Chapter: 29 of 30 - John & Jane & The Doctor & Rose
Overall Rating: PG-13 This Chapter: PG-13
Warnings: TISSUE ALERT.
Genre: Romance, Drama, Humor, AU and a whole lot of UST
Pairings or Characters: John Smith/Jane Smith aka Ten/Rose, Jack Harkness, OCs
Summary: Human Nature meets London, 1963. John Smith is a writer, and has just made it big. Jane is a timid typist in the typing pool of his publishing house. He's a swinging bachelor with a roving eye. She is a quiet girl who has never sought attention. How is Jack going to ever manage to keep their marriage intact?
In This Chapter: The Doctor and Rose are restored.
Author's Note: Thanks, as always, to the Beta Triumvirate of Greatness: timelord1, kelkat9 and onabearskinrug
One | Two A | Two B | Three | Four | Five A | Five B | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen | Sixteen | Seventeen | Eighteen | Nineteen | Twenty | Twenty-One | Twenty-Two | Twenty-Two One-Shot - Bess & Jane Talk Dirty - VERY ADULT | Twenty-Three | Twenty-Four | Twenty-Five | Twenty-Six | Twenty-Seven | Twenty-Eight | Twenty-Eight - VERY ADULT | Twenty-Nine | Thirty
In what seemed like an hour, but was in reality only the space of a few seconds, John and Jane Smith's world was turned upside down.
Jane stared in silent horror as her mind registered the fact that her friend had been obliterated before her eyes.
John howled in anger and gritted his teeth, seething, as he fixed on the spot that had once been occupied by his best friend, Jack Harkness.
Niles's heart raced dangerously as he wondered just how Jack was going to come back from this one.
Bess's eyes popped out of her head and she screamed like a woman in a horror film.
Sister stood tall and proud as she held her still-hot weapon, but then the eyes of her family turned upon her in judgement.
"You made a poor tactical decision, Sister of Mine," admonished Father.
"He was expendable," Sister said smugly in her own defence.
Father and Mother stared at Daughter, telepathically chastising her action.
Niles saw that the hunters's eyes were off of their prey, so he focused his thoughts and squeezed Bess's hand, hard. Her eyes went wide as she saw what Niles was envisioning. He surreptitiously slipped her the keys to the Torchwood vehicle, and amidst the ensuing chaos and domestic discord amongst the Family of Blood, Bess slipped away, escaping out the front door.
Brother still had Jane in a stranglehold and his weapon was trained on John, whose hands were in the air.
Niles nodded and made a subtle hand motion to the caretakers of Torchwood House and then performed a perfect roundhouse, kicking the deadly weapon out of Brother's grasp.
At that, mayhem ensued in The Howling. Two men well past the age of eighty let out a battle cry as they lunged at the young, blonde woman. Her weapon was knocked out of her hands, and went flying across the room as she was startled by their attack. It landed behind the bar with a clang. Two men held her arms as she screamed in fury.
Jane's survival instinct triggered and she kicked, scratched, bit and fought with all of her might to free herself from the alien wearing Daniel's face.
As John no longer had a weapon trained on his brain, he lunged at Brother, freeing his wife from his clutches.
John grabbed Jane's hand. "Run!" he hissed, and run they did, right on out the door, and into the darkness of night.
One of the Torchwood caretakers kicked the sonic screwdriver towards Niles who scooped it up and secured it in his pocket.
Sister roared in anger when she saw that their prey had escaped, but she was still being subdued by the surprisingly strong octogenarians. Mother successfully fought off the feeble attempt of a large man who tried to sit on her. Family squared off against humans, and for the moment, they were evenly matched.
Niles escaped and jumped into the waiting vehicle outside of the pub. Bess pushed the accelerator to the floor and away they sped in a desperate search for John and Jane. The village was a labyrinth of cobblestone alleys and lanes, all unlit, and perfect for two people on foot to hide within.
