Hey! Sorry this took so long. I've actually been sitting on this one a while. I was waiting for my flat mate to edit it for me, but it's been well over a week, so I just decided to post.
I have a few days off this week, so I should get a good amount of writing done. It's half past 1 in the morning and I'm currently sitting with at least 20 documents open. I'm doing them bit by bit at the moment.
Also, Sierra Lyon and I have started a collaboration story. It's a Doctor Who / Avatar: Last Airbender crossover, called 'Toph and the Angels of Stone'… Even though it's equally about everyone. But it was inspired by a picture of Toph fighting off Weeping Angels. I've just finished the prologue for it, so it should be up in a few days. Keep an eye out for it!
Easier to Let Her Go
Darling, I forgive you after all.
Anything is better than to be alone.
And in the end I guess I had to fall.
Always find my place among the ashes.
Jack looked up at the huge mansion that Rose called a house here. From what he could understand, her father had made it big here… where he was still alive. They had decided to send him, since he was someone that Rose actually knew. Martha would have just been uncomfortable, and the past Doctor would have freaked her out.
…Well, kind of. It would have freaked her out until he'd had time to explain that he hadn't regenerated again… just not yet. With Jack, they would just have to get through the reunion till he could tell her they could come back.
Slowly he walked up and rung the doorbell of the enormous house. So he was only mildly surprised when the door was answered by a maid.
"Hello there," he said seductively when she just stood there giving him an expectant look. "Captain Jack Harkness. And you are? …No, sorry. Is Rose home?"
"The dog or the daughter?" she said with a faint Spanish accent.
The maid sighed. "The Tylers have had a dog named Rose for the last seven years. Then last year their daughter, Rose, found them through a private detective. The blood tests came back positive and they apparently gave a daughter up before Mr Tyler's business took off, so… It's just a cover up for the Torchwood work if you ask me."
"I see…" Jack said. "…Is she home?"
"She'll be getting back from Torchwood in a few minutes. Why do need to see her?"
"I'm an old friend with some good news."
"I'll get Mrs Tyler. Just one moment."
Jack waited, bobbing on his feet as the maid went back inside. Thankfully it wasn't too long before she came back with Jackie Tyler bouncing a baby on her hip. Jack had only had the pleasure of meeting the elder Tyler woman once. It was a very good first meeting… until she found out the depth of his morals… Stupid 21st century morals.
Jackie blinked at him in surprise. "You," she said. "I know you! You're one of Rose's…"
"Nice to meet you again, Mrs Tyler," he grinned. "And might I say, you're looking as lovely as ever."
"Oh," she said with a slight air of distaste. "I know which one you are now."
"Well, I can't help it if I'm just that memorable, but-"
"Hang on," she interrupted. "You're from the other universe. What are you-? How did you…?"
"Well, it's a little bit complicated. But long story short, the Doctor is in trouble and Rose is the only one who can help him. We can get her back to the other universe… and... if she wants… after she can come back here…"
"Oh, don't be so daft, you plum!" Jackie laughed. "She spends every waking moment trying to find a way back to that silly alien! If she ends up back here, I'd slap him right back to Gallawheresit!"
Jack grinned. "So she's coming back?"
"As much as I don't want to lose her… Well, I realised soon after coming here that I would do anything to see her as happy as she was when she was with the Doctor. Unfortunately, I realised that a little too late. I… didn't want to come here without her. But when that thingy shut and she got stuck here… Oh, what am I doing? Come in, come in." She hurried him inside, letting the maid close the door, and showed him to one of the expensive looking couches in their lounge.
"Looks like you're doing much better off in this universe. Money, kid…"
"Oh, this is Tony. He's seven months old now. He's going to grow up to be just like his daddy… aren't you," she cooed at her son. "And, well, the money isn't too bad either." She gave him a wink. "It seems that not having to worry about Rose so much gave him more time to focus on his job and make it big. Now he owns both Vitex and this universes Torchwood. But I'm telling you, if I ever get my hands on that ruddy Torchwood lot back on the other side of the Void…"
"No need to there, ma'am," Jack said, trying not to wince. "Torchwood One never rebuilt after the Battle of Canary Warf. Torchwood Two is missing. And after everything else fell through, I took Torchwood Three and reshaped it to help the Doctor and the citizens of Earth."
Jackie gave him the evil eye for a moment, measuring him up. "So you took over the institute that more or less ruined my little girl's life? …I wish I could fault you for that, but that's exactly what my husband did."
"And… and Rose works there now?"
"She's trying to find a way to get back. How did you do it?"
"Little help from the past."
"Is the Doctor here?"
"Short answer, yes. But it's not what Rose will expect, which is why I'm here."
"No, no… it's a past version, well before he met her. He doesn't want to come out in case he scares her into thinking he's regenerated."
"I see. That's probably a good idea. Rose is-"
"Mum!" Rose's voice called from by the door. It slammed shut and they could hear her dashing about in the hallway. "I got to go back. Torchwood just called. There was an interesting spike. They said it was similar to the spikes three years ago. Do you know what that means?"
