[identity profile] milieva.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] milieva_fics
Title: Grounded (3/?)
Series: Lessons on Nesting
Author: [livejournal.com profile] milieva
Rating: Teen
Characters: Nine/Rose, Jack
Beta: The fabulous [livejournal.com profile] glory_jean.

Summary Following the news of Rose’s pregnancy, the Doctor and Rose are attempting to settle into a new routine, living life day after day on planet Earth, with a bit of adventure in between.



<< Previous Chapters


Chapter 3


Renovations started on the house almost as soon as they had the keys. Early the first morning, the Doctor had already climbed up on the roof to patch the leak. He’d just finished the initial repair when Rose and Jack arrived with the supplies to repair the wall on the first floor. Rose wouldn’t take no for an answer when it came to helping put their new house together. As long as there weren’t any chemicals that could pose a danger to her and the babies, she was going to help with as many projects as she could. What else did she have to do, she asked. It wasn’t as if she had a job.

“They’re lucky the ceiling didn’t come crashing down on them,” Jack complained as they braced the ceiling.

“Or that the Doctor didn’t come crashing through in his impatience to get the roof fixed,” Rose retorted, giving the Doctor a pointed look. She hadn’t liked the idea of him venturing up there in the first place, but to combine that with an unsound structure seemed suicidal. The last thing she wanted to do was explain to her friends why her husband was suddenly a completely different man when he regenerated.

“Oi! I know what I’m doing.”

“Could have fooled me.”

Once the temporary braces were up, they discovered they would have to tear out more of the wall before they could fix the idiotic attempt at a remodel. With the three of them, it still took the better part of the afternoon and evening before they were sure everything was as it should be. They’d doubled up on the support, just to be on the safe side. When all was said and done they stepped back to admire their handiwork.

“That looks good,” exclaimed Rose, proudly.

“Just needs a new layer of plaster,” the Doctor stated.

“We still have a few more repairs to do before we plaster,” Jack reminded.

“But first, we eat,” Rose said. “I’m starving.”

Carefully stepping over the tools on the floor, she headed for the door, not caring if they were following her or not.

Jack laughed, coming up behind her, “Eating for two does that to you.”

“Three you, mean,” Rose corrected, patting her belly. “There’s two in here, remember?”

“Right, how can I forget,” Jack grinned. “All the more reason to eat as much as you like, of whatever you like.”

“Not of whatever she likes,” the Doctor argued.

“Spoilsport,” Jack said in Rose’s defence.

The Doctor had at least ceased hovering over her constantly, but was still vigilant of her diet. He was insistent she keep her meals well rounded. That was all well and good, but she wasn’t going to avoid sweets and junk food completely.

“I’m not going to go bury myself in a mountain of chocolate and chips,” Rose argued. “Even though that does sound lovely.” Yes, that did sound wonderful. Nice salty chips with a generous soaking of vinegar. “Oh! can we go for chips?”

“It’s simple, and easy. We can pick something up at that chippy near the estates,” Jack agreed, looping his arm through her and waltzing her out the door.

He’d take her for chips whether or not the Doctor approved. The two of them would go on without him, while the Doctor stayed behind sulking, if it came to it.

The Doctor sighed in defeat. “You’re eating something with more vitamins later.”

Rose gave him a theatrical salute. “Yes, sir.”

Then she and Jack broke out into giggles.

*.*.*.*.*

It took the entire first week before they were finished repairing all the structural damage to the main house. The Doctor had only set foot into the staff flat over the garage once to be sure it didn’t need the amount of work the house did. Other than a new coat of paint and an update in appliances, it was in far better shape than the rest of the property. Perhaps that was because the worthless caretaker had lived there up until the last two years before the house was sold. Jack debated on spending one of their less strenuous evenings painting what would be his little flat, but decided to wait until he had the assistance of his friends so the job would be easier and more fun.

Early one morning the second week, Jack knocked on the door to Jackie’s flat. The Doctor greeted him alone. Rose was still sleeping and he thought it best they left her to rest. She hadn’t been sleeping as much as she should have been over the past week they’d been working on the house, and it was starting to show.

Even though she would agree that she needed her rest, Rose wouldn’t be happy if they just left her; something Jack was adamant to point out. The Doctor agreed, but still quietly shut the door behind him.

“Your funeral, then.”

They’d already moved the TARDIS into the back garden, so he and the Doctor took public transportation back to the house and got back to work. Jack set to work mixing the plaster while the Doctor wandered into the kitchen. Jack assumed he was getting something to drink out of the little mini fridge they had in the corner and thought that sounded like a good idea. Leaving the plaster for a moment he followed the Doctor only to be surprised to find the Time Lord naked from the waist up and gently setting his jumper into his jacket on top of the refrigerator.

“That’s a new look for you,” Jack grinned. “I won’t say I disapprove.”

Looking his friend over with a thorough appraisal, Jack was quite sure he completely approved of the look. The Doctor was definitely well cut, but not ridiculously so. And the way his taut muscles moved under his smooth skin... Oh yeah. He was definitely jealous of Rose.

