His eyes widened. "Ah."
"Look, if this is because of Martha and Mickey having a baby, you don't have to panic, yeah, 'cos I know – I know that we can't be like them, I know we can't have kids, and I'm fine with that."
"Rose," he murmured softly.
"And I'm not leaving, ever, because I love you, Doctor, and if you're worried that one day I'll leave you to have a family then – well, then you're very silly, because that isn't gonna happen."
"Silly Doctor," he smiled, echoing her earlier words. "Rose?"
Rose sighed worriedly. "Yeah?"
"When you say 'can't' do you mean that as in, you think we literally can't, in the biological sense, or 'can't' as in we can't because of the life we lead?"
Her mind boggled at his question, confused as to why he was prolonging the fruitless conversation. "I...both?"
"Well, you see, theoretically we could. In the biological sense."
She frowned at him. "But you said it was impossible for me to get pregnant, that first time when I asked you about whether we needed protection."
"Well, yes, it is really, unless – you see, Time Lords didn't – we – oh, I'm rubbish at explaining this sort of thing." He sat up, propping himself up against the headboard. "Okay. Before they all, you know, died and everything," he began, swallowing thickly. "For centuries, no, thousands of years, Time Lords and Ladies hadn't procreated via sexual intercourse. Instead, babies were loomed."
"I remember you telling me all this. It's why I assumed that it was completely out of the question for you to get me pregnant. So, if that's out of the question, and Gallifrey's gone, along with the looming process, then...well, logical conclusion I came to is that me and you won't have kids."
He winced. "I didn't clarify things very well. You and I were so – so new, then, that I suppose I didn't want to delve into the mechanics of it and scare you off. Especially as you seemed so opposed to children back then anyway."
Rose's lips twitched. "Yeah, well. When you've had as many younger cousins as me and had to babysit them..." she mock-shuddered. "Puts you off a bit."
"But Rose, if I were to ask you, right now, a very important question, would you answer it honestly? That's what I need, Rose. An honest, instant gut-reaction from you."
"Okay," she nodded. "Go ahead."
"If I said that we could have a baby, would you want one?"
Her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. "Doctor - "
"No, no - no questions, just answer what you inherently feel."
"But - "
"Don't think about impossibilities, don't think about me and what I want, don't think about what'll happen because of your answer; just answer from your heart. If we could make a baby together, would you want to?"
She stared at him for a long time without saying anything. "If we could make a baby together...If we could, and if you wanted to...then, yes."
"Get rid of the 'if you wanted to' bit – ignore me, what do you want?"
Rose thought for another moment. What did she want? Well, she wanted to stay with the Doctor for the rest of her life. He'd told her to ignore the external factors, the consequences of her answer, but she couldn't. If she answered yes, and he didn't want one too, then, well, wouldn't things be all shades of awkward. If she answered no, and he did, then, well. Same again. And she couldn't risk losing him. Couldn't risk losing all this, this life, and him.
But if he was telling her that they could have a baby and still keep travelling, still be together, then...
Well. She was definitely up for that.
She told him so. Exactly that. That, "If we could have a baby but still live in the TARDIS and still travel together and still be together, then yeah, I'd want one. With you. A mini-Doctor." She smiled.
"Or a mini-Rose," he smiled back.
"Yeah," she breathed out roughly, wondering at his response. Did that mean...did he mean...?
"Rose, my DNA is vastly more complex than yours. That's why we can't just spontaneously conceive like a significant proportion of humans can. But. There is a way." He watched her eyes widen almost imperceptibly. "If you want," he added.
"Even if it's possible, though," she whispered. "Do you really want one? Or are you just doing this 'cos you think I want one? I wouldn't want you to regret something as huge as this. I'd rather not risk it."
"Okay, so what if I told you that seeing you holding Chloe today filled me with such an aching longing for what Mickey and Martha have that I could barely speak, I was so overcome with emotion?"
