So, I'm sort of obsessed with Rose/Eleven at the moment and this was something that has stayed in my mind since 'The Wedding of River Song' aired. Reading back over it as I uploaded it, it's actually kind of creepy but I don't care because it's Rose and Eleven and everything is perfect and nothing hurts. Okay, it's just silly fluff but, really, it *had* to be done.
I own nothing except a blue bowtie and a red fez.
Oh, and please don't ask about the title. I fail miserably with titles and we all know it.
Pink Minutes and Chip Flavoured Tomorrows.
The Doctor should never be alone. He needs someone around always to talk him out of doing silly things that mess with the very fabric time. With this regeneration in particular, he finds it harder to control himself and easier so just shrug and mumble; "time can be rewritten", as he does something that's equal parts of stupid and dangerous. Like now, for example.
It stayed in his mind, all the time when he thought he was going to die, when he sort-of married River, when flirted with disaster-it stayed in his mind. This idea. This one little thing that he said on a whim but as soon as it escaped his lips, it grew. It grew bigger and the urge grew stronger and his willpower fizzled out and he put on his favourite, rose-coloured bowtie and now here he was.
Powell Estate, November 8th, 1993. Rose Tyler is seven-years-old.
Rose Tyler is seven-years-old and struggling with Multiplication.
The TARDIS makes an odd sort-of warning sound as it lands. It knows that they're not meant to be there. It knows and yet, it could've taken him somewhere else. It could've taken him to Raxicoricofallapatorious during the snow season or Cardiff in the year eleven-million, ten-thousand and nine. It could've even taken him to Gallifrey if it really wanted to. But it didn't. The TARDIS missed Rose as much as he did and it let itself become folly to The Doctor's silly reasoning. "Time can be rewritten,", "I'm The Doctor, I'm all about helping and Rose needs someone to help her with her maths!", "Don't worry, I won't do anything stupid," "If this wasn't meant to happen, there'd be someone here to stop it from happening!"
So here they both were. The Doctor and the TARDIS. Powell Estate, 1993.
The Doctor's stomach flipped. What if she didn't like him? What if she would only ever like him as the guy in the leather jacket with the Northern accent, or the pretty boy in the Converse and the suit? What if she didn't like bowties and fezzes and floppy hair and suspenders…?
He shook his head. She was only seven. She wouldn't have formed an opinion on what "her type" was, yet.
His stomach flipped again. What if he influenced her "type" now? What if, when she was nineteen, she wasn't attracted to the big-eared Doctor with the dopey smile or the doe-eyed Doctor with the long sideburns?
"Stop it," He scolded himself. "She's seven." With that reasoning behind him, The Doctor slipped out of the TARDIS and into the street. He stopped for a moment to take it all in. It had been so long since he was here. Or rather, it would be so long until he was here. "Wibbly-wobbly…" He muttered, breathing in the London air. He coughed as a sort-of smog filled his lungs. "Good to see you again too, Powell," He laughed.
He picked out Rose's flat easily. Too easily, really. It was as if he lived there himself, it was so simple for him to zone in on that one door out of hundreds.
Not a minute later, he stepped up to the door and raised his hand to knock but, before he could, the door swung open and he was face-to-face with Jackie Tyler.
"Rose! Don't forget to-oh," She smirked, coyly. "Hello,"
"Uhh… Hi…" The Doctor had forgotten Ms. Tyler's attraction to anything male, as he had made it perfectly clear the first time they met that he was not interested. Except that, well, they hadn't technically met yet. Also, even if they had, he had regenerated since she last saw him and so she wouldn't recognise him regardless. Still, somewhere in the future she was happy building a life with her husband-ex husband-parallel husband, Pete. He'd forgotten how much he loved Jackie. Well! He says loved…
"Who are you?" Jackie flashed him a grin.
"I'm, uh, John…" The Doctor tried to remember his cover, a wave of emotions washing over him as he took in the familiar sights and smells of the Tyler household. "Smith… John Smith," He pulled his psychic paper from his pocket. "I was sent by the school to help Rose with her homework…"
Jackie narrowed her eyes.
"It's free," The Doctor added with a hopeful smile.
"Right, well," Jackie turned to look, presumably, at Rose. "I've actually got to head out to get some groceries now, maybe you could come back later?"
The Doctor felt his hearts drop.
"Well, I'm completely police vetted," He told Jackie. "Never served any time in prison, used to baby-sit back…in the day…" He stumbled over the last part. He did used to baby-sit. Just not humans. Still, it counted, right? He wasn't really lying, just sort-of…bending the truth a little.
