Characters/Pairings: Ten/Rose, Pete/Jackie (hints), Mickey, Jake
Genre: Romance/Drama/Angst (just a pinch or two)
Warnings/Spoilers: Post-Doomsday. AU.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership.
Summary: One-shot. Visit Jackie? Check. Find out what these ‘ghosts’ really are? Check. Keep Rose safe? Check. Get out of this mess? Check. Save Rose? Check. Play matchmaker? Check. Keep the Tylers safe? Che… Well, they are safe, he concedes, looking at the three Tylers once Doomsday is averted.
Author's Note: What was supposed to be a quick fluffy, post-Doomsday AU, turned into a rewrite with fluff. XD Inspired by then_theres_us’s challenge 43 pic prompt #23. This is dedicated to who_in_whoville! Happy Birthday!!!
The Doctor stared at the small happy family from a distance. He just couldn't believe it. Here were Jackie, Mickey, Pete, and Rose all in one room, in the same universe, and it hadn't collapsed.
The plan had been to keep her safe, but it seemed the Tyler women were bent on ignoring him.
As Rose backed away from her family towards him, he silently pulled out the yellow button he still had, looking at Pete. He wasn’t going to let Rose throw her life away for him. He knew how she felt, same as she knew how much he… But she’d regret her decision eventually, she would. Knowing the parallel version of her dad understood what he was about to do, he felt at ease. He’d look after her, after them. He quickly glanced at Jackie, the woman who’d made his life a living hell, and had accepted him as part of her family. Just as he was about to put the chain around her neck, the blonde woman screeched.
“Oh no you don’t!” She yanked off the yellow button Pete had given her.
“What’re you…?!” Rose whirled around and saw his arms halfway up, with the transporter in his hands.
The look his pink and yellow human gave him nearly broke his hearts. Never had he seen her look at him like that, like he’d betrayed her. Didn’t she understand he needed her safe?
“You’re not doing this to me again!” she said resolutely as she backed away from him too.
“And you,” Jackie pointed a finger at the alternate version of her dead husband. “I don’t care how much money you have. You can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine for all I care. I am not leaving my daughter!”
Pete looked torn. Here he was, with Jackie again, a Jackie who still held the fire in her eye that he’d fallen in love with, but she wasn’t really his deceased wife… His life was in the other universe, but this Jackie’s was here. With a universe he’d been ready to leave to hell, with a daughter, a daughter he’d never had…
“The breech is unstable Rose! I can’t take the chance that with you! If something happened to you-. You’re safer on the other side!”
“Well that’s tough. I knew what I was signing myself up for when I first ran into the TARDIS. I made my choice a long time ago and I’m never gonna leave you.” She looked into his eyes, daring him to defy her, but all she saw was a man, a lonely, desperate man clinging on to a piece of hope.
Hearing Jackie’s daughter’s claim, he made up his mind. He’d once said something similar to Jackie, during their first fight as a married couple, and he finally knew where he belonged. He cleared his throat, turning to his men and ordering them to return to their homes. “Jake, you know where my will is. Make sure it’s carried out and that Torchwood becomes what it was truly meant to be: a defender of Earth.”
The spiky haired blonde saluted before pushing the button that would transport them, giving Mickey a sad smile, knowing he’d also be staying.
The balding man then turned to a gaping brunette. “So Doctor, what can we do to help?”
It'd been a close call. Rose had almost fallen into the Void and if it hadn't been for Jackie and her lack of ‘Void stuff’, they'd have lost her. Once the breech had closed, trapping all the Daleks and Cybermen once again, there'd been hugs and celebratory cheers. He'd been in the midst of it a few minutes ago, but now he just stood back and observed. A wealth of feelings bubbled in his chest, almost rendering his respiratory bypass obsolete as he felt the timelines shift around them, adjusting slightly to include Pete Tyler. It was almost too easy. After all, Mickey's double in the other universe had also died, allowing him to take his place. If Jackie had gone with Pete, the timelines would've adjusted around her as well.
What about Rose, though? Without a Rose Tyler in Pete's world (or ex-world?), would it have stabilized around her? He wasn't sure and that made him nervous. What if he'd sent her with her family only to endanger her there too? He hadn't thought of that while he'd been trying to create a happy family reunion… What was wrong with him anyway? Hadn't he told her, on their first trip there, that Pete wasn't her real dad? Why the change of heart? He knew why. It was the same theme over and over again. He just wanted her safe. Remembering Rose's look of betrayal, he berated himself. How stupid was he? He'd been about to take away her choices. He'd almost taken away Jackie's choices too! How manipulative was he? He continued his inner monologue, his thoughts turning darker. 'I wouldn't blame her if she wanted to stop traveling with me.' Thinking that, he backed out of the room, needing some time alone.
