A/N: Holy cannoli, we've come to the end! God, what a ride this has been. When I finished An Unexpected Christmas Miracle, a few people requested that I do a rewrite of series 3, but I was a little hesitant knowing how complicated it would be, and how there were already so many out there. But through the stress it was fun to write.
Much, much love to every single one of you lovely reviewers and followers! Without you guys I wouldn't have been able to get through this as quick as I did. You guys are the best motivation, thank you so much! :D
Now for the last chapter. I'll be honest, I…kinda rushed this. Mainly 'cause I had the worst writer's block with it and had a few fits. I dunno. Oh well. Here ya go :)
Chapter 68: Until Next Time
Morning came and the sun shined bright over the entire world, something that seemed foreign given the recent events that happened over the last year. Or the year that was now erased from time. Which was good.
Martha sat at the table in the galley, a cuppa fixed in her hands. It was a lot earlier in the morning than when she usually would start walking around the TARDIS, but she had her reasons for it. While everything was better and fixed properly, she would've expected her sleeping schedule would be calmer since the nightmare was over. That wasn't the case though as all she kept thinking about was her family. She talked to her mother for a long time last night when Jack excused himself briefly. Her mother ended up barely sleeping last night, too.
It still broke Martha's heart that her family were stuck on that ship with that monster. In a way if she had known what the final act was once the countdown began, she wished that her family had hid away somewhere where they couldn't be found or taken into custody. Of course they'd probably end up in a worse situation like death if those spheres got a hold of them.
Either way the end result would gradually be the same—traumatic.
Along with her family she thought about her friends. When they came back to the TARDIS she and Jack made themselves discreet and headed off to the media room while the Doctor and Rose caught up with…everything. Since the minute those two were reunited they haven't been an inch away from each other, and even if they were she was certain that it wouldn't last. Saying that they had a lot to talk about was an understatement considering the wackiness and madness the escalated from the Master's reign, being in separate places in time.
While it wasn't any of her business Martha wondered how the Doctor felt about how the Master was handled. Of course he was obviously relieved that he was able to get Rose back, alive and as herself and not as Bad Wolf, but he probably wasn't sitting right with how his old friend was taken care of. He was a man who despised killings, even stressed that when she came back to London as a part of his plan, and that's what happened to the Master.
Then again, he may not have felt any remorse for him. After all that maniac held Rose captive for eighteen months, twenty-one if the year that had been erased would be counted up until…her death. He even admitted that any chance to save the Master was long gone. That answered her question right there, but it brought up something else.
Did the Doctor actually tell Rose that she had died and came back as the Bad Wolf to stop the Master? At first she supposed he wouldn't mention that considering that was a memory he wouldn't want to relive. And if he did tell Rose about it, it would've made her upset. Back when Martha was travelling across the world with Bad Wolf, the other being never spoke about everything that may happen once the final act was done. Never said what would happen to Rose other than the fact that she would be alive.
Martha shook her head. None of that was her business. It was their own private dealings, much like she had her own. She had made her decision about what she would do from here yesterday and would tell her friends soon.
Finishing her tea she figured she'd still be the only one awake right now for a short while considering the others would probably have easier chances of sleeping well, so she placed her cup in the sink and headed down the corridor to head down to the media room to watch a movie. Something entertaining that would lift up her spirits a little more.
Jack came out of his sleeping quarters, finally able to het some rest after yesterday. It was nice to have things back to normal. He had thought about calling his team to tell then he would be coming back, but then he thought about surprising them when they went back to Cardiff.
He chose the second option.
Finally he would be reuniting with his other family down at Torchwood. He knew they would expect some kind of reasonable explanation to his sudden departure but he would handle it all later. Whether or not they'd understand that was his reason would be seen soon enough, but as long as he'd get to see them again he didn't care what they thought. He missed them all dearly, especially Ianto. The look on his face alone would be worth it once Jack returned.
Walking in the corridors Jack came across a familiar door he remembered passing by the last time he was on the TARDIS, but there was a slight change to it, and it was an even better one if he was honest. A string of circles and lines forming a phrase in Gallifreyan was carved into the door along with a floral design—specifically a pink rose —intertwining with them. He couldn't help but smile at it.
The Doctor and Rose's room.
He hasn't seen either of them since arriving in the TARDIS once they retrieved Rose from UNIT, but they deserved all the privacy in the universe right now. Such traumatic events were to be healed with time, and they had all of it at their fingertips. And as long as they had each other they'd always be alright, that much he knew.
It still marveled Jack that those two lovebirds were married. Back when he was traveling with them in the Doctor's previous regeneration it was never hard to see the love between them. Hell, one simple exchange of a glance was a little too obvious and said so much. And now it was so much more. Both of them have been through so much, especially in the last year, longer for Rose. Having spent so much time isolated from each other required them to work things out and heal.
As much as he missed this life, he had responsibilities back in Cardiff. Hopefully he could go back to them later once the dynamic duo come out of their room.
