Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to the BBC. I do not own anything.
A/N Sorry for my absence. Rest assured, I'll be back with updates soon.
Meanwhile, this is a secret santa fic for loup-malin written as part of the DW Secret Santa Exchange on Tumblr. Hope you like it!
Beta by the amazing Vampiyaa.
Rose checked the last of her debriefings and glanced at the clock. It was nearly eleven in the morning and she had time to make one last stop before starting her ten-hour drive back to Inverness. She packed up her bag and swung the strap over her shoulder, trying not to wring her hands in her nervousness as she went down to the medical floor.
People nodded to her as she passed, but she didn't stop for a chat with anyone until she reached Owen's office. The door was ajar and she could see him sitting with his feet up on the desk, looking at a porn magazine with a bored expression on his face.
When she cleared her throat, he looked up and his face softened imperceptibly. No one other than the people who knew him well would know that was the closest thing to a genuine smile they could get from him. Apart from when he was with Tosh, of course. Then he could light up like a Christmas tree.
"Disturbing you, am I?" asked Rose dryly.
"No, you can look too if you want," he said, offering her the magazine.
"Kind offer, but I'm here for an actual reason," she said, walking into his office and closing the door behind her.
"Let me guess, you are leaving your husband and we are about to shag on my desk," he said, pretending to clear up space on the desk in question.
Rose rolled her eyes lightly. "The day I consider leaving my husband to have sex with you would be a day where I would really, really need you 'cos I've obviously suffered a blow to the head," she said sweetly. "But as it so happens, I need your medical expertise today."
"Alright, I'm listening," he said, taking his feet off his desk and sitting up.
Rose took a deep breath. "I think I'm pregnant," she said.
Owen, to his credit, merely nodded once. "Did you take a test?" he asked, all business now.
"I took four," she said. "Different brands and all."
"All positive?" he asked, getting up and nodding towards the examination table.
Rose went over to the table and hopped up on it. "Yeah," she said.
"Alright," he said, getting the modified medical scanner that had been built through a combination of Earth and alien tech. "Just gonna do a quick scan before I check for pregnancy. You drive down by yourself?" he asked as the scanner processed the results.
"Yeah," answered Rose. "The Doctor is holding fort down in Inverness. It's the last working day for us down there, since tomorrow's Christmas Eve."
"And you're driving back?" he asked. "Thought you'd be coming to London either way for Christmas with your family."
"We're taking the zeppelin early Christmas morning," said Rose. "I would have stayed but there's some business that the Doctor and I need to take care of in Inverness."
Owen nodded and didn't inquire as to the nature of their business, which was just as well, because Rose would have had to lie to him if he had. "Lie down," he said and Rose obeyed, swinging her legs on top of the examination table and lying down. "Told your husband yet?"
"No," said Rose shortly.
Owen raised his eyebrows. "Thought you two shared everything," he said. "It's kinda nauseating, to be honest."
"I want to be sure before I tell him," said Rose, shooting him a glare. "No need to get his hopes up before I know."
"You two been trying?" he asked.
"For five months," she said, biting her lips as her stomach swooped with nerves again. She could practically see the Doctor's excited face when she told him about this, but she could never do it if she wasn't a hundred percent certain.
"Well," said Owen, shutting the scanner and putting it away. "Good news is, you are definitely pregnant."
Rose sat up and stared at him with wide eyes. "Really?" she asked.
Owen nodded as he went to the modified sonogram machine and pulled it towards the examination table. "By my guess, you are about eight weeks gone," he said. "This will give us a better idea. Lie down and lift up your shirt." He paused and smirked slightly. "Boy have I dreamed of saying that to you before."
"You're a pig, Owen," deadpanned Rose as she lay back down and lifted her shirt up to just under her breasts.
Owen placed a translucent pad of paper over her flat abdomen. "Tell me something I don't hear at least twice a day, darling," he said, picking up a thin wand. "This won't hurt."
"I know," said Rose.
Owen held the wand a few inches above the pad on her stomach and moved it until there was a clear picture on the monitor of the sonogram machine. "Huh," he said after a few moments. "That's weird."
"Don't say that when you are looking at my uterus," said Rose. "Owen," she said in a slightly louder voice when he didn't say anything.
