A/N: I started writing this fic straight after I had finished Legacy but its kinda gone on the back burner since as I was ironing out a few problems with the plot. This is post Doomsday timeline but the plot line is obviously different. Please enjoy. By the way, I have rated this T but it may go up to M at some points. I will warn you when it does. This is a continuation of Inheritance and Legacy and you WILL need to read those to understand what's going on in this story. In a change from usual I'll only be posting once a week as I've got some major assignments coming up in my uni course but please review as always.
Dårlig Ulv Stranden
'Safe in his arms, close to his heart,' – In His Eyes, Jekyll and Hyde.
The wind blew the salt spray up from the grim, grey water, creating little cyclones on the surface that died the second it reached the colourless sand. There was no joy on this beach, no children played happily, building sand castles and chasing aggravated parents with seaweed poultices freshly harvested from the blue and frothy waters. It rarely saw the Sun and when it did it was cold and grey, hazed behind the dim clouds. The cliffs jutted out from the bay like great, sharp giants' teeth, ready to tear open any living soul that dared to traverse them. In the night they were threatening sentinels, bidding any ship a terrifying welcome before they were dashed upon their hidden points, the crashing foam of the waves the same as the foaming rabid gape.
Dårlig Ulv Stranden; a lonely, solitary place. A forgotten beach along the south western coast of Norway, battered by the sea and forgotten by the light. It was on this beach that a fateful farewell had been bidden by two so joined by what they were and yet distanced also. The same way the beach was from its country. A place of darkness in a land of great, natural beauty. A love torn asunder when it should have flown to the heavens on the wings of angels. Even the name, translated from its Nordic form had brought both pain and joy. Pain at what it was, the distance it represented, joy at the fact that like everything in such star crossed lives it fitted perfectly into the picture. Her smile, his eyes, their words. Bad Wolf Bay; the latter no more than an add on but the first, the first meant more than anything. The Bad Wolf, the threat, the promise but above all else, the promise of reunion.
The salt spray whipped up once more, catching in its wind blown clutches the strands of blonde that flew loosely over the high neck of a black leather, biker's jacket. A thin, gloved hand came up to push them down but failed to catch them all. Another more masculine hand reached up, catching the errant strands of gold and securing them delicately behind the ear of their owner. The hand did not withdraw once its task was complete, instead resting on the winter blushed cheek, a thumb tracing the slightly feathered lines at the corner of a deep brown eye, revelling in the indication of her laughter. The smaller gloved hand came up, clasping to its counterpart, holding the gentle touch in place and accompanying it with a smile.
The wind whipped the softly spoken words but he caught them all the same, feeling each one of those years like a beacon of hope in the raging swirl of space and time.
"I know," he said softly, "It feels like it was so long ago, even to me and then…"
"In the same heartbeat no time at all."
"You know me too well," he said, removing his hand from her cheek but pulling her into a loving embrace, "I love you so much Rose."
"I love you too," said Rose, clinging on to the familiar material of his long fawn coat and revelling in the scent of him. She choked on a sob, "Jeez look at me welling up like a kid!"
"Hey, I'm just being all manly and not letting you see mine," came the response, "Can't have the Oncoming Storm crying in the middle of a beach now can we?"
Rose pulled back, regarding the man in her arms and the full force of her love for him hitting her as she did so. Seventeen years ago she had stood on this very beach, so far distanced from him, not having the comfort of his arms as she did now. Seventeen years ago she had been separated from him by an entire universe with no apparent hope of ever seeing him again but then she should have realised he would find a way. Intelligent, resourceful and stubborn as a mule, her Doctor had moved heaven and Earth to find her… well time and space at least.
Not two months after she had said a tearful farewell to him on the cold, Norwegian beach she had heard the familiar sound of the ancient engines she loved dearly echo outside her new father's estate. She had thought it a dream, a fantasy she so often fell to when her heart longed once more for the love it had lost but her dreams she always experienced alone so as her mother, showing the now telltale signs of the pregnancy that had given her eldest something to hope for, ran into her bedroom and cried that she could hear the TARDIS, Rose knew that somewhere her prayers had been heard and answered.
