Rose and the blue-suited Doctor burst through the door of the TARDIS, laughing. The part human then turned to their pursuers and shouted, “And that goes for your dad too!”
One of the three blue skinned people picked up a rock and threw it at them, just missing Rose. He ducked and shut the doors before they could throw something else at them. When he turned around and saw Rose and his twin, he burst out laughing again. The Time Lord just shook his head and sent them into the vortex. But he could tell that his counterpart with two hearts was smiling.
“That was all your fault!” Rose accused the Doctor in the black trench coat, still laughing.
“Oi! I didn't see you complaining!” he reminded her, then pushed her back against the doors of the TARDIS.
Rose Tyler stepped out of the TARDIS wearing a purple tank top, a teal jacket, and the skirt she had gotten on Trilaxia Three, which faded from teal at the top to purple at the bottom. Her jacket had trans-dimensional pockets. All of her jackets did now, and she wondered how she got by without them before.
The place they had landed looked like any city when you get away from the touristy areas and the downtown parts where the city was trying to impress people. Just a place where people lived and worked every day. The homes were all black brick, narrow, and tall. They were pushed up against each other where you couldn't tell where one ended and another began from the street unless you paid attention to the brick pattern.
It would have seemed depressing if it weren't for the personal touches to each home and the little patches of ground in front of them, each about a meter deep. Each tiny yard was fenced in for the most part so that people couldn't accidentally destroy the little plots of color. What would be green on Earth was teal. Purples and reds seemed to dominate the other colors.
She heard the door of the TARDIS shut behind her and turned around to look back at the Doctors. “Go, on, then. Exactly where and when are we?” she prodded before looking back at the sight before her. The people niggled at her. She'd seen them before, she was sure of it. Very, very dark blue skin.
“This is the year five point four slash, orange, slash ninety-one, about eight thousand years before the end of planet Earth,” one Doctor said.
“As for where,” the other Doctor added, we're on the Crespallion planetoid, which is-”
“Part of the Jaggit Brocade, affiliated to the Scarlet Junction, Convex fifty six,” Rose finished, the memory of where she had seen these people before jogged. Particularly Raffalo the plumber. She wondered what happened to her. She seemed sweet.
She turned around and looked at the Doctors, who stared at her in shock.
“Close your mouths, boys, you'll catch flies, or whatever similar insect they have here,” she told them, amused. “It's not anything special. Don' even know what that means. I talked to one of the people on Platform One. Raffalo was her name, she was a plumber. Dunno why I remembered that bit, exactly, but that's what she said.”
The Time Lord recovered first. “That'll all be true in about four thousand years,” he lectured. “We're back about eight thousand years before the end of Earth Prime.”
“Our first date,” the other Doctor reminisced fondly.
“We had chips,” Rose replied automatically. The three of them gave each other soft smiles for a moment.
“Okay,” the Doctor in brown spoke, suddenly all business. One of these days, his sudden mood changes wouldn't give her mental whiplash. Today was not that day. “Weelll, we have a massive list of TARDIS parts we need to get, well, I haven't actually gotten TARDIS parts since...anyway get parts that we can jiggery pokery into TARDIS parts. This is the place where we're likely be able to get the most stuff we'll need soon.”
He put his hands in his pockets and grinned. Another mood change. “We get through this list quickly, and I've got somewhere special I want to take you, which is why I said to dress in a long skirt.”
“Which looks amazing on you,” the part human Doctor put in. His eyes roamed up her body slowly. Then he winked and pulled a quick mood change of his own. “Can I see that list?”
Rose pulled out the long lists that she and the full Gallifreyan had compiled the night before while the part human Doctor was asleep. It was broken up into components, whole pieces that could be taken down into a lot of different needed components, and whole parts that could be used as is or mostly as is. She handed the list to the Doctor who asked for it, and he pulled his glasses out to look the contents over.
