Disclaimer: I don't own Dr. Who. I'm just someone who got struck by a series of plot bunnies who won't leave me alone. This may or may not end up being a short series. It depends on how long the bunnies want to stay around. Hope you enjoy.
As they watched it fade away she felt a warm hand slip into her, and gently squeeze. They stood there in silence for a few moments look at the place where their life had been. With a quiet sigh, he turned to head down the beach to where Jackie was standing talking on her mobile. The gentle tug of him turning brought her out of her revelries. She let herself be led away towards her mother. Neither said anything, simply walked in silence, neither wanting to let go of the other's hand.
As they approached Jackie she was finishing her call to Pete. "… It will be how long? Argh, alright we will just have to find someplace…. Love you too, see you in a bit."
Seeing them walk up, Jackie turned towards them, "Your father says it be about five hours before a ship can get to us. Best bet is to find some place, warm and dry for now." Rose merely nodded.
"There has got to be a pub or petro station somewhere near by." The Doctor looked around trying to see if there was anything near by. "We might even be able to get a lift into Bern from there."
"No sense standing around all day. Come on." Jackie sighed and started to walk down the beach toward the road.
For a moment the two of them looked back across the beach, but it was broken when he spoke, "We can only go forwards from here."
"Right…" she said quietly, and dropped his hand as she hurried after her mother.
Feeling suddenly cold, he put his hands in his pockets and slowly followed them down the long quiet road.
About an hour down the road they came to a small fishing village with a pub. It wasn't much but it was warm, dry, and could make a pot of tea. Rose was getting the tea, while Jackie checked in with Pete. He was sitting looking out the window at the sea. It was grey and rough like his thoughts. He was brought out of his thoughts as Rose set the tray down at their table.
"I got us some tea. It's not the poshest but it is hot." She sat out the mugs onto the table being careful not to make eye contact with him.
"Thank you." He turned to look at her as he accepted his, and took a sip. He couldn't help a slight up turn of his lips as he did so. Setting his mug down he looked over at her hoping she would look at him. "You remember."
She looked up at him a little surprised, "Remember what?"
"My tea." Before she could say anything he continued, "You remembered how I like my tea."
"One sugar and lemon." She said before she realized it. She looked away, anywhere than at him, she picked up hers, and took a sip. "Besides… how many cups of tea did I make you?" She tried to turn it into a joke, but it faded soon as it left her lips.
"Rose, I…" He started to say something but was interrupted by Jackie returning.
"There we are." She took a seat next to Rose, and took a sip of her tea. "One of the fishermen has to go into the next large town and said as long as we don't mind riding in his truck he will give us a lift. Your father will have zeppelin waiting for us there to take us home. Isn't that wonderful?"
"Yeah wonderful," Rose murmured as she looked out at the sea.
"Good news Jackie," He looked back down at his tea in his hands.
Sensing the tension Jackie tried to change the subject, "So Rose what do you want to do when you get back home?"
Uncomfortable Rose put her mug down, "Sorry but I think I will head to the loo. Long car ride ahead of us." She got up and headed to find the loo.
Once she was gone, Jackie sighed, and shook her head. "She is going to have to face it sooner or later. She can't keep running from it."
"From what?" He turned to look where Rose had gone.
"That she has everything she ever wanted, just not how she wanted it."
The trip back to estate was uneventful. The zeppelin was waiting for them when they arrived, and they were home by later that evening. Pete was happy to have his daughter back, and surprised to find the Doctor with them, but he accepted them into his home. Dinner had been a bit strained but little Toni kept smiles on their faces most of the time. Jackie kept up a running history telling him all that had been happening in the past couple years. He only paid half attention to it as he studied Rose. She was quiet most of the evening, and right after dinner she said she was tired and headed to bed early.
With her gone the Doctor poked around the manor's library; reading up on the history of this world he now lived in. That is where Pete found him a few hours later. "Catching up on a few things?"
"Yes, the history is fairly the same but much differs in the past hundred years or so." He took down a book from its shelf, put his glasses on, and went over to the sofa to start reading it.
"Any thought on what you would like to do now that you are going to be living here?"
"Had not really gotten that far." He turned the page on the book he was reading.
"Anything else you like to do besides travel all over the universe in a blue box?"
"I was a teacher once, of history. I actually liked doing it, but I don't know if I could handle the quiet life." He looked up from his book and looked across the room as if remembering something.
"I've got the connections. We could get you a job as a professor of history at one of the local universities. "
"It's possible." He shrugged and went back to his book.
"Or," Pete came over and sat in the chair across from him, "You could work for Torchwood."
He looked up at Pete with a look in his eyes that made Pete lean back quickly. "No."
Clearing his throat, "I did not mean as an agent. I meant as a freelancer. "
"What?" He looked up at him with an eyebrow raised.
"You know aliens, obviously, and sometimes we run into things we are not sure what they are. I just thought you might be willing to help us occasionally should something pop up."
"And who would I have to report to?"
