The Wolf and The Flower @mia_marauder_potter


"Daleks!" Rose called. The Daleks stopped short to look at her and she raised an eyebrow. "There we are. Calm down. You know you're on Earth, sure, but it's pretty naive of you to assume there is no threat here. Do you know me?"

They looked at her silently for a minute and she watched them as confidently as she could. Finally, the one in front of her replied. "You are the Abomination."

Rose scowled at them. "I hate that name. I have three of them, can you please pick a better one?"

To her surprise, they did. "Arkytior. You are not real."

"How can you say she's not real if she's standing right here?" Mickey asked in confusion.

"Arkytior is a Gallifreyan myth," another Dalek complained. "You are not real!"

"Calm down," she said again, raising her hands as if to calm them. "The fact is, I know where you're from. You left Skaro near the end of the Time War. You escaped like the Emperor, but you decided to hide."

The Daleks moved a bit in frustration. She thought she sensed some fear, too, but she wasn't sure.

"If you kill any of us, I won't tell you what happened to the Emperor," she warned. "And… you know the myth. You recognized me. Would you want to risk the chance that I'm real?"

The Dalek in front of her stared for a moment. "You will be necessary." It turned to its left to look at another one. "Report! What is the status of the Genesis Ark?"

"Status: hibernation."

"Commence awakening," the black Dalek ordered. Another one turned around and moved toward the Ark. "The Genesis Ark must be protected above all else!"

Mickey looked to Rose with wide eyes. "Daleks, you said they were all dead."

"No," she disagreed shortly. "I said he said they're all dead. I knew they weren't."

"That's not much better!"


"What's happened to Rose?"

The Doctor tilted his head back against the wall in frustration. "I don't know!"

Jackie let out a gasp and held her face in her hands. The Doctor was surprised to find she was crying lightly. He was even more surprised to find he felt bad for causing it. He let out a sigh and kicked off from the wall he leaned against to walk over to her. "She's not hurt, I know that. Something is down there, but she's not- she isn't scared. I'll find her. I brought you here. I'll get you both out, you and your daughter. Jackie, look at me. Look at me." She finally looked up cautiously. "I promise you. I give you my word."

Out in the shift room, a Cyberman was walking toward Yvonne. "You will talk to your Central World Authority and order global surrender."

Yvonne, apparently, decided it would be a good idea to sass a Cyberman. "Oh, do some research. We haven't got a 'Central World Authority'."

"You have now," the Cyberman claimed. "I will speak on all global wavelengths."

The Doctor slipped on his Void glasses and watched as the Cyberman spoke to the world. It was barely twenty minutes later when he stood with Jackie, Yvonne, and the Cybermen at a window. There were fires raging and the sound of gunshots in the distance could be heard. It was clear that, as per usual, humanity refused to back down.

"I ordered surrender," the Cyberman said, confused.

The Doctor looked at it like it was crazy. "They're not taking instructions! Don't you understand? You're on every street! You're in their homes! You've got their children! Of course, they're gonna fight!"


"Which of you is least important?"

"I am," Rose said calmly. She elbowed Mickey hard when he went to argue with her, but it turned out that he didn't need to.

"You are the Abomination," the Dalek reminded her. "You will not die. Designate the least important!"

Rajesh stepped forward. "This is my responsibility."

Rose grabbed his arm. "No, it isn't."

He brushed her off and moved directly in front of the Dalek. "I er- I represent the Torchwood Institute. Anything you need, you come through me. Leave these two alone."

"You will kneel."

Rose shot a glare at the Dalek. "He doesn't need to kneel. You can extract the information while he's standing."

"Kneel!" it cried. Rajesh did as it said and got down on his knees nervously. "The Daleks need information about current Earth history."

"Yeah, well, I can give you a certain amount of intelligence, but nothing that'll compromise homeland security-,"

The Dalek shook slightly. "Speech is not necessary!"

"If it's information you need, I can give you that," Rose told them. She pulled out her sonic and looked at them. "Earth history? You got it. I can give you more than he can, but I won't if you hurt him."

The Dalek turned to her. It was hard to tell what it was feeling aside from never ending anger. "You will give us the information."

"Let him get behind us," she said shortly. The Dalek shook its head for a moment, but backed up. Rajesh shot to his feet and moved to stand behind Rose and Mickey. With him there, Rose took in a deep breath and pressed the button on her sonic to transfer the information. She didn't yet have a setting that could block the fazers on the Daleks, which meant she had to do what they wanted. Still, at least she'd saved Rajesh.

"There is a second species invading earth," the Dalek exclaimed. "Infected by the superstition of ghosts. Dalek They, investigate outside."

