So, You Wanted to Get Hitched? by Angelbev21



Summary: Sequel to Wisdom War and Tea. The Doctor decides Rose needs to take a little vacation from saving the universes, so he treats her to a week at a quaint little inn in the small town of Santa Paula, California, circa 1935 but nothing is quite what it seems.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Jack Harkness, Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th), The TARDIS
Genres: Action/Adventure, Het
Warnings: Swearing
Challenges: None
Series: Action Rose: Shop Girl, Doctor, Soldier, Wife
Published: 2007.11.03
Updated: 2007.12.25


Index

Chapter 1: Chapter 1-Peace
Chapter 2: Chapter 2-Plans
Chapter 3: Chapter 3-Enemies
Chapter 4: Chapter 4-And the Hunt Begins
Chapter 5: Chapter 5-Rabbits with Teeth
Chapter 6: Chapter 6-Locks to a Past
Chapter 7: Chapter 7-An Unguarded Moment
Chapter 8: Chapter 8-Truces
Chapter 9: Chapter 9-Confrontations
Chapter 10: Chapter 10-Now the fun....
Chapter 11: Chapter 11-Begins!
Chapter 12: Chapter 12-Consequences
Chapter 13: Chapter 13-A New Life
Chapter 14: Chapter 14-Afterglow and Evil Thoughts
Chapter 15: Chapter 15-Babies
Chapter 16: Chapter 16-Running
Chapter 17: Chapter 17-Guardians' Whims
Chapter 18: Chapter 18-Realities
Chapter 19: Chapter 19-A Promise
Chapter 20: Chapter 20-The Efforts of Conversion
Chapter 21: Chapter 21-The Problem with Hell
Chapter 22: Chapter 22-Is That, Heaven Is What You Make It


Chapter 1: Chapter 1-Peace

The Doctor walked around the controls of his T.A.R.D.I.S. for the umpteenth time and realized his fidgeting was from everything being too peaceful. "Not good for my constitution, old Girl," he said out loud to his ship, as he stopped and looked up at the ceiling.

"Hmmmmm. Makes me bit nervous, the universe being too quiet. By the way, I wonder where Rose is? She's even been too quiet lately. Ever since I proposed, I've seen less and less of her." He pushed a couple of buttons on the panel and asked, "Where's she at, please?"

His answer came in the form of music blaring from the loudspeaker. "Where is that from? That sounds like...Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water'...." T.A.R.D.I.S.'s answer came quick. "The Library? The Library? Why would she be listening to music in the Library when you're supposed to READ in the Library?" Abruptly, the music changed to what sounded like Prince's 'When Doves Cry.' From the way the cords were strummed, he knew it wasn't the original recording.

"Is she actually playing an electric guitar? In my Library?"

Suddenly the music switched to the beginning riffs from Lynard Skynard's 'Freebird.' "Oh., my, I've GOT to see this!"

He sprinted down the hallway made a left, a left, another left, took the stairs two at a time and made it in time to hear her sing. He stood at the doorway and leaned against the frame with his hands in his pockets, listening. She was so concentrated on her task, she didn't register his presence.

"If I leave here tomorrooow...." Rose sang and the Doctor, smiling, slowly inched into the room and settled down to sit on top of the desk by the astronomy section. She sang it as if she meant every word and by the time she got the end of the vocals and started the guitar solo, the Doctor was so mesmerized by her talent, he just sat there in awe as her fingers flew up and down the neck of the guitar. The music crescendoed and then fell, and with it his stomach as she came to the end, drawing out the last note with the bar. As she reached for a cup that sat next to her she caught him from the corner of her eye and smiled.

"Well, look who's back from the control room."

He continued to smile, grabbed a chair and sat down next to her. "Missy, I should really, really, really be yelling at you for ruinning the quiet of a dignified library such as my own, but my God, can you play! You never told me."

Rose's smile widened as only she could, her habit of catching her tongue between her teeth made it sweeter. "You never asked. I can play the piano over there, too, but I was in a guitar mood."

"When did you learn to play? I mean both..."

She set the guitar down and leaned back holding the cup in one hand as she did. "Oh, it was somewhere in my early thirties, I think. When the mutation started to really accelerate, I began learning more and more,. That's how I got my degrees...remember when I could barely do math? Now, comes easy. Back then I said, why not? I always wanted to play, just thought I never had the talent and then, presto! I picked it up so quick you'd thought I'd nicked it."

"And all this while I thought you were being a studious student."

She set the cup down. "I was. I was very concentrated on task to learn about as much of Gallifrey as I could. Being a good girl," she pointed at the stacks, "I picked up one book after another, all Gallifreyan, all the most knowledgable books I'd ever seen, but I wasn't getting much headway with them. One of them was a primer, of sorts. My mood was quite squashed when I realized I could barely understand a Gallifreyan elementary book. It's one thing to read a language and entirely something different when you're supposed to understand it and can't."

He took both of her hands in his and twirled the blue-faceted ring on her left hand with a thumb. "Don't worry, it will come. I have faith in my Rose Tyler."

She leaned forward and sat nose to nose, touching foreheads. "Ah, but does Rose Tyler have the patience of a saint to wait until the holy word manifested in her brain? I think not, Love. I told you, I'll leave the smarts to you. It's in safer hands then mine."

"Yeah, but who's got your hands?" At that, both of them smiled and kissed. He sat back and pulled her to him, making her sit in his lap. "Oooh, so what did I do to get to sit in the lap of a Timelord?" She continued to smile as she wrapped her arms around him and started to nibble on an ear. Her administrations always made him shudder, but he was determined to finish his train of thought.

"Showing a brilliant talent and disappearing on me for hours at a time. What's really going on, Rose? What's the matter?"

She stopped what she was doing and looked at him, her mood suddenly shifted to serious. "You don't want to know." She made to get up, but he held her down. "Talk to me, Rose. I'm listening and I'm not going anywhere."

She refused to look him in the eye, but she settled back against his shoulder and for a few minutes, said nothing. He felt her sigh, her body going tense as he held her.

"If it was anyone other than you walking through that door, the old me would have taken the guitar and bashed you over the head with it for interrupting my thinking time. But it's you and you know me better than anyone." He was surprised at her admission, but decided to stay quiet, allowing her to continue. He only brushed away the hair that hung in her face, as she spoke. "Back on the other earth, for all the money that my dad had, I refused to own anything. I wouldn't buy a car, rented flats, wouldn't even commit to a cable bill. I was too afraid, wanted to keep my options open until someone like you came along. But you never came, not even an alternate you. Then the research went far and wide when I mentioned it to my dad. Ultimately, it was discovered that there were never any Timelords. No one to swoop down and save the day and save the lonely damsel in distress. I got older and I guess I got more set in my ways...and maybe, I just didn't care anymore. I lived for the hunt. Give me a wayward alien, recalcitrant negotiation in progess, and I'd step in and stir things up. Zeke once said I had a death wish. Fact was, I wouldn't admit it, but I did. I felt like I was on the slow path, dying a little more each day you weren't there. I really got used to living alone, living life by the seat of my pants. Not answerable to anyone or anything, 'cause it really didn't matter. You weren't there." She set a hand on his cheek and she finally looked at him, her eyes still showing the old pain.

The Doctor listened and, despite her words, understood and his tone was just as serious. He kissed her forehead and held her tighter. "Yeah, I felt the same way. Don't beat yourself up Rose, at least you didn't offer yourself up to a Dalek to die." At that, he felt her hand stiffen on his cheek, but all she said was, "you didn't."

"I thought I couldn't live without you. I hurt so much, I just wanted the pain to end. I kept telling myself that I was stupid, falling for a simple little ape like you, but the truth was, you weren't so simple and you were never an ape. You did something I'd never be able to do. You looked into the heart of the T.A.R. D. I.S. and, not only did you look, but you took her in and you survived."

She smiled a sad smile. "I only survived because you made it so but, you had to regenerate because of me. That wasn't so good."

"For me, you were more precious than the most precious thing in the galaxies that exist. It didn't matter. But I still couldn't get too close.."

"Because if you loved too much, this lowly human would have broken your two hearts in two when I died, because the Timelord curse would always let you live. You told me and I understood better than you realized."

"I know you did, but that's the past. What are you upset about now, love? Are you getting cold feet on me?"

She sat up at that and looked him in the eye. "No, God, no! I just, it's..I don't know, just everything happened too fast. Me dying, coming here, finding you near death, having to operate.....you know even for me, that was a bit much. Then having to save two universes and dying again...I really don't want to do that again. Sorry, no repeats there, thank you." She took both hands and framed his face. "Then you give me a heart attack by proposing. It just all feels...surreal. Yeah, surreal is a really good word. Sums it up pretty good." She smiled, trying to soften her words as her expression begged him to undertand.

"So.....you need to have some breathing space.....a vacation, maybe?" A slow smile materialized on her face and he watched her think.

"Vacation....yeah, a pre-wedding vacation, just the two of us. My, that does sound nice. Somewhere simple, quiet, with a warm breeze and wind on your face..."

He got up quick but carried her with him in his excitement. "I know just the place! A little inn called the Glen Tavern Inn, just on the outskirts of Santa Paula, California, the Citrus Capitol of the world! Movie stars and big wigs used to hobnob there and it's practically on the ocean. We'll go back to the 1930's and play the jetset! No one will question an out-of-town couple like ourselves...and we'll spend the evening combing the beaches What do you say, Rose, want to meet a few stars?" He winked.

Rose laughed and held him tight. "Sounds perfect! Hope we can find enough bananas for you, but...what are we going to do for money?"

"Oh, I don't know, rob an ATM?" She pushed back and looked him dead in the eye. "Oh, no, that won't do! They didn't have ATMs back then, you know that."

He grabbed her back and held her tight. "I'm kidding! I think I can manage a pound or two..oh, wait, it's dollars and cents there." He kissed the top of her head and let her go, smiling. "Off with you, go pack. Plan to stay about a week, leave me to the particulars. Meet me back in the control room in about an hour."

She cocked an eye at him and put a hands to her hips. "And what are you going to do, pray tell? You're sure about this? We're not going to end up in London, again?"

"Get ready." He smiled his famous smile and off he went, leaving Rose shaking her head.

Back to index


Chapter 2: Chapter 2-Plans

Rose stood in the control room, impatient, tapping her foot and waiting on her Doctor. Her bags had been packed in fifteen minutes, her attire was chosen in twenty and it only took her fifteen to clean up and apply a little makeup and do her hair. So much for the myth about females taking longer to get ready than men. 'But, he's the Doctor, so he's probably packing the kitchen sink to go with the vacation,' Rose thought, a wry smile appearing.

"Doctor? Where are you?"

She heard commotion coming from down the hallway and soon he appeared, bringing along a large suit case and dressed in a new suit, black pinstripped and large lapeled, with big pockets amd spats to match, carrying a black hat.

He sat the suitcase down with a thump, placed the hat on top of it, and brushed his hair back, looking at her for the first time. He took in her figure-hugging dress: a black pinstripe with white lace at her neckline and wrists with high-heeled pointed black shoes. Black fish-net hose disappeared where the dress started and a hat topped off her dress, matching black with a little black lace that just covered her eyes and cocked at a low sloped angle. She had finished her look with ruby red lipstick and red nailpolish to match.

"What have you got packed in there, lead?" Her look was dubious as she eyed his suitcase.

He stepped up to her and took her hand and made her twirl. "Brilliant! Oh, look at you! Right vixen you are and we're matching suits." He pulled her to him and she laughed as she fell into his arms. "I knew it. I'm going to have to beat the men off with a stick. You're gorgeous, simply gorgeous!" He bent and kissed her neck and she giggled, running a hand through his hair as his hands settled at her waist.

"Look who's talking! I'm going to have to beat the women off with hammer! You're not so bad yourself, love."

He raised his head with a glint of mischeviousness in his eye. "All this talk of beating for a little vacation of love. Such violence! Think you're up to it?"

"Oh, I'm very 'up to it,' don't you worry. The challenge is going to be keeping you still for more than 5 minutes at a time and getting you to enjoy yourself. The upside is, there's not going to be real technology about and no computers in sight. Think you can handle that?" She eyed the suitcase standing innocently at their feet.

"Oh," he looked up at the ceiling and back at her and smiled his brilliant smile, "it'll be...a piece of cake. You'll keep me busy." He wiggled his eyebrows at her and she laughed, swatting his bum as she stepped away from him and folded her arms. "Oh, yes, I will, count on it. Shall we be off?"

"Right!" He stepped to the controls and started setting them. "Off we go to 1935 California!"




Parking the T.A.R.D.I.S. inside an unused garden shed was nothing compared to getting out of the shed and walking the property of the Inn to make it appear they had just arrived. With shoes slightly muddy from the walk, they entered the spacious lobby and walked up to the front desk, the Doctor struggling with both bags.

"I say, good man, where's there a good bell hop when you need one?" He let both bags drop to the floor and glared at the manager of the front desk, who waved a hand for a bell hop to come over. Rose pretended to cough into her hand as she hid her smile at his performance.

"And your name, sir? Do you have a reservation?" The manager appeared as if the Doctor was already taking too much of his time. The Doctor quickly pulled out the psychic paper and waved it under the man's nose.

"Indeed I do, good sir. What does it say there?"

The man read it and appeared shocked. "I'm so sorry, Doctor Tyler, I wasn't aware His Majesty King George gave you holiday on such a short notice. We have the Honeymoon Suite available at the moment. Will that suit your needs for you and your wife?"

The Doctor, surprised, looked at the paper himself but saw nothing there but recovered quickly. "Aah, uh, yes, that will be sufficient." Rose kept looking everywhere but at her intended in order to not completely burst out laughing. As the Doctor made headway between the manager, the bell hop and bags, she decided to allow herself to look around for a few moments.

It was a rustic but quaint inn, done in the Tudor style and handsomely furnished but something tugged at her consciousness. Something wasn't quite right, something just didn't feel...fixed, as if any moment, the very fabric of reality was about to shift to her left and it made her stomach tighten, the knot just under her ribcage.

"Rose?" She looked around as he said her name and the Doctor made a quick motion at his neck and then pointed at her eyes. "This way to our room?" She lowered her head and calmed herself down and it allowed the vortex energy to stop shining through and when she looked back up at him, he smiled. He came to her side and offered her his arm and she took it as they followed the bell hop to the lift.

"Are we feeling alright, dear?" His whisper was soft, but to her he might as well have shouted the question.

"Everything's fine, under control, just a bit off, that's all." The knot in her stomach refused to go away

They entered the lift and rode it in silence, the bell hop not noticing a thing. The lift stopped and the bell hop got off first and they followed him the short walk to their suite. As he opened the door for them, he annouced with a southern drawl and a smile, "Doctor, my name is Edward. Just ring the manager any time, night or day if you need anything and I'll be more than happy to accomodate. If you wish to take a tour of the grounds or the town, just let me know. Dinner is at seven unless you'd like it delivered to your room and the champagne is complimentary," he waved a hand toward the side table, where a bucket filled with champagne and ice sat,"and always on ice. Maid service always pops in around 10-ish, unless you hang the 'Do-Not-Disturb' sign right here on the knob and, would you need anything now?"

The Doctor, watching Rose intently, shook his head. "No, Edward, nothing at the moment, although..later, we might want to go to the beach." He fished around in his pocket and pulled out a five dollar bill, which made Edward nearly drop it in his shock at recieving such a large tip.

"Understandable, sir and a lovely beach we have. Just ring the manager and we'll have a car ready for you unless you'd like us to drive you?"

"Uh, how far away is the beach?"

"Approximately 12 miles, sir. Not far away at all."

At that, Rose couldn't help it, she couldn't suppress the giggle as the Doctor opened his mouth as his eyebrows nearly hit his hairline. "12 miles, miles you say?"

Rose decided to speak up. "Edward, thank you ever so much. We'll ring you or the manager if we need anything."

"Very good, madame. Enjoy your stay."

As he closed the door, Rose took off her hat and threw it to the bed and kicked off her shoes in the process. "Now I remember why I liked my trainers better! Those shoes are killers!" She plopped down on the bed and leaned back, closing her eyes as she wiggled her toes in ecstacy.

"Rose." She refused to open her eyes, but she didn't need them. She could feel the Doctor's concern for her where she sat and answered his question she knew was coming.

"I'm sorry about the 'eyes' thing, I couldn't help it. This place, it's nice and all but something's wrong." She opened her eyes to find him bent over and closely inspecting her from head to toe. "Can't you feel it?"

"No, I'm sorry, love. I don't feel a thing. Actually, I'm sorry about everything. Nothing's turning out the way I planned." He rubbed the back of his neck and sat down next tor her. "Especially the beach, I thought this place was a lot closer to the beach. I was really looking forward to having the beach next door. Then again, we can always take the T.A.R.D.I.S.-"

"Oh, the best laid plans of mice and Timelords but no, we're not. We're going native. I'll drive us to the beach." He looked back at her, smiling, and leaned back himself, imitating her. "Oh, you'll drive?"

"I'll drive. I had a mate who loved American cars and when she was shipped to New York, she invited me along and forced me drive hers everywhere for a month. I actually got used to driving on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road."

"And about the 'feeling' you have?"

She scrunched up her nose, closed her eyes and with a hint of a smile, she leaned back her head, her hair starting to come loose from it's pins. "If I tell you, it's going to ruin what little plans you still have intact, Doctor Tyler."

The Doctor leaned over and started taking the pins out of her hair, one by one. "Plans, shmans. If you're enjoying yourself I'm happy, but if you're bothered, then I need to know because, if you're bothered, something is really, really wrong. Tell me."

"Snog first and tell later?" She looked at him and winked, smiling.

"Oh, no, Rose Tyler! Not yet, no you don't, this could be very, very seri-." Soft, luscious lips met his and hands pulled him down on top of her and all thoughts stopped.

Niether one saw the black humanoid figure slide into existance near the window, then slide out, nor did they see the ripple that resulted from the passage, but Rose felt it and shot up off the bed, nearly throwing the Doctor to the floor.

Standing in stocking feet, battle-ready, she'd had enough. "That's it! I've had it! I'm going to have a vacation or else. Nothing is going to stop it! Doctor, did you feel that one? Did you feel reality shift?"

The Doctor got up and pulled out his sonic screwdriver from his jacket and pointed at the window. "Yes, that one I did and it was big. Really big." He ran the screwdriver and stopped. The look on his face wasn't good.

"What?"

He shook his head and put the screwdriver back into his jacket. "Your not going to like it."

She relaxed her stance and looked at him. "What? Tell me."

He put his hands in his pockets and his serious look disappeared, smiling wide. "It's haunted. We're in a haunted hotel. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!"

Back to index


Chapter 3: Chapter 3-Enemies

“Haunted?”

“Quite.”

“That energy signature didn’t feel like ‘haunted’ to me. I’ve been to haunted houses, I’ve felt haunted and this was different.”

The Doctor moved closer to Rose as she spoke until he was nose to nose with her, his brow furrowed in thought.

“How different?”

“Quantum physics explains the existence of the paranormal, but for me, it’s like music, like different tones on a scale. Normally for me, haunted houses are on the low end of the scale but that thing just rippled reality. It hopped off the scale like someone hitting a wrong note on a piano. That wasn’t normal.”

“I believe you, but I’m not getting anything beyond what I interpret as normal.”

“Bohm’s Theory, implicate order…just because you’re interpreting one way doesn’t mean the way that I’m interpreting it is wrong, either. Quantum uncertainty signifies the collapsing of the wave function versus human consciousness, or in this case, Timelord consciousness, and the interpretation of quantum physics as it’s implied in this reality. Only a few seconds passed from the time I felt it, you felt it and when you analyzed it. Which, in this case, opens up the can of worms on intensity versus time affecting the wave collapse and the variables of observation. Have you considered the fact that I could be more sensitive because I have T.A.R.D.I.S.’s energy running through my veins? We could be both right, but which interpretation are you going to consider? My version, your version or the sonic screwdriver’s?” She folded her arms and waited for his response. He looked at her, his brown eyes into hers, considering what she said.

“By Rassilon, I love it when you’re this intense. You give me all kinds of goosebumps.”

A moment passed and then they both burst out laughing.

“Answer my question, mate,” She said, when she finally caught her breath, catching the edges of his jacket in her fingertips, “your ribs depend on it.”

He put his arms around her and hugged her, taking in her scent as he did. “I believe you. Screwdriver, be damned.” He placed kisses along the side of her neck and she let him, her tension slowly easing as he made his way to her lips. After a few moments he let her up for air. “Want to go ghost-hunting, Elmer Fudd?”

She smiled and lodged her tongue between her teeth, cocked her head to the side. “I will if you will, waskly-wabbit.”

Smiling, he grabbed her hand and led her toward the door. “The first place you felt it was the Lobby, wasn’t it? Off we go.”

She stopped him in mid stride, jerking him in the process, as a thought occurred. “Wait, what time is it?”

Looking a bit perturbed, he asked, “Why?”

“Because in this time period, if it’s close to dinner, everyone dressed up to go to dinner. We’ve got a lobby full of people that’s seen us in these clothes and it wouldn’t be in good taste if we loiter in the lobby with our traveling clothes on, especially if it’s close to the dinner hour.” To make her point she looked back at her discarded muddy heels.

The Doctor put a hand in his pocket and considered her statement, looking up at the wall clock above the suite’s sofa. “Oh, right again. It’s 6:00. Edward said dinner would be served at seven but I was so hoping to have room service….”

She smiled and release her grip from his and slid her hand up his arm to run her fingers through his hair. “Oh, we’ll have room service later, I won’t let you forget.”

Her lips nipped his earlobe and she pulled away, heading for the bathroom. He watched as her hips swayed out of view, and shook his head. Nine hundred and fifty one years it took him to find his match and now he was playing with Fate just to make the time. The universe wasn’t bloody fair.

“Oh, I know you won’t.”




Precisely at seven, Doctor Tyler and his wife, dressed in proper dinner attire, appeared at the hotel’s restaurant and were escorted to their seats.

As they waited for the waiter to bring their drinks, they took in their surroundings, specifically, the people.

“Well, I don’t recognize anyone, do you?” Rose took a sip of water and continued to appreciate the vision before her, her doctor in a tuxedo. She smiled, as she could only think of one word to describe him, delicious.

The Doctor mistook the smile for what it was and continued to look around. “No, sorry, tonight’s not a good night for seeing the stars but, we’ll have a good meal, won’t we?”

“Yes, very, and no, my spider sense isn’t tingling yet.”

“How did you know that was going to be my next question?”

Rose continued to smile and winked at him. “If I have to keep up appearances on us being the ‘old married couple,’ I have to start thinking like one too, don’t I?”

Before the Doctor could respond, the waiter returned with their drinks and took their order. The Doctor ordered the salmon and gave Rose a surprised look but said nothing when she ordered steak, medium rare. As the waiter walked away, Rose picked up her glass and took a sip and sat it back down, her fingers resting at its stem, keeping her voice low.

“Go ahead.”

“What?” The Doctor gave her his ‘innocent’ look.

“You’re about to ask why I ordered steak.”

“Well….I was about to comment. I’ve never seen you eat something like that before…”

“I’m craving it. I don’t eat it often, but I do.” She leaned forward, whispering conspiratorially, “Saving universes can do that to one’s constitution.” She leaned back and winked, taking another sip.

The Doctor laughed and took a sip of his drink as well. “Gaaw! Well, as long as you don’t eat the kitchen sink…And, answer me this. ‘Action Rose, at-your-service?’ I mean, it’s apt and all, but woman, your abilities are a little more than just G.I. Jane...”

“Oi! Just? I’ve a rep to maintain! If my men heard you say that, they’d have hung you by your boot straps!” She leaned in again and grabbed his hand across the table, her expression softening. “But, you should know that, you read my mind?“

“Yes, I did, but I only wanted to prove you are you. I mean, I didn’t want to delve too deep, in case-“

“In case I was a Sliveen?” She smiled a small smile. “That was a hell of a risk you took. But…what about something more…permanent?” At his expression, she continued. “For all we know, we’re the only two Timelords in existence. You’ve admitted it. You’ve always said you could feel if there were other Timelords and you knew there weren’t because you couldn’t. Yet, when I shut down the green vortex, I heard you and I answered you. Do we have a link? Why can’t I feel you if we do? Or, if we had one, do you think that would be utterly boring, constantly being inside each others heads?”

The Doctor took her hand in both of his and considered her questions. He looked up after a few moments and finally answered her, keeping his own voice as low as hers.

“Yes, it was a risk, but you’re worth it. As for the telepathy, it will always be there when we need it. You really don’t have to question it. As for keeping the link open, it definitely wouldn’t be boring…”

“I hear the ‘but’ coming…”

“I’ve got too much baggage from 951 one years of living. You don’t want to have access to that. I couldn’t do that to anyone, least of all you, my love.”

“OK, I’ll give you that.” She noticed the waiter coming with their tray of food over his shoulder and nodded. “Food.”

The Doctor sat back and rubbed his hands together in anticipation. “Excellent! About time, too.”

As the waiter set down their plates of food, the pain started. Rose closed her eyes against it as it hit her squarely in the pit of her stomach and her forehead, simultaneously. She took a deep breath, fighting it and hoped the Doctor hadn’t noticed. Suddenly, the room became quiet, no clinking of glasses, no low voices. She opened her eyes to find no Doctor, no food and the room void of people except for a table in the far corner, a shaft of afternoon light illuminated the scene as four men sat around it, smoking cigars and holding cards in their hands.

She couldn’t hear what they were saying, but suddenly one man threw down his cards and stood up, pointing at the man across from him. She heard him then, as he accused the other of cheating and demanding his money back or else. The she couldn’t see the other’s face but saw his hands moving, obviously trying to defend himself. Quicker then she realized, the one who started the argument pulled out his gun and shot the other squarely in the chest. She watched the man fall back in his chair from the blast as the smoke from the gun filled the scene. The man then grabbed a bag from the middle of the table and continued to point the gun at the other two men and ran out of the room, leaving silence behind. From out of nowhere, a black figure appeared in front of her and she jumped back as its coal red eyes stared in to hers and it made her shutter from the waves of hate radiating off of it.

“GET OUT!”

Before she could react, it hit her, smacking her in the face so hard she saw stars light the back of her eyes and she felt her body spin round from the impact. She fell into something and went down hard, cutting her hand in the process and realized her nose was bleeding as she felt the warmth of the blood trickle over her lip. She tried to get up, but she felt the room sway and realized it was her, as she became dizzy, then dizzier, the room spinning out of control and the buzzing made her ears ring. The blackness claimed her then, and Rose Tyler lost consciousness, the silence her only friend.






