Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sunshine in the Rain

This week's tale comes courtesy of Russell Williams, who's also taken on the 5th Doctor slot this series so he'll be back in a few weeks. Another splendid tale, this is one of two stories that will have a sequel in series 3, and the ending here sets it up very nicely indeed.
So, please read and enjoy, and share your thoughts as always on the forum as I know Russell will be keen to know what you made of it.
Here is:
Sunshine in the Rain
    Rose Tyler screamed out, waking herself up. She had had that dream again. The one where her life as she had known it had come to an end. Of course, if it was only a dream it would be OK; a cup of tea and you could shake it off. But in Rose's case, the nightmare was indeed a reality. She remembered it all far too well. The day that Mickey Smith, the most wonderful fiancé in the universe, had died saving her.
    From herself.
    Still shaking from the memories, Rose took a moment to check her surroundings. She was lying in a plush four-poster bed in an opulently decorated bedroom. Her bedroom at Pete Tyler, her father's, mansion. Despite living here now for just over three months, she still couldn't believe that she had her father back, sort of. Her mother was happy, the family was complete. All except Mickey.
    Fighting back the tears, Rose decided to get up, slipped on a dressing gown and headed downstairs to the kitchen to make a nice warm mug of cocoa to hopefully send her back off to sleep. Walking past her father's study, she noticed that the light was still on, and poking her head round the door, saw him at his desk talking to someone sat in the small settee in the corner of the room. Wondering who this person could be, Rose craned her neck further around the door and finally saw him. Ricky Smith. The "fake" Mickey. Startled, she knocked the door further ajar attracting the attention of Pete and Ricky.
    "Rose. What are you doing up and about so late? Couldn't sleep?" Pete asked, concerned.
    "Yeah, just a bad dream, that's all. Sorry to disturb you."
    "That's alright, sweetheart. Oh, you remember Ricky don't you?" Pete indicated Ricky, who put on a forced smile.
    "Alright, Rose."
    "Yeah. Hi. Look I'm gonna head back to bed now, I'll see you in the morning."
    With that, Rose headed out of the study and ran back upstairs to bed, fighting back the tears.     Eventually, she cried herself to sleep.
    Pete Tyler sat in his study an hour or so after his business with Ricky had concluded. The clean-up operation involving the Cybermen was taking longer than expected and Harriet Jones' demands to have everything sorted before the election wasn't making their jobs any easier. What got Pete through these harrowing days was the fact that he now had a proper family. A Jackie that he loved and he knew loved him in return, and a daughter – the child that he had always wanted.
    The Doctor really was an amazing man, he had given Pete everything: a family, a sense of purpose, a world saved from the threat of the Cybermen. He recalled vividly how this strange man wearing a leather jacket and slightly large ears had taken him aside and pleaded with him to take care of Rose. To this day, he had no idea what sort of heartbreaking trauma his daughter had suffered. He cared too much to ask Rose, and any questions put in Jackie's direction had quickly been shot down, because she didn't want to talk about it. But it still hurt him, to see his daughter aching day after day, and being able to do nothing about it. It was funny, Rose and this Jackie had only just entered his life and yet he loved them both with every fibre of his being. Despite this, he still cared for "his" Jackie; despite the deepening problems towards the end of their marriage, he had still loved her.
    His thoughts turned to his "reunion" with Jackie when he and Rose had stormed the Cyber-factory. The memory of his wife of twenty-years encased in one of those horrible Cyber-suits nearly brought tears to Pete's eyes, but he shook his head and buried the pain deep down once again. Getting up from behind his desk, Pete made his way out of his study and up to the bedroom that he and Jackie shared. Noticing that she was fast asleep, he quietly got into bed beside her, gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and settled down to sleep.
    As Rose Tyler slept, images of the Doctor and his marvellous travelling machine began to fill her mind. When she first met the Doctor, it was in the basement of her old workplace, Henrik's. She was surrounded by Autons, fearing for her life, and suddenly someone grabbed her hand and said a simple word:
    And they never stopped running. Facing death from the rays of the sun on Platform One; cowering from Gelth-controlled zombies in a basement in Cardiff; and of course, there were the Slitheen. But what she was really running from was her Mum and Mickey.
    As Rose replayed the memories of those fantastic days in her dreams, a small smile played across her face, and a little tear trickled down. The moistness tumbling down her cheek awoke Rose, and she stared over at the antique clock on the mantle-piece: 4 o'clock.
