Title: Domestic Battleground
Rating: T – not suitable for younger children, because I have a dirty mind.
Summary: The Doctor promised Jackie he'd take Rose back for special occasions. But a whole week with her family? Will he survive, and more importantly, will Rose?
Rose picked up her bag and looked around the room to make sure she hadn't left anything. The bed was neatly made. The bridesmaid dress was hung on the bathroom door, waiting for Jackie to take it back to the flat. The towels were on the rack. The windows were closed.
It had been a very odd week, she reflected. Not a bad one, but an odd one. She lifted her left hand and looked at the ring there. Married. She shook her head in bemusement. Crazy.
She turned at the light tap on the door. Jackie stood, struggling to keep a smile on her face.
"Hi, Mum," Rose greeted softly. "You alright?"
"Yeah," Jackie nodded. She entered the room and took the bag from her daughter. "I haven't seen you enough, this week," she said sadly.
"It's been hectic," Rose nodded. "I'll get the Doctor to bring me back soon, yeah?"
"When's soon, Rose? A month, for me, a year for you?"
Rose shook her head. "No, Mum, don't. Just don't, yeah? I can't stay. I couldn't possibly. No way."
"You really love him," Jackie said wonderingly. "It's…I dunno."
"Me neither," Rose said after a moment. "But I do. And I love you, Mum, I do, but I could never stay. Not anymore." She shoved her hands in her pockets. She was well aware that her mother would be furious if she found out that her only daughter had got married without her. "I'd better go say goodbye," she said.
"Can't you stay just one more night?"
Rose shook her head. "Nah. He's got wandering feet. And I do too, now. We don't like staying in one place too long."
"Alright," Jackie nodded after a moment. "I, uh, got you a present. The Doctor put it in the TARDIS. Open it later, yeah?" Rose nodded silently. "Let's go say goodbye then."
Mother and daughter descended together. The family had gathered in Bridget's sitting room to say goodbye to their favourite cousin.
Rose hugged all the younger cousins and signed Michelle's cast. She kissed Grandma Sarah's cheek and hugged her aunts and uncle. She pulled Josh's ear and told him to be good with his girlfriend. She told Sandy to keep working hard, and reminded Tim that he still owed her a drink.
She hugged Grandpa Mark tight. "Seeya then, Grandpa," she muttered.
"Keep safe with that bloke of yours," he told her softly, and passed her on to Izzy.
"You better bring me back something, this time," Izzy said with a sort-of smile. "Something tacky and useless, yeah?"
Rose nodded slowly. "Yeah." She hugged her cousin. "It's been good seeing you, Izzy," she said honestly.
"You too," Izzy murmured. She released Rose, who turned to her mother.
"I love you, Mum," Rose said after a moment. "I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you," Jackie said, barely holding back tears. She would never, ever get used to this. "You call me, you hear?"
Rose nodded. "I will. I promise." She hugged her mother, then hefted her bag and turned to the door, where the Doctor was waiting. "We good?" she asked him.
He nodded, face blank. "Ready when you are," he told her.
"Right." They made their way to the front door, and Sandra stopped her for one last kiss. "Well, I'll see you," Rose said. "I had a great time. I'll send you a postcard, yeah?"
"Alright," Bridget smiled. "Go on, then. You'll miss your flight."
Rose and the Doctor exchanged a smile. "Sure," she nodded. "C'mon then, you."
They walked down the path and turned onto the street. Rose waved one last time before they turned the corner.
The TARDIS was waiting, and she stepped inside with an odd feeling of relief. It was good to be home.
"Right," the Doctor said, closing the door behind him. "Paris, I said, right?"
"Wherever," Rose said, grinning. "I don't care." She dropped her bag and flung her arms around him. "I don't care," she repeated. "Although I hope bed figures in your plans somewhere."
"Yours or mine?"
Thanks to the people at time-and-chips, there will be a sequel. It's all their fault. Thank you.