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Chapter 4: Chapter 4-And the Hunt Begins

The Doctor had picked up his folk and knife, about to cut into his fish, when he looked up and saw Rose looking off to her right, her eyes glowing and staring off into nothing. The alarms went off in his head as her watched her react to whatever she was seeing. She had such a curious look and then it transformed into one of concern, then shock.

He slowly set down his utensils and looked around to see if anyone was noticing her behavior but everyone was engrossed in their own conversations and meals.

"Rose."

She never responded, and his level of worry went up ten notches. He watched her as she got up then, one hand on the table, still staring as she watched something he couldn't see. He looked in the direction she was staring but saw nothing unusual. He got up to see if he could help her or get a response but her head whipped back and her body jerked and she went down, flying around as if someone or something had just smacked her in the face.

"Rose!"

He tried catching her but as she went down, her body hit the table next to them and sent cutlery and dishes flying.

"My word!"

"Good heavens!" The woman and her husband at the next table scrambled to get back as their dinner came to an abrupt end.

"Stand back," The Doctor directed them, his full concern centered on Rose as all eyes of the dining room centered on him as he bent and tried to pull her up, but her head lolled to one side and her eyes were rolled up to the back of her head, blood flowing from her nose. He felt for a pulse, shallow, but it was there.

"Rose, love, don't do this to me now. Come on, wake up...."

"What's wrong with her? Oh, my, she's bleeding! Did you hit her?" The man was rolling up a sleeve.

He had her cradled in his arms, her head resting against his shoulder as the blood cascading down the front of her dress. "No! Never! Please, can you give me a napkin? I need to stop the blood..."

When neither one moved, he yelled, "I'm a Doctor! I need help!" He looked down at her, trying to think. "She's had a seizure...."

Suddenly, a red sleeve came into view, handing him a cloth napkin. A voice floated above his head and recognized it as belonging to Edward, their bellhop. He applied pressure to her nose as Edward defended him.

"I'm sorry, no, he didn't hit her, I saw the whole thing. Doctor, we need to take care of her hand, she's bleeding badly there..."

Edward bent down and grabbed her right hand and started wrapping it with another napkin, the blood flowing from a deep gash running from the middle of her palm out to her little finger.

"She needs to get to a hospital, Doctor Tyler-"

"No hospital! I can handle it from here. I've supplies in our room. I just need to get her there to rest. Edward, can you have this food sent to our room? I'll need some chicken noodle soup, tea and a fresh pitcher of ice water, too."

He picked up the napkin and saw the pressure was working. "I also need extra blankets and a couple more pillows..."

"Consider it done, sir. Would you like me to help you take her up?"

He tied the napkin tight and looked at the Doctor expectantly. "No, I can manage. Just have everything brought to me as quickly as you can."

"Yes, Doctor."

The Doctor repositioned her and left the napkin under her chin, lifting her up in his arms and didn't look back as all eyes watched him leave, the murmuring of curious voices slowly fading behind him. He finally made to their room and laid her on the bed when a knock came at the half-closed door.

"Doctor?" Edward stood there with his arms filled with the pillows and blankets and a maid stood behind him, her arms filled with the tray of food and drink he ordered.

"Come in, Come in."

The Doctor placed a coverlet on top of her and tucked it in and started pulling off the makeshift bandage covering her hand. "Put it anywhere. Thanks. I'll ring if I need anything else."

Edward placed his pile on the sofa and the maid placed the tray on the end table. "You're very welcome, Doctor. Our prayers are with you. We hope to see her up and about soon."

"Yes, yes, she'll be better, she just needs some rest. Thanks, Edward."

The Doctor didn't look up as he inspected the gash, still oozing blood. He got up and grabbed a towel from the pile Edward left on the sofa and headed for the bathroom.

"Good evening, sir." They left, shutting the door quietly, concern written in their features.

"Good night." The Doctor went into the bathroom and ran water over the towel, making it wet enough to help wash the blood. He came back and sat down, slowly using the corner of the towel to wipe her face and then wipe her hand. He got up and went to the suitcase he'd packed so full and opened it, revealing clothes, gadgets and other items. He dug in deep and pulled out a first aid kit and kissed it, coming back to the bed and sat down. He reached over a pulled up one of her eyelids, checking her pupils for their reaction to light and found very little. Not good.

As he prepared bandages for her hand, he decided to talk to her, hoping to get a reaction. "Rose, love, you're giving me a scare here. That won't do. You need to wake up now so you can tell me-"

Suddenly, their earlier conversation popped into his head and he seriously considered it. What if he used telepathy to find out what she saw? He had to find out her state of mind, not knowing whether she was just unconscious or in a deep coma worried him. Everything that could tell him was in his ship and at the moment it was too far away for him to move her. He finished wrapping her hand, making sure the tape was tight and decided. He had to do it. He had to find out what she saw before it was too late.

"Rose, I'm going to read your mind to see what you saw."

He brushed a lock of hair away from her brow and left a thumb rubbing at her temple. "I need to know what hurt you so bad." He placed his other hand at her temple and closed his eyes. "Let's see what kind of cowboys have been running around in your head, love."

He allowed his mind to gently probe the synapses that made up the brain of Rose Tyler. Past the medulla and into the cerebral cortex to the hippocampus where most of the basic memories were harbored and started accessing the newer memories. There. He found the memories of this evening, she was considering what to eat, that he was delicious and he smiled at that and followed it until he started feeling her pain and seeing the scene segue into the room with the four men.

"Oh, what to we have here? No wonder you were surprised." He watched and jumped at the same time as she had when the black being suddenly appeared in front of him but stopped himself from reeling over as she did when she fell.

"What?"

He broke the contact and sat back in shock. He had just seen the solid, manifested form of a living elemental shade, a solid living Shadow of Darkness. That wasn't supposed to happen. They weren't supposed to be solid. What could make an Elemental Shade go solid? Why was it here, in an innocent hotel on an earth barely techno?

He looked at Rose, and then hung his head. Leave it to them to find trouble. Real trouble. He took her hand and gently held it, remembering their time on the Impossible Planet and how they laughed at danger.

"You can still laugh....." Her whisper barely reached his ears but he heard and looked up.

"Rose!"

"Present and attended for." She blinked and squeezed his hand back as best she could, bandage and all.

He leaned forward and gently brushed her lips with his own and whispered, "Welcome back."

"Glad to be back, gorgeous, although, I'd rather not have my head pounding like someone's using Thor's Hammer on it."

"I've got something for that."

He smiled and got up and reached into the suitcase again and pulled out a bottle of pills. He came back to the bed and poured a glass of water from the pitcher sitting on the nightstand. "I got these in case you wanted to imbibe a little one night."

She smiled weakly. "Hangover cure, huh?"

"Yup!"

She lifted herself up slowly, mindful of her head pounding harder the higher she got until she could sit straight up and immediately regretted it.

"I feel worse than a night out with the boys hanging out at the local pub having a drinking contest."

She gratefully took the pills and let him help her sip the water until she had enough and laid back down.

"Who would win?"

Rose's only answer was a smile and the Doctor smiled back. "Oh, I see."

"So, you saw what I saw?" She raised her left hand and rubbed her eyes, trying to relieve the presssure there. Her nose still hurt and swore if there was any bruising that thing was going to face the fullest extent of her wrath.

"Yes, and I'm proud of you."

"For what? Acting all female and making a scene in the Dining Room? Great first night on vacation. Bleeding on everyone."

"No. Remember our conversation before you inadvertantly spewed a little body fluid?"

"Yeah, linking, and?"

"You just did it. When you answered me as I was thinking about laughing at danger."

She squinted at him through her hand. "Really? I heard you clear as day."

He sat back down on the bed and held her hand. "Welcome to my world, love."

She squeezed his hand back as an answer. "Those pills..."

"They only take a few minutes to work..."

He heard her then as she looked at him and pulled him to her, her eyes closing but lips silent. 'Then you better get ready for bed, 'cause we're going to go hunting for that little bastard that just attacked me. No one plays a tactical move on me and gets away with....'

He felt her thoughts slip into sleep and he threw off his shoes and climbed up into bed to join her, settling down into the pillows and drew her close to him, feeling her one heart beating to the rhythm of his two.

"Yup. Tomorrow we go rabbit hunting, only this little rabbit has teeth." He kissed her forehead and settled down for the night.


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Chapter 5: Chapter 5-Rabbits with Teeth

The Doctor stirred first, quickly waking to darkness. He felt her next to him, one arm draped across his chest, snoring gently, her breath coming easy in the low light coming in through the window. He kissed her brow and smelled her hair, smelling of lavender and honey, and started gathering his thoughts.

Yes, rabbits with teeth. Hhhmmm. A solid, trans-dimensional elemental shade in a hotel haunted by dead poker players. This called for some investigating before Rose woke. He didn't need her in the thick of things any more than necessary. He felt more guilt than he would readily admit in taking his intended to a vacation of hellish proportions and needed to make it right as fast as possible. He moved her arm off his chest and laid it by her side and brushed her temple with his fingers, sending a quick telepathic command. 'Sleep.'

Her only response was rolling over and placing her hand where he'd laid, still warm from his body and she smiled in her sleep. He looked at her and his hearts skipped a beat and drew a deep breath, not wanting to leave her side yet knowing he had too. He pulled the covers to her shoulder and decided to stay a few moments more to study her features, like he used to do, in the old days.

She still looked like she had when she was with him before they'd parted, despite her physical age of 65 years. Back then, many a night he would quietly open the door and stand at her doorway, hands in his pockets, as he watched her sleep. He dared not go in for he would have been too tempted to stay, unable to tell her he loved her and yet, needing to have her by his side even as she lay in dreamtime.

His Rose. So young, yet so strong, caring the mantle of being the Timelords' Companion and did it so well, as if it were second nature and with wisdom beyond her years. Many times he'd wondered, as she lay there, whether a higher power had fated this very human being into being the Bad Wolf, allowing her to survive when even he couldn't withstand the power of the Heart of his T.A.R.D.I.S.. Was it really T.A.R.D.I.S. that had transformed her? Was she truly the lifemate that would help him fight the Fight? Were there really angels, as humans believed, helping him in his travels, knowing his penchant for aiding humans in their destiny? Could there really be a God of all Gods, directing his travels, allowing him to go where he was most needed, righting all the wrongs?

He brushed a lock of hair away from her cheek and decided his answers would never be revealed unless proven by science, by facts, by the very nature of touch and sense and smell. No God had ever proven their worth in his eyes, those self-proclaimed Gods of all his travels that would rather weild the power, glory and death and take rather than give. If there had been a real God of all Gods, why would it have let him live whilst all of his people perished? What grand design could have been so important to be left the only Timelord in existence against the whole of the universe? And yet...

His reward lay before him, breathing deep in sleep, transformed by the very Heart that nearly took his own life. Another Gallifreyan, albeit genetically altered, but she was his own Eve to his Adam, brought back from an alternate universe that wasn't supposed to spit her back. The odds of her return were more than astronomical, more than coincidence. Was this supposed to make him believe in this God of all Gods that protected these humans? Was he supposed to believe in angels because she existed and returned to him to end his lonely vigil of a life longer than legendary Methusala? Would it ever be possible for him to actually change his beliefs beyond all his teachings and self truth?

He shook his head and decide all these questions, though valid, would probably never be answered and maybe they weren't supposed too. Maybe he was supposed to just take what was given to him and not question, which conflicted with everything that made him the Doctor. Maybe he was supposed to laugh and joke as Rose had when he'd told her of her complete transformation to Gallifrayan physiology. Memory teased him then, as she'd even called him Adam, teasing him with the apple bit but was he really all for the 'apple?' He wasn't questioning the need to marry her, but what if she'd announce one day that she was with child? Could he handle this miracle given to him a second time in life when he felt he had no right to it? The guilt from being the bringer of death to all of his people, his very own children, tasted bitter to his soul, even now, like the loneliness that clung to him like the specter it was.

He rubbed away the wetness that was felt on a cheek and was angry with himself for getting carried away from task like this. What was done was done and he had no right to cross his own timelines and create paradoxes to his own benefit. A self-proclaimed God he was not and would never be. His reality was breathing in quiet sleep before him and this he accepted without question, for he could touch her and taste her and smell her in and was as real as his laws of science and fact demanded. Questioning the existence of this God and the return of his Rose was the least of his musings as a very real evil wandered the halls of this very hotel and it demanded his immediate attention.

Angels and Gods be damned for now, as he got up and quietly changed clothes. He needed answers and he had a feeling he knew exactly where to go. With a last look checking on his Rose, he closed the door and headed for the Lobby, sonic screwdriver armed and questions ready for an unsuspecting overnight manager.






Rose awoke, hours later, the sunshine from the morning sun crossing her pillow and shining into her eyes, making her squint. She rubbed her face, trying to work the sleep from her eyes and realized her nose still hurt and she was hungry. More than hungry, she was ravenous and looked around for food, only to discover the T.A.R.D.I.S. in the middle of the room, sandwiched between the sofa and the bed. She ignored the plate of food that sat on the nightstand behind her in her curiousity.

"He didn't...."

She scrambled across the bed as best she could with her injured hand and opened the door. She peaked in and saw him standing at the controls, intent on reading the information on the screen. She smiled and folded her arms, watching him for a few moments and decided to speak as he continued to work, seemingly oblivious to her presence. "Hey, gorgeous, I thought you were going to sleep?"

He looked up, his glasses hanging at the end of his nose and smiled at her. "Good morning to you, too, and I did. Have you eaten?"

She stepped in and closed the door and walked up the ramp to stand beside him. He looked at her face with concern and automatically grabbed for the uninjured hand and squeezed it. "No, I haven't and I'm ravenously hungry but I was too damned curious to find out why you'd bring T.A.R.D.I.S. to our hotel room." She kissed his check and leaned her head on his shoulder, trying to see what he was doing. It was obvious he was running some scans, but some of the readouts she couldn't quite interpret.

"What have you found out so far, or do I really want to know this early in the morning?"

"Well, go eat, and I'll fill you in on the complete picture." He kept looking at her nose and reconsidered. "But, on second thought,I want to run you into Infirmary to make sure you're OK. Think your stomach can wait another five minutes?"

In response, her stomach growled on its own. She looked down at it and then back at him. "I guess that's your answer?"

He put his arm on her shoulders and guided her toward the Infirmary. "I think it can wait. Come on."

"You realize you're starving me? On purpose?"

He looked down at her over the top of his glasses. "Have you seen your face?"

She looked to the ceiling and then down at her feet. "Oh. I'm so going to make that thing pay. How bad?"

"Enough."

They made it to the Infirmary and he pulled her to the bed, clicking on the monitor as he spoke. "Come on, hop up, times' wasting."

Rose smiled and saluted him left-handed. "Aye, aye, Doctor, sir!" He just smiled and kept pushing buttons, intent on getting the medical readings.

She hopped up and sat patiently, swinging her feet as she tried to peak at what he was seeing. "Well? I've just got a cut and contusion, right? No broken bones and nothing serious?"

He looked at her sideways, smiling. "Yes, Doctor Tyler, so far so go-" Something caught his eye on the monitor and he squinted at it, shoving his glasses closer to his face. "Hello, what's this?"

"That's not supposed to be there, that enzyme-protein matrix usually isn't there unless one was.." His eyebrows hit his hairline and he slowly turned his head to stare at her.

"What? Am I about to implode? Grow five heads? Turn to a gaseous state and haunt you the rest of your natural-born lives?" Rose smiled as she was joking, but it slowly disappeared the more he stared at her.

"Uh, uhm, no, not quite."

"Then, what's wrong?" She leaned forward to get a better peak and he shoved the monitor away from view as his adam's apple struggled in his throat to stay still as he tried to formulate words. He looked at her as if she had grown two heads and she made swipe for the monitor herself in an attempt to find out what he was looking at, but he moved it a few more inches further away. She started getting annoyed from his mysterious behavior and let him know it, putting both hands on her hips.

"Doctor, this isn't a game. What does that monitor say? You know I know how to read it, I had enough practice on you."

He took a deep breath and remained silent, ignoring the monitor and watched her. He reached out for her hands and she gave them, complete worry etching her features.

'Please forgive me?' He begged her with his eyes, saying what his lips couldn't. He knew he had to speak as her worried look depended.

"Rose, love....ah, when was the time you lasted had your courses?"

Rose looked to the ceiling and sighed. "Is that all? I got my last degree in 2035, I've taken a few refresher courses.."

"No! Ah, uhm, no, that's not what I mean. I mean, when was the last time you actually had a menstrual period?" He waited for her answer, his eyebrows raised as he questioned her, his own disbelief evident on his face.

"Oh, bother! I don't know, 20 some-odd years ago? Menopause was pretty brutal, you can ask my men. I gave a them a good go-round when I had a hot flash. Why?" She couldn't figure out what he was trying to imply. Had she developed a new and otherwise unknown malady from all of her recent energy use?

The Doctor took a deep breath and said words he hadn't said in years to anyone and trying hard to find the words. "The monitor indicates..."

"Oh, for Rassilon's Sake! Let me see!" She took her hand out of his and grabbed for the monitor and turned it to read it.

"Heartrate, blood pressure, Protein-enzyme matrix indicative of-WHAT?"

It was Rose's turn for her eyebrows to hit her hairline in surprise as she read the readout. "Pregnant? Pregnant? Impossible! I'm 65 years old-"

"In a body that's healthy and 23, for all intents and purposes, Rose."

She raised a shakey hand to her forehead and rubbed the spot where a headache was trying to form.

"This, I mean, I'm not ready, we're not even married, no date set, we've got a rampant evil to vanquish, we're supposed to be on holiday, I haven't eaten yet, I'm 65 five years old.."

"No. You. are. not. This is my fault," He looked down and took back the hand she took away and held it tight, his voice cracking as he spoke. "I should have calculated the possibility when I ran the initial tests, taken precautions..."

"Bloody Hell!" She jumped off the table and yanked her hands back and stepped away from him and the monitor, giving herself space between him and her as she tried to calm down. She could see his hurt and feel it from the link or whatever they shared, but it was hard trying to wrap her mind around this.

The silence stretched into seconds, then into minutes as she tried to think and come to terms, and the Doctor, unsure of what to do, looked to the floor and put his hands in his pockets.

"I better get to the control room..."

"No you don't, you're going to stand right there and look at me."

The tone of her voice was commanding and demanding and this was a Rose he'd never dealt with before. He stood there and looked at her, waiting.

"When you ran the initial scans of my blood from my jacket, how close was I to being perfect Gallifreyan stock? On a scale of one to ten, please?" She stopped rubbing the spot where the headache formed. It wasn't going away.

"98.925, with a variance of factor 2."

"Variance of factor 2?" She stood there and ran the numbers in her head over and over and tried not to hyperventilate. "Did you ever consider the variance you speak of might cause some kind of negative factor if I were to ever give birth, being the fact you proposed to me and all?"

The Doctor looked away and at the walls, anywhere but her and her eyes. "No, I was just so happy you were you and you were back and that you survived everything, I just.." A finger stopped his words and he looked down to see her looking up at him, tears in her eyes. His hearts broke that he'd done this to her. He went to say something but she stopped him.

"Sssh. Stop. Breathe. We need to stop and breathe and think. You're not completely at fault here. I should have thought as well, considering I'm the one venting all this time vortex energy all over the place stopping universes from crashing. I'm going to take the blame for this one, love. I should have realized that my little variances in genetic code might cause me to be fertile, to be a true Gallifreyan, but how true am I going to be to our child if I birth him or her with a birth defect, just because I used my talents one too many times?"

The Doctor's arms found their way around her and she let him hold her, burying her face in his shoulder and trying not to cry. Crying wouldn't do. 'Stop it, Rose,' she thought to herself, 'pull yourself together. This isn't helping him and or you.'

'I heard that, Love.' He thought back at her and she raised her head and looked into his eyes.

"We're going to do what we've always done, right? Find the answers, deal and keep going on, right?" She whispered, her voice going lower as she spoke. "Kipling's 'Thousandth Man,' right? 'Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do or die?' We soldier on, we have to, we've only got each other."

He brought her head back to his shoulder and rocked her, the tears in his own eyes threatening to spill. "We've only got each other and we're enough."

"Damn straight!" Came her muffled reply and he had to laugh despite his tears. She lifted her head and put both hands on his chest, not breaking his hold on her. "Look, Daddy, we've got a demon to kill. I'm going to go eat and get showered and dressed and your going to fill me in on our plan of attack when I'm done, OK?"

He closed his eyes and kissed her forehead, running his hands through her hair. "Yes. By your command, Mama-kins, Mama-san, Mommy dearest."

"Ha!" She wiped her eyes and stepped back and gave him a shakey smile. "Yup, that's right, look who wears the pants in this family. Going now, see you in a bit."

She rushed past him and out the door, the scent of her hair still linging behind her and he grabbed a chair and sat with a thud. He rubbed his face and then the back of his neck to relieve the tension there and it finally hit him. After all was said and done, he was a Dad. Again. A father. He slowly smiled and then laughed. He looked at the walls of his ship. "Brilliant! Look girl, we're going to have another permanent passenger! Did you really know what you were doing? But of course you did, didn't you? Why do I get a feeling everything's going to work itself out? We're going to have to call you God-mother now, aren't we? Literally, aren't we?"

He laughed harder and got up, shaking his head as he made his way to the control room. The only thing he could here was her sing-song response that sounded for all the world like 'I-told-you-so.'

Back to index


Chapter 6: Chapter 6-Locks to a Past

Rose's mind was racing as she ate, took her bath, threw on some clothes and applied makeup to the nasty bruise that lay to the side of her nose. She checked the hotel room's locked door over and over mindlessly, assuring herself that no staff would inadvertently open the door while the T.A.R.D.I.S. stood in the middle of their room. Other than the fact she had been incredibly hungry, she had no outward signs of her condition.

Could she call it that? Condition. Pregnant. The one word kept revolving round her brain like an impossible neon sign
that might as well blinked, 'Danger, Danger Will Robinson!'

Oh, God of all Gods, what was she going to do now? How many times had she wished for this when she was younger and had been more romantic and fanciful, wishing her Doctor to come back and whisk her away in her weaker moments of loneliness on her old earth. Now, even though she'd used the word 'surreal' before this vacation started, this new development was way beyond 'surreal,' it was more like the old Energizer Bunny on acid. Pregnant?!

She sat down and weighed her options, as the clock above the sofa clicked away the minutes. She knew she wasn't alone in this and the Doctor loved her more than he could say, but being a mutated Gallifreyan had disadvantages. She could allow things to happen and hopefully all would go normally. If they were in a sticky situation and, say, she hadn't birthed yet, she could accelerate time and go into premature birth, but there was the disadvantage. One of them was using the time energy on herself.

The last time she did that, she had been attacked during a major skirmish with radical Kurds trying to get a fallen piece of space weaponry. Her men had gotten the weapon but at great cost. Her wounds, if she had been close to a modern hospital, wouldn't have been an issue but out in the field, she nearly died. She had used the energy on herself but it had made her age. What if she had to do that during her term? Since she could now regenerate, maybe that wouldn't be an issue but still, if she'd tried to age herself to birth their child, say, to protect it, what would happen? Would it thrive or languish, because her body couldn't provide all its nutrients it would need for accelerated growth? Would the energy itself mutate it and hurt it even further?

Even if she didn't use it, would her previous actions have harmed it already? Besides the point, did she just get pregnant or had she been pregnant from their first night together? It had only been a month or so, but still, knowing what little she did know about Timelord physiology, time energy was a constant in their biology as it had been in the very flora and fauna of the planet. As the Doctor had reminded her, his ship was grown, not built.

Was calling and treating the vortex energy a possible malignancy to the development of their child a valid argument? Oh, if she only had her guitar to strum while
she thought this hard!

Only testing would show this, and she knew her beloved was testing her blood silly for the answers. She had brought a valid argument to the table, and she knew he would do everything to protect her, but what if...God, could she say it?

She took a deep breath and made herself think it. What if she could never bring them to term, never have children because of who she was? Could she, could He, handle that? Would it make or break their relationship based on this?

No! Never! The thought was squashed as soon as she thought it, but she put a hand to her mouth and bit her finger as she tried to stop the emotions the thought manifested. Never to look down at a infant's tender and loving face, to have its dainty fingers hold on tight to hers, to feel its breathe on her cheek as she held it close to smell the smell of its fragile skin....

She put a hand protectively to her stomach and stopped the fear that suddenly coursed through her veins and willed her self to calm down. It wouldn't do to make her heart race with unfounded fears. She had to get a grip and grabbed the back of her neck, unconsciously mimicking her Doctor as she bit her lip and breathed through her nose and out, again, until she felt her heart beating slower, more normal.

So deep in thought was she that she didn't notice that the Doctor had emerged from his ship and watched her as she thought, sitting on the bed, indian-style, her face covered by her long hair. He didn't need to see it to know what was going through her mind and decided to make his presence known. He had some answers to her questions.

"Huhm!" He cleared his throat and the noise made her jerk around.

"For God's sake, you nearly gave me a heart attack!"

He smiled and sat on the bed hard, making himself bounce, jostling her in the process.

"You've been thinking," he waved his hand, "and the smoke is thick in here. Should we pull a fire alarm?"

"Ha, ha, funny, funny. I can assume you've run your tests?" She couldn't help but smile back at him as he readied himself for the big announcement, pulling on his neckline of his shirt as he spoke.

"Indeed. You are normal." He smiled widened until it was almost maniacal in nature.

"What?" She blinked at him, her mouth open in surprise.

"You. Are. Normal. More than that, you're going to give birth very normally, very human-like. Which isn't normal for a Gallifreyan, but we have to calculate that for the 98.928 percent with a factor-of-2-variable. . "

She stared at, her mouth open. "You're joking!"

"Well, I wish I was but, nope! I'm not. You are my new, new, new Rose. There is some bad news though." He took her hand and held it, his eyes conveying concern.

"What?"

"I just don't know when you're going to give birth. That's a bit hit-and-miss but all-in-all, a good prognosis."

"How far am I along?"

"Oh, I don't know, about 2 months...and, guess what? Come on, guess?"

His smile and tone was infectious and she had to smile in return. "What? I haven't a clue."

"We've got two hearts!" His smile widened and held up to fingers, waggling them at her.

"We? You mean the baby?"

"Yup! Two hearts just thumping away! I love you, Rose Tyler." He leaned over and kissed her soundly on the lips, running his hands through her hair. When he let her of for air, he drew her into an embrace and rubbed a finger at her temple,gently stroking her as he spoke.

