A/N: Hiya, me again :D Set somewhere in series 2. You probably know what sort of story this is...the Rose/Ten fluffy romance you usually get from me. Hope you like! Love Laura xxx

Curiosity Killed the Cat...And All That

The Doctor's currently half under the console, his legs sticking out from beneath it, and Rose is lying on the captain's chair reading a book. Well. She says she's reading. What she's really doing is contemplating. Well. She tells herself that. What she's really really doing is plotting.

I can't stand this. This...uncertainty. Not knowing. It's driving me crazy. He's just lying there like nothing's happened, fiddling with wires and god knows what while I'm lying here, barely three feet away, and I still don't know what he meant by what he said. I mean...did he mean it? I doubt it. It wasn't very... Doctor-ish. Do Time Lords even understand the concept? He's never shown any notion of it before. Right. I've just got to ask him. I'll just...come right out and say it. And then...well, it's up to him. He probably won't answer. He'll probably ignore it, or shrug it off, or answer the question with a question of his own, or distract me with the promise of 'a really brilliant adventure, Rose – the planet Doobrey Whatsit has fantastic sunsets... etc etc.' But it doesn't matter, because at least then...then, the words will be said, more or less, and he'll know that I did mean what I said.

He'll know.

And that's all that counts.

Right. Here goes nothing...

She drops her book to the floor and sits up straight. "Doctor...?" she says softly.

"Yeah?" he calls back, head still under the console. Act like nothing's happened, he thinks to himself.

"Can I...ask you something?"

"Course! What's up?" Rassilon, I sound so thick. Of course I know what's up.

"You might not like what I'm going to say..."

"Oh?" he replies, pulling himself up off the floor. He looks at his oily hands disdainfully for a moment, before shrugging to himself and wiping them on his trousers. He stands leaning against the console watching her warily for a few moments, then shrugs his shoulders once again. "Say it anyway," he laughs. He's determined that she's going to make the first move here.

"I don't know if I should, really," she murmurs quietly.

"Why did you mention it then?" he chuckles, before muttering something about 'women' and 'human, at that' under his breath.

"Cos it's annoying me," she tells him. How can he not know what I'm going on about? Was it all just a game to him? Was he just messing around? Why hasn't he mentioned it? It's been at least an hour since it happened. Surely fixing the TARDIS couldn't have made him forget what had happened so quickly?

"So you want it to annoy me too?" he counters, smiling at her cheekily.

"No. I need to ask it so that it doesn't annoy me anymore."

"Then...ask away!" he says cheerfully. I really should put her out of her misery and tell her that we need to talk about earlier myself. But I'm too much of a coward, so...

"But..." she trails off.

"Rose. How bad can it be? Seriously, just ask me. Anything you want."

"Anything?"

"Any - " he pauses for an instant, realising the implications of him saying that. Then he nods his head, all the while thinking and promptly ignoring: it's Rose, it's bound to be something personal, even if she isn't talking about earlier. Thing is, he's so enraptured by her, that he'll do or say anything she asks now. Which is wrong, and vaguely troublesome, and he knows he's going to regret it but he doesn't really care because it's Rose. "Anything," he repeats.

She merely bites her lip.

"Well, go on then, haven't got all day. Although, you should be careful. Remember what curiosity did to that poor cat. But that's not going to happen to you, I don't think. So, go on, ask your question," he prompts light-heartedly.

She rolls her eyes at him. "Well, I...erm...I've got lots of things that I'd like to say actually..." she replies.

He nods and moves to sit next to her, and is surprised when she shifts slightly so that his arm isn't against hers and his knee isn't bumping into hers and his hand can't find its way to hers and Rassilon. When did things like simply sitting next to each other get so intimate? Oh. Yeah. From the beginning really. But when did I start to miss it when it wasn't there?

Oh. Scratch that. I think it's the same answer. Oh dear.

Hang on.

Why is she shifting away? We always – as I've just discovered – we always sit close to each other. Why's now any different? What have I done to upset her? Surely what happened earlier couldn't have upset her. What have I...I don't think I've done anything...nope... Honestly. I've said it before and I'll say it again: women! More than that. Human women! Why do I always get involved with human women? Not that I actually get very involved, that is. Weeelll, apart from with Rose. I'm quite involved with her. Much more so than anyone else. Yes. Involved. Weeellll, not 'involved' how some people think, no. No, of course not. We aren't 'like that' as such. Not at all, actually. Although, sometimes I think that maybe...No. No. Definitely not. But earlier...that was quite...and I did say...and I think I'd quite like to...because I do quite...you know...and...no. No! Rassilon. I think my mind goes to mush when she's around...

She's averting her gaze from his.

"Rose? Rose, what is it? Have I done something wrong? Rose?" he asks, only partially aware that he sounds a little desperate.

She feels bad for him getting so worried and turns to look at him, and his shoulders relax a little as she gives him a soft smile. "No, you haven't done anything wrong. Well, yeah, you sort of have, but it doesn't matter. Not really. Not important. What I really want to ask is: why do you hate pears so much?" she asks him, and she instantly looks happier, all other thoughts and questions put to the back of her mind.

It seems she's just as much of a coward as him.

He eyes her sceptically. "They are just...yuck. Disgusting. All squishy and icky and spongy and Rose, why are you asking me this when it's blatantly obvious that's not what you wanted to ask me really? Oh...and what have I done now that's wrong but 'not important?'" Was what I said earlier really all that wrong? I quite liked the idea. I mean, we almost...if it wasn't for those things going wrong and interrupting...

She takes a deep breath. Uh-oh. Should have known he wouldn't let me get away with it that easy...

"It doesn't matter," she says, but the Doctor's not convinced.

"Yes it does."

"Ok. Fine! Earlier on, yeah? When you...did what you did and said what you said...what did you mean?"

"Oh, is that it?" he asks, feigning ignorance, jumping up and fiddling with some levers and buttons that don't really need to be fiddled with. "I thought you were going to ask me what my real name was or ask me to offer some other equally mysterious information about me."

"Well, the thought had crossed my mind in the past but I know that you'd never answer that," she replies.

"Wouldn't I?"

"No."

He sniffs. "Yeah. You're probably right," he concedes.

Actually, he probably would tell her if she asks him, because...well. She's Rose.

"Anyway, you'd still be the Doctor to me so I don't really need to know your real name, do I?"

He stares at her in awe for a few moments. "Right," he finally says. It then occurs to him, for about the twelfth time that day, that she's even more brilliant than he thought. And he rather lo...

"So?" she says exasperatedly.

"What?" he retorts.

"You gonna answer my real question or not?"

He shifts from foot to foot for a second. "Yes. Ok. Right. Well...when you say what I did and said, what are you relating to exactly? "

She glares at him. "You know what."

And he does. He really does.

TO BE CONTINUED...NEXT CHAPTER = FLASHBACK TIME... :D

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A/N: Please drop a review to let me know if you liked it/loved it/loathed it etc :D Loveya xxx