Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the BBC. I do not own any of it, nor do I get paid for it.
A/N Hey guys! Welcome to the first story in the new series 'Tales from the Vortex'. This series is going to be a collection of one-shots, all of them about the Doctor and Rose, in any of his incarnations. They have one thing in common: they are all AU.
The first one is called 'Somewhere I Belong' and is a Ten/Rose story.
Summary: Rose Tyler is the last remaining pureblood human, being hunted by Lady Cassandra O'Brien and her followers who want to harvest her body. The Tenth Doctor manages to land in Rose's hiding place just as her enemies find her.
Somewhere I Belong
As the sun set on New Earth, Rose Tyler sighed forlornly. She turned on her recording equipment and began to speak.
"Day 174. I am still in hiding. Lady Cassandra has shown no signs of giving up chase. New New York Times is still calling me a fugitive and the search is still on." Rose sighed and looked out of the small window in her hiding place. She could see the hill of applegrass across the bay. "It's been so long since I have been out on a proper walk in the sun. I miss the wind on my face, the scent of applegrass, the sky, the people, I even miss the stupid old hospital in New London where I used to work."
It was time for the evening news, so Rose turned off her recording device. Preparing herself for Sally Calypso's annoying voice, she turned the screen on.
"Salutations! This is Sally Calypso with your daily evening news. The Mayor has announced stricter laws to monitor the registration of the newly developed Primo-human species. We have Sio Morgandy reporting live..."
Rose snorted and went to the tiny kitchen in her flat to fetch some food. Stricter laws indeed. It was just a code for them putting the people in detention centres until they could "process" them. Rose felt her heart go out to those poor people who had just come into this world and would now be subjected to things she would wish on no rodent, let alone another human being.
The food machine beeped and slid open to reveal a small box of nutrition bars. Rose picked up two that declared themselves to be 'just like chicken' and went back to the screen. Sally Calypso was still yammering on and Rose only looked up when her own name was mentioned.
"And the search is still on for Rose Tyler, the Vitex heiress from New London. Miss Tyler is notably known for evading the New Earth Law Enforcement Officials after the death of her parents under suspicious circumstances."
Rose snorted and shut the thing off. Her parents had not died under suspicious circumstances. They had been murdered by Cassandra's people. And Rose was in hiding because she knew what Cassandra would do once she got her hands on Rose.
Rose's mum Jackie, had been a Digi-Human from an asteroid near New Earth and her father Pete, had been a Proto-Human local to New Earth. By some glitch of genetics, Rose had been born with pure human DNA. This fact had been a closely guarded secret since her Dad knew the kind of danger she would be in if people like Cassandra found out about it.
For twenty one years, her secret remained safe. But then Rose and Jackie were in a car accident. It was nothing serious but Rose had a severe gash on her leg which was treated at the very hospital where she had been interning to become an administrator. In order to ensure that there were no further infections in the wound, her blood had been sent for testing before Pete or Jackie could intervene.
After that, it didn't take long for people to realise that she was a pureblood human. Pete and Jackie took her with them and the Tyler family withdrew their public presence. Some said that they left New Earth altogether while others speculated that the government had murdered them.
Then 175 days ago, their safe house in New London had been broken into by armed gunmen. Pete and Jackie had all but pushed Rose into the car and set the destination for New New York. Rose had wanted to stay and defend her parents but they wouldn't hear of it.
Rose had been halfway to New New York when New London news announced that Pete and Jackie Tyler had been found murdered. After that, she had been solely focused on staying alive. She would grieve them later.
Upon her arrival in New New York, she had used the safe house near the Sister of Plenitude's hospital. The flat had been registered to a shell corporation owned by Vitex. It was just a small studio flat overlooking the bay but it had been useful so far.
The important thing had been to stay off Cassandra's radar who was still searching for Rose. Cassandra had been a notable New Earth figure who preached for human purity and spoke against assimilation of new humanoid species in their society.
The xenophobic bitch in question had so many operations done on herself that she now resembled a flat piece of skin with lipstick. She was no more human than a trampoline, in Rose's opinion. But if Cassandra found Rose, she would have no qualms using a psychograft on her.
