When John awoke the next morning, he felt incredibly refreshed. His brief afternoon with Rose and Tony had been more than wonderful; it had been one of the best times he'd had in a very long time. Even though he'd only known him for about a week, John loved that little boy. Tony was so full of, well, everything—life, excitement, intelligence, and so much more. And Rose…well, John found himself thinking more and more of her. She made him feel...different. A good different. A brilliant different. An "I-can't-keep-a-straight-thought-when-I-look-at-you" different. It was exhilarating and more than a little frightening, if he was being honest. He was feeling such intensity in such a short amount of time, and it was an entirely new experience for him. Of course, their first encounter had by no means been ideal. In fact, John was more than a little lucky Rose hadn't slapped him senseless. She was full of a fire he had never seen—her eyes sparking with such ferocity that she could have easily set him ablaze. John would have found her passion entrancing had he not been preoccupied fighting with her. After such a fiery encounter, John half expected her to remain irate and refuse any and all interaction with him. But he had been pleasantly surprised to find his preconceived notions debunked. Rose had not only apologized, but had treated him with such genuine warmth and kindness, even after his uncalled for implication of negligence. She was quite...extraordinary. Her smile—God, it was beautiful. And her hand in his felt like…perfection. Even now, it still tingled from the sensation. And then, watching her dance...John couldn't help but smile when he recalled the scene from last night. This is nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. I don't know anything about her! I sound like some infatuated teenager. For God's sake, I'm a grown man!
John quickly turned his thoughts to yesterday's other events, in particular Rose's question.
"Do you WANT to write another one?"
At the time, he had wanted to press her for her meaning, but she had quickly brushed it off and had said no more on the subject. John knew there must have been a reason for her asking such a question, but he couldn't determine what it was. Of course he wanted to write another one—he was a writer, that's what writers do. And considering the first two did so well, it was only logical to keep going. And, he couldn't disappoint his family—not after all they had done to support and encourage him. However, the question still bugged him. But there was no sense in driving himself mad over the subject, so John pushed it the recesses of his mind. Looking at the time, he realized that his musings had put him behind, and now he was running late for his lunch with Donna and Jack. Thankfully when he arrived, Donna was still in the process of cooking, so he was safe from her reprimand. This allowed him and Jack to relax and idly chat.
"Sooo…whatever happened with Rose? I heard you ended up apologizing which surprised me. Stubbornness runs deep in your family, as I know from firsthand experience," Jack said with a smirk.
"You better watch it. If Donna hears you, you'll see some other traits that run deep," John needlessly warned. He knew Jack was well aware of Donna's traits and quirks. Rather than being put off, Jack actually adored Donna for them, seeing past her at times gruff exterior to the beautiful and caring person she was at heart. Though they appeared like oil and water, they truly complemented each other and deeply loved each other—a fact which John felt himself envious of at times.
Jack looked at him expectantly. "So…?"
John looked back towards the kitchen, suddenly feeling fidgety under Jack's questioning stare. "Wonder how much longer till she's done."
A knowing smirk made its way onto Jack's face, and he said, "You're avoiding the question, which I take it to mean it went very well."
John rolled his eyes, as he tended to do in his conversations with Jack. He knew that he needed to choose his words very, very carefully because Jack was like a bloodhound, and if he caught even the slightest scent of interest on John's part, he would pounce.
"She apologized for biting my head off. I apologized for being a prat. That's about it really."
Jack quirked a disbelieving eyebrow at him. "That's it? So you haven't seen or talked to her since?"
John fidgeted again and looked away. "Weelll, I've been back a few times. What does it matter anyway?"
Jack's eyebrow inched higher. "Because I can tell there's more to it than you're lettin' on. You're being evasive and fidgety. Plus, you instantly got this lovesick puppy look in your eyes when I mentioned her name. So, still wanna insist that there's nothing more?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Jack. I've barely known her a week. That's hardly enough time to be lovesick. Quit reading into things."
Scoffing, Jack said, "That's crap and y'know it. I'd only known Donna a few hours before-"
John quickly held up his hand, grimacing. "Please...Don't finish that! I don't need or want to know how that sentence was going to end. Knowing you, it would probably scar me for life. She's my sister and I... just don't."
Jack laughed. "Whatever. Despite my track record and despite what may you think, I was going to say that I knew I had met someone special, even though I had only known her a couple hours. Sometimes you just know before you know, you know?"
"Wow," John rolled his eyes, "Poetically profound. You should write that down."
Jack frowned at him. "Don't be a jerk. What I mean is, sometimes a part of you knows that you've found somethin' special before your brain knows the reasons why."
John considered this for a minute. I'm so going to regret talking to him about this.
"Ok, so maybe I find her intriguing. She's young and has a successful business. She has passion, that's for sure. And I admire her for raising Tony. Jack, you should see that little boy. He's truly amazing. Brilliant, too. Clever. He was able to get Rose to invite me to-" he broke off, immediatly knowing that he had opened the wrong door.
Jack's eyebrows practically met his hairline. "You have a date with Rose?"
"It's not a date. It's just Pancake Day."
"What in the world is Pancake Day?"
"Apparently, it's a day where they make pancakes. Pretty self-explanatory," John grumbled.
"Make pancakes? So, you're going to her house then. Sounds like a date to me." Jack couldn't help the grin taking over his features.
John's irritation was quickly rising. "Jack. It's NOT a date."
"John, don't be dense. You're going over to the house of a woman, who you're clearly in to, so she can make a home-cooked meal and you can spend time getting to know her family. Hate to break it to you, but it sounds like a date."
"What's a date?" Donna asked, suddenly appearing.
Oh God, this just keeps getting better and better...
Jack looked at her with his cocky smile. "John has a date with Rose."
Donna's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. "Seriously? Blimey, that was fast!
"It's not a date!" John shouted, beyond frustrated at the turn of events.
"They're having pancakes," Jack said to Donna, smiling at John's obvious discomfort and frustration.
Donna snorted at John. "Well, aren't you a romantic."
John pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing and willing his sudden headache away. "It's not a bloody date. Tony asked me to come over to eat pancakes tomorrow. Rose said it was okay. If anything, I'm going to spend time with Tony. Again, it's NOT a date!"
"Right…," Donna said, smiling and nodding her head slowly before winking at her husband. Clearly, she wasn't buying that John was just going to spend time with Tony. Not when his attraction to Rose was apparent.
"You are both impossible! Can we just eat please?" John asked, a little bit of pleading in his voice.
Jack and Donna exchanged one more round of knowing smiles, but decided to take pity on the squirming man before them. As they made their way to the table, John knew that he had most certainly not heard the last on this subject. Not by a longshot.