A/N: A little one-shot told mainly from Tony Tyler's point of view about the Doctor and Rose. :) Read and Review.
Tony Tyler had always known his big sister Rose to be sad. Ever since he could remember, she had been distracted and lonely, often just sitting in the garden by herself. The four year old didn't quite understand it, other than his Mummy explaining that Rose had lost someone before he was born, someone she loved very, very dearly. Tony had noticed, however, that whenever Rose talked about her Doctor (Uncle Mickey had explained that Rose's feelings for her Doctor were just like Mummy's feelings for Daddy) she looked really, really happy, and she smiled. Tony liked it when Rose smiled. Daddy said he and Rose had the same smile, and ever since the day his Daddy had told him that, Tony had been determined to make Rose smile more. And so, Tony did anything he could think of; he begged his big sister to read him bedtime stories, to play with him, to do finger painting with him, just to make her smile. And then, one day just after his third birthday, Tony heard his Mummy telling Daddy and Uncle Mickey that she thought Rose needed to talk about her Doctor, that it would make her feel better. Uncle Mickey had said that he'd tried, that's why he'd invited Rose to his apartment so they could talk, but it hadn't worked. And then, to Tony's dismay, his Mummy began crying and saying she didn't know what to do. Tony, hating to see his family upset (he liked his family when they were happy, they were lovely when they smiled, but that wasn't very often), carefully made his way up the stairs and along the rather long corridor to his sister's rooms. Standing on his tip-toes, Tony stretched to his full two and a half feet and managed to open Rose's bedroom door. As the door swung open, Tony saw Rose staring at him in shock, before she forced a smile.
"Hello, Tony, what are you up to?" Rose asked.
Tony hurried into the room and clambered onto the bed beside his sister. Rose helped her little brother scramble up her duvet and sit beside her on the bed.
"Nothing," Tony replied, smiling up at his sister.
"What are you doing up here then?" Rose asked in amusement.
And that was when Tony did the one thing the three adults downstairs were too scared to do. He asked about the Doctor. Rose blinked.
"I'm sorry?" Rose asked.
"I wanna hear about you and the Docta!" Tony repeated, grinning toothily.
Taking a deep breath, Rose looked at her brother carefully for a minute or so. And then, she reached under her bed and pulled out a small box. Opening it, she pulled out a few items, including some crumpled photos of Rose and the Doctor Jackie had had in her purse when they arrived in the parallel universe, her TARDIS key and the psychic paper. Picking up one of the photos, Rose smoothed it out before showing it to Tony.
"That's the Doctor, there," she told him softly.
"The man with the sticky-up hair?" Tony asked, staring up at his sister.
"Yeah, and this photo is from when he took me to Africa in the 22nd Century…"
Ever since that day Tony had asked Rose to tell him about the Doctor, it had become a regular occurrence for the siblings. They were quite often found by their parents lying on the sofa in the sitting room, or on one of their beds, or- on one occasion- under a pillow fort they had constructed. Jackie and Pete had learnt to stay away from the siblings during these times as these were the sparse few hours a day when Rose would truly open up about the Doctor, and she would only open up to Tony. Jackie had been extremely concerned at first- Tony was very attached to Rose, and their mother feared that seeing Rose getting so emotional about the Doctor would set Tony off too. She had been right, of course, but Tony was also great at comforting the young woman. It wasn't until Pete accidentally walked in on them one evening that he realised how good these talks were for both Rose and Tony. Quietly, Pete had called Jackie over, and the two parents stood in the darkened doorway, listening in silence to the conversation going on under Rose's dark blue duvet.
"An'…An' he never finished the sentence…" Rose broke off, and it was clear from the sound of her voice that she was crying "Anyway," she continued suddenly "you don't want me crying all over you, do you, tiger? Have I told you about the time the Doctor took me to the planet Barcelona?"
The room was silent for a few moments, and Jackie very seriously contemplated interrupted her two children. However, just then, Tony's quite voice filled the room.
"He does love you, Rosie. You an' the Docta…You're like Mummy and Daddy. An' Mummy and Daddy found each other again."
"The Doctor doesn't…I was just his friend, Tony, nothin' more. He didn't feel that way about me." Rose told her little brother dejectedly.
"But he must have, Rose!" Tony protested loudly.
Jackie and Pete smirked at that. Tony was one smart boy.
Rose asked the question so quietly that Pete and Jackie barely heard from their position near the door.
"Because you're really pretty, Rose!" Tony answered simply, and Jackie and Pete felt a swell of pride as Rose asked a disbelieving "yeah?" in response.