Back in the pub, Son regained his weapon, and fatally shot one of the Torchwood agents, and then ran outside to head off Niles and Bess. Father and Sister finally freed themselves. Not only had they had lost their prey, but their leverage as well.
"They escaped," Son spat as he stormed back into the pub. Niles and Bess, their perfect hostages, were gone.
Father jumped onto a heavy wooden bench in the centre of the pub, and discharged his weapon into the ceiling. A small fire started in an ancient wooden beam. "Attention people of St. Catherine." His voice was unnaturally loud and somehow amplified throughout the village. "We are the Family of Blood. You will help us find John and Jane Smith. You will turn them over to us. You will cooperate, or your village and every living being within its boundaries will be destroyed. That's all."
With that ominous threat, the foursome left the pub, leaving disarray, terror and death in their wake.
"I do love a good hunt." Son sniffed the air and summoned his army.
"Who are those people? What do they want? Why'd they call me Rose Tyler?" Jane screeched as they flew by foot over the uneven cobblestone lane.
"I don't know!" John yelled. A car come up behind them, and they dodged into an alley to hide. The car screeched to a halt.
"GET IN!" Niles hollered through the open window.
Jane and John jumped into the back seat and Bess sped away.
"Niles, what the bloody hell is going on?" John yelled.
"Doctor, you have to remember. It's time." Bess quickly looked over her shoulder.
"Doctor? Who is this Doctor person? I'm John Smith, I'm not a doctor!" he protested.
"Yes you are! You have to remember now!" Bess hollered at him. "Rose, tell him! Make him believe," Bess pled as she drove into the countryside.
"Bess, I'm Jane Smith, I'm not Rose. That was just a . . . a fake name! You know that! Stop calling me that, you're scaring me!" Jane held onto both of John's hands for dear life as they huddled together in the back seat.
Bess stopped the vehicle in front of a small home next to St. Catherine Presbyterian. She got out and motioned for the others to follow and knocked on the door.
Reverend MacLeish answered the door. "I heard the hubbub. Come in quickly, quickly now!" He looked at the car. "Hide your motorcar in my garage out back. It's empty at present." The elderly man ran hobbled as fast as his feeble legs could carry him and unlocked the garage.
Bess quickly stowed the car and returned inside. Mrs. MacLeish ushered everyone into the parlour. Niles had drawn all of the drapes and turned out all lights but one.
"May we have a minute with our friends?" Bess asked calmly of the minister and his wife. The elderly couple nodded and exited into the kitchen and knelt down to pray.
Bess pulled two watches out of her purse and held them out. Her hands were shaking. "Do you recognise these?" she asked desperately.
"No, should we?" asked Jane, terrified.
"Jane . . . " Bess took Jane's hands and closed the golden watch within Jane's grasp. "Darling, your real name is Rose Tyler. You are married to the Doctor."
"No, I'm married to John! You were there! Just yesterday, Bess! How can you say these things?"
Bess turned to John. "You're the Doctor." She closed her eyes and tried to remember what Jack had told her about the man. "You aren't human. You're a Time Lord from some planet that sounds like a town in Ireland, but I can't remember the name. You're over 900 years old, and you and your wife, Rose Tyler, travel and live in a blue box. It's called the TARDIS. Your stories, the books that you write about the Professor and Iris, they're real. All of them. You and Rose have lived those adventures. Why do you think the stories come so easily to the two of you?"
"Wha . . . What?" John stuttered, "What are you and Niles up to?"
"Doctor, please! You have to remember! They are looking for you! They are coming for you and Rose and they are going to kill you."
"Who's they? This is . . . unbelievable!" John ran his hand through his hair nervously.
"Please Doctor, you have to remember! I don't know what to do! Jack is . . . is dead, well for a while, who knows how long, and . . . and Niles and I, we don't have a clue how to fight these demon creatures!" Bess drew in a deep breath and straightened her back. "But you do," she said earnestly. "The Doctor . . . you . . . You know what to do. You have to save your wife and yourself! You can't die Doctor. Earth needs you. The Universe needs you." Bess slowly turned and looked at Jane. Her eyes drifted to Jane's belly. "Your baby needs you, Doctor."
