A/N: Sorry for the late update!
Kaylee couldn't understand what the words meant. Only that they seemed to be holding onto her mind in an iron grip.
Stygge Ulv. Where had she heard those words before?
"Hey, sleepy-head." Leon's face poked into her vision, his brown eyes wide and curious. "What's new?"
She blinked slowly. Hadn't they done this before?
She tried to think about what had happened. Leon said he'd be staying here, not going back, and he'd called her something… A name that wasn't her own…
What was it?
She shook her head, trying to clear it. She was hitting a blank wall; she didn't even remember going to sleep.
She blinked. "How long was I out?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Twelve hours. It's noon already." He winked. "You're a heavy sleeper."
"Noon?" She blinked again, trying to process this information. "Already?"
She paused, trying to think.
And that was it. There was nothing else. She couldn't remember anything from last night.
And yet, something was irritating her. As though she'd seen Leon in this situation before; knowing he was staying home, his eyes staring into her own to wake her up… This wasn't the first time.
But it had to be. It just had to. What other explanation was there?
She scowled at thin air, not understanding the words and not liking them. She threw her blanket off, leaping out of bed.
She looked around, then turned to her brother. "What are you doing in my room?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.
His lower lip jutted out. "Aw, come on, sis. You can't tell me you're mad about that…"
"I'm telling mom!" She shrieked, giggling and running out of the room.
For a moment, he looked panicked. She didn't have time to puzzle over his expression until she made it out of the room and into the hallway.
"Mom?" He questioned.
She rolled her eyes. "Loosen up, Leon. For Pete's sake, you're acting like a total…" Her eyes widened in horror and she spoke the word as though it was an unspeakable crime. "Adult."
"Adult?" He raised an eyebrow. "Now that's just offensive!"
She laughed. Everything was back to normal. Her brother was home. She was fine; no nightmares, no names that weren't hers. She was just Kaylee Smith. No one and nothing else.
Martha Jones sat and thought.
Her pencil hovered above the paper, pausing in mid-air, waiting for instructions that she could not give, because she didn't have them yet.
She sighed heavily. How hard could this be? It was just like it had been, back in the TARDIS, writing everything down so she didn't forget anything. Keeping a journal that could always be remembered.
These days, that journal was kept so she wouldn't go back. Everything she learnt about the Doctor in the time she was away from him, away from the TARDIS, was nothing but pain and misery, and that was all she wrote down.
Because, in every way, she missed the stars. She missed the running, the fighting, spending time in those horrible, wonderful, beautiful and nightmarish planets. She missed the TARDIS.
And, she missed the Doctor. She missed his maniac grin, his strange behavior, the way he acted, as though everything was a game and nothing should be taken seriously.
Because if he took anything seriously, Martha doubted he would still be alive. Everything he had seen, all he had heard and done, it would kill him if he ever looked back. The man who was always running had a reason.
Which was exactly why she couldn't go back. It wasn't just because he had ignored her when she thought she loved him; it was because she couldn't stand watching one more person get hurt.
But even here, back on Earth, helping in her own way and staying away from The Doctor, he just kept coming back into her life.
And really, how could she not help him? He'd looked so pathetic, not knowing what to wish for, not knowing what to do. It was so rare that The Doctor didn't know something, and when it happened, he either loved it or hated it.
Like the time they had gone to the end of the universe. He loved that; not knowing, not having a clue what he would find outside of the TARDIS doors.
It was enough to send a shiver down Martha's spine. She could only hope for the best for them both, and try to help when she could.
She sighed and began to write, so she could remember why she had left that blue box in the first place…
Kaylee slapped the newspaper down on the table in front of Leon, whose face was covered in syrup.
She moved aside his plate of pancakes, earning an indignant "Hey!" from her brother as she opened to the section she was looking for.
"Jobs. Go get one." She said briskly, indicating the ads.
He pouted. "Really sis? Before I even finish breakfast, you're going to slap this on me?"
He stuck his tongue out at her, then turned to the paper. "Ugh. None of this is up to my intellectual standard." He crumpled it up and tossed it in the trash with perfect accuracy. "Bull's-eye!"
She pulled a second paper out from behind her, slapping it down on the table. "Get. A. Job."
"Make me make you."
