The Doctor had landed somewhere and was eager to discover where as he was facing a brick wall in some sort of alleyway according to the monitor. It looked like it was snowing but in his experience, white bits floating around didn't constitute the actual stuff, it could mean fallout from yet another alien spacecraft for all he knew. He grabbed his coat from the strut by the door, he had a coat rack but it was more fun to aim it at the strut and watch it slide down and almost touch the floor, it used to drive Rose nuts so he had done it even more and since her departure yet again, it still reminded him of her.
It wasn't that long since the Tardis had been full, successfully dragging the earth back into it's proper orbit and them all celebrating. He suspected now Rose had gone off with his twin they would finally have their happy ever after and even Mickey would settle down, maybe even with Martha. He regretted having to wipe poor Donna's memory but it was the only way to save her mind from burning and he had made a new friend in Donna's grandfather, Wilfred and knew he could rely on him to keep Donna from remembering and he was someone he could turn to if he ever needed anyone, not that he ever did or that he would admit.
So he stepped out of the Tardis doors and discovered a Victorian style market place, complete with a tree, a choir and roasted chestnuts, tempted to obtain some. He spied a young boy and asked him what year it was.
"You thick or something?" the boy cheekily replied.
"Oi! Just answer the question," the Doctor replied.
He discovered it was Christmas Eve 1851, not a bad year as years went and not far from when he and Rose had been in Scotland with Queen Victoria and had met Charles Dickens in Cardiff.
He looked around the market place, saw a policeman and was just about to walk off when he heard someone call his name.
He smiled. "What? Me?" A big grin appeared across his face. "That's more like it."
He turned in the direction of the shouting then stopped just through an alleyway, a different one to where the Tardis had landed and there in front of him was a young woman with shoulder length blonde hair and a very familiar voice.
She shouted again. "DOCTOR!"
He found his voice. "It's ok, I'm here, hello." He waved his hand.
The woman looked at him. "Who are you?"
"It's me, The Doctor."
"Doctor who? Don't be stupid, there can't be two of ya."
Just then, another man appeared, a well dressed man. "Stand back, this is a job for a Timelord."
The Doctor stepped back. "A job for a what lord?"
A nearby door rattled as both men asked "What have we here then?"
The door burst open and some sort of beast with a metallic mask appeared. Both men reached in their inside jacket pockets, the Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver, the other man a proper screwdriver and they both pointed them at the beast.
"Oh, that's new," they both said, waving the objects around. "Allons-y!"
After chasing the beast, well it pulling them up after the other man put a rope around it and it dragged them both up the side of a wall, through an open window, then dragged them across a floor and was about to jump, plunging them several storeys to the ground and sustaining severe injuries if not actually killing them or in the Doctor's case, making him regenerate if not for the fact the young woman had seen what was happening, grabbed an axe, climbed some stairs and cut the rope as the beast was about to jump and then stood over the two men who were in fits of laughter.
"Men!" she exclaimed as they congratulated each other on their survival.
The Doctor regained his composure. He stared at the woman, the so familiar yet impossibly there woman. Were his eyes playing tricks on him?
They walked down the street after the other man introduced himself as The Doctor. Not wanting to give the game away, the true Doctor claimed he was called John Smith.
"Allow me to introduce my faithful companion, Rose Tyler."
Rose stared at the new arrival, thinking this John Smith was as big an idiot as the Doctor was but he was more handsome and way out of her league, she was just a serving girl, well not any longer since she had been saved by the Doctor and was now just tagging along and helping him.
The real Doctor held his hand out. "Rose, good name for a companion."
The woman huffed and folded her arms then reminded the other man he had a funeral to go to, not his own, the man added. He then told her to go back to the Tardis and the real Doctor panicked. Was this really a future version of himself? If it was, the other Doctor had no recollection of his past self and this was going to be very awkward. Even more awkward was the fact Rose Tyler was staring at him and didn't know who he was either but she was here, standing in front of him and it was impossible unless she had somehow gone back in time after one of their many adventures and also lost her memory of him.
