Written for the Support Stacie Author Auction back in April. Anon_aspasia won a 1000 word fic, and asked for more about my pretty constant mentions about the Doctor speaking Gallifreyan during romantic moments. The prompt set my skull on fire. I may be having a moment of complete arrogance to tell you guys that I adore this fic, but I seriously love it. Anon_Aspasia kindly allowed me to post this piece here.
The TARDIS sings old songs in the language the Doctor whispers, and Rose can hear them both, gentling her from her sleep. She stretches slowly, catlike and languid, as his voice breathes familiar music across her sweat-damp skin.
"Doctor," she says softly. A calloused hand closes on her bare hip and tugs her intimately against a long, lean body, cool skin as bare as hers. He says something else, the notes brushing like falling petals across the nape of her neck.
Rose repeats what she hears, carefully, reverently, as determined to learn the language as to love its only native speaker. It suggests meaning even as her voice flows over the alien cadence, as if there is a foundational truth and this language catches it. It feels awkward on her tongue, even as some words do not, feels to Rose as if there is something slightly different she should say instead.
The Doctor gives confirmation in a subtle correction. "You would say…" and another stream of notes goes ringing down her spine. Rose shivers.
These words fit into her mouth better, more accurately. They feel like starlight dripping from her lips. She repeats them again and again, ignorant of their meaning, for now, but delighting in the wholly sensual experience of them.
The Doctor brushes her hair aside and starts kissing at her shoulder. Another musical alien word or phrase trembles between his lips and her skin. Rose is slowly being burnt alive by beauty and music and sensation. She keeps the words to make them part of her, saves them as her gift to the Doctor, so that he won't forget what his language sounds like on another person's lips.
She can feel, again, that this phrase isn't right for her, though the reasoning behind the inaccuracy seems different, this time. Rose has often wondered if it is something to do with the TARDIS, with the Doctor, or with the nature of the language itself that makes this happen. She asks today, daring when she's in their bedroom made of living dreams something she never would in the light of common day.
The Doctor's smile against the back of her neck is a telling thing, and secret all the same, because it's his real smile, and he hides it from the world. "Ya asked 'bout my name once," he says, leaning over her as she looks back at him, so their eyes meet awkwardly while his hand splays wide across her stomach.
"More'n once," Rose asserts, playfully, not letting go of that soft and shining blue gaze.
He nods and tilts his head shyly, then looks back at her with his jaw somehow set. He seems resolute like he rarely is here, in the privacy of this fairy tale place they share together. "It's mathematically perfect, Gallifreyan. S'older'n your world, an' based on the equations that hold the Universe together. Tha's why it sounds like a song – because that's what the Universe sounds like."
Rose nods and reaches behind her to trace the line of his hip, silky smooth skin over hard bone and muscle. The Doctor twitches. Rose grins. He grins right back. "So singing is math?" she muses, not really interested in that answer, so much as everything else that's going on here.
"Best kind is, sure," the Doctor agrees. "But that's also what makes these words have… I dunno. Physical weight, maybe? Power?"
"Yeah," Rose agrees, because she's felt both before, along with other things she can never describe.
The Doctor nods, too, and kisses her cheek, then lets that kiss feather slowly back until he is flicking the tip of his tongue over the lobe of her ear. "Rarely spoke the language even amongst ourselves. S'almost more intimate than telepathy, because every word means what it is, and feels like it says, and… hm…"
"Breathes," Rose suggests. She's always had a way with English words, can win people to her cause with the simple truths that trip off her tongue precisely, even when she's not trying. She understands how even ordinary words can have power, but these glimmering, alien words, they're alive.
"Breathes," the Doctor agrees, and breathes her in as he says it, inhaling the scent of her that she suspects is mostly sleep and sweat. He seems to be pleased with it, bites down on the join of her neck and shoulder. Rose hisses in surprise, in pain, in pleasure. The Doctor soothes the hurt with his tongue, and Rose realizes only then that she started rocking against him sometime in the past few minutes.
