Summary: TenRose, spot of danger. Existing intimacy implied. Alternate title "Burning Off Excess Adrenaline" considered appropriate.
Disclaimer: I own my avatar, and paintings I've uploaded to deviantart. Oh, and these little waking thoughts while falling asleep that keep me up a few hours longer. Slow writing sucks, but it still kills muse bunnies.
Rose started as the assault of sound overwhelmed her, and her honed reflexes kicked in, suppressing her more natural reaction to scream. Her fingers fumbled over the rough concrete-like surface she was backed up against, taunting her with its solid existence, telling her she had nowhere to go.
There were bits of rubbish littering the alien alleyway. A towering pile of crates sat in the far corner, a large bin in the other. Three walls and a fence, one she wouldn't be able to scale in time. The door now just out of reach stubbornly refused her entrance.
The only way out was the shadowed passageway through which she came in directly ahead of her, which she would already be through in simpler circumstances. A rather complicated circumstance hunched before her, however, in the form of a snarling canine creature with reflective triangles of teeth and raised fur hiding a formidable bulk of muscle beneath.
Unable to flee, Rose's wide eyes were fixed completely on the present danger. Her instincts were screaming, and there was no sign of the Doctor anywhere. It wouldn't kill him to make a duplicate of his sonic screwdriver so she could open the door and be out of this mess. He couldn't be with her all of the time. Right now, without him and his sonic and clever brain, she felt completely helpless.
Out of nowhere, her lips twitched in a completely inappropriate smile. "Well, you're just right menacing, aren't you?" she squeaked.
The fur and fangs had lowered its noise to a low, continuous growl, and to Rose's surprise, it faltered lower when she spoke.
"I'm sure with proper introduction, this behaviour of yours would seem rather silly, don't you think?" The thing's lips didn't so much as twitch, but the growling broke into spurts. Was it listening to her? Surely it couldn't understand, but maybe it was trying to? Or perhaps it was just curious, or maybe confused. Either would be good, because it stopped it from doing other, less pleasant things.
How long would it work?
"I knew a beastie sorta like you once." Rose forced her outward demeanor to appear conversational. "Was a lot bigger than you, mind. Not to say you're insignificant, no! I mean, you're quicker, I'm sure. A lot quicker. Quick is good." Rose swallowed before her voice started to collapse into whimpers.
By the returning volume of the creature's growling, Rose got the distinct feeling it was growing bored already. She would have to do something else to catch it off guard, and fast, before panic cut her negotiations short.
Where could she have gotten off to?
The roar of the beast echoed off the buildings all around him, and fear stabbed at the Doctor's hearts. He looked all around, but he couldn't locate the sound that bounced from everywhere. At this point, he wasn't sure Rose had even come this direction, but if she had, would she have gone left or right?
"Rose, where are you?!" he shouted.
He listened, but there was no answer.
Deciding on the narrower of paths, he ran as fast as he could, slapping the walls as he turned corners to avoid potentially nasty collisions. If something happened to her, he'd never forgive himself. She had no defense against such a feral foe. He wasn't sure what he'd do when he got there, but hey, he always thought of something.
He suddenly heard Rose's voice as he rocketed past a narrow alleyway and stopped himself short. Coming around the corner, he found Rose crouched against the far wall, the beast facing her and away from him.
She was grinning.
"'Cause I'd really like to get to know you! I mean, wouldn't it be better than just ripping me to bits? What's another meal when you can make a friend? I bet you've not had a friend in a long time."
Rose extended her arm slowly, a gesture she often gave the Doctor when she wanted a hug.
The beast's growling simmered, and he could see its head cock sideways ever so slightly. The Doctor couldn't wipe the desperate concern from his face as the situation was still very much precarious, but amusement momentarily flashed his smile and pride shone through his eyes. He crept forward and realised Rose couldn't see him approach through the shadows. All the better, probably, as catching sight of him may have given his presence away to the creature. Besides, she was doing fairly well all by herself.
"Shake a paw? Maybe you have had friends, hm? Any girl wolf things fancy you? Maybe you've got someone back home." A playful, impossibly teasing grin lit up Rose's face. "Nah, I bet you've got loads of admirers, what with you bein' the strongest, most terrifying thing around."
His Rose, bright and beautiful, even in the face of mortal peril. She could have gone running and screaming to a defenseless death, yet she chose to fight. She didn't have so much as a stick to uselessly fend it off with, but she kept it guessing, off guard and confused--stalling until he got there.
Sure, talking something to death was something he would do. She had obviously picked up on it. It wasn't something she would naturally do, not before she had spent so much time with him. One could argue she was merely using someone else's masterpiece, looking good in light of another's accomplishment.
