A/N: Sorry it's taken me so long my computer did its famous die and wipe tricks. I only just got it back from the repair shop, unfortunately I lost the final few chapters of this fic, but I'm busy clicking away at the keys to retype it (honestly the only time i don't back it up i lose it).
Once again, sorry for the delay.
Chapter Twenty One: First Anniversary
"HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!" The Doctor and Rose stood there, staring at the crowd. Around them were people they knew and had invited to their wedding. They shared a glance before people walked up to them and started to talk.
Jack, Martha and Jackie squeezed past them, Martha looked shocked at the amount of people Jackie had invited. To tell the truth Jack had forgotten their anniversary.
"Over here Jack." Jackie called over the noise. Martha went first in an effort to clear people out of the way for Jack. Jack placed, or rather dumped, the box on the table. Jackie dug into the box and pulled out a few present, and a few decorations. She passed the decorations to Jack. "These are for the table."
"Which one?!" Jackie smirked and shook her head.
"I think Jackie means the one we're all going to be sitting at." Martha told him. He nodded slowly, slowly understanding what she said. Jackie looked back at them, watching as the Doctor tried in vain to get out of the grasp of relatives.
"Do you think we should save him?" Martha gave Jack a look that said 'are you kidding?'.
"I think we should save Rose and Tala though." Martha told him seriously. Before they could turn to face Jackie, Jackie as pushing through the crowd towards Tala and Rose.
"Let Rose have a rest, she's come a long way tonight." Rose tried to reach for her husband, but as pulled away by Jackie.
Theta watched helplessly, as more mobs seemed to converge on him. He signalled to Jack who shrugged and made a gesture of pretending he couldn't hear him.
"I think…but…let me just…my wife…hang on just a tick" He tried but settled for pushing past the crowd. He very nearly ran to Rose, as soon as he reached her he bent down and kissed her softly. "Freedom." He muttered.
"Hi." Rose whispered, he immediately wrapped his arms around her waist holding her close. Rose turned to Jackie. "Mum, what's this all for? Its only our first anniversary." Jackie sighed.
"Do you know how many family members find an opportunity to ask if you're still together?" Jackie told them, "Joking about when your divorce will be final? The fact that you only got married because of the baby?" Jackie gently cupped Rose's cheek with her right hand, and the Doctor's with her left. "I want them to know you're both happy and will be for a long time." The Doctor smiled slightly, an impish grin coming over his lips. Rose tilted her head up to look at him.
"Care to show your family how much in love we are?" Jack immediately butted in.
"Keep it PG." He looked stunned for a minute. "I never thought I'd say that to them." Rose moved slightly out of his grip.
"We will Jack, we will."
Rose slowly circulated round the tables, saying hello to family members, rebuffing jokes about the state of her marriage. Theta was doing the same.
Rose collapsed in a chair next to an auburn haired woman.
"That bad?" The woman smiled, she placed a hand over Rose's. Rose gave her a withered glance. "It'll get better." Rose leaned forward slightly in her seat.
"I swear I'm close to…oh I don't know." Rose looked up as a voice cut in. Theta leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. "Having fun, love."
"Depends." He took her hand and sat, unceremoniously, next to her, he placed Tala on his lap. She watched everyone with wide eyes.
"She's absolutely beautiful." The woman gently touched Tala's cheek. "I'm sorry I wasn't there for the christening." She apologised.
"It couldn't be helped." Theta looked around. "Is Luke…"
"Staying with a friend." He nodded thoughtfully. Rose leaned into him slightly.
"Sarah thanks for coming." Rose told her sincerely.
"I wouldn't miss it for anything." Sarah smiled. "Besides your mum said she needed help and I was happy to agree." Sarah Jane and Jackie had hit it off after the wedding, becoming good friends. Jackie was happy she could talk to someone about what her daughter and son-in-law got up to.
"Here comes trouble." Theta muttered under his breath as Jackie came across to them, followed by Rose's cousin Julia.
"Everything ok?" Jackie asked.
"Yeah, mum, we're fine." Jackie was about to sit down next to the Doctor, but Julia pushed her slightly out of the way sitting next to him instead. Sarah said nothing but shared a look with Jackie.
Theta watched carefully. Julia leaned forward and studied him closely. She felt him squeeze her hand tighter as Julia touched his face.
"He is very cute I suppose." Julia told her, Theta felt rather than saw Rose bristle.
"Actually in my mind he's more than cute." Rose grasped her cousin's hand and moved it from her husband's face, she felt him relax slightly.
"Is that all you married him for Rose? A pretty face and pretty children."
"You would Julia, but that's not how I do things."
"We're very happy." Rose told her sternly.
"It's only been a year, and on the grape vine, between you and me…I've heard he's been married before." Rose nearly laughed, no one except close friends and her mother knew he'd been married once. "Apparently to someone up North." Julia looked round, she looked at Theta and Rose felt the storm building. "How long were you married for before?"
