country_who: (Ten2/Rose Kiss)
Title: The Broken Link
Author: [livejournal.com profile] country_who
Characters/Pairings: 10.5/Rose, The Doctor (11), OC's, The TARDIS
Genre: H/C, Romance
Rating: PG
Word Count (this chapter): ~3220
Summary: How long was the Doctor really gone when he returned for Amy? Because, Rule one is "the Doctor lies?" The Human Doctor has been living a happy life in the parallel world with Rose for nine years and their two kids. But, something the the Time Lord Doctor does back in his universe is threatening to end all that. How are Rose and the human Doctor going to cope?
Summary (this chapter): The human doctor struggles through the day while trying to cope with the pain.
Author's Note: I'm going back to school tomorrow, so updates might slow, considerably. I'll try to get as much of Chapter 3 written today as possible though. 

Chapter 1


A hammering pain rang through the Doctor’s skull; as he opened his eyes the next morning. The bright light streamed through the window and shot yet more smoldering lightning into his brain. His single heart seemed to pound and skip beats; as he rolled out of bed and glanced at the clock; he was running late by a full hour. 

Cursing under his breath, the Doctor began to rush around the room before bolting into the kitchen. He picked up a banana from the fruit bowl to see Rose sitting at the kitchen biting her lip. The Doctor rushed over to her, thinking she was sick, but when he knelt in front of her she burst into laughter. 

Bewildered, the Doctor leapt back and stared at her. “What?” he asked, looking her up and down, “What’s going on?” 

Rose shook her head and continued to stare at him. Her eyes glinted with mirth, as she got to her feet, and draped her arms around his neck, while her stomach protruded against his. A sharp kick connected with his stomach, and he frowned. 

“Your offspring is laughing too,” Rose told him, before glancing down. “Pants, Doctor.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow before looking down and seeing millions of Cookie Monsters grinning manically at him. Rose and his offspring weren’t the only ones laughing. 

“Right…erm…I better get some pants on and…get to work…” the Doctor said, trailing off and jerking a thumb in the direction of the stairs. 

Rose caught his shoulder. “Don’t worry about it,” Rose told him, but to her husband’s shocked expression she added, “Work I mean. By all means put on some pants. I already called, you’ve got today off, and Jack and Ava have already caught the bus.”

The Doctor visibly relaxed as he nodded and kissed Rose’s forehead. “You, Rose Tyler, are amazing.”

She entwined her fingers with the Doctor’s and stared at his face, as if she was searching for something. His hair was in complete disarray and graying at the temples (she had been thinking for a while that it made him look handsome, but right now it just made him look tired). His face while content was drawn and tired with dark grey circles underneath her eyes. Pale seemed to be the best way to describe the way he looked now. His usually whitish skin was downright gray and his hair seemed to be limp. 

“You feeling okay?” Rose asked him, as they climbed the steps hand in hand. 

Nodding, the Doctor assured Rose that he was fine, but she wasn’t buying it. 

“How’s your head?” Rose asked, as she slipped into their room ahead of him and sat on the bed as the springs groaned beneath.  

The Doctor grunted a reply; while, he tugged out a pair of jeans from the dresser and began to pull them on with considerably more concentration than it should have taken. 

“Doctor?” Rose challenged. 

He sat down next to her and brushed away a lock of her blonde hair from her face. “It’s nothing a day with you won’t solve.”

Rose was hesitant, but she agreed and let her husband help her to stand up and walk back down the steps. 
Once again, they were seated around the kitchen table (fully clothed this time), the Doctor munched on his banana and pushed a bowl of cereal in Rose’s direction. His head was still feeling like it was being held underneath an electrified weight. The pain seemed to circle from barely there to incredible. Each time the circuit was completed the Doctor grew more and more concerned with his health and Rose’s. She couldn’t catch this as well could she? What about the kids?

The Doctor mentally shook his head and favored studying his banana. “Have you ever considered the amazement that evolution has bestowed on the wonder of the banana?” he asked Rose. “I mean look at it Rose, a thick skin fit to protect the soft insides, and seeds that are small and tough enough to pass…”

“Doctor,” Rose cut him off. 

“Hmm?”

