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Title: Places I Remember
Chapter: 2 - Though You've Gone Away This Morning (You'll Be Back Again Tonight)
Fandoms/Pairing: Doctor Who/Ten x Rose, The Beatles
,
Setting: Series 2, sometime after Fear Her, and also July 19-26, 1964
Rating: Teen
Summary: An ancient race of time-travelling aliens invades London, and that’s nothing new.  It’s 1964, and Rose and the Doctor are on the case—with a little help from four lads from Liverpool, because Ringo’s now wearing the sacrificial ring!   What if Help! wasn’t just a zany idea for a Beatles movie?  What if the Fab Four made a film out of their own adventure with the Doctor & Rose Tyler?
Disclaimer: I don’t own Doctor Who or the Beatles and/or Help! (sadly).
Chapter 1: Yesterday

Places I Remember
Chapter Two: Though You’ve Gone Away This Morning

(You’ll Be Back Again Tonight)

*~*

They were nearly finished searching Regent’s Park by the time the sun was up, so far turning up exactly nothing in the way of aliens, or their space ship that was supposed to have been hiding in the boating lake.  The sonic did detect a few faint, fleeting traces of the Kah Lai Lar’s unique energy signature, but each time they got a hit, it faded before they could find the source of the signal.  Rose didn’t know what to make of that, nor did the Doctor, if the state of his hair had anything to say about it.  

Now the Doctor stood with his back to her, peering at the lake from beneath the copse of trees growing there.  They’d left the footpath to traipse through the grassy area on the boating lake’s northwest corner, having kept to the path on their previous trip round. 

He hummed softly.  “Let’s take another pass round the lake, Rose.”

Rose looked up to find him once more looking at a reading on the sonic.  “Did it happen again?”

“It’s rather more like an almost happening,” he said, carding a hand through his hair.  “As though it’s fading—”

The sonic chirruped, an abrupt noise that seemed to be too short by about half.  The Doctor scowled at it, and Rose scrunched her nose up and caught her bottom lip between her teeth as he shook the screwdriver, then shoved it roughly back into his pocket as though it were to blame. 

“At least you’re getting readings,” Rose said, once he’d smoothed down his pocket and pulled his tie almost straight.  She rubbed her thumb over the cool, dented metal side of the bicycle bell sensor he’d constructed.  “This thing’s not made a peep.”

The Doctor muttered something Rose couldn’t make out and turned around to face the lake again, hands shoved deep into his trouser pockets as he slowly scanned the view in front of him.  Muffled by layers of cloth came another clipped chirrup, and a flash of colour appeared in Rose’s peripheral vision.  She turned to follow the streak of pink but it had vanished, or perhaps she imagined it, since nothing nearby matched the bright shade.  Still, that clump of brush just ahead might make a convenient little hiding spot.

The Doctor called her name as Rose took a step forward.  “Hang on a mo’,” she said, without looking over her shoulder.  “I thought I saw something.”

Something turned out to be nothing, aside from a half-eaten apple and bit of broken glass, and neither of them candyfloss pink.   Rose crawled back out from beneath the greenery and looked back toward the lake to see what the Doctor might have found.  Only he wasn’t there.

“Doctor?” she called, getting to her feet and hurrying back over to where he’d been standing, the grass there still tramped down with his footprints.

He didn’t answer.  Rose turned round in a slow circle, hoping he’d just become distracted as she had and wandered off to investigate.  The surface of the lake rippled gently, though there wasn’t a breeze, and Rose tried to peer into its depths.  Too dark for her eyes to see much of anything there, but wouldn’t it be just like him to want a closer look at the body of water supposedly hiding a spaceship.  Besides, he had that respiratory bypass thingy, so why wouldn’t he dive in if he thought there might be something to find below?

“Curious as a bloody cat, you are,” Rose said to the water.

Well, she couldn’t join him in the lake, could she?  Rose cast one final gaze across its rippled surface, and resumed the walk along its edge. 

Rose reached the footpath again, where the grassy area met the outdoor patio of the little café where she recalled having tea with her year 6 classmates after visiting the Zoo.  The Doctor hadn’t shown up yet and Rose stepped onto the path to give her trainers a break from the dewy morning grass.  After a few minutes’ wait, she decided it was best to just carry on as planned and started along the footpath. The Doctor would catch her up once he finished swimming.

The sun was out and already warm, and if it weren’t for the threat of these Kah Lai Lar people hanging over their heads, Rose could almost enjoy this morning stroll through 1960s London.  Actually, it was rather a novelty.  Sure, she had visited the past with the Doctor before, but not to a place and time with which was, even remotely, familiar enough to pick out the similarities and the differences. 

