Author's Note: This story is dedicated to WhoMe who has always been so kind and gracious enough to listen to endless story ideas and has constantly given tremendous feedback for this 'verse. Thank you so much. :) Please remember that in the Forever After 'verse that nothing ever goes quite according to plan. In acknowledgement of this, the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue becomes…
But better with two…
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in relation to Dr. Who or Star Wars.
"Ouch!" moans the Doctor as they make their way through the brush. "Rose, how much longer until we reach the clearing?"
"Quiet!" hisses Rose. "This is supposed to be a covert mission and I don't want to take any chances that we'll be discovered!" She looks back at a petulant Doctor and soothes, "Don't worry, love, we'll be there in a few minutes. Besides, I thought you loved the adventure of travelling to unknown places?"
"Normally I do," he whines as he narrowly avoids another set of branches whipping past his face as Rose clears a path ahead of them, "but I don't feel up to any more surprises after today's bad news."
Rose continues to face ahead so that the Doctor doesn't see her huge grin. "Still down about the Citroen, huh?"
"Down is hardly the word that I'd use, Rose Tyler!" he grumbles as he follows her closely in the dark. "I can't believe how inflexible this universe's DMV is! I do not understand why once you purchase a car that you are required to keep the same license plate for a year. And even if I lose it, the replacement plate would read the same as before!"
He shakes his head in disgust as he bemoans, "I have lived ten lives over 900 years all over and throughout time and space and now including a parallel universe, and in all of those lives and during that time, I have never, ever, encountered anything like the DMV! I've dealt with all forms of government such as U.N.I.T., Torchwood and even the Shadow Proclamation but nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to the Department of Motor Vehicles!"
"Feel better?" asks Rose distractedly as she shines her flashlight over the area.
"Yes, actually, I do," declares the Doctor brightly before stepping in a large, gooey mud puddle. "Or at least I did. Blast it! These are my favorite shoes!" Rose aims the beam of light towards him while he pulls his foot out of the muck just in time to watch as something runs up the outside leg of his jeans.
"Doctor," Rose begins to warn him but it's unnecessary as he's already spotted the creature and with a yelp of horror hurriedly grabs it and tosses it away. Unfortunately, his throw was towards Rose who immediately falls back into a bush in an effort to avoid the airborne bug.
He picks up the rolling flashlight and mutters a quick apology while Rose scrambles to a sitting position. "Sorry about that. I'd hurry out of there if I were you though, I can't quite discern if that bush is poison ivy or not. There's just not enough light to tell."
With a glare that should have lit up the woods, Rose pushes herself into a standing position and approaches the Doctor. He pulls a branch out of her hair and inspects it. "Nope, not poison ivy. Lucky for you, eh?"
He helps her tug the broken bits of twig out of her hair but instantly stops when he notices a few flower petals. "Oh, look Rose, flower petals! Should I leave those in? They look rather becoming and they'd be perfect for the wedding!"
Rose's heated gaze fades to a warm one at the reminder of why they're there. "No, I think I'll go with the natural look tonight, Doctor, if you don't mind."
"Rose," questions the Doctor seriously, "are you sure that you want to go through with this? I know that I've done my fair share of complaining about the circus affair that your mother's been organizing but I don't want to take away the ideal wedding from you." He glances about the woods with a bit of a grimace. "This isn't exactly the wedding that all little girls dream about."
"No," agrees Rose with a slight smile, "it's not. But I do have the man of my dreams standing beside me ready to legally and officially honor the vow he made to stay beside me for the rest of our lives." Her smile widens as she gazes at him. "That already makes it my dream wedding."
His grin matches hers and they share a gentle kiss before the Doctor pulls back and promises, "Still, I'll make it up to you, Rose, I swear that on every life that I've ever had! When we decide to start our family, I will cater to your every whim! Food cravings on demand at any time of the day or night, back massages and foot rubs and best of all," he waggles his eyebrows at her, "sexy lingerie!"
Rose barks out a laugh and replies, "Sexy lingerie? Who are you trying to kid, Doctor? I've heard all of the pregnancy stories, the only way that I'm going to get excited over underwear is if I can still fit in it!"
The Doctor proceeds to throw his arms out to his sides and proclaim, "Only more of you to love!"
Rose merely rolls her eyes and with a soft chuckle grabs his hand and drags him through the remaining brush until they reach a clearing. "Doctor, this is it, we've found it!"
"Are you sure that this is Evwon's clearing, Rose?" he asks dubiously. "It doesn't appear that different than the rest of the woods we've traipsed through."
"I'm positive, Doctor!" replies Rose enthusiastically. "See? There's Evwon's lantern sitting on that tree stump right over there!" She puffs out a breath in relief that's easily seen in the cold night air. "Finally! I was beginning to worry that we would never find him. Do you know how hard it is to track down an alien minister who is secretly seeking asylum from his planet's government?"
"No," states a very angry and familiar voice while floodlights click on one after the other illuminating the large clearing with high intensity beams, "but I know how hard it is to track down a half alien clone and an ex shop-girl!"
When the Doctor and Rose's vision clears enough from all the spots dancing in front of their eyes, they both look equally stricken as they stare helplessly at Jackie Tyler, Pete and Tony, and their entourage of Torchwood agents. "Mum?" utters Rose in disbelief.
