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Mysterious Ways, part 13 of ?

Title: Mysterious Ways, part 13 of ?
Author: Aenaria/io_aenaria
Character/Pairing: Ten/Rose, Gemma (an OC), with appearances by Jack, Martha, Donna, and a bunch of other OCs
Rating: This part is PG, however rating is more than likely to go up by the end of it...
Summary: "She's been lost, found the key, unlocked the door to the universe, wandered about, took a detour, stopped, stopped some more, then started again. Now, finally, Rose Tyler is on her way home." The Sonnetsverse reunion. Has gone totally AU after 'The Unicorn and the Wasp'.
Disclaimer: Alas, no. All I've got is a kitten named Fortuna, but she's not for sale.

a/n: Stairs. That is all.

Many, many, many thanks to anepidemic and earlgreytea68 for doing especially quick betas on this part. They've helped me out so much, and it's always appreciated. Also, to lady_mage, for her inspiration making me get this post out without delay. And to Paige. She knows why.

Previous parts of Mysterious Ways and the rest of the Sonnetsverse found here.

Thanks for reading!

Thirteen: If You Wanna Kiss the Sky…

“To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you wanna kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel
(on your knees boy)”

- Mysterious Ways, U2

The green glaze creeping in at the edges of Rose’s vision tells her that this may not be an ordinary headache. She blinks roughly, an attempt to keep the green at bay. She rests her head in her hands, exhaling against the tablecloth.

There’s a rustling sound next to her, and she looks up to see Martha sliding into the chair next to hers. “How are you feeling?” she asks in a modulated voice that speaks of years of medical training.

“I’m fine,” Rose says, her hands dropping to her lap as she lets her eyelids fall shut again. There’s a buzzing in her head she just can’t escape, and it keeps building and building. Part of her wants to liken it to sex (eleven years and a lifetime ago). Those feelings that just rise and fall and rise again, that make her blood crackle and sing, that can make her forget herself and lose control.

Her eyes snap open and they glom onto her hands, resting there in a pool of sheer black silk and glittering adornments, and her mouth falls open just slightly. Because just like during sex, she now sees that her writing is beginning to creep out, black and fresh, starting with the first, her name, and bleeding up to the next one, La Serenissima…

La Serenissima. Venice. Was that a sign? A message set down ages ago and only coming into relevance now, like a bad fortune teller’s prediction that only makes sense after the fact?

Rose clenches her fists so tight that the skin loses its blood. It’s painful but it (just barely) manages to bring the marks back under control. She glances up at Martha again. She can tell that the creeping attack of the writing has gone unnoticed, but only because her arms were hidden by tablecloth and shadows. The other woman’s eyes haven’t moved from her suddenly pale as a winter’s night face.

“You’re not fine,” Martha says, grabbing onto Rose’s bare shoulder. “You are as white as a sheet.”

Priya and Lou come over to her other side, staring down at her with nearly identical expressions of concern on their very different faces. “Marion, you look like shit,” Priya points out none too gently, knowing that sometimes blunt was the only way to get through to some people.

“I’ll be all right,” Rose insists softly. “This isn’t the first time this has happened,” she says, almost whispering.

“First time I’m seeing it,” Priya fires back, “and as a doctor I’m ordering you to let us take you upstairs so we can check you out and find out what’s wrong. Otherwise, we’re taking you straight to hospital.”

“No hospital,” Rose says firmly, looking at the three of them in turn. Keeping her face steady she pushes the chair back with her legs and stands up, fully ready to go upstairs and lay down for a bit if it’ll keep the peanut gallery from poking and prodding her further.

But then…

Then the pressure bursts wide open in her head, sending her crashing to the floor, her hands and knees meeting the stone with an audible crack.

* * *

Gemma bursts into the room she and Rose are sharing, with Donna following close on her heels. “Oh, where is it?” Gemma cries, darting over to one the bedside tables.

