Title: Seeking Relief
Author: RamblingRose / irishlullaby
Beta: crimedoc1 on LJ
Rated: R-ish overall
Genre: Romance, Alternate Universe
Warnings: contains semi-graphic sex.
Pairings: Nine/Rose, Jack/Ianto
Summary: Frustrated beyond belief that they can't get any time alone with their young daughter on board the TARDIS, the Doctor and Rose go for a holiday. Naturally they leave her with her Uncle Jack, but will they get the relief they are seeking?
AU: Written for Isabelle, who won me in the April Support Stacie Auction (which btw… is time for the September Auction so please go help lend a hand!!! I am putting myself up for auction again as well. See my profile for details if you are interested in putting yourself on auction or want to see how to bid on some of your favourite authors.)
"What about us?" Rose asked, tearing her gaze from the green particles clinging to her hand. She shook her hand as if to try and dislodge them and then removed the 3D glasses. "Won't we get sucked in too?" She turned toward the Doctor's leather jacketed frame.
The Doctor's hands dropped from their mad scientist pose in front of the white wall. His blue eyes saddened as he stared at her, before hardening into an unreadable mask. Then suddenly his face broke into a broad grin and a mischievous glimmer lit up his ancient gaze. He dashed past her; grabbing her hand as he went to the magna-clamps he had yanked from the middle of a Dalek and Cyberman battle several floors below. "Nope," he said proudly, using his free hand to pick up one of the clamps. "I have these. And you, Rose Tyler, will be tucked away safe with your mum and dad in the other world."
Rose's head jerked back in surprise, a frown appearing on her face. He searched her face, although she had no idea what he was looking for.
"Isn't that what you've always wanted, Rose?" he asked gently. "A good life with your mum and dad… Pete's rich, he can look after both of you the way your real dad always wanted…"
Shaking her head, Rose stammered "N… No…" She stopped and glared at him. "No," she repeated decisively. They had been through so much together… Zombies in Cardiff, reapers, his near death just this Christmas past, the Sycorax, cat nuns, werewolves, Sarah Jane, scribble monsters… He couldn't possibly be suggesting sending her away now. "I…" she felt her eyes sting with the beginnings of tears as she searched his face for any indication that this was a cruel joke or a test of her vow to stay by his side forever.
"Rose…" Jackie said.
She continued shaking her head. "No… I made my choice long ago, Doctor… I'm never going to leave you." For a moment she thought she saw the ghost of a smile cross the Doctor's lips. She looked at her mum and tightened her grip on the Doctor's hand. "Mum… He hasn't got anyone. You've got Dad and Mickey…" she looked up at the Doctor then back to her mum. "He needs me… So he doesn't have to fight to protect this universe all alone…"
"If you think for one minute…" Jackie protested.
Rose squeeze her eyes shut and snapped, "Mum. Shut up and listen for once." Jackie's mouth dropped open in shock the same time the Doctor's did. "Mum, I don't say this often but… You were right. One day, I'll be on an alien planet and I won't be Rose Tyler anymore." She slowly entwined her fingers with the Doctor's as she shifted to stand beside him. "Only… this Earth is the alien planet. For me, the TARDIS is home." She opened and closed her mouth a few times and felt the Doctor's hand squeeze hers reassuringly. "And…" she swallowed hard. "And I don't know that the Rose Tyler you know and remember ever really existed."
"She's your mother, Rose," the Doctor murmured. Jackie's eyes lit up with sudden hope as she looked at the Doctor, silently pleading for him to convince her daughter to come where it was safe. "If you stay with me, you'll never be able to see her again. The walls between the universes will be firmly closed."
"Never?" Rose asked softly, as if realising for the first time precisely what her choice meant. She looked at her mum, and then over at her dad, hovering next to Mickey with his hands in the pockets of his designer suit, his eyes fixed on his polished shoes. Taking a deep breath, Rose reached out with her free hand and clasped her mum's shoulder. "You'll have Dad and Mickey," she said once more. "You'll all have the life you deserved. Besides, how will you go about explaining a fully grown daughter when Dad's bloody famous?" Jackie opened her mouth to object, but Rose shook her head. "I'd rather you go and start a new and better life, Mum… Where you can gaze up at the stars every night and know that, somewhere on the other side of the Void, I'm there. Alive and safe. Protecting the universe by the Doctor's side."
