Take a chance with me

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After getting back home, Rose Tyler returns to her new world with The Doctor's clone but he becomes very ill. They try to save him and Rose uses the cannon to contact his twin. She finally gets through but even he can't save his brother. As consolation, he tells her she will meet someone in the coastal town of Broadchurch as he has learned Alec Hardy looks like them both.

Chapter 1

Rose Tyler had desperately tried to contact The Doctor when the cannon project starts working and she finally gets it right after a few close calls. When they are caught up in the deadly plan of Davros, she finds her mother and Mickey have followed her.

"Mum, I said not to follow me," she told Jackie, who had her hands up after being transmatted from the depths of the Dalek ship.

"How could I stay behind?" Jackie replied. "I just followed Mickey. If he was coming, then so was I."

"This is all very touching," Jack didn't like being left out of things, making the Doctor pull a face. "So, what have we here?"

"Silence!" Davros commanded at the interruptions, Martha also having arrived.

Then they all stopped suddenly as a familiar yet impossible noise interrupted them.

"What?" The Doctor was as equally surprised as anyone.

Then to everyone's surprise, another version of The Doctor came running out of The Tardis, which was thought to have been lost with poor Donna onboard but another him has grown out of The Doctor's spare hand, with a little help from a puzzled Donna.

The duplicate Doctor came to a stop and crumpled in a heap, losing the object he was carrying, which prompted Donna to take his place. Davros seemed unfazed and sent a jolt of blue lightening in her direction, Donna landing by a console but no-one noticed the glazed look in her eyes.

"Great," The Doctor complained as his twin was placed in the same holding cell as he and Rose were being held.

"Yeah, nice try," Jack agreed. "So now there's two of you?"

"I said silence," Davros reminded them.

They all stood in silence as the mad Dalek creator ordered the weapon he planned on wiping out everything not of Dalek origin to be made ready but Donna had realised something had happened when the new Doctor had formed out of that hand. She had got some of it back and it was telling her which buttons to press as she turned a dial and the Daleks were going out of control.

"Seems your little plan went wrong then?" Jack quipped.

"Hold on, didn't Jack die?" Rose decided to ask.

"I'll explain it later," The Doctor promised.

"Well don't you lot stand there," Donna was grinning. "You two skinny boys in suits, get to work."

While Rose, Jackie, Martha and Sarah-Jane were pushing confused, spinning Daleks down various tunnels, Jack and Mickey were gathering the weapons they'd lost, Mickey holding Davros at bay after Donna had zapped him. Jack fired at the Dalek who was furious all the others on the other deck were spinning in all directions and had gone to find out why.

Jack had just disposed of the intruder but not before the console the two Doctors were using to send all the planets Davros was using as an 'engine' for his reality bomb was hit.

"Just one planet left and guess which one?" The Doctor complained. "I have an idea," he then grinned, fusing two wires together with his sonic screwdriver while his twin was flipping switches as well as his untameable hair.

"So, how come there's two of ya?" Rose wanted to know.

Donna knew the answer to that and put her arms around the two of them.

"So, some of it got back into me," she informed them after they just looked at her.

"You finish up here," The Doctor told his twin as he rushed towards the Tardis.

"Doctor," the mad Dalek called Dalek Cahn taunted the new Doctor. "You must destroy everything that is Dalek, I have foreseen it."

"Don't listen to him," Davros warned.

"He's right," the new Doctor realised. "Even without the reality bomb, they can still destroy the Cosmos."

He started flipping more switches before Donna could stop him.

"Hold on, wait for The Doctor," she tried to tell him.

"I am The Doctor," he reminded her, the grin now faded.

"Donna's right, you should wait," Rose agreed.

She reached out to him but he shrugged her off. Then suddenly, Daleks everywhere were exploding and turning to dust, which warned the Doctor who was working in his ship.

"What are you doing?" he asked his new twin.

"Fulfilling a prophecy," came the reply.

"I can't believe you're doing this," he told his twin. "Quickly, everyone in the Tardis – NOW!" he shouted above the noise.

Well Jackie didn't need telling twice, he noticed as his twin ran ahead of her and started naming everyone to make sure everyone had heard. The Doctor was relieved they would just have time to escape before the whole thing exploded.

"Davros," he called from the Tardis doorway. "Come with me."

"What?" his twin called from the centre console. "He was about to destroy everything in creation and you want to save him?"

"That's the difference between us," he replied, seeing Davros was pointing a finger at him.

"You, Doctor, are the destroyer of worlds," the mad creator warned.

"Yeah, says the madman who was about to wipe everything that wasn't Dalek out," the twin shouted back.

The Doctor sprang back as everything was burning and closed the doors behind him.

"Right, let's get out of here," he decided as he joined his twin, never looking at him though.

He was wondering how to tow the Earth back to its original orbit when Sarah-Jane came up with the answer and Jack called his team in Cardiff to help boost the power. Before they knew it, everyone with the exception of Jackie had taken a place at the console and been given a job to do.

"What about me?" Jackie had asked as the Doctor had put his hands on her shoulder and gone past her.

"Leave it Mum," Rose called to her as she was watching the new Doctor with interest, wondering if he had anything in common with his twin, since he'd just destroyed the Daleks again without given them a choice.

She knew the other Doctor was hiding his disappointment with the newly created clone. The Doctor noticed and went to stand next to her, pulling the monitor closer as he noticed Gwen Cooper.

"No, it can't be?" Rose stared as well.

"What's wrong?" a puzzled Gwen was wondering.

"Gwen Cooper. Tell me, do you come from an old Cardiff family?" The Doctor asked her.

"Yes, all the way back to the 1800s," she answered, still no wiser.

Rose and The Doctor smiled at each other, getting a stare from his twin.

"She's not going to leave him, is she?" Martha nudged him after seeing the look on his face.

The clone just sniffed and pretended he wasn't bothered but he was. It now physically hurt to see the love of his lives smiling lovingly at his twin.

"Leave it Martha," he told her. "It's her choice."

"Doctor, I know how your twin or whatever he is pined after her, remember?" she reminded him. "So don't give me the excuse you don't care. Just tell her, you idiot."

Just then, as Donna was wandering around watching everyone, she pulled him back.

"Martha's right. You should do something about it, Dumbo," she told him. "She'll want to stay but you have to go back with her, she belongs in the other world now."

"Really?" he replied, folding his arms and seeing the two of them laughing over something.

"She's taken the trouble to come and find you, don't disappoint her," Donna reminded him. "Do you want to stay here, without her? Well?"

The clone stood back against the railing, stubbing the toe of his Converse shoe on the grating. What would Rose be wanting with a copy of the man she loved?

"You're just as bad as he is then," Donna scolded him as she watched him.

They all felt a jolt as the Tardis let the invisible tow-rope go and they all started cheering and grabbing hold of each other. Donna got jealous that Sarah-Jane was taking too long hugging Jack and parted them and the new Doctor let go of Martha, seeing Rose and his twin step to one side.

"See, I knew we could do it," Rose was saying.

"Yes, we did. So, just how did you get here?" The Doctor asked her.

"Same principal as before, just a smaller device," Rose replied. "Anyway, I won't be needing it any more, will I?" she grinned.

"Rose, you can't stay," The Doctor warned her.

"What ya mean?" Rose wanted to know.

"I told you, you were on the list of the missing, that's not the problem though. Remember what happened with The Reapers?" he asked, sending a chill through Rose.

"Well, this is different, isn't it?" she then asked. She saw he was serious. "That's not fair Doctor."

"I'm sorry Rose but you have to face it. Besides, you belong with your family. Did your mother marry Pete?" he asked.

"Yeah, at least one thing was put right," Rose told him. "What about me though?"

"You never made up with mister Mickey then?" The Doctor smiled as Mickey was talking to Martha.

"We're still friends, that'll never change," Rose admitted.

"Rose, you can still have what you want you know?" he reminded her. "I had no idea my twin was going to be created but think about it?"

"What do ya mean?" Rose began to realise what he was getting at.

"Go talk to him," he encouraged her. "How do you think he's feeling?"

Sarah-Jane had felt sorry for the new Doctor and had gone to him.

"So, how does this work then?" she smiled at him. "It was a bit unexpected."

"Tell me about it," was the reply. "Blame Jack, he rescued the hand I lost and gave it back to my twin. Then Donna touched it as the Tardis was on fire in the depths of the Dalek ship and wham! There I was."

"Oi, spaceman," Donna interrupted them. "I got a shock as well you know? So, what happened to me, is it permanent?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so," he replied. "I think I should talk to Rose."

"He's still clueless," Donna told Sarah-Jane as he went off, having seen the other Doctor go to land the Tardis back on Earth.

He still had good hearing and saw Rose alone as Jackie talked with Mickey.

"I'm staying behind," Mickey had decided.

"But ya can't," Jackie had covered her mouth.

"I'm gonna miss you most of all. Thanks for looking after my gran," Mickey told her.

"She was family," Jackie replied. "How are ya gonna tell Rose?"

"It's best I just leave Jackie," he told her sadly as The Doctor danced around the console flipping switches like he'd always done.

Rose had been caught by the new Doctor.

"You're avoiding me Rose," he told her as he leaned on one of the struts.

"He just told me I can't stay," Rose replied.

"He did?" she was asked although he'd an idea that was the problem.

Of course she wanted to stay otherwise why had she gone looking?

"Yeah and it's not fair," she complained.

"Maybe he thinks you belong with your mother?" the new Doctor suggested.

"I expect so? He should have given me the choice though," Rose told him. "What about you?"

"Ah. Well. I guess he'll want to keep me with him to make sure I don't destroy anything else?" he half laughed.

"That was all you could do, Doctor. What were ya supposed to do? Just let them try again?" Rose wanted to know.

"He thinks I'm dangerous," he told her. "No wandering off for me, at least for a while."

"I still don't know why I can't go with ya?" Rose replied.

The Tardis had landed and Martha was talking to Jack when The Doctor interrupted them.

"So, Martha. Going back to UNIT?" Jack was asking her. "Find something else to do, where you can be a real doctor."

"Jack's right," The Doctor joined in, seeing his twin close to Rose.

What was he going to do about his clone? Should he insist they travelled together, just the two of them? It was only right Rose went back to Pete's world, it was now too dangerous to let her stay. Beside the Reapers wanting to remove her, he himself was trying to avoid a prophecy coming true, which meant he was going to have to avoid a situation that resulted in him regenerating.

He didn't want Rose to witness him changing again but his twin would do no such thing, he would remain the same and age in the normal way, the same rate as Rose. So, that gave him an idea but he had to make it look like he didn't want his clone to stick around to avoid infuriating him and being accused of not caring. Sarah-Jane was about to leave and walked up to him.

"I'm glad we could meet again Doctor," she told him, going to hug him.

"What are you going to do?" he asked her.

"Get on with my life," she smiled. "I have Luke to look after now, he's only fourteen."

"He seems a fine boy," the Doctor smiled back. "Look out for me."

"I will. Look after yourself, Doctor."

Jack and Martha were arm in arm as they went to say goodbye, Jack mock saluting the new Doctor.

"Martha, get rid of that device eh?" The Doctor urged her.

"Yeah, I will. Take care and thanks Doctor," she replied, putting her arms around him.

Mickey was next, seeing Rose was otherwise occupied.

"You're leaving?" The Doctor asked him as he tried to sneak past.

"Yeah, there's nothing back there for me, especially Rose," Mickey told him. "My gran passed away, nice and peaceful a while ago. At least I was there for her this time, even though she always thought I was Ricky."

"I always said you were called Ricky," The Doctor laughed, pretending to push him.

He watched Mickey run after Jack and Martha, whom he'd seen eyeing each other and hoped they'd get together at some point. That left Rose and Jackie to take home and to get his clone to agree to his plan.

"Time for one more trip then," he announced as Jackie looked tired.

"Are ya taking us home?" she asked him.

"Well as near as I can," he replied as he set the co-ordinates. "You know my driving?"

"Yeah, last time I ended up in another universe," Jackie laughed. "Still, I have a good life now, no more strugglin' and I have Pete back, I can't complain." Then she turned to the new Doctor. "I was pregnant, remember?"

"Yeah. So what did you have?" the clone seemed to brighten up, having got nowhere with Rose.

"A boy," Jackie beamed. "I wanted to call him Doctor."

"Really?" the clone asked.

"No ya plum. He's called Tony, oh, are we gonna land just after we left?" she turned to the other Doctor. "Only Tony's at nursery, Pete will have to pick him up."

"It's safe to go out now," Donna finally joined in, The Doctor wondering why she was so quiet for a change as she was usually in trouble or kidnapped when quiet.

"Where are we then?" Jackie asked as she covered her eyes before walking through the door. "Not bloody Norway again?" Then she turned to see where Rose was. "Rose, I'll have to call your dad to get us home."

Rose was trying to argue with The Doctor again as the clone was about to join Jackie outside. He heard his twin saying something about what if Rose wasn't left on her own.

"What do you say Rose?" she was being asked. "I think it's what you need."

"Really? After all I went through?" Rose was arguing.

"Is this about me?" the clone wanted to know. "Are you saying you want me to stay here as well?"

"I have to go back," The Doctor replied, hearing his ship complaining. "There can't be two of us there, you know that."

"What am I supposed to do?" his twin asked.

"Stay with Rose," The Doctor replied quietly as he looked at the screen to avoid the stares.

"Hang on, I'm here ya know?" Rose reminded them.

"Can't you see?" Donna asked them. "He's trying to put things right."

"More like punishing," the clone disagreed.

"So, I'm being punished as well," Rose sided with him.

"Listen, both of you," The Doctor insisted. "Rose, remember what I was like when we first met?" Rose nodded. "Well he's me, when we first met and he needs you. You can help him."

They all walked outside and Rose stood between them.

"Okay, you two. Answer me this then? When I was here before, on the worst day of my life, what did ya say to me?"

"I said 'Rose Tyler'," The Doctor answered.

"Yeah and how was that gonna end?" she wanted to know.

"Does it need saying?" The Doctor replied, looking at the sand and trying to avoid looking at her.

Yes, he still loved her but only one of them could stay and whether in this universe or the other one, he would still change because he couldn't put it off much longer. Rose still deserved to have the one she fell in love with, however much it hurt him.

"What about you, Doctor?" she asked the clone.

The new Doctor now knew what was running through his twin's mind. Yes, he wanted to go back and travel but it would never work, neither of them would have her. Yes, he was angry and a bit like his old self and Rose had made him better. He leaned forward to whisper in her ear.

"I said Rose Tyler, I love you," he spoke softly.

Rose grabbed his collar, pulled him close and they kissed. The other Doctor led Donna away, Jackie watching with interest.

"Doctor, aren't you going to say goodbye or offer them any help?" Donna wanted to know as she shrugged him off.

"Oh. Right. Well maybe I can wish them well?" he replied.

He'd thought of giving his twin a small piece of Tardis coral, to grow his own but by his calculations, it would take almost a lifetime, which his twin only had one. Then he heard more warnings from inside the ship and knew they had to go or stay where they were. The Tardis was in no condition to work in this universe, once it was closed off from the other one.

Rose and the new Doctor had been watching.

"We really have to go now," he began to tell them, Donna having already gone inside. "Rose, look after him and look out for me. If it becomes possible, I'll come back to check on you but I may have changed."

"I know how it works," his twin assured him. "Will Donna be okay?"

"Yeah, it's a lot for her to take in but I can help her," he promised. "Bye Rose, I'm glad you came to find me."

"Bye Doctor and don't worry, it'll be easy, I already helped you," Rose smiled, taking his twin's hand.

The Doctor nodded and turned towards the Tardis, who was now screeching and Donna was calling for him but he turned back.

"I love you, Rose Tyler," he told her so she could just hear him.

With that, he dashed inside and a few seconds later, the ship still protesting, it disappeared in front of Rose and the new Doctor while Jackie stood behind them after talking to Pete, who had said to go to the hotel they'd stayed in the last time and he'd make arrangements for them to get home.

"I tell ya Pete, there's another one of himself," she'd tried to explain as Pete had asked her if Rose had found who she'd gone looking for.

Jackie knew better than to mention any names on an insecure phone call.

"Well explain it to me when you get back," Pete had told her. "I'm glad she didn't go all that way, to Norway just to come back alone and disappointed."

That was his way of saying he was glad the cannon project had worked out for Rose because he was going to scrap it, whether she'd got what she wanted or not. Well maybe he'd close it down and save it for a rainy day, he hadn't decided and didn't even know if it would ever work again. The experts had told him it was only working because they were somehow getting help from the other side.

He'd not had the heart to tell Rose though. Rose and the new Doctor followed Jackie off the beach, arm in arm to where a cab had just pulled up on the road above, Rose being helped over the last rock as Jackie had found an easier way.

"Hold on Jackie," he called out as Jackie got in the front seat, since those two seemed to be stuck like glue to each other, as usual she thought.

"Rose, I can't go back with you, it's not fair," he told her, taking both her hands.

"What?" she wanted to know, hoping her mother had her bank card with her but knowing Jackie, she'd tell the driver to charge it to Pete. "You listen to me, Doctor. You're him, he's you, of course ya coming back with us. I didn't get Pete to get those devices going for nothing so stop messin' around and get in that cab."

Chapter 2

The new Doctor did as Rose suggested, allowing Rose to get in the cab first, Jackie telling the driver where they were going. Jackie had never forgotten the name of the hotel they'd stayed in the last time and had already phoned ahead to book two rooms.

As Rose got in the back, Jackie thought if she wasn't going to share with this new Doctor, he could take the other room. This was all new to them, she'd seen one change in him but this was something new – two of them looking the same was a lot to take in.

The Doctor sat quietly next to Rose, who took his hand.

"So, how does this work then?" she wanted to know. "We don't have to get to know each other all over again, do we?"

"Well, no, I suppose not?" he had to agree. "I expect it'll all be a bit strange at first?"

"You're tellin' me," Jackie laughed in agreement. "You two can stop messin' about for starters."

"Mum's right," Rose told him. "Seems ya don't have as much time as ya did before?"

"Don't remind me," he laughed nervously. "Rose, I meant what I said, back on that beach but how do you feel about it?"

"Ya know how I feel, why did ya think I went to find ya?" Rose smiled. "Nothing's changed. I spent all that time, I wasn't gonna let ya get away."

They were soon at the hotel and Jackie was booking them in, telling them to charge it to Pete as Rose had expected. Then she turned around to ask about the arrangements.

"Well you two have a lot of talking to do so ya may as well share," Jackie suggested. "Rose, you'll only be creeping in and out all the time. Remember last time we were here?" she asked them as they were given their room keys.

"Mum, we should go out and get a few things," Rose replied to save embarrassment of her mother telling the new Doctor all about her thinking she was going into labour after the long journey.

"Well you two go then?" Jackie suggested. "I'm off for a lie down before we eat, with all that messing around, I never realised what time it was."

Rose thought she did have a point, she herself had got beyond tired. They went off to find a general store, taking Jackie's credit card. The new Doctor was taking suggestions from Rose as to what he'd need for the night as he was new to all this looking after himself lark.

"So, it was Donna who touched that hand of yours?" Rose was trying to get her head around it.

"Well, yeah, it's hard to explain but I'm worried about her," he admitted. "I'm worried it was all too much for her."

"He'll look after her, won't he?" Rose replied. "I mean he won't leave her to fend for herself, will he?"

"No, of course not," he assured her. "It was a two way swap though, I might have got some of her traits."

Rose had already noticed, such as he didn't seem quite as sure of himself as he used to be and his hair had gone back to being all spiked up, which she had loved it like that but she was wondering what else he meant. They went back to the hotel and noticed Jackie was opposite them so Rose tapped on the door and handed what she bought over to her, Jackie making use of the luxurious bathrobe that had been provided.

The Doctor was pacing up and down when Rose joined him in the other room.

"Rose, before you say anything. Well I have all his memories, where we went and travelling with you but I travelled with Martha for a while and it got complicated," he admitted.

"Oh," Rose stopped as she put things on the dresser. "You mean you got involved with her? How could you?" she asked angrily, thinking she'd join her mother after all. "Well, I suppose ya had to move on after ya lost me?"

"What?" he asked in surprise. "No, I never got involved with her. I told her and she took it the wrong way. I said I wasn't looking to replace you but we went through a lot together and she kept getting the wrong idea."

"Oh. Then okay? So then ya met Donna?" Rose asked.

"Well actually, I met her then she had the sense to refuse to travel with me but we met again, after Martha left," he explained. "There's a lot to tell you."

"I bet there is," Rose tried to forgive him. "Sorry, I jumped to the wrong conclusion, it's been a long few days. I met Donna's mother and granddad. I saw ya on the laptop but they had no camera."

"I had a feeling you'd be watching," he grinned as he patted the space next to him on the bed. "I told you I got some of Donna's human traits? Rose, you know what that means? I can love you back and spend my life with you, if you want?"

Rose sat beside him and he put his arm around her.

"If I want? Yeah, of course I do Doctor. Oh, are ya keeping that name?" she wanted to know.

"Well, I got used to being called John a few times. What do you think?" he asked her. "As for a last name, maybe I should take Donna's?"

"Yeah, that'll work," Rose agreed. "So, it's John Noble then? Pete will help ya to get established when we get back. Ya could come and work with me at Torchwood, it's all good now."

"Jack took the other one and turned it around," John told her as she put her head on his shoulder. "I think he offered Martha a job."

"Looked more to me like he was flirting with her," Rose managed to smile.

"Rose, I swear there was nothing between me and Martha. I turned her down and she still saved me several times," he recalled.

Rose looked up at him and put her free hand on his cheek.

"I missed you so much. I never even thought you'd make friends with anyone else."

"It just happened, that's all. I was still upset from losing you, Martha knew that but she still ignored it. I believe she thought she could snap me out of it," John explained.

Suddenly, Rose pulled him around and went to kiss him. John responded and they kissed again, making Rose smile.

"So, we're good then?" she asked him.

John smiled back.

"Yeah, we're good. I have to get used to this being Human thing, that's all and your relationships. I'm sure you can teach me?"

"Yeah, we'll take it easy for a while, so ya can get used to it," Rose suggested.

"Ah, then tell me why my heart is beating twice as fast as it should then?" he grinned.

"Maybe you were used to having two?" Rose wondered.

"That's probably it. Well that and you kissing me," he teased her. "Blimey, I thought about that for quite a while after I lost you, that I should have at least kissed you."

"Until you called me that time and we came up here, I thought you were never gonna contact me," Rose replied.

"Sorry it took so long then," he apologised. "Think I'll have a nap for a while, what about you?"

Rose snuggled up to him after he got up to get a blanket from the wardrobe, Rose saying they could rely on her mother waking them for the evening meal. They closed their eyes and Rose put her hand on his single heart, feeling he was right about it beating fast but she supposed it was to be expected.

John had closed his eyes, a million things running through his mind. He could now have a proper relationship with the woman he'd loved since he first met her and could promise her a lifetime without outlasting her by hundreds of years and having to live without her for so long.

How had the other him not even bothered to make something of it while they'd been together? Well the guilt was gone and maybe being here wouldn't be so bad? He was worried about something else but he put it to the back of his mind. It was just his body getting used to being normal, he convinced himself as he held on to Rose.

"John, try to slow your heartbeat down," she suggested. "Maybe when we get back you should get a check-up?"

"Maybe I will? I mean if I go to work with you?" he told her as he buried his face in her hair, which was now longer and had been styled differently but was beginning to fall all over the pillow.

All too soon, Jackie knocked on the door and told them it was time to eat.

"So how are you two getting on?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Fine Mum. Can I use your phone to call dad?" Rose asked. "I need to ask him a few things."

Once back in their room, Rose called Pete but still couldn't say much about John being The Doctor's twin.

"He's changed a bit," Rose admitted. "I think he could do with seeing Doctor Harper."

Owen Harper was the chief medical officer for Torchwood and all the female staff's nightmare and they all wished he'd settle down with his girlfriend Lucy. Luckily for Rose, he'd never dared try it on with her, he liked his job too much to have Pete down on him like a ton of bricks.

"Well, get him back here and I'll arrange it," Pete agreed. "I am glad you didn't go all that way and came back disappointed. You'll have to tell me how much he's changed."

"It's been a long time Dad," Rose replied. "Anyway, we're all a bit tired, some more than others," she laughed at John stifling a yawn.

John offered a weak smile at her comment but he was feeling tired, something that had been rare for him before. He wished he'd had more time to find out how things were going to be for him now he really was half Human. He never thought about his past before 'borrowing' a time machine that had got stuck in the shape of a blue police phone box.

Rose finished the call to Pete and said she was going to take a nice relaxing bath after being tossed around looking for him. Then she thought about John.

"Why don't you go first or at least get a shower?" Rose suggested.

"I'm fine, really," John insisted. "You go ahead, I'll just watch some TV."

A few hours later, they got into bed and Rose was wrapped in his arms. John knew she was expecting him to make a start so he began kissing her shoulder and neck and got her to lie on him. He moved suddenly, making Rose jump.

"What's wrong?" she wondered.

"Sorry. Come back here," he replied, not wanting to let on that he was feeling the effects of growing out of his twin's hand.

"John, ya can't keep things to yourself all the time like ya used to do," she reminded him. "If something's wrong, ya have to say."

"Rose, you will be the first to know, after me," he replied, trying to get her to change the subject.

"Well just make sure ya do. Do ya really need that t-shirt on?" she teased him.

"Well now you mention it?" he teased back. "You may have to keep me warm though."

"I can do that," Rose told him as she helped him.

The next morning, they just managed to get up before Jackie knocked on the door to remind them they had to get going.

"Come on you two," she told them as John answered the door as Rose finished in the bathroom. "If we miss that zeppelin, Pete won't be happy. He had to get us first class tickets to get us on it."

"I'm surprised you didn't get him to send a helicopter," John quipped as he let her in.

"Oi, don't be cheeky," Jackie warned him, seeing the unmade bed. "Thought you didn't sleep apart from that Christmas?"

"Well things are different now Jackie," he began to tell her until he was rescued by Rose, who had heard her mother's voice.

"Mum, give him chance to get used to things again," Rose replied to her.

"Well I've just been talking to your father, he left us tickets at the terminal, the flight's at eleven fifteen and we have an hour's journey to the port, the cab will be outside at quarter to ten so get a move on," Jackie told them.

John wondered if he was going to have to get used to a more organised Jackie, which would take some doing. After a quick breakfast, they went to get what they'd purchased the day before, Rose handing Jackie's phone back after being reminded the call to Pete had been made on the hotel's phone.

They got into the waiting cab, John closing his eyes since he wasn't used to travelling by car. Back in London, Pete had got young Tony off to nursery school, the boy asking when his mother and Rose would be back.

"They'll be here when you get home from nursery, or just after," Pete promised. "Rose is bringing a friend back with her."

"What about uncle Mickey?" Tony wanted to know as Pete strapped him in his car seat.

How was he going to explain to a small child that Mickey wasn't coming back? From what Jackie had said, Mickey had finally realised Rose was never going back to him and was moving on.

"Well Tony, uncle Mickey might be staying away for a while longer. Uncle Jake will still see you though," Pete tried to explain.

Tony seemed satisfied so Pete drove off, hoping the zeppelin flight wouldn't be delayed or they'd miss it somehow. When Jackie had called back, he'd been lucky to get them all on the same flight or he would have had to make other arrangements. Now he wished they'd hurry getting more planes into service to get away from the slow alternative but he supposed there was something about flying by zeppelin.

He'd taken Jackie on a romantic flight for their honeymoon, reserving a state room for champagne and fancy food on the way as opposed to a large commercial plane on a long-haul flight.

Rose and John were talking quietly in the back of the cab on the way to the zeppelin port.

"What about passport control?" John asked worriedly.

"Well me and mum didn't exactly have chance to grab ours before we came looking for you," Rose told him. "Pete will have made arrangements."

"Yeah, Jake will be there to meet us," Jackie half turned to tell him. "Don't worry about it."

After Pete's call the day before, Jake had been busy issuing an emergency passport for John when Jackie had told Pete what name he'd chosen. Then he'd sent digital copies of Rose and Jackie's passports that were held on file and added John's. He was now looking forward to meeting The Doctor's twin or whatever he was classed as, Pete didn't have all the details.

Pete got to work and stopped by Jake's office.

"So, any more details?" Jake was dying to know.

"Not much, you know Jackie," Pete laughed. "Did you get everything done?"

"Yeah, no worries," Jake replied. "I'll go and pick them up, I want to see how different The Doctor is."

"I don't think he wants to be called that," Pete reminded him.

"Don't blame him then," Jake agreed. "Well that was unexpected anyway."

"Jackie said no-one was more surprised than The Doctor himself," Pete told him. "I'm still waiting to get all the details but Rose mentioned he was feeling a bit off, must be all the changes he went through? Get on to Owen and tell him to expect John but keep a hush on it. Just tell him enough."

"Yeah, okay, I'll do it before I leave," Jake promised. "How was Tony?"

"Wanting to know about Mickey," Pete replied. "What am I going to tell him Jake?"

"He might be too busy wondering who Rose brought back with her," Jake laughed.

"Well it might hold him off for a bit but they spent a lot of time together when Mickey and Rose used to babysit," Pete recalled.

Pete went off to his office and Jake thought it would be best to visit Owen in person.

"Not often you come down here," Owen noted.

"Well this is something different, it's top secret for now," Jake told him. "Remember who Rose was going to find?"

"Of course I do, that's what the project was about, wasn't it?" Owen replied. "Pete might have put it out that wasn't the only reason why obsolete Cyberman technology was being put back together."

"Well if it had worked for them, Rose and the others wouldn't be here. Good thing they were too impatient to wait," Jake told him. "Enough of that. Rose has brought someone back with her."

"So she found him then?" Owen guessed.

"Not exactly, that's why it's top secret. Something happened and The Doctor had found a hand of his that had been cut off years ago. Pete didn't say much but another person grew out of it."

Owen looked up in interest.

"Well that's more like it, you know I love a challenge," he laughed. "An exact copy?"

"No, not exactly from what Rose told Pete. There's a few changes and it seems Rose is concerned," Jake revealed.

"Well have him come in when he's got settled then," Owen insisted. "I might bring my new assistant medical officer in on this, see what she makes of it. Don't worry, I'll have her sign a non-disclosure form before she gets to know anything."

"Well just her then, unless it's necessary," Jake agreed. "Pete said Rose was very concerned about him."

Chapter 3

John was trying to get comfortable, grateful there was room for his still long legs, not much had changed about him, well except for still feeling a bit off.

"Hope they serve some food in first class," John grinned, hoping maybe he was just still hungry, never feeling it before. "Did I tell you about when I was in first class on the Titanic?"

"No way," Rose replied, wishing he'd keep his voice down.

"Not that one," he grinned back. "Well I was on that once but I meant a space cruise liner. I stowed away when the Tardis crashed into it."

"How did ya mange that?" Rose gave in and asked.

"It was after I dropped Donna off," he told her. "Landed in a bit of a cupboard. Well, you know me!" he joked.

"Tell me about it later then?" Rose tried to get him to settle down. "So what else did I miss then?"

She thought it would maybe give him something to think about for a while. He realised what she was trying to do, maybe he shouldn't reel things off at great speed any more? A flight attendant reached them to take their drinks order, Rose just wanting coffee so John ordered the same then they were asked if they wanted to order a light lunch or brunch.

Rose watched with interest while John scoffed the food down.

"What?" he asked as he noticed.

"You'll put weight on at that rate," she teased him.

"Nah, I never put weight on," he grinned. "Well not lately though I was at a few points in the past. There again, sometimes I was shorter or taller."

"I know," she remembered his last regeneration being taller and a bit more well built. "Hey, you thought I didn't like ya as much last time."

"I never said that Rose," he disagreed.

"Ya might not have said anything but I know. Ya think my feelings changed when you did," she told him sadly.

"Rose, please don't think that. It was perfectly understandable when I changed. In the looks department, I never really got lucky until now, well apart from my fifth," he admitted. "Mind you, I used to go around wearing cricket gear all the time, don't ask me why."

Rose let out a smile.

"I'd loved to have seen ya like that. I think now though, jeans and t-shirts would suit ya. Yeah, slim fitting jeans and band t-shirts. Well maybe a few other designs."

"What are you trying to turn me into?" he wondered.

"Aw, I was just messin' with ya," she teased him again. "When we get home, ya'll need a check-up, to make sure nothing went wrong."

"Rose, I don't need anyone to check up on me," he insisted. "What makes you think I do?"

"It's standard John," she tried to throw him off she was worried about him. "Ya heard me talking to Pete and we talked about it last night," she reminded him.

"Yeah, sorry love. If you think I should?" he relented. "I do feel better today though."

"Yeah, I noticed earlier," Rose smiled.

They finished eating and Rose glanced below, seeing they weren't that far away from London.

"I never thought I'd be on one of these zeppelins," Rose admitted. "Remember when we first came here and we thought there was a giant zeppelin gathering of some kind? Hey, we should think about gettin' an apartment, just the two of us? Down by the river maybe?"

"So you never moved out on your own?" he asked.

"Nah, I was helping mum with Tony and still gettin' used to things," she replied. "We'll be landing soon."

"Yes, we've changed direction," John agreed. "Glad I still know some things."

"Bet ya've not forgotten much," Rose smiled and put her arm in his.

Jake had arrived at the port and showed his ID to get into the arrivals lounge where he had their documents ready to hand to them. Once through, he greeted them properly.

"Should've known ya wouldn't come back on ya own," he teased Rose. "Good to see ya again Doctor."

"I'd rather be called John," he corrected Jake and going to sit in the front of the car.

"Going home first?" he asked Jackie and Rose.

"Yeah, Tony will have been wondering where we were," Jackie told him.

"So how was your first flight on a zeppelin?" Jake turned to ask John.