After a fairly quick debate on which one would get which parts, and who Rose was going with, (which ended in Rose's declaration that there was no real danger here worse than what she had lived with as a little kid mostly on her own. She was going to take the simple components that were going to be purchased new and go off on her own so they could get out of there faster. That discussion was settled, thank you) they finally separated, with promises to check in with each other ever so often through their bonds.
She went through the streets of Crespallion, following her directions and looking for the first shop that would have the things on her list. She was tasked with finding materials, wires, and some of the other components and given directions on where to go to get them.
Crespallion was a tinkerer's heaven. Rose had done some tinkering in her time, but there was always a very specific purpose when she was putting together components. It wasn't like the Doctors, who both always had some project, or some idea they were working on.
It didn't take long to find what she was looking for. The first shop had most of the computer type bits she needed, the second had most of the wires and hoses she needed, the third had most of the components and wires that she was missing, and the fourth had everything else she needed, except for one type of capacitor.
A quick query sent her to a place where she could get her last component. She reached out to open the door of the little junk shop, and it flung open, barely missing her hand.
The part human Doctor stepped out of the shop, grinning and waving bye to someone inside. He turned around just in time to stop himself from running into Rose.
“Rose! What are you doing here?” he asked, surprised. “Are you getting everything okay?” He rolled up the small bag of gadgets from the shop so that it could fit through the opening of his jacket pocket, and turned his full attention to her.
“Almost,” Rose replied. “Still missing one of these.” She pointed to the one item on her list that didn't have a little check mark next to it.
The Doctor looked at the list to see what was missing and noticed the check marks down the whole page. He looked over at Rose with raised eyebrows. “You got all of this already?”
“Yeah, it wasn't exactly hard,” Rose told him.
“No, not hard,” the Doctor agreed, “but it would have taken me a lot longer to get everything.”
“That's because you woulda dug for everything yourself, and come across a bunch of other things you decided you needed too,” Rose teased.
“Welll, yeah,” he admitted with a toothy grin. “How did you manage to get others to help?” he couldn't help but ask.
“I used to be a shop girl, I know 'ow to get the people who work in a shop to 'elp with things.” She shrugged. “I was a model customer, came in knowing exactly what I wanted, didn't command, and was in and out quickly.”
“You're brilliant,” he gave her a quick peck, then grabbed her hand and led her away from the shop.
“I still 'ave to get a-” Rose started, pointing back to the shop.
“Nah,” he cut her sentence off. “Like you said, I always pick up extra stuff, and I got two of 'em. Can never have too many, you know. Well, I say you can't have too many, but if you were to have a whole room of 'em, that would be more than you could probably ever need.”
“Oh, okay then,” Rose brightly replied. “Saves me from 'aving to go in there and grab it.”
“That's the spirit.” They crossed the road over to the other side, smiling and swinging their hands between them.
After a few moments, Rose asked, “So where are we headed to now?”
“Oh, I just have one more stop to make. Won't take but a tick, then, I have something I want to show you.”
Oh how she loved those words. 'Something I want to show you' was always followed up by a real treat, whether it was something as simple as a particularly cute furry animal or trying some bananaish flavored confection from some unpronounceable-to her anyway-planet in the 8th century, or something as spectacular as a mostly barren planet with flying stingray type creatures or giant frozen ice waves.
“Ooohh, what?” she asked, knowing that he wouldn't tell her.
“Just wait and see,” he replied back with a smug grin. She wanted to wipe that smug grin off of his face, but the way she wanted to wipe it off would probably only make it bigger.
The Doctor picked up the solid tungsten-chromium alloy anti-backlash differential from that little shop that sold all those wonderful new mechanical parts.
The TARDIS could have made it, of course. Technically, she could make it so that none of them ever had to step outside of her shell ever again, so long as she had energy and the elements. She was a world in herself. However, she was old, and even if she weren't old, he wasn't going to make her make every little thing he needed. Why? Especially when it was already made? He loved digging around for parts. A person such as himself could get a million ideas from a pile of parts, but much less if he had to come up with ideas 100% from scratch with no visual aids.
