A/N: Gosh, I can't believe I've got three stories on the go at once. It's madness, but once those plot bunnies grab hold of you...
Disclaimer: Seriously, if it was mine do you really think I'd be doing this?
Rated for later chapters.
It was a miserable day. A truly miserable day. The rain poured down heavily from the dark grey sky and beat persistently at the window of a small café in East London, which is where the Doctor and Rose were currently sitting, nibbling absent-mindedly on fat, fluffy chips and stopping every now and then to take a sip of hot, sweet tea and flick the page of a local paper they were scouring.
Rose sighed and let her mind wander for a moment as she watched the rain trying to break its way through the glass before becoming fascinated by the way her breath misted up the window, shrank back for a second, and then grew again as she let out another breath. She had to stop herself from pressing her finger against it to draw a smiley face as she became vaguely aware of the Doctor watching her out of the corner of his eye. He suddenly cleared his throat, and she turned back to him, idly grabbing the salt cellar and sprinkling some more of the tiny white grains over her chips.
"You know, too much salt is bad for you…" the Doctor started, then shut-up when he saw the look on her face. He sighed and slipped off his glasses before running a hand over his face, rubbing his eyes as he went. He then popped them back on and stared at her intently. He did this for a few seconds, before deciding enough was enough. He had made up his mind.
"Right, that's it."
Rose exhaled rather loudly and met his gaze. "What?" she asked lazily.
"I'm not dragging you through this anymore." He scooted his body as far over the table as he could, leaning into her ear to whisper something no one else could possibly hear.
"I know it's not right, but to be honest it's not going to hurt anyone, and given the circumstances, we have no choice." He took a deep breath before carrying-on, noting the confused look on his best friend's face.
"I'm going to hack into the banks account systems with the aid of my trusty sonic screwdriver, approve us for everything and 'transfer' enough money into our new account to be able to put a substantial deposit on a house and to keep us tided over for the time being. Then, we are going to visit a mortgage broker, find a place we like, move in, find a job -" he screwed his eyes up as he said the word, before continuing; "- and live our lives the best we can. I refuse to stay in that hotel any longer. I know Zack and Danny and Ida have done their best for us," his shoulders slumped, "but I just can't take it anymore," he sighed. The team had done their best for them, even gave them money out of their own pockets to get by on after they had discovered the enormity of the situation they were in. They had begged their bosses at Torchwood to find them somewhere to stay (conveniently leaving out the fact that they were time-travellers and that the Doctor was, in fact, an alien), but the fat-cats at the top were too tight-fisted to give them anywhere too nice, insisting it really wasn't their problem that two strangers had gotten themselves stuck out on the Sanctuary Base.
The Doctor searched Rose's face for a response, and visibly relaxed when she finally smiled at him, the first real smile she'd given him since landing on future Earth a week ago.
The Doctor grinned at her as he sat back and tucked his glasses and the paper into his jacket pocket. "Come on, it's getting late." He stood up and pulled his coat on. "We'll start first thing in the morning," he said, offering a hand down to Rose and pulling her up.
"Wished we'd thought to bring a brolly," she said, waving an idle hand towards the window.
"Nah, we'll be fine. Hotel's only round the corner."
"Fine my arse," Rose muttered to herself as she stood in the small bathroom, drying her hair with a towel. She then pulled on the pyjamas and big, fluffy dressing gown that Ida had leant her (both of which drowned her slightly), and made her way back into the bedroom. She was thankful that the only room that had been available when they checked in was en-suite. She hated the idea of having to keep going up and down the stairs to use the shared bathroom.
"Okay?" the Doctor asked looking up from the book he was reading as he sat huddled in a chair by the window.
