This can be read on it’s own, but recently it and some of my other fics have become parts of a series. :D The first one is Not The End Of The World, and the second is So Are You, and the third is this one. The series is called The Website Stories, or at least it is until I can think of a better title.
It can be read on it’s own, too. All of ’em can. :)
Title: It’ll Be Alright
Fandom: Doctor Who
Length: Er…I don’t have a word count…it’s quite long.
Characters: Trisha Delaney (remember her- Mickey’s new girlfriend?), her family, Mickey, and Shireen.
Timeframe: Aliens of London onwards
One other thing: Most of this was written before the attack on London…one little bit of it freaks me out a bit now.
It’ll Be Alright
For the past year, Trisha Delaney had noticed the signs. They were stuck to lamposts and post boxes and everything in sight. On them was a picture of a smiling blonde girl. Trisha had known the smiling blonde girl, a little: her name was Rose Tyler.
Gossip traveled fast around the estate. Most people assumed that Mickey, Rose’s boyfriend, had murdered her. Very few people seemed to bring up what Trisha had thought the most obvious option: she’d been shot by…what had the papers said it was? Some sort of terrorist thing? She hadn’t been there, and there seemed to be no way of getting any information- but it had probably, almost certainly, been that. Except no-one had found her body. They’d found the other bodies.
On the Christmas Day that Rose had missed, Trisha’s mother had been in a funny mood. “You should go to Jackie Tyler’s place,” she said. “You should bring her some of our cake…tell her it’ll be alright…”
“It won’t be alright for her,” Trisha said, very quietly.
“None of that. She’s probably sittin’ up there all on her own. Can you imagine it? You should go.”
Trisha didn’t like meeting people. Especially if they were likely to be on their own and crying. “I don’t know her. And she probably doesn’t like me.”
“Shut up and go, Trisha.”
But she refused politely over and over again, and in the end nobody went.
On the day the aliens invaded, Trisha’s mum dragged her and her brother to a welcome-aliens party down the road. It was being thrown by some woman at the hairdressers, and everyone got very drunk indeed.
Some bloke leered at Trisha.
“You’ve got a pretty face,” he said, “but fuckin’ell you’re fat.”
Trisha had stormed out. Her brother had taken over the host’s son’s Playstation, and her mother was watching the television. Neither of them noticed. She hung around in the stairway for a bit. Eventually her mother came to find her.
“Something else just happened!” she said excitedly. “Rose Tyler- they found her!” At Trisha’s questioning look she added, “Not her body. They found her! She’d run off with some forty-year old! Or so they’re saying…” She took Trisha’s hand to lead her back to the party. “Do you want to go and see her?”
“I don’t really know her, Mum.” Besides, if she’d just got back…and found aliens…or she’d come back because of the aliens…she was probably rather preoccupied. Besides, Jackie…Jackie would be furious with Rose. Everyone in the area knew Jackie, if only by reputation. Trisha wondered what sort of carnage would be left once she’d finished with the forty-year-old.
“Suit yourself,” her mother said. “Come and watch the TV. History in the making.”
And since it was, she couldn’t argue, and so she watched it all breathlessly, half-wishing she was actually there.
Since she didn’t get to bed till about three a.m., her mother woke her up next morning, banging on her door like the house was burning down.
“Trish! Come and see this!”
Trisha opened the door tiredly.
“On the television!”
Trishia came downstairs and looked at the televsion. Then she sat down and watched it. All of them did.
“Jesus Christ, we’ve missed a lot,” her mother said. “I knew I shouldn’t’ave drunk so much-”
Trisha turned to her mother.
“Er. Maybe we should get out of London. Don’t you think, well, listen– we might be in danger here.”
Her mother looked at her as if she’d gone mad. “Don’t be daft,” she said. “I know what they say, ain’t I heard it a dozen times from you, but I ‘ave to disagree- politicians ain’t that bad. Not like they say. They’ll figure something out.”
