Disclaimer- I own nothing you recognise and everything you don't.
Summary- Rose makes it back, but at what price? And can Jack keep his mouth shut?
A/n- Sequel to the Darkness Within. With thanks to all who reviewed and my beta reader Gargantua.
WARNING- This was written last season while I was watching Journey's End and beyond. Anyone who is a big fan of Ten should proably be aware that the next few chapters are not going to be very nice to him. Serves him right for leaving her on the beach....again.
The bright lights of the medical facility hurt Rose’s eyes almost as much as the tears that stung behind her eyes. Tears she refused to let fall. Rose Tyler did not cry over spilt…split personalities.
How could they have asked her to make that decision? The Doctor—both Doctors—had made a habit of steamrolling over her desires and making choices for her, believing that he knows best. Whether sending her home, deserting her on a space-station or leaving her in an alternative universe, he was the expert at not letting her make her own decisions.
He picked a fine time to let her choose her own destiny.
She sat up, ignoring the concerned and questioning looks from Owen and Jack, and rubbed her face with shaking hands.
“Rose?” said Jack in his deep drawl. “Is everything okay?”
She managed to shake her head and immediately wished she hadn’t as a wave of nausea made her sway dizzily on the table.
“Whoa!” Owen reached for her shoulder and pressed her to lie back down. “Your electrolytes are off the chart right now. You need some juice or something to help.”
Ianto paused in the doorway with his tray of tea-cups, glowered at Owen and walked back the other way muttering about juice.
Rose couldn’t seem to lift her hands from her face, her mind going over and over what she’d seen inside her Doctor’s head. Two of them and for so long she had the other one with her and she’d never known it.
She’d been falling again for her first Doctor. She’d kissed him and made love to him and now she wasn’t sure who was going to come out of this telepathic coma. Would it be him; the slightly—ok, more than slightly—insane version of her caustic first love?
Or would it be the jubilant second man, the one who never shut up but never really said anything?
And which did she want, really?
Who was it that had slept with her and held her and loved her—did her second Doctor love her or had he really just wanted to prove a point?
Her head hurt just thinking about it.
“Rose?” Jack asked again and this time she raised her head to look up into those troubled eyes. “What happened?”
Rose opened her mouth and told him.
It was two hours later when Rose had finished telling the members of Torchwood all that had occurred since she had met the Doctor again. All those little cues and clues that she had dismissed as a result of transcending the dimensions had been explained and dissected by all of them.
Rose had looked away shamefaced when Jack’s brow rose over her telling of their adventures in
The confrontation between Rose and the two Doctor’s had held them all spellbound with Toshiko running between Rose’s telling and her monitoring machine, hoping to catalogue what this extreme form of split-personality looked like on her charts.
When Rose was all talked out they sat in silence, each trying to process all that had happened.
Typically it was Owen who was the first to break. “Two men in one body,” he smirked at Jack, “you’re ideal isn’t it?”
Jack, for once, didn’t appreciate the innuendo.
Gwen kicked Owen, for pleasure as much as annoyance and turned to Rose. “But I don’t get it,” she said in her melodic welsh accent. “If the next one only regenerates when the first one is dead then, then how come the first one is still around? Did he not die properly?”
Rose bit her lip. “I dunno, it was all a blur. I was in the TARDIS and he sent me home and then I was on the estate but then I was back on the TARDIS. I don’t really remember any of it. The Doctor said I must have flown it back to him but I don’t even know how. It’s like the knowledge is forbidden so I don’t know any of it,” she bit her lip nervously. “But, you see, the thing is, he never explained what made him die. Was he hit with Dalek ray or was it something else?”
“It was something else,” Jack stood abruptly and walked over to a corner of the room, staring through the glass partition to the empty observation room. He could see them all clearly in the reflection of the glass but he wasn’t sure he wanted to face them.
Rose was staring at him with trepidation. “Jack?”
Jack hadn’t wanted to say anything, but the years…the decades of keeping this to himself had boiled over. If he’d have thought that sharing it with the Doctor had helped to subdue it, he’d been wrong. It had been like letting the top off a bottle of fizzy pop and expecting the liquid to stay inside.
He was fizzing and he was desperate to say something.
“You don’t remember what happened on Satellite 5, Rose. But I do and the Doc told me the rest.”
“So tell me,” Rose demanded.
He looked at the mirror images of his friends and started from the beginning. “Me, Rose and the Doctor were on this Satellite station in the future. The human race was being manipulated by Daleks who had rigged this god-awful game show station. All your favourite shows with a deadly twist.”
“What?” Owen scoffed. “Like Countdown with Jo Brand?”
“Try The Weakest Link where you get killed instead of walking the walk of shame,” Rose said with a glare at the man. “It ain’t funny.”
“Anyway we’d finally got free and mounted a defence. The Doctor was rigging up a delta wave to fry the Daleks and he knew it wouldn’t be finished in time so he sent Rose home, back to the past.”
“That much I remember,” Rose nodded.
“You came back.” Jack scratched the back of his head. “According to the Doc, you used a big yellow truck to rip open the heart of the TARDIS and absorbed the Time Vortex.”
Rose blinked. “I did what?”
“All the power in the universe, Rose. You had it all inside you and you used it to fly the TARDIS, come back to the satellite and stop the Time War. You saved the Doctor, annihilated all of the Daleks—killed the Emperor and—”
He trailed off.
“And what?” Rose prompted.
Jack sighed. “You know the last thing I remember? Being surrounded by four Daleks, all pointing guns at me, ready to exterminate me from existence. With one breath they fired. It hit me. I died. Then all I remember is this golden light and this voice saying “I give life”. Then I wasn’t dead.”
