A/N I decided this 'verse needed one last story before I could consider it complete. This follows after "Lost and Found." Initial fluff, but warning for darkness and some violence later on, though not gratuitous.
Disclaimer: Nope, I still don't own Doctor Who. All rights belong to the BBC.
I hope you enjoy!
Rose woke to the soft sound of the Doctor's voice, speaking somewhere near the vicinity of her belly. She slowly opened her eyes, blinking away the sleep, and was greeted by the sight of the Doctor's spiky-haired head hovering over her stomach.
"And just wait until you see the planet Traal!" he enthused. "The sand on the beach sparkles like diamonds, and mermaids come to play with you on the shore." Rose smiled inwardly as he tilted his head in thought and went off on one of his little rambles. "Weeell, I say 'mermaids' but you have to remember there are also mermen as well. I've found they can actually be a bit of a moody lot if you confuse the two. Now that can get you into a bit of a tricky situation…" He trailed off in thought, obviously recalling just such an incident. "But, back to the point. Oh, there are so many things we're going to see and do. The three of us are going to have the most fantastic life. Just you see. I'm going to see to it that you have the kind of life I never did. And one day the TARDIS will be yours, and you'll carry on defending the universe, just like your mum and me," he said wistfully. "I'll teach you the Laws of Time and you'll carry on the legacy of the Time Lords."
Rose smiled softly, reaching down to run her fingers through his hair. He looked up at her, his eyes sparkling, and shifted forward to give her a soft kiss.
The Doctor had been in a state of awe throughout the pregnancy. There was no other way to describe it. He was fascinated by the entire process. The children he'd had centuries ago on Gallifrey had been loomed, so this was unlike anything he had ever experienced before. This was intimate. This was fragile. This was not without pain and not without difficulty, yet it was worth it even still. So, so much. And he relished every moment of it.
"Good morning," he greeted the woman responsible for giving him this, as he pulled back from the kiss.
"G'morning," Rose echoed.
He wrapped her in his arms. She snuggled close and traced lazy patterns on his bare chest.
"Did I wake you?" he asked, while gently stroking her hair.
"'S okay," she replied. "I was enjoying the view. I like watching you talk to the baby." Rose smiled. "She likes it, too."
"Mmm," he agreed. "She's very attentive, even at this stage. I could feel that she was awake, and she reached out and brushed my mind. I think she was wanting some attention," he said, as he placed a kiss to Rose's head.
Rose tilted her chin to look up at him. "Will we always have this close connection with her?"
"In the beginning. As she gets older I'll teach her how to use her barriers so she'll have control over her link to us. But we'll always be able to sense her, just as she will us."
The Doctor placed his hand on Rose's swollen belly and stroked it gently through the soft white cotton of her gown. "It won't be much longer now," he said, his voice tinged with excitement. "Three more weeks and she'll make her entrance into the universe."
Rose laid her head back down on his chest and sighed. "A part of me wishes I could keep her inside me forever. Keep her protected." Then she smiled up at him. "But I can't wait to see her. She's gonna have your big round eyes and bubbling enthusiasm. And I can't wait to hold her in my arms." She shifted a little as she tried to find a more comfortable position. "I also can't wait to be able to breathe properly again. And to look down and actually be able to see my feet. And not have to pop to the loo every twenty minutes!"
He chuckled softly. "You have been brilliant throughout this pregnancy, Rose. All those biological changes and barely a complaint. And have I told you how attractive you are like this?" he asked, while waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Rose snorted. "I look like a beached whale!" Then she frowned. "And I've started to waddle when I walk."
The Doctor shook his head. "It's not waddling. It's called swaggering seductively," he said with a wink. Then he leaned closer and dropped his voice an octave as he spoke. "And you know I haven't been able to keep my hands off you like this."
Rose snickered. "You weren't able to keep your hands off me before, and that's what got us here."