Dalek They left, and a video and audio started up. They watched as Dalek They made its way through the halls until it came upon a pair of Cybermen walking together. "Identify yourselves!"

"You will identify first," the Cybermen replied.

"State your identity!" Dalek They ordered.

"You will identify first," the Cybermen repeated.


Mickey leaned over. "It's like Stephen Hawking meets the speaking clock."

"...and illogical. You will modify," the Cybermen were saying.

Dalek They shifted a little. "Daleks do not take orders!"

"You have identified as Daleks."

"Outline resembles the inferior species known as Cybermen," Dalek They said.

Her phone started ringing. She hurried to answer it, unwilling to let the Daleks hear it.

"Rose, are you okay?"

"I'm fine, Doctor, we all are. Managed to distract them. I did have to give them a recent history of Earth - they were going to kill Rajesh," she whispered quickly.

"She's alive," he said to Jackie. Rose could hear her mum gasp and wished she wasn't putting her through this. "She distracted them, but they must need her for something."

"We must protect the Genesis Ark!" a Dalek called.

"Genesis Ark?" the Doctor repeated, confused.

Rose watched the screen in wonder. She hadn't paid much attention to the bickering the first time, but it really was something. The two most terrifying species in the universe, and they were bickering like children.

"Our species are similar, though your design is inelegant," the Cybermen claimed.

"Daleks have no concept of elegance," Dalek They informed them.

"This is obvious."

Were the Cybermen actually winning the argument? They could remove all emotion from humans, but apparently, sass was unmovable.

"But consider," the Cybermen continued. "Our technologies are compatible. Cybermen plus Daleks - together, we could upgrade the universe."

"You propose an alliance?"

"This is correct."

"Request denied."

The Cybermen wasted no time raising their mechanic fists at the Dalek. "Hostile elements will be deleted."

Their quickly fired shots did nothing to the Dalek's shielding. "Exterminate!" Dalek They shot two rays and suddenly, the Cybermen were down.

Apparently, Cybermen could sass, but they still weren't stronger than Daleks.

The screen changed without warning to that of another Cyberman. They were clearly in the upper offices by the shift room - meaning, they were near the Doctor. "Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen."

"This is not war," the black Dalek replied. "This is pest control."

Rose bit the inside of her cheek. Okay, they could both sass, then.

"We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?"

It was a good question that Rose knew would be answered by the Genesis Ark.

"You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?"

"We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek," it disagreed. "You are superior in only one respect."

"What is that?"

"You are better at dying. Raise communications barrier!" The screen and Rose's phone turned to static. As she slipped the phone back in her pocket, she watched the Dalek turn back to the screen in surprise. "Wait! Rewind image by nine rels. Identify grid Seven Gamma Flame…" the screen zoomed in on the Doctor in the background with Jackie's phone to his ear. "This male registers as enemy."

Another one spun around to Rose. "The female's heartbeats have increased."

"Yeah, tell me about it," Mickey muttered.

"Identify him!"

Rose tried for a smirk as she looked at them. It was about confidence, she knew, and she'd gotten pretty good at faking that when she worked for Torchwood. "Oh, come on. Scared, are you? You don't want to believe it's really him. Arkytior and the Doctor in the same place, oh that's bad news, isn't it? Might as well give up now."

The Daleks all backed up in fear.

"Five million Cybermen, easy, sure," she agreed. "But the Doctor and Arkytior? Mm, now you're scared."

"Who the hell is Arkytior?" Rajesh hissed at her. She glanced back at him while the Daleks all approached the Genesis Ark again.

"It's me," she explained. "Just another codename, but not one I go by. Stick with Valiant."

"You could give me your real name, seeing as we're probably going to die," he suggested. She considered the idea, but brushed it off. If the Daleks didn't already know her as Rose Tyler, she didn't want to give them that name. It was too personal for her tastes. Arkytior, Valiant, even the Abomination were better names for them to call her.

"No. And Mickey, if you tell him, I'll hurt you," she warned, shooting her friend a glare. He put his hands up.

"Oi, leave me out of this," he said quickly. "How'd you even get a codename?"

"Jack," she said quietly. Mickey made a face and she smacked his arm. "Jack's running Torchwood Three. He helped me get everything set up for this. Besides, I have been freelancing for him. He had to make me something in the system for his reports. It was Valiant or Hecate, and only Dad called me that one."

Mickey frowned at her. "R- er, Valiant, your dad's dead."

Rose glanced at him and then back at the Daleks. She was so close. She couldn't slip up more. Even if she could afford to, it would take too much time to explain it all to him, and she didn't really care to.

"Cyberthreat irrelevant," a Dalek declared. "Concentrate on the Genesis Ark."