"Baby? What baby?" Jane shook her head. "I'm not pregnant, I can't be! We were only intimate last night! That was our first time, Bess! My very first time! You have to believe me! It's simply not possible that I am pregnant!"
Bess nodded. "You are, darling. Apparently first time's the charm for you two," she said, wiping a tear away. "You won't know for a month or so, of course, but I can see it. I'm spooky, remember? Said so yourself to your husband, just this morning."
John and Jane's heads snapped at each other remembering their conversation in bed.
Bess was desperate. "You have to believe me. Please!" She pressed the silver toned watch into John's hands.
He furrowed his brows as it grew warm in his palms, begging him to be opened. He flipped the latch and the golden essence of time sought its lord. John slammed it shut and turned to Jane.
"No. I can't. I can't do it. It'll be the end of John! I don't want to go! Jane, I don't want to lose you! Please, no! Please don't open yours!"
"Doctor, Rose," she looked at each of them in turn, "John and Jane were wonderful people, and I loved them so very dearly. But they aren't real. These," she pointed to the watches. "These are what is real."
The watch in Jane's hands was warm as well, and whispered to its owner. Jane began to understand and believe that she was Rose. She turned to her husband of one day. "John," she violently wiped a tear away with the back of her hand. "Oh my beautiful John, Bess is right. We have to do this. I feel it in here." Jane covered her heart with her hand. "One of my hearts is missing." Jane covered his chest with both of her hands. "I need your other heart back."
"But what about our baby? I don't care that Bess is right! I don't care about this Doctor person! I am John and you are my Jane!"
"Oh John, I will always be your Jane! No matter what happens, you and I, we belong to each other!" Jane begged.
"What will happen to our child if we change? The watch is telling me Bess is right! We, John and Jane, not this Doctor and Rose person, we made a child last night!" John said desperately.
Niles took Bess's hand and led her out of the parlour, leaving John and Jane alone for what both knew were their final moments together.
"We are them, and they are us, Doctor." The name came out of Jane's lips, and John knew she was right. "Our baby will be beautiful, and he or she belongs to the Doctor and Rose too."
In resignation, the Smiths sank to the floor and leaned their backs against the brown and yellow floral sofa. They closed their eyes and embraced each other as their life together, what could have been, flashed before their eyes . . .
John and Jane are living in a stone cottage on the outskirts of St. Catherine. Jane is seated at a typewriter near a leaded glass window. She pushes her glasses up her nose and then rubs her swollen belly. John is pacing like a wild man, but somehow, Jane keeps up as he dictates, offering opinions here and there.
John and Jane buy out Prescott Publishing. Their first co-authored book is released with much fanfare, but they miss their own release party. Jane is rushed to the hospital because her water breaks in the lobby of Smith & Smith Publishing. They name their son John David, Jr., but call him JD.
Jane's skirts progressively rise well above her knees, just as John had predicted three years before on their first date at the Tiki Tiki. They always spend their anniversary in London, and go to the Tiki Tiki for dinner. But Robert retires and sells the place and it becomes a disco in 1974. They never go back.
Two more bairns, fraternal twins, come along a few years later. Elizabeth Rose and Ian Jack.
Book number twenty shows up on the New York Times Top Ten Best Seller list and eventually holds spot number one for four weeks. More smash hit books follow.
JD is living in London. He is in his residency at Royal Hope Hospital when he is approached by Torchwood Medical section. Uncle Jack takes him to the bench for lunch for a man to man chat, and the next day, JD turns down the offer.
John and Jane are starting to grey when they proudly send their twins off to the University of Edinburgh. Bessie wants to study history and literature. She leaves home a shy, quiet girl with mousy brown hair, but she blossoms into a confident young woman while away. She comes home Christmas 1979 platinum blonde . . . with streaks of blue.
