Here's the next chapter! So sorry for the delay!

xxx

Christmas came around very quickly that year, and before she knew it, Rose was sitting in a restaurant exchanging gifts with Nicholas. His boyish face lit up with excitement as Rose handed him a neatly wrapped box.

'Now I can't guarantee you'll like it,' Rose supplied quickly. 'It's a bit odd'.

Nicholas grinned and hurriedly ripped into the paper.

Rose watched on in adoration as he fumbled with the lid of the box. He really was such a kid with these things. Having been together for a couple of months, she was getting to see these little things in a new light every time.

'Oh Rose…' his jaw dropped, eyes flickering from the gift, to her face and back again.

Rose grinned. 'Well?'

'It's fantastic!' he whipped the fez out of the box and placed it on his head in a flourish.

'It's not too silly?'

Nicholas beamed. 'No, no of course not. I love it!'

Rose's gift turned out to be a beautiful hair ornament set with a large blue stone. Her immediate reaction had been alarm and she panicked about the probable cost of such an item for a good half hour. Nicholas however, would have none of it. He refused to tell her the price.

'We were supposed to have a limit,' Rose sighed.

'Yes, and I promise you that I didn't exceed it'.

'You better not have'.

Nicholas never intended to tell her how much his gift cost. She would never have believed him if he told her it was worth more than the entire planet from which he'd bought it. Those were the sorts of details he'd learnt to leave out.

Everything seemed to be going back to normal. Well, as normal as things could possibly get. No more children were missing, and the alien threat seemed to have taken care of itself. This did make the Doctor a little uneasy, but he had other things to think about.

Rose's life was on the rise. Nicholas came to see her often and her job with Nicole was supplying her with a steady income. It wasn't boring work either, by any means. No day was quite like the next when you worked with Nicole. Her lack of a verbal filter could cause trouble, but for others it was endearing. These were the people that always came back.

One particularly busy morning, Rose was manning the register, while Nicole tried her best to supervise a young waitress she'd brought in for the weekends. Rose worked like a machine, quickly and productively, whilst still managing to appear friendly and polite.

By the time they'd reached their last customer, Rose's feet were aching and she hardly wanted to even look at the person, let alone serve them.

'Hi, yeah, could I just get two cap'—

Rose's head shot up and her jaw dropped. 'Mickey?!'

The man's eyes widened. 'Rose? Oh my gosh! Rose, is that really you?'

'Yeah,' she nodded her head and rushed around the counter to embrace him. 'My goodness, how've you been?'

'Good, yeah,' he nodded. 'Look at you, all natural,' he gestured to her hair.

Rose ran her fingers through the strands and grinned. 'Yeah, I grew out of peroxide after all'.

Mickey laughed. 'Your mum didn't'.

'You've seen mum?' Rose gawped.

'Yeah, um, back in Pete's world. Listen, I've just ducked in to get a cuppa for me and the missus. We'll have to talk about everything, yeah? I'll give you my number and we'll catch up'.

Rose nodded. 'Yeah, yeah that sounds great. Missus? Wow, you really have got everything sorted, haven't you?'

Mickey smiled shyly at that and Rose lunched his arm playfully.

'Seriously, look at you! Big married man'.

The rest of their exchange went quickly as Rose ducked quickly back around the counter to make the coffees. Mickey paid and they made arrangements to meet up for dinner at Mickey's house. Rose was most anxious to hear about everything and even more anxious to meet Mickey's wife.

Xxx

When Rose arrived at the Smith residence, she was pleasantly surprised by how elegant the house looked. She assumed this must be Mickey's wife's doing, as Mickey didn't know a nice house from a cardboard box.

She took a deep breath and rapped her knuckles against the wooden door. There was a bang from inside and a muffled shout before Mickey opened the door, panting.

'Sorry, little situation with the dinner'.

There were more footsteps and a pretty, dark-haired lady poked her head around Mickey. 'The usual situation when I let this one cook. Hi, I'm Martha'.

'Rose. Nice to meet you'.

Mickey gestured her inside and led the way down the hallway. Martha and Rose trailed behind him, walking a little slower.

'I must say, I didn't know quite what to expect, meeting the great Rose Tyler,' Martha laughed.

'The great Rose Tyler?'

Martha faltered in her steps and glanced at Mickey, who sent her a warning look. 'Uh, I used to travel with the Doctor. He…spoke about you a bit'.

'Oh…' Rose murmured.

'Well anyway,' Mickey interjected loudly. 'Let's go into the dining room and we can talk about everything there. The pasta is nearly ready'.

The conversation passed quite naturally and smoothly for a while. They talked about the house and how they'd met; Rose talked about everyone being made redundant at her old job before the café, and about Nicole. It wasn't until Martha talked about her job that Rose thought of bringing up Nicholas.

'I know a doctor. Maybe you've worked together. He said he's done some work for U.N.I.T'.

'Oh? Which one?'

'His name is Nicholas. Nicholas Watson'.

'A man?' Mickey asked with a smirk. 'Any interest there?'

Heat rushed to her cheeks. 'There might be'.

