Beyond Doomsday

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What if The Doctor sacrificed everything to follow Rose into the void? As Rose lets go of the lever in the lever room in Torchwood Tower, The Doctor watches and feels something he has never felt before – panic. He is losing the love of his life and makes a split second decision, leaving everything behind.

What if The Doctor sacrificed everything to follow Rose into the void?  As Rose lets go of the lever in the lever room in Torchwood Tower, the Doctor watches and feels something he has never felt before – panic.  He is losing the love of his life and makes a split second decision, leaving everything behind.

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Chapter 1

Not a 'blow by blow' re-creation of the saddest episode in the history of Doctor Who, just my take on it.

He had sent her to the alternate universe, she was safe. He had lost her but what are his feelings compared with her safety? There's a full scale war going on outside, Cyberman probably on their way up and he had minutes before they broke in and 'Deleted' him. What else could he have done?

Rose had been distracted, he had crept up behind her and put the device around her neck and Pete and pushed the button and they had all vanished in front of him. He had lost the woman he loved and he'd never even told her. How many times had he failed to say it? What was so difficult he couldn't even tell her how he felt? He'd had many chances, some fairly recent and he couldn't even tell someone else to tell her for him. He had been right, he was a coward every time. Now she was gone forever and there was no getting her back this time.

He was making his preparations to close the void for good, setting the levers so he could hang on for dear life while the Cybermen and Daleks got sucked up where they belonged and both worlds would be safe, Rose would be safe. His Rose.

Everything was happening so fast. Then he heard a noise and spun round. Rose was back, her hands on the device that was around her neck. He should plead with her to go back while she still could.

"Rose, what are you doing here? You'll be trapped for good," he said with panic in his voice. He put his hands on her shoulders and looked at her. "You'll never see your mother again. I told you the last time, once the void is sealed you won't be able to get back to her."

He was stunned to see her but he shouldn't have been. He didn't have time for this, he knew the Cybermen would break through the door at any moment.

"Yeah, well I'm here now so what can I do to help?" said a slightly puzzled Rose who had expected at least to get a 'Thanks for coming back again Rose, I could really use your help' but this was the Doctor, she knew he didn't give such sentiments and it was okay, because she loved him and couldn't bear to be parted from him even if it meant losing her mother.

"That computer over there, set all the co-ordinates to six and hurry up."

He was glad she had come back. That was what she did, she had gone back to the games station and saved him there, he should have expected no less this time.

He set about what he had been doing until a few seconds later Rose gave the bad news Cybermen were on the way up.

"How far down are they?" he asked as she gave him the news.

"Just one," came Rose's grim reply as she finished setting the co-ordinates and got up.

The Doctor had just finished and handed a clamp he had retrieved earlier.

"Fasten this to the wall by pressing the red button," he said to Rose, showing her what he meant.

Rose went to the wall opposite without saying another word. She had plenty she wanted to say to him, 'I love you' being first on her list but it would have to wait until this was over. She had come back to him, she had promised forever and that was what he was going to get. He was stuck with her, there would be no going back now. That was what she thought.

The levers came to life, it was now or never. They would both survive this or not, maybe only one of them would and the Doctor was praying it would be Rose. He didn't care about himself, he could live with the knowledge Rose was safe. As the Cybermen and Daleks hurtled past them at phenomenal speeds that the eye couldn't process, he looked over at Rose, trying to mouth those words to her, 'I love you' but her eyes were closed, she was holding on for her life and she never saw. He could have shouted but it would have distracted her and she may have let go. She could be sucked into the void because of his stupidity, because he couldn't tell her to her face he loved her. Well if they both survived this, he was going to make damn sure she knew.

What seemed like hours but were only actually minutes passed, he heard a noise, a click and was horrified Rose's side of the lever had been caught by a passing Dalek and the computer voice was telling him the system was 'offline'. Rose opened her eyes in horror as the lever slid back to the 'off' position. There was still a back draft from the pull of the void, Daleks were hovering in mid-air and Rose looked over at him, her face terrified but she let go of the clamp with one hand and stretched out to reach the lever handle and slowly, she pulled herself over and clasped onto the lever with both hands. Then with all her strength and might, she pushed the lever forward, moving herself with it until her back was against the void and the computer voice said 'online'.

The Doctor watched, horrified, willing Rose to complete her task and stay holding onto the lever. It was almost over, less and less, all Daleks were coming through until the last one floated past them. He was praying the void would close and he could rescue Rose but it was still active, the force was pulling Rose out horizontally, her fingers were loosening around the handle and all he could do was watch helplessly. He cried out to her to hold on, Rose was straining herself to keep a grip, even if only with one hand until it closed down and he would come over and save her. She trusted him with her life and now that trust was going to be put to the test.

She now had almost no grip on the lever handle, she knew she was going to be pulled into the void, it was inevitable. She looked over at him, he had a terrified look on his face, he was almost crying, screaming out her name. "Rose!"

Which a loud 'twang' of the lever, her fingers were outstretched, still trying to maintain the grip on the handle, they slid away one by one as the force pulled her away. Her eyes were wide open, he was still screaming her name as she looked helplessly at him, she was crying out in panic but no words or sounds were coming out of her mouth, his face was distorted in pain as he watched her being pulled away.

That was when he decided, in a split second to let go of the clamp he was holding. He would rather die with Rose in the void than let her die alone. He couldn't live without her, he couldn't go on, it was all over for him. The seconds he had watched her being pulled slowly towards the white wall that represented the void, he knew he had to at least show her he loved her even if he could never say the actual words. A million things went through his mind in the few seconds he had watched her struggle to keep a grip, the void may close just as she reached the white wall and she would be safe for one, she may reach the wall and be knocked unconscious as she slammed into it, at least she would live or she may be pulled through and the void would close a second after she had been sucked into it.

He did it, he let go of the clamp, watching her face pleading as she got nearer. Time was moving in slow motion as he battled the force of the void to make his way to her, trying to slow himself down so he wouldn't collide with her or overtake her and be the cause of pulling her in. Maybe he could grab her and pull her back to safety as the void closed.

Suddenly, there was a shimmer of a figure in black, arms reaching out and grabbing Rose. It was Pete Tyler. His arms wrapped around her, holding her tight. Rose looked at the Doctor, the Doctor looked at Pete, who had realised what the other man was trying to do and just as the Doctor reached them, he grabbed hold of Rose's arm and they all disappeared.


The three of them collapsed onto the floor in the other universe's version of Torchwood. Jackie was stood with her hands covering her mouth in a surprised look. She had nattered Pete to death to risk everything and go get her daughter back and he had to give in because Rose Tyler had helped him in the past, she had tried to save his wife and he owed her for that and for helping defeat Lumic. He couldn't blame her or the Doctor for this world's stupidity in thinking the Cybermen were sentient beings and should have the same rights as any other citizen of the planet Earth and allowed them to make plans and escape to where Rose came from.

He had done what he could and gone across to help them, they were now even but this, risking having the worlds collapsing into each other to rescue what could have been his dead wife's twin sister's daughter, was above and beyond what he had been prepared to do and by the looks of things when he had materialised a few seconds earlier in the other world, it had not been a moment too soon. Now he had brought back a bonus The Doctor.

The three of them picked themselves up off the floor of the darkened lever room, a vast contrast to the one they had left a few seconds ago. The Doctor held out his hand to help Rose up. Jackie recovered enough to run over to her daughter, hugging her tightly and frowning at both Pete and the Doctor as if to say, " What ya brought him back for?" but changed her mind because Rose had left her and chosen to be with him and it was plain to Jackie that Rose loved him.

"Rose, you're safe!" was all Jackie managed in the end, almost squashing poor Rose.

Rose let go and turned to Pete, hugging him too, whispering "Thank you."

Mickey was observing all this quietly. He had known that Rose loved the alien, had done since before his regeneration and even more since he had turned into a pretty boy that Christmas. He knew when he'd gone back to prepare the way for Pete and the rest of them to go over and help defeat the Cybermen again and he had convinced himself he was doing it for this world, not for himself to see Rose again and he had been hopeful in those few seconds Rose had come back with them she might take him back but no, she had brought the Doctor with her, of course she had. It was the story of Mickey's life.

Rose turned to the Doctor and threw her arms around him.

"You let go, you came after me, you daft alien," she said to him, clinging even tighter.

The Doctor tried to loosen her grip, unsuccessfully.

"Yeah, I did didn't I? You won't catch me doing that again," he joked, feeling he had said that line before somewhere recently. This time he meant it, he literally couldn't.

"You came after me and now you're stuck here too, why?"

Rose buried her head in his neck, oblivious to everyone watching her.

The Doctor, who was facing Pete, motioned the others should leave. Pete took Jackie's arm and led her outside, Mickey followed, he didn't want to watch this, he knew what was going to happen. He had watched them hug each other when he had gone to help Jake take over Lumic's airship and he had known then that he wasn't going back with them.

Rose let go, still not realising everyone had left. She whacked him on the arm, playfully.

"What did you have to go and pull a stunt like that for?" she asked, now rubbing his arm for him and taking his hand into hers. "You're trapped here now, what are you going to do? Are you going to try to find a way back?"

