The first week of Rose's honeymoon has been lovely. Their first morning as a married couple began with breakfast in their room, courtesy of the elegant old hotel where they'd spent their wedding night.
After they check out of the hotel, their bags are carried to their car. The Doctor and Rose follow behind, hand in hand. He opens the car door for her and gets behind the wheel. Rose jumps out of the car just as he starts the ignition.
The Doctor pokes his head out the window. "Rose?"
"Pop open the boot, would you?"
"What did you forget?" He does, and after a moment Rose closes the boot and gets back in.
"I wanted to make sure my wedding dress was all right," she explains.
"It's there, isn't it?"
"Yeah. I just don't want it getting dirty," she explains.
When the Doctor last saw the dress, it was lying in a heap on the floor. To his mind it needs a cleaning and a good ironing before it could ever hope to be restored back to its normal condition. But although he's only been a married man for a few hours, he's not a complete idiot. He only nods and starts the car down the road.
"We're not going to carry it along with us all the way, are we?" he asks casually.
"I can ship it home someplace," Rose says. "Mum will take care of it for me."
"Oh, that's good. No use in taking up space."
"Space for what?" she asks, but he doesn't answer.
"You still haven't told me where we're going, you know," she says instead.
"Oh, I thought we'd go traveling."
"I mean, I've been on this world for months and months, and I don't know what's happening or what's out there!"
"We've been a bit busy," she says.
"And there's no telling when the TARDIS will be operational," he continues.
"Shall we tour the world?"
"The world?" she says in surprise, startled into laughter. "All of it?"
"Well, no. Not all of it. Not right now, obviously. But I think we can make a good start."
"Where are we going first?" Rose asks.
He takes his eyes off the road and smiles at her. She smiles back.
"Further than we've ever gone before."
The Doctor refuses to tell her any more than that, and the sight of the Eurotunnel leaves her speechless.
"We're driving?" she asks.
"Well, I was hardly going to hop aboard a zeppelin," the Doctor says, sounding quite reasonable about it. "I know Pete is very fond of them, but they give me the creeps."
He drives the car onto the ferry and smiles cheerfully. "What do you think? Is this a pleasant honeymoon so far?"
"So far, so good," Rose says.
She starts the journey asking questions about their destination. After he agrees that where they are heading is warm, dry, wet, cold, large, smallish and possibly underwater, Rose stops asking and settles back against her seat.
"It's only fair that I get a little hint. Some warning, maybe." She tries out a little smile, but he doesn't tell her what he's got planned.
"You never cared where we were going beforehand when we were traveling through time and space," the Doctor says instead of telling her where they're going. "Is this less of an adventure?"
"No," Rose says, shocked that he would think so. "This is much more! That's why I can't wait!" She bounces in her seat and grins at him. He grins back and leans over to kiss her. She kisses him back, and the 35-minute trip across the English Channel seems to speed by.
They've landed in France, as Rose had suspected.
"This our first stop?" she asks.
"You'll see," he says mysteriously, and this time Rose gives up, puts on her sunglasses, and waits to see.
"Paris!" the Doctor says with delight when they reach that city. "Come on!"
He has a hotel reserved for them, but the drive has made him eager to run around. They check in and have their bags sent to their room, and he hands the keys to the car to a valet.
"We just got here!" Rose protests laughingly. "Let me change, at least."
They're still in the hotel lobby. The Doctor looks her over, pronounces her skirt and shirt to be perfect for Paris, and drags her out onto the street.
"You're mad," she tells him, but she loves every moment.
"You love it," he tells her. "Here we go!"
Paris with the Doctor is a whirlwind. They climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower - the Doctor scorns to take the lift - hand in hand. Rose forces herself to look down. The view makes her light-headed.
"Quite a drop," she manages to say, clinging to the Doctor as she pulls back from the edge.
He peers over himself, unconcerned about the drop. "Nice view," he says appraisingly. He surveys Paris with an approving eye. Then his eye is drawn upwards, and he sighs at the sight of a zeppelin slowly making its way across the sky.