“Where’s what?” Donna asks, still standing in the doorway. She feels a bit awkward, but there’s that small tingle at the back of her neck that’s practically screaming ‘Something’s happening!’

“Oooh,” Gemma moans, opening the drawers of the bedside table and scrabbling through them with no care for the contents.

“Gemma, what is going on?” Donna demands, making the girl pause in her frantic scurrying. She looks up at Donna, and the beginnings of tears are in her eyes.

“See, my sister, she used to know the Doctor ages ago. They were good…well, they knew each other really, really well,” she says, hands resting on the edge of the drawer. She pauses, as if trying to find the right words to explain the situation. “They lost track of each other, though,” she continues, leaping over the bed to get to the other bedside table and pawing through the mess on top of it. “Anyway, this all happened before I was born, I just heard the stories.”

“Was your sister a fetus then when she met the Doctor – she can’t be more than twenty,” Donna says, trying to keep the slightly sour tones of doubt out of her voice.

“Oh, don’t let her fool you,” Gemma replies, rolling off the bed and scanning the room rapidly. “She’s old. She’s at least thirty. But she’s been looking for him for ages and ages. And if he’s here now, I gotta tell her! Ah!” She gasps, and bolts for the dresser. Her hand lands on a tangled chain, and she picks it up and practically tosses it to Donna in her excitement.

Donna looks at the little bundle in her hand, flexing her fingers so that the chain pools in her palm. Then she picks up the object in the centre of the mass, what looks like a boring old house key. But she knows better. Dropping the key back she reaches down the front of her dress and pulls out an identical chain and key.

(Always be prepared, you know, especially in a dress without pockets – keep your TARDIS key with you at all times.)

There’s no visible reaction between the two keys, but there is a sudden vibration pounding through her palms that drives home the fact that neither of these are ordinary keys. Which means that the story, to some degree, is true. “Okay,” she says, placing the other key carefully back on the dresser. “Let’s round everyone up and find out what’s really going on.”

* * *

“Oh, Christ!” Martha yelps, dropping to the floor a second afterwards. Marion is there on her hands and knees, her fingers looking as if they’re trying to burrow into the stone below them. Her head is dropped forward, surrounded by an odd combination of feathers and curls, obscuring her eyes. Martha’s hands react instinctively, going to the side of Marion’s head and lifting her face upwards. Her mouth drops, breath escaping with a little shudder when she sees just what she has revealed.

Framed by the gold-painted plaster of the mask, Martha sees that the woman’s eyes are no longer their normal brown, but are instead shining a light aqua green obscuring cornea, iris, and pupil. It hardly needs to be said that this is not normal.

The unfocused eyes move to Martha’s, suddenly gaining focus even through the green. “Martha Jones,” Marion says in a low and steady voice. “Martha Jones…you’re a hero. This world lost an entire year but you…you managed to save it.”

Martha’s hands seem to lose half of their grip on her head, letting it fall forward again, even though she can still feel Marion’s hair against her fingers. ‘There is no way she could have known that,’ Martha thinks, frozen in place. Only those at the very centre of the storm on the Valiant had any clue about the year that never was, and the faces of all the participants had been burned indelibly into her memory. This one, Marion McCrimmon, certainly wasn’t one of them.

And now, she knows, there’s only one person who could make any sort of sense out of this one. The right kind of Doctor, as Jack mentioned to her once upon a time.

She looks over at Priya and Lou, who have just crouched down next to her as well. “Please tell me you saw that,” Martha pleads desperately.

“Her eyes were just glowing,” Lou whispers, barely audible over the noise of the crowd that somehow hasn’t noticed what’s going on.

(Just one more drunkard, the crowd thinks. Typical of this sort of party. If they only knew what was happening maybe they’d have paid more attention. But then, some moments were meant to be private – or just better with two.)

“I think it’s safe to say that is not normal,” Priya says, one hand going to Marion’s neck to take her pulse, considerably less freaked out than Lou is.

