FROM THE ASHES
A/N: This story is written in collaboration with Restless Goddess, who plays Rose on TSC. Much thanks to Adam and Claire, who play Romana and Narvin, respectively. The thread itself is "The Things We Miss While We Sleep" in case you want to go peek. Link to the site is in my bio.
Also, Two and a Half Doctors, while written within the TSC Universe, isn't a part of their canon, and I was disappointingly wrong about River. *shakes fist at Moffat* So, things will be a bit different here from what was the 'history' of John and Rose in that story. Sorry if it's confusing.
Oh, CIA is the acronym for the Celestial Intervention Agency of Gallifrey, not the American Central Intelligence Agency.
Restless Goddess: When Jonn says "collaborating," he really means that he rewrites our combined TSC genius and I fix the punctuation. (so far, anyway...muahahahaha...) ;)
A few hours after their falling asleep from the rather blissful, yet exhaustive bonding, John woke up completely confused. This isn't the arboretum. What the… Oh please tell me that wasn't all a dream, he lamented. 'M'here,' he heard Rose think and felt her hugging him. Lifting his head up, he saw her blond locks in complete disarray all over his chest. Grinning, he ran his fingers through her hair and looked around.
Realizing they were in his… no, their room by the look of her stuff interspersed around the place, he smiled wide. Thanking their ship for making them more comfortable, he eased Rose to the side. Kissing her cheek, he had an idea. "Going to go get some breaky, be back in a few." The sudden assault of the flavours of chips and chocolate made him chuckle. "Right. How bout a chocolate shake and some chips?" Seeing her slight nod, he grinned and got out of bed, then tucked her in.
A quick shower and a change of clothes later, he was in the console room. Moving the ship back to the pub location, he stepped out and immediately complained about the brightness of the sunlight. Hearing Rose giggle in the back of his mind, he grinned. "Yeah, yeah. Hush." Flicking his sonic over his glasses to shade them, he put them on and went to go get 'breakfast'. Didn't matter that it was nearly noon.
On his way back, he was sucking on a banana shake and carrying the bag in his right arm, with Rose's shake in his right hand. John was so deliriously happy, that he completely missed being followed. It wasn't obvious until one of his pursuers stepped in front of him.
"Oh, hello! Fine day for a walk, isn't it. A bit brisk, but…" His brain caught up with him then, and he felt the telepathic footprints of these two individuals, male and female. "Time Lords? Really? Oh, just look at you!" His smile threatened to fly off his face. "Oh, this is brilliant! Pleased to meet you, and why-are-you-pointing-a-staser-at-me?" he frowned, finally noticing the gun.
Three Hours Ago…
Sitting in a rather posh office aboard the Gallifreyan station, Romana sighed. The rather recent bother with the Doctor and the Master had her at wits' end. Repairs were going well, though; she just despised owing their lives to a madman. It was the Master's idea for the sleeper ship after all. Still though, it was nice to see the Doctor again, even if it was disastrous. When wasn't it when he was around?
Her third incarnation was a waif of a woman with short cropped dark hair, and blue eyes. She'd spent the entirety of the Time War with this body, and had the horrid scars to prove it. One of them on her arm consistently ached, and she fretted with it while deciding the best way to find out what happened to the universe while they were sleeping.
While it would've been easier to get the CIA to report on things, this was something she had to see for herself. The House of Dvora was well trained in viewing individual timelines, and she had become a master of it at the tender age of ninety eight.
Taking several cleansing breaths, she placed her hands in her lap and leaned her head back. Focusing, she whispered the name of the timeline she wished to view. "Doctor." Flinching at the sudden wave of images, she flipped them backwards like the pages of a book to the point of Gallifrey's destruction.
Slipping through the images, she gasped a total of three times. The first was when his companion looked into the heart of his TARDIS, which caused the destruction of the Dalek Emperor. That was something that she hadn't even considered before, his existence after the Time War. She shuddered at the thought of other things surviving the temporal backlash of the destruction of the Eye of Harmony. The D-mat gun was beyond thorough.
The second gasp came when the Doctor faced the Cult of Skaro, and lost his companion in the process. "Oh Theta," she whispered in sympathy. Seeing him use a supernova to send the girl a farewell message had her wiping her face.
The third one was when the Cult of Skaro turned up in the past. Frowning, she was disgusted at the thought of them evolving. All the same, she thought it admirable that the Doctor was willing to try to help them end their hatred. "So like him," she said with a grin.
Her eyes shot open after seeing the result of the escaped survivor of the Cult. While she had wondered what happened to Davros during the war, that wasn't what had her in an emotional uproar. The sight of the Doctor aborting his regeneration for the love of the human girl was touching, but the result of it had her standing up like a shot, shrieking. "No!"
"A metacrisis?" she said under her breath. "By all the stars, Doctor, what were you thinking!" Completely appalled, she ordered a retrieval unit to Earth.
"You need to come with us, Doctor," the lady in front of him said.
Blinking, John scrunched his eyebrows together. "Ah, yes. About that. Y'see, Marona," well, she felt like Marona at any rate. She must've regenerated a while back. "I'm not…"
"We know, Doctor," the male, Dorsal, interrupted from behind him. "That's why you're coming with us."
