Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

Jackie went into Rose's guest room in the Campbell house and shook her awake. She sat up looking tousled and sleepy, and just slightly thick-headed from drinking too much wine with the meal they'd had after the opera.

"Come on, love. Today's the day. The wedding starts at nine."

"Call me at 8.30 then," she said, but she didn't mean it. Those excited butterflies came back to her stomach almost at once. And she couldn't sleep if she tried now.

The Doctor and his son woke themselves. They left Jack, Simon and Sammie to sleep another hour while they began their preparations. From his bedroom window, as he watched the sun start to come up on what was going to be a beautiful day, The Doctor saw the 22nd Space Corps elite squad patrolling the grounds. He saw two of them, in best uniforms, with side arms and rifles, at the gate. He sighed. It wasn't what he wanted. A wedding under security lockdown. But it was better safe than sorry. He wanted this day to be beautiful for Rose. Yesterday had been a reminder that he couldn't JUST stop being who he was. But he would have THIS day in peace at least.

The bridesmaids arrived while Rose was sitting in a white satin basque and a silk underskirt having her hair done by her mum. She could have had any of the greatest hair stylists in the universe, she thought with a smile. But after all, her mum had been a mobile hairdresser for as long as she could remember.

"That's not your dress is it?" Shireen asked.

"Don't be daft," Jackie laughed.

"Are those diamonds sewn in to the basque?" Linda asked. "What are those for? Nobody else will see them…"

"HE will," Rose said with a blush. "Later." She looked into the mirror and thought briefly about that. But it was still too far away yet. Still too much else to think about. A twelve hour wedding ceremony to get through yet. Then a reception and THEN the honeymoon began.

Jack woke feeling he hadn't quite had enough sleep, but he was ready. All aspects of Operation Alliance of Unity were in hand. Hellina had the lockdown running smoothly. He roused Sammie and Simon and the three of them showered and shaved and enjoyed a breakfast provided by the faithful butler.

They were just finishing their breakfast when they were made aware of a disturbance at the main gate. Jack went to investigate. He looked on in amusement as two of his elite men were suddenly felled by a small oriental woman holding a baby in her arms. Their training didn't account for this kind of assailant.

"Bo," he said. "You could have just shown your invitation." He noticed Grace in the driver's seat of the car. "Why are you two here so early anyway?"

"How else are our men supposed to get ready for the wedding? We brought their suits."

Jack grinned and told them to park in the designated area. He called Hellina by radio and told her to send a couple of men to relieve the guards on the gate and then strolled back to the house to get ready to be Best Man.

He had been thrilled when The Doctor asked him to do him that honour. They'd been friends for a relatively short time in The Doctor's life. He felt sure there was somebody he knew longer. But he had insisted he was the first and only choice for the job. And then he had hugged him. That made about five, maybe six times they'd been as intimate as that. They were moments Jack treasured. As happy as he was with Hellina, who was more than enough woman even for him to be faithful to, he never quite stopped having a 'thing' for The Doctor. But it was always an unrequited love. And from today, the object of his affections would be a married man.

Married to Rose - the only other person in the universe who had proved impervious to a full Jack Harkness come-on. They were just too stuck on each other for anyone else to have a fighting chance. And breaking them apart - well at first that had looked like a challenge he thought he was equal to. But then he realised that the universe was a better place with The Doctor and Rose as an item.

And between the two of them they'd made a better man of him; a less selfish, more caring Jack Harkness who valued love above lust and courage above cowardice. And even if it did sound way too corny to be true, he had lived by that for a couple of years now and he was happy with it.


Andrell was furious. He looked at the re-frozen pool of water and the empty coffin trapped in it and realised he had seriously underestimated The Doctor's friends, and OVER-estimated the people he was paying to be HIS friends on this blasted planet. He looked at the four overnight guards who were nursing cramped arms and legs after being freed from the tightly bound ropes.

"Where did you get them from?" He demanded of Callaghan sarcastically. "Rent-a-clown? You should have had more men here."

"What for? You had the guy turned into an ice cube. He wasn't going anywhere. But you didn't tell us the hostage had his own protection. They came in here, UNARMED and took out my men."

Callaghan knew he was pushing his luck already by arguing with somebody whose eyes looked like they were about to start spinning any moment. He pushed it more.

"We aren't being paid enough to go up against elite forces. And that's what came in here last night."

"You were being paid enough."

"What do you mean WERE?" Callaghan asked and if he was a mercenary worth the money he had been offered he might have been more alert to the possibility of a double cross and be reaching for his weapon now. As it was, all he saw was the red dot of Andrell's laser sight on his chest. He felt a brief moment of pain as the bullet ripped into his heart and then nothing. His men almost reached their weapons before Andrell flicked the switch that turned his gun to automatic and swept the room with deadly lead.

"You want a job doing well, do it yourself, as these puny Earth fools say." He put the safety on his gun and walked away, stepping over the bodies.

He had a plan B.