Without hesitation she had run from the house, not caring for the anxious looks from Pete and Mickey as she fled bare foot into the snow. She ignored the biting wind as she searched the land around her for the shimmering outline of the one place she could truly call home. For a moment there was nothing save for the noise she had once heard described as the sound of the universe but then it was there, slowly solidifying into the most familiar shape, its blue casting deep, beautiful shadows on the snowy ground. The sound stopped and she waited, breath caught in her throat like the moment before the drop of a rollercoaster. It seemed that seconds passed to minutes, minutes to hours and even hours to decades and still she waited, poised and coiled, waiting for the creak of the door. The latch clicked, the sound resonating like the crack of the Earth and then the hinges creaked and then she saw him and it was as if she had seen Gabriel rise from the Earth, guiding his Host to the Heavens except this was not Gabriel, this was no angel, he was above, beyond any description even thought of by man.
No halo surrounded him, he needed no crown. No trumpets announced him, he needed no introduction. The silence said it all, here he was, this creature of light and dark in equal measure, this lonely god who traversed the stars but through his eyes another deity was found and he opened his arms in the greatest offering to her.
Rose crossed the short distance with no thought of how, finding herself soon lifted and wrapped in arms she had cried for, longed for, mourned for since that dreadful day. The spell was broken, there was no heavenly light, no image of perfection, just the man she held, the man she loved. He was crying against her and she against him, incoherent sobs of love and loss, names mingling with kisses and professions and promises with a lovers caress. Even when the elation passed and the time came for tales of transdimensional temporal extrapolation and how it could not have been completed without the aid of a banana, the feeling did not pass. Something amazing had happened and Rose was once again whole. Her Doctor was back in her arms.
"Hey, you awake there?"
Rose was pulled from her reverie by the sound of his voice, once again becoming aware of the beach around her, "Yeah," she murmured, nuzzling against him, "Just remembering when you came back to me."
The Doctor smiled and pressed a kiss to her hair, "Quite a day wasn't it? Come on, its bloody freezing out here and I want to change out of this before dinner."
"Can't you stay in them?" whined Rose, patting down the lapels of his pinstripe jacket, "I love the way you look in them."
"But we made a deal Miss Tyler," said the Doctor, "I only wear the 'uniform' on this day and then the day we go back to the TARDIS."
"I can't wait another year!" said Rose as she slipped her arms around him and let him lead her away from the water's edge and up onto the small promenade, "You look so gorgeous in that outfit."
"I look gorgeous in everything," said the Doctor, his hand finding hers and tracing the solitaire diamond ring she wore, "and so do you."
"Smooth talker aren't you?" said Rose, casting another glance back onto the beach. Another year over and the ritual completed once again. The first time she had stepped off the beach she had been alone, thinking the love of her life would never be beside her again but now it was their ritual, every year on the anniversary of their first goodbye they would return to the spot, remembering what had passed. They had never missed it once, even having to travel when Rose was heavily with child, their first born arriving not two hours after their return to England.
Their lives had changed so much since the travelling days they had formerly enjoyed. The time tunnel the Doctor had created to traverse the void had allowed them unlimited access between the two worlds, the TARDIS' power source protected by a new program the Doctor had designed, and they had returned to their travelling barely a day after their reunion but their adventures had been short lived. The Doctor had noticed the change first, the glow Rose had around her but he had not been able to put his finger on why, it was only when he found her crying in their bathroom, a crumpled pink packet in her hand that he hand guessed the truth before him. His yelp of joy had startled her so much that she had almost run from him in fright before he grabbed hold of her and pulled her to his embrace, crying and laughing in equal measure as he begged her to tell him that it was true.