Jackie gave him the once over. "Well…" She started hesitantly. "I'll be back in an hour and so-help-you-God if you've stepped out of line,"
"I understand completely, Ms. Tyler." The Doctor's hearts began pumping again, his nervousness kicking in as he thought about his beautiful Rose sitting just beyond the doorway.
"Please," Jackie winked. "Call me Jackie."
A few moments later, The Doctor was making his way through the little flat, having been told where he could find the tea and biscuits and after Jackie had asked the next-door-neighbour to keep an eye on and ear out for her little girl. "Rose?" He called, and the name felt wonderful on his tongue.
"What?" A little blonde-haired girl with big brown eyes poked her head around the window-divider from the kitchen. She was clad in a big 'Art Attack' sweater and her fingers were covered in chocolate, a jar of Nutella in her hand. "I'm allowed, I swear." She told him, looking angelically between The Doctor and the jar of chocolate spread. He chuckled.
"I won't tell," He winked. "Promise."
Within an hour Rose could multiply in her stride and herself and The Doctor had taken to playing 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' while they waited for 'Byker Grove' to come on the telly. "This is PJ and Duncan's last episode," Rose told The Doctor. "I'm going to miss them so much." She pulled a scissors and, anticipating this, The Doctor pulled paper.
"Don't worry," He told her, with a reassuring smile. "This isn't the end for them, a little birdie told me that they're going into music next." He pulled rock, knowing she would pull paper.
"Look at that!" He exclaimed. "You beat me again!" She giggled and one of his hearts melted. "You're too good at this game, Rose Tyler."
"I know," She shrugged. "I like your bow."
The Doctor looked down, before realising that he couldn't see it.
"Pink's my favourite colour," Rose told him. "What's your favourite?"
The Doctor thought for a moment.
"I like lots of colours," He told her. "I like chip-coloured yellow, and apple grass-coloured green, and spacesuit-coloured orange…" He smiled. "Here," He reached up and pulled off his bowtie. "Seeing as how pink is your favourite, you should have this."
"Really?" Rose's eyes widened.
"Yep," The Doctor nodded. "I have lots more, so it's okay." He looked into space thoughtfully. "I don't even remember how my getting that one came about, if I'm being honest…"
"Thanks John!" Rose threw her arms around The Doctor, and he sighed happily. Oh, how he missed this.
Jumping in and out of time had always been The Doctor's speciality. Jumping in and out of time for personal reasons had not. But he was addicted.
The year was 1996 and Rose Tyler was ten years of age. He rapped on her door like it was his job. At this stage, it kind of was.
She pulled it open, a huge grin on her face, her cheeks puffy from her obvious run to answer the door before her mother. "John!" She grinned and they high-fived.
"Long division today, then?" He grinned, striding through the little hall. "Evening, Ms. Tyler." He nodded at Jackie as she sat, on her bed, hairdryer in hand.
"For Heaven's sake, John, how many times do I have to tell you? It's Jackie." She paused. "And you really need to tell me what moisturizer you use." She shook her head, her eyes widening slightly. "You never look any older."
"John, John! Rose tugged at his hand and The Doctor smiled at her little fingers fondly. "Look, I painted my room!" She pointed at her bedroom, proudly.
The Doctor poked his head around her doorway and surveyed her new digs.
"It's pink," He stated.
"Bowtie pink." Rose flashed a devilish grin at him.
"It's cool." He told her, nodding in appreciation.
"Bowties are cool." She told him in return.
His hearts fluttered. Only Rose Tyler.
"Ugh," A fourteen year old Rose rolled her eyes, as herself and The Doctor tucked into a jar of Nutella with their fingers. She was leaning back on her chair, her boot-clad feet on the table, her Algebra having been long since finished. He was trying not to show his dislike for the sweet condiment, although he was beginning to grow oddly accustomed to its hideous taste at this stage. "Boys are so stupid," She huffed before quickly adding; "Except you, obviously, but you don't really count."
"I don't?" The Doctor raised his eyebrows in mock hurt. "Rose Tyler, I'm offended."
Rose laughed, the sound of it sending a shiver down The Doctor's spine.
"Of course you don't count, you're John Smith, teacher extraordinaire, bowtie-wearing, Nutella eating John Smith," She eyed him. "Which, by the way, is my Nutella."
"Yeah, yeah," The Doctor waved his hand dismissively. "So what did Mickey do this time?"
