Chapter one: Plans
"So, let's talk about picking the date. How about…Christmas Eve of this year?"
"Blimey, that's a bad idea," he grumbled as he glanced up from the console. "Have you noticed what happens in London around the holidays?"
Rose glared over the edge of her notebook as she sat on the seat behind him. "But Christmas Eve is when you became this Doctor. I don't want a wedding on some random day. It should have meaning."
"But that's the point of a wedding, Rose. An average day becomes a day with meaning."
She huffed. "I'm not going to flip through a calendar with my eyes closed and point to a date."
"Okay, okay. You don't have to do that."
"You said the planning was up to me, remember? You're rubbish at weddings."
"Well, I did say that. I'm only trying to help. Our wedding should be without any unwarranted excitement. How would you feel if evil aliens came around in the middle of the ceremony?"
"So not the holidays," she responded as she made a note. "Hang on. I have the perfect day!"
The Doctor raised an eyebrow as he fiddled with the screen. "Do you?"
"The fifteenth of September."
He broke out into a grin. "Yes. That's the day."
"I wish he could be here to see it. He didn't even really know me that well," she commented quietly. She thought about her father a lot since the Doctor proposed. He took her to watch Pete's proposal to Jackie right before asking the big question. It only seemed right to get married on her father's birthday, if he were still alive to see it.
"I know," he stated quietly.
She brightened the mood with a big smile. "So, we have the date. I say we get married in London. Maybe a little church near the Powell Estate. We will have money to pay for all of this, right?"
He ran a hand through his hair nervously. Honestly, he hadn't thought of that. "Well, I'm sure we will. I'll think of something. Just plan to your heart's content and we can make it happen."
"I don't think that we need to go too crazy. All the flowers and receptions and that nonsense. We don't even have that big of a guest list. Speaking of people, Mum is going to stand next to me. Who's going to be your best man?"
"Do I need one?"
Her eyes rolled at him. "Yes, Doctor. It'll look unbalanced. Mum would kill me if I told her not to be up there with us. Surely you can think of somebody in the universe."
"I'll work on that."
"Worst case scenario is that you ask Mum's boyfriend."
He smiled. "They're still together? Jackie and Thomas?"
"Yeah. She says it's all going well, although his roving eye sometimes creeps her out a bit."
"That eyeball," the Doctor grimaced. "It just twirled about last time we saw them. I got dizzy!"
She chuckled and kept writing down her ideas. It was still hard to believe that they were engaged after all their time traveling together. He was busy with the TARDIS, humming and dancing about joyfully. Life was falling into place, he figured. Well, other than the TARDIS dramatically tossing around and causing Rose to lose her pen through the floor.
"Doctor?" she inquired as she held on tightly.
"Almost out of power. We'll need to stop somewhere to recharge."
"Are we still heading for Mum's?" she asked hopefully. "I told her that we were dress shopping today."
He shuddered at the thought of the Tyler women trying on dress after dress after dress. Now, he had an excuse to leave. "Absolutely. You go shop with your mother and I'll go charge the TARDIS. I'll be back by tonight."
"All right," Rose agreed. "You're not supposed to see the dress before the wedding anyway. It's bad luck."
"And we can't that, can we?" he asked fondly as they came to a stop.
Rose got up and slid her jacket on, briskly moving to stand in front of her Time Lord. "I'll see you tonight, yeah?"
"Oh yes. Well, unless I decide to throw myself a bachelor party and run away with a lovely young woman who pops out of my cake."
She playfully whacked his arm and kissed him deeply. "Sorry, mate. You're stuck with this human forever."
"And ever?" he smirked, embracing her tightly. "Have fun, Rose Tyler. Tell Jackie I say hello."
Slowly, she made her way to the door with a wicked grin. "You mean your mother-in-law?"
He cringed as she cackled, leaving him alone in the TARDIS. Quickly, he hit a few controls and shakily made a trip to Cardiff to power back up. While the ship was repowering, he decided to retrieve the pen that fell through the floor. If that rolled into something, it could cause major damage. While he was down there, he heard a faint screeching noise.
The door to the TARDIS flew open and he popped his head up to see Captain Jack Harkness, panting and wheezing. With little enthusiasm, he joined Jack by the console. "Jack. It's been awhile."
"You look the same. I have to ask, have you had work done?"
