Happy Birthday to my lovely friend Silver, my almost birthday buddy.
The TARDIS landed with an ungainly thud, but at least they managed to stay on their feet. Checking the coordinates, the Doctor determined that he had arrived exactly where he'd meant to. Hopefully, that was a quirk of this regeneration, landing at the correct time and space coordinates. Otherwise he had a feeling that the beautiful woman by his side was going to be continually outshining him in the driving department.
"Well then, Rose Tyler." He rolled her name around in his mouth, still not believing that she was really here with him. It had only been a few weeks since he had unknowingly whisked her now daughter-in-law away the night before her wedding, and in some ways having Rose by his side still didn't seem real. "I have planned something truly impressive for you today."
"Oh really?" Rose came up next him and wrapped an arm around his waist, the tweed of his jacket slightly scratching her arm. "Even more impressive than the purple oceans of Jepserion that you took me to yesterday? There were so many salts in the water there that you could literally walk on water. I don't know what could be more impressive than that, love."
His hearts beat a little faster at not only the nickname but the conviction with which she said it. Her love for him was fact. Well, his for her was a universal truth as well; he had just never been one for articulating it. Maybe he should try.
"Oh just you wait, sweetums." He wrinkled his nose in disgust, and she giggled. "Nope, don't like that one. Oh, how about honey?"
"Definitely not," Rose laughed.
"Will you also start replying with 'as you wish' to my every request?" Her tongue poked out of the corner of her mouth.
"My wish has always been your command, pumpkin." He grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the door. "Oh, I don't like that one either."
Rose tugged him into a hug. "Just because I call you love doesn't mean you have to pick a nickname for me right this moment." Gently she pressed a kiss against his lips.
"Oh, but I like this game, my sugar bottom." He kissed her again.
"You're becoming a right pain in my arse."
"But you love me anyway, don't you, muffin." After kissing her again he pulled the TARDIS doors open. "This is Kagastis XI, button. They have lovely little shops, beautiful mountains, stunning waterfalls and of course, chips."
Rose stepped outside and took in a deep lungful of new air. "I will never get tired of seeing new places, not in a hundred years. Especially if you are by my side, love."
"I feel the same way, sugar lips." Oh, no, no, no, no, that on was definitely not to be uttered again. "Come on, Tyler. Lots of new things to see." Merrily he pulled her through the throng of visitors to the main market place.
They spent the next few hours examining various bits and bobs, clothing and whatever else Rose thought might tickle the fancy of her children and grandchildren. He loved just being able to watch her flit from item to item, occasionally turning to model something or ask his opinion. This was something he thought that he had lost forever. He also loved teasing her by trying out other terms of endearment.
He called her my darling, my pear, and sugar plum. She had giggled at 'ight of my lives and rolled her eyes at lady love. He threw in a few that he had learned on various alien planets but in English they translated to rock, night sky or ground beneath my feet. The last one had started Rose singing, did you ever know that you're my hero.
Once he'd dared to call her angel and was sure he was going to regenerate again from the sheer rage in her eyes. It had taken him a full minute to figure out why that particular one would bother her. When he remembered, he felt sheepish. To be honest he had barely thought of that other woman after they left the spacestation.
In the interest of his own safety, he went back to calling her overly cute nicknames and took his Rose out for chips. Over greasy potato like vegetables that had been drowned in vinegar, he made her laugh. Ducky, doodle bug, huggy bear and dumpling were quickly dismissed.
"Although I think doodle bug might be an adorable nickname when we have a baby," Rose casually replied, taking another bite.
His hearts beat double time at the thought of Rose pregnant with his child. They hadn't discussed those things yet. They hadn't discussed much about the future except that they were going to be spending it together. The details of such a future had been set aside in favor of familial obligations, visiting other planets and a new exciting part of their relationship. One that required the use of a bed, a real bed, not the hammock that'd he'd originally had in what Rose now called their room.
