Family of Blood
“Make your decision, Mister Smith,” Dean, the teenage boy possessed by a member of the family, taunted John as his parents in human bodies held Rose and Martha at gunpoint.
“We should shoot the blonde,” Suggested the teenage girl. “Perhaps if that human heart breaks, the Time Lord will emerge.”
“Or you could just leave him alone,” Rose said, fingers moving down the latch on her bracelet.
“Now, hold on!” Tim said loudly, stepping out in front of John before Rose could release the bracelet latch. “Let’s not get too carried away. First of all, how do you know I’m not the Doctor? Hmm? I mean, got the snazzy suit, got the little sonic thingy-ma-bob.” He said, wiggling his fake sonic screwdriver between his fingers. “What’s he got? Huh?”
“He’s not the Doctor,” Dean said, smiling. “This body has memories of the pathetic human growing up.”
“Right,” Rose said, flicking the latch on her bracelet just before she elbowed Dave’s body in the solar plexus and managed to get hold of the gun. She turned it on him, closing the latch on her bracelet once more to find that it was distracting enough for Martha to somehow get the gun off Vikki the red head. “Nice going,” Rose panted.
“Same.” Martha said. “Now, one more move and we shoot.”
“Did you smell that brother of mine,” The teenage girl said, staring at Rose with a desperate hunger. “She’s not entirely human.”
“It’s a false scent, daughter of mine,” Vikki’s voice said as they all seemed to stare at Rose. “It’s alluring, but it’s not enough.”
“Are you sure, wife of mine?” Dave said, taking a big whiff. “It’s duller now, but I thought it was the same scent we smelled on the Time Lord.”
“We know the Doctor is a man, husband of mine. Though this creature’s essence is linked to his, I think.” Vikki said, inching closer.
Martha shot the gun at the ceiling, causing the students scream out a moment. “Oi, I think that’s enough.” She said, pointing her gun toward Dean.
“Oh, the teacher is full of fire,” Dean taunted, a salacious smile coming over his face. “It’ll be a shame to kill you.”
“Try it, we’ll die together.” Martha countered.
“Would you really pull the trigger? You look scared.” Dean taunted.
“Scared and holding a gun, good combination. Wanna risk it?”
“With you, yes.” Dean said, finger twitching on the trigger before a beam barely missed his head. He turned wide eyed toward Rose.
Her hand was steady, her gaze hard, and if she didn’t know any better she would say she was pulling her own kind of Oncoming Storm off on the moment. She snarled a moment before it changed into a smile at the fear in the son’s eyes.
“You don’t want to be trying that, Mate.” She said evenly. “John, get the students out.” She said, keeping her eyes on the family. “Tim, help.”
“Emergency exits, all of you.” John shouted, his voice trembling, and it wasn’t a second later that the stampede toward the exits started, the room filled with scrapping shoes, fearful whimpers, and the alarms going off as the emergency exits were opened.
When the school gymnasium was empty, Rose took a step back. The family made to advance.
“Uh, uh,” She said calmly. “Not another step.” She said.
“She’s an animal, this one.” Dean noted.
“She is. Protective and fearsome. Maybe we should consume her too.”
As they took another single step forward, and the four remaining in the gym took one step back, Rose’s mind buzzed. She looked around the room all without seeming to take her focus off the family, calculating what might be useful and in what way, and how they could use it to escape. Her brain settled on the nearby smoke machine, close enough to the family that it would hinder them, fair enough from them to avoid injury, and all if she hit it at exactly the right spot.
She pulled the trigger, and the small explosion caused Smoke to cloud the family, probably disorienting them as well, and Rose turned sharply. Grabbing John’s hand along the way she pulled him to the emergency exit, hearing two other sets of feet following close behind.
“Now what are we going to do? Take the bus?” Martha said more in panic than anger.
“My car’s this way,” Tim said, pointing to the student’s lot around the corner. The three others didn’t hesitate to follow, and Tim had his keys out of his pockets and unlocking the doors automatically before they were ten feet away. Piling in, Rose and John barely had their seat belts on before Tim was starting the engine and taking off.
“You … you … Rose, what?” John stuttered, eyes wide and not looking at her.
“Where’s the watch?” Tim asked, glancing at Rose in the rear view mirror.
