Title: A Rose By Any Other Name
Story Summary: The other Jackie Tyler was good at keeping secrets, and a Rose by any other name might be a Morag Jones. All the Doctor wants is to ask her out for a cup of tea, but he's got an alien invasion to deal with first.Sequel to "Not The Reunion I Was Hoping For."
Setting: Takes place after "Not the Reunion I Was Hoping For." You need to read that fic to understand this one. AU after series three of Doctor Who.
This fic was written for Wiggiemomsi for the April 2010 Author Auction. The offer was 1000+ words, so at over 10,000 words that's covered nicely.
In this, the Britain of Pete's World is a republic, and its government operates a bit like a cross between America and Australia, with elements of historical British government remaining. They originally became a republic after the death of Queen Victoria, even though her children had been born by then. Elisabeth Saxe-Coburg lives an ordinary, if fairly well-off life. One day I want to put her in a fic.
Violence is bad, children, unless it's against the Master, in which case it's perfectly okay!
FFnet is eating my formatting and paragraph spaces. Sorry about that. Nothing I can do.
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
Tuesdays. It was always Tuesdays.
It didn't matter where or when the Doctor landed, if something was dramatically wrong, it was bound to be a Tuesday. Even on Gallifrey, which had its own personal time-stream and thirty-two hour days with totally different names, the Doctor had no doubt that if he'd had a way to check, those days would have equated to a Tuesday.
A few years back the Doctor had started watching Buffy – although these days he could only watch it when he was alone in the TARDIS, because about halfway through the first season the Master had objected to the fact that the major villain was a camp Voldemort with a nose named the Master, as well as objecting to the way the Doctor kept sniggering over it – and at one point one of the characters had observed, "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday." The Doctor had sympathised completely.
Adjusting the sonic screwdriver he glanced up, at the spaceships hanging above.
And for that matter, why was it always Earth? And London? Or at least Britain. Tiny little place, and yet all the invasions seemed to happen here, whether it was Autons or Cybermen or the Master unleashing his secret army of hypnotised blonde children to re-enact scenes from Village of the Damned.
Rassilon, he hated it when the Master was bored.
The Doctor's screwdriver beeped, and he continued to follow the signal.
As far as the Doctor knew, the primary spaceship had appeared in Earth orbit two days ago. It had remained in orbit for about a day and a half, at which point the ship expelled large numbers of rounded squat ships of a much smaller size, which each took a position hovering over a major Earth city.
So far he hadn't identified who the ships belonged to, and they hadn't made contact or anything, either, not even a 'fear, people of Earth!' message. The arrangement of the smaller ships though gave him a bad feeling.
The only populated continent they seemed to be avoiding was Australia, and the Doctor wondered if they hadn't noticed twenty million people in the expanse of empty, mostly-uninhabitable continent, or simply couldn't be bothered.
He hoped, though, that he'd be able to work out what was going on and what to do about it by following the alien signal to its source. Times like this, he sometimes wished the Master were here; the prat might be more trouble than he was worth, particularly since he inevitably blew something up, or set it on fire, or hypnotised someone; but one look at him in his most Mastery mood usually told people that they'd bitten off more than they could chew and had best give in now.
With the Doctor alone, on the other hand, they usually only worked that out after he'd brought them down, and it'd be nice if they worked it out a bit earlier so he didn't have to go to so much trouble to defeat them, ta, thanks.
But the Master was in another time period with Lucy Cole working over casinos using a Gallifreyan equation, and although he'd mugged a Time Agent for his vortex manipulator and could time-travel if he wanted, he wasn't likely to leave the joy of cheating humans unless it was certain that he'd get a chance to wreak havoc and mayhem, and right not the Doctor wasn't sure that this was what Earth needed. Or ever, really.
The Doctor frowned as he came to a stop in front of a small café, apparently the source of the signal. He debated silently for a moment, before discreetly sticking the hand with the screwdriver into his jacket pocket, and entering the little shop.
It appeared to be an ordinary, unremarkable little café. He swept his eyes around, without seeing anything unusual. He used the sonic screwdriver to check the direction of the signal's origin.
Glancing in that direction, a small object caught his eye. The Doctor strolled over, and crouched down to see some kind of transmitter, stuck to the inside leg of one of the café tables.
He pulled it off and looked at it more closely. Yep, it was the transmitter, alright.
The Doctor straightened, wondering why, of all the locations they could have chosen, the would-be invaders had chosen a little London café to plant their beacon.
Still pondering the question, he looked over towards the counter, where one of the café workers was gathering her things and farewelling her co-workers too quietly for him to hear exactly what she was saying. As he watched the young woman rounded the counter, glancing the Doctor's way as she did so.
The Doctor stared.
The girl's hair was a rich brown that fell to her shoulders. Her face was thinner, her nose slightly sharper, but the shape of her face and big eyes and incredibly warm, wide smile were all instantly, impossibly familiar – despite the small differences, the Doctor was unmistakably looking at Rose Tyler.
The Doctor blinked, and stared again, assimilating all the similarities and differences. This was Rose, alright, but definitely not the Rose he'd sent back to the other universe.
She was this universe's Rose. Had to be.
As the girl finished saying goodbye to the other café worker, the Doctor moved to intercept her before she could leave.
She looked up as he approached, and the wide, inquiring brown eyes nearly did him in.
"Hello," he said brightly, "Your name wouldn't be Rose, would it?"
A bemused smile touched her lips.
"No." The Doctor tried not to look startled. Instead of a cockney accent the rounded tones sounded faintly Welsh. After a moment's pause she asked,
"Why, are you looking for a Rose?"
The Doctor considered that for a moment.
"Well, in a metaphorical sense I suppose you could say that I'm on the lookout for my Rose, but in the sense of searching for an actual person name Rose that I'm expecting to see here and now, then no."
Not-Rose's smile had widened in amusement even as her slight confusion had deepened.
"I'm the Doctor, by the way," the Doctor added.
Not-Rose's tongue went between her teeth in a full-on smile, and she gave him an inquiring look full of intrigue.
"Morag," she responded in turn. "I'm assuming there's some kind of story behind the whole Rose thing."
The Doctor stuck his hands in his pockets and stepped a bit closer.
