Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who.
A/N: Thanks to JennyLD--my co-contributor to the Glimpses series--for beta-ing and encouragement.
Whenever I touch your slow turning pain.
Rose dropped her forehead to the Doctor's shoulder, and he was grateful to be spared the accusing glare of her eyes for a few moments. However, it didn't prevent him from picking up on the sharp edges of anger tingeing her muffled voice.
"I need you," she told him, moving a little closer. He felt every muscle in her body clench as she shifted.
"No, you don't." He tightened his arms around her and inhaled deeply, enjoying her closeness, her scent, and the feel of her being where she belonged. For now. It wouldn't last. It couldn't. "I missed you," he whispered, low enough he wasn't sure she heard him. Hoped she hadn't. His need was there, in his voice, plain enough for her to hear, and if she raised her head to look at him, she'd see it on his face as well, but it'd make it all the harder to do what he needed to do.
She made no move to look at him, and he knew she hadn't heard him. His hearts stopped for a single beat in mourning and then resumed giving him life.
"Fine," she said shakily, "I want-- I want to stay here with you." She trembled in his embrace, wrapping her arms under his and clinging to his shoulders with stiff fingers and nails that dug into his skin. Like she'd never let go.
And then she did lift her head and look him in the eyes. "I want you."
Closing his eyes against the naked expression on her face, he drew back, trying to put some distance between them. "You have me," he told her, believing the words as they slipped past his lips. Knowing she didn't, as her forehead furrowed and her mouth tightened. Pressing his lips to her cheek, he begged her with his silence to accept things as they were.
But she didn't. She never had. And that's why he loved her.
"He's not you." The words were harsh and torn from her throat, terrible in the truth of them, and in the lie.
The Doctor slid deeper into her, holding her down on him, panting against her temple as she clenched around him. Her arms, slick with sweat, clung tighter to his shoulders as she moved over him. Resting his forehead against hers, he caught her gaze. "He is me."
She curled up her lip and shook her head, pulling away from him, trying to climb from his lap, but he held her still, unwilling to lose this as well as her. This was the one--the only--time he'd have her as completely as he wanted her, and he intended to savor every moment before he dropped her back in Pete's World.
Fingers digging into her hips, he darted forward, catching her lips, kissing her deeply as he resumed their rhythm as smoothly and as deeply as she'd penetrated his hearts.
She pulled away briefly from the fierce kiss to whisper, "He's not."
And, quietly, secretly, the Doctor knew she was right, even when she was wrong. The other him was him. But not anymore. This--making love to Rose right here in his room as her mum, the other him, and Donna chatted away in the console room--this made him a different man.
And he'd cherish this moment while the other him spent the rest of his life with the woman they both loved.