Title: Family Matters
Story Summary: Susan watched the grandfather she'd only recently been reunited with and sighed. Clearly, if he and Rose were ever going to get together, Susan was going to have to take matters into her own hands. Ten/Rose.
Setting: AU after Series Three.
While I was on holidays I had no access to a computer, or my works-in-progress, so I scribbled this out in a notebook instead.
Susan was finding it strange to be back with her grandfather. Of course, she did love him, and she knew that he had different regenerations, it was just that she'd never expected one of them to be a skinny mad-haired young man who seemed to be on a permanent sugar high. He gabbled at several hundred words a minute about whatever entered his head at the time, so that you had to sort out the important from the inconsequential without losing track of what he was saying just at that moment. And he ran around all the time, excalimed delightedly over the shiny, and stuck random objects in his mouth, like his glasses or his sonic screwdriver. Susan had known someone to lose their teeth that way. He was like an excited three year old with the intellect of a temporal physicist.
It was oddly endearing, especially when he went all serious and protective and started telling people not to flirt with his granddaughter, as though she were still only a century old.
Susan wondered if he ever realised exactly how she'd come to be the mother of three children. She decided not to mention it, just in case.
Her grandfather now seemed to be completely clueless when it came to romantic issues. Then again, it was possible that he'd always been this clueless, only he'd been too old and irritable and she too young to realise.
But honestly, when it came to girls he was definitely hopeless. Just look at the whole situation with Rose.
Rose, her grandfather had exclaimed, was his 'best friend.' Rose turned out to be a curvaceous bottle-blonde who went around wearing jeans and a heart-stopping smile. Susan watched over the next few days as the Doctor went everywhere hand-in-hand with his favorite human, giving her long lectures on 'interesting' topics and introducing her as "my friend, Rose," and meekly doing as she said when she told him not to scoop food out of other people's bottles with his fingers, it's rude.
To a human, he might have come across as uninterested, possibly even asexual. To Susan, it was clear he had it bad.
Rose seemed to be surprisingly happy with the strange relationship, listening attentively when he rambled on, happily putting up with his odd behaviours and apparently not minding at all that he was completely oblivious to all the human signals she sent him. Susan had learnt to decode a lot of human signals, after living with them for years, so she knew that often Rose sent him signals that meant 'I think you are hot and want to snog you senseless' or 'you matter to me very much and it would be great if you felt that way too.'
Susan wasn't sure how to feel about this. It was nice that her grandfather had found someone, but on the other hand, it was a young human. There was something of an age and culture gap there. And what about... Susan fished about for an appropriate phrase... romantic habits?
Her grandfather hadn't really gone into much detail when he'd given her the Gallifreyan version of The Talk – Susan had been forced to puzzle through the euphemisms, wodering what in Rassilon's name he was on about – but Susan was fairly cetain that humans and Time Lords brought rather different expectations to romance, not to mention certain biological differences...
Susan looked at her grandfather. He was telling Rose all about the spin of atomic particles, and she was giving him a look that said 'I would so like to shag you right now.'
Susan sighed. Clearly they weren't going to get anywhere without her help.
oo o0o oo
Susan tried her grandfather first. After all, he was going to be the hard part.
"Rose seems very nice," she suggested one afternoon, while he was tinkering with the temporal stabiliser.
"Oh, she's brilliant," came the enthusiatic reply. "She saved me from the Daleks once, you know, she's fantastic!"
Susan peered under the console.
"Do you fancy her, Grandfather?"
There was the thud of a forehead colliding with the underneath of the console and an 'ow.'
Silence. The Doctor busily adjusted wiring.
"She seems to like you very much," Susan tried.
He feigned deafness.
Susan gave up and went to find Rose.
oo o0o oo
Rose's bedroom turned out to be a soothing shade of blue, and full of knick-knacks and funky photo-frames. Susan was a little bit surprised: although Rose often behaved with cool professionalism, a relic from her days with Torchwood, Susan had nonetheless expected more pink than the coverlet and bathrobe. Rose just came across as a secretly pink person.
The room smelt of cheap makeup and perfume and human hormones, although the makeup and perfume scents were mostly old and faded.
Rose herself was lying on her bed, absorbed in what turned out to be a book called Princesses and Pornstars.
"It's sort of about, 'what ever happened to feminism?' and how we need more feminists," Rose explained. She looked thoughtful. "When I was growing up back home a feminist was like, someone who didn't shave their legs and hated blokes, but this makes a lot of sense."
Susan was all for feminism, but right now she had something more personally important to talk about.
"You think that my grandfather's a bit of all right, don't you?"
Rose gave a small grin, embarrassed.
"I s'pose. I liked the other one better, the last one, but he's kind of cute, yeah. Really great hair," Rose added, yearningly.
Susan was mildly disturbed by this. When her daughters had used that sort of voice, they'd never been talking about a boy's hair.
"You like his hair?" she asked doubtfully.
Rose gave her a sudden cheeky, mischievous grin.
"Well, I'm sure he has a great bum too, under that suit, but the closest thing I've ever got to a good look was when I caught him in the console room, dancing to the Beatles in his whites."
Susan had a brief vision of the regeneration she'd grown up with doing that, and instantly wished she hadn't.
"Isn't it kind of weird for you to be having this kind of conversation?" Rose wanted to know, clearly wondering where it was going.
Susan leaned forward.
"Are you aware that he's completely besotted with you?"
Rose looked extremely startled.
"I know it's probably not that obvious to you because humans have different ways of doing things, but if the two of you were on Gallifrey everyone would want to know how long you'd been married."
