The girl had coined the phrase "drunken fling baby" all on her little lonesome. Rose had never given her daughter any indication (that she could surmise) that she had been anything other than planned and wanted. Well, there may have been help from Rose's mum, who liked to refer to the Doctor as 'that bloody donor,' or 'alien sperm bank' or Rose's personal favourite, 'drunken letch' and a handful of other…leading sort of insulting pet names.

There wasn't much Rose could do to argue the point. They'd both been drunk, they'd both passed out… she'd awakened cemented to him, and, well, nine and a half months later, another loud-mouthed Tyler woman came into the world…albeit a parallel one.

Her second child, technically, thanks to the miracles of time travel (and a rather complicated reunion from across the void), 32 years removed from the birth of her first child, was the product of LSD. She thinks. All Rose knew is that she'd been feeling quite motherly when she'd recognised the inherent dangers of taking sweets from strangers, especially those sugary little buttons that came on wax sheets, given the context of the man handing out said sweets being covered head-to-toe in glitter and body paint. And not much else.

The Doctor accepted them anyway—what harm could it do, Rose? and shoved the strip into his pocket, and they both thought nothing of it until a few weeks later when they were walking around Roman Carpathia and the Doctor grew bored and hungry. From that point, their trip to Carpathia went to hell with significant speed.

The Doctor had been saying something about looking at the pretty frogs, and she'd been trying to get him to the TARDIS, then that seemed like it wouldn't work out because he was of no help in planning their escape, and the natives were after them…

They'd ended up holed up in the hillside, the Doctor's pupils dilated so much they looked like black holes, him running around completely starkers because the 'frogs were generating too much body heat' or some nonsense.

Basically, they ended up spending three days in a cave with nothing to do but wait, and well…

Anyhow, about eight and a third months later, Roman Carpathia Tyler came into the world.

The next born was a totally different story, but…the youngest and most recent member of the esteemed ranks of the last of the Gallifreans had been the product of a fair with a pretzel-like bread dipped in cheese-like sauce with some 'secret ingredient' that she simply had to try. Her second-oldest boy, Brandenberg, had told her, in his own shy little way, that his mum had thoroughly humiliated him with the whole dancing on the tables thingy, and the whole grabbing the Doctor by the tie thingy and kissing him all embarrassingly-like, and he'd very much never like to go to a place where the native cheese is slightly toxic to his mummy any more, because she acted very silly.

That being said, even though she was a bit hazy on the incident, she didn't recall hearing from either of her two boys that the Doctor had done anything to protest any overtures on her part. In fact, they were given hush-chocolates and sent to bed early. Eight-ish months later, Arten Lodi Prime Tyler came bouncing into the world.

There seemed to be a direct correlation, however, to just how much she remembered of a child's conception and just how long gestation took. Because little Brandenberg's conception was not aided (to the best of her knowledge) by alcohol, drugs or heavy toxins, and that dear, sweet little child decided that ten months and four days would be just the thing.

She was in full control of her faculties, and that one time, he wasn't even drunk. They'd run into Sarah Jane a few days before, stopping some slime thing from eating pigeons (no real loss there) and frightening children (the pigeons were just for fun, it actually lived on fear). She'd been dragging around a neighbour girl, and her own adopted boy, and somewhere around the whole lot of them being captured in the sewers (lovely place for a three year old infinitely fascinated with his own faeces, Rose would like to add), Sarah and the Doctor had gotten into the most adorable pissing match over children.

At one point Sarah Jane had trotted out the pre-teen hormone card and the Doctor had pointed to Rom, wiggling restlessly in Rose's arms. His nose flaring, he'd declared "Baby Poopus Maximus!" as if it were some kind of battle-ending incantation, and Sarah Jane fell silent. The two pre-teens, Maria and Luke (who looked as hopelessly inseparable as Rose and the Doctor always had been, before and after their reunion), looked at each other, then at the Doctor, and fell into helpless giggles.

Sarah Jane had eventually cracked a smile and had held out her arms to the boy, who'd practically leapt into them. "Oh, you just wait until this adorable little thing has his mind done in by video games and pretty pop singers on the television. But you're right. I seem to have skipped a few steps in the parenting process."

When she asked to take the 'precious little bundle' for the weekend, she didn't ask the Doctor. She'd gone straight to the boss on that one.

