Title: In Exile
Disclaimer: I don’t even own the roof above my head. So I certainly don’t own anything in this ficlet.
Summery: Inspired by the prompt ‘“I suppose you'll want to know why I'm here... Well... Heh... I was exiled from the other universe... Bit of an incident, shall we say..." from Time and Chips unusual first line reunion challenge.
“I suppose you'll want to know why I'm here... Well... Heh... I was exiled from the other universe... Bit of an incident, shall we say..." said the Doctor as he stood on the Tyler Mansion front doorstep.
His normally impeccable clothes looked like he had been though a whirlwind and survived by the skin of his teeth. His tie was missing. His trench coat looked like someone had attacked it with a knife and not very successfully either as it was ripped in small places all over. His suit was also missing its right leg, as if something had hacked off the fabric from below his knee.
“…… and you wouldn’t believe how tetchy some humans get, honestly,” continued the Doctor, as Rose Tyler looked at him in complete shock. “As soon as I found myself in Pete’s world, I came straight to see you. Because I thought if I have to get a mortgage and carpets, you’re the only one I want to share that with.”
“Doctor?” asked Rose slowly, as if she couldn’t quite believe what her senses where telling her. Could it really be him?
“Yep. That’s me,” grinned the Doctor as if they had never been separated. As if it had only been a couple of hours since they had last spoken. When she knew for sure it had been so many long years for both of them.
“But you told me it was impossible?” said Rose, remembering that day so long ago on that beach in Norway. The day she felt her heart would break due to the pain of their separation, but had in the end only served to make her stronger. “That two universes would collapse!”
“Weeelll, that’s what I thought, till Torchwood pushed me though the rift,” said the Doctor quickly, not wanting to admit to being overpowered. “Proved me wrong, and I’m not often wrong.”
“Torchwood?” asked Rose, even why a voice inside her couldn’t help but add, again?
The Doctor nodded. “Torchwood 3 to be exact. It’s a long story, but the long and short of it is that they thought I had kidnapped their boss. It wasn’t my fault he decided to jump on to the Tardis just as I was dematerializing. When I returned to refuel, they grabbed me as soon as I left the Tardis. When I couldn’t tell them where Jack was, they pushed me though the rift. Just because I happened to be alien, and I might have been a bit rude, I’m not entirely sure. Is calling them a bunch of kindergartners still in nappies considered rude?”
“Jack? Captain Jack?”
The Doctor nodded frowning slightly, “Do we know any other Jacks? Anyway, he runs Torchwood 3 in Cardiff now. It was his team that pushed me into the rift. Complete rubbish of course I took him back to Cardiff months ago. I can’t be held responsible if he run in to trouble after I dropped him back. He always was jeopardy friendly, just like you.”
“But…I thought,” said Rose, “You said he was busy rebuilding the earth! That that was why we left the Game station without him. I always thought that meant that you two had decided between yourselves that Jack should stay behind. What is he doing in Cardiff? ”
The Doctor shrugged, “Long story.”
Rose glared. “Well, tell it.”
“Do we have to?” asked the Doctor, then seeing the look on Roses face added quickly, “Not that I don’t want to of course. But it’s freezing out here, and they ruined my coat.” He couldn’t quite keep the whine out of his voice. He had really loved that coat. Maybe Janis knew where to get another one?
Rose stepped aside and allowed the Doctor in. As soon as the door closed and locked behind them, Rose stepped towards the Doctor and hugged him tightly. He returned the hug just as fiercely, picking her off the ground, and hugging her as if he wanted to imprint her on to him.
“Rose Tyler,” declared the Doctor, “I have missed you.”
And despite the uncertainly of their future, and the consequences of their past actions that still needed to be faced, Rose couldn’t keep the smile of her face. He was really here. She could feel him under her fingertips; she could smell time itself and the shampoo he always used for his hair. She hugged him impossibility tighter as she returned the sentiment.
“Well, this is a touching reunion scene,” said one Captain Jack Harkness as he watched from a couple of feet away. “I had wondered how long you would take to get here, Doctor. We’re had the kettle waiting for the last hour. You’re running a bit late.”
The Doctor let go of Rose but continued to hold on to her hand, as if afraid she would slip away if he let go.
The Doctor grinned, “Jack Harkness, I should have known. It’s just like you to do the impossible.”
“Like you said, Doctor,” said Jack, with only a twinge of bitterness in his voice. “I’m an impossible thing.”
