The newlyweds spent the next two weeks in the TARDIS just drifting in the Vortex. They knew any adventure they could be having outside the doors of the ship couldn’t begin to compare to the adventure they were having inside. Rose had once called the Doctor insatiable, and she was now finding out just how true that statement was. He barely let her leave the bedroom (not that she was in any way complaining).
Rose finally managed to convince him that it was time to go see her mum and dad. She wasn’t sure how they were going to take the news, but they were going to have to know about all this sooner or later.
Rose chewed her bottom lip nervously while she stood by the Doctor at the console as he began entering the coordinates to take them back to Jackie and Pete’s. “So, we’ll land just a few minutes after you left them, yeah?” she asked anxiously.
The Doctor, however, had his eyes trained on her tantalizing lips and he didn’t quite register what she had said. “Hmm?” he replied, his distraction evident.
Rose put her hands on her hips. “Doctor,” she said firmly, “you’re gonna have to snap out of it when we’re around Mum and Dad.”
The Doctor shook himself. “Sorry.” Then he gave her a slow, seductive grin. “You’re just a bit…distracting.” Then his grin widened. “And I’m not used to seeing you wearing clothes again.”
Rose narrowed her gaze in mock sternness. “Well, it’s been hard to wear clothes considering someone kept making them disappear.”
He smirked as he took a step closer. “I seem to have noticed a few articles of my own clothing suddenly vanishing on a rather frequent basis,” he replied as he dropped his voice into that low timbre that he had quickly come to learn made Rose melt inside.
Before they could continue their flirting, which would have inevitably led them back to the bedroom (presuming they actually made it that far), the TARDIS lurched forward and came to a sudden stop as they reached their destination.
Rose took a deep, fortifying breath. The Doctor came behind her and encircled his arms around her waist. “Relax,” he said soothingly as he placed a kiss to her head. “I know they’re going to be happy for us.”
Rose leaned back against him and sighed. “I know, it’s just…I’m sure Mum always pictured at least being there when I got married. Of course, our situation at the time didn’t exactly allow for that.”
The Doctor’s expression darkened. He didn’t like to even think about the grim events of that day. The memory of holding Rose’s lifeless body in his arms would haunt him for years to come. He wrapped his arms more tightly around her as he rested his cheek against her head. “Well, we could always have another ceremony,” he offered softly.
She turned in his arms to look into his eyes. “You’d really do that?” she asked in surprise. “It doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you’d be willing to do twice.”
He smiled gently at her as he tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “Pledging my love to you is something I will never hesitate to do.”
He leaned forward to brush her lips with a tender kiss when they were interrupted by a knock outside the TARDIS door. “Doctor, Rose, are you in there?” came Jackie’s anxious voice.
Rose took his hand in hers and gripped it firmly for support. “This is it,” she said, mustering her courage, then turned with him to head down the ramp.
They opened the door and Jackie flung her arms around Rose. “Oh, sweetheart! You’re okay,” she said in relief.
“Yeah, I’m fine, Mum,” Rose assured her as she returned the embrace.
Once Jackie released her, Rose then hugged Pete who was standing beside her. Rose was grateful to learn Tony was already in bed because she didn’t want him to hear the unpleasant details of what had happened.
“We’ve been so worried!” Jackie said as she gave her another hug.
“How long has it been?” Rose questioned, not always trusting the Doctor’s timing when it came to getting her back when he said he was going to.
“Two days,” she replied.
“Not exactly two minutes, then,” Rose muttered to the Doctor who was looking a bit sheepish as he tugged on his ear. “But still, better than two years,” she consented.
“Tell us what happened,” Pete implored. “How long has it been for you?”
“Weeell, we didn’t exactly come straight here,” the Doctor began casually. “Had a bit of fun. You know, traveled about, did this and that, got into trouble – you know us. Got married,” he added nonchalantly. “And this time it wasn’t a mistake.”
“What?!” Jackie shrieked.
The Doctor leaned into Rose. “That got more of a reaction out of her than it did an Ood.”
Rose just rolled her eyes and poked him in the side. “Not exactly the subtle way I was hoping to ease into this,” she chided him.
“Are you tellin’ me you two are married?” Jackie questioned in disbelief.
The Doctor raised his hand and waggled his fingers. “Hello, Mum,” he grinned.
“Why don’t we sit down and have some tea,” Rose suggested. “I think we could all do with a good cuppa.”
The Doctor and Rose went on to explain all that had happened since they’d seen them last. Jackie cried tears of mixed emotions upon hearing what had happened to Rose. And once she knew the circumstances, she understood the urgency of their marriage and why she and Pete weren’t able to be there. She brightened considerably when they told her they would have another ceremony so the family could be a part of it.
“So, you’re really okay with all this then?” Rose questioned. “I thought everything would come as more of a shock,” she admitted. “Especially…you know…about the changes in me.”
“Well, finding out that your child is not gonna die anytime soon isn’t exactly a bad thing,” Jackie said as she gave her another hug.
She then turned to the Doctor. “Just promise me you’ll take care of her. You’re all she’ll have one day.” Jackie furrowed her brow in thought. “I mean, she’ll probably outlive Tony’s children. So promise me you’ll always be there for her.”
The Doctor smiled gently. “I will, Jackie. You have my word.”