"Technically you are not under anyone. You pick the jobs you want to do, and how you do them. You might be assigned an agent you have to work with when you are 'consulting' but other than that you are your own man."
"I'll think about it." He nodded and went back to his book.
It was early the next morning when Rose came out of her room still in her pajamas. She hadn't slept well. The past 24 hours kept replaying over and over in her head giving her no peace. She had finally given it up as a bad job and came down stairs for a cup of tea.
In the past she would come down and sat in the library with some trashy novel when she couldn't sleep. This morning she found something she didn't expect.
On the sofa in the library she found him asleep with a book on his chest, and his glasses askew. She couldn't help feeling a pang in her chest seeing him like that. She went over and gently pulled his glasses off and set them on the side table. She then gently tugged the book out from under his hands. She found that her hand lingered on his chest for a moment longer than it needed to. The feeling of the single heart beat under her hand. She marked his place with a scrap of paper, and sat it aside for him. She took a blanket from a near by cupboard and carefully laid it over him. Closing the door behind her she left him in peace.
Her mind was elsewhere when she walked into the kitchen. She didn't notice her mother standing there making a cup of tea. "Morn' Sweet heart. How did you sleep?"
"Oh, uh good... good." Picking up her now cold tea she took a seat at the small table in the kitchen.
"Beatrice said she would be starting breakfast soon. " Jackie said as she bustled about, but Rose didn't react. "She was thinking of making something new this morning." Still no reaction, "She has this lovely poached pears and cream recipe…"
"No pears…" Rose mumbled.
Rose turned to her mum, "No pears. He … He doesn't like them, detests them really."
"Oh, well, I'll tell Beatrice to make something else then." Jackie tried to sound cheery.
"Thanks," Rose went back to her tea.
Jackie just watched her for a few minutes before coming over and sitting next to her.
"Sweetheart, you need to talk to him."
"… Not the man you knew?" Jackie supplied.
Rose nodded her eyes down to the table.
"Neither is Pete. Yes he looks like your father, talks like him, but he is not the man I married all those years ago and a world away." She sighed. "Your father was full of ideas, and energy. Then he was gone, killed." She wrapped an arm around her daughter shoulders. "Then I met Pete. I wasn't sure I could love him like I did your father." She sighed and looked out the window into the garden. "Then he did something I can never forget."
"What was that?"
"He went back for you." She stroked Roses hair. "You were not his daughter, but he would risk the universe for one last jump to our world to save you."
"If he hadn't I would have been pulled into the void."
"Yeah," She continued to stroke her daughter's hair, "He is not my Pete Tyler, but he is a man that is good, kind, loving, and somehow still puts up with me despite my flaws."
Rose couldn't help a slight smile at that. "I'm not his Jackie. And frankly I'm glad I'm not, but he loves me for who I am, and that is what matters."
"What should I do, mum?"
Jackie made Rose face her, "I can not tell you what to do, but I will tell you this. He has cared about you for a long time, and he has always kept his promise to me. Through all your adventures together he has always brought you home. Time and again he would be willing to tear the world apart to protect you." Leaving Rose to her thoughts, Jackie kissed her forehead.
As Jackie left the kitchen she took a tea tray with her. In the hallway she ran into Pete. He gave her a knowing smile.
"Yes well, here, take this he'll be need it." She kissed his cheek, and went off to get Toni ready for breakfast.
Sighing Pete took the tray and headed for the library. It was the last place he had seen him; so, the best place to start. As he opened the door he saw him on the couch. Louder that he needed to, "You do know that you had a nice bed waiting for you upstairs?"
The Doctor shot up from the couch disorientated. The last thing he remembered was reading in the library. Hearing Pete's chuckle he turned to him. "Oh, uh Good morning."
"Sure," He looked around the room, and saw that his glasses and book were set aside. He didn't remember doing that. Nor did he remember the blanket he was currently tangled up in.
Shortly Pete brought over a cup of tea for him. As he added his sugar and lemon Pete decided to just step right into it. "Why WERE you sleeping down here?"
After taking a sip of tea he responded, "I was down here reading, and I guess I fell asleep."
"With how I found you I thought…"
"Nah, I personally prefer a nice good down then this lumpy thing." He indicated the sofa he was sitting on. "Though it certainly didn't make my suit look any better. Especially since it is the only set of clothing I have."
"That is something that can be remedied." Pete said as he stood up. "I'll have a car prepared for you, and after breakfast you can go shopping if you like."
"I don't have any money."
"You have done so much for us; let us take care of you for once." Pete gave him a bit of a smile, "Besides it will get you out of Jackie's clutches for a little while."
"I have to go into the office today so I must be off but," Pete grew serious for a moment, "We have some pajama's you can use in your guest room. Have a kip until breakfast, and then see what happens."
"How do you deal with it?" He stood up to face Pete.
"That Jack's isn't MY Jackie?" The Doctor nodded. "She is a different person but the same person. THIS Jackie spent 20 years raising a child on her own; mine was more interested in how she looked. I love Jack's for who she is, not who she looks like. I just got lucky. I had the chance to find my other half all over again, and I'm better for it."