"Okay I suppose?" John replied, not being very impressed. "Still prefer my Tardis. He could've given me a piece to grow my own."

"How long would that have taken?" Rose wondered.

"Ah," he thought about it, making Jake smile and Rose laugh. "It might not have been such a good idea I suppose?"

"Yeah, bloomin' thing would have attracted all the hostile aliens," Jackie pointed out.

"Maybe?" John didn't want to admit she may be right. "It would have taken a long time anyway."

"Mum's right, besides, it could've fallen into the wrong hands," Rose agreed. "Maybe that's why he decided against it?"

They were soon home and Jake called Pete to say where they were.

"I'll be home soon, tell Jackie I'll pick Tony up myself," Pete replied.

"I should take you shopping," Rose was telling John. "If ya don't want someone's face on ya shorts," she teased him.

"Rose, don't you dare. I expect you want me to have t-shirts with The Beatles on or some actress? Mind you, maybe one with 007 or something serious?"

"Ha, no chance!" Rose laughed. "Beatles and cartoon characters, like The Hulk or Spiderman and maybe TV shows?"

Jake was about to join in when John protested even more. He still wasn't feeling good and supposed he'd need a proper examination once at Torchwood, not that even the experts would know much about Timelord physiology.

"Why don't I pop out and pick some stuff up for ya with Jake?" Rose offered.

"Well, if you promise I won't be embarrassed when I have my examination tomorrow?" John relented.

"Jake, are ya okay to go with me?" Rose asked him.

"Sure, don't worry, I won't let her go too far John," Jake agreed.

Once back in Jake's car and heading for the nearest shopping centre, he asked how Rose thought John was.

"Well, considering he was created out of a hand?" Rose told him. "He said something about his heart last night though."

"Well, the other having two would make his memories think he should have two as well," Jake agreed. "It depends if that was the intention of using that spare hand?"

"Geez Jake, ya right," Rose realised. "Do ya think The Doctor knew there was gonna be something wrong with John?"

"Rose, he wouldn't have done it on purpose," Jake tried to tell her. "Maybe he knew Torchwood could take care of his twin?"

"It's still not right though Jake. He could have taken John with him and helped him," Rose disagreed.

"It would have been disappointing for you," Jake replied as they got to the centre's car park.

"Never mind me Jake. What if remaining here makes him seriously ill?" Rose wanted to know.

"Maybe you're jumpin' the gun a bit Rose," Jake told her as he got the ticket at the barrier. "Sure it was wise leavin' him with your mother?"

"That's not funny Jake," Rose told him. "Besides, taking him shopping is not my idea of fun."

Jake held his hands up in defence.

"Just don't overdo it with the shorts," he grinned, Rose going to smack his arm. "Were ya serious about the two of ya gettin' your own place?"

"Yeah, why not? Jake, even if he's not used to, ya know, well Owen will look after him. It's probably not much, just John gettin' use to it."

"Yeah, that's probably it then," Jake had to agree. "We might be worryin' about nothing?"

"I hope so Jake. Right, I'll look for t-shirts and shirts, you look for shorts and jeans," Rose suggested.

"Trust you to take the easiest," Jake joked.

"Well I can hardly pick up shorts and see what's on them," Rose laughed.

"Ya think I'll get away with it any easier?" Jake also laughed.

Back at the Tyler mansion, John had been shown to Rose's room after he told Jackie he'd wait for Rose coming back up there.

"Don't ya want to at least get a drink?" Jackie offered.

"I'm fine Jackie, really," he insisted.

"Well ya don't seem it," Jackie then insisted. "Anyway, ya know what she's like when she goes shopping?"

John had just agreed and followed one of the staff, Jackie not even protesting. She knew there was something different about him, besides being half Human. He was watching TV when Rose finally got back with several carrier bags with a store logo on them.

"There, I think that'll do ya," Rose declared. "Wanna get changed?"

"Let me see what you got then?" he tried to sound enthusiastic.

Rose knew he was only being polite as he lifted several t-shirts out of a bag, seeing an olive green one with The Beatles yellow submarine on. He pulled his purple one off, giving Rose a good view .

"You only wanted to see me without one," he then teased her as he put the new one on. "And no, I'm not changing my shorts in front of you, they were clean on this morning."

"Yeah, when ya sneaked off to get dressed in the bathroom," she reminded him. "Ya could have put the new t-shirt ya got yesterday on anyway."

"Well, best go meet that brother of yours," John declared, leaving the other t-shirts on the bed and the other unopened bags.

"Hey, there's no-one to clean up after ya here," Rose protested.

"Sorry. I will do it later, okay? Besides, I saw your room in the Tardis, Rose Tyler," he grinned.

"Well I had a lot to learn when I got here and that included not taking advantage of the cleaning staff," Rose told him. "They're under strict orders from my mum not to clean up too much mess."

"Yes, I can imagine," he tutted to himself. "So, us being all domestic then?"

Rose went up to him and put her arms around him.

"Yeah, this is just what we needed, eh Doctor?" she asked him.

"Rose, if you're going to call me that, then I need to earn the title," John insisted. "Just John will do for now."

"Don't think like that, you're the same as he is," Rose reminded him.

"Am I? Somehow, it doesn't seem right. Let's see how things go and as for us, well, I'm willing for us to up our relationship but won't there be some explaining to do, to other people?" he wondered.

"Well everyone knew I was tryin' to find someone when I went off. I found ya, didn't I? Besides, Jake will come up with a cover story for us being together."

"If you insist?" he had to agree. "Rose, I'm not going anywhere but as for working at Torchwood? Well I'm not so sure it's a good idea?"

"John, you'll fit in there," Rose assured him. "Think of all those alien artefacts you'll get to inspect? It won't seem like working and ya get paid for it."

"So, what's your job?" he asked as they went downstairs.

"Well lately it was all the cannon project but me and Mickey used to search all the news agencies looking for any signs of activity we might use to get back to find you," she explained. "Even the slightest thing out of the ordinary."

"So, what kind of artefacts are we talking about?" he wanted to know, a slight smile on his face.

"That's more like the old you," Rose smiled back.

Once John had been introduced to Tony, they played with him for a while then after they'd eaten, went into the family room to watch TV with the boy.

"Why were you away so long Rose?" Tony wanted to know as he sat on the floor between them.

"Well, I went off to find John," Rose tried to explain to the young boy.

"Was he lost?" Tony turned to John, who ruffled the boy's hair.

"Ya could say that," Rose laughed.

"Are you staying?" Tony then asked John.

"Yeah, I'll be staying," John agreed.

"Time for bed Tony," Jackie told him a while later.

"Can John take me and tell me a story?" Tony asked her.

"Well okay, as long as it's not scary," Jackie had to agree.

She could imagine John telling the boy about monsters and such-like, especially the ones who were green and had zips around their foreheads and exploded over the kitchen wall.

When Rose and John got to bed, they just lay together again, Rose letting him get used to being together.

"Ya do want more, don't ya?" Rose asked him as she tried to get him to part with a plain t-shirt.

"Just give me a while?" he insisted. "It's still all a bit of a change for me."

"Yeah, I know, sorry. Just whenever ya ready?" Rose agreed. "It's just, well I thought it would only take ya a couple of days?"

"I can manage that," he assured her, kissing her shoulder. "I know you're worried about me but after your medical team finish with me, well you won't have to be. I just hope they don't have a Doctor Martha Jones there."

"Yeah, it would be a bit odd I suppose?" Rose agreed. "Oh, I think someone new had just joined the medical team before I started trying to find you."

"Well I guess I'll find out?" John realised he could meet another version of his travelling companion.

He just hoped this Martha wouldn't be lovesick over him. Despite trying to put the other one off, he'd failed miserably, it had only made her worse.

"Are ya worried about what they might find?" Rose wondered.

"I really don't know Rose, I mean I feel different but that's to be expected really," he admitted. "No point in worrying about it yet though."

The next morning, Rose noticed he was trying to avoid talking about his visit to Torchwood.

"Ya won't need an interview to work there ya know?" Rose reminded him.

"So, if I want it, I just get handed it?" he asked as they got ready.

"Jake will get you some ID and set ya up with a bank account and everything else ya need," Rose assured him. "Maybe ya should get some driving lessons?"

"I can drive," John objected, pulling a face.

"I've seen your driving," Rose laughed.

"Well Donna never said anything, when we chased after Agatha Christie," he told her.

"You met Agatha Christie? I'd have loved to have met her, my mum loves her books," Rose replied. "What was she like?"

"I'll tell you later, get this medical over with," he tried to get out of it.

Pete observed him over breakfast then he drove them to Torchwood Tower, a place that John wasn't looking forward to visiting. He was given a pass as Rose and Pete were given their ID, though Rose normally kept hers with her but not when she was dimension hopping. Pete had insisted none of them had anything that indicated where they were from.

He had Jake join them then they took the lift to the basement, where the medical wing was located.

"Don't worry John, it still gives me the creeps coming down here," Rose joked.

"I should think so," John agreed as they arrived and letting Rose out first. "Who knows about the other version of me?"

"Just a few," Pete replied. "Doctor Harper knows about you, he'll only share any information with those he trusts and that's not many."

John thought he was going to add 'You can trust me' or whatever the Vitex slogan was.

"Owen," Pete called out when they entered the outer office.

"No receptionist?" John asked as he looked around.

"We're early," Jake grinned.

"Yes, you are," a familiar voice to John called back, then came through the other door. "So, you're The Doctor? I'm Martha Jones."

That was what John was afraid of but he soon recovered, grabbing Martha's hand and shaking it.

"Yes, nice to meet you," John replied, seeing Rose was watching him so he let go.

Owen was just behind Martha.

"Well, introductions over, I'm Doctor Harper," Owen told him without offering his hand. "Doctor Jones, show him where he can get changed."

Rose wondered how John was going to take this, if it included a full medical.

"I'll be in my office Rose," Pete told her. "Do you want Jake to stay with you while you wait?"

"Yeah, do ya mind Jake?" she turned to ask him as John seemed reluctant to follow Martha.

"Yeah, I'll keep ya company, unless ya going in with him?" Jake agreed.

"You know I don't allow anyone else in," Owen reminded them.

"I'd feel better if Rose was with me," John corrected Owen.

"You're not scared are you?" Martha laughed.

John just pulled a face, gave one of his sniffs and told her to lead on, making Rose smile.

"Owen, go easy on him," Rose warned him, Owen giving a mock salute.

"Well you want it doing properly, don't you?" Owen then asked her as John disappeared through the doorway.

"Well yeah but it was a bit of a shock to him," Rose told him.

"So I was informed," Owen replied. "I'll give you both my honest opinion. Best wait out here?"

Jake had to stop her from following.

"Leave him Rose, he'll be okay," Jake told her.

"We don't know that Jake, I mean he's so different," Rose replied as she sat down. "What if something went wrong? I mean if he's half Human?"

"Try not to worry until you get some news," Jake urged her.

"Easy for you to say," Rose sighed, burying her head in her hands.

John had gone behind a curtain to put a medical gown on then he'd laid on the bed.

"Let's get this over with," he called out. "I know how worried Rose is."

"Yes, well. Let's hope it's nothing to worry about?" Owen told him. "Doctor Jones, do you want to check his heart and lungs?"

John wasn't all that keen, since the other Martha got the courage to up and leave him.

"Right, let's start then?" Martha smiled at him. "So, are you and Rose an item?"

"What if we are?" John tried to ask why she was even asking.

So much for doctor/patient practises.

"Yes, we go back a long way and she spent a lot of time trying to get me back," he admitted.

"Just asking," Martha pulled a face as she put the stethoscope on his single heart. "Your twin had two hearts then?"

"Yes, lucky me only got one," John grinned. "It does feel a bit strange, when you're so used to having two."

"I can imagine," Martha agreed as she indicated for him to sit up. "Mmm, breathe in for me."

She did the other side, got him to cough several times then indicated for him to lie down again.

"Right, let's get you under the scanner?" Martha turned to Owen.

"What scanner?" John asked worriedly, trying to look around as an orderly appeared.

"Relax," Owen told him.

"Why do they always say that?" John wondered. "Can Rose come in?"

"You won't be that long," Owen laughed. "What are you worried about?"

That was just it, he was worried because something didn't feel right. What was he experiencing, was it his Human side that couldn't cope or his Timelord side trying to compensate?

Chapter 4

After a scan, which to the new Doctor seemed to take ages, Owen conducted a complete examination and took into account John wasn't completely Human but he'd nothing to judge the results by.

"Well, so far everything seems fine," Owen tried to assure Rose, who had been allowed in. "I wish I had more information for you but we're in the dark over Human/Timelord physiology."

"Great," John mumbled while he fastened his shirt buttons. "So you're going to learn from me?"

Rose gave him a frown.

"Owen's only tryin' to help," she reminded John. "So he's nothin' to worry about?" she asked Owen.

Rose had noticed Martha seemed to have disappeared, which was a good thing considering John had left one behind in the other universe.

"Come back and see me in a few month's time," Owen replied. "In the mean time, take things easy."

John finished getting dressed, then they went up to Pete's office, staying silent on the way until Rose had to say something.

"Ya should take it easy John. Ya could help them get the cannon working again if ya want? If we got through once, we can do it again."

"Rose, it was Dalek Cahn who was manipulating everything, remember?" John reminded her.

"Yeah, well he did me a favour, didn't he?" Rose replied as she looped her arm in his. "I got you back."

"Well partly," John grinned, patting her hand.

"Don't say that," Rose insisted as they neared the top floor where Pete had his office. "This floor still gives me the creeps."

"I can imagine," John agreed as the lift doors opened.

"It's all been cleared out and offices were made," Rose assured John as they stepped out. "It doesn't help though. Hi Debbie, my dad's expecting us. This is John."

"He said he was expecting you, Jake's already in there," Debbie, Pete's secretary told them.

Jake and Pete had been talking while they were waiting, Jake having gone to Pete's office when Rose had gone in to join John.

"Do you think they'll find anything wrong?" Pete had asked Jake.

"Hard to say? I mean Rose thinks he's still the real thing," Jake replied.

"You can't really blame her I suppose?" Pete wondered. "She wanted to find him so badly. I don't know what she would have done if those devices hadn't started working."

"Maybe now, she'll settle down?" Jake hoped.

"Well Jackie will be relieved if she does," Pete smiled as the door opened.

After they'd talked for a while, John went off with Jake to get his ID and to arrange a bank account and establish that he belonged to his new world.

"Did Rose have to go through all this?" John asked as his fingerprints were registered.

Jake just grinned back.

"Yeah, she wasn't happy," he laughed. "Right, give me a few days, meanwhile, here's a company credit card, ya can get cash out with it as well."

"I'll try not to spend it all at once," John assured him. "I don't expect physic paper works around here?"

Rose and Pete were discussing what role John should take up now he'd been cleared by medical to work.

"Start him out helping you?" Pete suggested. "Then you can keep an eye on him without him knowing."

"He'll know," Rose told him. "I was thinking maybe he'd enjoy going through all the artefacts we know nothing about? At least we'd know if they were safe or dangerous."

"Well I'll see what he says and arrange it then," Pete agreed. "Unless he insists we get the cannon working again without outside help?"

That was what Rose had been dreading, that he would be tempted to go back, especially if he was still convinced there was something wrong with him.

"I'll talk to him," Rose offered. "What happened to it anyway, once the Dalek's plan failed?"

"It stopped working, what do you think?" Pete laughed. "We all thought we were going to lose you and your mother until a technician noticed an odd reading, up in Norway. Then I knew The Doctor must have brought you both back. Your mother called me before I could call her."

That made Rose laugh.

"I bet she was dying to say who was with us," Rose told him.

"I had a hard time figuring that out," Pete joked back. "Take the day off, take him shopping or something, on Torchwood. Jake was giving him a credit card until he gets his own."

"Oh, I could do with a nice dress to go out celebrating we got him back," Rose smiled at the thought of an unlimited credit card. She had her own but that one was limited, though she got a generous amount.

Over the next few days, John was going around trying to figure out what he wanted to do and ended up in Rose's office, his feet on the corner of her desk.

"You can have Mickey's old office," Rose suggested as he messed with his hair. "So have ya decided what you want to do?"

"You know the answer Rose," he insisted. "We have to at least get the cannon working again. I'll safeguard it so the Cybermen or anything else can't take advantage of it."

"So, think of a good title then," she teased him. "Ya can go back to being called Doctor, if ya want?"

"I don't think I should," he hesitated.

"Well you're just as qualified for the title as he is," Rose further insisted.

"Am I?" John questioned her.

"Well everyone thinks you are," Rose replied, getting up to hug him. "What's wrong with it?"

"Plenty," he added.

"Don't put ya self down," she told him as she held him close. "We can find a place of our own, if ya want? We don't have to live with my mum and Pete."

"We had this conversation before," he tried to cheer up.

"Well we don't have to get a mortgage, we can rent," Rose smiled back at him.

"Well, I suppose I can live with that," he agreed.

They spent a few weeks looking on various letting agents' websites and viewed some of the rental properties but Rose really wanted one that overlooked the river and they were lucky enough to find one not far from Canary Wharf that had been put out for rent as the owner was moving overseas.

"Wow, it's perfect," Rose remarked as they'd been shown around by the agent, who to John thought was looking a bit too smug with himself he'd get a nice bonus.

He couldn't find fault with it though, since it had everything they needed. So they agreed to take it, paid the deposit and Rose had only to change a few things since it was fully furnished. They invited everyone to the flat-warming party and got to know the other occupants on their floor and the doorman, since it had controlled entry.

That turned out to be just as well when John started work on his project and couldn't tear himself away at finishing time. Three months had gone by when he started staying late and Rose had tried to talk him out of it. She had no luck so she went to see Pete.

"Rose, I'll try but I can't promise," Pete was telling her. "He's got full control over the project, you know that."

"Yeah, don't remind me," Rose replied. "I don't get what his rush is."

"Maybe it's because he thinks the longer he leaves it, any chance of getting it working will disappear?" Pete suggested. "If you're worried he's overstretching himself, get Owen to give him another medical."

"I can see that going down well," Rose admitted.

"Well Owen has the last say on who works and who doesn't," Pete reminded her. "No point in asking him to be discreet about it though," he laughed.

So Rose went off to discuss it with John, who wasn't happy about it.

"I'm fine now Rose, really I am," John told her. "It was with all the changes before."

"Well if ya sure?" Rose was still worried. "Ya will say if anything changes?"

"Sure I will love," he tried to assure her. "Thanks for worrying about me though and I'll try and cut down, just for you," he promised.

Meanwhile, down in the small town of Sandbrook, Tess and Alec Hardy were already squabbling, which had led Tess to seek comfort with another married senior officer.

"He doesn't care about you," Dave Harris was telling Tess over drinks at an hotel out of town.

"I already know that Dave," Tess replied. "He's always working late, it makes me think he's having an affair."

"Do you think he really is?" Dave wondered.

Tess had caught sight of a newspaper headline on the next table as a man folded it in half.

"Just look at that Rose Tyler," Tess prodded Dave. "Who does she think she is?"

"Someone with too much money?" Dave laughed. "Well at least your Alec isn't seeing her, she's way out of his league."

"Don't underestimate him," Tess replied. "What's she doing in the headlines again? Doesn't she see enough of her face in them?"

"I can't read it from here Tess," Dave grinned. "Buy the newspaper if you want to know. So, is your Daisy at her grandmother's and Alec's working late again?" he wanted to know. "We can go park in the woods by that new estate. Your car or mine?"

"That's all you think about, Dave Harris," she told him.

Alec had noticed Tess had already sneaked off early. Why was she when their daughter went to Tess's mother after school? He thought with a bit of luck she'd taken up a new hobby but knowing her, it was probably another man. No, no-one else would put up with her like he himself did.

The following Sunday though, all hell broke loose when two young cousins went missing on the new estate and Alec regretted being partnered with Tess when they got assigned to the case. As if they didn't argue enough, Alec had thought when they finally got home that night and Tess was going to take Daisy's school things round to her mother's.

"Maybe we should both go?" Tess suggested.

"It does not need both out us," Alec objected, since he had a headache. "Just drop them off."

"Well I might stay and see my mother for a while," Tess saw her chance of calling Dave.

"Well I'm making something to eat," he told her, looking in the freezer.

"Well it's a good thing we have ready-made meals for emergencies," Tess retorted.

Alec just ignored her and took one out, since they were from a better class supermarket.

"What was it with you and Harris today?" he then asked as he squinted at the display on the microwave.

"Can't work the microwave," Tess hinted. "Since you only warm your mug of tea up in it."

Alec wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of replying.

"Don't change the subject Tess. I expect you to behave professionally whilst working, not looking at him every five minutes. Is there something I should know?"

"Don't start on me Alec, just because we got that case," she told him. "If you ask me, those parents are hiding something and where was the older girl's father?"

"And you say I take no interest in Daisy," Alec stated as he folded his arms and leaned back on the counter.

"Well you don't," Tess reminded him. "I'm off, I'll get something while I'm out, those meals are no good for you."

Alec was about to say they were better than her cooking but kept quiet. Was she going to sneak off and meet with Harris? Was he even bothered if she did? The following day, Alec had to step up the investigation and give a statement to the press.

Rose knew nothing about it as she woke up the next morning and John was missing. She put her robe on, tried the bathroom door but it was locked so she went to make a drink. When John hadn't come out, she knocked on the bathroom door.

"Come on John, why are ya taking so long?" she asked him. "Ya only off to work ya know?"

"Rose, I'll be out in a minute," he called back a few seconds later, which made Rose suspicious.

"Are ya okay?" Rose called back, trying the door handle.

She thought about opening the lock from the outside, since the designers had seen fit to add a more modern lock. Then she heard the 'click' from the other side.

"John. Ya look awful," she told him. "You're as as a sheet. Come and sit down and I'll make some tea. Why the hell didn't ya say anything?"

"I started feeling weak when I got out of the shower," he admitted. "I didn't want to worry you."

"Well I'm worried now," she replied as she felt his forehead. "You're all clammy. I'm gonna call Owen and tell him, see if he recommends I send for our own doctor."

She got hold of Owen and started to tell him John's symptoms.

"Can you get him here?" Owen wanted to know. "If not, I can send one of our private ambulances we have access to for emergencies."

Rose covered the phone while she asked John, who was now wrapped in a blanket because he was feeling cold.

"I think I'll be okay with you, we're only five minutes away," John replied.

"Well maybe but I can't drive and watch you at the same time," Rose insisted. "Owen, I'll get him dressed, you send an ambulance. How long will it take?"

"I'll get it there as fast as I can," Owen promised her. "If not, I'll send a car for you. How's he doing?"

"Shivering," Rose gave John a weak smile. "I'm really worried."

"Yes, I can imagine," Owen told her. "Let's just get him here then? I'll let your stepfather and Jake know, I'll have Jake meet the ambulance."

"I knew something would go wrong," Pete told Jake when he heard. "He's been working two hard and I let him."

"Don't blame ya self," Jake told him. "He'll be okay."

"I hope for Rose's sake that you're right Jake," Pete replied. "How was John doing as regards to a breakthrough? I want his team to carry on, just in case."

"In case of what?" Jake asked.

"Why do you think Jake? In case we have to find his twin," Pete told him. "The Doctor is the only one who really knows his twin but from what Rose said, there had never been a metacrisis before so if Owen can't do anything?"

"We'd best not even think about it," Jake suggested. "I'll go wait downstairs for them."

John was laid down in the private ambulance that was more like a stretched car, a medic sat with him and Rose just in front.

"Just relax," the medic tried to tell John.

John was helped out of the ambulance and the medic sat John in the chair Owen had sent up for his arrival along with one of his assistants and Martha. Rose noticed the look on John's face when he saw Martha.

"Why does he keep staring at me?" Martha wanted to know as they walked to the lift, Jake having overridden it so they could get straight in.

"You have a double where he comes from," Rose told her. "It didn't end well from what he told me."

"No wonder," Martha remarked.

"Sorry to disappoint ya Martha," Rose replied. "Ya know he's spoken for anyway. You have no idea how long it took me to find him so forget it."

"Is that a warning?" Martha dared ask Rose, making Jake grin, since he loved a cat fight and it was heading for the cat fight of the decade.

"Hey, no fighting you two," John managed to tell them. "I can't abide fighting, especially over me."

Rose leaned down to kiss his cheek.

"I'm only gonna fight to keep ya," she told him, making Jake grin again.

"My money's on Rose," Jake then laughed, getting him a look from Martha.

"You seem sure of that," Martha told Jake as they reached the basement.

"Oh, trust me," Jake told her as he laughed even more at the thought. "I wouldn't bother if I were you Martha."

Martha just huffed and opened the medical bay door, where Owen was waiting with Pete, who thought Rose would need some support.

"What's going on?" Pete wanted to know as Rose and Martha looked daggers at each other.

"It's under control Boss," Jake tried to convince him.

"It had better be," Pete warned. "John is more important than any squabbles going on."

"Tell that to Rose," Martha hissed, whether Pete was the boss or not.

"Martha, drop it," Owen then told her. "Come on John, let's get you on the examination bed, no visitors for now," he looked directly at Rose. "I'll keep Martha occupied," he then grinned.

"I know my job, Owen," Martha was annoyed. "What's your problem Rose?"

"I said leave it," Pete warned again. "Jake, get Rose a drink will you?"

"Sure Pete. Want something to eat Rose?" he turned to a worried Rose.

"Just a drink, thanks. I couldn't eat anything," Rose told him as Pete led her to sit down and John went off with the medical staff.

"Don't worry, Martha won't turn John's head," Pete tried to assure her as Jake returned with fresh coffee.

"Nah, forget it Rose, he's right," Jake agreed.

"Sorry. I'm just worried," Rose told them as she drank her coffee.

"We all are love," Pete told her. "Want me to call your mother?"

"Let's wait and see what Owen says," Rose replied, trying to keep calm. "What could have happened to him Dad?"

Jake went to sit at the other side of her and patted her arm.

"Thought he had superior biology to us?" Jake joked.

"Has he been hiding something all this time?" Rose then wondered. "How could he hold something like that back?"

"Just calm down eh?" Pete suggested. "The main thing is he's getting medical attention. Maybe I should warn your mother?"

Rose agreed after Pete promised he wouldn't let Jackie come and join them.

"Jackie, he'll get all the treatment he needs," Pete assured his wife.

"Well goodness knows what his twin or the one before him put me through that time," Jackie referred to when Rose was missing for a year. "Then that time they came back without Mickey," she added.

"I know Jackie. I'll let you know what Owen makes of him," Pete promised her.

They sat for another half hour before Owen came out, Rose trying to judge what the outcome was. John had remained calm while being examined then another scan.

"I might have to refer you to a specialist," Owen had warned John.

"You can't, remember who I am," John warned him. "I'm still unusual to them."

"I know but we have contacts in the medical profession who know what we deal with," Owen tried to assure him. "We can do most of the tests and we can get them to come here. We have to find out what's causing your problem."

"I can tell you that," John replied. "You'd best break the news to Rose but if all fails, she'll have to cross over to her old world to find my twin or whatever he is now, if he's changed."

"Did you get somewhere with that cannon device?" Owen wondered.

"I'm so close," John admitted. "I was almost ready to test it but don't go telling Rose."

"You'd have gone without her?" Owen grinned.

"No, I wouldn't dare, I'm not that brave," John tried to laugh without it hurting. "Now, she may have to go back on her own. How can I ask her to do such a thing?"

"She'd do anything for you," Owen assured him. "Anyway, let's reserve that for now. Someone else will have to work on it, you're grounded."

John wished him good luck, others had tried and failed to hold him down but Rose was the exception.

Chapter 5

Rose ran out of the waiting area and into the ladies room, Martha offering to go after her but Pete warned her against it.

"You're not what she needs right now, sorry Martha," Pete told her. "John left a twin behind in the other universe and told Rose that the Martha Jones there had tried to take his mind off Rose when he lost her. Needless to say, it didn't end well by all accounts."

"I see then?" Martha swallowed. "She could have just told me."

"She tried," Jake reminded her. "I'll go knock on the door. Are you calling Jackie?" he asked Pete.

"I'll try and get her home first," Pete replied.

"I don't think she'll want to leave," Owen told him. "John can go home when I determine Rose can care for him but he'll need checking every day, it's not a good idea to bring him here every day."

"What's the alternative?" Pete wanted to know.

"Confining him to a private hospital with a resident doctor I can trust and either myself or Martha visiting John at least once a day," Owen replied.

"Can't you keep him here?" Pete asked Owen.

"Well I suppose we could but we don't have any other resident patients, we'd have to get something ready," Owen told him.

"Then do it, anything you need," Pete agreed as Jake went off to find Rose.

Rose was trying to dry her eyes, looking at herself in the mirror.

"Why him?" she asked herself. "I can't lose him again." Then she heard a knock on the door. "Go away Jake," she told him, recognising his knock.

"Come on Rose, ya can go see him now," Jake assumed since Owen hadn't said otherwise. "He'll need ya now."

Rose unlocked the door and Jake held his arms out.

"I know it's upsetting Rose," he told her. "He'll have the best care and he may be able to go home for now."

"Yeah but what when he gets worse Jake?" Rose asked him. "What if they can't cure him?"

"Need ya ask?" Jake wanted to know. "We'll stop at nothing Rose, ya know that and John may have come up with a way of getting back."

"He'll be too ill to go, won't he?" Rose asked him. "Ya mean I'll go? Forget it Jake, what if I can't get back?"

"Ya forget who you're going for," he joked. "The Doctor won't let that get in the way to save his twin."

"What?" Rose was confused.

"Sorry, let Pete explain but maybe dry ya face first?" Jake suggested.

"It makes sense," Rose had to agree when Pete told her what John had said. "Can I see him?"

"Sure," Owen agreed. "I can get him ready to go home but he'll not be able to go out, he needs to rest and coming here every day won't help, he needs to save his energy."

Rose nodded and went through the door to see John propped up on the couch.

"Am I causing trouble?" he tried to smile.

"That's your middle name," Rose reminded him.

"Better than jeopardy friendly," he joked, patting the side of the couch. "Rose, I am going to fight this love."

"I know ya will but dad said something about finding your twin?" Rose replied.

"With a bit more work, I would have been able to get through, without alerting the Daleks or the Cybermen. I won't be able to go with you but maybe Jake could go with you?"

"John, it's risky, what if we can't get back?" she asked him.

"He'll make sure you do, get Owen to explain exactly what it is," John replied. "Sorry love, I don't think he'll let me home tonight."

"Then I'm staying here," Rose told him.

"Just for a while?" he asked, taking her hand.

"No, you plum, I'll get someone to bring some stuff for me, until ya can go home," Rose replied.

Two days later, John was being taken back home but Rose was already thinking about the alternatives and she didn't like them.

"Rose, it would make things easier for you if you get someone in to look after me," John tried to persuade her.

"No way. I went looking for you, I should be the one to look after ya," Rose argued as she looked up from the morning paper, which was still concentrating on the two missing girls. "I wonder how the search is going for those girls?" she asked him.

"If I had the Tardis, they'd have been found by now," John replied.

"Show-off," Rose smiled, kissing his cheek. "Where's that ambulance got to, I thought it would have been here by now?"

"Maybe you should ask Owen?" John suggested. "You should offer to help find those girls," he added.

"Dad won't let us get involved, unless they ask for us to," Rose reminded him. "He'd go nuts if I suggested it while you're ill anyway. I'll go check on the transport."

John picked up the paper from the side table and followed the report on the next page, had Rose noticed the detective in charge could be another twin of his? She'd not mentioned it so maybe not, he thought.

In Sandbrook, Tess and Alec were still at war with each other and the chief was getting tired of it.

"Sort yourselves out," they were ordered. "I don't want to take either of you off this case but I will, if I have to. Understand?"

"Maybe we'd be best partnered with someone else?" Tess suggested.

"You mean with Dave Harris?" Alec snapped back.

"What about Harris?" the chief wanted to know. "I say who partners with who. What's your objection Alec?"

"He would object," Tess replied. "He's jealous."

"Of what?" the chief asked. "Well?" he turned to Alec. "Fine, Tess you stay where you are for now, don't make me regret it."

"Why did you have to bring that up?" Tess asked when they got out of the chief's office.

"I had every right to," Alec told her. "Concentrate on the job Tess. I'm going to get a warrant to dig up the Gillespie's back garden, I don't trust them."

"Alec, have you any idea what it will do to Cate?" Tess was shocked.

"We're running out of time Tess, you know the longer it takes, the worse it could be?" he reminded her. "Go talk to her again."

"Why me?" she wanted to know.

"I have to apply to dig up their garden," Alec replied.

"That's wrong Alec," Tess warned him.

"Well do you have any better ideas?" Alec asked, losing patience with her.

"Well be it on your head Alec, you're in charge," Tess reminded him.

He watched her walk off, daring her to pick Dave Harris to work with, that would just confirm his suspicions there was something going on. Had he got past caring though? When he thought about it, there was only Daisy holding them together, wasn't there?

He went to the break room and got himself some coffee, picking up a newspaper and seeing Rose on the front page, saying she was stepping back from being a top Torchwood agent for personal reasons and would be working behind the scenes. When John had become ill, Pete thought it best to keep it to a minimum but since Rose was always making a name for herself, it needed some kind of explanation.

Alec put the paper down, thinking nothing else about it, he had enough problems of his own. He thought it was a shame Torchwood didn't have a missing persons department except for those who had vanished into thin air in front of witnesses or had appeared from nowhere. He didn't think his case qualified.

Maybe if Rose Tyler wasn't stepping back, she might have had some sympathy for the families.

The next day, the news got out that the youngest girl had been found in a nearby river and the media were all over it, Alec heading a press conference, watched carefully by one Karen White, who had made friends with the Gillespies and was determined to get justice for them at any cost.

