Heh. Is anyone still reading this after all this time? No. Does anyone need to now that we've had an official Rose return? No. Will I finish this anyway? Yes. Eventually. head/desk I'm sorry.
Missing Factor ('New' Rose aka Grace and 'Original' Doctor - London of 'Original' Universe)
"Grace," The Doctor repeated forcefully, "what did you do?"
Grace lay back on her forearms, eyelids flickering as though suffering from a migraine, and shook her head at his question, intrusive upon her pained state.
"What are you talking about?" she groaned.
"You just disintegrated that thing like it was—just like Rose." The words were enunciated cleanly and sharply, angrily.
"What are you talking about?" Grace was clearly feeling too drained to want to bother with his queries that, to her, were nonsense. Rubbing one eye, she groaned again. "Did I faint?"
Regarding her suspiciously for a moment, The Doctor conceded that she was being truthful in her amnesia, and pulled her to her feet, where she wobbled unsteadily for a moment before getting her balance. "I think I should get you home."
"I'm tired," Grace murmured as they set off, "I'm tired and I haven't eaten much today. I should eat something."
The flat's front door wasn't even fully opened before Grace was lunging for the two-person dining table and battered chairs not too far away. "Could you get me some aspirin?" she breathed, rubbing her temples. "It's in the cupboard above the cooker."
The Doctor was left to close the door behind him and seek out the medicine.
"Here you go," he said cheerfully, holding out a glass of water and two painkillers. They were accepted gratefully and he flopped into the free chair.
As Grace drained the glass, leaving him at a loose end for just a moment, he looked around for something to occupy his mind. There were some sheets of A4 paper off to one side of the table top, a couple bearing photocopied physics exercises and the rest covered in draft and neat copies of the mathematical answers. Interested, he picked them up and began to look them over.
"Oh," he frowned. "This is wrong."
"What?" Grace squinted at him through the remains of her headache and sounded rather downtrodden. The Doctor, however, didn't notice. Instead, he was becoming increasingly engrossed in the calculations, sitting up straighter and staring more closely at the blue inked scribbles. At last, he met her gaze with one of pure amazement.
"How do you know about dark leptons?"
It was becoming her token reaction of the evening, and Grace didn't like it, but she said it anyway. "What?"
"This Feynman diagram," he indicated, sliding a sheet towards her. "The result you've drawn balances out if you know that the interaction uses a dark lepton. No scientist on Earth has discovered those yet. It's still an invisible part of the equation, but you know about it. How?"
The homework's author picked it up, frowning at it. "Wait, no. It's just wrong. I've drawn too many quarks." She reached for a rubber to correct her mistake but The Doctor grabbed her wrist forcefully, drawing a sharp and slightly frightened look from her.
Grace shook her head. "Are you a physicist? Is that why you're called 'The Doctor'?"
Her question was ignored. Instead, the intense gaze that glittered in the lamplight and scrutinised every inch of her being through her eyes lingered for a moment longer before being swiftly cut off. The Doctor slowly stood.
"Are you up to going back out?" he asked, hands in his pockets.
Grace blinked slowly, taking stock of her health. "I feel better," she said, nodding.
"Good," he replied, and a grin spread across his face.
Some minutes later, Grace's expression was becoming increasingly perplexed as she approached the TARDIS, The Doctor already there and waiting at the door.
"What's a…Police Box?" she asked, looking the unfamiliar construction over.
"They used to have them for direct phone lines to the police," The Doctor replied, gesturing to the box as he leaned against it. "Don't need them now – mobile phones and all that. Haven't you seen any of the old ones around the city?"
"'Never really thought about it."
The Doctor's face screwed up in disgust. "Doesn't anyone have any curiosity anymore? I'm beginning to wonder if I should even show you."
"Show me what?" Grace was suddenly indignant, and in response, The Doctor only grinned, excitement visibly building inside of him.
"This!" He pushed the door open and stepped back to let her see inside.
Grace's jaw dropped.
"What the hell?!"
"Isn't it brilliant?" He followed her as she absently wandered inside, awestruck, staring around at the impossibly cavernous interior. Coming to the circular walkway at the centre, she turned slowly, almost stumbling as she continued to look everywhere except where she was going, and then fixed her host with an amazed stare.
"How on earth…?"
The Doctor's excitement calmed and he lifted his chin slightly. "You tell me."
"Tell you? How am I supposed to tell you? As far as I'm concerned, this is impossible!"
