Chapter Four

The Doctor followed Rose and John while they walked back to their flat. He stared at Rose and smiled, thinking how beautiful she looked. The two of them were holding hands and looked happy, which is what he wanted for them. He wanted Rose to share her life with someone who could grow old with her, someone who could live a human life and be there for her in a way he never could. But as he thought about it, he realized that he had told Rose he could never love anyone the way she wanted him to love her and yet, here he was with his wife at his side. He realized that he had told Rose that when he was a completely different man but he still felt like a hypocrite now. He hoped Rose would understand.

"Have you seen this evil in person, Doctor?" John said over his shoulder as they walked.

"No. But it speaks to me in my mind, tells me to do evil things."

"Like what?" Rose said.

The Doctor swallowed hard.

"Like kill them," he said, gesturing to his family.

John and Rose looked at each other and stopped. The Doctor and his family stopped with him.

"And can you hear this…person now?" John asked him.

The Doctor fell silent and concentrated while everyone waited.

"Yes, but now the voice is so far away, I have to strain to hear it," he said after a moment of silence. "Before it was far louder and more insistent. Now I can easily ignore it."

"So it's not here then," John said. "In our universe, I mean. Otherwise, it would be louder, right?"

"Yeah," the Doctor nodded.

"Can you hear this voice, John?" Rose said to her fiancé.

John shook his head.

"I don't have my full Time Lord mind anymore so I'm not linked to him telepathically," he said, gesturing to the Doctor.

"John?" Rory said.

"John Smith, at your service," John said, extending his hand. "I no longer go by the Doctor since I'm really not the same man as him anymore. I'm part human so I took a human name. And you are…"

"Rory Williams," he said, shaking his hand. "This is my wife, Amy, and daughter, River."

"Yes, I know who this is," John said, nodding to River.

River was taken aback by that. She glanced at her husband.

"I met you once in my tenth body, you haven't gotten to that point yet," the Doctor said to her. "My clone was born after that event so he retains all my memories."

River nodded in understanding.

"Pleasure to meet you," he said, shaking John's hand.

The Doctor decided to go for broke since he knew the information would come out sooner or later.

"River's my wife," he said to Rose and John.

He flinched at the shocked look on Rose's face. John was shocked as well but the Doctor could see pain mixed with the shock on Rose's face. John, however, was staring at River and he could tell his counterpart was working things out.

"Okay, the previous encounter is beginning to make more sense now," John said to the Doctor. "Especially when Lux accused you of fighting like an old married couple."

The Doctor chuckled at the memory. He looked at Rose and gave her an apologetic look. Rose smiled and extended her hand to River.

"Nice to meet you," she said.

"And you," River said, shaking her hand.

The Doctor smiled, knowing that Rose was going to be civil to his wife and was making the effort to be friends with her. He breathed out a soft sigh of relief, knowing there wouldn't be an enormous catfight between his former lover and his wife. John took Rose's hand and gave it a squeeze before he told everyone to follow them.


Rose remained silent the rest of the way home. But her mind was swirling with emotions. She loved John more than anything but the fact that the Doctor was married after telling her he couldn't do anything like that because he was a Time Lord. She kept looking straight ahead but she could feel his eyes on her as they walked.

"We should speak to Pete, maybe Torchwood's found something that's related to this evil he's feeling," John said to Rose as they walked.

Rose nodded and John squeezed her hand, sensing her distress. He knew she was in shock and to be honest, so was he. He figured River was an intimate of the Doctor, especially since she knew his real name. But his wife? He figured the Doctor would never commit to something like that in his old age. They remained silent until they reached the flat. John opened the door and let everyone inside. He shut the door behind them and asked if they would like some tea. When they told him yes, he hurried to the kitchen. Rose excused herself and went to her bedroom for a moment, intending to change into something more casual but also to come to terms with the fact that the Doctor was married now before helping him with his problem.

She went to the bedroom she shared with John and closed the door. She was slipping out of her dress when she heard a soft knocking on her door.

"Rose? Can I talk to you for a moment?" the Doctor said through the door.

Rose's heart lurched but she told the Doctor to wait a moment while she shimmied out of her dress and high heels. She threw on a pair of spandex shorts and a white t-shirt before opening the door. The Doctor smiled.

"You look beautiful," he said. "May I come in?"

Rose nodded and the Doctor entered the room. Rose shut the door and the Doctor sighed and turned to her.

"I know I must look like a hypocrite now," he said to her. "But when I told you that curse of the Time Lords stuff, I was a different man. I don't believe in that anymore. The other me was morose and a bit of a drama queen and frankly, needed a bit of a slap in the head sometimes."

Rose chuckled at that and the Doctor smiled.

"I sent you back here with John because I thought that perhaps you and John could make a life together," he said. "I was counting on it and I'm chuffed that it's actually happened."

"And you moved on with your life as well," Rose said.

"Yes, I did. But…I never forgot you and you are still in my hearts, Rose, and always will be. I have two hearts as you're well aware and I think my two hearts are big enough to hold all the people I hold dear to me."

"Are you happy with her?" Rose asked.


"That's all that matters to me," Rose said. "I don't want you to be along and unhappy. Lord knows you had enough of that in your life…lives. If she makes you happy, then I don't bear her ill will."

"I saw that. I'm glad you made an effort to be cordial," the Doctor said.

"Well, I can't be cross at her, I don't even know her," Rose said. "It would be terrible if I blame her for stealing my man when she doesn't even know me. All that matters to me is your happiness. I love you and I always will but I told John I want to be with him and we are engaged now and I won't break it off."

"Good, I don't want you to," the Doctor said. "I want you to be happy as well, Rose. I want you to have a long and happy life and I thought that perhaps you could find that with John."

"John is wonderful," Rose said. "And he's not a psychopath, despite what you think."

"Well, that was mainly an excuse to keep you with him," the Doctor said. "I've committed genocide in the past so it really wasn't cricket for me to blame him for something I've done myself. And his hearts was in the right place since he was saving the universe from the Daleks. Nice to know, he's a good man and he's become the sort of man who could grow old with you. I did all this because I love you, Rose, despite what it looked like on that day."

"I know," Rose said, nodding.

"I'm just sorry that he turned and left you without a goodbye but he had to do that and make himself leave before he took you back from John."

Rose nodded and smiled when the Doctor kissed her forehead.

"Friends?" he asked her.

"Friends," Rose said, taking his hand.

He squeezed it and gave her another kiss on the head.

"Good, I'm glad we had this talk. I think it needed to be said," he said to her.

"I'm just glad you have a family now," Rose said. "You still have a family here as well."

"Good," the Doctor said. "The more the merrier, eh? So, shall we have some tea and put our minds together to solve the problem?"

Rose nodded. The Doctor squeezed her hand and put his hand on her shoulder as she stood up and left the room with him.

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