Rose missed it because she was with John, who had been settled in their room and a nurse was going to call in every day to monitor him. As time went on, it became obvious John was going to need around the clock care and the final touches were being put to the newly converted medical bay complete with room for Rose and all the equipment necessary plus a small kitchen for making drinks and a microwave, though meals would be sent down from the cafeteria.

Rose began packing what they were going to need, since John insisted on wearing his favourite t-shirts and joggers and sat on top of the duvet most of the time.

"It's gonna be better all round," Rose had decided. "We can't have people coming in and out all day."

"Yeah, Steve on the door will be getting tired of it," John agreed. "When do we leave love?"

"As soon as Owen arranges it. John, we're coming back ya know? When ya get well," Rose insisted.

"I know love. How are they getting on with my project?" he asked as he messed with the air tube in his nose, oxygen tanks another thing that had been delivered though he'd tried to do without it during the day. "I was watching the news this morning, about that case in Sandbrook. Rose, if I had been well, we could have gone there to help."

"John, don't worry about it," Rose reminded him. "We can't do anything and besides, we've not been asked. Who's that detective in charge?"

"Hardy, I think," John replied as he lay back, feeling weak again.

He dare not tell Rose that he was getting even more tired. He suspected she knew though.

"Well I don't have time to watch the news," Rose replied. deciding what to take since she wouldn't be going anywhere fancy. "What's going on?"

"They have someone in custody and waiting for a trial date," John replied, trying not to struggle.

"What ya doing with the air tube in?" Rose then asked him.

"I want to walk downstairs on my own," he replied.

"Tough guy," Rose smiled at him.

He managed a smile back and let her get on with packing, wishing they were going away on holiday and not to a specially converted unit just for his benefit. The final arrangements were being put into place to transfer John to the new unit next to the medical bay and Martha was being warned not to cause any trouble with Rose.

"Owen, I resent that," Martha had told him. "What do you take me for?"

"Really? After you and Rose the last time they were here?" he reminded her. "I hope you learned from that?"

"You mean not to cross her or you?" Martha replied.

"Both," Owen warned her. "Rose doesn't need it and neither do I, we have a job to do, to fight whatever is wrong with John with every possible thing we can think of and come up with anything new. The tech labs are working flat out."

"I don't want anything to happen to him," Martha replied.

"Just remember that," Owen told her. "We don't want Rose or Pete to hold us responsible if anything does. I'm off to check out what's happening over that new device John came up with, see if there's any news."

"It's all secret isn't it?" Martha asked.

"Not to the head of medical," Owen grinned as he went off.

He called for Jake to meet him and met up in what was known as the cannon room. John had adapted the principal of the devices they'd already used and a way found to measure different timelines, so they wouldn't get the wrong era if they made any attempts to cross over, providing it was established they had the right universe.

A lot had happened since John had been ill, the brightest minds in the world had all been sworn to secrecy and were paid well to keep developing it. Pete thought it a shame that John might never see it working but he prayed that Rose would believe it could work to get the help John needed.

Everything was concentrated on getting to the right year after Rose had been to the other universe the last time and she got there when The Doctor still looked like John. Failing that, they would have to settle to just after he'd regenerated, in case he refused to help or just offered his sympathy and Rose came back on her own.

They also had to prepare for the Tardis coming through based on what John had told them of how he'd got back the last time the time machine had been here. They had to be ready immediately to stop the Tardis from dying on them so The Doctor could leave, with or without John, if he needed to go back to the other universe. They had not ruled out that was what was wrong with him – that he couldn't survive in this universe because the Timelords had never been here.

Maybe the other Doctor hadn't known, he wouldn't have sent John here to die, unless he trusted Torchwood could save him? Pete knew Rose would go with them and may not be able to return if John had to stay behind.

Owen and Jake were given an update that tests were going on sending a volunteer to the right era and retrieving them, since Jake had discovered all other universes were being locked off if anything didn't look right.

"That's good news then," Owen admitted as they left. "So Rose has been giving her input as to what the differences are?"

"Yeah, at least it gave her something positive to do," Jake replied. "She's the only one who knows plus we're also looking out for any signs of Mickey. Then when she crosses over at least he'll be on her side."

"Good idea, she might need him if we can't detect The Doctor anywhere," Owen agreed.

"Yeah, if The Doctor's not on the planet, she'll need somewhere safe to stay," Jake told him. "They may even be able to move her like they did the last time though back then, it was that Dalek that was helping. We're on our own this time around."

"Well as long as she doesn't have to contend with them again," Owen laughed. "How can you be sure they won't detect anything?"

"John's already thought of that," Jake grinned. "That's what he was working late on but it may have contributed to him getting worse."

"Does Rose know?" Owen asked as they went to get coffee.

"I doubt it," Jake replied. I'm not gonna tell her, are you?"

Owen put his hands up.

"Not me," he laughed.

Owen went back to medical and Jake went to talk to Pete over the latest developments.

"Rose isn't going to want to go off without some assurances," Pete reminded Jake. "That The Doctor won't be affected like his twin, if something here is causing John's illness."

"But John felt ill when he arrived," Jake pointed out. "So it can't be that."

"Maybe it's with him being half Timelord?" Pete wondered.

"Can't see that either," Jake disagreed. "It has to be something else?"

"Well maybe if he hadn't said he was fine until he wasn't, we might have been able to stop whatever it was," Pete reminded him.

"He was tryin' to hide it from Rose," Jake told him.

"Yeah and look where it got him?" Pete asked. "When will they be here? I'll make arrangements for their apartment to be watched and a cleaner go in once a week. I don't want Rose worrying."

"That's the last thing she needs," Jake agreed. "What do ya think of that case down in Sandbrook then? It says they have someone and waiting for a court date."

"Well if nothing goes wrong, I see no reason why the person can't be convicted," Pete replied, putting the news on the screen.

"Best hope no-one screws up then?" Jake laughed.

"Best hope Rose doesn't find out who the lead detective looks like," Pete joked.

Rose and John arrived at the new medical unit prepared for John and were settling in just as Tess and Alec Hardy were being called to what they thought was all the proof they needed to get Lee Ashworth convicted for killing Pippa Gillespie and dumping her in the river, though it had been established how she'd died but not if she'd been left in the woods and the river had broken its banks.

"We play this by the book," Alec was telling those involved, noticing now how close Tess and Dave Harris were standing near each other.

He wondered why they now bothered keeping it quiet. Everyone had known for sure before he had, which had forced him to move out and get a small flat, since Daisy wasn't interested in staying over. Tess had complained about losing all her housing allowance because Alec had taken half of it and he'd told her to cut back on various private tuition for Daisy including dance lessons that she'd never been interested in and it had all been Tess's idea.

"You don't have to remind us," Tess told him, Dave now standing with his hands on top of his car that he and Tess had arrived in.

He wondered why they'd arrived together, were they planning something afterwards? He shook his head and told the uniformed officers to get the car lot manager who he had called to say to keep the car Ashworth had sold whilst out on bail. Ashworth had been questioned over it.

"It's non of your business Hardy," Lee had told him as Lee refused to let Alec in. "Who told you I'd sold it, it had better not have been Claire. Where is she anyway? When you see her, tell her to come back."

"I have no idea where Claire is," Alec had replied. "Why would I?"

"You'd better not have been talking her into testifying against me," Lee had warned him.

Alec had known where Claire was, she'd been staying with a friend since her husband had been arrested, for fear he'd get out and go after her. Plus she hadn't been able to face Cate Gillespie after what had happened. Claire was playing both sides though. She had something on the girl's father, now she needed something on Lee.

Then, Tess had been careless and let her know they were going to search Lee's car he'd just sold and she knew where he'd have taken it so now, she was watching from a vantage point as everyone arrived, noticing Tess and Alec had arrived separately. Had they split up, she smiled at the thought.

Tess had gone easy on her but Alec hadn't. He'd been constantly pressuring her to testify against Lee and now was the perfect time to get a hold on Lee. If the police found anything in that car belonging to Pippa, she had him.

A necklace belonging to the young girl had been found in the back seat and put into an evidence bag and sealed by Alec.

"I have to go get my car," Tess told him, reaching out for the evidence bag. "I'll take it back."

"Come on Hardy, I'll make sure it gets there," Dave assured him.

Going against his better judgement, Alec finally agreed. Could he trust them not to stop off somewhere on the way back?

"Come on Tess," Dave was saying to her as they set off. "One drink, he won't know."

No-one had noticed Claire had got into a taxi and was following them down the road.

"Just drive," Claire had told the driver.

"Where do you want dropping?" he asked a few minutes later, hoping she'd made her mind up.

She saw the car Tess and Dave were in pull into a pub car park so she told the driver to stop outside the pub. Then she went around the corner and saw the car under the canopy, Dave getting out first and standing in front of the car. Then Tess joined him and Claire noticed Tess put her arm around Dave and pull him into a kiss and throwing her hair back.

Claire wondered if Alec knew about them but she was here for a purpose, to see if there was anything incriminating in the plastic bag Tess had been given.

Chapter 6

Not noticing they had been followed, Tess and Dave kissed again and Dave opened the door, remote locking the car but Tess forgot all about her work bag with the evidence in it.

Tess stopped as Dave headed for the bar.

"Dave, I need to go back for something," Tess didn't want to say what in the crowded pub.

"Leave it Tess, who's going to notice?" he replied, wanting to get a few drinks down her then go park the car somewhere.

Hardy was off his head walking away, he thought. Tess was far more willing than his own wife was these days. Maybe she just wanted a change?

Claire checked no-one was around, pulled the hood over on her coat and grabbed a brick that just happened to be lying around. She carefully avoided the broken glass, grabbed the bag and pulled out the plastic evidence bag and then thinking about opening the bag again, found a few notes and took them then ran out onto the road.

She smiled to herself. How could the woman be so careless? She stuffed the evidence bag into her pocket and made her way back to her friend's. The bag only contained the locket she had given to Pippa as a present, the one that had been given to her by her grandmother before she'd been driven out of her home town.

When Alec got back, he made something to eat then called the station.

"Has that evidence from the car Lee Ashworth sold been logged?" he asked the desk sergeant.

"Err, sorry Sir, what evidence?" Alec was asked, the desk sergeant asking a junior officer, who just looked at him.

"Don't mess with me, I'm not in the mood," Alec warned the man. "The evidence that DS Henchard and DS Harris should have brought back an hour or so ago. It had better have been handed in."

He could hear a phone ringing in the background and hoped for Tess's sake it wasn't her phoning to say she was only just on her way back with it, heads would roll in the morning.

The other officer went to answer, hearing Tess shouting down the phone to get a forensic team out to where she was, at the Black Swan pub on West Street, plus someone to fix the car window, since it wasn't her car.

"Sarge, DS Henchard's on the phone," the young officer held the receiver out to the older man.

"Well, what's holding her up?" he asked as he forgot about Alec, who could just about hear. "Where the hell is she? Hardy's wanting to know."

"Sarge, she says her car window's been smashed," the WPC dared tell him.

The sergeant knew Alec was going to go crazy.

"Sir, I've found out where she is, she's been delayed," he started to tell him.

"Well? What's her excuse?" Alec asked, knowing she'd try to cover up she'd been with that rat Harris.

"Sir, you really don't want to know," he was told. "Apparently she stopped and the car was broken into. DS Harris is with her."

Alec swore under his breath. How could they both be so stupid?

"Where are they?" Alec then asked. "Get someone out to them, no-one is to touch the car until forensics get there and then take it back to HQ. Get them to bring the evidence bag back and get a statement."

"Yes Sir," the sergeant replied, thinking so much for a quiet night.

"Tell them both to stay until I get there," Alec then added, not that he wanted to go but the chief would ask him why he'd not attended.

The sergeant took the phone from the young officer after relaying what Alec had told him. While Tess was waiting, Dave was leaning on the roof of the car.

"Dave, don't be stupid and put any more fingerprints on the car," she warned him.

"What are you waiting for?" Dave wanted to know, leaning back on the wall and going for a cigarette.

"Who do you think?" Tess hissed, covering her phone. "The sergeant will have called Alec. We'd better come up with a good reason for being here."

"Just say you needed to powder your nose," Dave laughed.

"Now you are being stupid," Tess told him. "We've been over an hour Dave."

"We could have been making out on the back seat by now," Dave grinned, puffing out cigarette smoke.

"Do you have to do that?" she asked, waving the smoke away. "Well we've lost the chance now," she nodded to where a marked police car was just entering the car park, followed by a black forensics van.

"Alec's not messing around, is he?" Dave joked.

"DS Henchard?" a man in a coverall approached her. "We'll take fingerprints and have the car taken back to HQ. May I take the evidence bag you were carrying?"

Tess hadn't even bothered looking at the bag that was on the passenger seat.

"Was that bag open when you left it?" Dave whispered to her as someone wearing gloves opened the door for her.

"Ma'am, the bag's open," she was told. "We were told to collect an evidence bag, do you have it on you?"

"No, it was in there," Tess stared at the empty bag and all the pieces of glass on the seat. "There was some money in it as well."

"Alec's not going to be pleased," Dave warned her.

"Shut up Dave," Tess snapped back at him. "It's his own fault anyway."

"That's a laugh Tess," Dave spluttered. "He heard me say I'd make sure you'd take it back, you had to get your car. He won't have forgotten. You got me involved in this as well."

"I'm the one who'll get the blame," Tess reminded him. "You always think of yourself Dave."

Dave shook his head and pulled her back.

"You'd better hope you get away with it Tess," he told her as he saw Alec's car.

Alec had been annoyed that he'd had to go out again and hoped for Tess's sake Daisy was at her grandmother's or there would be more trouble. He saw Tess and Dave and two of the forensics team around the car Tess used for work and another taking photos.

People were coming out of the bar and two officers were making sure they didn't get in the way as Alec joined the others.

"Right, what's the damage?" he wanted to know, looking at Tess then Dave. "What were you two playing at?"

"Alec, I'm not answering any questions here," Tess told him.

"Well you have to give a statement to the officers before you can leave," he reminded her. "Have you handed the evidence over yet?"

The forensics team leader looked at him.

"Sir? There's no evidence bag, the handbag on the seat is empty."

Tess wanted to call him a tell-tale.

"Is that not your work bag Tess?" Alec asked her.

"You know it is," she replied, wanting to tell him not to be so smug.

"Well, is it in your personal one?" he pointed to the one under her arm.

She wanted to pretend it was but he'd find out sooner or later and so would everyone else.

"No, whoever broke in must have taken it, along with some money that was in it," she told him calmly.

"I hope that's your idea of a joke?" Alec asked, knowing how sarcastic she could be, especially now.

"She's not joking Hardy," Dave spoke up.

"You were equally responsible for it Harris," Alec reminded him. "Your exact words were that you would make sure it got back to HQ."

"Oh lighten up Hardy," Dave replied. "It could have been kids seeing us go inside."

"Why pick on this car?" Alec wanted to know. "How did they know what was inside the handbag? That's it now, we have lost the proof the girl was in Ashworth's car that night, thanks to you two stopping for a drink. You should have waited until you had handed the evidence in. Whose idea was it to stop?"

Neither of them answered so Alec got annoyed.

"Report to the chief's office first thing tomorrow morning, you can give your excuses to him. You are both equally responsible," Alec reminded them. "Don't think I am covering for you Tess."

"What if it gets out Alec? Do you want Daisy to know?" Tess asked him.

"Don't blackmail me over that Tess," Alec warned her. "She knows we no longer live together, you chose to hide the fact you were seeing someone else. You had better call her to say you will be late collecting her. I doubt we can make the charges against Ashworth stick now, as soon as his solicitor hears, he will file for dismissal."

"I don't need reminding of that Alec," Tess told him as a tow truck arrived.

Alec drove back to his apartment in an even worse mood. What was keeping him here? Daisy hardly spoke to him any more, he and Tess argued all the time and most of the station laughed at the news he'd just had it confirmed she was seeing Harris outside of work. It was time for a change, anywhere away from here.

Rose had been lying on John's bed watching a big screen TV that had been brought in, though he was falling asleep. She waited for a nurse coming in to do the last checks of the night and make sure he was getting enough oxygen then she kissed his cheek.

"Night John. Now you’re here, you're in good hands," she tried to assure him.

"I know that love," he replied, taking her hand. "Find out tomorrow how they're getting on with the cannon, will you? Promise me Rose?"

"Yeah, I will, I promise but I don't think I should be the one to go," she told him.

"Yes, you are. Who else could go?" he asked, leaning back on the pillows.

Rose could see the toll it was taking on him, even sitting up with the pillows.

"Jake could go, The Doctor knows him," Rose suggested.

"No Rose, it has to be you, he would do anything for you," John still insisted.

"You need your sleep John," Rose smiled at him as he closed his eyes.

She knew he was fighting to stay awake.

"Ya have to give in," she reminded him. "The slightest problem and the medical team will be in here, you're being monitored."

She knew now that would be the only way she herself would get any sleep. She kissed his forehead, which felt all clammy and got into the bed just at the side of him. She had wanted it right next to him but Owen had said they needed to get access to John in an emergency and Rose had to agree.

"Night John," she called as she lay down.

He didn't answer but she could hear the monitors beeping away even though they'd been turned to the lowest setting but she didn't mind, it meant he was still fighting whatever was wrong with him. As she tried to get to sleep, she had tears in her eyes, John was on heavy painkillers and she had no idea what he was going through apart from he was tired all the time and he was now confined to bed.

If only she could contact The Doctor without leaving? Then she thought why not? If she kept trying, he might be orbiting a nebular like the last time and she'd be able to get through to him, maybe with a little help. It cheered her up and she fell asleep with more hope than she could remember having for a long time.

As soon as she woke up, she checked on John, who was still sleeping so she put her robe on and went to make a drink, getting her phone ready to call Jake.

"You're awake early Rose," Jake laughed.

"Can ya come down?" she asked him. "I've got an idea, for contacting The Doctor."

"Rosie, we've been through this," Jake tried to tell her.

"Ya don't understand," Rose told him. "All we have to do is broadcast a signal he'll understand through the gap we make and wait for him sending one back."

"What if he's out in space?" Jake wanted to know.

"He's more likely to hear it in space," Rose replied, sounding pleased with herself Jake thought. "Then, he can land on Earth and we know where to aim the cannon."

"Did John tell ya that?" Jake laughed.

"Nope, he's still asleep. Jake, he's getting even weaker, I know he is. What the hell is doing this to him?" Rose asked.

"I wish I knew, honestly. We'd all do anything to find out. I'll talk to Pete, see what he thinks and we'll come down. Don't say anything to John just yet," Jake advised her.

"I gotta go, I need coffee," Rose laughed as she saw John moving.

She went over to him just as Martha came in, Rose wishing she'd stay away.

"Good morning John, how are you today?" Martha asked him, taking his hand to check his pulse.

Rose felt like slapping her hand away. Why had Owen picked her of all people? John pulled a face when Martha took the oxygen mask off.

"I see you've been doing without it during the day," Martha told him.

"Martha he needs the tube just in case," Rose reminded her. "Don't take that away as well."

"I wasn't going to," Martha snapped.

"Will you two stop it," Owen called from the doorway.

"Well get someone else to look after him, I don't want her here," Rose told him. "Can't you see she makes him uncomfortable?"

"Rose, it's fine," John tried to tell her.

"No, it's not fine, you need to be kept calm all of the time," Rose turned to him to help him put the oxygen tube in his nose. "She's a constant reminder."

"What did she do to you in the other universe?" Owen then laughed.

"It was what she did to John's twin," Rose replied. "Owen, please get someone else in."

Owen held his hands up.

"Okay, you win but you'll have to put up with her today," he laughed. "I'll have to bring someone else up to date with John's case and fill them in on his details. I need your stepfather's permission to go into more details."

"I'll make sure ya get it," Rose agreed. "I have an idea, to contact The Doctor."

"Were you going to tell me?" John asked her, trying to smile as a nurse made him comfortable.

"Yeah, when Jake gets here," Rose promised. "Where's breakfast?"

"On it's way, it's a new order," Owen laughed. "Sorry John, only a light breakfast for you."

"Did ya tell them who it was for?" Rose asked.

"The Queen of Sheba," Martha muttered under her breath.

Rose made a face at her and went off to make herself a drink, since she couldn't get to where her clothes were.

"Stop it Martha," Owen warned her again. "Or you'll be out of a job by lunchtime."

"Is that a threat Owen?" she dared ask.

"If the director finds out," he replied. "Now, I have to bring Doctor Ngaru in on John's background, thanks for that Martha. Jake will have to debrief you, you won't be allowed access to any further developments on John's case. Understand?"

"Well blame Rose," she looked in Rose's direction as Rose tried to ignore her.

"I told you to keep it professional at all times Martha," Owen reminded her.

"I didn't do anything," Martha argued.

"Well it's out of my hands now, Rose won't have you here and it's up to her," Owen told her.

Martha thought it would be. So she looked like another Martha Jones in another universe, so what? Why was Rose so upset about it?

Everyone except the nurse went off so Rose got her clothes and went into the large bathroom that had been added for them but she knew someone would be with them at all times now. Owen would be worried about leaving John on his own. She had just come back out as their breakfast arrived and John was being helped.

"You get your own Miss Tyler, I'll see to him," the nurse offered. "I'm here to make things easier for you, I know how worried you are about him."

"I'm here," John gave a little wave with a slight grin.

"Thanks. Yeah, well don't act the tough guy," Rose warned him, taking her covered tray from the trolley and going to the table in the kitchen area. "Has Jake been in yet?"

"No Miss Tyler," the nurse replied as John insisted on holding the toast himself.

Jake was waiting for Pete.

"What do you make of it?" Pete was asking him as he signed a few letters before they left.

"She may be onto something Boss," Jake replied. "Will it work though?"

"Well if John's not too weak to give his thoughts about it, he may be able to say?" Pete wondered. "Let's go talk to Owen about it first?" he suggested.

They were about to leave when Owen called him.

"What?" Pete asked as Owen requested another doctor be assigned to work with John. "What's wrong with Doctor Jones?"

Jake started laughing.

"Pete, ya should have seen her and Rose."

"Rose refuses to let Martha near John," Owen explained. "I'll have to let Doctor Ngaru in on John's past, she's the only one who's qualified. I'm not happy about Martha's behaviour, it won't do John any good if she's hostile towards Rose."

"What started it?" Pete wanted to know.

"I'll tell ya on the way down," Jake replied.

"Well, we're on our way down, we need to talk to John, if he's up to it," Pete told Owen.

"Not for too long," Owen agreed. "So, can I go ahead? I told Martha to step back or she'd be out, she wasn't happy."

"Well, she's the least of our problems," Pete replied. "Just tell Doctor Ngaru enough for her to understand what John's problem may be and remind her she is sworn to secrecy. How's John this morning?"

"You mean after Martha left?" Owen joked. "I still don't get what problem Rose has with her but I have to follow her wishes and keep Martha away."

"Jake will fill you in," Pete promised.

"So?" Pete asked Jake as they got in the lift and Jake used the override so it wouldn't stop.

"You should have seen Martha when John first came about his problem. She was all over him and she knew he and Rose were an item," Jake laughed. "What makes it worse is Martha being The Doctor's companion and Rose meeting her."

"I see then? I expect Rose is just trying to protect John? She mentioned something about the other Martha making a play for him and he didn't welcome it."

"Yeah, I know," Jake agreed. "John has enough to deal with and this Martha's not helping."

Owen was talking with his new assistant, Martha was sulking in a corner when Jake and Pete walked in. Owen went to talk to them.

"Is John up to giving some input about the cannon?" Pete asked him.

"As long as you don't ask him too much. I suppose it will make him feel useful?" Owen agreed. "I'll go in with you, Rose has to get used to my new assistant."

They were just leaving when Martha approached them.

"Mr Tyler, I must object to being replaced and being put back onto research," she complained.

"Everyone has to play their part," Pete replied. "However small it is. Excuse me, we have things to discuss, Doctor Jones."

Pete and Owen went off but Jake stayed behind.

"Ya brought it on ya self Martha," he reminded her.

"Huh? How do you reckon that Jake?" Martha wanted to know.

Jake shook his head and went to join Pete and Owen, leaving Martha staring after him.

"Feel like talking John?" Owen asked him. "You can leave us nurse."

"Rose, why don't you tell us what you told Jake?" Pete suggested.

"Oh. What was that then?" John wanted to know.

Rose tried not to blush.

"Just that maybe instead of going over to find your twin, we can open a very small gap and send a signal?" Rose tried to remember what she'd said. "If he's hovering a nebula or something, he should be able to pick it up."

"Not a bad idea," Pete agreed. "So we carry on while we wait to see if he picks it up?"

"Well we don't want to rely completely on getting a message through but it may help?" Rose wondered.

"Well, that's easy," John grinned. "I can give you the frequencies the Tardis can pick up and if he happens to be near the Medusa Cascade, it will make it even easier."

"Well, now we have something positive to aim for, let's hope we can find something to get you well again," Pete told him. "We are not going to stop."

John was given a pad and began highlighting the frequencies, Rose helping him, Owen was filling Doctor Ngaru or Sammi as she liked to be known as to her friends in on John's condition and Martha was deciding if she was going to stay or not.

What was Rose's problem? Was she so insecure she thought she had a rival? Well, Martha Jones only went for her own kind, not half Human and half Timelord, although if John wasn't taken, she might make an exception. Maybe when he got well again, she might give Rose some competition.

Chapter 7

Days passed by, John was holding on as best as he could but it didn't stop everyone worrying about him. Owen insisted he didn't give any input into contacting his twin for more than a few minutes at a time so he didn't need more oxygen.

Owen had been worried he was needing too much during the day and talked to Pete about it in the daily briefing. Rose hadn't been going because she'd not wanted to leave John but she'd been asked to go.

"He'll be fine," Sammi was trying to tell her as Rose held John's hand.

Rose had been surprised how well she'd got on with Owen's new assistant but there again, Sammi wasn't in competition with her over John. Once in Pete's office, Jake had joined them.

"Rose, ya have to think more about finding The Doctor," Jake reminded her.

"How can I leave John?" Rose wanted to know.

"Rose, you're going to leave it too late," Owen also reminded her. "We'll do whatever necessary to keep him going but you have some sacrifices to make. Don't let them be for nothing."

"What aren't ya telling me?" Rose turned to him.

"Calm down," Pete urged her. "You do have to make your mind up Rose. You can stay with John but only until we get through to the right universe. Then you have to be ready to go, without any delays. No-one else can do it, it has to be you."

"How can I leave him now Dad?" Rose wanted to know.

"Tell her Owen," Pete replied.

Rose ran from Pete's office a few minutes later, followed closely by Jake, who caught her and made her sit down by the lift.

"It's not fair," she told him through her sobs, Jake offering her the box of tissues on the polished glass and chrome table.

He watched her grab a handful and dry her eyes.

"I'm sorry Rose."

"You knew? Everyone knew except me?" she asked him. "Only The Doctor can save him now."

"If we get him here in time," Jake replied, trying not to make it sound like a pun. "Sorry."

"Then why have John finding sound frequencies?" Rose wanted to know.

"To keep occupied, why else?" Jake admitted. "To make it seem like he was useful, instead of having him feeling sorry for himself and having you feel sorry for him."

"Thanks a lot Jake," Rose sniffed as she blew her nose. "How close are ya to finding a signal or a way through?"

"We'll go through those that John's identified, see is we get anything back. If it's safe enough, until we experiment with making the gap bigger."

"Is that gonna be soon?" Rose asked as Jake escorted her back to John's room.

"We're working round the clock Rose, trust me. Pete's prepared to try anything. Sorry about the news."

"Are ya picking the pad up that John was using?" Rose asked him, trying to dry the last of her tears.

"Ya heard Owen, no more input from John," he reminded her. "Just talk about the good things ya both remember."

"That's all we have now Jake," Rose replied. "It was just the way he put it."

"Owen was never known for being tactful," Jake laughed as they reached the floor they wanted.

"Geez, I can still see those Daleks down here," Rose cringed at the thought.

"Rose, there will be safeguards," Jake promised. "When we find the right frequency, we won't have to make a bigger gap until then. We're gonna need ya then."

"How can I watch him get even worse Jake?" Rose wanted to know. "Why is this happening to him?"

"I wish we knew," Jake felt sorry for her. "We all know how much ya love him."

"Well at least Owen got rid of Martha, John didn't need her around," Rose told him as they arrived outside John's new suite of rooms. "He has to get better Jake."

"If ya find The Doctor, he will," Jake tried to assure her.

Rose stopped as Jake was about to open the door.

"Will he Jake?" she asked him.

"Ya are gonna at least try?" Jake replied, a bit lost as to her doubting it.

"Yeah, I'm gonna try Jake, as long as I'm not too late in finding The Doctor," she told him. "Let me know when ya find something."

"Right away," Jake grinned. "I'll just collect that pad then?"

"Ya might have trouble," Rose smiled.

"What am I supposed to do now?" John objected as Jake took the data pad. "I can't explain the frequencies to Rose."

"He's right," Rose insisted. "Can't I just play them to him and he says yes or no?" she suggested. "It can't do him any harm just listening to them."

"Okay, I'll load some more onto it and have it sent back down when I've downloaded these," Jake agreed. "No sense in doing the same ones twice."

"Let me feel I'm of some use," John urged him, the nurse adjusting the oxygen in the nasal tube.

"Miss Tyler, can I have a word," the nurse beckoned to Rose. "He's going to need the full mask on for longer periods soon, I have to recommend it to Doctor Ngaru."

"If that's what's needed?" Rose had to agree. "Guess he'll just have to nod or shake his head then?" she tried to joke.

The nurse and Jake left, the machines just beeping and buzzing away in the background.

"So what's the conclusion then?" John wanted to know.

"John, we're only doing what's best for ya," she reminded him again.

"I know but I'm not seeing any change Rose," he disagreed. "Lying here's not for me."

"I know that John. If Owen would let ya go around in a wheelchair, I'd push around myself but he won't allow it."

"Sorry love. I know you would. He's scared I'd get out and run off," John joked.

"Or ya'd build another Tardis and disappear," Rose laughed.

"If only love," John tried to smile back. "So, what was the meeting about then?"

"Speeding things up, amongst other things," Rose replied.

"Really Rose?" John strained to raise his eyebrows.

"Well some of it was. I have to be ready to go find your twin at a moment's notice, as soon as they get the slightest hint they may have found him."

"Then it can't be soon enough for me love," John replied.

"No more talking for now," the nurse who had remained close by insisted. "Time to take some medication anyway."

"Did I miss my lunchtime order?" Rose asked the nurse, since John was now on a special diet.

"No Miss Tyler, no-one's rung down yet," she was told. "I think Doctor Ngaru is coming back to see you, she didn't know you were going to that meeting with Doctor Harper."

The nurse finished putting the full oxygen mask on John then she went off so Rose took John's hand and sat facing him.

"Want me to carry on tellin' ya about Tony?" she smiled.

John nodded and closed his eyes. He knew she had no idea what this was like for him but she was trying her best to understand how serious it was. Rose was willing to sacrifice everything to try to get back again and find his twin to help put things right but he knew deep down nothing was going to work. He just wasn't meant to be here, in this world or the other.

He was a freak of nature, an accident involving his twin's severed hand, a mad Dalek and Donna Noble. It was a paradox, another endless paradox and he was at the centre of it this time. All the factors that had contributed to his existence, from Jack finding and keeping his severed hand to Donna merging with it while the Tardis was on fire.

Well he hoped Donna had fared better than he'd done but he somehow doubted it. The least his twin could do for their friend was wipe her memories of them and let her go back to her old life before she'd met them.

Owen had remained with Pete after speaking with his assistant.

"Yes Sammi, go ahead and order that," Owen agreed to the extra oxygen being ordered, Pete listening in.

"What else can we do?" Pete wondered. "If there's a miracle cure, find it."

"Don't think for a moment I wouldn't Pete," Owen went serious for a change. "I remember under the old regime, the first time I met someone and I was recruited. I couldn't save my own fiancée and I swore I wouldn't lose another patient. I still did though but they were either victims of aliens or aliens themselves. I don't count John as an alien."

"I know you don't Owen. I remember you and Rose didn't used to get on but all that's forgotten now. She trusts you and Sammi."

"She'll lose that trust if John doesn't make it," Owen replied. "I can't guarantee anything."

Sammi had gone to see if Rose had got back as John was resting.

"How are you doing Rose?" she asked as they sat at the table in the rest area after Sammi made drinks, the nurse sitting by John.

"I hate this Sammi," Rose admitted. "I was so happy when I came back with him."

"So I was told. At least he admitted he wasn't well and got help. You know how some men are?" Sammi smiled.

"Yeah, ya never met his stubborn twin," Rose recalled.

"So, what happened between you and Martha Jones then?" Sammi wanted to know.

"She used to know his twin, in the other universe and this one acts the same way. John doesn't need reminding of it," Rose told her.

"Oh, I see then," Sammi was amused. "She came on a bit strong then?"

"Sammi, John remembers her well, this Martha doesn't have a clue. This Martha seems to think she can lure him away from me with her clever remarks and her flirting, she doesn't know when to quit. She doesn't get how upsetting it is for John when he's ill."

"So she didn't get to him before then?" Sammi asked her.

"John said not. It was too soon after I came here, he just wasn't looking for a replacement for me. It wasn't just Martha, it could've been anyone he turned down. What gets me is how this one knew?"

"Maybe some of it just seeped through, when the gap between the two universes were open?" Sammi suggested.

"Sammi. When John came back with us, did he bring something back with him that was harmful, just to him?" Rose suddenly panicked.

"Oh! Rose, did anyone even think of that?" Sammi wondered. "It could be the air, the atmosphere, the temperature. When did he first start feeling ill?"

"On that beach, in Norway," Rose recalled. "Geez, Sammi. Ya'd best get Owen down here, fast."

Sammi got her phone out of her pocket, then stopped.

"Hold on though. You and his twin were here before, right?" she wanted to make sure.

