It had been months since Reinette joined the TARDIS crew. Two agonizing, painful, ridiculously horrific months. Rose had reached something very near a breaking point.
Bloody stupid Madame de Pompadour. Perfect hair and teeth and manners and all that. She never even looked at Rose, only paid perfect attention to the Doctor. All but hung on him, Rose thought.
The Doctor was, of course, oblivious. Even now, as they sat in the recreational room, watching some movie on Sappho or whatever (Reinette's choice, because everything was Reinette's choice), Reinette leaned against the Doctor, oblivious to Rose's discomfort.
"Quit starin' at them," Mickey grumbled, "You're ruining it."
"Ruining what?" Rose looked back to the screen in time to see a rather explicit lesbian sex scene unfold. Mickey grinned. The Doctor appeared to be fascinated with some bit of electronics in his hands. Reinette leaned more into him and watched the screen with interest.
"Quit starin' at them!"
The movie ended (thank God), and Rose scurried from the small theater. The others followed, the Doctor a bit behind, he'd lost a bit of electronics somewhere in the carpet.
"Did you enjoy the movie?" Reinette asked, leaning a bit against the doorframe.
Rose spun around, all but growling at the other woman, "If you're trying to make me uncomfortable by makin' me watch---" she gestured at the screen, "---that sort of thing around the Doctor and Mickey, you're wrong."
"Indeed," Reinette replied, her voice lilting with amusement, "You seemed much more interested in myself and the Doctor than the bodies on-screen."
With that, the French woman breezed past Rose towards her own room. Rose seethed with hatred. Mickey sighed with frustration. The Doctor appeared, grinning madly as he held up a tiny chip.
"Found it! Now, I've got a string on my right forefinger which means I'm supposed to remember something. What am I supposed to remember?"
"Rose's birthday," Mickey said.
"Oh! Right! Of course! I'd never forget that!"
Rose sighed, her eyes still boring into the spot from which Reinette left, "It's nothing, Doctor. Just land in April at any time and we'll celebrate it then."
"No!" The Doctor shook his head firmly, "No, nonononononono. We'll pick a fancy restaurant; Mickey will remind the waiter it's your birthday---"
"---and we'll all have a lovely time! It'll be brilliant, yeah?"
"Does Reinette have to come?" Rose asked.
The Doctor's eyebrows knitted together, "'Course she does. Why wouldn't Reinette come, don't you like her?"
Oh, great. This would become an argument, and Rose wasn't in the mood. "No, it's fine. Whatever. I'm off to bed. Wake me up when we're there, yeah?"
"Anything for the birthday girl." The Doctor grinned madly, and bounced towards the console room.
Anything? Rose couldn't help but snort at that. Anything would be the removal of one French pain in her arse from the TARDIS.
The restaurant was nice. For a French place. Naturally, Reinette had picked. Rose reminded herself that it was her birthday and she could hate everything. It was her birthday right.
Mickey slid in next to the Doctor and gave Rose a pointed look. It said, quite clearly, Seriously, Rose. STFU. Mickey's looks often spoke in macro.
Reinette sat primly next to Rose and turned her gaze to the karaoke singers.
"This place is positively lovely," she announced, "Even the entertainment is enjoyable."
"Yeah, whatever." Rose sighed and stirred her drink.
The waiter arrived, a small chocolate cake in hand, "It is someone's birthday, I heard?"
"Is it?" The Doctor asked, fiddling a bit with the string on his finger.
"Yes!" Mickey replied, gleefully.
"Yes," Reinette said, looking a little upset, "It is my birthday. But I do not desire a cake, thank you."
Rose looked horrified, "Your birthday?"
"Yes," Reinette replied, her voice firm, "Mine. And I do not wish a cake."
Mickey glared at the French woman, "What do you not want---"
There was a kick, and Mickey yelped. Rose couldn't, in all honesty, tell if it was Reinette or the Doctor who kicked the young man, but it silenced him instantly.
"I was known for my voice," Reinette said, "Back in Paris. Part of my training."
"Really?" the Doctor asked, "Courtesan training and all that?"
"She was trained in everything," Rose replied irritably, "Especially lying!"
Reinette was unfazed, "Yes, indeed. I do not, however, possess any knowledge of this strange music. Perhaps you could sing, Rose? I have heard from Mickey that you have a lovely voice."
Rose looked to Mickey like he was the biggest traitor. Then blinked at Reinette.
"You want me to what? Sing?"
Reinette nodded, "I believe that is what kay-ray-oh-kay is. Singing modern music."
Rose looked at the stage, then back at the group. The Doctor, Mickey and Reinette all appeared focused on her. Sing? What would she sing? She liked to sing, and she had done a few talent shows but…karaoke? In front of them?
