Pete's World about 8 months after Bad Wolf Bay Mark 2.
The Doctor, or Dr. John Noble as he was known here, couldn't help but smile as he watched Rose padding around the kitchen making tea, dressed only in one of his Oxfords, hair messy, with no make-up on. She was so beautiful like this, and he thanked deities he didn't even believe in every day that he was here with her. Sharing a life he'd never thought possible.
Gingerly he touched the bandage on his chest and gave a small grin. His rose tattoo. Two nights ago, he and Rose, in an alcohol-induced euphoria, had each gotten branded, as Rose put it. The rose on his chest, over where his second heart would have been if not for the metacrisis, was perfect. And so was the slightly purple TARDIS that sat low on Rose's hip, at least in his opinion. Rose still wasn't convinced.
A small knock on the front door interrupted the Doctor's musings. "I'll get it," he called, walking over to the door. The guest house they lived in on the Tyler Estate wasn't that large, but it was big enough for their needs. Far enough away from the main house to give them privacy (in between their travels) but close enough to see the rest of the Tylers anytime they wanted.
Opening the door, the Doctor greeted Lucy, one of the housemaids. He wasn't sure he approved of having housemaids, although Pete and Jackie did treat their staff with respect and gave them ridiculously lucrative pay packages.
"Good morning, Doctor," Lucy said with a smile as she pressed a stack of papers into his hands. "I brought your morning post. You may want to look at The Sun Times first." She was about to turn to go but then stopped and pulled a small set of keys out of her pocket. Handing them to the Doctor, she said, "Mr. Tyler thought you and Ms. Rose might need these as well. He called ahead; everything will be ready for you."
"His Zeppelin keys?" the Doctor asked, confused, as he turned the key chain over in his fingers.
"The Sun Times, Doctor. I'll help to buy you as much time as I can," Lucy said over her shoulder as she strode back to the mansion.
Slowly he stepped back inside, shutting the door behind him. What on Earth had Lucy meant? What could Pete's Zeppelin keys have to do with this Universe's largest British tabloid? Plunking himself into a chair at the table, he rifled through the mail.
"Who was that?" Rose asked, sliding a plate of bacon and eggs in front of him before taking her seat.
"Just Lucy with the morning post," he said distractedly as he procured the gossip rag. The headline made him falter.
Reclusive Vitex Heiress' Night of Drunken Debauchery
Hurriedly shuffling the pages, he found the article.
'Two nights ago, Vitex Heiress, the mysterious Rose Tyler and her newest boy toy, Dr. John Noble painted the town orange. First, the normally introverted couple visited several night clubs, including exclusive Ivy and Vine, before stumbling drunk into a local tattoo parlor to cap off their evening with a pair of new tattoos. (See page twelve.)'
The Doctor swallowed hard as he scanned the rest of the mostly exaggerated article. They had been celebrating the defeat of a rather nasty alien with the Torchwood team. Not that they worked for Torchwood, at least not full time. Rose had tried to go back to work for them after coming back here but got bored without the dimension cannon project. So they mostly travelled and consulted when Torchwood was in over their heads, which actually happened quite frequently.
Yes, the other night they had had too much to drink and yes, they had visited a tattoo parlor. He just didn't see why anyone should care that they did. Turning to page twelve, he saw two large pictures of both of them not only getting the tattoos but pictures of the finished products. When had those been taken?
Swallowing down the lump in his throat, he turned to Rose with the intention of telling her what the paper held. Of telling her they needed to run before Jackie saw this. Instead he showed her the article and said, "Newest boy toy? What do they mean, calling me your boy toy? And newest implies that there were more before me. Were there more before me?"
Rose's eyes grew to the size of saucers as she grabbed the paper from his hands. "Oh, God," she cried. "Mum is going to murder us for this, and so soon after that one photog caught us with my skirt pushed up after the fundraiser. She's already made Pete hire a PR rep just for us and with the campaign coming up. Oh, God."
The Doctor grimaced at the mention of the fundraiser. He still wasn't used to these new human hormones, and she had looked so sexy in that dress, damn cameras. "Get dressed," he said, standing up, grabbing her hands, and hauling her to her feet. "Get dressed, pack a bag and grab the passports." They were running up the stairs.
"Running away, that's your plan?" Rose said, quickly changing her clothes and pulling a suitcase out of the wardrobe. Surprisingly, it was already packed.
"Well, I think it's more Pete's idea. Seeing as he sent the keys to his Zeppelin over with Lucy this morning. Do you always keep a fully packed suitcase around?" the Doctor babbled as he donned one of his newer suits.
"Bit of a habit I picked up over the last few years," she said, slipping on her trainers. "Never knew if the walls between the Universes may weaken and a certain alien might come rescue me… There's a packed garment bag in there for you as well. Thought they might be useful for spontaneous weekend getaways now."
The Doctor paused to stare in awe at her for a moment. She'd always known he'd come for her if he could, and she had wanted to be ready.
"Come on, Doctor," she said, grabbing his bag before picking up hers. "We probably don't have much time." He stopped to grab one last thing out of his sock drawer before taking both bags from her and racing downstairs and out to the car.
Hours later, the Doctor and Rose sat on a beach in Spain; they had just escaped Jackie's wrath and neither had been brave enough to turn on their mobiles yet. "We really need to watch what we do in public." Rose giggled as he poured her another glass of champagne. "Dad's starting his campaign for President in the next few months, and bad press won't help."
"So getting you buzzed on a public Spanish beach probably isn't a good idea?" He leaned over and kissed her neck.
"No, probably not," she agreed but didn't pull back.
"Well, I can think of one thing we can do to get back on her good side. I'm just not sure you'll agree."
"Oh, yeah, what's that?"
"Let her throw that enormous wedding she's always going on about." He sat up straighter.
"She's already married," Rose said, looking confused.
"I know that." The Doctor's hand went into his pocket. "I was thinking that she could plan our wedding. I mean if you want. If you want to marry me that is, because I really want to marry you." He opened the ring box he was holding, revealing a beautiful platinum ring. "I bought this weeks back, took Pete with me. Made sure that the papers didn't ruin this surprise. Couldn't have you finding out about this from them. So what do you say?"
Rose had to force herself to breath as her eyes darted between his face and the ring in his hand. "Yeah, I'd like that."
"Brilliant!" he exclaimed, slipping the ring onto her finger before snogging her thoroughly.
Two days later at the Tyler Estate, Jackie smiled at the latest article in The Sun Times.
'Vitex Heiress Rose Tyler engaged to her real life Prince Charming.'
The front page showed Rose and the Doctor walking down a street in Spain, her engagement ring glittering from between their entwined fingers.
Taking a sip of her tea, Jackie smiled; she had a wedding to plan.