18th in the Happy Days series - a collection of Doctor/Rose fluff that can be read in any order as it lacks continuity.
Summary: Rose takes her driving test with more than one surprise.
Dedication: To anyone who's ever had to take, or fail a driving test. Just failed mine - wasn't much fun, so here's the driving test we all wish we could have. Enjoy!
In The Fast Lane
Rose yawned, her feet were perched on the foot stall, her back slouching into the soft cushioning of her mum' sofa. The mug of tea was warm between her hands as she sipped deeply; from across the room the Doctor sat perched on the edge of a chair watching her with curious eyes. Whilst Jackie's back was turned, fussing over biscuits in the kitchen, the Doctor entertained himself by pulling faces at Rose. Each time she glanced up she found herself spluttering on the tea that she was struggling to swallow, she shook her head at him but her smile betrayed her. The Doctor relished in this and continued until that same smile reached her eyes and caused them to sparkle in delight.
Jackie shook her head as she walked in, Rose snickered behind her hand and the Doctor stared innocently in Jackie's general direction
'I don't know what it is with you two, always acting like a pair of kids' she muttered as she fussed around them – however much she complained, she always loved having them home.
Rose mumbled something incomprehensible into her mug of tea whilst the Doctor continued to stare at Jackie in complete innocence. Jackie glanced between the two of them and let out another sigh as she shook her head
'Good thing you've got each other, cos I don't think anybody else would have ya' she muttered to herself trying not to unveil her growing affection for her daughters friend, companioning, boyfriend…whatever he was these days.
The Doctor switched his gaze to Rose and gave her that smile, the one that made all her insides feel like goo, and her worries fade away. She returned his smile losing herself in his eyes for a moment whilst her mum pretended not to be there.
'Rose' Jackie called – she couldn't hear her as she watched the Doctor for a moment. It was as though they could read each others' thoughts through their eyes
'Rose' Jackie nudged her transfixed daughter
'What?' she jumped up spilling tea on her lap as she did. Jackie through a tissue at her
'Look what you've done now' she grumbled
'Jackie?' the Doctor was suddenly in her face. 'Couldn't find the date out for us could ya?' he asked sweetly as he watched Rose out the corner of his eye. Jackie glanced between the two of them and shrugged
'I'm not you're bloody slave' she muttered as she moved towards the kitchen in search of the calendar. The moment she was gone the Doctor turned round to face Rose
'You alright?' he asked softly, gesturing at the tea stains in her lap.
'What? Oh yeah, I'm fine' she murmured, a smile teetering at the edges of her lips for the sweetness of him. He opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by Jackie
'Bleeding hell sweetheart, d'you know what today is?' she called as she appeared in the living room proudly clutching the calendar. Rose shook her head as the Doctor peered at the calendar seeing the day outlined in a bold red marker pen.
'It's your driving test!' Jackie declared. Rose's face was one of mixed confusion for a moment before she had a vague memory of booking the test after Mickey's encouragement.
'Oh' she murmured a moment later. 'Well it doesn't matter, I don't exactly need to drive anymore' she smiled gesturing at the Doctor
'A driving test aye?' the Doctor mused as he watched her.
'Yeah…but what do I need a driver's license for?'
'To drive' he declared brightly
'But I don't need to, not anymore, got you and the Tardis' she said slowly still not understanding where he was going with this.
'So' he shrugged 'What if one day I'm fatally wounded and you can't get me anywhere because you can't drive?' he asked with a smile. Rose did not return his smile
'That's not funny' she said quietly. The Doctor instantly sensed the change in atmosphere over the room and moved to stand in front of her; he ran his hands up and down her arms so that her arms began to gently tingle in response to his touch.
'Sorry' he said quietly, he raised a hand to tip her chin up so he could look down into her eyes
'What's to lose?' he asked her gently. She shrugged in response
'I've not driven in forever Doctor, I'm blatantly gunna fail' she mumbled.
'No you're not' he said strongly but softly. She looked up at him in question
'How d'you know?'
'I just do' he replied with a twinkle in his eyes. Rose bit her lip nervously and glanced around at her mum
'You've got an hour sweetheart' Jackie encouraged. Rose nodded slowly
'S'pose I could do it' she murmured softly.
'Thatta girl' the Doctor grinned as he swept her into a hug so her feet no longer touched the floor. Rose grinned into his shoulder savoring the feel of his arms around her – when her set her back down on the floor was almost dizzy.
