A/N I've had a few requests ever since "Falling Slowly" for a certain article of clothing to make another appearance, so for those who've asked your wish is finally granted. ;) This little addition to the 'Verse will be in two parts, and it's pure fluff.
The Doctor stood quietly in the doorway of the bedroom he and Rose shared, hands in his pockets and leaning his side against the open door as he studied the sleeping form of Rose in their bed. Her features were soft and relaxed in gentle slumber as she napped, fatigue having overtaken her midday, as it now frequently did. It struck him then, though not for the first time, that this sight before him was quite possibly the greatest wonder he had ever witnessed in his exceedingly long life.
Rose – now his wife, his bond mate, and pregnant with his child. If he had once been given a glimpse of this future he never would have even come close to believing it could ever be true. Yet here they were. Not only that, but they now shared a life which, due to the changes this pregnancy had brought to Rose, would not be lost to him all too soon due to heartbreaking brevity.
Yet despite the miracle of it, that didn't mean it all came easily. Rose was now entering her ninth month of pregnancy, and it was becoming one of the most difficult for her. She was feeling more and more drained and more uncomfortable. Due to the twelve-month duration of the pregnancy she had been smaller than average size for quite some time, and now that the baby was growing in earnest in this last quarter term the marked increase in size seemed sudden and put her at more discomfort. And the discomfort she was feeling wasn't at all eased by the knowledge that she still had three more months to go.
With this arrival of the nine-month milestone, it just made her weariness all the more acute. Though Rose had not mentioned this or complained about it, the Doctor knew she had to be thinking that if this was a normal human pregnancy she would be ready to give birth by now – not left with a quarter of a year still remaining. The Doctor was aware that carrying his part-Gallifreyan child was more of a strain for her than any other human woman would've had to endure in a typical pregnancy.
She didn't complain, though. But he could tell her mood as of late was becoming just a little glum. Though Rose had experienced some ups and downs with her moods during the pregnancy, she had never been what could be described as an emotional wreck. Easily teary now and then maybe, and then there was an incident that involved a glass of blue banana juice and the Doctor's head, but in all fairness to Rose he had rather deserved it at the time. Her emotions had remained mostly stable though, and even now she wasn't overtly glum or moody. Mostly she was just tired and beginning to feel less and less attractive, though he had assured Rose that he found her to be the exact opposite, which was absolutely true. The Doctor couldn't keep his eyes or his hands off her. He adored her like this. He adored her in any state. She was Rose. And she was his. Those two reasons alone were more than enough to drive him completely mad for her, whether she was carrying his child or not.
Watching her now as she slept atop the deep blue duvet, one hand resting across her swollen belly, the Doctor was struck by the idea of wanting to do something special just for her. The only problem with that thought, though, was that he tended to be rubbish at this sort of thing. Oh, he'd managed a few romantic acts here and there. Some notably impressive ones if he did say so himself, like trips to their own private bungalow in Antigua. And true, he had made personal leaps and bounds by chipping away his armor and now being able to tell and show Rose how he felt for her. But making romantic gestures was an area that was still far outside the realm of his comfort zone. And Rose wasn't really the type who needed that sort of thing anyway. But still, most women did appreciate such things now and then, didn't they?
It didn't have to be a trip to the forty-first century for a candlelight dinner on the Moon. Those reservations were hard to get, anyway. No, if he could just think of something that would have personal significance for her; some way to demonstrate again just how much she meant to him.
This could be dangerous, the Doctor thought to himself as his posture stiffened just a bit. Him, thinking along the lines of romance. If this kept up, next he'd be observing things like...Valentine's Day and anniversaries! The Doctor paused in thought. Was he supposed to observe things like Valentine's Day and anniversaries? He made a mental note to ask Pete about that sometime. The Doctor shuddered slightly at the domesticity of his thoughts. He could almost see a Northern-accented version of himself smirking at him in the back of his mind. The Doctor determined he would make the effort for Rose, though; and that showed just how much this pink-and-yellow human had turned him upside down.
The Doctor stepped out into the corridor and paced a bit, his thoughts ticking off a list of possible ideas. Rose was now more gorgeous than ever and he wanted to show her off. He wanted to do something Rose might not think she was even in the condition for just to prove to her how sexy she was, despite her thoughts to the contrary. He wanted...
The Doctor came to a stop. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. And it was something that would also have special meaning for both of them, he thought a bit smugly, rather pleased with himself for his clever idea. To really carry this off, the Doctor wondered if he still had...?
He stepped back into their room and quietly walked over to the wardrobe. He opened it, and a quick glance inside identified what he was seeking. And being right at the front, apparently the TARDIS approved of his idea, too. The Doctor bundled up the clothing and took it out of the room. He'd change in another room later to surprise Rose and add to the effect.