"A short while back I met this fantastic woman named Rose. Beautiful, brilliant, compassionate – that was Rose. She and her husband had been travelling abroad when there was a spot o' trouble and they got separated. Travelling was a full-time occupation for them, so they didn't have a mutual home to go back to, and when the trouble turned into a small war all of their things were left behind in the fuss. In all the chaos the two of them had to flee without finding the other first, and long story short, they didn't find each other again. Me and a mate of mine helped Rose track down her husband, and I've never seen a couple so in love. It'd been ages since she'd last seen him, but you could see she was still as in love with him as ever, and when they were reunited I thought both of them were gonna burst with joy. I thought it was nice, seeing two people with a love like that," he finished seriously.
Morag's smile had softened as the Doctor explained.
"That's a lovely story," she said as he finished. She eyed him consideringly. "Did you make it up?"
The Doctor looked insulted.
" 'Did I make it up?' Someone tells you a nice story like that and you ask, 'did you make it up?' No! You, Morag, are a jaded woman."
Morag just grinned.
"Blokes'll try anything," she confided. "Improbably stories of great romance, sob stories about how the last girlfriend they had died tragically, the way no one appreciates their brilliance, that sort of thing. You know, ridiculously sentimental and complete rubbish. It's sad, that anyone actually falls for it."
"I'm hurt," the Doctor complained. "That story was completely true. Well, mostly true, anyway. I admit I mighta changed a couple little details, but nothing important, honestly."
He abruptly changed the subject.
"So, Morag, don't s'pose you've seen anything a tad strange round here lately, have you?"
"You know, I kind of have, now you mention it. I mean, it wasn't knickers-on-the-head weird or anything, like that bloke who escaped from the mental hospital a few months back and comes in here for coffee, coz he says good coffee is the means by which he will conquer the world, or something –"
The Doctor thought that if it weren't for the knickers-on-the-head business, he'd have a dark suspicion who the bloke was.
Then he wondered if the knickers would really surprise him all that much.
He reconsidered this.
" – but it was a bit off, definitely."
"Right. Just to divert from the main topic for a moment, your lunatic, not a grinning bloke in a smart suit, is he? Sort of brownish-ginger? Mostly sort of brown?"
Morag shook her head, further confused by the strange yet oddly charming man in front of her.
"Mm, didn't think so," the Doctor agreed, faintly relieved all the same. "So, what happened?"
"The Environment Minister," Morag said seriously.
Okay, the Doctor definitely hadn't been expecting that one.
"The Environment Minister," Morag repeated, a bit impatiently. "She was talking with this group of tall, skinny people, really pale, and I didn't overhear much because we were really busy that day, but I did hear them talking about planning to conquer the planet. When the others left I sort of mentioned it to her, you know, as a joke, but she got sort of flustered."
"Ah." The Doctor nodded, looking pained. "So. She knows you heard this?"
"And did they mentions spaceships hanging over major cities, by any chance?"
"Actually –" Realisation crossed her face. "Oh my god, I've been stupid, haven't I?"
Before the Doctor could answer this, a pack of Zyprexian hellhounds burst into the café.
"What are they?" Morag demanded in fear, among the screams.
"Friends of your Environment Minister," the Doctor said shortly, reaching for her. "Come on! Run!"
He grabbed her hand and they sprinted through the kitchens, and out the back door.
The Doctor could hear the snarls and hisses of the hellhounds behind them as he dragged Morag along with him.
He wasn't happy about the running-for-their-lives, of course, but some part of him was idiotically pleased that her hand was currently in his and holding on as tightly to him as he was to her.
Taking the most direct route possible, he headed straight for the TARDIS.
After several minutes of running Morag was flagging, but they turned into one more street and there the TARDIS was, blue and boxy on the other side of the road.
The Doctor ran across the road, unlocked the TARDIS doors and flung them open, pushing Morag in and shutting the doors behind them.
He turned the bolt, just in case, and turned to see Morag staring in wonder and a little bit of fear around the TARDIS console room.
"Oh my god," Morag breathed, "you're an alien too."
"Yep," the Doctor agreed.
"It's bigger on the inside."
Since Morag was still staring around, stunned, he asked a bit hesitantly,
"Is that alright?"
Morag blinked and turned to look at him, and seeing his slight worry gave a reassuring smile.
"Yeah, it's fine. I mean, I'm studying anthropology to learn about people, yeah, so this is sort of my thing."
That was a totally unexpected and rather pleasant surprise.
"You're studying anthropology?"
"Second year," Morag agreed. She was back to looking around the TARDIS interior. "D'you suppose there's a name for the anthropology of aliens?"
"Xenoanthropology," the Doctor said promptly. "Study of alien peoples."
"Right." Morag took a deep breath, and appeared to get over the TARDIS. "What now?"
"You have a home somewhere?" the Doctor asked.
"A flat. Why?"
"What's the address?"
Morag told him, and added,
"You gonna give me an answer, alien boy?"
The Doctor grinned, finished inputting the coordinates, and hit the dematerialization lever.
Morag gasped as the TARDIS shook and rolled a bit in flight.
"What - ?" Her words cut off as she grabbed onto a coral strut for balance as she nearly fell over.
As they landed, the Doctor walked over the door and opened it.
"That's my street!"
"It is, yeah," he agreed, enjoying her astonishment.
"Oh, I am so using you for my next assignment," she decided.
"Not a chance," the Doctor retorted.
"Can't I even write a paper and publish it in like, thirty years time?"
She sighed again.
"Fair enough, I suppose. Come on."
The Doctor followed Morag to her building and upstairs to her flat.
It was fairly nice, as flats go, although small; there was a bedroom, a tiny bathroom, and a combined kitchenette/living area with a table and chairs on one side, and on the other a couch and a small flat screen television on a stand, with a cable TV box next to it.
"Not bad," the Doctor remarked, looking around.
Morag made a slight face.
"Yeah, well, my parents like to help me out. I pay my uni fees mostly by myself, mind you, but they helped me buy furniture and stuff and help with the rent, and got me a cable TV subscription for my last birthday, which they pay for."
The Doctor raised his eyebrows.
"Your parents fairly wealthy, then?"
"They run a private dental practice," Morag explained. "Not hugely wealthy, or anything, but pretty comfortable. Both of them worked until Ophelia was born, and Mum's planning on getting a nanny and going back to work pretty soon."
Dismayed realisation suddenly lit up her face.
"Oh my god, I forgot, I'm meant to be babysitting Ophelia this afternoon!" She turned to glance at the clock, and groaned. "Oh god, she's going to be here in ten minutes, at the latest."
"Can't you just tell her you're busy and you can't do it after all?" the Doctor asked.
Morag groaned again.
