As I am a professional writer and have work to do to get paid, I have decided to deal with these thudding plot bunnies in the traditional manner - I will inflict them on others. Please see my Profile for the Challenges of the Month. July Challenges are now available, and what a twist for one of them. If you'd rather do June's, instead, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks to all those who have participated thus far - we had an exceptional turn out for June II for example. The new challenges will run through the end of July. Please let me know when you respond to a Challenge so I can read and review.

ZephyrFox's challenge for July II asked for a meeting between two specific Doctors and two specific companions. A specified companion is to know more about what's going on than either Doctor. The companions are to get along famously, which, for at least one of the Doctors, is terrifying. Also, a little angsting and some UST were requested. Or, I can have the UST resolved. As if that wouldn't make matters worse...

Thanks, Zephyr, LOVE the challenge. For some reason, it loves me too. Therefore, it has become its own separate fic, with actual chapters. And it keeps GROWING! Fantastic, yeah?

Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. However, I do not guarantee this to be a permanent condition.

Double Crossing

Prologue: Un-Conventional

"I know what I'm doing. I've been to one of these things before, you know."

Rose bounced on her toes and grinned up at the Doctor. "Have you? When was it? Where? Oh, tell me, tell me!"

She was too excited by half, in the Doctor's enlightened opinion.

"Erm... I... huh." He scratched at the back of his head. "Can't remember," he said, after a moment's blissful scalp-rubbing slash cogitation. "But I'm sure I'll be fine." Then, his brain pointed out that Rose had legs and they were fully visible to the naked eye for once, which was decidedly odd. "What are you wearing?" he asked with some surprise.

Rose twirled, letting her adorably designed blue mini-dress show that, among other things, dark stockings with lines up the back had a very interesting effect on the Doctor's blood pressure. He ignored it, wrote it off as nerves about the mission they'd agreed to undertake.

"It's absolutely perfect, Doctor. The TARDIS made it for me. She got it exactly right, it looks just like it did on tele."

"OK, so who are you supposed to be, then?" he wondered.

"I'm Nurse Chapel," she said with a little scoff. "You remember, the blonde who was in love with the alien."

"Oh," he said.

She was out the door while the possibilities of that phrase went skittering through his head. He shoved them aside and went to the console to recheck his figures, hoping against hope that maybe this was the wrong place and they really didn't need to go in here. Sadly, the TARDIS had landed exactly where and when she was supposed to be. The signal petered out right about here.

Rose came bounding back in. "Come on, Doctor, before I change my mind and make you come as Q."

"Who's Q, then?" the Doctor asked. Still, he followed in her giddy wake because, he didn't care who Q was, really, he wasn't wearing the bloke's clothes.

"You never even saw the show, even once, did you?" she asked, pityingly.

"I did, too," he answered indignantly. "I didn't have anything else to do in the Eighties. Well, except deal with a weekly invasion, but those weren't on the same nights as Star Trek reruns. I don't remember a single 'Q'. I remember the guy with the ears, who you're apparently obsessed with. You do know his blood's green, right?"

"Shut it," Rose said, grinning cheekily, with her tongue poking through her teeth. "He's a fictional character, I'm not obsessed with him."

"I seem to recall, and I quote, 'Give me some Spock for once, show me some Spock.'"

"Well, you could," she agreed, and gestured at his coat pocket, where the sonic screwdriver was located. "You know, scan for aliens or something."

"At a place like this?" the Doctor demanded. "I'm closer to human than that lot."

He gestured at a group of large warriors all dressed in leather and metal. They were wandering through the parking deck toward the same hotel Rose and the Doctor were approaching. The Doctor was floored as he heard them talking. "It's a... oh, blimey." He turned to Rose, feeling completely frantic, then back to the alien whatever they weres, then back to her. He jerked his hands through his hair. "I don't know that language!" he exclaimed.

Rose put a comforting hand on his arm. "It's all right, Doctor," she soothed.