Several hours later, they were in a stable, the temporary base of the future Doctor and the real one was going through some luggage that had belonged to a man that had gone missing, presumed dead. Rose walked over to him. His mind was in turmoil, many things had happened that day, the discovery that Cybermen had fallen through the void and were probably plotting to convert the entire population into them, again but the biggest mysteries were right here with him, another Doctor, Rose Tyler and a balloon, named the Tardis.
Rose chastised him for opening the luggage, typical.
"That's another man's property," she stated, watching him. "Why do you keep staring at me? Do I have two heads or something?"
The Doctor swallowed. "Sorry. How did you two meet?"
Rose told him how he had rescued her from the metal monsters and stayed with him, saying he woke at night with terrible nightmares.
He finally worked things out, revealing to the other man who he actually was, the missing man, Jackson Lake. Rose put her hand on his shoulder. The now only Doctor left around here smiled, it was so Rose, feeling sorry for everyone, that was what he had loved so much about her.
After discovering that children were being rounded up and taken as a workforce, the Doctor and Rose left Jackson and went after them and he so wanted to tell her who he thought she was but it was becoming more and more apparent she was not his Rose but the way she acted, the way she cared made his hearts beat increase.
They freed the children as the inside of the cyber factory began to explode and a giant mechanical monster was rising up out of the river, the Doctor headed back toward the balloon with a dimension vault almost ready to send the Cybermen back into the void where they had come from.
Jackson Lake had discovered his young son had been taken and the Doctor had braved the crumbling building to go rescue him and Rose was making sure all the children got to safety. She caught up with Jackson, who told her the boy he was holding was his son, Frederick and they both saw the Tardis floating up towards the giant robot, the cyber factory.
After dispatching the factory back into the void, the Doctor descended and found his way back to Jackson and Rose. Jackson was trying to persuade Rose to stay on as his son's nursemaid after he discovered he was in London to take up a teaching post at the university and had a home ready to move into, which was how they had got into the insides of the cyber factory.
The Doctor joined them as Rose was making up her mind. He had lost his Rose, the first time he'd not been able to ensure her happiness but the second time, she had been holding his twin's hand after kissing him and he knew they would work it out but his hopes of his own ever after were now dashed. He had been so hopeful when the walls of the universe had broken down and Rose was standing at the other end of that deserted street, scattered with abandoned cars and they had run towards each other, only for him to be shot by a Dalek and having to heal himself, eventually creating his clone.
Now there were no more second chances to get her back, even if he could get back to the other universe and find her, she was with the other him now, who was completely him in every other way except the other him only had one heart and one life but could give Rose the forever she had always wanted and it should make him happy, knowing they were together but he wasn't happy because she was gone forever now.
Both Jackson Lake and Rose were looking at him, Jackson had invited him to a Christmas celebration and wanted to see his Tardis and so did Rose. Rose was holding the young boy as Jackson staggered out of what Rose thought was just a blue box, claiming it gave him a headache. Then the Doctor asked Rose if she wanted to look inside.
Expecting to just stand inside a box, Rose went in and almost stumbled back out, grabbing the rail to steady herself.
"It's much bigger on the inside, how does it do that?"
Just like Rose, always asking questions. "Well, the inside is in another place, when you step through the door, you cross into another dimension."
"Oh, like you sent that metal robot into another dimension when it just disappeared?"
He thought she was very intelligent for a servant girl and would be wasted becoming a nursery maid. He saw his chance.
"Oh Rose, I missed you so much," he thought to himself. How could he persuade her to come with him?
A knock came on the door. It was Jackson. "Doctor, Rose, our feast awaits, will you join us? Rose, I was waiting for your answer. Will you come and work for me as Frederick's nursemaid?"
