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Rose and the college professor

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Inspired by a sub-plot my story 'Rose Tyler moves to Broadchurch' which included flashbacks into Rose's past, this is a separate story that follows Rose Tyler, who was separated from The Doctor after 'Doomsday' and how she fell in love with a college professor, Dr Jonathan Smith. This story can be read separately from the original.







Inspired by a sub-plot my story 'Rose Tyler moves to Broadchurch' which included flashbacks into Rose's past, this is a separate story that follows Rose Tyler, who was separated from the Doctor after 'Doomsday' and how she fell in love with a college professor, Dr Jonathan Smith.  This story can be read separately from the original. 

I wanted to go deeper into the side story in 'Rose Tyler moves to Broadchurch' in which Rose has moved there and meets DI Alec Hardy and tells him about her past.  This story has more details about Rose's relationship with John Smith, a college professor who she meets after she has been left in 'Pete's world' and who is the spitting image of the Doctor and goes into much deeper details unlike the original story and in the original, Rose had not met the Doctor and this story has a different ending and a few surprises along the way.

Some paragraphs are used from the original story.

Scroll down to read each chapter

Chapter 1 

They were happy, looking for a house to buy.  Dr Jonathan Smith was a college tutor who Rose had met in her final year just a few days after the start of term. Rose was just twenty when she was rescued by Pete Tyler from being sucked into the void.  She had never finished school in her own universe and before doing anything else, Pete had insisted Rose enrolled in the local college and get some qualifications while he and a team were re-establishing a new Torchwood and Rose worked part-time at Vitex to earn cash to support herself.  Pete had taken Rose under his wing and given her and her mother a home in the mansion, having more than enough spare rooms and his house had seemed empty since his wife's death and it was quite clear that Jackie and Pete were still fancying each other in any universe.  Rose was now twenty two and John was thirty four when they met.  They had planned to wait for Rose to go on study leave before they had started dating properly in public as she had to tell her mother he was a student when it was apparent that just appearing to be friends when they were out was not working.

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Doctor Jonathan Smith, tutor of Science and Physics.  That was the nameplate on his classroom door Rose passed three mornings a week on her way to her business studies class, having to ignore the fact that the man she loved was teaching a class of students behind the door.  They had to keep their relationship strictly out of the classroom because he would have been dismissed and no amount of intervention from Pete Tyler, who was unaware of Rose's relationship would have saved John's job.

It had all started two days after the start of the new term, Rose's second and final year.  He had asked if he could sit opposite her in the college canteen as she had her head buried in a business studies book and she didn't notice him at first.  As she didn't reply, he sat there and ate his lunch, staring at her as she was oblivious to his presence.

"You, are not in my class, why not?" he declared as she totally ignored him and continued reading when he had finished the last of his sandwich.

That had got her attention, he was being a smart-arse and she was about to tell him so until she looked over the top of her book then she was lost for words.  She could have been staring at the Doctor's double apart from the fact she knew it was impossible and he looked younger and his hair was different.

"What?" she asked, her mouth still open and putting her book on the table.

"I said, you're not in my class, we've not been introduced.  I'm Doctor Jonathan Smith, professor of science and physics and you are?"

When she got over the initial shock she managed to say "About to go back to my class, I'm going to be late.  Nice to meet you" and got up to leave.

He got up and followed her.  "At least tell me your name, you're a student aren't you?"

"It's Rose and I really will be late for my business studies class."

"Well you can blame me then, tell them I delayed you," he called after her down the now empty corridor as she disappeared through a door.  He was going to be late for his own class.

She had gone back to her class, thinking about him.  How could he possibly look like the Doctor?  Did this universe still have Timelords?  Surely he would have known when they had been here before or maybe there were none on Earth but why would he be posing as a science teacher?  There again, her Doctor had posed as a teacher, maybe Timelords in this universe didn't come to Earth that often and he was bored and wanted to experience life on Earth, well that's what the Doctor seemed to want, that and travelling the stars.  With superior Timelord technology and brainpower, what better way to explore the human race and teach them something at the same time?  She dismissed all thoughts of it, it was a daft idea, just because she wanted to still get back to him.  The professor was cute though, despite looking like her long lost love.

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John Smith had gone back to his classroom after his lunch break and was still reeling from the blonde student he had just met.  It was only his second day at the college, his students seemed bright enough and wondered why his predecessor had given up but he had needed a job and moving to a new place, from Brighton, this college and one other had accepted him when he had made applications and accommodation in this part of London was slightly better than where the other college was, not that he was stuck up or anything but being brought up in Brighton didn't prepare you for the roughest parts of the City of London.  That and he didn't fancy having to worry about his car being broken into or stolen every night and the area he had chosen seemed much better and it was near the home of his favourite band's old recording studios and he got to pass the crossing they had made famous every day, he could just picture them on it every time he went by but all he ever saw were tourists holding up the traffic to have photos taken and sometimes he just wished they would replace it, he had to set off earlier than he needed to get a spot to park his car near the college.

Sat at his desk, his students having been given their assignments, he turned his thoughts back to the girl he had met in the college canteen.  She must have been in her final year but she was only about twenty or twenty one, maybe twenty two, it was difficult to tell and anyway, she was a student, not in his class thank goodness but it was forbidden to date students of the college regardless of whether they were in your class or not and he couldn't afford to lose his job.  Later that same day, he had seen her waiting on her own in a bus shelter as he was walking to his car and asked her if she wanted a ride home.  He was disappointed when she politely refused.

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Trying to study in the class was difficult, she kept thinking about the professor she had met in the canteen and wondered just how many rules would actually be broken if he was to ask her out and she accepted.  She said goodbye to her friends and made her way to the bus stop, wondering if the next thing she should do was learn to drive.  Maybe when she was qualified and working for Torchwood but Pete gave her a ride to Vitex.  She had just missed one bus, there were a few that stopped just around the corner from where she was staying, she saw the professor walk by on the other side of the road towards his car and he called across to her, making sure no-one from the college was around.

"Can I offer you a lift home Rose?" he asked as he stopped by his car, fishing in his pocket for his keys.

"No, I'm fine thanks, really, the bus will be here in a few minutes.  Besides, you'll only get into trouble for offering me a ride home."

He knew she was probably right so he shrugged his shoulders and got in his car and drove off.  He couldn't stop thinking about her though and was going to try again.  He shouldn't though, he knew he shouldn't, it was too tempting.

Rose didn't want him to know where she lived, she might live at Pete Tyler's house but as yet, she was no relation to him although her mother might be working on that.  Rose had caught them looking guilty on more than one occasion, it was up to them to get their act together.  Rose knew the professor would get into trouble if she accepted a lift from him and had politely turned him down, to which he looked disappointed but knew she was probably right, he couldn't afford any trouble plus she daren't tell her mother.

The next morning, she was talking to her friend Suzie about it.  "He's quite cute, I could fancy him, he's really nice.  Shame he's a tutor and not another student though."

Her friend warned her about the dangers of pursuing a tutor and he pursuing a student.  "Rose, you're asking for trouble there, if he even looks at you the wrong way, they'll be down on him hard and you could get suspended."

Rose had protested. "I'm not even in his class so technically it doesn't count."

Her friend gave up saying, "Well don't say I didn't warn you."

It didn't help when he came to sit with her again during the lunch break and this time Rose introduced herself after he said to call him John.

"I'm Rose Tyler," she said as he shook her hand.  "I'm doing business studies three days a week and working as a trainee at Vitex."

