Title: First Things First
Show: Doctor Who
Timeline: A few days after Aftermath.
Synopsis: Jack knows more than he’s letting on. The Doctor has questions.
Author’s Note: Part V in the Unlocking Secrets series. Thanks to fairygothmum for the beta!
Jack looked over the console and smiled at the couple sitting on the jumpseat. They weren’t paying a bit of attention to him...and that didn’t bother him at all. It wasn’t like they were ignoring him...they were just too engrossed in one another at the moment to even realize another person’s presence. And he had to admit...it made him happy.
Not just for the Doctor and Rose, but...it made him happy because it proved that he’d done the right thing. That wasn’t saying that everything was perfect, because it wasn’t. There were issues...and the past few days had been much like a rollercoaster. Tears, screams, laughter...and not just from Rose. That particular rollercoaster had been ridden by the Doctor as well.
Jack was sure that the Doctor thought that Jack hadn’t heard his sobs in the wee hours of the morning. Jack wasn’t going to let on any differently...and he sure as hell wasn’t going to let the Doctor know that his mental state had been much worse in a different timeline.
His smile grew as he watched the Doctor’s eyes darken as Rose ran her fingers through his hair before gently stroking his ear with her thumb. The Doctor whispered something to Rose, but Jack couldn’t hear it. The TARDIS had picked that particular moment to clank loudly.
Jack briefly wondered if that was purely coincidental.
Obviously the clank wasn’t a sign that something horrible was getting ready to happen. The Doctor hadn’t even flinched at the sound and Rose merely smiled. When Jack saw the Doctor’s eyes dart to Rose’s lips, he smirked and pushed away from the console.
“Think I’ll go see the sights that are to be seen here on...” He glanced at the monitor and shook his head. “You really should program this thing to tell us where we are in English. There’s one person in the entire universe who can read this.”
Rose glanced at the monitor as she scooted a bit closer to
the Doctor. “We’re on Selig’tal. It’s
4,562 years in the future and the atmosphere is similar to Earth’s. And...it’s a little
warmer here than it was in
Jack stared at Rose in surprise. “Since when can you read Gallifreyan?”
“I’ve been taking lessons.” She replied nonchalantly before giving him a wink. “And I have a very good teacher.”
“You’re just surprisingly quick, is all.” The Doctor interjected, absently rubbing his fingers along the inner seam of her jeans leg.
She turned towards the Doctor and arched an eyebrow. “Surprisingly?”
He nodded and lifted his free hand to scratch the back of his head. “For a human to be able to read Gallifreyan is just...well, it’s unheard of, actually. So, maybe the word I should’ve used is ‘astoundingly’ instead of ‘surprisingly’.”
“I’m astoundingly quick?” She asked, reaching up to lightly trace his collar with her fingertip.
“Well...not with everything. Some things you can be painfully slow at.”
“Hey!” She smacked his shoulder, not hard enough to actually cause any pain, and gave him a scowl. “That was rude!”
His eyes darted to her lips again as he grinned. “Didn’t say that the things you’re painfully slow at were actually bad, you know.”
Rose’s scowl turned into an answering grin before she leaned up and placed a soft kiss on his cheek. Jack cleared his throat and jerked his thumb towards the door when both Rose and the Doctor looked over at him.
“I’ll be back later. Stalag Thirteen is calling me – ”
“Selig’tal.” The Doctor and Rose corrected him simultaneously.
“Whatever it’s called...” Jack gave a broad smile and ran his fingers through his hair. “Are they humanoid here?”
“Since when does that matter?” The Doctor asked, his voice tinged with amusement. “And...why are you in such a hurry to leave?”
“It doesn’t matter. But, I want to know what to expect. I mean...if I’m approached by a purple, four-armed...” He paused, considering his words. “Actually...four arms would be good.”
Rose rolled her eyes. “They’re humanoid.”
“Great!” Jack beamed before looking pointedly at the Doctor. “And I’m in a hurry because I want to shag as much as you do.”
“What?” The Doctor asked, eyes wide as his fingers stopped moving on Rose’s inner thigh.
“I’m Jack Harkness.” Jack snorted as he pulled his jacket off the strut closest to him before grinning at the Doctor. “And I know that look you have in your eyes. You’re about forty-five seconds from – ”
The Doctor sighed heavily and shook his head, speaking louder than he actually needed to in order to interrupt Jack’s observation. “Have a good night, Jack!”
Jack gave Rose a wink and, without another word, left the TARDIS. Rose turned to the Doctor and smiled lovingly at him.
He gave a quick shake of his head and pulled her on top of him, a soft gasp escaping his lips as she straddled his thighs. “More like twenty...”