Suddenly, Jackie flung her arms around Rose's neck, hugging her tightly. "I love you," Jackie whispered. "Take good care of him…" She pulled back and glared at the Doctor. "And you…"
"Please don't kiss me again," the Doctor said flatly. Rose half smiled as she remembered the Doctor's shudders of revulsion at the flat earlier that day when her mum had grabbed him for a joyous hug and kiss upon arrival. Instead of a repeat of her earlier embrace, Jackie just hugged him around the waist and rubbed her cheek against the scratchy material of his jumper. The Doctor released Rose's hand to return the embrace and stroked Jackie's hair soothingly. "I'll take good care of her for you, Jackie. You have my word."
"You best do," Jackie said sternly. She pulled away and gave them her best smile, the one Rose recognised as the one her mum used when she was trying to convince everyone she was happy when really she was dying inside. "The Doctor and Rose Tyler, in the TARDIS. Just promise me one thing. If any grandkids come along you'll try to get me pictures!"
Rose felt her face burn. "Mum!"
"We're not…" both Rose and the Doctor said in unison. Jackie puffed out a breath and rolled her eyes as they both trailed off and looked away.
"I'm only going because I know you wouldn't have it any other way," Jackie huffed. "He's made you as stubborn as he is. He's done you good, Rose…"
Rose put on her best smile and slid an arm around the Doctor's waist as Pete looped the big yellow button around Jackie's neck. Rose waved goodbye and then, in a flash, her mum, Pete, and Mickey were gone. She stared at the empty space for a long moment, tears stinging her eyes. Then, squaring her shoulders and taking a deep breath, Rose nodded firmly. "Right then," she said, pulling away from the Doctor. "Let's get these robots sorted."
She looked at the Doctor. He was watching her with a blank expression on his face. Suddenly he shook his head to clear it and a bright grin lit up his face. "Fantastic!"
Jack ran full tilt towards Canary Wharf, ducking and weaving to avoid the creatures zipping through the air. It had to be them, it could only be them. No one at Torchwood One was clever enough to deal with both Cybermen and Daleks at the same time.
He finally made it to the building and rushed into the first lift he could find, hoping he would reach the top floor in time. When the doors slid open, he was greeted by a deathly silence and an empty corridor. No sounds of exterminating Daleks, no angry stomps of Cybermen. Nothing.
Suddenly, the silence was punctured by a startled shout. "Rose!"
Jack raced down the corridor towards the sound of the Northern voice he still heard in his dreams. At the end of the hallway, a set of doors appeared to have been blown off their hinges. He clambered over debris into the room beyond and he screeched to a halt as he saw the Doctor frantically untangling himself from a rope tied about his waist and hurling himself across the room to the limp form of Rose Tyler.
His heart froze as he watched the Doctor pull Rose into his arms, fighting one-handed to release her from another rope tied around her waist. "You stupid, stupid little ape," the Doctor said, his voice heavy with emotion as he stroked Rose's face.
"Oww…" Rose groaned. "My head… What happened?"
"Your hands slipped off the lever," the Doctor said gently as he helped Rose sit up. He took her face in his hands. "When the breach closed, you flew right into the wall when you reached the end of the rope. I thought I had lost you…" He kissed her forehead. "You stupid --" he kissed her nose "-- stupid --" one cheek "-- brave --" her other cheek "-- little ape."
Rose yelped in surprise when the Doctor pressed his lips to hers and he pulled back with a jerk, as if he had been burnt. Jack watched as she searched his face for a moment before diving forward to return the kiss.
Jack simply watched them for a long moment, a smile on his face. It seemed as if the Doctor and Rose had finally managed to stop dancing around their feelings for one another. Rose's fingers danced over the leather of the Doctor's jacket as she brought her arms around his shoulders and then ran her fingers through his cropped hair and Jack head the Doctor moan softly. He looked down at his feet, feeling his face grow warm. Perhaps it would be best if he just found the TARDIS and waited there for them.
He took a few steps back but, just as he reached the door, his foot came down on a pane of glass that snapped loudly under his boot. Instantly, the Doctor spun around, placing Rose protectively behind him, and was brandishing the sonic screwdriver like a weapon.
Rose peered out from behind the Doctor's shoulder. She tilted her head curiously and recognition filled her eyes. "Jack?" she asked, stunned, as the Doctor lowered the screwdriver.
