Chapter Fourteen

A few hours later, Lori was watching TV while drinking a glass of milk. Jim had decided to go to bed after taking a shower. He was still going to work for the moment although he was about to give his two week's notice to his bosses since they had finally decided on the house in Mayfair and were finalizing everything. Lori grinned, listening to the laughter coming from down below, happy that Rose and John were surrounded by good friends and family and warmth and love now.

She smiled when she saw Michelle coming into the room.

"Hey, baby, having fun downstairs?" she said to her.

"Yes, can I have some Coke, Mommy?" she asked.

"A little bit. You guys are hyper enough as it is without adding caffeine to the mix," Lori said.

Michelle walked into the kitchen and came out five minutes later holding a small Muppets glass filled with Coke. Lori frowned when she walked over to her rather than go back downstairs.

"Are you alright, baby?" she said to Michelle.

"I think the Doctor and Rose were sweethearts," Michelle said.

"Well…John is his clone, right? And a clone is a duplicate of another person so if John loves her, I'm sure the Doctor does too," Lori said.

"I think he still loves her lots," Michelle said.

"Probably so. Why? Has he said this to you?"

"No, but he said it to his other self when they were arguing," Michelle said with a shrug. "He looks at her and he looks at River the same way, like he really loves her."

"I see. Well, I don't think he'd take her from John. Especially not while he's thin and sickly. That would be mean."

"I don't think he will either. I just think he still loves her lots," Michelle said with a shrug.

"And he probably always will but he seems like a gentleman…when he's not being a kid anyway," Lori said, nudging her daughter's rib.

"I love him lots too," Michelle said.

"I know, he's your bestest friend, isn't he?" Lori said.

Michelle nodded. Then fell silent for a moment.

"I got upset when they were telling the story and they were about to say what those aliens did to them," Michelle finally said. "So John told kinda a brief version of it and didn't say very much about the torture and stuff."

"Good. Because you don't need to know all that and I doubt the Doctor does too," Lori said.

"The Doctor feels guilty about it because he's the one that left them there," Michelle said.

"Probably does, baby. But even if talked to him about it, I doubt I'd be able to change his mind about that," Lori said. "I also hate that he's beating himself up over all this but I can't reach into his mind and block the guilt. After all he's been through, I suspect he has a lot of guilt inside him about a lot of things."

"I just wish we could go back and help the other Earth but the Doctor says it's dangerous to go over there because you could destroy the universe."

"Well, I would listen to him then. He's the expert on stuff like that," Lori said, stroking Michelle's cheek. "And I'm sure he wants to go over there and kick butt too but he has to do what's best for everyone and if it means putting all of us in danger, I'm sure he won't do it."

"He's very complicated," Michelle said after a moment's thought.

"Yes, he is," Lori said, nodding. "He's very old but he can be a kid around you guys. He's very wise but very goofy at the same time. And I think there's more to him than meets the eye. I think he doesn't show us everything and hides a lot."

Michelle nodded.

"I think so too, Mommy," Michelle said. "Do you think if John is his clone, that we'll be bestest friends too?"

"I think so. I think he and Rose like you a lot. And I think he'll be just as silly as the Doctor once he's recovered from all this."

"I like that him and Rose are coming with us to Mayfair for now," Michelle said. "I want to be bestest friends with them."

"I think you will, honey. But you have to give them time to heal, you know."

Michelle nodded and Lori smiled and leaned over to give him a kiss.

"Now quit worrying and go and have some fun. Make John and Rose laugh and feel better," Lori said. "But tell them Daddy's in bed now so keep it down a bit."

"Okay, Mommy."

Lori settled back in her chair and watched while Michelle carried her Coke out of the room.


"So there she is," the Doctor said while Michelle came down the stairs. "And she has pop and didn't get any for the rest of us? For shame, Bookworm!"

"You didn't ask me to get you any," Michelle said, stopping beside him.

"I shouldn't have to ask. The mind meld between us should be complete by now and whenever I think of something, you should know to go and get it for me."

"Whatever," Michelle said, rolling her eyes while she walked past him.

"Excuse me, did you just "diss" me just then," the Doctor said to her. "Was that a lack of respect in your tone because if it was…"

The Doctor gasped when Jack suddenly ran up and seized him from behind.

"Don't be angry, sweetums, it puts a bad vibe on the whole room," he purred into his ear.

