Author's Note:This story follows directly after Not Alone, but you can probably read it on it's own. Here's a quick sum up: The Doctor found Rose in Pete's Universe after she had been there for eight years, and was able to bring her back to his, but the TARDIS was pretty badly damaged in the crossing. Jonathan is their eight year old son, who is basically a mini-Doctor. If you want to know any more details about Jonathan, I suggest you read Not Alone.
Most of the dialogue is taken from the Children in Need Special Time Crash, which I found to be hysterically funny. I just added Rose and Jonathan into the mix, baked at 365 degrees for a hour, and this is what resulted.
"How long will we be in Cardiff?" Rose asked, shifting around in her seat until Jonathan's head was in a more comfortable position on her lap. Her fingers gently stroked his hair, smoothing it down from its usual peaks.
The Doctor turned from the main console of the TARDIS and smiled down at her.
"A day or two. I want to make sure the TARDIS gets a good long refill. That hole in the universes gave her quite a beating. I'm going to put down the shields so I can repair a few circuits, and then we can stop by to refuel."
"What are we going to do in Cardiff for all that time? I would rather not pull Jonathan into any trouble if at all possible." She reconsidered that statement for a moment, her head cocked to one side.
"Not right away, anyways," she amended.
"Not everywhere I take you ends up in trouble!" the Doctor protested, but he smiled as he said it. "Besides, there's an old friend I want to drop in on while we are there."
Rose opened her mouth to reply, but before she could, lights started flashing, and a warning bell went off. Jonathan awoke with a start.
He sat up and rubbed his eyes sleepily.
As soon as his head was off her lap, Rose leapt up to see if she could help.
Smoke began to pour from the top of the console, and the whole floor shook. Rose clung on for dear life, hoping she wouldn't fall over. Nothing ever changed on the TARDIS, she though warily.
The shaking stopped abruptly.
"What was all that about, eh?" the Doctor asked, gently stroking a piece of the TARDIS console. "What's your problem now?" He moved around the side of the console, pressing buttons as he went.
Rose looked over the screen carefully, but could find nothing. Absently, she too moved around the console, checking screens. She didn't realize until too late that there were another pair of hands on the keyboard. She bumped into another figure moving around the console.
"Sorry, Doctor," she said absently, and then stopped. She stared at the person in front of her in amazement.
He was not as tall as the Doctor, and dressed in a tan cricket outfit with red lining. He wore a hat of the same tan colour with a red stripe around the brim. On his lapel was pinned, inexplicably, a stick of celery.
The Doctor raced around the other side and skidded to a halt beside Rose. His eyes were as big as dinner plates and his face was all shock.
"What?" he demanded.
"What?!" the other man asked.
"What?!?" Rose chimed in.
For a second, everyone was silent, staring at each other in total surprise. Rose was the first one to recover herself.
"Is that who I think it is?" she asked cautiously.
"Who are you?" the man in the cricket outfit said.
"Oh Brilliant!" the Doctor exclaimed. "Totally wrong, of course, but still. Impossible things seem to be my trade. Happen to me all the time, especially lately. Not that I'm complaining. Still, big emergency, universe goes bang in about five minutes, but totally brilliant!" He broke out in a huge, excited smile.
"Doctor, what's going on?" Rose asked, turning towards him.
"I'm the Doctor," said the man in the cricket outfit, "Who are you?"
"Yes you are," the Doctor replied, his grin growing, "You are the Doctor!"
"Do you know this person?" Rose asked again.
"Yes, I am the Doctor"
"Oh, good for you, Doctor! Good for Brilliant old you"
Rose stared at the Doctor. She had never seen him like this, especially when the TARDIS looked to be in trouble.
"Is there something wrong with you, young lady?" the strange man in the cricket outfit asked, glaring at Rose.
"Oooo, there it goes, the frowny face!" the Doctor interrupted, grinning again. He grabbed the man's cheeks and pinched them. "I remember that one. Mind you, a bit saggier than it ought to be, hair's a bit grayer. That's cos of me, though. The two of us together has shorted out the time differential. Should all snap back in place when we get you home. You'll be able to close that coat again. Never mind that! Look at you, the hat, the coat, the crickety- cricket stuff, the stick of celery…. It's a brave choice, celery. But to be fair to you, not a lot of men can carry off a decorative vegetable."
"Is that who I think it is?" Rose repeated, a grin already beginning to come over her face at the realization.
"Yup!" said the Doctor. "He's Five, I'm Ten."
"I can't believe this is happening!" Rose said, barely able to contain her laughter. This was the Doctor, five regenerations ago. "I can't believe it. You look like a mad footballer who fell into the grocery aisle in the supermarket!"
