A/N: Sorry about the delay. I refused to add more parts... and no, I'm not sure about the ending.
Both Jack and the Doctor assisted Tim as he tried to stand. "Can you walk?" Jack asked him.
"Think so," Tim replied, but his body wouldn't obey him. "Just give me an hour or so," he said with a grin. His body may have been heavily sedated but he could still enjoy the advanced activity of his brain.
"We'll carry you," the Doctor insisted. "You need to rest for a while."
"Okay, Dad. Thanks Jack," Tim answered, letting them take a hold of his legs and his torso between them and then place him on a trolley that the Doctor had placed nearby just in case.
Donna was beaming with relief as she watched them head towards their bedroom in the TARDIS, feeling her own tiredness after the strain of the recent scene. Turning to follow them, she almost walked straight into Rose. Donna couldn't help wondering where she'd been hiding.
"Is he okay?" Rose asked her immediately.
"Yes, it worked," Donna replied, reluctant to supply more information.
"Does this mean you'll be leaving the TARDIS soon?" Rose then asked.
"Depends what you mean by 'soon'. Tim has to sleep off the sedative and the partial regeneration for a few hours. After that, I don't honestly know," Donna admitted.
Rose brightened slightly. "Nothing has been decided then?"
"No," Donna slowly answered. "I suppose I'll have to go and collect Edgar from Jack's office at some point, but that's it. I have to go and be with Tim, he can't…" She then waved a vague gesture as if that would explain all, and found that she couldn't be bothered to do more.
Rose seemed to be deep in thought as she wandered away, leaving Donna to make her way quickly into the TARDIS.
Donna found Tim lying in his bed sound asleep, curled up on his side. All that was missing was a teddy bear, Donna thought as she gazed lovingly down at him and wiped his fringe out of his eyes. There was a buzz of activity beneath her fingers as she felt his dreamy thoughts race round his head; but at least they were all happy thoughts, filled with memories of when they had holidayed on a deserted beach in Norfolk and he'd been able to run about to his heart's content. It had been rare to be able to offer him that without people tutting at them.
"Can't leave him alone, I see," the Doctor commented from behind her.
She turned and smiled at him. "How could I not? He's always been adorable; just like his… mum," she said as he sidled up to her side and wrapped himself around her.
He smirked at the last word. "I think we all know who he takes after," he remarked cheekily.
"Oh yeah?" she replied, trying not to be distracted by his attempts to ghost his lips over her mouth.
He knew he was winning when she snaked her arms around him. "See! You're not even arguing about it. Just as you won't disagree with the fact that he needs a younger brother," he told her in seductive tones as he rubbed his nose along her jawline. "Or sister, as the case may be; I'm not overly bothered."
"Good grief! Am I hearing right? Are you actually telling me you want to go completely domestic?" she teased him.
He gave a shrug. "I already have a wife and a son here, so why not add to the fun?" he suggested.
"The next one wouldn't come readymade without the need for toilet training," she pointed out.
"It would be ultra-cute, though," he countered thoughtfully. "And possibly ginger. Well, hopefully ginger. We can aim for ginger, can't we?"
"For you, dear husband, I shall do my level best," she answered. Unable to resist the action anymore, she kissed him; first tenderly and then increasingly passionately.
"Let's go to bed," he whispered.
"Doctor!" she admonished him. "We have to keep an eye on Tim and he doesn't… well, he has already seen far more than he should have."
"You're not going to leave this room, are you?" he asked, getting the confirmation he expected. He then sighed. "In that case we'll just snuggle up on the other bed and you can keep an eye on your precious baby."
"Too right I will," Donna told him. "He's the reason I'm alive."
"And what about me?" the Doctor griped, adding in a pout.
"You? You're just my husband," she commented. With a patronising pat on his head, she added, "You know I don't mean it like that really. But I've thought of this moment for so long it's hard to consider anything else yet… And don't make a joke about being hard!"
"You spoil all my fun," he mumbled mischievously. "Now about this offer to go to bed..."
Tim woke and rolled over gently; not surprised in the least to see his parents dozing together in the other bed. A wide grin spread across his face as he contemplated them, glad that they had finally admitted their feelings to one another. He just wished that they could have longer together before it all went sour, but he knew that was a pipe dream unless his father found a way to stabilise the...
A sudden thought hit him, and he shot up sitting in bed. "Dad! Dad, I think I've got it!" he yelled out.
"Then don't give it to me," the Doctor mumbled in his half-comatosed state.
Tim huffed indignantly at him. "Seriously, Dad. I've got an idea," he insisted. "If you tweak Mum's DNA to be more Time Lord then she can heal herself. What if you open the heart of the TARDIS like you did for Blon then…"
"Don't even think about it," the Doctor growled menacingly. "Look what happened last time someone did that; I lost a life, a species was wiped out and Jack gained immortality."
"All of which was not Mum's fault or yours," Tim pointed out forcefully. "But can't you see that it might work?" he asked desperately.
