Spoilers: Journey's End
Synopsis: Rose gives the Doctor a surprising gift. (Fluff, with a teeny tiny bit of angst)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, If I did you'd be watching this story on TV
Rose entered their suite as quietly as she could, making sure to tread lightly on the soft gray carpet in her stocking feet. She tucked the brightly wrapped package she was carrying under one arm and pulled the door closed behind her, holding the knob in place to guarantee the latch would make as small a click as possible. Then, venturing farther into the room, she began to assess her target.
The Doctor was hunched over his desk in their sitting room, completely focused on whatever new project he was working on. He’d rolled the sleeves of his white dress shirt up to his elbows, revealing masculine forearms lightly dusted with chestnut hair. His trusty blue suit jacket, almost threadbare from nearly constant use, had been draped over the back of his chair. She’d gifted him with the large oak desk when he’d joined Torchwood, and while it was usually littered with the mounds of paperwork he refused to do, right now its polished surface was covered in bits and bobs of scavenged alien technology. Rose rolled her eyes when she realized what he’d done with the forms. They were strewn across the carpet at the base of his desk.
Only a few feet away from him now, she could see he held a small metal cylinder in one hand. Every so often he’d use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to tweak something on the inside of it, or his soldering iron to bind a few unidentifiable bits together. Rose covered her mouth with her hand to stifle a laugh as he turned his head to the side, revealing the modified glasses he wore. He’d placed about six magnifying lenses overtop of his usual spectacles, the effect of which made him look a bit like a mad scientist
Creeping up behind him, Rose let her lips stretch into a wide, mischievous smile. It’d been a long time since she’d been able to surprise him with anything, and this new distraction might just be the thing she needed to be able to do so again
Placing her package to the side for a moment, Rose reached out a hand to tap him on the shoulder, already hearing his startled whelp in her mind. Just another millimeter and she’d have her victory. All she had to do was lean in and…
“Hold on a second, Rose. I’ve almost got it this time.”
Rose let out a disappointed sigh of defeat and dropped her hand. “You’d think that just once I’d be able to sneak up on you.”
“Nope,” he told her, a wealth of pride in the single syllable. He tapped his temple with one finger. “Time Lord senses.”
Rose placed her arm on his shoulder and leaned in to look at the bits of metal he was working on. “You think this one will actually be sonic?”
“Of course it will!” he exclaimed indignantly. “Third time’s a charm, as they say, or is this the fourth?” He pulled at the lobe of his ear and frowned for a second before apparently dismissing the idea. “Anyway, this time I’m using the parts we bartered from those Mercovian traders we helped get home last week. They had a Pentalad wave magnifier!”
Circling around the chair to face him, Rose leaned against the corner of the desk and crossed her arms. Frowning, she asked him, “So how’d you know I was here this time? I was really, really quiet.”
The Doctor cocked his head to the side, still completely engrossed in the almost-sonic screwdriver in his hands. The tip of his tongue touched the ridge of his open mouth for a second before he answered her. “I could smell you.”
She jumped up from her place on the desk. “What!?”
“Um…well like I said, I’ve got Timelord senses and all that…and, well anyway you smell…nice…like something really, really…nice.” The Doctor rubbed the back of his neck, obviously at a loss as to how to fix this particular oral blunder. Rose bit the inside her cheek as his complexion went from ivory to fuchsia in less than ten seconds. It really wouldn’t do to let him off the hook so easily.
“I smell nice?”
“Right! Like…um…ooh perfume!” He whipped the mad scientist specs off his nose and pointed them at her excitedly. “You smell like the best perfume in the universe, like those flowers from Ourius IV. You remember those large yellow ones with the tentacle things?” He placed his glasses on the table in order to demonstratively wiggle all ten fingers.
Rose took pity on him and leaned in to ruffle his hair a bit. “I’m not wearing any perfume, but it was a good try.”
“You think?” He flashed her a cocky grin.
“Yeah,” she agreed, placing a light kiss against his smiling lips. “It was nice.”
“Hmmm,” the Doctor hummed contentedly against her mouth. “Not as nice as this.”
“Well, we’ll have to continue it later,” she told him, pulling back. “Because I’ve got something I want to give you.”
The Doctor followed her, obviously intending to continue their kiss. “I’ve got something I want to give you too,” he told her, raising his eyebrows suggestively. “How about I go first?”
Rose slapped his arm playfully. “Down boy! We can play later.”