“The last time you gave me a lecture on bananas you were in a hospital bed from an exploded land mine,” Rose reminded him, letting the statement sink in. “If that was what warranted fruit as a distraction, then what’s wrong now? Tell me.”

Looking defeated, the Doctor lowered the banana to the table in favor of grabbing his wife’s hand. He offered a small smile before speaking. “I don’t know, Rose. I really don’t, and I’m sorry.”

Rose shook her head. “How can it be your fault for being sick?”

The Doctor shrugged. “It felt like the right thing to say?” he tried. 

Rose bit out a laugh and got to her feet. “You wanna go to the doctor?” Rose asked him. “We’re gonna be at Torchwood anyway, for my appointment.”

The Doctor shook his head immediately. “Nothing they can do,” he told her honestly. He didn’t add that if he hadn’t been able to figure it out, then Torchwood would be completely lost. He was a completely unique species, not human and not Time Lord. Anything he was had to be assumed as a baseline for what—and who—he was. 

“Right,” Rose said slowly. 

“Hey, don’t worry,” the Doctor assured her, “We’ll figure it out. You know that. We’re two of a kind, Shiver and Shake. I’m your plus one, remember?”

“I thought I was Plus One?” Rose asked, breaking into a smile, her teeth biting down slightly on her tongue. 
“Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth,” the Doctor said getting to his feet, the pain in his head residing for now. “Will never just be my ‘Plus One.’”

The Doctor consumed her in a hug, and Rose groaned against his tight grip. 

“Not much Earth defending has been happening for me for years,” Rose muttered against the Doctor’s chest, not spiteful, more longing of the fact that she and the Doctor hadn’t ‘run’ just the two of them for a long time. 

“No, but being married to me is pretty dangerous,” the Doctor joked. 

“Nah, you haven’t blown up any home appliances for at least two months,” Rose told him, as he circled around her and began to gently massage her shoulders. “I think you’re beginning to show signs of old-age.”

The Doctor squeaked in shock. “But…but I haven’t even had my mid-life crisis yet, I was looking forward to it. I was reading that most men in their mid-life crisis try to rekindle their youth by mimicking and fulfilling dreams from their childhood and teen years.”

“And, that’s a good thing?” Rose asked incredulously.

“Oi,” the Doctor exclaimed. “You should hear about my childhood dreams.”

Rose shook her head and just ran her fingers across his forehead and brushing some hair out of his eyes. She was careful to note the slight hint of a fever under his skin. Kissing where she had brushed the hair away she stood up with him following suit. 

“Come on, the appointment’s in half an hour,” Rose told him, as she walked to the door and the Doctor grabbed her coat, offering to slip it on. She thanked him, as he grabbed his keys and walked out the door. 

***

The rooms of the Torchwood medical wing was to say the least, clinical. Sterile white walls and gray linoleum floors were not the most welcoming place in the world, but it would do. It wasn’t that the Doctor and Rose had much of a choice either. With the Doctor being half alien, there was always the risk of him getting found out about, and their children as quarter-Time Lords would suffer similar if not greater risks than as their father. 

Rose was sitting up on the examination table as Dr. Jones flipped through her notes and gave Rose and the Doctor a smile. She wasn’t quite the Martha that the Doctor had known back in his universe, for one thing she was much quieter, but she still had a caring heart and zest that was familiar. She rattled off some statics of their child’s growth rate and how they were all within normal parameters for a human pregnancy, just like Ava and Jack. After she had finished, she put her clipboard down on the table and began to question Rose and the Doctor. 

“So, how have you been?” Dr. Jones asked swiveling around on a rolling chair to look at Rose. “Any pains, or…”

Rose shook her head. “Nope, I’ve been good.” Rose said lightly. 

“That’s good, any concerns?” Dr. Jones continued. 

“Nope,” Rose said, looking at the Doctor who shrugged. 

Dr. Jones grinned and held out her hand for the Doctor and Rose to shake. “Well then, Dr. and Mrs. Tyler, I’m pleased to tell you that you’re in almost perfect health. My only concern is there’s a slight raise in your blood pressure. Has anything been stressing you out lately, any problem with the kids or…I don’t mean to intrude.” 