He moved closer, wearing that same expression he'd had when they'd first met, the one that mixed curiosity with suspicion in equal measures. Gently, he took her hand and placed it on the transparent shielding of the time rotor.
"Do you feel that?"
Grace didn't answer, too unsettled and staring up at him timidly.
"Do you feel that tingling?" he asked, his hand still on hers upon the shielding. "This is the TARDIS, a time ship, and that tingling, going right up your arm, is Time and Universe, all wrapped up and flowing through this ship. And you can feel it."
"It's just static electricity," she countered, shaking her head and pulling her hand away.
"You can feel it because it's in you too."
"Don't be ridiculous!" Grace laughed uncomfortably, turning away.
"I know what you are, Grace."
"I'm a student. Just a student. A student with a pathetic, empty life, with no friends and no social life and no particular interest in anything, letting herself get drawn in to the ramblings of some charismatic psycho because she's desperate for something different. That's all!" With those final words and a forceful sweep of her arm, the girl stalked through the doorway and off down the street.
Staring after her for a moment, incensed, The Doctor frowned. Then, he ran after her. "Grace! Wait! Come back!"
She didn't listen, instead breaking into a run as she heard his hurried footsteps approaching from behind, and The Doctor was forced to speed up similarly, still calling her. Still, she didn't listen, just forcing herself onwards. She wiped away a few tears as she ran.
He caught up to her on the canal bridge and he stretched forwards, straining to catch her arm. "Grace, wait!"
She stopped suddenly, shaking him off and turning towards him with an air between anger and fatigue. From out of the pub on the other side of the street, where the road came back to land and an old milepost declared it three miles to London, a curious figure emerged.
"Leave me alone!" Grace cried, " Just leave me alone!"
He didn't, though, grabbing her elbow and holding her in place. "I know what you are."
"Rose Tyler – the real Rose Tyler—" The Doctor began, but Grace cut him off, screeching almost hysterically.
"I'm Rose Tyler!"
"No you're not!" The Doctor argued, shaking her arm and shouting over her protestations. "The real Rose Tyler is in a parallel world, an alternate reality. But four years ago she looked into the Time Vortex, which no human should ever do, and I think it left its mark on her. I think there was a tiny trace of it left in her, and I think that trace is now causing an imbalance. There's too much Vortex in her parallel world and not enough in this one, and I think you were created to fill that void."
Grace was staring at him, shaking her head in disbelief and denial and praying for him to just leave her alone.
The figure on the other side of the bridge stood and watched.
"Grace," The Doctor pressed, urgency in his voice, "how did you celebrate your eighteenth birthday?"
"What's the scariest or most painful moment that you'll never forget from your childhood? What was your first kiss like?"
"What the hell are you going on about?" Grace wrenched her arm free and shoved at him pathetically as tears began to stream freely down her face.
"You don't know do you?"
"Just leave me alone!"
"You don't know! The memories aren't there. There are facts, figures, events, but they're not memories. Your whole life prior to the last three years is just a list of dealings that you weren't there for, like you've memorised the biography of somebody else. Last year, you remember. The year before that, and the year before that, it's all real to you, but everything else is just one big history lesson. You're not real, Grace!"
Grace screamed - screamed and buried her face in her hands, shaking, and The Doctor stood before her with no sympathy in his expression.
"Rose?" Grace and The Doctor looked up to see Ben jogging towards them, concerned and confused. "Rose, what's going on?"
"Nothing." She backed away as he reached for her, shaking her head and quickly wiping her cheeks with her sleeve. "It's fine. Thank you." The Doctor, meanwhile, clutched at his hair and turned to face the canal, aggravated.
Ben looked between the two, clearly perturbed. "Are you sure you're all right?" he asked Grace. "I was in the pub," he explained, pointing. "I saw you arguing."
Making only very quick, cursory gestures of eye contact, Grace shook her head again. "It's fine, really. It's just…a thing."
"Look," Ben started. "We've got that test on Monday. A few of us are revising in the pub. You're really good at e-mag, why don't you come and help us? I'll buy you a drink…"
She looked at him, then, surprised. There was a quick glance towards The Doctor, who was watching her intently, and then she looked back to her classmate and shook her head. "I really think I should go home," she said, smiling weakly. "Thanks, though. Another time."
She turned, wrapping her arms around herself, and walked quickly away down the street towards home. The Doctor looked at Ben, silently apologising, and then set off in the opposite direction.