country_who: (Default)
Title: The Doctor and His Time Ladies
Author: [livejournal.com profile] country_who
Rating: PG
Word Count (This chapter): 5200
Genre: AU, Action/Adventure
Characters/Pairings: Ten/Rose, Tenth Doctor, Human Doctor, Rose, Jenny, Jack
Summary: AU Journey's End. Rose gets trapped in the TARDIS instead of Donna and now holds the mind of a Time Lord protected by the Bad Wolf, but what happens when the human Doctor dies, and the Time Lord tries to take her to a planet to get her mind off of him, and fulfill a promise? Does the Doctor have more to lose than gain? 
Author's Note: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] othermewriter who solidified the main ideas swimming in the soup I call my brain. 
Author's Note 2: This is the last chapter of this story. I am planning a follow up story called "Mother Time." Which is an AU version of "The Doctor's Wife," in case anyone's interested in reading it once I get the time to write and post it. It seems I have less time in the summer than when school is in session, which confuses me. :(

PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9| Chapter 10




A soft whirring filled the air, as the Doctor soniced the door causing it to open with a soft click. Jenny followed close behind, keeping her eyes peeled for anything suspicious, but like her father had said, the Saigans avoided attacking them while they approached. Although, she was sure that there were several pairs of eyes watching them as they approached.

Understanding her father was becoming increasingly difficult, Jenny realized as she followed him. Hatred directed towards these people bubbled up inside of her, yet he seemed to be placing trust in these people that they weren’t going to attack him after they had taken Rose and had been keeping Jack for who knows how long. Every single one of her soldier instincts told her this was wrong, but she saw how her father’s demeanor had completely changed recently. He was more hunched over as opposed to his usual light step, and the muscles in his neck and jaw were budging in a rhythm of four, which she assumed matched his hearts.

“Dad?” Jenny whispered lowly, while she picked up pace and fell into a steady step to match her father’s hurried gait.

“What?” He asked with a somewhat harsh tone.

“Why do you trust them?” she asked.

He glanced back at her, seeing the look of genuine curiosity in her eyes as opposed to judgment. A look similar to pit came over his face as Jenny took him in, she could see what he was thinking, that she was ignorant, but teachable, and that’s all she really needed to be for him, she supposed. Her father needed someone to put him in his place sometimes, but she needed the same from him in different ways and places.

“I don’t,” he stated simply before adding. “I just know their type.”

“Their type?” Jenny asked. “Like their species?”

“No, the type that likes to watch their enemies work a bit and suffer a bit before they move in for the kill,” he said. “It’s like a cat toying with it prey before he kills them.”

“How do you know?” Jenny asked.

“Experience.”

“Will I be like that someday?”

“The Saigans?” He asked in disbelief and Jenny realized how that must have sounded to him.

“No,” she clarified, “like you. I want to be able to just know like you do, father.”

He gave her a small sideways smile. “Absolutely, you’re my daughter after all.”

His daughter, she really liked the sound of it. She had imagined him saying that to her after she had watched him say it while she was dying. It sounded so much better when he wasn’t in tears. There was strength to his words now, like he was saying it because he wanted to, not because he needed to.

“Really?”

“Yes, now come on,” the Doctor hurried her, down a corridor, as he read the read out on his sonic screwdriver.

“Can you tell where Rose is on that thing?” Jenny asked curiously, as she listened intently to the change in pitch.

“No, but I can track Jack Jackedy Jack on here,” the Doctor said, a spring in his step returning as he neared Rose. “He’s a fixed point, makes him easy to track. Didn’t something strike you as weird about him? A bit scary? Wrong?”

The Doctor threw a look in her direction, while he kept running down the corridor, but Jenny shrugged and gave him a cheeky smile as they ran, trying to encourage her father’s lightening behavior.

“I always found it quite… endearing,” Jenny said with a giggle, while the Doctor looked like he was going to be physically ill.

“You and I, young lady, are going to have a serious talk once we get back to the
TARDIS,” her father threatened half-heartedly.