"Rose tell me I'm not dreaming."
"You're not. I'm pregnant, I've done the test twice. I'm having your baby."
"Oh God you…how amazing are you? Look at you, you look amazing. You really are a miracle, all that life inside of you."
"I thought you'd be angry, you didn't want kids."
"Angry? How can I be angry? God Rose I'm gonna be a Daddy, I…oh God I'm going to be a Daddy! Rose we're gonna be parents!"
"I kinda figured that. So you're happy, really happy?"
"I couldn't be happier. I love you so much."
The decision had been made as soon as Rose had confirmed her pregnancy that they would return to the alternate universe to live with Jackie and Pete, the Doctor much to Rose's amazement deciding that he would willingly live a normal life until their child reached eighteen and was ready to join them in the universe. They had returned and both taken jobs at Torchwood, Pete's influence giving the Doctor a believable identity and history. Adric Jackson Tyler was born only two days after the anniversary of their goodbye, named for two friends lost and taking his mother's surname. Despite their engagement the Doctor and Rose had never made their union official, they needed no such confirmation of their love or fidelity. Even now, two days before their son turned sixteen, they remained unmarried but content, Jeanne Antoinette Tyler joining her brother only eighteen months after his birth.
"Do you wanna eat in the normal place tonight?" said the Doctor, "Or should we break with tradition and order room service because I don't know about you but I want to get to the best part of this vacation as quickly as possible."
Rose giggled as he bent his head, his mouth seeking out her neck and nipping gently, "You are insatiable old man," she said, playfully shoving him off as several passing locals shot them a filthy stare, "Will you please contain yourself until we get back to the hotel?"
"I can't keep my hands off you," he said, pulling back and wrapping an arm around her waist and anchoring her to his side, "Can't I show the world how much I love you? Just reminding the local boys that they can't touch."
"I think I've gone beyond an object of desire, darling," she said, a slight frown passing over her face as she looked up at his still youthful features that marked him no older than thirty-five.
"Rose," he said with mock exasperation, "Don't start. You look fabulous."
"I'm old," she said, "Some of us don't have Time Lord genes keeping us unchanged."
"You," he said, pulling them to a closed shop window on the promenade and holding her in front of it, "Are the sexiest thirty-eight year old I know and you'll be the sexiest forty year old and fifty year old and sixty year old…"
"Who'll be all saggy and unable to satisfy you anymore…"
"Its true," she said, taking in her figure and smiling secretly to herself as it remained fairly unchanged from her youth, perhaps a little fuller but in all the right places, the exercise program both Torchwood and her partner offered keeping her fit, "You'll get bored with me when I'm old."
"Rose Marion Tyler I think you'll find there's much more to me than sex," said the Doctor resting his cheek against her hair and smiling at the picture they created, "Besides, whose to say that I won't have regenerated into something ghastly by then?"
"Never gonna happen," said Rose reaching up to trace his cheek with her hand, "You're the most beautiful boy I know…well maybe second most beautiful but then he does take after his Daddy."
The Doctor smiled, "You miss them?"
"Mmm," said Rose, turning into his shoulder as they continued onwards, "I can't believe how grown up they're both getting, Addy turning sixteen and Jeannie so beautiful. We'll have to tell them soon you know, they're getting curious."
"I know," said the Doctor, "And soon, I promise, I just want them to be ready. Come on, my Daddy's an alien isn't exactly a topic for show and tell. I'm…I'm frightened…how they'll react."
"They'll know you're their Dad," said Rose, "Alien or not that won't change, they already think there's something weird about you anyway. John Smith or The Doctor you're the same man, exactly like when you went from a moody northerner to a southern poppet. It'll take time but they'll get there."
"Southern poppet?" said the Doctor, turning to her a raising an eyebrow, "Slightly too cheeky there Miss Tyler."
"You love it," said Rose, flashing him a familiar smile before taking off along the snowy path before them.
