country_who: (Default)
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): ~3700
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 Time Lord Doctor makes and discovery and the Human Doctor makes a discovery.
Author's Note: I'm not entirely in the right mindset right now, a minute ago I was thinking that the Byzantines were the first westerners to open a trade link with China after their period of isolation. (Sorry, Coach Derrick, you're a great teacher, but my brain is mush.)

Catch Up Here:

Chapter 1| Chapter 2

Jack and Ava bolted into the living room and dropped their school bags on the floor. They immediately ran over to Rose, who was talking on the phone. She held up a finger telling them to be quiet for a minute, while she spoke to whoever was on the other end of the line.

“Not if I see you first,” Rose said with a laugh, letting the words fall off her tongue with nostalgia.

“It’s Daddy,” Ava whispered in Jack’s ear.

“I know who it is,” Jack said, crossing his arms and walking over to his mother, who was putting the phone back on the hook.

“I thought Daddy was getting the day off,” Ava asked, coming up behind Jack and beating him to the words he was gonna say with a smug grin.

Rose raised an eyebrow at her daughter’s actions, and she immediately backed a step away from Jack. Ava gave a muttered sorry before Rose continued.

“Daddy’ll be home soon. He just got called in to help with some computer stuff,” Rose told them, getting them to pick up their backpacks and head upstairs. She followed them, gripping onto the banister with an effort.

When Rose’s feet met the carpeted room of Jack and Ava’s shared bedroom, she turned and sat on Jack’s bed and motioned for Ava and Jack to join her on the light green duvet. They obliged after setting their backpacks down and sitting next to her. Ava with her legs crossed and looking up as her mother, and Jack fidgeting with the collar of his school shirt and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.

Rose ran her hand up and down her daughter’s shoulder with one hand and ruffled her son’s dark brown hair. It was already in disarray after a full day of school, and him probably tugging at it.

“Listen you two, Daddy’s been feeling ill lately, and when he comes home, you need to be on your best behavior, got it?” Rose asked them, and met their simultaneous nods.

“Good,” Rose said, not ceasing in rubbing Ava’s shoulder or mussing with Jack’s hair.

“Mummy?” Jack asked, leaning into Rose’s touch. “Is Daddy sick like when we have to stay home from school?”

Rose considered the analogy for a moment before nodding and hugging her son closely.

“Yes, and when you two were sick what did I tell you guys needed a lot of?” Rose asked.

“Rest,” Ava jumped in. “And, Daddy said bananas.”

Chuckling, Rose kissed her daughter’s head. The Doctor and his strange obsessions were already rubbing off on their kids. With any luck they were gonna end up being banana grove farmers on a planet where they seem to be very good at developing sonic weapons. Rose ran her hand down Ava’s back and made a slight oof sound when Jack crawled awkwardly into her lap, careful to avoid her baby-bump.

“There we go,” Rose muttered, as she helped Jack to get more comfortable as he leaned against her.

“If Daddy’s sick like when we had to stay home from school, why doesn’t he stay home too?” Ava asked, looking at her mother. Her brown eyes peering at her with a mixture of curiosity and as much worry as a five year old could muster for her father. She used her hands to lift herself up from the bed and readjust herself on the bed.

How was Rose going to answer to that? Telling her daughter that her father was just too busy to ever get sick without everyone at Torchwood going into uproar was probably not the best way to break it to her. Instead, Rose brushed some of the brown hair that had escaped her daughter’s ponytail behind her ear.

“Granddad Pete really needs Daddy to give him a hand,” Rose said finally.

“Can’t it wait until Daddy’s better?” Jack asked.

“I wish it could,” Rose replied, letting Jack back down on the floor. The phone started to ring and Jack slid out of the way of his mother. She picked it up from the phone in her room and watched to make sure Jack and Ava had started their homework instead of listening to her.

“Hello, Doctor,” Rose said, seeing the Doctor’s office number on the caller ID. “Run into a snag.”

Rose, it’s me, Jake” A thick Scottish brogue came on the other end of the line.

Rose tried to keep her stomach from falling down to her feet. “Jake? What are you doing on the Doctor’s phone?”

He’s passed out, Rose,” Jake replied, letting the words sink in. “He was in pain and couldn’t really see or think straight and just collapsed in his office.

Rose shook her head trying to deny what she couldn’t. “Where is he now?”

Pete’s taken him to the medical wing,” Jake told her.

“Okay…okay,” Rose muttered, trying to calm herself down. “I’m gonna catch a bus and meet you there, the kids are coming too. I don’t have anyone to watch them.”

I’ll come and get you, Rose,” Jake’s voice told her. “
I won’t be long just get the kids together and meet me by your door.


