1. Don't take anything he does at face value. He may be not quite a Time Lord, but he's still alien.
"How can it take nearly a whole day just to go partway around one planet?" the Doctor complained.
"Yeah," Jackie agreed. "Zeppelins. They're rubbish. I keep tellin' Pete he should push the idea of airplanes, but he's not convinced they'd take off. His words, not mine. He likes a good pun, does Pete."
Rose placed her hand over the Doctor's. "On the plus side," she said, "we probably won't end up with bruises from bein' thrown all about the place."
Like on the TARDIS, she didn't say. She wasn't sure whether it was a good idea to directly refer to that life. Not yet, anyway. Not when the two of them had only just been abandoned on that beach less than five hours ago.
"Yeah," the Doctor said absently, not quite sounding like he really agreed. Or even as if he'd really heard her at all, actually.
Rose squeezed his hand. He pulled away from her suddenly, wrenching his hand unexpectedly out of her grip. He then retreated all of the way across the Zeppelin out of Rose's line of sight.
Rose let her hand fall uselessly to her side, feeling dejected. She'd only been trying to help.
However, a moment later, the Doctor came right back and plonked himself down at Rose's side again, now toting a pen and about half a tree worth of paper.
"I can invent a faster way of travelling in no time," he reassured her, completely oblivious to how he'd made her feel by taking off like that without a word about what he was thinking. Rose was glad of that. She felt a bit silly for jumping to conclusions. Obviously, she'd been away from him for too long. When she'd been used to his odd moods, she'd been much better at reading him. She was going to have to get back in practice, and quickly.
The smile the Doctor gave her then was small, but it was clearly genuine. "I've still got that frankly marvellous Time Lord brain, even if the rest of me has changed a bit. Won't take me more than a few months to come up with something. Easy. Then we can go around the world at a moment's notice. Maybe even to other planets, soon enough."
Rose's expression in response was more of a grin than his toned-down smile. "Months?" she teased. "You're sellin' yourself short. I'd say a couple of weeks, tops."
The Doctor shrugged. "I thought I'd try being a bit humble on for size, now that I'm all human like the rest of you. Doesn't really suit me, does it?"
Rose laughed and wrapped her arm loosely around his left elbow, which was the closest she could get to holding his hand without really impeding his ability to write.
"You'll never be just another human," she assured him.
Over the next few hours, the Doctor provided a running commentary on the equations and sketches he was mapping out on the paper, frequently balling up big chunks of his work and throwing it across the Zeppelin in disgust. Rose didn't understand more than every sixth or seventh word, so she tuned the meaning out in favour of just listening to the cadence of his voice.
She didn't need to hear what he was saying; the sound of him rambling was more than enough to cheer her up.
This wasn't what she'd expected, when crossing universes to find the Doctor, but that was all right. It was still going to work out. She'd make it work.
2. It's easiest all around if you let him make himself comfortable, even if that means sacrificing a few household items.
"It has carpets," the Doctor said, nonplussed.
Rose sighed. "It's a flat in the middle of London. What'd you expect?"
"It has carpets, and doors, and ... is that a shower curtain?"
Culture shock, Rose thought. That was what it was. The Doctor was trying to acclimatise, and she just had to be patient. He hadn't asked to be left here any more than Rose had. She hadn't expected to come back to carpets and doors and shower curtains either.
"It's also got a fridge, and a sink, and two bedrooms, and loads of other things you're more used to," Rose promised.
"And a mortgage?" the Doctor asked fearfully.
"No, actually," Rose said. "I tried to tell Pete to leave it, that I could pay off my own flat, but Mum came down on his side. Trust me, you just can't argue against the combined force of Pete and Jackie Tyler without goin' mad. So the place is fully paid off. No mortgage."
"Well," the Doctor said, nodding. "That's ... that's something."
The Doctor disappeared off to explore the flat, and Rose thought that maybe she should let him have a little time alone. She went to put together something to eat before being reminded, upon opening the fridge, that she didn't have anything but tinned food. Even before she'd set off on her string of trips across universes, she'd been practically sleeping at Torchwood, unwilling to spend too much time away from the Dimension Cannon when it was so close to being finished. There hadn't been much point in keeping fresh food in the flat when she wasn't even there for meals.
