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Chapter 48

Rain and Jet quickly followed the Doctor into the TARDIS. "And what does this plan involve?" asked Jet, who was starting to feel a little nervous about what exactly might happen to him. But the Doctor didn't answer him, and neither did River. Their eyes were downcast, River's focused on the floor and the Doctor's focused on the buttons he was pushing as he whirled around the console. "Well?" Jet asked again, getting more impatient with each passing second. When still no one answered, he stepped in front of the Doctor, stopping him in his tracks.

The Doctor's eyes met his, but they didn't give anything away. Rain could practically feel the tension that was radiating from her parents, and she took a step forward. "Doctor..." she prodded him to reveal something, anything about this "plan" of his. However, seeing that she was getting nowhere with him, she made her way over to River.

Her mother simply glanced up and gave her a reassuring smile. "I'm sorry, dear," she whispered, "but you'll have to wait and see."

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Jet continued their stare-down, each of them unflinching. Only when River cleared her throat to get the Doctor's attention did he shake his head and continue his orbit of button-pushing and lever-pulling.

"Okay," Jet sighed. "If you won't tell me the plan, will you at least tell me where we're going?"

"Home," the Doctor answered immediately in a flat tone without looking up.

"I'm sorry, what? Home? Whose home?"

"Your home." He punched in a few more coordinates before pulling the final lever and stopping to look at Jet. "I'm sorry, but you need to leave this time. Permanently."

Jet was taken aback. "E-excuse me?"

"It's too dangerous," the Doctor continued. "Think about it; as long as you're here, you put Rain at risk." He paused for a moment before adding, "You put your future son or daughter at risk." As he said this, Rain's hand instinctively flew to her stomach.

He could feel his heart beat faster, and each word the Doctor said became a dagger piercing his chest. "N-no, but you said you had a plan. A real, proper plan. You always have a plan!"

"This was the plan." The Doctor's voice remained calm, even as Jet's grew louder.

"Then make a better one!" He was practically shouting now. "After all I've been through here, it can't just end like this!" Now he looked over at Rain for support. The shock of what was happening had caused tears to well up in her eyes, but she was determined not to let them fall.

"Doctor," she said, hurrying to Jet's side, "you can't be serious. We've been through this; you can't expect to drop Jet anywhere without me following. Think about me, your daughter."

The emotion in her voice was almost too persuasive, but the Doctor remained firm. "Of course I'm thinking about you. I'm always thinking about you. I just want you to be safe."

"Oh, and you think this is safe?" Jet cut in. "You think it's safe for her to travel around the universe fighting monsters? What if she doesn't return miraculously unharmed, huh? She may be a Time Lord, but she's not immortal. Who are you to say that this is the safest place for her?"

This comment touched on a sensitive area for the Doctor, and though he had been prepared for an argument, he couldn't fight the anger bubbling up inside him now. "So you're asking me to leave her with a bipolar pawn of the Silence instead?" His voice had reached the same volume as Jet's.

"I'm asking you to actually weigh the options for a change, instead of just doing what you want!"

The Doctor pointed to Rain as he shouted, "Look at her and tell me that you honestly think that she would be safer with you, and tell me if the same holds true if you were to lose your temper."

What made Jet angry wasn't the fact that the Doctor was now shouting at him. Rather, it was the fact that as soon as he glanced at Rain,—whose hand was still curled protectively around her midsection—he couldn't help but think that the Doctor's words were true. And this was one thing he couldn't stand. He hated knowing that he wasn't even capable of protecting the only girl he had ever loved. He couldn't protect his wife or his child. He was a failure.

Now Jet could feel the darkness starting to fog his vision, the darkness that came with an elevated pulse as his hands became fists and his face became hot. It was the same darkness that had shrouded his vision before he'd attacked James. He was vaguely aware of a shrill beeping noise coming from what looked like a remote control in River's hands. But in an instant, this image was gone, and his vision blacked out completely. All he could register now was the Doctor's voice prodding him on.

"You can't fight the truth, no matter how hard you try. Believe me, I've spent my whole life outrunning it, and that doesn't work either. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can't save everyone. Sometimes the best option is to just let them go."

