Daily Domestics by Ccohen
Summary: Rose and the Metacrisis beginning from "I take thee..."
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Chapter 1: Day one and then some
Chapter 2: Day 143
Chapter 3: Day 327
Chapter 4: Day 394
Chapter 5: Day 476
Chapter 6: Day 489
Chapter 1: Day one and then someDay 1
William Noble wore an itchy suit. He never felt comfortable in a suit anymore. That being said, it was a far sight better than a tuxedo. Nothing good ever happened when he wore a tuxedo. He was impatient to proceed. He hated waiting, waiting was boring. Waiting while his future in-laws stared intently at him was just plain disconcerting. He had promised to behave. If nothing else, the slight headache from last night's pub crawl with Jake and Rhys was keeping him a bit subdued.
The last time he (well, the other him) had done this was over 700 years ago. He had stood across from a woman he had never met and wasn't sure he would like. Their parents stood by ostensibly to watch the blessed union, but more likely to make sure neither the bride nor groom bolted. He was only mildly curious about his bride to be. He didn't expect to love her and held little thought that she would love him. It just wasn't the sort of thing Gallifreyan nobility did. The ceremony was brief, contractual in nature, and over in time for lunch.
Will Noble mused over the differences. He couldn't wait to be married to his lovely Rose Tyler, but did they really have to go through the spectacle of a wedding? He felt like a three ring circus had taken over their little village in Scotland. St. Edmunds had never seen the likes of Jackie Tyler organizing her daughter's wedding. He and Rose had wanted something simple. Jackie wanted something out of Hollywood. The three laid out their plans in one of many long phone calls between Scotland and London.
6 months prior....
"You want to get married at work?" Jackie screeched with disbelief.
"Mum, it's not like I work at an accountancy firm with cubicles and fluorescent lighting. The Humanities library is beautiful. I showed it to you the last time you visited us," said Rose. Will could hear Jackie's harangue through the phone line from across the kitchen. His beloved was gently banging her head on the kitchen table. Her knuckles were white from clenching the phone. He gestured for her to hand the phone over and she gladly complied.
"Hi Jackie, Will here, yeah, I know it seems crazy to get married where you work." He perched on the counter, phone to ear, while making the occasional "umm" or "uh huh" noise in response to whatever Jackie was saying. Rose looked at him, anxiety flashing across her face. Will winked conspiratorially at Rose.
Will lowered his voice and spoke to Jackie in a stage whisper. "Look, Rose just went to the loo. I completely understand your worries." He took a sip of tea from his mug. "I have an idea though. There is this 12th century castle on campus, very romantic, and gorgeous." He hopped down from the counter and began to pace as the phone cord allowed him. "No, I'm not kidding, and guess what? Rose absolutely loves the place," he paused as Jackie jumped back in. "Yes, there's room for everyone, and it can have a center aisle for her to walk down." Jackie's squeaking continued through the phone. He sat down next to Rose on a kitchen chair and gave Rose a huge grin as he continued to talk. "I would be happy to, I'll put a deposit down tomorrow. Oh, let's keep this between us for now. I'll figure out how to tell Rose. Okay, Jackie, I'll ring you tomorrow when the deed is done." He hung up the phone and turned to face a bemused Rose.
"She's gonna kill you when she realizes the perfect 12th century castle is in fact, the Humanities library." She straddled his lap and gave him a very warm kiss.
"Oh, the things I'll do for my bride!" he said kissing her back.
"Oh the things I'll do to my groom!" Rose whispered through her saucy grin and then there was no more conversation for awhile.
Day 1 10:40 am
Will sat back in his office behind the library. Four other men were lounging about with him waiting for the ceremony to begin. James and Neil Whittaker-Holcomb sat to Will's right. They were his oldest and dearest friends in St. Edmunds. Both had been instrumental in guiding Will to the alter and had also given him a view of what a good partnership should look like.
Jake Simmonds sat on his left. Jake was one of the few people that knew his and Rose's real history. Jake always accepted Will for whoever he was at the time, the Doctor, John Smith, and now Will Noble. He was also Rose's former Torchwood partner, best friend, and previous drinking buddy. He knew Rose before she found her way back to the Doctor, and the troubled time when she returned with the Metacrisis.
