"Still want to see those stars," the Doctor asked Reinette who nodded anxiously. "Well, pack a bag and I'll bring my ship to you," the Doctor ran back to the TARDIS, with Rose and Mickey in tow.
"So, where are we headed now," Rose asked, as the Doctor eagerly ran to the console. "Eighteenth century France," the Doctor answered with a grin.
"Wait, Eighteenth century France? Isn't that where we just were? I thought we were finished there," Mickey asked, confused.
As the TARDIS faded and materialized at its destination the Doctor answered, "we are, but I promised Reinette I would show her the stars once I handled the clockwork androids."
"Don't you mean we? You didn't exactly work alone," Rose reminded him.
The Doctor opened the door to the TARDIS, "yes, yes, me, we, whatever. Point is, a promise is a promise," and waved his hand in the air as if shooing away any further comments. Reinette was already outside the TARDIS door when the Doctor invited her in, "this is my ship, the TARDIS, greatest ship in the Universe! It can travel through time and space, so I can show you the stars and have you home in time for dinner."
"Oh my, it's so much bigger on the inside," Reinette exclaimed, and Rose rolled her eyes. "When I first saw your ship I was curious as to how we all would fit in here together. This is truly magical."
As this was all happening, Mickey was sitting in the jump seat, mouth agape. He stared between Reinette and Rose unsure if he should be ready to pull Rose off the fragile girl.
Reinette walked slowly around the console, delicately dragging her finger along the surface. The Doctor was beaming with pride as Rose stared at him speechless not to mention insulted. The TARDIS picked up on Rose's emotions and let out what seemed to be a groan of dissatisfaction. "What was that," Reinette asked as she quickly drew her hand toward her body.
"The ship is alive," Rose said almost arrogantly. "She is probably trying to tell the Doctor something" then she glared at the Doctor.
The Doctor swallowed hard, "yeah, well, I've fallen behind on cleaning her. She probably is letting me know, but that can be done shortly. First, let's go see those stars like I promised," he jogged up to the console, setting them off. Rose had no interest in seeing the stars and told the group that she would rather take a bath because she had a lot of what she called "space gunk" that she needed to get out of her hair. Mickey looked at her as if asking if she was OK and she nodded back without words before heading down the corridor.
There really was no space gunk, she didn't even break a sweat back on the ship. She just couldn't handle Reinette's overzealous reaction and the Doctor's stupid grin. She drew a hot bath and played some soft music hoping to get her mind off the day's events. Of course she couldn't, her mind was swarmed with questions. Questions like, "what was the Doctor planning exactly, bringing Reinette on board? Why did she bring luggage? How long will she be staying, forever? Is the Doctor going to send her back home now that he has a new little blonde?" Tears began to form in her eyes and she noticed that the tub started massaging her with bubbles. Apparently, the TARDIS wanted to comfort her.
After what seemed like an eternity in the tub, Rose climbed out and wrapped herself in a big fluffy towel. Just then she heard a knock on her door, "who is it?" she yelled out and without a reply the door flew open, and the Doctor trotted in. As soon as he saw Rose, who was just as shocked as he was, his words escaped him. All that came out was "uh…" and his eyes were locked on her body for far longer than appropriate.
"Doctor!" Rose exclaimed while covering herself more.
That snapped him back into his senses and he quickly faced away from her, but now just faced the large mirror on the opposite side of the room. "Sorry, after you finish up here could you please help find a room for Reinette and maybe show her the wardrobe . I figured she would like a woman's opinion on clothing choices and you are most definitely….a woman..." His voice dropped and he was still staring at her through the mirror, as if she couldn't see his eyes following her image.
"A room? Clothing? Doctor, exactly how long is she staying? Because I thought, as an important historical figure, she needs to stay in her timeline?" Rose stepped to the side, now out of the Doctor's view. Any other time she would take this opportunity to tease him and see if he would ever try and make a move, but now it just felt uncomfortable, as if he were someone else.
The Doctor sighed and looked down at his feet, "it's only for a few days, a week tops. I figured that after a lifetime of being watched, she would appreciate some time away. After that we will bring her back to the same day, no one will notice that she ever left."