She tapped the device around her neck but nothing happened, she knew it wouldn't work any more.

"Rose, you know there's no way back. I couldn't let you fall into the void alone, if you were going to be sent there, then so was I. I couldn't hold on there and watch you go, not without.." he stopped.

He still couldn't say it, even now. What was the point in going after her if he couldn't tell her?

Rose took his other hand in hers. "Without what? Without telling me something?" she dared to ask. Well if he wasn't going to say it, she was. "You don't have to say anything, you showed me by coming after me and you got yourself trapped here forever, with me. You knew that was going to happen the second you saw Pete appear, you could have stayed back, not grabbed hold of me and stayed there, you would have been safe."

"Safe yes, with you, no. I couldn't have faced that Rose, I couldn't have faced being there without you, I would have rather let myself be sucked into the void than be there without you."

He put his arms around her and pulled her close.

Remembering their conversation on Sanctuary Base One, Rose decided to tease him.

"Well, now you're stuck here with me, you'll have to find somewhere to live, you'll have to get a house and a mortgage, the whole works," she laughed into his neck.

"Oh, I don't know, being stuck here with you isn't so bad, considering the alternatives. I can't live without you, Rose Tyler."

He buried his face into her neck. He still couldn't say it, those three stupid little one-syllable words that humans, especially women needed to hear. Maybe what he had said was close enough for her. If she said it first, maybe he could say it back. He was a 900 year old Timelord and he couldn't tell a human woman that he loved her. He could show her, maybe she already knew, thanks to that stupid thing he just did a few minutes ago. He had left the other universe, left his Tardis to be with her. No way back, not ever, this was it, he had to make a life here now. If he wanted to do it with Rose, then he would have to say it or face losing her not to the void or another universe but to another man, maybe even Mickey.

Rose reached up and lightly kissed his cheek.

"You let go of that clamp before Pete even appeared, I saw you. You were going to get sucked into the void with me, weren't you? What would have happened? What was in there besides millions of Cybermen and Daleks?"

"Nothing Rose, there is nothing in the void, no up, no down, nothing, it's empty, black. They would have been scattered around, there's no end to it. You would have known nothing about it," he said sadly, not wanting to upset her.

He couldn't tell her the full extent of what could have happened.

"You mean I would have been dead?" she asked as it sank in he had literally been following her to certain death. "You would have been too, if you had followed me in. You were willing to die so I wouldn't go in there alone? Would I even had seen you follow me in?"

"For a few seconds, maybe. Then you would have known nothing, it's not quite like dying, not as such but yes, you would have known I had followed you in."

Rose just clung onto him even more, she was almost crying. She could have lost him, he wasn't prepared to just lose her though, he was prepared to follow her so she wouldn't go in there alone. That proved one thing to her he did love her even though apparently he couldn't bring himself to say it.

Just then, Pete put his head around the corner of the doorway.

"I hate to break this up but we really should get out of here. Now all this is over, I'm putting together a team and we're going to clean up this place and use it for good. I'm putting Jake and Mickey in charge to oversee everything, they will look after things and eventually, we'll have a fully operational Torchwood."

The Doctor cringed at the thought. "Maybe you should just let it be Pete, the other world's Torchwood were partly responsible for letting the Cybermen get access and I have a feeling that this world's Torchwood gave them the means in the first place."

"Well I can assure you Doctor, I had no knowledge of it. I admit I knew about Torchwood but no idea what was going on. The Cybermen must have infiltrated it and taken it over, to get that many of them across the void."

Pete noticed Rose was still clinging hold of the other man and wasn't about to let him go.

The Doctor couldn't argue with him but if Pete insisted on getting it operational, then at least it would be in good hands and he had the money and backing to do it and if he, Mickey and Jake were in charge, then it wouldn't fall into the wrong hands. He still didn't like the idea though but if it was to be, better them in charge than someone else he supposed. Rose was still holding onto him, looking up now and then at Pete, half expecting her mother to tell her to let go.

"Right, I've got Mickey waiting downstairs with your mother Rose, I'm going to take you all to my place and when you've all had a good night's sleep, we'll talk in the morning. You must be tired and hungry. That includes you, Doctor, I doubt Rose is going to let you out of her sight," Pete smiled.

Rose reluctantly let go of him and instead put her arm in his and they made their way downstairs to join Mickey and Jackie. Jackie just gave her daughter a look that meant, "You've still got him then?" and they made their way outside to a waiting car. Jake was also downstairs, grinning to see Pete's plan had worked, staying behind and helping them to get back but had not expected to see the Doctor.

"Jakey boy!" The Doctor greeted the blonde haired man.

"Doctor. Never thought you'd be coming back here. Is everything safe back there?"

The Doctor was hoping it was. "Well the walls between the two universes will be closed by now, since nothing else has come through, we're safe now. I had no choice, it was lose Rose or come through with her and well, here I am. I had no idea Pete was going to go back for her and by the time he appeared, I was already across the room trying to save her or go into the void with her."

"Well I always said you were an idiot Doctor," Jackie chirped in. "What did you do a thing like that for? Pete had gone back for her."

"Well I didn't know that did I? I wasn't going to let her just fall into the void was I? What do you take me for Jackie? Was I suppose to hang on and watch her get sucked in and do nothing about it? Well I couldn't. I promised you I would get you both out alive and I kept my promise."

He wasn't about to admit to Jackie just how close they had come to getting pulled in. Ultimately it had been Pete that had saved them both and now, he could never hope to repay the man.

Jackie saw the look on his face and knew there was something else to it.

"You mean Rose would have been pulled into that void thingy if Pete hadn't got there on time? Oh. And you went after her and you both would have been pulled in?"

She shuddered at the thought of losing her daughter permanently. She had realised the second Rose had vanished she might never see her again and had finally worn down this world's version of her dead husband to go after her and not a moment too soon it seemed. She turned to Pete.

"Thank you, for saving my daughter."

She was about to say he had almost left it too late but she was grateful he had gone back at all and left it.

Pete ushered Rose and Jackie into the back of his car and the Doctor got into the front passenger seat after squeezing Rose's hand and saying he was going with her. Pete took Jake and Mickey to one side, Jake already had a security team ready to move in and take control of the building.

Pete drove them back to his residence and got his staff to make them something to eat and they all sat around the dinner table. They were mostly quiet, both women were tired, that much was apparent after what they had just gone through. Pete said they would talk some more in the morning. He had someone show Jackie and Rose to some guest rooms and thought the Doctor would want to talk some more. Just as Rose got up, he got up at the same time and took her into the reception area.

"Go get some sleep Rose, I'm not going anywhere, I promise. I'll be here in the morning. We'll talk then."

He kissed her forehead and Rose put her arms around him. Jackie was halfway up the stairs, never in her life seeing a house like this before except having to pay to enter it. She watched the two of them and realised he did care for Rose and smiled to herself. She was never going to get rid of him now.

The Doctor walked Rose upstairs and the maid indicated which was to be Rose's room. She opened the door and stopped.

"Please Doctor, I don't want to be on my own. I remember the last time we were here."

She put her arms around him again.

"Rose, it's fine, nothing's going to happen, I promise. Please, get some sleep, I'll be here in the morning."

He moved her arms that were around his neck and kissed her forehead again.

Rose wasn't going to let him get away. "Please, just stay with me for a while," she pleaded.

"I'll come back, I have to talk to Pete. If he's going to open up this world's Torchwood, if anyone can help me get the Tardis back, it's them."

Rose hadn't forgotten the ship. "Will the Tardis be okay? I mean is there an emergency programme in place if you don't go back at all. I know she'll wait a few hours but what if you never go back?"

"She'll be safe enough there. The authorities will investigate, close the place down and since she's disguised as a Police Box, just put her in storage. If I get back for her, I'll be able to find her."

"What do you mean you'll find her, that's we'll find her, you're not going back without me so don't even think about it."

"Rose, I don't even know what kind of world we'll be going back to now I'm not there. I sacrificed everything to try to save you Rose, everything including the safety of the Earth. I know Sarah-Jane is there, UNIT is there, they'll be able to keep some control, UNIT will notice I'm no longer there before too long but don't you see Rose, now I'm here, the same may start to happen on this world, I may have been the one attracting all the other aliens in the first place."

"Don't say that. You say it like you're some kind of beacon that's beaming out into space and you're not, they'll come whether you're there or not. Besides, if this world's version of Torchwood gets operational, who says the other one won't resurface? Someone else may take it over."

He didn't like the thought of that. "I hope not but at least with Pete in charge this one stands a chance I suppose. Anyway, you get some sleep, I'll come and check on you later, I promise."

Rose seemed satisfied and hopefully when he did go and check on her she would be asleep. He noted where her room was and giving her a hug and yet another kiss on her forehead he went back down to find Pete. He wished he had the courage to kiss her properly, like she deserved to be kissed.

He found Pete in his study, the same study he had seen the schematics for the Cybermen and dearly hoped Pete had not been involved in that but he supposed that since Lumic had taken over Pete's company, Lumic was only trying to sell him the idea and it stood to reason if Pete was helping to bring Lumic down he would have all the details of the deadly creatures. How Lumic had even come up with the idea of them in the first place was incredible. What had been the chances of him coming up with such an idea? Maybe he'd had some alien influence of his own.

