Rose was bored out of her mind, even while painting her fingernails and The Doctor knew if he didn't think of something fast, she'd be trying out a new colour nail polish on him. Then he'd be in trouble and she'd be painting parts of his face as well.
"Okay Rose, why the glum face?" he finally decided to ask her. "Aren't you going to your mother's new year's party? Does she usually have one?"
"No, we usually go out, relying on her friend to give us a ride home," Rose admitted. "Mind you, he let us down badly last year, we had to walk back. He said the axle had broken on his car. Bit of a lame excuse if ya ask me?"
She carried on, only two fingernails to go so he was getting kind of desperate by this time. He'd had to wait while enough polish had dried on her other hand and now, he seemed doomed.
"Give the man the benefit of the doubt Rose," he encouraged her as he leaned on the console.
"Ya don't know him," Rose sighed. "Mum went off to one of her male friend's place so I went home on my own," she added.
"Well, make this new year special then?" he further encouraged her.
"In what way?" Rose was puzzled, delaying her painting the last but one fingernail, which was worrying him.
"Rose, what would you like to do this new year's eve?" he asked.
"Seriously? I can't believe it's only been a week since ya regenerated," she reminded him.
"I know!" he replied excitedly. "Be honest Rose, you had your doubts I was the same person."
"I've said I'm sorry," she looked up at him from what she was doing.
"Yes, well? Right, any ideas what you want to do?" he persisted.
Rose was looking thoughtful at least, he observed.
"How about doing it on another planet?" he then suggested.
"How will they know it's our new year?" Rose wanted to know.
"Mmm, good point," he had to admit. "We could go some place? Even somewhere that's already seen the new year in, like Australia? We could go join in with the crowds?"
"Really?" Rose seemed excited, he thought.
At least she'd finish painting her nails and not start on his.
"Can I choose more than one place?" she asked hopefully, so as not to miss out. "How about we go one place from each country?" she then suggested.
Then he wished he'd kept his big mouth shut, she'd surely want to go to every country she could think of.
"You mean work our way around the world?" he wanted to make sure. "Maybe the capital city?"
Now he was getting worried and wondered what he'd started. Still, he had only himself to blame for it.
"Why don't you hurry up and finish what you're doing while I work out where to start?" he asked her, wondering how good she was at geography.
Rose agreed and finished the last nail while The Doctor was running around the console, trying to look busy so she didn't change her mind at the last minute.
"Right, off you go and get changed. Wear something warm," he suggested.
"Just how is this gonna work?" Rose wondered, blowing on her nail polish.
"Don't worry, it just will," he promised her.
As Rose went off to get changed, her mobile rang.
"Rose! Are you two coming round tonight?" Jackie wanted to know.
"Well, we were gonna go off somewhere," Rose admitted.
"But we always celebrate together," Jackie reminded her. "Is it always gonna be you two disappearing on me every year?"
"Mum, we were there for Christmas," Rose reminded her.
"Only 'cos he was unconscious most of the time," Jackie argued. "Where are ya anyway?"
"How would I know?" Rose replied cheekily, wanting to go get changed.
The Doctor had heard Rose's phone ringing and had guessed who it was. After all, only Jackie Tyler would be checking up where Rose was when they were about to celebrate the new year. He just hoped all the trouble he was going through to organize them seeing in the new year in every country on Earth wouldn't go to waste.
He already had something in mind to surprise Rose since she knew about the rest but it would take some co-operation from the Tardis herself. He knew though that he could rely on the old girl where Rose was concerned, she was the ship's favourite companion by far.
He went back to what he was doing and then sat back waiting for Rose to return. Rose had finally got her mother to back down by reminding her what had happened last year.
"Well it wasn't my fault what happened," Jackie had defended herself.
"I know Mum but ya went off when we eventually got back."
"Well we'd spent all night with each other," Jackie had reminded her. "Ya got home, didn't ya?"
Then Rose remembered something, tucked away in the back of her mind.
"Well, there was something odd happened, after I walked in the opposite direction to you," she had to admit.
"Rose, did ya go off to Mickey's?" Jackie wanted to know.
"What? No Mum, I didn't," Rose had huffed. "No, there was this noise, in the shadows, by the bins."
"What kind of noise?" her mother asked.
"Like a moaning? It was hard to tell so I asked if someone was there," Rose replied.
"Ya should have run off home Rose," Jackie told her. "Did anyone answer ya?"
Rose thought trust her mother would want all the details.
"Not now Mum, The Doctor's waitin' for me," she tried to get out of it.