Rhys rounded out the group. His wife Gwen was a dear friend and Rhys made a nice addition to the group. He was a mathematics teacher at the local school and he and Rose had bonded over their frustration with the "bigger on the inside brains" of their partners. They would bemoan the times when Will's technical upgrades destroyed another appliance or when Gwen would begin to loudly lecture a poor unsuspecting shop clerk who innocently called her "love" on women's rights and sexism.
They had decided to forgo the whole 'best man/maid of honor" thing. They had too many people in their lives to sort out who was most important. Rose also, for all her innate girly-ness, had many more male friends than female. Instead, they decided to have "best mates" to join them in the ceremony. No real role, just to be up there to lend support and perhaps to run interference.
Twenty minutes to thought Will. He couldn't wait to see Rose. She had spent the night at Gwen and Rhys' citing it bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. He had spent a restless night in an cold, empty bed cursing stupid human traditions. He scrubbed at his face to shake off cobwebs and began to pace.
Jackie burst into Will's cluttered office. Really, bursting in was the only way she ever entered a room. Will looked helplessly at his friends. "C'mon then, time to line up," she ordered knocking Neil's feet off the desk and slapping Jake on the back of the head. Will's mates dutifully and silently obeyed. It seemed that "running interference" was off their job descriptions.
Jackie inspected each of them. No matter their relative age or stature in life, she treated them all like 9 year olds, fixing ties, folding back collars, and in one unfortunate moment, using her thumb and spit to wipe a smudge off Jake's face. She came last to Will. "Beautiful 12th century castle-you git!" She smiled, "I'm glad you tricked me, it looks beautiful out there. Rose is so happy." Jackie turned towards the others. "Out you go, Gwen will get you lot organized. I'll be right there." She looked warmly towards Will, "Alright then plum, ready for this?"
"I feel like I've been ready forever," said Will. Will took Jackie's hand in his own. "This wouldn't have happened if you hadn't raised the most amazing girl on the planet. And it wouldn't have happened if you and Pete hadn't showed me trust and compassion when I barely had earned it." He kissed her cheek, "Thanks Mum."
Day 1 11 am
Jackie left him to rejoin Rose and Pete before the start of the ceremony. Before long, Will heard the beginning sounds of the processional and walked down the hall to the library. He peeked through the door and saw what seemed like the entire student body and staff of St. Edmund's university seated there. The ancient stone walls glowed warmly in the morning sun. The bookshelves had been polished within an inch of their woody lives, the books dusted. All of the library furniture had been removed to make the space into a chapel of sorts. Not wanting to trust Scottish weather, they moved a bit of the outdoors inside. A trellis threaded with ivy and flowers would serve as their backdrop.
Will was cued by the officiant and stepped out in front of the trellis. The assembled quieted as the wedding party began to make their way down the aisle. First came Rose's brother Tony, and Callum, their neighbor's son. They each held a small velvet pillow with the rings. Then followed all their best mates. Gwen, as the only woman in the party was first. She wore a black lace gown that fit over the swell of her pregnancy. She was followed by her husband and then the rest of the men. They all made their way up the aisle, full of smiles for the couple. The music then changed to the Wedding March and the guests stood up.
Will's heart pounded and he felt like he couldn't breathe. There she was, flanked on either side by Pete and Jackie. Oh, Rose was full of surprises! Her dress was one she wore months ago, a beautiful vintage dress in cream and black. She wore it the first time she told him she loved him. The time when all the walls came down.
His bride looked gorgeous. She wore a cream veil with a crown of flowers in her gently curled hair. Her smile was enormous. She held a bouquet of mixed wildflowers. She wore the pearls he had given her as a wedding present. She joined him in front of the trellis after giving both her parents a kiss.
The format of the ceremony wasn't much different from his first Gallifreyan marriage hundreds of years ago and a universe away. What was different was the feelings that swelled through him as he faced his beautiful bride, his best friend, his lover...his life.
Within a blink of an eye, there were vows, rings, kisses, dancing, champagne, bouquets, goodbyes, and a retreat to their little home at 11 Peabody, St. Edmunds, Scotland Dr. and Mrs William and Rose Tyler-Noble.
Day 1 8:30 pm
The new couple spent their wedding night in a fairly traditional fashion Clothes were strewn throughout the bedroom. Rose was flushed trying to pull a zipper across a taut seam. "Almost there Rose, you can do it...Yeah, just like that, one more inch. C'mon love..." panted Will.
