Author – jlrpuck
Rating – K
Pairing – Peter Carlisle/Rose Tyler
Spoilers – For both Blackpool and S2 of Doctor Who.
Disclaimer – Characters from Blackpool and Doctor Who are the property of the BBC, and are used with the greatest of love and respect; no profit is intended from the writing or sharing of this story.
Summary – A post-Doomsday story, set in the Alt!Verse. It's been over three years since Rose and the Doctor said goodbye. What happens when she not only meets his doppelganger, but has to work with him?
Author’s Notes – The last chapter proper, wherein a few final things are wrapped up but many more questions are left unanswered—after all, that’s what ficlets are for. The epilogue will be posted on Monday, 31 December.
Many, many thanks to my beta’s, earlgreytea68 and arctacuda , and to my final sanity check, rosa_acicularis . misssara11 is the one who encouraged me to start writing in the first place, and who read over my early efforts at this story.
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 |Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20 | Chapter 21 | Chapter 22 | Chapter 23 | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25 | Chapter 26 | Chapter 27 | Chapter 28 | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30 | Chapter 31 | Chapter 32 | Chapter 33 | Chapter 34 | Chapter 35 | Chapter 36 | Chapter 37 | Chapter 38 | Chapter 39 | Chapter 40 | Chapter 41 | Chapter 42 | Chapter 43 | Chapter 44 | Epilogue
Rose finished signing her name with a flourish, and tossed the pen onto the table. The report was done, printed, approved—and all that was left was to send it to London later that afternoon. No word had yet come back on the password to the tech, but it was the only remaining question left unanswered in the dozens of pages in front of her.
She and her team had managed to grab catnaps throughout the morning and mid-day, rotating shifts, as it were, as work was finished. Mickey and Jake had driven back to the hotel, giving the keys to the van to Frank and Susan so they could return with the computer; she had snuck in a nap, finding a few armless chairs to line up against the wall and stretch out on, as James put his hidden skill of typing to work. When she’d awoken a few hours later, he’d managed to transcribe each of the team’s handwritten reports and compile them into a comprehensive whole. They’d begged the use of the printer from Peter, and the final draft of the report would be hand-carried back to London by Frank and Susan.
She leaned back, stretching; she’d needed the sleep, but she wasn’t so sure about the cricks in her neck and back that the unforgiving chairs had caused. Maybe she’d be able to make it up again that night? Her mind drifted to thoughts of staying with Peter again, of making love to him and falling asleep held in his arms. She could get used to sleeping like that, she was quite sure.
James had left as she was reading the report, muttering something about going to find Frank and Susan and see if they were ready to leave yet. She’d nodded absently, knowing he was leaving her space to do her final in-field duty: make the call back to London. She’d checked in once Swinson had been arrested, and again when Peter had returned from the hospital; but now it was her duty to ring back to headquarters, to let them know the tech was en-route along with the report, and that Swinson would not only survive but was expected to make a full recovery. At which point she would be compelled to report that her fieldwork was done, and she was available to report back to London at the Institute’s pleasure. There was still plenty of work left to do on the case, tying up remaining ancillary paperwork, ensuring there were no loose ends left dangling; but all of the leadership responsibilities—her responsibilities—for concluding a case had traditionally been done from Greenwich. One or two of her team would be expected to stay in Kendal until the constabulary were certain they had what they needed to go to trial—but Torchwood would be expecting the team leader back.
She stared at the phone sitting next to her, dreading the call she was obliged to make. She wanted to stay in Kendal, to spend time getting to properly know Peter now that there were no work-related distractions. She had weeks—months, really—of leave accrued; she wanted to take them immediately, to hand off the final stages of her team’s work to someone else so she could stay with Peter.
She was terrified of leaving him, of something happening or coming between them, keeping them apart. It was irrational, a holdover from how things had ended with the Doctor, but it still gnawed at her; she didn’t want to be more than a mile away from Peter, if she could help it, and closer would certainly be better. They’d not come close to talking about what would happen when the case was over, about the distance between London and Kendal and how they might try to overcome it and keep this thing they had going.
The intensity of her desire to keep seeing Peter, to find a way to be with him, was frightening as well. She had a sneaking suspicion she’d let the world fall to pieces if it meant being able to see him—he was like a newly discovered drug, her addiction to him making her willing to contemplate things she never would have done in the past.
She heard the door open, sensed Peter walk into the room behind her; she felt heat creep up her neck as she listened to his footfalls cross the room. He collapsed into the chair across from her—his chair—and looked at her wearily. He looked like hell.
“You get any sleep?” she asked softly.