"Captain," the Doctor said gravely, climbing to his feet and pulling Rose with him.
Jack quickly snapped to attention. "Doctor," he said, saluting. He let his hand drop as Rose darted around the Doctor, a bright smile on her face. "Rose," he said, and before he could stop himself, he was moving towards her and she was moving towards him. He swept her into a crushing hug as they met, swinging her around joyously as she squealed his name with glee.
He only allowed himself to enjoy the feel of her warm, pliant body against his for a moment, lowering her to her feet when he caught the look of betrayal on the Doctor's face. Holding Rose at arm's length, Jack grinned. "Look at you! The last time I saw you, you were barely a teenager!"
"What?" Rose asked.
"Long story. I'll explain later," Jack said quickly. He looked over at the Doctor. "I've missed you guys. How long's it been for you?"
The Doctor folded his arms over his chest and his lips pressed into a thin line that clearly said, "Not long enough." Thankfully, Rose was more than happy to supply the answer. "About a year and a half. I'm so happy to see you! I'm sure the Doctor is too. Doctor?" She turned to look at the Doctor. "It's Jack. Our Jack, Doctor. Aren't you happy to see him?"
Jack gave the Doctor a weak smile. The Time Lord shifted his attention to Rose and his expression immediately softened, a small smile appearing on his face. It occurred to Jack suddenly that Rose had no idea what sort of power she held over the Doctor. He had realised the strength of the Doctor's feelings towards Rose when he had been travelling with them, had been awed by their blind devotion to one another even though they dared not tell each other how they felt, and Jack had often wished he could be a part of it.
Rose and the Doctor had never been his lovers, though there were many times he had wished they were. Most of the time, he had looked upon Rose as a younger sister, and the Doctor as a brother-in-law. On occasion, he had felt almost as if he was their somewhat odd and awkward son trying to find his way in the universe. And then there were the moments in which he revered them as his own personal god and goddess.
It had taken him a long time to realise that Rose and the Doctor, and the life the three of them had made together, had been more than family to him, more than lovers. That life had been everything to him. Rose and the Doctor had made him feel that he was capable of so much more than what he had been. They had made him feel he belonged, made him able to be a better person.
And then they had just left him on that game station, as if he was a discarded toy they no longer wanted to play with.
He wanted to yell at them, scream out the betrayal he had felt that day, demand to know why they had abandoned him. But he knew that this was not the time for it. He was almost positive that Rose didn't even know why he had been left behind, so the conversation he so badly wanted would have to wait until he was alone with the Doctor.
Instead, Jack looked at Rose and smiled. "It's been a very long time and I've missed you guys so much over the years. Please, let me come with you." He hated how needy he sounded, how desperate, but he was completely unable to keep the raw emotion out of his voice as he looked at the Doctor.
A bright grin instantly appeared on Rose's face. "Of course you can come with us," she replied, swinging their hands between them. "We've missed you too! Haven't we, Doctor?" They both looked at the Doctor, who stood silently, not replying to her questioningly look or at Jack's pleading one. "Doctor?" Rose's smile faded as the Doctor's expression hardened, his eyes zeroing in on Jack and Rose's clasped hands. "Doctor? Don't we want him to come with us? Haven't we missed him?"
She dropped Jack's hand and he instantly felt his heart plummet. Rose walked over to the Doctor and took his hand, entwining their fingers in the way Jack had always envied. He'd always been jealous that they had that sort of intimacy with each other, and that he would never be part of it.
"I waited for you two for so long…" Jack said, cursing himself for the catch in his voice and the pleading look he knew was in his eyes as he looked at the Doctor and Rose standing so close together.
"No," the Doctor said sternly, his eyes now fixed firmly on Jack's face. Then he made the mistake of finally looking down at Rose's face and registering her confused expression. Jack tried to ignore the hope that welled up in him when the Doctor's hard features finally softened. "Not… yet anyway." As Rose hugged his arm and grinned, the Doctor took a deep breath. "The TARDIS will need a good rest and recalibration after this ordeal. I can probably get her to Jackie's flat…" His voice trailed off for a moment as he seemed to feel Rose's joy disappear, and when he continued, he spoke more gently. "I'll need to make some adjustments before Jack can even touch the TARDIS without her taking off for who knows where just to be rid of him."