"True," he agreed. "You're irresistible to me whether you're swollen with my child or not." He leaned forward and captured her lips with his own as he sank back with her into the pillows. He then proceeded to give a detailed demonstration of his point.
Since Rose had reached her eighth month of pregnancy, she had begun to feel a little self-conscious about her weight, even though the gain had been minimal. The Doctor had actually been a little concerned about it. Carrying a part Time Lord baby had been more physically demanding than a human pregnancy would have been. Much to the Doctor's concern, she had actually lost weight during the first four months. But she now had an adorable and undeniable baby-bump, and the Doctor wasn't exaggerating when he told her how attractive she was to him like this.
Rose sighed contentedly in the Doctor's arms an hour later after he had quite thoroughly proven his point.
"I think," she said slowly, as she ran her foot up and down his calf, "that I could just spend all day right here."
The Doctor hummed happily in response. "No complaints from me."
Then she let out a frustrated groan. "Unfortunately, my bladder has other ideas."
The Doctor grinned and sat up to enjoy the view as she 'swaggered seductively' to the bathroom. He soon followed and joined her for a leisurely shower, then afterwards went to fix breakfast while Rose dried her hair and got dressed for the day.
She came out of the en-suite wearing a pair of jeans (she never knew she could fall in love with elastic waistbands) and a pink t-shirt that proudly displayed the words Made by the Doctor and Rose across the tummy. It was a gift from Jake at the baby shower Torchwood had thrown for her.
A grin lit up Rose's face as she crossed back into the bedroom and saw a fully prepared breakfast in bed waiting for her.
"Breakfast is served," the Doctor announced as he lifted the tray for her to slide beneath. She made herself comfortable on the bed as he placed the tray over her lap.
"You know," Rose began, as she took a bite of a juicy strawberry, then fed the rest to the Doctor, "we're really gonna have to decide on a name pretty soon. We can't just keep calling her The Baby. Even though her father is fond of titles," she added with a teasing smirk.
"Weeell, if you would just agree to my idea," he suggested, while returning the favor and placing a succulent, bright red strawberry in her mouth, "the issue would be solved."
Rose shook her head. "One Rose in the family is enough," she stated firmly.
The Doctor pouted. "But we could call her Rosie. The subtle difference would avoid confusion while maintaining like appellation. It would be perfect."
"I thought we at least had that settled. We agreed on Rose for a middle name, but not the first."
He sighed. "Fine. Then we'll just go with my second choice for a first name."
She shook her head again. "No. I told you, we're not starting a flower theme here. We are not naming her Lily Rose."
"But we could start a whole horticultural theme! Just think – there could be Lily, Pansy, Petunia, Violet, Iris, Daisy, Tuli – mmph!"
Rose stuffed a piece of jam-covered toast in his mouth and cut him off before the discussion got further out of hand.
"Tulip? Seriously?" She snorted in laughter as the Doctor frowned and chewed. "And before you go making grand plans for 'planting' an entire flower garden, let's just see how it goes with this one first."
He swallowed the large bite of toast, running his tongue slowly around his lips as he smiled seductively. "Considering you and I have a few centuries of wedded bliss ahead of us, I think I may just get my garden yet."
"Oh, you think so, do you?" she questioned playfully.
He eased her back onto the pillows and proceeded to kiss her senseless. He pulled back and gave her his mega-watt grin. "Oh, yes!"
Once Rose had recovered from his unexpected (but very welcome) assault on her lips, she continued the conversation of names.
"Should we give her a Gallifreyan name, too?" she asked. "How does that work?"
The Doctor began to explain between bites of his breakfast. "A Time Lord's name at birth isn't the one that's chosen later in life. At first, it's simply a combination of both parent's names. So her first Gallifreyan name would be a combination of yours and mine – yours, of course, translated into Gallifreyan." He pondered the practicalities of such an idea while taking another bite. "Of course, it would be a bit difficult to pronounce." He continued his explanation. "But then after graduation from the Academy, Time Lords would choose their own name."