When Rose woke a little while later, she opened her eyes to find the Doctor in the room with her, sitting cross-legged at the foot of the bed. He was facing towards her but his focus was on some sort of device in his hands that he was fiddling with. It looked like a part off the console, and Rose assumed he'd moved his tinkering in here so he could be near her. It wasn't the first time he had done so, but the fact that he did still filled Rose with a pleasant sensation of warmth.
Still a little sleepy, Rose was content just to watch him quietly as she lay on her side, one arm tucked under her head. She loved watching him like this, his slender fingers making meticulous movements, eyes focused intently as he peered down at the device in his hands through his glasses, his dark tousled fringe falling over the upper rims of his specs.
He glanced up at her once, and when their eyes met, a slow forming smile came to his face. "Hello," he greeted as he set aside what he'd been working on.
"Hello," Rose answered back. She yawned. "Whatcha doin'?"
He pulled off his glasses and tucked them into the pocket of his jacket. "Weeell, a more appropriate question for someone such as myself is what am I not doing. Ultimate multi-tasker, me." Rose rolled her eyes fondly as she smiled and stretched an arm behind her head. "Let's see. I have been...overhauling the Transit Switch because activation of the Vortex Primer has been getting a little sluggish, and while doing this I was also calculating the calibrations needed to adjust the Symbiotic Relationship Circuit's Briode-Nebuliser in order to keep the Dematerialization Circuit in tip-top shapetamundo..." He paused and frowned. "And I am never saying that word again. Where was I? Ah yes, while at the same time I was counting your breaths per minute during stage two sleep as your theta brain waves started to spike – call it a hobby – and also telepathically brushing our son's mind to say hello and keep him occupied because I could sense he was getting alert and active and I didn't want him kicking you awake until you'd finished your nap, and all of this while planning a rather fantastic evening for us, if I do say so myself."
He moved up the bed and stretched out on his side next to her, his head propped on one hand with the other reaching out to lie atop her curved belly.
Rose placed her hand over his and smiled as she tipped her head up towards him. "You've been busy."
"Me? Naaah. I was just relaxing."
She chuckled. "For you maybe, but for...ohhh." Rose stopped mid-sentence as she breathed out softly, looking down at her belly.
He glanced at her face and back down to her rounded middle. "Where?" he asked quietly, voice laced with excitement.
She wrapped her fingers around his hand and moved it a little lower. "Here," she whispered. "Feel it?"
His brows knit together in intense concentration before a slow, beaming smile lit his face. "Well, you're wide awake now, aren't you, Mr. Jack Peter Tyler?" He pushed Rose's white cotton T-shirt up a little so his hand could rest directly on her stretched skin, fingers probing gently. "Is that a foot or a knee, do you think?"
Rose rubbed her tummy next to his hand, a look of contemplation on her face. "I'd say it's a foot. He's gonna be a runner like you, and he's already practicing."
The Doctor hummed happily, fingers continuing to stroke softly. He tipped his head back up to look at her, the hand on her belly moving to her face, his palm sliding along her cheek. "Sleep well?"
"Yeah," she answered, staring back into his soft eyes. Rose sighed. "I just wish I wasn't so tired all the time, leaving you with nothing to do but...count my number of breaths per minute."
He shook his head gently, a finger gliding over to trace the shell of her ear. "Your body is working overtime growing another living being. That takes massive amounts of energy, and needing more rest is to be expected. Besides, counting your breaths wasn't all I had to do. I was also..."
Rose laughed softly. "Yeah, I know. You were doing some jiggery-pokery to the whatsit while thinking about recalibrating the...somethin' or other."
His lips quirked up in a smirk. "Those technical terms?"
She shrugged. "I learn from the best."
Rose moved her own hand to his cheek, sliding around behind his neck and moving her fingers up through his hair at the back of his head, idly stroking. "You said you also had fantastic plans for the evening. Does that mean you're gonna rub my swollen ankles?" she asked with a touch of mirth, but he could tell she was feeling a little down again.
"I will be more than happy to massage your gorgeous, if not slightly edematous ankles." He waggled his eyebrows. "Or perhaps a full-body massage. But! Before that, I have something else quite fantastic in mind," he boasted, then moved his face closer to hers and dropped his voice low. "And it's a good thing you're now well rested, because you're going to need it before this night is through."
The Doctor closed the small space between them and pressed his lips to hers. He moved against her mouth, soft and slow. His tongue stroked out and traced a circle around her lips, coaxing them open. Rose welcomed him inside, his cool tongue gliding along hers and mapping every recess of her mouth until she was left breathless.
