Title: Affirmation

Author: Gail R. Delaney

Series: The Unseen and In Between

Setting: After The Idiot's Lantern

Genre: Flangsty Romance

Rating: R

Disclaimer: Not mine. If I owned Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant would be my own private little playmates.

Summary: Scarcely an electrical impulse left. Almost complete neural shutdown, she's ticking over, like her brain has been... wiped clean.

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Rose felt him enter the room before she raised her chin and looked into the mirror of her dressing table. He stood in the bedroom doorway, hands in his pockets with his shoulder against the jamb, his face tense with its lack of expression.

He'd been that way since they left 1953 England. They'd made it to New York, watched Elvis perform, and Rose had loved the energy of the crowd, until she'd caught a glimpse of him… watching her.

Something sat heavy on him, but he wasn't giving it up. When she asked what was wrong, she only got long stares and a shake of his head.

"We're off?" she asked, watching him in the mirror.

"Hovering around a moon on the outer edge of the Mutter's Spiral," he answered. "We can stay here until morning."

Rose nodded, hoping her casual persistence would get him to talk whenever he was ready. She reached behind her head and fished her fingers into the twist that held her hair. She had loved the skirt, it was fun to have the frothy fabric swirl around her legs when she walked… but she could do without the complicated and painful twist of hair and pins.

He pushed off the doorjamb and walked to her, stilling her hands with his own. "Let me."

Rose dropped her hands into her lap, toying with the long string that tightened the waist of her pyjamas. She watched him in the mirror as his elegant hands gently worked through her hair, finding each pin. She couldn't help the groan as he worked the twist free, and weaved his fingers through her hair to massage her scalp. Rose rolled her head back into his hands, loving the strength of his fingers tempered with the gentleness of his touch.

He picked up her hairbrush, and worked it through her hair, freeing the lasts twists and snarls caused by the pins. The Doctor started at the ends, freeing each snarl as he worked his way up to her scalp.

"If I didn't know better, I'd think you'd done this before."

"What?" he asked, meeting her eyes in the mirror.

"Combed a woman's hair."

He didn't provide any explanation, just continued brushing until her hair was smooth and snarl free. Then he set the brush down, his chest brushing across her shoulders as he leaned over her. As he came back, he bent and pressed a kiss to her bare skin beside the tank strap.

Turning, he sat on the bench beside her so his back was to the dressing table and they could look at each other. Rose budged over to give him more room, and waited. Eventually, he reached out and touched her cheek, first rubbing his knuckles across one before cupping the other in his palm. His thumb stroked her lips, and he drew a long, deep breath that dropped his shoulders when he released it.

She didn't need to open her mind to him to feel the shallow ripple of panic flowing off him, hidden expertly behind his tight lip and heavy eyes — his mask. Rose leaned into him, taking his face in both her hands, and laid her lips against his. It wasn't a kiss yet, just contact, her warm lips against his cooler ones. After a few moments, he drew in a breath, the intake of air whispering across her cheek before he opened his mouth and his tongue slid past her lips in a slow, complete act. She welcomed him in, tilting her head so his tongue brushed along hers and she matched his dance.

It was so easy now, opening her thoughts and her mind to him. Letting him fill her in every way, and when they made love, sharing every sensation with him until they were both left trembling and spent in the wake of their joining. But, right now, she just needed him to hear.

If you don't tell me what's wrong, I can't fix it.

The pitch of the kiss changed, and his soft moan reverberated through the conduit of their connecting tongues. His hand cupped the back of her head, and he tiled her back, taking her mouth deeper.

You just did.

Rose smiled against his mouth. "See how easy that was?"

The Doctor stood and walked behind her to stand on the other side of the bench, holding his hand out to her. She took it and he pulled her to her feet. As soon as she stood in front of him, he reached for the hem of her tank and pulled it over her head. He wasn't rushed, but his intent was clear, and Rose smiled as she reached for the buttons of his deep blue shirt.

They didn't kiss again until all clothes had been removed and he pulled her against him, his cool skin a sharp contrast to the heat she knew emanated from her own body. She loved the difference that sometimes was so dramatic it made her breath hitch. Rose wrapped her arms around his lean body, sliding her palms up his back until her hands came to rest over the synchronized beats of his dual hearts. The Doctor wove his fingers into her hair, his mouth working slowly and studiously over hers, his eyes open and watching her.

She loved it when he did that… watching her every movement, smiling at even the smallest reaction his touch or kiss created in her, proud and aroused by what they did to each other.

The Doctor took a step backward to the bed, and when they reached the edge, he sat, pulling her between his legs to press a kiss to her stomach just above her navel. Rose wove her fingers into his hair, tugging gently and smiled at the soft groan that vibrated against her stomach. She looked down at him past her bare breasts, and her stomach fluttered at the sight of his tongue sliding over her skin. His fingers traced her hips and slid over her bottom to squeeze gently.

You're beautiful.