"Fine then," Rose mumbled, "but don't go changing history by removing an important figure or bringing her back after she aged 30 years."
"Agreed," the Doctor spun back around and grinned widely. He began to exit the room, "I will be in the console room if you need me. I have to get to cleaning the TARDIS as promised. Thank you Rose," he winked at her and shut the door.
Rose let out a huge groan. How can she be so mad at him and find him so charming at the same time?
Rose got dressed and set off to find Reinette, who would be hanging around the Doctor no doubt, but before she reached the console room Mickey caught up with her.
"Hey you, how you holding up," Mickey asked, looking concerned.
" Okay I suppose, it's just been a long day," She replied.
"Is that all? I mean, I'm just as surprised as you that the Doctor brought her here."
"Yeah, well, no need to worry about me. I've dealt with much worse when dating Jimmy. Not that I'm dating the Doctor, we really aren't anything, just...friends."
"No, you and I are friends," Mickey replied. "Sure, we dated for a while but after you left with the Doctor, I could see there was something happening between you two. Hell, everyone could see it. Everyone but you two at least."
"Whatever it was that we did, or didn't, have doesn't matter," Rose looked down trying to hide the hurt in her eyes, "we will always be friends, even if his feelings for me aren't mutual."
"Do you actually believe that Rose," Mickey asked, "I've seen the way he looks at you and I've seen the way he looks at others who try looking at you. You are both crazy about each other, but both too scared to make the first move. He probably thinks you aren't interested in him. Remember he is a man, we don't do well with clues, plus he is an alien, so he really doesn't know any better. Reinette kind of put herself out there and he, being a stupid male, fell for it."
Rose sniffed and wiped a tear away, "so, you're saying that since I didn't throw myself at him, he lost interest and got someone who did?"
"Not really, he just got distracted by her flirtatious behavior, everyone is guilty of it at some point. He'll snap out of it once he sees that it doesn't go much deeper than that. But you, Rose, you surprise him every day. The way you stay by his side, help him, and you never give up. He loves that about you, just wait, you'll see. Mickey gave her a hug and headed off to bed."
Rose dried her eyes then headed to the console room, where she found Reinette, exactly where she thought she would be. She was watching The Doctor as he cleaned and polished the TARDIS, boosting his already huge ego with every little squeal of excitement .
Neither noticed Rose enter the room, so she surprised them both when she spoke up, "well, let's find you a room. Big day tomorrow, so you should probably rest up," then signaled to Reinette to follow her as she walked down the corridor.
Before following Rose, Reinette wrapped her arms around the Doctor, "goodnight, Doctor, today has been more magical than I could have ever dreamed." She then hurried back to Rose who was waiting impatiently.
They found her a room at the end of a long, empty corridor, obviously far away from everyone. It was still a nice room, but obviously not permanent. It actually resembled an average hotel room with its simple décor, small single bed, and basic white and pink colors. As if the TARDIS was saying "welcome but don't get too comfortable."
Next, Rose took her to the wardrobe. She showed her all the various clothing choices, but Reinette kept eyeballing more dresses similar to her own.
"I know you are used to your contemporary way of dressing, but with the places we may go, it may not be suitable," Rose warned. "That's why I usually dress like this," she pointed at the jeans and t-shirt she was wearing, "not to mention shoes that I can make a hasty retreat in if necessary."
Reinette continued looking at the dresses anyway, obviously not interested in anything else, "well, I guess I'll leave you to it. I'm gonna head back to my room and get some rest," Rose began to leave.
Reinette turned to her, "thank you, Rose," then continued rummaging through clothes.
The next morning, Rose woke earlier than normal and almost forgot the previous day's events until she heard Reinette's giggles in the distance. She really wasn't up to seeing the Doctor, or his new little distraction, that morning and wanted to just stay in her room, but the grumbling in her stomach told her otherwise. She headed to the kitchen to find Mickey and Reinette, who was wearing another oversized gown, but no Doctor. Mickey was cooking pancakes, trying to flip them in the air leaving more pancakes on the floor than on the plates.
Reinette burst into laughter at each failed attempt and Mickey was grinning too, until he saw Rose standing in the doorway.
"Hey Rose," Mickey exclaimed, "didn't expect you up so early. Pancakes?"