"Harkness, I am ten seconds away from throwing you over my shoulder and stomping on your ribcage so I suggest letting go now," the Doctor said while everyone laughed.

"Love the floppy hair, Doc," Jack said, patting him on the head before walking away.


After a couple of hours, everyone except the Doctor decided to go to sleep. Blankets and sleeping bags were spread around the sofa bed and Rose and John's bed and everyone stretched out on them while Donna and Brittany slept on the sofa bed. The Doctor busied himself with running scans and making sure the IV bags were full and medicine was administered to his patients. He noticed with some satisfaction that John's eye looked normal now and he was happy he was able to find a way to mend it.

He finished disposing of the used IV bags and syringes in his med bay when he sensed someone behind him. He turned to see Jack leaning against the doorway.

"Hard at work?" he said to him.

"Yes, I am so no time for cuddles, I'm afraid," the Doctor said tersely.

Jack chuckled.

"Oh that? That was a bit of teasing on my part," he said. "I was just trying to make everyone laugh, same as you."

The Doctor smiled and nodded.

"Are you glad she's back?" Jack asked after a moment of silence between them.

"Who? Rose?" the Doctor said.

"Yeah, obviously. Who else?"

"Yes, of course I am," the Doctor said, tidying up his workspace.

"I was just wondering since you apparently wanted them gone," Jack said.

"I didn't want…her gone," the Doctor said hesitantly while Jack studied him. "But I didn't trust John to be on his own so I decided perhaps it was best if I left her with him. To heal him the way she healed me."

"And all this because he blew up some Daleks that deserved to die?" Jack said.

"It was genocide, Jack."

"Yeah, maybe so. Except those things were artificially created in the first place," Jack said, coming into the room. "They were evil through and through and if anything couldn't be left on their own, it was those things. What were you gonna do, Doc? Just let them go somewhere else where they and Davros could do more damage? I do agree that genocide is wrong but not in this case. In this case, I say good riddance to all of them."

"Okay, so what's your point?" the Doctor said.

"My point is that I think you treated John unfairly and I think the universe has a way of correcting things and I think the reason they're here is because this is your chance to make amends with them."

"Amends…with Rose?" the Doctor said.

"Possibly. I'm sure she didn't appreciate being stranded there after she risked everything to find you again."

The Doctor thought about that and nodded.

"Perhaps but I can't take her back. She's married and so am I."

"I'm not saying that but I think this is an opportunity to grow closer to them. Just don't dump them off with this family and head for the stars and never see them again."

"I won't," the Doctor said indignantly. "Especially since I've been a part of this family since Thanksgiving. I was one of the first ones they adopted so even if I was at odds with John, which I'm not, I wouldn't stop seeing them just to avoid contact with my clone."

Jack nodded.

"I'm not trying to make you angry. Just pointing out that even if you aren't married to Rose, she can still be a part of your life and you can still be close to her," he said.

"I know that," the Doctor said. "But there still have to be boundaries between us even if the whole Curse of the Time Lords thing no longer applies. I have a feeling River isn't into the whole open marriage thing."

"I just want you to be in her life. I'm going to do the same because she's like family to me and I care for her deeply, just as you do. She lost her family and now we have to be there for her, come what may."

The Doctor nodded.

"I agree," he said. "Which is why I'm glad she and John are staying with the others in Mayfair."

"Me too. And It'll be nice to have them over in London. Be easier to see them too," Jack said. "They've grown on me the same way they've grown on you. Never had much of a family growing up so like you, I'll take whatever family I can find."

The Doctor nodded and smiled. Jack grinned, flounced over to him and threw his arms around him.

"And you, you floppy haired cutie, you're a part of my family too, even if the tweed is a bit much," he said, squeezing him.

"Jack, stop that or I swear I'll ask Rex to eat you!" the Doctor said.

"Just being affectionate, Big Brother!" Jack said, patting his head. "So now that we've had a big brother talk, I'm going back to bed. Have fun staying awake!"

"Yeah, just go and…gah, stop it!" he said when Jack hugged him again.

"Love the floppy hair!" Jack gushed while the Doctor tried to squirm out of his grasp.

Jack planted a wet sloppy kiss on his cheek and ran out of the room before the Doctor could retaliate. The Doctor wiped the drool off his cheek, looked at the doorway and shook his head before he resumed tidying up the med bay.

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