Rose tiptoed quietly through the TARDIS, in search of the Doctor. She knew he didn’t sleep much so she wasn’t sure whether she should be looking for his bedroom or one of the other hundred rooms where he could be. She didn’t normally do this, go looking for him in the middle of the night. But her nightmare had been so terrible and so real that she’d lain awake for hours, unable to find sleep again.
Help me find him she thought, directing her words to the TARDIS. Rose turned another corner and saw a door to her right, cracked open just enough to let a bit of soft light peek through. Thanks she thought as she nudged to door open and slipped inside.
It was the Doctor’s study. The room was fairly small and cozy, with a fireplace at one end, several bookcases and a large chaise lounge , which currently contained a dozing Time Lord. She felt her heart skip as she looked at him, his eyes shut and glasses perched precariously on the end of his nose. He was still wearing his suit, of course, but with his jacket and tie. A open book lay facedown on his chest as if he’d fallen asleep in the middle of a sentence.
She crept slowly into the room and sat next to her sleeping Doctor. She reached out and gently removed his glasses, setting them aside. The Doctor eyes opened slowly.
“Hello,” he murmured.
“Hi,” she said, a bit shakily.
He shook his head and blinked hard, waking up fully.
“Rose? Are you ok? What happened?” he asked with a note of panic in his voice.
“I had the most awful nightmare, Doctor. My mum…and Mickey. They…” her voice caught in her throat.
The Doctor reached out and drew her to him. She buried her face in his chest as the tears came again. He held her close as she wept, stroking her hair and whispering softly in her ear.
“It’s ok Rose,” he soothed, “it was only a dream. They’re ok, I promise.”
Slowly, her sobs subsided and she raised her head to look at him. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, “I just needed…someone.”
“You always have me, Rose.” he answered, leaning down to kiss the salty tears from her cheeks.
“Do you mind if I stay for a little longer?” she asked.
“Of course you can,” the Doctor said. He pulled her closer until she was snuggled against his body, her head resting on his chest. Soon, the beat of his twin hearts had lulled her to sleep. This time there were only good dreams.
He came to visit her on set every chance he got, taking the M4 over from Cardiff between filming breaks on Doctor Who. Sometimes she had no idea when he was going to show up; she’d look up during a take and find those gorgeous chocolate brown eyes watching her work.
Today was one of those days. They were on take four of an exterior shot and nearing the end of the day’s shooting. Billie was walking back down the sidewalk to start the scene over again when she spotted a familiar skinny man in a green hoodie and brown jacket. David was leaning against a wall in the shade of the cathedral across the street. He grinned when she caught his eye. She looked around cautiously and gave him a small smile and a wave. Everyone on the Secret Diary set knew they were together, of course, but she knew there were paparazzi lurking nearby and she and David worked very hard to keep their relationship private.
The scene required three more takes and when they finally finished, Billie was worn out and annoyed. All she wanted to do was find David and hug him, then go back to her trailer and change out of Belle’s pencil skirt and painful heels. Her eyes found the spot where David had been standing but it was empty now. She furrowed her brow and scanned the relatively small set. He was nowhere to be found and that fact did nothing to lessen her annoyance.
Billie walked back to her trailer, her mood growing darker by the minute. Where did he go? she wondered. It wasn’t like him to come visit her and then just disappear. As she rounded the corner of the long row of trailers, she caught a faint whiff of roses on the evening breeze. She stopped and breathed deep, looking around to see where the smell could be coming from, but there were no flowers in sight, only rows of metal trailers. Pity, she thought. Roses always made her happy and she could certainly use a pick-me-up at the moment. She kept walking but as she neared her trailer, she picked up the scent of roses again, stronger this time. Reaching her door, she noticed that there was a faint light just barely visible through the window. She cocked her head to the side and listened, but she couldn’t hear any noise from behind the door. Billie opened the door and took a tentative step inside. She was met with a sight that took her breath away. Her small trailer was filled, floor to ceiling, with every color rose imaginable. There were vases of roses on every flat surface and petals sprinkled on the floor. Tiny tea light candles were on all the tables, bathing the room in a flickering, golden light.
In the middle of the room stood her David, looking very nervous and more beautiful than ever. He stepped forward to meet her as she took a few nervous steps. He took both her hands in his and smiled.
“Well?” he asked.
“What…” she stammered, “What is this? It’s… It’s so…” She couldn’t find the words to tell him how beautiful everything was. She smiled at him through the tears in her eyes and hoped it was enough.
“It’s for you, love,” he answered, leaning in to kiss her before dropping her hands and stepping back.
Billie could still only stare. She watched as David reached into his jacket pocket and her heart began to pound in her chest. Is he about to do what I think he’s about to do? she thought. He pulled out a small box and dropped to one knee. He held out a hand, beckoning her to him. She reached out and grabbed it as he began to speak.
“Billie Paul Piper, you are the love of my life. I’ve loved you since the day we met when I was the new boy on the Doctor Who set. You took my breath away that day and have taken it away every day since. My greatest fear is that I’ll never be able to convey just how much I love you, but if you’ll give me the chance, I’ll try for the rest of my life. Bills, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?”
Again, she was speechless. She just stood looking down at him as the tears that had filled her eyes spilled over and ran down her cheeks. David began to look slightly worried. Just as he opened his mouth to say something, she sank to her knees and captured his mouth with hers. He pulled away just long enough to ask, “Does that mean yes?”
She grinned brilliantly. “Of course, you silly man! Nothing in this world would make me happier.”
Another photo. Probably the hundredth one that night. Billie had long been seeing spots before her eyes and her patience was wearing thin. But she kept her brightest smiled screwed tightly in place, knowing that this was just another part of the job. But then again, so was the handsome, bearded Scotsman to her left.
