It was a peaceful ending to an uneventful day spent exploring the Moon of Traxen IV and its long-deserted caverns and labyrinths of underground tunnels. The Doctor had explained to Rose how the inhabitants had been forced from their homes during a series of civil wars that wiped out most of the population and left the planet desolate and unable to support any life form. All that remained were mazes of murals and engravings depicting the former civilization once celebrated for their artistic knowledge, untouched by other than the dust of time.
There had been no running for their lives, escaping the clutches of an evil tyrant, overthrowing governments, solving mysteries, blowing up factories, or getting slapped, which made for a very unordinary day. Just a quiet time, which the two of them spent admiring the sites, enjoying a picnic lunch and each other's company. The Doctor had even surprised Rose with the telling of a few tales that left her teary eyed from laughing. All in all, an unusual day for the two travellers, who seemed a bit reluctant to finally call it a day until long after the triple suns had set, when they finally went back to the TARDIS.
A few hours later, the Doctor dared a glance at his companion who was curled into one end of the worn leather sofa, head resting against the arm and a pad of paper set on her knees. How anyone could claim they were comfortable scrunched in on themselves like a potato bug was beyond him. Yet she seemed rather relaxed, her toes tapping to an invisible melody keeping time with the pen, as she bounced the end of it against her teeth.
He was thoroughly engrossed in the book lying open in front of him when Rose looked over. A studious figure leaning on crossed arms, his head bent over the pages even though having glanced over the same paragraph multiple times he couldn't seem to focus on the actual words. After a few minutes his gaze was drawn back to the blonde across from him. He watched her touch the pen to paper letting it rest unmoving for a moment, then pull it back once more as her tongue reached out to swirl around the end as she stuck it back in her mouth.
The Doctor shifted in his chair causing Rose to glance over once more and again found him reading the large volume and completely ignoring her. Sighing she turned back to the blank page, sucking on the pen, her brow furrowed in deep thought then pulling the pen almost out before sucking it back in. A low moan from where the Doctor sat had Rose peering at him quizzically and he knew there was no hiding the scarlet flush on his face, unless he began coughing.
Deep rasping coughs racked his body as he imitated struggling for air. Rose was immediately beside him having dropped her pad and pen in her haste to assist him and was now moving behind him before he waved her off.
"I'll be fine," he managed to rasp while waving her off. Rose knelt beside him placing a hand on his arm as he scooted further forward to hide himself from further embarrassment. The Doctor was relieved to find she was watching his face and gave her a timid smile. "Swallowed wrong," he said hoarsely and patted her hand reassuringly.
"Right," she replied, studying his face a moment longer.
Clearing his throat he indicated with a slight nod of his head the forgotten pad lying in a heap on the floor. "What did I interrupt?" he asked trying to divert her attention.
Standing and stepping away from him she bent over to retrieve the pen and pad, peering back at him from under her arm as she heard a soft groan. Seeing him rub his face with a palm, his eyes shut tight as if in pain, she moved towards him again. "Doctor—" she began as he vehemently shook his head.
"What were you writing?" he asked a little too forced, grabbing for the pad of paper. Rose stood startled as the pad was ripped from her grasp and wondered if the Doctor had contracted something on the planet that would explain his odd behaviour.
The Doctor flipped the first page then again flipped to the next page, then another before twisting the pad and turning it over. "It's blank," he stated, dropping it on top of the open book.
Rose tentatively reached for the now dishevelled pad and pulled it slowly away from the Doctor, while watching him warily. "Yeah, I couldn't think of what to write." She gave a small shrug, hugging the pad to her chest as she walked towards the sofa. "Tomorrow is the start of the New Year, and I can't think of a single New Year's resolution," she sighed.
"What you do that for?"
Rose settled back onto the sofa pulling her knees up again, the pen hovering over the paper this time, much to the Doctor's relief. "You make a resolution, sort of like setting goals for yourself at the beginning of the year. It gives you something to look back on to see if you've accomplished what you set out to do."
The Doctor thought about it for a minute, now openly watching the turmoil of indecision cross her face. "What resolutions did you make last year?" he asked.
Rose shrugged. "You know, the usual. Watch what you eat, exercise more, stay in touch with friends—" her voice trailed off as she pursed her lips, pulling the pen towards them.
"And?" Since when did his voice hit that note?
She turned to him with a questioning look and he swallowed hard as he tried not to stare at the pen resting against her lips. "Did you meet all of your goals?" he asked hoping she'd not noticed the earlier pitch.
"Think that keeping in touch one has proven to be difficult," she mused, staring at the ceiling as if it hid the answers, her tongue flicking out as she tapped the pen against it. She tilted her head and caught his stare with a full manic grin. "I get plenty of exercise running for my life, and after the walking oatmeal-like stuff, I always watch what I eat," she finished teasingly.
The Doctor chuckled as he recalled the image of Rose on that occasion, smiling even wider as he noticed her face turning the same crimson colour again. Pretending to be offended she brushed the paper with the back of her hand and exhaled loudly.
Resting his chin in his hand the Doctor angled forward. "So, why haven't you written a page or more for this year?"
Rose casually tossed the pad of paper and pen to the other side of the sofa as she rose and walked slowly towards the Doctor. Resting her hands beside the Doctor's elbow Rose leaned forward, staring intently into his eyes.
"There isn't a thing in the world, no- the universe that could compare to anything you've already shown and taught me. My only resolution is to spend the year with you, yeah?" she said with such conviction the Doctor was nodding before her words sunk in, and he was positive his hearts were going to burst at this revelation.
Until the moment they stopped.
Rose's hand sliding across one cheek, her warm breath on the other only to be replaced by her soft lips in a tender kiss before walking away left the Doctor motionless. Time had literally stopped for the Lord of Time, brought to a halt by a human girl.
As always, the Doctor's timing was impeccable as Rose ambled bleary eyed into the kitchen the following morning accepting the hot mug he offered her with a muttered thanks. She paused, holding the mug in a possessive two-handed grasp below her chin inhaling the comforting bold scent, slowly lowering the mug when she caught sight of the table's centrepiece.
A dozen dark pink roses set in a glass vase. Reaching forward, her fingertips grazing the red rose amongst the sea of pink, she set her mug carefully on the table before turning to the Doctor.
He was leaning back against the counter, taking pleasure in her reaction. Uncrossing his arms, he took a step forward, closing the distance between them. Looking at her tousled hair, he couldn't help grinning and placed a crooked finger under her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. Holding the red rose between them, she gave the Doctor a puzzled look, lifting the rose. His eyes shifted to the flower, then back to Rose.
"My New Year's resolution," he stated quietly, shuffling even closer until he could sense her racing heartbeat. Not waiting for her to voice the inevitable question he continued. "To tell people what they mean to me." Dropping the smile, his hand moved up to cup her cheek as he leaned forward and brushed his lips against hers, his eyes open, gauging her reaction.
His eyes flew open wide when Rose not only returned the kiss, but slid her arms around his neck and pulled him even closer. Not that he had any objections as he wrapped an arm around her waist, his hand coming to rest in the small of her back. Closing his eyes, he wondered why he hadn't thought to make New Year's resolutions before this.
Eleven deep pink coloured roses and one red rose symbolizes "thank you for being unique. I love you."