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Doctor Who fic: Wayward Son, Chapter 4

Title: Wayward Son - Chapter 4: Sparks of the Tempest
Chapter 4:  Beware the Oncoming Storm. Ten II finally confronts Rose.
Characters: Ten; TenII/Rose
Genre: Alternate Universe; Angst; Character Study; Het; Romance
Author's Description: Set mostly in the AU of Pete's World; TenII hits a big snag in his efforts to forge a new life with Rose and finds himself facing an unexpected identify crisis.
Length: WIP
Rating: Teen for slight swearingOooooh boy, here comes the angst!





Pensive after his breakfast discussion with Jackie, the Doctor went back upstairs to finish his grooming.  Standing before the bedroom full-length mirror, he shifted back and forth to analyze his attire with a critical eye.

His dark indigo jeans, almost blue-black in hue, were tight.  Really tight, he noted with a crooked smile.  He remembered how Jackie had reacted the first time she saw a pair of his favorite jeans.  Melodramatically averting her eyes, she had made a few choice remarks about how “revealing” they appeared to be. 

He’d always worn tight trousers, never feeling completely comfortable in looser clothing.  He barely had an inch of skin surface exposed.  He still continued to wear multiple layers, so he couldn’t understand how they could be revealing much of anything.  Similar to his old pin-stripes, the denim allowed him the freedom of movement and durability he’d enjoyed with the 51st Century fabric generated by the TARDIS.  But then he caught Rose, on one of her occasional visits, sliding her eyes over his nether regions when she thought he wasn’t looking.  Oh yes, she’d been looking.  That sealed the deal for him.

He paired the jeans with a simple Oxford shirt, sometimes in subtle geometrics patterns, and a tasteful tie.  A solid-coloured wool v-neck jumper and plimsolls completed the ensemble.  He hoped the wool jumpers would remind Rose of the big Northern git with the Dumbo ears.  Although jumpers weren’t really his preferred style, they served a purpose.  He still kept them tight, much like his old suit waistcoats, but he ensured they dropped lower on his hips… to prevent an affront to Jackie’s modesty, of course.  Finding one of sufficient length for his long torso was a bit of a pain, but nowhere near that of the Slap of Death.  Humans were so strange, sometimes.

Satisfied finally, he crossed over into the en suite, stopping in front of the mirror mounted over the pedestal sink.  Clutching at locks of his thick, rich chestnut hair, he noted he was in need of a trim.  It would have to do.  He applied his favorite hair products, cases of which Jackie kept well-stocked in the storeroom on the lower levels.  Taking considerable time to make it look as if he’d just arisen from bed, he finally grunted in approval and finished his toilet with his beloved sonic toothbrush; another gift from Jackie.

The rest of the day he spent surfing the Internet and news classifieds for a job, growing increasingly anxious as the time for Rose’s arrival neared.  Emboldened by Jackie’s insistence earlier in the morning that Rose could be wooed if he somehow played his cards right, he wondered what would happen if he actually pressed things with her.

Oh, strap a pair on, you prawn, a voice sounded in his head.  Nobody wants a flippin’ gormless wuss.  She spent all those years lookin’ for a Time Lord, the distinctly Donna part of him berated.

He sniffed.  Had he been weak and too tenuous with Rose?  Had he cocked it up by trying to be careful, considerate and patient?  But, she’d kissed him.  She’d accepted his offer to stay with her for the rest of his human life.  Or had she?

He thought back to the moments of that pivotal kiss.  Through the bond they shared, he felt the Time Lord’s hearts shatter into a million pieces as Rose made her choice clear.  He had sent the couple a wordless telepathic wish of farewell before silently boarding his ship with Donna.  He remained stiff-lipped… on the outside, anyway… as ever.  Rose, of course, could not have heard it, and he was too engaged in kissing her to tell her.  And he was concerned about Donna, knowing the potential outcome of the meta-crisis. 

