A/N: Written as a birthday present for helplesslynerdy, Pedro's official curator. Also, my apologies. Again.
The streets were deserted, and there were signs of fighting everywhere. At a loss for divining the Daleks' master plan, the Doctor questioned Donna about the meaning of Rose's warning.
Donna just smiled. "Why don't you ask her yourself?"
The Doctor turned, hardly daring to hope, and just like that, there she was.
Middle of the night, standing on an empty street corner. Her smile bloomed, bright as the sun, and without even realizing it, he was moving, running, racing toward her, and she was running toward him, and the only thing in time or space that mattered was a calculation of speed and distance, a figure ticking down until she was in his arms.
There was a burst of something smelling of transionic radiation and raspberries. Dimly, his brain recognized it as the activation of the TARDIS's tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator shielding, but neither he nor Rose saw anything but each other—at least not until the Dalek appeared from the shadowy alleyway.
In a panicked heartbeat, they both skidded to a stop, helpless to prevent the inevitable.
"EXTERMINATE!" The Dalek took aim at the Doctor and fired, but its shot bounced harmlessly off the shielding. A second later, Jack Harkness appeared out of thin air and destroyed it.
"Just in the nick of time," said Jack with a grin. Then he gestured to Rose. "Hey, Doc. Don't let me interrupt."
Rose tossed her gun to the ground just in time for the Doctor to sweep her up in a hug, spinning round and round.
"Rose, Rose, Rose," he cried joyously.
"Doctor!" she answered with shining eyes as he slowed their rotation and allowed her feet to touch down.
"Oh, Rose, my Rose," he breathed, as he cupped her face. "I've missed you."
"Me too," she whispered as he drew closer, fingers caressing her cheeks. Her hands slipped into his hair.
SPLAT! An instant before their lips touched, a large, slimy mass struck them, knocking them both off balance and thoroughly interrupting the kiss.
"Pedro!" cried Rose happily. She let go of the Doctor and hugged her long-lost friend. "Oh, I've missed you, too!"
Scowling, the Doctor wiped a stray bit of goo off his face. "Oh, brilliant timing, as always," he griped.
"ROSE," croaked Pedro, using his new inter-telepathy digital voice transference interface (an interface, the Doctor thought grumpily, that he himself had built for the ungrateful Dalek). "I AM VERY GLAD TO SEE YOU."
"Pedro! You can talk! Oh, you clever thing!" Rose swung Pedro around delightedly. "What will you think of next?"
"Now, wait a minute," started the Doctor, but the Dalek interrupted.
"ROSE," he said quickly, "I HAVE BEEN TAKING CARE OF THE TIME LORD AS PER YOUR INSTRUCTIONS."
"Of course you have," said Rose, eyes shining. "Bless your heart."
"Oh, of all the—" the Doctor complained. "I don't need looking after."
"I ACTIVATED THE SHIELDING PROGRAM," continued the Dalek, ignoring the Doctor, "SO AS TO PREVENT HIS DEATH. I ESTIMATE THAT THIS IS THE FIFTY-THIRD TIME I HAVE SAVED HIS LIFE."
Rose drew him closer in a little cuddle. "I knew I could count on you."
"Completely unnecessary," muttered the Doctor, kicking the tire of a nearby car. "At least half of those were completely unnecessary.
"FURTHERMORE, I HAVE BEEN MONITORING HIS SUGAR INTAKE. THERE HAVE BEEN OVER SEVENTY-FIVE JAM-BASED INFRACTIONS, TWENTY-SIX OF WHICH INVOLVED ORANGE MARMALADE."
"Bloody hell!" said the Doctor incredulously. "Have you been keeping track all this time? What, no other crimes you'd like to report? Leaving the milk out? Eating the last of the biscuits?"
"SINCE YOU MENTION IT," added Pedro, eyeing the Doctor, "THE TIME LORD HAS HAD MOUTH-ON-MOUTH INTERACTIONS WITH AT LEAST FOUR DIFFERENT FEMALES SINCE YOUR DEPARTURE."
"Oh really?" said Rose with a raised eyebrow at the Doctor.
"Oh, that's it!" With a tug, the Doctor pulled Pedro from Rose's arms and set him on the ground. He shook a finger in front of the Dalek's enormous eyeball. "We're going a round on this one, you horrible monstrosity! I've just got Rose back—was actually about to kiss her, no thanks to you. What on Earth are you going on about jam and other women for?"
"I ONLY REPORT THE FACTS," answered Pedro smugly. "DO YOU DENY THE CHUTNEY INCIDENT ON TRADIX 9?"
"Those facts are highly interpretive!" yelled the Doctor, tugging at his hair. "And I thought we agreed not to speak of Tradix 9 anymore—in fact, I'm fairly sure we shook on it!"
"NO, THAT WAS FOR YOUR ARREST ON THE JUBPO-DEX DELTA SPACE STATION FOR PUBLIC INDECENCY AFTER YOUR TROUSERS CAUGHT FIRE."
As the two of them worked themselves up into a right frenzy, Rose wandered over to say hello to Jack and Donna. After the hugs were done, she leaned back against the TARDIS beside her two friends and watched the Doctor and Pedro continue to argue.
"They always like that?" she asked.
Donna rolled her eyes. "Yeah."
