A mix of genuine and purely speculative spoilers for the end of Series 4 prompts the Doctor to take some drastic action.

Disclaimer: Surprise, surprise, I don't own Doctor Who. Nor do I get anything from writing these stories--except wonderful, constructive reviews! Wink, wink; nudge, nudge ;)

Warning: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! (Duh, didn't you read the summary?)


Jackie Tyler dropped her daughter's tray of baby food when she heard it. She didn't bother to clean up the mess, but snatched the little girl out of her high chair and raced outside of the mansion. There it was, the TARDIS! And out through its doors raced a daft alien in a pinstriped suit.

"Jackie!" he shouted, tearing across the lawn. "Jackie, is she here?" he asked, coming to a stop in front of her.

"No, she's at work!" she said, snagging him in a one-armed hug, balancing her daughter on her hip. "Ya took you're time, didn't ya?"

"And now I haven't got any time, Jackie," he said, pulling away. "Listen, this entire universe is going to collapse. If you want to live, get into the TARDIS so we can head back to your home universe."

"But, Pete, Rose, and Mickey're all at work!"

"We're going to get them, but we need to leave now."

"But what about everyone else? The whole universe? Really?"

"Yes," he said, directing her towards the waiting TARDIS, explaining as they walked, "but it's really just a plot device, so I'm not all that concerned about everyone else right now."

"Plot what?" asked Jackie.

"Never mind," said the Doctor, ushering her up the ramp and into the console room. "You said they're at work; will they all be together?"

"I dunno, I could call, I s'pose," Jackie volunteered, propping her daughter up in the captain's chair beside her, and pulling out her mobile.

"Yes, do that," said the Doctor, running around the console, preparing for the next trip. "Cute kid, by the way."

"Susie," Jackie informed him, listening for Pete to pick up. The Doctor looked up at that, but her attention was on the phone. "Pete, it's me. No, we're fine, but it's a bit of an emergency. Anyway, the Doctor says so. Yeah, he's here, an' he says we've gotta leave right now, so he needs to know where you all are." The Doctor had done all the preparation he could without knowing their precise location, so he waited nervously while Jackie listened. "Okay, won't be a mo', least I hope so, love you." She closed and pocketed her phone.

"Well?" asked the Doctor.

"Says they're all in a meeting on the top floor of the Torchwood tower." The Doctor turned back to the console, throwing the last few levers. "Ya know where that is?" she asked.

"Oh, yes," said the Doctor, activating the TARDIS.

Susie started to cry when the time rotor came to life, but Jackie picked her up, holding her close against the Doctor's unorthodox driving.

The TARDIS soon stilled, and the Doctor raced out of the front doors, Jackie and Susie following more slowly. Jackie's exit was blocked by the Doctor stumbling back into the doorway, nearly tackled by her older daughter. Pete and Mickey waited just outside in the meeting room, with numerous onlookers just standing at their seats.

The Doctor didn't try to extract himself from Rose's hug, but called over her shoulder, "Pete, Mickey, so nice to see you, now all aboard if you want to live!" He managed to shuffle aside for them to enter, then snapped his fingers, closing the doors.

Rose finally lifted her head to look at the Doctor. "It's really you!" she said, sliding down to rest her feet on the floor, still holding him tightly.

"It's really me, it's really you!" he answered her with a smile, reluctantly pulling away and leading her by the hand to the console. He paused, just long enough to look at his new passengers and give them a brief rundown. "This universe is about to collapse. Your one and only hope is to come with me, right now, back to your home universe. Well, not home for Pete and little Susie, but this is your one chance, your one choice. Everyone ready?"

Everyone nodded, Pete holding Jackie and Susie close to him, Mickey holding tightly to the railing surrounding the console, Rose squeezing the Doctor's hand.

"This trip may be a little rough," the Doctor said, activating the controls.


To be continued.