A/N: Welcome Back!
This story is not one of the 2009 specials. However, with what Carmen told the Doctor in the previous episode, I simply couldn't see the Doctor letting this go.
Set Between The Desert of San Helios & Martian Waters
As always, reviews help me get better.
"Rose River" AU:
The TARDIS was in a low orbit of San Helios. Inside, John was typing at the main keyboard at a furious pace. Rose had tried finding her husband a few hours ago, but the TARDIS told her that he still needed some time alone. She was busy trying not to fret over things, and had settled on the jump seat to think.
For the past hour, the TARDIS has been scanning the planet below, as well as doing a thorough biomolecular scan of the single manta shark that was still in stasis. There was a small ding, and John flipped a few switches. "Right. That should do it. The old girl has pretty much everything in the way of scans. Now to return the one we've got, and redirect the rift their generating."
"Wha', they're still at it?" Rose said, pulled out of her thoughts for a moment.
John nodded. "That's part of their life cycle. Reminds me of locusts, to be honest, going from planet to planet and eating everything they can." He bent down closer to the monitor and typed some more, squinting.
Rose got up from her perch on the jump seat and stood next to him, concerned. "But, what's to stop them from finding another place with people?"
John glanced at her. "Us, actually. The two that took down the Tritovore ship were placed in a sort of hibernation from the cold. Going to let them get a taste of Uriellia Two air."
When he didn't elaborate, Rose pursed her lips. "Okay, I'll bite. Where's that?"
John raised his eyebrows. "Oh... Sorry. I keep forgetting that you haven't been through the academy. Uriellia is a brown dwarf star that has three regular planets and a gas giant. Uriellia Two is in a near permanent ice age. Temperatures are around twenty to forty degrees below freezing. Should knock them all out for a while. No sense in sending them anywhere else, or we'd have to keep redirecting them to non civilized worlds."
Rose nodded at the logic. "But, isn't that the same as killing them all?"
John shook his head, finished his commands for the redirection, then pulled up a bio scan of the one that was in their hold. "Take a look." Hitting a few more keys, the DNA of the thing popped up. "Sequences all through their coding, here, here, and here," he pointed, "have markers on them. Which means they've been genetically engineered. In other words..."
"Some one made them?" Rose finished for him. John grinned and nodded at her. "Wha', so they're like a hydrogen bomb?"
"Essentially. I've some suspicions as to who did it, but I need Brother's input." John ran a hand through his hair. "At least now that they're going to be put in cold storage, we can put that on pause for a while. Mind zapping the one we got back down there?"
Rose didn't know how to take that. Having seen all sorts of craziness in the universe, the possibility of someone making a swarm of eating machines wasn't that far out there. "No wonder he went mental," she muttered.
John looked at her, slightly confused. "How's that?"
"Rift wormholes that act natural and artificial at the same time?" She shook her head. "Worrying about you and all of that not making sense. He dropped the F-Bomb, and nearly caused Jack and Martha to have an accidental loo moment."
John's eyes became round. He had no idea that happened, and the thought scared him a little as well. Still though, the thought that the Doctor was worrying over him chuffed him a bit - especially since he was going to be left in another universe at first, just to be rid of him.
Rose shook out of her thoughts and rounded the console. Setting the controls, she transmatted their 'guest' back down to the planet, and even managed to put it back inside the swarm itself.
John grinned. "One of these days, you're going to have to tell me just how much she's been teaching you." He got a smirk out of her with that. "Now, let's dilate the time differential and make sure they all get to Uriella."
Tapping a few keys, the planet on the monitor seemed to rotate faster. They watched as another wormhole opened up. He hit a key, and the vector for the destination changed. Another few minutes, and the swarm was gone. "There," John said. "Sorted." He leaned and stretched his back out. "Oi. Think it's past time for a bit of a kip. You going to be all right?"
Rose nodded. "Yeah. Going to go check on the Doctor."
The Doctor had been sitting in the same lotus position for the better part of a day. The room he was in was similar to the zero room, only in reverse. Instead of nullifying the input from the universe, this room enhanced it. The sound of the door opening caused his ear to twitch, but he didn't otherwise react. There was a slight indentation on the cushion he was sitting on, and he felt his wife press her back up against his. 'Hello,' he said mentally.
Rose had mirrored his position on the floor, and leaned against him. 'Feeling any better?'
'Not really, but I'm over the shock at least,' he replied.
Rose had closed her eyes, and was grimacing. 'Why is it so loud in here?'
'This room acts as the eyes and ears of the TARDIS. It's how she can navigate time and space. Was hoping it would help me find her, but I haven't had that much success.' He sounded a bit despondent.
'I don't see how you can do anything in here. It's worse than a rock concert.'
"Mmm," he mused. 'Well, the idea was to search her timeline out, and trace it.'
She thought about that for a minute, then stood up. Stepping around him, she held her hand out. "Come on. I've got an idea." He opened his eyes blinking, and gave her a curious expression. "Come on, husband. Trust me," she smiled.
The Doctor let her help him up, and followed behind hand in hand. She led him through the corridors, and he didn't cotton on as to what she had in mind until they were at their bedroom door. "I hardly think this is the right time for..."
She put a finger to his lips. "Trust me?" He frowned and nodded, then let her lead him inside. Helping him out of his jacket and trainers, Rose had him lie on top of the covers and get comfortable with the pillows. She pulled a chair over and sat next to the bed.
"You want to find her time line, right?" She got a nod. "Then close your eyes and go backwards over yours until you find hers, then trace hers forward."
He had just closed his eyes, but they popped open again. "I can't do that. We're blind to our own time line. The only way we can see it is in front of the Untempered Schism, and that's when we're eight years old."
Rose frowned and tapped her fingers together, slightly discouraged and annoyed. Then something else came to mind that seemed rather obvious to her. "Show me how to do it, and I'll do what I was thinking with yours."
He sat up. "You think you're ready to do that? Last time you tried anything like that, there was an awful headache."
"I have a goal now." She leaned forward and grasped his hands. "This isn't about trying to play with things or learn something. I'm going to find our daughter," her face was full of determination. "Even if I have to regenerate to do it."
The Doctor's head went back. The way she emphasized 'our' almost brought tears to his eyes. He hadn't known what she thought of Jenny, mostly due to hesitation and a hint of fear on his part. But that statement of pure intent, as well as the emotions behind it, proved to him just how much she meant it. Not being able to get his mouth to work right, he leaned forward and hugged her tightly. 'Thank you so much. You have no idea how much that meant to me, to hear you say that.'
She took the hug with a smile, but couldn't help ribbing him. 'Now maybe you'll understand just how much those 'three horrid words' mean to me.'
The Doctor laughed rather hard at that. "I do love you, you know that right?"
Rose pulled back and gave him a knowing smile. "I do, but it does me a lot of emotional good to hear you say it out loud." She grabbed his chin between her thumb and forefinger, wiggled it slightly with a playful mean look and a growl, then gave him a peck on the lips. "So, what do I do?"