Show: Doctor Who
Timeline: The day after The Night Before.
Synopsis: Interdimensional time travel made easy…if you’re a brilliant Time Lord.
Author’s Note: Part X in the Unlocking Secrets series. Special thanks to fairygothmum for the beta.
“So, what’s with all the mirrors?”
That had been the question that Martha had asked. She wasn’t sure why she was surprised that she had no idea what the Doctor was talking about at this moment. He was speaking English and she understood the actual words that were leaving his lips.
After all, ‘surround’ and ‘energy’ and ‘interdimensional’ were pretty simple words. But, he had a habit of stringing simple words together with extremely complex ones as he rattled off his explanation while running around the TARDIS and making adjustments to the mirrors in question.
When he’d finished his explanation, he glanced over at her and smiled. Martha nodded slowly and then turned her eyes to Rose.
“What’s with all the mirrors?”
The Doctor’s smile faded. Rose laughed softly and gestured towards the TARDIS.
“It’s a safer way to travel...for the TARDIS. If we aim the cannon at the ship itself, and something goes wrong, it could be pretty bad. But, if we aim it here...” She lightly ran her finger over the top of the first mirror. “...the beam goes all the way ‘round...”
“Like a force field...” Martha finished with a bright grin.
“Yeah.” Rose nodded.
The Doctor’s eyes narrowed at the two women. “That’s what I said!”
Jack snorted and moved the last mirror half an inch towards the TARDIS. “Yeah, just not in terms any normal person would be able to understand.”
The Doctor stared at Jack. “Rose understood me.”
“Rose is not always synonymous with normal...”
“Hey!” Rose exclaimed, pointing her finger when Jack looked over at her. “Maybe you’re the one who’s not normal, ever think of that? And since when do you say things like ‘synonymous’?”
“Who knows?” Jack grinned and gave her a wink. “I’m not marrying him though.”
Rose paused and then shrugged a shoulder. “Yeah, okay...fair enough.”
Rose grinned at the Doctor, her tongue held between her teeth and her eyes shining brightly. The Doctor sighed heavily and made another adjustment as Jack and Martha laughed. After a few seconds he caught Rose’s eye and winked.
He’d much rather hear laughter than the silence that normally accompanied uncertainty. And right now...there was a huge uncertainty hanging over them. If Rose could still laugh and joke while worrying about whether or not this was going to work, he’d be happy to bear the brunt of her jokes.
* * *
That’s what the Doctor had exclaimed nearly fifteen minutes earlier. And everyone knew what that meant.
It was time.
At least that’s what they’d thought.
Martha caught Jack’s eyes and mouthed the words ‘what’s going on?’ to which Jack shrugged his shoulders and rubbed the back of his neck. Jack looked over at Rose, but she was too busy looking up at the Doctor.
The Doctor was currently standing completely still, hand poised over a large non-threatening blue button, and staring at the monitor above the console. And he’d been in that position for about four and a half minutes.
“Hey...” Rose whispered, placing her hand against his lower back.
He swallowed hard and gave a light shake of his head. “The last time I was this...nervous...I was in a lift on Krop Tor.”
He tore his eyes from the monitor and looked down at her, a tiny smile playing on his lips. “And you waved at me.”
Rose nodded slowly. “And you gave me a smile...a little bigger than the one you’re giving me now. This begs a question, Doctor.”
“What’s that?” He asked, tilting his head slightly.
“Does the thought of seeing Mum again scare you more than the thought of never seeing me again?” She countered, eyes sparkling as she grinned up at him.
“Yes.” He replied without hesitation, mirroring her grin with one of his own.
Rose gave a short laugh and then tenderly rubbed his chest as she calmed almost immediately. She gave a pointed glance to his hand and smiled warmly.
“Push the button, Doctor.” She continued quickly when she saw his grin begin to fade. “You know what? It might not work. You might push that button and nothing will happen...or maybe the cannon will blow up. But...it could work. We could be thrown through the walls of the universe and have zeppelins flying over our heads in a few minutes. The thing is though...whether it works or not...you are amazing and brilliant and...I love you.”
The Doctor stared at her for a moment and then lifted his hand to the side of her face. “Thank you, Rose.”
“Time Lord panic attacks...always interesting.” She responded with a soft chuckle. “I think you said something about ‘allons-y’ earlier?”
“Yep. I did. Say ‘allons-y’, that is. Allons-y crew! Or...allons-y comrades! Or...blimey...just, well...allons-y!” His boyish grin returned as he turned his head towards Martha and Jack. “Right then...everyone hold on...interdimensional travel isn’t as smooth as travelling through the vortex.”
Jack snorted. “Well, that’s saying something. Maybe you should install seatbelts or something. It’s not like vortex hopping is all that – ”
The Doctor interrupted him by slamming his hand down onto the button.
The large, blue, non-threatening button.
And then he pulled Rose into his protective embrace, taking a deep breath as he watched the cannon charge. “Here we go...”
She craned her neck to look up at him as she curled her fingers around his forearm. “You really want to call him ‘Charlie’?”
He smiled brightly, but his answer couldn’t be heard over Martha’s surprised scream as the TARDIS was thrown against the wall of the universe. Instead of repeating himself, he wedged Rose between the console and his body...and hoped that he’d gotten the coordinates right.
* * *
The Doctor gave a soft groan and opened his eyes...to find Rose sprawled across his chest with a hopeful smile on her face. “Hi…”
“Hey…” She replied, brushing a lock of hair back from his forehead. “You okay?”
“Yeah, you? The baby? Both of you are okay?” He asked quickly, pushing himself up as she shifted to kneel next to him.
“We’re both fine…” She whispered, resting her hand against his chest.
“So are we. If either of you were wondering at all.” A deep voice tinged with amusement chimed in from across the room.
“Oh. Oh! Yes, right…Martha? Are you alright over there?” The Doctor questioned as he stood up and offered a hand to Rose.
“Yeah…” Martha grumbled as she stood up and brushed dust from her jeans. “Anyone ever tell you that metal grating probably wasn’t the best idea for flooring?”
The Doctor grinned and cast a quick glance to Rose. “It’s been mentioned a time or two. But, as long as everyone’s okay…that’s the main thing. That was a bit…bumpier…than I was expecting.”
Jack arched an eyebrow, stretching his back before leaning against the nearest coral strut. “How many times have you done this?”
“Oh…just the once. And I didn’t do it then…it just kinda happened. I think it was Mickey’s fault.”
Rose slapped the back of her hand against his bicep. “You can’t blame Mickey for that! You’re the one who forgot he was standing there holding a button down!”
“Well…you didn’t remember he was pushing a button either!” He countered, rubbing his arm. “And I still don’t think it had anything to do with the button. I think it was just Mickey. Things break when he’s around. He doesn’t mean to do anything wrong, it’s just…Mickey Smith plus anything equals mayhem and broken objects.”
Rose narrowed her eyes at the Doctor. “You know…he saved your life a time or two.”
“Saved yours more than twice, as well.” He replied softly. “Mickey the Idiot can be brilliant when we really need him to be.”
“Um…who’s Mickey?” Martha asked.
“My boyfriend.” Rose answered, rolling her eyes when Jack snorted. “My ex boyfriend…very ex.”
Rose smiled and shook her head. “No…nothing bad in Mickey. I just…fell in love with someone else.”
“Me. She means me. I’m the someone else.” The Doctor added unnecessarily, causing the other three to laugh. “What?”
“Who the hell else would she mean?” Jack asked through his laughter.
“Just didn’t want you to wonder if it was you...because it isn’t. And it wasn’t...ever. Even though you danced with her.”
A small grin played on Martha’s lips as she looked up at Jack. “You danced with Rose?”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Danced. Which means we danced...the literal definition of the word, nothing more. Back then, the Doctor had big ears, a shaved head, blue eyes, and wore leather...and she still chose him over me. I was good enough to dance with but she wanted to dance with him.”
The Doctor coughed lightly and gestured towards the door. “What say we see where we are, yeah?”