"It wasn't Mickey," Rose told him. "He's fine…" She paused, thoughtfully. "Actually, Mikey's great…"
She smiled a little before her smile turned sour. The Doctor suppressed a laugh. "It's Jimmy, that blonde guy from London city that I was telling you about, yeah? The musician?"
The Doctor nodded, recalling their previous conversations about Jimmy-so called "dreamboat". Or something equally as notwithstanding as that.
"So he thinks it's fine to make out with me in a cupboard at Shereen's birthday party, right, and then he just goes off with her today like it's no big deal!"
The Doctor's almost-there eyebrows shot into his hair. "Rose Tyler, you did what in a cupboard with some…silly…little…twit-" He faded, not really knowing what to call this kid. "You did what?"
"Oh relax, Granddad, a little bit of tongue ain't the end of the world you know," She rolled her eyes, this time at him.
"Could be," He muttered, protectively.
"You know what the sad part is?" Rose said, her eyes instantly becoming cloudy and suddenly all The Doctor's anger faded away and his hearts broke at the sight of her.
"I actually kind of liked him." She told him, a little tear escaping as she sighed.
The Doctor took her hand. "You listen to me here, Rose Marion Tyler," He said confidently, reaching his other hand up to her chin and forcing her to look him in the eyes. "Someday, this won't matter. Because someday you're going to find someone who would pull Universes apart for you, someone who would travel back in time, if they could, just so they could be with you, someone who would take in the Time Vortex for you, even if it meant they might die, someone who will always believe, with every heart; in you, Rose Tyler. Someone out there will love you unconditionally, forever. I promise you that."
And then Rose burst out laughing. "Oh, John," She stuck her finger into the Nutella, sniggering. "You're the best, you know that?"
"It's been mentioned once or twice…" The Doctor feigned modesty and Rose rolled her eyes a third time.
"You're such a man." She said in a mock condescending tone.
"Yeah," The Doctor laughed awkwardly. "Yeah, I am."
It was her sixteenth birthday and The Doctor knocked four times with his free hand on the door of flat 48. He winced, and knocked a fifth time-just in case. The swung open almost instantaneously to reveal a curly haired Rose, who was sporting a short, pink dress and silver heels. The Doctor took a little step back to admire her. Her curly hair bounced as she did a little twirl for him, her eyes were framed with little silver sparkles and her pink lipgloss glistened under the dim April light. The Doctor bit his own lip, trying not to remember the night they went back to Cardiff in 1869 and she was dressed in a gown of that era. It was the first time he openly confessed that he thought she was beautiful and it was the first time he realised that he didn't want to live without her. Three years from now, he would meet her for the first time as himself in a grungy, old, store basement, and she certainly wouldn't be dressed anything like the way she was now. And yet, she would be more beautiful by just being her regular self, if that were even possible. Not more than a few days after their first meeting he would take her to see the end of the world. A little twisted thing his mind did, so that he could share with her the feeling of being the only two left of their kind in the universe. He would later regret this decision and realise that she deserved more than feeling alone and he would hold her hand out of love and not necessity for the first time. Of course, he wouldn't realise this until much later but, he still believes, that was the moment he fell in love with Rose Tyler.
"You look perfect, Rose." He told her, honestly.
She looked up at him through her thick, dark eyelashes and his hearts did a funny sort of dance which he liked to refer to as Samba Rosa-in his own mind, of course.
"You think so?" She asked, bashfully. "It isn't too… 'little girly'?"
The Doctor shook his head, smiling. "Not with those shoes!" He laughed, his eyes wide as he stared at their ridiculous height and she laughed with him.
They stood in the doorway for a moment before The Doctor seemed to snap out of some sort of trance.
"I brought you something small," He told her. "It's a bit of a joke, really," He said thoughtfully. "But I wanted to be the first to give you-" He brought his hand round from behind his back, his fingers curled around a little pinkish rose. "A rose for my Rose," He said proudly, without thinking. As he was about to backtrack, she exclaimed;
"Oh, John!" She squealed, throwing her arms around him. He closed his eyes, taking in her vanillin smell. "That's so sweet, no-one's ever given me a flower before-well, except Mum when she pretends to be a secret admirer on Valentine's Day…" She rambled, giggling. "Sends one to herself and all…" She seemed to lose herself in the moment a little and she planted a kiss on his cheek.
The both froze momentarily, unsure of how to react when, suddenly, Jackie's voice pulled them from their moment and they jumped apart quickly.
"Good, John!" Jackie called. "You're here, excellent. You can help me hang these flamin' decorations."