The instant that she heard the dematerialization of the TARDIS, Rose had immediately broken their deep embrace and stumbled toward the disappearing blue box.  She had stopped in her tracks and stared at the empty spot where the TARDIS had been.  Too overwhelmed by emotion to say anything, he had stepped forward to take her hand, hoping to comfort her.  He wasn’t completely daft.  He knew she loved the Time Lord, and in that moment he had felt nothing but sorrow for him… and a guilty elation.

They stared at each other, unable to speak.  Rose leaned against him as they turned to follow Jackie, who was on her mobile trying to arrange transport to Bergen, some fifty miles away.  The walk to the nearest town was several miles, and Rose was quiet. 

Finally in a car on the way to Bergen, Rose withdrew her hand.  Silent tears coursed down her face as she stared out the window, withdrawn and sullen.  Any attempt to engage her in conversation failed miserably.  Come to the conclusion that she was upset because the Time Lord had left her without a goodbye, he decided to leave her to mourn in her own way.  She had become more like him than he cared to admit, keeping her own counsel.  She never took his offered hand again.

In all this time, he had hung onto the defining moment of that kiss.  He had offered his life, his love to her forever… his forever.  She had accepted his offer with the kiss.

Lately, he was no longer sure.  He replayed the moment in his mind ten, twenty times a day, trying to discern what had gone wrong.  What had he done, what could he have said, to make her change her feelings so quickly?

Hearing the noisy return of Tony back from nursery school, his thoughts turned back to the here and now.  He walked into the foyer to have a small blonde missile launch itself at him.

“Allo, Tony,” he grinned as he picked up the tyke for a spin above his head.  Tony Tyler, blonde with light brown eyes and dimpled cheeks, looked heartbreakingly like his sister.  He adored the Doctor, seeming to adopt him as an uncle of sorts.  Tony never tired of being held high in the air by his tall “Uncle Doctor” at every opportunity, so it became their standard return home ritual.  The Doctor, mired into a firmly domestic pattern, couldn’t stop himself from wondering what children between he and Rose might look like.  Would they look anything like Tony?

Within the next hour, Rose let herself in.  Holding a duffel bag and a designer purse, she was still dressed in her professionally tailored suit and low heels, obviously having come straight over from Torchwood One.  She smiled congenially, but then immediately turned her attention to Tony, who was in serious danger of overstimulation.

The Doctor tried hard not to stare admiringly at her, but watched her out of the corner of his eye.

She was thin.  Fit, but thinner than he’d ever seen her before the Battle of Canary Wharf.  Her face was more angular, as if she’d lost the “baby fat” of her teens.

But of course, she had.  She was now almost 25 years-old.  Gone was the chavvy look with heavy makeup and globs of mascara.  Her makeup was now subtle in colour and softer in appearance.  Her hair was cut and styled into a natural neck-length bob more befitting a senior leader at Torchwood, not to mention… heiress to the Vitex fortune.  She still chose to keep it blonde, he was gratified to see, although now it was professionally done with tasteful streaks that framed her face.

Though he might love her no matter the color, green if she so chose, he still waxed nostalgic for his pink and yellow girl, who somehow captured a battered old soldier’s hearts.

Rose headed for the stairwell, her bags on her shoulder.  He knew better than to offer to help.

“I’m gonna go change,” she said.  “Is Mum upstairs?”

“Yeah.  She’s getting ready for the charity ball.  I told her I’d run out to the chippie to get us fish and chips for dinner.  That alright?” he asked as evenly as he could.

“Fantastic!” she said, clearly enthused by the idea.  At least he still knew the way to her stomach, if not her heart.

“Be right back,” he called to her as she reached the top of the stairs.  Grabbing his keys, he ran out to the little TARDIS-blue hybrid parked in the voluminous six-car garage; a gift from Pete Tyler, who presented it to him at the end of his first week at the mansion.

When he returned with the steaming baskets of fish and chips, with extra sides of chips, he found Rose changed into a pair of jeans and a pink t-shirt, reading a book to Tony.  Her eyes lit up at the sight of the greasy bags.