“I’ve got a friend who can help,” Martha says, smoothing a hand over Marion’s arched back. “He’s rather an expert in things like this.”

“Things like this?” Lou cries, panic evident in her voice as she wraps an arm around Marion’s waist, but who’s supporting who she isn’t sure.

“Yeah,” Martha says, pushing herself to her feet. “I think Donna said he was on the next floor up. S’where she last saw him when she went hunting for the loo.” She stares around the room, looking in despair at the dance floor with its mish-mash of people blocking the way to the main staircase.

Lou removes one hand from Marion’s back and points to the left, arm stretched parallel to the wall. “Service stairway is right there. Less crowded, too.”

“Right,” Martha nods. “I’ll be right back with help.” She runs along the clear path by the wall, wanting to find the Doctor as fast as possible.

* * *

With an internal click everything that’s going on within Rose’s body seems to shut off, leaving her back in her normal state. “Oh!” she gasps, dropping to the floor with an ungraceful thump. Barely a second after that she feels hands pulling her back up to a sitting position.

“Mar, you okay?” Priya asks, hands automatically going to her head and pulling it upwards.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she replies, her mantra for the night.

“Fine? That was fine?!” Lou’s hysterical voice breaks in. “Your eyes were glowing!”

Bugger. All right, think fast, Rose. The quicker you explain your way out of this one the better.

“They were probably just glassy,” she says, offering up what she hopes is a reasonable explanation.

“Glowing green is a bit different than just glassy,” Priya points out, lips compressed into a thin line.


“Look, don’t worry,” Priya continues, oblivious to Rose’s frustration. “Martha’s got a friend, she said, who’s a bit of an expert in things like this.”

“Shit!” Rose hisses, then shakes off the concerned hands of everyone. “I don’t need any help; I’m fine.” With her flat sandals skittering on the stones of the courtyard, she scrambles to her feet. “She went upstairs, didn’t she?” Rose asks after a rapid glance around the floor.

“Yeah, but – “

Rose doesn’t hear the response, just takes off for the same staircase Martha had darted up only minutes before.

Lou and Priya trade a look and then, as one, they leap to their feet as well and take off after their friend.

* * *

“What?” the Doctor repeats, voice as flat and dry as crisp-bread.

“The same girl collapsed again,” Martha continues, sucking in a few mouthfuls of air to ease the burning in her lungs. “Only this time, her eyes started glowing green.”

“Glowing green,” Neil repeats in the same dry tone as the Doctor. “I think I’ve seen this movie before.”

“This isn’t a movie!” Martha snaps back, worry straining the lines of her face. “There was something else,” she continues, turning back to the Doctor. “She knew about the Valiant. I don’t know how, but she did. When her eyes were glowing, she told me that this world had lost a year.”

‘That howl,’ the Doctor’s mind immediately leaps to. The one that rang through his mind and sent him crashing straight to his knees. “Could have been some sort of psychic being,” he theorizes, pulling off his glasses (they looked a bit silly over the mask anyway). “It could be using this girl as some sort of conduit to make contact? I’ve seen things like that before.” He shrugs. “That’s one theory, at least. Could be anything.”

Martha reaches out and tugs at his tuxedo sleeve. “So you’ll come take a look?”

“Yeah, all right,” he agrees. “I always like a good mystery.”

“Don’t need to tell me twice,” Martha grins.

Neil’s laurels slip forward again as he leans into the conversation. “If someone would care to elaborate, I’m lost.”

The Doctor makes a face at Neil. “You wouldn’t understand. It’s complicated, scientific…stuff.” He begins to follow Martha toward the service stairwell, but rolls his eyes as the sound of Neil’s sandaled footsteps trail after them. “No,” the Doctor insists, using his skinny frame to block the doorway. “This could be dangerous, and you have no idea what you’re doing.”

“I want to help, isn’t that enough?”