Jack snorted. "And what about you? Your face changed."
He smiled. "An improvement, wouldn't you say?"
"Oh yeah…quite an improvement…"
"Stop it. Not the time," the Doctor chuckled as he reclined in the seat.
With emphasis, Jack took off his pack and folded his arms. "You deserted me."
"Here it comes…"
"You abandoned me. Left me for dead."
"It's the principal of the thing! Why'd you leave me?"
He sighed. "One, I was very busy. Two, you're just wrong, Jack. So wrong. Nothing is supposed to live forever. You're a fixed point in time and it just hurts looking at you. It's something I can't help. I ran from it. I ran from you. How'd you escape, by the way?"
"I had a little juice left in my vortex manipulator. It sent me back to 1869. I had to go through the decades to get back to here, and I knew I'd run into you eventually at the Rift. See," he removed the vessel containing the Doctor's severed hand. "I have a Doctor detector. Went crazy when you showed up."
"My hand! I wondered what happened to it."
"Yeah, and I wonder what happened to me. I can't die. Kind of figured that one out when people kept using me for target practice and I'd wake up just peachy."
The Doctor nodded. "Yeah. It was Rose. The time vortex was in her head and she brought you back to life. Only, she couldn't control it. So, you're back forever. She had the best of intentions. She always does."
Jack gestured. "Is she around here?"
"Nope. Shopping with her mother," he smiled, suddenly getting an idea. "Actually, your timing couldn't be more perfect."
That got his attention. "How is that, Doctor?"
"I know that I left you behind and all that, but I really could use your help with something."
"I'm getting married and I need a best man. Apparently, I have to have one for symmetry. Would you do that? Stand next to me at the altar?"
Jack laughed gleefully and hugged him with all of his might, pulling him from the seat. "You finally got with Rose!"
"Yep. Together at last. How about it? Will you be my best man?"
"Absolutely! When is it?"
"We're marrying on the fifteenth of September of this year. Somewhere near the Powell Estate. I don't have details yet, but I'll get them to you."
He let out a low whistle. "That's only a few months from now! How does it feel giving up the single life?"
"Brilliant. Not that you'll ever know."
"You're a cheeky one," Jack chuckled. "Why don't we go out for drinks? Right now. To celebrate your wedding and our reunion."
"Sounds good as long as you keep your hands to yourself," he warned as he entered a few things into the console.
Jack pouted. "You said that all I had to do was buy you a drink."
"I wasn't committed to Rose Tyler in those days."
He scoffed. "Liar. You totally were."
"You've got me there."
Meanwhile, Rose and Jackie were searching for the perfect wedding dress. They had already looked at close to twelve, and every one had something wrong. Rose stepped in front of a mirror and twirled around while Jackie sat nearby, studying it carefully.
"It's too much like a bell. Tiny top and whoosh! Enormous bottom. It makes you look like you should be dangling from a church tower and not getting married."
"I kind of like it. Classic but not too classic."
Jackie laughed. "What about the veil? Looks like a fishing net fell on your head."
"I can go without the veil."
"Still a bell."
"Mum…" Rose groaned. "The first three made me look like a 'working girl' and the last two made me look like an old woman. Are you ever going to be happy with one?"
"Unlikely, but I'll hate it less. This is your wedding day, Rose. It only happens once. Well, if you're lucky. So you have to make it count. Are you sure that you want to wear white?"
She turned around at that, blushing impressively. "Why not?"
"We both know why not. You used to live at home with me while you were dating Mickey. It's not like I didn't hear anything."
"I think that pink would look so lovely on you. Or maybe a tan or purple. I've got dresses to match, so we wouldn't have to buy my outfit. Besides, white is expensive. I can't pay for it all, you know!"
Rose was starting to regret bringing her mother along for the ride. "Fine. I'll go look at the pink dresses."
She raided the racks until she found a stunning pale pink getup and rushed away to try it on. It was strapless and the right mix of modern and classic. When she stepped in front of the mirror, she was fairly certain that this was the dress. Jackie was the one paying, so she held her breath in the hopes that her mother would like it. Jackie was quiet. That could either mean good things or bad things. She almost hated to ask.
"Well? What do you think?"
"Rose…" Jackie whispered with tears in her eyes. "That's it. That's the one."
"You think so?"