“Our flat, 45 Oak.” She replied.
“How do you know about the watch?” Martha asked.
“I dunno.” Tim replied.
“No, not a good answer, Mister Latimer. How do you know about the watch?” Martha whirled around to look at Rose. “Did you tell him?”
“I barely know him.” She countered, her voice cracking as the realization of what had and was happening started to hit her.
“I just know shit, okay!” Tim blurted out.
“Language!” John countered, and after a moment of silence they all sorta laughed nervously.
“I just, I dunno, always knew crap about people. Crap I shouldn’t know. Little things, usually. But since Mister S came to town, I’ve been getting all these weird thoughts and dreams. About heroes and aliens, and all kinds of stuff that I don’t understand and have never experienced.”
“You dreamed of the watch?” Rose asked.
Tim shook his head before he made the turn down their rode. “I saw it. In my head. It was like knowing your bracelet was important. I didn’t know how to get it to you, but I saw your face before we met and knew who it belonged to.”
“What are the three of you talking about?” John asked, and Rose looked to see his was trembling. “What does a watch have to do with anything? What were Dave, and Dean, and Becca, and the other one all going on about?”
Tim stopped outside the building in an empty parallel space, and Rose turned to John. “Come upstairs,” She said gently. “We’ll explain.”
The four of them filed up to the apartment silently, heading inside the dark apartment. Martha must have flipped on the light, because a moment later everything felt bright, and under the microscope. Suddenly all those pictures of Rose and Martha with the Doctor felt far larger than they were, his captured manic grin too wide to not be noticed.
“What the hell?” John said, the fear replaced by confusion as he took in the pictures on the wall.
“We’ve known each other for three years,” Rose started. “You’ve taken me to see so many wonderful things. People. You gave me a whole new life.” She said, watching him as he took in the pictures. “Traveling with you has been the best thing that ever happened to me.”
“Travel with me?” John whirled around. “But you said that the bloke you were traveling with left you.”
“He did, and like I said, he had good reasons too.” Rose tried to smile, but the pain in John’s eyes was almost too much to bear. “You had to hide. You had to become a new man.”
John laughed, but there was no humor. “Right, so you’re telling me that I’m someone else? Someone who travels with you, who people call ….” The smile fell from his lips. “You’re saying I’m the Doctor?”
“Yes,” Rose said softly.
“No,” He said abruptly.
“Please,” Rose started to say.
“No!” John yelled, hands motioning for her to stop as his lip quivered. “It’s a fake story, he’s not real. Rose, please, he’s not real.”
“He is, he’s you.” She implored. “Look around you, how do you think these were all taken, hmm?”
“You photoshopped them somehow.”
“Wearing a suit you’ve only worn just tonight?” Martha asked, drawing his attention. “I’m sorry, but Rose isn’t lying.”
John looked at all three of them, his arms dropping to his sides, an air of defeat sitting on his shoulders. “So what’s the stakes you two have in all this?” He asked. “Both of you try to date me, I assume that’s all a lie?”
“No,” Both girls said in unison, glancing at one another before looking back to John.
“So what is this Doctor? Some sorta Casanova? A ladies man?”
“Depends on his mood,” Rose mumbled, crossing her arms and trying to ignore the snort that came from Tim behind her.
“We travel with you.” Martha said, “You refer to us as your companions, but we’re your friends.”
John nodded, pacing in front of the couch. “So what’s this, this watch thing?”
“It’s who you are.” Rose said gently. “It holds everything that makes you you.”
“But I’m me!” He growled back. “I’m me! My name is John Alex Smith. I grew up in Nottingham, I lived in London for five years. I moved here to start a new life! I like Sci-fi, and Thai Food, and I’m in love with a woman named Rose Tyson!” He shouted back, his eyes misting.
“But that’s not even my name,” Rose sniffed. “It’s Rose, but it’s not Tyson, it’s Tyler. And Martha isn’t Martha Jane but Jones, and you are not John, you’re the Doctor. My Doctor!” She took a deep breath, calming herself down.
“And you let me fall in love with you?” He said evenly. “Even though none of it’s real?”
