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): ~3900
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 ball finally starts rolling for these guys. 
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| Chapter 3




Underneath the console of the TARDIS, the Time Lord Doctor hung from a sling, as he connected and disconnected pieces of wires. The ship protested with showers of sparks at first, but she ceased quickly; when, she picked up on her human half’s pain. She tried desperately to reach him and comfort him, but even her strength was not strong enough. Why did pain travel so much farther than love?

“Hey,” the Doctor chided gently. “I can’t have you spending your energy on me.”

Shaking beneath him, the TARDIS made her thief realized her distress.

“I know,” the Doctor murmured, as he picked up a spanner and began tweaking bolts and connecting his new dimension guide. “I’m trying, but I need you to save your energy so we can reach them, understand? This device should help store tons of energy from our universe when we get there. It’s gonna help you steer as well.”

Warmth circled the Doctor’s mind, and he paused in his working briefly to stroke a power cell that glowed bright green from his touch. “That’s my girl.” The Doctor murmured soothingly as he finished on the bolts and made a few last welds. When he was done; he began to ascend in his sling to the main console room and out to the floor.

He began to read through the Gallifrean numbers flashing in front of his eyes quickly but surely; there was not room for an error this time. He took several minutes of running and rerunning tests on the computer before he finally felt confident enough to begin plugging in the coordinates.

“You ready?”

The TARDIS didn’t even bother answering; she just lit up a light next to the final lever and pushed any excess energy into the compartment of the dimension guide.

***

Rose and the human Doctor’s house was swarming with activity. Between the kids, Jake, Pete and the infamous Jackie Tyler, the Doctor was beginning to wonder if he was better off in the medical wind at Torchwood, at least they had visiting hours.

He had settled down on the couch, not wanting to go upstairs to the bedroom and away from where Rose and the kids would have been. His fever hadn’t broken yet, and he felt like his lungs were ready to catch on fire with his head. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to try to alleviate the sensation, but it stubbornly got worse. He heard Rose open the door and usher everyone outside, telling them that she would keep them posted on how he was coming along.

With the click of the door, Rose padded over to the couch and sat next to his feet, gently nudging him in the calf. The Doctor opened his eyes in response, giving her a half-smile and moving to sit up.

Rose stopped him with gentle pressure on his stomach, as he let himself he pushed back onto the couch.
Ava and Jack watched their parents quietly before slipping off into the kitchen.

The siblings say down at the kitchen table and each of them grabbed a banana from the bowl in the center. Ava chewed hers quietly, while Jack swallowed half of his at once.

“Ava?” Jack asked through a mouthful of banana.

Ava looked up at him thoughtfully, while twirling one of her brown braid around her finger.

“Where’s Daddy?” Jack spoke with a lowered voice, and leaning close to Ava as if he was telling him a secret.

“He’s in the sitting room, Stupid,” Ava chastised. How could boys be so ignorant sometimes?

“No, he’s not,” Jack insisted. “Daddies don’t get sick like that.”

“Do to,” Ava retorted.

“Do not.”

“Yes, they do.” Ava gave him glare that all Tyler women seemed to acquire. Jack shrunk away slightly and Ava sighed. “Didn’t you hear what Mummy told you?”

“Yeah, but…” Jack trailed off and Ava watched as a tear trailed down Jack’s face.

“Jack,” Ava sighed, and slid from her chair and left half of the banana on the table. She looped her arms around his shoulder and stared at him. “Daddy needs both of to not get sad.”

“He’s not.”

“Jack,” Ava cut him off. “You know he is.”

Nodding and rubbing his nose with his sleeve, Jack dried his tears and stayed quiet.

“Hey,” a voice floated over to them. The children looked up and caught their mother’s eye, while Jack shoved the rest of his banana in his mouth and Ava smiled a reply.

“What are you guys doing in here?” Rose asked, sitting heavily in one of the kitchen chairs and resting her hand on her protruding abdomen.