"No worries, Rose, the vortex energy is a part of all of us now, you're not going to implode, the baby's going to be OK. Just as long as you eat and keep out of trouble, we'll be OK."

For a moment they were both silent, then they burst out laughing at once, laughing so hard they both fell on the bed.

Rose was trying to catch her breath when suddenly the pain hit her in her stomach and between the eyes again and she sat up. "Oh, no."

He got up and and held her arms, inspecting her. "What?"

She held her forehead, squinting from the pain. "I think our little shadow is back."

"Where?" He looked around, then stopped to stare back at her.

Her eyes started to glow and she looked up, then down, then around. Not joking now, she was all business.

"Manifestation in the Lobby, Bogey is coming this way. We need to go red zone. Did you figure out what to do about the Shade while you were running all those tests?" She got up off the bed and stood in a fighting stance, with the Doctor behind her getting out his sonic screwdriver.

"Yeah. Not good. It's dimensional, or you wouldn't have seen it. There's a psychic vortex of power located just underneath the Lobby and I'm not surprised that a lot of people have been attacked there. The night manager said as much when he said he's lost a lot of staff because of it. What concerns me is that it bends dimensions, at intermittant intervals, like it's feeding off of them. How close is it?"

"Two floors down and slowly coming straight at us. It sees us." She looked up at him and asked, "Who's the Black Guardian?"

The Doctor looked at her, suddenly very serious, a cold dread furrowing his brow. "Why?"

"It keeps repeating it's an agent for the Black Guardian and it's been waiting for you for years. 'It's time to pay.' What the hell does that mean? First its telling me to get out and now it wants you."

"I-" The Doctor stopped as the thing materialized in front of them so that both could see it. It hung in mid-air as a wraith, it's coal black eyes bearing down on the Doctor with deadly intent.

"What do you want? You don't belong here!"

The Shadow's voice was raspy and cold, as if it were talking from a dank well.

"Neither do you, Doctor. You should have never played with the Key to Time and you really shouldn't have brought your woman here."

"I didn't even decide on coming here till the last minute! I didn't play with the Key to Time, I just didn't let your master have it."

The evil radiated off of the being enough that it made Rose shudder, but she held her ground. The Shadow just shook his head and smiled. "Don't you know by now that nothing just happens, Doctor? I don't want your woman. I want you."

"I suggest you leave or we'll make you leave. Your choice, Shadow. Go back to your Master or whomever you answer to." Roses' energy built and shown in her eyes and started radiated from her aura, the time winds billowing her hair gently around her.

"And who are you to command me?" It smiled a smile that left blackness in it's wake.

The Doctor raised his arm toward Rose, trying to shield her with his body, but Rose merely lifted from the ground and shoved passed him, standing betweem him and the Shadow.

Rose answered it, but her voice was not her own, distant and, to the Doctor's ears, vaguely familiar.

"I am the Light, the Bringer of Justice, of Time Immemorial. I am the Heart of the T.A.R.D.I.S., who has made witness, with the White Guardian, against your work. I have allowed you to play with these beings, but now your time is done. I will make you leave if the Guardian will not."

The Doctor looked at Rose and pieced it together as the demon raise an arm and smiled.

"Then, it's time you make me, TARDIS."

Waves of rippled reality left its fingers and attacked them both, but Rose emitted her own defense and kept the energy at bay.

"Doctor! Go, get into T.A.R.D.I.S., now, set the controls for anywhere! I'm right behind you!"

Under her onslaught, the Shadow was slowing down and it's darkness, lightened, as it screamed in pain. The Doctor ran for the doors and held them open for her, but Rose held her ground. "Set the controls Doctor! Now! If I set the controls, it'll know what I'm doing!"

"Uh. Right." He left the doors open and ran up the ramp, pushed in the lever, turn the green ball and set the controls. "Ready! Rose, get in here!"

Almost immediately, Rose floated in the door and it snapped shut in front of her face and T.A.R.D.I.S.'s engines hummed, its column of light rising up and down. Rose landed with a thud on the ramp and caught the railing with both hands and righted herself before she could fall. She shoved back her blonde hair out of her face and stomped halfway up the ramp, hands on hips, righteous anger making her cheeks pink.

"What. The. Hell. Was. That. About?"

Back to index


Chapter 7: Chapter 7-An Unguarded Moment

The Doctor stood there, not knowing what to say to her anger, but took the brunt of it as calmly as he could.

"That was a Shadow, obviously not the shadow I was thinking of but an agent of the Black Guardian. I've dealt with him before, he's a nasty lot."

"And the White Guardian? He was the one talking through me, wasn't he?"

"Well, that I don't-" he stopped at the look she gave him. "I've only met him a time or two but it sounded like him. He's not a bad sort...."

She stood her ground and folded her arms, her voice going lower and lower the angrier she got. "Does he do that often? Talk through people, instead of at them?"

The Doctor shrugged. "It's not in my experience...but I guess he could, he's usually telepathic." He tugged on his ear and shoved a hand in his pants' pocket.

"What does the White Guardian do?"

"Basically, he maintains the balance of time, against what the Black Guardian does. He's the Guardian of Chaos."

"So, the White Guardian is the 'good guy.' Anything else I should know about, say, other guardians that's got a vendetta for a particular Timelord we both know and love?"

The Doctor turned and walked back up the ramp, more to check on the hastily set coordinates than to give Rose space. He looked at her as he spoke, leaning over and checking settings.

"Well, there's the Gold Guardian, the Protector of Life, the Red Guardian, Protector of Justice, the Azure Guardian, Protector of Equilibrium, oh, and don't forget the Celestial Toymaker, but I wouldn't really call him, I mean, he is a guardian, but-"

"Do they all have it out for you or not?!" She couldn't help it, the more she thought about their present situation the angrier she got. The Doctor saw this and his tone got very serious, almost matching her mood.

"No. Only the Black Guardian-"

"Who's had it out for you since you thwarted his attempt at getting the Key to Time, which you scattered to the winds of the time/space continuum, only after you went on a mission with Romana to find the pieces, of whom I still don't know about!" She threw up her hands in her frustration. "What, this makes, I don't know, at least the fourth attempt to get back at you? I got that much from having the White Guardian inside my head, which I didn't like, by the way, and why haven't you told me anything, anything about this in the past?"

The Doctor put both hands in his pockets and was getting angry himself. "You didn't need to know. You were young then."

"Not too young to take in the Heart of the T.A.R.D.I.S. and survive! Didn't that give you a clue on what the future might hold for me, for us?"

"I was protecting you! You didn't need to know! You were completely human. There were no indications-"

"No! No indications whatsoever of what I was to become, but we're having to deal in the here and now. What am I to you? You could have started talking about your past over the last month or so, let me in just a little bit, because hey, we're going to get married, but no! Let's just give the new dumb, blonde Lady Timelord just enough information to get along-!"

"That's enough!"

They stared each other down, both breathing hard and angry, only in Rose's case, her eyes glinted gold. Seeing this, the Doctor did his best to think, to calm down, and to bring this argument to an end for both of their sakes.

"Rose, I love you. I've never lied to you."

"But you never talked about your past, you've never really let me in. You kept your walls up, even now, so much that sometimes I'm looking at the wall instead of a living, breathing being. I've accepted your reasoning for not having a telepathic link, but for God's sake, your enemies and your past affects me."

Her shoulders slumped and she looked at the floor and her tone softened. The anger suddenly left her and she appeared tired, putting a hand on the railing as she spoke.

"With everything you've been through, I'm your greatest ally, your greatest weapon, your greatest...grace," she put a hand to her stomach and walked up the ramp to his side, never loosing eye contact, "and your greatest salvation God could ever give you, whether you believe in Gods or not."
She pulled his hand and laid it upon her stomach, and the impact of her words were slowly taking affect on him as he let her do this, the muscle in his jaw jumping as he tried to control his emotions.

"I've been inside this ship since I got back to this universe. I've been so protected and so loved, but I had a duty and when it was time, I closed the rifts and did what I was designed to do. Now, you," she squeezed his hand for emphasis,"whether you've realized it or not, you've been watched. Close, but not enough, and The Black Guardian thought you were the one that closed the rift. But now? The trap has been sprung and both of us are in the sites of his omnipotent guns. This family is now endangered to your inability to trust me-"

"My God, Rose! I trust you!"

"But not enough to share your pain? Your loneliness? Your dreams? Your past?"

She stepped away and dropped his hand as she walked around to the other side of the controls, her eyes never leaving him.

"You are not infallible and thank God, you know it, but if you were one of my men withholding information, I would have thrown you in the brig for jeopardizing intel critical to a mission." She patted the control panel and ran a finger down the side of a lever, staring straight into the column of light.

"I've been through hell, Doctor. I've blood on my hands. Blood from years of raging wars in keeping the peace and protecting the earth the only way I could, without you at my side." She leaned over the console and suddenly looked more tired, hanging her head as if the fight was out of her. She braced herself against it as she continued to speak the words she knew the Doctor didn't want to hear.

"With great power comes great responsibility. You know this. I know this. I'm the greatest power you have, and you've let me languish, keeping me out of the loop. Is that because of lack of trust? Or a false sense of protection? And, from...what? How are we supposed to get married if there isn't total communication on both sides? You were married, and I know nothing of what you went through. I even asked T.A.R.D.I.S. about it and she doesn't know, and she knows just about everything."

Her eyes misted over as her bottom lip quivered and her voice cracked from the intensity of what she was feeling as she looked at the blue ring and then up at him. "Maybe, just maybe, you're not ready. Maybe you'll never be ready, and I have to live with that. Just how long?"

She left the question in the air and stood back up, cocking her head to one side, seeing an expression on his face she'd never seen before, and yet, still, the Doctor never answered her. "Whatever secret you're keeping, it must be damned good."

She turned to walk back to her room and stumbled, just as the T.A.R.D.I.S. lurched to the right and then the engine shut down. Rose held her head as she straightened up and appeared disoriented.

"Are you OK?" The Doctor came around the console but Rose stopped him with a hand. Rose shook her head in confirmation. "Don't worry, it's nothing's bad. We've been called. The White Guardian wants to have a word with us."




The White Guardian sat in his beach chair sipping what appeared to be a marguerita, enjoying the beach scene he'd created for himself as he waited for the couple to come out of the Police Box.

He surveyed the whole of creation with a flicker of finger and noticed that the Black Guardian was still wreaking havoc on Earth. What was an Eternal to do?

"My, my, he's still at it. This is so getting tiresome. Well, we'll have that corrected soon enough."

The 'couple' slowly came out of the T.A.R.D.I.S. and he noticed there was a visible tension between the two from what he could read of their body language. 'Hmm, someone's been slinging a bit of truth around, haven't they,' he thought, as he smiled at the young woman before him.

"Hello again, Ms. Tyler, or should I say, Dr. Tyler? My, but you are a fine specimen of energy! And, hello, again Doctor! You look like you've improved a bit on the old model."

The Doctor stepped foward and but his hands in his pants pockets, smiling a small smile.

"Yes, it's been awhile, hasn't it Guardian? Why is it everytime I'm graced with your presence, trouble follows?"

"But you love trouble, my boy! Laughing in the face of danger and all that. At least you know your adversary."

"All too well, you've seen to that. What do you want? Save earth from a diabolical plan the Black Guardian has conjured up again?"

"Nail on the head! Smashing! He's got Jethryk."

"Jethryk?" The Doctor took his hands out of his pockets and looked at the being before him, disbelief on his face. "You've got to be joking! Did he just find it? or-"

"No. I'm not going to go into boring details, but let's just say it got to Earth and was found by a human who didn't know what he'd found, just thought it was a pretty blue stone, ready to be cut into a fine jewel for profit. Only a card game ensued and then went bad..Dr. Tyler knows the rest of the story."

Rose, who'd been listening intently, stepped from around the Doctor to face him. "The shootist who stole the bag off the table..."

"Quite right! Wasn't money in that bag...."

"It was the Jethryk. What's it used for?" She looked between the two and wondered which one would speak first. The Doctor put a hand to his neck and rubbed the tension that suddenly manifested there. He was getting surprisingly a lot of tension these days.

"It's used for space warp travel. An innocent looking blue stone that can be very powerful when used right. The Shadow, Guardian? He's there protecting it, or searching for it?"

"Searching for it until you showed. What do you get when you bury Jethryk inside an active vulcanic fault line?" The Guardian took a sip of his drink and watched the Doctor expectantly.

"No. No! It can't be! He wouldn't!"

Rose looked from one to the other for an answer and the Guardian decided to give her one. "Under the right conditions, Jethryk can be quite...explosive. There was enough in the bag to blow up your planet, my dear, and you have to get it away from him to stop him."

The Doctor looked at Rose and Rose looked at him and shrugged. "What do we have to do?"

The Guardian sat his drink down and folded his hands. "I was able to hide the Jethryk in the fourth dimension from here but even there it's throwing off incredible power. The Shadow has detected it but can't get to it because of the protections I've placed around it, but they won't hold for long."

"The psychic vortex I detected? That was you and the hidden Jethryk?"

"Indeed, Doctor. I need you and your lovely betrothed to go get it and dispose of it before The Black Guardian can get his hands upon it. It wouldn't do to have the Earth blow up so prematurely before the human race has had a chance to travel the Cosmos till the end of time, would it, Doctor?" He ended it with a wink, and the Doctor knew what he meant and an unbiddened vision of the Master and the Year-That-Wasn't emerged from his memory and made him cringe.

"No, it wouldn't. If you've hidden it in the fourth dimension, how are we supposed to get it?"

The Guardian nodded his head at Rose. "She has the power. All you have to do is think of ghosts, Rose, and concentrate and you're both there. Long as you're in physical contact, that is. Think you two can hold hands for that long without an altercation?" He smiled and grabbed for his drink again, watching their reactions over the rim of his glass.

The Doctor looked at Rose and back at the Guardian. "We'll manage."

"Then off you go and have fun? Remember, you're both still on vacation, right?"

Rose could only turn around and go back into the T.A.R.D.I.S., disgust radiating from every move she made. After the slam of the door, the two beings stopped watching her and looked at each other.

"That really didn't help. You couldn't have chosen a worst time."

The Guardian raised his eyebrows and smiled. "How do you know I did? You'll thank me later. Give a kiss to your daughter for me when she's born, eh?"

At the Doctor's surprised look, he laughed. "Have a good trip back, Doctor, and don't fall. You'll know what I mean...when the time comes?"

He laughed as he watched the very perplexed figure of the Doctor vanish into the ship. He just shook his head and only thought one word.

Children.

Back to index


Chapter 8: Chapter 8-Truces

The Doctor came back in and shut the door to the T.A.R.D.I.S., the words of the White Guardian still ringing in his ears. By Rassilon, was it ever going to get easier? He walked up the ramp and spied Rose standing in front of the jump seat, leaning against the control panel, her face unreadable.

"Rose?"

His voice was loud in the silence of a quieted T.A.R.D.I.S. but she didn't look up in response. He neared her tentatively. Reading her body language, he could tell was that this was one very irate Rose Tyler. Gods, she looked like her mother in this moment.

"Let's get this done, shall we?" She closed her eyes and instantly the time vortex energy manifested itself in her aura, going through her hands and irradiating the control panel and the T.A.R.D.I.S. leapt to life, the column of light adding to the glow that surrounded her face and illuminating her eyes.

"What?" The Doctor looked at the T.A.R.D.I.S. and back at Rose.

Still without looking at him, she said, "The knowledge isn't forbidden to me anymore. We're going back to the hotel room, five minutes later."

"I didn't know you could do this."

"I couldn't remember until now. Looks like I can do a lot of things I couldn’t remember before."

She took her hands of the control panel and broke contact with the ship. "She's yours now. I'm going to my room. Wake me when we get back to the hotel." She turned away as the Doctor reached out and touched her arm and a wave of rejection hit him. "Rose, you're right. I'm sorry." She remained turned at his words, but her shoulders tensed. This wasn't the reaction he was looking for.

"I'm tired."

A mantle of steel seemed to surround her. She pulled from his touch and walked away, disappearing down the corridor and he watched her, until all that was left was the smell of her perfume in the air.

In his two hearts and the very pit of his stomach, a cold chill threatened to make him shudder. She was right. Everything she had said was right. Every word hit his soul like nails in coffin as she drove her point home. He had been treated her like the 19 year old she hadn't been for forty years. He promised her so much when he'd proposed, but in the end he really hadn't. He'd been living his life and just dragging her along. The only child, the lonely child, the lost God, making his world in his image, not hers, not theirs. He'd lived alone for so long, even his former marriage and his family's death hadn't changed that.

If he’d just opened up to her and told her about the Eternals, then maybe, maybe she would have handled it differently and the Black Guardian wouldn’t have known about her existence and his family would have a fighting chance, but now they were exposed. What was regeneration in the face of power that was an Eternal? The guilt the thought elicited made him catch his breath in its power. He was going to lose another family to evil, and this was going to cost him more than his soul could handle.

His eyes burned from emotions unspent, but he blinked it away and turned his head and looked down the corridor she had vanished down and wondered what she was doing, what she was feeling. He was afraid to tap into her thoughts, afraid of the backlash she might rend in her anger, aimed at him and quite rightly so. His Rose…..

Alive and breathing, her presence was felt all over his ship and she was every much his equal. His soon-to-be-born daughter? His child, a daughter, unnamed and unseen, yet changing the parameters of how he had to think about their future in their world in his beloved ship. He blindly sat down in the jump seat and stared at the floor, the impact taking the strength from his legs. 951 years of life and he wasn't really prepared for any of this.

Damn, the Black Guardian! He wished he'd had the power to vanquish him, but without 'Bad,' there wouldn't be 'Good,' and no race in the universe would or could learn the concepts or the difference between the two. Races? Aliens? Here he was thinking about others and he couldn't even manage his own life. He laughed maniacally at the thought. What was bad and good without love and hate and peace and life, the most basic tenets of existing? His life had been a void after she was gone and now it was filled and he was about to lose it all.

He felt the ship settle and the engine shut down and T.A.R.D.I.S. quietly announced their arrival back at the hotel. He didn't move a muscle to get up. He didn’t have the urge. If he got up, danger was lurking outside and danger suddenly had a bitter taste in the back of his throat. Inside was safe, inside was love and warmth if Rose could find it in her heart to forgive him. Somehow he had to convince her to forgive him. Gods, how was he going to fix this? He rubbed his face with both hands in his frustration and a groan was voiced and his emotional turmoil wasn’t going unnoticed.

Rose, unable to rest, had felt the ship land and came back to the control room to watch the play of emotions on the Doctor’s face and suddenly the anger melted away. God, what was it she was feeling right now?

Understanding? Forgiveness? No, not quite. The reality of the danger they were facing was all too real but, somehow, she had to ease his pain.

She brushed against his thoughts, oh, so gently, and felt the rush of turmoil and angst, of resentment for what he’d done and needing to make it right and it hit as if someone had punched her solar plexus. The realization of what he’d done had not been out of selfishness, but out of old habit, out of preservation and struck her like a bullet. He was trying to protect her but he truly hadn’t accepted her as she was until now.

She quietly stepped behind the seat and put her hand to the one covering his face and startled, he looked up and back and stood up to say something. She lowered her head and came around the jump seat, took his hand in hers and sat down. He looked at her expectantly and sat back down himself, not knowing what to say.

“Looks like someone has been kicking themselves straight up for a while now. Do I need to haul your carcass into Infirmary again?” She didn’t smile, but the joke had its desired affect when she saw him crack a small one.

“What, it shows that bad?” His voice sounded tired and he followed her gaze as she stared into T.A.R.D.I.S.’s light.

“You’ve done a better job of beating yourself up more than I ever could, and I thought I had a good right hook.”

The Doctor looked at her for a few seconds, searching her face, trying to frame the question. She glanced at him and then back at the column of light, almost getting lost in its brilliance.

“You’re not forgiven, if that’s what you’re about. Let’s just call it a truce. I’ll forgive you, once you, me and the baby can get out of this alive and then I want a 500 page dissertation on all adversaries, acquaintances, friends and foe you’ve remotely had a run in with in the last 500 years that could possibly wish or do us harm. We’re not going to count the number of alien species, just to make it easy on you. Then, I want the time to read the dissertation without interruption from said species, friends, foes and allies. Deal?”

“Really? Is that all? I might need more pages than that. Now, If you want it double-spaced….”

She lifted his hand up and put it in her lap, and laid her head on his shoulder. “Ever heard of fine print? It’s amazing what these new fangled printers can do. Be lucky I’m not making you write ‘I will tell my spouse everything I know whether she understands me or not,’ 5000 times...”

He kissed the top of her head and closed his eyes, trying to make his hearts stop beating so loud, and smiled a smile she couldn’t see. “You’re gonna need glasses.”

She dug into her other pocket and pulled out a pair to match his. “Hormonal changes already affecting me. Already there, check.”

He swallowed and asked the question he knew she needed the answer to the most. “And the rest? My past?”

She looked up at him and stared him in the eyes, trying to not get lost in them. “I still have to live with your past. I expect you to fill me in, but it won’t do me a damn bit of good to push you, especially if you’re not ready. If we survive this, we’ll have all the time in the world.” She lifted her head and fully faced him, squeezing his hand even tighter as she spoke and placed another hand on one of his hearts.

“Are you ready for all this? Are you really ready for all of this?”

He reached out and pulled her to him and hugged her tight. “Well, it’s not like it’s a Dalek invasion, mind you, but,” He took a deep breath and she felt his hearts slowing down. “Yeah.” After a moment, she felt him take another breath and he said, “Want to know what the White Guardian said?”

“After giving us a life-or-death mission? No!”

“This wasn’t about that. He told me to give our daughter a kiss on the head for him when she was born. Also, told me not to trip…”

“What?” She lifted herself out of his embraced and squeezed an arm. “He knows…”

“Yup! Even more importantly, we’re going to have to survive this or he wouldn’t have said it, so?” She was quiet for a moment as he watched her slowly react to the information, a slow smile getting wider by the moment. She suddenly stood up and dragged him with her. “Well, let’s get a move on, Cowboy! Let’s ride!”

He laughed, and held on to her. “Hold on, Cowgirl, not yet. We’re not prepared.”

“How prepared to you have to be with me around?” She put both hands on her hips and looked at him expectantly.

“Well, I’m not discounting you, Dear, but we have to take care of the Shadow first and I’d rather do it with something more technical than you. I don’t want you expending any more energy than you already have. You are getting a little weaker the more you use it and you need to eat and recharge your batteries. You think I didn’t notice your stumble after the attack with the Shadow?” He wiggled his eyebrows to emphasize his point and she knew he figured it out.

“OK, fine. Now, you’re making me into the Energizer Bunny.” She shook her head. “You get the hardware, and what am I going to do in the meantime?”

“Eat and rest. Think you can manage?”

“Do I have a choice?”

He folded his arms and watched her expectantly.

“Fine! I’ll order room service and lay down for a while. Happy?”

“Tre-mendously! Now off with you! Go take advantage of the lovely honeymoon suite bed I’m paying for and let me know when room service shows up if I’m still in here. I’ll move the Old Girl to the Garden shed temporarily till their gone.”

“Yes, Timelord, sir!”

He reached out and kissed her and found he couldn’t stop, his lips and tongue tasting her as if it was the first time, allowing the kiss to deepen until even he had to come of for air. He broke away reluctantly.

“Sure you don’t want to work on some software first before the hardware?” She wiggled her own eyebrow at him.

“God, woman, you test me mightily, but no! First things, first.” He released her but kept a hand in hers and took her to the door.

“I’ll extend the force field out while you sleep, so you won’t be interrupted. Go, before my resolve dissolves into a puddle of goo.”

“Goo? I thought I could reduce you to-“

“Uh, sweetheart, not now? Have mercy on me?”

She smiled and left a peck on his cheek. “If you say so. Just let me know when I can lock and load the AK47. I‘ll let you alone then.”

“Oh, wrong time period.”

“OK, how about a German Lugar? M-1? Winchester Rifle? Colt45?”

He didn’t answer, giving her one of his ‘you-know-better’ looks.

“Spatial de-stabilizer?”

“Go!”

She just smiled in response and walked out. He closed the door and collapsed against it. “Rassilon, give me strength.”




Back to index


Chapter 9: Chapter 9-Confrontations

Rose ordered room service to come in two hours and lay down on the bed and went to sleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow. If felt like no time at all before she was awaken by a knock on the door and groaned as she got up. She immediately noticed the T.A.R.D.I.S. was missing and assumed the Doctor moved it as soon as he saw she awakened. She thought it strange that she never heard the ship’s engines come to life.

Confused, she looked around and saw that it was dusk instead of mid-afternoon and confirmed this on what the clock said on the wall. The knock came again and she climbed out of bed, rubbing the sleep from her eyes with one hand as she grabbed for the knob.

She opened it and found Edward standing there, smiling, his uniform still looking red and crisp, holding a tray of food, still steaming.

“Come in, please Edward, I’m sorry to make you wait. I was napping…just set it anywhere.”

“Good evening Mrs. Tyler, I’m sorry to wake you but I wanted to personally bring this to you and see how you were feeling. Everything fine, if you don’t mine me askin’?” His southern drawl became more pronounced as he voiced his concern, setting down the tray as he spoke.

Rose smiled and nodded as he turned around, clasping her hands in front of her. “Oh, my, yes, indeed, Edward. I’m much better now.”

Edward glanced at her hand and noticed that there was no bandage there. “I see….you must be…a really faster healer Mrs. Tyler, ‘cause, you were cut something fierce in the dining room and now, no bandage?”

Rose looked down at her hand and saw that indeed, there wasn’t a bandage where there should have been one and suddenly her ‘spidey’ sense started tingling. “Uhm, yes, well, Dr. Tyler has a number of remedies that help, but I’m a really good healer, on my mother’s side, of course.”

Edward tipped his head in respect as he answered, “Of course, Mrs. Tyler. I was wonder is Dr. Tyler to be dining with you this evening?”

Rose looked back at the food and saw she had ordered enough for one and realized her mistake and thought fast. “Oh, my, I knew he was out attending a meeting but I didn’t know when he’d get in. You better bring the same for him, Edward, since it’s so late. He’ll be famished once he gets in.”

“Very good, Ma’am. Would there be anything else?”

Rose couldn’t ignore the sense that was something wrong; something was off and decided to ask Edward her question. If anyone would know, it would be him, she decided.

“Edward, have you noticed anything….unusual about? I’m mean, it’s..well, I’m not getting a good feeling from this room.”

