Time Will Tell
He grabbed Rose into a hug. "How long did you wait?"
"Five and a half hours!" she answered, returning his embrace with a quick squeeze before drawing back.
He held onto her elbows as she came out of their hug. "We'll make that a standard time, then. Always wait five and a half hours! Reinette's coming for a trip. That okay?"
Rose nodded, plastering a cheerful smile on her face. "Why wouldn't it be?"
"Great!" he enthused. Then his eyes squinted at her in confusion. Something felt off. "Rose?"
But Rose met Reinette's hopeful gaze over his shoulder, and her expression genuinely softened. "Of course it's okay," she replied gently. She was glad he'd at least asked her for her acceptance. However long she'd lived with him, it was primarily his ship, after all; he could've just as easily brought Reinette on board without even bothering to let her know.
He nodded, and then let go of her, bounding over to the TARDIS. "Come on then; things to do, people to see." Mickey gave Rose a shrug of the 'what can you do?' variety, and followed him in.
Rose glanced at Reinette and sensed the other woman's nervousness. She found it strange; Reinette had been so capable and courageous in the face of the clockwork droids, so Rose had expected her to be thrilled with the chance of stepping aboard the TARDIS - certainly more thrilled than frightened. But she supposed that the concept of a time-and-spaceship was even harder to imagine for people of Reinette's time than it had been for Rose herself to contemplate. Understanding how she must be feeling, Rose gave Reinette an encouraging smile, gesturing for her to follow the Doctor and Mickey into the TARDIS.
Reinette smiled back, swallowed thickly, and proceeded to do just that. But just before she stepped through the doors, she turned around to Rose, who was right behind her, and grabbed her arm. "Do you think I will like this?" she asked her quietly.
Rose's eyes widened in surprise. "Yeah," she replied. "It's the most fantastic thing I've ever done."
"Travelling with the Doctor?"
"Yes. I suppose it must be," she said distractedly, glancing at the TARDIS.
Rose's jaw tightened and she nodded. Reinette let out a long breath and Rose pushed open the doors; they entered the console room together.
The Doctor looked up from the console and grinned. "There you two are. Right! Where do you want to go?"
Rose looked around the room. "Where's Mickey?"
"He's gone to have a rest, I think."
"So! Where to next?" the Doctor repeated.
Reinette looked bewildered. The bigger-on-the-inside aspect of the TARDIS tended to do that to people, Rose knew, so she answered the Doctor's question instead, "Maybe you should take the TARDIS into space first, to show Reinette a constellation or something up close? You know, open the doors and just watch stars being born, that sort of thing. That's what fascinated me the most, those first few days when I came aboard."
"Brilliant idea!" the Doctor beamed, and set the coordinates. Rose made for the corridor. "Wait, where are you going?" he asked her.
"Was gonna get some sleep," she shrugged, before adding, quietly, "Leave you two alone for a bit."
"But you just said you loved this bit," the Doctor replied, as he moved the TARDIS to their new location. "Come and see!"
Rose sighed and met him and Reinette over by the doors just as he opened them. She couldn't help but smile, especially when Reinette gasped in delight. It was a good feeling, seeing something amazing and watching other people see it for the first time; she could understand why the Doctor was addicted to seeing things through his companions' eyes.
"That is remarkable," Reinette murmured, holding onto the edge of the doorway tightly. "Where are we?"
"The constellation of Amas Saduris," the Doctor said proudly. "In the Lamori galaxy, far, far away from Earth." He turned to Rose. "Remember when we went to Poppa Cura?"
She nodded and laughed. "When we accidentally climbed the sacred mountain that should never ever be climbed? How could I forget!"
He chuckled and continued, "Well, Poppa Cura is hidden amidst this constellation. You can't see it from here – remember how small I said it was?"
"Smaller than Pluto. Which means it shouldn't strictly speaking be called a planet…"
He sniffed. "Yes, well. You humans never classify anything correctly. Just because it's small doesn't mean it's not a planet, for goodness' sake."
"Size isn't everything, after all," Rose giggled.
"Exactly!" he laughed.
Rose was relieved. It appeared that they hadn't lost their banter, then. Maybe having Reinette on board wouldn't cause the rift between them that Rose had feared it would.
"I'm going to go to bed," Rose said, after a while of them contemplating the stars in awed silence. "It's been a long day. Nothing like being nearly killed by clockwork robots to get the adrenaline going, but now I'm flagging."
The Doctor's smile faded at the reminder of how close she'd come to being utilised for the fifty-first century starship. Rose noticed, and hurriedly reassured him, "I'm fine. Don't worry. I'll see you tomorrow, all right?" She started to walk up the ramp.
"I'd like to retire as well, Doctor," Reinette spoke up, dragging her eyes away from the mesmerising sight of the twinkling stars. "As Rose said, it has been a very long day."
Rose froze, something lurching inside her stomach. She'd wanted to get away before she had to contemplate the idea of where Reinette would be sleeping. In fact, she'd wanted to be asleep before Reinette went to bed; she wasn't sure what the two of them got up to in pre-revolutionary France together, and to be honest, she didn't want to know. So she wanted to hear no implication of them retiring to the Doctor's bedroom, which was, unfortunately, situated right next to hers. Better to be asleep than to – well, than to hear anything –
"Okdokey," the Doctor responded, closing the TARDIS doors. "Rose, would you show Reinette where the wardrobe room is?" he asked, before continuing to Reinette, "I'm sure you'll find some suitable nightwear in there."
Rose fixed a smile on her face and turned around. "Sure! Follow me."