country_who: (Doctor :D)
Title: Mother Time
Author: country_who
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairing: Ten/Rose, Jenny/Jack, Idris
Genre: Adventure, Alternate Universe, Romance
Summary: The Doctor, Rose, Jenny and Jack are planning on going to see Donna, but when the TARDIS starts acting up and the Doctor receives a message, they have no choice but to investigate. (The Doctor's Wife, AU). Sequel to The Doctor and His Time Ladies. 



Prologue | Chapter 1| Chapter 2




The Doctor stepped away from the cabinet and instinctively reached for Rose’s hand. Dozens of Time Lord’s distress calls screamed and echoed in his ears as he tried to take it all in. His whole body seemed to slump and shrink even as a warm hand slipped into his cool one. Looking over to Rose, he saw that she was still refusing to look at him directly in the face; instead she stared at their interlocked hands as if she was questioning them. He squeezed, almost selfishly looking for reassurance, and after a moment’s hesitation, she did squeeze back

“I’m sorry, Doctor,” she whispered with genuineness, while she looked up at his eyes finally. Brushing her thumb over his hand, she took her other hand and placed it on his cheek.

She ran her thumb under his left eye as a single tear fell from his eyes and let him have his moment of weakness. His hearts clenched tighter in his chest as he saw the level of devotion in her eyes to him, even now. Leaning into her touch, he covered her hand on his like a lifeline and tried to regain his composure.

“It’s okay to hurt,” she whispered to him, blinking hard and forcing a few of her own tears to fall to show him that he wasn’t grieving for his loss alone. She was there to spread the weight and the pain with him just like she always would be. He gave a mirthless laugh and bit down hard on the side of his cheek and tasted the iron tang of blood enter his mouth, but he felt none of the pain.

Swallowing hard her said, “They would have told me it was wrong.”

“You don’t live by their standards Doctor,” Rose told him. “You never have. You’ve been so focused on trying to regain forgiveness that you forgot why you left there in the first place, and why you had to end the war.”

“I never told you exactly why,” the Doctor protested, but Rose stopped him.

“You did,” Rose told him and took his hand. “It was way back, when you were still getting used to this face. About three trips after New Earth, you came down with that fever, remember?”

The Doctor nodded slowly, thinking hard about when he had woken from a rare bout of sleep in the library, burning hot and freezing cold at the same time, while Rose knelt next to him, desperate to get him to wake. He vaguely remembered her leading him to his room and laying him back on the covers and soothing him as she removed his shirt and used a cool rag across his head, chest and shoulders to try and break the fever. The rest was blurry, but when he had finally recovered, the only thing he clearly remembered was a tiny grain of knowledge in the back of his mind that she had never left his side in the countless days he was in his stupor.

“You had nightmares,” Rose told him. “You screamed out and explained everything, how they wanted to rid themselves of the rest of the Universe and rise only in spirit and mind. You did the right thing, Doctor. You don’t need to seek forgiveness for that. The rest of the universe and every other one are safe because of what you did.”

“Is the mass genocide of an entire race worth that of another?” The Doctor asked.

“You forgave John, and told him he had done the right thing to the Daleks,” Rose prompted him to remember his dead human brother who had killed the Daleks to save the rest of existence.

Looking like he was about to reply, the Doctor jumped back suddenly, his hand still entwined with Rose’s but her other slipping from his face. He ran his left hand through his hair frantically. His mind was racing now, as he bounced on the balls of his feet and looked all around him, dragging Rose’s along with him.

“I’m the last,” he said, a touch of mourning to his voice but the rest of it was wandering with his racing mind. Rose tried to anchor him back down, by placing a hand on his shoulder, but he wouldn’t comply. “They know that, so what are they gonna do. They need more Time Lords. And, the house-thing, what’s with that? There are too many things going on here, Rose.”

Rose opened her mouth to reply, but he was still talking. “If you were repairing people with Time Lords and there were no more left what would you do?”

“Find more,” Rose said instantly, and giving him a reassuring smiled, thinking that the Doctor must be thinking of using him. “That’s not gonna happen, not ever.”