She stops herself with effort, though it feels like the Doctor doesn't mind. His hand slides up from her stomach to splay between her breasts, fingers tantalizing and fascinated. He glides his pinkie onto one nipple, and his reach is such that he can tease the other with his thumb. The musical word that chimes out of him sounds quite like he's proud of himself, and she feels the meaning has something to do with real delight. It bubbles through her, this word, twinkling and shining, like champagne in moonlight.
Rose laughs because she wants to, leans back and pulls the Doctor's head down for an awkward kiss. They end up laughing more than kissing, because this position is just about the most unlikely for that sort of thing.
"I have a new word for you," the Doctor says. He sounds almost shy, but excited as well, anticipating something wonderful.
Rose, who is paying a great deal of attention to one of his large, work-roughened hands, pauses in her explorations to tilt her head and look at him. "What kind of word?" she asks, then goes back to taste-testing his fingertips. At the moment, he tastes lingeringly of her and lovemaking and spilt tea. Rose sucks his index finger between her lips, and the Doctor groans. He raises himself so that he can lean over her and watch. Rose smirks and lets him go. "What sort of word?" she asks again.
The Doctor blinks in confusion, starting to chuckle when it occurs to him that she's managed to distract him that much. "It's a secret word," he says. "The most secret one I'll ever teach you."
Back when she first started asking him about his language, about the beautiful, musical words that he shared with her along with his body, they made a rule or two about what she would learn. One of them was the secret words, the words she is not allowed to say in public, the ones that only he should hear. Some of them are so secret no one is allowed to even know she knows them, though it isn't supposed to be public knowledge that Rose can learn the Doctor's language anyway.
"Why's this one secret?" Rose asks. She likes to understand, not just know.
"Words have power in any language," the Doctor muses. He traces a single finger from the hollow of her throat all the way down, to trail it through the dark curls at the apex of her thighs. Rose squeaks in surprise, then relaxes into the touch, blissful. It's a usual tease, familiar and sensual, building anticipation. She rocks against him, trying to jostle his fingers lower, and not unhappy to provide a little stimulation to his half-hard shaft at her back.
"For example, I can say that I'm gonna make you scream, with one finger, right here…" He slides that finger down, finding her clitoris with the precision of practice, leans over her to whisper in her ear. He doesn't do anything but talk, and leave one still digit, cool against her heated flesh, a tempting pressure. "You always come so hard when I talk to you. Can make you tremble and moan, just saying that I'm gonna taste you again just like last night, lick you 'til you're all wet an' messy, an' then fuck you 'til we both can't think."
He lowers his finger just that little bit, slipping it easily inside her. "That's the power of th' words, cuz just thinkin' about it's gettin' you wet."
Rose rocks her hips against him, trying to press herself closer. Her hand scrabbles behind her, catching his hip, the vague idea that this will encourage him lodged somewhere in the lust-haze that's her thoughts for the moment. "Doctor," she whimpers.
"Shush, now," he soothes, kissing the back of her neck. He leads her back from the brink with a hand splayed wide across her belly, stilling her anxious movements and comforting her.
More of those chiming words drift into Rose's consciousness, the words she knows as promise and desire and longing, the words that mean her in his language, and the words that mean things the Doctor can never say in English. She smiles as her breathing starts to even out, grins when she becomes well aware that he is not unaffected by what he's done to her.
"So what kind of power does this new word have?" Rose wonders aloud. She's been aroused from her dreaminess and dragged back to awareness from her arousal. In her mind, this new word must be important, so she becomes determined to stay on topic. Never mind that she's got a hand cupped on the Doctor's tight bum, which is flexing under her fingertips as he rocks himself slowly against her. He's leaving a small, syrupy trail of cool liquid drying on her skin where his cock rubs against her.
Rose forces herself to soothe him, just as he soothed her, to help him calm down before they both forget they were even talking at all. To that end, she turns around in his arms.
