Void Math

RRAU Prequel
Post Family of Blood

A/N: While I sort my squabbling muses over the plot of Four Five Six, here's what Mickey was talking about with the Doctor in the Hub. Sorry for the extended delay with the story, but the Doctor-Muse, Rose-Muse, and John-Muse are at odds with each other while Jenny-Muse is being quiet and plotting her own doings. It's completely disturbing how they do that.

I think this story will have three chapters, but if the mess of the other sorts itself sooner, I'll go back to that since most of you are chomping at the bit for it. ~JW

The TARDIS was petrified. While she knew that everything would be better soon - well, soon for her anyway - being reunited with her Beloved was wonderful and absolutely terrifying at the same time. If she didn't know any better, he was still wearing his leather armor instead of the multiple layers of cotton and wool.

Three months of her Beloved enduring mortality in order to hide from the parasites that wanted to consume his artron energy; Three months of silence that was only broken by Martha coming to visit every so often for comfort and support.

She almost told her when Martha breathed in resignation about him falling in love with a human and it wasn't her; nearly revealed her avatar to tell her that he would never be hers; nearly told her about the man that would become more important to her than the air she breathed.

She couldn't though. Mustn't, lest she stunt Martha's emotional growth; set back her Beloveds numbing recovery from his loss to decades instead of months; resulting in him missing crucial points that would both reunite him with his starlight salvation and save the multiverse all at once.

When they came for him he was human.

When he came for them he was the Storm Unleashed.

The last time she saw her Beloved like this was just before he got those ghastly ears of his. Once so gentle, the man who finally opened his heart to people closed so tightly that there was no room for even the merest hint of mercy. His mercy died at the Battle of the Nightmare Child and the loss of his only brother Braxatiel. There was no more singing in the console room. He'd shaved the locks of hair that she loved so much this time around, and donned the first of his leather armors. It was a deep navy colour; the colour of midnight and the heart of death itself.

He became the Oncoming Storm and his rage rent a swath of destruction through the universe that both impressed and terrified the risen Rassilon, who feared the return of his friend and rival: The Other. Now as before, there was no love, no passion, no remorse, no mercy. He had become death, giving the Family of Blood their Eternal Nightmare: Living forever in places where they could do nothing but scream their madness and torment.

The absolutely only consolation she had at the time was that those damnable chains that were forged in the heart of a dwarf star were finally gone for good. They were so densely pact with neutrons, bosons, and quarks, that they mucked up her temporal regulators after he'd acquired them from the Mechrons during the war. While she should apologize to Jackie for that lost year, she knew it was for a good reason and had to keep that secret to herself for a while longer.

Only after her Beloved and Martha visited Timothy as an old man did they retreat to the vortex to recuperate. Martha, for all her bluster, was knackered and exhausted from her three month vigil. So the Doctor let her rest in whatever way she liked while they drifted in the vortex. It was a time that he retreated to a room that was just as locked up and away as his own bedroom.

The Doctor spent forty eight hours curled up on Rose's bed, weeping, sobbing, and telling the empty room what he'd done. Every time he asked for forgiveness, his ship swelled in his mind with understanding and comfort.

When it happened, he thought his beloved ship had made an error in judgment. In reality, it pained her to have to do what must be done. Sitting up on the bed, the Doctor clutched one of Rose's blouses to his face, inhaling the fading perfume and scent of her perspiration. "I need her!" he wailed at the top of his lungs.

The lights in the room died, and he felt soft arms hold him from behind. "I'm here," an impossible voice whispered in his ear.

The Doctor spun around, instantly changing his eyes to register the upper ultra-violet end of the spectrum and swore with a shriek. Jumping away from the bed, he backed up to the wall and shouted at her. "Don't you ever fucking do that to me again! You are not her, goddammit!" Even as he protested at this cruel display, he couldn't help but be aroused by the nude mirage before him.

"Part of her will always be in me, Beloved," the TARDIS soothed in Rose's voice. "Just as a part of me will always be in her. I love you, and will do anything for you... even this."

"It's not the same! You know that!" he protested angrily.

He watched as not-Rose's face morphed into the glare that he'd only seen on Jackie's, usually just before her hand connected with his left cheek. "Then get off your daft backside and do something about it! Use that bigger-on-the-inside brain of yours and find a way to bring me back!" It so disturbed him at how much that sounded like Rose, that he briefly believed it was actually her.

Not-Rose vanished and the lights came back on, causing him to swear and squint while he changed his eyes back to the visible spectrum. Staring at the bed, an equation began to swim in his vision. He had thought it impossible, but if the TARDIS was kicking him into it then it must have an answer. Rutigen's Enigma Equation did have a solution, he decided. Of course it did! It must! She wouldn't have been so damned cruel otherwise!

The Doctor forced the emotional chaos out of his mind, and strode purposely from Rose's room. He was going to get Rose back or go completely mad in the attempt.

Rooms that were miles away from both her Beloved and his companion sounded the tears of the TARDIS as she cried heavily. She hated doing this to him, but there was no other choice. The future depended on it.