Old and new at the same time, she thought, smiling to herself as she walked along, nearing a fork in the path up ahead.  A young couple was headed toward her, the man dressed smartly in a well-tailored suit that could’ve easily passed in Rose’s time as something cool and vintage, pushing a pram with a cooing baby inside.  The woman held onto his arm and the two of them were laughing and talking and gazing fondly at their infant.   She looked up at Rose and smiled as they passed and Rose smiled back, conscious of her own out of place hoodie and jeans and also insanely jealous of the woman’s gorgeous pastel pink mini-dress and knee-high brown leather boots.  If they had time after, Rose would maybe see if she could hit the shops before—

Ping

By the time Rose pulled the sensor out of her pocket, it had gone ping a second time, and as she held it in the flat of her hand, it chimed again.  She turned in a slow circle, trying to make out anything unusual in the mostly sleepy park that might give her an idea of which direction to go.  Naturally, the sensor chimed the moment she reached the fork in the path, and while it was kind enough to alert her, Rose needed the sonic to tell her where the signal came from.  She didn’t exactly have that option at the moment, however, and nothing really stood out visually, so she picked the right hand path which followed the lake.

The sensor chimed again on her first step, but soon fell silent.  Rose walked another minute in that direction to be certain, before doubling back to the fork in the path.  Nothing happened there, either, even after lingering long enough to turn another circle on the spot.  Had she lost the signal?  It didn’t feel like before, when her sensor didn’t make a sound as the sonic only half-read whatever triggered its alert. 

“What would the Doctor do?” Rose said aloud.  “The path not taken, I guess.”

She took two steps along the wider left-hand path and the sensor chimed again.  Thirty-seconds or so later, another chime, and Rose quickened her steps, soon realizing she was headed toward one of the gates leading out of the park.  Her sensor continued to chime approximately every thirty seconds as Rose crossed the Outer Circle ring road, reached the entrance to the gate, labelled Hanover, and followed the little tree-lined street out of Regent’s Park.

She emerged onto a busy street, one she vaguely remembered as being called Park Road, and only because at the age of ten she’d thought it especially lazy to name a street Park just because it had a park next to it.  There were no indications of which direction to go, so Rose headed right and hoped for the best.  Sure enough, the sensor continued to ping and Rose kept walking, following Park Road over the canal, eventually spotting a large, column-fronted building up ahead.

As she neared, Rose saw it was a church, sitting stately at the far side of a busy roundabout, the sort with a patch of grass in the centre and a statue in the middle of the grass.  The church itself was a rather imposing sight, a creamy yellow building fronted with four tall columns and a rather impressive looking belfry.  A low brick wall separated the sidewalk from the church grounds and car park, and there, seated almost as stately as the church itself, was a dark-haired woman dressed in a candyfloss pink tunic, with matching trousers, boots, and a jewelled kerchief. Distracted by the architecture, Rose might have missed the woman had her outfit been a less noticeable colour—with or without the matching boots and gloves. 

She eyed Rose and offered a guarded smile, which Rose returned.  The sensor pinged

The woman leapt up from the wall in a blur of pink and took off running.  Rose sped after her, thankful now more than ever for all the running she did while travelling.  With the Doctor still MIA, it was up to her to follow this lead—literally follow—even if only to find out where she was hiding.  Her lungs burned and her thighs ached but she kept up, tailing the pink-suited alien-woman-thing through the largely unfamiliar, tree-lined streets of St. John’s Wood. 

The alien darted across yet another zebra crossing, this one spanning the busiest road yet, heedless of the cars and the honking horns.  Rose skidded to a halt as a pair of double-deckers lumbered past, then raced across the street in the gap between the busses and the next wave of vehicles.  The alien was still visible, heading quickly through the car park of the white building just ahead.  The gate was closed on the black iron fence, but Rose grabbed hold of the rail and swung herself over it.  The alien had slowed and Rose could see she was limping badly on one leg.  A couple more strides and she’d catch her—

The sensor pinged again and the alien women stopped, whirling around to face Rose with her hands raised.  The stop was so sudden Rose’s feet couldn’t catch up, and the last thing she saw before hitting the ground was the alien’s open third eye staring her down between long thin fingers.

“Miss?  Hey, miss, you all right, there?”

