Chapter 8: Aftershocks

/AN/: Sorry it has taken so long but I have been swamped with revision for my GCSEs. But they will be over soon so I hope to update more often. Reviews are welcome!

Remnants of chocolates, sandwiches and crisps lay strewn across the table in the Tardis Kitchen, as the four teens sat slumped in the seats around the mess. A large, noisy belch erupted from the very depths of Luke, closely followed by Clyde's belch in response. Once the belching conversation had finished, the boys suddenly started laughing at the girls' disgusted looks, however the girls had to give in to the ever growing giggles building up in them.

"So… Rubes, what's it like to live inside the Tardis?" Clyde broke the comfortable silence that had fallen with the questioning mind of his. Ruby leant forward in her chair and slipped her hands around the cup of tea in front of her as she mulled the question over in her head.

"Well… I mean… it's normal, to me. I've lived in here since I was a baby, she's all I've ever known." Ruby gazed around the room, giving the Tardis a fond nudge at their mental connection. "She's the nearest thing to a grandmother I've ever had. I love her." Ruby was a little surprised she had said so much. But the others were just confused.

"But… I mean, I know i-she's alive but… h-how does she 'communicate'?" Rani's curious side scrambled to the surface as soon as Ruby had started answering Clyde's question. Suddenly, as soon as the words had left Rani's mouth, an excited sparkle lit up in Ruby's eyes, as she leant even further over the table towards the others.

"Oooh, that's the exciting part. You know the Tardis is alive?" She waited for the others to nod before continuing, "Well, she's not just alive, she's telepathic. That tingle you feel in the back of your head-" Everyone started to nod their heads when suddenly, Clyde's senses came back to him

"Hold on! How can you assume that we all have that tingling in our heads?" Clyde's suspicions began to fly again as he became very defensive. However, Ruby looked slightly taken back at Clyde's sudden change of heart, but very quickly managed to hide it.

"Well, that tingling on the edge of your mind, that's the Tardis. She's alive and she's trying to communicate!" Ruby's enthusiasm bubbled spilled over, as her eyes sparkled again with a childlike awe. But, Rani's questioning instinct kicked in again.

"So, the Tardis is alive and trying to talk to us?" She waited for Ruby's nod before continuing, "So, why is she just staying at the edges of our minds then?" It didn't make sense, if the Tardis is there why is it-she staying out? Ruby smiled as she saw a certain familiar spark in Rani's eyes

"Because she's polite." The answer was accompanied by a nonchalant shrug as if it was obvious. "She doesn't want to intrude. You didn't even know she was there until a couple of minutes ago, she wouldn't go further until she had permission." At the others' confused looks, Ruby knew she had to expand a bit, "Well, your mind… it holds everything you know… everything about you. To open that up and just dive in would be… more than horrifying, more… it's the worst kind…of…of… invasion of privacy ever!- I mean… it's just-just awful!" Everyone fell Into a stunned silence. They hadn't really thought of it like that. A slightly awkward silence settled between the teens. As it was quite heavy and pregnant with unspoken awkwardness, so Clyde decided to change the subject. However, the first thing that came to his head was…

"I'm sorry for being such a dick to you earlier, Ruby. You know… with not trusting you and all." Great make an awkward silence even worst! Great going, you knob!" Although Clyde kept that thought to himself. However, Ruby managed to save the situation without even realising it.

"It's alright, Clive." Ruby picked up all the empty mugs, turned in her seat and walked to the sink, all the while with a sly and mischievous smile gracing her face. "Anyway, they say you are what you eat!" At this, everyone broke out in an uncontrollable laughter, even Clyde at to give in to the giggles at that one. He had to admit, she was quick and cleaver.

"Ah! Nice one! I think you're going to fit in well with us! That was so funny!" Luke just couldn't stop laughing, he didn't expect that from Ruby.

"Well, there's more where that came from! You don't mess with The Burn Machine! I'll burn you to a crisp! Mwahahaha!" More laughter filled the air as all the teens felt a youthful contentment fill them from their very core.