Rose didn’t ask directly, but Ava knew that she was referring to why Jack had been crying when she walked in.

“Eating,” Jack mumbled through another mouthful of banana, but his heavy blushing told Rose he was lying, but she decided not to press it. Instead, Rose chucked and motioned her son to come over to her, so she could wipe some smeared banana off of his face.

“What do you guys think about ordering some pizza for dinner?” Rose asked. Jack nodded, but Ava was already walking out of the room. Rose heard her feet descending the stairs and the soft click of her bedroom door close. Rose tried to hide that she’d been affected by it, so instead she ran her hand down Jack’s face, over the now dry tears and kissed his forehead.

“Daddy’s still Daddy,” Jack told Rose seriously. “Even if he’s sick.”

Rose couldn’t help but chuckle at that, as Jack started to eat Ava’s abandoned banana. “That he is, Jack,” Rose told him, as she ran a hand fondly over his hair again and let a smile spread across her face. “And, he always will be.”

“Ava said we can’t be sad in front of Daddy,” Jack told her; while, he drug his foot across the floor guiltily. “I’m sorry.”

Smiling softly, Rose pulled him closer to her and hugged him tightly. “That’s fine, Jack. But, you did hurt your Daddy’s feelings.” Rose felt Jack tense against her, so she softened her voice further. “Tell you what, when Daddy wakes up, why don’t you talk to him, just the two of you. I think it’d be good for both of you.”

Jack nodded eagerly and slid from his mother’s grip, as he walked out of the kitchen, followed closely by Rose. She glanced at the stairwell and half expected Ava to come bounding down them, curly brown hair set free from their braids and showing off a smile, but she didn’t. Ava needed some time alone to think, Rose decided.

“Daddy’s sleeping,” Jack whispered loudly.

Rose sat down next to her husband’s feet and began to softly run her fingers over his knee. The need to touch him was almost unbearable. She felt like that was the only thing that hadn’t been deprived of. Gone, was his energy and love of life; gone was his face broken into a boyish grin, and Gone, was the husband she’d been married to for nine years. And now, even touching him seemed hollow and unfulfilled, but he would come through; Rose just knew it.

“No he’s not.” The Doctor’s voice grated with strain, as he turned his head to face Jack. “Hello, Buddy.”

Jack beamed at his father, and caught him in an awkward hug. “Daddy, I’m sorry.”

“Aww, that’s okay,” the Doctor cooed against his son’s worries. “I woulda done the same thing when I was your age.”

The grip of the three year old didn’t leave the Doctor when the boy asked. “Really?”

“Yes, really,” the Doctor assured him with a chuckle. “Now, hush, that’s behind us, deal?” Feeling Jack nod against him, the Doctor pressed on. “Good, now bring down your homework and let me look, alright?”

Jack hesitated before scurrying up the steps and leaving Rose and the Doctor alone.

“How are you feeling?” Rose asked the Doctor from where she was sitting, contently tracing circles into the Doctor’s knee cap. “Any better?”

The Doctor flirted briefly with the idea of lying to Rose, telling her that he was fine. But, he felt the coolness of his wedding band against his finger, and he knew it wasn’t an option. He let his right hand find her hand and let his left hand rest softly on her stomach where he knew their child rested. He offered her a squeeze that she returned wholeheartedly, knowing before he spoke what he was going to say.

“No, but you can’t worry about that, Rose,” the Doctor assured her, as he sat up. Rose allowed him to catch her in an embrace. He was shaking from exhaustion, but his arms still felt strong as they wrapped around her protectively. She was safe. She was always safe when she was with him. “I know this is gonna be tough, but you know me. Suborn, remember? I’m not going anywhere.”
Rose nodded and circled her arms around his. “You better not, ‘cause if you do, you’re in for a Tyler slap.”

The Doctor laughed lightly. “Can I expect one from my sweet Ava as well?”

“You bet,” Rose told him, only tightening her grip. “Jack needs someone to dilute the female population in the house.”

