Impossible Adventures Through Time and Space - A Missing Scene
The TARDIS is humming with contentment. The Doctor is there, where he belongs. And the other Doctor, the one born right here in the console room. He is back. And Rose Tyler is here, as she should be.
And children. Small children who carry within them a familiar spark of the Time Lords of Gallifrey.
The TARDIS has not been this satisfied in a long while. She allows the two Doctors to fuss over her interior systems, tinkering with wires that are functioning perfectly.
Rose's Doctor peers at the computer screen, works out where the TARDIS is taking them. Of course. If there is one breach left, leaving a hole between this world and the other, of course it would be in the same exact spot as before. Honestly, he thinks to himself in annoyance, is the universe - both universes - so much against him that they can't offer the slightest effort to make things easier? He glances at Rose and stays silent, trying to work out an alternative.
He can't think of one. He reaches for the controls instead. "We're not going back to Norway," he says in a low voice. "I won't do that to her."
"It's where the last opening is," the Doctor points out.
"So?" He's not going back to Norway, not stepping foot onto that beach again. He's not going to put Rose through that again. He knows where he wants to go, and he works the controls and lands them right where he wants to land.
"Lovely," Rose's husband says with no small sense of satisfaction. He stands in the doorway, watching his children run outside.
"Oh, good job!" Rose tells him, following Jack and Lily outside.
Both Doctors follow her out. They've landed in a garden. A stone wall surrounds the green grass, and the back of a pretty light blue house is at the front of it. Flowers grow in wild masses by the stone wall and in brightly colored pots around the edges. Two small bicycles are propped up by the side of a small child's cottage, a smaller version of the house.
"We're home," he says unnecessarily.
"It's beautiful," the Doctor says sincerely, looking around. "Do those flowers belong to Rose?"
"Are you kidding? She kills anything she touches. Jackie sends a gardener round to make sure things stay green."
A man's head pops up above the fence. "You're back, then," he says. "We heard all the noise, and I told Maggie it could only mean they Tyler-Smiths are back home."
"Hello, George. How are you?"
Beside George a woman comes up. "You're home!" she says in delight. "And you brought your brother with you! How lovely! How absolutely lovely."
The Doctors exchange a long look and shift uncomfortably.
"Yes. My brother. Doctor, er, Smith."
"How do you do?" The Doctor smiles and raises a hand.
"Goodness, you're as like as two peas in a pod, aren't you? And another doctor, fancy that. Are you staying long?"
"He's just passing through. He travels a lot."
"Enjoy your stay," they tell the Doctor.
"Thank you. I will." They watch the neighbors head inside their house.
"They seem nice."
"They are. Always send cookies round at Christmas."
The children have gone up to a Victorian lamppost, standing at the edge of the lawn. As they come closer it abruptly turns into a blue police box, a copy of the Doctor's own.
The Doctor starts in surprise.
"We grew a TARDIS," he is told, somewhat unnecessarily. "Donna's instructions were spot on."
They stand there, hands in their pockets, legs braced in an identical posture, as they watch the blue police box turn hot pink, then blue again, then pink. Then it changes to a stone angel.
"Oi! No weeping angels!" both Doctors yell out, and the TARDIS obediently returns to a blue police box before finally changing to a red one.
"She's bit temperamental about the chameleon circuit," Rose's Doctor is forced to admit. "But at least she always goes where I want."
"What's it like, living an ordinary life?"
"House and mortgage and doors and carpets?"
Rose's Doctor looks around. Rose and his children are encouraging the TARDIS to show off all of her disguise skills. His mobile phone starts to ring. Above them in the sky, a large spacecraft suddenly appears, sending down a traveling beam. Sirens start to scream off in the distance and a helicopter flies up to the ship, blaring out a warning to stop immediately.
"As ordinary lives go," he says thoughtfully, "this one's not so bad."
"I'm glad of it," the Doctor says.
"Look, Doctor!" Lily calls. They both turn in her direction, in time to see the TARDIS go plaid in pink and purple tones. Just as quickly it changes to a tiny dollhouse.
"Lily-Rose, have you been tinkering again?" Rose demands.
"Why is that happening, then?"
"I think she just likes the design," Lily says innocently.
Rose's Doctor scratches his head. "Lily likes to tinker."