“Thanks, Jake,” Rose told him.

***

Ava had finished her homework by the time that Jake arrived and was cradling her journal close to her chest. Jack was close to follow with his work too, and soon the two of them were sitting in the backseat of a Torchwood car quietly. Rose sat next to Jake in the front-seat, they spoke in whispers quiet enough that neither Jack nor Ava could hear them.

“Ava.” Jack looked up from where he was sitting and poked his sister in the shoulder. When she didn’t respond, he persisted poking her harder and eventually knocking her book to the floor so she had to bed and retrieve it.

“What?” Ava conceded, as she brushed off the cover of her book and looked at it sadly.

Jack looked suddenly lost for words.

“Jack, what is it?” Ava persisted.

“I’m scared,” Jack confided.

Ava searched him for a minute before scooting over slightly and gripping his shoulder like she’d seen her daddy do with Mummy right before he went away somewhere for a long time.

“You don’t have to be,” Ava told him.

“But, Daddy,” Jack whispered back.

“No, Jack,” Ava fired back fiercely. “He’s fine. Just like Mummy said.”

“Ava, what if Daddy can’t come home?” Jack retorted. “You said that that girl said that Daddy might not want…”

Ava shoved him sharply. “Shut up, Jack!” Ava shouted at him.

“Ava,” her mother scolded. “Calm down. We’re all gonna be really good for your father, understand?”

“Yes, Mummy,” Ava replied. “I…I’m sorry.”

Rose softened and reached her hand back to rest it on Ava’s knee. “Did you finish your book?”

Ava nodded and passed it over to Rose, but she pushed it back into her hands.

“You wanna give it to your father?” Rose asked her, as Jake pulled up to a stop and Rose, Ava and Jack slid out, while Jake left to park the car. Clouds hung heavily in the skies over the Torchwood building and added to the cramped and gloomy mood.

“Mhm,” Ava replied, flipping through a page and skimming over it. “I finished extra quick just for him.”

Rose smiled and held out her hand for Ava to take and the other for Jack. Jack hung heavily on her arm, dragging behind his mother and sister. Rose could tell he was worried about seeing his father, but Rose had decided that the best way to mitigate that would be to let him see that his father was alright.

“Are we gonna take Daddy home?” Jack asked.

“If we can,” Rose replied. “He might need to stay overnight or something.”

Jack nodded satisfied, as they walked through the automatic doors at the front of the building that Rose would have called ‘Canary Warf’ back home. Here, however, it was just known as Torchwood, even if the general public didn’t really know what it did.

“Hello, Rose,” a friendly voice said from the front desk.

“Hey, Donna,” Rose replied, looking over at the red-head secretary with a hint of nostalgia. “I can’t talk long. John’s just been sick, and I was wondering if there was any info on where he is?”

Donna smiled and typed rapidly on her computer, while she muttered something about Rose not needing to be on her feet. “Ahh, here we are, room 654,” Donna announced, handing her a card. “It’s restricted, and I don’t know if you still have your card. I can’t imagine you would have thought to bring yours from home, what with these little terrors, so just use mine.”

Rose took the card gratefully from Donna’s proffered hand. “Thanks so much, Donna you’re a life saver.”

Shrugging, Donna went back to her work while saying, “I’m just a temp.”

Ava couldn’t help but think about all the stories her dad had told her about a ginger lady named Donna. He said she was the most important woman in all of creation and in a way she was his sister. Ava had told her father once that Donna was who she wanted to grow up to be like. The Doctor had joked back and told her ‘I suppose, we picked the right middle name for you then.’ There was always a flash of sadness that Ava realized after a few stories, but it was always carefully concealed beneath amazement and wonder.

They stepped into the metal elevators, and Rose slid the card into the reader. The elevator shook and began to ascend to the sixth floor. When the doors opened, Rose gently led her kids down the halls to where she saw Pete and Jackie waiting with twelve-year old Tony standing next to her.

“Oh, Rose,” Jackie said, as Rose made it to her parents and little brother. “Pete called me, you really should be home. The Doctor’s fine, he can take care of himself.”

“Mum,” Rose cut her off. “If he could take care of himself he wouldn’t be in the hospital.”

Pete took this moment to step in between his wife and daughter—the Doctor would have been better, aged and dead if he had let them keep arguing. “Easy now, Rose. The Doctor’s better than when you called. He’s conscious and asking to see you and the kids.”

“And, what were you doing calling him over here?” Rose asked, keeping her voice borderline level. “I told you this morning he wasn’t feeling well. What did you think he would have been better in a couple of hours?”

Pete backed off, holding up his hands. “I’m sorry, I take full responsibility, but I didn’t know.”