"Like you chose 'The Doctor'?"
He nodded. "Exactly."
Rose smiled and reached up to touch his cheek. "It was a perfect choice – the man who makes people better." He smiled back and turned his face to kiss her palm. There was a time he thought he'd lost the rights to such a title, after the war and destruction wrought by his own hand. Then Rose Tyler happened into his life. "I wonder if she'll choose a name like that for herself when she's older," Rose pondered. "She could be 'The Nurse'," she teased.
The Doctor gave her an affronted look. "And you dared to criticize the suggestion of Tulip?"
She began to laugh, but was cut off quite effectively by his mouth on hers once more.
After breakfast, the two were ready to officially being their day. The Doctor told Rose he had a surprise destination in mind. She stood expectantly beside him in the console room as he landed the TARDIS.
"So, where are we then?" she asked excitedly, that thrill of new discovery never growing old.
He grinned proudly and rocked back and forth on his heels. "We," he announced flamboyantly, "have arrived on the magnificent planet of Thalasia. It's a leisure planet." He then tugged on his ear in thought. "I haven't always had the best of luck with leisure planets, though. But! This one isn't made of diamonds and doesn't have extonic sunlight, so it should be perfectly safe this time around."
Rose grinned broadly. "A leisure planet! Oh, that sounds lovely. So long as they aren't…you know…at war, or anything."
He looked at her blankly. "Why would they be at war?"
She shrugged. "You're the pilot. Tends to happen when aiming for peace and quiet."
Snickering inwardly and ignoring his wounded pride, she glanced down at her attire. "When you say leisure planet, just how posh are we talking about? Will this do?" she asked, gesturing to her outfit.
"There's no dress code," he assured her. "They're accustomed to all the various types of fashion from numerous species. They've seen it all." He stepped closer and placed his hand on the small of her back, drawing her close. "So to answer your question," he husked in a low tone, "the t-shirt stays."
Rose smirked. "You like this shirt, don't you?"
He quirked his lips into a smile and placed his other hand on her belly. "I do. And I especially love what's underneath it."
"Do you realize how sappy you've become?" she teased.
"Hmmm," he replied thoughtfully. "I'd say it's a side-effect of being madly in love with a human." He sighed dramatically. "I knew there'd be a price to pay."
"You're a nutter," she chuckled. "But you're my nutter."
His grin matched her own as he took her hand and led her down the ramp.
He creaked opened the blue door to reveal a beautiful coastal city beyond. The vista was stunning. The architecture of the city's buildings had an element of grandeur with their large, marble pillars and sweeping porticos overlooking the ocean. Rose had never seen such sparkling, clear water in vivid aqua, contrasted by the white, almost gleaming sand.
"Oh, this is beautiful," Rose breathed.
A woman who Rose thought closely resembled a human came forward to greet them. She was wearing a beautiful, toga-style dress made of a silky material in a deep, golden hue.
"Welcome to Thalasia," she said warmly.
The Doctor raised his hand and wiggled his fingers. "Hello," he greeted cheerily. "I'm the Doctor, this is Rose, and inside Rose is the yet-unnamed product of our unmatched abilities of procreation."
Rose blushed and elbowed her nattering alien husband in the ribs.
The woman simply smiled politely. "My name is Mara."
"It's lovely to meet you, Mara," Rose responded.
"And how long will we have the pleasure of your stay?"
The Doctor looked to Rose. They never remained in one place too long. "A day?" he suggested.
She grinned and nodded. "Perfect."
"A day's stay with unlimited access to all sites will sum 15 Drassels. Or 30 credits, if you use universal currency."
"30 credits it is," the Doctor agreed, digging in his trouser pocket and produce a credit chip.
"Now then," Mara went on, "I will be your guide while here and see that your every need is attended to during your stay. It is our purpose on Thalasia to fulfill your every desire."