Edward suddenly looked uncomfortable and his voice couldn’t disguise it. “Oh, ah, well. Didn’t you know, Mrs. Tyler? You’re in one of the haunted rooms. Room 223 is famous for those little ‘bumps’ in the night; so’s rooms’ 107 and 109. Other than these rooms, the Lobby in the next best place for spooks. Ya’ll are such a nice couple, I just wanted to make sure nothing untoward was afoot.”

Rose couldn’t hide her surprise. “Oh! Oh. Well, I see. My, I wasn’t expecting that. Well, we have a lot of places in England that are purportedly haunted, I’m just surprised we would get one of the only three rooms in a hotel half a world away. Just our luck.” She smiled, but Edward could tell it wasn’t a happy smile.

“Just ring me, Mrs. Tyler. Anytime, day or night. Let Dr. Tyler know I’ve got my Bible handy at all times.”

She reached out and he took her hand and kissed the back of it and Rose was surprised at such a courtly gesture. “Why thank you, Edward. We’ll be the first ones to ask for you. Thank you for all of your kindnesses.”

“You’re very welcome, Mrs. Tyler. I’m going down now to make sure Dr. Tyler gets his meal nice and hot.” He smiled a left and Rose closed the door behind him, turned around and put her hands on her hips, looking at the room with a new attitude.

“Well, look at you, the room from ‘Poltergeist.’ Good thing we don’t have a TV in here.”

There was another knock at the door and Rose went to answer it, thinking Edward had forgotten something.

“It’s there a problem Ed-“ Edward was standing there, but his face was contorted into one of evil, smiling.

“Hello, Rose.”

His arm shot out and grabbed her by the throat and she instinctively grabbed for it, her combat training coming back with a vengeance. Unable to break his grip by shoving up, she stomped on his foot and then brought a knee up to his groin, making him break his hold before she saw stars. She then took a step back as he recovered quicker than she expected and realized belatedly this wasn’t the Edward she had dealt with.

“Your not Edward, asshole, so I’m not pulling any punches. I owe you one!” She karate kicked him in the chest where he landed against the far wall and she pursued him, sending his head toward ceiling as she punched him with a right hook and then a left to the stomach, making him double over. She stepped back to survey the damage she inflicted.

“Had enough, or is torture your foreplay? Are you smiling now?”

He came up and grabbed her waist, driving her backward and sudden pain hit her womb and ‘Edward’ followed her, stumbling until she hit the wall next to her suite’s door. The demon’s hot breath was putrid with sulfur as he spoke into her ear.

“Die, Bitch, be gone from the Master’s sight! Your precious Doctor’s next.”

Pain arced up from her womb and into her heart and she stopped breathing for a second from the sharpness of the pain, blackness narrowing in her sight, but in that second she remembered who she was.

TimeLord.

She fought instinct and let go of the hands that grabbed her waist and set them on his throat and squeezed, letting the time vortex energy flow through. It had an immediate affect, as she made time race forward on his body clock, aging it hundreds of years of its life, quickly reducing it to dust.

So quick was his departure that she fell to her knees and her hands hit the floor, stopping her from falling flat on her face, coughing from the dust. The pain slowly dissipated from her womb, her heart rate slowed and her breath returned to as close to normal from the adrenaline rush. She started to get up as the Doctor appeared at her side.

“Rose! What the hell!” He helped her get up and checked her over as he did so, looking for any injuries.

“I’m OK, really. Friendly visit from our neighborhood demon. He’s dust now.” She brushed off her hands and pushed back her hair and smiled for him, letting him know she was better, but he still looked worried.

“I leave you alone for five minutes, five minutes and you go get yourself into trouble! How do you feel? Uh, wait, you said dust?”

She decided not to say anything else except to point and he followed her finger to the pile of dust on the floor.

“Oh.” He grabbed her hand and inspected it and asked her, “Are you sure it was the Shadow?”

She cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Would he refer to his boss as ‘Master’ and have breath smelling like sulfur? He looked like Edward this time. Oh, God, do you think it was really Edward?” She put a hand to her cheek, concerned, hoping she hadn’t made such a morbid and horrendous mistake. It hadn’t felt like Edward at all.

“The Bellhop? That was too easy. This isn’t right.”

She looked over his shoulder and down the hallway and spied the black Shadow advancing from the lift and floating two feet off the floor. She shuddered. “When has it not been right? Can we run now?”

He followed her gaze and stopped her. “No, no running. Get back into the room.” He pulled her into the room and shut the door and locked it with his sonic screwdriver. Pocketing it, he grabbed her hand pulled her to the ship. She hastily picked up the plate of food in passing, as she followed him into the ship and he locked the doors behind her. Suddenly she was ravenous again and dug into the plate of food whilst he moved the controls to get the T.A.R.D.I.S. moving.

“We need to get down to the basement. I’ve got containment equipment ready for the Jethryk, but we need to get to it first and the only way to get there is to move our old Girl.” He pulled the lever and the engine came to life and the T.A.R.D.I.S. started moving. “This time, let me deal with the Shadow, OK?”

He looked at her for confirmation and she gave it, nodding in his direction. He smiled back and pushed a couple more buttons, concentrating. She settled down on the jump seat and held the plate close and in between bites, lifted her eyebrow at the mention of ‘our’ and decided to say nothing. ‘He’s learning,’ she thought with a smile.

She finished her plate as the engines settled down and stopped. She decided to leave the plate under the jump seat, but has she went to put it under, immediately noticed her stomach had grown to the point she could have placed the plate on top of it.

“Oh. My. God.” She stared at her stomach as if it were alien. The Doctor looked up at her words and saw her condition. He came over to her and kneeled and placed a hand on her stomach and felt for thoughts, any thoughts. She had to be at least 6 months pregnant from the size of her stomach.

“Rose, what did you do? How did you kill the alien?” There. For the first time he felt the baby’s thoughts and was, for a moment, completely lost. He looked up at her in wonderment, and grabbed her hand and immediately she felt the baby’s thoughts, too. Simple and quiet, yet primal in nature, their daughter floated in a quiet world of peace, the only sound was heartbeats ticking away in her amniotic fluid.

It took a moment before she could find her voice, but Rose answered him, her voice hushed. “I….I had the alien by the throat and aged him until he was dust. He was hurting us, making my womb and my heart hurt. I couldn’t catch my breath.”

He reached up and touched her cheek, concern in his voice as he tried to calm her. “You aged yourself as well, Sweetheart. It’s OK, I was afraid this might happen.”

“You were afraid? I’m way ahead of you there, but I couldn’t stop the demon, I shouldn’t have been caught off guard, he was relentless-“ A finger on her lips stopped her.

“What’s done is done. She seems fine. This changes my plan, though.” He got up and reached behind the jump seat and pulled out a bag.

“I’m going alone. Stay here and monitor me from the computer screen.”

“But-” She tried to get up and felt like the beached whale on the surf. He helped her up and she finally stood, but felt light-headed.

He grabbed her and held her, putting the bag down in the process. He whispered in her ear, smelling her hair as he spoke. “It will pass, love. Your body just put out an incredible amount of energy. Don’t be afraid.” He brushed her hair, trying to calm her.

She hugged him tighter and tears welled, threatening to make her blink. “I’m trying not to be. Really.” She took a deep, shuddering breath and released him, staring into his eyes, pleading with him.

“Be safe, damn it! Don’t do a Hari-Kari on us, OK?”

He kissed her and lingered and brushed her mind with his. ‘I’ve got you both to come home too, now don’t I?’

He broke the kiss, picked up the bag and headed for the door. “Remember, stay here and monitor. No heroics from my Wonder Woman, hhmmm?”

He left her a brilliant smile and headed out the door, leaving her alone. She crossed her arms over her stomach and put a hand to her chin, wondering out loud, “Yeah, but when will I ever find my golden lasso to make everything better?”

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Chapter 10: Chapter 10-Now the fun....

The Doctor closed the door and found he'd put the ship down exactly where he needed it, a large room where the linens were washed and hung to dry, the heat from the primitive dryers momentarily taking his breath away. With so much wash hanging, it would be a while before his T.A.R.D.I.S. would be discovered. 'All the better for the task at hand,' he surmised.

The lighting wasn't good, the dinginess of it making him feel his way as he held the containment page in his left hand and stretched his senses out for any noise other than the background noise that came from the machinery. In his right he carried his sonic screwdriver at the ready, set on maximum for any appearance of the Shade.

After a few moments, he finally made it out of the walls of wash only to discover that the room opened up to a small area of tables and ironing boards with more dim lighting. With no one in sight, he made his way across and opened the locked door to the hallway and quickly turned the setting on the screwdriver, scanning for electro-magnetic frequencies indigenous to fourth dimension leakage in the atmosphere.

There! He'd caught it. The Shade's signature magnetic field emitting from the fourth dimension, so powerful it was like a lighthouse to a ship at sea, bleeding through a wall at the end of the corridor as it turned to the left. Even stronger, the psychic vortex was just beyond the signal; protecting the Jethryk within, making it's location just under the lobby floor. He looked at the wall and mentally visualized the rip. Smiling and determined, it was a safe bet knowing his vacation wasn't going to be interrupted for very much longer. He looked down at the bag, checking the clasp. Rose's idea of a spatial de-stabilizer was perfect. Coupled with his screwdriver on maximum, he'd make getting the Jethryk short work, and maybe the end of the existence of the mutated Shade, too. 'Much better than entertaining the thing on Wagner,' he thought, smiling brilliantly to himself.

"Gotcha!"





Rose was restless as soon as the door closed, leaving her standing alone and leaning against the control panel, fretting, feeling like an overstuffed hen. She came around and finally sat down in the jump seat and dragged her hands through her hair, trying to calm her thoughts. Looking at her protruding stomach banefully, her thoughts settled on one thing. The White Guardian told them they had to be together. They had to be in physical contact so that she could do whatever she needed to do so they would be rid of the elemental.

"Oh!" Her thoughts were interrupted abruptly by the baby kicking, a solid kick to the bladder. 'Ooh, just like your mum, aren't you now?' She thought, smiling, as she massaged that part of her tummy. "If your father were here...."

She eyed the monitor on the console wishfully, but her mind refused to let go the nagging feeling something was missing, something hadn't been considered, and her thoughts led back to their predicament.

Was the vortex created with the Guardian's intent to only recognize only she and the Doctor? The Doctor couldn't have forgotten such an important detail, unless....

He never planned on listening to the White Guardian to begin with? Was that the reason why he'd been in the ship so long? Was she truly needed, as the White Guardian had said? The Doctor wouldn't have gone off like that, switching his 'plans' at a moments notice, unless...

The thought almost made her angry at the frustration of it all. She was convinced he never wanted her in harm's way, which was all well and good, but could he handle an elemental by himself? Of course, but a mutated elemental, engineered by the Black Guardian? The idea made her shudder at the sheer malevolence its friend 'Edward' had and it galvanized her resolve. She needed a 'Golden Lasso,' yeah?

Wait! She had one of sorts! Why hadn't she thought of it before? She mentally kicked herself as she got up as best she could and went for her room. Once there, started digging through the dresser and found her wrist scanner she'd brought on board with her the day she came back from the dead.

"Bless Zeke all over for making me wear the one of only two to exist! Come here, sweetie!" She kissed it reverently and quickly attached to her wrist and clicked it on. Almost imperceptibly, she heard its hum and the screen flicked to life and its familiar scan indicators starting giving her readings almost instantaneously, showing two alien life forms 40 meters away, one giving off high electromagnetic radiation, the sound static, whereas the heartbeats of the Doctor double-beating like a tattoo. The psychic vortex, just beyond the Shade's blip, read as 'unknown anomaly,' and Rose shook her head and talked back at her scanner, "yeah, you would say that." Pushing another button, she tested its shielding capabilities and sonic emitters and smiled, switching it back to scan mode.

"There you are, sweetheart! Mums' got her own screwdriver and, look at 'our' wee timorous beastie!" Over the years her Scottish accent hadn't changed, but at least her sarcasm improved as she saw the Doctor's indicator blip slowing, getting closer to the target.

"Now, come on, Doctor, you can't have all the fun!" Her brow furrowed in thought as ran over other routes of defense that the Doctor might've bandied about.

"Hmmm. You're probably going to fight the Shade by reversing the polarity of the Shade's natural EMF output, but are you considering other options, Love? How do you fight something that is electro-magnetic, even beyond what I can do? Oooh!"

She smiled instantly as the solution occurred. "That's perfect! Now, Mummy's going to have a bit of fun! This holiday isn't going to be a total wash if I can help it!" She was off to the Doctor's workshop, almost giggling in glee, hoping she'd find what she was looking for.

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Chapter 11: Chapter 11-Begins!

The Doctor was closing in, his concentration completely on getting closer to the Shade, before he heard a tiny movement directly behind him. He swiftly turned and got the shock of his life as Rose stood behind him, posed in the act of tapping his shoulder. She was still dressed in the conservative 30-ish pantsuit she worn earlier but instead of her jacket, she wore small,multi-colored water-filled balloons at her bulging waistline, hanging from the pantsuit's belt like insane-looking bolos.

"Good God, woman! I told you to stay-what is with the balloons? And how did you sneak up on me so quietly!" He looked up at her brilliant smile, back down at the balloons and back up at her, mouth gaping. It took all of 1.836 seconds for him to put two and two together and he started shaking his head.

"Oh, no, no, no, no way no how not in a million years if I live that long, you are NOT getting anywhere near that Shade!" Even though it was a sentence, to Rose's ears it sounded like it ran together. She knew he was upset when he did that, but it didn't phase her in the least. "I'm not letting you have all the fun. Did you forget that the Guardian expects us to be together when we get the Jethyk, or did that just happen to escape a brain cell or two?"

She continued to smile as he lodged his protest, in an angry whisper. "Are we forgetting that 'we' are pregnant?"

She wiggled her eyebrows and leaned closer to him, almost touching his forehead with hers, her hands on the balloons at her waist. "Can we say...short-circuit? How about an existential 'Wet-willy?' How about a lovely blonde distraction at that, armed with a body shield?" With that she touched her forehead with his and the invisible shield sparked, knocking him back a few inches and he nearly stumbled in his surprise.

"Where the!"

She held up her wrist, showing off the black and gunmetal grey box that sat on her arm like an oversized wristwatch. Its tiny screen winked at him. "Zeke had it made for me. He figured since I had a death wish, he'd at least try to control the outcome by having remote controlled scanners that doubled as body shields. It even has sonic emitters!" She ran a finger over the controls almost lovingly. "He had R & D work on it for ages and, in the end, it still didn't help." Her tone became wistful with memories. "I miss him terribly, but, there's no help for it."

Her smile brightened. "At least I can say I have my own version of your screwdriver? Oh, wait, no, how about one half of a Wonder Woman bracelet, with extras? What? You started the Wonder Woman thing. I'm just finishing it."
He gave her his I-don't-know-what-I'm-going-to-do-with-you look and shook his head in irritation, but the barest of smiles sneaked past his lips. "Gone on, then. It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to stop you..."

She grabbed his wrist and the shield felt like ants crawling on his skin. "But you love it, don't you? Rose and the Doctor, Defenders of The Universe! Come on, what are we waiting for? Just 'cause I have a little luggage in the trunk doesn't mean I've become a stupid git-"

"No, I wasn't implying that!"

She turned her head to the side and smiled a sad smile. "What do they say about...good intentions, and Hell are fast companions? I know you weren't, love, but can we just get on with this and stop worrying about me? Let's take care of our little demon around the corner and then we can get back to our holiday!" She swung his wrist with her hand, looking for all the world like she was twelve, with a mischievous glint in her eye. How did she do that?

He squared his shoulders as he dragged his fingers through his hair, his sonic screwdriver giving the briefest impression of being a comb.

"Fine, then. I swear, you're going to give me grey hair yet. Stay close and stay behind me."

She gave him a salute and stood her ground, her bright smile returning. "Most definitely, Commander Doctor, Sir!"

As the Doctor turned around and Rose followed behind, she thought to herself, 'Yeah, well, I won't be the one giving you the grey hair, love, I'll leave that to the kids.'

The Doctor shot back his on thought at her, 'I heard that!'

Rose lifted an eyebrow and returned her answer, 'I know.'

Without comment, he started forward and came around the corner hugging the wall and looked into the open door that led into a storage room. He found the Shade still attempting to get through the vortex to the hidden Jethryk within. The vortex was barely visible to the naked eye and only became so when the Shade shot energy from its hands, making the vortex look whiter and wispy as it swirled upwards into the ceiling, mimicking a mini-tornado.

"Can we say, 'futile much?'" Rose whispered behind him as she peered over his shoulder.

"Ssshhh."

"OK, well, how about I swing a water bolo at his head and while he's distracted you can get him with the screwdriver and I'll back you up with mine? We can call it the 'Double-Sonic Wet-Willy-Extraordinaire.'"

"What?" He looked back at her, unable to stop smiling.

"Come on, we're a team, yeah? I owe the twit! Nobody pulls a tactical on Action Rose without a payback from Hell. He's already dressed for it, so?"

The Doctor couldn't help but chuckle. "Rose, have I said lately that I love you?"

She leaned in and kissed his cheek. "Not in the last twenty minutes, no. Love you, too. Now, let's go get him!"

She undid her belt in one swift move and let the balloons drop to the floor, stooped and picked one up, the water making sloshing noises in her hands. He stepped back, unable to wipe the smile off his face and let her take first strike. She leaned back and swung the balloons over her head and let go, the balloons flying in an arc until they wrapped around the neck of the Shade, slammed together and burst, the water making hissing and popping noises as it met it's target. The Shade howled in pain and backed up, scratching at its face and neck.

"Nice shot! Now, my turn." The Doctor leaned in and pressed the button on his screwdriver, letting white hot energy shoot out from it's tip. Rose picked up another set of balloons and stepped back enough not to hit the Doctor, letting another volley fly before it had a chance to recover. This time the balloons hit its chest as it turned around, shaking from the blast of the Doctor's weapon. She then hit a button on her scanner and switched it over to sonic emitter and aimed it at the Shade to join the stream of energy coming from the Doctor's screwdriver.
Without warning, the Shade screamed and winked out, leaving the smell of ions in the air, as if something electrical had shorted out.

"Yes!" The Doctor shut his screwdriver off with a flourish and looked around, waiting for a reappearance. "That? That was just too easy."

Rose turned off the sonic emitter and switched it over to scan. "Nothing. I'm not picking up anything. I know this unit picked it up before and now, zip. It's gone."

"It'll be back. Let's get the Jethryk and go, before it's too late."

"You don't have to tell me twice." Rose left the balloons where she put them and picked up the containment bag and opened it, peeking in.

"What's this? A spatial de-stabilizer? The one I happened to mention?"

The Doctor came over to her and looked in, looking a bit sheepish. "Uhm, yeah, that would be the one. Good idea, yeah?"

"Uh-huh, yup. Real good." She closed the bag with a snap and grabbed for his hand. "Come on, let's go, Doctor. Like you said, time's wasting."

"Well, it was a really good idea. Oh." He was taken off guard as his sense of reality shifted and Rose phased them both into the fourth dimension without warning. Everything appeared out of focus and dim, like a movie projector's lens not quite focused right.

"God! It's cold!" Rose started shivering and the Doctor took off his coat and threw it around her shoulders, never losing contact with her.

"I was afraid of this. Why do you think I had the de-stabilizer? I retooled it for the fourth dimension. I didn't want you to go through this."

With her teeth slightly chattering, she answered, "Well, did you consider the fact that part of the defense of a psychic vortex was recognizing the mental imprint of whoever is trying to access the vortex?"

"Uh, well, that hadn't occurred, but, that was a variable."

"Yeah, but we're dealing with the White Guardian, right?"

He looked a her and drew her into a hug, holding her tight. "Point taken." He squeezed her tight and then let go, only to shift her around toward the Jethyk. "Let's go."

They took a few steps and the psychic vortex appeared lorger and more volatile on this side of reality, the wisps of white ectoplasm now a solid mass of white that twirled upward in front of them into a ceiling that was almost transparent, showing the people walking back and fourth above them.

"Remind me not to die anytime soon. 'Kay?" She grasped his hand tighter. "Don't think I'd want to get stuck here, that's for sure."

"I wouldn't want you to, love, but I'd come and get you, no matter what."

She smiled up at him, and her smile lit his hearts. "I know you would. I'd do the same for you."

"Quite right, too." He leaned down to kiss her and her lips felt cold. "Come on, let's get this done. When I say three, let's both reach in with our free hand and drag it out. Got it?"

"Yeah. One.." She stood at the ready.

"Two..." His free hand was an inch from the ectoplasm, as was her's.

"Three." Both of their hands went into the vortex, and the Doctor felt a wet, dragging sensation over his fingers. Both of them reached around for several seconds until his hand hit a solid mass. "Ah! Got it!" Rose took note of where his arm was directed at and came closer until she felt the hard, stoney mass as well. "Got it. Let's do it."

She pulled her arm toward her, keeping in time with the Doctor until the stone, the size of a small car's alternator, emerged from the vortex, the ectoplasm dripping off of it, making spattering sounds as it hit the floor.

"My God, no wonder it was heavy!" She backed up with the Doctor at the same time and came back around until they had it over the containment bag, which still remained closed. Rose looked at him, her eyes pointing out the obvious and the Doctor took the hint. "Right. Let's put this down so I can get the bag open."

"Yup, no problem." They set it down and the Doctor reached for the bag, just as the Shade showed up again, this time glowing white.

"I knew this was too easy! Rose, get behind me." He pulled her around and so that he could shield her with his body and grabbed for his sonic screwdriver, switching it on in one smooth motion.

"Go back to your master, Shade. Tell the Black Guardian he loses again."

The Shade's mouth widened in blackness as it imitated a smile. "I think not, Timelord. My master grows weary in losing to you. This time his intent is to win. Very much. Put away your device. It doesn't work here. That was your only warning." It came closer, foot by foot as it talked, gaining ground.

"Don't mind if I don't, really. I've grown accustomed to it." He hit the button and the energy that was supposed to come out of the tip didn't.

"What?" He looked at it to make sure it wasn't broken and in that split second, the Shade attacked, shooting forward and knocking into both of them as if being rammed by a linebacker. It was enough of a jolt that the Doctor lost grip of Rose's hand and he felt his body phase out of the fourth dimension and hitting the floor hard, his fingers grasping empty space.

"Nooooo!"

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Chapter 12: Chapter 12-Consequences

Rose hit the floor, doing her best not to land on her stomach in the process. The fall still knocked the breath out of her as she landed on her side, facing the demon. She moved to get up and the demon shook his head, shaking a finger at her.

"Stay back. I don't want you. I don't need you, although killing you would definitely satiate my appetite."

Before she could answer, The White Guardian's voice whispered in her mind like a gentle breeze. "My dear, all things fail the mortal coil, and the culprit is time, always time....Get the shade to the my vortex, and I'll take care of the rest."

The answer flitted into her consciousness and it was so simple yet so dangerous to one in her condition, but she knew at this point she had to do it. This wasn't a choice. Taking a deep breath, she slowly got up, making no sudden moves as she stared the Shade down, squaring her shoulders as she mentally prepared.

"How's this for your appetite?"

Her eyes suddenly flared golden and the time vortex energy swirled around her, the air gently moving about her, ruffling her hair as it passed. "Did your master count on me, Shade? I'm the Time Vortex made flesh. I'm the Bad Wolf that can be a nightmare to even one such as you. Would you like to give up now, or is that an option?"

The Shade took a step back and then reconsidered, its features morphing from one of indecision to
determination. "No options, She Wolf. Tonight you die and I take what is mine."

She tilted her head to one side, smiling, the energy so intense, her teeth appeared golden. She felt the Doctor trying to contact her through their link and realized she only had time for one message before what she had to attempt. 'Doctor, I'm taking care of the situaiton. Have the Infirmary ready, I have a feeling I'll be needing it very soon.'

The Doctor, in normal reality, stood rock still as her thoughts came to him, and her message made his hearts skip a beat. 'Rose, what are you planning?'

'It's alright, love, the White Guardian gave me a message and I have to follow through.' With that, he felt her shutting down the link, and he stared into empty space, the room feeling like a vacuum to his soul.

"Rose, don't you dare! Rose, answer me! Rose!" Silence was his only response and he dug into his pocket for his sonic screwdriver and realized he must have dropped it on the othe side after he'd been hit. "Damn!"

He turned to where he knew the psychic vortex swirled and made a decision. He quickly moved to where he could feel it swirling up and closed his eyes, concentrating, his arms outstretched, waiting. If he could just tune into its matrix, just a few more seconds...yes! He felt himself phasing into the fourth dimension and the more he did so, the more he felt the vortex becoming more tangible around his hands and his body became cold. He opened his eyes to see Rose lifting the Shade with her vortex energy, creating a bubble around it, its movements slowed by her slowing time within.

The Doctor wanted to move to help her but if he did, he'd lose contact with the psychic vortex and he'd phase out again, leaving Rose behind with the thing. It looked like she was doing fine, but she was using her vortex energy and he knew what that would do to their child and he nearly growled from the frustration of it all.

"No, no, no, no, no!" He kept one hand within the vortex and bent down to feel for his screwdriver but came up empty, just as Rose drew the Shade closer to the vortex.

"Doctor, you need to move out of the way. I have to get him into the vortex, its what the Guardian wanted."

"Rose just come closer, I'll get out of the way, but I need to touch you, reach out your hand."

Rose kept her eyes on the Shade but she answered him, her voice heavy with the strain of maintaining the bubble of energy. "Doctor, if you touch me while I'm doing this, won't it hurt you? I could kill you! I won't have it, I can't let you do it a second time."

She was almost to him now, and he could see the fear in the demon's eyes as it floated before him. He slowly backed up a few inches, but his hand never left the vortex. "Alright Rose, go ahead and do what you have to do, but I'm not leaving you." He took a quick glance around the room and saw that the Jethryk was where he'd left it and was thankful for small miracles. He brought his attention back to her, his worry making his brow furrow as he contemplated on what to do next.

"Who said anything about leaving?" She smiled and brought her arms back, drawing the energy and the demon toward her and she shoved forward, mightly pushing the demon toward the vortex and the Doctor felt it make contact, the vortex rippling with its negative energy. The floor under his feet began to feel unstable and he saw that the ground was giving way directly underneath the vortex, a sinkhole developing into a chasm and he felt himself dangerously teetering on the edge of it.

"Oh, sh-?" To save himself, he had to jump away and immediately regretted it as he felt reality shift again and he fell to his knees as he lost his balance, warm air filling his lungs. As soon as he could take a breath, his lips were forming Rose's name but she phased back into reality before him, on her hands and knees, her head hanging low, her hair hiding her face. Around her, everything else shifted back into existance, the containment bag, his coat and sonic screwdriver. He noticed this but he had to get to Rose.