He waved his hand carelessly. “Who needs sleep when you have unreserved quantities of fine police station-quality coffee at your disposal?”
“Will you be able to go home soon, at least?”
“I should be able to. The question is—when can you leave?” He gazed at her intently, and she felt her cheeks flush.
“Just one last phone call to make.” Her eyes dropped to her phone.
There was an awkward pause.
They looked at each other, and she saw the corners of Peter’s eyes crinkle in amusement. “Yes, Rose?”
Her gaze dropped to the table as she took a deep breath. “We…I…This call, they’re going to tell me to come back.” She raised her eyes to his. “What are we going to do?”
He looked at her steadily, his face softening. “I suppose I’ll have to remember how to use the zeppelin, Rose.” He watched her, and continued. “I’ll do what I have to, to make this work—come down to visit, convince the fine Chief to give me leave; something, anything, to keep seeing you. Well, within the confines of the law which I’ve sworn to uphold and protect,” he added as an afterthought.
Rose felt herself smile, and watched as Peter’s lips quirked. She sighed. “I know. ‘s just…’s like I said, that night up on the castle. It feels magical up here. Like it’s another world.”
His gaze sobered. “Do you think that will go away, if we see each other someplace else?”
“No! No, not at all. ‘s just…It’s comfortable up here.”
“I understand Torchwood might have a vacancy up here, if you were looking to move…” Peter blushed, and hastened to add. “Or Mickey or Jake.” He looked down at his hands, playing idly with a Biro.
Rose shifted, uncertain of what to say; the thought of moving up here, to be with him? It interested her more than it ought to, really; they’d been dating for two weeks, sleeping together for two days. It was far too soon to even begin contemplating something like that. “What, so I could have a place to stay when I came to visit? You know Mickey would insist on chaperoning, were he up here. And Jake would offer to take you out every chance he got, hoping to win you over. You’d never get a break.” She kept her tone light, teasing—and was rewarded with the appearance of Peter’s dimples.
She loved his dimples.
“It’s a fair point.” He set the Biro down, and moved around the table to sit next to her. “It’s not insurmountable, you know—the distance. I’ll just not be able to knock on your door in the middle of the night, or to call to ask if you’d like to meet for a meal in a few minutes. Neither will you be able to stop in and visit Louise of a morning, to provide gossip for her afternoon tea.”
Rose blushed, ducking her head as she laughed. “’m happy to help fuel the local gossip economy.”
“It was going into a bit of a depression, what with WestEnders off the air for a bit.” He took her hands in his. “You know, don’t you, that I’d drop everything for you? If you came to town?”
Rose felt her throat close, and she swallowed, nodding. “Yeah.” She squeezed his hands, willing the vise around her chest to loosen. “And…if you came down…to London, for a visit? I’d like that.” Her voice was a whisper.
“We can do this, Rose. I want to do this, to keep what we’ve got.” He was leaning towards her, his gaze and his voice overflowing with intensity.
She felt her gaze drift to his lips as she replied, “So do I.”
He closed the distance between them, kissing her fiercely; she freed her hands from his, brought them to his shoulders, up the back of his neck, into his hair; he brought his arms around her, practically pulled her into his lap as he deepened the kiss.
She forgot, for a moment, where she was, her entire being focused on kissing Peter, on trying to convey to him in some measure how much she felt for him, cared for him; he kissed her in kind, mouth moving against hers even as his hands held her to him.
She pulled back with a gasp, her lungs screaming for air, after several moments; she opened her eyes, watched Peter slowly blink his open, and she felt her heart clench at how lovely he looked freshly snogged. She wanted to make him look like that as often as she possibly could, regardless of where they were—London, Kendal, the moon, it didn’t matter.
His eyes met hers, his gaze so intense she wondered if he wasn’t trying to communicate telepathically with her; she brought a hand around to lightly cup his jaw, her fingers stroking the stubble darkening the skin, and smiled softly. “Hello, stranger.”
He kissed her palm. “Hello.” He returned to looking at her, and smiled gently.
She leaned forward, brushed a light kiss on his cheek, before wiggling from her awkwardly compromising position. “I think I’d best get work out of the way before we…ah…continue?” Her voice rose, hopefully, on the last word, and she saw Peter’s eyes darken.
“Excellent plan—because once we resume, I’ve no intention of stopping.”
She felt her heart skip a beat, and Peter gave her a slow smile. “I can’t work if you keep doing that,” she said, teasingly.
“I know.” His voice was low, laughter lacing the two words, and she playfully swatted at him.
“C’mon, let me get this done so we can leave.” He stood, preparing to leave, and she stopped him. “You can stay…if you like.”
