She takes his hand and stands rather awkwardly on the fireplace as they spin. He's almost worried that her dress will be too large for the TARDIS doors, but she moves to the side and steps in. Her eyes widen.
"It is larger on the inside," she says, her voice awed.
"Yep! Bigger on the inside and twice as strong," the Doctor hops towards the console. "Mickey, Rose, I believe you've met Reinette."
Reinette puts her bag down to her side and curtsies. Mickey looks confused and Rose starts to toy with her hair.
"She's---I mean, you're coming with us?" she asks.
"Would you rather I did not?" Reinette demands, and her tone holds a very slight tone of insult.
"I didn't say that," Rose snaps back. "I was just asking!" And to the Doctor, "Is she?"
"Why not?" the Doctor grins. "Not like the TARDIS isn't big enough, am I right?"
From the look Rose gives Reinette, he wonders if it is.
She takes the room three down from Rose, six away from the Doctor's room. She only knocks on his door once, when she asks if there's a lavatory of some sort. He knew he forgot to make something part of the tour.
Rose and Reinette haven't quite learned how to get along. It's gotten rather frustrating, actually. There's a rather heavy tension between them, which Mickey seems to find amusing. That young man finds the strangest things amusing.
They do a bit of traveling. Things Reinette might know, first. Shakespeare. The moon. She steps on its surface with her Pompadour heels and doesn't fall.
"You know, when they made 'Earth to the Moon', I don't think they were talkin' about this," Rose says. She's been very frustrated with Reinette's vast knowledge. It's possible she feels intimidated by the new companion. Like she is less in the Doctor's eyes.
"What do you mean?" Reinette tilts her head to the side. "Is that a book?"
"It's a movie."
"What is that?"
"Wrong time era, Rose, remember?" the Doctor points out. "Can't expect Reinette to have traveled everywhere you have."
Reinette nods. "There are many things I am learning." Which, of course, implies that there were things she did not know. Quite a step, he believes.
Rose even seems to approve. She takes a step forward and takes Reinette's hand. "We've all got a bit to learn."
He exits his room many days later and she's standing by her door, looking confused and hopeful all at once. She's in blue jeans and a pink t-shirt and her hair is down and long. She looks very different from the regal woman in complicated dresses who has been wandering the TARDIS corridors all these days.
"Do you like it?" she asks. "Rose informed me the color suits me well. I've never seen anything in this shade of…pink before."
He smiles. "You look just fine," he promises. The knowledge that she's been talking to Rose elates him. He thought they'd never get on.
"Well enough for a trip to Rose's time, I think," she says, firmly. Not a question, more a very firm suggestion.
"Really. I wish to see these things she talks of. Movies. Like plays but on a piece of screening."
He grins widely and offers her his arm. "Always the theatrical one aren't you, Reinette?"
"Well enough to---" she searches for the word, "---'blend in' far better than you, Fireplace Man."
He takes them all to the 21st century, then eventually to the early 20th century. A fair, which is an absurd amount of fun, even for the Doctor who doesn't want to admit that it is.
Rose takes his hand for a while, then wanders off with Mickey and Reinette takes his hand.
"She loves you, you know," she says quietly to him as she eats a few bits of candy floss.
He nods, slowly, watching Rose throw darts at a board and miss terribly. "I know."
Reinette nudges him in the side with her hip. "I'm not one to give up the things that I desire, but it would be wholly wrong of me to pursue you while a friend I love dearly desires you as well. I have given up the ways I followed before and don't believe I must fight so hard all of the time."
He turns to look at her in confusion, but she's not having any of that. "You are far from blind, Angel. Even I know this."
She stands on the tiptoes of her converse shoes and presses a kiss to his cheek. "Life is very short, even for you, Time Lord. No one knows this more than I. Do not waste what time you do have."
By the time he gets up the nerve to say a few things, he can't find his female companions. He hears a few noises in Reinette's room and, naturally, opens the door. Reinette is coughing on the bed and Rose looks completely terrified.
"Doctor, she's coughing up blood," she says. "Please, we have to get her help!"
He thinks about the timeline for under a minute, then turns, bolting for the console. Timelines aren't always right, and he's not about to let her die. Not when he can stop it.
He takes them to New New Earth, best doctors that specialize in humans. The Doctor holds Rose's hand as they wait for test results.
"Never thought I'd find a mate in her, you know?" she says. "I can see why you like her so much."
"You all…" Mickey rolls his eyes, but he drums his fingers nervously against the side of the waiting chair. He's grown to like her, too. They've become a bit of a family. It's strange, he thinks. Two humans from the 21st century, a courtesan from the 18th, and a Time Lord all bonding and finding happiness within each other.
Under the care of the doctors on New New Earth, Reinette heals. They hop back into the TARDIS and travel again. No need to stop, they're always moving.
"You all right?" Rose asks, tilting her head to the side.
He looks up from the screen to his companion. They would've made good friends, he thinks. Reinette would've seen through the Doctor's coldness and made him act on emotions. Mickey would've grown up a bit in order to fit in with her.
But he was too late.
Timing, of course.
Still, he sees what was, what is, whatever could be. He knows that asking her to come along was the right decision. It doesn't make the reality hurt less.
"I'm always all right."
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,112