Chapter Two

Hannah raced out Sarah Jane's front door the moment she heard the wheezing of the TARDIS. With a prolonged "Yaaaaay!" she headed across the street while Rose warned her to mind the traffic. Hannah gave a quick look left and right, obeying her mother while she made a beeline for the TARDIS. Rose and Sarah Jane laughed when she reached it and pounded on the doors repeatedly with both fists while continuing to yell, "Yaaaay!"

"I had that same reaction when I saw the TARDIS at Defry Vale but I didn't act on it unfortunately," Sarah Jane said to Rose.

Hannah stopped when the door opened and Rory poked his head out, feigning confusion while he looked around.

"Coulda sworn I heard a noise out here," he said, looking around and scratching his head while Hannah giggled. "Ah well, must have been a car horn or a cow belching or something like that."

"No!" Hannah said when Rory slammed the door and Rose and Sarah Jane bent over laughing. "No, you open up now!" she yelled as she resumed her pounding rhythm.

Rory opened the door wide and picked Hannah up. Since meeting her father again, Hannah had developed a fondness for Amy and Rory and Rory loved to tease her, enjoying the time with her since they never got to spend any time with River when she was growing up. Hannah hugged him while Amy stepped outside.

"Wotcha, how you been?" Hannah said as Rory sat her back down.

"We're good," Rory said. "But we missed you," he said, tousling her hair while Amy hugged her tightly.

"Yeah, it's not the same when you and your mum aren't around," Amy said.

Hannah let go and peeked inside the TARDIS.

"Where's Other Dad?" she asked them.

"Well," Rory said, rubbing the back of his neck, "we hate to tell you this but there was an accident in the lab and he turned into a fart cloud so we had to contain him in a jar and then the jar went missing and we don't know where he's gone to. We had to pilot the TARDIS by ourselves."

"Yeah and we did it far better than your father did," Amy said with feigned smugness.

"Yoo-hoo, Fart Cloud Other Dad, you in here?" Hannah said, walking inside the TARDIS while the Ponds snickered.

Hannah walked up the steps to the console, making a big production out of sniffing the air while she did. She walked around the console and scratched her head.

"Hmm, Fart Cloud Other Dad is gone so I get the TARDIS now!" she said, putting her hands on the controls below the monitor.

"Do it and die!" the Doctor's voice came from just inside the back door.

"Fart Cloud Other Dad, you're back from being missing," Hannah said, turning towards the door.

The Doctor stuck his head into the console room and gave her wide eyes.

"Yes. And I sorted myself out except now I have a monkey's tail," he said.

"Let me see!" Hannah said, running up the steps while the Ponds, Sarah Jane and Rose came inside the TARDIS.

"Ah! No, it's horrible!" the Doctor said, sticking his head back through the door.

Hannah giggled and ran through the door. Everyone walked up to the console while they listened to the Doctor laughing. Then he stepped into the room, holding Hannah close to his body in a tight hug while he went down the steps.

"Hey, you don't have a monkey tail," Hannah said, looking over his shoulder.

"I don't? Blast, coulda sworn I did. I was mistaken, I s'pose," the Doctor said, setting her down on the glass floor. "Sarah, I'm amazed your hairs haven't turned white by now with her in the house."

"Oh, Luke keeps her occupied. They're become very good friends," Sarah said, walking over to give him a hug. "It's so good she showed up since now we get to see you quite frequently."

"Can't go for long without a visit to my nipper kipper and her mum," the Doctor said. "Besides, the Ponds have adopted her as a surrogate daughter now and they want their playtime as well. Where's Luke then?"

"With his friends. It's Saturday," Sarah Jane said.

"Brilliant. Love Saturdays," the Doctor said.

Sarah Jane invited everyone inside the house but the Doctor asked Rose to stay for a moment and told everyone they'd be inside in a moment. He waited till everyone left the TARDIS before taking Rose's hand and kissing her lips.

"How are you feeling?" the Doctor asked softly as he laid his forehead against hers. "Feeling better?"

