This Is Where It All Began

it'd be best if you read Glastonbury before this. but it's not at all necessary. (:
TenII/Rose, established relationship.

This is where it all began.

Rome, Italy. It's summer, and it's one hundred and four degrees Fahrenheit. It's the middle of a heatwave, and he's asking for tea.

Rose contemplates a soothingly refreshing cold drink, but finds her mouth ordering tea before her brain has any chance of catching up. The barista frowns at the odd request on such a day, but nevertheless takes their order. It's on the table in front of them before she can blink, and she thanks the barista in broken Italian as her husband wanders off.

She looks around for him for a couple of seconds, before finding him at the back of the café, looking up at something resembling a chalkboard. It's filled with dusty letters half disintegrated by time itself. It takes her a few moments to realise that it filled with names and dates and times.

He turns away, but sits down at a table close. She follows, not really paying attention, her mind galaxies away. She sits down and notices for the first time that her tea isn't tea, it's just boiling hot water. There is a small bowl in front of them filled with teabags stuffed together like sauce sachets. The Doctor informs her, nothing short of delighted, that you get to pick your own flavour of tea. He has an expression on his face that reminds Rose of Tony in a giant sweet shop. He pulls the bowl towards him, pulling out a few teabags at random, reading the flavour aloud. Strawberry, mango, caramel.

He finds a banana one and Rose thinks he might just explode. He doesn't drink it though, just lays it on the table, and Rose frowns. He doesn't comment as he dunks a vanilla teabag into his tea.

They chat about trivial things whilst drinking, like where they are going next and what time Jackie will phone. All too soon the cups are empty, the dregs of tea and time left in the bottom. He stands up, pocketing the banana teabag, and Rose excuses herself to use the bathroom.

When she comes back, she passed the chalkboard. There, in the bottom right hand corner in a loopy scrawl she knows exceptionally well, is the words 'the Doctor and Rose, Friday July nineteenth, 3pm.'

She smiles as she walks out the café, and he's waiting for her outside; he takes her hand and they walk down the alley they came up in, the summer heat beating down on them harder than usual after the air-conditioned café. She asks him why he took the teabag, and he tells her she'll have to wait and see.

She's sitting at another café, this time outside in the sun of Athens, Greece, and he comes out holding two mugs of tea and a teabag.

She asks him what it's for if not for drinking, and again he kisses her nose and tells her not to be so nosey. She huffs jokingly, taking a sip of her tea before realising that it's chocolate. He laughs, and kisses her on the mouth this time, and from his kiss she can tell his tea is cinnamon. He pulls back, only a few centimetres so she can still feel his cinnamon breath on her chocolate flavoured lips, and tells her how thankful he is that flavoured tea really took off on this Earth. She silences him with another kiss, finding that chocolate and cinnamon really do taste good together.

Rose sits on the edge of the Latona Fountain in Versailles, France. It's not as hot as it has been, but the day is still beautiful, like the view in Versailles. He has wandered off, about a half hour ago, saying something about quenching his thirst. She trails a finger along the water in the fountain, admiring once again the beauty of it. Her name catches her attention and she turns around. The Doctor's walking towards her, two paper cups in his hand, not unlike ones in coffee shops in London. She beams at him, and he beams back.

She asks him if it's tea and his reply is short and is accompanied with a nodding head. She takes a sip, wondering about the flavour that he chose; he chose passionfruit, and she informs him he chose well. She inquires about his flavour, and he tells her that it's lime. She asks if it's any good, and he nods.

They walk away from the Latona Fountain, back to their hotel; they are to catch a plane late tonight, back to London. Their honeymoon has been a exotic mess of sightseeing, sex, chasing aliens and tea tasting and Rose believes it's the best honeymoon anyone has ever had, ever, and she asks him if they'll do this every year on their anniversary. He laughs and tells her it's a plan - after all, this is the couple who got engaged at Glastonbury festival. They are never done anything by halves, and that's the way they want to spend their whole life.

When they arrive back at their flat in London at four am, it's dark and all Rose wants to do fall into bed. The Doctor tells her there is something more important that they have to do first, but she is welcome to have shower while he sets it up. She frowns at him but nevertheless, a shower does seem undeniable at this point, after hours in an airport and a plane.

When she gets back, hair damp and body smelling of strawberry, she finds him in their bedroom pinning something up on the wall. It's a long piece of string, and her eyes fall on a pile of small, differently coloured pegs. She frowns again, and watches as he takes a teabag from his suitcase. He takes a peg and hangs a teabag up on the piece of string, securing it with the peg. She smiles, but when he asks her if she knows what he is doing she shakes her head. He wanders over to her and kisses her hair, smelling her coconut shampoo and a hint of lingering strawberry. He tells her that this is where they began, and it's something that they can keep track of. Places they've been to, where they've drank tea. All different flavours and all different stories. Something to tell the kids one day, he says, and they don't do much talking (or sleeping) after that.

The tradition continues, and they collect tea from every place they go. Soon there are teabags from Madrid, Melbourne, New York and Edinburgh, and many more. Once their TARDIS is complete, tea from different planets in galaxies far, far away join them on the string. It moves with them when they sell their flat. Their children don't quite understand, but they revel in hearing the stories of travellers and adventures their father tells them every night.

"This is where it all began …."