She didn't just hear his words, she felt the intensity and truth behind them. Anyone could call her beautiful, but she knew without any doubt, that his declaration was the most honest truth. Because her beauty — to him — wasn't about her face, her smile or her body. It was, but it was the way he saw her. The pride he felt for her. The way he called her Forever Rose, even if it were just to the TARDIS.

Tears stung her eyes, and she tried not to sniff, but his lips left her skin and he looked up at her. Before he could ask, before he could question, Rose leaned down and kissed him.

Moving together, the Doctor shifted back on the bed until his shoulders rested against the padded red velvet headboard. His gaze never strayed from her face, even though his hands skimmed her skin and teased her body.

She opened her mind slowly, letting him in gradually so the sensations didn't overpower her. Rose knew he tempered the connection as well. Once, and only once, she had thrown the floodgates wide open and it had taken the Doctor one hundred ninety-three point six seconds to wake her up… he made sure she knew it has been exactly one hundred ninety-three point six seconds of hell before she opened her eyes again. Now, she took it slowly… but always completely.

Because in this there was truth. The truth they didn't say, the truth they didn't need to say… it was always there… open.

She felt the pounding of his hearts within her own ribs, the expanse of his lungs as he breathed hard with desire. She smelled her shampoo and the smell of coconut frosting cake and orangeade from the neighborhood meal. And she smelled the concoction of mousse and gel he'd used to make his hair appropriate for the trip, she smelled the age of his coat and the way it clung to him, and she smelled the mingling of amber and eternity that was The Doctor.

Rose straddled his hips, the silky thread of their sheets smooth and cool beneath her knees. She found balance by laying her hands on his shoulders, and his fingers gripped her hips. In moments, he would slide inside her and the thought made her pulse jump and her blood quicken. His fingertips pressed her thighs and his breaths came in short hisses.

Her name whispered through her mind, a benediction, a prayer, a plea and a promise all in one word. The Doctor kissed her breasts, his breath skimming over her, and he closed his eyes for just a moment as she rose over him and took him into her body.

Energy and power, fire and ice, heat and sensation flashed through her with such ferocity, her back arched and she cried out. She was filled, complete, and enveloped in the Doctor. Darkness danced at the corners of her perception, and she felt him step back just enough to let her breathe. Panting, but unwilling to give it up, Rose opened her eyes and looked down at him. His dark eyes, so intense, glistened and moisture slicked his lips.

Slowly, because anything more would make her fly apart, Rose rocked against him. Every cell connected, every bit of flesh and heat that moved against itself was vivid and sharp, and exquisite. Rose breathed through open lips, clinging to his hair with trembling fingers, watching him. His hands slid up her back, bracing her spin, supporting her with each slow push and pull.

They could make this last all night if they focused and forced themselves to tamp down the connection, but tonight, she wanted it wide open and she senses that he did, too. The coil twisted inside her, crawling through her, pulling tighter and tighter. Her actions became stilted, jerky as she tried to keep the rhythm but the overwhelming mingling of awareness made it hard.

The Doctor sat up, holding her against his chest, stretching up to kiss her as her breasts pushed against his skin, her nipples caressed by the sparse hairs on his chest. His tongue filled her mouth, and she tasted the mint she had used to clean her teeth before he came in. His tongue was cool, hers warm, both soft.

Her clitoris tingled, not needing any other stimuli than the bump and rub of their bodies together, the friction a sweet ecstasy. The Doctors hand slid down her back and over her bottom, kneading at the fleshy cheeks, urging her to a faster paste. He groaned when she obliged, and each downward thrust drew a sharp cry from her.

With one final hard push down onto him, Rose shattered and her entire body seized. She threw back her head, a ragged cry ripping free of her throat. The Doctor pressed his face against her throat, his hips bucking beneath her as his own orgasm gripped him. Lights flashed behind her eyes and she rode out each wave until the spasms eased, releasing her.

Her limbs suddenly weighed a thousand pounds each, and she didn't put up a fight as the Doctor guided her down onto the bed, sliding her leg from beneath his weight so he could lie beside her, facing her. He still held her, his arm forming a natural pillow to support her head, and he kissed her damp brow.

Exhaustion – immediate and intense – was almost always the reaction when they made love like this… completely and wholly. It drained her, and most often, him as well. His free hand caressed her gently from shoulder to hip, skimming her spine, and she hummed at the remaining tingling sensation left active from the joining.

"Are you convinced?" she asked, fighting sleep long enough to roll her head back to look into his face.

"Of what?"

"You were afraid that the Wire took this from us."

He pressed a long kiss to her forehead and pulled her close again. This time, sleep crept up quickly and she felt herself drifting away. "I'm completely, totally, one-thousand percent convinced," he said, a smile lacing his words.

He continued to whisper in her ear, words of nonsense or declaration — he could be explaining the greatest mystery of time and space — but the words were lost in the heavy darkness of sleep.