David could sense that Billie was nearing the end of her rope so, in between the flurry of camera flashes, he leaned his head close enough that she could hear him whisper, “Hey, Bill, what does a time traveling pirate ride in?” She looked at him like he’d lost his mind.
“A TARRRRRRDIS!” David answered, giggling like a maniac. Billie rolled her eyes and tried to turn back to the still-flashing cameras. But David’s incessant giggles proved to be too much. She burst into laughter and turned to bury her face in David’s jacket.
“David!” Billie hissed as she turned her face into his tuxedo-clad shoulder “Stop making me laugh, these pictures are going to be awful!”
He grinned and whispered, “Since when do you care, Bills? You hate these staged photos anyway.”
“Yes, but that’s not the point. I’d rather not have any more unflattering photos of me on the Internet.”
“Billie Piper,” David said sternly, “you couldn’t take an unflattering photo if you tried.”
She smiled at him, blushing a bit. He smiled back and slipped his hand, which had been draped over her shoulder, down to rest just below the small of her back. It was a movement that would seem innocuous to anyone who might notice, but between the two of them, was fraught with intention.
Billie shivered, partly from the cold and partly from David’s hand resting just above her bum. She longed to leave the flashing cameras and get David, and that brilliant kilt he was wearing, alone. As if he could hear her thoughts, David leaned down, his lips against her ear.
“Your place or mine?”
It had been such a long night. Awards shows were always exhausting…press everywhere, photographers swarming around, interviewers calling your name. She could stand an hour or so and then the fatigue would set in. But everything was different with David by her side. His infectious energy could keep her going for hours, through the photos and interviews and pressure of the spotlight. As they stood together during their tenth post-show interview, she knew he could sense her exhaustion. In the middle of answering a question that she had answered a hundred times already, she felt his fingers close around her hand. She grinned and temporarily lost her train of thought. She glanced over at him and smiled gratefully, suddenly struck with how adorable he looked in the burgundy velvet suit. And how good he would look out of it. He squeezed her hand and brought her back to reality. After a few more questions, the interviewer moved on. David leaned over to her and she could feel his breath against her ear.
“Time to go home, Bills.”
Based on this headcanon:
He blamed Rose for the entire embarrassing incident. Or rather, he blamed Jackie. They’d made a pit stop at Jackie’s flat for Rose to do a long-overdue bit of washing. The Doctor just wanted to stay on the TARDIS and tinker with the friction contrafibulator. But Rose being Rose, she’d grabbed his hand, mumbling about how the friction contra-whatsit could wait and how mum would love to make him some tea while Rose took care of her laundry.
The next thing he knew, he was drinking Darjeeling and making small talk with Jackie Tyler in her cramped kitchen. The Doctor was always rubbish at small talk. Besides, he could hardly hear her over the tinny sound of the radio that she kept on the kitchen counter. It was tuned to a station that the Doctor assumed was playing popular hits. The singer of the current song was going on and on about throwing his hands up in the air. The Doctor sighed and took another sip of tea. He could see Rose in the laundry nook, her back turned to him as she stood in front of the washing machine. She was singing along to the song on the radio and moving her hips to the music. The Doctor smiled as he watched her, Jackie’s voice fading even more into the background.
Eventually, Rose’s laundry was done, goodbyes were said and they were back on the TARDIS. Contrary to what Rose had said earlier, the friction contrafibulator really did need to be worked on, so the Doctor took the TARDIS into the Vortex to fix it. Rose gave him a hug and retired to her room to get some sleep.
The Doctor had been humming that song from the radio ever since they’d left Jackie’s. He didn’t even know why, it wasn’t as if he actually liked the song. Perhaps it was the way Rose’s hips moved when she danced to it. Or maybe it was just extremely catchy. Either way, it had invaded his mind and didn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. He continued to hum the song as he worked. He eventually started singing the words; he assumed Rose was asleep by now and there was no one else around to hear him. He often talked to himself while working, and singing was the same as talking, right?
He had a sudden, amusing thought as he stood at the console, absentmindedly tossing his sonic screwdriver up and catching it. “I throw my sonic in the air sometimes, saying Ayy-Ohh….ahhhh…Gallifrey-o!” he sang. He chuckled to himself. He’d never been much of a singer; actually, he’s never been a singer at all. But this wasn’t bad. He sang louder and louder, even throwing in a dance move or two. Rose had once doubted his dancing skills, he recalled, but as he twirled around the console he couldn’t imagine why anyone would ever doubt the skills of the man who had danced with the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. And though he’d rarely admit it, he had even taught MC Hammer one or two moves. As he sang, The Doctor waved his hands in the air as he shook his hips and strutted around the console, banging on things and flipping levers in time with the music in his head.
In the middle of the chorus, he heard a sound behind him. He spun around and there was Rose, leaning against one of the coral struts, in her pajamas, with shock and amusement on her face. As their eyes met, she collapsed into a fit of giggles, doubling over and putting her hands on her knees.
The Doctor sheepishly stammered, “Ahhh, I was just…umm…oh it’s not that funny!” Rose had slid down onto the floor and tears of laughter were rolling down her face. He walked over to sit next to her. “I thought it was clever,” he said with mock indignation.
When Rose’s laughter finally subsided, she said, “Oh I think you’ve found your calling Doctor, you’re a natural.” She grinned, her tongue stuck between her teeth. He couldn’t help but grin back. He could never resist that smile.
Beta-ed by the brilliant Allison.
My very first ficlet, inspired by the Snow Patrol song, Crack the Shutters. It’s a snapshot of Rose and Ten2. Hope you guys like it!