country_who: (Default)
Title: The Broken Link
Author: [ 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): ~4200
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 gang is back on the TARDIS in this universe. 

Catch Up Here:

Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4| Chapter 5

Early the next morning, the Doctor found himself laying prone on one of the beds in the TARDIS medical bay. His eyes were closed as his—John’s—TARDIS murmured her reassurance into his mind. It soothed him to finally feel another presence within his thoughts. Her strength was his for a moment’s time, but he knew it couldn’t last forever. He needed a Time Lord—specifically John. They had been joined in a way that was impossible and now they were ending in the only way impossible could.

John was muttering something about a banana being the same as some sort of astronomical development, while he leaned over a computer screen and read the results. Normally, the Doctor would have joined in with the conversation, but now he was struggling focusing on the poorly-dressed Time Lord’s words.

Opening his eyes, the Doctor was surprised to see that it was just the two of them in the med-bay. Rose had been in there earlier when John had first made him strip to his boxers and lie back on the table. She must have gone to feed the kids in the TARDIS kitchen he decided. They were still asleep when John had said the TARDIS couldn’t stay stable in the area they were in for much longer. It was then that John helped Rose pack a rucksack filled with some clothes and a few boxes that Rose kept full of memories, some from the kids and her husband, some from her days in the TARDIS, and some from her early days here without the man she loved.

It took some careful steering on John’s part to get the TARDIS to land just outside the Tyler Estate so Rose could say goodbye.
With a smile, the Doctor thought back to his mother-in-law’s reactions to the new, new, new Doctor.

Jackie Tyler stepped out of her front doors at three in the morning. She was clad in a fluffy robe with a tired looking Pete Tyler in pajamas holding the shoulder of a sleepy looking nine year old. The Doctor couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt that went deeper than any physical pain that had been ripping through him the past few days.

It wasn’t fair that he was going to tear them apart. Everything Rose knew was here. Her mother, father, little brother, and their home resided in this universe now. He couldn’t be worth all that could he? He couldn’t even be close.

And, just as he was about to drop lower into his lack of confidence, Rose slipped her hand into his. Her grip was tight and sure. There wasn’t a hint of doubt in her actions as they softly on, while John explained what was going on to Jackie. Jackie’s face got red and the Doctor clenched slighting as if to guard himself from a possible slap.

However, the action never came. Instead, she pushed away from the Time Lord still explaining the science to Pete. He nodded thoughtfully while he murmured words too low for the Doctor’s human ears to pick up and understand. The man had let Tony’s hand go, so he could wander over and lean on the Doctor’s leg. The Doctor and Tony had grown into great friends. They were almost inseparable from the day the Doctor decided that Tony’s wagon could be a bit more sonic. Several stitches and a cast on the Doctor, as well as a lengthy trip to the hospital had spawned a unique brand of companionship.

He was losing his big sister and still cuddled up to the man who was taking her away. The Doctor could barely stand the emotion of the nine year old, but somehow he managed to meet Jackie Tyler’s eyes. They were filled with sadness; their blue depth misted over with tears. She stared at him over Rose’s shoulder, while she clung to her daughter tightly.

Words eluded the Doctor, but Jackie found them.

“Don’t apologize, Doctor,” Jackie muttered, reaching out one of her hands, while she shifted her daughter into a one armed hug and placed a hand on the Doctor’s forearm. “I knew a long time ago that you were honestly in love with my little girl. Those two terrors of grandchildren that you’ve given me are proof of that.” A small laugh escaped the Jackie’s lips and the Doctor tried meekly to join into the mirth. “Take care of each other like I know you will, and my latest grandbaby?” The Doctor nodded, letting his eyes brighten slightly. He pushed off of the railing and caught Jackie Tyler into a hug. He carefully controlled his breathing and shivers to cause as little worry to Jackie as possible.

“Jackie Tyler,” the Doctor said, something similar to awe in his voice. “You’re brilliant.” No wonder Rose was so amazing. “You are the most…” the Doctor paused wondering if he should continue on with his thoughts. “Wonderful, mother-in-law I could have hoped for. I hope you forgive me for thinking of you as a Mum.”

