Jack had protested the Vespa idea, not wanting to be seen riding the little scooter. Rose had insisted and picked out a black one with matching helmet for him. For the Doctor and herself, they had picked a blue scooter with a white helmet for him and a pink one for herself.
Now, the Doctor sat perched on the scooter, long legs spread wide to keep his balance, helmet in place and a pair of sunglass he had somehow procured from a souvenir cart perched on his nose. He was exceedingly handsome like this, and he seemed so relaxed. She wished that he could have this freedom every day, however given his position that didn't seem possible.
Maybe when he became king he would be able to at least be allowed input into his own life. He wouldn't have to let anyone dictate how he was allowed to spend his free time. Then she shook her head. That wasn't a completely nice train of thought. Thinking along those lines would be akin to wishing his father dead, and she would never wish anyone dead. Perhaps, he could persuade his father to allow him more freedom.
The Doctor must have known that she was watching him because he turned to her and smiled. His lip curled and he did his very best Elvis impression. "Goin' my way, doll?"
There was no way she could contain the smile that blossomed on her face. "Is there any other way, Daddio?" She pulled on her helmet and hopped on behind him.
"This reminds me of a Cliff Richards movie," he said, starting the motor.
Wrapping her arms around him, she said, "Me, too. Mum and I used to watch them all the time when I was younger."
He vibrated with laughter as he pulled into the street. She loved the feel of his wool suit and the hard planes of body underneath all those layers. It would be easy to lose herself in this embrace. So for a few minutes, she let herself. The Doctor took a corner sharply and she gripped him tighter. Curious as to where they were headed, Rose leaned up so that she could see over his shoulder. "Where to next?"
"I thought we could throw a coin into the Trevi fountain," he yelled back to her over the noise of the scooter traveling down the crowded street. "You know, do the traditional touristy thing. Make a wish for true love."
Her grip around his waist tightened, and she spoke without thinking. "Oh, I don't think that we need to wish for that. Do you?"
Somehow he managed to sputter out something that sounded like a no wishes needed before he entered a round-about, going the wrong way. A police officer started blowing a whistle repeatedly. Startled, the Doctor jerked the scooter off the road and onto the sidewalk, destroying a couple of sketches that a street vendor had on display.
A few minutes later, the Doctor managed to pull the Vespa to a stop. "I'm sorry," he and Rose managed to say at the same time. They burst out laughing and couldn't stop. Not when the police officer caught up with them, not when the officer escorted the pair of them to the police station. They couldn't even manage to stop when Jack sauntered into the station, glaring at the Doctor and Rose.
"What was that about?" Jack hissed at the Doctor and Rose. "Were you trying to get yourselves noticed? Or killed?"
"Sorry, Jack," Rose said, finally able to slow down her laughter. "I think I said something to distract the Doctor."
"Um, yes, sorry, Jack," the Doctor apologized, rubbing the back of his neck.
Jack turned on Rose. "You know that if you get arrested, there won't be anything I can do to stop Jackie from finding out about this."
"Don't worry, they aren't going to arrest us." She nudged the Doctor with her shoulder. "Him maybe, because he was driving, but not me."
"Oi," the Doctor protested, but before he could say anything else the door to one of the offices banged open. The officer that had brought them in stepped out and indicated that they should come inside. Jack tried to follow but was blocked from entry.
Once inside, Rose felt her stomach clench. She was scared that they could have been found out, that their cover could have been blown. And this was not the way she wanted the Doctor to find out that not only did she know who he was, but also that she…
"Explain yourselves," the officer demanded.
The Doctor hemmed and hawed and turned bright red. Rose chewed on the inside of her cheek as she tried not to laugh. Her best way out of this was a little bit of the truth and a little bit of exaggeration. In fluent Italian, she explained that they were newly dating in town on holiday. Rose had bit her lip, blushed and averted her eyes when she told the officer that her hands may have slipped a little lower then she had intended and that's why the Doctor had veered off the street.
The officer laughed and said something along the lines of understanding what kind of distractions a beautiful woman's hands could be, and the Doctor nearly saw red with rage. He was about to say something to defend Rose's honor, but she laid a hand on his arm and he calmed down.
"I'll be more than happy to pay for the damages," Rose said with a smile. "The name's Tyler, Rose Tyler. If you just have them contact me at this number, I'll make payment arrangements." Opening her wallet, she handed over her ID and a small business card. "And if you wouldn't mind keeping this out of the papers, I would be eternally grateful."