Rose follows his gaze. After so many years in this world, she's gotten accustomed to the sight of zeppelins in the sky, but it will never seem normal to her. They used to be beautiful, but once she was trapped here, they became a symbol of that trap.
They look away from the zeppelin at the same time. There is a tacit understanding that they will no longer complain about being stuck here. He knows there was no other choice to be made for them, in the end. Rose knows that this is preferable to being in her own world without him. Having loved him and been loved by him, she would never choose to return to her old life.
They stand beneath the Arc de Triomphe together.
"Napoleon was all right at first," the Doctor comments, staring up at the structure that Napoleon had commissioned. "Powerful man, bit on the short side. Made for a massive Napoleonic complex. Well." He shrugs. "Hence the name."
He allows a break for lunch, and then they head back to the hotel for an afternoon's rest. Luckily their ideas of rest are similar, and Rose gets to experience a luxury French hotel for the first time.
"This is nice," she murmurs, burrowing underneath the covers.
"Mmmm," he says from beside her. His head is buried beneath his pillow.
"Poor love," she says sympathetically, kissing his shoulder. "Was that too much for you?"
He shoots her a look of mild indignation. "Too much for me?"
She can't keep her tongue from sliding out from between her teeth as she grins. "You know. "Young wife, older husband-"
"You're the one who said 900 years old," she points out.
He rolls over to kneel above her. "I'll show you old," he promises, and since that's what Rose wanted, she willingly lets him show her.
They stay in France that night, wandering the streets together. Rose buys a small stuffed lion for Tony that she spots in a toy store. The Doctor insists that they stop in at every sweet shop they come across, and really, their second night as husband and wife couldn't be better.
From France they drive to Italy, hitting Milan, Venice and Rome in rapid succession. The Doctor had taken to driving, and the way he handles European roads makes Rose slightly nervous. But they'd continue to travel and she loves every minute of it. They used to explore all of time and space, and all that time Earth was just waiting to be discovered.
This planet is slightly different from the one she'd been born on, and she doesn't know enough about the various countries to recognize the differences.
"Well, now, that doesn't matter," he says when she mentions this. "New world, new explorations to launch."
"What are we exploring next?" she asks, even though he still won't tell her about each new destination.
"When you said 'further than we've ever gone before'," Rose pants, "I didn't think you'd meant it literally." She spits out a mouthful of sand. She is chafing in the most sensitive of places, and despite her sunglasses she's nearly blinded by the sunshine.
"Almost there!" the Doctor responds cheerfully, ignoring his wife's apparent distress. "I think I see something over there! Just over that next rise."
"That's called a mirage. How about something that actually exists?" Rose hates to sound so spiteful, but the sand is making her very uncomfortable.
He turns around to frown disapprovingly at her. "Really. That was uncalled for."
Something a lot worse than that is called for here, but Rose is a bit too tired. They're lost, and she doesn't want to be lost. They're on their honeymoon, and newlyweds on their honeymoon should not be wandering around without a clue as to where they are.
The Doctor is cheerful, humming under his breath as they walk. Rose supposes that ten days of travel, exploring, and regular shagging will do that to a person. She was feeling pretty much the same way, up until the wind blew sand into their faces.
The car broke down on the way to their hotel, on a lonely stretch of road. Not seeing any signs of life around, they'd gamely left the car behind, heading off to find help.
"It's locked good and tight," the Doctor had pointed out, referring to her protests about leaving everything behind. "And our bags should be okay."
Rose still wasn't as convinced, and she made sure all their important belongings were in the bag she was currently carrying.
"Luckily, it's a Torchwood car," the Doctor had added, kneeling down to peer underneath the car. Rose wasn't sure what he was doing - he was not automotively-inclined. "Even if someone takes off with it, we'll be able to track it."
Rose hadn't argued with this. The car was their own, not one of the anonymous fleet of black SUVs that Torchwood owned, but all employees' vehicles were equipped with a GPS chip.
They hadn't gone very far before Rose saw that they were in the midst of a very creditable-looking desert.