That did it for Jackie, as she stepped back and batted the Doctor on the shoulder lightly. “You daft alien, there’s nothing to forgive.”

It was at that moment that John stepped in. Pete was sharing a final hug with the woman who he had accepted as a daughter. He stared at her intently. As if he was searching for something that he would never see. The Doctor guessed it was nineteen years of raising her. Pete had Tony, but the Doctor knew enough that raising a daughter was far different from a son—every child was different.

Rose stepped back, smiled widely at Pete to cover her tears and sadness. She stepped back and joined the Doctor again, replacing her hand in his. John stepped away as well, all the words having been said already.

The Doctor was drawn from his reminiscing as John pulled his attention back to the present.
“…and that is why fish fingers and custard should be considered a new form of capital across the universe.” John explained, setting down a file of translucent papers. “Doctor?”

“Fascinating,” the Doctor slurred, sitting up and reaching for his pants on the end of the exam bed. He pulled them on against the chills and did the same with his oxford. “What’d you find out?”

“Not much more,” John said, not glancing up from his papers, while he scribbled nonsense onto a notepad.

“John,” the Doctor started.

“The TARDIS isn’t able to compensate, I’m not compatible and your kids are too young to help,” John explained briskly, finally finding the Doctor face and placing a hand on his shoulder. “I’m gonna figure it out. And, the kids still need to be tested. They might be fine, and even if they need a link; if we get them before they’re eight they should be…”

John trailed off and sat heavily into a rolling chair.

“I’m sorry,” John muttered, letting his head fall into his hands. It felt differently against his palms. “I should have known. If I had I wouldn’t have abandoned you to…to…”

“Die?” the Doctor knew the answer, but he needed the challenge. He needed to know there was something he could beat.

“Yes,” John admitted, letting his green eyes scan over the Doctor. He was poking at an IV line that John had forced him to submit to.

“How long?”

“I dunno,” John admitted. “A few days, maybe weeks.”

The Doctor nodded, letting John’s sorrowful expression wash over him. He couldn’t really believe that. Could he? He had asked, and
he knew it was more than likely, but to get it put into a time frame—even one a vague—was a reality check.

“Don’t tell, Rose,” the Doctor said trying to sit up straight, but gave up when John pushed him back down. “Let me tell her, got it? We don’t need to worry her anymore than she is. Lord knows she’s stressed.”

John nodded, while he got to his feet and switched on another device. “This should help take down your fever; it expands pours and allows natural cooling to take place at a faster rate. Will give you a terrible case of the chills though; just try to pull though it and you’ll be fine.”

“Molto-bene,” the Doctor muttered staring up at the IV bag. “Is this—”

“—completely necessary? Yes, now shut up, stop arguing, and rest,” John said sternly, while the Doctor hmph’ed and mutter something about getting nothing but rest.

“At least let me eat breakfast with my kids,” the Doctor requested.

He wanted to be with his children more than anything. Jack and Ava were a part of him; sometimes he was envious of the Time Lord who had two hearts to give love with, but then the Doctor remembered the Time Lords couldn’t give any.


Rose had tucked the children into the bed that the TARDIS had showed them that night. They seemed to sleep even deeper than they did at home. It must have been the soft lullabies the TARDIS hummed constantly. An outsider might have thought it was just the mechanics of the ancient ships, but Rose knew differently. She knew that the ship was alive—she’d seen that she was sentient—felt her existence running through her veins, and now her kids let the song resonate through their dreams.

The Doctor had slept with her across the hall in her old room. Rose had been surprised to find it just the way she had left it, especially since John had told him the TARDIS had been completely redesigned. A hint of melancholy assaulted her, as she curled up next to her husband.

It wasn’t a surprise to her that her kids weren’t the only ones to fall into a peaceful sleep. The Doctor’s breathing had steadied from the moment he stepped aboard the ship. Even his head seemed to improve. Hope filled Rose as she thought back to last night; while she stepped into her children’s room.