'Shall we be going then?' he asked as he offered her his hand, she took it instantly and looked up at him. He saw a nervous smile flutter on the edge of her lips before it disappeared and panic drained into her eyes.
'You'll pass' he whispered into her ear
'You don't know that' she grumbled in a little nervous voice
'I promise you that' he replied as he pressed a soft kiss to her cheek, Rose glanced up at him in question about to speak but was cut off by Jackie
'Good luck darling!' she called after them.
'Thanks mum' she called back as she made her way down the steps.
An hour later Rose sat behind the wheel of a car, it had bright L-plates stuck to the front ensuring everyone at least a mile away knew she was only learning. Her fingers trembled against the steering wheel as her heart pounded against the seat beat, she silently cursed the Doctor for making her do this as a fresh wave of panic hit her with the realization that she couldn't reverse bay park.
'Hello' a strong northern accent introduced itself as her examiner dropped into the seat beside her. She didn't turn to look at him, instead she kept her eyes firmly on the road ahead despite the fact they weren't even moving.
'Mirror, signal, maneuver' she whispered to herself as she prayed the examiner couldn't hear the pounding of her heart.
'This test will take approximately 38-40 minutes, you will follow the road ahead unless instructed otherwise, and the test will contain two maneuvers. If you could sign this form for me Miss Tyler, then we can be on our way'. Rosen nodded to herself and glanced down to grab the green sheet of the driving test report from the mans hands, as she took the paper from him she saw his hands – large, pale hands, ones that looked like they would fit perfectly into hers. She caught her breath for a moment before shaking the feeling off, she signed the form and passed it back to the examiner.
'Okay, if you would like to pull out of the test centre and turn left please'. Rose took in a deep breath never having been so scared in her life – despite all the things she had faced. Her trembling hands reached the hand brake and she began to push the button in so that the car rolled forward
'Did I introduce myself Miss Tyler? I'm John Smith'. The moment he said that Rose jerked, her arm pressed against the horn and her eyes flew up to the rear view mirror – where she met his.
'Doctor!' she exclaimed as she brought the car to a sudden halt – sending the Doctor flying forward in his seat. She turned in her chair to stare at him
'What are you doing here?' she exclaimed, trying not to laugh at the sight of him in a florescent jacket, clutching a clipboard with his glasses perched on the tip of his nose. He grinned at her as he held up the physic paper
'John Smith – driving examiner' he told her brightly, she grinned at him as he leaned closer with a soft whisper 'told ya you wouldn't fail'
She smiled softly at him and shook her head
'Doctor…this is wrong' she told him as she tried to ignore the sweetness of his gesture.
'Now now Rose, hear me out' he told her as he grabbed one of her hands, he rested his other hand against her cheek. 'Very very few people in this world know what a champion you are, and by very few I mean only me. So I can't have a whole load of silly apes thinking my Rose Tyler is a failure just because she can't reverse bay park'
'Who needs to reverse bay park anyway' Rose muttered, the Doctor ignored her comment but grinned in response
'You see, very few people know what a special person you are Rose. I know that and your mum knows that' he murmured as he gently stroked her cheek, 'and if I could make an announcement so that the whole world knows it, then I would. But I can't. But I can let them know the simple things, the silly little human things that matter to them. I can make you pass your driving test, I can make them see all A's at GCSE's and A's at A-levels, even a first class degree, I can make up all these facts and figures for them to see how much of a failure you are not, but I can't make them see the little warrior in you. The girl who has saved worlds and civilizations, the girl who would die time and time again for a single person she had never known. I can't make them see all the real things, all the reasons I love you, but I can make them see the facts – so let me do this for you Rose' he said softly. He hadn't planned to say so much, but once he'd started he just couldn't stop.
He searched Rose's eyes and saw tears falling from the corners
'Rose?' he asked worriedly she shook her head and rested her head on his shoulder
'That's the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me' she whispered, choked by his words. He grinned into her hair as she raised her head, pressing a soft kiss against his lips she whispered, for his ears only
'Thank you so much, but I wouldn't be any of that without you'
'It's in your bones' he murmured. Rose didn't have any response to this and just leant her head in his shoulder, silently loving her Time Lord. After a few moments had passed the Doctor leant down to her ear
'You passed' he told her with a half laugh, Rose grinned at him and wrapped her fingers around his.
'Well now that's settled, we've got 20 more minutes to use up…' she smiled.
'Is that so?' he murmured reflecting her grin.
The Doctor smiled as he held her close knowing that when she went home and told everyone she'd passed, they'd all begin to see what he saw in her – the true hero that was Rose Tyler.