Ian is both a genius and an incessant flirt, which often gets him into trouble. To his parents's disappointment, he leaves university months before graduation. He tells them he feels antsy and he needs to travel for a year. But he promises to go back and finish, and he does. Eventually, he joins the RAF, becomes a pilot for the sole purpose of getting a shot at becoming an astronaut. He never gets to see the stars, but after he leaves the RAF, he goes to work for NASA.
When they can get away from Torchwood, their best friends Niles and Bess Eddington spend their weekend summers with John and Jane in St. Catherine. They have one son, Jack. He is one day older than John and Jane's firstborn, JD. Bessie and Jack have grown up together, and of course, their mothers planned their wedding when they were toddlers.
Bessie and Jack are married at St. Catherine's Presbyterian, just like her Mum and Da and his Mummy and Father. Bessie wears her mother's dress and her hair is back to its natural brown.
The books become harder to write as minds aren't quite as sharp as they once were. The Smiths publish their last book and retire, and then one day not so long after that, Jane becomes ill quite unexpectedly. Her family and closest friends gather around her and quietly mourn as her last breath passes over her still full, pink lips.
John walks outside and looks at the stars. He pulls two watches out of his pocket and finally lets tears fall as he thinks of what should have been.
The shared vision subsided. "They're calling to us, we have to say goodbye, John. We can't turn our back on our real selves. You're my Doctor and I'm your Rose."
"You're right, love, you're right. We'll do it together," said John nodding in resignation. "But wait, there's one thing I have to do before I go." John stood up and pulled Jane to her feet and into his arms. They kissed the kiss of lovers saying goodbye forever. "I will remember you, Jane. Will you remember me? Please? Remember how much I loved you."
Jane nodded, unable to speak through her quivering lips.
Simultaneously, the Smiths opened the watches, not taking their eyes off of each other.
Golden tendrils of energy, the very essence of the being of the last Time Lord, poured from the Doctor's watch, seeking, searching and finding . . . and without fanfare, the Doctor remembered. He remembered every beautiful moment with his Jane, and then he remembered everything it meant to be the Doctor. The Doctor stood tall and proud.
The golden glow of the Time Vortex, the Bad Wolf captured in a fob watch, howled and restored Rose to her not-quite-human state. Jane Smith's shy smile was replaced by the wide grin of Rose Tyler as her memories returned and her bond with her Doctor was restored. She too remembered every last breath with her John.
But then something unexpected happened: the last bit of energy from the Doctor's watch swirled around Rose like a vortex, slowed and settled over her belly. That newly fertilised egg, that spark of life, absorbed his or her birthright. The TNA of the Time Lord joined the Time Vortex-altered DNA of his bride.
Rose opened her eyes fully aware that she was herself. She flung herself at the Doctor, and he pulled her off of the ground and swung her around into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his torso and they kissed like reunited lovers who moments before had thought they would never see each other again.
"Hello, Rose Tyler," he said, his warm Estuary London accent.
"Doctor," she said in her merry Cockney voice. She hugging him tightly, her eyes squeezed shut wearing that smile that had melted the hearts of an old soldier in black leather.
The Doctor quickly kissed her again and then Rose slid out of his arms.
"Bess? Niles?" Rose called out and their friends hesitantly returned.
Without hesitation, Rose hugged Bess. "Thank you Bess, for everything."
The women hugged again. Bess pulled away and held Rose at arms's length. "So you do remember me?" Bess asked hesitantly.
"Of course I remember you! How could I forget my very best friend? Well, best friend besides the Doctor." She sent a warm look at her husband. "I remember every single minute, Bess," she laughed a bit. "Was I really that shy?" She laughed again. "Bess, I'm still Jane, but I'm Rose too, just like John will always be a part of the Doctor." Rose looked over at her husband, and took his hand.
"Hello, I'm the Doctor." He wiggled his fingers in greeting, and then pushed his hands into his trouser pockets. "Rose, I really miss my coat. I love my coat. Janis Joplin gave me that coat." He turned to his friends. "Niles, thanks, and all that. Really, I appreciate everything you've done for us. We'll catch up later," he said a bit rudely. "Where's my TARDIS?"
