A/N: Hello :D This is set immediately after my other story: 'Far, Far Too Late To Stop Loving You.'

She Is His Universe

They are just good friends. However, what he wants and what she dreams of is exactly the same thing. Something more. If only they both knew.

Rose stood on the planet Uio, motionless, staring at the beautiful sight before her.

He amazed her every time.

The wide expanse of glistening sand, shining like crystals - like tiny droplets of ice – in the moonlight, made her want to run right across it, like the Doctor said they would. And there were three moons, white as snow above them, illuminating the beach, in a mystical, almost romantic fashion. The waves at the edge of the shore were frozen, reminding her of their trip to Women Wept, when they'd walked under the frozen surf, miles high; when he was a different man.

And it was beautiful.

But that wasn't what she was looking at.

What was truly amazing to watch was the way the Doctor was convinced that he could lean back, almost horizontally, and not fall over on his bum. Something about the density of the air and gravity and other scientifical reasoning about this planet that she couldn't pretend to understand. And by the looks of things, neither could he.

"Doctor, just face it, you've failed. It's simply not possible. You've tried it fifteen times now, and fallen on your backside each and every time. You must've got this planet confused with someplace else," she said, trying not to laugh, despite this being nothing short of hysterical.

"Time Lords don't get confused, Rose," he said, in a tone that said surely it was obvious, "I just don't get it. I should be able to lie on air, Rose. Lie on air. Something must be wrong."

"Can't you just accept that you're wrong? Just because you can't do it doesn't mean someone's tampered with the atmosphere. Maybe I should try it - " she said, as she leaned backwards, further and further, until she began to topple to the ground. Luckily, the Doctor had quick reactions and was immediately behind her, catching her before she hit the shimmering ground. He lifted her up, one arm under her legs, the other supporting her shoulders.

"Thanks. My knight in shining armour," she chuckled, looking up at him.

"Too right. Weelll, at least you can't do it either. That would have been humiliating," he replied. He didn't put her down.

"You can put me down now, if you like. I must be heavy," Rose suggested. She didn't want him to put her down. She quite liked him holding her like this. Like this was perfectly ordinary.

"Nah, you're a perfectly tolerable weight to carry," he smiled, subsequently beginning to spin her around, holding her gaze the entire time, soon forgetting about the fact he'd been unable to impress her with his gravity tricks; preferring to hear her laugh instead.

"Woah...going dizzy there..." she said, laughing manically, as she gripped his shoulder with one hand and wrapped her other arm around his neck, holding him tightly for fear he would drop her. Though she knows he never would. But it gives her an excuse to touch him.

He stops spinning, and realises he too is very dizzy. He stumbles, and he falls to the ground, pulling her down with him. They both begin to laugh hysterically once more.

"Whoops..." he offered, after they had recovered from their unexpected tumble.

She stays lying in his arms, the both of them looking up at the sky, at the many thousands of stars winking at them and the moons beaming their light. Neither one of them makes any move to get up.

Rose remembers the Doctor mentioning some mountains and an asteroid belt earlier on, and asks him if they can go see them. He replies that they can. She doesn't move. He gently tells her she'll have to get off of him if they're going to go anywhere else.

Despite wanting to see the next thing on the itinerary, she is rather reluctant to get up; she quite liked the feel of his slightly cooler body beneath her, holding her close, and feels bereft without it. Then he links his hand with hers and she feels complete again, glad to touch him in any way possible. As they walk back to the TARDIS, to travel to the peak of the Mountains of Morii, she is aware of his eyes on her, and she feels a surge of happiness as she becomes conscious of the fact that they are here, together, absent from anyone else, and she is the one he has chosen. She is the one he is proud to show the universe to, the one he thinks is worthy of holding his hand. A Time Lord and a human shop assistant. An interesting combination, but hey ho. Better with two. She smiles.