"Well I want details Madam," Jackie insisted.
So Rose had escaped and quickly got changed, putting on jeans and a thick sweater then her jacket on top. She was sure The Doctor would make fun of her, especially if they were to go somewhere warm.
"There you are?" The Doctor observed as he sprung to his feet as Rose emerged from the corridor. "What took you so long?"
"My mum," Rose grinned, though she was sure he'd heard her phone ringing. "Actually, I wanted to ask ya something?"
"Ask away," he grinned back, going back to the console, just for show.
Was he going to regret asking what it was?
"Well, I just wondered if, well more like when we're out together, we can be more like girlfriend and boyfriend?" she asked nervously.
That made him stop what he was doing.
"Ah. Well?" he stuttered, not liking being put on the spot. "How exactly?"
"Ya know? I mean we could walk around hand in hand, link arms and maybe sneak the odd kiss or two?" she replied teasingly.
Rassilon, what was she trying to do to him, he wondered. He could cope with walking hand in hand and arm in arm.
"You mean every time we go somewhere?" he wanted to make sure he'd heard her right.
"Well yeah? Whatcha think?" she dared ask him.
Normally he didn't form any romantic relationships with any of his female companions though some had wanted him to be their boyfriend in some certain regenerations. Had Rose waited until he'd regenerated again before asking or did she have something in mind with his last one and never got the chance?
Maybe he was best not asking her? He had to give her the benefit of the doubt.
"Rose, I think we do okay as we are," he tried to avoid answering directly.
"Well yeah but sometimes, I just wanna feel like we're more than friends," Rose replied, trying not to blush.
"Well, yes, I thought that as well," he admitted, delaying their departure for a whirlwind tour of various new year celebrations, though why she didn't watch it on TV, he didn't know. "I like to think we are special friends."
"You do? Then why can't we step it up a bit?" she wanted to know.
Even if he tried, he'd never be able to give her a satisfactory answer apart from yes. Would it do any actual harm? Maybe in the past he'd put up too many defenses so he wouldn't be hurt when they all left. Was it time to let his guard down?
"I see no reason why not," he finally replied, making Rose think he was ignoring her question.
"Really?" Rose sounded surprised. "Great."
"One thing though. We're not going to do the whole dating thing are we? I mean where I call for you and bring flowers and chocolates and we go places?" he began to worry, having never been on a date in his recent life.
"Well not all the time," Rose teased him, dying to run her fingers through his thick brown hair.
The Doctor knew he had to start being able to tell when she was teasing him. Rose stepped up to him, making both his hearts start racing. Had they ever slowed down since he'd met her?
"You owe me a Christmas kiss," she whispered in his ear.
"I do?" he asked cautiously. "I mean I do," he corrected himself.
Rose touched his lips ever so lightly and he knew he was already in trouble. He may have got close to women over the last 900 years but this was unknown territory to the new him. The kisses got longer, delaying them even further but neither of them seemed to mind.
"Rose," The Doctor brought them back to reality. "This is very nice but I thought we were going somewhere?"
"Mmm? Oh yeah, sorry," Rose replied, still holding on to him. "So, did I convince ya?"
"Most certainly," he had to admit.
How could he possibly resist now he'd responded to her kisses?
"So, we're a couple, right?" Rose wanted to make sure.
He was in no position to deny it now so he had to agree. He'd been far worse than Rose Tyler's boyfriend in his time. He finally got free enough to set the Tardis in flight after just hanging around in the precinct and set the co-ordinates for their first stop. He'd worked out the route they were going to take, giving the different time zones they would pass through. The Tardis seemed pleased they had finally got their acts together and had their first kiss so she was only too happy to do as he asked. He had picked the capital city of each country, going back in time slightly where needed or going forward.
Rose got more excited at the displays as they went around the world, especially the fireworks that were launched from the top of towers and spread even further. As they got back in the Tardis, the kisses became more frequent, making Rose giggle and saying they had best break the news to her mother when they got back.
"Do I need to be worried?" he had to ask her, knowing what Jackie was capable of, having experienced it first hand.
"Nah, I think she'll take it well," Rose insisted.
He could only pray she was right. Each time they landed somewhere and Rose stared at the displays, The Doctor started getting some uneasy feelings but said nothing to her. He just wanted to please her and so far, all was going according to plan. Now all he had to do was think about the big finale.
He had just thought of something that Rose would never forget as they got to their final destination – London, England, in particular Trafalgar Square. Rose jumped into his arms when she saw where he'd landed the Tardis and whispered a 'thanks' into his ear. When the celebrations were over, Rose was totally exhausted and wanted to go to her room.