But Rose had adapted it to herself. She had learned from him, trusted in him. She willingly ventured out into danger with him, having found on multiple occasions that he couldn't be with her every minute, and that danger would still present itself in his absence. She had chosen to risk herself and her own wits to those times, bravely accepting that more challenges just as great and greater still would come, just to be with him. And here she was, making the best of her situation, doing what it took to stay alive until he could rescue her.
That's why he loved her.
True to form, the Doctor began scanning the alleyway. Somehow, he didn't think joining the conversation would help much, as he knew the alien canine would eventually tire of useless communication it didn't understand and would probably only get hungrier for it. It would understand the Doctor's presence as being another threat, however. It understood the importance of outnumbering one's prey or enemy. It understood violence, pain.
The beast growled at Rose and took a step forward. Rose's smile disappeared as she swallowed, her eyes big and showing signs of her actual fear.
The Doctor slipped his sonic screwdriver out of his chest pocket and flicked the setting to a high frequency and stepped out of the shadows.
"Hello, Rose!" he said cheerily. "Making a new friend? Should we make room in the TARDIS?"
The wolf creature's ears came to attention and it spun in a four-legged turn, alarmed at his presence. It roared at the Doctor, attempting to threaten the flanking enemy without losing sight of its cornered prey.
"Catch!" The Doctor threw the screwdriver, and it sailed over the wolf's head. Rose sprang up and caught it. He turned his attention to the wolf.
"Now, now, being nasty just because you haven't met her yet? She's really quite entertaining, given a chance." He sauntered forward, resting a hand on the nearest stack of crates at the mouth of the alleyway, his brow furrowing. "More rude than I am, I should say. Now that's saying something. Didn't your mother teach you to play nice?"
The creature turned more fully toward him and took a step, flattening its ears and stretching its mouth wide enough to snap a leg. It was done talking. "Right, probably not. Here we go." The Doctor's fingers tightened on the rough wood of the crate. "Now, Rose!"
As the wolf got its feet under it, preparing to leap on him, the Doctor pulled hard, flinging the crate at the wolf. Forced to suddenly dodge, the wolf abandoned its attack, and the crate cracked against the pavement as it barreled past. He threw another crate, and another, keeping the beast off balance, while simultaneously moving further into the alleyway and off to the side.
A high-pitched whine issued from the sonic screwdriver as Rose pointed it at the wolf's ears. They suddenly flattened further to its head, and it visibly flinched away from Rose. Now being attacked from two sides, the wolf's lips slackened and it backed away. It suddenly turned and bounded full speed through the alleyway, and the Doctor yanked on the tallest stack of crates, which toppled with a thundering crash over the alleyway entrance, barring passage either way.
"Oh yes!" the Doctor shouted triumphantly. "Back to your mother!" Rose let go a breath of relief and laughed as the Doctor turned to her. "Or," he said at normal volume, his voice turning teasing, "back to his admirers, perhaps?"
Rose bit her lip, blushing. "It worked for a while, didn't it? How long you were you standing there?"
"Oh, just long enough." The Doctor started to walk toward her.
"Yeah. So how we gettin' out? I'm not climbin' that fence."
The Doctor nodded mutely at the screwdriver in her hand, then looked pointedly at the door behind her.
"Right." Rose blushed again, this time in embarrassment. The Doctor arrives, and suddenly everything is safe again. Hadn't she been thinking just that would happen? She recalled her silly, desperate words to the wolf, the Doctor hearing it all and swanning in to save her yet again, and Rose couldn't help but feel utterly foolish.
The Doctor stopped in front of her and fingered away the sonic screwdriver, sliding it back into his chest pocket. His eyes were difficult to read, but surely they were showing concern, relief. Weren't they? Amusement, yes, at her foolishness. But in the way he studied her, there was something else...
"You okay?" he asked quietly.
Rose blinked, breaking the gaze. "Yeah." She breathed in another sigh. "'Course, now that you're here."
He smiled, just a shallow warp of the lips like he often did when amused. He placed a hand against the wall, leaning over her close, sheltering her with his presence. "So what all did you say?"
"When I got here, you were crouched against the wall, talking to it. What were you saying to get it to not kill you?"
"What's it matter, what I said? It's not like it understood me. I was just saying things!"
"Stupid things! Why do you care?"
The Doctor paused. "'Cause it's important to me."
Rose paused in response as he lifted his free hand. "How can it be? Trust me, it's not." Her eyes followed his hand to her shoulder, where it squeezed and caressed. Rose looked back up into the Doctor's studying gaze, his hooded eyes flicking in quick little movements over her. Her voice came out calmer despite herself. "Just anything I could think of. I was backed into a corner..." She caught it, then, in his eyes. Admiration. Hunger. Her words trailed off. "Helpless to escape..."
The Doctor's eyes stopped moving. "Oh, I should say so," he voiced low.
It was all Rose could do to draw a breath before he descended, capturing her in a smothering kiss. The Doctor pulled her to him, pinning her to the wall, and Rose was suddenly no longer feeling foolish at all.