Okay, I've reposted this with a few edits because I had some time-confusion (thanks SpaceTimeConundrum) and honestly, I didn't intend on posting this last night (it was a drunken impulse urged on by my lab mates). I have MOST of this story written, but had wanted to wait to start posting until it was complete. I do have a beginning and an end and most of the bits in between, but I want to watch more classic episodes so I can do the older Doctors some justice. Also…I'm behind on the 11th Doctor episodes, so let me know if I'm really missing the target with the Eleventh Doctor. I don't typically write fan fic, and this particular fic was born of bouts of intense procrastination (I'm supposed to be analyzing data for my research thesis), so I'd really appreciate reviews on how it's coming along.
The Doctor was pacing, impatiently waiting for Rose to awaken. He had kept himself busy for the last few hours, but he was used to her being awake by this time, and so tired of pacing the coral-walled room, he decided to get ready for the day, changing from his pajama pants into his brown pinstripe trousers, lacing up his trainers, and fixing his hair. When he could stand it no more and was about to "accidentally" wake her, he saw her stirring and laid down on his side on the bed, head propped up on his arm.
Rose Tyler opened her eyes to a silly grin on a face inches from hers. "Good morning!" he greeted.
As much as she wanted to be annoyed at such cheerfulness this early, Rose couldn't help the grin that came across her face. "Mornin'."
"Rise and shine! Show a leg! Up and at 'em!" The Doctor stood up and pulled the covers back from her. "Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! I smell adventure in the air!"
"Can we smell some coffee, too?" Rose asked, and tried to grab the blankets back, but he pulled them out of reach. In just a pair of thin cotton pajama bottoms and a vest, she was freezing. "Oi! Give those back, its cold!"
"If you're cold, get dressed," he reasoned. He was still just in his brown trousers, white trainers, and a white t-shirt, and had walked over to the small wardrobe to retrieve a shirt and his suit jacket.
Rose rolled her eyes then groaned as she sat up and got out of bed. "Won't let me sleep in," she muttered. "Even after keeping me up all night."
"Didn't hear you complaining last night," he boasted with the cockiest grin he could muster, halfway into a blue oxford shirt. "In fact, the things I heard from you were certainly not complaints."
"Oh, you are so full of yourself," she said with a smile, stretching before heading into the en-suite as he finished dressing. A few seconds later, she poked her head out, toothbrush in her mouth. "I don't know what you're so chipper for," she said, mouth full of foam. "My mum is expecting us today, remember?"
The Doctor paused buttoning his cuffs. "That today?" he asked innocently. He had buttoned up his shirt front, leaving the top few undone, and shirt still untucked, shrugged into his jacket. "Well, time machine. Let's just do it tomorrow!" He jumped back onto the bed and landed in a reclined position as Rose came out to gather clothes for the day.
"Shoes off the bed," she said, swatting his feet as she walked by, and with a groan he stood up and began to make the bed. Rose set her things down and walked to the other side to help. "I miss her. And Tony and Dad. We haven't seen them in months."
The Doctor sighed. "Another visit on a Sunday with the in-laws," he said distastefully. "Why I agreed to doing that, I'll never know. I suppose adventure can wait 'til tomorrow."
She walked back over and kissed him. "You agreed because you love me. And thank you. I'm going to have a quick shower."
He smiled, looking at the pillow in his hands before laying it on the bed. "When did my life become so human?"
Rose grabbed his right hand and kissed it. "About four years ago, when you grew out of this hand for me," she said sweetly, and he made a happy noise in his throat. "And we live in a time machine. That's not so human." She added, kissing him once more and walking towards the bathroom.
He grinned and watched her walk away. "I'll put on the coffee and toast," he called out, as the door closed.
The Doctor put on a bowtie, as if it were any other day. He walked into his console room, as if it were any other day. He set coordinates, as if it were any other day. He sat back in the jump seat, as if it were any other day. He observed the large blue police box sitting in his console room, as if it were…wait a minute.
