Prompts requested were: Post Doomsday reunion; or visit to matriarchal society (Rose telling the Doctor what to do); humour; in the USA with the Doctor quoting George Bernard Shaw ("America and England are two countries separated by a common language"); anything with Oscar Wilde; getting into or already in a relationship (not gen).
The C-130 was buffeted by the high gale winds sweeping over the turbulent waters below. Rain splattered against the windshield in sheets, allowing no visibility into the heavy curtain of grey clouds.
Relying heavily on the electronic instrument panel in front of them, the two figures stared intently at the readouts. Faces bathed in a glowing green haze, giving a ghostly pallor to their wide-eyed, jaw clenching expressions. Crackling static issued from a small black speaker next to the copilot's head—the only sound possible through the storm.
Rose huddled further into her bulky coat, unable to keep the cold from wrapping its icy fingers around her. She shivered, burying her nose into the collar and enjoying what little warmth she could from her own breath. Stamping her feet as best she could—it was awkward while sitting—she tried to get her circulation going; they felt like large blocks of ice inside the oversized, military issue boots.
Most of the figures that occupied the benches around her were huddled into themselves, mirroring her own misery. There was one unlucky fellow for whom the motion of the plane was too much; he was doubled over, head between his knees, looking as green as the ocean below. Rose kept her eyes averted and was thankful for the muffling roar of the engines.
She started, hearing a shout next to her ear and turned to see one of the crewmen leaning close. "How much longer?" His voice was barely audible, but the words were illustrated by insistent tapping on his wristwatch. It had been the better part of an hour since they'd left the airfield, under sunny skies and a calm spring breeze.
The disappearance of multiple ships and aircraft, both military and civilian, inside the area known as the Bermuda Triangle over the past few weeks, had forced the governments to seek the help of outside agencies, thereby hoping to stem the tide of what was verging on the possibility of worldwide panic. The powers that be demanded discretion, and Torchwood had been called in on the slim theory they were dealing with extraterrestrials.
That was the reason Rose now found herself miserably sitting in the belly of a large metal beast, along with highly sensitive computer equipment installed in the plane's sensor array, in the hopes that the threat of an alien invasion could be eliminated and some rational scientific theory could explain the reason the vessels had vanished.
In answer to her neighbour's question, Rose reached over her shoulder and activated the aircraft's intercom. "What is our current position, Captain?" Her eyes furrowed when the response came back as garbled static. She unhooked the safety belt and stood, almost relieved to be off her bum, and grasped the overhead bars for support. Despite the bucking motions of the plane, she began to make her way towards the cockpit, struggling to keep her balance.
The interior went dark as the plane pitched abruptly sideways. Rose lost her grip on the bar and found herself falling backwards, arms flailing outwards as the heavy turbulence continued. Remembering to tuck her head, she pulled herself into a tight ball, allowing her body to roll with the movement. There was a sudden flash of light, then complete darkness engulfed her again, and the world around her stilled for a moment.
Hesitantly she rolled up to her knees, bracing for any unexpected motions. A loud thump to her right made her freeze in place. Slowly, she turned her head, trying to peer into the darkness, the hairs on the back of her neck prickling. She thought she caught a slight glimmer. Was it a presence?
Her Torchwood training forced her to calm her breathing, and she reached inside her jacket pocket for her torch. Aiming it in the direction she'd heard the noise, she pushed the switch to on. Aside from the usual drab green and grey boxes strapped against the sides of the planes interior, a thick book lay on the floor. She reached for the volume, noting the words Oscar Wilde imprinted in gold lettering on the spine.
Something blurred past her face. She flinched reflexively, and a cold hand clamped over her mouth. Without thinking she brought the torch up in an arc over her shoulder and felt it connect solidly. A loud yelp sounded and she let her body drop forward, pulled a knee to her chest and back kicked, gratified to hear a deep oomph that was half-swallowed by the drone of the plane. Pivoting on her knees, she trained the torchlight on the doubled-over figure clutching at his midsection. The very familiar figure. The figure she'd been told she could never see again.
A tiny squeak escaped her, and as brown eyes lifted to meet hers, she dropped the light, propelling herself forwards, engulfing him in a bone-crushing hug, her momentum bowling them onto the floor. "It's you," she cried, and the hands pushing against her relaxed at the sound. She buried her head in his neck whispering, "Doctor."
"R-Rose?" he stammered, his voice raising an octave before he burst into relieved laughter, returning her embrace. They clung to each other, neither wanting to let go, and Rose afraid this might be some twisted joke or a dream she'd wake from shortly.
After a moment, the Doctor pulled back slightly. "Listen," he said when she protested. Rose had been so focused on the fact she was hugging the Doctor, she'd failed to realize the engine noise had faded, and the silence was almost deafening in its absence.
