Author's Note: This one is a bit fluffier than I normally like, but it's growing on me. Hope you enjoy. Not necessary to read the others of the series, but helpful.
Time Frame: Takes place after the "mortgage" scene in 'Impossible Planet'. Assumes there was an actual night before the Ood start acting weird. Third in the 'Incompatible' series.
Summary: The Doctor and Rose discuss getting a mortgage and leading a Human life.
A Normal Life
He didn't ask after that. Her bedroom had become his domain. She really wasn't conscious of when it became natural to find him before she headed off to bed. When it was no longer weird for him to patter into her bedroom behind her, stripping to his pants and occasionally a t-shirt as she got ready in her bathroom. When his strong arms around her became almost a necessity to falling asleep. When panic set in if she didn't wake to his scent, his hearts' vibration, his gentle breathing.
They're not the traditional couple that she understands from her twenty years of experience on Earth. They're best mates. They're travelling companions. They're bed mates and tea buddies. They're each other's confidants and partners in crime. They could be called a couple, but it wasn't like what everyone thinks.
They think it's a sexual thing, a marriage or bonding or alternate living situation or whatever is the thing of the planet and time.
The members of the Sanctuary Base- because it's their way in this time, so many thousands of years in Rose's future- simply assumed that their relationship is sexual and closed and give them a room together. It might have been awkward a year ago, them sharing a room and a bed- although he wouldn't have joined her- neither of them even blinked at the thought. They simply retire when everyone else does- no matter how much Rose wants to confront someone about all the weird happenings, but there's no one left awake to ask. Easily they fall into their normal routine, stripping, redressing, curling into each other's bodies.
He's been quiet most of the night, ever since Zack destroyed any hope of ever finding the TARDIS again. Quiet except for that one experience in Habitat Three.
"Did you mean it?"
He's running a hand up and down her spine, an unconscious gesture that she has come to associate with him thinking.
"That it wouldn't be so bad being stuck with me?"
"Of course," she sighs into his chest, exhaustion weighing heavily on her eyes. He keeps stroking her, lulling her closer and closer to the darkness she's trying not to cling to.
"I can't get a house. I can't sit still, having the same boring day after boring day. I can't do that like you Humans do. That's not fair for you, to try and make you think that I can."
"I know better than to think you could ever sit still."
He huffs; she's not sure if he's amused or agreeing with her. "What if I could?"
"What d'you mean?"
"What if I was Human? What if… we settled down. Got a- a house-"
"Windows and carpets and… and dishes. Towels with our names on them. Oh god, we'd need money. Jobs."
"It's really not that bad."
"We'll have to come up with names. We don't exist in this time."
"John and Marion Smith."
"It's my middle name. Be more fun that way."
"So what would John and Marion do?"
"Well John is a nerd with a science fetish. Probably get himself involved with some kind of computer company. I'm sure that's a big thing."
"Probably. Marion, of course, would open up her own fashion line. Start with a small shop, but turn it into a chain. Retro clothes. Bringing back the twenty-first century."
His intended irony hits her and she laughs, the hair in her face tickling her nose as she does. But then thoughts of a shop opening up selling clothes from the Middle Ages as a new fashion creeps into her mind and her laughter turns to a fit of giggles.
"It wouldn't be that shocking, would it? Marion owning a shop?"
"It's not that."
"They could get a dog. I like dogs. I've had a couple over the years. Never get to keep them though. Shame."
"Maybe they could. Or a cat."
"A cat?" He scrunches his face, "Naw, don't think John would like that."
She pauses, watching her hand slowly rise with his chest. "John would have a home office, where he could do his computer things. He'd cook dinner every night, of course."
"Or they'd go out to this little restaurant no one knows about, owned by a cute old couple. They'd spoil them, obviously. Give all sorts of free stuff that Marion and John couldn't possibly accept."
"Mo and Ethel."
She twists to look up at him, "Mo and Ethel?"
But he ignores her, continuing on with the fantasy, "They'd be the traditional, cliché old couple. Always bickering, complete polar opposites, but unbelievably in love with each other."
"Entertaining as hell."
"Lovely, if a bit cranky."
Their imaginations die down, reduced to the silence of the creaking metal walls, until Rose finally tilts her chin up to try to see his eyes. "What brought this on?"
"You're always just thinking and always for a reason."
He's silent and she lets him be, absently stroking the flesh over his left heart. "Our relationship isn't exactly what you want, is it?"
"I never said that."
"But you think, don't you?"
"I mean, you want that. To settle down- a house, a job, all that. I can't give you that. That's why… I mean, my companions leave- they always leave when they're ready to start their own life."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"I know that. But I can't help but think that maybe I'm taking away something from your life that you should have."
"I have you. Doctor, look at me." He doesn't hesitate. At her words, he arches his neck and his dark eyes find hers. "I want you. I want a life with you. I don't need a house and a dog and all the frills that come with a normal life. Just you- you and the TARDIS and all the adventures you can offer me."
He doesn't seem convinced by her words, and she doesn't blame him because, even as she says it and even as she means it, she doubts herself. She doesn't doubt that at some point in her life she'll want all that. She'll want the normalcy she dreamed up as a child. But, right then, right at that moment in her life, she wants any life he can offer her.
"Well, looks like, right now, the only adventure I can offer you is the one into dreamland."
"Mmm. Sounds like an enjoyable one."
"Go to sleep," he whispered softly into her hair, his fingers stroking soft, rhythmic circles over her back, lulling her closer to the edge of darkness pulling on her mind. "I'll be here when you wake up."
Next up: 'Valiant Child'