Chapter Sixteen

(Meanwhile, back in Indiana…)

"Okay, this oughta tell us more," Lori said while she turned on the TV and turned it to Channel 13.

After the Doctor and the children left, the sky slowly began clouding up and getting dark and darker and now there was a thunderstorm outside. Dan had called Jim and told him there were tornado watches out for their area so Lori turned on the TV to get the weather report. She stood by the TV while the Doctor and River stood by the bay window and watched lightning flashing in the distance.

"Good thing Tom and Mandy aren't here right now, they'd be freaking out," Jim said, coming up the stairs with Rex.

"They're that scared of storms?" River said to him.

"Terrified," Jim said as Rex trotted ahead of them. "I'm glad you took care of that cougar. I wasn't fond of Spot but if a tornado comes this way…"

"There's been a sighting in a field near Greenfield," Lori said to him.

"Coming this way?" Jim said.

"Yes, but they don't think it's strong," Lori said.

"If one does come this way, we get in the room under the stairs," Jim said to the Doctor and River.

"Actually, we can use the TARDIS. A tornado wouldn't damage it and it's rooted to the spot wherever it's at. Plus, we have more than everything we need inside it to survive," the Doctor said.

"Good, because I showed you what happened with Kennard," Lori said, looking at him. "We don't need to be buried alive if another one comes. I'll be right back, I need to use the restroom," she added before heading down the hallway.

Jim followed her to the bedroom while the Doctor and River walked to the TV and listened to the weatherman describe a tornado heading southeast. While they were doing that, the Doctor heard the wheezing of the TARDIS downstairs and groaned.

"They're back," he said to River. "We may have to calm Tom and Mandy down now."

"I just hope the storm blows over before we're flattened by this tornado," River said.

"Well, to be fair, the house is made of brick so I doubt we'd be flattened but the roof could collapse," the Doctor said, glancing up at the ceiling.

"Hey!" Ten said as he came up into the hallway. "Just keep quiet for a moment and don't say a word to our guests. I wanna take the mickey out of Jack."

Eleven looked at River, shrugged and nodded. They watched while Jack, Martha and Sarah Jane came up into the hallway along with the children. Sarah Jane caught his eye and smiled her hello but Ten was sprinting towards Eleven and River.

"Jack, Martha, this is Mister and Mrs. Stevens. Lori, Jim, this is Jack and Martha and Sarah Jane," Ten said, shooting a conspiratorial look at the Doctor and River.

Sarah Jane frowned in confusion but Jack and Martha strode forward to greet them.

"Lori, Jim, nice to meet you," Jack said, shaking Eleven's hand.

"Likewise," Eleven said, hiding his amusement at Sarah Jane finally figuring out the joke when Ten winked at her.

Just then, there was a crack of thunder and Tom and Mandy screamed with fright.

"Whoa!" Ten said, going to them at the same time Jim came running out of the bedroom. "Hey, it's okay, it's alright," he said, kneeling down and gathering them into his arms while they cried.

"Doctor?" Jack said while Jim slowed and looked at his youngest children.

"Who me?" Jim said, pointing to himself while Eleven snickered. "This is the Doctor," he said, pointing to Ten.

"I know but are you the other Doctor?" Jack said.

"No, that's the other Doctor," Jim said, pointing to Eleven.

"Wait, you told me you were…damn it, Doctor," Jack said while Eleven chortled with glee. "And who is this then?" he said, pointing to River.

"This is River Song. River, Jim, this is Jack Harkness," Eleven said.

Jack looked them over. He raised an eyebrow when he saw the bow tie and tweed jacket. Then his eyes settled on River and he smiled when he saw how beautiful she was.

"Everyone, this is Martha Jones," Ten said as Lori came out of the bathroom. "Ah, Lori, this is Jack Harkness, Martha Jones and this is Sarah Jane Smith, all former companions of ours."

"Pleasure to meet you," Lori said, going to them.

There was another thunder crack and Lori winced when Tom and Mandy screamed again.

"Sorry, guys, they're scared of storms and we have a tornado watch out right now," Lori said.

"When did this start? How long was I gone?" Ten said to Eleven.

"Not soon after you left and about an hour," Eleven said.

"Hour, I thought I landed her closer to the time we left," Ten muttered. "Ah well…don't be afraid, eh? Everything's going to be alright," he said to Tom and Mandy while he held them.

