Title: The Broken Link
Characters/Pairings: 10.5/Rose, The Doctor (11), OC's, The TARDIS
Genre: H/C, Romance
Word Count (this chapter): ~4100
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?
Author's Note: Yay! It's done, and a happy ending like I promised. ;D
“I want the Doctor,” Rose told John. “I need him. I saw him, please, bring him here.”
Her words came out in sharp sentences, while John read some readings on the computer screen. She had managed to get Jack and Ava corralled into the kitchen, while the anxious Time Lord tried to get her to move directly into the med-bay. He didn’t seem to understand her lack of a desire to let the Jack and Ava watch their mother in labor.
“I’m here, Rose,” John assured her, while he set the readings aside for a moment to sit next to her. “And, I know that I probably one of the last people…”
Rose shook her head. “It’s not like that,” she breathed, while she pulled herself into a sitting position and tried to get a good look at the Time Lord’s green eyes.
“Yes, it is, Rose,” John said with a small smile. “But, the Doctor’s not here. He’s gone, Rose, there’s nothing you can do to bring him back now, but don’t think about that, eh? Just breathe or something. That’s what they tell women to do, right, breathing’s good, like bananas or fish fingers and custard.”
Rose rolled her eyes at him and gritted her teeth against another contraction. “I saw him. I know I did.”
Shaking his head from side to side, John took Rose’s hand in his, while she squeezed it painfully. “You can’t have, Rose. It’s probably the TARDIS playing tricks on your mind. The translation circuits are reestablishing themselves in your brain. It only makes sense that your synapses would…”
John was cut off when a furious hand gripped the front of his shirt, just below his beloved bowtie. Rose’s hazel eyes were filled with furry. Her voice was in a low growl when she spoke in a voice that was deathly quiet.
“I know what I saw, John. I know my husband. I’ve spent eleven years with him. I know him better than I know myself. It was him. He was there. I know he was.”
Eventually, the pressure on his shirt was gone, and the fury melted from her eyes they turned from pools of anger to voids filled with sorrow. Tears poured over the edges of her eyes and John immediately wrapped his arms around her. He couldn’t imagine the longing that Rose felt with her hormones raging inside of her—he could smell them.
“Oh, John, I’m losing it, I really am,” Rose sobbed into him. “What am I gonna do without him?”
She was shaking, tremors running over her, as she struggled to cope with the avalanche of emotions that were coursing through her veins. She couldn’t stop the feeling that she really did see the Doctor, that she would see him again. But, she knew better. The cerebral part of her brain told her it was impossible, and her heart just didn’t want to hope. It would just end up shattered anyway. However, there was something burning in the pit of her stomach that said he was coming back to her. He had to. He was there under her fingers. Their kiss felt real when he embraced her. She remembered the softness of his lips, the way that desperation touched him in a way that she had never experienced before.
How could her mind have made that all up?
Even his hair and eyes were right. The steady thumping of his heart had matched hers. Was it too well matched? Was his smile too perfect for it to be truly him? That’s what happened when you lost someone, wasn’t it? That eventually all the flaws of that person leave your mind and all you remember is how perfect they were in your mind. The Doctor had called it selective memory, but Rose called it cruel.
It couldn’t be the case now though, right? She couldn’t be rewriting her memories of him could she? What did his smile really look like? Did his dimples really sink that deeply into his cheeks? Why are his teeth so straight in this memory? That was him right?
But that kiss, could it be her memories mixed with the TARDIS’s psychic field?
It couldn’t be. Like she said when he was no longer stone, her imagination wasn’t that good.
“Shh,” John soothed. “Don’t think about that now.” He gently brushed back her hair with his hand. Guilt washed over him at how he longed to tell her he loved her—like he had planned all those years ago, but never had the guts to.
He had to chalk it up to the Doctor; he had more bravery that he did. He had the strength to love, and the strength to die.
