Series 3 AU with Rose! This is a sequel to my stories, "The Girl in the Stalking Spaceship", "Age of Bronze", "Lantern Extinguished", "Gravity Schmavity", "Love and Monsters", "Show Her, Tell Her", "Ghost of a Chance", "Doomsday Averted", and "Runaway Bride". Wow, that list is getting long!
This is NOT yet a complete rewrite, but meant for those who want to re-watch the episode - with Rose.
This is as yet un-beta'd. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: Surprise, surprise, I don't own Doctor Who. Nor do I get anything from writing these stories-except wonderful, constructive reviews! Wink, wink; nudge, nudge ;)
Chapter 1 - Inconspicuous
It had been months since they'd been back to earth. Well, not entirely true. The Doctor had taken Rose to a number of locations on earth, just not her earth. Not her time. Not since their adventure with Donna and a brief stop afterwards to salvage some keepsakes from Rose's old flat. So what had changed?
"Can we go for chips?" asked Rose.
And chips it was. Good ol' London, 2007, strolling along the Thames, arm in arm, with packets of chips from one of Rose's favorite vendors.
"Is that - ?" the Doctor stopped, staring at a rather poorly-concealed object at the corner of a building. "Is that a plasma coil?" he asked.
"Depends," said Rose at his side. "What's a plasma coil?"
He jogged over, leading Rose by the hand. "That," he said pointing. "That is definitely a plasma coil. And," he looked along the sides of the building, spotting several more in each direction, "so are those."
"What're they for?" Rose asked.
"All sorts of uses," the Doctor told her, walking towards the front of the building. Royal Hope Hospital, the sign said. "All sorts of things that shouldn't be going on in a twenty-first century earth hospital." He really needed to get in there. "Rose?" he asked with his most charming smile, "would you be up for a little undercover investigation?"
"But why can't we just walk in and wander around?" Rose asked him, while the Doctor searched through various drawers and cupboards on the TARDIS. "A little psychic paper, and we could be doctors, or health inspectors, or anythin'."
"Where's the fun in that?" he asked, closing yet another drawer in frustration. Where did he put them? "Besides, the last thing we want to be is authority figures. Whatever's going on in that hospital, we need to be as inconspicuous as possible."
"You?" she laughed. "Inconspicuous?"
"A-ha!" he shouted, pulling two plain, gold rings from a cupboard. He turned her Rose, and watched as the laughter died instantly on her lips. He could practically see the wheels turning in her mind, and momentarily regretted this ploy when hurt briefly flashed across her face.
However, it was quickly concealed, and she asked casually, "Bio-dampers?"
"Naw, just wedding rings," the Doctor answered. "Well, I say wedding rings, they're actually just plain, ordinary rings, but they should do the trick, don't you think?"
To his disappointment, her face was a perfect mask as she nodded. He had been hoping to get more of a reaction than that. How was a guy - even if he was a Time Lord - supposed to work up the nerve to propose, if she was getting as good as he was at hiding feelings?
"So," he said, taking her hand and slipping a ring into place, "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith check into Royal Hope Hospital." He let her hand go, watching her stare at the band, while he put on his own ring. "Poor Mrs. Smith is suffering from mysterious abdominal pains, and just has to be admitted for observation."
"I get to be the sick one?" Rose asked. "Gee, thanks," she said sarcastically.
"Well," said the Doctor, hands in pockets, really wishing this had gone better, "I'd do it, but it might make us a tad bit conspicuous. Two hearts and all."
"Good thing you've got me, then," Rose told him, a bit of a smile peeking through at last.
The Doctor couldn't help but smile at that. "Oh, definitely," he said. More than you know. "So," he said, strolling out into the corridor, "you go pack an overnight bag, and I'll move us a bit closer to the hospital."
"Right, Mr. Smith," she answered, heading off to her room.
"See you in a few, Mrs. Smith," he replied, turning toward the console room.