A psychograft was forbidden technology but money greased a lot of palms and Cassandra had no problem using that to her advantage. Rose did not much like the idea of being compressed to death in her own body while Cassandra paraded it around doing God-knows-what.
Rose glanced at the clock on the wall and saw that it was almost 8. It was still early but Rose was tired. She had been up last night studying the UnderCity's maps. She had a plan to put an end to Cassandra's scheming and get her life back, and the UnderCity would be very useful in accomplishing that.
She stood up and stretched, intending to collapse straight onto her bed. But a small noise made her stop. Thinking it was probably someone on the Bay, she ignored it. Sound carried very easily into her flat and after her first week here, she had got used to it. At least, she didn't jump up and arm herself with a frying pan every time she heard a noise anymore.
The noise repeated itself and just as she was eyeing the frying pan, the door to her flat swung open. Rose had no warning as a group of masked gunmen entered her flat, their weapons pointed at her. Rose was too petrified to move but no one fired. Instead, they made way for a flat metal screen that held a stretched piece of skin.
"Cassandra," Rose hissed, her eyes narrowing.
"There you are, Rose Tyler," said Cassandra, smirking at her. "How long it has been."
"What do you want?" Rose asked, even if she knew exactly what she wanted. She had to buy time, think of an escape.
"You are a fugitive, dear Rose," said Cassandra, smiling sadistically. "I am just doing my duty as an upstanding citizen and bringing you into custody."
"Is that what they call murder these days?" Rose demanded harshly.
"Oh, if you want to be that way," shrugged Cassandra. "Boys, take her into custody."
The men started to move towards her and Rose stepped back, wincing quietly when she felt her back hit the far wall. She had no way out. The gunmen were advancing on her but then a low, wheezing noise filled her flat. The men stopped in confusion as a blue box started to materialise in and out of existence between them and Rose.
Rose's eyes went wide as the box solidified and with a final thud, stayed still. The door opened in front of her and a man with hair sticking up everywhere poked his head out. "Oh hello," he said, sounding surprised to see her. "This isn't Hawaii, is it?"
Rose stared at him, stunned and speechless. "W-What?" was all she could manage.
"Get her!' Cassandra shrieked, evidently over her surprise. "Don't let her get away!"
The gunmen fired at the box and the man glanced at Rose who looked terrified. He grabbed her hand. "Run!" he said, pulling her inside the box. The doors closed and Rose leaned against the closed doors, trying to catch her breath and try to understand what had happened.
It took her longer than she would care to admit to realise that the box was much, much bigger than it should have been. Everything had happened so fast but Rose was positive that the box hadn't been this cavernous when it had arrived in her flat.
"Are you alright?" the man asked her kindly, looking at her with wide, curious brown eyes.
Rose managed to nod but then shook her head quickly. "Who-who are you? What is this?" she asked.
He smiled at her. "I'm the Doctor," he said, adding a little wave at the end of his sentence. "This is my ship. It's called the TARDIS."
"Doctor of what?" she asked, still looking very stunned.
"Oh a little bit of this and that," he said casually. He looked carefully at her. "What's your name?"
"Rose," she answered, a bit shakily. "Rose Tyler."
"Well then, Rose Tyler," he beamed. "Why don't you come in and tell me why those people want to kill you?"
Rose was hesitant to trust him but he had just saved her life. She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. "I'm a pureblood human," she said, moving up the ramp with slow, measured steps. "Cassandra and her people are hunting me. They want to harvest my body."
The Doctor was surprisingly calm at her explanation. "What year is this?" he asked.
"Where have you been? Under a rock?" the insult slipped out and she clapped a hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry," she said, blushing red. "That was awful of me."
He laughed. "It's no matter," he assured her. "I can be much, much ruder than that. Rude and not ginger, that's me. And as to your question, I haven't been living under a rock. But it sounds like an interesting prospect. I ought to try it once. Live under a rock, that is. New experience and all that. Then, I can see if there is any validity to the claim that you become ignorant if you live under a rock. What do you think?" he asked, beaming at her eagerly.
