Jackie looked away from Pete as she heard the front door click shut, turning instinctively towards the sound and listening for the soft footsteps of her daughter. "Rose." Slipping out of his arms, she rose from her seat and walked through to meet her. "Come and have a cup of tea, sweetheart."
Shaking her head, Rose frowned. "I would, Mum, but I'm meant to be working on the Dimension Cannon." When her mother looked blankly at her she almost smiled. "My project? The machine to get me back to the Doctor, remember?"
"Sorry, 'course I do. Just a bit preoccupied."
"It's okay." She shrugged off her mother's apology. "I just need to get back to it; I'm hardly getting anywhere with it and I only came round for a couple of blueprints from my room. I'll still see you tomorrow though."
Jackie laid a hand on her daughter's arm, looking her in the eye. "Rose, please, come and sit down. You can spare half an hour or so."
"I'm okay, you know? I mean, yeah I miss him so much, more than I can describe, but I'm coping. Just because I miss him all the time it doesn't mean I'm losing my mind. I'm just never gonna stop loving him, Mum, I can't, it's just not possible." She bit her lip, feeling tears forming in her eyes but refused to let them fall, knowing it wasn't the time to break down.
"I know, sweetheart."
Rose was quick to finish her point, preventing her mother from saying anything more. "And I'm not giving up, not ever. If I have to spend the rest of my life finding a way back, I'll do it."
"Rose." Jackie's voice was firm. "I know, and you're going to make it, I know you are." She pulled Rose into a hug. "Half an hour isn't gonna change that, please, I want to talk to you, we both do."
She looked at her mother questioningly but could see how serious she was. "Okay, an hour at the most." She walked with Jackie into the living room and took a seat in the armchair opposite Pete. "What did you want to talk about?" She looked between him and Jackie, intrigued by their nervous expressions and the way he couldn't take his eyes off her mother even when she sat down beside him.
Jackie stared at him, feeling ridiculous for having no idea how to start the conversation with her own daughter. After a moment her gaze dropped and she wrapped an arm around her stomach, Pete's unrelenting gaze making her smile as she looked back up at him. He reached for her other hand, squeezing it in the hope it would serve as a comfort, happy to break the silence for her. "Rose, I just think you should know, before I say anything else." He squeezed his eyes shut, grimacing as he mustered up the courage to speak about his feelings, something he could usually only do with Jackie and he was thankful that she didn't mind the difficulty he always had in finding the right words. "I'm in love with your mum. Really, properly, truly in love with her, like I've never felt for anyone else. She's the love of my life, always has been." He relaxed and smiled when Jackie pulled him to her and kissed his cheek.
"I know." Rose couldn't stop herself frowning, despite being happy for them; she placed a hand over her eyes for a moment before regaining her composure.
"Sorry, love, I didn't think." His eyes filled with guilt as he realised how much that had hurt her; what he had with Jackie was a painful reminder of what Rose had with the Doctor, love being exactly what she was missing.
"It's not your fault, but really I'm happy for you, I'm so glad you found each other again." She switched her gaze to Jackie. "And Mum, honestly, I love you both, I do, I want you to be happy; I'm so happy for you."
Jackie breathed a sigh of relief, leaning into Pete and smiling when he wrapped an arm round her shoulders. "We thought you were, but it's a relief to be sure. Because no matter how things are with me and your dad, no matter what happens in the future, I love you, Rose, I will always love you, more than you'll ever know."
Tears began to prick Rose's eyes; she couldn't resist getting up and hugging her mother, feeling a sudden, desperate need for the human contact. "I know, Mum, I love you too." After a moment she released her and returned to her seat, smiling at them both.
Pete was now beaming, pulling Jackie close again and kissing the side of her head. "There is actually something we wanted to talk to you about though." He looked down at the woman in his arms; she looked back, nodding encouragingly. "I've asked her to marry me again."
Jackie grinned, holding her hand out towards Rose. "Gave me an eternity ring and everything." She lowered the hand, resting her arm across her body. "Now we don't want anything big, just a small gathering, renewing our vows, but I was hoping you'd be my maid of honour, a bit unconventional I know, but I don't care. I just want you by my side. What do you say?"
Rose nodded, grinning profusely and Jackie was sure she'd never looked so happy since they came to that universe. "Of course I will. Congratulations." Her mother looked a little relieved and Rose wondered how much she'd worried about her acceptance of him, even when he was her dad.
Jackie smiled as she looked down to where her rings sparkled on her finger, her hand splayed out over her stomach. Pete covered her hand with his own, lightly caressing the back of her hand. "Thank you."
Rose tilted her head at them, a tentative smile playing on her lips. "Mum, are you pregnant?"
She nodded, grin fixed on her face. "Yes. We found out today." Nothing was going to wipe the smile off her face. "Only a few weeks, but you're going to have a little brother or sister." She felt Pete press his nose against the side of her head and turned to kiss him. "I love you." He was grinning too, overjoyed at the prospect of having a beautiful little child to raise with her.
"Oh that's wonderful." Rose smiled at the affection her parents were showing, sheer joy and adoration on both their faces. "So wonderful."
Pete hadn't taken his eyes off Jackie. "It's perfect." He gently rubbed her stomach even though she wasn't close to showing. "I can't wait to meet the beautiful little mite."
Jackie leant closer to him but watched her daughter to be sure she was happy. "But this doesn't change how much I love you, Rose. Like I said I'll always love you."
"We'll always love you." Pete corrected her. "You're still my daughter, Rose." His expression softened and he looked concerned. "If that's what you want." She was nodding, tears in her eyes. "Good, because you are, and this little one's no influence on that."
She couldn't stop smiling. "I know." She sniffed, feeling foolish for getting teary-eyed over that of all things. "And thanks, I'm lucky to have you as a dad, so's the baby."
His smile widened at the mention of his unborn child. "I dunno, feel pretty lucky myself." He momentarily looked away from her to Jackie who was still curled up in his arms.
Rose stifled her laughter, shaking her head at him. "Honestly, your support with everything means a lot, so thank you. It means so much to me to have you here, well both of you." She looked him in the eye. "It means everything to have you here when I need you. I love you so much."
Noticing the tears in her eyes he held an arm out to her. "Hey, I know. Come here." He smiled as she walked over to them and settled into his side. "I love you, both of you." He pressed a kiss to each of their foreheads and pulled both women closer. "My beautiful girls." He pressed his face into Jackie's hair, beginning to feel emotional. "My family."
"Yeah." Rose mused, feeling more relaxed than before and comforted in knowing she had their support. "The three of us, a family."
"Four of us." Jackie added.
"No." Pete shook his head, rubbing Rose's back. "Five. Five of us."