A/N: I know I've been a bit quiet, but I promise I am doing quite a lot of stories at the moment... lol! It's just the matter of getting a few chapters done in advance... So here's a oneshot.
Character: 10 or 10.5
Companion: Rose or Donna or Martha
Prompt: Time is passing me by.
Circle Of Life
The TARDIS was spinning through the vortex.
The Doctor was attempting to reattach one of the the wall panels to the roof of the console room, hanging precariously from a support strut with his legs wrapped around, struggling to keep a grip. From below, his 17-year-old son watched in slight apprehension, his arms folded, his eyebrows raised.
"Dad... A ladder?"
"No," the Doctor gasped through the strain of holding on. "I'm all right, thanks!"
Harry rolled his eyes, taking a very pronounced step back from directly below where his father was hanging. The Doctor noticed this but chose not to comment as he stretched out towards the roof, sonic aloft...
And with a shriek he plummeted to the ground with a comical crash.
Harry winced, covering his eyes before the Doctor sat up, beaming from ear to ear.
"Did it!" he enthused, arms in the air. He jumped onto his feet and ruffled Harry's pointy brown tufts before running to the console, grabbing the monitor and checking it. "Look at that! A perfect seal."
"You feeling all right?" Harry asked, staring at him.
"Never better!" the Doctor replied happily, maintaining his grin as he pressed a hand to the side of his ribs... "Except for this stabbing pain in my side..."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Mum's gonna be up, soon."
The Doctor's expression suddenly fell, replaced gradually by sadness at the thought of it. "... Yeah. We should get changed."
Harry only nodded silently, giving his father a manly slap of support on the shoulder before he turned and headed into the depths of the TARDIS to find his suit. The Doctor heaved a sigh. The slap of support had hurt more than helped, but nothing was ever going to prepare him for this.
He rolled back his shoulders, and went to make a cup of tea for his rousing wife.
The Doctor went into the bedroom, a cup of tea and a stack on toast on a tray. As per usual his wife was snoring gently, her blonde hair forming a halo around her head. He set the tray on the side and shook her gently, pressing a kiss to her lips for a wake up call.
She stretched and yawned under the covers like a drowsy kitten, blinking a few times until she registered him leaning over her. She smiled for a moment at him... this was the moment he savoured, the moment she had just after waking before it all came crashing home...
Then she remembered.
"Oh God," she whispered.
The Doctor didn't say anything, just gazing at her through those deep brown eyes. She reached up for a hug and he obliged, feeling her start to shake in his arms. She was crying again. He was beginning to run out of shirts. Not that that would ever be an excuse for not holding her. He knew exactly what she was feeling. Even some things that fell victim to time could not be cured with time travel.
She suddenly pulled back and wiped her cheeks, sniffing back the next tears that were about to fall. "Go and get up Gemma," she said.
The Doctor frowned, tucking her hair back behind her ear. "Sure?"
She nodded, forcedly more than anything. "Go get her up."
"Okay," he said gently, pressing another kiss to her lips. "We'll go and pick up Livi, Jaceks and Gabrielle in half an hour then head back to London."
Rose nodded, reaching for the toast he had brought in as he got up and left the room. He didn't like to rush her, but she needed targets, or she would never reach any form of goal.
As he reached his infant daughter's room he could already hear she was up, stampeding around like a raging bull. As soon as he entered she froze in mid-movement, turning to look at him, beaming. Her toys were scattered all over the floor. He rolled his eyes and moved to pick her up, placing her on the bed and getting out her clothes to dress her, picking the most suitable dress from the wardrobe.
"You have to be really good today, okay Gemma?" he said gently as he dressed her. "Remember what I said yesterday?"
She nodded silently, her usually happy expression falling just as his had.
"So be on your best behaviour. Your Mummy is very upset so no trying her patience today, okay? If you need something just ask me."
She nodded again as he finished dressing her, reaching up to grab his neck as he lifted her into his arms. He met Tom coming out the room, the 14-year-old boy as always efficiently dressed and ready to go.
"When are we leaving?" Tom asked.
"Twenty-five minutes," the Doctor replied. Tom nodded and disappeared into his room again. The TARDIS, normally alive with the voices of children gripped in happiness was now almost completely silent. It felt so wrong. The Doctor instinctively held Gemma closer, who was looking at him with wide brown eyes.
"Ma, Dad, sad," she said simply.
"Yeah," the Doctor replied quietly. "Yeah, we are."
Harry reappeared next, now dressed in his suit. The Doctor offered him a small smile and set Gemma on the ground on wobbly legs. "Can you get some food for Gemma while I get dressed?"
"Sure," Harry replied, taking his little sister's hand and walking her to the kitchen. Heaving a sigh, the Doctor plucked up the courage and moved back into his and Rose's room.
The Doctor and Rose greeted their eldest daughter Livi warmly, but relatively silently. Even their granddaughter Gabrielle was silent in her mother's arms. In turn Livi's partner Jaceks offered a hug of comfort to his step-parents and the Doctor and Rose accepted it gracefully. Jaceks was a Peroxian, pale-skinned and black-eyed but the nicest person you could ever hope to meet. The Doctor fondly remembered when Livi had first met Jaceks... they couldn't take their eyes off of each other; a fairytale love at first sight. The marriage had been Peroxian style within two weeks of meeting each other and Livi gave birth to Gabrielle not long after.
And so the family unit, the Doctor, Rose, Livi, Jaceks, Gabrielle, Harry, Tom and Gemma were gathered in the console room, complete silence gripping them all. The only sound came from the clicking of the buttons on the console as the Doctor's hands breezed across, and eventually the sound of the engines bursting into life to take them to their destination.
The TARDIS didn't even cause any trouble when she landed, smoothly and without fault.
"We're here," the Doctor muttered completely unnecessary. He felt Rose's hand press into his, feeling comforted by his warm grip. He looked at her in her full black dress and black hat, tears threatening to fall. "Ready?" he asked.
She just nodded. He took Gemma's hand with his free one, and led the entire family out of the double TARDIS doors to Jackie Tyler's funeral.