Rating: T / P14
Contents: It was a promise, and she would never consider not keeping it.
Disclaimer: BBC, Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner. But the good times end this year...
A/N: A different take on the goodbye scene between Rose and the Doctor in "The Impossible Planet"; story, however, is set after "The Satan Pit".
Cut for site policy reasons. Please visit my site for full version and download as PDF. Thanks.
There was a light knock on the door. A knock. She never knocked. Well, she did, but only when she asked permission to enter his private rooms. But this wasn't his 'private rooms'. This was the reading room.
"Come in," the Doctor called, and sat up. He had been lying on a thick blanket in front of the fireplace, head propped up on some pillows, book in one hand, cup of tea in the other. He had even taken off his jacket, shoes and socks, as it had been more relaxing this way - and more comfortable, while lying so close to the fire. Rose had been tired after the black-hole-incident, and he had sent her to bed, allowing himself a few quiet hours for reading and also calming down the part of him that had been filled with fear - mostly fear for his companion, and that he would never see her again.
"Hey," Rose greeted him when she stepped in and closed the door carefully behind her. The comparably small room was soothingly warm and cozy, the crackling of the fire almost calming. A complete contrast to the nightmares that had denied her sleep in the previous hours. Although that hadn't been the reason for coming here; there was something else that occupied her mind.
"Hello," he smiled, but instantly sensed that something was wrong with her. Asking if she was alright, he slid aside, made some space for her on the blanket, between him and the fireplace, and put his book and empty cup aside. Yet she didn't move, but remained standing at the door.
"I... think I... I owe you something," she began shyly after additional few minutes of staring, and finally moved, slowly approaching him. She hesitated only for a moment, but then took place beside him and sighed when she felt the warmth of the fire hugging her body.
"You never owe me anything, Rose," the Doctor said with a gentle smile - and Rose knew that he didn't remember her earlier promise.
"You really could have done this before I put on my helmet," the Doctor complained playfully when she kissed the front of his helmet, and grinned.
"When this is all over, you get another one - without the helmet. Promise," Rose replied jokingly and gave his chest a gentle pad. "Good luck," she then whispered and watched him entering the lift capsule. She heard Zack counting down, and she waved one last time before the capsule slowly went down the mine shaft...
"I thought you wanted to sleep?" his voice brought her back from her memory.
"Couldn't. Keep seeing Toby and the black hole."
"I'm sorry. Really, I'm sorry." The Gallifreyan pulled her into an embrace and she followed willingly when he leaned back and lay down against the pillows.
"Don't be," she murmured. With her head resting on his chest, the beating of his left heart sounded in her ear, and she even thought she could here the faint echo of his other heartbeat. For a moment she just savored the feeling and the sound, assuring her that he, that they both were still alive and hadn't lost each other.
"I was thinking about where to go next and I know this small..."
"Doctor?" she interrupted him. His voice had been so low that she had had trouble hearing it over the crackling sounds from the fireplace, but the slight vibration in his chest that had accompanied his words had remembered her why she had come here originally. "You don't remember, do you?"
"What do you mean?"
"The promise I've made." She could tell by the silence that followed that his mind was working.
"To not be mad at me when I forget to put my teacup into the sink again?" he tried, completely clueless. She giggled lightly.
"I never promised that, Doctor." Her voice was serious, but another giggle that followed right after betrayed her sternness.
"I'm sorry, Rose, I really have no idea." Almost unwillingly the blond-haired woman raised her head from the comfortable position it had, and looked into his eyes.
"Just before you and Ida went down to the cavern I promised you something."
"Oh. Oh!" he exclaimed when realization suddenly hit him. Then he smiled. "I thought that was only a joke?"
"I never joke about things that are so important." While she spoke, she mimicked what she had done before, her hands framing his face, and when she had finished her sentence she kissed him on the forehead.
The Doctor smiled gently up at her when she pulled back and looked at him again. He opened his mouth, but the words lying on his tongue never made it across his lips when she leaned forwards again, and every possible sentence was caught in his throat when Rose's lips met his skin a second time, now on his cheek. She repeated the motion and kissed his other cheek and his eyes widened because she didn't make any move to pull back, but instead kissed her way to his mouth.
"Rose," he breathed, barely audible - right before her lips captured his. His arms that were still wrapped around her body tightened their embrace, pulling the young woman even closer. His mind was racing, debating whether he should give in or push her away gently, but his hearts had already made a decision.
Her touch was merely a question, like she was waiting for a reaction, an answer; but this time, the man who knew nearly everything lacked of an answer. The feeling of Rose's lips was overwhelming, and the sweet scent of her skin and hair like a caress for his senses.
