At first, Rose returned him smile for a moment with her usual tooth-filled grin. There was something about his smile that was infectious, in both incarnations she’d known him in. There had been plenty of times when he’d said things and she hadn’t understood a word about vortexes and paradoxes, and he’d look at her confused expression and grin that grin that made her burst into laughter. The happiest times in Rose’s 20 years on (and off) Earth had been spent in this magnificent blue box. The fact that he’d chosen her to go with him to all these places and to experience all these things was something she’d never tire of, no matter how long it lasted.
However, the grin soon disappeared as the Doctor broke into a violent coughing fit, replaced with a look of worry. Apart from his regeneration going wrong, she’d never seen the Doctor get ill. It occurred to Rose that she’d never even considered it. It sounded silly now she thought about it, but she’d almost presumed Time Lords just didn’t get ill. She was immediately annoyed at herself for being so stupid to have not seen it before now; this obviously wasn’t something that had come on overnight. But she didn’t have time to worry about her own naivety right now. She crossed the control room to his chair and crouched down at the side of it, hands on the arms and looking up at him with a frown.
“You don’t exactly look it, either,” she said, reaching out to steady his shaking hand for a moment before it slipped from hers as he collapsed to the floor. With the TARDIS still landing she began to panic. “Doctor?! Doctor! Come on, I don’t know how to land this thing,” she begged, trying to shake him lightly back to normal as she felt the ship spinning rapidly, before she was thrown roughly to the floor herself as it bounced across the concrete car park at the back of her old flat building.
Realising she needed help, she rushed to the door of the TARDIS, promising the Doctor she would be back before running up the stairs to her old home and banging on the door with her palm, calling for her mum. Jackie answered the door after a few moments, and a pleased smile crossed her face.
”Rose! You’re back!”
“Mum, you need to come help,” Rose cut her mother off quickly, frantic, “it’s the Doctor, I think he’s sick”
The two women hurried to the TARDIS and after a quick look to make sure nobody was watching, carried the Doctor inside with some effort. After laying him on the bed in her old, bright pink room, Rose dragged a chair to the bedside, stroking his hair back from his head and feeling how feverish he was. Jackie, unsure of how to react to this situation, did what she always did; went to make tea, leaving Rose alone with her travelling partner.
“Don’t you dare get ill on me now,” she said, forcing a laugh though she could hear the upset in her voice. “You promised we were going to the Rings of Saturn next week.”
When in doubt, try to joke. She’d learned that from him.