That was perfectly true but she was really just training to go work at the new improved version of Torchwood.

He started making her laugh, teasing her.  "Aw, you shouldn't be doing boring business studies, science is much more fun."

Rose retaliated. "Yeah, but it won't help me with my job, I don't need to be a science geek like you to work at Vitex," she smiled, teasing him back.

"OK, Miss Boring, you should try to live a little.  I really wouldn't get into trouble if you accept a lift home Rose, as long as it's only a lift and maybe one of your friends comes with you."

"Well I'll think about it, next week, I'm back at Vitex tomorrow, I'm only at college three days.''

"So, what are you training to do at Vitex then?  I would have thought you would have needed science or physics to work there," he joked.

"Not in the office you don't, I'm training to be an office manager, for that I need business studies."  She was about to say 'smart arse' after it but decided she'd better not, him being a tutor but he had started it.  It was sort of true, just in the office at Torchwood eventually when she had qualified.

He'd asked her which branch of Vitex it was, they had several locations throughout the London area and she told him not to dare to call and see her there.  He swore he wouldn't.

Rose was slightly amused he had engaged her in conversation after she snubbed him yesterday, especially refusing a lift home from him.  She supposed he could look up her file if he really wanted to but doubted he would.  At home time, Rose was talking to one of her friends while waiting for the bus, inside the shelter as it was raining and she saw the professor pass on the other side of the road again.  He waved to the two girls, they both waved back.  Her friend nudged Rose.  Her bus arrived but she didn't get on, instead she said goodbye to her friend, saying she wasn't going directly home, she was going to the shops first.  She was left alone, staring across at John who was sitting in his car.

John had been unable to think of anything else all afternoon and he'd seen her waiting in the bus shelter again but she was talking to someone so he had just walked past and waved but sat in his car so he could still see her.  He waited until the bus had gone and she was still there, she had seen him and just stood there, waiting to see if he offered her a lift.  She knew she shouldn't.  She knew it was wrong and everything was telling her she should resist but it was too late.  Despite the fact it was raining, he opened the driver's window and beckoned her over without saying a word.  She picked up her bag from the bench and walked over hurriedly and got into the passenger seat and he drove off.

"So Rose, where to?" he asked as she threw her shoulder bag on the floor of the car.

"Can we just go somewhere away from here so no-one sees us, please?" she asked.

She had only been in the rain a few seconds but her hair was wet.  John thought she looked sexy, her hair sticking to her cheeks.  He drove about a mile away and stopped at a coffee shop and they got out.  It had stopped raining, Rose sat there and he went round to the other side of the door and he held the door open for her as she got out.  It wasn't like she had been waiting for him to open it, she had been debating if she should even be there.  Should she just have ran over and got in his car like that?  Probably not.

He was smiling as she got out and he locked the car with the remote and held his hand out to her.  Then he opened the door, allowing her inside first and gestured to a table in the corner away from the window and from prying eyes of anyone from the college who may have ventured that far.  Rose asked for a latte and he went to get their drinks, coming back a few minutes later with two tall glass cups.  Rose smiled and said "Thanks."

"So, have you got dried yet?" he asked, really not knowing what to say to her.  He was good at flirting, he had proved that earlier but actually talking was something else.  He had always been a bit clueless when it came to women.  His last girlfriend had been shy, just like him but she was gone now, taken a post in New York and she wasn't coming back, had married out there he had heard from a mutual friend but that had been while he was studying and they had all gone off in different directions.  He'd not had a proper girlfriend since, just odd dates and short romances with women on holiday but never with a student whether in his science class or not and they had all been back in Brighton.

Rose was eyeing him, sipping her drink.  He was wearing a blue suit with brown stripes and a blue shirt and a pair of off-white converse shoes.  He so looked like the Doctor to her but that was not what was attracting her to him.  He was bold, he was cheeky, he wasn't shy and he was definitely interested in her – unlike a certain Timelord she knew of.  She nodded and drank silently.

"Well you're life and soul of the party Rose Tyler, you had plenty to say earlier or were you just showing off?"



Chapter 2
Rose found her voice again. "Well you can talk, if I remember correctly, you were flirting with me."  She sipped her latte again slowly, on purpose.

"So, can I give you a lift home or do you want to go get a bite to eat?"  He looked at her.  She seemed kind of sad although she had been flirting back earlier.  "No, maybe not a good idea, we might be seen.  Are you busy on Saturday Rose?  We could go somewhere, out of London.  I could pick you up, not at home if you don't want to but we could meet, go out for the day?  Would you like that?"

Rose liked the idea.  What harm would seeing him for the day do and if they went far enough away, no-one would ever know, would they?  She could say she was going out with her friend Suzie, she knew she fancied John and she wouldn't say anything.  So she gave him her answer.

"Well ok then but not around here.  Meet me in Starbucks in Brent Cross shopping mall at eleven on Saturday morning?" she asked.

"Right, ok then, I'll see you there.  You're not at college tomorrow are you?"

Rose shook her head.  She was wondering if this was a big mistake.  She could catch a bus to the shopping mall easily, say she was meeting her mates from college but why did she have to choose him?  Was it because he looked like the man from another galaxy she fell in love with?  Maybe but John was entirely different.  She was risking everything by even being seen with him.  She was Peter Tyler's responsibility and although in this universe she was twenty two, her records being falsified, in reality in her own universe she had only just turned twenty as she found that time passed quicker here.  Great, she travelled in time and she finds a world where it runs quicker, mere months would have passed on her own world.

She had agreed along with her mother to let Pete take care of everything and living under his roof she had to agree to certain things but who she chose as a boyfriend was her call but not if it involved someone in authority and could damage both their reputations and get someone fired.  She had also agreed with Pete Tyler that she would abide by his rules until she really reached the age of twenty one and she wasn't even sure just exactly when that was and hoped Pete had taken care of that and kept a record and would tell her.

John escorted her back to his car and Rose asked him to drop her around the corner from where she lived at the bus stop and she was about to get out of the car when he asked her, "Rose, what about tomorrow night?  Would you like to meet me somewhere?  I know you said Saturday but I don't think it would do any harm if we went for a drink, what do you say?"

"Can we just leave it until Saturday?  I have to go now but thanks for the coffee and the ride home, I hope no-one saw us, I don't want you getting into any trouble."

"Oh, don't worry about me, the invisible man, that's me!  Anyway, it was entirely innocent, I just offered you a ride home because it was raining and it's not like you're under sixteen or anything.  You are over sixteen aren't you?" he joked.

Rose had to smile, he was trying to find out how old she was, she didn't even know so she had to stick to the invented one.  "Yeah, I'm over sixteen, don't worry but there are rules that prevent tutors seeing students, they might be unwritten but they're still there though."

"Well, what do they know eh?  It's mainly for younger students who get a crush on their teacher, you don't have a crush on me do you Rose," he winked.

He was definitely flirting with her now Rose thought as she tried not to go bright red.  The Doctor had often messed around not knowing what he did to her but John, well, he wasn't beating around the bush by any means.  He had singled her out in the college canteen two days after the start of term and this was the result, he wasn't wasting any time and she wondered if he did this at the last college he taught at and if that was the reason he left, for getting involved with a female student or students.

"I'm not answering that, bye, until Saturday."  She reached for the door handle when he put his hand on her arm.  "Bye Rose, until Saturday and if it's ok, can I have your phone number?"