"You don't know my Mum, she won't even listen, I swear. She –"
There was aloud knocking on the front door.
"Oh bugger, she's early."
Morag opened the door, and tried to speak.
A blonde toddler was thrust into her arms, by a woman who had started talking the moment the door was opened and didn't look like she was about to stop.
"Here she is, and I've got her nappies and wipes in her bag, along with her bottle and a few jars of food – the apple puree is fine as it is, of course, but I'd give the stew fifteen seconds in the microwave, although I'd test how hot it is before you give it to her –"
"Mum, listen, I know I said I'd watch her, but –" Morag tried to break into the flow of words.
"–and put her down to sleep about six, if she hasn't gone to sleep already," Morag's mother continued briskly, paying no attention at all to Morag's desperate attempt to cut in. "Her toy elephant's in the bag too, so she shouldn't get too upset. Well, I'll be back at eight, have fun."
"Mum – !"
The door shut in Morag's face.
Morag made a sound of great frustration.
"You, kid, are unfortunate enough to have that woman's genes and be raised by her," she told her sister. "There's no hope for you."
Ophelia looked at the Doctor curiously over Morag's shoulder.
The Doctor stared back.
Despite her fair hair, Ophelia looked quite a lot like her mother, with the same eyes and mouth and general face shape. She looked nothing like Morag, whose features were bold rather than delicate.
"Your sister looks quite a bit like your Mum," the Doctor commented, as Morag sat her sister on the couch and dumped the bag on the table. "You take after your Dad, then?"
"I'm adopted, actually," Morag responded a bit tersely, as she turned the TV on and set the channel to Cbeebies.
Ophelia squealed with joy at the sight of Teletubbies.
"Tetubbes!" she crowed, and gave an open-palmed clap.
"And honestly, there's times I'm kind of glad of it," Morag finished. "Although I tracked down my birth Mum when I was twenty, and the bitch didn't even want to know I existed. Said I was a mistake and she'd been married for years and was all important now, and she didn't want some bastard child ruining her reputation."
She gave a distinctly unimpressed sniff.
The Doctor rolled an idea around in his head for half a second.
"Name wasn't Jackie Tyler, was it?"
Morag slowly turned, open-mouthed, to stare at him.
"Look a bit like her and one of her rellies," the Doctor explained, a bit warily. "Noticed it when I first saw you."
"Yeah," Morag said slowly. "It was Jackie Tyler, the Vitex Millionaire's wife." She shook her head. "You're scary accurate, you know that? Anyway, a few months after that she vanished, and then a couple years back she suddenly turned up again with some daughter only a couple years or so younger than me, so I guess it was just me she didn't want. I mean, she said the girl was Pete Tyler's, and he did too, but come on."
Morag hid it well, but the Doctor caught the hurt and bitterness in her tone easily.
What to do? he wondered. He wrestled with himself for a moment. Rose would have wanted her to know the truth, he thought ruefully.
"The Jackie Tyler you talked to and who gave birth to you died in the coup by Cybus Industries," the Doctor said matter-of-factly. "The Jackie Tyler appearing in all the gossip rags these days came from another universe, where Pete Tyler made his fortune but died in a car accident decades ago, and where he and his wife a little girl, Rose Tyler. You look so much like her. To be completely honest, that was why I approached you in the café. Give you blonde hair and broaden your face a bit, and no one could tell you apart. I realised that you had to be the counterpart of Rose Tyler for this universe."
Morag was staring at him again. He couldn't discern what she was feeling.
That was never a good sign, the Doctor thought uneasily. He braced himself for yelling or a slap, just in case.
"Let me guess. Her husband, he was from another universe too, wasn't he?" Morag's voice was carefully blank, even more so than her expression. "Tell me, did you know him too?" The Doctor was able to detect faint sarcasm there, this time.
"Actually, he was me," he admitted.
"What, so when you came up to me in the café, with all that stuff about looking for your Rose, and how wonderful she was, you were thinking I could be her replacement, is that it?" Morag's voice and face was suddenly growing angrier by the second.
"No, no!" the Doctor protested, somewhat alarmed. This was going all wrong. Rose wouldn't have reacted like this, he thought.
Okay, so she might've, but she would have been a tad more reasonable about it.
"So, you weren't thinking that since you couldn't have her, I'd substitute? Didn't assume that I was just a version of her, without bothering to try and get to know me or anything?" Morag spat disbelievingly.
"No!" the Doctor protested again. "Honestly, no, I wasn't. I wasn't assumin' you were just a version o' her at all. As a person, I mean. You're bound to be different: different universes, different lives, after all. I mean, you don't even have the same family. That's bound to make a change. I just thought – well –"
"You thought what?" Morag demanded, still looking angry.
"That maybe I had a chance at finding the kind of love Rose and her Doctor had," he admitted, refraining from turning red from sheer effort and strength of will.
Morag stared at him, all the wind taken out of her sails.
"Anyway," the Doctor said brightly, trying to cover the awkward moment and the fact that he knew the tops of his ears had turned pink by the sudden heat in them, "these aliens, any idea what they're planning?"
"Um." Morag was still stunned. "Aliens. Yeah. Um, they mentioned soldiers, and ruling the place. The planet, I mean."
The Doctor sighed.
"In that case, I think we're gonna need a little help. D'you mind if I ask a mate of mine here?"
"Go ahead, I guess," Morag replied, a little unsurely.
The Doctor felt through the hidden pockets of his coat until he found a slim mobile phone.
"Aliens have phones?" Morag wanted to know.
"Enculturated ones do," the Doctor replied, selecting the Master's phone number and raising the phone to his ear.
It rang six times before the Master picked up.
There was a roar of impressed cheers, and then the Master's voice.
"This is the Master speaking," he purred, self-satisfaction oozing down the phone.
"I've been making money all night!" The Master said gleefully, "Bags of money! And they love me for it!"
His voice moved away from the phone as he spoke to the people around him.
"Ladies and gentlemen, much as I have enjoyed your flattering audience, I feel it's time for a slight break." There was a chorus of 'aww's in the background, and some congratulations.
"What do you want?" the Master asked, speaking into the phone again once the small crowd of people was no longer obstructing the conversation.
The Doctor shook his head. The Master was the Master.
"Alien invasion," he explained shortly. "Could do with a bit of help."
"Ooh," was the interested response. "Can I maim, murder, and set things on fire?"
The Doctor sighed.