“Mum,” Trisha said, in the voice she had to sometimes use for her mother although she hated it, “These are aliens, and apparently they have weapons. And they’re in London, and so are we.”
“There’s no point,” her mother said. “If everyone thinks like that, the streets’ll be packed with traffic and we won’t get nowhere. Go and wake your brother up. And don’t scare him.”
So Trisha could really do nothing.
So they saw it all- despite the fact it was on a screen that they saw it. And then the paper was delivered with ALIEN HOAX plastered across the front page and Trisha looked out of the window and thought it was very cold.
“I’m going to go out for a bit,” she said.
Her mother was reading the paper. “Makes more sense, don’t it?” she said. “If it wasn’t real…if it was people trying to scare us. Terrorists, they say.”
Trisha hurried out.
She went for a long walk. She was careful to keep to the well-lit areas- it got dark rather quickly. Before long, shadows started to freak her out, and she suddenly realized, OH MY GOD ALIENS LANDED ON EARTH AND THE GOVERNMENT ARE TRYING TO TELL US OTHERWISE AND OH. MY. GOD.
She supposed that was quite a good response to the whole thing, and just stood there motionless for a while. Then she decided to go back to the flat, and took the quickest way-
-and found Mickey, who some people apparently had thought to be capable of murder, sitting on top of a red dustbin reading a newspaper. He made her jump out of her skin.
He stared at her.
“Sorry-” she said, getting her breath back. “Sorry-thought you might be a alien.” She smiled, mostly to show she was harmless, and carried on walking. Then she thought of something and stopped.
“Hang on- Rose is back, right?”
He just looked at her, a withering and rather bitter look.
“I never thought you killed her,” Trisha said hastily. “I thought it was those-things.”
“What things?” he asked cooly.
“Those- you know- those things- people said it was terrorists or something- those things with guns, and people said their phones tried to eat them and stuff…”
He raised an eyebrow. “Did you believe it?”
“Sort of, yeah…”
“It’s true,” he said. “Every word of it. There’s more stuff going on out there then you can possibly imagine.”
“I can imagine quite a bit,” she said. She knew she wasn’t really in a position to be flippant with him, considering…but…
“Rose has left again,” he said. “In case you wanted to say bye or something. She’s gone.”
“Gone where?” Trisha asked, baffled. “And I didn’t know her enough to say goodbye, so I don’t know what you’re on about…”
He shrugged. “She didn’t even say bye to Shireen, now I think about it. Anyway. You’d better go.”
But she didn’t much want to, now.
“There were really aliens as well, right?”
“Yes,” he said shortly. And then, “I saw them. I fought them. Now go home.”
Shocked, she did.
She stayed up most of the night with her mum, watching TV.
“Funny thing happened while you were out,” her mum told her. “Bloke came to the door.”
“What sort of bloke?”
“Big ears, big nose, black hair. Told me Sam had been graffiting his property.”
“Oh.” She could well believe that of her brother. “What happened?”
“He told Sam to get a bucket of water and wash the paint off. And Sam did. No swearin’ or nothing from him…”
That was harder to believe.
“Has he gone to bed?”
When she went upstairs Sam called to her.
“That man was weird. You know what he wanted me to clean? A telephone box. A blue one.”
“Oh. Well, maybe it was his. Someone’s got to own telephone boxes, after all.”
“Mickey Smith was there,” Sam added. “I think they’re friends.”
Trisha went to bed very, very worried.
“Why doesn’t anyone believe it?” she said furiously the next day at breakfast. “I just read the entire paper, and no-one’s even hinted that it might be real, it might have happened– and it’s not as if they didn’t see it! I don’t get it…”
“Trisha,” her mother said, “just let it go. It doesn’t affect us, really- maybe it was real and maybe it wasn’t, but it’s over now.”
She really couldn’t be bothered to answer that.
