Rose stretched lazily; she felt the familiar pull in her tired muscles and was unable to suppress a yawn. Opening her eyes, she glanced blearily around the room, taking in the fact that she was alone. Just a few more minutes, she convinced herself as she rolled to her side, pulled the covers up under her chin, snuggling once more into the warmth of her bed and quickly falling back asleep.
Muffled voices steadily grew louder. Rose buried herself further under the pink duvet, knowing it would prove useless, but still worth a shot.
"Morning, Sunshine," Jack called out cheerily before landing on the bed next to her. Rose attempted to groan and instead let out a squeak as one of Jack's hands touched her back, snaking its way up under her top.
"You're freezing!" Her body involuntarily jerked away from his cold hand as he let out a low chuckle and leaned into her.
"Want to warm me up?" he replied softly, his warm breath against her cheek a stark contrast to his touch. Rose pivoted her body, bringing it flush with his, effectively stopping any further movement on his part, and hoped her glare would convince him otherwise.
Laughing lightly, Jack kissed her cheek. "I'll take that as a no." Rolling himself off the bed, he stood in one motion and winked at Rose before turning towards the Doctor. "Guess we're on our own, Doc," he stated simply, patting the Time Lord's shoulder before exiting the room.
Reaching up to push the hair out of her face, exposing her arm to the room's air, she shivered and turned towards the Doctor. "Jack wasn't the only thing that's cold."
"You're right there," he said pushing away from the door frame and stepping closer to the bed so he was standing over her. "Seems the TARDIS's temperature control is somewhat broken."
She pulled her arm quickly back under the covers, trying not to let any more heat escape. "Somewhat broken?" she asked curiously.
The Doctor shrugged, dropped a knee onto the mattress, and then settled himself down onto the bed. "Yeah, it appears that before we left for Raxacoricofallapatorius, there was more internal damage than what we originally found."
"Including the heater?"
The Doctor nodded slowly. "And the thermostat that monitors and controls the inner temperature, which encompasses most of the rooms. So I've parked us in the Vortex for the time being while the Captain and I get it figured out," he added matter-of-factly.
Rose chewed on her bottom lip. "So we won't freeze then?" She watched as the Doctor's eyebrow shot upwards and hastened to add. "Well, if we are floating in space and the TARDIS isn't making heat, doesn't that mean we'll eventually freeze?" She pulled her eyes away from his, not wanting him to see her fear.
His strong arms surrounded her, pulling her to him in a comforting embrace, the worn leather jacket cool and soft against her cheek, as he held her close and nuzzled her hair. "Oh Rose," she could hear the apology in his voice. "Not for a very, very, long time," he hastened to add. "There are a few back-up systems in place, so there's no danger of us freezing anytime soon. Just be a bit cooler than what you're used to. We have plenty of hot water, fireplaces scattered throughout, and if Jack has his way--" He let the sentence hang, leaving the rest to Rose's imagination. "Also the kitchen seems to be in working order," he added as an afterthought.
Rose giggled, contentedly wrapped in the Doctor's arms, unwilling to move from under the warmth of her covers. "But, Miss Tyler," he pulled back with a serious look on his face that softened as her eyes met his. "If you think for one minute that that entitles you to an extended stay in bed, you are sadly mistaken." Emphasizing his words, he swiftly pulled the covers from her while ignoring her yells of protest, the sudden ice cold temperature of the room enveloping her. "Run," he grinned, nodding towards the bathroom while moving away.
"You—you," Rose stammered as she rose from the bed, forcing the Doctor to take a step backwards, her body protesting the freezing cold. She launched a pillow at him as his eyes traveled suggestively down her body. He ducked the first missile, letting out a chortle and then barely escaped another as he pulled his leather jacket over his head for protection. Taking the hint, the Doctor hurriedly retreated from the room, his laughter echoing back along the corridor. Rose swore revenge as she recklessly grabbed clothing from the wardrobe and raced for the promised heat of the shower.
It was a few hours later, having chatted a few hours with her Mum, when Rose finally entered the console room, which seemed only a few degrees warmer than her room, expecting to find the Doctor and Jack deeply immersed in repairs. Instead she was met with the quiet hum of the TARDIS and an otherwise empty room.
Rubbing a palm lightly over the coral arch as she stepped past, she glanced around the controls in an attempt to discern what if any changes had taken place. Seeing no bits of wire laying around, no fresh scorch marks, nor any odd piece of kitchen gadgetry sticking out from the console, she began to wonder about the latest 'repairs'. Glancing over the vast array of seemingly random buttons, switches, levers and dials--the puzzling layout was still just as intimidating as when she'd first laid eyes on it--Rose thought she might try persuading the Doctor to teach her a few of the simpler controls.
She sighed, laying her hand on a small section of panel and sending a silent message to the TARDIS, who responded. Smiling briefly, Rose stroked the smooth panel a few times in thanks, then purposefully headed towards the hallway. Second doorway on the left, she thought as she patted the door frame and entered the study.
"I'm telling you, Doc, once I've discovered Mars there is no way you'll be able to stop me."
"Oh, sure of that, are you, Captain?" retorted the Doctor, as he studied the computerized pictures diligently.
"Yep, it'll only take two more clicks of the—hey," Jack's confident tone was replaced by sudden disbelief. "You can't do that!" he objected, scooting forward on the sofa, staring wide eyed at the screen, as if his proximity to the display would alter the outcome.
