Chapter 13, or Epilogue Part 2
Victoria Tyler, the Legacy of the Time Lords, Child of Time, and the Merging of Earth and Gallifrey toddled up to the front door of her gran's flat, her parents following behind her with what seemed like an infinite number of bags. She wore a pair of denim coveralls over a pink turtleneck shirt complete with tiny blue Converse sneakers. Not one to give into the nuances of subtly, she also wore several bangles on each of her wrists, a bowtie tied around the collar of her shirt, and of course, a tiara, which Rose had the suspicion wasn't an elaborate piece of costume jewelry, but maybe actually a trinket that the Doctor stole from a Queen of England with the same name as her daughter.
"Gramma, gramma, gramma!" she yelled as she knocked loudly on the door.
Jackie opened the door expectantly. "Well, if it isn't my only grandch-" she stopped midsentence as she caught a glimpse of the red-haired creature below her.
"What on Earth?" she started.
"She insisted on dressing herself this morning," Rose said with a wry smile. "And then he decided it would be a good idea to show her the wardrobe."
The Doctor shrugged his shoulders, which resulted in a couple of his bags to slink off from his shoulders to his forearms.
Jackie shook her head and motioned them all inside, Victoria leading the way.
Jackie stood with her hands on her hips and looked mock-sternly at Victoria, who was standing awkwardly in the front corridor while the Doctor unloaded the bags in the sitting room. After a moment, her face softened and she crouched down to meet the little girl who came running into her arms.
"How's my little Vicky?" Jackie asked.
Victoria screwed up her face in disdain.
"I wouldn't call her that if I were you," Rose responded from the kitchen. From the clatter and the sound of the tap, Rose clearly had her mind set on tea.
"You don't much like 'Vicky,' then?"
Victoria shook her head.
"All right, then. How's my little Victoria? Excited to stay with your grandmum for a few days?"
Victoria nodded her head vigorously.
"Do you like my outfit?" she asked. Before Jackie could answer, she heard Rose squeal from the kitchen, followed by a husky giggle from the Doctor. She rolled her eyes. They could at least wait until they left before getting up to shenanigans.
Jackie returned her attention to Victoria. "Of course, dear; it's lovely."
"I picked it out myself. I even found this bowtie. Bowties are cool."
Clearly she had a lot of her father in her. She was going to be quite the handful.
"Would you fancy some tea, love?" she asked Victoria with a smile, to which she nodded in the affirmative. Jackie wasn't sure if most two-year-olds enjoyed tea, but if her parents' love for the beverage was any indication, she shouldn't really be surprised.
They walked off into the kitchen to find Rose and the Doctor finally behaving themselves, but not without proud smirks plastered on their faces.
"You two, honestly. Do you think you could keep the PDA down a notch when your own daughter is just around the corner?"
"What's PDA?" Victoria asked.
"Prifaxadichronafisases," the Doctor supplied quickly, gaining raised eyebrows from both Jackie and Rose.
"What? It is."
"Prifixiadifaxexodus?" Rose asked.
"Prifaxadichronafisases," he repeated. "They're a race that lives in the Prifaxa System." He met with a lot of blank stares. "Oh! You mean that sort of PDA! Right, sorry." Jackie rolled her eyes as the Doctor looked down into his tea.
"What's with all the bags, anyway?"
"They're for her things, of course!" the Doctor responded.
"Well, yes, but she's only staying for a few days, why would she need so many things?"
"One's for her clothes, of course. And then you've got one with toys. And one with some of the food she likes to eat. Then one with books. And then one with DVDs, some of them are alien, though, but I've made them compatible for early 21st century human electronic systems. Best probably not watch them if you've got company over. And then we let her pack her own bag, so who knows what's in there. I think the rest just have odds and ends."
As the Doctor and Jackie were talking, Rose was attempting to get Victoria to drink her tea out of a sippy cup, as she kept spilling from her mug, but Victoria wasn't having any part of it, because according to her, Time Ladies did not drink from sippy cups.
"Yes, sweetheart, but humans do. And you are half, so you will drink out of a sippy cup, or you're going to get tea all over your lovely outfit."
