Rose was awoken by a rather overexcited Doctor, who bounced delightedly through her door-without knocking, he seemed to have no idea about personal space of privacy-carrying a tray of precariously stacked pancakes.
"Happy Birthday!" He exclaimed, jumping onto the edge of her bed with a grin.
"What?" Rose mumbled, rubbing her eyes in confusion. It felt like it was the middle of the night-even thought the Doctor constantly reminded her, as a lame excuse for waking her up ridiculously early every morning, that there was no concept of time inside the TARDIS, as they were in the vortex which meant time was in a constant flux (whatever that means)-and this was the last thing she expected to wake up to.
"Happy Birthday!" He repeated eagerly, "I've made pancakes!" He pointed out the obvious, evidently pleased with himself. Impatient, he swiped his finger through the tremendous waterfall of syrup oozing over edges, and popped it in his mouth, frowning. "You'd better hurry up, because this is rather delicious, even if I do say so myself."
"It's my birthday?" Rose asked, confused.
"Yes. You're twenty-one." He looked at her incredulously. "Did you not know?"
"Well, I um, guess I haven't been paying much attention." She sat up and mimicked the Doctor's actions, licking the warm syrup from her finger. "You're right, this is fab."
He smiled at her, pleased. "I'm glad you liked it."
Rose beamed back, and he did that sort of satisfied hum that he did so often, that made her insides feel a little warmer.
"So, where are we off to today?" She asked, shoving a mouthful of food into her mouth-she had suddenly realised how hungry she was-and moving over to make room for the Doctor to sprawl himelf out.
"Well, since it's your birthday, I thought I'd let you choose." He told her.
"Hmm..." She pondered, chewing thoughtfully.
"Hmm?" He asked. "Ooh, I tell you what! There's this brilliant planet, only a few light years from earth-it's called Tyne, and there are beautiful yellow mountains and oceans of red, and I'm told that there are some rather excellent banana trees that grow there. Or, there's this place, Alloy Station Twelve, where they have the best restaurants in the galaxy on one floor, and there's a Disney Land on the next floor-" He babbled, before Rose interrupted him.
"Oi! I thought it was my turn to choose?" She laughed.
"Oh, right, yeah. Sorry, got a bit carried away at the idea of Disney Land. I've never been to Disney Land. You'd think, the man who has travelled the stars for thousand of years, never been to disney land? Then again, doesn't go well with my title does it? Please can I have a one day pass to Disney Land, for the oncoming storm?" He sighed, dismayed.
"Doctor, you're doing it again!" She giggled.
"Oh yeah, sorry! Go on, where do you want to go?" He asked, obviously holding back his desire to go on another long waffle about places that they should visit.
"Well, to be honest, I don't really know. I usually just go along with what you're doing, because you know what you're doing." She admitted. "Well, I say that, but we almost always end up in trouble, thanks to you." She elbowed him playfully.
"Oi! It's not my fault that whenever you're around, any trouble seems to escalate. And, well, describe whatever you like, and I will find you a place that fits your description." He turned on his side to face her. "Your wish is my command!" He smiled.
"Well, to be honest, since one of the greatest joys in life is food," She finished the last mouthful of pancaked, licking her lips, "and, well, as theme parks are great, I think Alloy Station Twelve sounds perfect."
The Doctor smiled, pleased that his companion would so easily accept his suggestions. Cautious not to break any boundaries they'd built, he wrapped and arm around her shoulder and squeezed. Rose immediately shifted to fit better into his arms, and leant her head on his shoulder. She closed her eyes, and her and lulled for a second, before she fell-belly full, mind at rest, and wrapped in warm, calming arms-back into a peaceful sleep.
She woke up later, unsure of how long she'd been asleep, but disappointed to find the Doctor had wondered off. Her room seemed lonely without him.
She sat up and ran her hands through her knotted hair, stopping as she spotted a sheet of paper with swirly writing scrawled on it.
When you wake up, come to the console room. I have a surprise for you.