The Doctor sat up too, and gestured for Tim to lower his voice after glancing at the still sleeping Donna by his side. "Yes, it could," he agreed. "But I have already set a plan in motion."
"What plan?" Tim frowned at him in confusion. "The only way you could have changed Mum so far is by… OH!" He shot a huge sunny smile at him. "You haven't, have you?"
The Doctor grinned back. "Might have done," he answered, visibly preening himself. "Now all I have to do is join with her mentally again and show her how to squash that tumour into oblivion."
There was the sound of a delighted laugh from Tim. "Can you do all that before the pregnancy ends and the tumour can come back?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes!" the Doctor replied, drawing out the syllable in a high-pitched squeak. "We can work on a permanent resolution together."
"Or you keep Mum permanently pregnant," Tim considered, and then laughed again. "I think she'd kill you if you did that."
"Sounds about right," the Doctor conceded. "I think this calls for a celebratory cup of tea. What do you think?"
"Definitely," Tim agreed. "Do I get breakfast in bed too?"
"Why you cheeky…!" the Doctor stammered in amazement.
"But Dad! I'm getting over a medical procedure. I need careful looking after," Tim argued, as he patted his chest and gave a pathetic little cough for extra effect.
Donna immediately snuffled awake. "What's happened? Did you call me? Is Tim okay?" she anxiously queried; and got laughed at for her troubles. "Tell me what's so funny!" she demanded.
"Mum, I was messing about," Tim explained. "Although I know for certain how much you love me."
"Was it ever in question?" the Doctor wondered.
"No, but it's still nice to know," Tim admitted.
"I can go off people," Donna griped, as she too sat up. "You may be cute but that doesn't mean…" Her voice trailed off as she considered him. "Shouldn't you be looking a lot worse for wear than you do?"
"Time Lord genes, Mum," he said proudly. "All I need now is a cup of tea and I'll be right as rain. Dad's making the tea by the way."
"Got any of those genes going spare, Spaceman?" she turned to ask the Doctor.
He smiled indulgently back at her. "I might be able to arrange something for you. But first I have to deal with your son and his need for tea."
Donna glared at him. "MY son? What d'you mean by my son? He's just as much yours, you know."
As Tim giggled helplessly on the bed, the Doctor couldn't resist being grateful for this moment. "I can see that," he remarked happily. "Did you want toast with this tea?"
They'd made the most of their stay in Cardiff with Jack while making sure Tim had gained his full strength and faculties. They'd had a good time strolling along the waterfront and playing on a nearby beach. Tim had found himself doing something he had never done before: he started to notice the local girls. Of course that brought problems all of its own, and Jack had been eager to field any questions and be a confidante.
Donna found herself worrying how Tim would now react towards Rose, for more than one reason. When she eventually voiced the concern to him, Tim had spluttered, "But she is way too old for me! Why would I look at her?"
"Oh, you never know," Donna had answered, aiming for nonchalance. "You'll find all sorts of women appealing as a human male."
Tim fixed her with a beady eye. "You are forgetting, Mum; I am more Time Lord than human now. We don't do that sort of thing."
"If you say so," she tried to say without scoffing. "Just be careful who Jack will test you with in the future."
She got back an indignant, "Mum!" Boys, eh? Who knew how much you could tease them? She'd been missing out on a great deal with him, and that thought made her tear up.
Two days later Rose came out of hiding again when Donna was sitting on her own while the Doctor and Tim were showing Jack some experiment of theirs. "Hello, Rose," Donna greeted her when the smell of her scent hit her as she sat reading in Jack's office.
"How did you…? Hello, Donna. I see you are still here. Have you got any plans to go home yet?" Rose asked, taking the seat opposite to her across the desk.
"I thought you knew the score," Donna proclaimed. "The fact is, Rose, that I am home. I'm spending as much time as I can with my son and husband."
"Husband?" Rose angrily questioned.
Donna sighed. "Yes, husband. We've been through a couple of ceremonies but it was the metacrisis that completed that one. I know you don't like the idea but I can't change it now just for you."
"But what about me?" Rose demanded. "The Doctor was supposed to be with me."
It was all too easy to blurt out some angry retort, and it wouldn't help the situation by doing so. "At the moment he is bonded to me. It will remain that way until I die," Donna restated. "Just promise me one thing afterwards, please."
"What's that?" Rose asked, wondering why Donna's tone sounded so sad.
Donna seemed to need to steady herself before saying, "Look after him for me; after the pair of them."
Was that threat of death real? "Okay," Rose quickly agreed, not knowing what else to say. Her concern grew when Donna stood up abruptly and swayed. "Are you alright, Donna?"
Donna placed a hand on her head. "No," she replied. "I feel really… I feel sick!"
"What do you want me to do?" Rose got up and hovered anxiously by her side.
"Just get me back to the TARDIS before I ruin your shoes," Donna warned. "What is that noise?" she complained testily. "I'll have to ask Jack to turn it down a bit."