"I guess there's just one question, then," Mickey decided when she didn't reply. "Why are we being kept alive?"

She sighed. "They need one of us that's travelled through the Time Vortex to touch the Genesis Ark. You travelled with us for a while, and I… I radiate time. We can't touch it, okay?"

"But why?"

She shifted on her feet anxiously. "I've seen this before, okay? There was another Dalek. It was… broken. When I touched it, it repaired itself, woke up, and it killed a lot of people that day. See, travelling in the TARDIS, we soak up a special radiation. It'd take too long to describe the science of it. In the Time War, the Daleks evolved to use it as a power supply, so I'd bet the Genesis Ark requires that energy to wake up fully. You travelled in the TARDIS and I- I've travelled through the Time Vortex with nothing to shield me from it. I'm soaked in the stuff. We need to stay as far away from it as possible. Do not touch it, no matter what, okay?"

"Yeah," he nodded quietly. "Yeah, got it, boss. But… why would they build something they can't open themselves?"

"The technology is stolen," a Dalek told them shamelessly. "The Ark is not a Dalek design."

Rose nodded slightly. "The Time Lords did. I know."

"You know?" Rajesh asked her, speaking for the first time. "So you did know what it is."

"I know a lot of things," she replied calmly. "Including the fact that the Daleks stole the Genesis Ark. The Ark was originally built over thousands of years for Rassilon, who wanted to escape the Time War. Abandoning Gallifrey, he'd have been killed for it, even by his most loyal followers, so it was kept quiet. In the end, he didn't get the chance to. The Time Lord that built it, Theonertarasorstum, was kidnapped and tortured until he told the Emperor where the Void ship was. He was killed the very day the ship was stolen."

The Daleks began circling the Genesis Ark anxiously. "This is all that survives of their home world."

Rose rolled her eyes but didn't bother to correct them. If that's what they wanted to think, that was fine with her. The Doctor might've played their game and denied it simply because he'd been fighting them for so long, but Rose refused to give them more than they already had.


At least Rose was safe. That was what the Doctor had been telling himself since the moment he'd seen the Cybermen. At least she was safe, down with the sphere of nothingness. Even if she'd gotten through successfully with some ID that he hadn't even known she'd had. Even if she'd used a codename so calmly and easily, like it was natural to her. Even if he didn't know what the hell she'd gotten them into - she was safe.

But it had to be bloody Daleks. He'd rather be down there with them. Jackie had mentioned that Rose was terrified of Daleks, and it had only made his hearts contract painfully. It wasn't as if they'd been cut off from communicating, really. They still had their bond, and they were using it when necessary. He hadn't yet told her Jackie had been taken, because how the hell could he say a thing like that over their bond? When he couldn't hold her and apologize and see that she was safe?

And so, the Doctor sat in the chair at Yvonne's desk, waiting. For what, he wasn't sure. Just something. Something would happen, and things would start moving again and he'd be distracted. But right then, he wasn't. Right then, he was far too aware that Rose was down there, stuck in a room with his most hated enemies. Worst of all, she was too terrified to use Arkytior's powers since the Isolus incident. She'd stopped the Daleks before easily and while he absolutely did not approve of her wiping all of them out herself, he knew it had been for the best. If she could've done it again, he wouldn't have been as scared for her - no, scratch that, terrified. But she couldn't, wouldn't, and so he had to sit there and worry and try to make a plan. It wasn't going well.

"You are proof."

The Doctor blinked and shook his head at the Cyberman that had pulled him from his thoughts. "Of what?"

"That emotions destroy you," it replied.

He let out a humorless, bitter laugh. "Yeah, I am." His eyes drifted to the shift room, where he could see reality warping slightly in the air. "Mind you, I quite like hope. Hope's a good emotion, and here it comes."

A group of six men appeared in the room, wearing all black and carrying weapons. The Doctor dove out of the way - he did not hide behind a chair, no matter what anyone said - as they shot the Cybermen. All of the Cybermen went down, absolutely fried, until their heads exploded. Once they were down, the Doctor jumped to his feet and hurried toward them.

"Doctor, good to see you again," the man nearest said. He pulled off his mask and the Doctor's eyebrows shot up at the sight of Jake from Pete's World.

"Jake?" he asked in disbelief. "Well, I suppose Mickey is here, but all the same… what the hell are you doing here?"

Jake walked toward him with a slight smirk. "The Cybermen came through from one world to another, and so did we." The Doctor watched as he made his way back toward the group, who gathered to listen to him. "Defend this room! Chrissie, monitor communications. Kill one Cyberleader and they just download into another. Move!"

