CARPE TEMPUS
Chapter Twenty


A/N: In looking over the last chapter, I had to redo most of it. Guess my nervousness over writing stuff like that broke my grammar filter. Final Chapter! Thank you all for sticking with me on this. =)


Between the three of them, Martha, Jack, and Gwen stayed with Phea around the clock in shifts. While Owen Harper was forbidden from stepping foot into the room, the rather bubbly and outspoken Toshiko Sato made food runs, and tended the rift monitor by hand held remote. It was completely surreal for Martha, but it seemed that Tosh and Owen would be diametric opposites no matter the universe they came from. What she found amusing, was that this Harper was pining after Sato instead of the reverse.

Leaving Gwen to it with Phea, Martha and Jack were busy devouring the latest Chinese take out in the conference room. While things were subdued, they still managed to crack each other up over things.

"He didn't!" Jack shouted with eyes wide as saucers.

Grinning through her mouthful of rice, Martha nodded. "He did. Mum didn't know what to do with herself. No one's told her off quite like that before."

"So," Jack said, picking at his moo goo gai pan, "do you still have a husband?" he asked with raised eyebrows. "I mean, Francine is nothing if not consistent."

Nodding, Martha's grin was quite large. "Yeah, the Mickster lives. But you should'a seen her, Jack. Ooh, if only I had a camera!"

Grinning, Jack leaned on the table. "Tell me."

She held up a finger and swallowed, chasing it with some soda. "She said 'You can't talk to me like that!'", doing a rather spot on head swivel. "And he said," she lowered her voice with her bottom lip out, "'Course I can. Who's the husband here, me or you?'"

Laughing like crazy, Jack smacked the table with his palm. "Did she slap him?"

"She tried," Martha grinned. "Has to be the first time someone caught her wrist like that, because her eyes bugged right out!"

A comical expression frozen on his face, Jack thought about it and tilted his head. "Has to be from growing up with Jackie." Martha smiled wide and nodded her head, giggling.

The intercom crackled on, and they heard Gwen. "Martha? Jack? Get down here. Something's happening."

Rushing down the stairs, they came into the infirmary to hear Phea groaning. "She at it again?" Jack asked.

Gwen shook her head. "It's different this time. She's mumbling something I don't understand."

Jack came up beside Gwen and looked down while Martha went about Phea's vitals for the umpteenth time. Hair almost completely blond, her clothes were softly glowing now. "What are you seeing, Gwen?"

Hands going out, Gwen motioned over her clothes. "It's getting hard to look at her. I know she's there, but it's like she's not supposed to be or something."

Martha looked over at Jack from the biorhythm monitor. "A perception filter?"

Jack looked at Gwen. "We can't see what you see. Not yet anyway. Do me a favour and look through her jacket. Wallet, chain, whatever. See if you find anything."

Nodding, Gwen moved to the head of the bed when Jack got out of the way. Martha's eyebrows shot up when it looked like Gwen's hand disappeared. "Where's your hand?"

Gwen glanced up briefly. "Right, inside, jacket pocket." Pulling her hand out, it looked like she had something in her hand. Holding it up to them, they just shook their heads and shrugged. "S'her pocket purse." Setting the unseen object on the table next to the bed, she searched through the other inside jacket pocket. Hissing, she jerked her hand out and they saw a glowing trail fall to the floor with a clink. "What the hell is that? Nearly burned off my fingerprints!" she complained.

Looking to the floor, Jack couldn't see it. "Was it a key?"

Sucking on her fingers, Gwen looked down and nodded. "S'like it was on fire! Hold on," she paused, staring at Phea. "She's in focus now."

Jack and Martha looked at each other with dreadful recognition. "Her TARDIS," they said together and ran out of the room.