When they walked out of the shop, he took Rose's hand and started pulling her to this little place he found. She was going to love it.
“So, I found this place earlier,” the Doctor told Rose, “and I wanted you to see it.”
“You found a place you didn't know about before?” she queried. “Did you make a wrong turn?” She gave him that smile with that little pink tongue sticking out. He'd give her something to do with that tongue. Oh yes. If he had his way that tongue would be busy in a few minutes.
“I don't make wrong turns, I went exploring,” he said in mock exasperation.
“Sure,” she teased, then giggled. She didn't believe him. Not that he tried to make her believe him.
“Okay, then, I won't take you to see this wonderfully brilliant, amazingly astonishing, marvelously impressive, fantastically-”
She was laughing enough that the people around, who were mostly the local dark blue skinned people, were looking at them funny. Not that he minded, he was used to looking like he was a nutter.
“What's so funny?” he asked, completely clueless as to where she was finding her mirth at.
“You sound like you're reading from a thesaurus.” Oh, for Rassilon's sake, there was that tongue again. It was even more distracting now, after- best not think about that right at this moment, not quite yet.
“The cheek on you, Rose Tyler, If I was reading from a thesaurus, it would have sounded totally different,” he haughtily said.
She shook her head and changed the subject. “So, how much farther?”
“Not far, oh impatient one,” he chided and wagged a finger at her in admonishment.
“Look who's talking!” she exclaimed.
“Oi! This me is far more patient than some people we know,” he declared.
She just looked at him with amusement.
“More patient?” Nothing. “Somewhat more patient?”
She broke out in a grin. “Okay, I'll give you that one.”
They reached the street where his surprise was and turned onto it, speeding up as they neared their destination. The Doctor pulled Rose down an alleyway that looked like it dead ended from the residential street. Except once you got most of the way down the alley, you could see where it turned off at the end. Just before they got to the turn, the Doctor looked back at the street and made sure that there was no one watching them.
They were in a narrow little space between two buildings on two different streets, walking behind them both. There were no windows, and only doorways that looked like they hadn't been opened in years. The space was so narrow and the walls so high, that there wasn't much in the way of trash there, just some left from the kids who obviously would hang out here sometimes to hide.
“So, I was walking,” the Doctor stated in the same manner he gave his lectures on the history of a place they landed, “and found myself on that little street back there and found this little alleyway. I like to explore, so-”
“You thought it was a good idea to walk down an unknown alley?” she interrupted, incredulously. She stopped and put her hands on her hips, and he had the sudden urge to back away before she got any angrier.
“It's an alley,” she pointed out. “One that's dark enough to be night. If it were night, then you wouldn't be able to see at all without a torch.” She looked agitated. “How the hell did you ever survive this long?”
“I can take care of myself, Rose,” he asserted, annoyed at her insinuation.
“Look, Doctor, where I'm from, dark alleys can be very, very dangerous, and from what I've seen, people are basically the same no matter the species, time, or universe. And you don't have a get-out-of-death-free-by-regeneration card anymore.” She stepped closer to him and put one hand on his chest over his lone heart, and the other on his shoulder. “I worry about you.” The hand on his chest started rubbing up and down. “Dammit, Doctor, I want you to get gray on me.” The hand on his chest gave him a little slap, and he grabbed it and held it where it was. “Promise me you'll be a little more careful, you idiot.”
Her voice broke on the last word. He wrapped his free arm around her waist and pulled her in. The Doctor then leaned down and captured her lips with his own, their kiss was quick and passionate, and he broke away before things could get too heated. They were still in the narrow alley, and they hadn't made it to what he wanted to show her yet.
“I'm sorry, Rose. I'm so sorry I worried you. I promise to try to remember to be more careful now,” he whispered in her ear. When he pulled back, he could see that her eyes were watery, and he vowed to put a smile on her face. “Come on you, I still want to show you this.” He took her hand and pulled her toward the door he was looking for.
“Alright then, Time Lord, let's see what you think is so impressive,”