This was written for the Valentine's Day Ficathon over at Sisters of Guh on LJ. I choose the prompt: Nine learns that Rose is pregnant... with Ten's baby.
This is has a bit more angst than what I usually write, so I hope it works. My husband beta'd it and assured me it was fine, except for the suggestion of, in his words, "icky, sexy stuff" at the very end. Gee, I wonder why I spend so much time reading Doctor Who fanfic? Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
A Small Misunderstanding
The Doctor let out of breath he didn't realize he had been holding as Rose Tyler closed the door to his ship. He had landed them on a beach in The Caribbean, the name given to a popular tourist destination in the 73rd
century. It comprised a group of warm, earth-like planets in close enough proximity to allow for small shuttle crafts to be flown between them in only a few hours time. The planet they were currently parked on was actually named Rose, presumably due to the pink and red sandy beaches lining its ocean shores. Rose had been hinting to him for a while now that she would like to be taken somewhere nice and danger-free (relatively speaking, at least) for a little holiday. He was happy to oblige, especially if it would get her to stop teasing him for only taking her places that resulted in them running for their lives. Not that he actually minded her teasing or that she minded running for her life on a regular basis. But even a life as adventurous and completely not domestic as theirs required a little break once in awhile. He figured the warm ocean and sandy beach would keep Rose occupied for a few days and give him a chance to complete some much needed TARDIS maintenance. And give him a chance to brood over their evolving relationship without interruption.
He shucked off his leather jacket and threw it over the jump seat. Then he rolled up his sleeves, preparing to immerse himself in wires and grease beneath the ship's grating. Grinning at the time rotor, he heaved one of the gratings up from the floor and carefully lowered himself down beneath the flooring. Carefully, he examined the ship's wiring, determining which part most needed tinkering with. He eyed the broken chameleon circuit. However, his glorious ship, anticipating his thoughts, shot out several sparks of warning, as if to say, “Don't even think about it.” He chuckled at the old girl. She was rather fond of the blue police call box look and he had a sneaking suspicion that even if he managed to fix that chameleon circuit, she'd find a way to continue appearing in only that form... even if it meant only landing in the 1950s for the next century. “Okay, okay, old girl... there are plenty of other things that need fixin',” he assured her, giving the ship a fond pat. She hummed contentedly in response. “You and I make quite a pair,” he continued. “We are quite set in our ways, aren't we?” He grabbed a wire leading to the flux capacitor and began to strip it. “Perhaps it is best if we keep things the way they are after all,” he mused. The ship's tone changed slightly, as she wasn't quite sure where he was headed with this. “You know I'm rather fond of Rose and I think you are too, but we both know she's not going to stick around forever.” At this statement, the ship's tone turned decidedly unpleasant. “Oh, come on, you know she isn't going to want this daft face and these big ears when she could be out there havin' a real life.” The ship seemed unconvinced. “And don't you forget how much she likes her pretty boys.” The ship let out what sounded like a grunt. “Hey, don't you forget, domestics have no place on this ship,” he scolded. The time rotor screeched up and down once in protest at that statement. “What's gotten into you lately anyway?” he asked the ship. Between the accidentally walking in on Rose changing (he thought the door was to the library, not her bedroom), the candle-light dinners suddenly appearing in the galley, and the sudden appearance of evening gowns and tuxedos in the ship's wardrobe, the Doctor was beginning to suspect that his ship was going soft on him. “You haven't started nesting or something, have you?” he questioned. But instead of a reply, the front door suddenly burst open.
The golden goddess herself stood before him. For a second, he thought she must have forgotten something aboard the ship. That is, until he registered her full appearance. His pink and yellow companion stood in the doorway, her mouth agape. It took him exactly 2.7382 seconds to realize that the Rose Tyler standing before him was not HIS Rose Tyler. Not unless his Rose Tyler had suddenly developed Tarquillian Swelling Sickness, that is. Because this Rose Tyler was pregnant. Just about ready to pop, by the look of things.
His astonishment quickly turned to disappointment and bitterness. So that was the end of this little fantasy of his. There would be no courting of one Rose Marion Tyler, at least not by him. Why bother, when you knew that you were just going to come out the loser in the end? Even more painful, in a way, was the clear evidence that one day he would allow some future suitor to join her aboard his TARDIS (probably at that crazy nesting TARDIS's insistence). He would be forced to sit back and watch as she fell in love with, married (if the rock on her finger was anything to judge by), and had offspring with someone else. Someone who was not him. And he would be standing on the sidelines, playing the supportive, asexual best friend for all of it. An old conversation sprung back into his mind “Why is it always the great looking ones who do that? … I mean... men.” She just didn't think of him that way. And it couldn't be him. That much he knew for sure. Time Lords and Humans couldn't procreate.
Perhaps it was better this way. She was still so young and full of life. She didn't need to attach herself to some grumpy old Time Lord, full of bitterness and guilt. She probably took up with one of her pretty boys. At least he still had her as a companion aboard the TARDIS, if her barging her way into his ship like she owned the place was any indication. And this way she could have a family. Maybe he would get to be that kind of strange but devoted uncle to the little tike. He grimaced.
