Followup to "Barefoot" and "Bunny Slippers"
Thanks to Rosesbud for betawork, she am for awesomes.
Standard disclaimers apply.
"The hypothesis in the water…"
Rose glanced away from the little hand-held game she was playing, over at the boy sitting beside her on the park bench and took a peek at his book. "Hippopotamus." This was Barry's Trip to the Zoo, not Barry's Trip to the Science Lab. That was another book entirely.
Waren looked up, his lips twisted into a quizzical little squiggly. "I like my story better."
Sighing contentedly, Rose let her hand rest on the boy's head. His hair was almost silky soft, and it felt good beneath her fingers. Jack really did make attractive offspring, if she was going to be honest. "I know you do, sweetie. Lets finish up. I think we haveta go find your sister and rescue her from dad and the Doctor."
He wiggled to the edge of the bench, book clutched to his chest and looked down the path. "Or from Nan." Hopping onto the ground, he closed the book and tucked it under his arm. "And Nan's friend. She's a cheek pincher."
Groaning, Rose saw her mother, and her mother's friend Beth. She needed to be rescued in a way she'd never needed to be rescued from evil aliens. This was worse than aliens—this was BETH. And if there was one thing Beth liked to do, it was fuss.
Rose's mother had always found her family to be a little bit odd. Well, aside from the parts where the Doctor was an alien, Waren called Jack dad even though Jack was his mum, having carried him for nine point seven-four months, and the Doctor having given birth to Waren's baby sister. Nope. Nothing weird at all about their family.
But Rose's current situation Jackie found to be so delightfully normal that she couldn't help but tell every single person she came into contact with. It was her one and only chance to brag.
Looking around her, she searched desperately for Jack or the Doctor. "Waren," she whispered, seeing no one in sight. "Why don't you go find the Doctor?"
He was a little boy who didn't need to be told twice. Dropping the book right where he stood, he took off in the opposite direction that his Nan was approaching in, his husky, awkward five-year-old frame clopping as he went.
"Waren!" Jackie Tyler called, exasperated, but the boy was gone.
As her mother approached, Rose stared at the large white hardbound book the boy had left, remembering the good old times, back in the days when she could move enough to pick his lost items up on her own.
Trying to wriggle to the edge of the seat, she got a hand behind her and tried to get up. Oh this was always so much tougher than it looked.
Her mother grabbed her arm just a moment later. "Oh just let somebody help you. You're about to burst, but you've got to be stubborn and do everything yourself."
Grateful for the assistance, Rose let her mother haul her to her feet. She tugged the flowery sundress over her enormous baby bump (that's what twins would do to you) and slid her feet just a bit more securely into her bright pink flip flops. "Thanks. Hello, Beth. I better go get Waren before he does something we'll all regret."
"Warenalspatyixalotravorien!" two male voices cried out in unison from a short distance away.
There was a high-pitched laugh, then the slapping of feet against the path as Waren came barreling towards them, arms held out for a hug. "Nan! Save me! Save me!" He launched himself into the woman's arms, knocking her back onto the bench that Rose had just vacated.
"Isn't he just the most darling thing!" Beth declared, plunking down next to Jackie.
Rose knew better than to heap adoration on the boy. "What'd you do, Waren?"
The boy looked up at her, those blue eyes sparkling with an innocence she knew he didn't possess. He had Jack's ability to charm, but it didn't work on her. Eventually the boy would figure that out. Until then, she'd have to put up with these moments where his mischievous side put them at odds.
She was a terrible person—she knew. She didn't want him to do dangerous and stupid things—he wanted to do dangerous and stupid things, hence the continuing conflict between them.
She put her hands on her lips, staring down at him. "Warenalspatyixalotravorien Franklin Harkness, what did you do?"
Jack was coming up the path with a sputtering two year old tucked under his arm, so she had a feeling she was about to find out, either way.
The boy batted his eyes innocently, looking from Jack to her. "Made Tae eat a dog pewpie."
Rolling her eyes, Jackie slapped his hand. "What'd we say about that?"
The boy blushed, twisting his hands together. "Is only funny when I makes the Doctor eat it."
For some reason this earned him a pat on the head from Jackie Tyler. Rose frowned at her mother. "Don't even encourage him."
Jackie shrugged, turning back to her friend. "It was funny. I think I laughed for a week."
Beth smiled politely, if a bit disapprovingly. She pushed up her large, rectangular-rimmed glasses with long, manicured fingernails, looking very much like all the other ladies from her mother's neighbourhood. "And what about you, dear? Twins I heard? With these other two already. You'll never get another moment's peace."
Waren, who'd been quietly opening a piece of chocolate Jackie had given him, spoke up. "Yeah—Daddy says The Doctor's sperm is par-partic-uh-larly po-potent."
Jack's hand wrapped around the boy's mouth a second later, much to Rose's relief, the toddler still wriggling under his other arm.
She reached out to grab the chubby wriggling thing with the bright brown eyes. "Jack—what did I tell you? He repeats everything you say. Tae—come to mummy."
Letting the girl slide down his leg, Jack pushed the girl over to her mother-ish figure. The girl let out a howl as she latched onto Rose's bare leg, pointing a finger at her brother. "He did it!'