“Well, what did you expect, Dad?” Rose asked, tears falling down her face; she was pretty sure the Doctor would have been able to hear her through the walls now, but she didn’t care. “You’ve been running him raged for days on end…why can’t…he…he needed a break. You don’t see him…you don’t know…”

Rose was stopped by a soft pull on the side of her dress. “Can we see Daddy, now?” Jack asked. He reached up and tugged on Rose’s hand towards the room that he knew his father must be in. Biting her tongue from saying something else to Pete, Rose nodded and knelt down to her children’s level a bit awkwardly.

“I’m gonna see Daddy first okay, and make sure he’s…erm…awake, okay?” Rose asked. “You two wait outside with Gran and Granddad, okay?”

Ava and Jack hesitated, but they nodded and let the Rose go in and be with their father.

***

The Eleventh Doctor was whizzing about in his newly formed TARDIS library. He was picking up books left, right and center and still not getting the answers he was looking for. He had read medical papers, and psychology texts; he had even broken down and read the complete history of the banana, because he was so desperate for a link between himself and human Doctor’s pain.

Falling onto the battered love seat the TARDIS had saved from her previous form; the Doctor rubbed his hand across his eyes and let it come to rest against his chin.

The TARDIS hummer her disappointment.

“Well what d’you want me to do?” the Doctor asked. “I’ve read all the texts that could lead to an answer but they don’t tell me anything.”

The TARDIS flashed an image of the human Doctor’s two children.

“You don’t think I would like to save him for them—for Rose?” the Doctor asked. “Even I have limitations you know.”

Making a deep rumbling noise, a text book on the physiology of Time Lord children appeared in the Doctor’s lap. He looked at the sea-green flames that had suddenly appeared in the fireplace before opening the book.

He flipped through rapidly until he found what he wanted, hitting himself in the face with the ball of his had the Doctor swore and read the passage more carefully. A wild grin spread across his lips as he looked at the green flames and smiled.

“Geronimo.”

***

The Doctor was sitting up dazed in the middle of the white hospital bed. Oxygen tubes were running under his nose and several IV bags were connected to his left arm. The needles were taped down with plastic tape that seemed to pull at his skin in awkward ways. His head was lolling slightly to one side, but a grin spread on his face as Rose appeared.

She took his hand and sat in a chair next to his bed.

“Rose,” the Doctor muttered.

“Hey, sweetheart,” Rose whispered to him.

The Doctor smiled at her words. “Sweet-heart that’s new,” the Doctor muttered. “It’s been such a long time.”

Rose frowned. “I saw you just this afternoon, Doctor.”

“No, you didn’t,” the Doctor said frowning, before gripping at his chest. “I’m sorry for getting shot by that Dalek.”

Suddenly it all donned on Rose. “Doctor, how many hearts do you have?”

The Doctor squinted at Rose as if she were mad. “Two, Rose, you know that. Of course at the moment, I can’t get the other to work; you might need to hit me on the chest.”

The hope that her husband was alright shattered in Rose’s chest along with her heart.

“Doctor?” Rose whispered, taking his hand and jumping back when he pulled sharply away.

“No, stand back, Rose,” the Doctor shouted and he started to convulse on the bed.

“Doctor,” Rose persisted, as he thrashing movements broke down into a shudder. She leaned against his ear and whispered the one word that could bring him back. His name and her name, joined by his surname.

Immediately, the shaking stopped, the Doctor looked up at Rose with the same look he always gave her when he came into a rough shake. Rose laced her hand back with his letting his eyes slowly fall down to Rose, assessing everything. He was trying desperately to keep a hold on reality, but Rose could tell her was slipping.

“Doctor, listen to me, you need to tell me what’s wrong, okay?”

The Doctor gave her a struggled nod and complied.

“It’s a neural implosion.”

“Like Christmas Day?” Rose asked and the Doctor nodded.

“But, this time tea won’t fix. Time Lords have this thing, where we’re connected to our parents on a link, it’s always there, we don’t even notice. But if that link breaks the child dies, unless it can be replaced by another Time Lord, that’s what we did back home, trouble is: I’m the last. The Time Lord Doctor back on our universe regenerated, he broke the link accidentally, not his fault. He was so, so angry and broken, Rose. Now, he’s just gone, my mind keeps searching but he’s not there.”

Rose nodded and took his hand tighter in hers. Her raised it to her lips and gently brushed her lips across it.

“Do you just not recognize him?” Rose asked, but the Doctor shook his head.

“Our relationship is strange, not like any other in Time Lord history,” the Doctor explained, sliding a bit further down the bed and letting his head fall a bit. “I would know him, but he’s a universe away, he’s the last Time Lord, but there are so many other telepathic beings that my mind…and now my body can’t cope.”