"Oy!" the Tenth Doctor complained.
"Shut up!" the Fifth Doctor snapped, whipping his hat off and putting it on the console. "There is something very wrong with my TARDIS, and I've got to do something about it very, very quickly. And it would help, it really would help if there wasn't some skinny idiot and a crazy girl ranting in my face about every single thing that happens to be in front of them!"
"Oh, ok, sorry. Doctor," Rose said, emphasizing the last word.
"Thank you," he turned again to face the console, frantically pushing buttons with a familiar randomness.
"Oh, the back of our head!" the Tenth Doctor exclaimed, as soon as he caught sight of it. Rose shot him an incredulous look. She had almost forgotten how rude he was in this regeneration.
"What?!" the Fifth Doctor whipped around to glare once again at his tenth regeneration. They stood almost nose to nose.
The Tenth Doctor didn't seem at all sorry that he had broken his previous incarnation's concentration.
"Sorry, sorry," he apologized insincerely. "It's not something you see every day, is it? Back of your own head. Mind you, I can see why you wear a hat. I don't mean to seem vain, but could you keep that on?"
Ignoring the previous remark, the Fifth Doctor took a moment to look around himself.
"What have you done to my TARDIS? You've changed the desktop theme haven't you?" he demanded. "What's this one, coral? It's worse than the leopard skin."
Rose, who had been listening to the conversation with increasing amusement, choked in her attempt to stifle her laughter.
"Leopard?" she mouthed to the Tenth Doctor.
"What can I say? I have a weakness for the eighties?" The Tenth Doctor said with a shrug.
"Yeah, I can see that," Rose remarked with a cheeky grin.
The Tenth Doctor laughed, and pulled her close to him, kissing the top her of head affectionately.
The Fifth Doctor gave a growl of frustration and pulled out a pair of glasses, which he shoved onto his nose.
The Tenth Doctor broke away from Rose excitedly.
"Oh!! Now they come, the brainy specs! You don't even need them. You just think they make you look a bit clever!"
Rose almost doubled up with laughter. She had always wondered about the Doctor's glasses. He didn't seem to have needed them in his previous black leather- wearing incarnation, but he used them all the time in this one.
An alarm sounded, and she straightened up, the situation turning serious. Uneasily, she looked around for Jonathan, who was being unnervingly quiet. Her son was sitting in the captain seat, his head cocked to one side as if he was thinking very seriously about something, his gaze fixed on the Fifth Doctor.
"That's an alert. Level five, indicating a total collision. It's like two TARDISes have merged, but there's definitely only one TARDIS." The Fifth Doctor said, his fingers flying over the console.
"Imagine that," Rose said, raising her eyebrow.
"Please keep your sarcastic comments to yourself, young lady. I am trying to prevent an utter disaster from occurring. It's like there are two time zones at war in the heart of the TARDIS. That's a paradox. Could blow a hole in the space/time continuum the size of… "
Rose tipped the screen towards the Fifth Doctor, showing him what the glowing Gallifreyan letters said.
"Well, actually, the exact size of Belgium. That's a bit dramatic, isn't it? Belgium?" in spite of the urgency of the situation, Rose smiled. In some things, the Doctor never changed.
The Tenth Doctor took out the sonic screwdriver from the inner pocket of his jacket.
"Need this?" he offered.
"Nah, I'm fine." The Fifth Doctor hardly looked up from his calculations.
"Oh no, of course. You mostly went hands free didn't you? Like 'hey, I'm the Doctor, I can save the universe using a kettle and some string, and look at me I am wearing a vegetable.'" said the Tenth Doctor, a slight tone of mocking in his voice.
Rose couldn't imagine the Doctor without his sonic screwdriver. But then, this Doctor was still very different from hers.
The Fifth Doctor came around to face the Tenth, scrutinizing him intensely.
"Who are you?" he asked, peering into the Tenth Doctor's face.
"Take a look," replied the Tenth Doctor.
"Oh. Oh no," understanding came into the Fifth Doctor's face.
" You're.. oh no,"
"Here it comes. Yeah, yeah, I am. "
"A fan!" the Fifth Doctor exclaimed, turning away with slight disgust.
"Yup… what?" the grin fell off the Tenth Doctor's face, and Rose struggled once again to contain her laughter.
Another alarm sounded on the other side of the control room. The Fifth Doctor moved back over to the screen.
"Doctor?" Rose called. Both Doctors looked at her. "Two minutes to Belgium"
"This is bad, this is really bad," the Fifth Doctor said, brushing past her.