"Right, it's nothing bad," he said. "The baby's heartbeat is slightly elevated and, well…"
"What?" asked Rose, doing her best to sound calm.
"This sonogram machine was calibrated with humanoids of all kind in mind, remember?" he asked.
"Yeah, we got help from the Veritasians in making it," nodded Rose. "So?"
"So I don't know if you remember but they were telepathic and their medical equipment has telepathic detectors too," he said and then showed her a fledgling orange bar on the screen next to the baby's heart scans and her own stats. "I've never seen it light up for a human pregnancy before."
"The baby has telepathic abilities?" asked Rose slowly.
"Not much, but more than normal humans, definitely," he said.
Rose slowly let out the breath she was holding. "Okay."
Owen raised his eyebrows at her. "Okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, don't worry about it," she said, trying to sit up.
"Whoa, whoa, stop moving," he said. "What do you mean 'okay'? There have been documented cases of human beings with minor telepathic receptors, but this is pretty radical. We have to be prepared for the possibility that it might be a complication with the baby."
"Yeah, I know," said Rose. "But I don't think it's a complication."
"But…" Owen tried to protest but Rose shook her head.
"The baby is fine otherwise, right?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "Everything else is fine. With the baby at least. But I am tempted to give you a psych eval."
Rose rolled her eyes and lowered her shirt back down. "I'm alright, Owen, I promise," she said. "I have to get going though. I have a ten hour drive back to Inverness and I really do want to share this with my husband over dinner."
Owen still looked unsure but Rose hopped down from the table and picked up her bag before he could stop her. "Oi, wait," he said, walking over to his desk and picking up his prescription pad. "I'll prescribe some vitamins for you and the baby. If something, anything, feels even the slightest bit wrong, you call me, d'you understand?"
"I will," promised Rose, taking the prescription from him and stuffing it into her jacket pocket. "See you then, Owen. Give Tosh my love. Happy Christmas."
"Yeah, Happy bloody Christmas," said Owen grumpily.
Rose waved cheerfully and left his office. Her meeting with Owen had taken close to an hour and it was midday by the time she got back to the basement carpark where her Torchwood-issue SUV was parked. She tossed her overnight bag into the boot and got in the driver's seat. She had spent the night at her parents' Estate with them and Tony, and she had said her goodbyes that morning before heading to HQ for a morning of meetings. She sent her mum a quick text telling her that she was driving back to Inverness and she and the Doctor would be at the Estate bright and early on Christmas morning.
Jackie had found it idiotic that Rose had made the ten hour drive the day before only to go back the next day and then come back again by zeppelin two days later for Christmas, but like Owen, Rose had told her and Pete that she and the Doctor had some business back in Inverness. It wasn't a complete lie, but these were crucial moments and they had to be close to the rift in Inverness for the time being.
Rose began her drive back and hoped she wouldn't hit traffic on her way home, wanting to be back as soon as possible.
She could hardly wait to tell him the good news.
"You know, Rose is going to be mad," said Gwen, fighting back a smile.
"I know," said the Doctor, tugging on his ear sheepishly. "Maybe we'll get lucky and she won't hear about it."
"Good luck with that," said Gwen. "I heard Mrs. Clancey telling everyone that she had a nephew who wrote for one of the radio stations or something. The whole of Britain will have heard it by evening, trust me."
The Doctor groaned and thumped his head down on his lab table. "Just my luck," he said.
Gwen looked at him sympathetically. "She'll forgive you," she said.
The Doctor nodded morosely and glanced at the clock. "Nearly six," he said. "You should go on home. Everyone else has gone already, haven't they?"
"Yeah, the office was like a ghost town after three," said Gwen. "But Rhys is working late. He has some last minute deliveries coming in so he won't be home yet. I thought I'd finish up with some more cataloguing before I go home."
"Alright, don't let me keep you," said the Doctor and Gwen nodded as she left his office and went to her own desk.
The Doctor took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes tiredly. Rose would likely be back by ten if there was no traffic and with the snow coming down the way it was, she was bound to be late. He wished he could have gone with her but one of them had to stay close to the rift all the time nowadays. The TARDIS was learning to harness the fuel from the Inverness rift and without at least one of them there, she got agitated. Their young TARDIS was much like a child, and they were reluctant to leave her to fend for herself in her moments of important development.