Throughout this pregnancy the Doctor had been increasingly insatiable, and Rose knew if they kept this up much longer any further plans he might have for the evening would fall by the wayside. His hand went to her shoulder and pulled her closer, then slowly traveled down her body until he reached the hem of her shirt and crept underneath, moving higher, fingers stroking in tandem with his tongue, and Rose soon forgot why abandoning any further plans would be a problem.
"We could just stay here and keep doing this," she suggested on a raspy whisper as his mouth left hers and began a meticulous exploration of her throat.
"Mmm," he growled into her skin. "Could do, you wanton temptress who has thoroughly distracted me."
"You started it," she reminded him, her ability to breathe normally having abandoned her as her voice came out breathless.
His open mouth descended back down on hers, kissing her soundly. He eased back just a fraction, his dark, hooded eyes gazing into hers. "And I have every intention of finishing what I've started. Believe me. But I also promise that if we put this on hold right now the wait will be worth it."
Rose lifted an eyebrow, both seductive and challenging. "You can wait? You haven't exactly had much control since...well...since we bonded and you no longer had to have control."
The Doctor rolled to his back, taking several deep, cleansing breaths through his nose as he reined himself in, intent on proving he could regain his self-restraint. Rose's hand came out to rest on his knee, then slowly journeyed up his thigh. He cracked an eye open, peering over at her. "You're not making this any easier."
"I'm not trying to," she replied teasingly. "But..." Rose removed her hand and he both sighed in relief and groaned at the loss. "I am curious to see what you have planned, so I better stop distracting you or I'll never find out."
He grinned, rolling off the bed and hopping to his feet. "C'mon then. Up you get!"
"Easier said than done," Rose muttered as she maneuvered herself up to sit.
"Take as long as you need to get ready," the Doctor said, though he was bouncing slightly on his heels, as if he wanted to just take her by the hand and run. The Doctor remembered he had some changing of his own to do though, so he turned to slip out of the room, but stuck his head back through the door to add with a waggle of his eyebrows, "Put on something sexy."
Rose snorted as she swung her legs over the side of the bed. "And which pair of sweatpants would that be?"
"Well...," he considered, his head tilting upward in thought, "I do have a fondness for those brilliant, easy-access elastic waistbands..."
Rose chuckled and shook her head as he slipped out the door. She drew in a heavy breath and stood. She walked towards the wardrobe but was uncertain of what to even wear. He wanted her to put on something sexy, but she didn't think that was a possible option among her selection of maternity wear. She glanced down at her gray sweatpants and sighed. Well, if he really did fancy her in these then it shouldn't be much of a challenge to top this look.
She opened the intricately carved dark wood doors of the dimensionally-transcendental wardrobe and peered inside. She and Jackie had done some maternity clothes shopping together, but a few special items had appeared in the wardrobe here and there that always fit Rose like a glove, and it seemed the TARDIS had worked her magic yet again. Rose lifted a hanger and took out a dress that was near the front. She held it up before her and smiled. For the first time in weeks she was actually looking forward to wearing something for a reason beyond just practical comfort. Maybe she actually could pull off looking sexy, Rose thought.
Rose put a little more effort than she had as of late in applying her makeup. She hadn't exactly been letting herself go, but she hadn't made an effort to look glamorous, either. She didn't overdue the look. Her taste had toned down a little from when she was nineteen and she was a little less heavy-handed than she'd once been with the mascara. She did accentuate her eyes just a little more than usual for tonight's look though, finishing with a smoky eye shadow. She styled her hair in a loose up-do, a few soft blonde ringlets framing her face. After Rose had slipped on the dress, she moved to the full-length mirror to examine the finished look.
The silky soft dress was a deep crimson, the empire waist cinched beneath the bust and accentuating her, thanks to the pregnancy, rather ample cleavage as the halter style then rose and tied behind her neck. The flirty skirt skimmed her knees in a handkerchief-style hem that swished pleasantly against her legs when she turned this way and that. A pair of matching, strappy flat sandals completed the look, the stylish shoes actually quite comfortable.
The look was flirtatious and fun, and as Rose looked back at her reflection she actually felt quite sexy. Despite the Doctor's insistence of how attractive he still saw her as being, Rose had a hard time seeing it herself here lately as her hips and belly continued expanding. She loved being pregnant and would gladly sacrifice a slim physique for the sake of something so incredible. But still, it was nice to be in something that didn't have an elastic waist for a change and that reminded her she was still a desirable woman.
After a final glance, Rose turned from the mirror and left the room to join the Doctor and find out just what he had in mind for the evening. When she came down the corridor and into the console room, Rose halted in her tracks upon seeing the Doctor. His back was to her as he stood fiddling with something or other on the console. Her breath caught halfway up her throat as her eyes traveled over him. He wore a deep crimson, snug-fitting T-shirt (coincidentally the same color as her dress) with matching dark red trainers and...the jeans. He was wearing the same pair of slim, dark denim jeans she had only ever seen him wear one other time. The effect on her was the same as it had been the first time. In a word, Guh! The Doctor was gorgeous in anything (or nothing) and she wouldn't want him to give up the slim suits and ties, but something about the jeans just brought out a different side of sexiness.