“Who’s to say that part isn’t?” She said quietly, feeling Martha’s eye burn on the side of her head. She took a couple steps toward John, stroking his cheek a moment. “I’ll be right back.” She said, heading into her bedroom, tugging the key from around her neck before she was even in the room.
An explosion sounded outside, and Rose closed her eyes as she realized they were running out of time to prevent altering history, and possibly causing more than four lives to be lost.
“What was that?” She heard John ask as she unlocked the armoire.
“Probably the family trying to lure you out.” Martha said, and there was silence as Rose punched in the code to the safe.
“How can you stand here and say that? How can you think I’m this Doctor person. Martha, you know me, we work together. The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done was put mustard on my sandwich instead of mayonnaise. Why would I even want to be him?”
“Because the dude’s a badass.” Tim said as Rose removed the box from the safe. “He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like night. He’s the storm in the heart of a the sun. He’s ancient and forever, burns in the center of time. He can see the turn of the universe.”
“And he’s wonderful.” Martha said adoringly, and Rose plucked the watch from it’s safe place. “I hardly know him,” Martha continued. “But I do know that he is everything. To the Universe, to me. And I love him to bits, I do.”
“Here it is.” Rose said as she entered the room, halting Martha mid reach for John and causing a blush to go to her cheeks.
“Can I … can I see it?” Tim asked.
Rose hesitated, looking to John who eyed the thing like it was deadly. She handed it to Tim, who took it, smiling.
“I can hear him.” He said, a chuckle on his voice. “I can hear him whispering. He’s ready, he knows it’s time. He’s ready to come back.”
John glanced to Tim, eyes falling on the watch. In a fluid motion, Tim chucked it over to him, and John caught it with ease, running his fingers over the surface as he stared it down.
“How do I hear a voice in a watch?” Tim asked Rose.
“Oh, low-level telepathic field, paired with your slightly psychic tendencies. You were born with them, likely brought on by something in your genetics, or an extra synaptic engram ….” John had answered, his voice going a touch higher before he stopped and stared at them all. “Is that how he talks?”
“All the time,” Rose said, trying not to show how good it was to hear him as she moved to stand with John.
Explosions sounded outside again, sirens going off in the distance as emergency services started kicking in to help with something they wouldn’t understand.
“So that’s it? I die, and the Doctor comes back? I go away, and someone else takes my place?”
“You’re more him than you realize,” Rose tried to sooth, putting her hands on his chest, feeling his single heart pound.
John scoffed, shaking his head. “Suppose it’s no use just handing this over to those things?” He asked. “Not if they want you with it.” She said nothing, just watched his eyes clench shut. “I don’t wanna go,” He choked out. “I don’t wanna go, and have someone else come in who doesn’t love you. I don’t want you to hurt. I want … God, I want the house, and the ten dogs, and you as my wife, Rose Tyson. Or Tyler, I don’t give a damn what your name is, I want you. Can you honestly tell me he wants you too?” He asked, opening his eyes and pleading with her to confirm.
Rose gave him a sad smile and a nearly imperceptible nod before brushing away his tears. His eyes became hard, hinting at a storm brewing.
John’s kiss came so forcefully, Rose could feel the bruise forming on her lips. He gripped the back of her head, holding her mouth to his until his lips began to quiver.
A moan of pain hummed in his throat before he was forced to pull away as his face was contorted in agony, a strangled cry filling the otherwise quiet apartment as the gold light from the watch circled around him. Sweat dotted his brow, his breathing ragged and uneven, until suddenly it wasn’t and the light was gone.
Cool hands gripped her shoulders, thumbs brushing her neck, but Rose was barely able to breath as she waited.
Beneath her left hand, a heart started beating in his chest, and her mind started to feel a second presence hum through it, sending love and relief.
Slowly, the man in front of her lifted his head, his eyes opening, blinking before falling on her in recognition. His smile stretched wide and familiar. “First face this face sees once again, Rose Tyler.” He said, and the tone of his voice, while she was sure hadn’t changed as John, was all Doctor now.
She smiled, tongue between her teeth. “First face you’ll always see, if I had it my way.” She managed to choose from the dozens of things she wanted to say, knowing that he was hearing them in his mind anyway.