"What do you mean, a fan? I'm not just a fan, I'm you!" the Tenth Doctor said, trailing after his younger counterpart.
The Fifth Doctor stopped moving, and faced him again.
"Ok, you're my biggest fan. Look, it's perfectly understandable. I go zooming around space and time saving planets, fighting monsters, and being, well, let's be honest, pretty sort of marvelous."
The Tenth Doctor nodded his head modestly, a cocky smile flitting over his face to indicate that he did think he was really sort of marvelous.
"So naturally now and then people notice me." The Fifth Doctor continued. "Start up their little groups- that LINDA lot. Are you one of them?" he peered at the Tenth Doctor suspiciously.
The Tenth Doctor looked annoyed, but didn't have time to answer, as the Fifth Doctor cut him off.
"How did you get in here? Can't have you lot knowing where I live."
Rose stood still, savoring the moment when the Doctor was made speechless by himself. The only other person who could keep up with one of his arguments, she thought to herself with a grin.
"Listen to me, I'm you." The Tenth Doctor was saying, still trying to convince his other self of the truth. "I'm you with a new face. Check out this bone structure, Doctor, cos one day you're going to be shaving it."
Deep in the TARDIS, a deep gong-like sound echoed.
"The cloister bell!" gasped the Fifth Doctor. "In a few minutes we're going to be in a black hole strong enough to swallow the entire universe!"
"Yeah, that's my fault actually," said the Tenth Doctor, rubbing the back of his head guiltily. "I was repairing the TARDIS and forgot to put the shields back up. Your TARDIS and my TARDIS – well, the same TARDIS – crashed into its own time stream and collided. Oops, there you go. End of the universe, butterfingers."
Jonathan, who had been sitting quiet all this time, had sat up suddenly at the sound of the cloister bell. Now, he ran over to the console and began to turn leavers and switches.
"Jonathan, what're you doing!?" the Tenth Doctor yelled.
"Don't worry, Dad. I know exactly how this all works out. Watch."
He had that determined look on his small face, like he did right before he did something brilliant, and Rose knew better than to interfere, even though the eight-year-old was playing with some very delicate alien technology.
"Thermo- buffer venting. Thermo-regulator tipped, and- Jonathan, are you sure you know what you're doing? You're frying the Psyton crystals!" the Tenth Doctor, peered over his son's shoulder.
The Fifth Doctor grabbed Jonathan's hands, holding him back.
"What are you doing, little boy?! You'll blow up the TARDIS!"
"It's the only way; you've got to let me!" Jonathan said, wrenching his hands away from the Fifth Doctor's grasp. As soon as his hands were free, he was once again pushing buttons.
Everything began to shake, and there was a blinding flash of light. Impulsively, Rose reached out and grabbed the Tenth Doctor's hand. The light subsided, leaving everything the way it was.
"Supernova and black hole at the exact same instant," said the Fifth Doctor in amazement.
"Explosion cancels out implosion," continued the Tenth Doctor
"Matter remains constant" finished the Fifth Doctor.
Both were looking in wonder at the boy between them
"Brilliant!" grinned the Tenth Doctor, beaming at Jonathan. Jonathan turned to his father and hugged him tightly.
"I told you it would work!" he said.
Rose breathed a sigh of relief.
"Far too brilliant! I've never met anyone else who could fly the TARDIS like that," Cut in the Fifth Doctor suspiciously.
"Well, now you have, sort of," the Tenth Doctor said airily, moving around the console checking things. "By the way, Jonathan, how did you do that?"
"I remembered," he answered.
"How's that?" Rose asked, thinking perhaps she hadn't heard her son clearly.
"I remembered what to do. A few weeks ago, before Dad came, someone who looked just like this guy," he pointed to the Fifth Doctor, "showed up at my school and told me what to do. He said I would need it when the cloister bell went off, so I knew when I saw him that I should be listening for it. So when it went off, I did it."
"How many times have I told you not to talk to strangers," Rose admonished, but she gave Jonathan a hug. She was so proud of him.
"So, you remembered, because I'm going to go and tell you?" the Fifth Doctor asked.
The Tenth Doctor had a giant smile on his face.
"Wibbly-wobbly…" he started.
"Timely- wimey!" Both Doctors finished off together.
The Tenth Doctor held his hand up for a high five. The Fifth Doctor looked confused, but Jonathan, seeing his opportunity, jumped up and hit the larger hand.
The Doctor caught Jonathan up around the middle and swung him around, making the boy laugh delightedly.