“Oh my God, chips!!” she exclaimed.  She followed the Doctor docilely to the kitchen island, trying to snatch chips out of the top of the sacks as he walked slowly backwards, a big grin on his face.

The three of them sat at the island to eat their meal, Rose pouring on the salt and vinegar as if there were no tomorrow.  Tony held his nose and whinged about the smell, preferring his chips plain.  Jackie’s shrill call came to them from the hallway leading to the foyer.  “We’re off,” she shouted unseen.  A chorus of goodbyes followed her as they started devouring piles of chips and fish.

“’S been ages since I’ve had good chips,” sighed Rose.  For the next few minutes, they bantered with Tony about his school and friends, or as much as one can banter with a four year-old.

Don’t bugger this up, the Doctor thought to himself.  This is good.

And when did I start using words like “bugger” and “prawn,” anyway? Eh, Donna?!?  He shoved the gingery mental image into a mental compartment and locked the door, hoping to avoid any verbal faux pas.

All too soon, it was time to send the little tyke off to bed.  The anxiety levels were rising in the Doctor again.  Rose read Tony’s bedtime story, and then they both said their goodnights to him before quietly shutting his bedroom door.

Rose yawned dramatically at the door.  “Well, I’ve had a long day at work.  I think I’ll settle down with a book before going to sleep.”

“Rose,” began the Doctor, drawling her name like he used to, hoping it would dissuade her from running from him again.  “Could we please talk for just a few minutes?  I promise, it won’t take long.  Just need your honest opinion on what I’m doing to try to integrate into life here in ‘ol Pete’s World.  Not like there’s a guidebook for it, eh?”

She hesitated for a second.  “Dad won’t help you?” she asked neutrally.

“Weell… he tends to work pretty late, or he’s off to Vitex functions, or assorted things like that,” he said, flashing his eyebrows to indicate that tonight was an example.  “You know.  He’s such a busy man.  And I value your input, you know.  Please?  I’d truly, honestly, really, really would appreciate it,” he said, throwing in all the considerable charm he had at his disposal.

She sighed.  “Ok.  Let’s go down to the library so we don’t disturb Tony, yeah?”

They walked down to the library, the Doctor trying hard not to hyperventilate.  This was the first time Rose had allowed herself to be alone with him.  He had to proceed with caution.

Rose raised the lighting in the library to a harsh glare before they seated themselves across from each other on two separate sofas.  No danger of a romantic atmosphere developing there, he noted dolefully.  Rose was sending a clear signal.

He began by talking about possible career paths, interview techniques and other very innocuous subjects.  Rose seemed to relax a bit, putting on her professional face as she answered him with impersonal and carefully worded bits of advice.  She asked him where he’d applied so far.  He decided to take the plunge.

“Pete, your Dad… he’s offered me a directorship at Torchwood One,” he said softly, trying to keep his voice modulated.

She stiffened.  “Torchwood?  He offered you a job at Torchwood… just like that?” she asked guardedly.

“Yeah,” he responded.  “Identifying alien tech, teaching others to do the same.  Archiving it, and all that.”

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“Why not,” he asked, not surprised by her answer.

“You don’t even like Torchwood.  Said so yourself.  Why would you want to work there?”

He shrugged.  “Gotta do something to get my life sorted out, don’t you think?  I need to start somewhere.  I can’t keep living off your parents.”

“Okay…,” she said flatly, looking away.

“You don’t want me there, do you?” he asked evenly.  He watched her eyes, which she still kept trained on thin air.

“’S not really that,” she started. 

“Not really,” he asked with no inflection.  Rose paled a little, but said nothing else.

“Not really?” he asked, a slight edge to his voice.

“N..no, ‘s not that,” she insisted.  “I mean, I don’t think you’d be a good fit.”

“Are you saying I’m not qualified?  You don’t think I could do the job?  Who else do you know who has that kind of knowledge?”