"Well yeah but the other Doctor is a full Timelord, John's only half and half Human," Rose reminded her. "That's why he's got so ill so fast."

"Let's not jump to any conclusions yet Rose," Sammi insisted as she pressed Owen's number

"I'm on my way back down," Owen answered. "Are there any changes? Have you put him on extra oxygen?"

Sammi put her phone down as a feeling of dread came over her.

"Nurse Jenkins, take John's oxygen mask off – now," she called over without hanging up on Owen.

"Doctor?" she was questioned as the nurse got up to disconnect the mask.

"Just put the nasal tube back in for now," Sammi told her. "Owen, we might be responsible for making him worse."

"What?" Owen thought he'd heard her wrong. "How do you make that one out?"

"I'll explain when you get back here Owen but Rose and I have a theory about John's illness. He became ill the moment he stepped out of the Tardis."

"We know that Sammi," Owen replied dryly as he stepped out of the lift. "Tell me something I don't know."

"Owen, just think about it. Rose, was he okay until he stepped onto that beach?" she asked Rose.

"Well yeah, we were all cheering that we'd got the Earth back where it should be. Then everyone was saying goodbye," Rose replied. "Before I could argue, The Doctor had landed here, on that beach in Norway and my mum was complaining she'd have to call Pete to arrange for us all to get home."

"So it started gradually?" Sammi asked as she hung up on Owen when he joined them.

"Hold on, what started gradually?" Owen wanted to know.

"When John stepped out of the Tardis, he sensed something was wrong," Rose repeated.

"You said that before," Owen reminded her.

"Don't ya get it Owen? It's the air or whatever, because he's not adapted to it like The Doctor was," Rose told him as she realised.

"So it's because he's half and half?" Owen then realised. "Surely it wouldn't do that much damage and even then only to his lungs?"

"I'm no medical expert Owen, that's your department," Rose replied, leaning on the table.

"We've been giving him oxygen," Sammi told him, patting poor Rose on the back.

"So?" Owen replied, not getting it. "Have you taken him off it?"

"Not completely, just cut him back," Sammi replied. "How about experimenting with different mixtures?"

"He can't do without it," Rose reminded them.

"We know Rose," Sammi assured her as she sat beside Rose, putting her arm in Rose's.

"We could try. I suggest we keep him asleep, so not to cause him any discomfort though," Owen replied.

"Don't do that Owen, he'll want to know what you're trying," Rose insisted.

"Rose, I urge you to think about that," Sammi had to agree with Owen. "Every second he's awake now causes him discomfort. Why don't you ask your stepfather what he thinks?"

Rose nodded and got her phone out.

"Dad, can ya come down here?" she asked when Pete answered.

"Do I need to get your mother here?" Pete sounded serious.

Rose covered the phone and asked Owen.

"It's up to you Rose but if you're going off to find The Doctor, maybe you'd feel better leaving your mother with him?" Owen wondered.

"Yeah, can ya ring her for me?" Rose asked Pete. "Can ya get Tony's nanny to stay over with him?"

"Leave it to me love, I'll be down as soon as I can and I'll get your mother over here," Pete assured her. "I'll get an update from Owen but in the meanwhile, let John rest eh, it'll be the best thing for him."

"I need to talk to him first," Rose told Owen as she got up.

"Go ahead but you do all the talking, then Sammi will put something in his drip-tube to make him sleep," Owen warned her. "We'll keep it under review but if we're right about it being the air and oxygen, it's best he stays under. Rose, we've never had to deal with this before but we're putting everything into it."

"I know ya are Owen, thanks," Rose replied.

Rose went over to John and the nurse moved away. Owen and Sammi were talking.

"She's going to be devastated Owen," Sammi was telling him as Rose mopped John's forehead with a cool cloth.

"I know but what do we do?" Owen wanted to know. "Rose and I never got along before this, now she trusts me with John's life. Bit ironic really."

Rose's phone rang and Sammi saw it was Jake so she answered it.

"Do you want me to get her?" Sammi asked him.

"Pete just told me, tell her I'm sorry. Anyway, I've just downloaded some of those frequencies to the main computer system for the cannon, see if any of them locate The Doctor. I'll let ya know," Jake told her. "Tell Rose to hold on."

"I will Jake, thanks," Sammi replied.

She got up and went to join Rose.

"That was Jake, they're going to try those frequencies," she told her.

"He can't even identify any more," Rose told her sadly. "What if none of them work Sammi?"

"Then they do it the hard way," Sammi smiled as she patted Rose's hand. "Or they'll start sending agents."

"To the wrong places?" Rose asked.

"No-one in Torchwood will give up Rose, they'll be more volunteers than the equipment can handle, trust me," Sammi assured her. "So, I stay out of the way when your mother arrives then," she joked.

"I stay out of my mother's way when she arrives," Rose managed to smile at the thought.

"I'm gone," Owen agreed.

That left the poor nurse wondering what they were getting at. Sammi reminded the catering staff they wanted to order their meals, Owen went off to the other lab to think about Rose and Sammi's theory and to discuss it with Pete.

"They could be onto something Owen," Pete thought about it. "I'll talk to you when I come down, I just got off the phone with Jackie, I only got her off to organise the nanny getting Tony from nursery school. One thing bothers me though Owen. The Doctor was fine when he was here."

"That's what Rose said, it must be because John's only half Timelord? That's what we don't get," Owen agreed. "It can't be because he's only got one heart."

"I doubt his twin will know the answer to that," Pete told him as he got ready to meet Jackie when she arrived.

"Well whoever finds him needs to warn him before he steps foot on this planet again," Owen replied.

"He would have suffered before, surely?" Pete thought. "Hold on, do you think that's it Owen? That when his twin was here before, it did something to him and he passed it on?"

"You could have something there Pete," Owen agreed. "Rose was on the right track then? So if we find him, it won't do him any harm to come here?"

"Doesn't seem so, does it? It's his poor twin who's suffering. I don't suppose when he was here he expected to have a metacrisis twin?" Pete wondered as he stepped out of his office.

Jackie was on her way to Torchwood, not bothering to call Rose after Jake rang to say she was with John.

"Well he's in the best place I suppose," Jackie had told him. "Poor Rose though, I mean she'll have to leave him to go find you know who."

"Not until we're sure we know where he is," Jake corrected her.

Sammi managed to get Rose away from John to eat her lunch and they had just finished as Pete and Jackie arrived as Pete had insisted on making sure Jackie had eaten.

"How's she holdin' up Pete?" Jackie wanted to know about Rose.

"Not very well Jaks," Pete admitted. "You go to her, I need to talk to Owen about John. It was Rose and Sammi who came up with the idea it was the air or oxygen that was making John ill."

"Fancy it being that then?" Jackie asked him on their way down. "It's a bit hard to believe Pete."

"Well Owen's running more tests and he's put Sammi on full time with John. He's not to be left without a doctor and nurse now, Owen will have to get someone else in to take over from them or everyone's going to be worn down," Pete told her.

"Well I wish Rose would get some proper rest," Jackie replied as they stepped out of the lift. "This building still gives me the creeps Pete. You weren't almost made into a Cyberman."

"Maybe not Jaks but I had to pretend they'd taken control of me and so did Rose," he recalled.

He opened the door for Jackie and Rose went straight to her.

"How's he doin' then?" Jackie asked after they'd hugged.

"He's not good Mum," Rose admitted. "Have ya met Sammi and this is nurse Jenkins."

"Mrs Tyler. Call me Sally. I'll be going off duty soon but someone else will be here," she told Jackie.

"Don't let Martha come in here," Rose reminded her.

"Of course not Miss Tyler," the nurse nodded.

"What's happened now?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Nothing Mum," Rose tried to bluff. "Just the same old stuff, like Martha thinkin' it was some sort of contest. I wonder if she thinks the same now?"

Rose dipped another cloth in the cool water beside John and placed it on his forehead.

"Rose, he's gonna spring up, just like he did that Christmas, remember? When he was regenerating and everyone was gonna jump off the rooftops," Jackie laughed. "Ya gave up on him then sweetheart but he didn't give up on us, did he?"

"That was different Mum," Rose replied. "He can't regenerate this time, he's not a full Timelord, he's only got one life. He was supposed to be spending it with me."

Rose leaned her head on his shoulder but Jackie pulled her away, motioning for the nurse to take over from her at mopping John's forehead. She led Rose over to the table and just let Rose cry, Sammi staying out of the way.

Chapter 8

"Come back home tonight Rose," Jackie tried to encourage her.

"No Mum, I'm not leaving him," Rose insisted.

"I promise someone will call," Sammi tried to assure her. "You need a change of scenery Rose. We'll have to keep John asleep while we figure this thing out or we can contact The Doctor. If you go home, come back in the morning and Jake might have had some luck identifying some of those frequencies."

"It makes sense," Jackie tried to tell her. "Tony misses ya and I don't really wanna let him stay with his nanny tonight but if you're staying, then so am I."

"Mum, ya don't have to," Rose told her, knowing what Jackie was like.

"Well tough. So, what's it gonna be?" Jackie called Rose's bluff.

Rose saw Sammi was smirking.

"You two are ganging up on me," Rose leaned back on the chair.

"It's for your own good Rose," Sammi reminded her. "You'll make yourself ill as well, it won't do John any good either. Jake will call if they get a response from any frequencies they try. Now, get out of here before I have you escorted out, Agent Tyler," she laughed.

"Sure you shouldn't be on Jake's security team?" Rose huffed as she got up.

"I don't want to see you until tomorrow morning," Sammi grinned at getting her own way at last. "I have plenty of work to do, like finding the right mixture to give to John that won't make him any worse."

"Are ya concentrating on that then?" Rose asked as Jackie tried to lead her past John.

"We've all got our parts to play Rose," Sammi replied. "We won't leave anything untried, trust me. I would give anything right now for Jake to scream the place down that he's made contact but until then, we all keep working. You're not on your own with this Rose, everyone's behind you."

"Have ya put out an appeal?" Jackie asked, out of the blue.

"For what Mum?" Rose replied. "He doesn't need a transplant, does he Sammi?"

"No Mrs Tyler, sorry, it doesn't work like that, John's is a rather unique situation, with him only being half Human," Sammi tried to explain.

"I just wondered?" Jackie looked put out. "Come on Rose, I'll call Pete to get us a car to take us home."

Jackie hadn't thought it would be that easy to prise Rose away from John's side but her daughter was tired and unlike that Christmas when The Doctor had woken up after regenerating, his twin was going to do no such thing, unless a miracle took place.

Jake was upstairs, going through the frequencies John had identified, one by one and from different angles. If they all failed, they were going back to the first ones and try other ways of broadcasting them through the tiniest gap that they were desperately hoping wouldn't attract any unwanted attention.

Then, if there was any indication they had found who they wanted, Rose would either go through when they risked expanding the gap in The Void they'd been working on around the clock or Rose would give the word it was safe to let the Tardis come through, providing it would now work in this universe.

It would maybe get through but there was no guarantee it would get back and it would be no good to John without power. Pete had made provisions for that though. Large cables were being hooked up to provide enough power to run labs inside the ship and hopefully, The Doctor would be able to somehow save John.

Rose was just about to leave when she stopped and got her phone out.

"Jake, listen. If ya can't contact The Doctor, try contacting Mickey," she suggested, the idea coming to her suddenly.

"Rose, do ya know what the chances of that will be?" Jake replied. "Less than finding The Doctor."

"It was just an idea Jake," Rose defended herself.

"It's okay, we're all on edge," Jake replied as more cables and large generators were brought into the already over-crowded cannon room. "Look, I'll talk to Pete, about risking sending teams over to find Mickey if there's no sign of The Doctor. They can split up and look for Mickey, he might have some idea where he is."

"We can't risk anything getting through Jake," she reminded him.

"Don't worry, the risks will be small," he tried to assure her. "Go home and get some rest, that's an order, before I throw you out."

"What did ya mean by that?" Jackie wanted to know. "Ya can't let those Cybermen back."

"I'm the last one who wants them back Mum," Rose reminded Jackie. "Like Jake said, they have to locate the gap first and they'll be floating around the void, it'll take them a while to communicate with each other."

"So how will you get through?" Sammi was curious.

"Jake said something about a passageway, well sort of. We'll be going in a straight line, being guided rather than finding our own way," Rose tried to explain.

"It's a good thing it wasn't explained to me then," Jackie told them. "Come on Rose, let's go home, Pete should have that car waiting. If you're staying tomorrow night, so am I."

"Mum, Tony needs ya more than I do. I'll be fine," she insisted.

"There is only room for Rose, we weren't expecting anyone else Mrs Tyler," Sammi told Jackie. "Why don't you stay at home overnight for your son and just spend the days here with Rose?"

Rose didn't think anyone else would get away with it but Sammi had a way about her. Once they were home, Rose went for a rest before she faced her little brother and the family meal. When Pete got home, he asked how Rose was.

"I've never seen her like this Pete," Jackie admitted to him as he fussed over Tony. "Even the first time The Doctor regenerated on us. Seeing him lying there then is nothing like seeing him now."

"I know Jaks, the main things is, she's not alone. Sammi suggested you just spend the days with her from now on, someone will be with her overnight anyway," Pete told her.

"I feel like I should be with her all the time Pete," Jackie replied.

"We all do," Pete assured her as Rose entered. "Feeling better love?" he asked her.

"A bit I suppose? Did Jake tell ya about maybe tryin' to contact Mickey?" Rose asked him as she sat down.

"It may be possible, I told Jake to get someone onto it but maybe he's moved on?" Pete wondered.

"Dad, it can't have been that long?" Rose disagreed.

"Did ya see the way he went off, after that Martha?" Jackie reminded her.

"Yeah Mum but he wouldn't just stop having anything to do with The Doctor, would he?" Rose replied.

"Well with you going off with his twin, he wouldn't think ya'd be coming back, would he?" Jackie told her.

"It's only been a few months for us Dad, maybe The Doctor thought something may go wrong?" Rose wondered.

"He may have had no reason to," Pete hated to tell her. "Mickey may have an open mind though and may still have some of the 'void stuff' you were all on about."

Rose was back in John's room the next morning, persuading her mother to join her the day after as she wanted to catch up with what had been going on while she'd been gone.

"He's still holding on," Sammi smiled in sympathy. "He's no worse. Sorry, I wish I had something else to tell you. Call Jake and see if he has any news for you."

Rose was about to when Jake called her.

"Rose, what was that you said about the Medusa Cascade?"

"John said he was there when he found out the Daleks had stolen the Earth, he said everything seeps into it, from all dimensions even though the Timelords aren't there to control it any more. He said it was like an intersection for time travel at one time. I just thought maybe he'd gone there after taking Donna home. He said it was sad but Donna wouldn't be able to cope with a Timelord brain, his twin would have to remove all her memories of them."

"Yeah, that does sound a bit sad," Jake had to admit. "Can ya remember anything else? What did he receive the message from?"

"A mobile but it just rang, he followed the signal," Rose told him. "I was with Donna's family, we were all trying to dial the number. We could see Martha, Sarah-Jane, the other Torchwood and Harriet Jones but they all had webcams except us. Geez, the number's still in the phone I had with me," she suddenly realised. "Is it with the rest of my stuff?"

"Yeah, it won't have been touched, it's your mission equipment and you've not officially given up yet," Jake grinned to himself. "I'll have it brought here."

"I'll be right up," Rose sounded excited.

Rose grabbed hold of a surprised Sammi and gave her a hug.

"If this works, I'll be back with The Doctor. Sammi, keep John alive for me, please?"

"Rose, you know I will, now go and get his twin, we'll do everything we can. This is really positive, the best news we could have hoped for," Sammi told her.

"Well, we still have to hope he has that mobile phone and that it works through the void," Rose replied. "Can't see that being a problem though, if every universe seeps into the cascade."

"You'd better hope it does," Sammi laughed.

Jake had ordered Rose's standard mission equipment to be brought to the cannon room and had called Pete.

"Has she only just realised?" Pete wanted to know.

"You know what she's been like Pete," Jake told him. "We were concentrating on getting a signal through frequencies, we just forgot what she said about the cascade."

"Yeah, a lot's been going on, last night wasn't easy for her to leave John," Pete admitted. "I'm on my way."

Pete arrived outside the cannon room a minute before Rose and seeing the lift indicator, waited for her.

"This is what we wanted Rose," he told her.

"I should have thought about it sooner Dad," Rose admitted.

"Rose, he may not have been around anyway, he could have been hiding away somewhere," Pete replied. "Let me or Jake make the call eh?"

Rose had to agree as they entered the room and her equipment was laid on a table. It had been switched on, having been adapted to work in any universe and any network it picked up. Rose went into the call history and found the last number dialled and knowing it was the right one with the number of times it had been tried. She handed the phone to Jake.

"Well, here goes then?" Jake grinned as he put his finger on the green button and it began to dial and praying he didn't get an out of service tone.

Everyone had been told what was going on and had gone quiet. Rose was crossing her fingers, Pete had his arm around her shoulder in case the call didn't connect and Jake was holding his breath and willing the call to connect, resisting putting it on the speaker.

It had been a few weeks now since The Doctor had taken Rose and Jackie back to their new home and he'd left his twin or clone, whatever the other him was with Rose. She had deserved some closure, having been left on that same beach before and he'd run out of time to tell her how he felt about her.

Now, this new him could tell her what she wanted to hear and stay with her because no matter how much he himself wanted to stay with her, it wasn't possible. He was bound to do something stupid and regenerate again and he could be another grouch, like he was when he was in his sixth regeneration.

He'd left poor Donna with her family and had gone off to reflect on the recent events that had led to another one of him growing out of his spare hand. At least it wasn't a forced creation, like Jenny, who he thought about all the time. Now, he just wanted to gather his thoughts and had drifted around near where he'd last been with Donna - the Medusa Cascade.

He jumped suddenly when the phone Martha had left on the centre console suddenly rang. Had she left something behind she wanted or did she want to tell him she'd stopped pining after him and gone after Mickey the idiot?

"Best answer it or she'll just keep calling it," he told himself as he went around the other side. "Unless it's a wrong number? No, is it? Only over six billion people now have the number I suppose? How do you go about changing it? Can't call the Universal Roaming Network," he laughed to himself.

Jake was hoping Rose hadn't been mistaken about the number.

"Are ya sure this is right?" he dared ask her.

"When did I have time to call anyone else on it Jake?" she almost snapped at him. "Sorry. Keep tryin' will ya?"

"If it cuts off, I'll dial it again," he promised, knowing John's chances were growing slimmer by the minute and this was wasting time.

The Doctor picked the phone up and was about to flip it open. What if it was some crank trying their luck? Then he thought no, who else had universal roaming except when Jack was running all the telephone exchanges through the rift? He would have surely disconnected all the cables by now? Maybe Martha had passed the number onto Jack for some reason? This was doing no good.

Jake was about to give up and re-dial when the ringing on the other end was replaced by silence. Had The Doctor hung up?

"Hello?" Jake asked cautiously, in case Martha had actually taken the phone back now the emergency was over?

No, she'd probably want to still keep tabs on him, he smiled to himself as he waited for a reply.

Then it suddenly dawned on The Doctor that Wilfred might have stored the number and was calling about Donna but the accent sounded more northern but not the same as his own old one that had made Rose laugh. It then hit him as he slapped his forehead.

"Jake, is that you?" he almost laughed.

"Doctor! Am I glad to hear your voice," Jake also laughed, trying to stop Rose taking the phone from him by turning away and Pete trying to keep hold of her arms and hissing a 'wait' to her.

"Jakey-boy! Is Rose there? Is she okay? How is she? Is she still with my twin?" The Doctor fired questions at him.

"Whoa, slow down Doctor," Jake told him, trying to put the phone on the speaker but Pete shaking his head to stop Rose taking over, she was far too emotional at present. "Rose is fine but it's your twin," he tried to tell him.

The Doctor was about to say something when there was a beeping noise and they were disconnected.

"No!" The Doctor shouted at the phone, the display showing just a blank screen.

Jake was trying to call the number again but only got the busy signal.

"How can it be busy?" Rose almost cried.

"Calm down Rose, we'll get him back," Pete tried to assure her.

"When Dad?" Rose let him lead her to a chair by the window.

"Jake, get onto communications, try and boost the signal," Pete told him.

"It's going through the gap we made," Jake reminded Pete. "I need your permission to keep it open longer."

"Ya mean it just closed?" Rose looked up at Pete.

"You know we can only keep it open for random lengths of time Rose, to stop anyone locating it and trying to get through. It was the only way the board would agree to us trying to contact The Doctor to try and save John. We all thought you were both here to stay," Pete reminded her.

"How long before it opens again?" Rose sounded defeated.

"It's not on a timer Rose. Last time, we were in communication with all of you but then he ended up bringing you back," Pete told her. "The timer was a safety precaution while we came up with something else. It could open any time and stay open anything from five minutes to five hours, it's computer controlled."

"Your work Jake?" Rose turned to her friend, who was still holding the phone.

"Rose, they wouldn't agree otherwise," he reminded her again. "At least The Doctor's been alerted, he may be looking for a way through," Jake suggested.

"Then everyone must be ready," Pete replied. "Power cables are in place, how's everything else?" he turned to the head of the cannon project.

"Sir, everything's still working but if the gap in the void is being controlled, anyone using it has to be ready at a moment's noticed," Pete was told. "If they're ready to come back just as it closes though?"

"A fail-safe was added," Jake revealed. "If the computer receives a legitimate signal, it won't close until they arrive back."

"Well I don't fancy being lost in the void, thanks," Rose shivered at the thought. "Once bitten and all that. If it opens, I'm going."

"Did we get a location?" Pete asked the cannon operator. "Where was the Tardis?"

"Where is was predicted Sir, the Medusa Cascade but we won't know if it's moved or not," Pete was told.

"Jake, the minute the void opens again, call that number and get a fix on it," Pete told him. "Warn The Doctor Rose is coming through, tell him not to move under any circumstances."

"Yeah, got it Boss," Jake grinned.

"I'm off down to see John, then I'll get ready," Rose told them. "Why didn't I think of this before Dad?"

"Rose, don't be so hard on yourself. You weren't thinking straight," he assured her. "He could have been anywhere."

Pete went down to the basement with her, to explain to Sammi and Owen what they had planned while Rose went to John.

"You just hold on," Rose was telling him. "Don't you dare give up on me now, do ya hear? You're too stubborn to give up."

She leaned her head on his shoulder, then kissed his cheek.

"I'm gonna bring him back with me, even if the Tardis objects, she can try all she wants but if he tells her it's to save you, she might just try her best. I love you John."

"Rose, why don't you get some rest before you go?" Sammi insisted as she returned. "It's very brave of you to go back to get his twin."

"What else am I supposed to do Sammi?" Rose asked her.

"Send Jake?" Sammi tried to cheer Rose up. "Go lie down at least? We have to be ready to take John to the cannon room the moment we're told you've brought The Doctor with you. We don't want any delays. A lot of people are working very hard to make sure it all goes smoothly."

"We won't know how to thank everyone enough for what they're doing," Rose admitted.

"Just seeing him well again will be enough," Sammi smiled. "Don't go making me cry as well," she noticed the sad look in Rose's eyes.

She leaned over and put her arm around Rose.

"I wish I could wake him up for you, so you can tell him," Sammi then told her.

"I know Sammi, thanks. I think I'll just sit beside him and close my eyes for a while then," Rose gave in.

Rose sat down and Sammi sent another nurse in as Sally was having some time off but had said Rose wasn't to be disturbed unless Jake called. Owen and Pete had finished their discussion, Owen saying they would fully co-operate should The Doctor get through successfully and the Tardis could be powered.

"So, he'll have everything he needs in the ship's medical bay?" Owen had asked.

"From what John told me before he got seriously ill," Pete assured him. "He may want to work on his own and only call for assistance if things don't go right."

"He'll have all the assistance he needs although I expect he'll have his own ways of doing things," Owen replied. "So, Rose insisted on going to get him?"

"She won't even let Jake go," Pete laughed. "We're all worried about her. I wish that phone call would have lasted long enough so we didn't have to send her. We had to put safeguards in place though."

"So, if the Doctor tries to get through on his own?" Owen wondered.

"Unless he times it right or sends the right signal," Pete told him. "We didn't tell Rose everything, that even if the gap is only tiny, we can't risk making it bigger for any fake signals."

"Such as?" Owen wondered.

"Someone or something imitating an agent's signal, if any have gone through – or the Tardis," Pete replied.

Chapter 9

The Doctor was still shaking the phone Martha had left him. It had been lucky it had been put back on the console after they'd used it to track a signal to where the Daleks had hidden the missing planets. No-one had told him about charging it though, what did he know about such things as mobile phones? Had Martha even thought about it when she'd left it with him?

He opened a drawer under the console, rummaging through it and throwing things out all over the floor. He remembered Rose was always putting a lead in hers to call her mother and spending ages chatting to Jackie about everything and nothing. That was what he had loved about her, Rose and her ordinary life. Now, it seemed like there was a problem of some kind with his twin by what Jake had said.

He didn't pretend to understand how mobile phones worked if they ran out of charge. Would they retain the last number received, since it wasn't even from this universe? Yes, it had 'Universal Roaming' – the full package but he'd never tried it out personally.

He found a short lead that looked vaguely like what he needed and got down on his knees to the power points his previous form had installed, putting the small end in the phone and hoping it would fit. He put the plug into the socket and switched it on, praying it wouldn't blow every one of the ship's circuits or he'd crash-land somewhere.

"Thank you!" he exclaimed when a green battery light came on the phone's screen. "I bet Martha sneaked that lead in there on her last visit! Right, best leave that for a while and then try calling back, unless Jake calls me first."

He decided he'd be better off staying where he was, Jake could have got a fix on his position if he still worked at Torchwood. What had happened to Rose and his twin though? Had they fallen out for some reason? Who had left who? Maybe he'd been wrong to throw them together and expect them to just get on with it?

Pete was trying to comfort poor Rose when he was told the gap in the void hadn't just closed.

"We'll get him back love," he promised her. "Won't we Jake?"

"Yeah Rose, it's probably something stupid like a flat battery, knowing him," Jake tried to joke. "Let's give him a bit of time, see if he calls back or I'll try him again."

"While we wait, John's chances aren't gettin' any better," Rose began to sob.

"We know Rose," Pete told her. "None of us want that. So, how does that universal roaming work then?" he tried to take her mind off things.

"I don't know, it just does. The first Doctor did something to my phone so I could call mum. He said wait until I got the phone bill," she recalled, a bit of a smile coming through.

"From what she told me, she didn't even know you were gone at first," Pete reminded her.

"John had so much to tell me Dad, about all the things he did and the places he went. He met Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, battled some rogue Daleks in 1930's Manhattan."

"Rose, he still will love," Pete put his arm around her again, offering her another large tissue from the box on the table.

"It doesn't seem like it," Rose sniffed into the tissue. "What if ya can't get the Doctor back on the phone Jake?"

"We got through before Rose, he'll probably stay where he is so he doesn't get distracted," Jake told her.

"Yeah, he's good at doing that," Rose recalled.

"Why don't you get some fresh air?" Pete suggested. "Or at least come up to my office? Jake can make the call from up there."

"Rose, I'll call you right away if there's any change in John," Sammi promised. "You need a break."

"Let's all go to the canteen first, get a drink and something to eat?" Pete also suggested, knowing Rose wasn't eating much.

Jake got up, holding Rose's work phone.

"Come on Rose, when we get up there, I'll try calling him again," he promised.

Rose knew she was being ganged up on and reluctantly let Pete help her up.

"Rose, being in these artificial lights all the time are not doing your eyes any good," Sammi reminded her. "As your physician at Torchwood, take my advice and get some natural light or you'll make yourself ill. You won't be able to help John then."

"Okay, okay, I'm going," Rose knew she couldn't beat the three of them.

"Jake, I'm putting you in charge of keeping her away from here for a few hours," Sammi laughed.

Rose always knew when Jake meant business, he could be worse than her mother. Once in the large canteen just below the cannon room which was the old lever room, the three of them sat at a table by the window.

"Need some sunglasses Rose?" Jake teased her as the autumn sunlight shone through the windows.

"Very funny Jake. Do ya think his phone will be charged by now?" she asked impatiently. "I mean there is a time difference."

"Yes and he's behind us," Pete reminded her.

"Well he can leave it plugged in while he talks," Rose objected. "Sorry Dad. I just want to hear his voice."

"I know love, no need to apologise, we're all making allowances for you but you need some proper rest, or Sammi will be looking after you as well. None of us want that," Pete told her. "If a way can be found to get to the Doctor, you won't be fit to go."

"He's right," Jake agreed, holding the phone and bringing up the number again. "I'll try him again, he might have lost the number if the battery went."

"I want to talk to him Jake," Rose reminded him.

"Jake's the best one to explain about John, then you can talk to him," Pete told her. "We're not trying to stop you talking to him but it's important he understands how urgent it is he tries to get through and what we're willing to do to get him here in one piece."

"We only got here by accident before Dad," Rose replied. "He said his people used to do it all the time but what I don't get is why it stopped?"

"There must have been a reason?" Pete wondered.

Jake had re-dialled the phone he'd called the Doctor on earlier. He waited to hear the ringing tone and was pleased he didn't get any messages saying the call couldn't be connected but what language would they have been in?

The Doctor had been staring at the phone as he sat where he and Rose used to sit. He'd been thinking of the time they'd been laughing at his cheesy jokes while Mickey had been holding down a button then a few minutes later, they'd crash-landed on Pete's World.

Was he going to have to attempt to make the crossing again? He'd tried to recreate it many a time, to get Rose back but as usual, he'd become distracted and then Rose had somehow found him and what had he gone and done? He'd only gone and inadvertently created a clone of himself and left it with her. He'd never even given them time to discuss it.

Had Rose been so mad she'd got Jake to call him for her? He jumped up at the first ring, since he'd dared to turn the phone back on after five minutes.

"Rose?" he asked hopefully.

"Not quite," Jake laughed. "Doctor, I've got something important to tell you, about your twin. He's very ill, he needs you."

"Jake, I can't just hop over there," The Doctor told him, wishing the phone charger lead was longer.

"We have measures in place to help you get here Doctor, we're going to do everything we can," Jake told him. "We're going to get Rose to you, if you stay where you are."

"Are you crazy Jake?" the Doctor asked him. "You can't risk her like that. How are you even going to do it?"

"We adapted those devices they used, your twin helped, before he got really ill. Doctor, it's got something to do with his breathing, the doctors here now think it's the air quality or the oxygen he's being given but they can't take him off it in case it isn't that," Jake tried to explain. "There's also something else."

Isn't there always, The Doctor asked himself.

"He got ill just after he got here," Jake continued. "He thought it maybe had something to do with his creation."

Rose cringed as Jake began to explain. It was painful listening to it again.

"I see then?" the Doctor got all serious. "I don't know what to say Jake. Can I talk to Rose, she must be really upset."

"Sure, I'll put her on," Jake told him.

"Doctor," Rose took the phone from Jake. "I'd have called sooner but I'd completely forgotten I had that phone number from when everyone was trying to contact ya."

"Rose, it's fine. What happened, he seemed fine when I left him," the Doctor replied, wondering what had gone wrong.

Now he knew why there had never been any Meta-Crisis or whatever you wanted to call it. Maybe there had been and the Timelords had kept it quiet because non of them had ever survived. How could he tell Rose that?

"He started to complain just after you left, he said he didn't feel right but put it down to it being a new experience," Rose told him.

"Rose, it could be only that," he told her.

"For all this time?" Rose asked him.

"Sorry. Rose, I don't want you to risk coming to me, it's dangerous," he insisted. "Even the slightest bit out."

"I get it," Rose agreed. "They have everything ready to get you here though. We need you Doctor, John needs you."

"I know you got through Rose but the Tardis won't work over there," he reminded her.

"We've got power cables ready to help with that," Jake spoke up. "You'll have all the power you need. Rose told us about that power cell last time. Doctor, all you have to do is keep one alive and we can boost it for you to get you back. You have to at least try."

The Doctor went silent for a moment. How could he refuse to help his twin? He'd let Jenny die while she'd been saving him, how could he let it happen again?

"How much time does he have?" he asked solemnly.

"We don't know," Pete replied. "He's been sedated, they're doing everything they can for him, he has 24 hour care and Rose won't leave him. You just give us the word and we'll send you the co-ordinates to land in Torchwood's cannon room, that's where all the power's been set up."

"I'm trusting you Pete, you know how I feel about any kind of Torchwood," the Doctor reminded him. "I'll need to make preparations, I'll contact you when I'm ready. Pete don't you dare let Rose attempt to get to me."

"Hey, I'm here ya know," Rose reminded him.

"Sorry Rose, it's just too dangerous. If I was on Earth, then maybe but not in space," he replied. "I'll be as fast as I can but it's still risky getting the Tardis through. Pete, have you something to control the gap in the void?"

"Yes but we never know for how long but we'll tell you how to get through safely and we'll make it big enough for you to get through. We're working on something else for communications but it's in the early stages," Pete admitted. "Rose's phone will be on, just call."

"I will. See you all soon, hopefully," the Doctor replied.

"I'm off to tell Sammi," Rose told Jake and Pete.

"Hold on, not so fast," Pete told her. "Your time's not up yet."

"Are ya both gonna hold me hostage up here then?" Rose asked.

"If we have to. Jake, get some more drinks will you?" Pete asked him.

"Coming up," Jake laughed.

"Dad, the Doctor will be able to get through safely?" Rose asked Pete.

"Everything has been put in place, don't worry," he assured her. "His driving had better not be off by much though."

"Very funny Dad," Rose smiled as Jake came back. "Will ya let me know when he's arriving?" she asked Jake.

"Ya know I will," he replied. "I'll let Sammi know, she'll have someone on standby to take John to him."