The large double bed that took up the majority of the small hotel room protested noisily as the Doctor threw himself down on it, toeing off his black converse and closing his eyes with a contented sigh.
"I don't think I'll ever have to eat again," he said, "I love that place."
"I gathered," said Rose, picking up his discarded shoes and placing them neatly by the cupboard door, next to her own more heavy duty winter boots. She shrugged out of her jacket and hung it inside the typically cheap wardrobe often found in hotel rooms. Despite the wealth of her father and the far beyond modest income both she and the Doctor afforded from Torchwood she still chose to stay in the tiny, three star hotel on the side of the bay. It was the only hotel in the area that gave her a full view of the beach and she always insisted upon it. Her hand rested on the pinstripe suit hanging next to her coat and she paused for a moment to run her fingers over it. She had grown used to the Doctor wearing more every day clothes or the suits he wore for work but above and beyond all else she loved his trademark outfit the best, just one glance of it bringing back so many memories.
She smiled to herself before changing out of the rest of her clothes and into her robe. The Doctor barely flinched as she made her way passed the bed and into the small bathroom. Her nightly ablutions quickly completed she returned to find him in exactly the same position as before, one arm slung beneath his head, eyes lightly closed against the world. Rose flicked off the light, seeing the slight tremor of realisation in his eyelids illuminated by the street lamps outside. She crawled onto the bed and traced her fingers up one strong, athletic leg, enjoying the roughness of the denim against her fingertips. She reached the base of his black shirt and pushed it up to reveal his toned but not overly developed stomach. She watched the faint quirk of a smile on his lips as his body flinched at her cold fingers on his skin, tracing the small rose tattoo that peeked above the waist band of his jeans. She leant down over him and pressed a soft kiss to his stomach, trailing upwards as she worked button after button loose. When the final button was released she kissed a path up to his lips, capturing them fully as she threw a leg over him, straddling him and feeling the already stirring response to her touch. She rocked her hips slightly, smiling at the unguarded moan that came from the man beneath her.
"You're a wicked woman Rose Tyler," came the soft murmur as he bucked up to meet her, smiling at the soft gasp he pulled from her, "God I love it when you sound like that."
"We're just getting started," said Rose, knotting her fingers into his hair as her other hand traced delicate patterns on his chest, "You're so beautiful."
His eyes opened at her final words, his pupils dilated but flecked with gold from the glow of the lamplight outside. He looked almost feral and had she been any less used to him it would have frightened her but she knew that look meant nothing but pleasure at his hands, that look showed her in a second how much he loved and needed her. His arms came around her back, holding her firmly and pulling her closer into a deep kiss. She moaned into his mouth and wriggled as she felt his response between her thighs.
"Eager?" she said softly.
"With you, always," he said, "I want you naked. I…"
He trailed off as the off key strains of Tubular Bells rang out in the silent room. He groaned as Rose froze above him before attempting to move off him. He held her firmly, stilling her protests.
"Ignore it," he pleaded, "Please."
"Its home," she said, extracting herself from his arms and scrambling off the bed, "I can't, it might be important."
"Rose, please," he pleaded, casting an eye down to his own discomfort before shooting her a look that would have melted the hardest of hearts.
"Plenty of cold water in the bathroom," she said with an arch tone as she ferreted through the pockets of her discarded jeans before pulling free the offending phone. She pressed down on the answer key and held the phone to her ear, "Hello…Hey Jeannie what's up?...No we're fine, just got in…watching some telly is all…oh I've got it on quietly, you're Dad's got a head…ache."
"I'll give you headache," muttered the Doctor from the bed, discarding his shirt but staying in his jeans, his former predicament fading with every passing second. He sighed deeply before rolling onto his side and fixing Rose with his gaze, "What's the matter?"
"Is there a reason you called Jeannie? You're Gran won't be happy about the long distance otherwise…oh baby…no its okay…where's your brother?...I'm sure Gran won't mind if you wake her, do you want to speak to your Dad?"