Pete was on the phone to Jake, giving last minute plans on what he wanted done for the time being. He motioned for the Doctor to take a seat and hung up.

"So Doctor, what did you want to talk about? I know all about that time machine of yours, Mickey told me all about it. I told you how I thought the Cybermen had got to your world but what were those other metal creatures, Daleks I think you called them."

"Your worst nightmare Pete, believe me you don't even want to know about them, they won't be any bother and neither will the Cybermen. Rose was terrified coming back here after what happened before, I was just assuring her it was okay now. Anyway, if you're opening up Torchwood again I want in and not just at the bottom, I want to get my Tardis back and I reckon that's the best way of getting to it. That ship was the last thing I had left of my home planet, I suppose Mickey told you I wasn't from Earth, didn't he?"

He could tell by the look on Pete's face Mickey had told him.

The Doctor continued. "I'm not condoning any part of Torchwood because of what the other one did but I know you're a fair man Pete, I know you'll make sure it's done right but I have to get my ship back and I won't deny that will be my top priority. In return for your help and virtually free reign, I'll help you with anything I can."

"Sounds fair to me Doctor but it's going to take a while to get it set up again, what are you going to do in the meantime? I could use your help setting it up, making sure everything's done right."

The Doctor did not want to form this alliance in the first place but if he wanted his ship back, he had very little choice.

"Okay, what about Jackie and Rose, will you help them?"

"Of course I will Doctor. I haven't forgotten what you and Rose did for me when you were both here before. I'll let them stay here until they find their feet. Rose can work with you if she wants and Jackie, well she can look after the house in return for her and Rose's accommodation. I won't ask Jackie to work, just oversee the daily running of the house, I'm sure she'll enjoy it. I'll give her a generous allowance, Rose too until Torchwood's up and running. As for you, you're all going to need new identities but we'll discuss it with them in the morning. I suggest you get some rest too, there are plenty of empty rooms, take your pick."

"Yeah," The Doctor replied, stretching his arms behind his head and his legs outwards. "I'll just go and check on Rose first, she's had a rough day."

"And Jackie hasn't?" Pete laughed. "You're not fooling anyone Doctor, you love that girl more than you admit. I saw it the first time you were here."

The Doctor moved his hands over his face. Everyone knew except Rose. It was back to that again, even Jackie must have suspected the way he was holding Rose at the foot of the stairs earlier. He said goodnight to Pete and climbed up the open staircase. He never imagined he would be setting foot in this house again but at least Rose and Jackie had a roof over their heads and maybe Jackie and this Pete would get together, it would make Rose happy. He could make Rose happy if he put his mind to it and stopped being a complete idiot. Jackie seemed to take to Pete but maybe it was just the heat of the moment, of seeing him again after twenty years.

He stopped outside Rose's bedroom door and listened. He couldn't hear any sound, maybe she was already asleep but he had promised. He tapped gently on the door and waited a few seconds then went in. The lamp was on low and Rose was asleep under the covers. He crossed over to the bed and pulled the sheet up over her shoulder and kissed her cheek. Rose stirred and as he put his hand on the pillow to move away, she put hers on his, causing him to almost lose his balance. He moved her hand gently and pushed back a strand of hair on her face. She was so beautiful, he would be a fool to let her go find another man because he couldn't tell her how he felt especially since he had risked everything to go after her.

She stirred again as he moved his hand away.

"Doctor?" she called as he moved away. "I was waiting for you," she yawned, reaching out for his hand. "Is everything okay, did you talk to Pete?"

He let go of her hand and sat on the edge of the bed, taking off his tie. He turned back to her, she was wearing a white t-shirt she had got from somewhere and had sat up.

"I spoke with him, you and your mother are staying here for the time being, he'll explain it all tomorrow. You should go back to sleep."

He got up and paced the room, wanting to get out but he couldn't, he had nearly lost her today. He took his jacket off and put it on a chair and went back to Rose and sat down, this time nearer. Rose held her arms out and moved to kneel in front of him and put hers around him as he did the same. It felt good as they hugged but was a bit distracting to him as there was definitely nothing under her t-shirt that just now covered her legs. Rose was leaning her head on his shoulder as he rested his against her head, kissing her hair then Rose began to kiss his neck. She pulled away but he pulled her back.

"It's okay Rose, we both need a hug," he smiled. "We both nearly lost each other again today and we seem to be making a habit of it. I'll make it up to you Rose, I promise, you'll be safe here, Pete will look after us. It's not a day visit this time Rose."

Rose increased her grip on him, slipping down so her head was now resting on his chest. His arms were still around her.

"It's late Rose, get some sleep, please."

"Stay with me?" she asked, looking up at him.

"Okay, just for a while, you get back in and I'll sit on the edge of the bed until you go to sleep."

He still couldn't do it but he was going to have to make allowances for her, she had almost died, he had almost died, permanently and they should both be glad they were alive. It was understandable she didn't want to be alone, in a house where the Cybermen had invaded and now stuck in a world she didn't belong in but at least now she had her mother, she wasn't left in the other one without her. That split second he had let go of the clamp, the thought of losing her was devastating and now after all that, he was offering to sit by her while she slept.

"You can do better than that, you idiot," he told himself. "She needs you to do more than just sit by while she sleeps."

Rose climbed back into bed and was surprised when he toed off his converse and lay on top of the covers.

"I'm sorry Rose, I know you still need a hug, I do too. Come here."

Rose didn't hesitate, he lay down next to her and she turned onto her side and snuggled up to him, one of her arms holding onto him as both his arms were around her. He kissed her forehead again.

"Goodnight Rose."

"Doctor, will you still be here when I wake up, please?"

How could he say no? "I'll be here Rose, don't worry."

Rose shuffled around and got comfortable and fell asleep in his arms. He smiled to himself, he was here with her in this world and taking the chance to go after her had been the right thing, the only thing to do.

"I love you Rose," he whispered.

Chapter 2

It was getting light, he could see through the curtains of the room Rose had been given for the night. He slowly moved Rose to free himself and got up off the bed. He had remained above the covers, just held her in his arms letting her sleep because she had needed it, they had both needed but if he didn't get to one of the spare rooms by the time Jackie Tyler emerged, he was dead meat and he might as well have thrown himself into the void voluntarily. He smiled at Rose's sleeping form and pulled the sheet over her shoulder.

She would wake and find him gone but she'd know he wouldn't be far away. He sat on the chair, putting his converse shoes back on and retrieved his jacket, having stuffed the tie in a pocket. Then he opened the door to check the coast was clear and crept down the hallway and he knew Jackie was in the next room so he went in the door opposite, hoping it was empty. It was so he threw his jacket on the chair and flopped down on the bed. He had plans to make, for both him and Rose if they were to go and get the Tardis back, his mind felt empty now the link with his ship was no longer there. He had laid awake with Rose in his arms and thought a million ways of getting back but they all ended the same way, they would be dangerous. If he was going back on his own he would have risked it but he had to take Rose with him, he knew that. If he didn't, what would have been the point in getting stranded here with her in the first place?

The first thing he had to do was get set up and make sure Jackie and Rose were provided for. Rose could help him, Jackie would be more than happy to look after a house like this, she would be in her element so she would be no trouble. Rose on the other hand wouldn't settle for anything less than being part of it and helping get Torchwood set up to go get the Tardis back so it would keep her occupied and focused and at some point, soon, he had to tell her how he felt. It could be years before he found a way of getting back and if he didn't do something, Rose would leave him, he knew that. She was young, beautiful and some man would snap her up in an instant and he wouldn't be able to do anything about it because he'd had more than enough chances to say something.

Maybe he didn't deserve her, didn't deserve to be happy with her but fate had intervened on more than one occasion, throwing them together. When they had been stranded before when the Tardis was lost down the pit, they had the chance at a normal life but he had got the ship back and they had never talked about it again. Fate would intervene and give them a chance to be together but then it would take it away again just as soon as it was given. Maybe now there would be a different kind of fate, one that wouldn't prevent them. He'd had two choices and for the first time in 900 years, he had made the right one to be with Rose.

He believed that even different universes couldn't keep them apart and that meant they were supposed to be together once and for all and the thought of losing her had given him the final push. Well now he had to act on it and stop being a coward when it came to telling her. He got up and went to the en-suite bathroom and threw some water on his face. He was going to have to start looking after himself, there would be no Tardis to do his laundry, move his room wherever he needed it, tidy up for him and provide a never ending supply of clean shirts for him. Still, Pete probably had staff that did that sort of thing, he was going to have to get domestic and that was just as terrifying as facing Jackie Tyler if she found out he had been in Rose's room all night.

He made his way downstairs and found the kitchen. Jackie was already there, arguing with the cook that she wanted to make her own breakfast, thank you very much and he decided to keep the peace and just accept the plate that was put in front of him, despite a gruff look on Jackie's face.

"Oh, so you're just going to accept this then are you? That's just typical of you. Where's Rose, have you seen her this morning? While we're at it, have you seen that Pete Tyler?"

Just like Jackie, he was thinking. Why couldn't she just accept the hospitality and have done with it?