"It's in London, in a warehouse, safe and sound," said Niles. "Jack and I moved it from Cardiff when you ended up working at Prescott. Jack thought you'd want it close. Oh, I think this is yours too." Niles pulled the Doctor's sonic out of his pocket.
"Oh brilliant," he growled and kissed his beloved tool before shoving it into his trouser pocket, as he was not wearing a jacket. The Doctor began to pace and ruffle his hair so it was sticking up in a thousand directions. He stopped on a dime and turned to face Rose. "First. You're going to have a baby." He pursed his lips and nodded his head. "A baby! That is just . . . brilliant!" The Doctor said in his high-pitched giddy way.
"I know!" Rose squealed and they hugged.
The Doctor continued his manic list. "Second, we need to get the TARDIS back. Third, I need you to stay here."
"What do you mean, stay here?" she asked, confused, her giddiness gone.
"Rose, I have to handle this alone."
Bess and Niles watched their conversation like a tennis match.
"Don't you dare leave me behind, Doctor," Rose said angrily.
"Rose, this situation is unlike anything we have ever faced!" he said looking down at her, eyebrows raised, the Oncoming Storm brewing, though not directed at her. "I am keeping you and our child safe. The Family cannot get their hands on you. That power in you . . . The power of the TARDIS herself . . . You are far more dangerous in their hands even than me. With me, they get eternity. But with you, they get the power to bend life and death. And now that you're pregnant, it's even more critical that I keep them away from you." He gripped his hands on her shoulders and looked straight into her eyes. "Promise me you will stay here. Promise!"
Rose nodded silently and for the first time, touched her belly knowing that inside, a new life was cradled.
"Rose, I'm going to have to do something that I never thought I'd have to do. But I promise, it will only be for a little while. You're going to have to trust me."
"I'm going to block our bond."
"What?" Rose asked, her voice fearful and quiet. "I though you said that was impossible. You told me that it couldn't be broken, it was too strong!" Her voice was rising in a panic.
"Not break, block," he corrected her firmly. "Remember the dampening field on Barcelona?"
"Yeah . . ." she drawled, furrowing her brows.
"Like that, but this time, I'm the one controlling the intensity of the dampening field." The Doctor tapped his head with his fingertip. "Now, you can't, under any circumstances, attempt to to reach out through our bond. Do you understand?"
"I understand," she replied. "But I don't have to like it," she said with a scowl, crossing her arms in petulance.
"Rose, this is rule number one. Under no circumstances! This is very, very important!" His voice was frighteningly serious, but then he couldn't help but half smile as he saw her stance, so reminiscent of teenaged Rose.
He broke through her frustration with his smile, and she softened. She hugged her husband tightly around the middle. "I promise," she said looking up into his eyes.
"I need your watch."
Jane handed him the now empty gold fob watch, and he slipped it into his pocket along with his own.
"I'll let you know when it's safe, alright?" This time his voice was soft and gentle as he whispered into her ear. The Doctor slid his hands up and down her arms and hastily kissed her forehead, bent over to kiss her stomach, and finally left a sweet kiss on her lips.
"Niles, I need you to come with me."
Rose could almost imagine his brown coat sweeping behind as he flew out the front door without another word. The Doctor was back.
The vast majority of the inhabitants of the village of St. Catherine had been brought into the world by the loving hands of Dr. MacDougal. Most were baptised in the Presbyterian church, and those who were married had walked down the aisle there as well. All were bid farewell and laid to rest in the tidy cemetery next to the church. It had been this way for hundred of years.
There were legends about this place, terrifying stories that had been handed down for almost six hundred years. A star fell from the sky. A young boy would disappear from time to time. A wolf would howl. There were rumours that the once God-fearing monks who lived at the remote monastery had switched their allegiance and had become tools of the Devil himself before disbanding a hundred years before.
Outsiders rarely visited the beautiful village, and seldom did new people come to live here. From time to time, a non-native would marry an inhabitant, and those brave souls were immediately brought into the fold, accepted as readily as a tenth generation St. Catherinite.