Rose's eyes widened in surprise. "Oh… well… that's… strange." Her eyes suddenly filled with tears. "I suppose we can clear our Mum's flat while we're there." She took a deep breath and closed her eyes as she tried to get her emotions under control.
Jack wanted to pull her into his arms and hug her tightly but he felt that would probably be something best left to the Doctor. He was pretty sure that if he got too close to Rose, the Doctor would be able to find a way to kill him, and keep him dead.
The Doctor slid an arm around Rose's waist and pulled her close. He looked up at Jack. "Meet us at the Powell Estates in about two hours. It's number…"
"I know which one it is," Jack said softly. The Doctor nodded firmly and waited while Jack headed out of the room.
The Doctor watched as Rose burrowed through her mum's laundry hamper. Ordinarily, domestics such as this were not his strong suit; he generally opted to run away before he could be entangled in tasks of this nature. But part of him felt that he owed it to Rose to make sure Jackie's things were properly sorted. Humans were funny like that, needing to make sure the belongings of a deceased family member were all neatly catalogued and put away in little boxes.
Rose pulled out a white jumper with a flowery design and smiled softly. "This is the jumper she'd wear if she wanted to seduce a bloke without making it obvious," she commented with a soft chuckle. She brought it to her nose and inhaled deeply. "Still smells like that horrid perfume she always wore."
Rose tossed the jumper onto the bed and sighed heavily. "The rest of it's just track suits and dirty knickers. I'll sort it out later and see what we can donate to one of the local charities. Oxfam, maybe." She looked at the bed and the other furniture. "Could probably donate the bed and dresser, as well. And we'll have to find someplace to donate the washing machine and dryer… Might be able to sell them. Or the BHF or Salvation Army might take them." She plopped down on the bed and sighed again. Picking up the jumper, she sniffed it again and then burst into tears. "She's gone…"
The Doctor's every instinct screamed at him to go and comfort Rose but he fought the impulse, telling himself that she had known what would happen before she made her decision. Eventually, of course, he succumbed, his hearts winning over his head, and he knelt in front of Rose, taking the jumper from her fingers and cupping her face in the palms of his hands.
He had known for a long time that this was inevitable, that it would have happened one day, if Rose had continued to travel with him. The day Jackie Tyler passed away. He had even been trying to prepare himself for that day, knowing that if Rose was still with him when it happened, she would need him more than ever. Facing down monsters, Rose could do that with ease. But losing her mum would take more than just holding her hand, giving her a hug, and saying everything would be okay.
It would take sitting through Rose rummaging through Jackie's things, holding her as she cried. It would take more domestics than he could ever be comfortable with. But for Rose, he would do it, she was worth it. And he knew that she would probably never get over her mother mother's loss completely, it would always remain somewhere in her mind no matter how long they continued travelling together.
Rose looked at him with tears and mascara streaking down her face. "How could I just… tell her to go? Am I really that horrible?"
"No," the Doctor said gently. "You, Rose Tyler, wanted her to be happy. It should make you feel better knowing she's tucked away safe and sound with your Dad. Having the life together that they dreamt of when they were young and stupid." He gave her the best smile he could muster. "So, now you're a bit stuck with me."
Rose managed a weak smile. "Stuck with you, that's not so bad, yeah?" she asked with a sniffle.
"Yeah," the Doctor replied, wiping a tear away with his thumb.
Rose suddenly lunged forward and pressed her lips to his. When he gasped in surprise, her tongue darted inside to taste him fully. After a moment, he returned the kiss just as eagerly as he had at Canary Wharf, only a few hours earlier.
The Doctor felt her hand move until her warm fingers cupped his head, running her fingers over his shorn hair as she had done before. But something was different this time. As her tongue explored his mouth, the rush of her hormones overwhelming his senses, he recognised the taste of her desperation. His hands went to her hips as he leaned closer to her and Rose's hands drifted away from his head and hair, moving down to tease the collar of his jacket before tugging the garment open and beginning to push it off of his shoulders.
The Doctor let his hands drop away from her long enough to let his jacket fall completely away. When she pulled away enough to break the kiss and yank his jumper over his head, it occurred to the Doctor that perhaps she was motivated more by her grief and loss than by true desire for him. But then she kissed him again, and he felt her warm hands pressing against his cool flesh, and all thoughts of stopping her from making a mistake fled from his mind.