Sarah-Jane led there, staring at the ceiling, lost in her own thoughts. She'd lost track of the amount of time she had been laying there, just… staring. The weight of The Doctor's arm snugly across her stomach was comforting, but she still didn't feel at ease. She just found out her daughter was alive after 15 years for god sake! So, why didn't she feel over the moon? Her daughter is alive! ALIVE!

"She's alive." Awesome realisation hit Sarah-Jane like a wall of cold water. She was so overwhelmed that a few tears burned tracks down her cheeks. Her whispers to the air managed to rouse The Doctor. He immediately saw the tears and, after planting a soft gentle kiss to Sarah's shoulder, moved to comfort her. His hand went to lightly cradle her cheek while resting his forehead against hers. Holding her as she lightly cried in relief, because he knew, oh he knew, just the overwhelming, bursting raw emotion that could not be held back once it was felt.

After a while of Sarah-Jane letting her relief out and The Doctor comforting her, whispering tender nothings in her ear, she felt calmed enough to talk again.

"I thought she was dead. I… held her. Did I?" Doubt invaded her mind like the aliens she's spent her whole life fighting, yet she couldn't find the strength to fight this. The Doctor knew what was going through her head, but he also knew what happened.

"You did. Well… you held a living copy of her while that died. We were told what happened after we ran into some survivors a few years ago. He quickly added to provide an explanation to the questioning look from Sarah.

"Survivors? Survivors of what, a war? I lost a baby not a country!" Sudden rage boiled through Sarah Jane's blood at the thought of something like that. The Doctor could see Sarah was close to angry hysteria, it was an emotional rollercoaster.

"No, it wasn't like that." A deep sigh was ripped from The Doctor's throat as he prepared himself for what he was about to say, there was no way of knowing how she would react in her current state.

"You… losing Ruby… it was part of a plan… to get to me. To kill me, in the future. They found out you were pregnant and decided she would be best." He didn't like talking about his future, especially when it was something horrible like this. He saw the questioning confusion in Sarah's face, so got there before she could.

"She was part of a war against me. The plan was to take her. Raise her… Brainwash her. To hate me. And to eventually kill me in cold blood. They…" The explanation trailed off as he saw the fear in Sarah's eyes at this.

"How-How is she here then? How long was she with? Doctor, what did they do to her?"Sarah Jane launched herself into a sitting position as she went into full panic mode. What have they done to my little girl?Frantic thoughts flew around her mind only doubling the panic every second.

"It's ok, it's ok! She was only there for three days. Three days then she was home, here, with her dad. She's safe. Like I said it was a plan to kill me in the future. The future version of me handled it. He found her, knew who she was straight away. Brought home. Broke every single time rule in the book, but she's his-mine-our daughter. She's always worth it." He paused to let it all sink in for Sarah before he continued. "He didn't say anything to me. Just knocked on the Tardis door, handed me this cute little perfect bundle into my arms. And-and just looked at me before he just walked off. But I didn't care because the little baby girl in my arms was burbling up at me, and right then, right in that moment… I fell in love with our gorgeous baby daughter. And I have been ever since. Sarah, she's safe." For minutes they sat there, just listening to each other breathe. Reassuring themselves that everything was ok and everyone was safe.

Suddenly Sarah Jane burst out in hysterical laughter which The Doctor couldn't help but join in with. He just couldn't help it, her laugh was so soft and light, he had to admit he was falling in love with her all over again. Two hearts, two loves and she was steadily taking over both of them. Once they had calmed down enough to form coherent thought, their eyes caught each other's and locked for the longest time. With a deep, contented sigh, Sarah Jane said,

"Oh God. A crap, ordinary, boring day just became one of the best days of my entire life! I just got my daughter back and I'm in bed with the love of my life." At this she looked down at The Doctor with an intense love in her eyes and a bright smile on her face which nearly split it in two. The Doctor couldn't help but match Sarah's expression with his own loving eyes and a smile too big for his face. A smile of which grew impossibly bigger as Sarah leant down to share a gentle but passionate and intense kiss. A kiss that left both Sarah and The Doctor smiling megawatt smiles that lit up the room and left them giggling again and rolling around the bed with each other.

