Cupboard

Hiding in a tiny cupboard from an alien that's hunting for you is never a good thing. Well. That's what Rose thinks. At first. Then something happens, which abruptly alters her feelings on the matter...

...

Rose is hiding inside a cupboard. From an alien called an Uberro. It's a curious creature is an Uberro. All bird-like on top, with a beak and everything, but with the bottom half of a very large caterpillar. It has the knowledge of a human and yet the immaturity of a high hyena. Very odd creature. And very predatory.

She isn't sure where the Doctor has got to. One minute they are running through the corridor of the Palace of Horii together, hand-in-hand; the next they are separated. But she's fine. She reckons she lost the Uberro way back when she turned –

- ah. Maybe she hasn't lost it after all. She hears a noise from the other side of the door, and stills, holding her breath so that the creature doesn't hear her.

To say she's startled when two hands come to rest on her waist suddenly doesn't half cover it.

One hand then abruptly comes up to cover her mouth to stop her from shouting out in surprise. But it's ok, because even in the dim light she can tell that it's a hand she knows well. A hand that sits in hers for about sixteen hours a day. A manly, hairy hand, belonging to her big friendly alien, the Doctor.

"Shhh," he whispers against her ear from behind her, and she suppresses a shiver at their close proximity. It's a tiny cupboard, and Rose takes this opportunity to lean back against him, rationalising to herself that she can blame it on not having enough room if he calls her on it. He doesn't question her movements though. She's convinced she heard him take a sharp intake of breath, however; but that could just be because of the alien outside the cupboard.

There's more shifting around outside the door, but the Doctor knows Rose won't cry out now that she knows it's only him who crept up behind her, so he releases the hand from covering her mouth and drops his arm, brushing against hers as he let it fall to his side. Unintentionally, of course. He keeps his other hand where it is though; still gripping her hip tightly, holding her still and somewhat pressed up against him, as far away from the door as possible. For her own safety, of course. Nothing more.

"Don't move," he murmurs into her hair.

She nods slightly in agreement, and her hair tickles his face as she moves, so he brushes it over her shoulder slightly. This then of course leaves a very exposed bit of bare neck open to his gaze, to which he is most definitely not looking at in contemplation. Most definitely not.

(Although, he really does think it would feel quite nice to press his lips against it.)

He doesn't do that, of course. They aren't like that. That would be a bit too intimate than what their just-friends relationship would constitute as normal, acceptable behaviour.

He lets out a long breath when he realises that the creature is no longer hovering outside. It was obviously too hyper to bother opening a door and checking inside for them. Rose shivers slightly and turns around to face the Doctor with a question in her eyes.

"It's gone. I think," he answers her, and she mirrors his earlier action and lets out a long, shaky breath.

"What was all that about?" she asks him, eying him with a quizzical frown.

"Hmm? Oh it probably got bored and went to look down a diff - "

" - Not that," she interrupts impatiently. "I meant, where did you appear from? This cupboard was definitely empty when I entered it." She pauses. "I think," she adds.

He points downwards, and she notices that he's standing on some sort of hatch.

"Oh. Wait, how did you climb up into here without me hearing you?"

He chuckles. "Who knows? Maybe it was your subconscious telling you that I was safe, don't worry about listening to my movements, concentrate on the deadly threat hanging around outside the door."

She narrows her eyes at him. "Safe? You? You were the one that almost gave me a heart attack, suddenly grabbing hold of me like that!"

"What else was I supposed to do?" he asks her, confused.

"I dunno, alert me to your presence somehow? Say 'Hiya, Rose, only me, don't worry!'"

"And then, the Uberro would have heard me talking, swung open the door, and eaten you right in front of me. Yeah. Good plan, Rose," he replies sarcastically.

"Yeah, well at least I didn't..." she continues to talk but the Doctor ignores her, listening instead for more movement outside the cupboard, which he is convinced he just heard again. He tries to 'shh' her but she doesn't listen, what with her rambling on (for a change. He now knows how frustrating that must be for her to deal with every single day, with him and his incessant talking...

...Actually, he thinks she might like that about him. And given different circumstances, he would definitely not mind her rambling on. He likes her voice. Even when she's having a go at him. No, wait. Especially when she's having a go at him. She is really quite gorgeous when she does that.)