He wanted to ruminate more on the topic of nicknames for their future children when Rose abruptly stood. "Come on, lover boy," she teased as she threw her bigger on the inside bag over her shoulder. "Let's go explore something other than the shops. You said something about waterfalls earlier, yeah?"
Immediately he was at her side, taking her hand and entwining their fingers. "These particular twin waterfalls are particularly lovely, my turtle-dove. The water is filled with these microscopic organisms that fluoresce under very specific conditions. And we are in luck, doll face." He checked his watch and pulled her towards a small wooden building with ticket window.
"I hope you got us good seats, Doctor." She gave him a tongue-touched smile. "I'd hate to miss it and have to wait until the conditions were perfect again."
"You are cheeky little peach, aren't you?" He kissed her on the cheek and whispered "time machine" in her ear, making her giggle. After exchanging a few words with an attendant at the window and a quick flash of the psychic paper, the Doctor was handed a card key.
"Enjoy your visit, my lady," the attendant said with a nod of his head as the Doctor and Rose started to leave.
"Oooo, my lady, my lady, my lady." The Doctor smirked as he emphasized different words. They walked up a flight stairs and stopped in front of the third door on the left. "If you're my lady then I am most definitely your man."
"My alien man," Rose teased.
Turning, his hands settled on her waist as he pressed her up against a door. "You're one to talk. First you were born human, which to me, is completely alien." He stooped to drop a kiss on her neck. "And now you're all humany/TARDISy hybrid. Completely unique, you are. Technically, you are alien to everyone. Oh maybe I should just call you 'my beautiful alien'. "
Rose chuckled at the completely Doctorish way he chose to describe the changes in her genetics. "I'd rather you call me an ape than an alien, ta."
Behind her the door slid open, and she turned to step inside. The Doctor wrinkled his nose. "Ape just doesn't feel right on this tongue. I could call you monkey." Reaching out, his fingers fluttered on her rib cage, hitting all of the ticklish spots that he had discovered.
"Stop it!" She screeched with laughter, trying to still his hands. A moment later he relented. After calming her giggle, Rose took a look at her surroundings. They appeared to be on an open air balcony. Dusk was beginning to descend upon the valley around them. From here she could see the tall twin waterfalls roaring away, the torrents of water cascading into the aquamarine pool below. "It's beautiful. Thank you for bringing me here."
The Doctor walked up behind her. His arms came around her, and he rested his chin on her shoulder. "Every year, when the sun sets on the first day of spring, these tiny microorganisms begin their mating season." As he spoke, low and slow, his breath tickled her ear. "Each one secretes different chemicals, creating a unique color to try and attract a mate."
"So they'll be all different colors?" Rose put her hands over his, holding him to her.
"All the different colors of the spectrum. Most of the differences are minute, undetectable to the normal human eye." His chest shook as he chuckled. "They are looking for that one other shining organism that compliments them."
The sun had fully set now, and the sky was an inky black. Small flashes of color flickered on the waterfall.
"Watch, pet," he rasped in her ear.
Rose poked him in the ribs with her elbow. "Call me pet again and you'll be the one wearing a leash."
"That sounds like fun." She could hear the cocky grin in his voice. Maybe later, she thought as she watched more color bloom and cascade through the air. Over the next few minutes brilliant reds, oranges, blues, greens, purples along with all the other colors of the rainbow began to merge in the pool below the roaring falls. Each color began to separate as the organisms found the ones glowing and shimmering with the same colors.
His arms tightened around her waist. "They say that visiting this event with someone that you love is akin to a promise of forever."
Tilting her head so she could look at him, Rose smiled. "You're such a romantic, and I love it when you take me places like this."
"I love bringing you places like this, Rose Tyler."
She turned so she could fully face him and grinned. "And finally, there it is."
"There what is?" the Doctor asked confused.
"Rose Tyler, the perfect term of endearment for me, the one you've been using since the day we met." She kissed him. "I love you, Doctor."
She was right. The way he said her name was always more full of meaning than she could possibly imagine. "I love you, too, my Rose Tyler."