Take a chance with me

After getting back home, Rose Tyler returns to her new world with The Doctor's clone but he becomes very ill. They try to save him and Rose uses the cannon to contact his twin. She finally gets through but even he can't save his brother. As consolation, he tells her she will meet someone in the coastal town of Broadchurch as he has learned Alec Hardy looks like them both.
Chapter 1
After getting back home, Rose Tyler returns to her new world with The Doctor's clone but he becomes very ill. They try to save him and Rose uses the cannon to contact his twin. She finally gets through but even he can't save his brother. As consolation, he tells her she will meet someone in the coastal town of Broadchurch as he has learned Alec Hardy looks like them both.                                                                                       

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It is assumed that readers know the plot of 'The Stolen Earth' and 'Journey's End' but this chapter doesn't follow the last episode too closely.

Rose Tyler had desperately tried to contact The Doctor when the cannon project starts working and she finally gets it right after a few close calls. When they are caught up in the deadly plan of Davros, she finds her mother and Mickey have followed her.

"Mum, I said not to follow me," she told Jackie, who had her hands up after being transmatted from the depths of the Dalek ship.

"How could I stay behind?" Jackie replied. "I just followed Mickey. If he was coming, then so was I."

"This is all very touching," Jack didn't like being left out of things, making the Doctor pull a face. "So, what have we here?"

"Silence!" Davros commanded at the interruptions, Martha also having arrived.

Then they all stopped suddenly as a familiar yet impossible noise interrupted them.

"What?" The Doctor was as equally surprised as anyone.

Then to everyone's surprise, another version of The Doctor came running out of The Tardis, which was thought to have been lost with poor Donna onboard but another him has grown out of The Doctor's spare hand, with a little help from a puzzled Donna.

The duplicate Doctor came to a stop and crumpled in a heap, losing the object he was carrying, which prompted Donna to take his place. Davros seemed unfazed and sent a jolt of blue lightening in her direction, Donna landing by a console but no-one noticed the glazed look in her eyes.

"Great," The Doctor complained as his twin was placed in the same holding cell as he and Rose were being held.

"Yeah, nice try," Jack agreed. "So now there's two of you?"

"I said silence," Davros reminded them.

They all stood in silence as the mad Dalek creator ordered the weapon he planned on wiping out everything not of Dalek origin to be made ready but Donna had realised something had happened when the new Doctor had formed out of that hand. She had got some of it back and it was telling her which buttons to press as she turned a dial and the Daleks were going out of control.

"Seems your little plan went wrong then?" Jack quipped.

"Hold on, didn't Jack die?" Rose decided to ask.

"I'll explain it later," The Doctor promised.

"Well don't you lot stand there," Donna was grinning. "You two skinny boys in suits, get to work."

While Rose, Jackie, Martha and Sarah-Jane were pushing confused, spinning Daleks down various tunnels, Jack and Mickey were gathering the weapons they'd lost, Mickey holding Davros at bay after Donna had zapped him. Jack fired at the Dalek who was furious all the others on the other deck were spinning in all directions and had gone to find out why.

Jack had just disposed of the intruder but not before the console the two Doctors were using to send all the planets Davros was using as an 'engine' for his reality bomb was hit.

"Just one planet left and guess which one?" The Doctor complained. "I have an idea," he then grinned, fusing two wires together with his sonic screwdriver while his twin was flipping switches as well as his untameable hair.

"So, how come there's two of ya?" Rose wanted to know.

Donna knew the answer to that and put her arms around the two of them.

"So, some of it got back into me," she informed them after they just looked at her.

"You finish up here," The Doctor told his twin as he rushed towards the Tardis.

"Doctor," the mad Dalek called Dalek Cahn taunted the new Doctor. "You must destroy everything that is Dalek, I have foreseen it."

"Don't listen to him," Davros warned.

"He's right," the new Doctor realised. "Even without the reality bomb, they can still destroy the Cosmos."

He started flipping more switches before Donna could stop him.

"Hold on, wait for The Doctor," she tried to tell him.

"I am The Doctor," he reminded her, the grin now faded.

"Donna's right, you should wait," Rose agreed.

She reached out to him but he shrugged her off. Then suddenly, Daleks everywhere were exploding and turning to dust, which warned the Doctor who was working in his ship.

"What are you doing?" he asked his new twin.

"Fulfilling a prophecy," came the reply.

"I can't believe you're doing this," he told his twin. "Quickly, everyone in the Tardis – NOW!" he shouted above the noise.

Well Jackie didn't need telling twice, he noticed as his twin ran ahead of her and started naming everyone to make sure everyone had heard. The Doctor was relieved they would just have time to escape before the whole thing exploded.

"Davros," he called from the Tardis doorway. "Come with me."

"What?" his twin called from the centre console. "He was about to destroy everything in creation and you want to save him?"

"That's the difference between us," he replied, seeing Davros was pointing a finger at him.

"You, Doctor, are the destroyer of worlds," the mad creator warned.

"Yeah, says the madman who was about to wipe everything that wasn't Dalek out," the twin shouted back.

The Doctor sprang back as everything was burning and closed the doors behind him.

"Right, let's get out of here," he decided as he joined his twin, never looking at him though.

He was wondering how to tow the Earth back to its original orbit when Sarah-Jane came up with the answer and Jack called his team in Cardiff to help boost the power. Before they knew it, everyone with the exception of Jackie had taken a place at the console and been given a job to do.

"What about me?" Jackie had asked as the Doctor had put his hands on her shoulder and gone past her.

"Leave it Mum," Rose called to her as she was watching the new Doctor with interest, wondering if he had anything in common with his twin, since he'd just destroyed the Daleks again without given them a choice.

She knew the other Doctor was hiding his disappointment with the newly created clone. The Doctor noticed and went to stand next to her, pulling the monitor closer as he noticed Gwen Cooper.

"No, it can't be?" Rose stared as well.

"What's wrong?" a puzzled Gwen was wondering.

"Gwen Cooper. Tell me, do you come from an old Cardiff family?" The Doctor asked her.

"Yes, all the way back to the 1800s," she answered, still no wiser.

Rose and The Doctor smiled at each other, getting a stare from his twin.

"She's not going to leave him, is she?" Martha nudged him after seeing the look on his face.

The clone just sniffed and pretended he wasn't bothered but he was. It now physically hurt to see the love of his lives smiling lovingly at his twin.

"Leave it Martha," he told her. "It's her choice."

"Doctor, I know how your twin or whatever he is pined after her, remember?" she reminded him. "So don't give me the excuse you don't care. Just tell her, you idiot."

Just then, as Donna was wandering around watching everyone, she pulled him back.

"Martha's right. You should do something about it, Dumbo," she told him. "She'll want to stay but you have to go back with her, she belongs in the other world now."

"Really?" he replied, folding his arms and seeing the two of them laughing over something.

"She's taken the trouble to come and find you, don't disappoint her," Donna reminded him. "Do you want to stay here, without her? Well?"

The clone stood back against the railing, stubbing the toe of his Converse shoe on the grating. What would Rose be wanting with a copy of the man she loved?

"You're just as bad as he is then," Donna scolded him as she watched him.

They all felt a jolt as the Tardis let the invisible tow-rope go and they all started cheering and grabbing hold of each other. Donna got jealous that Sarah-Jane was taking too long hugging Jack and parted them and the new Doctor let go of Martha, seeing Rose and his twin step to one side.

"See, I knew we could do it," Rose was saying.

"Yes, we did. So, just how did you get here?" The Doctor asked her.

"Same principal as before, just a smaller device," Rose replied. "Anyway, I won't be needing it any more, will I?" she grinned.

"Rose, you can't stay," The Doctor warned her.

"What ya mean?" Rose wanted to know.

"I told you, you were on the list of the missing, that's not the problem though. Remember what happened with The Reapers?" he asked, sending a chill through Rose.

"Well, this is different, isn't it?" she then asked. She saw he was serious. "That's not fair Doctor."

"I'm sorry Rose but you have to face it. Besides, you belong with your family. Did your mother marry Pete?" he asked.

"Yeah, at least one thing was put right," Rose told him. "What about me though?"

"You never made up with mister Mickey then?" The Doctor smiled as Mickey was talking to Martha.

"We're still friends, that'll never change," Rose admitted.

"Rose, you can still have what you want you know?" he reminded her. "I had no idea my twin was going to be created but think about it?"

"What do ya mean?" Rose began to realise what he was getting at.

"Go talk to him," he encouraged her. "How do you think he's feeling?"

Sarah-Jane had felt sorry for the new Doctor and had gone to him.

"So, how does this work then?" she smiled at him. "It was a bit unexpected."

"Tell me about it," was the reply. "Blame Jack, he rescued the hand I lost and gave it back to my twin. Then Donna touched it as the Tardis was on fire in the depths of the Dalek ship and wham! There I was."

"Oi, spaceman," Donna interrupted them. "I got a shock as well you know? So, what happened to me, is it permanent?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so," he replied. "I think I should talk to Rose."

"He's still clueless," Donna told Sarah-Jane as he went off, having seen the other Doctor go to land the Tardis back on Earth.

He still had good hearing and saw Rose alone as Jackie talked with Mickey.

"I'm staying behind," Mickey had decided.

"But ya can't," Jackie had covered her mouth.

"I'm gonna miss you most of all. Thanks for looking after my gran," Mickey told her.

"She was family," Jackie replied. "How are ya gonna tell Rose?"

"It's best I just leave Jackie," he told her sadly as The Doctor danced around the console flipping switches like he'd always done.

Rose had been caught by the new Doctor.

"You're avoiding me Rose," he told her as he leaned on one of the struts.

"He just told me I can't stay," Rose replied.

"He did?" she was asked although he'd an idea that was the problem.

Of course she wanted to stay otherwise why had she gone looking?

"Yeah and it's not fair," she complained.

"Maybe he thinks you belong with your mother?" the new Doctor suggested.

"I expect so? He should have given me the choice though," Rose told him. "What about you?"

"Ah. Well. I guess he'll want to keep me with him to make sure I don't destroy anything else?" he half laughed.

"That was all you could do, Doctor. What were ya supposed to do? Just let them try again?" Rose wanted to know.

"He thinks I'm dangerous," he told her. "No wandering off for me, at least for a while."

"I still don't know why I can't go with ya?" Rose replied.

The Tardis had landed and Martha was talking to Jack when The Doctor interrupted them.

"So, Martha. Going back to UNIT?" Jack was asking her. "Find something else to do, where you can be a real doctor."

"Jack's right," The Doctor joined in, seeing his twin close to Rose.

What was he going to do about his clone? Should he insist they travelled together, just the two of them? It was only right Rose went back to Pete's world, it was now too dangerous to let her stay. Beside the Reapers wanting to remove her, he himself was trying to avoid a prophecy coming true, which meant he was going to have to avoid a situation that resulted in him regenerating.

He didn't want Rose to witness him changing again but his twin would do no such thing, he would remain the same and age in the normal way, the same rate as Rose. So, that gave him an idea but he had to make it look like he didn't want his clone to stick around to avoid infuriating him and being accused of not caring. Sarah-Jane was about to leave and walked up to him.

"I'm glad we could meet again Doctor," she told him, going to hug him.

"What are you going to do?" he asked her.

"Get on with my life," she smiled. "I have Luke to look after now, he's only fourteen."

"He seems a fine boy," the Doctor smiled back. "Look out for me."

"I will. Look after yourself, Doctor."

Jack and Martha were arm in arm as they went to say goodbye, Jack mock saluting the new Doctor.

"Martha, get rid of that device eh?" The Doctor urged her.

"Yeah, I will. Take care and thanks Doctor," she replied, putting her arms around him.

Mickey was next, seeing Rose was otherwise occupied.

"You're leaving?" The Doctor asked him as he tried to sneak past.

"Yeah, there's nothing back there for me, especially Rose," Mickey told him. "My gran passed away, nice and peaceful a while ago. At least I was there for her this time, even though she always thought I was Ricky."

"I always said you were called Ricky," The Doctor laughed, pretending to push him.

He watched Mickey run after Jack and Martha, whom he'd seen eyeing each other and hoped they'd get together at some point. That left Rose and Jackie to take home and to get his clone to agree to his plan.

"Time for one more trip then," he announced as Jackie looked tired.

"Are ya taking us home?" she asked him.

"Well as near as I can," he replied as he set the co-ordinates. "You know my driving?"

"Yeah, last time I ended up in another universe," Jackie laughed. "Still, I have a good life now, no more strugglin' and I have Pete back, I can't complain." Then she turned to the new Doctor. "I was pregnant, remember?"

"Yeah. So what did you have?" the clone seemed to brighten up, having got nowhere with Rose.

"A boy," Jackie beamed. "I wanted to call him Doctor."

"Really?" the clone asked.

"No ya plum. He's called Tony, oh, are we gonna land just after we left?" she turned to the other Doctor. "Only Tony's at nursery, Pete will have to pick him up."

"It's safe to go out now," Donna finally joined in, The Doctor wondering why she was so quiet for a change as she was usually in trouble or kidnapped when quiet.

"Where are we then?" Jackie asked as she covered her eyes before walking through the door. "Not bloody Norway again?" Then she turned to see where Rose was. "Rose, I'll have to call your dad to get us home."

Rose was trying to argue with The Doctor again as the clone was about to join Jackie outside. He heard his twin saying something about what if Rose wasn't left on her own.

"What do you say Rose?" she was being asked. "I think it's what you need."

"Really? After all I went through?" Rose was arguing.

"Is this about me?" the clone wanted to know. "Are you saying you want me to stay here as well?"

"I have to go back," The Doctor replied, hearing his ship complaining. "There can't be two of us there, you know that."

"What am I supposed to do?" his twin asked.

"Stay with Rose," The Doctor replied quietly as he looked at the screen to avoid the stares.

"Hang on, I'm here ya know?" Rose reminded them.

"Can't you see?" Donna asked them. "He's trying to put things right."

