Love Songs Vol. IV - I Won't Give Up

by Rishi_Diams [Reviews - 23]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • All Ages
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Het, Missing Scene, Romance, Series

Safe in his pinstriped armor, the Doctor returned to the Cartwright house. Inside, Matron Redfern waited for his return.

She was looking away when he stepped into the house. "Is it done?"

"It's done."

"Police and the army are at the school. The parents have come to take the boys home. I should go. They'll have so many questions. I'm not sure what to say." She turned around and seemed startled to see him. "Oh, you look the same. Goodness, you must forgive my rudeness. I... find it difficult to look at you. Doctor, must call you Doctor. Where is he? John Smith?"

"He's in here somewhere."

"Like a story. Could you change back?"

He was reminded of another conversation with a different woman who had asked much the same question.

"Yes." Do you want me to?

Joan suddenly looked hopeful. "Will you?" Can you?

But his final answer on the subject was the same: "No."

A part of him, a very Human part of him, had fallen in love with this woman, had wanted to spend a very Human lifetime with her, but now that he was fully himself his hearts ached for another.

* * *

Rose knew the minute she materialized that she was not where she'd intended to go. The interior of the ship was different, the control room small and white. The console itself was also smaller and had fewer buttons; it was all a bit disco, actually. But the song of the TARDIS herself was familiar and the ship welcomed her. They were in flight, she noticed, a persistent hum accompanying the steady up and down movement of the time rotor.

Movement to her left grabbed her attention and she turned to see what had caused it. He was tall, taller even than her Doctor, but with his crazy smile and big hair, she knew who it had to be. "Jelly baby?" he asked, extending a plain white bag out to her.

"Excuse me?"

"Would you like a jelly baby?" He took a few cautious steps closer to her, the bag still extended between them.

"No, thank you."

He stopped, studied her for just a second, then dove for the console, the ends of his scarf flying, his empty hand already outstretched to slap a large button. The time rotor slowed to a halt and the room quieted. He whirled around, furious, but she had seen him worse than this and so the majority of his anger bounced off of her. "You're pregnant!" he screeched and she rubbed a hand over her bump. "Bad enough that you're here in the first place, but I was in flight, traveling through the Vortex. Do you have any idea what that will do to a developing Human fetus?"

"Doctor --"

"I need to make sure I stopped us in time, that no harm was done." He whipped out his sonic screwdriver and punched a setting before leveling it at her.

Rose felt the baby's sudden distress. "No, wait!" she cried.

He was just about to push the button to start the scan when comprehension flooded over his features. "What did you call me?"

"You obviously don't recognize me. Can you trust a complete stranger enough that when she says, 'Please, Doctor, do not scan my baby with your sonic screwdriver,' you will honor her request?"

"Where did you come from, child?" he asked by way of response, looking down his long nose at her.

Rose opened her mouth to answer him, but promptly shut it. She met his eyes, "I don't know how much I can tell you."

"My future then?"

She nodded. "I think so."

He slipped the sonic screwdriver back into his pocket. "Right then. Well, I meet people out of order all the time. We can still get the basics out of the way. You are Human?"

She nodded again.

"Earth?" he ventured.

"Yes."

He looked down at her clothes. "Twentieth century?"

She nodded again. "Well, twenty-first."

"Ah, early twenty-first, then. And you know me."

"I do."

"What was that thing you shoved in your pocket?"

"What?"

"When you first materialized, you shoved something in your pocket."

"Oh. I must not have even realized I did it. Um, I don't think I can tell you about that either."

"Is there anything you can tell me?"

"I dunno. When are you?"

"I've just dropped Sarah Jane in Croydon --" He saw the recognition in her eyes. "You know Sarah Jane?"

"We've met. And it was Aberdeen."

"What?"

"You didn't drop her off in Croydon, it was Aberdeen."

"Right. That's next to Croydon, isn't it?"

Rose snorted and shook her head. "No. It's not."

"Oh. Anyway, as I was saying, I'm on my way to Gallifrey - ah, I see you know that name as well."

She felt a pang of sadness. "I do. Go on."

He paused briefly, but continued. "And I had to leave Sarah Jane behind because Humans aren't allowed, you see. Which presents me with another problem. What am I going to do with you?"

"I'll be able to leave before you have to move on. Another, maybe, 20 minutes?" she guessed.

He took his sonic screwdriver back out and started pressing more buttons. He leveled it at her again. "I suppose that may be long enough for you to explain how a 21st century Human was able to project such an intense wave of sadness into the fully-shielded mind of a Time Lord."

"Put the sonic down, Doctor. I'm not going to hurt you."

"Sorry, I've heard that one too often to believe it. You'll have to do better than that."

"How can I tell you more when you're the one always cautioning me about messing up the timelines?"

"Try me. If I deem it's necessary, I'll forget whatever you tell me."

Rose started to lift up the sleeve of her shirt.

He waved the sonic screwdriver at her. "Slowly, now."