"A few centuries at least." He answered; Rose shook her head slightly.
"Julia I love my husband, I love my family, why can't you accept that?" Rose wanted to know.
"You mean you haven't got yourself pregnant again to keep him?" Immediately all the heads at the table snapped round to face her.
"How dare you…" Rose began.
"Everyone's thinking it." Julia told them. Rose stood up suddenly and walked off, Sarah Jane followed a few paces behind.
"I'm sorry, Julia was it? For your information Julia Rose is my wife because I love her. I would have asked her to marry me whether or not she was carrying my daughter." Julia looked at him dumbfounded; he raised an eyebrow. As if sensing something Martha and Jack had made their way across.
Sarah followed Rose into the ladies. Rose gave her a small smile.
"Sorry, I had to get out of there before I did something I'd regret."
"You mean Bad Wolf." Sarah clarified; Rose stared at her. "Your husband explained."
"I sometimes lose control." Rose looked sheepish. Sarah laughed before sobering.
"Your mother told me about…" Sarah gestured to her stomach.
"I think I've come to terms with it." Rose leaned against the sinks; she folded her arms, mimicking her husband's actions. "Besides we've already adopted Jack and Martha." Rose and Sarah began to laugh.
"Rose I'm coming in!" A voice cried before Theta barged into the ladies. He saw the two women laughing. "Why do I get suspicious when you do that?" He asked, wanting the women to stop. Rose leaned up and kissed his cheek. "Why aren't you crying?" He asked seeing a completely different reaction to the one he expected.
"Ever the charmer." Sarah butted in.
"You okay?" He asked, looking her in the eyes.
"Fine, really." She assured him. "Just telling Sarah about our adopted children." He rolled his eyes slightly.
"Typical. I defend your honour as usual and…" Rose swatted him in the chest. "I wasn't being rude," He turned to Sarah. "Was I being rude?" Sarah nodded.
"Where's Tala?" Sarah asked.
"With Martha…no Jackie…no it was Martha…could be Jack though…" He told them.
"And mum wonders why we get into so much trouble."
"Sometimes you Rose Sigma are a handful." She poked her tongue between her teeth.
"You love it really." He shook his head slightly as Rose walked out of the ladies. He followed suspicious at the muffled laughter from Sarah behind him.
Theta stood with Rose near the buffet table, she held a plate in her hands. He stole things off her plate as well as his own.
"You know some of my family are a bit forward and outspoken." He laughed slightly; stopping when he saw the look she gave him. "Not all of them are like that." She assured him.
"So says the woman who had to run out because of you-know-what." Rose gave him a sly grin. The pair noticed Julia's mother come across to them.
"Rose!" Aunt Beth cried, enveloping her into a hug. "This must be Theta." Beth pulled the Doctor into a large hug. "I'm sorry bout Julia." She apologised sincerely. "You know your cousin always gets the wrong end of the stick, besides she's jealous that all." Rose laughed slightly; Theta pulled her closer.
"She did say that everyone's wondering why I'm not pregnant." Rose told her quietly.
"We're wondering whether you'll have any more children or not, because you travel a lot." Rose visibly relaxed.
"Maybe in the future." The Doctor made his promise with his eyes; Rose gave him a bright smile.
"I'll leave you two to it." Beth left them quickly. The Doctor pressed a gentle kiss to her hair. She looked up at him.
"Have you told my mother about…" She trailed off expecting him to know hat she was talking about, but he resembled a deer in headlights. "Time and Space." He paled.
"Later Rose." She leaned into him slightly. "How are you feeling?"
"Headache's gone." She smiled. "But everything seems more, I don't know…"
"Confusing." She shook her head, "Defined."
"Connected." She finished. "Its as if I can see why things are happening and whether they're following the right path."
"It's not all bad."
"I feel more connected to you and Tala though." He leaned down and kissed her softly, she responded passion growing. Rose grinned as they pulled back. "You did that on purpose," She poked him in the chest, she nodded her head towards Julia who as blushing furiously at them.
"Maybe." He smiled. "But that's not the main reason." He leaned down to kiss her again but Rose dodged out of his grasp. Jackie chose that moment to approach them.
"Mum, what's wrong?" She asked seeing Jackie's bright, sly smile. She reached up to the Doctor and kissed him quickly.
"You are my favourite son-in-law." He told him, the Doctor held Jackie at arms length.
"Rose has your mother been drinking?" Rose laughed at the terrified look on his face. Jackie playfully hit his shoulder, he grinned at her manically. Jackie took his hand in hers.
"What you said to Julia has got around the room. I think their problem is the fact when they met him the first time after you 'disappeared' for a year, he looked different." Jackie noticed his jaw for the first time. She turned his head slightly to look at it. "What happened?" Theta began to speak but Rose beat him to it.
