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With Both Hearts

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The Doctor stared at the monitor for an undetermined amount of time. Even he, the Time Lord, couldn't have said how much time had gone by. The only thing he seemed to be able to focus on, as of late, was a certain date that predicted his death. Not just regeneration, but actual death. Termination. Secession. Demise. Eradication. Extermination. Obliteration. Annihilation. Repose. Worst yet: Silence. He had been searching for a way to keep this from happening, but no matter where he looked, it seemed the event was a fixed point in time. He heard someone approaching the console and turned off the monitor, swinging it away from him, and began to fiddle with the controls. When the footsteps stilled, he turned around, smile already plastered on his face.

The sight of Rose Tyler wearing his shirt and nothing else was something he'd never grow tired of, even if soon he might never see it again. "What are you doing up, love?" he asked, climbing up the steps and wrapping his arms around her. He pressed a kiss to the top of her blonde head. His precious girl had just experienced another 'rejuvenation' as she jokingly called it less than forty-eight hours ago and should be resting.

"Sophie just called." She snuggled into his chest and his hearts thudded, working overtime at the sensation of her nearness. Her arms came around him, thumbs curling into his belt loops- loops he never used except when the TARDIS hid his favourite set of braces.

"Is something wrong?" he asked worriedly. They had become quite close with Sophie Campbell and Craig Owens after the incident with Craig's alien flatmate. They'd even helped the human couple realise their feelings for one another. The two had tied the knot a few months in the Doctor and Rose's linear time, March 2011 in actual Earthtime, if he remembered correctly. Though the ceremony itself had gone off without a hitch, the luncheon that followed had been interrupted by a slug-like alien who had attached itself to a virile male in order to impregnate as many women as possible to continue his lineage. Thankfully, the Doctor had stopped it before it got to Rose, whom it'd chosen as its first 'mate'. His thoughts darkened and he gripped Rose tighter.

"No. She's pregnant." Rose tilted her head up from his chest and grinned up at him.

He eyes widened in alarm. "Did the Goilresjep get to her?" he questioned, panicked. Springing away from Rose, he moved to the centre of the room to set coordinates to the Owens' household, thankful for the distraction. Rose was getting closer and closer to figuring out what he'd been hiding from her. Thanks to their bond, he knew she knew he was keeping something from her, and it had caused a bit of a rift between them. She'd backed down for now, but the Doctor knew it was only a matter of time before she pried again and he didn't think he had it in him to continue holding this secret from her. She deserved to know. It didn't have to be right this moment, though, did it?

Rose laughed. "I'm pretty sure you stopped it before it could get to anyone. Sophie and Craig are expecting their first child! She just went to the doctor's last week to confirm. Thought we could pop over for a visit."

"Sounds like a plan!" He was stretched out all over the console, one foot keeping a lever down, three of his right fingers pushing five different buttons, and his left hand turning the dial as his left foot kept him balanced on the glass floor. "Rose, be a dear would you and get to the-" He gestured with his chin towards the break. "Ready?" he asked and when she confirmed, he ordered, "Now!"

With a shake, they landed more smoothly than they had in months.

"Now, shall we?" He grabbed his tweed jacket from the coat rack.

"Doctor?"

When Rose didn't move away from the console, he rolled his eyes and came up to grab her hand and drag her towards the door. "Maybe we should stop by somewhere and grab a present? Though maybe not from this century… Could always stop by Ierfjk in the thirty-third century later. They have some of the safest baby products in the universe. Maybe clothes? Oh, Rose! We can get them the baby's first pair of chucks! Tiny converse, what could be better?"

"Clothes, Doctor."

"Oh, sure, I suppose clothes are great, but better? Really, Rose, you of all people should appreciate the beauty of nudi…oh." He turned around as he remembered that Rose was only wearing his pink shirt.

"Give me five minutes, yeah?" She gave him a tongue-touched grin.

"Sure you don't need any help?" he asked innocently. "Clothes can be quite tricky and…" He trailed off, pouting as she flitted away towards their room.

Fifteen minutes later, the Doctor and Rose (fully clothed in a pair of thick khaki trousers and a hoodie, much to the Doctor's disappointment) were knocking on the Owens' new resident.

"Rose!" An older-looking and pregnant blonde opened the door and hugged the younger-looking blonde before embracing the Doctor as well, kissing him on each cheek. "Doctor! You should have called!"

"But you just got off the phone with Rose!" the Doctor commented, closing the door once they were all inside.

"That was almost two months ago!"

He frowned, ignoring Rose's pointed look. "So where's Craig?" He looked around, hoping to escape what was sure to be female talk of baby clothes, diapers, and other humany things (not that Rose ever thought of those things or was quite human anymore for that matter, but she was female).

"He's at work; I was just about to go do some shopping before visiting my mum," Sophie informed them as she led them into the house.

Rose apologised, "We should have phoned ahead. I'm sorry. I thought the Doctor had used my mobile to bring us to the right time." She shot him another look that he most definitely did not see.

