Tenth Doctor, Rose Tyler
After Rose is rejected by her first love, she avoids going home, instead finding her own place in the world and society. But when illness brings her back home, she faces a very different John Smith.
Based on this prompt by the lovely kaynibbler16 (via her Doctor x Rose blog)—with a few adjustments.
Thanks bunches to lotsofthinkythoughts for looking this over for me.
Read part 1 here or on AO3
John paced through the halls of
the Tyler mansion restlessly, losing count of how many times he ran his hands
through his hair. After five years and
an untold number of hours wasted rehashing his last moments with Rose, he was
expected to sort out his emotions and find a way to cope with her coming home
on three bloody hours notice. Or, at
least, had been expected to…three hours ago.
He heard the car pull up
outside, and realized he was out of time, regardless of the fact that he was
also still out of sorts. He made his way
quickly toward the stairs, but paused when he caught view of the drive, and the
chauffeur helping the young blonde out of the car. She took off her sunglasses, looking up at
the house fondly, and John forgot how to breathe.
He’d seen her image, at least,
since she left, but photographs never could do her justice. She’d lost the lingering adolescent roundness
that she’d so hated as a teenager, giving a more pronounced look to her
cheekbones and jawline. In anyone else,
it would have made for a harsher look, but it only made her natural
gorgeousness more striking. And despite
the stress even he could see from her illness, there was a straightness of her
shoulders and carry of her head that told of an unconscious self-confidence
that would draw people to her like magnets…or moths to a flame.
He watched her embrace her
father, then tore his eyes away when the family started moving toward the door,
hurrying down the hall to the steps.
This was fine. Completely fine. She’d grown up, they’d grown apart, honestly,
the mansion was so large they could probably completely avoid seeing each other
for days if they wanted to.
Did he want to?
He paused on the steps as Rose
turned to him, and if he’d thought he had trouble breathing from the window,
he’d been seriously underestimating her power of stopping his autonomic
functions. Something flickered in her
eyes—several somethings, matter of fact.
Surprise and apprehension chased each other across her features, and he
searched for something else, something he knew he’d given up his right to hope
for years ago. If it was there, though,
it was shunted aside quickly by a warm, utterly beautiful, and completely fake
smile as he reached the bottom of the steps.
“Hello, John.” Her voice was a little lower maybe, but no
less enchanting than it had been when she’d spent hours talking to him in the
kitchen and avoiding whatever party was happening upstairs. He itched to find out if her laugh was still
as lovely as the last time he’d heard it.
“Hello, Rose,” he managed,
keeping his voice soft to avoid letting on how tight his throat suddenly
felt. “It’s good to see you again.”
“And you,” she replied. They held each other’s gaze for a moment,
then Rose looked away, glancing at the stairs behind him. “So…um…how long are you staying for?”
Right…guest. That’s what Jackie’d called him. Oh, lord.
Still— “Four weeks.”
“Course you are,” she said, her
lips twisting in a bitter smile that alarmed him. “Why wouldn’t you be?”
“It’s fine.” Her public mask was firmly back in place when
her eyes finally returned to his.
“Completely…fine. Listen, I’m
knackered,” she added, turning to her mother.
“Think I’m just gonna go lay down for a bit before dinner. I’ll worry about unpacking later.”
“Of course, sweetheart,” Jackie
said, and John stepped out of the way quickly as the elder Tyler woman took her
daughter’s arm to guide her toward the stairs.
“Your room’s all set up, and we’ll have someone bring up your bags
John watched them ascend the
stairs without a look back, slowly coming to terms with several apparent facts:
one, Rose Tyler was home. Two, she had
no idea he was still here. Three, she
really, really didn’t want him to
be. Four, he was still just as
completely in love with her as he had been five years ago, which presented a
number of problems, the largest of which he was trying very hard not to think