Title: Lullaby in Blue (prequel to White Paint) Part of the Glimpses series
Genre: AU, Angst, hurt/comfort, drama, romance
Summary: Prequel to White Paint.
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
Thanks: to JennyLD for the beta.
Additional Notes: I never intended to write a prequel to White Paint. Even when Wildwinterwitch suggested one for her winning fic in the Support Stacie Author Auction, I couldn't bring myself to do it. And, even if I did, I didn't figure it'd meet the minimum requirement for her 2000 word fic. And after I wrote her a different fic, I got ideas for a prequel and it wrote itself. So, this is dedicated to Wildwinterwitch for making me think about it and ending up with this story. Which actually made it past 2000 words. *headdesk*
"Hang on, hang on," the Doctor muttered, guiding Rose around another corner. "Just about... okay. Here we are." Keeping his hand over her eyes, he gave the room another quick glance.
It was perfect.
From the blue walls to the crib in the middle. He just hoped Rose thought so too. "Ready?" he asked, chuckling at her repeated attempts to peek through his fingers.
"Doctor," she warned, shifting impatiently and pulling at his hand.
Taking a deep breath, knowing their lives were permanently changing from this moment on, he dropped his hand, watching her closely.
She grinned and snapped her eyes open, smile freezing on her lips. She studied the entire room for three point two seconds, then exhaled the breath she'd been holding. "I don't get it."
Of course not, he thought. How could she? This was all so completely unexpected. But was there a better way to break it to her than this? Nah! "You're pregnant."
She blinked at him, chuckling nervously, like she wasn't quite in on the joke, then slid her eyes back to the room. "No, I'm--"
Cupping her cheeks in his hands, forcing her to look up at him, he pressed a soft, but firm kiss to her lips. "Yes, you are. Since we first made love." Not liking the stillness in her, the lack of reaction, he gestured to the room. "I had the TARDIS whip this up, and--"
"It's only been three days!"
Sighing, he drew back from her. Of course she wasn't happy, and he hadn't really expected her to be. She was young--so young--and human, and she loved their lives of adventure and danger. Why would she want to add a baby to that and get saddled down? "I know. And I'm sorry. I didn't for intend it to happen." Scratching his head, he gazed at the toys littering the shelves and toy boxes, all stuffed full. "Still not sure how it happened."
She tossed him a scornful look and he bristled.
"Of course I know how it happened. I just meant that I'm sterile. Should be sterile. We all had been for centuries. It shouldn't have even been possible."
"I'm pregnant," she muttered, then suddenly slapped a hand over her mouth and ran down the hall. "Think I'm gonna be sick!"
Leaning against the doorjamb, the Doctor stuck his hands in his pockets. "That shouldn't happen for a few weeks yet."
After just three months of sleeping with Rose, he'd got into the habit of lying in bed with her, even though he rarely slept.
Even when they were arguing.
Rose emerged from the bathroom and came to an abrupt halt when she saw him lying there, waiting for her. She only paused for a second before crossing the room and snapping off the lights. Pulling back the duvet, she slipped into bed beside him, settling a small distance away.
The familiar scents of toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, and lotion tickled his nostrils and he felt his muscles relaxing despite his anger.
Minutes passed in silence but for the sound of their breathing as they lay on their backs, not touching, both staring at the dim ceiling above her bed. Sometimes their bed. Mostly still hers. His bed was theirs now. Mostly.
With a sudden sigh, Rose lifted the duvet again and rolled over toward him. She stared at him for a few seconds before raising the covers higher and crawling over him, straddling his hips for a moment before settling over his chest, staring at him.
His arms went around her waist automatically.
"I'm sorry," she said clearly, and he could see the melancholy on her face. "I didn't think that--"
"No," he agreed, snapping his eyes to hers. Feeling that moment of panic trying to take over again, he turned his face away from her. "You could've died."
Resting her chin on his chest, she pressed her fingers to his cheek, turning his face back to her. "I know. But I didn't mean to do it. I just did."
Seeing her standing there before Cahnel again, he closed his eyes, but that only made it worse. Made what could've happened more vivid. The gun didn't misfire, instead, it hit Rose in the chest and she fell to the rubble-covered ground with a surprised cry, blood blossoming on her already red shirt.
Tightening his arms around her with a gasp, he stared hard into her eyes, willing her to understand. To know his fear. "Don't ever do--"
"I'll try," she swore, pressing a kiss to his chest. "I don't mean to do it."
Closing his eyes for a moment, he breathed out a relieved sigh. "The baby--" he began, but she rested her cheek against his chest and pressed her fingers against his lips.
"Is fine. You said so yourself."
He removed her fingers from his lips, kissing the tips. "Yes." Inhaling, he brought up a discussion they'd argued over a few times already. "It's not too late. If you don't want the baby, we can still abort it."
Glaring at him, dark eyes shining bright in the dim light of the room, she moved to climb off of him. "Told you before, I'm not killing the only other one of your kind."
Tightening his arms around her, holding her to him, he sighed, staring at the ceiling again, alternately relieved and disappointed. Smoothing his hands down her back, he held her to him. "I know." Satisfied now that she finally understood that it wasn't just her life she was risking anymore, but the baby's as well, he rolled them over and kissed her, trying to quell her tears.