"Ohhhhh!" The combined squeals of the three bridesmaids could have shattered the glass fittings in the room when Rose finally emerged in THE DRESS. They'd been impressed already with what they were wearing themselves. Pure white satin, strapless, off the shoulder necklines, and a straight all in one dress reaching to their white satin shoes.

They had argued between the three of them about whether the diamonds in the tiara headpieces could possibly be real. Linda insisted they were. Shireen and Tricia insisted they couldn't possibly be. Then they saw Rose.

Her dress was also off the shoulder satin but with a tight bodice that pulled her waist in before fanning out in a long, wide, flowing skirt of several layers of lace and gauze over satin. All three of them were envious. They had all been married in dresses that allowed for one extra on board. But even if they hadn't they couldn't have gotten into THAT.

And the entire bodice sparkled with diamonds sewn in among the lace trimming, and the skirt was similarly laden with them so that she sparkled in the light. She wore a silver CROWN on her head with a lace and diamond trim around that, too.

Susan and Jackie stood at her side in pale blue dresses with shimmering silver woven into the fabric. They smiled. Their fingers had practically bled sewing a thousand Gallifreyan diamonds into that dress. They had a right to be proud.

"You look wonderful," Susan told her. "Just like a real Gallifreyan bride." She smiled and then she took Rose's hand and for a moment she looked serious. The bridesmaids were all chatting among themselves. She seized the moment.

"I always thought Grandfather was making a mistake about you," she said. "I always liked you. Please don't think otherwise. But the age gap and… the fact that you're Human and he is Gallifreyan. But I was wrong. You're perfect for each other. I just want you to know that. And I wish you every happiness."

Jackie nodded.

"I thought it was wrong, too," she said. "For the same reasons. But he IS a wonderful man. I know you're going to be happy. He would never let you be unhappy."

"I'm going to cry in a minute," Rose said. "And my make up just done, as well." She hugged them both.

There was a knock on the door and David came in, smiling as he saw them all.

"These were sent over from The Doctor." He left the jewellery boxes on the dresser and left. The women all looked at each other, wondering which should go first. Jackie eventually went and passed boxes to each of the bridesmaids, one to Rose, and one each for her and Susan. The bridesmaids found silver pendants with huge square cut diamonds and Shireen again claimed they could not be real and Linda asked if they could keep them after or were they hired. A note in The Doctor's handwriting settled both arguments.

"Yes, they're real. And yes, you can keep them. A thousand thanks for being Rose's best friends."

Susan and Jackie stared lovingly at the diamond and sapphire necklaces and earrings they had been given with love from The Doctor.

And Rose nearly fainted as she stared at the most fantastic arrangement of diamonds and rubies. A message told her that today her old pendant wasn't quite wonderful enough and these were his wedding gift to her. Diamonds from Gallifrey and rubies from Adano-Ambrado - the solar system he had once been nearly King-Emperor of..

"There ought to be an armed guard outside this room," Linda said. "We must be worth a fortune."

"There is a guard," Susan told her. "Two men from Jack's unit came over with the jewellery."

"Why?" Jackie asked. "Is there a problem?"

"Only that we're worth a fortune," Susan said with a bright smile.


The guests were arriving from the hotels they had all been put up in for the past several days as they were gathered from the far corners of the universe and from a dozen different time zones. The 22nd Space Corps elite squad checked the identity of every guest as the cars reached the gate.

"Jack, what's going on?" Chang Lee, President of the USA from 2024 to 2032 called to his old friend. "My CPOs were all detained by the security on the gate. I had to get special permission for them to carry their weapons. Why the lockdown?"

"Just precautions," Jack told him. "You know how it is."

"I know how it USUALLY is," he said. "You've got a security problem here. Don't kid a kidder. I know what I'm seeing. And I see a heavy uniformed presence plus plain clothes men mingling. I know undercover agents when I see one. Their suits NEVER quite look right over the shoulder holsters, no matter how well-tailored."

"We're just taking no chances," Jack said. "There's too much at stake here."

Chang Lee looked at Jack's deep blue eyes. They betrayed him as a worried man. He knew he wasn't going to get any straight answers. He heard the expression 'need to know' from his own agents often enough.

"If you need any help, my men are very well trained, too."

"That's ok," Jack said. "We've got it covered."

Chang Lee nodded and he and his wife, flanked by his disgruntled CPOs, carried on into the marquee.

"A lot of the guests are asking the same question," Hellina said to him. "We should have had more of our people working undercover."

"I don't want them undercover," Jack said. "I want them in plain sight. Anyone even THINKS of trying something, I want them to have other thoughts. By the way, do the guys on the gate know how to spot psychic paper?"

"Yes, they do," Hellina said. "Don't worry. We've got it sorted. The wedding will go just fine. And by the way, you look SMOULDERING in that outfit."

Jack felt a pillock in that outfit if truth be told. Scarlet was not him. And scarlet robes made him feel vulnerable. He preferred trousers any day. Especially if he had to break ranks and chase somebody down.

"What are you wearing under it, by the way?" Hellina asked with a sly smile.

"Play your cards right and you might find out, later," he grinned.