With a great heave of breath, Rose managed to get the stuck zipper around the corner to secure the overstuffed suitcase while Will had tried to align the corners tightly. She collapsed on the bed. "That's it, last bag is packed," stated Mrs. Rose Tyler-Noble as she zipped up the suitcase. "I can't believe we left it to the last minute."
Will lifted the heavy case from the bed. "Well, I may have had a lot of practice traveling, but with the TARDIS, I never had to do much packing." This was their first traveling adventure without the TARDIS. He wasn't used to booking rooms and planning itineraries. Their own baby TARDIS coral still sat in storage at the Torchwood vault. Will had the nutrient bath formula sorted out, but hadn't had time to start the growth process yet. They both sat quietly, remembering the third member of their little family.
Rose wrapped her arms around him, "you okay? I know this is really different for you."
Will gave his wife (his wife!) a kiss. "I miss Her. It is different without the TARDIS." He swallowed back the lump in his throat. Rose held him tighter as he regained control of his emotions. He leaned back to look in Rose's eyes. "It's different, but different with you is brilliant, and we can't sit still our whole lives just because our mode of transportation has changed!"
"Soon enough we'll get the coral growing, one day she'll be with us again," Rose said with a hopeful smile. "Until then, it's just you, me, and luggage."
Will glanced anxiously around at the two suitcases and small rucksack. "Is this enough stuff for a month long trip?" They were headed to Morocco and would travel onto Algiers and Tunisia.
Rose wrapped her arms around him. "I figured we will have to do some washing along the way." She nuzzled into his neck and whispered into his ear, "and I saved a lot of space by only packing space-saving, teeny, tiny, scanty, nightclothes..." She heard him take a deep breath in.
"Well now my dear wife, should we test them out, it is our wedding night?"
Quality control went on well into the wee hours.
Will wasn't sure whether or not to blame it on something fellow travelers were passing along or his endless fascination with eating anything and everything from food vendors in North Africa. All he knew was he wished he was dead. Rubbish Metacrisis physiology! He had started feeling a bit "off" on the last leg of their trip home. By the time they hit British soil, he was well and truly sick. The train from London to St. Edmunds was quite the spectacle. After the first 3 or 4 times of Will sicking up, they had driven off most of the other passengers and practically had the compartment to themselves.
Rose had been an angel though. She dragged him home from the station and put him to bed. Wet flannels, warm hands on his chilled body, flat soda to sip. By the following afternoon , he had decided he might just live and had managed to eat a few crackers and was lounging on the couch watching television. He was even starting to feel a tiny bit hungry.
He had begun to smell something from the kitchen. Something really good. Something chicken-ey. "Rose? What are you making? It smells good."
"It is good. It's my mum's chicken soup recipe. Eh, don't make that face!" Will had grimaced thinking of Jackie Tyler's limited culinary skills. "You can't judge all my mother's cooking by her Shepherd's Pie." Ugh, he was getting nauseous again thinking of the pie. "Here you go!" said Rose plunking down a bowl of pleasantly golden soup with bits of chicken and carrots floating about. A few noodles swam around the chicken. It smelled wonderful and he took an experimental sip. It tasted sublime.
"Oh that is just lovely," he said taking another spoonful. By now Rose had joined him with her own bowl of soup. She cuddled up close and slurped up a noodle. Will turned to look at her with an apologetic mien. "I guess the honeymoon's over. The romance must have washed off me on the flight to Heathrow." He grimaced. "Those poor flight attendants."
Rose waved her hand at him. "This is life. I take care of you, you take care of me...remember, trouble is just the bits in between!"
"And besides, if I come down with this thing, you are soooo in trouble mister!"
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Chapter 2: Day 143
Author's Notes: Very soapy and silly, but it just sort of came out that way.
Will Noble hated ties. He used to wear them all the time, but in the last couple of years, they went the way of the pinstripe suit. Fiddly things they were. If his superiors and students were happy with him in khakis and jumpers, it was fine with him. Today however, he and the rest of his department were lunching with the St. Edmunds University Board and he needed to dress like a grown up. He never really understood why, no one paid much attention to him. The board was primarily made of ladies and gents of a certain age and income. Widows outpaced the widowers 3 to 1 and the board lunch was essentially Speed Dating with the geriatric set.
He frowned at himself as he fixed the Windsor knot. He ruffled his hands through his wayward brown hair and then fixed his cuffs. Not bad, he thought. "Morning cheerful," said a sleepy sounding voice calling from under the covers. "I know you hate Tie Day," came a voice from under the covers. Rose Tyler Noble peeked her head out and looked at him sympathetically.