"Yeah, no thanks to you," she replied, and she stuck her tongue out to show him she was teasing. She noted that he was already changed, and she carefully laid out her wet clothes on the radiator next to his. She smiled to herself as she looked at them. The Doctor was having to wear normal, everyday clothes now he didn't have any spare suits on him. Oddly, she found herself looking forward to the days when that one suit had been cleaned and he could wear it for a day or two. It brought a bit of normality to things. Rose yawned and stretched her arms above her head. It had been a strange week. Jobs had been applied for, rented accommodation looked at; but to no avail. Their urgency was great, but they had been picky. Perhaps overly so, but the Doctor said it was his duty to give her the best he could, and he wouldn't stop looking until he'd found it. She smiled again. This time the Doctor caught it.
"What?" he inquired.
"Nothing. Just thinking."
"Dangerous habit that, especially for you Rose Tyler." He smirked at her playfully and she lightly smacked him round the head.
"Ouch!" he pouted.
"Stop being cheeky and you'll stop getting smacked." She grinned at him and he couldn't help but smile back.
"There's my Rose," he said fondly. He yawned suddenly and looked at the clock on the wall. "Time for bed," he stated more than asked. Rose nodded in agreement and went to pull the covers back on the bed, flopping down on it with a small moan as the Doctor chucked his book to one side and made his way to the bathroom to get washed up. Rose sat up and looked around the room as she waited for him to finish and come and turn the light off. It was very clinical looking and quite sparse. There was a lamp on each of the bedside tables, the squashy chair by the window and a dressing table/desk. A wardrobe stood against the far wall, and on the opposite wall hung a small, flat screen television. Rose had been disappointed with it at first, the Doctor's only concern being whether or not it had the obligatory tea and coffee making facilities, which, to his delight, it did. But she soon got used to it. She had no choice.
She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice. "Yep." And then something occurred to her as she watched him arrange his blanket and pillow on the chair.
"Hmmm," he sounded, slightly distracted by the act of batting his pillow into place.
"It's not fair."
He looked round at her then, a look of sympathy crossing his features. "I know. But it will get better. I promise."
Rose let out a small laugh and he looked confused.
"No! What I meant was it's not fair that you have to sleep scrunched up in that chair. In fact, it's ridiculous. This bed is big enough for two, and, seeing as we're both adults, sharing shouldn't be a problem. I mean, the amount of times I've had to share a bed with my mates because there wasn't enough room…" she trailed off, realising she was rambling as she caught the gentle look on the Doctor's face.
"I appreciate your concern. It's just…"
"What?" she asked softly, noticing that he was suddenly looking a bit bashful, a pale pink tinge gracing his cheeks.
"I didn't want to make you feel uncomfortable. We're in an awkward enough situation as it is." He smiled somewhat shyly at her and she walked over and threw her arms around his neck.
"I know this is awful. Even more so for you because this isn't what you do. At least for me it's only been a couple of years since I was on the slow path, but for you it's…" she sighed. "The last thing we need is any awkwardness."
The Doctor rubbed her back and sighed into the crook of her neck. She pulled away and placed a gentle kiss on his forehead.
"Now," she said, as if talking to a child. "No more silliness. Get in the bed."
"Yes ma'am." He mock saluted her and did as he was told.
Rose turned off the light and hopped in next to him, snuggling down as far under the duvet as she could. The Doctor propped himself up on his elbow and she turned to face him, only just able to make out the outline of his face in the dark.
"You know, you're really quite amazing," he said quietly.
"Yeah. I mean, you've just been separated from your mother, your family, forever, and you're busy worrying about me." He heard her breath hitch in her throat and he mentally smacked himself for being stupid enough to mention her mother.
"Oh, Rose. I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking."
"It's okay," she sniffed, trying to unsuccessfully hold back a sob. "S'not your fault."
"But it is," he said, putting a hand to her cheek to calm her.
"No," she said forcefully, making him flinch. "I won't have you saying that. Not ever."
He opened his arms. "Come here."
Rose rolled into him and he held her tightly, patiently waiting for her to cry it all out; something he'd been waiting for her to do all week.
But even after her tears had dried, they made no attempt to disconnect from each other.