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13 April 2008 @ 12:36 am
On the Care And Feeding Of Time Lords [Doctor Who; Romana II, Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith]  
Title: On the Care And Feeding Of Time Lords (La Gherardini Overdrive Remix)
Author: booster17
Summary: Wrong Universe, wrong Time Lord. Like Rose Tyler’s gonna let that stop her…
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Doctor Who.
Warnings: None.
Spoilers: Spoilers up to the end of Doctor Who season 2.
Title, Author and URL of original story: Do I Dare Disturb the Universe by doyle_sb4.

Notes: Many thanks to my betas, empressvesica, draconin and trinfaneb.




The last Gallifreyian in the universe stood alone and unmoving beneath an alien sky.

There was a noise from behind them….

~ + ~

A ring ding ding ding d-ding baa aramba baa baa barooumba….

Rose Tyler rolled her eyes and lifted her head up from a particularly engrossing report from Torchwood 1901’s archives, rolling her chair over to the computer. There weren’t too many people had that certain alarm set up on her email (only Mickey would have kept the Crazy Frog ring tone out of everything from their earth), so something of the ordinary was most definitely up.

It was a short one from Mickey. ”Picked up a new alien visitor over in Torchwood Defense Fifteen. Humanoid, two hearts. Interested, babes?”

~ + ~

“You kinda forgot to mention the two breasts and long hair, Mickey. Not to mention the whole female bit.”

Mickey shrugged and grinned unapologetically. “Got you down out of your tower, didn’t it? You keep locking yourself away up there; you’ll turn into a pumpkin of some kind.”

Rose studied the alien woman through the one-way glass before them and tried to ignore what Mickey was saying and not saying at the same time. “Look, you know I’m the only one with the right kind of experience to go through all the old records and see what’s really there.”

Pete Tyler cleared his throat from the back of the room before the two of them could rehash an old familiar argument yet again. “Well, as you’re here now Rose, let’s hear your take on our latest visitor.”

The glass was cold to her touch. Rose studied the woman intently, almost wishing she could be in there with her. Too important for face to face meetings they said, too necessary to take stupid risks, too much this, too little that. She hadn’t had this much routine in her life since she started at Hendrick’s.

“She’s… possible. He was certain that no-one was left, but then… you know, different universe, different rules.”

Pete nodded. “Right. And you’re sure that the body change thing doesn’t affect sex? No he into she thing?”

Mickey snorted quietly in the corner, and even Rose smiled a little. “I’m fairly sure that might have been mentioned in passing. And why even have the name ‘Time Lords’ if that were true? The whole Lord part implies masculinity and by implication femininity as well.”

Pete tilted his head slightly. “….You’ve been thinking about this for a while now,” he stated quietly.

Rose observed the woman through the tinted pane, deliberately not looking at Pete or Mickey. The woman had what appeared to be a bored, almost haughty expression on her face. Until one looked closer.

“She reminds me of him when we first met. Doesn’t want to stop moving. Doesn’t want to stop and think,” she said quietly.

~ + ~

Up in her 16th floor office (not her tower, whatever Mickey implied), Rose just couldn’t get on with any of the files she’d been going through before. Suddenly, everything seemed a pale imitation, just words on paper.

It was getting dark outside. She could hardly make out the Zeppelins heading into Waterloo against the skyline now. And just when had their regular transits in and out of the terminus become so commonplace to her?

Turning the lights on wasn’t helping either. The files were still dry as dust.

She had the codes for just about every system in the building. She’d take a break, see how they were getting on with this woman, then crack on again with the archives.

Nothing special about it at all. She was on a break.

A couple of flicks on the remote here, a password borrowed from Pete there, and a full colour display of their ‘Welcome Suite’’s latest occupant hung on her office wall. Rose leant back against her desk, and tapped her chin with the remote in thought.

The woman (and Rose wondered idly why she hadn’t even thought to start describing her as an alien, like Pete had insisted in one of their first meetings) still looked bored, but resigned to the situation. Her eyes were lively, darting around and cataloguing everything she saw at first glance. But there was something else there, hidden deep in one corner of her eyes.

An almost expectant look whenever someone came into the room.

“You still have hope,” Rose murmured, reaching out and running one finger down the face on the monitor screen. “Do I have the right to take that away from you?”

The wind howled wordlessly outside the window, as Rose continued to watch.