“Here?” She asked, draping her arms over his shoulders as he shifted underneath her.
His hands grasped her hips as he lifted his feet to the console, carefully avoiding the numerous buttons and levers. “Anywhere.”
Leaning down, she brushed her lips across his as she rocked her hips against his burgeoning erection. “Bed?”
He nodded slowly and licked his lips. “If you want...”
“What do you think?” She whispered, kissing him again before carefully moving off of him.
The Doctor lowered his feet from the console and pushed himself out of the jumpseat. Lifting his hand, he gently brushed his fingers through her hair.
“I love you.”
Those three words had never failed to bring a smile to Rose’s face...and this time was no exception.
* * *
The Doctor looked up at her, eyes sparkling as he dragged his tongue through her wet folds. She threw her head back and moaned, her right hand pressed against the back of his head as the fingers of her left curled in the sheets. He circled the tip of his tongue around her swollen clitoris and slid his right hand up to cover her left.
She vaguely registered the sensation of him prying her fingers free from the sheet, crying out his name as he nipped at her sensitive flesh before drawing it into his mouth. He groaned against her, lacing their fingers together as he suckled...quickly moving his free hand to her hip in an effort to hold her still.
Her nails dug into his scalp as her cries turned into screams of ecstasy, her orgasm crashing over her as his tongue laved her clit. He continued to watch her through glazed eyes, mesmerized by the sight of her head thrashing against the pillow as she came.
When he heard her whimper his name, quickly followed by the word ‘please’, he pulled back...just enough to place a soft kiss on her still-quivering nub before sliding up her body. He lifted their joined hands and brushed his lips across her knuckles, smiling as he then pressed the back of her hand against the mattress.
“Doctor...” She whispered on a heavy pant, resting her knees against his sides as he pushed his thick cock into her. “Oh God...I love...you...”
He licked his lips and held his hips still, lowering his mouth to her ear. His breath was warm against her skin as he whispered to her.
“Huh?” She murmured, sliding her right hand to his back as he began to thrust into her slowly.
“Choose me, Rose...” He repeated, flicking his tongue against her earlobe. “Make me yours.”
Somewhere in the depths of her mind, his words were familiar. She remembered hearing him say something similar in one of their early discussions of his past.
She chose me.
She wasn’t exactly sure what it meant...but, she knew that she would choose him, had chosen him...over and over...in any situation. And so she raked her nails down his back in the way she knew drove him crazy and groaned as he hissed in pleasure.
“Always choose you...” She gasped as he angled his hips and pressed deeper within her.
The Doctor was ninety percent certain that Rose didn’t realize the impact that those words could...and would...have on him. There was no way that she could possibly know what it was that he was asking of her.
He’d never fully explained that choosing...
He interrupted his own thoughts and looked down at her, squeezing her hand tightly in his as he gazed into her eyes. He swallowed thickly, feeling the tears starting to well within him once more. Seeing the change of emotion in his dark eyes, she moved her hand from his back to his chest...lovingly stroking his skin as his hearts pounded beneath her touch.
“It’s okay...I’m here...” She whispered.
“Almost lost you...” He murmured, shortening his strokes as he reached down and coaxed her right leg up and over his hip. “Almost lost us...”
“Doctor...” Rose started, inhaling sharply as he changed his rhythm to one that had always brought her orgasm quickly.
“You’ve lost so much, Rose.” He whispered, sliding his hand back up her body to cup a firm breast. “I’m sorry...I’m so sorry.”
Hearing the sadness in his whispered tone immediately brought tears to her eyes. She had suspected that he blamed himself for her being separated from her mother, from Pete, and even from Mickey...but, this was proof that she’d been right in her suspicions.
“Stop.” She whispered, tears welling in her eyes as she lifted her hand to his cheek. “God, stop blaming yourself. It was my choice to come back...to leave them there.”
He paused the motion of his hips, swallowing thickly as he leaned into her touch. “Rose...”
She shook her head quickly, lifting her left leg over his hip and crossing her ankles over his lower back. “No...if anyone’s to blame, it’s me. And yeah, I’m sad. I miss Mum...I really miss her. But, I wouldn’t have...”
He tilted his head slightly and lovingly wiped a tear from her face as it escaped the corner of her eye. “Wouldn’t have what?”
“The thought of living life without you...I...I couldn’t breathe. It hurt so bad, Doctor. And as much as I miss Mum and Pete and Mickey...I can still breathe without them.” She offered him a small smile as she ran her thumb over his bottom lip. “I don’t regret my decision...please don’t regret it for me. Okay?”