In the end it was Rose who made a decision, when her tongue almost hesitantly wandered over his lower lip, asking for entrance; a request he wasn't able to deny her. Willingly he let her tongue slip into his mouth, let her explore him, until his tongue sought for her touch and met her. They greeted and caressed each other, the exploration of a new terrain, getting to know each other in a completely different way.
Her hands still rested at the sides of his head, her fingers buried in his hair, her palms covering his ears, letting him hear the rush of his blood pumping through his head, his veins, his body with increased speed.
She deepened the kiss, longing to get more of him, and he knew that he, shouldn't they stop now, would react soon in a way that maybe was too soon. He already felt the tingling that slowly spread into every cell of his body, consuming every inch of him - and his mind. Never should a Time Lord allow such an intense reaction if he wasn't willing to finish what he had begun. And yet he couldn't stop, especially because something in him wanted to finish it, had wanted it for such a long time now.
She felt right there, his Rose, against him, her fingertips caressing him while her lips melted against his and he could taste her, smell her, feel her.
But in the end, he knew he had to let his rationality win. Carefully he detached himself, tried his best to end the kiss and free his lips, although he was in a much worse position, not able to pull back because behind - under - him were only the pillows and the floor.
When her lungs longed for air, he used the opportunity to try and talk to her.
"Rose," he began, his voice loving, though more a rasped whisper than anything else, affected by the arousal claiming his body.
"Don't make me stop, Doctor. Please," the woman pleaded before he could go on, and her hands left his head to free him from his tie and slowly open the buttons of his shirt. Only one of his hands covering hers, but more so his eyes looking into hers with unknown intensity made her stop for the moment.
"My kind doesn't do that for fun or pleasure. Not... at all. And especially not the first time. Because the first time is... for bonding." He had spoken the words fast, afraid that he wouldn't be able to continue should he pause or explain.
"And what does bonding entail?"
"Rose... you... no, Rose. No, I can't do that," he shook his head and his arms loosened around her body. But the terribly hurt look on her face made her instantly regret his words. "Please... I'm sorry, it's just... it's complicated. You have to..."
"'s okay, Doctor. Really. We're from different worlds, I knew that from the beginning," she interrupted him, feigning understanding and changed from her position lying half on top of him to one beside him.
"Don't think you're not worth it, or that I... that I... wouldn't... I don't want you," the Doctor read her thoughts, trying to dispel her doubts.
"Then what is it, Doctor? Tell me, what is it that keeps us at distance, that lets us only hug and hold hands, but nothing else? We nearly lost each other today. We're always so close to death. I don't complain, no, but I... if we ever..." She paused, searching for the right words. It took her an eternity of mind-wrecking silence to continue. "I don't want to die one day, to one day face a true hopeless situation, knowing that I never... felt... that I've never felt you. That we never got the chance, no, never used the chance to..." She then stopped herself shortly, took a deep breath and finally managed to say the words that had been echoing through her mind for so long, waiting to be said. "I want you. I want to feel you. I want to feel what you express with these hugs and the handholding with every fiber of my body."
The Doctor's eyes widened at her words. He opened his mouth to answer, but closed it shortly after because no sentence, no word, not even a sound came out.
Lying beside him and still not looking at him, Rose was about to interpret his silence as ignoring her, considering her not being worth an answer, but then suddenly, she felt his hand grabbing hers, holding it tight, and entwining their fingers.
"It is not that I don't want you. I shouldn't - but I do. I do want you. But if we do this, then it also means that we have to form a mental bond. And... this mental bond allows no stepping back, no parting, no leaving the other. We are bonded for life. You are so young, Rose. You have still so many years to live. I can't... enchain you to me like this."
His words repeated over and over in her head, the meaning sinking in. And although she took her time to really think about it, in her heart she already knew what she wanted. And what her answer was.
Turning towards him again, and leaning over him, her face too close for his eyes to focus on it so that he simply closed them, she whispered: "Make love to me. Bond with me. Make me yours. Because I never want to leave you. I want to stay with you. Forever." And then her lips touched his again. He responded, but eventually pulled back again, making her look at him.
"Is it truly what you want? Because even if you leave me and the TARDIS, you will never be able to be together with any other man."
"I know nothing is perfect, but... if I believe in one thing, then I believe that this can work. And that neither of us will ever want to leave. And that I never want to be with another man." His hand came up to cup her face, and Rose leaned into the soft caress when she lowered her eyes and whispered, "I love you."
For a moment, he forgot to breath. He didn't dare to believe his ears, and yet he knew she had said what he had just heard. His hand nudged her to meet his eyes again, and shyly she raised her gaze.
"My Rose," he said gently, "and I love you." And finally, he allowed himself to initiate a kiss, showing her exactly how much he meant his words.