"What is it with you and kissing?!"
Rose was dragging the Doctor towards the TARDIS, a firm grip on his ear, while he yelped and struggled to keep up. Once inside she released him and stood, hands on her hips, awaiting an answer.
He looked at her helplessly and shrugged. He knew better than anything that any answer he gave would be the wrong one.
Rose sighed and began pacing the floor, each step clanging and echoing around the room. "I could understand with Reinette; she meant something to you. But the waitress at that restaurant at the end of the universe?"
Again he shrugged, doing his best to look guilty and hurt.
"And the check-in lady today." She shook her head, a classic I'm-disappointed-in-you move. Then she stopped her pacing and turned to look at him accusingly.
"Did you kiss Lucy?"
"Lucy. Waitress at my Mo- the parallel Tyler party."
"Oh, right, her. Nice girl. Great informant." He gave her his best grin, a hint of fear showing through. Rose cocked her brow and his face twisted a little, almost in embarrassment, and he nodded.
She gave an exasperated sigh. "Look, you can't just go around kissing people all the time. I mean, how many has it been?"
"Do you really want a list of everyone I've ever kissed?"
"No," she said, getting slightly flustered. "Just- Just the ones since we've met."
He smiled at her. "Oh, well that's easy then... Let's see. My previous self wasn't much for it, so just Jack and you-"
"What do you mean me?" The Doctor felt his face grow warm while Rose continued. "You never kissed me."
"Well sure I did," he said, rubbing his finger under his nose. "Right when you... And…" He trailed off, looking away to avoid her gaze.
"When I what? What are you talking about?" Rose asked, her indignation shifting to a mix of curiosity and concern. She stood and waited the long minutes until he finally gave up and turned to face her.
"It was on the Gamestation. It's no big deal. Nothing to worry about."
"You kissed me and I don't even remember it and you tell me not to worry about it?"
He squinted at her. "Are you more concerned about remembering the kiss or everything else that happened?"
Rose blushed and looked away. "Everything of course. So, are you gonna tell me?"
"I... There was a lot of stuff. Can we not talk about it?"
Rose began to roll her eyes, then got a wicked grin on her face. "Does that mean we can talk about this kissing thing instead?"
He stared at her blankly, caught between two very bad situations. Talk to Rose about kissing. Or tell her about everything that happened. He hemmed and hawed to the best of his ability, hoping she'd give up, but she remained stubbornly silent. Finally he gave in himself. Her anger seemed to have faded away, so he might as well go for embarrassment, rather than making her face what she'd done. "Oh, all right."
Rose smiled and made a show of clapping at her triumph.
"Right, so..." Rose paused. Now that the Doctor had somehow calmed her anger, she wasn't sure what to say. "This is a new thing, then? You haven't been running and kissing random people your whole life"
He smiled, his chest shaking with a small laugh. "No. It's new."
"Okay... Why? I mean, I know you have this whole oral fixation thing-"
"I do not!"
Rose laughed. "Yes. Yes, you do."
"You make it sound like I have some sort of condition."
"You licked a bloody door! And not just a tiny taste even. A full tongued lick."
"And," she added, pointing at him with a grin on her face, "that was after tasting blood on the Sycorax ship, and tasting my mothers hair creme."
"That was not fair. It was labeled strawberry and smelled really good."
Rose shook her head with a laugh. "You're ridiculous, you know that?" Her expression sobered. "So is that it? Just a... I-stick-things-in-my-mouth thing?"
"That and a few other things."
"Oh, you know. Different body, different hormones, different chemical balance."
"So you're what, a horny teenager?"
His jaw dropped in shock. "No, it's not like that."
"What are you doing while I'm asleep? Long night spent on the galactic internet? Getting to know your right hand?" She laughed, and her laughter grew even louder when his face grew red. "You're kidding!"
"How vulgar. You kiss your mother with that mouth?"
"Oh... Oh tell me you haven't thought about my Mum!"
"Ugh!" He squirmed and clawed at his eyes. "No! No! Just... No!"
His laughter joined hers and Rose was soon doubled over, clutching her stomach while trying to fight back her giggles. "I- I guess I'll have to watch out for you now. No longer safe in here for a young lady."
He flashed her a broad smile. "No worries there. You're perfectly safe."
And just like that, the laughter stopped. Or at least Rose's did, the Doctor's quickly teetering off into an awkward silence.
"And why's that?"
"Hmm?" The Doctor looked at her expectantly, knowing that once she clarified, he was likely to be in trouble.
"Why," she began, the word coming out strong and hard, "am I safe?"
"Oh, well..." He rubbed at the back of his neck, a multitude of possible answers and Rose's reactions running through his mind. "It's just that, I, you know. I'd never do that to you."
That was her only response, and it was far more unnerving than if she'd chased him around the ship with a heeled shoe in her hand (Possible Outcome #37). He opened his mouth to speak, to clarify and gain some reaction, but nothing came out.
She nodded in understanding, then left the room in silence, the Doctor hot on her heels.
"Rose! I didn't mean anything by it. I just- I know you. I already know what you taste like."
She turned and glared at him.
"Not that I go around tasting people. It's just..." She was quickly charging ahead and he knew the moment she reached her room he'd have no chance of talking to her.
"Oh come on Rose! You're acting like you actually want me to!"
She halted in her steps but did not turn to him. Her silence told him plenty though and he felt himself go red.
"Oh." He was used to talking his way out of situations, so finding himself speechless was an odd experience. His mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water and still she refused to turn around.
'Forget I said anything," she muttered in embarrassment.
"But…" Again his mouth and vocal cords were refusing to work. She began to walk away again and he shouted in panic, all the wrong words coming out. "What if I want to, too?!"
She halted again and turned this time, her cheeks flushed pink and streaked with faded tracks of mascara and eyeliner. She was certain she'd heard him wrong. "What?"
"Umm, that is…" He rubbed the back of his neck and she smiled at the familiar action, taking hesitant steps towards him. "If you wanted to then, we could…"
She nodded, standing just in front of him, the scent of her shampoo intoxicating. After a brief pause she gave up on waiting for him and rose on her toes, initiating the contact.
For a moment he didn't respond and she panicked, thinking she had somehow misheard or misunderstood him, but then his hands threaded into her hair, pulling her closer to him and responding in earnest.
Rose pulled back when she needed air, far sooner than he did, and gasped, licking her lips in a slight daze.
"Was that okay?" he asked, honestly concerned. She nodded.
"Fantastic," she grinned. "And you can do it again without asking as long as you promise me one thing."
"That as long as I'm around, you won't go kissing anyone else."
He pulled her flush against him and grinned. "I think that's a promise I can keep."