This is one of the pieces I did in the throes of my fits over Journey's End. I just found it and thought I'd post it. No, I still only come to terms with it some times...
He's spent the day doing things he doesn't want to do, now, so the Doctor believes it best to just finish it off before he can't do it any more. Three buttons, a lever, and a raindrop, and the TARDIS is materializing in Cardiff and Cardiff honestly hurts.
Of all the places in all of time and space that had to go and somehow become theirs, it just had to be bloody Cardiff.
Jack lets himself in with his key. The Doctor stares at the console and tries to convince himself that the old philosophers were right, and that he is the only thing that exists. It never works, but today he's done some beautiful impressions of believing it.
"Donna?" Jack asks softly, refusing to ignore or be ignored.
The Doctor shakes his head. "Forgotten," he admits. He doesn't want to talk any more about it, because there are at least three minds going in his head on the subject, four if you count the one that just wants to shake Sylvia Noble.
"And the rest of it?" Jack prods, because Jack has lived too long and learned to know too much.
"He'll live a reasonable facsimile of a normal life. His time line stabilized the second we dropped through the Void. I don't pretend to understand it and I know he's got no idea what was going on, but he'll figure it out eventually. They'll be safe there, and that's all I can really ask for."
"Did you ever figure out who she is?"
The Doctor shrugs, all the confession of uncertainty he is going to give. "A Rose Tyler," he says, as though something so rare and precious as Rose Tyler can be made to come in family-sized, economy packaging for mass distribution. Everyone wants a Rose, after all, wouldn't be fair if supply were limited.
It's not true, not really, that last thought. No one actually wants an entire, complete Rose Tyler, except the Doctor himself. Jack wants a carefree and friendly Rose, or a powerful and able to undo what she did Rose. Jackie Tyler wants a Rose who is... just not Rose. Even the Other wants a fantastic Rose, but with some of the more 'Don't you even think about trying to leave me behind again' bits left out.
"How do you know she wasn't the Rose, Doc, instead of just aRose?" Jack demands. "Not to put too fine a point on it, but you're not exactly known for thinking clearly where she's concerned."
"My Rose can build a time machine with mirrors, now, Jack. That lovely woman, who looks, acts, and is very much like her, could not. There are little things, Jack - just tiny things. That Rose is more suited to staying with Jackie Tyler."
"Fine then," says Jack, grudgingly. "So what happened to the real Rose, then?"
The Doctor sighs and sits down in the jump seat. "It all goes back to Satellite Five, Jack. Everything happened there. No one who survived that place was the same when they left as when they arrived. I died and became me, but that's not all. Rose made me a god for a second - a Time Lord with absolute power, even I can't really be trusted with it. It had to kill me because a Time Lord body will assimilate anything that improves itself. The only way to stop my own genetics from trying to make me a god permanently was to regenerate."
"Ah. Always wondered why it managed to kill you and not an ordinary human. Seems to me to be the sort of thing that would annoy you - a lot!"
The Doctor smiles, finally, not so much a happy smile as a "this is normal" smile. Jack is not hitting him, Jack is acting like the Doctor prefers him to act - distant but curious. Things are as fine as they're going to get. "You know what happened to you, of course - became a fixed point in time and space. And Rose... it took me losing her to figure out what she did to herself, and I'm still not certain. I know now that she travels in time. Not quite sure about the rest."
"How in hell...?"
"Do I know?" the Doctor wonders, watching Jack pace agitatedly and wondering how to begin to explain this bit. "The second I became aware of the other two - the Doctor Donna and... hum, can I call him the Doctor Too? I think I'll call him that."
"He's yourclone. Call him George if it suits you," Jack grumbles.
The Doctor shakes his head. "No, he'd be Fred. George loses body parts. Fred dies."
Jack, who obviously still hasn't gotten around to reading the Harry Potternovels, stares at the Doctor as if he's done something completely normal and therefore utterly unbelievable. The Doctor smirks while Jack sputters, and almost thinks about offering the older man a drink.
Funny things, role reversals. Jack's always going to be lots of those at once.
"What I mean is, Time Lords mind link, and I've been craving the contact since the Time War. Closest thing I had to it, I had to fight off constantly for a year, as you unfortunately remember." He paused. "Are you sure you won't let me..."
"Stop changing the subject." Jack's grim tone is as close to an order as he'll attempt with the Doctor.
The Doctor resigns himself to seeing this to the end. "I picked everything I needed out of the new Doctors' brains while they were otherwise occupied with being knocked down by Davros. That includes Donna's memories - he had them, even the ones about what happened in the world where I... um... never met Donna." The Doctor pauses for long moments to really think about that world.
After Bad Wolf Bay that first time, he was dying inside and had wanted to finish dying the rest of the way as well. Only Donna's timely intervention and the desire to save her made it possible for him to do anything that didn't involve standing there and watching the water rise. That was before he'd realized what's really going on with his Rose, before it all came to him in a flash of horrifying insight.
"Someone had to cross the time lines to get Pete there in the right time and the right place to save her," the Doctor says. "And it wasn't me. I can't, once I'm part of events. And you don't even want to know every very impossible thing she had to do to fix that one universe before we could save all of them. And then, just to warn me, to assure me that everything was true, happening, and needed me immediately, she jerked her very visible power out of the closet and bent time and space to cover everything- including the TARDIS, which she cannot possibly have altered - with 'Bad Wolf'."
"But you're absolutely certain?"
"Yes," the Doctor insists. "Rose Tyler is still out here somewhere. And I'll find her - if she lets me."
"What about the other two?"
"They believe they're who they are," the Doctor says. "They'll have each other. They'll have Jackie and she'll have them. They'll all be fine."
"What?" the Doctor asks, crossly. He's not in the mood for humor, not at all.
"What happens if the other two decide they're going to come after you for making their decisions for them?" he asks.
The Doctor decides he will never, ever, everthink of that.
"They could be your arch-enemies," Jack adds, and starts to laugh.