Rose's eyes twinkled as she linked her arm with the Doctor's and smiled up at him. "Oh, he does a proper job of that. But thank you. That's very kind of you. I can tell I'm gonna love it here already."
Mara smiled. "I believe know exactly what you would like. Please, come with me."
Ambling beneath the warm sun and gentle breeze, she led them through the populated city and in the direction of one of the large central buildings as the Doctor began explaining to Rose about the indigenous Thalasians.
"They're a telepathic race with acute perception. They can sense your every wish."
Rose looked a little concerned upon hearing this. It was one thing to have a telepathic bond mate. It was quite another to experience such potential exposure with strangers. "You mean, they can get inside my head and read my thoughts?"
"Oh, no, not like that," he assured her. "They have heightened perception and remarkable abilities, but they wouldn't invade your thoughts. But they do use it to fulfill your wishes."
Rose relaxed a little.
They soon entered a palatial white stone building overlooking the ocean, and were shown to a dressing room where they changed into plush, royal blue robes. They were then led to an opulent spa where attendants were waiting to give them a side-by-side massage. Apparently they had sensed Rose's desires, because there was nothing she could have wanted more at the moment. A special table was even present to accommodate her pregnant belly. The Doctor and Rose were both made comfortable, and the aroma of exotic oils filled the room as the blissful experience began.
Rose sighed dreamily as the tight knots and kinks were worked out of her aching muscles. The Doctor smiled gently at her.
"Enjoying yourself?" he asked.
"Mmm, very much," she replied sleepily, the aches in her body melting away.
As much as she herself was enjoying it, and he was enjoying that fact, she knew this wasn't exactly the Doctor's thing. He was doing it for her and she loved him for it. He had been so attentive to her every need throughout the pregnancy. And though they didn't often speak of the incident because it was now behind them, she knew he still felt a shadow of regret over the incident that occurred early in her pregnancy. Their journeys were not always as smooth as today's, and when their more recent memories had been temporarily wiped by a hostile race, and Rose was subsequently discovered to be pregnant with his child, neither having the memory of how it had happened or of even being in such a relationship, the Doctor had not reacted in the best of ways. He had been terrified and had run from his feelings, while pushing Rose aside in the process.
It had been difficult and painful, but once it was all over Rose understood and forgave him completely. The Doctor, however, had a harder time forgiving himself. Today was an unspoken reminder of that.
Rose eventually drifted off to sleep on the massage table, and woke afterwards feeling more relaxed than she had in months. She was then treated to the most luxurious facial she'd ever received. The Doctor didn't participate in this particular activity, though. Sharing a massage was one thing, but sharing a facial would be going just a bit too far out of his Time Lord zone. Instead, he left Rose to continue being pampered while he went exploring to find the perfect restaurant for dinner.
Mara watched The Doctor leave, gazing intently at him. She needed to speak with him – needed to warn him. From the moment this couple arrived, she could sense something ominous looming about them, and it intensified the longer they were near. Something was coming. Something dark. But she decided it was best to wait until they had finished enjoying their time here. Let them have this time of happiness while it could still be found.
After being lavishly pampered for most of the day, Rose changed back into her original clothes, and the Doctor returned to escort her to the restaurant he had chosen for them, situated on the beach.
The sun was beginning to set in the sky as they were seated at a private table on the restaurant's terrace. It was an enchanted setting. Rose was captivated just by the lighting which softly illuminated the intimate space. Small, shimmering balls floated above, hovering like fireflies on a summer night. Adding to the encompassing serenity was the warm breeze from the ocean, which softly caressed the air as the sound of the surf lapped gently on the shore.
Their food was promptly served, and once the attendant left, Rose looked at the food before her and leaned forward to whisper to the Doctor. "But they didn't even take our order first," she stated in confusion.
"No need," he explained. "They serve exactly what you're craving at the time. Clever, that. Empathic restaurant staff can be quite efficient."