"Hmm," the Master drawled down the line. "And yet here I have a casino of insipid fools to swindle while they cheer me for screwing them over. Difficult decision."
"I've got Rose's counterpart from this universe with me," the Doctor said reluctantly.
"Brilliant," the Master said instantly. "I'll cash in all my chips and give the bags of money to Lucy to fritter away on room service while I help you clean up your little mess. Where and when?"
The Doctor told him.
Is she human?"
The line went dead.
The Doctor frowned, folding up his mobile and sticking it back in his pocket.
"They coming?" Morag inquired.
The Doctor was still frowning. He wasn't entirely sure yet that involving the Master was a great idea, but he was most likely going to need him.
"You want a cup of tea?" Morag offered.
"Be nice, thanks," the Doctor accepted.
He watched as Morag bustled around the kitchen, making tea.
"So, anthropology," he began. "What's that like?"
The Master walked in half an hour later.
"So, what's got your panties in a bunch? Ooh, Teletubbies!"
He wandered over to the couch and plonked himself down next to Ophelia, watching the television just as raptly.
Morag's mouth had fallen slightly open in incredulity, and the Doctor really, really wished there was something he could say to make this seem totally normal, or at least less embarrassing.
"He's your friend? And how'd he get in?" Morag's eyebrows were still halfway to her hairline as she stared at the dapper man sprawled across her couch.
"Laser screwdriver," the Master held it up in the air without looking around, "who'd have sonic?"
The Doctor could hear the smirk in his voice.
"Well, it looks flash, sure, but not much use for resonating concrete, is it?" he replied, because he could.
The Master did turn around at that.
"Resonating concrete?" he exclaimed, full of contempt. "Who resonates concrete? Apart from you, obviously." He turned back to the Teletubbies.
"Yep," the Doctor told Morag, who was still staring at them both. "That's him."
"Okay, maybe not such a good idea to bring mad aliens back to my flat," she muttered. "Especially when I'm babysitting my baby sister."
"Oh, we're harmless," the Doctor assured her.
"Are not," the Master called.
"Shut it!" the Doctor called back, reaching exasperation. "And what are you, five?"
The Master somehow straightened and spun around all in one movement so that he was hanging off the back of the couch, looking outraged and almost alarmed.
"Stop quoting Rose! I am not like a five year old human!"
"Five year olds've often outgrown Teletubbies, for a start," Morag said.
The Master glowered at them.
"I hate you both and I'm going to kill you in your sleep."
"Sure you are," agreed the Doctor with a total lack of sincerity. He saw Morag looking at the Master doubtfully, and added, "although, best to avoid falling asleep around him, just in case."
"You're deranged," Morag said bluntly.
"Oi!" the Doctor objected, faintly hurt. "Why'm I deranged?"
"Unresolved Schism trauma!" the Master said gleefully.
"You're one to talk," the Doctor told him disapprovingly, while Morag said,
"Because you are. Both of you. Seriously; deranged."
"You," the Master accused smugly, "are ethnocentric and imposing value judgements on a society with values different from your own."
He made a mock-sad face, and shook his head a little, as though to say how disappointing this was.
Morag's eyes narrowed and her mouth fell open indignantly.
"So," the Master turned to the Doctor before she could muster a reply, smirking, "tell me about these invaders." He sat back, steepling his fingers, and his face assumed the pleased, superior expression that always used to make B.R.I.T. (British Republic Intelligence Taskforce) suspect he'd personally engineered ever one of the problems they had to deal with, from Sea Devils to marauding Autons.
Which was often true, of course, but even when he was completely innocent the expression on his face looked utterly suspicious.
"Well," the Doctor began, before Morag could unleash the retort he could see building up in her head, like pressure in a volcano, "a few days back the alien's primary ship appeared in orbit, and sometime early this morning, far's I can tell, it started sending out smaller ships, each of which took position over a major city, all over the world. No word from 'em as yet."
"Ah." The Master nodded, his eyelids dropping down so that his eyes were half-closed, giving him a very calculating look. "Divide and conquer." He'd had a major role in planning military tactics in the War.
"Looks like it," the Doctor agreed. "Anyway, turns out Morag here heard a bunch of them talking to the Environment Minister in the café were she works." He turned to the woman. "Morag?"
"They talked about planning to conquer the planet, and mentioned the thing with the ships," Morag recounted, "and talked about sending out soldiers 'when it's all over.' The Environment Minister looked kind of nervous, but said that someone had to look after the planet."
"What kind of idiot plan is that?" the Master demanded, at the same moment as the Doctor groaned. He was well-used to people with idiot plans.
"The Environment Minister's idiot plan?"
"If she thinks that lot being in control of the planet it going to be a good thing, she's seriously mistaken," the Doctor sighed. "They sent Zyprexian hellhounds after her earlier today, by the way."
The Master's eyes widened slightly.
"And I got to miss you run?" he complained however, sounding petulant about it. "It must have been fantastically funny."
Morag glared at him, but the Doctor was undisturbed. Unlike her, he'd felt the tinge of worry and consternation from the Master, and the tiny hint of relief that was instantly buried.
Mutually antagonistic toward each other they might be, but underneath everything they did care for each other, a little.
Only a little bit, mind. They drove each other mad.
The Doctor always told himself the teensy bit of concern was just because they were the only two Time Lords left and they'd go insane without the feel of each other's presence in their heads, but was uneasily aware that this didn't actually account for the fact that the Master didn't conquer the world like he used to (that is, he did sometimes try to conquer the world, but not all the time, and not as wholeheartedly, and when foiled tended to just sulk a bit and hide the Doctor's bananas instead of trying to kill or torture him the way he used to), or the fact that when he misbehaved the Doctor often let him.
"We could have been eaten!" Morag told the Master, still glaring.
He grinned as though she'd just dangled something irresistible in front of him.
"I know. It's a shame."
"Oh, thanks," grumbled the Doctor.
"Well, with you gone, it'd be much easier to steal your TARDIS. My plans grow exponentially more complex all the time, so it would be nice to cut them down a little."
"Did you ever stop and think you'd be better off with a nice, simple plan?" the Doctor asked, unable to help himself, even though he knew giving the Master advice on his megalomaniac plans could rebound upon him horribly. "Without so many details that can go wrong?"
"You're right, I should just bludgeon you unconscious and pinch your TARDIS while you're out," the Master declared. "And before I get rid of you I can paint your face blue and dump you on Ardgensis. They don't have anything blue there. I could dump you in their dark age. Who knows what they'd do to you. I hope they castrate and impale you as a demon."