He scrambled to her side and gathered her into his arms, her body feeling like ice. "Rose, for God's sake, are you alright?"

He felt her thoughts then, and he smiled as she answered him. 'I'm just cold and tired, love, no harm done. I could use a nice hot shower, though, hot chocolate, hot fireplace, thermal blankets, your hot breath on an ear, yeah, that would be nice, hot soup, hot steak, God, I'm h-h-hungry.....'

He cradled her head against his shoulder and he checked the pulse at her neck. Her eyes remaining closed, but her jaw trembled as the rest of her shivered violently. He started rubbing her arms, trying to get the warmth to come back into them. He decided she needed the T.A.R.D.I.S. and tried to lift her and found he barely could, finally noticing her stomach was bigger, much bigger than it should be. It was his worst fear, manifested. Not good, oh, no, not good at all.

He placed a hand on her stomach and gently probed for the baby's thoughts and found them but they weren't the thoughts of a 6th month fetus, but of one about to be born with an awareness only a Timelord child would have. He could almost see it turning it's head to look at him. 'Daddy?'

He nearly giggled at her question and excitedly answered back. 'Yes, I'm your Daddy. How do you feel, little one?'

He felt her struggle with the question and finally an answer formed. "I feel right. Want to be born. Hungry.' He rubbed Rose's belly in response, a tear formed at the end of his nose and he wiped it away. 'Soon, little one, soon.' He positioned Rose's body so that he could pick her up.

"Rose, we're going to the ship. I'm picking you up, but you need to hold on to me, OK?" In response, her arms circled his torso and reached up, coming together at his shoulder and he could feel her locking her fingers together. He stood up with her then and started running back to the ship as fast as his legs could carry him, Jethyk and sonic screwdriver forgotten.

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Chapter 13: Chapter 13-A New Life

It had only been a few minutes after the Doctor left him in 2012, that Captain Jack Harkness felt the Eternal call him. He had settled back to do his monthly reports and was about to take a sip of coffee, when he stopped himself, a psychic message whispering in his right ear.

'Captain Harkness, I believe you know of me. I am the White Guardian and I ‘ve a task for you. You must rescue the Jethryk the Doctor was on mission to protect, and time is of the essence. Please prepare yourself, and answers to your questions will follow....'

Jack sat down his cup just in time as he felt himself phase out of his reality. The only words that were heard before he winked out was, "What the! Oh, sh-"


The Doctor made it back to the T.A.R.D.I.S. and had Rose packed down with blankets and hooked up to an I.V. and resting when the ship notified him of a visitor at his door. He loathed to leave her, but his interest peaked. He left a gentle kiss on her forehead as she slept and headed for the control room. Once there, he was surprised to discover from his monitor that Jack Harkness stood at his door.

Striding over and opening it, he leaned against the doorway with a hand in his pocket and an eyebrow raised. "Jack? I thought you were in London in this time period. You didn't use your time vortex manipulator, did you? What's the emergency?"

Jack stood in the sea of washed linens with the Doctor's coat hanging over his shoulder, shifted the containment bag from hand to the other, hoping the Doctor would take notice.

"Hello to you, too and, you were supposed to be getting married, last time saw you, what 5 minutes ago? No emergency, at least not from me, anyway," He pointed looked at the Doctor's left hand, which was sans ring. " but, hey, I've got something for you." He lifted the bag higher for the Doctor to see. "Your friend, the White Guardian, contacted me. Can I come in, or is this how you greet all of your 'old' friends?" He smiled, and the Doctor allow him entry, and felt his ship voice her disapproval. 'Now, now, old Girl, it won't be for long.'

"You know, I was going back to get that, but I had an emergency of my own." He closed the door behind Jack after making sure the coast was clear and locked it. Jack walked over to the jump seat and sat the bag down next to it and threw the doctor's coat over the back.

"Your sonic screwdrivers' in the pocket and that room you were in had water-filled balloons in it. What were you and Rose doing, having a party without me?" He smiled, trying to ooze on the charm but it quickly turned into a frown as he saw the look on the Doctor's face.

"Thank you, Jack and no, it's a bit more complicated than that. We've been through a lot since we've seen you last." He went to the controls and flipped a few switches and Jack could feel the ship moving. "We're going back to the hotel room we were staying at, by the way. This will only take a moment." Jack stood with his hands on his hips, watching the Doctor. Was it his imagination or was the man more subdued than usual. "What did the White Guardian have to say?"

Jack folded his arms and played along. "That I needed to rescue the Jethryk that you were supposed to get, and, to cover you, 'cause you might need some help. What's been going on and where's Rose, Doctor?"

To his surprise, the Doctor almost barked a laugh and then sighed, running a hand through his scalp and massaging his neck in the process. "Well, well, well, well! That's the question, isn't it? How's Rose, what's going on with Rose, the question is, what's not going on with Rose?" He stepped over to the jump seat and flopped his body in to it, a deep sigh followed as he stared into the column of light at the center of the control panel. Jack almost didn't hear the Doctor's next words and was glad he did, because he made him repeat himself.

"She's resting and....I'm going to be a father."

"What?"

"I said, I'm going to be a father. A baby girl, in about another hour or two, from what I can tell." He clasped his hands together and hung his head and Jack came over and leaned down to find him smiling, with a tear going down his cheek.

"Doc, that's wonderful! I mean, it's got to be the fastest pregnancy in history, but it's great! Congratulations!" Without thinking, he grabbed the Doctor and gave him a bear hug. "Can I ask the obvious and say, how?"

The Doctor gave him sidelong glance and managed to look embarrassed. Jack laughed and got up to step back and leaned against the console. "I already figured that out, Doc, I mean, what happened between the last time I saw you and now."

"Well, for starters, for you, it's been a few minutes, for us, about two months."

"OK, still fast."

"I decided to take Rose on holiday and that's how we ended up here in 1935 Santa Paula, California."

"'Citrus Capital' of the world? There's no bananas here and the ocean is 12 miles away, at least."

"Well, we found out about that little tidbit after we got here, but we were commandeered by the Guardian to get the Jethryk. Talk about a holiday interrupted! Just when I was about to get her to relax and take her mind off things."

“Well,” Jack placed his hands in his pockets, “You know how the old saying goes, ‘Best laid plans of mice and Timelords.’”

“That’s what Rose said.” He looked back in the direction of the Infirmary, wondering if he should continue the conversation there, but changed his mind, knowing she needed her sleep. “We found out by accident she was expecting. We had trouble and she had to use the time vortex energy to protect herself and it accelerated the pregnancy. In this last showdown, she went from six months to full term and she’s technically only about 2 ½ months.”

“Doctor, how’s the baby doing?” He asked the question dead serious, know what those kind of conditions implied.

“That’s the miracle Jack. She’s fine.”

“Well, have you picked out a name for her yet?”

At the question, the Doctor laughed out loud. “We’ve barely gotten used to the fact that she is pregnant, Jack. Dealing with what we’ve had to deal with since we’ve gotten here, I don’t think even Rose has had a chance to pick a name. It’s the least of our worries.”

"The Guardian told me all about the Black Guardian and his issues." Jack looked down at the bag near the Doctor’s feet. For such a simple object, it was too dangerous to stay on board the Doctor’s ship.

“What are you going to do with the Jethryk, Doctor? The Black Guardian must know about how you’ve ruined his plans by now. He’s going to want revenge. The White Guardian stated this isn’t the first time you’ve beaten him at his games. He’s going to want a piece of you, real bad.” He looked in the direction the Doctor glanced down, knowing the Infirmary was down there and knew what the Doctor must have been thinking. “He might decide to go after Rose and the baby.”

“I know.” The Doctor’s tone was of steel and ice and Jack knew that tone all too well.

‘The Jethryk is going to be disposed of by way of the sun. It’s the only place to get rid of it safely and fast. I’ve got to keep monitoring Rose, in case the contractions hit. As for the Black Guardian, he can’t get in here, none of the Eternals can.”

“So we have to worry when we step out, whenever that happens.”

“Yup! Pretty much.”

Jack stood for a moment and then clapped his hands together, smiling. “Well, if that’s all we have to worry about, problem solved! The White Guardian must protect you; you’re his favorite, Doc! I mean, look what he did with me. He knew you needed help and he wrangled me into the picture. You’ve got an angel in your back pocket, and I don’t mind, really.”

The Doctor looked up, his resolve, like steel, shown through his eyes and Jack knew that the Black Guardian was going to know what the ‘Oncoming Storm’ really meant if he ever crossed paths with the Doctor. “Not always, Jack, and I’ve got to be prepared for it.”

Before Jack could consider a response, the Doctor jump up, his face changing from one of steel to one of surprise.

“Doc, what’s the matter?”

“It’s time.” Before he could explain himself, the Doctor sprinted down the hallway toward Infirmary and Jack followed at his heels, with one word on his lips.

Rose.





Both men careened into the Infirmary almost at the same time, and the Doctor made a beeline for Rose, watching the monitor as soon as he got to her bedside.

Rose, in waking, had thrown off all of the blankets and was modestly covered only by a sheet, pain evident on her face, taking deep breaths as a contraction hit, gripping the sheets as she rode out the wave.

“It’s…about….time!”

“Rose, I’m here, it’s OK, it’s a contraction, it looks like we’re going to be parents!”

“Shut up! You….think!?”

As the contraction eased, she relaxed back into the bed and tried to slow her breaths, putting a hand over her eyes. “The contractions started about two minutes apart, instead of ten. How much have I dilated already?” She looked up at the Doctor for a response and noticed Jack standing at a discreet distance.

“Jack! You’re here! Did the Doctor grab you again for such a momentous occasion?”

“No, your White Guardian did that, but I wouldn’t miss this for the world. Have you picked out a name yet, Rose?” He felt for her and wished he could ease her pain.
She squeezed her eyes in concentration, knowing her two minutes of peace were about to be over with. “No and yes, Jack. We haven’t really had time to discuss it yet.” She caught the Doctor’s eye and winked at him, and he winked back and answered her, ”Four centimeters, love. Heart rate and blood oxygen is normal. You’re doing brilliantly.”

She started feeling the contraction come on again and she felt the sudden urge to rip a head off of someone’s body as it built in intensity. “Tell me that after, after the contraction, OK?”

The Doctor grabbed for her hand and she squeezed it for all it was worth as the contraction worsened, and the Doctor didn’t flinch from her strength. His eyes never broke contact with hers as he coached her. “That’s it, love, breath through it, one, two, three….”

Jack, feeling like the odd man out, and decided he wasn’t going to be any use for now and quietly excused himself and headed for the kitchen. The time went by slowly as he busied himself, but after three hours, he decided to just sit at the table and sip his cup of coffee. He gave into his niggling feeling that something bad was going to happen and let his mind wander, worrying about Rose and the Doctor in the process.

Birthing a baby wasn’t easy by a long shot and he’s seen his share of death in the last 100 years as women he’d become acquainted with had died in childbirth. He knew this wasn’t one of those times, but the spectre of the Black Guardian looming over their lives didn’t sit well with him at all. Another hour went by unnoticed as he became lost in his thoughts and, just as he’d finished his coffee, the Doctor appeared at the doorway, a tired smile on his face.

“Well? Are they both OK?” He got up, leaving his cup behind.

“Yup! Absolutely, wonderfully, OK! Go on, Rose said it was alright.” He nodded his had back from whence he came and Jack didn’t needed to be told twice. He sprinted down the hallway and ended up at the foot of the bed, Rose holding the baby, looking extremely tired but happy.

“Can I? I’ve had some practice at holding babies in my day.” His voice was hushed with awe, and Rose just nodded her head.

Unnoticed, the Doctor came up on the other side of the bed and sat on the edge of it, putting his arm around Rose. She leaned into his shoulder and took a breath. “Jack, meet Gallifreya Terranova Jacqueline Tyler. Otherwise known as the Terror, Daughter of the Oncoming Storm.”

Jack looked at both of them and then down at the baby and he could swear the baby had a glint of mischievousness in its eye. He smiled wide and laughed. “Hello, Terror.”

Back to index


Chapter 14: Chapter 14-Afterglow and Evil Thoughts

Author's Notes: You know, I've pretty much lost control of this story. I think the Black Guardian wants me to write and I'm just along for the ride. Hope you enjoy!


Rose and the Doctor watched Jack hold their daughter, both exhausted but content.

"She got your hair, love, and definitely your nose." Rose watched Terror make faces at Jack as she waived her tiny fists in the air and laughed. "Look, she even thinks Jack's funny."

The Doctor kissed her forehead and absently brushed her hair behind her ear, still holding her close. Rose noticed he didn't respond and looked up at him to find him gently smiling.

For once in her life, she witnessed a look she'd never thought possible. The Doctor looked...content. Content, and absolutely, brilliantly, happy. She watched him and marveled at the transformation and it made her wish she could treasure this moment forever. She couldn't help herself from tearing up and she let a drop fall, unbothered, not wanting to spoil this moment with something like brushing a tear away.

She was Rose Tyler. A woman who’d battled aliens and cheated death, a learned doctor and leader of men. She was 65 years old, looked like a 20-something and the love of her life was holding her close and breathing the same air after 40 years of separation. To top it all off, giving birth to a gorgeous, healthy daughter who happened to be splitting-image of her father, making baby noises in her best friend's arms. She smiled and decided that this moment in her life, it was one of the absolute best moments, even if she'd had to do it all over again. It just couldn't get any better than this.

She tentatively reached up a hand and touched his jaw, running a fingertip along its edge, making the Doctor look down and into her eyes and knew he was thinking the same thing.

"I love you, Rose Tyler." His expressive eyes were telling her more than he could say, and she acknowledged it as she raised her hand slightly and caressed his temple, letting her hand slowly drift down to the spot on his neck where she could feel his hearts beat their steady rhythm, her eyes never leaving his.

"I love you, Doctor, so very," she leaned up and he bent down, close enough that she breathed him in, "very," her lips were close to almost touch, "much." Their lips met then, softly, gently, tasting, kissing each other as if it were the first time and the power of it took her breath away. The Doctor tenderly cupped her face with his other hand, making the kiss last longer. Rose. His Rose. Always and forever. The blessing and the peace he thought he'd never get in his very long life. Oh, Rassilon, what had he done to deserve this happiness?

'I heard that. Stop being a pragmatist and just go with it. Even Rassilon couldn't analyze true love.' Rose smiled against his lips and he smiled back, sucking on her lower lip, answering, 'Missy, how would you know what Rassilon thought, hmm?'

She broke the kiss then and looked into his eyes, allowing a mischievous glint to shine through, 'You really don't want to know.' She followed the thought with a nibble to his jaw, enjoying the stubble she found there.

'Oh, really? Come on, tell...' He closed his eyes as she reached the spot just under his earlobe and almost purred from the pleasure of it.

'Oh, fine then. I met Rassilon in heaven and he told me so. Why do you think I say his name every once in a while? He was a very nice Gallifreyan. He reminded me of you.'

His eyes flew open at her statement. "What?" Oh, no, he said that out loud, as he noticed Jack giving them a funny stare over the baby.

'I died, remember?' She thought back at him, concentrating on what she was doing. 'There really is a heaven, but since we're not dead yet, let's make the most,' and she said the last words out loud and softly, letting her lips gently nibble, "of what we've got right now, yeah?"

She breathed her last word into his ear and it made him shudder enough for Jack to notice and he laughed at them.

"OK, you two, not in front of the baby. Let's not teach her anything just yet." He placed her on his shoulder and gently rocked her, enjoying the baby smell of a newborn. "Do you two mind if I take her for a tour of the ship? She needs to get to see what home is like and you two need to get some rest."

The Doctor cleared his throat and adjusted himself on the bed so that he sat up straighter, considering his words. "Sure there's no ultimate motive somewhere in there, Jack?"

Jack just smiled, and shook his head. "Down, Papa-Doctor, no ulterior motive here, just want my two best friends to get some rest before the next feeding and diaper change. OK?"

"Diapers?" Giving him a look as if it was a concept he hadn't dealt with before and Rose just smiled, taking the Doctor's hand in hers. "Thanks, Jack. Give us about two hours rest and by that time she'll need a feeding again, I imagine. See if you can find a bassinette and some baby things while you're at it, she's going to need the essentials."

"I'll try, Rose, but this is Doc's ship. He's surprised me a few times with what the T.A.R.D.I.S. has but, baby items?" He let the question hang in the air as he left them with a smile, walking out of the Infirmary, cooing at the baby, telling her the names of everything they saw along the way, until his voice couldn't be heard anymore.

Rose pulled his arm. "Come on Doctor, let's do what the Captain ordered. I'm really tired and snuggling up to you is the best medicine a Lady Timelord could ever hope for."

The Doctor allowed her to pull him under the covers and he arranged himself so that her head rested on his shoulder without complaint. Rose knew his was thinking about something and decided to ask, "OK, I give. What is my wonderful, handsome and thoroughly brainy Doctor thinking about at this moment?"

"Oh, well, see, there's the thing. I'm thinking about a lot of things, all at the same time. You've got to ask me exactly what's on my mind first, then I'll be able to break it down to the most mundane thing I'm thinking of, and that'll be your answer."

"Humph, no doubt. Let's see....Let me predict....you're wondering about diapers, whether you should get formula for those nights I could really use extra sleep, extra baby clothes and where to get them, whether Jack will be trustworthy enough not to run off with our baby ‘cause you’re paranoid like that, baby-proofing the T.A.R.D.I.S., having to deal with the Black Guardian and wondering how I could meet someone as existential as Rassilon and not tell you?"

He moved his head so that he could look her in the eye and squinted. "You're reading my thoughts again?"

Rose just smiled and kissed his nose. "Nope, I just know you. I’m supposed to be the old, married wife, right? Can't a girl have her secrets?" She brought her lips down and met his and then, after a moment, released him. "let's just get some rest and we'll deal later, OK? Sleep. Sleep while we can."

He snuggled her closer, willing his body to relax but his eyelids not complying. "Easy for you to say, Love. Easier said, than done." And yet, he felt his eyelids close and soon the world fell away into a dream-filled sleep.




Unbeknownst to those in the T.A.R.D.I.S., The Black Guardian was not having an easy time of it, once his connection with his Shade was broken. He knew the Doctor had won. Again.

Vengence! His evil soul cried for it and his mood was blacker than his very name. He brooded, sitting on his throne of hate, but he finally made a decision. This was the last time the Doctor was going to foil his plans of eradicating humans from the face of the universe. He had to take things in his own hands, and grind the Doctor’s bones and those he loved with his very hands and nothing, nothing was going to get in the way of his destruction.

White Guardian, be damned!

Back to index


Chapter 15: Chapter 15-Babies

Author's Notes: OK it's 1:30 am est and I should be fast asleep, but I just had to try out my new computer and post a new chapter as soon as my fingers could fly. Sleep? Who needs sleep?
Hope you enjoy this latest chapter.....


Jack was surprised and successful in finding a plethora of baby essentials after he'd eventually came back from showing off the T.A.R.D.I.S. to Gallifreya. (He really didn't want to call her 'Terror,' just yet. So what, if the Doctor and Rose wanted to call her that; if they wanted to give the kid a complex, let it be on them but he liked the name Gallifreya and he was going to stick to it, just...not around the Doctor. And Rose. OK, both of them at the same time. Yep, that covered all bases nicely.)

He had to admit, she was unusual for a newborn. She hadn't cried yet, there wasn't a peep of fussing and she actually seemed like she understood what he was showing her, her blue eyes wide a she looked about. He'd found one of those cloth baby-holders whats-its you put the baby in and put your arms through it that allowed you carried the baby on your chest instead of like a backpack and, he decided he liked it. She fell asleep like that, and it tugged at his heartstrings to see her little hand holding tight onto the material of his shirt. Her dark hair was sticking out in all directions and he attempted to smooth it down but gave up on it in the end, only caressing it out of habit, lulling her to sleep, while he continued to talk and forage in the many rooms the T.A.R.D.I.S. had.

He took advantage as she napped, doing it gently and quietly so that Gallifreya wouldn't wake up, getting baby things he'd found around the ship and dragged most of it to the control room, leaving it like a pile to be tended to by Rose when she was able to get up and about, since he didn't feel quite right leaving it in the Doctor’s or her bedroom or the kitchen.

Finally, he sat down and crossed his feet in the jumpseat, tired but feeling the accomplishment of a search well done. The Doctor could help him look through the things, but he had a feeling that the Doctor wasn't quite as versed in baby necessities than he, or Rose, for that matter, was. Well, he couldn't be a doctor of everything, now, could he? Jack smiled at he gently rubbed Gallifreya's back.

"Gallifreya," he whispered softly, "you've definitely been born into an unusual family."

Her only response was snuffling against his shirt, and suddenly he felt extremely protective of this little bundle of life and it caught in his throat, the lump of emotion taking him by surprise.

“Hey.” The Doctor’s voice came up quietly behind him and he turned to find the Doctor, slightly rumpled but wide awake, his eyes only on his daughter.
He cleared his throat and sat up. “Hey, back atcha.”

“How’s she been, Jack? Behaving, has she?” He bent down and placed a hand on her back, as if reassuring himself that she existed.

“Well, you know, Doc, we’ve just been tearing up the place and boozing, doing everything we’re big enough to do. We’ve been right terrors around here. Get enough rest or can we party some more?” He smiled wide and the Doctor decided not to take the bait.

The Doctor squinted at him and looked around at the ‘mess’ on the control room floor. “If you’re idea to party is finding everything this ship can produce for taking care of a baby, it looks like you’ve done it. I saw the bassinette you put outside the Infirmary. How did you do this with her sleeping like this?” He cupped her head in his hand and quietly marveled how tiny she was. He still couldn’t believe Rose and he created such a tiny thing.

“It was easy with this baby carrier or kangaroo pouch or whatever this thing is that isn’t a baby backpack. You know what they saw about babies, they sleep through anything.”

The Doctor sat back and weighed his answer. “I wouldn’t know, Jack. I wasn’t around for my children’s birth the first time around.”

“You were a father?” This made Jack mentally step back and wonder.

The Doctor hung his head and quietly said, “Yeah, before I killed them…everyone…with the Time War.” The tone of the Doctor’s voice made the alarms go off in Jack’s head and he had his full attention.

Jack leaned forward and grabbed his arm, keeping his voice quiet, but the Doctor could hear the strain there. “Doctor, you can’t change history. You’ve got your second chance now, and most importantly, you deserve it even more than you did before.” He started taking his arms out of the straps and stood up. “You want to hold her? Come on, you know you want to hold her, she’s been as good as gold.”

The Doctor stood up and said nothing, his face conveying more than he could say and Jack saw it and said nothing more, watching the Doctor’s eyes mist as he helped to gently place the carrier around the Doctor’s shoulders.

Adjusting the straps, he said, “Hey, little Terror, look who’s got you now?”

Terror’s only answer was another snuffle into the Doctor’s shirt as she buried her nose into his chest and grabbed the material and hung on again.

“Oh, Rassilon.” He sounded scared and Jack looked up in alarm and came around to see the Doctor cradling Gallifreya in her carrier with both arms, as if he was afraid to let her go. Jack saw that he was actually crying and he took him by the elbow and guided him to the jumpseat and made him sit down.

He needed to get the Doctor to calm down but words just didn’t seem to be needed, so he decided to keep quiet, watching, keeping a hand on his shoulder.

The Doctor calmed down after a minute, roughly wiping away the tears, trying to clear his throat enough to talk. He gently ran a finger along Gallifreya’s temple, the hair there feeling like the softest silk, softer than the silk on Ryxozon 7.

“She’s really beautiful, isn’t she, Jack?” His voice was both awed and humbled.

“Yeah.”

“She’s a brilliant, wonderful, gorgeous miracle.” His finger continued downward and traced her cheek gently, following the line of her jaw. He could feel her thoughts then, just regular baby thoughts and dreams only a regular gallifreyan baby would dream. He whispered,”miracle, my little miracle…”

“She should be. She’s your daughter, Doc, and you tend to do that a lot. I can’t wait to see her first steps or teach her how to ride a bike.”

“Or learn her first computer?” He smiled, looking into nothing, his mind wandering to the future.

“Hey, maybe teach her a little football, a little baseball, maybe even drive the T.A.R.D.I.S.?” The Doctor looked up at him and the look he gave him made him lose his smile, take his hand off his shoulder, and shove them in his pockets. “OK, maybe not.”

The Doctor lowered his head and kissed the top of hers, rubbing her back with a couple of fingers.

“You can’t stop me from protecting her, Doctor. I’ll watch over her till her last breath, including you and Rose. You’ve got my word.”

“I know, Jack. I know. I wouldn’t expect anything less.” To Jack’s ears, the Doctor was being sincere. Very sincere, and it made him feel…needed. Like family.

“Well, Jack, when’s the last time our little Terror ate?” He got up slowly, making sure his movements didn’t jostle her but it was enough to wake her up, her voice breaking into a wail and her eyes screwed up and she cried her first tears.

“Ah, hush love, we’ll go wake up your mum and make sure your tummy’s full. How’s that, OK? Yeah? Shush, Shush…” He patted her back and Gallifreya’s cries quieted and they started walking back to the Infirmary with Jack following beside.

Jack smiled his approval. “Pretty good, Papa. I swear, she understands what you’re saying. I’ll go fix us some grub while you both are busy, OK?”

The Doctor stopped in front of entrance to the Infirmary and gave Jack a smile. “Thanks, Jack. For everything.” The look the Doctor gave him made him smile wider and he shadow punched at his shoulder.

“Hey, that’s what friends are for, right?” He turned and started down the corridor before he’d say something really embarrassing but the Doctor stopped him.

“Jack?”

He turned around and stopped. “Yeah?”

“She does.” At Jack’s confused expression, the Doctor added, “Gallifreya? She understands what you’re saying. More like the intent right now. She’s telepathic. Like Papa.”

That stopped Jack cold. “Oh?”

The Doctor’s smile widened. “Yup! And, Jack? Be a gentleman and grab a nappy before you start the food? We’ll go through that stuff you found afterwards.”

“No problem, Doc.”

Jack turned back around but turned around again when the Doctor called his name again. He knew he was going to do that!

“Yeah, Doc?”

The Doctor’s smile turned to a frown. “We’re going to have to formulate a plan if the Black Guardian shows up. And, we have to get rid of the Jethyrk. We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Jack smiled. “When aren’t we, Doctor? You know I live for this.” The Doctor furrowed his brow, and Jack knew that look. “No lectures, Doc. Formulating plan, fix food, get nappy, get rid of Jethryk, not in that order. Gotcha. Just don’t forget Rose and getting the baby fed.”