Rose's heart rate sped up. "Seriously?" she murmured, smiling slowly. "That's how you felt? You really want this that much? Is that why you ignored me in the kitchen, when I was holding her? Because you wanted me to be holding our baby? One that you and me can make together? One that'll have your impossibly great brown hair and – and, well, we can only fervently hope, my nose?"
"Yes, to all of that." Then he frowned. "Hold on, what's wrong with my no - " He cut himself off as Rose tugged on it, emphasising its size and pointiness. "Alright, I concede to your point. Especially as you have such a nice nose yourself." He leant down and pressed a kiss to it tenderly. He wrapped his arms around her and tugged her into his side. "I love you, Rose Tyler," he whispered into the top of her head. "I probably don't say that enough. But I do love you. I'll always love you."
"I know, it's okay," she murmured against his chest. "And I love you too."
He nuzzled her hair affectionately. "Do you want to make a baby?" he asked softly. "I mean, you don't actually have to decide right this second. I'm just a little...excited, I suppose. Which is preposterous. Because I shouldn't want this, really. I should be inherently inclined against such events taking place. But...oh, I – I can't help it. I see you and I think how beautiful it would be, making a baby with the woman I love, and I feel so...so unlike how I should be, how I used to be, and that's – I don't mind that, because I'm a better person for going against all that, for falling for you and letting you heal me. I'm a better person.
"And it might be very unlike a Time Lord to want all this, you and domesticity and a child, but – well, who's to say that we can't have all that, and keep the adventure in our life too? There's no rulebook we have to stick to. Not anymore. We'd have to be more careful, certainly, about where we go and what we do, how involved we get. Can't exactly drag a baby into the midst of an interplanetary crisis, or a pregnant-you for that matter. But we've had our years of recklessness. Maybe it is time we started to be more careful. I know you love the danger and the thrill of it and the running just as much as me, but...well, would it hurt to slow down for a while? I don't think it would. I think it would be just as scary and thrilling to embark on this adventure. And it wouldn't be neglecting the universe, not really.
"We can still keep our eye on it, plan to sensibly intervene if necessary. Plus, the universe owes us, surely, after all we've done for it. Meanwhile, our child – or, you know, children, if you wanted more than one – they'd have the most exciting upbringing ever, visiting all the wonderful – safe – places in the universe. We could show them our favourite planets. Our favourite chip shops. Take them to Disney World on Clom for their birthdays. Visit the Astrologus Playground on Xej – they have the most massive sandpit there, Rose, we'd have hours of fun. Oooh, sand – beaches! Think of the beaches we could go to! Remember that place on Fehi, where we went for your twenty-fifth? I seem to recall they had a great little shop that sold buckets and spades, there. Mind you, the memories of what we did on that beach might get a bit much, so on second thoughts we'll save Fehi for when your Mum wants to babysit...you're quiet, you alright?"
Rose looked up at him and beamed. "I'm fine. I was just...taking in everything you were saying." She cast him a knowing look. "You've been thinking about this a lot, haven't you?"
He smiled sheepishly at her. "Maybe."
"You really think we can do this? Not just the pregnancy bit but the actual parenting? You think I'm capable of...you know, maternal instinct and all that?"
"Yes, on all accounts. I think we'll stumble through it at first, like everyone does. But I think you'll be incredibly capable and resourceful and loving, and you'll help me through my panic and – and help me be a better father than I ever could've been before, without you."
She pressed a soft kiss to his lips. "Then yeah. I want to." She paused, then giggled. "Oh my god, Mum's not gonna believe this."
The Doctor chuckled and stroked her hair gently. "What do you think she'll want to be called? Grandma? Nana?"
"God knows," Rose murmured. "Are you sure this is gonna work, then? What is it we have to do to conceive?"
"I'm pretty sure it'll work. I'll take you through all the details in the morning. Right now, my eyelids are drooping."
Rose giggled again. "I always feel so proud when you're sleepy after sex."
He dragged his lips across her forehead in a lazy kiss. "Well, you are very talented at wearing me out. Only person who can, really."
"Doctor, one more thing, before you nod off."
"Do you think Martha and Mickey will think we're copying them?"
The Doctor buried his face in her neck and laughed and laughed.