She smiled at the note, paying extra attention to the kiss at the end. In a sudden moment of sappiness, she held it against her heart and smiled, before putting it in her box of special things which she kept under her bed. It was hidden behind many pairs of shoes that she'd stolen from the wardrobe room, and she hoped to God that the Doctor would never find it. The fact that it mostly contained things to do with him would only lead to her being extremely embarrassed.
She carefully placed the note in the box, then had to scramble quickly to put it under her bed, as she heard the Doctor's footsteps echo down the corridor-sounding an awful lot like he was skipping-and stood up clumsily.
"Are you ready yet?" He burst into the room, impatience etched across his features.
"I'm coming!" She replied, purposely dawdling, as she found his childish anticipation rather adorable.
"Come onnnnnn!" he whined, as she fiddled unnecessarily with the rope on her dressing gown.
"All right, all right!" She laughed. Stepping forward, she withheld a gasp of surprise as his hands clamped down over her eyes. "What's going on?" She asked suspiciously.
"Oh, you didn't think I was going to let you see did you? You have to guess first!" He chuckled playfully, obviously enjoying playing these very human games with her.
"Oh God, you've gone domestic!" She teased.
"I have not!" He scoffed, cringing internally at the realisation that maybe he had. Just a little bit.
He led her down the hall, occasionally tripping them both in his rush. Bouncing with glee, he ignored her complaints of how frustrating this was.
"Don't I even get to guess?" She asked.
"You can try. But you won't work it out, I promise." He smirked.
"Is it...food?" She asked.
"Surprisingly, no. But I probably should have thought of that."
"Is it, I don't know, a book?"
"A board game?"
"Seriously, you think I'm that dull?"
"Rose, we have a time machine!"
"Oh I don't bloody know!" She sighed.
"I told you." He laughed. "You're seriously lacking some imagination, by the way."
Oh, if only you knew, Doctor.
They stepped into the console room, the Doctor still holding his hands over her eyes, and he guided her carefully to the console.
His voice took on a more serious tone and he said, "Keep your eyes shut, but hold out your hands." Before relinquishing her from his grip.
She obeyed, and he quickly went to pick something up from the console. She heard a clinking of metal against metal, and then silence.
"Doctor?" She whispered.
A warm hand pressed a cold metal chain into hers.
"You can open your eyes now." He breathed.
Her eyes fluttered open, and she held up the object now sat in her hand. There was a long, golden chain, that held a beautiful golden locket. It was an oval shape, and had gallifreyan writing neatly engraved on the front of it, all swirls and loveliness.
"It's beautiful." She sighed in awe, inspecting it carefully in her hands.
Effortlessly, she opened the locket to reveal a picture inside.
She smiled fondly as she remember that day. The Doctor had led her from the TARDIS, into a beautiful forest of all different colours. They had trekked for hours, before the heavens opened and the rain poured relentlessly from the sky. She had chastised him for not paying attention to weather forecasts, but they both thought it was great fun, really.
They had recently agreed that they should take a picture wherever they went, and this would be no exception. In the picture they stood, soaking wet but with wide grins and bright eyes, under the shelter of the Doctor's large brown coat. Rose was looking at the camera, but the Doctor's eyes were trained on her face, and his expression made her melt. He really looked like he absolutely adored her. She guessed that she never really saw it in real life, but to see it from another perspective made it seem clearer.
Snapping back into reality, she remembered that these fascinations were probably due to her over-active imagination, and that nothing would ever become of it.
"It's beautiful. Thank you." She murmured.
"Now, wherever you go, you know that I'll always be right there with you." He whispered.
A part of her brain registered what he had just said, but the rest of it assured her that it was her own mind, once again playing tricks, and using wishful thinking to bring to life the desires that she held secret.
She looked up and saw his expression turn to one of worry, and the part of her brain that desperately clung onto hope screamed at her that what he just said was real, and he looked worried because he thought he'd overstepped the line.
Say something! Her brain screamed. Tell him how you feel!
He coughed awkwardly before, saying "Disney Land, Alloy Station Twelve it is!" Before slamming down a lever and shouting. "Allons-y!"