Rose wandered over to the bed, holding a hand over the mouth piece of the phone, "She's had another one of those night terrors," she said, "Addy's out with Dominic and Dad and Mum's asleep, she didn't know who else to talk to. She wants you."
The Doctor frowned and took the phone, becoming once again the caring father rather than the jilted lover, "Jeannie its Daddy," he said softly, "What did you dream about this time?...No, its no bother…Baby nothing can hurt you, you're safe at home with your Gran…we can't hun our flights aren't till tomorrow…Addy'll be home soon, he'll look after you…go wake your Gran…yes we'll stay on the line…"
"She's in a state again," said Rose settling back against the pillows, "Sorry about…well you know…had to answer it."
"Something like that," said Rose with a gentle smile, "I'll make it up to you. I'm worried about her Doctor, these nightmares are really getting to her."
The Doctor threw an arm over her shoulders and pulled her close, flicking the phone onto speaker and laying it on the bed beside them, "She'll grow out of it, your Mum said you were the same at that age. Its her age, nothing more, growing up is a pretty scary thing to do and even I don't know how much Gallifreyan they both have in them, it stands to reason though she'll be a lot more sensitive. Plus with Dom off to university they're all being split up, she's bound to feel anxious, she's not losing an uncle, she's losing a best friend."
"I know," said Rose, "I just worry about her."
"Daddy? You there?" came the muffled voice from the phone.
"We're here baby," said the Doctor, not bothering to take the phone of speaker, "Did you wake your Gran?"
"Yeah," said Jean, sheepishly, "She's pretty mad, says she wants to talk to Mum."
"Put her on," Rose groaned, picking up the handset and flicking it back to normal. She held it to her ear and got off the bed, pacing the small expanse of carpet, "You feeling a bit better now Jeannie?...good, well put your Gran on and try to get some sleep…we'll be home tomorrow night…I love you too sweetheart…night baby…Mum, don't go into one until she's out of the room…well what am I meant to do, drive to Oslo in the middle of the night and jump on a zeppelin?…no I know you're not her babysitter but Mum we only do this once a year…what do you mean why?...Mum please, you know what this trip means to us both… Mu…"
Rose was cut off as the Doctor stepped behind her and took the phone out of her hand and held it to his ear, "Jackie could you please just take care of your grandchild for one night?...I know I'm a cheeky git, that's why you love me…no we can't come home any earlier…because this is one night of the year when Rose and I can get away for a bit and be a couple…yes but at home I can't make your daughter scream to the gods of the universe without fear of our children hearing, now please go and comfort that beautiful grandchild of yours like the wonderful mother-in-law you are…night Jackie."
Rose stifled a giggle as the Doctor shut off the phone, turning it off completely and throwing it down onto the dresser. He turned to her with an impish grin that sent shivers to all the right places.
"I can't believe you just spoke to my mother like that," said Rose, "She'll slap you senseless when you get home."
"I don't care," said the Doctor, tugging on the tie of her robe to pull her closer, "Now then love of my life, where were we?"
"Hmm, now there's a question," said Rose, "I suppose we were…"
"Rose," came the warning growl as she was pulled firmly against the hard plains of his chest, "Shut up."
The gentle sound of the waves outside made for a soft lullaby as it washed in through the thin glass of the window. Rose dozed against the Doctor's chest, his skin still warm from their exertions and proving a welcome pillow. His fingers in her hair told her he was still awake but that was nothing unusual, when they had lived together on the TARDIS he would often get up and tinker whenever she needed rest and he didn't but since their choice to remain earth bound in the alternative universe he had mostly stayed by her side as she slept, silently casting his mind back over his epic life as he held the light of it secure in his arms. Rose fidgeted slightly against him, tracing the moonlight patterns across his pale skin.
"You still awake?"