The Doctor and Christopher, as members of the highest ranking families of Gallifrey, wore gold robes. Pure gold, spun into a fabric that glowed under even the dimmest light. Because they were both graduates of the Prydonian Academy, the gowns that went over the robes were deep red with Rassilon's Seal on the shoulders. Both wore the impossibly elaborate collars that rose up behind their heads and made them look a foot taller than they already were. The Doctor, for the occasion, wore the coronet of his rank, gold set with rubies and diamonds that would match the ones his bride was going to be wearing.

And one last thing. Michael Grahams, the earnest and anxious to please butler had been entrusted with fetching it from the vault in the basement. He held the long black box and The Doctor opened it. Christopher gasped in astonishment.

"The Sash of Rassilon!" he whispered in awe.


"But…. Wasn't it destroyed?"

"I was entrusted with the safe-keeping of the regalia of the High President. There was a fear that Gallifrey would be invaded. And as you well know both the Sash and the Sceptre are more than just the crown jewels of our society. They are objects of power in their own right."

"I know that," Christopher said. "You are the only former President left alive, so I suppose you have the right but…." He reached for the Sash, still patiently held by the faithful servant for whom the conversation was meaningless and who was, anyway, bound by the honour code of butlers never to repeat a word of it.

Christopher lifted the Sash and felt its power as a slight tingle in his hands before he placed it over his father's head and arranged it neatly around the back of his neck and down the front of his robe. "You realise THIS is what they were after. This was what they demanded as ransom."

"It was?" The Doctor frowned. "I figured it was just money. We have been throwing it about a bit in the past couple of months. I thought somebody was getting greedy."

"The Sash of Rassilon is about more than money, father," Christopher said. "The ones who took you KNEW about our society, and of the true power of the Sash."

"Jack has the place under virtual martial law," The Doctor told him. "We'll be ok." He looked at his son and breathed deeply. "We'd better get down there. It's nearly time."


"The cars are here," David told the women as they waited, butterflies churning their stomachs. "By the way, you all need to take one of these." He passed a handful of small white pills.

"Travel sickness?" Linda asked. "After the trips we had to get here, a half mile by limo isn't a problem."

"No," David said with a smile. "Apparently these are the secret to how Gallifreyans manage a twelve hour ceremony without needing to go to the toilet."


Andrell smiled malevolently. It was so easy. They had put up security. They were patrolling the grounds, checking anyone going into the place. The guards at the gate were armed to the teeth. But even though their orders had almost certainly been 'check everyone' they stood back as the trio of limousines with the bride and her bridesmaids and attendants arrived. They swept through the gates unhindered. He looked in the rear view mirror at the women in the car. The bride was radiant in a Gallifreyan wedding gown weighted down with a fortune in diamonds. She would be wearing black of a Gallifreyan widow before long.


Sukie, in her little white dress with her hair done up with flowers and her basket of rose petals made the most charming flower girl. The guests gave a collective 'aah' as she set off down the aisle, almost drowning out the orchestra and the famous young opera singer who began the love aria from Madame Butterfly, Un bel di Vedremo, on cue. Behind her, the twins in their own gold robes that matched their grandfather and great-grandfather's served as pageboys, carrying velvet cushions with two wedding rings upon them. Then the three bridesmaids followed, milking the moment for all they could.

Finally, the bride herself stepped through the archway of white and silver roses that matched the wedding bouquet she carried in her hands. David Campbell took her arm as she walked slowly, her head held proudly erect, hardly seeing the faces of admiring friends either side. She looked once at David and her breath caught. For a moment it was not David, but her own father. She saw him smile at her and she thought she heard his voice telling her she was a beautiful princess and he was proud of her. She blinked and it was David again. She smiled. The moment was enough. She knew her daddy was there in spirit to see her married to the man she loved.

She looked at The Doctor as he stood at the end of the aisle, Jack by his side as he used to be whenever they were in any kind of trouble. They weren't in trouble now. Everything was perfect. HE looked frighteningly magnificent in that fantastic costume. He watched her as she moved slowly towards him, smiling, his eyes bright with love for her. Then she was there. David gave her arm to him and he held her tenderly. She looked at him once and he whispered 'I love you.' She whispered the same, and as the aria ended they both turned to where Christopher stood, equally magnificent, to conduct the Gallifreyan Alliance of Unity, the wedding ceremony they had both dreamt of having.

There was no altar. This was not, despite the elaborate nature of the ceremony, a religious one. They stood on a slightly raised dais in front of a golden representation of the Seal of Rassilon. Two elaborately carved chairs were placed to one side where the bride and groom would sit in certain parts of the ceremony.

Andrell was biding his time. He knew there was no chance of getting into the ceremony. It was too well guarded. There were men at the entrance as well as patrolling all around outside. He'd seen undercover men among the guests, too.

Besides, the reception would be more satisfying. Let them be joined in their Alliance first. Then he would strike, when they were happy and content, and off guard.

Twelve hours. It hardly seemed possible they would get through it. The only two people who thought it possible were the two Time Lords. Everyone else, even Susan, thought it impossible.

