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): ~2900
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): John (11) explains everything to Rose and does his best to prepare Rose for what might happen.


Catch Up Here:

Chapter 1| Chapter 2| Chapter 3| Chapter 4


Rose walked down the hallway, rubbing her eyes. Maybe the Doctor was right. She really did need to rest; it was better off for everyone. She cracked Ava and Jack’s door open a bit more to see Jack resting peacefully, but Ava was tossing and turning. She whimpered and reached out she squeezed her eyes shut tightly.

“Ava,” Rose whispered softly from the door way. Her daughter didn’t answer, just tossed a bit more, while Rose approached the bed.

“Ava,” Rose tried again, and placed her hand on Ava’s face. “Wake up sweetheart; it’s just a bad dream.”

Slowly, Ava came through and stared up at her mother. She squinted trying to get the image of her mother to merge into one. What was she doing here? It must have been ten o’clock at night.

“What’re you doing?” Ava muttered, rubbing her eyes and finding relief as her vision cleared.

Rose shrugged. “Just checking in.”

Ava nodded and looked over Rose’s shoulder as if she expected something to be standing there.

“Just a dream,” Ava muttered, while she grinned at her mother winningly. “No, big deal.”

Rose raised an eye brow and softly tucked Ava’s hair behind her ear. “A nightmare?”

Ava nodded, but didn’t show any signs of explaining further. Inwardly, Rose sighed. Ava would have told the Doctor and any fears would have been assuaged immediately. They were closer than Rose thought possible. Rose and her mother weren’t even that close to each other.

“Tell me about it?” Rose asked, sitting closer and letting her daughter curl up against her side.

“Daddy leaves,” Ava whispered, letting some tears fall over her cheeks before wiping them away hastily. “He promised he wouldn’t.”

Rose gave her daughter a tight squeeze. She tried to offer some comfort, but she couldn’t find any words to describe how much her father never wanted to leave any of them ever. How much he would rather die than abandon it all. How much he would rather face all the demons in the universes one-hundred times over than leave them forever.

“He’s not going to. He would never ever even think about leaving if he had a choice.” Rose promised her, while she pressed a kiss onto the top of her head. “Now get some sleep, alright?”

Ava nodded, but paused. “Will you… stay for a while?” Ava asked unsurely. Rose’s eyes softened and she nodded; while, she lay down next to Ava and wrapped her arms around her. Ava snuggled closely against her mother—quite the accomplishment when Rose was eight months along.

“There now,” Rose murmured, letting her eyes fall shut and her voice calm Ava. “Better?”

“Mhm,” Ava affirmed. “I love you, Mummy.”

“I love you too,” Rose cooed, as she felt Ava’s muscles relax.

On the other side of the room, Jack’s gentle murmuring filled her mind. She picked out the words, TARDIS, Slitheen, and vinegar. Rose had chastised the Doctor about the stories not being fit for the kids, that they were too terrifying for him. But in truth, Rose wouldn’t have stopped him if she could. They were as much a part of him as they were a part of her. Their kids wouldn’t have been theirs if the stories were left untold.

And, they were brilliant kids. Jack’s eager need to learn and discover new things was a direct spinoff from his father, but his clear drive for what he wanted was all Rose. He could find a way to swindle what he wanted no matter what. If he set his mind to it he was going all the way. Ava was more soft-spoken within her family, telling them everything, but outside she was reserved and awkward. It was always a wonder to both the Doctor and Rose why she was so quiet outside the walls and safety of their home, when they were both so virulent in public. But, they accepted this, and she made up for it in intelligence. There was seldom a time when she wasn’t off studying something, whether it was in a book or the world.

Finally, Rose allowed herself to drift into a peaceful sleep.

***

John had gotten the Doctor into the room he had indicated at his bedroom with Rose. He paused for a moment to take it all in. It was simple; the carpet was a creamy beige color, with a wooden dresser and a queen sized bed. It was so domestic—so perfect for them. Pictures were everywhere in the relatively small room. Most were of the kids or the family together, but one caught John’s attention in particular.

Rose was wearing a white dress, and the Doctor was wearing a suit. Everything seemed so perfect at first glance, but then there were those little things that made them seem so right, like the couple he knew. The Doctor was wearing jet black converse sneakers with Rose in off white ones. His hair was askew and sticking out in every angle, as if he had just gotten out of bed, but John knew from experience that he must have spent hours making it look just right. Their rings on their fingers were traditional gold, but John thought he could pick out just a hint of red engraving.

“I’d like to lie down if that’s fine with you,” a weak voice drew John from his thoughts.

The Doctor was leaning heavily on John. His eyes were desperately trying to stay open, while a single stream of blood began to dry from his lip to his chin. A pitiful attempt at a smile stretched his lips into a thin line. He was shaking with exertion.

