A/N - Okay! All the chapters of this story have been edited and re-uploaded. Some sections have been added, so it's worth giving the chapters a re-read! Anyhoo. Sorry I forgot about this fic for so long. Life got in the way, but I'm here to share the love, because I have a lot of plans for this story now! Enjoy reading!
'-Seven-thirty AM and here's a song for those getting ready for – or on their way to work! Enjoy!'
'Hey there Delilah, what's it like in New York City? I'm a thousand miles away but girl tonight you look so pretty, yes you do. Times Square can't shine as bright as you, I swear it's-'
The sound was cut off abruptly as a hand escaped thick, warm duvet covers, and hit the alarm clock at the top, before the occupant of the bed sat up, squinting slightly in the harsh light of the early morning. Mumbling something under her breath, the young woman shoved the covers off of her body, and stood before she stretched, stifling a yawn.
Picking up a marker from her bedside table, the woman, (more commonly known as Rose Tyler) moved over to a calendar and marked off another day. The corner of her lips curved up into a half smile that didn't quite reach her eyes, and her hand reached up to trace the red 'x' that marked the date.
"Another day without you," was all Rose said, swallowing a lump that formed in her throat. Her separation from The Doctor still stung even after being stuck in Pete's world for a year and four months. Her goodbye to The Doctor was at least eight months ago, and she felt empty inside. True to her word, she had gotten a high ranking job at Torchwood due to her experience and Pete's influence, but just defending the world, working the way she did – it was empty. She missed the stars, she missed the running, but mostly, she missed The Doctor; her Doctor.
Shaking her head, Rose dropped the marker and pushed back the thoughts before she moved to her closet, beginning to get ready for the day. It was easy to fake a smile, to joke and laugh, but it never reached her eyes, it was simply for show. She wouldn't really be happy until she found a way to get back to her world, a way back to The Doctor. She was content, to put it nicely. She had a nice flat that she had decorated elaborately to look like the TARDIS, and her room in the TARDIS; it made it feel like home. She could have stayed with Jackie and Pete in their mansion, but she wanted the space – both needed and craved it. Sometimes, she felt so at home that she would at times, talk to the walls of the living area and expect to hear a reassuring hum in return. But she never did.
Her little brother, Tony, was two months old now a little tyke with fuzzy red hair and big brown eyes, and she adored him completely. He was the only one who could get her smile to light up in her eyes, and she knew that The Doctor would have loved him, too. As he grew, Rose would tell him all about the man who had taken his big sister across the stars, and shown her the beauty of the universe. She just wondered if it would still hurt when she told it then, like it did now.
Moving into her kitchen, Rose tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and picked up the first piece of fruit her hand touched, a banana. Turning the fruit over in her hand, Rose let a small breath escape her as a tiny smile crossed her face, a small spark in her eyes.
"Look at what the cat dragged in. The Oncoming Storm!" Rose snapped waspishly, glaring in front of her at The Doctor. Despite her annoyance, she couldn't help but be relieved – she was literally seconds away from being cut up before he made his entrance. He did however; look ridiculous with that tie around his head and th- was he DRUNK? If this were a completely different situation, Rose would have laughed.
"Oh, you sound just like your mother," The Doctor drawled, sitting back with look at her, that same stupid smile on his lips, and it was that smile that caused Rose's annoyance to return. He was off getting drunk when she and Mickey were about to become a part of the ship? Brilliant.
"What have you been doing? Where have you been?!" she demanded, struggling slightly in her bonds. When she got her hands on him…
"Well, among other things, I THINK," The Doctor began thoughtfully, "I may have invented the banana daiquiri a couple of centuries early."
Rose let out a huff of exasperation and let her head fall back against the metal bed as The Doctor continued.
"Do you know they've never even seen a banana before?" he was saying, complete disbelief in his tone as he approached her, and he leaned in, and against her wishes, Rose felt her heartbeat quicken slightly. "Always take a banana to a party, Rose." He said in a matter-of-fact voice. "Bananas are good."
Rose dropped the banana like it had stung her, and before she could lose herself in further memories of The Doctor, she turned, grabbed her TARDIS blue leather jacket and fled her apartment, fighting back the familiar pangs of emptiness and loneliness she always felt after remembering. She had no time to reminisce; she had a job to do.