Ava was still tucked peacefully under the thick purple covers, while Jack was already running around the small space in a fresh t-shirt and one pant leg while he tried to hop into the other. Rose fought back a giggle while she caught him and led him back over to the bed. She helped him to slide into his jeans and turned his t-shirt so the green t-rex was facing the right direction. He blinked owlishly at her, as he slid on his glasses and grinned.

“The TARDIS is even better than Daddy said,” Jack whispered, knowing better than to wake Ava—she was, to say the least, not a morning person.

“That she is,” Rose agreed, while she picked a comb off the bedside table and began to gently undo the tangles Jack’s hair had acquired through sleep. “Did you hear her song?”

Jack beamed widely and nodded eagerly. “She’s pretty.”

“Her song?” Rose asked, glancing over to Ava to see she was still sleeping.

“No,” Jack said with a soft giggled. “The TARDIS, silly. She’s very pretty. Daddy never said she was like us.”

“She’s not,” Rose told him. “I mean she thinks and feels, but she’s not exactly a person, Jack.”

“S’not true,” Jack said stubbornly. “I dreamed she was a person. She gave me lots of hugs.”

“Alright then,” Rose said, breathing out and finally understanding. “Sometimes that happens.” Rose explained, as she drew Jack into her lap. “It means she likes you.”

“Does she like Daddy?” Jack asked innocently.

Rose smiled a wide grin at Jack before hugging him closely. “More than anyone.”

“Good, she said he needed lots of love,” Jack explained, letting his body rest against Rose in contentment.

“And he gonna get,” Rose all but swore. “He’s got you, and Ava, and me, and Uncle John.”

“Uncle John’s gonna fix Daddy,” Jack told her.


The TARDIS had set up a breakfast in the kitchen. Under normal circumstances, she would have made her wolf, her human half and her thief prepare their own food, but she felt the stress as much as everyone else on the ship—if not more. She was connected to her human half more than anyone else since her thief broke the link. She wasn’t prepared to lose him. She had already lost the Doctor-Donna and been torn to shreds from that.

“Thanks, girl,” Rose cooed to the ship as she took out five plates and set them out on the table, while Ava and Jack each climbed into a chair. “You’re amazing, you know that, right?”

The TARDIS gave her a smug sound for the briefest of seconds before returning back to her usual song.

“Modesty doesn’t come in age does it?” Rose asked, stroking one of the walls.

The TARDIS chuckled and projected an image of her Doctor into her mind.

“Well, you do have a point there,” Rose joked. “Still rude and not ginger?”

Every part of the ship’s demeanor projected the word always to her, and somehow, the ship managed to pass on a secret.

“You cruel girl,” Rose joked at the ship before taking a seat and dishing out food to Ava and Jack. “Eat up, guys.”

Ava and Jack dug into their plates of eggs and pancakes, while Rose chewed distractedly on a piece of toast.

Ava twirled her eggs around in her syrup before setting down her fork and staring across at Jack while he ate his meal voraciously.
He leaned so far over his plate that Ava wondered if his glasses might slide off of his nose and plummet into the syrup.

“Wha?” Jack asked through a mouthful of food.

Ava shook her head. “Nothing.”

“Something,” Jack countered.


“Something,” Jack said more forcefully.

Ava opened her mouth to reply, when someone shouted above her.

“Everything!” the voice yelled, and the siblings looked up from their argument and saw John standing with their father leaning on him.

“You’re weird,” Jack said pointedly, while he pointed an accusing finger at John.

“Jack,” Rose said warningly.

“Oi,” John started, ignoring Rose and continuing forward and pulling out a chair for the Doctor to plop down in between him and
Rose. “I wanted to play to. I like arguments, they’re fun, right?” John looked between the Doctor and Rose, but they both shook their heads.

“Don’t encourage them,” the Doctor muttered, and reached across the table to pass a napkin in Jack’s direction, where he had let his hand fall into his syrup.

Jack wiped it away with concentration, but only succeeded in spreading the sticky mess around both of his hands. The Doctor was about get up and help his son, but John did instead.