"More like punishing," the clone disagreed.

"So, I'm being punished as well," Rose sided with him.

"Listen, both of you," The Doctor insisted. "Rose, remember what I was like when we first met?" Rose nodded. "Well he's me, when we first met and he needs you. You can help him."

They all walked outside and Rose stood between them.

"Okay, you two. Answer me this then? When I was here before, on the worst day of my life, what did ya say to me?"

"I said 'Rose Tyler'," The Doctor answered.

"Yeah and how was that gonna end?" she wanted to know.

"Does it need saying?" The Doctor replied, looking at the sand and trying to avoid looking at her.

Yes, he still loved her but only one of them could stay and whether in this universe or the other one, he would still change because he couldn't put it off much longer. Rose still deserved to have the one she fell in love with, however much it hurt him.

"What about you, Doctor?" she asked the clone.

The new Doctor now knew what was running through his twin's mind. Yes, he wanted to go back and travel but it would never work, neither of them would have her. Yes, he was angry and a bit like his old self and Rose had made him better. He leaned forward to whisper in her ear.

"I said Rose Tyler, I love you," he spoke softly.

Rose grabbed his collar, pulled him close and they kissed. The other Doctor led Donna away, Jackie watching with interest.

"Doctor, aren't you going to say goodbye or offer them any help?" Donna wanted to know as she shrugged him off.

"Oh. Right. Well maybe I can wish them well?" he replied.

He'd thought of giving his twin a small piece of Tardis coral, to grow his own but by his calculations, it would take almost a lifetime, which his twin only had one. Then he heard more warnings from inside the ship and knew they had to go or stay where they were. The Tardis was in no condition to work in this universe, once it was closed off from the other one.

Rose and the new Doctor had been watching.

"We really have to go now," he began to tell them, Donna having already gone inside. "Rose, look after him and look out for me. If it becomes possible, I'll come back to check on you but I may have changed."

"I know how it works," his twin assured him. "Will Donna be okay?"

"Yeah, it's a lot for her to take in but I can help her," he promised. "Bye Rose, I'm glad you came to find me."

"Bye Doctor and don't worry, it'll be easy, I already helped you," Rose smiled, taking his twin's hand.

The Doctor nodded and turned towards the Tardis, who was now screeching and Donna was calling for him but he turned back.

"I love you, Rose Tyler," he told her so she could just hear him.

With that, he dashed inside and a few seconds later, the ship still protesting, it disappeared in front of Rose and the new Doctor while Jackie stood behind them after talking to Pete, who had said to go to the hotel they'd stayed in the last time and he'd make arrangements for them to get home.

"I tell ya Pete, there's another one of himself," she'd tried to explain as Pete had asked her if Rose had found who she'd gone looking for.

Jackie knew better than to mention any names on an insecure phone call.

"Well explain it to me when you get back," Pete had told her. "I'm glad she didn't go all that way, to Norway just to come back alone and disappointed."

That was his way of saying he was glad the cannon project had worked out for Rose because he was going to scrap it, whether she'd got what she wanted or not. Well maybe he'd close it down and save it for a rainy day, he hadn't decided and didn't even know if it would ever work again. The experts had told him it was only working because they were somehow getting help from the other side.

He'd not had the heart to tell Rose though. Rose and the new Doctor followed Jackie off the beach, arm in arm to where a cab had just pulled up on the road above, Rose being helped over the last rock as Jackie had found an easier way.

"Hold on Jackie," he called out as Jackie got in the front seat, since those two seemed to be stuck like glue to each other, as usual she thought.

"Rose, I can't go back with you, it's not fair," he told her, taking both her hands.

"What?" she wanted to know, hoping her mother had her bank card with her but knowing Jackie, she'd tell the driver to charge it to Pete. "You listen to me, Doctor. You're him, he's you, of course ya coming back with us. I didn't get Pete to get those devices going for nothing so stop messin' around and get in that cab."

Chapter 2

The new Doctor did as Rose suggested, allowing Rose to get in the cab first, Jackie telling the driver where they were going. Jackie had never forgotten the name of the hotel they'd stayed in the last time and had already phoned ahead to book two rooms.

As Rose got in the back, Jackie thought if she wasn't going to share with this new Doctor, he could take the other room. This was all new to them, she'd seen one change in him but this was something new – two of them looking the same was a lot to take in.

The Doctor sat quietly next to Rose, who took his hand.

"So, how does this work then?" she wanted to know. "We don't have to get to know each other all over again, do we?"

"Well, no, I suppose not?" he had to agree. "I expect it'll all be a bit strange at first?"

"You're tellin' me," Jackie laughed in agreement. "You two can stop messin' about for starters."

"Mum's right," Rose told him. "Seems ya don't have as much time as ya did before?"

"Don't remind me," he laughed nervously. "Rose, I meant what I said, back on that beach but how do you feel about it?"

"Ya know how I feel, why did ya think I went to find ya?" Rose smiled. "Nothing's changed. I spent all that time, I wasn't gonna let ya get away."

They were soon at the hotel and Jackie was booking them in, telling them to charge it to Pete as Rose had expected. Then she turned around to ask about the arrangements.

"Well you two have a lot of talking to do so ya may as well share," Jackie suggested. "Rose, you'll only be creeping in and out all the time. Remember last time we were here?" she asked them as they were given their room keys.

"Mum, we should go out and get a few things," Rose replied to save embarrassment of her mother telling the new Doctor all about her thinking she was going into labour after the long journey.

"Well you two go then?" Jackie suggested. "I'm off for a lie down before we eat, with all that messing around, I never realised what time it was."

Rose thought she did have a point, she herself had got beyond tired. They went off to find a general store, taking Jackie's credit card. The new Doctor was taking suggestions from Rose as to what he'd need for the night as he was new to all this looking after himself lark.

"So, it was Donna who touched that hand of yours?" Rose was trying to get her head around it.

"Well, yeah, it's hard to explain but I'm worried about her," he admitted. "I'm worried it was all too much for her."

"He'll look after her, won't he?" Rose replied. "I mean he won't leave her to fend for herself, will he?"

"No, of course not," he assured her. "It was a two way swap though, I might have got some of her traits."

Rose had already noticed, such as he didn't seem quite as sure of himself as he used to be and his hair had gone back to being all spiked up, which she had loved it like that but she was wondering what else he meant. They went back to the hotel and noticed Jackie was opposite them so Rose tapped on the door and handed what she bought over to her, Jackie making use of the luxurious bathrobe that had been provided.

The Doctor was pacing up and down when Rose joined him in the other room.

"Rose, before you say anything. Well I have all his memories, where we went and travelling with you but I travelled with Martha for a while and it got complicated," he admitted.

"Oh," Rose stopped as she put things on the dresser. "You mean you got involved with her? How could you?" she asked angrily, thinking she'd join her mother after all. "Well, I suppose ya had to move on after ya lost me?"

"What?" he asked in surprise. "No, I never got involved with her. I told her and she took it the wrong way. I said I wasn't looking to replace you but we went through a lot together and she kept getting the wrong idea."

"Oh. Then okay? So then ya met Donna?" Rose asked.

"Well actually, I met her then she had the sense to refuse to travel with me but we met again, after Martha left," he explained. "There's a lot to tell you."

"I bet there is," Rose tried to forgive him. "Sorry, I jumped to the wrong conclusion, it's been a long few days. I met Donna's mother and granddad. I saw ya on the laptop but they had no camera."

"I had a feeling you'd be watching," he grinned as he patted the space next to him on the bed. "I told you I got some of Donna's human traits? Rose, you know what that means? I can love you back and spend my life with you, if you want?"

Rose sat beside him and he put his arm around her.

"If I want? Yeah, of course I do Doctor. Oh, are ya keeping that name?" she wanted to know.

"Well, I got used to being called John a few times. What do you think?" he asked her. "As for a last name, maybe I should take Donna's?"

"Yeah, that'll work," Rose agreed. "So, it's John Noble then? Pete will help ya to get established when we get back. Ya could come and work with me at Torchwood, it's all good now."

"Jack took the other one and turned it around," John told her as she put her head on his shoulder. "I think he offered Martha a job."

"Looked more to me like he was flirting with her," Rose managed to smile.

"Rose, I swear there was nothing between me and Martha. I turned her down and she still saved me several times," he recalled.

Rose looked up at him and put her free hand on his cheek.

"I missed you so much. I never even thought you'd make friends with anyone else."

"It just happened, that's all. I was still upset from losing you, Martha knew that but she still ignored it. I believe she thought she could snap me out of it," John explained.

Suddenly, Rose pulled him around and went to kiss him. John responded and they kissed again, making Rose smile.

"So, we're good then?" she asked him.

John smiled back.

"Yeah, we're good. I have to get used to this being Human thing, that's all and your relationships. I'm sure you can teach me?"

"Yeah, we'll take it easy for a while, so ya can get used to it," Rose suggested.

"Ah, then tell me why my heart is beating twice as fast as it should then?" he grinned.

"Maybe you were used to having two?" Rose wondered.

"That's probably it. Well that and you kissing me," he teased her. "Blimey, I thought about that for quite a while after I lost you, that I should have at least kissed you."

"Until you called me that time and we came up here, I thought you were never gonna contact me," Rose replied.

"Sorry it took so long then," he apologised. "Think I'll have a nap for a while, what about you?"

Rose snuggled up to him after he got up to get a blanket from the wardrobe, Rose saying they could rely on her mother waking them for the evening meal. They closed their eyes and Rose put her hand on his single heart, feeling he was right about it beating fast but she supposed it was to be expected.

John had closed his eyes, a million things running through his mind. He could now have a proper relationship with the woman he'd loved since he first met her and could promise her a lifetime without outlasting her by hundreds of years and having to live without her for so long.

How had the other him not even bothered to make something of it while they'd been together? Well the guilt was gone and maybe being here wouldn't be so bad? He was worried about something else but he put it to the back of his mind. It was just his body getting used to being normal, he convinced himself as he held on to Rose.

"John, try to slow your heartbeat down," she suggested. "Maybe when we get back you should get a check-up?"

"Maybe I will? I mean if I go to work with you?" he told her as he buried his face in her hair, which was now longer and had been styled differently but was beginning to fall all over the pillow.

All too soon, Jackie knocked on the door and told them it was time to eat.

"So how are you two getting on?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Fine Mum. Can I use your phone to call dad?" Rose asked. "I need to ask him a few things."

Once back in their room, Rose called Pete but still couldn't say much about John being The Doctor's twin.

"He's changed a bit," Rose admitted. "I think he could do with seeing Doctor Harper."

Owen Harper was the chief medical officer for Torchwood and all the female staff's nightmare and they all wished he'd settle down with his girlfriend Lucy. Luckily for Rose, he'd never dared try it on with her, he liked his job too much to have Pete down on him like a ton of bricks.

"Well, get him back here and I'll arrange it," Pete agreed. "I am glad you didn't go all that way and came back disappointed. You'll have to tell me how much he's changed."

"It's been a long time Dad," Rose replied. "Anyway, we're all a bit tired, some more than others," she laughed at John stifling a yawn.

John offered a weak smile at her comment but he was feeling tired, something that had been rare for him before. He wished he'd had more time to find out how things were going to be for him now he really was half Human. He never thought about his past before 'borrowing' a time machine that had got stuck in the shape of a blue police phone box.

Rose finished the call to Pete and said she was going to take a nice relaxing bath after being tossed around looking for him. Then she thought about John.

"Why don't you go first or at least get a shower?" Rose suggested.

"I'm fine, really," John insisted. "You go ahead, I'll just watch some TV."

A few hours later, they got into bed and Rose was wrapped in his arms. John knew she was expecting him to make a start so he began kissing her shoulder and neck and got her to lie on him. He moved suddenly, making Rose jump.

"What's wrong?" she wondered.

"Sorry. Come back here," he replied, not wanting to let on that he was feeling the effects of growing out of his twin's hand.

"John, ya can't keep things to yourself all the time like ya used to do," she reminded him. "If something's wrong, ya have to say."

"Rose, you will be the first to know, after me," he replied, trying to get her to change the subject.

"Well just make sure ya do. Do ya really need that t-shirt on?" she teased him.

"Well now you mention it?" he teased back. "You may have to keep me warm though."

"I can do that," Rose told him as she helped him.

The next morning, they just managed to get up before Jackie knocked on the door to remind them they had to get going.

"Come on you two," she told them as John answered the door as Rose finished in the bathroom. "If we miss that zeppelin, Pete won't be happy. He had to get us first class tickets to get us on it."

"I'm surprised you didn't get him to send a helicopter," John quipped as he let her in.

"Oi, don't be cheeky," Jackie warned him, seeing the unmade bed. "Thought you didn't sleep apart from that Christmas?"

"Well things are different now Jackie," he began to tell her until he was rescued by Rose, who had heard her mother's voice.

"Mum, give him chance to get used to things again," Rose replied to her.

"Well I've just been talking to your father, he left us tickets at the terminal, the flight's at eleven fifteen and we have an hour's journey to the port, the cab will be outside at quarter to ten so get a move on," Jackie told them.

John wondered if he was going to have to get used to a more organised Jackie, which would take some doing. After a quick breakfast, they went to get what they'd purchased the day before, Rose handing Jackie's phone back after being reminded the call to Pete had been made on the hotel's phone.

They got into the waiting cab, John closing his eyes since he wasn't used to travelling by car. Back in London, Pete had got young Tony off to nursery school, the boy asking when his mother and Rose would be back.

"They'll be here when you get home from nursery, or just after," Pete promised. "Rose is bringing a friend back with her."

"What about uncle Mickey?" Tony wanted to know as Pete strapped him in his car seat.

How was he going to explain to a small child that Mickey wasn't coming back? From what Jackie had said, Mickey had finally realised Rose was never going back to him and was moving on.

"Well Tony, uncle Mickey might be staying away for a while longer. Uncle Jake will still see you though," Pete tried to explain.

