The Doctor had done it to her again – left her at Bad Wolf Bay but this time, with a copy of himself and neither Rose or the said 'Copy' or 'Clone' were very pleased about it. Jackie had moaned about being left at the back of beyond and Pete had arranged for a car to pick them up and taken to a hotel for the night then a zeppelin back to London the next day.
They had watched the Tardis disappear and the Doctor had handed something to him at the last second as they were leaving the Tardis and the human Doctor had put it in his pocket without looking but now he brought it out – another fobwatch.
"Huh," the human Doctor said to himself. "What does he expect me to do with this then?" He knew it wouldn't work without the chameleon arch so it was virtually useless.
Rose was staring at him. He had declared he loved her, wanted to spend his one life with her yet they were standing opposite each other. The other Doctor, the real one had backed out again and Rose was not happy.
"Come on Rose, the car's here by the look of it. Let's have some rest and decide what to do," the human Doctor declared, taking her hand.
She let him help her and Jackie into the car and without realising, Rose had checked them into the same hotel they had stayed the last time but there were only two doubles left and Jackie didn't want to share. Jackie Tyler was overjoyed her daughter had finally got the Doctor back, no matter that he was a double or not, Rose would be happy and all that but now she wasn't so sure. So forcing them to share a room and sort themselves out was quite appealing.
The human Doctor stood with his back to the bedroom door.
"I know you're not happy Rose, I can leave when we get back to civilisation, if you want. I know you were just saying it back to me, on the beach. You wanted him."
"That's not fair. What was all that 'I'm him' crap then?"
"I am him, let's not go into that again. Look Rose, he couldn't say it and I can't tell you the reason why, it's not up to me to say it but I meant it Rose, you've always been the one, since we first met and yes, you made me better. I'll stay here then, let you go back to London and then I'll make my own way."
"You don't have to do that. We can still be friends."
"Yeah? I'd like that Rose, really I would and I can wait, however long it takes. Still want to go back to London? How about a change?"
"How about Scotland? You liked it when we met Queen Victoria. Maybe you can run a branch of Torchwood there?"
"As long as it's not on some bleak moor and a house called The Torchwood Estate. I think I can persuade Pete to let me open a branch in say Glasgow? Care to join me?"
"No, I still don't trust them and I've nothing against you or Pete or even Jake but it's not for me. Maybe I can do something else?"
"Yeah, we have to break the news to mum though but how are you going to settle down, you, being all domesticated?"
"Oi, I can do domesticated, thanks very much Rose Tyler. So what do you make of this?" He got out the fobwatch and ran it through his long fingers.
Rose took it from him. "What does it say? It's written in your language isn't it?"
"Well yeah but it makes no sense. It's telling me I can hide myself, it's what we do when we're in danger and we don't want to regenerate, we make ourselves human or whatever other species we happen to take a liking to and the Tardis takes care of all the details, makes up a story, plants us into a situation with a whole life history but without programming it, without putting the chameleon arch on our temple to make the transition, it's useless.
He sat down on the bed next to Rose. He took it back from her and put it in his pocket.
"Well he must have given it to you for a reason then, we just have to figure it out and we will. Let's go get something to eat and tell mum what we have planned."
He leaned forward and kissed her cheek.
"You're brilliant Rose, we'll figure it out, you and me, ha!"
Rose smiled. They went to join her mother and broke the news to her. She wasn't surprised.
"I knew you two would work it out but what about your things Rose? Shall I have them packed and sent to you?"
"Yeah, when we find somewhere, I'll just buy what I need though I haven't got my card. Can I use yours?''
"Well you could but I haven't got mine, Pete paid on the phone for everything. Where are you going?"
"We'll stay here a few days, get Pete to send me my bank cards via courier and some clothes, I'll get them by tomorrow afternoon if you call him after dinner."
''Ok, I'll call him, good job I brought my phone though. I'll have to tell him Mickey's not coming back, I'll miss him." She went off to call Pete.
"Yeah, shame about Mickey boy but I reckon he'll be ok, I think he had his eye on Martha."
"No way Doctor!" Rose laughed. "She's way too serious for Mickey."
"Just what he needs, someone level-headed. She did me a lot of good, when she travelled with me, I mean him, I mean both of us, oh you know what I mean."
Rose smiled and patted his arm. ''Are you having an identity crisis already Doctor?"
"No, what makes you think that? Anyway, as I was saying, Martha got me out of a few tight spots. I even used that chameleon arch, she took care of me for three whole months and believe me, I didn't make it easy for her."
"I bet you didn't, you can tell me later."
"I should warn you, it did end up she fancied me," he retorted, messing up his hair that had suddenly seemed flat to him.
"Well who wouldn't, I can't really blame her but I take it by your attitude towards it, it wasn't a two-way street."
"No, I almost got her killed and her family. Did I ever tell you about The Master?"
"No don't think so, enlighten me. Was he another, you know?"
"Yeah, bit on the evil side he was, tried to take over the world, you know, all the usual stuff and would you believe it? He was around when me and you were, even through Canary Wharf but he hid himself from me. Then he stole the Tardis and used it to bring these creatures from the end of the universe."
"Best not tell me too much, just in case everyone here doesn't only speak Norwegian."
"Yeah, right. So, we stay here tomorrow then hire a car and drive down to Glasgow, sounds like a plan to me. Are you getting your phone sent up as well?"
