A/N: John Smith is a tenth Doctor duplicate type character, who may or may not be The Doctor's clone.
Rose had been in the alternate universe exactly one year, her mother Jackie had immediately taken to Pete Tyler and they were married within 3 months of their arrival, a baby on the way.
Rose had been woken one night, Jackie was 6 months pregnant and to appease her daughter, had made the long journey by road and sea to Norway so Rose could see the Doctor one last time. Rose had come away heartbroken, somehow having believed he would be actually waiting for her where the gap between universes had come out – the Norwegian name for Bad Wolf Bay and take her back with him. It wasn't meant to be.
What had started out in the realization that those two words – 'Bad Wolf' had been a way of getting her back to the games station, causing the regeneration of the Doctor into the face of the man she had grown even more in love with had dashed all her hopes over ever seeing the man she loved ever again. He had told her the two universes would collapse if she even tried to touch him. She would have done it too, never mind the damn universes, she wanted to be with him.
As his image had faded away, Rose had been filled with tears, her mother comforting her and she still didn't know if he loved her or not. She had at least been hoping to find that much out but all he had said was her name. It had been the same the time that the Tardis had fallen down the pit and he had gone after it, not knowing if he would ever see her again, all he had said was her name and that she knew.
Maybe she did know, maybe that was his way of saying her loved her but it would have been nice to actually hear him saying it to her, even if he was only a hologram. They had made the long journey back to London, staying overnight in Bergen, Rose sharing a room with her mother as the hotels were fairly booked up, Pete sharing a twin room with Mickey.
That had been a month ago, Jackie didn't have long to go now and they were going to celebrate being in this world exactly a year with a big party, Jackie's first attempt at organising one. Everyone had accepted Rose and Jackie, Rose went to work at Torchwood when she had completed her training and everyone there liked her and she was settling down as head of scientific research, giving her chance to examine ways of possibly crossing dimensions without disturbing the fabric of space. One project was coming along well, a dimension canon and some successful results were being recorded but no-one had actually dared to use it yet.
It was like they were all afraid to use it, fearing they would never come back and Rose had been forbidden to try to use it. All it was doing was recording timelines in different dimensions and Rose was only interested in getting back to her own world and so far, non of the readings indicated they had found it.
Rose was in her room at the Tyler mansion, getting ready for the party. Why she wasn't looking forward to it she didn't know. Maybe it was the memory of the last big party in that house, the Cyberman attack and all the deaths that had occurred in front of her eyes. She didn't know why she had stayed there, she was planning on moving out as soon as she could, after she had gained the confidence to live in this world on her own.
Mickey knew she was unhappy. He had been outside while the events of that night had taken place but she had told him over the past year what had happened inside and had asked him what had finally made him decide to stay here when she went back. He had just replied he was not going to remain the tin dog when it was obvious Rose had been in love with the Doctor and his gran had needed him.
Downstairs, Rose could hear lively music playing, some songs were the same here as back on her own world, her favourite recording artists existed and she had found new ones. It was the same as TV and films, a lot of actors were also famous in this world, including her favourite Scottish actor who to her dismay had recently got married. She wished she had stayed in her own world after she found that out.
Descending down the stairs, everyone watched her in her pale blue ankle length dress with diamond sequins and a low neckline. To compliment it she wore a black choker with a pink stone in the middle and had curled her hair into twists. Mickey was the first one to come over to her, he had been hoping she would agree to start dating him again, nothing serious, just to get her to start going out again. He earned a decent wage now, he wouldn't have to get her to pay like he used to and not just taking her to the pub to watch the football.
Pete saw her coming down and begged everyone's attention. He was just waiting for Jackie to come downstairs as he crossed over to where Rose was, on the last to bottom step.
"Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have a moment please." Pete paused, looking around and then seeing Jackie at the top of the stairs.
He went up to escort her down, Rose thought it was a far cry from when she had seen the first Jackie Tyler descend the stairs at her 40th (39th, the woman had insisted back then) and Rose's mother walked down arm in arm with her husband, joining Rose and Pete linked arms with hers and made the announcement.
"I know a lot of you remember my first wife, how she was taken that night and it's now exactly one year since Rose and my present wife came to live here. So if you'll all lift your glasses to join me in a toast to my lovely wife Jackie Tyler and my stepdaughter Rose, I would just like to say to them both how empty my life was until they came along."
Pete was handed a glass of champagne and raised it up. "To Jackie and Rose, happy first anniversary in this world."
Everyone raised their glasses and repeated "To Jackie and Rose."
Rose and Jackie both blushed, Pete had moved forward and both women had linked arms and were smiling. Now it all seemed worthwhile, being accepted for who they were. Rose never would have believed when she came here the first time she would ever be back living here. She had been a waitress the first time around and now serving staff were handing her and her mother glasses of champagne, Jackie being allowed one glass for the occasion.
As Rose sipped on her drink, taking nibbles from the food trays, she wandered around the house, saying hello to people she knew from Torchwood and people she had seen at meetings, backers and those interested in the work they were doing, all prominent people as Pete had been when he had just been an observer back in the days before he had taken control after its downfall, having been infiltrated by the Cybermen and people who had plotted to bring it down.
Rose stopped to talk to Gwen and Tosh, women she saw most days at work, sharing a few jokes with them. Rose couldn't get over the fact that Gwen looked like a serving girl she had met in the 1800's. Everyone invited knew how Rose and her mother had got there, knew about Rose's heroic attempts to bring down John Lumic and they all knew of the legendary Doctor but non of them talked about him in front of Rose.