“Look at you...blushing...” Rose chuckled as she slipped her hand into his.
“I’m not blushing.” The Doctor replied, looking down at her and furrowing his brow. “And that was the fakest laugh I’ve ever heard from you. You okay?”
“Yeah...” She sighed and then shrugged a shoulder. “Mostly okay, anyway. I mean...I know we ended up somewhere and chances are pretty good that we ended up where we were supposed to...because you checked your coordinates about a million times...and I’ve only known the TARDIS to shake like that one other time and – ”
“You’re rambling.” The Doctor interrupted on a soft whisper.
“I’m nervous. Chances are good, but...” She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Mum might be somewhere in the city on the other side of that door. But, then again...she might not. And if she’s not, you’re going to feel all guilty about me getting my hopes up...and that’s just my fault, not yours. And then I’ll get upset about you being upset and – ”
“Okay...remember what I said last night?” He asked softly, eyes sparkling as he combed his fingers through her hair. “When you asked if I’d thought about what would happen if it didn’t work?”
She nodded slowly and waited for him to continue.
He smiled and tilted his head towards the door. “Let’s open the door, see where we are...and go from there, okay?”
Martha cleared her throat and then shoved her hands into her jacket pockets when the Doctor and Rose looked over at her. “This may be the wrong time to ask, but I’m curious.”
Jack smirked and rocked back and forth on his heels. “Not sure there’s such a thing as the wrong time to ask him a question.”
The Doctor glanced at Jack. “Unless I think that the question is a waste of my time.” His eyes darted to Martha and he smiled warmly. “But, I’ll let you know if that’s what I think...what’s your question?”
“Well...we’re somewhere obviously. But...how are we supposed to get back? I mean...did you build two cannons?”
“Interdimensional Teleporter.” The Doctor corrected automatically as he shook his head. “Nope, only one. One’s all we needed and...if that one didn’t work, the second one wouldn’t have either because I would’ve built it the exact same way.”
“But...we’re here, wherever here is...and the cannon...teleporter...is there...where we were...”
The Doctor stared at her in genuine confusion. “What? Why would I leave that behind? It’s essential for our return...and though I have no problems staying here for a few days, this universe...supposing everything worked properly...doesn’t need me. It has Mickey and Pete and Torchwood...a good and useful Torchwood, not the Torchwood that Jack’s been working with.”
“Hey!” Jack protested, his smile fading as he stared at the Doctor.
The Doctor’s eyes narrowed slightly as he looked at Jack. “I’m not stupid, Jack. In fact, I’m really rather clever. I know you’ve been working with them more than you’ve admitted. And maybe you’ll be able to help turn it around...I hope so. But, I’m sorry...I don’t trust them. Not after...”
An uncomfortable silence fell across the room as he trailed off. No one needed him to explain what he was referring to. Not even Martha.
After a few moments, the Doctor returned his attention to Martha and smiled brightly. “Now, back to your question! Remember the mirrors?”
“Yeah...” Martha nodded. “You used the mirrors to make sure that the TARDIS would be okay...”
“And to bring the Interdimensional Teleporter with us!” He grinned proudly, reaching out to grab Rose’s hand as he started to make his way down the ramp to the door. “The mirror...a wonderful scientific invention! Allons-y...again!”
The Doctor paused and met Jack’s eyes. “Ever think of changing your name to Alonso?”
Rose snorted, Martha narrowed her eyes in confusion, and Jack shook his head.
“No, can’t say I have. Why?”
The Doctor sighed heavily. “Allons-y, Alonso...it’s something I’ve always wanted to say. Guess I’ll just have to keep waiting to come across an Alonso...”
“Or...you could name the baby Alonso...” Martha offered, following Jack down the ramp as he followed the Doctor and Rose.
When the Doctor’s eyes lit up, Rose shook her head quickly. “I am not naming this child Alonso! Besides...you wanted Charlie.”
“Well, isn’t it a human custom to give a child more than one name? Charlie Alonso Tyler...”
Rose stared at him. “One, we can call him Charlie...but he’ll be Charles, probably. Two, his initials would be CAT...and that’s not good. Three, I am not naming this child Alonso just so you can say ‘Allons-y, Alonso’ every single day.”
“One, Charles...like Dickens!” He giggled softly at the memory of their meeting with the author and then continued quickly. “B, or two...what’s wrong with his initials being CAT? And three...or C...I wouldn’t say it every day.” He thought for a second and scratched the back of his head. “Well...I probably would. Actually, I’m fairly certain I would...now that I think about it. So, I guess Alonso is well and truly out.”
Rose chuckled and squeezed his hand. “It was never in, Doctor.”
Jack sighed impatiently. “Okay, great...now that we have it settled that I’m not changing my name to Alonso and you’re not naming the baby Alonso...can someone please open the damn door?”
The Doctor cleared his throat and offered Rose an unusually nervous smile. “Go ahead...”
Rose’s hand trembled visibly as she reached for the doorknob. “Well, here goes...not ‘nothing’. It’s definitely ‘something’...maybe not ‘everything’, but ‘something’...”
“Rose...” The Doctor whispered, interrupting her impending ramble. “Open the door, sweetheart.”
Jack arched an eyebrow at the term of endearment, but wisely didn’t comment on it. Martha nervously chewed on her bottom lip as Rose took a deep breath and finally opened the door.
The Doctor’s grip tightened on the hand he was holding as he ducked his head out the door and glanced up at the sky.
“We have zeppelins.”
A tear rolled down Rose’s cheek as she whispered one word.
Martha’s eyes widened. “No way! We’re in another universe? You mean...it worked?”
Jack smirked and looked down at her. “You doubted him?”
“No...not really. I just didn’t think it was possible for anyone, you know?”
Jack nodded and gestured towards the Doctor and Rose as the Doctor carefully led Rose from the TARDIS. “Nothing’s really impossible with those two. Especially if the Doctor’s trying to do something for Rose. Thought you knew that by now...”
Martha rolled her eyes at Jack’s teasing tone and reached
out for his hand. “Come on...let’s go
“It’s...cleaner than I remember it being.” Rose commented as they walked along the footpath.
“As in air pollution? That’s probably due to the ATMOS system that they’ve started installing in the cars here.” The Doctor stated matter-of-factly, smiling when she arched an eyebrow at him in a silent question. “Read an article about it while you were getting a coffee.”
“Oh... ‘course you did.” She gave him a small smile as she linked her arm through his.
“It was actually rather interesting. I mean the concept behind it. And it obviously works ‘cause, as you said, it’s cleaner than it was the last time we were here. But, I worry about the system falling into the wrong hands...talk about mayhem!”
“What are you doing?”
He shrugged his shoulder and sighed softly. “Rambling. As I do. It’s been known to calm your nerves at times, was hoping it’d work its magic again. But, I don’t think it did this time. Of course, this time’s a bit different, yeah? I mean...it’s not every day that we travel into another universe for the sole purpose of telling your mum that you’re getting married.”
“And that I’m pregnant.” Rose added.
“Well, yeah...that too.” He stopped suddenly, causing Rose to stumble the tiniest bit.
“I’ve been worried about your mother the entire time, but...what about Pete? He’s going to kill me...not only have I been shagging his daughter, I’ve gotten her pregnant...before I’ve married her and – ” He looked down at her when she barked a laugh. “Well, I’m glad that that has lightened your mood.”
“Well, I’m not sure what time period you’re thinking of, but...do you know how many couples have children before they’re married these days? If they even get married? And besides...this Pete’s technically not my dad. The only Rose he knew before me was his dog.” She glared at him when she saw his lips twitch. “You laugh and it’s not Mum or Pete you’ll be worrying about.”
The Doctor cleared his throat and started walking again. “Wonder how much trouble Jack and Martha are going to get into? Well, not Martha...because she’s pretty good at avoiding trouble. But, Jack kinda attracts it.”