The group - or rather, soldiers - hurried to do as he said. Once they'd left the room, the Doctor crossed his arms over his chest and spoke. "You can't just- just hop from one world to another. You can't."

"We just did," Jake paced over to him and tossed him a large, yellow button. "With these."

The Doctor stared down at it, unsettled. "But that's impossible, you can't have this sort of technology."

"We've got our own version of Torchwood," he explained, waving at his gun. "They developed it. Do you wanna come and see?"

"No!" the Doctor cried, though Jake ignored him and pressed the button. The Doctor doubled over and grabbed at his head as the bond he held with Rose was stretched beyond belief. Not quite cut, but terribly stretched.


"I'm fine," he snapped out. "What the hell-,"

"Parallel Earth," Jake answered quickly. "Parallel Torchwood. Except we found out what the Institute was doing, and the People's Republic took control."

"I've got to get back!" the Doctor yelled at him, rubbing his temples in pain. He could only hope things weren't as bad for Rose, or at least that she could conceal it. The Daleks didn't need something else to use against them. "Rose is in danger! And her mother!"

"That'd be Jackie," Pete said, walking into the room. He looked much too calm for how the Doctor was feeling. "My wife in a parallel universe. And as for you, Doctor, at least this time, I know who you are."

"Right, yes, fine, hooray, but send me back!" the Doctor yelled at him. "Right now!"

"No, you're not in charge here," Pete told him. "This is our world, not yours, and you're going to listen for once."

"You kidnapped me! If I'd invaded, sure, fine, but you have no idea what taking me here did to Rose. She's in pain- I'm in pain, and until we're back, she could get killed, being distracted by it."

Pete did not look particularly like he wanted to agree, so the Doctor just leaned against a wall and then leaned down to rest his elbows on his knees while he continued to rub his temples. It was all he could do to keep from yelling at Pete again, but the sooner they got it over with, the sooner they'd be back.

"When you left this world, you warned us there'd be more Cybermen," Pete reminded him. "So we sealed them inside the factories."

Jake paced over, holding his gun proudly in his hand. The Doctor would've made a face about it, except moving in general hurt a bit too much. "Except people argued. Said they were living - we should help them."

"And the debate went on," Pete continued. "But all that time, the Cybermen made plans. Infiltrated this version of Torchwood. Mapped themselves onto your world and then vanished."

He didn't look up, but he did speak. "When was this?"

"Three years ago."

That had the Doctor thinking, as much as he wanted to focus on getting back. "It's taken them three years to cross the Void, but we can pop to and fro in a second? Must be the sheer mass of five million Cybermen crossing all at once."

Pete shook his head at him. "Yeah, Mickey said you'd rattle off that sort of stuff."

"Rose said she'd seen him," he mumbled.

"Any chance to go and find Miss Rose Tyler," Pete agreed. The Doctor did glance up that time, annoyed.

"She's your daughter. You do know that? Did Mickey explain?"

"She's not mine," Pete disagreed. "She's the child of a dead man… we're a world at peace. We're calling this the Golden Age."

"Who's president now?"

"A woman called Harriet Jones."

The Doctor nodded. Good. Harriet was a good woman with good ideas that actually cared about the people.

"But it's a lie," Pete said sharply. "Temperatures have risen by two degrees in the past six months. The ice caps are melting. They're saying all of this is gonna be flooded. That's not just global warming, is it?"

"No," he said darkly. Apparently, Pete did understand and still wanted to do it. He was liking the man less and less.

"It's the breach."

"I've been trying to tell you, travel between parallel universes should be impossible. Then the Daleks break down the walls with the sphere-,"


"Then the Cybermen travelled across, then you lot with those discs- everytime you jump from one reality to another, you rip a hole in the universe!" he said, straightening to tell them off properly. "This planet is starting to boil! Keep going and both worlds will fall into the Void!"

Pete was seemingly unbothered by his yelling. "But you can stop it? The famous Doctor? You can seal the breach."

"Leaving five million Cybermen stranded on my Earth," the Doctor stared at him. The thought crossed his mind that maybe Pete had organized this himself, but he disposed of it quickly. That was much too far beyond the man. Pete was probably just an idiot. Actually, he was definitely an idiot.

"That's your problem," Pete said easily. "I'm protecting this world and this world only."

Disgust flooded through him, but he smiled at the man with a small laugh. "Pete Tyler. I knew you when you were dead. Now here you are, fighting the fight… alone." he walked closer and met Pete's eyes. "There is a chance… back on my world, Jackie Tyler might still be alive."

"My wife died," Pete denied immediately.

"Her husband died," the Doctor shot back. "Good match."

"There's more important things at stake. Doctor… help us."

