Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister sat at her breakfast table, enjoying the late morning sunlight while scanning through the news for possible extraterrestrial contact. It was a habit she'd gotten into during her time in office, and it had never gone away. 'Series of Abductions along Cottage Road'… most likely aliens. I do hope Captain Harkness will be able to help. A grinding pulse began to echo throughout the room, and a brisk wind blew her papers about. She blinked in the wind and stared at the kitchen doorway, where a painfully familiar blue police box had just begun to materialize. She stood quickly and attempted to straighten her loose grey jumper, grimacing a little bit at the state of her hair. No matter. The Doctor had seen her at her worst before.
After a few nerve-wracking minutes, the doors creaked open, revealing a trim pinstriped figure and a familiar female voice. "Just get out there and talk to her! You may not give second chances to your enemies, but Harriet Jones didn't deserve how you treated her. Now go."
The Doctor stepped out of his TARDIS, his hands deep in his pockets. The doors shut briskly behind him, and he spun when he heard the noise, his shoulders nearly rigid from discomfort.
Harriet cleared her throat. "Would you like a cup of tea, Doctor? I believe there is still plenty in the pot—my daughter sent me a rather lovely Earl Grey blend the other day, and I've found it's just the thing for a morning cup."
"That sounds lovely, thanks," The Doctor walked over to her breakfast table, shifting the papers his arrival had disturbed away from a second chair and sitting nervously. He waited for her to serve him—somehow, Harriet was not surprised. He fiddled around with his tea and refused to meet her eyes, and she shook her head in bemusement as she cleared her table of the newspaper debris. A near-immortal guardian of Earth, and he was behaving like a recalcitrant child. He picked up his cup to take a sip, and she nearly dropped her sheaf of papers. A simple gold wedding band shone in the sunlight.
She raised her eyebrows and straightened the Mr. Copper Foundation reports. "You do tend to make a mess when you appear, don't you Doctor?"
At that, he flinched and finally met her eyes. She'd never met anyone who carried quite so many years in their eyes as the Doctor, in either incarnation, though Jack Harkness in Cardiff carried some of that same exhaustion of the over-experienced in his expression.
The Doctor watched her carefully, his brow furrowed. "Harriet Jones. You were supposed to be Prime Minister for three consecutive terms, you know. And then I came along. First of all, you ended so many lives with the decision to fire, and don't think I've forgotten that." His dark eyes bored into her, and she straightened her spine. He'd already made his opinion of her quite clear enough, thank you, but then he continued, speaking to the tablecloth. "But secondly—there is no way of knowing how many lives you saved. Rose is right," he said, and laughed a little. "She often is. The Sycorax had already shown their predilection for attacking when their opponent's back is turned, and there is no guarantee that they wouldn't have returned with an armada."
"I've already considered this, Doctor. Indeed, in the time that has passed since Christmas, I've thought of little else."
"I've done you a great disservice, Harriet Jones." His expression was completely earnest. The Doctor sat at her breakfast table, apologizing and sipping tea from her daughter. Harriet surreptitiously pinched herself.
"May I ask what brought about this change in opinion? As I recall, Doctor, the last time we met you were quite clear about being a man of no second chances."
He glanced at the TARDIS behind him, where Rose presumably waited behind those blue doors. "I was given one myself, recently."
"And how is Rose?"
He smiled softly. "She's fantastic, absolutely fantastic. She'd love to see you. She just insisted that I talk to you first."
"Ah. Is this her doing, then?" When he looked at her blankly, she gestured between them. He flushed and scratched the back of his neck uncomfortably.
"Yes, well, in part, perhaps. She was the one who convinced me that I needed to rethink how I'd treated you. Harriet Jones… I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." He grimaced. "If it weren't for the fact that it was I who distorted the timelines, I'd offer to go back and repair what I'd done, but I'm far too much a part of the established events to offer you that."
She shook her head, half in protest and half in utter confusion. "I have made my peace with it, Doctor. And I still do the best I can, for Britain and for mankind."
"Of course you do." The Doctor's eyes were nearly glowing with pride and approval, and Harriet steeled herself against the instinctive satisfaction that threatened to shake her equilibrium. He was a changeable creature, the Doctor, and she had to consider what he would do if he were unhappy with her again. His smile dimmed a little, and he reached out and covered her hand. "I am sorry, Harriet Jones. But perhaps you should consider running for office again. You may be strong enough to keep going without Britain, but Britain is far stronger with you."
Harriet blinked away a sudden dampness in her eyes. "I think I will consider it, Doctor." He smiled at her and turned to fetch Rose, and she reached out and touched his shoulder. "Wait. There's something you should know. There's an organization called Torchwood—it's been around for over a century, and you are their prime target."
She looked down and fiddled with the small gold watch on her wrist. "I wasn't supposed to know about them, really, but just after I was elected I busied myself with knowing the purpose of each section of my government. They are beyond any jurisdiction I know of, and they're dangerous. I've personally met the woman in charge of the London branch several times—one Yvonne Hartman. She is quite obsessed with you, Doctor, and refused to let me alone once she discovered somehow that I had met you. I deleted Rose and her family from every account that I could, but there's no knowing what information they have at their disposal. Be careful, Doctor. She is that most dangerous type of fanatic—she truly believes she is doing good. If she were attempting to get her hands on you, I honestly don't know where she would stop."
He nodded grimly before knocking on the door of the TARDIS, and Harriet was distracted by the blonde blur that emerged to crush her into a hug. She smiled and held Rose tightly. "Hello, my dear girl. I apparently have you to thank for my morning visitor."
Rose pulled back with a laugh, her eyes watering. "'S the least we could do, really. I've missed you."
"And I you, Rose. Please, would you like some tea?"
"I'd love some, thanks." She sat down beside the Doctor, and Harriet surreptitiously glanced at her hand as she passed her a cup of tea. A matching wedding band encircled Rose's finger, and Harriet found herself unable to stop smiling as Rose peppered her with questions about what she had been up to, the Doctor sitting back with a smile as he watched his wife.
It was a very good thing that he had her, Harriet privately decided. As powerful and intelligent as the Doctor may be, he desperately needed someone to ground him, and it seemed Rose was doing that duty admirably.
All in all, it was one of the best mornings she had had in the past few months—or at least it was, until the bread she'd been baking ended up being burnt to a cinder because of the Doctor's parking job.