“Reminds me of someone I know...” Rose replied with a smile. Her smile faded as a thought occurred to her. “What if Mum and Pete aren’t even together? I mean...she could be living on her own or – ”
“Nope, they’re together. Jackie Tyler had gone missing a couple of months earlier...that was the Jackie who actually, um...well, anyway...the story is that Jackie had gone missing. She’d been captured by the Cybermen, but escaped before they were able to ‘upgrade’ her. She had to go into hiding...and couldn’t contact her husband, Pete, until it was safe. Apparently, they’re very happy...and living in the same mansion, with a different dog. Actually, I think it’s the same dog but with a different name. I can’t imagine your mum allowing the dog to continue to be called ‘Rose’.”
“Just how much reading did you do while I was getting coffee?”
“I’m a quick reader.” He grinned, pulling his hand out of his pocket and lacing their fingers together. “Did you want to grab a taxi or just walk?”
Rose thought for a second, not able to stop her smile from forming as he gently swung their arms back and forth. “You okay if we just walk?”
“Yep. It’s a nice day and all...”
“Yeah, it is.” She agreed, rubbing her thumb along his. “I love you, Doctor.”
“I love you too, Rose.” He replied with a bright smile. “Vitex came out with a new flavour last month. Pomegranate Appleberry. What’s an ‘appleberry’? Or do you reckon it’s one of those strange hybrid names they give things...like a plucot.”
“Yep...a small fruit made from combining a plum and an apricot. Much like a Gallihu, I guess. Only...less fruit-like.”
“Did you really just compare our child to a hybrid fruit?” Rose laughed and quickened her step.
The Doctor merely grinned, realizing that his plan had seemingly worked.
Often...as in 96.3% of the time...his rambling and strange observations did wonders to calm Rose’s nerves. Luckily, correlations between plucots and a Gallihu was enough to slip her into that particular percentage once again.
* * *
She was laughing hysterically at his reaction from tasting a rock, barely able to breathe as she wiped the tears from her face.
“It’s a rock, Doctor! What the hell were you expecting? And...why taste a rock?”
The Doctor rolled his eyes and glanced at the car approaching before giving her a look of pure exasperation. He opened his mouth to respond just as the car sped passed them, but his words didn’t form. The unmistakable sound of tires squealing against the road as the driver slammed the brakes caused the Doctor to pull Rose to safety, his eyes wide as the car skidded to a stop a few metres away.
“This...precisely this...is why I don’t drive a car, Rose!”
She looked up at him, as confused by his statement as she was startled by the car. “Huh?”
Again, the Doctor opened his mouth. Again, no words formed. This time was different, Rose realized. The last time, just a few moments ago, it was because the car surprised him. This time, judging by the way his eyes widened...
She turned her head and followed his line of vision, her own mouth dropping open as she vaguely registered the sound of a car door slamming shut.
“Mum...” She finally choked out on a nearly inaudible whisper.
Jackie Tyler ran around the front of the car and stopped halfway between the car and Rose...as if she was suddenly not sure if what she was seeing was real or not. She slowly lowered her hand from her mouth and took a hesitant step forward.
The Doctor barely had enough time to let go of Rose’s hand before she took off towards her mother. He watched as Rose flung herself into Jackie’s arms. He listened as they both began to speak...but, was unable to make out any of their words.
Tears always made English harder to understand for the Doctor.
He took a deep breath and then slowly made his way over, content to stand at the side during the reunion. Until he looked up the road and saw another car on its way towards them, that is.
“Should probably move the car out of the way...” He stated softly, instantly flinching when Jackie snapped her head towards him. “It’s just...well, there’s a car coming and – ”
The Doctor stumbled backwards, his explanation cut short as Jackie kissed him. Rose gave a watery laugh as the Doctor pulled away and wiped the back of his hand across his lips. He gave Jackie a look of near-revulsion and she rolled her eyes.
“Get over it, you! You bring my daughter across the universe to see me and you get a kiss...whether you like it or not, yeah?”
The Doctor straightened, his expression slipping into one of understanding as he nodded and scratched the back of his head. “Fair enough, but...let it be known that that was not enjoyable.”
Rose shook her head in amusement as she slipped her hand back into his. “Pretty sure that it’s known, Doctor.”
The car that had been approaching was now upon them. It slowed down and moved around Jackie’s very sensible, though slightly luxurious, BMW. The driver of the other car lightly tapped the horn, just to make the three people standing on the side of the road aware of the fact that there was a car still parked in the middle of the road for no apparent reason.
Jackie waved and then gestured to her car. “Okay you two...in you get. We can talk more on the way back to the house.”
“You have a BMW...” Rose remarked as she led the Doctor over to the car.
Jackie grinned as she opened the driver’s door. “Pete wanted to buy me some super-duper Audi something or other, but...why waste the money on that when I could get this for literally half the money?”
“Well, that’s...frugal...” The Doctor commented with a smile as he nudged Rose towards the front passenger door. “Go on, I’ll sit in the back.”
He opened the back door and pushed a bag over to give himself enough room to sit down. Unfortunately, he pushed the bag with a bit too much force and it tipped over, spilling its contents onto the seat. He arched an eyebrow when he noticed one of the items that had fallen out was a small blue shirt with a picture of a duck on the front.
Small enough to be considered a shirt for a baby...
He glanced up quickly and met Jackie’s eyes in the rearview mirror, wondering if somehow...some impossible how...she knew. Jackie’s eyes widened slightly and she gave a quick shake of her head, silently requesting the Doctor not to mention what was in the bag.
He gave a nearly imperceptible nod in reply and carefully repacked the bag before buckling his seatbelt.
“So, tell me what’s been going on!” Rose ordered, beaming at her mother.
Jackie cleared her throat and slipped the car into gear. “Well...mainly me arguing with Pete over whether or not the Doctor would be able to find a way to bring you into this universe.”
Rose grinned and turned slightly, looking at the Doctor...who was currently fiddling with a button on the armrest of the door next to him. She felt a sudden rush of love for him...which wasn’t unusual, but always made her heart skip a beat.
“Guess you’ll be able to prove him wrong then, yeah?”
Jackie glanced over at her daughter, who was still gazing at the Doctor...who was now fiddling with a button on the back of Rose’s seat. “Never doubted him. A brilliant one, he is.”
The Doctor paused his fiddling and looked up, grinning widely at the two women. “Well...it wasn’t all that hard, really. I mean, as soon as we were able to find a neomass extrapolator, it was pretty much just insert ‘tab b’ into ‘slot a’. Well, maybe not that simple...because it could’ve blown up or vaporized or...well, anything could’ve happened really. Interdimensional travel isn’t as easy as it used to be. Much...bumpier and rollercoastery.”
Jackie snorted and guided the car into a long, winding driveway. “He really hasn’t changed all that much, has he?”
The Doctor’s grin faded. “Why would I? It’s not as if I’ve regenerated again and everyone has to get used to a new me. I’m still the same person I was the last time I saw you...”
Jackie pulled the car to a stop and turned off the engine. Looking over her shoulder at him, she offered him a warm smile.
“None of us are the same people we were the last time we saw each other, Doctor.”
The Doctor thought about that for a moment and then gave her a nod. “True...but, I still enjoy a good ramble. I still seem to manage to find trouble wherever I go. And I still...”
“Still what?” Jackie asked as the Doctor trailed off.
He smiled softly and turned his eyes to Rose. “I still love your daughter very much.”
“Well, that’s a relief...considering the size of the rock that’s on her hand.” Jackie rolled her eyes as both the Doctor and Rose stared at her. “You really think I wouldn’t have noticed that first thing?”
“I, uh...well, um...” The Doctor stammered as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Um...no?”
Jackie snorted and climbed out of the car. When the Doctor and Rose didn’t move, she tapped on the window and gestured towards the house.
“Come on, then...we have things to talk about, yeah?”
The Doctor glanced at the bag resting on the seat next to him and nodded slowly.
It didn’t escape his mind that the day was just getting stranger by the second.
“How’s Mickey doing?” The Doctor asked, pointing his sonic screwdriver at Rose’s mug.
