As I said, this is a part of my season 3 rewrite With Starlight In Their Wake. You do NOT have to be familiar with that to understand this, as it acts as a prequel. This actually explains a few things not elaborated on within WSITW.
Merry Christmas! :)
"Are you ready for this?" the Doctor asked.
"No," Rose replied, gripping the edge of the pilot's seat. "I want to see her, but… but this is it. I only get this once. After this, I'll never…"
No, she would not cry. Not now, not yet. She hadn't cried since that very first day and she wasn't about to start now. Not when she was about to see her mother for the very last time.
It'd been just over a week since they'd saved the world from two separate races brought into the universe by a bunch of idiots that went by the Torchwood Institute. In the late 1800s, after Rose and the Doctor had saved her royal behind from an alien werewolf, Queen Victoria set up Torchwood, which was basically a bunch of blowhards she gave responsibility to for protecting Britain from hostile aliens. Which would've been fine, really—except her Royal Ungratefulness had put the Doctor, the single biggest reason the planet was still even spinning, at the top of the Institute's Most Wanted list.
Torchwood discovered a rift in time and space and, like any great agency does, had poked and prodded it enough to end up wearing down the walls between their universe and another—coincidentally, the same universe she and the Doctor had saved from the Cybermen. Cybermen, who were trying to come through from their side as well, and with the help of a Void Ship, managed to get through. Bit by bit they came, spending little increments on Earth every day for about two months, until they travelled through the rift entirely. At the same time, the Void ship opened, and four Daleks known as the Cult of Skaro emerged. They were difficult enough when there weren't armies of both trying to take over the planet at the same time.
But the Doctor came up with a plan to stop them as he always did, with a bit of help from Mickey, Jake, not-Pete Tyler, and a team from the parallel universe. Her mum had gone to the other universe with Pete, and the Doctor had tried to send her, too, but she came back. She wasn't leaving him. Not now and not ever. She especially wasn't going to be forced to live in a universe without him in it, stuck on one planet in one time, for the rest of her life.
There had been a close call near the end. The lever on the right side of the room, the one the Doctor was behind, malfunctioned. He'd had to let go of his clamp to pull it back into place, and he'd held on to that thin piece of metal for dear life as the Void tried to pull him in. But he was a Time Lord and he was stronger than a human man, and he'd managed to keep his fingers firmly around the lever. Pete had appeared just for a second, maybe to see if she was alright, but when he saw them both safe(ish) and the Void gaping behind him, he'd teleported back before he was sucked in (or worse: trapped).
But now Jackie was trapped on the other side of the Void.
The Doctor sat down next to Rose on the jumpseat. "I'm sorry, Rose. This is the only thing I can give you. Anything else and both our universes will collapse. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. I'm not more important than the universe. Never mind two," she mumbled. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, nodding. "Start the transmission."
He put his hands on either side of her face, turning it towards him. They stared into each other's eyes for a moment. He kissed her forehead, then stood up and moved to the console, pressing a series of buttons. "Now, you won't be able to see them properly, not like you can see me. Do you remember what astral projection is? The Seers on the Whispering Moon?"
"Their minds traveling outside their bodies?"
"Close enough." He nodded. "I'm projecting our minds and an image of our bodies into that universe. They will be able to see us, and it'll seem like we're there, but we're just images. They won't be able to touch us. Which is good for me, because I have the feeling your mum might want to hit me one last time."
Rose let out a choked laugh and a little smile lifted the corners of her mouth. She then exhaled through her nose, closing her eyes and composing herself, before opening them and looking towards the Doctor.
"Are you ready?"
"When you feel it start, think of your mother. Think of nothing but her. It'll help her find us. I have no idea where we'll come out on Earth, though I've tried to ensure we'll be within a few weeks of when she arrived, and I've sent a few messages on ahead to get her attention—hopefully one of them will have made it through. Though, knowing Jackie Tyler, I wouldn't be surprised if none—" He saw the panicked look in her eyes and switched back to explaining the process. "Theoretically, you should be able to draw her towards us. I'll help. Remember—nothing but your mum."
Rose nodded, slipping her hand into his. "Let's go."
The Doctor pressed a button on the console and closed his eyes. She did as well, though it occurred to her she had no idea what her cue to start thinking about Jackie was. A second later she felt something like cool water sliding through her body, up her legs, torso, arms, shoulders, neck, and head; pulling her up and out into everything and nothing. This had to be it.
Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Tyler. Jackie. Mum.
Dark brown hair dyed blonde, always dyed blonde, as long as I've been alive.
The smell of the tea she makes in the morning. Her favorite perfume. Her laugh.
Mum smiling at me as I ran into school for the first time.
Mum! Come on!
Mum holding me when I cried. Shouting at me in anger. Crying. Telling me about Dad.