Slamming the door shut of her car; Rose shut her eyes tightly, and tried to fight the images that lingered behind her eyes, forcing her to remember. Her fingers twitched around the wheel as his face bloomed into her mind, smile wide as he glanced at her.
The image changed, and he was staring forlornly at her, eyes full of longing and regret. She yearned to reach out and take his hand, to intertwine their fingers together… to make it right.
"I suppose, if it's my last chance to say it… Rose Tyler…"
Tears built up behind her eyes, and Rose inwardly cursed, shaking her head and sucking in a deep breath. She wouldn't cry… she wouldn't! She was Rose Tyler and she didn't cry over The Doctor, not anymore. She missed him, and her hand always felt empty, like she was missing something, but she didn't cry.
"Stop it, Rose." She mumbled to herself, finally opening her eyes. They stung, but no tears threatened to fall, and she felt her shoulders release some built up tension. She'd passed her mourning period, and if she didn't pull herself together, it was unlikely she'd be allowed out on any field-work; and that was what she lived for.
"Good morning Captain Tyler," Rose's PA, a young woman named Adeola Jones said as soon as the blonde walked through the double doors of Torchwood Tower. Rose had no desire for a PA, preferred to do things her own way and on her own, but after meeting the girl, she realised who she was. She'd died in the Battle of Canary Wharf in her old universe. After realising that, Rose couldn't turn her away. To be fair, she was good at her job, and Rose liked her a lot.
"Mornin' Adeola." Rose greeted, accepting the coffee the darker woman offered, not slowing down her pace. "What's new? And I told ya, just call me Rose." She managed a small smile, and Adeola returned it, looking down at her clipboard.
"Energy readings on the dimension canon are up to fifty-six percent as of last night, and Mr. Simmonds says it should be ready for testing at around sixty-five percent. He still thinks you should wait until one-hundred percent, however." She informed Rose who managed a brief smirk.
"Since when did Jake start gettin' all careful?" she asked, more to herself, but waved a hand as she sipped at her coffee as a sign for Adeola to continue.
"There's been no sign from the Descrinth since last week, and Mr Smith said he wants to talk to you about some kind of energy signature the computers picked up." Adeola finished up, and Rose furrowed her eyebrows slightly.
"What kinda energy?" she inquired, shrugging off her jacket and dropping it down onto her chair once she had entered her office.
"He said it's almost like…time energy," Adeola explained, the corner of her lips turning downwards in confusion. "Something that shouldn't be there."
Rose froze slightly, her breath catching. It couldn't be – she couldn't even bring herself to hope. She couldn't face the crushing disappointment that would ultimately follow. Instead she simply nodded her head and put down her coffee cup.
"Alright, thanks Adeola," she said quietly. "I'll go talk to Mickey in a minute then – the dimension canon can wait for a bit."
Adeola nodded, recognizing the subtle dismissal and left the room, beginning to talk over the communicator plugged into her ear. Rose watched her go quietly before she gripped onto the corner of her desk, ducking her head slightly. Why was everything reminding her of The Doctor today? She was usually better than this! Sucking in a deep breath, Rose stood and walked out of her office, heading for the computer labs. A few calls of good morning came from her fellow co-workers and team-mates, and that brought out a small smile onto her face.
As much as Rose loathed Torchwood, she had to admit, she felt a lot better knowing that it was under Pete's, and by extension, her, control. It meant that she could at least try to do things the way The Doctor would have done, instead of being all 'trigger happy'. They still made guns, much to Rose's obvious displeasure, but Jake had pointed out that if it came down to it, it was better that they were prepared, just in case threats like the Cybermen ever returned. It irritated her, but she had to admit that being prepared was better than being completely defenceless. She had made it very clear that the weapons Torchwood were developing were strictly to be used as a last defence, because she wasn't going to let this Torchwood turn into Yvonne Hartman's torchwood. She knew first-hand just how easy it was for a human to fire at something they didn't recognize, and she wanted to avoid unnecessary deaths as much as possible. Rose managed a humourless smile as she pushed open the doors. She really sounded like The Doctor, sometimes.
"Rose!" Mickey declared, spinning around to look at her. Rose nodded in greeting, offering him a small grin before walking over and leaning on the back of his chair, looking at the computer readings.