'Look at you, Rose,' Mickey beamed. 'You came out on top'.

Rose was grateful when Martha spoke up and turned the conversation back in the right direction. Unfortunately, she'd never heard of anyone by that name, but was very interested in the idea of meeting him in the future.

After dinner, they moved to the sitting room to chat more comfortably. This then turned out to be a mistake as Rose's eyes began to droop and she slowly lost consciousness on the soft, cushiony lounge.

When she regained consciousness, she didn't immediately open her eyes, but allowed herself a few moments longer to enjoy the lounge. There were soft voices across the room from her and she quietened her breathing so she could hear what they were saying.

'Jackie would be very proud of her,' Mickey stated matter-of-factly.

'Yeah, but that's her mother, of course she would be. I'm just surprised. I mean…do you think he's been checking up on her? Even since his regeneration? If I learnt one thing from my time with him, the Doctor doesn't just forget about Rose Tyler'.

'I'm more surprised she didn't look for him'.

'Well, you don't know that she didn't. She doesn't really seem to want to talk about it and she's moved on anyway, by the sounds of it'.

'Yeah, with this Nicholas character'.

Rose heard Martha sigh. 'Poor Doctor'.

'Hey, don't you go feeling sorry for him. He made his own bed, he told us himself. It was because of him that she left in the first place'.

'Yeah, but I dunno…I wouldn't want to live on knowing you're out there with someone else'.

'Well, that's never gunna happen, babe,' Rose heard him move closer to his wife. 'You're my woman'.

Deciding that things were getting a little too private, Rose faked a startled awakening, causing the other two to jump. She stretched her arms out and gave a big, exaggerated yawn before opening her eyes.

'I'm so sorry,' she groaned. 'I didn't mean to fall asleep. I guess today was just a bit much for me'.

'You can stay as long as you like, Rose,' Martha smiled kindly at her. 'Have you got a lift home? Or there's a guest bedroom if you'd prefer?'

'No, I'll just walk'.

'Walk!' Mickey exclaimed in shock. 'You can't walk home alone at this hour. Let me take you home'.

'No, no, no,' Rose hurriedly riffled through her bag in search of her phone. 'I'll call a taxi'.

'But Rose'—

'Oh…' Rose trailed off when she saw the list of missed calls and texts from Nicholas. She immediately called him and explained where she was and that she was just about to call a taxi. Nicholas objected loudly to her getting a taxi, but in the end agreed to it, only if he took the taxi to meet her.

Xxx

It was barely ten minutes later, when there was a sharp knock at the door. Mickey hurried over to it and was nearly bowled over by a very tired and dishevelled looking Nicholas.

'I'm sorry,' he gestured in the direction of Mickey, 'I just needed to make sure she was okay'.

'Well you've done that,' Mickey responded, eyeing the man suspiciously.

'I'm sorry; would you like a glass of water?' Martha asked. 'You look like you've been running'.

Nicholas turned to face Martha and for a moment, his eyes remained glued to her, unable to move. There was something strange about his look, but Rose was too tired to really pay it any further attention.

'No, thank you,' he smiled at Martha and after another few seconds of awkward staring, he turned to Mickey.

'Rickey was it?' he asked, extending his hand for Mickey to shake.

'Mickey,' the man in question corrected, before taking his hand. 'Nice to meet you'.

Nicholas nodded. 'Likewise'.

'I don't know why I'm so tired,' Rose blurted out.

'Well, by what Nicole told me, you had a pretty full on day today,' Nicholas replied.

'You went to Nicole? You really must have been worried,' Rose smiled guiltily.

'Does the driver know to stay?' Mickey gestured to the door.

'Yes, ah, I'm not sure. One moment,' Nicholas rushed back out the door.

Mickey watched him for a second before approaching Rose. 'Listen, I know you said you don't want anything to do with him, but I need to give you this'.

He took her hand and pushed a small slip of paper into it. 'This is the Doctor's number. I didn't know if you'd still have it'.

'What do you want me to do with this?' Rose eyed him.

'Just in case you ever want to'—

'I've moved on,' Rose cut him off. 'I-I can't just be hung up on him still. It's true that I'll never get past him completely, but I'm trying something new here and I don't want to hurt Nicholas'.

'I'm not saying that you run away with the Doctor, Rose. I know that he hurt you too badly for you to just run away together, but maybe reconciliation wouldn't be a bad idea. It'll help you move past'—

'Mickey, I can't. Thank you both so much for dinner and it was great to see you again, Micks. I hope to do this again soon. Maybe at my place next time'.

Martha gave Rose a quick hug and the two said the polite goodbyes. Nicholas re-joined them to give them a quick wave as he led Rose over to the taxi.

Mickey and Martha stayed by the front door until the taxi had rounded the corner and disappeared from view.

'Well, that's not how I imagined Rose Tyler,' Martha stated into the silence.

'She's different,' Mickey nodded. 'But she's not completely different'.

'How do you know?'

Mickey grinned at his wife. 'She took the piece of paper with her'.

xxx

So there it is. Happy with Mickey and Martha's inclusion? Let me know! :)