Instead, Rose just made two mugs of tea, figuring that she could go to the supermarket in the morning.
When the Doctor re-emerged into the main area of the flat, Rose silently pushed one of the mugs towards him.
"No milk?" he asked.
Rose shook her head. "I'm out. Or, well, we're out, I s'pose."
"There're already two spoonfuls in there."
The Doctor raised his eyebrows. "It's a mug," he reminded her pointedly.
Rose rolled her eyes affectionately and fetched the container of sugar so he could add some more. His sweet tooth was pretty much unrivalled. He was going to have to watch that, now that he had a more human metabolism. At least, Rose presumed he did. She'd have to ask him about that. She wasn't quite certain what him having one heart actually meant, apart from the aging thing.
It clearly meant he needed more sleep than he usually would, for one thing. The Doctor looked like he was about to keel over with his tea still in hand. Rose took the mug and set it down on the table, and then guided him to the second bedroom.
"I don't need to sleep," he protested, his words contradicted by the slight tired slurring of his words.
"It's been a big day, and you're half-human now, remember?" Rose said kindly. "A bit of sleep'll do you good."
She left him alone in the room, closing the door softly behind her. As soon as the door was closed, she exhaled loudly.
This was going to take some getting used to. She couldn't remember the two of them being so awkward around each other before, even initially when they hadn't really known each other.
She went to take her shower and found that the shower curtain had disappeared without a trace. Rose wasn't sure she even wanted to begin imagining what the Doctor had done with it. She made a mental note to ring an interior decorator about redesigning the bath/shower combo with something other than a curtain. In the mean time, she figured she'd better get used to taking baths instead.
A few minutes later, she settled down into the bath, ignoring the fact that the water was much too hot. She liked it that way.
Having the water that hot let her believe that the reason her cheeks were wet was just due to the steam.
3. Sometimes giving him what he needs means that you get what you need as well.
Rose was still awake, her mind far too full of overlapping thoughts to subside into sleep, when her bedroom door opened.
The Doctor, now having shed his suit jacket and trainers, padded barefoot into the room and closed the door after him.
"What's up?" Rose asked.
"Can't sleep," he said.
Rose sighed. "I know it must be hard, havin' your biology change like that, but you have to –"
"I know," the Doctor cut her off. "You were right. I am tired. I'm going to have to waste a third of every day sleeping like every other human being in the universe. I get that."
"'S'not so bad," Rose said. "Dreamin' can be nice."
The Doctor's face tightened and he said nothing. Rose realised that the Doctor's experience of dreams probably hadn't been entirely positive, considering all of the warfare and deaths and other violence and sadness that filled his past.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I know you don't wanna have to."
"I'll manage," the Doctor said. "The real problem is, I can't sleep. Literally, can't. This house is too quiet."
Rose knew exactly what he meant. When she'd first ended up trapped in this parallel world, she'd had difficulty sleeping without the sounds of the TARDIS lulling her into unconsciousness as well. It wasn't something she'd really noticed while she'd been on the ship, but once it had been gone she couldn't concentrate on anything but its loss. She'd grown very used to insomnia, initially.
In the end, she'd gone second-hand shopping and bought a small fridge with just the right sort of deep hum to put in her room. That had been when she'd been staying at her parents' place, though. She'd long since managed to get used to the quiet, so the fridge was in storage, as far as she knew. As such, she didn't really have anything to offer the Doctor to solve the problem.
She was about to tell him so, and promise to track down the fridge the next day (she could already see that it was going to be a very full morning, at the rate she was thinking up things that needed to be done), when the Doctor himself offered a solution.
"I just thought, having some kind of repetitive noise in the room with me might help," he said cautiously. "Like, say, someone else's breathing."
Rose's mind seemed to freeze for a moment. Surely he didn't mean ...
It wouldn't be the first time they'd shared tight sleeping quarters, but that had been before. After that kiss earlier, she wasn't quite sure what to expect.
It was the Doctor, though. He wasn't exactly going to jump her in her sleep. She wasn't sure she would mind if he did, normally. This, however, had been anything but a normal couple of days. She didn't think she was ready to take this, whatever this thing between them was, any further at the moment. She needed time to get used to everything just as much as he did.
