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Toss of the Cosmic Dice

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The Daleks were defeated and everyone was in very high spirits, off in their own little worlds of celebrations. Jackie Tyler, for all her sarcastic and seemingly unobservant personality, could be observant when she wanted to be. At that moment, she saw Rose quietly talking to the Doctor in blue with the one in brown just a little off by himself.

She quietly made her way over to him and got his attention with a small gesture of her head. "Do you have a place where I can speak with you for a few moments? I know we just got done fixing that mess with the Daleks, but it really is important."

The Doctor nodded. "We have time, let me introduce you to the Tardis Library. Follow me."

Jackie followed the Doctor to the Library looking around as they walked down the hall. The Doctor said his ship was sentient and it was like she wanted to impress her, which was daft. But the hall she walked down had open doored room to either side and the hallway showing a variety of interesting contents. One had a groomed garden with butterflies and what looked to be a variety of species of Roses. Another was filled with art. Another looked like a beautiful garden park with pathways for walking, what looked like a labyrinth made from bushes and a statue of what looked like her daughter in the center among some others. The Hallway coral itself had slight rose tinted iridescence to it. It was as if the Ship knew just what she was going to talk to the Doctor about; wait, didn't Rose say something about telepathee or something like that?

She glared at the Doctor, "Oi! This ship better not be reading my mind Doctor!" she grumbled.

The Doctor glanced back warily. "Er, that's not quite how it works. She mostly translates languages so that you hear and understand it as your own." he admitted.

Her gaze became sharper. "Mostly?"

The Doctor stammered, "Th That's That's not, I mean..." he subtly widened the physical distance, just in case.

Jackie chuckled, " Oh you plum, don't worry. Rose told me a little about the Tardis. It just occurred to me and I figured I'd tease you a bit. "

The Doctor rolled his eyes a bit as they came to the library door. "And here we are, the Library. Normally it wouldn't have taken so long, but for some reason, the old girl made us take this route. I don't understand why."

Jackie, in turn, rolled her eyes, "Well if you call her old, it's no wonder and quite a surprise she doesn't just make you get lost for hours."

The Doctor chuckled, oh I've been calling her that for a long time now. she was going to be decommissioned and either sent to a museum or the scrapyard when I first borrowed her. Sometimes I wonder if she knew I was coming and made it easy for me." He frowned, "of course there was a young girl who also pointed me toward her. I haven't thought of that in ages and I don't recall her properly. I never did find out or get to thank her. I wonder whatever happened to her." he mused.

Jackie's brows rose at the surfeit of information the Doctor spouted at her. It was the most he'd ever revealed to her. "I'd have thought you'd have stolen something newer." then she glanced up to the coral wall, "No offense, you're definitely lovely."

The Doctor smiled, "There wasn't time, my granddaughter and I had to leave in a hurry." He frowned guiltily, "I originally had a type 50 that was assigned to me, but I had to leave her behind. I didn't find out till my fifth incarnation that she broker her protocoled conditioning and left Gallifrey on her own trying to follow me. I found her on another planet with the companions I'd been traveling with then...." He trailed off before continuing, "long story but in the end, she died. And I didn't steal this Tardis, I borrowed her!"

Jackie snorted in sarcasm, "It's only borrowing if you return her and you still have her, don't you? You stole her."