"I guess," Rose sighed and sat at the table, far from Reinette.
Reinette broke the lingering silence, "the Doctor stepped out for a moment so Mickey has been entertaining me. He is very funny."
Rose glared at Mickey who was pretending he didn't notice.
"Yeah, well, I figured…." Mickey was lost for words and he now decided to just flip the pancakes normally while he made Rose a plate.
Great, Rose thought, as she poked her fork at the pancakes given to her by Mickey. She couldn't help but feel a little betrayed.
The Doctor entered the room eager to start the day, "I've got a great day planned. We are going to visit Vielea, a planet known for its beautiful gardens and bright colors. It's mostly a peaceful planet so we should not run into any danger."
"What's the fun in that," Rose grumbled, not looking up from her plate.
"Now Rose," The Doctor said pleasantly, "I'm sure even you would like to take it easy for a day or two. Not every trip needs to be dangerous."
"I like dangerous," Rose replied, bringing a proud smile on the Doctor's face, "but, I suppose we can take one day off."
"Great," The Doctor exclaimed and jumped from his seat, "let's head off. There's a lot to see."
As they exited the TARDIS they were met with quite a view. Everything was so colorful with the wide array of plants and flowers growing wild everywhere around them, some familiar and some alien. There were no large buildings or city life, just small huts that molded into the surrounding nature, as if they grew there as well. Reinette gasped at all of the beauty of it and clutched onto the Doctor's arm as they walked on ahead. Rose and Mickey trailed behind, she was highly irritated at this point and refused to even speak to or look at Mickey.
"Ok, I know you're mad at me," Mickey said, "but, what was I supposed to do? The Doctor asked me to make some breakfast and that's what I did. Reinette was up before you and…..well…. she is a nice person. I can't just be rude, I'm still on your side."
"There are no sides, Mickey," Rose snapped, "there is no battle, no winner, no…..I don't know." She took a deep breath, "let's just try and forget about…that," she gestured in Reinette's direction. "How about we try to enjoy a couple of days off from running for our lives."
"Agreed," Mickey smiled and took her hand.
Two days later, the four came tumbling back into the TARDIS, extremely tired and grateful to be back. The planet was very peaceful, as the Doctor said, but he also forgot to mention that all the gorgeous plant life surrounding them was considered sacred. So, when Reinette plucked a flower from a bush, she was arrested. As well as the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey, for being accomplices. Rose really couldn't blame her since The Doctor often failed to mention important things such as these.
Being that it was a first offence, they were given a reduced sentence of 48 hours of labor, tending to the gardens. Of course Rose, Mickey, and the Doctor did most of the work since Reinette was not dressed for such labor, despite all of Rose's warnings about clothing choices.
"Well, that didn't go as planned," said The Doctor trying to sound upbeat.
"You think," Rose snapped back, still wiping the dirt from her jeans.
The Doctor's smile fell, "well, let's get cleaned up and rested for tomorrow. I was thinking we can visit Votera, there is a festival of planets happening so there will be lots of good food, entertainment, and shopping."
Rose sighed, tossed her arms in the air, "fine." She walked back to her room for a much needed shower, if she didn't collapse on her floor from exhaustion first. Hopefully, this will be their last trip with Reinette, she thought to herself. She missed it being just she and the Doctor, even Mickey got in the way sometimes. Maybe after they send Reinette home she can talk to the Doctor about taking Mickey home too, at least for a while.
The next morning, when Rose came out for breakfast, it was the Doctor who had cooked. She took a seat by Mickey while the Doctor served the food.
"So, what's this festival of the planets about anyway?" asked Mickey.
The Doctor sat down across from Rose, "well, it's basically a celebration of life across the universe. Lifeforms from all over come to celebrate, peacefully of course. Each of them bring along different types of food, clothing, and anything else from their planet to share with everyone. It's a lot like a world's fair on earth."
"That sounds lovely," Reinette commented.
"Yeah, so let's not fill up too much because there will be plenty of food to eat and we don't want to offend anyone by not eating the food they offer us," said The Doctor.
"I can't wait," Reinette exclaimed.
