Character/Pairing: Ten/Rose
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: The BBC owns all, I am merely borrowing.
Spoilers: Through Season Three.
Author's Notes: Written for the unusual first line challenge on Time and Chips. Lines provided as a prompt : "Is Jackie around? No? Good. Listen." and "You think you can just reappear in my bedroom after being stuck in a parallel universe and I'm all yours, don't you?"


It was exactly thirty-six minutes past the hour on a rather dismal weekday afternoon when the impossible finally decided to become possible. Deep in thought, Rose Tyler was deciding between wearing red or black to her mother's "definitely not forty-two" birthday party that evening. A few minutes prior a maid had provided a cup of tea, which was rapidly approaching room temperature from its perch on her bedside table. The tea, in fact, lost all hope of ever being consumed when a strange whirring sound filled the room.

For a moment, Rose was certain that the sound was entirely imagined. It wouldn't be the first time that she had mistaken the drone of a vacuum cleaner for the sound she longed to hear. It was the accompanying wind that caused her to turn around just in time to see a familiar blue box fade into existence. The door swung open and the one alien she should have never ever seen again stepped out. Her dreams and waking thoughts had often strayed to this impossible moment. She was positive there would be a hug involved, the kind where he lifted her off her feet, and then they would exchange the endearments that only they ever understood.

Then again, this was the Doctor.

"Is Jackie around? No? Good. Listen. The next time I see you, she will be...and I'd really really appreciate it if you could stop her from slapping me. Honestly, it's probably impossible but--"

"Next time?"

"Yep."

"You just got here."

"Right. Technically, we've already..."

"I've been trapped in a parallel universe for years and the first thing...the first thing you do is ask about my mum?"

The Doctor at least had the decency to look aghast at what she was suggesting. "But that's not the first thing I did. Not the second thing either." He ran a hand through his hair and looked askance, adding quietly, "Or the third." His gaze flew back to her and he made an attempt at straightening his tie. "Course I can't tell you...timelines and all that. It was brilliant though. Absolutely brilliant." The cheeky smile he flashed her rapidly dissipated as she backed him up against the door of the TARDIS, Tyler intimidation tactics in full force.

"You think you can just reappear in my bedroom after being stuck in a parallel universe and I'm all yours, don't you?"

"What?" he exclaimed in consternation, his aptitude for speech deteriorating. "That's not...this isn't...I was just...we've already..."

"You know what? I think you deserve that slap."

He stared at her for a long moment and then let out a huge sigh. "Oh well. Worth a try." Abruptly, he turned away and ducked back inside the TARDIS.

"Doctor?!"

The door opened just enough for him to stick his head out. "The black one," he said with conviction. "No, no! Wait. Red, definitely red." He grinned and closed the door.

The TARDIS dematerialized and for once Rose didn't complain about it leaving without her. She was too busy deciding whether there might be another slap in the Doctor's future.