Defender of the Earth
Chapter One: Horath Academy: Changes with Time
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or any of the spinoff material and I gain no income off of this story, just the satisfaction of playing with the characters. Of course I give them happy ending so they'd probably be happier with me in the long run.
AN: Welcome to the second story in the Guardians of the Universe series. If you haven't read The Blonde Girl then I strongly urge you to go and read it first. Thank you to Natsumi Tsuchi-Ookami for doing major edits and corrections for this story.
Rose Marion Tyler was sixteen years old and very relaxed as she painted on the roof of Powell Estates. She now had a full size folding easel that she would take up to the roof so she could enjoy painting in the sunlight and without fumes building up in her bedroom or Jackie poking her head in. Between the Doctor's encouragement all those years ago, being saved by her own painting at the International Gallery and Jackie's constant praise, Rose had kept painting as her major hobby. At the moment, she was just creating an outline on a new canvas of what she wanted to create. This time it was a simple landscape with a chain of mountains on the left side that opened into a plain on the right. Of course, she knew that as the process went on she'd change many of the details, but it gave her a place to start.
It had been a year since Eve left planet Earth in her restored spaceship with her father and Rose had received Eve's letter by a special delivery. Rose had assumed that the letter would be the only one of its kind, but the day she had gotten her results from her Year 10 exams another letter had arrived once again promising great results for her final GCSE exams the next year. As much as Rose had faith in Eve's abilities to see the timelines, given that her friend had apparently written a large stack of letters and arranged for them to all be delivered on particular days, she still made a point of working hard to ensure those good marks rather than making assumptions. Year 11 of school had been intense with more of their ever advancing courses for the GCSE exams. Rose, Sharon and Shareen had finished that stage in school only a month ago and were enjoying the calm period before results came. Then they would start their studies for A-Levels in hopes of scoring well enough to get into a good university.
Rose pushed thoughts of school out of her head and returned her focus to the new drawing before her. She didn't need to be worrying about that just yet. The last month had been rough enough and Rose really wasn't sure if she'd be calm enough to achieve those results that Eve promised. Sometimes it still seemed like too much to hope for or expect. Setting aside the charcoal piece, Rose turned to her box of supplies and pulled out a few tubes of paint to start mixing a base colour.
If you asked Rose herself, she probably would have shrugged off the idea that she had grown into a very special young woman. At the age of sixteen, she possessed a trim figure from her continued kickboxing lessons, although at the beginning of summer she had signed up for the new Kung Fu lessons being offered at the nearby sports centre. She hadn't progressed very far, but her teacher was a big believer in calm and control which frustrated many students, but Rose enjoyed the challenge of mixing the mental and physical in a new way. She had a love of challenging and new experiences. The only downside to the new lessons was that Shareen had started humming 'Kung Fu Fighting' whenever Rose entered into a room.
Rose's appearance had changed very little from age of fifteen except in a few small ways. She had grown another half inch but was starting to accept that she was probably never going to be taller than average. Which she was definitely a bit disappointed about. Her hair was longer, reaching past her shoulders now with a very soft curl to it that pleased Rose, but it had an odd colour mixture to it that was added to by the time she spent out in the sun in the summer. Rose's habit of painting and studying on the sunny roof had made most of her hair blonde without the use of product, but there remained a few strands of stubborn brown hair and Rose had developed slightly red highlights that Jackie determined she must have gotten from her ginger father. Jackie loved to remark on the fact Rose managed to be a brunette, blonde and ginger all at once even if most people just would have insisted that she was blonde.
In another break from her mother's beauty habits, Rose rarely wore makeup beyond a touch of concealer, hint of eye shadow and a dab of lip gloss unless it was a special occasion. Even then she tried to keep it natural and light finding a serious makeup routine too annoying to deal with around her busy schedule. Shareen, who loved makeup, liked to remark that paint smears were Rose's form of makeup and Rose would laugh and reply that her makeup really said something about her. Honestly, Rose just didn't have the patience for it and preferred spending the money on other things. There were always new books at the nearby second-hand store or she needed new paints or there was something needing fixing in the flat.
In reality, Rose wouldn't agree that she had changed much in the last year. She still worked a few hours at the little computer repair shop down the road and was trusted enough to help build custom computers now rather than just fixing little problems and cleaning. Rose still split the money between a saving account, art supplies, book shopping and her kickboxing lessons. She still didn't understand the boys in the area who kept asking her out despite clearly being a bit afraid of her. Only a couple of years before they'd been teasing her about reading all the time.
