The Price of Humanity
Chapter 1"Get down!!!!!" The Doctor shouted, and before Rose could react, she was on her back with a very distressed Time Lord above her. "Did they see you???" He asked her urgently.
"I-I don't know!" she yelled back over the small explosions going on right by her face. The Doctor looked at the grating beside her, and then quickly rolled her out of the way just as a shower of sparks shot out from the floor. He pulled her up by the shoulders, gripping her tightly.
"But did they see you?!?!" His hands dug into her shoulders. Rose tried not to panic.
"I was too busy running!" The Doctor pulled her closer to him so that they were nose to nose and gripped her arms even harder.
"Rose, it's important-- Did they see your face?!?!" His dark eyes bored into her.
"No, they couldn't have!" He held her a moment longer, as if to make sure of her answer, and then jumped up, threw his coat on one of the struts, and ran over to the Time Rotor, slamming it down and sending them hurtling through the Vortex, nearly throwing her to the ground in the process.
"Off we go!" Alarm bells sounded, and Rose looked at him in alarm. He screamed in frustration “They're following us!" The Doctor looked at the screen wildly.
"How can they do that, you've got a time machine." He ran around the console, throwing levers and pushing buttons rapidly.
"Stolen technology; they've got a Time Agent's Vortex Manipulator." Rose's eyes went wide. "They can follow us wherever we go, right across the universe. They're never going to stop. Unless..."
The Doctor's voice had taken on a certain breathless quality she had heard several times over the past three years. She only ever heard it when he knew he was probably going to get himself killed saving them. "I'll have to do it... Rose!" He ran to her and took her hands, holding them tighter than her ever had. "Rose, you trust me don't you?"
"Of course I do!" She replied shakily, staring into his wild eyes.
"Because it all depends on you." He breathed. Rose took a step back, concerned.
"W-what does? What am I supposed to do?" He looked at her for a second, worry written all over his face, and then held up a silver fob watch with Gallifreyan symbols on it.
"Take this watch. My life depends on it. This watch, Rose. This watch is--"
John Smith jolted awake in his bed. Little glimpses of sunlight peeked out from behind his drawn curtains. He sat up, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.
What a bizarre dream! He thought. And again, it was about the Doctor and his friend. Rose... He felt his heartbeat increase at the mention of Rose. But why? He wondered. She means nothing to me. She’s a serving girl, for heaven's sake!!! A knock at the door roused him from his thoughts.
"Come in." he replied, and the door opened. Rose, his maid walked in with a tray of his breakfast. Her eyes went wide, and she turned back for the door when she saw that he was still in his night clothes.
"Pardon me, Mister Smith. You're not dressed yet. I can come back later."
"No, no, it's all right, it's all right." he said, fastening his robe. He gestured at the table on the other side of the room. "Put it down." She nodded her head and placed the tray on the table. "I was, um...... Sorry, sorry." Rose looked at him for a moment, and then walked to his window. "Sometimes...I have these extraordinary dreams." He squinted as she drew back his curtains, and his room was suddenly filled with sunlight.
"What about, sir?" she asked walking to the other windows, and drawing back their coverings as he spoke.
"I dream I'm this..." His voice trailed off as he struggled to find the right word. "Adventurer. This...daredevil. A madman. 'The Doctor' I'm called. And last night, I dreamt....that you were there. As my... companion." She looked up at him incredulously. At least she tried to. John Smith wasn't enough of a fool to miss the sadness in her eyes.
"A teacher and a housemaid, sir? That's impossible." He caught the hint of sorrow in her voice, and tried to cheer her up a bit.
"I was a man from another world, though." She laughed, a tad bitterly, under her breath.
"Well, then it can't be true, 'cause there's no such thing." She cleared her throat and began to set his breakfast out on the table. He walked over to the mantle and picked up the small, silver fob watch that lay there.
"This thing--the watch, it was..." Rose looked up at him in surprise. Since his back was turned, he missed the glimmer of hope that lit up her brown eyes. Then, just as quickly, he put it back down. "Yeah, it's funny how dreams slip away. But I do remember one thing. It all took place in the future! In the year of our Lord, 2007." He turned to face her, a little smile playing across his lips.
"I can prove that wrong for you sir." She said, handing him a newspaper. "Here's the morning paper. It's Monday, November 10th, 1913, and you're completely human, sir. As human as they come." He stared at the headline for a few moments. Rose watched him carefully to make sure he wasn't looking, and wiped away a single tear from her face. He hummed in agreement.
"That's me. Completely human." He smiled. Rose smiled back. Almost.