It wasn't that Rose thought staying with Sarah Jane would be any safer, necessarily. It seemed Sarah found her own special troubles. However, it was two nights of baby-free duty. She hadn't had the luxury of assistance with child-rearing since her daughter was small, and she could dump the baby with her mother and hide in some forgotten room of the over-sized home until her brain could unlax enough to return to the needs of a child who's first words were 'why?' and 'how come?' instead of mama or anything normal.

It was three nights she could sleep for more than four hours without someone waking her up for food, water, toys, questions she couldn't hope to answer and the occasional cuddle. She said yes before the rest of the question was out of Sarah Jane's mouth.

After they'd solved the issue with the sewer-dwelling, pigeon munching, child-frightening aliens, they'd gathered everything up a three-year-old would possibly need for three days away from his mummy and Doctor, and settled him in at Sarah Jane's house. She'd seen them to the door, smiling at the Doctor like she knew his deep, dark secret.

She'd hugged Rose, kissing the other woman on the cheek and promising to return the boy to them in one piece. Then she'd hugged the Doctor, laughing at him in that special way that only Rose could appreciate.

He'd folded his arms over his chest, quite defensive. "What? Humanoid saliva dissolves Emzog membranes! Licking the thing was a valid tactic!"

Rose looked away, trying not to laugh. The odds of the Doctor ever 'getting it' were…well, so low they weren't worth calculating or betting upon.

And the more Sarah Jane gave him 'that look,' the more frustrated he became, pressing his lips together. "Whaaaat?"

The older woman shook her head. "Just amusing. The paths we travel down, sometimes." At that moment, Rom thunked into her leg, peeking around her at his mother.

Pointing at the boy, the Doctor was flummoxed for a moment. "That isn't a path. That—that—that is the natural byproduct of too much nudity and hallucinogens! And clowns! There was a clown…"

Rushing up behind Sarah, Luke snatched up the chubby boy, blowing on his belly and making the little creature laugh hysterically, effectively cutting off the Doctor's excuses.

Trying to save humanity from the Doctor trying to explain anything else about human-Time Lord interactions, Rose pushed him toward the edge of the porch. "I'm sure you'll be fine, Sarah Jane. Thank you."

The other woman waved them off. "I'd say don't do anything you can get arrested for… but where would the fun be?"

Laughing, Rose had put her hands on the Doctor's back and rushed him toward the TARDIS. Three days…two nights…alone. So alone. SO very very….

"Shit, hell and damn," she chirped cheerfully the moment the TARDIS door was closed behind them.

The Doctor's expressive eyebrow shot upward and he pulled out the sonic screwdriver, prepared to check for alien pods.

Laughing, Rose kicked off her trainers without untying them. "I haveta get all this stuff out of the way while I don't have a little mimic hanging around, picking up my every bad habit."

Making his way to the console, the Doctor chewed on his cheek thoughtfully before casually setting coordinates. "When you say it like that, I feel the need to put a plastic bag over my head and asphyxiate myself. Ooh, ooh. I can electrocute AND asphyxiate myself. Maybe choke to death on spare TARDIS parts."

She winked. "Sounds kinky."

He slammed his hand on the activation controller. The ship rocked, and then he pointed a finger scoldingly at her. "Just for that, Rose Tyler, no dessert."

He'd sounded like he'd actually meant it too, but it hadn't lasted long. Her only request had been going some place where she could sleep the whole night through and have someone else make her breakfast. They'd ended up at a resort colony known for their water rides, and she'd spent the day working on her tan, drinking moderately fruity and barely alcoholic things with umbrellas in them, and eating fried foods on sticks.

The Doctor had fallen asleep on one of those inner tube rafty thingies and by the time she'd found him, he'd been…well, blistery. They'd gotten a room just above the massive waterfall where the Doctor lay face down on the bed, complaining loudly that she really needed to get rid of the ice cream cone and use setting 1148-D on the sonic screwdriver to repair the obliterated skin, before he regenerated from agony. She tried to explain that it was her one chance to eat dessert before dinner and do so IN BED, so she had to make the most of it, but he wasn't having it, so she tried to…multitask.

