Spoilers?: Through season 4.
Characters/Pairings: Ten2/Rose, Jackie, Tony
Summary: Rose wants to take her brother to see Barcelona, Jackie is maternally outraged, and the Doctor really just wants a snack.
Excerpt: “No one’s going to eat him, Mum,” said Rose, around the same time the Doctor said, “what is it with you lot and Martians?”
“Absolutely not!” was the first thing the Doctor heard when he wandered into the Tyler kitchen, shrieked by Jackie at a pitch that he supposed could probably wake the dead, or at least cause them to stir a little.
First, he considered the outcome of a yelling match between Jackie and Donna. He imagined new units of measure would need to be invented just to determine the volume the pair would reach.
Then he considered that he really wasn’t that hungry, and if the only food that happened to be left on the TARDIS was three Oreos and a can of V8, well, at least he’d be getting two servings of vegetables. So he turned on his heel, eager to make a swift exit before Jackie could bear down on him for whatever it was she was absolutely not!ing about, when –
“Oh, and I suppose this was your idea, was it?”
Curses, foiled again.
He froze and sighed, turning back around with all the enthusiasm of someone on death row. “Well that depends – what idea was this?”
It was only then that he noticed Rose was there at all, no doubt the instigator of this unfortunate argument. “I was telling Mum about Barcelona,” she said carefully, obviously waiting for him to make some sort of connection and leap into the verbal fray, brandishing his mighty wit with expertise and finesse.
The problem was he had more or less no idea what she was talking about, and so he looked from one Tyler to the next and said, quite eloquently, “Er.”
Rose continued impatiently. “And how we said we were gonna bring Tony?” She raised her eyebrows. “Remember?”
Truthfully, he did remember. He also remembered saying “oh, absolutely” in the same way one might agree to drop everything for a spur-of-the-moment vacation or accept an invitation to a party they had absolutely no intention of attending. “Right! Yes! Of course!”
Jackie narrowed her eyes, obviously in full-on Mother Bear Mode. The Doctor quickly calculated the distance between them in order to assure himself he was out of arm’s reach.
“And I’m telling you, absolutely not. I’m not letting you two waltz a ten-year-old into some end-of-the-world crisis half-way across the bloody galaxy!”
Rose rolled her eyes, her attention back on her mother. “It’s not gonna be the end of the world, Mum, it’s just a trip. S’perfectly safe.”
Jackie glared. “Oh, don’t give me that, the two of you could find danger at the supermarket.”
The Doctor had to admit that she was probably right; Rose, however, just shook her head resolutely.
“D’you think we’re stupid, Mum? If there’s trouble we’ll take him home, simple as that.” She caught the Doctor’s eye as if to say even though we’d head straight back. “Anyway, it’s safe. We were just there! No aliens with secret agendas or civil wars or invasions or political unrest or anything!”
“Actually it was sort of dull,” said the Doctor, mostly to himself.
The two identical glares he received suggested that his remark did not go as unnoticed as he’d hoped.
“Lots of dogs, though!” he added, as though dogs might be the swing vote. This Pete’s first Jackie’d had a dog, after all, hadn’t she? “Dogs with no noses.”
As it happened, dogs with no noses were not a deciding factor in Jackie Tyler’s assessment of safety. She turned her incredibly accurate impression of Medusa towards him, and he instinctively pulled further away from her.
“I don’t care if there’s giraffes with no necks, you’re not taking him anywhere!” Jackie wheeled around to direct the stare at her daughter. “Honestly, he’s your brother, you wouldn’t think you’d be so eager get him eaten by some Martian!”
“No one’s going to eat him, Mum,” said Rose, around the same time the Doctor said, “what is it with you lot and Martians?”
Of course, he immediately regretted speaking at all, as it only served to remind Jackie of his presence.
“And you!” she exclaimed in her best impression of a banshee. “Isn’t abducting one of my children enough for you?”
“I don’t abduct people,” he objected instantly, feeling that bit of semantic inaccuracy was simply too much to let go. “Honestly, Martians and abducting, that’s all it ever is with you people. One little H. G. Wells book and you’re all--”
Jackie didn’t seem to be listening; instead she kept on scowling, flapping her arms like some kind of enraged chicken. “First time you take her, she’s gone for a bloody year! It’s nice to know at least one of my kids is on Earth in the proper time, I’m not waiting around for you two to bring Tony home a year from now –“
“That was a simple navigational error,” the Doctor noted. “Could happen to anyone.”
There was a beat of silence before Jackie leapt forward, swiping at him with one of her overgrown enraged chicken wings; instinctively he flinched and raised his arms to protect his face. Jackie took that opportunity to hit him in the ribs.
“A navigational error? I thought she was dead for a year!”
Rose – fantastically brave girl that she was – made the very noble decision to move between her mother and the Doctor, shielding him from further harm. He felt just slightly ridiculous as he lowered his arms.
“We won’t be gone a year, Mum. And you can call.” She smiled at him over her shoulder, then turned the charming grin on her mother. “Besides, he’s gotten better at driving.”
The Doctor’s mouth dropped open at Rose’s betrayal. “Oi!”
Jackie rolled her eyes. “Ohhh, ‘course he has, that’s why the two of you came for Christmas dinner in January.”
Rose pressed her lips together to hold back a laugh. The Doctor folded his arms across his chest and scowled.
“Well, out of everywhere in time and space, a couple weeks off is pretty good, really.”
Rose’s shoulders twitched in a slightly suspicious manner, but she managed to keep the snicker out of her voice when she said, “Really, Mum, we’ll bring him right back. Promise.”
Jackie remained skeptical, still giving the Doctor what qualified as the “evil eye” over Rose’s shoulder. “Yeah, that’s what he said.”
“And I did!” he insisted, peering over the top of his human shield’s head. He could hardly be blamed for the fact that Rose had refused to stay put.
Jackie ignored him, looking instead at Rose. “Thought you were gonna stay here now – then he grows another one of those things and it’s—“
“Wha--the TARDIS isn’t a thing!” he yelped instantly, automatically horrified at the mere implication that his beautiful, living time-and-spaceship was anything less than beautiful and living.
Rose’s elbow found its way into his stomach with more force than the Doctor supposed was strictly necessary, and she gave her mother an apologetic smile. “I know, Mum, but – look, we’ll bring Tony right back, I promise, he’ll hardly be gone three hours, I just want to share this with him, he’d love it.”
But Jackie Tyler’s resolve was firm. Hands on her hips, she shook her head resolutely. “No. Absolutely not! One child floating around God knows where is plenty enough to be worrying about!”
Rose looked back at the Doctor, obviously in search of moral support; unwilling to further engage Jackie in any more verbal sparring and uneager to face her wrath should the tiniest amount of harm befall her youngest, the Doctor only shrugged.
Sensing her defeat, Rose sighed. “Fine.” She didn’t say, we’ll wait until he’s older, but the Doctor was confident she was thinking it.
Satisfied with her victory, Jackie nodded. “Good! Now don’t go mentioning this to Tony, I don’t want to have to listen to him beg me to let him go –”
“Let me go where?” came a new voice entirely as the youngest Tyler poked his head around the kitchen door.
In the melee that followed of Rose’s eager explanation, Tony’s instant begging and Jackie’s fervent forbidding, the Doctor was lucky enough to manage grabbing a muffin as he slunk unnoticed from the room.
This was one bit of domestics that even Donna’s genes couldn’t make him less eager to avoid.