Martha looks up at Neil, a mirror image of the Doctor’s look. “Neil, he’s right. You’ve no idea what’s going on, and you’re more likely to get hurt instead of help.”

“Let’s go.” The Doctor leads Martha down the stairs. And Neil still follows. “All right, obviously you aren’t listening,” the Doctor groans, turning as he walks. It’s a complicated maneuver, a body twisted so that it’s walking sideways down the stairs with hands braced on the banister, all so that he can shoot another glare at the man following him. “Neil, you’re pissed and a danger to yourself.”

With his head turned the Doctor misses the fact that there are other people heading his way. In his defense, neither Martha nor Neil notices the small crowd either.

His back hits another body with a mild impact; it’s sudden and jarring but not damaging. “Sorry,” he hastily apologizes, spinning fully on the stairs so that he’s backwards now.

The person he’s walked into twists as well, no doubt to offer a similar apology. The lips under the other person’s mask begin to move, but then…

Then they both freeze, there in the middle of the staircase, and the Doctor knows his mouth is starting to gape open, but he gathers up the last shreds of his control and holds himself together.

Now this was interesting.

* * *


“Marion, stop this!” Priya cries over the din of oblivious partygoers. “Come sit down, please! You’re not well!”

“I’m fine!” Rose yells back, a manic grin not unlike a certain alien’s spreading across her face. She pauses by the door to the service stairwell, hand on the latch, and turns to face them. “Really,” she pants, “it’s okay.”

If it’s something involving the TARDIS, how can it not be okay? All she’s got to do now is find Martha, somehow convince her it was all a mistake involving a wonky pair of coloured contacts (which, while unlikely to work, was all she had at the moment), and then continue on with her own investigation. The best plan? No, not by far – Martha seems a bit too wise really to buy into it, but it was short notice. The other option is running away, but she has no desire to do that to her friends. Not now, after everything they’ve done for her. With a snap of her wrist she throws the door open and hurtles up the stairway.

Lou and Priya are mere steps behind her, perpetually persistent. “We don’t have any idea what’s going on,” Priya calls out, struggling a bit to move because of her heavy and ornate costume.

“Seriously, it’s okay!” Rose fires back yet again, twisting to look down at them as she continues the climb up the stairs. “I think this has happened before,” she lets slip. “Maybe – “

Maybe it’s the crowd coming the other way on the stairs, maybe it’s the sudden revelation but whatever it is Priya and Lou pause in their tracks. Rose doesn’t notice and keeps going, twisting forward again to see the stairs she’s trying to climb. In mid-twist she bumps right up against someone, throwing her a bit off balance. She stumbles up to the next step, managing to keep her feet.

The hasty “sorry” tossed off behind her finally makes her stop and she turns back, ready to return the sentiment. Jackie would have been horribly disappointed in her if she forgot her manners, especially when it’s someone who’s not involved in the mess.

But then she looks, really looks at the person who walked into her, and the world seems to begin spinning beneath her feet once more.

Of course. What was it that was said about the best laid plans?

Rose resists the urge to let a smile spread across her face. Her eyes flick over him. He looks good but those eyes, half hidden by the black satin mask, speak of a lot of hardships in the intervening years. It’s a bit frightening that even after all of these years apart she can still read him like a beloved book.

It seems like everyone on the stairway is frozen in place, following their leads. Rose looks down at her girls, clustered on the step below the Doctor. She looks over her shoulder at the two behind her, recognizing Martha and Neil. Good, that’ll make it easier.

“Get out.”

At first Rose thinks the Doctor is talking to her, but then she sees his eyes glare past her, and then down at the two behind him. No one moves, however. They all keep their places in the unfolding scene.

“I said get out, all of you!” the Doctor yells, not removing his eyes from Rose’s face. A chorus of outraged squawks rises up.

“But – “


“Are you kidding me?!”

Rose looks down at Priya and Lou’s stunned and slightly angry faces, and smiles at them. “Seriously, it’s okay,” she reassures them once more. “Just let us talk in private for a little bit.”

