A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
Tenth Doctor
25 Days and 25 Steps by LN29 [Reviews - 139] Printer Chapter or Story

1. Day 1: The One by LN29 [Reviews - 6] (1665 words)
And here we are on December 1 (did that go REALLY fast, or is it just me?). Thus begins our journey through the one-shots of the SbS 'verse. I don't know whether to be excited or apprehensive...

So, fair warning...these won't all be this fluffy, though I do foresee more fluff in our future. They won't be long, and I make no promises that they'll all be well-polished. These will also not be in chronological order, because I'm just planning on writing them as they're ready to go, but I'll do my best to let you know where in the timeline each story falls. For example, this one is actually, for the most part, pre-series, (except for the...commentary). It even features Nine, who continues his habit of turning up in the oddest situations in my stories. But it sets the stage nicely for what we all know will follow, and I think it's a good note to start us out on.

I hope you all enjoy this, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season!

2. Day 2: In the Darkness by LN29 [Reviews - 4] (1901 words)
Writing Mishell again makes me want to cry. I miss that girl more than I ever thought I would. And then when we add Dennel into the mix...

Not much plot to this one, just a conversation between Mishell and Dennel on the night the Doctor and Rose arrive at the bunker in Moving Forward (between chapters 3 and 4, if you want to get really technical). Truly the calm before the storm for everyone in that bunker...and though they don't know it, this is the last night these two characters will ever spend together.

3. Day 3: Time May Change Me by LN29 [Reviews - 4] (1137 words)
Just a bit of silliness. Considering the whole 'changing genders' thing is now very canon as far as the show goes, I figured it would be pretty funny to show Rose's reaction to the idea. There are probably a lot more serious avenues of discussion around this topic, but I decided to keep it light for a change.

No real specific point in the timeline, except for being after they acknowledge their feelings in TFL. It's probably pre-Mind Over Matter, though, due to the Doctor's casual use of the word 'controlling' in its usual context.

4. Day 4: Hands by LN29 [Reviews - 4] (1775 words)
And on the opposite end of the comedy spectrum, we have this.

So much time is (rightfully) spent focusing on what the Doctor went through in those months when he and Rose were separated between MF and TFL. But Rose's time in prison was rough as well, though she doesn't talk about it much, and I wanted to explore that. So today it's her turn to get some h/c.

This is edging into some dark territory (darkness in an LN29 story? Say it isn't so!), though I don't think it's anything that TFL and MoM didn't explore first. I hope it rings true, because the last thing I want is to not treat this with the gravity it deserves. It's still early in their recovery from those months, so the Doctor is much quieter than usual, but he's proven he can be strong for her just like she can be for him, and eventually, things will get better for them.

5. Day 5: Monster by LN29 [Reviews - 6] (2940 words)
An experiment in an outsider's POV, an inversion of the usual dynamics of hero and villain, and also a (painful) chance for me to explore what it must have been like for the other side of things during those two months. I've been wanting to try something like this for quite a while, and after yesterday's glimpse into Rose's ordeal, I thought it was time to give it a shot. And...ouch.

*hugs the Doctor, eyes Jac suspiciously, and glares at Amara*

I swear, the next few will be happier.

6. Day 6: What's in a Name? by LN29 [Reviews - 6] (1688 words)
Sorry, that took a bit longer than usual, but even if it's not validated until tomorrow, at least I got it finished and submitted before the day ends. (Edit: HAH! Validated with half an hour to go!)

Obviously, this is post-Two Roads Diverged, and while it's mostly just a lighthearted adventure, a very important event I've been trying to work in for a while now occurs at the end.

7. Day 7: Backyard Bonding by LN29 [Reviews - 5] (1939 words)
A random slice-of-life that takes place a few days after the end of Two Roads Diverged, after the Doctor and Rose go to spend some time with Paz and Kaye in an attempt to put themselves back together. Which was uploaded, if not validated, on the 7th, I swear. *grumble* I'll submit Day 8 sometime during the afternoon to get us back on track.

Also, several years after I had to cut a similar scene out of The Finish Line because it was messing up the pacing, that poor plant finally gets moved out of its pot and into the ground.

8. Day 8: When He Dreams by LN29 [Reviews - 5] (2094 words)
So much for happier ones...

Despite the fun and humor and heroics and love, this is still such a sad show. The Doctor is such a sad character, and when you start to think about everything that has happened to him in all those hundreds and hundreds of years...everything he has seen and done and lost...he is damaged, and that's not going to go away. His life may have taken a happier turn in this 'verse, and it's easier for him to keep going and shut out the darkness now that he has his family, but there is still so much darkness, both in the stories I've written and the canon of the show itself, and there are bound to be moments when it all comes crashing back down. These are those moments.

But they are never so dark that he cannot find his way back.

We will get to meet the baby before Christmas, I promise. Probably quite soon now, as I have sooooo many ideas when it comes to these two and parenthood.

9. Day 9: Jack by LN29 [Reviews - 4] (2251 words)

I always hated the fact that the Doctor left Jack behind, even after he'd traveled with them and done so much for them, and it never felt right to me. So this is my attempt to make it, if not right, at least a little better.

