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Chapter 17

After another life-threatening adventure, all four of them had somehow managed to end up safely on the TARDIS once more. The Doctor whirled around the controls as he pushed buttons and pulled levers. (And, as usual, River followed him, correcting his mistakes.)

Then something occurred to her. "Doctor, when you told me the stories about the last time you visited this place, you mentioned something about not being able to get out."

He waved his hand dismissively. "Oh, don't worry about that. I fixed that problem a long time ago. It just required a little re-wiring, that's all." At this, he turned to Jet. "Now, let's get you home."

He said this with such casualty that at first the others hadn't paid much attention to this statement. It didn't take long to sink in, though. Rain spoke up first. "Wait, what?"

The Doctor turned to see the horrified looks on the faces of all the others, including River. "Yes, well, he can't stay here forever. After all, he's human."

"I don't think his species is the real problem," Rain snapped. "You have humans aboard as companions all the time! And what about Amy and Rory? They were . . . together."

Jet intervened now. "Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean 'I'm human?' You all look just as human as I do."

The Doctor gave Rain an exasperated look, as if to say, why haven't you explained this yet? She walked over to Jet and took his hand, placing it on her chest. "Do you feel that? I have two hearts. And so do they," she said, motioning to her parents. "We're not human; we're Time Lords. If I'm killed, I won't die. But you will."

He shook his head, dropping his arm. "I don't care. My life is my problem. I'll take whatever risks are necessary to stay here with you."

Now it was the Doctor's turn to cut in. "I'm sorry, but this really isn't a good idea. Amy and Rory were either engaged or married the whole time they were aboard, and you two are . . . eighteen!" Rain opened her mouth to object, but the Doctor stopped her. "I'm sorry."

Rain was practically in tears now, but she didn't want to cry. She ran out of the console room and down the corridors of the TARDIS. Jet shook his head in defeat and followed her.

Once the two were out of the room, River turned to the Doctor. "What do think you're doing?"

He threw up his hands. "Oh, great! Not you too."

"You're being ridiculous. You let me on the TARDIS before you knew I was your wife. And if you tell them that Amy and Rory were engaged, then that boy's just going to propose! You wouldn't care as much if she wasn't your daughter."

The Doctor looked shocked. "She's your daughter too, you know. Why aren't you upset?"

She rolled her eyes. "Rain has been locked up by the Silence for most of her life. The first time she gets a boyfriend, you kick him out."

He opened his mouth to make a point, but then closed it. "Actually, I hadn't really thought about that. But still, he's human. And humans die."

She shook her head. "Honestly, Doctor, there's a very small chance that they'll be together for that long. When they split, we can introduce her to other aliens, maybe even a Nestene duplicate."

He sighed, looking down at his feet like a five year old in trouble. "Fine. He can stay."

Jet followed her down what seemed to be an endless maze of corridors. After what seemed like miles, though, she entered a room, slamming the door.

He stood outside, not exactly sure what to do. Eventually, he decided to knock cautiously on the door.

Rain's voice came almost immediately, full of anger. "Who is it, and what do you want?"

"Um, it's me, Jet. I wanted to talk to you."

Her tone softened at the sound of his voice. "Oh, sorry. The door's open."

Jet entered the room carefully, unsure of what was inside. He saw nothing unusual: the walls were TARDIS blue, there was a desk in the corner, and in the center sat a large bed. However, these were her only pieces of furniture. Rain was lying face-first on the bed, her head buried in the pillows. She didn't sit up when she heard Jet shut the door behind him.

He walked over to the other side of the bed and sat down slowly. At first, he said nothing, not wanting to upset her any further. Soon, though, he couldn't help but bring up the subject. "You know, you could stay on Earth with me. My house is too big and empty now."

At this, she did sit up. "I know. That's not why I'm upset."

This caught him off-guard. "Oh. Well then, what's wrong?"

"I had never really thought about it until the Doctor brought it up." She closed her eyes, forcing herself to continue. "The point is you're human; I'm not. When you die, I'll still be alive and well. More specifically: I'll have to watch you die! I know I should let you leave, just like the Doctor said. I should get over you before something happens to you. But I can't! I'm... I'm in love with you."

Her words hit him like a shock wave, stunning him into silence for several seconds. However, these few seconds were long enough to give him his resolve. He didn't need any longer to think it through. "I'm in love with you too. And I know I'll have to die one day. I'm pretty resigned to that fact. I don't care if you're a different species; all I want to do is spend every day with you. But if it will hurt you to see me die, I promise I'll leave right now and never bother you again."

She shook her head and grabbed his arm, clinging to it. "No. That's still a long time away. I want to spend as much time as I can with you, even if that's only a lifetime. And if it means I'll have to spend it on Earth, then that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make."

He smiled and threw his arms around her, his hands resting on the small of her back. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Rain called to the knocker, "Come in."

River was the one to open the door. She had made the Doctor stay in the console room. After all, she was much better at dealing with this sort of thing. "Rain, I talked to the Doctor, and I think we've come to an understanding. Jet can stay." The couple exchanged looks of pure joy. "But please try to keep the flirting to a minimum when you're around him. You know how he gets." With a wink and a smile, she left the room.

River walked back to the console room to meet the Doctor. "They seemed pretty happy."

The Doctor turned to face her. "Yeah, I was probably overreacting."

"Probably?"

He rolled his eyes. "Okay, I was definitely overreacting. But she is our daughter."

River wrapped her arms around his neck. "Yes, but you have to see things through her eyes. I can remember a time when we were young lovers too."

The Doctor gulped, but placed his hands on her waist. "That actually wasn't that long ago."

She giggled. "Oh yeah, I forgot." With that, she kissed him.

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