Walking around the room also was Mickey, hoping to get chance to talk to her, to get her in a quiet corner and ask her out, if she said no, he wouldn't try to make a big deal out of it and would keep trying. What neither he or Rose knew was that someone had been late for the party and had brought an uninvited guest.
Rose had been horrified to find that her co-workers had included a few faces she recognised from her own world's version of Torchwood, including Yvonne Hartman and a few she didn't know the names of but had seen them on the monitor when she had been found out. It was Miss Hartman who was late, waiting for the man she had invited to the party. Not as a date but because Professor Jonathan Smith wanted to meet the famous Pete Tyler and was hoping he could get Torchwood's backing for a research project he was planning in a few month's time. The museum he worked for was a bit low on funds and he was going to have to find a sponsor himself if he wanted to find new artefacts for a display he was planning.
As Yvonne showed her invitation to the two hefty security men on the main door, saying that John Smith was her plus one and showing her Torchwood ID, they were let in. John had stood in awe at the entranceway to the mansion. Yvonne still couldn't work out how she had managed to have him tag along with her, it was only because he was her cousin on her mother's side and she only ever saw him at family gatherings but he knew she was well respected at Torchwood so he had thought her the perfect person to go to. So she had finally given in and had thought the party was the best way to introduce him to her boss and the best way for John to meet him informally rather than get him into Torchwood.
John was still in the doorway. Yvonne just wanted to get him introduced so she could enjoy herself without him following her around. She had never understood how the gangly mad professor had managed to even get as far as he had. John was tall, slim, had hair that had a mind of its own, he had a tendency to ramble on about nothing yet he could captivate any size audience and keep them that way for hours. As she liked to put it, he could stand reading the London telephone directory and people would listen to him.
He seemed to mesmerise everyone who came across him and if that wasn't bad enough in her mind, he insisted everyone called him Doctor, saying anyone can be called John Smith.
Yvonne realised he was not following her so she turned around and called him.
"Come along Doctor, if you want to meet Pete Tyler, we haven't got all night."
John managed to stop staring at his surroundings and turned to answer her. "Right, yes, brilliant. Thanks for getting me in Cous, I really appreciate it. So, Allons-y, lead the way."
Yvonne led the way into the main reception room, some people were just talking, others were sitting at tables eating and drinking, music was playing and some people were dancing in one of the rooms that had been cleared for the purpose and Yvonne spotted her boss, with his wife and stepdaughter. Noticing he wasn't behind her again, she called him from a few feet away.
"Doctor, this way," Yvonne called.
John followed her voice.
Just at that moment, Rose had told her mother she was going to go get some food and asked her if she wanted anything.
"No, I'm ok thanks, you go get something Sweetheart. Why don't you go mingle again with your friends?"
"They're not really friends Mum."
"Well it's about time you started making them again, you can't stay in all the time. Why don't you start by going out with Mickey, just as a friend? At least it would get you out. You only ever go out with us."
"I'm fine Mum, really and I'm not going out with Mickey."
Rose walked off to the food table at the other end of the reception room and could have sworn she heard someone say 'Doctor' but they could have been talking to or about anyone who worked at Torchwood, there were scientists and medical staff, so she took no notice. She put some food on a plate and was about to go back to her mother when Dr Owen Harper, Torchwood's version of Casanova cornered her. She had been trying to avoid him.
"Rose, you've been avoiding me, why?" Owen asked, taking a swipe at some of her food and Rose slapping his hand so he withdrew.
"Go get your own food Owen, it's just behind you or are you just too lazy?"
"Now now Rose, it's your party so be the perfect hostess."
He tried again and got another slap on the wrist.
"Go away Owen, I'm not going out with you so stop asking."
"You haven't got a boyfriend, you could do a lot worse than me."
"Yeah, well tell that to your last girlfriend, oh I forgot – you still have one. Where is Lucy tonight?"
"You know I would ditch her for you Rose, she's not like you."
"No, I actually have some taste and that doesn't include you."
She finally slipped round him and made her way back to where her mother and Pete were sitting, she couldn't quite come to terms with calling him 'dad' yet but she would have to when the baby came along and was old enough to notice. She saw that Yvonne, head of R&D was talking to him and a man was standing at her side with his back to her, shaking Pete's hand. For a moment, she pictured how energetically the Doctor used to shake hands. The man was in a black suit and was wearing what looked like black and white converse shoes.
Rose walked slowly towards the table, unsure as how to approach this. From the back she could have sworn she was looking at the Doctor, she had seen him in a black suit the night of the Cyberman attack when he had taken a suit from the kitchen and put it on to get into the party because she wanted to see how this worlds Pete Tyler lived. Just as she reached the table, Pete looked across at her. She saw the look on his face and her mother's and wondered what was wrong, they both looked like they had seen a ghost.
Pete found his voice. "Rose, Sweetheart, I want you to meet Professor Jonathan Smith from the Metropolitan Museum. Doctor Smith – my stepdaughter, Rose Tyler."
John turned to Rose and she dropped the contents of her plate onto the floor, the plate crashing down to join it. People nearby turned to see what had happened as Rose saw his face.
He extended both hands, grabbing her right hand and shaking it vigorously. "Hello, nice to meet you – I'm The Doctor."