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09 July 2007 @ 01:21 am
Return For Me 3/? (part 1)  
Return For MeBanner made using screencaps from doctorwho.time-and-space.co.uk, david-tennant.com, and the amazing larissa_j.

This is the sequel to my AU post-Doomsday reunion fic Come Back to Me

Pairing: 10/Rose
Synopsis: Tyler and a rather pregnant Rose go on holiday in Cardiff, where they run into a bit of trouble. Meanwhile, the Doctor attends a seriously un-peaceful peace conference. Crossover with Torchwood in later chapters.
Rating: Teen
Spoilers: This is an AU story that takes place after series 3 of Doctor Who and episode 2.05 (Adam)in Torchwood.
Disclaimer: If I owned Doctor who you'd be watching this story on TV

Chapter 3
The Mind of a Child


“Start from the beginning.”

Tyler sniffled against his father’s shirt, letting himself believe for just a second that this would make everything alright. “You know that my empathy has been getting stronger,” he began, his voice barely trembling at all. “It started right before I fetched Mum back from the parallel Earth, but since she got here its been ten times as strong and getting stronger.”

“Describe it to me Tyler,” The Doctor gently instructed, “tell me exactly what it feels like.”

“Like I’m not myself anymore,” he said quietly, “like I’m just a vessel for what everyone else is feeling. It doesn’t happen all the time,” he admitted, “you’ve taught me to block out a lot of it. But I can’t keep it up forever and as soon as I get tired, or let my guard down it hits me again; pounding me until I let it in, let it take over.”

The Doctor held his son more tightly. His voice was soft and patient at he replied, “you speak as if you were under attack Tyler. We just need to work together to figure this out.”

Tyler continued as if his father had never spoken, “It happens the most with Mum; in fact sometimes I can even feel her physical pain too. My lower back has been hurting for the last few weeks, did you know that? I’m a sixteen year old male and I’m apparently sharing my adoptive mother’s pregnancy. Is this normal?” he asked, his voice getting a bit frantic, “I mean, have you ever known anyone else like me, anywhere? Do you even know how much stronger this is going to get?”

The Doctor pulled away from his son for a moment in order to meet his gaze. “No,” he said gravely, “but I will find out. Is there anyone else this happens with,” he asked, “any other strange psychic reactions other than the link you’ve developed with Rose?”

“I can feel the baby too,” Tyler admitted, “and not just when I touch mum’s belly, although that amplifies it. She’s so little that I didn’t think that was possible.”

“It’s unusual, but not entirely unheard of considering how strong your abilities have grown. Anything else?”

“Well,” Tyler looked away, his ears growing a bit pink with embarrassment,” There was one other thing, but it wasn’t the same.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow, “how do you mean?”

Tyler took a deep fortifying breath,” you wanted to know what happened to my mobile.”

His father blinked at the abrupt change in subject. “Is there a connection here I’m missing?”

“She was sad.”

The Doctor placed a hand on his son’s shoulder and squeezed lightly, “Tyler, son, you’ve got to give me more to go on than that.”

Tyler squirmed a little, he couldn’t believe how difficult it was to talk to his dad about this, they’d always been so close but now… “Kissarna…”

“The girl from Neo Portus,” The Doctor’s face was all scrunched up in disbelief. “What does she have to do with any of this?”

Tyler felt himself turn a deep shade of purple-red all the way from the tips of his toes to the edge of his hairline. “I sort of…well kind of…she…and we were leaving…so I wanted to keep in touch…kinda.”

“So you gave her your phone?” Tyler flinched at the level his father raised his voice to, “why would you do something like that? We have to be so careful, especially now with the baby on the way. In fact the only reason I can think of for doing something so completely irrational would be if you fancied the girl, and that’s just…oh!” Tyler bit his bottom lip, wishing more than anything that he could climb under a rock and not be seen until he reached maturity on his thirtieth birthday. “Okay,” his father said, wearing a mortifying smug grin, “I can see how you might feel that way. She’s a pretty girl. Oh,” he lit up, “and ginger, good choice.”