"Haven't spoken with Rose this morning," he muttered with a mouthful of toast. That was true, he had left her in her bed but not actually spoken with her. "I expect Pete Tyler is making arrangements for your stay," he added, looking at the two kitchen staff and not wanting to add the fact that arrangements would have to be made for them to stay on this world. "Best wait until he talks to you, not everyone knows why you're here."

He was hoping she had taken the hint.

Just then Rose came in, yawning and he hoped she wouldn't say anything stupid like "Where were you when I woke up?" or her mother would literally kill him on the spot.

"Morning," she said cheerfully, walking up behind him and giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, right in Jackie's full view.

He was so dead now. She sat down beside him and accepted the breakfast put in front of her, unlike her mother. The kitchen staff were just going to love having Jackie in charge of them.

"So, what's the plan then?" she asked, looking at the Doctor.

"Just waiting for Pete to join us, we have a lot of things to plan but I can tell you one thing," he said, mindful of the presence of the staff who were pretending not to be offended by their visitor with the attitude. "We're here to stay. Maybe not in this house but here, in London."

He couldn't say 'on this world or in this universe' in case Pete's staff knew nothing of it.

Just then, Pete joined them at the kitchen table. Accepting his plate, he looked at the three people sat around him. Then it dawned on the Doctor why the staff had been so surprised, maybe they remembered Pete's first wife who they knew was dead and thought they were seeing a ghost. Pete looked at the Doctor, then at Rose and Jackie.

"Jackie, I've explained to the staff why you're here and I'll explain it to you in a minute, we have a lot to get through but please, finish your breakfast then join me in the small sitting room, it's just across from here, just ask. Meanwhile, feel free to make yourselves at home, if you want anything feel free to ask and as for clothes, well I think Rose and Jackie should go shopping today." He went in his jacket and pulled out a credit card and handed it to Rose. "Use this, here's the pin number," he added, jotting a number down on the back of a napkin and handing it to Rose. "I'll have a driver standing by to take you to the local shopping centre when you're both ready to go."

Both Jackie and Rose stared at him. The Doctor smiled. Rose was the one to speak up.

"So we can get whatever we need then? What about you Doctor? I don't suppose you want to come with us do you?" She was afraid he would disappear while she and her mother were out shopping.

"No, you two go ahead. You could pick up a few shirts and stuff for me if you want," he smiled. That would make her believe he was staying put for the time being. "Maybe a couple of ties and if you must get me some underwear, nothing fancy, I don't want shorts with cartoon characters on them thanks."

He was going to say with Mickey Mouse on them but wasn't sure if that character even existed in this universe. He didn't know what Jackie was going to do, how many times she would blurt out something that didn't exist in this world and when she saw a zeppelin for the first time she would probably freak out.

Rose smiled, partly from embarrassment at the thought of choosing underwear for him, she hadn't even done that for Mickey.

"Right, no cartoon shorts then but maybe you'll need some new t-shirts and don't worry, I'll get plain ones, just how you like them."

Jackie was getting worried, how did Rose know what the alien wore under his shirt? How would she even know what size to get him? Then she figured maybe she would just buy a medium size and wasn't all that bothered after that. She just hoped they wouldn't get too cosy, especially in front of her.

Breakfast finished, Jackie followed Pete into the smaller of the sitting rooms and made herself comfortable, waiting for the other two to join them. Rose had stopped the Doctor just outside the kitchen, under the stairs.

"You were gone when I woke up," she smiled, putting her arms around his neck. "I knew you'd probably just come downstairs, did you find a room?"

"Yeah, just across from your mother's and if I'd stayed in your room and she'd caught me, we wouldn't be having this conversation Rose. She would have slapped me silly by now," he smiled at her.

"Yeah, I suppose you're right but we're really staying aren't we? At least until we get chance to go find the Tardis. I just hope my mum can cope with all this, how is Pete possibly going to explain how my mother looks like his dead wife?"

The Doctor just laughed. "Oh I'm sure he'll come up with something. Come on, let's go find out then you two can go shopping."

He led her to the room opposite and found Pete and Jackie talking. That was a good sign, the Doctor was thinking, at least they weren't squabbling like the original Jackie and Pete, on any world. Step by step, Pete revealed his plan to get new identification for each of them, including, much to his insistence he could get by with his psychic paper, the Doctor, who would be known officially and Dr John Smith as Mickey had told Pete he had used that alias before and Jackie and Rose would remain the same but have their background stories invented for them, including how Jackie came to look like the other Jackie Tyler.

Pete said to leave everything to him and all they had to do was go along with it to which they all agreed it was the best thing to do. They were each warned to be careful what they said, especially about events that had taken place on their own world as one word could cause disaster and Pete suggested both Rose and Jackie be escorted whenever they went out until they found their way around and to look up this world's historical events on the internet to catch up.

Then Pete suggested Rose worked alongside himself and the Doctor to get Torchwood up and running and Rose readily agreed, since she didn't want to be parted from him for any length of time and going shopping was going to be bad enough. All other arrangements were made and Jackie and Rose prepared to go on their shopping trip. Jackie went back to her room, staff had found her some clothes to wear that Pete hadn't had the heart to part with that had belonged to his wife but no-one was telling her.

While waiting for her mother, Rose and the Doctor had remained on their own in the sitting room.

"Promise you won't go anywhere while I'm gone, won't you?" Rose asked as she curled up next to him and put her arm in his.

"I'm only going down to Torchwood Tower to see what's going on for a bit. I'll be back before or just after you get back from your shopping trip. Make sure your mother doesn't freak out when she sees the skies are full of zeppelins," he joked, kissing her cheek.

Rose put her head on his shoulder. "You really think we can get Torchwood operational so we can get back? Then what? Do we stay there or come back?"

"We'll have to stay there Rose, even if we can get back, the Tardis won't work here, we barely got back the last time. If we find a way, we'll have to go right there and then so you're going to have to tell your mother. You may not get chance to say goodbye."

"I know, I've always been prepared for that. If we get the chance, we'll take it no matter what. You and me in the Tardis, just as it's always been."

She squeezed his neck and gave him a peck on his cheek, just as Jackie walked in.

Jackie just rolled her eyes, she knew it was no use, those two were besotted with each other and neither of them were about to admit it in a hurry. Maybe now they were both stuck here they would finally have to. Being here might not be so bad after all, she had a decent roof over her head, was going to have an easy life looking after this house and a man who looked like her dead husband who was available. Yes, life here might be interesting, better than her old life and now Rose wouldn't be traipsing all over the unknown universe in that blue box with that mad alien. No, she would be sitting next to him kissing him instead, just on the cheek for now but she knew where that was going to lead to and who was she to stop it? He made Rose happy and that was all that counted at the end of the day. At least now he wasn't all leather and ears, this one was the new improved version. She just hoped the two of them would get their act together and admitted what everyone else already knew they were in love.

Rose got up, a little embarrassed her mother had caught her. She squeezed his hand and said, "See ya later," cheekily and waved, blowing him a kiss when her mother's back was turned.

The Doctor smiled, at least she was happy about going shopping and really hoped she wouldn't get him any embarrassing underwear that Pete's staff were going to have to launder for him. He went to find Pete and stood at the open door of Pete's study.

"Ready to go Doctor?" Pete asked, closing down his computer.

He had been watching the footage from the night the Cybermen invaded and remembering his wife. He hadn't believed his own eyes when another Jackie Tyler had been stood in front of him. Yes, he knew she had a double on the world Rose and the Doctor had come from but he wasn't even expecting to ever see her, not just talking to him but running to him. She had lost her husband, he'd known that and the Doctor had told him she was still alive on his world and they made a good match. Well first things first, he had a responsibility to get Torchwood up and running.

The two men set off for Torchwood Tower, which was a complete mess. Pete had told the Doctor he thought that the last of the Cybermen must have crossed very recently, probably hours before they had arrived on the other world and that there had been very little resistance. How that many had made the journey across the void, he really didn't know or even want to know. He didn't even know how they had got out of the sealed factories in the first place but maybe the disbanded Torchwood had played a part in it, at least the Doctor may have been right on that part.

Pete went to find Jake, leaving the Doctor to look around. He had been given a pass by the surly looking man on the main entrance who he wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley at any time and wandered around the place, eventually making his way to a large storage area that looked very much like the one on the other world where he had landed the Tardis and almost thought he may see it standing in a corner somewhere. Oh how he missed sensing the ship in his mind, comforting and reassuring him. A team of men were working, clearing things away, including the debris and stacking large boxes in a corner. He had been told that anything usable or even salvageable was to be stored for inspection by a 'specialist' team which probably meant it was going to be him somehow, he had volunteered his services in exchange for free reign of the place.

He thought he may as well use their resources since they had been partly responsible for landing him here, the other part being his fault and only his conscience deciding for him but if he was going to be forced to do this, it may as well be done right and for the right reasons. He had done a deal with Pete Tyler and he wasn't proud of it but neither was he proud of even thinking for one second he was going to ever let Rose fall into the void alone. He had known it in both his hearts that he wasn't just going to watch her go and had severely chastised himself for even hesitating for a split second, a split second that meant the difference to her falling in there alone or going with her or maybe, just maybe pulling her out of the way in time and going in her place. Then what? She would have watched him helplessly be pulled in and she would have had to live with the heartbreak instead of him but she would have survived.

