Never Shaken by Milly
They had returned to Canary Wharf.
It had all begun with a quest to conquer their demons, to face the wall that had swallowed her two years before. Rose had felt a chill travel down her spine as she had pressed her cheek to the cold wall, the same way she had two years before. This time however when she turned, it was to find the Doctor standing with a cooing baby in his arms. She had smiled, taken their daughter from him and he had wrapped his arm around her shoulders as they stood facing the wall. Her warmth against him helped vanquish the memory and soon they were gone.
Their second destination had been this universe's Bad Wolf bay. They had stood there for a long time too, their feet sinking in the sand as he repeated over and over the words that he had failed to say that day. Soft sobs shook her shoulders as all the pain she had felt then and since rushed back to her memory. For hours, they were alone on the beach, Donna keeping an eye on their daughter as they talked about everything. What had happened since they had parted, how they felt about their current situation.
It had been three months since the Dalek invasion and the delivery of their baby girl. Settling on a name for her had proven difficult as both of them wanted to pay respect to her dual origin, an Earth name and a Gallifreyan name. Finally, they had decided to name her Gallifrea, opting to use a shortened version on a daily basis — Ally. They had talked a lot: about their daughter, about how they would raise her, but all of their discussions had been more or less of an excuse not to broach the subject of who they had been when the Void stood between them
But now there they were, watching the waves as Rose talked about her life without him. It had been difficult at first to move on after losing him under such circumstances, but she had because she had no other choice. She had started her training at Torchwood within two months, quickly climbing up the ladder thanks to her experience with live alien lifeforms and her father's influence. She had met Martha, had struck a friendship with her. She loved her younger brother and there was a sparkle in her eye as she told him about the little boy she had left behind. And then she told him how terrified she was of never seeing any of them again. She had made her choice a long time ago and now more than ever, this was where she wanted to be, but it did not make parting with her loved ones any easier.
He then told her of his life without her, of his travels with Martha and of the many ways Donna Noble had saved him. His eyes refused to meet hers when he told her of how close he had come to letting himself die after he had lost her, of how he had wanted all of it to be gone.
That night they made love for the second time ever, this time in the bed that was now theirs. He had remained next to her as she slept, holding her against his body and thinking of nothing else but her. When he woke up the next morning, unsure of when he had fallen asleep, it was Rose and not Donna that was keeping an eye on him from the door.
Over the course of the next few months, they made a family life for themselves on board the TARDIS, travelling through time and space, though Rose would remain behind whenever things were looking like they may turn out to be a tad too interesting. Ally was a playful baby, always smiling and laughing. The dominance of her gallifreyan heritage revealed itself rather quickly: she learned how to walk early and how to talk quickly after. She was almost one year-old when Rose realized that she was pregnant once more.
While it had taken over a year for Ally's conciousness to latch onto hers during her first pregnancy, her body seemed more prepared to handle a second hybrid pregnancy this time around. One week after Ally turned 11 months-old (or relatively 11 months-old, considering time was a relative thing in the TARDIS), Rose woke up one morning recognizing the same feeling that had overtaken her in her office three years before and she rushed into the control room, beaming at him. Tests had quickly confirmed what she already knew to be true, but they had revealed something else as well. The reason why her mind had linked to her unborn baby's mind earlier on was indeed because her body was more prepared to handle the pregnancy, as she had suspected, but the extent of how prepared it was shocked both of them. The reason why her first pregnancy had been so long truly had been because the gallifreyan anatomy was more complex than the human one, but also because her body had needed to change in order to carry the baby to term.
Travelling through the time vortex altered human DNA in any case, but hers was more extensively altered than any other he had seen before. He suspected the time vortex might have had a role to play in setting things in motion, but the alterations he found could only be tracked back to the last four years — they had undeniably come with the pregnancy.
His own conclusions had left him gobsmacked. While her cells still degenerated at a much higher rate than his own, it was clear that they decayed much slower than normal human cells. She had been silent for a long time when he had explained to her what that meant. Her lifespan might turn out to be twice or thrice what it would normally be — not a match for his own, but a much longer life than any human had ever had, other than Jack. She had cried that night, feeling a weight she did not even know was there lifted off her shoulders. She would still not be able to give him quite forever, but she would be with him and their children longer than either of them had ever hoped for.
To celebrate, he decided that they would go back to where it had all started — the defining moment that lead to Ally's birth, to Rose being able to come back to this universe. Everything they had now, everything they were could all be tracked back to that moment. She bounced about excitedly, throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him when he had told her he was bringing them back to the fields.