He had deliberately left it until the last minute, he was sly, so she reeled her number off and hoped he had a good memory and was out of the door before he had the chance to protest.  She stood on the pavement for a few minutes and she could see he was putting the number in his phone in a hurry before he forgot it and saw him smile to himself and put his phone in his pocket.  He saw her watching and smiled, then he waved and blew her a kiss before he drove off.

"Smart-arse" she laughed as he drove off.  He'd not offered her his number though she noticed and she usually ignored unknown numbers.

Over dinner, her mother asked how she was setting down at the start of the new term and if she had made any new friends.  Then it struck her, she could actually get away with this by saying that John was an older student as long as she didn't go into too many details and didn't let slip he was a tutor.  That would certainly avoid her having to use her friends as an excuse.  She could start off saying she fancied him, which she did but if it progressed, she would avoid all the awkward questions and hopefully by the time her mother and Pete realised, she would be properly over twenty one and have left college so it wouldn't matter.

She might not actually like if they did start dating anyway and it would be easy to avoid him, she wasn't in his science class.  He was nice, he was flirty and funny with a dry sense of humour and he was so like the Doctor it was unbelievable but did she only fancy him for that?  Did she have the right to use John as a substitute?  She didn't even know John properly yet so she couldn't compare them anyway.

Her mother asked her again.  "Earth to Rose!" Jackie laughed.  "I asked if you'd made any new friends yet?"  She could tell her daughter was on a different planet and she had probably met a man she fancied.  That would certainly take her mind off that daft alien she now pined after.

"Actually, there is this older student I met yesterday.  He's in the science class and he came to sit with me in the canteen.  He's a bit of a science geek but he's nice although he's a bit of a smart-arse," Rose smiled, thinking to when he had blown her a kiss as he waved goodbye earlier.

Pete stayed quiet, he knew better than to interrupt mother and daughter even in his own house.  It was something he was getting used to and was enjoying the company.  Better than being on his own.  He had considered selling the house after the invasion of the Cybermen but had got it all restored and was thinking about renting it out and getting a flat in the city but before he had finalised anything, trouble had erupted again and he'd got mixed up in it and ended up by giving sanctuary to Rose and her mother after Mickey had explained everything to him.

How could he leave the two women to fend for themselves on a world they didn't belong in?  Plus he owed Rose for trying to rescue his wife and this Jackie was growing on him, he'd even taken her out a few times though it was always hard to explain just how she looked like his first wife but Jake seemed to be good at cover-up stories and he was careful where he went.  Maybe he wasn't so old that he couldn't have a bit of happiness in his life.

Getting bored of watching TV, Rose wondered where he was going to take her on Saturday and if it was only going to be walking around the shopping mall.  She could live with that, dragging a man around window shopping, it could be quite fun, watching him squirm when she dragged him in fashion shops and lingerie ones, see if he blushed.  She used to do that with Mickey on her day off, watch him get embarrassed when she held a matching bra and knickers set in front of her asking what he thought!  He used to squirm like crazy, making excuses he'd run out of chewing gum and heading for the exit.  She wondered if John would do the same even though she hardly knew him but it could be a big turnoff so maybe not on a first time shopping trip.  Or was it a date?  No, dates were for the evening, being taken out for a meal or the cinema or the pub and she'd turned him down on that point.

Ha!  That was probably why he'd asked for her phone number, he was going to ring her and persuade her to go out the following evening.  Well, he was out of luck because she wasn't going to change her mind, was she?  Definitely not, under no circumstances was she going to change her mind, let him stew on a low heat for 24 hrs then serve when he was dying for her company!  End of internal dilemma, or so she thought.

She had just gone to her room, it was after ten, she had work the next day.  She might live under the same roof as Pete Tyler but she had to earn her and her mother's keep although he gave her full time highest rate wages for two days work and allowed her mother to take care of the running of the house for him, sort of an unpaid housekeeper without the title and Jackie enjoyed every minute of it.  Pete even gave her money for extras she needed.  She had never even stayed in a hotel as big or posh as this house let alone and she had soon made herself at home and all the staff answered to her, not that she bossed them around, she would sit in the kitchen and laugh and joke with the cook and cleaners many a morning when they were supposed to be working, they all loved her as none of them had known the original Jackie Tyler and it never bothered her that she was Pete's dead wife's double.

Unknown to Rose, although she had her suspicions, Jackie and Pete were getting on very well when she wasn't around.  Staying up late watching TV and the odd glance across the dinner table.  Pete Tyler was just as clueless as the Doctor was in that department.  Rose hoped they would find each other eventually, they both had lost a lot.

Rose had just come out of her en-suite bathroom when her mobile rang.  It wasn't Mickey or Jake, they sometimes rang late for a chat, it was an unknown mobile number and she could only guess with would be John.  She answered very carefully with a quiet "Hello?"

A very sexy male voice was on the other end of the line.  "Well hello there Rose, I hope I've not disturb you, have I?  Did I wake you?"

Rose decided to string him along and see if he got tangled up.  "Who is this?  I can have this call traced you know!" she half laughed.

"Aw, you wouldn't do that Rose?  It's me, John!" he laughed.  "I suppose it serves me right for not giving you my phone number – sorry."

"John why are you ringing me at this time, it's after ten you know, I could have been asleep, I have work tomorrow."

"I was thinking about you and well, like I said, I never gave you my number.  I can call back another time."

He sounded disappointed. "Well now you have my attention and I have your phone number, anything else?''  She tried not to sound too annoyed with him.

"Well, there was one thing, would you change your mind and have a drink with me tomorrow night?  Please?  I could pick you after work?  If you tell me where you work?  No-one would know, would they?" he asked enthusiastically.

She couldn't think of a valid excuse.  "It's not a good idea John, we're meeting on Saturday aren't we?"

"That's a day time date, not a night one."  It sounded like a statement and his voice was loosing it's spark.

Rose knew if she wasn't careful, he would go off her faster than he tried to pick her up yesterday so she had to relent.  "Well ok then, just one drink after work but don't wait outside for me."  She gave him the name of a nearby pub.  "I'll meet you at half five.  Do you know where it is?"

"I'll find it, don't worry.  Thanks Rose, see you tomorrow then?" he sounded a lot happier.

Rose wondered why he was being so persistent and if indeed she should have made him wait but she did like him.  "Yeah, see you tomorrow then."

Next morning at breakfast, she told Pete she wouldn't be needing a ride home that evening.  It came as no surprise since her mother had mentioned it to him after Rose went to bed.

"So who is this male student at college then?" Pete asked.  He may not be her father but he was over-protective when it came to Rose's identity, the few people who knew the better and he knew for a fact Rose had not had a boyfriend since being there, she had been too upset over losing the Doctor to even look at anyone else and poor Mickey had not stood a chance of picking up where they had left off.  So for Rose to suddenly announce she had met a male student was something of a novelty.

"I told you last night, his name's John and he's a science student.  He's older than me, he's gone back to college after giving up the first time to do something else that didn't work out.  I'm just going for a drink with him after work, it's no big deal."

Well she hoped it wasn't, getting the third degree from a man who wasn't her father.

"Well, just you be careful what you tell him, the less about yourself the better and if not, you know what to say."

Rose indeed knew too well the cover story but was hoping it wouldn't come to that.
Chapter 3
Rose made her way to the pub just after five thirty and looked around the lounge but there was no sign of John.  She went to the ladies room and when she came back in, he was sitting in a corner and waved her over.  They talked for a while and it was almost eight before they both realised they were hungry.  The pub wasn't serving food so they left and got into John's car, he had been drinking non-alcoholic beer and they drove into the nearest suburban area, parking on the street and they looked for a café.