"I hate to have to bring him here to save his own twin," Rose told them.

"Rose, think how he would have felt if he'd found out when it was too late," Pete reminded her. "At least John has a chance now. You and your mother weren't gone long, let's hope it doesn't take long for the Doctor to get here."

"Can I go now?" Rose dared ask as she finished her drink.

"You have to keep taking proper breaks," Pete insisted.

"Well once the Doctor's here and he can make John well, there won't be any need," Rose smiled as she got up.

"I'm off to make more arrangements, now it's happening," Jake told her.

"Yes, I have to go explain why we're having to widen the gap," Pete told them both.

"Dad, they won't turn ya down, will they?" Rose was suddenly worried.

"They know how urgent it is that John gets help," Pete assured her. "Do you want to call your mother?"

"Geez no, not her and the Doctor together," Rose groaned, making Jake laugh.

The Doctor could hardly believe what Jake had just told him. Something had gone seriously wrong with the process when his twin had been created. From what he'd gathered, Donna had been compelled to touch his hand in the jar while the Tardis had been on fire and a new version of himself had been formed.

Maybe some sort of battle was taking place for dominance, between his Human and Timelord sides? He couldn't see it being anything to do with the air quality though, it had to be something else. He set about getting ready for the co-ordinates to land in the other universe, knowing the ship wouldn't thank him for it and would probably try to resist. He put his hands on the console.

"It's for my twin, he needs us," he spoke to the empty room. "Rose needs us."

The ship hummed her approval to him and he let go. Now, he just had to wait, there wasn't much else he could do, except hope that tiny power cell from before would survive yet again. Maybe it was the ship's way to ensure her survival no matter what?

Everything was ready in the cannon room. It had been chosen because it had been thought Rose would be going to find the Doctor but now, he was coming to them – well so they hoped. Jake was doing the final check of the co-ordinates.

"I tell you, it's not going to be precise enough," Simon, the head technician was telling Jake as Pete joined them.

"Every minute we delay doesn't help John," Pete reminded him.

"I'm sorry Director, I'm fully aware of that and I have every sympathy but if the Doctor has moved even the slightest bit, we may not be able to help him through, it's very complex."

"So what do you suggest?" Pete wanted to know, since things would be getting critical and the gap had only just reopened again.

"Someone goes over," Simon replied, looking at Pete.

"That's out of the question, the Tardis is in a nebula. If whoever we send misses, I don't have to draw a picture," Pete told Simon.

"Sir, may I make a suggestion? Jake could get the Doctor to somehow guide whoever we send so they land safely and they in turn have the exact co-ordinates that can't be given over the phone," Simon seemed pleased with himself. "We put everything the Doctor needs on a pad. The only thing is, as soon as the agent goes, we have to be ready to widen the gap for the Tardis to get through right away with not knowing the time difference."

"Leave that to me. Get that information on a data pad. Jake, get ready to go and make sure you contact the Doctor to be ready."

"Pete, Rose will go crazy if you don't send her," Jake reminded him.

"Jake, I can't send her and you know it," Pete told him.

"He won't let anything happen to her, he'll make sure she reaches the Tardis," Jake replied.

"Call her, it's up to her," Pete had to agree. "Simon, get ready to open that gap to get someone through, then widen it again and keep it open. No-one closes it, understand?"

"Yes Director, the gap's ready to be widened."

Jake was on to Rose.

"I don't care Jake, I'm going," Rose told him. "Have ya told the Doctor yet?"

"I was just about to, he'll make sure you get there. You understand the risk?" Jake had to ask her.

"Yeah, it's what I signed up for, remember?" she reminded him. "I'm on my way, ya'd better call him."

"Are you going over to get him then?" Sammi had been trying to listen.

"I have to Sammi, they can't guide him through, it needs precise co-ordinates. He'll make sure I get there."

"He'd better. Be careful Rose," Sammi went to give her a hug,

"I'll be back with him before ya know it," Rose smiled at her friend.

Rose went over to kiss John's forehead.

"You just hold on, do ya hear me?" she whispered to him. "I wish ya could hear me. I'm off to get him, he's coming here to make ya better, just don't give up on me."

"I'll stay with him," Sammi promised her.

Rose went off to the cannon room where everyone was busy with their tasks. Rose didn't bother getting changed, there was no point but had to wait for her phone as Jake was still using it.

"She's here Doctor, you know what to do when I end this call. Wait 30 seconds and we'll activate the cannon at our end and just remember, you'll have to answer to her mother if this goes wrong," Jake added.

"That's what I'm afraid of," the Doctor replied. "Is everything ready Jake?"

"Yeah. Hopefully, we'll see ya shortly and don't worry, we'll take care of the Tardis, you just take care of John," Jake told him.

"Thanks for taking care of him," the Doctor replied.

Simon signalled everything was ready. Rose was stood where she was supposed to be, Jake handed her the phone and the data pad and got out of the way. The technicians started the process as on the other side, the Doctor was preparing to guide Rose the rest of the way, hoping the ship's extended shields would protect her if she landed a few feet short.

He'd not had much time to alter the distance they covered but he trusted the Tardis knew what he intended them being extended for. Then if Rose didn't appear in front of him, he'd open the doors and prepare for a rescue mission after tying a rope to himself.

Rose felt a rush of air, having taken a deep breath, which she had got used to doing. She had glanced at Pete and Jake then everything had gone black and she usually closed her eyes until she felt she had landed. She never knew exactly how long it ever took to get to where she was going, which had been mostly missing the Doctor and landing in the wrong time period or in made-up worlds.

She trusted the gap had been made bigger, she didn't need the hand-held device to get back this time, they were waiting for the Tardis going back instead. The signal for keeping the gap open was contained in the data pad, Jake had told her.

The Doctor was watching the monitor and looking around at the same time for any signs of Rose, his two hearts beating faster than normal. It hadn't been that long since he'd seen her but he'd missed her. Then he suddenly heard a gasp as Rose landed.

"Oh! I'm here, wow!"

The Doctor moved the monitor away so he could see.

"Rose! You clever girl, you made it!" he laughed, going to greet her and then picking her up and spinning her around. "Oh it's good to see you. How could John get so ill?"

"I don't know, he just did. We were still on that beach and when we got back home, we took him to Torchwood and it just went from there. I'll let his doctors explain it. This is what ya need to get us back," she told him, handing him the data pad. "I'll let them know I made it, good thing Pete never told my mum I was coming to get ya."

"You're telling me," he agreed, turning on the pad.

"Oh, the signal to keep the gap open is on there as well, just in case it decides to close, it's a safeguard," Rose told him as she followed him.

"You can explain it another time," the Doctor replied, following the data as it appeared on the screen. "Let's get you back."

After a quick call to Jake, who was relieved to hear her voice, before they knew it, they had landed on the floor of the cannon room, everyone having been told to stand back. The bad news was that every single power circuit in the Tardis had gone out, one by one as they had done so.

"I told you," the Doctor wagged his finger at Rose in the glow of the Tardis coral while grabbing a torch from under the console. "This way."

He shone the beam at the doors but as he opened them, they were greeted by Pete and Jake.

"Welcome back Doctor," Pete told him, holding his hand out.

The Doctor put the torch in his pocket and shook Pete's hand.

"Pete Tyler. Well thanks for landing me safely, I hope that's the right sort of power?" he pointed to all the cables.

"They'll power anything you may need in your labs if you need them and we'll bring lighting in. Do you want to go down and see him or we can bring him up here when we've powered up your ship?" Pete asked him.

The Doctor thought Pete wasn't messing around.

"Ah, Jakey boy!" he then greeted Jake. "Can you go inside and under the grating, there should be a green light. If there is, can you bring it to me?"

"Sure Doctor. Does it need powering up?" Jake asked him.

"No, only I can do that, it got me out of here the last time," the Doctor grinned.

"No need to worry about that Doctor, we won't let you get stuck here, we'll get you back," Pete promised.

"Thanks Pete. Right, best go see him, then I'll know if I need him in the Tardis lab."

"While we're gone, we'll get the lighting in, just in case," Pete told him, waving to the chief electrician. "Coming Rose?"

"You won't tell mum I went to get him?" she wanted to make sure.

"I won't if you won't," the Doctor joked as he nudged her.

"Here ya are Doctor," Jake called from the Tardis doorway, handing him a small green light.

The Doctor kissed it, breathed on it and it started to glow.

"Huh, another ten years gone," he told them as they waited for the lift.

"Sammi, the Doctor's with us, we're coming down," Jake was telling her.

Sammi didn't know how to break the news to them. She'd been about to call Pete after getting Owen to join her.

"I don't know what else to do Owen," she had told him. "He's barely hanging on and there's nothing I can do."

"Okay Sammi, we've done all we can, hopefully Rose will bring the Doctor back with her. Don't give up yet," Owen told her, putting his hand on her shoulder.

She would have normally told him to go away but not now. Rose was going to be very upset when she found out. She jumped when her phone rang and it was Jake.

"Tell me you have some good news Jake."

"We're on our way down – with the Doctor."

"Jake, it's not good down here, don't tell Rose, please," Sammi begged him.

The Doctor knew something was going on as he saw the look on Jake's face. He took Rose's hand.

"So, you've not had much time together then?" he asked her.

"No, he started getting really ill. We got our own place but we had to move back to mum's," Rose replied.

Chapter 10
 The Doctor put his arm around Rose and she leaned on his shoulder, making Pete smile.

"Well, we'll have to do something about that then, won't we, Rose Tyler," the Doctor laughed. "Sorry you had difficulties getting through to me though. I mean if I'd had any idea at all he would get ill?"

"Yeah, I know Doctor," Rose assured him. "How could ya have known? I mean you spent even less time with him, like he was just created then left. It wasn't like ya had time to do a physical on him."

"Rose, he would have got a check-up anyway," Pete reminded her as the lift stopped. "Why don't you go with Jake while the Doctor talks to Sammi and Owen?"

"Why can't I go?" Rose objected.

"You may get upset at the medical terms," Pete insisted.

Jake had whispered to Pete that John had been moved back into the main unit for more specialist care and so everything was available but they were expecting he'd be moved to the Tardis as soon as it was powered up and lighting was set up.

"Are they gonna take him to the Tardis?" Rose asked as she let Jake lead her away.

"As soon as I find out what's already been done," the Doctor promised her. "I won't let him go without you, okay?"

Rose nodded and Jake led her across the corridor and past where John's bed had been.

"What's going on Jake? What aren't ya all tellin' me?" she wanted to know as he went to make another drink.

"Rose, you'll get to know," he promised. "They just don't wanna scare ya. There'll be words ya don't understand, probably about his breathing and stuff. They're taking good care of him. The Doctor will have a better idea what he can do to help."

"I hope so Jake, I'm scared enough as it is right now. What would I have done if the Doctor hadn't still had that phone?" she asked him.

"Well he did and lucky you remembered, we could have taken too long to locate him. We just have to wait now."

Owen was the one to talk to the Doctor, having discussed it with Sammi before Pete had arrived with whom they'd hoped was with him.

"Good to finally meet you," Owen looked up from his desk as they entered, the Doctor seeing his twin on a bed with various tubes attached to him.

"Yeah," the Doctor replied as standard. "Well? Is it the air like Rose mentioned? If so, I should get him in the Tardis, with enough power I can recreate the other Earth's atmosphere in the lab and then take him back."

Owen shook his head.

"Sorry Doctor, it's not as simple as that, it's more than that now. Yes, it was breathing difficulties but there's something else, something more complicated with him being half Human and half Timelord."

The Doctor listened as Owen explained, letting Sammi explain what they'd been trying just before the Doctor had been contacted. He scratched his head whilst shaking it, Pete recalling Rose telling him that's what the Timelord used to do.

"I should still get him to the Tardis," the Doctor insisted. "He's my responsibility now. I can't thank you enough though for what you all tried to do for him."

He shook Owen's hand then Sammi's.

"We'll prepare him then. There's no chance of bringing the Tardis down here?" Owen asked hopefully.

Pete answered for him.

"Sorry Owen, all the power's up there, we can't get it all down here so easily. We had thought Rose would be going to get him before John got too ill."

"I understand Pete," the Doctor assured him. "I didn't want you to send her but we managed it between us. I should go see her."

"What can you do to help John?" Pete asked him.

"I have a full lab with equipment from my home planet Pete, I'm sure I can come up with something," the Doctor put on his best smile. "I have all kinds of things you've never even heard of Owen but you have to understand, I can't let all you doctors in. Sammi is it?" he turned to her, making her nervous as she'd heard all about him.

"Yes, err, Doctor?" she replied shyly.

"You're with me and Rose when John's taken up to the Tardis. When I've seen Rose, we'll go back and prepare for him. All of you, not a word to her that he's so bad, got it?" he looked at them all in turn. "I know I can already trust you Pete, along with Jake," he added hastily in case Pete had him thrown out.

"If she asks any questions?" Owen wanted to know.

"We tell her being in the Tardis will help him but there are no guarantees. She'll have to be prepared for the worst at some point," the Doctor admitted. "We'll have to try to keep her hopes up as long as we can, there's no reason not to think once he's in the ship, she herself will sense he's in trouble and help him."

"Your ship's sentient?" Sammi was a bit surprised.

"You have a problem with that?" the Doctor tried to be serious.

Sammi shook her head and went off to prepare to have John taken to the cannon room. Pete followed the Doctor out and stopped him before he went to see Rose.

"There's not a lot of hope, is there Doctor?" Pete asked him.

"Honestly Pete?" the Doctor replied as he leaned on the wall. "We have to hope the Tardis can help him. She did help to create him. I know very little about it, Donna was a bit vague and then she started burning up so I had to take her memories of it all away."

"That was a shame, Rose told me some of it. She said that John wasn't entirely happy about being left here though," Pete told him.

"I had no choice Pete and I owed Rose, for what I did at Bad Wolf Bay. I should have told her I loved her, even though I couldn't get to her. John was never meant to have been some sort of compensation for that, he was me, when Rose and I first met and he was better off with her than he was with me."

"You should go tell her that before you leave Doctor," Pete told him. "She's in there with Jake, she'll take you back to the cannon room when you're ready."

"Thanks Pete. I never thought I'd be here again," the Doctor managed a real smile. "I never agreed with any version of Torchwood you know, after seeing the original one being created."

"Yes, Rose tells her young brother about the werewolf chasing all of you," Pete laughed. "I won't tell you what Jackie thinks of it. Mind you, it's slightly better than her telling him about the slimy green Slitheen exploding on Mickey's kitchen wall after Jackie described it to her. She still blames that on you."

The Doctor patted Pete on the shoulder and went to face Rose. What could he say to her about his twin she was supposed to live her life with in this world? He knew deep down it would take all the knowledge he'd gained over all his regenerations to cure who was now called John, something had gone very wrong with his creation and unlike everything else, there were no guidebooks to refer to.

He decided that before John arrived in the Tardis, he would go to the library and search again for anything that might give him a clue and once he got power to the main computer, if he was going to fail and Rose was going to lose John, he had to somehow make it up to her.

Rose jumped up when the Doctor entered and she ran to him.

"Rose, I need you to come and help me," he told her, looking at Jake at the same time as if to say he just wanted to keep her occupied.

"So, is there some good news then?" she wanted to know.

"Oh of course there is!" the Doctor replied cheerfully. "Once I get power in the Tardis but I need to do a few things first. I decided to let your friend Sammi help, that Owen seems a bit too smug for my liking."

That got him a giggle from Rose.

"I'll hand her over to you then Doctor," Jake told him.

"Yeah, thanks Jake," Rose agreed, giving him a hug.

"See ya both up there, I'm off to make sure the larger lift is kept free until it's needed, I'll have to shut it off," he replied.

"So, what's your job around here then?" the Doctor wanted to know when Jake had gone.

"I gave up to look after John," Rose told him. "I was so happy, when ya were there, in front of me on that street. Then when another one of ya appeared, I wanted to stay with you but I accepted John, I knew he'd stay with me and not keep going off. He wasn't right though, right from the start, it was so unfair."

"I know Rose, I'm so sorry," the Doctor told her, holding his arms out to her.

They hugged for a few minutes, Rose with tears in her eyes.

"Come on, let's see if the Tardis is powered up, then you and I have some work to do," he told her.

He just hoped she wouldn't realise he was only trying to keep her mind off how ill his twin actually was but since when could he ever fool her?

"Show me the way back?" he then grinned.

"Are you telling me ya can't find the Tardis?" Rose managed to smile.

"Fair's fair Rose, she is somewhat powered down," he defended himself as they reached the lifts, him noticing the one with the larger doors had no lights lit above it. "Looks like Jake kept his word," he pointed it out to Rose.

"Yeah, no doubt someone will be complaining," Rose replied. "I wouldn't mind but the other lifts aren't exactly small."

"Never mind that, I'm sure Jake can deal with it," the Doctor told her as one lift arrived with a 'Ping'. "I'll send for John as soon as everything's ready, I promise. You can go down and get him, if you want?"

"Yeah, I should be with him," Rose agreed as she pushed the right button on the panel.

People were buzzing everywhere in the cannon room. Jake had posted guards on the entrance, ID's were being checked against a list of those who had been involved laying the cables so no-one new had joined them and they were the ones now installing the lighting inside the Tardis.

Jake had considered ret-conning everyone when the task was complete but Pete had objected when Jake had joined him.

"We have to trust them Jake," Pete had told him. "If we keep a control on those here, if anything gets out, we can track anyone down. How was Rose when you left her?"

"A bit on edge but who can blame her? The Doctor will calm her down," Jake replied. "When the electricians have done, we'll start with the lab teams, get them on stand-by. Owen can organise the medical staff."

"The Doctor only wants Sammi to help him for now," Pete smiled. "He doesn't trust Owen, for some reason?"

"Maybe he's had dealings with Owen's counterpart?" Jake grinned. "Rose mentioned something about seeing the inside of the other Torchwood in Cardiff but there were only two of them. She swore one looked like someone from Victorian times."

"Yes, probably," Pete seemed amused. "Your guards do know to let Rose in?"

They both laughed at the thought of Rose and the Doctor being refused entry.

"The Doctor will just get his psychic paper out," Pete then told Jake as he looked towards the double doors that were open and thought someone had just got out of the lift.

Jake went off to see and greeted them, telling his men to stand down.

"How are ya holding up Rose?" he first greeted Rose with another hug. "Doctor, we're almost ready for you."

"Good, we've no time to lose." Then he thought about Rose. "When I say no time to lose, I mean the sooner we get started the better."

Rose knew what he meant.

"Ya don't have to hide the truth from me Doctor, I know he's bad," she told him as she led the way through all the thick cables that disappeared into the Tardis.

It reminded the Doctor of when he'd met Professor Yana, who had been none other than The Master, who had been trapped at the end of the universe and look how that had ended? This time was different, this time he had to save a part of himself, for Rose.

He found the electricians waiting for him and led them to the main lab where he wanted John and the lights were soon working. Then he told them where he wanted power and went back to the console room, showing more technicians where to hook up a large power cable so he could get the main computer working.

"How are ya gonna get John in here?" Rose decided to ask.

"Rose, don't worry about that eh? Why don't you call and see how he's doing?" the Doctor suggested.

Rose had to agree but knew he was trying to stop her from worrying. It wasn't working though.

"Rose, they can carry him," he then told her. "From outside to the lab."

"Oh. I never thought of that," Rose felt a bit foolish. "Sorry."

"You're exhausted Rose, you could do with some proper rest," he advised her.

"Are ya in league with Sammi?" she tried to laugh.

"You should maybe listen to her," he grinned, getting something on the screen.

He thought maybe he should first look up if there had been any previous Meta-Crisis Timelord variants in existence. He found nothing when he entered the search and skimmed through all the results at great speeds, making Rose feel dizzy as he did so.

"Maybe there's a book?" Rose suggested as he leaned back on the console.

"I don't know where to even start looking," he had to admit.

"Why not ask the Tardis?" she then asked innocently. "Is she powered up yet?"

The Doctor suddenly stood straight, grabbed hold of Rose's shoulders and held her tight. Then he kissed her forehead.

"You were always too clever for me, Rose Tyler. Well come on then, Allons-y!"

He caught hold of one of the electricians and told him to follow them with a double lamp and soon there was enough lighting in the library to be able to sort through the dusty shelves.

"Come on old girl, there must be some reference?" he was asking the Tardis a while later as they both searched the shelves, not that Rose understood some of the titles.

Then he heard Rose giggling to herself and holding out some sort of manual.

"Very amusing Rose," he told her as she handed him a Dalek maintenance manual with illustrations.

"Got bored did ya?" she laughed.

He let it go, even though they were supposed to be being serious. It was probably a good while since she'd had something to laugh about.

"So, what else has been going on around here then?" he asked her.

"No idea, I've been concentrating on John. What about Donna? John said she wouldn't be able to keep a Timelord brain."

"No, I had to take her memories away," he replied, sure he'd told her once. "She's fine, she's with her family."

"Yeah, her granddad's really nice, not sure about her mum though," Rose pulled a face.

"Yes, well," he agreed, moving a pile of books. "This is getting us nowhere. The best thing is to get him up here and try and recreate an atmosphere from the other universe."

"How ya gonna do that?" Rose wanted to know.

"I should get him down to the zero gravity room," he replied calmly.

"The what? You never mentioned that before and John told me about the swimming pool."

"Not now eh?" the Doctor insisted as they left. "If we get him down there though? Well maybe not then? No, there's something else I can try."

Rose knew she wouldn't get anything else out of him. She watched him as he dashed about in the lab, getting everything ready for John's arrival and she felt lost. There was nothing she could do but leave it up to him and Sammi's medical knowledge.

"Okay Rose, call your friend then go get him," the Doctor finally announced.

"Are ya ready to bring him up?" Rose asked her friend when she answered on the first ring.

"He's ready, I have a team on standby," Sammi replied.

"They'll have to carry him because of all the cables," Rose warned her.

"Got it, don't worry Rose. Why don't you stay there?" Sammi suggested.

"No, I want to be with him," Rose insisted. "I'm on my way."

The Doctor waited until she'd gone then went to find Pete, whom he knew wouldn't leave until John arrived.

"How's it going Doctor?" Pete wanted to know.

"Been looking busy for Rose's sake," he admitted. "Maybe if the Tardis was fully powered, by the right kind of energy, he might stand a better chance. I should check on that power cell."

"It's being taken care of," Pete assured him. "So did everything power down except that when you got here?"

"Yeah, same as last time. That's partly why I never came to find Rose. I wanted to get to her but every time I started trying to figure a way, something happened. You know me," the Doctor grinned. "Something happened Pete, that's why I was hiding in that nebula. If I hadn't been, you might have found me earlier."

"Listen Doctor, don't blame yourself. We were still fine-tuning the cannon anyway," Pete told him. "We were trying to get some communications through to the other universe, for when we started sending people through. Then we could keep in contact with them."

"I never wanted Rose to come and find me again," the Doctor insisted. "I thought she and my twin would be happy."

"They would have been. This isn't your fault Doctor," Pete tried to convince him.

He heard voices outside and saw Jake getting people out of the way. The wheels from the stretcher John had been transferred onto had been folded and two strong orderlies had a firm grip on it. Rose had her place by his side, Sammi was holding onto the equipment and they made their way inside the Tardis, following the Doctor.

"You can both go now," Sammi told the other two men when John had been placed on the couch the Doctor had prepared. "Doctor, how can I assist you?"

He started by running his sonic screwdriver across his twin, to see if it would pick up anything unusual.

"That's an interesting device," Sammi smiled. "What are you looking for?"

"Any signs of anything at a microbiological level, if anything from this world has caused any contamination," he replied.

Rose was trying to keep up.

"Ya mean it could be a bug?" she caught on, the Doctor raising his eyebrows.

"We thought it was his breathing," Sammi reminded him.

"Yes, I'm not saying it isn't," he agreed. "Just wanted to cover all bases but you said there was something else. Aren't you going to tell Rose?"

"What?" Rose turned to her friend. "Have ya all been keepin' something from me? Is he worse that ya said?"

"Rose you know he was getting worse," Sammi admitted. "The Doctor could be right, it could be some bug we don't even know about that got into his system."

"John was in the Tardis when he was created so how could that have happened?" Rose wanted to know.

"Something could have happened to my hand while Jack had it," the Doctor suggested, trying to recall if anything had happened while he'd had it. "The Master. He stole the Tardis, took it and turned it into a paradox machine. Anything could have happened."

It was Sammi's turn to try and keep up, she'd only heard Rose and John talking.

"John told me about it," Rose admitted. "I hope he's gone for good this time?"

"He also can regenerate?" Sammi asked.

"Not now," the Doctor reminded her. "Rose, think. Did John mention any time when the jar was out of our sight?"

"No, I don't think so, sorry. What difference does it even make?"

He went up to her and put his arm around her shoulder.

"It's okay Rose. Why don't you call your mum eh? Does she even know I'm here?" he asked her.

"Dad will have told her. She'll be looking after Tony, she won't come here until she has to, she'd only just gone back," Rose told him.

He didn't expect anything less from Jackie Tyler.

Pete had called Jackie as soon as Rose had gone off with the Doctor.

"Well I can hardly believe it," Jackie had told him. "Well I hope he can fix whatever's wrong with John or Rose will be heartbroken."

"I know that Jackie, we have to trust him. Rose won't leave John, not now. We have to be prepared for the worst though, Rose will need our support," Pete replied.

The Doctor was testing all the samples Sammi had sent for that they'd taken from John at various stages, Sammi praying they had missed something that he would find. Rose felt helpless, just sitting holding John's clammy hand but no-one wanted to disturb her.

The Doctor was looking through a large microscope, showing a sample to Sammi, Rose unable to hear what they were saying.

"I wish you two wouldn't whisper," Rose finally had enough.

"Sorry. You wouldn't understand, we were just trying to spare you," Sammi apologised.

"I know, it's just hard to sit here and not be able to do anything," Rose admitted.

"You're with him, that's important," the Doctor assured her. "He would want that when he wakes up."

"Stop pretending he's just gonna wake up like that," Rose began to lose it, making Sammi go to her.

"Don't give up Rose," she patted her shoulder. "There's far superior equipment here to what we have."

The Doctor was glad she thought so as he went for the next slide. That made him stop as he stared at it, Sammi noticing.

"Found something interesting?" she asked him.

The Doctor took the slide out and went over to one of the benches, Rose looking at both of them.

"You're not giving up are ya?" she asked the Doctor.

"You know me, Rose Tyler. When did I ever give up?" he asked her back. "Ideally, I should get him back to our universe as soon as possible but I don't know how long that power cell's going to take."

"It was twenty four hours last time," Rose reminded him.

Then she knew he was stalling for time. She got up and ran up to him, Sammi sensing there was going to be trouble.

"Ya can't help him, can ya?" Rose confronted him, raising her arms to him, the Doctor blocking her.

Chapter 11
Instead of going for him, Rose turned and ran out into the corridor, avoiding the wires. Sammi was going to go after her.

"Leave her," the Doctor suggested. "She'll calm down."

"Are you sure?" Sammi was worried. "Sorry, I forgot you probably know her better than I do."

"Not recently," he admitted, pulling a sad face. "I just wanted her to be happy, I never thought there would be a problem like this."

"How could you have known?" Sammi asked him. "Anyway, what were you looking at?"

"I can't explain it, it shouldn't be happening to him," the Doctor was still puzzled. "It is something to do with the air, though I don't know what caused it. I'm here, I was here before and I'm fine. Mind you, he's only half Timelord. It's like he's not meant to be here."

"I was beginning to think that," Sammi agreed, wondering if Rose was listening outside.

Pete had finished the call to Jackie and had gone to see how Rose was getting on. He wandered into the Tardis, the dim lights around the side.

"Rose," he called down the corridor, not wanting to go any further.

He knew about the ship but it wasn't looking its best at present. Mickey had given a very accurate description after Rose and the Doctor had left but he'd had no reason to think he'd ever step foot inside it. Rose heard him and made her way towards the console room, there wasn't much she could do now anyway except hold John's hand.

"How is he?" Pete asked her when she joined him. "Come and take a break," he suggested.

"I don't think the Doctor can save him," Rose had tears in her eyes.

"Don't say that love, he'll find a way," Pete tried to assure her.

"I heard them talking, him and Sammi," Rose admitted.

Pete went to put his arms around her.

"Do you want me to get your mother to come here?" he offered. "Maybe she should be here, for both of you? Tony will be fine for a while."

He had just got his phone out to call Jackie again when Sammi joined them.

"He wants to see you Rose," Sammi told her. "I'm going back to the lab to get something."

"Why don't ya just tell me?" Rose wanted to know.

"Rose, he's doing everything he can," Sammi reminded her. "You should be with John."

"Because there's nothing can be done for him," Rose stated.

"Don't say that," Sammi replied, looking at Pete.

"Rose, you know better than to give up, especially on the Doctor," Pete reminded her.

"Sorry. I don't know how much longer I can do this Dad," Rose went to him.

"We know love. Your mum's on her way here, you could go down and wait for her," Pete suggested.

"No, I should go apologise to the Doctor, for runnin' out on him when I insisted he came here," Rose told him.

"I'm sure he understands," Sammi tried to assure her. "I'll be right back, I can wait for your mother, Rose."

"Thanks Sammi," Rose thanked her friend.

Sammi was about to go off when the Doctor appeared in the Tardis doorway.

"Rose, you'd best come with me," he told her with a sad look. "You as well Pete. Is Jackie on her way?"

Rose covered her mouth and gasped.

"No!" she cried out, the Doctor going to her and putting his hands on her shoulders.

"I'm so sorry Rose but without taking him with me in the next few hours and getting back to the other world, there's nothing I can do," he admitted. "He may not even have that long, the cables all have to be removed, plus all the lighting and the generators," he continued, holding Rose close.

"Doctor, don't worry about that," Pete told him. "We can pull the cables as fast as you need. I'll have someone check on your power cell."

"Thanks Pete but I know for the power I need, it'll be a few hours yet. I can prepare in that time, yes but the longer he stays here, well need I say more?" the Doctor asked.

"This isn't happening," Rose was saying into his shoulder, him not letting her go.

Rose tried to look up at him and he put his finger on her chin.

"I can wake him, if you want?" he asked her.

"That's not fair," Rose objected. "Just so ya can tell him he's got no chance?"

"Rose, he already knew how bad it was," Pete told her, hoping Jackie was on her way.

Jackie may have been a bit off with both Doctors but she would be upset if she didn't get to say goodbye to John.

"You should say goodbye to him properly Rose, he knows the risks," the Doctor reminded her. "You should all be with him, you've been his family. I managed to skip over the surface of his thoughts for a few moments, he was grateful you all accepted him."

"He deserved no less," Pete insisted. "He became family as soon as he was left here. Doctor, I know you thought it was the best thing to do, you can't have known what would happen."

"Yeah Doctor, at least John and I had this time together, I wouldn't have had it any other way," Rose insisted. "We used to joke about us gettin' all domestic," she managed to smile.

Pete gave her a funny look but let it go.

"You two go ahead, I'll go wait for your mother, Rose," he told them as the Doctor let her go.

"Come on Rose, he'll be happy to see you when I wake him," the Doctor encouraged her.

"What about his breathing?" Rose wondered.

"I can put him a protective bubble for a few hours," the Doctor assured her. "I'm sorry Rose but even if I could keep it going for longer, I couldn't extend it much further."

"Is it a bit like puttin' a shield around the Tardis so we can breath outside while floating around?" Rose asked.

"What did you two used to get up to in there?" Pete had to know.

He let them go and went off to wait for Jackie, who was trying to hurry the driver without getting any speeding tickets. In this case though, she would pay them herself if it got her to Rose and John any faster. Poor Rose had finally got who she wanted back and the worse possible had happened. John couldn't survive in this world.

Her heart was breaking for the both of them. She had an idea suddenly and called Pete, cross with herself she'd not thought of it sooner.

"Well Pete?" she was waiting for an answer. "Can ya get someone there to marry them? I mean if John can't answer, is it legal? Actually does it even matter if it's legal?"

"Actually, the Doctor says he can wake John up, just for a few hours," Pete replied.

"Then what?" Jackie wanted to know. "That's not fair on either of them Pete."

"I know that Jaks. If he doesn't want it, I'm sure he'll be put back to sleep again," Pete assured her.

"I should hope so ," Jackie was relieved. "Well stop wastin' time and call someone, anyone who's allowed to marry a couple. I'll be there soon but don't wait."

Pete called reception and gave them a strange task. Putting a call out for anyone to come forward if they were licensed to officiate at weddings or call the nearest registry office and tell them Pete Tyler demanded they attended his stepdaughter's wedding immediately.

He rather thought the last one might actually work, they would be falling over themselves.

"Sir," Pete got a call back five minutes later. "Someone from the local town hall can be here in ten minutes. I've had people going through the yellow pages," the head receptionist Amanda told him. "Will that be all Mister Tyler?"

"Yes, well done Amanda," Pete told her. "I'll have Jake wait for them, I'm on my way down to greet my wife so if she arrives before I get there, attend to her yourself will you?"

"Of course, Director," Amanda promised, since he'd been the one to promote her, just as she saw Jackie being helped out of the back of a car. "She's just arrived."

The woman got up, startling the others, who were wondering what was going on.

"Mrs Tyler, a pleasure to see you again so soon," she told Jackie, who was expecting Pete. "Your husband will be here shortly, please take a seat by the elevators," she indicated to the plush red velvet chairs.

Pete was on his way down and hoped he'd be able to greet this registrar at the same time, if Jackie was willing to wait. He supposed it had made sense to call the nearest town hall first though he'd not thought to tell Rose yet. Rose had let the Doctor lead her back inside the Tardis to where John was. He was now looking paler in the dim light, Rose thought.

"Give me a few minutes," the Doctor then told her while he got everything ready. "Don't worry, you can still go near him, I mean he still needs a hand to hold," he smiled.