“Come on, Rose.” His words were calming as he kept talking. “You’re a Tyler. You haven’t forgotten that yet, have you? Bronze in gymnastics, all pink and yellow, hanging from a blimp in the middle of the Blitz, dimension jumping, ‘run,’ and brilliant wife and mother, Rose Tyler, you’re brilliant, fantastic, molto-bene, cool, beautiful, makes you want to run into everything yelling ‘geronimo,’ you’re someone worth fight for—no, that was what Captain Jack said, but the point still stands. You’re strong.”
Pride was evident in John’s voice, while he kept his grip around her shoulders sure and steady. He had no desire to take the Doctor’s place, but he was taking it upon himself to make sure he was there for her… and him.
“I was strong, because he was there,” Rose told him.
“He was strong because you were there—I would know.” John gave her a wink and the Rose gave him a soft smile. Her eyes were beginning to fill with pain again, but she was going to be strong. John was right she was a Tyler. Tylers were stronger than anyone else. They were survivors.
A few moments passed before John turned back to his papers; he smiled and placed a hand on Rose’s belly. The touch was gentle but sure.
“Okay, Rose, a little bit more and you’ll get to meet your son,” John promised.
Ava was staring at some pictures that she had slipped into her father’s journal. They were filled with memories, some that Jack couldn’t remember; some of them were even from before he was born. All of them were a story for her though.
The image grasped in her hands this time was one the day that Rose had announced that she was expecting a second child. Ava was only two, clutching closely to her father’s chest in the image, while his arm snaked it’s was around his wife’s waist and brushed her still-flat-stomach. There was a smile stretched across his lips, while Rose leaned against him. Her smile was equally vibrant, while Ava’s head was hidden by the way she burrowed against her father’s work suit.
His chin was sitting on the top of her head in a comforting posture.
“What’s that picture from, Ava?” Jack asked, while he pushed a chair in her direction and sat next to her and looking at the image, while Ava slid it in his direction.
“When Mummy first told Daddy about being pregnant with you,” Ava told him, while she thought back to that day. The memories were pretty hazy, but she remembered clearly how her father beamed at her mother and swept her off her feet in a crushing hug. He was so elated. Part of her wanted to be jealous, but she couldn’t be. Her parents were joyful, so how could she deny them that.
“They look excited,” Jack said with a grin.
Nodding her agreement, Ava replied, “They were. I had never seen them so excited before.”
“They were excited for this baby too,” Jack said, before trailing off.
Once again Ava nodded, and pulled out another picture and slid it in front of Jack’s face. Ava was standing next to the Doctor in shorts and a tank top. Jack was close to the age he was now from where he was perched on his father’s shoulders in swim-trunks and a t-shirt covered in sand. Rose was off camera taking the picture.
“I remember this one,” Jack told her. “Daddy took the two of us to the beach for the summer, and Mummy teased him, because he got attacked by those sand crabs. He said they were evil.”
A rare laugh escaped Ava’s mouth and she nodded. “He was the one who dug up their home, though.”
“He wanted to build a sand TARDIS,” Jack giggled, moving the picture to the side and looking at the other ones, but neither the Ava nor Jack recognized this one. Someone must have slipped it into the journal.
It was of a man dressed in tight fitting jeans and a black leather jacket that looked like it had been to the end of the world and back. In his arms was a young woman with her eyes closed. There was a faint golden glow in the air around the picture. Ava decided it must be a play of the light.
“Is that Mummy?” Jack asked pointing to the girl in the picture.
“It is, child,” a silky, angelic voice met their ears and they turned around. An older woman dressed in all white with curly red hair met them. Ava rose to her feet, but she didn’t take a step forwards, partly because she was afraid of what was to come, and partly because her brother had decided to launch himself at, who was to him, total stranger.
“It’s you,” Jack squealed excitedly. “You’re real.”
The woman smiled. “Of course I am child. You didn’t think I was only a dream did you? You need to pick up your math book from my floor by the way.”
Jack giggled. “I’m sorry.” His eyes were curious, while he took her hand and led her back to the table. “Can you tell me where this picture’s from?” Jack’s request was filled with innocence, but there was something serious ghosting across the woman’s face.