There's some more shifting around outside the cupboard, and this snaps the Doctor out of his musings, though Rose seems oblivious and is still ranting away.

"Rose..." he murmurs.

"...And then remember that time you..." she ignores him again.

"Rose," he says, a little more urgently.

"...which was totally your fault, so don't you even deny it, and..."

"Rose!" he hisses, urging for her to shut up.

"...but who thought that was a good idea? Hmmm? That's right; you, as usual, and then I..."

There is only one thing for it.

The Doctor takes her head in his hands and roughly pushes his lips to hers; finally silencing her.

He had fully intended to pull away as soon as that happened; that was the purpose of kissing her, after all – silencing her with the shock of it, then pulling back to continue as normal.

But once he does it, her eyes widen and she opens her mouth in surprise, before responding rather passionately and turning a harmless press of lips to lips into a full blown snog.

And the Doctor can't argue with that. At least her mouth is fully occupied with this, rather than talking on and on and risking the Uberro finding them.

Yes, this is a perfectly acceptable and necessary method of saving both their lives.

Nothing more.

(Sort of.)

They remain in their passionate clinch for a few more moments, with his hands slipping from cradling her face to hold her hips once again, and her hands in his hair, ruffling it wildly. But eventually, Rose needs to breathe, and abruptly ends their kiss, heaving in oxygen between panted speech. "Has it gone?" she asks, struggling to control her breathing.

He listens for a moment. He blinks, swallows, then clears his throat before allowing himself to answer her. "I think so."

"Right. Good."

"Mmm."

They stand there looking at each other for ages, neither knowing what to say. Rose is fully aware that she must be looking at the Doctor with a mixture of confusion and longing in her eyes. She's fully aware of that fact because it suddenly occurs to her that it is the same look he's giving her. Which is a bit odd. Because he doesn't like her in that way. She knows he cares about her, but...well. He's never shown any inclination of kissing her before just now. But he's gazing into her eyes like he wants to kiss her again right at this very moment. It makes her feel dizzy, and she takes a step back, leaning against the wall of the cupboard for support.

He looks to the floor then, willing himself to say something that isn't as embarrassingly inappropriate as the thoughts currently floating through his mind unabashed. He knows it's a lost cause though, because his feet are already going treacherously against what his brain is ordering them to. That is to say, he's stepping closer and closer to Rose with each moment that passes, which is going to lead to disastrous consequences. It really, really is. Because he is pretty sure his lips are going to follow suit, and kiss that incredible frown of hers right off her face.

She watches him lift his head to look at her again, and is shocked yet incredibly happy to see that his eyes are revealing something he's never let them reveal before. She finally feels like she's being let in to his thoughts. She finally knows, though she also knows he'll never say.

He loves her. He actually loves her...

Without a moment more hesitation, they are both back in each other's arms.

Rose springs herself from the wall to meet him halfway as he comes closer and leans his head to capture her lips with his; in an embrace that rivals their first, such is the ardent passion encapsulated within it. Their tongues dance together as their eyes flutter closed and there is the most beautiful sound of silence in the air as Rose and the Doctor become immersed in only each other. He leans against her slightly, slowly pushing her back against the wall, and soon he has her legs hoisted up around his waist as he pulls her closer to his body, compelling Rose to kiss him harder with the anticipation and newfound knowledge of just how much he wants her. His left hand supports her, resting under her thigh, while his right trails down her arm softly, igniting a fire within her and simultaneously giving her goosebumps.

His hand stops travelling when it seeks out her hand, and he intertwines their fingers, in a way that shows it abundantly clear to them both that yes, while they showed each other affection before, through the fusion of hand to hand, this – this – is what they should have been doing also. This is what's been missing. And they give each other all they need to know in the simple, primal, yet immensely gorgeous way of snogging one another senseless. Even the way his left hand is now blatantly grasping her bottom is really quite beautiful. It's them two, after all.

And all too soon the kiss is ending, because Rose is only human and doesn't have the handy Time Lord fixture of a respiratory bypass like the Doctor does, and she really needs to inhale some oxygen right now. She barely pulls away though; her lips still hover over the Doctor's and her breath ghosts over his face as she's there, her legs wrapped around him tightly; him holding her close with a hand now pressing into her lower back; their faces inches apart, staring into each other's eyes.

