Disclaimer: The BBC and Russel T. Davies own Doctor Who, I am just a lowly fangirl.
Notes: Written for dynapink in the livejournal Summer Lovin' Ficathon for the community ohsheknows.
Jackie Tyler had three greatest fears. They all sort of built on one another:
Fear Number One: A knock on the door at the middle of the night.
Fear Number Two: The Doctor at the door in the middle of the night.
Fear Number Three: The Doctor at the door in the middle of the night without Rose.
At 2:47 in the morning, Fear Number Three knocked on the door.
"What is it?" Jackie gasped, "What happened? Where's Rose?"
"She's in the TARDIS, asleep," the Doctor explained, his brow furrowing upon seeing Jackie's confused expression. "I came over to let you know that we parked the TARDIS down by the playground but Rose fell asleep on the way here so we'll just see you in the morning. Are you all right?"
"Well, I am now!" Jackie tried to keep from screaming at him, "You don't come and knock on people's doors at three in the bloody morning! I thought you'd come to tell me that something had happened to Rose!"
"It's three in the morning? Really?" The Doctor shrugged, "I could have sworn I had landed us at about nine in the evening. Guess that explains why there weren't many people out and about. Sorry about that. We'll see you in the morning."
"Doctor!" Jackie yelled. He turned around to look at her. "Rose is all right, isn't she?"
"Yeah," he smiled, "She just needs some rest. We had a long week."
Jackie stood at the door until she couldn't see him anymore. She tried to go back to bed, but sleep never came to her. Now that she knew Rose was back in London, just a few blocks away, she was wide awake. Rose came in and out of her life (sure, she called a few times a week, which was more than some Jackie's friends could say) and any time Jackie got to spend with her daughter was precious. Why couldn't he have woken Rose up so she could sleep in her old room? At least that way she could have spent some more time at home.
Instead of sleeping, she watched television for a couple of hours, tidied up the kitchen, had some breakfast, went to pick up a few things at Tesco and talked to Beth about getting together for dinner that night.
By a quarter past ten Jackie was starting to get angry. Rose had already missed breakfast, and she hadn't even called to let Jackie know that she would be sleeping in. She tried calling Rose's mobile, but it was turned off. For all Jackie knew, they could be dead. That's how much information she had to go on.
Jackie had never been a patient woman, and in that moment, she knew that she was getting in that TARDIS and finding her daughter. Rose had given her a key "just in case" (although Jackie had overheard the Doctor saying that there was no possible case he could think of that would end with Jackie needing to get in the TARDIS) and Jackie took it out of the drawer and marched down to the playground where it was parked.
It was very quiet in the TARDIS when she stepped inside. Maybe they really were still asleep. Jackie peered around the console room only to find that it was completely deserted. She hadn't really seen much of the TARDIS beyond the main room. If Rose and the Doctor were asleep, they probably wouldn't mind if she just took a peek.
Jackie didn't feel so bad when she found the kitchen (surprisingly uncomplicated- it looked just like a normal kitchen), or the library, or the room where they kept the television (and all those times the Doctor had teased her about watching so much TV!). She came across a door that was half-opened. From where she was standing, she could just see the top of Rose's head.
It wouldn't hurt to look in on Rose and see her room on the TARDIS. Besides, Rose was such a heavy sleeper she would never even know that Jackie was in the room. Still, Jackie felt a shiver go down her back, as though she was somewhere where she shouldn't be. She understood where that feeling came from the moment she silently pushed the door open.
This definitely was the Doctor's room, not Rose's. There were books everywhere and posters of ancient ruins and gleaming towers (and one, oddly, of Elvis Costello) lining the walls. His suit was thrown carelessly onto a battered old armchair next to a stack of books that apparently served as a table (his glasses were resting on the top). A pair of jeans was folded in a neat pile by the bed. And lying in the four-poster bed, half-covered by dark blue sheets, were the Doctor and Rose.
Rose was curled closely to his side, with her back to his chest, and Jackie could just make out their fingers intertwined above her stomach. They were both clothed—she was wearing a red camisole and he was in a white tee shirt—but it was decidedly intimate.
Rose stirred, and Jackie felt rooted to the spot. Should she wait for Rose to stop moving or should she risk making a noise as she left? What on earth would she say if they found her? Oh, don't mind me, I just snuck into the TARDIS while you were sleeping? She didn't have to worry long; the Doctor murmured something and kissed the bare skin on Rose's shoulder as she stilled.
Jackie felt horrible just standing there watching. A part of her was angry at Rose for not telling her the truth about her relationship with the Doctor and angry with him for daring to touch her daughter. But the other part felt guilty standing there and watching them as they slept in peace.