“That was the birth of the Wolf,” the woman explained, while she pulled a chair up and waited for the two children to settle into the chairs around her. Their eyes were wide with anticipation, but their mouths were closed.
“She was your mother, but she was more than that. She was a part of me too, and a bit of the Doctor as well. The Doctor thought the Wolf was just the Time Vortex being harnessed, but she was so much more than that. She was strength when the world was weak. She was light when darkness was the only thing for miles.” The woman looked up to make sure they were still paying attention before she continued. “Your mother only held it or a short while and used it like a human. She saved lives—saved the worlds, but it was burning her. Your father when he was still a Time Lord in his ninth generation had to take the energy out of her to save her life.”
“He kissed her, right?” Jack asked. “Daddy talked about that lots.”
The woman smiled. “I bet he did. And, yes, he did. But, nothing is ever truly gone for good. Your mother held some of the vortex in her—it’s harmless much like—umm” the woman paused, trying to think of something suitable to compare to. “Background radiation. And, when she had you two, she passed on a bit to you, and that’s fine. It doesn’t hurt you two either, but it does mean you can fix this, Ava.”
Ava nodded. “You told me that before, but what can I do, and what about Jack and the baby?”
“They’re too young to help, the strongest remnants of the Wolf lie with you.” The woman was careful of how she chose her words.
“You have to bring him back, Ava.”
“How?” Ava demanded sharply.
She wanted her father back more than anything, but she knew better than to run into something head on. That’s how her father got into most of his trouble according to her mother.
“Close your eyes,” the woman whispered, and almost in a dream Ava complied.
Jack watched as his sister lowered her eyes and golden energy consumed her. Her brown braids blew back slightly while she reached her hand forward and gently touched his forehead.
He felt a release of pressure that he had never realized was there before. He smiled at the feeling of relief at first, but he couldn’t help but let it slip away. He couldn’t understand the feeling or why his sister was doing this. Ignorance was dangerous in Jack’s mind, and something he seldom felt for real despite what he did in school.
“What’s going on with her—” Jack asked, but when he whirled around the woman was gone without a trace. He turned his attention back to his sister, who was beginning to walk across the small kitchen and into the hall. “Ava, please stop, Mummy told us to stay here. We can’t move it would be bad.”
“I must help them,” Ava said in a new voice, it was layered and transcendent, while golden energy streamed from all around her.
John was gently wrapping a tiny infant in a warm blue blanket, while his mother stared longingly at the child. He knew that she couldn’t bear not being with the child, but he couldn’t help himself from holding the child a bit longer than necessary.
He was so tiny, and perfect. His fingers were gently stuck into his mouth while he dozed lazily against John’s chest. There was so much trust inside the child that he couldn’t understand it. He was defenseless, weak, small and fragile, but he didn’t say a word as he passed the child into Rose’s arms.
She smiled at the child while she placed a gentle kiss on his forehead. “Hello little one, I’m your Mummy. Your…your Daddy wanted to be here more than anything, but… he couldn’t. He loves you though, remember that, sweetheart.”
Rose held the sleeping child closely.
“You’ve got a brother and sister too,” Rose explained, while the baby stirred gently and opened his deep brown eyes. “They’re brilliant, you’ll love them, Jack’s rather quiet at the moment, but he’ll get better, everyone does eventually, and Ava’s not usually this snarky either, but the same goes for her too. They’ll be into meet you in a minute, I expect.”
The child yawned, and continued to peer curiously at his mother with wonder. She brushed a nail over his cheek with a feather soft touch. She looked up when she heard the med-bay doors open with a creek.
She only half looked at first, but when she saw the gold streaming in the corner of her eyes, she did a double-take.
Her daughter was flanked by her brother, with golden energy flowing around her. Jack looked terrified of his own sister, while she seemed to float across the small room’s floor and next Rose and the baby.