"Eh, it's once a month. I can play nice with the luncheon crowd, they're nice enough. I'm a humanities professor and I would just rather be teaching, that's all." Will lay down on top of the covers next to his wife, hands behind his head. "You know, you could come with me....you're so much better chatting up the ladies, and I would get to have lunch with you." Rose rolled her eyes. Her darling Will could be such a wheedler.
"Nope, we've tried this before," she said poking him in the chest. "The ladies all want to gawk at your gorgeous bum and try to pick me and my outfit to pieces. The men stare at my cleavage, which just makes the ladies mad. Then, just after the starters, you will get a mysterious phone call that gets you out of dry chicken and even drier conversation! After 30 minutes, you swan back in time for pudding. Not gonna happen." Rose looked at Will who was assembling the perfect look of innocence. "Besides, I have afternoon tutorial for the kids and a paper to work on." She laughed as he made his sad, puppy dog eyes that much sadder.
"Roooose, c'mon. Tie Day isn't really that bad."
Day 143 3:45 pm
Rose had just seen the last of the youngsters in her afternoon reading tutorial off. They were on Chapter 7 of "My Father's Dragon" and all were progressing nicely. They were nearing the end and she was musing about which book to choose next. Will wandered in from his office behind the circulation desk with a blank expression on his face. "What's with that face?" asked Rose, rising to greet him. "Was it Tie Day?"
Will looked absolutely haunted and was the color of old oatmeal. "I've met this universe's version of Cassandra at the board luncheon."
"What, flat, bitchy, needing moisturizer? That Cassandra?" asked Rose.
Will let out a breath. "Well...not a trampoline, but she is taut. Her nose has had so much work done I could see clear up into her sinuses!" He shuddered at the memory, it had not done anything for his appetite. "Definitely bitchy, a widowed past her prime trophy wife, Carla something-or-other. She spent much of the luncheon trying to press her formidable breast implants in my face. She goosed me while we were posing for a group portrait and tucked her phone number in my pocket." He collapsed onto one of the squashy armchairs by her desk.
"I think she's killed my libido."
He wasn't kidding thought Rose later after Will had gone up to bed. A glass of wine, a scanty nightgown, and significant amounts of snogging did not end as she had hoped. The mojo had left the building with Carla the Aged Cougar.
"I hate Tie Day," stated one overheated and frustrated Rose Tyler Noble.
It had taken Will nearly a week of long, punishing jogs through the moor to exorcise all thoughts of Carla making sure he didn't lose her phone number by literally manhandling it firmly into his front trouser pocket. The mojo was back, now he just had to make it up to his poor Rose. He noted the time and started tidying up his desk. He was bent over a low desk drawer when he heard his door open. "Hey love, I'm almost done here, how was your class?"
"Hello there," purred an unpleasant voice. Will's head shot up, hitting the underside of the desk so hard he saw stars in orbit. Through the haze of pain, he saw the most unwelcome sight of Carla the Trophy Wife. He stood up trying to regain some dignity.
He rubbed the rapidly forming lump on his head. "Um, hello Mrs.?"
Carla moved over to his desk. "Mrs. Wilton, but you can call me Carla."
Will moved keeping the desk between himself and the scary lady. Really, there's only so much silicone lips could hold. Her mouth ballooned with injections and her lips practically bounced as she smiled at him. A scary smile so full of pink lipgloss. "So, ...Carla, how can I help you?" WAs he squeaking? He was pretty sure he sounded squeaky and panicked. Lovely-there goes the dignity. Carla edged closer and Will continue to move away.
"Well, I was wondering how I might be able to help you, Dr. Noble." Her lips literally flapped together as she spoke. "I have an impressive amount of money left to me by my late husband, and it's just sitting around in piles." She leaned over the desk, her ample bosom reaching farther than the rest of her. She brushed her coarse, brassy blond hair behind her ear. "I need to invest it in something, I thought you might be open to seeing how it could be best used." Her fingers crossed over the desktop to begin a slimy crawl up his arm. "I wonder," she slurred through her giant lips, "if you had any ideas."
