It was time. He’d nearly lost her again. Not just her, but the Tardis as well. The universe was clearly telling him to make the most of the time he had, because ‘curse of the Time Lords’ or not, he could still lose Rose. It was just the way of their life, it was dangerous now and again, and they couldn’t change that, not when there were people and planets out there that needed saving. A better man would take Rose home and tell her he wouldn’t risk her life anymore, but he knew he couldn’t do that. Not only would Rose not stand for it, no delicate flower was his Rose, ironically, and wouldn’t put up with him doing what he thought was best if she thought differently, but he just honestly couldn’t make himself do it. He needed her, plain and simple.
He knew about Rose’s feelings for him. Welllll… he was pretty sure. He had a fairly good idea. But it never hurt to double check. So, when they landed for their next adventure, he resolved to ask.
Standing side by side on the planet Duvoreskrag, where he’d taken her to see the flying whales (not that they were actually whales, but that was their closest Earth equivalent), he looked to his right, drinking in the sight of her in that fur-trimmed jacket, her hair loose and flowing the slight breeze, he asked,
“How long are you gonna stay with me?”
He was proud of himself. His voice hadn’t even squeaked or betrayed the slightest tremor of nerves. She looked at him, giving the full force of her copper colored gaze which metaphorically melted his insides every time.
A broad smile spread across his face, which was answered with a smile of her own. Now, he knew for sure. But he couldn’t just go blundering in. Rose deserved a proper courtship.
He thought about it for a moment. A Gallifreyan courtship held many levels, several of which were now obsolete since the planet was gone (he spared a moment for his guilt, but not too long, he had plans to make), but he thought that perhaps the steps could be adapted to fit their situation. He reached back into his long memory, it had been a long time since he’d had to recall this particular list… Even before his first regeneration.
The first instruction made him internally cringe, but he would do it. For Rose.
For the rest of the day, which included helping a lost baby Kalestor return to its pod (and enjoying a ride through the air on its back with Rose’s hair in the Doctor’s face), he planned and plotted. Obviously, he’d have to skip the ten years of celibacy, he’d already been celibate long enough for both of them and then some…