"Time energy?" She inquired, trying to keep her tone casual, wrinkling her nose at all the complicated data on the screen. She couldn't make heads or tails of it.
Mickey seemed to be able to read her thoughts, because he shook his head, sounding apologetic when he spoke.
"Nothin' like the artron energy the TARDIS leaves behind." He explained warily, and despite Rose's self-assurance that she wouldn't allow herself to hope, it felt like a blow to the gut. Pushing past it, she simply stared firmly at the screen and waited for him to carry on. "It's more like, a shift – like it shouldn't be there. The sensors picked up on it and they're goin' NUTS."
"It's that strong?" Rose asked, surprise leaking through the pain. She wasn't a computer expert, but she knew the scanners were the best technology Earth could offer.
"Yep, and that means whatever caused it is really powerful," Mickey nodded, quickly typing at the keyboard and bringing up a series of diagrams and charts.
"And possibly dangerous," Rose agreed, leaning over him to key in a simple code which transmitted the co-ordinates to her state of the art Torchwood wristwatch.
"Rose, you can't – you don't know how dangerous this thing is!" Mickey argued, despite knowing it was no use trying to talk her out of it.
"Relax, Mick." Rose said dismissively, pressing a button on her watch and picking up a scanner. "Worst comes to worst, I'll have to do a lot of runnin', and to be honest, I don't think I'd mind." she looked up, and Mickey saw a familiar spark in her eyes. It was like a part of her had died after saying goodbye to The Doctor, there'd been no life in her eyes. Seeing it there now rendered him speechless for a moment. Instead of speaking again, he just nodded his head at her, and despite the worry that washed over him, he couldn't help but feel proud of her. Rose was coping – and now, maybe she could finally start living again.
"Alright, just keep in touch with the communicator," Mickey ordered, throwing her an earpiece. Rose wrinkled her nose, slipping the hanger comfortably over her ear. It was more like a hands free device rather than the devices Lumick had come up with when he built up the Cyber Men, but Rose still didn't have to like it much. "And I'm gonna have your team on alert, just in case they're needed, so keep the line open."
"Kay," was all Rose said to that, switching it on. "Anythin' else I need to know?"
"Whatever caused the energy will lead a sort of trail out after it if it moves," Mickey explained. "Kinda like uh...a snail leaving a trail of slime after it, but after a while, it'll weaken and fade away, so you might be led to a dead end, but all we really need is a stronger reading of the energy – might be easier to find out what it is then. If you get a visual, sweet, it's Christmas, but if not – don't sweat it."
Rose nodded, slipping the scanner into the holster she had fastened around her pant leg before she looked up at him with a smile.
"Well then, I better hurry," she said lightly, and turned. "I'll see ya later, Mickey." She called out as she left, and Mickey heaved a slight sigh.
"Be careful," he said into the microphone that connected him to Rose through the earpiece, and he could almost see her roll her eyes.
"Always am," was the reply.
Field-work was Rose's favourite part of working for Torchwood. She couldn't stand paperwork, hated the meetings and complained herself the technical, but field-work? She relished in it. There was usually always some kind of alien contact to interact with, and most of the time, Rose was able to establish some peaceful contact.
It meant that there hadn't been any kind of invasion since she had joined the team, and that caused Pete to name her Torchwood's official negotiator. It was a relief, at least, to know that she was still doing some good on the Earth, even without The Doctor by her side.
"Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth," She mumbled under her breath with a slightly sardonic smile, and reached under her shirt to grip at the TARDIS key that hung from a ribbon around her neck. She passed by her team and offered them a smile, pressing two fingers to her head before flicking them outward in a salute. They offered grins in return as they began to suit up to follow her out, though Rose doubted she'd really need assistance. Usually, her team only followed her out on official missions, but it was nice to have the added security.
Her thoughts soon drifted back to this Time Energy that Mickey had mentioned, and she frowned, shaking her head in confusion. Time Travellers of some kind? But if they'd been through the time vortex, then they had to have some kind of artron energy signature; so it didn't make sense. Exhaling, the blonde made her way towards the elevator, and glanced down at her watch, eyes scanning over the jumble of numbers that she couldn't understand.
"Once more into the breach," She muttered, before she grimaced, wrinkling her nose at her own choice of words. "Pull it together, Tyler."