Impossible, Probable, Highly Likely, Maybe Even a Sure Thing
The Coat is back into his life, as if by magic. He knows it isn't magic but some equally impossible thing like a fissure between the universes or something spectacularly dangerous and reckless that the other him has done that has facilitated his beloved Coat to be here and now in his bathroom. But for some reason, believing in fairy dust, wands and Harry Potter spells seems more his style these days. Never say never, he still says. He's here after all, isn't he? In this parallel world with its Zeppelins, double-decker motorcars and Brother Christmas who stuffs the pockets of the coats (The Coat!) of good little boys and girls, and part Time Lords and true loves who don't return numerous professions of I Love You. He is still holding out hope for All of Time and Space and Forever with her, but it hasn't happened. Yet. The magical appearance of The Coat, on Christmas no less, makes it seem like highly improbable just became possible, if not highly likely or even a sure thing.
He stands in front of the mirror and swings side to side. The long, brown tails of The Coat swing and swish against his bare legs. He is so ecstatic to have his beloved Janis-Joplin-Gave-Me-This-Coat Coat that he hasn't even bothered to get dressed before slipping it onto his still damp from the shower shoulders. Water droplets drip, drip, drip onto the collar, bead up, and run down the front without soaking into the fabric, hitting the floor thanks to the brilliant water repelling treatment he found at some souk on some planet he had visited who knows when. He remembers it perfectly well, of course, but he's too excited to dwell on alien bazaars right now.
The doorbell sounds and he sprints with new-found vigour to the door of his flat-for-one and pulls it open to find her standing there, white pastry shop bag in hand, another apology/peace offering for yet another argument he has forgotten. He doesn't like to remember her that way... angry and frustrated, unhappy, sobbing and sniffling.
Her eyes are firmly locked on his face, because her peripheral vision has set off alarm bells in her head her that a) he is wearing The Coat, b) The Coat is unbuttoned and c) he is not wearing anything under The Coat. Zip. Nada. Nothing. He is starkers. Her mind races to all sorts of wonderful blush inducing places very quickly, but then she registers that he is wearing The Coat.
Her mouth is wide open, as are her eyes, and she breaks the silence.
Her face is a lovely shade of pink as she moves the focus of her eyes onto the light fixture directly above Him.
"I came out of the shower and there it was! Hanging on the hook on the back of my bathroom door." His voice is sparkling and giddy.
"Is that.. your... errr, His..." She stammers, tripping over her words, as she clenches her eyes shut and shakes her head before she composes herself. "Is that The Coat?"
He nods enthusiastically. "Look at this! A note in the pocket!" He thrusts a crumpled piece of paper into her hands, taking the bag of greasy pastries as a trade.
She reads it to herself, afraid to hear herself speak.
"Hello me. If you are reading this it means that I have a new, new, new, etc. face by now, if I survived the regeneration that is. The process is always dodgy, but you know that. I never would have parted with The Coat while we were still Us; well, great hair and pretty face Us; and as there is no guarantee that The Coat is going to be my thing next time, I wanted to give You first right of refusal. So here You go. Enjoy. Oh, and if she isn't there with you, shame on you. Put on the coat, and go get her. Right now. Now delays, no excuses. Find a nice patch of grass on a high hill far from the lights of the city, spread it out like we did on New Earth and have a good, long look at the stars. And hold her hand. She likes that. Allons y."
"Could you button up, please?" she asks after clearing her voice. Her smile is barely noticeable, but it is there.
"Oh. Right. Sorry." His smile is so bright that it is enough for both of them. This brain forgets things like the fact that nakedness when opening the front door isn't polite. He forgets other things, too, hence their arguments and lack of togetherness. He holds out hope that now that The Coat is back, he will finally feel a bit more like himself, and remember... important stuff.
"Can I come in?"
He steps aside and she is careful not to brush up against him, considering what is under The Coat, or rather what is not under The Coat as that would just lead to even more awkwardness, if that were even possible.
"I'm sorry," she says as she drops onto the brown leather sofa that she helped Him pick out a few months ago.
"For what?" he asks as he rifles through the bag of pastries.
"Oh, the usual. Yelling, screaming, crying, accusing... Forgive me? Again?"
"Always," he says soft and sincere. For his lack of manners, propriety and forgetfulness, he is fantastically quick to forgive and forget.
"You put up a Christmas tree."
"Course! And now I have pockets for Brother Christmas to stuff with all sorts of goodies."
"I don't want to fight anymore. I want Forever." She blurts the words, her face red and hot, no longer blushing from the awkwardness of naked door answering, but from the confused emotions she has pent up for months and months.
It isn't The Coat that has changed her mind. But The Coat has reminded her of being them and what they could/should be now, and of promises spoken on The Beach.
He drops the bag and it falls to the floor with a dull thud. His mouth hangs open exposing the partially chewed pastry.
Her impatience over his lack of manners would have started a fight yesterday, but today, she realizes open mouth chewing and front door nakedness and forgetting her brother's birthday, and staying up all night only to fall asleep forehead down on his desk at work, and his penchant for quad shots of espresso... that all of those human things don't matter. He is human, well part human. How else is he supposed to act? And she remembers he's also the Doctor and he loves her, as he has told her many times since The Beach, even though she has never returned the words, despite the unspoken pleading in his eyes.
She does love him, she really does, and she needs to tell him; no, it's more than that. He needs to know she loves him for who he is here and now. So she decides to show him just how much she loves him.
She slowly rises off of the couch, and approaches him tentatively. For a moment, she just stands and watches his warm eyes, glistening, reflecting the twinkling lights of his Christmas tree. She pulls in a breath and holds it before she places the palms of her hands on the lapels, one on each side of his very solitary heart.
He swallows his pastry with an awkward gulp, and then gulps again when she unfastens the top two buttons of The Coat and places a single, soft kiss on his exposed chest, and then finishes her work of the buttons. She slips The Coat off of his now dry shoulders, and reverently lays it over the back of the nearest chair.
"I love you Doctor. This you. Coat or no coat. TARDIS or not. With or without your screwdriver. I love you exactly as you are."
He swears he hears The Coat sigh contentedly as he pulls her into a crushing hug that quickly transforms into a long overdue and thoroughly magical kiss.
Written for the Doctor/Rose Holiday Fixathon over on LiveJournal. Firstofoct's prompt was, "Something about The Coat. Either they find a replacement or it falls through a crack in the universe. I don't care, I just love it."
No formal beta, so all mistakes are my own, however, scifigeekgirl did give me some very good advice. Thanks KK!