"Not much open Rose, we could go to McDonald's," he laughed.

"Cheapskate," Rose laughed as he took her hand and they looked around.  They both smiled.  It was only a matter of time before they would be calling each other names and she would be telling him to his face he was a smart-arse.

"Huh, Miss stuck-up?" he laughed back, nudging her with his elbow.

Rose hadn't even realised he had taken hold of her hand but it was getting dark so she figured he was just trying to keep her safe.  They found a takeaway that had some seats and ordered, sitting near the window.  He watched her as she was eating, like he had never seen anyone eat before.  She stared back at him and nudged his leg under the table.  He smiled.

They finished and walked back to his car, John making sure she was in and the door closed before he got in.  He really was being protective even though there were only a few people around.  He dropped her off at the bus stop again and pulled up.

"So, see you at eleven then?"  He put his hand on her arm. "Rose, please call me when you get inside, I want to know you're safe," he said, reaching his hand to touch her cheek.  "I'm going to wait here until you get round the corner, OK?"  Rose nodded.  "Night Rose, I had a great time tonight."  He leaned forward and gave her a peck on her cheek.

Rose thought he was getting bold but there was no harm in kissing his cheek in return.  She did so and said, ''Goodnight John, I enjoyed it too."

She got out of the car and waved as he waited.  She was inside in five minutes, the driveway was already lit up, something Pete had installed after the invasion and she turned the key in the lock.  Once inside she quickly dialled John's number to tell him she was inside and said goodnight again.

The next morning, glad now she didn't have to pretend she was meeting friends, they met at the coffee shop and walked around for a while then got into John's car and drove all the way down to Regent's Park.  Walking hand in hand, hopefully far enough away from the college, they sat down for a drink at one of the cafés, John teasing her the latte might not be up to the standards of the coffee shops she frequented and getting a kick under the table for his troubles.

"So, how long have you been training at Vitex then?" he asked.

Rose didn't want to talk about work.  "Can we just chance the subject?"

John got the hint, asking her likes and dislikes, Rose finding out his and they discovered the both like the same kind of music and the same films and both wanted to see one that had just come out so after the park, they drove to the nearest cinema where they could park and waited for the film, getting giant hotdogs and soda before going in, John asking if she was sure she wanted to be seen eating it after turning down a fast food chain last night and got a thump on the arm for it and Rose giggled, purposely slurping her drink much to John's embarrassment as people were passing.  Rose just smiled at him and he forgot to be mad at her, her smile could melt him and he knew it.

Sitting nearer the back so they could hold hands and so no-one was sat behind them so John could craftily sneak his arm around her twenty minutes into the film, they enjoyed the film although when something made everybody in the cinema jump she buried her head into his shoulder and he held her even tighter.

They talked about the film on the way out, it was just getting dark as they walked back to the car and got in.  People were driving away, John waited and turned to look at Rose.  He thought she looked beautiful, her pink t-shirt, blue jeans and the white thin jacket she was now wearing and when they had been eating earlier, he'd smiled to himself.  He knew he shouldn't be pursuing a student despite her not being in his class but she was irresistible, he had been drawn to her somehow, he didn't know how but he felt she had been waiting for him.  He had the choice of two colleges and he'd chosen the one she was attending.  Maybe he should have chosen the other one then, if he'd met her then there wouldn't be a problem.

Rose was waiting to go home and nudged him.  "So are we going to wait here all night or are you going to take me home?"

John started the car and said "Sorry."  He was trying to delay taking her home and he knew it.

Getting to the corner of her road, he took a chance and asked if he could see her the next day, knowing he was pushing his luck but surprisingly she said yes, whether to keep him quiet or otherwise he didn't know but he was glad she did so they arranged to meet by the river and take a boat ride.

She was just getting out of the car when he touched her arm.  "Goodnight Rose, thanks for a lovely day."  He pushed a strand of her hair back and kissed her cheek.

Rose responded by kissing his but just as she did she caught the corner of his mouth.  He smiled and turned into it and caught hers.  She blushed and felt for the door handle but it was too late.  She felt his lips searching for hers and he kissed her lightly on the lips for just a second which sent her quivering.  She kissed him back and this time she didn't resist.

They met the following day at two by the river and got on a boat at Westminster, John leaving his car at home and taking the tube and Rose getting the bus, they took a ride down to Greenwich market and looked around, having afternoon tea and walking around hand in hand.  John bought Rose a brightly coloured scarf which she wore around her neck and on the boat back, they laughed because he had bought a Beatles t-shirt with the famous crossing after he admitted he had to go by it every morning which gave the game away as to roughly where he lived.  He asked if she wanted to go back to his flat but it was a bad idea she said so they went to get something to eat, not a fast food chain at Rose's insistence and he still called her a stuck-up.

Rose retaliated by saying she wasn't, he told her to prove it so they went into another similar restaurant so she could.  They were teasing each other, he was talking about a science project he had set, she called him 'geek' then he said she was still Miss Boring until they ended up getting looked at when they both laughed. They retreated back into the street, it was around seven, still light and Rose found where she could get her bus home, the tube station was further away and she would have to get a bus anyway and he waited with her.

"So tomorrow, we have to ignore each other John," she said, a sad look in her eyes as he put his arm around her as they sat in the bus shelter.

"It won't be to bad Rose.  I thought though you didn't go on Mondays, I didn't see you last Monday."

"That's because my class started Tuesday last week, I had to change the days to get three in.  Back to normal this week, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday."

"Oh, well maybe we can still meet afterwards, I'll wait for you in the café we went to on Friday, is it on your bus route?"

Rose said it was and just as her bus arrived, he gave her a kiss on the cheek and waved goodbye.  It wasn't easy the next day, trying to avoid each other, Rose trying to think of another way to avoid any trouble he might get into.  She had to tell her mother she had spent the weekend with him, she wasn't surprised.

From then on for the next month or so, they would play hide and seek at the college.  When Rose was there, they would meet at the coffee shop and go different places, never to his flat although he did try to coax her there once or twice and when she was working, they would meet in the pub and go get something to eat.  They were still name calling and laughing about it.  John would stop around the corner and drop her off, it was getting dark early and they would just kiss before she got out.

It was early November, they had been seeing each other for two months.  Rose still hadn't admitted where she lived, which surprised John but she still hadn't been to his flat either.  They had met after Rose had finished work, still managing not to be detected inside the college, John just occasional saying hello as he stopped by her table, still asking if she wanted to join his class and they had laughed about it afterwards.  They saw each other almost every night unless John had to stay late since there were now evening classes and he had two, on nights Rose was at work so she just went straight home and they would meet later but they would spend the weekends together even when it got colder.  They would go to the cinema on Saturday afternoons, sometimes they would go to a museum.

Then things changed.  He brought the subject of where she lived back up again when he took her home one Friday night in the middle of November.  It was complicated.  She had to admit that she and her mother lived with Pete Tyler.

"What?  You mean THE Pete Tyler?  How come?  Is he your uncle or something?"

"No, it's complicated John, I can't go into it. He gave us a place to stay when we had nothing, we just share the same name that's all.  We lost everything, we were involved when the Cybermen attacked, our home was lost and we helped him and he repaid us by taking us in."  That was part of their cover story but enough to make John take pity on her and not ask any more questions for the time being anyway.