“Humph. Never.” The Doctor disappeared and Jack headed for the kitchen, smiling. “Nope, Doctor, Rose and that baby won’t ever let you forget.”




The Black Guardian manifested his physical presence in front of the Glen Tavern Inn and nearly turned around at the sheer primitiveness of it all. No backwater slum of a planet was changing his resolve. Not in the least. The Doctor and everything in his life were about to end and his determination grew more solid with every step he took toward the Inn. As soon as he crossed the threshold, he felt the Doctor’s presence and that of his whelp and wench and nearly laughed from the evilness of it all.

All the merrier.

He appeared to the night manager as a wizened old man, dressed conservatively in appropriate dress of the period.

“Good evening, sir. May I help you?”

“Yes. I’ll like a room please, for the day.”

The night manager eyes suddenly glazed over and he looked down at his reservation book without really seeing it. Then he reached back and grabbed a key off the wall and handed to the Black Guardian.

“Yes, we have a room available on the second floor for you, sir. Room 225.”

“Would this be next to the English Doctor and his wife?”

“Yes sir, a very quiet couple sir. On Holiday.”

“Thank you. That will be all.”

He left the night manager alone at the desk and took the lift up and found the room on his own, only stopping long enough to place a hand on room 223, the Doctor’s room.

“Soon, Doctor. Soon. What I’m about to do must be done oh, so very quietly. We can’t disturb the White Guardian, now, can we?” His quiet laugh held a menace as it hung in the hallway long after he closed the door to his room.

Back to index


Chapter 16: Chapter 16-Running

Author's Notes: The plot thickens.....


Rose was being chased... She could feel her heart pounding and lungs heave in her chest as her legs pumped from the effort of running from the monster, the beast with no face, the blackest, most evilest being she’d ever faced, and there wasn’t any escape. Nowhere to run, but she had too, she needed to survive, the Doctor needed her, the baby needed her, she couldn’t abandon Jack, either, but the being could kill him, too, she had to prevent that. The monster was chaos, unbridled hate and she had to vanquish it, but oh, God, how?

Runrunrunrunrunrunrun…….it was getting closer, too close, she felt it’s hot breath on her neck and she tried to move faster, but she sobbed as she realized she’d never move fast enough, far enough, run. Run. Save the Doctor, save Terror, save Jack, save the Human race, save the Earth.

Runrunrunrunrun….Rose woke with a jerk and sat up, still in Infirmary, sweating from the dream as if she’d actually run a marathon, her breath coming short in her chest as she tried to calm down. It was a dream, only a dream, wasn’t it?

Oh, Rassilon, what if it wasn’t? She took a shaking hand and wiped her brow and continued to shove her hair back out of her face, its blonde strands sticking out in all directions. Where were they? She had to find out and mentally reached out and found they were there, all three of them, Terror was asleep from her feeding and the Doctor and Jack were in the kitchen, discussing how they got rid of the Jethryk, and yes, they were back in the hotel room. Good, what a relief. Thank God they got rid of the dreaded thing. But wait, what was that?

She reached out with her mind, further out, pass the walls of the T.A.R.D.I.S. and felt something evil, the embodiment of chaos. Her soul recoiled in horror. HE was here, in the next room. The Black Guardian, the Eternal himself! Her eyes flew open and she grabbed at her chest, clutching the gown she wore in a death grip as her mind raced.

She had to get them away, they had to run, and she wasn’t prepared to fight something so formidable. Move the ship, get it into the time stream and let it sit there so they could think, prepare, that’s what she needed to do. She had to get up; there wasn’t enough time to call the Doctor to set the coordinates. She swung her feet out from under the covers and let them drop to the floor, wincing at the soreness she felt from giving birth, but it couldn’t be helped.

She stood up slowly, then, with more confidence as she took a cautionary step, and then another, till she was making it to the control room. She entered it and suddenly felt weak as a kitten, her legs feeling rubbery. What was wrong with her?

She stumbled and reached out for the edge of the control panel and leaned against it for support, squeezing her eyes from the sudden dizziness she felt and belatedly realized she shouldn’t have done this, it was too soon after expending all that energy from defeating the Shade and birthing Gallifreya, but she took deep breaths, willing the dizziness to stop and after a few moments, it did and she opened her eyes and concentrated.

Good. She could focus now and she felt T.A.R.D.I.S. then, as she became aware of her in the control room. Rose asked her if she knew what was outside their door, and the ship whispered her affirmative and acquiesced to her demand to take the ship into the time stream and let it sit in idle. Rose smiled her thanks and closed her eyes, placing her hands on the smooth metal of the control panel and allowed the vortex energy to flow and she felt the ship respond to her touch, as she felt it jostle her a bit in its takeoff.

She willed it to go faster, farther and the ship complied and when she felt it was safe she asked it to stop, and again the ship complied, allowing the velocity to slow and the hum the engines responded, slowed, and her awareness lifted from being one with the ship, making her realize that her arms were being held by someone. Who was it? The Doctor knew better to touch her when she used the energy, it had to be….

“ Jack?” Her lips moved and the name came out as a whisper.

“Yeah, Rose, it’s me. Honey, can you get you hands off of the control panel? You need to stop what you’re doing.”

She reluctantly let her hands fall and she looked around to find the Doctor next to her with the baby in his arms. “Love, I had to, please don’t be mad.” Her eyes pleaded as he looked back at her, more scared than mad.

She felt her legs give then, and she fell, but Jack had her and lifted her into his arms in one smooth motion. Her head rested on his shoulder and she closed her eyes again against the dizziness that came back with a vengeance and she swallowed to keep her stomach in check. Jack turned her around so that the Doctor could touch her, checking her pulse and reached up to touch her cheek. His brow furrowing with worry as he realized her pulse was too shallow. Not good.

“Rose, I’m not mad, but why? You’re weak; you shouldn’t be out of bed. What’s happening?”

She opened her eyes but instantly regretted it as the room tilted, but she had to make eye contact, she had to tell him. “Black Guardian, at the hotel, in the room next to us. He wants us dead, came to do the job himself. I had to get us away, to save us, all of us. Oh, God….” She took a shuddering breath and closed her eyes again. She didn’t need to see the Doctor’s face to know he was upset, she could hear it in his voice when he spoke, could feel it in his touch as he gently stoked her cheek.

“OK, shshsh….me and Jack will take care of it. You did right, love. Jack, take her back and tuck her in, make sure she’s hooked back up to the I.V.’s. When you’re done, come back for Terror and place her in her bassinette. I’m staying in the control room to and find out where we are. “

“Got it.” He adjusted Rose in his arms. “Do you need me back here when I’m done?”

The Doctor adjusted his daughter higher on his shoulder and patted her back. “Yes.”

The weight of the word hung heavy in the air as Jack nodded his agreement and turned. Rose reached out with a shaky hand and the Doctor gripped it automatically, feeling her fingers tighten her grip as she drew him to her.

“Don’t…” She opened her eyes and focused, seeing him two inches from her face. “Don’t do anything wild and stupid, huh? I need both of you alive, I love you….”

The Doctor kissed her and smiled. “Always the commander and chief, my Defender of the Earth. I promise, nothing stupid. Let Jack take care of you and get rest. I love you, too.”

She smiled a small smile and closed her eyes. “Better.”

The Doctor looked up at Jack and nodded his head and Jack moved off, heading down the corridor and the Doctor watched them until they disappeared, gently rubbing his daughter’s back as she whimpered in her sleep. She was probably reacting to everything he was feeling. He dropped his head and took a deep breath, making himself calm down from the sheer panic that had been coursing through his veins as soon as he felt the ship move and she calmed down as well, her whimpering whispered to nothing as she settled back to sleep.

So, the Black Guardian was finally doing his own dirty work, was he? He should have known something like this was going to happen, but he imagined it to be more of the Black Guardians minions than the beast himself.

He moved to check the monitor and hit a few switches, the screen popping to life and gave him the coordinates, the steady stream of numbers flowing like water across it and he realized she had placed them far enough into the future that it would take the Guardian a while to find them again, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to run for long, he couldn’t keep them in the time stream forever. The Black Guardian wasn’t an Eternal for nothing and he slammed a fist down on the control panel in his frustration. Gallifreya whimpered again and he rocked her until she calmed down, his thoughts flying.

Damn, the White Guardian! Damn him for putting them all at risk! Why? Why him, them? Why did his family have to pay for every wrong in the universe?

He made a decision and decided that the only action to do was do nothing, but he would make ‘nothing’ work, too.

“White Guardian? Yoo-hoo? Can I have a word with you please?”

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Chapter 17: Chapter 17-Guardians' Whims

Jack returned back to the control room and found the Doctor talking to air.

“Doc, who are you taking to?” He reached for the baby and the Doctor handed her over, gently cradling her head.

“I’m calling the White Guardian, Jack.”

“From here? Is that wise?” He had the baby and propped her high on his shoulder, watching the Doctor putting his hands on his hips, waiting. Jack admitted to himself as he observed the Doctor, he was definitely the ‘Oncoming Storm,’ no contest.

“Yes, from here. It doesn’t matter where you are; he’s an Eternal of Time. If he can get a telepathic message into the TA.R.D.I.S., there’s no reason why I can’t send one to him. As for wise, we’ll see. I really don’t give a damn. I want answers and I want someone to fight for me for once. ”

He stared off into space, concentrating. He nodded his head back toward the Infirmary, not looking at Jack. “Take Gallifreya and make sure she’s close to Rose. I’ve already informed the ship to monitor them while we’re at this.”

“You got it, Doc. Be back in a jiff.” Jack disappeared again, leaving the Doctor alone.

The Doctor waited another minute, but his mood was too foul to be an epitome of patience at the moment.

“White Guardian, I need a few moments of your time, and right now the time is urgent! Answer me!” Another twenty seconds went by and the Doctor finally got his wish.

“Well, don’t be so demanding; I hear you! May I come aboard, Doctor?” The unmistakable voice of the Guardian came through loud and clear and the Doctor didn’t hesitate.

“White Guardian, you are allowed to board my T.A.R.D.I.S., as my guest.”

The Guardian shimmered into existence five feet from the Doctor, looking like he had the last time they met and, from the look on his face, the Guardian was glad he took the caution. With a drink in one hand and a walking stick in the other, he tipped his head in thanks, his hat briefly covering his eyes.

“Gladly, Doctor.” He looked around and raised an eyebrow. “Hhmmm, a bit quaint, but, I LIKE IT!” He brought his attention around back to the Doctor and smiled. “My good Doctor, I do hope this is an emergency, you know how I hate to manifest into hardcore reality.”

The Doctor, his lips straight-lined in determination, took two steps toward the Guardian, his voice low with barely controlled fury. “Oh, quite, Guardian. It is very much an ‘emergency.’ It concerns the Black Guardian and my little family. You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you?”

The Guardian, taken aback by the Doctor’s attitude, took a step back, surprised. “What’s happened, Doctor? You’ve gotten the Jethyk, right? No fuss, no muss and the Earth is saved once again?”

As if on queue, Jack returned from the Infirmary and stood a couple of feet behind the Doctor. The Doctor was about to go for the Guardian’s throat but Jack’s voice stopped him.
“Is there a problem, Doctor?”

“No, Jack. Please, allow me to introduce to you the White Guardian. White Guardian, this is Captain Jack Harkness.”

“Ah, yes, Jack, the human who can never die. Glad to meet you, my boy! Heard a lot about you I have, especially, in the future. You’ll be so busy; can’t wait to work with you when you’re older!” He tried reaching around the Doctor to shake Jack’s hand but the Doctor stopped him.

“Enough, with Jack, Guardian. My fiancé is lying in Infirmary, this close to death’s door,” the Doctor raised a hand and pinched an inch of the air in front of him. ”All because of her ‘abilities.’ We got the Jethryk, but it caused her to accelerate the gestation and birth of our daughter.”
The Doctor with, every few words, closed the gap between them until he was six inches in front of the Guardian’s face. “That was enough to weaken anyone, but no, no, no, no, no. Now, now she‘s completely incapacitated from energy usage because, in fact, she detected the Black Guardian in the room next to ours in that infernal hotel, and forced herself to move us out here before he detected us. You can just bet he wasn’t there on vacation, and she’d just given birth! She’s so weak, she can’t even hold her head.” His voice went even lower as he stared eye to eye with the Guardian.

“He’s targeted us, Guardian, and you are the blame. By Rassilon, if I, or my family, have to pay for doing your dirty work, I’ll make you wish you were never eternal.” He stood there and waited for the Guardian to say something, anything, but the Guardian gently smiled and step around the Doctor and pointed asked Jack, “Where’s she at, Jack?” This wasn’t the response the Doctor was expecting.

Jack watched the exchange and looked between the Doctor and the Guardian, not exactly knowing what to do. The Doctor shoved his hands in his pockets and moved his head toward the direction of the Infirmary, his expression still burning from the fire within. “Go on, Jack. Show him.”

“Uh, this...this way, sir.” Jack lead them off down the corridor and the Doctor follow, his head hung low, watching his feet as they took one step at a time. His rage was barely contained but he did his best to hold back, because of Rose. Rose and his daughter. He made it to the Infirmary door and watched from a distance, leaning against the doorframe, not ready to trust himself around the Guardian just yet.

The Guardian set his glass on the table and lay his walking stick up against it and then took off his hat and sat it beside the glass. He surprised them both by lovingly peering down at the unconscious Rose, looking fragile with the wires and the I.V. sticking out of her arm.

He raised a hand and gently brushed a strand of hair away from her brow, and spoke in low tones as he grabbed her hand and held it.

“Well, look at my little ball of energy. We can’t have you in this state, my dear; you were never supposed to go through so much, so quickly.” His words made the Doctor draw near, despite his angered state of mind. “I think we need to recharge your batteries, shall we?”

The Guardian raise his other hand and ran a thumb across her forehead, and in response, she moaned, rising slightly off the bed. The Doctor shot forward but Jack stopped him, grabbing his arm as he shook his head. “He’s helping, Doc. Let him.”

The Guardian had closed his eyes and continued to rub a small spot on her forehead. “I see you both have been through much, Doctor, much more than I anticipated. I’m truly sorry for that. This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

His hand then started to glow and yellow energy flowed from him to Rose, growing brighter, suffusing her whole body and continued for a full twenty seconds before the blinding light began to die down and both Jack and the Doctor could see again.

The Guardian straightened and took his hand off her forehead and patted her hand, smiling. “Sleep child, you’ve done well.” In response, she smiled in her sleep and laid her head to one side, her cheeks glowing red with renewed strength. He turned and caught sight of the bassinette that was on the other side of the bed and came over, picking up Gallifreya, gently cradling her in his arms, looking for the entire world like an elderly grandfather attending to his kin.

“Ah, look at what we have here! Gallefreya Terranova Jacqueline Tyler, but my, do you fit your name!” He continued smiling, looking up at the Doctor as he spoke, gently rubbing a finger to a cheek, and in response, she smiled. “She’ll be powerful, Doctor, even more powerful than her mother, but she will be tempered by you, groomed by you. She will be the new start of the new Time Lords, ones who will grow and evolve and not stagnate, not sit back and watch the universe go by…or shall I say, universes?” With an eye twinkling, he kissed the top of her head and laid her back down, covering her with the blanket Jack had left.

He stepped away from the bed and grabbed both men by the arm and walked them to the farthest corner of the Infirmary. The Doctor didn’t know whether to continue to be angry or grateful for the grand gestures the Guardian just gave. He continued to stare at Rose, making sure she was OK but his thoughts were interrupted by the hand on his shoulder.

“Doctor, she’s healed. Just let her rest for now. She’ll be herself in the blink of a supernova, as for you, well, I hope you’re in a better state of mind?”

The words came grudgingly, but he uttered them, for Rose’s sake. “Yes, thank you, Guardian, but we still have to deal with the threat of the Black Guardian. He won’t stop. You should know, better than anyone.”

“Ah, yes, well….I think I can take care of that problem, but I’m going to have to ask you for one more, great favor, hhmmm?”

The Doctor looked at the Guardian as if he’d lost his mind and caught Jack’s eye, who could only shrug his shoulders. “I can’t, not with Rose and the baby at stake.”

“But, but, but that’s precisely what I have to ask.” He raised a finger as the Doctor was about to protest. “I have one thing to mention, Doctor. Who do you think was ultimately behind the Gelph and the Ziemeratans getting together, trying to destroy the two universes, hhhmmm?”

Jack stood non-plussed at the question, but the Doctor
instantly put the equation together. “The Black Guardian.”

“Precisely. Why do you think Rose was born with the ability to absorb the time vortex and why we allowed her to mutate?”

The Doctor stood back, his gaze calculating, distant.

“Because you knew what he was going to do and you planned it all, everything.”

“Not just I, my boy, but all of the Eternals. We also knew the circumstances with your people and you were the only one to show promise. Free Will is such tiny thing but in reality, it can be a mighty ax in the hands of the right soul..or, the wrong soul?” He placed an arm around the shoulders of the Doctor and guided him to a chair, making him sit down. “We felt it in the repercussions of the future and the past and knew we had to act. We had to do it quietly, so as not to rouse his suspicions, but we never thought he’d take it to such extremes.” He stepped away from the Doctor, placing a hand in the pocket of his waist coat, looking at Rose.

“Doctor, what I have to ask, is that you have faith in me once more. I have to ask that you set the T.A.R.D.I.S. down and wait for him to show up. I have to ask you to be bait, so that we may catch him in the act and officially reign him in, or it will be all for naught.”

Jack had decided he’d heard enough. “Now, that’s going a bit too far, Guardian! How much does the Doc have to loose here-”

“That’s the point, Jack. I don’t want the Doctor to loose anything, anymore. We, all of the Guardians, are going to take care of the Black Guardian, once and for all. We all know there must be chaos to the good, but once we’re done with him, he won’t be wielding the power he once had, I promise you.” The Doctor sat stock still, and Jack could tell the cogs were turning.

“Doc, please, you and Rose have been through enough-“

“But we’ll never be free of him, Jack. He’ll track us down like animals, you just don’t know. The destruction he can cause, pure unadultered chaos let loose on the universes….” The Doctor’s voice was small with the weight of what he was saying, but he knew what the Guardian was proposing was true. It was the best option they had in escaping the wrath of the Black Guardian.

“We’ll do it, Guardian. We have to, we’ve got no choice.”

The Guardian watched him for a few seconds, waiting for him to change his mind, but the Doctor said nothing further, his mind set.

Jack, on the other hand, had to speak his peace. “Guardian, Doctor, have you even considered what Rose might want, whether she’d agree to this or not?”

The Doctor spoke up before the Guardian could respond, his eyes never leaving Rose’s bed. “I’ll talk to her, Jack. She’ll understand. She has too. She’s…..she’s a soldier, a warrior, more than I’ll ever be.”

Jack just shook his head, but the Guardian smiled. “You’re doing right, Doctor, never fear.” He patted his shoulder and walked over and grabbed his things, then leaned over and kissed Rose’s forehead, whispering, yet it was loud enough for the Doctor to hear.

“Goodbye, for now, my little Fireball. We will meet again, under much better circumstances, I promise, with both of my very two hearts. Sleep well.” He crossed over to the baby, and kissed her, leaving a finger to gently push back the wild hair on her head and smiled as it refused to lay at his touch.

He finally stepped away and placed his hat on his head and took a sip of his drink, and smiled a sad smile. “Consider yourself and your family protected, Doctor. You will be monitored from now on, understood?”

The Doctor, shocked at the Guardian’s words, just nodded and at that, the Guardian lifted his drink in a toast and winked out, leaving a gently ripple in the fabric of reality as he left.

Jack’s voice was the only sound in the room, other than the gentle beep and hisses of the medical equipment. “What the Hell was that about?”

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Chapter 18: Chapter 18-Realities

The White Guardian stood before the other Eternals, his face reflecting the gravity of the situation. The operative word would be more like floated, since he was presiding this discussion in his true form, a ball of brilliant neon yellow energy. The others, in similar fashion, were in their true forms as well, but their energies pulsed as if they had better things to do than sit around to discuss issues.

“We have a problem.”

“What do you mean, ‘We?’” The Red Guardian burned brighter with his question.

“We have a problem, and that problem is the Black Guardian.”

“So, when has he NOT been a problem?”

“This is more serious than we’ve anticipated. He’s targeted the Doctor and his family.”

“No!” Gold, Red and Azure Guardians spoke in unison with their shock.

“It can’t be! We knew he would one day, but….” Azure increased its size as it asked its next question. “The Doctor? He’s protected; we’ve protected him, correct? Please don’t tell me…..”

“He’s protected, yes, I’ve given him my word, but the Black Guardian is closing in on him and his TARDIS….”

“We must act! The Black Guardian must not interfere; he may be the Guardian of Chaos but there are limits…” Red equaled the size that Azure maintained, hovering higher off the ‘ground.’ “And he won’t, never fear, but we must be decisive with our actions…”

“What do you propose, White? We can’t stop one particular Eternal’s actions to keep order in the Universe. Universal Laws aren’t made to be broken….”

“Red, I know that better than anyone here. What I propose is a, ah, shall we say, a ‘cosmic collar?’ He needs to be reigned in, managed, if you will. We know a Guardian must be impartial; we can’t allow him to have a vendetta on just one species or one person, and, this is the only thing I can thing of….I can’t manage this without all of your approval, of course. I believe the Toymaker could easily fashion one… “

“And, pray tell, who’s going to monitor him, White? You? I don’t think that wise, you’ve been in each others business for millennia! ”

“Of course, it doesn’t have to be me, Gold! That’s what the collar is for, impartiality being the byproduct here. Toymaker, do you think you can fashion a device to meet our needs? Will you help us?”

The Toymaker, standing to the side of the group and floating lower to the ground, away from the main group, decided to rise. “Yes. Oh, yes, I’ve wanted to put a dog collar on that mangy mutt for centuries! He’s destroyed some of my greatest works! Consider it done, White. I’ll have it ready, momentarily.”

“Please make it very quick, Toymaker. Time is of the essence here. He’s already on his way through the centuries to find the Doctor and his anger is white-hot. I know him, he won’t be denied. “

“Fine. Done. Abide me, Red. Get him good.” A circle of light, glowing neon purple, manifested itself from nothing and floated into the Guardian’s outstretched hand. “Excellent, Toymaker! Thank you.”

The White Guardian moved away from the group, preparing to leave. Red moved to stop him. “White, how do you propose to get this collar on him? He’s not likely going to just allow you to waltz in and lower it on his head like a crown.”

“I know that, Red. I’m going to have a bit of help.”

Gold stepped up to him as well and joined in the conversation. “You’re not going to use Bad Wolf again, are you? She’s been through so much already.”

“I promise you, Gold, this will be one of the last times she’ll use such a vast quantity of energy as defense. I know, Gods, I know, better than anyone here, her life is meant for the creation of life, not death. I’m going Guard them personally, unbeknownst to all, until the time is right.”

“Will you need us? Just call, we’ll come, I promise.” Gold manifested solid and White did the same.

“You honor me with your words, Gold, and I know you will. We’re in this together, as always. Please be at the ready. Until then?” He held out his hand and Gold took it, he/she squeezing it in earnest. “Until then, my friend.”

The Guardian left them then and took his place, in the wink of an eye, sitting atop the roof of the T.A.R.D.I.S., watching, and waiting, as it sped through time and space. The showdown was about to begin.





Rose stirred and stretched as she woke, feeling like a million pounds as the vortex energy nearly crackled at her outstretched fingertips.

“Doctor, she’s awake!”

She cracked an eyelid at Jack and smiled, and he smiled in return. “Good afternoon, gorgeous!”

“That’s my line, Jack.” The Doctor appeared on her right and leaned down to kiss her, a smile on his face as well. “How’s Mom, this afternoon, hmmm?”

Her smile brightened. “’Mom’ feels like she could take on the Universe and give it a swift kick in its sweet bum, I could.” She wiggled her crackling fingers for emphasis. “How long have I been out of action? Where’s our daughter, love? I feel like I’ve slept for ages. How did you both fare without me?” She shifted her gaze from one to the other, waiting for an answer. Jack laughed, catching the Doctor’s eye. The Doctor smiled in return and took her hand and kissed it.

”Whoa, little lady! So many questions! Gallifreya’s fine, she’s sleeping, she’s right there.” He nodded is head and she caught sight of the bassinette, and smiled.

“Can I have her? I want to hold her.” The Doctor let go of her hand and gently reached down, picked up the baby with her blanket and handed her to Rose, who kissed her forehead as she tucked the blanket tighter around her. He sat down next to her as Jack continued. “We’ve been doing fine, thank you and you’ve been sleeping for two days.”

This statement brought Rose’s attention right back to Jack. “What? I know I was tired…”

“You were more than that, Rose.” His tone was serious and the Doctor turned his attention back to Jack, and Jack picked up on the unspoken queue, hooking two thumbs toward the door. “Look, Rose I know you must be famished. I’m going to fix you one of my famous fantastic Jack breakfasts. How’s that?”

Rose looked at him, then back at the Doctor and answered him, never breaking her gaze with his. “Fine, Jack. Yes, that would be wonderful.” She raised her eyebrows in an unspoken question to the Doctor and he shook his head. “Not yet.”

Jack clapped his hands lightly and headed for the door. “I’m on it. I’ll be back before you can say ‘fantastic.’”

The Doctor and Rose said in unison, “Fantastic,” and laughed. He turned around, backpedaling toward the door, saying,”Look, I didn’t mean that literally, give me a break, guys.”

“Break?” Rose smiled and Jack just shook his head and disappeared out the door.

“OK, what have I missed, and don’t leave out the good parts.” Her mind went back to the hotel and the Black Guardian. There was unfinished business there, and she hoped she’d solved their problem by going forward into the future.

The Doctor smiled a small smile and leaned into Rose as he tucked the blanket a little closer to Gallifreya’s chin. “Why would you think I’d do something like that to my ‘Action Rose?’ You’re the e-pit-o-me of adventure, love.”

She brought her head back and tilted it to the side and smiled, wondering what he was up too. She stuck the tip of her tongue between her front teeth like she used to do and it made his hearts skip a beat. By Rassilon, he’d missed that so much.

“You’re hiding something.” She sang the words at him as she raised a hand to his chin and laid her fingers on his cheek. “What? Come on, tell.”

“I called the White Guardian, after you brought the ship into the time stream. You weren’t doing too well.”