"Well that's new."
Rose entered the console room as the Doctor was putting on a brown and blue striped tie. She walked up to him, reaching up and folding his collar down neatly. "And you're even wearing the tie my mum bought for you, you charmer," she said, impressed. He beamed and winked as he refastened his jacket buttons.
"Alright then, Rose Tyler!" he said as he began moving knobs and dials on the console. "The Tyler residence, London, England, Earth. The fourteenth of August, twenty-sixteen. A Sunday," he said, drawing out the word, but giving her a teasing look. "Your mum's not cooking this time, is she?" he asked as he turned a dial and flicked a switch.
Rose leaned on the console next to him, deliberately positioning herself in front of the lever she knew he would have to pull last, and shrugged. "I don't know, maybe. You wanted an adventure," she teased.
He wrinkled his nose, but it quickly shifted into a flirty look as he moved to press himself into her, more firmly than necessary, in his reach for the controls he needed. He knew exactly what she was doing; it was a game they played often. "Not of the gastric variety. Now, here we go. Allons-y!" With a grin, he pulled the lever, and the ship gave a shudder.
And then such a hard jolt, the Doctor had to grab onto Rose's hips to keep them both upright. And then another shudder and jolt. And then, as the Doctor looked on with a furrowed brow, a few sparks shot out from the console. He jumped back, pulling Rose with him, and the blue-green light from the vortex column began to dim and then glow brighter than it normally did, before dimming again. It returned to its normal brightness just as the ship gave a great lurch, tossing both the Doctor and Rose to the floor. He gave an "oof" as she landed on top of him.
"You alright?" the Doctor asked as they helped each other to their feet.
"Fine," he replied distractedly, already moving over to the monitor.
"That was unusual. Is she alright?"
The Doctor slid his glasses on as he studied the screen. "Everything seems fine. Energy levels drained a bit. That's odd. But…I think she's okay." He changed the information that showed on the monitor and furrowed his brow again. "Hold on. There's an energy reading coming from outside the TARDIS. One that shouldn't be in your parents back garden." He looked up towards the doors. "Stay here," he said, walking towards the ramp and pocketing his specs again.
"Like hell," Rose said, following him, and he didn't try to stop her. For obvious reasons, her one fear was becoming separated from him again, and while they still ran headfirst into adventure, she generally stuck very close when they were venturing into the unknown. She grabbed onto his arm as they made their way down the ramp to the TARDIS doors. The Doctor abruptly paused, causing Rose to run into him. "What is it?" she asked.
"I…feel something. A…presence, in my mind."
"No, besides the TARDIS. This is… something I haven't felt in a long time. Years." He glanced at her for a second. "Stay close," he said before pulling one of the doors open a few inches, only enough for him to see out. He was unable to register what he saw before a face popped up in front of him. A long face with a broad chin, topped with a lot of hair, and sitting on a neck with a bowtie. A face that quickly turned from curious to surprised.
Almost immediately, the face spoke. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Who the hell are you?" he asked in return.
"I'm…you. At least I think I am. I don't remember this happening."
"What is it, Doctor?" Rose asked, trying but failing to see over his shoulder. She pulled the door he held open more, but he still stood mostly in the way.
"That sounds like…Is that Rose?" Bowtie asked. "Rose Tyler?" He said almost longingly, standing on his toes to see, then deciding to look under the other man's arm instead. "It is! Hmm, a bit older. Oh! That must mean…you must be," he reached a hand and pressed it against the Doctor's chest. "Just one heartbeat! It is you, my Human/Time Lord Meta-Crisis!" Quickly, his excitement faded. "Hold on…What are you doing here?"
"Oh, don't tell me he's regenerated," the Meta-Crisis Doctor said distastefully, looking down his nose and taking in the man before him with a critical eye. "And into this."