“Ava, sweetheart,” Rose started, “talk to me,”
“I’m Ava, the Child of the Wolf, and I’m here to save him.” Ava reached out and barely touched the forehead of her youngest brother. A look of peace passed over his face while he looked up at his mother with contentedness and drifted off to sleep. “My father is next. I have healed my siblings, but his death is not meant to be either. He is meant to go beyond this. He must breathe again.” More golden energy streamed from around her.
“The name you gave me was perfect…Ava. It comes from Eve meaning bringer of life or to breathe life into…It’s perfect.” It wasn’t long after Ava had murmured those words that her face contorted, and she screamed in pain, for what seemed like the longest time before falling to the ground in a cold heap.
The Doctor was falling through time, back to where he knew he was needed. He felt Rose’s presence and he followed it. She was so afraid. She needed him.
He didn’t care if he was travelling forwards, backwards or sideways he had to help her. He had to see her. He didn’t know if he could stay, but he didn’t care. His Rose had whispered ‘help me’ and he was on his way.
Time was more constant now. The Doctor felt himself growing solid on the bed that he was sure that he was going to die on. He remembered the way his head ached, and the way his chest felt like it was going to explode in seconds, but they were completely gone. He was fine, perfectly fine. He was better than that he was reborn. There was a slight golden tinge in the air and he began to panic.
Had he regenerated? Would Rose accept him?
His hands went to his face, bad skin, big hair and a thin structure, but that wasn’t definitive enough for him. He reached behind his back and up his shirt. His fingers went straight for the familiar spot right between his shoulder blades.
“I love that mole,” he said cheerfully, as he stepped out of bed, surprised that he was free of any nausea at all.
His steps were sure; as he let the new TARDIS guide him to his wife and his newly grown family. There was a slight guilt to her guidance, but the Doctor barely took notice.
He opened the door to see a new baby wrapped in a blue blanket and sleeping peacefully in a bassinet. Jack was leaning against the bed, staring at the child and fidgeting with his feet. He expected to see John and Rose hovering over the sleeping infant as well, basking in the wonder that was the small creation, but they weren’t.
John was carefully lifting the Doctor’s daughter from the floor of the TARDIS. She was limp in his grip and as pale as a sheet, while Rose kept saying her name frantically. The Doctor was warring within himself as to whether or not to run and meet his son or hold his daughter. Eventually, Ava won out, the infant didn’t look to be in any immediate distress, and in fact he couldn’t look happier.
He cleared the space between him, John, Rose and Ava. The two adults didn’t even appear to take note of him at first, as he placed his hand gently on his daughter’s warm forehead. It was then that Rose looked up and caught a sight of him. Joy warred with confusion on her face and the Doctor was the first to speak.
“What happened?” the words were soft and fragile.
Rose shook her head, at a loss for words, so John answered.
“I think Ava must have taken in what little of the Bad Wolf had passed to her from Rose. She brought you back and healed all the links with you and the boys. It’s amazing. It’s scientifically impossible. She should have burned up, she should be dead. She shouldn’t even…”
“Shut up,” the Doctor snapped, as he lifted Ava from the bed and into his arms. She leaned into his with a soft groan while he slid onto the floor next to the new baby, and Jack who was explaining something to the sleeping child.
He pushed his way into his father’s free side and murmured his thanks or him being back. The Doctor kissed the top of his son’s forehead, when he felt Ava stirring against his chest.
“That’s it, my girl,” the Doctor whispered encouragement to his daughter. “Let me see those eyes, eh?”
Ava pried her eyes opened, and stared at her father with a tired gaze. “’S good to see you,” she whispered softly. “I…I missed you.”
“I know…I know, but I’m here now,” the Doctor assured her. He looked up to see Rose slowly sliding down to sit with her back against the base of the bed and the baby facing the front of her. John had slipped out of the door, presumably to leave the five of them alone.
“Are you better” Ava asked, letting her eyes drift shut.
“Thanks to you,” the Doctor added, while holding her more closely with the back of her head cupped in his hand and her face pressed against him chest.
He was back, but what had it cost Ava? He never wanted this to happen—it couldn’t be worth it. He was meant to suffer for his children, not the other way around. He should have protected them better.