Now was his chance to put the final touches to his plan to surprise Rose. They kissed goodnight, stopping outside her room to do so.
"Aw, thanks, that was great," Rose told him.
"I'm glad you enjoyed it. So, any plans for tomorrow?" he wanted to know as Rose yawned again.
"We could see my mum and tell her?" she suggested. Then she saw the look on his face. "We might as well get it over with."
"Does she watch old movies all day?" he then wondered, making Rose smile.
"We don't have to stay," she promised.
So, a few hours later and on New Year's Day, they went to visit Jackie, who when she'd stopped making a fuss, wanted to know why they were there. He thought it was just like her to get to the point. Then Rose gave the game away by reaching for his hand as he sat on the chair arm.
"Have you two got something to tell me?" Jackie wanted to know.
"Yeah Mum," Rose started to admit.
"Well at least he looks more your age," Jackie admitted when she'd got over the initial shock. "So are ya staying for a while?"
When they finally escaped, once back in the Tardis, The Doctor admitted he still had one more surprise for her.
"There's one more thing I want you to see before we go on our next adventure. Trust me, you'll never have seen anything like it before."
"Oh, I don't know? Paris was pretty amazing," Rose had to smile as she remembered. "Are we going back there?"
"We can but not now eh? Rose, I have something very special to show you. You know how much you mean to me?"
"Aw, yeah, 'course I do, Doctor," Rose smiled as she put her arms around his slim waist and her head on his shoulder.
He kissed her hair and she looked up at him.
"You're the first woman I've let get close to me in a very long time," he admitted, holding onto her.
"What about back home?" Rose asked him.
"I've not been able to go back there since the time war. I lost everything Rose," he told her sadly. "There's no-one left, except me."
"Well, ya me now," she reminded him.
"Yes, I have. Thank you Rose. Well, ready to be surprised?" he asked her, trying not to stay gloomy for his little surprise.
Rose kissed his cheek so he assumed he could go ahead. A few minutes later, he led her to the double doors after making sure the Tardis would protect them once they were open. They looked down at the Earth, holding hands and a few seconds later, it was like the whole world was exploding at once into the most colourful display anyone had ever seen.
Rose let go of his hand to put it over her mouth.
"Wow! That's amazing," she told him, trying to keep from jumping up and down.
"Only the best for you. So, tell me what you and your mother did last year," he encouraged her.
After a few more minutes, the spectacular display dying down, he closed the doors and they went to sit down.
"We went to a party at the pub," Rose admitted. "It was okay I supposed but nothing will top this year Doctor."
"I'm glad you enjoyed it. So, this party you went to?" he reminded her.
"Well we got back and mum disappeared to some bloke's flat and I went off to ours," she began to tell him. "I was just passing the bins when I heard a noise."
"I hope you were careful?" he wanted to know. "Was someone there?"
"I'm gettin' to that," Rose replied, taking his hand. "I forget exactly but I remember asking if whoever it was had drunk too much and they answered by saying something like that. Then he asked what year it was. It was a bit odd really."
"Sounds like it," he had to agree. "You told whoever it was what the year was?"
"Well yeah, then I said happy new year and he said it back and I went off. Why did that just come back to me?" she wondered.
"I have no idea," he told her as he tried to think of something.
"The voice sounded a bit like yours," she suddenly told him. "Wouldn't that make it a paradox?"
"You have learned something," The Doctor smiled. "Tell you something though Rose," he added as he took her hand to help her up. "Go get some rest eh? It's been a long day, especially listening to your mother."
"Oi," Rose had to laugh at him spending hours in her mother's company.
He escorted her to her room door and they stopped to kiss.
"Ya can come in if ya want?" she invited him.
"Ah. Well? I don't want it to seem like we're rushing things," he made the excuse, thinking he'd best take it slowly.
"How can we?" Rose wanted to know. "We've been traveling together for a while now. It makes no difference to me that ya changed."
"It doesn't?" he wanted to make sure.
"No, you 'nana, it doesn't," she laughed. "Ya still the same and I'm sorry I never believed it was you at first. Am I forgiven then?"
"Yes, indeed – Rose Tyler. You are forgiven. Maybe I'll come in for a few minutes then?" he relented.
He knew the reason he was so reluctant. Getting close to someone would leave him even more hearts-broken than if they were just friends but for Rose Tyler? Well maybe he could make an exception, only time would tell.