Series Title: Cravings
Series Summary: The Doctor and Rose crave many things…

Story Title: Tea and Comfort
Author: Rambling Rose
Rating: PG
Summary: What better to deal with trauma than a hot cuppa, some chips, and a kiss? Post EotE
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and all affiliated characters are trademarks of the BBC. No profit is made to the author with use of these trademarked entities. No part of the plot or story, herein, is not to be republished without consent of the author.

- Cravings Part One: Tea and Comfort -

The Doctor tried to ignore the subtle sound of Rose's inhaling. It was a slow movement that she was trying to disguise, along with trying to hold back her tears. She had been that way since coming back on board, after watching particles of her home planet float through space.

That, mixed with the fact she had nearly died, trauma was nearly a given. What was it she had said before they had left? About all the history and everyone being too busy trying to save their own lives to notice… Sadly, The Doctor knew he could relate… He had felt the same way, watching Gallifrey burn. Knowing the eminent destruction of his home planet and knowing, as he fled, that the event would go unnoticed to everyone involved.

He had questioned his own survival after all the others had gone. Somehow, he knew that was exactly what was going through Rose's tiny little primitive mind as she fought the urge to cry. The Doctor dared not to go around to the other side of the console or to turn toward her, he was too afraid his own fresh wounds would decide to open and fester.

He set the TARDIS to float in the vortex, to give Rose time to calm down before he took her some place else. Or, would this have been too much for her? Would she just want to run back to her horribly domestic life and ask him to avoid bringing her back into his formula of danger?

The Doctor squeezed his eyes shut when he heard Rose finally break. He could tell she was doing her damnedest to not let him know that she had started crying. He heard the seat move and listened as her feet started to rapidly retreat. Finally, The Doctor felt he could breathe again. Part of him felt relieved that she hadn't asked or seemed to expect him to put his arms around her and give her comfort. In spite of that part of his mind's objection, the other part of his mind wanted to comfort the girl.

But what would be more comforting to the human at this moment? Was she the sort that wanted to be alone or was she the kind that needed someone to hold her hand and assure her that everything was alright? Or perhaps she was the sort that thought she needed to be alone when really she needed to have that physical contact with another.

Human were so complicated. It was never this complicated with Gallifreyans.

Gallifreyans, plain and simple, just took a deep breath and walked on. They took things in stride. Occasionally they would think about what had happened. At that point they just took another deep breath and pushed the feelings away.

Humans had a word for that act. Humans called it repression or denial. For Gallifreyans it was the only way to be. There were greater things in the universe than mourning the loss of a one solitary planet. Besides, what did humans know, what with letting their emotions rule every aspect of their lives.

Then again, The Doctor ruefully realized, he had never really been an ideal Gallifreyan himself. He had a hard time letting go of watching Gallifrey being destroyed while he fought to save his own life… He still was having a hard time of it. If it was hard for him, a Gallifreyan -- one of the people of the universe that strived to be free of illogical thinking and never letting emotions play a part in decisions -- was having a hard time putting his soul at peace, he could only imagine what the events that had just transgressed had done to Rose.

Going through that would have made any human insane.

So, The Doctor decided to go and find Rose, just to make sure she was all right.

He had half expected to find her in a room, crying. But, imagine his surprise at finding Rose sitting idly in a room barely bigger than a cupboard. It had a little table for two, a few little cabinets and a little counter with a sink built into it. Next to the counter was a little range with a kettle perched on one of the two warming eyes, steam billowing out of the spout.

Rose was sipping slowly on a steaming cup of tea.

"There's another mug in the cabinet if you want some," Rose pointed out when she saw him looking between her and the steaming kettle. "There's plenty of hot water left, shouldn't have gotten cold yet."

Instead of joining Rose for tea, he simply occupied the little seat across from her. "You just experienced genuine trauma and you thought you needed a cup of tea?" The Doctor asked, his face twisting into a slightly confounded expression.

