Summary: Rose and Nine are used to having an unconventional relationship, but one piece of gossip just might be the only thing that can make her doubt its strength. Luckily, Nine has a surprise up his sleeve to sweep her off her feet.
Notes: For my dear Secret Buddy, @travelingrose!! I asked her questions and used the answers here to surprise her. :D Originally posted as askbox fic on her blog, in case this sounds familiar.
Rose Tyler and her boyfriend were, well, unconventional. There was the age gap, which didn’t bother Rose, only sometimes bothered Dr. John Smith in a guilty/disbelief-in-his-own-fortune sort of way, and never stopped being a topic of conversation for her mum and others they met. Most of their friends had now turned it into a good-natured punchline instead of any serious concern so all was well on that front. But there was the little detail of him being an actual, real-life lord and world-reknown researcher. And seeing as she was as far from having an inherited title as she was from Timbuktu, there was a bit of gossip around town.
She was smitten at their first date. It had been set up by their mutual friend, Jack. Rose was an art teacher from a rough part of London; John was a gruff professor from up North. He found her gorgeous and clever and kind, of course, but unlike everyone else she dated, he adored her instead of acting like she was his possession. No matter how much John told her she was out of his league, she felt just as lucky to have such a good man. He was simply wonderful.
However, one day, she heard some gossip at the university that broke her heart: He had been given a grant to travel all over the world doing research for the next year and hadn’t told her a word about it. She wasn’t sure what hurt worse – that they would be apart for a year or that he hadn’t even mentioned it. He stopped by her flat after work that night with surprise chips and found her in tears.