"No, no. Why don't you stick around and make yourselves at home It shouldn't take me more than a couple of hours and Craig should be home soon," she insisted at the couple as they entered the living room.

"We wouldn't want to impose," Rose hesitated even as the Doctor settled himself on the couch, stretching his legs onto the coffee table and bringing his hands behind his head. She nudged his legs down with hers and looked at him sternly.

Sophie waved her off. "Of course you wouldn't be. I just feel awful for leaving you… Maybe I should call my mum and-"

"Don't do that for us, Sophie," Rose insisted. "Go enjoy your time with your mum. I promise you'll come back to the place still in one piece." This time the Doctor couldn't pretend he hadn't seen the sharp look she gave him.

While Rose walked Sophie to the door, the Doctor decided to explore and wandered up the stairs. He smelled something… not quite chemicals, but a familiar compound that… oh! He looked into the bare room with newspaper strewn all across the floor, sealed buckets gathered in one corner along with sponged rollers, bristle brushes, and aluminum trays. He grinned widely and shed his jacket, unbuttoning the little buttons on his wrists, and pushing his sleeves up over his elbows. He was just pouring the blue paint (almost TARDIS-blue, but not quite) when he heard Rose calling for him. "Up here!" he hollered, giddy at the prospect of helping his friends out with their project.

"Doctor, you better not be making any messes. I am not going to be picking up after you," he heard her scolding when she got to the second floor. "Oh!"

"What do you think, Rose Tyler? Up for a little renovating?" He swung the brush and splattered some drops against the opposite wall. "Whoops."

Rose shook her head, but he could see the smile playing on the corner of her lips. "Well, looks like I have no choice. Left to your own devices, you might decide to sonic the paint or something and blow up the place!" She shrugged out of her hoodie, revealing a white vest.

"Oi! That was one time and it only singed your hair a bit." He was most definitely not staring at her chest, the lacy, green-plaid bra showing through her vest.

"Doctor, I had to have four inches of my hair cut so it could be even." She bent down to dunk a roller into the tray already filled with paint.

"Did a good job of cutting it, though, didn't I? And I touched up your dye." He shook his head and tore his gaze from her shapely bum, taking the brush in hand to start painting the edges the rollers wouldn't be able to reach.

With the two of them, they made quick work. Of course, with his superior biology, his steady hands made quick work of completing the frame, all without staining the white border. his hands steady as h. He was just about to exchange the brush for a roller to help Rose with the walls (she was only halfway done with one of them) when he stepped wrong and slipped on the newspaper. He quickly stuck his hands out, one landing right in the tray while the other fell on top of the brush he'd just dropped.

Rose gasped and he saw her crouching down beside him. "Are you alright, love?"

Only his ability to control his biology saved him the dignity of having a normal reaction such as blushing. Though how much dignity he had left after this fall, he wasn't sure. "Just fine. Must have been a slippery paper, that's all." He smiled when he felt her kiss his temple and send him a wave of love, tinged with amusement, before she continued painting. Getting up, he was just about to dive into his pocket to grab the sonic to clean himself up when he looked down at his hands and thought of a more creative way to get most of the wet paint off.

Heading to the next wall that was still bare, he pressed his hands on the white space before grabbing the brushed newly dipped in fresh paint before writing out a few letters. He was just about to spell out another word when Rose, who had been focussed on the task at hand, finally looked at him when they crossed paths, her paint job meeting his.

"Doctor, what are you doing?" She grinned, staring at the I and her first name spelled out with two hearts between them, and the beginnings of her last name.

"What does it look like I'm doing? This way little Owen or Sophie will forever know that his or her godfather loves his or her godmother."

"Jumping the gun aren't you?"

"I dunno, Rose. We have been together for over a thousand years. I think declaring how much I love you shouldn't seem too farfetched, even with my, what was it Donna called it? Emotionally-stunted addled brain?" he teased.

"You know very well what I mean." She crossed her arms, being careful with the roller.

"What? We're the ones who helped them along. Shouldn't we get first dibs in being the child's godparents?"

"Isn't being a godfather a little too domestic for you?" she shot at him.

"I think 'too domestic' flew out the window the moment you stepped into my TARDIS a universe away."

"Never stopped you from complaining, though, did it?"

Now he knew she was just taking the mickey out of him. He closed the space between them and Rose shrieked with laughter when he wrapped his arms around her, leaving two large blue handprints on her waist.

Wiggling out of his hold, she dashed the short distance to the tray and dipped her hands in before turning around and placing her own blue hands right over his chest, leaving two handprints right where his two hearts beat below.

The Doctor held her hands there, lowering his head to take her lips with his. They stayed like that for quite some time, his two organs beating steadily under her warm palms. "Rose Tyler," he spoke, voice husky from their current activity, "know that, no matter what happens, these two hearts will always, always belong to you." Before she could question him, he distracted her with another passionate embrace, leaving no room to doubt that the Doctor belonged to Rose Tyler, truly and irrevocably. The universe could go to hell, but this fact would never change.