    Realizing that she wouldn't get to sleep again for some time, Rose bowed to the inevitable, got out of bed, pulled on her dressing gown and made her way downstairs to the kitchen. As she approached the kitchen, she could see light penetrating through the crack underneath and shining through the mosaic patterned glass. Pushing the door open, she saw that her father was now sat at the breakfast table sipping a mug of tea and browsing through yesterday's newspaper. Hearing Rose enter, Pete looked up and smiled.
    "Still can't sleep, sweetheart?"
    "Yeah, I've been having a bit of trouble lately. Thought I'd come down and have a brew, but looks like you beat me to it."
    "You park yourself there and I'll make you a nice cuppa. The kettle's just boiled." Pete got up and moved over to the kitchen counter, passing Rose.
    A few minutes later, Pete and Rose were sitting at the breakfast table sipping their tea and idly flicking through the paper together, laughing at some of the more amusing stories and having half-hearted conversation about some of the political turmoil surrounding Harriet Jones. Throughout, Pete kept glancing at Rose, noticing the puffiness around the eyes, obvious that she had been crying.
    "Rose, you've been crying. What's the matter? Aren't you happy that we're all together again?" Pete asked, deeply concerned.
    Rose started to cry again, and Pete moved to give her a big hug. "Of course I am. It's brilliant to see mum so happy again, and I can have the father I've always wanted, but the family just doesn't feel complete."
    "What d'ya mean, sweetheart? It's only natural to miss the Doctor, but I wouldn't call him one of the family."
    "No... not the Doctor. He's better off where he is. Where he deserves to be." A touch of anger was now penetrating her voice.
    "He cares about you, Rose. And your mum. When we met at Canary Wharf, he pleaded with me to make sure that you both had a good life."
    "I know, I know. It's just... Mickey." Rose began to cry again, almost inconsolable.
    "Mickey? Rose darling, who's Mickey?"
    "He was my fiancé, the best fiancé in the whole universe. And... and he died. Because of me. Because of the Doctor."
    "Oh my god, Rose. I'm so sorry, I had no idea." Pete moved in to hug Rose, and didn't let her go for a long time.
    A few hours later, Pete and Rose were sitting on the floor of the living room, talking. Rose had stopped crying, and had regained some control, but both she and Pete had red, puffed up eyes.
    "So, how did Mickey become involved with you and the Doctor then? Considering what you told me about the Autons, it doesn't seem likely that he'd be up for adventure." Pete asked.
    Rose smiled, and wiped her nose and mouth with a tissue. "Well, he did brick it a little bit, but he was forced to grow up a lot over the next 12 months. Y'see, when I returned home, the Doctor miscalculated and we landed exactly a year later. 'Course, Mum had thought that Mickey had killed me so it was horrible. When I turned up, mum went absolutely ape."
    "Your mother? Never!" Pete joked.
    "I was selfish.. I was bored with her daily routine, get up, go to work, eat chips and go to bed. I abandoned them, not thinking about the worry that Mickey and mum had gone through. The sleepless nights, the accusations and the questioning."
    "Rose, you're being too hard on yourself. You thought you'd only be gone for a few hours, and it was a spur of the moment decision."
    "Yeah. Well after all the business with the Slitheen, I still desperately wanted to travel with the Doctor, but didn't want to abandon Mickey and mum again. I was sure the Doctor would never allow mum aboard, but maybe Mickey. I thought I'd love to have him around, the old duo travelling around time and space together..."
The Powell Estate, London, England, Earth, Sol system, Mutter's Spiral
April 2006
    "You could always come with us. Keep her safe." The Doctor offered.
    Mickey wanted to decline the Doctor's offer of travelling with him and Rose, tell him that he wasn't quite ready for a life of adventure and was the slightest bit afraid. And yet, a part of him also wanted to travel with Rose and keep her safe. After all, if he could face down the Slitheen with nothing but a chair and a jar of pickled onions, then surely he was ready.
    "Really? You'd be happy to have me along would you?" Mickey asked, subconsciously looking for a way out.
    "Yeah, why not? They say travel broadens the mind, not that I need it, but it couldn't hurt you, Ricky. The more the merrier." The Doctor beamed, offering out his hand.
    Despite his concerns, Mickey climbed off the rubbish bin, tossing the newspaper to one side, and shook the Doctor's hand.
    "Fantastic." The Doctor shouted cheerfully.