Tony seemed satisfied so Pete drove off, hoping the zeppelin flight wouldn't be delayed or they'd miss it somehow. When Jackie had called back, he'd been lucky to get them all on the same flight or he would have had to make other arrangements. Now he wished they'd hurry getting more planes into service to get away from the slow alternative but he supposed there was something about flying by zeppelin.

He'd taken Jackie on a romantic flight for their honeymoon, reserving a state room for champagne and fancy food on the way as opposed to a large commercial plane on a long-haul flight.

Rose and John were talking quietly in the back of the cab on the way to the zeppelin port.

"What about passport control?" John asked worriedly.

"Well me and mum didn't exactly have chance to grab ours before we came looking for you," Rose told him. "Pete will have made arrangements."

"Yeah, Jake will be there to meet us," Jackie half turned to tell him. "Don't worry about it."

After Pete's call the day before, Jake had been busy issuing an emergency passport for John when Jackie had told Pete what name he'd chosen. Then he'd sent digital copies of Rose and Jackie's passports that were held on file and added John's. He was now looking forward to meeting The Doctor's twin or whatever he was classed as, Pete didn't have all the details.

Pete got to work and stopped by Jake's office.

"So, any more details?" Jake was dying to know.

"Not much, you know Jackie," Pete laughed. "Did you get everything done?"

"Yeah, no worries," Jake replied. "I'll go and pick them up, I want to see how different The Doctor is."

"I don't think he wants to be called that," Pete reminded him.

"Don't blame him then," Jake agreed. "Well that was unexpected anyway."

"Jackie said no-one was more surprised than The Doctor himself," Pete told him. "I'm still waiting to get all the details but Rose mentioned he was feeling a bit off, must be all the changes he went through? Get on to Owen and tell him to expect John but keep a hush on it. Just tell him enough."

"Yeah, okay, I'll do it before I leave," Jake promised. "How was Tony?"

"Wanting to know about Mickey," Pete replied. "What am I going to tell him Jake?"

"He might be too busy wondering who Rose brought back with her," Jake laughed.

"Well it might hold him off for a bit but they spent a lot of time together when Mickey and Rose used to babysit," Pete recalled.

Pete went off to his office and Jake thought it would be best to visit Owen in person.

"Not often you come down here," Owen noted.

"Well this is something different, it's top secret for now," Jake told him. "Remember who Rose was going to find?"

"Of course I do, that's what the project was about, wasn't it?" Owen replied. "Pete might have put it out that wasn't the only reason why obsolete Cyberman technology was being put back together."

"Well if it had worked for them, Rose and the others wouldn't be here. Good thing they were too impatient to wait," Jake told him. "Enough of that. Rose has brought someone back with her."

"So she found him then?" Owen guessed.

"Not exactly, that's why it's top secret. Something happened and The Doctor had found a hand of his that had been cut off years ago. Pete didn't say much but another person grew out of it."

Owen looked up in interest.

"Well that's more like it, you know I love a challenge," he laughed. "An exact copy?"

"No, not exactly from what Rose told Pete. There's a few changes and it seems Rose is concerned," Jake revealed.

"Well have him come in when he's got settled then," Owen insisted. "I might bring my new assistant medical officer in on this, see what she makes of it. Don't worry, I'll have her sign a non-disclosure form before she gets to know anything."

"Well just her then, unless it's necessary," Jake agreed. "Pete said Rose was very concerned about him."

Chapter 3

John was trying to get comfortable, grateful there was room for his still long legs, not much had changed about him, well except for still feeling a bit off.

"Hope they serve some food in first class," John grinned, hoping maybe he was just still hungry, never feeling it before. "Did I tell you about when I was in first class on the Titanic?"

"No way," Rose replied, wishing he'd keep his voice down.

"Not that one," he grinned back. "Well I was on that once but I meant a space cruise liner. I stowed away when the Tardis crashed into it."

"How did ya mange that?" Rose gave in and asked.

"It was after I dropped Donna off," he told her. "Landed in a bit of a cupboard. Well, you know me!" he joked.

"Tell me about it later then?" Rose tried to get him to settle down. "So what else did I miss then?"

She thought it would maybe give him something to think about for a while. He realised what she was trying to do, maybe he shouldn't reel things off at great speed any more? A flight attendant reached them to take their drinks order, Rose just wanting coffee so John ordered the same then they were asked if they wanted to order a light lunch or brunch.

Rose watched with interest while John scoffed the food down.

"What?" he asked as he noticed.

"You'll put weight on at that rate," she teased him.

"Nah, I never put weight on," he grinned. "Well not lately though I was at a few points in the past. There again, sometimes I was shorter or taller."

"I know," she remembered his last regeneration being taller and a bit more well built. "Hey, you thought I didn't like ya as much last time."

"I never said that Rose," he disagreed.

"Ya might not have said anything but I know. Ya think my feelings changed when you did," she told him sadly.

"Rose, please don't think that. It was perfectly understandable when I changed. In the looks department, I never really got lucky until now, well apart from my fifth," he admitted. "Mind you, I used to go around wearing cricket gear all the time, don't ask me why."

Rose let out a smile.

"I'd loved to have seen ya like that. I think now though, jeans and t-shirts would suit ya. Yeah, slim fitting jeans and band t-shirts. Well maybe a few other designs."

"What are you trying to turn me into?" he wondered.

"Aw, I was just messin' with ya," she teased him again. "When we get home, ya'll need a check-up, to make sure nothing went wrong."

"Rose, I don't need anyone to check up on me," he insisted. "What makes you think I do?"

"It's standard John," she tried to throw him off she was worried about him. "Ya heard me talking to Pete and we talked about it last night," she reminded him.

"Yeah, sorry love. If you think I should?" he relented. "I do feel better today though."

"Yeah, I noticed earlier," Rose smiled.

They finished eating and Rose glanced below, seeing they weren't that far away from London.

"I never thought I'd be on one of these zeppelins," Rose admitted. "Remember when we first came here and we thought there was a giant zeppelin gathering of some kind? Hey, we should think about gettin' an apartment, just the two of us? Down by the river maybe?"

"So you never moved out on your own?" he asked.

"Nah, I was helping mum with Tony and still gettin' used to things," she replied. "We'll be landing soon."

"Yes, we've changed direction," John agreed. "Glad I still know some things."

"Bet ya've not forgotten much," Rose smiled and put her arm in his.

Jake had arrived at the port and showed his ID to get into the arrivals lounge where he had their documents ready to hand to them. Once through, he greeted them properly.

"Should've known ya wouldn't come back on ya own," he teased Rose. "Good to see ya again Doctor."

"I'd rather be called John," he corrected Jake and going to sit in the front of the car.

"Going home first?" he asked Jackie and Rose.

"Yeah, Tony will have been wondering where we were," Jackie told him.

"So how was your first flight on a zeppelin?" Jake turned to ask John.

"Okay I suppose?" John replied, not being very impressed. "Still prefer my Tardis. He could've given me a piece to grow my own."

"How long would that have taken?" Rose wondered.

"Ah," he thought about it, making Jake smile and Rose laugh. "It might not have been such a good idea I suppose?"

"Yeah, bloomin' thing would have attracted all the hostile aliens," Jackie pointed out.

"Maybe?" John didn't want to admit she may be right. "It would have taken a long time anyway."

"Mum's right, besides, it could've fallen into the wrong hands," Rose agreed. "Maybe that's why he decided against it?"

They were soon home and Jake called Pete to say where they were.

"I'll be home soon, tell Jackie I'll pick Tony up myself," Pete replied.

"I should take you shopping," Rose was telling John. "If ya don't want someone's face on ya shorts," she teased him.

"Rose, don't you dare. I expect you want me to have t-shirts with The Beatles on or some actress? Mind you, maybe one with 007 or something serious?"

"Ha, no chance!" Rose laughed. "Beatles and cartoon characters, like The Hulk or Spiderman and maybe TV shows?"

Jake was about to join in when John protested even more. He still wasn't feeling good and supposed he'd need a proper examination once at Torchwood, not that even the experts would know much about Timelord physiology.

"Why don't I pop out and pick some stuff up for ya with Jake?" Rose offered.

"Well, if you promise I won't be embarrassed when I have my examination tomorrow?" John relented.

"Jake, are ya okay to go with me?" Rose asked him.

"Sure, don't worry, I won't let her go too far John," Jake agreed.

Once back in Jake's car and heading for the nearest shopping centre, he asked how Rose thought John was.

"Well, considering he was created out of a hand?" Rose told him. "He said something about his heart last night though."

"Well, the other having two would make his memories think he should have too as well," Jake agreed. "It depends if that was the intention of using that spare hand?"

"Geez Jake, ya right," Rose realised. "Do ya think The Doctor knew there was gonna be something wrong with John?"

"Rose, he wouldn't have done it on purpose," Jake tried to tell her. "Maybe he knew Torchwood could take care of his twin?"

"It's still not right though Jake. He could have taken John with him and helped him," Rose disagreed.

"It would have been disappointing for you," Jake replied as they got to the centre's car park.

"Never mind me Jake. What if remaining here makes him seriously ill?" Rose wanted to know.

"Maybe you're jumpin' the gun a bit Rose," Jake told her as he got the ticket at the barrier. "Sure it was wise leavin' him with your mother?"

"That's not funny Jake," Rose told him. "Besides, taking him shopping is not my idea of fun."

Jake held his hands up in defence.

"Just don't overdo it with the shorts," he grinned, Rose going to smack his arm. "Were ya serious about the two of ya gettin' your own place?"

"Yeah, why not? Jake, even if he's not used to, ya know, well Owen will look after him. It's probably not much, just John gettin' use to it."

"Yeah, that's probably it then," Jake had to agree. "We might be worryin' about nothing?"

"I hope so Jake. Right, I'll look for t-shirts and shirts, you look for shorts and jeans," Rose suggested.

"Trust you to take the easiest," Jake joked.

"Well I can hardly pick up shorts and see what's on them," Rose laughed.

"Ya think I'll get away with it any easier?" Jake also laughed.

Back at the Tyler mansion, John had been shown to Rose's room after he told Jackie he'd wait for Rose coming back up there.

"Don't ya want to at least get a drink?" Jackie offered.

"I'm fine Jackie, really," he insisted.

"Well ya don't seem it," Jackie then insisted. "Anyway, ya know what she's like when she goes shopping?"

John had just agreed and followed one of the staff, Jackie not even protesting. She knew there was something different about him, besides being half Human. He was watching TV when Rose finally got back with several carrier bags with a store logo on them.

"There, I think that'll do ya," Rose declared. "Wanna get changed?"

"Let me see what you got then?" he tried to sound enthusiastic.

Rose knew he was only being polite as he lifted several t-shirts out of a bag, seeing an olive green one with The Beatles yellow submarine on. He pulled his purple one off, giving Rose a good view .

"You only wanted to see me without one," he then teased her as he put the new one on. "And no, I'm not changing my shorts in front of you, they were clean on this morning."

"Yeah, when ya sneaked off to get dressed in the bathroom," she reminded him. "Ya could have put the new t-shirt ya got yesterday on anyway."

"Well, best go meet that brother of yours," John declared, leaving the other t-shirts on the bed and the other unopened bags.

"Hey, there's no-one to clean up after ya here," Rose protested.

"Sorry. I will do it later, okay? Besides, I saw your room in the Tardis, Rose Tyler," he grinned.

"Well I had a lot to learn when I got here and that included not taking advantage of the cleaning staff," Rose told him. "They're under strict orders from my mum not to clean up too much mess."

"Yes, I can imagine," he tutted to himself. "So, us being all domestic then?"

Rose went up to him and put her arms around him.

"Yeah, this is just what we needed, eh Doctor?" she asked him.

"Rose, if you're going to call me that, then I need to earn the title," John insisted. "Just John will do for now."

"Don't think like that, you're the same as he is," Rose reminded him.

"Am I? Somehow, it doesn't seem right. Let's see how things go and as for us, well, I'm willing for us to up our relationship but won't there be some explaining to do, to other people?" he wondered.

"Well everyone knew I was tryin' to find someone when I went off. I found ya, didn't I? Besides, Jake will come up with a cover story for us being together."

"If you insist?" he had to agree. "Rose, I'm not going anywhere but as for working at Torchwood? Well I'm not so sure it's a good idea?"

"John, you'll fit in there," Rose assured him. "Think of all those alien artefacts you'll get to inspect? It won't seem like working and ya get paid for it."

"So, what's your job?" he asked as they went downstairs.

"Well lately it was all the cannon project but me and Mickey used to search all the news agencies looking for any signs of activity we might use to get back to find you," she explained. "Even the slightest thing out of the ordinary."

"So, what kind of artefacts are we talking about?" he wanted to know, a slight smile on his face.

"That's more like the old you," Rose smiled back.

Once John had been introduced to Tony, they played with him for a while then after they'd eaten, went into the family room to watch TV with the boy.

"Why were you away so long Rose?" Tony wanted to know as he sat on the floor between them.

"Well, I went off to find John," Rose tried to explain to the young boy.

"Was he lost?" Tony turned to John, who ruffled the boy's hair.

"Ya could say that," Rose laughed.

"Are you staying?" Tony then asked John.

"Yeah, I'll be staying," John agreed.

"Time for bed Tony," Jackie told him a while later.

"Can John take me and tell me a story?" Tony asked her.

"Well okay, as long as it's not scary," Jackie had to agree.

She could imagine John telling the boy about monsters and such-like, especially the ones who were green and had zips around their foreheads and exploded over the kitchen wall.

When Rose and John got to bed, they just lay together again, Rose letting him get used to being together.

"Ya do want more, don't ya?" Rose asked him as she tried to get him to part with a plain t-shirt.

"Just give me a while?" he insisted. "It's still all a bit of a change for me."

"Yeah, I know, sorry. Just whenever ya ready?" Rose agreed. "It's just, well I thought it would only take ya a couple of days?"