"Uh," said Rose, wondering if his sanity was intact. "It's the year 5 billion 17," she said instead.
"Ah," he said. "It must be early in the year if the humanoid persecution is still rampant."
"No," Rose shook her head. "It's nearly Apple."
"Apple, huh? The last month in your year," he murmured under his breath. "Rose Tyler...Rose Tyler, your name is very familiar. You're not famous, are you?" he asked her questioningly.
Rose snorted without humour. "I'm a fugitive according to them," she said, sounding close to tears.
He looked kindly at her. "I doubt that," he said. "You must be famous for something else."
Rose shrugged and glanced back at the doors of the Doctor's spacesh...TARDIS. "Won't they get in?" she asked.
"No," said the Doctor shortly. "But we should move away just in case," he said, running around the central console, pressing buttons and twirling levers at such an alarming rate that Rose could only stare. The central column began to move up and down with the same wheezing noise from before and the Doctor grinned in delight at the shock and awe on her face. "Now then," he said, as the TARDIS landed with a thud. "Come on."
"Where?" Rose asked, feeling excited despite herself.
The Doctor only smiled at her and picked up a long brown coat from one of the coral struts. "Outside," he said. "Let's go."
Rose stared at him incredulously for a moment before running out after him. She came to an abrupt halt when she saw that they were on the small hill that overlooked her flat. She could smell the applegrass at her feet and feel the cool night wind on her face.
She grinned in delight at the Doctor. "This is...amazing," she said, her voice full of awe.
He grinned back at her and pulled her along with him. Rose laughed in delight as she ran with the Doctor, not caring in the least where he was taking her. He brought them to a halt a little ways away from the TARDIS, where they had a clear view of the brightly-lit city of New New York across the Bay.
Rose was gaping she knew, but couldn't bring herself to care. The Doctor smiled at her and laid out his coat on the applegrass. "Here, sit," he said.
She broke her gaze away from the view and sat down next to him on his coat. "I've always wanted to come here," she said quietly. "I never thought I'd get a chance..." she trailed off, her voice catching.
The Doctor bumped his shoulder against hers. "Don't worry, Rose Tyler," he said. "Once we get this mess with Cassandra sorted out, you can build yourself a house here if you want."
Rose laughed and squeezed his hand gratefully. "Thanks, Doctor," she said.
He smiled at her. "So, start from the beginning."
Rose nodded and launched into her story. The Doctor listened patiently and it was hard to see in the dark, but Rose thought she saw concern in his eyes as she told him about herself. Once she was done, the Doctor was quiet for a long moment. "Do you have a way of stopping her?" he asked.
Rose looked surprised that he would ask her but she nodded quickly. "I had been working with a few things," she said. "But I hit the jackpot when I found the UnderCity base."
"UnderCity base?" asked the Doctor, his ears pricking up in interest.
Rose nodded. "The first colonists who came to New Earth lived in the UnderCity until they could build the proper City. It is all sealed off now. At least, that's what I thought."
"It's not sealed?" he asked her.
"I managed to break into the Mayor's databanks," she confessed quietly. "I had a mate who taught me. Anyway," she cleared her throat. "I read some of the files which showed the usual. Cassandra has paid off a lot of the officials. But even she can't risk some of the information being seen by the civilians."
"Like what?" the Doctor asked with interest.
"All these 'processing centres'," Rose said the words like they were poison. "They record all their sick and twisted experiments."
The Doctor sat up. "Do you know where all those recordings are?" he asked.
Rose nodded. "Cassandra has a bunch of seedy businesses down in the UnderCity," she said. "One of them is an archive of all the experiments. If those get released to the public, not even Cassandra can escape justice."
The Doctor smiled at her. "Very well thought out, Rose Tyler," he praised. "I must confess that when you said you wanted to get rid of Cassandra, you meant more drastic measures."
"What? Like kill her?" Rose asked in surprise. "Nah, I could never kill her. Not even in a fit of revenge. I would rather see her ruined and imprisoned."