“Dad,” Tyler cut The Doctor off before the conversation could digress even further, “it’s not like that,” his father raised an eyebrow, “well not entirely. You see, when I was little everyone’s mind was quiet. They just had this beautiful gentle humming; an impulse telling me who was sad, or happy, or scared.”

“But now?”

“Now you’re the only one who feels like that, except Kissarna.” Tyler sighed, relieved, despite the embarrassment, to finally be getting this off his shoulders. “She was so very lonely Dad,” he said, “and sad. But instead of her feelings screaming at me like most people, they felt like a warm breeze. Her mind was so quiet I could filter out the empathy and reach the telepathy underneath. I picked out whole sentences that she was thinking and I knew it was wrong, but I just wanted to know everything about her. I could relax with her, and have fun, and be myself for a little while.”

“Tyler,” his father’s voice was tired, and laced with despair, “why didn’t you tell me? That little girl might hold a clue as to what’s been happening to you.”

“You’ve had so much else on your mind.” He admitted, dreading how guilty this was going to make his dad. “Mum’s been sick like you said, and you’ve got your hands full just trying to keep her happy. I just didn’t want to add to it.”

The Doctor embraced his son, enfolding him in strength, “I will always worry about you Tyler,” he said affectionately, “it sort of goes with the job, but it will be worse if you keep things from your mother and I.”

Tyler suddenly felt ill. “No,” he pleaded, shaking his head, “You can’t tell her. She’ll be so upset if she knows she’s hurting me. It’s not her fault. It will ruin everything…”

“Shhh,” The Doctor soothed, reaching up to gently wipe away a lone tear that had leaked out from one of Tyler’s brilliant purple eyes. “I have to tell her something,” he admitted, “but I promise to soften the blow as much as possible. God knows you’re right in saying she doesn’t need something else to worry about.”

Tyler made a noise that was half laugh and half sob, before rudely wiping his nose with the back of his hand. “Thanks.”

The Doctor closed his eyes for a second as if struggling with some weighty decision. “You know there’s only one way for me to find out what’s wrong,” he said gruffly, his gaze now fully locked on Tyler, “don’t you son?”

Tyler swallowed convulsively. He trusted his father completely; with the life they led there was really no other option, but there would be no turning back from this act. Once he let The Doctor into his mind he’d know for certain what was wrong, he’d know exactly how much deeper his personal rabbit hole was; how much farther he’d yet to fall into madness. But what was the alternative? He couldn’t go on like this for much longer without some kind of relief. Maybe his father could defeat this kind of monster too. Tyler squared his shoulder’s, decision made. “I’m ready.”

***

The Doctor felt Tyler’s whole body sag in relief the moment his fingertips made contact with the boy’s temples. Taking control of the his son’s psychic barriers had been a simple task once he got inside; finding out what was making them so very necessary was a different story entirely.

“Alright Tyler,” he said, easing his way past the first layer of consciousness, “just relax and let me in. I promise I won’t look at anything I don’t have to.” It was slow going; The Doctor had to scan every layer of his son’s brain, searching carefully for any anomalies. At first everything seemed perfectly normal, at least for an adolescent Domrandian as brilliant as Tyler. “You certainly don’t lack any brain power,” he remarked smugly.

Tyler chuckled, but kept his eyes firmly closed. “You seem awfully proud of that fact.”
The Doctor cocked a half smile. “Well you are my son, which means I get to take credit for at least some of it.”

“I shouldn’t have to remind you, of all people, that I’m adopted.”

“Oi,” The Doctor chided him, “it rubs off you know. Proximity counts for something.”

“I…”

The Doctor abruptly cut him off, “Wait!” Could that possibly be the answer? “Tyler, your species evolved to survive in almost total darkness; that’s why you developed those gorgeous bioluminescent eyes. But it’s also the reason you’ve got such strong abilities in empathy and telepathy.”