Rose watched helplessly, as the man she loved lost faith in himself. She couldn’t believe it. The Doctor had risen past so much that humans have to put up with, illness, injury, family, and love. He jumped in after a moment’s hesitation and has been swimming ever since she had kissed him on that beach. How could she have let this happen to him?”

“Rose,” the Doctor asked, looked up, and caught her attention. “Can you take me home?”

Rose shook her head, pushing his shoulder down lightly to the bed.

“Please, I don’t want to…” the Doctor trailed off, staring at his feet. He didn’t want to finish the sentence, but Rose already knew where this was going. She ran her fingers through his hair and eased his nerves.

“Tell you what,” Rose told him softly, keeping his face between her hands. “You hang in there for a bit longer to talk to the kids, and I’ll talk to Dad about getting you home.”

The Doctor nodded letting his eyes drift to the door. He imagined he could see them standing out in the hallway, worrying or maybe they were celebrating, the Doctor mused.

“What have you told them?” He asked his wife.

“Only that you’re sick, mainly, that they need to be clam around you, and that you’ll be better soon,” Rose informed him.

“And, how are you doing?” the Doctor asked, letting his drift to her stomach before jerking them back up to her face.

“’M fine,” Rose assured him, before letting out a choking laugh. “This little one seems to really want you home though, won’t settle down.”

Silence drifted between them for a few minutes before Rose got to her feet and squeezed her husband’s hand before walking out the door and gathering Jack and Ava into the front of her. Rose pondered briefly if she should prepare them for what they were going to see, but she decided against it. She didn’t want to over worry them before they even saw their father.

Ava was the first to reach the Doctor, who had made an effort to sit up straighter in the bed. He patted the side of the bed next to him and his daughter crawled up beside him, setting her face rest on his chest and letting his left arm tighten around her back. He murmured to her in simple Gallifrean, and she answered fluently. Rose pieced enough of it together to realize they were speaking their minds and feelings with words that English couldn’t describe. The Doctor used the pad of his thumb to wipe away one of the tears that had escaped his daughter’s eyes and kissed the top of her head lovingly.

Jack, on the other hand, hung close the Rose, holding onto his mother’s hand. Rose could feel him shaking with nervous energy, as she rubbed his back soothingly.

“It’s okay, Jack,” Rose assured him. “Go see your dad.”

“Uhuh,” Jack said, shaking his head and back further away.

Rose knew better than to force him, so instead she motioned to the door, to let the Doctor know that she was going to see if she could get him home. The Doctor nodded, while holding onto their daughter and watched as Jack followed his mother out the door. The feeling of loss deepened in the Doctor’s mind as now he hadn’t just lost a connection with the Time Lord, but his own son. Ava wasn’t speaking, just crying into his shoulder while he held onto her. He might as well have been a lump rather than a father.

“Daddy,” Ava said suddenly, drawing him from his thought.

“Hmm?” the Doctor asked softly.

“I want you to have this,” Ava said, pushing her journal into his hands and hugging him tightly.

The Doctor frowned, recognizing the dark blue color of the book. He tired to press it back into her hands, but she refused. Why was she giving it to him now? He had gone ages without her even letting him peak.

“It’s ready now,” Ava told him. “I’ve been making it for you. I finished especially quickly for you to have today. It’s no fun sitting in bed with nothing to read.”

Nodding his head, the Doctor ran his finger down the cover and read the title aloud. “‘Stories to dream by,’ interesting title,” the Doctor muttered.

Ava nodded, “You’re the one who invented it.” Ava let out a giggle and opened the front cover for him. “You told me that when it was just me you and Mummy,” Ava told him and pointed to the man she drew on the front page. “That’s you, Daddy,” Ava said pointing to the man dressed in a blue pinstriped suit. “You never wear it anymore, but I really liked it.”

Chuckling, the Doctor nodded, his favorite suit hadn’t fared well after Jack was born.

“That’s the T-A-R-D-I-S, TARDIS, you told me about her.” His daughter looked up at him and ran her hand down the blue box she had drawn. “I would have liked to have known her.”

“She would have liked to have known you, my Ava.”

“Really?” Ava asked, getting excited.

“Really,” the Doctor assured her. He drew her into a hug and held her like that until Rose walked in followed by a very frustrated looking Pete and Jackie holding Jack against her.

“Doctor,” Rose said, her voice was waffling between jovial and unsure. “You’re coming home.”

Grinning, the Doctor moved to sit up, but Pete stepped in.

“As head of Torchwood, it is my duty to make sure you are transported safely to your residence,” Pete said, before kneeling down and looking at the Doctor’s eyes. “As your father-in-law, it’s my choice to do that driving myself.”
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