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FIC: That's My Grandfather! (1/1)

Title: That's My Grandfather!
Series: There's The Door!
Rating: T (a fight and some name-calling)
Author: tkel_paris
Summary: Rose Tyler makes an assumption about the young lady the Doctor is talking so intently to. The truth, however, is more alarming and eye-opening.
Disclaimer: If Rose had learned about this, do you really think she'd have wanted to stick around?
Dedication: I think I came up with this one, but I'll grant tardis_mole and cassikat the honors for their educating me on Classic Who. And thanks to the dw_britglish community on LJ, for insult ideas – even though I had to use something different in the end.
Author's Note: There is Classic Who info in here. Specifically about the Doctor's very first companion – that we know about. (As one friend reminded me, the first Doctor kept referring to a “past life”, which might mean he was not the first Doctor but the first regeneration of the Doctor.)

That's My Grandfather!

Started May 8, 2012
Finished February 6, 2013

Rose never liked feeling left out. She'd been the center of attention since the day she was born. The only exceptions had been after Jimmy Stone and while she worked at the shop. Oh, she could deal with the Doctor's habit of investigating strange things, but he liked to talk with her about them. So that wasn't so bad.

This was awful. Beyond awful. Absolutely terrible.

They landed in 1963, near some old junkyard. She only learned that because the Doctor whispered it after they walked out. What caught her attention was that the Doctor had become so pale before he told her where they were Rose briefly wondered if he would pass out. But that was silly! The Doctor didn't pass out! Okay, leaving Christmas aside. But he wasn't sick from regeneration or anything! So what was the problem with this place?!

But then they saw two people walking toward them. An old man with a cane. Rose thought his clothing looked out-of-date even for 1963. What decade did the man think he was from? And shouldn't he be in a nursing home or something?

Oh, and a teenaged girl. Horizontal striped shirt and trousers. Very prim and proper-looking, with short hair.

The Doctor's colouring hadn't returned. He slowly walked over, ignoring all of Rose's questions as if he couldn't hear her. After a moment, the old man started speaking.

Only Rose couldn't understand a word. The TARDIS wasn't translating it at all. And then the Doctor answered in the same tongue. The exchange sounded tight, grim, but the two clearly knew each other. Or recognized each other. Or something like that. Rose only cared about being left out.

After a long moment, the Doctor turned his attention to the girl, who also spoke in the same language. Her eyes looked inquiringly at him, like he held the key to some important mystery. And the Doctor was smiling at her, like she was something infinitely precious.

Rose saw red. No one looked at him like that! It took her another long moment to manage to move, and she surged forward when the Doctor touched the girl's shoulder.

“Who do you think you are?” screamed Rose. “Flirting with him like that!” She didn't notice the shocked trio of faces. “You're how old?!”

“Rose!” the Doctor shouted in obvious dismay.

She didn't listen. “And don't get me started on you, flirting with yet another woman!”

She had more to say, but was cut off. She wasn't expecting the swat that came her way. Well, it looked like a swat, but it felt like a slap. So hard she felt ringing in her ears and a headache forming.

When Rose managed to look indignantly at the girl, who scowled as she shouted at her. Her mouth was moving in the language that Rose couldn't understand, but the TARDIS suddenly translated, and she heard in a cold, tightly controlled tone:

“How dare you, you stupid human! What kind of a degenerate are you, thinking anything is flirting?! That's my grandfather!”

Rose's jaw dropped. The words were enough of a shock, but the scowl reminded her of the Doctor she'd first met.

“Susan!” admonished the old man sternly.

Susan turned, respect on her face and pure anget in her face. “But what else I am supposed to call someone like that?” She turned to the Doctor. “Whatever made you choose someone so immature?”

The shock kept Rose silent. Grandfather?!

The Doctor sighed, his face tight. “A story I can't tell. Spoilers.” Pain escaped in his tone, as though some memories crushed his awareness.

The old man nodded sagely, keeping his opinions to himself. He patted the Doctor's cheek gently and then rested his hand on his arm for a moment, words unnecessary. “Don't tax the poor fellow, my dear. Hmm?”

Susan looked back and forth, as though addressing them both. “I am sorry for my outburst, Grandfathers. But,” she added expressly to the Doctor, “she cannot be good for you.”

“Grandfathers?!” choked Rose. “How can they both be your grandfather? I'd believe the man with you, but not the Doctor!”

The old man narrowed his eyes. “I am also the Doctor.”

Rose's face felt like it had become an exploding firework. “What?!”

The Doctor sighed. “Remember the last me?” The comment provoked two odd looks.

Rose stared. “Yeah?”

He hesitated a moment, sharing a tight look with the older-looking man. “I was eight other men before him.” He gestured with his chin at the old man. “He was the first me.”

Rose froze solid. This wizened creature was once the Doctor?!

The old man scowled. “I fear my future if my face will become that mish-mash of features.”

The Doctor cringed. If Rose had been able to, she would've defended the Doctor's looks.

“Let alone,” the old man continued, “if I must take one who is not fit to handle responsibilities as an adult of her own kind, never mind assistant.”

Rose opened her mouth to speak, but the Doctor turned the harshest glare imaginable on her.

“Inside the TARDIS! Now!”

She was too freaked to any thing other than obey. Yet she stopped in the TARDIS door to watch the farewells. The two men nodded and exchanged some words. When the Doctor turned to say goodbye to Susan, he surprised her and the old man by hugging her tightly.

Rose thought he looked like he knew he'd never see her again. It prickled at her heart. Briefly.

Not too long later, the Doctor returned and sent the TARDIS into the Vortex. The stormy expression had returned. Rose sat in the Jump Seat, not daring to make a sound. She didn't trust her own voice. Just watched the Doctor move them to wherever he intended to go.

Only when they landed did she notice that her bags were in the Control Room. “Doctor?” she cried.

He shot a look full of fire her way. “You thought I was flirting with my own grandchild. Susan was right. You are sick – your jealousy and possessiveness have gone too far. I can't be in your company any longer.”

She shook her head, trying desperately to think of anything that might defuse him.

Suddenly her pocket felt very warm. Something was getting hot inside it. She shrieked and reached it to grab at the offending object. She tossed it out like a hot potato...and stiffened when she realized that it was her TARDIS key.

The Doctor caught it effortlessly and tucked it into one of his pockets. A quick run of his Sonic in her direction, and then that was put away as well. “Time to part ways, Rose.”

Rose cried incoherently. She barely managed, “Doctor, no!”

But he grabbed her bags before she could move, grabbed her by the arm, and dragged her to the front door. “Welcome back to the Powell Estate, Rose. Grow up and accept that you can't always be the centre of attention.” With that, he opened the door and shoved her out.

She stared, numb and stiff, as the TARDIS vanished out of her life. Forever.

Had she lost the best thing that ever happened to her because she never thought that the Doctor was such an old man? That she had thought he'd been a very disgusting old man? And yet that old man was younger than the person she knew? And he'd had at least one grandchild?

She fell to her knees and wept.


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