Because I just realised there hadn’t been a new chapter of this for ages. Meep.
(This is my favourite chapter, by the way. ;) )
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
chapter eight- he was a time traveller
chapter nine- page 95
They sat there looking at the laptop screen, stupified.
“That makes no sense,” Mickey finally said flatly.
The Doctor said nothing.
“But- in 2036- I’ve been to 2038– I couldn’t have…”
Still nothing. It was as if some part of him had shut down. Mickey also felt like shutting down. This was…crazy.
He tried to say it and found he couldn’t; his mind was spinning and all he could think of was Rose in the other room crying. Then the world as he knew it came back to him again and he said-
“Adam shoots me?”
“Yes,” the Doctor whispered, “Adam shoots you.”
This seemed impossible- as impossible as living plastic or aliens in his kitchen or a time-travelling blue box. He thought of Rose. He thought of…
“Jackie. He doesn’t kill Jackie? Just me?”
“No, he doesn’t kill Jackie.”
Mickey couldn’t think of a thing to say, and hoped beyond all hope that Rose wouldn’t come in and ask what had happened. How could he…
“And the estate? What happens to the estate? When we saw it it was all…”
“I don’t know what happens to the estate. But whatever it was it looked like most of it survived.”
Mickey shook his head in disbelief. This just wasn’t sinking in. “I’m…look, I’m gonna go to my room…”
He turned to go down the corridor, waiting for the fear and the panic to come. But it didn’t. “What about Rose…”
“I’ll tell her,” the Doctor said.
But he didn’t.
Mickey went into his room, the Blue Room, and listened hard as he could to the noises of the place. He didn’t hear footsteps; no-one was going into Rose’s room.
He figured he ought to do something to take his mind off…that. Off everything. Off the fact that he should be- oh god- dead. He played video games, and read the slightly stupid books he’d brought with him, and then got bored of them, and then…
…started to panic.
He sunk to the floor of the Blue Room and waited. He heard footsteps, at long last. Someone was coming. But they didn’t go to Rose’s room- they knocked on his door.
“I have to talk to you, Mickey,” the Doctor said, in a quiet voice. Mickey opened the door.
“Yeah? What is it?” he asked, and realised he was expecting good news. He’d been silly to think that he’d have to…there’d be another way…there was always another way.
“This is entirely my fault,” the Doctor said, coming into the room downcast, like Death in human’s clothes. “I was asked once whether I’d rather be a coward or killer. I chose coward. Very stupid of me.”
Mickey didn’t know what to say. He was panicking now. He was on his own and no-one could help him.
“If I’d known,” the Doctor said, “If I’d known…”
“Well, you couldn’t have known,” Mickey said, desperate to say something. “No-one knows that sort of stuff.”
The Doctor shook his head. He looked around the Blue Room, and went to the books and picked one of them up- a choose-your-own adventure book, a present from Josh years and years ago. “I should have known.” he said firmly. “That’s what I do. Know things. Know so many things it bursts my brain.” He flipped the book around and, for no reason Mickey could see, read out the blurb. “Your girlfriend has run off to Antartica with another man. You must win her back, fighting off giant zombie Martians along the way,” He lowered the book, and for one split second seemed normal again. “Who writes this stuff?”
The Doctor sighed, and looked at the door, as if looking beyond it to where Rose was. Then he turned back to Mickey, and there was something like begging in his eyes…but not begging him to go out and get himself killed. Something else, something like I’m so so sorry…
“Time, space, everything,” the Doctor murmured, “it’s like a big choose-your-own adventure book.” He flicked through the pages carefully. “I known more of the answers than you do, and a lot more of the questions. I know you’ll do that on page 56, and go for choice b on page 177, but you won’t know the answer to the question on page 95, and neither will I.”
He stopped flicking through the pages, and the room was quiet apart from his voice.
“That’s where we are now, Mickey. Page 95.”
Mickey thought about Jackie, and about Trisha and Shireen and all his friends on the estate, and how Rose’s leaving with the Doctor had brought them all together in the first place and then…
…he thought of Jackie being shot and no-one caring, and the estate burning down and the sounds of flames and screaming. And then he thought of Rose. And his family, as well. Who was going to tell them, what was going to happen, what should he do…?
“You don’t have to do it,” the Doctor said.
“If I don’t,” Mickey guessed, scared for everything he had ever had to be scared for, “will you?”
The Doctor nodded, and in his mind’s eye Mickey saw Rose returning to him that cold day not so long ago, and crying and willing to die to get back to her home. And the more he thought the more he knew- and he could barely believe it, barely believe he was doing this.
He took a deep breath, and said. “Alright, then. You take me to 2036, and you leave me there.”
The Doctor gave him this look of genuine despair.
Mickey repeated his descision. “Take me to 2036. That’s my answer to the question on page 95, alright? Take me there.”