The Doctor has been gazing soberly at their TARDIS. "They're linked to us," he says. "A telepathic bond. What happens..." He can't bring himself to say it.
"What happens when I die?"
He sighs heavily. "Yes."
"When we were growing her we wondered the same thing. Wondered if we ought to do it. You seemed to think we should, so we kept at it."
"I wanted Rose to have whatever she wanted."
"Don't be a daft idiot. She wanted you. To pretend anything else would be an insult. Luckily, she came to her senses pretty quickly."
"About the TARDIS or you?" the Doctor can't help asking.
"Shut up," Rose's Doctor says amiably. "The TARDIS is alive. She's linked to us. I don't think she'll exist as long as the others - I'm not a Time Lord so part of that link is gone. There's Jack and Lily. And their children, in time. I think we'll be all right."
The Doctor nods. "You'll do the right thing."
"Oh, I know it. And there's an Emergency Program in place. If something ever happens..." He pauses and looks straight at the Doctor, his eyes meeting identical eyes and holding the gaze for a long moment. "If something ever happens, I've programmed it. She's to find a breach, a rift, any tiny crack she can, and lock onto your TARDIS."
"You've programmed her to break across dimensions?" The Doctor doesn't know whether to be impressed, amazed or horrified.
"If there's a problem, and if something has happened to me, then Rose and the children will need your help. I don't expect it to ever come to that, but don't be surprised if they ever land on your doorstep. Or if I do."
"That's fine." The Doctor clears his throat. "Or your grandchildren. Or...others. I expect I'll be around for a bit after you've, after you're..."
"Not around?" Rose's Doctor supplies helpfully. "It's all right, we can laugh about it now."
"I didn't trap you here because I thought you were dangerous," the Doctor says suddenly.
"No? That's the reason you gave."
"Well, partly because I thought you were dangerous," the Doctor amends. "You were broken. I knew Rose could help you."
A long pause. "She did. Oh, she did. But that's not why you did it, is it?" He looks closely at the Doctor.
"You know why."
"No, I don't. We don't share the same mind anymore, remember?"
The Doctor winces. "Don't. What an image." He runs his hand through his hair and faces the other head on. "It was chaos after Davros was killed."
"Stop. Just stop right there. It's me you're talking to, not one of these impressionable humans. You could have left me anywhere. Rose would have stayed with you."
"Rose is human."
"She didn't care."
"I did! She was young, she didn't understand. I thought this would be easier for her."
"It wasn't easy. It was worth it, but it wasn't easy. This? A home and a family, chasing down aliens before dinner each night? Harder than anything I've ever done."
"I gave her to you. Be grateful."
"I am. Now it's time for you to forgive yourself. You did the best you could do. We all know that."
"I know." And he does. For the first time, the Doctor really does know. Rose Tyler and the Doctor - a part of him, anyway - living on, day after day.
"You can remember that. After we're gone. That we had a life, that we had children who go on after us."
The Doctor grins. He can't help it. "Good." He glances up at the sky, which is growing darker with approaching zeppelins. "Do you, er, need some assistance?"
Rose's Doctor looks up at the sky. "Huh. Might be a standard traffic stop."
"Traffic stop? Standard?"
"Zeppelin drivers are very impatient."
The Doctor waits.
"Yes, I suppose a giant spaceship is not, strictly speaking, a good sign."
"I'm thinking Racnoss. Or Sycorax."
"Or something else entirely. Something new."
They stare at each other for a manic minute, starting to grin like mad idiots, and they're about to run out of the garden when Rose's voice stops them.
"Is that ship supposed to be up there?" she asks. "Or did it follow us through the breach?"
The Doctors wheel around to stare at her, then turn back to stare at the sky.
"The breach," the Doctor repeats absently. "Of course."
"Of course?" Rose says in surprise. "It needs to be closed off, doesn't it?"
She doesn't quite understand the look of regret that flashes across the Doctor's features. She does understand the same look when she sees it on her husband's face.
"Were you going to include me?" she asks in amusement. "Or were you going to run out there and save the world on your own?"
"On our own," they assure her in unison.
"We still could," Rose's Doctor says hopefully.
"We could," he agrees. "But if the breach closes up without me I'll be trapped here. And if it stays open other things might come through and the universes won't be able to repair themselves."
Rose smiles sadly. "One last impossible adventure."