"And this is Rex," Eleven said to everyone when Rex came in from the kitchen after drinking some of his water. "Sorry, Jack, couldn't resist taking the mickey when you came in."

"Well, I shoulda known it was you since you're dressed like a professor giving a lecture," Jack said.

"I was confused at first," Sarah Jane said, stepping up to hug him. "I knew it was him, I saw him once before in this body so when you said you were Jim…it's good to see you again, both of you," she said, looking at Ten who was leading Tom and Mandy over to the sofa.

They all winced and Tom and Mandy cried out when another thunder crack and a bolt of lightning struck about a mile from the house.

"Wow, Indiana is a busy place," Jack said, going over to look out the window. "Is this one of the problems you mentioned?" he said to Ten.

"No, I didn't know about this, it started after I left," Ten replied.

"If anyone is hungry through all this, there is some food left on the counter in the kitchen," Lori said.

"Are we gonna get blown away?" Brittany said, sitting down beside Ten.

"I hope not, I don't wanna die before my birthday," Michelle said, walking over to look out the window with Jack.

"Does this happen often here?" Jack said to Michelle.

"Yup, every spring and summer," Michelle said to him.

"Do you visit Oz every spring and summer then?" Jack said to her.

Michelle giggled and shook her head.

"I wish," she said while Jack patted her shoulder.

Lori offered to make tea for everyone and when everyone told her thanks, she went into the kitchen. But just then there was another loud boom and another crack of lightning and the house was plunged into darkness.

"Bang goes the making of the tea," Eleven said while Ten soothed Tom and Mandy who were crying again.

Eleven held out his sonic for a bit of light but turned it off when Lori came out of the kitchen with a flashlight in hand.

"Had it ready," Lori said, reaching into her pocket for a box of matches. "Tom, Mandy, it's okay, we're alright. Stop crying, okay?" she said, putting the flashlight down on the dining room table and using the matches to light the candles in the center of it.

"Hey!" Ten said to Mandy and Tom, "Wanna hear about the time a group of angry aliens tied me and Rose up and left us to the mercy of a huge tornado when we visited their planet?"

Tom and Mandy quieted their crying and nodded as they sniffed.

"Well…" Ten said while Lori and Jim used the candles to find the portable radio and more candles. "Rose and I, we were visiting this lovely little planet…"

By now, Michelle had moved over and sat down beside Brittany while they listened with their siblings to Ten's story. Jack glanced at them and kept an eye on the sky while Ten talked.

"Well, this tribe of aliens worshipped the weather as gods and there were storms plaguing their planet and wiping out their crops and killing them so when we visited, they captured me and Rose and tried to sacrifice us to a tornado," Ten said.

He glanced at Tom and Mandy when there was another thunderclap but they were so interested in Ten's tale, they didn't even hear it. He smiled when Lori noticed and mouthed her thanks to him and nodded.

"So, how did you escape?" Brittany said while Jack turned his head to listen and Sarah Jane and Martha sat down in the chairs.

"I had an ally among them," Ten said while River walked over to listen. "One of them did not believe in the gods and knew we were being murdered so he tampered with the ropes so Rose and I could get free. We managed to get to safety before the tornado got us."

Mandy watched him with wide eyes while she held her panda close to her and the Doctor rubbed her back.

"So, did the other aliens die?" Michelle asked.

"No, they were long gone because even they were smart enough not to get sucked up into the tornado. Rose and I managed to make it back to the TARDIS and they probably thought the sacrifice worked when they finally came back. And that is how I and my companion survived being sacrificed to a…"

There was another crack of thunder and Ten smiled tenderly at Mandy when she pressed against his chest and buried her face there.

"There, there, poppet," he said, hugging her and Tom. "You're safe, eh? We have the TARDIS to protect us if it gets too bad."

"I don't like this," Mandy said into his chest.

"I can see that," Ten said before kissing her head. "But, we're here, heaps of us and you're not going to die, okay?"

Lori and Jim found the radio and more candles. Jim put the radio on top of the TV, turned it on and tuned it to a station broadcasting the weather. Ten continued to talk and tell stories, soothing the children while they lit the candles and put them around the room. Once that was done, Sarah Jane and Martha moved to the floor and chatted softly with Eleven and River while Jack stood at the window and listened to the weather report and Lori and Jim sat down and rested.

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