Christmas, Easter, birthdays. Mummy.
Running towards Pete in the hallway at Torchwood.
Rose opened her eyes and gasped. They were on a desolate beach, underneath a gray sky, waves crashing against the shore. But the world didn't seem concrete. Just behind it, she could almost see the blurry features of the TARDIS. Jackie, Pete, and Mickey stood a few feet from them, bundled up, the wind blowing their clothes and hair. She looked down at herself, then up at the Doctor. She couldn't feel the cold and their clothes and hair were undisturbed by the wind. They really were just projections.
"Hello, Jackie," the Doctor said.
Rose swallowed, smiling at her mother. "Hi, Mum."
Jackie walked slowly towards them, her expression sad. "Are you…?" She trembled. "Are you ghosts?"
"What? No, we're fine."
"Look at yourselves, though, you're all… see-through."
"Really?" Rose looked down at herself then back up at her mum. "No, it's not me, it's you."
"Oh, hang on." The Doctor let go of her hand and pulled out the sonic screwdriver. He adjusted the setting and pointed it at where the console was next to their bodies. The world around them solidified, the interior of the TARDIS fading almost completely. "Better?"
"Yeah," Mickey nodded. "Hi, Rose."
"Mickey. Pete." She smiled at her sort-of dad.
"Where are you?" Jackie asked. "You're not here, really, are you?"
The Doctor shook his head. "We're just projections. We're actually standing inside the TARDIS. There's one tiny little gap in the universe left, just about to close. And it takes a lot of power just to do this. We're in orbit around a super nova. We're burning up a sun, you know, and I wouldn't do this for anyone but her."
"You're burning up the sun?" Pete blurted.
"Not the one the Earth relies on," the Doctor assured him.
"But what about the people who live around that sun?"
He shook his head. "No, don't worry. I made sure there were no planets in the vicinity depending on this star. I've been trying for weeks, but this is all I could do. She wanted to say goodbye."
Jackie walked forward suddenly, her arms open to embrace her daughter, and Rose's face crumpled, knowing it wouldn't be possible. "No, Mum. You can't touch me."
"Like hell I can't!"
"No, I mean you literally can't! I'm not there enough."
Jackie's arms fell to her sides. "Well then, come on a bit more."
"If we did, the whole thing would fracture," the Doctor explained gently. "And two universes would collapse. I'm sorry, Jackie, but I couldn't do that even for Rose."
She swallowed, lowering her head and trembling as she realized what he was saying. She put her hands over her face and Pete came forward and slid his arm around her soothingly.
"Why here?" Mickey asked, drawing their attention away from Jackie so she could have a moment to collect herself. "Why'd you make us come all the way out here?"
"I didn't," the Doctor told him. "We could've come out in Cuba or your backyard. I had no control over where we landed, so this beach must be where the hole is largest. Where are we, anyway?" he asked, peering around with interest.
"We're in bloody Norway!" Jackie cried indignantly, lifting her head from her hands. "Three days we've been drivin'!"
"Hey, don't look at me like that!" he protested. "I didn't put the hole here."
"And here's the kicker, Rose," Mickey added. "We're about fifty miles out of a town named Bergen. This place is called Dårlig Ulv Stranden." He paused, and at the blank look upon Rose's face, he leaned in closer, eyes wide, stage whispering, "Bad Wolf Bay."
Rose barked out a laughed at the irony, but then sobered almost immediately. "That means I…I must've known… D'you think I made sure the hole stayed here long enough?" She looked up at the Doctor, but he shook his head, unable to answer her.
"We've only got about three minutes left, I'm afraid," he told them. "After that, the hole will close up on its own, all through time and space, and I can't re-open it without risking realities shattering and the Void sucking us all in."
Mickey and Pete nodded, but Jackie looked distraught.
"Are you gonna be alright here, Mum?" Rose asked.
"I… Yeah, I think I am." She looked up at Pete and smiled. He smiled back at her, and for a moment they were both young again, as in love as newlyweds.
"G'on, Jackie, tell her." Pete motioned between her and Rose with a grin.
Jackie smiled at her daughter. "Guess what, sweetheart? I'm…I'm pregnant. Two months gone."
Rose's mouth fell open. "What? How?"
Jackie her hands on her hips, looking so much like her usual self that it hurt. "I'm pretty sure I've explained how this works before."
"Yeah, I know, I know, but… I mean, how long have you been here?"
"Four months," she croaked sadly, and Rose thought she heard the Doctor chuckle once. "I thought I'd never see you again."
"After this, you can't," the Doctor reminded her.
