Chapter Eleven

The Doctor got out of the limousine behind Rose and took a long look at the Tyler Mansion.

"Nice to know the house recovered from the Cybermen attack," he said while Rose shut the door.

"Yeah. Dad said it took several thousand pounds to repair all the damage," Rose said while she and the Doctor followed Pete to the house.

When Pete opened the door, Rose the Yorkie ran up, yapping excitedly. Rose shot the Doctor a dirty look when he sniggered at that.

"Forgot about your parallel self, Rosie," he said, patting his lover's head. "Nice to know she survived the attack as well."

He picked up the yorkie and carried it into the house. Memories of the Cybermen attack came flooding back to him as they walked through the house. It was hard to believe it'd only been two short years since it happened.

After promising Rose that he would contact Torchwood and let them know the Doctor was interesting in visiting, Rose led the Doctor to her room. While they walked, Rose glanced back and smiled when she noticed the Doctor was still cuddling the yorkie against his chest.

"Trying to make friends with the other Rose, yeah?" she said to him.

"Doggie Rose and I got off to a bad start last time, I want to rectify that," the Doctor said. "Besides, she's soft and warm."

"She also likes to nip at ya and pee on things when no one's looking," Rose said.

"Well, I see you two have some similarities then," the Doctor said.

He snickered when Rose briefly flipped him the vees before stopping in front of her a closed door. It was a plain wooden door that was painted white with a brass doorknob.

"This is my room," Rose said over her shoulder.

"Really? No marble door with Queen Rose engraved into it?"

"Shut up," Rose said while he sniggered some more.

She opened the door and the Doctor followed her inside. The Doctor's eyes bulged when he noticed the walls were mainly made up of shelves filled with books. At the back between two shelves was a fireplace with a wooden mantle on top and off to the left was a large canopy bed with a pink duvet, a wooden side table and another table with two chairs.

"Let me guess, this used to be the library and he made it into a bedroom for you," the Doctor said as Rose shut the door.

"Yeah. Dad didn't have anywhere to put me," Rose said sheepishly.

The Doctor's eyes boggled.

"A mansion like this doesn't have any spare bedrooms?" he said.

"Yeah, it does but…Dad still has people come and spend the night, especially from overseas and for awhile, Mickey was using one of the bedrooms and his gran was as well before she died."

"Yeah, he told me that before we parted company," the Doctor said, putting Doggie Rose down on the floor when she began to squirm.

"And to be honest, Dad didn't know what to think of me when I first came here," Rose said with a shrug. "He put me in a guest bedroom for awhile but then he moved me when he had a group of businessmen visit him from Japan and they needed somewhere to stay. This was the only room not being used on a regular basis so he set me up in here."

"What? No one reads?" the Doctor said.

"Yeah, we do but Dad's always off on business or out at Torchwood and when I got a job there, I was too busy to read and Mum…"

The Doctor snorted when Rose trailed off.

"Yes, I wouldn't consider Chav Magazine heavy reading," he said, rolling his eyes.

"She doesn't read Chav Magazine," Rose said.

"Well, whatever she reads, Nails Monthly, Bitchy Harpies and Hags, whatever she thumbs through when she's not busy ogling the telly and eating chocolate," he said.

"All this time and you still don't like her," Rose said bemused.

"Eh," the Doctor replied as he wandered over to the mantle. "I can take her or leave her but in my opinion, the woman is best tolerated in small doses. I just pity whoever took her. I hope she doesn't drive them to torture with her incessant prattling."

Rose shook her head and smiled. She walked up beside the Doctor when she noticed he was eyeing a photo in a silver frame on top of the mantelpiece. It was a photo of her with him behind her. Both of them were smiling happily while he hugged her from behind.

"Had that in my pocket the day I left you," Rose said as she stood beside him and gazed at the photo. "It's my favorite photo of you. When we were separated, it was the only thing I had left of you. I take it down every day and stare at it and think of you."

The Doctor nodded but said nothing. He still had Rose's shirt that she wore that day on New Earth. He hid it from Donna after she found it and thrust it in his face. Time had lessened the pain but there were still days when he would retrieve it and hold it and remember the good times he and Rose had together. His attention was torn from the photo when Rose took his hand in hers and gave it a squeeze. He looked at her and his hearts lurched when he saw the longing in her eyes. He still intended to leave her with John but with each passing moment, he could feel himself weakening along with his resolve. He fought to keep the waves of desire inside him from becoming a tsunami but he couldn't deny the love he still felt for her. At that moment, however, there was a knock on the door and the Doctor breathed a sigh of relief when Rose took her eyes off him and walked towards it. He didn't know how much longer he could last. Rose was persuasive in her own way. He remembered how she kept at him the first time they were in Pete's World, using her charms to get him to visit the Tyler Mansion so she could see her father. If he was able to sway others and get them to do what he wanted, she had just as much ability to do that and he was sure she would use all her charms to convince him to be with her again. But for now, that moment had passed because Pete was at her door telling them that they needed to come with him to Torchwood at once.

"My coworkers want to meet with you, Doctor," Pete said to him. "They want to know what's going on and if they can offer assistance."

The Doctor wasn't too sure about that but he didn't have much choice at the moment. He had to accept help wherever he could find it. He put his hands in his pockets and waited while Rose shooed her canine counterpart out of the room before he followed her and Pete.

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