Jenny didn’t get a chance to reply as the sonic screwdriver’s pitch increased as the Doctor stopped in front of a door pointing the device at it as if to confirm that this was the right location.

Jenny knew what her father was thinking. He didn’t want to deal with the heartache of her not being there, if he didn’t open the door, then there wouldn’t be any let down in the end. He could move on, try another, or wait for something to happen that proved she was there, but he never would. He needed to see Rose, and he knew neither of them could wait a second longer. Rose might not last and his hearts would give out from the frantic pounding against his rib cage in a few minutes.

He tensed himself, getting ready for whatever sight he might see once he finally opened the door to save Rose. He didn’t care if she wasn’t there. He would tear down every single door and wall in the building to find her. He would rip the planet apart with his bare hands until nothing was left if it meant she was safe. He wasn’t going to lose her. Not like this, not with so much left unsaid.

Shaking his head, the Doctor soniced the lock successfully and turned the knob to step inside.

His breath hitched in his chest at the sight in front of him. He couldn’t feel his feet for a minute, while he blinked several times and tried to get the scene to change. His hearts clenched more painfully than they had ever done before
That woman couldn’t be his Rose. It wasn’t his Rose.

She was pale, and shivering against Captain Jack Harkness, while she fought to keep her eyes open. There was true fear in her eyes as she slowly turned her head in his direction and caught his eyes. They seemed to be the only thing that the drugs hadn’t touched, as they pleaded with him to come closer. The fear had vanished, she trusted him, even if there was a slight questioning expression in the rest of her face.

He vaguely registered Jack calling his and Jenny’s names, as his daughter moved forward past his frozen form and knelt in front of both Jack and Rose. The Captain had managed to maneuver himself so that he could give Jenny a brief hug and fleeting kiss before he let her go to try to tend to Rose’s arm. However, Rose pulled away; locking her eyes on the man standing in the door was in shock.

“Doctor?” Rose rasped uncertainly, while she raised an arm.

He didn’t need any more prompting. He crossed the room in one bound and dropped down to Rose’s level and enveloped her in his arms. She was warm, warmer than she had ever felt against his skin, but he didn’t care. In his arms she was safe.

“I knew to trust you,” Rose whispered softly, “I don’t have to remember you. I trust you, Doctor. I need you.”

“Oh, Rose,” the Doctor murmured against her taking her into his arms kissing her forehead. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have let this happen.”

He felt the fever burning through her as she clung to his jacket.

“It’s not your fault,” Rose whispered softly, while she took his hand and gave him a weak smile. “We always get through, right?”

“Yeah,” the Doctor said, giving her a genuine smile and looking deep into her eyes. “You have no idea how much, Rose Tyler, no idea. We’ll figure it out, I promise, and as soon as you’re better there are some things I haven’t done that I will.”

Rose smiled, thinking in her heart that she knew what he was going to do. She wanted to hear the words now, but she knew that if she waited until she was better she would understand their full impact even more. The words she had been waiting for her whole life, were so close, and she could wait a little longer.

“Okay,” Rose replied, watching as the Doctor’s big brown eyes were suddenly filled with relief. He was even more handsome than she had seen in her broken memories. No, not just hansom, he was gorgeous, more than any other man had the right to be. She reached up her hand and touched his cheek, running his thumb over ever freckle, crease and blemish. They all added to his beauty, nothing was out of place, and everything was right.

“I missed you,” the Doctor admitted, kneeling lower and taking her face in both of his hands. “I missed you more than you could ever imagine.”

“I think it’s about as much as I missed you,” Rose teased, letting levity enter her voice as the Doctor giggled.

“Quite right too,” he said.

Rose thought that maybe there was something hidden behind those words, something far more tragic than the Doctor was letting on, but she wouldn’t entertain the thought. Not now. She was far too busy learning him again. It was like being a child again and being given the present they had been waiting for months. They imagine holding it, and all the things that they’ll ever get from it, and when you finally receive it, it’s a thousand times better than you ever imagined.