The Doctor stepped back. "What, close the breach? Stop the Cybermen? Defeat the Daleks? Do you believe I can do that?"

Pete gave him a confident smile that said he knew the Doctor was messing with him. "Yes."

"Maybe that's all I need," he said quietly. His face twisted into a pained smile. "Off we go, then."

It took them only a moment before they were back on his earth, and he felt his bond with Rose snap back into place. He took a moment to breathe out and calm her loud fears before he rushed into Yvonne's office. He grabbed the phone and dialled the number Rose had begged him to memorize.

"Oh my god, help me!"

A grin split out on his face. "Jackie, you're alive!"

"They tried to download me, but I ran away-,"

"Listen, tell me, where are you?" he interrupted sharply.

"I don't know! Staircase."

"Yeah, which one? Is there any sort of a sign? Anything to identify it?"

There was a pause. "Yes! A fire extinguisher."

The Doctor took a mere moment to wonder at how smart Rose was when her mother was that stupid. Apparently, it was a rather loud thought, because Rose was clearly irritated with him. "Yeah, that helps."

"Oh, wait a minute, it says N3," she said finally.

The Doctor breathed out in relief. "North corner, staircase three. Just keep low, we're trying our best."

"Oh, don't leave me!" she begged.

The Doctor grimaced slightly. "I've got to go. I'm sorry" He hung up before she could reply and spun around to look at Pete again. "Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Tyler."

"She's not my wife," Pete denied.

"I was at the wedding. You got her name wrong," he said before running over and grabbing Jake's gun from his hands. "Now then, Jakey-boy! If I could open the bonding chamber on this thing, it could work on polycarbide."

Jake blinked at him and tried not to reach out to take the gun back. "What's polycarbide?"

"The skin of a Dalek."


"Final stage of awakening!" the black Dalek called. It turned away from the Genesis Ark and looked to Rose. "Your handprint will open the Ark."

Rose looked at them curiously. "Well, don't you want to know? You know, what happened after you stole Rassilon's ship and escaped?"

"Place your hand-,"

"How about the Emperor?" she interrupted. The Dalek cut off abruptly.

"The Emperor survived?"

Rose's lips twitched. "Apparently, not many know the origin story of Arkytior. It's said she created herself and then the universe. That's true! What's also true is that for that to happen, I had to look into the heart of the TARDIS. I took in the Time Vortex and then used the power of Bad Wolf, of Arkytior, to kill the Emperor. I turned him to dust, along with thousands of Daleks he had with him. I turned him to dust. Do you understand me? He called himself the God of all Daleks, and he was destroyed by a measly Time Goddess."

"You will be exterminated!"

"Oh, now, hold on, wait a minute!" the Doctor called from the door, which had been left open. He paced forward and past them until he reached Rose and wrapped an arm around her while the Daleks identified him.

"Sensors report he is unarmed!"

"That's me," he agreed. "Always."

"Then you are powerless."

"Not me," he whipped off his Void glasses dramatically and spared a glance at Rose as she squeezed his side in thanks. "Never. So, Valiant, how are you?"

"Taunting Daleks, same as always," she shrugged with a slight laugh at his disapproving glare. Still, he moved on quickly to look at her friend.

"And Micketty-Mick-Mickey! Nice to see you!" he fist bumped the man.

"And you, boss."

"Social interaction will cease," the Dalek ordered. "How did you survive the Time War?"

"By fighting," the Doctor said sharply. Mickey looked at him in surprise, and Rose stepped on his foot to get him to stop staring. "On the front line. I was there at the Fall of Arcadia. Some day, I might even come to terms with that. It certainly seems more possible with Valiant. But you lot! You ran away!"

"Yeah, that ship," Rose nodded at the Genesis Ark. "Was for Rassilon. They stole it just as it finished."

"Rassilon- Rassilon?" the Doctor asked, his voice getting higher in surprise. She nodded, and he shook himself quickly.

"We had to survive," the Dalek told him defensively.

"The last four Daleks in existence. So what's so special about you?" he wondered, looking around.

Rose looked at him nervously. "Doctor, it's the Cult of Skaro."

"I am Dalek Thay."

"Dalek Sec."

"Dalek Jast."

"Dalek Caan."

The Doctor grinned at them. He'd heard of them, he'd taught Rose about them, but he'd never met them. "So that's it! At last. The Cult of Skaro. I thought you were just a legend."

Rajesh looked at them, confused. "Who are they?"

"A secret order," Rose began.

The Doctor nodded. "Above and beyond the Emperor himself. Their job was to imagine. Think as the enemy thinks. Even dare to have names. All to find new ways of killing."