She was eighteen now and this was the last day The Doctor knew he could spend with her. Although he knew that, if he really wanted to, he could stick around longer-stop her from giving up her A-Levels for Jimmy Stone, stop her from dating her best friend Mickey, stop her from settling for less than love-he could. (Actually, in fairness to Mickey, he was one of the good guys.) In fact, he could probably just confess to her who he really was and whisk her away from this awful place altogether, but that would mean that he would possibly never really meet her at all and that just wasn't a chance he was willing to take. He could take, but what would the consequences mean? Would it matter? He supposed it would; time was a funny thing to play with. Best not mess up his own life in the process of screwing with her destiny. That was not only paradoxically selfish but also just that little bit too dangerous for him to toy with.
In less than a month, Rose will have run away from her A-Levels, choosing instead to live with "dreamboat" Jimmy and, in less than eight months, she'd be living back with her mother again, with Mickey as her boyfriend. In just over a year, The Doctor's Ninth regeneration would save her life and, in return, she'd save his. A million times over. Wasn't fair really, in retrospect.
He had asked for her to meet him here, on the London Bridge at precisely 7:05pm on November 8th, 2004. Eleven years after she'd first met him, seventeen years after he'd first met her. (If one was to go by a strict progression time-line from a linear, subject viewpoint.) It would be only mere months until his tenth regeneration would get a glimpse of her, in January 2005.
The darkness was just beginning to fall and The Doctor strolled along the bridge, the smell of chipper chips wafting from the greasy, rolled up paper in his hands.
"John?" Rose's voice made The Doctor turn on his heel, in the way only The Doctor could, and his breath hitched in his throat when he caught sight of her. She looked now exactly like she had looked when her first met her. Or would meet her. She had cut her hair and she was wearing a baggy shirt and jeans and it made him stop for a moment. This was his Rose. Not that she hadn't been before, of course, but now it was far more evident.
"I bought chips," He said, stupidly. Of course he hadn't bought them, he had told the Chip Shop that he was checking to see where in London had the best chips for the "National Chip Awards" -psychic paper, very handy- and, being as ever charming as he was, he had convinced the owners to let him take his work with him. He was a good Samaritan really-he'd earned the chips from the countless times he saved the world. Besides, it's not like they were only for himself. They were for sharing, and what's more good Samaritan-like than sharing?
"I know," Rose smiled. "I can smell them."
She walked closer and he let himself watch her for a moment. They finished the chips fairly quickly, as they always did in the future, and The Doctor slipped his hand into hers effortlessly. They strolled in silence for a while, taking in the cold and the city lights, just being happy in each others' presence. 'This', he thought, 'is how it should've ended.'
"I have to leave, Rose," The Doctor said, finally. "You don't need me anymore."
"I'll always need you, John." Rose said quickly. "Besides, my A-Levels are coming up this year and I'll need my teacher extraordinaire." They stopped walking, and Rose searched his eyes. He could tell that she knew he wasn't joking.
"Believe me," The Doctor said, genuinely. "If I could stay-I would." He added sadly, "I've already outstayed my welcome. I was supposed to leave you a long time ago."
"When I went to J.S Comprehensive." Rose said knowingly, but The Doctor didn't respond.
Instead he just brushed his thumb over her knuckles, not really knowing how to continue.
"Rose, do you believe in…magic?" He asked, tentatively, replacing the word "aliens" with the word "magic" at the last moment.
"Only when I'm around you," She told him, but she didn't say it in a love-struck, romantic way like the do on the telly. Hers was more of a confused, questioning tone. He didn't blame her for that.
She paused. "You never age…" She stopped, waiting for a reaction. When she didn't get one she continued. "You always know what's going to happen before it happens. You talk about strange things like they're perfectly normal, strange places… I've never heard you mention a family…" She stopped, and The Doctor could tell she was unsure of whether to tell him the next bit or not. Eventually, she seemed to decide to just let him know. "My school told me when I was eight that they never sent you. They'd never even heard of you… I never told Mum..." She paused, her free hand reaching up to his face. "I didn't care, John. I don't know who you are but, somehow, I know you. And I'm glad I know you. And I would never trade our time together for anything."
Hearing these words coming from Rose Tyler, The Doctor didn't know how to respond. He didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Here was his Rose, his beautiful, perfect Rose, and she already understood him. She didn't even know him yet, not technically, and, yet, here she was, a year before they were destined to meet, and she already knew him better than anyone left in the universe.
"That doesn't change the fact that I have to leave, Rose," The Doctor told her seriously. "But I promise you, someone who loves you more than anything will come along soon and he will love you more than he's ever loved anything in creation, more than his own life. He might not realise it at first but, trust me, he will and, when he does, you'll mean more to him than a thousand universes."
