If there's a prize for "Slowest Author in the World", I should probably one of the nominees at the very least. Naturalblues posted the prompt for this back in August and I fell absolutely in love with it. Then real life kicked in which made it very hard to simultaneously have both time and inspiration. I was hoping to have it done by Asexuality Awareness Week in October, but it appears as if I missed that particular deadline with a few months. Ahem.
Better late than never, right?
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy.
Rose gazes up at him, eyes hooded, as her lips curl upwards. "Hi, Doctor." Her soft words grow louder as a giggle escapes and he can't help but think that he's never heard a more beautiful sound in his life.
"Hello," he replies, reaching to touch her cheek. He has spent hours mapping the constellations of her freckled skin and he traces the familiar path in light circles before pressing his lips against hers. Their bodies move in tandem, her warm breath ghosting like a soft caress against his forehead until he can lie beside her with her head resting against the hollow of his neck. His nose burrows itself in her hair and a low hum of content vibrates through his vocal cords.
It is a moment of perfection, and he etches it carefully into his memory.
A second later, he feels her breath sharpen before a small hand comes to a rest on his hip.
His body can't decide whether to freeze or to leap away, and he ends up rolling out of bed with his limbs splaying out. "Tea!" he exclaims, voice hitching in his throat as he scrambles out towards the corridor. "We need tea." He doesn't have to see her face to know hurt must be painted over her visage.
It is time.
The knowledge burns through him like a shard of swallowed glass, and he fears he might drown in the sensation. His hearts thump a staccato beat harshly against his ribs and he has to lean against the doorframe to even breathe. Pushing himself into the small kitchen, he more guesses than knows the direction he wants as his vision swims into a cacophony of colors. The familiar smooth wood of the countertop greets his outstretched hands an instant later and he makes another attempt at steadying himself.
Forcing himself to stand upright, he reaches for the kettle before filling it with water, its ceramic body clinking against the side of the sink as his hands refuse to stop shaking.
It's been little more than a month since their relationship changed, moving from handholding and lingering hugs to tender kisses and shy caresses. It's been perfect, better than he had ever dared to dream. He loves her to the point where his feelings define him, rooted so within him that he knows he would be nothing more than a husk of a man without them. They began blossoming within him the moment he met her and objectively he knows there is little he wouldn't do for her if she asked.
She is human and he is Time Lord.
He has spent centuries with humans and, as much as they continue to baffle him with their odd little unwritten rules of social etiquette, he prides himself of his theoretical understanding of their various cultures and he is confident he knows their courting and mating rituals; how they differ between each other depending on the time and culture.
Their expectations for a romantic relationship could not have been more different if they'd tried.
Time Lords were asexual as a rule, and for once he is no different. He is uncommonly tactile, yes, particularly in his current incarnation – he craves her touch, loves the feel of her soft warm skin against his own; the press of her lips against his fills his hearts with so much love he barely knows how to breathe… But there is no drive to continue.
No spark of adrenaline, no flood of hormones.
Humans, on the other hand…
The kettle lets out a shrill whistle and he stares at it in incomprehension until he can remember why he was boiling water in the first place. He shoots up, his legs nearly tangle together in his haste to reach the kettle.
Rose has been so patient with him, never complaining even as he allowed their relationship to stagnate, never physically moving beyond the warm touch of their lips.
She deserves more.
Hands shaking, he clenches them around his mug and watches as hot tea threatens to slosh over the rim.
She has accepted his alien eccentricities – perhaps he should do more to accepts hers. She deserves a man who can give her what her body craves.
With a startling clarity, he realizes that he wants to be that man; craves to be. He might not have the same urge as a human, but he loves her. Oh, he loves her, and in the end it is very little that matters beyond that.
The cups of tea stand forgotten on the sink as he rushes to return to her side.
His hearts are pounding again, but this time he allows himself to be consumed by the sensation flowing through his veins – everything he is, everything does is tinged by what he feels for her; his respect, his adoration. He can almost taste it in the air around him.
Her breath has evened out by the time he returns and he fears that he has missed his opportunity to give her the gift he finally knows he can give.
Pulses speeding up at the sound of her voice, he steps forward, the soft clicks of his Converse practically inaudible even in the silent room. "Yes. I'm here," he replies, and it feels as though his soul has been lit aflame.
"I'm sorry. I'm not-" The words die on her lips as he presses his against hers, fingers weaving themselves into the silky tresses of her hair.
"I love you," he whispers in between hastened gasps of air. "I love you. I love you." Hesitating above her stomach, it is as though his hands have gotten a life of their own, but he shoves the reluctance aside, focusing instead on the happiness burning within him.
He's finally closer to being the man she deserves.
"Please. Please stop!"
He freezes, eyes wide, as Rose attempts to climb out from beneath him.
Something is wrong. He has done something wrong.
Suddenly unable to support the weight of him, his arms nearly collapse. "I'm sorry," he stammers.
"'S not you." Perched at the edge of the bed, her tiny huddled form seems even smaller and the Doctor aches to touch her, to protect her from whatever demon that has begun to haunt her. "S'just…"
White teeth bite down on a nervous lip. "I thought I could do it. I really did. I mean, I-I did with Mickey, y'know? Didn't like it, but I did. And with Jimmy I sorta had to, but…"
"I prepared myself and everything. But then you ran away and I just…I just…" An odd little choked noise escapes her, and to his horror he realizes that she's trying to swallow down her sobs. "If you give me some time, jus' maybe a day or so, and I'll prepare myself again. I promise."
He sees her gaze travel across the room before settling on the floor. "I never really liked it, y'know? The whole sex thing. Mom always said it was supposed to be amazin', yeah? And I always thought I'd grow into it – if I just loved a little bit more, or somethin'. But I never did." A small strand of thread had worked itself between her fingers, and she looped it around her thumb again and again. "I'm wrong, aren't I? Like, there's something wrong with me."
He reaches forward, and her small shivering frame crumples. "Oh, Rose. There's nothing wrong with you."
"Asexual. You're asexual. It's uncommon for a human, but not unheard of." He shakes his head, and he can't stop the small smile building and tugging at the corner of his mouth. "But oh, Rose Tyler – you're more than just 'not broken'. You're perfect."
There must be something in his tone, because her mouth falls open as wide eyes finally meet his own. "You?"
A laugh escapes her and for a second she looks as though a weight so heavy has fallen off her that there is little to tether her to the floor. In that moment, there's so much he wishes he could say, yet nothing seems like it fits – it is either too much or too little.
She grins, the tip of her tongue peeking out between her lips as she takes his hand. "Chips?"
He gives her hand a squeeze, and it is as though the universe has fallen into place.