"And you don't?" Rose tried to smile back at him. "Sorry. Have you had anyone else with you?"

"No, you know me Rose. I met a few people but I never had anyone travel with me. It's best that way," he told her sadly.

He wasn't going to tell her anything that had been going on since she came back here with his twin, otherwise she would pack up and go back with him to stop him doing anything else stupid. How could he tell her that John couldn't go with them? Yes, he could wake him up for a couple of hours but he would get weaker and weaker as he struggled.

Too much damage had already been done, they had done their best for him but none of them could have imagined it was their own air doing him harm, slowly. That in turn had caused other problems but he didn't expect they'd bothered Rose with them.

He'd learned from Sammi that John had even tried to identify what was wrong with him at first, until he'd got too ill. He also wondered what had stopped them from getting married, even when they knew it may be for less time than they'd thought. He was going to be the only one not surprised Jackie had finally thought of it as she arrived, with a man in a suit behind them, followed by Jake.

"What's going on?" Rose wanted to know as they all filed inside the infirmary. "Who's this?" she looked at the stranger then Jake.

"It's okay Rose," Pete assured her. "Your mother had an idea on the way over. Tell her Jackie."

"Rose, sweetheart. I know you and John would've got around to gettin' married, if he'd not got ill. So why don't ya make him happy for a few hours?"

"Stop talkin' like that Mum. Doctor, can't ya think of somethin'?" she called to him.

"Rose, I've tried everything, I already told you. All I can do is wake him for a while and you can get married, if he agrees but I can't see him objecting," the Doctor told her. "I can't see him turning you down."

"Hey, I'm not dressed for a flippin' wedding," Rose objected, looking down at herself.

"Rose, you forget where you are," the Doctor laughed. "Go with Jake to the Tardis wardrobe and choose something but hurry up."

Jake had brought a large torch with him, just in case.

"Well, come on then," Jake encouraged her. "What about you Jackie?" he dared ask.

"It's not about me, is it?" Jackie replied. "Well go on Rose, ya've not got all day."

"I have to tell you this is the first wedding I've come across of this kind," the registrar was telling Pete. "What exactly is this place?"

"You're in Torchwood, it's top secret," Pete replied. "The man laid there is ill, they want to get married, just in case."

"I see then? Will he be able to sign the marriage certificate?" the man was worried.

"They just want to hear the words," Jackie insisted as she glared at the Doctor. "So, how did Rose get ya here then, she turned and asked him.

"Not now eh Jackie?" the Doctor tried to avoid answering her. "She just did and I'm sorry, it was already too late when I got here," he admitted as Pete was occupying the registrar.

"Does she know that?" Jackie asked him as she looked at John.

"What do you think?" he replied. "How could I have done? She knows now though, at least if she marries him, well she won't feel like she let him down."

"They would've been happy," Jackie told him. "What about, ya know, when he passes away?"

"We'll take him up to Bad Wolf Bay, give him a Timelord funeral and I can leave from there," the Doctor replied. "If only that power cell would've recharged sooner, I could take him back, maybe save him."

"Then why can't ya keep him like that until it's ready?" Jackie asked. "Oh, Rose would want to go with ya both? Well it's better than the alternative."

"Jackie, I can't, I'm sorry. There's really too much damage, he's really weak and waking him up won't help. Breathing on his own will be difficult for him now."

Rose was leading Jake to the Tardis wardrobe, hoping the ship hadn't moved it since the last time she'd gone to find it.

"Bet ya never even thought about tying the knot?" Jake joked with her when they arrived.

"We had other things to worry about Jake," Rose reminded him. "I just hope it doesn't get complicated, I mean he'll hardly be able to sign his name. Why couldn't mum have just left it?"

"Think about it," Jake urged her as she found the wedding dresses. "Come on, hurry up and choose one. You should know why it makes sense, he'll know you really do care."

"He already knows I'd have married him," Rose replied.

"Then prove it," Jake challenged her.

"I now what ya tryin' to do Jake," Rose replied. "Okay, if ya want me to prove it, then I will."

She went off, Jake not liking having to challenge her. He knew they wouldn't have hesitated to get married had John not got ill right away. What had the air in this world have to do with it, he wondered or was it just the Doctor not wanting to argue with Sammi and Owen? He bet anything that had to be the reason but he could hardly ask.

He also bet it was to do with John merging with whom he'd been told was a sassy temp from Chiswick. Had she in some way had something wrong with her she'd never known about and more importantly, what had happened to her when she'd merged to create John? He hoped the Doctor had taken care of her.

Rose was finally ready, Jake letting out a whistle.

"Geez, I hope I didn't take too long," Rose realised.

"Someone would have come for ya," Jake assured her. "Just don't trip over the wires on the way back, I'll go get Pete out to escort you."

"There's no need for that Jake," Rose insisted.

"What's takin' her so long?" Jackie was getting worried.

"She knows the way Jackie," the Doctor reminded her. "I should begin to wake him up, explain to him. You can all wait outside if you'd rather not hear."

"Well I don't wanna hear it," Jackie told him straight. "How can ya possibly explain it to him? Go on then, tell me."

"Not now Jackie," Pete had heard what was going on. "The Doctor should do this on his own. We'll give you a few minutes," he told the Doctor.

"Thanks Pete. Jackie, I'm sorry, there's no alternative. I swear if I could find one, I would," he told her.

"We know Doctor," Pete assured him, taking Jackie's arm, making her let go of John's hand she'd taken when Rose had gone off.

"Sorry," Jackie turned back to John. "None us wanted ya back this way."

"It's okay Jackie, you can tell him yourself, I'll give him as long as possible but not so he suffers," the Doctor assured her.

When they'd left, the Doctor put a clamp on John's head, similar to when he himself had used the device to make himself Human.

"Why couldn't I have been there when you were created?" he asked his twin. "I should never have left you here, had I known the full circumstances. Rose did the right thing, bringing you to Torchwood. I hope this isn't too much for you to take, brother."

Rose had reached the infirmary, wondering why everyone was outside.

"Oh, that dress is lovely," Jackie fussed over her. "I always wanted ya to wear mine ya know?"

"Well, sorry Mum. What's happening in there?" Rose asked.

"He's waking John up," Pete told her. "It's not for us to hear what they have to say to each other."

John was opening his eyes slowly.

"Did Rose get me back?" John asked at first.

"No brother, Torchwood guided me here but as expected, the Tardis lost all power. Pete had things already organised though. Rose is out there, in her wedding dress. That's if you want to marry her?"

"How long for?" John got the message loud and clear. "Not long I guess? Does she want to make me feel better about it?"

"You could say that but it was Jackie's idea," the Doctor laughed, pointing his sonic screwdriver at the device on John's forehead.

"Well, how about that then?" John replied, breathing heavily now the breathing tube was only in his nose. "So, is it the air then?"

The Doctor shook his head and stood closer.

"That was for their benefit," he nodded to the open doorway. "Donna's okay by the way but I had to take her memories of us away or her mind would've burned."

"Thank you. Well, if Rose wants to marry me, who am I to refuse?" John tried to smile. "Please, don't tell her the truth, let her think what she's been told."

"Yeah, it's the least I can do for her. Things just got complicated, your DNA merging with a Human's. It's not meant to happen. I promise to take you back for a traditional Timelord funeral, just Rose, Jackie and Pete," the Doctor told him. "I know Rose will be angry at me again, for leaving her but I have a plan, brother," he promised.

"You mean you're not going to take her with you?" John asked, realising why he was feeling very slightly better. "The Tardis is helping me, isn't she?"

"Yes but she can only do it for so long, so I'll go get everyone and I'm really sorry, no, I can't take her with me, she belongs here now but I looked something up, in the near future and someone who looks very much like us will get Rose's attention. The only problem is, she might not go for it," the Doctor explained.

"Not if you tell her," John tried to joke.

"Well, there's this detective, he'll hit the news for all the wrong reasons but he'll get ill, a bad heart. If I give a few hints to Rose to visit where he'll be sent, she might be able to save him," the Doctor hoped.

"If not, he'll be doomed?" John wondered, wishing he could stay like this but he couldn't live in a bubble of air from his own universe forever and he knew it.

"We just hope she does go for it, I mean after losing us both, she may not but you know Rose," the Doctor replied. "I'll go get her before she wonders what's taking so long. I'm sorry, the Tardis can only maintain this bubble of air for about an hour, then you'll have to go back to how you were."

"Then I don't want it prolonging by them putting me to sleep," John insisted. "I want to spend my last minutes alone with Rose."

Chapter 12

The Doctor looked at John, who seemed better in the bubble the ship had created and wished he could extend it to the whole Tardis. Then at least his twin stood a chance.

"I'll get her back in then shall I?" he asked his twin.

"We're wasting time, brother," John reminded him. "I'll only have Rose for my wife for a few minutes."

"I know, I wish I could do more," the Doctor told him.

He went back out to get everyone and they gathered around where John was being propped up on the bed.

"Rose. Well, I can do this for you, at least for a short while," John managed a smile. "I know it's not nearly as much as you deserve. We should have done it before."

"It doesn't matter," Rose told him, with tears in her eyes.

The registrar thought it a bit unusual, wondering why he'd been led down corridors with thick cables all over the place.

"This won't exactly be legal," he looked at both Rose and John.

"We don't care," Rose replied, holding John's hand and wondering what the Doctor had done.

She wanted to tell John he looked better but she knew it wouldn't last. After the shortened version, them both just answering 'I do' the registrar pronounced them husband and wife and Pete led the man away.

"Thanks, it means a lot to them," Pete told the man. "You can't tell anyone about this."

"Well, I've performed wedding ceremonies in some strange places," he admitted to Pete. "Was that just a fancy door to a part of the building being renovated? I mean I know what Torchwood does, Mister Tyler."

"It's top secret shall we say?" Pete smiled. "Jake will see you out, I didn't get your name."

The man handed Pete a card.

"I'd best not try and explain where I dashed off to," he laughed. "I don't want to get a visit from one of your operatives in the middle of the night."

"We don't go to such extremes unless we're forced to," Pete laughed back, looking at Jake as he'd joined them. "Jake, if you want me, I'll be inside with Jackie and Rose."

"Let me know if there's anything you need," Jake replied.

"The crew will have to be ready to pull the cables," Pete replied. "I'll let you know what's happening, thanks Jake.

Pete made his way back to the infirmary, where Jackie and the Doctor were waiting outside.

"I can only give them a short time Pete," the Doctor told him.

"I know, I'm sure they're both grateful for that," Pete assured him.

"I'd do much more, if I could," the Doctor replied sadly. "A word Pete."

Jackie wasn't even bothered they walked back down the narrow passageway.

"Pete, I told John that I had time to look someone up. I know Rose is upset but she won't always be."

"She said you couldn't go forward in someone's personal timeline," Pete reminded him.

"Well I didn't, not exactly," the Doctor grinned. "I need you to make sure she meets someone, I've talked it over with John."

When he'd been told, Pete nodded his agreement.

"So I just wait for this detective to hit the news over a boy's death in Dorset?" Pete wanted to make sure. "Won't she think I'm up to something, if he looks like you?"

"You'll have to keep her away from the news, somehow. Especially if he's been in the news over something else," the Doctor replied. "Just make sure she meets him at the right time. He's going to need her Pete."

"I promise. I expect she'll be upset for quite some time, I'm putting her on extended leave, she won't be fit to work anyway," Pete decided.

"Good, if you can keep her off work," the Doctor smiled. "I should go and check on her. Once the bubble collapses, he said he doesn't want putting back on the machines. Rose is going to go crazy so I need you and Jackie to tell her it's best to just let him go."

"I agree with you Doctor, we did everything we could while we were trying to find a way to contact you," Pete replied. "I know it seems cruel but if that's what he wants?"

"How long have we got?" Rose was asking John, being reminded of the hologram on the beach.

"Not long love. Listen, you have to promise me something Rose," John was now gasping.

"You need that breathing tube in," Rose tried to tell him.

"No Rose, I'm not going back on that machine," he replied. "Please, don't argue and prolong it. You have to let me go."

"No, I'm not letting ya go," Rose cried. "Not after all we've just been through. The Doctor will think of something."

"He's right Rose," the Doctor agreed as he joined them. "I'll give you a few more minutes, then you have to be prepared to let him go."

"You promised you'd do something," Rose reminded him.

"Rose, please don't argue, this is not what I wanted," the Doctor told her. "Spend what time you have with John, eh?"

Rose rested her head on John's shoulder, the tears now flowing.

"We had all this extra time," John just managed to tell her. "Like you did with your real dad that time."

"I'll always love you for that John," Rose told him through her tears. "Doctor, why can't the Tardis provide more of the air in this bubble?" she wanted to know.

"Rose, she can only do it for a short time, like when we go outside. It's just like a shield, making it easier for him to breathe. I'll go get your mum and Pete, you'll need them."

"I love you Rose," John struggled to tell her.

"I love ya too. It's not fair," Rose told him. "At least put the breathing tube in?"

John tried to reach for her hand.

"I wanted us to get married properly," Rose carried on.

She kissed him properly, just as the others joined them. Jackie had also been asking questions.

"Why don't ya take him with ya?" she wanted to know.

"Jackie, he would if he were able," Pete defended him. "Rose would be forever trying to get back again and it's dangerous."

"Pete's right Jackie, Rose wouldn't be able to rest until she found a way back and there's no guarantee he'd be any better off," the Doctor agreed. "He may be just stuck in that bubble, he doesn't want that."

"Sorry," Jackie apologised. "I just want what's best for him."

"I know Jackie," the Doctor assured her. "Rose is going to need you now."

Rose had to run out as John closed his eyes and the Doctor was monitoring him.

"I'll go after her," Pete told them.

"Leave her Pete, she'll come back," the Doctor was sure.

Rose was alone in the console room, no sign of the central console having any life in it. How had she expected the ship to keep up the bubble when she was barely functioning.

"I can't let him go," Rose sobbed to the Tardis. "Why does this keep happening to me?"

She stopped for a moment as the ship seemed to be telling her to go back to him. She stood in the doorway, seeing her mother had taken her place at John's side.

"Jackie," the Doctor whispered to her as he saw Rose had returned. "Give Rose a minute, then I should take care of him."

"Can ya take him to Bad Wolf Bay?" Rose asked as she neared them.

"As soon as the power cell's ready," the Doctor agreed, since he'd already planned it.

"Ya were tryin' to stall earlier," Rose told him.

"Sorry. Maybe I was but if I'd been on Earth, you may have found me sooner," he admitted.

"There's no proof of that," Pete told him as he put his arm around Jackie. "I'll check on that power cell."

Jackie went to hug poor Rose and they left the Tardis, most of the workmen had left but Pete would have to get them back soon.

"You two wait here," Pete suggested as he led them out of the cannon room.

Rose and Jackie were just sitting in silence when Jake arrived back on that floor, Pete having called him. He went to give Rose a hug.

"Sorry Rose. Pete asked me to make sure the Tardis was ready to leave, when it's powered up."

"Ya mean we're going back to Norway?" Jackie wanted to know.

"If I have to let John go, that's where I want to say goodbye," Rose insisted.

"Well I expect it'll be the last time," Jackie relented.

All the cables and lights were being taken out of the Tardis and the Doctor had been carefully dressing John in the robes of the Timelords. Once the Tardis was powered, Rose, Jackie and Pete, who had arranged for a helicopter to be on standby to pick them up from the beach were waiting in the console room for the Doctor.

Owen had gone back up and was told Rose and John had sort of got married, so he did a quick examination of John and wrote out a death certificate to give to Pete, who would pass it on to Rose when she had got over losing him that she could deal with things like that. The Doctor thanked him as they went back to the others.

"How are you dealing with it?" Owen asked Rose as he was leaving. "Come and see me when you're ready to go back to work."

Rose nodded and when Owen left, the Doctor crossed his fingers there would be enough power to get them to Bad Wolf Bay and for him to get away afterwards. Rose was watching him at the controls and got up to join him.

"You don't want me to go back with you, why?" she asked him, since he'd never mentioned it to her.

"Rose, your life is here now, things have changed back in your old world," he told her. "It was only thanks to Torchwood and John that I was able to get through, I tried Rose, really I did. Well, we're here, if you want to do this here?"

"I'd like to think we'd said goodbye to him here," Rose told him as they landed more gently than she'd been used to. "At least I can come back here from time to time."

The Doctor scanned around for driftwood and any tree branches then powered everything he could down to save energy. Rose went to help him while Pete waited with Jackie in the doorway.

"It's hit her hard," Jackie remarked.

"She had those few minutes as John's wife," Pete replied. "She would have felt even worse otherwise."

As they gathered in front of where the Doctor had placed John, Rose lit the wood as the Doctor put his arm around Rose on one side and her mother and Pete on the other side. The Doctor thought back to when he'd done this for The Master and wished there was something he could have done for John.

"Look after yourself Doctor," Rose told him afterwards.

"You too Rose. I'm sorry it never worked out."

"You couldn't have known," Rose assured him. "Don't go gettin' yaself trapped here."

He was about to go back inside the Tardis when he turned and went back to her, despite time running out.

"I love you Rose," he whispered in her ear. "So did John, we were so much alike but not enough. Don't be sad Rose," he told her. "There may be someone else out there for you."

"What do ya mean?" Rose wanted to know.

Instead of replying, he kissed her lightly on the lips and turned back.

"Doctor!" she called after him.

Jackie could see what was happening but Pete held her back.

"Leave her be Jackie," he told her.

"I hate that this is happening to her again," Jackie replied sadly.

"I think the Doctor planned something with John," Pete admitted. "There may be someone already here who looks like the both of them and Rose will meet that person, when the time's right."

"That's all she needs," Jackie disagreed.

They all watched the Tardis disappear and Rose just hoped he'd get back safely.

"I should have gone with him," Rose told them as she rejoined them.

"Rose, what if he changes again when he gets back?" Pete asked her. "You could have been all on your own. Think about it eh?"

He called the number for the helicopter service and they were soon on their way back to London. Rose took a few weeks off and spent some time with her younger brother, trying to get back to normal again. Meanwhile, down in Sandbrook, Alec Hardy was getting ready to leave what had been his home after the divorce had come through. His daughter was barely talking to him, accusing him of leaving her. He had seen her the night before.

"You can come and visit when I get settled," he had told the girl.

"Why so far away?" Daisy had wanted to know.

"It was all there was," Alec bluffed, not wanting to say that his new chief had been the only one willing to take him.

He'd already had one trip down near Broadchurch, to settle Claire Ripley into the cottage he had rented for her, a few miles outside the town. She had sworn she'd told him the truth, finally about what had happened that night but it hadn't been enough to keep Ashworth behind bars.

She had asked him if he would keep visiting her.

"You have to get on Claire, forget about me and Sandbrook," Alec had insisted.

"But what if I need you?" Claire had tried to get round him. "What about what you said when I was at that clinic?"

"Forget it Claire, I was just making sure you were okay," he'd tried to convince her. "You can call me if you think Lee has found you but you should have no trouble."

"I hope not," Claire wasn't happy. "Well I suppose I should say thanks for getting me out and giving me that reference for that job."

So, the next day, he got the coach from Sandbrook, the card in his pocket of the hotel that had been arranged for him and remembering what his friend had told him, that all the paperwork had been filled regarding his health. He was far from fit and he would have to bluff if something did start going wrong.

His friend had agreed to visit when he got settled, hoping Alec had picked a nice quiet town.

"Nothing will go wrong," Alec had tried to insist. "I was surprised they actually need someone to take charge."

"Well be thankful they did," his friend Alistair had laughed the week before. "Have you got enough pills for now?

"Ah, don't fuss over me," Alec had insisted.

"Well let me know when you get to this place you're going Alec," his friend had replied. "Forward the results from the hospital as well. They won't be happy you're moving though."

Once he arrived in Broadchurch, he got a cab from the bus station to the hotel, though it wasn't far but he had a big suitcase with him. He walked into the hotel to be met by Becca Fisher, the Australian hotelier who was hiding a secret longing for Mark Latimer, the town's plumber to ask her to sleep with him.

Little did either Becca or Alec know what was going to come of that.

"Hi. Welcome to The Traders," Becca greeted Alec. "The police never said how long you were staying, Alec is it?"

"Just Hardy will do," he corrected her, not wanting to get too friendly. "I don't know how long I will be staying."

Not long at all, if he got his own way. He'd had very little choice though when it had been revealed the chief here had been forced to take him on, at the expense of turning someone down for a promotion. He settled in as best he could then got directions to the police station, finding out he had to either walk back up a big hill or all the way round.

He would just have to be allocated a driver until the DS he'd be working with came back from their holiday, if the said DS would be talking to him.

"Don't worry about the DS you will be working with," Elaine Jenkinson was telling him after offering tea to him.

He was going to say he wasn't worried anyway. His new chief went on to say she didn't believe he should be punished for something that hadn't been his fault and she was taking him on because she wanted someone who was experienced. The truth was, those above her wanted Alec out of Sandbrook because of the fuss the girl's father had been kicking up.

"I know why I'm here," Alec told her. "To lie low."

"Yes, well just keep your head down for now Alec, while people forget. I'll make sure no-one here brings it up," Elaine tried to assure him.

He was sure the soon returning DS would make it a priority to make sure they mentioned it.

While Rose was trying to get over the loss of John, she had still spent a lot of time alone and both Jackie and Pete were getting worried.

"Can't we do something Pete?" Jackie asked him one evening. "What about a new project or something?"

"Jackie, she'd only be trying to pretend she was interested," Pete told her. "I doubt she'd even want to get the cannon project started again. Remember I said the Doctor had made a suggestion?"

"About someone getting in the news? How are we supposed to know?" Jackie wondered.

"We could send her there, maybe to wait for him?" Pete suggested. "I have a feeling who he meant Jackie, that detective the press weren't so kind to when that killer walked free. The police were convinced it was that neighbour."

"Come on Pete, he lost the evidence," Jackie laughed.

"Did he? Maybe he was covering for someone else's mistake Jackie?" he suggested. "What if it's him who needs Rose's help? The Doctor was being a bit mysterious over it, like we had to figure it out."

"You really think so?" Jackie asked him. "I hope you're right then Pete, we have to do something with her. How do we know when he'll arrive in that town?"

"It won't do Rose any harm to spend her time by the sea, she might even feel closer to John?" Pete wondered. "I'll go and talk to her."

"Come on Rose, it was just an idea," Pete told her when she said no to going off. "Just go and relax for a while. You could sit by the sea instead of your room."

"You mean think more about John?" Rose replied.

"I just thought it may help?" Pete tried again, wondering if he should suggest it was the Doctor's idea.

"Well I don't feel much like driving anywhere and I've never heard of the place," Rose tried to think of some excuses.

"I can get Jake to take you down and even stay with you for a while, in case you decide you want your car after all," Pete knew what she was trying to do. "If you don't want to be stuck in a hotel, get a holiday home or a caravan? Shall I get Jake to make some arrangements?' he asked hopefully.

Chapter 13

Rose finally had to give in a few days later when she was told a nice caravan had been booked in her name, right on the harbour but the morning she was setting off, the town of Broadchurch was in chaos. Conflicting reports were on the news and she didn't think she should set off.

"It could be nothing," Jackie was trying to tell her over breakfast. "If everyone got put off by the news, no-one would be going anywhere."

"Your mother's right," Pete agreed as he parted his newspaper.

"Fine, I'm going but I'm not sitting in traffic, I'll see if there's another way," Rose replied, ruffling Tony's hair and making him laugh.

They had just waved her off when one of the staff, whom Pete had asked to keep listening to the news came out to him.

"We should call her back Jackie," Pete told her. "A young boy's been found on the beach there."

"That's awful Pete," Jackie clasped her hands over her mouth.

"The police will be all over the place now, they don't need Rose in the town once it's discovered she's there," Pete reminded her.

"She'll keep out of the way Pete. It doesn't mean that bloke's there yet," Jackie replied as Tony's nanny arrived to take him to school for the last day.

Rose had already heard the news and was deciding what to do. Maybe in some small way, she could help? It may take her mind off John for a while but she doubted they would let her get involved unless she was confident enough to march into the police station, show her Torchwood ID and offer their services.

She wasn't feeling that confident yet so that idea was out. She decided to carry on and if the place was crawling with reporters, she'd hide in the caravan site and hope she didn't get spotted.

Alec Hardy was having the second worst day of his career, the last one being two girls going missing one Sunday morning last April, leading to his divorce and failing to keep the killer behind bars. He'd already had his first argument with his new DS and now, the boy's name had been released without his say-so and he was chewing Ellie Miller out.

"Sit down Miller," he told her as he shouted for her to join him.

"If it's about Olly, I'll read him the riot act," she complained. "I can't keep him on a leash – Sir."

"This investigation is hardly started Miller and now, how are we going to explain this to the Latimer family?" he wanted to know.

"I'll go see them and apologise," Ellie offered.

"I think it's too late for that," Alec replied as his desk phone rang.

It was the chief, as he expected.

"Alec, I've just had Beth Latimer on at me," she told him. "What's going on, why was her son's name released on social media?"

"The local reporter got hold of it," Alec replied, looking at Ellie. "DS Miller is going to try to smooth things over with the family."

"Was it her nephew?" Elaine Jenkinson wanted to know.

"You know him then?" Alec replied dryly.

He'd already had enough and it was only just approaching noon.

"Well see it's taken care of," he was ordered. "Anything else I should know about?"

He was tempted to admit there was something wrong with him and have done with it but he couldn't quit right away, that wasn't his style. Ellie left to go see her friends and Alec sat back in his chair. Why was this happening to him again? All he'd wanted was some peace and quiet after leaving Sandbrook.

He wasn't working at full capacity and he knew it so he called his friend back in the town he'd just left.

"Aye, I can come down if it's urgent Alec," his friend told him. "Want some more of those pills?"

"Not yet, you heard what happened this morning?" Alec asked.

"Aye, trust you to walk into it Alec," Alistair laughed. "You should have maybe stayed here and sent Tess to where you are."

"And have to put up with the Gillespies? No thanks," Alec replied. "That was partly why I left."

"Well tell me all about it tonight, say nine?" Alistair asked him.

"Down on the harbour then, I saw a shelter on the pier when I was down there earlier," Alec suggested.

"Trust you to be suspicious someone will see us," his friend laughed. "Now if you were to meet a young blonde woman there, that may get tongues wagging."

"Fine chance there is of that, in this town," Alec replied.

"I don't suppose there's any point in telling you to take it easy?" Alistair asked hopefully.

When he got no reply, he knew the answer already.

Rose had almost reached her destination and had found an alternate route when traffic was piling up on the A35, the last part of her journey. She had just passed Dorchester and was approaching a roundabout when her sat-nav advised her to turn left, Rose hating that phrase for some reason every time the 'spooky' voice told her to do so.

She hoped she wasn't being led down the road just to join the queue of traffic further down but instead drove along the coast road and into a village, then turned left again and followed the road and was surprised it led her to the harbour in Broadchurch itself. A police officer was stopping anyone going into a car park as she went around a mini roundabout and she followed the road around the harbour, reaching the caravan park on turning at the next mini roundabout. She was a bit early for booking in so she parked up and wandered into the main building and into the bar, hoping to get something to eat.

"So, what's going on?" Rose asked the young woman behind the bar as her coffee was being made.

"Some poor boy found on the beach," she told Rose. "They said a name but I don't want to believe it until it's official."

"Don't really blame you," Rose smiled, paying for the coffee and some food she'd ordered.

"Well whoever it is, there's a new detective in town, so they'd better find out who's responsible," the young woman who had a name badge on saying 'Kate' and the park's name replied.

So, whoever she was meant to find there had already arrived maybe, Rose wondered. Pete had been a bit mysterious when he'd persuaded her to travel all that way on her own and could only surmise he'd read about the place and meant for her to figure things out. To her, that meant he'd picked someone to take her mind off John.

Well it wasn't going to work, she decided as her food arrived. Just how had Pete known a new detective was going to arrive, unless he'd arranged it with one of the police chiefs he played golf with. There were no coincidences where Pete Tyler was concerned and she bet anything her mother had nagged him into doing something.

She was determined she wasn't going to fall into the trap set for her, she would keep well away from the police and this new detective in town but the said detective already had his hands full by the sound of it. She went to book in, found her caravan and after unpacking, wandered through the rows of caravans and found the store, getting what she needed for the day and seeing a takeaway opposite and thought it would come in handy.

She had already gone past a row of catering stalls so she wouldn't have to do much cooking if she didn't feel like it.

Olly Stevens was still annoyed he'd been warned by his aunt that the new detective already had it in for him, what did the man expect from a reporter who was only doing his job? Then, he'd been about to cross the road when he could have sworn he recognised the driver of a blue car just gone past him, who had turned into the caravan park.

What was Rose Tyler doing here, he wondered, scratching his head and not daring to follow. Maggie, his editor would keep her promise of promoting him if he got the exclusive with the Vitex heiress, who had been extremely quiet for months and no-one knew what was going on.

All he had heard was her boyfriend was very ill and she was looking after him but no-one knew anything else. Well, what if he, Olly Stevens were to find out why she was here? Maybe he would contact Pete Tyler's press office for comments, he knew better than go after her directly until he got the all-clear from Maggie.

That hadn't stopped him reporting on the spur of the moment it had been young Danny Latimer who had been found on the beach early that morning though.

"Yeah Mum, it's nice down here," Rose was assuring her worried mother when she got back. "Will ya ask Pete not to let on where I am, if the press office gets asked?"

"Of course they'll keep it quiet Rose," Jackie tried to assure her. "Just keep a low profile, blend in with the holidaymakers."

"What holidaymakers?" Rose laughed. "I bet I could upgrade my caravan and not get charged for it."

"Didn't ya get a nice one then?" Jackie asked.

"It's nice enough Mum, I was only sayin'" Rose laughed. "I think I know why dad insisted I came here though."

"Don't know what ya mean," Jackie tried to deny.

"I know ya both mean well Mum but sending me here to meet someone's not gonna help me get over John," Rose replied. "The Doctor was hinting about it as well, before he left."

"Well he was only thinking about ya," her mother reminded her. "We were worried that ya'd want to go back with him."

Rose had thought about it but Pete was right. The Doctor could change and she'd have no way of getting back. Whoever he changed into may not want her tagging along any more.

"Well it's done with now, I lost my only chance and I missed making a life with John. If the Doctor meant for me to find someone else or not, I'm not sure I can let John go just like that."

"You will Rose. You just have to give it time sweetheart. You have to want it," her mother tried to encourage her. "Maybe after a few days of fresh air ya might feel different?"

Rose just hoped her mother was right. She decided to go for a walk later on and wandered along the stone pier just opposite and seeing police officers walking up and down the steps, surmised that was where the police station was. Should she at least advise them she was in town? Before John had come along, Pete had wanted her to let the local police know if she was going to be anywhere for more than a day, like if she was attending a meeting or something else he'd talked her into going to on his behalf.

Alec had still been annoyed with his new DS but had to put up with her as she drove him around. They were just returning to the station, Ellie dropping him outside so she could get straight off home to get changed before the official media briefing.

"I will get a ride to the hotel and meet you at the school hall," Alec was telling Ellie, looking around as he got out, wishing he wasn't so near the water everywhere he was likely to go.

"I have to talk to Tom, he'll be upset. He knows something's wrong, my husband said everyone in Tom's class would have noticed Danny was missing today," Ellie told him.
"This is going to rip the town apart," Alec replied. "How well did your son know him?"

Ellie could have sworn she'd told the annoying new detective when they'd been on the beach earlier.

"They were best friends," she reminded him, wishing she didn't have to go to the briefing. "Who's that sitting at the end of the pier on their own?" she glanced past him, shading her eyes against the now setting sun.

"Don't you get visitors here who sit by themselves on a pier?" Alec asked sarcastically.

Ellie was getting more annoyed with him being snappy by the minute.

"Visitors are usually in family groups or with another person, not on their own," Ellie replied, wanting to drive off and leave him to figure it out. "We don't have time – Sir," she reminded him.

"You mentioned it Miller," he told her, stepping away from the car and still trying to see who the distant figure was.

Why was he so bothered, he wondered as Ellie drove off. He still had a bit of time so he crossed the road and started walking towards whoever was still sitting there. Rose was thinking about the times she'd been on the beach in Norway, especially the last time as she'd never expected to be going there again one more time, let alone twice.

The first time she'd been there, she was hoping for more than a hologram of the man she had loved and the second had given her another chance but it had been short-lived and John had got gradually worse, never really giving them any time alone. They had spent more time at Torchwood than anywhere else.

Then she was suddenly aware someone was walking along the pier and she put her shoulder bag around her neck and was about to stand up but stayed where she was when the man approaching her could have been John or the Doctor.

As Alec had got closer, knowing he should be going to get changed rather than satisfy his curiosity and was cursing Miller for even mentioning someone sitting on their own, he realised who it was. What was Rose Tyler doing here, he asked himself as she stood up.

"Rose Tyler?" he asked warily, in case she had a double or he was seeing things, probably the latter after the day he'd just had and it wasn't over yet.

"Yeah, you got me," Rose replied, thinking this wasn't happening to her and it was a cruel joke being played on her. "So who are you then?"

"Ah, no need to be alarmed," he tried to assure her, holding one hand up and reaching into his inside jacket pocket to get his new ID card out.

Rose was wishing he wouldn't do that and half expected him to bring out either a sonic screwdriver or psychic paper.

"Alec Hardy, Wessex police. May I ask what you are doing here, in Broadchurch? May I call you Rose?"

Rose sat down again, this had Pete Tyler written all over it. It was her stepfather's way of saying he didn't trust her to be here on her own after she had refused to let Jake go with her. It also explained why he and her mother were eager to ship her off to get over John but this wasn't helping at all.

"Yeah, why not?" Rose replied, fiddling with the zip on her shoulder bag. "Did my stepfather send ya?"