"Oh, I've got plenty of ideas Carla!" came a voice from the doorway. "First, you can get your manicured claws off of my husband. Then, we can talk about your need to invest. I do believe my afternoon tutorial for the at-risk children of St. Edmunds would be a wonderful place to start." Rose looked at Carla wistfully. "Of course, I could always ask Mr. Wilton. It would be hard though with the dementia and the hearing loss. How is the poor dear? Has the Viagra helped at all?" Carla began to straighten up and square her shoulders. "Oh never mind," continued Rose as she came around to stand next to Will. "I'm sure I can send the papers through to your first husband's adult children. I believe they've been looking for you ever since he was mysteriously hit by a falling chandelier."
"It happens," shrugged Carla.
"Yeah, but twice?" answered Rose back. "I suggest you take your inflatable lips and overgrown boobs out of my husband's office and not return." Carla turned and tottered out the door on ridiculously high stilettos. Will took a deep breath and leaned against a bookshelf as Rose slammed the door behind the evil woman.
"Once again Rose, you have saved me from a fate worse than death," he said. "What a vile creature." Rose cuddled up against him.
"You're safe now. I got a heads up from James. He saw her heading up as he was leaving." said Rose. "Apparently, Mrs. Wilton there made a name in the tabloids a few years back, before we got here. The title was something like 'The Centerfold and the Septuagenarian!'"
"Rose, you can't possibly think that I would ever..."
She cut him off with a kiss. "Of course not, but she did steal your mojo and made me very unhappy once already. No second chances, that's me!"
Fortunately, Will and his libido made a full and speedy recovery. The next Tie Day, and every one after that, Dr. Noble always made an appearance with his favorite plus one; and if he got goosed during the group photo, it could only be blamed on his favorite pink and yellow girl.
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Chapter 3: Day 327
Author's Notes: Sorry it's taken a bit to get this bit up. Enjoy. I am hoping for longer chapters to come.
Rose was having an argument with her stomach. "Oh no you don't," she ordered. her usually cast-iron stomach was not happy. She took several deep breaths and thought for a moment she had won. "Hah!" she said to the offending organ triumphantly. And then she took a sip of tea. Immediately, she realized she had lost the argument, and was about to lose her breakfast.
Will was grading papers in the study when he heard an extremely unpleasant yet distinctive sound emanating from the kitchen. He was on his feet in a flash to see what was the matter. He entered the kitchen to the very unappetizing sight of his wife sicking up into the kitchen sink. Ugh, he thought, never using that dish again. Will went to Rose's side and held her hair back. When there was nothing left to come up, he eased her into a chair and wiped her face with a damp towel. Rose was pale and a little clammy. He kissed her forehead, no fever. "Better love? Was it something you ate? Maybe Callum or one of the other tutorial kids passed something on?"
"I don't think so Will," she said as she accepted a glass of water from him. She took a small sip and willed it to stay down. He tried to meet her eyes, dismayed when she stared at her feet.
"My cooking? I will never attempt goat curry again. I thought the meat looked a bit dodgy," Will berated himself over the ruin of last night's dinner. Rose's eyes widened as she thought of that horrid experience and ran for the sink again. "Oh Rose, I'm sorry, I'm an idio..." his words were cut short as Rose put her finger on his lips to keep him quiet while she focused on not retching.
Rose sat down again, cold towel to her face. "It's okay Will, I was hoping to find a better way to tell you.."
Will cut in, "Tell me what? What's wrong?" Alarm filled his expression. She quickly realized she had scared him.
"It really is okay! I mean not okay all the way, not exactly thrilled about this part but I know it happens...." She clapped her hand over her mouth. "I am starting to sound just like you when I'm nervous. Is this how you feel when you get all babble-y because I feel..."
"Rose, what is going on!" Will was bristling with fear.
She smiled, "I'm pregnant."
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Chapter 4: Day 394
Author's Notes: Sorry for the delay in updates. I just had a hard time getting my characters to listen to me.
Will looked about the spare bedroom. It was a perfect place for a little one to grow, not quite as beautiful as Gallifrey, but he did the best he could to try to do it justice. The walls were a warm orangey yellow and on one wall, Rose had painted a mural of silver trees and mountains. All in all, it was cozy.
He wondered if the room might be a bit chilly. Maybe he should double pane the old window to keep out the draft, or would heavy curtains do the trick? Will scrubbed at his face as he wrestled with concern. He was beginning to pace with the worry that he hadn't tinkered quite enough with the little bedroom. He yelled down the hall for help. "Rose? Rose, could you come her for a minute?"