"I can manage that," he assured her, kissing her shoulder. "I know you're worried about me but after your medical team finish with me, well you won't have to be. I just hope they don't have a Doctor Martha Jones there."

"Yeah, it would be a bit odd I suppose?" Rose agreed. "Oh, I think someone new had just joined the medical team before I started trying to find you."

"Well I guess I'll find out?" John realised he could meet another version of his travelling companion.

He just hoped this Martha wouldn't be lovesick over him. Despite trying to put the other one off, he'd failed miserably, it had only made her worse.

"Are ya worried about what they might find?" Rose wondered.

"I really don't know Rose, I mean I feel different but that's to be expected really," he admitted. "No point in worrying about it yet though."

The next morning, Rose noticed he was trying to avoid talking about his visit to Torchwood.

"Ya won't need an interview to work there ya know?" Rose reminded him.

"So, if I want it, I just get handed it?" he asked as they got ready.

"Jake will get you some ID and set ya up with a bank account and everything else ya need," Rose assured him. "Maybe ya should get some driving lessons?"

"I can drive," John objected, pulling a face.

"I've seen your driving," Rose laughed.

"Well Donna never said anything, when we chased after Agatha Christie," he told her.

"You met Agatha Christie? I'd have loved to have met her, my mum loves her books," Rose replied. "What was she like?"

"I'll tell you later, get this medical over with," he tried to get out of it.

Pete observed him over breakfast then he drove them to Torchwood Tower, a place that John wasn't looking forward to visiting. He was given a pass as Rose and Pete were given their ID, though Rose normally kept hers with her but not when she was dimension hopping. Pete had insisted none of them had anything that indicated where they were from.

He had Jake join them then they took the lift to the basement, where the medical wing was located.

"Don't worry John, it still gives me the creeps coming down here," Rose joked.

"I should think so," John agreed as they arrived and letting Rose out first. "Who knows about the other version of me?"

"Just a few," Pete replied. "Doctor Harper knows about you, he'll only share any information with those he trusts and that's not many."

John thought he was going to add 'You can trust me' or whatever the Vitex slogan was.

"Owen," Pete called out when they entered the outer office.

"No receptionist?" John asked as he looked around.

"We're early," Jake grinned.

"Yes, you are," a familiar voice to John called back, then came through the other door. "So, you're The Doctor? I'm Martha Jones."

That was what John was afraid of but he soon recovered, grabbing Martha's hand and shaking it.

"Yes, nice to meet you," John replied, seeing Rose was watching him so he let go.

Owen was just behind Martha.

"Well, introductions over, I'm Doctor Harper," Owen told him without offering his hand. "Doctor Jones, show him where he can get changed."

Rose wondered how John was going to take this, if it included a full medical.

"I'll be in my office Rose," Pete told her. "Do you want Jake to stay with you while you wait?"

"Yeah, do ya mind Jake?" she turned to ask him as John seemed reluctant to follow Martha.

"Yeah, I'll keep ya company, unless ya going in with him?" Jake agreed.

"You know I don't allow anyone else in," Owen reminded them.

"I'd feel better if Rose was with me," John corrected Owen.

"You're not scared are you?" Martha laughed.

John just pulled a face, gave one of his sniffs and told her to lead on, making Rose smile.

"Owen, go easy on him," Rose warned him, Owen giving a mock salute.

"Well you want it doing properly, don't you?" Owen then asked her as John disappeared through the doorway.

"Well yeah but it was a bit of a shock to him," Rose told him.

"So I was informed," Owen replied. "I'll give you both my honest opinion. Best wait out here?"

Jake had to stop her from following.

"Leave him Rose, he'll be okay," Jake told her.

"We don't know that Jake, I mean he's so different," Rose replied as she sat down. "What if something went wrong? I mean if he's half Human?"

"Try not to worry until you get some news," Jake urged her.

"Easy for you to say," Rose sighed, burying her head in her hands.

John had gone behind a curtain to put a medical gown on then he'd laid on the bed.

"Let's get this over with," he called out. "I know how worried Rose is."

"Yes, well. Let's hope it's nothing to worry about?" Owen told him. "Doctor Jones, do you want to check his heart and lungs?"

John wasn't all that keen, since the other Martha got the courage to up and leave him.

"Right, let's start then?" Martha smiled at him. "So, are you and Rose an item?"

"What if we are?" John tried to ask why she was even asking.

So much for doctor/patient practises.

"Yes, we go back a long way and she spent a lot of time trying to get me back," he admitted.

"Just asking," Martha pulled a face as she put the stethoscope on his single heart. "Your twin had two hearts then?"

"Yes, lucky me only got one," John grinned. "It does feel a bit strange, when you're so used to having two."

"I can imagine," Martha agreed as she indicated for him to sit up. "Mmm, breathe in for me."

She did the other side, got him to cough several times then indicated for him to lie down again.

"Right, let's get you under the scanner?" Martha turned to Owen.

"What scanner?" John asked worriedly, trying to look around as an orderly appeared.

"Relax," Owen told him.

"Why do they always say that?" John wondered. "Can Rose come in?"

"You won't be that long," Owen laughed. "What are you worried about?"

That was just it, he was worried because something didn't feel right. What was he experiencing, was it his Human side that couldn't cope or his Timelord side trying to compensate?

Chapter 4

After a scan, which to the new Doctor seemed to take ages, Owen conducted a complete examination and took into account John wasn't completely Human but he'd nothing to judge the results by.

"Well, so far everything seems fine," Owen tried to assure Rose, who had been allowed in. "I wish I had more information for you but we're in the dark over Human/Timelord physiology."

"Great," John mumbled while he fastened his shirt buttons. "So you're going to learn from me?"

Rose gave him a frown.

"Owen's only tryin' to help," she reminded John. "So he's nothin' to worry about?" she asked Owen.

Rose had noticed Martha seemed to have disappeared, which was a good thing considering John had left one behind in the other universe.

"Come back and see me in a few month's time," Owen replied. "In the mean time, take things easy."

John finished getting dressed, then they went up to Pete's office, staying silent on the way until Rose had to say something.

"Ya should take it easy John. Ya could help them get the cannon working again if ya want? If we got through once, we can do it again."

"Rose, it was Dalek Cahn who was manipulating everything, remember?" John reminded her.

"Yeah, well he did me a favour, didn't he?" Rose replied as she looped her arm in his. "I got you back."

"Well partly," John grinned, patting her hand.

"Don't say that," Rose insisted as they neared the top floor where Pete had his office. "This floor still gives me the creeps."

"I can imagine," John agreed as the lift doors opened.

"It's all been cleared out and offices were made," Rose assured John as they stepped out. "It doesn't help though. Hi Debbie, my dad's expecting us. This is John."

"He said he was expecting you, Jake's already in there," Debbie, Pete's secretary told them.

Jake and Pete had been talking while they were waiting, Jake having gone to Pete's office when Rose had gone in to join John.

"Do you think they'll find anything wrong?" Pete had asked Jake.

"Hard to say? I mean Rose thinks he's still the real thing," Jake replied.

"You can't really blame her I suppose?" Pete wondered. "She wanted to find him so badly. I don't know what she would have done if those devices hadn't started working."

"Maybe now, she'll settle down?" Jake hoped.

"Well Jackie will be relieved if she does," Pete smiled as the door opened.

After they'd talked for a while, John went off with Jake to get his ID and to arrange a bank account and establish that he belonged to his new world.

"Did Rose have to go through all this?" John asked as his fingerprints were registered.

Jake just grinned back.

"Yeah, she wasn't happy," he laughed. "Right, give me a few days, meanwhile, here's a company credit card, ya can get cash out with it as well."

"I'll try not to spend it all at once," John assured him. "I don't expect physic paper works around here?"

Rose and Pete were discussing what role John should take up now he'd been cleared by medical to work.

"Start him out helping you?" Pete suggested. "Then you can keep an eye on him without him knowing."

"He'll know," Rose told him. "I was thinking maybe he'd enjoy going through all the artefacts we know nothing about? At least we'd know if they were safe or dangerous."

"Well I'll see what he says and arrange it then," Pete agreed. "Unless he insists we get the cannon working again without outside help?"

That was what Rose had been dreading, that he would be tempted to go back, especially if he was still convinced there was something wrong with him.

"I'll talk to him," Rose offered. "What happened to it anyway, once the Dalek's plan failed?"

"It stopped working, what do you think?" Pete laughed. "We all thought we were going to lose you and your mother until a technician noticed an odd reading, up in Norway. Then I knew The Doctor must have brought you both back. Your mother called me before I could call her."

That made Rose laugh.

"I bet she was dying to say who was with us," Rose told him.

"I had a hard time figuring that out," Pete joked back. "Take the day off, take him shopping or something, on Torchwood. Jake was giving him a credit card until he gets his own."

"Oh, I could do with a nice dress to go out celebrating we got him back," Rose smiled at the thought of an unlimited credit card. She had her own but that one was limited, though she got a generous amount.

Over the next few days, John was going around trying to figure out what he wanted to do and ended up in Rose's office, his feet on the corner of her desk.

"You can have Mickey's old office," Rose suggested as he messed with his hair. "So have ya decided what you want to do?"

"You know the answer Rose," he insisted. "We have to at least get the cannon working again. I'll safeguard it so the Cybermen or anything else can't take advantage of it."

"So, think of a good title then," she teased him. "Ya can go back to being called Doctor, if ya want?"

"I don't think I should," he hesitated.

"Well you're just as qualified for the title as he is," Rose further insisted.

"Am I?" John questioned her.

"Well everyone thinks you are," Rose replied, getting up to hug him. "What's wrong with it?"

"Plenty," he added.

"Don't put ya self down," she told him as she held him close. "We can find a place of our own, if ya want? We don't have to live with my mum and Pete."

"We had this conversation before," he tried to cheer up.

"Well we don't have to get a mortgage, we can rent," Rose smiled back at him.

"Well, I suppose I can live with that," he agreed.

They spent a few weeks looking on various letting agents' websites and viewed some of the rental properties but Rose really wanted one that overlooked the river and they were lucky enough to find one not far from Canary Wharf that had been put out for rent as the owner was moving overseas.

"Wow, it's perfect," Rose remarked as they'd been shown around by the agent, who to John thought was looking a bit too smug with himself he'd get a nice bonus.

He couldn't find fault with it though, since it had everything they needed. So they agreed to take it, paid the deposit and Rose had only to change a few things since it was fully furnished. They invited everyone to the flat-warming party and got to know the other occupants on their floor and the doorman, since it had controlled entry.

That turned out to be just as well when John started work on his project and couldn't tear himself away at finishing time. Three months had gone by when he started staying late and Rose had tried to talk him out of it. She had no luck so she went to see Pete.

"Rose, I'll try but I can't promise," Pete was telling her. "He's got full control over the project, you know that."

"Yeah, don't remind me," Rose replied. "I don't get what his rush is."

"Maybe it's because he thinks the longer he leaves it, any chance of getting it working will disappear?" Pete suggested. "If you're worried he's overstretching himself, get Owen to give him another medical."

"I can see that going down well," Rose admitted.

"Well Owen has the last say on who works and who doesn't," Pete reminded her. "No point in asking him to be discreet about it though," he laughed.

So Rose went off to discuss it with John, who wasn't happy about it.

"I'm fine now Rose, really I am," John told her. "It was with all the changes before."

"Well if ya sure?" Rose was still worried. "Ya will say if anything changes?"

"Sure I will love," he tried to assure her. "Thanks for worrying about me though and I'll try and cut down, just for you," he promised.

Meanwhile, down in the small town of Sandbrook, Tess and Alec Hardy were already squabbling, which had led Tess to seek comfort with another married senior officer.

"He doesn't care about you," Dave Harris was telling Tess over drinks at an hotel out of town.

"I already know that Dave," Tess replied. "He's always working late, it makes me think he's having an affair."

"Do you think he really is?" Dave wondered.

Tess had caught sight of a newspaper headline on the next table as a man folded it in half.

"Just look at that Rose Tyler," Tess prodded Dave. "Who does she think she is?"

"Someone with too much money?" Dave laughed. "Well at least your Alec isn't seeing her, she's way out of his league."

"Don't underestimate him," Tess replied. "What's she doing in the headlines again? Doesn't she see enough of her face in them?"

"I can't read it from here Tess," Dave grinned. "Buy the newspaper if you want to know. So, is your Daisy at her grandmother's and Alec's working late again?" he wanted to know. "We can go park in the woods by that new estate. Your car or mine?"

"That's all you think about, Dave Harris," she told him.

Alec had noticed Tess had already sneaked off early. Why was she when their daughter went to Tess's mother after school? He thought with a bit of luck she'd taken up a new hobby but knowing her, it was probably another man. No, no-one else would put up with her like he himself did.

The following Sunday though, all hell broke loose when two young cousins went missing on the new estate and Alec regretted being partnered with Tess when they got assigned to the case. As if they didn't argue enough, Alec had thought when they finally got home that night and Tess was going to take Daisy's school things round to her mother's.

"Maybe we should both go?" Tess suggested.

"It does not need both out us," Alec objected, since he had a headache. "Just drop them off."

"Well I might stay and see my mother for a while," Tess saw her chance of calling Dave.

"Well I'm making something to eat," he told her, looking in the freezer.

"Well it's a good thing we have ready-made meals for emergencies," Tess retorted.

Alec just ignored her and took one out, since they were from a better class supermarket.

"What was it with you and Harris today?" he then asked as he squinted at the display on the microwave.

"Can't work the microwave," Tess hinted. "Since you only warm your mug of tea up in it."

Alec wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of replying.

"Don't change the subject Tess. I expect you to behave professionally whilst working, not looking at him every five minutes. Is there something I should know?"

"Don't start on me Alec, just because we got that case," she told him. "If you ask me, those parents are hiding something and where was the older girl's father?"

"And you say I take no interest in Daisy," Alec stated as he folded his arms and leaned back on the counter.

"Well you don't," Tess reminded him. "I'm off, I'll get something while I'm out, those meals are no good for you."

