She is lying on her belly on the floor by the koi pond. Well, she tries to, because she’s actually lying on her side, one hand in the water, stroking the fish tenderly, the other on her rounded belly.
Rose is tracing finger around her swollen stomach absentmindedly. She’s so tired. She wants nothing but to lie all day. She craves chips like nobody’s business. She smells tea tree oil at least three times a day because she likes the smell and for some unfathomable reason it helps to abate the nausea. She wants the Doctor to hug her. She doesn’t want the Doctor to hug her.
Rose wants to relax in the jump seat, watching her Doctor sexily tinker. She doesn’t want to see the Doctor because she knows he’s being smothered by her domesticity. Rose doesn’t want to smother the Doctor, doesn’t want to change him but she relishes in the feeling of homeliness setting into the Tardis these days. And he tries really hard not to get exasperated at her bouts of nesting.
She’s hot and she’s cold repeatedly and her feet are honking. None of her rings fit her fingers anymore. She cried about it for an hour, giving herself a splendid headache, hiccups that lasted for twenty minutes and a blotchy face. She also scared the Doctor nearly to the point of a hearts attack. He didn’t know what to do when he found her sobbing by her jewelry box. He just stood there, eyes wide open, surprised by the reason for her hysterics, lips in a thin line, careful with his words for once.
Yeah, no more harsh words and snappish comments. Rose wouldn’t tolerate that. Or she would but only with torrents of tears that wouldn’t stop no matter how many times she told herself not to be stupid and overly emotional.
Needless to say, the next day’s trip was to the small jewellery store in the 21st century market where the Doctor didn’t bother her for three full hours while she was perusing the jewellery stands in the shop (nothing fancy, nothing expensive, just your typical 21st century jewellery from cheap alloy in all shapes and colours).
Needless to say, the Doctor was thanked generously that evening. Rose baked him a banana pie and promptly fell asleep in their bedroom before the second, more intimate, part of the gratitude.
The Doctor smiled and hugged her to his side when she woke up next to him, reading, and hushed her sheepish apologies.
It goes without saying that the dancing that morning was splendid. In their bed. In the shower. And in the galley, too, where they broke the dish that held the last scrapes of the banana bread from the evening before.
Rose sighs and enjoys the sound of the water while humming a lullaby to her unborn child. The Doctor and her decided not to learn the gender of the babe, and the Tardis is the only one who knows because it’s the Tardis’s medbay where the Doctor monitors their child weekly. He is still worried because the pregnancy is the interspecies one, Rose can tell, but it’s been seven months already (out of twelve) and the risk of the foetus not surviving the pregnancy has passed.
Not that the Doctor is any less relaxed about it. Probably because of how the pregnancy treats Rose. It’s not awful, it’s not harmful to Rose, it’s not dangerous but it’s taxing both to her body and mind. She’s restless, lazy and weepy, her nesting instincts are through the roof and she’s bloody big . Rose was jeopardy-friendly, yes, but her body was always her trustiest assistant in life. She was fast, athletic, graceful because of her past in the gymnastics team.
Now, however, Rose is downright clumsy and inelegant. She trips and bumps into things. She can’t tie her own laces and if it wasn’t for the Doctor, she’d have hairy legs. He says that he doesn’t mind that, that it’s natural and he finds it annoying that humans try to get rid of things programmed into them by Nature and evolution but he helps Rose shave her legs when she tells him that it would make her feel more comfortable and attractive. Beautiful. Desirable.
The Doctor shows her just how desirable she is to him before they get to the razors in the bathroom drawers.
The baby kicks suddenly. Rose jumps, still not accustomed to the movements in her womb. It seems that the baby loves dancing as much as their father does. She smiles and coos at her belly, curling around it lovingly, protectively. She feels content knowing that the babe is fine and out of harm's way in her womb. She doesn’t want to think about parting with the baby but she’s also so excited to meet the little one, to see their face. To kiss the chubby cheeks. To hold them tight in her embrace, to nurse them.
Most importantly, Rose wishes to place the precious burden wrapped in a blanket into the Doctor’s awaiting arms. She wishes to fill the emptiness in his mind, in his soul, in his hearts if only partially, by bringing another one of the Doctor’s kind into this world.