“You’re beautiful,” Rose whispered, burying her face in the side of his neck.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” the Doctor teased, running his hands up and down her back, but suddenly he turned serious. “Get some rest, Rose. They won’t come, not for a little while longer. They’ll want me to get attached to you, again, so they’ll have a strong hold, should give us a few hours. Jack, Jenny and I’ll think of something.”

“Don’t wanna sleep,” Rose protested.

“Why not?” The Doctor asked, while he looked at her with concern.

“Nightmares, losing my memories…” Rose listed off.

Sorrow filled the Doctor’s eyes as he looked up at Jack, who nodded silently. Jenny looked between the two men, trying to think of something to say, but she was at a loss. She watched as her father looked back down at Rose, the trace of sorrow almost completely hidden on his face, while he grinned at her.

“That’s fine,” he said, as he laced confidence into every word. “Because, I’m here, and as long as I am, no one and nothing are going to hurt you anymore. I promise. Now sleep, Rose.”

Rose nodded slowly, the hand of sleep finally beginning to pull her under.

“Good night, Doctor.”

“Sleep well, my Rose,” the Doctor replied, placing a chaste kiss on her forehead as her breathing steadied and her muscles relaxed.

“What’s wrong with her, Dad?” Jenny whispered, carefully extracting herself from Jack’s firm grip and leaning forward to touch Rose’s face.

“The chemicals in her body that’s all. It’s running rampant and her mind ran,” he replied, looking down at Rose and smiling. “She’s so clever. She hid in the strongest physic creature with walls weak enough to let her in.”

He turned his attention to Jenny, as he gently lowered Rose to the ground and fought the urge to cover her shivering form with his coat.

“She’s not lost,” he said to his daughter. “She’s in you, being held safely until it’s alright for her to go back into her body. In the meantime, Jenny, you’re going to have to hold her. She’s got nowhere else to go.”

“Okay,” Jenny said without hesitation.

“What about Jenny?” Jack asked.

“She should be fine, apart from the odd headache, now that the transfer has been done, when Rose is back to herself, she’ll be able to control it better and it won’t be as debilitating as before,” the Doctor told him, suddenly wondering why he should be explained the health of his own daughter to Captain Jack Harkness.

“Debilitating?” Jack questioned, looking at Jenny.

“It’s nothing, Jack,” Jenny told him; giving him a silent motion with her hand across his knee to tell him this wasn’t the time. She looked over at her father. “So, what’s the plan?”

“Get Rose out and cured, Atali should be near finished now,” the Doctor stated. “Captain, do you still have your vortex manipulator?”

He nodded, strapping it off of his wrist and handing it to the Doctor carefully. “I tried to fix it, got a couple good jumps in, but it burned out again.”

“That’s ‘cause you wired it up wrong,” Jenny muttered, moving from Jack’s side to the Doctor’s and rearranging the wires, while he soniced it.

“It’s not as easy as you make it out to be, I notice your time travel device broke as well,” Jack retorted, recalling the readings of Jenny he had been following. They had just blinked out for no reason.

“That’s because I crashed,” Jenny said, while her father took over the repairs. “Plus, it was due to something completely unrelated to my manipulator. It was due to a malfunction in the thermobuffer, thank you very much.”

“Oi! You two, there’s a time and a place,” the Doctor chastised without looking up from his work.

“Sorry,” Jenny and Jack said together, as they turned their attention back towards Rose, who was sleeping peacefully.

“How will I give her memories back, Dad?” Jenny asked, reaching over and touching Rose’s forehead as if the physical motion alone would allow the transfer to take place.

“I’ll… act as a mediator of sorts, you two will meet up inside me, and well, exchange thoughts, memories and emotions,” he explained, looking back at Jack. “Jack’s capable as well.”

The former time agent looked stunned for a minute. “What d’you mean, Doc?”