She surveyed the food before them. "Then why don't I see a banana in front of you?" she teased lightly.
"And why don't I see chips in front of you?" he replied back with a grin. "The food may not look like anything you recognize, but I can assure you, you'll be quite pleased with the taste."
Much to her delight, she found that he had been exactly right. She had been craving mashed potatoes, and the pink-hued soufflé dish tasted exactly like the spuds she'd been hankering, with ample amounts of cream, butter and a dash of rosemary. There was also the restaurant's version of Cassoulet – rich and satisfying. They might not have been the most extravagant selections for fine dining, but the meal perfectly hit the spot, and she polished off every last bite. As for dessert, the decadent chocolate confection they each shared was sublime.
Once the meal was finished, Rose reached across the table and took the Doctor's hand.
"Thank you. For everything," she said softly.
He stroked her knuckles with his thumb. "Rose, you don't have to thank me. I'd do anything for you, you know that." he replied, gazing deeply in her warm caramel eyes.
After dinner, they went for a moonlit walk along the beach, kicking their shoes off to stroll barefoot in the white powdery sand. They came to a stop at the water's edge and gazed out at the ocean, the twin moons of Thalasia glinting upon the surface of the water. The Doctor stood behind Rose with his arms around her waist and his hands stroking her prominent belly.
"Do you want to stay the night?" he offered quietly. "It doesn't have to be a one day trip if you'd like to remain longer. We can stay as long as you'd like."
She leaned her head against his chest, settling into his embrace. Rose considered this, but her mind focused on thoughts of their awaiting bedroom aboard the TARDIS – its stately bed with sacred Gallifreyan carvings and sumptuous burgundy linens embossed with fine threads of gold, the colors reminiscent of those representing the ancient, lost world, with the ceiling above depicting the constellation of Kasterborous itself. It was their sanctuary. "I love it here. I really do. And I definitely want to come back again sometime. But I think I want to go back to the TARDIS. It's home. I love our bedroom more than anywhere else in the galaxy, and there's nowhere else I'd rather be tonight."
He smiled down at her. "Quite right, too."
They eventually made their way back to the TARDIS hand-in-hand. As they approached the area where they first arrived, they were greeted again by Mara and another woman standing with her.
"Rose, this is Jaleah," Mara said, introducing the woman beside her. "We would like to give you a parting gift as a remembrance of your time here. If you would care to accompany her for just one moment, she will be happy to give it to you."
The Doctor released her hand. "Go ahead," he encouraged. "I'll wait here for you."
Rose smiled and followed the young woman back to the spa they had visited earlier in the day. Once inside, Jaleah brought out a dress like the one Mara wore and a bottle of the fragranced oil used for the massage.
"These are for you," she said. "We knew you admired the dress and also enjoyed the fragrance of the oil."
Rose shook her head in slight astonishment as she accepted the gifts. "Thank you. I s'pose I don't even have to ask how you knew," she added with a smile. "This is so kind, and I'm very grateful."
She was already imagining the Doctor putting the oil to good use as a shiver of desire went through her.
Jaleah took Rose's hand, a solemn look coming over her face, her tone somber. "Journey safely."
Rose was slightly taken aback by the woman's shift in mood. "Yeah, we will," she replied, a bit bemused.
Back outside, Mara took the opportunity to speak with the Doctor. "I hope you both enjoyed your time here."
He smiled. "Very much, thank you."
Mara's eyes suddenly became intense, her tone grave. "Doctor, I must warn you."
The Doctor's eyes narrowed. "Of what?"
"He is waiting."
A look of concern etched itself across the Doctor's face. "What do you mean? Who is 'he'?"
"You do not yet know him, but he knows of you; and he has been watching. He is waiting in the shadows and seeks to destroy the Child of Time. You must protect them both – the wolf and her cub."
"What do you mean by that?" the Doctor demanded, his pulse now racing.
"I wish I could reveal more, but that is all I know. Take heed, Time Lord."