Stirring out of her sleep Rose kept her eyes closed. For the first time in a long while she was able to have a decent night's rest, and not just an hour in an uncomfortable excuse for furniture. Now, though, she was in complete bliss as she was back where she belonged.
Home, and in her husband's arms. Just as it should be.
Smiling she immediately felt a nudge in her mind, and her heart swooped. How she loved feeling the Doctor's presence. After having emptiness for eighteen months, having to be confined in dank prison cells chained up all the time, barely seeing the day of light, she felt like she was in heaven again. Not a day went by where she yearned to relive these beautiful moments, and she wasn't referring to just the dreams. She meant in person, in reality, in her actual life.
That was another thing she was grateful for. Usually whenever she would try to get some rest in her numerous cells a nightmare was sure to creep into her mind, haunting her about the lies that the Master always repeated and tried to plant them deep in her mind to force her to believe them. Every day for eighteen months, attempting to use his hypnotic and abusive nature just to let her know that her Doctor was long gone and would never come to her.
How wrong he was.
Now she was reliving her dreams, the ones that never left her mind through her entire duration as a prisoner. Being so far from her husband's reach only increased her strength to find her way back to him and vice versa. Faith was always a push factor, and she never lost it. Even if a few of those unwanted doubts poisoned her mind, still she kept her mind up and her heart true and waited for her Doctor to come back for her.
One thing that was a bit interesting, if not strange, was a small reel that came to her mind at some point during her slumber. The Doctor told her that there was a chance that she could have ripple effects radiating from Bad Wolf—if that even made sense. But she saw the vision of the Master's ring being disintegrated by the entity's hand. Whatever the significance of that meant was a little fuzzy to her, but in the back of her mind she felt a reassurance that he would no longer be a threat to her or the Doctor or the universe anymore.
That's all that matters.
She was laying on her side with the Doctor's hand clasped in hers, placed in between them on their bed. She opened her eyes to find him laying on his stomach facing her with his eyes still shut, his hair flattened and messy from sleep. How she missed seeing that beautiful sight every morning. Grinning she shifted a little closer to press a kiss to his temple before slowly sliding out of the bed to head over to the en suite. She made her way over to the sink and turned the tap on, bringing her hands under the water and splashing some on her face. The coldness was enough to wake her up fully, which was something she never usually did, but she didn't mind.
Waking up in her home that was the TARDIS and on her bed with her husband beside her was the only way she'd want to wake up. Not in a dank cell with a raving lunatic.
Rose reached over and grabbed a towel to dry her face then straightened up, wiping her eyes before taking in her appearance through the mirror. She bit her lip. She looked like herself. For eighteen months she never saw her reflection, but thought she was better off not having to see that sight every morning. In that time she knew how she looked just by how she felt. Horrible. But now…now she was better. More alive and more like herself. The Zero Room really did work wonders for her. She raised her eyes to the ceiling and mentally thanked the Old Girl for placing the room back.
Exiting the en suite she stayed in the doorway for a moment and smiled. The Doctor was still asleep and hadn't moved a muscle since she got up. It was unlike him to act that way, but she understood. He's been through a hell of a lot more, and probably worse, than she did in their separation and it took a lot out of him. Now he was relaxing for the first time in a really long time.
Walking over to his side of their bed Rose just stood there staring at him. Her hand gravitated towards his back as she gently trailed her fingers across his skin with feather-light touches. She then carefully moved to drape a leg across his waist and lay atop him, straddling him as she began to massage his muscles. Loose and relaxed, he was. As he should be. After a moment she lowered herself to press against his back, reclining herself. Their bodies were still buzzing from their passionate lovemaking from last night and she revelled in it, just like every other time. She nuzzled the back of his neck before moving down to place a gentle kiss to his shoulder blade. Propping herself up a little she traced the outline of the spot with her fingers, making his already cool skin prickle more.
She heard him humming and she grinned. "Why are you awake?" he said, his words muffled from the pillow.
"I could say the same for you," she countered with a chuckle, resting her head on his back to hear the pleasant thump-thump thump-thump of his hearts. "Ain't you supposed to be sleepin'?"
"Not when I can wake up like this." She could hear the smile in his voice.
He moved the hand he kept placed in the center of the bed down to meet hers, threading their fingers back together in the way they were when she first woke up, brushing his thumb over hers. She brought her other arm up and stretched it across his and laced the fingers of their unoccupied hands together, laying in completion.
"Can we stay like this for a little while?" he asked.
"Sure you don't mind?"
"Of course not."
They stayed that way for a few long moments in comfortable silence, just laying together as one. Body, mind, and soul. The Doctor took one last deep breath before shifting a bit as he tried to flip himself around. Rose released their joined hands and pushed herself up to help him come to lay on his back, immediately greeted with those adoring warm chocolate eyes and equally warm smile that made her melt. A sight she would cherish for the rest of her life. She lowered herself back down to lay across his chest and he brushed her hair back behind her ear, his thumb brushing over her cheekbone. She grinned.