“He’s fine, should be home tomorrow, actually.” Jackie answered, narrowing her eyes. “What’re you doing?”
“Heating Rose’s tea.” He replied, as if it should’ve been perfectly obvious. “The TARDIS tends to heat water more than Earth kettles are capable of...she’s gotten used to it.”
“What do you mean he’ll be home tomorrow?” Rose interjected, staring at her mother.
“Just that...” Jackie said, taking a sip of her tea. “I’ve known that kid since he was just a little’un...and after his flat got blown all to hell by some kind of chicken alien, he didn’t have anywhere to stay. There was just me and Pete here at the time...”
“A chicken alien?” The Doctor asked, instantly intrigued.
“Yeah, well that’s what we thought. Turned out it was just Gareth dressed in a chicken alien suit...playing silly buggers with Mickey. And then he accidentally shot the block of flats with a rocket launcher.”
Rose’s mouth dropped open in disbelief while the Doctor’s eyes darkened slightly.
“How does one accidentally shoot a block of flats with a bloody rocket launcher?”
Jackie shrugged her shoulder and sighed. “He thought it was the display model. No one was hurt, mind you. And...Pete restricted everyone’s access to the armory after that.”
The Doctor shook his head, seemingly at a loss for words for the moment. Rose ran her fingers through her hair and leaned back against the cushions. Jackie glanced down as her daughter’s shirt rode up the tiniest amount as she stretched.
“You’re pregnant!” Jackie exclaimed, dropping her mug onto the coffee table.
Rose quickly pulled her shirt back down as the Doctor blew out a heavy breath. “Mum...”
“You got her pregnant!”
The Doctor’s eyes widened as he shifted uncomfortably. “Jackie, I – ”
“Don’t you know what a condom is?” She glared at Rose and pointed her finger at her. “I know that you know what they are!”
“Mum...” Rose started, only to shake her head as Jackie continued.
“I raised you to be more responsible than that, Rose Tyler! How are you supposed to take care of a baby when you’re gallivanting across universes and getting thrown into dangerous situations every time you turn around?”
“We’ll be careful...”
“If you were being careful, you wouldn’t be pregnant right now!”
“Enough!” The Doctor stated, anger tingeing his voice.
“Enough?” Jackie stood up, hands on her hips as she glared at the Doctor. “You’re a bloody alien and she’s human! How is this going to affect her? Or the baby? Or...did you even think about that?”
The Doctor pushed himself up and stared at Jackie, his eyes growing darker by the second. “Of course I bloody thought about it! I love her, Jackie! And I love this child...our child...”
“You’re marrying her because she’s pregnant, aren’t you?”
The Doctor opened his mouth and then snapped it shut. The muscles in his jaw clenched and released...Rose recognized the action as him trying to maintain control of his temper.
She stood up quickly, shaking her head as she placed her hand on his wrist. “No, Mum...it’s not like that. It’s not like that at all!”
Jackie continued staring at the Doctor. And the Doctor stared right back, just as hard.
After a few minutes, he took a deep breath and looked down at Rose. “Would you like another cup of tea?”
Without waiting for an answer, he bent his head and brushed his lips across hers. “I’ll be back in a few minutes, yeah?”
Rose nodded and lovingly stroked his sideburn with her thumb. “Will you see if there are any salt and vinegar Hula Hoops?”
“Yeah. If I can’t find any, I’ll go get some.” He whispered, brushing his fingertips over her abdomen as he stepped away from her.
He moved to walk around Jackie, pausing when he stood next to her. He met her eyes and sighed softly.
“I’m marrying her because I’m in love with her. The baby...well, he has nothing to do with the fact that I want to marry Rose. I would’ve asked her anyway.”
Jackie’s eyes softened somewhat and she took a deep breath. “Second shelf in the pantry. I always have salt and vinegar Hula Hoops...Rose’s favourite and all.”
The Doctor gave her a gentle nod, a tiny smile on his lips as he continued on his journey to the kitchen. Jackie watched Rose watch the Doctor slip out of the room. And as she watched her daughter, she realized that their love for each other had done nothing but become stronger since she saw them together last.
And just like that, her anger faded away.
“So...how far along are you?”
Rose pulled her gaze from the doorway and met her mother’s eyes. “About sixteen weeks.”
Jackie’s eyes widened. “How long has it been since...the Daleks?”
Rose heaved a heavy sigh. “Two months.”
“It’s been three months for us...so, we’re a little ahead of you.” Jackie reached out and took hold of Rose’s hand. “You were pregnant before we ended up here, then...”
Rose nodded as tears filled her eyes. “Didn’t know though. Not until a couple of days after...”
“Well...I was wondering how I was going to tell you this, but...”
Rose furrowed her brow, gently squeezing her mother’s hand. “Tell me what, Mum?”
After a dramatic pause that only Jackie could make seem longer than it really was, she exhaled a deep breath and smiled at her daughter.
“You’re going to be a sister.”
“What?” Rose asked in surprise, sounding more like the Doctor than she ever thought she could.
“You know...that was easier than I thought it’d be.” Jackie stated brightly.
Hearing the high-pitched tone of Rose’s voice, the Doctor grabbed the bag of Hula Hoops and ran back into the living room. Jackie turned to look at him while Rose continued to stare at her mother.
“What’s going on?” The Doctor asked, quickly making his way to Rose’s side.
Jackie gave a very nonchalant wave and picked up her nearly forgotten cup of tea. “Just told Rose that she’s not the only one who’s pregnant.”
“She knows that. We’ve seen plenty of pregnant women. Even saw a woman who was pregnant with twins. Luckily, we’re not having twins. I think one’s enough for us right now...but, the baby does have twin hearts...”
“No, she meant – ” Rose began, only to be interrupted by her mother.
“What do you mean ‘twin hearts’?”
“Oh...the baby has two hearts. Like me.” The Doctor grinned proudly as he handed the bag of Hula Hoops to Rose. When he saw the concerned look in Jackie’s eyes, he quickly continued. “But, he’s perfectly healthy. The doctor that we’re seeing has dealt with all kinds of different alien/human combinations. Obviously not Time Lord/human combinations...since I’m the last of the Time Lords and – ”
“Mum’s pregnant.” Rose interrupted.
“Oh...right, well...um...congratulations!” He moved around the coffee table and wrapped his arms around Jackie. “You’re going to be a mother and a grandmother...all at once! Brilliant!”
He pulled back from the hug and raised an eyebrow at her. “Just for future reference...that’s the reaction you’re supposed to have when told of an impending arrival. Not accuse the father of marrying the mother simply because of a baby...”
Jackie rolled her eyes and slapped the back of her hand against his chest. “You’re still rude.”
“And still not ginger.” He countered with a bright grin. “I really am happy for you, Jackie. You and Pete...Pete’s happy, yeah?”
“What? Oh...yeah. We weren’t really expecting it to happen, but...we weren’t doing anything to prevent it either, so...”
“Like me and Rose.”
Rose stared incredulously at the Doctor. “Tell me you didn’t really just say that.”
“What? We weren’t using any contraceptives at all...neither one of us. And we knew that we’re compatible, that we were physically able to conceive a child. It’s not so different than your Mum and Pete.”
“Where’s the TARDIS?” Jackie asked, chuckling nervously and hoping the question would be enough to change the subject. The last thing she really wanted to talk about was her daughter’s sex life with a 900 year old alien.
The Doctor smiled brightly.
“Well, I knew that Jack and Martha would want to explore the city, so I
landed her right in the middle of
“What?” Rose snorted.
“Well, when I say right in the middle of
“As if you purposely landed the TARDIS there!” Rose laughed, earning her a glare from the Doctor.
“Well...I meant to land her in
Jackie laughed back her tears, suddenly realizing just how much she’d missed the playful arguing between her daughter and the Doctor. And then she suddenly realized something else...and her laughter ended abruptly as her eyes widened.
“You said ‘he’!”