Instead, the Doctor stood up and leaned over Rose, pressing her down into the mattress. When she didn't immediately push him away, he let his hands slide beneath the blue top she wore. Rose moaned softly and arched towards him, letting her top be pushed upwards as his hands moved up her body.
The Doctor had spent so long wanting only to kiss his Rose properly, just once. And now he had, and he wanted so much more. And so did she. Her body was begging for more than a kiss, pleading for him to finally do what they had both been wanting for so very long. Without words, she tempted him to finally relinquish his self control.
And for once, he let himself give in.
When Jack arrived at the Powell Estates, he didn't see the TARDIS anywhere. After poking about the Estate for a while, and seeing nothing of interest, Jack headed for Bucknall House and climbed the stairwell to the flat he knew had been home to Jackie and Rose Tyler.
He had picked up on the hints that something had happened to Jackie at Canary Wharf. He didn't know exactly what, but he hoped he would find out soon enough. Maybe the absence of the TARDIS on the playground simply indicated he was early. The Doctor had said two hours after all, and two hours in Doctor Time could easily mean a week.
When he reached Number 48, he paused for a moment, blinking in confusion. The door was not shut completely, but there was no sign of a forced entry. He pushed the door further open and entered the flat cautiously, one hand resting on the gun at his hip. He let out a relieved breath of air when he saw the TARDIS sitting in the living room.
So they were there. Were they in the TARDIS? Had they nipped out to grab a bite to eat? Suddenly, he heard Rose softly moaning the Doctor's name, followed shortly by a loud groan from the Doctor… Were they here doing something naughty?
Jack let his curiosity get the better of him and followed the soft sounds coming from one of the rooms. He passed a room decked out in pink and decorated with soft plush toys, the room of a young girl. Obviously Rose's old bedroom. It was empty so he continued on, moving past the bathroom to the second bedroom.
The door was ajar and his mouth dropped open at the sight that greeted him. Rose and the Doctor together on the bed, naked, and completely wrapped up in each other. Rose clung to the Doctor, her legs curled around his waist and her fingernails digging into his back. The Doctor was braced above her, his hands clutching the duvet as the two moved together in the timeless rhythm of lovers.
Jack watched from the doorway as the Doctor's movements become harder and more erratic, Rose's breath started coming in short gasps.
"Rose… Rose…" the Doctor panted. "Rose… I… I can't… I can't…"
"My Doctor…" Rose said breathlessly.
Jack shook his head to clear it and slowly stepped away. He walked to the kitchen and sat down at the table with his hands clasped in front of him. He closed his eyes and smiled as the mingled voices of the Doctor and Rose cried out in completion. Other than the sound of the TARDIS, that had to be the most beautiful sound in the universe.
He wasn't sure how long he had been sitting there waiting when the Doctor padded into the kitchen, fresh from a shower and wearing just his jeans. Jack looked up at him with reverence but the Doctor just scowled and moved towards the refrigerator.
Jack was quite used to the Doctor scowling at him, even though it had been… well… a long time since he'd seen it face to face. The memories he had of it honestly didn't do justice to the brooding Doctor. He waited while the Doctor rummaged through the refrigerator before setting a bottle of milk on the table and moving on to dig through the cabinets until he found what he was looking for… a bowl and a full packet of biscuits.
Jack had forgotten how much the Doctor loved to eat. In fact he was pretty sure there was a fete back in 1902 when he had just missed getting a good look at the Doctor. The crowds had been murmuring for some time about a thin bloke in strange clothes who had out-eaten the town glutton with a smile on his face. The Doctor turned eating into an art form, taking his time to savour whatever he put into his mouth, no matter how plain it might appear to be, enjoying the feel of it on his tongue, the texture of it, and the smell of it.
One particular memory that popped to Jack's mind was a visit to a 'Celebration of Sweets'. He and Rose had both watched as the Doctor sampled a cake and got thick syrupy chocolate all over his hands. Rose's eyes had widened and her breath had caught as the Doctor licked his fingers clean. And when the Doctor had offered a small morsel of cake to Rose, Jack remembered licking his lips and trying to decide who he envied more: Rose, for being fed cake from the Doctor's chocolaty fingers, the Doctor for having Rose's tongue darting out to capture the treat and her mouth closing around his fingers, or the cake for being trapped between the two.
