Author's note: I enjoyed playing in The Phoenix and the Wolf's sandbox and felt that there was more story there, so here's the sequel. If you haven't read the previous, why not? If you don't want to, though, here's the recap: Rose and the Doctor have matching lifespans now, thanks to the Bad Wolf, and they're married. They reconnected with Harriet Jones, who warned them about the Torchwood threat (take that, Doomsday!). What happens now? Read on to find out…

Prologue

Cool night air drifted over the Roald Dahl Plass, leaving a damp film over everything it touched—including the tall, battered blue police box that was tucked into a dim alleyway. The doors opened with a creak and the Doctor and Rose tumbled out, nearly breathless with laughter.

"I can't believe he took you up on that!"

The Doctor grinned down at Rose, his brown eyes dancing. "What, would you rather I'd let the whole forced marriage setup alone?"

Rose shook her head and burrowed more closely into the Doctor's coat, shivering. "'Course not, you know that—but a potato?"

He sniffed. "I happen to know they were very happy together." At her shuddering giggle, he frowned. "You seem cold, Rose."

She rolled her eyes. "No kiddin', Sherlock."

"No need to get like that. Here, pull away for a second, I think I've got something in my pockets that'll help."

Rose stepped back, rubbing her hands over her arms, and watched in amusement as the Doctor pulled the end of a large woolen scarf out of his pocket—and kept pulling. Several minutes later he yanked the last bit out, grinning in satisfaction. "I knew I'd kept it in there somewhere. C'mere." When Rose stepped closer he began wrapping the striped scarf around her, looping and tucking until she had a warm jumper to cover her thin jacket.

She grinned up at him, warm and cozy in the woolen tangle. "I knew I married you for somethin'."

"You mean other than my dashing good looks and irresistible charm?" She smiled and didn't answer, and he frowned. "You did mean other than that, right?"

Rose just giggled and pulled on his arm. "C'mon. Apparently we've got twelve hours to…" she looked around and sighed, taking in the closed shops and damp air. "Explore Cardiff at night, when everything's closed."

"Well, not everything. There's a nice restaurant up the bay, I thought we might stop in for a bite to eat."

"Sounds good to me." The Doctor headed off enthusiastically but Rose stopped, dragging him to a halt. "Wait a minute, was this the place Blon Slitheen took you?"

He paused. "Maybe?" She raised an eyebrow at him and he rubbed his earlobe sheepishly. "They did have really good food."

"Yeah, an' a murderous alien!"

"Well, if I went by that standard, I'd never visit London again."

Rose opened her mouth to protest and paused, closing it again with a click. "Okay, you might have a point." The Doctor grinned and grabbed her hand, tugging her after him. They strolled off down the boardwalk, heads close together and voices carrying merrily through the night.

A dark figure stepped out of the shadows behind the TARDIS, his long coat flapping in the chill wind. "They got married? And I wasn't there!"