"He was being difficult so Jack hit him." Rose shrugged.
"And you weren't?" He asked.
"I wasn't the one that was too stubborn to admit who they were." She retorted. She saw the glint in his eyes signalling he was enjoying their banter.
"Are you going to dance?" Jackie asked. The pair turned to face her; the Doctor noticed the hopeful look in her eye.
"Oh alright." Rose practically dragged him to the dance floor – well the area marked for dancing.
He wrapped his arms around her tightly, pulling her close.
"No respectable distance?" A voice came from behind. The Doctor turned to see Martha and Jack joining them on the dance floor.
"Don't Jack, just don't." Theta told him, knowing teasing would soon follow. Everyone's eyes were on the married couple. Rose shifted uncomfortably under their gaze. "Don't worry Rose."
"Theta I don't like people watching us." He leaned his forehead against hers. Martha and Jack smiled at them as they danced next to them.
"Then lets give them something to watch." Rose raised an eyebrow at his bluntness, just before he kissed her.
The group helped Jackie pack away, Tala slept peacefully in a makeshift Moses basket made from both the Doctor's and Jack's jumpers and a large cardboard box.
Jack and Martha put the tables away while Jackie, Theta and Rose sorted out the spare food and put the cutlery away. Jackie suddenly stopped what they were doing.
"I almost forgot." She passed them a present. Rose and Theta looked at it. "Open it." She urged. They both unwrapped the present carefully. Rose gasped when she saw the gift. "I saw it and thought you might like it."
"It's beautiful." She told her.
"Rose told me about how much you missed your home. I remember Rose telling me what it was like. When I saw this I thought it'd be perfect." The Doctor's eyes began to water; he couldn't believe the thoughtfulness of his mother-in-law. The Doctor gingerly lifted the silver bonsai tree from the box. The light glistened from the silver leaves.
"Thank you." Theta whispered. Martha took the tree from him as Rose pulled him into a huge embrace. He buried his face in her shoulder; he stooped slightly to reach her height. Rose held him close as he shook. Jack and Martha smiled tenderly at Jackie. Rose whispered comforting words into his ear, rubbing his back as she did so.
After a short while longer he pulled back, his red eyes evident.
"Thank you, Jackie." He told her again.
"You're welcome." Jackie kissed his cheek softly. He collected the tree from Jack and placed it carefully back into the box. He smiled warmly at the group. Rose gently took his hand.
"Happy Anniversary Theta."
"Happy Anniversary Rose."
"I'd forgotten it was our anniversary." The Doctor whispered into Rose's ear as they curled up together in the library. Rose took a long drink from her teacup.
"Did you celebrate your anniversary before?" He shook his head, at her question.
"I don't think we'd have been able to stay in the same room as each other for more than 10 minutes." His wife shook her head slightly.
"It was optional on Gallifrey, I just didn't want to celebrate an arranged marriage."
"What's this about 'an arranged marriage'?" Jack asked as he walked in with Martha and Jackie. Rose uncurled herself from the Doctor's embrace choosing to move into a sitting position.
"Oh we were just planning your wedding to the Princess Glinja of Vancora." Jack grimaced at the thought making Martha laugh.
"She's all scaly, and slimy and…and…descended from frogs!"
"That's never bothered you before." Theta snorted into his cup just before the tea came out of his nose as Jack tossed a well-aimed cushion at him.
"Seriously what were you talking about?" Martha asked. Jackie, Theta and Rose shared a look between them.
"I just never celebrated an anniversary before, there's not much joy in celebrating another year tied to a loveless marriage." He told them bluntly, his expression changing ever so slightly towards a menacing nature.
"Your wife…" Jack began making frantic signals to Martha with his hands that read 'stop' and 'quit while you're ahead'; unfortunately Martha didn't see them. "Your ex-wife," She corrected, Jack buried his head in his hands; waiting for the inevitable outburst. "She was a Time Lady too, that would've meant you'd have to spend a very long time married to her?"
"Forever." He muttered.
"You couldn't have left her?" He ran a hand through his hair. He could have lied but Rose would realise straight away, or he could tell the truth and suffer the foreseeable conversation that was to follow. He chose the latter.
"Yes I could. I could've left Gallifrey and never looked back or I could've 'divorced'…" He tried to think of a word fitting enough to describe his former wife but a glance from Rose put an end to his thinking. "Her."
"Well near enough." He lowered his gaze. "It was possible to leave my wife but the shame would reflect on both of our families. We stayed married for that reason." He turned to Rose, looking deeply into her eyes. "I love you too much to ever do that to you."
"I know that." She gently cupped his cheek with her hand, stroking it softly; surprising him with her reaction. She slowly leaned in pressing a soft kiss to his lips.