“No, they’re not,” the Doctor’s agreed, but he kept going. “But they’re still gonna try, so if you were trying to get out of a smaller universe pinched off from the main universe where would you go?” He paused for a long moment. “And, what would you use?”

The Doctor watched Rose, as her eyes grew wide and she reached into her pocket and threw her phone at the Doctor, who caught it dexterously as they started running towards the TARDIS.

~//~

The pain from Jenny’s head slowly left her as she opened her eyes and looked up at Jack kneeling down next to her. His hands were behind her back just under her shoulder blades as he coaxed her to her feet, hugging her tightly. She would have normally been more than content with their configuration, but the strain in her muscles forced her to readjust herself and wriggle free from his grip with a tired groan.

“Well, this is fun,” he said with a grin. “Sorta like old times?”

She smiled at him as consolation and got her feet brushing the dust off of her torn dress and out of her loose hair.

“You okay?” he asked with concern lacing his voice.

“Yeah,” Jenny replied looking around her and touching the console. He seemed to almost relax at those words, but his features fell back into anxiety as she continued. “She’s warm again, only different.” She looked at Jack. “Time’s gone.”

“Meaning?” Jack asked, his face being lit by an acid, green glow emanating from the console, casting long dark shadows over his face and giving a small glimpse at what his true age might mean.

Jenny opened her mouth to explain but she was cut off by the TARDIS’s long pained groan and a chilling voice echoing around them.

It means that I have control of everything in this ship, including you two,” the voice said, and the room got noticeable cooler, as Jack wrapped his arms protectively around Jenny and leaned his chin down on the top of her head as if to shield her. Jenny knew he was trying to be brave for her, but she ran her hand up the outside of his shirt and felt his heart pounding hard beneath her fingers. The sensation was almost more comforting than if she though he was just being brave. She looked had him and knew that she could be brave despite her fear as well.

“Who are you?” Jenny demanded, lifting her chin up, still with Jack pressing down on her.

I am House,” it replied, while Jack felt something tingling through his entire body. He pushed the sensation out of his mind with little effort, but it left him with an odd hollow feeling he couldn’t quiet trace, but he ignored it for the time being, focusing all his attention on the bodiless voice booming all around them. “And, I wouldn’t be so quick to protect her, Harkness, because I’ve suspended your ability to revive yourself.

“Doesn’t matter,” Jack shouted, while he pulled Jenny even closer as if to prove his point, but Jenny pushed away.

“I can regenerate,” she whispered in his ear, while she stepped back, keeping her distance from Jack. However, he refused to let her hand leave his. “Jack, don’t.”

“Promised your dad I’d look after you,” Jack told her, thinking about when the Doctor had told Rose the same thing about her mum while they were in Japan right before the Game Station and the Daleks.

Silence,” House boomed, obviously annoyed by how little attention he was getting from his captives. He shook the floors angrily and knocked them both to the ground separating their hands from the shock and turning his attention to Jenny as electricity shot up from the floor and enveloped her.

Gritting her teeth, Jenny forced herself into the soldier’s mentality she was born with and didn’t cry out as Jack’s shouts echoed in her ears even as the pain stopped. Forcing her eyes open after she didn’t remember closing them, she saw Jack pounding on an invisible bubble surrounding her. Smiling softly in a hope to calm him down, Jenny placed a hand on her side of the bubble. She looked into Jack’s bright blue eyes and made the anger fade away as her silent pleading forced him to mimic the gesture.

“Let her out,” Jack demanded deathly quiet.

Why should I?” House asked. “I could kill both of you where you stand and not think twice about it, so tell me. Why?

“Because I said so,” Jack spat, as the energy field was only made stronger as he looked to at Jenny to see her struggling to keep her eyes open. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Her hand slowly slipped down, while she struggled to hold it up against his. She mouthed his name and, ‘I love you,’ before she curled in on herself and fell into unconsciousness.

Because I said so,” it mimicked. “Is that all you can come up with? I’m disappointed in you. I thought that a Time Lord Traveling with humans was rare, but I’m shocked to see that he picked one so dull and stupid. Don’t you want to free her?

Jack glared at the ceiling and looked back at Jenny watching her chest failed to rise as House drained yet more air out of her cell. Reason was trying to evade him, but he clawed it back. He needed to think. The voice he was listening to was familiar, not the sound, but the tone, the deranged villain tone. The kind that didn’t kill and destroy from revenge or spite, but the kind that did it for sport.

