Just a little something for the Rose fans out there.
*In Case of Confusion: This takes place after New Earth and before Tooth and Claw for Rose and it is just before A Good Man Goes to War for the Eleventh Doctor. Rose is traveling with the Tenth Doctor at the start of this one, and the Eleventh Doctor is traveling with Rory, trying to build his army up to go save Amy and baby Melody.
Please Read and Review
"The next time we stop for chips, you're paying." Rose gave him a playful glare. "That's all I'm saying."
"Oh, come on. You can't tell me you didn't enjoy the look on his face while we were running away. 'Cause I saw you look back!" The Doctor grinned cheekily and gave her hand a light squeeze.
"If you'd just told me when he said it would cost me a fiver, that he meant he literally wanted five of my fingers..."
"You would have gladly handed them over to him?" The Doctor wiggled his free hand at her, still grinning away madly.
Rose rolled her eyes. "You're so bad!" She couldn't help laughing though. He was right. The look on that alien vendor's face when the Doctor came up just in time to save her by grabbing her hand and reinforcing his 'run!' rule, was priceless. The vendor hadn't been expecting them to skip out on the bill. He had the best tasting chips in all of that particular Galaxy and was used to people paying highly for them. He was also used to creatures who could just grow extra parts. Kind of like the Doctor did during his Regeneration cycle.
The Doctor and Rose were now walking down a London street on Earth in the 21st Century. She had planned to stop in and check on her mum, but she got a bit sidetracked after the Doctor suggested their next trip be into the past and that she choose which Century or decade they landed in.
She was trying to decide between the early days of the Roman Empire which sounded kind of cool, or the 1970s. The Doctor kept insisting that the '70s would be more fun, but she wasn't so sure.
The Doctor let go of her hand and turned around in front of her, walking backwards with his hands in his coat pockets as he faced her. "So, Rose, which will it be? Rome or Sheffield, 1970s?" There was no wiping that grin off his face and it was highly contagious.
"I don't know. Seeing all those Roman legions might be-"
"Hold that thought! I've got a CD I wanna find in the TARDIS. You go pop in and say hi to your mum if you like. Then off we go." He was off and running then.
Rose shook her head while she stopped to watch him trot off. He was so happy and she loved to see him like this. She felt comfortable now with this version of the Doctor. He was her Doctor and she felt good with him even though he had changed his face. He wouldn't go and do that again any time soon.
Still smiling, she turned to head home just to give her mum a quick hug, drop off some laundry, and grab a few clean clothes. As she turned, someone ran right into her. "Ow!" She stumbled back a step, but managed to catch herself. She looked up.
"Oh!" Said the man who ran into her. He stepped back, holding his arms up as if he were trying to shield her from a fall. "Uh, sorry about that. I'm in a bit of a hurry."
Rory glanced around nervously, than back at the blonde girl he'd nearly knocked off her feet.
"That's alright, I was-" Rose stopped short. She looked the man up and down, her mouth hanging open. He was dressed like a Roman! A proper Roman! In dark reds with a sword and...was that a cape? Yes, it was! A real and proper cape!
"Are you on your way to a costume party or something?" Rose tried hard to remember if they'd stopped on a holiday, but try as she might, she was pretty positive today was nothing special.
Rory glanced down at himself, a faint blush appearing across his cheeks. "Or something, actually." There was no use in telling this stranger that a time and space traveling alien had sent him to this particular day and time to leave a note for another of his former adversaries who owed him a favor in order for them to go back to the future and rescue his wife and newborn child from unknown enemies. So he just remained quiet on that.
This earned him another odd look from Rose. "Lose a bet then?" She slowly smiled again, trying to guess why on Earth this man was dressed up like an ancient Roman soldier.
The Doctor would love to see this! She tried to picture the Doctor's face if he caught sight of this guy. Rose would have laughed out loud if she didn't think it would be too rude.
"Not really, no. Just...A friend. He wanted me to wear this...You know...So I..." Rory shrugged uncomfortably. Why did the Doctor always have to make him look as ridiculous as possible? It'll be so cool! He'd begged him. You'll look more threatening!
Yeah, sure. More threatening to who?
An understanding look crossed Rose's face. Oh, so he's gay! "Oh! Yeah, you don't want to keep him waiting. From the looks of it, he's probably pretty eager for you to get there so he can get you out of that...Outfit." She suppressed a giggle.
Rory turned a brighter red. "What? No, I-"
"It's okay! I've got friends who are-It really is okay! Seriously. I've got this friend, Jack, and he's-"
"RoryPond!" The Eleventh Doctor's voice boomed out from behind Rose, startling her. She didn't have time to turn to face him as he stepped up beside her, looking at Rory expectantly. He didn't seem to notice her.
Rory quietly sighed at the way the Doctor often called him Rory Pond and ran it together like it was one word or one name.
"I've collected several more allies while you were gone, and I'm ready for you now. You ready to face them?" He was talking about the Cybermen.
"Yeah, sorry, I was just on my way-" Rory informed him as Rose turned her attention to the man standing beside her.