"Mum," Rose groaned, turning and flopping her arms at her sides, and the Doctor knew she just wanted to be back in the TARDIS. To take off that stupid backpack she'd insisted on wearing despite his and Jackie's frowns. Despite him trying to take it off of her the entire way from Jackie's flat to the alley where they'd landed.
He could see the exhaustion on her face, but she wasn't about to admit that they were right. She was too stubborn.
Now Jackie was running toward them, bag in hand. "I can't believe I still have this," she panted, slowing to a walk as she reached Rose. The Doctor stopped at the door of the TARDIS, leaving it wide open, ready to dart inside and be off. Be away from Jackie and her fury.
She sniffed and handed Rose the bag, ignoring him. "It's some of your baby things. Some clothes and toys. A few stuffed animals. Nothing special though." There was a tan teddy bear peeking out of the bag, along with some clothes.
"Thank you," Rose said softly, kissing her mum on the cheek. Tears shone in her eyes, but she blinked them back.
He knew it was the pregnancy just as well as she did. She'd been emotional rather a lot these past few weeks. Tearing up at the drop of a hat. Yelling over the slightest thing. And she hated it. Every time she exploded, or broke down, she left him behind and hid out in her room. Wouldn't let him in, no matter what he said.
Hugging Jackie tight, she sighed, tossing him a look that said, 'see, she's not all shrieks and smacks'. He sniffed and fiddled with his sonic screwdriver.
"Love you, Mum," he heard her say and stood up straighter, wondering if she'd like to see Ieksos and its flowing lava rivers.
"Love you too, sweetheart." Pulling free, Jackie smiled tenderly, caressing Rose's cheek. Her eyes hardened as they slid behind her to him.
Rolling his eyes, he saw Rose toss her mum a stern look. "Don't." Leaving Jackie behind to avoid another argument, she joined him at the TARDIS.
He went up the ramp and began the dematerialization sequence, hoping to get to Ieksos before the 30th century eruption of Mt. Gir. It all went a bit downhill after that. Quakes and landslides and too many dangerous things for Rose and the baby.
Not hearing the door close, he turned back to her. She was sagged against the doorjamb, clothes-filled backpack braced behind her, bag of baby things on the floor beside her. Her hand was on the small swell of her stomach, eyes fixed there as well. She was only just starting to show, but in the past four months, it'd been the cause of so many arguments.
"Ready?" he called from the console, mood sobering a bit at the melancholy surrounding her.
Shrugging, she pushed away from the door, closing it behind her. "Not sure I ever will be," she mumbled.
Darting his eyes to hers, he stared at her, wondering if he'd heard her wrong.
Slipping the backpack off, she headed to their room.
"What d'you think?"
The Doctor turned to find Rose holding up a blue baby shirt with a yellow happy face on it. "It's a bit small for you, isn't it?"
"It's one of the shirts mum gave us," she said, ignoring his comment. "I think it's adorable." She held it up in her palm and scrunched her nose at it. "Too cute?"
"Dunno," he mused, squinting at the tiny shirt. Crawling on the bed with her, he laid on his stomach, examining the toys and items Jackie had given them a few months back. "Could cause an intergalactic incident, that shirt. On Yurnic, there's a ban on smiley faces." He smoothed a finger down a pair of tiny pink trousers. "Pink?"
She rolled her eyes. "Man of the universe and you're afraid to let your son wear pink?"
"Could be a girl," he argued, though he knew very well it was a boy.
Rubbing her stomach absently, she tossed the shirt at him. "I know as well as you do that it's a boy. I can feel it."
Eyes rising to hers, he frowned. "How?"
She shrugged and picked up a teddy bear with a blue and white polka dot bowtie. "Just know is all." Finger playing with the bowtie, she bit her lip and leaned over, kissing him lightly. "I kind of love you, ya know that?"
Grinning, he pulled the bear from her hands and tossed it to the floor, dragging her down beside him. "I kind of love you too." Sliding his hand along her belly, he closed his eyes and reached out to the baby, feeling something tickling in the back of his mind.
"I don't know what to do," Rose cried, loosening his tie and opening his suit jacket. She hovered a bit in indecision, before kneeling carefully and helping him up. Bracing him against her knees, she peeled his damp jacket and shirt from him, then slid his tie off and laid him back down on the floor of their room where he'd fallen just minutes before.
He tried to tell her to calm down, that everything would be fine, lie though it was, but he was shivering so much that he couldn't get the words out. Her belly was there, in front of his eyes, and he reached out to press a hand to it, to feel the baby, to tell it--him--to hold on. She cried out and doubled over in pain, hand wrapping around her stomach.
Fingers clutching uselessly against her blouse, he moaned out her name.
Despair swept through him, seeing the panic on her face, but there was nothing he could do. Her body was in distress because of the baby. He was in distress because of the baby. He was feverish, sweating, and shuddering because his body was trying to take as much pain from Rose as he could.
He'd been afraid of this, but hadn't ever mentioned it to her. Probably should have.
Never thought to tell her that the baby might not make it to full term. That her body didn't carry the right blood, didn't have the third helix. Didn't have the ability to carry the baby any longer.
"Doctor," she gasped, sitting upright again, terrified eyes moving over him as he rolled onto his side and shuddered against her. Tears gathered in her eyes as she stroked his cheek. "What do I do?"
"N-- n-- nothing you c-- can do." Closing his eyes against the tears rising in them, he quietly said goodbye to his son.