Authors Note : I wasn't intending on posting this fic here, but I changed my mind. I've been writing this while 'on a break' from 'Strange Magicks,' (which I'm writing again.)

I hope you like it.

Lilli


Chapter One : Heart

It only really showed when she wore her favourite low slung jeans. But showing it off wasn't the point, knowing it was there was enough. She'd wanted to have it done for ages, and had finally plucked up the courage during a visit to an alien market of all places. Her Mum would doubtless go spare if she ever found out, so all in all it was probably a good thing that no one else knew about it.

Except that someone else did know about it.

oOo

They were climbing over rocks and boulders to get down to the meadow below instead of taking the easy route (don't ask), when they suddenly ran out of ground underfoot and were faced with a steep drop. The Doctor went first, while Rose hung on for dear life from the grassy edge, making him swear on all things TARDIS that he'd catch her when she let go. He grinned up at her, crossed both his hearts and promised to die -- and not regenerate, if he didn't catch her. Rose closed her eyes tight shut and let go of the edge.

He caught her of course... and fell over doing it. The Doctor landed on soft ground and Rose landed on the Doctor. She sat there on top of him for far too long just grinning at his wounded pride. Then he grinned back and in one lithe movement the situation was reversed -- with Rose securely pinned down on the soft grassy earth, the Doctor triumphant above her. He lifted her arms above her head and held them there, looking down at her with eyes that raked over her body until her laughter faded, and all she could do was stare back into his face; wishing so hard that he would kiss her. 'Course he didn't kissed her.

He got to his feet and pulled her up onto hers. He let her brush herself down and then he grabbed her hand and they were off again. No time to dawdle he said, over his shoulder, they had to get back to the TARDIS before those nice people with the pointy sticks realised that they had escaped.

But the Doctor had seen it... and it was all he could think about.

oOo

They ran back to the TARDIS with the wind at their backs and a good thing too, because the pointy sticks were being hurled by this time and as it turned out, some of those doing the throwing had quite good aim.

Rose slammed the TARDIS doors shut as the Doctor set to work at the console table, throwing switches and pulling levers with manic glee in his face. The central column came to life and the song of the TARDIS began. Rose gave a sigh of relief and leant back against the doors while she stared at the Doctor. It was quite amazing how much he seemed to delight in near death experiences -- he was averaging at least one a month.

The Doctor turned to look at Rose as though he knew he was being watched and his grin drifted away, a darkness coming to his steely eyes as he walked slowly towards her.

Rose held her breath, taking in his purposeful approach with her eyes wide and her heart racing. She'd half expected him to reel off a joke about the aliens they had just out run, but the more she stared into his eyes the more she realised that whatever was going on in that mind of his, it had nothing to do with them having just escaped being thrown into a volcano.

He didn't stop until he was mere inches away from her. Rose could see the slow and steady rise and fall of his chest as his breath touched her cheek and she stared wordlessly up into his eyes. Time may have stopped, she wasn't sure -- at the very least it must have shuddered.

She actually felt weak at the knees, and she knew it had more to do with the closeness of the Doctor than any after effects of her marathon sprint. She licked her lips and felt a shiver run through her blood. Why was he looking at her like that? All dark, and hungry, and intense. Didn't he know what that did to her?

He touched the curve of her hip with one cool hand and Rose gasped then blushed, silently cursing herself for behaving like a fifteen year old. She swallowed hard under his flickering gaze and nervously licked her lips again.

"Doctor?" God even her voice was shaking -- make that a twelve year old.

He didn't acknowledge that she'd spoken, but slipped his long fingers under the hem of her top and ran them leisurely across the waistband of her jeans, like it was the most natural action in the world. Rose didn't know what was going on, or why it was going on, but she had no intention of stopping it -- whatever it was.

Rose closed her eyes, and this time swallowed down a gasp. She felt the Doctor's fingers gently rub across the warm skin of her hip, sending shots of fire through every nerve ending of her body. Then his thumb gave a lazy stroke, pressing a little firmer to where his fingers had teased her flesh.

"When did you get this?" The question came on a dark breath that warmed her cheek.

She opened her eyes. He had spoken hadn't he? She stared up at him. He looked curious, so she figured that he had.

"Um..." she bit her lip, realising what he meant. "Oh." She looked down at where his touch had pushed up her top... revealing her tattoo.

"It's new," he said softly, his fingers returning to torment the flesh around this new embellishment -- but not once touching it. Rose half believed that he was teasing her, but she dismissed the idea. Wishful thinking. She had to stop that.

She met his gaze again. New. She didn't ask him how he knew that. She was having a hard enough time trying to form though. She could feel her heart beating. Could he hear it? She could still feel his hand resting at the curve of her hip, like it belonged there. How was she supposed to think when he...

She blinked. Focus, for God sake, focus.

"Um... three planets back, er... Gulmiggon?"

"Guilmalgorn," the Doctor corrected. He pulled back, his whole manner changed, now scolding, angry, holier-than-thou. "Rose, are you insane?"

"What?"

"Have you any idea what kind of infection you've opened yourself up to?"

Rose opened her mouth, about to reel off the speech she had prepared for her Mum. With a little tweeking she felt sure she could dazzle the Doctor with it.

"I..." was as far as she got.

"You could have Prigga mites burrowing into your bones as we speak. You could have Mern larve snuggled under your skin, just waiting to hatch out as soon as you're done incubating them. If you're really lucky you might even have a Chrona worm making it's way through your bloodstream laying eggs as it goes."

Rose stared at the Doctor, then the tattoo, then the Doctor, then the tattoo, then the Doctor.

"You're kidding, right?" she asked hopefully.

The Doctor grabbed her hand and dragged her toward the door. "Med bay, now!"