***

They were on the purple ground now, the Doctor's coat beneath them, just like they'd done earlier in the day on top of the applegrass of New Earth. Rose suddenly realised that she'd been up for a rather long time, and was aware of her eyes drooping shut as she huddled into the Doctor's side, while his eyes were fixed on the mesmerising Alova Asteroid Belt up above them. She wanted to stay awake, to watch his face, his face that at present held a look she could only describe as fulfilled. Happy. She loved times like this, when they could just be still for a bit, after a long adventure, and watch the Doctor during the moments where he was restful, unguarded. But the humidity of the air made her drowsy, and as her eyes were closing, she was aware of him stroking her hair, as if lulling her into sleep. And she fell into her dreams with a beautiful smile on her face.

He glanced down at his hand that he hadn't realised he was stroking her hair with. For a moment he is alarmed at how right this feels - her here with him, in his arms, so close, just as it should be. He is startled at how he has become accustomed to this so quickly. Then he recognises that it is fine, really, because friends do this, and they're just friends, and it's okay for him to enjoy it, or even love it, because she does too, because they're just good friends, and this is what good friends are allowed to do.

Never mind the fact that the pair of them so clearly want there to be more. Because her here with him, like this? That's enough.

Definitely.

Sort of...

Maybe?

Never.

Her hand had crept up to lay over his chest, positioned over his right heart, and he felt a rush of contentment sweep across him. He had felt so, so alone after the Time War, after he lost everything her knew. Then she made him better. It was times like this, when he was lying down watching the sky, with Rose falling asleep next to him - time standing still for the pair of them to just be together, with no running, or monsters, or death – that he truly felt at peace. Like he had truly found home. In fact, him and her, in the TARDIS, felt more like home than Gallifrey had ever been for him. And that's enough to make him so, so scared of loving her, in case she left him.

She was his universe now, and no amount of self-restraint could stop him from loving every fibre of her being, every atom of her existence. He was worried for himself, for he knew this couldn't last forever, and he didn't know what he would do when it ended. When her hand no longer held his, through the good times, and the bad; when she would no longer be huddling into his side, fitting perfectly - as if this regenerated body was made for her; when he could no longer see her beaming smile or her wide, wonderful eyes as he showed her a new world, or a moment from the past or future. When he could no longer hug her, perhaps too tightly to be platonic, too random to be justified as 'we survived, hooray!': - not just after a scary adventure, but at other times, just for the feel of her body wrapped up in his. He wanted to have this beautiful, brilliant human with him for his eternity, not just her limited version of forever. And it was too late to stop himself from wanting that with every beat of his two lonely hearts, which had not been quite so lonely since Rose had been around.

And now, as he watched her sleeping, her eyes fluttering under their lids, he knew she was dreaming. He hoped it was about him. He knew it was selfish, but he didn't want her to dream of home, or even her family. He knew he couldn't stop her, but he didn't want her to miss her old life, or, indeed, long for a life that she wasn't living: a house, a job, a husband...He tried to shake himself away from that line of thought. He knew it would only depress him. But he knew that one day, probably not for a while longer than most of his previous companions, but one day, she would leave him - just like the others did, for all their own different reasons - for the life he could not give her. For he could show her the wonders of the universe, but she would always want more from him, especially with the way things constantly are between them.

Some days it's fine, and they both ignore it. Pretend they don't feel it: the electricity, the static in the space between them. Other days, there's a temptation to give in; a sexual tension that wants to be resolved. His mind goes back over the memory of what had happened before he had brought them to Uio. When he almost told her. When he almost kissed her. And though he wanted to give her all that she desired, which was all he desired too, he knew he couldn't. Because it was better, or maybe merely easier, if they were just good friends.

Except they weren't. Because they had fallen hopelessly and irrevocably in love with each other, and their time of pretending, and denying, and restraining, was very nearly pushed to the limit.

Soon, she would fall into his arms and he would keep her there.

Soon, he would tell her he loves her, not necessarily with words but with a kiss so fervent with suppressed devotion that it would be the overwhelming remedy to all their reservations. Because, then she would know, and she would want it to happen again. And he wouldn't be able to stop himself, because he wanted that too. So very, very much.

This was what the Doctor was hoping he would have the courage to do as he watched his perfect Rose sleeping in his arms. And this was what Rose was dreaming of during that very same moment.

If only they both knew.

Only time will tell.

A/N: Hope you liked This is kind of a filler between my first story and its sequel, which I will be uploading soon, if response is positive. Please review x