Author's Note: Anything in italics is Rose's thoughts. The ring that the Doctor mentions in the story is from The Morning After. O'Rafferty's Motor Car by Val Doonican is also referenced in the story and is an hysterical song that is well worth looking up the lyrics for a good laugh. I hope you enjoy it. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who or Highway to Hell by Chris Rhea.
"Rose! Rose!" shouts Tony as he runs across the yard to her. "We've been waiting for you all day! The Doctor has a surprise for you! Come on! Run!"
Rose responds the only way that she can to these words, taking Tony's hand and laughing all the way as they make their way over to the Doctor.
She stops running and laughing as she rounds the corner of the garage and she sees a car. At least she thinks it's a car. It's kind of difficult to tell under all of that rust.
Rose's gaze travels up and down the length of the car while asking, "Is that what I think it is?"
"Yes!" answers Tony with unbounded glee. "It's a Citrus!"
Rose's lips quirk into a smile and she replies, "That's Citreon, Tony. A citrus is a lemon. Although, your description seems to be much more accurate."
The Doctor suddenly pops up from behind the car and yells, "Surprise! Meet the newest member of our family!"
Rose drops Tony's hand in shock and stammers, "What? You don't mean…it's ours?"
The Doctor's face, full of grease and grime, still manages to light up as he answers, "That's right! Our new car! I bought it for a song!"
Rose gives him her best fake diplomatic smile while thinking, Which song? Highway to Hell?
Tony draws Rose's attention back to himself by tugging on her sleeve and tells her, "When the Doctor has it all fixed up, we're going to have a race. I'm going to ride my tricycle."
Rose ruffles Tony's hair lovingly and speculates, You'll probably win.
Tony trots over to the Doctor carrying two large metal discs. "Doctor, is it time for your break yet? I want to play gladiatiors."
The Doctor replies, "Not just yet, Tony," and then does a double take when he sees Tony's shields. He gives Tony an appraising look and inquires, "Tony, where did you get these two hubcaps from?"
Tony points to the rear of the car and says, "Over there. They fell off your car while you were moving it."
The Doctor frowns and takes the hubcaps back from Tony. He kneels down by the back wheels and tries to reattach them while ignoring Rose's coughing fit that sounds suspiciously like laughter.
Rose clears her throat and quickly composes herself. "Tony, why don't you go up to the house and see what you can find to spruce up the car?" Like a rubbish bin.
Tony brightens up instantly. "Okay, Rose! I think I still have some blue paint left over in the paint set in my room," he shouts back over his shoulder as he dashes off towards the house.
Rose watches the Doctor with a pitying glance as he continues to struggle with the hubcaps. She is hesitant in both her approach and speech when she mentions, "It looks a bit done in, Doctor. Are you sure that you don't want something newer?"
The Doctor spins around and stands in front of her. He rocks back on his heels and shoves both hands in his pockets. "Not necessary," he states, "I've already been working on it! You'll never guess what she runs on now!"
Rose gives him an inquiring look and contemplates, Prayer?
The Doctor tries to appear modest and fails miserably as he explains, "I've made it sonic! It runs on pure sonic energy. No nasty pollutants for my old girl. He pats the side of the car causing the reattached hubcaps to fall off and roll away.
With a grimace, he takes Rose by the elbow and steers her towards the front of the car and declares, "It's going to be super sonic, positronic, bionic…why it could be greased lightning!" Rose raises one eyebrow and gives him a skeptical look.
The Doctor notices this and tries to boost her enthusiasm. "No? Then how about this one? It could be our CARDIS!" Rose gives a derisive snort of laughter while the Doctor ponders his statement and then decides, "No. Nope. Definitely never saying that again."
Suddenly, he grabs Rose by the shoulders and says, "I know it's a bit difficult to see the car's potential now, but we were time travelers, Rose! We can envision the future and see possibilities like nobody else! When I've finished souping it up, we'll celebrate with an extraordinarily, exceptional, special occasion and take it out in style! Think, Rose! What would we need to take out this car?"
Rose fidgets nervously under his gaze. "Um…I don't know. A birthday? An anniversary?" A pothole?
"How about we discuss it over a little mood music?" he asks as he reaches through the car window and turns on the radio.
In between bouts of crackle and static, Rose can just make out the faint strains of O'Rafferty's Motor Car by Val Doonican. Rose smirks as she thinks, How appropriate.
While the Doctor rambles on about the car's finer points, Are there any?, Rose walks around to the front of the car and has to cover her mouth to hold back her laughter when sees the license plate.
Rose's brow furrows as she tries to discern the trail of yellow liquid pooling at the front of the car. Poor thing. I think it's pissed itself.
Rose tugs her hair behind her ear and looks over at the Doctor in confusion. "Why this car, Doctor? she asks. "If you don't want a brand new car then you could at least find one that needs less work."
The Doctor looks back at Rose with a fire and passion in his eyes that she hasn't seen in a long time. "Because it's mine. It's not borrowed, begged for or stolen. Since I've arrived here, I've inherited Mickey's old room, you lot have provided for me and I've nicked alien tech from Torchwood to create my new sonic. He turns away from Rose to look fondly at the car and pats the roof lovingly. "But this little beauty here, she's all mine."