"Should I be worried if you become a 'hibernating bear' like you say to me?" she teased.
He smiled and threaded their fingers back together. "Dunno. Maybe, maybe not. There's many possibilities."
"You're never asleep for this long, you're usually awake."
"I've been awake," he told her with a sniff.
"Weeell, then how would I get to admire your beauty like this? None of my dreams can do justice, so why not admire the source?"
Rose snorted. "Oh, God. You're such a mush."
"And you like it."
Not even stopping herself she leaned down and pressed a kiss to his lips and smiled. She knew how much he missed this too, and after last night, she gave him all the reassurance in the world to remind him that she was here with him for real. Pulling back she licked her lips and giggled. The smile never left his face.
"I know you've been waiting for that once I woke up, right?" she asked, letting go of one hand up to comb through his chest hair.
He arched an eyebrow. "Hm. It may have crossed my mind once or twice. But, as you know, lots of things are buzzing around up here." He tapped a finger to his temple. "But…I've got one specific thing on my mind at the moment."
"And what's that?"
His smile turned wicked. "I think you know." Then he pulled her down to him and his lips found hers again as he flipped her over to her back, still grinning against them. But the moment didn't last as long as they intended as Rose's stomach growled loudly. "Blimey, you sure you don't have a living thing in there?"
She laughed and pushed him playfully. "'M just hungry, 's all."
The Doctor's brows hit his hairline as he smacked his forehead. "Oh! How thick am I? You haven't eaten anything in twenty-four hours!" His expression turned a bit somber. "Or…probably a bit longer than that."
She recognized that look, and knew what was coming. Rose brought a hand up to the side of his face. "Hey, don't start brooding, Doctor. Please. I told you already that everything that happened wasn't your fault, ya got that? None of it. And I'm right here now, and that's all the matters, right?" He nodded. "Good. Now, I hope you don't mind, but I think I'd fancy a stack of your famous banana pancakes."
His eyes lit up and he kissed her nose. "Anything for my special lady."
Jack wandered back into the corridors after spending some time in the library. Oddly enough he never thought to check out that room when he first traveled with the Doctor and Rose, but it really was the most amazing library he's ever seen. It actually resembled the one from Beauty and the Beast. Intentional? Most likely. Knowing that Time Lord he'd say that the movie's design came from the TARDIS itself.
That wonderful ego of his. It was one of this most admirable qualities.
He was about to make his way into the console room when a sudden smell hit his nose. Unsurprisingly it was bananas. He almost laughed out loud when he was brought back to the first time he met the Doctor during the Blitz. The man may have changed his face, but he was still the same man. And his infatuation with bananas never changed.
Arriving in the galley he stopped at the doorway when saw the Doctor wearing a blue suit—that was new—and Rose wearing her usual casual clothes—jeans and a short sleeved top—standing by the stove preparing breakfast. And by the looks of it, they were making banana pancakes. They appeared to be doing really well considering that twenty-four hours ago they were both broken until finally reuniting with each other. What amazed him the most was how much healthier Rose looked. Her frame returned to its normal shape, the only difference was that her hair was still longer than usual.
All in all, they both were healing. Though Jack could guess there was still some they would need.
"Y'know that you could always make other types of pancakes, right?" Rose was saying. "Like chocolate chip or something."
"Oi, you were the one who wanted these," the Doctor told her as he flipped the pancakes in the air from their pan. "Besides, you need to get your potassium levels back up."
She smiled. "Doctor's orders, right?"
"Yep," he said, popping the 'p' and pressing a kiss to her forehead.
"You know…" Rose said, placing an arm on his bicep. "If I remember correctly, the last time you served me like this, I let you go without wearing a maid outfit—"
"Don't," the Doctor cut in.
"I still think you'd look nice in one," she teased.
"With all due respect, Rose, I'm afraid I'll have to decline."
Jack couldn't resist picturing that and smiling. "Oh, c'mon, Doc," he said as he walked in the galley, gaining their attention. "Can't you grant your wife another wish? Don't be a buzzkill."
Rose burst into laughter while the Doctor's eyes widened. "Ehm…" he said, tugging his ear.
"Relax, I was only joking. I'm sure you give her everything else she wants. Speaking of which…the offer's still—"
"Jack," both Rose and the Doctor warned.
The captain sighed. "Okay, sorry. Kinda got a little excited. Think it might've been the mental picture of the Doctor walking around in a dress."
The Doctor groaned. "Roooose."
She sympathetically patted him on the arm. "Sorry, love. Jack, behave."
Jack shook his head and sighed. "Oh, Rose." He smiled. "Looking better, I see."
She returned the smile. "Feelin' it, too. Ever since yesterday morning, but more so now that I'm back home."
He nodded, tapping his phone in his hand. "I can imagine."
Rose left the Doctor to fix up the pancakes and sat at the table with Jack. "Whatcha doin' with your phone out?"