“Are you so sure that’s a good idea?” Martha says slowly, no doubt seeing the stern and pale expression on the Doctor’s face. Rose can see it as well, and she feels a ball of nerves start to coil somewhere in her stomach.

The Doctor’s hand slides into his suit jacket and pulls out the sonic screwdriver. “I’m sure,” he says slowly.

“Go on,” Rose says, motioning with her head toward the top of the stairway. “I’ll find you upstairs in a little bit.”

Finally, Lou and Priya shuffle past the Doctor and her. Lou’s hand drops onto Rose’s shoulder as she passes, giving it a tight squeeze. Rose nods back and smiles at her, trying to convey that for once everything really is just as it should be.

And then, finally, the Doctor and Rose are alone – together.




( 108 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 12th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)

Did you have to stop it there? Really?
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Yes. Come on, don't you think the scene on the stairs deserves its own chapter? *g*
(no subject) - morrighangw - Feb. 23rd, 2009 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 12th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)

I should be studying, but the instant I saw this, I had to read it right away! I squeed when I saw it and I kept on squeeing through the entire chapter.

This was amazing and I'm already so impatient for more!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
I should be doing homework as well, but instead I'm answering posts. ;) I'm very glad you like it! As soon as homework is done today I'm going to try and work on more of 14.
Feb. 12th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)


New chapter ASAP!!!!

God damn this is good!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Because it was the perfect place to end the chapter, that's why. :) I'm working on the new chapter as much as I can so hopefully it can make its appearance soon. Glad you like it! :)
Feb. 12th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Am currently trapped in an annoying bout of insomnia so imagine my delight when i wander on here and found this, I'm so excited I'm reviewing before I've read it. From the looks of the other reviews it's another of your stonking cliffies, but I don't care I'm that into this story.

Feb. 12th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
NO NO NO NO NO!! I told myself at the very start of this that there would be a very evil cliffhanger at the end, but I still found myself pounding on the desk in frustration.

Squee!!! They finally saw each other. Can't wait for the next part.
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Hehe, yes, they finally did see each other. It's only taken me two years to get them there, but there you have it. ;) The next part is coming, and I guarantee it'll be a bit less agonizing than this one. *g*
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
So glad to be a pain...I mean help. But I am going to be a pain for everyone else and only post half of the art work I did for you and post the last part after the next chapter is posted. But great chapter, can't wait that see what happen next. Let the snogging commence! (hopefully...please *puppy dog eyes*)

Art work for Lo_aenaria can be found here: http://lady-mage.deviantart.com/art/Sonnets-Part-One-of-Two-112605445
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, everyone must go see the pretty, pretty artwork. It's very gorgeous. :) And yes, it was a help, most certainly. Doesn't help with me getting my homework done, but I think you guys benefit from the stalling more.

As for the next chapter...you'll see. It'll be good, I think. :)
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
Good grief how much more are you going to put us through? Perfect as always, I'm so happy we're nearly there but I really don't want this story to end it's so brilliant. In fact I'm off to re-read the whole Sonnets-Verse. Again.

Loved this bit especial:

"“Get out.”

At first Rose thinks the Doctor is talking to her, but then she sees his eyes glare past her, and then down at the two behind him. No one moves, however. They all keep their places in the unfolding scene.

“I said get out, all of you!” the Doctor yells, not removing his eyes from Rose’s face. A chorus of outraged squawks rises up."


Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: After
Hopefully not too much more! It's really all downhill from here, but in a good way. To use very boring, literary terms, this really is the climax of the story.

As for that scene...well, I'll put it like this. Say you got the world's most absolutely perfect Christmas gift. Something you always dreamed about but never really told anyone. You wouldn't quite believe it at first when you found it under the tree on Christmas morning, would you?
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)

Ahem. You really are a sadist, aren't you?
Beautiful, as usual. Please don't make us suffer for too long before the next chapter.