“Precious girl,” He said before pulling her to him, hand in her hair as he bent down to give her a sweet, loving kiss. As her hands slide up his chest and around his neck, he moved his down so his arms could encircle her, picking her up and spinning her around a second before trying to kiss her deeper.
A throat cleared, and they broke apart.
“Yeah, hate to interrupt,” Tim’s voice said, and Rose turned to see the teenager smiling slyly. “But we humans have this thing about PDA, and it’s grossness. Also, there’s aliens bombing the city.”
“Right you are, Tim.” The Doctor said, bouncing away from Rose. “Now let’s see,” He said as he patted himself down. “Ah, yes, everything where I left it. Brilliant. Time to go put a stop to the family, then.”
“Need help?” Rose asked.
“Nah,” The Doctor waved it off. “Don’t need help with this one. You and Martha just get ready to leave and I will take care of the family. See you outside in the parking lot in about, oh, I’d say an hour.” He said before darting out the apartment. A second later he came back in. “Oh, one more thing.” He said before kissing her again quickly. “I missed you, too.” He said, and then left the apartment once more.
She heard someone come up beside her. “So, he’s an alien.” Tim said.
“Yep,” Rose said, popping the ‘p’.
“Are you an alien?” He asked, and she turned to see him looking her over.
“No, I’m human.” She said with a grin. “With some modifications.”
“So, you’re telling me the one role model I had in my life is an alien who macks on human girls, and is actually as bad ass as that journal and my, I dunno, thought things said?” Rose arched a brow. “Damn.” Tim finished, and Rose chuckled.
A door slammed shut behind them, and Rose turned to see Martha’s bedroom door closed.
“Need help with anything?” Tim asked as the awkwardness finally hit home.
“You can help me get these pictures out of the frames.” Rose said, gesturing to the photos around the room. “We can leave the apartment like this, but in this year, back in London, I’m a missing person. When we abandon the flat, I can’t have them think I was here.” She said, and Tim nodded before helping her get to work.
It was kind of amazing to Rose how Tim didn’t ask any questions about what she meant, or what happened. Even if he did have a level of understanding, both from what he read in the Doctor’s journal and what he gained from his sixth sense, she was sure he would talk her ear off. Instead, they finished collecting the pictures and put them in a neat bag. With no time to restore the frames to where they were supposed to be, Rose and Tim left them in a pile before she went to change.
As her door closed, she heard Martha’s open, the apartment door opening shortly after, not being closed.
Back in her jumper, jeans, trainers, and jacket, Rose took the bag she had brought with her from the TARDIS out of the room.
“So where’d Martha go?” Tim asked, throwing a thumb toward the open apartment door.
Rose slipped the pictures inside the virtually empty bag. “Wanna see?” She asked, getting Tim’s face to light up.
They left the apartment, closing the door behind them but not locking it. In a few days the rent would be due, and when no one paid it the landlord would be by. It didn’t matter if anything was stolen, the important things were with her.
As they left the building, the grinding sounds of the TARDIS materializing came from around the corner, the shuddering thud of it fully forming causing a smile to come to Rose’s face.
As she and Tim turned the corner, Martha was already heading inside.
“Seriously?” Tim said skeptically.
“Come see,” Rose said, gesturing for the young man to follow her.
The doors pushed open with ease, and the second she stepped inside she was greeted with a happy, overjoyed hum and a brush on her mind that made Rose think of hugs.
“Oh, I missed you too!” Rose said, caressing the walls of the ship fondly.
“Holy Shizzle it’s bigger on the inside!” Tim said, looking around before he realized what he said. “Wait, Shizzle? Why did I say shizzle. I meant shizzle. Hey, why can’t I say shizzle?”
“Language,” the Doctor said, coming out from the other side of the Time rotor. “TARDIS will translate virtually every language in the universe, but the old girl is not too fond of swearing. Well, at least most, and certain circumstances, you know.” He rambled, hands in his pockets as he smiled at Tim.
“So, this is all real.” He said, looking around the ship, moving up the ramp, running his hand along the console edge.
“Oh, she likes you.” Rose cooed.
Tim froze, eyes shifting around before he grinned. “Yeah, I’m getting that now.”
“So what are you going to do with us?” Dean’s voice asked sharply, and Rose looked to see the four of them chained together near the jump seat and looking utterly pissed off.