"Oh Rose, I'm so sorry, I had no idea you could have been caught up in all that.  You must have been very young.  I won't ask any more and you just tell me the parts that you're comfortable with when you want to.  I'm so sorry Rose.  It wasn't too bad where I was, I was in Brighton, there wasn't much trouble there, they must have been stopped in time.  You helped stop them?  Pete Tyler was involved with Lumic, everyone knew that but didn't he work with Lumic?"

Rose leapt to Pete's defence.  "No, his company got taken over but when he found out what was going on, he joined a group of freedom fighters and stopped it.  I got roped up in it through my then boyfriend, he was part of it."  Well it was sort of true.  For Rose it was two years ago, for the rest of this world it was around five but she wasn't entirely sure, Pete never gave details.  Very little time had elapsed in her own world between her visits.

John leaned over and kissed her.  "That's all I need to know Rose, I shouldn't have said anything, I'm sorry."

They said goodnight and he blew her a kiss as he waved goodbye as he did every time he dropped her off and Saturday mornings, he would pick her up at the same bus stop.  They had been to the cinema in the late afternoon when he asked if she would go to his flat for the umpteenth time and this time she relented.

"I promise I'll take you home, just let's spend some time together, we always go out.  We'll call and get some take-out food and we can talk."

Rose was surprised how well organised his flat was.  It was a first floor studio apartment, one bedroom but it was large and a large living room and a gorgeous soft leather sofa and chairs that Rose just sank into.  They watched a film on TV and Rose was getting bored and he could tell.  It was half nine, they had been laid on the sofa, his arm around her.

"Rose, why don't you stay tonight?"

She had been dreading that question and wondered why he had suddenly decided to up the stakes on their relationship.

"You can have the bedroom, I'll sleep on the sofa then tomorrow, why don't we go down to the market again and buy some of that cheese you said you like and we'll make cheese toasties when we come back?  We can have an early lunch.  What do you say?"

"I don't have anything with me," Rose replied, thinking if she stayed they would make something out of it and she wasn't quite ready yet.

"Oh, you can borrow one of my white t-shirts to sleep in and you can pick up some things at the market, get changed when we get back.  We've had too good a day and I don't want it to end by taking you home.  I take it your family knows you have a boyfriend?  You didn't tell them I was a tutor did you?"  He looked kind of in a panic at that thought.

"No, I didn't Mr 'worried about your reputation'.  I told them you were an older science student gone back to college and I didn't tell my mum how old you are either."

"What?  You said I was a student?  Rose Tyler, Miss Devious!  And you got away with it?" he laughed, going to tickle her.

Rose laughed and smacked his hand.  "Well what was I supposed to say?  That I'm going out with a tutor but hey, I'm not in his class so technically it doesn't count." He went to tickle her again, Rose trying to squirm out of his grasp.

They fell together, kissing.  John leaned her back on the cushion and this time, they didn't stop like they would if they were in the car.

"If I stay though," Rose managed when they had snogged the life out of each other for the first time, "I'll sleep on the sofa, you wouldn't stand a chance sleeping on it, Mr long legs," she said, nudging his knee out of the way as if to prove a point.  She had be dying to give him a proper snogging since they first met.

"Well, alright, I've got a spare duvet in the cupboard, Miss Tyler, I'll go get it and a spare t-shirt and you can get changed in the bathroom.  You can sleep in a pair of my shorts if you like!  Then you can rinse out your underwear and it will dry overnight."

Rose sniggered.  "I don't think so but thanks for the offer!" she laughed as he got up. She could just imagine him looking at her knickers and getting ideas.

He went into his bedroom and got a t-shirt.  Rose called after him.  "Oh yeah, I hang my underwear in your bathroom and you see it when you go in!" she laughed, shivering at the thought but it was tempting, to wear his shorts.

He came back out of the bedroom and tossed her the white t-shirt.  "Can I bring you some coffee in the morning Rose?" he asked hopefully.  "Or is my coffee not up to your usual standards, Miss latte?"

"Yes, you can bring me coffee although you could buy a more expensive brand, cheapskate," she replied as she tried to pass him to go into the bathroom.

He stood his ground.  "So are we going to keep calling each other names?" he asked, as he sneaked a kiss.

Rose kissed him back and said, "Oh yes, I'm enjoying this," as she deliberately prolonged the kiss and let go of his lips slowly and ducked under his arm, retreating towards the bathroom door, leaving him with a stunned look on his face.

John went back to his bedroom, wondering just what kind of game they were playing.  It had been nearly three months and this was the first time she had come home with him and he was letting her sleep on his sofa.  He was hoping for something a bit more elaborate, a definite step forward in their relationship.  Maybe she was afraid it would spill over into their college environment.  He wasn't sure he could handle it either, seeing her in the college and trying to ignore her now was bad enough but if things progressed like he wanted them to, it would make it ten times worse.
Chapter 4
Rose sneaked back to the sofa, wearing John's t-shirt, no bra and just her knickers which she had refreshed a bit without getting them too wet and using some talc and turning out the lamp slipped under the duvet.  The door was still open, the hall light was on and she heard him moving around.  He stood in the doorway, asking for a goodnight kiss so he crossed over and leaned over the edge.

"Sure you don't want to borrow some of my shorts Rose," he teased.

Rose declined to answer and said goodnight, smiling to herself.  He just wanted to see her underwear hung up and would get a kick out of it after all this time.

She was woken the next morning with a "Come on Rose, rise and shine!  I've made you some coffee and I'll go make you some breakfast."  He passed her coffee and she took a sip.

He sat at the side of her on the edge of the sofa and took the cup from her.  Her hair was ruffled and she hadn't woken up fully but she smiled and he leaned down to kiss her, which led to him lying on her on top of the duvet.  He brushed her hair back and said, "You look beautiful Rose."

Rose tried to hide her head under the duvet but he pulled it back and smiled, stroking her cheek.  "Rose, it's been almost three moths and all we've done is gone out almost every night and weekends.  I really thought we might have moved on by now."  He kissed her again, putting his arm around her, feeling the thinness of the t-shirt, touching the back of her neck.

The t-shirt was too big for her and there was a gap he could have got his hand down if he'd wanted.  "Rose, can I get under the duvet with you?" he asked out of the blue.

Rose looked at him, she so wanted him but things being as they were, she couldn't risk it.  There was only two months before she could go on study leave and then it wouldn't matter, they could be open about their relationship and she wanted nothing to spoil it.  It wasn't that she was under age and what they were doing was wrong, it wasn't.  It was those stupid rules in force at the college to safeguard both students and tutors alike and they both knew they were going to break them before Rose could leave.  They had talked about it, John saying they would just appear casual until the time came she could resume her studies at home, just two more months, that was all.  So near but yet so far and they both knew they would never last that long and it was about to happen.

Rose looked into his brown eyes.  She could get lost in those eyes, the same eyes as the Doctor without all the pain and sorrow he carried with him.  John was younger, carefree and available, very available and she could have him any time she wanted.  All she had to do was snap her fingers and he was hers and they both knew it.  Three months they had been together, she had to give him something more than just kisses although after last night they were at least snogging now and he was very good at it.  She relented and pulled the duvet back slightly and turned onto her side.  He didn't need a further invitation but before he did, he surprised her by cheekily unbuttoning his jeans and pulling them off, leaving him in his striped shorts and his purple t-shirt.

"Oi, what you doing?" Rose laughed as he pulled the duvet back, revealing her legs and sliding his hand on them then slipping under the duvet and pulling it back.

"Oh Rosie, come on!  Can't we move on a bit?  That snogging is really something you know, can't we do some more snogging under the duvet?"

