Author: misscam PM
There are bad days and there are bad days, a careful study in everything going wrong that can go wrong. Rose Tyler is about to have one and she'll never want to change one glorious moment of it. [NineRose]Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Words: 3,096 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-07-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2609640
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
by Camilla Sandman
Disclaimer: Doctor Who is the brainchild of the BBC. I just muck about in their world some.
Author's Note: This is set somewhere before meeting up with Jack and sometime after our travelling twosome has properly bonded. Probably after "Father's Day" sometime, though it makes no real references to any specific episode.
There are bad days and there are bad days, a careful study in everything going wrong that can go wrong. Rose Tyler is about to have one and she'll never want to change one glorious moment of it.
All the wrongs for one right and it'll be worth it.
"So let me get this straight," Rose says, leaning against a rock. "The TARDIS is gone?"
"We're being chased by the entire population of Sakscrammo-whatever and your ship isn't where you parked it?"
"Fantastic," the Doctor says and she can never tell if he's being sarcastic or not. She suspects he has to know sarcasm, but sometimes his humour and joy seems as innocent as a child's. And then the storm will come and she'll wonder how she could ever think that.
"Maybe you've forgotten where you parked it?" she suggests.
"I never forget. I parked it here. It's not here. It's buggered off."
"I can't believe you're blaming the TARDIS!"
"My ship is a magnificent ship. It can also be a magnificent pain in the ass."
She shakes her head slightly, and lifts her eyes to the grey sky where three moons seem to be chasing each other. As much as they have travelled, she still expects the sky to look as the Earth's. The aliens, she's grown used to in a sort of think-of-them-as-continental-Europeans way. The TARDIS is a sort of home and the Doctor is a sort of... Something. But the sky is never the same.
The Doctor is fiddling with his sonic screwdriver and she takes the moment to look at him. It's easy to forget he's 900 or so when he just stands like that, weathered leather jacket and fiddling with a tool in his hand. So much like any other bloke. Maybe even kissable, as blokes are.
"Maybe it's a time distortion," he says suddenly, and the any-other-bloke illusion shatters. "Sometimes, time goes a little wrong before it can go right."
"So this is like a hiccup in time?"
He beams and she doesn't really care that the sky is unfamiliar anymore. "Yes!"
"So who do we get the glass of water?"
"Not me, I prefer milk," he says offhandedly. "Right, we just..."
The not-so-faint yells of a large mob interrupts him and she looks over her shoulder to see dust rising.
"Persistent lot, aren't they?" he asks, taking her hand.
"You did destroy their High Alter."
"It would have destroyed them if I didn't."
"Wanna stay here and explain them that?"
And they run. She holds on to his hand, his skin keeping her on this madly spinning planet, and trusts him to find the direction. The ground is uneven, but she manages to find her footing as she goes. A little pebble here, a little unevenness here, and it doesn't matter. Forward it goes anyway.
Thankfully, the Sakscrammo-whatever aliens have very short feet very large bellies and would have serious speed competition from a snail, so soon the cries are again distant and the only dust is the one twirling around them. Green dust, coloured by some metal she won't try to pronounce even if the Doctor hugs her afterwards.
Well, unless it's a long hug.
"Right, we'll hide here a while and time will finish hiccuping and we can go back to the TARDIS and leave, mission brilliantly accomplished!" he declares, steering her towards a small rock forest. The moon makes the rocks glimmer with what seems silver and gold, but aren't quite so precious metals, only the appearance of them. Still, it is beautiful. Three moons, growing rock vegetation, a mob out to kill them and yet it could almost be a romantic evening on a London rooftop.
Almost. She mustn't forget the almost.
As he does, she sits down and leans against a rock-tree/cactus/bush (she's not quite sure which it would go under) and is surprised that it feels warm.
"Moonlight heats it," the Doctor says, as if she's asked. Perhaps she has, just not in words. "At three full moons, they sometimes burn."
"They'd say the same about yours, dead rocks and living wood."
"I still like it."
He must catch something in her tone, for he tilts his head and meet her gaze. "We can take a trip back again. If you're missing it..."
"I would be missing all you could show me in the meantime then," she points out, smiling slightly. "Living water, planets with four moons, more angry mobs, the secrets of time..."
He hasn't let go of her hand yet, and she watches it, fingers laced and skin linked. First thing he ever did to her was take her hand. It's set a pattern, making it feel natural when not even Mickey held her hand this much.
