After changing into his suit again, which apparently had been cleaned and stripped of all the things his pockets contained, the Doctor put on his shoes and slowly opened the door to the bedroom.
Rose was sitting at the kitchen table, sipping from a cup of steamy tea. Her hair was beautifully falling down her shoulders, bits of it glowing in the gaze of Sun. She looked much thinner, he noticed. She was wearing dark blue ripped jeans and a tight beige blouse with lace at every end.
When she saw him come in, she smiled.
"Good morning," she said. "well, afternoon." Rose looked down at her watch, then back up. "Hello." she said again.
"Hello." the Doctor grinned. He felt like he was growing a second heart. Then his brows furrowed. "What do you mean afternoon?"
"It's three in the afternoon." she said. "You've slept for whole 16 hours. Fancy some tea?"
"Oh, yes." he winked happily. "Always some tea. Very British."
The Doctor sat at the table. "Are you sure I slept for 16 hours? That's a bit unlikely. And a bit nasty too, no offense."
Rose rolled her eyes before setting his tea in front of him, then moved to the refrigerator. After grabbing some food, she put two slices of bread in the toaster. She then let a jar of jam slide on the table, then carefully placed some butter, honey, and fruits beside it.
"Oh wait," she told him, opening multiple cupboards. "Where did I put it? Oh!" Rose exclaimed. Then to the Doctor's surprise, she held out what seemed to be... a blue banana? "I had to hide it from Tony. They're called Bluebanas. He likes them so much I-"
"Bluebanas?" the Doctor interrupted her, shocked. He then gently took the shameless fruit from her.
"Don't judge a book by its cover." Rose giggled.
"Yes, but this is not a book, Rose! This is the greatest resource of protein and potassium and they destroyed its beauty!"
"Come on, give it a try." she bit her lower lip, smiling.
After peeling the banana, or in this case the bluebana (who names a fruit bluebana?), the Doctor took a bite. A look of disgust made its appearance.
"Oh, oh!" Rose jumped to get a towel for him to spit it out. She laughed. "So bad?"
"I didn't expect that. It's a mix of banana and blueberries. Here," Rose laughed even harder at his comment. "It's strawberry jam. And this," she turned around. "is a knife. Please don't use your fingers."
The Doctor was so surprised to hear her say that his eyebrows shot up. "Rose-" he began but was cut off by a woman named Jackie Tyler entering the kitchen.
"How are you, sweetheart?" Jackie gave the Doctor a tight hug, squeezing the light out of him for a second. She then proceeded to place a wet kiss on his cheek. "Feeling better?" she let him go.
"Yeah," the Doctor wiped his cheek. "Yes, I feel better. Thank you for... lending me pajamas."
"Mummy! Mummy!" A small boy with blond hair entered the kitchen. When he saw the Doctor, a wide grin plastered on his face. Tony looked at Rose first, waiting for approval. When she nodded, he approached the Doctor. The Doctor smiled.
"And who do we have here?" the Doctor asked.
"My name is Tony."
"Tony? Oh I've heard so much about you!" the Doctor shook the little boy's hand. "I'm the Doctor."
Tony's brown eyes lightened with excitement. A look that the Doctor had seen before. The same look like that time, when he took her hand and told her 'run'.
"Is... Is it..."
"Go on," the Doctor said.
"Is it true you can travel in time and space?" the little boy asked shyly. At that, the Doctor's gaze fell upon Rose who was leaning against the fridge with her arms crossed. He smiled at her and in return, she smiled too. It felt just like old days.
"Yes." the Doctor replied. "Every galaxy in time and space. Every planet, every Moon. Next stop, everywhere."
"Where is it?" Tony jumped happily. "The TARDIS. Where is it?"
Rose's eyes widened before stepping forward. "Tony, isn't it time for your nap?" she asked, at which Tony pouted, but understandingly left. "I am so sorry..." Rose sighed.
"It's okay. It's not your fault." he asserted.
"No. It's the Doctor's." she said.
"Rose," he started. "I am the Do-"
"And I will never forgive him." she cut him off. "Not ever."
He decided it were better not to continue, especially after her affirmation, however, there was a big rock laying on his chest. He was rather confused, but he did not blame. The existence of a meta-crisis was so thin, that there were no concrete ways of defining it. The Doctor bit his inner cheek out of anxiety and anger. He was angry at himself, in a way. Because he saw Rose's smile so flawlessly emerge, but in the back of his mind he knew, oh he knew, she was hiding all the hurt. She deserved all time and space, yet here they were, stuck on Earth. The slow path.
Rose was sitting on the couch when her mobile rang. To her relief, it was a call from Torchwood. She and the Doctor had suffered the last couple of hours listening to Jackie's story and nagging about how completely dangerous her life had been back at the Powell Estate after Rose and the Doctor had gone to see the stars. How people pestered her for information about the two and how she'd always protect them. The Doctor rose instantly from his seat when he heard the ringtone.
"Ianto." Rose answered.
"Safe and sound, I see." the man on the other line replied.
Ianto was one of the agents that worked at Torchwood Three, Cardiff. Rose had worked with him before. With him, Owen, Jake, Toshiko and Mickey. But with Mickey now gone, they were one man down.
"Look, sorry to bother you," Ianto then continued. "But we really need you here. And Mickey. Cardiff is overflowing with Weevils."
"Mickey won't come." Rose said.
"Why? Is he okay?" When no reply came back, Ianto asked. "He stayed back, didn't he?"
Ianto paused for a short moment. "Well, I am happy for him. Better a new Earth than chasing Weevils, don't you think?"
"Yeah." in the corner of her eye, Rose noticed the Doctor pacing forth and back. He was restless, maybe even worse than Tony. "Well, I guess we'll talk when I get there. And Ianto?"
"...never mind. You'll see for yourself." she then hung up.