Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. Wish I did, but I don't.
A/N: Slightly AU in my mind. Takes place early in Season 5, before Rory comes with.
Member of the Wedding
The lower garden of the Tyler mansion was rapidly filling with people dressed in their finest formalwear, slowly making their way to the large white canopy in the center of the lawn. Chairs for three hundred had been set up, and these were already half full, despite the wedding not being scheduled for another hour.
The string quintet, friends of the groom from the University, exited the house and made their way to the canopy. A small area had been carved out for them, in front of the seating and next to the makeshift altar.
The groom was wandering around the garden greeting people in his tux and new black trainers. He had complained about wearing the 'Tux of Doom', but his soon-to-be mother-in-law, one of the most frightening aliens he had ever encountered, had insisted, and he finally gave in. He flatly refused, however, to give up the Converse, only making the concession to wear brand new ones. As the quintet began to play a piece from Handel's Water Music, the groom felt his stomach clench nervously. Was it time yet? He inwardly checked his Time Sense. No. Forty more minutes. Actually, make that thirty-eight minutes, twenty-three seconds. And counting. He plastered a smile on his face, hoping to hide his nervousness, and greeted the next group of guests to arrive.
Inside the mansion, in a large bedroom on the second floor, the bride was having her own attack of nerves. She had insisted to her mother repeatedly that she didn't want a large wedding, it wasn't necessary, and she wouldn't even know most of the people who were coming.
"Your dad does, and they're already here, so that's that."
Jackie Tyler was removing the veil from her daughter's head, trying to untangle it from Rose's hair without hurting her too much.
"Honestly, why we bothered to hire a professional hairdresser I'll never know. They've made a right mess of your hair. I'll have to do it all over myself, which is what I shoulda done to begin with." Jackie grabbed a brush and started yanking it through Rose's hair, causing her to cry out in pain.
"Mum, stop!" Rose ordered. "You're ripping it all out. If you keep this up, I won't have any hair left to style."
"Just tryin' to get some of this extra hold stuff to stop holdin' so much." She yanked the brush through Rose's hair again, and Rose stifled a yell. "There. Now I can start fixing it. Honestly, they had your hair so big it looked like mine at my wedding. My first wedding," she clarified.
"I remember that," Rose said with a smile. "The Doctor took me there. Dad got your name wrong."
Jackie laughed. "That he did. We were so young. And now our daughter's gettin' married." She sniffed and pulled out a tissue, blotting away tears before they could ruin her makeup.
"Okay, now, let's finish with your hair," Jackie said, turning back to Rose. "At least they did a good job with your color…"
Jackie Tyler, who had been a part-time hairdresser before getting trapped on a parallel world and marrying one of the richest men on the planet, quickly redid her daughter's hair into a simpler style and replaced the veil.
While she worked, the gentle strains of the quintet filtered through the open window. Almost time, Rose thought nervously.
"There," Jackie said finally. "What do ya think?"
Tilting her head back and forth, Rose surveyed herself in the mirror. She had to admit, it was much better. "It looks… nice."
"Nice! It looks fantastic, and you look lovely. You'll be lucky if himself out there can get his jaw off the ground long enough say his vows."
Rose tried to picture that in her mind. Her fiancé was one of the most absolutely gorgeous men she had ever met, and he was even more adorable when he was gobsmacked. She grinned, her tongue just touching the tips of her teeth.
"If he gets that way, Mum, make sure you get plenty of pictures."
Rose's maid of honor, Toshiko, stuck her head into the bedroom. "We've got just about fifteen more minutes until it's time." Then she noticed the changes to Rose's hair. "Oh, that's beautiful. Much better."
"Tosh, can you check on Tony?" Jackie asked. "Pete's supposed to be watchin' him, but Tony has a way of sneaking off. Don't want him to lose his ring bearer pillow or get his tux dirty."
"Will do," Tosh said, and left.
"Well, you 'bout ready?" Jackie said, turning back to her daughter. At the expression on Rose's face, she rushed back to her, grabbing her daughter's hands in hers. "What's wrong, Sweetheart?"
Rose sighed. "I just wish Mickey, Shireen, and Keisha could have been here. And Jack. And the Doctor."
"I'm so sorry your friends can't be here," Jackie said, pulling her into a hug. "But the Doctor is here. Right outside. Just waiting to marry you. You could see him from here if you looked."
Rose nodded. "I know. But you know what I mean."
Jackie was worried. "Rose, are you havin' second thoughts about marryin' this him? Because it's not too late to back out."
"No." Rose shook her head emphatically. "No. This is the one I want to marry. It's just…" She sighed heavily. "I dunno. It's just hard, I guess, when the man you love up and accidentally splits himself into two people."
Jackie had no response to that.
Rose got up, crossed to the window and looked out. Down below, she could see the Doctor, Doctor John Noble Smith in this world, wandering around the garden, greeting people, bouncing lightly on his toes as he walked. God, she loved that man so much and in less than an hour they'd be married.
Suddenly, she saw the Doctor freeze. A split second later, he took off, dashing across the lawn, dodging guests as he went, heading toward a copse of trees at the edge of the garden. A second later, after she heard what he did, Rose gathered up the skirts of her wedding gown into her arm and ran out of the room, grateful she had chosen to wear white Converse under her wedding gown.
"Rose," Jackie shouted. "Rose, what's the matter? What's goin' on?"
And then Jackie heard it, too. Off in the distance, only slightly louder than the string quintet, was the unmistakable wheezing and groaning of the TARDIS.