At one point in the process, she'd been trying to repair a blister the size of a sand dollar but the ice cream cone got away from her, and she'd ended up dripping in his hair…

Things had just gotten…unfortunate after that. He tried to tug on her toes in retaliation, she'd accidentally bumped the setting on the sonic screwdriver and had vibrated the vase of flowers on the bedside table to itty pieces, showering him with water and glass… puncturing the water bed…

By the time he trundled off to the shower—alone—he'd been possibly in worse shape than when she'd first dripped ice cream in his hair. So Rose had done the responsible thing: she'd gone out onto the patio to hide.

Staring down at the lights changing in the water, she listened to the cheerful laughter and murmuring of people eating dinner at the base of the waterfall, alien music playing in the distance, and she sighed with contentment. It was fitting, really. If someone else wasn't trying to kill them, they really ought to try to kill themselves or each other. There was a balance to be maintained in the universe, after all.

He really did act like she was TRYING to take his eye out with that shattered glass, though. Like she'd bumped the setting on purpose.

Sighing, she let a lock of hair fall into her face. Grabbing it, she examined the ends. They were on a resort colony. She ought to get it cut and dyed tomorrow. That'd be fun. She could make a few snide comments about the Doctor not falling asleep again, then go hide in some mud bath somewhere until he lost interest in trying to catch her doing something foolish.

Of course, when he was struck by something, the Doctor could be incredibly persistent. What if he followed her around all the next day?

Well, then she'd just force him to get a facial and take a mud bath.

Pulling the phone out of the pocket of her swimming cover-all, she found Sarah Jane's number. It wasn't separation anxiety. Really.

She just wanted to make sure that Sarah Jane was doing alright with an alien baby. It was a legitimate concern, really.

Except.., well, how long had she travelled with the Doctor? She'd also been with him in two incarnations. Sarah Jane knew just how big of an alien baby he could be. Rom was a toddler fully capable of making his desires known in a way the Doctor may never be truly capable of. Rom could even say poopie in seven languages.

She'd never had these worries with Violet. Even if she was out of town working, she just always knew that her mum was watching over the girl, keeping her from getting into too much trouble.

Ok, so she just wanted a cuddle with the little guy.

Silently, a hand wrapped around hers, sliding the phone from her grasp. "He'll live. You don't need to check on him every five minutes."

Rose ran a hand through the Doctor's wet hair, ruffling it. Even soaking, it was still unmanageable. "I haven't been checking on him every five minutes. And I'm not checking on him. I'm checking on Sarah Jane. I'm sure a composite alien-created human clone child is quite a handful. But Rom is…well…Rom. And that's pretty horrific all on its own."

Rolling his eyes, he slid the mobile into the pocket of his dressing gown. "Let me rephrase that. You'll live."

Turning around to face him, she leaned against the railing, the cool night breeze fluttering through her thin purple cover-all. "Right. What about you? Will YOU live? Or is my faux pas with the sonic screwdriver going to cause you to regenerate just out of spite or something?"

Picking up one of her hands, he kissed the middle knuckles, then eyed her playfully. "No, no. I'm definitely going to regenerate just to spite you. I'm thinking…a midget with eczema next time."

Her cheek twitched. "That'd put you right at the perfect height to…"

Before she could finish the thought, he yanked her through the open glass door, pulling it shut behind them and sliding the curtains across before she could even formulate a coherent sentence. "Perfect height to what, Rose Tyler of the Dirty Mind? You've been just zipping off the one-liners all day."

With a toothy grin, her eyebrows wiggled. Just as a complicit grin spread across the Doctor's lips, she sat down in one of the oversized chairs near a small table. "Well, I'd say 'you know,' but we both know you don't know."

Innocently, he walked over to her, coming around the chair and leaning on the arm. "You don't know what I know."

She found herself staring at his bare leg for a moment, peeking out the bottom of the terry cloth dressing gown. "I'd ask you to tell me what you don't know, so that we could compare notes as to what I know about you not knowing and what not, but you don't know what you don't know, so you wouldn't know to tell me."

Grinning, the Doctor slid his hands into the pockets of the only thing covering his body, causing the edges to slip away from his legs just a bit, maximizing the amount of uncovered flesh. And in an almost bastard-like sort of way, he watched her watching him. "I could tell you what I don't know. But where would the fun be?" Wiggling his foot, he caused a few more inches of flesh to be exposed. "I think it's cheating, somehow. Not quite sure on the details yet. But it's in some set of rules somewhere."