He nodded slowly, pressing a kiss to the pad of her thumb before resuming his slow, deep thrusts. “We move on?”
“Yeah...” She groaned, closing her eyes as she arched her throat towards him. “Together...yeah?”
“Oh, yes...” He agreed, leaning down to run his tongue from the base of her throat to her chin. “Together...Rose...”
She wrapped her arms around him, hands slipping against his sweat-slicked skin as her inner walls quivered around his thickening cock. Her hips moved with his, encouraging him to move faster...harder...within her.
And as her nails raked down his back again, he complied.
He pushed himself up, hands pressed to the mattress either side of her shoulders, and stared down at her in amazement as she came apart beneath him. In all of his well over nine hundred years, he was certain that he’d never seen anything as beautiful as Rose as they made love.
Not even the cascading stars in the Sheken Galaxy that had held the title of the most beautiful thing he’d seen for five hundred and twenty-six years.
He shuddered as she dug her nails into his ribs and cried out his name as her juices flooded over him. She trembled as he continued, lowering his head and closing his eyes as he neared his own orgasm. His hair tickled her cheek...his breath teased her neck...and when she heard him whisper in his native tongue, she turned her head just enough to kiss the side of his neck.
“Come for me, Doctor...” She whispered breathlessly before nipping at his skin with her teeth.
He answered with a deep groan and allowed himself release at last, emptying himself deep within her as she held him tightly. He held his position until his arms threatened to give way. Then, and only then, did he shift just enough to collapse at her side...both of them sighing as his softening cock slipped from her.
Feeling his fingers tremble as they pressed into her hip, she rolled onto her side and offered him a warm smile. “Love you.”
He returned her smile and captured her lips in a tender kiss, murmuring a promise to love her forever.
* * *
Two hours and forty-three minutes later, he woke as he normally did. He smiled and gently brushed her hair back from her face, content to stay where he was for the next few minutes just to watch her sleep.
It was times like this that he cursed being a Time Lord. He’d give anything to be able to sleep with her...just sleep with her...all night, holding her in his arms. But, it had yet to happen...and he was quite certain that it never would.
However, he did always make a point of slipping back into bed at least thirty minutes before she woke. He took some comfort in the knowledge that he wouldn’t allow her to wake alone.
He gave a sad sigh when he felt it. The energy was beginning to build within him...and if he didn’t move soon, he’d inadvertently wake her with his restlessness. With a soft kiss to her forehead, he carefully eased his arm out from under her head and slipped out of bed.
He continued watching her as he redressed, his smile growing as he sat down in the chair against the wall to put his shoes on.
He vividly remembered asking her to choose him...which she did, even though she wasn’t aware of what it was he was asking of her. On Gallifrey, choosing was enough...but, humans had a different tradition. One that involved –
His smile faded, replaced by a furrowed brow as he finished the thought.
One that involved something that he didn’t have.
He scratched the back of his head, watching her closely as he leaned back in the chair and allowed his thoughts to continue to race in his mind. As she rolled over and snuggled into his pillow, his smile returned.
Pushing himself out of the chair, he fought the urge to crawl back into bed and wake her with a series of kisses and touches. Instead, he made his way across the room and slipped out the door, careful to silently close the door behind him.
And that was when it hit him.
He did have the something. At the very least, he had a something that he could use.
He chuckled to himself and took off down the hall.
* * *
Jack yawned as he let himself back into the TARDIS, rubbing the side of his neck as he closed the door. He quietly made his way down the hall towards his room, tilting his head when he heard the distinctive sound of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver coming from the kitchen.
He huffed a soft laugh, hoping that he wasn’t tinkering with any of the appliances again. They were still finding bits and pieces of the blender that the Doctor had enhanced in order to crush some pebbles he’d found on one of Chanterian’s moons. He’d never found out why the Doctor was wanting to crush pebbles, but the blender had protested the task...even with the enhancements...and had exploded.
Rose had actually said it’d vaporized instead of exploded. The Doctor had disagreed, finding a tiny sliver of the blade and holding it up proudly. And that was the justification the Doctor used as his proof that he was correct. If there were pieces, it had exploded and not vaporized.
Jack grinned as he walked into the kitchen. “Didn’t have to wait up for me.”
“I didn’t.” The Doctor replied absently, turning an object in his hand and studying it closely before turning the screwdriver on it again. “Have a good night?”
“Yeah...” Jack narrowed his eyes and pulled out the chair opposite the Doctor’s. “What’re you doing?”
“Tinkering.” The Doctor answered, looking up long enough to grin at Jack. “But, not with appliances.”
