Chapter Thirteen

On the way to Jackie's house, everyone sat in the same seats they had before with Rose sitting in the back with her daughter. Hannah was leaning against her mother while she had her arm around her. Amy and Rory were turned in their seats and she was chatting with them while Hannah listened. The Doctor looked at Jack laughing and chatting with Ianto and heard him ask Ianto if he'd like to come work for him in his Torchwood.

"So, how long have you known the Doctor?" Amy asked Rose.

"Since I was 19. I met him when he was in his ninth life. This is the third life I've seen," she said, pointing to the Doctor.

"Rory and me have only known this one. Although Hannah showed us a photo of you and your husband and her at Christmastime."

"I have the photo with me we took at Christmas," Hannah said to her mother as she patted her backpack beside her.

"I like that photo," Rose said. "It's one of my fondest memories. Here, I have a photo of him and me when he was in his ninth life," she added, reaching for her purse beside her.

The Doctor turned and watched while she pulled out a small black photo album. She opened it to a page near the front and handed it to Amy. The Doctor and Rory leaned over to see the photo. It was a photo of Nine and Rose standing together. Rose had a toothy grin on the face while the Doctor stood beside her with his arm around her. They were standing outside and Amy could see a tree behind the Doctor. Rose was wearing a grey t-shirt and jeans and her hair was long. Amy glanced at the Doctor before looking at the photo.

"So your hair went from crewcut to hedgehog to floppy," Amy said.

"My hair was not a hedgehog," the Doctor said while Amy and Rose giggled. "And my hair is not floppy."

"It's not? What's this then?" Rose teased, fingering the hair hanging over the right side of his face.

"It's not floppy, it's just styled that way," the Doctor said.

"Where are you?" Amy said to Rose, pointing at the photo.

"Hyde Park. I asked someone to snap a photo of us so I could have one," Rose said.

"Oh yes, I remember that," the Doctor said, nodding. "It was a lovely day."

"Unlike now," Rose said, pointing out the window as rain started to fall.

"Eh, typical London weather," the Doctor said as the rain began to hit the windows around them.


Twenty minutes later they reached the mansion and Ianto pulled up close to the porch so no one would have to walk a great distance in the rain. Everyone got out of the van and hurried up to the porch. Hannah and Rose got out last and the Doctor helped them out before walking with them up to the porch. Pete had already gone inside to let Jackie know they were there and Rose invited everyone inside.

"Wow, very posh," Amy said, looking around when they came inside the mansion. "Must be nice to afford something like this."

Pete had gone upstairs to fetch Jackie and now he reappeared in the front room followed by Jackie. She stopped and looked at everyone in shock. Her eyes settled on the Doctor and she walked over to him.

"I assume you're the Doctor," she said.

"You assume correctly. Hello, Jackie."

She raised her hand to slap his face but Rose caught it before it could connect.

"Don't you dare," she growled at her mother. "This wasn't his idea it was Hannah's so why not slap her instead?"

"Hannah, why did you do this?" Jackie said when Rose let go of her wrist and she lowered it to her side.

"Because you were gonna take me away from mummy and I wanted Other Dad to come and help," Hannah said, staying close to the Doctor in case Jackie really did slap her.

"And you came?" Jackie said to the Doctor. "After dumping her here the last time?"

"I did what I thought was right," the Doctor growled at her.

"Yes and you left her with someone who couldn't regenerate and he ended up dead," Jackie spat at him. "Rose went off her rocker and landed up in a mental institution."

"I'm sorry, Jackie. I never meant to hurt Rose. I do feel guilt for what I did and I want to make it right."

"How? By leaving her again?" Jackie said.

Rose could see Hannah's distress while she watched her grandmother have it out with her father so she told Jackie to follow her upstairs. Apologetically, she told everyone else to make themselves at home before she told her mother to follow her. Jackie fumed but she saw how frightened Hannah looked so she turned and followed her daughter. She held her tongue until she followed Rose into Rose's bedroom. Once Rose shut the door, she spun around.

"So now he's back again, is he? Gonna dump you a third time?"

"No. He found a way to cross dimensions and I'm going back with him for a bit to my old universe with Hannah. Sarah Jane offered to let us stay in her house so I could get some proper rest away from all the nut-cases."

"So after everything he's done, you're gonna swan off after him again," Jackie said. "Rose, the man is unreliable!"

"He cares about me, mum. I understand his reasons for leaving me but he wants to make amends. I'd rather stay with Sarah Jane than in that manky insane asylum. Despite what you think, I'm depressed, not dolally."

"You coulda fooled me when you took a razor blade and slit your wrists," Jackie said.