Rose examines the Doctor's face and clothes, both covered in oil and grease, and remembers how happy both of her Doctors were whenever they worked on the TARDIS. She hasn't seen him look that happy and excited in a long time. She decides at that moment that she is going to do everything in her power to keep him that way.
Rose looks thoughtful as she makes her way over to him. "Well then, I would have to say that you made an excellent choice! A bit of jiggery pokery and she'll be tarted up in no time!" she ends with her trademark grin.
The Doctor gives her a manic grin as she bumps his shoulder and utters the question that she swore she'd never ask him, "So, do you need an assistant?"
His smile disappears and he leans back against the car with his arms crossed over his chest. "No," he replies firmly with an even stare.
Rose is taken aback and more than a little hurt before he adds, "Just you," and gives her a quick kiss on her lips.
Rose smiles and says, Fantastic! But I would like to make just one suggestion."
The Doctor's curiosity is peaked and he asks, "Which is?"
Very straight faced, Rose replies, "That we change the license plate. Immediately."
The Doctor walks over to the front of the car and laughs out loud when he reads the license plate. "It's the first time that I've seen it! I was so excited about the car, I never noticed it before."
He looks up at Rose with eyes full of mirth. "I agree 100% about changing it. So, just a normal plate then?" he inquires.
It was Rose's turn to laugh as she asks, "And when has normal ever suited us, Doctor? No, I was thinking it could say BADWOLF."
The Doctor looks shocked and exclaims, "Bad Wolf! What in Rassilon's name made you pick that?"
Rose reaches for his hand and explains, "Because it's Bad Wolf that's always bringing us back together. It's also part of our past and now it can be part of our future."
The Doctor seems lost in thought for a moment until he reaches for her hand. Giving it a squeeze, he murmurs, "I rather like that."
Suddenly, he claps his hands together and says, "Molto bene! We have a brilliant name for the car, now we merely need to ready it for her christening!"
He pops the car's hood and bends down to retrieve his tools while he addresses Rose. "Oh, and Rose, love?"
"Yes, Doctor?" she asks as she drapes her jacket on a nearby chair.
He continues to rummage through his toolbox as he informs her, "For future reference, I don't need a ring like your mum's to pick up on thoughts that are directed at me."
He taps the side of his head with his finger and says, "Telepathic, remember? The body may be mostly human but the full Timelord faculties remain," he finishes with a smirk.
Rose looks quite chagrined and mumbles, "Sorry," and gives him a long, lingering kiss in apology.
The Doctor pulls back with a waggle of his eyebrows and suggests, "You know, I still haven't shown you the backseat yet. I'm going to make it bigger on the inside."
Rose smiles seductively and tugs him closer to whisper, "I'd be glad to take you up on that offer." The Doctor releases a shiver as he gives her a smug smile. Rose's tongue pokes out between her teeth and she continues, "Once I've had a tetanus shot."
The Doctor takes on an affronted look until he tosses an aside glance at his car and concedes, "Fair point." He hands her a flashlight while he picks up his sonic screwdriver and with a wide grin asks, "Shall we get started?"
Jackie and Pete are standing off in the distance watching Rose and the Doctor work on the car. Jackie turns to Pete and says, "I still can't believe it, Pete. What on earth possessed you to sell that old piece of junk to the Doctor? You really are one hell of a salesman!"
Pete smiles, wraps his arms around her from behind and rests his head on her shoulder. He tells her, "A man needs something to call his own, something that he can invest his time and energy in and take pride in with the finished effort. For me, it was Vitex. For the Doctor, it's that towing violation out there."
He explains further, "I've learned a lot about the Doctor from the conversations that he and I have had together. He's a self-made man, Jacks, and arriving here with nothing and having to depend on others has been hard for him. He just needs something to work on while he figures out everything else.
Jackie turns her head to look at him, her eyes full of love. "That's really very sweet, Pete. I never realized that I married such a clever man." She gives him a kiss and nuzzles into him.
Pete hugs her tighter and says, "It's like a domino effect, really. It makes the Doctor happy, which makes Rose happy, making you happy, for which you can show me your appreciation for later." He gives her a wide grin and filthy leer.
Jackie snorts and rolls her eyes in exasperation. "Besides," Pete continues, "it will free up some space in the garage and I literally sold it for a song."
Jackie is stunned and asks, "And what song would that be? Because being the music lover that you are, it would have to be a song. Especially since even his nibs out there is too smart to pay money for that wreck."
Pete smiles and says, "Yeah. He wrote out the lyrics to Highway to Hell by Chris Rhea." Jackie looks at him in confusion. Pete clarifies, "He never wrote that over here. I've already faxed Chris the lyrics. It'll make a great song!"
Jackie just shakes her head until she realizes something. "Wait a minute, Pete. The Citreon's a manual, not an automatic. Does he know how to drive stick?"
Pete pulls back and replies, "Not yet."
Jackie looks at him in disbelief and sputters, "But…"
Pete spins her around and flashes his patented Vitex smile, thumbs up and wink and says, "Trust me on this!"
Jackie just laughs in response and embraces Pete. He really has made them all happy and apparently the Doctor has really needed this. She wonders where she can order a bumper sticker that says, "I brake for Time Loops. Again & again & again…"