The Doctor raised his eyebrows at her hard tone but didn't say anything. "Do you know where the archive is?" he asked instead.
She nodded. "I was studying the maps all night..." she trailed off, her eyes wide with horror. "The maps! I left them in the flat! I have clearly marked everything on it. Cassandra's going to know that I'm looking for the footage. She will shut them down..."
"Rose, Rose, Rose, calm down," said the Doctor, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Know the TARDIS? It is an acronym. T-A-R-D-I-S. It stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space."
Rose's eyes went wide. "Does that mean...?"
"It also travels in time," he beamed. He took her hand and pulled her to her feet. "Rose Tyler, allons-y!"
The UnderCity is disgusting, was Rose's first thought. The roads and alleys were dark and damp and smelled of waste and sewage. The Doctor had landed them earlier that day but despite it being afternoon, the UnderCity was grey and dreary like twilight in the main City.
There were no people around in the UnderCity, not even animals. Rose suppressed a shiver at the deathly silence in the place and moved closer to the Doctor involuntarily. He seemed to be scanning the area with something that he called a sonic screwdriver. Rose had no idea how a screwdriver could scan anything but she knew that if anyone could do it, it would be the Doctor.
"Aha! Found it," he said, happily. "It's that way!"
Rose followed him as he ran down the alley, holding his beeping sonic screwdriver in front of him. They had been running for about five minutes, when the Doctor grabbed her arm and pulled her into an alcove in one of the abandoned buildings.
Rose squeaked in surprise, but the Doctor covered her mouth gently with his hand and urged her to look behind them. Rose moved carefully and saw a group of shabbily-dressed men walking through the alley, swaying as if they were intoxicated.
She stayed utterly still and the Doctor took his hand off her mouth. "Breathe quieter," he whispered in her ear.
Rose tried to calm her breathing as the men passed by their hiding place. A stench of strong alcohol and some unidentifiable drug hit their nostrils and they both wrinkled their noses. The men were apparently singing some lewd song at the top of their voices and didn't notice the Doctor and Rose's hiding place.
They moved further along and the Doctor and Rose waited until their voices were faint and far away before leaving their hiding place. "Come on," said the Doctor. "Not far now." They were walking for ten more minutes before they came across a red brick building that looked cleaner than most. The sign in the front door read 'Delta 17 prop. Bad Wolf.'
"This is it," Rose said. "Isn't it?"
"Yes," said the Doctor quietly. He tried the door and was surprised to find it unlocked. Exchanging a look with Rose, he opened the door. It opened to a dark, dusty hallway that was lit by a single light bulb that was on its last flicker.
The floorboards under their feet creaked lightly as they entered the hallway. There was a wooden stairwell that went upstairs and several doors downstairs. "Split up?" asked Rose. "You take upstairs, I'll look here."
The Doctor nodded. "Be careful," he said.
Rose smiled at him and went towards the first door on the ground floor. It was a broom closet filled with cleaning supplies. She heard the Doctor go upstairs as she tried the second door. It was a tiny room, not much bigger than the broom cupboard. But it was completely empty.
Just as she was about to open the third door, she heard a loud thud from upstairs. Startled she contemplated calling for the Doctor. But she didn't want to draw attention to herself. There was a louder thud this time and she heard the Doctor's yell of pain.
Abandoning her search, Rose picked up a sturdy looking broom from the cupboard and tiptoed upstairs. Only one of the doors was open and Rose moved cautiously towards it. She could hear the Doctor as she approached it.
"...should really put that gun down. You might hurt someone."
"Shut up!" It was a man's voice. "Ain't nobody supposed to be down 'ere."
"Ah well, you see my friend and I were looking for something," said the Doctor.
"Not my business, mate," said the man and Rose was horrified to hear a gun cocking. "The boss told me to shoot strangers on sight."
Rose ran into the room and struck the man on the head with the heavy handle of the broom. He fell to the floor, dropping his gun. The Doctor raised his eyes from the suddenly unconscious man, back to Rose who was breathing heavily and still holding up the broom like a sword.
"Rose," he said. "It's alright."
