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 sequel to The Blonde Girl and the second story in the Guardians of the Universe. This is a short chapter just to lay the groundwork, the rest of the chapters will be longer.
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 space ship 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 time lines, 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 Shireen 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 go into a good university. Rose pushed thoughts of school out of her head and returned her focus to the new drawing before her. 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 color.
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 kick boxing lessons, although at the beginning of summer she had signed up for the new Kung Fu lessons being offered at the nearby sports center. 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 Shireen 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. Her hair was longer, reaching past her shoulders now with a very soft curl to it that pleased Rose, but it had an odd color 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 on concealer, hint of eye shadow and a dab of lip gloss unless it was a special occasion and even then she tried to keep it natural and light finding a serious makeup routine too annoying to deal with around her busy schedule. Shireen, 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.
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 by her. She 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, Shireen's at age fourteen and her mother's at age fifteen.
As the day rolled on, Rose painted a base coat on the new work and started 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 organize 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 were 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. 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. "Those cookbooks I studied have given me a lot of ideas."
"You cook all the time now," Jackie reminded her. "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."
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. 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 Shireen 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.