First chance she got, she decided to go looking for Mickey. She looked where she’d seen him yesterday, and went to the park, and then she saw Shireen, Rose’s best friend, wandering about. She was wary of Shireen, mostly because Shireen was thin and very pretty, and she was not.
“Shireen, this will sound weird, but have you seen Mickey? D’ya know where he lives?”
Shireen smelled of cigarette smoke. She gave Trisha a look that she couldn’t really read- it was sort of pity, probably. Shireen had given her that look before. “Dunno. Why do you want him?”
She thought quickly. “It’s Rose.”
Shireen’s expression changed instantly, to something a bit like anger. “You know she’s left again, then? Jackie said on the phone. She didn’t even say goodbye to me, not properly- a message on my answering machine, that was it.”
“I…yeah, I know. I saw Mickey last night…I mean, I ran into him. He was talking about aliens and I, umm…”
Shireen took a pack of cigarettes from her pocket. “You talk too quickly,” she said. “And you don’t even know Rose or Mickey.”
“Yeah, I know, but I saw him last night hanging out around here…we were talking, a bit…”
“Maybe you should mind your own business.”
“I just want to know where he lives…”
Shireen pointed to the nearby flat with her cigarette lighter. “He lives there. Number thirteen. Second floor up. Enjoy yourself.”
“Thank you,” she said hurriedly, and started running in that direction.
Halfway up the stairs, she remembered how stupid she looked while running, and slowed down. She reached number thirteen, and knocked on the door. Mickey answered.
“Oh, it’s you,” he said.
“Yeah,” she said, “I…um…sorry.”
“You might as well come in,” he said, and she did. The flat was a mess. “Have a seat, if you can find it. Why’d you come here?”
“Because aliens invaded,” she said simply. “And…well, I think you know more than I know.”
“Why do you care?” he asked, in a deeply suspicious tone.
He went into the other room and switched the computer on. “Do you care about what happened a year or so ago, the day Rose went missing?” he asked. “The shop dummies, the phones and the flowerpots? And god knows what else. It wasn’t terrorists. It was aliens. Different aliens.”
“How do you know?” Trisha asked. She realized Mickey scared her.
“Because someone was killed in that attack…and I ended up sort of…making friends with his family…and they showed me the website. You hear that? People got killed.” He looked rather accusing.
Trisha didn’t know where to start. “I want to hear, you know. Can’t you start from the beginning? What family?”
“The Finches. The man who died was called Clive Finch, and the people I met were his wife Maggie and his son Thomas. I sort of…followed Thomas back home one day. I mean, the day after Rose went off, him and me got talking…” He looked exasperated. “I’d rather you left…”
“No,” Trisha said, knowing she was being stupid and stubborn and all sorts of other things. “So…hang on…you met these people and they showed you a website?”
“They gave me the website,” Mickey said. “It used to be Clive’s. He was collecting information about the Doctor. The Doctor was the man who took Rose.” he added. Trisha’s head spun.
“The forty-year-old she ran off with?”
“He’s not forty,” Mickey said grimly.
“How about I look at the website?”
So without a word, he moved aside and let her sit at the computer desk.
She read it all. The eyewitness accounts, the bits written by Clive, the memorial for Clive…she was decidedly frightened by the end of it. She closed the window and turned to Mickey.
“Rose Tyler has run away with a…a time traveller?”
“Yeah.” Was that a flicker of approval in his eyes?
She stared at the blank screen. “Oh.” And then, “Were you there? Did you know?”
“I was there when he invited her along. She said…” But then he trailed off.
“What did she say?”
“Oh, you don’t want to know. Maybe you’d better go now.”
So she got up, and he looked at her critically. She hated it.
“Did you come here to talk to me, or just because you wanted to learn about aliens?” he said finally. “Because I want to know…where was everybody when I was being questioned by the police for something I didn’t do? No sign of you.”
“I didn’t know,” she said, looking at the ground.
