The Tardis disappeared from the alleyway and Rose was looking around the console room. The Doctor was making his way around the various switches and buttons, putting the ship into an orbit just outside the earth’s atmosphere, carefully watching his new companion. Well maybe not so new as new, new but a new version of Rose Tyler.
“So what do you want to know first? You must have a lot of questions, how it all works and about all that different dimensions stuff?”
Rose looked at him. “Aw, I thought maybe you could just show me around first and can I get some more clothes? Is there a wardrobe or something?”
He smiled at her. He had expected loads of questions but a first glance inside the ship usually was greeted by a look of awe on the people who entered it. He could hear the Tardis humming her approval at Rose’s arrival, even if she was a different version of her. His ship had loved Rose as much as he had and he knew the Tardis had been sad when she was lost.
“Come on then, I’ll show you to a room then where you can get some clothes.”
He just hoped that the ship wouldn’t show her to the other Rose Tyler’s old room. He cringed when the ship decided to put what he knew was indeed the other Rose’s room just opposite his, was she trying to tell him something? Rose opened the door.
It was tidier than he remembered it, it had been cleared of everything personal but still a pink theme to it. This Rose seemed to like it as she threw herself on the bed, complete with pink duvet cover and pink sheets.
“Oh I love it, can this be my room?” She crossed over to a fitted wardrobe and the Tardis had decided to place a selection of suitable clothing in her size, from dresses to tops, skirts and jeans.
This Rose gaped at the clothing, never seeing anything like it as she held up the jeans and then looked at the short skirts, some denim.
“Oh, I’ve never seen anything like this before, I mean men’s trousers, do women where you come from even wear things like this?” She picked up a short skirt, one he swore the other Rose had worn, the one he had fantasised about her bending over in.
“Well women from the time I come from do wear things like this but we can find you something else if you want?”
“No, I’ll find something here, is this my bathroom, my own bathroom?” She opened the en-suite door and saw the tub and the shower. “What do you do with this?” she asked, putting her head under the shower before he could stop it as water began to pour out.
He had forgotten he had the ship install a motion activated shower for Rose, it had got her the first time as well. It came in useful when running from monsters when you got yourself covered in mud and dirt. Rose pulled herself away rather quickly, looking at her soaked dress and feeling her damp hair. He thought she was going to be annoyed and demand he took her back where she came from but instead, she burst out laughing.
The Doctor looked at her. How was his even possible? He had not had time to even think about it with all the things going on and getting rid of the Cybermen again. All he had thought about was finding a way to ask her to come with him and she hadn’t taken much talking into. If his clone had the Rose he had wanted and failed to tell her, then this was compensation, compensation he was going to grab with both hands because this time, he wasn’t going to make the same mistakes. The universe had thrown this Rose at his feet.
He burst out laughing as well as she reached for a towel to dry her hair then decided to throw the towel at him for laughing at her. He threw it back and Rose went to get another one and chased him out of the bathroom. “I’m going to get in there properly so you just disappear while I do. Do you have anything to eat? I’m starving.”
“I’ll have you know I have a full kitchen and I’ll go prepare you something while you shower. When you’re finished, turn right, round the corner and it’s the second door on the right. If you get lost, just shout.”
Rose just smiled at him, the strap on her other shoulder now also down and the white cotton blouse underneath wet. “I’m sure I’ll manage Doctor. Can I ask you something? Your ship, is it sort of alive?”
“Well yes, if you can hear a humming sound, it’s her. She seems to like you. She’ll translate any foreign languages you might hear and if you want anything, just ask her.”
“Can the ship read my mind?”
“No, not unless you want her to. Now get your shower and get changed while I make us something to eat and then I’ll take you somewhere or are you tired?”
“I’m a bit tired, maybe we can go somewhere when I’ve had some sleep.”
The Doctor went off to make some banana pancakes and some hot chocolate, the other Rose’s favourite and waited for her to show. When she did, he was stunned as she entered the kitchen in pink fluffy slippers and pink pyjamas. She quickly finished off the pancakes and the hot chocolate and yawned.
“Guess I’m more tired than I thought. Can you show me back to my room?”
“Yeah but I want to show you something first, before I land us somewhere. Come with me.”
He led her back to the console room and walked down the ramp, opening the doors after making sure the ship was protecting them. They were above the earth and looking down, Rose covered her mouth with both her hands.
“Is this for real? We’re actually looking at the earth? This is amazing!”