Despite all of that, she forced herself to smile and gesture to the bed invitingly, even going so far as to shift over closer to one side of the bed to make more room for him. It wasn't as if she hadn't already resigned herself to a restless night of over-thinking everything. At least this way he might manage some sleep. It'd be nice if one of them wasn't ridiculously tired in the morning.
The Doctor pulled himself under the covers, keeping a reasonable amount of space between them.
Rose shifted so that while most of her body was still separated from the Doctor's by about a foot, her face was close to his, practically sharing his pillow. Her warm breath touched the side of his face with regularity.
"That good?" she asked.
"Yeah," the Doctor said. "That's perfect."
The Doctor fell asleep fairly quickly after that. He was, after all, exhausted. She imagined that tended to happen, when you were born from a hand in a jar, and then saved every universe, and then got dumped in a parallel universe and had to travel all the way back to London, all before being able to get some sleep. It was probably to be expected.
Less expected, Rose thought, was the fact that once he was asleep he unconsciously sought her out. She allowed him to sling an arm over her waist and manoeuvre himself closer.
Most unexpectedly of all, though, was the fact that Rose herself fell asleep not long after that, her brain temporarily shut up by the feeling of being in his arms again, his warmer-than-usual body feeling comfortingly real up against her.
4. You should include him in your regular routine, even if he complains about it.
"Grocery shopping?" the Doctor repeated, his voice dripping with horror.
Rose took his hand and practically dragged him inside. "Don't worry, I won't make you come along every time. It's just that we've got absolutely no food, so there's gonna be a lot to carry. I need an extra set of hands, and you're it, mister."
The Doctor shook his head. "The clothes shopping was one thing, but this? I don't think I signed up for this, did I? It's too ..."
"Domestic?" Rose suggested. He hadn't complained about things being domestic since changing into this body. Or, well, the body that looked like this, since this wasn't actually the body he'd changed into at all. Rose had to constantly remind herself that this was a different man, even though in a way it wasn't.
"Too boring," he corrected.
Of course, once they were inside the shop he immediately found things that he thought were interesting. Rose wouldn't have expected gossip magazines to number among those things, but it was better than nothing.
"Sorry," he apologised once she'd pulled him away. "There are things that I picked up from Donna during the metacrisis. Not big things," he added quickly, looking side-long at her as if fearing her reaction to that news. "Just little quirks. That must be one of them. Donna loved to keep up with celebrities and things."
"You'll have somethin' in common to talk about with my Mum when we go see her, then," Rose suggested.
The Doctor looked suitably terrified by the thought of it.
He did, however, pull himself out of his dazed state of dismay to ask, "What are you doing?"
"Gettin' a trolley," Rose said, pulling said item out of the line.
"A trolley," the Doctor said. "A trolley. Rose, clothes shopping was one thing, and grocery shopping is even worse. A trolley is where I'm drawing the line. What's the point of it, anyway? We can't even take it out of the store."
"It'll make it easier while we're in the store," Rose said, directing the trolley in front of her down the first aisle with him tagging along behind. "We'll have everythin' in bags when we're headin' out." She completely ignored his continued protests until they eventually died down.
The sound of his voice had disappeared altogether, actually. He was never that quiet. Rose turned around to find him completely gone. She shook her head and continued on her way, figuring she'd find him again eventually. He'd probably just gone back to the magazine rack.
When she turned the trolley down the confectionary aisle, though, Rose wondered why she hadn't thought of this. Letting the Doctor loose in a place with a whole aisle devoted to all things sugar was asking for it.
He turned to look at her, a plastic packet hanging from his mouth, clenched between his teeth. Several items fell out of his overflowing arms, showering the floor with boxes of Skittles and different types of Cadbury's chocolate and some things that Rose had never even heard of.
He was getting some of everything, she realised with dismay. She wasn't all that sure she could deal with him if he ate that much sugar. He was hyperactive enough as it was.
"Good thing I got a trolley," she said out loud.
Silently, what she was really thinking was that it was a good thing that he could stand to put on a bit of weight.
At least he was probably going to burn off some energy lugging that haul back to the flat, she noted. He could just think again if he was under the impression that she was going to help him carry it all.