"It's about bloody time!" grouses Jackie as she shifts a sleeping Tony wearing his thermal jim-jams and robe in her arms. "It's freezing out here! Where the hell have you two been?" She swivels her gaze to Pete and inquires smugly, "Didn't I tell you that they'd pull something like this?"
"Mum!" cries Rose in frustration. "What are you doing here and how did you even find us?"
Jackie throws them both a tight lipped glare before she informs them,
"Pete's been tracking you two. I knew that you'd try to scarper off once the wedding day was in actual sight."
Both Rose and the Doctor open their mouths to rant about invasion of privacy and personal space but they are quickly shut down at Jackie's next words. "I would have understood if you hadn't wanted a big wedding, Rose, but I at least wanted to be part of it."
Casting her eyes down to the ground in shame, Rose returns her gaze to her mum and finds her staring sadly back at her. Rose offers a small smile and explains, "I'm sorry, Mum, it's just that the bigger the wedding became, the more it became a focus on the society event of the year and less about the lifetime commitment that the Doctor and I are making to each other. I know that we should have told you but we didn't want to hurt your feelings. Can you forgive us?"
Jackie flashes a huge grin before walking over to them and giving Rose a kiss on the cheek. "Of course I can, love, and there's nothing to forgive really, I understand completely."
"You do?" squeaks the Doctor when Jackie reaches over to tap his cheek lovingly.
"Of course, I do! We may have not had much money in the Prentice family but my mum was determined to outdo the royals if she could. Well, you two told me all about how you saw me and my first Pete get married by a Justice of the Peace. What do you think forced us there in the first place?"
All of three of them reminisce with laughter on their memories of that day until this universe's Pete walks over to Rose with a proposition of his own. "We really do want you to have the best day possible for your wedding, sweetheart, so if this is what you want, then that's what you'll have. We'll even leave if you want us to." At this point he holds up a hand to forestall any argument that Jackie may be about to make about that statement. "However, if you do allow us all to stay, we do have a few things for you that you might want on your special day."
With a wave of Pete's hand, one of the Torchwood agents turns on one last floodlight at the edge of the clearing. Behind him is a stack of tables and chairs, and two small canvas tents with Rose's wedding gown and the Doctor's tux hanging off the front of each tent.
"Ever the salesman, eh Pete?" questions the Doctor knowingly.
Pete shrugs and Jackie queries hopefully, "So, what do you say, love? Is it alright with you if we stay?"
"Of course you're staying, Mum! I wouldn't want to have my wedding without you!" When Jackie gives her a pointed look in regards to their disheveled appearances from their great escape, Rose amends, "Yeah, I know, we were all ready to elope but…" she grins softly at her mother as she divulges with complete honesty, "you still would have been the one thing missing that made my day perfect."
"Oh, Rose," wails Jackie as she throws her arm around Rose, thereby crushing Tony between them and waking him up. She squeezes her tightly before allowing her children to come up for air and sniffs, "Well, let's see what we can do about getting you cleaned up. Just because you two look like crap doesn't mean that you should have to smell like it."
Jackie takes charge as she orders, "Pete, you take his nibs into his tent and tart him up the best you can and I'll see to Rose." When everyone stays put for more than two seconds, Jackie motivates them with a loud shout of, "Move!"
Tony is now standing on the ground, still trying to gather his bearings from being awoken so suddenly. The Doctor glances down at him sympathetically as the women head towards the tent and notices a new item of apparel around his neck. "A bow tie, Tony? Really?"
"What's wrong with bow ties?" defends Tony haughtily. "Bow ties are cool."
The Doctor grins maniacally back at the boy as Pete ushers them into the tent. "Tony," instructs Pete, "start opening those boxes and see if you can find the soap. There's a portable shower in one of these other boxes somewhere…" he trails off as he starts rummaging through some crates.
While the two Tyler men are busy sorting through boxes, the Doctor sneaks out the flap and heads over to Rose's tent. Taking a quick peek inside to mark where Rose is standing, he heads over to the left side of the tent and whispers her name, "Rose…Rose…can you hear me?"
Rose moves away from where her mother is going through boxes of her own in search of Rose's make up case and whispers as softly as she can. "Doctor is that you? What are you doing here? You're supposed to be getting ready!"
"I wanted to see you one last time but since that's not going to happen, I at least wanted to talk to you," he asserts in low tones.
Rose's eyes and voice soften as she returns, "I know, I wanted to see you too but Mum's in her watchdog mode. What is it that you wanted to say?"
"Just this." Rose listens patiently and her eyes widen in surprise as she sees a silhouette of a hand print pressing against the tent wall. "You don't only hold my hand, Rose Tyler, you also hold my heart."
"Oh, Doctor," whispers Rose with tears in her eyes as she presses her palm against his own, "I love you so much."
"I love you too, Rose," he vows vehemently before declaring in a low growl, "and this is the last time that any wall will ever come between us!" Those are his last words as he hurries back to his own tent leaving Rose to absorb his declaration and the meaning behind them.
"Oi, Madame! What are you doing way over there? You need to start cleaning up and getting ready! It's your wedding day after all or have you forgotten?" teases Jackie.
"Oh no, Mum, I haven't forgotten," chirps Rose. With one last dreamy glance towards the tent wall, she promises, "I haven't forgotten at all."
To Be Continued…