“And we’re very appreciative of that.” Jack chuckled and reached over, picking up a stone that was on the tabletop. “What’s this?”
The Doctor licked his lips and then cleared his throat, lowering his hands as he glanced at the object held gingerly between Jack’s left thumb and forefinger. “It’s, uh...it’s a...White Point Star.”
“A star, huh? It’s pretty...where’d you get it?”
The Doctor hesitated for a moment and exhaled slowly. “Gallifrey.”
Jack looked up quickly. “Huh?”
“They were only found on Gallifrey.” The Doctor stated, reaching over and gently taking the gem from Jack. “It’s a perfect, uncut diamond. The last time I was on Gallifrey, I found a couple. And...considering what I was about to do...”
He met Jack’s eyes and sighed heavily. “I kept them as a reminder of home.”
Jack nodded slowly, still not used to the Doctor periodically talking about his past. “Thinking about home?”
“Not exactly...” The Doctor replied, closing his fingers around the diamond. “Thinking more about Rose.”
Jack lowered his eyes to the object that the Doctor had been tinkering with, his smile widening as he realized what was going on. “You’re making a ring?”
The Doctor sat back in his chair and scratched the back of his head. “Humans...they have engagements with rings and proposals and...it was easier on Gallifrey. You’re chosen...you can ask to be chosen, but it’s still up to the female. She chooses...no rings, no proposals. It’s...easier.”
Jack grinned and the Doctor quickly lowered his eyes, pushing at the nearly finished ring with the tip of his finger.
“Rose would want a ring. She’d want the human tradition.” He uncurled his fingers and held up the diamond. “This is all I have.”
Jack watched silently as the Doctor carefully placed the diamond into the setting he had fashioned. He wondered if it was gold, but didn’t bother asking. He saw the slight tremble in the Doctor’s hand as he picked up the screwdriver and fixed the diamond into place. Recognizing the nerves that the Doctor was obviously trying to hide, Jack reached over and placed his hand on the Doctor’s forearm. He waited until the Doctor met his eyes and then smiled warmly.
“She’ll love it, you know.” When the Doctor returned the smile, Jack sat back and gave him a wink. “And after everything I’ve done...I better be the best man at the wedding.”
The Doctor chuckled for a moment, stopping abruptly as though a thought had suddenly occurred to him. He tilted his head to the side and regarded Jack carefully.
“How did you know?”
Jack’s smile faltered a bit at the look in the Doctor’s eyes. “How did I know what?”
“When to show up? At Torchwood.” The Doctor stared into Jack’s eyes. “How did you know to be there...then...to save her?”
“Oh...that.” Jack waved his hand in a nonchalant manner, the corner of his mouth quirking into a grin. “Pure luck. The readings on my vortex manipulator just went a bit crazy...”
The Doctor was quiet for a moment and then shook his head. “You’re lying. How did you know, Jack?”
Jack considered elaborating on his lie...but knew that the Doctor would see right through it. And so, he exhaled deeply and allowed the grin to fade completely.
“You told me.”
“What?” The Doctor clenched his jaw, leaning forward when Jack didn’t answer him immediately. “What?!”
Jack shook his head and averted his eyes, the anger building in the Doctor’s eyes clearly unsettling him. “I ran into you three months from now.”
“Where?” The Doctor ground out.
“Canary Wharf...a block and a half from Torchwood.” Jack licked his lips and chanced a quick glance at the Doctor. “She was gone, Doctor. You said she was in Pete’s World or something...said you’d burned up a sun to tell her that you loved her one last time.”
“No...” The Doctor sat back, eyes hard and dark as he stared at Jack. “No...no, no...she came back to me.”
“Yeah...she did.” Jack agreed, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees. “But, she still lost her grip on the lever. And Pete came back in time to catch her...and took her to his universe.”
The Doctor continued to stare at him, eyes glistening with unshed tears. “How?”
“You didn’t know.” Jack whispered. “Look...you were in bad shape. And by bad shape, I mean...drunk and depressed. And I think if you weren’t keeping a promise to Rose, you would’ve been a tad suicidal. Well, more than a tad...because even though you wouldn’t admit it to me, I don’t think you cared if you lived or died at that time.”
“What promise?” The Doctor asked, slipping the ring into his pocket.
Jack took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “She asked you to keep trying to find a way to bring her back. She...made you promise to keep trying.”
The Doctor chewed his bottom lip as he considered Jack’s words. “The walls are sealed. Permanently. I...wouldn’t have made that promise. I wouldn’t...couldn’t have given her false hope.”
“You were trying, Doctor.” Jack offered softly.