He saw a little flash of defiance in her eyes as she met his gaze now.  He knew she was thinking of the other Doctor.

He, Rose Tyler, is here.  What he knows, I know.  I am the Doctor.”

“You’re not the Doctor,” she said coldly.

“I am, Rose.  All that he is, all of his memories, his intellect, his thought processes…his feelings.  They’re right here in this body,” he said, leaning forward to look intently into her eyes.

“You are not the Doctor,” she spoke slowly and deliberately.  “I’ve spent the last three years of my life searchin’ for my Doctor and the TARDIS.  Three years!  I’ve broken bones, been shot, stabbed, beaten, tortured, and have whole organs missing.  I searched hundreds, hundreds of universes.  I didn’t do all of that jus’ to be dropped off back here like a… a… a homeless dog.  ‘S s’pposed to be the Doctor and Rose in the TARDIS, the stuff of legend.”

“I’m sorry.  I’m so, so sorry you went through all of that, Rose.  But I am still the Doctor,” he persisted sadly and quietly.

“I’m not believin’ we’re havin’ this conversation,” Rose angrily replied.  “That’s it, I’m goin’ to bed.”

She jumped up and strode purposefully to the door, the Doctor in hot pursuit.

“Rose!” he shouted, behind her.  She ignored him until he caught her by the arm and turned her around.

“Let me go!” she hissed.

“Just listen to me!”

“Stop it,” she spat.  “You’re hurting me!”

He relaxed his grip a little, but he wouldn’t let her go.

“Rose, why won’t you admit I’m the Doctor?” he asked coolly.  He was struggling not to get angry.

“Because you’re not,” she responded hotly.  “He’s still in the other universe, so there can’t possibly be two of you.  You don’t have a TARDIS, you got but one heart, you’re half bloody human and you’re gonna wither and die just like any other human!”

He was starting to pant now; a cold fury had formed in the pit of his core and was working its way up into his chest.  He advanced, backing her up against the wall as his face suddenly grew cold and distant.

“I can have a working TARDIS in five years, Rose.  He gave me a piece of the TARDIS coral.  It’s right here in my pocket, where I always keep it,” he said through clinched teeth.  “Five years, Rose!  Five years and we can be off this rock!”

“Havin’ a TARDIS ain’t gonna make you the Doctor,” she said stubbornly.

The rage within him exploded, his eyes growing as dark and deep as a blackhole.  Grabbing Rose by the shoulders, he pulled her forward and slammed her back into the wall, forcing a little shriek of fear from her.  He drew himself up to his full height, towering over her and looking down his nose.  She’d never seen him colder.

Rose’s face crumpled into terror.  She’d seen that look before when it was trained on Daleks, Cybermen, Slitheen and other enemies.  But it had never been directed at her before.  She had unleashed the Storm, and suddenly she knew what she was dealing with.

“Why did you kiss me?” he asked in a cold fury.

“I… I…,” she stammered.

“WHY DID YOU KISS ME ON THE BEACH?” he roared.

“I dunno,” she cried, tears starting to streak down her face.  “It.. it.. it was impulse, I think.  I’d waited so long to hear you… him, I mean…, say it.”

“You used me, Rose Tyler,” he said accusingly, his face only inches from hers now.  “You used me and you broke… his… hearts.”

“Wh…w-what?” she stammered, looking confused.

“Oh, yes, Rose Tyler.  You left him heartbroken.  Why do you think he didn’t say goodbye to you?  How did you think he was supposed to feel when you snogged me senseless right in front of him, hmmm?”

“H-how do you know that?”

He used his free hand to tap his temple.  “Time Lords, Rose.  We had a psychic link, he and I, just like I told you.  It’s how I knew that all of the other Time Lords were gone.  It was just emptiness, no more voices, inside my head.  But as soon as I was created, we both felt it.  Now, we’re both alone again.”

Rose just stared at him, not knowing what to say.