Rose exhaled roughly and lowered the broom. "Are you okay?" she asked, surprised at how hoarse she sounded.
The Doctor walked up to her and gently pried the broom away from her hands. "I'm alright. Your timing was brilliant." He threw the broom to the side and bent down to check on the man.
"Is he dead?" Rose asked, scared.
"No, just knocked out," said the Doctor. "Come on, I found the data crystals with the footage."
"You did?" Rose asked. "Where?"
"Through here," he said, leading her through a smaller door into a closet with shelves full of data crystals. Each of them had been clearly labelled with the name of the prisoner, the time that they were experimented upon and (this made Rose sick to her stomach) how many times the data crystal had been viewed.
"Let's gather them," said Rose quietly, pushing past her revulsion. "We have to go back to the City. I know a journalist back in New London who will make sure that the truth gets out."
The Doctor put a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Are you sure you are okay?" he asked.
"M'fine," she said. "Let's finish this."
Rose had not been lying when she had said that the journalist would get the truth out. Sarah Jane Smith was a force to be reckoned with when she received all the data crystals from Rose. Critical articles, vehement campaigns against corruption and xenophobia were just the beginning.
Rose Tyler's name was cleared and once Sarah Jane had named her as the person who had brought the truth to light, she was hailed as a heroine in the new world. People were scrambling to interview her and get her opinions on the new society.
Rose handled everything with a grace that surprised even her. She tried to tell them that she had help but the Doctor's absence made it harder to convince them. She hadn't seen him ever since he had dropped her off in New London at Sarah Jane's door with the data crystals. She found herself missing him. She hadn't even got a chance to thank him properly.
A fortnight after the news first broke, Rose smiled as Sally Calypso announced that Lady Cassandra was found guilty and would be sentenced to life in prison. Switching off the screen, she looked around her tiny flat with a sigh. She thought she'd be happy to build a new life after everything was over but she just felt empty. After giving her parents a proper funeral, she had found herself out of things to do.
She didn't want to go back to the hospital to finish becoming an administrator and she didn't want to be hailed as some sort of a messiah of the new society. She sighed and decided to go to bed when the familiar wheezing noise filled the air.
Her eyes widened in delight as the TARDIS materialised into her flat. Before the door could open, she was knocking insistently to get the Doctor to let her in.
"Alright, alright, I'm coming," she heard him laughing. "Hello!" he beamed, once he'd had the doors open.
Rose threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," she laughed.
He laughed loudly as he lifted her off her feet and swung them both around. "You did it, Rose Tyler," he grinned, once he had set her down. "They are calling you their messiah."
She shook her head as she ducked in embarrassment. "I don't want to be a messiah," she said. "I'm happy to be just me."
"I said your name was familiar, didn't I?" he asked with a slightly superior smile. "Time travel, the facts get muddled up sometime."
"I looked for you," she blurted out. "You just left."
"Ah yes," he said, pulling on his ear and looking slightly embarrassed. "I don't like to stick around for cleanups. I find it easier to keep moving."
Rose nodded. "So, why did you come back?" she asked curiously.
He met her gaze shyly. "I was wondering if you'd fancy a trip," he said. "Anywhere and anywhen you want. You have more than earned a rest."
Rose's eyes went wide. "Seriously?" she asked.
"Seriously," he nodded. "So, what do you think?"
Rose bit her lip and smiled widely at him. "I'd love to," she said.
"Brilliant! Molto bene!" he said, grabbing her hand and pulling her inside the TARDIS. "Allons-y, Rose Tyler!"
A/N So, what did you think?
I am marking this story as 'Complete' but I will still be putting new one-shots here. The point of this whole series is to write as many different incarnations of the Doctor meeting Rose in as many different ways I can think of. Plus, any that you guys want to see.
There are only two conditions: the Doctor has to be a Time Lord with a TARDIS and second of all, Rose Tyler can be human, immortal, eternal whatever you want. Give me your suggestions if there is a particular Doctor or situation you want to see.
The next one is going to be the Fourth Doctor and Victorian Governess!Rose Tyler. I'll put it up soon. Let me know how this one was.