Wolf Signal

Chapter Eighteen: Old Tricks to New Starts

by Lumendea

Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who.

AN: I'm hoping to finally start working on a sequel to this fanfiction. Let me know what you think.

The metal didn't budge an inch as the Doctor's hand collided sharply on the inside of the vault door. He groaned loudly, flinching as he pulled his hand back and shook it. Frowning, he kicked lightly at the door only to jump back a bit with yet another grimace. His brown eyes were shimmering with anger, resignation, irritation and nervousness, but he kept them focused on the door. He studied it for a moment before sighing at the lack of mechanisms that he could access. Everything was controlled from the outside.

A soft chuckle from behind him reminded the Doctor of the real problem. He was locked in Torchwood's vault which lacked a way to get out. Bit foolish really and he'd have words with Jack about that once he did get out. No the real problem was that Rose was behind him, leaning lazily against one side of the vault.

"I always figured Jack would lock us in a room together someday," she remarked in far too calm a voice.

"Trickery!" the Doctor shouted at the door, banging his hand on it again for good measure. "And using Jenny to do it!" he muttered as he stepped back from the door, glaring at it.

"I doubt he had to twist her arm," Rose told him and she sat down on the floor and leaned back against the wall. "We made it easy on them. Jenny lures Daddy out of the TARDIS to show him some cool Torchwood toy and Jack wants my opinion on a device, next thing you know the door is shut and we're locked into a room filled with Torchwood's little treasures." She shook her head and laughed, letting her body relax against the wall. "Simplistic yet elegant using our weaknesses against us. I'm almost impressed."

"Sonic screwdriver," the Doctor told her with a sharp look as he began to dig around in his pockets. "You haven't forgotten that?!"

"No on forgets the sonic screwdriver," Rose replied with a soft smile that made his two heart jump in his chest. "But I doubt Jack would lock you in here with it, too easy and he is very aware of you can do with the sonic screwdriver." Rose chuckled and closed her eyes for a moment. "Goodness knows you had quite a sonic device contest when you first met. No, I bet that he warned Jenny about it and she took it off of you."

The Doctor frowned as he dug into his pockets and twisted his body in order to reach through the extra large dimensional pockets. His fingers brushed over the random little items that he collected along the way, but there was no sonic screwdriver. He huffed and straightened up as Rose gave him a knowing look.

"Oh we can get out of here in no time even without my sonic screwdriver," the Doctor said pulling on his glasses/ "All sorts of alien technology in here."

"Anything that will open the door and not kill us?"

The Doctor examined the various gadgets with a thoughtful look. Rose was silent as she watched him pick up and study a few little things. She recognized a Ragil curling iron, a Prgit memo pad and a Bogeta camera amongst the items.

"Doctor, do remember that they will probably let us out in less time than it would take you to build something new out of whatever that junk is. They didn't give us any food or water and Jack won't risk hurting us. Plus if you mess with these items Jack will probably make you fix them or build Torchwood something."

"What Jack wants isn't that," the Doctor muttered without looking at her as he dropped the curling iron back onto the shelf.

"Sit down and we'll wait it out," Rose offered as she patted a patch of floor next to her. "Jenny will get bored waiting for us. Your daughter doesn't exactly have a lot of patience."

"We could always snog," the Doctor said, his face brightening. "They'd probably let us out after that."

Rose gave him a look and raised her eyebrow at him, a small smile playing at the edges of her lips.

"Oh..." the Doctor breathed, swallowing thickly. "I said that out loud didn't I?"

Rose nodded and her smile escaped her control, blossoming into a full grin right before she started to giggle. The Doctor grinned widely at her before he walked over and plopped onto the ground next to her. Tucking his hands behind his head, he leaned back against the wall. They were so close and for a moment he struggled to breath. It was almost natural, for a moment he could almost convince himself that no time had gone past. They were on New Earth lying in apple grass. He wanted to say something, but watched Rose giggle until she recovered herself.

"I should be very worried about Jack teaching Jenny these kinds of tricks," the Doctor said to hold off the awkward silence that he was sure would start any moment.

"She's her father's daughter," Rose informed him with another soft chuckle. "I doubt she needed a lot of help. God knows Donna never did, John spent half of her childhood getting that girl out of trouble. Nothing major of course, she had a good heart, but almost no self-control." Rose's smile dropped away and she turned thoughtful. She closed her eyes and breathed out before she said, "I know you're not John, Doctor."

"I know that."

"Intellectually you do," Rose replied in a soft voice as she opened her eyes and looked up at the ceiling, "But emotionally you don't really believe that. There is a difference between the two and it means everything in how life is lived and things are decided. You know that I'm aware of you not sharing the history I did with John, you accept this as true fact in your head, but the other part of you doubts it, that part that you have spent almost a thousand years keeping on a tight leash."