"The Doctor's here," Jackie said.
"Could be," she said, her grinning face popping by the door for just a second. Just long enough for Jackie to see the brilliant smile that lit up her face, just like it used to every day. Unfortunately it wasn't long enough for Rose to see their visitor.
"No, really, sweetheart. The Doctor's here."
"What…?" Rose said. She slowed down and slowly walked into the lounge.
"Well, not 'here' here. But someone else is."
"Hey, Rosie," Jack said, standing up.
"Jack!" she cried, taking a step back. Then she ran full pelt into the man's arms. "Oh my god! How did you-? What…? I thought you were dead! Oh my god, I missed you!"
"Yeah, I thought you were dead too," he told her, crushing her to him before he set her back on the ground. "Then, this morning I get some very odd visitors looking for you with some hints that 'oh, you didn't really DIE at Canary Warf'."
Rose giggled. "No. No, I didn't. Not the best day… but considering…"
"I know, sweetie, I saw the video footage. You're talking to the current and only Head of Torchwood. We're based in Cardiff, looking after the rift."
"Things got worse because of Blon?"
"You have no idea."
"But how did you get here?!" she said, getting back on topic. "The Doctor said it wasn't possible."
"Yeah, well, it is. I mean, apparently with the help of the Time Lords, you can pop into a different dimension and be home in time for tea. - His words. - And well… I did come with the Doctor… but this Doctor… let's just say he still has help from the Time Lords."
"So… he's from the past? From before the Time War?"
"That's the one. But he doesn't know about it, so don't even mention that he's the last of his kind, or that there will be a war."
"Got it. But how does he even know about me?"
"Well, here's where things get complicated, sweetie," Jack said. He grabbed her by the shoulders and sat her down.
"The Doctor that you know, from our timeline -damn, he looks sexy now, doesn't he - anyway, he's in trouble. He and his new companion, Martha-"
"Lovely woman. I get the impression she's a little jealous of you, though. Apparently he talks about you a lot. - But back to the point, from the sounds of it, he was on this rather dodgy planet, looking for this part that he could use in a device to get here safely. Then he was lured in by a psychic pull and trapped in a psychic opium den… Now, the issue there is, taking him out would be no problem. But the drugs in that place enhance every emotion. If we took him out, he would die from… well, the heartbreak, I guess."
"Wh-what," she said weakly. "I - I don't get it. So, he's stuck there on drugs… and if you save him… you kill him?"
"If Martha, the past Doctor or I do, then, yes. But there's one person who can get him out of there without hurting him, and that's you. Thought it would be a bit of a win, win situation. Get the Doctor out of that horrible place before it drains him of life, and get you back where you belong. On the TARDIS, with the Doctor."
"How come I'm the only one who can save him?" She wouldn't normally question what was happening. She would have expected that she would have jumped into the TARDIS - or however Jack got here - before the man could finish speaking. But what he had said scared her. He was in danger. He had a new companion…
Jack just sighed before he answered. "The drug focuses on pain. The place is run by psychic parasites, so they find what, or who is making the victim so up set, then give them that person back. The drug tricks them into somewhat thinking it's real. It seems that what was upsetting the Doctor the most, was that you were gone. So the only way to stop him dying if we take him out, is if you're there with us."
Rose stared at the ground a moment, letting it sink in. Then she squared her shoulders, looked her friend in the eye and grinned her cheeky smile. Jack smiled in return, seeing that familiar determined look back on her face. "Alright then," she said. "How do we get back?"
"I'm here with a past Doctor. He used this device called a Dimension Filter on the TARDIS. He and Martha are waiting for us just around the corner. We just have to pop right back. We can go back to not long after they left, so he won't have even been in that place for a few hours. And that's it. You can come back here after, if you want… but from what I hear, you won't. And Rose… our Doctor won't have this device, even then it needs some special charger that's only on Gallifrey. If you stay, you won't come back."
Rose nodded and turned to Jackie. "Mum…"
"I know, sweetheart," Jackie said, putting her son down on a baby rug and going to her daughter. She held her in a tight embrace. "Now, you know how I've felt about that Doctor. I've hated him for taking you away from me. And the fact he could never give you a safe, decent home. I've resented him for giving you something I couldn't. But I have loved that man so much. Because he always did what was right. He always made sure that you were safe… and he always made you happy. And that's all I want. I want my little girl to smile like she used to. I lost Pete for twenty years… it's easier to let you go, knowing what that was like. Besides… it's not like I'm going to be around for you forever…"
Rose, who hadn't even realised she had tears trailing down her face, let out a small sob and held on to her mother tighter.
"I love you, Mum."
"And I love you. Oh, Rose. Oh, my gorgeous Rose, I'm going to miss you!"
Jack just stood back a while, letting them have their moment. They had a time machine. He could let the world stand still for these two.