It was a simple enough question Rose reasoned.  She supposed there was no harm and they had to move at some point.  Two months, she thought.

They did plenty of snogging, laid on their sides facing each other, keeping a gap between their lower halves but Rose sensed he was edging closer when she felt his knee next to hers.  She didn't try to move him though.

John suggested they upped the game and she went to lay on him and as he tried to move without falling off, he had just got under her when she whispered, "Take your t-shirt off."

He didn't need telling twice as he whipped it over his head in five seconds flat, grinning and flinging it over the back of the sofa.  Then he pulled the duvet down slightly so just their lower halves were covered and put his arms around her waist as they continued kissing.  He took advantage of the gap in the t-shirt she had 'borrowed' which was loose on her and he could feel her as she lay on him as he whispered her name, reaching down the gap at the back and touching her neck area, then putting his hands under her arms and reaching in the gap of the sleeves and touching her bare shoulders, brushing her with his arm. The t-shirt was covering her knickers, just about as he reached down the gap, rubbing his hand on her back.  He moved the hand that was on her neck to around her waist, trying to edge his way up the hem of it, the hand on her shoulder was trying to reach around to the front.

He whispered, "Rose, let me pull your t-shirt up?"

Without her answering, he pulled the shirt up slightly, she could feel he wanted to pull it up further but he didn't.  "Why are you so scared Rose?  Is it because we might get found out?"  Rose nodded, laying her head on his shoulder and her arms around his neck.  "Two months Rose, just two months and we're home and dry.  We won't have to worry anymore.  Let's just get as close as we can until then.  You do want to get closer to me don't you?"  He looked down at her.

Rose responded by getting comfortable on him, he could feel her closeness next to him, could feel her skin next to his as they kissed again.  Rose giggled as she felt something beneath her and he went "ooops!"  She stayed where she was though, just moving slightly to one side, John smiling.

"That was your fault Miss torment," he said, also trying to move.

"You were just using it as an excuse for me wear your shorts and hang my knickers up in your bathroom, come on, admit it, you were weren't you?" she laughed, looking up at him.

"Well you should have brought some spares, shouldn't you? Miss clever,"

Rose tried to get up, trying to crawl over him avoiding the spot but failing and landing with her feet on the floor and was just about to get up when he pulled her back to kiss her again.

"Smart-arse," she said as she tried to get up again.

"Spoilsport," he said as she broke free, pulling the t-shirt back over her bum and walking off into the bathroom.

How was she going to get them dry now?  A knock came on the door.  "Rose, you can borrow these if you open the door," he said.

Rose opened the door a bit and he handed a pair of plain blue jersey shorts to her. "You can put those in the wash if you want, I'll be loading the machine before we go out.  You could buy some more while we're out and you can keep some spare ones here.  That's if you want to stay over again, like tonight perhaps?"

"That's not a good idea, I have college tomorrow as you well know and I'll have to get changed but I'll stay next weekend, if you want?"

"Well, why don't you call and get a few things, I'll wait for you and we'll come back here.  I can drop you off near the college in the morning and you can walk the rest of the way?  I really want you to stay tonight Rose, please?  I promise I'll behave."

"Are you sure you can behave, judging by what just happened?" Rose giggled.  He went red.  "Oh alright, just keep yourself under control eh?"

On the way to the market, Rose got John to wait around the corner while she got a few things.  Jackie knew by now Rose was spending more time with her boyfriend and was happy for her, asking to meet him.  Rose didn't think it was such a good idea, she didn't want Jackie to blurt out who he looked like for starters.

They wandered around the market for ages, John added another t-shirt to his collection, Rose bought some underwear and once back at his flat was glad to get changed.

"You can keep your spares in one of my dresser drawers if you like Rose," he said as she came out of the bathroom and had dropped his shorts into the laundry basket, she was not relishing the thought of him handling her underwear while he was getting his shorts out of the drawer and she told him so.  He just laughed.

They made cheese toasties and settled to watch a film they chose and laid on the sofa, Rose had her legs sprawled over him and had just a t-shirt on as his hand tried to crawl up the front of it and Rose finally getting tired of slapping it when he did, leaving it resting on her stomach.  They began kissing before the film had finished and John asked if she was staying on the sofa again.

"Do you want me to?" she asked, putting her arms around his neck.

He switched the film and the TV off and leaned down to kiss her.  "What do you think?" then he gathered her into his arms and they got up, kissing all the way to the bedroom.

They did plenty more kissing, John taking his t-shirt off and Rose ending up borrowing a t-shirt again when he complained about her pyjama shorts which she changed in the bathroom.  After setting his alarm earlier so they had time for breakfast, they settled down, no more accidents hopefully, Rose still giggling about what had happened when he was getting over enthusiastic earlier but they managed to get closer after a while.

Rose woke early, before the alarm went off and tried to get up without disturbing him but failed.  After some snogging, he asked when he was going to get to meet her mother and the famous Peter Tyler.  There was also the subject of Christmas coming up and John had planned to go to Brighton to see his mother but was thinking of putting it off to stay with Rose.

"No, you have to go, don't worry about me, we can spend New Year together, you go see your mother."  She knew how important it was to her to spend the holidays with family and it only seemed to her like a year since the Doctor had regenerated and they had faced an alien invasion.

"Aw Rose, I want to spend it with you, why don't you come with me?"

"That's not a good idea, what if she finds out I'm a student?  No, we can't risk it John. You go visit her, then we'll spend the New Year together.  After that, there will be only a few weeks before I can go on study leave.  Please John, I don't mind really, you need to spend Christmas with your family, it's important."

"Did you spend last Christmas with your mother Rose?"

"Yeah, we spent it with Pete, had a big party.  My mum loves parties.  Always has too much to drink of course.  I caught them kissing under the mistletoe though they denied it was anything other than that.  They haven't got a clue, I just wish they would get their act together and put me out of my misery."

John laughed and went to kiss her again.  "Tell me about your past Rose, I mean your real past, not just what you told me."

"Well, that could take some time and we have to go to college so how about I tell you later?"  She had to decide now just how much she was going to tell him.

Later never came.  They met and went to eat but he never asked her.  They had decided Rose would only stay weekends at his flat from Friday night and Jackie had confronted her about it, saying she hoped Rose knew what she was doing but was secretly glad that her daughter was finally settling down and given up the notion of somehow getting back to their universe.  Rose offered to tell him the whole story on the Friday night so he had to settle for it and she decided he was going to get the whole works – well with a few exceptions until she knew exactly how he would react but he was an intelligent man, a science geek so she figured he would have at least a theory of other dimensions and it wouldn't seem that far-fetched.

So Friday night, they settled down on the sofa and she told him where she had come from.  He listened attentively.
Chapter 5
"I thought with you having degrees in science, you deserved the whole explanation John," she said as she finished telling him.  Anyone else she wouldn't have trusted.

"Well, I've had theories ever since those Cybermen were here because there is no way they just disappeared like that, they had to go somewhere.  They went to your world?"  Rose nodded.  "And Peter Tyler brought you here to safety and now he looks after you both?  I can live with that Rose, why did you think it was so bad that you couldn't tell me?"

"I don't know, it's just something we don't talk about but now we've got closer, I wanted you to know what you were letting yourself in for.  So you believe it all then?"

Rose was quite relieved he had taken it all so well.  Perhaps she could tell him the rest but it would be better coming from Pete and she couldn't tell him about Torchwood without his permission anyway.  "There is more you know," she said, kissing him to see if things had changed.  They hadn't as he kissed her back.