He should have known Jackie wouldn't stand by and not hound Pete Tyler into going back to get her daughter, he knew her well enough, just as sure he knew what she would do to him if he broke Rose's heart now he was here. He stood against the door-frame, watching the team sort through everything, throwing things into a pile that were totally wrecked and carefully placing other objects into boxes that would be taken away and sorted eventually. No wonder Pete had put a guard on this place, if that stuff ended up in the wrong hands there would be a disaster of massive proportions and that was only the few items he only vaguely recognised from a distance, goodness knows what else was in there.

A familiar voice was heard behind him. It was Mickey.

"Okay Boss?" he asked cheerfully. "You haven't even seen half of what they have here yet. Where's Rose?"

"Gone shopping with her mother, Pete gave her a credit card. They had nothing but the clothes on their backs when they came here, remember?" The Doctor was feeling angry and upset at the same time but he knew he shouldn't take it out on Mickey. "Sorry, didn't mean to snap. How are things going? Have you been here all night?"

"More or less, got a few hours kip. Got my own place now. I was looking after my old gran, she's gone into a nursing home so I got a flat nearby. Pete pays for it but she doesn't know, it's nice, she has her own room and people to talk to, she's settled down. Took me a year to persuade her to move, she wasn't having any of it at first," Mickey laughed.

The Doctor smiled, he had heard Rose talking about her and wouldn't like to get on her bad side, she and Jackie would make a great team. Pete had told him what to expect, a mess and an awful lot of sorting out to do. He had told the Doctor everything they removed was being taken to the basement and put under guard until the locks were secured again once full power was restored to the building. Mickey led him to the basement and he found himself walking a familiar corridor and in front of a door guarded by two large men in some sort of uniform, with rifles. Mickey showed his ID and the door opened.

The Doctor was not surprised, he had been in the exact same room the sphere had been in only what to him was a day ago but in this world was probably more but boxes were piled up everywhere, the team must have been working all night. That must have been what Pete was talking about last night. Maybe everything was already in crates and just needed moving to a secure location, the Cybermen would have prevented anyone getting into the building prior to them leaving and if Pete had suspected enough to cross the void, he must have already been having the place watched even if he hadn't been a part of it. He had a lot more questions for Pete Tyler. He wondered how Rose was getting on with her shopping trip, cringing at the thought of her buying him printed t-shirts with pop groups or cartoon characters on them.

Pete came to join them, followed by Jake.

"There you are Doctor, there's going to be plenty to keep you busy down here. If you're going to find anything to help you get back, it will be here somewhere, it all needs cataloguing. You can have all the staff you need to help you once we get everything sorted but you can help by interviewing people. Some of them that used to work here before they left in fear of their lives have been asking the men outside if it's re-opening so they need to be vetted and you and Rose are the best people for the job, to make sure they can be trusted. They've all been told to come back tomorrow, I should have some sort of reception area open by then, they can make appointments."

"Right then, that's sorted," Pete continued, indicating for the Doctor to leave in front of him. "You'd best get back to the mansion before Rose gets back." He held the Doctor back so they couldn't be overheard. "Is Rose okay? She seemed very reluctant to let you go yesterday and this morning. I think I should give her a few days to adjust, there's nothing much going on here and those interviews will wait. Why don't we leave it until Monday, it's Thursday here, let her have a long weekend to adjust?"

"I agree Pete, it was bad enough you bringing her here then when she came back for me and she nearly got sucked into the void, well I think she's scared I'll disappear on her, it took me ages to calm her down last night, I admit but don't tell her mother, that I had to sit in her room until she went to sleep. She wouldn't let me leave her alone and it's not like her, she always laughs when we get ourselves into trouble but I think it shocked her more than anything that I was prepared to follow her. If you had gone back for her ten seconds earlier, I would never have let go and gone after her and she'd be here with her mother, never knowing I was prepared to sacrifice everything to save her. I can't tell her Pete, I can't tell her what she means to me that I'd give everything up to save her."

"Maybe you're trying too hard, Doctor. Take it from me, that girl knows how you feel about her whether you say anything or not, she adores you. I saw you two together at my party and then when she was going with me to the cyber factory. She loves you."

"I don't deserve her Pete, I really don't but I would do anything for her and she would do the same for me and I can't tell her one simple thing. Everything I've seen and done, just one little thing like telling her I love her is the hardest thing I've ever had to do."

Pete felt sorry for him and for Rose. Love was strange and getting stranger. The dead wife he thought he had lost had a double right under his own roof and now Rose and this alien Doctor were so in love they couldn't see it and bring themselves to admit it to each other. They went to find Jake and Mickey and Pete told them the plan to start interviewing people who used to work there and Jake suggested once they had been interviewed, that he had a security check run on them before acceptance. Pete agreed and told Jake to go use the computers at Vitex until Torchwood was up and running and to get someone qualified on reception to organise things. Pete asked the Doctor to join him for lunch but he was anxious to get back before Rose did so Mickey volunteered to drive him back.

On the way back, the Doctor didn't want to talk about Rose to Mickey, it wasn't the best idea to talk about someone you love to her ex-boyfriend but Mickey was determined to find out anyway if he did love Rose or not.

"You should tell her you know," Mickey said, glancing at his passenger. "If you don't, she'll think you don't care and you'll lose her, believe me, I know."

"Not you too Mickey, do you think I don't already know that? What am I supposed to do? I'm stuck here, no Tardis, I can't show her the stars any more, maybe now she'll realise that was all she ever wanted, a life of travelling."

"Have you heard yourself Doctor? And you say I'm an idiot. Of course it's you she wants, Tardis or no Tardis. I used to hate you when you first came along, you stole my girlfriend but you know what? I got over it, I couldn't give her a life like that but when you landed here the first time and I saw you two together, I realised I could never compete with you and if you'd stayed then I wouldn't have got in your way. Tell her before it's too late. You're both stuck here with no way back unless you find something to help you. I know why you agreed to help, to find something that will get you back and Rose will go with you. You two belong together in any universe so do something about it or I might be forced to give you a kick up the backside."

They drove the rest of the way in silence and Mickey let his passenger out, waving goodbye and told him to remember what he'd said. There were no signs of Rose or Jackie so he made his way to the kitchen and got a snack while he waited. Pete had handed him a mobile phone before he left and he dialled Rose's number, forgetting if she'd had it with her or not or if it had fallen out somewhere. She answered after a few rings.

"Hello, who's that?" she asked, amazed her phone still worked and someone in this universe had the number apart from her mother who was looking in a shop window at clothes she never thought she would be able to afford to buy in a million years. Then she thought it must be Pete or the Doctor.

"Rose! Glad you've still go your old phone. Where are you? Are you coming back soon or are you both enjoying yourselves too much to come back yet?" he managed to laugh.

The truth was he was missing her already.

"Well, I've got some things for myself, jeans and t-shirts and knick-knacks and I've got you four new shirts and ties, underwear and some t-shirts, some with buttons how you like them oh and shall I get you some jeans? You can't wear that suit all the time and it doesn't clean itself."

He thought about it then cringed at the thought of wearing jeans and a t-shirt but there again, Rose might think he was at least trying to please her by fitting in.

"Well, okay, I suppose, if I have to but black jeans and maybe some black trousers but make sure they're long."

Rose laughed, she was going to modernise him if it killed her.

"Okay, got that. Did you have fun this morning?"

"No, it's a mess and Pete wants me to sort through anything that might not be from around here, if you get my drift," he said, lowering his voice so the kitchen staff wouldn't know what he was talking about. "He also wants us to interview the staff that used to work there in the hope we can use some of them, I'll tell you when you get back."

"That could be a while, mum's going crazy now she's not on a limited budget," Rose laughed.

He loved her laugh, she almost sounded like her old self. Maybe she was and she was over it all now.

"Great, just what we need, Jackie Tyler with an unlimited bank balance, do you need rescuing?" he asked hopefully, although initially he hated the thought of going shopping, it was too 'domesticated' for his liking but wanted to see what he was going to have to wear while he was here.

"Nah, I've got it covered. Pete's driver is following us around and keeps taking packages to the car. I can't decide if he's a driver or a personal shopper."

The Doctor laughed. "Okay, see you soon then. I might see what I can find out about our new home until you get back. See you soon Rose and take care, don't get too carried away will you?"

"As if," she laughed. "See you soon, try not to overload the internet will you?" It was a request, not a question. Just as she was about to hang up she added, "Try not to miss me too much," and before he had time to reply, she ended the call.

She went over to join her mother who was debating between two tops she liked. Rose just told her to get both and they laughed together.

Rose had ended the call but he still held the phone, whispering he already missed her. Pete had told him he could use the laptop on his other desk in his study and he went in and turned it on. He needed information about what had gone on, any alien activity, excluding himself and the Cybermen and if Torchwood had noticed him the last time he was here though he supposed Pete would have kept that quiet since he'd helped him. He did a lot of research and never noticed the time passing until he was suddenly aware someone was standing behind him. He knew instantly it was Rose. She came up behind him and put her arms around his neck and kissed the top of his head and ruffled his hair. He knew she loved his hair, especially now he had some.