Then, quite randomly, Rose giggles, and the Doctor narrows his eyes at her in a bemused expression. Regaining his ability to construe a sentence together, the Doctor asks lightly, "What's so funny, Rose Tyler?"

She smiles widely then, her tongue poking between her teeth - in that way he shouldn't but does find really, really, extremely sexy. Shouldn't, because she's his friend, in reality; does, because she's so much more than that, in his hearts. He knows that. It scares him, but he knows he loves her. She's his everything. And now maybe, just maybe, he can allow himself to show her.

He's not sure he can keep it a secret any longer. Especially when she says what she says next.

"I just can't believe it," she begins, and he nods gently in acknowledgement. Then she surprises him. "You have over twenty-five freckles, that I've counted so far, and I've only just been able to see them close enough to realise there are so many." She smiles warmly at him, and he grins back, shaking his head in a substantial amount of awe.

"We just snogged and you're busy counting my freckles?" he asks dubiously, but with amusement heavily evident in his voice.

"Yep," she pronounces joyfully. "Why, what are you thinking about?" she asks him, not quite as innocently-sounding as she intends.

"Just...just...weeelll, it's just that I...um. I love you," he tells her sincerely, and she almost falls out of his arms in shock.

She recovers herself as he holds her against him securely, ensuring she doesn't stumble over. "Oh. Um. Right. Huh," she stutters. Ok, so maybe she hasn't recovered herself just yet.

He presses his forehead against hers. "Quite," he murmurs softly.

She bites her lip. "That's...that's good."

"Good?" he teases, laughter in his voice and eyes.

"Yeah..." she trails off. Then she appears to remember something. Something that, she realises now, she so should have replied with when he uttered those three words, words that are just words yet mean so much to her, just moments ago. "I love you, too."

He beams. "Brilliant! Excellent! Perfect-amundo!" he pauses then, and frowns at himself. "Actually no. No, not the last one. That sounds odd. Never saying that again," he rambles, and she laughs and kisses him again.

That's when their friend the Uberro barges through the cupboard door, and Rose and the Doctor pull apart quickly; he sets her feet back on the floor and grabs her hand again and shouts "Run!" at the top of his voice, and they push past their visitor and run as fast as they can back to the TARDIS, and you know what? They've never been so happy.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Rose is hiding inside a cupboard. From an alien called the Doctor. It's a curious creature is the Doctor. All ruffable hair and pinstriped suit and sexy glasses and converses. It has the genius mind of a Time Lord and yet the feelings of a human, even though it isn't. Very odd creature. And very predatory.

He suspects this is all Rose's fault, though. He never used to be like this. He never used to feel like this.

He finds her eventually, and tells her that.

"Good," is her satisfied response. "So. What are you going to about it?" she asks him with a slow, mischievous smile spreading across her face.

He steps towards her, briefly looking around the small room she'd hidden herself in. He's not sure that he's actually been in this particular cupboard for at least three hundred years, so how and why Rose found it is anyone's guess. Although he reckons it has something to do with the TARDIS. Her and Rose are rather chummy these days, he muses. Nevertheless, any place is a perfect place to kiss Rose Tyler within, so he pays less and less attention to where they are every time it happens. She has this very convenient knack of disabling all other thoughts in his mind but her, does his Rose.

And really, this is her idea. This game of hide and seek. His prize for finding her is a kiss. And then she runs off to find some other deserted place on the TARDIS to wait in anticipation in. He suspects that however stubborn she is – however well she hides so that he takes a time looking for her – she loves him collecting his prize just as much as he does.

He hopes she hides in his bedroom next.

...

A/N: Hello, wonderful, wonderful reviewers! (Haha! See what I did there? I'm so clever, pre-empting your next move like that... *ahem*... a bit presumptuous, but hey, that's kind of good. Sometimes. I think. Not really. Oh well. Oh dear, look, I'm rambling. I'll be quiet now. Maybe. Of course I won't, you know what I'm like :D)

But anyways, I hope you liked the story. It was basically another way for me to get the Doctor to tell Rose he loves her for the first time lol.

Love you all,

Laura xxx