He turned and caught her eyes, and his reaction to her own appearance showed he was in equal appreciation. He leaned back against the console, arms folded and one ankle crossed over the other, trying for a casual pose to match his attire and carry off the effect, but she could see his Adam's apple bob in his throat as he swallowed hard. Dark brown eyes followed a slow path down her body, visually caressing every ample curve and causing Rose to flush with heat, her cheeks tinged just a bit pinker by the time his heavy-lidded gaze locked on hers once more.
"You," he said slowly, pushing off the console and stalking towards her, "are gorgeous."
He stopped in front of her, just inches from their bodies touching, and traced a single finger along the line of her jaw, sending a shiver through her. Rose swallowed. "I was going to say the same thing about you."
He arched one brow, tilting his head slightly. "Slim and a little bit foxy?"
"Mmm," Rose breathed out, her hands coming to rest on his waist and then skimming down ever so slowly to his denim-clad hips. "Definitely." She looked back up into his sparkling eyes. "This is a very good look on you."
"Even better than the pinstripes?" he asked with nonchalance.
Rose placed a hand on his chest, torn between wanting to have a tie to tug and pull him closer by, but loving that there was only a single layer between her hand and his wiry pectorals. "Oh, I love the pinstripes, too. But you know what they say about variety...and spice."
A slow, heated smile curved his lips. "Well, you just might find that things are going to get even spicier."
"That a promise?"
"That's a fact."
His hands went to her back and drew her as close as her belly would allow. Her own arms wrapped around him again, trailing down his back, to his firm bum. She gave a light squeeze through the jeans and heard his subsequent intake of breath. "These jeans seem to have made you awfully confident."
He gave her a sexy smirk. "You should know by now, no matter how devastating I am in any type of trousers, that the confidence is all my own."
"And so is the humility," she quipped.
He sniffed proudly. "I am a Time Lord of many qualities."
Rose shook her head, chuckling. "So, is your confident, devastatingly-gorgeous, and humble self planning to take me somewhere, or are we just going to stand here and list your qualities?"
The tip of her tongue made an appearance between her teeth as she grinned at him, and the Doctor had half a notion to scrap his plans in favor of staying right here and giving a thorough, detailed listing of a few of Rose's own qualities. Later, he told himself as he cleared his throat. "Actually...we're already there. Where I planned to take you, that is. I set the coordinates while you were getting ready. So...," he loosened his hold on her and turned, offering his hand, "shall we?"
Rose grinned again and took his hand as they walked down the ramp and out of the TARDIS. They stepped outside, and Rose glanced around to familiarize herself with where and when they were. When traveling by TARDIS they could literally be anywhere. It was evening, the weather was mild, and it appeared they were on Earth at the corner of an alley leading out to a moderately busy high street. They emerged onto the sidewalk, and Rose instantly recognized the gray stone buildings of Kent Street.
They were back in Kendal, the very place that had been their home for four months when separated from the TARDIS. And more precisely, they were in front of the club the Doctor had followed her to the night she'd gone out with another man. It was an act of jealously and possessiveness and the first time Rose knew without a doubt that the Doctor's feelings for her were far beyond casual or that of simply a traveling companion.
It was also the night her heart had broken when, after confronting him and asking straight on for him to say once and for all if they were ever going to be anything more, he had backpedaled, again, after coming so close, and it had left her shattered. The pain, however, had not been for nothing. It was the night things between them finally began to shift past the point of turning back. And even though the moment had broken her, it had also begun breaking down the walls that had stood between them once and for all.
Being here again and remembering acutely the pain she had felt that night – especially now, knowing what they have and how much they almost let slip through their fingers – was nearly overwhelming her every emotion.
The Doctor stepped up beside her, placing an arm around her shoulder as he spoke quietly. "I thought...maybe we could make this a better memory the second time around."
Rose lifted her eyes to his, tears gathering and forming pools that spilled over and splashed down her cheeks. Her hand rose to her mouth to choke back a sob that had risen up in her throat as she turned slightly from him.
The Doctor's hearts dropped when he saw her reaction. The last time they had been here he had driven her to tears, and now he had done it again. What had he been thinking? Now the Doctor knew exactly why it wasn't in his nature to make attempts at romantic gestures. He was complete rubbish at this sort of thing. He mentally kicked himself in the seat of his blasted jeans and hoped that somehow he could manage to make up for this.