10. Day 10: That Which They Defend by LN29 [Reviews - 3] (2491 words)
A bit on the late side, mostly due to the black hole that occasionally makes up validation, but some shippiness to make up for it!

This is based off a throwaway line in "Step by Step" where Rose tells Jackie that she has some basic medical knowledge from when she and the Doctor got involved in an 'incident' on a planet and she ended up working in a hospital for about a week. This is pre-trilogy...pre-anything in this 'verse, actually... probably happening sometime after Age of Steel in terms of actual episodes. Thus, any romantic feelings are painfully unspoken on both sides.

The title comes from a quote in The Two Towers: “War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

11. Day 11: Here and Now by LN29 [Reviews - 5] (2142 words)
I haven't done anything from the TARDIS's perspective in a loooong time, and jumping straight into attempting this was...much more difficult than I anticipated. She is a very scattered narrator, and in some ways a bit detached, but at the same time, she lends an outside and otherworldly perspective that can be fascinating to explore.

There's obviously a lot going on here that she either doesn't pick up on or doesn't deem worthy of notice in favor of what she's getting from the Doctor and Rose (I imagine that there had to be SOMEONE else helping, someone they trust, maybe Sarah Jane or even Grace from Eight's movie if they wanted someone with actual medical training, even if she did sort of kill Seven by mistake). But in some ways, her outsider's perspective allows me to keep the focus on some of the most important aspects of this scene, and just let the rest speak for themselves.


12. Day 12: Like Brother, Like Sister by LN29 [Reviews - 5] (1925 words)
A serious change of pace, and a quick look at how the 'other side' is doing a few years down the line.

Parting the way they did won't be easy for them, and the loss will be difficult to get over. But being able to exchange goodbyes on the beach did help give some closure that their initial parting was definitely lacking, and deep down, they know that there really was no other way to save Jackie's life. And time, as it so often does, has a habit of softening blows that seem devastating at the outset.

Also, six years down the line, I imagine that Mickey does have at least a girlfriend, though I couldn't work her into the story itself without feeling unnecessarily exposition-y. But I think they met while she was interning at Torchwood, and she's getting her PhD in some sort of science. (Mickey just nods and pretends to understand what she's talking about...he got good at that while traveling with the Doctor) She hates flying and she fixes her own cars, and she's the only person Mickey has ever met who can out-do him when it comes to computers. In all, she is about as opposite from Rose as you can get. Not that you all needed to know any of that, but if you were wondering what Mickey got up to in this 'verse, well then...there you have it.

13. Day 13: Serendipity by LN29 [Reviews - 8] (4523 words)
Way longer than usual, which is why this one's a bit late.

Credit where credit is due, this one was definitely inspired in part by a story I read on here YEARS ago by "CharmingSlayer," where the Fifth Doctor ended up the impromptu babysitter of one of the Doctor and Rose's kids in her 'verse. I thought the idea was hilarious then, and when I started thinking of scenarios for this 'verse, it struck me as too good an opportunity to pass by. Except that I decided to tackle an even earlier Doctor. (A Doctor I have never even attempted to write before, so I sincerely apologize if anything's off.)

If it were anyone else, this would be really irresponsible parenting on the Doctor's part. But, really, if you can't trust yourself... ;)

14. Day 14: Face to Face by LN29 [Reviews - 3] (1944 words)
This actually got its start as a school project a few years ago, when I had to write a short story inspired by, or in the style of, a famous short story. I chose the Cask of Amontillado, and utilized the concept of a first-person narrator taking over-the-top revenge on someone by means of methodical confinement. Only in my version, it was Amara and the Doctor. And so, for today's story, I dug out the old thing and did some editing to polish it up for you all, since I've been thinking about uploading this for a while anyway, and this is the perfect time to do it.

So. A glimpse into the first day of the Doctor's captivity, expanding on some of the themes from my earlier story 'Monster,' and also a glimpse into a mind I hope never to have to explore like this again. This was even worse than writing Jac, and it's mood whiplash at its finest, I know. But I guess after three days of baby/little kid cuteness, we were bound to get at least some angst. :(

15. Day 15: Gloriana by LN29 [Reviews - 4] (3767 words)
Another story featuring Elizabeth before she's queen, though she is older in this one (about 14). And, unfortunately, this story does involve some disturbing implications/themes that are taken right from the history books. Because that girl could not catch a break. After seeing what her mother and stepmothers went through, and then THIS, no wonder she never married. It's really amazing that she managed to go on to be as powerful a queen as she was, after the start she got in life. Is it any wonder the Doctor likes her? (Purely paternally, in this 'verse, of course.)

Speaking of her as a queen, the title comes from one of her nicknames once she became queen.

Historically, Catherine Parr finally kicked Elizabeth out of the house for 'tempting' her husband or some such nonsense (may I repeat, Elizabeth was 14 years old!). I merely posit that she might have had a bit of...persuasion...in coming to that decision to remove Elizabeth from the premises.

16. Day 16: New Life on New Earth by LN29 [Reviews - 6] (1619 words)
BABY! That's really all that can be said about this one.

