There was a knock on their bedroom door, and neither made to get up as they laid in each other’s arms, Rose in a vest top, the blankets covering the fact she was only wearing knickers beneath them, the Doctor in his pants. They caught up enough for the time being hours ago, but neither wanted to put much more effort in getting dressed when laying in one another’s arms seemed so much more appealing than simply waiting for everyone out in the console room.
The door creaked open, which caused the Doctor to bolt up right as Jack stepped inside.
“What?” He said, more confused than surprised as he looked at the door with a double take. “Okay, well, guess I know what room’s the fun one now!” He said with a grin and a wink.
“What do you want Jack?” the Doctor said, glancing down at Rose as if to make sure she was decent. “And would you close the door? Bad enough you’re seeing this.”
“I don’t know,” Jack said as he closed the door, looking the Doctor over. “Not all that bad of a sight to be seeing.”
The Doctor grumbled, reaching for his trousers and pulling them on before carefully getting out of bed to get his oxford. “Why are you in our bedroom?” He asked. “Better yet, why were you even allowed in here?” He asked the ceiling with a glare, to which the TARDIS gave away nothing.
“Actually, it was Rosie’s door when I knocked, and she never had an issue with my coming in before.” Jack shrugged. “TARDIS wouldn’t let me in if she wasn’t decent.”
“Alright,” The Doctor said as he moved to the closet and found a pair of Rose’s sweat pants, tossing them over to her. “Why were you coming to Rose’s room?” He asked Jack with a touch of the oncoming storm in voice.
“I wanted to talk to her, just her.” Jack said, crossing his arms and puffing his chest a little.
Rose rolled her eyes. “And it had to be now?” She asked with a grin.
“Well I would have earlier but the TARDIS hid your door. I took that to mean you were busy.” He said, sternly at first before a grin broke out over his face. “Guess I was right.”
“I’ll be in the console room.” The Doctor said as he headed for the door. “I’ll check on the old girl while you two chat.” He opened the door and slid out, closing it quickly behind him.
Jack sat down on the bed beside Rose, moving the sweat pants out of the way. “He has no idea that I’ve already seen you in your underwear before, does he?” He asked, scooting back against the headboard.
Rose laughed, “Probably forgot he took us to that pleasure planet with the beach resort. Knickers and swim bottoms aren’t much different, yeah?” She smiled, but when Jack didn’t really laugh in return it fell. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I watched you come back to life.” He said. “How is it that you’re okay to be around, but I’m not?” He asked.
Rose sighed. “Because I will die, one day. When he does.” She said, pulling at the blankets.
“So you’re not like me?” He said, a touch of deflation in his voice.
“Not exactly, no.” She replied, putting a hand on his. “Does it hurt? Coming back?”
“Sometimes.” He said quietly. “You?”
“Yeah,” She nodded. They sat together quietly for a long while, Rose eventually putting her head on his shoulder, and he dropped his arm around her.
After a bit he started chuckling, and Rose glanced up to see all the melancholy had gone. “I’m in the Doctor’s bed, with Rose Tyler, and all I can think about is how crappy it is to not be able to die.” Rose snorted, shaking her head against his shoulder. “Can you do anything about it? Can you fix it?”
“I don’t have powers, Jack.” Rose straightened up, looking at him with a sad smile. “Bad Wolf by name alone, me. Not a goddess anymore. I’m sorry, truly.”
“Well, how about this then, immortal support group.” He said, reaching into his pocket and digging out his cell phone. “Give me your number, I’ll text you mine, and when ever one of us dies we call the other, alright?”
“Morbid lil club we’ll have.” She said, as she took Jack’s phone and started updating the contact he had for her long ago.
The TARDIS engines ground around them, and both she and Jack looked up at the ceiling.
“Where are we, do you think?” He asked her.
“I dunno.” She said. “Let me get dressed and I’ll go check.” She said, looking expectantly at Jack while he continued to sit there. “That means you’ve got to leave.”
“I thought we already discussed that I’ve seen you in your underthings?” He said with a grin.
Rose blushed. “One, not these knickers you haven’t, and two, I need to change them.”