He looked at her, took a breath to speak; paused, then leaned down. “You need to focus on work. Find me when you’re ready to leave.” He kissed her forehead, and walked out of the room.
She picked up the phone, turning it over in her hands before biting her lip and dialling the number for Greenwich. Once she was done, she could send the rest of the team back to the hotel, and go find Peter.
Peter found James, Susan, and Frank in Ian’s office, gossiping and trading jokes; Ian was nowhere to be seen. They invited him in with a grin, and he spent the next hour finding that he still had the skills to be sociable, that he genuinely enjoyed being with Rose’s co-workers. He wondered if it was because he knew he’d not work with them again; he had the luxury of liking them, knowing that they’d not be around to disappoint him on down the line.
He always did get excessively cynical when he was exhausted. He shook his head, trying to clear it, and James laughed.
“Studies prove that doing that won’t help you stay awake, you know.”
“I know,” he muttered grumpily in response.
“So what’re you going to do, now that we’re done?” James asked. Peter had the sense that the question was about more than just the case.
“You lot might be finished; I’m most certainly not. Plenty of work yet to be done, and I’ve every intention of seeing it through.”
James nodded thoughtfully. “Will we see you in London, then?”
“I expect so,” he replied steadily.
James grinned. “Brilliant! If you’ve the time, we’ll have to go for a pint.” James winked, before turning to speak with Susan once more.
Peter slowly let his eyes close, reckoning the others in the office wouldn’t begrudge him a quick doze. He’d managed to sneak in short naps a few times over the course of the day, but his body was finally reaching the breaking point—he’d have to get a proper sleep, and soon.
He fell into a deep sleep, even managing to dream briefly, before he was awoken. Rose was whispering to him, her hand lightly rasping across his the stubble lining his jaw, and he blearily blinked his eyes open. She smiled at him, and he felt his lips curve in response.
“Let’s get you home, sleepyhead,” she said, straightening.
He sat up, looking around him in confusion. The office was empty, and he noted the light outside the windows wasn’t as bright as it had been. “How long was I out?”
Rose looked at her watch. “Well, James said you fell asleep about four; it’s been about an hour, then? I’m impressed you were able to sleep like that.” She gestured to his position, seated in a wooden chair against the wall.
“Years of practice.”
Rose gave him a considering look. “The lads had talked of meeting for a quick celebratory drink before kicking off for the night; but I think maybe it’s worth giving it a miss.”
“No, I think I can manage a drink. So long as it’s quick.”
“Hmmm.” She looked at him in concern. “I think I’ll be driving you home, then.”
He felt his heart leap. “You will?”
She grinned. “Well, what’s the point of getting a change of clothes otherwise?”
Peter looked at her, confused. “When’d you do that?”
“You were out cold, and none of us wanted to disturb you—so I snuck off before waking you up. One of us had to go get Mickey and Jake, at any rate, for drinks. Everyone’s already off down the pub.”
“You’ll be staying the night again?” He was having a hard time fathoming it. Three nights with Rose Tyler—triple what he’d ever dared to dream.
Rose shook her head in mock frustration. “’s what I’ve been saying, isn’t it?” She leaned down, held his gaze. “Peter, I’m going to come home with you, spend the night with you. If you want me to.”
“Yes,” he breathed, barely able to think much beyond the simple statement.
“Well, then. Let’s go have this drink.” She grinned, holding her hand out to him as she straightened. He took it, and was pulled to his feet by Rose.
He was still in a daze as he followed her to the coat rack, as she handed his coat over to him. Some of it was exhaustion; more of it, he thought, was Rose. She looked at him, a piercing glance, and she paused. “You sure you’re up for this? You look a right wreck.”
“You know just what to say to make a man feel…” He trailed off. ‘Loved’ is what he wanted to say, drolly; he hastily substituted in, “appreciated.”
She finished pulling on her coat and reached down for his hand. “You are, you know.” She rubbed their joined hands. “Let’s go celebrate, ‘k?”
They walked down to the pub, were greeted with cheers by the slightly rowdy bunch at the bar. Mickey, Jake, James, Penington—they were all grinning and laughing, pints in hand. Frank and Susan, too, were there, each holding what looked to be non-alcoholic drinks; he supposed they still had work to do that day, and would need to be alert. Penington had invited his girlfriend, Anna, to join in the celebration, and she hugged Peter when Penington introduced the two of them. He saw Rose stifle a laugh at his surprised expression, and he forced himself to find something suitably appropriate to say in response to the enthusiastic greeting.
