Title: And Goodness Knows (1/3)
Pairing: 9/Rose. Ish.
Rating: G, possibly with bits of T for safety.
Word Count: 2,697
Spoilers: None to speak of, however, takes place before The Empty Child.
Disclaimer: I own Christopher. Until his lawyers find out. I've got David on backorder.
A/N: The author's note is that there is no author's note. That, and, I can't believe I'm doing this. I've been out of the fanfic business for quite some time. I guess I'm jumping back into it.
Summary: If his feelings were maybe a bit stronger for her than hers for him, it wasn't anyone's business but his.
"Are you ever going to listen to me?" He hissed at her from the side of his mouth, keeping his eyesight straight ahead. "Just once? For Christmas, maybe? Or maybe my birthday?"
"You have a birthday?" Rose asked, turning to face him, eyes widening. The Doctor merely rolled his eyes and glared, not meeting her gaze. "No, really," she said, skidding to a stop and tugging on the hand he was gripping tightly, forcing him to stop as well. "A birthday? Isn't that a little…well…ape-ish?"
Letting out an exasperated sigh, he stopped and turned to look at her, his electric blue eyes snapping over her.
"I was born, wasn't I?"
"Well, for all I know, it was in an egg." She frowned, leaned a little closer, questioning, "it wasn't in an egg, was it?"
"You can really be a right git."
"You're very rude," Rose admonished. "That's new. Is this going to be a habit?"
"Only where you're concerned," he said, flashing a falsely cheery smile.
"Lovely." She gave the same sickening smile back to him and she shook her hand free of his and stalked off.
"Oh, for…Rose, you insulted me first. You said I came from an egg."
"You," she said, marking emphasis by poking him hard in the chest, "are an alien. Aliens come from eggs," she said precisely. He rolled his eyes again, rubbing his chest where she'd poked him. "That, too!" She exclaimed, pointing at him accusingly. "That's a new habit, too!"
"Birds come from eggs, too. But I don't go around insulting you."
"Oi, cheeky!" He raised his eyebrows and turned on the heel of his boot, walking quickly in the direction they were headed. She trailed after him and shoved his shoulder. "I don't know what's been with you lately. Rude. Cheeky. That's not like you."
"Call it atmosphere," he muttered, so low she almost didn't hear him over the scuttle of the sand beneath their feet.
"Atmosphere? What the hell's that mean?" She demanded as they neared the TARDIS. Suddenly he spun and grabbed her, pushing her against the outer wall of the blue ship so hard she let out a puff of air. "Oi, what's the—"
"You almost died today, Rose," he said lowly and not unkindly. His voice was deep and threatening and she felt all the humour drain right out of her toes. "You almost died and I almost couldn't get to you in time. I lucked out, do you understand? It wasn't a plan, it wasn't timed. If that got guard hadn't gotten sick, you would be dead. And you're being flippant, like your life doesn't matter. Well, it matters to me, do you hear me? So just shut up for once and act like a damned adult and realise what almost happened to you, will you?"
He was nearly shouting by the end of his speech, but Doctor-shouting, which was really speaking firmly and loudly in a restrained matter meant for you to realise that he was very disappointed in you and shrink you as small as possible.
It was working.
"I'm sorry, Doctor."
"Damned right you better be sorry."
"I am," she said in a small voice. "I don't know why I'm being like this. I don't mean to seem ungrateful."
"For…" Trailing off and sighing, he pulled back from her, letting go of the front of her hoodie. He pressed his finger tips to his closed eyelids, letting out an exasperated breath. "Don't cry, Rose. I didn't mean to yell at you."
"I deserved it." He shook his head and looked at her again, stroking the backs of his fingers across her cheek as if she were made of fragile china.
"No, you don't deserve it. Just letting off steam, I guess. I'm sorry, for what it's worth," he offered.
"Are we okay?"
"Of course. C'mon," he said, all traces of anger gone, a small, secretive smile on his handsome face. He nodded toward the TARDIS behind her. "Let's go find a chippie, take a break."
"Can we go back to that one planet?" He laughed as she followed him into the main room of the ship. "Hush. You know, the one with the purple and pink chips? They were the best."
"I like the green ones better," he said stubbornly, setting the coordinates for the planet with the pink and purple chips. It was an old argument between them. And she always won.
"You know," Rose intoned around a mouthful of chips, "you didn't tell me when you kidnapped me helplessly from my mother's loving arms—"
"Shut it, will you? Someone's going to take you seriously one of these days."
