The engines roared to life. Rose leaned against the wall, grinning as she watched the Doctor racing around the console, beaming as he flicked switches and pulled levers and pressed buttons. His kilowatt smile was an amazing sight to her tired eyes.
Suddenly, he started coughing. She looked at him in alarm and ran to stand next to him. For a moment, she was scared, and then she saw that he was laughing.
"Oi!" she shouted very loudly in his ear, and he turned to look at her, still pretending to cough. For his trouble, he got a slap across the face. His "coughing fit" was cut off by a yelp of pain as he stumbled into the console.
"You take after your mother," he said, rubbing his cheek. "That hurt."
"That isn't funny," she said sharply. "You scared me half to death."
He looked up at her and seemed to shrink a little bit. "Sorry," he said quietly. "That wasn't smart."
She was about to say he was forgiven when she had a better idea. "No, it wasn't," she said, and folded her arms.
"No, I don't."
"I'm sorry, Rose, I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking."
"Well, try thinking next time."
He walked around her and dropped onto his knees. "Please, I beg you, forgive me," he said dramatically. "I am your eternal servant if you will accept my humble apologies!"
She turned her nose up in the air. "You can't make me forgive you," she said. "I do not accept."
"I can't make you?" He jumped up. "Oh, I'm sure I can make you."
"Try," she said, biting back a smirk.
He stood in front of her, barely an inch taller than she was, and smirked at her. "Are you sure you want to do that?"
"Do your worst," she snapped.
He stepped forwards a half-step, so that he was standing on her toes, holding her in place. She looked at him, trying to keep her gaze cool, when she didn't want to at all. Before she realized he'd moved, he was kissing her. She melted, and she couldn't even pretend to be angry anymore.
After a slightly too-long moment, though only because Rose had begun to feel dizzy from lack of air, he released her. "Forgive me now?" he asked cheekily.
"Don't you need to breathe?" she gasped, leaning against the console to steady herself. "I don't mind, but I'd rather be sitting down if you're going to half-smother me, so I don't fall over."
"Sorry," he said, grinning sheepishly.
"'S alright," she said weakly, sitting down in the chair. "Just keep it in mind next time."
The TARDIS began trembling. "Here we are," said the Doctor cheerfully. "London, England."
Rose pulled herself up with the railing. "Right," she said, and stepped outside.
"Awful quiet," he said softly, looking out over her shoulder. "For London, anyways."
"It is." She looked up and down the street. No one was in sight. Biting her lip, she sprinted for the building.
He came in a second behind her and looked around. "Too quiet even in here," he said quietly. "Where is everyone?"
"I don't know. I don't like this." She ran up the stairs, and he followed her.
At the door to Jackie's flat, Rose raised her fist and banged on the door. "Mum!"
Jackie opened the door. "Rose," she said, surprised, relieved. "Come in, and quickly, both of you." She ushered them inside and shut the door before she hugged Rose tightly. "Oh, Rose, I'm so glad you're safe." She turned to the doctor and hugged him, too. "And you, of course, Doctor. Feeling better?"
"Much," he said shortly. "Jackie, what's going on?"
Suddenly, the television came on. A young woman stood on the screen. "All inhabitants of the city are to gather outside for the procession. I repeat, all inhabitants of the city are to gather outside for the procession. All new inhabitants are informed that new residents must register with the High Council between midday and midnight."
"High Council? Procession?" asked the Doctor, confused. "Register?"
"You'll see," said Jackie darkly, and led them out onto the balcony. "Both of you, keep your heads down and don't draw attention, especially you, Doctor."
They stood there, waiting. The Doctor watched with an unreadable expression on his face. Then something came around the corner, and all at once they found the answers to all their questions.
The Doctor's hands clenched into fists. "No," he breathed, his eyes flashing. But it didn't change the fact of the procession coming down the street. Rose wanted to shout that it was impossible, but denial was not going to get rid of the swarms of golden Dalek pouring into the street by the thousand.