The officer nodded and stepped out of the room for a minute. "You used your real name," the Doctor said, completely baffled. "How do you know that he won't immediately turn around and sell the story? Your parents may find out that you told an officer of the law that I..." He opened and closed several times trying to find words that didn't sound vulgar.
"That I supposedly groped you in public?" She raised an eyebrow. "If this incident makes its way back to London, then I have the added bonus of giving my mum a heart attack." Rose grinned. "Relax, it'll be fine, and it's my reputation on the line, not yours. He has no idea who you are." The officer came back in and he and Rose began discuss the various damages.
The Doctor took a step back and regarded her words. Her reputation on the line, not his. He was sure that she hadn't even known that she said anything out of the ordinary. Did she know who he was? This whole time had she known that he wasn't just a mysterious man with no real name, but instead a crowned prince? Her words from this morning came back to him.
So if you did recognize me, I appreciate you not saying anything.
Her words had been about herself but maybe there had been a double entendre. His eyes widened; maybe she did know. But then why hadn't she let him know that she knew? And what did she want from him, if anything? And did he care? She had told him exactly who she was and had shown him a wonderful time today, asking nothing in return.
If anything, he was the one who could be seen as taking advantage of her generosity. She was admittedly a wealthy heiress who had kindly taken in a man that had been drugged and was wandering the streets of Rome. Rose had saved him last night; he could have easily fallen prey to someone who could have held onto him to extort money or something else.
Instead, she had offered to spend the day with him showing him the sights. She had been sweet and generous and regardless of whether she knew who he was or not, he was truly falling for her. He chuckled to himself. Falling in love with a woman in the course of one day seemed the stuff of movies or novels, but here he was caught up in the lovely young heiress. He felt like he was drowning, and all he needed to breathe was her.
"We are free to go," Rose announced, coming up and wrapping a hand around his arm. "Is there something wrong?"
"What? Oh nothing, just thinking about people telling the truth." The Doctor led her out of the room and into the lobby where Jack was waiting.
Rose's brow furrowed and she tensed. "Do you not like that I lied to the police, or do you think I'm lying to you?"
The Doctor gave her an understanding grin. "We all lie sometimes, don't we?"
"Maybe…" she said as they reached the street. He thought that they would be going to retrieve the scooters, but Rose tugged him in the opposite direction. "Come on." They walked a few blocks down the street to the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Jack hung back, waiting on the street for them.
"This is the Mouth of Truth," she explained. "Legend says that if you tell a lie while your hand is in its mouth, then you will have your hand bitten off. Care to give it a try, Doctor?"
Involuntarily, he found himself shaking his head. "That's ridiculous, Rose, thinking that a stone sculpture could somehow be used as a lie detector. It's absolutely absurd."
"Are you scared, Doctor?" Rose grinned, cheekily. "Have you been telling lies?"
He lifted his hand and moved it towards the mouth. "No more than you, I'm sure."
"Is that a challenge?"
"I believe it is."
Without another word, Rose shoved her hand into the mouth and for a few seconds nothing happened. Then she shrieked and yanked her arm away, her hand conspicuously missing.
The Doctor couldn't help it and he let out a scream, a very manly scream. Jack ran inside just as Rose was poking her hand back out of her jacket sleeve. She was giggling uncontrollably, and Jack rolled his eyes.
"That wasn't very funny, Rose," the Doctor said, his own lips twitching into a small smile.
"You two are ridiculous and way too adorable," Jack said, shaking his head and heading back out to the street.
"Are we okay?" Rose asked, biting back the last vestiges of her laughter.
Crossing the room, the Doctor pulled her into a hug. "We are brilliant."
"You're sure? Not ready to head home yet?" She burrowed into his chest.
"Not even close." He planted a feather light kiss on the top of her head. "I think I'd like to stay just like this."
A small sigh escaped Rose's lips. "Well, I was thinking that there was something else that might be fun. Would you feel up for dinner and dancing? I know this great place. It's on a boat, very exclusive."
He grinned and pulled her tighter. "As long as you're the only one I'm dancing with."
"You get to break the bad news to Jack. He'll be very disappointed," Rose laughed. "Probably for the best, though. He can get a little handsy."