Hide and Seek

"What're you thinking about?" Rose asks sleepy as his fingers trail up and down her arm.

"Tribo-kinetic physics," he answers honestly, receiving a sharp nudge in the ribs and feeling her laugh dancing across his collarbone in response.

"Alright, I asked for that."

Rose smiles contentedly into his neck, snuggling closer and wrapping her arm tighter around his waist. Though she clearly cannot see his face, the Doctor raises an amused eyebrow at her. "Comfortable?"

"Mm. Reckon I could stay here forever," she mumbles sleepily, enjoying simply being lazy and relaxed with him for once.

He smiles indulgently down at her. "Let's do that, then. Except…" he adds, and even Rose can't help but laugh. "I'm rather in need of a drink. Sorry."

Rose looks up at him slyly and hooks a leg over his. "How sorry?" she grins, right up against his lips.

"Rose Tyler, are you flirting with me?"

"Hm! You didn't mind ten minutes ago."

He raises an eyebrow in amused acknowledgement. "That I didn't."

"Anyway, so what if I am? Is this another one of those universe-will-implode scenarios? Because I think we just proved your dancing theory wrong."

"Not really, no. It's just that I might be rather tempted to stay, and then I might die of dehydration and it'd be all your fault. Do you really want that on your conscience?"

"Depends on how attractive your next regeneration is," she grins, tongue between her teeth.

"Oi! Rose Tyler, you give the distinct impression that you're only in this for my incredibly good looks."

"Oh, you know that's not true," she protests, and he looks slightly mollified. Then she adds: "Never would've stuck with you for so long if I was just interested in your face."

"I'm insulted."

"Good. Your feet are cold."

He pouts. "That's hardly my fault, you know." And then: "I don't know what you humans put in your central heating, but whatever it is, it really doesn't like the inside of my throat, and I have to say that the feeling's mutual because I certainly don't like it either. And," he adds, wriggling significantly as if about to sit up, "As I don't think my arm will quite stretch to the kitchen from here…"

"Can't keep you still for five minutes," Rose admonishes, mock-serious, and, taking the hint, willingly shifts to the side to let him up. "Don't wake Mum up."

"Wouldn't dare," the Doctor assures her, looking terrified at the very thought. Then he grins, kissing her quickly (he's tugged down once more before he can escape to the kitchen) before standing up and disappearing through the door. Knowing the trouble he's apt to get himself into, even inside a perfectly normal flat, Rose scrambles to the edge of the bed and pushes her feet into her slippers, ready to go and make sure he won't cause any impromptu explosions.

--

"Doctor?" Rose whispers cautiously, stepping into the gloom with her hands stretched out in case she trips before her eyes fully adjust to the dark. As such, it's the scrambling noise and the squeak he makes falling off the sofa that attracts her attention rather than the actual sight of him doing so.

Rose grins triumphantly, pulling her dressing gown tighter about her. "Thought you'd gone back to the TARDIS," she confesses as his head and hands pop over the back of the sofa, keeping her voice low lest they wake Jackie up. "What happened to getting a drink?"

"I was…I was just – just calibrating," he stumbles, and she can just make out one of his hands tugging on his ear awkwardly. "That's it. Calibrating. …On the sofa."

She walks around the sofa and flops down beside him, nudging him in the side. "You were hiding," she corrects, with far more amusement than the Doctor deems strictly necessary.

"I was not! …Oh, alright," he concedes, noting the disbelieving look she's giving him through the dark. "But it's not my fault. I thought you were Jackie. So," the Doctor continues, slightly louder to cover her giggles, "I did what any respectable, half-naked man would do under the prospect of imminent discovery by his companion's mother."

"You hid."

"I hid."

Rose has to clap a hand to her mouth to stifle her laughter. "It's not funny!" the Doctor protests. "She'd've skinned me alive if she thought I'd been in there with you. I'm supposed to be sleeping in the TARDIS. Or, you know, off doing Doctorish things like…fighting giant sea monsters or changing lightbulbs."

"Don't you think she'd've wondered why you were minus your clothes and pretending to be invisible on her sofa?"

"I was sort of hoping she wouldn't turn the light on," he admits, and then adds, darkly, "Better that than minus my clothes and pretending to be invisible in her daughter's bed."

"True. The great big lump under the duvet would've given it away. It's my leg, Mum, honest."

"Are you calling me a great big lump?"

"In the nicest way possible."

"Hmph," the Doctor pouts, promptly forgetting to sulk when her lips find their way to his. They're getting along very nicely when the flick of a switch and a sudden cough cause the Doctor to leap up, roll off Rose and fall straight to the floor.

Jackie's standing at the end of the sofa, hands on her hips as Rose hastily sits up and ties her dressing gown again. The Doctor suddenly wishes he were wearing more clothes.

"Oops," he says, eloquently.

"No need to ask what you two've been up to, then, is there?" she asks, and Rose turns the colour of her name from her cheeks to her toes. The Doctor snaps his eyes up guiltily, hoping Jackie didn't notice him eyeballing her daughter's legs; though that is, admittedly, the least of his worries right now.

"Oh, go and put some clothes on, the both of you," she says eventually, and the Doctor scuttles off immediately, grateful to avoid a slap. "And keep the naked midnight wanderings to that ship of yours next time. There are some things a mother never wants to see."

All the same, she catches Rose's arm and tugs her to the side on her way out. After grabbing a large sheet just in case, the Doctor hovers in the doorway to Rose's room, listening carefully.

"How long's that been goin' on, then?"

"Don't know exactly," Rose muses. "It's sort of hard to tell. You get all timeless, travelling with him. A month, maybe? Just before you rang us about that Elton bloke."

"And were you ever gonna tell me?"

"The Doctor thought you'd slap him," the younger blonde grins, sobering as soon as Jackie's finished laughing. "We didn't think you'd like it," she confesses eventually, not looking her mother in the eye. "Thought you'd say he's too old for me, or too dangerous, or try and convince me that I'm better off without him 'cause he can't give me marriage and kids and a house with a dog."

"Oh, Rose. I'm not stupid, sweetheart. I know what I say doesn't make the slightest bit of difference where he's concerned."

"You are happy for us, though, aren't you? Mum?"

Jackie sighs. "I'm not gonna pretend I don't worry," she says, and Rose's face falls, "and I'm scared to death that one day something's gonna happen to you – to both of you. But I know he'll always try his best to keep you safe, and send you back to me if that's the right thing to do, and I s'pose that'll just have to be good enough for me, won't it? I couldn't keep you apart if I tried. And look at you! I barely even know you anymore. I don't know what you'd be without him."

"You're not the only one." She smiles sadly and kisses Jackie's cheek on her way out. "Thanks, Mum."

--

"Exactly how soundproof are these walls?" the Doctor mumbles as she shuts the door behind her, his fingers making swift work of the tie on her robe.

Rose giggles, a little too loudly, and a swift bang on the wall causes the Doctor to recoil guiltily from her and look confusedly about the room until Jackie's voice floats under the door.

"I heard that!"