Leaning over to retrieve the package she’d come in with, Rose placed it in front of him on the desk, careful not to crush any delicate pieces of equipment. She’d expected more of a positive response, but he just sort of sat there, staring at the swirls of confetti and brightly colored balloons printed on the paper. His lovely masculine face was a mask of almost comical confusion.
She flashed him an indulgent smile. “Happy Birthday!”
“Rose,” his confusion didn’t abate. “My birthday doesn’t fit on any human calendars.”
“Well your Time Lord birthday doesn’t, but your human one does. One year ago today you became half human. It’s been three hundred and sixty five whole days since you came home with me. So,” she said, pushing the garishly cheerful package towards him. “Happy Birthday.”
Hesitantly, he reached out to take the box in his hands. It was light and not very deep or long across, but he pulled it onto his lap so carefully that Rose thought it might as well have been made of glass. After that, he made no further move to touch it.
Kneeling down beside his chair, she gestured to the package. “You’re supposed to open it, you know?”
“It’s just that…” He paused, looking up at her. Rose was struck by the look of sheer astonishment she saw in his wide brown eyes. “I’ve never gotten a birthday present before.”
She took his hand in hers, fighting back tears. “Well, it’s about time then, isn’t it?”
He laughed then, a sound of pure joy that chased away the gloom. “It’s always about time with me isn’t it?” Rose watched intently as he dug into the paper, inelegantly ripping the printed balloons to shreds. She held her breath as he lifted the lid from the plain white box and buried his hands beneath the matching tissue paper.
Again, instead of the response Rose had anticipated, his reaction was all wrong. Rather than jumping for joy and pulling her in for a snog, all the blood leached from the Doctor’s face in an instant, leaving him frighteningly wan. Discarding the box, he pulled the folded brown fabric onto his lap. His fingers ran across the material almost reverently, tracing the pinstripes on the jacket and measuring the waistline of the matching trousers. When he finally looked back up, his expression seemed downright terrified.
“I don’t understand.”
For one horrifying moment, Rose was transported back all those months ago to that horrible beach in Norway. Did he think she didn’t love him as much as she did before, that she was trying to change him? They’d both done and said some hurtful things in the weeks following that day, but she’d thought they’d gotten past it, together.
“It was it in the window of one of those previously owned clothing shops,” she tried to explain, her voice sounding deceptively calm. “Someone must have decided it didn’t suit them, or gained a bit of weight, because it was in gorgeously perfect condition. I got so excited when I saw it I squealed like a little girl right there in the street. Jake thought I’d lost it for sure.” Rose let out a nervous laugh. “Your blue one’s getting all worn out and I just thought…” She let the words trail off.
“What Rose,” he asked her, his voice soft, “What did you think?”
Reaching out, she laid her hand over the one he still held the suit jacket with. “I thought that you,” she emphasized the word, “might miss it, since you used to wear it all the time. I just wanted to give you back something you’d left behind.”
I did miss it,” he told her, his fearful expression quickly changing to one of relief and then back to joy. “I really did. Oh, Rose Tyler,” he pulled her into his arms, almost crushing her to him. “This is brilliant!”
She buried her face in his neck, smiling giddily. “I’m so glad.”
“You didn’t have to do this, you know. You’re more than enough for me, in any universe.”
“I know,” she told him, nuzzling her nose into his neck, “but that’s why I wanted to.” She laughed again, before quickly changing the subject. “You want to know something completely mad?”
Giggling against his skin, Rose answered him. “The shop was called, ‘Old Things New Again.’”
The Doctor pulled back to look his cheeky love in the eye. “Like me?”
“Yep.” Overcome with happiness, Rose leaned in to snog him senseless.
The Doctor didn’t seem to notice. “All nine, no wait, I suppose it’s ten, times.”
“Uh huh.” Giving up on his moving lips, she settled for the side of his face, feathering light kisses up and down the Doctor’s jaw.
“Of course, then there was that time on Indisperon when the indigenous people put me in their rejuvenation pool. I suppose that could count as an eleventh time, technically…”
“Doctor.” Rose grasped his chin between her forefinger and thumb and pulled him down to meet her gaze. “Didn’t you have something you wanted to give me?” she asked, the words coming out as thick as honey.
His large brown eyes widened even further as comprehension dawned. His voice dropped an entire octave. “Oh yeah.”
Rose backed away slowly, beckoning to him with a single finger. “Then you’d better come with me.” She paused at the door to their bedroom just as he’d begun to follow her. “Oh, and bring the suit.”
It was in his hand in a heartbeat. “Always.”