Neither Rose nor the Doctor noticed Jack pick up her bag and stash it in the TARDIS, but it was a good thing they did. Later, Jack would give them a hard time for not actually saying goodbye, but they were busy. It had been an emotional rollercoaster of a day for both of them. They stumbled into the TARDIS, and the Doctor quickly threw them into the vortex before returning to his previous task of showing Rose just how much he loved her.
Rose was leaning up against the console, watching him and giggling. She knew that some of the joy she felt was hers, but a based on the smugness, some of it was the TARDIS’s too. The Doctor finished throwing them into the vortex and then came back to where Rose was, looking for a kiss. She gave in for a moment, then pulled back. “Wait,” she said.
“What?” he asked. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” she replied. “It’s just, there are some things we need to work out. I love you, Doctor, but I don’t want to end up in the same position we were in before this year. There are some things I need to know, and some things you need to know too.”
“Okay,” he sighed, clearly not appreciating the interruption, but also unable to tell her no.
“What am I?” she asked.
“What are—I don’t understand the question, Rose?” the Doctor asked.
“What am I? Am I just a companion that you now occasionally make out with? Or am I a permanent resident of this TARDIS, same as you?” Rose asked.
“You’ve been a permanent resident of this TARDIS for ages Rose,” the Doctor replied.
“If you had really thought that, my opinion on Martha would have mattered, wouldn’t it have?” she said, raising an eyebrow at him.
“I thought you and Martha were friends?” The Doctor asked, confused.
“We are now,” Rose answered. “But before this past year? No. Far from it. Spent all of our time trying to one-up the other. And you knew I wanted you to take her home. Instead you gave her a TARDIS key.”
“I meant to take her home,” the Doctor shrugged. “I really did. I just…I was scared. I knew I loved you, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stick to my rules if I was alone with you. So I invited her to stay.”
Rose nodded. “And that’s exactly why we need to have this conversation. Either what I want matters, or it doesn’t. But if we’re going to do,” Rose pointed between herself and the Doctor, “this? You’ve got to talk to me. I don’t want to just be a companion in all of this. I want to be your partner. I don’t want to have to worry that you’ll just strand me somewhere if you get tired of me.”
“I’ll never get tired of you, Rose Tyler,” the Doctor said, pressing his forehead to hers.
“Please, just promise me,” Rose said, looking up at him.
“I promise,” the Doctor said. “And I’ll even teach you how to pilot the Old Girl, if it would help. This is your home, Rose. I want you to feel like it is.”
“You’ll teach me to fly the TARDIS?” Rose asked.
“Of course. She’s meant to have six pilots anyway. I just usually have to manage on my own. But not anymore,” he smiled down at her.
“And will you teach me Gallifreyan?” Rose asked, her excitement getting the better of her. “So that I can read the console?”
“I can have her change the console to English,” the Doctor replied, looking down at his feet.
Rose’s heart sank as her mind started running through all of the reasons that he might not want to teach her his language, and her mind kept settling on the fact that it would be too hard. Before she could say anything though, the TARDIS zapped the Doctor. “Ow!” he exclaimed. “What was that for?” The TARDIS flashed her lights insistently, but Rose knew the message was for him, not for her. It took a few moments, but then realization dawned on the Doctor’s face. “Wait, do you want to learn Gallifreyan?”
“If you don’t want to teach me, that’s fine,” Rose replied. “I know that Time Lords were brilliant, so I’m sure it’s an impossible language to learn. Shouldn’t have even asked, really.”
“No, Rose,” the Doctor said. “Just tell me. Do you want to learn Gallifreyan?”
“Really, it’s okay, Doctor. I get it if you don’t want to teach me,” Rose replied, not meeting his eyes.
“Who ever said I didn’t want to teach you?” The Doctor asked.
“Well, you just said you could change the console to English,” Rose replied.
“Because I thought you only wanted to learn Gallifreyan so you could pilot her. There are other options, you know?” the Doctor replied. “But the TARDIS seems to think you might want to learn it just for the sake of learning it.”
“I don’t know,” Rose shrugged. “It’s just, you speak my language all the time. I thought it might be nice if I could speak your language too.”
“Oh Rose!” he exclaimed before leaning down to kiss her.
“If you don’t have a problem with teaching me Gallifreyan, why’d you look so sad, earlier?” Rose asked, pulling away.
“The TARDIS is the only place I get to see the language I grew up with. It would have been a little hard to go without it on the console,” the Doctor replied.
“But you’d do that, for me?” Rose asked.
“Of course,” he replied. “I love you.”
“Oh, Doctor,” Rose sighed before leaning in to kiss him soundly.
“Rose Tyler, you are brilliant. You know that?” the Doctor smiled.
Before Rose could answer that, or even get into the million things she needed to tell him, alarms started blaring and the console started sparking.