They were only gone a few hours before they returned from the fair. Apparently, the wide variety of alien life forms all at once was overwhelming for Reinette. Even with knowing that the Doctor was alien, she was not expecting to see creatures of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some with gills, some with claws, some with 4 eyes or more, etc. She tried to stay calm, but she was obviously very uncomfortable and it was obvious. Then one touched her arm with a tentacle and she began to hyperventilate. She did say that for the Doctor, the monsters are worth it, but she obviously never expected aliens like these.
They stood in the console room as the Doctor said, "well, O for two. How about we have dinner since we didn't get to eat yet. Then we can think of another place to go and I can give a more detailed history of what is to come so we don't run into any more surprises."
"Sorry," Reinette said quietly, looking a little embarrassed.
Rose rolled her eyes and wandered back to her room. She was having fun meeting new aliens and she saw lots of things she was interested in buying. She hoped that after Reinette is gone they could go back and see it again sometime.
A few days, as the Doctor said, turned into two weeks. Two weeks turned into three, and three turned into four. Each trip had its problems, but what trip with the Doctor didn't. So, the Doctor would try and try again, failing each time. The only upside was that Reinette finally learned how to dress more comfortably saving the whole group trouble and embarrassment.
Finally, the Doctor put the TARDIS into vortex and gave everyone a break as he tried to figure out where to go next.
He sat in the console room alone, thinking of their next destination and running out of ideas. Maybe Rose would know, he thought to himself, Rose always knows. That's when he came to the realization that he and Rose haven't had one moment alone in weeks and he can't remember the last conversation he had alone with her either.
Guilt stricken, he decided that he should do something, but what? He headed down the corridor to the TV room. He could hear Rose and Mickey talking and laughing while watching a movie. He peeked into the darkened room, lit only by the television, and saw Mickey laying on the couch with his head in Rose's lap as Rose absent mindedly stroked his hair while watching the movie. That didn't sit well with him, it was too close in his opinion, at least for her and Mickey it was.
"Rose!" He said a little louder than expected, making them both jump and sending Mickey to the floor. He didn't mean to yell, "sorry, can I talk with you? Please?"
Rose looked at Mickey, somewhat annoyed, as Mickey left the room saying he needed a snack anyway since their popcorn hit the floor with him.
The Doctor walked into the room, staring Mickey down like an enemy as he walked by and Mickey glanced back at him confused. Once Mickey was out of sight, the Doctor turned back to Rose, "I thought you two weren't dating anymore," he asked in an almost dark tone.
"We aren't," Rose answered, "is that what you wanted to talk to me about, my love life?"
"What?! No! You two just looked a little… "close" that's all," The Doctor said while making air quotes with his hands, sarcastically.
Rose was offended by his remark, "since when are you to judge two people's "closeness,"" now she was making air quotes, "Reinette is hanging off of you almost all day and you have room to talk about Mickey and me?"
"Reinette? No, she just holds onto my arm, it's customary. Not like Mickey with his head all…all…there," the Doctor gestured both hands toward Rose's waist, waving them around frantically.
Rose gasped in shock, "seriously Doctor? You're going there? Actually, speaking of Reinette, I thought she was staying, in your words, for a week tops?"
"Well, these trips haven't exactly been a vacation have they," He said loudly as he moved closer.
"They never are," Rose snapped back, she held her ground, "you never cared about trips being perfect before, what's changed?"
The Doctor opened his mouth to reply and quickly shut it. She was right, but he didn't want to admit it. "Fine, one last trip and we take Reinette home, no exceptions, no excuses," he began walking out of the room before he stopped and added, "Mickey too."
Rose stood in the middle of the room, speechless, replaying the conversation in her head. She was somewhat relieved to maybe see an end to their time with Reinette, but why is Mickey being punished? Sure, she was thinking the same, but still, Mickey has done everything the Doctor asked and more.
Just then Mickey returned with some fresh popcorn, "so, what was that about?"
"Nothing, just…..nothing," she sighed, "let's finish the movie."
The Doctor walked back to the console room more conflicted than before. "Why was Reinette still there," he asked himself, "and why was he mad at Mickey?" Maybe he just wanted things back to the way they were before. It was much better when it was just him and Rose, traveling through time and space, hand in hand. He missed her touch, he missed her hugs, he missed her laugh and most of all, he missed her smile.
