Chapter One

As soon as the Doctor opened the TARDIS doors and let everyone step out onto the beach, his hearts began to beat rapidly, so fast he felt like they were going to burst out of his chest. He'd been dreading this moment ever since he made the decision to bring his clone back here. He knew that he would have to leave Rose behind to look after him and he knew she'd be devastated. He wasn't sure he'd be able to cope with it either. It'd been ages since he'd been able to see and hold her and the thought of losing her again filled him with anguish. But deep down inside, he knew it would never work. Sooner or later, she would die, if not from sharing his adventures then from old age. He couldn't bear the thought of either scenario. But even if he was leaving her behind, he could leave her something of himself. The clone was half human. He could age like a normal human being. That combined with the fact that the clone shared his memories and mannerisms made him the perfect mate for his lover. She could have him and share a normal human lifespan with him.

But for the moment, he was delaying the bombshell. They were standing together on the beach, looking out at the water while Jackie phoned Pete. The Doctor glanced at Donna and blanched. He was about to lose her as well, another thing he wasn't looking forward to. For the moment, Donna was looking around, calmly surveying the landscape. She didn't show signs of distress but the Doctor felt sure that she knew what had to be done, even if she was trying to pretend she was okay. He noticed she was shivering a bit. It was a chilly Norwegian day and she came outside without a coat on. She was hugging herself, trying to keep the shivers to a minimum but when the Doctor walked up to her, she turned to him.

"I need to go back inside; it's too cold out here. Maybe you can cope without a coat but I can't. I'll be right back."

The Doctor nodded and patted her on the shoulder. He noticed Donna's hesitation as she turned and stared at the TARDIS. He could see a wistful look on her face and he knew that she knew the truth. Perhaps it would be good for her to spend these moments alone in the TARDIS before it had to be wiped from her mind. Donna put her hands in her trouser pockets and walked towards the timeship while the Doctor turned his attention to Rose and the clone. Jackie was still speaking to Pete on the phone so he thought he could get them alone and break the news to them gently. He steeled himself for what was to come as he put his hands in his pockets and walked over to them. They were standing beside each other, staring out at the ocean. There were a few gulls flying out over the water and Rose was pointing at one that was diving down into the water for a meal. As he came close, the clone looked his way and the Doctor saw a wary look on his face. He wondered if his double sensed what he had in mind. He wanted this painful situation to go smoothly but he had a feeling that wouldn't happen. Still, he stopped beside his clone and asked them if they'd like to go for a walk with him since he had something to say to them. The clone narrowed his eyes and the Doctor knew he had guessed at what he was about to say but he said nothing and took Rose's hand.

The Doctor glanced back at his TARDIS. He didn't have much time. He'd have to make this quick and to the point since his ship couldn't function here for long. He beckoned to his lover and the clone and they started to walk off. He was about to speak to them when they suddenly heard Jackie angrily calling his name.

"What the hell did you just do?" she yelled.

The Doctor glanced at his double, figuring she was mad because her husband had to come back to Norway to get them. But when they turned, the Doctor saw Jackie pointing at empty air and his hearts lurched when he realized where she was pointing was where the TARDIS had been standing. But now his ship was gone.

"What?" the Doctor said in disbelief as he ran towards the spot where his ship had been parked.

Rose and the clone followed him but the Doctor ignored them as he sped towards the empty spot. There had been no wheezing, no indication that the TARDIS had taken off but when he reached the spot, there was only sand at his feet and nothing in front of him. He walked all over the spot where the TARDIS had been but there was nothing there. The TARDIS hadn't been rendered invisible, it had vanished.

"Doctor, where'd the TARDIS go?" Rose asked.

The Doctor turned to her. She, the clone and Jackie were standing together while they waited for an explanation. The Doctor whipped out his screwdriver and scanned the air before checking it.

"Nothing. There's nothing here, no trace of the TARDIS," he said in disbelief. "It's gone."

"And Donna, she's gone as well?" Rose said.

