A/N: Okay, so I'm not sure what inspired this plot bunny but it's been eating my brain as if it were a carrot covered in Nutella. So I thought, in the interest of keeping my brain relatively sane, I should write it. I'm a huge Rose/Doctor shipper so if that doesn't float your boat then you should probably leave now…

Disclaimer: I disclaim rights to anything familiar. So, Ava is mine and the Spinalion, which appears for about two seconds.


"Okay," the Doctor said, his voice tight. He backed into the TARDIS, trying to get away from that unreadable look in Rose's eyes. "See you 'round." Or maybe not. He snapped the wooden door shut, with a final click. Making his way over to the console, he stood there staring at the multitude of flashing buttons and levers, suddenly feeling drained and hopeless. Without really paying attention to what he was doing, the Doctor began to flip the control, spinning the randomizer, anything to get him out of here. The ship began to dematerialize and he sat in the jump seat waiting for it to land.

He wasn't sure why her rejection had hurt so much. It wasn't like he hadn't been rejected before. Plenty of people had not been able to cope with his dangerous lifestyle, but the way Rose had matched his snarky, cold-shouldered personality word-for-word, step-by-step, intrigued him, and at the risk of sounding clichéd, he'd thought they'd had a connection.

"Listen to you," the Doctor scolded himself. "Getting all sentimental, you are. You've got all of time and space at your fingertips and you're brooding over a daft little girl." At that moment, the TARDIS jerked and the Doctor hopped off the seat, strolling over to the door. "Let's see where you've taken me, old girl." Saying this, he stepped out of the TARDIS –

–and back into London.

"Are you serious?" he turned and looked at the blue police box. "All of time and space and you've suddenly become a London hopper?" The ship just hummed at him. "Oh well, what have these stupid apes got themselves into this time?" The TARDIS had landed in the middle of a busy sidewalk, yet unsurprisingly, no one stopped to question its miraculous appearance.

He made his way down the street, past all the little shops and businesses, looking around for any sign of trouble, but there seemed to be nothing. Of course, this was the Doctor and he always found trouble, so within a few seconds of the stray thought 'Seems like everything is fine' crossing his mind, he heard a small, terrified cry come from the alleyway, between two large brick buildings, up ahead. He ran forward and skidded around the corner, coming up against the back of a large purple reptilian creature. A small girl was huddled against the dirty brick wall in the corner, trying futilely to put more distance between her and the alien.

"Spinalion," the Doctor said loudly. The creature swung to face him, pinning the Doctor with a steely yellow gaze. The Doctor stared back impassively. "Scavenger, usually hunts in packs but you're alone, which means you're either lost or an outcast. But people aren't rushing about because a pack of lizard-creatures are rampaging across London – and can I just ask, why is it always London? Can't I go someplace else? Bloody London hopper…" he trailed off mid rant. The creature had gotten bored and had turned its attention back on its prey. The girl shot him a petrified look before passing out from terror.

The Doctor whipped out his sonic, aiming it straight between the Spinalion's eyes. "I don't think so," he said quietly. "Leave her alone. You're a scavenger, not a hunter. There are plenty of dead carcasses in the wild empty areas of this world, the forests, the oceans, and plenty of other worlds. Leave the people alone, or you'll force my hand." The creature snarled at him and dove for the prone child. The sonic whirred, and the creature froze mid-motion, as it's body slowly turned to stone.

The Doctor put his screwdriver away and ran to the little girl. She was tiny, perhaps seven years old, and very clearly lost. A nasty looking gash ran up the side of her arm. It was slowly turning purple. Removing his leather jacket, he gently wrapped her in it and picked her up, positioning her as if she had fallen asleep on his shoulder and set off quickly to the TARDIS.

As he stepped inside, the girl woke up but she didn't seem alarmed at being in the arms of some strange man. She simply watched him curiously through warm hazel eyes. He carried her to the med bay, placing her on the empty bed.

"Hello," she said finally as he scanned her arm.

He grinned at her. "Hello," he replied. "What's your name then?"

The girl tilted her head, as though wondering whether to answer him. "Ava," she said finally.

"Pretty name," he replied, but she wasn't paying any attention, too busy looking around the med bay. "Where are your parents?" he asked, as he wrapped a bandage around her forearm. She hissed in pain as it tightened around the gash, but didn't cry out.

Ava seemed to shrink into herself. "I don't know," she whispered, sounding terrified and defeated. "I was supposed to stay at home because my mum and dad said it wasn't safe outside, but I got scared. So I went to look and I got lost, and that's when the alien attacked me."

The Doctor looked up at her. "How do you know it's an alien?"

She gave him a puzzled look. "Because it's not from Earth, of course."

"Of course."

"What was it?" she asked him.

"Spinalion," he answered. "Bit like an angry purple lizard and a Stegosaurus got stuck in a blender and mixed together." Ava giggled.

She hopped off the bed and went over to the large scanning machines. She poked at a large screen. "What's this do?"

"That checks your DNA, molecular composition, brainwave strength…" He trailed off, suddenly seeing something on the screen – a very, very strange reading. One that shouldn't exist. He surreptitiously pressed a few buttons to do a more thorough scan. Same reading.

No, the Doctor thought, his face paling. That's not possible. It's not – it can't – I would have known! He swallowed heavily. It's a mistake. It's just a mistake. He glanced down at Ava, but she was pushing a few buttons, avidly watching the screen change.