Penington passed him a pint of ale, and he took an appreciative sip of the beverage as he looked once more at Rose. She had a pint of stout, and he almost dropped his glass as she licked the froth from her lips while gazing steadily at him.
He glanced down at the drink in his hand, weighing how quickly he’d be able to down it and get them out of there. He looked up, and saw Rose grinning at him.
She turned to the bar, picked up a piece of tableware, and turned, clinking the metal against her glass. “A toast!”
The group turned expectantly towards her, and she continued. “To another success!” She grinned, adding, “And to our colleagues in Kendal, without whose assistance we’d have failed.” She raised her glass, the group shouting, “Hear, hear!” before taking a long draught.
Peter took a sip, and found several sets of eyes looking at him expectantly as he lowered his glass; he realized it was now his turn to make a toast. He felt a flash of panic—he’d not done this in years, and was a bit at a loss for what to say. He held his glass aloft, looked at each person around the small circle in turn, before managing to say, “To new friends.” He took a sip of his ale, watched as there were appreciative nods as others moved to take sips of their own drinks.
The group chattered happily together, joking with each other, talking about particular scrapes or humorous gaffes from not only their time in Kendal, but cases before. Peter stood back, content to let the good cheer wash over him as he nursed his drink, watching Rose as she laughed, or grinned, or teased the other Torchwood members. She was always glancing his way, her smile softening just a bit as she met his eye, and he once again fought down the desire to shout out to the entire bar, ‘I love Rose Tyler!’
He didn’t miss Penington leading Anna away, didn’t miss the change in body language as they returned; he grinned as Penington shushed the group and, beaming, announced his newly formed engagement. There were boisterous cheers, hugs and claps on the back as Penington and Anna were roundly congratulated and wished much joy; he moved over and shook his DC’s hand, wishing him all the best, before leaning over and placing a kiss on Anna’s cheek. She blushed, thanking him, before being hugged by Mickey.
Rose was positively glowing with happiness and contentment at the joyful announcement, and he realized he wanted her to himself, wanted to just bask in being with her, immediately. He drained the rest of his drink, and moved over to her.
“Are you about ready to go home, then, Miss Tyler?”
Rose looked at him, her smile softening. “I think so, Mister Carlisle.” She neatly downed the rest of her stout, and set the glass down on the bar.
He took her hand, and pulled her to him gently. “Then let’s be off.”
She grinned, a glint in her eye, before turning to the group. “Alright, you mutts. We’re off out.”
He felt himself blush at the knowing glances turned his way.
“And will we be seeing you before Monday, Rose?” Jake asked cheekily.
Rose turned to Peter, gazing at him, before returning her attention to Jake. “Best make plans without me, I think.” She squeezed Peter’s hand as she replied, and he felt his heart clench. She was going to spend the entire weekend with him?
There were several ooooh’s from the group, along with a wolf-whistle from James, and Rose’s bravado finally ran out. “Alright, alright. I’ll see you lot Monday at eight.”
She dropped Peter’s hand, briefly gave Penington and his fiancée both a hug and a light kiss on the cheek, before turning back to him. “Ready?”
They walked out into the street an hour after they’d left it, the cool evening air a nice change after the warmth of the pub, and his hand once again found hers. She smiled at him, bumping her shoulder into his, and they strolled back to the station in comfortable silence.
Rose had to run inside to grab her overnight bag, but they were soon in his car, headed to his house. As she’d promised, Rose was driving; he found he didn’t mind in the least.
“You’re really going to stay all weekend?” He still couldn’t quite believe it.
“Yes…Well, unless you had plans, or—” Rose’s voice was uncertain.
“I meant it, Rose, when I said I’d drop everything. I can’t think of any other way I’d like to spend the weekend.”
“Good,” she said softly, her shyness returning as they neared his house.
He found himself wishing she’d drive faster; he was eager to get home, to spend time with Rose without threat of interruption. He’d get to sleep in tomorrow, to a have proper lie-in with her, to find out what she was like as she slowly awoke; to see if she liked toast for breakfast or if she always liked a proper fry-up. He’d not been to the grocer in a few days, but that was the least of his concerns.
She pulled to a stop in front of his house, engaging the brake, turning the car off, and slowly unbuckling her lap belt before turning to him. “We just going to sit out here all night, then?” Her cheeks were pink, the tip of her tongue poking out of the corner of her mouth in a most distracting manner, and he felt heat flash through him.
“No, not at all.” He leaned over, placed a quick kiss on her lips, before pulling back. He tilted his head towards the house, and heard Rose exiting the car even as he did. She met him at the foot of the path to the front door, her bag in hand; he took it from her, using his free hand to clasp hers, and led her up the path. She laughed as they stopped short of the door, as he realized he’d no idea where his house keys were; she reached into the pocket of her coat and pulled them out.
