A/N: Sorry it took so long, life got in the way. And I was totally stuck on farming stuff. But good news- I GOT THE TICKETS! I'm going to the Doctor Who 50th Convention! A little upset the photo shoot with Matt Smith was already sold out, but my friend and I are hoping Tennant will be there, which will cancel the sadness out… Anywho, on with the chapter!
"It's alright; you're not going to fall!"
Rose cracked one eye open to glare at her husband as she heard him chuckling. The Doctor's features softened the moment he realised Rose was watching him.
"Nothing's going to happen, Rose," he told her again, voice softer this time. "Arthur's a good horse, and even the twins aren't bothered by him. You'll be fine."
"Jus'… Jus' don't let go of the reins, yeah?" Rose asked, trying to ignore the way her voice shook.
The Doctor nodded.
"Not going anywhere," he assured her gently. "The twins are happy walking Pokey and Biscuit around, and I've got nowhere else to be."
Rose nodded, opening both eyes, and tried to sit a little straighter in the saddle. The twins were glancing at her every now and then, confused and worried about why their Mum seemed so panicky and scared; they'd never seen her like that before. Rose slowly let out a breath, and nodded at the Doctor to begin walking the horse around the paddock. The slight jolt that occurred when Arthur started moving caused Rose to let out a small squeak and grip onto her section of the reins tight as she fought down the urge to yell at the Doctor to stop. She could do this, she told herself, she'd faced monsters and aliens and murderers with less fear than this. It was just a horse. Their horse, a horse they'd owned for near-on six years. She fed Arthur every day, brushed him down, knew him. Knew he wouldn't hurt her. Why was she so scared? Risking a glance up at the Doctor, she saw him grinning at her as he slowly led the horse around the paddock. Rose managed a somewhat weak, shaky smile back and, although she still gripped the reins tight, she found herself beginning to relax into it, relax into the rhythm as the horse walked.
"Alright?" the Doctor asked suddenly.
"Yeah. It's… It's alright," Rose responded with a smile.
An hour later, Rose had stopped gripping the reins so tight, and had settled into enjoying the horse riding a lot more. Gallifrey and Debenhams were feeding their ponies bites of apple, giggling as the ponies ate out the palm of their hands. The Doctor, of course, was still leading Arthur around the paddock, encouraging the horse to go a little faster each time. If her friends from the Estate could see her now, Rose thought, they probably wouldn't recognise her. Not many Estate kids grew up to run a farm in the middle of the country. Then again, Rose realised, not many Estate kids grew up, travelled with a time-travelling alien, got stuck in a parallel world, defended the Earth, helped set her widowed Mum up with the parallel version of her deceased husband (who just happened to be rich, but they didn't care about that), had twin children with the clone of aforementioned time-travelling alien and moved to the countryside. All in all, Rose was fairly certain she was a pretty unique case.
Rose blinked, and stared at her husband, noticing he was watching her with an amused grin.
"You alright?" he asked, amused. "You zoned out a bit there."
"Yeah, 'm fine," she responded with a small smile.
"Think you could get used to riding Arthur?" the Doctor asked as they slowed to a stop.
Rose nodded, smiling genuinely.
"Yeah, yeah I think I could," Rose admitted, before pausing. "Not on my own though," she hastened to add. "Not yet, anyway."
The Doctor nodded in understanding.
"That's fine," he told her. "Give it a while longer, and you might be out here on your own with him."
Rose was a little uncertain at that, and quickly turned her head to look at the twins. They were chatting away to their ponies happily, as they brushed them.
"Reckon we'll actually be able to get them to leave the ponies alone?" Rose asked her husband with a wry smile.
Since they'd given the twins the ponies for their birthdays, almost a month ago, they'd tended to the ponies every day after school. Neither Gallifrey nor Debenhams were very happy that they still weren't allowed to ride the ponies without help, but Rose and the Doctor remained firm on that. It had taken Rose the month to pluck up the courage to get on Arthur, but now she found- as she slid off the horse a little clumsily- she couldn't wait to try riding again.
"Not sure," the Doctor admitted quietly. "I'm just hoping they don't put up too much of a fight when we put them away."
Rose grit her teeth as she tried to block out the sound of their twins' arguing. For reasons she couldn't understand, they were fighting over a colouring pen, even though Rose knew they had loads of colouring pens. It was a sibling thing, she supposed, they just wanted the other pen because they couldn't have it. Rose supposed she and Tony had been lucky with that, what with having twenty-one years between them, they'd always gotten on well. The twins, however, had apparently reached an age where sibling rivalry was in full-swing, with them being really pleasant and sweet to each other one minute, and screaming and biting- and currently, pinching- each other the next.
Rose sighed, continuing to stir the pasta in the saucepan as Debenhams came running in. The little girl quickly latched herself to her Mum's leg, and clung.
"Mummy, Gallifrey pinched me!"
"Debenhams pinched me first!" came Gallifrey's indignant response as he came skidding in.
"Just stop it, you two," Rose told them in annoyance. "Either play together nicely or you'll be put in naughty corner."
"But I didn't do anything, Mummy!" Gallifrey protested stubbornly.
"You did!" Debenhams responded quickly.
Her children's' high voices were starting to give Rose a headache, and she almost sagged in relief as the back door opened and the Doctor stepped through. As Rose looked over at him, she saw her husband's shoulders slump. He met her gaze reluctantly, and they both knew it would be a long night.
"Naughty corner?" he asked.
"Naughty corner," Rose agreed.
And as one, they moved to swing the children into their arms and carry them from the kitchen.