"—that you were not, in fact, taking me on a tour of time and space," she continued as if he hadn't spoken, "but were, in actuality, taking me on a search for the Best Chips in the Universe." She stuffed another forkful of chips in her mouth, chewing thoughtfully.
He snorted and studied the flamingo-pink chip speared on the tines of his fork-like utensil.
"Me, taking you on a tour. I'll have you know, I never had a chip in my life before you came along, Ms. Tyler." He looked up at her silence, saw her disbelieving look she was giving him as she stopped mid-chew, one dark brow cocked. "Well," he amended. "Not in a long time, anyway."
"You can always say no," she said after she swallowed. She took a sip of the tart merconga berry juice from the glass in front of her before setting it back down with a thunk and letting out an audibleahh. He glanced down at the mostly-empty plate of chips in front of him before looking at her nearly full one. His stomach rumbled.
He popped the chip on his fork-like utensil in his mouth and chewing, switched their plates, digging into hers as she pouted.
"Rude," she muttered. "Like I said." She stabbed into one of the few remaining chips on his…now her... plate, glaring at the top of his head but he didn't seem to notice.
"Do Time Lords go bald?" She asked innocently. "Or have you just never had a lot of hair?" Raising his head, one eyebrow lifted, he looked at her disdainfully.
"At least it's my natural." She just narrowed her eyes and glared at him and he grinned cheerfully. "Wanna discuss my makeup habits next?" She pulled a face at him before stabbing into the chips again.
They ate in companionable silence for a bit. She muttered a bit when he started drinking from her glass after draining his, but it was typical and she didn't really care. She only muttered for posterity's sake at this point. She nudged her plate with the last remaining chips toward him, setting her fork-like utensil down and leaning her head on her fist.
"Someone would think I never feed you," she joked. He grinned before finishing off her juice and swallowing.
"You don't," he retorted. "Who paid for this meal, I'd like to know?"
"You paid. For once. I always pay. Rich you may be, but it doesn't help if you don't carry money with you."
"I'll just lose it. Besides, I'll pay you back." Rose rolled her eyes.
"Sure, you will. Forget by the time we get back to the TARDIS, more like." He mockingly rolled his eyes at her.
"All you do is bitch and nag, like some underappreciated housewife. If that's not domestic—"
"You do enjoy being rude, don't you?" Rose teased. "Makes you feelmanly." At his pointed look, she sighed, feigning impatience. "Fine. Makes you feel Time Lordy."
"You're very full of adjectives today."
"I'm in an adjectivey sort of mood," Rose replied. She played with her empty glass, stopping only when he took her hand, playing with her fingers lightly, that secret, playful smile on his face again.
"That you are. Ready to go?"
"If we must."
"We must." He stood and held his arm out to her. She took it reluctantly, as if it were dirty and he laughed, grabbing her hand and tugging her from the café.
It was rare that her evenings weren't spent tumbling back to the ship in pain or covered in…things best not to think about and Rose relished them like her mother did precious jewels.
Tugging a thick pair of slipper-socks onto her feet, she gathered up her duvet, wrapping it around her body and her stuffed, orange cat, Tabby Kitty and prepared to head to the theatre room for a long evening of watching the cheesiest, most sickeningly feel-good chick flicks she could fine.
She was heading down the hall, looking for all the world like a giant, painfully pink, kitten-eating monster as the blanket shuffled down the corridor. She heard a sniggering and paused, adjusting her arms and tugging down a bit of the blanket that blocked her peripheral vision. The Doctor was standing there, in the opening to another corridor trying unsuccessfully to hide his mirth from her.
She quirked an eyebrow.
"Problem?" He cleared his throat, managing to tone it down to barely concealed twitches of the corners of his mouth.
"I am going to watch movies. Care to join me?"
"I know what sort of movies you watch when you're in that get up. No thanks. Next thing, you'll be sobbing on my shoulder. What's the point in watching movies with happy endings if they're going to make you bawl like a baby?"
"They're touching and heartfelt. And the actors are cute." Her grin quirked and he rolled his eyes again.
"Right and I bet all the movies you have lined up have that one bloke in, don't they?" He said exasperatedly.
"So what if they do!" Rose burst out, equally exasperated. This was an old conversation. "He is a de—"
"A dedicated, talented actor with unreachable depths. Right. I know."
"Jealous!" He sputtered. "Of that wanker? You must be joking."
"Yep," Rose said gleefully. "Jealous." She stroked the top of Tabby Kitty's head and said slowly, "Excellent…"
He blinked, shaking his head and walked away, muttering "you'rereally not right…"
Shuffling down the rest of the corridor, Rose made her way to the theatre room, settling into her favourite chair and reaching for the multi-purpose remote control that was sitting on the cushion next to her. She programmed the movies she wanted to see and then settled back to enjoy the show.