They were not dull hours, it had to be said. The ceremony was very breathtakingly beautiful in its several different sections. After the first hour, in which Christopher carefully recited the binding laws of Alliance which would mean that this marriage, once made, could never be dissolved by either party, there was a pleasant interlude of one and a half hours in which the orchestra and singers proved themselves worth every penny. They performed the first musical part of the ceremony, a section of Gallifreyan opera. The Doctor had given them a phonetically spelled libretto and score two months ago when he engaged them for this day and he was very happy with the result.

When they were finished, the orchestra carried on playing a simple melody while first the groom, on his knees before his standing bride, then the bride kneeling to him, then both together, recited Gallifreyan love poetry to each other. Rose had spent long hours learning to say the pieces in Gallifreyan and it was worth it to see her lover's face when she spoke. Of course, almost all those listening had travelled by TARDIS at some time in their lives and they heard the words in English, but she was proud to be able to say the words in The Doctor's own language.

Another musical section followed, and then the part Jackie had been dreading. She had to give her pledge of loyalty to her daughter's new husband. Quite apart from the ludicrous idea that she SHOULD pledge loyalty to him, speaking for three hours terrified her. She had read the text over and over and tried to learn it, but as she stepped up to the front and centre every word went from her head. She felt frozen as Rose stepped back and sat down for this part. The Doctor reached out his hand to her and smiled reassuringly, but her mind was still a blank.

"Don't worry." She was startled when she heard a voice inside her head.

"Doctor?" she asked.

"No, it's Christopher," he said. "Father asked me to help you. I'm going to put the words into your head. You just read them as if it was a book in front of you. Don't worry. You'll be fine."

"Thank you," she whispered in words and smiled at The Doctor's handsome looking son.

He was as good as his word. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, she read the words that appeared in her head. She was supposed to look at The Doctor as she spoke, but her eye was drawn to Christopher and he smiled warmly at her. She found herself smiling back at him and actually enjoying this ordeal she had been dreading - even the part at the end where she had to curtsey formally to her son-in-law elect. He held her hands as she bent and when he raised her up he kissed her gently and whispered "Well done, Jackie." She heard the same in her head from Christopher, and felt a warm feeling as she realised that he would be related to her when this was over.

Seven hours of the ceremony had gone by when she was done. And now there was another pleasant hour of music. This time, Earth culture was recognised. Rose and The Doctor had spent a pleasant afternoon choosing the most perfect late twentieth century music for this part. Of course, their favourite, The Wind Beneath My Wings, had to feature, and their other choices were equally suitable for a love match between an Earth Child and a Time Lord. Rose felt her heart melting as the soprano opera singer interpreted Bette Midler's The Rose, and The Doctor felt his hearts stir when the tenor sang his own theme, The Impossible Dream. The bride and groom sat next to each other and held hands as they listened to their own love story in the songs they had danced to in their TARDIS ballroom so many evenings.

Then for the next hour Christopher took the lead again, reciting the duties required of the new husband and wife to each other. They were the most amazing set of rules anyone ever heard. Rose had laughed at some of them when she had read them. Women's Lib, she noted, had never entered into this ceremony. The Doctor assured her that he didn't expect her to do half of the things suggested. There was only one duty she knew he desperately wanted her to fulfil. It was the one which required her to "dutifully and uncomplainingly bear the seed of her husband to fruition in fullness of time." The language of it had startled her when she read it. But she knew there was no duty she would more willingly perform than that one. And she kept a straight face at the next line, which had been there for ten thousand years and never amended. It stated that, should she fail in that duty, one or more of the handmaidens of the Alliance might be asked to take her place. She couldn't see Linda, Shireen or Tricia when that part was read, and wondered if they were listening hard enough. She saw the twinkle in The Doctor's eye and the twitch of his mouth and guessed that they were all dumbfounded by the notion. But they needn't worry. She was glad to have the servants he had engaged fulfil all the domestic duties listed. But she did not intend to let anyone else stand in for her when it came to 'bearing his seed.'

More music followed - a series of beautiful Gallifreyan love arias. The music swelled in their hearts and prepared them for the last part of the ceremony. Here began the pledges each of them made to the other - page after page of them in beautifully poetic language pledging to be each other's comfort and shield and source of inspiration in the trials of life. That was easy. As they recited the pledges to each other, they both thought of the many times already they had been such comfort and inspiration to each other in dangerous and difficult times.

And finally, Christopher drew himself up to his full height and announced that in a few minutes the bride and groom would make their final vows to each other and exchange rings.

"I am bound to ask you now, before you make those vows and bind yourselves to each other, if there is a slightest doubt in your mind. The Alliance of Unity once made cannot be unmade except by death." He paused as the custom required. Rose and The Doctor looked at each other. Neither had any doubts. They wanted this more than either of them had wanted anything in their lives.

"I am bound to ask the company present, if any man among them has a doubt as to whether this Alliance of Unity should be made." Among the invited guests there was not a slightest murmur. Everybody there was waiting for them to be joined. No-one had a doubt that they were the most perfect couple in the universe.

