Hey, not a particularly popular story of mine, doesn't make much sense, but it's damn fun to write.

News: For those waiting on Harry Potter and the Soul Sense... I wrote a chapter... but it was horrible. Pure crap. I deleted it. For those waiting for Unburied... Um... That's what I'm updating next, so shush. I'm working on it.

Chapter 2

The soldier is bailing out

He curled his lips on the barrel

And I don't know if the dead can talk

To anyone

The Doctor crouched on the ground, the mysterious boy still cradled in his arms, unconscious. He looked pale and thin, large bags lingering under his eyes, not especially healthy. The Doctor flicked on his sonic and waved it over the still figure, checking the readings habitually. Underweight and exhausted, but nothing necessarily dangerous. He softly shifted the boy so that he lay on the ground and got up to stretch his legs. The TARDIS made an unhappy humming noise around him.

Oh, that's right… the TARDIS doesn't like him… and why was that exactly? He looked down at the still form below him. Something seemed uncomfortably familiar about him, but he just couldn't seem to put a finger on it. One thing was for sure, the teen seemed surprised that he was in fact alive. Very strange. Nothing was adding up at all, and that generally led to complicated problems that took a lot of energy to deal with. He sighed and began to pace.

After about an hour of his thoughts running away with him, the unwanted guest began to stir.

"Wha- uhrnm-" he moaned unintelligently. The Doctor strode over to where the teenager was beginning to sit up and leaned down awkwardly. His wayward hair flipped into his face and tickled his nose. He brushed it aside impatiently.

"Ah! Yes, you're awake," he said uncertainly, wringing his hands behind his back.

"Doctor? How long was I out?" He was recovering remarkably quickly, already standing and starting to move about. He steered clear of the console, likely uncomfortable with the TARDIS's unfavorable reaction to his presence. "Please tell me it wasn't more than a day, it's always such a waste of time to be lying about that long…" he rubbed his head and turned towards the gaping Time Lord. "Doctor?"

"Just an hour." The boy gave a silent sigh of relief and then looked bemusedly at the Doctor.

"Well? I'm assuming you have questions…? Maybe not, but I think you might." The Doctor opened his mouth to say something, but the boy talked over him. "Since I don't know you very well, I'll give you the Crossroads Etiquette, you ask me five questions, and if I don't deem it necessary to answer one, you get two more. Deal?"

"Crossroads Etiquette… isn't that from 56th Century Franzian Culture?" the boy's mouth quirked into a smile.

"Yeah, it is. You're familiar with the culture? It's a nice place, very structured, easy on refugees and fugitives." His smile became a bit grim there. "They don't push if you don't want to tell… it's actually quite refreshing." The Doctor's eyes narrowed as he processed the information. He filed it away for later.

"Alright!" he chirped, almost too brightly. "It's a deal then. Since it's my vessel, I don't feel obligated to return the favor, is that suitable?"

"Yeah, fine, let's just get this over with."

The Doctor thought for a moment, and then decided on social pleasantries. It was only polite, after all, and he didn't want to make too bad of an impression.

"What's your name, for one?"

"My real name isn't Edwin Goshawk, though it is a favorite of mine to throw about. My real name is Robin Noble Tyler, though most just call me Meta." He smiled softly, waiting for the information to catch up with the Doctor.

The Doctor gasped sharply, his hearts beating quickly. Meta looked at him patiently, giving him time to process the information. Noble? As in Donna Noble? Tyler… that couldn't refer to Rose Tyler, could it? He swallowed around a lump in his throat and asked his second question.

"Forgive me for prying," he rambled aimlessly, "but when you say 'Noble', 'Tyler' and 'Meta' I can't help but think of some friends of mine…" he took a deep breath. "Who are your parents?"

The boy sighed deeply, a sad smile playing across his face. It didn't reach his eyes however, and the Doctor noticed an infinite sadness he often noticed in his own reflection in the mirror.

"My parents are Rose Tyler and your Meta-crisis, who goes by John Smith."