He shifted slightly, his calf brushing against her hand. "I was thinking maybe tomorrow we could go to the sloth gardens."

Rose meant to eye him critically, she knew her eyebrows were arched high with some question she couldn't quite voice, but she was staring at those little hairs on his leg. "Sloth gardens?"

"Oh yeah," he said with casual authority. "They phosphoresce here. They've got a botanical garden, and the sloths hang from the trees, and they hit 'em with lights. You'd like it."

"The way I liked the Jespan Tree Monkeys?"

"How was I supposed to know they'd fling poo at you?"

She poked his kneecap. "They're monkeys! That's what they do!"

He folded his arms over his chest, insulted. "They were pink monkeys! How was I supposed to know pink monkeys would fling poo at you?"

She gave his thigh a firm pat. "Just keep telling yourself that." But instead of slapping his leg to get him off the armrest (another habit they'd prefer not to instill in Rom, who was part parrot), she let it rest there. As they both stared at the lights from the waterfall trickling through the sheer curtains, she let her fingers brush against the hair on his thigh, enjoying the texture. He was quite proud of his manly hands, but she liked the flesh on the inside of his leg, just above his knee. No real reason. She just did.

Absently, her hand began making tiny trails against his leg as she lost herself in the almost hypnotic changing of the colours in the long flowing drapery. When he shifted just a tiny bit so that his elbow was propped on the back of the chair, she looked up at him. "You're a real git, you know that. You start acting all…like I'm trying to kill you or something, now you're sitting there all…unclothed. You're just trying to seduce me."

Acting as though the conversation was about something else entirely, he continued to stare at the lights. "It's not my fault that all I have to do is flash a bit of skin, and you go wild."

She pinched a 'bit of skin' on his thigh, just to see how much he liked it. "This is me, going wild."

Somehow managing to swallow back a wicked grin, he slid off the armrest and into her lap, putting an arm around her. "What? Little Miss Innuendo can't handle what I'm dishing out? You're all talk, you are, Rose Tyler." His finger slid into the large circular loop on the zip of the swimming cover.

Rose rolled her eyes as he began sniffing her neck. "You know, you just think you're so impressive. Besides, I thought you were going to regenerate or something, the way you were acting. I mean…" whatever else she was going to say was lost as his nose brushed against her skin. "git."

He slid the cover from her shoulders. "You'd like me less if I weren't."

"You're probably right about that."

As it turned out, Rose didn't really manage a full night of sleep. Well, not during the night, at least. She slept all through the fun in the sun the next day, and had another…interesting night. It had been a few months, she'd been on the verge of forgetting where Tab A and Slot B went, but it was very much like riding a bike. Besides, she'd had a lot of practice in Life Before Rom to guide her through he mechanics.

Things being as they were…she almost didn't make it back to Earth, to the time they'd left Rom in—there was the whole feeling like she was being sucked through a black hole backwards, inside-out and on fire that made things difficult. That special feeling of…well…death being preferable to continued existence in the Time Vortex that she'd only felt once before…when she'd first discovered she was pregnant with Rom.

They'd actually had to make a few intermediary hops in order to get home without Rose melting into the grill on the floor from the sheer agony of it all. As it was, it took her three or four days curled up helplessly on Sarah Jane's sofa to start feeling like the universe wasn't tearing her apart. If Gallifreyan women felt like this…well, no wonder they tended to make babies in vats, instead of the old-fashioned way (fun though it may be). Of course, that only happened if you found yourself time travelling before you figured out there was another little Time Person on the way. She still had never worked out how she'd managed to travel after conceiving Violet those few days after Barcelona before they'd been parted. Some mysteries were, perhaps, best unsolved.

The truly fulfilling part of the long weekend was the part where Sarah Jane shot the Doctor continued HAH looks while she plied Rose with herbal tea and crackers to get her back up and on her feet. It wasn't so much the embarrassed looks that he gave her in return that made Rose so warm and fuzzy inside…it was the secret smile of satisfaction he wore when he thought no one else was looking. He might say it was all some LSD-induced accident, but she knew.

He could never admit it, but it was ok. She also just wasn't capable of letting on that she knew.

There were some things that could simply remain unspoken between them—his acquiescence to her desire for more children, her thankfulness that he understood her…but most of all...her weakness for pale squishy bits of Time Lord thigh. Some things were just better left unsaid.

THE END