See. Told you I wouldn't take as long. This chapter is… kind of happy? Anyway, I hope you like it.
Gains and Losses
"Rose!" The Doctor's shout hung in the air. Everything was still and silent now. Everyone looked up at him, the only person in the room standing… a heart broken expression hidden behind a stony scowl.
"Doctor… What happened?" Sarah Jane asked in confusion, staring in horror at her empty arms. Only a second ago she had been cradling Gallifreya to her chest. Now she, her mother, and her brother were gone. They weren't anywhere. They had just… vanished with a strange shimmer.
"The paradox is broken," he said in a low voice. "We've reverted back, one year and one day." He looked up at the clock. "It's two minutes past 8:00 in the morning." He walked up to the control panel and turned on the comms. to let them hear people calling over the radio, asking what happened. It was obvious that they didn't know anything that had happened to them all. "See?" he said, switching them off again. "We're back just after the President was killed, but just before the spheres arrived. Everything's back to normal, and Planet Earth's restored. None of it ever happened… it never was."
"What about the spheres?" Martha asked
"Trapped at the end of the universe." He slowly walked back towards them, hands in pockets and his face cast down.
"But I remember it," Francine said quietly.
"We're at the eye of the storm. The only ones who'll ever know."
"But… what about Rose?" Sarah Jane asked. "What happened to her?"
"When the year started, Rose wasn't in this universe."
"But you said that-"
"It still took time backwards. It may not have sent you back to where you were, but you're different. You've been reverted back, too. Rose wasn't here when this began… she couldn't be here when it ended."
"So, she's back in the parallel universe again?" He nodded. "Will she remember any of this? What about the twins?"
"I don't know," he said, not looking up.
"But there's Daleks back there!"
"I know!" he shouted. He was trying not to think about it, about any of it. Because now that she was gone, there was no way she was coming back. And he couldn't bare to think about what could happen to her, and all that he'd lost. After the year he'd had, it would drive him mental. If only he'd been smart and had been able to get her to the TARDIS on time, she'd still be here.
The heavy, depressing silence in the room was broken when the Master made a run for it, his shoes slapping across the floor. He was stopped at the elevator by Jack, who was just coming out of it.
"Whoa, big fella! You don't want to miss the party. Cuffs," he demanded of the guard. The man instantly passed them to him, and he cuffed the Time Lord's hands behind his back. "So, what so we do with this one?"
"We kill him!" Clive Jones instantly put in.
"We execute him," Tish said.
"No, that's not the solution," the Doctor told them firmly.
"Oh, I think so." They looked over to see Francine with a gun trained at the Master's chest. "'Cause all those… things, they still happened because of him. I saw them."
"Go on! Do it!" the Master egged her on.
The Doctor had cautiously been walking towards her, and now he stood behind her. "Francine, you're better than him," he told her. Carefully, he lowered her shaking hands, and they dropped the gun. Quickly, he took the sobbing woman into his arms. Seeing the Master over her shoulder, he passed her onto Martha, and moved forward.
"You still haven't answered the question. What happens to me?" he asked.
"You're my responsibility from now on. The only Time Lord left in existence."
"Yeah, but you can't trust him," Jack said.
"No. The only safe place for him is the TARDIS."
"You mean you're just going to… keep me?!"
"Wait, are you sure that's safe?" Jack asked. "I mean I wouldn't trust him around anyone, let alone kids. And you're gonna have two of them running ar…" He faded out, looking around the room. "Where's Rose?"
The Doctor looked at him sadly, he opened his mouth to answer and-
Everyone looked to the middle of the room, where a figure now stood, light fading from around her. She held onto the straps of her bag tightly and looked around in confusion. Her stomach protruded out, covered in a very loose shirt.
"Rose?" Jack said.
After a moment shock, a huge grin spread across the Doctor's face. "Ha ha!" he whooped. He ran over to her and pulled her into a hug. "Rose!" he said joyfully.
"What? I don't understand, how did she come back?" Martha asked.
"The walls must still be sealing themselves. Same events happened back there, and she popped through right at the only point she could. Right here!"
Rose looked up at him, her eyes were slightly glazed and her smile was soft and timid. "I know you," she whispered. The Doctor's face fell. She had reverted back. Right back.
"Yeah. You do. It's me, the Doctor." He remembered that in Mickey's letter it said she wouldn't know who he was.
Rose paused, looking at the ground in concentration. "You're the one Mickey told me to call," she said eventually.
"Yep, that's m-"
Eyes flew about the room in panic. Looking between the Master, blood beginning to stain his white shirt, and Lucy, gun in hand and a dead expression. Jack rushed to the woman and prised the gun from her hand and the Doctor left the frightened Rose's side and caught the Master as he fell, lowering him to the ground.
"There you go. I've got you. I've got you," he said.