"It's not a desert," the Doctor had said. "There are no deserts here. This is a beach."
"It doesn't look like a beach. There's no water. It looks like a desert," Rose had responded.
"You say that a lot, and it almost never turns out that way," she pointed out.
He had taken her hand, and laughed at her, and kissed her. That had been nearly half an hour ago, and no amount of hand-holding was making Rose feel better.
She pushes her hair away from her face. Spotting a long, thin stick on the ground, she pauses to pick it up. After examining it for a moment, she breaks it off at approximately the same length as a knitting needle, screws her hair into a knot and shoves the stick in, holding her hair in place.
Sand trickles down from her hair. She coughs and brushes it off of her shoulders. Where is the stuff coming from? How does it get from the ground into her hair?
The Doctor is equally coated in sand. His hair looks blond, and it's so full of sand that it's at twice its normal volume. His eyebrows and lashes have all but disappeared. A dangerous flush has overtaken his skin, signaling that the sunscreen she'd slathered on their faces that morning was losing its effectiveness. If they don't find some shade soon he'll have a few more freckles.
"I had no idea there'd be so much sand here," she says. "You know, for there being no deserts here."
"It's like we're walking through a giant exfoliator," he finally agrees. "Ah! Signs of life, Rose!" He grabs her hand and urges her along.
"I see something!" Rose says excitedly. "Shops! And people!"
"And water!" The Doctor points off in the distance, where there is indeed a stretch of ocean. "We must have started off in the water-less part of the beach."
"Can it be a beach without water?" Rose wonders. "When is a beach not a beach?"
"When it's a desert," the Doctor answers. "Which this wasn't."
"You shouldn't make fun of me," Rose tells him sternly.
"Was I?" he asks innocently.
"Making fun of wives while on your honeymoon is not recommended."
"That's not covered in any of the travel magazines," the Doctor disagrees. He's read his fair share of them while planning this trip, and he's well aware of the do's and don'ts of newlywed behavior.
"That's because most men are smart enough not to," she informs him. She's grinning the grin that always drives him crazy, the one where the tip of her tongue peeks out from between her teeth.
"I'm not most men," he says, and leans in close to kiss her.
"No?" The rest of Rose's sentence is cut off as he covers her mouth with hers and kisses her with all the fervor of a man newly married. Sometimes being human is still new to him, and the sensations of it all threaten to overwhelm him. The stabs of lust and hormones he feels are definitely the better sensations to feel.
Giving in to it, he shoves his hands into Rose's hair, knocking out the stick that she'd put it up with. Rose's hands go up and around his neck and she leans in closer.
His hands move from her hair down her back to her waist, and then up to her neck. His fingers brush the neckline of her sundress. Rose whimpers and arches against him. Just as his hand is about to move lower, a distant sound of church bells brings them back to their senses. They come back to reality with a start.
Rose smiles up at him. "Was that a promise?" she asks. "Our hotel should be nearby."
He doesn't respond to that. His gaze is on the pretty green sundress she's wearing.
"What have you got on under that?" he demands.
She smiles, slowly and wickedly. "Just my bikini."
His eyes are on the area where the bikini ought to be. "The black one?"
Her smile widens. "The white one," she says in a low whisper, knowing it to be his favorite one and knowing he hates for her to actually be seen in public wearing it.
His breath leaves him in a shudder. He grabs her hand. "Come on. Let's find our hotel."
They soon come to the end of the beach and step onto pavement. Rose couldn't see the pavement from where they'd been standing, but now she can make out more of what appears to be a small beach town.
"Oh, thank goodness," she murmurs in relief.
"Here we are, good as new!" The Doctor brushes sand off his shirt. "Come on, then. Lots to see." Hopefully they can find their hotel and figure out how to retrieve their bags and the car.
The sun is shining, and though Rose wishes she had a hat, she lifts her face up and closes her eyes for a moment. It feels very nice. The wind sends a breeze through her thin green sundress, and she wonders how the Doctor manages to not feel the heat in his trousers and shirt.
