Author's Note: My first Doctor Who fic. Pete seems pretty prominent. I mean the president came to his wife's birthday. I figured this would be a likely scenario, cracky as it may be. This story is JOURNEY'S END COMPLIANT. That means this story is about 10.5 or "human Doctor" and Rose.
The Trouble With Tabloids
The Doctor considered reading the magazines sitting next to him at a normal human pace, thinking he'd run out of material before Rose got even came upstairs if he flipped through them at his standard speed. He'd finally gotten clearance to enter the Torchwood Hub a week before. A fake ID reading James McCrimmon and a false identity forged for him by Pete Tyler, who definitely had the influence to get it done, had officiated him enough to please the more reluctant and rule abiding members of the Torchwood staff. Not to say Rose hadn't snuck him down there in after hours before last week, but of course, they didn't need to know that. They also didn't need to know about the alien tech items he'd snatched to use in making a new sonic screwdriver.
Today though, Rose had the day off and thus so did he (as if he'd work on a day when she didn't). She'd taken the elevator down to their central hub, located beneath an office building, to pick up some paperwork. "No use coming down with me, I'll just be a few minutes," Rose had explained.
The entrance to the hub was disguised as a waiting room, such as the one found in a Doctor's office; complete with glass separating you and the receptionist (although there was no receptionist there), stale coffee, and boring magazines. Not noticing the pile of science and technology magazines on his left, the Doctor grabbed off the top of the magazine pile on the right, flipping over the glossy cover of the Weekly Star. His eyes widened as he sped through the first article in the volume.
Vitex Heiress's Mysterious Disappearance the Latest in a Long Line of Strange Behavior
Vitex Heiress and blonde bombshell Rose Tyler's behavior has been shrouded in mystery lately and there are reasons to be concerned.
A friend of the family confides in, Alexandra Kochner, exclusive reporter to the Weekly Star. "We didn't see Rose for several days before her father brought her back from Norway, but even before then, Rose would vanish and reappear a day or two later quite frequently. She would always look horrible, like she'd literally just come in off the streets." Further sources reveal to us that Tyler in fact, had been absent from several prominent social functions as well, and usually when she did make her presence known she appeared tired, possibly intoxicated, and refused to tell anyone where she'd been. "Rose has always been very friendly, but lately she's been closed off, as if she was trying to avoid telling us something," continued the family friend, implying further evidence as to Tyler's rapid descent into a mysterious and unhealthy life style.
Tyler, twenty-four years old, culminated this with her disappearance and reappearance in a small Norway town three weeks ago. Stranger yet, she returned from Norway with a beau in tow. "I don't even know his name. I've only heard him called Doctor," our source says with suspicion in their voice, implying there may very well be a connection between Rose's rapid descent and this man. I spoke to an inside celebrity source and managed to scope something else out. "Doctor could very well be a codename for a dealer, or perhaps Tyler's family has decided to put their daughter under medical surveillance. There are a lot of possibilities, none of them good."
The Doctor read the article again, and again, a few more times for good measure. He was torn between anger and pure bewilderment and instead only managed to sputter out a few rounds of "what?" The article was accompanied by a picture of Rose, so exhausted looking he wanted to reach in the picture and make a bed for her, put her in warm pyjamas, and make her some hot tea (no matter how much that made him sound like Jackie). She wore the blue jacket and pink shirt that had become so familiar to him, and was standing outside the office building that hid their Torchwood. He was furious at the article for misinterpreting Rose's hard work helping to save the universe as "descending into an unhealthy lifestyle" or whatever bollocks they'd called it.
The Doctor hadn't even considered Rose's prominence in society. He should have known that just by being the daughter of Pete Tyler, she'd be well known. He considered that some extra appeal might be in the fact that she appeared out of nowhere as an adult. He'd have to ask Rose how they'd explained that away (still so many things to ask Rose, he felt like he'd never run out!).
He imagined the Donna of this universe sitting at her kitchen table reading one of these magazines, as she surely often did, and he felt a bit of contempt for the tabloids ebb a bit. He grabbed the next one in the pile, a newer copy, and immediately noticed a small picture of Rose in the top corner. He flipped it open.
Tyler Heiress Only Interested in "Older Men"
Rose Tyler has a new beau, but she's not letting anyone get close to him. The Vitex heiress returned from Norway with the tall handsome brunette four weeks ago and has yet to make a formal public appearance with him. The two have been seen out and about and spent over a thousand dollars at popular men's boutique, Van Huffin's, a fortnight ago. A customer shopping at Van Huffin's at the same time clued us in on something intriguing. "I overheard them talking to each other and she spoke as if he had no other clothes outside of what he was wearing. I'm sure she was jesting. Nonetheless, there's definitely a sense that she doesn't want to expose this man to the public eye for some reason." We have to wonder if this might be because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding his appearance, connected with the much discussed Norway incident. As of yet, his name is still unknown. "We've not heard him referred to as anything but Doctor."
The Tyler heiress has had her share of suitors vying for her attention but has remained single since her appearance on the public scene. For a brief time she was believed to be involved with family friend, Ricky Smith. However, it was later revealed by yours truly, that Ricky Smith was in fact in a relationship with a young man by the name of Jake Simmonds.