The Doctor didn’t reply for a long time, just focused on his breathing as he felt Rose loosen her grip finally, while he lay back down. Rose curled up next to him. Her head rested comfortably against him, while she guided his hand back down to her side and laid it next to her stomach.

***

Jack gripped his notebook close to his chest from the top of the steps. He watched as his parents both drifted into an exhausted sleep. So, he trudged back into his room and laid his note book back down on the desk across from his bed. He sat up on his bed and toed off his socks as he stared at the ceiling.

Comets and planets glowed slightly in the dim light. He remembered the day that the Doctor, Ava and himself had spent the day trying to decide what to do with the place. When they finally showed Rose, she chuckled and muttered something about them not being able to do anything else with it. Ava had asked their Dad if he had put all the stars in the right place, because she couldn’t match it up with her pocket astronomy guide.

The image of his father’s face filled his mind, when Jack thought back. “Of course, I did!” the Doctor’s indignant reply had been, as he picked his daughter up playfully and tossed slightly into the air. Jack tried to remember what he had called the grouping of stars.

“Kastebros.”

Jack looked up and saw his sister staring at him from her bed. Her head was propped up on her elbow.

“What?” Jack asked bewildered.

“The constellation’s name is Kastebros,” Ava clarified, as she rubbed her eyes in concentration and pulled herself into a sitting position. “That’s where Daddy’s from.”

Silence fell over the two of them, as Ava settled back down on her bed and stared up at the ceiling, memorizing the stars as if she could chase them right now. He heart fluttered at the thought, to run forever, to feel the wind in her face, to explore, to see everything.

“How did you know what I was thinking of?” Jack asked, breaking the silence.

Ava shrugged, not taking her eyes off the ceiling. “Just felt like that’s what you were thinking ‘bout I guess.”

“Oh.”

“Jack?”

“Hmm?”

“Did Mummy say Daddy was sick from headaches?” Ava asked.

Jack nodded, not really paying attention. “She said they make him dizzy.”

“Mmm,” Ava muttered.

“How come?” Jack asked.

“No reason.”

Jack didn’t question further as he slid of his bed when he heard the door-bell ring.

***

The Doctor was running around the TARDIS in a flurry of tweed. Sparks flew from every direction as he circled around his ship. He wasn’t used to this new configuration yet, but the old girl was doing her best to make sure he learned in a hurry.
Hearts pounding wildly in his chest, the Doctor reached for his toffee mallet, but found it to be missing. Quickly, he improvised with a well placed fist.

Exclaiming, the Doctor felt the TARDIS begin to shudder violently as the two of them entered the void.

“Come on, ‘ol girl,” the Doctor muttered, as he reached across and twisted a couple knobs at a seemingly random sequence. “Come on, for him.”

The Doctor would have gotten down on his knees to beg his ship if he wasn’t so busy trying to fly her. The lights dimmed and the Doctor felt the shuddering stop as the rest of the TARDIS’s essence was stored inside the holder of the dimension guide.

“There we go, old girl,” the Doctor soothed briefly, while he spared on minute to check that his precious ship was safe and protected. “Just wait here and I’ll be home soon. We might get you to meet Rose and the Doctor’s family.”

The TARDIS didn’t bother replying this time; she just waited inside her box that was too small on the inside.

“Be home soon, with friends,” the Doctor promised.

***

By the time the siblings trampled down the steps, their mother was already rising from the couch and waddling drowsily over to the door. The Doctor stirred but didn’t wake, while Rose paid the man at the door and placed the cardboard box down on the coffee table. The siblings waited a moment, staring at their father, waiting.

“You guys go ahead,” Rose told them, while she roused the Doctor with a gentle shake of his shoulder. “Doctor, Sweetheart, wake up.”

He groaned and gave Rose a wry smile. She brushed a kiss against his cheek and cupped her hand against it. Her hand was covered with his; while, he softly moved his fingers in a circular pattern over hers.