“I mean that with all that Time Agency and Torchwood training you’re plenty able to make the transfer,” the Doctor said before handing him the mended vortex manipulator back and giving him a hard stare. “Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes sir,” Jack said, looking at the device in his hands and over to Rose. “You’ve still got a while, tell her.”

“I want her to be her when I do,” the Doctor whispered, looking over at Jenny and back at Jack. “You understand that, don’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Tell her… tell her, if I don’t make it back. I do more than anything else in all the worlds,” he whispered, shouldering past Jenny for a moment and gathering Rose’s limp form in his arms and held her tightly for a moment, letting his eyes track across her face for what could be the last time. He pressed a soft kiss to her lips, and breathed deeply to not let a single tear leak onto her face. “See you later.”

Captain Jack stepped forward, taking Rose from his friend’s proffered hands and managing to cradle her against his chest with one arm. Gently, he reached for Jenny’s hand, but she was already surging forward towards her father.

“Where are you going?” Jenny demanded. “Rose needs you, you said so yourself… I need you.”

“No, you don’t,” the Doctor told her strongly, taking his hands and grasping them to her shoulders, and turning her, so that his back was to Jack, and Jenny’s anguished face was just visible to him over her father’s shoulder. “Jenny, look at what you’ve done in a year and half. You’ve travelled, figured out Time Travel, and started your own life with someone.” The Doctor shot a sideways glance at Jack, whose eyes were firmly locked on Jenny, as he held Rose a bit tighter, in his need to hold someone. “I never thought I’d say this, but ‘stay with him, Jenny,’ if I don’t make it back, and that’s a big ‘if’ by the way, stay with Captain Jack, he’ll take care of you, Rose too. I trust him. He’s loyal and brave when he wants to be and I know he’ll be for you.”

“You promised every planet,” Jenny whispered brokenly, watching her father make his goodbyes.

“I know, and we will if—when I get back,” the Doctor promised his daughter, while he ran his hands up and down her arms.

“Okay,” Jenny whispered, reaching forward and hugging her father around the middle before pulling back and stepping into place next to Jack who still held Rose in his arms.

“Doctor,” Jack said as a way of goodbye.

“Captain,” he acknowledged, while he looked to two of the most important women in his life. He had just been reunited with both of them, it seemed it was a given that he was going to lose them all over again. “Take care.”

“You too,” Jack stated simply.

Everyone in the room took one more look at each other before Jack held his arms out for Jenny to grab onto and activated the vortex manipulator.

“Goodbye,” whispered a small voice behind the Doctor.

Turning around, the Doctor saw a small red and black creature peeking out from behind Jack’s discarded jacket in the corner.

“Anderson,” the Doctor said, flabbergasted.

~//~

Rose Tyler awoke as she felt someone jostling her from the warm arms that had been holding her and into another. Both their arms felt too hot for some reason, despite the fact that she was freezing. Deep within her, something longed to be held in the cool arms of a Time Lord. He promised to be there for her, who was going to take the nightmares away now?

“Doctor,” she mumbled as she opened her as and met a young blond girl’s face leaning over hers.

“He’s not here right now, but he will be,” the young girl said, but it was clear to Rose that she was forcing her voice to sound confident. He was going to do something ridiculous and dangerous, just like she knew he had done before.

Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.

“He needs me,” Rose whispered, looking up at the girl with deep need to run after him and help him through this. “He’s doing something stupid.”

“Hush, Rose,” said Jack, as he stepping into her vision, noting that the man carrying her had begun walking to a tent marked with the universal symbol for hospital. “Focus on getting better. The Doctor can take care of himself. He’s gonna need you when you’re well. I understand you have a lot to catch up on.”

Jack’s blue eyes were beginning to blur in front of her, as she looked to her side and saw one of the nurses sticking a needle into her arm. One of them yelled about a stasis chamber and trying to bring down her temperature before everything went black.

~//~

Jack had to practically drag Jenny out of the makeshift hospital, in order to get her back into the tent that Nala had told him that Jenny, Rose and the Doctor had been staying in. Ever since he had pulled her away from Rose, she refused to speak or even look at her. He was beginning to feel oddly hurt by her silence and reached over to touch her shoulder.
To his surprise, she reacted by slapping him hard across the face with an exclamation of fury.