"No it is not!" he shot back. "They are speaking a language on planet Earth that I do not know. Me. I know..."

"Five billion languages, yeah," she said calmingly. "That's Klingonese."

"Why don't I know it?" he demanded, though Rose certainly couldn't know how he had missed some obscure dialect, even if she seemed to be able to identify it.

"It's fiction, too, Doctor," she comforted him. "They're wearing make-up. Most likely, they're as human as I am."

He took a deep, steadying breath. A new language... "Possibly," he agreed. He also, mentally, added learning Klingonese to his to-do list for this ridiculous excursion.

They had been roped into this when King Chishees of Mdrestry informed the Doctor that he was going to have to invade the Earth. Chishees had actually placed a courtesy call to the TARDIS to let the Doctor know. Rose had been caught between giggles and horror, the Doctor remembered that, clearly. Turned out the king's son and heir apparent had stolen a Vortex hopper and legged it. His trail led to Earth and the king had exhausted all other avenues to get the kid back.

The Doctor had offered to bring the prince back. Chishees had generously given him ten days and the brat's last known location. In order to prevent the invasion, the Doctor had to find the prince and bring him back unharmed. Easy enough, they'd thought.

That was before the trail led here, to what turned out to be the biggest convocation of aliens and people who wanted to be aliens on the whole planet, a Star Trek convention at the end of the twentieth century. The Doctor was appalled, floored, flummoxed, and generally did not know what to do.

Rose, however, turned out to be a Trekkie from way back. Now, the Doctor couldn't decide if this was good or bad. He resigned himself, therefore, to taking it one item at a time. Rose at least had a clue, good. There was very little chance of always being able to tell a real alien from a fake one, bad. Rose could talk to these people, good. The Doctor was used to doing the talking, bad. The prince's race were very distinctive in the rest of the galaxy, good. They looked just like humans, only with pointed ears, bad, bad bad. Rose looked good in that dress... um.

The score was still out on that bit.

The Doctor flashed the psychic paper at the entrance and he and Rose were admitted immediately, with a grin from the alien at the door. The Doctor peered at the paper, hoping it hadn't listed him as Bill Shatner or something.

It hadn't. That was a relief. Mind, he wasn't sure whether "Federation Ambassador" was good or not. Rose grinned and shrugged when he asked.

He held her hand and gingerly followed the crowd toward the main convention hall. There were several chattering Klingon things in front of him, so he listened intently, to try to get a jist of what they were saying, when he was interrupted by a sudden, annoying tingling in the back of his skull.

He looked around sharply. There, at the hotel desk. He rolled his eyes and turned to Rose, pulling her away from the crowd and behind a large bit of decorative plastic that was apparently meant to be a plant. Bugger, bugger, bugger. "Rose, remember when I told you I'd been to one of these things before?"

"Yeah," she agreed. "But you said you couldn't remember."

"I just did," he said, with a sigh. "It's this one."

"What?" she demanded. "Where?" Her eyes darted every which way, as if trying to catch a glimpse of pin stripes, or possibly leather, in the crowd around them.

The Doctor shook his head. "Here are the rules. Absolutely no mention of the Time War or the Daleks is to cross your lips. Understand?"

"Yes," she agreed. "But can't we just..."

"Do not under any circumstances refer to me as the Last of the Time Lords."

"I don't," she said. "That's all you. Can't we..."

"And do not ask his companion for her real name, as I'm rather fond of you and want to keep you around."

Rose's eyes went huge. "OK," she said slowly. "But why don't we just avoid you?" she added.

The Doctor stared at her in surprise, then looked at the huge crowd around them. "Good idea," he said. "Let's try it."

"Excuse me," said a vaguely Scottish voice behind him, "what do you think you're doing here?"

"Or not," the Doctor said.

"How're ya gonna explain that, then?" Rose asked, cheekily. "Do lots of planets have a Scotland?"

The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Rude," he chided, and turned to say hello to yesterday.