“Um...” The Doctor stammered, looking over at Rose. “Well, it hasn’t been confirmed or anything...medically, I mean. But...well, she has the...not mark, because it’s not a mark or anything, but...”
Rose sighed and placed her hand on her abdomen. “Apparently, when the baby...a Gallifreyan baby...is a boy, the hormones or something causes a red patch of skin to appear. Only the boys, not the girls. I have a red patch of skin...the baby’s half-Gallifreyan – ”
“Time Lord.” The Doctor corrected. “Half-Time Lord.”
Jackie narrowed her eyes in confusion. “Isn’t it the same?”
“No, not really. Well, similar, but...all Time Lords are Gallifreyan, but not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords. I prefer to be called a Time Lord, not because I’m pompous or anything, it’s just...kinda like Rose would prefer to be called ‘English’ as opposed to ‘Earthling’.”
“Doesn’t stop you from calling me ‘Earthling’...” Rose muttered.
“No, it doesn’t...just for the purpose of pure annoyance...once in a while.” The Doctor grinned and turned his attention back to Jackie. “I’m a Time Lord, from Gallifrey. Our son is a Gallihu, from...well, I’m not really sure where he was conceived, to be very honest.”
“Oh, don’t even get me started on that.” Rose grumbled. “He totally contradicts himself with that...mister ‘Call me a Time Lord, not a Gallifreyan’ blah blah blah. But, Gallihu sounds better than Hulord...”
Jackie merely stared at her daughter for a few seconds before nodding slowly. “Well, I’d have to agree with him on that...”
The Doctor’s grin broadened as he rocked back and forth on his heels.
“Have you talked about names?” Jackie asked, chewing on her bottom lip as she gently rubbed her own abdomen. “I only ask ‘cause Pete’s kinda got his heart set on ‘Tony’ and...it’d be a bit strange to have a son and a grandson both named ‘Tony’...if you were considering ‘Tony’, that is...”
“You’re having a boy too?” Rose smiled warmly, tearing open the pack of Hula Hoops.
“Dunno...” Jackie laughed. “But, if we are...his name’s Tony.”
After a moment’s pause, in which Rose ate a handful of Hula Hoops before handing the bag to the Doctor, Rose ran her fingers through her hair and answered her mother’s question.
“Charlie. Charles Gallifrey Tyler, I think. Though we haven’t really talked about the middle name at all...”
The Doctor’s grin slipped into a look of bewilderment. “Gallifrey? You want his middle name to be Gallifrey?”
“Yeah. Is...is that okay?”
His grin returned as he nodded quickly. “Yeah, I just...well, I hadn’t thought that...well...”
“I want his name to reflect his father...and since we can’t use a Gallifreyan name, I thought it was the next best thing. Because...I’m not naming him ‘Doctor’...”
“He’s going to be a
The Doctor chewed a Hula Hoop and then grimaced, handing the
bag back to Rose as he sat down on the sofa and gently pulled her down next to
him. “ ‘Course I do. But, no one would be able to pronounce
it...and I’m changing my name to
“So, you’ll be Doctor Tyler instead of just Doctor?”
“Doctor John Tyler...for official purposes. It’ll be weird having a full name...I’ve been just ‘Doctor’ for so long...”
“You’ve never been just ‘Doctor’.” Rose chuckled, popping another crisp into her mouth.
“When are you getting married anyway?”
“Friday.” The Doctor answered without thought.
Rose cursed softly as Jackie’s eyes widened.
“Friday? This Friday?”
“Yep.” He replied, popping the ‘p’ as he grinned. “Have the rings and everything...”
He stood up when Jackie did, assuming that she was going to give him another hug.
One day he’d learn not to assume. Assumptions were wrong...nearly 83.4% of the time.
The Doctor stared at Jackie, mouth open in shock as he rubbed the side of his face. “What the hell was that for?”
“You know what it was for!” Jackie replied, hands on her hips as she glared up at him.
“I really don’t...because I was expecting you to smack me for getting her pregnant or for taking so long to get here or...not because we’re getting married on Friday.”
Rose quickly stepped in front of him when she saw that her mother was considering slapping him again. “Mum!”
“Today’s Wednesday, Rose...you’re getting married on Friday...how are we supposed to plan a wedding in two days?”
“I have the rings...” The Doctor repeated, looking very confused at the level of Jackie’s exasperation. “She has her mum, we have our friends...all we need is someone to ask us if we do...”
“You have to give notice that you’re getting married...”
“We have.” Rose replied with a smile. “Mum, we’ve done all the legal stuff already. We were just waiting to find a way here...”
“You’ve done all the legal stuff...in a different universe.”
The Doctor furrowed his brow and lowered his hand from his face. “How different is it here?”
“Well...none. But, that’s not the point! What, you’re going to get married and then just head back?”
When Jackie’s eyes filled with tears, Rose wrapped her arms around her. “We have to, Mum. But...we know how to get here now. We can always come back for visits...right, Doctor?”
“Yeah...we’ll, uh...have to use the same door each time, but...I’ll lock the coordinates into the TARDIS. It’ll be like speed dial...universal speed dial!”
“Universal speed dial...” Jackie took a deep breath and shook her head. “God, our lives have changed so much in the past two years...”
The Doctor nodded in agreement, but said nothing. Instead, he rubbed the side of his face again and sat back down on the sofa...wondering if Jack and Martha were doing any better at keeping themselves out of trouble than he was.
* * *
“Have you told them yet?”
Jack looked down at Martha as they walked down the street. “Told who what?”
Martha rolled her eyes. “Doctor and Rose...that you’re leaving.”
“Who says I’m leaving?” He asked, shoving his hands into his coat pockets.
“You’re itching to get back to
Jack arched an eyebrow at her, a smirk playing on his lips. “Tell you what...I’ll tell them that I’ll be heading back to Torchwood soon if you tell them that you’re planning on taking a break from all the chaos and running and...fun. You tell them you’re going home...I’ll tell them I’m going back to Torchwood. Deal?”
“How did you know?” Martha asked softly after a few moments.
“You talk in your sleep.” He replied before pulling an apple out of his coat pocket. “But the real question is...are you planning on telling the Doctor how you really feel?”
Martha stopped walking and stared at Jack. “What?”
Jack took a bite out of the apple and chewed as he continued. “I mean, you could tell him...but, would there really be any point? You have to ask yourself...what would it accomplish? It’s a question I ask myself pretty much on a daily basis.”
“What?” She asked again, wrapping her arms around herself as her eyes darted around.
“He’s really rather attractive...a bit skinnier than I normally like, but...” Jack swallowed and grinned at Martha. “He didn’t kiss me.”
“That was...that wasn’t...he just needed to slow the Judoon down. It didn’t mean anything...”
“Not to him.” Jack agreed, his grin faltering. “But, it sparked something in you...even if you knew that it wasn’t going anywhere. You sleep with me, but it’s him you want...even though you know you’ll never have him. I’m your substitute for the Doctor...”
Martha’s eyes glistened and Jack sighed, lifting his hand to the side of her face.
“I’ve always known, Martha. It doesn’t bother me...if anything, I’m flattered that you’d consider me the next best thing.”
“I always...always...fall for the men who are completely...” She chuckled sadly and looked into his eyes. “If anyone is off the market, it’s him.”
“Yeah...completely and totally off the market. Not even enough of him to put on the black market. But, there’s someone out there for you, Martha. It may not be me...probably isn’t me...but there’s someone out there, somewhere. And he’ll show up when you least expect it.” He leaned down and brushed his lips across hers before offering her a tender smile. “But, I’m more than happy to keep you company until that happens...”
“What about Rose?”
“Rose? No...I don’t think she’s even experimented with women before...plus – ” He laughed and dodged a playful slap from Martha. “I had less of a chance with Rose than I ever had with the Doctor. From the day I met her, I’ve known that she’s in love with him. Of course, there was no way in hell she was going to admit it back then though...”
“Do you think they know?” Martha asked, unable to disguise the worry in her tone.
