Hi Everyone! Yup another one!
I just have all these ideas float about. Or if I see something somewhere it will trigger another idea. This one came to me not long ago… I was actually in the shower (very good thinking spot, strangely) but I was thinking of the beach. And the idea was triggered by someone's fic where Rose dimension jumped into Gallifrey, but just when she was about to talk to the Doctor, she got pulled back. But I love connecting her to the TARDIS, so she can do it on her own.
Through Wet Sand
Rose knew she was different. She had known for a while now. She felt different… bigger, deeper, and stronger. She had ever since Satellite 5… She didn't know why she had never mentioned it to the Doctor. She didn't know why she had never told him that she felt different, or that she could constantly hear singing and whispers in the TARDIS, or that she could feel something else there in her mind with her.
She had always been close to the TARDIS. The Doctor had always been happy that she accepted her as a living being (more so than any other companion, he had told her). But she had become even closer to her after she had looked into her heart. She could feel what the TARDIS felt; she could even hear her whisper sometimes. Not actual words, just a voice in her head. It was as if she had somehow become part of the TARDIS… or even something more.
She knew that things had changed for her. Though her DNA was mostly still the same, she was more than human. She had thought that maybe she would be able to talk to the TARDIS or gain telepathic abilities. She even suspected that she would have a longer lifespan. That had been why she had promised the Doctor forever. There were many things she had suspected.
But she had never expected this.
It had been a long, horrible day. As per usual, she had tried to get through without that empty feeling inside her. She could remember feeling that presence - maybe there were two - sitting comfortably in the back of her mind. Always there, familiar and nice. But now it was gone, and it was horrible and lonely. It made her shudder to think what the Doctor had felt when he had lost everyone. And that just made her feel even worse, because it truly meant that he was gone.
She had just packed up from a very disappointing day at Torchwood - they had thought they had a breakthrough with the Dimension Cannon, but it ended up setting them back - and was walking to her car. That was when it happened.
Her feet started to feel slow and heavy, as if she were dragging them through wet sand. She became dizzy and lightheaded. Around her the world blurred and she got the strangest feeling of being dragged along, like a rollercoaster, her stomach left behind - and yet, she was still, mid-step. There was a pop in her ears and the world faded from around her. It felt like she was drowning, or suffocating. With the darkness was a lack of air. And just when she though she could stand it no longer, there was another pop and the world faded into view around her again.
Finally, she bought her foot down. It surprised her a little that she wasn't lying on the ground. She had more or less blacked out within the space of a single step.
It wasn't until the dizzy disorientating feeling had passed that she noticed that something was different… Well, when she said something, she meant everything! She wasn't anywhere near her car. She wasn't anywhere near Canary Warf, or London, or the parallel world, or even Earth for that matter. Well, who knew if she really was on the parallel world?
No! No, this was a dream. She had for some reason fallen unconscious and she was dreaming. There was no way that in the space of a single step that she had been taken to a different planet.
She looked around to see if there was anything or anyone near her, but all she could see was a deep purple forest. The place looked familiar… She could swear she had been here before with the Doctor.
Slowly she walked around, taking it all in. She stopped when she reached the edge of the trees and looked up at the swaying dark purple leaves. Nearby she saw a large tree with tan bark and indigo leaves. She grinned in delight as she walked over to it. But that smile fell when she saw what was there.
The Doctor watched, enraptured by the look of the delight on Rose's face. She gazed in wonder at the forest of purple. He loved taking her to new places. She would just light up and look at him in pure enchantment. It was hard to take his eyes off her, and sometimes she would catch him.
But if he wanted to keep at least a semblance of denial, he HAD to revert his attention elsewhere. Now. Forcefully, he dragged his eyes away from the beautiful woman he was too afraid to admit even to himself that he had developed feeling so deep it scared him sometimes. It had been a long time since he had ever felt anything like this. And never this strong.
Needing that distraction he looked around at the scenery. Taking in many small facts. He saw that it had been raining less than a few minutes ago. And not far from them was a tree with indigo leaves and a tan trunk. An ecstatic grin grew over his face.
He couldn't help it. He was addicted to that beautiful expression on her face and found himself dragging her over to the tree to show her a new wonder.
"Oh, you have to look at this, Rose," he cried happily before starting his hundred mile an hour babble. "It's a Balladon tree. Absolutely brilliant. There are no other planets out there that have a tree like this. It only rains once a year for a whole month. The ground soaks up the water and the trees have pockets below the roots to store water reserves. But this tree… it needs a lot more water. So it's adapted itself to soak water directly through the trunk too. This makes the bark impressionable when it's wet. And after that, unless someone physically comes and changes it, an indent will stay there until the tree dies."