"Come and meet Pete Tyler tomorrow and he'll tell you the rest.  I can't tell you, it's not up to me but he'll fill you in.  I'll call him in the morning and we'll arrange for you two to meet, plus you can meet my mum but there is something you should know or you'll wonder why you get stared at when you walk in."

"Oh Rose, I don't think anything will put me off now I at least know some of it.  Go on, you may as well tell me then.  You are from Earth on this other universe aren't you?  I mean you're not from another planet or anything and these Cybermen, they really are gone for good aren't they?"

"Yes, they're gone and yes, I'm from Earth but that friend I told you about, the one that sealed off the universes, he wasn't, he was from another planet."

"Right, ok, I can cope with that.  You weren't involved with him were you?  I mean you said he was just a friend."

"We were just friends, that's all John but the other thing is, he looked just like you."

John's face dropped and he sat up. "Is that why you fancied me Rose?  Because I remind you of your friend?  Please tell me it's not.  I love you Rose."

"No, I fancied you because you were flirting with me, you make me laugh, we have fun and it was never like that between him and me, we never were more than friends."  She never added that despite her best efforts she had failed in that department but there was no point in making this even worse.  He had said he loved her and she realised she loved him.

She pulled him back down again, pressing her lips close to his, ready for another snogging session if he accepted it.  "I love you too John, since the moment you flirted with me the second day."

"Oh, only the second day then?  I failed miserably the first time didn't I?" he looked disappointed but he wasn't fooling her.

She nudged him.  "Only because I thought you were a smart-arse and I knew you were flirting with me.  I wanted to see if you were serious."

"And now?  You still think I'm a smart-arse?" he laughed.

"Oh yes, you're definitely still a smart-arse."

"Right, that's it, you're in trouble now Miss other universe, come here."  He went to tickle her and they fell back on the sofa kissing.

They went to the bedroom, Rose went to get changed into a new low cut short nightdress with matching knickers she had treated herself to, she didn't think his t-shirts were very flattering to her figure or sexier now they were sharing a bed. She stood in front of him as he lay in bed, his shorts and t-shirt on and he watched her, pulling the covers back.  She crawled over to him and whispered in his ear, "I want you."

She lay beside him and they kissed.  "Can we just take it slowly though, I don't want to rush things John."

"Sure, of course we can.  You made me very happy Rose, you said you wanted me." He put both arms around her and pulled her close.  "I want you too Rose, I love you."  He took off his t-shirt and they kissed, getting closer to be together.

John woke Rose the next morning with a kiss, starting with her neck and working his way down to her shoulder.  She wafted him away but he persisted.

"I love waking up with you Rose, do you love waking up with me?  'Cos if you do, you could always move in with me, you know, when you go on study leave.  Until then, we have the weekends and the holidays.  College finishes in two weeks so we can spend more time together.  What do you say Rose, will you move in with me?"

She didn't have to think about it, she said yes and they fooled around to celebrate but for the next two weeks, they still had to be careful at the college.  They went out for the morning and then went to meet Pete Tyler.  Jackie just stared opened mouthed when Rose introduced John as her boyfriend and Pete took it rather well since Rose had already warned him.  They didn't hide the fact they were now together, John had his arm around her as he shook Pete's hand and took Jackie's hand and kissed the back of it and calling her Mrs Tyler.

Jackie made tea and they sat in one of the living rooms, John playing along with Rose's story he was a student so as not incur anyone's wrath at a tutor dating a student.  Finally, Pete got up and said it was time for he and John to have their talk.  Rose had explained what she had already told him and Pete was to fill in the gaps and if he felt John could take it, to tell him about the rebuilding of Torchwood so she could tell him she wasn't training to run an office at Vitex, she was training to run a team at Torchwood.  Pete suggested she stayed and talked to her mother and explain exactly how long it was going to be before she had told her who John looked like.

It was almost an hour before Pete came back into the room.  He had intended showing John the video from the night the attack took place and explain to him how time was different here and why Rose appeared to be a different age amongst other things.  Pete was on his own and Rose thought the worst had happened, that John had been unable to accept the rest of it and had left without saying goodbye to spare her the pain of breaking her heart.

"Rose, I think you should go to my study and speak to John, he needs to tell you something." Pete said.

Rose was relieved John hadn't left.  She loved him and it wasn't because of who he looked like either.  John was completely different.  He didn't hold back on his feelings, he made her feel her love was returned and he was all hers.  She went quickly to Pete's study and John was seated at Pete's desk, staring at a photo of Rose and the Doctor from the night they had posed as serving staff at the party, the night the Cybermen attacked.  Rose stood in the doorway, waiting to get his attention but he didn't say anything, he just stared at the screen.  Rose thought this was it, he was going to tell her he didn't love her, that she only loved him because he looked like the man on the screen and by the way they had looked at each other that had been more than just friends, the look on their faces told a different story, you could see quite plainly the love in their eyes and they had been the last one's to see it.

While looking at the photo, Rose had to admit to herself she had been fooling no-one, least herself she had loved the Doctor but her love had not been returned and they had done nothing about it so it didn't count.  She had only kissed him while being possessed and the most she had done was kiss his forehead while he had been wearing a helmet on Sanctuary Base One and told him she loved him just as his image had disappeared on the beach in Norway.  All that time she had wasted and now she had been wasting time with John, always assuming the both of them were going to be around forever and look how fast the Doctor had been snatched from her or rather she had been snatched from him in a flash, mere seconds and her life with him was over, he was gone forever.

She couldn't let John go but judging by his silence, this was it – it was all over between them and she had lost him.  She didn't think she could take it, not again. She had barely recovered from that day on the beach but John had made her forget all that.  They had been happy and now she knew exactly how Mickey had felt when she effectively dumped him to run off in the first place.  She was about to turn and walk away when he spoke.

"Rose, we have to talk."

"If you're going to leave me, then just do it John, I can't go through all that again, just go.  I told you all I could tell you, all I was allowed to tell you and I reckon Pete told you the rest since you can't even face me now so when you're ready, just go.  I'll keep out of your way in college so don't worry about that, I won't make a fuss or report you."  She was crying now, her voice was faltering and she was about to turn.

John got up and caught her as she turned.  "Do you love Rose?  Do you love me, Doctor John Smith?"

Rose simply said "Yes."

"Oh Rose, I love you, I always have done since we first met, come here."  He went up to her and put his arms around her and pulled her into a big hug reminiscent of one's she used to share with the Doctor and her eyes widened.  Then he looked at her. "It's me Rose, really me, the Doctor."

Rose held him back. "What?"

"That's usually my line.  OK, what was the first thing I ever said to you?"

"You asked my why I wasn't in your class."

"No.  I asked your name and told you to run.  In a basement in a London department store."

"How could possibly know that?  Even Pete doesn't know that or my mother."

"Because I was the one that said it to you, in your own universe.  It's me Rose, well technically it's me, same thoughts, same memories, same great hair.  Sit down Rose, I've got some explaining to do."

He proceeded to tell her what happened.  That in her old universe, his hand that had been cut off by the leader of the Sycorax had been found by Jack, had been returned to him and how a woman called Donna had touched the hand and he had been created out of it.  How the Daleks had nearly succeeded in taking over all of reality, every single one apart from the one they were in now because they had been stopped in time to prevent them wiping out every living thing in all realities and how there had just been a gap big enough to bring him here, to be with her.