Rose and the Doctor had gotten to a point where they had been fulltime parents for over two years. It wasn't as if they didn't love it, and that they didn't love their daughter, but they couldn't remember the last time they'd caused a real raucous or had a good run for their lives.
To make a long story short, they needed a date night. Or a date adventure, something, anyway, that involved fewer nappies and more danger.
Of course, they weren't about to be reckless. They knew they were responsible for another life other than their own, so they wouldn't go getting in a whole lot of trouble, just enough to remind the universe that the Doctor and Rose Tyler were still in the TARDIS and that they still meant business. They couldn't have the baddies getting complacent.
While they could just as easily drop Victoria off with her grandmother, pop into the TARDIS, and pop right back to that precise moment seeming like they hadn't been gone at all, they decided to let Jackie have a little fun. She would stay a long weekend in London with her gran, and they would pick her up in a few days—their adventure could be as long as they wanted.
"But don't you be gone for months, you two! I don't want you two thinking that you can take a couple years off from parenting! I couldn't do that with you, Rose, and just because you have a time machine, doesn't mean you can do whatever you'd like!"
"Mum, we're not going to be gone for years."
"I'll probably be lucky to get two days out of her," the Doctor interjected. "She'll probably be fretting the minute we close the TARDIS doors."
"I do not fret," Rose insisted.
The Doctor laughed incredulously and Rose gave him a look of exaggerated irritation.
"Anyway, we won't be gone that long, and either way, we'll be back here in four days your time."
"But what if you forget my birthday!" Victoria whined from her high chair.
"Why would we ever forget your birthday?" Rose asked. "It's not for five months."
"What if you don't come back for a long time and you aren't here for my birthday?"
"Sweetheart," the Doctor started softly, "We'll be back in four days. You have nothing to worry about. Maybe we'll even get you an early birthday present while we're out."
Victoria wasn't easily swayed by his bribery.
"But you said that you once brought mummy back a year later than you were supposed to."
Jackie burst out laughing. "She thinks you're just as bad a driver as I do!"
"Daddy's gotten much better at driving since then. Mostly. Anyway, don't worry. I promise we'll be back soon. We'll always come back for you."
Victoria smiled weakly at her mother.
"I know!" Jackie said to Victoria in an attempt to distract her. "How about when you've finished your tea, you and I can make cookies together and then we'll have pizza."
She smiled broadly, lifted up her sippy cup, and promptly chugged the remainder of her tea before wiping the biscuit crumbs from her upper lip.
"How didn't you just burn your mouth?" Jackie asked, bewildered.
Victoria shrugged and toddled over to her parents.
"I guess you guys can go now because I want to make cookies with gramma."
The Doctor and Rose gave each other looks with raised eyebrows that seemed to say, The cheek of this girl.
"All right, then, give mummy a hug." Victoria clambered forward and Rose hugged her tightly, soon joined by the Doctor.
"Give her hell," the Doctor whispered.
"Doctor!" Rose admonished. Looking back to Victoria she said, "Be good for your gran, okay? We'll be back in a few days. We love you."
Victoria nodded as her parents walked to the front door.
"We'll see you to later!" Jackie called.
I can do this, Rose thought. It's only for a bit. I need this. We need this. Mum's a great sitter. They'll be fine.
"They'll be just fine, Rose," the Doctor said, as if reading her mind, squeezing her hand as they walked together towards the TARDIS.
Rose smiled. "Of course you're right."
They entered the TARDIS together, hand-in-hand, just like old times.
A/N: Thank you all who have read, favorited, followed, and reviewed this story. I honestly can't thank you enough for your dedication. I've been thinking about it, and I think you'll be happy to know that I think this story pretty much demands a sequel. That said, it won't be for a while. I've been doing so much writing lately (between this story, others, ficlets, and a novel) that I've basically burned myself out. Give me a few weeks to revamp. Subscribe to me as an author for updates on all my other stories, and follow me on Tumblr for ficlets and pic fics. (Link is on my author page). Again, thanks for reading! Please review!