"That's almost exactly what Mickey said after I had my shop blown up." Rose shrugged slightly. "It's what my mum has always done. When one of my mates died, she kept the tea coming for hours. Me and my other friends just sat about drinking tea, remembering the good times and crying when we dared to laugh about a funny moment." Her expression turned vacant and unreadable for a moment. "Just can't believe it's gone…" She set her cup down and looked at him. "Of all the things I saw at the observation deck -- little blue men and women, a human that looked more alien than the actual aliens, that I can believe -- the only thing I can't believe is that the earth is now dead. And that no one got to see it go. Can you imagine what it's like to watch your home planet being destroyed and there's nothing you can do but try and save your own life?"

The Doctor stood and held his hand out to Rose. "Come on," he said lightly. Rose eyed his hand unsurely for a moment. He gave her a reassuring smile and she took his hand. He pulled her from her little chair. "I know just what to do."

"Where are we going then?" Rose asked as he lead her back down the corridor to the console room.

"You'll see," he replied simply, letting go of her hand to set the coordinates.

Rose yelped and laughed slightly when the TARDIS rumbled back to life. She took hold of the console to keep her footing. The Doctor couldn't help but return the grin Rose gave him. The engines powered back down as they materialized at their destination.

"When and where are we?" Rose asked.

"Go see," The Doctor said with a faint smile.

He watched as Rose walked down the landing, hesitating at the door for a moment before easing it open. When she finally slipped out of the door, The Doctor gazed down at the console, wondering if he should tell her about what had happened to Gallifrey. She would -- sort of -- understand wouldn't she? But how much would be enough? How much would be too much information?

He finally reasoned to himself to only tell her that his world was gone and that he was alone. Depending on her reaction to that much, he would then decide whether or not to tell her more, if she decided to continue on travelling with him.

When he had joined her in the crowded street, she had been looking around in awe -- as if she couldn't quite grasp the fact they were once again on an active, normal Earth. Her reaction had not been what he had expected when he told her about the fact his people had lost the war and that he was alone. He would have been able to deal with her expressing pity or some sort of sorrow. Instead of those normal human responses, she had looked up at him and said three little words that made both of his hearts feel like they had melted…

"You've got me."

And the fact she had chosen going for chips over returning to her home… The Doctor had been unable to do anything but take her hand and go for chips.

The table they ended up occupying as not much bigger than the one he had found her sitting at in the TARDIS. But, Rose seemed to have taken it on herself to not stay too far from him by keeping her little chair close to his as they enjoyed their chips. She had tentatively asked him for more information about his home before the war.

He told her about the orange skies and Rose had looked up at the greyish-blue overhead as if trying to imagine the rusty, orange-tinted skies of Gallifrey. He gave her little details about the beauty of Gallifrey and the Capitol. By time he had finished, Rose had a dreamy look in her eyes, as if she had formulated the image of Gallifrey in her head.

"It wasn't that impressive," The Doctor commented. "Look at what you got here… Blue skies, green grass, yellow sun… wide array of colours."

"It sounds beautiful though," Rose replied quietly. "Gallifrey… Even from the name of the place it sounds like it was a beautiful place."

"It was," The Doctor said.

Rose looked at him sharply and The Doctor startled slightly, as if he had previously been lost in his own thoughts. "Is there any way to go and see it? Your home planet, you know, before it was destroyed. Like we're doing for the Earth?"

The Doctor shook his head. "No. Gallifrey is -- was -- outside of time and space. It can't exist in one time and cease in another. They wouldn't exactly welcome you there at any rate, never thought much of humans that lot. They always thought I was a bit off for loving Earth so much."

Rose found his hand under the table and gave it a slight squeeze. The small smile she gave him was one of almost understanding and empathy for what he had lost. "Well, if it's any consolation, I wish we could see it. Guess we'll have to find another place then?"

"So you're staying?" The Doctor asked.

Rose picked up her final chip and studied it for a moment before looking up at him with a bright smile. "It'll take a lot more than some bitchy trampoline trying to kill us for you--" she jabbed him on the tip of his nose with her chip "-- to get rid of me." She put the chip promptly in her mouth and smiled smugly. "Besides," she nudged him with her elbow slightly. "Who else would let you take 'em on a date and pay for you?" Her eyes glimmered mischievously. "I'll be expecting some sort of repayment when we get back to the TARDIS."

"Oy," The Doctor barked. "Knowing you humans I know what you'll be expecting. And I'll have you know I don't do that on the first date."