“That you are, Jack. Sums you right up,” said the Doctor, “Now who’s for tea, you did mention the kettle was boiled.”
“Well I do still owe you that drink,” said Jack as he led them towards the kitchen.
All of them together again, it was like nothing had ever changed, but then Rose mentioned the 5 fatal words that strike fear in the heart of every male regardless of which planet or time period they were from.
“Then we need to talk.”
Ten minutes later, the Doctor was just finishing his second cup of tea, while both Rose and Jack had barely touched their first one. All three of them were sitting around the kitchen table in a scene that seemed so domestic that it would have sent the pervious Doctor crazy, but the current Doctor sat there happily eating bisects and sipping tea.
The Doctor put his cup down, and Rose took it as the signal that she had been waiting for; the Doctor had delayed their talk long enough. Even he knew that.
“So Doctor, why did you leave Jack behind and not me” asked Rose. “Aren’t I wrong too?”
“What?” asked the Doctor. He hadn’t expected her to open with that line. Doesn’t anyone ever ask how have you been anymore? Before they stated criticizing?
“I’m 75 years old, Doctor and yet I barely look a day older then when I first arrived though the void. Doesn’t that strike you as wrong Doctor. What’s the difference between me and Jack? That you would leave him behind but take me with you?”
The Doctor remained silent.
“I just don’t get how you could have just left him! Surrounded by all that death and destruction! Why didn’t you take him with us?”
“Well to be fair,” pointed out the Doctor, “I was suffering from regeneration sickness at the time. I wasn’t entirely in my right mind; I was more like between minds.” Then seeing Rose’s unimpressed look, continued, “You bought Jack back from extermination. You more then bought him back to life; you bought him back for forever. Never to die, I could feel it. Jack became a fixed point in time and space, like an ocean that had developed one place of absolute stillness where nothing would ever change, ever. It was against everything I had ever been taught, against everything I had ever believed in, just completely and utterly wrong. So I run. A habit of a lifetime.” The Doctor shrugged.
“Prejudice,” added Jack, without a trace of bitterness, he had years to get over the events at the gamestation. “Does that make me Mr Darcy?”
“As long as that doesn’t make me Elizabeth Bennet,” retorted the Doctor.
“So it’s all my fault,” said Rose quietly.
“No. You couldn’t control it. It’s not your fault,” said the Doctor
“But what about me, Doctor? Aren’t I wrong too. At least Jack ages to some extent,” said Rose, as statement that sent Jack to the mirror checking for wrinkles. “I don’t. I look exactly the same.”
“You’re never felt wrong to me,” said the Doctor, “You felt like…home. Maybe the time vortex changed you, or maybe the Tardis had something to do with it. She always was a little bit cheeky.”
“Changed me how, Doctor?” asked Rose
“You don’t age, and I bet you can feel the turn of the universe,” said the Doctor simply.
Rose gasped, “But I’m human!”
“…and the Tardis is just a police box, I’m only a scientist with a doctorate and delusions of grandeur and Jacks an aging model with a love of WW2 coats.”
“Can you two stop talking about my age?” asked Jack exasperated.
“The thing is, Rose, you’re not just a regular everyday human anymore. You haven’t been for a while now,” said the Doctor
“But I’ve only got one heart!” said Rose
“But you have never been killed have you?” said the Doctor, “The binary cardio vascular system only develops after the first regeneration.”
“So I’m a Time Lord….”
“No.” replied the Doctor, “You’re an untrained Time Lady, and it’s my duty to make sure you don’t go about accidentally destroying any universes. The only safe place to train you is in the Tardis.”
“So, I’m going with you. Just like that.”
The Doctor nodded, “That is, if you want to of course?”
Rose grinned, “With an offer like that how can I refuse.”
“So,” said the Doctor, “What say you, Jack? Ready to travel in space and time with the only Time Lord and Time Lady in existence or are you going back to that team of yours? You know Jack that reminds me, you really have to teach them some manners. Send them on a course ‘Talking to Aliens 101’, I bet I could get Sarah Jane to run it.”
Jack chuckled, “I think they could manage without me for a week or two.”
“The old team back together,” grinned Rose, “the Three Musketeers.”
The Doctor looked at his wrist, “Well I say we’re got some time before the next rift opens up to get us back to the right universe, why don’t we go get some chips?”
“Who’s paying?” asked Rose.
Both the Doctor and Jack looked at her blankly.
Some things, Rose thought to herself, never changed.
“Come on. I know where to get the best chips in this universe.”