She turned her head to look at him and examine him carefully. The look in her eyes was so different than anything he'd ever seen before. It was Rose, the same warm brown eyes that made him feel so much better than he was, but there was experience in them that spoke of so much more. It was more than the experience she'd gained in the TARDIS, more than the wisdom her rough life on the estate had imparted and more than her years trying to get back to him had pushed on her. She was still Rose, but for the first time he really felt the reality that she was so much more than that.

"You asked me to help him when you left us at Bad Wolf Bay," Rose said softly pulling his attention back to what she was saying. "It took time and patience for both of us. He had to both intellectually and emotionally accept that I really was happy there with him and could let go of my life with you." Rose paused and took a breath before she added, "Part of me would really like to pretend we can just pick back up again and maybe even fulfill all that potential that we always had between us, but we can't."

The Doctor opened his mouth to start to object without really thinking about it, but Rose raised a hand to his mouth. Her fingers brushed his lips and his hearts jumped again.

"We can't," She repeated firmly and she lowered her hand, "And it would come out badly if we tried despite what Jenny and Jack would like to think. We don't really know each other right now, you are different from John, but I'd have a hard time defining those differences and understanding them if we tried to start a romantic relationship now."

"So," the Doctor almost stuttered, "I'll head off then, you'll talk to Jenny-"

"We don't have to go that far," Rose told him gently. "If you'd like a friend to travel with, someone who can handle it and handle you I certainly wouldn't mind doing coming for the ride." She shifted her hand over to his. "I've still got a good hand to hold."

"So friends then."

"Friends for now," Rose told him, "When the time is right we'll get there again, but that time isn't now."

"Wisdom," The Doctor breathed as he shook his head, "Rose Tyler, wonder of the universe."

"Well experience either kills you or makes you wise."

"So now we just have to wait for Jenny and Jack to let us out of here and then I'll start teaching Jenny to fly the TARDIS," the Doctor said jumping to his feet. His smile was smaller, but more natural now. "This is going to be fantastic."

He held out his hand for Rose's after a moment of hesitation, hoping that she'd meant what she'd said. Without any hesitation on her part, Rose smiled at him and slipped her hand into his. Their fingers twisted into that oh so familiar placement and he helped her to her feet. They smiled at each other for a long moment, just before the door opened and revealed Jack who sighed dramatically.

"I was really hoping to get something more interesting on the audio than you two talking," Jack muttered, but he had a warm smile on his face and was looking at them both with shining eyes.

"Please tell you didn't," the Doctor groaned, but he shook his head, "Never mind you did, just tell me Jenny wasn't listening for the same noises you were."

"No kid wants to listen in on their parents Doctor, Jenny included," Jack said as he looked at the two of them and sighed. "Well the classic locked in the room plan didn't work like I thought it would, but I suppose Rose leaving with you is step one."

"Yep!" The Doctor cheered with a grin just before he pulled Rose from the room and toward the TARDIS. "Jenny! Get into the TARDIS and don't forget my sonic screwdriver!"

Jenny jumped up from Jack's desk and ran into the main room. She stopped long enough to hug Martha and Jack before stepping into the TARDIS. Jack laughed as he heard Jenny shout from the inside, "I know you told me, but I still can't quite believe it. It really is bigger on the inside."

"Yes yes," The Doctor said quickly with a hint of urgency. "Shut the door and I'll start teaching you to fly her."

The door slid shut quickly and the TARDIS dematerialized a moment later leaving the staff of Torchwood standing alone. Jack laughed at the abrupt departure and glanced towards Mickey who was smiling fondly at the spot the TARDIS had been. They exchanged a look as Mickey wrapped an arm around Martha.

Meanwhile, Rose Tyler backed away from the console to lean against the railings as the Doctor took his daughter's hands and placed them gently on certain controls. His focus was on Jenny and the controls and the girl was completely focused on the instructions she was being given. Rose tightened her grip on the rail as the TARDIS jerked as Jenny turned a lever too fast. The Doctor quickly corrected it and helped ease the girl's hands back into the proper positions. Jenny grinned widely as the Doctor slowly took his hands off of hers and pointed to the make instrument she needed to use.

Then the Doctor looked over to Rose. Her smile was soft, full of a warm affection for both himself and Jenny, but different than one's he had seen before. He didn't know that smile yet, didn't understand what it meant or what she was thinking when she smiled it. Still, he had time to learn all that he reminded himself. A sharp cry from Jenny made him return his attention to his daughter and tell her about compensating for time distortions in the vortex. Jack had remarked about him having a family with Rose and Jenny, but there was a lot of work to do, both as a teacher and a student. He need to teach Jenny what being a Time Lady really meant, and he had to relearn Rose Tyler all over again if he was going to get that family. It sounded like a great adventure and there was no time like the present.