“Have you ever tried to wash plaster out of wool?” the Doctor explained. “I like this jumper.”

Jack smirked. “It’s not so easy to wash out of jeans, either.”

The Doctor merely rolled his eyes and walked back past him toward the stairs, muttering something rude under his breath.

“Can’t blame me for trying.”

Bucket of plaster in hand, he followed the Doctor upstairs to the back room.

They’d been at work a good hour before the front door opened and slammed shut. There was a sound of boiled frustration before heavy, unhappy footsteps crossed the entry way and headed for the staircase. Rose had apparently woken up, and was as unhappy as Jack had feared.

“Why didn’t you wake me up?” Rose complained as she stomped up the stairs.

Glancing at the Doctor, Jack couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t his jumper he was saving by working topless, but his skin. If that was the case, they were about to find out how well it worked. Rose’s voice was just outside the room. Turning toward the door, Jack hoped she would have a similar reaction to the Doctor’s state of dress as he had had earlier.When she thundered into the room, he mentally began counting down her reaction.

“I’m supposed to be helping, remember?”

Three.

Two.

“It’s not like I--”

One.

Rose’s eye widened and her mouth dropped open. A bright pink flush spread over her cheeks. It was positively adorable how flustered she got, even though they’d been together for some time now. Yes, definitely the same reaction.

“Don’t just stand there,” the Doctor barked irritably. “If you want to help, help.”

Rose snapped her mouth shut and walked toward the bucket of plaster, eyes still fixed firmly on the Doctor. Her cheeks had become a much darker shade of pink. The Doctor’s nose twitched as he finally turned to meet Rose’s gaze, causing her to bite her lip and her cheeks to flush even more. If Jack wasn’t mistaken the Doctor’s breathing had increased just before he broke eye contact and broke the silence with instructions on how to use the plaster.

Quick to catch on but still lacking on technique, Rose was quickly smearing the plaster on the walls. It seemed she was not exactly worried about wall texture as much as she was about keeping herself from staring at the distraction on the other side of the room.

That same distraction closed the space between them and covered Rose’s hand with his. She jumped slightly at his sudden proximity, but slowly melted as he showed her how to smooth the plaster over the wall for a nice smooth surface. Her self-control was waning so quickly Jack probably would have excused himself within a few more moments had Rose not been the first to speak, asking him to go get something for them all to eat.

“Are you sure you don’t need me to stick around a bit longer. I’m sure I can be of help,” he teased.

Rose didn’t seem to have picked up his innuendo, or she just wasn’t interested in playing the game because she hastily insisted, “No. We’re fine.”

“Take your time,” the Doctor growled, giving up all pretense of plastering.

Grinning broadly, Jack told them to have fun and headed downstairs. Someone was getting the Doctor out of his jeans at last.

*.*.*.*.*

“Well, that’s this room christened, then,” Rose laughed, combing her fingers through her hair. Her hair elastic seemed to have vanished at some point in the last fifteen minutes.

The Doctor had a large, ridiculous grin on his face and looked positively incandescent. “Perhaps we should christen some more rooms.”

“Or actually finish those rooms so we can put furniture in them. I’d rather not doing any more christening on the floor, thanks.” There was an ornery twinkle in the Doctor’s eye that made her add, “Or the wall.”

The enthusiasm in the Doctor’s expression dimmed, until the smile itself faded. He seemed truly disappointed that they weren’t going to give it another go on the dusty, plaster splattered, drop cloth covered, floor.

“At least not until there is a bed to collapse into after.”

“Back to work then.”

There was a very high chance that they would be walked in on if they tried to go again. Jack wouldn’t be gone forever, and Mickey was supposed to arrive soon, a fact she hadn’t exactly mentioned yet.

“Yeah. Mickey’s supposed to be coming round to help,” she informed him. “Could be here at any moment.”

As if his name were a cue, the front door opened and Mickey called from the entryway, “Rose? Doctor? You here?”

Rose called back, “Up here, Mickey!”

“You’ve got plaster in your hair,” the Doctor said, picking a few dried flecks out.

With a laugh, Rose wiped a bit of it off the tip of his nose. “You’ve got some on you, too.”
Giving into impulse, she pressed a gentle kiss where the bit of plaster had been.

“Oh! Sorry,” Mickey exclaimed from the doorway. “I thought you said to come up.”

He was covering his eyes and backing away from them. The half-naked Doctor must have made him think he was walking in on more than what it was. Had he arrived a few minutes sooner, that wouldn’t have been the case. He would have walked in on exactly what he thought he was.

“Just a kiss, Mickey,” Rose reassured him.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d see tentacles or something.”

“Who’s got tentacles out,” Jack inquired hopefully, reappearing behind Mickey holding two paper bags. “Chinese?”

“Fantastic,” Rose answered.

She, the Doctor, and Mickey followed Jack downstairs to the little folding table they’d been eating their meals at. Once they’d eaten their meal, the four of them returned upstairs to get back to work. They split up to get the job done faster with fewer distractions. Jack and Rose moved to another room while Mickey and the Doctor finished the first bedroom and them moved on to start another before they called it a night.