"So, who are these people again?" the Fifth Doctor asked, "I didn't think I'd live to see the day that I go all domestic and bring a child with me. It's really not safe you know, considering the amount of trouble I seem to constantly be getting myself in. Unless you're different?"
The Tenth Doctor put Jonathan down and scratched the back of his head guiltily.
"No, no different. Still get into lots of trouble. I didn't think I'd go domestic either. But this kid," here he ruffled Jonathan's hair, "happens to be mine, so I couldn't very well leave him behind, now could I?"
"Yours?" the Fifth Doctor asked his eyes wide. "What do you mean yours?"
"Best not to tell him too much about his present, Doctor." Rose said, cutting the Tenth Doctor off just as his mouth opened to speak. He shut his mouth with a snap. Coming up beside her, he put his arm around her shoulders. She leaned in closer, enjoying the feeling of being in his arms, as novel as it still was.
"Oh," said the Fifth Doctor. "I see. What is your name, young lady?"
"Rose," she said.
"Well, Rose, I am very glad to meet you, and I will be sure to look out for you in times to come, because I see that you will become very important to me when I am him." He jerked his thumb towards the Tenth Doctor.
Another alarm blared.
"TARDISes are separating. Sorry Doctor! Time's up, back to long ago." The Tenth Doctor said, pushing buttons.
"Good bye, young sir," the Fifth Doctor said to Jonathan, who grinned and waved back. "And to you, Rose. I look forward to meeting you again."
Rose smiled, and hugged the Fifth Doctor, being sure not to crush his stick of celery.
At first, he was surprised, and stiffened, but after a moment he relaxed, and gently patted her on the back. Pulling away, she kissed his cheek.
"Until we meet again, Doctor," she said softly.
The Fifth Doctor's face reddened, and he patted her shoulder awkwardly.
"Where are you now?" the Tenth Doctor interrupted. "Nyssa and Tegan? Cybermen and Mara and Time Lords in funny hats and the Master? Oh, he just showed up again. Same as ever."
"Oh, really? Does he still have that rubbish beard?"
"No, no beard this time. Well, a wife. That was unexpected. Mind you, I'm not really one to talk," The Tenth Doctor smiled down on Rose.
The Fifth Doctor began to fade.
"Oh. I seem to be off. What can I say? Thank you, Jonathan and Rose. It was a pleasure to meet you. And thank you, Doctor."
"Thank you," responded the Tenth Doctor.
"I'm very welcome," the Fifth Doctor replied, cheekily, before fading altogether.
The Tenth Doctor caught sight of a tan hat with a red band around it still sitting on the console, he pushed a couple of buttons, and the Fifth Doctor appeared again. The Tenth Doctor handed him his hat.
"You know," he said, contemplatively, "I loved being you. Back when I first started at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, like you do when you're young. And then I was you. And I was all dashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I shouted. I still do that - the voice thing. I got that from you."
The Fifth Doctor put his tan hat back on.
"Oh, and the trainers"
The Tenth Doctor swung his leg up onto the consol to show off his bright red Chucks.
"And," he whipped out his glasses, his brainy specs and shoved them onto his nose.
"Snap!" he exclaimed, "Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor. And Rose?" Rose moved into his arms once again. "She's the light of my life. I spent my whole life up to her wandering around from companion to companion, not quite knowing what I was doing. And then there was her, and she was so amazing. And she blazed like the sun, like some time goddess, and she was radiant. And then I spent a whole year without her and something inside me died. So I guess what I'm trying to say is… when she says no, don't take her first answer."
"I never ask again," said the Fifth Doctor, frowning.
"I know. But this time, do it. You will not regret it. I never have. She gave me everything, and then she gave me Jonathan. It will be worth it."
The Fifth Doctor smiled and nodded, and then tipped his hat.
"To days to come," he said.
"All my love to long ago,"
The Fifth Doctor totally faded out, but not before a voice drifted around the control room.
"Take care of them, Doctor. Oh, and remember to turn your shields up!"
For a moment there was utter silence as all three remaining occupants of the TARDIS tried to absorb what had just happened.
"Was that really you, Dad?" Jonathan asked, breaking the stillness.
"Yep!" the only remaining Doctor replied. "That was me, a long time ago. So, where were we? Cardiff?"
He began to move around the console once again.
Rose went over and pushed a large blue button.
"You forgot to put the shields up, like he told you to," she said, making a face at him.
"I don't have to do everything I tell myself to do," the Doctor replied.
Rose noticed that he still had his black rimmed specs perched on his nose.
"Brainy specs?" she asked.
The Doctor's answer was drowned out by Rose's laughter.