"Thought about making a call," Jack said, waving his phone. "Just to some of my friends."
"Friends?" she said with a chuckle. "Who exactly were you ringing?"
"My team," he said casually.
Her brows furrowed. "Team? What team? It can't be any Time Agents, right?"
He laughed. "No, but I still have a few numbers." He paused. "You remember when I told you that I based myself at the rift in Cardiff?" She nodded. "Well…me and my friends are running an organization there."
The Doctor seemed to freeze for a moment, but Rose didn't notice.
"Yeah?" she said lightly. "I've been wondering exactly what you've been up to since the Game Station. And being told you were rebuilding the Earth seemed a bit…" she trailed off and shot a look at the Doctor, who was immersed in his task, but was still probably eavesdropping.
"Sketchy?" Jack supplied.
Rose nodded. "S'pose."
He took a deep breath. "It does involve reconstruction, though." She arched an eyebrow at him, urging him on. "It's Torchwood."
Rose stopped breathing for a moment at the mention of that place—the very one that caused her mother to be trapped in another universe far from her reach. The very one that she and the Doctor despised greatly.
"It's different, though," he assured quickly. "After…Canary Wharf, I rebuilt it and changed it. It stands not as a threat anymore, but as an ally. To both you and the Doctor. I got a crew together and we do what you and him do; stop the bad guys. The organization is for the better, Rose, I swear to you."
She remained silent.
"You know how sorry I am for everything the old regime did to you and the Doctor, to your lives, and to your mother and Mickey. But I swear to you, it's changed."
Rose blinked a few times. She certainly did have a lot to catch up on, but she wasn't expecting something like that. "Oh," she said.
Jack chuckled, gesturing at the Doctor. "That's a better reaction than his was, I'll say that."
The Doctor cleared his throat. "Jack, about that…you dropped that information on me in a…very tense time, that's all. I'm sure if you had told me sooner I may have taken it a little easier."
"Maybe," Jack said. "Though I think you'd still be a little pissed off."
Rose bit her lip. She could only imagine the Doctor's reaction to hearing the name Torchwood again. Probably freaked out big time. Of course she couldn't blame him for blowing up at the news. After all that organization caused the both of them so much grief in the past, and they always wanted nothing to do with them ever again. But Jack was their good friend, and they could always trust him no matter what. If he says that horrible place made a complete one-eighty turn around, then she believed it.
"They're all good people, yeah?" she asked.
Jack nodded. "Yes, Rose. They can be a little mischievous, but I assure you we're all good."
She chuckled. "I can imagine with you runnin' around there, kissing them just for the hell of it."
"Hey, what d'you take me for?" He paused. "You know what, don't answer that."
The Doctor snorted from the stove before coming over with the pan, setting the pancakes on their plates. He saw Martha come in, and set out a plate for her as well.
"Ah, Martha, you're up. And just in time."
"Let me guess," she said. "Banana pancakes?"
He smiled. "Yep!"
She shook her head. "You really need to work on your variety."
The Doctor sighed. "Oh, critics." Instead of sitting himself down to eat, he decided that the three of them should catch up a little. Especially with Martha. He stood beside Rose. "Right, while you three finish up, I'll be in the console room."
"You're not eating?" she asked.
"Nah, I'll be alright. Besides, think the Old Girl's still a bit sluggish after…well, after everything, really. Just a small tune up."
She nodded. "Don't hit the wrong controls," she teased.
He growled. "I've had this ship for centuries, Rose. I think I'd know how to operate Her by now."
Rose placed a finger to her chin. "You say that every time we end up in the wrong year. And planet. And galaxy."
The Doctor rolled his eyes when he bent to give her a peck on the lips, then sauntered out of the galley, leaving the three to their breakfast.
"So," Jack began. "Girl talk, then."
Martha scoffed. "Then maybe you'd leave considering it wouldn't suit you."
"Oh, it's not a problem. We can catch up."
"True. How you feeling, Rose?"
Rose nodded. "Definetly a little more like myself. 'Course the Zero Room played a big part in that."
"What about dreaming? You remember anything about being Bad Wolf?"
She shook her head. "Not really, no. The Doctor showed me images of when I-Bad Wolf came back, but that's all they are; images. Not really memories, per se…I don't think. I'm still tryin' to understand all of this."
Martha snorted. "Tell me about it."
"How 'bout you, how're you doing, Martha?"
She let out a deep breath. "Feeling better. Didn't really get much sleep since I've been thinking about my family all night and everything they went through."
Rose nodded, a sympathetic smile on her face. "I heard you were brilliant. Very brilliant, in fact. Having to be so brave in walking the entire world. That's…incredible."
Martha shrugged. "Wasn't all my doing. Bad Wolf was with me for those last nine months, and she helped me."
"But still, she was a ghost. I was a ghost…apparently. Martha, you were saving the world long before Bad Wolf showed up. Remember that."
Martha smiled. "Thanks. I, uh…it's time," she said.