"But that thing, Valiant said it was yours," Mickey told him. "I mean, Time Lords built it. In secret, sure, but… she didn't exactly say what it does, aside from work as a ship."

"Through the Void, yeah," Rose said slowly. "But that's the sphere. The Genesis Ark is something else. It's what goes in the sphere."

The Doctor looked at her with a frown. "Both sides had secrets. Some more than others."

Rose wasn't able to hide her grimace. Apparently, he was more frustrated with her than she'd thought. His words had been about the Time War, but they were also very pointed at her.

He moved on, though, quicker than she'd have liked and looked back to the Daleks. "But what is it? What have you done?"

"Time Lord science will restore Dalek supremacy," the Dalek said proudly.

He shook his head, lost. "What does that mean? What sort of Time Lord science? What do you mean?"

"Doctor, it's like the Dalek in Utah," Rose said calmly. He looked back at her darkly. "If we touch it, it'll wake up."

"Technology using the one thing a Dalek can't do - touch." He leaned into the Dalek's eyestalk. "Sealed inside your casing, not feeling anything, ever. From birth to death, locked inside a cold, metal cage. Completely alone… that explains your voice. No wonder you scream."

"The Doctor will open the Ark!" the Dalek commanded.

The Doctor leaned back and laughed. "The Doctor will not."

"You have no way of resisting."

"Well, you got me there. Although," he pulled out his sonic. "There is always this."

"A sonic probe?"

"That's screwdriver," he corrected.

"It is harmless."

"Oh, yeah," he agreed, fiddling with the sonic. "Harmless is just the word. That's why I like it. Doesn't kill, doesn't wound, doesn't maim, but I'll tell you what it does do. It is very good at opening doors."

All the doors in the room blew open and the Torchwood team from Pete's World ran in alongside Cybermen. The Doctor yelled for Rose to leave, and she did. She nearly tripped on her way out, but Pete caught her and carried her the rest of the way out. In thirty seconds, everyone was retreating and the Doctor stood on her left with Pete on her right. She watched in horror as, once again, Mickey slammed into the Genesis Ark.

And it began to move.

Mickey didn't waste time getting out of there after that. The Doctor soniced the door closed while Rose spun on her heel to look at Jake. "Go to the stairwell, protect it. We need to move. Now!"

No one had time to argue. Jake did as she said while everyone else ran in the opposite direction. While they were running, Mickey looked back at Rose. "I just fell, I didn't mean it!"

"Without us, they'd have opened it by force," the Doctor cut in. "To do that, they'd have blown up a sun. You've done us a favor. Now, run!"

They all stopped short at the sight of Cybermen walking toward a door. They hadn't been noticed yet, and they watched as the door opened and Jackie ran out. Rose covered her mouth with her hand to keep from gasping while Pete stepped forward and, without hesitation, shot the Cybermen down.

There was a long moment of silence as the smoke cleared and Jackie stared at him. "Pete?"

Pete took in an unsteady breath. "Hello, Jacks."

Rose dropped her head on the Doctor's shoulder and closed her eyes. With any luck, her parents would be together again. She wanted and needed to know they'd be happy together. Her mum deserved that much.

"I said there were ghosts, but that's not fair. Why him?" Jackie complained.

Pete lowered his gun and shook his head. "I'm not a ghost."

"But you're dead," she argued. "You died twenty years ago, Pete."

"Mum, he's-," Rose stepped forward and tried for a smile. "Mum, he's from a different universe. You remember I told you? I met him. I met him, and then I came home and told you about it, yeah?"

"Yeah," Jackie said softly. "But you brought him here."

"No, he came here on his own," Rose disagreed. "Because he knew what was happening."

"A few people did," the Doctor said quietly. Rose glanced back at him with a glare. It was absolutely not the time for his frustration. Despite that, Rose backed up again to let her mum look at Pete closely.

"Oh," Jackie breathed, stepping closer. "You look old."

"You don't," Pete said softly.

"How can you be standing there?" she asked.

"Just got lucky. Lived my life. But you… were left on your own. You didn't marry again, or…?"

Jackie shook her head. "There was never anyone else." Rose shot a look at Mickey and the Doctor, who were both making faces that said she was definitely lying. "Twenty years, though. Look at me, I never left that flat. Did nothing with myself."

Pete disagreed quickly. "Brought her up. Rose Tyler. That's not bad."

Jackie breathed out. "Yeah."

"In my world, it worked. All those daft little plans of mine, it worked," he explained to her. "Made me rich."

"I don't care about that," she denied before pausing. "How rich?"


"I don't care about that," she repeated. "How very?"

"Mum," Rose rolled her eyes.

Jackie let out a small, breathy laugh. "Yeah, sorry."