My celebrity insider has his own opinion on the issue. "I believe that Rose Tyler must be interested in older men! From the photographs we've managed to capture of this Doctor, he appears to be about forty-five years old."
He felt a stab of irritation, despite himself, towards whoever the interested suitors were, and wondered how many times Rose had turned someone down while trying to get back to him. That part lifted his spirits. She'd waited for him.
Then there was bewilderment.
…Mickey had a boyfriend? Or had it been Ricky that had a boyfriend, so since only a few people knew Mickey was not Ricky, it was just assumed Mickey was the same? He'd have to bring that up with Rose. He found it oddly amusing either way.
There was also the realization that he was going to have to go by that blasted fake name if he didn't want people thinking he was some kind of bizarre mystery man. He supposed, as long as the people he knew still called him Doctor, he'd be okay with that. Also, unexplained trips to Norway were a bad idea.
It was then that Rose came upstairs. Spotting the Doctor with the gossip magazine, her eyes widened. "You know we do have science magazines…"
"Rose, do I really look old?" The Doctor was quite aghast, just beginning to process that part of the article. He reached up to grab a strand of hair, as if to make sure it was indeed still brown. "I've never been human before. Well actually I have, but I wasn't really me and my real Time Lord self was sealed in a watch. That was messy and very nearly permanent. So anyway… I'm not going gray or anything? No rapid sudden aging that I haven't noticed or… " he looked positively terrified, "thinning hair?"
"You don't look a day over twenty-nine." Rose was covering her mouth, in attempt to stifle laughter, as she realized what exactly he'd just read.
"Oi, it's not funny."
"No, no it's not that it's just…"
"Well you're not going gray and your hair is still great, so don't worry about that. It's a tabloid and the picture they got of you was probably from like… twenty meters away and when you were scowling or somethin'."
The Doctor looked appeased, but then pouted slightly. "Sooo." He leaned back in the chair and spun it around. "What's so funny?"
Rose bust out giggling again. "It's just the whole thing about me being involved with an older man. It's like… they have no idea!"
The Doctor grinned. "Forty-five eh?"
"Try nine hundred!"
He stopped rotating his chair and threw the tabloid back on the desk. "Technically it's more like four weeks but nine hundred years vicariously."
Rose leaned down and ran a hand through his not-at-all gray hair. "Whatever, four weeks or nine hundred years. They're still way off."
He reached up and took her hand, pulling it away from his hair. "Why do you have this garbage in the office anyway? It's disgusting."
Rose shrugged. "Well… I s'ppose I've been dealing it with a few years now. You just get used to it and start to find it pretty funny. I sort of like to read 'em by now. I mean it's sort of silly how people obsess over a family that makes fizzy drinks."
"It's not funny, what they're saying about you." The Doctor's expression hardened and his tone was serious.
Rose sat down on the seat next to him and spun to face him. "I appreciate it Doctor, but it's okay. If you're gonna be with me, you'll have to get used to them."
"Well I don't care what it says about me…"
"Mysterious dealer I picked up in Norway, I know this is asking a lot," there was a hint of cheek to her voice, "but it would probably help us both if we started appearing at some of the events my family gets invited to. You know, all of that junk with the rich soiree. Still bit awkward for me, considering how far it is from estate life. Mum too, although she gets all into it anyway. I haven't been to one in months and now look, I'm apparently on a downhill spiral!"
The Doctor tapped the arms of his chair and Rose reached over to take his hand. "The food is great, and there's dancing. I never got to dance with you… after… you know."
"The world doesn't end when the Doctor dances," he recited.
"Yes, exactly," she laughed. "So I take it that's a yes? It's just… y'know, it will help ease the reek of scandal or whatever the tabloids are seeing."
The Doctor stood up and held out his arm in a mock gesture. "Doctor James McCrimmon would love to escort the lovely Vitex Heiress, Rose Tyler to the next grand soiree. If she will accept that is. I hear she's rather famous for being hard to get."
Rose linked her arm with his and beamed. "Well that's only because I have high standards, and I do believe you're the first to meet them."
"Brilliant, shall we go then?" The Doctor pushed open the waiting room door and held it open for his lady.
"We shall," Rose spoke mock formally and the two began walking down the hall to the exit. "Doctor McCrimmon."
"Please don't call me that when you don't have to," he countered.
"Where did you get the name anyway? You've used it once before."
"I traveled with someone once, a Scottish man actually, Jamie McCrimmon."
"So you took his last name?"
"Well first name too, as his real name was James. It came to mind when we were in the Scottish Highlands that one time, and I just thought of it again. We were close." The Doctor lowered his arm and linked his hand in hers, both of them feeling sore from holding their arms up.
"You were close… or were you like Batman and Robin close-close?" Rose intoned, raising her eyebrows. The Doctor didn't get it.
"Yeah we were a real dynamic duo!" He exclaimed. "Although he was around long before Batman and Robin were. Eighteenth century in fact! Before our werewolf even."
Rose just laughed and the Doctor shook his head. "Come on Doctor, let's get home."
"Fair enough." The couple walked out the front glass door and Rose couldn't miss how he glanced around him, as if waiting for someone to snap his picture. "Make me a promise though, okay Rose?"
"What is it, Doctor?"
"Stop subscribing to those magazines, please."
Rose leaned up to kiss him on the cheek. "Done."