"Urgh, we should get up." The reluctance was more than obvious in Sarah's voice as she reluctantly pulled herself out of bed wrapped in a sheet to get dressed, but The Doctor wasn't having it. He quickly grabbed her around the waist and abruptly pulled her back down onto the bed, evoking a cute little squeal from Sarah.

"No not yet." This was nearly lost as The Doctor mumbled into Sarah's neck and he snuggled into her, causing Sarah to chuckle at his childlike whining.

"But, what about the kids? " In was an innocent question, said between chuckles, that warmed all of the three hearts sat in that bed as it provoked the image of their unusual family to leap to their minds.

"Oh, they'll be fine. They're teenagers." The Doctor went to climb on top of Sarah, mouths too close to resist a kiss. However, it soon became apparent that The Doctor had more than a friendly kiss on his mind. Sarah erupted into even more giggles as The Doctor's mouth moved lower, down from her jaw to her neck. Then gasped as his mouth followed the sheet as it fell from her body.

"Doctor, stop it!" Breathless, yet stern Sarah Jane managed to get The Doctor to stop his distraction as she protested again. "We've been in here for ages, we should go check up on them." At this The Doctor pulled himself up onto his elbow and looked down at Sarah splayed on the bed beneath him, as he took a deep breath.

"Sarah, they're not babies." Suddenly, Sarah's face had the company of a sly, mischievous grin as she thought of a reply,

"No, they're not. But wouldn't it be great? If they were, our babies." The Doctor's smile came to match Sarah's as the thought took hold.

"Well, it's never too late to start!" Sarah burst into a fit of laughter again as The Doctor pounced on her with passionate ferocity. Somehow, Sarah managed to free herself from The Doctor's grasp and leapt off the bed, still wrapped in the sheet, and turned to face The Doctor on the bed with a massive grin threatening to overtake her face. The Doctor took the grin as a 'Come and get me!'. So he leapt from the bed over to Sarah and gently pushed her back against the wall whilst holding the sheet wrapped around his waist and keeping his lips tightly sealed with Sarah's. Chuckles and giggles wiggled their out of the kiss. As well as that, Sarah's words, between kisses, managed to escape the kiss to reach The Doctor's ears.

"We… should… still… go… see them." She finally pulled back, pulling her lips from The Doctor's as she finished the sentence, and looked into his eyes, conveying more to him than her words could.

"Ohhhhh!" The Doctor whined like a toddler and pouted like a kid who dropped his ice cream, "You're no fun." Despite his words The Doctor released Sarah from between the wall and his body so she could retrieve her clothes from where they were abandoned on the floor. As she bent down to pick up her pants, The Doctor caught her gently at the hips gaining her attention.

"You wear that outfit every day. Why not try on something new from the boot cupboard?" He whispered in her ear so softly that she felt the fire of desire ignite again. However, she was determined to get dressed.

"Oh, but you can wear the exact same thing all the time and yet I can't?" Her lightly teasing tone stuck up a feeling of friendly ire in The Doctor as he contemplated saying a comeback, but decided against it as he looked down deep into Sarah's eyes and saw the emotional tired mum that just wanted to get to know her daughter. So, he decided to let her get dressed with as little fuss as possible. By the time his mind had reached this point, Sarah was already buttoning up her jeans.

"Fair point, smartarse. Although, I think I win because you do look amazing in those jeans." He sexily walked up to her and slid his arms around her, holding her close. Sarah made a low sexy chuckle as she shuffled closer to The Doctor's body. However, the moment was lost when Sarah suddenly slapped his arse and said,

"Right, c'mon. Get dressed. I want to see the kids before they get bored and go to bed." Sarah slipped her shirt on as she watched The Doctor put on his suit before they left the bedroom in search of the teens.