The Master seemed inordinately pleased by the thought of this. He was beaming.
"My two year old sister is in this room," said Morag, who looked torn between being incredulous and disturbed. "Shut up."
"Oh, like you can make me," scoffed the Master.
The Doctor saw Morag's eyes narrow, and knew that she'd finally been pushed too far.
He stepped back circumspectly and watched in mild admiration as she punched The Master in the face.
The Master made a disbelieving sound of pain as he doubled over with his hands cupped over his nose, and continued to make pained huffs and moans.
"You punched me!" His words came out muffled and indistinct. "You're worse than Rose! She'd only slap!"
"Yeah, well, you were a lot more charming round her," the Doctor told him, only making a half-hearted attempt to hide his glee.
Morag turned to him, looking annoyed and strong-minded and utterly beautiful at that moment.
"Rose used to slap him?"
"Oh, all the time," the Doctor said airily. He didn't know why strong women standing up for themselves was so attractive to him, over most other traits, but it was.
Still making little sounds like 'aarghh' and 'urgh', the Master straightened, one hand cupped under his nose to try and stop the blood going everywhere as he reached up and gingerly adjusted his septum.
Morag smiled in some satisfaction at the cry of pain this action produced.
"Good," was her reply.
The Doctor made a mental note to never, ever make any kind of move that might possibly provoke Morag to violence.
It clearly wouldn't end well.
"Amazon woman!" the Master howled.
"Oh, come on," the Doctor said, shaking his head.
"I'll take you back to the TARDIS and fix it in the med bay."
The Master whinged the entire way back to the TARDIS, told the Doctor that he wasn't using the med-bay equipment correctly, and once the Doctor had healed his nose kept complaining that it didn't feel right, all the while feeling it gingerly and sending the Doctor suspicious glowers.
"I'll punch you too if you don't shut up," the Doctor told him. "Didn't have to fix you up. Could've left you to suffer."
The Master scowled at him, but changed the subject.
"I'm going to go change into another suit. I've dripped blood all over this one."
He gave the Doctor a brief, accusing stare for associating with the woman who had dared punch him, and left.
While he was changing, the Doctor checked the invading ships on the scanner. No change. There were apparently no communications active either. Something had to be wrong there; how were they planning to coordinate and direct the invasion?
Frowning, the Doctor reminded the TARDIS to make sure her controls were locked, and wandered back up to Morag's flat.
Teletubbies was over, and Morag had sat Ophelia down on a stack of thick cushions on top of one of the chairs around the dining table, and was trying to persuade her to eat some of the jar of stew.
Ophelia was scowling at the spoon of food Morag was waving with a look of revulsion, and refusing to even open her mouth.
"Come on, Phelie," Morag coaxed, edging the spoon closer. Ophelia turned her head away obstinately.
Morag sat back with a sigh, and eyed her sister consideringly, apparently trying to decide what tactic to use next.
The Master walked through the door, carefully adjusting his tie. He scowled at Morag.
The Doctor folded himself down onto the couch and went through his right pocket until he found the beacon from the café. He looked at it thoughtfully.
Pointing the sonic at it, he tried to decrypt the signal it was sending out.
The beacon suddenly began to make blip-blip noises and to emit a low hum.
"What's that?" the Master demanded.
"Found it in the café where Morag works," the Doctor replied absently, listening intently to the two sounds.
Then he swore.
"What?" Morag asked, turning slightly to stare at them. While she was diverted Ophelia grabbed the jar of stew with both hands and raised it to her mouth. "What's wrong?"
"It's got a double signal." The Doctor indicated the beacon. "One's a homing signal sending a constant stream of data, kinda like a GPS system, presumably to the primary ship, the other's a countdown."
"How long?" Morag looked worried.
"Twenty-two hours," the Doctor said grimly.
"Oh, wizard," grumbled the Master. "What now?"
"We ask them to cease and desist, tell them Earth's got a champion, etcetera etcetera, and if they don't clear off right fast, we deal with them."
"Oh, good," the Master enthused.
The Doctor glanced at Ophelia.
"Oh, and Morag? You might want to take the stew off your sister."
Morag whipped around to see that Ophelia had tried to pour the stew straight into her mouth, getting half of it all over herself in the process.
Morag sternly confiscated the jar and picked Ophelia up, carrying her straight to the bathroom.
Ophelia's wails at being bathed soon rang through the flat.
The Master turned to smirk at the other Time Lord.
"The Doctor has a Rose," he send in a sing-song voice.
"But you do." The Master was grinning. "Human or not, you fancy her."
"What part of 'shut it' don't you understand?"
The Master kept grinning.
"Rose and Doc-tor sitting in a tree –"
"Are you really that juvenile?" asked the Doctor, incredulous.
The Master glowered at the Doctor in an injured way.
"You're no fun," he complained sulkily.
"Don't be such a baby," the Doctor grumbled, and went to join Morag.
She was settling Ophelia down in an old cot in her bedroom, underneath a baby-sized woollen blanket.
Ophelia was staring up at her, clutching a giant pink plush elephant.
"Morwa no go," she pleaded with her sister.
"Bed, Ophelia," Morag said firmly.
Ophelia flung herself back dramatically against the cot mattress, limbs askew, and the elephant was flung up in the air.
"Efflant!" Ophelia wailed instantly as the elephant went airborne, and watching it hit the floor next to the cot with stricken eyes.
"Are you giving Morag trouble?" the Doctor asked sternly..
Ophelia froze to consider the forbidding-looking man in front of her.
"It's bed time. Go to sleep," the Doctor told her, picking up the elephant and putting it back in the cot.
"Leffant!" Ophelia seized the toy in a possessive grip. She frowned a bit uncertainly at the Doctor.
Morag was just standing there watching now, without interfering, waiting to see what happened next..
"Morwa no go," Ophelia demanded of the Doctor.
"Morag is going to go," he countered just as firmly. "She's going to be just in the other room with us. You've got your elephant. You're fine."
He stared at the toddler, daring her to contradict him.
Ophelia stared into suddenly ancient, stormy blue eyes in taken-aback fascination.
"Storwy?" she tried.
The Doctor was frowning.
"D'you want me to tell you a story?"
"Storwy!" Ophelia exclaimed in excitement, lying back on her pillow and watching the Doctor expectantly.
He sighed, but didn't really mind. He liked dealing with children, even if it did sometimes remind him of the one's he'd lost.
