You're Not My Mother
"Evie… get back in this TARDIS… NOW!" The Doctor shouted at his young companion. The teenager rolled her eyes and wandered slowly back to the little blue box the man was leaning out of annoyed.
"God… you're not my mother." She muttered under her breath as she approached.
"I heard that." The Doctor replied, a slight smirk on his lips. He'd taken the eighteen-year-old on a sightseeing tour of The Leisure Hive of Argolis in an attempt to keep her out of too much trouble while her arm was still healing.
Since their adventures with Mr Darcy and the Slitheen, Evie had made a remarkable recovery. The Doctor couldn't understand how one minute there had been a huge gash on her arm, through which she was losing too much blood to be safe, and the next it was almost completely healed. It was still sore and, if the girl moved it too quickly or put too much strain on it, he could see her wincing with pain. She never complained, though.
But now she was getting bored of his schemes to keep her under control. Evie had bugged him until he'd told her all sorts of stories about his adventures, his past companions and the aliens he'd encountered. She was eager to prove that she was just as capable as the rest of them; something the Doctor didn't doubt.
"OK." She said as he closed the doors firmly behind her with a roll of his eyes and moved to set the co-ordinates for their next destination on the console. "Where next?" He gave her a look that Evie didn't like. She didn't like it at all. "What have you done?" She demanded.
"I haven't done anything!" He protested. "But I'm taking you home, before we go anywhere else."
"What?" Evie stared at him hurt. She thought that this meant that he didn't want her around anymore. Confused, the teenage girl turned away. Realising what she must be thinking, the Doctor backtracked quickly.
"What I meant is, I'm taking you home for a visit… so you can see your family. You know, check they're alright."
Evie still didn't look totally convinced, but she trusted him. "Alright. But then can we go somewhere exciting, please. No more tours of alien museums."
"They're cultural." The Doctor said, almost defensively. Evie rolled her eyes and leant backwards against the control panel, feeling it whirring against her back. It was comforting in a strange way, almost as though it reminded her of something that she couldn't quite remember.
After several minutes the Doctor put on the stabilisers and grinned at her. "We're here. Lower Appley, Saturday August 15th 2009." Evie grinned back, excited to be home. And on the same day she'd left.
The Doctor held the door of the TARDIS open for her and she gave him a sarcastic curtsey as she passed. He laughed and followed her out, turning to lock the door behind them. As he pocketed the key, he realised that Evie was no longer at his side and looked around quickly. The teenager was kneeling by the newspaper board in front of the village shop.
Wondering what she could be looking at so intently, the Doctor walked quickly to her side and glanced down. Now he understood. He closed his eyes feeling emotion surging up inside him as he read the headline printed in big, bold black letters on the white paper.
'Body confirmed as missing teenager Evie Jones'
With a groan, he put a comforting hand on Evie's shoulder. She shook it off immediately, as though his touch was repellent to her.
"Don't." She snapped, standing up abruptly and turning to him. Her eyes were sparkling dangerously and her lip had curled as she snarled at him. "Don't touch me. You," she prodded his chest with her finger, making him wince, "you promised that they wouldn't even know I was gone… but now I'm dead? What the hell?"
The Timelord allowed the teenager to pummel him angrily with her firsts until she was too weak to carry on. Then he held her tightly, burying his face in her hair and stroking her back comfortingly. Guilt was surging through his body with his blood. He knew she was right; it was all his fault. But there was nothing he could do now to save her from the pain she was feeling.
"You're not actually dead." He told her in a low voice. "That body isn't yours. All you have to do is go home. They'll see you're alive and it'll all be over."
Evie looked at him, curiously. She disentangled herself from his hold and stood backwards, thinking hard.
"Really?" She breathed. He nodded. "But then… they'd never let me out of their sight… I'd have to stay here. I couldn't risk putting them through this again."
The Doctor felt another jolt inside him. He'd be losing her. Evie made him feel strange… not in a romantic way, she was just a kid, but she made him feel like he needed to protect her; to make sure she was alright. The thought of never seeing her made him feel physically sick. But, if that was what she wanted, he would have to deal with it.
"I'll go and get a paper." He said, wanting to draw out the time before the moment when he had to say goodbye. "We can see what it says."
The teenager nodded as he passed her the TARDIS key and headed back across the green towards the blue box. As she went, she stopped, hearing footsteps and familiar voices. Half anxious, half thrilled, she realised that they were the voices of her best friends; Sarah, Poppy and Sam.
As they rounded the corner, Evie watched them, grinning broadly. They came closer, but didn't once look at her. Furrowing her brow Evie watched as, without once so much as glancing in her direction, the three teenagers walked straight passed.
"OI!" She shouted, confused. Why were they ignoring her? Surely they should be happy to see that she wasn't dead after all. Sarah sniffed, blowing her nose on a tissue that was clutched tightly in her hand. Her eyes were red and puffy, as were those of the other two. Sam seemed to be supporting them as they walked. "Sar? Sam? Pops?"
Freaking out a little, she jogged over to them, standing right in their way. "Guys?" They didn't hesitate. The three teenagers walked straight at her and then, making Evie feel sick, they walked straight through her. Her mouth falling open, she turned and watched them walking away.
Her legs turned to jelly and she collapsed, shaking, in a heap on the ground. The Doctor, who had seen her fall through the shop window sprinted across to her and scooped her up in his arms, the paper clutched tightly in his other hand. He carried her to the TARDIS, unlocked it and laid her gently on the floor. She blinked several times, looking at him through pain-filled eyes.
"I think… I think I'm actually dead." She whispered to him.