“You need to be kept occupied,” Jack stated. “That’s why you had Auntie, Uncle and Nephew. You need a challenge.”

House didn’t reply with words, but the bubble around Jenny made a hissing noise as air rushed into the space and Jack knelt down beside her, ensuring that her hearts were both beating and her breaths were starting up again. He thanked the heavens that she was Time Lady and was able to sustain herself for longer than a human. Lifting her into his arms, while she remained unconscious, he vowed not to let her out of his sight.

“How ‘bout a nice game of chase,” Jack offered, while he looked down at Jenny, seeing her fight for consciousness, but losing against the strain her body had been put under. Could they both survive in a TARDIS that was trying to kill them both? They had to. He promised. Touching her cheek and kissing her lips while he lifted her to his face, Jack drew a deep breath through his nose.

“Or are you afraid you’ll lose?” His tone was perfectly gaged, condescending enough to elicit a challenge, but weak enough to make it so that that house didn’t think he was capable of winning.

Are you suggesting a challenge, Time Agent?

Jack ignored the title form a lifetime ago and nodded. “I am.”

At what stake?

“Our lives,” Jack responded swiftly, suddenly thankful that Jenny couldn’t see him now—giving into the enemy. She’d never let him live it down otherwise.

That’s not enough.”

“It’s everything to us,” Jenny whispered, looking up at Jack and smiling at him.

He didn’t want to know what she saw when she looked at him now. A weak normal human, while she was so much more. Immortality was something that was a part of him now, hearing that it was gone made him feel incomplete. Now he understood what Jenny meant when she said that she couldn’t see the Time Lines had felt like to her. He couldn’t jump out at anything and protect her now, he had to be careful or he’d lose her either way. Or worse, he might leave her.

Was that cowardly? He questioned himself. He had been more than willing to put his life on the line even before he was immortal, especially after the Doctor, but had his immortality made him soft in the long run? Was he leaning on it like a crutch?

But nothing to me,” House said bitingly to Jenny while she twisted from Jack’s grasp and slid to the ground. She leaned heavily on his shoulder to steady herself, when she started to sway and wrapped her arms around his waist.

“We’ll be your slaves,” Jack said, looking down at a disbelieving Jenny, but he didn’t miss a beat. “Give us ten hours to try and survive your methods and we’ll do what you want, but if we escape you let us go free, return to where you came from and get the Doctor and Rose.”

Rules?

“No taking away the air or just killing us out of the blue, make us work against something,” Jenny said, “something to hunt us down.”

She gulped nervously and looked at Jack as Nephew began walking down from one of the corridors.

Very well,” House boomed. “You have ten minutes head start, so I strongly suggest you run.

~//~

Trainers kicked up dirt as Rose and the Doctor skidded to a halt as the TARDIS disappeared in a swirling cloud of green smoke. He opened his arms wide as he ran to the area as if he could envelop it in his arms, but by the time he reached it his fingers met thin air and even the smoke seemed to run from him. He fell to his knees, while Rose kneeled beside him and drew him closely to her.

“Come on, Doctor,” she said pulling him up by his arm and walking him towards where they had come from to find the woman again. “We’re not going to find them by pining around here. She’ll know what to do.”

The Doctor did respond right away, instead he just followed Rose stiffly, letting her take the lead for once. It wasn’t like his lead was doing any good. It had gotten Rose shocked and angry at him, and Jack and Jenny missing. He shoved his hands in his pockets and nodded.

“Right,” he said, taking a deep breath and nodding. “Why do you trust her?” He asked the question quietly, but deliberately as he leveled his eyes on Rose, while they walked. “You acted like you remembered her from somewhere.”

“I do, yeah,” Rose agreed, fishing his hand out of his pocket and lacing it with hers, so that he walking closer to him. He looked at her questionably at first, but she shook her head, and smiled at him. “I’m not mad, if that’s what you’re wondering,” she said, deftly trying to change the subject. “I’m sorry about earlier. I know you miss them. I shouldn’t have held that against you.”

“Who is she?” the Doctor asked, ignoring her apology.