Still, her Mum was pretty insistent that Rose socialises with them on occasion. Jackie had set her up on dates with the children of her own friends a couple of time and Rose had agreed to go out with the area boys a few times, but it never went well and usually ended with Rose pushing away an overly forward boy's hand. Rose was a bit embarrassed that she still hadn't had a first kiss yet at the age of sixteen when Sharon's had been at age thirteen, Shareen's at age fourteen and her mother's at age fifteen. But they were all just so… boring!
And contrary to what other people thought, Rose was aware that Mickey Smith watched her a lot and took every chance he had to talk with her. Rose didn't mind him as much. Mickey was sweet and didn't push his luck. To her, there was just always something more interesting to do. Like painting on the roof on a lovely day like this.
As the day rolled on, Rose painted a base coat on the new work. She put a dark blue layer down for the mountains and a simple lighter green for the hillside. There was a shape of grey for the building in the corner and a blue for the water. Rose even had enough time to start filling in the vague shapes before she packed up her things. She grabbed the simple box she used for her supplies and carefully collapsed her easel before heading down the stairs. Jackie glanced up at Rose as she walked into their flat with a smile. Mrs Williams who was sitting in a chair in front of Jackie with foil in her hair waved at Rose. She nodded in a friendly manner as she brought her things inside and greeted her mother with a smile before walking to her room to escape the smell of Jackie's hair supplies.
Rose quickly put her things back into place and put the still wet painting on the small desktop easel to finish drying. Stretching, Rose flopped down on her bed and stared up at her painted star and planet ceiling. The small bedroom had evolved right along with Rose over the last few years. Many of the wall paintings had been painted over with fresh ideas in the last year as Rose's skill improved. The ceiling's images of planets and stars had been refined with some metallic paint forming comet tails and an image of a nebula. Her short bookshelf had been replaced with one that went to the ceiling and was now filled with books on any subject that caught Rose's fancy. Used textbooks that Rose bought in the used bookshops were crammed alongside art history, mathematics, literature classics and technology books in no particular order, no matter how many times Rose promised herself that she'd organise them. This wasn't to say that Rose lacked normal teenager qualities. Her desk doubled as her vanity with a drawer full of subtle makeup tones that Rose preferred to her mother's exaggerated style. Pictures of her friends and classmates lined the edge of her full-length mirror and her latest stack of clean laundry was sitting in Rose's small chair by the window where she liked to read still waiting to be put away. A stack of CDs was perched precariously next to the stereo and a stray tube of lip gloss had rolled into the middle of the floor by the door.
Lounging on the bed, Rose sighed and let her eyes fall shut as she tried to block out the noise from the rest of the estate. There were crying babies, the sounds of the telly, music and sadly one argument. It was the familiar if sometimes annoying musical of her home. Her breathing evened out as she relaxed over the next few minutes. A knock on her door made her groan slightly and sit up as Jackie poked her head in.
"What do you want for dinner sweetheart?"
"How about I cook tonight," Rose suggested. She rolled her shoulders and gave her mum a smile. "Those cookbooks I studied have given me a lot of ideas."
"You cook all the time now," Jackie reminded her. She looked a bit put out. "I don't mind Rose."
"Mum," Rose paused, "I love you."
"But you hate my cooking," Jackie finished.
"Most of it," Rose admitted with a sheepish smile and a shrug. "But you made the best tea in the whole of London. And you make great Shepard's pie, but we had that only two nights ago."
Shaking her head, Jackie sighed. "I suppose I'll take what I can get."
"Then why are complaining about your kid doing most of the cooking?" Rose asked with a smirk. "Isn't that one of the things about me that you brag about?"
"True, very true." Jackie made a humming sound as if lost in thought. Then she grinned. "Alright then, Rose you can cook dinner."
Rose grinned widely at her mother as Jackie retreated from the room and closed the door. She leaned back on her bed again and pulled out her diary. Tapping her pen against the cover, Rose bit her lip slightly. She had an odd feeling that she wasn't managing to track back to anything particular. Work that morning had been calm, she had eaten lunch with Sharon and Shareen and spent her later afternoon painting, but all day something seemed just the slightest bit off. Flipping open her diary Rose began to record her fairly calm day, but even as she was writing she was certain that something was coming.