Rose came up the stairs drying her hands on a towel looking slightly exasperated. "Will, my cooking is fair at best without interruptions. Shall I just order takeaway?" This was the fourth time in the last two hours Will had called to seek her opinion. Will met her at the top of the stairs and her expression softened in light of Will's anxious face. "Okay love, what's bothering you?"
Will took her by the hand and led her to the little room. "Rose, do you think she looks happy? I think she does. I mean I guess she does, it's not like she's talking to us yet. Why don't they start talking right away, it would be so much easier. I think she looks a little cold, does it feel drafty in here? Maybe I should warm the room up a bit...." He stopped as Rose placed a finger to his lips to stop the babbling.
"Shh! Darling, take a breath!" She kept her finger on his lips until he took a deep breath in and out, finally releasing his mouth. Satisfied he had stopped his vocal onslaught, Rose lifted her finger. "You've been a wreck all afternoon." Will looked around the room anxiously as he felt Rose's warm hand fold into his.
"I just want everything to be perfect for her to grow. I want her to be wonderful."
Rose stepped up behind Will into the room and looked into the tank that housed the TARDIS coral. There was a greenish vapor floating around it and a slight fizziness to the nutrient solution in the base of the tank. Rose reached out and touched the lumpy object. She felt a slight thrum and warmth through her fingers. She smiled at her husband. "She is perfect and it will be wonderful."
"You're like a nervous new father. I think she is happy. She's a bit bigger too," said Rose noting that the coral which had started out as a lump about the size of an alarm clock now nearly filled the large fish tank. "Too bad she's not a dog again," Rose noted wistfully. Both she and Will missed the time when the coral had masqueraded as a stray Dachshund they had named Dora. "A tail wag might be helpful to tell us how she's feeling."
Will wrapped his arms around his expanding pregnant wife and let out a warm chuckle. "Thank you Rose, I think I just need the reassurance." He stared at the mural of another's memories. "You know, he, well the Doctor, never grew the TARDIS. He wandered off with a fully mature one." Will reached out to join Rose to gently stroke the coral and gave a happy hum with the tingly sensation. "I still think you are the best barometer for how the TARDIS is doing. She always liked you best anyway."
Rose inhaled Will's scent of sandalwood soap and wool while wrapped in his embrace. "WE both love you," she said smiling. "And since you've given her such loving care, she's growing beautifully. I think though that we ought to consider moving her to larger quarters. I don't think we can put it off much longer. Besides, we need the room for the next occupant soon enough." They both looked down at Rose's baby bump. Will sighed.
Both Rose and Will had been worried about this moment. Pete Tyler had offered use of Torchwood facilities to grow the coral, but Will didn't trust anyone else to monitor her growth. She had shown early sentience and been rather troublesome while she masqueraded as their little stray dog. There was no telling what mischief she might get into as she grew.
"What do you think about the old garden shed?" asked Will.
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Chapter 5: Day 476
Author's Notes: I know there's not a lot of plot happening. I seem to be spending more time exploring characters lately than getting them to do something.
The shed was tiny, it sat in the tiny back garden of their house and faced the football pitch. It wasn't a particularly interesting shed. It had graying wood and its door sat a bit off kilter. The roof was slanted so the damp wouldn't settle as easily. There was a small border of flowers around the outside which lent the aging shack a bit of cheer. Otherwise, there really wasn't anything to distinguish this aging garden shed from the other twenty sheds down the street.
If anyone was paying attention to the nondescript shed, they might have noticed Dr. Noble going in and out of it quite frequently, usually in the evening hours while Mrs. Tyler-Noble was sleeping. He would also sometimes be carrying impossibly large things, somehow getting them inside the tiny structure. Someone with an inventive mind might have thought nefarious things, but in the end, it really was just a garden shed, and nobody really paid attention. This suited Will and Rose just fine.
Rose looked amused as she sat in their kitchen drinking a cup of tea. "Isn't that a bit ambitious Will?" Will grunted, carrying a load of thin PVC pipes through the house heading to the garden. "Those look to be at least 4 meters. I'm fairly sure those are taller than the shed. Not exactly inconspicuous if you ask me." BANG! Rose winced as the front end of the load hit the back door. Well, she thought rubbing the newest divot, not the first dent in that piece of wood. By now Rose was rather philosophical about these collateral damages.