Alec was about to say they were better than her cooking but kept quiet. Was she going to sneak off and meet with Harris? Was he even bothered if she did? The following day, Alec had to step up the investigation and give a statement to the press.

Rose knew nothing about it as she woke up the next morning and John was missing. She put her robe on, tried the bathroom door but it was locked so she went to make a drink. When John hadn't come out, she knocked on the bathroom door.

"Come on John, why are ya taking so long?" she asked him. "Ya only off to work ya know?"

"Rose, I'll be out in a minute," he called back a few seconds later, which made Rose suspicious.

"Are ya okay?" Rose called back, trying the door handle.

She thought about opening the lock from the outside, since the designers had seen fit to add a more modern lock. Then she heard the 'click' from the other side.

"John. Ya look awful," she told him. "You're as white as a sheet. Come and sit down and I'll make some tea. Why the hell didn't ya say anything?"

"I started feeling weak when I got out of the shower," he admitted. "I didn't want to worry you."

"Well I'm worried now," she replied as she felt his forehead. "You're all clammy. I'm gonna call Owen and tell him, see if he recommends I send for our own doctor."

She got hold of Owen and started to tell him John's symptoms.

"Can you get him here?" Owen wanted to know. "If not, I can send one of our private ambulances we have access to for emergencies."

Rose covered the phone while she asked John, who was now wrapped in a blanket because he was feeling cold.

"I think I'll be okay with you, we're only five minutes away," John replied.

"Well maybe but I can't drive and watch you at the same time," Rose insisted. "Owen, I'll get him dressed, you send an ambulance. How long will it take?"

"I'll get it there as fast as I can," Owen promised her. "If not, I'll send a car for you. How's he doing?"

"Shivering," Rose gave John a weak smile. "I'm really worried."

"Yes, I can imagine," Owen told her. "Let's just get him here then? I'll let your stepfather and Jake know, I'll have Jake meet the ambulance."

"I knew something would go wrong," Pete told Jake when he heard. "He's been working two hard and I let him."

"Don't blame ya self," Jake told him. "He'll be okay."

"I hope for Rose's sake that you're right Jake," Pete replied. "How was John doing as regards to a breakthrough? I want his team to carry on, just in case."

"In case of what?" Jake asked.

"Why do you think Jake? In case we have to find his twin," Pete told him. "The Doctor is the only one who really knows his twin but from what Rose said, there had never been a metacrisis before so if Owen can't do anything?"

"We'd best not even think about it," Jake suggested. "I'll go wait downstairs for them."

John was laid down in the private ambulance that was more like a stretched car, a medic sat with him and Rose just in front.

"Just relax," the medic tried to tell John.

John was helped out of the ambulance and the medic sat John in the chair Owen had sent up for his arrival along with one of his assistants and Martha. Rose noticed the look on John's face when he saw Martha.

"Why does he keep staring at me?" Martha wanted to know as they walked to the lift, Jake having overridden it so they could get straight in.

"You have a double where he comes from," Rose told her. "It didn't end well from what he told me."

"No wonder," Martha remarked.

"Sorry to disappoint ya Martha," Rose replied. "Ya know he's spoken for anyway. You have no idea how long it took me to find him so forget it."

"Is that a warning?" Martha dared ask Rose, making Jake grin, since he loved a cat fight and it was heading for the cat fight of the decade.

"Hey, no fighting you two," John managed to tell them. "I can't abide fighting, especially over me."

Rose leaned down to kiss his cheek.

"I'm only gonna fight to keep ya," she told him, making Jake grin again.

"My money's on Rose," Jake then laughed, getting him a look from Martha.

"You seem sure of that," Martha told Jake as they reached the basement.

"Oh, trust me," Jake told her as he laughed even more at the thought. "I wouldn't bother if I were you Martha."

Martha just huffed and opened the medical bay door, where Owen was waiting with Pete, who thought Rose would need some support.

"What's going on?" Pete wanted to know as Rose and Martha looked daggers at each other.

"It's under control Boss," Jake tried to convince him.

"It had better be," Pete warned. "John is more important than any squabbles going on."

"Tell that to Rose," Martha hissed, whether Pete was the boss or not.

"Martha, drop it," Owen then told her. "Come on John, let's get you on the examination bed, no visitors for now," he looked directly at Rose. "I'll keep Martha occupied," he then grinned.

"I know my job, Owen," Martha was annoyed. "What's your problem Rose?"

"I said leave it," Pete warned again. "Jake, get Rose a drink will you?"

"Sure Pete. Want something to eat Rose?" he turned to a worried Rose.

"Just a drink, thanks. I couldn't eat anything," Rose told him as Pete led her to sit down and John went off with the medical staff.

"Don't worry, Martha won't turn John's head," Pete tried to assure her as Jake returned with fresh coffee.

"Nah, forget it Rose, he's right," Jake agreed.

"Sorry. I'm just worried," Rose told them as she drank her coffee.

"We all are love," Pete told her. "Want me to call your mother?"

"Let's wait and see what Owen says," Rose replied, trying to keep calm. "What could have happened to him Dad?"

Jake went to sit at the other side of her and patted her arm.

"Thought he had superior biology to us?" Jake joked.

"Has he been hiding something all this time?" Rose then wondered. "How could he hold something like that back?"

"Just calm down eh?" Pete suggested. "The main thing is he's getting medical attention. Maybe I should warn your mother?"

Rose agreed after Pete promised he wouldn't let Jackie come and join them.

"Jackie, he'll get all the treatment he needs," Pete assured his wife.

"Well goodness knows what his twin or the one before him put me through that time," Jackie referred to when Rose was missing for a year. "Then that time they came back without Mickey," she added.

"I know Jackie. I'll let you know what Owen makes of him," Pete promised her.

They sat for another half hour before Owen came out, Rose trying to judge what the outcome was. John had remained calm while being examined then another scan.

"I might have to refer you to a specialist," Owen had warned John.

"You can't, remember who I am," John warned him. "I'm still unusual to them."

"I know but we have contacts in the medical profession who know what we deal with," Owen tried to assure him. "We can do most of the tests and we can get them to come here. We have to find out what's causing your problem."

"I can tell you that," John replied. "You'd best break the news to Rose but if all fails, she'll have to cross over to her old world to find my twin or whatever he is now, if he's changed."

"Did you get somewhere with that cannon device?" Owen wondered.

"I'm so close," John admitted. "I was almost ready to test it but don't go telling Rose."

"You'd have gone without her?" Owen grinned.

"No, I wouldn't dare, I'm not that brave," John tried to laugh without it hurting. "Now, she may have to go back on her own. How can I ask her to do such a thing?"

"She'd do anything for you," Owen assured him. "Anyway, let's reserve that for now. Someone else will have to work on it, you're grounded."

John wished him good luck, others had tried and failed to hold him down but Rose was the exception.

Chapter 5

Rose ran out of the waiting area and into the ladies room, Martha offering to go after her but Pete warned her against it.

"You're not what she needs right now, sorry Martha," Pete told her. "John left a twin behind in the other universe and told Rose that the Martha Jones there had tried to take his mind off Rose when he lost her. Needless to say, it didn't end well by all accounts."

"I see then?" Martha swallowed. "She could have just told me."

"She tried," Jake reminded her. "I'll go knock on the door. Are you calling Jackie?" he asked Pete.

"I'll try and get her home first," Pete replied.

"I don't think she'll want to leave," Owen told him. "John can go home when I determine Rose can care for him but he'll need checking every day, it's not a good idea to bring him here every day."

"What's the alternative?" Pete wanted to know.

"Confining him to a private hospital with a resident doctor I can trust and either myself or Martha visiting John at least once a day," Owen replied.

"Can't you keep him here?" Pete asked Owen.

"Well I suppose we could but we don't have any other resident patients, we'd have to get something ready," Owen told him.

"Then do it, anything you need," Pete agreed as Jake went off to find Rose.

Rose was trying to dry her eyes, looking at herself in the mirror.

"Why him?" she asked herself. "I can't lose him again." Then she heard a knock on the door. "Go away Jake," she told him, recognising his knock.

"Come on Rose, ya can go see him now," Jake assumed since Owen hadn't said otherwise. "He'll need ya now."

Rose unlocked the door and Jake held his arms out.

"I know it's upsetting Rose," he told her. "He'll have the best care and he may be able to go home for now."

"Yeah but what when he gets worse Jake?" Rose asked him. "What if they can't cure him?"

"Need ya ask?" Jake wanted to know. "We'll stop at nothing Rose, ya know that and John may have come up with a way of getting back."

"He'll be too ill to go, won't he?" Rose asked him. "Ya mean I'll go? Forget it Jake, what if I can't get back?"

"Ya forget who you're going for," he joked. "The Doctor won't let that get in the way to save his twin."

"What?" Rose was confused.

"Sorry, let Pete explain but maybe dry ya face first?" Jake suggested.

"It makes sense," Rose had to agree when Pete told her what John had said. "Can I see him?"

"Sure," Owen agreed. "I can get him ready to go home but he'll not be able to go out, he needs to rest and coming here every day won't help, he needs to save his energy."

Rose nodded and went through the door to see John propped up on the couch.

"Am I causing trouble?" he tried to smile.

"That's your middle name," Rose reminded him.

"Better than jeopardy friendly," he joked, patting the side of the couch. "Rose, I am going to fight this love."

"I know ya will but dad said something about finding your twin?" Rose replied.

"With a bit more work, I would have been able to get through, without alerting the Daleks or the Cybermen. I won't be able to go with you but maybe Jake could go with you?"

"John, it's risky, what if we can't get back?" she asked him.

"He'll make sure you do, get Owen to explain exactly what it is," John replied. "Sorry love, I don't think he'll let me home tonight."

"Then I'm staying here," Rose told him.

"Just for a while?" he asked, taking her hand.

"No, you plum, I'll get someone to bring some stuff for me, until ya can go home," Rose replied.

Two days later, John was being taken back home but Rose was already thinking about the alternatives and she didn't like them.

"Rose, it would make things easier for you if you get someone in to look after me," John tried to persuade her.

"No way. I went looking for you, I should be the one to look after ya," Rose argued as she looked up from the morning paper, which was still concentrating on the two missing girls. "I wonder how the search is going for those girls?" she asked him.

"If I had the Tardis, they'd have been found by now," John replied.

"Show-off," Rose smiled, kissing his cheek. "Where's that ambulance got to, I thought it would have been here by now?"

"Maybe you should ask Owen?" John suggested. "You should offer to help find those girls," he added.

"Dad won't let us get involved, unless they ask for us to," Rose reminded him. "He'd go nuts if I suggested it while you're ill anyway. I'll go check on the transport."

John picked up the paper from the side table and followed the report on the next page, had Rose noticed the detective in charge could be another twin of his? She'd not mentioned it so maybe not, he thought.

In Sandbrook, Tess and Alec were still at war with each other and the chief was getting tired of it.

"Sort yourselves out," they were ordered. "I don't want to take either of you off this case but I will, if I have to. Understand?"

"Maybe we'd be best partnered with someone else?" Tess suggested.

"You mean with Dave Harris?" Alec snapped back.

"What about Harris?" the chief wanted to know. "I say who partners with who. What's your objection Alec?"

"He would object," Tess replied. "He's jealous."

"Of what?" the chief asked. "Well?" he turned to Alec. "Fine, Tess you stay where you are for now, don't make me regret it."

"Why did you have to bring that up?" Tess asked when they got out of the chief's office.

"I had every right to," Alec told her. "Concentrate on the job Tess. I'm going to get a warrant to dig up the Gillespie's back garden, I don't trust them."

"Alec, have you any idea what it will do to Cate?" Tess was shocked.

"We're running out of time Tess, you know the longer it takes, the worse it could be?" he reminded her. "Go talk to her again."

"Why me?" she wanted to know.

"I have to apply to dig up their garden," Alec replied.

"That's wrong Alec," Tess warned him.

"Well do you have any better ideas?" Alec asked, losing patience with her.

"Well be it on your head Alec, you're in charge," Tess reminded him.

He watched her walk off, daring her to pick Dave Harris to work with, that would just confirm his suspicions there was something going on. Had he got past caring though? When he thought about it, there was only Daisy holding them together, wasn't there?

He went to the break room and got himself some coffee, picking up a newspaper and seeing Rose on the front page, saying she was stepping back from being a top Torchwood agent for personal reasons and would be working behind the scenes. When John had become ill, Pete thought it best to keep it to a minimum but since Rose was always making a name for herself, it needed some kind of explanation.

Alec put the paper down, thinking nothing else about it, he had enough problems of his own. He thought it was a shame Torchwood didn't have a missing persons department except for those who had vanished into thin air in front of witnesses or had appeared from nowhere. He didn't think his case qualified.

Maybe if Rose Tyler wasn't stepping back, she might have had some sympathy for the families.

The next day, the news got out that the youngest girl had been found in a nearby river and the media were all over it, Alec heading a press conference, watched carefully by one Karen White, who had made friends with the Gillespies and was determined to get justice for them at any cost.

Rose missed it because she was with John, who had been settled in their room and a nurse was going to call in every day to monitor him. As time went on, it became obvious John was going to need around the clock care and the final touches were being put to the newly converted medical bay complete with room for Rose and all the equipment necessary plus a small kitchen for making drinks and a microwave, though meals would be sent down from the cafeteria.

Rose began packing what they were going to need, since John insisted on wearing his favourite t-shirts and joggers and sat on top of the duvet most of the time.

"It's gonna be better all round," Rose had decided. "We can't have people coming in and out all day."

"Yeah, Steve on the door will be getting tired of it," John agreed. "When do we leave love?"

"As soon as Owen arranges it. John, we're coming back ya know? When ya get well," Rose insisted.

"I know love. How are they getting on with my project?" he asked as he messed with the air tube in his nose, oxygen tanks another thing that had been delivered though he'd tried to do without it during the day. "I was watching the news this morning, about that case in Sandbrook. Rose, if I had been well, we could have gone there to help."

