Character/Pairing: Ten/Rose, Gemma (an OC), with appearances by Jack, Martha, Donna, and a bunch of other OCs
Rating: M overall, PG for this chapter
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. Still totally AU from '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: This is it, the very last part of Mysterious Ways. Not the end of the Sonnetsverse, not by far, but the reunion fic is finally done, over two and a half years from when I first started this back at the beginning of 2008. My never ending thanks to earlgreytea68 for her always cracking beta job, and to mrs_roy for her support to get these parts finished. Further thanks to everyone over the years who's helped with beta-ing and idea bouncing, and just general support in the best ways possible. Finally, thank you to everyone who's read and left a note over the various parts - you have no idea how much it means to me to hear that people have been enjoying the story. So I hope you enjoy the final part of Mysterious Ways, and stay tuned for more to come.
a/n 2: If you want a better idea of how I envision the planet in the text below, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMqsWc8muj8&ob=av2e. It's actually the music video for the song quoted below, which inspired a lot of the imagery. That and the song is awesome, however I am a bit biased, lol...
Previous parts of the story can be found here.
“Everything about you is how I’d wanna be
Your freedom comes naturally…
…Everything about you is so easy to love
They’re watching you from above…
…Everything about you resonates happiness
Now I won’t settle for less.”
- Bliss, Muse
Many years later…or many years ago
(depending on your perspective and place in the universe…)
This planet that she’s standing on is a desolate waste. Actually, that’s a polite way to phrase things – to say that this planet is dying would be a more accurate statement. Off in the distance are the remains of a crumbling, once magnificent city, now reduced to blackened girders and ghostly fingers that scrape the smoggy night sky. But the planet’s not totally a waste, Gemma Tyler knows. There’s a small tear in the fabric of time on this planet, which is exactly what she’s here for.
What’s it been now, fifteen years since they first set off into space again? Fifteen years of trouble, adventure, and a hell of a lot of running. Fifteen years of learning all about the universe, and learning that even at fifteen hundred years she’ll only know a small fraction of its secrets. Fifteen years of learning that family’s not just the folk you’re born to, but the loved ones you collect along the journey as well, although the littlest ones that are born into the family are utter joys too. And there’s still so much more out there for this motley and wonderful family to see. Right now, however, Gemma needs to take advantage of her fifteen years of experience and focus on the job she’s come here to do.
She hefts the small book in her hand and runs a thumb over the cover. This copy is shiny and new, despite the fact that when she had first encountered the volume it looked far older and much more worn. Gemma suspects the book had had an interesting life. While part of her would love to witness that life unfolding, she knows that it’s time to let go and let it live on its own, if a book could be said to have that sort of a life.
A hand reaches over and pulls the book out of her grip. Gemma looks over to see her own companion, a young man of her age with light brown hair and a distinctly warped perspective on life, begin to flip through the pages. “You put five years of work into this,” Bruno says. “Do you really want to let it go?”
Gemma shrugs. He’s right, she had put five very long years of work into this book, into getting the right combination of fairy tales and legends and retelling them the way the older version did. That version had been lost when she was fifteen, disappearing into time and space, so she was taking it on faith that she had managed to produce an exact copy of what she remembered. No one had known about her project, which was necessary in order to maintain temporal stability, or so the Doctor would say. Bruno, however, had forced his way into the project, being the stubborn sort that wouldn’t let her get sucked into her own little world at the expense of everything else she loved in life. “Maybe it’s the sort of book that no one’s meant to hold onto for too long. And I know someone’s going to need this in the past, so setting it loose is the right thing to do.”
Bruno nods, and hands the book back to her. Gemma sighs heavily and clutches the book close as she looks down the deep sinkhole that leads to the rip in time. “There’s an epic love story in these pages, you know,” she says. “Even if it doesn’t look like it at first glance.” She thinks of Rose, and the Doctor, and she smiles. It had taken them a long time to get where they are now, but all of the pain and grief and years being lost were worth it in the end. And they’ve got many years to go, many new adventures to have, and so much more to see.
Gemma holds the book out over the sinkhole. She lets it go and they watch as it falls, crisp white pages fluttering in the darkness. The book soon hits the rip in time, disappearing with a gold flash and a glimmer of stardust.
“That’s that, then,” Gemma says as Bruno reaches to take her hand.
He glances her way, an unreadable look in his blue eyes. “What was that phrase you used about time again?” he asks. “’Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey’?”
“Yup,” she smirks. The man’s learning, Gemma thinks. At first it was a bit strange, dragging the poor, inexperienced Earth boy into her crazy world as a teenager. But Bruno had taken to her life far better than she could have ever imagined. Now, she’s got her own epic love story out of the deal, so she’ll never say that the strangeness wasn’t worth it. But that’s another story and shall be told another time.
“That’s what I thought,” Bruno says, and drops her hand. Gemma looks over at him as he begins to rummage around in the inner pocket of his leather jacket. The length of time he spends in his rummage makes her suspect the TARDIS took some liberties with his garment. Before she can question him on the matter, however, he pulls something out of the pocket with a grin and a flourish, leaving Gemma utterly gobsmacked.
This book is decidedly not shiny and new. The pages are dog-eared, the cover is creased, and there’s a smear of holographic glitter nail polish across the black front cover that she clearly remembers causing when she was thirteen years old and distracted. “Where did you get that?” she asks, lunging for him and the book. Bruno laughs, the sound happily loud in the stillness of the dead planet, and practically dances out of the way.
“It was sticking out from under the bookshelf in the room the TARDIS gave me,” he says, smirking as he backs away from Gemma’s chasing, keeping the book constantly just out of reach.
“Whe-h-how?” Gemma stutters out. She makes a flying leap and grabs the book from Bruno, nearly knocking them both over into the grey dirt in the process. He grabs her around the waist to keep them from hitting the ground, although it takes a good few seconds for them to get their balance once more.
“Couple of days ago,” he reassures her. “You know we finished long before that.”
“Sometimes everything works out,” Gemma mumbles, slightly distracted by the warmth of his arms around her and more than slightly overwhelmed by this turn of events. “Not gonna question it,” she continues with a giggle, stretching upwards to kiss him.
When they pull apart he grabs her hand once more, and squeezes tight. “Come on,” he says, “back to the TARDIS.”
Gemma squeezes back, and smiles once more. “Yeah. Let’s go home.”