“How could you, Jack?” Jenny seethed at him, her eyes blazing with an unbridled fury.

“Jen I…”

“Don’t ‘Jen,’ me. How could you just leave her? She doesn’t remember anything Jack, what if she needs something from us?” She demanded before her gaze finally softened and she ran her fingers down the area where she had slapped him. “She doesn’t deserve to be alone, Jack. We both know what that feels like.”

Jack nodded slowly, moving closer to his wife.

Could he still call her his wife? She felt like his wife, talked like his wife and smelled like his wife.

“I know, but you and I also know, Jenny that sometimes you need to take a step back and let the doctors and nurses do their jobs, let fate take over, and just hope that everything turns out right in the end.”

Looking up, Jenny looked into his eyes and saw so much wisdom and knowledge hidden behind his tough exterior. He cared about so much, but he knew when to stop and when to go. He was so much like her father, that she couldn’t quite bring herself to admit it.

She reached out her arms to him, and immediately he gathered her into his arms. She held on tightly, and unlike the silent sobs she let out with her father, Jenny cried properly. Tears cascaded down her face and made wet marks on Jack’s shirt. Her small frame shook violently as the two strong hands of the former Time Agent tried to calm her. The sensation of being rocked back and for came over her as she felt the cot creak under their shifting weight.

Jack leaned over and kissed her forehead softly, longing to make her tears stop.

“I wish I could tell you everything would turn out right, but I can’t,” Jack admitted, running his hand down her back and skimming her ponytail.

“Then don’t try,” Jenny told him, as she sat up, wiped her eyes and sniffed to regain her composure, even though she knew she didn’t need to in front of Jack. She sat with her side still leaning against Jack and her head resting on his shoulder. “They’re close Jack, why wouldn’t he go with her?”

Jack shrugged his shoulders and drew a deep breath. “He tries to protect her a lot. He tries to get her out of dangerous situations, but I think most of all he doesn’t want her to see.”

Jenny looked had him with a confused look on her face. Her father rescued whole civilizations, sometimes more than one at a time. He battled monsters, saved countless lives, and never backed away from trying to change something he knew was wrong.

“Why?” she asked after a few moments of tense silence.

“The Doctor, he’s got to make some tough choices sometimes, and when he picks winners and losers it doesn’t always work out for the loser,” Jack told her gently.

“Yes, but Rose would still love him.” Jenny knew she would, the way they looked at each other from the moment they met; there was no stopping the love she felt for him.

“He doesn’t know that,” Jack told her.

Suddenly realization donned on Jenny, as she nodded slowly and bowed her head slightly in defeat. “He doesn’t want her to love him, even if he loves her. He doesn’t want her to end up rejecting him if she gets to close and sees something he pushes away.”

“Yeah.”

“Like your immortality,” Jenny whispered so softly that Jack almost couldn’t hear it.

“My what?”

“Don’t try to hide it, Jack. I know. I knew from the moment I saw you, Time Lord Instincts and all that, plus Dad solidified it for me. You never told me for the same reason that Dad doesn’t let Rose see everything he does.”

“I suppose,” Jack said, averting her gaze.

“So…” Jenny prompted him.

“So, what?”

“Tell me.”

“That I’m immortal?” Jack asked, looking more confused by the second.

“Yep,” Jenny confirmed.

“You already know,” he told her.

“Jack, I shouldn’t have had to already know, so tell me, please. I need to know that you’ll be the honest man you have been for everything else, alright. Just tell me.”

Sighing, Jack took both of Jenny’s hands in his, looked into her eyes and told her the truth, the whole truth. That he had been killed, Rose resurrected him, and he had been unable to die ever since. Gently, he took her hands and drew them into his lap comfortingly, his fingers gently brushed across her knuckled with a feather soft motion, and he gently leaned forward and kissed her before she could reply to what he had revealed.