"Alright then, you miniature nuisance."
Morag grinned, and left them to it.
"Once there was a magical kingdom, where the sky was orange and the grass was red, and a beautiful city sat under a delicate bubble of glass."
Ophelia went 'ooh!' in encouragement, although the Doctor wasn't sure that she actually understood most of it.
"The city was full of powerful, wise, ancient people. Now, in that city, not all that important in the scheme 'o things, lived a…"
He hesitated; no way in hell was he going to say prince.
"…young knight. He was young, like I said, an' clever, and he cared about other people. Had a lot of potential, this knight."
Ophelia looked slightly confused.
"So, he lives in the citadel with the wise, ancient people, and starts to realise that maybe they're a bit too ancient, and that maybe they got so used to being wise that it went to their heads, and they weren't as wise as they thought. So the young knight said to himself,
'There's got to be better ways of being wise.' As it happens, outside the magical kingdom were a lot of other kingdoms in a spot o' trouble, being attacked by dragons and the like, and the knight decided that it'd be a lot more wise to try an' help the lot of 'em 'stead 'o sitting at home going on about how powerful and wise he was. So he and his granddaughter – humans age a lot faster than the people in the magical kingdom do, see, so he was still very young even though he had a granddaughter – and found a magical ship that could travel in time and space. The poor ship was getting pretty old, for a magical ship, and the other wise ancient people didn't want her anymore. So the knight and his granddaughter took pity on the ship, and the three of them left the magical kingdom to travel around, saving the world and learning to be wise.
That's your story. Now go to sleep, alright?"
The Doctor tucked Ophelia in, and went back out to the main room.
Both Morag and the Master had clearly been listening to the story from where they sat at the table.
"You didn't mention his friend the brilliant magician," the Master complained, while Morag looked between them thoughtfully.
"The insane megalomaniac magician," the Doctor corrected. "Who vanished one day in a TARDIS with a final mwahahahaha." The Doctor's mimicry of the smug and wicked laugh of that regeneration was perfect. "In a cape. After –"
"Fine," the Master hissed, only the faintest hint of embarrassment in his voice, but the Doctor recognised that scowl – it was the 'well, yes, I did build a huge and complicated death machine that just broke down and let you walk away completely free and unscathed, but it was working fine until I lost power and I will eviscerate whoever forgot to pay our utilities bill this quarter, and if you don't stop smirking at me like that right now I'm going to sulk' scowl that the Master used to disguise when he genuinely felt embarrassed.
"You could still have mentioned our dashing adventures, or something."
"We didn't have dashing adventures," the Doctor reminded him. "We had you getting me put in detention with Borusa and me pinning it all on the Rani."
"It actually took her years to catch onto that," the Master recalled, gleefully, and a little fondly.
"Look," Morag interrupted, "while I'm sure you're enjoying your latest divergence into bickering nostalgia, there's a bunch of aliens sitting over Earth waiting to invade, in case you've forgotten."
She gave them a pointed glare.
The Doctor sobered.
"Right." He joined the other two at the table. "I was thinking we could head down to the TARDIS after Morag's Mum collects Ophelia, and record a message to send to them. If there's no reply by morning we can try more direct methods."
The Master gave the Doctor a bored look.
The Doctor gave him a glowering stare.
"The problem with you is that your plans never have enough violence," The Master complained. He paused for a second. "Alright, maybe they do, since you always drag me into them, but the violence is always hidden." This time the Master paused for only a microsecond. "Down there, in the dark, waiting to come out."
The Doctor glared at him. The Master smirked slightly at his expression for a moment, before he went back to looking annoyed at the lack of violence in the Doctor's plan.
"Erm, did he just quote The Trap Door?" Morag asked uncertainly.
"Yep," the Doctor said, at the same time as the Master continued,
"Honestly, you wonder why everyone always listens to me but pays any attention to you, until you've turned their lives upside down?"
"What you need, Doctor, is to show them what you're capable of before you have to do it."
"What I do 's none o' your business. Shut it."
"Maybe," the Master pretended to muse, "you should blow up planets more often, I'm sure that would get around –"
The Master hadn't noticed the Doctor's blue eyes darkening almost to black, but he did notice when two long-fingered hands grabbed his collar in an iron grip and hauled him up off the floor and close.
The Master choked, grabbing onto the hands at his neck to unsuccessfully try and give himself some leverage so that his collar wasn't throttling him, while his legs dangled.
He looked into a very dark, very dangerous, stormy gaze.
The Doctor saw the look of horrified recognition dawn on the Master's face, but his own expression didn't change from its grim, menacing one.
"I give you a lot of leeway." His voice was quiet, pitched low, and very even. "But if you push me too far, I'll make the Nightmare Child look like a pleasant dream. D'you hear me?"
The Master made a strangled noise. The Doctor dropped him without ceremony.
The Master landed on the floor in a heap. He didn't move for a second, probably from shock as much as anything else, and then gingerly sat up. He eyed the Doctor warily, the way someone else might watch a panther that could choose to spring at any moment. His shirt and tie were in disarray, and his face was pale, but he just sat there on the floor and watched as the Doctor closed his eyes and turned away.
"Doctor?" he said quietly. The Doctor didn't turn around. He just wanted to shut everything out and forget this. "Oh, bollocks," the Master swore, and in one quick motion was on his feet. He eyed the Doctor carefully, but sidled closer.
"Please, a noble berk like you, blowing up planets?" The Master demanded. The Doctor tensed. "War is war, and everyone does things they wouldn't even think to do the rest of the time. You wouldn't even try to kill me when I was doing my best to kill you and subjugate the galaxy – not even after I did kill you once. The only reason you'd blow up a planet is if the universe is at stake, and there was nothing else you could do, including get yourself killed first."
The Doctor gave the Master a side glance. He knew the Master well enough to know that this speech was an apology. He could feel how shaken-up the other Time Lord was to have provoked the kind of reaction he had, as well as genuine remorse, and some uneasiness.
"I'm gonna murder you, one of these days," he told the Master mildly, turning to face him.
The Master relaxed and grinned. The Doctor glanced at Morag. She looked somewhat horrified, but there was also compassion and empathy in her gaze.
The Doctor took a deep breath.
Before he could say anything, though, there was a knocking on the front door.
"That's probably my Mum," Morag murmured, and went to answer it.
The Doctor let out a breath of frustration, not sure whether he was upset or relieved that he wasn't going to get a chance to explain to Morag right now. His emotions still felt a bit tumultuous, from all the things he normally kept bottled-up but that the Master had inadvertently released.