~ + ~

Mickey and Jake were in there, doing their classic two dumb country policemen patter. Always fascinating to see just which visitors reacted badly, which visitors stayed pleasant and polite, and which visitors pulled out the hidden weapons and tried to start the invasion early.

Rose kept one ear on their conversation, while flipping through all the data gathered on their visitor. Not of course that she needed to be down here to do so, but her office was a little stuffy right now.

Mickey-the-idiot had just grinned when he’d seen her down there again, but then he was an idiot and didn’t count, particularly when he didn’t know what he was talking about anyway.

Regardless, Rose flicked through the lab reports, Pete quietly lurking at the back of the room, solid and dependable as she’d ever hoped.

Tests on the device that Romana (no way in hell was she gonna call her Romanadvoratrelundar) had used to get into the middle of TD 15 were strongly in favour of it being a D-Traveller, capable of transporting someone through various barriers, times and spaces. More importantly, it bore no trace at all of resembling using the Bleed for its entrances and exits.

No chance of disturbing the Daleks or Cybermen.

Pete saw her frown slightly at the next line. “Scans do show she’s got another on her, but we already have the bounce fields set up for the Martian room on three.”

Smart guy, Pete. Enough of a negotiator to know people always felt better to ‘know’ they could leave a distressing conversation at any time. Made it a lot easier for them to stay and keep talks going as well. Of course, he wasn’t insane enough to let any chance of the Daleks or Cybermen ripping back through into their world occur either.

Wait. Something had happened in the Welcome Suite.

Mickey stood up suddenly and headed for the exit out, trailed by a surprised looking Jake and leaving a slightly non-plussed looking Romana behind.

Rose replayed the last couple of minute’s dialogue in her head. Standard Mickey and Jake patter, one of Pete’s slogans, chatting about going on holiday…

Oh.

Oh. A great, big wide smile started spreading across her face.

“What? What just happened?” said Pete urgently, staring at her.

“She said Mona Lisa, Dad,” Rose spoke softly, mind ablaze. “Mona Lisa.”

“What? Who the hell is that?” Confused, Pete spun around to stare at Romana through the mirror.

“You know her as La Gherardini. Mickey and I know her as the Mona Lisa in our universe - Gherardini was her maiden name!” Rose could not stop grinning. She pointed at Romana through the glass. “She’s been there at the very least! We could have a way back, Dad! A different way, a safe way!”

She hugged him. Not a thing she’d ever done that much before this, but it just felt right.

In the room through the looking glass, Romana shimmered gently and disappeared.

“Crap!”

~ + ~

The last Gallifreyian in the universe stood alone and unmoving beneath an alien sky.

There was a noise from behind them….

“And double crap,” said Rose, still slightly out of breath, and having promptly fallen down the steep red sand slope. “I meant to say welcome to Mars, but seems I’ve got sand in my mouth.”

Rose brushed herself down, spat out a couple of grains, took a deep breath, and stepped forward. “At least, it’s meant to be Mars. Meant to reassure all our visitors from around there. Those Ice Lords are so damn touchy at times, they’re worse than my ma.”

Romana’s mouth quirked briefly. “I’m still on the same Earth, then?”

“Fraid so. We tend not to like people using dimensional jumps around here at the moment. Too much chance of ripping the Bleed open and letting the Daleks out again.”

A brief flash of pain flickered across Romana’s face. “You’ve… met them, then,” she said flatly.

“Once or twice,” Rose said carefully, “Back when I was travelling in the Tardis. And once when the Cybermen from here ripped open the Bleed to cross the universes.”

A flicker of pain flashed across Romana’s face, closely followed by other expressions that Rose deliberately didn’t spend too long looking at. She could see them in her own private mirror any day after all.

“Ah,” Romana eventually said. “I’m not in the right universe at all, am I?”

“He’s not in this one. And he can’t get here anymore.” Deep breaths, Rose. Chin up, keep going. It hurt her all over again, but this time actually causing the pain, rather than witnessing it.

“He told me about the war. The final fights between the Daleks and the Time Lords.”

Romana’s eyes shut tight, but she made no other move. Motionless, icy, waiting for the next blow.

“You all lost. Your home doesn’t exist.”

Romana wavered for a moment, then crumpled to the floor, red sand spraying in every direction, tears mixing with the particles floating in the air. “It…. They can’t all… even the Citadel?”

Rose knelt down beside the weeping Time Lady, and held her. “Shhhh…” she whispered as she rocked, “Remember those who have gone before you and honour them. For as long as you and he still live, your people exist.”

There was a snuffling noise as Romana clung onto Rose tightly. Rose just held her for a while, feeling the moisture against her clothes.

Mickey awkwardly stuck his head around the door into the Martian Suite. “Um… how we doing?” he said, and then thwacked himself in the head. “Well, obviously, things could be better, but the lack of death threats and ray guns…. Should I get a box of hankies?”

Romana shook a little in Rose’s arms. “…..stupid exosociology tutor. Stupid apes…..”

Rose held her a little tighter, and wiped away a stray strand of hair from Romana’s face. Her now-laughing eyes met Mickey.

“Oh, I think we’ll be just fine.”

~ + ~

The last Gallifreyian in the universe stood alone and unmoving beneath an alien sky.

There was a noise behind them….

The Doctor turned, a quizzical and delighted look upon his face. Then utter surprise.

“What?!?!”

The ghostly image of Romana rolled its eyes. “I told you he’d behave like that.”

The grinning Rose beside her shoved her slightly and waved at the Doctor. “Surprise!!!”

Romana tapped a few keys on her datapad, and glared at the Doctor. “Now really, Doctor, having to use an entire sun as a power supply to transmit between universes? Luckily for you, I got a Double First in Advanced Engineering.”

“But you… how did you… Romana? Rose!?!”

“Oh, she’s good,” grinned Rose, pointing at Romana. “This whole thing’s working on four AAA batteries.”

“What?!?!? What?!?!”

"He’s very young looking now, isn’t he? I think it’s a kind of vanity," confided Romana, staring at the Doctor. “The older he gets, the younger he regenerates into.”

Rose giggled. “Well, personally, not a problem. How’d you describe him when you knew him again?”

It’s a dream, the Doctor decided wildly. Too much cheese at bedtime, ignoring the fact that a) he hadn’t eaten any cheese, and b) hadn’t slept either.

“Rude, arrogant, strode about like he owned the place, wore a scarf.”

“Well, the scarf is different, I’ll give you that….”

~ Fin ~
 
 
 
Doyle: companion - rose (doomsday)doyle_sb4 on April 20th, 2008 10:36 am (UTC)
I'm a big fan of post-Doomsday Torchwood-agent Rose (as you may or may not know, o anonymous remixer) so this was a really fun, interesting twist to put on the story. I liked the ending a lot - poor Ten, two of them to wind him up, and of course Romana would need some batteries rather than a whole sun... thanks for writing this!
Sentimental yet sardonic: DW Cat and Docbooster17 on April 26th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it! Twas fun, reading your stories and enjoying them greatly, though I kept finding myself coming back to your original, solely on the grounds that I kept wondering about Rose's reactions. That, and discovering the Mona Lisa's real name in a totally unrelated thing set the whole ball rolling.

Oddly enough, I agonized for ages about whether to keep the last scene with the Doctor in it, but in the end, couldn't resist them teaming up on him (Ironically, just got back from watching Sontaran Strategem elsewhere, and looks like Donna and Martha had the same reactions *snerk*).
beatrice_otter: Tardisbeatrice_otter on April 20th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
Yes! I love Romana. And Romana and Rose together to tease the Doctor--made of win.
Sentimental yet sardonic: DW Still Running (DW 2x03)booster17 on April 26th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Got to admit, writing Romana was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. And more than one companion with the Doctor always leads to him losing control and getting flustered a lot.

Thanks for the comment!
Sophinisba Solis: white flowersophinisba on April 22nd, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
This was cool. I liked the last scene especially and can imagine Rose and Romana becoming real friends.
Sentimental yet sardonic: DW Dalek - D'ohbooster17 on April 26th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I dread to think what trouble Rose and Romana would get up to together....
Nicparanoidangel42 on April 24th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
I do like Romana's reaction to discovering Gallifrey never exists. And being able to speak to the Doctor using only four AAA batteries!
Sentimental yet sardonic: DW Good morning class (Ten)booster17 on April 26th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Well, you know Romana was always so much better at the technical stuff than the Doctor ever was. Hee!

Thanks for the comments - glad you liked it.
Taraelementalv on April 27th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC)
I don't know much about Doctor Who prior to Nine, but seriously, I didn't need to. I don't say this nearly often enough, but I love your writing.
slvrcrystalcslvrcrystalc on April 28th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Yeah!! You turned it into a reunion fic!! Thank you so much!