    "On one condition: you stop calling me Ricky."
    The Doctor took a brief moment to consider before nodding his ascent, sharing a smile with Mickey as he did so. Approaching the pair were Rose and Jackie. Both seemed rather puzzled as to why the pair appeared to be getting on so well, as they drew nearer to the TARDIS.
    "What's gotten into you two? Must be a "bold new dawn" if you're getting on." Rose said, still puzzled.
    When the Doctor didn't offer up an explanation, Mickey stepped forward cheerfully. "I'm going with you. In the TARDIS."
    "Really?" Rose looked to the Doctor, who nodded. She then gave Mickey a large hug and a kiss. "That's brilliant, I can't wait."
    The Doctor, Rose and the newest recruit were stepping out of the TARDIS and onto the desert-like world of San Bahoon. Mickey had indeed been fortunate, his first trip in the TARDIS and it was to a completely alien world. As he stepped out of the TARDIS, he gazed around in wonder, taking in the beautiful violet sky with three suns.
    Rose stepped out of the TARDIS after Mickey, watching her boyfriend stagger around in amazement. She flashed a warm smile at the Doctor and ran over to Mickey.
    "Rose! This is bloody amazing..." Mickey gasped.
    Rose hooked her arm around Mickey as they stared out at the sky together.
    "Now you see why I never wanted to stay at home. All these wonders Mickey, they're ours now."
    "Rose..." Mickey started, and then wiped the increasing pool of sweat on his brow. "God, I'm hot."
    The Doctor joined his companions, after hearing Mickey's comment. "Ric... Mickey. I told you not to wear your coat. You won't feel the benefit." The Doctor smiled.
    "Ay? Oh yeah." Mickey took his coat off and positioned it under his arm.
    Everyone satisfied, the Doctor took in his surroundings. "Right then, you two. Let's take a look around then shall we. Oh, and don't get lost."
    As Mickey went to move off, Rose pushed past him and ran off over one of the sand dunes, screaming "Race ya" as she did so. With a quick look to the Doctor, Mickey grinned and ran off after her.
    Together they ran for what seemed like miles, laughing as they did so. Both exhausted, they noticed an oasis in the desert, a large lake bordered by bizarre looking, pink, palm trees. Taking their trainers and socks off they went for a paddle in the water. Rose pushed Mickey over when he least suspected it and he fell in. He tried to pull her down in return, but she ran to the shore, laughing as she did so. Both suitably wet, they settled down at the lake's edge.
    "This reminds me of the weekend we had in Margate. Remember that?" Mickey asked.
    "'Course I do. That was the first time you told me you loved me. After you fell off that donkey," Rose laughed.
    "I didn't fall off the donkey. He suddenly bucked up."
    "Yeah, and what happened?"
    "I fell off." Mickey replied, meekly.
    "Anyway, I don't remember Margate having a purple sky or pink palm trees, but it was just as fun. Anything's more fun when you're there."
    Mickey moved into kiss Rose, and soon became more intense. Rose had never loved Mickey more than she did at this moment. He had truly embraced this world and would travel with her forever.     Well, almost forever.
    Sometime later, Rose and Mickey made their way back to the TARDIS in their slightly damp clothing, and couldn't find the Doctor anywhere in sight. Deciding that the Time Lord could be waiting inside for them, having grown bored, Rose got out her key and they both stepped inside the TARDIS. It quickly became obvious that he wasn't in the console room either, so they set out to investigate the rest of the ship.
    Mickey had never seen any part of the TARDIS besides the console room and he presumed that this was the only part of the ship. So he was slightly surprised when he saw Rose walking at speed towards the coral coated wall and passing straight through. After a few minutes consideration he decided to follow.
    High and low they searched. They spent hours wandering up and down corridors, stumbling into various console rooms, bedrooms, laboratories, a swimming pool, a library and a launderette, with still no sign of the Doctor. After changing into some spare clothes hanging on a piece of string inside the launderette, the two companions made their way back to the console room. At a loss, Rose began messing with the console, deciding to activate the scanner and see if that would reveal anything.
    As the screen activated, she decided to rewind the feed until the point that she and Mickey had run off across the sand dunes. Playing it again, she saw the Doctor wandering around the perimeter of the TARDIS, seemingly intent on finding something. A puzzled expression on his face, he pulled the sonic screwdriver out of the top pocket of the leather jacket and knelt down, scanning the sand at his feet with the sonic. After a few minutes, the Doctor suddenly disappeared from view as he ran into the TARDIS. Seconds later, he emerged with a shovel and starting digging down and down until he stopped. Reaching down, he pulled up a large ruby-coloured diamond, and began to examine it with his sonic.
