Author's Note: (This story assumes that Jack is still traveling with the 10th Doctor and Rose after the Game Station.)


He was a tall man of average height.

It was funny that that was the first thing Rose though when she saw him standing outside the Tardis, because they were parked in 21st Century London, but he was dressed in a green frock coat, waistcoat and cravat, with a pair of soft grey trousers that did wonders for his legs.

The Doctor must have popped back to the Victorian Era and picked someone up, she thought. Typical, that was just like him. Pick some poor guy up out of his time then abandon him as soon as he landed. No doubt he was off somewhere having a nose round, or something had caught his eye.

"Hello, I'm Rose." She shifted the grocery sack to one arm and held out her hand. The man straightened up away from the Tardis. Yes, he really was a tall man of average height, he stood tall, and held himself well, and was beautifully proportioned. It was only when she saw someone taller pass behind him on the busy London street that she was reminded he wasn't actually as tall as he looked. He was yummy though, with sleepy seductive eyes and soft wavy brown curls.

His sleepy eyes widened alertly at her introduction and he gave her the most beautifully winsome grin. His hand engulfed hers and she felt a shock of awareness shoot up her arm. Oh yeah. Eat your heart out Jack, I saw him first!

"Sorry if you've been left standing," she slipped her key in the lock. "I'll just drop these off and we'll go find the Doctor. No doubt he's around here someplace."

"No doubt he is."

Rose entered the Tardis, the strange man right behind her.

"Jack! I'm back!" she yelled. No response. "Huh. He must have gone with the Doctor." she dropped the grocery bags by one of the supports and turned. "How long have you ... Whoa!"

The Tardis tilted, one edge lifting over, then the other, in the opposite direction. Rose staggered and fell. "What was that?!"

The stranger was standing braced, one hand gripping the console, his nicely muscular legs flexing like a sailor at sea as the Tardis kept tipping back and forth. He was frantically working the controls.

"Hey! You better not do that!" Rose protested. Just as he thumped the console in a jarringly familiar manner.

"I can't dematerialize, they've slapped a dimensional inhibitor on us!"

Rose's eyes widened. She ignored her first thought and moved on to the second. "Who did?"

With entirely too much familiarity, the green-coated man slid the scanner screen around and flicked it on.

A wide, hairy, brutish face looked out.

"Ugh! What is that?"

"An Ogron."

"It looks like a gorilla."

"Mercenary primate species."

"And they're, what ...?" The rhythmic back and forth lurching of the Tardis gave her the clue.

"Oh you can't be serious. They're stealing the Tardis? Carrying it off right in the middle of London! Won't anybody notice?"

"They're using perception filters." He flicked long agile fingers through the sensor controls. He skipped a half step sideways and did something to the next panel.

There was a crackle and a loud spark from outside. Rose saw a brief web of blue electricity flash across the scanner screen. The Ogron snarled and jumped, and the Tardis hit the ground with a crash.

"Ouch!" Rose rolled sideways and cupped the knee the grating had rammed into.

"Are you all right?" he asked, bent over the controls.

The Tardis shifted again and the floor heaved up. The Ogron's face, and the hairy edge of his partner, reappeared in the scanner screen.

"It wasn't enough. They'll be taking us to their bosses." He stepped back from the console and slipped his hands in his pockets, effortlessly balancing on the heaving deckplates, glaring pensively at the scanner where the Ogrons grunted their way along, carrying them into an alley.

Rose was getting a very bad feeling about this. It wasn't the Ogrons, she was used to aliens by now. No, it was the man. That entirely too familiar man, standing there in that entirely too familiar pose, his coat shoved back as he stood with his hands in his pockets glaring at the aliens.

"Who are you?" she asked, almost inaudibly.

He turned to her and smiled a gentle smile. "I think you know."

She shook her head. "How? What happened? I only went out to get milk! What could have caused you to regenerate?" she crawled up onto her knees, facing him.

"I didn't regenerate."

"Where's Jack?" she looked around frantically, wondering what had happened to the third member of their party.

"I don't know who Jack is."

Her eyes widened. "How could you forget Jack? Nobody forgets Jack.

"Did you hit your head? Is this some post-regeneration trauma? Right, we've got to ditch these Ogron things and get back and find Jack. He'll know what happened." She shoved herself unsteadily to her feet.

The floor abruptly stabilized and she had a suddenly weightless feeling. Her feet floated up a few inches off the floor, her hair spreading out like a nimbus, like she was underwater.

"Now what?"

"Transfer beam. I assumed their ship would be close. The Ogrons are the least of our worries. They're just foot soldiers, muscle for hire. We're about to meet their employers."