A/N: This is the last section. A big thank you to all who've read/reviewed this story.

Disclaimer: BBC owns Dr. Who. I'm just gently borrowing.

"We are matching spark and flame" is from "Secret Separation" by the Fixx.

Rose wasn't sure when she'd fallen asleep, or for how long. She just knew that she'd closed her eyes and when she opened them again she was groggy from sleep. The Doctor had shifted them into a more comfortable position on the sofa, and she could feel the cool lean length of his body against hers. She was surprised that he hadn't left her to go adjust the transtat stabilizers or some other equally bizarre piece of the TARDIS that had her smiling and nodding when the Doctor nattered on about it. She'd quickly learned that he just needed to voice his thoughts aloud when he talked about these things to help work through the problem.

Or maybe he just likes to hear himself talk, she thought, and giggled.

"Nice of you to let me know you're awake," the Doctor murmured.

"If you need to go recalibrate the—the distemporal transmitters, you could've left me to sleep," she retorted, punctuating it with a yawn.

He laughed. "So you do pay attention when I talk about that."

"Do I have a choice?" she teased.

"Not if you want me to keep listening to the glorious results of your turbulent youth, no," he replied, hands stroking her tangled hair.

"Mmm," she answered, enjoying the feel of his hands on her. After a few minutes, she raised her head to look at him. "Doctor… there's something I want to do."

"Oh? What would that be?"

Rose smiled, but didn't reply. He started to ask her again, but she pressed two fingers to his lips. The contact sent an unexpected jolt through him, and he closed his mouth and waited.

She cupped his face in her hands, looked into his eyes for a moment…, and began counting.

When she got to eight, he said: "Um, Rose…"

"Shh," she said sternly, and resumed counting. She counted for about a minute, silently towards the end, and when she stopped, she grinned like a Cheshire cat.

"Twenty-seven."

"What?"

She tapped his nose lightly with a fingertip. "You, my fine fellow, have twenty-seven freckles on your face."

"Are you sure?" the Doctor asked in disbelief. "That many?"

"I might not be a Time Lord, but I do know how to count. And you most definitely have twenty-seven," she smirked.

"And what about the others?" he asked softly, eyes alight with mischief.

Rose swallowed. "The others?"

"The other freckles. Surely you can't do a proper scientific study if you don't count all of them," he said with a smile.

She swallowed again. Harder. Was he suggesting what she thought he was? The prospect made her breath hitch.

"I suppose I should get an accurate number," she said breathily. "In the name of science, of course," she added quickly.

His face was inscrutable. "Of course."

"So…" she said nervously.

"So… take me to your examination room, Doctor Tyler," he said.

"Right," she said. "Off we go, then."

Inside her bedroom, she paused near the bed, wondering if she looked as uneasy as she felt. It wasn't him: she was completely unafraid of him. It was… well, she wasn't too practiced at this. What if she disappointed him?

"I hope this isn't a letdown for you."

She swung around to stare at him. "What?"

He shrugged, a casual gesture, but his expression was serious. "I've not exactly done this much, Rose. I'm no interstellar Casanova or anything."

Rose laughed. "Do you think I care about that?"

"Probably not," he answered, smiling. "So why are you nervous?" he asked softly.

"I… I've not done this much myself," she said. "I was thinking about how I don't want to disappoint you…"

He laughed, moving beside her and encircling her in his arms. "You never disappoint me, Rose. In anything."

She returned his smile. "Same here. I guess we're being daft about this, then, aren't we?"

His answer was to kiss her.

It was, Rose would decide much later, the best kiss she'd ever had, no contest. It was gentle, it was fierce. It was confident and uncertain. They kissed as though they had all the time in existence to do nothing but kiss: and in a way, they did. She tasted like summer rain to him, the warmth of her body wrapping around him like a blanket. It made him feel safe in a way that he never knew he'd never felt, until this.

Things were hazy for him for a bit after that: there were kisses, there were touches, there were clothes, and then there were no clothes. His hands learned smooth skin and soft curves while hers explored sharp lines and firm angles. It should have bothered him, to have no concept of the passing of time while this happened: but it didn't. It amazed him and filled him with a strange exhilaration. The more he touched her, the more he wanted to touch her. She was opium and ecstasy feeding into his veins, water in land cracked and dead from heat.