"Thing is, though, Jacks, you're- you're not my wife. I'm sorry, but you're not. I mean, we both… You know, it's just sort of… oh, come here," he said finally. He dropped his gun and ran to her, grabbing her in a hug. Jackie was crying slightly, and Rose smiled at them softly.

In Pete's World, they hadn't had a very hard time adjusting. It turned out, they'd lived very similar lives up until Pete had died. It had been tough for Pete to adjust to having a whole family where he'd been alone days earlier, but he'd done so easily and with kindness to his wife and alternate universe daughter. It had made the impossible situation of being away from the Doctor feel slightly less impossible.

So, there was hope. At least, hope for Jackie and Pete. If things worked out right, they'd be together. It was just making sure that things did work out right that was the tough part.


Sneaking into an active battle and out again without being noticed, shot at, and killed was not the Doctor's typical definition of a good time.

Still, he'd had to stop Rose from going in there herself, so it was what he'd had to do. When he got back to the door, Rose and Pete were watching the Daleks and the Genesis Ark floating upward. "Time Lord science. What Time Lord science?"

"Doctor," Rose said slowly. "What if it's bigger on the inside?"

Everything clicked. Well, not everything, but quite a bit suddenly made sense. There weren't just four Daleks. There could be millions in the Genesis Ark - that's why they were so serious about getting it open and protecting it. He backed up and started running with everyone following him. "We've got to see what it's doing! We've got to go back up. Come on, all of you! Top floor!"

"That's forty-five floors up!" Jackie cried, though she ran. "Believe me, I've done them all!"

The elevator dinged as they passed it, and Jake popped his head out. "We could always take the lift."

They did, and the Doctor did his best to drown out Jackie's complaining as they moved slowly upwards. They got back to Yvonne's office just in time to see the Genesis Ark open and start spitting out Daleks in every direction. His gut twisted as he saw Rose's theory - but was it a theory, or did she just know? - be confirmed. "You were wrong, Rose. They didn't need the Genesis Ark to escape. That's what the sphere was. The Genesis Ark is a prison ship."

"What sort of Daleks would even go to a prison?" she wondered quietly.

"The bad ones. The ones that lost their minds. There was a Dalek prison planet, but it would've been out of reach during the Time War," he explained in quiet horror. "There's millions of potentially deranged Daleks in there."

Pete spun on his heel. "I'm sorry, but we've had it. This world's gonna crash and burn, there's nothing we can do. We're going home. Jacks, take this." He tossed her a disc and she grabbed it in confusion. "You're coming with us."

"But they're destroying the city!" she denied.

He walked closer and laughed slightly as he put the disc around her neck. "Oh, I'd forgotten you could argue. It's not just London, it's the whole world. But there's another world just waiting for you, Jacks, and it's safe as long as the Doctor closes the breach. Doctor?"

He turned around, once more wearing his rift glasses, and grinned. "Oh, I'm ready." He ran over to the computer and noted absently that Rose wasn't following. "I've got the equipment right here, thank you, Torchwood. Slam it down and close off both universes." He looked up. "Well? Isn't anyone going to ask? What is it with the glasses?"

Rose finally turned around to look at him, and he saw fear written across her face. He wondered how he'd missed it before. "You're looking for energy from the Void on the Cybermen and Daleks. Issue is, Doctor, I know what you're going to do. If you do that, we'll be sucked in, too."

"That's what the clamps are for!" he nodded at the devices sitting on a desk. "Two of 'em, Rose Tyler. Just enough."

"Sorry, what are you talking about?" Rajesh asked finally. The Doctor blinked. Had he really forgotten the man was there?

Rose took the question. "Me and Pete, we live in separate worlds, and we've both been to the others' world. In between these worlds is the Void. We soaked up that Void radiation travelling between. The Doctor's plan is to open up the Void again. It'd act as a magnet and pull everything through, trapping them in the Void again. Pete, Jake, Mickey, Mum, they can all go back to Pete's World. You'd be fine, not having travelled. The Doctor and I would be sucked in with the Cybermen and Daleks if we were unable to… hold onto the clamps."

"But we will hold onto the clamps," the Doctor argued. He stepped over to her with a frown on his face. "Or would you like to tell us what it is you know?"


"Because it was fine before, Rose, but now? Now it's dangerous, keeping it to yourself. If you hadn't noticed, there's Cybermen and Daleks out there. If you know anything that could help us, you need to tell me."

"I can't," she denied, backing up. "You don't understand."