Rose looked at Jackson, then at the Doctor. She had never seen anything like this in her entire 22 years. She had been a serving girl since her mother sold her to a family when she was thirteen, her father had died when she was a baby and her mother struggled to bring her up, often going without food and clothing so she wouldn't starve or be cold. Dressed only in clothes she had found, which didn't offer much protection from the elements, she was now wondering if she had to still settle for the life of a maid or nursery assistant.
She turned to the Doctor. "So, what does this thing do then? Does it float in the air like that balloon?"
The Doctor smiled, she was so much like the other Rose, it was uncanny.
"Well, sort of, it disappears from one place and reappears in another and not just another place, it can be another time, in the past or in the future, even another planet. See the stars up there?"
She couldn't, considering they were in an alleyway, inside a bigger on the inside box that shouldn't even exist.
"Well yeah, of course I've seen the stars, I used to make wishes on them when I was a kid."
"Of course you did," the Doctor mused to himself, that was what the other Rose had done. "Well imagine Rose, imaging floating amongst them, walking on new planets, seeing different people and different horizons, different sunsets. Would you like that?"
He could see she was already tempted as she looked around the console room.
"Does this box, I mean Tardis, does it have more than one room, do you live here?"
"Yes Rose, I live here and sometimes, I take people with me, to share things with. Just recently I must have had oh, six or seven people in here and before that, I had Donna, she was travelling with me for a while but everyone went back home."
"Why did they leave Doctor?"
"Because they needed to or they had someone to go home to."
"Then aren't you lonely now, with everyone gone?"
"Yes, I get lonely but it's best I stay on my own, because when they leave they break my heart." He couldn't spring it on her he was an alien from another planet, with two hearts and the capacity to regenerate if need be.
Rose turned around to where Jackson was talking to his son, who was by now more than a little sleepy since they were in the early hours of Christmas morning. She looked back at the Doctor and the Tardis console with it's shining light. She was so tempted, what things she could see and places she could go, where no-one else had gone. She moved close to him and put her arm in his.
"Why be on your own? Surely it's better with someone to share everything with? You need someone to talk to, while you're moving from one place to another. I've got no-one Doctor, I'm free now, the family I worked for probably think I got killed tonight, they won't be looking for me and I've been gone for ages anyway, even if they think I ran away. Please Doctor, can I come with you?"
He looked at her, then at Jackson, who was now cradling his son who had fallen asleep in his arms. He had heard Rose and the Doctor talking and knew it wasn't fair to keep her here, asking her to be his son's nursemaid.
"Rose, I may not have turned out to be the Doctor after all but I learned one thing, he needs someone with him. Look after her Doctor and don't worry Rose, I'll make sure no-one comes looking for you, I can easily get another nurse for Frederick."
The Doctor looked at Rose. "It can get dangerous sometimes."
"I don't care, it sounds like fun."
"I have rules."
"Rule number one, never wander off on your own."
Rose smiled. "I'm rubbish at rules."
The Doctor regarded her. She was still Rose Tyler, the woman he had never admitted had got to him and had fallen in love with her and now he had another chance, to put things right and show her how he felt, well if she wanted and this time there were no unseen boundaries that shouldn't be crossed, no Jackie Tyler to put the mockers on it and no Mickey Smith to be jealous.
Yes, things could get awkward if they came across anyone who knew the other Rose but he could get round that but he could never ever tell this Rose that she had a double in another universe that he had loved and let go. He could never tell this one she was his second chance of being with her and she was only a replacement because he knew she would become much more than that. He could actually fall in love with this Rose without all the guilt keeping him away.
He smiled back at her. "Just as I thought then, I'm going to have trouble with you aren't I?"
Rose giggled. "Then I can go with you?"
The Doctor turned to Jackson. "Bye Jackson, good luck, I'll take care of her, or rather she'll take care of me."
Rose said goodbye to Jackson and the Doctor closed the Tardis doors.