elisi: (Blue Ten/Rose by heartoutofstone)
[personal profile] elisi
So, I've had these stories planned out forever. And as I - miracle of miracles! - remembered what it was [livejournal.com profile] luckweaver's birthday (OK, she happened to mention it in passing and I was like 'OMG think of something!'), I decided to see if any of them were actually fit for posting. And this one came the closest. Probably 10 chapters altogether, but short chapters!

Basically each story is a visit to a different universe/character, allowing the Seeker to be seen with fresh eyes by his nearest and dearest, this one being set in Pete's World. Part of my Not the Last 'verse.

Summary: “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard (or: The Seeker takes some time out to travel and think things over)
Setting: Between A Good Day and The Death and Life of Rodageitmososa. (This is AU, but within New Who between Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor.
Spoilers: A Good Day. But can easily be read on its own.
Rating: PG-13.
Characters: This part: The Third Seeker, TenToo, Rose and a few others.
Beta: Um... That would be a no. All mistakes mine.
Dedication: [livejournal.com profile] luckweaver. Hope you like it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Feedback: Would be amazing. :)

Stepping Sideways: Pete's World

“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” – Lillian Smith


It was just a normal day. In the way that most days being married to the Doctor were normal...

Although, to be fair, it didn’t often involve a tree materialising in the middle of their lawn. That one was new, partly just because of being so low key.

For a moment Rose thought she might just not be quite awake yet, having yet to put the kettle on, but the tree was definitely there, and looked very real and solid.

“Doctor!” she called out.

“Hm?” he replied, his head popping into the kitchen from the living room, looking as if he’d slept in his clothes. Well, he’d probably not slept at all. Despite being ‘human’, he still kept very odd hours. She supposed nine hundred years of keeping your own time couldn’t be changed overnight. Or over five years, rather.

“There’s a tree in the garden,” she said, realising how incredibly stupid she sounded as soon as she’d said the words, so just pointed to it.

He looked out of the window, following the direction of her finger, and scratched his head.

(He'd clearly not looked in a mirror, his hair was all over the place.)

“I… should probably investigate,” he said, holding up a hand before she could speak.

“And you’ve not even had breakfast yet, so stay and put the kettle on. Looks like a plum tree… I like plums, I hope it’s a real tree.”

She rolled her eyes (as if it was going to be real) and watched him from the window as he cautiously approached the tree, but forgot about the kettle as she saw him suddenly stop, then step forwards with a strange hesitancy she couldn’t place, but that pinged something in her mind.

Slowly, slowly he reached out, laying his hand on the tree trunk, and she could swear he seemed to momentarily falter.

Having a hyper-aware sense for when things were about to go wrong, she swiftly went to the back door which the Doctor had left half open, but froze as she looked out, as at that moment a golden-glowing rectangle opened in the tree, outlining a tall figure.

(Why did stuff like this always happen to them? Still? Why did the Doctor draw weirdness to them even now he was half-way normal, like he was some sort of bizarro alien magnet? Not that she didn’t like the weirdness, but she hadn’t even had a cuppa yet.)

Although the stranger at least didn’t look like a lunatic, nor did he immediately try to kill, shoot or eat them. It was a dark-haired young man; dressed in a purple jacket, black trousers and shoes, and he took a step forward, looking as cautious as the Doctor, before he spoke:

“Doctor? Before you say anything, I know I’m crossing my own timeline, but this is where my TARDIS brought me, so I’m guessing there’s a reason I’m here. And hey - if this universe starts collapsing I’ll have help fixing it.”

He grinned as the Doctor stared in shocked silence, and Rose gripped the door frame so hard her fingers hurt.

Then the stranger looked up and saw her.

In an instant his face changed and he backed away, as if warding off some great evil.

“That - is that Rose Tyler? I... I shouldn’t be here. I can’t be here, I made sure to programme the TARDIS never to- Doctor! Listen! Forget me! Make sure she forgets me too. I’m from your future, you don’t even know I exist, you shouldn’t-”

He turned on his heel, but the Doctor desperately called out “Wait!” and grabbed his wrist.

As if hit by an electric current the strange Time Lord stopped and pivoted.

(A Time Lord. A Time Lord in their garden. Of all the impossible things to have befallen them, this was the most incredible.)

The Doctor let go, but this time the stranger reached out and it was the Doctor who backed away.

“Doctor... What happened to you? You’re... you’re so faint... like you’re nothing more than an echo...” The stranger stopped, concentrating, as if listening.

“My God, there’s only me.” Slowly turning his eyes back on the Doctor, he seemed to be holding some strong emotion at bay. “What happened? Where-when the hell am I? What is this universe?”

The Doctor swallowed. “You’re in Pete’s world.”

The other stared for a full second in stunned silence, then smiled - bright and happy, yet clearly still curious.

“Well, that part makes sense. You still don’t.”

He stepped up the Doctor, studying him closely, like the Doctor was some strange, exotic creature he had never seen before, and he wanted to drag him into a lab and do experiments on him.

“Perfect in every detail. What are you? Not a robot, not a Nestene, not a flesh copy, not a clone, nor a Zygon I don’t think… Fascinating.”

Then he turned to Rose.

“Are you real? As in the real Rose?”

As the Doctor was still struck silent with pure shock, Rose walked forwards, eyeing the stranger calmly (and hopefully intimidatingly).

“Yes, I’m the real Rose Tyler. And who are you?”

I,” he replied slowly, “am the Seeker. And I never thought I’d get to meet you.”

With this he took her hand and kissed it, studying her candidly even as he looked amused at her hostility. She noticed that his eyes were a very bright green.

The Rose Tyler, well I’ll be... Never thought I’d actually meet you properly. Considered bumping into you at some point before you met the Doctor of course, but timelines… Oh, they’re fragile things, and I didn’t want to wipe out my own existence. And to meet you now, like this? Well, it just goes to show that there are stranger things in the world than anyone has ever dreamed of… Would you tell me your story? You’re the Rose that married the Doctor - well some version of the Doctor...”

He glanced at the man in question.

“So - come in, sit down, I’ll make some tea?”

He held out his hand towards the TARDIS door, but the Doctor finally found his voice.

“How… how are you here? Who are you? This is… Not possible.”

The new Time Lord - what was his name? Seeker? It was certainly weird enough - shot him a droll look.

“Like I once said to my Doctor: please sit down and make a list of all the impossible things to have happened in your life. That should take you the best part of a week. Or you could just accept that there’s something else going on… And in this case, I can even give you an explanation.”

The Doctor still looked hesitant, and Rose took his hand, shooting him a look that hopefully said ‘It’s a Time Lord! Isn’t that good?’

He smiled back at her, but was clearly still deeply ambivalent, and she wanted to shake him.

A new Time Lord! It really was impossible, and she could feel excitement tingle all over. Why was the Doctor behaving so oddly?

She looked back up to find the Seeker watching them with a look Rose couldn’t work out. It seemed somehow calculating, but when he spoke there was still amusement in his voice.

“Oh and I should probably point out that the controls are isomorphic.”

With that he turned and walked through the door to his TARDIS.

“Why the cheeky-” the Doctor said, and laughter drifted out from the tree.

"And now I feel at home..."

“Come on,” she said, tugging on his hand. “Aren’t you excited?”

He studied her with those brown eyes that held her whole world, and looked all over misgivings.

“That’s one word for it…”

Then he pulled himself together, confidence overlaying the worry almost like a shutter coming down, and, head held high, he strode through the door.

Part 2
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