“You need her to tell you,” Rose told him, looking at his eyes, and seeing the confusion resting there. “Look, you know I trust you, right?”

“Yes.”

“Well, trust me for once then, Doctor,” she asked of him.

“I do,” he replied immediately.

“Good,” Rose said, brushing her thumb in a comforting, constant motion up and down his hand, while they walked. “I really am sorry, Doctor.”

She reminded him of when he had taken her to see her father and all her really wanted her to do was apologize to him, after everything she had done. That was how they solved things from then on, because they knew that neither of them would ever leave the other behind, so that settled for mutual understanding. He promised not to leave her and she promised to give him her forever, and if any of them ever so much as faltered on that trust those two words always seemed to draw them back. Maybe that was where they faltered the most, a relationship built on only two words wasn’t built to endure.

“You shouldn’t be,” the Doctor replied, looking over at her, as they followed the direction Rose led them in, while the word, ‘thief,’ echoed around them.

She looked down at her shoes and shook her head, swinging their conjoined hands between them and forcing a wan smile. She was beginning to remember why she had been so hesitant to go beyond friendship with the Doctor. He had so much riding on his shoulders and perhaps she was foolish to think that she could take even a fraction of that away from him. However, he did keep sending her mixed signals, declaring his love with a pendant he carved himself and then trying to push her away for not being Time Lord enough for him.

“I don’t know what to say,” Rose whispered so soft that she wondered if the Doctor could have heard her, but he must have because he tightened his grip around her hand as they kept walking.

“I… I do,” the Doctor said, not taking his eyes off Rose as the shouting in the distance got louder. “I mean, I think I know what to do.”

He remembered what the woman had told him, as he reached into his pocket and pulled out another pendant, the same size as hers only with a blank face. He dangled it from his fingers for a moment before placing it in Rose’s hand and closing her fingers around it. “I never did tell you the whole meaning of that gift.” He pointed vaguely in the direction of her neck. “It’s more than just my love expressed to you, it’s yours to me. I didn’t tell you before. I almost thought it wasn’t necessary.”

Giving him a slightly broken look, Rose opened her mouth to speak, but the Doctor stopped her and gave a harsh chuckle. “Let me finish, please?” He waited a beat to see if she would comply before continuing. “I didn’t, but I do now. The pendants are almost like wedding vows and rings on Earth. They’re promises a Time Lord gives his or her mate before bonding. It was how we marked a union between a man and his woman.”

Rose was quiet for a long time, her expression completely blank before she shook her head and burst out laughing. She turned around, and walked backwards for a second before catching him briefly around the middle and smiling into his chest. Stunned, he embraced her back, as they continued to make progress toward the woman.

“Rose?” he questioned, as she released him, but continued to hold his hand.

“You can’t make anything simple, can you?” Rose asked, looking down at the blank pendant in her hands and knowing instinctively that she would have to carve her love for the Doctor into it and give it back to him. The Gallifrean part of her brain would allow her to do so under the Doctor’s guidance as soon as they were back on the TARDIS.

“Is that a yes then?” The Doctor asked, running a hand through his hair but a hopeful grin spread across his lips in the knowledge that she would only answer one way.

“Of course, you daft man,” Rose replied, kissing him quickly as they turned the corner to reveal the woman sitting with her arms crossed in the cage.

“Well it certainly took you long enough,” she pouted, looking over at the two of them with mock disdain.

Rose gave her an apologetic look before reaching into the Doctor’s jacket and extracting his sonic screwdriver before he could protest. She threw it up in the air to flaunt it in front of him for a moment before she adjusted the settings and opened the lock on the cage. The woman got to her feet and hugged Rose before sticking her tongue out at the Doctor.

“Thank you, Rose,” she replied. “He would have made me wait in here and explain myself to him. After all these years you’d think he would learn to trust me.”

“Tell me about it,” Rose replied, but she showed the woman the blank pendant, and smiled. “I think he’s finally starting to wear down though.”

“Oh, I told him he would have to do that,” she shouted loudly, snatched the pendant up, and looked over Rose’s shoulder at the Doctor, who was standing with his mouth agape. She rushed over to him and snapped it shut by pushing his head down and knocking his chin again his chest. “No, you’ll get flies.”