5. You'll likely have to act as a peace-keeper between him and your other loved ones. Specifically, don't let him and your mother into the same room together unless you're also present. And unless there's some sort of solid furniture between them. And unless there's nothing breakable around. In fact, bullet-proof glass between them at all times wouldn't be an over-reaction.
"Ow. OW! Stop it! Hey, put that away!"
"I'll show you where I'm gonna put it!"
Rose rushed into the room in time to grab the heavy vase out of her Mum's hands and place it out of reach.
"What's goin' on?" Rose demanded.
"Your Mum's gone rabid," the Doctor said.
Rose stepped in between them, grabbing onto her Mum by the shoulders to prevent her from flinging herself at the Doctor, sharp fingernails first.
"What happened?" Rose asked her again.
"He started muckin' about with my hair straightener and melted it. Melted. Cost me 200 quid, and he wrecked it in ten seconds flat!"
"Mum," Rose said calmly. "I'm sorry. I'm sure the Doctor's really sorry, too. But you can afford a new one, remember? In fact, I'll pay for it."
Jackie still looked peeved but she didn't look as if physical violence was still topping her agenda. "Yeah. All right. I forget sometimes that we don't have to worry so much about money," Jackie admitted.
"I know," Rose said. "I still forget sometimes, too."
Rose decided that a strategic retreat before her Mum worked herself back into a state was in order. She said goodbye to her Mum and Tony, echoed by the Doctor, and led the Doctor out of the mansion.
"I was just trying to make it better," the Doctor implored.
"I know," Rose said. She kissed him on the cheek and entwined their fingers. "Maybe just leave the experimentin' at home for the moment, though, don't you think? Until you get used to how things are wired up differently in this universe, anyway. I don't even wanna know how Mum would react if you blew up her house or somethin'."
The Doctor nodded sheepishly.
"I'll buy a hair straightener for you to play with," Rose promised.
The Doctor's expression morphed into a grin.
6. Sometimes it's better to just not ask.
When Rose walked into the kitchen, she was confronted by the sight of the Doctor wrapped like a stereotypical mummy, all the way up to his armpits, in cling-wrap.
He hopped slightly, trying to keep his balance. His right arm was poised to continue wrapping himself.
"I'm not gonna even ask," Rose said, bemused. She turned and walked back out the way she came, leaving him staggering about on the spot.
7. You will likely end up being forced into having embarrassing talks at any place and any time.
"What would I need those for?" Rose heard the Doctor ask Jake, his voice loud enough to make out over the constant din of the pub. She glanced over and saw Jake just shake his head and press several little foil squares into the Doctor's coat pocket.
"Rose will tell you," Jake said cryptically.
Rose kicked Jake under the table and sent him a warning look. Jake just grinned back at her, reaching down to absently rub his shin where her foot had connected.
The Doctor looked adorably confused, though, so Rose couldn't be bothered to get properly angry about how Jake was interfering with her love life.
Less than an hour later, the Doctor was a bit worse for wear due to the amount of alcohol he'd consumed (one day Rose hoped he would accept that his half-human metabolism really wasn't up to the standard he was used to). He reached into his pocket for money for another beer and instead pulled out one of the packages Jake had given him earlier.
"Oh, right," he said, his face brightening. "Jake said you'd tell me what these're for. What're these for, Rose?"
Rose was very glad that all of the other people in the pub seemed absorbed in their own conversations (apart from maybe that one guy behind the bar, but she'd just have to ignore that). This was so not a conversation she wanted to have in front of other people, especially with the Doctor waving a condom around and peering at it as if he was having trouble focusing.
Rose snatched the foil package out of the Doctor's hand and shoved it back in his pocket with its compatriots. She grabbed the Doctor's hand and led him outside where the noise was low enough that they wouldn't have to yell just to be heard. Luckily, it was late enough – or early enough the next day, really – that no one except a homeless person or two was really hanging around outside the local.
"Those things are for when you have sex," she explained finally, feeling herself blushing. "Blokes wear one to prevent pregnancy. And other things."
"I can't get pregnant," the Doctor said slowly, as if Rose was being particularly thick. "I'm a Time Lord. Or a human. Or something. What'm I, again? Whatever, I'm not from a species where the males carry the young."
"I know that. It's to stop the girl from gettin' pregnant. Or if you have sex with someone you don't know very well, it can stop you from gettin' sick as well."