"Always the women," the Master Joked, his breath harsh.
"I didn't see her."
"Of course you didn't. You got your little girlfriend back. I'm dying in your arms. Happy now?"
"You're not dying, don't be stupid. It's only a bullet. Just regenerate."
"No," he whispered madly.
"One little bullet. Come on."
"I guess you don't know me so well. I refuse."
"Regenerate," the Doctor cried desperately he couldn't believe this was happening. It couldn't. "Just regenerate. Please! Please! Just regenerate! Come on!"
"And spend the rest of my terribly long life imprisoned with you and your alien of a woman and your two little half-breed rug-brats?"
"You've got to," the Doctor pleaded, tears in his eyes. "Come on, it can't end like this. You and me, all the things we've done. Axons? Remember the Axons? And the Daleks? We're the only two left, there's no one else. Regenerate!"
"How about that?" The Master said with a smug grin. "I win… Will it stop, Doctor? The drumming? Will it stop?" He gasped heavily, his face contorting in pain… then he didn't move or breathe at all, his eyes falling shut.
It all seemed to crash down on the Doctor at once. Even though he had watched the man dying in his arms, he had never fully expected the Master to actually die. The Master, his life long friend. The only other one who remembered Gallifrey and knew all its secrets.
Tears falling down his cheeks, he pulled the Master's body to him and cradled him as he rocked with grief. No one around him said anything. He could tell that they were all too confused by what was going on, or were letting him have a moment. He was so overwhelmed by the sound of nothing but his sobs, that he didn't hear the faint footsteps making their way towards him. He did notice the hand on his shoulder, and looked up into Rose's sad face.
Gently taking the body from his arms and lying it neatly at the floor, she slid her arms through his and held onto him. He held her back, just as fiercely as he had his friend, crying and taking comfort in the woman he never thought he'd see again.
And they stayed like that, for how long, not even he knew.
After some time, people had come and taken away the Master's body. Jack at least had the sense to get it taken to the TARDIS. After he came back from that, he gently picked Rose up, then helped the Doctor to his feet, too. The Doctor was quiet, and Rose was looking about with a slightly vacant look on her face. It disturbed him to no end.
"Um, I'm sorry, what was I doing?" she asked. Both men looked at her in disbelief.
"It's okay, Rose, you weren't doing anything," Sarah Jane said, coming over.
"…Oh. Where am I?"
"You're on the Valliant. It's an air ship. You're back in your own universe." The way the woman was talking, it was as if she were trying to reassure a very slow child. Her voice was almost trembling, as if she were upset, or scared.
"My own… I don't understand."
"What's wrong with her?" Jack said, tears in his voice. "Why's she…"
"I had an accident," Rose explained. "I don't know… My memory's a mess… Hey… I... I think I know you. And you." Jack, the Doctor and Sarah Jane gave her reassuring smiles that were laced with unease. She smiled at the Doctor. "Especially you. I see you all the time, in my head… It hurts. Why do you hurt?"
"Because I was gone. But I'm back now. You're here with me," he told her. "Like you're supposed to be." Mickey's letter had said that her brain showed signs of bruising from the lack of contact. It would be a slow recovery, but it should move quicker with him and their children with her. Their children… The twins!
"Is no one going to mention that she's pregnant again?" Martha chimed in, joining them.
"Yeah, I was just thinking about that actually," the Doctor said. "Well, not about why, but it only just really hit me that they've reverted back so far that she hasn't even given birth!"
"Who… who's pregnant?" Rose stuttered.
Sarah Jane looked up at the Doctor. "I think we should get her to the TARDIS before we go any further."
"Yeah, might be a good idea," Jack said, looking around at the audience they'd gathered. "How about we jump this horrible airship? Martha, grab your family. Everyone else can meet us back on the ground."
"No, no, I have to call someone," Rose said, going for her bag.
"Yup, that was me, the Doctor. Hello." He grinned at her.
"Oh, sorry," she said. "My memory's a mess. I was in an acci-"
"It's okay, Rose," Sarah Jane told her. "We know everything. Just let us help you now, okay?"
"Okay," she said. She didn't really know who these people were, but she recognised them, and she knew that she could trust them… Except for the woman her age, she didn't recall her at all.
She watched as the one she didn't recognise went off and gathered what looked to be her family, then they were all led down through the halls of the ship. They came to a storage room with a large blue box in it.
Her mouth dropped open, and excitedly, she ran towards the door. She knew this box. She could feel a connection to it. A thrumming in her veins, making her feel more alive than she could ever remember being. Part of that empty feeling had gone away, and she knew it had to do with this.