"Pretty much," agreed Jack.
"Like an old married couple, the two of them," muttered Donna.
Rose observed the bickering for a moment, watching the identical way that arms and tentacles were waved in the air. "Still. It's sort of sweet."
Donna snorted. "Only for the first few minutes or so. Then I pull off a shoe and start smacking."
"Which one?" Jack wondered.
She shrugged. "Whichever one I can reach."
Several more minutes passed, during which many more jam-and-other-condiment-based accusations were thrown around. Eventually, with a "Fine!" and a "FINE!" they managed to reach some sort of understanding or at least a temporary cessation of hostilities.
As the Doctor swept toward the TARDIS, Jack straightened up. "So, Doc, what are we going to do about the—"
But the Doctor held up a hand to stop him. Before anyone else had a chance to speak, he grabbed Rose by the waist, tipped her back, and snogged the ever living daylights out of her.
Donna laughed, Jack wolf-whistled, and even Pedro made a sort of satisfied sighing noise. Then, they all stood around awkwardly as the kiss went on a bit longer than was strictly polite in the presence of company.
Finally, with a smacking sound, the Doctor released her. "There," he said, hair and eyes wild. "That'll do for now; there will be more kissing later. But first, let's go deal with the Dalek menace. The other Dalek menace," he added, glaring at Pedro. He thrust open the doors to the TARDIS and started quickly up the ramp.
"I," he announced, "have had enough of Daleks in general, and these Daleks in particular, the grubby little planet-snatchers. We are going to find them and make them rue the day. Good word, rue. Rue. Ruuuue."
At the top of the ramp, he abruptly spun around. "Huh." He tapped a finger to his chin. "Does anyone else get the feeling that we've just mucked up a fixed point in time?"
When Rose, Donna, and Jack all shrugged, the Doctor frowned. Then, as he started back toward the console, he slipped in a patch of stray Dalek slime (no doubt the result of Pedro's hasty exit) and went head over heels. With a nasty sounding crack, he hit his head on the edge of the console.
"Doctor!" cried his three companions simultaneously as they rushed forward.
The Doctor blinked his eyes woozily and lifted a hand in front of his face to get a look at it. Almost instantly, golden light started to pour out from underneath his skin. From just under the console edge, Jack's disembodied-hand-in-a-jar started to rattle.
The Doctor observed this with a sigh. "Bloody self-correcting time stream. Ah well, at least I got to kiss her in this version."
-_-_-Much later, on a beach in Norway (after the whole pesky bit with Davros) -_-_-
The sound of the TARDIS engines faded, and Rose stared at the print in the sand—all that was left of the time machine in this universe. Someone stepped beside her, and a hand slipped shyly into hers.
"I didn't get to say goodbye," Rose murmured. She turned to look at the Metacrisis Doctor, heart in her throat.
"I know. I…he…" He swallowed. "Rose, it was the best he could do."
She blinked away her tears. "Sure, of course. Would have been nice to say goodbye properly, though. To him, and…and Pedro, too." She wiped a hand over her face.
The Doctor tugged an ear. "We-ell, I might be able to help you there." He flipped open the pocket in the front of his blue suit, and after a moment, a tentacle curled up and over the edge.
"Pedro!" cried Rose as she and the Doctor helped extricate him from the extra-dimensional pocket space.
Pedro huffed and puffed as he climbed up her arm and onto her shoulder. "I HAVE DECIDED TO RELOCATE MY PRIMARY DOMICILE TO THIS UNIVERSE."
"But will the other Doctor be OK without you?" Rose wondered, sounding worried. She looked back at the space where the TARDIS had been.
The Doctor and Pedro exchanged a glance behind her back.
"DO NOT WORRY. HE'LL BE FINE," said Pedro, patting her arm reassuringly.
"Sure," said the Doctor bracingly. "He'll be…right as rain."
"BRIGHT EYED AND BUSHY TAILED."
"In the pink."
"Safe as houses, really."
Rose sniffled and wiped her eyes again. "You know you're both really shit liars, right?" She sighed. "Well, too late to do anything about it now."
"That's the spirit," said the Doctor, taking her hand again. "And just think what wonderful adventures we'll be able to have, the three of us."
"YES. WE COULD CONQUER THE WORLD AND SUBJUGATE THE POPULACE." When the Doctor and Rose stared at him, Pedro affected a shrug. "WELL, WE COULD."
"Er," said Rose, "let's keep that one on standby for now, yeah?"
"Oh, one last thing. I probably should have checked earlier, but…your flat." The Doctor rubbed a hand over the back of his neck again.
"What about it?" asked Rose.
The Doctor glanced at the Dalek on her shoulder. "Does it take pets?"
Pedro glared at him. "AS A FULLY SENTIENT AND SELF-ACTUALIZING LIFEFORM, I WOULD PREFER NOT TO BE REFERRED TO AS A 'PET.'"
"I think it does," said Rose lightly, ignoring Pedro. "But only up to 12 kilos. So Pedro should be OK." She tilted her head, considering the Doctor. "You on the other hand…"
"YOU CAN LIVE WITH JACKIE AND PETE."
Rose laughed, and the Doctor spluttered indignantly, and together, the three of them walked off into a bright and happy future.
THE END (And this time, I really mean it.)