A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
Tenth Doctor
To Have And Not To Hold by mtemplar [Reviews - 266] Printer Chapter or Story
Author's Notes:
More secrets are uncovered, and Rose gets caught 'looking'.

Rose gaped at Lyra in disbelief. "Half human? You have got to be kidding me." Her mind was racing. She didn't think that Lyra would lie, but still...all of the Doctor's comments previously about 'stupid apes' and now...this. It would have been laughably ironic, had they not been in their current predicament.

"I am afraid it is true," Lyra replied, somewhat shakily. "Sister Ohica thought initially that he was simply a mated Time Lord, and therefore more...impervious to our initial methods. After I saw what I did in his mind though, Sister Ohica had me search a bit deeper. That is what I found."

Rose frowned. How long had she been unconscious? "I don't understand - just what did you see? Is he really half-Time Lord half-human then?" Rose moved closer to Lyra, who had drawn her knees up to her chest and was slowly rocking back and forth in apparent distress.

"Something like that." Lyra answered, as she glanced over at the Doctor. "The Gallifreyan DNA is dominant over the human DNA...particularly after his re-looming."

"You just lost me there." Rose put a tentative hand on Lyra's shoulder in encouragement. "Gallifreyan?"

"I am sorry, I assumed that you knew. Let me explain." Lyra took a deep, shaky breath before continuing. "All Time Lords are from the planet Gallifrey, but not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords. Only the Gallifreyans that complete their studies at the Academy are awarded Time Lord status."

"I see." Rose had always thought that 'Time Lord' sounded a bit pompous, and now she had a little bit of proof. "So it's like they graduate and get a diploma so that they can get called a fancy name then?" Rose asked before adding under her breath, "One of these days I'm gonna have to get my A-levels, aren't I?"

"It is more than that." Lyra answered, her voice becoming stronger. "Gallifreyans are sterile. The way I understand it, to reproduce and maintain the population, a male and female mated pair each contribute genetic material to a machine - which the Time Lords refer to as a loom. The loom somehow knits the DNA of the pair together along with the life force already contained within itself to create a Gallifreyan child. I do not understand the process entirely, but if the child that is produced is found to be a Time-Sensitive and subsequently completes his or her studies at the academy, they are re-loomed. They are put back into a similar abomination of a machine at their academy, and I believe twelve random sets of DNA, manufactured by this machine, are added to the Gallifreyan's genetic make-up. When they are damaged, their artron energy somehow activates, and one of the added sets of DNA combines with their original DNA..."

"And gives them the ability to regenerate, right?" Rose interrupted, repressing the urge to punch her fist in the air. "And that makes them a Time Lord as opposed to just a...Gallifreyan?"

"Yes, along with their academy training and other added physical traits and senses," Lyra affirmed. "They are able to regenerate their bodies twelve times. This one," she nodded in the Doctor's direction, "has already done so nine times. This is his tenth form."

Rose frowned, still trying to figure out Lyra's odd reaction. "And his being half human is...bad?"

Lyra smiled sardonically, staring at her slippered feet. "Not at all. The Gallifreyan DNA is dominant, even in its modified form. He is a full Time Lord and therefore still suitable for our purposes...with only a few minor differences, a rebellious trait apparently common to humans among them. I can sense that you're already aware of this?"

Rose grinned, despite their current situation. "Yup. I'll agree with that one." She sobered as she saw that Lyra was still disturbed. "So why are you so afraid? Is it because he's the last?" Rose had to strain to hear Lyra's reply, even though she was quite close.

"He destroyed them. The entire society of the Time Lords, the planet Gallifrey itself...everything. They all burned at his hand."

Rose pulled back slowly. "Because of the war, the Time War, between the Daleks and the Time Lords, right? He told me that he ended it...and because of that his people are gone, but they took the Daleks with them. Doesn't that make it a little bit better?" She didn't mention the numerous Daleks that had been at the game station orbiting Earth - she wasn't sure what exactly had transpired after she had looked into the TARDIS's console, but the Doctor had assured her that all of the Daleks had been destroyed.

Lyra sniffed, glancing at the Doctor, who had now rolled up on his side, his back to them. "I suppose...what he did still frightens me, but all the guilt and sorrow that he carries...I don't know how he can bear it...." She trailed off, looking back at Rose. "Even though he was commanded to perform the task by the High Council of the Time Lords...." She paused again, her eyes welling up. She dabbed at the corners of her eyes with an orange-red sleeve and continued in a small voice. "He didn't expect to survive. I think it came as something of a shock to find that he was still alive."

"Do the others know about this?"

"No, they only know that he is the last existing Time Lord. The Sisterhood does not require contact to connect our minds, only close proximity. When Sister Ohica and Sister Valna return with the reformulated soporific and bring the remaining Sisters to form the circle, they will find out soon enough, as they won't be needing to concentrate to boost my mental powers." Lyra replied, her eyes downcast.

Rose drew out a long breath, shaking her head. She got up and crossed over to where the Doctor was unsuccessfully trying to wrap himself up in the linen of the litter. "Shhhhhh," she crooned, kneeling at his side and tracing her fingers over his damp forehead and smoothing the fringe of his hair away from his eyes.

He rolled slightly toward her in response, his body in a fetal position, with his right hand slightly curled under his chin. "Don't wanna get up..." she heard him mumble. She smiled softly at the resemblance to a drowsy child and had a sudden urge to ruffle his hair.

"S'ok," she soothed, continuing to stroke his forehead. "Rest. I'll figure out something." Rose kept a wary eye on Lyra as she joined her at the Doctor's side. She wasn't sure she could trust Lyra, even though she seemed somewhat sympathetic to their situation. She didn't know if she could overpower the taller Sister, and she really didn't relish trying. She also didn't think she'd be able to drag the unconscious Time Lord to safety, even if she knew where she was going in the maze of caverns and passageways. Rose decided that her only logical course of action was to give the Doctor time to recover from the effects of the soporific, if she could. At least he was seeming more sleepy now than flat-out unconscious, so that was good.

"So...why'd they leave just you here with us?" Rose asked Lyra. "Weren't the others worried at all that he'd wake up while they were gone?"

"I am to give him another dose of the soporific if he awakens," Lyra replied.

Rose was silent, continuing to stroke the Doctor's forehead, hoping that Lyra wouldn't notice the slight twitching of his right hand.

"You care for him a great deal, I think..." Lyra continued. "And yet you go to a great deal of trouble to hide it...why?"

Rose started, wondering if Lyra could read her thoughts just by being close to her. "It's nothing...we're friends, that's all. Nothing else." Still, she thought, if it was true that he was partly human though, then maybe.... She banished the idea angrily, not wanting to delude herself. The Doctor had made his thoughts on the subject of 'domestics' abundantly clear in the past, and also when they had run into his previous companion, Sarah Jane Smith. And yet, she thought, feeling a twinge of guilt at doing so, Cassandra had been right. She had been looking. She still couldn't seem to keep from doing it even now, as her eyes roved over his unguarded form. He looked much younger in repose and still appeared to be as thin and wiry as she remembered from last Christmas. She and Mickey had changed the Doctor into a pair of her mother's extra men's pajamas after he had regenerated, and she wished now that she hadn't been so embarrassed - especially in front of Mickey - about 'looking'. Her gaze drifted to the small area of pale skin with a smattering of dark hair, exposed by his partially unbuttoned dress shirt. She couldn't resist resting her hand there for a moment, feeling his steady double heartbeat under cool skin. She sighed, drawing her hand back, but it was suddenly caught in a firm grip. Startled, Rose jerked backward, but was held fast. A pair of slightly bleary brown eyes was regarding her curiously.

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