Rose's eyes unevenly opened, left following the right, and she felt a bit delirious. Squinting because it was entirely too bright, she pulled the duvet over her head with a grumble. Tha's not right. I pulled it up, but why didn't I feel it? An' where the hell's my pillow? Turning her head, her left cheek ran into something rather warm. Eyes popping open, her face morphed into a brilliant smile. It was real! she thought, feeling John's pleasantly warm presence in the back of her mind.

Becoming a bit more aware of herself, she realized that the warm blanket wasn't a blanket at all. Giddy now, she felt up this 'warm blanket' and discovered that John hadn't moved at all from when she fainted. He must've passed out when I did. Purring, the heels of her feet felt somewhat fuzzy calves and she sighed happily. Then she giggled when she realized something else was still in place.

A low murmuring grumbled out of John's throat. For some reason, his bed felt absolutely delicious. Feeling it move under him, his eyes opened to see blond hair over red grass through filtered light. Awareness hit him, and he felt Rose's mind as clearly as his body registered the mattress beneath him actually being the woman he loved more than being alive. Her giggling made him grin. "Hello. Ooh." He bit his lip when he felt what the giggling did to him 'down there'.

Hugging him with every part of her when he spoke, Rose nuzzled his ear. Nothing in the world had prepared her for such an experience before. God. Blew the top of my head right off. The only thing she could think of to say, was a rather long and drawn out "Blimey," in a low voice resembling a growl. When John moved his head to look at her, she matched his heavily lidded gaze. "I love you," she said, still with that gravely voice. She was quite hoarse for some reason. Might have had to do with her volume from earlier though. His answer to her profession of love was a languid kiss that made her toes curl.

She pouted when he rolled to the side, and scrambled lazily to keep them together. Ending up on top of him, she sighed with a smile. Don't wanna move. Don't wanna think. Don't wanna do anything except lie here. God, I love this man.

'I love you too, my heart.'

Rose's eyes snapped open again, and she turned her head to look up to see John smiling at her. Blinking mutely, she grinned sheepishly. 'This is gonna take some getting used to.'

Kissing her forehead, John chuckled weakly. 'You'll adapt quickly, I promise,' he thought to her. 'In the meantime, words are so inefficient.' Focusing on her, he opened up his end of the bond, and sent every ounce of love he felt to her.

Gasping, tears dribbled down her face when she felt ten times the amount of love and devotion she'd felt when he first showed her a year ago. Stretching up, she kissed him and tried to reciprocate. Instead, the kiss faltered and her head came to rest on his soulder. She was sound asleep not two seconds later.

Chuckling over it, John leaned his head back and found that it rested on a pillow. "Thanks dear," he said hoarsely, before joining Rose in actual slumber.


Jack and Martha ran into the morgue, and started hearing something resembling TARDIS engines faintly. Looking at the 'car', they both turned their heads when they realized the noise was coming from behind them. Turning fully, they watched as a door came into existence next to the one they came through.

The door slammed inward and a very smartly dressed Rose came out, looking like she came from some professional job with white slacks and a matching blazer. It looked fantastic with her long blond hair. She immediately took Martha's hands. "No small talk. Where's my daughter?" she demanded in a panic.

A quick look at Jack, Martha led Rose out just as John came out of their TARDIS. "Hi Jack. Sorry, but I can't tell you a lot right now. Come with me. We need to sort Junior." Breezing past him, he went straight for the car. "Open up!" he shouted.

"Hello to you, too," Jack said under his breath. It surprised him when the boot of the car opened instead of the driver's door. Coming up behind John, he ducked down and followed him down the stairs that were inside.

Gwen looked up when Martha came in, followed by Rose. "There you are!"

Waving at her, Rose was in full maternal mode. "Sorry Gwen, no time to talk just now, thanks." Coming quickly to the side of the bed, She reached down and took her daughter's head with both hands. Closing her eyes, she dove into her mind. 'Swee'hear', it's mum. Can you hear me?'

'Mummy, it's dark,' she replied. 'Too dark. It's completely mad! Nothin' makes sense!' she wailed.