She’d give birth to a dozen of babies if he asked her to.
Rose cherishes the thought and tucks it away for another time. She’s young, she’s healthy, she’s got the Doctor’s skills and the best hospitals in all of Time and Space and the Doctor seems to be thrilled at having a baby of his own despite his initial distress and rejection to even accept the idea of becoming a father, again .
Yeah, Rose still remembers the shock that hit her like a tsunami wave when the Doctor confessed about being a father and a grandfather once. She remembers how her knees buckled and how frantic his voice sounded when he was fanning her face with his palms when the world tilted for a moment. Rose didn’t fancy the foolish beliefs that she was the one and only for the Doctor - it would have been ridiculous because the Doctor was over 900 years old. He must have had friends, companions, he must have loved, he must have had relationships before, maybe even marriage - but children! He had, and he lost, children!
Now that Rose is about to become a parent herself she can’t imagine living through something as traumatic and devastating as losing a child. She’d go mad if she were to lose her baby, even if she hadn’t actually met her baby yet.
Rose reckons that the Doctor went a little mad right after the Time War what with his suicidal tendencies and one-liners about his imminent death during their first meeting when the Nestene Consciousness tried to invade the Earth.
Rose doesn’t believe that she has healed her Doctor but she wants to believe that she gave him something worth living for, even if only a little.
Maybe the baby will make him feel less lonely.
The Doctor finds her by the pond after searching for an hour. He was worried but not too much because he was certain that the Tardis was hiding Rose’s location deliberately and the Ship would never do that if Rose was in danger or ill somehow. That only meant that Rose wanted to be alone, without his company.
While it was something he wanted when Rose and he had started travelling together, it was not what the Doctor wanted now. They were an item now, him and Rose, and she was carrying his child, and he didn’t like the thought of her avoiding him for any reason.
That was, of course, hypocritical of him to think so. He enjoyed the solitude greatly before meeting Rose and often during their initial travelling, so what if she needed some quality time alone every now and then? Especially with her confusing mood changes and thoughts about upcoming motherhood now.
Rose had all the right in the world to seek peace and quiet and enjoy time on her own.
But not if she felt like a burden, she didn’t.
And the Doctor is going to make sure Rose knows she is loved and appreciated even if he has to suffer through episodes of tears, even if the galley smells like oil and chips all of the time (the dish of the pregnancy, chips!), even if their shared bedroom is filled with fresh flower arrangements from many gardens on the Tardis.
Rose has been careful about spending too much time with him after the incident that happened two days ago.
It was about rose flower petals of all things possible to have a misunderstanding about.
Two days ago...
The Doctor steps into the bedroom Rose and he have been sharing for more than a year now and his smell senses are assaulted brutally by the flower perfume, heavy smell of scented candles and...are those rose petals on the floor?
Rose petals on the floor and the bedding. Candles on all possible surfaces. The sound of water running in the adjacent bathroom and the gentle singing shocks the Doctor to the core.
This is as domestic as it gets. All of this! Romance! Candles! A bath with bath oils! This...this...this is a mating ritual, the rose petals on the silken sheets, the future mother of his child, humming a sweet romantic song, gently swaying her hips and stroking her belly, waiting for the bath to be drawn, for the bubbles to cover the surface, for him, the father of her unborn child, to enter the ensuite. Rose has it all prepared for him: his favourite aftershave, his dark grey towels, the bottoms of his sleeping attire.
She went and prepared a whole relaxing ceremony for him, and he can’t breathe. The Doctor is overwhelmed by the sheer display of Rose’s feelings, of her caring for him. He feels trapped but not because he doesn’t like it but because he knows the feeling of losing what he values well, and what he lost in the past wasn’t as dear to his hearts as Rose and the baby are. Surely, he lost his family, he lost his home, his children but it was all somewhat cold-hued, obligatory, lacking true emotions.
Now, however, he knows what it is like to love, to cherish; the Doctor has learnt the taste of happiness, of hope.