The Doctor frowned. "Why would I have sex with anyone other than you?" he asked.
Rose shook her head, reminding herself that she couldn't really hold him to that. He was drunk, after all. She decided that maybe she should put this conversation off until he was sober. Chances were he wouldn't remember all of the details, and there was no way she wanted to have to talk about this stuff more than once.
"And anyway," the Doctor added, "you've got those little pill things, don't you? Or don't you take those anymore?"
Rose's face felt suddenly even hotter. "How d'you even know about that?" she asked.
"Oh, Jack told me," the Doctor said with a laugh. He wavered on his feet and Rose reached out to steady him. "He said you wouldn't be taking those unless you wanted to be having sex, so I should definitely have sex with you. Why didn't I, again?"
Rose held in a hysterical laugh. "I don't know," she choked out.
"Well if you don't know, and I don't know, then why don't we?" the Doctor asked. "Have sex, I mean. Isn't that what couples do? We're a couple, aren't we? Don't you think?"
"Maybe some other time, eh?" Rose suggested softly. "When your brain isn't drownin' in liquor and you actually know what you're sayin'. And when we're not standin' three feet away from a bin that reeks of vomit, preferably."
She took his hand and led him home, deciding it was clearly about time he slept it off.
She wasn't quite sure whether to hope that he wouldn't remember that whole conversation in the morning or not.
8. Fighting isn't always the end of the world. Sometimes it's really the beginning.
They'd only been in this universe for about two weeks, and living together slightly less than that, yet somehow they were already having their third argument. They weren't just arguments, to be truthful. Huge, raring fights, was more like it. All three of them had been. And each of them had been about the Doctor's unwillingness to get a job.
Normally Rose wouldn't have cared. She did understand that the Doctor wasn't the nine-to-five type, and it wasn't as if they needed the money. But the Doctor was quickly working his way into a rut, and from what Rose could tell it was because he didn't have anything specific to do. Working would fix that, to some extent. She'd pointed out that he could just act as a consultant of some kind, rather than working steadily. He had enough knowledge of just about anything to pick his field and be highly sought after. No matter what she suggested, though, he didn't want any of it. It frustrated her that he didn't even seem to want to listen to her.
"You can't just hang around the flat all the time!" Rose said for the second time, about five minutes into the most recent fight. She knew she kept repeating herself, but she wasn't sure how much more clearly she could get her point across.
"If you want me to go, just tell me!" the Doctor shot back. "I'll pack my things and get out of the flat, if that's what you want!"
"You're so impossible! It's got nothin' to do with that. You live here."
"Didn't get much choice about that," the Doctor said bitterly.
Rose stopped, her mouth opening and closely stupidly. "You don't wanna live here?" she asked in a much softer voice than she had been using.
"I meant you," the Doctor said. "You didn't get much choice in me being here. I was shoved into this universe, and made your responsibility, so what else were you meant to do with me?"
"I could've got you your own flat," Rose said. "I didn't want to. I want you to be here."
"Then why do you keep trying to get me out of your hair?" the Doctor asked.
Frustrated, Rose pressed her fist in between her eyebrows, shaking her head slightly. When she looked up at the Doctor again, she felt a little calmer. "That's so not why I think you should work. Come and work with me, if that's what you really want."
"You don't want that, though," the Doctor said.
"You don't want that," Rose corrected. "You hate Torchwood, so I doubt you'd wanna work there. Anyway, you could do anythin' at all. You're brilliant. Torchwood would start you out as an assistant or somethin'. They don't believe in fast-trackin', no matter what. Took me three years to get to field agent status despite all of my experience, and even then I had to practically engineer the Dimension Cannon myself just to get them to let me use it. You'd go insane if they did that sort of thing to you."
"You really don't want me around less, then?" the Doctor asked.
Rose rolled her eyes. "I want you around always, idiot. I love you. Of course I want you with me."
The Doctor grinned broadly, then. That was unexpected. Hadn't they been fighting just a minute ago?
"That's the first time you've said that," he pointed out.
"That you love me."
"No it's not," Rose denied.
The Doctor nodded. "Yes it is. To me specifically, I mean. Half-human me."