Rose wiped her eyes, just knowing her mascara was blotched but it didn't matter. They'd saved the day again! Her mum had been fantastic! Pete had listened to the Doctor and apologized for trying to jeopardize this universe. Mickey had teased the Time Lord relentlessly before he'd escaped. She knew he was close by; he wouldn't leave her. Unless…unless he thought she was ‘safer’ on Earth, with her ‘complete’ family. She looked towards her mother and smiled as the woman who loved her more than anything, as she'd well enough proved today, nodded her approval.
She found him slumped up against a wall a few doors away. "Hey."
He cracked a grin from his otherwise somber face and just like that, he knew things would be okay.
Well, things would be relatively okay, he adjusted his previous thought. He and Rose had been dancing around each other for the past few weeks, ever since Doomsday, as he'd taken to calling it in his head. They'd stayed on Earth to settle Pete and make sure Mickey got his flat back. The two already had plans to usurp this universe's Torchwood, as well as start a company not unlike the one he'd previously had to help with funding. There were very few questions regarding Pete Tyler's return from the grave, but that's the way most human minds worked. Already, there was a ‘logical’ cover-up story for the invasion of the Cybermen and Daleks. He ignored most of it, unable to hold an interest in Earth's events while he and Rose were still out of sorts. Oh, don't get him wrong, they still laughed, held hands, hugged, and traveled, but there was something…different. He wasn't sure what it was, but the more he thought about it, the more unattainable it became.
What passed by as morning in the TARDIS saw the Doctor entering the console room, suit as disheveled as his hair. He hadn't bothered to change when he'd fallen into an impromptu sleep filled with images of Rose disappearing into the Void, of transmitted messages through it, no touching, of a life filled with nothing but emptiness, of could-have-beens… His hearts almost stopped as he found Rose with two packs underneath her seat on the captain's chair. This was it…
"We are taking a break," she announced. "We've only gone to two places and that was to find parts for the TARDIS and, much as I love her, I'm tired of staying in the vortex. A beach, any beach on Earth, twenty-first century," she finally demanded.
He gapped. She wasn't… Suddenly, he straightened up, fixed his tie, and tried to settle his hair. Leaving it as a lost cause, he eagerly set coordinates for the perfect place. Her wish was his command, after all.
Of course, sometimes the TARDIS has other ideas.
Rose giggled as she peaked out and saw a sparkling lake surrounded by trees. A beautiful, isolated lake, by the looks of it…with a lovely little cottage not too far ahead. She patted the closest coral strut as she went back up the ramp. "Why don't you get changed into something more appropriate and we can go for a swim, yeah?"
The Doctor frowned. "What's wrong with what I have on?"
She raised a brow. "You gonna swim in your suit, Doctor? Or in your pants?" Her accent thickened.
He gulped. "Uh no, j-just…"
"Here, the TARDIS chose some things for you. Allons-y Doctor!"
"Oi! You can't say my catchphrases! It's against the rules!"
"You expect me to follow the rules when you hardly tolerate them." Her tongue poked out of her mouth as she turned to him, now running backwards. She laughed when he simply spluttered.
Heading back towards the lake, she found the Doctor pouting on a sturdy rock a few yards away from the shore. If he'd still been his leather self, she would have called it brooding, but he hadn't quite managed to perfect the art of brooding in this form and butterflies fluttered in her stomach as she thought about the last few months with him. His brooding had lessened considerably before he'd regenerated. She shook her head to bring herself back to the present. A present that came with a less broody Doctor and… Her mind almost shut down as she finally realized he'd actually heeded her instructions and had donned khaki shorts and a white tee. There was more skin than she was ever used to seeing. Defined calves, strong thighs, toned arms, chest hair… She gulped and tried to calm her racing heart as she approached him.
The Doctor, although knowing Rose had finally come to join him, didn't look up until she was standing right before him. When he
did, his breath caught in his throat. He really needed to check on his bypass system; it'd been a little faulty lately. Maybe he'd caught some time bug? His eyes drank in her body covered in a tiny, sheer white dress. Was covered even the proper word? He felt the past few weeks suddenly wash away as he looked into her eyes, eyes filled with emotions he'd dared not name before. Now though, now… Without consulting his mind, his hands placed themselves on her hips, long fingers spreading and grazing her bum.
Her breath hitched. She couldn't believe this was happening. Was it? She looked down, knowing her honey eyes would reveal nothing but the burning love she had for him. She saw his eyes widen and darken further, and she realized they had the same gleam hers did. She'd known, she'd always known, but he'd never displayed it so blatantly. They still had a lot to talk about, but that could wait, she reasoned as she felt his grip tighten slightly. Wrapping her arms around his neck at the same time he brought her to stand between his legs, she leaned down and snogged him for all she was worth, feeling him respond in turn.
It was about time he gave in.