    Lost in his examinations, the Doctor failed to spot the group of four badger-like creatures who had suddenly sprung out of the ground. Rose gasped as she observed the badgers pull out their guns at the Doctor, demanding that he hand over the diamond and follow them. Within seconds, the Doctor and his "friends" disappeared below the surface.
    "Well, that explains that one then. What are we going to do?" Mickey asked, amazed.
    "Rescue him, obviously. He'd do the same for us."
    "Yeah, right. You've got a certificate in gymnastics and I'm a high scorer on Space Invaders. We've got those badgers licked." Mickey quipped, and Rose smacked him on the shoulder.
    "C'mon, the Doctor's taught us they we have to make a stand and make do with what we've got, and what we know. All we've got to do is think."
    "We need a shovel if we're gonna dig down there. Has to be a spare one lying around somewhere."
    "That's good. We also need torches."
    "Torches? What, for when it gets dark?"
    "No. Three suns in the sky, it won't be dark for ages yet. Think about it. We're going underground. Therefore, we need torches."
    "Oh yeah."
    After digging for what seemed like hours, Rose and Mickey had finally dug through the sand dune and had penetrated into a subterranean cavern. Turning on their torches, penetrating the darkness, they were surprised as some of the light reflected across the cavern as it hit various diamonds that were embedded in the walls. They walked for miles and miles, gazing in awe at the diamonds, but ever cautious of a badger jumping out at them.
    As they continued walking, Mickey noticed that the passages grew wider and wider, indicating that they were approaching a larger cavern. Their suspicions were proved correct when they noticed a very dim light from up ahead, and Rose decided that it would be for the best if they turned off their torches. Walking in the dimness, the pair began to hear voices from inside the cavern, screechy voices that were so quiet that they were unable to decipher the words. Erring on the side of caution, the companions crouched down behind a rocky outcropping, gaining a good view of the cavern as it spread out below.
    The cavern was roughly circular in shape, illuminated by a few dozen dim torches scattered around the place, and contained approximately two hundred of the badger creatures. Mickey's heart skipped a couple of beats as he took in the sight, but he was even more surprised when he noticed that at the centre of the huge gathering was the Doctor. Bound up in rope, and not looking too pleased.
    A prod from Rose made Mickey see that they had to find a way to extract the Time Lord from his difficulties, and they moved to get closer, ducking behind outcroppings and keeping to the shadows as they went. As they got nearer, they began to hear more and more of what was being said. One of the badgers, presumably the leader, seemed most perturbed that the Doctor had the audacity to attempt to steal one of the tribe's sacred diamonds.
    "I assure you, your magnificence, I had no intention of stealing your precious diamonds. I'm a traveller, a scientist. I was merely interested in studying it." The Doctor protested.
    "A likely story. Pink skinned "scientists" have graced us with their presence before and made off with several gralfits of the diamonds in return for our hospitality." A second badger argued.
    "Well, if this is any indication of your "hospitality", then I'm not surprised they wanted a little compensation!" The Doctor bemoaned without thinking, quickly adding, "My apologies. I had no intention of stealing the diamonds, and I can prove I'm a scientist. My vessel, the TARDIS, is packed with scientific equipment. Let me out of these bonds, and I shall show you the wonders of my craft."
    "Really. And I suppose that once you are aboard your craft you will make a swift exit, or else use those who accompany you as hostages to ransom against obtaining the diamonds." The second badger countered.
    "That's ridiculous..."
    "ENOUGH!!" The leader screamed. "We have heard enough. For the penalty of trespass upon our world, and the attempted theft of our sacred crystals, you are sentenced to death – with immediate effect."
    The crowd of badgers screeched and chanted, seemingly pleased that justice had been done.
    Before the Doctor even had time to defend himself, the leader produced a long staff, and pressed a button atop it. The metal covering surrounding the Doctor suddenly retracted, and below was a massive lake of molten lava, with the Time Lord stood on a small pedestal in the middle. It was certain that the Doctor's fate was sealed.     
    All of a sudden, shouting drew the attention of the assembled badgers and the Time Lord as he noticed his two friends approaching.