She looked at the keys on the ring, before glancing up at him. “I’ve no idea which one is your house key, you realise?”
He brought their clasped hands up, using his finger to point out each key. “House key, post key, desk key, the key to the house in which I grew up, my gran’s house key.” He closed the distance between them as he dropped their hands. “You might want to remember that first one.” He kissed her again even as her eyes widened in surprise; she grinned.
“I will do.” She reached forward, inserting the key into the lock and opening the door; her tongue peeped through her teeth as she turned to him, still grinning, before leading the way into his house.
The comforting scent of home caused a wave of exhaustion to ripple through him, and he felt himself sigh. He wanted to do nothing more than make love to Rose, immediately; to show her over and over again how he felt for her, even if he couldn’t yet say it. His body, however, had other ideas—he’d need to sleep before he could even think of functioning at a level like that.
Rose turned to him as she closed the door, her free hand turning the lock absently, her eyes running down his body as she quickly assessed him. “You, my dear Inspector, need to sleep.” Her hand came up to his face, her knuckles ghosting over his cheek. “You might also need a shave, but that’s a less pressing need,” she said, softly.
He felt his eyes drift shut at the gentle contact. “I know,” he said, allowing his weariness to surface.
She tugged his hand, leading him towards the stairs. “C’mon, let’s get you up to bed. We have all weekend for…other things.”
He grinned sleepily as she dragged him up the stairs, confidently leading him down the hallway, through the door to his bedroom.
“You made the bed,” he said stupidly; he couldn’t think of a time someone had made his bed for him.
“Yes.” She turned, taking her bag from his hand and setting it near the wardrobe. She released her hand from his, brought both up to help begin to divest him of his clothing. “I hate going to sleep in an unmade bed. Fair warning for you.”
Peter’s head swam a little bit at the thought of sleeping together with Rose in a regular fashion—so regular that she felt compelled to warn him about her sleeping habits. While he was preoccupied with the brilliance of that thought, Rose moved her hands under the shoulders of his coat, helping to slide it off his arms. He shrugged it off, tossing it carelessly towards the hamper.
Rose tutted in disapproval as she tugged his jumper up and over his head. He couldn’t help an enormous yawn as she pulled his head free of the wool, and he blinked his eyes open in time to see her toss the jumper away in the very fashion she’d just disapproved of. She briefly followed the trajectory of the garment before returning her gaze to his face; briefly brushing her hand over his hair, smoothing it, she gave him a soft smile. She raised her eyes to his, whispering, “I think it’s someone’s bedtime.”
She leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on his lips before continuing to undress him. He looked down as her fingers began to work at the buttons of his shirt; how long had it been since he’d put it on? He’d given up trying to do the math—it was long enough ago that it felt like years. His hands came to rest on her waist as she worked, and she flashed him a small grin of triumph as she tugged his shirt free of his trousers, undoing the last of the buttons.
He leaned forward for a kiss; she returned it, lightly, before placing her hand against his chest and pushing him away. “Later, I promise—once you’ve rested. I don’t want you fallin’ asleep on me.”
He sighed in resignation, knowing she was right; he desperately needed sleep. He moved his hands, shifting his shoulders as he removed his shirt. He turned, tossed it over to rest on top of his other clothes; and it was short—if tiring—work to shed his vest, shoes, socks, and trousers, leaving him clad only in his pants. He just wanted to crawl under the duvet, Rose curled next to him, and revel in the warmth.
He turned back to Rose, who was gazing at him appreciatively. He blushed under her scrutiny, and was rewarded with another peck on the lips. “Go clean your teeth; I’ll be right here.”
He staggered back out of the loo a few minutes later; Rose had changed into pyjamas she had actually brought, and she had turned down the corner of the duvet. “Be right back,” she whispered, walking by him. He listened to her get ready for bed as he settled under the duvet; he hadn’t bothered with his pyjamas, wasn’t even sure how much longer he’d be able to stay awake.
Rose was quick, and joined him in bed after a few short minutes. She snuggled against him, and he brought his arm around her to pull her closer to him. “When d’ye go back?”
“Monday afternoon,” she said softly, turning her head up to look up at him.
“Two days, then.”
“Two days. And they’re yours,” she said, leaning up to place a kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you, Rose,” he whispered, his eyes drifting shut.
He heard her whisper, softly, “You’re welcome, Peter.”
He dropped off to sleep, and dreamt of the woman wrapped in his arms.