Rose, for her part, looked shocked... like she had seen a ghost. Well, he thought, with even greater disappointment, maybe it wasn't him she was still traveling with, at least not with this daft old face. He did perk up a little at the thought that she had remained with him through a regeneration. There weren't many companions willing to deal with that. Then again, maybe the regeneration was why she had taken up with one of her pretty boys. After all, he had been almost sure she had loved this him. Maybe the new him was even older-looking and broodier still. He really wouldn't blame her for not choosing that. He was about to open his mouth and say something when she spun around and reached for the door.
“Sorry! 'M so sorry!” she shouted back at him, pulling open the heavy wooden door. In five large strides, he had reached her and spun her back around to face him. Tears poured down her face, which she made a pathetic attempt to hide behind her small, perfect hands. “Doctor, I really shouldn't be here. You have ta let me go!” she begged as he pulled the crying girl to him. When he wrapped his arms around her, she gave up her attempt to flee and flung her arms around him. “I've missed you... I've missed you so, so much,” she sniffled into his shoulder. For the Doctor, this just confirmed that his regenerating had scared her away. Maybe she did have feelings for this him, but if she couldn't accept the new him, clearly her feelings for him were not nearly as strong as he felt about her.
Rose was enjoying this small precious moment in her first Doctor's arms, taking in the scent of his leather jacket and the feel of his tight muscles rippling beneath the surface, when she felt him tense up in her arms. Instantly, he changed from warm and inviting to cold and fierce. She looked into his intense blue eyes and took a step back from the icy heat she saw in them. With confusion at the sudden change in his demeanor, she took a step back. “M sorry... I really need to go. I shouldn't be here.”
“No, you shouldn't be here. Run on back to your pretty boy, Rose Tyler,” he sneered.
“But how did you...” she started to ask.
“It's always the pretty boys, isn't it?” he accused her coldly.
“But it's not like that,” she protested.
“It is though. I died and you just forgot about me, didn't you? You just ran off with that pretty boy and didn't give a second thought for how I'd feel!” he shouted at her, beyond caring that he was revealing more of his feelings for her than he had intended.
“But I thought you would be happy about this!” she cried. “It's me, livin' a fantastic life.”
“Thought I'd be happy about this?! Happy! About this?! Why would I possibly be happy about this?! You betrayed me, Rose!” he shouted at her.
“Oh God!” she gasped. “'M sorry! 'M so, so sorry!” She turned around and fled.
As the TARDIS door slammed shut, the Doctor stalked around the console. He was fuming mad, but he wasn't quite sure with whom. Rose Tyler did not love the next him. She had married some pretty boy instead. But she did say she missed this him. What had he done in the future to mess things up so much between the two of them. What had he done to lose her? He had just resolved to go find the next him himself and give him a piece of his mind when the TARDIS door burst open.
A tall pretty boy in a brown pinstripe suit walked in the door, a look of ferocity upon his face that could make a Dalek quiver in fear. A lesser man would have backed away, but not the blue-eyed Doctor.
“Ah, you must be Rose's pretty boy.”
The pretty boy in pinstripes was a bit stronger than he looked. His hand went for the Doctor's throat as he shoved the Doctor into the console. “What. Did. You. Say. To. My. Wife?!” the pinstriped man demanded to know.
“Nothing she shouldn't have known already!” he spat out, shoving the pinstriped man back. The two men glared at each other.
“Look, I don't know what you said, but you made Rose Tyler cry. Our Rose Tyler! You had better fix this!” the pinstriped man warned.
The Doctor sputtered. “Our Rose Tyler?! But that's the problem, she's not “our” Rose Tyler. She choose you, not me!”
The pinstriped man stared at him in disbelief. “Oh, I am thick. Thick-thickety-thick!”
The Doctor looked at the pinstriped man like he had suddenly sprouted a second head. The man turned to him, grasping the Doctor firmly by the shoulders and staring him in the face. “Just look at me!” he instructed.
The Doctor shrugged, unsure what this strange pretty boy was attempting to communicate. At least this one seemed to be aware of the fact that he was a completely numskull... More than could be said for the majority of Rose's boyfriends.
“And we call Ricky the Idiot!” the pinstriped man shouted.
Suddenly, it all clicked.
“But that's impossible!” the Doctor sputtered.
“You should learn to use that word a little less often, Doctor,” the pinstriped Doctor chided, a small smirk on his face.
“Where's Rose?” the younger, apparently rather thick-headed Doctor asked.
The older Doctor smiled. “I told her to wait right outside the door.”
“And you didn't think she might wander off?” the younger Doctor asked.
The older Doctor shrugged. “She won't get very far in her current state.”
“Oi, I heard that!” a certain pink and yellow girl called from the doorway.
The two Doctors turned to the girl who had stolen both their hearts (yes, pun intended). Her tears had mostly dried and she was smiling at them.
“Oh Rose, I'm so sorry,” the younger Doctor began to apologize.
She waved him off and with a saucy grin, she replied, “'S alright. 'Sides, I think I've thought of a way for the two of you to make it up to me.” It was quite some time later before either TARDIS left the beach.