It amused Jack to no end when the Doctor opened the package of ladyfingers, dumped them into the bowl, and doused them with milk, straight from the bottle. The Doctor glanced up as he picked up one soaked biscuit and popped it into his mouth. "The only way to eat them…" he said somewhat indistinctively before swallowing hard. "Though Rose does it much more effectively when she uses the shopping to have a swing at an Estate bully…"
Jack nodded as the Doctor stuffed a few more ladyfingers into his mouth before sucking his fingers clean. The Doctor glanced around the kitchen.
"I'm actually going to miss this place," he said around another mouthful of biscuits and milk. "Jackie always used to have to go shopping when we arrived because she knew I could eat my weight in these things…" He nodded towards his concoction.
"What happened to her? Did she…" Jack trailed off, not entirely sure he really wanted to know.
The Doctor swallowed his mouthful and then grinned at Jack. "Tucked away safe and sound on a parallel Earth with an alternate version of her dead husband, getting a happily ever after. Mickey too."
"And Rose?" Jack asked, his tone clearly asking for something more than the obvious.
The Doctor's grin faded almost instantly and a dark torment filled his eyes as he quietly replied, "She'll cope. Either that or she'll end up hating me, even though it was her choice to stay."
Jack sat quietly for a moment and then suddenly grinned. "Ah. So now that Jackie's out of the way, you feel you're free to shag her daughter all you want?" He trailed off when the Doctor glared at him, knowing that look entirely too well. "You're not… Doc, you can't…"
"It's not going to happen again," the Doctor said his tone low. "Neither of us were thinking clearly. It was a mistake. It'll just be best for us to pretend it never happened."
Jack snorted. "Because nothing says 'I love you' to a girl like shagging her and then telling her it was a mistake. Great way to make her feel like her sacrifice was worth something, Doc…"
"I took advantage of her fragile human mental state…" the Doctor insisted.
"Doctor, she loves you enough to send her mum to a parallel Earth and stay behind with you. I seriously doubt you were taking advantage of her," Jack replied sarcastically.
The Doctor sat in silence for a long moment, his eyes on his hands. "She's not like you Jack," the Doctor said quietly. "She won't live forever. Someday I'll lose her, whether to old age or other causes…" Jack felt his heart skip a beat. The Doctor met his eyes. "I can smell it on you. You're wrong. You're a scientific fact. You're impossible…"
Jack grinned. "I get that more often than I care to admit." The Doctor didn't seem to hear him, clearly distracted by the sudden sound of the shower running. "So… I take you don't want Rose to know what happened to me. I can manage that easily. So, how about you tell me while she's otherwise occupied?"
"I can't fix you," the Doctor said bluntly.
"I just want to know what happened," Jack replied. "It's not everyday you wake up after being killed by a Dalek, surrounded by Dalek dust…"
The Doctor shifted uneasily. "I'm going to have to give you the short version because Rose generally doesn't spend more than twenty minutes in the shower…."
"Not a problem," Jack replied. "Short version now, long version later."
Rose stretched languidly and smiled as she felt an ache between her legs. She had awoken from her nap feeling sore from the rigorous love making and could only imagine how she would feel come morning… especially if he felt up and ready for another go before she fell asleep for the night.
She was also worried about how he would react to what they'd done. Part of her feared that he would do something insane, like sneak away while she slept, leaving her alone. Another part was afraid that he would turn cold and tell her what they had just done had been a mistake and that she could no longer travel with him. Worse yet, he might adopt his usual "pretend it didn't happen" attitude, the one he used routinely after any particularly devastating adventure.
The first fear subsided almost immediately, as soon as she heard the Doctor and Jack talking together in the kitchen. The rest remained firmly in place as she let the hot water soothe the soreness in her body. It had been a long time since she had experienced having a thick, hard cock thrust into her. She shivered at the thought and felt her face grow warm as she remembered the Doctor's aggressive behaviour as he neared orgasm. That wasn't something she had experienced with either Mickey or Jimmy, and neither had ever left bite marks on her shoulders and breasts. But it was certainly something she had enjoyed, and would welcome again. If her… new relationship… with the Doctor continued.
The hot water did wonders for her aches and by the time she stepped out of the shower, clean and relaxed, she felt ready to take on the world, no matter what the Doctor tried to decide for her.