“Hungry?” Rose asked him, but he shook his head and swallowed thickly. “Okay, later then, okay?”

Nodding his head, the Doctor closed his eyes and drifted back into a dreamless sleep.

Ava curled up next to where Rose sat against the couch with her legs outstretched. Ava rested her head against her mother and closed her eyes. Rose rubbed her daughter’s back in a soothing motion. Jack was quick to join, wiping some pizza off the side of his mouth and leaning on Rose’s other side.

***

Rose glanced at the clock. It was five minutes until the kid’s bed time, and she was hoping to still send them to school tomorrow. It was better to keep their minds off of everything and maybe help them realize that some things were still normal.

“Come on, you guys,” Rose said getting to her feet motioning towards the stairs. “Upstairs, brush your teeth, make sure your backpacks are ready for tomorrow and into bed, alright.”

“Okay, Mummy,” Ava replied, as she went up the steps, but Jack hung behind.

“Are you gonna tell us a story instead of Daddy?” Jack asked.

“If you want me to, yeah,” Rose replied, as she kissed her son’s forehead fondly and gave him a hug. Jack returned the hug contentedly before running up the steps.

Rose watched him go, as she turned back to the Doctor. She pulled a thick blanket over his shoulders and gently brushed the fringe of his hair away from his face.

“Be right back, my Doctor,” Rose promised as she stood up straighter and began to walk up the stairs.

***

The sound of covers came from inside Jack and Ava’s room as Rose stepped inside and walked past Jacks bed to sit on Ava’s to turn on a lamp. Rose pressed a kiss into her forehead as she drifted immediately into sleep. Rose would have worried on any other day, but considering everything they were going through lately; Ava had a right to be tired.

“Story, Mummy?” Jack murmured sleepily, as he stared at Rose. She smiled and slid off his glasses and placed them on the night stand. She pulled the covers over him motherly, as she pulled up the wooden chair that was usually reserved for the Doctor to captivate the kids before bedtime.

“Certainly, Jack,” Rose said with a smile. “Has Daddy ever told you about the day we first met?”
Jack nodded.

“What about our first date in this universe?” Rose tried again.

“Nope,” Jack said, shaking his head. “He said it was too embarrassing.”

Rose let out another soft laugh and began to engross Jack in the story of how the Doctor had planned an elaborate dinner for their first date. She recalled how the Doctor showed up in her office at Torchwood on a day she was working late. He was wearing a new suit and his glasses were practically falling off his nose as he bounced around excitedly.

“He was so…giddy,” Rose explained. “He all but dragged me from my desk and made me sprint all the way to the restaurant behind him… Anyway, the night started out nice, we ate and danced, and laughed.”

“And then the aliens came?” Jack asked. “What were they like?”

“They were small and green, pretty much your stereotypical alien—little green men from Mars—although, your Dad was pretty adamant that they weren’t from Mars, some planet in the Scarlet System called Traxicoria. So, we ended up getting called back to Torchwood and solved the problem.”

Jack burrowed deeper into his covers and stifled a yawn. “What’s so embarrassing about that?”

“Your Dad was captured by them and held hostage—keeping in mind they were about a foot tall with rubber spears. They had something in it for him…” Rose trailed off as she noticed Jack’s eyes drifting closed. She switched off the lights and walked out the door.

Rose was half way down the steps when she heard the door-bell ring. At first, Rose thought she was imagining things; it was past nine o’clock at night. She supposed it could have been Jackie or Pete, but surely even her mother would have called if she was popping over. Normally, she would have asked the Doctor to go and check it out, but considering the position he was in right now she thought better of it.

Instead, Rose picked up Jack’s baseball bat from where it leaned next to the door. She moved her hand slowly towards the door knob when the door bell rang again. She turned the doorbell and tried to calm her nerves as she pushed her door open and raised the bat as she got ready to swing.