They ended up having a small private ceremony with just Jackie, Pete, Tony, and a few of Rose’s friends in attendance. It was intimate, it was beautiful, and it was perfect. Though Rose hadn’t really even been expecting it from him, the Doctor surprised her with a ring for the occasion. He said Jackie would have never been satisfied if he hadn’t, but Rose knew the ring held special meaning for him as well. It was a dazzling gem which resembled a diamond, but when held to the light shimmered in shades of gold. He said it was from the planet Elishria and was known as an Eternity Stone, which represented undying love.
After the ceremony, the Doctor and Rose remained on Earth for a little while and set out on a whirlwind honeymoon tour: Paris, the Italian Riviera, Tahiti, then took to the TARDIS once again. Their life together was everything it had once been and so much more.
A few months later (and still very much celebrating their honeymoon), the two stood at the console ready to plan their next destination as the Doctor made a few calibrations to the TARDIS after having finished some routine maintenance.
“How about the planet Glishta?” he suggested. “They have the most magnificent waterfalls cascading into crystalline pools below!”
Rose smiled seductively as she pressed in closer and traced a finger along his jaw. “I think you just want to get me into a bikini,” she purred.
He grinned and made a sound of the affirmative in the back of his throat. “Into and then out of one,” he replied with a waggle of his eyebrows.
As he began to lean in closer to her, they were suddenly and violently thrown apart as the TARDIS pitched forward and began spiraling out of control.
“What is it?” Rose yelled as she pulled herself back up and tried to grab hold from the other side of the console.
Just then an alarm sounded in the TARDIS. “It’s an alert!” the Doctor yelled. “Level Five. Indicating a temporal collision! Two time zones at war in the heart of the TARDIS! This has happened once before,” he continued while frantically trying to gain control of the ship. “And it almost blew a hole in the Space/Time Continuum the size of Belgium!”
“But how did this happen?!” Rose asked frantically.
The Doctor muttered something about always forgetting to put the shields back up just as the Cloister Bell began to sound. “The only problem is,” he continued, “what worked to fix this last time isn’t working now! Not only that, but this seems to be tearing open a hole in the fabric of the universe!”
He continued at a frenzied pace trying to reverse the situation, but things continued to escalate.
“There’s a dimensional fissure opening within the TARDIS and I can’t stop it!” he called. “Rose, GET BACK!”
It was too late. As quickly as the fissure opened, it once again closed. The TARDIS stilled and everything appeared to be back to normal.
But Rose was gone.
A universe away, the Doctor sank to his knees in the snow as he fixed his eyes on the Ood in the distance.
“Is this it?” his voice trembled as he spoke, now realizing the dire consequences of breaking the Laws of Time.
He had gone too far.
“My death. Is it time?!” he yelled, breathing heavily.
The Ood vanished, and he pulled himself up and quickly slipped into the TARDIS.
The Doctor stood at the console, his mind and emotions swirling violently. It was then that the Cloister Bell began to sound.
The haunting din echoed through the ship, and he could feel his fate closing in on him – hunting him down. Somewhere in the future, rippling back through the fabric of Time, he could hear the reverberating sound of four knocks.
“No,” he breathed, as he quickly set the TARDIS in flight, determined to outrun what was coming.
The Cloister continued to sound its warning, and almost seemed to grow louder as the ship then began shaking violently. A temporal collision was taking place. The Doctor worked frantically to stabilize the ship and reverse the situation, but was thrown forcefully to the floor as a hole was torn open in the fabric of the universe and a dimensional fissure began opening up on the other side of the room. It then closed with a loud hiss as suddenly as it appeared and the Doctor, still shaken, pulled himself up from where he had been thrown to the grating. To his shock, he saw a woman with blonde hair lying on her side across from the console. He approached cautiously and came around to where he could see her face.
The Doctor suddenly staggered back, breathing heavily as he gazed in shock at the woman before him.
“Rose,” he whispered. The name he had not uttered since he saw her for what he thought would be the final time, yet the name that never once stopped echoing through his mind.
Rose began to stir and sat up slowly. She looked blearily around the TARDIS as her eyes came back into focus.
“Doctor?” she croaked.
He took a few tentative steps towards her and knelt down. “Rose, how did this happen?” he asked, fighting to keep his voice steady.
She ran a hand through her hair as she tried to regain her bearings. “As I recall, it was your driving skills that threw me to the floor,” she finally replied, teasing lightly.
His hearts clenched painfully. She thought he was the other. Rose didn’t know he was the one who was no longer her Doctor. Yet he couldn’t allow that pain to clutch him in its grasp. It would shatter him. There was only so much he could take, and he was already at the breaking point. He forcibly shoved those feelings down and bottled them up tightly.
The Doctor quickly stood and took a step back as he pulled out the sonic and began to scan her. Fortunately, he was just looking for traces of residual energy to confirm how she had gotten here. If he had probed deeper, he undoubtedly would have discovered something about her that would have been rather difficult for Rose to explain. “There was a temporal collision and you were pulled through,” he said, his voice suddenly void of all emotion.
Rose winced as she stood, then crossed over to him and placed her hands on his chest. “Well, whatever happened, I’m fine now, love,” she assured him with a gentle smile.
The look he gave her was unsettling. She had never seen such darkness in the Doctor’s eyes, and it unnerved her to the core. It was then Rose registered the feel of two hearts beating beneath her palms. She gasped and pulled her hands back with a start, as if she’d been burned.