Can you believe we're more than halfway through these? It feels like we only just started, but we've got just a little over a week till Christmas!!! Where does the time go? I'm actually quite proud of how these have turned out so far...I wasn't sure how this was going to work when I first started these...and it's been a great exercise in writing with a serious deadline. Now if I can just keep it up for the remaining nine stories...

17. Day 17: We Had Chips by LN29 [Reviews - 7] (2531 words)
I really like outside perspectives of these two, for some reason. And hey, we never did see where they ended up going for chips after "The End of the World." But I like to think they made a regular thing of it, which might have been interesting given the whole 'Rose went missing for a year' thing.

The timeframe for this story should be fairly self-explanatory, I think. Also, hurray for Nine making another appearance in something I wrote! And this one is fairly normal by his standards...at least, it's not involving Disney princesses or upside-down books or sentient clouds!

18. Day 18: Keeping Strong by LN29 [Reviews - 5] (2195 words)
Again, timeframe for this one should be obvious. Remember in The Finish Line when Rose told the Doctor that there had been a fever that went around the prison at one point during those months, and that Mishell had caught it? That Rose had taken care of her and helped her through it?


19. Day 19: Babysitting by LN29 [Reviews - 9] (2040 words)
What happens when the Doctor is left alone with his cranky half-human, half-Time Lord daughter, and is consequently a bit cranky (and a LOT distracted) himself.

Rose will probably never leave him alone again once she hears about this...

20. Day 20: No Jumping Allowed by LN29 [Reviews - 6] (2258 words)
Bringing Jack into this 'verse brings the rest of his team into it as well, and I figured this was as good a way as any to show it. And now that Rose doesn't have Jackie to go home to when things get rough, well...

We're somewhere around the series 1 timeline for Torchwood (obviously, things might play out a bit differently from then onward thanks to the Doctor and Rose being on the scene and known to the crew.) I haven't watched a ton of Torchwood, but I've seen enough to hopefully have at least some handle on Owen. Jack, of course, is much more familiar.

21. Day 21: Ghosts by LN29 [Reviews - 4] (2177 words)
A cameo from a rather familiar face.

Since we're pretty definitely AU by now, a lot of things would probably happen differently following series 2. The timeframes will be theoretically different, they might not go to the same places or at the same points in time, and Hope's very existence pretty much changes everything from here on out. Case in point, our guest star today is just that...a guest star. Though I'm not discounting that they might run into her again at some point (say, if a certain rhino-looking race decide to transport a hospital to the moon one day), but the Doctor's already got his hands full with his two girls...three, counting the TARDIS.

So, yeah. No real story arc behind this one...just a brief cameo that I thought would be fun to try.

22. Day 22: Beautiful Things by LN29 [Reviews - 5] (2150 words)
A bit late...my apologies.

This takes place the night/morning of Rose and the Doctor's first night with Paz and Kaye after the events of Two Roads Diverged. Sometimes when we put the characters through so much darkness, it's difficult to remember that there are so many good and light moments that make it all worthwhile. We've seen some of those in past days in this very collection of stories. These two are poised on the brink of an entirely new adventure, and it's good to start them off with a reminder that we all could use every once in a while.

23. Day 23: A New Generation by LN29 [Reviews - 7] (2751 words)
Unlike all these other stories, this story is a HUGE jump into the far future...at least twenty years after the end of Two Roads Diverged, maybe even more. And it's just a tiny glimpse into what might be in store for some of these characters much further down the line. (Joni is the little girl who spent most of her appearances in Moving Forward and The Finish Line clinging to Rose, fyi)

Thelonelycompanionn...how's this for your headcanon? ;)

24. Day 24: Say My Name by LN29 [Reviews - 9] (2354 words)
I promise, Day 25's story will be happy and fluffy and everything a Christmas Day story should be.

But this story is different from all the others we've had this month for a very important reason. Like the others, it serves as a little slice-of-life in the existence of our favorite family...a window into the Step by Step 'verse. It can, and does, stand alone, just like all the rest.

But this particular story also serves the purpose of testing the waters/being a preview for a possible full-length story that's beginning to take shape in my head. It wouldn't be ready for a long time...if I even decided to go ahead with it at all, beyond this oneshot...but I figured if ever I was going to give this a try, this collection was the time and place to do it.

See you on Day 25 and the conclusion of our epic journey!

25. Day 25: Hope's First Christmas by LN29 [Reviews - 9] (2280 words)
Told you it'd be happier. And it's even earlier than usual in an attempt to make sure this actually goes up on Christmas Day.

So here we are, all the way on Dec 25th, 25 stories later. We've had happy ones and sad ones, we've laughed at their antics and cried at their misfortunes, we've been to the past and caught glimpses of the future, we revisited old friends and we met someone entirely new, and in all, I think it's been an absolutely amazing month. I'm very proud of how this turned out, and I'm so, so grateful to have had all of you along for the ride! Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed, not just these stories, but anything in this 'verse.

Have a very Merry Christmas...and a Happy Who Year! ;)

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