She would make it even if it was the last deed she did on Earth. Well, technically, her last deed on Earth was dancing in the sacred ritual with the priestesses on top of the mountain in Inverness back in 1782.
“What a spiritual experience, Rose!” the Doctor beamed.
All right, even if that was the last deed she did in the Universe, then. And, technically, not the last, too; as there were a lot of versions of herself scattered around the future from there on.
Damn it! She should have agreed to attend the free cooking courses the Estate job centre offered when she was 16. But no, she was too “cool” to do the cooking – she had Jimmy to think about at that moment.
Rose rolled her eyes and shuddered at the things her naïve young self did when she fell for the pretty blond boy. Never again shall she stretch herself her thin over some bloke.
The Doctor wasn’t even a regular bloke, right? So, he doesn’t count. Not really.
And she did see him as a bloke though if anyone asked her about it, she would deny it until her dying day.
However, the way Rose was pouring over the batter for the banana cupcakes on the Valentine’s Day eve said something about her not-so-subtle feelings for the Doctor.
Oh, what the Hell, Rose knew it, Jackie knew it, Mickey knew it, the aliens and the indigenous people of the planets and lands they visited knew it. Only the Doctor was blind to the signals that Rose sent him every time she felt brave enough, or when it was a good adventure and everyone lived to tell the tale later.
Oh, how she tried. And how all of that went in vain. Of course, most of her attempts at charming the blue-eyed man were half-hearted at best because there was always the line. Flirting and not being too pushy so that the Doctor didn’t kick her out for being a burden.
Flirting and being careful. Being persistent and complying. Bold and obedient. His ship, his rules – “It’s a different morality: get used to it or go home.” Rose had no illusions about her place – he was in charge, still. Surely, the Doctor granted her wishes and yielded to her whims, but Rose was so very careful at wishing for something after witnessing her father’s death.
Pushing, pulling. Attraction and the feigned disinterest (as if it could ever be fake).
Such a fine line.
Rose didn’t want to be left behind if she became too difficult to handle for him.
But she was a Tyler woman, also, so she would be damned if she didn’t try the best of her best moves to let a bloke know that she wasn’t immune to his charms.
It was Saint Valentine’s Day according to her Earth clock, and she would try and make it clear for a certain someone that she was interested. Even if that someone was rather thick for his supposedly superior biology. Maybe if he had not only big ears but big eyes also, he’d be able to see Rose’s pursuing quest.
Rose giggled when a sudden picture of the Doctor pretending to be Grandmother in the fairy tale about Red Riding Hood popped into her mind. She giggled once more and murmured “I have got such big eyes so that I could see your courting, Rose Tyler” and continued mixing the ingredients for the cupcakes.
“The way to a man's heart is through his stomach”, Jackie, her mother, would always say.
No wonder Jackie never found another man, then, sighed Rose. Now she needed to make sure her culinary skills wouldn't scare the Doctor away, too.
The Doctor knew Rose was up to something. He also knew that the last time they visited London in 2005, it was awfully close to St. Valentine’s Day, and he hated the stupid celebration with all his might. Such a consumerism-centred holiday, that was! As if you needed one certain day to shower your loved ones with love and confess your loyalty to them and whatnot.
The bleeping celebration wasn’t even about love originally! The heart, the symbol of Valentine’s Day, were just two numbers “8” joined together at their base, for Rassilon’s sake. It was a date. 08.08.354 B.C. The coup was to take place on that day, the coup to stop the Emperor from forbidding the females to refuse marriage. The women were not allowed to be unmarried at that time, so each and every one of them were married off to strangers and old men if there were no suitors for them.
But the women in the country Loveania (it didn’t exist anymore, unfortunately, due to the Roman conquests) overthrew the government and the symbol of joined 8s was established as the one that liberated women.
The Romans decided that it wasn’t suitable for women to be stronger than men and made up the whole confetti and tinsel about love and heartfelt confessions and all that.
Honestly, human males, so primitive sometimes.
The Doctor prided himself in being Gallifreyan and Time Lord, not human male.
Therefore, he was smarter than human blokes...and probably not attractive enough for Rose.