"Loads better. I think coming here was just what I needed. Getting me away from the other universe and all the memories there. Plus, Hannah loves it here. I'm going to try to find someplace to live in London. Although…Hannah wants to live here."

"Why can't she? Why can't you?"

"Doctor, she's only ten."

"So? That doesn't mean you can't stay here. My TARDIS can make a whole house for you if you wished it and you could stay here rent free and be near us."

"What about her education?" Rose said.

The Doctor shrugged.

"My TARDIS can provide her with that. Actually, it might be better for her since she wants to follow in the family footsteps when she grows up. And you said yourself that regular schoolwork bores her. My ship can teach and provide stimulation for her in ways Earth schools never could. Not to mention you wouldn't have to ring us if you wanted to go somewhere. We could find things like the Duran Duran concert for her to do. And in between times she could stay in here, you know my ship is nearly impregnable. Besides, I miss you," he said, caressing her cheek. "Having a married couple in here has made me a bit envious and lonely."

"Hannah keeps asking me if you want to marry me. She said it this morning," Rose said. "I keep telling her you don't want to do that, just be her adopted father."

Rose was surprised when she saw a wistful look on the Doctor's face.

"You want to get married?" she said in shock. "That's domestic, you know."

The Doctor snorted. He sighed, folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the rim of the console.

"Rose…I've changed more than just my body this time around. I have a new outlook on things," he said. "My previous selves were scared of domesticity because of the Time War and losing everything but I've gone beyond that. I made so many mistakes and made myself miserable for no good reason. Last Christmas, I met this man called Kazran Sardick. He was this bitter old man who loved a woman but he kept her in suspended animation because she was fated to die. So basically she became a museum exhibit that he looked at but never took out until I convinced him to love her and spend as much time as he could with her being happy. I couldn't help but connect what he was doing to what I did with you and my other companions that I fell in love with. Sarah was one of them. I loved her deeply when she traveled with me but I was a fool and kept her at arm's length and I lost her. I lost so many…" he said, trailing off while Rose stepped closer to him and put her hand on his arm. "I kept throwing away happiness because I didn't think I deserved it. But I'm old now and I finally came to the conclusion that I can't do what Kazran did and keep you somewhere safe where I can never touch you. I'm not sure about marriage. I really don't think it's necessary since all a marriage does is give you a ring and a certificate but I want what Jonathon had. I want to be Hannah's father and I want you to be here so I can be with you full time."

"No more curse of the Time Lords then?" Rose said.

The Doctor rolled his eyes.

"That was such a daft statement looking back on it," he said. "Being afraid of loving something just because it might die when everyone in the universe dies…except Jack, but he's an exception. That was Kazran's fear and that kept Abigail imprisoned and she never had a life until he let her out and loved her. So yes, no more Time Lord's curse thingy."

"Good, I'm glad you came to your senses at last," Rose said before leaning in to give him a kiss.

"Well, I'm a stubborn old man who's slow to change his ways," the Doctor said.

"So…you want to be Hannah's father officially? She's quite a handful, you know," Rose teased.

"Tell me something I don't know. I thought she was gonna knock down the door, not to mention I'm sure the US heard her yelling," he said." But we'll tolerate her because she makes us all happy."

"Good," Rose said before kissing him more deeply.

The Doctor sighed through his nose and held her close to him while he deepened the kiss even more. They snogged for a few minutes before he ended it with a kiss on her nose.

"So, shall we go inside Sarah's house now?" he asked.

"We better before Hannah goes bonkers. She was watching the clock all morning and on tenterhooks waiting for you to come here," Rose said as she took his hand and followed him down the steps. "Maybe it would be a good idea to keep her in here because now that she knows there's a time machine she can climb into she wants nothing to do with normal life."

"I keep telling ya, it's because my DNA is insider her," the Doctor said as they headed for the front door. "You may have created a monster when you merged my DNA with yours, Rose. Just letting you know that."

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