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 Tentoo a very happy 10th birthday in Pete's World! Enjoy your time with Rose today and every day! :)
Lyrical inspiration from Mr. Probz's Space for Two. Thank you to the Cophenhagen airport for introducing me to this song when I was in Europe. While the relationship in it does not reflect the Doctor and Rose, I really wanted to use the chorus as a prompt for Tentoo and Rose. :D
Many thanks to the ever awesome and wonderful tenroseforeverandever for betaing. I fiddled with it after she looked at it and any mistakes are my own.
Giving credit where it's due, the reference to Infamy of the Zaross was used gleefully.
"You sure you don't want to come to the mansion? Plenty of room for you and himself," Jackie said as she gestured from the front between Rose and the Doctor while the their van pulled up to a row of flats.
The Doctor watched the interaction, his hand still entwined with Rose's as she leaned her head against his shoulder, leaving the decision to his newly reunited beloved. He'd much rather it be just the two of them, but he'd follow wherever she led him.
"I told you, Mum," Rose insisted. "We'll be over tomorrow, but right now, we just need time for the two of us." Her eyes met his as she lifted her head and she smiled that brilliant smile that had lightened up some of his darkest days and so many of his happiest ones.
Jackie's eyes softened as took in their clasped hands. She got out with them to give both a hug goodbye ("Thank you," she whispered in his ear).
The Doctor walked with a bounce in his step as the van took off and he was finally alone with Rose. He had once shared his home with her and he couldn't wait to share hers.
Rose dropped his hand to fumble with a set of keys as she unlocked the door to the flat. Flipping on a light switch, she bit her lip as she pushed open the door. "I've got to warn you, it's a bit small."
His eyes swept the across the flat. It most certainly was not bigger on the inside. There was a tiny living area, a small kitchen, and two doors. One was a loo, and the one with the closed door, he assumed was a bedroom. It was cramped and impersonal. Spartan even. In fact, the only thing that separated it from a hotel room was the lack of wall decoration. Instead there was a single photo next to the television which showed Jackie, Pete, and a little boy the Doctor guessed to be Tony.
But none of that mattered because he was with his impossible girl. The single desire of his newly singular heart.
He smiled at her reassuringly. "Better than some of the jails we've been in." As soon as the words were out of his mouth, a Chiswick voice scolded him. Way to go, dumbo.
Rose gave a mirthful chuckle and seemed to take the remark in stride, as she took his hand once more. "Tell me about it. This is so crazy. I never thought I'd come back here once I found you. Mum was against me getting this flat in the first place. I think she always hoped I'd change my mind and decide to stay. But I'd made my decision and needed my own space, yeah. Close to work, a place where I could crash between jumps and this was perfect.
She led him over to the photograph on television stand and picked it up. "I never wanted to leave them behind, but I promised you. I wanted to live my life with you and nothing would change that. Now I get to have both." Rose ran a finger over her little brother's face, her eyes shining as she met his. "Tony's going to be so excited. He's heard all of our adventures."
As she put the photo back down her mobile buzzed. She wiped her eyes and then swiped the screen to answer it. A live video message popped up and he saw a ginger haired boy bouncing up and down.
"Is it true Rose? Do I get to meet the Doctah?" Tony questioned with a lisp.
"It's true, buddy. We'll be over in the morning." Rose promised. She flashed the camera his way and he waved, enchanted by how much Tony resembled his big sister in his face. He couldn't wait to meet him.
The Doctor watched as she signed off and he swallowed, once again touched at how much she'd been willing to give up for him, but thankful she hadn't needed to. He felt guilty about the cost of his happy future, but he couldn't help but be thankful for what the two of them had been given. He not only had Rose, but he also had a place to actually belong and with family. He'd never really felt that before, except with Susan.
"Now for the grand tour finale," Rose continued as she led him to the closed door. Once she opened it he saw a bed, a closet, and a desk. Strewn across the floor was a pile of clothes. Now that was a familiar sight, and he grinned. It grew even larger as he took in the only decoration, a photo frame on the desk with two grainy cell phone photos: one of his previous incarnation, Jack, and herself, and the other of the two of them at Christmas, just after he'd regenerated.
"We'll find something bigger. Something that suits us." Rose gave his hand a squeeze as she returned his smile.
The Doctor glanced at the bed. There would be room, but barely. He toed off his shoes and lay down on the bed, desperate to just hold her the way he had longed to since he first spotted her on that torn up London street a universe away. Rose followed his lead and cuddled up to his side and he couldn't help the sigh of happiness that escaped from his lips.
Rose was right. The opportunity they'd been given was crazy, and he'd seen a lot of crazy things in nine hundred years. He never would've believed what had happened in the span of a day, but he was filled with hope for the future. He could have a day to day life with the woman he loved, something he'd never thought possible with mismatched lifespans. He'd once been trapped on Earth, with a disabled TARDIS, but while the latter was not here either, this time, he was anything but trapped. Not with Rose at his side. He was free in a way he had never been before. They'd already talked on the zeppelin, made plans to discover this world together, as Rose hadn't seen much of it either. Most of all, he knew life with her on Pete's World would be his greatest adventure of his lives.
"Just enough space for two," he whispered, breathing in the light vanilla fragrance of her shampoo as well as the scent that was simply Rose. "It's fine for now," he assured her and it was. There was absolutely no instinct to run.
They cuddled in silence for several moments before Rose whispered. "I'm so sorry, Doctor."
He raised his eyebrow. "Whatever for?"
"You lost the TARDIS." She placed a hand over his heart.
"I got you. That's all a Time Lord metacrisis really needs. Not tea, nor the TARDIS. Just Rose Tyler." He lifted her hand and kissed it.
Rose smiled a sleepy smile as the events of the past day caught up to her, and the Doctor could feel fatigue clawing at him as well.
"And all I need is your hand in mine. I missed it so much." She ran her fingers across his knuckles as he hummed in agreement.
"Me too, Rose," he agreed, as a yawn slipped out. Bugger this needing to sleep thing was going to be annoying, but he'd have the pleasure of doing it with her at his side. He stripped down to his t-shirt and pants, as she did the same, and they slipped under the covers, cuddling up together once again.
"I love you," he told her for just the second time (oh, it really shouldn't have been only the second time he'd said it) before pressing his lips to hers for a soft kiss as lifetimes of holding back from her were further vanquished. Rose returned his gentle pressure before pulling away with a yawn.
"I love you too, Doctor." His single heart clenched, hearing those words spoken to this him for the first time. "Sleep well."
"You too, my love," he agreed, letting loose the endearment he'd held back for lifetimes (never again, he vowed) as he closed his eyes. This life together, living day by day, would take some getting used to, he knew that, but as he drifted off to sleep, the Doctor could already tell it was going to be brilliant.