“That’s fine,” Rose said, silencing Dr. Jones and jerking a thumb over to the Doctor. “He’s been sick that’s all.”
Dr. Jones looked satisfied and she scooted over to the Doctor. Her trained eyes appraised him and looked to see what the matter was. “Now that your wife mentions it, Dr. Tyler you don’t look well at all.”

The Doctor subconsciously backed away from Dr. Jones and stood almost against the wall of the small medical unit. Rose took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze to reassure him and he stepped forward. 

“It’s just a headache, that’s all,” the Doctor pushed on, “I’m sure it’s nothing. It’ll pass in time. I don’t even really notice it now.” 

Not looking convinced, Dr. Jones’ hand went around her stethoscope and silently asked if she could check him out. The Doctor reluctantly agreed and let the doctor who looked and now acted too much like Martha check his heart beat. He already knew what she would fine. 

She frowned for minute and readjusted the ear pieces as if that were the cause of what she was hearing.

“Dr. Tyler you’re heart, it’s almost like it doesn’t want to beat. I’ve…I’ve never heard anything like it. It’s convulsing in your chest, with all respect, Dr. Tyler you shouldn’t even be standing.” Dr. Jones let her stethoscope hang around her neck once again, as she pulled out a thermometer and stuck it under the Doctor’s tongue without asking. 

“Keep that in until it beeps,” Dr. Jones said, when she turned to Rose and told her she could get dressed out of her gown and into her regular clothes. She would be back after she was done to see what the thermometer said. 

“Thank you, Dr. Jones,” Rose said with a small smile as the young doctor turned and left.

The Doctor handed Rose the pile of clothes that she had been wearing. Quickly, Rose slipped back on her dress and stepped into some flat shoes that looked rather like sandals. 

Watching dejectedly from the corner, the Doctor crossed his eyes to get a better look at the thermometer as if it was an assault to his dignity and manliness. 

“Wose, tust ee I’m ine,” the Doctor said, as he held the thermometer in place under his tongue. “It ust ooo much ime at ork.” 

Rose plastered on a smile and took his hand, as she sat into one on the plastic seats and urged the Doctor into the one next to her. “I’m sure you’re right; just let the doctor check you over, be a patient patient for once Doctor.”

Reluctantly, the Doctor nodded his agreement and pulled the thermometer out when it finally beeped and checked the reading. “100.7, that’s not that’s bad,” he guaranteed Rose. “No need to worry this little one either.” 

The Doctor gently ran his fingers over the smooth fabric of Rose’s dress and murmured Gallifrean to the life growing beneath. Rose covered his hands with hers and guided his hands to where she felt the baby and watched the grin spread across his face. The gentle pressure on the Doctor’s hands greeted him, as he rubbed a circular pattern into Rose’s belly. 

“Besides, if your mother finds out about how I’m causing you stress, a headache will be the least of my problems,” the Doctor joked. 

Giggling with him, Rose wrapped her arms around him as the door opened and Dr. Jones appeared in the doorway. 

“There you go, Dr. Jones,” the Doctor said handing the thermometer back, which he had switched off. “98.4, perfectly within the normal range, now if you don’t mind. I’d like to spend the rest of my day off with my wife. What do you think, Rose?” 

Rose grinned sheepishly at Dr. Jones; while, she got to her feet and was led out of the room before Dr. Jones could blink. 

***

The Doctor opened the door to Rose and his house, dropped his keys on the table and sat down next to Rose on the couch. He closed his eyes against a headache coming on and gripped the arm rest. Black spots danced in his peripheral vision, but he forced the feeling to pass from his mind. He got up after a minute and pushed a DVD into the player. 

“What are we watching?” Rose asked him. She noticed that the Doctor was gritting his teeth as another headache moved in, but she knew that he’d rather just take his mind off of it, and on his day off, she thought he deserved it. 

“Back to the Future,” the Doctor proclaimed. “This universe’s version, where they travel in a VW Beetle instead of a Delorean and there tomato people—they’re a bit random, but you know.” 

“You’re making that up,” Rose told him, pushing just the right button for the Doctor to settle down on the couch and let him go into a meaningless ramble that ultimately lulled him and her into a restful state. They were only dimly aware that after the title sequence was done, that millions of tiny tomato people started swarming a VW beetle, waving wands at it and chanting ‘back to the future,’ over and over. 