Jackie Tyler turned her furious gaze on him and walked forward. "You! Ever since you showed up with your box our lives have been completely mad! My daughter disappearin' off the face of the Earth for months, aliens and metal monsters invadin', evil Santas, a—a bloody Christmas tree trying to kill me! You take her away and every time you bring 'er back, her eyes are older or she's hurt somewhere, somehow. Now you're tellin' me I can never see her again? This is your fault! It's your fault!" She tried to jabbed her finger at his chest, but her hand went straight through.
The Doctor made a face and Jackie stepped back, swallowing. Tears filled her eyes, threatening to spill over. "But… Every time I look at you two, I see it. She's never been as happy as she is with you and I can't hate you for that." She turned to Rose. "Don't you worry about me, sweetheart; I've got Pete and Mickey here."
Rose was crying now, tears starting to leak out of her eyes onto her face. "Mum—"
Jackie glared at the Time Lord that had stolen her daughter's heart with a wrath that only a mother could summon. "But she's only got you now, Doctor. So you better take care of her. I mean it!"
"I will," he promised.
"That means no gallivanting through mirrors into 18th century France." Mickey folded his arms, frowning like a protective older brother. "Or sending her back to the Estate when things look rough."
"I know. I won't."
"If you do, I'm comin' after you," Jackie warned. "And you'll be feeling that slap well after you change your face again."
"I'll help her," Pete added, and Mickey nodded in agreement.
"Jackie, Mickey, Pete… I swear to you, I will do my best to protect her and I will not abandon her." The Doctor swore solemnly. He lowered his head. "Time's almost up."
Rose nodded, sniffling and reaching up to wipe her eyes. "Mum, will you tell my little brother or sister… Well…tell them about me, yeah?"
Tears were rolling down Jackie's face as she nodded. "I will, sweetheart," she promised quietly, her voice breaking. "Goodbye, then, Doctor. I love you both."
"Mickey." She looked at him and seemed to struggle for a moment. "Thank you. For everything."
"Love you, babe," he said with a sad smile. "See ya, boss."
"Pete… Pete, she's got no one but you, either. So what she told to the Doctor that…that applies to you as well." She swallowed and sniffled again. Pete Tyler nodded seriously. "And thank you for—"
They were fading away, the world around them dissolving back into the interior of the TARDIS.
"I love you, Mum!" she shouted as she felt the watery sensation rushing across her body again, pulling her away from her mother, Mickey, and Pete. In the time it took for her to blink, the world had faded away completely and they were back inside their bodies, standing in the TARDIS.
Rose's entire body shuddered. She'd been holding the grief in so they wouldn't have to see and know how much it was hurting her. Now they were gone, they wouldn't see—they would never see again. She put her hands over her face and let the tears flow freely. Her face screwed up as she sobbed, covering her face with her hands, and she doubled-over under the sheer pain of it all. She heard the Doctor pressing a few buttons quickly—probably cutting the power-link to the star—and then he touched her back. She straightened, turning her body so she was facing him and buried her face in his chest.
His put his arms around her, crushing her tightly to his chest as she shook with the force of her sobs. He'd seen Rose sad before—after her Dad died, after the Dalek, after she saw her planet die, after France, after Mickey left, and countless other times—but never had she cried like this. He knew the pain she felt. He knew what it felt like to lose your family, your friends, and everything you always thought you'd have to fall back on.
So he did all he could do to help. Murmured softly to her, promises that he was there, that he wouldn't leave her, things in the language of his home world, the only one that the TARDIS never translated. He rubbed his hand up and down her back, his other holding her close, and failed to hold back the few tears that had built up. He would miss Jackie Tyler, oddly enough. He hated domestic, but he'd… he had honestly loved the little flat Rose had grown up in. The flat—oh, they'd have to go back and deal with the flat, save some of their stuff before the authorities got ahold of it. But how was he supposed to tell her that? Maybe she'd realize on her own and he wouldn't have to—
A quiet yelp from across the room brought them both up short. The Doctor's head snapped up, and Rose turned within his arms so her back was to his chest, both of them looking for the source of the sound. They were in deep space, in a completely different galaxy from Earth, somewhere in the 180th century, so neither of them expected to see a red-haired human, maybe in her thirties, wearing a 21st century style wedding dress and veil. She stared at them, her mouth open in shock.
Rose blinked her eyes a few times, reaching up to wipe away the tears, just to make sure she wasn't seeing things.
"What?" the Doctor murmured, aghast.
"Who are you?" the bride demanded, looking them up and down.
"Where am I?
"What the hell is this place?"
"Is she crying? What the hell have you done to that poor girl? Has he hurt you, sweetheart? Did he…did he kidnap you, too? Don't worry, 'cos I'll have 'im, I will!"
Donna! She shoulda been around more...and Wilf should've had his own season.
Drop me a review please? :D As a Christmas present, of course.