"All right." Rose stood and headed for the stage. It could get a little more embarrassing. No, really, it could. She picked out a song by Rhianna---something that wasn't too cheesy or stupid, and she knew the words---and picked up the microphone. She turned the speed down a little. She didn't want to start bouncing around, give Reinette something else to make fun of her (without saying anything, but Rose could tell she was! She had to be!)
"You have my heart, we'll never be worlds apart," she sang, "May be in magazines, but you'll still be my star."
Mickey grinned widely at Rose. She grinned back, despite the slow song. He was a good man. Always came to every talent show, always supported her and brought her flowers. It was hard, at times, to remember that she wasn't in love with him any more. He was so…kind. She could forgive him for talking to Reinette about her. And he was complimenting her, after all.
"Baby, cause in the dark, you can't see shiny cars," she continued, "That's when you'll need me there. With you I'll always share."
The Doctor paid close attention to her. He seemed to be analyzing the lyrics, or the music, or perhaps there was something on the end of her nose. She could never tell. He'd been so wrapped up in teaching Reinette new things; he hadn't had time to see her. It felt good, and a little terrifying.
"Because, when the sun shines we'll shine together. Told you I'd be here forever. Said I'd always be a friend, took an oath Imma stick it out 'til the end. Now that it's raining more than ever, know that we'll still have each other. You can stand under my umbrella, you can stand under my umbrella. 'Ella, 'ella…"
Reinette appeared to be analyzing Rose as well. She had that small smirk on the edge of her lips as she did so. Reinette leaned over to the Doctor and whispered something into his ear, which completely distracted him from Rose's singing.
He returned the whisper into Reinette's ear, and the woman stood, brushed off her long skirt, and walked towards the women's coat room.
Apparently Rose wasn't that good a singer. She took a deep breath, shoved the microphone back on the stand, and headed towards the coat room to have a talk with this woman that was ruining her life and her birthday and everything!
"Reinette!" she snapped, stepping into the fancy waiting area, "Reinette!"
The other woman was leaning over a small table. She turned, abruptly, and looked more than a little startled. It was the first time, Rose realized, that she'd seen Reinette appear shaken.
"You haven't finished y-your song," she stammered, moving her hips to cover the area of the table.
"We need to talk…what are you doing?"
Rose took a step forward, "You ignore me every moment we're on the TARDIS, and you run away here to do what? Stop doing this to me, Reinette!"
"Ignore you?" Reinette's perfectly manicured eyebrow raised, "Surely you must be thinking of another individual on the TARDIS, for I have never ignored you."
"You do!" Rose put her hands on her hips, "You lean all over the Doctor, eat up all his time, and I get nothing!"
Reinette blinked, as if she could not comprehend what it was that Rose was trying to say.
"Don't look at me like that," Rose said, "You spend all your time with him, and it used to be a thing with---"
"Have you not heard," Reinette inquired, "Of the term, I believe you say 'hard to get'?"
It was Rose's turn to blink. "Wha?"
"Hard to get." Reinette tilted her head to the side. "You can not believe that I won the heart of the King of France by being easy, can you? I was told by the Doctor that you enjoy challenges, I thought to place one before you, to pique your interest."
"To pique my…" Rose's eyes widened. "You're saying you----"
"Such a lewd movie presentation is surely not my style, but I could not think of another way to give you some indication as to my intention without completely giving myself away." The taller woman stepped aside, where a red, heart-shaped cake sat on the table, several candles already lit.
Rose took a step forward, her jaw a little slack with surprise. She stood next to Reinette, unable to say anything. Or really think of anything except for self-reprimanding 'OBVIOUSLY's.
"I had it made before Mickey asked the waiter," she said, "I had hoped to present it to you. With my adoration." The final words were said close to Rose's ear.
Rose shivered a little at the breath against her skin, and she turned her head slightly, "Your adora---"
Without warning, Reinette's lips crushed against Rose's, and her hand tangled in her hair. She gave her a firm but gentle push against the wall of the waiting room, leaving Rose no room to protest. However, kissing a woman as sexual and…well, hot as Reinette…Rose couldn't find herself complaining too terribly.
"Oi, Rose, you still in there---" Mickey's eyes widened. His jaw dropped.
"They still in there?" The Doctor tilted his head over Mickey's, "Ah, yes. You see, I told you you should just be yourself, Reinette!"
The women, however, were far from listening.
And that, my friends, is the story of Rose’s best birthday ever (and how Reinette and Rose shared a room on the TARDIS, NC-17 ficlet to come later).
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 1,758