This is a sequel to my previous TenToo/Rose drabble.
This TARDIS control room is compact, because she’s young, but she’s still filled with a familiar yellow glow and the thrum of idling engines. The Doctor deposits Rose on her feet and dances to the console.
“Handbrake, easy does it,” he says, flipping a lever. He glances up at Rose. “Remember our first date?”
She wrinkles her nose. “End of the world? Earth gets roasted? Cassandra? That’s … not very romantic.”
“No no no no no, after Cassandra and Earth kabobs.”
“Chips!” she says, her tongue poking between her teeth. He beams at her and flips a second lever. The beautiful, familiar keening of the TARDIS engines fills the small space. Rose bounces on her toes in excitement. “You’re taking me to get chips, in my wedding dress?”
“We missed the cake, and you need nourishment. Getting me out of this tux is going to be a long, involved process, and I want you to be at full strength.” He winks, and he’s so ridiculous and endearing that she can’t help herself. She grabs the metal railing, overcome with a gale of laughter.
Rose thought she’d experienced happiness – during her childhood with her mum and traveling with the Doctor before Canary Wharf — but in this moment she finally begins to understand how deep happiness can go. She hasn’t reached bottom, she’s still falling into it, warm and bright and perfect, and judging by the look on the Doctor’s face, he’s falling right alongside her.
With a shudder, the TARDIS engines grind to a halt. The Doctor leaps past her down the ramp, flinging the doors open with a flourish. “Rose Tyler, your chips await!”
He steps out, simultaneously turning to offer her a hand, and something goes terribly wrong. There’s a clamorous squeaking noise and the Doctor goes down, falling sideways and out of sight with a startled yelp.
Rose dashes forward, catching the TARDIS door frame with one hand to keep from tumbling out after him. She doesn’t know how well she can fight off an alien in her wedding dress, but she does know that Jackie will be mortified if she gets this ridiculously expensive designer frock dirty.
Well, if years of dealing with the Doctor haven’t taught Jackie how to cope with mortification, nothing will. Rose surveys the terrain, ready to leap to the Doctor’s defense.
Contrary to her expectations, they aren’t under alien attack. The Doctor’s sitting on a plush carpet, clutching his twisted ankle and staring around the room. It’s a perfectly ordinary sitting room, full of ordinary furniture and littered with ordinary children’s toys. A mangled pink bunny was the reason for the Doctor’s ungraceful exit.
The Doctor hobbles to his feet, muttering something about the TARDIS being too young to calibrate herself properly, when the sound of voices drifts in from the next room. He freezes. “Bollocks.”
Rose whispers, “This isn’t the chip shop, this is someone’s supper. C’mon, before this gets any worse.” She grabs his hand to haul him back inside the TARDIS, but they aren’t fast enough. A man and a woman appear in the door from the next room.
Rose’s mouth falls open. The woman is quite a few years older, her hair brown and pulled onto a low bun on the nape of her neck, but still clearly recognizable. Rose is looking at herself. The bloke with her is as tall and skinny as ever, but with small patches of gray at his temples.
“Bollocks,” the Doctor next to Rose whispers again. The older version of himself grins.
“Reapers coming?” Rose asks nervously.
“Nah. Wellllll, just so long as you stay over there and we stay over here,” the older Doctor says with a toothy grin, his eyes sparkling. He turns to the Rose standing next to him. “You’ve only grown more beautiful, you know.”
The other Rose nudges him with an elbow. “You’ve only gotten worse at piloting the TARDIS.”
“Oi!” both Doctors protest in an indignant chorus, and the older Rose giggles.
The younger Doctor holds up his hands apologetically. “Sorry, sorry. I was aiming for the chip shop.”
“You’ll get there. But you should know the leisure palace on Woman Wept lost – well, they’re going to lose – our reservation,” the older Doctor tells him.
“Woman Wept? We’re going back to Woman Wept for our honeymoon?” younger Rose asks, head whipping around to the Doctor next to her.
“Ah, I hadn’t told her about that part of the surprise yet,” he says, shooting himself a dirty look.
“Don’t worry, there’s a nice bit of trouble to get into, even without the leisure palace,” older Rose says, nodding reassuringly. “Some political unrest involving a dictator and a sketchy pudding conglomerate. You’ll love it. And in spite of what she’s going to say, Mum does eventually forgive you for what happens to the wedding dress.”
Younger Rose is still standing on the threshold of the TARDIS, afraid to step onto the carpet outside, as if one touch might make this entire future unravel.
The Doctors are staring intently at each other, and it occurs to Rose that they must be communicating telepathically. She looks her older self in the eyes. “The toys.”
“They were sleeping. At least until you landed, if I remember what comes next,” older Rose says, the corners of her mouth lifting. It’s as though she wants to beam, but she’s trying to contain herself so she won’t give too many secrets away, because the joy in her smile would reveal every detail of Rose’s future.
As if on cue, a child’s voice calls from the other room. “Daaaaaad? Was that the TARDIS? Are we leaving again? Gramma Jackie’s gonna be so mad.” The boy sounds positively delighted at the prospect. Apparently he takes after his father. “Should I wake up Donna?”
“Were not going anywhere,” the older Doctor calls back. “Let your sister sleep.”
The younger Doctor turns to Rose. His face is a careful mask of composure, even as his eyes glitter with promises of things to come. “I’m hungry for those chips.”
“Off you go now,” the other Doctor says, making a shooing motion. “And when you’re offered the choice on Woman Wept, it’s butterscotch. Not banana, and certainly not tapioca.”
“Butterscotch,” the younger Doctor repeats, giving himself a small, jovial salute. He steps into the TARDIS and puts his arm around Rose. “Chips first, then the pudding conglomerate. Allons-y!”
Wondering why TenToo and Rose have a TARDIS? RTD says it’s canon.
# This is fluffier than a swimming pool full of cotton candy # You've been warned # It's the fluffiest fluff I ever fluffed # I just love Rose and TenToo so much # Because they can be carefree in a way the TimeLord Doctor can't # Doctor Who # The Doctor # Rose Tyler # TenToo # TenToo/Rose # OTP to end all OTPs # fanfic # ficlet # episode613wasalie # Look it's my elliptical fic!
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