"Yeah!" Tony replied.
The smile in his voice was evident even though they couldn't see him.
"The Docta would be silly not to love you! You're pretty an' you're my sister an' you're really really brave an' when I'm older I wanna be like you!"
And Jackie couldn't hold back any longer. She hurried across the room, pulled the duvet from the bed and hugged her two children tight.
"Tony, sweetheart, you need to understand that I'll be going away for a while," Rose explained carefully.
"Why?" Tony asked immediately.
"Because I need to fix something. Remember me telling you about the stars going out, yeah? Well, I need to fix that," Rose answered.
"When will you be back?" Tony asked.
Rose swallowed. "I'm…I'm not sure, tiger," she admitted, glancing at her parents. Jackie wouldn't meet her eyes.
"You are coming back, right?" Tony asked, his brown eyes wide.
"I…I don't know,"
It killed Rose to say it to her four year old brother, but she knew that lying to him wouldn't help.
"Are you going to get the Docta?" Tony asked suddenly.
"Yes," Rose admitted.
"An' if he asks you, you'll stay with him?"
"Stay here!" Tony announced, and ran from the room, leaving Rose crouched in the middle of the floor.
Glancing at her parents- who looked as confused as her- Rose found herself wondering what her brother was up to. She didn't have to wait very long, however. Tony soon returned, carrying a small soft toy dog, a photo and a piece of paper. He then shoved the items into his sister's hands.
"What's this?" Rose asked, confused.
"So you don't forget me," Tony answered simply.
Looking at the items the four year old had placed in her hands, Rose saw that Tony had given her his favourite cuddly toy dog- a little Jack Russell-, a drawing Tony had done of the Doctor and the TARDIS and a photo of her and Tony, taken only a few nights previously. Blinking back the tears, Rose pulled her brother into a hug. She was vaguely aware of a knock at the door, but Rose didn't allow it to register in her mind until Pete reappeared with Mickey and Jake at his side.
"Rose, you need to get going now," Pete told her gently.
Rose nodded through her tears, dropping another kiss on her brother's head before standing. She hugged and kissed her parents goodbye, gave Tony yet another hug and gathered her bags before heading out to the car. As Mickey began pulling out of the gravel drive, Rose gripped the little toy dog tight and refused to look at her little brother, who was now crying and being restrained by Pete as he tried to run after the car. She hoped this wasn't the last time she saw Tony. The problem was, if she did, it meant that her mission had failed.
Tony Tyler woke up to hear what sounded like his Mummy screaming downstairs. It couldn't be Mummy though, she'd gone after Rose, right? However, as he listened some more, Tony realised that it really was his Mummy coming home- she appeared to be screaming about how she'd missed Daddy lots and lots. Tony eagerly threw back his duvet cover and slipped from the bed, padding across the room. He opened the door and hurried along the corridor. Just as he reached the top of the stairs, however, he stopped in shock.
"Rose!" he screamed in delight, beginning to run as fast as he could down the stairs.
His sister saw him, and hurried to the stairs, meeting him halfway and sweeping him into a hug. Rose was crying again, and Tony was about to protest when he realised his sister was smiling, and he so loved her smile.
"I missed you so much, Rose!" he exclaimed, beginning to cry.
"Me too, tiger, me too. But I'm never leaving again. I promise," Rose whispered, hugging him close.
After several minutes, Rose finally eased up and carried Tony back down the stairs. Tony noticed that his Mummy and Daddy were crying, and there was a man with sticky-up hair looking at a photo on the wall. The photo was one of Rose and Tony, a bigger version of the photo Tony had given to his sister to take with her. Jackie eagerly took Tony from his sister, and the little boy was only too happy to oblige.
"You should be in bed you know," Pete told his son quietly, ruffling Tony's hair affectionately.
Rose, however, cleared her voice purposefully and the many with the sticky-up hair turned around. Tony gasped, before grinning widely.
"Doctor," Rose announced "this is Tony, my little brother,"
The Doctor bounded across the space that separated them and offered Tony his hand. The four year old shook it enthusiastically, still beaming at the Doctor.
"You're Rose's Docta!" Tony announced.
"Yeah, I suppose I am," the Doctor admitted, grinning at the little boy.
Suddenly, the four year old began wriggling in Jackie's arms and announced "I need to speak to the Docta. In private, please,"
Jackie, Pete and Rose all glanced at each other, before looking at the Doctor who shrugged.
"I don't mind if he wants to speak to me," the Doctor told them.