"Found anything interesting you care to share?" she asked, now leaning over his shoulder and looking at the screen.

He would normally tell people it was rude to look over someone's shoulder but this time he didn't mind.

"Lots of interesting stuff really. You should be extra careful what you say, around here especially, like historical events, royalty, which they did away with here and politics, definitely keep away from politics. Harriet Jones is the president here, did you know that?"

Rose didn't, Pete had told him. He carried on.

"She's not like our one though, she's tough but seems to be fair, I don't recommend you go up to her and ask if she's seen any aliens in green suits lately," he smiled. "If you want to learn anything yourself, I'm sure Pete will find you another laptop, if you want to look up popstars or actors or such like, reality TV stars and oh, TV programmes. Your mother might even get Eastenders only it might be call Southenders here."

He could tell she was smiling. He could feel her hands on his shoulders and he moved his head back.

"Don't know about your favourite actor though, haven't had chance to look him up, I'll let you do that."

Rose had decided at that moment to tease him even more than usual. She kissed his cheek and put her arms back around him and slid herself around to sit on his lap. She caught him off guard.

"Oh I don't know, maybe I only kept going on about him so much to make you jealous. You do look like him after all." She was sat to one side with her head facing him. She was trying to taunt him into admitting something and he knew it.

"Oh, were you now? You think I look like him? Are you using me as a substitute Rose Tyler?" he asked, raising his eyebrows in a way she knew he was toying with her.

"Wouldn't dream of it Doctor, just watch out I don't start calling you David, that's all," she teased back.

"You wouldn't, would you?"

He pretended to be hurt at the thought.

She had him and she knew it. He had taken the bait and swallowed it. They could carry this on for hours, they had done it many times before over one thing or another, just not with her sitting so closely on his lap like she was now. Rose was growing tired of the game, it wasn't so much fun now. She buried her head under his chin and looked up at him.

"I did you know, I just went on about him to get you going. It worked, didn't it?" She raised her head and pulled herself up slightly, then she kissed his cheek. "I never got around to saying it, to say thanks for coming after me, you didn't have to."

"Of course I did Rose, I couldn't leave you to go alone. It would have broken both my hearts Rose and I'm sorry that you got the side of the lever that went offline, it should have been mine."

He put his arms around her and held her head on his shoulder, kissing her cheek.

Rose looked up, a tear in her eyes. "Doctor," she managed.

She was a fraction of an inch away from his lips as she levelled her head to face him. She put her finger on them and he moved it away.

"Rose, I really don't deserve you, you know that. All that matters now is that we're both here, in the same universe, whether it's our own or not and there's something I should have said to you a long time ago and it's why I couldn't let you go into the void on your own, without saying it."

Rose pulled her hand away from his and intertwined her fingers with his.

"I know, you daft alien."

They looked at each other and their lips met for a brief second, he was wondering if he should pull away but she wasn't going to let him as she sought them again with her own and this time, he didn't try to fight it, he kissed her back. After what seemed like an age, their lips parted and Rose sank her head onto his chest. He was kissing the top of her head.

"Let me say it Rose, you deserve to hear me say it to you. I tried, last night but you fell asleep and I tried back in the other Torchwood but you had your eyes closed and I'm a complete idiot for not saying it before and .." he trailed off as she reached up and kissed him again. "I'm babbling again, aren't I?" he smiled when she let go.

Rose smiled back. "Wouldn't want you any other way and yes, you are an idiot for not saying anything but so was I and I know it's difficult for you so I'm going to make it easy for you, Doctor, I love you."

He looked at her, he didn't deserve her love. They kissed again, arms around each other, sat in Pete's study and not realising the door was still open. Jackie had been passing by, looking for Rose who had gone to find her daft alien to see which room to put his new clothes in, which Rose already knew and was just using it as an excuse to find him, when she saw the two of them, looking all misty eyed at each other then seen Rose make the first move, he really was a daft alien. When they broke apart they heard an 'Hmm' coming from behind them.

"Have you two quite finished?" Jackie said, trying not to look too flustered at seeing them, well the back end of what they were doing as she had turned away for the main event. "You have clothes to put away Rose, I don't suppose he knows how to go about that," she half joked and half meant.

"Of course he does but I'll make sure he hangs everything up," replied Rose, acting like nothing had happened.

He had done it again. He was just about to tell her those words she so badly needed to hear and her mother had shown up and had probably seen them kissing. Oh well, at least she wasn't slapping him not just yet anyway. "Jackie, urm, yes, I should probably go help Rose hang my new shirts up and put my new trousers on hangers and my new underwear in the drawer and ."

He stopped again, Rose had whacked him on the arm whispering, "You're babbling again" and smiling at him, rubbing his arm.

She was making a habit of that. Still, the pain was worth her rubbing his arm better.

Rose got up from his lap and faced her mother.

"I'll put his things away, don't worry."

Jackie wasn't worried about her hanging his clothes up. Something had been about to happen and she had just stopped it - for now anyway. Jackie went off and Rose turned back to him.

"So, I'll go put your things away, you carry on doing what you were doing and I'll see you at dinner."

She went towards the door.

He got up and followed her. "So do we need to talk about this again Rose?" he asked as she put his arms around her.

"No, we're good. I know it's awkward for you, you'll say it back to me eventually."

She kissed his cheek and left him.

He watched her leave the room, he'd done it again only this time it hadn't been his fault, technically.

Chapter 3

He went back to studying, gaining a lot of knowledge in a short time, his capacity for storing information a distinct advantage over humans. He heard movement behind him and knew it wasn't Rose this time. It was Pete.

"How are you getting on?" Pete asked as he made his way to his desk. "I'm going to get Jake to try to recover some of the Torchwood archives, they're probably all still intact, the Cybermen wouldn't have had much use for them. They were only interested in getting off this world and they had the means to do it. How did things go with Rose and Jackie? I looked for them, they're probably in their rooms trying on clothes," he laughed, remembering what his wife had been like after a shopping trip.

"Fine as far as I know, Rose was putting my things away for me. We'll pay you back once we start working. Who's going to be funding Torchwood anyway?"

"Oh, just you leave that to me Doctor, I know who was funding it before and believe me, they'll want to keep backing it now, I'll see to that. Did Rose seem any better?"

The Doctor thought carefully before answering.

"Yeah, it seemed to have cheered her up, I haven't checked my underwear yet, if she's got some comic book ones she's in trouble."

Pete laughed. "Nothing like a good shopping trip on someone else's credit card to cheer a woman up. I should know, my Jackie used to be like that when we first came into money. The feeling never goes away. Did you talk to her Doctor, did you tell her how you felt?"

Somehow, the Doctor knew Pete had taken a shine to Rose and that he had her best interests at heart and that he would side with this Jackie if her heart got broken. He felt though that he could confide in the man and Rose needed a father figure in her life.

"I talked to her, we're good, she knows."

"You told her?" Pete smiled, happy they had got their 'issues' solved.

"Well not exactly. She told me and before I could say anything, we were interrupted by her mother but I plan on continuing telling her later this evening, when we've eaten which I hope isn't too far off, I'm hungry."

Pete laughed. "Come on then, let's go wait for the ladies to join us then we'll eat and I have some more news for you."

The Doctor was hoping it would be good news, that could get them back quicker.

Jackie and Rose joined them in the dining room and they made plans. Rose and the Doctor would be officially employed by Torchwood the following Monday and they would begin interviewing the ex-members and their new ID's would be ready on Monday complete with bank accounts, passports, driving licences, excluding Jackie of course for the time being. Rose said she would take driving lessons.

"I can teach you to drive Rose," teased the Doctor, making them all laugh.

Rose remembered his scooter driving days back in the 1950's.

"'Erm, no thanks, I think I'll take proper lessons if you don't mind, I remember that scooter ride."

Jackie looked at her, what had those two been getting up to when they went 'travelling'?

Pete laughed. "Don't worry Rose, I know someone who can teach both you and the Doctor to drive, though best not at the same time though eh?"

"I can already drive I'll have you know," said an offended Doctor.

"Yes but back when you learned to drive there were probably horse driven carts around and someone had to stand in front of a car with a flag," laughed Jackie, who wanted to at least be part of the conversation.

They all laughed, except the Doctor, who was pretending to sulk. Rose was of course sat next to him and stroked his arm to which he smiled.

They all went off to a larger sitting room with a large TV and Pete showed them how to use the control and said he had work to do. He took the Doctor to one side.

"You don't have to go in until Monday either you know, it's all clearing up and re-wiring and new computer systems being put in over the weekend plus I don't think we're going to need quite so many offices so we may let some out privately and block off our floors, just using the basement, the top floors and the storage area. You can pick your own lab and I'll have everything sent to you. Rose can have her own office, she can be your consultant or your assistant, whatever she wants. You identify the objects, Rose can catalogue them and keep track of them, if she wants. Of course, anything you think might be of use to you, keep them separate."

"Thanks Pete, I could use that area in the basement though or somewhere out of the way where I won't be disturbed. I'll pick something out. I really don't know how to thank you for all you're doing, especially for Jackie and Rose."