Maybe, it was time for a real, honest vacation. A place he knew where they could definitely find some peace and serenity. Then he could try and convince Mickey to keep Reinette busy for one night, so he can take Rose out alone and maybe make her smile again.
Everyone was up early the next morning, including Rose, who took her breakfast to her room because she wasn't in the mood to face the Doctor yet. As the other three ate, Mickey asked the Doctor what kind of adventure was planned for the day.
"Not really an adventure per se, Mickey," The Doctor grinned, "I'm taking us on a real vacation to the planet Luliv. The planet is basically one big resort, a lot like the ones on Earth. In fact, they love your culture, Earthlings, and they try to replicate it the best they can. Sometimes they get it wrong, but they try. It has beaches, music, dancing, entertainment, and everything else you could want from a vacation. Even the food and drinks are similar to what you've had on Earth, so no surprises. Of course they put their own twist on things to stay unique, plus the aliens of course. You two should pack, and tell Rose to do the same, we will be staying for a few days."
The TARDIS landed in a lot with several other ships. The group stepped out and looked around.
"This doesn't look like a resort," said Mickey, "just a big intergalactic parking lot.
"That's because it is," the Doctor said, "the people of Luliv choose not to practice the destructive habits that is making the Earth sick, so they take measures such as these to keep their planet clean and healthy. In order to control traffic and pollution, ships are required to land here and everyone takes a train the rest of the way. Before you ask, the train is not run by fuel, but uses a strong magnetic pull. Aside from the train there are no other vehicles anywhere else on the planet. That way the air and water stay pure, making it a more relaxing and quiet environment. The TARDIS doesn't burn fuel, but I don't want to break any rules and ruin this trip before it starts."
They boarded the train and took four seats facing each other so they could talk and so the Doctor could explain the planet and it's laws before they get there.
"Isn't this the same planet Jack was always going on about," Rose asked.
"The same one indeed," the Doctor said, smiling.
Rose turned to Mickey, "Jack is a frequent visitor here. He said the people are beautiful, which is a broad term from Jack. He also said there are so many things to do during the day like theme parks, scuba diving, hiking, and anything else you can think of, and that the nights are very romantic."
Rose stopped talking as she wondered, if this truly is the Doctor's last trip with Reinette, was he trying to make it a romantic one. Exactly what was he planning? To busy Rose and Mickey so he can sneak away with Reinette? Her stomach tightened at the thought of it.
Rose was quiet for the duration of the trip, as the Doctor filled the silence with gab and Reinette laughed along, even when it wasn't funny. This train ride felt longer than the two hours that it actually was because Rose was eager to get away from Reinette and the Doctor. Finally, in the distance, she saw their destination. There was so much to take in at once, from the beautiful architecture, large beaches with bright blue water, restaurants, shops, and people dancing. She pressed her face to the glass as she stared in amazement, she glanced at Mickey who was doing the same and he smiled back at her. What she missed was the Doctor beaming at her in excitement, there was so much he wanted to show her and he couldn't wait.
The train stopped at the edge of the resort and they had to walk the remainder of the way to the hotel. When they found one, they entered and walked up to the desk in the hotel lobby. The Doctor greeted the woman at the counter who looked to be in her 60s, but still gorgeous. She had grey hair and bright green eyes that shined like jewels. Her skin was flawless, and tan in a natural way. Her name tag read "Tokyo" and Rose smiled, the Doctor said the people of this planet sometimes used city and country names from Earth as their own, she just didn't expect Tokyo.
"Hello, I'm the Doctor," he waved, "I was looking for some rooms for me and my friends here."
"Yes," said the woman pleasantly, "and how many rooms do you require?"
"Uh, how many rooms, Rose," the Doctor asked her shyly.
"Four…." Rose answered slowly, almost like a question back. She and the Doctor have shared rooms before, but usually because they had no other options or because people assumed they were married. Since the Doctor rarely slept, she often slept alone anyway so it was no big deal. Did the Doctor think Rose wanted to share with him out of habit? Or was he asking if she was planning to stay with Mickey after what he was assumed the night before? Worse yet, was he asking permission to share a room with Reinette? She started to get that uneasy feeling in her stomach again.