He seriously thought that Rose was flirting some days, but just as he was about to react to her wooing attempts, she’d backpedal. Big time. So, he put that down to the fact that Rose was lonely, and she was reminiscing about the Earth romance the blokes provided her with.
A girl like Rose was bound to be showered with attention even if she was “taken” by Mickey.
The Doctor wanted so hard to let Rose know that her attentions and all of her flirting were reciprocated. He wanted her to be his, to share the time-travelling ups and downs of their lives together, in one united life. He wished to be the one to spoil her. He tried, he really did, but all of his so called “gifts” ended up as tragedies, the Platform One, Cardiff, Utah, the day with her father...
The Doctor honestly didn’t know how Rose tolerated him after all the incidents.
Still, he was a smart man, a grateful man, and he would take what was offered to him without complain.
Even if those were the half-hearted attempts at flirt that always finished on half-note without further continuation.
“Think, think,” he muttered going through the possible options of what to give Rose. “Something not too revealing but enough to make her consider staying with you. Something small, something she likes...”
Oh! The Doctor smiled brilliantly. He knew just the thing. Small yet thoughtful and totally not too flashy or too revealing of his feelings.
But enough to make her stop from being Earth-nostalgic.
“It is now or never”, Rose thought and squared her shoulders before sprinkling the now baked yellow cupcakes with pink heart-shaped ball-bearings. If anything went wrong, she could always tell the Doctor those were the only one available in the store. Not like he gives her much time to shop, really, an hour or two, and he gets all sour and grumpy and jittery to get away from the domestics.
Rose felt quite proud of herself, too. She created a lovely Valentine’s Day gift that wasn’t too expressive of her emotions to her liking and she managed to create it without using the Doctor’s money.
She still felt oddly uncomfortable at spending the credits/dollars/pesos provided by the Doctor even though he said it was “No problem, Rose, honest. Rich bloke, me!” and smiled goofily. Nevertheless, the truths drilled into her mind during her upbringing at the Estates made her feel inadequate and cheap sometimes. But only sometimes.
Because she never really needed anything aside from food and some smallish personal things (toothpaste, hygienic products, snacks to stash into her room if she had a sudden craving) and if Rose ever needed anything outside the list of those items, the Doctor would generously provide her with anything that caught her fancy.
She didn’t read too much into this because, let’s face it, he was alien and from completely different background – for all she knew, it was perfectly normal to never say “no” to your friends if they asked you to buy something.
Rose finished sprinkling the yellow cupcakes with pink hearts and dusted her hands. Not too shabby. Not too pushy.
And the cupcakes were the banana ones.
The Doctor would love it.
The Doctor shoved a couple of banknotes into the cashier’s hands and scooped up the purchased items into his jacket’s pockets.
Rose would love his gift. She was bound to! He had to travel back in time while she was out cold in her bedroom after doing God-knows-what in the galley (the Tardis refused to let him in there).
He was in for a successful Valentine’s Day.
The Doctor stepped into the galley and saw Rose swiping her hands at the table at what seemed to be the “Ta-da!” gesture.
She relished at the smile that lighted the Doctor’s face up.
“Rose, are those...”
“The banana ones!”
After a minute of him delightedly staring at the sugar goodies baked by Rose, to him and for him (and with heart-shaped sprinkles, no less), the Doctor shook his head to get rid of the romantic haze infiltrating his brain and pulled out a small packet wrapped in pink wrapping paper.
He thrusted the package into Rose’s hands. The blonde was surprised but accepted the gift readily.
After a moment of her staring at the package and him the Doctor gently nudged her to open it.
He enjoyed the delighted giggle as she fished out a package of “Sour hearts” jelly babies and several chewing gums with cheap rings attached to them. He honestly couldn’t comprehend why she was attached to those garish carelessly done rings but Rose would always tell him that they reminded her of her childhood and the days after school when Shareen and her would spend their pocket money at the local shop buying sweets and magazines and trinkets.
Her eyes shone delicately in the orange-coloured lightning of the Tardis as she read the writing on the jelly babies’ package.
“Sour hearts, – the Doctor provided, commenting further, – it seems that you are fond of them if you are still travelling with me even though I’m hardly the easiest person to be around.”
Rose smiled gleefully and threw her hands around his neck in a hearty hug.
She wouldn’t have missed loving those hearts for the world.