Jenny took her time, getting to learn the feel of his lips again, but sadly the kiss was cut short by the muffled sound of an explosion from not too far away.

“I hope Dad and Anderson are alright,” Jenny told Jack, as she leaned her forehead against Jack and tried to push the feeling of guilt welling up in her stomach. She had let the Chubchuck stay at his own request in the fear that her father might need a spare pair of hands.

Jack didn’t answer, just held her tighter and kissed her again.

~//~

A wall of flames was at the Doctor’s back and a barely conscious Mr. Anderson was in his hands as they ran through the forest, towards where he hoped he had parked the Jeep. He risked a look down at the small red and black creature curling in on himself in his palm.

“Hang in there, Anderson,” he murmured, running one long finger down the length of his body to get him to wake up.

“Anderson, tired,” he protested and shut his eyes stubbornly.

“Anderson needs to stay awake,” the Doctor argued.

“Anderson sleep now,” he said with finality, as he made soft snoring noises to reiterate his point.

The Doctor sighed, looked down at the creature’s scorched fur and wished he had done something to stop this from happening.

They had managed to sneak through the prison without being noticed, with the help of the Doctor’s perception filter and a shimmer setting he programmed on his sonic screwdriver. They breached the main security controls where the Doctor could cause an excitation in the normal electromagnetic field surrounding the area and explode the compound. However, the Doctor had wanted to give the Saigans a chance to end it and Anderson thought differently. When the Doctor turned his back he connected the two wires and set off a two minute timer to the explosion, but the wires had flared and struck the small creature.

“That was a stupid move, Anderson,” the Doctor muttered, while he shook his head and made his way to the jeep, jumped in and floored it in the opposite direction to the human compound and east of the Saigans, hoping to try something stupid.

~//~

The sound of ancient engines grinding in strain made Rose stir within a chamber that appeared to be constructed out of glass. She was relieved to find that she was no longer shivering or in a great amount of pain, save for a slight ache in her head.

“Doctor,” she muttered, looking around and trying to find the Time Lord, but only found another woman who seemed to be in charge.

“Hello Rose,” she said pushing some buttons on the outside of the device so that the glass seemed to recede into the bed. “Feeling better?”

Rose nodded, “’Cept I can’t really remember anything still,” she said, rubbing her eyes and sitting up in bed, noting how stiff her back and joints felt.

The woman opened her mouth to reply, but a now familiar voice chipped it before she could day anything. “Only temporarily,” the Doctor said, as he approached Rose’s bed and took her hand, as he helped her to her feet and wrapped his arms around her waist.

Rose leaned her head against his chest and listened for a moment, but drew back when she heard two hearts. She looked up at him with a question forming on her lips, but he just winked at her and guided her hands to either side of his chest, letting her feel the beats of each one under her hands.

“Impossible,” she whispered, letting her hands run down his chest and down to her sides.

“You and me both, Rose Tyler,” he said in a soft voice, before turning to Atali. “I’ve got more than adequate medical facilities on my ship, Atali, and I’d like to get Rose’s memories back as soon as possible… and before the Saigans come.”

Atali looked flabbergasted, but the Doctor held up a hand and stopped her.

“Now, now, don’t get mad. I gave them quite the dent in their defenses; you’ll have a chance, just do me a favor and try negotiating, just a bit. Please.”

“Consider it done, Doctor,” Atali told him with a sly grin and looked over to Rose. “Keep him in check, okay?”

Rose just smiled and looked up at the Doctor while he led her out the hospital and into the sunrise where the most magnificent ship was standing. She strayed from the Doctor slightly, walked forward and touched the blue exterior of the box. Vibrations met her hand and she smiled at the warmth radiating there.

“The blue box,” she whispered.

The Doctor grinned and reached around to her neck to gently tug the key over her head and put it in her hand. “Open it,” he whispered, putting an arm on her shoulder while she pushed the key in the lock and turned, watching as the door opened and warmth overwhelmed Rose all over her, even in her mind. She reached out and touched the coral.