"And I was doing so well, too," she shot back, pressing her thumb against the hidden tattoo. As it began to appear, she finished bunching the sleeve at her shoulder.

He took a step forward and grabbed her arm, so engrossed in reading the tattoo that he didn't even notice when she took the sonic screwdriver from his hand and switched it off.

"Rose Tyler."

"Doctor."

"Do you have any idea what this means?" he lifted her arm slightly to show her the tattoo.

She took his now empty but still hovering hand and guided it down to her stomach, watching as their unborn child made contact with him. "What do you think?"

He stumbled backwards. "But that's impossible. The Curse."

"I'm from your future, Doctor. Is it so hard to believe that, in my time at least, the Curse has been lifted?" She waved the sonic screwdriver at him. "You could scan me now, if you wanted to. Asking you not to was just a precaution for the timelines."

He came back to her and took the sonic from her hand, but slid it back into his pocket instead of turning it on. Silently he asked her permission before placing his hand on her stomach again. "But you're so young. And Human. How long have we been married?"

She blushed. "We were bonded about ten months ago."

"Ahh, that explains how your emotions found their way into my mind so easily. But we're not married?"

"No. Things got... complicated."

"Humans have such strange notions. Obviously I care for you a great deal or things would have never progressed past the bond, and that depth of emotion is not exactly transitory where I come from. The tattoo clearly indicates that at some point I had every intention of committing to a marriage, and I cannot imagine allowing your pregnancy to progress as far as it has without doing just that. So, what, precisely, do you mean by 'complicated'?"

"We were... separated. I was only six weeks along. He didn't even know."

"Of course I knew. How could I not? Think, I was in this room with you for 30 seconds and I figured it out."

"Well, I'm a lot further along now than I was then."

He made a dismissive noise. "This is obviously your first child so, yes, you probably only very recently started showing, but I'm sure I would have explained to you in advance that conception was all but guaranteed and you would have started putting off a different scent after only a week. Are you sure I didn't know?"

Rose felt so stupid. All of her worrying and asking the TARDIS to keep her secret, how could she possibly have forgotten about his 'superior Time Lord physiology'? "No, I'm not sure. In fact, you know yourself better than anyone, he must have known."

"Rose, the way you're speaking about me - the other me, the man that you see as this angelic creature's father - I'm still around, right? I mean, I'm not dead, am I?"

"No! No, God, no. Like I said, we were separated. I'm here because I'm trying to get back to him - my Doctor - I just missed, overshot."

A beeping noise began emanating from her pocket. "Speaking of which, it looks like I can leave now." She hugged him. "Thank you, for trusting me and for talking to me."

"You are very welcome. It was quite interesting."

"You will forget all of this, right? I don't want to interfere with my own past."

"Of course. Good luck finding me."

"Thank you." Rose pushed the button in her pocket and dematerialized.

* * *

The smell of Torchwood invaded her nostrils. Something always smelled off here, no matter how hard she had tried to adapt. Maybe it was too many bad emotions.

Pete was still standing where she'd left him. "Well, obviously that wasn't the right one. You came back."

Doctor Crowell ran up and took her vitals.

"We've found the right dimension, but we need to reduce the cool down time. I was stuck there for half an hour."

"No ill effects though," the doctor reported. "Will you let me examine the baby?"

Rose focused internally. "That's not necessary."

Pete sighed. "I hate that you do that, Rose."

"Time Lord, Dad: dimension hopping, traveling through time, it's what they do."

"It's still your baby, still half Human," Pete offered.

"TNA dominates, we've talked about this. Besides, there's nothing 21st century Human medical science could do if there was a problem. Now, let's get started on that cool down."

Pete exchanged a look with the doctor and nodded the other man out of the room.

"What did you see? Where did you appear?"

"Dad, a debriefing now, really?"

Pete pulled a chair over from a nearby desk and forced Rose into it. "Report, Agent Tyler."

"I knew I should have never let you give me that bloody title." Rose told Pete everything that had happened while she was in the other dimension. "Happy? If you're done, I need to get to work."

"Rose, I want you to go home."

"I can't go home now, we're so close."

"This is already an obsession for you, but I'm not going to let it dominate your life or potentially injure your child. You've just dimension hopped, twice. And from what you said, you were there for 30 minutes. You were only gone a few seconds, Rose. I think time runs differently in the two universes."

Rose paled. "Seconds?"

Pete nodded.

"But it's been months I've been stuck here. Years could have passed over there."

"True, but you brought back another valuable piece of information, Rose. The Doctor didn't know you yet. I think with a little fine-tuning we can still potentially get you exactly where you need to be. Which means that you have plenty of time to go home and rest tonight. Let us work on the cool down, come back fresh tomorrow and I'll let you go back to work."

"If you just let me --"

"Good night, Rose."

"But Dad --"

"I'll have Kurt escort you home," he threatened. "You know how he feels about your delicate condition - your delicate unmarried condition."

Rose threw her hands up. "I'll go home."

"Thank you. Tell your mother I'll be home right after work."

"Yes, Director."