He released her, finally.  The Storm had abated, leaving him looking sad, weary, and every day of his 900 plus years.  He bent low, whispering into her left ear, as he did on that cold beach at Bad Wolf Bay.

“I chose you, Rose Tyler.  I gave up everything; the TARDIS, him, everyone I know, to stay here with you.  I pledged myself, my love, and the rest of my miserable existence on the Slow Path… to you.  And you used me to get back at him because he wouldn’t say three words.”

“N-n-no.  No, that’s not right,” she said in horror.  “He told me I didn’t have a choice!  He didn’t give me a choice!  He said I had to stay with you, that you were too dangerous to leave alone.”

“I never even questioned him, Rose, not once” he said slowly, as he straightened up.  “Had we both protested and begged him to let us stay, I doubt that he would have left us both here.  But I thought, if you were here with me and you got to keep your family, it would all be worth it.”

The Doctor walked wearily to the door, and then stopped within the opening to turn back around.  “You know what the worst part is, Rose Tyler?  The most ironic thing of all?  In spite of everything that’s happened these past three months, and in light of what you’ve just told me, I still love you.”

He sighed deeply.  “He’s right, you know.  I am dangerous.  Dangerously stupid.”

And with those parting words, he turned and walked away.



For the Angst junkies, I hope you enjoy this. For the tenderhearted, it will get better. For those who shoot first and ask questions later, Ten's feelings as he left Bad Wolf Bay were established in the official JE script published by Russell T Davies.

Disclaimer: I own nothing in the Doctor Who universe. I just play with their toys and break them.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kelkat9
Dec. 31st, 2011 05:12 am (UTC)
Wow you really captured his frustration and her stubborness really well. I loved the part where he got all oncoming stormy on her. Poor both of them. Not an angst junkie here. I'm in the Rose and TenII must live happily ever after club. I think Rose better be scared of what Jackie is going to say to her cause I have a feeling, she's not going to be happy when she finds out how Rose treated him.
biteymadlady58
Dec. 31st, 2011 05:32 am (UTC)
Thanks!

And I'm in the same Ten II/Rose 4ever club. I can't even begin to think about those two not being happily married together to the very end. They were made for each other, but they're both oh-so stubborn. Until they can both make a commitment to each other and start pulling the yoke in the same direction, they're going to be at odds. They know, deep down, that they have to be as one, and that is what is tearing them both apart. It's the being apart that's killing them.

But Rose is so confused, and her loyalty to the Doctor, the first Doctor, is what is blinding her. She can't see the forest for the trees. At least, consciously.

Don't forget, she made a little Freudian slip:
****************
“I dunno,” she cried, tears starting to streak down her face. “It.. it.. it was impulse, I think. I’d waited so long to hear you… him, I mean…, say it.”
****************

She's starting to recognize that the Doctor is right there in front of her, trying to knock some sense into her.

And oh, does Jackie ever have plans for her. Ow. There are worse things than being slapped. LOL
wphorseluver
Dec. 31st, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Ooooh Angst! I have to say I winced at parts of this - like OW, somebody's gonna need some ice for that burn - wincing. But I think that Ten II played his cards right. He did what Jackie told him - remind her that he's the Doctor. All of the Oncoming Storm in one inconvenient human package to Rose. Hopefully she'll get her head out of the sand in the next few chapters! Go get 'er Doctor!
biteymadlady58
Dec. 31st, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
Believe me, I winced a lot while writing it. It was sooooo hard to imagine poor Ten II getting worked up enough to put his hands on Rose like that. I think the memory of that instant is going to haunt him. I mean, didn't he just play up to the idea that he's "dangerous" and "full of blood and anger and revenge" ala Ten's speech?

Also, I followed the original script by Russell T. Davies re:
TARDIS coral
Ten's heartbreak
The scene immediately after the dematerialization of the TARDIS

What will be interesting next, I think, is to explore how Jackie reacts to this. ;-) I'm going to name that chapter "Lightning's Hand". Heheheheeeh.

Edited at 2011-12-31 05:12 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )