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19 May 2007 @ 11:29 am
Come Back To Me 9/15  
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Pairing: 10/Rose, (with a little 9 in later chapters)
Rating: Teen
Spoilers: This is an AU, Post-Doomsday Reunion Fic. Spoilers include any and all episodes in Series 1-2 of Doctor Who.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, If I did you'd be watching this story on TV
Synopsis: Rose gets a strange visitor who may hold the answers to all she seeks. A romantic Doctor/Rose reunion story, with some action thrown in for good measure.

Chapter 9
Great Minds



They ran down the corridor, stopping before a large wooden door with the words “Tyler’s Room” stenciled on it in green paint. Rose would have laughed at the normalcy of it if the situation hadn’t been so grave. The first thing she noticed when she and the Doctor entered was the faint purple glow illuminating the chamber. The effect grew brighter the further they walked into the room. Tyler was huddled in a corner next to the rumpled bed, wearing green plaid pajamas and clutching a cricket bat for dear life. The purple light flashed on and off every time he blinked.

“I’m here, Tyler,” the Doctor assured as he ran to embrace his son. The boy fell into his arms easily, the makeshift weapon clattering to the floor. After a quick squeeze the Doctor pulled back to look his son in the eye. “Could you tell where the emotions are coming from?” he asked, flinching when the intense purple light met his pupils.

“I can’t pinpoint it,” he said nervously as the Doctor reached over to the bureau to retrieve a pair of clear-glassed, wire-rimmed spectacles. He switched on a lamp before settling the glasses on his son’s nose. The purple light was immediately replaced by the dim glow of the lamp.

“Its all right Tyler,” the Doctor said soothingly as he smoothed the earpieces into place. “Can you tell me anything, anything at all?”

The boy frowned in deep concentration and Rose found it hard to believe that father and son didn’t share any DNA. They wore identical expressions on similar bespectacled faces. Even their freckles matched. Perhaps their psychic link had something to do with the resemblance, or maybe it was just an amazing coincidence.

Tears formed in the child’s eyes, threatening to spill over. He shook his head in frustration. “I’m sorry Dad,” he answered brokenly, “I just don’t know. I’m letting you down.”

“Never.” The Doctor insisted as he pulled Tyler tightly into his arms again. “You’re my son and you could never let me down.” He pulled back slightly to point at Rose. “Do you see her?” he asked.

Tyler sniffed before responding. “Yeah.”

“You went where I was afraid to go to bring her back to me.” He said softly, wiping away his son’s tears. “Not only did you bring me Rose, but you came back safe and sound.”

“Yeah,” Tyler said again. “But I broke the rules.”

“Yes you did,” the Doctor said chuckling. “And I am so still going to punish you for it. But, as I learned in my youth, there are some rules worth breaking, and you were so brave. I’m ridiculously proud of you.”

Tyler smiled before glancing over at Rose again, suddenly noticing her disheveled appearance. Wide eyed, he turned back to his father to note the open shirt and tangled hair. He smirked, all vestiges of fear gone, and said, “You two have fun while I was sleeping?”

The Doctor cuffed his son lightly on the chin. “Don’t be cheeky.”

Tyler laughed out right. “Yes sir.”

“So anyway,” Rose interrupted, her face slightly flushed with embarrassment. “How do we find whatever it is that’s invaded the TARDIS.”

“Only one thing to do,” the Doctor replied, leading his son to the bed and having him sit up on the mattress. “Tyler’s going to have to show me what to look for.” He looked eye to eye with his son. “Are you going to be all right?” Tyler took a fortifying breath before nodding. “That’s my brave bo,” he praised, settling his hands on either side of Tyler’s head. Both father and son closed their eyes.

Rose held her breath. This was something she couldn’t share, couldn’t understand. She felt blind and deaf in a situation that screamed for her to take action. “What do you see Doctor?” Rose asked when the waiting proved to be too much.

“Hate.” he said simply. “Whatever it is, Tyler had it right. It hates.”

“But what is it?” Rose couldn’t fight hate, there had to be something tangible projecting the emotion.

The Doctor raised an eyebrow, drawing Roses’ curiosity. “Hmm,” he said.

“What?” She asked hopefully, “What did you find?”

The Doctor dropped his hands from Tyler. The boy blinked a few times before staring up at his father. “That’s why I couldn’t find it.” Tyler stated incredulously. “There’s more than one!”

“Right you are. Tyler,” the Doctor praised, “a lot more.” He turned to Rose as his son hopped down from the bed. “I need you to stay here,” he said gently, taking hold of both her shoulders.

“Wait!” she protested, “What are you going to do?”

“I,” he said, rummaging though the bag he’d had her bring with them, “am going to make my way to the control room. I have to teach the TARDIS how to locate our guests. Then maybe I can find a way to contain them.”

“What do you want me to do?” she asked, staring down at the sonic screwdriver the Doctor had just placed in her hand.

“You’re going to stay here and protect Tyler,” he told her, before moving to rummage through the bag again.

“Now hold on!” she exclaimed, pulling the bag out of his hands. “You can’t just leave me behind, you might need my help.”

The Doctor looked up at Rose, all playfulness gone. “He’s my son, Rose. I need him safe and he won’t be if he says with me.”

A ball of fear made its way up from Rose’s stomach to lodge at the base of her throat. “What aren’t you telling me?”

He grabbed Rose’s arm to gently pull her out into the hallway. “Tyler’s empathy is off the charts.” He stated quietly, not wanting the boy to overhear. “He is extremely intuitive in normal situations, but this is not your average alien and Tyler’s not fully trained.”

“And?” she questioned impatiently.

“When I went inside his mind I was able to sort through the empathy to the telepathy underneath. He’s not only picking up what these creatures are feeling, he’s getting what they’re thinking. He just can’t hear it over all the hate he’s being bombarded with.”

“So, what are they?” she asked.

“Whatever destroyed the civilization on this world is still here.”

“How is that possible,” she asked, “Tyler said the technology you found pre-dates the Time Lords.”

“It does,” he agreed. “Whatever physical forms these creatures had is gone now, replaced by pure emotional energy. They laid in wait for millions of years just waiting for some unsuspecting species to pop in and discover the ruins on this moon. And after all this time they’re hungry. The only way they can grow powerful enough to leave this place is to absorb energy, lots and lots of energy.”

Rose thought about this for a moment. “But the TARDIS isn’t loosing power,” she said, “We wouldn’t even know anything was wrong if Tyler hadn’t warned us.”

“Ah,” he said rubbing a hand down the console beside her. “You’re right, this old girl’s got a lot of power, but it’s not the right kind. These beings feed on life energy.”

“But you said the archaeologists left, they weren’t devoured by these Famished Phantoms. Why is it that they’ve suddenly appeared?”

“Famished Phantoms, eh?” The Doctor smiled and rubbed his chin. “You come up with that just now?”

Rose proudly smiled back at him, “yeah.”

“It’s quite good really,” he praised.

She blushed a little. “Thanks.”

“So anyway,” the Doctor said, popping back onto the subject at hand. “The archaeologists didn’t get “devoured” as you put it, because there was an even bigger prize to be had. Why eat a whole bunch of snacks when a nine-hundred year old Time Lord is around for you to feast on?”

Rose pondered this for a moment. “But why not just eat all of you?” she asked, “Wouldn’t that have made them even stronger?”

“Right you are, Rose,” he replied. “But a whole bunch of scientists dropping dead for no apparent reason would have caused suspicion and alarm. They couldn’t risk me leaving until they were ready to suck up my energy. They just weren’t expecting our empathic genius in there to pick up on them so soon.”

“So,” she asked, “what are they waiting for?”

“I think,” he said, growing more animated, “that they are only powerful enough to absorb life energy when they all combine together. Right now we have numerous little phantoms all over the ship. That’s why Tyler couldn’t pinpoint their location. But they’re moving, joining together to make fewer, but bigger entities. When they all group into one we’re in big trouble.”

“So you’re going to be bait?” Rose didn’t like the sound of this.

“I have to keep them away from Tyler. I’m betting they’ll follow me to the control room where I can trap them, but they may decide that a child with four hundred years ahead of him is easier prey and go that route. I need you to protect him, keep him out of sight. They won’t want you, so you should be able to stay out of their way.”

Rose smiled sadly, reality dawning again. “So for once my tiny little human life span is coming in handy, yeah?”

The Doctor pulled her into his arms for a moment, as if to convey that he’d never let her go, regardless of how impossible that was. “I will love you until the end of time,” he assured her, his voice thick with emotion, “and I will hold you until the end of yours.”

Rose pulled back, ready to fight anything now. “Okay,” she said, holding up the sonic screwdriver, “Show me what I have to do.”

Chapter 10
 
 
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