"Then make your vows to each other," Christopher said as he took their hands and placed one over the other and nodded to Rose to begin this last, crucial part of the ceremony.

"Chrístõ, I give you all that I am. I love you to the end of my days, never thinking of any other but you. Wife and soulmate, bearer of your children, ever by your side. My life is yours. I am a planet in your solar system, a galaxy in your universe. I am yours." She paused and drew a breath and spoke his full name formally. "Chrístõdavõreendiamõndhærtmallõupdracœfiredelunmiancuimhne de Lœngbærrow, Time Lord of Gallifrey, I give myself to you, body and soul, heart and head, and take you as my Lord and my husband for all eternity." She took the gold ring from the velvet cushion held up by Davie who smiled widely with joy at playing this small part in the proceeding. She took The Doctor's left hand and put the ring on his finger. Her hand felt so small and delicate as it held his large, manly one, but the ring slid perfectly onto his finger and it seemed to glow all by itself as it did so.

Then he took her hand in his, and spoke the solemn words.


"Rose, my Earth Child, as you consent to be my wife, I promise to love you to the end of my life, to treasure you in my hearts, to bless each day we have to share. I give you my own hearts to do with as you will. I beg you to treat them with care and with love. I will protect you from all harm, and strive to make you happy every day of your life." Then he took a deep breath before the final words he had to say. "Rose Marion Tyler, Child of this blessed planet, Earth, I give myself to you, body and soul, hearts and head, and take you as my Lady and my wife for all eternity."

Chris stepped up with the other, smaller ring. The Doctor first took the diamond engagement ring from her finger and then placed the glowing gold one on her hand. It truly WAS glowing and she thought she felt a tingle from it as if there was a kind of energy in it. Then he put the diamond back over it and before he let her hand go he put it to his lips and kissed it. Then he drew her into a close embrace, his one arm around her bare shoulders and the other caressing her face as he kissed her fully on the lips, sealing their Alliance of Unity forever.

"The bride and groom will now sign the marriage register as required by the law of the British Federation under which jurisdiction this Alliance of Unity takes place," Christopher announced. The tenor and soprano sang a Gallifreyan love duet as Rose and The Doctor stepped to the side of the dais where a tired looking man in a pinstripe suit and wire rimmed glasses sat patiently. He looked as if he had 'civil servant' written through him like a stick of Brighton rock, Rose thought with a giggle. He had waited eleven and a half hours for this moment when he would register their marriage legally. He watched open mouthed as The Doctor carefully wrote his full name in the smallest handwriting possible in order to fit it onto the line provided. Where the signature was required, he simply put . Rose's part was a little less troublesome. The Doctor accepted the copy of the certificate. He folded it carefully and put it into a pocket of his robe. The lawyer in him was as glad to have that piece of paper as he was to have fulfilled almost every part of the Gallifreyan Alliance of Unity that meant that he could feel TRULY and irrevocably married to his Rose.

He took her hand and they stepped back up onto the dais where his son waited to complete the ceremony.

"Let it be known, to all within these walls and within this hearing," Christopher said, taking both their hands in his. "That these two have been joined this day in Alliance of Unity. Let them go forth from here as one soul in two beings, in love and in duty and in honour." He paused as they turned, taking each other's hands. Christopher put his hands on their shoulders. "I present to you the Lord and Lady de Lœngbærrow of Gallifrey and London."


Rose smiled. She glanced at her new husband and he smiled too, more happily than she had ever seen him smile before. Then he looked at the crowd of guests as they all stood and applauded them joyfully. She heard him catch his breath and looked where he was looking, and she had to choke back a tear. Again she thought she saw her father standing among the guests. She saw also The Doctor's own loved ones who were dead and gone, his father and mother, and his first wife, Julia, who smiled and nodded as if to tell him he had done right. They both blinked and looked again and knew they would not see them now.

But something drew their attention to the back of the marquee, near the entrance. Rose felt The Doctor clutch her hand tightly as they saw somebody there they never expected to see, though both would have gladly invited him. The Doctor nodded and smiled at his own alternative incarnation, the one they called Ten for sake of clarity. They weren't sure how long he had been there, but certainly he must have seen them exchange rings and be formally married to each other.

"I'm glad he came," Rose whispered.

"Me too," The Doctor told her. He looked again and he was gone. But that was all right. He had been there. That was the main thing.

And now their beautiful flower girl who had slept through most of the ceremony on cushions placed on the floor was brought forward again and her basket of silver and white petals replenished. She began to step forward as the orchestra and singers began a very special arrangement of another of their favourite Puccini arias. The poignant Nessun Dorma was sung by the male tenor while the soprano vocalised a touching descant of the single line repeated over "Il suo nome è… Amor!"

"His name is love."

Again the page boys followed their sister and the bridesmaids behind them. Then the new bride and groom followed, holding each other's hands tightly.

He held her hand the first moment they met, Rose remembered. And she wondered why she had ever let it go. Never again would she.

