Go Home (10/12)

The Jackiefic appears to have flown from my brain, but here’s chapter 10 of Go Home instead.

Title: Go Home
Author: sarah531
Rating: PG13
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…

Prologue
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

Go Home
chapter ten- the most powerful and hopeless of them all

Rose was fast asleep, and Mickey was relieved beyond all reason. By the time she woke up, he’d be out of here.

“We’re in 2036,” the Doctor said. “Tonight, Adam shoots Jackie Tyler. But he’s not going to.”

“No-” Mickey said.

“Because he gets me instead,” the Doctor said firmly. He reached into his pocket and handed Mickey a key. “This is the key to the TARDIS. Rose has one too. You and her are going to fly out of here, and go and live your lives. I said all this to Rose, a lifetime ago, and it would have worked then if not for you and Jackie. So this time, you make sure she doesn’t come back. She deserves better than having to risk her life to save me. This was my doing, and I’m going to put it right.”

“It wasn’t your doing!” If he’d been there when they’d abandoned Adam, he’d never have said that. So why was he saying it now? “That was, y’know, the other you and everything.”

The Doctor almost laughed. “Yes. The other me. Can you fathom that? People change- you’ve changed, but you’re still the same. You’re not a completely different person, you’ve just had things…rearranged. It was me.”

“But you didn’t know what Adam would do!”

“Nope. In a perfect world,” he said, “he’d have used his newfound knowledge to make the world a better place. The year 2012 is a world where people know aliens exist, thanks to the Sycorax…so surely Adam Mitchell having gone with an alien to the future to get a implant stuck in his head isn’t too much of a stretch. Harriet Jones would have loved to meet him, somewhere in an alternate timeline.”

The mention of Harriet Jones jolted Mickey’s memory.

“You said you never gave second chances,” he said, unsure of where he was going with this.

The Doctor grinned wolfishly. “No second chances?” he said. “As long as you live, you have a second chance. As long as you live you can undo what you failed at. Every moment’s a second chance. But many don’t realise and most don’t care- like Adam. So,” he said, suddenly almost businesslike, “I know you’ll look after Rose. You’ve learned to do that. So thank you.” He took something else out of his pocket and handed it over. “This is a hologram. For Rose. You have to give it to her.”

“What does it say?”

“It says ‘Have a good life.'”

And Mickey wished Rose was here to give the answer to that- but she wasn’t, so he’d have to.

“Well, she won’t. Not without you. She loves you. She can’t lose you again. Don’t you get that? I told you what I was gonna do, alright?”

The Doctor said nothing.

“You can’t go now, cos it’s happened already! You stay and I go and Jackie and everyone lives. If you go, then something will probably screw up and everyone dies on the estate, or something sick like that. And you know that, right?”

“All I know is that I left Adam in the year 2012. Me alone. You weren’t there. You had nothing to do with it.”

Mickey just looked at him, trying to think of something to say and coming up with absolutely nothing. He was cursing himself for this when the Doctor spoke, in a strange voice.

“I asked you, ‘Where to next?’ and you could have said hundreds of things. You could have asked for Mars or Neptune or the Ice Age. You could have asked to meet Shakespeare or to watch a star explode or to walk on frozen waves thousands of feet high. But you didn’t ask for those. You asked to see your home.”

Silence.

“Er, yeah,” Mickey said helplessly, at last. “You’d have done the same, wouldn’t you? For your home? I mean…if there was a war and all…”

“I couldn’t see it. It’s not possible anymore,” the Doctor said. “But that’s not important right now.”

“Yeah, it is. Look…you know what it’s like, then, right? To know that everyone’s dead and you could have saved them? Your friends and everyone?”

The craziest conversation of his life came to an end at that. He just put the stuff the Doctor had given him down, and started walking towards the door, and…that was it. He turned around and saw the Doctor standing at the console, the most powerful and hopeless of them all.

Then he closed the door and went out into the night.

*****

He went halfway down the road, and then he sat down on a bench and put his head in his hands. This wasn’t right. Any minute now and he would freak out and run, run away, go live out the rest of his life somewhere else- but he couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

He understood Rose now. He’d always loved her, but now for the first time he understood her. Understood why she’d gone in the first place, but most of all understood why she’d gone back.

He got up off the bench then- he was fully expecting Rose or the Doctor to come tearing after him. They’d make him go back, he was sure.

And it’d be so easy to go back, so easy for this to be someone else’s problem, so why wasn’t he going back? Just because he couldn’t take what would happen to Rose if the man she loved died? Or something? It was so horribly complicated, and then he pictured Jackie getting shot, and Maria Sutton dying in the fire with countless others, and Sam wandering about in a pile of dust and bricks, and it wasn’t complicated anymore.

As he started to walk, he heard someone shouting his name. He knew who it was right away- it was Rose, a terrified Rose. He stopped, because he couldn’t run from her.

You can’t!” she yelled.

He couldn’t think of a single thing to say. He couldn’t say look, basically it’s either him or me, alright? because that would be forcing her to make a choice she couldn’t possibly make, and he couldn’t say…he just couldn’t say anything.

“You can’t,” Rose repeated. “There has to be another way.”

“This is the other way! Listen, right, since I wanted to save the estate it’s my fault Jackie died. So…”

It’s not!”

“It is sort of.”

Rose shook her head, and suddenly Mickey pictured Adam right now, going to load his gun. What the hell could be going through his mind, right now? And Jackie would be just sitting there, thinking about her daughter, probably…

“You said once…something about not giving up, and making a stand and saying no. I don’t want Jackie to die, or the people on the estate, or you or the Doctor. So I dunno what to do! Except say no.”

Rose stared at him, tears in her eyes.

“You…” she said desperately… “You can’t.”

Mickey remembered the story about Rose’s dad and the Reapers, and wondered what he’d said when he knew he’d have to jump in front of a car.

“I’m sorry, Rose. I’m so sorry, I just dunno what else to do…”

He kissed her on the lips and looked at her and then started running. And she didn’t do anything, because she didn’t know what else to do, either. Neither of them had any power, neither of them could make this situation better-

-he thought he heard Rose yelling love you after him, so he shouted it back, even though he couldn’t be sure…

…and he kept running.