"Make me make you make me."
"Make me make you make me make you."
"Make me make you make me make you make me."
She had to laugh at that, taking the paper away and ruffling his hair in a way that would annoy anyone else in the world but him.
"Come on, Leon." She said, searching the fridge for her own breakfast. "I'm not kidding. We're going to drive each other nuts after a while; you're going to need your own place."
He made a show of looking offended. "Kaylee Smith! Are you kicking me out?"
"No." She shut the fridge door, having fully forgotten what she was looking for. "Of course not."
"Ah, good. Then I can eat my pancakes." He proceeded to do exactly that.
She blinked, then turned back to the fridge, once again searching for her breakfast and confused as to why she shut it in the first place.
"It'll be the little things, first."
The Doctor nodded, wringing his hands as he looked at the holographic screen.
The alien on the other end clicked once, then continued with, "Simple things. Forgetting to put the cat out, location of car keys…"
"In that case, everyone in the universe has dual memories." Replied a third alien from another holographic projector. "Really, Tarna. Get to the point."
Tarna clicked irritably, then went on. "But then it will get bigger. Memories will start to take over, dates overlapping until the subject becomes so confused that her mind…" She trailed off.
The other alien, a rather irritable Keran named Lornao, sighed deeply into his mike. "It all depends on how the subject reacts. It's a very delicate process, Doctor, and if you're not careful…"
"I'm aware of the risks, Lornao." The Doctor said coldly. "What I need to know is what I can do to preventthem, not that I need to prevent them."
Tarna let out a small, chattering noise, her eyes flickering back and forth from Lornao to the Doctor in the typical nervous state of her kind. She wrung her hands. "Do? There's nothing anyone can do, Doctor. You're going to have to sit this one out, I'm afraid."
"Sit it out?" The Doctor questioned. "That's not good enough, Tarna. There has to be something I can do. Anything."
"To be honest, Doctor," Lornao interrupted. "It's not up to you. It's up to the subject."
"She has a name." The Doctor bit out.
"Really?" Lornao asked. "What is it?"
"Rose Ty…" The Doctor paused.
Lornao sighed. "Exactly. Face it, Doctor; you're too attached to this. As I was saying, it's not up to you who this girl becomes. She has to decide that."
"But it is Rose!" The Doctor interjected.
"I'm afraid it's not." Tarna said heavily. "It could be, but there is no way to be certain until she decides for herself."
"She'll never get the chance!" The Doctor snapped in reply. "Every single time any memory of Rose Tyler's comes into her mind, it hurts her! I've had to erase her memories twice already! Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?"
"Naturally." Tarna replied, clicking in a rather offended manner. "If you remember, Doctor, I did write a book or two on the subject." She paused. "You won't be able to do it a third time. This will have to be her last; she'll have to decide eventually."
"Let's hope she decides correctly." Lornao said, putting special emphasis on the word 'correctly' and looking pointedly at the Doctor.
"She could very well become Rose Tyler." Tarna went on. "But, at the same time, she could be Kaylee Smith." She, too, was looking at the Doctor as she said this.
The Doctor noticed the almost accusatory glances. "You think I don't want it to be Kaylee?" He questioned. "I know who she is."
Lornao and Tarna exchanged a glance, then Lornao cut the transmission.
Tarna turned back to the Doctor. "You will keep us informed on the situation?" She inquired, turning her head and clicking anxiously.
The Doctor nodded once, curtly.
Tarna cut off the transmission, then created a link directly to Lornao.
"What do you think?" She inquired of the Keran.
"Of Kaylee? Or The Doctor?"
Lornao sighed heavily. "I think he's getting old."
"And you? What's your opinion on the matter?"
Tarna paused, gathered her thoughts, then hesitantly replied, "I can only say that I know who I want to remain in the girl's mind."
"As do I." Lornao nodded once, gravely. "But I don't think The Doctor will allow it."
"Do you really blame him?" Tarna questioned. "He's lost her many times before; how could he stand to do it again?"
Lornao paused, and for a moment there was silence as the two considered this.
"'By Terra, the man bleeds.'" Lornao recited, using an old quote from an even older human hero, lost in a battle of long ago.
Tarna smiled wryly, then ended the communication. There was nothing more to say.