Jack snorted. “The Doctor’s oblivious...always has been, even with Rose for a while. He loves us, you know...he’d do anything for us, has sacrificed so much just to keep us safe. But, Rose is all he can see when he thinks about romance...and sex. Rose knows, though.”
Martha’s eyes widened. “What?”
“That I’d have a go with the Doctor if I had the chance. Rose knows that...” He shrugged and took another bite of his apple. “She also knows that she has nothing to worry about, so...she doesn’t.”
“I also doubt she knows that you tremble every time you watch him use his tongue for whatever purpose he deems appropriate at the time. So, I wouldn’t worry about that...”
When she rolled her eyes and relaxed somewhat, Jack realized that he couldn’t tell her what he thought Rose did know. He was fairly certain that Rose knew that Martha had feelings for the Doctor...how could she not when he himself had caught Martha gazing longingly at the Time Lord more than once?
It wasn’t hard to see.
But, there was no point in Martha knowing that Rose probably knew. All that would accomplish would be awkwardness on a scale that couldn’t be measured. And no one needed that.
“Hey, look...Big Ben’s face is square here!”
“Huh...wonder if Little Ben’s is too.”
Jack stared at her, blindly tossing the rest of his apple into the bin to his right. “Little Ben?”
“How could you spend as much time in
Jack huffed and shoved his hands back into his coat pockets. “Most of the time I have better things to think about than a...Little Ben.”
Martha laughed and slipped her arm through his. “Come on, I’ll show you...”
And just like that, the seriousness of their earlier conversation was gone and she was giving him a detailed explanation of Little Ben and its creation.
As she spoke, he smiled...knowing that the man who’d finally be able to offer her the life she deserved would be a very lucky man indeed.
* * *
“Jackie? Sweetheart, I’m home...”
Rose smiled at the sound of Pete’s voice announcing his arrival. The Doctor successfully stifled his snort at the term of endearment that had been used. Jackie jumped up from the chair and made a gesture that plainly told them both to keep quiet before she ran across the room.
“In the family room, love!” She called out, glaring at the Doctor when he couldn’t stifle his second snort. “Shush, you!”
He gave her a quick nod and then lowered his eyes to watch Rose’s index finger trace shapes against his thigh that he instantly recognized as Gallifreyan symbols. He turned his gaze to Rose and arched an eyebrow, to which she responded with a shy smile.
Apparently the TARDIS had been doing a bit more than just translating for Rose. And though he’d known that she could read a little Gallifreyan, reading the symbols that flashed on the monitor was much different than spelling out the words that told him exactly what she wanted to do to him later.
When he felt himself start to harden, he cleared his throat and covered her hand with his. “Rose...”
She bit her lip at his whispered plea and offered him an apologetic smile. “Sorry.”
“You owe me fifty quid!” Jackie exclaimed.
The Doctor narrowed his eyes as he looked over at Jackie. “Fifty quid? Is that all we’re worth? I built an Interdimensional Teleporter to bring your daughter here...to another universe...and you wagered a measly fifty quid?”
Pete Tyler walked into the room and stared directly at the sofa, his mouth dropping open in shock. “Blimey...”
“Blimey? Fifty quid and blimey?” The Doctor shook his head in disbelief. “I just can’t...blimey? Not a ‘bloody hell’ or a ‘holy shit’ but a ‘blimey’? This is all rather anti-climactic considering everything we’ve been through. Fifty bloody quid?!”
Rose chuckled and patted his thigh in a manner that most people would see as patronizing. “You’re being rude again.”
“Yeah, I know.” He gestured towards Jackie and Pete as he stared at Rose. “Fifty quid! I paid more than fifty quid for the clister gasket for the teleporter!”
Rose snorted as she pushed herself up from the couch. “No you didn’t...”
“It was worth one-twenty!” The Doctor argued as she pulled him up.
“And Jack talked the guy down to forty and after dinner entertainment.”
“Sex...he offered him sex!”
Rose grinned, her tongue poking out between her teeth. “And if you had bargained with him, we could’ve gotten it for twenty.”
The Doctor paused and then shook his head. “Ten. He said I could have it for ten.”
“What the bloody hell...” Pete started and then looked at Jackie. “Is this one of those hologram image things that Jake’s been working on?”
“Hologram?” The Doctor furrowed his brow. “Why would you think we’re a hologram?”
“I don’t know...there’s got to be some explanation.” Pete replied with a shrug.
Jackie rolled her eyes and strode back across the room. Before Rose could stop her, and before the Doctor could duck out of her way, Jackie’s hand made contact with the side of his face for the second time in less than two hours.
“Oi! What the hell did I do that time?”
“Nothing...that was to show Pete that you’re real.”
“Because him coming over and shaking my hand or me walking over and poking his shoulder wouldn’t have proven the exact same thing?” The Doctor grumbled as he ran his fingertips over his cheek.
“Oh, well...yeah, I guess that could’ve worked too.” Jackie admitted sheepishly. “Sorry?”
The Doctor huffed and turned his eyes to Pete. “How’s things in Pete’s World these days?”
“Getting a bit more interesting by the day, I think.” Pete replied, smiling at Rose. “Hi, Rose.”
“Hey...Pete.” Rose hesitated for a minute and then ran over to him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “Missed you...you and Mum. And Mickey. Hear you guys have been taking care of him a bit.”
Pete chuckled as he returned Rose’s embrace. “I think we’ve all been taking care of each other, actually. I’m really happy to see you again, Rose.”
She pulled back slightly and smiled at him. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” Pete nodded and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear in an almost fatherly manner, tilting his head towards the Doctor. “So, you two still together then?”
The Doctor grinned. “We’re getting married in two days! And…we’re having a baby. So, if you’re going to hit me too, let’s just get it over with, okay?”
Jackie slapped his arm and looked up at him in exasperation. “That mouth never stops running, does it?”
“Nope.” He replied, giving her a wink. “Wouldn’t be me if it did.”
“A baby?” Pete asked, a smile shimmering in his eyes. “I’m going to be a grandfather? That’s fantastic, love!”
“Shut up, Doctor.” Jackie warned, pointing her finger at him when he looked down at her. “He accepts her as his daughter, finally…so shut up.”
“No, no…I was just…” The Doctor smiled and glanced over at Rose, who had pulled Pete into another bone-crushing hug. “For him to consider himself my son’s grandfather…well, that’s going to mean the world to Rose. And to me. Because what’s important to her is important to me…and she wants her father at the wedding just as much as she wants you there.”
Jackie started to say something, but paused as the Doctor continued rambling.
“Probably just as well that it took me as long as it did to build the Interdimensional Teleporter, for this very reason. I mean…during the time that you’ve been here, you’ve gotten him to feel like a father…and that’s pretty amazing. But, then again…you’d have to be pretty amazing to have an amazing daughter. And she is…amazing, I mean…Rose. She’s so…she’s so human and so amazing and brilliant. You should be very proud of her, Jackie. She’s done so much to help so many people…she’s saved the world more than once, you know? And she’s going to be such a brilliant mother.”
“You really love her…”
The Doctor and Jackie looked towards Pete, who had been the one to utter the statement. The Doctor nodded without hesitation, his eyes sparkling.
“More than I’ve loved anyone before. And she chose me…which makes me a very extremely lucky Time Lord.”
“Chose you?” Jackie asked, darting her eyes between Rose and the Doctor.
Rose grinned and made her way back to the Doctor’s side, slipping her hand into his and lacing their fingers together. “I’ll explain later, yeah? Right now, I’m thinking dinner…followed by a hot shower…and we’ll need to go get the TARDIS at some point. Is it okay if we park her in the back yard?”
“You can park it anywhere you like…as long as you don’t put it in front of the loo again.”
The Doctor rolled his eyes and huffed. “I did that once, Jackie…and that was because you had the living room full of Christmas decorations. Still not sure why you had Christmas decorations scattered about that time of year, but…it wasn’t my fault. And I moved her soon enough.”
“Christmas decorations?” Pete asked, amusement in his voice.