The Doctor opened his mouth to protest but she held her hand up, "And who's to say she didn't make it easy for you to take her because she was stealing you? From the sound of it, Tardises are alive and those arrogant people of yours were going to just put her into what's the human equivalent of an old folks home when she still had life in her yet. Perhaps she needed a Time Lord so she could go off and have a chance to live more? But that's neither here nor there, I needed to speak with you Doctor before we reached any destination. It's important because it's about my Rose. You've kept your promise regarding her and I love you for it and you've earned my respect for it, but now I'm here to tell you, don't leave her behind this time. She won't tell you, probably won't think with all the distractions, but she won't be safe in the other Universe. I can't tell you all the details, you need to ask her, but we talked as a family about this, and we're supporting her on this. I only came to make sure she made it safely. She may be a grown woman now, but she's still my daughter and I love her. Her intent is to stay here so that she can keep her little brother and us safe because the longer she stays, eventually the wrong people will notice. And yes, Pete's explained it to me, once the walls close, we won't be able to talk to each other again. I don't like it any more than I did then, but please Doctor, I'm begging you, don't leave Rose behind. She'll have to tell you the rest, but I reckon it'll take her time to wind up to it. Just be patient and communicate with her, don't close off. In many ways she still trusts you, but in many ways, she's grown up and become much more cautious. Just show her she can open up to you and she will."

The Doctor carefully looked at Jackie as he thought. There was more going on than he would have known if he hadn't spoken with Jackie. "Is her life in danger? You can tell me, Jackie, I want to help."

Jackie shook her head, "I won't breach her privacy, but I can tell you she isn't dying or anything like that, but you really really need to speak with her. It's very important. But she won't tell you if she doesn't feel she can trust you not be a prat. You've got time, take it slowly and eventually, she'll open up."

The Doctor slightly tilted his head, "What about you and her family? This will be quite permanent, she won't ever be able to go back? Are you all ok with that? Really? Is she truly ok with that?

Jackie took in a deep breath, "I am aware, yes and so is she and the rest of our family. Trust me, it's necessary."

The Doctor nodded. "Ok Jackie, I promise, I won't leave her behind then."

The Doctor did a mental one eighty turn in direction, making a note to himself to speak with his other self.

Jackie nodded decisively, "Good, that's settled. Now how do I get back to the front?"

The Doctor sighed, "Console Room, Jackie, it's the Console Room and I'll show you the way. C'mon!"

The Doctor's mind raced. What could have happened to Rose in their time apart that her own mother drew him aside to beg him not to take her back to the other parallel? Jackie had said she wasn't dying but was she ill in some way? Just what would make it dangerous for her to stay with her family? Was it because the parallel did not have a Rose into whose role she could step into? He hated not knowing. He needed more information. Sadly, Jackie was right, he'd have to exercise some patience because Rose was definitely a Tyler through and through. Stuborn to the core, especially about things she had strong convictions in.

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The Doctor followed slowly behind Jackie back to the console room taking time to contact his other self. *Change of plans, Jackie's just given me some information and asked me not to leave Rose behind.  Question is, what do we do about you?*  He mused.  

The other Doctor huffed *I beg your pardon!  I only did what needed to be done! We've done it before.  It doesn't mean I don't regret it, but presented as a choice between the safety of the universe and leaving the Daleks alone, it was no choice at all!  If Rose is staying, so am I!*

The Doctor rolled his eyes  *I figured that idiot, but I meant once everyone's home.  Nevermind, let's just get everyone home first*

Jackie and the Doctor made it to the console room where everyone was chatting.  She immediately made a beeline for her Daughter who was chatting with Sara Jane, Donna, and Jack.   Mickey and Martha were not far off, chatting with each other.  By the looks of it, there was a spark between the two.  The two went over to the other group and joined in the conversation, stories, and gossip.  Oh, Rassilon!  What was he thinking of putting all these people together in the same room?  He supposed it could have been worse.  Imagine if Ace or the Chestertons were here!  Or Charlie or Melanie or well any of them.  No time for sad reminiscence, time to get his friends home.  They were practically his family really.  

"Ok! Let's get everyone home!" he said brightly as he quickly walked toward them.

 

Mickey called out to him "Hey Boss, I'll be staying this time.  My Gran had a full good life, but she's passed on.  Time for me to live my life."

 

The Doctor nodded,  "Brand new life then, what will you do?"  he asked.

 

The Other Doctor shoved his hands into his pockets as he rocked on his feet as he watched the unfolding scene before him.  Mickey smiled. "A clean slate, I can do anything now.  Just watch me."

