The Series 3 AU with Rose continues! This is a sequel to my stories from "The Girl in the Stalking Spaceship", to "Doomsday Averted", all the way through the AU Series 3 up until "The Lazarus Experiment".

These first couple of chapters are dedicated to lyin' for the long-ago suggestion of something "ala Age of Bronze and the alien laundry". It's not quite an alien laundry, but here's some more fun taking place outside of the normal stream of episodes :)

Beta'd by GSRgirlforever. Thanks!

Disclaimer: Surprise, surprise, I don't own Doctor Who. Nor do I get anything from writing these stories-except wonderful, constructive reviews! Wink, wink; nudge, nudge ;)

Chapter 1 - Tired

Once upon a time, Rose Tyler had decided that keeping things casual with the Doctor would be the best way to go. A friendly hug here, a friendlier kiss there, that would be her sneaky way of showing him how she felt, but without having to come out and say it, and likely scare him off back into his shell. She'd keep things friendly, spontaneous, and not give him the chance to think himself out of it.

So, really, she had no one to blame but herself.

The Doctor had jumped with both feet into their increased familiarity, but he never pushed at the boundaries. Never! It was always her move. Or, at least she had to set the precedent. He'd surprise her, kiss her out of the blue, but only because she'd already done it to him.

What it boiled down to, she realized, was that she was getting tired of him leaving her at her door.

She glared at her bedroom door as if her current frustrations were entirely its fault, rather than her own. Only a few minutes earlier, he had been snogging her against that door. Now, he was off who knew where in the TARDIS, after having chivvied her off to bed, all excited about whatever new adventure he had planned.

Either he was a master of his own secret feelings and desires, or the Doctor really just wasn't interested in more than kissing for the fun of it. Her mind flashed back to a certain conversation about dancing. "Nine hundred years old, me," he'd said. "I've been around a bit. I think you can assume that at some point I've danced." Although at the time they had both treated the discussion quite literally, later comments made about (and by) Jack had her thinking there were other implications.

As Rose turned from the offending door to perform her nightly regimen, she wondered. Maybe things like that changed with regeneration. Maybe, while the Doctor would have flirted with the idea before, now he was just interested in flirting with her for the entertainment value. It certainly felt like all the looks she'd caught him giving her back then were finally being fulfilled, but maybe it was somehow different. She hated thinking along those lines, distinguishing between Doctors, but it was a fact that even now, every now and then, a little thing would catch her off guard. A little change that she hadn't noticed, a small altered behavior or preference that hadn't come up before. It didn't change how she felt for him, not one iota, but it did remind her to recheck her assumptions.

And it did, occasionally, pique her curiosity. Like earlier, with his hair.

Rose flopped onto her pillow with a sigh, then took a couple of cleansing breaths. She laughed at herself. Just a little chuckle, but it helped to snap her out of it. What was she complaining about? Here she was, living on the TARDIS, spending her life traveling the universe with the love of her life (her heart did clench a little at that), a new adventure around every corner, and she was worrying about make out sessions? Was she sixteen? She laughed again. No, she was twenty-, um, twenty-two or -three. She'd have to ask the Doctor. But the point was, she was mature enough to have realistic priorities. And she was not about to tell him to put a ring on her finger or drop her off home-or, somewhere she could make a home...

It wasn't about snogging, although that was a rather wonderful development, but, no. It was about how close they'd become. They liked living life together. They challenged and completed each other. Granted, they weren't one hundred percent honest with each other yet, or he'd know exactly how she felt about him. But she did try to show him, even if she was too scared to volunteer the information aloud.

And she knew that he loved her, even without the Three Little Words. He might not come out and say it all romantically, he might not even feel romantic about it for all she knew, but he showed her every day that it was there and it was real. "I'd choose you, too," he had said, about having to pick between her or the TARDIS.

And she would always choose him. She wasn't being stubborn, or even desperate. She knew she was strong enough to live life-and make a good life-on her own if she had to. But the simple fact was that she loved him. Regardless of how he felt or didn't feel for her, that fact remained.

She'd always choose him.

She closed her eyes, surprisingly calmed at last. "I'd prefer the both of you," Rose spoke quietly to the ship as she burrowed into her bed covers with a small smile.

The lights blinked a little before dimming on their own.

The Doctor was getting tired.

Oh, he'd had plenty of sleep. He must have caught about ten hours in the past week. No, that wasn't the problem.

The problem, he realized, was that he was getting tired of leaving Rose at her door.

He wanted to spend what time they had, well, he didn't want to waste it. He wanted her with him always. Maybe a few minutes' privacy here and there, but this six, seven, eight hours a night was getting on his nerves. Granted, she'd been leaning more towards the six rather than the eight, and their days seemed to be closer to twenty-five or -six hours than her native twenty-four. But still! She was in that room, just behind that door, while he was out here in the console room, keeping a respectful distance while he plotted...

Ah, yes, the plotting. Focus on that. Never mind what inspired the plotting: holding her, kissing her goodnight, her fingers in his hair and bubbling laughter...

Right, plotting.

Should he wear a disguise? He couldn't remember seeing himself. Maybe that was because he was disguised. Or, maybe it was just because of Rose...

He shook himself, triple-checked the coordinates, and felt a small thrill at the prospect of completing this little circular paradox.

No matter how nervous he was about how she'd react to it.

To him.

To be continued.

Sorry if it seems like a teaser opening, but I thought it was needed, and the next chapter is already going to be long enough without balancing this on its head.