“There was a sale…”
“Of course there was.” Pete chuckled, making his way across the room and slipping his arm around his wife.
“Shut up.” Jackie murmured, leaning her head against his shoulder.
“What’s it really like not being able to die? Or...to not stay dead?” Martha asked, sitting on the stone ledge that surrounded the park where the TARDIS had landed hours earlier.
“Disconcerting.” Jack replied, sitting down next to her and glancing up at the zeppelin right above them. “Kinda like those...I see one of those and I think of the Hindenburg. Not exactly the thought you want to have when one’s flying over your head, huh?”
“Does it hurt?” She asked softly.
Jack chuckled, turning his eyes to her. “Well, I don’t tend to die peacefully. Gunshots, fire, speeding cars, and Dalek blasts are painful...”
“No, I mean...when you come back to life each time. Does it hurt then?”
Jack’s smile faded as he reached over and plucked a blade of grass from the ground. “Yeah. Yeah, it does...for a few minutes. Then I’m good as new.”
“You know...you could live for hundreds of years, thousands...millions even.”
“I’m still aging, Martha...just at a glacial snail’s pace. Nothing lives for millions of years...well, nothing that breathes anyway. Not even the Doctor...he’s only nine hundred and some change...”
“You could.” Martha insisted. “I used to think a lot of things were impossible, but...after everything I’ve seen, I’m starting to believe that there are more possibilities than I ever imagined.”
Martha smiled and slipped her arm through his. “Well, I’m sitting in a parallel universe with a man who doesn’t stay dead when he dies. That’s a pretty big impossibility there, don’t you think?”
She tilted her head questioningly as he trailed off. “But, what?”
“You could be doing more in a parallel universe with a man who doesn’t stay dead when he dies.” He answered with a wink.
“Yeah? Like what?” She asked, a grin forming on her lips.
“Well...Rose sent me a message earlier. Said she and the Doctor
would be spending the night at the
“You’re suggesting sex? Like...all night sex?”
“Are you opposed?”
Martha chuckled and shook her head. “No, not opposed...”
Jack jumped up and reached down to grab her hand, grinning lecherously as he hauled her up next to him. “Then why are we still here talking?”
Martha rolled her eyes and allowed him to drag her into the TARDIS.
* * *
“Um...should we be doing this here?” The Doctor asked on a whisper, eyes darting around the darkened room.
Rose looked up at him and arched an eyebrow. “Would you rather go back downstairs to the family room?”
“What?” His eyes widened as he stared at her.
“Well, I’d much rather stay here...in the room that Mum has deemed ours while we’re here. But, you know...if you want me to give you head in the family room...”
“What if they walked in on us?” He questioned incredulously, running his fingers through his incredibly mussed hair. “The family room is so...familial and...open.”
“Yeah...” Rose agreed, smiling at him as she ran her thumb along the underside of his erection. “Which is why I’d much rather stay here...”
“What?” He swallowed hard as he trembled under her touch. “Oh...oh! No...what I meant was... ‘should we be doing this here?’. Not... ‘should we be doing this here?’.”
Rose chuckled and blew a warm breath across the head of his cock. “I’m pregnant, Doctor. Pretty sure they know we have sex...”
“But...do they need to know?” He licked his lips and glanced at hers. “I mean...we’re not really all that quiet and we don’t have the luxury of the thick walls of the TARDIS...”
Her smile faded slightly. “You don’t want to?”
He looked down at his thick cock, still held in her hand, and then met her eyes and smiled shyly. “I think it should be obvious that I want to...it’s just...well, she’s your mum. And it hurts when she slaps me.”
Rose ran her tongue along her bottom lip, stifling her grin when his eyes darted to her mouth. “We could be quiet...”
The Doctor shook his head slowly, still staring at her lips. “Last time you said ‘we could be quiet’ I was barely able to talk my way out of an attempted assault charge...thanks to...what was her name?”
Rose snorted softly and leaned up, brushing her lips across his as she released his erection. “Oh, the sweet little old lady at the boarding house infested with Traclopods? Miss Jafnowski, I think...”
“Yeah, her. Luckily, Officer Madison realized rather quickly that the sweet little old lady had completely misunderstood what was going on...” He smiled as she pushed him back further onto the bed and straddled his thighs. “You’re not very good at being quiet, Rose Tyler.”
“I want you.” She whispered, ignoring his statement as she draped her arms over his shoulders.
“Rose...” His smile faded as he sighed. “I want you too, but...”
Rose echoed his sigh and, after a moment of staring into his eyes, carefully moved off of him. “Fine...”
He felt her disappointment as much as he could see it as she leaned back against the headboard and folded her arms over her chest. “Please tell me you understand.”
“ ‘Course, I understand. You’re scared of my mum.”
“I am not! Well...not much...or not much anymore. Being in separate universes has done wonders for that. But, no that’s not exactly it, you know. It’s more that...I, well...”
Rose looked over at him as he trailed off, her frustration ebbing as she watched him scratch the back of his head. “More that what?”
The Doctor blew out a heavy breath and tugged the blanket over his lap and waning erection. “It wouldn’t be good. I mean, for you...because I’d be too worried about who could hear what and...I’d lack finesse and technique and everything that makes making love with you so utterly wonderful and it would be all for naught. We’d have sex...and I’d be unsatisfactory and you’d be frustrated and in the morning, Jackie’d ask about the frustration and...I just want to satisfy you.”
Rose watched him pick at a stray thread on the blanket for a few moments. And then she slipped her arm through his and rested her head against his shoulder.
“Wanna go get the TARDIS?”
His fingers stopped picking at the thread as he turned his head, staring at her as his brow furrowed. “What?”
“The TARDIS…you know, our home that we left half a mile this
“I know what and where, Rose. What I don’t understand is the sudden change of topic.” He licked his lips nervously and swallowed. “Are you upset with me?”
“Nope…you’re right. As usual. So, I’m just trying to come up with something else to do to keep my mind off how much I want you to – ”
“I could tell Charlie a story about Gallifrey.” The Doctor interrupted with a small smile.
“You could…” Rose agreed, even as her brows knitted together in thought.
“What is it, Rose?”
“Nothing.” She answered quickly, exhaling a slow breath when he merely arched an eyebrow at her. “It’s just…do you think it’d be okay if we didn’t call him by name? I mean…not until he’s born.”
“Why?” The Doctor asked softly, reaching over to place the palm of his right hand over her slightly swollen abdomen.
“I don’t know…I mean, I’m sure everything’s fine…and will stay fine. But…Mum had a friend once…and she was pregnant, had named the baby and everything. They always called the baby by name and then…she was in a car accident and lost the baby. A couple of years later, I overheard her telling Mum that she wished she’d never called the baby by her name…made it harder.”
He was quiet for a few seconds and then lovingly rubbed her abdomen.
“I can still call him the Gallihu, right?”
Rose rolled her eyes as she chuckled. “Apparently nothing I say can put a stop to that.”
“Nope.” He grinned, leaning over to press a tender kiss to her lips. “So…what about I tell the Gallihu a story about Gallifrey…we fall off to sleep, because we’re both exhausted. Time travel between universes isn’t as easy as I remember it being...”
“You’re just getting old.”
“Funny. Your humour made me fall in love with you. That and…your breasts.” He grunted as she slapped the back of her hand against his chest. “I mean, your brilliance. Brilliance, breasts…it’s all the same really. Anyway…where was I? Oh, right…exhaustion. I’m certain we could both do with some sleep…and then I’ll go get the TARDIS when I wake up. I’ll want to work on the mini-rotor anyway…”
“What about Jack and Martha?”
“Well, I’ll bring them with me too…they kinda have to come along with the TARDIS, you know.”
Rose gave a sigh of exasperation. “You know that’s not what I meant.”
“Yep, I know.” He slid down and rested his head against the pillows before tugging her down next to him. “And I know that Jack and Martha are probably very busy. Both of them, alone in the TARDIS?”
“Why do they get to have sex and we don’t?” Rose pouted as she snuggled up against him.
