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Pretend to be him

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Everyone was celebrating that the earth had been towed back to where it should be although the Doctor had said something about they may experience some unsettled weather for a week or so. He looked over at Rose, who had gone to sit behind the console, legs dangling through the railing. He went to sit next to her.

"Cheer up Rose, I said I'd take you and your mum home and Mickey, if he wants to go but he seems to have taken a liking to Martha," he grinned, nudging her.

"Yeah, can't blame him, I've been so mean to him since, you know," Rose sighed.

"Come on Rose, we'll be landing in a few moments," he told her, having left his clone to pilot the Tardis.

He got up and held out his hand, thinking back to when hers had fitted perfectly in it. He glanced across at his twin, his impossible clone because he was different from when Jenny had been created. It was like he'd been split in two, his metacrisis that had apparently grown out of his severed hand. He wouldn't even have had that hand if not for Jack, who was flirting with Donna, who didn't seem to mind the ex time agent was on the other bus.

Jackie was in a corner talking to Mickey, probably about Rose because now, Mickey could probably guess what was going to happen, well if it all went according to plan anyway. The one in the last few minutes he'd formulated though the only problem was either Rose would object or his twin would, if his twin didn't already know what he was thinking.

Sarah-Jane and Martha were talking with his twin, who was amazed how much he'd missed of Sarah-Jane's last few years since he'd seen her and Martha was showing off her engagement ring, much to Mickey's dismay as he looked across at her. The Doctor helped Rose up but Rose hesitated to join the others.

"So what happens now Doctor? Are you gonna leave me behind again?" Rose asked.

"Rose, that's not fair and you know it. I was terrified you'd fall into the void and there was nothing I could do about it. I hope you thanked Pete for saving you?" the Doctor replied.

"Of course I did but why did you never find a way to get me, before what just happened?" Rose wanted to know.

"Do you think I stopped trying? If there had been a way, I would have found it but you heard Dalek Caan, he's been manipulating timelines for goodness knows how long. Who's to say he wouldn't have got us back together on purpose eh? Let's not spoil it Rose, I have a plan," the Doctor told her.

Rose was about to ask if that included leaving his newly-created clone with her when the Tardis landed with a 'Thud' and the other Doctor shouted a 'Sorry' to everyone with a grin on his face.

"Bet that woke everyone up?" the clone Doctor grinned around the console room.

"Oh, his drivin' ain't improved any then?" Jackie asked no-one in particular. "Where are we then?"

"Oh, somewhere in London, in a park by the looks of it," the clone Doctor replied, looking at the screen. "All ashore who's going ashore."

"I have to get home, Luke will be worried about me," Sarah-Jane spoke up, shaking hands with Martha then heading towards Rose. "Rose, a word?" she added.

Donna was on the phone to her grandfather, assuring him and her mother she was safe and so was the planet. Sarah-Jane led Rose away.

"What will you do now Rose?" she asked her. "Where have you been anyway? I expected a visit from you."

"Been away, you know?" Rose lied, thinking it wise not to blurt out to a journalist she'd been in another universe even though the Doctor had mentioned it but everyone was busy at the time.

"Well be careful but now, well from what I can gather, the new Doctor is half human, he can stay with you. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise?" Sarah-Jane asked her.

"Maybe but that's up to them. It was nice seeing you again," Rose told her as Sarah-Jane pulled her into a hug.

"I meant it Rose, come and find me if it gets too much?" Sarah-Jane insisted.

The Doctor and his twin had also been talking.

"So, what happens now?" his clone asked. "What about Rose, you're not sending her back are you, not after the trouble she went to finding us again?"

"I have to, she doesn't belong here now. Let me say goodbye to the others."

"You'll not change anything," his twin told him as the Doctor followed Sarah-Jane to the door.

The clone Doctor went to lean against the railing and Donna, having got off the phone, went to join him.

"That was a bit of a shock, I'll tell you," Donna laughed.

"What?" the clone Doctor asked. "Oh do you mean me being created or the fact I was naked?" he grinned.

