Unexpected Discoveries

By Marisha

"Rose! Where are you?" the Doctor's voice echoed through the deserted corridors of the TARDIS.

'In here,' Rose thought, a big grin on her face as she stepped into a room she hadn't noticed yet. Open-mouthed, she took in the sight. A room the size of the control room stacked to the rim with clothes – full outfits really.

"And oh yeah - I'll stay here for a while," Rose chuckled as she danced into the room. Over two levels, clothes racks bent under their weight. 'Mum would love this,' she thought, ignoring the Doctor's calls. Amazed, her hand slid over the different materials. 'Guess in 900 years you collect one or the other piece.' She grabbed a straw-hat and perched it on her head.

"Who am I kidding? These are complete wardrobes." She picked up a long vivid colored hand-knitted scarf – and let it run through her fingers before throwing it back onto its hanger. A bit further, she found a cane and swung it like Charlie Chaplin. She laughed delightedly and hopped over to a full-sized mirror perched in the middle of the room. She tilted the hat to one side and admired the image. She had known about the other wardrobe, the one her Doctor – she had to stop calling him that - had sent her on their second journey, but he never mentioned his own and it never occurred to her that, of course, he must have obtained a considerable collection himself. Until today, when she decided to go exploring since the Doctor was occupied with some boring repair and shushed her out of his way.

'Maybe he shouldn't have done that.' She smirked. There were so many treasures waiting to be found on the TARDIS and she had been exploring before but never ventured that far into the ship's heart. She would have strolled by if this door hadn't been slightly ajar. 'Open doors are always an invitation, Mum used to say.'

And what she would have missed! She laughed and sprang up the stairs to search for more discoveries. She dived in and out of the wardrobe stands unable to decide if she dared to put something on or which accessories to pick.

'A wardrobe is something personal.' Her arm sank down. Cloth could tell such a story – a history of the Doctor, his 900 years – one she would never dare to ask. A past he was guarding – not yet willing to share. She stepped back, contemplating the pieces. She was just stepping back on the landing when she saw it: a black leather arm peeking out of the wardrobe stand right in front of her. Gently, she tugged at the material as she pushed the other fabrics aside to get a better view. She took a step closer to take in the musty smell and caressed the sleeve.

"Found anything that fits?"

Rose jumped back dropping the sleeve.

The Doctor leant in the doorframe arms crossed over his chest – a smile tugging at his lips.

She shrugged her shoulders, embarrassed. "Quite a collection…"

"Yeah, well," he tugged his ear lobe and pushed himself off the frame. Slowly, he sauntered towards her and Rose couldn't resist the urge to grin.

"What?" His eyebrows arched up as he came up the stairs.

"Nothing." Rose shook her head avoiding looking at him.

He studied her and Rose fidgeted with her shirt.

"What?" he asked a bit softer closing the gap between them.

Rose shrugged. "You… just sautnered like him…"

His gaze fell on the leather jacket. "Oh." His shoulders slumped. "You still miss his form?"

"No!" Rose said a bit too quickly, but then she squirmed under his stare. "Well, yes – a bit, maybe."

He remained silent, his lips forming a tight line.

So Rose hastened to say. "Fond memories, I guess." She smiled.

"I share them too."

Rose blinked. 'His eyes were so deep - like the vortex,' was all she could think of.

"I am him," the Doctor said quietly.

"I know…" Rose trailed off losing herself in his big brown eyes hovering way too close to her face.

"I can prove it." A smirk twinkled in his eyes and Rose raised her eyebrows.

He leant in closer - slowly as if to ask permission. Rose held her breath. As his soft lips touched hers, her world exploded. Time seemed to travel at warp speed. Her consciousness expanded – in sync with his - opening new horizons. Just like her body remembered her old Doctor's kiss on the game station.

He pulled back slightly - his eyes dark with emotion.

Breathless, Rose swayed and would have crashed into the rack behind her if he hadn't caught her. His grip was firm, but gentle – grounding her to the here and now. Rose, wordless for the first time, blinked as he studied her.

"Ah, well," he rubbed his chin, grinned and turned on the spot before jumping down the stairs, two at a time.

"Point proven," Rose breathed, staring after him.

"Are you coming?" the Doctor called over his shoulder. "The TARDIS is ready for a new trip."

Rose shook out of her stupor. "Where to?"

Half-turning, he winked. "Wherever you want to go."

The end