"Why is there so much security around here?" Rose asked as they stepped out of the marquee and walked along the flower-arched path to the second marquee where their reception was to be held. It was strange to find that the sun was going down now in the evening. They had begun in the morning, and now it was nine o'clock on a warm, sultry evening. But it was not dark enough to disguise the presence of far more men in distinctly military uniforms than she had noticed earlier. Earlier, she would not have noticed if there had been tanks and armoured cars present. Her thoughts were on not falling over her diamond edged dress hem as she walked up the aisle. But now she wondered.

"Well, you and your entourage are wearing a few million euros worth of jewels," Christopher said as he and her mother came alongside them. She had her arm in his, Rose noted and they seemed friendly. There was a startling notion.

"Jack and Hellina thought we needed protection," The Doctor added. "I hadn't the hearts to tell them it wasn't necessary." He winked at his Best Man and his lady as they all entered the reception marquee.


He was meaning to go straight away. He just wanted to see them in the last moments of the ceremony, finally joined in Alliance of Unity. The what if…. The might have been…. of his own life. He didn't even mean for them to see him, but he didn't move fast enough when they turned to be presented to the guests.

As he was crossing the lawn to the car park where he had left his TARDIS, he felt the jarring note. There was one person here who wasn't having a good time. Even the chauffeurs and caterers were drinking alcohol free champagne - they did that very well in this century - and eating canapés. All but one, who was sneaking around the back of the reception marquee. Ten focussed on him and felt his murderous intent.

And something more, besides.


The Doctor looked around at the friends gathered to feast with him on this wonderful evening. They had come from all corners of the universe and all times and places. They included two Prime Ministers of Britain, a President of Ireland and one of France, and two of the United State of America, as well as the current President of the Parliament of Britain. They also included people as ordinary as his friends from the cafe on Beta Delta IV and Wendy the librarian of Paradise. They included his earliest Earth friends who knew him before he was known as The Doctor, like Sammie and Bo and Cassie and Terry, whose first child was named after him. They included former companions who had been scattered through space and time, from Ian and Barbara, Susan's teachers who had become faithful friends, to dear, sweet Mel who had for reasons he never understood, teamed up with that space scoundrel Sabalom Glitz. Glitz was examining the silverware on the table and seemed as if he was appraising it. He made a mental note to have the caterers count it all later. Lovely Nyssa came in the company of the Frenchman, Lenoir, whom he had briefly met in the midst of a dangerous struggle to save the Earth. He smiled widely as he spotted Jo and Cliff, and Wyn and her brothers. Wyn came to him as they were waiting for everyone to be seated. She asked if it was ok to hug him in the 'get-up' he was in. He laughed and hugged her tightly and asked her how things were since Ten brought her home to the 'real world'. "Boring, but I'm living with it," she replied. He laughed. Typical Wyn.

So many friends - Ace, Sarah, Harry; the Brigadier and his wife; Liz, Victoria. The list went on. He loved them all - all his scattered friends - with the possible exception of Glitz. And he was so glad so many of them could be with him on this day.

Ten folded time and grabbed the man by the collar of his chauffeur's uniform, dragging him inside the side tent of the catering facility where washing up would take place in a little while. It was empty for now and it put them out of sight of the security. While he wasn't against them shooting somebody who was armed and ready to kill his other incarnation, his new wife and any number of friends he cared about, he really wanted to know what it was all about, and dead men couldn't explain themselves.

He let time snap back as he grabbed the laser sighted gun from beneath the man's uniform and snapped the firing pin from it. The weapon disabled he turned his attention to the would-be assassin. He didn't waste time looking for lies. He put his hands either side of his temples and forced his way into his mind.


Everyone was seated. The meal was served, the wine poured. Rose looked around at the many familiar and not so familiar faces in the crowd. If she had one regret it was that she had so little time to get to talk to any of them. The party was due to go on all night. But she and her husband would take their leave and begin their honeymoon before then.

The butterflies that had settled over the past hours returned as she thought of it - the moment when they left the crowds and the celebrations and were, at last, alone together, man and wife. She knew what it would be like. He would pause and hold her in his arms and kiss her and…

He looked at her then and put his hand over hers. She had a feeling he knew what she was thinking. The whole company saw his kiss and murmured approvingly. But only she heard his whispered assurances that it would all be fantastic. She believed him.


Ten was right. Gallifreyan DNA. Something he hadn't seen for a long time, but he would know it anywhere, any time. This was one of the scattered remnants of his own people - an ironic reunion.

This man was not a Time Lord. He had only the double helix DNA of a non-regenerative Gallifreyan, not the quadruple helix of Time Lords. And….

Wow. That was surprising. He looked at him closer and spotted the obvious sign.

Tear ducts.

"You're a half blood? Like…."

"Like you?" Andrell almost spat the words. He was telepathic enough to know who Ten was, and his existence in this time line made him angrier than ever. "You…. you're an honoured member of the Oldblood families. I was nothing. They changed the law, you know. They tolerated us being born, but we could not study at the Academies. We could not become Time Lords."