“But, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. It...it would’ve been...is...impossible. There’s no way to...I would’ve been lucky, very lucky, to even find a way to her in order to...” He swallowed hard and didn’t bother attempting to hide the tremble in his voice. “...say goodbye.”
“Yeah. A lot of luck and the death of a sun...and you still couldn’t tell her goodbye. Instead, you made a promise...”
“I wouldn’t have promised her that!” The Doctor interrupted, raising his voice more than he intended.
Jack felt a wave of annoyance rush through him, even though he could understand the Doctor’s confusion. He stared directly into the Doctor’s eyes and folded his hands on the table.
“And yet, I found you in
“Because I promised her?” The Doctor finished, shaking his head furiously. “I wouldn’t have – ”
“She’s pregnant!” Jack blurted, his annoyance getting the better of him. “And she didn’t know how to raise a child that’s half-human and half-Time Lord! So, you promised to keep trying!”
The Doctor’s mouth dropped open in shock, but Jack didn’t seem to notice.
“Even though you knew it was impossible, you kept trying...because you didn’t want to lose another child. And if you had quit trying, that’s exactly what would’ve happened. You would’ve lost Rose and the baby for good.” Jack took a quick breath and licked his lips before continuing, softening his tone. “It was the only thing keeping you going, Doctor. So, I did what I could.”
“What?” The Doctor choked out, a dazed look in his eyes.
“I changed my timeline to coincide with yours...at just the right time. The boots were your idea. You used parts of the magnaclamps in the soles.”
“No...” The Doctor shook his head and inhaled deeply. “No, I mean...Rose was pregnant?”
Jack smiled warmly.
“Well, more like...is
pregnant. She’s pregnant now,
Doctor. Because...on that other
timeline, you didn’t have this. She was
“What?” A bewildered voice asked from the other side of the kitchen.
Both men turned towards the door to find Rose standing in the doorway, eyes wide. The Doctor pushed himself out of the chair and ran across the room. Jack blew out a deep breath, even more annoyed with himself now than he had been with the Doctor earlier.
The Doctor swallowed as Rose looked into his eyes, her bottom lip trembling. “We...we did lose each other?”
“No.” He answered quickly, pulling her into a fierce hug. “No, it couldn’t have happened. I would’ve stopped Jack from going back...you can’t cross timelines.”
“Yeah, you said that too.”
Jack sighed as he stood up and leaned against the sink, crossing his
arms over his chest. “But, like I told
you then...it wasn’t my
timeline. I wasn’t at
The Doctor spun around, pointing his finger at Jack and opening his mouth to quite possibly start yelling. His impending tirade was stopped by another whispered question tumbling from Rose’s lips.
The Doctor quickly darted his eyes between Rose and Jack before snapping his fingers as an idea struck him. He grabbed Rose’s hand and pulled her out of the kitchen and down the hall towards the console room. Jack hurriedly pushed away from the sink and ran after them.
“What are you doing?” Jack called out just as the Doctor turned the corner.
The Doctor ignored him, quickening his pace to put even more distance between them. But, he did look down at Rose when she squeezed his hand. He stopped suddenly, lifting his hand to tenderly wipe away a tear that had rolled onto her cheek.
“It’s okay.” He whispered, leaning down to kiss her forehead. “It’s going to be okay.”
“But...I’m pregnant?” She asked again.
“We’re going to find out, yeah?” He answered, threading his fingers through her hair.
Jack suddenly appeared, breathing heavily after running down the hall to catch up. “You know, I’ve had a very strenuous night...running was not in my plans.”
The Doctor rolled his eyes and started walking again, keeping Rose close at his side. Jack gave an exasperated sigh and followed them into the console room.
“What are you doing?” He asked again as the Doctor flipped a lever and pushed a button.
The TARDIS’ engines started as the Doctor finally gave him an answer. “Finding out whether or not you’re telling the truth.”
Rose’s eyes widened as she quickly shook her head. “No! No, you can’t...remember what happened with Dad and the Reapers and – ”
The Doctor shook his head and offered her a smile that
seemingly surprised her. “Rose, I’m not
taking us to
“Huh?” She asked, furrowing her brow in confusion.
“There’s a simple way to see if he’s telling the truth.”
“Why would I lie to you about this?” Jack asked, a hurt tone in his voice. “I didn’t want to tell you at all...I didn’t mean to tell you...”
The Doctor sighed softly and turned his head to meet Jack’s eyes. “I need to know for myself...for Rose. This is nothing personal against you, Jack.”