Rose's brows furrowed. "What d'you mean?"
"Time I went back home," she said softly. "I mean, traveling with you and the Doctor, it's been great, it really has. It's just…my family needs me."
Rose pressed her lips together and nodded. "'S alright, I understand. In times like this it's important to be close to the ones you love."
"Yeah. But I can still call you guys once in a while."
"That's cool. And you'd finally be able to take your exams," Rose added with a smile.
Martha chuckled. "Definitely!"
"And Jack…what will you do now?"
The captain sighed. "Head back over to the team. It's been a while since I've seen them, and I'll bet they're runnin' around like headless chickens without me around."
Rose snorted but spoke seriously. "You really love them."
He nodded. "I do. Every one of them—each for their own reasons, but all the same. For once I've got responsibilities. I just met them not too long ago. They…really don't know much about me, and vice versa. But I know I can trust them, much like you all should."
Rose reached over and held Jack's wrist. "We do. It's good to know that bloody Torchwood's in good hands now."
"Thanks, Rosie," he said with a smile. They all began to clean up after themselves when Jack lifted his backpack from underneath the table. "I know it's a little late," he said to Rose. "But I got you a little something-something for you and the Doctor."
Rose arched an eyebrow. "Yeah? Nothin'…suggestive is it?"
"No," he said with an eye roll before smirking. "But I suppose it can play a role in those acts—especially leading into it." He reached into his bag and winked. "Consider it a wedding present."
Rose watched as he pulled out a bottle securely wrapped in paper and handed it to her. She took of the barrier, revealing a clear liquid. She saw the label and nearly laughed out loud: a picture of Jack smiling and winking with a drink in one hand and his other giving the thumbs up. Beneath that read the name of the drink. Hypervodka.
"You got us hypervodka?" she said with a chuckle.
Jack nodded. "Best drink in the whole universe, straight from the 52nd century. But this batch I whipped up myself."
"Learned the recipe and everything. May have added a little extra…spice, but it's all good, I can't tell you that much. And, this is just a small fact, but…it spices up certain activities," he added with a wicked grin.
"Jack," she warned.
"Okay sorry," he said. "Besides, I know for a fact you won't be needing that for any spice considering you have no problems whatsoever in that department."
Martha snorted. "Please, bad enough I faintly heard them back when we had to share that tiny flat in 1969."
Rose blushed while Jack grinned unabashedly. "Ooh, I wish I was there," he said. "She told me he was brilliant, so I could only imagine the details."
"Well, I was still asleep for the most part, but they did try to be discreet for their 'wedding night'."
Jack nudged Rose's shoulder. "Guess my gift was pointless after all."
Still blushing Rose smiled as she gave her friend a hug. "Thanks, Jack. 'S lovely."
Making their way into the console room they found the Doctor's gravity defying hair sticking out from underneath the gratings. "That doesn't look like a tune up to me," Rose commented.
He popped his head all the way up and spun around, the sonic held in his mouth. "Uh," he said before stepping out from the hole, removing his device to speak clearly. "Had to fix up the dyromorhic configurator. Was a bit burnt out. All better now. So! Back to the way things were. Well, somewhat. Where to?"
"Cardiff," Jack said.
The Doctor arched an eyebrow. "You sure?" Jack nodded. "Okay then, off we go."
"Before we go," Rose spoke up just as his hand hit the lever. "Can we do something…celebratory?"
A curious look crossed his face. "What'd you have in mind?"
She leaned up to whisper in his ear, making him smile.
Running around the console he gently bumped Jack and Martha out of the way as he flipped a switch. The speakers in the TARDIS began to static until music played. The others laughed when "Time Warp" came on, each of them immediately jumping in with the rhythm. It was always more amusing when there were more people around, especially with this song, and they each moved with ease, acting like complete goofballs. And they had every right to be since the world was back in order.
The four gleefully moved around the console to the song, following every instructional step with a bit of a freestyle mix. At one point the Doctor hauled Rose up in her arms, spinning her around and raising her above his head, still giggling like loons. Once that song ended Jack made a suggestion and set up "Moonlight Serenade" to be played.
Rose laughed as they each switched partners with her being with Jack. "This was our song," she told him as they slowly moved, remembering the Blitz.
"What a night that was," the captain said. "You know, I heard this a bunch of times in the past, during both World Wars."
"I'm so sorry," she said with a frown.
"Hey, it's not your fault, Rose. I told you it's fine. It is what it is. But I will say this much…that song helped me through those tough times. Made me more determined to find you two one day."
She smiled at him and gave him a hug. Even though Jack said he was fine about the whole immortal thing and not being able to die permanently, she might never stop apologizing for it. He never asked for that kind of life and she thrust it upon him. Well, Bad Wolf did, but it was still her. Brushing that off for the moment she and Jack swayed to the music.
On the other side the Doctor was with Martha, who smiled at him as they moved. "I'm a little surprised," she said. "Usually you're always glued to Rose, and you're letting her dance with another man."