“Oh, I have something in mind for you.” The Doctor said darkly, stalking toward them and pausing at the console. He flipped the switch, and whirring wheeze of the TARDIS traveling filled the air. As it landed with a thud, the Doctor moved a few feet closer, staring down the family. “On your feet.” He demanded.
“The storm,” Tim murmured to Rose, watching the Doctor with awe as the Time Lord waited for the family to struggle to stand up.
“Now move.” The Doctor commanded, and as he followed the family as they shuffled toward the door the storm was indeed brewing in his eyes.
“Come,” Rose gestured toward the doors as the opened on their own to allow the family to leave.
They stopped a little ways away from the TARDIS, and Rose and Tim stayed closest to the ship while the Doctor stood between the family and them.
“This is where we found you,” Dave said, flabbergasted.
“A planet with no life forms to drain,” The Doctor noted, his head moving about as if he was examining their surroundings. “And here you will stay, with no ship or vortex manipulator to escape with. No one will come here, not for a few decades. A quarantine is already placed on the planet, the deadliest virus any race has will be flagged as being here, and no one will dare venture. By the time it’s lifted you should all be dead, dust, the bodies you so brutally used decaying.”
“You wouldn’t do that,” Vikki challenged.
“Oh I considered doing much, much worse.” The Doctor said, taking a step toward them. “Placing you in mirrors, chucking you out in to supernovas, suspending you in time. Punish you to live forever like you want, but in misery. Because you are senseless parasites who don’t deserve the slow death of natural causes, you deserve to suffer. But that pink and yellow human over there, the one that could have killed you all and didn’t, she’s the reason I’m leaving you here. Because she taught me to be better. And trust me, this is better.” And with that, the Doctor turned away, striding up to them and turning them around. He put his hand in Rose’s, and she noted that he put his hands on Tim’s shoulder blades as he guided them inside.
When the doors were shut, the Doctor put the TARDIS in the vortex, giving himself a moment or two before he lifted his gaze and looked to Tim with a manic grin.
“You were just on a different planet.” He pointed out.
“Guess I was,” Tim said with a smile as the new reality set in.
“Breathed in different air, took in a different horizon. You could do it again if you want.” The Doctor shifted a little. “So, what do you say?” The Doctor said as he moved to stand next to the young man. “You and I, we got to know each other. I mean, I was John, I guess, but John was still me.”
“Yeah,” Tim said slowly.
“How about you come with us? One trip, or two or three? If Rose is okay with that of course?” The Doctor said, looking to Rose apologetically.
She grinned, shaking her head in amusement. “Of course.”
Tim’s fingers grazed the console. “I want to, so bad. Get away from that freaking excuse for a life and just do something awesome.” He sighed, shoulders falling as he met the Doctor’s eye. “But I can’t.”
“Why not?” The Doctor asked, crossing his arms.
Tim looked to his feet. “Something really big is coming. It’s a couple years off, but if I’m with you then I won’t be where I need to be when it happens.” He looked to Rose. “And I need to be there.”
A bolt of something like fear shot through Rose, and she swallowed past the tightness in her throat. Tim smiled weakly after a few seconds passed before whipping his head around, hair flying out of his face. “But hey, ask me again, in, like, three years.” He added, and Rose moved to the console to return the TARDIS to the parking lot of her former apartment building. The TARDIS whirred and wheezed, landing smoothly.
“You know, maybe we will.” The Doctor smiled, nodding once before standing and offering Tim his hand. Instead, Tim formed a fist, and upon recognizing the gesture corrected his own to bump knuckles with Tim.
“Wow, you’re freaking cold. Like, wow, actual alien weird shizzle.” He looked around the ship one more time. “Nope, I’m out. No one censors me. See ya later Doc, and especially you, Wolf Girl.” Tim called over his shoulder as he strode down the ramp and out the TARDIS.
The Doctor ran around the console, put in some coordinates, and sent the ship to their next destination.
“Heading somewhere, are we?” Rose asked, noting how the Doctor was concentrating a little too much on the panel.
“Oh yes,” He said, a smile pulling on his lips.
Rose nodded as she felt the shudder of landing, and the TARDIS’s excited hum buzzed through her mind.