"Oh," Rose said, feeling stupid. "I didn't even realise."
She remembered another man – in a way, the same man – asking whether it needed saying. It had needed saying for her. She was a bit of an idiot to not have realised it might need to be said for him, as well.
"I do, you know," she said. "Love you, I mean. Half-human and all."
The Doctor pulled Rose in for a proper snog. Rose thought they'd have to make a habit of telling each other more often; it seemed to be the only time they got to kiss like that, after all.
9. Often he'll be too idiotic to show how he really feels. That doesn't mean he doesn't feel it.
"Is that even possible?" the Doctor asked
Rose glared. "What d'you mean, 'is that possible'? What, d'you think I'm lyin' about it?" She threw the stick at him. "Look yourself, if you don't believe me. Positive. So are the other three tests I used to make sure, if you wanna check those as well."
"But ..." the Doctor started, trailing off and shaking his head. "We only ... once, and I thought you were taking that pill, anyway."
"Well," Rose laughed mirthlessly, "turns out when you're travellin' across universes, you lose track of time a bit. The pill only works if you take it on time every day. Even then, you know 21st century medicine; it's not exactly foolproof, is it? I did suggest that you might wanna wear one of those condoms, if you remember."
The Doctor just kept shaking his head. Then he turned away and walked out of the room.
Rose felt unwanted tears prickling at the corner of her eyes and blinked them back. She didn't think that was hormones. Or, well, not just hormones. Did pregnant women even get hormonal like that this early on?
She hadn't really wanted this to happen, obviously. Not with the two of them still dancing around each other, one night of fantastic sex aside. She hadn't really thought of having children, beyond taking contraceptives to prevent having children. If she had given it any thought, though, she would have wanted to wait a while. Probably a few years, even.
Still, it was his child. His and hers. No matter how quickly it had happened, Rose couldn't really be upset that it had.
So it hurt a hell of a lot that apparently the Doctor was really upset about it. Didn't he want to have a child with her? He'd said, on that first day in Norway, that he wanted a life with her. Wasn't a child just part of the package?
She didn't see him for three days straight. She didn't see anyone but work colleagues for three days straight, actually, because she knew that anyone who was closer to her would notice how upset she seemed and ask about it. She didn't want to talk about it with them before she got to talk about it with the Doctor himself.
Rose couldn't even begin to imagine her Mum's reaction if she found out that the Doctor had apparently just left Rose to deal with this by herself.
On that third night, the Doctor emerged from the second bedroom looking completely frazzled, his hair more on-end and out of control than usual.
"I can't figure it out," he said irritably. "My head's just so thick that I can't even come up with a way."
"What?" Rose asked, taken aback.
"To time travel!" he said, as if it was obvious.
"Oh," Rose said, swallowing. "All right. Are you leavin'?"
The Doctor looked at her as if she'd just spat on him. "Leaving? What? No. It's not working. I'm a Time Lord making a time machine, and I can't even do it properly. How rubbish is that?"
"But when you do manage to make a time machine, eventually," Rose continued, keeping her voice even. "Are you plannin' to leave then? I need to know. What with, you know, havin' your child growing inside me and all."
"Rose," the Doctor said incredulously. "I know you're just human, but you're still much cleverer than that. As if I'd leave you."
Rose sucked in a relieved breath and exhaled it in a choked laugh. "Oh. Yeah. Clever, that's me. I totally know what's goin' on. Except ... not so much. So, time machine?"
"You're having a baby," the Doctor said.
Rose ran a hand through her hair the way he did when he was as frustrated as she currently was, hoping it might somehow help. There were often times when she felt as if the Doctor was talking in a different language (and often, actually, he was). However, he'd never before managed to confuse her quite so thoroughly by using small words that she could understand. She felt like they were speaking in some kind of code that she just couldn't quite manage to decipher.
"Yeah," Rose agreed. "So? What does that mean?"
The Doctor shook his head, exasperated. "It's like you were saying about 21st century medicine, remember? Have you even seen the rubbish they get up to? Even in this parallel world, it's not particularly advanced. You're not having our baby here. But I can't seem to figure out a time machine that'd be safe for you while you're pregnant."
Rose burst out laughing. "You're just worried?"
