The TARDIS began to shake and vibrate, pulling Rose out of her slumber.
She sat up, rubbing her eyes and yawning and nearly fell off the bed as another turbulation tossed the Blue Box up and down.
"Where's he taking us to this early?" she muttered to herself, frowning. She reached for her robe and walked out of the bedroom, bracing herself against the door during the worst shaking. It began to subside as soon as she reached the main hall, finding the Doctor bowed over control panels, checking the systems.
"Morning Doctor," she greeted him.
"Morning," he answered, but didn't turn to look at her. She frowned slightly, but shrugged the worry off. It could be something, but it could also be nothing. The Doctor might merely be in one of his moods.
She neared him and leaned her lower back against the panels. "Where are we?" she asked curiously, watching him. He was fully dressed, looking all business.
"Yeah? Well good. I can visit my mother. I kinda miss her you know," she looked away thoughtfully.
"Fantastic. You'll have forever to catch up," still avoiding her eyes, he checked the last of the screens. By now the TARDIS stood perfectly still.
Rose frowned. Suddenly, she had the worst premonition. "Wha-... What do you mean, forever?" she asked, tucking her hair behind her ear in a slightly nervous manner.
He leaned forward, heavily resting his hands on the panels, lowering his head. He never looked at her as he replied in a dry, detached tone. "Go pack your things. You're going back home."
She opened her mouth, staring at him in shock. In this moment one distinct thought crossed her confused mind: that he hasn't used her name ever since she came into the room. Not once.
Absently she pulled the robe tighter around herself. "I don't understand," she muttered. She didn't understand - why he was throwing her out of the TARDIS - out of his life. She didn't understand why he wouldn't look at her.
He exhaled. Apparently, it was hard for him. But still she didn't understand. "Just get dressed and be ready to go," he said.
She didn't move. "I'm not going anywhere unless you explain to me what the hell I did wrong that you're leaving me," she choked out. She was close to tears now.
He looked at her, finally. Their eyes met and she saw it - the anguish. The determination. The longing. "You're not..." he started and then hesitated, but only briefly. "You don't belong here, Rose Tyler. You're not cut out for this life."
She frowned. "What is it about, Doctor? I thought we were a team--"
"No," he cut in harshly. He saw the hurt in her eyes and added, softer this time. "Your mother was right. Being...travelling with me, you're constantly in danger. I have no right to put you in such position."
"This was my choice," she pointed out sharply. "You didn't force me to go with you, Doctor. You seemed okay with this... What happened that made you change your mind? Is it something that I did?" she gazed at him with those large, beautiful eyes of hers and he felt his resolve waver.
He exhaled, looking away for a moment to compose himself, then back into her face. "You didn't do anything," he answered calmly. "I merely decided that taking on companions is no longer a good idea. This is my burden and my mission. Mine, and no one else's."
She stared at him, hurt. "So that's how you want it to be then, Doctor?" she asked, her voice high. "Lonely travels, lonely mornings and evenings, no-one but random strangers on your way, no strings attached?"
He frowned, tilting his head, giving her a look that spoke volumes. Her heart skipped and then hammered, the wave of heat tingling across her skin. She didn't understand how he could look at her like this and at the same time urge her to leave.
"Doctor," she muttered, taking a step closer. He watched her, not stepping back, but not making any move towards her either. He looked conflicted, like he was torn inside. It broke her heart to see him like this.
She reached out, touching his arm. He tensed up, but didn't break the eye-contact. It encouraged her a little.
"What is it, Doctor?" she asked softly, looking up into his blue eyes. "Tell me."
He sighed inaudibly. "It doesn't matter. Not any more."
"It does matter," she shoke her head. "Just tell me--"
"I thought I'd lost you," he cut in, his eyes boring into hers intensively.
She should've known it was about that. She could've died during the Dalek incident and she should've known he was going to beat himself up over this.
She moved closer. "It wasn't your fault," she muttered.
"No, it was my fault," he shook his head, tormented look on his face. "It was my fault that I'd offered you all of this in the first place."
"I already told you it was my choice, Doctor," she repeated firmly.
"So I should've opposed," he shot back. His eyes darkened. "I should've done something to stop you. But I couldn't. I stood there, looking at you, and I knew I couldn't let you go. I was selfish and I should apologize. It's my life, not yours. Yours should be parties and studying and--"
"And what?" she frowned, shaking her head.
"And friends. Like Ricky. Of your age and race," he finished in a strained voice. "You're young, Rose. Young and naive. You didn't know what you were getting yourself into--"
"Don't treat me like I was a kid incapable of making my own decisions," she cut in sharply. Her eyes fixed on him intensively and he saw that she was anything but a child. "I wouldn't trade my place by your side for a lifetime of stupid parties," she muttered, shifting closer.
He stared down into her face, silent. She didn't get it - his voice was telling her to go, but his eyes were begging her to stay.
"You could've been gone in a split second, Rose," he whispered. "And I wouldn't... I wouldn't forgive myself if I let that happen."
"You can't control everything, Doctor," she muttered. "You think you do, but you're not God. People die and that's the way it is--"
"Yeah, but in car accidents or-or for some other similar, mundane reasons," he cut in, his hand resting on her shoulder, long fingers curling around it. She didn't know if he wanted to steady her or himself. "Not because of the encounters with aliens. Not because of me..." his hand moved, fingers threading through her soft hair, pulling it over her shoulder, letting it fall freely down her back. His fingertips brushed across the side of her neck, cold and gentle and she felt her throat close up with emotion. She swallowed hard, staring up into his face. He stared back, his expression serious, almost grave, his blue eyes so intensive she felt as if they were burning right through her soul. "I'm dangerous, me. You don't know what I'm capable of, Rose," he added in a voice barely above the whisper.