"As long as she's not dancing with him, then I'm fine," he said with a chuckle.
"You've always been possessive of her, even in your last body."
"Of course I was. Rarely let Jack around her, honestly."
"You've really changed," she said with a smile.
The Doctor clicked his tongue and winked as a response. Once the song was coming to an end he looked over to the side and saw Jack dip Rose over and give her a kiss. He inwardly scoffed as he let go of Martha to stroll over to the others. Taking Rose's hand in his he twirled her around and dipped her as well, planting an even better kiss to her lips, definitely a more passionate one that made her giggle.
Jack sighed. "So possessive."
Once the four finished their dancing in the console room, the Doctor set the coordinates back to Cardiff. They each stood at the railings at Roald Dahl Plass, observing the pedestrians strolling by.
"Time was, every single one of these people knew your name," Martha said to the Doctor. "Now they've all forgotten you."
"Good," he replied.
"Couldn't imagine you bein' able to blend in anymore if they did," Rose joked.
He snorted. "That's the last thing I need."
"Yeah, Clive would have a field day scouting you out."
"And as you can see he's been unsuccessful since then," the Doctor commented with a smirk. "So I blend in very well with my surroundings, thank you very much."
Rose hummed. "Sure you do…"
He shot her a look and nudged her shoulder. "You're not always so discreet either, missy."
She swatted his arm. "Don't you say that I've been an influence on you for that. That's all you."
The Doctor smirked before kissing the top of her head.
Jack studied them. "Why can't I ever get any of that action?"
"Because you're not blonde," Martha joked.
"Oi!" Rose cried.
Jack chuckled before sighing. "Back to work," he said as he ducked underneath the railing.
"You don't have to," Rose told him. "You can still come with us if you want."
"I really don't mind," the Doctor added.
Jack shrugged. "Thanks for the offer, really. But I had plenty of time to think that past year - the Year That Never Was. And I kept thinking about that team of mine. Like I told Rose - I've got responsibilities now."
The Doctor smirked. "Defending the Earth. Can't argue with that."
He reached out to shake Jack's hand, but rolled up the man's sleeve to expose the vortex manipulator and took out the sonic.
"Hey, I need that!" the captain cried as the Doctor worked on it with the sonic.
"I can't have you walking around with a time travelling teleport," he told him. "You could go anywhere…twice. The second time to apologize." Rose snorted.
"And what about me? Can you fix that? Will I ever be able to die?"
"Nothing I can do," the Doctor said. "You're an impossible thing, Jack."
Jack chuckled. "Been called that before."
"I'm sorry, Jack," Rose told him.
"Hey, stop apologizing for that," Jack told her as he cupped her face. "What you did isn't anything to feel bad about. You loved me enough to bring me back to life. You didn't want me to die, Rose. There's nothing wrong with that. I could never be mad at you. It is what it is, and I'm perfectly fine with that."
Rose have him a tight smile. As much as she regretted throwing such a power onto Jack against his will when she wasn't herself, his assurance was enough to make her better. Jack was a dear friend, and if he said he was fine with what he was granted with, then she'd accept it.
He pulled away to give salutes to them. "Sir," he said with a nod. "Ma'ams." The three of them returned the salutes, a little more simply as Jack turned to leave. He suddenly came to a stop a few steps away and turned back to them. "But I keep wondering," he said. "What about aging? 'Cause I can't die but I keep getting older. The odd little grey hair, you know? What happens if I live for a million years?"
"I really don't know," the Doctor said with a head shake, a faint smile on his face.
Jack nodded with a smile of his own. "Okay, vanity. Sorry."
"And I thought this one was vain," Rose commented, patting the Doctor's arm, earning an eye roll from him.
The captain chuckled. "Yeah, can't help it. Used to be a poster boy when I was a kid back on the Boeshane Pennisula. Tiny little place. I was the first one ever to be signed up for the Time Agency. They were so proud of me. 'The Face of Boe' they called me." The other three widened their eyes. "Hmm…I'll see you."
With that, Jack sprinted away across the plaza, leaving the others staring in shock. "Oh, my God," Rose breathed out.
"It can't be," Martha said.
"No, definitely not," the Doctor denied, dumbstruck. "No, no."
Martha began to laugh and both he and Rose joined her. Then she recalled what the Face of Boe told her back on New New York after he told her to promise she would never give the Doctor: "Thank you, my dear. You're a very good girl, and he is truly grateful to have you. Because know this, Rose Tyler: you are worth fighting for."
She couldn't help but smile even more knowing exactly what Jack would become. He was worried about a few grey hairs, but he didn't know he'd end up being a large face. But he was beautiful all the same. Then something else had occurred to her.
"Hold on," Rose said, nudging the Doctor's ribs. "Doctor, remember we went to that 'End of the World' party when we first met?"
"Of course I do," he said with a smile. "Our very first trip."
"Who put the whole thing together?"
The Doctor's brows hit his hairline as a response.