They'd been brought up on legends of space travellers and monsters, werewolves and the Magical Blue Box of the Moors that appeared out of thin air in their time of need. Ballads had been sung, poems written and children terrified out of their wits by grandfathers telling fireside tales for five hundred years.
So when the terrifying voice echoed through the stone village, the villagers were appropriately afraid. They did not take the threat lightly, nor did they panic. Those unable to fight, fled to safety. Anyone able or simply willing to pick up arms remained behind to defend their territory. They retrieved hunting rifles, crossbows and muzzle loaders, surplus weapons from wars once fought, pitchforks, ceremonial dirks, dressing knives, sgian-dubhs and ancient swords. They didn't know if their efforts would be sufficient, but they had to try.
Led by the village provost, the cadre of the brave marshalled on one end of the stone bridge that led into the heart of the village.
The ominous and unnatural sound of stone scraping against stone grew steadily louder. Illuminated by the light of the waning moon, the soldiers of stone advanced.
The village provost stood at the front of his band of brave defenders. He readied his shotgun and steeled himself for the fight. "Stand to arms, lads and ladies!"
Rose sat on the floor of the minister's lounge. Ever since the Doctor had left she had been distant. Bess could tell that something significant had changed. The Doctor had said something to Rose about blocking a bond, but she wasn't sure what that meant, but it had obviously disturbed Rose greatly.
"Would you like some tea, dears?" asked Mrs. MacLeish.
"Ah, sure," replied Rose, drawing her knees up close, and dropping her forehead onto her knees.
Mrs. MacLeish retreated to the kitchen to prepare tea. Reverend MacLeish had gone to the church to aid any who sought spiritual solace.
Bess sat next to Rose and hesitantly slipped her arm around her new, yet still dear friend. "You alright?" she asked.
Rose shook her head slowly, but kept her forehead on her knees, hiding her tears. "I can't feel 'im. It's like my heart's empty."
That last thing Bess wanted right now was silence, and she could also sense intuitively that Rose needed a diversion from the sudden departure of her husband.
"Guess I'm going to have to get to know my best friend all over again," Bess said lightly, trying to ease the tension. "Well? Aren't you going to tell me?"
"'Bout what?" Rose asked, raising her head off of her knees.
"Last night, of course!" Bess said with a devilish grin.
Rose raised her head and looked at Bess, and blushed and burst into a fit of giggles. She stretched her legs out and relaxed a bit. "Guess some things will never change about you 'n me, Bess." She sighed. "Well darling," she imitated Bess's posh accent, "it was . . ." Rose closed her eyes and whispered, "spectacular!"
The two friends leaned into each other and laughed like schoolgirls. What Rose didn't know was that Bess had just given her the telepathic equivalent of a hug.
"Bess, I've been meaning to ask, but, well, things sort of went pear-shaped, to say the least. You and Niles? Are you okay?" Rose asked.
"Yes. We are." Bess patted Rose's hand. "We talked last night, I mean really talked. Probably for the first time ever. Decided to get married, too," said Bess, looking down.
"Aren't you rushing things a bit?" Rose asked with a straight face, and then spewed a laugh when she saw the fiery look that Bess gave her.
"Oh, I like you, Rose Tyler!" Bess announced.
"And I like you, Bess soon-to-be-Eddington! When's the big day? I am going to be your Matron of Honour, after all, even if I have to waddle down the aisle."
"We are taking a cue from John and Jane, and are going to post banns as soon as we return to London."
"I'm so happy for you, Bess!" Rose hugged her friend. "Hey, why don't you just use the flowers and cake that we ordered for my wedding. Just call and change the date!"
"Good idea. But I think I'm going to change banana cake to good old wedding white."
"Oi! Bananas are good!" Rose countered, levelling a look at her friend.
"So Rose, tell me about yourself." Bess folded her hands in her lap.