There was only one thing that could help her sort this out and that was a nice cup of tea. As quickly and quietly as she could, she backed out of the room and softly closed the door.
One thing that Rose could never get used to was the fact that no matter how wonderful the TARDIS was it could never get rid of all of her post-universe-saving aches and pains. Of course, she reflected, having the Doctor wrapped around her made her feel a lot better.
She carefully turned around in his arms so that she could see him. Rose was addicted to watching the Doctor as he slept. It was a very hard addiction to feed; he didn't sleep nearly as much as she did, and it was rare to wake up before him. But now she had the perfect chance to look at him for as long as she liked. She was always amazed by how unguarded he was when he slept. For someone who ran around like a hyperactive puppy all day, he was so peaceful in sleep. And while she loved running across universes with him, this quieter version was welcome too.
His eyes blinked open, cutting short her chance to watch him asleep.
"Good morning," she whispered.
He smiled at her and said, "You look much better now than you did last night."
Rose rolled her eyes, embarrassed. "Did I pass out once I got in bed?"
"You didn't even make it there. You fell asleep sitting up on the ride back," he teased, "I had to carry you in here myself."
"Not my fault," she said, "That was the third day straight that you had me running for my life."
"Yeah, but it's worth it. Well," he reconsidered, "most days."
"Mmm, maybe," Rose pretended to be indecisive. The Doctor just widened his eyes in a hurt way, and Rose kissed the tip of his nose in response.
"What do you want to do for breakfast?"
"Oh, come on, we can have burnt toast anytime we want, let's go somewhere else."
"What, and just fly back here when we're done?" Rose laughed, "That's not very efficient."
"Yeah, but if we were going somewhere like, oh, New Orleans in 1993 to get beignets," he said enticingly, "Or that place in Maine that has the really good popovers. Come on, Rose, please? Please?"
Rose wanted to admit that those popovers did sound good, but she held firm. "No, we need to go see Mum."
"But Rose, I don't want-" he froze. "Tell me this isn't domestic?"
"Discussing where to have breakfast and when to see your mum, it's not domestic, right?"
Rose resisted the urge to roll her eyes. The Doctor occasionally got into moods like this, where all of a sudden he was deathly afraid of anything he perceived as domesticity. This was the third time: the first was after they had kissed, then after the first time they had, well, "danced". The good news was, he quickly forgot it, usually after Rose found some way to distract him. Rose's theory was that he didn't really mind domestics, he just had to save face.
"No," Rose said, trying to sound sincere, "Not domestic at all." He started to open his mouth and Rose kissed him in order to cut him off.
When he pulled away, the Doctor smiled, "I was going to continue making my case for popovers, but you can feel free to do that again."
"Only if you agree to have breakfast with Mum."
"Doctor, you have to. You promised that we would spend the next two days with her, and you promised that we would tell her about, you know, this."
"Which is exactly why we should go somewhere else for breakfast so that I can emotionally prepare for what will surely be the hell brought upon by Jackie Tyler when she finds out that I've defiled her only daughter."
"I wasn't planning on telling her about the defiling."
"But that's the best part."
"Really," Rose said, her eyes glinting, "Well, in that case, I think we should—oh, God, no!"
"What is it?" The Doctor looked behind him to where Rose was staring. "What's wrong?"
"It's past eleven!" Rose practically leapt out of bed and ran to the wardrobe to look for clean clothes. "Mum's going to be furious that we missed breakfast." She didn't see the Doctor slump back into the pillows, shaking his head. When he saw that Rose was serious about getting over to Jackie's, he started to dress as well. He put on his suit and Rose helped him to choose a tie (they decided on the dark green with the navy dots). While she was in the bathroom fixing her hair, he was content to glance in the mirror and decide that the ruffled, just-woke-up look was very good on him. The Doctor took Rose's hand when she exited the bathroom and they walked out of the TARDIS.
Well, they attempted to. Somewhere along the line, the Doctor came to the realization that Rose looked very kissable and that was very hard to ignore.
"And really," he said between kisses, "it's all your fault. I can't be held responsible for my actions."
Rose squirmed, her back against the wall. "It's not my fault," she breathed. "That you have the sexual appetite of a horny teenage boy."
"I'm quite proud of that," he said, a smirk on his face.
"Oh, I bet you are," Rose said. She twisted her way out of his embrace, and took his hand to pull him towards the door of the TARDIS. As they entered the console room, she said, "Do you think that later we could go to—mum!"
"Yeah, I know we're going to your mother's, that's all we talked about –Jackie! Hi!"