Rose had to admit, being the "sick" one wasn't so bad, after all; not when she wasn't really in any pain, but still had the Doctor doting upon her. Her stomach had done little flips every time he'd called her his wife, or "sweetheart", or "honey", or any of the other endearments he'd pulled out for the occasion, even if it was all just pretend. He'd stayed with her the entire time, even as she slept, limiting his investigation to checking readings on the sonic screwdriver, and eavesdropping on passing orderlies. He had just offered to read her a story, when the consultant she'd seen briefly when she'd been admitted the previous afternoon walked in through the parted curtains around her bed, followed by a gaggle of - presumably - medical students.
"Now then, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a very good morning to you," he greeted, politely if a bit distantly. "How are you today?" he asked Rose.
"Oh, ya know," she answered. "Still a bit under the weather."
"Rose Smith," he said, turning to the students, "admitted yesterday with severe abdominal pains. Jones, why don't you see what you can find?" He addressed this last to the young woman closest to Rose's bed. "Amaze me," he told her, with obvious sarcasm.
The woman bent down to take Rose's wrist, timing her pulse. She spoke quietly to Rose as she stared at her wristwatch. "That wasn't very clever, running around outside, was it?"
What? "Outside?" Rose asked.
"On Chancery Street this morning," the woman said. "Your husband came up to me and took his tie off."
"Really?" asked the Doctor from his chair on the opposite side of Rose's bed. "What did I do that for?" Apparently, Rose wasn't the only one at a loss.
"I don't know, you just did," Jones answered. "Then the two of you went off, laughing."
"Not me," the Doctor denied. "I was here, with Rose. Haven't left her side. You can ask her - ask the nurses."
"Well, that's weird, 'cause it looked like you. Have you got a brother?" she asked.
Rose bit her lip, but the Doctor took it in stride.
"No, not anymore. Just me," he told her.
The consultant interrupted, "As time passes, and I grow ever more infirm and weary, Miss Jones."
"Right. Sorry," said the woman, Miss Jones, straightening. "Any chance you're pregnant?" she asked.
"No!" answered Rose and the Doctor together. Rose could feel her blush, as the woman looked between the two of them with a raised eyebrow.
The consultant wasn't nearly as curious. "You rather failed basic techniques by not consulting first with the patient's chart, which clearly notes the negative pregnancy test," he said, reaching for the chart from the end of Rose's bed. He dropped it when he received a strong shock of static electricity.
"That happened to me this morning," said Jones.
"I had the same thing on the door handle," said a man in the group.
"And me, on the lift," put in another woman.
"That's only to be expected," dismissed the consultant. "There's a thunderstorm moving in, and lightning is a form of static electricity. As was first proven by . . . anyone?"
"Benjamin Franklin," chimed in the Doctor.
"Correct!" the consultant replied, and Rose could tell he wasn't sure whether to be impressed, or angry that he'd been upstaged.
"My mate Ben," the Doctor went on. "That was a day and a half -"
Rose cleared her throat loudly, with a pointed glare at the Doctor.
"Yup," the Doctor amended, swallowing, "Benjamin F. Tyler. Mate of mine. Named after Mr. Franklin . . . ."
"Quite," said the consultant, losing interest. Gee, nice save, thought Rose, with a mental shake of her head.
"But about Mrs. Smith," Jones interjected. "The pregnancy test only works after the first couple of weeks. She could be early on and still suffer symptoms."
Rose couldn't help her laugh. "Not a chance," she said. At the confused looks she received, she composed herself and said, "Um, John here's been away."
"Business trip," took up the Doctor. "Yup, been away for months and months. Only just got back last night."
"Yeah, we were gonna go out to dinner, but I wasn't feelin' well," Rose explained, but it seemed their time was up, and the consultant turned to lead his little group away.
"Moving on. And next we have . . . ."
As the curtains fell closed behind him, Rose turned to meet the Doctor's rather startled and uncomfortable expression. A moment later, and they were both fighting to contain their laughter.
To be continued.