Reluctantly she lifted her head to find the Doctor studying her intently. "What's happened to the engines?" she asked.
The Doctor managed to squirm out from under her and stood, pulling her up to stand beside him. "Rose Tyler," he exclaimed with a giddy expression, draping an arm across her shoulders and leaning close. His breath warm against her ear. "We've been abducted!"
Rose stood in shock, her mouth opening, then closing again with no sound issuing forth as she watched the childish delight on the Doctor, her Doctor's face.
"We've been abducted?" she repeated disbelievingly.
"Yep!" He popped the 'p' for emphasis and rocked forward on the balls of his feet. He smiled that brilliant exuberant smile, his eyes dancing and bent his head towards her as his shoulders swayed. "Isn't this magnificent?"
She had to pull her eyes away, feeling a bit apprehensive, "Um." She licked her bottom lip.
He quirked an eyebrow at her. "Isn't that why you're here? Rose Tyler, assistant director of Torchwood, extraterrestrial research expert, linguistics analyst, martial arts specialist," he bobbed his head grinning madly. "Did I miss anything?" He looked at her expectantly.
She stared back at him wide-eyed, and sudden, unreasoning anger filled her. She pushed away from him, leaving him staring at her blankly. "How long have you known?" she demanded.
His expression couldn't have been more stunned if Jackie had just slapped him again. "Wha—" he began, but was cut off as Rose stepped forward, poking a finger against his chest.
"Were you planning on keeping your visit a secret?" His face went slack while she continued forcing him backwards until he bumped up against the TARDIS, allowing no escape. "All this time, while I tried to live a fantastic life for you, because it was what you would have wanted, and you could have come back? You knew about me? What was I, just another companion you didn't want around any longer? And, and I believed you when you came back and said goodbye on the beach. I thought that you—" Her voice faltered and tears rolled down her cheeks, both from anger and her heart beginning to break.
"Rose," he began, brow furrowed.
"No!" She was practically shouting, ignoring his wince. How could he be so cruel? He'd led her to believe she was different than Sarah Jane. "You said it was impossible. Was that a lie too, Doctor?" she spat at him.
He leaned forward the few centimetres that separated them, and pressed his lips to hers. Rose rocked back on her heels away from him, staring into his face and stunned into silence. Her chin set and she pulled her hand back to smack him, but found her wrist caught in a firm but tender grip.
They struggled back and forth in a silent game of tug of war, until with his free hand the Doctor pointed to his already swelling eye. "Two minutes," he told her in a wounded voice. Rose hesitated for half a second, and the Doctor loosened his grip. "Two minutes, before you gave me this."
She wrenched her arm free, her brows pulled together. "What about two minutes?" Rose kept the tone harsh, but her heart betrayed some hope.
The Doctor stepped forward, dropping his hands to his sides. "That's how long I knew I was back in your universe." His voice caught and Rose heard years of pain underlying his words. "The longest two minutes of my life, Rose. Until I discovered all that you've accomplished."
Unable to resist those big brown doe-like eyes, mirroring his heart, Rose ran her fingers under his lapel then laid her hands against his chest, feeling the twin heartbeat. The Doctor slid his arms around and pulled her to him in a tight embrace.
Rose broke the silence first, mumbling into his coat. "You said we've been abducted?"
"That's their impression, but it's all part of the plan. We'll get this lot sorted out." He let out a long breath.
"Are they here to take over the world?" she asked softly, her head nestled under his chin.
"Naaaw," he let the word stretch and closed his eyes. "Soon as I send the coordinates to their mum's, and tidy things up, well, send everything back to their original location, their joyriding days will be over."
"What?" She started to pull back; the Doctor wrapped her even closer not willing to release her.
"Perfectly harmless youths, testing the boundaries and sowing their oats, so to speak. A scavenger hunt of sorts. They've collected an assortment of items from around the universe."
"And you've been returning them?"
"Yep. All the while tracing their homing beacon, which has been quite the merry chase I'll admit. There was this one planet; you should have seen it—"
"Are you going to make that phone call?" He chuckled lightly.
"All in due time," his voice lowering as he nuzzled her neck. "Are you in a hurry?"
"Not me. You?" She felt him shrug, and smiled. "So, you got yourself caught on purpose then?" The Doctor dropped his head to look her in the eye.
"Got us caught on purpose." He waggled his eyebrows. "Now that I've found you again, I am in ab-so-lu-tly no hurry to interrupt our reunion. In fact the accommodations won't be all that uncomfortable," he glanced around the spacious area. "A large holding warehouse," the Doctor wrapped his arms possessively around her. "You, me, the TARDIS."
"Sure she won't mind sharing?" Rose teased.