“Isn’t that an understatement? I didn’t care whether I was hung by my knickers to dry, just as long as Jack got me back to bed to rest. So, go on, what did the White Guardian say?”

“Well, first he healed you. He let me know that the Black Guardian is on his way. He’s after us. You got us far into the future, but it would never be enough to keep him from us. He wants vengeance. I’ve parked the T.A.R.D.I.S. on an uninhabited moon with an atmosphere for now. ” His voice lowered with emotion and Rose’s throat suddenly became dry from his words.

She finally found her voice but she spoke in hushed tones. “Love, he’s…oh, Rassilon, he’s so…evil! I’ve never felt anything so bad since I dealt with the Shade, and that was bad!”

“I know. I…I made a promise to the White Guardian, Rose. It’s the only way the Black Guardian will be stopped.” His brown eyes begged for her to understand and her own eyes narrowed, a shudder going down her spine as she realized what he was trying to say.

“You’re going to use yourself as bait, aren’t you, Doctor? Strike that. We’re all bait. The White Guardian has promised to take care of our problem but you had to agree to make us bait for his trap.”

She took her hand off of his chin and closed her eyes as she dragged a hand through her hair and leaned back into the pillows, taking a deep breath and blew it out slowly, feeling the enormity of the situation in her very bones.
The Doctor’s eyes widened in surprise as he asked,”How did you know? You couldn’t have known what happened while you were asleep.”

“I guessed it, and it’s something I would have done to route out an enemy. It’s basic tactical.” She covered her eyes and felt the baby adjust herself in her sleep, making the situation more real as each second passed. “Oh, God, Doctor, and here we go again. No rest for us, is there?” She brought her hand down before the Doctor answered her, grabbing his hand instead.

“I’m still waiting for that dissertation, mister. The Black Guardian should be top of the list, right next to the Master, right?” He started to answer her but she stopped him. “No, I really don’t expect it now; I guess I shouldn’t have brought it up. Look, help me get up and let’s join Jack in the kitchen, shall we?”

The Doctor was going to say something, then changed his mind. Without saying anything further, he took the baby and helped her out of bed. She got her robe that had been thrown to a chair, put it on and tied the sash, taking the baby from him when she was done. She turned and was stopped by the Doctor’s hands on her shoulders, his voice an inch from her ear.

“Rose, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

She closed her eyes and sighed, emotions battling, trying to keep herself from crying but wasn’t successful. She tried to smile through her tears as felt one slide down her cheek, hot and wet and then another.

“Don’t be sorry, love. I told you years ago….no regrets.” She took a breath and let it out slowly as she felt his arms come around to hold her and the baby. “I love you. Whatever happens, I’ve made my decision. I’ll fight for you and fight by your side and will never have one regret, accept, maybe in the end, not to have one more day with you. For now, no, you can’t get rid of me that easily, TImelord. Warriors fight until one day, they just fade away. Do you think that’ll happen to me, Doctor? Look into that, will you? One day? No rush.” She leaned her head back and leaned into him as she closed her eyes.

“Rose Tyler, I-“ His voice was muffled in her hair and she pulled away and turned, putting a finger to his lips. “Come on, I’m smelling Jack’s cooking. We can’t be bait and fight on empty tummies. Let’s go eat, yeah? Then I’ll feed the baby, and anything else, we’ll just make it up as we go along, right?”

He dropped his hands to her waist and kissed her and she returned it, running a hand through his hair until she pulled away. “Right. Off we go then, let’s go murder some eggs.”
He watched her disappear around the corner and hung his head, his fists balled at his side. “White Guardian, your word had better be good. Damn good.”

From somewhere near he felt the Guardian’s reply. “It is, Timelord, it is. Be prepared, he’s close.”
“How much time?”

Silence. Then, “I would say, a few hours at the most.”< br /> “Good. We have enough time, then.”

“Chin up, Doctor! Everything’s been prepared. We’re ready.”

The Doctor looked up at the walls of his beloved T.A.R.D.I.S. and responded, “You’d better be.” He followed Rose, muttering under his breath, “You had just better, or else.”





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Chapter 19: Chapter 19-A Promise

Author's Notes: Well, here's the latest chapter and twenty is in prep, it looks like it'll be ready in about 48 hours. I hope you enjoy, and thanks for taking the time to read.


Rose finished breakfast, fed the baby and ended up in the library, wheeling Gallifreya along in her stroller. The Doctor hovered close, trying to keep his worry to himself, but Rose felt it in the link they shared. She knew if the Doctor was worried, this was real trouble and it didn't sit well with her. Mentally, she squared her shoulders, and grabbed the acoustic guitar that lay forgotten on a table and started strumming it absently, lost in her thoughts. She felt something, no…someone.

‘Hello, my dear! I was wondering when you’d find me out.’

Rose continued to strum, almost not surprised that the White Guardian stood guard somewhere outside the walls. ‘Hello, Guardian. You’re protecting us?’

‘Indeed, I am. I’m a being of my word.’ She got the impression he was hovering very close. ‘I understand you healed me. Thank you.’

‘Think nothing of it, my little fireball. From what I gathered from your memories, I quite literally put you through hell, and I’m very sorry for that. As I told the Doctor, it wasn’t anticipated. The Black Guardian is more powerful than even I anticipated. That’s why I asked your intended to allow me to use you as bait. I and the other Guardians are very prepared in our intent to handle him, but if he knew we were close, he’d run. The last thing an Eternal of Chaos wants is to be controlled.’

‘Understandable, and you knew I was a warrior-‘

‘Now, my dear, please don’t sell yourself short. You’re one of the greatest Warriors humanity has ever produced, whether in here or in Pete’s World. Zeke was very proud of his Aunt, because he knew you could take care of yourself.’

Rose stopped strumming as she realized what he’d said. ‘Pete’s World? Zeke? Have you been reading my mind? How do you know that’s what I called it? Who ARE you?’

She felt him gently laugh, and responded, ‘I’m someone who cares very deeply about you Rose, more than I should. If I admit anything else, I’d be breaking a couple of Eternal rules, which are about as stringent as Universal Laws.’

Rose started strumming again, not caring what she played, as she thought about what he said. ‘Other than being bait, are you expecting the Doctor or I to run into any other problems? How strong is the Black Guardian?’

She felt him shrug. ‘Suffice it to say, he’s strong enough. Rose, we have fashioned, what I jokingly call, a cosmic collar. We’re going to attach it around his neck so that he will be bound to use only so much and will stop him cold, if he attempts anything else. Call it a damper, if you will, but he needs to manifest so that we can attach it properly.’

‘And, that’s where we come in. You’re sure we’re not going to be harmed?’

‘Most definitely. I wish nothing more than for ‘Action Rose’ to have her holiday and get married and enjoy her family, not exactly in that order.’

‘Speaking of marriage, White Guardian? You’re so knowledgeable, is there a place we can go to have it done properly, other than earth? I don’t think the Doctor would like to go back to Gallifrey, you understand why…’

‘Regrettably so. Well…I’d like to suggest something, if you don’t mind?’

She raised an eyebrow. ‘Really, what?’

‘May I have the honor of marrying you off to the Doctor? I won’t be breaking any laws, I promise. Look at it as your friendly, neighborhood Eternal performing a service. I’ll choose the place. You may dress appropriately. Fair enough?’

Rose stopped breathing for a second and quickly glanced at the Doctor, whose attention was momentarily diverted with the baby.

‘You’re serious?’

The Guardian laughed. ‘What is one of your earth sayings? Ah, yes, as serious as a heart attack. We’ve gotten off to a rough start, you and me, but I want to atone. Please let me.’

A few moments passed and she remembered to breath. Taking a breath, she closed her eyes and then opened them and still, she felt him in her mind, waiting.

‘Yes.’ There, she said it. She felt a weight lift as she realized that the
feelings she had been dealing with, dread, anxiety, fear, oh, God the fear that everything was going to fall apart at the seams, that she would lose the Doctor again after so long apart, came crashing down. Everything became crystal. She felt weightless with the realization that they would really have a life together, a good life, and one that was going to last beyond the Black Guardian.

‘Yes, Rose. You will have a good life. Thank you. Now, let me attend to other matters. I’ll let you know when he’s close. And you’ll let me know on the date?’

‘Yes. Yes, of course. Thank you, Guardian.’ She felt his presence depart and she took a seep breath and closed her eyes and processed the conversation over and over in her head, making sure she wouldn’t forget.

The Doctor said nothing as he watched her, remembering the first time he saw her sitting there, strumming the electrical guitar, lost in her thoughts…Gods, was that only a week ago?

Gallifreya seemed to like the music and she kicked her feet as Rose strummed another chord.

“Love, why don’t you play a lullaby for Gallefreya? She seems to like your playing.” She looked up as he went over and picked her up from her stroller she was sitting in and cradled her in his arms, as he settled down in a stuffed chair, looking for the entire world that he’d been doing this all his life. Rose smiled at them both, a feeling of contentment settling about her like a warm, soft blanket.

“You think so? I don’t know…a lullaby? Hhhmmm…” Rose smiled at her daughter and grabbed a toe. “Sweetheart, you want to hear Mummy play?” Gallifreya kicked her foot in response and Rose laughed. “OK. Alright. Such a demanding audience.” She thought for a second, and then strummed a chord, looking down at the fret as she did so.

“Well, this isn’t a lullaby, but I always thought it was sweet. A sweet old love song. Doctor, do you know ‘Man of La Mancha?’”

“The musical? I believe so, why?”

“I always liked it, it reminded me of you, the first time I saw it.”

The Doctor smiled. “Dreaming impossible dreams, am I?”

“Well, you are ‘The Doctor’” She emphasized his name as if she describing an astounding revelation. The Doctor laughed at her, saying, “And you’re the ‘Big Bad Wolf,’ miss. You’ve got competition.”

She raised an eyebrow and nodded her head at him, “And, you better remember that, Oh, ‘Oncoming Storm.’”

“Duly noted, Ma’am.”

She started to strum a tune and the Doctor took a moment, but finally recognized it. Something about a bird?

Unknown to both of them, Jack came in from tinkering with the T.A.R.D.I.S. and settled into another stuffed chair and put his feet up on a table, smiling, listening and enjoying Rose’s singing.


“Little Bird, Little Bird in the Cinnamon tree,
Little bird, Little Bird do you sing for me,
Do you bring me word, of one I know,
Little bird, Little Bird please fly, please go,
Little bird, Little bird I love him so,
Little Bird, Little Bird…….”

“Beneath this tree, this cinnamon tree,
We learned to love, We learned to cry;
For here we met and here we kissed,
And here one cold and moonless night,
We said goodbye

“Little Bird, Little Bird, Oh have pity on me,
Bring him back to me now, ‘Neath the cinnamon tree
I have waited too long, without a song.
Little bird, little bird, Please fly, please go
Little bird, little bird, And tell him so.
Little bird, little bird. Little bird, little bird ……,”


Gallifreya was kicking her feet and gnawing on a fist but slowly stopped and fell asleep in the Doctor’s arms as Rose sang the last word.

“That was beautiful, Rosie, but I thought that was supposed to be about a girl?” Jack put his feet down and leaned on his knees as he waited for her answer.

Rose put down the guitar. “Poetic license, Dearie. I’m the one with the guitar.”

“When did you learn how to play? You played that like you’ve been doing it for years.”

Rose leaned back in her chair, her eyes meeting the Doctor’s, and she let him see the long years of her past that shown there. “I have, Jack.”

“Well, do you play anything else?”

“I can play the daylights out of a piano. That was the first instrument I picked up when I started playing.”

“When was that?”

“In my thirties.”

That brought Jack up short and he looked down. “Uh, right, sorry Rose. I keep forgetting you’re almost as old as I am.”

“Nifty, huh?” Rose just smiled and gave the Doctor a mental hug and he reciprocated, making Rose sigh. He got up and put the baby back into her stroller and reclined it so she would lie more comfortably and reached out a hand to Rose, looking up at the T.A.R.D.I.S’s walls. “Old girl, play me a song to dance to.” Suddenly, a slow song came on the loudspeakers and Rose got up, taking his hand in hers and he swept her into his arms. “Shall we?”

Rose gave him a megawatt smile and laughed. “Most, definitely, my beloved.”

They waltzed for a few seconds and Jack, the baby; everything disappeared as they only had eyes for each other. The Doctor held her close, enjoying the feel of her body as she moved in time with his. “Well?”

She was lost in his eyes as she tried to answer him. “Well, what?”

“Did you have a good session thinking things through?”

She smiled, slowly, then brighter, as she ran the conversation with the Guardian again like a tape recorder. “Yes, it was a very good session.”

“And? Are you going to keep me in the dark, or will I have to tickle you senseless to get it out of you?”

“No, love, but the tickling, I might hold you to it. Promise?”

It was his turn to smile, and he returned it brilliantly. “Oh, yes. Yes, yes, and yes. Tickling for very near future, check.”

“Good. Well, let’s just start with the fact we were supposed to get married, go on holiday and then set a date for the wedding. What we got was hotel from hell, demons, a baby and the Black Guardian coming after us for all our tomorrows and, you know what?”

The Doctor’s smile had disappeared as she spoke, the guilt weighing heavy on his soul. “No, love. What?”

“I’m thankful.” He looked at her like she’d lost her mind and she decided to explain. “What woman can say she’s done anything like what we’ve done their whole lives, and we did it in a week. We are so blessed to have each other, just to be who we are, what we’re meant for. We have the best jobs in the universe and, as soon as we’re done with all this business with the Black Guardian, we’re getting married, tying the knot, getting hitched. I’ve traveled from another universe and came back from the dead and I’m going to be the biggest ball and chain you’ve ever seen, and I expect you to never change, ‘cause you’re perfect. You’re my perfect. I’ve realized we really just can’t wait, because our life together isn’t waiting. It’s happening every day, with every breath we take on whatever planet we end up on. We’re going to survive this mess with the Guardian, we’re going raise our daughter and we’re going to love every moment of it. Agreed?”

The Doctor’s smile came back as her words sunk in. “Yes, Rose Tyler.” He raised a hand to her head, ran his fingers through her hair as and brought his lips to her temple, putting a gentle kiss there. “Oh, yes.”

WHAM!

They both jerked and nearly lost their balance as the sound of something hitting the T.A.R.D.I.S. vibrated the walls. The music came to a screeching halt and Jack shot up, ready for action. The baby started crying and Rose went over to her and picked her up to quiet her, patting her back as she held her close.

All three of them looked toward the ceiling as the White Guardian’s voice echoed in their heads, sounding insanely cheery.

“He’s here. Showtime! Would one of you step out of the ship for a moment, please?”

The Doctor looked at Rose and Jack and made his decision. “I’m the one he wants, I’m walking out. He doesn’t know you Jack and I’d prefer it that way.
You may be able to live forever, but an Eternal has enough power to kill you dead, permanently.”

“I’ve got you’re back, then.” Rose hastily handed over Gallifreya to Jack, who took her protesting, “Rose, for God’s sake, you just came out of Infirmary!”

“And I’m good as new, Jack, better than new. You can’t handle what the Black Guardian may dish out and if anybody is prepared for the Black Twit, It’s me, the Big Bad Wolf herself.” She looked toward the Doctor who just waved his hands and shook his head. “I’m not saying a word, Jack. She knows what she’s doing.”

“Fine, get out there, do what you have to do and get back in here, because I’m not going to be made a Godfather and a foster parent in one day. Understand?”

Rose kissed his cheek and smiled. “Got it, Captain, sir. Come on, Doctor, let’s go red zone. We’ve got a date with a couple of Guardians.” She kissed Gallifreya’s cheek and ran a finger over her cheek. “Be back, sweetheart, before you miss me.” She turned and grabbed the Doctor’s hand and pulled, leading the way.


Back to index


Chapter 20: Chapter 20-The Efforts of Conversion

Chapter 20-The Efforts of Conversion

Rose and the Doctor stepped out of the T.A.R.D.I.S. into weak sunlight, the surface of the moon sparsely populated by trees and grass, boulders and rough terrain in the distance. The colors of vegetation were slightly off, but after travelling with the Doctor so long, Rose barely noticed. They waited a few minutes but nothing happened. Her ‘spidey’ sense was tingling, yet nothing was strong enough for her to zero in on. She held his hand and he didn't complain as he scanned the terrain. Seeing nothing, he pulled out his sonic screwdriver but Rose stopped him with a tug. There! She felt it and it made her eyes glow their familiar yellow, and she controlled it, careful not to let the energy spread to her hand that touched the Doctor.

"No, Doctor, we don't need that. I can feel him." She closed her eyes and concentrated. "He's close, very close. It's like his presence makes reality ripple and, God! I didn't want to have to feel this again but evil is just dripping off him. Maybe not pure evil like what we encountered on Krop Tor, but it's bad." She leaned her head to one side and closed her eyes, sensing the direction.

"Hang tight."

He turned and placed his other hand on hers, making a complete link with her. "Let me see, Rose. Let me in."

Her eyes returned to their normal chocolate brown and she nodded her head. She opened up to him then and he felt what she felt and it was by no means pleasant. It wanted to make his stomach flip but he controlled the urged and helped her focus on his location. It then occurred to him that they didn't feel the White Guardian. Where was he, he promised....

"Just like him to weasel out, Doctor." The words were harsh and cutting, and made both he and Rose wince from the pain of contact. He opened his eyes then and found the Black Guardian a mere five feet away, floating in his true form, a dark mass of energy that, like a black hole, seemed to suck in the light that surrounded it. Rose saw it at the same time and backed up and instinctively looked around for the White Guardian, nearly in a panic, and then it came to her. The truth hit her in the gut. He wasn’t going to show. That was the plan all along. They were the sheep to the slaughter. They were bait for the trap and it didn’t matter whether they’d be eaten or not, as long as the Black bastard got his.

Rose took a deep breath and ran a hand through her hair, squaring her shoulders and called the Eternals ever name in the book. She decided if they wanted to watch her and the Doctor die, then she’d give them a damned good show. She stepped in front of the Doctor and took her position.

“What are you doing, woman!” He trying dragging her back but she stood her ground.

“He’s not coming, Doctor. We’re on our own. Leave it be and let me handle this. If they want us dead, I’m going to give them a show they’ll be talking about for centuries.”
“Rose, that’s not the plan. What about Gallifreya? Jack? You! Damn it, we have to live for them. There’s got to be another answer.” He grabbed her arm and she threw it off, getting angry.

“I’m a warrior, Doctor, remember? Do my duty. Protect the earth, save humanity-“She lowered her voice for emphasis, “save my Doctor, save my daughter. It’s all the same in the end, blood for blood.”

She turned away from the Doctor and tried to forget the haunted look in his eyes as she addressed her foe. “Blackie boy, we don’t need the White guy to protect us. We know you’re here for us and we’re going to settle the score, right now. You’re not getting the Doctor unless you go through me.” With this she raised her arms halfway and she called upon the energy that had just been renewed and felt it crackle from her hair follicles to her toes, and she smiled. The Doctor backed up and tried to shield his eyes from her light.

“Well, well, well. The She Wolf has come out to play, has she? You’ll be a tender morsel in my teeth.” The Black Guardian manifested into full form, resembling the guise he kept from the hotel. He put his hands on his hips and his eyes sparkled black and he smiled. “Doctor, still want to reel her in? This is your last chance to save the Bitch? Or should I just have my way with her while you watch? ” >
The Doctor stopped trying to convince Rose, a look of pure anger cast his face in a dower scowl and he turned around, fire in his eyes. “What did you say?”





Unbeknownst to the three outside the T.A.R.D.I.S., they were being watched. Jack was watching from the T.A.R.D.I.S.’s monitors and the Eternals were watching from their own mount on high, safely out of range of the Black Guardian’s senses.

They watched as Jack reacted to that statement, their energy pulsing with their emotions.

“Doctor, it’s a ploy, a freakin’ trick! Don’t play into it! Come on, Doc! Rose, see it for what it is.” They watched as he held onto the control panel with hands, clutching it with frustration. He looked over at the baby and she slept, blissfully unaware. “Hold on to your knickers, kid. It’s good you’re in dreamland.”

Red turned to White, concern laced his voice. “White, are you sure this is how you want to handle this? You know how vulnerable they are down there.”

White just nodded his head. “Let them be for now. The time isn’t right. Rose has already figured out the situation. She knows I’m not going to show, she just doesn’t know that I really will, only after she’s handled him. Only then will he be weak enough for us to move in. Gold, are you prepared to bring them back if they cross over?”

Gold hovered to his left and pulsed her consent. “Yes, White.”

“Good. Let’s be patient, then, shall we?”

They all pulsed brighter as they said one word, “Indeed.”




Rose didn’t want the Doctor to get in the way and she knew what the Black Guardian was doing. Mind games to psych out your opponent was as old as the hills and she let him know it.

“Old trick, Blackie. Psych games don’t work on me and the Doctor is too smart to play along. So, are we going to play or are you just gabbing along till you work up the strength for the task? Somebody your age ought to be taking Geritol or something, yeah? Or…Oi! Wait! Maybe you need a little Eternal-sized Viagra to get your groove on, huh?”

Oh, that did it. She watched his reaction and his visage turned blacker than black. He swung back his arm and a ball of energy formed and she strengthened her energy. “Doctor, MOVE!”

The Doctor saw the ball of energy whizz pass and he instinctively ducked, hitting Rose squarely in the chest. She was knocked back a couple of inches but held her ground.

“My turn, Asshole!” She summoned as much power that she’d ever used and flung it at him, watching him as he swung around and nearly went down, his clothes beginning to smolder and spark.

He got to his feet and started laughing, brushing himself off. “Well, the Bitch does have a bite. I’m impressed, just, not impressed enough.” He shot another bolt of energy that hit Rose and knocked her off her feet, landing her on her back, making dust fly.

“Rose!” The Doctor tried to get to her but he was caught by a hand on his shirt collar, the other coming around to grab his throat. He was yanked backward by his hair and the hand started to close around his throat, making it hard to breath.

“Doctor, do you think I’m going to let your bitch take all the pleasure of me killing you with my own two hands? I’m not going to allow you to regenerate. I have enough power to take that all away just so I can watch you take your last breath. And you will, because I want it and despite your meddling, I do get what I want.” He yanked the Doctor’s head back, forcing him to look at Rose, who was struggling to get to her feet.

‘Ah, ah, ah. Rose. I wouldn’t move if I were you. I’ve got your precious Doctor now and I’m not letting him go. Watch me, Rose. Watch me carefully. Are you watching, Rose?”

The Doctor’s eyes pleaded with Rose not to move, not to come close. ‘Doctor, he’s going to kill you! One wrong move!’

The Doctor smiled a small smile and sent one thought, only one and it made her heart turn to ice. ‘Rose, I’m already dead. I love you.’

“No! No! Black, don’t you dare! I’m warning you…”

The Black Guardian jerked his arm up and with a sickening crack, broke the Doctor’s neck and turned his head away from Rose, so that all he saw in his dying sight was the smirking face of the Black Guardian.

His mental scream nearly deafened Rose and she clutched her head as his last words echoed in her head. ‘Oh, my Rose…’

The Guardian started laughing as his hand that held his throat went down to his chest and began glowing and it seemed the Doctor’s body was becoming smaller, more shriveled and then, he let him fall to the ground, his body hitting it with a sickening thud.

Rose was on her knees and she couldn’t move. She was too numb. The shock of his death rocked her very soul and suddenly she felt like part of her was missing and realized that was where the Doctor had been for all those years, imbedded in her soul like her twin, he was her soul mate and now he was gone.

There was such a harrowing void, that Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth, completely and utterly lost it. She keened her pain into the winds of the moon as the Black Guardian laughed harder and louder and she smacked the earth with all the physical strength she had and demanded revenge.
She got up then, slowly, and when the Black Guardian stopped laughing he realized that Rose Tyler didn’t stand before him…It was the Bad Wolf, incarnate. Her form was barely humanoid as she converted to pure energy in her rage and pain and when she spoke, there was only the voice of the Wolf.

“Black Guardian, you will exist no more. You have murdered Rose Tyler’s mate, and that act is unforgiveable.”





Jack stood in front of the monitor and watched in shock, unable to move, unable to process what he’d just seen. “Oh, my God. No. Really, no. No.” He turned as Gallifreya started wailing, as if in pain, and he stumbled over to her and picked her up from her stroller, trying to comfort her. She continued to cry and Jack realized she felt the pain of her father dying and Rose was going to be next. His throat became choked as he tried to comfort her but he knew it would do no good. Rose was next and he was losing his last best friend in the world. “This wasn’t supposed to happen. Rose, Doctor, this wasn’t supposed to happen.”




The Guardians watched the Doctor’s body fall into the dust and Gold became manifest, his/her face showing concern. “White, tell me it’s time, please.”

White manifested as well, and the others did the same. He smiled at them and swung the purple collar up and caught it with a fingertip. “Why, yes, Gold. It’s time.”




The Bad Wolf let loose all the energy at its disposal in its effort to destroy the Black Guardian. The Black Guardian was caught unawares and stumbled back but caught his balance and morphed into his own energetic form as he shot his energy back at her, the onslaught of energies making the air sizzle with its intensity.

For minutes it went on and suddenly it stopped and with it the returned eyesight of one Jack Harkness. He struggled to look for Rose in the monitor, but there was so much energy in the air, the atmosphere rippled as if on a hot summer’s day. He then saw bodies. Bodies in the dust and Gallifreya wailed even louder. His worst nightmare was broadcast to him by the pixels of the monitor and he couldn’t watch anymore, he struggled to the jump seat to sit as he fought the urge to break something, anything in half. He stared down at little Galliffeya and wished for all the world he still had the power to change back time. This was one of those moments that weren’t supposed to happen, it just wasn’t and his gut knew it.

So intense was Jack that he failed to notice movement on the monitor. The Guardians manifested in the battlefield, placing the collar of purple around the neck of the Black Guardian and Gold moved in and began to heal them both, the Doctor and Rose. Their bodies became animated as life was returned and then were lifted into the air and levitated by Gold to the doors of the T.A.R.D.I.S. and gently set down for Jack to find.

All but White then left with the Body of the Black Guardian. He stood long enough to leave a telepathic message with Jack, who stood stock still.

‘Jack Harkness, you can stop grieving. Allow Gallifreya to rest and come tend to Rose and the Doctor at the doors of the T.A.R.D.I.S. I am a being of my word. I have made sure to restore them and the Black Guardian is now under our control. I’ll contact you all soon, very, soon.’

“What?” He sat Gallifreya back down in her stroller and ran to the doors to find the Doctor and Rose breathing and very much alive.