"Smile, Rose," he says cheerfully, taking her hand. "We're on our honeymoon. Everyone loves newlyweds."
Rose catches a disapprovingly glance from an older couple walking past. She suspects they saw her kissing the Doctor. Well, she's not going to apologize for it. It took him long enough to come around to kissing her - she's never going to complain about where and when they do.
"Maybe not everyone," she allows. "At least when they're snogging in public."
He follows her gaze and snorts. "Envy, I imagine. Who doesn't want to be young and in love?"
Rose laughs. She can't help it. He's in such a cheerful state of mind,
"Anyway, Rose Tyler, I'll show you that everyone loves newlyweds. Here." He stops and reaches into his pocket for a small phrasebook. Steeping in front of a tiny old woman dressed all in black and carrying two string shopping bags, he addresses her and smiles, glancing at his book.
"Yassou, kyria," he says. "Eme enas gaidoros."
The woman looks at him in part horror, part amusement, glances at Rose, shakes her head, and moves on. A few feet away she glances
back over her shoulder at them, still shaking her head before continuing on down the street.
The Doctor blinks after her. "Something I said?" he asks, flipping through the guidebook.
"What did you say?" Rose takes the book from his hand.
"That I was a bridegroom."
Bridegroom, Rose reads. Then, a few pages later, "Oh." She starts to laugh.
She laughs harder.
"You told her you were a donkey," she laughs, now unable to hold onto the book.
"A donkey," she gasps out, still laughing. "See?" She's giggling so hard that she loses her hold on the book. The Doctor catches it as it falls.
He stares at the page. "Huh. Well, close enough."
Rose takes the book back and tucks it into the woven bag she's got slung across her shoulder. "Never mind. I still love you."
He shakes his head. "I never thought I'd miss the translation circuits quite so much."
Their hotel isn't much farther. Studying a small map posted on the street nearby, Rose determines that they'd been circling the town for a while before the car broke down.
"Not a problem," the Doctor assures her. "We'll send someone for it. Hire a towtruck or something."
"Let's do that soon," she agrees. "All I've got is this dress and my bikini."
He brightens at her words. "Well, no need to hurry someone off into the wild," he says, eyeing her dress as though he has x-ray vision and can see the bikini underneath.
She clears her throat and smoothes down her skirt.
"Rose Tyler!" he exclaims. "Are you blushing?"
"Shut up," she tells him, and takes his hand to lead him to the hotel.
"I don't mind if you're blushing," he assures her. "In fact, it's rather reassuring, that I can still bring about that response in you. Rather flattering, actually," he adds in a smug, reflective voice.
"It's sunburn," Rose says shortly.
"Through your hat and sunscreen?" he returns skeptically. He stops walking and leans in close to her ear. Rose can smell his skin and closes her eyes to keep herself from jumping into his arms and kissing him senseless once more.
"I think you can't resist me," he says in a low voice.
Well. She can't let that stand, can she? Rose leans right into him. "You think so?" she whispers.
His gaze held by hers, he loses track of the conversation. "What?"
Rose smiles and trails her fingers up the front of his shirt. "You think I can't resist you?" she asks, voice low and unfairly seductive.
"No, I don't. I am irresistible." That statement would have been better carried off if his voice hadn't hitched at the end of it, but he's never been able to completely control himself around Rose Tyler.
"You're right," Rose agrees. "I am totally. Under. Your. Spell." With each word her mouth moves closer to his. He dips his head to kiss her, and just as he does she slips away from him.
"There's the hotel!" she says brightly.
The Doctor shakes his head ruefully. "You are a witch."
She throws him a flirtatious look over her bare shoulder. "Yeah?"
"You'd have been burned at the stake a few hundred years back, you know," he continues as they go up the hotel steps. "Any woman who can twist a man around like that would not have lasted long."
Rose laughs, absurdly pleased at the backhanded compliment. "Thanks."
He takes her hand. "Just promise me that you'll use those powers only for good."
"And only with you?" she guess.
He opens the lobby doors. "Oh, that's a given."