“Feels personal. You’re angry, yelling at me...ignoring me. Yeah, it feels personal.” Jack stated, slumping onto the jumpseat. “And...it bothers me more than it should.”
“I’m sorry.” The Doctor replied, after a pointed look from Rose. “It’s not personal, it’s just...what you’ve told me...well, what you say I did goes against nearly every rule I have about time travel. I need to know, Jack. And I can’t just take your word this time.”
He reached around Rose and flipped a switch, grabbing onto the edge of the console as the TARDIS suddenly pitched. “Hold on!”
“Why do we need to go to Earth?” Rose asked as she pushed a flashing button that the Doctor pointed to. “And why doesn’t it matter where on Earth we’re going?”
When the Doctor merely smiled nervously at her as he raced around the console, Jack pushed out of the jumpseat and stood next to Rose.
Rose looked up at him and arched an eyebrow. “So are you.”
“Yeah, but I’m not pregnant. You are.” Jack replied with a smile. “No shops on Selig’tal cater to the needs of human women who need to find out if they’re pregnant.”
Rose stared at him for a moment and then slowly turned her stare to the Doctor. “We’re going to Earth so you can buy a pregnancy test?”
The TARDIS evened out her flight path and the Doctor stood straight, shoving his hands into the pockets of his trousers and offering her a crooked smile. “Well...”
Rose moved around Jack and walked directly over to the Doctor. She reached out to touch him, but pulled her hand back before she actually made contact. With a heavy sigh, she wrapped her arms around herself and looked up into his eyes.
“Is this because you broke your own rules about time travel?”
His smile faded as he shook his head and pulled his right hand out of his pocket. Reaching over, he carefully pulled her left hand free and laced their fingers together.
“No, not entirely...or even mostly. It might have a tiny bit to do with it, but...” He exhaled slowly as he ran his thumb along the back of her hand. “I can only imagine what my mental state was when Jack found me. I know how I felt when you were gone for thirty seconds...and to think about you being in another universe, I...”
He cleared his throat and squeezed her fingers as he gazed into her eyes. “I wouldn’t have been able to breathe.”
“Doctor...” Rose whispered, instantly recognizing the words. After all, she had told him the very same thing just a few hours earlier.
“I don’t not believe him, Rose...but...if you’re pregnant, there’s only one way he could possibly know. And I need to know...”
“You need to know if I’m pregnant.” Rose finished for him.
The Doctor shook his head and lifted his other hand to the side of her face in a loving caress. “No...I need to know how close I came to losing you.”
Rose furrowed her brow in confusion. “Why?”
“So it doesn’t happen again.” He replied with a small smile. “So I can work harder to protect you...and our child.”
He lowered his hand from her face and brushed his fingertips over her abdomen. Jack smiled as he watched the gentle gesture and then stumbled as the TARDIS made its sudden landing. Noticing that neither the Doctor nor Rose had stumbled as well, he realized that his exhaustion from his strenuous evening was creeping up on him.
“Um...you don’t need me to tag along on your little excursion, do you?” He grinned as both of them quickly looked at him. “Had a busy night, you know? Selig’talites have the stamina of – ”
“Goodnight, Jack!” Rose and the Doctor interrupted simultaneously.
Jack gave them a mock scowl before turning and muttering something about no one listening to his exotic tales anymore as he left the console room. Rose looked up and watched the Doctor stare at the hallway for a few moments before lightly tugging on his hand to get his attention.
He smiled as he met her eyes once more. “Yeah?”
“Is it too soon?” She asked, chewing her bottom lip as he tilted his head in a silent question. “I mean, you said ‘maybe...one day’ and that wasn’t all that long ago.”
“Oh...” He paused for a second and then grinned, giving her a wink as he backed down the ramp and pulled her with him towards the door. “Well, you know...this could be ‘one day’. It’s definitely ‘a day’ and could possibly be ‘the day’. Days are destined to be one and the at any given time...that’s the beauty of time.”
Rose stopped as he reached behind him and pulled the door open. “Doctor...”
He leaned against the doorframe and shook his head. “Not for me. But...is it too soon for you?”
“No, well yeah, but...no, not really. I really wasn’t expecting it this soon, but we haven’t really been doing anything to prevent it either, have we?”
“Nope.” He answered, softly popping the ‘p’. “What does that say about us?”
“That we’re either really stupid or subconsciously really wanting it.”
“Well...you’re brilliant and I’m very clever, so that kinda knocks the ‘really stupid’ option out, doesn’t it?” He tugged her closer and bent his head to place a soft kiss on her lips. “I love you, Rose Tyler. And I’m ninety-eight percent sure that Jack was telling the truth.”