 

Rose smiled, "No worries Mickey, I'll be sure to drop in and visit from time to time."

 

Jackie pulled Sara Jane to the side,  "Not much time now, but I need to ask a favor of you.  My Rose, she won't be coming back with me and the parallels will be closed off soon.  Could you please keep an eye out for her?  I know she's a grown woman now but she'll need some family still outside of Torchwood I mean.  Someone for her to stay connected to where she comes from.  Mickey'll be there, but she should have more family to keep her grounded.  Now that she's legally dead as Rose Tyler and she used to speak of you when we spent time together. "

 

Sarah Jane nodded solemnly, "I'll do my best.  Besides, we're all part of a bigger circle now, the Doctor's family. We will all do our bit to reach out, I'll make sure of it and tell the others."  

 

Jackie teared up a bit as she hugged Sarah Jane, "Thank you!  I'll never be able to repay you but this means so much to me, Pete and Tony.  Tony's her baby brother, around five now, but rather bright for his age.  Sometimes I think too bright!"  she muttered.

Sarah Jane lightly chuckled.  "Aren't they always?  With each passing generation, it seems like they always get smarter at much younger ages. But your Rose turned out just fine, so I don't think you have too much to worry about."

Soon they made their first stop at Cardiff to drop off Jack, Martha, and Mickey.  Both the Doctors and Rose accompanied the trio out of the Tardis and Rose smiled hugging them all.  "Don't worry I'll make sure we drop in from time to time,"  she told them as the Doctors both grumbled in the background. 

Jack paused and looked back, "But I can't help but wonder Doctor, I obviously can't die but I'm still aging.  Very slowly yes, but still aging.  What happens to me in say a million year?"  he asked.

The Doctor gave Jack a sad look after a brief sideways glance at Rose.  "I'm sorry but it's irreversible as far as I can tell.  Did you want to die Jack."  

Jack saw the glance and realized it had something to do with Rose.  "No, I'm used to it now and you and Rose taught me to make a difference."  He really wanted to draw the doctor aside and ask more questions but now was not the time.  "It a bit of vanity really, I was the first one in my community on the boeshane peninsula to sign up for the Time Agency.  The Face of Boe they called me."

 

As he turned away, he didn't see the shocked looks of his friends behind him.   Martha's jaw dropped and Mickey's eyes widened as Rose gasped.  The Doctor shook his head in disbelief.  "No!  Definitely no!  It can't be!"  

The other Doctor laughed joyously causing the others to laugh.  "Well, in the  nine hundred plus years we've existed there's still things left we don't know, so that's something."

Mickey and Martha ran to catch up to Jack as the Doctors and Rose turned back to the Tardis.

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The Tardis dematerialized once again and Rose sat quietly speaking to her mother and Sarah Jane. Jackie looked at her daughter with a bit of sadness and pride. "I'm so proud of you sweetheart. Your father's right proud of you too. He made sure to give me this package to take with you. Tony and I have also added to the package."

Sarah Jane smiled, "perhaps you should take a group picture with the Doctors to take back with you so they have a memento as well?" She suggested gently with a smile. She was so relieved to know they weren't really dead as listed at the Canary Wharf Memorial. While the others had been briefly occupied, she'd spoken a bit more with Jackie and got a bit of the story from her. Not all, she guessed, but enough for her to realize just how important it was for this woman that her Daughter had people in her lift to act as a touchstone.

Jackie's eye lit up excitedly. "Yes!, I think that would be a fine thing to go along with the letters put together for Tony on the ejournal software. And me and Pete will make sure to tell him more stories too." She turned back to both Doctors, "You may not know this but my Rose has had many adventures of her own and she's grown into a woman any mother would be proud of."

One of the Doctors went and dug up a tripod and they put the digital camera on a timer before they all grouped together. Rose between the Doctors, the three of them kneeling in the front with their arms around each other and Sarah Jane and Jackie standing in back, each had one hand on Rose's shoulders and the other hand on the should of the Doctors with huge smiles of joy.