He turned and faced her, only her, taking in the confusion and growing dread on her face.
“According to the Doctor, you used the force of the universe to bring me back to life. But the human body…nobody is meant to hold that kind of power. It was killing you, melting you from the inside, searing every atom. So the Doctor took it from you. He pulled the Time Vortex into his own body.”
Rose blanched as she remembered words spoken long ago.
I absorbed all the energy of the Time Vortex, and no one's meant to do that! Every cell in my body's dying.
“I killed him. It was me.” Pain was etched on every single line of her face. “He took it out of me and he regenerated. Oh, god it was my fault.”
“Rose,” Jack hesitated, not wanting to add this burden to her now, but there was no way that he could hold it in. she deserved to know. “The last act of the Time War was to bring life. You revived me…” he took a deep breath. “But you used too much power.”
Devastated eyes turned to Jack. “What?”
“I can’t die.”
Rose blinked and shook her head, dazed and horror-stricken. “I don’t—”
“I can’t die. I’ve been alive for almost three hundred years. I went back to Earth and lived through the Dalek reconstruction. I came back to the twentieth century and I’ve lived through world war one, world war two, the sixties, the eighties, I watched you grow up.” His voice was hollow but his eyes were damp. “And I’ve been killed. Shot, electrocuted, stabbed, drowned.”
“I’ve been killed every single way a person can be.”
His voice rose higher. “And I keep coming back. I’m like the damn coyote who can’t die, Rose!”
“Stop it!” Gwen yelled again, her eyes darting from the screaming Captain to the woman who looked desolated by her side, cheeks saturated with tears. “Damn it, Jack. Just stop it. Look at her!”
Jack spun and saw the devastated look on Rose’s face. Her face was ghostly white and eyes were full of anguish.
Guilt swamped him and he darted across the room, sinking to his knees in front of her.
“Rose?” he began but she shrank back, in as much fear as pain and he closed his eyes against the tempestuous emotions.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered. “I didn’t mean to… Rose?”
Rose opened her mouth but the words had been stolen. She half-choked on a sob and then slammed her eyes shut, her shoulders shaking.
God, what had she done? She’d killed her Doctor, abandoned Jack to his fate and then somehow destroyed Jack’s life, stopped the Doctor from regenerating properly and sentenced Jack to live indefinitely.
She could hear him at her feet but didn’t open her eyes.
Rose felt two arms go around her and she leaned into Gwen’s embrace, accepting the comfort from the strange woman.
She couldn’t bear to look at Jack; couldn’t bear to see the man whose life she had ruined.
Another man’s life.
“Rose, please look at me, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to lay this on you right now. This isn’t your fault.”
“It is though,” Rose cried against Gwen’s shoulder. “I killed him, I’ve hurt you. It’s all my fault. But I didn’t know, Jack. You’ve got to believe me. I didn’t know.”
Jack knelt up and grabbed Rose’s arms, yanking her out of Gwen’s embrace and into his own. He held her even though Rose struggled against him. He murmured against her hair and rocked her until she grasped hold of his great coat and heaved huge breaths into his strong body.
It took a few moments for Rose to gather herself and she dragged in shuddering breaths, berating herself for allowing this weakness.
She was Head of Torchwood in her other universe and it was time she starting acting like it instead of blubbering on Jack’s shoulder.
She gave herself permission to cry for three more seconds and quickly pulled herself together. Knowing what she had to do.
She finally pulled away from Jack and looked him dead in the eye.
“I never knew what I did while I was on that satellite, Jack. I’m not gonna apologise for bringing you back to life either.”
Rose stuck her chin up defiantly. “You’re one of my best mates, Jack Harkness, and I love you. So, no. I ain't sorry for you not being dead.”
A ghost of a smile lit up his face at the patented Rose Tyler expression.
“I am gonna say sorry for leaving you there and for making you live forever. Don’t know how I did it and if I can reverse it…without killing you. Then I will.”
Jack wasn’t sure whether to be relieved about that or not.
Rose took another deep breath. “As soon as the Doctor…whichever it is, comes out of the coma. We’ll start looking into ways of fixing you. Even if I have to dump you in the middle of the bloody Time Vortex myself.”
The grin on his face became full blown at that. “Yes, ma’am. Gotta say I like this new feisty, Rose.”
“Stick around it gets better,” Rose poked her tongue out from between her teeth and wiped a hand over her face drying the tears away. “Right. So, Owen. I need you to keep a watch over the Doctor to see if he is any closer to waking up.”
Owen jumped up, deliberately avoiding Jack’s eyes as he responded to Rose’s orders.
“Tosh can you check over the telepathic readouts, let me know if there is any change.”
“Yes, of course,” agreed the softly spoken woman and hurried back upstairs.
“Gwen,” Rose smiled gratefully. “Thanks for helping me.”
“No problem. I’ll go order us some lunch,” she added. “I, for one, am starving.”
Rose nodded and glanced over at Ianto. “You make the best tea in the world…bar my mums.”
Ianto gave her a big smile. “Thank you, miss. What can I do?”
“Hang around,” Jack interrupted with a familiar glint in his eye. “I like the view.”
“Eye candy,” Ianto sighed. “It’s a tough life.”
Rose shook her head in mock indignation and opened her mouth to speak but before she could there was a clatter of feet and Gwen and Toshiko appeared in the doorway, both speaking simultaneously.
Rose’s stomach churned and her breath was stolen at the two words that could spell disaster and heartache.