"The thing is Rose, the other Doctor got his timing a bit wrong, well you know me, I mean us, landing at the wrong time as usual.  I found myself in Brighton of all places after he dropped me at Bad Wolf Bay.  We had talked about it, he wanted me to stay and travel with him but he also wanted you Rose, so badly, his hearts ached for you every moment of his existence since we lost you.  This was a rare opportunity to make it up to you.  He couldn't bring himself to face you after leaving you here so we decided, both of us that we loved you so much, I would come here and find you but something happened.  So I would fit in here, the Tardis invented a life for me and integrated me into society so I would blend in, invented a whole life story but I had just enough awareness to find you and something drew me to the college you were enrolled in and I fell in love with you and what I didn't remember was, there was a trigger, the two of us being together here in this house on the night of the invasion but things started coming back to me, when you told me about your old life.  I was getting some of my memory back.  My memory was scrambled by the Tardis because I'm not fully a Timelord, I'm part human and it affected me differently but I knew when I met you, I wanted to be with you and it was only the day after college started.  I had a choice of two and I chose yours, I believed I was brought up in Brighton because that's what was invented for me and it's all coming back to me now, what we both planned in the Tardis before I left. How I would find you and be reunited with you but it took three months and I'm sorry for that, I really am but it was your reluctance to tell me about your past. Didn't you find it strange how alike we looked?"

Rose didn't know what to say.  Was this really possible, that he had found her?

"I only have one heart Rose Tyler and it belongs to you.  Don't you see?  I fell in love with you before I knew who I was, before my memory came back and you fell in love with me before I knew and before I told you.  We were meant to be together Rose, you know deep inside we were and we couldn't be, not in the other universe. There was always the possibility we would get separated and we almost were, several times but now Rose, not even being in different universes can keep us apart, I was born to love you, the desire to get you back was over-powering, it was burned into me when I was brought into existence because you were the most precious and important thing to me and after you were lost, my hearts were broken.  It was meant to be Rose, you and I together.  We belong with each other, we always have been and falling in love with you all over again proves it to me.  I have one life Rose, I don't get any second chances, I won't regenerate, I'll grow old at the same rate as you and I want to spend the only life I have with you, if you'll have me?"

Rose put her hand on his heart, his one heart.  How could this man be standing here telling her he was the Doctor?  Everything in her heart was telling her he had found her again after all this time but it was John she loved now but did it matter if he was the same person?

"So, the last three months, you didn't know who you were?" she asked, trying to get her head around it.  John nodded.  "And it wasn't until I told you about where I come from that you started to remember?  How long have you been here?  Why did he make you forget?"

"He didn't, it was a side-effect of the Tardis integrating me here.  It wasn't meant to happen, I was suppose to be left here just to find you which shouldn't have taken all that long but with the timing being wrong, he couldn't wait here and he couldn't just keep trying to get to the right time period.  I think I'd only been here a short time but as you well know time passes differently here.  I think about two years may have passed in the other universe but I'd probably been here maybe a month or so before I found you.  I got caught up in the story the Tardis made up for me.  Do you still love me Rose, do you still love John Smith?"

"Of course I do, you daft alien, I still love you but I fell in love with you as John, how will that affect us?"

"Oi, I'm not an alien, well part of me is and even though you fell in love with me as John, it makes no difference, I was born to love you Rose quite literally.  It's all I crave, to love you and for you to love me, whether as John or the Doctor, it doesn't matter.  He brought me here to be with you because I'm doing it for the both of us, I'm here to live the life he'll never get the chance to live, to be with you and no, I'm not a substitute, it was a joint decision."

"I never said you were, I know you're not because you're John Smith and you love me, you returned my love and I know why he couldn't.  It was because he knows he'll change again and it's this face, this body that I love and he's afraid I'd reject him if he changed again but I don't know if I would or not because I'll never know and now he's sent you to me, I don't need to know because I see him in you, every day and I love you both, both parts of you."

She fell into his arms and kissed him, like never before.  "I love you, Doctor John Smith."

They sat down again, Rose on his lap and they talked.  "You know I'm still going to call you John in public don't you?" Rose said, kissing his neck.

"I can live with that.  Oh, and don't worry about college, Pete offered me a job at Torchwood, I start on Monday.  He made me an offer I couldn't refuse and he's taking care of everything so, Miss Tyler, do you want to spend your life with me? Will you still move in with me, now we don't have to worry about college any more?  Plus, we get to spend Christmas together or won't it be as exciting for you as getting invaded by a spaceship hovering over London?"

Rose giggled.  John continued.  "Of course, there is a plus side to getting invaded at Christmas and regenerating, I got to spend most of the time in your bed and don't think I don't know who got me ready for bed, 'Miss I wasn't really looking when I undressed you and put you in those pyjamas' like heck you weren't looking," John laughed, going to tickle her.  Rose went bright red.

"Do you still love me Rose?" he asked, going in for a long kiss.

"So I don't have to wait to move in with you and you've got a new job, at Torchwood?" she asked.  John nodded, trying to kiss her neck by angling it to get a better fix on it.

"Oh and what do you mean you're still going to call me John in public?  What are you going to call me when we're alone?" he asked, suddenly forgetting his mission to kiss her neck, then her shoulders and, when they got back to his flat, the rest of her.

Rose simply replied, "smart-arse" and let him finish part of what he had started.

The rest followed after they had tried to explain to a very confused Jackie, who not only had to cope with the fact that this 'new' Doctor who she had just been introduced to as her daughter's boyfriend not only looked like the daft Timelord from their old lives but the prospect he may become her future son-in-law plus Pete had surprised her by proposing to her which she had accepted and didn't have time to even think about it before the Doctor's revelation.  She had barely registered he was the Doctor and had first slapped him for leaving her daughter on a beach in Norway then hugged him for coming back for her.

Rose wasted no time in moving in with John now they no longer had to worry about college and they went last minute Christmas shopping together, down to Greenwich on the river boat, Rose buying him a new Beatles t-shirt she made sure wasn't already hanging in his wardrobe.  They'd had to get another and cram all her clothes in plus a new dresser but Rose had left her spare knickers she had bought in John's drawer after she did find him fondling them when he thought she wasn't looking.  They were now looking for a bigger place to live and were planning to get engaged on her 23rd Birthday.

Two days before Christmas, they had just woken up and were planning spending Christmas day at Pete's house, mainly to celebrate her mother's engagement to Pete, Rose had been glad they had finally got their act together and was looking forward to having Pete as her step father after he had said he would official adopt Rose after their wedding.

They had been fooling around in bed as usual, teasing each other, seeing how many names they could call each other and seeing who won.  Rose had just called him a smart-arse - again, he said he'd get out of bed and show her what one looked liked and Rose had dared him.

"Seriously Rose, are you happy?" he asked, making a move to get out of bed and prove his theory.

"Yes, I'm happy, happy to have you back and happy because now you get to spend your one life with me, just like you wanted.  Do you think he'll be Ok?  I mean, was he ok when you left him, did he have someone?"

"Yeah, he had Donna, she was brilliant but he never stopped loving you Rose, he never will but he's at peace now, knowing you're happy and you have a part of him – me."  He looked down at her then kissed her.

Rose had one final question before he proved just what a smart-arse he was and before she snogged the life out him again.  "Do you think he's still the same?  Do you think he may have regenerated and he knew he was going to so he sent you here, to me?"

"I don't know Rose, I really don't but then the day I know everything?  I may as well give up."  He turned back to her waiting for the snogging of his life and then he got up and showed her just exactly what a smart-arse he really was.

The End!






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