Title: Go Home
Characters: Mickey, Ten, Rose, Jackie, Adam
Summary: In the year 2006, Mickey Smith asks Rose and the Doctor if he can come with them and they say yes. In the year 2012, Adam Mitchell asks Rose and the Doctor not to leave him on Earth with a metal chip in his head and they say no. In the year 2038, someone steps out of a time machine into the burned wreckage of the Powell Estate…
chapter one- a long way down the road
chapter two- take me to your war
chapter three- so far away from home
chapter four- metal and blood
chapter five- a second chance
chapter six- humans in the wreckage
chapter seven- the selfless and the useless
Mickey sat alone in the console room, in the same place he had been sitting for at least an hour. Rose had cried. She had cried and shouted and…
…she hadn’t screamed that it was all his fault.
That almost made it worse. Because he could deal with what Rose thought of him, but he couldn’t deal with what he thought of himself.
Oh god, Jackie was dead. It seemed utterly impossible. Jackie just wasn’t the sort of person who ended up dead. She just wasn’t. She wasn’t the sort of person who’d be shot in cold blood by a vengeful madman. She was Jackie. She was his friend.
The Doctor came in, without Rose, and Mickey jumped to his feet.
“We have to save Jackie, alright? There has to be a way.”
To his eternal relief, the Doctor nodded.
“There’s a way? Right. Tell me it. ‘Cos I can’t live with this.”
“Mickey, slow down and think about it,” the Doctor said. “You wanted to save the estate, and in doing so you lost the estate and Jackie. We have to be careful. Really careful.”
“Yeah. I know. I swear I’ll be careful, but I don’t want Jackie to be dead, alright?”
“More than you want your friends on the estate to be dead?”
Mickey paused in horror.
“Take a look at this,” the Doctor said, and pushed the laptop towards him. Mickey looked at what was displayed on the screen, his heart slowly sinking. A list of the dead.
There were a lot of them. Some names he recognized, some he didn’t.
As he scrolled slowly down the page, reading each name, he remembered something. Something that had happened a long time ago- something good. Something important.
Once a girl had come to the estate. A sixteen-year-old girl with a baby. Her parents had thrown her out when she refused to get rid of it, and she was left to fend for herself. Her name was Emily Sutton.
Mickey had been only six or seven at the time- it had been a long time ago, but he remembered his mother, and her best friend, and a gaggle of other women- Jackie might even have been among them- going to help Emily out. They would take turns babysitting when she went out to work, and even arranged for her to go clubbing with them. Emily was so grateful, he remembered that, she used to buy them sweets as a token of gratitude and his mother gave the sweets to him- Emily had thought she’d have a terrible life and she hadn’t, she hadn’t–
And now those people, those lovely people, most of them had died. Emily’s baby was called Maria. Maria Sutton. Hers was the last name on the list of the dead.
He felt like sobbing.
The Doctor watched.
“I know what you’re thinking about,” he said. “You’re thinking about every one of those people. You’re remembering every good thing they ever did and thinking about how unfair it was, how horrible. And the ones you didn’t know you’re wishing you did.”
Mickey remembered the Doctor’s war.
“‘Cos that’s what you did?”
He said nothing, and Mickey knew he’d never get an answer.
“What should I do?” he whispered. And then, “Is Rose alright?”
“I swore I’d bring her mother back to her,” the Doctor said, and Mickey figured that was it, and he silently said goodbye to his old friends and to Maria and to those people so long ago who’d decided to do something selfless because they could.
“So Jackie lives and the estate still burns down?”
“There’s no way of saving them both?”
“Mickey- sometimes there isn’t.” He looked so sad. He knew.
Mickey said nothing more- he just took the laptop back and made his way slowly to the Blue Room. It’s my fault, he thought. I should have realised I can’t change history, and the estate burning down was history. That’s so stupid. I was so stupid.
I indirectly killed Jackie, and Jackie’s my friend.
He put the laptop away, and went back into the corridor. The Doctor was waiting for him there.
“You should go to bed. You humans, you need sleep.”
So Mickey went to bed, and all through the night he wanted to go home.
He didn’t dream about his home. He dreamt about his father. He always dreamed about his father anytime he felt terrible about anything.
Maybe we should go out back and chuck you in the Useless Hole, huh? ‘Cos you’re damn useless, ain’t ya? Ain’t ya?
Then his mother shouted at his father, threatening to leave him, and Mickey felt safe again as his dad slumped on a sofa and ignored them. Mickey went back to watching TV and his choose-your-own-adventure books- but suddenly he was running.
Why was he running?
He was four or five and dressed in a suit and there was a wedding and someone was dead. He thought his mother was dead but he wasn’t sure. He was running away from something. It might be monsters or it might be his father. He found a church and he went in there.
There was a nice blonde woman there. She was gonna save them. She was gonna save them all-
He woke up.
He glanced around the Blue Room and remembered where he was, and what had happened. He was suddenly furious. He wished his father would stop showing up in his dreams. He’d been a bastard…
…hang on, the church…
…Rose had mentioned this story to him. She’d had trouble telling it. She’d tried to save her own father, who had been a decent bloke. In doing that she’d made these things, these dragon things called Reapers come and wipe out Earth…
Changing history was a lethal business. What if…
…no, he couldn’t afford to think like that.