"Yes, that's right!" the Doctor said with a slap on the counter, "four rooms, and that will be for three nights."
After checking in, they walked to a large courtyard where their rooms were. The courtyard itself was quite a sight, with a large fountain at the center. Marble benches lined the perimeter and instead of concrete, there were large stepping stones with some sort of green Moss ground cover between them covering the ground. There was some distance between each of their rooms, but after living in the TARDIS where you can disappear whenever you wanted, it still felt too close. Rose found her room, which happened to be across the courtyard from the Doctor, and she wasn't sure if she should be happy with that or not. She liked staying close to him, but not if that meant seeing him and Reinette every time she looked out her window. She entered the room and gasped at how gorgeous it was. There was a large four poster bed, high ceilings, marble floors and the opposite wall had a large window facing out toward the water.
Rose stood , staring at the view and didn't hear the Doctor enter behind her.
"Some view you have here," he said quietly in her ear, startling her and giving her goosebumps at the same time.
"It is," Rose whispered, still staring out the window. He was incredibly close, as she could feel his chest against her back and his breath on her neck. It felt like they stayed that way for an eternity, neither of them speaking, and she felt his hand gently trailing up and down her left arm, sending chills up her spine.
Just then Mickey burst into the room in excitement, "Rose, you gotta get out here and see all this!"
Rose and the Doctor jumped and she turned to Mickey, "what is it," she stammered, glancing at the Doctor who seemed irritated.
Mickey grabbed her hand and dragged her out of her room, through the opposite end of the hotel courtyard, and right into the middle of the boardwalk. Local musicians were playing festive music, with earth and alien instruments, as people danced around them. There were performers entertaining other crowds, street vendors, and at the far end there appeared to be some sort of arena, which is probably what got Mickey excited most of all. Rose smiled and looked back at the Doctor who was watching her, his smile was gentile and if Rose didn't know better, she would say he looked disappointed. Once again, Reinette appeared and she took his arm and his attention with it.
Mickey practically ran towards the arena and Rose followed, trying to keep up. The Doctor stayed behind, mostly because he knew Reinette wouldn't be able to keep up and if he left her alone, who knows what trouble she would get herself into. Leaving him with another question, how was he going to get time alone with Rose? Then he saw a familiar face in the crowd as if fate made it happen.
"Captain Jack Harkness" the Doctor yelled catching Jack's attention, but forgetting that hasn't seen him since his regeneration."
Jack looked at him confused and shook his hand and said, "yes, have we met?"
"It's me, the Doctor. Oh, that's right, you remember me from before, this is me now. I regenerated, time lord stuff and all, new body, same Doctor."
"The Doctor?" Jack questioned as if being tricked, "the Doctor, Doctor? Who left me on at the game station, Doctor," he took a step closer.
"The one and only," The Doctor beamed then his face fell, "about that...I can explain."
"I should hope so," Jack said back, then he noticed Reinette holding onto the Doctor and he forgot the current conversation. Normally, he would try to charm her, but he looked back at the Doctor concerned, "where's Rose?"
"Oh, yes, she and Mickey ran off to see what that arena is for," he pointed in it's direction, "this here is Reinette or, as you may know her, Madame De Pompador."
"Riiiggght…," Jack said, and greeted her, but still looked at the Doctor confused.
Rose finally caught up with Mickey when they reached the arena, which hung off the edge of the land.
"I wonder what goes on here," Rose asked.
"No idea," Mickey replied, "but I'm sure we can find out. I'm gonna find the Doctor and see if he knows. Are you coming?"
"Nah," Rose replied, "I think I would like to look around, see what this place has to offer, and get my mind off of the Doctor for a change."
"Ok then, when I find out I'll come find you," and Mickey ran off.
Rose wandered around the crowd, observing everybody. Jack wasn't lying, everyone here was exceptionally beautiful. They all looked naturally tan with soft, flowing hair that looked like silk, and even their eyes had that beautiful shine to them like the woman at the hotel. She walked over to the railing, overlooking the water and admired the view. The water was the most magnificent blue she had ever seen and looking down she could see straight to the bottom. Colorful fish swam below, and the ocean floor was covered in purple coral. She leaned forward against the railing and stared out into the distance, wondering what other things could be out there, hoping she will find out.