He gave her that look again, a look of anger and cynicism and fear and all sorts of things. “Just go, okay? And don’t tell anybody.”
Before long she was standing in the fresh air outside the flat. Shireen was nowhere to be seen. Trisha wondered if she knew anything about this. Still, she wasn’t going to ask her.
It was cold. She went home.
Her mother was watching TV when she came in. Trisha sat next to her. It was another reality show. Big Brother, probably.
“Mum,” Trisha said.
“The bloke who told Sam off…did he have a leather jacket?”
“Might have done. Why’re you asking?”
“I’ve…seen him around….”
“Seemed quite nice. Most blokes aren’t like that, if they catch kids mucking about.”
That night, Trisha thought. She thought quite a lot. She remembered what she’d thought the first time she’d seen a poster of Rose: She’s the same age as me- that just isn’t fair… And she also remembered, vaguely, seeing Jackie Tyler wandering around- once she’d been wandering about the park in the early morning, with no make-up, crying to herself…this from the woman who could shout at anyone, who’d even hit people if the situation called for it…she should have gone to her then. Got out of bed and gone outside and told Jackie it was going to be alright.
Except it hadn’t turned out alright, as far as she could tell. Jackie was still missing her daughter.
She had had far too much information given to her in one day. She had nightmares that night- well, not nightmares exactly, just strange images. Space and machinery and closing doors and all the rest of it.
The next day it was raining, and she wanted to stay in and read, but her mother sent her out to the shops. On the way she passed Shireen.
“You want to stay away from Mickey,” the prettier girl said. “He’s Rose’s boyfriend.”
“We only talked,” Trisha said, baffled.
“I don’t care. You’ve got no right.” Trisha had the feeling that Shireen didn’t like her much. She supposed she was within her rights. She carried on to the shops. But when she went back again, Shireen was still there.
“You were in Mickey’s flat,” she said, as if Trisha had never left.
“You told me where it was- you said enjoy yourself.”
“I thought he’d chuck you out- but no, he let you in. Idiots, the pair of you. Do you know what he’s been saying?”
“About the aliens? You know they were real. You were there.”
“Of course I was there. But he’s- you know- he’s gone completely mental since Rose left- all this stuff about the Doctor- he’s going to get everyone into trouble, and he doesn’t even realise it.”
“Don’t say oh. You don’t get it, anyway. Like I said, you don’t even know Mickey or Rose…”
“I don’t want to poke around or anything-”
“You are, little girl.” This was said with real venom, and Trisha was surprised. Then Shireen walked away. Trisha did not follow.
She recieved an email from Mickey the next day. She had no clue how he’d gotten her email address. Possibly he’d found the old website she’d set up eons ago, when she’d been into photography- it had her name and email and a bunch of photographs on it.
I dont know Shireen very well but I thought I’d tell you to ignore her. She’s quite upset. With good reason. Anyway I shouldn’t have told you anything, forget about it. Please.
She didn’t forget it. She went back to the website, again and again, staring at the photographs, mentally making notes. She thought that the website wasn’t very organised or very pretty, but then again it didn’t need to be, and maybe he wanted to keep it the way Clive had left it.
She sent an email back to Mickey, making sure it was spellchecked:
I suppose she is upset. I don’t think she ever liked me anyway, though. How did you get my email address?
He sent back an email almost right away. She had a strange picture in her head of him sitting there in his messy flat, no-one else around, pictures of Rose all around him and writing to her. Talking to her.
I asked your mum. she works in the same place my mum works. or usd to, I’m not sure.
She didn’t reply to that one, as there wasn’t much to say, but the next day she got another email.
The thing is, even the Doctor says this stuff is dangerous and it’s pretty much his day job. If you know anything else then you might end up in danger, because I didn’t know all that much and even I ended up in danger.
She decided to go to his flat. Aside from anything else, it would give her exercise, and she needed it. She knocked on the door, and Mickey flung it open looking frantic- and then his face fell.