"Both – spaceman. What are you going to do about Rose?" Donna asked him.

"It's not up to me, is it? Knowing him, he'll take her back to the other universe and leave her alone again, he's hardly likely to let me out of his sight, not after I destroyed the Daleks," he told her.

"What do you mean?" Donna asked. "They were going to wipe out everything in every dimension, what were you supposed to do? Let them?"

"I'm not getting into this Donna, I did what I had to do, I'm not apologising, to anyone, especially him. Did you hear him? He wanted to save Davros and Dalek Caan, after all that."

"That's what he does, I understand that now but surely after finding Rose again, he won't let her go this time?" Donna asked him.

The clone Doctor shook his head. "I don't know Donna, he's mad with me, he might just do that."

Rose had gone to talk to her mother after Mickey had told her he was remaining on this version of the earth.

"Mum, it's up to him, you know what he's been like since I got there," Rose told her.

"I know Rose but it's like he just suddenly decided, he said nothing when we came here," Jackie replied.

"Well with his gran gone, there's nothing to keep him, is there?" Rose pointed out, just as the clone Doctor headed towards them, having got away from Donna.

The Doctor had come back inside after saying goodbye to everyone, having warned Martha to get rid of the key that could destroy the planet and a surprise Mickey was staying.

"Time for one more trip," the Doctor announced, everyone remaining looking at him. "What?" he asked.

"So you're taking us back then?" Rose asked.

"I have to, your life's there now, you have so much going for you," he told her as he adjusted the controls.

"As opposed to what Doctor?" she asked, trying not to sound annoyed.

"The Doctor's right Rose," her mother told her. "The life we've had the last few years, we never could have had a life like that if we'd stayed here."

"Your mother's right," the clone Doctor agreed. "So, what have you been up to?" he asked, trying to sound cheerful.

"Pete and I got married," Jackie told him as the Tardis landed, more softly this time.

"Yeah, I gathered that since you were with him when I last saw you," the clone Doctor told her.

"Did Rose tell ya I was pregnant?" Jackie asked.

"Yeah, what did you have?" the clone Doctor asked her as he knew they'd arrived on the other earth.

"A boy," Jackie replied as they all headed for the door. "Oh not again – bloody Norway."

The clone Doctor smiled. He knew Rose and his twin were watching each other, probably talking about him.

"Are you leaving me here then?" Rose was asking him. "That's not fair when I was the one who went to find you."

"Just wait and see," the Doctor replied, looking at Donna and ushering them both outside. "Yes, you did find me Rose, that's so you. I know you've been trying all this time so to leave you here on your own again wouldn't be fair."

"Too right spaceman," Donna grinned. "Go on, tell her."

"Tell her what?" Jackie asked.

The Doctor looked at his twin. "We saved the universe, yes but at a cost. You're too dangerous to be left on your own."

"What? You made me, I grew out of your hand, I'm no more dangerous than you are, brother," the clone Doctor objected, as the Tardis was giving a warning they should return to the other world.

"You committed genocide, you need someone to keep an eye on you," the Doctor replied.

"Oh and that's you I suppose?" his twin asked sarcastically.

"No. Rose, you came to find me, well you found two of us and he can stay with you," the Doctor told her.

"Is this where I say thanks for thinking about me?" Rose wanted to know.

"This is the version of me when we first met and you, Rose Tyler, you made me better. Now you can do the same for him," the Doctor explained as the second Tardis warning sounded.

"We have to go Doctor," Donna reminded him. "Go on, tell her," Donna indicated to the clone Doctor.

The clone Doctor was beginning to think maybe he could be trusted to stay with Rose after all, even without a Tardis. It wouldn't be bad but first, he had to convince her and himself.

"I've only got one heart Rose, I won't regenerate, I've got one life and I can spend it with you, if you want?" he asked.

Rose walked up to him, putting her hand on his single heart.

"Really? You'd give everything up and stay here, with me? What about you Doctor?" Rose turned to the original one.

