So Transparent

In any social dynamic, irregardless of how civilized or advanced its members may be, there will always be battles. Struggles for dominance or acceptance amongst the clan are simply unavoidable. This trait is well documented in the case of humans who live in the same household. Dirty dishes and forgotten trash turn into clashes of power and metaphors for other issues in their lives.

The same applies for those who live on spaceships together. Dirty dishes are still a problem, and the rubbish does have to be managed. Throw in a Time Lord with an inter-dimensional vessel and a whole new host of problems open up.

Heated debates about the merits of a working chameleon circuit are common. Clothing left on the wardrobe room floor, failure to report emptied milk cartons and the door to the Zero Room being left open often lead to heavy rows.

Of course these arguments can also occur for deeper reasons than an unfed man-eating plant (he swears it was her turn to feed it. She didn't even know it existed and refuses to accept blame). And naturally the importance of a discussion is in direct correlation to the seriousness of the subject matter.

Often times the merit in these more weighty debates is not in winning, but in what is learned in the process.

Of course you'd be hard pressed to convince these two of that.

Rose wandered into the console room casually, tugging at a loose thread on the cuff of her sleeve. Across the room the Doctor was tinkering with something or other. Seeing her enter he placed it down and smiled. She returned the gesture and stepped forward, taking a deep breath.

"You like me. There, I said it." She swallowed hard and he gave her a confused smile.

"Well of course I like you. I like everybody."

Rose shook her head. "No. You like like me."

She raised her eyebrows at him suggestively and he instinctively took a step back. He swallowed hard, his eyes blinking rapidly as he stared at her. "I- Uh- Wha?"

"You like me. There's no denying it." She gave him that trademark Rose Tyler grin: a little sexy, a little sassy, tongue between her teeth, head tilted just a bit to the side.

"And what makes you say that?" He did his best to give her his usual, cocky I-know-I'm-right smile while trying to ignore her tongue as she ran it across her teeth.

She could see the conversation drifting from the serious conversation she'd expected to one of their usual 'battle of wits' matches that he was so fond of. If that was how he wanted to handle it, she was more than game.

"You took me to a concert to see one of your favorite bands."

He scratched the back of his neck. "Well, I'm not sure Ian Dury counts as a favorite band. They have some very good songs, but favorite?" He noticed the annoyed look on her face and cleared him throat. "Right. Anyway. That does not mean I like you. "

"The way you were holding onto me does."

"It was crowded. Didn't want you wandering off."

"Hmm... What about the dancing?"

He frowned and squinted his eyes in confusion. "Funny, I don't recall dancing."

"Not at the concert. On the ship."

"Oh. Which time?" He gave her a teasing smile and she rolled her eyes.

"The first time. After the London Blitz?"

"Well, you'd questioned my abilities. Couldn't leave it at that." The Doctor refused to meet Rose's eyes as he walked around the console, avoiding her slow, almost predatory steps toward him.

"You rescued me from my caveman husband on a horse... like a knight in shining armor." She stopped and picked up one of the green spheres on the console, studying it with interest.

"You looked cold in the fur bikini thing they had you in."

Rose put the sphere back in place and cocked an eyebrow at him. "How could you tell through the fur?"

The Doctor flushed. When it was obvious he couldn't come up with an answer, Rose continued. "All right... You sculpted a perfect statue of me without my being there." She paused slightly and pointed at him. "Including my bum."

"Mickey sent me pictures."

"You can't stand me being with Mickey." She reminded him.

"You're too good for him."

"Jealous of Captain Jack." Rose hummed as she scooted over next to him at the console.

"I was not."

"Then why were you so critical of him?" Rose gave him a nudge with her hip and grinned up at him.

"He was a con man." The Doctor returned the hip nudge.

"You told Adam I was the best."

"Yes, best companion. Good at running from aliens and foiling evil plots."

Rose rolled her eyes. "You hug me all the time."

"Out of relief that we're alive."

"Kissed me on the Gamestation."

"To save your life… Wait, you remember that?"

Rose sighed, wondering when he'd give up on trying to win an argument where he was so clearly wrong. She cracked a smile when she thought of something he couldn't possibly ignore casually. "You were checking out my boobs!"

"What?! When?"

"New Earth." She told him matter-of-factly, more than a little proud of making him so flustered.

"When Cassandra had you popping out all over the place?"

"No. Before that."

"I'd never!" He paused with a far away look in his eye as if he were remembering something, then looked back at her. "Besides, even if I did, a man doesn't have to like a girl to look at her, uh, figure."

"You do."

"Says who?"

"Me. You've never done it before."

He huffed and looked off to the side. "Proves nothing. What else you got?"

"You told me I was beautiful."

"For a human," the Doctor added curtly. "Besides, just because someone thinks someone is visibly appealing don't mean they like them..."

Rose nodded, disbelief obvious on her face. "You kissed me after I turned you back from being a statue."

"Out of pure relief that I was still alive... and you were alright so your mother wouldn't be killing me either."

"You had Christmas dinner with my Mum."

"Regeneration makes me terribly hungry." He raised his eyebrows and smiled in triumph. If he could rebut spending quality time with Jacqueline Tyler, Rose had no chance of winning this little tête-à-tête. Time to wrap things up. "Well if that's everything, I'd say you have a pretty weak case. I do not like you. And if-"

Rose lifted on her toes and pressed her lips to his to cut him off. Almost instantly he leaned in toward her. As she pulled away, a grin on her face, he gave a weak little contented sigh. She stared at him softly and smiled, then spoke a single word that somehow ended all his arguments.


And for the first time, he didn't care that she'd won.