AN: Apologies for the gap, again. I've been on holiday and haven't kept up with the chapters. Hopefully I'll soon get back into the swing of things and have regular updates again.
I realised I missed out Rose's birthday—we've finished spring and her birthday's in April—but in my defence I only found that out recently. Just wanted to say why it's only mentioned in passing now.
It was done.
"I think we all deserve a pat on the back," Rose said happily, sitting back on the dark blue sofa—the same blue as their bedding—and admiring their (and Elsa's) handiwork. The flat was finally properly furnished, and looked much more like a home.
"Yup." The Doctor fell untidily into place next to her, dislodging the pale blue throw and one of the yellow cushions. "Whoops." He picked it up by the blue trim. "I don't think I've ever been this colour-co-ordinated."
"I'm not saying anything."
He mock-scowled at her, but didn't say anything.
Rose traced the blue floral pattern on the white carpet with a toe. The place felt a lot more welcoming with a few home comforts. And thanks to the large mirror hung opposite the window, a lot more airy.
The old, thin curtains had been replaced by proper blackout curtains, matching the throw, with dark blue ties. The windowsill had been scrubbed and repainted, and was now home to their three new plants in polished royal blue pots: one spiky and silvery; one, which looked like brilliant green coral; and Lovers Kiss—all-year flowers that were marbled in multiple colours, and an unusual shape that at a certain angle looked like two people kissing.
The bed, freshly made up with its starry bedding, was lined underneath with square baskets, holding the clothes that didn't fit in the wardrobe (which, admittedly, was pretty much everything that didn't require a hanger). The spiral headboard had little blue fairy lights wound round it. A fluffy, deep blue rug lay beside the bed. A small shelf had been erected on the wall above Rose's side to give her, her own alarm clock, bedside light and place for books. The wardrobe doors, which had always been awkward to open in the space, had been removed, and instead another light blue curtain fitted in the doorway.
The table and chairs had been scrubbed down, re-varnished, and the legs adjusted to get rid of the wobble. A vase of butter-yellow and cornflower-blue fake flowers stood in a white vase in the middle of it. A proper table—instead of one of the chairs—had the television on it, which was now facing the sofa instead of the bed. A proper blue lightshade hung from the ceiling, and a matching standard lamp stood next to the sofa. A new, though very small, coffee table stood before it.
Elsa had also erected a set of shelves using some kind of lightweight wood. The bottom three levels were only bare frame, with sliding boxes for the Doctor's gadgetry, and above that stood books and such that had been slowly collected since their arrival. There was plenty of space for that collection to grow.
And last but not least, the Doctor had finally got around to doing what Rose had suggested: some pictures for them to frame on the walls. He had bought some colour paints, and in frames now hung landscapes of the more beautiful planets he had Rose had visited, a portrait of the two of them together, and one of the TARDIS; both inside and out.
The Doctor shot Rose a scowl and turned back to the brand new computer. It was about the size of a regular laptop, but much thinner, with a digital keyboard. "It's not exactly simple technology."
"No," Rose agreed. "So does it work?"
"Of course it works! It's also a few years ahead of this time, so best not show it around. Anyway, it connects all right to Em Yle's version of the internet; meaning that we no longer have to run around town to research things. And, for its maiden search …" He brought up a screen. "Holidays! What do you fancy?"
"Beach," Rose said immediately.
The Doctor chuckled. "We can go to the beach here. We do; a lot."
"Yeah, but not all beaches are the same, are they? Let's try something a bit different."
"All right …" He scrolled down through a few results. "Hmm. Beach holidays are pretty pricey. Although—this one looks reasonable … Where's Fancra?"
"How should I know?"
There was a pause. "Ah, that's why it's cheaper. It's right in the middle of nowhere. Just a small cove, a tiny hotel and not much else for miles."
Rose leaned in. "It looks nice though. And it would make a change from all the touristy stuff round here."
"True … but transport might be a problem. Look at the map. The nearest station is miles away."
"Not from the looks of things."
"Well then," Rose said, "it's a good thing you got me a bike for my birthday."