“Where’s Martha?” She asked, starting to feel a little nervous with the way her two favorite beings in the Universe were starting to act.
“I dunno,” The Doctor replied honestly. “I don’t think she saw me when she came in. Headed straight for the corridor. But that doesn’t matter now, because we, Rose Tyler, are going to step outside those doors just me and you.”
He came around and snatched her hand, pulling her eagerly toward the doors, allowing her to pass through first.
And instantly she was colder, the snow of Woman Wept falling lightly around her.
“We need to take a breath, do we?” Rose asked as he came up beside her. “Are you angry about the bracelet? About not having the watch handy? What did I screw up?” She rambled.
“Nothing.” He said sincerely, and she looked up into his excited, warm brown eyes. “Technically if either of us did something wrong in those times, it was me. But I think we can both say I wasn’t myself.” He grinned manically. “But you once said that this was our place to just be us, where we could have a moment without hiding in the TARDIS. And Rose Tyler, I want a moment.” He said as as he looped his arm around her and brought her around to face him.
“Do you?” She teased.
“Oh yes,” He said, his grin not faltering for a moment. “Because there is something I’ve wanted to give you for such a long time. Picked it up on that little asteroid market right before we went to see your mother for the last time. I didn’t know when I’d ever give it to you, or how, I just hoped that I would.” He reached into his blazer pockets, and Rose watched as he pulled out a simple looking, pink gold ring. Her mouth went dry. “You and I have been through a lot, and there are so many hints that there’s more to come. But after Canary Wharf, after almost losing you, I realized I would be daft if I let things continue the way they were, and while it’s all gone a lot faster than I expected, I wouldn’t change it. You have my hearts, Rose Tyler. Forever.”
“Doctor?” She managed to get out.
“This is a promise, Rose.” He said as he picked up her right hand, then dropped it and picked up the left. Waves of nerves, excitement, love, hope, and fear crashed against Rose’s mind as their skin touched, and it made her more dizzy than she had been when it was just her heart pounding in her chest. She could barely breathe, but it was all for the best. “A promise that for as long as your forever is, I’ll be yours. That even when that forever ends, I will never belong to anyone else. I’m not asking you to bond with me, not yet. It’s all still new, and I still want to take it slow in that I want us to be comfortable with what we have and are now before we go any further. But this is me saying that I will, without a doubt, ask you someday. Probably in the next decade.”
Rose giggled as she tried not to let the tears prickling her eyes to spill over.
“Are you going to put that on?” She asked cheekily.
He smiled wide, “If you want me to.” She nodded, and as he glided the ring on her finger, her skin tingled pleasantly.
“Oh,” She chuckled, bitting her lip.
“It’s balamancinite, created on the planet Casarima. It’s indestructible. Nothing, absolutely nothing can damage this metal. It’s created to form to the wearers fingers perfectly, and once it’s taken on the biological readings of the wearer it can not be removed by anyone but them.” He explained. “That was the tickling you felt. It was the ring identifying its owner.”
As it rested on the end of her finger, she felt it settle before she felt nothing at all. Like it wasn’t there. “So not even you can slip it off?”
He shook his head. “Had to be very, very careful when I did the inscription,” He said with a touch of pride.
Rose lifted her hand, catching the thin lines and circles in the light. “I recognize that,” She said of the Gallifreyan writing.
“You should, it’s on our door.” The Doctor said. “Our names together.”
“Does this mean I get to know your real name?” She asked, smiling though she knew what he was going to say.
“Not yet,” He said. “But one day, I promise.” He said, brushing his hand in her hair.
Rose nodded, and before anything more could be said he kissed her deeply. It felt good, the coolness of his lips and tongue moving in time with hers again. She ran her fingers through his soft hair, earning a satisfied moan from the back of his throat as their minds danced and sung against one another.
“You never kissed John like that,” He noted against her mouth. “Never kissed him at all, really.”
“He wasn’t you, not really.” She reasoned, returning to her lips to his a beat later.
“Rose,” He said, breaking the kiss again after a few minutes. “We should head back inside.”
“Yeah?” She asked, a smile pulling at the corners of her mouth when she recognized the dark look in his eyes.
“Oh yes,” he said. “I did say we would pick up where we left off, didn’t I?”