Her back feels cold without the weight of his body wrapped around her, and she's fighting hard not to just fling her leg up over his hip and take him. The Doctor's smile is slightly pouty and slightly grateful at once. He places a small kiss on her lips, then another on her nose. "Rose Tyler," he pronounces carefully.
The way he says her name is unique, giving it a strange weight, a special connotation. He makes it sound like it doesn't belong to anyone else, couldn't do, never mind that she's one of probably dozens of Rose Tylers in her London alone. She is this specific Rose Tyler, and somehow the way he says her name conveys not just her label but who she actually is.
She'd noticed that the first time she heard him say it, but thought she was imagining it at the time. It wasn't until she started learning his language that she understood: the words are Truth, absolutely accurate and wholly specific. The Gallifreyan words can tell, perfectly, in a few ringing syllables what English requires entire essays to explain, vaguely.
"You ready?" the Doctor asks.
Rose trails a toe up his calf. The Doctor glides a hand down and nearly spans her whole hip with it. Rose forgets sometimes how big his hands are, though she really shouldn't. She closes her eyes to get back on topic for what feels like the millionth time today, then nods slowly.
The word the Doctor gives her feels immanent and intimate to Rose. It wafts through her, billows over her, slides inside her, boils out of her. It speaks the sound of thunder, unmasks the scent of lightning-struck earth and driving rain. There's an incorruptible innocence in the word, and an insurmountable joy, hope so strong it can carry star systems, faith that literally cannot be shaken. There's rage that burns like newborn nebulae, that freezes like empty space. Death walks in that word, death of names and nations, death of ideas and ideals, death of worlds and death of darkness. Light and life bloom from it somehow, rise from every note like a phoenix burning new and forever from the ashes.
"My god," she breathes, shaking all over, because she knows what that word is, knows it as if she has always known it. She feels it moving inside her, touching deep in places that have never known contact of any kind. "My Doctor," she corrects, awestruck and staggered.
She's had him so many times and places by now, but the sharing of this single word feels like by far the most intimate thing they have ever done. The Doctor's face is still and intent, and Rose can't stop looking into the icy-rimmed darkness of his eyes. She cannot stop touching him, her hands moving, seemingly of their own will, to rest on both sides of his chest, to feel his hearts.
Despite the foretaste of hearing it, Rose is utterly unprepared for what speaking it feels like. The sweet notes drip like honey from her mouth, feeling like laughter and joy, turning into a love song all of their own accord. This is how she should say this word, how it should whisper and glisten on her lips.
The Doctor's eyes catch fire, his face aglow with wonder. He doesn't often think much of his appearance, but Rose thinks, if he could see himself now, even he couldn't deny how incredibly beautiful he really is. He's so happy, so perfectly alive and joyful that he's become the very definition of the words.
She repeats her new word, singing it like a prayer, now, knowing it for what it is: the one secret he's always kept, not just from her but from everyone. She's been given a key again today, and this key opens much more than his front door. It feels, as that word tumbles and trembles from her lips, like it's opened up her heart, and all her love for him is just spilling out all over them.
She absolutely has to kiss him, because if she doesn't, her chest is going to explode with all the love she's holding in. She has to give in to that idea she had earlier, has to wrap her leg up around his hip and slide against him, pressing him as close to her as she can.
The Doctor's eyes are laughing, and his hands are setting her on fire, an exquisite touch that knows her body and plays it with loving devotion. Some times he's precise and some times he's frantic; this morning, he's inquisitive and almost shy. He palms her breast, thumbs the nipple lightly, grins at her when she hisses out a startled breath in response.
Rose can't get any closer to him, now, without having him inside her. With a little inelegant fumbling and a few amused gasps, they manage it. It's not the Universe's most effective position for lovemaking, though, this one, and it isn't very long at all before they both need more.
