Chapter Eight

While Pete drove them, the Doctor and Rose sat in the back seat. Pete played some music for them to pass the time but Rose could tell the Doctor was feeling a bit antsy while he kept shifting slightly in his seat.

"This is why I like traveling in TARDISes," he muttered to Rose. "We can skip over the driving around Europe and get home."

"Although, the scenery is nice," Rose teased him. "It's so…scenic."

She giggled when the Doctor snorted at that.

"I'd prefer to get back to London and skip the scenic scenery," he said. "While we sit here, time is being wasted."

"Dad, can't we fly back. He's right. We need to get there quicker," Rose said.

"I have a private jet waiting for you, I just need to drive there so can you calm down until then?" Pete said, looking at them in the rearview mirror.

"Depends on how far it is to the airport," the Doctor muttered to Rose.

He frowned when Rose giggled and scooted towards the door on her side.

"What are you doing?" the Doctor said, confused while he watched Rose jiggle the door handle with an impish look on her face.

"I'm going to imperil myself and give you something to do so you won't be bored," Rose said. "I'm going to go out and hang off the back of the jeep. Come and save me, Doctor."

Pete looked in the rearview mirror when he heard his adopted daughter squeal and he saw the Doctor seize her around the middle and pull her back towards him.

"You don't tempt the Oncoming Storm with fake rescue attempts," he growled in her ear while she made a halfhearted attempt to wriggle out of his arms. "I might just let you fall off the back of the jeep if you do that."

"Then why did you grab me just then?" Rose purred as she snuggled against him.

"Eh, I don't want to inconvenience Norway by letting them clean up the mess you'll make after you bounce fifty times on the motorway," he said. "Blood, bones and sinew everywhere. Norway is too scenic for that. Besides, I might need tea and who'll fetch me tea if you're a decapitated bloody mess all over Norway? Hmm?"

Pete kept glancing at them as he drove. He stared at his daughter and realized that he'd never seen her so happy. Snuggling with the Doctor, she looked completely at ease and content and he could see a twinkle in the Doctor's eyes while he gazed at her. He noticed the loving look on the Time Lord's face and he finally realized just how devastating it had been for Rose to lose him and why she'd been so adamant about finding him again even at the risk of her own life. Even though he wasn't from Earth and was far older than she was, the two of them were a perfect match for one another and listening to Rose's laugh and seeing how happy she was warmed Pete's heart.

As for the Doctor, he also was loving the fact that Rose was laughing and relaxing against him, just like old times. He knew he shouldn't encourage this, especially since he knew he'd have to leave her as soon as everything was sorted. But he couldn't help himself, after all this time his hearts still yearned for her. His loneliness and longing for her overrode the need to keep her at arm's length so for the moment, he decided to make the most of the fact that they were together again.


When they finally reached the airport, Pete told them to wait in the concourse while he let the officials know that they were there and ready to leave. The Doctor walked over to a large plate glass window that overlooked the runway. He stood there, watching planes take off and land while he waited. Both he and Rose were wearing perception filters and so far no one had noticed them. He hoped they would be able to leave Norway without having to fight off a mob of people. He was glad that Pete arranged a private jet for them; it would save them the trouble of having to hide among people on the plane ride home. Now that he was once again left alone to his thoughts, he began to wonder about his friends and his ship. Were they safe or was it too late? Was he stranded here forever, stuck on the slow path with Rose. He had planned to leave John with her so Rose could have someone to grow old with. Was that to be his fate instead? He loved Rose dearly, to be stuck with her wouldn't be a hardship but stuck without his TARDIS, damned to live on Earth as a human, that scenario chilled him to the bone. Sitting in the car and being bored to death was bad enough without having to spend the rest of his lifetimes living out a linear timeline…and watching Rose grow old before his eyes and eventually die…that thought also chilled him.

He looked over when Rose came up beside him and stared out the window. She'd grown older since he'd last seen her, grown more beautiful and more mature. She was so brave. Facing the Daleks and Davros, she never once showed fear. How much she'd grown since he first took her away with him. It was hard to believe that he could find such a compatible person among the apes. Of all the people he had lost over the years, he loss affected him more deeply than any other. He'd been able to get over the loss of his other companions, even his granddaughter, Susan, but Rose…he never stopped yearning for her. Maybe he was getting lonely in his old age; maybe he really did need someone who was more than a platonic friend. If he had to have a mate, he couldn't think of a better match than the woman beside him.

