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Spoilers for "Father's Day" here, folks!

She was shoving her stuff into her bag when he found her.

"And what d'you think you're doing?" he asked.

"I can't stay with you," she said immediately, turning to face him.

He blinked.

"I don't deserve to," she said plaintively. "I nearly destroyed the world. You're right: I was stupid. And you don't need a bloody idiot running around with you."

He stared at her, mouth slightly open. Everything had been fine. They'd walked into the TARDIS holding hands. She'd smiled at him. Somehow, in the span of the ten minutes in which he'd left her alone while he checked the TARDIS out, she'd gone completely mad.

"You were following your heart," he told her. "All right, it was stupid, but that was your dad."

"You lost your entire family, your world, and you didn't mess it up by going back and saving them," she murmured.

"I've had a few more years practice at this than you," he said, attempting to lighten the situation.

She shook her head and turned back to packing.

"Rose…"

"Just forget it, all right?" she cried, cramming a book into the bag with trembling hands. "You'll find someone else; there's bound to be loads of people who'd give anything to be able to travel with you, people who won't do stupid things or-" her voice trailed off as tears ran down her face. She wiped her eyes roughly on the sleeve of her denim jacket. She reached to put something else in the bag and his hand shot out and grabbed her wrist.

"I don't want to find someone else," he said tightly. "I want you."

Rose closed her eyes against the wave of pain that shot through her like an electric shock. "You think you do," she whispered. "But it's just because you know me. You can get used to someone else, you know. I'm nothing special—"

The second those words left her mouth, he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her hard against him, blue eyes alight with fury… and something she couldn't define.

"Don't you ever—EVER—say that again, Rose Tyler," he said fiercely. "You are special; you're more than special, you're fantastic." His eyes darkened as he added: "And you can't leave me. I need you."

"No, you don't," she retorted, trying to pull away. He responded by pulling her even closer, and what she saw stopped her in her tracks.

"Yes, I do," he said, voice gentle in contrast to the storm raging in his eyes.

He couldn't stand it anymore. It was crazy. Worse than crazy, it was insane. She was 19: he was over 900. She was human, he was a Time Lord. There were a dozen reasons why he shouldn't. But none of them mattered beside the reason he should.

"I'll not have you leave me," he swore, and lowered his mouth to hers.

She kissed him back hungrily, as though she had been starved for him, her passion unchecked, unrestrained now that she was free to feast. He sighed into her mouth as though he, too, had been set free. Somehow, they made it to her bed. Their movements were a combination of haste and leisure as clothes were discarded, lips were kissed, hands explored chests and hips and necks.

She pulled him down onto the bed with her, her dark eyes staring into his. He seemed hesitant now, and after his confidence a moment ago it was disquieting.

"What's wrong?" she asked, confused.

"I—" he began, then stopped for a moment. "I'm not very practiced at this, Rose," he said.

"And you think I am?" she teased.

"I don't want to disappoint you."

She took his face in her hands. "You could never disappoint me."

He looked skeptical at that. She took one of his hands in hers and moved it to a breast, pressing his fingers down onto the aching peak. "Do I feel like I'm disappointed?" she asked huskily.

He smiled, fingers lazily exploring the softness. "You feel fantastic."

"Then stop all this nattering and kiss me."

"Bossy," he muttered as her mouth claimed his.

It was a good thing they were in a time machine, the Doctor decided later: because otherwise he'd have no rational explanation for feeling that time had stopped. Lying in bed with Rose, her head on his chest and his fingers tangled in her hair, he had no idea of how long ago it had all started, and he didn't care.

"Doctor," Rose said quietly.

"What?" he asked, raising up to look at her.

"I'll never leave you." Her words were both statement and promise.

"I know," he answered, nestling beside her again. As she drifted off to sleep he held her close and murmured: "Because I'll never let you go."