He hears them before he sees them with his face semi-buried in the pillow and half-lying on his stomach under the fluffy duvet. He can hear the two pairs of feet wobbling their way across the wooden floor; one set stepping to that syncopated rhythm of an awkwardly hunched over adult, the other set a soft pitter-patter.
Through one half opened eye, he can see Rose and his baby girl, not even a year-old and clad only in her little nappy, walking into the bedroom together. Tiny fingers curl around her mum’s for support as they eventually shuffle their way towards the foot of the bed, lifting the little girl up to sit on the duvet.
Never one to sit still and a budding climber, she begins clumsily crawling over the Doctor’s lanky frame, pausing briefly to make sure Rose is following her. He feels the press of tiny hands and knees and legs finally come to rest on the side of his hip as he subtly closes his eye. The mattress dips beside him as he senses the little girl shift to sit up and the sound of Rose’s arm moving to support her.
He slowly opens his eyes, carefully turning to look up at his two lovely girls as a huge grin creeps across his face. “Good morning!”
“Someone has a bit of a surprise for you, love,” she smiles in return.
The Doctor’s jaw drops, eyes wide with amazement, and rendered completely speechless by an infant. Did she just-? Was that? “Dada!” This time she’s holding her arms out towards him with a huge smile rivaling his. Tears spring to his eyes as he turns to sit up, Rose picking up the little girl and placing her in his arms, his long fingers curling around her nappy-clad bum and back.
“She just called me ‘Dada’, Rose!” he says as she plants one of her signature baby kisses half on his mouth and half on his cheek. It’s one of those sloppy wet baby kisses that feel more like being drooled on than actually being kissed, but at this moment, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves every second.
Rose chuckles softly, brushing the hair from is face and leaning in to give him a kiss on the only part of his face that isn’t covered in slobber, their daughter happily clinging to her Dad. “Happy Father’s Day, Doctor.”