The Doctor doesn't sleep much.

Rose does, on occasion.


The Doctor can actually come into her room while she does, without being very careful, and be fairly confident she will not wake up.

So he does, on occasion.

Nothing special about those occasions. Just random ones, when perhaps he's feeling a little restless or bored, or impatient for her to wake up so he'll have someone to talk to again. Times when it would have been nice to be distracted. To have his mind turned from that falling feeling inside, that feeling pulling his guts down, down, down through the floor, through the hull, through empty space, down into the complete darkness of the cold depths of the cosmos, into the very lonely, lonely-

So it beats being bored, strolling along the walls of a room where there lives and breathes another, be it momentarily unconscious, person. He can poke around in her piles of clothes, scattered on the floor, practise folding a t-shirt into crisp perfection only to crumple it up and drop it back again, so she won't notice he's been doing it. That would be weird. So weird. Or he can stand still, looking at the quietly breathing or at times snoring figure splayed amongst quilts and sheets and funny pillows, strands of tousled blonde hair sticking up around her head. Sometimes she'll make faces in her sleep, that can be quite funny. Or little sounds. He can stand still, and watch her, and try to guess what she's dreaming about.

Like he's doing now.

He stands, watching her from the side, looking for the amusing little twitches around the eyes that indicate something's going on in the annoyed part of her cerebral cortex. And he wonders where she keeps finding these silk sheets that she likes to sleep under. The Tardis never presented him with any silk sheets.

The material falls around her form like liquid, gently aligning to the shapes of her body and spilling down onto the bed to gather in a pool of blue around her. It covers her in the gloss of something artificial, cool and distant. But then there's her head poking out, turned to the side, a hand next to it grasping the sheet that she has pulled up around her, and one of her shoulders.

There's something comforting about that shoulder.

Bare skin, warm, pink hue contrasting against the cold blue. Smooth to touch and comfortable to lean on – he knows that shoulder. And suddenly it becomes the highest, dearest wish of the Doctor to feel its solidity underneath the palm of his hand, because there's nothing else around here to hold on to.

He inches closer to the edge of the bed. He tilts his head and traces her from head to toe and back with his eyes. Very much still asleep. Peaceful looking. Pretty looking. Beautiful really, as far as humans go. And humans are one of his favourites to start with.

If he wakes her up, she'll get mad. And he will most certainly seem completely bonkers. Bonkers. Funny word. But if he just stands there, and holds out his hand in the air above her, he can pretend away the distance and have it almost seem as if he's grazing her skin with his fingers.

So he does. He holds out his hand, cups her shoulder through the air and tries to imagine the sensation of flesh and bone pressing against his palm. Then, after a heartbeat of hesitation, his fingers glide along the lightly curved form of her collarbone, towards the shallow dent below her throat.

Then he feels like a bloody pervert, and leaves.