“Only ninety-eight?” She asked with a smile, the brightest one she’d given him since before she’d fallen asleep earlier.
He shrugged a shoulder and pushed away from the doorframe. “Always discard two percent of everything Jack tells you. It’s good advice to live by.”
Rose laughed and allowed him to pull her out of the TARDIS. She narrowed her eyes as she looked around, closing the door behind her.
“Where are we?”
“I didn’t think you heard that. You were...tinkering...at the time.” Rose leaned into him, wrapping her arm around his waist.
“Proof that I listen even when I appear to be absorbed in something else. What do you want to do first?”
“Stop by a chemist?”
He stopped in the middle of the street, which was actually a quiet alleyway, and kissed her. She returned the kiss, sliding her arms around his neck and playing with the soft hair covering his nape. He pulled away just milliseconds before they tumbled over into ‘rush back to the TARDIS’ territory and gently squeezed her hip. She took a deep breath to calm herself and gave him a nod before slipping her hand back into his.
They chatted as they walked, stopping at an ATM and pilfering a few monetary units with the help of his sonic screwdriver. After pocketing the money, they continued on their way...turning the corner to find a chemist right in front of them. He exhaled a deep breath and licked his suddenly dry lips.
“Half-human, half-Time Lord...been done before?”
He nodded slowly and then shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe. Probably. Humans are well-known for their proficiency in the art of seduction. I’m sure that I’m not the only Time Lord to have fallen victim...”
He dodged as she reached out to smack his arm, laughing when she missed. He was sure that once they found out she was definitely expecting there would be hundreds of questions. He was also sure that he’d welcome those questions...and answer them happily.
As he held the door to the chemist open for her, he knew that their lives were getting ready to change. He may not have realized they were ready for it until now, but there was no question that this child...should the test prove positive...would be loved dearly by both of them.
Realizing that he had fallen into deep thought, she lifted his hand to her lips and gently kissed his knuckles. When he looked down at her, she raised an eyebrow in a silent question.
He smiled adoringly at her and led her down the second aisle. “We have much to thank Jack for...”
“Yep...” She answered, plucking a box from the shelf and handing it to him. “But, I’m not naming this baby ‘Jack’.”
He chuckled as they made their way to the counter. He smiled at the cheery teenaged girl who was running the till and placed the box on the countertop.
“What will the last name be?”
“What?” He asked, digging into his pocket for the money and swallowing hard when his fingers brushed across the White Point Star he had slipped in earlier.
“Well...normally the father gives his last name to the baby. But, do you even have a last name?”
The girl behind the counter raised an eyebrow, but said nothing as she took the money.
“ ‘Course, I do...not that anyone else would be able to
pronounce it. But, I was
thinking...maybe...” He paused as he
collected his change and his purchase, casting a quick glance at her as he led
her out of the shop. “
“You want the baby to have my name?” She asked quietly.
He scratched the back of his head and looked around, smiling inwardly when he saw an empty park bench underneath a large leafy tree.
“Doctor!” She complained half-heartedly as he dragged her across the road.
He grinned at her as he plopped down and pulled her down next to him. “How beautiful is this?”
“Answer my question...”
He reached up and brushed the hair back from her face with his fingertips. “No.”
Rose’s brow furrowed in confusion. “No, you won’t answer my question? Or...no, you don’t want the baby to have my name?”
“Neither.” He shook his head, amusement showing in his dark eyes. “I want both of us to have your name. Me and the baby.”
He shifted enough to reach into his pocket and pulled the ring out, curling his fingers around it to hide it from her. “Some things on Gallifrey were easier than they are on Earth. Of course, some things were much more difficult on Gallifrey...such as names. I know that it’s traditional for a human child to take the father’s name, but...well, in all honesty, it’s safer if we use your name.”
“Safer? What the hell are you talking about?” Rose asked, her confusion intensifying by the second.
“I’m the last of the Time Lords.” He paused, suddenly and uncharacteristically unsure. “There’s a reason that I don’t use my true name. That doesn’t mean that I’ll never tell you, I will...I just...I want to make sure that it wouldn’t be used as a weapon against you.”
“Doctor...” She sighed and dropped her left hand onto his thigh. “I know you don’t mean to be so...confusing...but, please – ”
“Marry me, Rose.” He interrupted softly.
“What?” Her eyes widened as her mouth dropped open in shock.
“I...have a ring...” He uncurled his fingers, clearing his throat nervously as her eyes darted to his hand. “I’m doing this wrong, aren’t I? Humans and their human traditions...they’re so confusing. So much easier to ask to be chosen...”