Rose reached out and touched his shoulder. He looked up at her with pain leaching over his face, but it wasn’t like when he was burning from the inside out. The pain ran deeper into him, and brought him more agony.
“We’re all fine now,” Rose assured him, placing a hand gently on Ava’s shoulder reaching across to kiss her. “Go back to sleep, Darling.”
Ava nodded and yawned tiredly, snuggling deeper into the Doctor’s chest. Jack latched onto his leg when he got to his feet, and Rose picked up the bassinet. She led the Doctor out of the med-bay and into the children’s room. He laid his daughter gently on the bed closest to the door and covered her with the covers still upturned from the morning.
She didn’t respond to his actions until he gently pressed a kiss into her temple, when he was rewarded with a soft murmur. The Doctor allowed a smile to flit across his lips before he moved to Jack and tucked him in the bed next to the one he had set Ava in.
“Sleep tight, Jack,” the Doctor whispered, while he slid the glassed from his son’s face and placed them on the table next to him.
“Night, Daddy,” Jack replied before sending a glance in Ava’s direction. “She’ll be better soon.”
The confidence in the young boy’s voice was heart-wrenching to the Doctor. He couldn’t stand to break his son further after everything that he had been through in the past few days.
“Of course she will,” Rose replied, from where she was approaching from the other side of the room. The baby curled against her side and whined softly. She hushed him with a gentle circular pattern against his back. “Now sleep, Jack. Everything will be better in the morning.”
Jack nodded and snuggled deeper into his covers.
The Doctor looked reluctant to leave the room, but Rose managed to coax him away from the chair that he had found himself seated in. She led him across the hallway into the bedroom. Taking a seat on the edge of the bed, Rose guided the Doctor down next to her. The silence was heavy between them, so she spoke with something that didn’t need verbalization.
She passed the child still yet to be named in his father’s arms without a word.
The new father cooed to the small bundle, letting his words wash over the child until he was coaxed gently into waking. He had his brown eyes and Rose’s small, smooth nose. He ran his hand under the child’s head to support him a bit better while he brought him up to his shoulder.
Rose kissed the Doctor’s temple and let a single tear drop fall down her cheek and on to her husband’s face.
“Ava’s going to be fine,” Rose assured him. True confidence rang in her voice, while she continued to stare at the Doctor getting himself acquainted with the child. “And, this little one seems to like you already.”
Nodding, the Doctor agreed softly. “I should have been there for you,” he whispered, motioning to the child beginning to fuss for his first feeding. “I should have protected Ava.”
Lowering her top slightly, Rose took the child in her arms and began to nurse the fussing infant. He settled in contentedly while he balled his hands around his mother’s shirt.
“You can’t be there to save everyone, and I don’t think Ava needed much saving,” Rose told him softly, carefully concealing how terrified she truly felt when she was her only daughter glowing golden, like she, herself, had done in her dreams. “Besides, you’re here now, and everything is going to be just fine.”
“But-s” the Doctor started, but Rose cut him off.
“Some other time,” Rose insisted. “Let’s just be a family now, with two kids, and a baby—who still needs a name. You said you liked ‘Sean,’ right?”
The Doctor nodded his agreement, and studied his son’s face as he stopped suckling and was raised by Rose to be burped. He looked like a Sean.
“What about ‘Adric?’” the Doctor asked suddenly. “For a middle name? He was a brilliant kid—a brilliant man. Gave his life to save us…”
Rose noted by the way the Doctor’s voice changed that he was serious about this. She didn’t dare interrupt him right away, for the hope of him getting a bit more off his chest about his past, but he didn’t speak again.
“Sean Adric Tyler,” Rose murmured, and the child turned to face her, giving a happy cooing noise. “It’s perfect, and I think he likes it.”
“Yeah,” the Doctor agreed wrapping his arms around Rose. He took a deep breath. They could deal with the ramifications of being trapped in this universe tomorrow, but for now he put all the thoughts out of his mind. He was just a man with his family and nothing was going to change that.