She had never expected this, Pete could have warned her properly but would she have still come down here with John's twin being the detective she'd heard was dealing with the death of a young boy that she'd heard about when putting the radio on in the caravan? Had Pete even known who the new detective resembled?

If the Doctor had mentioned to Pete about her finding someone, did it have to be his other twin?

"It will be getting dark soon," Alec hinted, looking towards the setting sun. "Where are you staying?"

He supposed if she was in the same hotel as he was, he could at least offer her a ride there. He then tried not to look disappointed as she pointed across to the caravan park.

"I thought I'd get more privacy," Rose tried to smile.

"I don't blame you then," he told her instead of saying it was a pity she wasn't staying at The Traders Hotel. "I now wish the personnel department had not put me up in the town."

"Well I expect they'll be loads of cancellations for caravans," Rose replied.

"Yes, it probably never occurred to them it would cost far less than a hotel," Alec admitted. "You will have to excuse me, I have a press conference to attend soon but you probably already know what happened here earlier?"

"Yeah, it's really sad, Alec. I've got a younger brother, glad I left him at home. I'll let ya get to your conference, will it be on TV?"

"I expect the news has already been spread?" Alec replied. "Did you not hear about it before you set off?" he wondered.

"Well no, only the traffic news, I was already on my way when the news broke that something was going on but I only found out what it was when I got here," Rose explained as they began to walk back along the pier. "Well, now ya know I'm here, Alec, I trust ya won't let the press get hold of it?"

"I will do my best but the local reporter already broke the news by naming the victim before it was officially released," he warned her as they reached the road and he got his phone out, calling the front desk. "This is Hardy, have a car meet me outside the station right away," he told the harassed desk sergeant.

He thought he just had time to freshen up and make the press conference before it started without him. Well Miller would just have to start it, she'd been sulking all day that he'd taken the job she was supposed to be getting. Rose had sat on the end of the wall while he'd been talking but she didn't know why she was waiting. He would maybe have thought she was being rude if she'd just walked off.

Alec ended the call and realised Rose was still there, for some strange reason.

"Well I guess I'll be watching ya on TV then?" Rose smiled at him, having to accept unless she went home, she would have to believe that maybe Pete hadn't known who exactly she was supposed to meet and that it had to be when she'd just arrived.

There again, he probably had known and had conspired with her mother. Alec was looking at her.

"Rose, be careful of the press," he warned her as a marked police car pulled into the lay-by. "I really have to get going now, we will probably meet again?"

"Yeah? I'm on the first roadway, number nine, if ya really wanna know?" she admitted.

Why had she just said that, she asked herself.

"I got put up at The Traders, on the High Street," he pulled a face and reminded Rose it was something the Doctor used to do quite often.

That was all she needed, Alec Hardy was reminding her more of him than John had done but there again, John had never really had the chance to copy his twin. She should be upset but for some reason she wasn't.

"Nice to have met ya, Alec," she called after him as he got in the back of the squad car.

Alec somehow managed to get through the press conference, that was until someone called him out on his last case and everyone in the hall was agreeing with the man.
"Sandbrook has no bearing on this case," Alec tried to be heard.

"No?" another man with grey curly hair shouted out. "When's the beach going to be re-opened then? Is it gonna be as long as your last case went on?"

"We are only in the very early stages of the investigation," Alec replied, determined not to be bothered by a few hecklers who seemed to be everywhere.

What was Rose Tyler going to think, he wondered. Had she heard about his last big case and how he'd failed to get the conviction to stick? No, he couldn't allow himself to distracted by her, not this time, after his ex wife had betrayed him during the Sandbrook investigation. Was he going to have any choice in it though? Why had she been so quiet recently, after it was in the news that her boyfriend was ill, then nothing more?

Rose was already feeling sorry for him and decided she would look up his last case. She'd had so much going on with John, everything else had been put to one side. The conference ended so she connected her phone to the internet and searched for Sandbrook. She found an article from a certain reporter who seemed to have it in for poor Alec.

She wondered if the same reporter would follow him here? If so, she would have to stay out of the way or stick her neck out for him and at present she didn't know which. Alec was leaving the school, looking around for a police car to give him a ride back to the hotel but as he got in one, he told them to drop him on the corner by the police station.

He tried to convince himself he just wanted something to eat but at the back of his mind, he was trying to remember what number caravan Rose had told him. Why did he want food anyway when the takeaway only sold fish and chips and at present he couldn't really eat them without suffering and he still had to go meet his friend.

He was just setting off when his friend called to ask where he was.

"I'm on my way, I had a press conference," Alec told his waiting friend, whom he could just make out in the shelter across the harbour.
"Ya could've left this until tomorrow night Alec," Alistair greeted him. "I looked at all those results, it's not looking good."

"You doctors always say that," Alec replied.

"Well ya need someone to look after ya Alec," his friend laughed. "It's time ya moved on and forgot about Tess."

"I'm fine, I don't need anyone, especially after Tess," Alec insisted. "I don't know if I can trust anyone again."

"Ya say that now Alec but if ya were to meet someone?" his friend hinted. "Ya never know. Anyway, I brought ya that prescription, make sure ya get it filled will ya? I'll keep the records up to date and I've transferred you to Exeter university hospital or I can send ya some place else if ya want? Make sure to take notice."

His friend went off and Alec put the piece of paper in his jacket pocket. He looked across at the caravan park, seeing all the lights on and wondered if he could find the one Rose was in. If she didn't answer, he could always walk back to the road and call a cab but as he entered the park, he easily found hers, one single light on and debated if he should knock on the door or if she would ignore it, since it was getting late.

Rose jumped when she heard knocking on the door, wondering if a neighbour was complaining the TV was too loud but she didn't consider it to be. Then she wondered if Alec Hardy had remembered where she said she was staying? She got up and looked through the window at the side of the door.

Alec saw the curtain move and gave a little wave so Rose opened the door slightly.

"It's late," she reminded him.

"I was just passing but I can come back another time," he apologised.

"Well, ya here now, come in Alec," she replied, moving aside. "What are ya doing out at this time?"

Alec wondered the same as she indicated for him to take his coat off and to sit opposite as she switched the TV off.

"I don't know Rose, why am I out at this time?" he asked her as she sat opposite and tucked her legs under her. "I was on my way back to my hotel but something made me see if you were still up and I have no idea why."

Chapter 14

Rose got up and went to the kitchen area, filling the kettle with water.

"Well I can at least make ya a drink," she offered. "I didn't expect ya to remember where I said I was staying."

"I was down here meeting a friend," he admitted. "I don't know why I had to get a hotel up in the town. I would have thought you would want the comfort of a hotel?"

"Hey, I've not always had money, thanks very much," Rose objected.

Did he really think he could make friends by insulting her, she wondered, folding her arms and leaning on the counter.

"Sorry, I'm just tired," he apologised. "You want the truth Rose?"

"That'd be a start I suppose?" Rose forgave him as she made some tea.

"Until I saw you earlier, I thought everyone in the town was against me. Then I wondered if you might be my only ally, being new here yourself."

"Why's everyone against ya?" Rose wanted to know, handing a mug of tea to him and sitting next to him.

"Seriously? The fact I'm an outsider for a start, investigating why a young boy who was popular was murdered," he replied, wondering how she knew he didn't take sugar in his tea.

"Well I suppose ya won't win any popularity contests," Rose smiled behind her drink.

"Thanks. So are you my ally or my enemy?" he wanted to know.

Great, Rose thought. Straight to the point like John and his twin had been.

"I can be your ally, Alec but that's it. Do ya wanna know why I'm really here?" she asked him.

"Is it anything to do with your fiancé passing away?" he took a stab in the dark.

Who was he kidding, he asked himself. Why else would she be here?

"Yeah, mostly. I'm still upset, I nearly had to get a friend to drive me down here. I couldn't stay home, there were just too many memories for me. As for a caravan, it's better than where I spent my time while John was ill, in a hospital room."

"I'm sorry to hear that Rose," Alec sympathised, touching her arm when he put his drink on the coffee table. "I did read about it recently, well what little there was about it. I expect you wanted to keep it to a minimum?"

"That was the idea Alec, I wanted to keep it private, it's not a pleasant memory. My stepfather had every single person available working on a solution to John's illness but he got so ill so quickly," Rose admitted. "Even alien 'tech' wasn't the answer."

"I know where you once worked Rose," he admitted, leaving his hand on her arm but rubbing his thumb over it.

To Rose, it felt somehow comforting. She had loved John but they'd had very little physical contact apart from when he'd just arrived here.

"You never answered my question earlier Alec. Did my stepfather contact ya?" she asked him again.

"Is that what you think?" he replied, moving his hand.

Rose backed away slightly, knowing she had offended him.

"Sorry, I'm just edgy, that's all," she apologised, missing the feeling on her arm.

"No Rose, I was surprised when it was you sitting on the pier. I am sorry I had to go off and leave you," he explained.

"I saw ya on TV, seems there were some troublemakers there?" she decided to forgive him.

"That's usually the case in these situations. It's no worse than Sandbrook," he replied.

"I missed a lot of that, sorry. Ya can tell me if ya want?" she offered, wanting to take his hand back. "So, who found the youngest girl?"

Alec hesitated for a few minutes, realising it was getting later and he should be going.

"Another time eh?" he finally replied. "I should call for a cab."

"There's a spare bedroom, if ya wanna stay?" she offered. "The other one has my cases and stuff in it," she smiled.

"No, I should really go," he insisted.

"Well, come back tomorrow, I'll make ya something to eat," she insisted.

"Then I look forward to it, after the day I have had today," he accepted, getting up slowly.

Rose noticed but put it down to him being tired.

"I can't imagine Alec. Do ya have to work tomorrow?" she asked him.

"Yes, there will be a lot going on I expect?" he replied. "Goodnight Rose and thank you, for agreeing to be friends. At least I know there is one friendly face here now. How long are you staying?"

"That depends if the press find out if I'm here or not," Rose told him.

"They won't hear it from me," he promised, holding his hand out to her. "The town's reporter may pick up on the fact but I will try to keep him away from you."

"Thanks. Night then, maybe tomorrow night you'll tell me why you ended up here?" she hinted.

"It was a case of someone willing to take me on," he replied. "Goodnight Rose."

He awkwardly tried to shake her hand but she moved and it became an awkward sort of hug. Then she surprised him by kissing his cheek. Once outside, he called a taxi number he'd put in his phone for emergencies and walked the short distance to the road.

The next morning, Rose decided she'd go up to the main supermarket and get something to impress Alec since she'd invited him to dine with her. Despite getting back to his hotel room late, Alec was already in the police station as Ellie Miller arrived, two paper cups in her hands.

She offered him one but he shook his head.

"I don't drink coffee," he informed her.

"Of course you don't," Ellie huffed, passing one to her colleague. "Present for you Frank."

She then followed Alec into his office, handing him a piece of paper.

"You wanted a map of Danny's paper round," she said as she handed it over.

"Right, I will go now," he decided, since the place was a mess with telephone wires all over the floor and over desks. "Tell them to clear their desks when they leave them," he nodded to where someone was getting up.

He put his coat on and went off, Ellie relieved he wasn't insisting she went with him. He had just left when the local newsagent called her.

"Okay Jack, I'll come over when Hardy gets back," Ellie promised when told he had some information for them.

Alec had got a ride up to the top of the cliff and walked the rest of the way, seeing a hut in the distance. When he got there, he tried looking through the windows and began to wonder about it. If Danny had sneaked off the other night, it was likely he was meeting his killer and where better than somewhere remote. He saw a CCTV camera by the car park and thought there may be something of interest on it.

He called for a car to take him back and had barely got in his office when Ellie said the newsagent had some information.

"Well come on Miller," he told her as he indicated for her to move. "By the way, that hut up on the cliff top, there's a camera there, try and get hold of the footage from it."

Ellie just stared as he walked off, expecting her to follow him. Didn't he ever give anyone time to do anything? She pitied his wife or girlfriend, having to put up with him. She found him pressing the lift button, even though they were on the first floor.

Once they were walking across the harbour, Alec wondering what Rose was doing, Ellie asked him about last night.

"So, who was on the end of the pier on their own?" she asked him.

"Someone just leaving I expect?" he replied, not wanting to give any details he'd paid a visit to the blonde they'd seen.

"You didn't bother then?" she asked sarcastically, not believing any male could resist seeing who a blonde on their own was. "I heard Rose Tyler has gone quiet," she then grinned.

Alec stopped just before they reached the end of a row of catering stalls.

"What are you getting at Miller?" he asked her. "There are other blondes as well as her. I'm sure your nephew would know if she happened to be in town? Besides, she has a right to privacy after what happened."

"Sorry. Yeah, it was sad what happened," Ellie changed her tune. "I don't suppose she'd come here to get over it, not with what's just happened?"

"It's no-one's business Miller," he ended the conversation as they approached the newsagents' store.

"Why did you not tell us this yesterday?" Alec snapped as Jack Marshall recalled seeing Danny arguing with Kevin the postman ten days or so ago.

"I only just remembered," Jack replied, looking at Ellie. "Is he always like this?"

Alec made a face and put his notebook into his jacket pocket.

"We'll follow it up," Alec told the other man. "Are you married?" he then asked out of the blue.

"No, are you?" Jack replied. "I pity anyone who is."

Alec turned around, Ellie wanting to apologise to Jack but just followed her boss outside.

"You didn't have to be rude when Jack was trying to help," she told him.
"Where will we find this postman?" Alec asked her without replying to her question.

Ellie looked at the time on her phone.

"I think I know where he'll be," Ellie replied, pressing the number for the station to have her car waiting outside for them.

Getting no help from the postman and Ellie losing her temper with Alec, they drove back to the station in silence, Alec wondering if he should admit he'd met with Rose last night, just to give the impression he sort of had a friend in the town. He had no idea if Rose wanted to be friends or not but she'd at least invited him back for a meal.

Alec's mood didn't get any better when after they got back, Ellie had caught one of the phone engineers snooping around and then the man had the nerve to knock on Alec's door when he and Ellie were discussing something.

"Have you finished?" Ellie asked the man she'd see snooping around.

"Ah no. Are you investigating that boy's death?" they were asked.

Alec wanted to give a smart reply but changed his mind. The phone engineer continued.

"I have some information, about Danny."

"What sort of information?" Alec regretted asking after his DS had seen the man looking at something.

"He wants you to know he was put in a boat," the man replied.

"Who told you this?" Alec wanted to know. "The place is full of boats, which one?"

"That's all I was told, that and water. He was in a boat," the man repeated. "Danny told me."

"What?" Alec almost shouted, getting a look from Ellie. "Take him to the interview room," he then told her.

When they had left, he wondered if Rose would have any idea how to deal with the man. He wished he'd remembered to get her phone number last night. He thought the interview could wait while he walked over to Rose's caravan but if she wasn't in, it would just waste time.

Then he decided to go ahead and maybe mention it to her tonight. She might be agreeable and give him some idea how to deal with it. That was until he knew the man was wasting their time.

"So, do you know the Latimers?" Alec asked who he now knew was Steve Connolly.

"Ah, no," the man shook his head.

"Get him out of here," Alec told Ellie as the man tried to protest.

As he was being led out, Connolly turned back to Alec.

"You've met her before," Alec was told.

"What are you talking about?" Alec asked.

"You know, I can tell. The woman you were talking to," Connolly replied.

"Who's he talking about?" Ellie asked as Alec stood in the doorway. "Does he mean the woman from last night? I thought you'd not bothered?"

"I never said that Miller," Alec reminded her.

How was he going to get himself out of this without giving Rose's presence here away?

"Oh, you were expecting someone joining you and you didn't want to admit it?" Ellie grinned at the thought.

"Don't push it Miller," he warned her. "Keep that man away from the Latimers, they have enough to deal with."

Just then, her phone rang.

"CCTV from the hut came back," she told him.

"Then let's take a look, you can go home then," he replied.

"Wow, what brought that on?" Ellie was surprised. "You are meeting someone?"

He chose to ignore the remark until it been established if Rose really wanted to be friends or if it was just dinner tonight and she then kept her distance. They viewed the CCTV tape and discovered none other than the boy's father waiting by a car.

"What do you make of that Miller?" Alec asked her. "Find out who has the keys for that hut, then get forensics onto it."

"So I don't get to go home early then?" Ellie was disappointed.

Just after four, they were walking towards the caravan of the woman who cleaned the hut and it was raining. Alec was shaking his head as Ellie attempted to talk to the children they passed.

"You over-compensate Miller," he told her as she went to knock on the caravan door.

Alec was surprised when the woman who answered the door and told him they'd woken her dog up turned out to have been on the beach the morning before. He had noticed that she had seemed unconcerned, standing there smoking with a blank look on her face.

Alec finally got away and went to get changed for his dinner date.

"Going somewhere inspector?" Becca asked him as he tried to sneak past the bar. "We do serve evening meals you know?"

"I know, I have a prior engagement," he admitted.

Becca was going to tell him she knew he'd sneaked in late last night but decided against it.

"Oh, by the way, you know my bookings are down, people are cancelling? Well if I offer the police half the rate for your room, would you object to me letting some rooms to the press?" she asked hopefully.

"If you keep them out of my way," Alec reluctantly agreed.

Had Rose meant what she'd said when she offered him her spare bedroom? He might just take her up on it.

Rose was getting the meal ready and was getting nervous. She wasn't over John, not by any means but she had been so lonely and tired the last few weeks after she'd lost him. Why hadn't she gone back with the Doctor and taken her chances he'd still be agreeable if he regenerated again? She could have lived with him being a bit disagreeable at first but something had made her stay.

She'd heard Pete talk to Jake about speeding up the same device they'd made contact with the Doctor and maybe that was the answer and she'd volunteer. It was still being tested though and there were no guarantees anyone would make it back.

Everyone had known about Alec from Sandbrook apart from her but she'd told him the truth about missing a lot of it. The Doctor must have looked up his record and seen the detective hadn't deserved to get hung out to dry over failing to catch the killer. This must have been his punishment then. Well she wasn't going to let him look at it as punishment, if he'd let her help him.

Alec decided to walk down to get some fresh air and had called at a store to get Rose some chocolates. He arrived just after seven, since he'd been given no actual time to call.

"Hi Alec, come in," Rose greeted him.

She was wearing a simple red dress with one bare shoulder and he handed her the fancy box.

"You look very nice Rose," he told her as she put them down.

As she was going off, he caught her arm and dared to kiss her cheek. Then he decided to risk going for a kiss, to see how far this new friendship was going to go. She didn't back off so he went for it, then as Rose recovered, she backed off.

"Sorry Alec, it's just," she started to apologise.

"I apologise, I thought it was worth the risk," Alec smiled.

"Alec, it's not you, I'm just not ready. I want to be friends with you though," she told him.

"When was the last time you relaxed eh?" he wanted to know. "You did your best to keep your fiancé alive, no-one can fault you for that. Do you want to talk about it?"

"I don't know if I can Alec," Rose admitted.

"Then maybe I can help you? What do you say?" Alec replied. "Rose, I need someone I can trust and right now, you are the only one I can think of."

"I'm not sure Alec.  I mean there are things I can't talk about, that I would have to admit."

"Then I have something to admit to you also," he replied, taking both her hands. "The reason I need to trust you is, well there is something wrong with me, that my chief cannot find out or I'm out of the police."

"Geez Alec, what the hell is wrong with you?" Rose asked. "I just lost John, you're asking a lot of me you know? I'm not even over him yet."

"I know Rose but please hear me out. I need someone to keep me going and when I discover who killed Danny, I will get more help. I already talked to my doctor, he's sending my medication and put me down to see a specialist. I just need someone on my side. Please Rose?"

"Alec, you know you look a little like him?" she asked, waiting for him to storm out.

"I saw photos of you in the paper, Rose. I don't look much like him," Alec replied.

"There's something else. We got married, just a short time before he passed away. No-one else knows."

"I see? Then I am honoured you could tell me. So, what about us being friends? No strings attached?" he dared ask.

"Well, I don't know about no strings," Rose smiled. "Yeah, I need a friend Alec. Ya won't tell anyone who I am then?"

"No, you can be just someone who happens to be called Rose," he assured her as he stepped closer. "It would be even better if I tell everyone you are my girlfriend."

"Hey, don't get carried away," Rose laughed.

"I'm serious Rose, think about it. We can help each other. Now, you promised me dinner," he reminded her.

"Yeah, sorry. Can we work up to me being your girlfriend? I'm just not sure I'm ready for this."

"On one condition. You said you had a spare bedroom? The hotel owner is letting rooms to members of the press. If I stay there, they may discover our secret," he warned her.

"I didn't say it had to be a secret Alec, as long as no-one recognises me. I'm supposed to be in seclusion after John died. Okay, ya can stay here if ya want? I'll move into the smaller room."

"Well maybe we can compromise, because I am going to attempt to kiss you again," he admitted.

"Oh ya are?" Rose smiled back, forgetting the meal. "Well, I feel guilty, so soon after John."

"Rose, maybe he would want you to move on, have you thought of that?" he asked her.

Now she knew what the Doctor had meant. Alec Hardy needed her help and he in turn could help her get over John's death.

Chapter 15

Rose didn't exactly know how she managed to end up letting Alec into her room later on. He'd said he'd have to leave early to get changed so if he sneaked off she'd not to think it was him trying to avoid her.

"I just did not want you thinking bad of me," he explained after Rose had got comfortable on him.

"I wouldn't Alec, I know ya have to go to work but can't ya have a day off?" she asked, now worried about him.

"I promise it won't be for long," he agreed, thinking he'd not signed on here to work overtime. "Then I will break the news to the hotel owner that I am leaving."

"Won't she get suspicious?" Rose yawned.

"I can always blame it on the press staying there, say I'm not happy about it," he replied.

"Yeah, I'm sure the big city reporters would just love to bump into you while you're eating breakfast," Rose teased him.

"I know one is already staying there," he admitted. "One who hounded me on my last case."

"Well she may wonder where you've gone," Rose giggled into his shoulder, remembering her mother had mentioned about him being picked on at the time.

"Stop it Rose," he almost laughed himself. "Am I going to have trouble with you? The strangest thing happened earlier, a telephone engineer, who turned out to be a crank insisted I had met you before."

"What?" Rose almost sprung up. "Why would he do that? Ya mean he was psychic or something?"

"More like or something," Alec replied, kissing the top of her head. "Take no notice, I refuse to. Get some sleep eh, we will discuss things tomorrow."

"Well okay but why say something like that? How did he know I was here?" Rose was puzzled. "He did mean me?"

"Well you are the only woman I have met recently," Alec replied. "I won't let him bother you, don't worry," he promised, trying to get another kiss out of her.

"I can take care of myself Alec," Rose yawned again then turned to respond to him trying to kiss her.

"You will feel better about this tomorrow," Alec also promised.

Rose was already asleep, on his left like she was listening to his irregular heartbeat. He didn't know why she'd chosen to do so, it wasn't going to change unless he got the surgery or somehow grew another heart. Maybe now, he had an incentive to get himself fixed?

She had been through enough with losing whom he now knew she had been briefly married to, though not a lot had been known about the man. He could understand how they had kept their relationship quiet until it had been announced the man had got worse, then the sad news he had not recovered.

Poor Rose must have been devastated, he thought so how could he still refuse to do something about his own current health problem? He could at least see what his options were, if Rose agreed to go with him. Would she stay though or would she be afraid of being left again?

His alarm went off the next morning just as his phone rang.

"What do you want at this time Miller?" he growled as he tried to get Rose to move.

"Excuse me," Ellie replied sarcastically. "I'm up at that hut on Briar Cliff, forensics are here. Do you want to join me?"

He imagined that wasn't a suggestion.

"Have a car outside the station in fifteen minutes," he agreed, Rose wafting him away as he tried to kiss her cheek for disturbing her and hoping Miller hadn't heard her telling him to go get a shave as his beard tickled her.

"The station?" Ellie questioned him. "You're not already there are you?"

Then she remembered he'd muttered something about does she think he actually sleeps at night but then she thought it may be due to the mysterious woman he'd met.

"Oh, you're not, are you?" she laughed.

"Stop it Miller," he hissed as tried to get his shirt on. "What are forensics doing up there at this time?"

"Because it's the only time they could fit it in," Ellie replied. "I thought it may be worth having a look, since we got the keys."

She thought he'd be pleased she'd saved him the time but obviously, he had something better to do on a Sunday morning, like be in bed with a woman he'd just met. Then she remembered what the telephone engineer had said to Hardy and wondered if he was being coy about it.

"Where ya going at this time?" Rose wanted to know as Alec finished getting dressed.

"Work," he replied as he tried to fasten his tie and leaving it half done. "A new lead, we may have discovered where Danny was killed."

Why was he telling her, he wondered as he went to the bathroom.

Rose decided to move over to where he'd been laid, feeling it was lovely and warm since despite it being summer, it was a bit chilly in the mornings, being by the sea. She'd not noticed until he'd moved. Why was she so comfortable with him and had met him when she needed someone? He must be the man the Doctor had predicted she would meet.

Things were about to get more complicated as she got up and decided to go to the mini-market on the edge of the caravan site. Steve Connolly had been trying to stay out of Alec's way since he and Ellie had got back from the cliff top cabin, having seen Alec glaring at him through his office door.

"Have you finished?" Ellie asked as she saw the two of them having a staring contest.

She knew Alec was already in a bad mood since he'd gone off to have a few words with Mark Latimer and told the man to show up for an interview in the morning after refusing to answer questions.

"Well, yes, nearly," Connelly replied, fixing two wires together after trying to glance at more information to see anything about a woman Hardy may know.

He'd been getting fragments of the detective and a mysterious blonde, whom he'd now realised was non other than Rose Tyler, of whom it had been said had gone into seclusion since the loss of her fiancé not so long ago.

"I hope you've not been trying to look at anything on the desks?" Ellie then warned him.

"No, of course not, not after I got warned yesterday," Connelly told her.

"You're here to install phone wires, I suggest you stick to it before he comes down on you again," Ellie nodded towards Alec, who was trying to ignore them so he could get finished and go get his things from the hotel.

"I'm right about him," Connelly called after Ellie as she went back to her desk.

"It's nothing to do with me, I only met him the other day," Ellie replied. "I'd stay out of his way if I were you."

Ellie sat down, wondering what it was all about but Hardy had been mysterious since she'd met him, now wishing she'd stayed on vacation except when she'd asked Joe if there was any money left from Florida and he'd said no, her not thinking they'd spent that much. How could he not have realised they were five hundred pounds over what they'd thought they'd spent when everything was paid for except food and stuff in the parks they'd been to.

She got up and went into Alec's office to try to find out what was going on.

"So, what was all that about?" Alec asked her, taking his glasses off.

"I caught him trying to look on a desk again," Ellie thought she'd better admit. "I'll tell the DS the desk belongs to but it's going to be more difficult, having more desks all with information on them."

"That engineer should be finished today," Alec replied.

"Sir, can I leave now, I wanted to meet my husband and kids at the church," she asked hopefully.

"Good idea, the killer might be there," Alec agreed.

"That's not what I meant," Ellie told him, sitting back on the chair.

"Take the opportunity to look around," Alec suggested. "What time does the service start?"

"In twenty minutes," Ellie replied. "I'll have to leave now. Are you coming?"

"Go ahead Miller, I have things to do. About this morning, don't make anything of it."

"I never said anything," Ellie protested. "It's nothing to do with me."

"Good, keep it that way," Alec told her. "Mark Latimer's coming in first thing tomorrow, he won't say where he was when his son was killed."

"What? Do you have to bring him in?" Ellie protested.

"You have to separate yourself from the family Miller," Alec reminded her. "If not, you will have to be taken off the case."

Ellie was furious and got up to leave before she said something out of order. She hurried up to the church and got in just before the service, finding her husband halfway down the row of pews.

"Thought your boss needed you to work?" Joe joked as the youngest boy wanted to go to her.

"I am," Ellie admitted as she took Fred from him.

"I hope that's a joke Ell," Joe replied as they stood to sing the first hymn.

Steve Connelly had just finished working and gathering his tools, disappeared before Alec had chance to say anything. He walked around the corner to get in his van just as Rose was coming out of the shop. As he crossed the road, Rose didn't see him.

"Excuse me," Connelly interrupted Rose's thoughts, making her jump.

"Geez, ya scared the life out of me," Rose admitted as she'd been looking at her phone to see if Alec had finished work yet.

"Sorry, only I know who you are," he told Rose, who backed away.

"Well good for you, don't tell everyone," Rose tried to joke. "Excuse me, I have to go, I don't give autographs."

Connelly let out a nervous laugh.

"I don't want one. You know DI Hardy, right?" he dared to ask her.

"That's confidential," Rose replied, trying to find Alec's number in her phone.

Connelly put his hand on the phone to stop her.

"No, don't call him. You need to stay away from him, he's not who you think he is," Rose was warned.

Rose gulped. Connelly had time to think about what he'd said to Alec yesterday and when he had, more fragments about the woman had emerged.

"You lost someone," he continued as he blocked Rose's way.

"Very amusing, whoever ya are," Rose replied, Alec's number ready to dial. "If ya know who I am, it's been in the papers."

"No, I don't mean him, someone you were close to but who went away," he told her.

"Look, I can have DI Hardy or the police here in five minutes so go away," Rose insisted. "Want to try me?"

"Okay, I'll go away but taking up with Hardy won't replace who you lost," Connelly continued, thinking he could make something out of this and get the exclusive, if he could get Hardy off his back.

Rose Tyler was a much better target if he couldn't get close to the Latimers. He had been going to try following the boy's mother but finding out Rose was here and somehow connected to Hardy was a better option. He turned and got into his van, leaving Rose a bit stunned so she dialled Alec's number.

"Rose. Is everything okay?" Alec wondered, knowing she wouldn't just call for the sake of it.

"I think I just met that man ya said to stay away from," Rose admitted.

"What? Where are you?" Alec panicked, glad he'd sneaked one of his pills earlier.

"By the supermarket around the corner," Rose tried to get her bearings.

"Stay there. Has he gone?" Alec wanted to know.

"Yeah, he drove off in a van," Rose replied. "Geez, he's nuts."

"I know, I told you to be careful," he reminded her. "Sure you are okay?"

"Yeah, I'll go back to the caravan," Rose replied as she tried to remember which row of caravans led back to where hers was.

"I will come right over," Alec assured her, closing his computer down. "Can you take me up to the hotel or should I just borrow your car?" he asked.

"Should ya be drivin'?" she questioned him.

"I'll be fine, really. I am leaving now and I'll have officers pick that man up. Did you get the registration number? Never mind, I know which company he was working for."

"Be careful with him Alec, he's crazy," Rose warned him.

"I know love, I will call Miller back in when he's been picked up," he replied, not realising he's called her 'love'. "He has gone too far by bothering you, she caught him looking on desks again. I will arrest him."

"So much for keeping out of sight," Rose told him as she found her caravan, which was easy to spot with the fancy decking at the front.

She let herself in and locked the door, meaning to give Alec the key for the patio door when he got back. She placed the groceries on the kitchen counter and went to make some coffee, waiting for Alec to get back. What had that man meant, was he referring to the Doctor and if so, how did he know?

She decided not to say anything to Alec about who she thought the crank had meant. There was a tap on the door ten minutes later, she glanced through the window to see it was Alec. After Rose's call, he'd left a message for Ellie to call him as soon as she got out of church and he'd ordered that Connelly was to be found and brought to the station under arrest on the charge of harassment to a member of the public who had made a complaint.

"Sir, who did Connelly harass?" the desk sergeant had asked Alec as he'd left.

"Just get him back here," Alec replied, wanting to get to Rose. "I received a complaint."

"Has he done something to the Latimers?" Bob asked him, a bit puzzled as to how Hardy had been informed first.
"Not that I am aware of," Alec replied, annoyed he was being delayed. "If DS Miller calls, have her come back here to interview Connelly when he gets here."

Rose greeted Alec as she let him in, Alec seeing she had kept the door locked.

"Are you sure you are okay?" Alec asked her again

"Yeah, just a bit worried how he had the nerve to stop me in the street," Rose admitted.

"I'm sorry Rose, I should have known he would try to cause trouble," Alec apologised. "He will regret bothering you."

"I know Alec, it's not your fault," Rose tried to tell him. "Maybe I should just go home? I mean I came here to recover, not be harassed by some fake psychic."

"No Rose, please don't leave eh?" Alec asked her, putting his arms around her.

"Alec, if that man knows I'm here, who else does?" Rose asked him. "I thought I would be able to hide here and get over losing John."

"What did that man say to you?" he asked as his phone buzzed in his pocket.

Ellie was not happy to get his message when they got outside the church, after talking to Beth.

"Come over for lunch," Beth had suggested.

"No Beth, thanks but you should spend it with your family," Ellie had replied. "Another time?"

She went to a quiet spot and retrieved her message as it had been giving her reminders she'd got one. She knew it could only be from her annoying boss. She had tried to call him back asking why she had to be there but his phone was off. She called the station and spoke to Bob.

"He said to come back," Bob repeated when she'd asked 'What?'

"So Connelly harassed someone in the street?" Ellie wanted to make sure why her Sunday afternoon was about to be ruined.

"DI Hardy didn't say much," Bob replied.

"Oh, I think I know who," Ellie told him. "Has Connelly been found yet?"

"No Ma'am," Bob admitted. "A call's gone out that he's to be brought back, under arrest."

Ellie thought trust Hardy to go that far if a woman was involved, a particular woman who he was trying to hide. She had known by his tone earlier that he'd been with female company when he'd been woken up. Then when he'd got to the hut, he'd not even thanked her for providing him with a warm drink out of a flask.

Now, she would maybe get the truth out of him as to who this woman actually was because she bet anything it really was Rose Tyler, since she had seemingly disappeared. He would at least have to give a name for the report and hopefully Miss Tyler would have to make a formal complaint.