"I told you, we're even, after what you and Rose did for me and this world. I take it Jackie knows nothing about that part? She knew I had a wife but does she know she looked exactly like her? People are going to stare at her when she goes out although it's been three years. That was why I wanted someone with them today, she might not be safe."

"What do you mean exactly, not safe?"

The Doctor was concerned for her and for Rose.

"Well she should be reasonably safe as anyone, it's just well, my Jackie was a bit shall we say, outspoken and not known for her tactfulness. She was well liked in a lot of social circles but in the years before she died, we didn't get on very well and she opposed a lot of things I was doing."

"Well don't tell her I said so but this Jackie has her moments as well," the Doctor replied, a smirk on his face. "I'm sure you'll find that out for yourself though as time goes on. When Rose and I get settled, we'll find a place of our own, well maybe two places, depending on how things go but we'll get Jackie settled as well."

"There's no hurry Doctor, I enjoy seeing the house full again and you can all stay as long as you want to. I can't image Jackie would want to leave, having this place to herself all day though, you may have to just leave her here," Pete laughed.

"Well don't say I didn't warn you," the Doctor laughed back. "Best go find Rose, Jackie's probably making her watch a soap opera. Do you even have soap opera's on this world?"

"Oh yes but I never watch them. The other Jackie used to spend a lot of time watching them, she'll find something she likes. Tell you what, why don't you and Rose go off for a couple of days, drive down to the coast or something? Spend some time together and find out how you both really feel? Rose has my credit card, my treat."

"I'll ask Rose although I'm sure she'll jump at the chance to get away for a few days. She says I go crazy when I don't travel, it's just not caught up with me yet but give it time. I can't promise that I won't walk out of Torchwood in the middle of the day because I need my freedom, you know that, don't you?"

"We'll make allowances for you Doctor, I understand. Now go find her and finish telling her what you started to earlier then I'll get you a car tomorrow, someone will drive you down to say, Brighton? You can drive once your licence comes through, don't want to get you arrested for driving without a licence, do we?"

He went to rescue Rose from watching a film that was on that Rose was screwing her face up at.

"There are more TV's in the house you know," he whispered in her ear as he sat on the sofa next to her.

Rose smiled as she turned towards him and put her arm in his and kissed his cheek.

"Oi, you two, pack it in, go do your smooching somewhere else, I'm trying to watch this, I've never seen it before, must be exclusive to this world."

"Believe me, she's seen every soppy movie that's been made back in our world," Rose laughed.

She got up, dragging the Doctor with her.

They walked across the large hallway and into the small sitting room they had been in that morning, closing the door behind them. They sat on the large soft leather sofa and Rose curled up next to him.

"So, when do we start work then? The sooner we start, the sooner we can get back and get the Tardis, can't we?" she smiled, turning his head towards her for a kiss.

"Not until Monday, there's too much work going on. They're filling boxes and crates with stuff and it all needs putting in one place to go through. That will be my job, I'll have a team of ex-Torchwood employees under me. Your job will be to catalogue them and their uses and make sure they get stored properly or used for further developments and most importantly, anything we can use to get back."

"Oh, I thought I would be working with you, don't you want me to?" she asked, putting her arm around his waist and leaning over to face him.

"You will be working with me, I tell you what things are and what they do, you record it on file. Teamwork, just like old times," he grinned.

"Hope and Glory, Shiver and Shake, which one of us is 'Shiver'?" asked Rose.

"Oh I'm shake," he replied, putting his finger on her cheek and stroking it. He leaned down to kiss her. "You can have your own office, I'm going to pick a lab, it'll be a mess but we can have them next door to each other, I thought about being in the basement, they have a room that's exactly the same as the one the sphere was in back on the other world, it'll make a great lab and everything's already being stored there, it'll make it easier. I can have a big desk, I've always wanted a big desk, with my name on it, it'll be brilliant," he grinned cheerfully.

Rose smiled, sometimes he was such a child.

"Then I'll have my office next door or in a corner or something, not too far away, we can have lunch together. Can't believe you'll actually be working," she laughed, looking at his big brown eyes that she could get lost in.

"I've had jobs before, it's not that uncommon for me having a job I'll have you know. I used to be a consultant for UNIT, back then they were more toy army but we prevented a lot of alien invasions. That's why I'm fairly confident they'll manage without me until I get back. They're much better organised now."

He moved a strand of her hair that had fallen across her face and kissed her cheek.

"Anyway, there's nothing to do until Monday so Pete suggested we go off for the weekend, what do you think?"

"Great, can mum come too?"

"Well, I was thinking more like just the two us, maybe give us a chance to, you know, figure out where we go from here."

"You mean like a romantic weekend for two? Where did that come from Doctor?" she teased. Who was she kidding, it was exactly what she had wanted for a long time. "How are we supposed to pay for it and how do we get there though?"

"Always with the questions Rose, that's what I like about you. Pete said you still had his credit card, you can use that until Monday and he'll get someone to drive us down tomorrow and pick us up on Sunday."

"Oh, I'd forgotten about this," Rose said, pulling a card out of her jeans pocket. "I should have returned it to him. Hope we haven't overspent."

"I doubt it, looking at this place. So are we on then? One romantic weekend for two in Brighton?" he asked.

"You bet," she answered, leaning over to kiss him.

He walked her to her room and leaned against the door, turning the handle behind him.

"You okay to sleep alone tonight Rose? Only if your mother catches me, there will be no trip tomorrow."

He opened the door and allowed her inside.

"I'll find us somewhere to stay, you get some sleep, goodnight Rose."

He caught hold of her as she passed him and kissed her.

"Doctor, stay a while?" she asked.

"Tomorrow night, when we're away from here, then if everything's okay between us, we can tell your mother when we get back," he said, leaning down to kiss her again.

"Tell me what?" came Jackie's voice behind them, having this time been unable to avoid seeing them.

"Jackie, I 'erm, I meant to say, 'erm, Rose?" he looked to her for help facing his greatest challenge yet.

"We were going to tell you mum, when we had something to tell you," Rose leaped to his defence.

"Well I can see you have something to tell me now and earlier. I hope you two know what you're getting in to and if you hurt her Doctor, believe me, you'll know about it. Where are you two going anyway? You just got here."

"We're just going off for a few days, that's all. We'll be back on Sunday and this time, he can't get it wrong," laughed Rose.

Jackie went off to her room, muttering about Rose and her alien boyfriend and Rose smiled at him, grabbing his hand and pulling him inside. He leaned down to kiss her.

"I really should go Rose," he said, not giving too much of a struggle to get out of her grasp as Rose put her arms around him and snuggled up to him.

As Rose kissed him again, he forgot about what he shouldn't be doing and more about what he should be doing, like actually telling her he loved her. Maybe when they went away for the weekend, away from everything that had happened he would finally be able to say it. There was no need for any words right now as he kissed her and allowed her to take off his tie and unfasten his shirt buttons. She seemed disappointed he had a t-shirt on underneath it but it didn't deter her. Needless to say, he ended up staying the night and this time, he didn't lie on top of the covers.

They spent the weekend in Brighton, just one room at a hotel on the seafront and soon forgot they were on a different world, walking along the pier, holding hands. Sunday morning came around too soon and they were picked up outside the hotel and driven back to Pete's house in time for Sunday lunch. Jackie was enjoying herself, running Pete's house for him, she said it wasn't like a job. She still scowled at the Doctor though, daring him to upset her daughter. They hadn't talked much over the weekend, he still hadn't managed to say anything and Rose hadn't pressed him to say it, she knew.


Over the next few weeks, Rose started taking driving lessons after the Doctor took a refresher course and was deemed fit to drive. He started driving himself and Rose to Torchwood every morning, setting up his lab and Rose taking an office across from his lab although she spent more time there. One morning, after they had been on Pete's world about three months, he came rushing into her office all excited. Rose thought he had found something to take them back.

"Rose, take a look at this," he said excitedly, holding a laptop open at a web page for an auction site. Pointing to an item halfway down the page, there was long brown coat exactly like the one he had left on board the Tardis.

Rose smiled and shook her head. "You're going to make a bid on it?" she asked.

"Hah, they've got it on a 'buy it now' offer and it's my size, well sort of but I need you to do it for me, I haven't got an account with them. Please Rose?"

His face said it all. It looked exactly the same. So Rose bought it for him, never even noticing the price, it was worth it to see his face light up. He was just about to lean down and kiss her when her work phone rang. It was Pete.

"Rose, is the Doctor with you? I need you both to come up to the top floor, the old lever room. There's something you need to see with your own eyes."

Fearing it was the Cybermen or Daleks coming back through the void, the Doctor took the phone from her.

"What is it Pete? Is something coming back through?" he asked.

"Not something, someone. Not through the void exactly, he just appeared. He asked for you by name."

"What? Who is it, no-one knows I'm here."

"He won't give his name but he described you as the man with big ears and wears leather. I told him there was no-one called the Doctor with that description but he said Rose would be with him."

Both The Doctor and Rose looked at each other and both said "Jack."

They made their way up to the top floor and looked at each other on the way up.

"I thought Jack was left on the games station, you said he was making his own way back, he had that thingy, that manipulator."