    As Mickey and Rose advanced through the badgers, they had their torches produced, shining brightly in the faces of any badger who challenged them, and sending them scurrying away into the darkness. Soon enough the companions had reached the badger leader, who stood in defiance of the torchlight, even when his elite guards had turned and run.
    "I am Mickey, God of Light, and I demand that this prisoner be released at once." Mickey shouted.
    "I know of no God of Light, and I refuse. This person has transgressed our laws and must be punished as a result."
    "Forgive him, for he knows not what he has done. He is a trickster, a man of simple mind who cannot be held responsible for his actions. We, the Gods of Light, are charged with protecting this creature and see that he comes to no harm."
    The Doctor looked incredulous at being described as a trickster of simple mind, but wisely, said nothing. As Mickey and Rose once again shone their torches into the eyes of the leader, he relented and once again pressed the button which replaced the metal plating.
    "You, oh Gods of Light, seem to have a prior claim to this individual, but see to it that your "trickster" never visits our world again."
    "We, the Gods of Light, agree, and thank you for your compliance. May your civilization fair well." Rose said, joining in.
    With that Mickey and Rose quickly freed the Doctor from his bonds, and raced out of the cavern and back up the passageway out of sight of the badgers.
    "'A trickster of simple mind'. How dare you? I could beat you in a quiz any day." The Doctor moaned, but Mickey just grinned.
    "Never mind that. Can't you just be pleased that Mickey got you out of there? You'd be dead if it weren't for us. Again." Rose said.
    "Yeah, yeah. You're useful to have around, I 'spose. Good work with the Gods of Light, though. Have to remember that one." The Doctor conceded.
    "Thanks. I think I've been watching too many sci-fi films."
    "Yeah well, time to stop watching and start living, Mickey."
    Following a rather lengthy climb out of the hole that Rose and Mickey had dug earlier, the three made a hasty entrance into the TARDIS, and seconds later there was nothing left but the sand, the three suns and the swirling wind.
    Rose finished telling Pete of her adventure on San Bahoon with the Doctor and Mickey, and the pair just fell about laughing. Pete wasn't exactly used to hearing about alien planets and strange aliens everyday, but his encounters with the Time Lord had opened his mind enough to believe that anything was possible. He quickly noticed that Rose had looked happier than he'd ever seen her. Reliving the memories of the good times had allowed Rose to put her pain to one side and remember the important thing: her love for Mickey.
    After another cup of tea, Rose retired to bed, and for the first time in weeks, she settled into a peaceful, long, sleep. In dreams she was reliving memories of her adventures with Mickey on Woman Wept, World War II London, Satellite 5 and all the other amazing places that she had visited.
    And throughout, she smiled.
    Several universes away on Rose's Earth, an eerie night had fallen across the city of London in the wake of the destruction of Torchwood (aka Canary Wharf). Such devastation could only be compared to those dreadful events of six years earlier when the World Trade Centre when over 3,000 people had perished in a cowardly terrorist attack. However, Torchwood hadn't been destroyed by Muslim extremists, but by the extraterrestrial threat of the Daleks and the Cybermen, who had waged war on Earth with Humanity caught in the middle.
    The threat had been neutralized, but not without massive casualties and extensive collateral damage to the surrounding city. Crawling over the wreckage of Torchwood, medical teams and rescuers from the many hospitals in the city of London: valiantly searching for survivors.
    One of those valiant medical personnel was Martha Jones, a medical student at Royal Hope Hospital who had been drafted in to help out. She had been working for seven hours straight and had assisted in pulling four people out of the wreckage, in various states. Scrabbling out of the wreckage, cursing her boots and hard hat, she suddenly heard a scratching and faint cry coming from beneath her. Aware of the precarious situation, she didn't move an inch, but shouted to some of the surrounding people to assist in pulling the presumably trapped person out.
    After an hour of digging and slowly moving rubble, they pulled out a brown haired man wearing the remains of a tattered black jumper, a pair of jeans and a leather jacket. Bizarrely, all of his clothes seemed at least one size too big for him. Martha performed some on the spot checks of the man's health and determined that he would be okay to move, and a stretcher was called in so he could be moved into the ambulance, and eventually taken off to hospital for treatment.
    After the patient had been stretchered away, Martha stood for a few minutes, mulling over something that the man had mumbled a few moments earlier.
    "Mickey. Rose. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

To be continued in...


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