"So… you can dent the tree?" she summed up.
"Yep. Look." He reached up one hand and pressed it into the tan trunk. It sunk softly into the bark, moulding around his fingers. "Come on, your turn," he grinned.
Smiling her tongue in cheek grin, Rose reached up, placed her hand against the soft spongy bark - her hand so close to his that their fingers were almost entwined - and pushed. Her hand sunk in and she giggled at the sensation. It reminded her of kneading bread dough.
On the Doctor's signal they pulled back their hands. Her hand was surprisingly clean, but that wasn't what had caught her attention. There, on the tree before them, was the perfect impression of their hands. Just the sight of it made her grin.
It was incredible.
Rose reached up and traced the contours of his handprint before placing her hand inside its own spot. Unlike when they had made it, the wood was solid and dry. Their handprints were solid as rock. They would be there forever… the forever that she no longer had with him.
A tear leaked from her eye and she turned and ran. She wanted to get out of here. There was no way that this could be happening. And it hurt.
Maybe she was hallucinating. Or she had fallen unconscious or tripped and knocked herself out and now she was dreaming. It didn't matter; she wanted to run from the pain. She just wanted to run and run and run and not look back. But that in itself sounded painfully familiar.
She had barely gotten a hundred meters away when, once again, she felt like she was wading through wet sand. She heard the popping noises, and within the space of one footstep she found herself at the door of the Tyler Mansion.
"Mum!" she cried as she swung open the door and ran inside. "Mum!"
"Oh, Rose. What's all this yelling?" she heard her mother from the living room. But her voice sounded… strange. Slowly she followed her mother's voice. "I swear, if you're here to go on about River and that Song boy, I want none of it." Rose froze in shock when she rounded the corner. She was met by the sight of her mother, back turned, with… silver hair… "I know that the two of you worry about her, but we've been over this before. It's already happened, trying to convince her not to marry him won't change her future. Besides, you said it yourself; it would cause a paradox… Rose are you okay?" she asked when she turned to see her ashen faced daughter.
At the sight of her mother, Rose sunk to the ground. Jackie looked to be about 70 years old!
"Sweetheart, what's wrong?" she asked, bending down to help her up. "Oh god, what's happened? Is it the kids? River? Jack? Aria? Oh, it's him isn't it? Didn't he…" Jackie faded out. Looking for the answer in Rose's eyes, she saw something she didn't expect to see. "Oh… oh, it's that time isn't it? You've just started jumping."
"What the hell is going on?" she asked in a shaky, desperate voice. "What's happening to me?"
"I can't tell you, Love," Jackie said sadly, sitting them down on the couch. "I do know what's happening, but you said I can't tell you. You have to find it out for yourself or it will create a paradox. I don't know, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, or something or other."
"Wh-what?" she was startled at her mother's use of those familiar words.
"Your words, not mine," Jackie laughed. "But there are some things you said to tell you… Older you said to tell younger you… you, the young you… Oh, this is bloody confusing! I don't know how you lot cope. Anyway," she said with a serious expression. "First thing, most importantly: you are not dreaming. This is real. See."
Then Jackie hit her fist hard into Rose's shoulder. Rose yelped in pain. Obviously Jackie had lost none of her strength in her old age.
"Ow, okay. It's not a dream," she wined, furiously rubbing her arm.
"Good," Jackie grinned. "Now, I know you're really confused, but it really is happening. I can't tell you all the technical mumble-jumble, but the point is that you can step into different planets, times and universes."
"What? Universes, how?"
"Err… all I can tell you is that you have a biological link in each. It's only between these ones, this one and our original one. You're not going to have much control over it. Especially as to when it happens. It will happen whenever, until you get help. But you can, sort of, end up where you want. You just gotta think really hard on where you want to go when you jump."
"So… what, like, I feel it happen, think of home and I'll be there?"
"Roughly, yeah," Jackie said almost sheepishly. "It's not exactly precise. You have to think really hard, because a word might mean something completely different to what you think. Like maybe you think 'home' wanting to go back to your flat, but you end up at the Powell Estates."
"This is nuts!" Rose muttered.
"You're telling me," Jackie mumbled.
"So you're saying that anytime I walk I could just randomly disappear?" she said in disbelief.
"For now, yeah. Look, Love, there's only one person who can help you. You have to find the Doctor."
Rose looked up at her, a little bit of hope creeping into her eyes. If her mother was talking about her past, then surely that means she would see him again. The moment was broken when they heard the door clunk as someone came inside.
"Hey Mum!" a deep voice called.
"That's Tony," Jackie smiled. "Funny isn't it? The last time you would have seen him, he would have been two weeks old. Oh! You should probably go. I'm afraid he talks as much as I do and he's bound to blab about your future."