"I hope you are right."
"If there is anyone who understands what you are going through, it is me." Quietly Pete left him to his thoughts.
A couple hours later, he appeared in the dinning room, in the striped pajamas he had found, and a dressing gown. The others were already dressed, but he chose to ignore it.
"'Ello…" He greeted them and sat down with them.
"Feeling better this morning, are we?" Jackie asked as she finished her breakfast.
"A little." He smiled, and turned his attention to Rose, "And what are you going to do with your day Miss Rose?"
It was then that Pete stood up from his end of the table, "Jack's, would you help me get Toni ready for Nursery?"
"He is already ready." Jackie turned her attention back to the couple at the table.
"Jackie…. I need you help upstairs." He tried to indicate for her to follow him.
"Oh alright…" She followed him out the door.
Once they were out of ear shot she turned on him, "What's the mean of this Pete what was so important?"
"I just think that they need some time alone." He indicated the dinning room.
"Oh, I don't know. " Rose shrugged and stirred her breakfast. "Didn't really have a plan for after."
"Oh, well I was just thinking…." He looked back to his own breakfast.
"What were you just thinking?" She looked up at him.
He looked up to look her in the eyes, and then his courage gave out, "That I hate these pajamas."
She looked at him like he had lost his mind, "What?"
"I detest these things. I swear I go from one world to another and these blasted striped pajamas follow me around."
"Ok, so what does that have to do with me?" She couldn't help the smile on her face.
"I was wondering if.. youwouldgoshopping with me." He said quickly.
"Pardon?" She looked at him confused.
"The only clean clothes I have are these bloom'n pajamas, and I was wondering you would go with me," he sighed, "to get new ones."
"Completely." He said as he popped the 'p'.
She put her face in her hands, and gave a loud "Argh", "You do realize you are completely mad don't you."
"I can't very well pop into my old closet and get cloths now can I?" She rolled her eyes at him, but didn't respond. "So, how about it?"
"Sure…" she sighed, "Give me 20 minutes and I'll meet you down front."
"Fantastic," he gave he a smile, that for a moment she could see the man she fell in love with in he first place.
Several hours later they were dumping several bags into the back seat of the car Pete had loaned them. Rose had thought her father had gone balmy when the car waiting for them was a Daimler D.B.18 convertible. However, for some reason, it seemed to fit his personality. It almost felt like old times. Him dragging her around looking at things, and just enjoying each other's company.
"Do you really need 7 pair of the same trainers?" Rose asked as she sat a bag down.
"Their not the same, their different colors; besides I happen to like Maroon." He smiled at her.
"Balmy you are." She looked around the area,"You have 3 new suits, and a dinner jacket being delivered tomorrow, and essentials were bought. What else is there to get?"
"I'm sure if we look hard enough we could find something." He smiled. "Although, the weather is nice. How about a walk?"
"Every time I have been here before it has been on a mission of some sort. I thought it would be nice just to walk around a bit, see this city I now live in." He put his hands in his pockets a bit dejected.
"We really should head back." Rose made to get into the car, but he stopped her with one simple word.
"Please." He offered her his hand,"Would you go for a walk with me?"
She took one look at his eyes and she couldn't say no. She accepted his hand, and they began slowly walking down the street until they came to the river.
They walked in silence for a while before he stopped at a small river side park and looked out onto the water.
"I just never thought it would be possible."
"What wouldn't be possible?"
"This." He indicated the scene before them. "A day spent doing ordinary things, no worries, just time to spend with some one that I…" He sighed.
"We once talked about this, do you remember?"
"The black hole, when we thought we had lost the tardis."
"Yeah, I thought we were going to be stuck on that thing, in that time."
"We got out of it, didn't we." He tried to give her a smile but it faltered.
"Yeah we did."
Releasing her hand he walked over to lean on the railing separating them from the river. A moment later she joined him on his right side.
"Did you mean everything you said that day?"
"At the black hole?" He continued to look out on the river.
"Yes, I mean no," she sighed, "Did you mean what you said yesterday at Bad Wolf Bay." Pushing forward before her courage gave out, "When you left me, did you mean to say that."
He turned to face her, and used his thumb to push a strand of her hair out her face, "I meant to say it but the door shut too fast. Then after that…"
"Yes," He let his hand slip down her face and turned back to the river.
"Do you still mean it now?"
"I go to the end of the universe for you and you still wonder?" He looked back at her annoyed.
"I just want to hear it."
Smiling slightly he bent down and spoke into her ear again what she had wanted to hear. This time the kiss that followed was not a kiss of loss but of hope. It took a while before they broke apart. He wrapped her in his arms and held her to him. This time he did not have to let her go. After a moment he looked down at her. "Do you smell that?"
"Smell what?" She looked around thinking there was trouble.
"Chips." He smiled.
"I love chips." She laughed.
"Come on, lunch, my treat." He patted the pocket that held his card.
They both laughed. It wasn't perfect, and no, he wasn't really the Doctor, but he loved her and she him. And they would be alright.