John followed Rose into her parents' mansion as it neared late afternoon. Tony dashed away, probably to his room. It'd been a long day, keeping up with Rose's brother, but it was worth it because he got to spend time with her, watched her smile and laugh. He didn't think there was anything more beautiful in the entire world than her smile.

"Mum," Rose called, walking toward the kitchen.

She knew her mum was probably making dinner. Jackie wasn't one for cooks, not trusting anyone to do things right. Rose stepped into the kitchen and found she was right.

"Tony ran off to his room," she said.

Jackie looked up as her daughter entered the room.

"Thank you for helping me out sweet-" Jackie paused, eyeing the bloke that stepped through the swinging door. She took in the green jacket and bowtie. "Him in the bowtie, then."

"Mum, be nice," Rose warned.

She wasn't sure what her mother had against him, which was why she hadn't mentioned that he was the one she ditched her party with. Once her mum's mind was set against someone it took a lot to change it. If it hadn't been for the Slitheen she doubted her mum would've warmed up to the Doctor as quickly as she did.

Jackie glanced from Rose to the bloke, then brandished the spatula she held, waving it threateningly.

"You're the one," the woman accused.

John took a subconscious step back at the threatening woman, holding his hands out. He wasn't sure why Rose's mum was so upset with him, well, if she knew he was the one she ran off with then maybe he did.

"I…" he trailed off as she waved the weapon toward him, stepping around the counter.

Rose stepped between them.

"Mum."

"He's the one ain't he? The one you ran off with last night."

"It was my idea."

"He is! I was right," Jackie snapped, glaring at the bloke. "You're that genius those friends of yours were talking about. Walking in my house bold as brass after what you did, ain't much a genius are you?"

"I apologize Mrs. Tyler if I-" John began, wanting to somehow alleviate the situation.

He liked Rose, a lot, and he didn't want her mum to hate him. She seemed very family oriented. Domestic. Yes, that was the word and he didn't want to cause any tension between her and the woman brandishing the spatula.

"Don't you apologize," Rose interrupted. Then she turned her gaze on her mum. "I don't know what you have against him, but get over it. He saved my life, mum, and he's a good person. You have no reason to-"

"Oh, good lord," Jackie huffed, lowering her arm. "You're infatuated with him, just like you were with that other one."

"No I ain't," she replied, ending in a nervous laugh as she glanced back at John briefly before eyeing her mum. "We're friends."

Jackie rolled her eyes, returning to preparing dinner.

"As if I ain't heard that before. You'll both be staying for dinner then."

John glanced between the two women. Infatuated with him? Why would her mum say that? Was it true? What if it was? No, of course it wasn't. What was he thinking? Friends. That's what Rose said.

"Oh, um, I'm sure John has to get back-" Rose began.

"Actually, I have time," he replied with a grin.

Rose turned around, surprised. She expected him to want to get out of there as quickly as possible. He already witnessed her mum's wrath, slap not included.

"Really?"

"A home cooked meal with your family sounds brilliant," he said, grinning and then wondered if maybe she didn't want him to stay. "I mean, if that's okay with you."

"I'd love you to stay," she replied before she could think better of it.

Jackie paused as she cut the vegetables, cocking a brow as she glanced at them. Yep, Rose was definitely infatuated. She wore the same smile she used to sport around that daft alien.

"You're father's in the study," Jackie said. "Let him know dinner'll be another twenty minutes would you, sweetheart."

"Right," Rose replied, walking out the swinging door.

John made to follow, but was stopped by Mrs. Tyler.

"Not you," Jackie said, eyeing the bloke.

He turned around, suddenly feeling like he might've felt if he found himself in a room with something along the lines of a vampire or one of those creatures from his dreams.

"Did you…want something, Mrs. Tyler?" he asked.

"You," Jackie pointed the long knife she held in his direction then at the stool on the other side of the island counter she was cutting the vegetables on, "sit." He glanced around nervously, making Jackie roll her eyes. "Oh, I ain't going to hurt you. I just want to talk 's all."

Talk. Right. He could do that. Cautiously, he walked over to the stool and sat down.

"So, what did you want to talk about?"

"What's your name then?"

"Oh…um, John, John Smith."

Jackie glanced at him, raising her brow.

"Is that your real name?"

He drew his brows together, confused.

"Yes, why wouldn't it be?"

Jackie shrugged and went back to chopping the vegetables.

"You're a doctor then."

"Well, technically, but my doctorates aren't in the medical field, if that's what you mean."

"Course not. You're one of them inventors."

"Like Mr. Tyler," he pointed out, which turned out to be the wrong thing to say as she eyed him quickly.

"Are you sassing me?" she snapped, brandishing the knife.

He put his hands up.

"No…I…um…of course not," he stammered, wondering why she thought that.

"Good," she lowered the knife. "Because you ain't too old for a slap."

Something about the way she said that brought his hand to his left cheek, as if he could feel some phantom pain.

"I just meant that-"

"I know what you meant." She gazed over him, as if appraising him, which made him straighten his bowtie nervously. She rolled her eyes. "A bowtie wearing genius doctor. That girl definitely has a type." He drew his brows together, but before he could ask what she meant she continued. "What're your intentions with my daughter?"

The question was so direct and something he hadn't expected that he was left speechless for a moment. She caught his gaze and he realized he had to say something.

"I…we're friends," he managed, swallowing when she continued to eye him.

"That's how it starts out, but it never ends there with her." He attempted again to ask what she meant, but again she cut his thoughts off. "I don't know how much she's told you, but that girl," she pointed toward the closed door with the knife, "my daughter, she's been through hell. She lost everything, but she didn't give up. She fought like hell to get it back then she lost it again, twice actually in the same day." He wasn't sure what Mrs. Tyler meant by everything or how Rose could lose that twice in the same day, but the thought that she'd been hurt, that she felt like she lost everything wrenched his heart. "If you ever hurt her like he did I'll kill you."

He glanced from the knife to the woman's eyes. No, she wouldn't literally kill him, but he didn't doubt she'd make him wish she had. He. So someone hurt Rose. That thought sent a wave of anger coursing through him. He wanted a name, but he knew it wasn't his place to ask. That didn't stop him wanting it though.

"I would never hurt her. I…care too much about her," he admitted.

"Good," Jackie replied.

John watched her finish up dinner, but his mind was on other things. Rose was hurt by someone who made her feel as if she'd lost everything, not once, but three times. How could anyone do that to her?


Standard Disclaimer.

Thank you to all my brilliant readers!

Reviews are always welcome. :)