"John, don't worry about it," Rose reminded him. "We can't do anything and besides, we've not been asked. Who's that detective in charge?"

"Hardy, I think," John replied as he lay back, feeling weak again.

He dare not tell Rose that he was getting even more tired. He suspected she knew though.

"Well I don't have time to watch the news," Rose replied. deciding what to take since she wouldn't be going anywhere fancy. "What's going on?"

"They have someone in custody and waiting for a trial date," John replied, trying not to struggle.

"What ya doing with the air tube in?" Rose then asked him.

"I want to walk downstairs on my own," he replied.

"Tough guy," Rose smiled at him.

He managed a smile back and let her get on with packing, wishing they were going away on holiday and not to a specially converted unit just for his benefit. The final arrangements were being put into place to transfer John to the new unit next to the medical bay and Martha was being warned not to cause any trouble with Rose.

"Owen, I resent that," Martha had told him. "What do you take me for?"

"Really? After you and Rose the last time they were here?" he reminded her. "I hope you learned from that?"

"You mean not to cross her or you?" Martha replied.

"Both," Owen warned her. "Rose doesn't need it and neither do I, we have a job to do, to fight whatever is wrong with John with every possible thing we can think of and come up with anything new. The tech labs are working flat out."

"I don't want anything to happen to him," Martha replied.

"Just remember that," Owen told her. "We don't want Rose or Pete to hold us responsible if anything does. I'm off to check out what's happening over that new device John came up with, see if there's any news."

"It's all secret isn't it?" Martha asked.

"Not to the head of medical," Owen grinned as he went off.

He called for Jake to meet him and met up in what was known as the cannon room. John had adapted the principal of the devices they'd already used and a way found to measure different timelines, so they wouldn't get the wrong era if they made any attempts to cross over, providing it was established they had the right universe.

A lot had happened since John had been ill, the brightest minds in the world had all been sworn to secrecy and were paid well to keep developing it. Pete thought it a shame that John might never see it working but he prayed that Rose would believe it could work to get the help John needed.

Everything was concentrated on getting to the right year after Rose had been to the other universe the last time and she got there when The Doctor still looked like John. Failing that, they would have to settle to just after he'd regenerated, in case he refused to help or just offered his sympathy and Rose came back on her own.

They also had to prepare for the Tardis coming through based on what John had told them of how he'd got back the last time the time machine had been here. They had to be ready immediately to stop the Tardis from dying on them so The Doctor could leave, with or without John, if he needed to go back to the other universe. They had not ruled out that was what was wrong with him – that he couldn't survive in this universe because the Timelords had never been here.

Maybe the other Doctor hadn't known, he wouldn't have sent John here to die, unless he trusted Torchwood could save him? Pete knew Rose would go with them and may not be able to return if John had to stay behind.

Owen and Jake were given an update that tests were going on sending a volunteer to the right era and retrieving them, since Jake had discovered all other universes were being locked off if anything didn't look right.

"That's good news then," Owen admitted as they left. "So Rose has been giving her input as to what the differences are?"

"Yeah, at least it gave her something positive to do," Jake replied. "She's the only one who knows plus we're also looking out for any signs of Mickey. Then when she crosses over at least he'll be on her side."

"Good idea, she might need him if we can't detect The Doctor anywhere," Owen agreed.

"Yeah, if The Doctor's not on the planet, she'll need somewhere safe to stay," Jake told him. "They may even be able to move her like they did the last time though back then, it was that Dalek that was helping. We're on our own this time around."

"Well as long as she doesn't have to contend with them again," Owen laughed. "How can you be sure they won't detect anything?"

"John's already thought of that," Jake grinned. "That's what he was working late on but it may have contributed to him getting worse."

"Does Rose know?" Owen asked as they went to get coffee.

"I doubt it," Jake replied. I'm not gonna tell her, are you?"

Owen put his hands up.

"Not me," he laughed.

Owen went back to medical and Jake went to talk to Pete over the latest developments.

"Rose isn't going to want to go off without some assurances," Pete reminded Jake. "That The Doctor won't be affected like his twin, if something here is causing John's illness."

"But John felt ill when he arrived," Jake pointed out. "So it can't be that."

"Maybe it's with him being half Timelord?" Pete wondered.

"Can't see that either," Jake disagreed. "It has to be something else?"

"Well maybe if he hadn't said he was fine until he wasn't, we might have been able to stop whatever it was," Pete reminded him.

"He was tryin' to hide it from Rose," Jake told him.

"Yeah and look where it got him?" Pete asked. "When will they be here? I'll make arrangements for their apartment to be watched and a cleaner go in once a week. I don't want Rose worrying."

"That's the last thing she needs," Jake agreed. "What do ya think of that case down in Sandbrook then? It says they have someone and waiting for a court date."

"Well if nothing goes wrong, I see no reason why the person can't be convicted," Pete replied, putting the news on the screen.

"Best hope no-one screws up then?" Jake laughed.

"Best hope Rose doesn't find out who the lead detective looks like," Pete joked.

Rose and John arrived at the new medical unit prepared for John and were settling in just as Tess and Alec Hardy were being called to what they thought was all the proof they needed to get Lee Ashworth convicted for killing Pippa Gillespie and dumping her in the river, though it had been established how she'd died but not if she'd been left in the woods and the river had broken its banks.

"We play this by the book," Alec was telling those involved, noticing now how close Tess and Dave Harris were standing near each other.

He wondered why they now bothered keeping it quiet. Everyone had known for sure before he had, which had forced him to move out and get a small flat, since Daisy wasn't interested in staying over. Tess had complained about losing all her housing allowance because Alec had taken half of it and he'd told her to cut back on various private tuition for Daisy including dance lessons that she'd never been interested in and it had all been Tess's idea.

"You don't have to remind us," Tess told him, Dave now standing with his hands on top of his car that he and Tess had arrived in.

He wondered why they'd arrived together, were they planning something afterwards? He shook his head and told the uniformed officers to get the car lot manager who he had called to say to keep the car Ashworth had sold whilst out on bail. Ashworth had been questioned over it.

"It's non of your business Hardy," Lee had told him as Lee refused to let Alec in. "Who told you I'd sold it, it had better not have been Claire. Where is she anyway? When you see her, tell her to come back."

"I have no idea where Claire is," Alec had replied. "Why would I?"

"You'd better not have been talking her into testifying against me," Lee had warned him.

Alec had known where Claire was, she'd been staying with a friend since her husband had been arrested, for fear he'd get out and go after her. Plus she hadn't been able to face Cate Gillespie after what had happened. Claire was playing both sides though. She had something on the girl's father, now she needed something on Lee.

Then, Tess had been careless and let her know they were going to search Lee's car he'd just sold and she knew where he'd have taken it so now, she was watching from a vantage point as everyone arrived, noticing Tess and Alec had arrived separately. Had they split up, she smiled at the thought.

Tess had gone easy on her but Alec hadn't. He'd been constantly pressuring her to testify against Lee and now was the perfect time to get a hold on Lee. If the police found anything in that car belonging to Pippa, she had him.

A necklace belonging to the young girl had been found in the back seat and put into an evidence bag and sealed by Alec.

"I have to go get my car," Tess told him, reaching out for the evidence bag. "I'll take it back."

"Come on Hardy, I'll make sure it gets there," Dave assured him.

Going against his better judgement, Alec finally agreed. Could he trust them not to stop off somewhere on the way back?

"Come on Tess," Dave was saying to her as they set off. "One drink, he won't know."

No-one had noticed Claire had got into a taxi and was following them down the road.

"Just drive," Claire had told the driver.

"Where do you want dropping?" he asked a few minutes later, hoping she'd made her mind up.

She saw the car Tess and Dave were in pull into a pub car park so she told the driver to stop outside the pub. Then she went around the corner and saw the car under the canopy, Dave getting out first and standing in front of the car. Then Tess joined him and Claire noticed Tess put her arm around Dave and pull him into a kiss and throwing her hair back.

Claire wondered if Alec knew about them but she was here for a purpose, to see if there was anything incriminating in the plastic bag Tess had been given.

Chapter 6

Not noticing they had been followed, Tess and Dave kissed again and Dave opened the door, remote locking the car but Tess forgot all about her work bag with the evidence in it.

Tess stopped as Dave headed for the bar.

"Dave, I need to go back for something," Tess didn't want to say what in the crowded pub.

"Leave it Tess, who's going to notice?" he replied, wanting to get a few drinks down her then go park the car somewhere.

Hardy was off his head walking away, he thought. Tess was far more willing than his own wife was these days. Maybe she just wanted a change?

Claire checked no-one was around, pulled the hood over on her coat and grabbed a brick that just happened to be lying around. She carefully avoided the broken glass, grabbed the bag and pulled out the plastic evidence bag and then thinking about opening the bag again, found a few notes and took them then ran out onto the road.

She smiled to herself. How could the woman be so careless? She stuffed the evidence bag into her pocket and made her way back to her friend's. The bag only contained the locket she had given to Pippa as a present, the one that had been given to her by her grandmother before she'd been driven out of her home town.

When Alec got back, he made something to eat then called the station.

"Has that evidence from the car Lee Ashworth sold been logged?" he asked the desk sergeant.

"Err, sorry Sir, what evidence?" Alec was asked, the desk sergeant asking a junior officer, who just looked at him.

"Don't mess with me, I'm not in the mood," Alec warned the man. "The evidence that DS Henchard and DS Harris should have brought back an hour or so ago. It had better have been handed in."

He could hear a phone ringing in the background and hoped for Tess's sake it wasn't her phoning to say she was only just on her way back with it, heads would roll in the morning.

The other officer went to answer, hearing Tess shouting down the phone to get a forensic team out to where she was, at the Black Swan pub on West Street, plus someone to fix the car window, since it wasn't her car.

"Sarge, DS Henchard's on the phone," the young officer held the receiver out to the older man.

"Well, what's holding her up?" he asked as he forgot about Alec, who could just about hear. "Where the hell is she? Hardy's wanting to know."

"Sarge, she says her car window's been smashed," the WPC dared tell him.

The sergeant knew Alec was going to go crazy.

"Sir, I've found out where she is, she's been delayed," he started to tell him.

"Well? What's her excuse?" Alec asked, knowing she'd try to cover up she'd been with that rat Harris.

"Sir, you really don't want to know," he was told. "Apparently she stopped and the car was broken into. DS Harris is with her."

Alec swore under his breath. How could they both be so stupid?

"Where are they?" Alec then asked. "Get someone out to them, no-one is to touch the car until forensics get there and then take it back to HQ. Get them to bring the evidence bag back and get a statement."

"Yes Sir," the sergeant replied, thinking so much for a quiet night.

"Tell them both to stay until I get there," Alec then added, not that he wanted to go but the chief would ask him why he'd not attended.

The sergeant took the phone from the young officer after relaying what Alec had told him. While Tess was waiting, Dave was leaning on the roof of the car.

"Dave, don't be stupid and put any more fingerprints on the car," she warned him.

"What are you waiting for?" Dave wanted to know, leaning back on the wall and going for a cigarette.

"Who do you think?" Tess hissed, covering her phone. "The sergeant will have called Alec. We'd better come up with a good reason for being here."

"Just say you needed to powder your nose," Dave laughed.

"Now you are being stupid," Tess told him. "We've been over an hour Dave."

"We could have been making out on the back seat by now," Dave grinned, puffing out cigarette smoke.

"Do you have to do that?" she asked, waving the smoke away. "Well we've lost the chance now," she nodded to where a marked police car was just entering the car park, followed by a black forensics van.

"Alec's not messing around, is he?" Dave joked.

"DS Henchard?" a man in a white coverall approached her. "We'll take fingerprints and have the car taken back to HQ. May I take the evidence bag you were carrying?"

Tess hadn't even bothered looking at the bag that was on the passenger seat.

"Was that bag open when you left it?" Dave whispered to her as someone wearing gloves opened the door for her.

"Ma'am, the bag's open," she was told. "We were told to collect an evidence bag, do you have it on you?"

"No, it was in there," Tess stared at the empty bag and all the pieces of glass on the seat. "There was some money in it as well."

"Alec's not going to be pleased," Dave warned her.

"Shut up Dave," Tess snapped back at him. "It's his own fault anyway."

"That's a laugh Tess," Dave spluttered. "He heard me say I'd make sure you'd take it back, you had to get your car. He won't have forgotten. You got me involved in this as well."

"I'm the one who'll get the blame," Tess reminded him. "You always think of yourself Dave."

Dave shook his head and pulled her back.

"You'd better hope you get away with it Tess," he told her as he saw Alec's car.

Alec had been annoyed that he'd had to go out again and hoped for Tess's sake Daisy was at her grandmother's or there would be more trouble. He saw Tess and Dave and two of the forensics team around the car Tess used for work and another taking photos.

People were coming out of the bar and two officers were making sure they didn't get in the way as Alec joined the others.

"Right, what's the damage?" he wanted to know, looking at Tess then Dave. "What were you two playing at?"

"Alec, I'm not answering any questions here," Tess told him.

"Well you have to give a statement to the officers before you can leave," he reminded her. "Have you handed the evidence over yet?"

The forensics team leader looked at him.

"Sir? There's no evidence bag, the handbag on the seat is empty."

Tess wanted to call him a tell-tale.

"Is that not your work bag Tess?" Alec asked her.

"You know it is," she replied, wanting to tell him not to be so smug.

"Well, is it in your personal one?" he pointed to the one under her arm.

She wanted to pretend it was but he'd find out sooner or later and so would everyone else.

"No, whoever broke in must have taken it, along with some money that was in it," she told him calmly.

"I hope that's your idea of a joke?" Alec asked, knowing how sarcastic she could be, especially now.

"She's not joking Hardy," Dave spoke up.

"You were equally responsible for it Harris," Alec reminded him. "Your exact words were that you would make sure it got back to HQ."

