More-Than-A-Friend by Electric Spyro
Author's Note: Alright, here is the revised version of my first Doctor Who fan fiction. As I said before, I'm not new to fluff, but I am new to Doctor Who so if there is still out-of-character-ness that's probably why.
Thanks a bunch to all who've reviewed so far. I really mean it. You Doctor Who fans are very good at giving reviews that make me smile. :)
And a big thanks to kaetea and I-Confuse-Everyone who gave some nice bits of advice, which I took and used to fix the fic as I said I would.
So here it is (again) – enjoy!
Neither Rose nor the Doctor were entirely certain how it'd happened, but somehow they found themselves engulfed in a chick flick on the computer screen of the TARDIS control room. It was actually a fairly good one - not too terribly predictable - and was, on the contrary, proving to be quite an enjoyable waste of time for the both of them until the last few minutes (which played out like the last few minutes of every chick flick ever made and every one that will ever be made from now until the end of time) - the couple on the screen's lips suddenly sucked together like two magnets in love.
The Doctor rolled his eyes.
"What?" Rose blurted out, almost a little defensive. "That was cute."
"Just the snog at the end was a little…much."
"Much?" Rose repeated in confusion. "What would you have rather had them do after they just professed their undying love to one another? Shake each other's hand?"
The Doctor switched the channel on the screen back to some type of intergalactic news station and quickly meandered his way around the other side of the control board, flipping switches, pulling levers, and maintaining watch over the TARDIS in general as usual.
But his mind was very far from usual thoughts this time. He shrugged a little and finally answered his companion's question. "I'm just saying – kissing is strictly a human action. And no matter how many times I come in contact with it I still can't get over how…odd it is. Only dumb apes would see two people slobbering over one another as romantic."
Rose almost felt herself getting slightly angry - it always seemed to happen whenever the Doctor insulted the human race - but she held back. There was a less-talked-about, more interesting conversation bubbling under the surface that she'd rather discuss.
"Alright then – what do Time Lords do instead of sucking face?" she asked with intrigue, folding her arms over her chest as she waited for an answer.
The Doctor hesitated somewhat, refusing to look at her as he continued – or pretended to continue – overseeing the TARDIS.
Rose found herself feeling a little disappointed. "You hug? But - "
"We have different types, different levels of hugging depending on how we feel towards one another," he stated simply as though he were talking about the functions of a sonic screwdriver or informing her of the next planet they were planning to visit.
But his calmness didn't deter Rose at all. This subject was definitely different from all of the others.
"So…there's a kiss-like 'level' of hugging for you Time Lords?"
"Yes, there is." On the outside the Doctor looked engulfed in the controls, but on the inside he was using everything he knew to make sure his responses to Rose touched none of the feelings he had been feeling around her a lot lately. That would just bring on too much trouble.
But although Rose couldn't really see right through the Doctor's constant façade, she knew one was there and she wasn't about to let it go.
"Doctor…we've hugged loads of times."
The Doctor quickly pulled some levers that didn't really need to be pulled and stared intently at the screen that informed him of everything he already knew. "Yes, I suppose we have."
Rose grinned from ear to ear and slowly creeped up closer to the Doctor, not minding at all that he still hadn't looked at her yet. "You ever…hugged me like that?"
The Doctor was still heavily focused on his task at hand (which really wasn't a task at all) and still held a voice full of all but emotion when he answered. "Yes."
"Really?" Rose's heart raced with excitement. She'd sort of been joking when she asked, but now she was more than a little bit curious. "When?"
The Doctor swallowed and finally stopped pretending to work. His head was still down away from Rose, but his reply was as matter-of-fact as ever. "When I found you after the The Wire ordeal. And also when you came in the TARDIS after we defeated that…thing…on the impossible planet." He carelessly flicked another lever as he added, "Perhaps a few other times, too."
Rose's smile slowly faded in disbelief. "Why…why didn't you tell me this before?"
"Rose, it's not that important. I never thought I'd see you again, and then there you were. It was like a peck on the cheek. A simple, friendly impulse is all."
The Doctor tried to move around to the over side of the control room, but Rose quickly put her hand over his, promptly stopping him and causing him to finally look at her.
"It was more than a peck on the cheek, Doctor." Her voice was almost a whisper.
The Doctor's stare almost became cold and his voice grew deeper and more forceful. "Don't."
He hastily moved away from her. "I can't go through that again. You're human, Rose. We can't. Don't think there's more between us than what we've already established."