"It's gonna be like that for a while, baby. I'm sorry," Rose said aloud for Martha and Gwen's benefit. "It's almost over, I promise. I'll be here when you wake up." Kissing her forehead, she forced her daughter to sleep, then looked up to her friends. "Two versions are mergin' now. It's almost over, but there's about half a day left to it. Just know that she'll be all right. Thank you so much for taking care of my little girl!"

Blinking, Martha realized something. "You look good for being some eighteen years older, Rose. In fact, it doesn't look like you've hardly aged at all."

"Can't tell you too much about it, I'm afraid," Rose said, pursing her lips. "'Bout the only thing I can tell you is that I'm not exactly human any more." Both of them looked at her with big eyes at that. She grinned sheepishly. "You'll find out in about three days."

Flat on their backs underneath the console, Jack looked at John. "Why three days?"

"You know better," John chastised with a frown. "Suffice it to say, you'll know when it happens. You'll have the biggest headache you've ever had in your life, actually. Fortunately, it'll last only thirteen point eight minutes."

"That's a hell of a raw deal," Jack complained.

"Live with it," John said while bypassing a circuit. "To be fair, it's going to be so far beyond brilliant, it'll literally knock you silly," he grinned.

Looking him over appreciatively, Jack had to ask. "So, what's with the suit? Thought you liked leather?"

"Hand me the retaining callipers," John said with a grin. "We just came from the church. Retook our vows this morning, relatively speaking that is."

Smiling wide, Jack barked a laugh when he handed him the tool. "Congratulations! Twenty or fifty? Looks to be ten, but there's no telling with you two."

Chuckling, John twisted open a different panel. "About the only thing I can tell you, is to put a temporal lock the files that Dr. Harper's writing up. Set it to open thirty years from now."

Jack baulked at that. "I'm so gonna fire that man. Thirty years? Why aren't you grey yet?"

"Find out in three days," John evaded with a grin. "You're a brilliant uncle, by the way. Just thought I'd tell you that. Spoiler free, that is."

Grimacing, Jack started bitching. "I hate causality loops!"

"You said that five minutes ago," John said, chuckling.

Blanching at that, Jack stared at him. "I'm with you guys?"

"Spoilers," John said cryptically, making him frown.


A few hours later, John woke up completely confused. This isn't the arboretum. What the… Oh please tell me that wasn't all a dream, he lamented.

'M'here,' he heard Rose think and felt her hugging him. Lifting his head up, he saw her blond hair in disarray all over his chest. Grinning, he ran his fingers through her hair and looked around.

Realizing they were in his… no, their room by the look of her stuff interspersed around the place, he smiled wide. Thanking their ship for making them more comfortable, he eased Rose to the side. Kissing her cheek, he had an idea. "Going to go get some breaky, be back in a few." The sudden assault of the flavours of chips and chocolate made him chuckle. "Right. How bout a chocolate shake and some chips?" Seeing her slight nod, he grinned and got out of bed, then tucked her in.

A quick shower and a change of clothes later, he was in the console room. Moving the ship back to the pub location, he stepped out and immediately complained about the brightness of the sunlight. Hearing Rose giggle in the back of his mind, he grinned. "Yeah, yeah. Hush." Flicking his sonic over his glasses to shade them, he put them on and went to go get 'breakfast'. Didn't matter that it was nearly noon.

On his way back, he was sucking on a banana shake and carrying the bag in his right arm, with Rose's shake in his right hand. John was so deliriously happy, that he completely missed being followed. It wasn't obvious until one of his pursuers stepped in front of him.

"Oh, hello! Fine day for a walk, isn't it. A bit brisk, but…" His brain caught up with him then, and he felt the telepathic footprints of these two individuals, male and female. "Time Lords? Really! Oh, just look at you!" His smile threatened to fly off his face. "Oh this is brilliant! Pleased to meet you, and why-are-you-pointing-a-staser-at-me?" he frowned, finally noticing the gun.