"Oh lighten up Hardy," Dave replied. "It could have been kids seeing us go inside."

"Why pick on this car?" Alec wanted to know. "How did they know what was inside the handbag? That's it now, we have lost the proof the girl was in Ashworth's car that night, thanks to you two stopping for a drink. You should have waited until you had handed the evidence in. Whose idea was it to stop?"

Neither of them answered so Alec got annoyed.

"Report to the chief's office first thing tomorrow morning, you can give your excuses to him. You are both equally responsible," Alec reminded them. "Don't think I am covering for you Tess."

"What if it gets out Alec? Do you want Daisy to know?" Tess asked him.

"Don't blackmail me over that Tess," Alec warned her. "She knows we no longer live together, you chose to hide the fact you were seeing someone else. You had better call her to say you will be late collecting her. I doubt we can make the charges against Ashworth stick now, as soon as his solicitor hears, he will file for dismissal."

"I don't need reminding of that Alec," Tess told him as a tow truck arrived.

Alec drove back to his apartment in an even worse mood. What was keeping him here? Daisy hardly spoke to him any more, he and Tess argued all the time and most of the station laughed at the news he'd just had it confirmed she was seeing Harris outside of work. It was time for a change, anywhere away from here.

Rose had been lying on John's bed watching a big screen TV that had been brought in, though he was falling asleep. She waited for a nurse coming in to do the last checks of the night and make sure he was getting enough oxygen then she kissed his cheek.

"Night John. Now you’re here, you're in good hands," she tried to assure him.

"I know that love," he replied, taking her hand. "Find out tomorrow how they're getting on with the cannon, will you? Promise me Rose?"

"Yeah, I will, I promise but I don't think I should be the one to go," she told him.

"Yes, you are. Who else could go?" he asked, leaning back on the pillows.

Rose could see the toll it was taking on him, even sitting up with the pillows.

"Jake could go, The Doctor knows him," Rose suggested.

"No Rose, it has to be you, he would do anything for you," John still insisted.

"You need your sleep John," Rose smiled at him as he closed his eyes.

She knew he was fighting to stay awake.

"Ya have to give in," she reminded him. "The slightest problem and the medical team will be in here, you're being monitored."

She knew now that would be the only way she herself would get any sleep. She kissed his forehead, which felt all clammy and got into the bed just at the side of him. She had wanted it right next to him but Owen had said they needed to get access to John in an emergency and Rose had to agree.

"Night John," she called as she lay down.

He didn't answer but she could hear the monitors beeping away even though they'd been turned to the lowest setting but she didn't mind, it meant he was still fighting whatever was wrong with him. As she tried to get to sleep, she had tears in her eyes, John was on heavy painkillers and she had no idea what he was going through apart from he was tired all the time and he was now confined to bed.

If only she could contact The Doctor without leaving? Then she thought why not? If she kept trying, he might be orbiting a nebular like the last time and she'd be able to get through to him, maybe with a little help. It cheered her up and she fell asleep with more hope than she could remember having for a long time.

As soon as she woke up, she checked on John, who was still sleeping so she put her robe on and went to make a drink, getting her phone ready to call Jake.

"You're awake early Rose," Jake laughed.

"Can ya come down?" she asked him. "I've got an idea, for contacting The Doctor."

"Rosie, we've been through this," Jake tried to tell her.

"Ya don't understand," Rose told him. "All we have to do is broadcast a signal he'll understand through the gap we make and wait for him sending one back."

"What if he's out in space?" Jake wanted to know.

"He's more likely to hear it in space," Rose replied, sounding pleased with herself Jake thought. "Then, he can land on Earth and we know where to aim the cannon."

"Did John tell ya that?" Jake laughed.

"Nope, he's still asleep. Jake, he's getting even weaker, I know he is. What the hell is doing this to him?" Rose asked.

"I wish I knew, honestly. We'd all do anything to find out. I'll talk to Pete, see what he thinks and we'll come down. Don't say anything to John just yet," Jake advised her.

"I gotta go, I need coffee," Rose laughed as she saw John moving.

She went over to him just as Martha came in, Rose wishing she'd stay away.

"Good morning John, how are you today?" Martha asked him, taking his hand to check his pulse.

Rose felt like slapping her hand away. Why had Owen picked her of all people? John pulled a face when Martha took the oxygen mask off.

"I see you've been doing without it during the day," Martha told him.

"Martha he needs the tube just in case," Rose reminded her. "Don't take that away as well."

"I wasn't going to," Martha snapped.

"Will you two stop it," Owen called from the doorway.

"Well get someone else to look after him, I don't want her here," Rose told him. "Can't you see she makes him uncomfortable?"

"Rose, it's fine," John tried to tell her.

"No, it's not fine, you need to be kept calm all of the time," Rose turned to him to help him put the oxygen tube in his nose. "She's a constant reminder."

"What did she do to you in the other universe?" Owen then laughed.

"It was what she did to John's twin," Rose replied. "Owen, please get someone else in."

Owen held his hands up.

"Okay, you win but you'll have to put up with her today," he laughed. "I'll have to bring someone else up to date with John's case and fill them in on his details. I need your stepfather's permission to go into more details."

"I'll make sure ya get it," Rose agreed. "I have an idea, to contact The Doctor."

"Were you going to tell me?" John asked her, trying to smile as a nurse made him comfortable.

"Yeah, when Jake gets here," Rose promised. "Where's breakfast?"

"On it's way, it's a new order," Owen laughed. "Sorry John, only a light breakfast for you."

"Did ya tell them who it was for?" Rose asked.

"The Queen of Sheba," Martha muttered under her breath.

Rose made a face at her and went off to make herself a drink, since she couldn't get to where her clothes were.

"Stop it Martha," Owen warned her again. "Or you'll be out of a job by lunchtime."

"Is that a threat Owen?" she dared ask.

"If the director finds out," he replied. "Now, I have to bring Doctor Ngaru in on John's background, thanks for that Martha. Jake will have to debrief you, you won't be allowed access to any further developments on John's case. Understand?"

"Well blame Rose," she looked in Rose's direction as Rose tried to ignore her.

"I told you to keep it professional at all times Martha," Owen reminded her.

"I didn't do anything," Martha argued.

"Well it's out of my hands now, Rose won't have you here and it's up to her," Owen told her.

Martha thought it would be. So she looked like another Martha Jones in another universe, so what? Why was Rose so upset about it?

Everyone except the nurse went off so Rose got her clothes and went into the large bathroom that had been added for them but she knew someone would be with them at all times now. Owen would be worried about leaving John on his own. She had just come back out as their breakfast arrived and John was being helped.

"You get your own Miss Tyler, I'll see to him," the nurse offered. "I'm here to make things easier for you, I know how worried you are about him."

"I'm here," John gave a little wave with a slight grin.

"Thanks. Yeah, well don't act the tough guy," Rose warned him, taking her covered tray from the trolley and going to the table in the kitchen area. "Has Jake been in yet?"

"No Miss Tyler," the nurse replied as John insisted on holding the toast himself.

Jake was waiting for Pete.

"What do you make of it?" Pete was asking him as he signed a few letters before they left.

"She may be onto something Boss," Jake replied. "Will it work though?"

"Well if John's not too weak to give his thoughts about it, he may be able to say?" Pete wondered. "Let's go talk to Owen about it first?" he suggested.

They were about to leave when Owen called him.

"What?" Pete asked as Owen requested another doctor be assigned to work with John. "What's wrong with Doctor Jones?"

Jake started laughing.

"Pete, ya should have seen her and Rose."

"Rose refuses to let Martha near John," Owen explained. "I'll have to let Doctor Ngaru in on John's past, she's the only one who's qualified. I'm not happy about Martha's behaviour, it won't do John any good if she's hostile towards Rose."

"What started it?" Pete wanted to know.

"I'll tell ya on the way down," Jake replied.

"Well, we're on our way down, we need to talk to John, if he's up to it," Pete told Owen.

"Not for too long," Owen agreed. "So, can I go ahead? I told Martha to step back or she'd be out, she wasn't happy."

"Well, she's the least of our problems," Pete replied. "Just tell Doctor Ngaru enough for her to understand what John's problem may be and remind her she is sworn to secrecy. How's John this morning?"

"You mean after Martha left?" Owen joked. "I still don't get what problem Rose has with her but I have to follow her wishes and keep Martha away."

"Jake will fill you in," Pete promised.

"So?" Pete asked Jake as they got in the lift and Jake used the override so it wouldn't stop.

"You should have seen Martha when John first came about his problem. She was all over him and she knew he and Rose were an item," Jake laughed. "What makes it worse is Martha being The Doctor's companion and Rose meeting her."

"I see then? I expect Rose is just trying to protect John? She mentioned something about the other Martha making a play for him and he didn't welcome it."

"Yeah, I know," Jake agreed. "John has enough to deal with and this Martha's not helping."

Owen was talking with his new assistant, Martha was sulking in a corner when Jake and Pete walked in. Owen went to talk to them.

"Is John up to giving some input about the cannon?" Pete asked him.

"As long as you don't ask him too much. I suppose it will make him feel useful?" Owen agreed. "I'll go in with you, Rose has to get used to my new assistant."

They were just leaving when Martha approached them.

"Mr Tyler, I must object to being replaced and being put back onto research," she complained.

"Everyone has to play their part," Pete replied. "However small it is. Excuse me, we have things to discuss, Doctor Jones."

Pete and Owen went off but Jake stayed behind.

"Ya brought it on ya self Martha," he reminded her.

"Huh? How do you reckon that Jake?" Martha wanted to know.

Jake shook his head and went to join Pete and Owen, leaving Martha staring after him.

"Feel like talking John?" Owen asked him. "You can leave us nurse."

"Rose, why don't you tell us what you told Jake?" Pete suggested.

"Oh. What was that then?" John wanted to know.

Rose tried not to blush.

"Just that maybe instead of going over to find your twin, we can open a very small gap and send a signal?" Rose tried to remember what she'd said. "If he's hovering a nebula or something, he should be able to pick it up."

"Not a bad idea," Pete agreed. "So we carry on while we wait to see if he picks it up?"

"Well we don't want to rely completely on getting a message through but it may help?" Rose wondered.

"Well, that's easy," John grinned. "I can give you the frequencies the Tardis can pick up and if he happens to be near the Medusa Cascade, it will make it even easier."

"Well, now we have something positive to aim for, let's hope we can find something to get you well again," Pete told him. "We are not going to stop."

John was given a pad and began highlighting the frequencies, Rose helping him, Owen was filling Doctor Ngaru or Sammi as she liked to be known as to her friends in on John's condition and Martha was deciding if she was going to stay or not.

What was Rose's problem? Was she so insecure she thought she had a rival? Well, Martha Jones only went for her own kind, not half Human and half Timelord, although if John wasn't taken, she might make an exception. Maybe when he got well again, she might give Rose some competition.

Chapter 7

Days passed by, John was holding on as best as he could but it didn't stop everyone worrying about him. Owen insisted he didn't give any input into contacting his twin for more than a few minutes at a time so he didn't need more oxygen.

Owen had been worried he was needing too much during the day and talked to Pete about it in the daily briefing. Rose hadn't been going because she'd not wanted to leave John but she'd been asked to go.

"He'll be fine," Sammi was trying to tell her as Rose held John's hand.

Rose had been surprised how well she'd got on with Owen's new assistant but there again, Sammi wasn't in competition with her over John. Once in Pete's office, Jake had joined them.

"Rose, ya have to think more about finding The Doctor," Jake reminded her.

"How can I leave John?" Rose wanted to know.

"Rose, you're going to leave it too late," Owen also reminded her. "We'll do whatever necessary to keep him going but you have some sacrifices to make. Don't let them be for nothing."

"What aren't ya telling me?" Rose turned to him.

"Calm down," Pete urged her. "You do have to make your mind up Rose. You can stay with John but only until we get through to the right universe. Then you have to be ready to go, without any delays. No-one else can do it, it has to be you."

"How can I leave him now Dad?" Rose wanted to know.

"Tell her Owen," Pete replied.

Rose ran from Pete's office a few minutes later, followed closely by Jake, who caught her and made her sit down by the lift.

"It's not fair," she told him through her sobs, Jake offering her the box of tissues on the polished glass and chrome table.

He watched her grab a handful and dry her eyes.

"I'm sorry Rose."

"You knew? Everyone knew except me?" she asked him. "Only The Doctor can save him now."

"If we get him here in time," Jake replied, trying not to make it sound like a pun. "Sorry."

"Then why have John finding sound frequencies?" Rose wanted to know.

"To keep occupied, why else?" Jake admitted. "To make it seem like he was useful, instead of having him feeling sorry for himself and having you feel sorry for him."

"Thanks a lot Jake," Rose sniffed as she blew her nose. "How close are ya to finding a signal or a way through?"

"We'll go through those that John's identified, see is we get anything back. If it's safe enough, until we experiment with making the gap bigger."

"Is that gonna be soon?" Rose asked as Jake escorted her back to John's room.

"We're working round the clock Rose, trust me. Pete's prepared to try anything. Sorry about the news."

"Are ya picking the pad up that John was using?" Rose asked him, trying to dry the last of her tears.

"Ya heard Owen, no more input from John," he reminded her. "Just talk about the good things ya both remember."

"That's all we have now Jake," Rose replied. "It was just the way he put it."

"Owen was never known for being tactful," Jake laughed as they reached the floor they wanted.

"Geez, I can still see those Daleks down here," Rose cringed at the thought.

"Rose, there will be safeguards," Jake promised. "When we find the right frequency, we won't have to make a bigger gap until then. We're gonna need ya then."

"How can I watch him get even worse Jake?" Rose wanted to know. "Why is this happening to him?"

"I wish we knew," Jake felt sorry for her. "We all know how much ya love him."

"Well at least Owen got rid of Martha, John didn't need her around," Rose told him as they arrived outside John's new suite of rooms. "He has to get better Jake."

"If ya find The Doctor, he will," Jake tried to assure her.