"That was a stupid mistake. I did it because I felt like there was no hope. I realized the error of my ways and I want to make it up to Hannah and be there for her again. I needed time to grieve but I shoulda done it away form here where the memories were too strong. That's why I want to go with Sarah Jane and live with her for a bit. I need to be around friends and I'd like Hannah to know my friends as well. Most of those people downstairs have traveled with the Doctor so they can understand what I've been through. The Doctor figured out a way to make a stronger dimension cannon so I can go back and forth."

"And then what? Travel again with him?" Jackie said, folding her arms over her chest.

"If I'm well enough, yes. I like traveling with him, you know that. But right now, Hannah is my first priority and before you say anything, she'll be wanting to travel with him as well when she's old enough. And I won't stop her."

"And I have no say in this? She's my granddaughter. You wanna lose her the same way you lost Jonathon. Have her die in your arms like he did?"

"I'm not gonna deny her if that's what she wants to do. I hover over her and shield her from life. People die, mum. That's the way life is. I'd rather she died doing what she loved rather than spend her life huddled in a corner because she's afraid to go out and experience the world. I trust the Doctor. He protected me all these years and all those people out there have survived traveling with him."

"The man is barking mad, Rose."

"Yes, he is but I'd rather be with a lunatic like him than spend my days with the lunatics at Bankside. I'm sorry, mum, but I'm an adult and I'm the one that has custody of Hannah and this is what I want to do. You wanna fight for custody of her, I'll see you in court then but until that happens, I make the decisions for Hannah."

Jackie sighed and sat down on Rose's bed. She was about to say something more when they heard a faint knock at the door.

"Yeah?" Rose said.

"Mum?" Hannah said through the door.

"Yes, love, come in. It's okay," Rose said.

The door opened and Hannah stuck her head inside. She looked at her mother and grandmother before speaking.

"Granddad made tea and wanted to know if you and grandma wanted a cuppa," she said.

"I do," Rose said.

"I do as well," Jackie said.

"Okey-dokey, I'll tell them then," Hannah said.

She was about to go back out when Rose called to her. She held out her hand and Hannah smiled as she came over and took it.

"Hannah, do you want to come with me to the other universe or stay here with Gran and Granddad?" Rose asked her.

"I want to go with mum because I like Sarah Jane and she has a son called Luke and he has friends and I wanna play with them," she said. "I like everyone and I like Other Dad and I want to be in their lives."

"Are you sure that's what you want?" Jackie said gently to her granddaughter.

Hannah nodded.

"I like everyone and Jack is funny. He wants to be my uncle now."

Jackie raised her eyebrow when Rose giggled.

"Jack is needy," Rose said to Jackie. "Besides, he was like a big brother to me when we traveled together so I s'pose it's only natural to make him her uncle."

"I met Sarah Jane that night we were on the Crucible and I do like her," Jackie said. "She's kind and loving and even though the mother side of me wants you to stay here, I think you're right. I think time away with your friends might do wonders for you and your mental health. It's just I'm trying to be a mother here, Rose, and I worry about that Doctor breaking your heart again. The man is unpredictable."

"But I think that was because he was depressed as well, mum. There was a sadness in him that I don't see anymore. I think he finally came to terms with what happened to his world and he moved past it. He told me he tried to travel alone but couldn't bear it. He needs people in his life and me and everyone else down there are his adopted family. We want to be there for him and they want to be there for me since I'm a part of this exclusive club now. I'll be fine, mum, I promise."

"Hannah, could you go fetch the Doctor for me and tell him to come here," Jackie said to her granddaughter.

Hannah nodded and ran out of the room. She came back five minutes later with the Doctor in tow. Jackie got up from the bed and walked over to him.

"Rose and Hannah want to go with you to the other universe. I won't stop them but I'm warning ya. You break my daughter's heart again or upset my grandchild, you'll be losing another life and I'll be the one to do it personally. Is that understood?"

"Perfectly," the Doctor said. "I won't break either of their hearts, I promise that. I just want Rose to rest and get better."

"As do I and it's because I respect Sarah Jane that I'm agreeing to this. But you better keep to the promise you made two lives ago, mister!"

"I will look after Rose and not let her die. And I extend that promise to Hannah. Both of them will be safe, so help me God," the Doctor intoned.

Jackie nodded.

"Good. Now I need a cuppa so is the discussion well and truly over now?" she said to Rose.

"It is," Rose said.

"Good. Might as well stay a bit. I'll have Carmine make a meal for everyone. Shouldn't go back on an empty stomach. And Rose…"

She walked over and hugged her tightly. Rose smiled and returned the hug.

"I am glad to see ya. I just was shocked by the sudden appearance of him and all his friends," Jackie said. "Use this time to get better and have some fun with Hannah."

"I will," Rose said while the Doctor smiled.

She kissed Rose on the cheek before she broke apart from her. The Doctor took hold of Rose and Hannah's hands and followed her out of the room.

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