The TARDIS couldn't help but feel smug and proud, but also very smug. She had told herself that she would never interfere with the affairs of the Doctor's hearts but the moment Rose stepped aboard, her mind changed.
Rose Tyler, his friend, his soul mate, his equal.
It had been a couple of days since the friends had crossed that line. Most of that time had been spent in bed as they explored each other physically and emotionally. Rose told the Doctor about bits and pieces of her childhood and in turn was shocked when he told her about what it was like growing up on Gallifrey.
His breathing slowed as revealed more than he intended but as Rose held his hand, it didn't seem so scary. After each nugget of information, she wrapped her arms around his waist, closing the gap between them. She kept telling him that she wouldn't push him and she could be patient, but he told he wanted her to know everything. He said no more hiding and he meant it.
The Doctor apologised again, asking Rose whether the mirror had been fixed and she simply told him that they had a whole new one. His thumb trailed over the apple of her cheek as he repeated the three little words that bound them.
Rose blushed, raising her hands to cover her face.
"What?" he asked.
She refused to meet his gaze, knowing her face had turned a lovely shade of red. "I keep thinking it's a dream. Like I'm going to wake up and none of this has happened." she told him.
With a cheeky grin, the Doctor snuck his hand under the duvet and pinched her arm.
"Ow." Rose pulled away, pretending to be hurt. "What did you do that for?"
"That's what humans do, don't they? When they think they're dreaming." he explained, wiggling his eyebrows.
"Mean." she giggled, knowing she couldn't stay mad when he smiled at her like that. "I might have to withhold hugs now."
In retaliation, the Doctor rolled Rose onto her back and gently nipped her collarbone. Rose shivered, her eyes held his gaze. "Rose Tyler, don't joke about such things," he growled.
A couple of hours later, the lovers decided to get changed. They couldn't spend all their time in bed, despite the Time Lord's pleas. The Doctor left Rose in the kitchen while she was making them breakfast and he sauntered into the console room. He tapped the rotor, smiling more in the last few hours than he had done in his entire life.
"Feel better?" a familiar voice asked.
The Doctor lifted his head to see a leather jacket version of himself standing near the doors. The Time Lord arched an eyebrow, eyeing the impossible figure.
"I'll take it you haven't accidently stepped into the wrong ship." he muttered.
"You didn't answer my question." the hologram said. "Does it feel better? To tell the truth?"
The Doctor nodded, his lips twitching, trying not to grin too much. Then it dawned on him. "Are you-?"
"Yes." the hologram simply said.
"Did you know this was going to happen?" the Doctor asked as the events of the last few weeks became clear.
"Yes." the hologram flickered, then appeared next to the alien. "A turning point. Something to change your mind and break the barriers. Rose has been in trouble before, but not like this. Some things need to be lived to understand the bigger picture."
The Doctor sunk down on the captain's seat, his arms resting on his knees. "Did you tell her to stay?"
"I made her a promise. One promise that you would come to your senses." His voice was warm and the Doctor's connection with his beloved ship made him blink back tears. TARDIS knows best, he thought.
"Thank you." the Doctor murmured. "Really, thank you. You've always looked after me."
"Well, now there's two of us." the hologram said, smiling. "She's a special girl."
The Doctor nodded. "Yeah, she is." His voice was gentle and full of admiration of the companion that had chosen to stay with him. He studied the jacket that he was once so fond of as the hologram glanced around the room. "Why appear like this?" he asked.
"Rose was in love with you before you changed. She's bright and sweet girl but she needed to adjust to the new you."
"Do you really need to ask?"
The Doctor opened his mouth to respond when he heard the footsteps of one Miss Tyler coming towards him. He turned back to the hologram, but he was gone.
"Everything alright?" she asked, entering the room.
"Perfect." the Doctor stated.
"Okay." she said. "I've made pancakes. The banana ones have just been served." Rose had just finished her sentence when the Doctor leapt at her, kissed her firmly on the mouth before dashing down the corridor, letting his nose lead the way.
"Love you." he shouted back.
Rose shook her head, chuckling. Yep, still an idiot. But my idiot. She glanced around the console room, hoping that the TARDIS would be able to hear her. "Thank you for keeping your promise." She left the room and followed the Doctor back into the kitchen.
The TARDIS hummed, forever watching the pair of them. Guiding them and gently giving them a nudge in the right direction, but she never needed to worry. She knew The Oncoming Storm and the Bad Wolf would finally be a peace, with each other.