"You had to run from this lot before, then?" she asks, keeping her voice light.
"No. Last time they gave me a party."
"How come no one gives you a party when I tag along?"
"Because you have a knack for getting in trouble," he points out, but cheerfully. "No time for parties."
"How come we have no time for parties with a time machine?"
"We could have one now."
The warmth running down her back from the rock makes her comfortable and sleepy and she wonders for a moment if she dares suggest a slumber party. She's not even sure what the Doctor wears before bed, if anything.
"What, hiding from an alien mob, in the middle of the night, storm coming..."
"What?" He interrupts, staring up at the sky. "Oh, no, no, no!"
"What's wrong with a little storm? You getting wimpish on me?"
"On this planet, there is no such thing as a little storm," he says and pulls her up. "We better find somewhere safer."
There are storms, and there are storms.
This is the latter, she realises, and feels the water soak her. It's raining water and flying dust. Apparently, the clouds drop rain and take in green dust, and unless she holds on, a human named Rose Tyler.
She has no particular desire to have close encounter of the third kind with alien clouds. And when she can open her mouth without getting it filed with water and dust, she's gonna tell the Doctor to bloody well watch the weather forecasts before taking her anywhere again.
Of course, the weather forecasts are probably as reliable as "Naples, 1860" and "Nokalamma, 3 million, no problems".
This is not what she signed up for.
The Doctor yanks on her hands and she stumbles after him, feeling the water and dust fall away as she does. He's found a cave, she realises, dripping with water, but at least some shelter.
"A bit nippy out there," he says, no sarcasm in his voice, "we better check in here. I hope the room service's good."
"Judging by the cleaning, I'd say not,"she replies, shaking her head slightly and watching green dust fall like green dust would. He's covered too, she notices, and she can't help but wipe the green dust from his jacket, his shoulders, his cheek... His cheek is wet and still warm and he looks at her, the intensity of the storm nothing to the intensity in his eyes.
He hilts his head and if he was any other bloke, she'd think he would kiss her now.
"Rose?" he whispers against her lips.
"I just realised, this isn't a cave."
"And it really is...?"
"The mouth of a sleeping Feranger and he's closed it."
"So when he wakes up, he's gonna swallow us?"
"And when's he gonna wake up?"
"A few decades?"
She opens her own mouth to say something, anything, but the Feranger beats her to it.
It sneezes and she's flying, flying, falling, falling, hitting, hitting. The ground is not at all soft, a similarity with her own planet she could be without at this moment. Living rock is not softer than dead rock and the dust stings her eyes again.
"Bollocks," she mutters and fight her way to her feet, only to realise the Doctor is nowhere in sight. Not that her sight is much, at present.
The dust really does taste foul as she swallows a mouthful every time she opens her mouth. And no reply comes, no matter how much she calls. An angry mob wants her hide (literally), it's a storm on, the TARDIS is missing and now she's lost the Doctor. Really, she can't think of much more that could go wrong.
When Rose imagined her wedding, the nest of an alien bird on another planet, thousands of years in the future was not quite what she had in mind. And wearing feathers as a cape had not been her idea of a wedding dress.
"Mate!" the bird-esque says again, beaming all over its beak.
"I told you, you're not really my type. No offense."
"Fine. When we divorce, I want to keep the feathers."
At least the nest she's been taken to is out of the storm, deep down at the roots of a living rock tree. It is almost comfortable, if a giant bird-like thing wasn't trying to feel her up.
"Rose, you in there?"
She looks up to see his familiar face peering down, grinning at her predicament.
"Found another boyfriend?"
"Mate!" the bird insists, yellow and blue feathers all puffed out. She recognises male showing-off when she sees it and sighs. See the Universe and some things never change.
The Doctor doesn't seem troubled, launching into a hurried speech she can't even pick up half of. The word "mate" is repeated several times and she swears "ape" is said at least once. One day, she is gonna have to smack him with a banana.
She's busy savouring the image when she suddenly feels wings on her ass, but before she can protest, she's being pushed up and the Doctor's arms are greeting her, pulling her up the last bit. The storm seems to have faded and the moonlight has returned and she blinks against it, trying to adjust to the onslaught of silver.
"You all right?"
"Yeah. What did you say to him?"
"Convinced him you couldn't be his mate," the Doctor replies calmly. "Nice feathers."
He smirks slightly, and they fall into a comfortable pace walking side by side. Step, breath, step, breath, a tango on alien surface with an alien and the music is never the same.