"Would have been brilliant," he agrees.
Rose tries to answer, but her throat is suddenly thick with tears.
"We'll be all right," her husband says for her. "If Torchwood's not there already, they will be. We're remarkably efficient for being a government agency."
"Aliens happen a lot here?"
"Oh, yes. They love it on Earth. Love it. Treat it like it's a holiday spot."
"Not all of them," Rose amends, now able to speak.
"I'd better be going." The Doctor nods to his human self, hands shoved deep in his pockets. "Once the breach is closed you can be assured any aliens coming through belong to your universe."
Rose manages to smile. The Doctor is standing before them, his TARDIS visible - to them - behind him. It's an odd reenactment of that last day on Bad Wolf Bay.
"Thank you, Doctor," Rose says. "For...you know."
"I do know." He frames her face in his hands and smiles down at her. "I want you to be happy, Rose. Raise your children and fight aliens and have the most fantastic life you possibly can."
"I want you to be happy," she tells him. "Have adventures and save the world and make friends - lots and lots of friends. Don't travel alone. Remember me. Not too much - just sometimes."
He laughs softly. "Oh, Rose. How can I forget you? You changed my life the moment I met you, and I will always remember you."
He looks over at her husband. "Goodbye, then." It's harder than he thought it would be, saying goodbye to both of them. For a brief moment he had found a brother, and now he is losing him again. Losing everyone he had thought of as his family.
"Take care." They do not clasp hands or hug, but everything that needs to be said is said as their eyes meet for a long moment.
At the last moment Rose moves back to him and kisses him, a long, hard kiss that leaves him gaping at her.
She grins at him. "That was me, not Cassandra or anyone else. Just me kissing you."
"Yes. Well. Thank you." He clears his throat, then reaches for her and kisses her back. "That was me," he tells her. "Just me."
"Goodbye," she whispers.
The TARDIS vanishes, leaving them alone in their garden with their children.
"Just you and me now," he remarks.
"Just you and me," she agrees.
"Too late for any regrets."
"Stop that. I have no regrets. Why? Do you?"
"Never." He pats his pockets and pulls out his mobile phone. It's still ringing. He hands it to Rose, who switches it off. After the phone comes his key ring. Rose takes that as well. He finally finds what he's looking for and pulls it out with a triumphant "Ha!"
"What is that?" she asks suspiciously.
"I stole the sonic screwdriver," he says, without the slightest hint of shame or embarrassment.
"I'm never going to get a proper one built here. The materials aren't right. He can get one as easy as he pleases."
"You just stole it?"
"Right out of his coat," he says cheerfully.
The back door to the house opens up. "Rose! Doctor! Oh, my loves, you're home!" Jackie is scooping the children into her arms.
"How did she know? How did your mother possibly know we were home?"
"You see that big ship in the sky, don't you?" Jackie asks. "What are you waiting for?"
They exchange a look and laugh, and then he grabs her hand.
"Let's run, Rose Tyler."
In the console room of the TARDIS, the Doctor stands alone, hands braced against the jumpseat. He's all right this time. Not filled with pain over losing Rose at Torchwood Tower. Not devastated because he's left her behind again with himself and now he must lose Donna.
This time he simply is. Rose and the Doctor are where they ought to be, and the Doctor is where he ought to be.
"Just you and me," he tells his TARDIS, patting the controls affectionately. As if in response, a light blinks off and on, a light that should not be blinking at all.
"What's the matter?" he asks her, getting down and peering at the light. "Had enough of traveling for a bit?"
The breaches are all closed off and he has time enough to do what he pleases. He heads for the time vortex. Once he's there he looks at the light again. Still blinking.
"We'll take care of you," he says out loud. "Gone through all the troubles in the universe, haven't we? A blinking light is nothing to worry about, is it?"
The TARDIS hums in response. Another light goes out. The Doctor reaches for his pocket, finds it empty. "Hang on," he tells the TARDIS, and goes to the rail where his coat is hanging. His pockets are not, strictly speaking, empty, but they are empty of one item.
His sonic screwdriver is gone.
Standing there, hands in pockets, deep in thought, he runs over his last few conversations with him. The Doctor comes to the only conclusion he can.
"My screwdriver! He stole my sonic screwdriver!"
He could swear that the TARDIS is laughing.