The Doctor showed up not long after Rose had fallen asleep. If not a habit for him, it definitely was for her and after the first few times he'd popped in on her and found her asleep, he found himself always checking on her on her movie nights so he could get her to bed in a more comfortable place. Picking up the multi-purpose remote, he turned off the screen before setting the remote gently on the end table and gathering her together, blanket and all, lifting her easily into his arms and carrying her down the corridor to her room.
He laid her down gently on the bed and stood back, waiting while she automatically adjusted to get comfortable, cocooned in her duvet. Leaning down, he lightly ran his hand over her hair before kissing her temple.
She murmured the same thing she murmured every time he brought her to bed like this, a simple "night, Doctor, love you" mumbled more out of habit than anything in particular.
He knew how she meant it and he felt the same way.
If his feelings were maybe a bit stronger for her than hers for him, it wasn't anyone's business but his.
He murmured "night, Rose, love you, too" against her temple, brushing one last kiss over her cheek before straightening and leaving her room quietly, keeping the door slightly cracked.
He meant it, too.
"This?" Rose shrieked loud enough from the wardrobe room that he could hear her where he stood at the console. "I'm meant to wear this?" Her volume reached ear-splitting and he winced as she reached the control room, holding the confection of a dress in front of her, shaking it like it wasn't made of several thousand Earth-dollars of silk, satin and lace.
"I have to wear a corset with this!" She exclaimed, thrusting the dress at him, grabbing either side of the bodice and showing him how impossibly tiny it appeared. He, for his part, tried not to picture Rose in a corset.
"You can't go out in a hoodie and jeans," he said, reasonably. "We'd be shot on sight, likely. Or I would, at least. And you'd be put in a home for disreputable girls."
"Disreputable!" She sputtered. She glared down at the pink and cream dress in her hands. "Disreputable," she muttered. "I'll bloody well show them disreputable," floated to his ears as she stalked off the way she'd came.
He was leaning over the console, writing something on a small pad of paper when he heard her heels click on the grating and looked up. Immediately, his pencil fell from numb fingers, his mouth going slack as his jaw dropped in shock.
"Rose—" Was that really his voice that came out like a squeak? Well, it was hardly his fault, the girl wasn't even dressed. He was only a Time Lord, and a man under that. A Gallifreyan man, sure, but just a man and when a woman like Rose came out in just—
"Doctor, I need your help putting this corset on." His mouth opened and closed a couple times as he stared at her as she stood in the doorway, a flimsy petticoat not concealing her hot pink knickers, barely holding the pink and black corset on and in place.
She picked her way carefully across the console room, and came up beside him. He still hadn't said anything.
"You all right?" She asked, amusedly. Without realising he was even responding, he nodded. "Good. Help, then." She turned around and bared her long, smooth expanse of bare back to him.
Did the bloody woman think he was a saint?
He picked up the ends of the laces where she'd left off. Her back was pale, narrow and did she know she had that mole right there? He touched a fingertip lightly to the spot just underneath her right shoulder blade, blinking in surprise when she shuddered underneath him.
Shaking his head, trying to clear his throat as softly as possible, he began to thread the laces into the eyelets slowly, his nerveless fingers shaking more than he'd like, willing them not to brush across her back.
Once he had threaded the last eyelet, he instructed her to put her hands on the edge of the console and placed his hands on her hips to steady her as she adjusted. He studied the loosely laced corset covering her and realised the intimacy of their position, the arousal shooting through him stunningly. Desperately, he shifted away from her a bit and took a steadying breath.
He didn't answer her and moved his hands to her back, tightening the laces slowly and methodically. She grunted a bit and maybe he pulled harder than he intended to, but he could excuse it as only doing what was right for the corset and the dress and not as being distracted.
"There you are, then." He stepped back, immediately crossing his arms and ignoring her as she groaned, straightening.
"I can't believe you're making me wear this."
"You're the one that wanted to go to the Governor's Ball, not me."
"I don't ever think of the costume changes. I don't see you getting into silk stockings and knee breaches," she retorted, turning to face him. He studiously avoided looking below her chin.
"No," he chucked her chin, "and you never will, either. Go get dressed."
"Yes, master," Rose muttered to him, giving him a mock salute and stalking from the room. He studied her retreating back, letting out a deep breath.
"The next one's going to look like Margaret Thatcher," he muttered to no one at all.
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