A small choking noise made it past the Doctor's lips unbidden, but he didn't notice. He was too busy looking deep into Robin's eyes, scanning his visage. He had his tenth generation's hair and face, if you looked closely, and Rose's eyes and mouth. He was surprised he didn't recognize it before. He supposed it was the fedora hiding his hair and shadowing his face. And maybe the fact that he appeared on the TARDIS even though it's supposedly impossible.

"-look a lot different than my dad, which generation is this for you? I suppose it's the eleventh right? I mean it hasn't been that long since-" Meta was nervously fiddling with his hat, filling in the silence while the Doctor sorted through all of his thoughts. The teen was worrying his lip and talking at the speed of light, a trait he had obviously inherited from his father.

"This is my eleventh generation, actually," the Doctor reentered abruptly, cutting off the boy's endless flow of words.

"Yeah… yes, well, that's was I thought." There was an awkward pause before the Doctor asked his next question.

"How are they? Rose and the… Meta-crisis, I mean." It still felt awkward to call him by anything other than that, the name John Smith drudged up too many hard memories he didn't want to face at the moment.

"They're dead." All traces of nervousness, amusement and even sadness had left Meta's face. It was a blank slate, and honestly, that was the most unnerving thing it could have been. His eyes were swirling, full of emotion that was absent from his face. His shoulders hunched and he curled imperceptibly into himself. The Doctor barely noticed, because inside, he was breaking, screaming. His eyes misted over, everything was blurry, his mouth was dry and hearts pounding. He was angry and sad and confused.

"Dead? Dead- how is that- how long? How long have they been…" he couldn't finish, but the intent was clear.

Meta's face remained blank.

"Seventy five years."

"How did they die." He was calm, too calm, it wasn't right, he wanted to scream and punch and-

"Take two." He wanted to protest, it wasn't fair, he had a right to know what happened… but one look on Meta's face told him not to push it. He had agreed to the rules, so he had to abide by them. In Franzian culture, not respecting the Crossroads Etiquette could get you kicked out of houses, sometimes even banished from the planet. So, the Doctor swallowed the bile threatening to creep up his throat and changed gears.

"How old are you?" his voice shook a little, but not as much as it could have.

"Closing up on a hundred years now, my first century. Sometimes, when I hear when you're almost a thousand years old, I wonder how you make it… I'm already so tired, and I'm only a hundred. It's so hard." That couldn't be right, the boy looked barely fifteen.

"How is that… possible? That should be impossible, not possible. Wrong, wrong, wrong! This is not right!" The Doctor stepped towards the wary boy, waving his sonic manically around him.

"Doctor," the boy said tiredly. "I'm part human, part Time Lord, hell, I'm part Time Vortex for God's sake. That's why the TARDIS doesn't like me, I'm practically brethren, it doesn't feel right to her. She's made to mend and avoid wounds in Time, and here I am, a walking, talking infection! When Rose swallowed the Time Vortex, it changed her. You took all of the energy so she didn't combust, but there would always be a part of it in her. Combined with the Time Lord genes your Meta-crisis passed to me, something new was born! That's how I sent that wrench back to 1911 Earth, I manipulated the Time Vortex."

The Doctor's mouth opened and closed, how could he be so stupid? Why would he ever leave a part Time Lord, part human meta-crisis with the girl who swallowed the Time Vortex? That was just asking for trouble.

"I only have one heart, but it beats faster than a human heart. Great for moving about, not so great for avoiding being poisoned. I regenerate every twenty five years, I don't change form, I just de-age to about 10 years old… over and over and over again. I can die; I can't just regenerate on a whim. But, if I have help, I can be guided into a healing trance. I don't do telepathy, but I do have an intimate relationship with the Time Vortex. She sees me as her son, so she protects me as such. Goditfeelsgoodtogetthatallof fmychest."

This was even worse than Captain Jack. This was never meant to happen. The Time Vortex was not sentient, it didn't have emotions, things don't WORK like that. All that came out of the Doctor's mouth was:


Questions? Comments? Difficulties? Please Review. Btw, meh. No beta. Not here, or on any of my stories. :P

Also: META AND ROBIN ARE THE SAME PERSON just in case you were confused...

Song? The High Road by Broken Bells