“C’mon, Jack,” John requested, placing his hand on his shoulder and guiding him over to the kitchen sink. He served to lift the small boy and rinse his hands carefully between his own. The Doctor was almost surprised that Jack didn’t protest the man picking up, but the feeling quickly passed as Rose reached under the table and squeezed his knee. Warmth grew in the Doctor as he continued to watch the nine hundred year old and three year old perfectly accept each other.

“There we go,” John said, as he held Jack on his hip and looked at him intently. “Can’t have you all sticky when we check you up
today; you might get stuck to my stethoscope.”

Jack’s eye grew wide a bit, and he stared pulling so that John had to set him down on the kitchen floor. He scampered away from the Time Lord and crawled into his father’s lap fearfully. The Doctor held onto him murmuring Gallifrean just for him. After the Doctor explained, Jack looked back up at John and wiped his nose on his sleeve.

“You’re not going to do anything bad, right?” Jack asked, still sitting him the Doctor’s lap. “Daddy never takes us to anybody but him and Martha, sometimes.”

“Well, I checked your Dad out and he’s still alright, right?” John asked, glancing at Ava, who was staring at him silently through a stoic mask. He grinned winningly at her before turning back to Jack and saying, “I think he might even be feeling a bit better. That’s my ship; she’s very helpful with things like this.”

“Is the TARDIS going to make Daddy better forever,” Ava asked, leaning over the table and staring at John and her father.

John considered the best answer. A flat ‘no’ certainly wouldn’t be the best, and a ‘yes’ would lead to the two children’s hearts being broken twice as hard.

“Well, she’s doing her best, but there’s still a lot left for me to fix,” he explained, letting his eyes stray from Ava and gaze at Rose. “But, I promise that I’ll do my best.”

Jack snuggled deeper into the Doctor’s side; he felt his father wince slightly underneath him. However, seeing that he didn’t pull away; Jack stayed clutching at him harder. Jack’s Gallifrean wasn’t very accurate yet, but the Doctor could pick it out.

“Of course, Buddy,” the Doctor replied. “I’ll be there the whole time, and with Ava if she wants.”

“Yes, Daddy,” Ava said eagerly, getting from her chair and walking over to him and holding onto his free hand. “I want you to.”

“Alright,” the Doctor agreed, giving them each a smile and hugging them tightly against him. He was grateful for that contraption of John’s that brought down his fever. The kids wouldn’t have felt as contented with him if he was burning up like last night.

“Ready then?” John asked, and Jack and Ava nodded slowly. He glanced at Rose who still had her hand grasped against the Doctor’s knee. “You too, Rose.”

She looked up at the new man’s cheeky grin and fought the urge to roll her eyes. He was a bit too silly in this regeneration for her
liking. She thought cheeky was bad, but this was just flat strange.

“I’m coming,” Rose muttered, getting awkwardly to her feet and following the Doctor leaning on John out of the room, while Ava and Jack walked on opposite sides of her.


It was decided that Rose would get scanned by the John first, as she sat back on the bed and let John’s skilled hands work the machine over her abdomen. He read the results slowly on the screen, careful not to miss anything. The Doctor was sitting next to her; while rubbing her shoulder.

She knew there was probably nothing wrong with the baby; she had just been to see the doctor, but that didn’t make it any easier. The child needed a link eventually even if it was years off.

“What’s the readout say?” Rose asked, looking at John who was stepping back and making some more notes on a letter pad.

“Says for a human child he’s fine, healthy, and he does have a link, but he won’t start to deteriorate from it like the Doctor until he’s a lot older,” John explained, setting down the monitor. “I did find out the date you’re going to deliver though, if you would care to know.”

Rose raised an eyebrow and eyed him dubiously. “You can do that?”

“Rose Tyler, do you doubt me?” John stepped back with mock hurt. “I thought we knew each other better than that.”

“Just tell us,” the Doctor chipped in.

“He will be born in exactly eleven days,” John told them.

“He?” The Doctor asked. “A boy?”

“Yep,” John replied, popping the ‘p’ loudly. “Even Earth doctors should have the technology to test that. Did that universe not have ultrasounds yet?”