She could get so easily used to it anyway.
"So what did you say to the flying casanova to convince him I couldn't be his mate?"
"That you were taken," he replies calmly, his eyes shining in the silver light.
"You are. Mate of Mickey the Idiot."
She's gonna have to smack him with something harder than a banana, she decides. The sonic screwdriver, possibly, if she can sneak it out of his grasp.
"He's not..." she pauses, tilting her head. "Is that the storm picking up again?"
"What is it?"
"The rocks burning. Rockfire coming this way."
"And we're in its path."
"How do we get out of it?"
"This way," he says and pulls her towards the edge of deep cravisse, water blinking up at her from the bottom of it. "Jump for your life!"
He could sound a little bit less enthusiatic, she thinks and leaps.
Down they go.
Water is cold, wet and likes to soak clothes. But for once, she's not complaining. She isn't the only one soaked, and the spectacle of dripping wet Doctor is almost making her forget she's freezing. He's too busy trying to make a campfire with rocks and the sonic screwdriver to notice where she's looking. The leather jacket has been discarded and the sweater is clinging to his skin.
"Hah, I am brilliant!" he declares as a flame shoots up and the yellow light flicker across his skin. "This should heat us in no time. Not as good as the TARDIS, mind you."
"Don't tell me the TARDIS has a sauna."
"It could have."
She smiles tiredly, and leans against him when he puts an arm around her shoulder. The rock is cackling softly in the fire, and high above, she can see the rockfire ranging against the sky. Not the Earth's sky and not a human's arms and she wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now.
She can feel her own breath begin to pace his, but her heartbeat cannot echo his. One heart too little. In everything else, she might be able to match him. Skin to skin, mind to mind, lips to lips.
So she kisses him.
He freezes and she can't even feel his breath, just his lips, soft against hers. Maybe time isn't moving at all and this will be forever.
She lifts a hand to his neck, feeling the warmth of the fire and the water still resisting letting go of his skin. She can't blame it for clinging on, forever just the next moment never coming.
"Rose..." he finally mutters, sounding breathless. "We shouldn't... Not yet..."
For a Time Lord, relationships probably stretch over decades, she thinks, but once in a while, he'll just have to follow her lead.
"We definitely should," she says firmly and lets her hands pull at his jumper. He's not really resisting her, and she realises he doesn't want to say no to her or deny her anything. There is power in that. She hopes she never abuses it.
The jumper comes off and she traces his smooth chest with her hands, her palms burning as she does. He still just looking at her, hissing slightly when she presses a kiss against his neck. Making a trail downwards, she can feel his heartbeats against her lips, like tasting life. His life.
She's almost convinced she has to do all the work when he suddenly pulls her head up and kisses her so forcefully it's almost a painful pleasure. But mostly a pleasure, one that's driving all the breath out of her.
Good thing he can breathe for her.
"Did you really say I was Mickey's mate?" she whispers, shivering as he removes her top and replaces cloth with hands on her skin.
"No. I said you were mine."
It's morning when they walk across ashes and settled dust, the one sun having chased the three moons from the sky. He's holding her hand and she thinks maybe his grin has been permanently glued to her own lips.
They've just started on yet another hill with smouldering rocks when he halts, and she nearly walks into him.
"Now what do we have to run away from?" she asks, taking the opportuninty offered to lean slightly against his back.
"Nothing. I've found the TARDIS."
She looks around him and spots the familiar blue among not-yet-as-familiar glimmering rock. As they approaches, she can feel the key in her pocket warm in recognition.
"Ah," the Doctor says. "This is where I parked it."
"You mean the TARDIS was there all along and you did forget where you parked it?"
"So all that running about, almost being eaten, almost being a bird's mate and diving into a pool to escape a rockfire really was unneccesary?"
And she laughs, because she can't think of anything else to do, and after a moment, he joins her. They laugh and laugh until she's out of breath and he kisses her, the TARDIS warm against her back.
This is exactly what she signed up for.
"I'm sorry," he offers after a moment, looking more than a little embarrassed. "My mistake."
"Nah," she replies, feeling his gaze match hers. "Wouldn't change it for the world."
All the wrongs, all the mistakes, and what it comes to can still be right.
"Yeah," he whispers against her lips, and reminds her she still has to whack him with a banana one of these days for his mind reading, "that's time's secret. Don't tell anyone."