The only reason why they could even go to the Tyler Estate for Christmas was because he was certain that the TARDIS would be fuelled by then and would require at least a week to recalibrate her systems and recuperate. He had promised Rose that they could take their first trip on New Years' Eve and he had no intention of breaking the promise to his wife.
Besides, apart from a few mishaps involving the atmospheric cycles of Inverness, the TARDIS seemed to be doing just fine.
Rose glanced at the dashboard clock, which showed that it was 8:54 pm and she was still an hour away from home. She switched the radio station, just in time to hear the last bit of late evening news.
"...and in other news, there have been additional sightings of unexplained lights in the sky above Inverness. Locals report that the lights seemingly appeared out of nowhere and disappeared before any recording equipment could capture them. The local Torchwood branch has refused to comment on the matter but many believe it is a product of illegal experiments being carried out by the mysterious organisation. More on that…"
"Doctor," muttered Rose in irritation as she switched the radio off. One day, that's all she had asked for. Just one day where she could go to the HQ in London while he held down the fort back in Inverness. But apparently, his idea of keeping things quiet while she was gone included the entire city seeing bright lights in the sky.
As if on cue, her phone rang and Rose rolled her eyes as she hit the answer button and her husband's voice came over the speakerphone.
"I can explain."
"I bet you can," said Rose, rolling her eyes lightly though he couldn't see it.
His voice was sheepish as he spoke his next words. "I miscalculated one of the variables. It slipped my mind that the temporal axis of this universe…"
"Doctor," interrupted Rose, trying not to sound as exasperated as she was. "How much damage control do we have to do?"
"Um, not much?"
Rose blew a strand of hair away from her face. "Put Gwen on the phone," she said.
There was a pause before Rose heard Gwen's soft, Welsh voice over the phone. "Hiya Rose," she said. "Don't worry, I called the HQ. Must have missed you by a few minutes. Anyway, they are getting the PR people on it. They'll have it all cleared up in no time."
"Thanks, Gwen," said Rose, sighing in relief. "You heading home soon?"
"I was on my way out," she said. "You sure you and the Doctor won't join Rhys and I for Christmas?"
"Nah, promised Mum we'd make the trip to London for Christmas," said Rose. "Thankfully, we'll be taking the zeppelin then instead of driving."
Gwen made a noise of sympathy. "How far out are you?" she asked.
"Another hour if I don't hit any more traffic," said Rose, checking the GPS. "What worries me is the snow. How bad is it up there?"
"It's coming down heavily," came the Doctor's voice from the background before Gwen handed him the phone again. "You might have to hurry or they'll close the roads."
"Driving as fast as I can," said Rose. "Send everyone home, will you? Don't want people trapped in the office over the holidays."
"They're gone already," he said. "Gwen's leaving now too. Happy Christmas, Gwen!"
"Happy Christmas, you two," came Gwen's voice from a distance, followed by the sound of a closing door.
"I'm headed home too," said the Doctor. "Just need to check up on the systems one last time so they don't malfunction over Christmas break. Last thing we need to do after we come back is damage control."
"Alright," said Rose. "Don't stay too long. And make sure the house is stocked. The snow really is getting worse."
"The house is fully stocked, you know that," he said and Rose could hear him walking around. "You just get home safely. I'll have wine and pot roast waiting for you."
Rose's stomach clenched slightly at his words. "Don't really feel like wine tonight," she said. "But the pot roast sounds good."
There was a concerned pause on his end. "You alright?" he asked.
"Yeah," said Rose, trying to lighten her tone. "Just focusing on driving."
"Alright," he said, though Rose could tell that he didn't believe her. "Come home soon."
Rose smiled softly to herself. "Try and stop me."
Their cottage was only a short walk through the Highlands from Torchwood's Inverness branch. It had been built specifically to serve as accommodation to whoever was responsible for monitoring the rift at Inverness and Rose, as the senior-most field agent in Inverness had automatically gotten the cottage.
The Doctor and Rose had moved up to Scotland only a few weeks after coming back into this universe. The rift in Inverness had become slightly unstable after the gaps had been sealed again and Torchwood had been putting together a taskforce to monitor it when Rose had volunteered herself and the Doctor for it.