"You're a git," he snapped as he whirled on the Master, before stalking past Morag and her Mum and ignoring Morag's perturbed, concerned gaze to stalk down to the TARDIS.
The Doctor slumped in one of the console room chairs and took a deep breath. Part of him couldn't believe he'd lost control like that, but at the Master's words something had snapped and he was instantly back in the mindset where worlds were burning and Time was screaming all around him and it was kill and kill or die and kill and see so much pain and death –
The Doctor sucked in a pained breath and tried to turn his thoughts to other things. Rassilon, why did it have to hurt so bloody much every time he actually remembered what it was like to live in the War?
He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, a big knotted ball of tension and tears lodged in his chest, but he couldn't cry, couldn't let go, and the throbbing ache in his hearts didn't ease at all.
He didn't know how long he sat there before a small hand rested on his shoulder, startling him into opening his eyes, and squeezed gently.
He stared up at Morag, who was looking down at him with soft, sympathetic eyes.
"You were in a war, then?" she asked.
He looked away.
"Yeah. I was."
"I'm sorry," Morag said simply, rubbing his shoulder comfortingly.
The Doctor looked back at her, really looked, at the compassion and feeling and humanity of her, and stared in wonder.
Part of his brain was babbling on about how she was just a human and an idiot ape and just trying to cheer him up and none of it was special, and another part spinning comparisons with starlight and eternity, but the most of him was sitting in stunned realisation.
I could so easily love this woman.
"Thanks," the Doctor said softly, and stood up, shrugging on his usual brisk, get-things-done manner.
"So," he said cheerily, "let's get this message sent out."
The Master raised an eyebrow.
"I reckon," the Doctor continued cheerily, deliberately upbeat, "that if we send out a message on the same frequency as the homing beacon, that should get their attention."
"Fine," the Master said, sounding vastly put-upon. He stalked over to where the camera view was. "Let's get this boring bit out of the way so we can get to the fun part."
"Better keep out of view," the Doctor told Morag. "They're not likely to have much of an opinion of humans."
Morag raised her eyebrows, but moved over to the wall, while the Master muttered, "they're not the only one."
Sending the Master an admonitory look, the Doctor set the TARDIS to begin recording in a few seconds, and stood back. Instantly the Master assumed a predatory, waiting pose, a half-smile curving one side of his mouth, and his eyes gleaming maliciously as he twirled the laser screwdriver between his fingers.
There was a quiet beep, and the Doctor stared sternly into the camera, letting his age and experience seep into his eyes.
"Hello," he chirped. "You lot up there, hanging over all the major population centres. This is a class five planet you're plannin' on invading. Direct contravention of the Shadow Proclamation, articles fifteen, seven, and thirty-eight hundred. That's a lot of penalties you'll have to pay, probably even lifetime incarceration for some of you. Is it really worth it? Because this planet is protected, by more than you know, and I can guarantee that if you go ahead with this invasion, you're not gonna like the consequences. So I'd think about changing my mind, if I were you. You've been warned."
The Doctor leaned forward and tapped at the keyboard, ending the recording, and sending the transmission.
"What now?" Morag questioned.
The Doctor and the Master exchanged glances.
"Hopefully, they'll send us a reply," the Doctor said. "The only species able to command Zyprexian hellhounds are the Clatranitx, and they've got a bit of a superiority complex, so they should do."
"Which'll give us a direct signal to lock onto when they throw our warning back in our face," the Master finished triumphantly, smirking happily.
"Exactly," the Doctor agreed. He looked at Morag. "Best thing you can do is get a good night's sleep. I'll wake you in the morning."
"Do you reckon it's safe to go back to my flat?" she wanted to know, a bit worried at the idea of going back there alone.
The Doctor considered it for a moment.
"Probably better not to," he admitted. "You can take one of the TARDIS bedrooms. Come on, I'll help you get settled in."
The next morning, halfway through a hearty breakfast at what Morag complained was an unreasonably early hour, the TARDIS received a response to the Doctor's message. Breakfast was abandoned in favour of discovering what it said.
It was an arrogant, somewhat insulting message from an Clatranitxian general, that stated in no uncertain terms that the Clatranitx had every intention of continuing the invasion, regardless of the Shadow Proclamation's rulings.
The Master gave a deeply satisfied smirk, one corner of his mouth curling up and his eyes going to half-closed slits, as he examined the information the TARDIS had provided.
"The TARDIS has isolated the signal," he purred, tapping at the keyboard as he spoke. "That's just the opening I need to hack into their ship systems." He smiled at the Doctor lazily. "I assume you're willing to let me have fun for once?"
"Go right ahead," the Doctor said grimly. "But make sure that nothing crashes in a populated area. I'll contact the Shadow Proclamation."
The Master pouted a little at the directive he received, but didn't protest. The destruction of the ships was adequate, as far as he was concerned, if not as devastation as he would have liked.
"You're crashing their ships?" Morag followed the Doctor as he went to the other side of the console.
"Yep," he affirmed briskly, typing commands. "All the smaller ships are going to be knocked out o' commission, while the computer for the primary ship undergoes a temporary systems failure. By the time they get it up and running again, the Shadow Proclamation should be ready to deal with it."
Morag glanced over uneasily in the direction of the Master, who was giggling madly around the other side of the console.
"One moment," the Doctor announced, pushing her gently aside and looking at a second display screen.
There was a gentle ding, and the screen suddenly began showing a live video stream. A young woman with pale hair and skin and red eyes and dressed in a sharp black uniform sat in front of the camera.
"Hello!" The Doctor gave her a cheerful little wave, smiling at her. "I'm the Doctor. Mind patching me through to Gloriana?"
The red eyes went wide, but the girl gave him a professional smile in return.
"One moment, Lord Emissary."
The screen went black for a minute or so. Just as Morag was about to ask whether the call had failed, the video feed started up again, this time showing a much older woman of the same colouring, wearing in a diaphanous, many-layered black dress and a serious expression.
"Doctor." It wasn't a particularly friendly greeting, but it wasn't hostile either.
"Hello, Glory," the Doctor smiled. A faint muscle twitched disapprovingly at the corner of the woman's mouth at the nickname, but otherwise she remained impassive. "Got a bit of a problem. I'm on Earth, galactic coordinates 03–0–44–9–2 by 4–6, class five planet. The Clatranitx are planning an invasion, in direct contravention to articles fifteen, seven, and thirty-eight hundred, and once the invasion's implemented they'll be in violation of at least five more. They've been given a warning by an official affiliate of the Shadow Proclamation, although I didn't actually identify myself as such, and have sent a message of rejection."