Rose just sat with wide macara'd eyes, mouth in a red 'O'.
"But Grandfather's always been reticent about this sort of thing, so it's unlikely he's ever going to try to do anything about it. If you fancy him, then you're going to have to make the first move, or you're going to have to spend the next eight decades content with holding hands and having him tell everyone he meets how brilliant you are."
Rose was still in shock, but seemed to be pulling herself together.
"I always thought that maybe, you know, he felt the same," she mumbled, "But I mean, he was an alien, so for all I knew..." She lasped back into stunned silence.
Susan cheerfully went off to implement the next stage of her plan.
oo o0o oo
"You're going to need to talk to Rose," Susan announced.
Her grandfather looked startled.
"I told her that you love her and want her to have Time Lord babies with you."
He instantly went into a panic, hands in his hair and dancing around a bit.
"SUSAN!" he bellowed, picture of a frantically distracted man, "What'd you do that for?!"
He paced quickly, turned and went back the other way, running his fingers through his hair. Well, that explained the way it always stood up.
"Susan," he rounded on her, suddenly autocratic, "you haf no right to do that and I am very disappointed in you."
"What am I going to do?" he reverted to panicked, "I can't, I mean –"
"Why not?" Susan asked.
"She's human and twenty-two years old and has her whole life ahead of her!" he exploded. "I'm a nine hundred and three year old Time Lord!"
Susan raised her eyebrows.
"So it's fair to just let her follow you around for the rest of her life, never even looking at anyone else but never given the chance for a full life with you?"
"Aaarrggaahhhh!" He made a kind of driven-beyond-endurance noise. "Susan –"
It was Rose, standing in the doorway. The Doctor froze, like a deer in the headlights, hands still in his hair. He watched petrified as Rose moved closer, a determined look on her face.
"I'm just going to check the library," Susan excused herself. She left the two of them alone.
oo o0o oo
She couldn't help feeling concerned as she searched the library for her old novels. What if her grandfather did something stupid? What if Rose did something culturally unacceptable? Being married to David had been a shock at first, he'd wanted to do all kinds of strange things that humans apparently found perfectly normal. Gallifreyans didn't have very exciting sex lives, from what she remembered, placing more emphasis on emotional intimacy. Humans, on the other hands, would do it just about anywhere and with almost anyone. Sometimes they had strange fetishes. Rose had seemed unduly impressed by the Doctor's hair. What if she turned out to have some kind of hair fetish?
Susan told herself to calm down and reminded herself that her Grandfather was nine hundred and three years old. He could take care of himself.
Susan was reading Jane Eyre when Rose walked in looking radiant. It was as though a spotlight shone on her, making her eyes sparkle and her eyes bright.
"Did things go well?" Susan inquired. She could smell the hormones from here – and not all of them were human. She tried not to think about what the two of them must have been doing to exchange scents.
"Pretty well, yeah," Rose said, beaming inanely. "He went on a bit until I snogged him, but when he finished going mental we sorted it all out."
"Good," Susan said. "I don't suppose you've seen a copy of These Old Shades with 'Susan Foreman' on the inside cover?"
Rose looked apologetic.
"I think it's in my wardrobe. Sorry."
"Never mind, just as long as I get all my books back," Susan replied.
Rose went to find it. Susan happily settled back to finish reading.
oo o0o oo
Susan had known, od course, vaguely, that the relationship was progressing down the normal paths, but it came as an unpleasant surprise to walk into the kitchen one morning to find her grandfather unconscious on the floor and Rose staring in shock.
"Grandfather!" Susan ran over to him. "What happened?"
"He fainted," Rose said in a srunned voice. "Oh my God, he actually fainted."
"Why?" Susan checked her grandfather's pulse. Normal.
"Coz I sort of told him, he was gonna be a dad."
Susan turned to stare at her. Rose looked worried.
Unexpectedly Susan began to giggle.
"And he fainted?"
"Stared wildly at me and keeled over, yeah." Rose managed a small smile. "He's not living this one down. I'm gonna tell this story at parties, I am."
The Doctor groaned."
"Uggh, what –" His eyes shot open and he stared at Rose. "You're pregnant?"
"I'm pregnant," Rose confirmed, looking anxious again.
He stared a moment, then –
"Brilliant!" An awestruck grin took over his face. "I'm going to be a father." His voice was full of wonder.
"So, you think it's good?" Rose was relieved.
His expression altered intangibly and he looked at her with a daft grin that Susan found utterly unfamiliar.
For some reason the Northern voice made Rose turn white and almost collapse herself.
The Doctor apologiesed profusely.
"Sometimes bits of regenerations stick in the back of your mind," he explained, "and for the most part they're dormant, but occasionally the right stimulus'll temporarily bring one out. Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," Rose said, wrapping shaking hands around her cup of tea, "'s just a bit of a shock, is all."
"I know," the Doctor said softly. "I'm sorry." He added hesitantly, "that regeneration, if he were standing here right now, he'd be as happy as I am, Rose."
For some reason this made Rose burst into tears.
As she hugged the alarmed Doctor and bawled out how much she loved him, Susan just watched them both and wondered how her poor aunt or uncle would turn out.
"These Old Shades" is a period romance novel by Georgette Heyer. I picture Susan as someone much addicted to romance novels as a young girl - at least partly because the social interactions and customs were foreign to her.
Question, readers: does this deserve a sequel, where Susan decides that if Time Tot isn't to grow up completely mental, she needs to help raise it? Please let me know.