The Tardis stored pictures of them together in her banks as well, though none was aware of that fact. She softly hummed in smugness. They landed on Bannerman Road but Sarah Jane paused by Rose before heading toward the door. "I'd love it if you'd keep in touch with me, we could get together with some of the others, a sort of companion's reunion get-together if you will." She smiled with a touch of mischief. "I've even got contacts with some of his earlier assistants as well."

The Doctor in the brown suit groaned "Sarah! That, That's a terrible idea! There's no telling what they'll tell Rose!" he grumbled as the ladies exchanged numbers.

Sarah Jane turned towards the Doctors then. "You act like the loneliest man on the planet when you have one of the biggest families on Earth, Doctor! It won't kill you to keep in touch sometimes." she chided

The Doctor in the blue suit smiled proudly at Sarah Jane. "Quite right Sarah, it's time to remember that." He gave her a brief solemn look, "and Sarah, thank you."

Sarah Jane gave him a small smile of her own. "Any time Doctor. Or is that Doctors now? Just what will you do now?"

Both Time Lords smiled "Oh we'll figure it out. " The said together before glaring at each other.

The three ladies laughed and Sarah Jane followed the brown-suited Doctor out the door with the others following behind. She hugged each of them before hurrying off, before pausing "Don't forget, to come to visit. My son Luke -long story - still has to meet you." she told them, a big smile on her face as she continued on home.

The four people left all trooped back into the Tardis. The Doctor in brown spoke as he and his twin flipped levers and pushed buttons "One last stop, but don't worry Jackie, I remember what we spoke about." He turned to Rose, "I know we haven't had time to do a lot of discussions, but once we land and drop your mother off, we won't have much time. Are you sure you want to stay? Jackie's spoken with me a little, though she hasn't told me much, so I'm going ask you now before we land, are you sure you don't want to stay with your family? "

Rose studied the Doctor in brown for a moment or two before answering. Whatever she found there, strengthened her resolve. "I love my family and I'll miss them, Doctor, but I've discussed this with them beforehand, and I've told you before, I choose this life and I chose you. I never did that lightly. Once mom and I have said our goodbyes I'm sure you'll want to talk, and we will, but we will have all the time we need to talk and adjust."

Both Doctors nodded as the Tardis gently landed on a beach. Jackie hugged her daughter and tucked her digital camera into her coat pocket. "It's time luv. You have a wonderful life, you hear? And Doctors, if I ever find out you made Rose cry, I will claw my way back to the other Universe and I will slap you so hard it'll burn through all your regenerations!"

Both Doctors gulped. The one in brown turned to his twin and Rose, "It's best not to tempt the universe too much. Why don't you stay put and I'll see Jackie off."

The Doctor in blue nodded. "You're right of course," he turned to Rose, "Why don't we take the time to do some catch up while he's seeing to your mother? We can go have some tea and find out what foods I like now." he said.

Rose took a deep breath and nodded. "Of course, and I could use a shower afterward."

The brown-suited Doctor followed Jackie out of the Tardis, grabbing two coats the Tardis seemed to have made, one that had Jackie's name in Gallifreyan equivalent sewn into the collar and looking like a fancy applique design, and the other with Pete's name.

He hoped just hoped they wouldn't mind the transandental pockets they came with or some of the surprises in the pockets.

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Rose started for the hall when she paused and the other Doctor paused behind her. "What is it?" He asked.

She looked up at him and then back at the doors. "We don't have to step outside, but perhaps just stand in the doors? Mum's right, we all have a lot to talk about, but for my family's safety and mine, it's a rather involved story, but I'd like to at least see the last glimpse before we leave."

The new Doctor nodded, "I completely understand Rose, shall we?" he asked gesturing for her to lead the way.

She gave him one of her special smiles and took his hand leading the way to the door, just pausing on its threshold. Not that the Doctor nor Jackie had gone far. Rose saw why as soon as she gazed a few paces further. There stood Pete, her sort of father, and her little brother Tony.