"It doesn't matter about me Rose, I want you to be happy, well we both do," the Doctor replied as Donna headed for the Tardis.

"Hang on though, if you're both the same then answer me this. When you left me here before, on the worst day of my life, you left without finishing a sentence. So, what were you gonna say? Doctor?" she asked the original.

"I said Rose Tyler," he replied as Donna popped her head around the door and called him.

"No, I meant finish the sentence. You Doctor," she turned to the clone. "Can you finish that sentence?"

The clone Doctor looked at his twin. He was never going to tell the woman they both loved how he felt about her so he whispered in her ear, "I love you Rose."

Rose looked at him and grabbed his collar, grasping his lips with her own. The other Doctor knew he was doing the right thing, he couldn't just leave her again but he wasn't leaving her, part of him was remaining so he turned and heard the final warning, which he'd purposely set before going outside as he'd known this was going to be difficult.

The clone Doctor heard the familiar sound of the Tardis handbrake being taken off and knew it would only be twenty or thirty seconds before the ship was gone forever. There would be no more adventures, though he only had the memories, not actually being there himself but how could he give that up?

Yes, he loved Rose but surely she'd understand? He had ten seconds at most before the Tardis de-materialised so knowing he'd regret it if he stayed and it wasn't fair on Rose either way, he shouted 'Sorry, I can't stay' and ran towards the now disappearing ship, diving through the doors and landing on the ramp.

Rose tried to run after him but was flung back, Jackie running over to her.

"It's too late Rose, they're gone," Jackie told her, thinking that was rather obvious.

"He never really loved me Mum," Rose sobbed. "How could he think running off's better than trying to make up for all the time we've been apart?"

"I don't know love, maybe he thought he wasn't good enough for you, that you wanted the real one?" her mother asked.

"How could he even think such a thing?" Rose asked her. "I would have accepted him. Now I've lost him for good and I'll never get back to him again, not now I know why those devices started working because of the Daleks. It wasn't Torchwood after all that got them going."

"I've called Pete, he said head for that hotel we stayed at the last time, it's only about a mile and he's phoning ahead to book us two rooms. Then we'll get a zeppelin home in the morning, yeah?" Jackie asked her.

"Haven't got a choice have I?" Rose replied, tears still in her eyes.

As they set off from the beach to walk to the hotel, the clone Doctor had picked himself up off the metal ramp and was facing his twin.

"What did you do that for?" the original Doctor asked him. "You could have been killed, or trapped in the void."

"Actually," Donna butted in. "He knew how long it takes to de-materialise and how long it would take him to dive through the doors so he had a fifty-fifty chance he'd make it. Thing is though spaceman, what would you have done if you'd missed?"

The clone Doctor gave her a half-hearted smile.

"It was a risk I was willing to take Donna. I wouldn't have made her happy, she'd have always wanted him and regretted me staying. Now she knows she can never get back again, she'll move on with her life."

The rest of the journey back was silent after it became apparent Donna's mind was burning up and the original Doctor had to take her memories away. As he stood holding her gently, the clone at the controls, he was the one who was regretting everything and if he'd not been so long in taking off, Rose would have been happy but would his twin have been?

"Is that what's going to happen to me?" the clone Doctor asked him, nodding at the sleeping Donna.

"No, you're not that lucky and neither am I. We both have to live with the fact we left Rose, the only human woman we ever really loved. You could have made her happy if you'd wanted to. Afraid of missing something?" the Doctor snapped.

"Yes, I was afraid she wanted you, not me. She might have kissed me but was I the one she could have settled for?" the clone Doctor replied.

"Now neither of us will ever know, will we?" the original Doctor replied as his twin landed across the street from Donna's house. "You'd better stay here, Donna's mother already thinks I'm certifiable, she'll have me locked up if we both take Donna home."

"Maybe we both deserve it?" the clone Doctor replied as he helped him lift Donna. "Want me to move a bit closer to the house?"

"Best not, we might end up in Aberdeen," his twin replied as the clone opened the Tardis door.