Disclaimer: Doctor Who isn't mine. If it was things would be quite different. The BBC owns all and I bow before them.
Written for and wishing tenroseforeverandever a very happy birthday!
Many thanks to gingergallifreyan and lizann5869 for fantastic beta services. I fiddled with this after they say it and any mistakes are entirely my own.
Note: multiple POVs but each is separated to it's own section! :)
The Doctor woke up suddenly in the dead of the night. His mind, so quiet since the TARDIS departed three weeks prior, was suddenly alight with the presence of another Gallifreyan mind. In his confused, half-asleep brain, he flailed. His Time Lord self had returned and he was likely to lose this forever with Rose. Please no.
But as he shook his head of the dusty remnants of sleep, he realized it wasn't his other self in his mind. This presence was tiny and new and the realization of what it was, and what it meant, hit him like a lorry full of bricks.
He squinted down at Rose, curled up at his side. Her hair was a riotous mess, but she was completely gorgeous as she slept, unaware of the spark of new life inside her body. The Doctor tried to quell the rising panic in his mind. This shouldn't have happened. He wasn't ready for his. He and Rose were still finding their footing. They hadn't even really discussed this!
Centuries of instinct took hold of him and the Doctor stumbled out of bed. He grabbed some clothes, hastily dressed, and rushed to the entryway of their flat. He snatched his keys from the bowl by the door and jumped into his car. As he pulled onto the motorway he realized he'd left his mobile at home but decided it was unimportant. Rose still wasn't a morning person when she didn't have to be, and he'd be back long before she noticed he was gone.
Rose woke briefly at the sound of a car ignition starting outside the bedroom window. While the Doctor required more sleep than when he was fully Time Lord, it was still less than most humans and it wasn't uncommon for him to slip out of bed to read (not wanting to disturb her) or even running to the store for some late night snack he suddenly craved. Not worried in the slightest, she grabbed his pillow and cuddled up to it, falling back to sleep with the scent of the man she loved next to her.
The Doctor drove and drove, having no destination in mind. Eventually the road would take him to Scotland, but he pulled over to a motor rest site after almost two hours driving. He spied some picnic tables and climbing on top of one, he laid down, staring up at the sky.
He missed the stars. That, and travelling so much. He'd be lying if he said he didn't. But it was manageable. He had Rose, and a distinct probability of returning to them one day, should the TARDIS coral thrive - the shatterfrying had been a success, but he was still trying to work with the different energy of this galaxy from the one of their home and that was causing some delay. Even if it didn't work out, Rose was his most important desire. Living his life with her, day after day, that was the real adventure. The quiet life (but never too quiet!) he'd told Lynda he'd always wanted.
Still, he'd always envisioned their life together as just the two of them. As a Time Lord he'd been sterile and when he'd started an intimate relationship with Rose, he'd warned her they could never have children. She hadn't been bothered at all. She'd shrugged and told him she was spending her life with him; he was all she wanted and nothing else.
At that time he also hadn't wanted any either. He'd had his chance back on Gallifrey and failed in every way that mattered. While he was a rebel against the Time Lord ideals in many ways, he'd been as impersonal and distant as his father had been with his own sons. Only with Susan was their any sort of familial warmth and by then it was too late with his offspring. He was too radical and they were by the book. He hadn't fully realized how wrong he'd been until they were gone. Until everyone was gone. But he couldn't change his actions and it was for the best that he and Rose couldn't conceive in the human way. It would've been just one more loss for him to deal with when a child of theirs withered away.
So when he and Rose had found themselves back on Pete's World, his opinion really hadn't changed. They only thing they'd discussed even remotely related to the topic of children was that Rose was on birth control. She clearly loved her brother, but there was nothing that had suggested her opinion had changed or that she might want a family of their own. Clearly, they should've discussed this more, and he really should have run some tests on his reproductive system, but that was the benefit of hindsight.
What struck the Doctor now, though, was how much he wanted it. It was rather soon; there was no denying that. The thought of fatherhood was still a bit frightening because of his past experience, but he'd also had the lesson of Jenny now. He'd learned that he could love his child and act on those emotions. That the fear (and the actuality) of loss wasn't reason enough to avoid or prevent it.
But would Rose want this child? He tugged his fingers anxiously through his hair. It was her body, and he could never ask her, let alone force her, to do something with it that she didn't want to, but he also knew it would difficult if they wanted different outcomes from this experience.
The Doctor let out a breath as the sun started to rise on the horizon. He'd been so lost in thought and memories he hadn't realized how much time had passed. Talk to her, dumbo, a distinct Chiswick voice scolded in his mind and he knew it was right. He believed in her, just as he always had. They would figure this out together.
Rose awoke a second time that morning as the silent alarm she'd set on her Wellbit went off. She and the Doctor had discussed sleeping in on their fist weekend since they'd settled into their new flat, but she'd wanted to surprise him and make him a special breakfast of banana pancakes.
Turning over, however, she found he wasn't asleep next to her. She remembered he'd gone out in the night, but that had been hours ago. Even though he got up many times while she slept, he'd always returned before she woke up. Every morning she woke up since the beach, he'd been there.
Frowning, Rose got out of bed and looked for him. He wasn't in his study, the living room was vacant, and the spare bedroom that held the TARDIS coral and tank was empty as well.
