Chapter Four

The Doctor stared blankly at the central column while he sat in his chair in the console room. It had been nearly three hours and still no sign of Rose. He had tried to read a magazine while he waited but his mind kept drifting to Rose and their conversation and he finally put the magazine down beside him and stared into space. Amy and Rory let him have some time alone but when three hours came and went, Rory finally came down the back steps with a ham and cheese sandwich on a china plate along with a glass of milk.

"We thought you might like a snack while you wait," Rory said, walking over to him and holding out the plate and glass.

The Doctor smiled at that and took them.

"I'll try but I might not have the appetite until I know for sure what Rose will say," he said.

"Things'll work out," Rory said.

"I hope so because I'm just as tired of the mess as she is," the Doctor said, setting the glass on the floor beside him and putting the plate in his lap. "She doesn't deserve this, Rory. I mucked up her life."

"She didn't look mucked up," Rory said.

"But I took her away with all these promises of fun and excitement and I dazzled her with planets and galaxies and things she'd never seen before and she fell in love with me and I used her. Maybe I really did kick her to the curb when she got too close to me. I don't know. Sometimes I'm not even sure what my own motives are. I think I'm doing the right thing but perhaps I am being selfish and cruel in the end."

"You're not selfish and cruel," Rory said. "You think of others and put them before yourself. That's what kept us alive these past two years. You make decisions for all of us in order to keep us alive and sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, as they say. If I thought you were selfish and cruel, I wouldn't be here now."

"Thanks," the Doctor said gratefully as he smiled at his friend.

Rory was about to say something more when they heard someone outside the front door.

"Hey, a St. John Ambulance badge, hasn't been one of those on the TARDIS for centuries."

The Doctor winced when he heard his former voice saying that.

"And the TARDIS looks new, least he kept her in good condition."

The Doctor listened to his clone but couldn't detect any sign of anger in his voice. He sat the plate down on the floor and nodded when he saw Rory's questioning look.

"That's my clone," he said to Rory.

"I'll go with you to the front door then," Rory said.

The Doctor thanked him and they walked down the steps together while someone knocked on the door.

"Doctor, it's me and Jonathon," Rose said through the door. "Open up, we're not gonna hurt you and we're not angry."

The Doctor opened the door. Rose was standing in front with Jonathon behind her. Jonathon had on a grey jumper and jeans with black trainers. His hair was long and his fringe hung down over his forehead.

"Wow, that's what I would have looked like? Glad I'm staying in this body," Jonathon quipped when he saw the Doctor.

Rose playfully slapped his chest with the back of her hand.

"This is Rory," Rose said to Jonathon. "Amy's…somewhere."

"She's in our bedroom, I'll go get her," Rory said before hurrying out of the room.

The Doctor stepped aside and let Rose and Jonathon walk in.

"Wow," Rose said, looking around. "It's changed inside as well."

"You did a complete makeover on the old girl then?" Jonathon said to the Doctor.

"Not by choice, she was severely damaged during my regeneration and redid herself," the Doctor said, closing the doors.

"Glass floors," Rose said, walking up the front steps. "Love it. Better than the grating, I think."

"So, is everything alright?" the Doctor said to his clone. "Are you getting along?"

"We are," Jonathon said, turning to him. "Still working out the kinks but as you can see, I am fertile."

"Yes, congratulations on your fertility," the Doctor said.

The two men grinned when Rose giggled at that while she examined the console.

"Look, did Rose say that this was my friend's idea at first?" the Doctor said to Jonathon. "They asked the TARDIS about Rose and asked if they could meet her and the TARDIS took us here. I was in the shower when this happened so I had no idea what she did until she went over the void."

"Well, knowing what I know of the old girl, I can't blame you for her actions," Jonathon said. "Actually, Rose and I were wondering about you, if you were alright. Especially Rose. You left with a lot of things unsaid and she was worried about your state of mind. But she did tell me everything you said."

"And…" the Doctor said as they walked up the steps.