The Doctor chuckled at her, then stepped forward to open the door and let everyone in. Martha went and sat on the captains chair, looking like she needed a good rest. Jack ran excitedly to the console, working on getting rid of any last damage. He'd already broken down as much as he could, and tossed the metal that had broken the TARDIS out. And Sarah Jane stayed close to Rose, who had a look of awe and happiness on her face. She went to one of the corral struts and placed her hand gently on it.
As for the Jones family, they were looking about with an expression he was all too familiar with. They all looked like they were trying to say something.
"Oh my god!" Tish finally managed to exclaim. "It's - it's - it's-"
"Home," Rose said, a content smile on her face. "This is home."
The Doctor grinned at her. "Yes it is. Your home. My home… And anyone else who wants to stay. This is the TARDIS."
"Time and Relative Dimensions In Space," the words automatically came to her. It made the Doctor grin even more.
That grin was so familiar… she'd seen it before… Suddenly she was overwhelmed by a torrent of images. That smile. Oh, she had seen that grin many times. She knew this man better than anyone. Cared for him so much… Loved him. And from the few memories she'd just gotten, he had loved her.
"Were we a couple?" she suddenly asked, her head tilted to the side. The Doctor almost choked on air, and Jack cracked up laughing.
"Yes," Jack replied.
"No!" the Doctor cried over him. "Well, not exactly. We were kind of… And I guess we kind of acted like one, enough people pointed it out. And we… Bloody hell, how do you explain this one?"
"Commitment issues?" Jack supplied.
"We both… loved each other, but sort of agreed to not say it… properly."
"But…" Another memory flashed through her mind. "I said it… Why was I so sad?"
"Because we had to say goodbye," he said, coming over and wrapping an arm around her. It was sad to see the look on her face, and he wasn't too keen on this subject. "You were in the other universe, and I was here. Trapped. I could only send a message to say goodbye… and it cut off before we could finish."
"But you did love me," she stated. The Doctor's mouth opened and closed, but he was saved from taking when she carried on. "I can tell from the way you looked at me." He just smiled at her in relief.
Suddenly, she winced in pain, tensing up. "Are you alright?" he asked in concern.
"Yeah, just a cramp, I think."
"Ah, actually, it's not," Sarah Jane said, coming over. "Martha, how about you get your family settled into some of the guest rooms."
"Er, yeah. Good idea," she said. "Come on, you lot. Rooms are this way. Let's give these guys some privacy, and get us into some normal clothes." And she led them down the main passage and away.
"Right," Sarah Jane said, turning back. "Rose, this is going to be a huge shock, so I want you to do me a favour. Close your eyes and put your hands on your belly?"
"What? Already?" Jack asked as Rose did as she was told.
"I told you. It was only a few hours after she arrived. It shouldn't be more than an hour longer till she-"
"What is that?" Rose said in confusion. "What's on me?" Her eyes snapped open and she looked down. But she didn't see anything, it looked normal. Her hands resting on her flat stomach… although, it did feel like her hands were further out than they were.
"Rose, that wasn't a cramp. It was a contraction. You don't know it, but you're pregnant."
"Pregnant?!" she cried. "I think I would know if I were pregnant! Look, I know my mind is a mess, but I'm not stupid."
"You can't see that you're pregnant, but you are," the Doctor told her. "You kept forgetting you were, and freaking out when you saw your stomach, so your family put a perception filter on you."
"I'll get it," Sarah Jane said, walking over to her. "It's under your shirt, so don't panic… and, try not to panic when I take it off." And with that, she lifted the shirt and pulled off the little black sticker that was stuck to her stomach.
Instantly, Rose's eyes bulged. "Holy shit!" she squeaked. "I'm a bloody balloon! I'm huge!"
"And still hot as anything," Jack winked at her.
"Not helping, Harkness," Sarah Jane said.
"What the hell am I carrying? A bloody planet?!"
"Twins, actually?" the Doctor grinned.
"But… Oh my god! Who's the dad? I don't even know who the father is!"
"Ah, that would be me, actually. Bit of a surprise, to be honest. Kind of lacking the memories, but I know what happened."
"Too much alcohol?" Jack asked.
"Corrupt Sonic Pulse. Increased adrenalin and desire and lowered fear to the extreme that you would black out and recover to find you'd gone though with something you'd always wanted to do. Well, things they wanted in the nearest vicinity, at least. Although, usually it was to such an extreme that some people were doing things that injured them."
"And you banged Rose. Always knew you two had something."
"Shut it, Jack-"
"Hello!" Rose interrupted. "Can we get back to the fact that I am pregnant!"
"Technically, we were talking about you being-"
"Not like that!" She winced again. "Oh my god, am I in labour?!"
"Ah, short answer. Yes."
"You have got to be kidding me!"
Sarah Jane couldn't help but laugh. This was so much better than last time. And at least this time, she was with people who cared for her. Better yet, the Doctor was here. Perhaps this time, it would go as it should have.