"But you're taking too long, Rory, we've got to do this now!" He was a gangly looking fellow wearing a bow tie. This must have been the 'friend' the guy who ran into her, Rory, had mentioned. His outfit must also be some sort of costume, too. Why else would a young guy wear that stuffy outfit and that silly bow tie?
"Allies? Don't you two naughty boys get up to some kinky dress up. With friends." She smirked, unable to keep from teasing them playfully. Being around the Doctor often put her in a playful and fun mood, even with strangers about. And strangers didn't get much stranger than this pair!
The Doctor recognized the sound of her voice before he turned to stare at her. His eyes popped open wide as he stared at Rose with what could only be described as shock and horror.
Rory slowly followed his gaze. She looked pretty ordinary to him, but if the Doctor's face was anything to go by, she may have been a terrible enemy, someone to fear. He tensed up, ready for anything.
The Doctor reminded himself to keep breathing. Rose. She was so close he could reach out and touch her if he wanted. He curled his fingers into his hands and tightened them into fists to prevent himself from doing just that.
He realized he'd recognized her voice and even her gentle scent already, but what with trying to rescue one of his best friends, he hadn't registered these familiar things right away.
He saw her face change from amused to scared at the look he was giving her. A scared Rose? No! Absolutely not. He couldn't have a scared Rose. It was so painful to lay eyes on her again as it was that he was certain the guilt alone would cause both of his hearts to stop working any second now.
Just as quickly as the horror and shock on his face appeared, it vanished, replaced with a softer, tragic look that scared Rory even more than the last one. He was about to ask him if he was okay, when the Doctor spoke up again.
"Hello." He was nearly whispering in such a tender tone that it caused Rory's eyebrows to raise. "Nothing wrong with a bit of dress up now and again, is there. He has to convince my enemies that he means business. Now," He addressed Rory, but didn't take his eyes off of Rose. "You look like you're ready to face a million Roman Legions. Let's go."
Rose scowled. She didn't know either of these men, but the bow tie wearing one was looking at her with such intensity that she couldn't help but feel her heart start to beat a little faster. She wasn't able to read his expression, but she thought he looked devastated. Why he might be suddenly devastated at the mere sight of her, was beyond her understanding. But there it was, laid out for her to see in his soulful eyes and rueful smile.
"But Doc-" Rory began, only to be interrupted once more by the Doctor.
"Rory!" The Doctor admonished, tearing his eyes from Rose with a concerted effort. "We're in a bit of a hurry here, if you remember. Your wife." He stepped over and pushed Rory by the shoulders. "You're lovely wife who gets quite cross when she's left on her own." The Doctor thought about the four psychiatrists and the scars Amy probably left on them when she bit them. All because he'd done just that, left her on her own a bit too long.
He tried to remain focused on Amy, but how could he continue like this with Rose standing so close to him he could reach out and hug her? He tried hard not to look at her again.
"Right." Rory agreed with a nod. He allowed himself to be pushed and gave Rose an apologetic nod.
"Wait a minute." The Doctor froze at those words uttered by Rose. He stared down at Rory's shoulder. Rose pointed at each of them, crossing her arms and then back. "So, you two aren't a couple?"
"A couple?" The Doctor laughed nervously, but Rory, glancing over his shoulder at him, could still see deep sadness in his face in spite of his laughter. "Us? No, he's got a wife, and we've got a mission."
Rose was surprised that these two weren't a couple. The Roman one, Rory, sure seemed gay to her. But now that she knew the truth, that didn't explain away the Roman outfit. Neither did it give reason to the inexplicable way the other man was reacting toward her.
"But if you two aren't a couple, how comes you made him dress up like this?" She asked, pointing at Rory as she eyed the Doctor.
He glanced back at her and he was trapped. Once more he was swept away with ample amounts of love and guilt. He couldn't take much more of this. If he stayed for three more seconds, he was positive he wouldn't be able to stop himself from hugging her. He may not have been quite as expressive with his emotions as his past incarnation was, but seeing her again was bringing up all sorts of feelings that were overwhelming his senses.
He kept looking at her with an intense look, which unnerved her. Moreover, he looked so sad that it made her want to cry. But she couldn't figure out why that would be. She'd never met the man before.
The Doctor apparently felt Rory was going too slowly. He grabbed Rory's arm and started dragging him away before he could catch his footing. "Don't mind us, we've got a battle to fight is all! You should be on your way Rose, you've got your own battles to fight. Haven't we all?" He rambled as he pulled Rory as quickly as possible away from her, leaving Rose to stare after them.
He failed to notice his mistake until after the fact.
She frowned. "How did he know my name..." She wondered aloud as the two disappeared around a corner. She looked over her shoulder where the TARDIS and Doctor would be waiting for her in the park.
Being around the Doctor meant that every day encounters were often far more than that. She couldn't just ignore this. Two strange men in strange clothing, one looking at her as if she'd broken his heart, and he knew her name! She had to get to the bottom of this.
With one last look back, she turned and ran after the two men.