"Just about," she said, stifling a yawn before pressing a kiss to his shoulder. She turned up to look at his face and found his eyes almost as heavy as hers, the peace of the small village appealing to his sleep patterns also, "You look tired."
"You've worn me out," he said with a cheeky smile, "Can't keep up with you anymore."
Rose giggled against him but quieted as she saw the look in his eyes, he was questioning himself, "Darling?" she said softly.
"What is it? What's wrong?" said Rose pushing up on an elbow to look down on him as he frowned. She reached up a hand and gently smoothed down the worry lines in his brow, "Baby?"
"Nothings wrong," he said with a smile that betrayed more nerves than anything else, "Its just…I was thinking, you know about us, the kids, our life here."
"You want to leave don't you?" said Rose, paling at the thought of ripping there daughter away from Earth before she was even fifteen.
"No!" said the Doctor firmly before his expression softened, "No. We made a pact, not until Adric is seventeen. No I was thinking about us, being a family but my kids don't have the same name as me and now they're growing up, making friends and they're Tylers and I'm not."
"What are you getting at?" said Rose.
"I want to be a Tyler Rose, I'm sick of Doctor John Smith. I want…I want us to get married, properly married. Big dress, big cake, the lot. I want to take your name."
Rose looked down at the hand that rested on his chest, seeing the play of the moonlight on the ring she wore. They had spent years side by side without marriage despite their proposals to one another and everything worked fine. Rose never found any hurt in the Doctor's reluctance to name the day, she put his proposal down to a moment of need after the ordeal their relationship had gone through and she knew a wedding would prove too domestic for him.
"Honey you can change your name legally without us getting married," she said, looking back up to his face.
"Are you turning me down?" said the Doctor, a look of hurt passing over his face.
"You don't do domestic," said Rose softly.
The Doctor's face broke into an amused grin and he reached up to brush her hair back behind her ear, "I have done domestic quite happily for the passed sixteen years. I've lived in a house, with carpets I might add, I've raised a family, taken a job, sweetheart I'm domesticated and getting married won't change that or make me want to leave it all behind. Of course I miss the stars but we'll be out there before too long. I might have complained in the past but now you, Adric and Jean are the most important things to me and I can't have you in my life for as long as I would want so I want to enjoy it now. The stars can wait until there's nothing else left."
"I want this Rose. I've dragged my feet for long enough. You're my partner in everything I do and I love you, God I can't even describe how much. I want you to be my wife, I want to promise you everything in front of everyone we know, I want them all to see that you're mine and I'm yours and nothing in this universe can split that apart. Marry me, please?"
Rose felt the tears well behind her eyes as he spoke and she reached up to push them away, half laughing, half crying as his hand stilled hers against her cheek. He smiled up at her, his eyes still holding his question.
"Please?" he said softly.
"Yes," murmured Rose leaning down to kiss him, "Yes, yes I'll marry you."
"Good," said the Doctor an impish grin passing over his features, "Because I would have looked a right idiot having to ring up the Savoy and telling them to cancel everything."
"Everything's booked," said the Doctor with a proud smile, "The registrar, the Savoy hotel, the caterers, the band, I've even got the invites printed. All you need to do is find a dress and pick out your bridesmaids."
"You mean you…we…"
"Two months Rose Tyler," said the Doctor, "February fourteenth to be exact, now don't say I'm not romantic!"
"We're getting married on Valentines day?" said Rose unable to contain her smile, "You've been making secret plans for us to get married on Valentine's day?"
The Doctor nodded, laughing at the expression of shock on her face.
"Blimey, I'd better make sure you never get bored because you'd find it too easy to keep an affair a secret."
"Baby," said the Doctor, pulling her tighter against him, "I think the fact that I just asked you to marry me indicates that an affair is completely out of the question. Now come here, I want to live in sin a little bit longer."
A/N: Bear with me, I know its domestic but the story will come. Do I get away with this being a T, I don't like listing things as M unless they're really explicit.