“No,” Rose replied, giving a soft smile in the direction of the Doctor. “We were just planning on being surprised.”

John shrank away slightly, but Rose caught his shoulder. “S’fine, I think my husband was regretting not wanting to know anyway.”

The Doctor gave an innocent look, but Rose couldn’t help but laugh. She pressed a small kiss into his cheek. “You seem to be feeling better.”

“Much, the TARDIS is helping and I’m on top of the cycle,” the Doctor explained.

“What cycle?” Rose asked.

“It’s sort of like a rollercoaster in your mind,” John explained. “You continuously cycle through conscious thought and unconscious thought. With humans you take care of that with sleep, but Time Lords lack sleep. The Doctor still has a Time Lord brain so he cycles throughout the day. So, it’s not really like a rollercoaster; it’s more like a merry-go-round only different, understand?”

“No,” Rose said.

“Brilliant,” John exclaimed as if he hadn’t noticed that Rose’s answer was negative.

“I’ll explain later,” the Doctor muttered in her ear.

“How long does a cycle last?” Rose asked the Doctor.

He shrugged. “Could be a few minutes—could be a few hours. It’s just a matter of luck more than anything.”

“That’s why your headaches only came every now and then, right?” Rose asked, leaning her head on his shoulder while John put away his file on Rose and moved over to the two children watching quietly on the other side of the room.

“Exactly,” the Doctor confirmed; while Rose slipped off the bed and sat next to the bed in a plastic chair, while John brought Ava over and plopped her in the Doctor’s lap. She was tense against him while she stared at the new man with suspicion.

“What are you gonna do?” Ava asked, while she squirmed slightly and pushed herself close to her father. He cooed softly to her and brushed back some of her stray curly, brown locks.

“He’s just gonna run that scanner over you, to see how your brain is developing, and then he’ll just check you over, like your temperature, lungs, and heart. Just like Martha does.”

“He did it to you earlier?” Ava asked and John nodded confirmation.

“You’ll be fine, sweetheart,” Rose said from the side, while she rubbed her shoulder.

John stepped up carrying scanner that was smaller than the one he used on Rose. It looked almost like the portable metal detectors that security guards used before you went in a museum or airport.

“Okay, Miss Ava,” John said turning on the scanner so it hummed softly. “I’m gonna need you to stay very still, alright? If you get scared just squeeze your mum or dad’s hand, but stay still or it won’t work, got it?”

Ava didn’t move.


She grinned widely. “You said not to move, that means talking and nodding,” Ava stared at John before shifting her gaze to the
Doctor. “Right?”

“Cheeky,” was all the Doctor could mutter to his daughter, as John began to move the scanner around Ava. The Doctor slid his hand into his daughters as John began to circle the scanner around her head a bit too close for Ava to feel comfortable.

“There now, my brave girl,” the Doctor muttered the words over and over again in Gallifrean, when John finally finished his scan. Ava
noticed the words weren’t being said with the Doctor’s usual grace. They were choppier like he was struggling with saying them. She assumed he must be scared like she was, so she didn’t say anything about it when she could move again.

“Alright-y then,” John said cheerily as he pulled a stethoscope out of his tweed jacket and began to rub it vigorously to warm it up. “Lean forward so I can hear those lungs.”

Ava complied letting John get a long listen. She did much better with the more routine medical procedures, letting John take her blood pressure and temperature with ease. She still was guarded toward the new man, but she didn’t think he was dangerous anymore.

After Ava was done, it was Jack’s turn to sit in his father’s lap, letting his words of comfort wash over him. He was considerably more outgoing than Ava and had already started to rival the Doctor and John’s gob.

“All done, Mister Jack Tyler,” John gave a goofy bow and helped Jack down from the bed.

“Everything seems normal, like we expected. Both are too young to have developed telepathic links and are malleable enough that I could link to them if worst comes to worst,” John said with satisfaction while he turned to the Doctor and Rose. “They’ll be fine.”
Rose and the Doctor sighed in relief and hugged each other tightly.

“Thanks, John,” the Doctor said genuinely. He reached over and gripped the man’s shoulder. “For everything.”


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September 2012

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