Title: Glimpse of Understanding (1/1)
Author: JennyLD
Spoilers: None
Characters/Pairings: 10/Rose
Prompt:Did you ever think of me as your best friend?
Author's Note: Prompt and beta by Sinecure.

"Do you think of me," she asks suddenly, breath still coming in short, ragged bursts, "as your best friend?"

Odd question, that. Especially after what they just finished doing.

He shifts and lowers his chin to his chest to look at her, but all he can see is the top of her head. "Where did that come from?" It's hard to gauge where she's going with this when he can't see her face.

There's a pause, during which the thumb that was just tracing small circles over his bare hip stills. He can practically hear the wheels turning in her head, trying to figure out how best to word whatever it is she's on about.

"Nowhere. 's just Mickey said that we're..." she hesitates, soft, feminine curves turning hard with tension beside him and he squeezes her tighter.

"We're what?"

She shakes her head, still-pebbled nipples rubbing lightly along his side and chest. "Nothing. Jus' forget it."

"No." He's not about to let her get off that easy. "Now I want to know. What did Mr. Mickey say about us?" Knowing he probably shouldn't push doesn't stop him from doing it anyway. It's not like his gob hasn't gotten him into trouble before.

She mutters something quietly under her breath, obviously meant for her ears only.

"Oi, Ms. Tyler!" he jests, trying to pull her out of this sudden, unexplained funk. "Didn't your mother ever tell you it's rude to mumble?" The teasing doesn't work quite the way he had hoped.

Extracting herself from his embrace, she sits up in the middle of the bed, wrapping her arms around her knees. "Fuck buddies. He called us fuck buddies."

He raises an eyebrow at her choice of words. Mickey's choice, probably. But still, hearing them fall from her lips is a little disconcerting. Not that she doesn't use questionable language at times but he's never heard her refer to what they just did as fucking before. It stung.

"You don't...is that what you think?" Pushing himself up next to her, he rests a hand on her shoulder.

She shrugs. "I don't know. It's why 'm asking."

Watching her, body crammed into the smallest amount of space she can manage, his hearts ache. How could she even question what she means to him? How could it not be obvious to her, what with the way he can't deny her anything and can't stand to be away from her for longer then a few hours at a time.

Apparently it isn't.

Wanting to reassure her, but not knowing how, he says the first thing that comes to mind. "Rose, I have never thought of you as my best friend."

She's off the bed and heading for the door before he can blink. Rushing out of here naked, with Mickey on board, is probably not the brightest idea and she seems to realize that before she gets any further.

"Rose, I didn't mean--"

"No," she chokes out, frantically searching the room for the clothes he'd tossed aside in the midst of passion. "I understand. I'll jus'..."

Oh, no, she won't.

He flies across the room, and is by her side, hands cupping her face, before she can register the fact that he's moved. "Rose, you've always been so much more to me than a friend. I thought you understood that. You're..." he pauses. How does he explain to her what she means to him? How does he convince her that what Mickey thinks couldn't be further from the truth? So far, actions seem to have failed him, and though he has quite the talent with words this incarnation, he has no idea what to say.

And then it hits him. It's the simplest thing in the world really. The easiest--and the hardest--three words in the book, and yet, for some reason, he's avoided saying them for far too long...

"I love you."