He got up and got changed and went out to put planet Earth at risk.
The Doctor was waiting in the console room.
“Sweet dreams?” he asked.
“No, not really.”
Rose wasn’t there. Mickey asked where she was.
“She’s still asleep. She’s had a hard time,” he said softly. “Did you bring your laptop?”
Mickey went back again to get it, and the two of them spent a good while looking up Adam, and Jackie, and exactly when the terrible thing had happened. It was awful, to read about the death of a friend like that. To hear it reported in such a cold, impersonal way.
“Sam said Adam went to prison a couple of years ago…”
“Yep. Here we are. In 2036 he shot her. He’d moved to the house opposite her. He knew her. And he knew she was Rose’s mother, so eventually he shot her.”
Mickey couldn’t say anything except, “So…what do we do? Do we catch Adam before he shoots her and talk him out of it?”
“Yeah, that sounds good,” said Rose.
She had just come into the room. Her eyes were red from crying.
“Do that. Do anything. I want her back…”
The Doctor went and gave her a hug and Mickey went back to the laptop.
“What about Reapers?” he asked, voicing his most recent fear.
The two of them stared at him.
“How d’ya know…” the Doctor began.
“I told him,” Rose said.
A pause. “Well,” the Doctor said. “That’s why we have to be careful, you got that, Mickey?”
“So…2036, then?” And he looked at Rose.
“Yeah, 2036,” she whispered.
They had a conference as soon as they landed.
“Rose,” the Doctor said.
“I’m not staying,” Rose said fiercely. “I want to look after you. I want to look after everyone.” She was crying again.
“I know, Rose. I know.”
She stood up and let him take her hands, still crying.
“Rose, it’ll be fine,” the Doctor said. “I promise, Rose. I promise I’ll save Jackie.”
“Me too,” Mickey spoke up.
“I want things back to how they were…” This was said in a whisper.
And then all three of them went.
They went to Adam’s house, having found his 2036 address on the laptop, and Mickey rang the doorbell.
The look on his face was something to see. His gaze flicked through all of them and he glared.
Rose opened her mouth to speak.
“Rose Tyler! It’s you. Haven’t seen you properly for so long. You haven’t changed one bit.”
“I’m sorry!” Rose yelled. “I’m sorry for what happened to you! We can put it right, okay? You gotta listen to us!”
“Too late, Rose. Everything’s screwed up for me already. Screwed up for me and screwed up for you. I lead a quiet life, alright?” He grinned and made a sudden movement towards her- Mickey panicked, but the Doctor snapped his fingers, and Adam jumped back holding his forehead.
“If you touch her,” he said. That was all he said, but somehow it make Adam move back.
“It doesn’t matter,” he whispered, retreating back and snapping his own fingers. “It doesn’t matter, you little bitch.” He was talking to Rose now, and the Doctor stepped in front of her.
“The pair of you,” Adam went on. “You took everything away. And it’s too late to do anything about it now, because I’ve lived most of my life. I went and lived the life you gave me, and you know that, don’t you?”
No-one standing on the doorstep said a word.
“Is that the answer to whatever question you had?” he said. He was about to slam the door, but Rose rushed forward, desperation on her face.
“Adam! Near the end of the year, you kill my mother! You hear that? You’re a murderer! We came to tell you not to! You’re better than that, Adam! You ain’t a killer!”
Adam didn’t close the door.
“You ain’t a killer!”
The door slammed shut.
The console room was dark and Rose was crying.
“What if we made it happen,” she said, “by going back again? Because I told him he wasn’t a killer, he decided to be one?”
“No,” the Doctor said.
“How do you know?”
“Because I know.”
“I could go back and talk to him alone,” Mickey said, and they both looked at him.
He didn’t want to say it, but he did anyway. “Cos…he doesn’t have as much reason to hate me as he does to hate you.”
The Doctor looked at him thoughtfully.
“And what makes you say that?”
Adam’s words echoed in Mickey’s head: I went and lived the life you gave me.
Wasn’t that exactly what he himself had done? What he’d done for a year after Rose left, and even after that? Adam had shot Jackie and burned down the estate, and Mickey hated him for it, but…
“When you dropped him off back at his house. What exactly did you say to him? I mean…I remember what you told me, I know what you did, but I dunno what you said, how you acted and that.”
“I can’t really remember…” Rose mumbled.
“The TARDIS would know,” the Doctor said, and gave him one of those looks. “If you went into the archives.”
“Well…d’ya mind if…?”
“And not just anyone gets to view the archives,” the Doctor continued.
Mickey looked at him and wondered if he really had the courage to say what he wanted to say.
“I’m not just anyone anymore! I investigated you for a year and killed an alien and launched a missile and indirectly blew up 10 Downing Street, and I was on the Sycorax ship and…I helped Rose open this thing, okay? To save you! But I bet you know that.”
The Doctor looked at him, then broke into a smile. “Correct answer, Mickey.”