She followed him out the back door and watched Will drop them in a clatter on the ground. The resulting noise brought out their elderly neighbor, Mr. Caswell, to investigate the minor ruckus. Mr. Caswell was the stereotype of a nosy neighbor. Widowed and in his mid 70s with thick glasses with broad black frames. If you had to guess, you would have put him as a council health and safety inspector from a few decades back. Which of course, is exactly what he had been, and frankly never stopped being even though he had been retired for some years.
"What's this?" asked Angus Caswell anxiously. "I heard a tremendous noise!" He poked his head over the fence only getting the top half of his face over. Rose was not a tall woman and Mr. Caswell was easily a half a head shorter than her. He pointed at the PVC. "What are those for? They're awfully long for garden stakes and I don't think the neighborhood building code allows stakes that high, and they're white, I think we only are allowed wood tone garden stakes." He clucked at the wild ways of his young neighbors.
Will cleared his throat and thought quickly as he turned towards his gnomish neighbor. "Glad, you asked Mr. Caswell. It's dry as a desert in our yard, thought I'd put in an irrigation system. Can't let the little plants dry out now. I mean, look at the poor shriveled things," said Will looking mournfully at the perfectly happy and thriving begonias.
Angus looked cross. He was always cross when confused, which was often. "But we're in Scotland, where it rains, all the time." He looked upwards at the cloud filled sky.
Will glanced at Rose for help. His could tell she was holding back laughter as she bent to pick a nonexistent weed out of the kitchen windowbox. Mutt and Jeff indeed! Will coughed and turned back towards the man. "Well yes Mr. Caswell, you are very observant. But, if you take the windspeed and the angle of our home along with the unusual air currents that sweep down the pitch you will see that...."
Rose took pity on Will and swept in at that moment. "Mr. Caswell, tell me what you're planning for your front garden, I haven't decided yet." Rose gave her husband a look that clearly said "I told you so" as she walked over to the fence. Fortunately, Angus responded well to flattery and distraction. As Mr. Caswell was about to open his mouth she continued, "Ooh, better yet, you come with me now and tell me what you think is the best option. You have the best eye, oh doesn't he Will?" Will obediently nodded while Rose gestured for Angus to meet her in the front of their houses to compare gardening notes. He took a deep breath when the man followed Rose.
Will normally didn't move things into the shed during daylight, but he couldn't leave a pile of PVC tubes in the middle of his house all day. Both he and Rose tutored students on Saturday afternoons and it wouldn't do with their students to trip over them as they were in and out. Despite the safety factor, he didn't want to field questions about their presence. He surveyed his options, which were limited.
He decided to leave the pipes on the lawn for right now, especially as they were for an "irrigation system." He even took a spading shovel and dug up a bit of grass to further the impression before giving up and going back into the house. The PVC would have to wait for nightfall.
Rose was sitting at the kitchen table re-reading "The Great Ghost Rescue" by Eve Ibbotson in preparation for one of her students. She looked wryly at hot, dirty, and sweaty Will. "I hope you like plain white daisies because that's what Mr. Caswell approves of. Apparently, anything else is just too garish. Fortunately, they should survive our drought and unfortunate air currents," she said smiling. Will grimaced as he scrubbed his hands clean. His mood improved when he felt her little hands wrap around his front in a hug. It was getting harder for her to get closer given the growing baby. Another quick squeeze and Rose sat back at the table, Will joining her. and joined her at the table.
"I wonder how he's going to react to a squalling baby and tricycles and swingsets?' posed Will. Their neighbor didn't like anything too frivolous. He disliked their bicycles as they were too flashy. He nearly had a fit when Rose brought her bright red Mini-Cooper up from London. "Might give him fits," said Will as he thought of brightly colored toys littering the garden might give him fits.
"That may be, but the more things we bring out there for the TARDIS the more questions we may be asked. We probably should be more discreet, move things in the dark of night." Rose looked out the window. "It feels like we're doing something illegal."
"I'm sorry love, should have waited for dark but I just didn't want to risk you or the students tripping over the pile." He placed his large hand over her small one and leaned over to give her a kiss. "Can't have you falling all over the place." He placed a hand on her swollen belly.
Rose looked affronted. "Are you calling me clumsy?"
