~ 5. There is this place, and it makes me think about a future I never thought I could have ~
It's there that they make plans.
"Where are we gonna go next?"
"Ooh, I fancy a spot of sightseeing in the constellation of Madari. There's this planet there, Rose – oh, it's brilliant! It's called Gendoopocos – isn't that a fantastic name? Gendoopocos – anyway, they have these pineapples there, well, they aren't really pineapples but they look like pineapples…"
"Doctor, can we go to Hollywood?" she asks, rolling onto her front, onto his chest, and staring up at him beseechingly.
He runs his hand down her naked back, then up again, before resting it in her hair, cradling her head. "Are you going to run off with a film star?" he questions lightly.
"Only the good-looking ones," she responds, flashing him her tongue-between-teeth smile.
"Well in that case…" he growls, tilting his head as he rolls them over so that he can quickly capture her lips with his.
"Maybe we should check out the 1980s again," he ponders, thinking about the various outfits she's worn on visits to that decade.
"Yes!" she agrees enthusiastically. "Oh, I'd love that. And then can we pop in and visit Freddie again?"
He heaves a put-upon sigh. "Oh, I s'pose so."
"Thank you," she whispers.
"You are very, very welcome," he whispers back, wrapping his arms around her.
The Beast's prophecy lurks in the corner of his mind, and it mocks him.
He realises that some plans he must partially make on his own, in his head, for fear she would suspect something's wrong if he voiced his every thought.
And so on this particular morning, he clears his throat to make an announcement. "One day, I'm going to take you to the province of Nara on the planet Ciria, which is located in the Bruair system, ooh, about seven thousand light years away from your solar system."
She smiles sleepily and slings an arm comfortably around his waist. "What's there?"
"Nara," she clarifies, through a yawn. "Why would you like to take me there?"
"Oh," he replies softly, gazing up at the sky. "Just because."
"Shall we go there next?" she asks.
He lets out a long sigh. "No, no. We have to wait."
"Why do we have to wait?"
He looks down at her as she looks up, and smiles a slow, quiet smile. He feels wistful, feels his hands tremble slightly as he thinks of a future he still isn't sure he deserves but one he wants with every molecule of his being. "Because..."
He does not answer her, but kisses her instead. He does not speak another word until she's slipped into sleep beside him, her head tucked safely in the crook of his neck, her steady breath blowing like an incantation of promise against his skin.
"We're not ready yet," he tells her sleeping form. "We've got so much more to do, so much more to see. But when you're a bit older, and when we're ready, and if you want me to, I'll take you to Nara. It's a lovely little place." He presses a kiss to her hair. "I'll buy us a house and everything. Maybe we'll pop to Barcelona first and get a dog with no nose. We'll be happy in Nara. It's a little like Earth, and a little like Gallifrey, and a little like neither, and it's the perfect place to sit still for a while. You'll see."