“Right, sorry,” John apologized, as he guided the Doctor over to his bed and let him lie over the covers. He tugged off the Doctor’s trainers and set them under the bed. “It’s just it’s so… domestic. It’s amazing. Although, if you had a couple bunk beds… or better yet a hammock… well two hammocks. The two of you in one hammock might be a bit dangerous.”

The Doctor smirked.

“What?” John asked as if he were injured.

“Your bowtie,” the Doctor murmured.

“Bowties are cool,” John defended, letting his hand go his latest fashion accessory.

The Doctor chuckled and reached his hand up to his mouth. He looked at the blood sticking to his fingers and swallowed thickly. This was moving faster than he expected.

“It’s not as bad as it looks,” John assured the Doctor. He covered the back of the Doctor’s hand with his and guided it back down to the covers. With his other hand, he took out a handkerchief and wiped the blood from his face. “We’ve both been through worse than a bit of blood.”

“I know,” the Doctor muttered, but he didn’t sound so convinced.

“We’ll worry about that tomorrow, but for now. Dr. Smith orders rest,” John gave the Doctor a cheeky grin. “Lots coming up, starting with finding a way to get you better, and it might just be me, but I find it helps if my patients were conscious when I examined them.”

“Kids first,” the Doctor muttered.

“They’ve got time, you don’t,” John said bluntly. He got to his feet and let the Doctor gently drift off. “Now rest.”

Any argument died before it got past the Doctor’s throat, as he finally drifted off.

***

In the hallway, John Smith took the quiet time to explore the house. He
ran his hand through his new hair and walked over to the window at the end of the hall. It looked over the backyard where a swing set and sandbox were unoccupied. A rocking chair was positioned ideally for anyone to watch from inside. John imagined that Rose or the Doctor had spent time rocking Jack while their other half played outside with Ava. He even dared to wager that Rose sat where he was now settling himself and watched her husband play with their two children.

“Hey.” Rose’s voice wafted over to him. “How is he?”

“Well, he was well enough to make fun of my bow tie,” John muttered,
getting to his feet and focusing his attention on her. She was even more gorgeous than he remembered. Her hair was cut shorter—still blonde thankfully—but what was left of it was tied in a practical knot. Her face was more angled than he remembered and there was something about her that he couldn’t quite put his finger on. She’d grown up, started a family, found love, but that wasn’t it…she was satisfied. John had never seen that look on her face before, happiness, yes, enthrallment, yes, but never satisfaction. There wasn’t any room for him anymore. Maybe that’s why he took to Amy so kindly; she was someone who grew up and still thought of him as her imaginary friend.

“It is kind of silly,” Rose joked, letting her eyes drop onto the new man’s face. “Doc-“

John held up a hand. “John Smith.”

“John, I need you to tell me the truth,” Rose pleaded with him. The Doctor was her constant now; she wasn’t going to wake up some day and find him with a new face. She needed him.

“Why don’t I make us some tea, and I’ll explain everything,” John asked softly. He placed a friendly arm around her shoulders and guided her through the hallway and down the stairs.

Rose bit out a laugh. “That’ll be the day. I remember back when I was travelling with you; I was the one who could work the kettle without the threat of the universe imploding.”

“Oi, I’ve had some time on my own, Rose Tyler,” John’s words were joking, but Rose saw a sad glint in his eyes. She had two Time Lords to make better this time.

***

Steam carried a sweet aroma into Rose’s nose while she cupped her hands around her mug. Her pink and purple nails—Ava’s idea—seemed to blend in with the mug’s colored spots. John stared down at his own mug.

“John, it’s time you spoke up,” Rose told him, while she took a long sip of her tea and placed her mug on the coffee table in the living room. She brought her legs up to her core and subconsciously let her hands rest protectively against her growing child.

“What’s the Doctor already told you?”

“He said when you regenerated you broke the link and now he’s suffering some sort of neural implosion,” Rose murmured. She tried to make it so her words didn’t sound

John nodded slowly. “I did break the link, normally, a Time Lord would have compensated, but even though his brain is Time Lord his body couldn’t keep up.”

“What does that mean,” Rose asked. She felt like a scared child, wondering when the horror movie she was too young for was going to end.

“Rose, when a Time Lord regenerates the shape of their link changes. Imagine that you’re your husband. You have a certain shaped receiver. If you were a Time Lord then the shape would change for me, but you’re half human, so you can’t. He’s still a child in many ways, Rose.”

Rose shook her head. “You’re wrong.”

John got down from his chair and knelt in front of Rose. “Rose, I’m going to do everything I can to save him, but there’s something else you need to know.”

Trying to get to her feet, Rose pushed off from the couch, but John held her down. “Rose Tyler you need to listen to me, for once, just listen. Your kids, they’re at risk too. Not as much as your husband; because none of them are eight yet—that’s when they Time Lord children reach psychic maturity. They’re still malleable. I could imprint myself on them like a father and everything would be fine for them.”