"No Rose, I'm calling you very pregnant." She raised her eyebrows, and not in a nice way. Oh ye gods! She thought he was calling her fat. He said the wrong thing. Again. Why didn't expectant fathers get handed a list that spelled out all the "Wrong Things to Say to a Pregnant Woman! " He was going to have to talk to Rhys about that. Rhys had warned him about baby sick, ugly nappies, and sleep deprivation. He hadn't mentioned the myriad of ways to upset your pregnant wife
"I'm just saying you're off balance, haven't seen your feet in a week!" Rose's expression was heralding a phone call to her Mum. Jackie Tyler would not be amused as his verbal fumbling. Will had learned by now when to cut his losses. He met her gaze, shamefaced. "I'm sorry, it was coming out all wrong. I just don't want you to get hurt. If I could surround you and the baby with bubble wrap I would." Her expression softened and a smile formed.
She started to giggle. "I was just thinking, bubble wrap nappies!"
"Bubble wrap booties?" laughed Will in return. "Am I forgiven darling wife?" Rose made a face at the endearment, but he loved calling her all those names, especially "wife." They had been married 1 year, 4 months, and 12 days. He looked over at their wedding portrait hanging in the hall. "Sometimes I look at you and your sweet belly, and I feel so overwhelmed, so lucky, and really, really scared." He turned his face back to Rose, "I just want you and our wee one safe."
Rose reached up to stroke his cheek. "And we are Will. Me and the baby are in the best hands." She smoothed her shirt over her belly. "Look how this baby's growing! At this rate, I'm going to have to move into the shed soon!"
"I'm not sure how Mr. Caswell would take that," said Will getting up to pluck a banana out of the fruit bowl. That being said, it may be time to find another spot for the TARDIS, at least until I've got most of the electrics down. It will still be years until she's ready." Now it was Will's turn to stare out the window at the shed.
"Soon Will. It will be sooner than you think."
He looked at her sadly, "I promised you adventures, not annoying neighbors and a house that looks like a hardware store."
Rose got up and stood behind him, rubbing his shoulders. Soothing away the worry there. She then turned him to face forward. "Not all adventures require running for our lives," she said placing his hand on her belly as their little Noble danced and spun in their own tiny universe.
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Chapter 6: Day 489
Author's Notes: Just a short little thing.
---Just a reminder Will, Anna's nap is just before tea and Gwen wants me to remind you to let her sleep with her stuffed panda and the creepy sock monkey blanket. You're so sweet to take this on.
-It's OK Rose. It will be good practice when little miss or master shows up. It's not like Rhys planned to throw his back out when you two girls were planning on going out for the afternoon.
-women, ladies. Whatever. Have fun.
-Rose, are all babies this noisy?
...How noisy? What's going on there?
-Anna has decided that the birds outside are talking to her and she's answering them. I mean, it is sort of brilliant, but it's been going on for an hour
...Look, is she unhappy?
-I don't think so.
...Then let it be.
-This was all much easier with the TARDIS translating.
...The TARDIS translated baby? You have got to be kidding me!
-This diaper smells like a dalek died in there, twice. What in the hell has Gwen been feeding her? Whatever it is, we are NEVER, EVER feeding it to our baby.
---Yoghurt and pears.
-I knew there were even more reasons to hate pears.
---Could be the yoghurt?
-Oh no, it's the pears alright. Pears are bad and out to get me.
---You are paranoid about a fruit?
-Rose, she's crying. I mean, really, really crying. Like "I am going to explode" crying. What do I do now?
...Why don't you ask the TARDIS : }
-Ha! When are you and Gwen coming back? Seriously though, what do I do? I went through hungry, wet, tired, and bored like Gwen said. I think the baby is just plain ticked off. I can't do this. Babies are out to get me. Give me pears any day.
...Sorry, was in the car park, then the elevator. You're so cute when you get all beggy. Is she still crying?
-Nope, it was either a cry for her sippy cup, dummy, or a Jammy Dodger. She now has all three. I think we're good for now. Parenting human babies isn't so hard.
...Glad you think so SuperDad. I'm turning the phone on silent, movie's about to start. Love you.
From: Gwen Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
To: Rose Tyler-Noble email@example.com
Subject: Your husband
I don't know if I've ever seen anything so adorable as your husband and my daughter passed out on the floor after overdosing on marmalade. I guess the sugar rush only takes you so far. Hope the orange stains came out of the upholstery. If it's any consolation, the brownish stains on my settee are NOT marmalade.
I wonder who napped longer, Anna or Will?
It was great to get with you today, thanks again to Will for babysitting! Love, Gwen
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