The Doctor took her hand and pulled her down and they sat of the ramp, feet hanging over the edge of the doors. He took his jacket off and put it around her shoulders.
“Not bad is it?”
Rose put her arm in his and squeezed it. Turning to him, she leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Thank you, this is going to be great!”
After pulling her up and getting his jacket back, he closed the doors and led her back to her new room.
“I’ll be right in the console room if you need me, get some sleep.”
Rose opened the door and then turned around, putting her arms around his neck, kissing his cheek again. “Tell me if I’m being too forward Doctor, it’s just all this new-found freedom is a bit much, I don’t really know how I’m expected to behave. I’ve only worked for one family since I was thirteen and I’ve never really been alone with a man. I only got half a day a week off, my mother used to send me to Sunday school every week where I learned to read and write but when I turned sixteen, the family used to have visitors and my mistress used to keep me in the basement kitchen while they were there. I think she was trying to protect me.”
It sounded about right for the time period, Victorians were very stuffy. “No Rose, it’s fine, really. The kind of adventures I go on, sometimes it’s nice to have a hand to hold. Feel free, to hold my hand if you want, you’ll need it, I tend to run fast!”
“Run from what exactly?”
The Doctor laughed, that look in his eyes. “From trouble, what else!”
Rose yawned and took her arms away and turned to go into her room. “Goodnight Doctor, thanks again.”
He left Rose to get some sleep and planned his first trip, somewhere he had never taken the first Rose – Barcelona. He let her sleep, thinking back how he used to time the other Rose and knew exactly how long she stayed in bed after a short time aboard. He wondered if this one was going to be the same. He had thought about the possibility of her existence, well if his clone could be happy, why couldn’t he? He’d had a rough time since she had been gone, getting almost tangled with Martha had scared him because he couldn’t be that way with Rose and it wouldn’t have been fair to Martha to pretend she had taken her place. He had warned her but she seemed to have chosen to ignore it and try her luck.
What was the next morning to Rose, she woke and smelt something tempting coming through the gap in her bedroom door. She chose a pair of jeans, liking the feel of them and a blue t-shirt and followed the smell. The Doctor had bacon sandwiches and tea waiting for her. After they ate, he led her out onto a grassed area and told her where she was, warning her not to laugh at the dogs with no noses, which got a smile out of her.
After walking around, he took her back to the Tardis and asked if she wanted to go visit the beach and she went to get changed. Not sure about the choice of bathing costumes and thinking anyone back home would find them wholly indecent, she put a sun dress over the costume and a pair of sandals on her feet and picked up a towel. She arrived back in the console room and the Doctor just whistled. Rose blushed, she was not used to this kind of attention.
Then she saw him in his knee-length swimming shorts and a purple t-shirt. Looking at his legs, she giggled. She had never seen men dress like that. So hand in hand they stepped out to find he had moved the Tardis onto a remote part of the beach and almost at the water’s edge. Rose had never seen the sea before and she shrieked with delight and threw her arms around him again. He was getting to like this and he didn’t feel guilty.
Laying down their towels, Rose didn’t bother about ceremony, she took her sun dress off and ran into the most amazing shade of blue sea and began splashing. She had never learned to swim so she didn’t go too deep, just below her knees and turned to see where he had got to but he was close behind and began splashing her. Rose giggled and they began a water fight, the Doctor laughing and trying to pull her down, Rose struggling to keep upright as they both fell into the sea.
By mutual agreement, he took her hand and they went back to where they had laid their towels on the sand, the sun shining down as Rose picked hers up to dry herself the Doctor disappeared back inside the Tardis and came back out with two more towels and some sun cream.
“Here, you need this on or you’ll burn.”
Rose looked at the bottle. He showed her how to open it and put some cream onto her hand. “Run that on your arms and legs then if you lay down, I’ll put some on your back for you.”
Rose began to rub her arms. Handing him back the bottle as they took it in turns, the Doctor finished first and went to lay on his towel, his back to Rose. “Come on Rose, you do my back first.”
Rose stood in front of him, blocking the sun. He passed her a pair of sunglasses he brought out with him and she looked at them, working out that he wanted her to put them on as he did the same.
“Doctor, it’s not decent to do that, rub cream on your back.”
“Rose, it’s ok, honestly, the time I came from, men and woman do it all the time but if it makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s ok.”
Rose knelt down at the side of him and looked at the bottle. “Ok, I’ll try, just tell me if I’m doing it right.”