"Blimey, this is weird. I have all Jane's memories, and they feel real, but at the same time, sort of like a dream. Jane and I are the same in some ways, but really different in others. Was Jane really as shy as I remember?" Rose asked.
"Afraid of your shadow, more like it." Bess noticed that she referred to Rose and Jane as the same person, while Rose referred to Jane as someone completely different. "The day I met you, I wondered what century you had come from. It was almost like you were from 1863 instead of 1963."
"That's rich, considering I was born in 1987!" Rose laughed. "So I grew up on a council estate, the really rough part of London, down southeast. My dad died when I was just a baby, so it was just me and Mum growin' up. I dropped out of school at sixteen for a stupid boy." She turned and looked at Bess, who was hanging on every word. "Jane didn't get her A Levels because she was scared, and I didn't get 'em because I was foolish."
"This boy, were you in love with him?"
"I was in lust with him. Luckily he wasn't," she cleared her throat, "capable so I never acted on those feelings. Turns out he was more than incapable, he was an idiot. Fancied himself a musician, but he was just a punk. Stole a bunch of money from me even, ended up in jail later."
"You are different than Jane," Bess said. "I don't think Jane could have even said the word lust."
Rose giggled. "Lust! Lust! Lust!" she chanted. "Then there was Mickey. Guess what his last name is?"
"Mmm hmm, Smith." Rose's tongue peeked through her teeth. "Really fantastic boyfriend. He and I just weren't meant for each other romantically. I wanted to be mates, but, well, we drifted apart. . . "
"Why didn't you go back to school? You're obviously bright," said Bess.
"Jane was the one with the brains," asserted Rose.
"Oh pish posh! You're brilliant, whether you're Jane or Rose! Believe me, that man you're married to would never marry anyone who wasn't!"
"You're just sayin' that 'cos you're my friend," Rose said with a self-effacing roll of the eyes.
"I'm spooky, remember?" Bess tapped her forehead. "I'm telling you, you are bright!"
"Um, how much of that particular conversation did you hear?" Rose asked, stuttering a laugh.
"Enough to know it was time to stop listening in," Bess answered, perfectly calm.
Rose groaned and held her head, embarrassed.
Bess elbowed her. "See, right there. That was Jane!"
Rose slugged Bess playfully on the arm.
"But who knows, if I hadn't have quit school, I don't know if woulda ever gotten the job at Henrik's, an' if I never worked at Henrik's I never woulda met the Doctor. You know, I never thought about that before," she said, looking at Bess. Rose bit her lip and shook her head.
"Tell me about this bond that the Doctor mentioned." Bess chose her words carefully.
"The Doctor, he's telepathic, and where he's from, when people marry, they form this bond, their minds are linked together. So when the Doctor and I were married, well, we became joined in our heads. I can feel him, and sometimes, even hear him. Before all of this happened, I was just learnin' how to get better at talking back to him. We hadn't been married too long before we ended up hidin' from the Family of Blood. That's who we were hiding from. We were newlyweds. Still are, I suppose." Rose rambled through the explanation. Bess understood more than Rose knew.
"Newlyweds twice." Bess winked.
"Yeah, and the not so much fun part twice, too!" Rose scrunched her nose.
"Ugh, sorry," Bess cringed. "Wait, how-"
"May I have your attention please!"
Bess stopped mid-sentence and the friends looked at each other and immediately stiffened.
A familiar disembodied voice echoed both through the town and within the walls of each and every residence. This time, it was Son who spoke. His tone was mocking and cruel. "Rose Tyler! Someone wishes to say something to you."
Daniel's voice was replaced by another. "Jane, Jane my love," he sobbed. "I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry! Don't blame me! It's not my fault! He did this to us. No, they did this to us! That Doctor person and Rose Tyler. And, and, oh my Jane, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to say. If . . . If I don't come out of this alive, I want you to do just one thing for me. Just one. Have a good life." In the background, she was certain she heard the whirring of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.
Rose stood as still as a statue as she thought about the words she had just heard her husband speak. She nodded to herself, knowing it was a ruse, though she didn't understand his plan.