"I'm sorry for that. I fought hard to prevent that kind of thing. But what has that got to do with… Why this burning hatred? And WHAT do you think you can do with the Sash of Rassilon?" He had read that idea in his mind. It was burning in him.

"The Sash is the power. I can be the greatest Gallifreyan in the universe with it."

"Oh!" Ten laughed manically. "Oh! Not the old ruling the universe chestnut. When do people EVER learn?"

His mocking laughter outraged Andrell still further. His eyes glittered with hatred.

"YOU let my mother die," he said, and Ten presumed this was the answer to his first question. Why the hatred.


"My mother. You knew her. She talked about you as a friend. But you left her to die when Gallifrey burned."

"A lot of people I cared for died. I could do nothing about it. Who was your mother? Who are you?"

"I am Andrell," he said.

"That is the short form of your name. It tells me nothing and gives me a strange vision of cute puppies and tissue products."

Andrell looked at him. He didn't understand the Earth cultural reference but he knew he was being mocked. His anger rose.

My full name is Andredblackfordmarshallgantíreréllán of the House of Reídlúum. My mother was a Human you brought to Gallifrey. He loved her so much that he performed the Rite of Transference so that she would live as long as he would. But they both perished in the inferno. And you let them.”."

"I told you I could do nothing. But… Andrell… Andred-Réllán…. Your father was Commander Andred of the Chancellery Guard? Your mother was…" His hearts were heavy with grief as he realised. "Your mother was Leela?"


"She was a good woman. An honest, loyal woman. And you… You would dishonour her memory by murdering the dearest friend she ever had and seizing a power you don't deserve." He was appalled. He had grieved long ago for all of his friends who died when Gallifrey died. But the thought that the son of that dear friend of old would turn to the darkness opened the wound afresh. He burned with new grief.

"What's going on here?" The sergeant in the uniform of the 22nd corps blocked the light from the entrance to the tent. Ten looked around quickly at him without lessening his grip on Andrell's shoulders.

"Would you believe a lover's tiff?" he asked with a disarming grin. Not disarming enough. "Ok, believe this then." He pulled out his psychic paper and flashed his identification but the sergeant told him they had been ordered to arrest anyone trying to use that scam. Blast, he thought.

"Drop your weapon now," Andrell screamed, taking advantage of the distraction. Ten felt him reach into the inside pocket of his coat and grab the one thing that LOOKED as if it might be a weapon.

"Don't shoot," Ten yelled but as Andrell pushed past him the sergeant fired. A double tap to the head at near point blank range. Even Gallifreyan regenerative powers couldn't fight that. The brain would be pulped. He knelt beside the dying man offering what comfort he could.

"I AM sorry," he told him. "For everything that you have held so bitterly in your hearts. I am sorry." He felt Andrell's life ebb away. He closed his staring eyes and looked around at the soldier.

"What part of don't shoot didn't you understand?" he asked angrily.

"He had a weapon."

"He had a sonic screwdriver set in compass mode," Ten replied holding it up. "You killed an unarmed man. Why did you kill him? You could have shot to wound." He was the only other Gallifreyan that had escaped the holocaust. It was a waste. They so needed to save as much of their species as they could. The last of their kind was the remnants of the Lœngbærrow House gathered in that marquee. The loss to his race overwhelmed him.

Nobody else heard the gunshot over the music and the conversation. Only The Doctor and Christopher with their Time Lord hearing looked around and frowned at such a discord in their happy time. The Doctor stood up and told Rose he would be back in a minute.

"If aliens are invading, tell them to come back tomorrow when we're away on our honeymoon," she said. He grinned. If it WAS he was quite prepared to say just that to them. But if it was anything else he needed to know about it.


"What happened?" Ten looked up from where he was examining the body to see his other self, still dressed in that magnificent way that made his own hearts swell with pride. He began to explain. The Doctor's expression alternated from anger to grief, to anger again and to the same grief and sense of loss and waste.

"If I'd known he existed," The Doctor said. "I'd have…" He looked at Ten. "If only…"

"Yes, I know." They neither of them needed to say anything else. Ten stood and looked at his other self. "I'm sorry that it happened this way."

Jack came into the tent. He'd seen The Doctor slip away from the reception and followed him. He took one look at the dead man and ordered his discreet removal. The Doctor told him the crisis was over and he could stand his men down now. Jack said he'd keep them here all the same, just in case.

"Rose will be wanting to divorce me if I don't go straight back." He looked at Ten. "Will you come in for a while? Say hello to her. Wyn would be thrilled to see you, too. She's here with her family."

"No." He shook his head. "I shouldn't be here. I wanted to see you married. I've done that. I'm happy for you both. But to stay… I might stop being happy and become regretful." He reached out and hugged his other self. "Have a good life," he told him. "Have a fantastic life."

"I think I will," The Doctor said. "You look after yourself. And you have a fantastic life, too."


He heard the sound of the other TARDIS dematerialising as he went back to his wife and his guests and his wedding party. The danger was over, but he did feel very sad that it had come out that way. Like Ten, he regretted that one with the DNA of his once proud species had wasted his life so bitterly

"Hey," Rose said as he returned to her. "Are you going to tell me what's going on?"