He let out a harsh laugh. "You're right. I don't. I don't understand how you were so well prepared for this. You must've started putting this together at least a week ago with Jack, if not longer, which means he also knew what would happen. Why did Jack know? And why did you come up with a codename so easily? Where exactly did Valiant come from? You know how hard it is to keep secrets from your bond mate, Rose, and you're doing it anyway. I know when you lie to me, and you know I know, and you do it anyway. I'd really like for you to just tell me the truth right now."

Rose felt herself shaking lightly as the Doctor yelled at her. Everyone else was silent, and she wanted more than anything to just tell him the truth, but she couldn't. She couldn't afford to let him remember right then. He needed to be focused. "Doctor…"

His lips thinned. "You should go with them."

"What?" she asked sharply.

"Reboot in two minutes."

"You'll be safe on that side," he told her stiffly.

Pete cut in. "And then you'll close it? For good?"

The Doctor looked over at the man, still looking angry. "The breach itself is soaked in Void stuff. In the end, it'll close itself. And that's it. Kaput."

"No," Rose said loudly. "Doctor, you promised me."

"Yeah, and how'd you know to make me promise?" he wondered. "Rose, this is the best option."


"We haven't got time to argue," Pete told her. "The plan works. We're going. You, too. All of us."

"There is no way I'm leaving him again!" Rose snapped. The Doctor's head shot up at her slip, but she didn't notice it.

Jackie glared at Pete. "I'm not going without her."

"Oh my god, we're going," Pete told them firmly.

"I've had twenty years without you, so button it!" Jackie snapped. "I'm not leaving her!"

Rose grabbed her mum's arm. "Mum, you have to."

"Well, tough!"

"I mean it," she insisted. "I'm different Mum, you know that. I'm alien now, like the Doctor. I'll outlive you for thousands of years. You can be happy with Pete. And I'm happy with the Doctor."

"But he's yelling at you!"

Rose shifted in frustration. "Yeah, and he has every right to! I have been keeping something from him, and eventually he'll know and understand why, but not now. That doesn't mean I don't love him, Mum. I do. You can't ask me to leave him."

Just as it had happened last time, a disc slipped around her neck and before she could even begin to take it off, Pete pressed the button. They were in Pete's World in less than a second, and she let out a groan of pain and doubled over. "No!" she yelled. She slammed her hand down on the disc again, sending herself home, and then threw the disc off of her neck. The Doctor caught her as she fell off balance.

"Once the breach collapses, that's it," he told her, holding her arms. He tried to convey how serious it was, but he got the sense she already knew. "You'll never be able to see her again, Rose! Your own mother!"

She shrugged his hands off of her and straightened. "I know, Doctor, but I've worked too hard to make sure we're not separated and I'm not going to let your broken promise ruin that."

"My broken- I had no idea the sort of promise I was making!" he argued. "If I'd known you'd be in this sort of danger-,"

"Just stop," she interrupted. "I'm not going back, and that's it. We need to keep working."

"Systems rebooted. Open access."

The Doctor straightened and pointed at a computer. "Put the coordinates in. Hurry!"

Rose made her way around him and to the computer, where she started to finish what he'd been doing. It didn't take her long, and it didn't take much of her focus. She was watching the Doctor out of the corner of her eye, feeling sick. He'd never really been that upset with her before. She did understand why, but she hated it. Her only comfort was that it would be over soon and, with luck, she'd be able to help him remember again. They'd be okay. They just had to make it through the next few minutes.

"Cybermen one floor away," she warned him. He started typing faster, and it was only a moment later when he grinned and pressed the last button. "Got it?"

"Yep," he said, rushing over to hand her a clamp. She grabbed it while he took the other one and they took them to the walls by the levers and engaged them. "When it starts, just hold on tight. We won't fall in, Rose. Are you ready?"

"We're out of time," she said instead of a yes. He gave her a firm nod and they pushed the levers forward quickly and ran to the clamps. Rose had spent a moment extra to make sure hers was engaged before running. She grabbed on tight as Daleks began flying through the windows and into the Void once more. It wasn't long before Cybermen joined them, smashing through the building.

And then a Dalek slammed into the lever on Rose's side, knocking it loose. Dread filled her gut, but she didn't waste time trying to get to it, all the while thinking to herself that she couldn't fall in again.

She couldn't.

"Online and active."

"Rose, hold on!" the Doctor yelled. He reached out as though he could grab her. Something in him screamed at him.

Keep her safe!

Protect her!

Trust her!

Don't let her leave you!

But it wasn't enough, and it was too late. He couldn't help her without letting go himself and falling in. He watched as her legs began to lift in the air as the Void tried to pull her in. She could feel her sweaty fingers slipping on the lever and her hearts pounding wildly in her chest.

"Doctor!" she yelled. He looked at her, and as her fingers slipped off, she called out. "I'm sorry!"


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