*.*.*.*.*

It was halfway through February by the time the Doctor and Rose moved into their new house. Jackie had seen it once when they were still plastering the walls and Rose was trying to decide on paint colors while the Doctor was vetoing half of them she would suggest.

As she was taken around the house for a tour now that it was nearly completed, Jackie recognised some of the furniture she and Rose had picked out, but there were a number of antiques she hadn’t seen before. She wondered if perhaps the Doctor had more on that ship of his than she knew. There was a settee in the library that looked well loved.

“Where’d this come from then?”

“Doctor’s got enough to furnish a palace in the TARDIS,” Rose explained.

Sitting proudly on the desk was a little silver picture frame with a beautiful photograph of the Doctor and Rose smiling happily at their wedding. The image reminded Jackie that it was nearly three months since the wedding, and Rose and the Doctor still hadn’t had the party they’d promised to have so that the family could meet the Doctor properly, a point she decided to remind her daughter of.

“Cousin Mo’s been complaining that she still hasn’t gotten to meet your new husband,” she said. “You’ve never even said another word about having a party. Been months since the wedding.”

“We can still have a party, Mum,” placated Rose. “It doesn’t have to be a wedding party. It can be...”

“A housewarming party,” Jack suggested from a chair in the corner.

Jackie hadn’t even realised he’d been in the room. For some reason she had thought he was in the kitchen helping the Doctor get their dinner together.

“Yeah, a housewarming party,” Rose agreed.

“When?”

“I don’t know...” Rose looked over at the doorway where the Doctor had suddenly appeared. “Second Saturday in March?”

“Sounds good to me,” the Doctor agreed, reluctantly.

Jack offered suggestions for food while Rose found some paper to take down a list of friends and family to invite. Jackie had forgotten just how long that list could get when you started including cousins that weren’t seen as often. Everyone kept asking about Rose’s Doctor, but few had really met him, since they’d been busy with the house after the holidays.

The Doctor urged them to come eat first, but Jackie took up the pen to add a few more family friends before they left the room.

Over the most delicious roasted chicken Jackie had ever had, they discussed plans for a party. Rose loved the idea of having everyone over to see her new house, but the Doctor didn’t seem quite as enthusiastic. Jackie knew he’d only agreed to it because Rose liked the idea. If she’d wavered at all, he’d likely have been the one to refuse.

After dinner, they had a cup of tea in the sitting room. Rose chose to serve it in the tea in a beautiful china tea set adorned with tiny pink roses.

“Have you thought of any names yet?”

The Doctor and Rose exchanged a glance before Rose said, “We want to wait a little longer before we give it much thought.”

“I’ve said I would be flattered if they want to name a boy after me, but they don’t seem interested,” Jack piped in.

The Doctor rolled his eyes and stated that there was only room in the house for one Jack, and he didn’t want to take a chance his son would take after his namesake. Jackie agreed, saying it would also be too much confusion.

Eventually Rose excused herself, gave Jackie a warm hug, and went upstairs to bed. Jack talked Jackie into staying longer and they sat around discussing the plans for the party and what was left to finish on the house for another half hour or so when Jackie decided that she was going to either need to leave then or she would have to stay the night.

*.*.*.*.*

The Doctor bid farewell to Jackie before making his way upstairs after Rose. The well worn wood of the banister was warm and reassuring under his palm as he climbed the steps, carefully avoiding the fifth step even though Rose likely wasn’t asleep yet. It creaked loudly enough that it would shatter the comfortable silence.

He paused on his journey toward the bedroom he shared with Rose to look into the second bedroom on the left. The friendly TARDIS blue walls made him smile. He’d worried that color would be too dark for the little nursery, but Rose insisted. She had been correct; it was the perfect color. The two cots and a small dresser were covered in plastic as he still had to finish the mural of the Constellation of Kasterborous he’d decided to grace the ceiling with.

They still had some time to settle everything before the babies arrived.

Switching off the light, the Doctor resumed his travel down the corridor and slipped silently into the bedroom.

“I was beginning to wonder if you were going to come to bed,” Rose stated sleepily when he sat down on the foot of the bed.

“I’m not the one who needs her sleep,” he countered.

Undoing the laces, he slipped off one boot and set it down gently on the floor, followed shortly by the other.

“Can’t sleep.”

Pulling his jumper off over his head, he replied, “You haven’t even tried.”

Rose sat up, “It’s too quiet.”

It really was quiet compared to the estate. No one was shouting, no next door neighbor’s television was blaring at all hours. It was positively peaceful.

Finally out of his jeans too, the Doctor climbed into bed with her. “We’ll be fixing that soon.”

Only a few more nights left before they would have the attic finished and then he would move the TARDIS up there. If he placed her over their bedroom, Rose would be able to still hear her hum as she slept; something she reminisced about sadly from time to time. That silly little box was a big a part of her life as it was his.



Chapter 4 >>

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