Jack’s grin stretched, and before he could say anything she started shoving him off the bed, grabbing a pillow and hitting him as much as she could without exposing the lower half of her body.
“Alright, alright, I’m going.” He said, laughing as he backed toward the door. “Though now I’m really curious as to what….”
“Out, Jack.” She yelled, and he laughed as he finally left her to get changed.
“Home, sweet home,” The Doctor exclaimed as Martha’s family looked apprehensively at the doors. “One day after the election. World’s back the way it was.” He reassured as Martha’s father opened the door and peeked outside before taking a step outside.
Martha watched them nervously, feeling her stomach knot as her mother went up to the Doctor and hugged him tight, the two having a whispered conversation that seemed too intimate for the kind of relationship they had before. She’d have to ask later, if it seemed like a conversation her mother would be willing to have, as to what happened between them during that year. Her sister followed her mother in giving the Doctor a tight hug, and the two of them left she and the Doctor alone in the console room.
She watched him as he ran his fingers over the controls without pressing anything, leaning against the console while facing her.
“Where’s Rose?” She asked, immediately regretting it.
“She’s down in our room, talking to Jack.” The Doctor said with a hint of apprehension. “The two have a bit more in common now than they used to, and I have a feeling that they both need to just sorta talk it out.” He said, a hand flailing about in various gestures before pulling on his ear.
Martha nodded, looking down at her hands as her fingers entwined and pulled apart. “I thought she was dead.” She said after a deep breath. “I thought for months that I was going to come back to you and I’d have to tell you the news, or that maybe you already knew. I tried to imagine for your sake what it must have been like to know someone you love that much was gone, but I couldn’t. And then it turned out that I didn’t even need to. For the best though, yeah?”
“Yeah,” He said with an absentminded grin. “I don’t think she’ll ever cease to amaze me.” He admitted, meeting Martha’s gaze. His smile fell a little, and at that, she sighed.
“I had this friend once. Sorta more of an acquaintance, actually. But she was stupid in love with this bloke. Madly, to the point where she was blinded by all the bad, all the things she should have seen. Like how he not only didn’t love her, but he was already in love with someone else. And I hated her so much, because she reminded me of my Dad’s stupid girlfriend who knew he was married and swept in and stole him anyway. And because of those two women I promised myself I would be better than that.
“But you know what? I haven’t been. Maybe in the beginning it was fine for me to wonder if maybe I had a chance, but I really should have known after … after the whole you being human thing. Maybe even before, because you had eyes for her all along. And I tried, I told myself that I would do one or two more trips, see how I faired, and decide. And then during that year, once I thought Rose died, I started hoping again. That maybe it would be me you would need to pull you through, that it would be me that would …. And when Rose walked into that room I was so happy, I was. But not to my core, because the fact still stands that I am at least impossibly infatuated with you. And that’s why I need to walk away. I have a family that needs me, I have an education to continue, and I have a broken heart that needs healing and it can’t do that being on this ship.
“I asked myself not long before the whole mess with the Master happened why I was traveling with you and I know now the answer is not what it should be. I should be with you for the adventure, and the truth is I’m not cut out for that.”
“I think you are.” He said earnestly. “You saved the world, Martha Jones. With words. You saved the human race with stories, and that’s … that’s bloody brilliant.”
“I am good,” She agreed. “Too good to put myself through this.” She said with a smile, turning to the corridor as the sound of Rose’s footsteps thundered toward her. “I guess this is goodbye, then.” She said to the blonde.
“You’re leaving,” Rose said with understanding, coming over to her and surprising Martha by pulling her into a hug.
“I have to,” Martha replied, returning the embrace, closing her eyes against the wave of heartache she felt at the thought. “But you and I, we were amazing.”
“No,” Rose shook her head before leaning back, looking Martha in the eye. “You were. I was just there.”
She looked to Rose for the longest time, trying to find some hint of relief that she was leaving, finding only deep regret. Chewing her bottom lip a moment, Martha took a deep breath and grinned. “I still have your number, so don’t go changing it. One day, I’m going to call, and when I do, you and him better come running, alright?”
