A/N: Not exactly much happening in this chapter, music-wise at least, but it's necessary for the story. Sorry for the delay in getting this up!
"Sorry to break this impromptu jamming session up," Jack announced, poking his head round the door of the recording studio "but your mobile's ringing, Rose."
He tossed Rose her mobile before shutting the door again. Smiling apologetically at the Doctor, she answered the call.
"Rose! Oh thank god I was able to get hold of you!" Jackie exclaimed loudly down the phone, making Rose wince "You'll never guess what's happened!"
Rose opened her mouth to reply to her Mum, but Jackie had already continued.
"Know I said Bev set me up that online dating thingy? Well, I went on a date from someone on there last night. Didn't really want to go, but Bev insisted. I mean, I could've ended up meeting a crazy axe-murderer, or something! But anyway, love, I went on the date and met this bloke, and you'll never guess what his name was!"
This time, Jackie did pause, and Rose replied quickly.
"I don't know, Mum. Why don't you just tell me?"
She heard Jackie huff a bit on the other end of the phone, but Rose really wanted to get back to her guitar lesson with the Doctor.
"Peter Tyler!" Jackie announced, and Rose could hear the grin in her mother's voice.
However, Rose then realised what her Mother had said, and froze.
"Hang on, Mum, did you say Pete Tyler?" she asked nervously, hoping her Mum didn't hear the slight tremor in her voice.
"Yeah!" Jackie confirmed excitedly "An' I tell you what, he don't half look like your father, too!"
Rose merely gaped, unsure what to say as a lump formed in her stomach.
"Anyway, love, I'm goin' out with him again tonight, so I'd better start getting ready. I'll ring again soon, love you!"
Rose just managed a strained 'love you too, Mum' before Jackie hung up the phone.
"You alright?" the Doctor asked in concern, noting how Rose had become somewhat paler during the phone conversation with Jackie.
"My Mum's gone mad." She murmured, looking at the Doctor with wide eyes.
"Well, tell me something I don't know!" the Doctor joked, attempting to lighten the situation.
"No, really. Her friend Bev made her sign up to one of those dating websites a few months back, and Mum just phoned to say that the guy she went on a date with last night, the one she'd seeing again tonight, his name's Peter Tyler."
"Like your Dad?" the Doctor realised, frowning.
"Apparently he looks like him too." Rose replied, meeting the Doctor's eyes "But surely that's not healthy? Dating someone who has the same name and looks like your dead husband?"
"It may just be that your Mum thinks he looks like your Dad," the Doctor assured Rose gently "chances are he doesn't look anything like your Dad."
Rose felt a little lightheaded. Actually, she felt very lightheaded. She took a few deep breaths and forced herself to smile at the man, unconsciously reaching behind her to find the Doctor's hand. She was relieved that she'd asked him to come with her now; she'd have surely fallen over by now if she'd come on her own.
"Hello, you must be Rose. Your Mother's told me a lot about you. I'm Pete, by the way." Pete announced with a smile, offering his hand to Rose.
Rose blinked, staring from the all-too-familiar face, to his outstretched hand and back again. Yet again, she forced a smile and shook his hand.
"I understand this may be a bit of a shock for you," Pete continued calmly, smiling gently at her "Jackie explained about how I look like your late Father."
Rose nodded mutely, unable to form any words. She saw Pete frown slightly.
"Would you like a glass of water? You look a little pale." Pete told her worriedly.
Rose opened her mouth to respond, but Pete was already moving to place a chair behind her, and Rose suddenly found herself being lowered into the chair by the Doctor.
"She's not been sleeping," she heard the Doctor say apologetically "I think she's been a bit shocked since Jackie's phone call a few days ago."
"What's this about my phone call a few days ago?" Jackie piped up, coming out of the kitchen with a tea tray laden down with mugs of tea.
She took one look at her pale daughter and rushed over to her, abandoning the drinks on the small wooden dining table Rose was sat at.
"Are you alright, sweetheart?" Jackie asked worriedly.
Rose nodded and forced herself to smile.
"Yeah, yeah. Just… Just a little shocked, I suppose." Rose assured her Mum weakly.
"Maybe I should go, Jaqs," Pete piped up uncertainly, watching Rose worriedly.
"No, no, it's fine," Rose told him with a weak smile "'s just a lot to take in."
The group descended into an awkward silence, and Rose's eyes fluttered closed, her head propped up with one hand.
"Why don't you get home, love?" Jackie suggested reluctantly "You look like you could use the sleep."
"D'you mind?" Rose asked her Mum tiredly.
"No, of course not." Jackie replied with a smile that didn't reach her eyes "You get yourself home and into bed. You look exhausted."
With a weak smile, Rose stood and hugged her Mum goodbye before allowing the Doctor to help her slip into her coat. They bid both Jackie and Pete goodbye- Pete shaking the Doctor's hand and insisting that next time they had more time to talk- and headed out of Jackie's small flat. Pete Tyler had looked rather out of place in that small council flat, the Doctor decided, which wasn't surprising when he'd casually explained that he was the creator of the recently-popular brand of soft drinks called 'Vitex'. He'd been made a millionaire overnight, and- according to the papers- now owned a large estate on the outskirts of north London, but had agreed to meet Rose at Jackie's flat in the hope that it would make her less nervous about meeting him. It hadn't worked, and the Doctor was itching to know why.
"So," he began conversationally, glancing down at Rose as she walked along beside him "was your Mum right?"
"Sorry?" Rose asked in confusion as they descended the concrete stairs.
"Well, your Mum reckoned he looked like your Dad, and I just wondered if it was true." The Doctor replied, looking down at her again.
Rose had gone pale again, biting her lip. The Doctor suddenly stopped, not caring that they were halfway down a flight of stairs in a stairwell that smelled of urine. Rose, confused, stopped with him, and risked a glance up before ducking her head again.
"Rose?" the Doctor prompted gently, reaching for her hand and squeezing it gently.
Reluctantly, Rose looked up at him, eyes wide and shining with unshed tears.
"He looks like your Dad, doesn't he?" the Doctor asked softly.
Rose nodded, and the Doctor sighed, tugging her into his side as they continued down the stairs.
"I dunno why I'm gettin' so upset about it," Rose sniffed, her free hand going up to wipe at her eyes "'s not like I ever really knew my Dad."
"Yeah, but your Mum told you about him, and showed you pictures of him." The Doctor pointed out calmly "It's only natural for you to get a little…uptight and nervous about this man who looks like your Dad, shares the same name as your Dad and appears to be dating your Mum."
The Doctor pulled a face at that, and Rose giggled slightly as they finally made it outside. They remained in silence for a good few minutes as they made their way out of the Powell Estate and headed for the train station.
"You know," the Doctor piped up conversationally after a while "you could speak to your Mum about it. Tell her you're not sure about him."
"And make her upset?" Rose asked incredulously, sniffing again as she looked up at him "Doctor, my Mum's been on her own for the best part of twenty years now. Sure, she's had boyfriends, but they never lasted long, and I've never seen her look at anyone like how she looked at Pete earlier… Well, not unless you count her wedding photos of her and Dad."
"But you said so yourself, a few days ago. Dating someone who looks like your dead husband probably isn't healthy." The Doctor pointed out gently as they weaved through the London tourist crowds.
"Mum seems fine though." Rose countered with a shrug.
"I know," the Doctor replied quietly as he finally spotted the train station "you're Mum seems fine. It's you I'm worried about."