“I thought you were Jackie,” he said. “She’s in a right state. She was just here, crying about it being ten seconds…oh, never mind.”
“Never mind. I should go and find her-”
He ran off. He left his door open, so Trisha went in and sat down. The computer wasn’t on. A big picture of Rose stared at her from the coffee table.
She was there for almost half an hour. She didn’t do much- she glanced in the kitchen, and it looked pretty much like any other kitchen. Except there were post-it notes stuck in various places- one stuck on the toaster that read WEBSITE COMPETITION, one stuck on the door that said READ ALL DICKEN’S NOVELS, one stuck on the window that said GIVE THOMAS OLD COMIC BOOKS, and underneath ‘(but you won’t forget that anyway)’.
When Mickey came back in, he didn’t seem surprised to see her. Or irritated, come to that.
“I wish she hadn’t left,” he muttered under his breath. “I wish I’d-” But he said no more of that.
“How’s Jackie?” Trisha asked.
“She’s alright- I think,” He sighed. “Before she left, Rose said she’d be back in ten seconds, seeing as with the T- with time travel it’s possible. It’s been more than that. As you probably can tell.”
“Yeah,” she said uselessly.
“Anyway, you…you seem to like it in my flat.”
“Am I really in danger?” she asked, before she could stop herself.
“At the moment? No, but…I suppose I wasn’t either, and then I had to whack an alien with a baseball bat. Anyway, I just came back here to lock up. I’m going back to Jackie’s.”
“The woman lost her daughter, Trisha -again. You haven’t really seen her at all, have you?”
Trisha went back home. She went on the website again, and looked over the notes she’d made. She wondered where Rose was right now- wherever ‘now’ was. She thought of something she’d forgotten to ask Mickey: if the Doctor was so dangerous, why’d he taken Rose along with him?
Poor Jackie, she thought.
She thought of writing an email to Mickey, but it seemed a bit silly, since she could just go to his flat whenever she wanted. Until he chucked her out, she supposed. Like Shireen had expected.
All this stuff happening right under her nose, and she hadn’t known. How weird. How daft of her…
She went to bed late, her mother telling her off for costing them money. She’d been on the internet too long.
In the morning she woke up to the sound of nothing in particular. She got up and pulled the curtains open, letting in the light. She could see Shireen in the courtyard below. She was sitting on a wall, holding a cigarette, and very possibly crying.
Trisha got dressed quickly, not much caring what she put on, and went downstairs as quietly as possible. Shireen was still there. She wasn’t actually crying, but she was close.
“Hello,” Trisha said.
Shireen gave her a look of contempt. “What d’you want?”
“Nothing. I just saw you from my bedroom window…”
“Doing more poking around, then?”
“No! I’ll go away if you want. I just thought I’d tell you that everything will probably be all right.”
The other girl just stared. “Rose left,” Shireen said blandly. “She didn’t say goodbye in person, she didn’t think her best friend might fancy some information about where she was actually going, she just left. I thought I was her best friend. Turns out I’m not.”
Trisha could only nod.
“And after vanishing for a year…there’s no-one on earth more selfish than she is. I was worried sick. I cried all the time. I thought she’d been murdered- I thought I’d never see her again, never go down the shops with her again, never go to the pub with her again- and she-”
Trisha opened her mouth to speak, but Shireen cut her off. “No. I don’t want to hear it. Clearly, she was more into this deranged bloke in a leather jacket than she was into anything else in the world. Even her mum and her boyfriend. Don’t you start f- don’t you start defending her.”
“How come you’re crying, then?” Trisha said, with surprising boldness.
“Damned if I know- I just…” She turned away furiously, and said, “Go home.”
“I live here.”
“You know what I mean!”
But Trisha didn’t go away, and eventually Shireen just started crying, not caring who was there. Trisha sat down next to her. Shireen didn’t push her off the wall.
And that was it, for the moment.