"I'm not afraid," she shook her head firmly. "You have to know, Doctor... I never feel more safe than when I'm with you."
His eyes darkened as he watched her closely for a few seconds longer. Then he took a step back, putting the distance between them. "And that's why you have to go," he said firmly. "You're ilusional about all of this. About me. Our lives are so much different, Rose. I have no right to take yours from you--"
"Don't you understand?" she cut in, her voice gaining on the desperate note now. "I don't want my old life back, Doctor! That's why I had agreed to come with you in the first place! Because I had wanted something else... something special. And because I had trusted you. From the very moment you took my hand," she finished softly.
He stared at her, his face undreadable, like it would be somtimes. She stared back, her breathing quickened, her heart hammering. She wanted him to say that she could stay. That he needed her. That he couldn't go on without her as much as she couldn't do it wihout him. Not any more. Now after what they've been through together.
And they he spoke. "Come 'ere."
She did, without hesitation. His arms opened and she stepped into them eagerly, pressing her face into his neck, her hands linking behind his back as she clung to him. She closed her eyes and breathed him in, emotion choking her when she felt him gather her closer. He buried his face in her hair, her sweet feminine scent intoxicating him, her body warm and willing against his.
"I don't want to think I could ever lose you," he whispered into her cheek. "But I can. You're just a weak human, Rose. Small and fragile--"
"I'm not fragile," she protested, but without much eagerness. She loved how he was being now. "I can kick ass pretty nice."
He chuckled quietly. "Yes, I'm inclined to believe that you actually can. But Rose, you have to understand. You're helpless against the forces of the universe..."
"And that's why I have you, isn't it," she answered, raising her face, their eyes interlocking firmly.
Her gaze, so sweet and yet so wise, held him in place. He couldn't look away.
"Yes. That's why you have me," he muttered. He reached up, cupping her cheek in his large hand. She swallowed, eyes still holding his, then slowly turned her face into his hand, kissing it softly. Her slightly parted lips, warm and moist, lingered against his skin, her breath hot. He inhaled sharply, his eyes darkening even further.
"Rose Tyler," he said her name, his voice dropping a sexy notch. "You were supposed to be gone by now."
Her eyes never left his. They wore a smoky, dreamy look now, making her look incredibly enticing to him. Making her all that he could see.
"That was before we talked," she whispered. "Besides, I can't leave you Doctor. You're not gonna make it without me. Admit it. You need me," she smirked lightly.
"I do. But I need you to live, more," his thumb stroked the soft expanse of her cheek, his hand warming up in the contact with her skin.
"Then don't leave me Doctor," she muttered. "'Cause if you do, I'll die. And it will be entirely your fault."
His eyes went from dark back to deep blue before she could blink. Suddenly it felt like the whole air was charged. Her breath hitched in her throat audibly as she waited, her gaze glued to his, her chest rising and falling.
He touched the corner of her mouth with his thumb, before running it slowly across her lower lip possessively. "You leave now or you never get that chance again," he said in a low, husky voice.
She never heard him speak like this before and it made her knees thremble. She swallowed, staring up into his eyes. "Promise?" she asked, the seductiveness in her voice surprising even her.
As soon as it was out she knew there was no going back. He stepped closer, pinning her between him and control panels. Her breasts crushed against his chest as he towered above her, making her feel more feminine than she ever did before. She raised her face towards his, their breaths mingling, the strong feeling of inevitability filling them, completing them, freeing them.
"Tell me you know what you're doing," he said roughly.
"I know what I'm doing," she muttered, her breathing ragged, her body yearning for him. She touched his face. "More than I knew anything in my life."
Minutes ago he was determined to make her go. Now all he could think about was the ways in which he could persuade her to stay forever.
Her lips parted under his, her hands fisting in his leather jacket, pulling him close, closer, between her thighs as he lifted her with one hand and set on the flat expanse of the control panel. Her ankles crossed behind his knees, her hands pushing his jacket down his shoulders impatiently, desperate to feel bare skin. He helped her, their lips never disconnecting, their eyes closed to capture sensations inside.
He leaned more fully into her, hating every inch of space where he was not touching her, not feeling her. His kiss turned nearly savage, but she met it with similar determination of her own. She never knew he could be so passionate. She never knew she could want someone so bad.
She rubbed herself against him and heard his breath catch in his throat. He pulled away slightly to look at her with dark, burning eyes, his breath heavy and shallow. She stared at him through the heavy lids, marvelling that she could do this to him, that she was the reason he was such a mess - he, the Time Lord, such a powerful creature.
"What are you doing to me, woman?" he asked hoarsely.
She smiled at him sweetly. "I could ask you the same, Doctor," she muttered. She stroked his cheek, loving that she could touch him now, that she could feel him. He changed her life, everything she knew. He changed her.
Nothing was the same any more.
She leaned forward, brushing her warm lips across his softly. "Make love to me," she whispered.
He nodded, his eyes adoring her, worshipping her. He scooped her up in his arms and took her to his bedroom, and then higher, to the stars. Like he always would.