Rose dropped her bag and ran her hand down the dark blue wood. She could tell that this wasn't her TARDIS… not yet. There were very small differences that only someone who knew the TARDIS very well would notice. But it was the TARDIS. And just inside was the Doctor. Not her Doctor… not yet.
She smiled at the thought. She was going home! She was going to see her Doctor again! She was… going to meet his new companion…
Rose picked up her bag again, cast a glace back at Jack, who was holding her other bag, took a deep breath, and took the key from the ribbon around her neck. She slotted it into the key hole. She was a little surprised that it fit, but a wide grin spread across her face when it turned and the door 'snicked' open.
It slowly swung open, and the first thing she saw was white. Everything in this TARDIS was very white, from the small console in the centre, to the walls, and the floor and the roof. The room was smaller, but so empty that it seemed larger. The only thing making it look homey was the hat stand by the door. Despite the look being rather cold, it felt like home.
She was in the TARDIS!
Waiting inside for her, were two more people. One was a pretty, dark skinned girl, not much older than herself. She was leaning against the wall, her arms crossed. She gave Rose a look up and down before forcing a smile on her face. The other person was already grinning ear to ear. He was standing in the middle of the consol room, his hands behind his back. he bounced excitedly on the balls of his feet in a way that was so familiar. And despite the fact that this man was wearing a cream coat and what looked like Edwardian cricket gear, and had blonde hair and blue eyes, she knew exactly who he was.
"Hello, my dear," the Doctor said, walking towards her slightly. "Welcome aboard the TARDIS. I'm th-"
"The Doctor," she grinned walking the rest of the way up to him. "Body number five, from what Jack says. You look different, but I can still tell it's you... Sorry, you don't really recognise me..." She looked to the floor.
"Well, unfortunately, I don't recognise you the way I'd like to... or the way I will in the future. But I've seen you before... Just an image. A video and... well, a copy, really." He paused and looked at her a moment. "You look even more beautiful than you did back then."
Rose laughed. "I've gotten a little older since then... Just a little. But quite a bit has changed about me since I got trapped here... I just hope it's for the better. Anyway," she continued quickly. "Shouldn't we be going? Jack said something about m- about my Doctor being in danger."
"Ah, right you are," the Doctor said, spinning around to the console. Rose smiled as she saw that if one thing had not changed, hit was his dance around the TARDIS. Sure, this Doctor seemed a lot more calm and collected than the two that she had known. And though his movements were swift and precise and not quite as manic, she could easily see how they would someday progress to that.
What really made her grin though, was when she heard the graunching of the engines. She was going home. She could hardly believe it. It seemed so surreal. How could she be going home when he had told her it was impossible.
It was only a few seconds later that the noise of the engines stopped and she looked around perplexed. Both Martha and Jack had to stifle laughter at her reaction.
"What's going on?" she said. "Has something gone wrong? Are we there? We can't be there?"
"No, we're here," the Doctor assured her. "Why does nobody think that?!"
"We're used to a rougher ride," Jack explained.
"Ah… that explains it I guess." He stopped and turned to Rose. "Now, I'm afraid that I have done my part here. When I got the Dimension Filter I was told only to drop you three off."
"Since when did you ever follow orders?" Rose said. The Doctor grinned at her cheeky response.
"I don't usually. Unfortunately, it's to dangerous to know this much of my future. I have to report back and have my memory erased."
"It's fine. I'll get them back eventually. But it was lovely to meet you Rose Tyler. And I look forward to it in the future. You too, Martha, Jack." The two companions nodded at him. "Right, now, I've parked just outside the door. It's only been a second since Martha and I left. Martha can show you where to go. And if she struggles with the door, no doubt Jack will be able to find it."
"So, this is goodbye… for now?" Rose said. The Doctor nodded. He was surprised when suddenly she threw herself into his chest and wrapped her arms around him. "Thank you," she whispered.
"It was a pleasure," he said. Rose let go of him and he turned to the other two. "Thank you so much for your help. Goodbye."
"Thanks, Doc," Jack said, and shook his hand. Martha just smiled and nodded. Then the three of them left the TARDIS, only stopping to watch it fade away.
Rose straightened her back determinedly and held her head high. She had a Time Lord to save.
"Right. Martha, where was this door?"
"Right here," she said pointing to one of the brick arches in the wall. "The Doctor said it was… I don't know, a Chameleon Circuit. Like what's on the TARDIS. He found a handle under one of the bricks."
"I'll get it," Jack said. He felt along the wall, much like the Doctor had, and eventually popped the door open.
The first thing that Rose noticed was a horribly strong, unpleasant scent of cinnamon. Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward…
Only to be stopped by Jack.
"Rose, you don't know what this kind of place is like. It's not nice."
"I'm going in, Jack."
"I know you are, Sweetheart. I just wanted to warn you."
Rose nodded. Taking another deep breath, she walked through the door…
Right into a place she would sooner forget.