Rose can't figure out if it's cooperation or serendipity, but somehow she and the Doctor manage to get turned so that he's on his back with her quite neatly astride him, without losing so much as a rhythm between them. She grins triumphantly and the Doctor grins back, hooking one arm around her neck to pull her down for a deep, wet, thorough kiss.
It feels so right after that, finding her position so she can move on him, sliding up and down on his cock, so wet from sweat and desire that their rhythm is slick and easy. She's lost in some kind of blissful abandon, riding him hard and grinding against him every time they meet. Her juices flow over them as she rubs her clit just right against his pelvis.
There's almost nothing more erotic to Rose than the Doctor reduced to gasping and swearing. "That's it, Rose, like that," he says, and Rose is almost there. Her nerves are firing constant tingles of pleasure, her clit is twitching, her thighs and hips and insides feel like an explosion waiting to happen. "Fuck me, Rose, my Rose, my girl, my precious girl, fuck me hard…"
The only thing more erotic at all is that silver chiming word for love, as it falls from his lips just as he begins to come. The expression on his face, the almost startled look in his eyes… this is what takes her over the edge. Everything is white light and heat and the sudden, blinding flash over into utter bliss.
Most of the time, she comes with his name on her lips. It happens this time, too, but the word she says isn't "Doctor."
Rose used to think there wasn't a word that sounded quite right to describe him. She likes calling him Doctor, likes the way it sounds and feels, likes what it says about him. It fits him better than a name, this title that he's made his own. She can see why it's right for him.
"How long has hiding names been a custom?" Rose asks. She's meandering through her kitchen, attempting to cook a breakfast that the Doctor's attempting to dismantle as she works.
She turns on a burner and the Doctor turns it off, pours her a glass of juice, and leads her toward the doors. She's wearing his jumper and he's wearing a grin, and if Jackie Tyler could see them now, she'd want to murder them both.
Rose drinks her juice and leaves the cup on the jump seat, as the Doctor flings open the TARDIS doors. They lean out into the celestial night, into a sky that looks like gemstones spilled on black velvet. The Doctor kisses her lightly on the temple, then steps back to the console. There's a soft shush and then the TARDIS drifts slowly against the star field.
The Doctor is right behind her, taking her into his arms, when Rose notices exactly what she knows he wants her to see. It's a black hole, the real thing, a dark wavering in space surrounded by a trillion trillion miles of far-flung gases.
"When are we?" she whispers after a while of just standing there, basking in the falling night.
"A very, very long time ago," he whispers, just as reverently. "What you're looking at is an old star, a very old one, born in the throes of the formation of the Universe. In its death, it's brought forth something new: this black hole, and from its stardust and around its shell, an entire galaxy of new stars will be born."
Rose lays her head back on the Doctor's shoulder and smiles, so in love with everything about him that it's all she wants to do from now until forever. She can get an answer to her question later, when it's more relevant.
"There're two great civilizations born in this galaxy, civilizations that can do everything, everything there is to do between 'em. One of 'em'll conquer time, the other will conquer everything else. Eons and eons pass between the birth of the one an' the birth of the other. They're formed in two diff'rent sides of the galaxy. Their physical form is similar but not really alike. One's intellectual, one's emotional. They've got absolutely nothin' in common, these two races, 'cept this new born galaxy."
He grins down at her now, his eyes so bright she can see forever in them. "An' isn't it fantastic, Rose?" he says, voice bright with awe. "All those light years, all that time and space, all those ages and differences and impossibilities, an' here we are, you an' me, together anyway."
He's her Doctor, made of light and dream and wonder, a myth, a legend, and, to Rose Tyler, a lover and a home. She knows why he has two hearts, her Doctor, he has to do to have room for how very deeply he loves. And maybe to have room for how much she loves him.
A moment passes, then another, and then the Doctor whispers a new word into her ear. Rose smiles to think of it, their names wrapped round each other, like their bodies and their hearts. In the burning light of their newborn future, Rose and the Doctor stand, entwined in love, and teach the galaxy that will someday bring them both together who they are, as they should be.