"That's right," he said, adjusting his bowtie. "I'm the regeneration that came after the one you came from. Number eleven!"
"Your hair is ridiculous," he said, poking at it. "It's a bit…floppy."
"Thank you. Floppy is what I was going for. Now, for the third time, what are you doing here?" the Eleventh Doctor asked.
"This is our TARDIS. What are you doing here?"
"Hate to break it to you, mate, but somehow you managed to land your TARDIS inside of my TARDIS," he replied, stepping back and sweeping out his arm in display.
The Meta-Crisis Doctor abruptly pulled the doors open all the way and looked around as he stepped out, Rose right behind him. "But…we can't have."
"Really? That's funny, because you just did."
"But that's impossible."
"Is it? Happened before, falling through a crack in time."
The Meta-Crisis Doctor looked over at the other man, annoyed, before shrugging and scratching the back of his neck. "Well, I suppose that explains the energy readings we detected. And it probably has something to do with the TARDIS behaving funny, if we crossed to another universe," he mused, taking a few steps further and looking around. "You've certainly changed her a lot," he said, wrinkling his nose. "Very mechanical looking again. I think it's awful. Absolutely ghastly. Cold and dark, like a mad scientists lair. You haven't gone mad, have you? You certainly look the part. That'd be the last thing we need right now, a Time Lord gone 'round the bend."
But the Eleventh Doctor was barely paying attention as he got a full look at Rose, who continued to stand next to the Police Box, hand clutching the door frame like a lifeline. She stared at him uncertainly, and the Meta-Crisis Doctor, noticing the looks between them, moved next to her and placed an arm around her waist, possessively and in comfort, pulling her close.
"Rose Tyler. Look at you," the Eleventh Doctor said softly.
"I…is that…you…you regenerated. It's you?" she asked.
"It's me," he said. "Bit different, right?" She nodded. "Good different, or bad different?"
Her jaw clenched. "Don't," she whispered, shaking her head, and she turned slightly into the Meta-Crisis Doctor's side as he pulled her closer.
He looked away from her and nodded. "Right…sorry."
"Hate to cut the pleasantries short," the Meta-Crisis Doctor said, "But we need to figure out what is going on here. We aren't supposed to be in the same universe."
"Yes, right. Then the question then is where are we?" the Eleventh Doctor said, moving to his console. "Last I knew, I was in Cardiff, 2013, to check up on the old rift," he said, pressing some buttons. "Where were you headed?"
"The Tyler Mansion in our London, 2016. Pete's World time," the Meta-Crisis Doctor replied, pulling Rose along by the hand as they followed him to the console, both looking around them.
"But why would it pull us together now?" Rose asked, looking up at the Meta-Crisis Doctor. "Are we in the void now? Was it the TARDISes locking onto each other or something?"
"Due to what? Relative proximity within our universes?" the Eleventh Doctor asked, considering this. "How long has it been for you since…well…Bad Wolf Bay? The last time?"
The Meta-Crisis Doctor answered. "About four years. How long for you?"
"Awhile." He was now walking towards the doors of his TARDIS.
The Eleventh Doctor opened the doors and looked around before stepping out. "Still Cardiff," he said. "And no Zeppelins," he added, looking up.
Rose and the Meta-Crisis Doctor followed him out, and the Meta-Crisis Doctor tried to reason things out. "You were in Cardiff, 2013, and we were heading to London in 2016. That universe is aligned with this one with a three year difference, because of the temporal shift from the Cybermen invasion. And somehow, my TARDIS must have locked onto your TARDIS…perhaps because they came from the same coral…"
Rose cleared her throat. "The two of you are ignoring the most important thing. We're in our original universe," she observed. "And that's supposed to be impossible. How were we able to cross the void? The only time this happens is when…"
"The walls of the universes are collapsing," the Eleventh Doctor finished. "Which means something or someone out there is collapsing them." He turned abruptly and led them back into his TARDIS.