She had to admit she was a little taken back at the Doctor's reaction, but she wasn't backing down. "You've never told me what's been established, Doctor. That's not fair."
"We're just friends, Rose! Companions! Partners! Alright?" the Doctor snapped, a little louder and faster than he would have liked.
"Are you trying to convince yourself as well?" Rose asked, her voice slowly growing in strength. "Did you think that when you invited me to travel with you and when you gave me a TARDIS key and when you tried to solve problems the hard way just so you could spare me or my feelings that something wouldn't occur between us? I mean did you really think I'm that thick of a 'dumb ape' to not see how you smile at me or squeeze my hand when we're walking together?" She finally sighed, leaning against the controls of the TARDIS. "If you didn't want this to be anything more than a friendship, you shouldn't have asked me to come along in the first place."
There was a brief pause as the Doctor contemplated her words and watched as she quickly suppressed her emotions with a short sniff and a wipe of her nose with her shirt sleeve.
"You're absolutely right, Rose. I'm sorry." He sighed as he began to walk towards her. "I should have been aware of my smooth, suave, womanizing ways before I offered you a place on this ship."
Rose laughed softly.
"Seriously, though," he continued taking her hands in his own, "I didn't know things would turn out like this. I had no idea that Rose Tyler would become so…so much more than Rose Tyler to me. I thought that if I ignored the feelings," the Doctor quickly swallowed and looked down at their hands. It was the first real time he'd even acknowledged how he sometimes felt about Rose – to her as well as himself – and it actually scared him a little bit more than a lot, "…if I ignored them they wouldn't continue growing, but…I guess that's one plan by me that didn't exactly work, eh?"
Rose nodded with a smiled.
"Although, ironically it seems to be the plan I use for most problems that don't involve program overrides and a zap from my sonic screwdriver…I might need to work on it a little…" the Doctor trailed off, now talking more to himself than to her.
"So…" Rose began casually, "…what exactly do we do now? I mean…should we…date?"
"Date?" the Doctor repeated, adding a little disgust. He then quickly shook his head. "No, no. Also a strictly human-created idea. Another one I don't fully understand, I might add."
Rose nodded in understanding. Truthfully, the more she thought about it, being the girlfriend of a 900-year-old Time Lord did feel a bit awkward. But if that route couldn't be taken, then there had to be something else.
"Then what does a Time Lord and a human do when they feel this way?" Rose wondered, slidding her thumbs over the backs of the Doctor's hands before looking up into his dark eyes.
"Not sure it's ever happened before..." The Doctor thought for a moment and then added, "Does it really need a name?"
Rose considered this for a moment. "Maybe not. But then how do we know how to react with it? I mean…how do we know what's okay to do?"
"Let's say…" the Doctor began, edging his hands around hers until their fingers intertwined around each other, "I can hug you wherever I want, whenever I want. Even for no reason."
Rose laughed partially at his proposition and partially at the large, goofy grin he now displayed proudly on his face. "Only if the same rules apply to snogging."
Rose furrowed her brows in confusion. "I thought you didn't like it."
"When did I say that?" the Doctor protested appallingly. "I said it was odd. I never said I didn't like it. Who in the universe would ever say they didn't like snogging? That's like saying you don't like being happy, or you think baby penguins are ugly."
Rose grinned again. "Alright then." And before anything more could be said by either of them, Rose stood up on her tip-toes and locked lips with the Doctor…her Doctor…her more-than-a-friend.
They both left the lingering kiss with a happy smile and as soon as Rose had pulled completely away, the Doctor energetically wrapped his arms around her waist, making a funny, victorious squeak as he picked her up and squeezed her tightly, causing her to giggle. After a few seconds he reluctantly let her slide out of the hug and he waited until she'd walked a few steps away before slinking his arms around her and lifting her off the floor again for another rib-squashing hug.
And one more after that.
"I love this!" the Doctor admitted euphorically through his bright, beaming smile.
"Me too," Rose replied, tightening her grip on his neck as she swung her legs lightly around in the air. "This not-actually-dating thing is probably your best idea yet."
"It is, isn't it?" He squeezed her a little more before pausing with curiosity. "Can you breathe alright?"
"Would you really stop if I said no?" Rose asked doubtfully.
The Doctor's grin widened. "Nope."
(cue cute, baby penguin holding a tiny sign that has 'Review?' written on it in chunky, kindergartener-like handwriting :) )