The Doctor knows all too well that the Universe won’t be kind to him for a very long time. Something will happen, something awful, something tragic, and there will be no one in this Universe to wait for him to come back, to love him, to hold his hand.
The Doctor flinches when Rose’s warm palm lands on his forearm. He must have been lost in his anxieties for a long time.
“Doctor? Are you alright?” Rose’s voice is worried, soft, tentative.
He blinks furiously, willing the tears to stop and then does the only thing that comes to his mind.
Rose just stands there, shocked, shattered and crushed, feeling emptiness filling her already swollen limbs.
She is still numb when she switches off the water, when she puffs out the candles and she is properly unresponsive by the time she sweeps the floor with a broom, binning the rose petals from the blankets and crawling under the sheets. Rose hasn’t got the strength to cry. She falls into a restless sleep-like state only to awaken three hours later to the feeling of her stomach rolling and to the Doctor’s hands on her back soothing her while she retches.
They go to bed together that night and the night after that and the Doctor is as gentle and as attentive to her as he was ever since the start of their romantic involvement.
It’s Rose who’s reticent and careful now. She never wants to overstep the domestics line again.
Honestly, he should have thought about the koi pond right away. Rose loves looking at the fish, she still can’t believe that the fish are willing to be petted by humans, unafraid of human violence, that they are so bright, like swirls of shining reds, oranges and silvers floating around in crystally clear water.
The colour palette of the koi fish reminds the Doctor of Gallifrey, he notices with a tinge in his hearts, but he absolutely doesn’t mention that to Rose in fear of her crying inconsolably over his lost home. Rassilon knows there are so many reasons for Rose to cry now that she is pregnant and overly sensitive because of the ballistic cocktail of human and Gallifreyan hormones coursing through her blood.
Not that the Doctor dares to mention Rose’s mood swings to her. He’d never. He values this regeneration’s body quite much because somehow it is good enough to attract a woman like Rose Tyler. The Doctor still can’t understand the how or the why of the nature of Rose’s attraction to him but he can be sure at least that it’s not just his looks that draw Rose to him. There is, certainly, the fact that he is an alien and owns an impressive Time Ship but the Doctor notices that Rose rarely asks to visit a destination of her own choice, trusting him to find somewhere to land be it to save the day, to have an educating excursion, to relax or to shop for the Tardis parts. Rose has been guarded ever since the trip to see her father, and the Doctor was to blame for that, too.
Rose tries to make it perfectly clear to him that she’s happy to be his companion, that she’ll ask for nothing that will be selfish or harmful to the timelines of the Universe.
The Doctor values that as well, the fact that Rose has never used him for her own gain.
Still, it is a miracle that Rose loves him at all for who he is. Especially when he’s acting like an unstable moody bastard.
The Doctor stops in the doorway leading to the garden when he sees Rose lying on the tiles, cooing at the baby. He smiles crookedly and comes closer, leaning over her relaxed body to clasp her little hand in the water with his one.
Rose hums lazily and arches her back a little when he pulls her to a sitting position and starts kneading her back. She moans pornographically when his hands go to massage her neck and the Doctor chuckles heartily. It’s obvious that Rose is content to stay right there on the tiles of the fountain but he stands and tugs her into a standing position.
The Doctor leads Rose to their bedroom, his palms covering her eyes for a surprise effect. She’s trembling in anticipation and he feels excited and worried at the same time.
The Doctor hopes that Rose won’t fret when she sees the surprise.
He opens the door to their bedroom, carefully leads Rose into it, noticing her elevated heartbeat and irregular breathing. He kisses her head and removes his hands from her eyes.
Rose gasps and whirls around to look at him. The Doctor decides to forgo the words and kisses her palm, looking at Rose through his lashes.
Rose’s heart flutters as she stares at the Doctor’s electric blue eyes and she swallows hard, recognising the foreplay to the oldest dance in the Universe.
By the time they end up in the scented bath after three rounds of fulfilling love-making Rose has no doubts about the Doctor’s attitude to domestics with her.
They laugh and throw rose petals at each other after they crawl under the silken sheets and Rose falls asleep, pleasantly tired, to the sound of the Doctor’s voice reading passages from the Intergalactic Children’s Fairy Tales Book.