasped as fresh blood began to seep through the bandage on her arm. She raced forward and gently held the young woman's arm, preventing her from doing any further damage. Jenny stared at her with wild, frightened eyes, her mouth open in a silent scream.
"It's all right Jenny," the Doctor whispered soothingly as he came to stand on her other side. "You're safe now."
Jenny tore her eyes away from Rose and stared at the Doctor. Her eyes widened in shock even as Rose felt her body begin to relax beneath her hands.
Jenny tried to speak, but no sound came out. She tried again and this time Rose could hear a raspy outtake of air. Rose released the girl and quickly poured her a glass of water using the pitcher that the Doctor had left on one of the counters. She handed it to Jenny and she nodded gratefully before raising the glass to her lips and drinking it eagerly.
"Dad?" Jenny whispered hoarsely once she had drained the glass and handed it back to Rose.
The Doctor took her hand and sat on the side of her bed. "Jenny," he said simply.
She looked up at him in wonder. "But how did you --?" Her voice broke and she started to cough. Rose quickly refilled the glass and handed it to Jenny.
"Thank you," Jenny whispered, once she'd emptied the glass. She smiled up at Rose for a moment then glanced around in confusion. "Who are you? Where's Donna? Did something happen to her?"
The Doctor squeezed her hand. "Donna is fine, she's with family. This is Rose Tyler." He grinned at her fondly, his eyes sparkling.
Jenny relaxed visibly. "Oh." She turned to Rose. "It's nice to meet you."
Rose's expression was soft. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you. I didn't think I'd ever have the opportunity."
"What do you mean?"
"The Doctor thought you were dead. We all did."
Jenny turned to look at him and Rose could see the pain reflected in his eyes as he mentally relived the moment when he'd thought he'd lost Jenny. Jenny must have seen it too, for she reached out with her free hand and stroked his face comfortingly.
"I'm okay," she assured him. "I've seen new worlds, helped people – there was lots of running!"
Rose laughed. "There always is." She came around the side of the bed and rested her hand on the Doctor's shoulder. "But how did you end up on earth? You don't have a TARDIS do you?"
Jenny shook her head. "I had a rocket ship. It was wonderful, travelling from place to place. At least it was until…" She trailed off and glanced down at her abdomen as though she were suddenly remembering her predicament.
The Doctor and Rose waited silently for her to continue but instead her entire body began to tremble as a sudden flood of tears flowed from her eyes. They exchanged a brief look of surprise before springing into action to comfort the girl. The Doctor tugged her hand, pulling her into a hug while Rose rubbed her back.
After a while, Jenny's tears ceased and she gradually relaxed. The Doctor released her and looked as though he were about to ask her about the outburst but Rose stopped him with a glance. It was clear, that whatever had happened to Jenny to get her to this point was deeply disturbing to the young woman and what she needed right now was comfort and safety, not questions.
"You should rest," Rose said softly, taking the Doctor's hand and tugging him up to stand beside her. "Stress isn't good for the babies. If you need anything, we're just down the hall."
Jenny nodded. "Thank you. Both of you."
"That's what family is for." Rose smiled. "Now please, rest."
They were nearly to the door when Jenny called out to them, her voice strained with fear and concern. "What about the others?"
"The others?" The Doctor spun around, his face screwed up in puzzlement. "What others?"
"The other people who were in the hospital when… when it came." Jenny closed her eyes for a moment and shuddered. "Are they all right?"
"Jenny." The Doctor's voice was gentle. "There was no one else in that room when we arrived."
Jenny's eyes widened. "But all those people…"
"We will figure it out, don't worry." Rose opened the door and started to pull the Doctor though.
"No!" Jenny yelled, panic straining her voice. "There isn't time. You don't understand. It will come back for me."
Rose's blood ran cold and her skin began to crawl as she processed Jenny's words. What was it that had her so frightened? From what she knew of Jenny, the girl had been confident and fearless. What had happened to her?
The Doctor returned to Jenny's bedside, looking down at her intently. "Nothing is going to happen to you, Jenny. You're safe now. If anyone or anything tries to get at you they will have to come through me. Your job right now is to rest and take care of these grandbabies of mine." He patted her stomach fondly. "Doctor's orders."
The corners of Jenny's mouth began to turn upward slightly. "Okay, Dad. I can do that. But first, you should know…"