Steve Connelly had stopped on the road out of town, cursing himself that he'd not said more to Rose. He could have warned her further to avoid Hardy, whom he knew had failed in his last case so why had he been put in charge of the one here? He'd been so caught up in his thoughts that he'd not noticed a police patrol car pull in behind him.

The call had gone out to all units to be on the lookout for the telephone company's van and to detain the driver.

"Look Sarge, there's that telephone van that's wanted," the young woman police officer said to her training officer.
"Well spotted Wilkins," the sergeant replied, hoping the van would speed off, then he could give chase. "Stay here and inform control and have them get a tow truck for the van."

"Yes Sarge," the WPC was disappointed, since she wanted some action.

Bob was now wishing it had been his day off when the call came in and Ellie had just walked through the door, wanting to know what was going on.

"Hardy said to call all units," Bob insisted. "The man's just being brought in now."

"Give me a shout when Hardy gets himself here," Ellie replied.

"Should I send a car to the hotel for him?" Bob then wanted to know.

"No, don't bother, he's probably around here somewhere," Ellie replied. "Did he say where this incident took place?"

Bob looked at the details he'd been given.

"Around the back of the station," he told her, confirming what she already knew.

So, Rose Tyler was either in the caravan park or very close by, probably at The George pub. If she wanted to hide, the caravan park was the best place, no-one would take a second look at her in there. She bet Hardy had gone straight round after finding out, Rose must already have his phone number or Bob would have said Rose had called here first.

"Ma'am," Bob called after Ellie as she went to the lift. "The unit that just found Connelly, he was on the road out of town. Shall I lock him up or take him to an interview room when they bring him in?"

"Take him to an interview room and Bob, if Hardy comes in with the person who made the complaint, make sure you treat them well," Ellie warned him.

Bob felt insulted it was presumed he didn't treat victims well. Who did the DS think Hardy was bringing with him, if anyone – royalty or the Vitex heiress. Well it wasn't likely to be the latter, Bob thought as Ellie disappeared.

The sergeant who had caught up with Connelly had got out of the car and tapped on the driver's window. He indicated for the man to wind his window down.

"Yes officer?" Connelly tried to sound surprised that Hardy hadn't sent someone after him for upsetting who was probably already his girlfriend.

That meant it was too late to continue – or was it, he thought as the officer leaned on the car window.

Chapter 16

Once Rose had calmed herself down, she told Alec exactly what Connelly had said to her. When he'd finished talking to Ellie, he was somewhat confused as to what the man had said to her.

"So he thought you were under the illusion I was your fiancé?" Alec wanted to know.

"I don't know Alec? A lot of what he said wasn't well known," Rose replied.

"All the more reason for me to arrest him," Alec insisted.

"I'll call my friend Jake, he'll know how to deal with it," Rose told him. "If I wasn't still upset, I'd deal with him myself."

"Rose, you can't deal with it on your own," Alec told her, stroking her hand. "I have to go back to the station, we can talk more when I get back but please, don't go home yet."

"I'll think about it but I don't need this Alec," Rose was now even more unsettled.

She let Alec go as he was getting another call to say Connelly had been found.

"I am going to throw the book at that man," Alec muttered as he left the caravan.

Ellie was now sitting across the table from the bothersome psychic.

"Why have I been dragged back here?" he was asking innocently.

"I think you know why," Ellie replied as another officer sat next to her. "You picked on the wrong person to stop in the street. Did you think you'd get away with it? You knew who it was."

"I only wanted to warn her, I had to get her to listen," Connelly then admitted. "I want a solicitor."

"On a Sunday?" Ellie almost laughed. "Fine, you can try and get one but you're not under arrest yet. Unless you know DI Hardy is going to charge you with harassment?"

She could tell Frank next to her was dying to laugh. If she was right about the person who had been bothered, she would surely get Torchwood involved, given who her stepfather was. Rose had called Pete and told him what had happened. Her mother was trying to tell him she knew it was too soon for Rose to be going off on her own.

"You want me to send Jake down?" Pete was trying to ask Rose.

"I think maybe I should come home?" Rose wanted to give in.

"You wouldn't usually let something like that bother you," Pete told her. "Let us deal with it?"

"Let me see what Alec can do," Rose replied. "He won't go easy on the bloke Dad."

Pete wasn't really that surprised to hear it and that Rose had already made good friends with the detective. The Doctor seemed to have been right but it didn't mean Rose had got over his twin's death. He supposed she could have remained at home, with a constant reminder but she had chosen to try and deal with it in her own way.

"I'll have Jake ready to come down, just give him a call," Pete agreed.

"Thanks Dad. I just hope Alec doesn't ask too many questions or I may have to tell him. Then he might want me to leave anyway."

Pete felt sorry for her. All the trouble she had gone to getting the Doctor here and it still hadn't helped. He was sure she felt it was her fault for going across to the other universe in the first place and bringing him back with her.

Alec was fast losing his temper with Steve Connelly.

"Did I not tell you to leave things alone?" Alec was reminding him. "My personal life and that of anyone I know is of no concern to you. If you know who that person is, you will know the consequences of your action will bring you more trouble than your so-called abilities can deal with."

"Is that a threat?" Connelly wanted to know, looking at Ellie.

"Sir, is this to do with the case?" Ellie wanted to know.

"What do you think Miller?" Alec replied, wishing he could have stayed with Rose. "It affects the case, since he came to us initially about Danny Latimer. He seems to have found an easier target. Let me tell you, Mister Connelly, about your new target. She has a very influential father who could have you taken to a certain place then you may not even know who you are when you leave."

He was trying hard not to come right out and admit to his DS that he was now involved with Rose but then he decided he wouldn't be able to hide it much longer, thanks to this idiot opposite him.

"Do you have anything to say?" Alec then asked Connelly.

Connelly shook his head. If he was right, he knew Hardy meant getting Torchwood involved.

"If you know what's good for you, you will stay away from her, leave her alone," Alec then added. "It was in the papers that she recently lost someone, she came here to recover and you are not helping her. Miller, see he's escorted back to his van and that he leaves the area."

Ellie thought trust him to run the man out of town. She wished she'd never mentioned the mysterious figure on the pier the other night now. How was she to know who it might possibly be? As far as she knew, which was the same as everyone else was the Vitex heiress had gone into seclusion after her loss, not actually chosen this town to recover.

Now, she was going to have a hell of a job keeping this from her nephew.

"Do not even think about coming back or I will see that your company dispenses with your services," Alec then warned the other man as he got up.

"Sir, I hope you're going to explain all this to the chief tomorrow?" Ellie wanted to know after she got another officer to see Connelly got a ride back to his van.

Alec didn't answer as he heard a commotion coming from reception. Ellie's nephew had been passing earlier and had seen Connelly being led into the police station and had waited around. Then he'd wondered what was taking so long and had seen the other man as he'd gone inside.

"Keep that reporter away from me," Connelly was protesting when Olly said who he was.

"Is he connected to Danny's murder?" Olly had asked.

"You know we can't comment," Bob on the desk was trying to tell him, wishing now it had been his day off.

"I tried to tell them about Danny," Connelly then admitted.

"Then why is he being let go?" Olly wanted to know.

"What's going on here?" Alec asked them all as he and Ellie joined them.

"Auntie Ellie," Olly turned to her.

"I told you not to call me that when I'm on duty," Ellie reminded him.

"Sorry. Well?" Olly was still curious.

"There's no story here," Alec tried to tell the reporter. "This man is not here in connection with the case, Stevens. Not a word about this, understand?"

"Don't look at me either," Ellie warned her nephew.

"What are you still doing here Stevens?" Alec wanted to know as he stood with his arms folded.

Olly was determined to get to the truth behind what was going on. If the man had nothing to do with Danny's death, what was he doing here?

"Is that it now, can I go rescue Sunday lunch?" Ellie asked him. "Why don't you come and join us, Joe will have made too much anyway."

"No Miller, I have to go make sure Rose is okay," Alec admitted.

"Then bring her along," Ellie suggested.

"For you to tell your nephew?" Alec replied.

"So you're not hiding the fact it is Rose Tyler we saw the other night?" Ellie teased him.

He followed Ellie up the stairs, knowing he should have taken the lift after the morning he'd just had. He went to sit in his office and Ellie went to get her things then knocked on the door.

"Sure you won't change your mind?" she wanted to know.

"We'll go get something," Alec replied, running his hands over his face.

"Don't be daft – Sir," Ellie told him. "I'll write my address down, she does have a car?"

Alec knew there was no getting out of it.

"Will your husband keep it quiet? I mean who comes with me?" Alec wasn't so sure it was a good idea in the first place.

"He's married to a detective, he knows the score," Ellie reminded him.

"You're related to the local reporter," Alec reminded her back.

"I said for him to drop it," Ellie took the huff. "Should I warn Joe or not?"

"Fine, I will go get her," Alec gave in to stop her going on about it.

He got his phone out to call Rose as Ellie scribbled her address down and left it on his desk.

"Hiya Alec, are ya on the way back?" Rose wanted to know.

Alec thought it was a nice change as opposed to when Tess used to yell at him and she and Daisy had eaten without him.

"On my way," he replied. "We've been invited for a late Sunday lunch, if you want?"

"Oh. By who?" Rose wanted to know.

"My DS. She knows it's you I'm afraid. I had to warn the psychic off," he admitted.

"By threatening him with Torchwood?" Rose asked him.

"I'm sorry Rose, I had no choice love," he further admitted.

"It's okay Alec, ya tried to keep me quiet, it's always gonna happen," Rose sighed.

"I'll be back in ten minutes, if you're ready? We should call and get a bottle of wine for being invited," Alec told her.

Rose quickly freshened up, glad she'd decided not to make anything to eat yet and had just eaten a sandwich when Alec had left earlier. How was she going to tell him that Jake would have to take care of the psychic or she'd have to leave? Some choice that was, she thought as she saw Alec passing in front of the caravan ten minutes later.

Bob on the desk had been glad Alec had left and hoped that if the commotion had been about his new girlfriend, things would calm down. He wondered if it really had been Rose Tyler after seeing the reports, they had enough on their plates without protecting her.

Alec had nipped into the local store, quickly chosen a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates for Rose and Rose had opened the caravan door for him. He passed her Ellie's address, asking is she had a sat-nav.

"Want me to drive?" he offered as he locked the caravan door as they left.

"No, I'm okay," Rose insisted.

Ellie had got back home and had told her husband who was coming to lunch.

"You don't even like him Ell," Joe laughed when she said her boss was coming over with a friend. "When you say a friend of his, is that a female friend?" he further teased her. "Only from your description of him, he seemed a bit of a grump."

"Stop it," Ellie laughed back as she held her youngest son in her arms. "Where's Tom?"

"In his room, he's still pretty much upset," Joe replied. "I just told him you'd invited someone for lunch and he said he'd rather be at Danny's house."

"I'll pop up and see him, before our guests arrive," Ellie told him as she put her son down.

She was about to go upstairs when the doorbell rang, thinking Hardy must be keener than he'd seemed earlier. Instead, it was Olly.

"What do you want Oliver?" Ellie asked as he stood in the porch.

"To apologize and see how Tom is, poor kid," Olly grinned back at her.

"It's not a good time, we're expecting someone," Ellie told him.

"Your boss?" Olly's face changed.

"Yes and you'd better make yourself scarce," Ellie warned him.

"I just wanted to know what that man was doing at the station earlier," Olly insisted.

"Nothing to hit the news," Ellie told him. "If you're wanting Sunday lunch, you're out of luck today."

"Would I come round just for that?" Olly asked her.

"If you thought we had guests," Ellie replied.

"I think mum's in trouble again," Olly suddenly changed his attitude.

"Tell me something new Olly," Ellie felt sorry for him. "Look, I'd let you stay normally but Hardy won't be happy if you're here when he arrives."

"I know, I saw what he was like earlier," Olly admitted. "Is he protecting someone?"

"Now you're fishing, Olly," Ellie didn't want to say who her boss would have with him.

"Fine, I'll go but can you call and see mum?" Olly asked her.

"I will. Why don't you come round this evening and see Tom?" Ellie then suggested.

Olly agreed and was just walking down the passageway as Rose found the address they wanted.

"Wait here a moment," Alec told Rose. "I think that reporter nephew of hers is just leaving."

"I don't want to be in the papers again," Rose looked worried.

"You won't be, not if I can help it," Alec replied as he took his seatbelt off as Olly disappeared.

"Why didn't you let Olly stay Mum?" Tom was asking Ellie from the top of the stairs.

"Because DI Hardy will have someone with him and I don't want your cousin reporting it," Ellie replied.

"Can I have my lunch in my room?" Tom then wanted to know.

His dad came out of the kitchen, holding their youngest son.

"Don't be rude Tom, come down," Joe insisted.

"Olly will be back later to see you," Ellie told Tom as the doorbell went.

She found Rose slightly in front of Alec, who was holding the bottle of wine, determined he wasn't going to drink any of it by saying he was driving.

"Hi!" Rose greeted Ellie. "Thanks for inviting us. We brought you a bottle, didn't we Alec?" she nudged him.

Alec held the bottle out and Ellie accepted it.

"Thanks. Well come on in, excuse the mess," Ellie grinned.

Then Rose saw the small boy behind her.

"Hi there little fella," Rose glanced past Ellie. "What's his name?"

"It's Fred and that's Joe," Ellie revealed.

"So this is where you disappeared to?" Joe tried to break the ice with Alec staring at him for asking Rose a stupid question.

"Yeah, it was such a dumb idea really but my dad arranged it all for me," Rose admitted. "How did I know what was gonna happen as I set off here?"

She reached down as Fred made his way to her and held his arms out. Rose picked him up and made a fuss over him.

"He doesn't usually go to anyone," Joe told her as they went into the dining room.

Tom had sneaked down, now intrigued as to who his parents were talking about.

"Are you really Rose Tyler?" Tom wanted to know.

Rose handed Fred to his mother but he didn't want to go so she sat him in his chair.

"Yeah, that's me," Rose did a little wave. "So, who are you?"

"Tom," he replied, feeling silly now.

"I've got a stepbrother, just a bit younger than you, Tom," Rose told him.

Alec was taking it all in, seeing another side of her. He had read all about her leaving work to take care of her fiancé when he'd got ill and now, she was trying to get her life back but he still wondered why she had chosen this town. She'd not said it had been chosen for her.

Had Pete Tyler chosen this place on purpose? He still didn't know how long it had been planned, whether a few days or when he himself had been sent here. Rose had just said she didn't know what had happened as she'd set off.

Rose was making another fuss over Fred when they went into the front room but Alec didn't want them to overstay their welcome. He'd managed a few sips of wine, insisting he was driving and had hoped Rose would go along with it.

When they had left, Ellie was grilling Tom about not telling his cousin who had just visited.

"Why's it a secret Mum?" Tom had asked her.

"Because she's famous and we still want people to read about Danny in the newspapers, not her. Rose wouldn't want that," she tried to explain.

"She used to be all over the newspapers Ell," Joe reminded her.

"Not since her fiancé died," Ellie insisted. "Let the press keep guessing what she's doing, Olly doesn't have to be the one who gives it away."

"It's his job," Joe went on.

"Well he can make his name some other way," Ellie replied. "She might be with my boss but she's got a right to her privacy."

"She's in the wrong town then," Joe laughed. "Your boss is going to spend more time defending her than finding out who killed Danny."

"Thanks for that, it's all I needed," Ellie complained.

Rose and Alec had got back to the caravan but Rose wanted to go for a walk. They walked to the end of the same pier where Alec had found her a few nights ago.

"You never told me why you were out here," he reminded her. "Why Rose? Why were you so fast at making friends with me? I know I look like the man you lost."

"I wasn't thinking straight Alec," Rose told him. "I suppose I was tryin' to sort my thoughts out. I had no idea you were here until you spoke to me."

"I want to believe you Rose, really I do," he answered, taking her hands. "It's just I don't think you quite trust me yet, that I'm different to who he was? I'm not him Rose. That psychic inferred as much but how would he know?"

"He's a fake Alec, he could have looked me up on my public profile. He hasn't got any real information or Torchwood would know about it. I have to call my friend Jake, if I have any more trouble with that man."

"I understand that Rose but I can take care of it, if you will let me?" Alec replied, lacing his fingers with hers.

"You have enough to deal with Alec," Rose told him. "I should get out of your way."

"I don't want you to leave," Alec reminded her. "Tell me the whole story. You said you got married, just before he died?"

"I felt bad, that we'd never have the chance to have a proper wedding, so we did it on the spur of the moment," Rose explained. "We'd tried everything we could think of to find out what was causing his illness. Then we hit on it but it was too late. We had one last hope to save him, by finding his twin."

That was news to Alec.

"Oh. Did you manage to find him then? How could he help Rose?"

"Alec, I can't tell ya out here," Rose replied. "We should go back to the caravan but when I've told ya, ya won't be able to get away fast enough."

"What are you talking about?" he wanted to know as Rose moved her hand away.

Rose glanced ahead of them to make sure no-one was approaching.

"Because he didn't belong here Alec, I mean in this world."

"You were right, we can't talk about this here but I want to know, no matter what you have to say," Alec told her. "When you say in this world, you mean he was one of those aliens Torchwood deals with?"

Rose let out a nervous laugh as he helped her up.

"He was only half alien," she admitted.

"Well, that's a start," he smiled. "So where did he come from, a parallel universe?"

"Is that the detective talking?" Rose smiled back as they walked.

"No, it's the wee lad in me who used to read all the comics," he admitted. "If you think I am going to leave when you have told me the whole tale, Rose Tyler, you can think again."

"Okay, maybe you won't but it still doesn't mean I can stay Alec," Rose turned serious. "You need to concentrate on finding who killed that boy, not hearing tales from another world."

Alec stopped her halfway down the pier.

"Oh, so that infers there is more to it then?" he asked. "There is only one way you can know so much Rose and that is if you have first hand experience."

"All ya need to know for now Alec is that he came here with me, because I was selfish and I caused his death," Rose replied, shocking Alec at her statement.

"You went to another world and got him to come back with you?" he wanted to be certain.

"No Alec, I went back, to find his twin, only then, I didn't know the man I was looking for even had a twin," Rose started to explain.

"You have lost me," Alec admitted as they stayed where they were.

"I need coffee," Rose told him.

"Fine, we will go get you some but you are not getting out of this," he agreed.

Chapter 17

Getting their drinks, they sat down at a table next to the river, Alec seeing Rose look at the blue chalet again.

"There is no way I am going to live there Rose," he told her.

"I was only looking," Rose insisted. "I still don't know if I'm staying or not yet."

"You don't have to keep reminding me of that Rose," Alec replied. "It just makes me sad to think you may leave while I am working, that's all. Promise me you won't do that."

"Okay, I won't go without telling you," she agreed. "I should have got one of those cream waffles."

"I will get one for you then," he offered. "Then you continue telling me about this twin of John's."

Rose wondered what she was supposed to do now he knew most of it.

Ellie's husband was still going on about Rose.

"I thought you didn't like your boss?" he teased her. "Has he softened up because of his girlfriend then?"

"Stop it," Ellie warned him. "Imagine if I'd got that promotion? I couldn't have coped with Danny's death, being in charge."

Joe wondered what she meant by that? He would have rather dealt with his wife being in charge instead of her tough boss. Ellie would have been easy to fool, Hardy not so much, especially with Rose Tyler for a girlfriend.

Alec led Rose back to the caravan, wanting to borrow her car first before she told him about her past.

"Alec, ya can stay here even if I go home," Rose told him.

"I am not sure I can but I can't stay at the hotel love," he admitted. "Why don't we go out later eh, watch the entertainment? I won't be long getting my things, you get changed eh?"

Rose agreed and he went off, after Rose told him to be careful with her car. Alec had laughed and told her it was a good thing she had an automatic or he would be crashing the gears. Once at the hotel, Becca Fisher was less than happy at the news he was moving out.

"I could do without that," Becca told him as he got his key. "I know I let the press in but I was going to offer the police half price for your room."

"I need somewhere closer to the station, it's not practical being so far away," Alec told her. "I am sure you will fill the vacancy."

"Where should I send any mail?" Becca then wanted to know.

"To the station," he replied, not wanting her to know where he was going.

Alec went off and gathered his things, folding his other suit into his suitcase and his other things into a holdall. He checked the bathroom then one last look in the bedside cabinet. While he was checking, Karen was just going into the small bar and ordering a drink, started talking to Becca.

"So, Olly recommend the hotel to you?" Becca asked her.

"Yeah. Is it okay if I use the lounge to work from?" Karen wanted to check.

"Sure, if you want? You won't get in anyone's way," Becca smiled.

"DI Hardy's staying here, I know he wants me to stay out of his way," Karen admitted.

"Don't worry about him, he won't be here after tonight," Becca told her. "He's got somewhere closer to the police station."

"Thanks for that bit of news," Karen seemed pleased as she caught a glimpse of Alec, who was looking for Becca.

"Ah, you're ready to leave then?" Becca asked him. "If you change your mind, you can always come back."

"So, where are you off to then?" Karen asked as she stood behind him by the mirror.

"As if I would tell you," Alec replied, taking the handle of his case.

"I never realised you two knew each other," Becca was amused.

Alec wished they didn't. Now, he had to keep both the London and local reporters away from Rose. Had he taken too much on? He managed to escape and drove back to the caravan, where Rose was waiting for him. She had called her mother before he got back.

"Make your mind up Rose," Jackie told her. "What am I going to tell Tony?"

"That I'll be home as soon as I can," Rose replied. "I promised Alec I'd stay until next weekend, then I don't know."

"Rose, if your gonna get over John, ya have to get on with your life," she was reminded.

"I know Mum and I think Alec can help but he has enough problems without me adding to them," Rose told her. "He's tryin' to keep the press and the local phoney psychic away from me."

"Well Pete offered to send Jake down to deal with that crank," Jackie pointed out. "He says Alec needs ya."

"He does Mum but he'll cope better without me gettin' in the way."

"Have you heard yourself Rose?" Jackie asked her. "John wouldn't want ya to be miserable over what happened. Pete said he and The Doctor were talking, saying they wanted ya to be happy."

"Mum, it's not that easy ya know? What did they say?" Rose wanted to know.

"You'd best ask Pete, he never went into any details," her mother replied.

Rose thought it wasn't like her mother to miss out on something.

"I'll see how I get on next week then," Rose relented.

"Have ya thought about the impact it'll make on Alec?" her mother wanted to know. "I mean I don't know much about him but Pete said ya were concerned about him? Give him a chance Rose, he might need you more than you need him."

Rose thought everyone was conspiring against her, if The Doctor and John had known about Alec. She knew she had to talk to Pete again.

"I want to know what was said Dad," Rose was insisting.

"Rose, they were just concerned about you," Pete was telling her. "John knew he had little time left, when the Doctor revived him that last time. He knew he couldn't keep on being brought back. They insisted I got you to go down to Broadchurch, they must have looked Alec up."

"How did they know I needed someone who looked like John?" Rose asked him. "I'm so confused right now and Alec wants me to tell him more."

"Then tell him, if you trust him," Pete replied. "It's up to you Rose. I didn't know what they had planned at first."

"Well it's not fair Dad. I just lost John and here's Alec, needing an operation and he won't go get it. Fat lot of good it was choosing him to help me get over what happened," Rose admitted.

"Maybe he'll get seen to if you stay?" Pete wondered. "Get him to hospital and leave the rest to me, I'll make sure he gets the best care. Don't tell him that if you don't want to," he offered.

"What if they can't fit him in just yet?" Rose was worried.

"Just get the name of the hospital from him Rose, he'll be told there's an appointment for him, he won't have to wait long. Best not make it right away, he might get suspicious," Pete laughed. "I'll have someone take care of it. If he gets worse, just get him there, I'll have the hospital expecting him."

"Thanks Dad. I suppose that makes me feel better but if I get involved with Alec, I can't go through what I did with John," Rose replied.

"I'm sure The Doctor wouldn't do that to you," Pete tried to assure her. "He cared about you, that's why he sent John with you, he didn't know what would happen."

"I know that Dad," Rose insisted. "I'll talk to Alec but I'm still not convinced that staying here is the best thing to do," she relented.

"Just give him a chance Rose, that's all he wants. Maybe the Doctor knew Alec was going to get ill and needed your help?" Pete asked her.

"Well it's not fair, after I just lost John," Rose replied. "I won't go back on my word, I'll give it until the end of the week."

"I'm sure he'll appreciate it," Pete agreed. "Call me when you get the hospital details."

"I will if he'll make an appointment," Rose laughed. "He's stubborn."

"Then you make a good pair," Pete laughed back.

Alec was trying to go through recent events as he drove back to the caravan. How had he got involved with Rose in such a short time, he wondered as he passed the site exit and wishing he could cheat. She had come from nowhere and he had let his curiosity get the better of him. Could she help him get through this investigation?

He stopped opposite the caravan and carefully reversed into the parking space, Rose opening the door when she heard the car. She helped him with his things, telling him to unpack later.

"You look very nice," he told her as he held onto her.

"It's not much," Rose insisted, looking at her simple blue dress with a white belt to compliment it.

"Even so, it suits you. If you have a necklace, I can fasten it for you," he suggested.

Rose went in her jewellery box and found a silver chain with a small heart on it and handed it to him.

"Ah, a tricky one," he joked, getting his specs out of his pocket.

Rose let out a giggle as he opened the clasp and placed it around her neck, taking the opportunity to sneak a kiss.

"Maybe I should keep you all to myself?" he told her as he let her go.

"You wanted to go out," Rose reminded him.

"Yes, hopefully no-one will recognise either of us?"

There weren't many people there and they got a table towards the back, near the bar. Rose insisted she got tickets to play bingo but Alec waved them away when she offered to share them.

"My mum's the one who always wins," Rose told him. "There's not many people playing though. I expect a lot with kids cancelled?"

"I expect so," Alec agreed. "You would have thought they would have gone ahead and taken responsibility to keep their kids safe."

"I expect they just panicked?" Rose replied. "Maybe others will start coming back next week?"

Rose managed to win a game, to her surprise and they enjoyed the entertainment then walked back to the caravan. Once they got Alec's things unpacked, Rose made some drinks after getting ready for bed.

"You still have more to tell me," Alec reminded her as she sat beside him, handing him a mug of hot chocolate. "You can tell me anything Rose, I am a detective," he assured her, moving a strand of her hair.

"I don't know where to start," Rose replied, curling her legs under her. "I spoke to my stepfather, he said to tell you what I can. Alec, it did start with the Cybermen, sort of."

"Then tell me everything and don't leave anything out eh?" he encouraged her.

"That could take a while," Rose smiled from behind her mug.

"Then you had better start, Miss Tyler," Alec replied, putting his free hand on her leg. "Why not start with this Doctor and how you got here?"

By the time she had finished, it was getting late and she was worried he'd not taken it very well. He surprised her though as she thought he'd go pack again.

"I have to believe you Rose," he assured her as she got up to move the mugs. "Those silver menaces had to go somewhere and Lumic just disappeared. The rumours were that the Cybermen had dealt with him when they were rounded up."

"Pete got his company back, after all the confusion," Rose admitted. "Lumic had taken over everything before that. We went off but Mickey stayed behind, to look after his grandmother he'd lost in our world. I never thought I'd come back here Alec."

"Well, you did and I am sorry you lost your friend Rose. It did make you determined to get back to him and I am glad it paid off," Alec told her. "He can't have known his twin would get ill."

"That's what Pete keeps telling me," Rose yawned. "Let's go to bed, there's not much more to tell ya."

"We still have to talk about me looking like both of them," Alec reminded her. "I still do not know how I feel about it."

"You're different to both of them Alec," Rose assured him. "Let me help you with that heart problem?"

"I can deal with it when I catch the killer," he insisted.

"Can't ya take a day off and get fixed?" Rose wanted to know. "I couldn't do anything to save John so let me do this for ya."

"I know you would have tried your best Rose. I know you risked everything to get help for him," Alec assured her. "Fine, I will call the appointments department tomorrow, if it will make you happy."

"Which hospital?" Rose dared ask him.

"I believe it will be Exeter, it will depend which one has the shortest waiting list," Alec replied, Rose thinking he wasn't being very helpful.

"Then go private," Rose urged him. "You're right, I couldn't do anything to help John, let me arrange it for ya."

"I don't like the idea," Alec disagreed. "If I had not met you, I would have to wait."

"Then get your doctor to tell them it's urgent," Rose suggested.

"I will, now get some sleep eh?" he insisted. "If I get a date, then will you stay? I'm asking you Rose but if you say no, I will just wait my turn for the surgery."

"Don't make me feel bad about it Alec," Rose told him.

"I'm not trying to Rose. I said I would get myself fixed but there will be no hurry if you go away," he replied. "Rose, I know we only just met but we both agree we were meant to, that the Doctor arranged it."

"Then he wouldn't want me to lose you as well," Rose told him.

She went off to the bathroom and Alec turned out the lights and went into the narrow corridor to the bedroom at the end. Rose wasn't giving him much of a choice, was she? To get her to stay, he had to agree to get seen to right away when he'd been putting it off all this time.

He hadn't been able to bring himself to do it for Daisy but two days of meeting Rose, she was offering to get him seen right away. He could hardly blame her when she'd just lost someone. He had to tell her she might be wasting her time and money but how? She'd been through enough lately.

Rose felt comfortable enough for some kissing and lying on him and settled down.

"So will ya think about letting me help ya?" she wanted to know before she fell asleep.

"Yes Rose, I will call and see what they say in the morning. Are you paying for it or is your stepfather?" he teased her.

"He can get it done quicker than I can," she had to admit. "He has connections."

"I can imagine," Alec replied, kissing her shoulder.

"Well he thinks the same as you Alec, that I was meant to come here, find you and help you," she yawned again. "So ya agree then?"

"How can I say no and let you down, if the Doctor, sent you to rescue me?" he replied.

Rose was already asleep but Alec smiled to himself. Just a few days of knowing her and she had taken over his life. He just hoped she'd now stay and not talk of getting in the way. Just as long as the so-called psychic stayed away. Rose called Pete the following morning and told him Alec had agreed to be helped. The holidays were coming up and Rose said she'd bring him to meet everyone, after his successful operation.

He got away with telling the chief he had something to do the following Monday, to give him an extra day to recover and had made his appointment as late as possible on the Friday afternoon. He was pacing up and down in the corridor outside the consultant's office just after four thirty, thinking he'd been forgotten.

"They take their time Alec," Rose reminded him, trying to get him to sit down.

"What if it's too late for them to operate?" he wanted to know.

"It's not, now stop worrying and sit down Alec, you're drivin' me nuts," Rose smiled.

"Easy for you to say," Alec muttered back as the door opposite suddenly opened and a nurse came out.

"Alec Hardy?" she asked him. "Come with me, we have to do a few tests first before you see the consultant."

"I'll wait here," Rose assured him.

"He's not going far," the nurse laughed.

He was back a short time later, carrying a plastic basket containing his clothes.

"So, getting it done now?" Rose teased him.

"Come in with me Rose," he suggested, handing the basket to her. "I would not be here had you not come with me."

The consultant explained the procedure was simple enough and that his chances were quite good.

"So, shall we go ahead?" they were both asked.

"I have a phone call to make," Alec insisted.

Tess had just got home from work, Daisy sat at the kitchen table doing her homework.

"What is it Alec?" Tess wanted to know. "When are you coming to see Daisy?"

Rose had said they could call in when they were on their way back to London.

"Ah, well that depends," Alec just replied.

"That's just typical of you," Tess complained.

"Tess, give it a rest," he insisted, since the consultant had gone off to prepare for surgery. "I'm getting surgery, for a pacemaker."

"What? When?" Tess wanted to know.

"Ah, now," Alec told her. "I'm with someone, don't fuss. I met someone, a while ago and well, we're together," he smiled at Rose. "We'll call and see Daisy in a week or so, they need to meet."

Daisy had been listening and looked up from her books.

"Is he joking Mum?" she asked.

"No Daisy, no joke," Alec assured her. "You'll like her, her name is Rose."

"No chance it's Rose Tyler I suppose?" Daisy tried to sound interested. "I would be the envy of all my friends if it was."

"Well be prepared for envious friends. I have to go now, the nurse came back to take me to get prepared but I'll have Rose call you when I come out, it could be a while before I come round," Alec told her.

"Yeah, I'll call her Alec, don't worry," Rose assured him.

"This way Alec, your girlfriend can wait just across the corridor," the nurse told him. "Don't worry, you'll be in and out in no time, you'll have the best of care."

Rose hoped so, considering Pete was paying for Alec fitting in after hours. After what seemed like ages for Rose, she heard the door opposite open so she got up, seeing Alec being wheeled on a bed to the recovery room.

"Can I sit with him?" she asked a nurse.

"Of course, we'll just get him settled," Rose was told.

When he finally came to, Rose was watching him.

"Welcome back Alec."

"I made it," he laughed.

"Good thing too, my stepfather would have been disappointed," Rose replied. "Well, I guess now, I'm staying then?"

"I hope so love. You made me realise it was not just about me. You have been let down enough. Go see when I can get out of here eh?"

In the other universe, The Doctor had been hoping Rose had taken the hint and gone in search of the detective. He'd known there was something wrong with the man but Rose wouldn't let any harm come to him, not after losing John. He was quite pleased with himself that maybe this time, he'd made things right for her.

His twin had told him he just wanted Rose to be happy and had been grateful for the short time he'd been with her. Had Rose got to him sooner, maybe things would have been different but then, maybe Alec Hardy wouldn't have gone for his surgery nor had Rose by his side when he had.

Yes, he thought as he floated around another nebula. Alec Hardy had deserved another chance when he'd sacrificed himself to bring in a killer and had chosen to hide his illness. Alec had also deserved to have Rose at his side and he could live with that.

The End!