"Quite a view, right..." said a male voice from behind, "it really makes you forget everything else happening around you."
Rose turned to the figure that was now standing beside her. He was tall, and tan like the rest of the locals. His golden brown hair draped over his eyes and he pushed it back, it wasn't incredibly long, but Rose could imagine running her hands through it. His eyes were bright blue like jewels and shimmered, just like the water. He was obviously athletic in some sense because his arms were perfectly tone and his chest was broad. He wore board shorts and a tank top and she noticed a large scar at the top of his shoulder that ran to the middle of his bicep. Other than that he was gorgeous.
Rose was still speechless so he introduced himself, "I'm Cauul. I'm guessing you are visiting here because you don't look like most of us. Not that it's bad, different is good. Sorry, that came out wrong."
Rose smiled at his embarrassment, "It's alright, I'm Rose. Yeah, this is my first time visiting," she looked back out to the water, "I've never seen a sight so beautiful."
"Me either," he smiled, still looking at her.
His smile was warm and sincere, with a dimple on his left cheek. It made Rose blush, not to mention his comment obviously directed at her.
"So, what brings you here," He asked
"A friend brought us," Rose said
"Us? How many are you?" He looked around to see if any of the others were nearby.
"Four, including myself. They are off doing who knows what. Hopefully, not getting into trouble, but I suppose if they do we'll hear a scream sooner or later," Rose smiled and they both laughed. Only Rose knew that statement was somewhat true.
"Well, your friends sound like a lot of fun, hope I get to meet them," he said.
"Maybe," Rose blushed again, "how about you? I'm guessing you live here."
"Yeah, my whole life. Right now I just play Glider Tackle," he gestured toward the stadium with his head, his hair flying to the side with the motion. It settled back over his eyes and he pushed it back again. Rose watched his motion, mesmerized by the way it flowed between his fingers.
"You wanna touch it don't you," he asked with a smirk.
"Huh," Rose snapped back to her senses.
"My hair, you keep staring at it like you wanna touch it. It's ok, lots of visitors here ask me if they can. Normally I say no, but for you I will," he winked.
Rose felt that if she were to blush any more, her skin would catch fire.
He leaned forward, inviting her to touch and she took a small strand between her fingers. She rubbed the fine silk that was his hair, gently, and she couldn't think of anything being this soft.
"Come on, don't be shy, really get in there," he said playfully.
Rose plunged her fingers right into the long strands, her fingers ran through without snagging, and it seemed to get colder the deeper she went. She couldn't help but repeat her action, still amazed that this could be someone's hair.
Cauul began to laugh as Rose continued three, four, five more times and Rose laughed as well.
Jack walked with the Doctor through the crowd and it was obvious that he was a common visitor there because it seemed like everyone knew him.
As Reinette's interest turn to a street performer Jack pulled the Doctor aside, "sooo, Doc? What happened?"
"With what Jack? You gotta be more specific."
"Well, you come to a romantic place such as Luliv. Rose is off with, who I thought, was her ex-boyfriend and here you are with a French mistress on your arm. I'm not one to pry, well, yeah I am…I thought you and Rose had a thing going?" Jack looked at the Doctor who turned to see that Reinette was still preoccupied.
"There is no thing between me or anyone, but I was still hoping to take Rose out to make up for my behavior lately. I just can't get Reinette away from me for two minutes. That's why I'm glad I saw you, maybe you can distract Reinette for just one night."
"Juggling two women, that's not easy Doc," Jack smirked.
"No Jack, I'm not juggling anything, there is nothing romantic between Reinette and myself. She seems to think so, which is why I can't get her away from me."
Jack raised an eyebrow, "so then you and Rose..?"
"No, Jack, at least not….Rose….we…." the Doctor stumbled on his own words.
"Okay, okay, I know," Jack laughed then his smile faded, "so, you want me to preoccupy the French girl, but what about him?" he pointed toward the water.
The Doctor looked at Jack strangely before turning to see what he was pointing at. That's when he spotted Rose, giggling with a local boy while she ruffled his hair.