The two of them laughed as they vacated their seats and started back toward the TARDIS, arm-in-arm.

"Can you even do that?" Rose asked curiously once they arrived at the old police box. She leaned against the side of the TARDIS as the Doctor fumbled with the key. He looked at her in shock and dropped the key. Rose felt her face flush slightly as The Doctor bent down to retrieve the key. "I mean, I know you're…" she thought for a moment before slowly pronouncing the name of his race "Gal-li-frey-an… But in what other ways do you lot look like us humans? How different are you?"

"Not too much," The Doctor replied, finally managing to get the key into the lock. "It's mostly internal that all the differences take place. Well, other than the obvious mental advantages we have over you lot." He disappeared inside of the TARDIS.

Rose pushed off from where she had been leaning against the ship and quickly followed him inside. "Internal?" she asked, closing the door. "How? What have you got, like, two hearts or sumthin'?"


Rose opened her mouth to say something but suddenly forgot what it was. So, she just looked at The Doctor oddly as he snatched a green sphere off the console and plopped down into the seats on the other side. "Really? Two hearts? Where's the other one?"

The Doctor propped his feet up on the console and rolled the little green sphere between his hands. "You ask too many questions. Are you sure you're pure human?" The glimmer in his eyes was teasing.

"Don't change the subject," Rose said, nudging one of his feet off the console. She folded her arms over her chest stubbornly and leaned against where his foot had previously been. "Where's the other one?"

"On the other side of course," The Doctor replied, as if it should have been the most obvious answer. He pointed to where the other rested in his chest.

Rose tilted her head and cocked an eyebrow. "Can I feel?"

The Doctor, once again, looked as if he had been caught by surprise. "My other heart?" Rose nodded with an excited grin. The Doctor looked at the green sphere in his hands and then back at Rose. He dropped his foot from its prop and leaned forward to put the sphere back onto the console. He shrugged as if to say, "If you must," and sat back in his seat again, hands behind his head.

Rose tentatively approached him, chewing her bottom lip. Before she could reach up, The Doctor took both of her hands and placed them over each of his hearts. Rose's eyes widened as she felt the two individually beating hearts strongly under her hands. For a moment, it felt like her own solitary heart became confused and tried to match the rapid paces. Even after The Doctor released her wrists, Rose kept her hands pressed against his chest.

"Amazing," she breathed, taking the few small steps to bring her closer to the Doctor. She looked up at the Doctor's face. His eyes were lingering on her lips. After a moment, his eyes finally flickered up to hers. Rose tried to speak, but discovered that her voice refused to form itself into words. She felt like she was being drawn in by some invisible force field, to The Doctor's lips.

Before long, her lips touched his and all seemed to be lost and beyond comprehension. It started out simple enough as a chaste touch of the lips. But, something happened and before Rose knew what was happening she was being pressed against the console…

The Doctor's mouth was boring down on hers, sucking the breath out of her lungs. She inhaled deep and sharp when his mouth tore away and went to her neck. His hands had already found the bottom of her shirt and snaked their way to her skin. Rose gasped as the coolness of his hands. She wrapped her legs around The Doctor's waist as he grinded himself against her.

Suddenly, the console let out a massive spark. The Doctor jumped back, wide eyed and Rose fell to the floor. The console shot out a few more sparks before coming to rest. Rose scurried out of the way while the Doctor frantically tried to find what had gone wrong with his ship. After a few minutes, he calmed down and turned to her.

"You all right Rose?" he asked.

Rose nodded shakily. "F- Fine." She scratched behind her ear and let her eyes drift to somewhere other than the Doctor. By time she finished looking over the floors and turned her attention back to The Doctor, he was turned back toward the console.

"Why don't you go get some sleep, Rose Tyler," The Doctor said quietly, not turning in her direction the slightest bit. "You've had a long day, you must be exhausted. I'll just fix the TARDIS back up and we'll go someplace else. It should take me a while and I don't want you getting bored and such."

"All right. G'night."

His tone had been firm and finale. Rose knew that if she tried to say anything else, she would just be shushed and shooed out of the console room so The Doctor could work in peace. So, she walked into the corridor and went in search of a room to sleep in.