He knew he shouldn’t be enjoying this so much. Soon she had finished, all too quickly for his liking, especially on his shoulders and he told her to lie down and proceeded to rub the cream on her back, avoiding the straps and not going any further than he had to but again, he was enjoying it too much. As they lay down, he stayed on his side, leaning on his arm as he talked and told her about the time he came from, not yet revealing he wasn’t actually from the planet, thinking it would all be too much for her to take in.
He decided taking her back to London in what now must be 2009 was not a very good idea, they could run into people that knew Rose, Jack, Sarah-Jane and Martha plus Rose may have met Wilf so he couldn’t take the chance but he wanted to show her what life would be like in the future so he chose somewhere quiet. Well not quite – his landing was a bit off as usual and they landed in New York. So after showing her around, rather slowly as she took her time, wanting to try a hotdog and some fries and them taking a subway train, Rose being terrified and clinging onto him as they entered the platform to take the train to see the Statue of Liberty and then take the ferry to the island.
The Doctor remembered landing there with Martha in 1930 and he sincerely hoped no Daleks remained. After that, they took the ferry and train back and he took her to the Empire State Building, relieved it was completed this time and Rose stepped out onto the observation deck and looked down, grabbing hold of him. The Doctor smiled as she held onto his arm and then she slipped her hand into his, which was still in his pocket.
Rose gave his hand a squeeze and smiled, still staring at the fact they were high above the ground, 1000′s of feet above New York. They made their way back to the Tardis after Rose wanted to try some pizza and a coke, saying she loved it. She had only eaten plain food and he thought she was taking this rather well. They had held hands almost the entire time and he could easily forget this was an entirely new Rose, who had never seen nebulas and supernovas and he knew one day he would have to tell her where he came from, he couldn’t keep it from her forever.
Once back in the Tardis, he put them into the time vortex to decide their next destination and Rose went to her room, coming back with some nail polish. “Doctor, what’s this?”
He smiled, Rose used to sit on the jumpseat and paint her fingers and her toes. He opened the bottle for her, indicating for her to take the brush out and steered it to her fingers. She smiled and went to sit down, learning fast that it needed time to dry.
“How about watching a movie Rose? We have pictures where people move and talk.”
She thought that was an excellent idea so they went to the media room via the kitchen where the Tardis had provided fresh popcorn and they settled down to watch The Chronicles of Narnia as opposed to Wolverine, something that was nearer her own time although it was that or Sherlock Holmes.
Rose was clearly sleepy from their tour of New York and started leaning her head on his arm but insisted in watching the end of the film.
“Come on sleepy, before I have to carry you back to your room,” he said before she fell asleep totally and nudging her.
Rose smiled. She felt happier than she had done in her life.
“I wouldn’t mind if you did carry me back, save me walking,” she half joked, only ever dreaming of a man sweeping her off her feet.
Her new-found freedom was infectious, she wanted to make the most of it. The Doctor smiled at her.
“Maybe another time Rose, now come on or I’ll make you watch another film.”
Once back at her room, Rose kissed his cheek again. “That was great, can we do that every night?”
“Maybe or maybe we can watch some TV programmes from my time but there’s something you need to know, about me.”
“Such as?” She searched his face, looking at his frown lines.
“It will wait, get some sleep.”
“Doctor, I’m really not that tired, it was just the film. Tell me about the places you’ve been to, please?”
“Ok, just for a while. I’ll go make some hot chocolate, with whipped cream and marshmallows, you go get comfy.”
He went to the kitchen and was back at her room a few minutes later but stood outside. This is what ‘They’ used to do after an adventure or Rose was upset over something and here he was, back in their old routine, was it fair on this Rose to be doing the same things? He tried to tell himself it wasn’t but maybe this Rose would get all hysterical about him being an alien with two hearts from another planet and want to go back home or be left somewhere but she couldn’t cope with modern day life, she wasn’t meant to be here.
Somewhere along the line, someone would recognise her, an old friend of the other Rose, a friend they had met on their travels, it wouldn’t matter who and he would have to explain to them before they could say anything, it was going to be quite a challenge but it would sure be worth it. Balancing the cups in one hand, he turned the handle of her room door to find Rose sitting up in bed against the pillows with a very revealing pink nightdress and a big smile on her face. It seemed the Tardis was happy to have Rose back and was determined they wouldn’t dance around each other this time.