Turning around, John looked rather shocked. "On whose authority?" he asked in a high pitch. "You're CIA, aren't you? Who ordered this?"
"President Romanadvoratrelundar," Marona said from behind him. "Now will you come peacefully?"
Turning back around, John stared at her staser. "I hate guns. You know this, and they're completely unnecessary, I assure you. I was planning to head over to see you lot rather soon, as a matter of fact. Just found out about the sleeper ship last night, relatively speaking. Can I at least set this stuff down before you carry me off?"
Receiving a nod from Marona, John stepped to the side and started placating the now very appallingly worried TARDIS. 'Dear, I have to go now. Follow after Rose wakes, if you can. Try not to fret too much. While this is Romana's doing, the guns are a bit much.'
Placing Rose's shake and the large bag down somewhat close to the door of his TARDIS, he fetched his wrapper of bangers out of it and stood back up. He'd considered legging it for the door, but they quite literally had the drop on him. "Is it okay if I eat on the way? Sorry, but this is my breakfast." Mostly, he kept his gob running to keep their attention on him, instead of possibly noticing the ship. That would've been all sorts of problematic.
"Oh move along, Doctor," Dorsal said, waving him on with the staser.
Walking in between them, he had to correct them. Only Rose could call him that, even if it was rather rare. "It's John, by the way. Johnathon Donald Smith, if you want specifics. Or, if you prefer, Mutau Sigma."
"Noted, Mr. Smith," Marona said.
John smiled. A small success, but it was something at least. "Thank you."
Turning a corner, they stopped in front of a TARDIS that was impersonating a rather large rubbish bin. Marona slid the side of it open and stepped inside. Dorsal wagged his staser again. "Move," he said rather gruffly.
Frowning, John looked it over. "Did it have to be a rubbish bin? That's rather horrific. A refrigerator or even a cardboard box would be preferable to that thing." Shrugging at him, he walked inside.
As soon as he was in their console room, Marona had him hold his hands out to have manacles placed on him. "Completely unnecessary, but I understand the caution," John said with a sigh.
They led him to a cell, and he sat down with a sigh. 'Dear boy, while I am a prisoner, could you do me a favour and make the bench a bit more comfortable please? Could do with a table as well, so I can eat properly.'
A deep rumble of acquiescence from the ship caught the retrieval pair completely off guard. They watched as the bench morphed into a better padded one, then a table appeared before him. "Thank you," John said with a grin and set his food on it.
"How did you do that?" Dorsal demanded, completely shocked at such a thing.
Looking through the force field, John shrugged. "I asked nicely? I'm not going anywhere, and I thought it would be smashing if the ride could be at least a little pleasant."
Pulling out a small personal computer, Marona tapped in some notes with a frown on her face. "The President will want to know about this. Let's go, Dorsal."
Left alone, John thought about that with some trepidation and sighed deeply. "Rassilon's Knickers, I really am in trouble," he lamented. Feeling down his bond to Rose, he could tell she was still asleep and sighed again. A sudden tear went down his face, and he wiped at it angrily. "Bollocks! What the bloody hell did I ever do to you Fred?"
The trip was somewhat short, but he'd had enough time to finish eating. John could tell that they were close, because a host of mental impressions started to become known to him. Standing up, he thought to the ship again. 'Sorry, old boy, I hope I didn't get you in trouble or anything. All the same, you might want to return the cell to its original configuration. Oh, and would you mind the rubbish please?' The cell changed, and the remnants of his breakfast faded with the table. 'Thank you so much.'
Having just enough time to take care of himself with the built in loo, John was bouncing on his toes in anticipation of seeing the ship, or station, or whatever it was. The feel of so many minds had him grinning his face off. He thought he could count at least thirty other TARDIS in the area as well. Marona was the one to retrieve him, and her look at him had him shrugging. "Don't mind me, dear, I'm just thrilled to be here," he said with a cheeky grin.
The walk through what he found to be an actual station had him awash in nostalgia. John couldn't stop smiling at seeing so many fellow survivors. Still though, there was a near omnipresent sense of apathy and despair. He could understand that all too well, and his face eventually began mirroring theirs.
When they got to their destination, John was ushered into some sort of office. Looking around, he saw the President immediately and frowned. Marona surprised him when she removed his manacles though. He stiffened when he felt a rather cool and calculating presence come up behind him to relieve the pair. You have got to be kidding me. Narvin? Fuck me blind, but this just got worse, he thought bitterly.
Turning his attention to the President, he simply nodded his head. "Romana." A slight sniff behind him for foregoing protocol had him rolling his eyes.
Standing, Romana looked slightly shocked. "You know me?"
A frown went over his face. "I should bloody well hope so, Fred. Could you tell me please, why you thought it so imperative to remove me from my wife the day after our bonding?" Okay, he was angry and couldn't help but spit those words out. Still though, it had the proper effect: she looked appalled. Turning his head to look over his shoulder, he greeted the other person in the room. "Hello Narvin. How's that rulebook of yours? Keeping your fanny warm, is it?" Well, hello Donna. Pipe down would you?