As soon as Tony saw his sister, he slipped his father's hold on his hand and pelted toward her. "Rose! You're here!" he exclaimed in loud delight as he hugged her legs tightly.

Rose picked him up and gave him a firm hug. "Tony! How you doing kiddo?" she asked as she held on to him.

"I was sad because I thought I wouldn't get to say goodbye in person. I know we recorded a lot of messages for you, but it's not the same. If you're here, does this mean you might be staying?" He asked excitedly.

Rose shook her head sadly, "I'm sorry Tony, I only wanted to see mum off before we left. I thought you might be in school, so this is a nice surprise."

Pete cleared his throat and came forward to hug the young woman who became a daughter to him. One he was going to lose. " Tony was a little sad and I felt this was more important and since I wasn't sure how long it would take you, I figure coming down for a mini-vacation couldn't hurt. We've actually been here about three days."

He came and gently hugged her and studied her face. "You sure you don't want to stay? I'm sure we could figure something out, this doesn't have to mean goodbye." he softly pleaded. "We'd all be much happier."

Rose shook her head. "It's better not to take the chance and I think the Doctors may have to help me out with this one, there might be some things that we wouldn't be able to deal with on our own. And with two Doctors around, I don't want one or the other to be alone. Plus..." She trailed off looking at both Doctors as Pete nodded. She didn't have to say anything, he could see it written on her face.

Tony gave his big sister the biggest hug his little arms would let him, "I love you sis, and someday, I want to be just like you." He let go and turned around to return to his father's arms and hid his head against his neck and shoulder, trying hard not to cry.

As Tony went back to his father's arms, Pete turned back toward both Doctors as Donna came out to stand next to Rose. " You two take good care of my Daughter, or it won't just be Jackie you'll have to deal with," he told them gruffly as he held tight to Tony, gently rubbing his back in consolation.

Rose's face turned a bit pink. "Dad! " she protested as Donna chuckled.

"Not to worry, Mr. Tyler, I'll be around, between Rose and me, we'll make sure they remain vigilant. I'm Donna Noble, been traveling with the Doctor for a bit." She told Rose's family though she directly addressed Pete.

Pete shook her hand with a small smile. "Thank you, we'd all appreciate it and I know Jacks' is happy to know there will be others for her around besides just the Doctor. No offence Doctor." he said quickly turning to the Doctor.

Both Doctors spluttered a bit in protest giving everyone a bit of a chuckle.

She looked to Tony and put her hand out to him as he rested in his father's arms, "I'm Donna Noble, I'm a friend of the Doctor and now your Sister." she introduced herself with a smile.

Tony shyly smiled back, "I'm Tony, Rose's Brother. I wanted to protect her when I grew up the way she protects Earth, but I won't be able to now." he told her a little sadly.

Donna nodded gravely, "I know, but your family's here to watch after this Universe, so it's very nice and brave of you to let us have Rose for our Universe.

Tony giggled at that as Jackie snorted. "Please don't give my son ideas yet, I'd like to raise him to adulthood with as little incident as possible, thank you!"

Pete smiled when the Tardis gave its warning. All three Tylers came forward to hug Rose. "We'll miss you so much, but we're so proud of you" Jackie choked out on a sob.

Pete nodded, "We're very proud of you Rose and all you've managed to accomplish. We'll never forget you. I know we didn't get off to a great start the first time around, but you are in all ways that matter the daughter I've always dreamed of. I love you."

Rose teared up as Tony wrapped his little arms around his sister for the last time. "I love you Rose, and one day I'll grow up to defend Earth just like you do. I want to make you proud of me too."

Rose sobbed a bit. "I'm already proud of you kiddo, you just follow your heart and be happy and I'll always be proud of you," she told him before letting him go and stepping back.

The Tylers stepped back and continued to watch as the doors closed and the Tardis began to slowly disappear. Tears streaming down their faces unnoticed, they turned away as a family and headed back to their vacation home.