“Do you remember her name?” he asked, as he saw Jack and Jenny slowly coming in from out of the hallway. His arm was around Jenny’s shoulder while she wiped small tears away from her eyes, and covered any signs that she had ever been upset.

Anderson, he thought.

“Umm, TARDIS,” Rose said unsurely at first, but then she grinned, when more warmth washed over her. “Her name is Time and Relative Dimension in Space.”

“Right,” the Doctor said with pride, as he took Rose’s hand and led her over to the Captain’s chair with Jenny and Jack, who got to his feet and leaned against the console.

He sat Rose down on the console seat next to Jenny and rocked back on his heels of his feet and knelt down in front of Jenny.

“You alright?” he whispered to his daughter, gently touching her knee while she nodded. “Good,” he said softly before he spoke up. “Ready then, Jenny, Rose… Jack.”

Jack looked startled. “What do you need me for?”

“I don’t,” the Doctor said, “not really anyway, but sometimes it helps in bridging between two people with one in the middle for another person to be in there in case my brain can’t take the strain, which is highly unlikely—my brain’s far superior to anything your human brain could deduce, well Jenny and Rose don’t really have human brains, but you get the point.”

“You’re pompous?” Jack tried with a grin, while he stepped up and kneeled next to the Doctor, taking Jenny’s hand and giving both her and Rose a grin.

The Doctor shot him a glare, but didn’t say anything else as he squeezed into the chair between Jenny and Rose and took both their hands. He gave Rose’s hand a squeeze first and let her eyes come to meet his.

“Now, Rose,” he said, looking at her and grinning. “What I need you to do is concentrate on following me, sort of like you’d follow a light until you meet someone like me. It’ll all make sense in a minute, just close your eyes and think about me.”

Rose complied, doing what he said.

When the Doctor felt her relax against him, he turned his attention to Jenny, taking her hand and drawing it tighter into his. “Alright, Jenny, your job’s a bit trickier, you’re going to do just what Rose did, relax and think about me, but once we’re all in there you’re going to need to let go of Rose’s thoughts and memories. It’ll be easy and I’ll guide you. Try to relax now, follow me.”

Jenny complied, leaning against her father’s shoulder and closing her eyes.

“There now,” the Doctor whispered feeling both Rose and Jenny’s presence in his head and shutting down some of his other thought processes to make room for them. “Jack, take Rose’s hand as well and just focus on them, if you feel like they’re going astray lead them back. You might not have to do anything if all goes well, but just be ready.”

“Yes, Doctor,” Jack promised as he closed his eyes, and the Doctor finally followed suit.

He felt both Rose and Jenny in his mind prevalently now, as he closed off his mind to them and helped them both to erect shields around their private thoughts. Jack’s thoughts were already shielded as his soft presence became known. Each of them had their own separate color in his mind, Rose’s bright gold from the Bad Wolf, Jenny’s dark green, and Jack’s deep mauve.

Now Jenny,” the Doctor thought to her. “Just let go.

It took a moment of Jenny concentrating and some encouragement on the Doctor’s part before Rose’s memory flowed from her mind through the Doctor’s like a golden stream and eventually filled Rose’s thoughts once more. Jenny’s green spark shivered slightly, but didn’t otherwise react as it drifted away slightly, but stopped as if she was unsure of herself.

Good Jenny,” the Doctor said, as he let her withdraw more. “You’re done, just leave me with Rose for a minute, so I can make sure everything’s in place. You can go, follow Captain Jack.

Jack’s mind flared and disappeared in the Doctor’s mind and Jenny’s soon followed, leaving him alone with his Rose, finally restored and glowing brighter than he imagined he could. Carefully, he reached out with his mind and touched her unresisting one. He delved in, reminding her that if there was anything she didn’t want him to see that she could hide them with a door, but as he explored deeper he didn’t meet any, seeing that she left everything open for him to see. Gradually, he began to open up as well, letting her see the basic emotions his was feeling and memories from his past lives and their times togther, but hiding the memories of the Time War for now.