Jackie had just got back from calling her husband. "Your things are on their way, everything will be here for you sometime tomorrow. Your clothes are being packed along with your laptop and your phone so just wait for them. I said you'd be calling him."
"Yeah, I will, thanks mum. You'll be ok, going back on your own, won't you?"
"'course I will, I'll get plenty of magazines sent to the hotel in the morning, have them put on the bill. You'd best go tell reception you're not leaving in the morning, I leave after breakfast, car's coming to take me to the nearest zeppelin port. I'm off to my room, night, night you two and no noise, thanks very much, I'm in the next room."
"Mum! What do you think's gonna happen?"
"Really Rose, you have to ask that question? You've been apart for what seems like years to me, I don't have to be a genius to work it out."
Rose looked at The Doctor. ''Guess we should get to our room then, we've got a lot to talk about."
They began making plans and Rose eventually fell asleep. There were no kisses goodnight, no cuddles and the Doctor thought it was just the fact they had been literally thrown together by his twin and resolved himself he was going to have to work at this.
The next morning, after breakfast, Rose said goodbye to her mother and she gave them both a hug, speaking up to the Doctor.
"You look after her, I'm holding you responsible for her."
"Don't I always look after her Jackie?"
"Not for the last few years you haven't so you just watch out. There was so much I wanted to say to you, for starters, you've been thrown into this as much as Rose has so you'll just have to muddle through the best you can but if anyone can, the two of you, well you know. Promise you'll come down for visits, both of you?''
''Yeah Mum, of course we will,'' Rose replied, hoping she was speaking just as much for the new Doctor.
This was the second time she had to accept a new Doctor, the first had been bad enough until he'd walked into her mother's flat, dressed in that brown suit and his long coat and she had fallen head over heels for him, not that it had done her much good, he'd been a bit slow on the uptake to say the very least in that department. She wondered now if he had meant what he'd said back on the beach and want to make a go of it.
Well she wasn't going to make it easy for him, that was for certain. Her mother's car arrived, Rose thinking they should have offered to go to the zeppelin port with her but she hadn't seemed that fussed, Jackie just wanted to get back to Pete and her young son.
On her way to the zeppelin port, Jackie just hoped now there was yet another version of the daft alien they would get their acts together and tell each other how they felt.
The new Doctor looked at his friend, whom he hoped now would become his girlfriend, if they were contemplating living together or would Rose want her own place? That was a thought, how would he cope, on another version of earth and alone, without his Rose? The time she had been away from him had been torture, he'd tried to get on, picked up Martha and Donna, almost got talked in to taking Astrid with him until he'd let her die, well not actually die, her spirit was still roaming the stars, at least he'd done that much for her but there couldn't have been anything between them, that much he knew, she would have been disappointed and left, just like when he'd let Martha down, not so gently, she'd found out the hard way.
Turning back to Rose, he took her hand again.
''Come on Rose, we have a lot to do once your things get here. Was your mother getting the same zeppelin your things were arriving on?''
''What? Oh, dunno, she didn't say much about the arrangements she'd made with Pete. Do you want your own room now?''
''Why, are you tired of me already Rose Tyler?'' he winked, nudging her. ''You're not backing out already, are you? If you are, say now and I'll leave you to it, if you want to call your mother and tell her to wait for you.''
''No, I'm not backing out Doctor, don't make my mind up for me though. I spent all that time, trying to get back to you, seeing you and always failing to make you see me and landing in that version of the world Donna had created around her, it was horrible, a world without you but that's what I've had to put up with, living in a world I don't belong in, without you being here.''
He put his arms around her and led her back inside, given it wasn't exactly the height of summer in Norway, it was only just above freezing point though when they had kissed on the beach late yesterday afternoon, the other Doctor actually getting Rose and Jackie back to their adopted world where only a few hours had passed, something the new Doctor was surprised at, neither of them either knew or cared what the temperature was.
The new Doctor thought though that afterwards, Rose had cooled off somewhat, given her enthusiasm snogging him, she'd not attempted a repeat performance either when they had been left alone last night or this morning, both sleeping in the same bed to keep warm despite the supposed heating system which he thought had been switched off during the night and she had been clinging to him when he'd woken up. That was something he was going to have to get used to, not Rose clinging to him wearing just her t-shirt and underwear, something he had found rather pleasant but getting used to sleeping for seven or eight hours every night but with Rose there, it wouldn't be too bad.
Maybe if she wasn't so angry at being left and probably worn out with all the dimension hopping he imagined she had been doing in an attempt to locate him, especially the last few hours before she had appeared on the deserted street and had been running towards him then he'd been shot by a Dalek, she might let him get cosy tonight with her, maybe sneak in the odd kiss or two or three.
Rose had gone up to the bar area and ordered two large lattes and sat herself in a corner seat, looking up at him to join her. He had been standing behind her in the doorway, like a lost puppy. He was totally dependant on her for the time being, until they established her intentions towards him, he already knew what his were towards her, he had always loved her and now he intended to show her, if she would let him that was. Only time would tell and now for him, the first time in all his lives, it was limited. Now he knew how humans felt and he didn't want to waste any of it so the sooner he established if she was going to let him into her life, the better. There was no time like the present so he strode over and sat beside her and took her hand.
''Right then Rose, what now eh?''