“Dad,” Tyler’s voice was long suffering, “tell me something I don’t know.”

“So if you’d been allowed to grow up on your home planet you would have constantly been surrounded by a low level telepathic field. Your parents would have fed it to you like milk from a mother’s breast.”

“Ew, Dad!”

“But instead you’ve been here with me?” The Doctor’s voice dropped an octave, “Think Tyler, what have you been in contact with constantly for sixteen years? What telepathic field has been feeding you?”

Tyler’s eyes opened wide with shock, “The TARDIS.”

“The TARDIS,” he confirmed, looking deeper into his son’s mind. “You’ve got a spiderweb of connections in here. Which means that you’ve been making family threads just like you would have if we were Domrandians too. The one that connects you to me snapped into place sixteen years ago, the first time I held you in my arms. It’s the reason I couldn’t let you go. I’ve always known it was there, in fact it wouldn’t have attached in the first place if I hadn’t allowed it, but I never expected you to grow any more.”

Tyler seemed nervous, “well how many more are there?”

“Well you’ve got one attached to Rose, that’s why you feel such a strong connection with her. I can control the link I have with you, but Rose doesn’t know how. There’s also one connected to your sister, which is why you can feel her even now while she’s not fully developed. But the strongest link you’ve got in here Tyler leads directly to the TARDIS, which is why you’ve grown so powerful.”

“How is that possible?”

“She sees you as family Tyler,” The Doctor answered, “she’s connected to me and therefore extends that connection to you via our family link. The difference though, is that you’re not a Time Lord. You don’t just live in the telepathic field, you feed off it.”

“So it’s changing me?” Tyler’s whole body started to shake a bit as panic threatened to take over, “but why now; why all of a sudden is it getting so strong? I’ve lived here my whole life and nothing like this has ever happened before.”

The Doctor moved his thumb gently along his son’s cheekbone, careful not to displace their telepathic link while still offering some comfort. “I’m not sure son,” he said calmly, “I have to look a bit deeper for that. Are you going to be okay?”

Tyler’s nod was so slight The Doctor might have missed if he hadn’t been holding his son’s head at the time. He searched deeper inside the boy’s mind, following the intricate pathways. If he used the boy’s connection with the TARDIS, he could amplify the ones linking him to everyone else. He could see Rose getting ready for bed; brushing her shoulder length blond hair in front of their bathroom mirror. He could see his wife’s reflection in the glass as if it were his own and feel the silky locks sliding through her fingers. The Doctor sighed wearily when he realized that Tyler had been right, her back really did hurt.

Wait, what was this? Nestled behind the strong psychic bonds that Tyler had to both himself and Rose was another, less obtrusive connecting line. The Doctor probed it gently, once again using Tyler’s link with the TARDIS to amplify the effect. The world went white for a second, a blinding light drowning out all vision, sound, and feeling. The Doctor had the distinct feeling of being sucked right out of his body for a second.

“Whoa.” The Doctor pulled back from his son abruptly, clutching the boy’s shoulders to steady him. “What was that?”

Tyler took a few ragged breaths, his whole body shaking lightly, “I don’t know,” he said, panting a bit, “It didn’t hurt; it was just really intense, bit of a rush really.”

The Doctor frowned as he weighed the risks of continuing against the need to understand what had just happened, “I think we’re really on to something here,” he finally said, “do you think we can try it again?”

Tyler broke into a huge grin, “absolutely.”

Once again The Doctor placed his fingertips against Tyler’s temples and probed deeply. He circled the mysterious thread a few times, easing himself closer and closer to it, before finally making contact. Both father and son gasped aloud as the light embraced them, and the world fell away.

Chapter 3, Part Two
 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
 
 
 
spastasmagoria: timelordiaspastasmagoria on July 9th, 2007 09:01 am (UTC)
oooh the plot thickens :)
Michelleccmom on July 10th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
I was just about to whine about cliffhangers and how much they suck when I saw the part two link. *jumps for joy*

I really like your story, btw. You're doing a great job with it.