Before Rose could grab hold of the girl, her mother's friend had snatched Tae up.
The bleached-out middle aged woman snuggled the child, "Oh don't you talk well! How old is she?"
Rose looked past Jack for the Doctor, but didn't see anyone to save her in sight. "Twenty-six months."
Jackie helped Waren open his chocolate bar, if only to engage his mouth in eating instead of talking. She leaned into the little girl, pinching her nose proudly. "She'll talk your head off, if you let her. Won't you, Little Bunny?"
Tae giggled and clapped. "I liddle Bunny Foo-Foo. Doctor sez so. Sides, bedder name then Taemasolmerenaventuestubar—Mawion Tywer. Is too long ta say."
Making a strange cooing noise Jackie tickled the girl's bare belly before pulling the tiny pink shirt back over it. "She's the best little talker in the entire world, isn't she?"
Blinking, Beth nodded. "Isn't she just? And what…modern names both of them have. You didn't tell me that, Jackie."
Looking away, Jackie tried to ignore the question, but her friend was making that hmm sound. "Well, my Rose is a very modern girl."
The brush off didn't work so well, however. Especially not when the Doctor appeared beside Rose, a hand pressing to her stomach with a strange familiarity. "That's our Rose. Very very modern. Thoroughly modern. Thoroughly Modern Millie. But Rose. Thoroughly Modern Rose."
Rose rolled her eyes. "Thanks for that. I think. Well, Beth, it was nice talking, but I think we'd better get this lot home. And I've got two twelve pound turkeys pressing down on my bladder and I haveta pee like you wouldn't believe." A graceful getaway wouldn't be…untoward. Unlikely, sure, but not unwanted.
But she heard Waren's lips smack together and she just knew it was going to be one of those days. "It aint modern. Tae's named after da fifteenf priestesesess of of…" he looked up at the Doctor, trying to figure out if he was saying it all right. "The Order of Rassilon…and a bunch of other stuff. I'z named after Uncle Bob."
Fortunately the woman with the frazzled hair and big nails laughed. "They have good imaginations at that age. I know my two could make up whole entire worlds with just pillows and some kitchen stuff."
Waren looked rather put out at the implication. "Hey, I'm sayin' important stuff, here!"
Before he could go any further, Jackie did the sensible thing and popped another piece of chocolate in the boy's mouth. "Chew it real good, sweetheart." Interpretation: stop talking for a bit, would ya?
It was about then that Rose noticed the look in Beth's eyes. The one that said she was trying to figure it all out. "Uh…back to that peeing thing…" she suggested, trying to break up the festivities.
"Are you sure you should have wandered so far from home, on foot? NO wonder your ankles are swollen, look at them! You poor thing…"
Rose couldn't exactly…see them, per se. The rumour was that they were pretty swollen though. And they felt like hell. "It wasn't all that far, really." Of course her mother lived four rather long blocks away, but the TARDIS was just outside the entrance to the park. But how to get rid of Beth so that she could go there? Especially before Waren…
"That's nuthin!" the boy's lips smacked. "The Doctor's ankles was so swolled with Tae that he wored bunny slippers all the time. Was funny. He said he wasn't gunna let mummy knock him up ever again, and that daddy was hifro and henthforth 'sponstible for all Gallifrean birthin.' But I'm confused cos the twins're definitely the Doctor's babies cos they talk to me at night, like Tae does so they aint daddy's babies." He looked quizzically at Jack. "WOULD you make babies with mummy? How's that work, anyways?"
A stale chuckle slipped out of Rose's lips just as Jack snatched the boy up and began tickling him furiously, to keep him from talking. "Kids say the funniest things."
The look on Beth's face stated rather clearly that the woman was not amused. "You know, Jackie, I blame you for this."
Pointing to herself, Jackie gasped in shock. "ME?"
"You just had to go and get married."
"Huh?" Jackie's eyes narrowed as she tried to figure it out.
Beth raised her hand in disgust. "Couldn't just live with Pete. Thought you were better than the rest of us. Had to go off and marry him."
The Doctor glanced down at Rose, one eyebrow arched. Even he couldn't follow this latest bit of logic (or lack there-of). "Ohhkayyy."
The woman glanced at the giggling girl in her arms then pointed a finger at Jackie, who looked like she was about to snap. "So instead of rebelling like my kids and getting married and joining a church, yours has to go off and have some kind of—of…open relationship! Look at how confused this poor boy is!"
Jack folded his arms over his chest, mostly unphased, other than being insulted that Rose was being insulted, though he wasn't entirely sure as to the nature of the insult. He liked the pop music, but he'd never understand this time.
For his part, the Doctor tried to keep an even keel. He kept one hand protectively on Rose's enormous stomach. "Well, one'd think more family is better than less family. Actually, I don't think, I know. I didn't actually have parents. I was…well, I guess you could say…hatched and raised in a collective family house full of a bunch of people who were actually quite happy when I was banished by the government. I think they threw a party. So, in honour of Waren actually knowing who his parents are, even if the actual details are a bit confusing…you should just… I don't know. Shut up or something."
Jackie picked her head up high. "Yeah!"
Rose sighed. "While this is all very nice and everything… I just think you should know. Either my water's broken, or I've just wet my pants."