"Well, that's not exactly what happened, I sort of left him behind, I was taking care of you, taking the time vortex out of you."

"Oh," was all Rose could manage.

She had been about to chew him out for leaving Jack behind.

They arrived on the top floor and stepped out of the lift and there, sat on a chair being watched by Jake was Jack Harkness.

"Jack!" Rose cried out and ran up to him as he got up. Jake gave them both a funny look.

"You know him then?" asked a confused Pete.

The Doctor answered. "Yeah, we know him, what are you doing here and how did you get here?" he asked, a bit put out since Rose was holding onto him.

"Doctor? Is that really you? You've changed."

Rose let go and went to stand by the Doctor.

"Yeah, it's him, I can vouch for that," she said, putting her arm around him.

"You too finally got together, how sweet," Jack laughed.

Rose introduced Jack to Pete and Jake and Jake relaxed, slightly.

"How did you find us? No-one knew we were coming here, not until the last second. The Doctor nearly didn't come here at all, it's a long story."

"I've been looking for you, been to a few alternate universes but now I've found you both. Your Tardis has been taken Doctor, UNIT have it. I tried to get it back but I can't get near it, they said they're keeping it safe for you, they found it in the now abandoned Torchwood Tower which I just managed to get into, using my charm of course. I figured something happened to all those Daleks and Cybermen and you were behind it and you were nowhere to be found, it was like you had vanished and you would never leave the Tardis behind unless something had happened. Then I went to try to find Rose and I was told her and her mother had disappeared, feared dead after the Cyberman invasion."

"Right, at least I know the Tardis is safe but I have to get back to it. I've been trying to find a way, that's why I'm here. Now you can use your vortex manipulator to take me back, Rose too."

"I can't take two of you, it's not safe, we could end up anywhere. I can take you Doctor, then you can come back for Rose."

"I can't, the Tardis won't work in this world and I would open the void again and anything could get through. You have to take me then come back for Rose and her mother."

"You won't get my mum to leave, she loves it here. She could never have a life back there that she has now. I'll have to say goodbye to her first, if there's time."

"I've been thinking Rose, maybe there is a way. If I open the void at the very last second and bring the Tardis through, I can rebuild her here to work in this universe. Then you won't have to leave your mother."

"What if it doesn't work, what if you crash land again? Maybe not make it back here?"

"Oh, I hadn't thought of that. Jack, are the co-ordinates set on that thing? Where will it land us? I can take Rose with me, come back here and return it to you."

"Yeah and I get stuck here?" Jack laughed. "It's set to land in Cardiff, I sort of well, I sort of run another branch of Torchwood but we had nothing to do with what happened in London, that was purely Miss Hartman."

"Well, I'll set it to land at UNIT and hopefully, we'll be back before you know it Jack. Pete, can you clear this area, I may not make a perfect landing, it will take everything the Tardis has to get here and I don't want to land on anyone by mistake."

"Sure, go leave me behind Doctor, you're making a habit of it," laughed Jack but he knew what the Tardis meant to the other man. He looked at him and Rose. "Here, go get your ship, I'll wait."

The Doctor altered the co-ordinates to land them outside the UNIT base situated at the Tower of London and took Rose's hand and they vanished. Rose thought she was being ripped apart and was only just aware she was clinging hold of the Doctor. She thought he must have pulled her close at the last second. The next thing she knew, she had landed on top of him and they were being surrounded by soldiers. The Doctor put his hands up, staying where he was as Rose moved off him and did the same.

"Don't shoot, it's me, The Doctor," he said, indicating to his top inside pocket.

Rose thought that was going to do a lot of good, show them the psychic paper. They were escorted inside and told to wait. A few minutes later, they were led into a large office. Rose had not even had the time to ask him what he was doing.

A man in uniform was sat behind a desk.

"Colonel Mace," he said as he got up, saluting the Doctor.

"Don't salute, didn't the Brigadier teach you anything?" asked The Doctor. "Are you in charge here, I'd like my Tardis back and it wasn't abandoned, I had to leave in a hurry, the place was full of Cybermen and Daleks in case you hadn't noticed and where were you lot?"

"We were fighting them on the outside, Torchwood had their own army. It seemed a bit unusual for you to leave your Tardis behind. I'll have someone take you to it."

"Right but there's one more thing. I may not be around for some time so use this." He got out a small disc from his inside pocket and handed it to the colonel. "Just broadcast it, it will keep any passing spaceship away from the Earth. Basically, it tells them the Earth is protected by the last of the Timelords and to stay away. I would have used it myself but I like a challenge, keeps me on my toes. Now can someone take us to my ship please?"

He was eager to get out and get Rose back to her mother before Jackie realised she was missing.

After some adjustments and what seemed like hours to Rose, he was ready to make the trip back and hoped Pete was prepared for the Tardis to land.

"It's now or never Rose, are you ready? It might be a rough landing."

"Are you sure nothing will be able to get through with us?"

"It's not guaranteed but since we're keeping it to a minimum, they first have to find the gap we're making and get to it before I close it again. Here goes Allons-y," he yelled as he let the handbrake off.

Rose clung onto the console as best as she could since he had given her no warning. It seemed like she was being tossed in every direction until finally, they landed with a 'thud' and everything went dark, the only light coming from the Tardis coral. The Doctor just hoped he could get her going again and they were in the right universe or Jackie Tyler would find him wherever he was.

Rose picked herself up off the floor where she had landed and the Doctor ran around the console to offer his hand.

"Do you think we've landed in the right place Doctor?" she asked as she brushed herself down.

"Only one way to find out, I'll go first. If there isn't a smirking Jack Harkness out there then we're in trouble."

He slowly opened the door, Rose holding his hand but behind him. All she heard was a "What took you so long?"


They had said goodbye to Jack nearly a month ago. The Doctor was spending all his spare time trying to get his ship to work in this universe, using parts he had found amongst all the alien artefacts he was identifying and Rose was cataloguing. They were no better off than trying to find something to get them back in the first place but at least they had the ship back. Rose and the Doctor were growing closer, spending all their time together and Rose helping him relax when he wasn't working for Torchwood or on the Tardis.

They had become a proper couple by this stage much to Jackie's relief that at least they were now admitting it although he still hadn't managed to come out and say those three words out loud. He would say it to her when she was asleep and he was holding her, he would say it after she had ended a phone call to him, anywhere except to her face. Rose didn't seem to mind, she was happy. She had her mother, who was actually now dating Pete even though they lived under the same roof. Rose and the Doctor were looking for their own apartment big enough to house the Tardis when they finally got it working, so they had somewhere of their own to go to.

Rose had often asked him about regeneration. He had said now that they weren't in as much danger as they had been in the other universe, he would try his best to keep from having a stupid ordinary accident and remain how he was for as long as he could. He had apologised to Rose for saying he couldn't spend the rest of his life with her, they had settled for her spending the rest of her life with him.

Christmas was coming up on Pete's world, the Doctor wanted to surprise Rose so he was working full time on getting the ship ready with Pete's blessing and they had found a large studio apartment they both liked and were moving in after the Christmas holidays.

Christmas morning, he woke Rose up with a kiss and told her to get dressed as they were taking a trip.

"Can't we open our presents first?" she asked, kissing him back and snuggling up to him, trying to get him interested to stay in bed.

"We can do that later, come on."

Rose did as she was asked and they sneaked out of the front door and into the car. He drove her to Torchwood tower and Rose had an idea what his excitement had been about.

"Is the Tardis ready?" she asked excitedly.

"You'll see. It's not quite ready yet but I wanted you to see how far I'd got."

He had been keeping Rose away the last few days, telling her to go do her Christmas shopping and spending time with her mother. He hadn't told her but he had more than one surprise for her. They entered the building and took the lift to what had become his lab and the Tardis was parked there as usual but Rose noticed something about it when they went inside. Most of the power had been restored and the central column was all lit it and even the coral looked a lot healthier.

"She looks better, is she nearly ready?" Rose asked, kissing his cheek.

"Shouldn't be long now Rose, just a bit longer, then we have a whole lot more new galaxies to explore but before we do, I have something I need to say to you. Rose Tyler, you've waited for me to tell you something and never made a fuss about it so before we take off to the stars, I want to say what you mean to me."

He went in his jacket pocket and pulled out a blue ring box. He took her hand and opened the box.

"Rose Tyler. I love you, will you marry me? I mean a proper wedding, no expense spared not a wedding on another planet."

He put the ring on her finger and she looked at him.

"I love you too Doctor and yes, I will marry you, the day you get the Tardis to fly again in this universe."

"Right then, better get to work," he joked.

"Oh no you don't, we have Christmas to celebrate. My mother will go crazy if we're not there."

He gave in. He had said it. Those three important words and Rose Tyler was marrying him for saying them to her.


On the day they were ready to fly the stars again, Rose was sat in her room, in her wedding dress waiting for Pete to escort her downstairs. He had agreed to give her away and Jake was being best man to the Doctor. The wedding was beautiful and as they dance at the reception he held her tightly and told her repeatedly he loved her and afterwards, they spent their wedding night on board the Tardis in the Doctor's old room ready for their first trip.

It was just like it had always been The Doctor and Rose in the Tardis where they belonged, in any universe.

The End!