"Nothing is going on except a wonderful party," he told her. He kissed her lovingly, again to the delight of everyone around. He put the trouble outside behind him and looked around at his friends. He ate and drank happily himself and treasured every moment of their special night.

When everyone had eaten their fill, there were speeches, as at any wedding. Jack, as Best Man, was called upon first. He actually looked strangely shy as he did so. And he kept his speech short.

"I owe my life a dozen times over to The Doctor and to Rose - or the Lord and Lady de Lœngbærrow as we're apparently to call them from now on. I don't think I'm ever going to get used to that. It's going to be hard getting used to the universe without them kicking about it somewhere. I can't imagine The Doctor retired from saving the universe. But apparently Rose is going to give him some other things to think about for a while." Everyone laughed and Rose blushed and tried not to look at Shireen. "Well," Jack continued. "They BOTH threw me over for each other, so they must really be in love. So let us all drink to that - to love."

The toast was echoed around the marquee and then Christopher stood. He looked around and for him almost all of the people were strangers. But he had a duty to perform and he did.

"Even on Gallifrey, where we live long lives it is quite unusual for a son to officiate at his father's wedding," he said and everyone laughed good-humouredly. "Even so, I was proud to do that duty. My father has chosen a wonderful lady as his wife. We have all come to love her, I the most recently. For I have only just rediscovered a family I was lost to for a long time. And I know it was a shock to a beautiful young woman like Rose to find that she was gaining a 780 year old stepson. Family trees are complicated things for us. But my toast is to my new mother, who has already made my father a very happy man and I know will continue to do so."

He lifted his glass and toasted the bride. Rose blushed at the compliments and at having it put so plainly to all that she WAS, now, mother to Christopher. Worse, she was GRANDMOTHER to Susan - GREAT GRANDMOTHER to Susan's children. She smiled. It was that or burst into tears. She turned to her new husband and he met her gaze with the beautiful smile, twinkling eyes and slightly crooked teeth that had first stolen her heart. He stood and looked around the room.

"Thank you, all my dear friends. I am glad so many of you could be here to witness the happiest day of my life. I thank you all and bless you for your love and your kindness and your devotion. I don't want to make anyone feel sad on this happy day, but I want to pay tribute to absent friends. There ARE some sad absences from among us. Today, for reasons too long to go into, I think particularly of a wonderful woman called Leela, and her husband, Andred. Their son ought to have been among us today, part of our happy crowd. His life was tragically destroyed by circumstances I regret I could do nothing about. I think of another special lady called Romana. I think of Rose's father, a very good man who would be proud of her this day, my own parents and all we knew on old Gallifrey. And so many more we would be all night mentioning them by name. But please, drink a toast with me to those absent friends." And he reached for Rose's hand and she stood by him as they did so. Jackie came to his side, smiling through tears that had come to her when he mentioned Pete. One by one, all of them stood, and each had the name of a friend they knew, who had been a friend of his, on their lips. He himself said the name of Julia, his first wife who still had a place in his hearts even though they belonged to Rose now. Other names echoed around the marquee before a happier toast to the bride and groom was called for and the wedding cake was brought forward to be cut by them.

Afterwards there was dancing. Of course, they had to lead it. The Doctor took his wife's hand and they stepped onto the softly lit floor. Rose smiled at the first strains of the chosen song. The Wind Beneath My Wings had been their special song for many years. It never meant as much as it did now. They both felt as if they were flying. Rose pressed close to her husband, feeling his two hearts beating in time to hers. Her husband! She had hardly dared to dream of it when she first fell in love with him. Later she thought a dream was ALL it could be. That it had happened at last was nothing short of a miracle and she wanted to make the most of every moment of it.

At last, came the moment. A quiet came upon the wedding party as The Doctor took the key from a pocket in his robe and pressed it. In an empty space in the centre of the hall a blue box that was familiar to all appeared. They stood for a moment on the doorstep and turned and looked at their assembled friends and relations. Rose threw her wedding bouquet and was surprised when Jackie caught it. Then they waved to everyone and together they stepped into the TARDIS.

He had already programmed the co-ordinates of their honeymoon destination - where else but the beautiful planet of SangC'lune, where he knew the gentle people would be delighted to know that their God was now a married man. And for the first time he might actually use the bed in the great hall. But the honeymoon would begin before then. After pressing the button that dematerialised the TARDIS and sent them on their way he took Rose by the hand through the inner door of the console room. He stopped at the bedroom door. They had shared that room since they had been formally engaged, but never before had they done more than hold each other lovingly through the night. Now, they were married, and this was their wedding night. And they both felt the enormity of the moment.

"I love you, Mrs Lœngbærrow." He pushed open the door and lifted her into his arms to carry her across the threshold. A strange Earth custom but one he approved of.

"I love you, my DOCTOR," she said, because some habits died hard.

Don't worry. It doesn't end there. The Doctor and Rose's story,  and that of the new generation of time lords, continues in New Lords of Time.