All done, Rose,” he said feeling better as he gently released her mind and let it recede back to her head, as he drew back, seeing his hands had somehow made it to her temples and her hazel eyes were staring back at him.

“Hello,” she whispered, as she wrapped her arms around him and held him close.

“Hello,” he relied with a small laugh.

“That’s sweet,” Jack said from where he was standing, but Jenny elbowed him in the ribs and took him aside and out of the console room before he could protest.

“Looks like she’s done the impossible,” Rose said, leaning her head on the Doctor’s chest and closing her eyes, while he rubbed his back. “She’s gotten the Captain under control.”

The Doctor sniffed and looked a bit pompous as he said, “Well, she is my daughter after all.”

“And she’s done in a day what you couldn’t do in forever.”

“Oi, hurtful things, Tyler,” he teased, while he smiled at her. “It’s so good to have you back.”

“Quite right too,” Rose teased, while she looked down at her finger and twirled the ring around once before handing it back to the Doctor and gave a forced laugh. “When I couldn’t remember anything; I couldn’t figure out what that meant. I thought that maybe… you and I were—anyway over now.”

“Doesn’t have to be,” the Doctor said quietly.

Rose opened her mouth, but closed it shut with a snap as he looked into her eyes and started to speak.

“I’ve been so, so stupid. Not just recently, but all the way around. I shouldn’t have pushed you away. I should have been pulling you closer.” To illustrate his point, he wrapped his arm around her waist and threaded his fingers through hers. “I love you, Rose, so much more than I could ever express, but I’ll try. I’ll do domestic if that’s what you want, four walls and carpets. A yard with a dog—or even cats. I’d have cats for you, Rose.”

Rose shook her head. “I don’t care about that, Doctor. I just want to be with you. You and me, and Jack and Jenny.”

“Jack?”

“Yes, Doctor.”

The Doctor faked a sigh and unlinked his arm around Rose, reaching into his pocket and pulling a long black box out of his pocket. His hands held it in front of him for a moment before he handed it to Rose for her to open.

“I—when we were separated, I thought—at first that there might be some hope of getting you back, and while I was formulating I made this. It sort of gave my hands something to do while my mind was thinking,” he said with a flustered expression. “It’s not much, but…”

He trailed off as Rose opened the box and gasped as she picked up the necklace from the box, draped it gingerly over her fingers and revealed the golden pendant hanging on the end of it with a carefully etched wolf on one side and a Gallifreyan word carved in the other. Rose gently traced it with her finger tip, and looked up at the Doctor.

“What does it say?”

“Love, only deeper,” the Doctor said, holding out his palm flat and Rose placed the pendant on it. “This outer line that circles around everything it represents time and infinity, the stuff inside is a bit more complicated. On Gallifrey, when you loved someone more than anything else, you made a symbol about them and surrounded it with time that lasted forever, so you would love them forever.”

Taking his finger and pointing to a swirl at the top left hand corner of the inside of the circle, the Doctor began to talk again.

“That mean beauty, and the one next to it is care, devotion, and the last one on the bottom right means literally, run rose, like if you were to take the Gallifreyan word for run and lay it on top of the word for the rose plant, you would get that. That’s why it’s a bit more complicated than the others.”

“Oh Doctor, it’s beautiful, thank you,” she said, hugging him tightly around his shoulder and kissing his cheek. “I love it, and I love you.”

“Forever?”

“Forever,” Rose said, taking the necklace and in her hands and holding it out in front of her. “Clasp it for me?”

“Of course,” he replied as he placed it carefully over her front and brushed her hair away from her neck. The feeling of warmth from her human body radiated through him as he hooked the small metallic piece in the back and let it fall down her chest.

“There.”

“Thank you,” Rose said genuinely, as she leaned her head against his shoulder.

“Where do you wanna go next?” he asked.

“Dunno, somewhere quiet, just for once,” she told him wistfully. “Give us all a chance to recover, eh?”

“Yeah.”


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