Rose shook her head furiously. “You can’t do that. You’re not their father. The Doctor is their father. He raised them… he… he… he’s spent eleven years with me, nine of them married and five of those raising out children. What have you done? You left us here… you broke the link… and you’re killing him.”

Rose fell into silent sobs as she covered her face with her hands. John reached forward and circled his arms around her. He ran his hand up and down her back while she cried. She was stiff in his grip, but she didn’t pull back.

“Rose, I just need you to know all possibilities,” John murmured to her. “I told you, I’m going to do everything I can, alright?”

Nodding, Rose squeezed the Time Lord closer to her and sighed. “No matter what, my children will always know that my husband is their father. Ava, Jack and this little one.” Rose placed her hand on her protruding abdomen to demonstrate. “They’ll always know.”

“I promise,” John murmured. “We’ll start on the Doctor tomorrow. I’ll take him to my TARDIS, and we can run some tests. I’d also like to check the kids just in case.”

“Okay,” Rose agreed, and finally John released her and allowed her to get to her feet. She wiped the tears from her eyes and rubbed her hand over her stomach. The baby wasn’t taking very kindly to her emotions. “I’ll show you to the guest room. I know you don’t sleep much, but seeing as you just regenerated I’m sure you’re exhausted. Knowing you, you probably saved the Earth.”

“I did, yeah,” John confirmed.

“Alright, then,” Rose muttered. He hadn’t changed that much then.

***

The Doctor opened his eyes when he heard the door to his room creak open slightly. He hadn’t been sleeping—more resting—he wasn’t sure if it was physically possible to sleep with the way he felt.

Rose’s footfalls creaked as she tried to stay silent while the Doctor slept. Smiling, the Doctor listened contently for a minute as Rose went through her usual routine. Opening the dresser with a grinding noise before walking into the adjacent bathroom to change into her nightgown and brush her teeth.

Just as he expected, the water started running in the bathroom.

It was less than five minutes later that the bathroom door open. Rose slipped in next to the Doctor and chastely placed a kiss on the tip of his nose. She placed her hand on the side of his face and held it there while she slid onto her side.

“Good night,” Rose murmured quietly, more to herself than anything.

“G’night,” the Doctor replied, letting his eyes open and stare at his wife through the dim lighting.

“I thought you were a sleep,” Rose muttered, while the Doctor draped an arm over her shoulder and slid a bit closer to her. “You need rest.”

Chuckling, the Doctor moved his hands lower to his hands lower to Rose’s stomach. “D’you really think I was gonna sleep while you were alone with a Time Lord?” We’re irresistible, Rose.”

“You’re a Time Lord,” Rose told him.

“Half Time Lord, Rose,” the Doctor slurred. Rose could tell he was getting tired, so she pulled the covers slightly more over him. He was still trembling with a mixture of exhaustion and chills. “And, you can’t resist me, so what would a whole Time Lord do to you?”

“Nothing,” Rose answered immediately, leaning closely to her husband and brushing some sweat away from his forehead with her sleeve.

“Good,” the Doctor muttered, while he turned the conversation. “How’re you feeling?”

“M’fine,” Rose assured. “We’re fine.”

The Doctor didn’t make a sound to say whether he agreed to or not, instead he lowered himself level with Rose’s stomach. He murmured something in Gallifrean, and Rose held onto the back of his head. He stayed like that for a long time, not muttering a word in English, just Gallifrean. Rose couldn’t pick out specific phrases, just pieces, always, father, child, hold, and that word the Doctor used when love just wasn’t enough.

When the Doctor finished speaking, it was Rose who spoke up. “Everything’s gonna work out, Doctor. John told me that tomorrow he’s gonna take you to his TARDIS. He’s gonna fix this.”

“Yes, he is,” the Doctor muttered. “He always does.”

“Doctor…” Rose started, wanting to ask, but not knowing how. She wanted to know about the kids and the new Doctor. She wanted to yell at him that the Time Lord wasn’t their father. That no one could equal his love for them. Plus, what about Ava’s nightmare? Should she tell the Doctor about it?

“The kids will be fine,” the Doctor promised, reading her mind and taking her hand.

“You’re their father,” Rose murmured into his chest, feeling his single heart thumping erratically under her cheek.

“Always,” the Doctor swore, finally sounding like he would doze off. “But, if there’s anyone I trust to take care of them if I can’t…It’s him.

“He’s not you.” Tears fell onto the Doctor’s chest while she gripped him
harder.

“Déjà vu, eh?” The Doctor tried to add levity.

“Yeah,” Rose murmured, not wanting to think back on the day that the Time Lord had abandoned them both on the beach. They had both accepted it as a blessing in disguise, but there was still pain with the memories. “Sleep.”

“I love you, Rose.”

“And you, my strong Doctor,” Rose murmured the words, bringing comfort to both her spouse and herself.

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