For someone whose career trajectory had been well on its way towards becoming Director of Torchwood, it had been a massive step down but Rose had insisted on taking it. She and the Doctor had only just managed to build up a tentative relationship after weeks of walking on eggshells around each other and they both thought they needed a fresh start away from Canary Wharf, away from London, and even though she loved her family, away from them too while she and the Doctor relearned each other.
Two years later, and it had turned out to be the best idea ever. They both enjoyed running this branch with their small staff and a very exciting rift, rather than the HQ in Canary Wharf where things were far more political than scientific. Even the Doctor who had been reluctant about working at Torchwood seemed to enjoy his job far more than he expected himself to. Of course, being married to Rose had a lot to do with it too and now that the TARDIS was almost ready, they could travel again.
He saw the TARDIS sitting innocuously in the garden and patted the mini-greenhouse fondly as he passed. The chameleon circuit was working really well and the greenhouse exterior warded off suspicion from anyone who might see it. He had promised Rose they could break the chameleon circuit once they were mobile so they could have the beloved police box exterior back.
The snow had piled up around the yard and the Doctor was panting by the time he reached the front door and unlocked it to go inside. The house was warm but the Doctor still cranked up the temperature a little before going off to change out of his suit. He had left the roast to cook in the slow cooker since midday and it had been kept warm and delicious in the kitchen, its aroma permeating the entire house. His stomach rumbled and he considered calling Rose again when he heard her car pull up in the driveway.
Without waiting a moment longer, he opened the front door, just in time to see Rose climb out of the car and get her bag out of the boot. Grinning wildly, he went over to her before she had even locked the car and swooped her up, bag and all, and started to carry her back into the cottage.
"And hello to you too," she giggled, pressing the remote lock on her key to lock the car.
"It's freezing out there," said the Doctor, setting her down and taking her bag from her. "You said it would be an hour."
"Hit traffic right after our phone call," said Rose, unravelling her scarf and hanging it on the coat rack near the door. "Was trapped in there for nearly an hour longer."
The Doctor helped her take her coat off, but instead of hanging it up, he tossed it aside and planted a searing kiss on her mouth. "Mmm, missed you," he murmured, once Rose pulled away to breathe.
"Missed you too," said Rose, stroking his sideburn with her thumb. "I…" Whatever she was about to say was interrupted by her stomach growling loudly.
The Doctor laughed and pecked her forehead. "Come on, time to feed the hungry human," he said, pulling her towards the kitchen.
"The hungry human needs the loo first," laughed Rose. "I'll clean up and see you in a few minutes, 'kay?"
The Doctor nodded and headed to the kitchen. "I'll have dinner waiting," he said.
He spooned out the hearty stew in two bowls and carved out slices of meat for the two of them. One of their neighbours had given them homemade bread that morning and the Doctor placed hastily cut of slices of that bread on their plates right as Rose came back downstairs, dressed in her pyjamas and smelling of fresh soap.
"Oh god, that smells heavenly," said Rose, sitting down at her place at the table and shovelling a spoonful of stew into her mouth.
"Careful," he chided with a laugh when she burnt her tongue on the hot stew. "When was the last time you ate?"
"Ate a protein bar around six, I think," said Rose, blowing on her spoon before taking the next bite. "And lunch was a bag of crisps I got from the corner shop when I stopped at the chemist's."
"Why were you at the chemist's?" asked the Doctor curiously.
Rose held up a finger as she chewed her food, asking him to wait while she finished. The Doctor did his best to do as she asked, but his feet started tapping impatiently as he waited for Rose to swallow. "I went to see Owen," she said, setting her cutlery down and giving the Doctor her full attention.
"Are you feeling alright?" asked the Doctor in concern.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she said and smiled softly. "Doctor, I'm pregnant."
The Doctor's eyes widened abruptly and he stared at her in slight disbelief. Rose took his hand over the table and squeezed it. He exhaled at the contact and a slow smile started forming on his face. "Really?" he asked, his voice wobbling slightly.
Rose teared up at the look of pure elation on his face and she nodded wordlessly, the grin on her face getting impossibly wider. "Yeah," she said. "About seven weeks."
An odd noise escaped the Doctor, something like a cross between a sob and a giggle, and Rose laughed when he vaulted out of his chair and cupped her face with both his hands. Then, before she could say another word, the Doctor stuck his tongue out and licked her cheek in a single, smooth stroke.