The Doctor frowned at her. "I don't think it's a laughing matter. The mortality rate for infants in this century, even in Britain, is ridiculous. And don't even get me started on their treatment of the mothers. There's no way some hack is getting his or her hands on you and cutting you open."
Rose crossed the room and hugged him. His stiff posture went slack against hers after a few moments.
"You haven't even slept, have you?" she asked.
The Doctor said, somewhat petulantly, "I'm not the one who's pregnant. Don't need sleep as much."
"Yeah, you do," Rose said, pulling back. She took in the dark circles under his eyes and how haggard he looked. "If you don't sleep, how'll you be able to think clearly enough to build us a time machine?"
The Doctor nodded slowly, taking that in as if it was some kind of epiphany. "Yes. You're right! Stupid brain. Human bodies need sleep. That's clearly the key to making my head be less stupid about this. What would I do without you to remind me these things?"
What would she do without him around to care so much about her that she didn't even realise how much he cared?
Rose kissed him then, just briefly.
"Hey, look at me," she said. The Doctor's eyes opened again and met hers. "Even if there is no way for me to time travel while I'm pregnant, me and our baby aren't gonna be at risk like all those other pregnant women and babies. You know why?"
The Doctor shook his head.
"We've got you," Rose said. "You might not be a 'doctor', with a medical degree or whatever, but if anythin' went wrong, I know you'd solve it. It's what you do."
"Not all the time," he said darkly.
"When it really matters," Rose insisted. "You've never let me down."
The Doctor let Rose lead him to the bedroom and push him into the bed, barely stopping to kick his shoes off before he succumbed to exhaustion.
Rose stayed with him for a while, sitting on the end of the bed, just watching.
He was completely crazy, and he wasn't particularly good at showing his emotions, but she loved those things about him, even when he was driving her to the point that she worried she was beginning to share his special brand of insanity.
10. In the end, Not-Quite-Time-Lord men are still men. They like pointless things, and they can't express their emotions worth a damn, and they tend to be single-minded. Luckily, sometimes you get to be the one thing that they're single-minded about. Those are the times when you're really reminded why you wouldn't trade your Not-Quite-Time-Lord man in for anything.
"You don't get to suggest names," Rose said firmly, holding their son in her arms. She was sure that the baby wasn't really as heavy as he felt, but she was tired enough that it was an effort just to keep her grip. When the Doctor reached for him, she gave the baby up willingly.
"Why not?" the Doctor pouted.
"Because," Rose said, "there's no way we're callin' our kid 'The Teacher' or 'The Mechanic'. You can have final veto on the names I come up with, if you like."
"I was going to say he should be called –"
"Ah ah ah!" Rose said, shushing him. "No. He's a human boy. He gets a human boy name."
"There's nothing wrong with –"
"Shh!" Rose said. "One day, when we get a dog, or a cat, or a goldfish or somethin', you can name it whatever you want. This one, however," she pointed weakly at the baby, "will be beaten up at school if he has a weird name. He's already gonna have it bad enough, probably, bein' all hyper-intelligent or whatever. Do you really wanna increase the risk of your child bein' bullied?"
The Doctor shook his head sullenly, cuddling the child in question closer to his chest as if that would prevent him being hurt down the line.
Rose frowned suddenly. "Hey, how comes Mum isn't here yet?"
The Doctor fidgeted. "Er ... I might not have told her, exactly."
Rose wasn't even sure why she was surprised. "You didn't ring my Mum to tell her I was havin' the baby?"
The Doctor shrugged, as if it was just some negligible offence. "There are no mobile phones allowed in the hospital," he said. "I wasn't going to leave you just to ring her, was I? What if something had happened while I was gone? Stupid human 21st century doctors could have done anything to you."
Rose didn't know whether to be angry or moved. Then again, that was fairly usual these days. It wasn't just the mood swings. The Doctor was so complicated that everything he said and did seemed to evoke multiple responses.
"Fine," Rose said, picking up the landline phone in her room. "You're just lucky we have enough money to pay the ridiculous cost of usin' the hospital phones."
Rose figured she'd let her own anger fall by the wayside this time. No need to have a go at him now when a much worse punishment was on its way.
When her Mum showed up, the Doctor would know exactly what had hit him. The Jackie Tyler slap was unmistakeable, after all.