Her eyes flew back to his, her fingers trembled on his thigh. And as much as he wanted to avert his eyes from hers, he simply couldn’t. He watched as she made the connection of his words, his anxiety growing proportionally to the widening of her eyes.
“Chosen? You asked me to choose you...” She turned on the bench to fully face him, pulling her hand from his thigh. “You were...were you...were you asking me to marry you?”
“Somewhat.” He answered, turning as well and stretching his right arm along the back of the bench. “I’ve only done this once before...and...well, it was different then. If it helps, I didn’t take your statement of always choosing me as acceptance.”
“You don’t have to marry me because I’m pregnant.” She stated bluntly, lowering her eyes to her hands and picking at her thumbnail. “If I even am pregnant...”
Leaning into her, he pressed a gentle kiss to her lips and then ducked his head enough to recapture her gaze. “I asked you to choose me...and made the ring...before I knew about the baby. The maybe, but probable baby. What does that say?”
She glanced at his left hand, fingers still curled around what was more than likely the ring. “You...made the ring?”
He nodded slowly and took a deep breath, lifting his hand and uncurling his fingers. He swallowed when he heard her gasp, reaching over with his right hand and gingerly plucking the ring from his palm.
“It’s...the only diamond I had. Well, actually...I had two, but the other one was too big and would’ve looked...tacky. I picked gold because it looks so beautiful against your skin. But...I can do something different if you – ”
“It’s beautiful.” She interrupted on a whisper. “It’s...perfect.”
“Oh, that’s the stone. It’s a perfect, uncut diamond. On Gallifrey, they’re called White Point Stars.” He tilted the ring between his fingers, smiling as it caught the sunlight just right. “I had a couple from my last trip home.”
Her eyes flicked to his, her surprise showing clearly on her face. “It’s from Gallifrey?”
“Yeah...” He answered softly.
“You made a ring for me...with a diamond from your home planet?”
He nodded slowly, confused by her bewildered tone. “Yeah...”
“Because you want to marry me? And you want to be...what? Doctor Tyler?”
“Yeah...very much, actually.” He whispered, taking her left hand into his. “Please tell me you want the same...”
A tear spilled over her eyelid as she gave him a broad smile, nodding enthusiastically. “I choose you, Doctor. I’ll always choose you.”
He returned her smile, relief showing in his dark eyes as he leaned down and kissed her. As her lips parted beneath his, he slipped the ring onto her finger. He felt her gasp as his tongue glided across her bottom lip before sliding into her mouth.
And the next thing he knew, her hands were in his hair and she was returning his kiss with an eagerness that caused a groan to rumble in his chest.
A teenaged boy walked by and suggested they ‘get a room’, his skateboard held protectively under his arm as he grinned at the couple when they pulled apart quickly. The Doctor cleared his throat, barely giving the boy a glance before meeting Rose’s eyes.
“What do you think?”
Rose sighed happily as she looked down at her left hand, turning it from side to side. “I think it’s...it’s perfect, Doctor. It’s so perfect...and Mum would be so happy for us...”
“You think? I figured she’d slap me if she were here.” He replied with a gentle smile, not sure how she’d react considering that Jackie wasn’t there.
“Oh, she would. You’d have a red mark here...” She reached up and traced her finger along his jaw. “...for days. But, she’d be happy for us. Do you think...nevermind.”
He regarded her closely as she lowered her hand and picked up the bag from the chemist. He exhaled slowly and placed two fingers under her chin, tilting her head back until he could look into her eyes again.
“I’ll try to find a way, Rose.”
“But, you said it was impossible...” She sniffled as he moved his hand to cup her cheek.
“It is. Well, technically it is. But...it was impossible for us to end up in a parallel universe to begin with. And we did.”
“That was an accident.” Rose sighed, leaning into his touch.
The Doctor nodded in agreement and placed a tender kiss on her forehead. “Yeah, it was. But...I’m clever. And...according to Jack, I found a way to come to you one last time...in the other timeline. Maybe I can still find a way...I can still burn up a sun to give you the chance to talk to your mum one more time. If...if you want.”
“I love you, Doctor.”
He smiled warmly. “Doctor Tyler.”
She chuckled, swallowing her tears as she shook her head. “Not yet, you’re not.”
“Soon?” He asked, a hopeful tone to his voice.
“Yeah...soon. Definitely soon.” She answered with a bright smile, handing the bag from the chemist to him. “But, first things first.”
He stood up quickly and slipped the bag into his pocket as he reached down for her hand. Lacing their fingers together, he pulled her up and swung their joined hands between them. He nodded in agreement, grinning widely at her.
“First things first.”