She walked into the kitchen, not really expecting to see a note, but hoping for one nonetheless. The counter was bare of any paper and it was with increasing dread that she saw both his wallet and his mobile. The latter didn't surprise her, the Doctor usually had to be reminded to take it with him, but the wallet bothered her. Why would he leave without money or identification?
Panic took hold. Things hadn't been exactly easy for them since the Doctor had been left with her, but she thought they were okay. There had been an argument here and there. The lead up to him getting his legal papers and status had certainly been stressful, but that was behind them. He seemed happy, not just with her, but being here. He was adjusting to 'life on the slow path' rather well. He'd always been nothing if not adaptable.
Had she read him wrong though, Rose wondered? And if she had, surely he wouldn't just leave, not like this? Without a word, just to disappear in the night? She couldn't believe that. The Doctor had done plenty of running in the past, but not since they'd returned. And even during their travels when he ran from her emotionally, he never just left her. Not like this.
In spite of her reassurance, a part of her couldn't let go of the panic. What if she was wrong about him? About them? What if this was too much and not what he wanted? What if he really didn't come back? She tried to ignore those doubts, reaching instead for her mobile, set to contact Torchwood and see if he'd gone into the office (maybe he needed something for the TARDIS?) when the door opened.
The Doctor looked, quite frankly, horrible. His clothes were all rumpled and his hair wasn't his normal casual disarray. Instead, it was a complete mess as if he'd been running his fingers through it and tugging on it for ages.
She rushed over and threw her arms around him. "Where have you been?" she asked, trying to control the waver in her voice.
He swallowed. "I had to get out of here. Just for a little bit. I lost track of time. I thought I'd be back before you got up." He glanced over at the clock. "Why are you up? It's still rather early for you?"
"I was going to surprise you," Rose started. "With breakfast. I heard you leave but figured you'd be back before long and I went back to sleep. You still weren't here when I woke up. I didn't know what to think. I thought maybe you'd…." she paused. "Left."
The Doctor shook his head adamantly. "Never, Rose Tyler." He took her hand and led then them over to the settee. He kept their fingers entwined as they sat. "Only one thing, and one thing only, will ever make me leave you, and that isn't going to happen for a very, very long time. You understand me?" he asked.
Rose nodded. "Then what happened? Why were you gone for so long?"
An undecipherable look crossed the Doctor's face. "I-" He looked away for a moment, before meeting her eyes and continuing. "I felt something, and it scared me, Rose," he breathed out. "I didn't know how to react, or how you would, so I just went for a drive. To clear my head and think things through."
Rose squeezed his hand. "Makes sense. I know you sometimes need time by yourself. I need that too once in a while. I know you're still processing everything and adjusting to life here, but you can always talk to me. Just leave me a note so I don't worry and come to me when you're ready. We might not have done that when we travelled together, but it's the only way for this to work, Doctor."
He hummed his agreement. "Talking about everything and nothing, that I can do. But the real things, that's harder. And this is as real as it gets." He stopped and took a deep breath and met her eyes.
She didn't know what to make of his comment. "Go on," she encouraged.
"You're pregnant, Rose," he whispered. "That's what I felt. My mind has been so empty, so quiet since Bad Wolf Bay, but I felt it. The moment it happened, my mind wasn't so quiet anymore."
She couldn't help but gasp.
He rushed on. "I know I should've told you. It's your body, but I didn't know how you'd react. I didn't know how to myself and it terrified me."
Rose took several deep breaths. She couldn't blame his reaction. Her birth control was supposed to be 99% effective, but this clearly proved it wasn't foolproof either. And being the tactile man the Doctor was, he didn't want to use condoms when it hadn't seemed necessary. So they hadn't.
She wasn't sure how to feel and bit her lip thoughtfully. Children had never been high on her list of things she wanted most out of life. She wasn't opposed per se, but they weren't anything she had desired. With Jimmy she had no doubt what her decision would've been had she become pregnant. It had been different with Mickey. He'd been a childhood friend and when they got together she'd figured that eventually they'd get married and likely have children. It was the kind of life that was expected and often came to pass on the Estates.
But then she met the Doctor. Her life had changed and she'd wanted nothing more than to spend her life with him. He'd tried to discourage her, before they became intimate, told her he couldn't give her the life she deserved and the one she might someday want. But she had assured him she didn't need that to be happy. Just him.
Now though… the circumstances of their lives together had changed. Tony also had changed her views so much. She loved her little brother to pieces and while she and the Doctor hadn't spoken of children since they'd been reunited, she knew from watching him interact with him that he would make an amazing father.
She would be entirely happy with their life if they never had children. There was no doubt in her mind about that. They had a growing TARDIS and their work as Defenders of Earth. Life would keep them busy and happy, living out their forever together.
And yet, their most amazing adventures had always been the ones that were not just unplanned, but completely the opposite from what they expected. Even though Rose had to admit this was sooner than she would have chosen, she couldn't stop the elation that spread through her at the thought of having a family with the man she loved.
Lost in her thoughts, Rose blinked as the Doctor said her name.
"Rose? Can you say something? Please." Worry creased his brow.
Rose grinned at him and squeezed his hand. "Our best adventures are always the ones unplanned, yeah?"
The Doctor sighed in relief as the stress of the morning washed away. "Yeah," he agreed, as a smile crept across his face. "Oh, Rose, this is going to be fantastic!" He wrapped his arms around her, thankful once again, for this life he'd been given.