He curled his arm around her and chuckled softly. “Because they don’t have to be quiet. Thick walls in the TARDIS…”
“They’ll probably still be having sex when you go to pick her up, you know…”
“Mm…yeah.” He covered his mouth with his hand as he yawned. “Just hope they’re not in the garden room again. She hates it when they make a mess in there.”
“They could be in the console room…”
“Goodnight, Rose.” He replied with a snort.
“Or in the pool…”
“What if they’re in the cellar and knock over the rack of wine we got from Ferangiala?”
“They’re not going to have sex in the cellar, Rose.”
“But – ”
He cut her off with a kiss, slipping his tongue into her mouth for a brief few seconds. He pulled back just enough to offer her a sleepy smile.
“I really don’t want to think about where Jack and Martha are having sex, yeah? Besides…Jack knows better than to violate the cellar.”
“You kissed me.” She blurted, rubbing her thumb over his nipple. “You kissed me like you kiss me when you want to make love to me. Why did you kiss me like that?”
“Because I want to make love to you.” He answered simply, sliding his hand to her hip and closing his eyes. “But, I’m not going to…for the reasons I stated earlier. Go to sleep.”
He exhaled a deep breath and opened his right eye to look at her. “Go to sleep and when you wake up, the TARDIS will be here…complete with Jack and Martha…and they’ll probably be busy being accosted by your mother. And while they’re keeping each other busy, maybe we can take a shower together. Okay?”
“Yeah?” Rose asked, a slow smile appearing in her tired eyes.
“Yeah…if you want…”
She nodded and snuggled closer to him before closing her eyes. “Yeah, I want. G’night, Doctor.”
“Night, Rose…” He whispered, allowing his eyes to close again.
It was only a few moments before their breathing evened out as sleep overtook them.
* * *
Jackie woke up and glanced at the clock on the bedside table, groaning when she realized it wasn’t even four in the morning yet. Not that she was surprised. Every night for the past three weeks, she had woken up at this hour…with an intense craving for warm milk.
“Could be worse, I s’pose…” She muttered as she climbed out of bed, careful not to wake Pete.
After slipping into her robe and tying it closed, she opened the bedroom door and stepped into the hall. The first thing she noticed was the TARDIS sitting quietly at the end of the hall. She rolled her eyes and ran her fingers through her hair.
“At least it’s out of the way. One good thing about living in a mansion…high ceilings and long hallways.”
As she made her way to the staircase, she noticed something else. A soft, nearly eerie green glow coming from the living room. She furrowed her brow and slowly made her way down the stairs.
“If he’s brought some kind of green glowing goo alien into this house, I’ll kill him…”
She poked her head into the living room and found herself more relieved than she could’ve imagined. No alien…well, apart from the Doctor himself. No goo…which was a definite plus. And the green glow seemed to be coming from an object that the Doctor was apparently tinkering with.
“You’re tinkering…so that’s not gonna blow up or anything, is it?”
The Doctor jumped slightly and glanced towards the doorway. “No…it won’t blow up.”
“Didn’t mean to scare you…” Jackie stated as she walked over to the sofa and sat down next to the Doctor. “Thought you would’ve heard me, what with your superior hearing and all.”
He offered her a soft smile and gestured towards the object with a tilt of his head. “Concentrating on the tinkering. Drives Rose crazy. What are you doing up at this hour?”
“Cravings.” She replied, but didn’t elaborate. Instead she looked at his hand. “What is that anyway? Piece of the TARDIS?”
Before he could start to explain, she snapped her eyes back to his and pointed towards the ceiling.
“And what the hell is the TARDIS doing in the bloody hallway?”
“Because you told me not to put it in front of the loo.” He answered without thought, quickly continuing when her eyes narrowed. “A 1960’s era Police Box fits in relatively well in a city. Not so much in a backyard…especially when the skies are full of zeppelins. Besides, Jack and Martha were asleep.”
Jackie started to ask what the hell that had to do with anything, but paused as he continued with his explanation about the object held carefully in his hand.
“This is a miniature TARDIS rotor. See?” He held it up proudly and grinned. “Just like the rotor in the TARDIS, only…smaller. Miniature, even. That’s why I call it a miniature TARDIS rotor.”
Jackie rolled her eyes. “Brilliant…you’re giving my grandson his own TARDIS?”
“What? No. I was over 400 before I got my own TARDIS and...well, actually I stole her, but that’s another story altogether. Why would I give my child a TARDIS?”
“Well, what’s that thing for if it’s not for a miniature TARDIS?”
“Oh...” The Doctor whispered, suddenly understanding the confusion. “Oh, no...no, it’s...a comfort thing.”
He gave her a small smile and shrugged his shoulder. “Sometimes, late at night...or early in the morning, if that’s what you want to call it...sometimes I just sit and watch the rotor. Listen to the ship hum while the rotor glows...it reminds me of home, watching and listening to the mechanism.”
“It reminds you of home?” Jackie asked, obviously intrigued.
“Yeah...” He nodded and turned the base of the glowing mini-rotor, smiling when the mini-mechanism began to move. “I used to sit on a hill overlooking the Time Vortex and just watch...never looking directly into it, because I did that once.”
“Why?” Jackie questioned, realizing that this was the most she’d ever heard the Doctor speak of his home. “I mean...why did you look into it once?”
“Had to when I entered the Academy. A rite of passage, if you will. Terrifying...I ran for ages afterwards. Not really sure I ever stopped, to be honest. Anyway, the Vortex swells and ebbs...kinda like this. It’s beautiful to watch...from a distance.”
He leaned forward, placing the miniature rotor onto the coffee table. He watched it for a few seconds before scratching the back of his head and looking over at Jackie, who was still staring at it.
“It’s for the baby’s room. He’s half-Time Lord...he’ll never know Gallifrey. Well, not in its physical form...of course, I’ll tell him stories, but...” He swallowed as Jackie slowly met his eyes. “I’m hoping that he’ll find comfort in this when he needs it...if he wakes up at night, scared or unsure or...well, maybe it’ll help him as much as the original helps me.”
“You wake up scared at night? Is that what you’re doing up at this hour?”
“I’m a Time Lord, Jackie. I don’t need as much sleep as humans do.” He offered her a gentle smile and crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m always up at this hour...I rarely have someone to talk to though.”
Jackie smiled warmly, feeling a sudden rush of affection for the being who was soon to become her son-in-law. “I think Rose couldn’t have found a better man to fall in love with...”
The Doctor’s eyes sparkled, the green glow in the room fading as the miniature rotor began to power back down. “Thank you, Jackie.”
“Come on...” She patted his thigh before standing up and gesturing towards the door that led to the kitchen. “Tell me about your home while I’m heating up the milk.”
The Doctor arched an eyebrow at her. “Heating up milk?”
“Cravings.” Jackie replied with a laugh. “With Rose it was anything salt and vinegar, but mainly chips. With this one...warm milk.”
The Doctor stood and slipped his hands into the pockets of his trousers. “Rose wants pineapple juice and toast slathered in butter and mugleberry jam. And apparently salt and vinegar Hula Hoops.”
“Mugleberry jam?” Jackie shuddered as she led the way into the kitchen. “That sounds disgusting!”
He smirked as he followed her, glancing back at the mini-rotor that had finally quietened back down. “It’s an acquired taste...”
Jackie grinned at him as she poured a generous amount of milk into a saucepan. “So...Gallifrey?”
The Doctor leaned against the counter and returned her grin.
He could think of worse ways to spend the next couple of hours that he would’ve spent alone, thinking and tinkering while waiting until it was time to wake Rose.
“Is it Gallifrey you want to know about? Or...is it about the mischief I got up to before I left?”
Jackie snorted a laugh. “Well, if I say ‘mischief’ then I kinda get both, yeah? I mean...you have to tell me about Gallifrey in order for me to really understand the mischievous Doctor, right?”
The Doctor laughed loudly and reached over to flip the switch on the kettle.
There were definitely worse ways to spend time.