She was rummaging through their joint closet when he walked into the room and she welcomed him with a smirk. "Kept the white dress?"
The TARDIS had moved all of her clothes from her old room to this closet, but she was certain it had not been in hers before. When he blushed and averted his eyes, that was the enough of a confirmation for her. She chortled as she pulled out the dress, setting it down on their bed and started unbuttoning her top to change.
"You can't wear that," he said, matter-of-factly. She paused, her hand on the last button.
He repeated his previous comment, this time with a smirk.
"Why not?" she pouted, both arms falling to her side. Truth was, ever since he had told her they would be returning to the fields, she had been looking forward to wearing this dress again.
"For starters, you're a mother. Mothers can't wear the white dress," he began, taking a step towards her. She sighed, resolved, then took back the dress to the closet, missing the amusement in his eyes as he watched her. The closet door shut, she turned to face him again. "So what color do mothers wear?"
She wrinkled her nose, obviously not as pleased with this option as she had been with the white dress.
"But, no matter, that won't do either."
"Because I'm pregnant?" she smiled, rubbing her stomach with her right hand. His hand came to rest on top of hers as he nodded, happiness radiating from him as he looked at her.
"Exactly. Yellow it'd be."
This time, the face she pulled made her distaste even more obvious. Without waiting, he added that it still would not do, that she would need to wear a red dress instead. This, she liked. She smiled, though she was looking at him with questioning eyes. "What's red for?"
Under the smile he offered her, she could see a poorly veiled nervousness. He closed the remaining distance between them, his hands coming up to frame her face and his head dipping down until his forehead was resting against hers. "Red is for a wedding dress."
After a beat, she gasped, reaching up to grab his forearms. "Are you...?"
"Oh my god," she whispered, then was quiet. Her long silence caused his hearts to race as he waited for her to give him an answer.
"Is that a yes?"
"I haven't heard a question," she teased, beaming at him as she smiled with her tongue caught between her teeth. He groaned and pulled their bodies flush, one hand sliding down her back until his arm was wrapped around her waist. She could feel his double heartbeat thumping against her own chest. There they stood, as seconds and minutes slipped by, peering inside each other's soul. In those moments, questions were asked and answers given without a word being uttered.
When Rose came out of the TARDIS, she was wearing a bright red dress, her curled hair piled on top of her head with stray ringlets framing her face. She gasped at the spectacle in front of her, looking on with wonder as she realized the once orange fields had turned completely white.
"Winter...or something like it," the Doctor explained, coming out behind her. He had changed into a tuxedo for the occasion. The temperature was just as warm as it had been when they had first been there, but the landscape was almost unrecognizable. The orange fields had turned white and the purple sky was now a gorgeous pale pink hue. By her side, the Doctor was fidgeting, his hands in his pockets and rocking back and forth on the sole of his feet. After her initial awe at the scenery subsided, she realized why. On top of the small hill ahead of them stood a group of people in an ocean of white dresses and a few color coded ones. Most of them were villagers, but among the group there were a few faces she recognized and her breath caught in her throat as she became overcome by emotion.
Martha Jones smiled at her, wearing a dress in a very flattering shade of royal blue as she stood next to her fiancé. Donna was standing in front of her, her redhead simply stunning against the white dress as she held Ally in her arms, who was also dressed in white. And then, next to her stood the first of the many reasons why her eyes welled up with tears. Another Martha Jones stood, wearing a green dress as she balanced a toddler in a white dress on her hip, her smile mirroring everyone else's. Then there was Jackie, in a pink dress that had probably pleased her immensely, standing proudly next to her father, who had Tony in his arms. Rose could barely hold back her tears as she looked from one woman to the other, than from Jack to Mickey and from Mickey to Jake.
"How..." she whispered, unable to form a full sentence as she turned to the Doctor, her vision clouded by tears of joy.
"I just needed to wait for Ally to grow up...It's actually quite simple, really. She could help you travel before because she had a mature mind that she was connected to and you in turn controlled her ability. We still can't do it all too often, but a few times a year should be possible."
It seemed a bit surreal to her to be standing there, getting everything she had hoped for. The universe was returning tenfold what it had taken from her three years before. Perhaps she ought to be worried that she would in turn pay for having been offered such gifts, but she could not possibly think about that now. "When did you do all this?"
"While you were sleeping. Honestly, Rose, 8 hours is a long time."
She gave a chuckle and took the arm he presented her. They both turned to look at each other with large grins, as they had done before stepping into the Naples that turned out to be Cardiff years before, then they set off towards the people who were waiting for them. This would certainly be one of their greatest adventures yet.
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