"I just did," gloated the Time Lord. "Now if you're quite finished." The Doctor leaned back smugly, tapping a few keys on the keyboard while waving his hand at the screen. The wireless glove he wore twinkled with miniature lights that danced across the surface as commands were issued to the computer.
Jack growled in defiance. "Not so fast, because I'm bringing out a little surprise." He drew the final word out in a menacing tone.
"And that's supposed to be scary?" teased the Doctor.
"Give it a few minutes. Then we'll see who has the last laugh," Jack shot back brashly, his wrists twisting in complicated patterns, jaw set and eyes frozen on the picture, as he fought to outmaneuver the other's squadrons descending on his now-defenseless outpost.
Rose rolled her eyes at the two men; she could almost smell the testosterone in the air. Typical blokes, she thought; if they weren't tearing something apart, 'improving' something that wasn't broken, or busy thinking of new insults to hurl at each other in the name of camaraderie, then they were in some form of competition, which might easily involve all of the above. Well, at least this one didn't involve scantily clad bodies, mud, and copious amounts of liquor, she grinned at the memory.
They were so thoroughly engrossed in their video game, each arguing and harassing the other so incessantly they didn't notice Rose joining them.
Stepping directly behind the Doctor, Rose leaned forward until her head was almost next to his and ran her tongue along the edge of his ear, grinning as he gave an undignified squeak.
"Say something, Doc?" Jack asked without even turning to acknowledge him.
"N-n-no," spluttered the Doctor as he coughed, unable to hide the flush that suddenly appeared on his face as Rose sucked gently on his ear lobe.
"Am I distracting you?" Rose purred into his ear, amused as she watched him hastily swallow, his hand shaking a bit and no longer moving, but rather hovering above the keys.
"No complaints from me," he answered huskily, as Jack let out a whoop.
"Knew that move would do it!" he shouted triumphantly, punching the air then quickly returning his focus to the screen.
"Mm-hmm," answered the Doctor as he was now snogging Rose, and completely ignoring Jack.
"And you said an Evil Tyrant would never win," Jack scoffed. "Guess that'll teach you. And don't forget you're going to owe me big."
Rose pulled back, looking at the seemingly contented Time Lord with a childish grin on his face. "Evil Tyrant?" she asked.
He nodded, his gaze dropping to her lips as he leaned forward, anxious to continue. Rose placed two fingers on his lips stopping his momentum, and received a puzzled look in return.
"Hey Rose," Jack called back. "Like the nickname I chose? We decided to give Civilization 35th Century a try, no cheats, hacks or mods. Simply play by the rules, and Doc there bet me that I couldn't win."
"As Evil Tyrant?" she watched the Doctor nod his head and give her a pleading look as he agreed with Jack. "And the stakes?" The Doctor cringed slightly, turning back to the forgotten controls.
"For me?" Jack laughed merrily, he was winning after all. "Doc serves me the breakfast of my choice, in bed, for a week."
Rose had to stifle a laugh, imagining the Doctor in a frilly pink apron, serving Jack in bed. She watched as the Time Lord's shoulders slumped and he poked a bit roughly at a few keys.
Shivering, Rose scooted around the sofa and dropped in between the two. "Don't see how that's going to warm things up."
Jack chuckled. "Oh, I can think of a few ways it'll warm things up." Jack waggled his eyebrows at Rose.
"Thermostat's all sorted out. It'll take a bit to bring the temperature up to what you're used too, quite a large space to heat that, give it time," answered the Doctor, hitting a quick series of keystrokes, causing Jack pause.
"Give it up, Doc. You have no chance of defeating me now," taunted Jack, snuggling even closer to Rose, all the while keeping his focus on the monitor.
Rose didn't mind being sandwiched between the two warm bodies, although they had better learn to keep their elbows to themselves.
"Not going to ask about me?" the Doctor mumbled under his breath as Jack's laughter bounced off the walls easily countering the renewed assault on the screen.
Jack interrupted. "He wants lessons on how to make a proper English breakfast." Jack threw Rose one of his patented lady killer smiles. "Thinks it'll impress you," he finished in low tones.
Rose wasn't sure she understood, and felt the Doctor shift next to her. Trying to read his face was futile, as he'd dropped his I'm-above-silly-human-emotions mask into place and was staring intently at the display, his hands moving even more quickly now. "Why do you want to impress me?"
"It wasn't to impress you," he sighed, avoiding looking at her. "Just thought since it was cold and all and you going on about your Cousin Mo, and the times you and your Mum would visit, that maybe you'd enjoy something like that. A proper breakfast, not just beans on toast. The whole works, well, maybe with a banana or two thrown in."
Rose was surprised the Doctor had remembered anything about her family; she'd always thought he hadn't really listened when she'd gone on about them. The Doctor shrugged, seeing her reaction. "Or maybe not," he hastily added, looking quite uncomfortable. Rose wrapped her arms around him, burying her head in his neck.
"Could I get it in bed?" she whispered timidly. The Doctor stiffened under her, then a low chuckle begin and soon she was looking at his I've-saved-the-world-and-still-have-you smile.
"I think this is one Dictatorship I'm not going to mind losing," sighed Jack, letting the controller drop.