Jackie lowered her son to the floor and watched as Tony dragged the Doctor off to stand near the door again. Tony gestured for the Doctor to bend down, and the Doctor obediently crouched so he was eye level with the little boy.
"Docta, have you told Rose you love her?" Tony asked quietly.
The Doctor blinked, shocked.
"Umm, yes," the Doctor answered.
"Good." Tony replied "Because you should. Rose is really pretty and really brave and she really really loves you. An' you've gotta protect her, or you'll have to face me,"
The Doctor couldn't help but grin a bit- he was being given the standard 'mess with my sister and I'll kill you' brother talk by a four year old in orange and black Tigger pyjamas. Tony was still staring at him, and the Doctor realised he was waiting for an answer.
"I promise, Tony," the Doctor told the little boy seriously.
"Ok," Tony announced, breaking into a grin again. Then, he let out a massive yawn and Jackie swept across the entrance hall, lifting the boy into her arms.
"Time for bed for you, Tony Tyler!" Jackie announced, smiling gently.
The last thing Tony saw before he fell asleep was his sister cross the room again and kiss the Doctor gently.
"My brother in law was so much more special to me than a lot of you would ever realise,"
Tony Tyler stared at the crumpled piece of paper in his hands, the words blurring into one. This was one of the hardest things he'd have to do in his life. Swallowing his fear though, he continued. He needed to do this.
"My brother in law has made me the man I am today. Ever since a young age, he was a monumental part of my life, even before my sister found him again. Because, he and my sister, they were split up years ago, and they thought they'd never see each other again. But Rose never gave up, she was determined to get him back. I grew up hearing stories of him, about this man with the sticky-up hair who seemed to care for my sister so, so much, even though she didn't realise it. I was four when they were reunited, and I remember giving him what most people would refer to as 'the brother talk', where the brother basically tells their sister's boyfriend that if he ever upsets her, he'll have to answer to him. I gave the Doctor that talk at, like, 2 am in the morning, in these little Tigger pyjamas age four, and told him that he had to protect Rose or he'd have to answer to me. Many other men would have just laughed and patted me on the head, but not the Doctor. He promised me he'd keep her safe, that he'd protect her. And he kept that promise."
Tony finally plucked up the courage to look up from the piece of paper, and he looked out across the Crematorium. Rose was sat in the front row, her tears smudging her makeup, Jackie and Pete sat either side of her, holding her hands tight. The other few people scattered in the pews were work colleagues and friends the Doctor and Rose had made over the past nine years. This shouldn't have been happening, but it was.
"Ever since I was little, I idolised both the Doctor and my sister; they were both so brave, all those adventures they had and yet they still worried more about protecting each other. The Doctor taught me to stand up for your beliefs, for what is right, to protect those you love. My only regret was that he died doing the thing I asked him to do all those years ago; protect my sister. And that's the thing I admire most about him- he promised me that nine years ago, and yet he still kept his promise until his dying day. When I first heard about him, the Doctor was just a man in some old photos that belonged to my sister, he was 'the man with the sticky-up hair'. But then I heard about him, I met him, and he became so, so much more. He became my mentor, my big brother, my best friend. And I know he'd have been a fantastic Dad,"
At this, Tony caught his sister's eye and smiled reassuringly as Rose ran a hand over her growing baby bump. Rose smiled weakly back.
"I hate that he won't be here to raise his son, that his son will only ever know his Dad the same way I originally knew about him- as a photo of a man with sticky-up hair. But, I am determined that this baby will know how brilliant, how amazing my brother in law- and his father- was. And the Doctor kept the promise he made to me all those years ago, so I'm going to make a promise to him now; that his son, my nephew, will know all about how amazing and selfless and brave his father was. Thank you,"
Taking a deep breath, Tony stepped down off the little platform and headed back to the pew, sitting beside his Dad. Rose reached across and squeezed his hand in thanks.
The rest of the memorial service was a blur, and when they finally left the wake, it was dark. Rose was distraught, tired and sore, Jackie was weepy and Pete was worryingly silent. After all clambered out of Pete's car at the Mansion, Tony pulled Rose into a hug.
"You'll stay here for a few nights, yeah, sweetheart?" Jackie asked worriedly.
Rose nodded in silence and slipped from her brother's embrace to head inside out of the chilly air. As Tony went to follow his family, he glanced up at the stars and smiled.
"I'll protect them both, Doctor. I promise," he whispered.
As Tony headed inside and slammed the door shut, a shooting star streaked across the inky black sky.