"What noise? I can't hear a noise," Rose told her.
Donna held onto her forehead and she gestured towards the ceiling with her spare hand. "That deep vibrating noise that feels like it is boring into my head."
"All I can hear are the fluorescent lights, and they aren't that loud," Rose informed her. "You really don't look well."
Oh hell! Donna knew this didn't bode well for her. "Can you help me get to the TARDIS please, Rose? This might prove to be a bit shaming otherwise."
"Shaming? In what way?" Rose demanded to know. "Should I get you a drink or something?"
Donna bit down on her temper. "Just get me somewhere that's quiet and dark, please. I really don't want to throw up all over you."
"Oh! Right!" Rose sprang into action, grabbing hold of Donna's arm to guide her. She got her as far as the ramp when Donna began to stumble. "We're almost there," Rose tried to encourage her.
But Donna was gulping at shallow breaths, feeling her vision increasing darkening around the edges. She had expected the smell of burning matches, or the pins and needles down her left side even more. Everything was becoming a supreme effort of will. A slurring sound came out of her mouth but Rose could not make head nor tail of it.
There was a flurry of activity down the corridor towards them as someone raced towards the console room.
"Donna?" the Doctor cried out in panic. Within seconds he was by her side, and lifting her gently into his embrace. "Rose, what happened?"
"She said she felt sick, I got her here and then she passed out," Rose supplied. "Will she be okay? I didn't mean it when I said I wanted her out of the way. Make her better, please!"
"Pass me the …" The Doctor hadn't got far when Tim raced up to hand him a large bowl and Donna retched into it.
Both of them, to Rose's surprise, looked quite pleased about the situation. "What's going on?" she demanded to know. Her temper wasn't helped by Tim smirking at her.
The Doctor smoothed back Donna's hair lovingly, and flashed a brief grin in Rose's direction. "Don't worry; this is all perfectly natural." Seeing Rose's completely anxious and puzzled expression he decided to explain, "Donna is pregnant, with our child."
"Your child?" Rose nearly shrieked. "Then you… and she…" She pointed despondently between the Doctor and Donna.
"I'm going to be a big brother," Tim stated proudly. "And Mum is going to be okay. Isn't that terrific?"
"Yeah," Rose answered weakly.
"Am I really pregnant?" Donna asked from her position over the bowl.
"Yes, love," the Doctor gleefully answered. "I sort of assumed you'd be okay about it."
She glanced cautiously at Rose. "Can we discuss that later? I'm a bit preoccupied with losing my lunch right at this moment."
"Of course," he replied, and kissed her forehead.
Rose knew in that moment that her dreams onboard the TARDIS had come to an abrupt end. The family in front of her only had eyes for each other, and she didn't want to play gooseberry anymore. Biting down on the bile that had risen in her throat for more than one reason, she decided that she could overcome this disappointment. She owed it to herself.
The next time Rose saw them she hadn't deliberately sought them out. That's what she told herself. It had only happened because she kept in touch with Sylvia thanks to Donna recommending she did; not that she wanted to acknowledge that to herself even after all this time.
It had occurred in the local garden centre of all places, their appearance heralded by the sound of loud laughter. Before she knew it, Rose could see a pregnant Donna waddling towards her flanked by Tim holding the hand of a small boy and, believe it or not, the Doctor holding a toddler who was obviously his daughter. Who would have thought he could embrace domesticity so much and so willingly? This certainly was not the Doctor she knew. But then he had probably disappeared years ago.
What was clear to her was the fact Donna was glowing with health, Tim was knowledgably pointing out loads of plants to his brother, and the Doctor was engrossed in talking to Donna whilst answering his daughter's questions and hugging her tightly.
"You look well," Rose greeted Donna when it was inevitable they were going to meet.
"So do you," Donna readily replied. "I hear your husband has just got a promotion."
"Yes he has," Rose said proudly. "He deserves it."
The Doctor shifted the child in his arms and smiled at her. "That's really good to hear," he said. "Are you still with Torchwood?"
Rose nodded. "I'm back here in London permanently since Cardiff blew up. You wouldn't have met Jack on your travels, have you?"
Both he and Tim shared a look. "No," he answered, letting out a long breath.
"The widderman, Daddy," the small boy by their side burst out anxiously. "He getting poorly."
"We have a widderman to deal with," the Doctor told her apologetically, "so we have to go."
"It's good to see you all," Rose replied honestly. "Bye then."
They all said their goodbyes back and for the first time she could remember doing so Rose was glad she hadn't felt envious of Donna being with the Doctor. No, Donna was welcome to all those pregnancies after what she had seen Jackie go through with Tony.
With that thought in mind, Rose closed the box on that part of her life for ever.
Glancing back at her, Donna asked the Doctor, Any regrets?
None whatsoever, he quickly replied, Not when I've got all this!; and she felt his happy sigh through their connection.