“Well, I’ll be damned!” He knelt down and felt for pulses and found them, beating hard and steady, right where they should be. He placed a hand to both of their cheeks and said a pray of thanks to all one hundred and two gods he knew by heart and then brought them into the T.A.R.D.I.S., one by one.

“Welcome home, you two. Welcome Home.”

Back to index


Chapter 21: Chapter 21-The Problem with Hell

Rose slowly came too, her awareness slowly taking in the familiar beeps and whistles of the Infirmary.

“Ooh, I think I’m going to be calling this room my room from now on.” She opened her eyes to find Jack peering down at her, smiling from ear to ear.

“Hi, gorgeous! Welcome to the world of the living.” With his words, her memories kicked in with a vengeance and she lifted herself out of bed in a panic. The memory of watching the Black Guardian snap his neck like a toothpick made her clutch at her throat, barely able to speaking his name. “Doctor! Oh, My God! Doc-“

Jack took hold of her arm and made her hold his hand. “Sssh. Sshh. Rose, it’s OK, OK, come on, he’s right next to you, in the other bed. See? He’s good as new.”

He nodded his head and she turned to find him lying next to her in his own bed, sleeping, but the look on his face was anything but peaceful. It made her forget Jack and get out of bed to be next to him, holding his hand as she kissed his forehead and ran her other hand through his hair and down the side of his face to cup a cheek, her touch making him stir. Struggling to wake, he turned his head and she could tell he was dreaming, muttering words she couldn’t understand.

She knew she had to ask and her voice was low and simmering with anger. “What happened, Jack? The Doctor died. I saw the bastard kill him. Was it the Guardian's showing up?”

Jack came around the bed and stood behind her, resting his hands on her shoulders. “Yeah, Rose. They showed. Come here a sec, I need to show you better than tell you.” He guided her away from his side and brought her over to the monitor and hit a switch, then another. “Here, look. The old girl was recording everything…which is a pretty good thing, since I personally don’t want to relive that again.”

The monitor came to life and she watched the final minutes of the battle, her squaring her shoulders like she always did when she prepared to fight, the Guardian reacting, the energy flying, the Doctor being caught up and held by the Guardian. She involuntarily jerked as she watched the Doctor’s neck being broken and his body fall to the ground. For a moment she had to close her eyes to stop the tears that threatened to fall and remembered to breath. When she opened them again, she watched herself turn into Bad Wolf and was amazed at the transformation.

“Do you remember anything from that point, Rose?” Jack asked gently, watching her reaction.

Her voice was small as she answered him, transfixed as she was as she watched the screen. “No. Nothing. I..I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Zeke, my nephew Zeke, would have told me.”

She then watched the end of the battle with their bodies scattered on the ground and she shuddered from the sheer impact. She had died again. She had too, but she had no memories of crossing over, of going to heaven. The first time was more powerful, she knew she was dying from the hole in her chest and her passing was easier… the experience more sharp in her mind. The second time was closing the Rift, but it was swifter, more fleeting, which made her question…had she really died this time? And what of her Doctor…he wasn’t allowed to regenerate this time. She wondered if he’d seen heaven, as she had. Would her brilliant, wonderful Timelord of lofty sciences ever tell her, for all his bluster, that he only had faith in science after this? She shook her head and concentrated on the screen.

She watched as the Eternals materialized and secured the Black Guardian and her eyes widened as she watched the Gold Guardian place a hand on both of their chests and life was returned, the Doctor’s neck gradually returning to it’s normal position and she gulped at the sight, resisting the urge to push rewind to see it again. She saw the White Guardian turn to look at the T.A.R.D.I.S. as if he was speaking but his lips didn’t move and shortly he winked out of existence, following the other Guardians. The fact that he showed at all made her angry. Promises were broken, as was her trust. Where the hell were they, when they needed them the most? Rose felt used, and if she could’ve reached through the screen to throttle White, she would’ve.

“What happened, Jack? Did he say anything to you?” She turned to him, her eyes questioning and Jack answered, nodding his head and recognized her anger with his own. “He said he kept his word and that he’d be back. The word he used was ‘soon’.”

“Damn him! Damn him to Hell!”

She hit the ‘off’ switch harder than she should have but she didn’t care, turning around and walked back to stand next to the Doctor’s bed. Her anger started subsiding as she watched him sleep, but he was still not resting the way he should. She took his hand again and held it close to her chest, willing him to wake but he continued to dream, his eyes fluttering behind lids, indicating R.E.M. sleep and a thought occurred to her. What was he dreaming about?

“How long has he been like this, Jack? How long have I slept?”

Jack shoved his hands in his pockets and stepped over to stand behind her again. “About two hours. I brought you both in and ran the scanner over you to make sure you were OK and when I was satisfied, I let you sleep. Gallifreya knew something was wrong when everything went down. She cried hard but she settled down after you both were brought back. After I had you settled in, she took a bottle and went to sleep herself.”

Rose closed her eyes and drew in a shuddering breath, reaching back with an arm and grabbed Jack by the waist, drawing him into a hug. “I’ll check in on her later. Jack, you’re amazing. Thank you.” Jack kissed her temple and hugged her back. “Look who’s talking, huh?”

Rose continued to watch the Doctor and knew his sleep wasn’t normal. He wasn’t healing from regeneration. By all accounts, he should have awakened before her. Should she try and rouse him? She made her decision. Yes, she had to wake him to make sure he was OK, if for her own piece of mind.

“Doctor? Doctor? It’s time to wake, come on…” He didn’t respond to her voice and after a few moments she shook his shoulder. Still, with no response.

“Hey, that’s not good.” Jack voiced her own concern and she considered tapping into their link. Her worry made her act and she couldn’t help but peek into his mind. Closing her eyes she allowed herself in, gently, softly, but before she could form a thought, the Doctor’s eyes flew open and he took a ragged breath. “Rose?”

Her eyes flew opened and she smiled down at him, and hugged his hand tighter to her bosom as she placed a hand to his cheek. “Hey, there. I’m here, Love. Welcome back to the land of the living.” She looked up at Jack and smiled at him as he came around the other side of the bed, a smile on his face to mirror her own. “Hey, buddy, pal-o-mine, how’re you doing, huh? Gave me a damned scare, you did, no thanks to the White Guardian.”

The Doctor looked at them both, yet there was no recognition there, only complete bewilderment. His lips moved but no sound came out.

Rose looked up at Jack and back to the Doctor, worry creasing her brow. Without asking she finished what she started and entered his mind and found jumbled thoughts, feelings, images of the like she had never seen before. It was a kaleidoscope of mental anguish and she fought against it, or it threatened to drown her. Scenes of his death played out like snapshots that clicked in quick succession, over and over. She realized he was still caught in the loop of experiencing his own death, knowing he would never see or be with her again and she finally realized he was still dreaming.

‘Roseroseroseroseroserose….’

It was a mental scream that continued on and on and she pushed against it with her own. ‘Doctor. Doctor! DOCTOR!’
It suddenly stopped. The pictures, the sounds the smells, the memories all stopped and she felt him recognize her. ‘Rose?’

She smiled, hoping he would see it but she made sure he felt it. ‘Yes, it’s me, love. Alive and well and so are you. It’s over. You’re alive and the Guardians finally came. They took away the Black Guardian and he isn’t going to bother us anymore. They brought us back…’

‘Rose…I died…it wasn’t like my regenerations. I died.’ She felt confusion and pain and loss in his words and she decided to remind him again.

‘They brought us back, love. Yes, we died. I watched you die and God, help me, I swear, I’m going to make the Eternals pay for that, one way or the other. But, they brought us back. They healed you and now we’re both better. Are you OK? What’s you’re name?’

She felt him hesitate and then she felt his great mind process all this information so quickly, it almost made her dizzy. There. She felt acceptance. She felt…joy, and then, what was that?

‘I’m fine, Rose. My name’s the Doctor and I feel… small, insignificant. I…I..think I saw Heaven but it was mixed in with everything else. But that can’t be right. It scientifically doesn’t exist, no, no, no, no, no.’

She felt him hesitate, then ‘ I… don’t deserve Heaven. Not that kind of heaven. You’re the only heaven I want.’ She felt his arms come around her and hold her tight and she felt him fight off the memory of the Black Guardian’s face in his dying sight. Instead of him concentrating on that, she asked a question she’d never thought she’d have to ask in her lifetime. ‘Doctor, let me see your Heaven. Please?’

Swiftly, he opened up the memories and the experience was so intimate that, when he was done, she was crying on his chest, her tears soaking his shirt he wore. She felt Jack lay a hand on her back in concern, but she waved at him to back off a moment and he complied.

‘Honey, that’s Heaven. Joy, love, redemption, everyone we miss here, they’re all there. Don’t you ever forget it, because you deserve it and one day, we’re both going to get there, just not anytime soon, OK? We have Gallifreya, Jack and the whole universe to keep us busy, right? Onward, traveling, dashing about time and space like the mad do-gooders we are?’

She felt him lighten up at that point and she drew back and he let her so that they could look into each other’s eyes, a smile ghosted his lips and he looked like his old self staring back at her.

“Hello, Do-gooder.”

Rose wiped a tear away and gave him her megawatt smile meant only for him. “Hello, back atcha.”

He gave her his own smile back and she knew all was right with the world. She leaned down to kiss him and she felt the power of what they had as his lips claimed her own and he tasted her as if it were the first time. He held her head in both hands as she felt him whisper in their link, ‘Love you, love you, love you, like there’s no tomorrows, Rose Tyler.’

‘Love you, love you, love you like there will be plenty of tomorrows, Doctor, and I promise that with both of the very two hearts I hold in my soul. You’re the one who better hold on to your underoos!’

‘That’s what I’ve got you for, sweetheart!’

She broke the kiss, laughing at him and swatted his hip. “Oh, you are so going to pay for that!”

“Not if I can help it.” He sang back at her and he snapped the back of her pants and she returned the favor by attacking his ribs, tickling him mercilessly. He laughed, trying to fend her off and Jack watched them both struggling on the bed, smiling, shaking his head.

He walked off to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, muttering, ”They’re mad! They’re Looney Tunes! Completely off their rockers! I’m going to have a planned conniption fit just to give myself a break! Monty Python has nothing on them! I'm their Arthur Dent and their my Zaphod Beeblebrox! Oh, my God, they’ve got me talking to myself and I’m answering back……”

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Chapter 22: Chapter 22-Is That, Heaven Is What You Make It

It was another week before Rose and the Doctor would talk about what happened, let alone the impending nuptials. They had traveled into the past again and this time they were on a planet with very little risk factor involved. Much to the Doctor's surprise, Rose had asked for a beach and a campfire and he complied. Jack wasn't in the mood, so he stayed behind and tinkered with the ship while Rose and the Doctor enjoyed themselves with sand and surf.

Rose sat on a blanket, looked up at the starry sky and sighed as she nursed the baby and tried not to think a single thought. The day and been wonderful and the night was too perfect, with the wind blowing the smell of the sea across her face and lifting her hair, cooling the day's heat from her neck in the process. Her recalcitrant brain refused to stop thinking and it brought her back to what the White Guardian offered.

He wanted to marry them proper, but she was still so angry over what he and the other Eternals had done, even though, in the end it made sense, but she would've appreciated any kind of warning, regardless whether Blackie could read their thoughts. There was still the problem of telling the Doctor what he offered, and she didn't think it would fly with him. Yet, she couldn't be judge and jury on the decision, so she tried to work up the nerve to start the conversation, but sighed again when she lost it.

The Doctor looked up at her from where he lay on the blanket, leaning back and propped up on both arms, watched the firelight play over her features as she sat, deep in thought. He lay with his feet straight out and crossed, drinking in the sight of her nursing their daughter, his face suffused with the look of blatant adoration. His people had lost this simple act so long ago, feeling it was beneath such a highly evolved people. He knew they were wrong, so very wrong, as he watched her check on their little ‘Terror’ nursing, placing her finger on the top of her breast to make sure she was nursing right. The simple act made his hearts flutter with emotion. Everything finally felt right with the universe since the Black Guardian was under control and his time sense confirmed it.

With that thought, he was reminded about the White Guardian. He knew he had to tell her what the he’d mentioned at her sick bed so long ago but the subject had been such a sore spot with her and he'd been afraid to broach the subject. The matter of his death still unnerved him, but the intense feelings were fading, making him think that maybe he never really entered the Gallifreyan version of heaven. For all he knew, he only experienced a chemical-induced brain cascade of some kind that made him think he was in Heaven. Yes, yes indeed, that sounded more plausible than something as pish-posh as Heaven.

She caught his gaze and smiled down at him, wistfully. She took a breath, seemingly making her mind up about something and started, “I think I have to tell you something, about what the White Guardian said, more like an offer, really.”

He sat up in surprise and faced her, sitting Indian-style. “Really? I was about to say the same thing….”

“Oh? OK…then, you first.” She lifted Gallifreya up on her shoulder and rubbed her back to burp her, pulling her shirt down in the process and smiled as she watched him watching her. “OK, you’ll be second, but you’ll always be first in my heart.”

The Doctor smiled and looked down. “Can’t help it, love. It’s been awhile.”

“It won’t be, once we have Gallifreya sleeping. Why do you think I asked for a deserted beach on an uninhabited planet?” Her voice was low and she wiggled her eyebrows, making the Doctor laugh.

“You minx!” He got up on his knees and leaned in to kiss her and made it last longer then he intended, then settled back, a determined gleam in his eye. “First thing’s first. White said something interesting when he healed you the first time. It was about you and Gallifreya. His exact words were something like, ‘Gallifreya would be even more powerful than her mother, but she will be tempered by me, groomed by me, meaning me, Timelord. He said she’ll be the start of the new Time Lords, ones who will grow and evolve and not stagnate, not sit back and watch the universe go by.’ He also whispered to you before he left that he had two hearts.”

He watched her reaction as she processed this. Bewildered, she looked down to the baby and back up to him but said nothing, the look never leaving her face. She then placed the baby in her carrier, tucking the blanket around her, biting her lip in the process.

“Well? Aren’t you going to say anything? Do you know what this implies?”

“Yes. Oh, Rassilon!” She put her hands to her face and rubbed. “ No wonder he wants to marry us.”

“What?” His eyebrows hit his hairline at her statement. She dropped her her hands in her lap and wouldn’t meet his eyes.

“That’s what he offered to me, while he was ‘monitoring’ us. He wanted to pick the place and he wanted to marry us. He was quite nice about it. Now I know why.”

“What? When did he tell you this? Where?”

She looked at him and then looked out to the sea, then got up and walked closer to the surf, watching the waves roll in. Her voice drifted back to him, filled with regret and mostly anger.

“In the Library, just before Blackie showed. I didn’t tell you because of the way everything went down. I’m still angry at the way they handle the affair. They let you die before my eyes and I can’t forgive him for that. He could’ve warned us or at least done or said something to prepare us, but no!” She felt the tears coming and she didn’t stop them, becoming angrier. She reached down and grabbed a pebble and threw it out and watched it plunk into a wave, feeling one fall down a cheek in the process.

He came up behind her then and wrapped his arms around her and held her and held her tight, resting his head against hers and kissed an earlobe.

“It’s history. It’s done. I think I can understand why they did what they did.” Unable to see her face, his fingers still knew where to go as he wiped a tear away and rocked her.

“Tell me, then. Enlighten me, oh wise one.”

He smiled against her ear and kept his voice low and hugged her tighter as he talked. “They couldn’t upset the timeline. They couldn’t control him from because they needed him to stay as unaware as possible. And…they needed Gallifreya to be born.”

“Look, I know that, deep down, but I didn’t need to see you die!” She turned in his arms, her eyes searching his to find the solace from the pain she felt. “Watching you regenerate is one thing…did you see the recording the T.A.R.D.I.S. made? After seeing that I flipped! Bonkers! I completely wigged and became Bad Wolf. What if I do that again? I’ve never done that before and go all the way like that. Zeke would have told me…I can’t even remember transforming. Without you to stop me….”

He placed a finger to her lips and she stopped. “Yes, love, I’ve seen it.” He took a breath and kissed her forehead and ran a hand through her hair as he continued. “What we went through was extreme. I won’t deny it, I’m still processing it. But now, yes, now you know what you’re capable of and in a way, we’ve been warned. We’ll prepare. Now I can say my fiancé is a transmutational Gallifreyan who turns into a completely pure energy being when she gets too emotional. God help me when you start menopause, I’ll have to remember to dodge instead of duck.” He laughed when he saw the look on her face and laughed harder when he saw the yellow energy manifest in her eyes.

She reared back and punched his arm. “OI! Good shot, cowboy…you wait! I’m-”

“MY GOODNESS! What’s an Eternal got to do around here to get some attention?” The voice seemed like it came from nowhere, but soon, the Eternal slogged down the slope of the dune from behind the ship and made his way over to where they stood, ignoring the look both of them gave him.
“Do you know how hard it was to track the both of you down? I may be an Eternal of Time, but even I needed time to find you, and that’s saying something.”

Humor forgotten, the Doctor stood with arms folded, completely serious. “White, what do you want now?”

“I want nothing, my boy, accept to keep my promise. You need to get married and I want to perform it. Simple as that. Have you considered my offer?” He smiled and knew the answer as he looked from one to the other. Rose was still upset, he knew, but he had to maintain the timeline as it stood from his future perspective.

Rose took the Doctor’s hand and squeezed it, and he looked at her, needing an answer. “What of it, Rose? I know how you feel…would you rather get married on Earth? We can get Jack to contact a church if you want. We can’t exactly do it legal-like, but-“

“No, Earth has too many memories.” She stood before them both and she swallowed, her emotions warring with her brain. With everything they’d been through, she found the decision harder to make than she thought possible. She turned away from Eternal and Timelord and thought. After a few minutes, she made her decision and hoped to God she wouldn’t regret it.

“Alright, you win. I’ll allow you to marry us.”

“Excellent! Now, let’s take care of a few minor details. This looks like a wonderful setting, reminds me of a Gallifreyan I knew once, getting married on the shores….oh, but I digress! Here!“

He snapped his fingers and the Doctor became dressed in a tuxedo of white with a large red rose in his lapel and with another snap, Rose became dressed in white as well with fresh makeup, in a dress made of lace, satin and beautiful inlaid semi-precious stones that set off the low neckline. Her blonde hair was swept up in an ornate bun with ringlets of hair framing her face and a large tiara that had the same semi-precious stones as her dress, the stones dangling delicately across her forehead. It was finished off by a veil that covered her face and attached itself to the tiara and trailed down her back to gently float with the winds from the sea. In her hand manifested a large, beautiful bouquet of roses that draped down in front of her in the shape of a teardrop and music started to play out of thin air.

Rose looked at the Doctor for approval but his mouth was hanging open and he couldn’t stop staring. “You’re utterly, completely beautiful, Rose. You…you take my breath away.”

“As she should, my boy! As she should. Now, Let’s see…” With another snap of his fingers, Jack materialized before them, also in a white tuxedo, looking completely confused. He stood for a moment, taking in the scene and realized what was happening.

“You’re getting married? Right now?”

The Doctor gave him a smile that managed to radiate wattage. “Now is as good as any, wouldn’t you agree, Rose?”

Rose could only nod her head and he reached out and took her hand and held it tight. “Ready?”

“Like, yesterday.”

She returned his smile with one of her own and turned to stand before the Eternal, standing as close to the Doctor as she possible could and still not step on his foot. She was suddenly nervous and didn’t want it to show, but the Doctor’s hand was clammy and she realized he must be nervous as well.

“Well, thank goodness, it’s about time.” Jack gave the Eternal a dirty look but kept his words to himself as he took position next to the Doctor and all three stood expectantly before the Eternal but he suddenly frown. “Wait, I’m missing something here…what is it, what is it? Oh! I know!” He cleared his throat and put his hands behind his back and rocked on his heels as best he could in the sand.
“I know it’s customary to give gifts after the ceremony, but it’ll be necessary to do this now before the ceremony for this to be successful.” He raised his hand again and snapped his fingers and before them floated a pillow with two gold and platinum-braided rings attached, filled with alien script. “You’ll find the words are in Gallifreyan, Doctor. I hope they meet with your approval?”

The Doctor reached out and took one, reading out loud, his voice lowering as he reached the last word. “’Eternal Love of Legends, to last a lifetime, for all time, crossing all dimensions, all space.’” His voice caught on the last word and he was at a loss. Rose took the ring from him and inspected it and laid it back upon the pillow and nodded her head, tears in her eyes.

“Yes. Perfect. Thank you.”

“You very welcome, my dear. And now?” With another snap of his fingers, a flash of light appeared and a man stood before them, back turned. He was also dressed in white and looked down at himself as he turned and Rose knew his profile from anywhere and she squealed her delight.

“Zeke! Oh, my God!” He looked up and was completely shocked by the sight. He took in the strangers but his eyes were on Rose and never left her. “Auntie? Aunt Rose? My God! Is that, I mean, are you...you?”

Rose shoved the bouquet into the Doctor’s hands and ran over as best she could and grabbed Zeke, hugging him hard, nearly squeezing the air from his lungs.

“Yes, this is me. New improved me! Look at you, you haven’t changed a bit.” She released him and made him spin around, careful not to have him step on her gown. She looked at the Eternal and White nodded his head, smiling.

“It’s really him, Rose. I had to have someone give the bride away…who better than your nephew?” The twinkle in his eye seemed to get brighter as he spoke and he waved her over to retake her position.

“Auntie, you’re getting married?” He looked around and found the two men and studied them, finally walking over to the Doctor to stare him in the eye, a serious look on his face. Before the Doctor could say a word, Zeke reached out and hugged him, pounding his back in the process.

“Auntie’s told me about you so much over the years, I figured I’d know you as soon as I saw you and I was right.” He rested his hands on his shoulders and smiled. “Welcome to the family, Doctor.” He turned to Rose and held her hand. “Auntie, I had a feeling you weren’t dead, since the day I saw you in the sky, sealing the rift and destroying the bad guys. I told my men so, but they didn’t believe me. I kept having the dreams. I knew in my heart you were alive and maybe I’d see you one day and damned, was I right!”

A small sound came from behind Rose and the men and Rose turned, stepping over to the blanket and reached into the carrier, picking up their daughter for Zeke to see.

“Nephew, meet your niece. Her name is Gallifreya Terranova Jacqueline Tyler. Otherwise known as ‘Terror,’ for short.”

Zeke laughed and reached out for her to hold her and Rose let him. “Oh, yes, that’s perfect! Terror, Daughter of the Oncoming Storm…its priceless! Hello, little one. I’m Zeke and you’re beautiful.” He looked up from studying her face and Rose could tell he was more than happy, he was ecstatic.

“I’m holding her, Auntie, so don’t plan on getting her back soon, yeah? We’ve got to get you married.”

The Eternal came over and placed a hand on Zeke’s shoulder and looked him in the eye. “Zeke, this is a rare opportunity. I’ve given you dreams to prepare you for this moment and I’m offering this once and once only. If I ask, will you say yes?”

“I know what you’re going to ask, sir, and I won’t hesitate. If the Doctor and Auntie will have me, I want to stay here. Home is with Auntie, it just hasn’t been right since she died. My place is at her side, always.” He gave Rose a wink and held Gallifreya tighter, gently rocking her as she continued to sleep.

Rose forgot to breathe until the Doctor grabbed her arm. “Rose, if you want Zeke to stay, I won’t object. I can tell he’s family. He looks like you and your father and I really admired your father. It’s your decision, love. Don’t worry about the room, you know we have plenty.”

As Rose continued to stare, shocked, the Doctor decided for her. “Yes, I’ll have Zeke aboard my ship, White. We need another Tyler around, just to keep Rose in check, if anything else. Agreed, dear?”

All Rose could do was nod and her chin began to tremble as she tried to hold back the tears of happiness. The Doctor grabbed her hand and squeezed it.

“I’m ready, White. If you don’t have any other surprises, let’s get married.”

White clapped his hands and tiki-type lights appeared around them and a table filled with food and drink appeared beyond, complete with a three level wedding cake.

“Yes, indeed, we are ready! Everyone, positions please!”

Everyone shuffled and got in order, with Zeke on the side of Rose holding Gallifreya and Jack on the other side of the Doctor. The Doctor noticed Jack eyeing Zeke and whispered to him, “Behave, Jack. Not now!”

“I was only going to say hello.”

“I know.”

The wedding music suddenly started and the Eternal cleared his throat and began. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of this Timelord to his Lady Timelord. Time and space have no meaning where love is involved and the Doctor and Rose Tyler have proven this, through mind, body and spirit. Let no being tear asunder what will be created this day in holy matrimony.”

Above his head, the Doctor and Rose saw the other Eternals appear in the sky, gently hovering and watching. Blackie was nowhere to be seen and the Doctor gave a mental sigh of relief.

“Do you, Rose Marion Tyler, take the Doctor, through sickness and health, forsaking all others, through his regenerations, through love and life, to have and to hold, until the day you part to the other side?”

“I do.” She said it so decidedly; she surprised herself and gave the doctor her trademark brilliant smile meant only for him.

“Do you, Doctor, take Rose Marion Tyler, through sickness and health, forsaking all others, through love and life, to have and to hold, until the day you part to the other side?”

“I do.”

The pillow floated towards them and they picked up the rings. ‘Place the rings upon the appropriate finger.” Rose slid the Doctor’s ring on and he did the same and they both looked up.

“Very good. By the power vested within me as an Eternal of Time and Order, I completely and wholeheartedly pronounce you…husband and wife. You may kiss your bride, Doctor!”

The Eternals, Jack and Zeke clapped and Jack wolf-whistled as the Doctor lifted her veil and drew Rose close, bending his head down for a kiss. Their lips met and they made it last, much to the chagrin of White, who stood back and watched them, wondering whether they were ever going to come up for air.

When they did, they were laughing, their joy infectious and White clapped him on his shoulder.

“Congratulations, Doctor, Misses! I’m sorry to say this, but I must be off, things to attend to, you see.” He held his hand out and the Doctor took it, a gentle understanding passed between the two. “Thank you. Thank you very much. For everything.”

“No thanks, necessary, my boy, it’s the least I could do.”

He walked away, gaining some distance and the Doctor drew Rose close holding her as he wondered at White’s tone. “White, what to you mean, ‘the least that you could do?’”

White manifested his drink and his walking stick and took a sip. “Well, you know, everything you’ve been through, all the heartache, drama, death…then there’s the matter of keeping the timelines straight, with us being your progeny and all……Ta-ta! Toodles! Until, later? Or more aptly, until when?” He winked out with a smile on his face and Rose and the Doctor looked at each other, then at the baby and then back.

“No!”

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