“Be there in a heart beat,” Rose replied sincerely. “Time and place, we’ll be there.”
Martha nodded, pulling Rose in for another hug before stepping back and walking out the TARDIS doors.
Outside in her mother’s backyard, Martha could see her family through the window. Her mother and father were hugging, perhaps that was even a kiss she caught her Dad place on her Mum’s cheek. Her brother, the only family member who didn’t know what happened, seemed surprised while Tish laughed. Martha grinned, seeing that maybe for once she wouldn’t have to be the mediator, that maybe even though the year was hell and she walked away with emotional scars and a broken heart it was still a bit of a good thing. Because now she knew she was strong, she was able, and that she deserved to be worshiped by whoever she dared to give her heart to.
She walked into the house without looking back at the ship, not even when she heard the engines whir as it vanished from the backyard.
Rose and the Doctor walked hand in hand down a path, University students passing them by, some giving them odd looks but most ignoring them. She followed her instinct, and curiosity flowed from the Doctor into her. She was the one that flew here after all, and she did so without saying a word as to what she was doing.
She stopped quite suddenly, causing the Doctor to run into her.
“Rose, what are you…” He started to say but must of have notice him. The boy with black hair and blue eyes who stopped short himself on the other end of the path, books in his hands falling to the paved walk way as he stared back at them.
Tim smiled as Rose did, and suddenly he was bolting down the path toward them.
Rose fully expected the Doctor to be the one that Tim ran to, hadn’t even expected him to look at her twice, but she’d be lying if she was to say she wasn’t thrilled when the thin boy’s arms wrapped tightly around her neck.
“Wolf Girl!” He his joyous greeting was muffled against her shoulder, and Rose actually burst into tears.
“You remember.” She managed to choke out.
“Sorta,” he said as she stepped back. “Oh come on, hanging with me was not that good.” He said, though the young man looked a little misty eyed himself. He looked to the Doctor, “Hey Doc.” He said.
“Tim,” The Doctor said, confusion too evident as he attempted to use their previous greeting of a fist bump only to have Tim hug him too.
“Damn it’s good to see you two.” Tim said, clearing his throat. “Thought things are … fucking insane if I’m to be honest. And while no one here knows, will ever know, I do. I know what was supposed to happen, or did happen, or, man, I don’t even know how to say it.” He shook his head, rubbing the back of his neck. “I think I died, but I don’t know.” He admitted. “I see the months I was with you,” He said to Rose. “Bits and pieces of it, but then … you’re gone, and I die.”
Rose swallowed, remembering the night before she left him, how nervous he was that he could no longer see any hint of what was to come. “Doesn’t matter now,” She said. “Didn’t happen, yeah?”
“Yeah,” he smiled. “So I suppose that means your offer to come with you didn’t either.”
“That stands.” She said firmly.
Tim laughed. “Nah, nope, I am good with aliens for a while. But hell, drop by anytime, see if I change my mind, ‘kay.” He pointed firmly at her before his eyes fell on someone behind them. “Man he looks familiar.” Tim said, and Rose and the Doctor both turned to see Jack had caught up to them. “Looks kinda like my grandpa when he was younger. Not from the past, is he?”
Rose’s heart dropped to her stomach, and her eyes went wide. “Nope. That’s Jack.”
“Fifty first century,” The Doctor said with the same amount of uncertainty that Rose was feeling, maybe feeding off hers as he took her hand again.
“Huh,” Tim said, grinning. “Maybe I’m his ancestor then. That’s a messed up thought.” He shrugged. “Anyway, I better get my books and head to class. See you later?” He asked, arching a brow as he looked to Rose.
“Count on it,” She said firmly, giving Tim a one armed hug before he retreated to where he was before, and they moved to join Jack.
“Tim had to be somewhere.” The Doctor said with understanding. Rose merely smiled, leaning on his arm as they joined Jack and headed back to the TARDIS.
The TARDIS hummed happily as she fed off the energy from the rift in Cardiff while Jack and the Doctor flanked Rose while looking out over the pier.
“And here we are, just the three of us together again.” Rose said. “Team TARDIS.”