Sitting in the middle of the TARDIS with a cup of tea was Jackie Tyler. And, they noticed, she did not look pleased.
Jackie looked between the two of them before asking "When were you planning on telling me?"
The Doctor was very tempted to plead ignorance, and had opened his mouth to do so until Rose shot him a desperate look and he stayed silent.
"Today," Rose said. When Jackie rolled her eyes, Rose pleaded, "Really, Mum! We were about to come over to get something to eat and tell you, but we got a little…distracted," she finished lamely.
"I could hear that," Jackie said pointedly. "How long has this been going on?"
"About three weeks," said Rose softly.
"Actually," the Doctor interjected, his manner timid when Jackie turned her glare on him, "it's been more like nineteen days." If he hadn't been so scared of getting slapped, he would have laughed as Rose and Jackie rolled their eyes in unison.
"Anyway," Rose said, "I wanted," she took the Doctor's hand in hers and corrected herself, "We wanted to tell you about. We never wanted you to find out like this." Rose's brows knitted in confusion before she said, "Mum, why are you here?"
"What do you mean, 'why I am I here'?" Jackie exploded. " He tells me that I'll see you both in the morning," the Doctor very much wanted to point out that it technically was still morning, but kept his mouth shut, "but you never show up, you don't call to say that you'll be late, you don't answer your mobile, and then when I come into the TARDIS to make sure that you haven't been murdered, I find you in bed with him!"
The Doctor and Rose both turned very red. While Jackie seethed in front of them, the Doctor whispered to Rose, "I told you we never should have given her that key."
"Yeah, starting to see that now." Rose walked closer to Jackie, who had her eyes closed and was taking deep breaths. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner."
Jackie's eyes snapped open, her gaze focused directly on the Doctor. "What does she matter to you?" she asked him. "We're all a bunch of stupid humans. She can't mean anything to a powerful alien like you."
"I care about Rose very much," the Doctor said softly. Rose felt goose bumps break out on her flesh as he spoke. "She's the most important thing in my world."
"So you'll never hurt her?"
"Jackie, you know that there are no guarantees," he said. "I can't promise you that. But I can tell you that I'll do whatever I can to make sure that she never gets hurt."
Rose moved back over to the Doctor and threaded her fingers through his again. He squeezed her hand and smiled reassuringly. When Rose looked in his eyes, all she could see was love pouring out of him. So what if he hadn't told her yet? It didn't matter; she knew. "So, Mum," Rose turned to Jackie. "Do we have your blessing?"
Jackie stood up and looked at the two of them. "This has been a lot for me to take in," she said slowly. "I've been thinking about it, and I'm going to be honest and say that I'm not sure I like this," Rose felt her heart plummet, "And I wish you had told me sooner, but," Jackie sighed, "you've been making your own decisions for a long time, Rose, and I think you've made the right one."
Rose let out a sigh of relief and ran across the room to hug her mother. "All right, settle down," Jackie laughed, hugging her tightly back. She caught sight of the Doctor, who was standing awkwardly on his own. She let go of Rose and walked over to him to embrace him as well.
"Just take care of her," Jackie whispered to him.
"I always will," he responded.
"All right," Jackie said once she had pulled away from him. "We might as well go ahead and get a big lunch now if we'll be going over to Beth's tonight. You know how she is; I love her dearly but she can't cook to save her life, so you'll want to fill up before you get there."
"Mum, I don't want to go to Beth's!" Rose whined.
"What, you thought you'd get off easy for this?" Jackie laughed, "Now come on, both of you." Jackie walked out of the TARDIS, leaving the two standing there staring at each other.
"That went a lot better than it could have," the Doctor pointed out.
"She didn't bring up any of my old boyfriends," Rose mused.
"And she didn't slap me."
"And if she'll probably get her fill of embarrassing us tonight at Beth's."
"I think we got lucky," he concluded.
Rose smiled widely at him. "Think you're 'emotionally prepared' for a weekend with my mum now?"
"Nope," he said, his smile equally as big. "But I feel a lot better knowing I can do this without worrying about your mother seeing." And with that, he kissed her sweetly.
"You know," Jackie said from the TARDIS' doorway, "Just because I know that you two are dating now doesn't mean you can spend the whole day doing this." She gave them a furtive glance before adding "And you're sleeping in separate rooms tonight." She walked swiftly out, leaving the both of them staring at where she had been.
"If you want to run away because this just got too domestic," Rose said, "Feel free, as long as you take me with you."
"Nah," the Doctor said. "I think I'll live." He smiled brightly at her, making Rose giggle happily in response. Hand in hand, they walked out into the bright London sunshine.