Rose couldn't help but burst into laughter. "Jack was the one who set up our first date!"
"What?" Martha said, surprised and smiling.
"Oh, that's just…" he trailed off with laughter as well, wrapping an arm around Rose's shoulders. "I told you he was enigmatic!"
Returning to the TARDIS Martha requested that she visit her family. The Doctor nodded and did just that. After hearing the way her mother had been through the phone she knew how her mother would react the moment she would step through their doors.
The TARDIS parked outside of her house, right in the garden. Martha didn't waste any time as she headed for the entrance and made her way inside.
"Mum!" she called.
In came her mother, looking a bit shocked and relieved to see her daughter safe. "Oh, my God," she ran over and immediately pulled her into a hug. "Where were you?"
"Made a quick stop to pick up a package," Martha responded with a smile. "How's everyone? They alright?"
"Even better with you being here," her mother said, pulling back. "Is everything okay with you, sweetheart?"
She nodded. "The Doctor and Rose are doing good now. They've got a lot to deal with, but they're managing. Much like all of us are going to."
From behind Martha's brother and sister came in and immediately started questioning her. Francine watched with a watery smile as her family was back together, safe and sound. After all this time everything was back to the way it should be…with a few major traumatizing events haunting their minds. And through it all her daughter had been out there, roaming the world and was saving it. Hectic as the whole situation had become she couldn't be more proud of her.
Turning away from the touching reunion Francine caught sight of a blue box suddenly parked in her garden. She walked up to the window and moved the curtains aside. There stood the Doctor, still looking younger and wearing a different suit, with his wife Rose by his side, looking healthy. The vision of that same woman surrounded by a golden light came back to her. She had no idea of what any of that was, but it worked and destroyed the monster that ravaged the world.
Francine watched the Doctor wrap an arm around Rose's waist as they both gave her tight, half smiles from where they stood. While she knew those two were dangerous from the very first time she saw them, she couldn't help but thank them for making sure Martha was safe. She may not agree with any of those decisions and plans, but the end was all she cared about.
So for that she offered the couple a tight smile before they returned to their box, and she to her family at the sound of her son's voice. This was a celebration.
It had to have been about an hour spent with her family, but Martha wanted to spend as much time with them as possible before she made her leave. She had already told Rose about it and, while she seemed a bit sad by her decision to leave, she understood her reasoning. The Doctor, she hoped, would have a similar reaction.
Reaching into her pocket Martha held her phone and looked through her contacts. She still had both of their numbers, so should she ever need them for something important she could always ring them up. Then something had occurred to her. Dialing a number she raised the phone to her ear.
"Yeah, could you put me through?" she said to the receptionist who answered. "Hi, I'm looking for a Dr. Thomas Milligan."
"Yeah? Hello?" The man's voice came to her ear and she smiled. Nice to know that man was alive. Maybe she could see that man again. Or…rather he would meet her for the first time considering their first encounter was erased. "Hello?"
Still smiling, Martha snapped her phone shut and entered the TARDIS. Both the Doctor and Rose were seated on the jump seat, the former with his legs propped up on the console as the time rotor blocked their vision. Once she made her way up the ramp did she get their attention.
"Right then!" the Doctor shouted as he peeked around the time rotor before jumping to his feet, moving around the console.
Unlike him Rose remained on the jump seat for another moment before rising slowly, offering Martha a tight smile.
"Off we go!" the Doctor continued. "The open road! There is a burst of starfire right now over the coast of Meta Sigmafolio. Oh, the sky is like oil on water. Fancy a look? Or…back in time. We could…I don't know, Charles II? Henry VIII? I know! What about Agatha Christie? I'd love to meet Agatha Christie! I bet she's brilliant!"
"Doctor," Rose said softly as she came to stand beside him.
His enthusiasm stopped when he glanced over at Martha. She gave him a sad smile. "Okay," he said.
"I…just can't," she told him.
"Yeah," he said with a nod.
"It's just…I spent all these years training to be a doctor," Martha said. "Now I've got people to look after. They saw half the planet slaughtered and they're devastated. I can't leave them."
"We understand, Martha," Rose told her kindly. "Really, they need you in these tough times." She walked over and gave her a tight hug. "We'll miss you."
Martha smiled sadly. "I'm gonna miss you guys, too."
She let go of Rose and turned to the Doctor, who smiled at her. "Thank you," he told her as he gave her a hug of his own. After another moment he pulled back and took a deep breath. "Martha Jones, you saved the world."
Martha smiled. "Yes, I did. You know what? I spent a lot of time with you two, thinking that I was second best, and you know what I realized? I am good."
They both grinned. "You're more than that, you're brilliant," Rose said. "He always takes the best, you know."
"Definitely," the Doctor agreed.
She studied the both of them, noticing how they were masking faint dejection at her decision. As much as she would want nothing more than to continue travelling the stars with her two best friends, she had responsibilities to attend to as well. She had a career to look forward to along with help her family heal from the traumatic events from the Year That Never Was. Much like the Doctor and Rose did. They may have looked perfectly fine, appearing as their normal selves, but their wounds weren't sealed all the way.