"Well," she sighed. "I don't like how the waist cuts in and I don't know how I feel about strapless, but it's you. Don't even bother telling me the price. If you want it, that's yours."
A smile spread across her face. "I want this one."
"Oh, my daughter is getting married! To an alien in a blue box, but still. A wedding! I'm so excited!" she got up and went to Rose's side in the mirror, messing with her hair. "Up or down?"
She bit her lip thoughtfully. "Down, but maybe pulled back a bit."
"Perfect. If only your father could see you now…"
They fell silent and Rose took her mother's hand reassuringly. "I'd like it if he were here to walk me down the aisle."
"Who is going to do that?" Jackie wondered.
"No one. I'm going alone."
"But that's not tradition. Thomas might do it. He really likes you. Well, granted he only met you once on that double date. He said that he'd like to get to know you better. I know he's not your dad and never will be, but I like him. He says we're serious."
Rose laughed. "And you don't agree?"
"Well, it's hard. No one will ever be Pete. Even if we fought like cats and dogs, he was my soul mate. Just like you and the Doctor. Made for each other. C'mon. Let's get out of here so you can go home to your future husband."
They paid for the dress and put it in Jackie's flat. After tea, they heard the unmistakable sound of the TARDIS outside the window. "Right on time," Rose beamed as they went down to the street below.
She opened the door and the Doctor looked up from the console with his tie around his head, shirt half unbuttoned, and his glasses askew. Under his arm was the vessel containing his severed hand. "Rose! You heard me!"
"What's all this then?" she smirked as she nodded to her mother. "My mother wanted to say hello."
"Jackie!" he exclaimed cheerfully. "Hello!"
"Call me Mum," she insisted, cackling at the expression on his face.
They heard a weird sound and the Doctor motioned to the hallway. "That's the horse."
"The what?" Jackie frowned.
"We have a horse," Rose explained. "On our fourth date, he took me to a ranch to ride horses. He became very attached to the one we rode, so I got it for him. It's basically our child. Didn't I mention that?"
"His name is Aladdin," the Doctor continued before Jackie could answer. "Because he's an Arabian horse and it's a brilliant film."
As the sounds of hooves grew nearer, the speckled horse appeared with Jack Harkness on its back. He was mostly undressed and held a drink in his hand. "Rose Tyler!"
"Jack!" she happily exclaimed as she ran to him. "It's been ages!"
He leapt down and they embraced. "You saved my life," he told her with a smile. "Made me immortal. Literally. But that's okay. It's not too bad. And it's a great prank to play on people."
"I what?" Rose asked confusedly.
"When you were Bad Wolf, you brought him back. Couldn't control it. So, you brought him back forever. We've just caught up, me and Jack. Had a celebration!"
The men giggled like school girls and Jack pointed a finger. "He got us thrown out."
"I did not! When you started stripping, they tossed us out."
"No, it was when you started singing and dancing on the bar."
"I sang Elvis, Rose! Just like when we did karaoke!"
Jack mimicked the Elvis hip movements. "He did this on the bar as he was singing!"
They laughed again and Rose put a hand to her face. "Are you both drunk?"
"No," they said in unison.
"Tipsy," Jack assured her with a wink. "You've got a good man, Rose. He wouldn't let me get frisky. He's the only person who has ever turned me down."
"I wouldn't," Jackie commented, causing Rose to glare. She changed the subject. "A horse, really? And what's that under your arm, Doctor? A hand?"
"My hand! Remember on Christmas? Got cut right off. But here it is! We're together again."
Jackie and Rose exchanged looks and Aladdin the horse made a sound. The Doctor set his hand down and clapped Jack on the back. "By the way, Jack is going to be my best man!"
"I am!" he confirmed. "Congratulations on the wedding. It's great news. Can I ride the horse some more before you take me back to Cardiff?"
"Let's ride together!" the Doctor declared as they hopped on the saddle.
Rose stopped them to fix the Doctor's glasses and adjust the tie on his head. "Don't fall off or break the horse's back."
"We'll be fine," the Doctor assured her. "I'm not as tipsy as Jack."
"Hey!" he protested from behind the Doctor.
They galloped away and she turned to her mother with a smile. "I never know what's going to happen next on the TARDIS…"
"Let's just hope your wedding isn't as interesting," Jackie grumbled as she began to walk out the door. "Knowing you lot, something is bound to go wrong."
She was right.