A/N: Vague hint of smut in this chapter...I tried my best to keep it as PG as possible tho =]


Curiosity Leads to Discoveries

Pins were easy. His hands pulled them so gently and they relinquished their battle before it had even begun. Her fiery bronze curls unravelled, falling like a blazing waterfall down her back and she shook them out, ecstatic to finally be free of the constricting hood and its sharp pins. She laughed as she saw them scattered amongst the rushes that were strewn across the floor. She had a sudden urge to run her hands through the lavender and straw that littered her room; purifying the air, protecting her from contamination. What happens, she wondered, if I am contaminated by another sickness…what happens if I am overcome by the freedom of love?

His kisses became more urgent and she knew where it would lead to, but it didn't matter that she had a reputation, and a country, to protect…all that mattered was that exact moment; the tiny bubble that surrounded them, shrouding them in its protection so that they might just enjoy one another's company. She knew that she was acting like a lovesick girl but perhaps that was exactly what she needed to be.

She broke away from his insistent kisses, breathless and laughing. She turned her back to him, the laces of her gown just inches from his fingers; she leaned back gracefully, the perfect curve of her spine closing the gap between them. She turned her head slightly so she could see his face; the warm, inviting smile, the dark, brooding eyes. She stretched and kissed him chastely and his hands moved to her back.

In his impatience, the laces broke swiftly and she heard the soft clatter as the whalebone stomacher hit the floor. Kat might chide her for leaving it there but she supposed that it would be the least of Kat's troubles once she discovered the truth behind its disposal.

His curiosity was matched only by his eagerness as he fisted handfuls of her hair and pulled her towards her again, his mouth claiming hers with a sort of primal possessiveness that she had never experienced before. She was glad that it was him who had introduced her to it as soon as she heard the primordial growl that tore from his throat as he buried his face in her neck. She fought the urge to laugh as she considered that appearances, of this man in particular, were deceiving.

"Elizabeth…" he whispered, his voice deep and guttural; claiming her name for himself with just his voice. His eyes, which had been so full of poorly hidden anguish, sought out her face as he turned her toward him again; they were now heavy-lidded and filled with longing.

"John…" she replied, equal in her yearning, but he stepped away from her, leaving the cool air to throw a chill down her body. It created a distance between them that she did not want, and did not think she could bear.

"That…that may be a problem…" He seemed to be having trouble controlling his emotions, much less his voice, which was unsteady and trembling.

"What might be a problem?" A sinking sensation plummeted to the bottom of her stomach and a feeling of refutation washed through her. He did not want her.

"I lied to you, Elizabeth. My name isn't John Smith…"

"Then who are you, sir?"

"I'm the Doctor."

"Doctor what? What is your full title?"

"That's it…I'm the Doctor…just the Doctor…although the Lord of Time thing was true if that makes any difference?"

"Is the mysterious moniker designed to impress me?"

"Um sort of…? I mean, not just you…I didn't just make it up on the spot or anything, it's my real name…but yeah, it's supposed to sound at least a little bit impressive…I mean, are you?"

"Am I what, pray tell?"

"Impressed?" She couldn't help herself, seeing him there with his hair tousled by her fingers, his eyes filled with yearning, and the juxtaposition of this and the manic expression on his face because he was desperate to know if he impressed her; she couldn't stop the low chuckle escaping her lips. He beamed at her.

"I'll take that as a yes…" He smiled mischievously. "Now…where were we?"

She blushed.