He led her to the console room where she jumped up to sit in the bend of one of the TARDIS coral struts. The Doctor felt shocked when the TARDIS hummed happily, welcomingly. Ava leaned against the pinkish rock and wrapped an arm around it securely, looking like she belonged there.

"We should probably get you home," the Doctor said. There was no denying it – she made him uneasy and he wanted her off the ship. "What year is it?"

Ava shrugged. "I dunno. My dad's a rubbish driver."

The Doctor seemed bemused. "What does that have to do with the year?"

"We travel a lot," Ava replied, "so the house is always moving around. Mum once said he tried to take her to a concert and they ended up in Victorian Scotland instead."

The Doctor stared at her. Pieces slotted together in a way that should be impossible. He scrambled them again, and again, and again but the picture remained the same. He had to get to the bottom of this, of Ava, his new mystery.

{[o0O0o]}

The Doctor took her back to the alley where the lizard had attacked her and they began to retrace her steps to where she had been while looking for her parents.

A few blocks down they came upon a frantic man with in a pinstriped suit, grabbing random people and asking them questions. Ava let out a shriek, tearing down the street.

"DADDY!" The man's eyes widened at the sound and he opened his arms to catch the seven-year old as she flung herself at him, sobbing. He shushed her, stroking her hair and whispering softly as her cries softened. The Doctor began to back away toward his TARDIS, but Ava's father called for him to wait. The crowd had dispersed, now that the man had found his daughter.

The Doctor waited awkwardly while the other made a phone call.

"I've got Ava," Ava's father was saying. "And you're not gonna believe who found her first."

The Doctor looked at him sharply. "Do I know you?"

The other man laughed. "Not yet, but you will."

The sound of running feet came closer and a blonde woman whipped around the corner, letting out a small cry as she caught sight of Ava. Ava wriggled to be put down before taking off into her mother's arms.

"Dear God, AVA!" the woman said, her face buried in her daughter's hair. "I told you not to leave the TARDIS! Why can't you just listen and not wander off?"

"It's genetic," Pinstripes said. "She gets it from you."

"Oh shut up!" The woman said, swatting him and finally looking up. She caught sight of the Doctor and her eyes widened just as his did. Her husband lifted Ava into his arms before murmuring, "I'll take her to get some ice cream and leave you two alone for a bit, shall I?" He kissed her lightly and walked away.

"Rose?" the Doctor said, bewildered. "What are you doing here? I thought you were at home with that useless lump, Rickey." Oh yeah, she said no.

Rose frowned and swatted his shoulder. "It's Mickey, and he's not useless. He's done some amazing things."

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Then why'd you leave him for the pretty boy?" He nodded at Rose's husband.

"I left to travel with you," Rose said sounding puzzled.

The Doctor scoffed. He felt angry. Did she really think that she could just tear him apart and then mock him for it. "No, I asked and you refused. End of story," he said coldly.

A look of dawning comprehension appeared on Rose's face. "Oh, you haven't asked again then."

"I never ask twice." Who did she think she was?

She grinned at him, her tongue in her teeth. "You did for me. Anyway, you left out the most important part." She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. "It also travels in time." She pulled back and shoved him. "Now go get me. Don't make me miss out on the best years of my life."

A small smile crept across his face, but a second thought crossed his mind and he frowned. "If you liked it so much, then why'd you leave me?" he asked sadly, nodding in the direction of her family.

She raised an eyebrow and asked slowly, "Who said I left you?" He stared at her, puzzled.

We travel a lot…My dad's a rubbish driver…It's not from Earth, of course. Unusual biological scans, the humming of the TARDIS, oh, so familiar warm hazel eyes, surprisingly advanced intelligence. I told you not to leave the TARDIS!

The last piece slammed together with amazing clarity. The Doctor let out a deep breath he hadn't known he was holding.

"Oh," he said softly, his eyes widening and softening.

Rose laughed. "Yeah…Oh."

"I turn all…pretty!" He wrinkled his nose.

Rose gave him a wicked look. "Oh, yes!"

He started to walk away backwards, his face lighting up in the same manic grin, no matter what body. "Rose, I'm coming to get you!"

She gazed at him before reaching out and grabbing his jacket, yanking him toward her and crashing her mouth to his. His arms automatically wrapped around her waist and a stray thought of how her body seemed made for his arms flitted across his mind before Rose wiped all coherent thought away with a stroke of her tongue. It was sweet and passionate, full of hopeless longing and eternal promise. He finally pulled away, and Rose mentally gave herself a point after seeing his dazed expression.

"Right, um, wow."

"Go!" Rose laughed. He pecked her lips lightly before running off with a laugh, sprinting into the TARDIS.

He rapidly flicked the switches, pulled levers and pressed buttons, trying to get back to the Powell Estate as fast as possible.

"Did I mention? It also travels in time?"

{[o0O0o]}

He ruefully suppressed his memories of meeting Ava, Rose, and his pretty-boy self. It wouldn't do for him to know his own future after all.

"Doctor?" Rose called. He looked up, wondering what had him so distracted.

"Right, Rose Tyler, where should we go first?"

They ran and they laughed and they cried and they loved. And if the Doctor sometimes dreamed of a grinning young girl with chocolate brown hair and familiar hazel eyes, and of the beautiful woman who would stay by his side, well, who's to say dreams won't come true?


A/N: So, did I get their voices right? This is my first foray writing for the Doctor Who fandom and I'm kinda nervous and excited at the same time. :D

Drop me a line and tell me what you think!