They stayed like that until right before the end of the movie, when the phone rang. The pillow that Rose had been using suddenly gained a mind of his own as he grunted and got to his feet. Rose looked up lazily, expecting some sort of telemarketer so the Doctor could come back to the couch and fall asleep. 
She strained to hear the Doctor’s drowsy voice from where he stood in the kitchen. 

“Hello…hey, Jake, what’s wrong this time…can’t someone else…what do you mean no one understands…okay…give me an hour, okay? No, I’m fine, it’s just…yeah, be right there.”

Rose heard the Doctor groan and slam the phone down with more force than she was used to. 

“What was that all about?” Rose asked the Doctor. “Alien invasion taking over the London Eye?”

The Doctor shook his head. “I would’ve resigned if that was it. No, they’re having trouble with a new software program, and they can’t seem to get it to work.”

Rubbing his eyes, the Doctor walked over and sat next to Rose. Briefly, he pulled Rose into a hug before kissing her deeply and standing. “I’ll be home in a few hours, I promise, and how hard can it be to explain a couple of microchip processors?” 

Rose nodded, cupping his cheek with her hand. “Just try not to work yourself sick okay?”

The Doctor gave her a salute (she was technically still on the Torchwood books and a rank ahead of him) which she returned with another quick kiss before he trudged out the door. 

***

The Doctor had spent the last hour trying to explain to Jake and Pete how to work the new server, and he had finally gotten it through to them. Why were humans always so thick when it came to this sort of thing? When you were using a microchip instead of a hard drive isn’t it obvious that you couldn’t allow for the processor to shatter blast the mother board? 

Meanwhile, the pain the Doctor’s head had grown to substantial levels, and he had slipped away into his office while Jake and Pete worked on some more programming software. He sat down heavily in his large, black rolling chair behind his desk and used the phone to dial Rose. He needed to tell her he was almost through and would be home soon.

Hello?” Rose’s voice rang through on the other end of the phone. The Doctor could hear a stand mixer in the background. 

“Hi, Sweetheart,” the Doctor replied, leaning back in his chair and shutting his eyes tightly. “I won’t be too much longer, Rose. Jake and Pete are working on programming right now.”

That’s good, and how are you feeling?” 

The Doctor knew there was no point in denying it to Rose, anyone off the street would have been able to tell that he didn’t feel well at all by the sound of his voice. Rose would have no trouble picking out any lie he told her over the phone. 

“Pretty crummy,” the Doctor answered. “The kids home yet?” 

They’re walking up the drive just as we speak,” Rose assured him. “You want me to come get you? You shouldn’t be driving if…

The Doctor made a noise of protest. “You shouldn’t be driving either, Love.” 

I guess you’re right.” Rose conceded. 

“Hmm,” the Doctor agreed, and decided it was time to hang up. “I’ve gotta go now, see you later.” 

Not if I see you first,” Rose answered just as he expected her too. 

The Doctor put the phone back in its place as he stood up from the chair and saw two Jakes approaching him. 

“Doctor,” the two Jakes said simultaneously, “Pete said you can go home now.” 

“Molto-bene,” the Doctor said, while holding his hand out to pat the second Jake on the shoulder, but his hand connected with thin air. He felt his feet stumble beneath him and the next thing he knew he was on the floor with Pete and Jake (alone this time) leaning over him. A groan became a scream of pain as spears shot through his consciousness. 

His mind kept drifting off in and out of what he thought was real. There was no clear line, everything was dark and hazy. 

“R-Rose,” he stuttered, clutching at his chest where his heart was going haywire. 

She the only thing he could think of. Flashes of her and the kids blazed before his eyes, and he tried to focus. 

“Hang in there, Doctor.” he heard his father-in-law say. 

The Doctor thought he heard Jake on his phone talking to Rose, but he might have seen him speaking into a banana in the corner of his eye as well. 

“P-pain, need Rose,” the Doctor cried, reaching his hand to try to grab at anything tangible. He felt Pete grip on his hand, giving him a hold on reality. “Help me, please.”

The hand around his tightened, but he couldn’t hear the reply, just screaming—constant screaming in his ears. Blind pain traveled through his whole body, ran through his veins, and circled him before everything went black. 

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