Looking back to Romana, he found that she had moved to be in front of him. "If you remember me, I'll ask you how much you know and request your intentions with that knowledge," she said in an almost threatening tone, her gaze at him rather penetrating.
Mirroring her look, John frowned again. "Everything he does, up to and including what you look like in a bathing suit." Okay, that might've been a bit much, he thought. Narvin's gasp was a good indication of that, not to mention the raised eyebrow in front of him. "As to what I want? My wife's happiness. My family's good will. Time Lord and Terran safety. Simple peace. Nothing else is particularly worth worrying about, unless it smacks me in the face like this."
Seeing the hint of a smile on Romana's face at his words, he couldn't help but grin. "Good God, I missed you!" he said a bit loudly, and surprised her with a hug. He was so beside himself that he didn't notice her stiffen in his embrace.
"Please do us the favour of unhanding the Presidential Body, Doctor," Narvin growled. "I would hate to have her injured when I kill you. The paperwork involved in such a matter is rather lengthy."
Looking over his shoulder again, John was ticked off. "Oh stuff it Wrong Way. This woman is the closet thing I've got to a sister. I couldn't hurt her any more than I could hurt my wife."
Glowering at him, Narvin grumbled. "You already did, imbecile."
Forcibly shoved back, John looked at Romana with surprise. "What?"
"Don't you ever touch me without permission!" Romana shouted angrily. "Understand?"
John nodded dumbly and was appalled at the amount of fear that seemed to be radiating from her. "So sorry. It's just rather good to see you is all," he said quietly.
Face softening a bit, she looked to Narvin. "Please put that away Coordinator. You are dismissed."
"Madam President!" Narvin protested loudly. "He's not a person! You can not trust him!"
Turning around with wide eyes, John stared at him in shock. "What did you say? Not a person? I daresay that I'm more of a person than you are, with that attitude of yours. Who the hell do you think you are?"
"Out!" Romana ordered, pointing to the door aggressively.
Flinging his arms up, Narvin washed his hands of it. "Fine! If the mongrel bites you, I wont be held responsible!" Leaving the room in a huff, he shouted at one of the guards. However, whatever he intended to say was lost as the door hissed shut.
There was a moment of quiet as they regarded each other, then Romana went to her desk and leaned on it with a heavy sigh. "It would seem that time changes everything, doesn't it Doctor?"
John snickered. "Seems that way, doesn't it? Is it safe to ask what happened yet? Forgive me, but your reaction scared the hell out of me."
Closing her eyes, Romana had to know before she showed him. "What was the last thing you said to me?" she asked quietly.
Blinking at that, reviewing the last conversation the Doctor had with her made him cringe. "He was wrong, you know," he whispered.
"I need to hear it," she whispered back.
Sighing, John adjusted his throat to the voice that actually said the words, then repeated them in a much softer tone than the anger they were actually spoken in. "I've spent the better part of four centuries trying to convince the council to do something about the Daleks. I failed so completely when I was ordered to Skaro that everyone has suffered for it. With the resurrection of Rassilon, we cannot possibly lose this war. I have to go."
Tears spilled over her cheeks at hearing that gentle voice again, and she lowered her head. "You do remember," she whispered.
Returning his voice to normal, John apologized. "I'm so, so sorry it went so wrong. There was no way to tell how unbalanced Rassilon truly was until it was too late."
Shifting slightly, Romana undid the top clasp of her robes and bared her back to him. "This is the Artwork of Rassilon," she said with more than a little irony. The scars and divots on all along her back were ugly. Moving her arms, she slipped them out of their sleeves and held the robes over her chest. That revealed more of what was done to her, and she turned around to see his reaction.
Face awash in horror, John was completely appalled. "By the Guardians of the Universe," he said under his breath. His hand involuntarily reached out to verify what his eyes told him, but he pulled it back when he remembered. "Oh, Fred. I… he…" he stuttered over the pronouns. "We didn't know," he finally said, hanging his head to stare at his feet.
"No one did," she said quietly, moving to cover up properly. "He would do that whenever he needed another resolution passed. Or, when he felt like it. Needless to say, he felt like it quite a bit."
Only after she was clothed again did John raise his head, and he wiped his face. "Have you told him?" he asked, referring to the Doctor.
She just shook her head. "He didn't stay long enough."
Suddenly, a fierce sense of love and fear - not to mention a tonne of anger - wrapped up in a rather large ball hit the centre of his mind. "Ah. The wife is awake," he commented. Noticing Romana's look of confusion, he added. "Do mind the blond tornado when she arrives. I don't think she likes the idea of my being kidnapped the day after we were joined." Grinning, he tacked on, "I'll do my best to save the hand print on your cheek when she gets here."
"How will she…" Romana started to ask, before she looked to her right when a more than familiar sound started to fill the room. "You have a TARDIS!" she said in outright shock.
A/N2: John's answer to his intentions was an edited bit out of Kallisti, by Jessa L'Rynn. I highly recommend reading that wonderful story.