“Hello!” a strange man said brightly, as he stared at her. His green eyes were filled with humor, but they yielded to something at told Rose that he was far more intelligent and wise than he looked. His hair flopped over those eyes. Rose would have considered the look modern, if it wasn’t for his tweed jacket and suspenders. It was when she caught a sight of what was around his neck that she knew that she was hallucinating—a bow tie?

The man gave her a strange look, as he gently pried the bat from her hands and setting it down on the ground. “Rose Tyler, calm down, it’s only me. Seriously, after all we’ve been through, after all we’ve seen?”

“I don’t…I don’t even” Rose stuttered finding her voice. “I’ve never met you before in my life, but look my husband’s here and if you try anything…”

“Ah, but that’s the problem,” the man replied, stepping through the threshold and in front of the Doctor’s prone form on the couch. He was whimpering in pain while he slept, but didn’t show any signs of waking.

“Leave him alone,” Rose whispered harshly at him, and pulled the man away from her husband. She placed herself between the man and her husband.

“Rose, it’s me, the Doctor.” The man took Rose’s hands in his and pressed them against his chest. “I’m here to help.”
Rose felt weight beginning to pile down on her shoulders as she sunk down to an armchair next to the couch. The Doctor couldn’t be here; he said it was impossible. The Time Lord Doctor flipped the main lights on and knelt down next to Rose. He looked at her deeply and tried to catch her gaze, but Rose refused to look at him. Instead her line of sight was focused on the man who she’d spent over nine years of her life with. Rage began to bubble inside of her and she knew what she had to do.

The Time Lord Doctor exclaimed in pain, as he stumbled backward. He looked around him trying to regain his focus, but doing nothing for his dignity. A strangled chuckle rose from the couch and the Time Lord Doctor glanced in the direction of his human clone.

“Wha-What was that for?” the Time Lord mumbled cupping his cheek. “I’m not even a day old and my face has been clobbered who knows how many times. I already met this one girl on London who wacked me and handcuffed me, but still, Rose Tyler your mother has rubbed off on you. Help us all if your offspring turns out to be female; because, that could be dangerous.”

“Too late,” the human Doctor muttered from the couch, as he opened his eyes half-ways and stared around him. “Ava’s certainly got spunk. Poor Jack.” The Doctor looked over to his wife and grinned. “Rose, why don’t you go to bed, sweetheart? I’ll be fine. If you can’t trust me with me, who can you trust?”

Rose stared at the Time Lord with little trust, but she nodded her head and excused herself from the room.

The Time Lord Doctor knelt down next to his human clone, and placed his hand on the side of his face. “Hello, old friend.”

The human Doctor bit off a harsh chuckle. “Old friend isn’t what I would call our relationship, Doctor.”

“John Smith,” the Time Lord Doctor amended. “You’re the Doctor on this universe.”

“Hardly,” the Doctor slurred, as he clutched at his chest and started shaking against John Smith’s grip. “The…K-kids are… in danger too.” The Doctor shut his eyes and closed them tighter against the pain. “You know…what to do.”

“No,” John said determinedly. “Not yet. We’re gonna pull you through it first, okay?”

“Promise me,” the Doctor demanded. He clenched his teeth against the pain that was running rampant through his body.

John Smith considered for a minute before nodding. “I promise, but only if you promise to hold on for them. Your littlest one should at least be held once by his or her true father.”

“If we can’t fix me, you will be their true father,” the Doctor retorted, as he finally succumbed to the strain on his body and slumped back on the couch.

“Would you like me to help you get into bed, upstairs?” John Smith asked, ignoring his defeat, and placing his hand on his shoulder. “Might be a bit easier on your back?”

Slowly, the Doctor nodded and let himself be guided up from the couch. The blood rushing to his head made black spots enter his peripheral vision. Knees began to buckle underneath him and bile threatened to rise up from his stomach. An iron filled tang entered his mouth as the black spots filled yet more of his vision. The last thing that filled his mind was Ava’s voice crying out and Rose’s trying to calm her.

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