Rose groaned as a jolt of pain shot through the back of her head.  The voice spoke again.  Male, deep and almost—

She blinked her eyes open to find a pair of blurry blue ones hovering over her, squinty with concern and vaguely familiar.  The voice was still speaking, that deep Northern sound that wasn’t quite right—

At once, her vision cleared and her head stopped spinning, and Rose realized that the eyes and voice in her head were not those belonging to the big-nosed young man couching over her just now, though that glimmer of familiarity remained.  He was most certainly not somebody she knew—despite being about her age, this was 1964—but Rose was sure she’d seen his face before, somewhere. 

“I—I’m okay,” she told him, and eased herself up to a sitting position, with a little help from her new friend.  “Sorry, did I run into you?”

“Don’t worry about that,” he said, flicking ash from the cigarette in his fingers.  “Can you stand?  You’re not hurt?”

Rose took a couple of deep breaths, trying to ignore the dulling pain in her head to see if anything else hurt.  Finding herself mostly intact, she accepted the young man’s proffered hand and got to her feet, nodding her thanks.

“The woman I was following, did you see where she went?” Rose asked, gripping the railing of the nearby stairway to steady herself.

The young man shook his head, a bit of floppy brown fringe waving as he did.  “Didn’t see anyone else.  Didn’t even see you, ‘til you nearly ran me down.”

Rose shook her head to try to clear it, a bit of a headache lingering behind her eyes.  “But…”

The man’s breath huffed a little through his nose.  “You sure you’re all right?”

“Yeah, I am.  Sorry, just it’s been a really weird day—”  She paused then, only now noticing the darkness surrounding her, penetrated by the building’s lights and that of the streetlamps filtering in through the trees.  “—night.  It’s night.”

That drew a chuckle.  “That’s supposed to be my line,” he said, with a little grin.  “Anyway, you know you shouldn’t be here.  No one’s even supposed to know we’re back in London tonight.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!  I didn’t mean to…”  Rose offered a smile, which the young man returned.  For such a plain-looking fellow, he really sparkled when he smiled, a wide, toothy thing which easily reached his crinkly blue eyes.  “Thanks for breaking my fall.  I’m Rose.”

She held out her hand and the young man accepted.  “Nice to meet you, Rose.”

Rose waited, but the introduction never came.  She looked at him for long enough for things to feel uncomfortable, for both of them, actually, given the way he was scuffing his rather high-quality boots against the pavement.

“Um, I guess I’ll be going then.  Thanks, whoever you are.”

She turned to go, but the little snort of laughter made her pause.  “What?”

“Ah, you’re havin’ me on,” he said, still smiling.  “Better than screaming, though.”

Rose just stared at him dumbly.  His smile fell a little and his eyebrows furrowed.  “Oh come on,” he said, cocking his head, and then shaking it a bit.  “You mean, you really don’t know?”

This was getting a little too odd, and her headache throbbed harder.  He wasn’t one of the aliens—the sensor was intact, she hadn’t damaged it in her fall—so who was this bloke from 1964 who thought she should know him?  He had looked vaguely familiar, hadn’t he?  Or did the alien mess with her head more than she realized?  The man regarded her for another moment, looking more curious now than anything, before a muffled shout came from inside the building.

“Yeah, yeah, coming!” he shouted back with clear annoyance as he turned to go.  He paused before climbing the steps, taking one final drag of his cigarette and nodding at Rose.  “Take care, Rose.  Try not to run anyone else over, yeah?”

Rose smiled as best she could and waved him on, turning to go while well aware of his eyes lingering on her.  She was almost at the iron fence when he called out again.
“Wait! I think you dropped this!”  In his hand he held a ring bearing a rather large ruby.

“It’s not mine,” Rose called back, wrinkling her nose at the gaudy-looking thing.  “But thanks anyway.”

The man shrugged, then slipped the ring onto his own finger, grinning.  He climbed the steps and Rose waited until he’d passed through the doors to the building before hopping the fence to the road so she could get her bearings. 

She hadn’t really paid attention to where she was headed during the chase, because where hadn’t mattered so much as simply keeping up.  Rose cast a glance up the street to check the traffic, knowing at least she’d crossed this way before following the alien into the car park.  The way was clear, but Rose paused anyway, because the realization of exactly where she was smacked her in the back of her already aching head.

The zebra crossing. The white building behind a black iron fence.  1964. Rose looked over her shoulder toward the door where the young man with the nice smile and expensive boots disappeared.

EMI Recording Studios. 

In her time, they called it Abbey Road.

“Huh,” she said, stepping into what would one day become the most famous zebra crossing in all of England.  “I ran over a Beatle!”

*~*
>>to be continued in Chapter 3

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