There were tears in her eyes now.
"But he won't be you." Her voice cracked and The Doctor gave a half-hearted laugh. In a way, she was right. The man she would end up with after everything would not be him. It would be partly him, but in six years and he'd be alone again and trying to talk himself out of "helping Rose Tyler with her homework". And he would fail. Miserably.
He'd end up right here with her again and everything he'd ever felt for Rose would come crashing down on him all at once and, before he'd know what he was doing, he'd be kissing her.
His arms wrapped around her waist and hers found their way to his hair. She tangled her fingers in it and her body pressed tighter to his as he pushed her lightly against the wall of the bridge. All of his years of imagining what it would be like to kiss Rose Marion Tyler and it was more amazing than he could ever have imagined. Of course he was inextricably linked to what he liked to refer to as Ten Too and, whenever Ten Too would kiss Rose, he'd feel a little tingle in his own lips. And Ten Too kissed Rose Tyler a lot. But this, this was different. This was all him and all Rose and this moment was everything he'd ever wanted. He knew then that breaking the rules for his own personal gain just this once was the best idea he'd ever had. He would probably pay for it in the long run, timey-wimey meddling is always linked to that uncool thing that the Philosophers like to call "karma". But he really just did. not. care.
After what could've been three minuets but felt like only a moment, they pulled apart. He cupped her face lovingly and told her everything he'd always been too chicken, too silly, to say.
"Because I won't get another chance," He said, placing a kiss on her neck. "I love you Rose Tyler." He pulled back and stared at her with every intense feeling of love he'd ever had for her. "I love you more than the sun, the moon, the stars. More than anyone who has ever lived or ever will live-I love you."
He wrapped his arms around her one more time and kissed her forehead. She shut her eyes and placed her hands on his chest, "Your heart," She said, her eyes springing open instantly. "It's beating so fast… Too fast…" Worry crossed her features and The Doctor just smiled.
"I'm going to miss you, Rose." He paused. "Think of me when you dance." He whispered and covered her lips with his one last time.
The year was 2005 and The Doctor leaned casually up against a wall in Henrik's Department Store, waiting for the familiar vworp of the only constant in his life. It filled the area at 7:02pm, just had he had been expecting. Out of it, strode a confident, brooding Ninth Regeneration of himself. He scoffed at himself but then figured that at least this regeneration didn't have the attention span of a six year old. Nine, as he so eloquently called himself in his own mind, scanned the area, his eyes instantly locking on double doors. He remembered this so well and yet, here he was, ready to change it.
But then Nine began to turn away from the doors, to head in the opposite direction, up towards the fire escape.
What? No. This wasn't right.
"Oi, you!" The Doctor called to his former self, who spun around instantaneously. "You can't just leave her in there," And all of a sudden the memories of that night flooded back to him. He remembered this, this strange, bowtie clad kid with the funny chin. Maybe this was how it had always been supposed to happen after all.
"Who're you?" Nine demanded in that Northern accent that had been the catalyst for his first sort-of banter with Rose.
"There's a girl in there and in," The Doctor looked at his watch. "Two minutes, she's going to need your help."
Nine's eyes narrowed.
"Wow, those really were big ears…" The Doctor muttered.
"What?" Nine looked at him severely.
"Do us all a favour, yeah?" The Doctor shook his head, his mousy hair falling over his eyes and he attempted to blow it out casually, but just ended up having to use his hands. "Lighten up."
"Who. Are. You?" Nine demanded again, his expression stoic.
"It's all a bit wibbly-wobbly, isn't it?" The Doctor smiled. "Mind you, if I'd've realised at the time… Your ears are really, very distracting…" He trailed. "Anyway, I'd best be off." He said, nonchalantly. "I've an appointment with Time…" He pointed towards the double doors. "But seriously, there's Living Plastic in there and the poor girl's only human." He began wandering off towards the exit. "Mind you, she's a feisty one. And she makes a mean cuppa tea… Unlike her mother who can really only make nice fish fingers and custard. Well… I say nice…"
Nine stood staring, his brow furrowed in both confusion and annoyance.
"Also, can I offer you some advice?" The Doctor called as he began to round the corner.
"What?" Nine called back, irritably.
"Ask what twice?"
"Just trust me," The Doctor grinned widely. "I'm The Doctor."
Kind of a bit wibbly-wobbly and all over the place but this is what I spent my Psychology lecture doing so don't hate me 'cause I'm a hopeless romantic.