A/N: Apologies all round for the delay of this chapter. My muse ran away with the Doctor in his TARDIS and refused to come home when I called him. Once again, a magnificent thanks to the gorgeous Luna Lovegood5 for beta-ing this chapter, and for putting up with my endless calls for help!! ♥
He knocked tentatively on her door. She hadn't been in the music room, so this was the next most logical place to try. His conversation with Mickey was still ringing in his ears, and his need to speak to Rose was stronger than ever. He had almost sprinted down the corridor to her room, with this strange thought in his head that maybe the quicker he got there, the more easily he'd be able to sort the problem out.
A muffled acknowledgement made its way to his ears. He pushed the door open and slipped into the room.
She was sitting cross-legged on her bed, with bobby pins in her mouth, elastic bands on her wrists, a small hand mirror on the covers next to her, and a half plaited bunch of hair in her hands. She quickly finished one side of her hair and removed the bobby pins from her mouth, turning to look at him as he approached her.
"Yeah?" She seemed perfectly laid back, friendly and relaxed, and it put him off his stride. Barely an hour ago she had been hunched over a piano, sobbing her heart out, and yet here she was, acting like the Rose he knew and lov……. anyway….. The thought occurred to him that she was better at hiding her emotions these days, a perfected mask sliding into place over her face whenever the need arose. He'd taught her too well.
"Oh, um, I was just…looking for you." His tone was still confused after finding her so calm, and he frowned at his lack of a good thing to say.
"Uh huh." She was unfazed. The Doctor had to remind himself that Rose didn't know he had seen her singing, nor did she know that Mickey had let her secret slip.
"I, um…yeah. Found you, then." His eyes kept switching from one side of the room to the other, as if he was feeling uncomfortable and searching for something to say.
Confusion crept into her features. "Yeah…" It was a slow yeah. The kind intended for people who were intellectually challenged. He didn't take kindly to the suggestion.
"I heard you singing. Before. In the music room." She had begun plaiting the other side of her hair, but now she stopped dead. She visibly tensed, and maintained her gaze on the bed covers. "I didn't realize you sang." Still she remained silent and motionless.
The Doctor wasn't sure whether to push the subject or not. Rose was clearly uncomfortable, but he was so desperate to help her, he tried one more time to get through to her. "It was beautiful." That got a response. She whipped around to face him.
"It was nothing. Forget about it." Her attention turned back to her hair.
"Are you sure it's nothing?"
"Yes." He could already tell that he was pushing this too far, but he couldn't stop himself from saying the next thing.
"The way you cried afterwards didn't seem like nothing."
"I SAID, IT WAS NOTHING, ALRIGHT!" She screamed at him. She actually screamed. In all the time the Doctor had known Rose Tyler, she had never once screamed at him like that. She had screamed for him when she was in danger and she needed rescuing, she had screamed when he chased her around the TARDIS with a dead spider after learning of her fear of them, but she had never screamed at him like she did just then. Her eyes were back on his face, veritable daggers shooting from them.
There was silence in the room. Rose was still, except for her heaving chest, and the Doctor was stunned into a statue-like position at the foot of her bed.
She turned away from him again. "I'm sorry." Her voice was a whisper, but it was packed full of heartbreaking emotion. The Doctor walked round to the side of her bed and sat down. He turned to her hunched frame and extended an arm towards her face, catching her chin with his fingers and tilting it up from its protected position on her chest and around towards him. As he finally caught sight of her face, a tear slid its way down her cheek and landed on his hand.
"Tell me what's wrong. Please."
There was a massive silence between his plea, and what she said next. The Doctor could tell that she was weighing her words, trying to decide what was the best thing to say next. He didn't push her. Not like he had before. He gave her all the time she needed, which ended up being a while, and so he was therefore totally unprepared for what she would say next.
"I...I just…I don't know whether I trust you anymore."