The Doctor nodded grimly. He hoped she was alright, especially since her mind was in danger of burning up. He made another quick scan of the area before he turned to Jackie.

"What happened? Did you see it go?" he asked her.

"I was saying goodbye to Pete when your TARDIS just disappeared," Jackie said.

"That's it? No TARDIS noise?" the clone said.

Jackie shrugged.

"No. It just faded away," Jackie said.

"Did Donna hit something by accident?" the clone asked. "She went inside."

"Yes. She went inside to get a coat. But her coat's in her room and she wouldn't have any reason to go near the console if she was heading towards it. Besides, it would have made some sort of noise. It wouldn't have just vanished like that."

"So…you can't get it back?" Rose said worriedly.

"Not without knowing what happened. If I knew why it left, I could figure out a way to bring it back but without knowing the reason…"

The Doctor rubbed his chin and began to pace back and forth, trying to think of a way to bring back the TARDIS. The clone glanced at Rose and walked over to the space where the TARDIS had stood. He squatted and ran his hand over the sand, trying to sense any energy that might have been left when the ship vanished.

"There's no trace of any residual energy," the clone said, shaking his head. "Just sand."

He picked up a handful and watched as it slipped between his fingers. The Doctor stopped beside her and sighed.

"There's got to be a way. Donna's in danger. If we don't get to her, she could die."

"Die?" Rose said.

The Doctor briefly explained about Donna not being able to retain a Time Lord consciousness, his hearts lurching when he saw the horrified look on Rose's face. His clone had a passive expression but the Doctor could tell from the tightening of his lips that he was just as upset about Donna as the Doctor was. The Doctor tried a few more scans, because he couldn't think of anything else to do before he finally gave in for the moment.

"Pete's coming. He can take us back to London," Jackie said. "Rose can take you to Torchwood. Maybe they'll have something that can find the TARDIS."

The last thing the Doctor wanted to do was step inside Torchwood again but he conceded that perhaps Jackie was right. He didn't know what else to do now and he had no desire to stay on a cold, windy beach while he hoped that his timeship would return to him. For the moment, he was stuck here so he decided not only to go with Jackie, Rose and his clone but also to delay telling them what he was planning to say. The last thing he wanted was to be stuck in a parallel universe with his pissed off double and lover with no means of escape. Besides, he might need the Metacrisis Doctor's help with this so he held his tongue for now.

He scanned the horizon and realized that they really were out in the middle of nowhere. There was no sign of a town or even a few houses in the distance. The last time he had spoken to Rose, when they'd been separated by the void, there was a truck here.

"Jackie, how is Pete coming to get us and how long will it take?" the Doctor said.

He's sending a helicopter to fly us to the nearest town and we'll wait for them there. He has my son with him so he's going to have to find someone to look after him before he flies up here," Jackie said. "The helicopter should be here soon. Torchwood's supposedly arranging it."

The Doctor nodded. He looked at Jackie and sensed she was holding something back.

"What else is going on?" he asked as Rose and the clone came up beside him. "Pete told you something else, yeah?"

Jackie glanced at her daughter.

"Yeah. Pete said that…well…he said someone published a book about you."

The Doctor was thrown for a loop.

"Me?" he said. "Someone wrote a book about me?"

Jackie nodded. The Doctor tightened his jaw.

"Who?" he said. "Who here knows me well enough to write a book…"

He looked at Rose.

"It's not me," Rose said.

"Not me either," the clone said.

"Pete?" the Doctor said.

"I seriously doubt he wrote a book about you, Doctor. He has other things to worry about besides your biography," Jackie said.

"Who else knows enough about me to write a book?" the Doctor said. "Mickey? Jake? They're the only ones from here who know me. Are you sure it's about me?"

"I'm just telling you what Pete said. Someone wrote a book about you and now it's becoming popular."

"Oh?" the Doctor said.

"You're a celebrity then?" Rose teased as she playfully poked his arm.

"It appears so. But now there's two mysteries to solve. Where's my TARDIS and who wrote and published my biography?"

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