Mixed with the Doctor's words were sobs that must have come from Rain. "Doctor, please." She begged. "Please, just stop."

Jet sensed that the Doctor continued to speak, but if he did, the words no longer registered. As Jet's pulse climbed, his senses failed. His hearing faded, just as his sight had. Before long, he was no longer aware of anything but darkness and the beating of his own pulse that was audible in his head. Eventually, even that sound faded from his realm of consciousness, and he was left with total and complete darkness.

The others watched as Jet began to advance toward the Doctor. However, after only one step, he began to sway uneasily before collapsing to the floor. In the background, the beeping of the monitor in River's hands had become so frequent that the individual beeps were beginning to sound like one continuous tone. Soon after Jet collapsed, though, the monitor gave one final beep, louder and longer than the others, before becoming silent.

Rain had long since given up on trying not to cry, and the tears streamed down her cheeks. "No!" she sobbed as she knelt next to her husband's body. She turned him onto his back and tried to listen for a heartbeat, but she wasn't sure whether she was feeling his pulse or her own ringing in her head. "Jet, please," she whispered. "I can't lose you again."

Behind her, the Doctor walked over to River and took her empty hand. "I told you it would be risky," he whispered as they watched their daughter's heart shatter.

"Please," Rain whispered again between sobs.

Suddenly, Jet's eyelids flickered. He took a sharp, shaky breath before opening his eyes completely and letting out a groan. "Rain," he said, as his first clear thoughts were of her. "Rain, I'm sorry."

Her eyes were wide with disbelief, and what had previously been tears of sorrow became tears of joy. "Jet! You're alive!"

A small smile crept onto his face. "You can't get rid of me that easily."

She allowed herself a chuckle of relief at this statement. "You've got to stop almost dying."

"I'll try," he smiled. Now he decided that he should at least sit up to test his muscles. They were a little sore, of course, but not terrible.

The Doctor and River came to sit beside him too, each taking a turn embracing him. "I'm very sorry about all that," the Doctor said. "But it had to be done. The Silence had apparently planted a small chip inside you that activated when your emotions flared. We had to short it out in order to save you."

Jet nodded in understanding. "You might've explained that to me beforehand. If it hadn't shorted out, I would have attacked you."

River cut in now. "If we had told you, then your reactions would have been different. You wouldn't have gotten as angry."

"Plus, we knew it would be risky," the Doctor continued. "But it was our only hope of saving you."

Rain dried her eyes before asking, "Wait, so if this was all part of the plan, does that mean Jet can stay with us?"

"Of course!" the Doctor smiled. "He's part of the family now." Jet now stood up, but it was obvious that he was a little uneasy on his feet. The rest of them stood up too. "I think you'd better lie down for a while," the Doctor said.

Rain put her arm around Jet's waist. "I'll take him to his room."

"Actually, you should probably take him to the medical bay." When the others looked at him quizzically, he added, "There's something you might like to see."

With a shrug, Rain and Jet made their way to the medical bay, followed by the Doctor and River, who had left the monitor on the console. Once they had gotten Jet situated on one of the beds, the Doctor turned to Rain. "Now, how would you like to take a look at your son or daughter?"

"I'd love to!" Rain said. "But it's probably too early, right?"

The Doctor smirked. "It's never too early when you're inside a time machine."

Rain's face lit up, and she sat down on the bed that was next to Jet's. Between them was the scanner that would show them the face of their child. The Doctor pressed a few buttons on the scanner, telling it to scan Rain, and within moments an image popped up on the screen. "Wow," the Doctor smiled, reaching over to take River's hand as he watched the reactions of the proud parents.

"Fantastic," Jet stated, beaming at the screen. "Why argue over whether you want a boy or a girl when you can have both?"

Rain was now grinning from ear to ear. "Twins."

"Have you thought about names yet?" River asked.

Rain looked over at Jet, who nodded for her to answer. "Actually, yes. I know, it's cheesy, but we've been looking at combining our names. If it was a girl, we'd name her Jane, and if it was a boy, we'd name him Rhett. Now I guess we have both."

"Well, Jane and Rhett," the Doctor said, his eyes still fixed on the screen, "welcome."

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