I've been sitting on this since November, it was originally a NaNo thing, but it got delayed by about 6 months. This is set between TATM and The Snowmen.
The Doctor sighed, looking around the empty TARDIS. River had stayed with him a while after the events in New York but eventually she had to return to Stormcage. He was truly alone, which was a first for this regeneration. As he'd told Amy, hers was the first face that his face saw... and now she was gone. Both of them were gone.
"At least they went together." He whispered. The TARDIS hummed sympathetically, and as the Doctor turned to walk out of the console room, she put her plan into action.
The console sparked just as he exited the room, causing him to turn back and dash over to it.
"What? What was that all about, eh?" He patted the console and settled himself underneath it, determined to find out exactly what happened. The TARDIS, however, had other ideas.
"Ow! What was that for?" He grumbled, sucking his sore fingers into his mouth. She'd shocked him. His ship had actually shocked him - the Doctor was certain that she'd never done that before.
There was a click from the console above him and the Doctor saw a lever flick itself on. The lever that he used to leave. The rotor was moving, the TARDIS was flying through the vortex and the Doctor couldn't do a single thing about it. Everything he touched either sparked or shocked him. He realised the TARDIS was up to something and wished that she still had a body so she could tell him what she was doing.
Instead of the usual hum, the TARDIS was groaning. Clearly whatever she was doing was taking quite a bit of effort.
The Doctor let out a frustrated yell. "Where are you taking me?"
He wasn't really expecting an answer, so when a screen flashed to his right he smiled, pleased that his ship was finally cooperating.
What he saw on the screen completely wiped the smile off his face. Two words, the same two words, repeated over and over on the small screen.
He had only one thought that wasn't panic at seeing those words after all these years.
The Bad Wolf.
The TARDIS was trying to find Rose.
The screen cleared, and more words appeared.
Locating Rose Tyler.
The Doctor knew his magnificent ship wouldn't have any trouble finding her. Rose had helped him heal after the War, made him a better man. Rose was just as important to the TARDIS as she was to the Doctor.
The screen flashed to get his attention.
Rose Tyler located.
Current Date and Location: Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff. October 18th, 2009.
October 2009. That would be about the time when she was looking for him to warn him about the 'planets in the sky'.
The TARDIS materialised a little too late; the Doctor saw only a streak of blonde hair and a flash of white light as he stepped out of the TARDIS. He'd missed her by seconds.
He closed his eyes and leaned back against the TARDIS doors. Seconds.
He'd also missed a figure standing on the invisible lift in front of the fountain. He didn't see the figure stride towards him, blue coat flaring around him as he walked.
But he couldn't miss the call of "Doctor!", or the accent of the speaker. American.
Of course! The Doctor mentally slapped himself. Cardiff, 2009, by the fountain. He was bound to bump into him, especially here.
The Doctor grinned. "Jack!" Jack wasn't exactly who he'd been looking for, but as the immortal pulled him into a hug, the Doctor realised he didn't mind that fact so much.
At least until Jack kissed him.
He pulled away blushing and Jack chuckled. "Sorry. Couldn't resist."
The Doctor smiled despite his discomfort. Jack hadn't changed much.
Grinning, Jack tugged him towards the lift. "You regenerated again?"
"Yes. How did you know it was me?"
"The police box kind of gave it away."
"That, and only you could think that tweed is fashionable. What's with the bow tie?"
"It's cool. Bow ties are cool." The Doctor replied, adjusting the tie as he spoke.
Jack laughed. "They're really not. Suits you, though."
Gwen and Ianto's reaction to having the Doctor suddenly appear in the Hub behind Jack was pretty positive.
He spent most of his time watching Jack and Ianto and how they acted together.
Eventually the novelty wore off, and the Doctor and Jack were sat in Jack's office. He was telling the immortal man stories of his adventures with the Ponds, which inevitably led to him talking about their deaths.
"Weeping Angels in New York, Jack. That's how it happened. Gone in the blink of an eye."
One hour, two glasses of brandy and a slightly teary Doctor later, the Doctor asked about the flash of blonde hair he'd seen when he arrived.
"It was her, wasn't it. Rose."
Jack nodded. "It was her. She was looking for you, thought you might be here."
"How is she?"
"Same as ever. She told me to tell you that if I saw you before she did, the darkness is coming. Make any sense?"
"Hm? Oh, perfect sense."
"You'll find out soon enough." He stood up. "I should probably get going. Planets to rescue!" He joked.
"Doctor." Jack's tone was serious. "Find her."
He nodded. "I will."
Jack's words were at the front of the Doctor's mind. He was right. He had to find Rose.
"You promised me Rose. What did I get instead? Cardiff."
Patting the console and feeling more than a little annoyed with his ship, the Doctor took one look at the screen (the words Locating Rose Tyler still flashing on it) and headed deeper inside his ship.
"Wake me when you find her."
He found that a few hours sleep had done little to improve his mood, especially after being woken up by an insistent and irritating beeping that would not shut off until he reached the console.
"I hope this is good news."
The screen was displaying the words 'Rose Tyler located' again.
"Where is she this time then?" The Doctor asked, flipping a lever and trusting his ship to get him there at the right time.
The travel was as rough as always as the TARDIS moved through the vortex, and the force of the landing sent the Doctor sprawling onto the floor. Laughter chimed inside his head.
"Oh, you did that on purpose!" More laughter led the Doctor to wonder whether or not it was possible to be abused by your own home.
He climbed to his feet and turned to face the console, pulling the screen down so that he could see it. It was blank.
"Well, that's helpful. Where are we now?"
The TARDIS stayed silent this time, leaving the Doctor with no choice than to head out in the unknown. He pulled the door open and emerged onto a beach. A very familiar beach.
The TARDIS had taken him to Bad Wolf Bay. And standing just a few feet away, looking from the TARDIS to him in amazement, was Rose.
He'd found her.