"And I was a bit upset at first that you were back but she calmed me down and explained everything and I realized that perhaps the TARDIS sensed that the rift between you and us could be mended and that's why she chose to do this. But before you ask, I haven't gone off my trolley and committed genocide. I have been trying to live my life as best I can with Rose and we've been growing the coral and waiting until we could go off on our own adventures. Incidentally, where is Donna?"

The Doctor grimaced at that and asked if they could talk in more comfortable surroundings. Jonathon nodded and glanced up at the back stairs when Amy and Rory came down it. Amy stopped halfway down when she saw Jonathon.

"Is that him? Whoa, he's well fit," she said.

Rose giggled when both Doctors blushed deeply at that. Jonathon recovered from his mortification and warmly greeted both Amy and Rory.

"And this is what you looked like before?" Amy said to the Doctor.

"Yes, this is my well fit self as opposed to my current god-awful run over by a train self," the Doctor said.

"I didn't mean it that way," Amy said while Rose laughed. "Anyway, it's nice to meet you," she said to Jonathon.

"And you as well. Glad to see there are more opinionated gingers out there for him to find," he teased before kissing the back of her hand.

"Um…husband, mustn't do that!" the Doctor said in a stage whisper as he jabbed his finger at Rory.

Rory rolled his eyes and shook hands with Jonathon. Once they were properly introduced, the Doctor took his plate and glass and all of them walked to the living room. For the next couple of hours, they traded stories and updated each other on what had been happening. The Doctor explained about Donna and told them how he regenerated while Jonathon and Rose talked about working for Torchwood.

"She works for Pete, I help," Jonathon said after sipping a mug of tea the TARDIS made for him and everyone else. "Rose is worried that I might die so I barely lift a finger to help them. It's all…no, you can't go on missions with them, you haven't been wrapped in cotton wool," he said in a high-pitched voice.

"I do not say that," Rose said while they laughed.

"And then of course there's Jackie," Jonathon said, grimacing. "The fact that I have to live with the dragon lady is why I'm seriously considering Leadworth. Even Leadworth would be paradise compared to living a few doors down from Mummy Tyler. But that decision is best left to Rose and I told her that. I'm really just an extra appendage at this point. She's the one that would have the most upheaval if we left."

"I want to go," Rose said. "I want to be somewhere where I can see you on occasion and I want to see my old friends. I never really made friends here, to be honest."

"Workaholic, doesn't have time for them. Barely has time for me," Jonathon said. "She had to move her schedule around just to meet me at the café. I'm surprised she doesn't have a secretary handling my appointments with her."

"It's not that bad, Jonathon," Rose said.

"It is that bad, Rose," Jonathon said. "You work yourself to exhaustion every night and I barely have time to see you. I was gobsmacked when you said you could meet me today. I was sure you had to do another inspection of alien tech or do an anal probe on a blob monster or something like that."

"He's exaggerating," Rose said to the Doctor.

"Like hell I am," Jonathon said to the Doctor. "I think she's burying herself in work so she won't think of you. She's trying to be faithful to me but…you and her…"

"I love you, Jonathon, I told you that."

"I know you do but you also love him," Jonathon said, gesturing to the Doctor.

"And you're his clone so she's loving the same bloke," Amy said to Jonathon.

"Well, technically, except I'm part Donna so I'm not one hundred percent the same but yes, you're right, she's not technically being unfaithful to either of us," Jonathon said. "It's just bizarre, this whole situation."

"I agree. But we can work this out amicably," the Doctor said. "And I think that's what the TARDIS had in mind when she came back here. For us to sort this out and mend the damage and perhaps grow closer."

"So you want me to stay with Rose then?" Jonathon said.

"I want you to be with her but I would like to be in her life, as a friend," the Doctor said. "I still think it'd be best for you to be with someone who could grow old with you," he said to Rose. "But I still want to see you and be a part of that life. Especially now that you'll be bringing a little one into the world. And I believe my friends would like to get to know you better."

"Especially since you're well fit," Amy said to Jonathon.

"Oi!" Rory said while Amy and Rose bent over laughing.

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