"But how am I supposed to go back?" she asked as Jackie pushed her up.
"Just take a walk around the garden; I'm sure it'll pop up on you. Katie!" she called out to one of the maids who then came running in. "Can you take Rose out to the garden and tell me when she goes."
Katie nodded politely and led Rose out of the room just as a man walked in.
"Was that Rose?" she heard behind her. But that was all she was heard as Katie dragged her by the arm. She had enough time to look at the photos on the wall. She thought she saw a picture of her and the Doctor, but she was dragged by too fast. She did catch a picture of Jackie sitting with three children. She stopped in her tracks and Katie jerked to a stop beside her.
The oldest girl looked to be around eighteen, with frizzy blonde hair and dark green eyes. The next, a boy of fifteen with black hair and striking blue eyes. The last was a little girl of ten, golden brown hair past her hips and eyes as blue as the Caribbean Sea.
"Erm, Katie? Who are they?" she asked.
"Your… children… Mrs Tyler," Katie said somewhat in confusion. At Rose's incredulous look she realised the mistake she'd made. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, Ma'am!" she cried. "We haven't had a visit from your younger self in a very long time. I should take you out to the garden now."
"Okay, I'm coming," she smiled. "No chance I could talk you into telling me who the father will be?"
"No, sorry Ma'am," Katie smiled back. "You know how these things work."
"Eh, it was worth a try. So, how long have you been working here then? Long enough that you know about the aliens… and, well… me."
"A little over ten years," she replied. "Mind, what with all the extra-terrestrial events over the last thirty years, this is only a little more unusual." Rose couldn't help but laugh at this. It was quite true. With alien attacks left right and centre, working for the head of Torchwood who has a disappearing daughter from a parallel universe would only be the cheery on top.
Rose had walked around through the garden for a good hour. She was utterly and thoroughly bored by the time she felt anything. This time when the dizziness came, she was ready. She concentrated as hard as she could on that one word. Home.
She didn't open her eyes, not even when she knew she was there. She could felt it. But she was almost too afraid to look. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open when she heard the sound. There before her, the engines of the TARDIS grouched as it faded from sight.
"Doctor!" she cried. But it was too late, he was gone. She was, however, met by the bewildered stare of a redhead in a wedding dress.
"Oh, please don't say you ain't another bloody Martian!" she cried in frustration.
"What?" Rose said dejectedly. "No, I'm just human."
"Oh, yeah, sure," the bride snapped. "Because humans can just appear out of nowhere… Actually, forget that. I've done enough of that a few times today. It's what got me into this mess. One minute I'm walking down the aisle, next I'm standing in a crazy Martian's spaceship!"
"I know the feeling," she smiled softly. "How is he? Is he okay?"
"No," the woman said curtly. Rose's face fell. "He's a bloody maniac! He just lost someone and he's covering up the obvious heartbreak by acting like a nutter. Killed the last of a species today and very nearly killed himself! He asked me to go with him, but I just couldn't."
"He's alone!" Rose cried in horror. The bride nodded. "No! He should never be alone. He needs someone to hold his and keep him together. You should have gone with him!"
The bride hung her head. "He's grieving," she said sadly, her tone softening. "I think he just needs to be alone a little while. Besides, I'm just a temp from Chiswick, what could I do to help him?"
"Everything! I was just a shop girl from London when I met him. He'd just lost all his people, his entire planet."
"Yeah, well, I think loosing Rose pushed him over the edge. I have never seen so much pain in someone's eyes. There was nothing I could do to help."
Rose felt like she had been punched in the gut. He had only just lost her… and he was distraught…
"You should have gone with him," was all she managed to say in the end. Sadly, she turned and starts to walk away.
"Wait!" the bride called to her, her voice so much softer now. "Who are you?"
"I'm just a friend of the Doctors," she told the woman without turning back. So she never saw the look of almost realisation and shock flash across the redhead's face. Holding back tears, she carried on. She wanted nothing more than to be in her mother's arms right now. A few seconds later, her wish was granted.
She was standing in the Tyler Mansion again. But before her stood a 41 year old Jackie holding a small baby. "Any word?" Jackie asked Amy, a servant that Rose thankfully knew. She passed the baby over and wiped at her eyes.
"No, Ma'am," Amy said regretfully, taking the baby Tony. "I'm sorry." Neither of them had noticed her yet.
"Mum…" Rose said, her voice breaking.
"Rose!" Jackie cried. In the next second she was attacking Rose, enveloping her in a huge hug. "Where have you been? You've been missing for two weeks!" Rose couldn't stop the sob that escaped her, now she was finally safe in her mother's arms.
She finally let the tears fall.