"Forward the transmission, please."
The Doctor did so, and Gloriana played it, her frown growing deeper as she listened.
"I see," she said once it was finished. "You are correct. This is deliberate and blatant transgression upon several articles of the Shadow Proclamation. May I receive the message you sent them?"
The Doctor obligingly sent this as well. As she listened to the Doctor's words, she sent him an admonitory glare, but grudgingly admitted,
"You followed the appropriate protocols, even if your notification was somewhat… informal. We will take action. Expect apprehension of the offenders within fifteen standard hours. Can you manage them until then?"
"Not a problem," the Doctor assured her.
"Very well. In that case, goodbye, Doctor."
The screen blanked.
"That went well," the Doctor observed.
"Why'd the first one call you Lord Emissary?" Morag wanted to know.
"Well." The Doctor looked a little uncomfortable. He'd never been one to court honours – he'd been President of the High Council of Gallifrey once, about as high a station as you could get, and his immediate response had been to flee and leave the capable Flavia in charge, which pretty much summed up his attitude to that sort of thing – but he'd been forced to take on a lot of important positions and titles during the War, and after it ended there wasn't really anyone else to take them. He still didn't like it, though.
"I'm not a member of the Shadow Proclamation, as such, but I'm sort of allied with them. It's not the same as actually being a representative, or a member, but I can act for them in certain situations, and in certain circumstances they have to act if I bring them something to deal with. I'm a Time Lord, see, and the Time Lords used to kinda oversee all of space and time, but these days there's only me and the Master left, which is why the Shadow Proclamation was formed."
"He got sick of having to fix everything himself!" the Master called.
The Doctor ignored this interruption.
"Because of the position we used to hold in the universe, they can't exactly ignore the Time Lords, but on the other hand they can't really include us either, not to mention the fact that there's only two of us and the other one's a psychopathic megalomaniac. So they made me a Lord Emissary, which is sort of like an ambassador for the entire race, only a bit more… practical, I s'pose."
There was suddenly loud cackling from the other side of the console.
"They're down!" the Master chortled gleefully. "All non-life support systems are down, and their fleet is being attacked by a mysterious virus. I'm going to go watch!"
With that declaration, he whirled and went striding for the TARDIS door, letting himself outside with a big grin on his face.
The Doctor sighed. The Master was the Master.
"That's it?" Morag seemed surprised, staring at him with big eyes.
"Pretty much, yeah," the Doctor agreed. "There'll be a bit of trouble if the soldiers on board get out, but all the agencies who deal with that sort of thing should be on high alert already, so it shouldn't be too bad. The Shadow Proclamation'll take care of all the rest of it. Bit limited, that lot, but good at what they do."
"It seems sort've anticlimactic," Morag mused.
"Yeah." The Doctor took a deep breath. "Listen, I was wondering; how d'you feel about going out an' getting a cup o' tea later?"
Morag's face whipped up, and she gaped at him, stunned and incredulous.
The Doctor cringed mentally, and prepared to backtrack and smooth things over, when suddenly she smiled, blindingly. He felt his hearts catch for an instant, and then start again.
"That sounds nice."
"I was thinking," he added, encouraged by this, "since I've got a space ship, we could go somewhere a bit more, you know, exotic." He took another deep breath. "Did I mention, my ship also travels in time?"
"You're kidding," Morag said delightedly, her eyes shining like stars. "Seriously?"
"Then that sounds incredibly fantastic," she grinned, taking his hand. "Be careful where you take me though, or I might not want to leave."
"I'll just have to risk it then," the Doctor replied in kind, grinning back at her in what he knew was a daft way, but unable to help himself. "Come on, we'd better make sure the Master isn't getting himself into trouble."
Morag laughed, and set off for the door.
They found the Master out in the street, scrambling eagerly over a piece of twisted debris towards the crashed ship that lay burning in a small crater in the middle of the road.
The Doctor let go of Morag's hand and ran over in concern, although he wasn't sure whether it was for the Master, or any alien soldiers he might encounter.
He reached the ship just as the Master succeeded in using the laser screwdriver to open the hatch, and stuck his head inside it.
A moment later he pulled it out again.
"All dead!" he cried jubilantly.
"You've got no survival instincts," said the Doctor.
"Died of praxis inhalation, as far as I can tell, so you might want to keep the humans away in case they keel over," said the Master, scrambling back down, and brushing off his suit. "And yes I do, actually, but only where actual threats are concerned. Give me a moment."
He started going through his pockets.
"Is it safe to come close?" Morag called, approached.
"Probably not," the Doctor called over. "Praxis gas. Best stay a few metres away."
The Master, still fishing through his pockets, made a vaguely triumphant noise, and extracted first a skewer, and then a packet of marshmallows, which he proceeded to open.
The Doctor gaped in disbelief as the Master happily skewered several marshmallows and held them over a burning section of the ship.
"We just defeated an alien invasion, and you're roasting marshmallows over their crashed and burning ship?" he asked in incredulity.
The Master fished out another skewer and proffered the bag of marshmallows.
"Yes I am. Want one?"
What the hell. It had been an annoying twenty-four hours.
"Oh, why not," the Doctor decided, and reached for the skewer.
"You two are completely mad, you know that?" Morag called. "Cute, but mad."
The Doctor didn't even have to look at her to know that she was smiling.
Extra author notes:
I'm aware my alt!Master is different from the main-verse!Master. He's not as insane, for one thing, and the drums don't have as strong a hold on him. In the main universe, I don't think the Master can help himself from running amok; in this universe, however, he does have some level of self-control (although exactly what level is debatable, as can be seen in parts in Not The Reunion I Was Hoping For.
I came up with the idea for this fic because someone who reviewed the original story commented that it was a pity that alt!Nine was left alone without a Rose. I thought about it, and while we knew that Pete's World didn't naturally have a Rose Tyler, we don't know why. It then seemed obvious to me that, well, there had to be a reason, and maybe Rose Tyler did have a counterpart, she just didn't know it. When I put the idea for this story out there Wiggie really like the idea, and so when she won my author auction, that was the idea I wrote. So thanks to my reviewer; this fic wouldn't be here without you. Thanks to Wiggiemomsi also, for giving me the chance to write this.