Title: The Perfect Ten
Author: Random-Battlecry
Genre: Humor/Romance
Rating: PG+, for kittens
Pairing: 10/Rose
Feedback: is so loved.
A/N: Er... so, my first real attempt at writing 10 (though I've written several since). I wish he weren't so comic-reliefy.


It was a spot of dinner, really, nothing fantastic.

Neither of them had made it, actually. The Doctor had, with some delight (as opposed to little delight, which did happen occasionally, or extreme delight, which was practically his default setting, as he apparently took delight in everything, even near-death experiences and especially a good shout) discovered that if he took a saliva sample (he also enjoyed saliva samples, but only on a need-to-know basis, and as he truly felt the need to know everything, his tongue tended to be everywhere) from both him and Rose (Rose was a bit taken aback when he told her to open her mouth and ready her tongue for something wonderful), he could get the TARDIS to create exactly what they were craving at the moment the (enjoyable, delightful) saliva samples were taken. Unfortunately at the time he'd only been able to concentrate on broccoli, and Rose, who hadn't been adequately warned, was thinking of kittens.

They chewed steadily away at the broccoli.

"This is good," said Rose, who inexplicably felt the need to comment; the Doctor cringed slightly. He was uncomfortably aware that the dinner was inadequate and equally uncomfortably aware that it was his fault. Also he should have warned her not to think about kittens; but how was he to know what the average female human mind dwelt on when they weren't occupied otherwise? He supposed in the end it could have been worse, and said as much.

"Could have been worse," he, in fact, said, and Rose assumed, quite reasonably, that it was a continuation of the possible conversation her remark could have started, and looked up at him.

"No, its good," she said, "its really good." And she grinned at him. "Its amazing, your ship. But you already knew that."

"Did, yeah." He grinned back anyway. "And well stocked with broccoli."

"No worries about lack of broccoli on this ship, that's for sure!" she agreed.

"No, never."

"Probably has entire broccoli fields somewhere in the back. Or a stockpile of broccoli. Or a broccoli machine."
"Can we," said the Doctor, laying his fork delicately on his plate, "stop saying broccoli?"

"We can," said Rose, with equal gravity, and felt about her teeth with her tongue to make sure she hadn't missed any bits. The Doctor watched her avidly, ticking off his senses as they reported to him the various attributes of this particular companion: hair blond and now running slightly to darker roots, time to get that fixed, he only hopes she won't tie up the bathroom for four hours this time. Eye makeup— ooh, flaking slightly— and eyes fixed firmly on him now that she'd finished all the fishing about her teeth. Eyes narrowed. Eyes suspicious.

"Did I miss a bit? Or what?"

He realized that he was staring very fixedly at her now, and made a great show of shrugging, stretching, yawning, rubbing his back to and fro over the sofa cushions, leaning with exaggerated ease towards her and putting both arms behind him over the back of the sofa. None of this really worked; he was still intent on the senses, and she was still looking at him suspiciously.

"I'm sorry about the kittens," he offered.

She pushed the TV table, which they had eaten off of (for no reason known to him, the TARDIS had decided that Tuesday was TV night, even though there wasn't actually a TV, and so in reality, Tuesday was TV-table-and-sitting-next-to-each-other-staring-at-the-moderately-uninteresting-wall night), away from them with slow, slightly nervous movements of her extended toes.

"S'alright, I s'pose."

Dropped syllables, the Doctor's ears hastened to inform him, and he nodded slightly to himself. The myriad accents and dialects of Earth never failed to mystify and enthrall and— what was the word— irritate him. It was mostly when his best attempt at Liverpudlian slipped inexorably to the annoying drawl of the Deep American South that he got irritated, though, and really he was quite fond of Rose's turn on what would otherwise be perfectly normal, probably boring words. The senses marched on, as his eyes drifted and his thoughts took a sharp left turn.

He pondered the mathematical difficulties of turnips.

This was part of what got him into trouble with the broccoli incident.

But Rose— Rose, well, well, well, Rose, she smelled remarkably— she smelled remarkably good for someone who had just (uncomplainingly, bless her) eaten a dinner comprised solely of broccoli. The Good Green, he decided to call it, to forestall any further embarrassment on his own part; after all, he could have been thinking of biscuits or something like that, at least this way she was well and properly fed with healthy, healthy greenness. The Good Green.

