Chapter Twenty

Rani stood at the window and looked out. The rain was starting again and rivulets rand down the glass panes like tears while she looked at the street below. Rory and Amy were lying in the bed to her left. Rory was snoring softly, his arm around his wife as he lay near the wall but Amy was awake and studying Rani silently. Rani glanced at her and caught her gaze.

"Are you okay?" Amy said softly.

"Just thinking," Rani said, turning her attention back to the window.

"About what?" Amy said.

"About the reality I grew up in being a lie," Rani said, looking at her. "About real life being a lot more hopeful and happier than what I knew. I never really knew Sarah Jane that well but now I hear that not only was I friends with her, I helped fight evil with her and Luke and Clyde? After all I did, I'm not sure Sarah Jane would want me near her anymore."

"I doubt that," Amy said. "She would have left you behind if she didn't care about you."

"I haven't cared about anyone in a long time," Rani said as she traced her finger down a rivulet of rain on the glass pane. "And now I'm worried about everyone we left in Whitechapel."

"I think they'll be alright," Amy said. "I don't know anyone except my daughter but if they traveled with the Doctor, they're more than capable of taking care of themselves. I know my daughter is, I've seen that firsthand."

Rani grimaced when she heard the sounds of lovemaking in the room next to her bed. Amy chuckled when they heard a thumping sound and soft moaning.

"Thought about that myself but I thought it would be rude to do that with you in the next bed," she said.

She smiled when Rani chuckled at that.

"I think they'll be okay, Rani," Amy said. "Come to bed, you need your rest."

"Do as your mother says, Rani," Rory mumbled, his eyes still closed.

Amy giggled when Rani rolled her eyes at that.

"I want to check on the Doctors and then I'll go to sleep…Dad," she said.

"See that you do get some sleep, young lady," Rory said, opening his eyes.

"Really, I am a bit old to be your daughter, you know that, right?" Rani said.

"Really? Have you seen River? She's older than we are," Amy said. "Besides, I told you, we pulled you from the slums when we visited the British Raj and brought you here to civilized England. So be civilized, young lady," Amy said, wagging her finger at her.

Rani chuckled at that. Rory held Amy tighter while she stared at the young woman fondly. Rani moved away from the window and walked to the door. She opened it, stepped out and did a double take when she caught John stepping onto the landing from the top step.

"Oops, you caught me," he teased as Rani shut the door. "I was out having one hundred pints and getting horribly drunk. This Victorian life and all, you know. It's tough being without me Ipad."

"You don't sound drunk," Rani said.

"That's because I can hold me liquor," John said, thumping his chest with his fist. "I'm fit as a fiddle, me."

"I couldn't sleep," Rani said.

"Oh? Why not?" John said.

"Just thinking. Thinking about how there's another reality where people actually care about me and I care about other people."

"I think you care about others in this reality, Rani. You showed that when you didn't attack us."

"But you said that Sarah Jane, I worked with her…"

"Yes, you did and you worked with both Doctors in there," he said, pointing to the closed door next to hers. "You helped save the Earth and the universe, not just with them but with Sarah Jane, Luke and Clyde. I have the bulk of the Doctor's memories up to his tenth life and I have the memories of you helping my other self and you were brilliant."

He put his hand on her shoulder when she blushed at that. He looked at the door to Rani's room when it opened and Rory stepped out with a grin.

"Rory Williams, get your arse back in here," they heard Amy say.

"I'm going to go ask the person at the desk if he knows where I can get a Coke," Rory said, leaning into the room. "They have them now, don't they?"

He looked at John. John scratched his chin thoughtfully.

"Coca Cola, I hope that's what you mean, was invented in 1886," he said.

"See, it's invented," Rory said into the room.

"It's sold only in Atlanta at this time though," John said.

"See, it's not even in England yet, you git, come to bed," Amy called out.

"Damn, I need a caffeine fix badly," Rory said while John chuckled. "Could we resync the TARDIS and put the telepathic circuit back and…"

"No, sorry, can't do that," John said.

"Damn," Rory said while Rani giggled. "Well, I'm off to bed again. Rani, come to bed once you're through checking on the other Doctors."

"Yes, Dad," Rani said.

Rory waved goodnight and walked back into the room. He closed the door and John patted Rani on the shoulder before they walked to his room. He opened the door and stuck his head inside. The room was dark and both Doctors were in separate beds, snoring softly. He opened the door wider and let Rani into the room. Rani stared at the beds.

"Seriously, you're sleeping on the floor?" Rani said, pointing to the dusty floor.

"I…think it would look better if I did because I don't know the Doctors' sexual orientation at this point. I'm assuming they're both straight but you never know…besides, it'd be a bit awkward, especially with that one," he said, pointing to the Tenth Doctor. "We decided to be twin brothers and…well, would be a bit awkward and all. They look alright though, sleeping peacefully."

Rani walked over to the tenth Doctor. He was snoring softly and she stared at him silently for a moment, wondering what he was dreaming about.

"Are you sure this will work?" Rani said softly to John. "They're the ones that thought this up in the first place, yeah? What are we going to do if they can't remember who they are?"

"We have to improvise," John whispered back as he took his brown suit jacket off and laid it over the baseboard of Eleven's bed. "Rory and I will help steer them along."

"What will me and Amy do?" she said.

"Well, you can assist but it's rare for women to assist in crime solving so you and Amy will have to be a bit discrete. I think we're going to find a house and live there for the duration of that. I'll help you and Amy clean and keep house but you do know that these two probably will balk at doing women's work so don't rely on them for that."

Rani walked over to Eleven and stared down at him for a moment while he slumbered peacefully.

"And you just met this one?" Rani said to John.

"Yeah, he left me with Rose in the other universe so I don't know much about that one but he seems decent enough," John said, undoing his bow tie.

"And all of you love Rose?" Rani said.

"Yup. Bit awkward but I think Rose is committed to me. We're engaged and he's with River," he said, nodding to Eleven. "Him…not so sure about him but I'm sure he respects our engagement. Although…at the moment, Rose is unknown to him. She's just a whore to him at the moment."

He sighed.

"What?" Rani said.

"It hurts to say that, especially since he truly loves her, as much as I do. And now she's nothing but a bangtail to him or will be if he ever sees her. Although, the last time he did this, memories of her bled through…perhaps they will again. But for now, we just have to watch and wait so you better get to bed, Rani."

"You sure you don't want my bed? I mean, I've slept in abandoned warehouses and homes with the other Jacksprites so I'm used to manky floors."

She noticed a pained look for a moment when she mentioned sleeping in abandoned places and it warmed her heart to know that he did care about her welfare.

"Nah, I'm fine. Someone has to be in here when they wake up so they won't wander off in a disorientated state. Go to bed, Rani, everything will be fine."

Rani hesitated a moment and walked over to him, giving him a peck on the cheek. She hesitated again and John gave her a questioning look.

"Luke and Clyde are with another group of Jacksprites, they're strung out on heroin," Rani said, looking at the floor. "I didn't want to tell Sarah Jane that, especially since Luke…I don't know where they are now or if they're alive or dead, I just know that they were hooked on heroin the last time I saw them."

John nodded.

"Which is precisely why we're here, to straighten time out so we can go back to the real reality," he said.

"Thank you, thank you for caring," Rani said.

"And you, thank you for caring enough to do this," John said, giving her a hug.

Rani returned the hug and John patted her back. She let go and bid John goodnight as she walked to the door. John returned it and watched proudly while Rani went outside and closed the door behind her.

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