"You two gonna be alright?" Martha asked them.
"Yeah," Rose said, looking up at the Doctor as he slung an arm around her shoulders. "Yeah, we will."
"Always," the Doctor said with a nod.
Martha smiled warmly at them, seeing how far they've come—how she's come. When she first met these two strangers who turned out to be an alien and his mostly human girlfriend who seemed to be so much more than that. Now they were her dearest friends who were married and showed her the world, the real one and thousands of others out there. They needed each other more than anything right now. And she'll give them that space to fix their lives while she does the same.
"Right, then," she said, taking a deep breath as she pulled out her phone and gave it to the Doctor. "Keep that. 'Cause I'm not having you two disappear. If that rings - when that rings, you better come running. Got it?"
They both grinned. "Got it," they said in unison.
"Until next time, Martha Jones," the Doctor added.
"I'll see you again, Mr. and Mrs. Smith," she said with a smile. "Or should I say…Mr. and Mrs. 'Tyler'?"
And with one last smile Martha turned away from her friends and their amazing life and walked out of the TARDIS and into the world, ready to fix her own life.
Rose watched as the doors shut and her friend left, ready to show the world just what Martha Jones had to give. To show her brilliance and help others.
"So," she spoke up. "Who will be the next to go?" she said in a dramatic voice.
The Doctor chuckled. "Don't tell me you're having second thoughts about leaving now," he joked.
She placed a hand to her chin, giving a thoughtful expression. "I guess I'll stick around a little longer."
He hummed as he turned her around to face him, his hands rested on her hips. "I should hope so, 'cause it's too late for you to turn back now. Thought you knew that when you agreed to marry me."
She smiled and slid a finger down his chest. "I knew very well what I was getting into." She placed both of her palms over his hearts. "And I wouldn't want it any other way."
"Me too," he said with a low voice before dipping his head down to kiss her soundly.
Of course they would be alright. As long as they had each other, nothing was going to tear them apart. There were still storms coming in the future, there was no denying that. With every perfect clear sky came a raging whirlwind to wreak havoc on their lives. But that was the expectant when it came to them. The universe do its worst and throw their greatest threat at them, but they'll breeze right by it with their heads held high and their hands held together and run. There was a lot to endure now with the newfound pain that came over them, but they were getting better, and they'd continue to heal.
Because they would always be alright.
Breaking their kiss breathlessly, they stood with their foreheads pressed together, each staring into each other's eyes and sending mutual love through their bond. It seemed as of they had stayed that way for a while until the Doctor pulled back to grab the lever to send them into the vortex.
"What d'you reckon?" he asked. "Backwards or forwards?"
"Wherever you want," Rose answered with a smile that mirrored on his face.
With that he pulled the lever…
…and then they were thrown into the jump seat when the TARDIS violently jerked, spinning them around, a siren blaring throughout the room. Rose started feeling all sorts of dizziness as the Doctor held her to keep her from falling to the floor.
He scrambled to his feet and quickly flipped a switch on the console.
"Stop it!" he shouted over the siren. A second later the TARDIS settled, smoke trickling out from the time rotor. He shook his head before turning back to Rose. "You okay?"
Rose nodded with her eyes still closed, feeling a little…off. "Yeah, just gimme a minute for my head to slow down. What happened?"
The Doctor stared at the console. "I dunno. What was all that about, eh? Eh?" He placed a hand on the rotor then checked the controls, working his way around the console. "What's your problem?"
Opening her eyes Rose froze when she saw another man coming around the console in the opposite direction. A familiar one at that.
"Right, just settle down now," the other man said, wearing the cream colored cricket outfit and stick of celery on his lapel. The Doctor's fifth self.
What the hell?
The two men bumped into each other. "Excuse me," her Doctor muttered.
"So sorry," the other Doctor said.
Rose only watched as the two barely looked at each other. "What?" she said.
Both Doctors looked up at the sound of her voice before finally noticing each other with full attention. "What?" her Doctor asked, staring at him.
"What?" the other Doctor demanded.
They moved closer to get a better look. Her Doctor's eyes widened. "What?"
To be continued in Of Cruises and Christmas. (Time Crash/VotD rewrite)
That'll be the Time Crash/Voyage of the Damned rewrite. I think it would be more appropriate to separate that from the series 4 rewrite since…well, you'll see soon enough. Be sure to have me in your alerts so you'll see it ;)
Whew, my brain's fried. Thank you, thank you, thank you lovely viewers! You're all the best motivation for me ;D I've already started doing OCAC and will start posting the first chapter in a matter of days, so be sure to check it out. Hope you enjoyed this wild ride!
Leave a review and take some cookies on the way out for all of your support. Have any questions? Don't hesitate to ask. Send me a PM, I don't bite lol See ya! xD