Also, green? Not the more usual gold? What's up with that?
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
No, not a sadist, I promise. I just follow what the story demands. ;) I'm working on the next bit, so hopefully it won't be too long before it comes out.

Why green? Easy. Go put on any episode that has an interior shot of the control room in action, and you'll see why. There is a theory behind it, even though I've never explicitly said it.
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
I am so pleased that, when you had Rose run, you had her run *toward* the Doctor. I was so worried at that point that you were going to have her flee the party!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
Maybe if Rose was totally on her own she would have run out into the night, never to be seen again - but this Rose here has Gemma to think about, which has, at least in my head because there's a whole bunch in between here that I haven't written yet, affects just about all of her actions. It's become a balance between taking care of her sister and finding the Doctor. And at this point in time, when she's got absolutely no idea where her sister is to hustle her out of the party, the quickest option to avoid trouble is to find Martha and convince her that she was just seeing things...little did she know, lol...
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)

Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC)
Heeee, yes! Finally, I know - it feels like it's taken forever for me to get there.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
*revives you with pictures of nekkid!Ten*

Course I had to end it there - the conversation on the stairs deserves its own chapter, totally. And yes, the stairs. In fact, the next chapter will be called 'Last Chance on the Stairway.' :)
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
I am at work and thus couldn't savour the reading of this chapter as much as I would have liked but simply couldn't NOT read once it was posted.

*hyperventilates* OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!

Quick continuation please?
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
No hyperventilating, please! It's not worth passing out for! I am trying to get the next bit finished as fast as possible - I don't want to string this out any longer than it has to be. :)
(no subject) - apurplepatch - Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)
*is contorted in happy frustration and rocking back and forth in her chair* ARGH! Of course you would end it there!

Need more soon. Honestly, I haven't been this tortured over a great fic in ages. I am loving everything about the story, even the drawn out reunion (honestly, it's made it even better than I expected). I'm warning you, the next chapter could bring tears (of joy, of course). I love that Martha unwittingly reunited them, not Donna or Gemma, and that Gemma and Donna seem to have this new bond going. Your character dynamics are great; they are all coming together so wonderfully. Cannot wait to see how the rest of the story plays out!
Feb. 22nd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
That's where the story demanded I end it. Don't blame me, I'm just the writer. ;)

I'm trying to get the next part out as fast as I can. I've got real life stuff that needs to get done as well (and, unfortunately, takes priority) but I want to get this out for everyone as quick as I can. I don't mean to torture you with the story, but I am so glad to hear that you are loving it. :)

I always knew Martha was going to be the one to bring them back together like that - I think it's because the initial idea was put together before we got to know Donna, so while I could write her in there to some extent, I needed to know her first. Even after we got to know her on screen, it was so clear to me that she'd be better with Gemma - partly because of the idea that Donna reminds me so so SO much of Jackie. I think it kind of makes sense that Gemma would gravitate to someone that reminds her of her mother. Because while Rose has been taking care of her, it's quite obvious to both that Rose isn't a mother to the little girl. I'm glad you're liking how it's playing out - it's not done yet!!
Feb. 12th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Oh good GOD that scene sounds so romantic. :D The image of them bumping into each other on the stairs, eyes only for each other...::happy sigh:: Genius. Sheer genius.
Am SO looking forward to the next part!! Surprisingly, I'm not yelling at you for the cliffhanger, LOL. I'm just glad they finally friggin' MEET. :P
Feb. 22nd, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
Glad you like it. :) It's always been destined to take place on the stairs so it's really exciting to me as a writer to finally see it down on the page! Yes, they've finally met. And really, it's only going to get better from here. *g*
Feb. 12th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)

Please ma'am, I want s'more...
Feb. 22nd, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
*gets out the pics of nekkid!Ten again to revive you*

More's coming, I promise. After bloody schoolwork. *grumbles under breath*
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( 108 comments — Leave a comment )