Rose burst into laughter as the Doctor smacked his lips a few times with a contemplative look on his face. "You are," he said, his voice tinged with wonder. "I thought...I mean, I noticed something different…"
"Good different?" asked Rose, gazing at him lovingly.
"Oh, the best," he said, nuzzling his nose with hers. "I thought it might have been wishful thinking when I noticed your hormone levels changing…"
"Doctor," interrupted Rose gently. "We are going to be parents."
The Doctor pulled away a little and looked at her with that look in his eyes, the one he had always graced her with, from the moment they had met in the basement at Henrik's. Like he couldn't quite believe that she was real.
"We are," he nodded and then closed the distance between their mouths to kiss her sweetly, savouring every brush of their lips as if wanting to convey every bit of joy and gratitude he was feeling at the gift she had given him. "I love you."
Rose rested her forehead against his to catch her breath and smiled. "I love you," she said, just as her stomach rumbled again.
The Doctor jumped away from her at the sound. "You have to eat," he said, adding another spoonful of stew into her bowl. "You have to keep your energy up and good thing you told me not to open the bottle of wine, Rose…"
"Doctor," said Rose with a laugh, cupping his cheek to stop his ramblings. "I'm fine. Just a little hungry, that's all, 'kay?"
The Doctor nodded and stopped his frantic movements, though he refused to take his eyes off Rose while she finished the rest of the food on her plate. His own plate stayed untouched until Rose started feeding him bites off her fork, and then he berated her lightly for not eating enough before turning back to his own food again. Rose merely listened to his ramblings with a small, fond smile on her face, feeling unbelievably loved and happy.
It was when they were clearing up, or rather the Doctor was, after he had made Rose a pot of herbal tea and given her strict instructions to not move from the couch, that Rose remembered what Owen had told her.
"Owen did a sonogram," said Rose, arranging the blanket over her legs so that they were wrapped snugly. "You won't believe this, the baby's got a telepathic sense."
The Doctor nearly dropped the plate he was drying as he whirled around to look at Rose. "Well, of course the baby has a telepathic sense," he said, like she had told him the baby had one head. "And we can do a much better sonogram in the TARDIS medbay once she is all fuelled up. We'll know a lot more from it rather than an antiquated Veritasian sonogram machine." Something seemed to occur to him then and he dropped the last of the bowls he was drying and rushed over to where Rose was sitting on the couch and knelt in front of her. "Can you feel the baby yet?" he asked, his eyes wide with curiosity and excitement.
"How'd you mean?" asked Rose in confusion, her hand drifting to her abdomen instinctively.
The Doctor placed his hand on top of hers and grinned. "In your head, I mean," he said.
"Like our TARDIS?" asked Rose. It had taken some time to get used to having this new TARDIS in her head, since she had bonded with both of them rather than the Doctor alone, which meant that the connection was much deeper than what it had been before.
"Yes, but the baby is still very little," said the Doctor. "So, the connection will be like it was with the TARDIS back when we first started tending to the coral. Do you remember?"
Rose nodded, remembering the fledgling bond that the TARDIS coral had formed in the early days. She closed her eyes and tried to search her mind for something similar to it and found a tiny beacon of warm, yellow light, deep within her mind. Her eyes opened and teared up when she looked at the Doctor. "It's tiny, but it's there," she whispered, hardly daring to believe it.
The Doctor's eyes looked moist too as he kissed Rose lovingly, murmuring Gallifreyan words under his breath when she pulled away to breathe.
"What are you saying?" asked Rose curiously.
"I don't know if there is an equivalent to what I'm saying in any Earth language," he said, taking her hands and placing lingering kisses on them. "Just know that you would be hard pressed to find someone luckier or happier than me in any universe, my love. And it's all thanks to you."
Rose cupped his face with her hands and kissed his forehead softly. "Think you've got it a little backwards, but I don't feel like arguing right now," she murmured. "Take me to bed?"
The Doctor shot her a warm grin and lifted her up easily in his arms. "Your wish, as always, is my command," he said and proceeded to carry her up the stairs to their bedroom.
The snow continued to fall outside, and inside their warm little home, the Doctor and Rose Tyler lost themselves in each other, celebrating the new life they had created together.
A/N Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays to everyone!
I'll be back with regular updates soon :)