His fingers splayed out like fans across her back as he slid down to bring his lips to her breasts. He licked a nipple, heard her moan, and did it again, bringing as much of her breasts as he could into his mouth and hands as he kissed, licked and stroked. Her fingers tangled in his hair and she gasped, arching against him, pulling him even closer before moving back slightly, her dazed eyes and flushed face making his entire body ache with wanting her.

She took his hands and pulled him to his feet, moving back towards her bed. He followed her down onto the cool cotton sheets, bending over her, planting kisses on her face and throat as his fingertips traced patterns on her hips. For a while, Rose was content to lie with her arms around him and enjoy his touch, but before long her desire to touch him in turn took over and she neatly flipped him onto his back.

His eyes widened in momentary surprise before he smiled and closed them.

"Bossy," he teased.

"I can stop, you know," she threatened playfully as her hands slid down his chest.

He opened one eye and peered up at her. "And I can still take you to Cardiff."

"Fair enough," Rose grinned. "Now hush while I continue my analysis."

She kissed him, tracing his lips with her tongue, and was rewarded with a sharp gasp. She worked her way to an ear and nibbled on it, occasionally breathing into it very gently, and he twitched. She drew the earlobe into her mouth and softly tugged on it and he arched against her.

"Rose... I don't think I have any freckles there," he groaned.

"So you don't," she murmured. "Perhaps I'd best check elsewhere, eh?"

And off she went; leaving no inch of him unkissed or untouched. He did have a smattering on his shoulders, which she started to count in a mock serious tone, and she'd reached fifteen before he moaned in complaint and she laughed. He kissed her again; his mouth demanding, passionate, and it sent shivers racing through her.

When her fingers closed around him, he shot up and said something incomprehensible, nearing knocking her in the forehead as he did. "Oi!" she exclaimed. "Easy there, please!"

He sank back down, looking flushed and startled and appropriately contrite. "Sorry. That's just… that's very…"

"What, you mean this?" she asked innocently, gliding her hand up and down now, enjoying the stunned expression on his face.

"I… yes… Rose, you might want to stop that," he gasped.

Her hand stilled. "You don't like it?"

"Oh, I do!" he assured her earnestly. "But I might not… last for very much longer if you don't."

She grinned and stretched out beside him.

He took her face in his hands. "You're so beautiful," he said quietly. "Everything about you is beautiful."

She leaned over to kiss him. After a moment, he moved back. "Are you sure about this, Rose?" he asked, eyes searching hers. "I don't want this if you're not sure."

"I'm sure," she said, and her words were both affirmation and promise.

He nodded, drawing her close, pressing his lips to her cheek before moving over her. He looked into her eyes as he slowly eased himself inside her, seeing her devotion, her friendship, and her love for him reflected in their depths. He rocked against her slowly, gently, wanting the moment to last a lifetime.

Rose held him tight, part of her not wanting him to ever move, to ever leave, to be here and be hers forever. She knew it wasn't realistic, that any day she could die or he could die, but that only made her more determined to make what they had now the best it could possibly be. All this time they'd been together, together but apart: now that was gone, replaced by something better, something new and frightening and wonderful. They couldn't go back from here, time machine or not. And Rose knew she didn't want to. She wanted to go forward, all the way to the edge of the universe, by his side.

She moved with him, matching him, breathing in the scent of him, whispering his name as he moaned hers. When he came she felt the odd double beat of his hearts surge against her skin, pounding so hard and fast she was afraid he would explode. But he didn't, and he didn't stop the easy rhythm of his body. He continued moving in the same slow, sweet way until Rose felt a climax claim her, again and again, while he consumed every possible inch of her. Only then did he stop, laying next to her while her reality returned to normal.

"Fibber," she gasped when she could speak.

"What?" he exclaimed.

"You made me think you were some sort of innocent little lamb with no clue what he was doing," she chuckled.

He shrugged, pulling her close and tucking her head under his chin. "I can't help it if I seem to have natural skill in everything I do."

"I guess you also can't help being conceited," she said impishly.

"It's a trade off. Is that a problem, Rose Tyler?" he teased.

She smiled and shook her head. "I think I can live with that."