Rose stopped as Jake was about to open the door.

"Will he Jake?" she asked him.

"Ya are gonna at least try?" Jake replied, a bit lost as to her doubting it.

"Yeah, I'm gonna try Jake, as long as I'm not too late in finding The Doctor," she told him. "Let me know when ya find something."

"Right away," Jake grinned. "I'll just collect that pad then?"

"Ya might have trouble," Rose smiled.

"What am I supposed to do now?" John objected as Jake took the data pad. "I can't explain the frequencies to Rose."

"He's right," Rose insisted. "Can't I just play them to him and he says yes or no?" she suggested. "It can't do him any harm just listening to them."

"Okay, I'll load some more onto it and have it sent back down when I've downloaded these," Jake agreed. "No sense in doing the same ones twice."

"Let me feel I'm of some use," John urged him, the nurse adjusting the oxygen in the nasal tube.

"Miss Tyler, can I have a word," the nurse beckoned to Rose. "He's going to need the full mask on for longer periods soon, I have to recommend it to Doctor Ngaru."

"If that's what's needed?" Rose had to agree. "Guess he'll just have to nod or shake his head then?" she tried to joke.

The nurse and Jake left, the machines just beeping and buzzing away in the background.

"So what's the conclusion then?" John wanted to know.

"John, we're only doing what's best for ya," she reminded him again.

"I know but I'm not seeing any change Rose," he disagreed. "Lying here's not for me."

"I know that John. If Owen would let ya go around in a wheelchair, I'd push around myself but he won't allow it."

"Sorry love. I know you would. He's scared I'd get out and run off," John joked.

"Or ya'd build another Tardis and disappear," Rose laughed.

"If only love," John tried to smile back. "So, what was the meeting about then?"

"Speeding things up, amongst other things," Rose replied.

"Really Rose?" John strained to raise his eyebrows.

"Well some of it was. I have to be ready to go find your twin at a moment's notice, as soon as they get the slightest hint they may have found him."

"Then it can't be soon enough for me love," John replied.

"No more talking for now," the nurse who had remained close by insisted. "Time to take some medication anyway."

"Did I miss my lunchtime order?" Rose asked the nurse, since John was now on a special diet.

"No Miss Tyler, no-one's rung down yet," she was told. "I think Doctor Ngaru is coming back to see you, she didn't know you were going to that meeting with Doctor Harper."

The nurse finished putting the full oxygen mask on John then she went off so Rose took John's hand and sat facing him.

"Want me to carry on tellin' ya about Tony?" she smiled.

John nodded and closed his eyes. He knew she had no idea what this was like for him but she was trying her best to understand how serious it was. Rose was willing to sacrifice everything to try to get back again and find his twin to help put things right but he knew deep down nothing was going to work. He just wasn't meant to be here, in this world or the other.

He was a freak of nature, an accident involving his twin's severed hand, a mad Dalek and Donna Noble. It was a paradox, another endless paradox and he was at the centre of it this time. All the factors that had contributed to his existence, from Jack finding and keeping his severed hand to Donna merging with it while the Tardis was on fire.

Well he hoped Donna had fared better than he'd done but he somehow doubted it. The least his twin could do for their friend was wipe her memories of them and let her go back to her old life before she'd met them.

Owen had remained with Pete after speaking with his assistant.

"Yes Sammi, go ahead and order that," Owen agreed to the extra oxygen being ordered, Pete listening in.

"What else can we do?" Pete wondered. "If there's a miracle cure, find it."

"Don't think for a moment I wouldn't Pete," Owen went serious for a change. "I remember under the old regime, the first time I met someone and I was recruited. I couldn't save my own fiancée and I swore I wouldn't lose another patient. I still did though but they were either victims of aliens or aliens themselves. I don't count John as an alien."

"I know you don't Owen. I remember you and Rose didn't used to get on but all that's forgotten now. She trusts you and Sammi."

"She'll lose that trust if John doesn't make it," Owen replied. "I can't guarantee anything."

Sammi had gone to see if Rose had got back as John was resting.

"How are you doing Rose?" she asked as they sat at the table in the rest area after Sammi made drinks, the nurse sitting by John.

"I hate this Sammi," Rose admitted. "I was so happy when I came back with him."

"So I was told. At least he admitted he wasn't well and got help. You know how some men are?" Sammi smiled.

"Yeah, ya never met his stubborn twin," Rose recalled.

"So, what happened between you and Martha Jones then?" Sammi wanted to know.

"She used to know his twin, in the other universe and this one acts the same way. John doesn't need reminding of it," Rose told her.

"Oh, I see then," Sammi was amused. "She came on a bit strong then?"

"Sammi, John remembers her well, this Martha doesn't have a clue. This Martha seems to think she can lure him away from me with her clever remarks and her flirting, she doesn't know when to quit. She doesn't get how upsetting it is for John when he's ill."

"So she didn't get to him before then?" Sammi asked her.

"John said not. It was too soon after I came here, he just wasn't looking for a replacement for me. It wasn't just Martha, it could've been anyone he turned down. What gets me is how this one knew?"

"Maybe some of it just seeped through, when the gap between the two universes were open?" Sammi suggested.

"Sammi. When John came back with us, did he bring something back with him that was harmful, just to him?" Rose suddenly panicked.

"Oh! Rose, did anyone even think of that?" Sammi wondered. "It could be the air, the atmosphere, the temperature. When did he first start feeling ill?"

"On that beach, in Norway," Rose recalled. "Geez, Sammi. Ya'd best get Owen down here, fast."

Sammi got her phone out of her pocket, then stopped.

"Hold on though. You and his twin were here before, right?" she wanted to make sure.

"Well yeah but the other Doctor is a full Timelord, John's only half and half Human," Rose reminded her. "That's why he's got so ill so fast."

"Let's not jump to any conclusions yet Rose," Sammi insisted as she pressed Owen's number

"I'm on my way back down," Owen answered. "Are there any changes? Have you put him on extra oxygen?"

Sammi put her phone down as a feeling of dread came over her.

"Nurse Jenkins, take John's oxygen mask off – now," she called over without hanging up on Owen.

"Doctor?" she was questioned as the nurse got up to disconnect the mask.

"Just put the nasal tube back in for now," Sammi told her. "Owen, we might be responsible for making him worse."

"What?" Owen thought he'd heard her wrong. "How do you make that one out?"

"I'll explain when you get back here Owen but Rose and I have a theory about John's illness. He became ill the moment he stepped out of the Tardis."

"We know that Sammi," Owen replied dryly as he stepped out of the lift. "Tell me something I don't know."

"Owen, just think about it. Rose, was he okay until he stepped onto that beach?" she asked Rose.

"Well yeah, we were all cheering that we'd got the Earth back where it should be. Then everyone was saying goodbye," Rose replied. "Before I could argue, The Doctor had landed here, on that beach in Norway and my mum was complaining she'd have to call Pete to arrange for us all to get home."

"So it started gradually?" Sammi asked as she hung up on Owen when he joined them.

"Hold on, what started gradually?" Owen wanted to know.

"When John stepped out of the Tardis, he sensed something was wrong," Rose repeated.

"You said that before," Owen reminded her.

"Don't ya get it Owen? It's the air or whatever, because he's not adapted to it like The Doctor was," Rose told him as she realised.

"So it's because he's half and half?" Owen then realised. "Surely it wouldn't do that much damage and even then only to his lungs?"

"I'm no medical expert Owen, that's your department," Rose replied, leaning on the table.

"We've been giving him oxygen," Sammi told him, patting poor Rose on the back.

"So?" Owen replied, not getting it. "Have you taken him off it?"

"Not completely, just cut him back," Sammi replied. "How about experimenting with different mixtures?"

"He can't do without it," Rose reminded them.

"We know Rose," Sammi assured her as she sat beside Rose, putting her arm in Rose's.

"We could try. I suggest we keep him asleep, so not to cause him any discomfort though," Owen replied.

"Don't do that Owen, he'll want to know what you're trying," Rose insisted.

"Rose, I urge you to think about that," Sammi had to agree with Owen. "Every second he's awake now causes him discomfort. Why don't you ask your stepfather what he thinks?"

Rose nodded and got her phone out.

"Dad, can ya come down here?" she asked when Pete answered.

"Do I need to get your mother here?" Pete sounded serious.

Rose covered the phone and asked Owen.

"It's up to you Rose but if you're going off to find The Doctor, maybe you'd feel better leaving your mother with him?" Owen wondered.

"Yeah, can ya ring her for me?" Rose asked Pete. "Can ya get Tony's nanny to stay over with him?"

"Leave it to me love, I'll be down as soon as I can and I'll get your mother over here," Pete assured her. "I'll get an update from Owen but in the meanwhile, let John rest eh, it'll be the best thing for him."

"I need to talk to him first," Rose told Owen as she got up.

"Go ahead but you do all the talking, then Sammi will put something in his drip-tube to make him sleep," Owen warned her. "We'll keep it under review but if we're right about it being the air and oxygen, it's best he stays under. Rose, we've never had to deal with this before but we're putting everything into it."

"I know ya are Owen, thanks," Rose replied.

Rose went over to John and the nurse moved away. Owen and Sammi were talking.

"She's going to be devastated Owen," Sammi was telling him as Rose mopped John's forehead with a cool cloth.

"I know but what do we do?" Owen wanted to know. "Rose and I never got along before this, now she trusts me with John's life. Bit ironic really."

Rose's phone rang and Sammi saw it was Jake so she answered it.

"Do you want me to get her?" Sammi asked him.

"Pete just told me, tell her I'm sorry. Anyway, I've just downloaded some of those frequencies to the main computer system for the cannon, see if any of them locate The Doctor. I'll let ya know," Jake told her. "Tell Rose to hold on."

"I will Jake, thanks," Sammi replied.

She got up and went to join Rose.

"That was Jake, they're going to try those frequencies," she told her.

"He can't even identify any more," Rose told her sadly. "What if none of them work Sammi?"

"Then they do it the hard way," Sammi smiled as she patted Rose's hand. "Or they'll start sending agents."

"To the wrong places?" Rose asked.

"No-one in Torchwood will give up Rose, they'll be more volunteers than the equipment can handle, trust me," Sammi assured her. "So, I stay out of the way when your mother arrives then," she joked.

"I stay out of my mother's way when she arrives," Rose managed to smile at the thought.

"I'm gone," Owen agreed.

That left the poor nurse wondering what they were getting at. Sammi reminded the catering staff they wanted to order their meals, Owen went off to the other lab to think about Rose and Sammi's theory and to discuss it with Pete.

"They could be onto something Owen," Pete thought about it. "I'll talk to you when I come down, I just got off the phone with Jackie, I only got her off to organise the nanny getting Tony from nursery school. One thing bothers me though Owen. The Doctor was fine when he was here."

"That's what Rose said, it must be because John's only half Timelord? That's what we don't get," Owen agreed. "It can't be because he's only got one heart."

"I doubt his twin will know the answer to that," Pete told him as he got ready to meet Jackie when she arrived.

"Well whoever finds him needs to warn him before he steps foot on this planet again," Owen replied.

"He would have suffered before, surely?" Pete thought. "Hold on, do you think that's it Owen? That when his twin was here before, it did something to him and he passed it on?"

"You could have something there Pete," Owen agreed. "Rose was on the right track then? So if we find him, it won't do him any harm to come here?"

"Doesn't seem so, does it? It's his poor twin who's suffering. I don't suppose when he was here he expected to have a metacrisis twin?" Pete wondered as he stepped out of his office.

Jackie was on her way to Torchwood, not bothering to call Rose after Jake rang to say she was with John.

"Well he's in the best place I suppose," Jackie had told him. "Poor Rose though, I mean she'll have to leave him to go find you know who."

"Not until we're sure we know where he is," Jake corrected her.

Sammi managed to get Rose away from John to eat her lunch and they had just finished as Pete and Jackie arrived as Pete had insisted on making sure Jackie had eaten.

"How's she holdin' up Pete?" Jackie wanted to know about Rose.

"Not very well Jaks," Pete admitted. "You go to her, I need to talk to Owen about John. It was Rose and Sammi who came up with the idea it was the air or oxygen that was making John ill."

"Fancy it being that then?" Jackie asked him on their way down. "It's a bit hard to believe Pete."

"Well Owen's running more tests and he's put Sammi on full time with John. He's not to be left without a doctor and nurse now, Owen will have to get someone else in to take over from them or everyone's going to be worn down," Pete told her.

"Well I wish Rose would get some proper rest," Jackie replied as they stepped out of the lift. "This building still gives me the creeps Pete. You weren't almost made into a Cyberman."

"Maybe not Jaks but I had to pretend they'd taken control of me and so did Rose," he recalled.

He opened the door for Jackie and Rose went straight to her.

"How's he doin' then?" Jackie asked after they'd hugged.

"He's not good Mum," Rose admitted. "Have ya met Sammi and this is nurse Jenkins."

"Mrs Tyler. Call me Sally. I'll be going off duty soon but someone else will be here," she told Jackie.

"Don't let Martha come in here," Rose reminded her.

"Of course not Miss Tyler," the nurse nodded.

"What's happened now?" Jackie wanted to know.

"Nothing Mum," Rose tried to bluff. "Just the same old stuff, like Martha thinkin' it was some sort of contest. I wonder if she thinks the same now?"

Rose dipped another cloth in the cool water beside John and placed it on his forehead.

"Rose, he's gonna spring up, just like he did that Christmas, remember? When he was regenerating and everyone was gonna jump off the rooftops," Jackie laughed. "Ya gave up on him then sweetheart but he didn't give up on us, did he?"

"That was different Mum," Rose replied. "He can't regenerate this time, he's not a full Timelord, he's only got one life. He was supposed to be spending it with me."

Rose leaned her head on his shoulder but Jackie pulled her away, motioning for the nurse to take over from her at mopping John's forehead. She led Rose over to the table at just let Rose cry, Sammi staying out of the way. 

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33