When Pete returned, he introduced him and Rose to a young woman dressed in a blue pantsuit. She was in her early thirties, long brown hair with blonde highlights framed a slightly chubby face and her pale blue eyes gazed at them warmly as she extended her hand to the Doctor.

"I'm Catherine Jones," she said with a slight Welsh accent, "I'm part of Torchwood. We were part of the liaison team that scheduled your flight home. Pete said that you wished to visit Torchwood with Rose?"

The Doctor wasn't sure about Torchwood knowing about his visit, he'd hoped to use the filter to go in and secretly observe but he figured Pete and Rose would have to figure out a way to get him past their security measures and maybe it was easier for him if they knew. He recalled Jake telling him that the Torchwood here wasn't corrupt like the one in his world. He hoped that was the case while he nodded and told Catherine he did wish to visit.

"I need to find my friends and my TARDIS," the Doctor told her. "I have no means to do it. I was hoping you might have something."

"We'll see what we can do for you," Catherine said to him. "In the meantime, I'll be accompanying you on the flight home and making sure you and Rose aren't harmed. There is a sort of cult rising up around you."

"Yes, I've noticed that," the Doctor said dryly.

"We may have something that can help with that as well," Catherine said. "We did develop holographic disguises that can be used to hide your real bodies."

"Good," the Doctor said.

Catherine glanced at Pete.

"Pete also told me about your negative experiences with the Torchwood in your universe," she said. "I assure you we're much more responsible than that lot and you will not be our prisoner while you are visiting."

"Thank you," the Doctor said.

"Now if you come with me, I'll take you to your plane," Catherine said.

Rose hugged Pete goodbye before taking the Doctor's hand. The two of them followed Catherine as she led them down to the runway.


The Doctor was surprised when they entered the jet. It was posh with plush leather seats, wooden tables and a mini fridge filled with drinks and snacks. Catherine chuckled at the Doctor's surprised look.

"This is a Torchwood jet," she said to him. "We frequently travel so we designed our jet to resemble Air Force One. We have comfortable seats, tables for meetings and we do have a large flat screen TV mounted in the back wall that we can use to review information or pass the time. We have food and drink if you're hungry and in case of attack, we have missiles stored in the underbelly. We also have outfitted it with alien tech so it goes faster than a normal jet. We'll be in London in just under an hour so make yourselves at home while I tell the pilot and copilot to get ready for takeoff."

She left them while she headed to the front. Rose came up beside the Doctor.

"You knew about this…wonder plane of theirs?" he said to her.

"I helped them build it," Rose said proudly. "They were using regular leer jets until Dad and me suggested that if we're going to fight aliens, time is of the essence. Besides, the old jets were rubbish. You thought the ride in the jeep was bad…"

"And our new friend, you know her?" the Doctor said.

"I do. She's a nice lady and she can be trusted."

The Doctor nodded at that. He frowned when Rose chuckled at that.

"What?" he said.

"You're very trusting, you know," she said, playfully poking his side. "If I told you dog poo was a gourmet treat, you'd take me at my word, wouldn't ya?"

"No, I just know how to read your open and incredibly expressive ape face," the Doctor teased back. "I can tell by your slack jaw and blank ape stare that you're telling the truth. Besides, when you lie to me, you fart in the key of F."

He sniggered when Rose swatted at his head before walking over to one of the tables. The Doctor watched while she bent down and opened up a tiny hatch in the floor. Curious, he walked over and watched while she pulled a small metal lockbox out of the hidey-hole in the floor. He peered over her shoulder and frowned deeper when she opened the box and grabbed a tiny black ray blaster. He stepped back when Rose stood up, whipped around and aimed it at him.

"Ha! Because you are under the authority of Torchwood, you are my slave now and you'll do everything I say…or else," she said smugly.

The Doctor grinned at that.

"You think this terrifies me," he said, pointing to the blaster. "I have no fear of this or of your unexpected treachery. I laugh at your pitiful gun, you mangy ape. Tee hee. See, I laughed."

Rose chuckled and handed the blaster to him.

"Nah, you can have this, just in case you need to fight off people," she said, bending back down to put the box in the hole.

"Fight off people from Torchwood then?" he said.

"No. I was thinking about having to fight off people who want to worship you and tear you limb from limb," Rose said as she closed the hatch. "I know you wouldn't kill them but you could scare them with that and get away from them."

The Doctor nodded. He made sure the safety was on before sliding it into his pocket. He heard the plane starting up and felt a slight vibration.

"Doctor, Rose," Catherine called to them. "Take a seat, the plane is about to take off."

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