She smelled— good. She smelled bloody wonderful. Without thinking he leant even closer to her and progressed from a light sniff to a steady, heady, full-on inhalation, just below her ear. He hadn't really thought of how this would seem from her point of view, but halfway through the breathing in it hit him that to lean gradually closer and then suddenly press one's nose to one's companion's neck was a bit of a strange thing to do. Rose had in fact gone very still, and he could picture the look of confusion on her face, wavering halfway between a readiness to be amused when it turned out to be a joke (as, he was sure, she must assume it to be) and an equal readiness to turn to him with her heart plain upon her face.

"Sorry," he murmured, lips very close to her neck.

"...about the kittens?" said Rose.

He pondered his answer for quite some time before he said it, took a step back from the word and assessed all the angles of it, plumbed the depths, scaled the walls, cartographed the cartography.

"...yes," he said.

"...you already said that," said Rose.

"...it felt inadequate as an apology," said the Doctor, "but I apologize for apologizing twice."

"Doctor—"

Here it came, as she turned her face towards his. He played the part of a coward and kept his nose buried in the crook of her neck, breathing deep. Something elusive, there. Something he couldn't quite determine. Something purely Rose. Something he—

—sneezed at.

Her nose bumped his (far too much proximity, really, in this situation) and wrinkled in disgust as she tried to get away, making a "Euaahgh," following that with "Doctor!" and wiping animatedly at her shoulder.

"Didn't get any on you," said the Doctor helpfully, wiping his nose. "I've got— I've got self-containing snot, me."

"That was— just— euaaghg!"

"At least," said the Doctor, "I've got something more to apologize about now."

She turned to face him, still frowning, and the grin that he was trying to get to appear on his lips just wouldn't show up at all. Instead he was lost in staring, staring, staring, and she began to be quite unnerved.

"Doctor, I think—"

"Ro—" he said, before his body disobeyed him and lunged forward. He lost the second half of her name on her lips, still trying to speak and substituting words for action, mouthing against her mouth and catching her lower lip quite by accident between sharp white teeth. She made a small noise that was probably a protest. He swallowed it, as well as the moan that followed. In losing his voice he also apparently lost control of his tongue, and as he kissed Rose, and kissed her, and kissed her, he felt his consciousness standing back with its hands on its hips, going Wait a minute... who is that guy?

He gathered himself hurriedly together and backed off, though not before a final nip at her chin.

They blinked at each other.

"D'you know what's wonderful?" said Rose, blearily.

"Whaahuh?" said the Doctor. He did. He did know what was wonderful. He knew several things that were wonderful, in fact, and they were racing through his mind practically on top of each other. Oh— on top of each other—

"You don't taste in the least like broccoli," said Rose.

He gave over very quickly, and only let out the slightest squeak when she climbed into his lap. His consciousness threw its hands in the air and walked off shaking its head. The Doctor focused on the matter in hand. Clearly, he had been forgiven for the kittens. More of his senses weighed in, quite eager to let him know exactly, exactly, exactly what was going on.

Touch.

Taste.

Oh god.

Definitely forgiven for the kittens.

"You know," said Rose somewhat breathlessly, some time later, "before you started this—"

"Did I start this?"

"Yes you did."

"Mmph. Bright idea of mine, to start this. Bright, oh-so-very bright."

"Before you started this," Rose reiterated, bouncing distractingly on his crotch, "I was about to say that I should just go to bed."

"Ah. Oh. Oh!" He caught her wrists in his hands and kissed her fingers.

"So?"

"Still sounds like a good idea to me."

She tipped his chin up towards her, met his gaze; he smiled at her and she smiled back.

"Right," she said, tentatively, and trailed her fingers down his body and over his legs as she slid backwards off his lap. "I'll just— walk that way—"

He remained sitting and nodding at nothing for some time by himself.

"Yes," he said quietly, at last, "the Good Green has done it again. Wonders have been worked this night. We'll hold a proper funeral for the kittens. Say a prayer for each and every lonely, wounded heart that searches out absolution through every-day survival and something a tiny bit more—"

There was no telling how long he would have gone on if he hadn't realized what an idiot he was sitting there alone, leapt to his feet, and bolted for Rose's bedroom.