Jack chuckled. “I’d love to stay, but I think I know where I should be.” He said, looking at the couple with resignation. “I had plenty of time to think over the past year, and I kept thinking about that team of mine. I have a responsibility to them, to Earth, to you two, and I intend to hold that up.”
“Defending the Earth, can’t argue with that.” The Doctor said, tightening his grip on Rose’s hand as he offered the other to Jack.
He took it, and Rose was only mildly surprised when the Doctor’s hand slipped from hers, grabbing his sonic quickly from his pocket and pointed it at the Vortex manipulator on Jack’s wrist.
“Hey, I need that!” Jack tried to protest.
“I can’t have you walking around with a time-traveling teleport. You could go anywhere, twice. The second time to apologize.”
“It’s only polite.” Jack said cheekily. “Alright, fine, but if I do need anything …”
“You’ll call us, yeah?” Rose asked nervously.
Jack smiled. “Of course. Besides, we promised each other, didn’t we? And when the wedding does happen I expect an invitation.”
“Promise.” Rose replied. “’Sides, can’t say we have too many friends who’ll be around no matter what century we marry in.”
“True,” Jack said with a grin that fell slightly. “Though don’t wait too long. I may be immortal but I do age.”
“Worried about not being able to flirt with everyone at the party?” Rose teased.
Jack shook his head. “Honestly? Vanity thing. I was a poster boy for the Boeshane Pennisula back when I was a kid. Tiny little place, that. So imagine how proud they were when I was the first one ever to sign up for the Time Agency. Called me the face of Boe,” He chuckled, and Rose felt the cold shock shoot through the Doctor into her as her jaw dropped. “Anyway, better go make sure they didn’t actually go off to the alps.” Jack said, throwing a thumb over his shoulder toward his Torchwood base under the tower. “Later.” He said, either oblivious to their staring after him of not caring.
“Seriously?” Rose asked when she had enough of her wits back about her.
“I-I-I suppose.” The Doctor stuttered, and she looked up to see him staring wide-eyed and slack jawed at Jack’s vanishing back. “Who else could possibly know about you, and the wolf, and the running.” Rose started laughing, which had the Doctor going, causing the two of them to stare off into the distance laughing for a few minutes before the silence of the pier reminded them where they were. “So,” He said, loud and sudden, looking down at her with a manic grin. “Anywhere in time and space, Rose Tyler, where would you like to go?”
“I dunno,” She said. “Just the two of us now.”
“Are you alright with that?” He asked, the question seeming to mean so many different things.
“Are you?” She asked, biting her lip. “’M different.”
“We’ve been over this.” He reminded her comfortingly. “Doesn’t change how I feel about you.” He narrowed his gaze before it widened, fear dancing in his irises. “Did it change how you feel about me?”
“No,” She said quickly, shaking her had as she reached up and cupped his cheeks. “Never. Never ever will my feelings for you change.”
“Never say never ever,” He reminded her firmly.
“You’re right,” She grinned. “’Cause I’ll only love you more.” He chuckled in his throat, smiling wider as her tongue poked out between her teeth. “Solodaris 4.” She said firmly. “We both need time to ourselves, and what’s better than a private beach?”
“Oh I can think of a few places that is much better for time to ourselves.” He said as his expression turned suggestive.
“Then Barcelona, start our family of ten dogs.” She suggested as she slid her hands off his cheeks down to his neck.
“We are not having dogs in the TARDIS.” He said.
“They can stay with Arthur,” She said thoughtfully as if she didn’t hear him. “A horse and two dogs, sounds like a good start, yeah?”
“Can’t we just keep Jack?” He asked with a groan, and Rose chuckled before getting on her toes, reaching up to give him a kiss.
“Time,” She said as she pulled back. “Just need time, us. Been through a lot, and before we go off adventuring, finding the trouble that’s supposed to be the parts in between, let’s just be us. We haven’t been able to, not really, and Doctor.”
He silenced her with his lips. “Time,” He said in agreement as he pulled back, placing his head on hers. “Got plenty of that, us. Lots of time to run together.” He took her hand, turning and heading back toward the TARDIS.
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