“W-what,” he stuttered, and took the pendant back from her and shoved it back in Rose’s direction, as she rolled her eyes and tucked it back in her pocket. “Rose, that’s private.”

“Nothing’s private with her, Doctor,” Rose pointed out, as she stepped beside the woman and smiled up at her. “Go on, now you’re the one not being open. Tell him.”

The woman scrunched up her face and thought hard for a moment. “You’re my theif.”

“I haven’t stolen anything,” the Doctor shouted.

“You stole me, all those years ago, and I took you as well,” the woman told him, before whirling around and looking at Rose for help. “What do you call me? You’re insides call me ‘mistress,’ but your outsides call me… T-mmm….Ta-”

Rose took the woman’s shoulder, as she kept trying to sound out the word like a child learning to read for the first time. “T-ar-dis,”

“TARDIS?” the Doctor questioned disbelievingly.

“TARDIS,” the woman yelled triumphantly and mimicked the sounds of her Time Rotor while she stepped forwards towards him and took him by the shoulders. “I’m your TARDIS. You saved me, and I saved you.”

“You called me a thief,” the Doctor said slowly.

“You did steal her,” Rose pointed out, softly, putting a hand on the Doctor’s arm while she coaxed him to sit on the floor and the TARDIS in the woman’s body to do the same.

“Borrowed,” he said in an exasperated tone.

“As if,” the TARDIS scoffed. “I would never let you give me back. A Type-40 TARDIS was already so out of date and so worn; I belonged in a museum and you still thought I was…”

“…the most beautiful thing I ever saw,” the Doctor murmured nostalgically. “That was from my first moment touching your console with all…”

He trailed off; thinking about his younger years, only two hundred some odd years of his life had passed him by when he found her, hidden among the rubble and debris. Her wires were all burnt out and she appeared to have seen more than a few crashes and rough scrapes. But, he felt the beginning of a psychological matrix forming between the two of them, like she was reaching out to him.

“They trapped you,” he heard Rose, whisper and he looked up to see her touching the TARDIS’s hand. “It should…”

“Have been impossible, but I suppose,” the Doctor started, but he was cut off.

“He supposes that it would be possible if they deleted the TARDIS matrix first and fed off of the remaining artron energy,” she explained before the Doctor could.

“He put you in there to die,” he whispered touching her face for the first time, she tolerated it briefly before pushing her away.

“No, focus,” she tells him sternly before looking back to Rose, who was similarly disheartened. “Don’t be like that, we’re talking and that’s what matters and we need to get back the wrong man and the other yellow girl.”

“Rose is pink and yellow,” the Doctor pointed out, forcing a smile and taking both Rose’s and the woman’s hand as they ran off, but the TARDIS was cut off from a pain shooting through her chest as Rose reached over and caught her.

“Mistress,” Rose said almost instinctively, before shaking her head and helping her back to her feet. “What is it?”

“She’s dying, Rose,” the Doctor reminded her pointlessly, helping to steady her to spread the weight of the woman before she shoved away.

“No,” the TARDIS shouted. “I’m fine, I just need to get back to the place where I landed and I can seek my place again.”

“Right,” the Doctor said, unconvincingly. “Come on then… erm… Rose called you…”

“Mistress, yes, so, she’s my Wolf and I’m her Mistress,” she replied a matter-of-factly. “You are my thief and I’m your…”

“No, stop,” the Time Lord shouted, but she had already started.

“Sexy,” she said bobbing her head slightly and giggling with Rose.

“B-but, Rose is here,” he stammered, trying to regain his position and losing fast as they set a slower pace for ‘Sexy’s’ sake and headed back to the junkyard where they first came here.

“Don’t think I haven’t notice the way you practically drool over her console, Doctor,” Rose said, nudging the TARDIS in the side softly. “It’s nothing new to me.” She bent down close and whispered softly in her ear. “He thinks he’s so clever.”

“What was that?” the Doctor asked in a hurt voice.

“Oh, nothing,” the TARDIS replied casually, while the walked.

The Doctor rolled his eyes and stared at Rose’s and the TARDIS’s linked arms and knew this was going to be a long day.




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