Bess went to put her arm around Rose's shoulders, sensing her friend's worry, but immediately withdrew. "Rose? What that sound?"
A slow smile grew on her face and Rose ran outside. Bess followed close on her heels. Mrs. MacLeish came to the window and cautiously pulled back the curtain and peeked through a sliver of a gap. In her garden stood a blue police box.
A ball of green light streaked through the air, followed by an explosion a few streets over.
"They're attacking the village!" Bess screamed. She ran back inside and urged Mrs. MacLeish to abandon her home, but she refused. Bess ran back outside to find Rose in a panic, talking to herself.
The ever-present key to her home was not on a chain around her neck. "My key! I don't have my key! Please open," she asked the beloved ship, both out loud and in her mind.
The door opened, Rose kissed the door in relief and ran up the ramp. The sound of her white plimsolls slapping on the metal grate echoed throughout the cavernous room.
Bess followed Rose, but the moment she comprehended just where she was, she stopped. With arms outstretched to balance her suddenly spinning head. "Rose?" Bess drew out her name. "How is the outside smaller than the inside?"
Rose spun around and faced her. "Isn't she gorgeous?" she gushed.
A hologram flickered, and both women's attention was captured as the Doctor appeared.
"Hello, love. If you are watching this it's because the Family has me." The smile on his face was incongruous with the gravity of the message he was sending.
Rose's breath hitched.
"Rose Tyler, don't you dare worry about me," he said firmly, pointing a finger directly where she was standing. "I probably got myself caught on purpose. Maybe. Or not. So this is Emergency Programme Three, and before you panic, no, I am not sending you home, because you're already home." He smiled brightly.
Bess noticed that Rose looked visibly relieved at his explanation.
"So this is what I did." The Doctor's words poured from his mouth. "I created a setting for my handy dandy sonic screwdriver that would send a message to the TARDIS on a subwave frequency initiating a materialisation slash dematerialisation place-to-place jump, honing in on a homing beacon, which in this case, is you. Obviously, it worked, because the TARDIS woke up and found you. Of course it worked! I'm brilliant!" He said smugly and adjusted his tie. Rose rolled her eyes, but laughed as well.
"Now, what I need you to do is bring her to me. Can you do that for me? If I am right, and I usually am, I probably told you not use our bond, right? Right. This is me telling you to send me your biggest, juiciest psychic snog when this holo-recording is complete. I'll answer you back, and the TARDIS will be able to find me. I'll guide you through the navigation sequences, so don't worry about that. Won't be too difficult. No console acrobatics will be involved, although, you are very skilled in acrobatics." He waggled his eyebrows. "So, now that it's all said and done? How did we turn out? Did we like each other? Hope so, because that would mean that my second bit of brilliance worked." He held up a data chip of some sort and waved it. Turning sideways to the camera, he bent over and plugged the data chip into the console. He looked mournfully into the camera. "Help me Rose Marion Tyler, you're my only hope." It didn't take him long to break into a grin. "I've always wanted to say that. Well, not always, just since 1977."
Rose covered her mouth and giggled. Bess just raised an eyebrow.
"That little disc that I plugged in there just now?" He became serious. "I wrote a programme that will guarantee that I am transformed into the man of your dreams. Well, the man of the changed you's dreams." The Doctor sadly looked on the floor where Rose assumed the woman who would be Jane must have been laying. His eyes were soft, filled with love. "See you soon, Rose Tyler." He held up his hand in a goodbye gesture and the hologram dissipated.
Rose's eyes were misty, and then she closed them and smiled, projecting all of her love and trust in her husband through their once-again open link. She opened her eyes, walked to the console and stood in front of the screen.
"Alright old girl, let's go to our Doctor."
Coordinates and instructions flowed into her mind, as the TARDIS and her bond mate spoke to her, worked through her, to reunite their family. The console room was filled with warm a green glow as the rotors began to pump, grinding out the sound of time as the ancient ship dematerialised.To the Final Chapter
- Feeling...: sad