It was the little things that slowly got to him.
Maybe it was his own fault for not explaining any of them to her. But what was he supposed to do make a list? That would just be...embarrassing.
It started innocently enough. That planet where everyone wore glasses. He couldn't have known what it would do to him. And he certainly couldn't have warned Rose. She looked up from reading, across the table, a little furrow of concentration about the brow and she put together something so clever a thrill of pride washed over him. Then the sight of her looking clever in glasses hit him like a punch and the thrill changed entirely and shivered over him remade with appreciation, awareness and desire.
"Time to go!" he had blurted. Gently but instantly he pulled off her glasses, took her hand and marched her into the TARDIS.
No planets with glasses. That was the first item on the list.
The sight items were the easiest to repair. Planets with bikinis? Absolutely not.
Taste was the hardest. Taste was the one that would do him in.
For starters, Time Lords did not touch each others food. Why? Because then the food tasted like them, intimately. On his planet it was the equivalent of....well, it was very naughty.
For humans it was nothing more than sharing. They perceived little difference when their food was touched. In fact, offering something after touching it, reaching over and taking a piece of what you were eating? Not a big deal.
Tasting even those smaller traces of Rose nearly buckled him. It was intimacy, inadvertent and one-sided. He wanted to say something, but he didn't. Wouldn't it be worse to watch her worry about everything she touched? He thought of that last apple she had handed him, shuddered and realized he really wasn't sure.
These were the small things that ate away at his control.
One particularly bad landing in the TARDIS and he was knocked completely unconscious. He woke to the taste of Rose, sharp and alive, adrenaline coursing through and lighting up her chemistry very like desire. Her hands were at his face, touching tenderly. Her mind rang like a bell with worry he could hear it and blotted out nearly everything. But it was the taste of her, skin on his. For just a moment a burst of possibilities. Timelines he held at bay, kept in darkness, unexplored. Tasting Rose with his mouth. Really tasting her. Words and touch and closeness changing her until that heady, beloved flavour narrowed and bloomed with pleasure.
He caught her hands with his own, forcing mercy almost against his will.
"I'm fine. Not to worry!"
Then he was up, brisk, babbling, neurotic. Easy to hide nerves and feelings in there.
But then came the planet with all the paraphernalia. Biological masterpiece he had called it. When had he become such a fool? Botanicals galore and Rose with unlimited spending money. She'd spent a few hours in a very nice spa and met him back in the TARDIS. And her entire body was powdered with honey dust. Not just any honey dust. It was spiced with a few things he had not tasted in hundreds of years.
She watched in real surprise as he stiffened as though shocked from across the TARDIS and barked out, "What have you done to yourself?"
"What?" she replied looking down at herself, "Just had a spa."
He was striding over, almost as if he could not control his own steps, "You're covered in something!"
It was an accusation and she recoiled in surprise, "'S honey dust. Good for your skin yeah?"
His face was nearly buried between her shoulder and her neck, "It's all over you! It's everywhere!"
"I don't understand," she replied in dismay, "Do you hate it?"
"Rose," he groaned, pulling away, hands in his hair until it looked like electricity had been involved, "Do you remember that Time Lords have a very keen sense of taste and smell?"
She shifted uncomfortably, "Yeah...so this is much stronger for you? Should I wash it off? Is it....offensive?"
She was staring at him, at the expression on his face and mistaking the strain for disgust. He shut his eyes for a long moment.
"I..." he hesitated then inhaled, big mistake, "I love honey dust. I can taste you without even...and on you it's just..."
He was getting closer again without realizing. She was backed against the door and his face was already touching hers, mouth brushing lightly but still not tasting. His hands were tense on her shoulders.
They were nose to nose and he watched her worry melt away to delight, confidence, pleasure. A smile teased the corners of her mouth.
"I should stop..." he chastised himself aloud but she already had him by the coat collar.
"Can't stop what you haven't started yet Doctor," she informed him and pulled him the last breath until their mouths met and he finally, finally tasted her.
He wanted to get every last bit of this dust off her just to taste what was underneath it. And in the end he did. Hours later, spent, bare, wrapped up together and Rose painted all over by him until her taste had shifted, had become belonging to him alone. She glowed with pleasure and her hands did not stay still as they traced possessive patterns over him. He found a tiny bit of that dust behind her ear and sighed, "This stuff is like catnip. Careful when you use it. I'm exhausted!"
She laughed and in the end he joined in.
After that the list shifted dramatically. Planets with glasses made appearances until Rose caught on, stole his glasses one night and surprised him wearing them and his tie, and nothing else. That was a very good night indeed.
It took her much longer to figure it out about touching his food. He came to love having a taste of her so indecently, so often.
Planets with bikinis. Well. Rose, it turned out, loved the beach. So grateful was she, for some time by the sea that he was rewarded a few very fine hours on a towel, with Rose, sea salt in her hair and honey dust on her skin.