A/N: Hey people :D I know, I know, another GitF oneshot. But I think I like this more than my first one, actually. It leaves me feeling a bit more at ease with the episode. Sort of. I still can't watch GitF ever again, mind you. But I tried to make things better in this fic. See what you think.
Truth and Reverence
"You kissed her," she said simply, the thumb of her left hand rubbing against her right palm in a nervous gesture as she stood above where he was fixing something under the console.
He looked up as she spoke, and swallowed thickly. "She kissed me," he corrected.
She raised an eyebrow and smirked in that adorable way she did that made his hearts melt. He smiled gently back at her and shrugged a shoulder, as if conceding to her dubious gaze. "I suppose I kissed her back."
"Was it a good kiss?" she asked, sounding indifferent. It seemed to work, because his eyes widened. The Doctor couldn't believe she was being so flippant about this. Shouldn't she be...jealous? She usually was – when he so much as spoke to another girl, she often flinched uncomfortably. He thought that maybe, although they'd never said as much, him and her were...
Well, put it this way, he wouldn't be inquiring about how good a kiss between her and someone else was. He'd be pushed to get a sentence out, to tell you the truth. He was shuddering even at the thought of it. He knew for a fact that Mickey had been sleeping in a different room to her, so their relationship had evidently faded out. For which the Doctor was eternally grateful, because it would've been extremely awkward for him to hold her hand and hug her the way he does (i.e. frequently) if Mickey was still her boyfriend, now that he'd been coming on a few adventures with them.
The Doctor had thought, without either of them really admitting it out loud to one another, or even acknowledging the fact with a brief nod of the head, that nevertheless, him and Rose were kind of...well, together, in a way. Which was why he felt so guilty now, about leaving her to go and save Reinette. He thought he deserved a slap, actually.
But Rose was smiling at him encouragingly right now, so obviously not. Obviously she didn't see them...like that.
Right. So...so that's alright then. Sort of.
He cleared his throat.
"Yeah it was quite nice," he answered, matching her casual tone. He didn't want her to think that it bothered him that she was being so...unaffected by all this. "She was well-practiced, though. She's supposed to be good," he added.
"Right," she nodded, sitting down beside him and crossing her legs. Their knees brushed briefly and he cleared his throat again, wondering why he hadn't just kissed this woman long ago and lots more frequently. He also wondered if he ever would.
"You danced with her too?" Rose asked next, pointedly taking an interest in examining her own hands.
"That depends what you mean by 'dance,'" he answered, his eyes now sparkling with the memory of her and him and their conversation and euphemisms about dancing, a regeneration ago.
"Both meanings. Either," she clarified, butterflies flitting around in her stomach though she knew not the reason why.
Oh, of course she did. She was anxious. She was scared. She was kind of hoping that he'd say no...
She didn't want to hurt his feelings by saying something like, 'you only just met her,' if he said they had indeed danced. She was sure she should put aside her issues with the fact that they had been travelling for almost a year and a half together, without so much as a hint of dancing, and how up until now she'd always assumed he just didn't do that (at least, not anymore. She remembered that conversation, in which he had insisted that after 900 years he most certainly had danced, very clearly indeed.) Now she assumed it was just the fact that he wasn't interested in her that was the reason why they'd never got out of that hand-holding and tight hugs stage.
Rose blinked back tears (she'd never let him see her upset when he needed her to be there for him) and held her breath in anticipation.
"The general definition of the word, yes. The euphemism we tend to use, no fear," he answered.
Rose let out a small sigh of relief, but luckily for her he didn't notice her hint of a smile as he'd had his head turned. He looked at her face again and she let her gaze meet his. "No fear?" she repeated.
He wanted to tell her that he wouldn't have danced with Reinette, because it was only his best friend, his companion, Miss Rose Marion Tyler, who he'd want to dance with, out of anyone and everyone in time and space. But he didn't, because he was unaware of her parallel feelings, and therefore thought it best not to mention that fact in case it scared her away.
He was an idiot.
Instead, he murmured something about it being a long time since...you know...and she was a well-practiced seductress and would probably be infinitely disappointed. She laughed, and he knew then that she was genuinely not bothered in the slightest by this conversation about Reinette, so it was indeed a good thing that he hadn't mentioned his real reason for being averse to sleeping with the woman, otherwise things would be a bit awkward right now.
He was wrong, of course. Because he was an idiot, as we've already established, and he failed to notice the fact that although her laughter had been genuine, her smile was slightly forced once they were quiet again. He was too busy looking into her eyes, which taught him nothing of her hurt feelings, as she herself had learnt from the best at how to mask one's innermost thoughts from one's gaze, lest it reveal too much.
She took a deep breath and decided that she would just ask him bluntly, because she really wanted to know. She made sure that she had a concerned and comforting tone of voice, willing away that selfishly jealous part of her, when she asked him tentatively, "You loved her, yeah?"
His brow crinkled thoughtfully. "I have no idea of what I felt for her." But it wasn't love, he didn't say out loud.
"Oh," she replied, biting her lip. She laid a hand on his arm as if to comfort him. "I'm sorry you didn't get there in time," she murmured. And she was. He looked so...lost. She felt so sad for him.
He shrugged. "Story of my life. Ironic, that..." he pondered, then trailed off when something clicked inside him.
What was he doing? Just...just ignoring his feelings...just ignoring these feelings for this woman with her hand on his arm... feelings only she made him feel...feelings he had never felt before, and probably never would again...
He couldn't let that pass him by.
He couldn't waste his time, his chance, with Rose. He couldn't. He wouldn't.
She watched him carefully as something changed in his eyes. They glazed over slightly, and he frowned. She thought perhaps he was trying not to cry. She squeezed his arm, and his eyes shifted, now staring at her intensely, his mouth slowly curving up into a smile.
"Rose Tyler!" he suddenly announced, his tone happy – no, ecstatic – and his eyes wide with revelation. Totally contradicting how she thought he would sound when he next spoke.
She was confused, but his wide grin was infectious. She beamed back at him, and followed his lead when he jumped up, his hand outstretched to help her. She stood opposite him for a few moments, waiting for said revelation.
He was silent, just watching her curiously, wondering if he dared say it. Dared even suggest what he felt for her...
She hadn't been jealous, he realised again, his smile dimming a little. She hadn't shouted at him for leaving her and Mickey either, like he thought she would have and should have. She hadn't appeared the least bit upset when he refused her offer of a hug, shying away from her after reading Reinette's letter, not because he was in too much grief or wanted to shut her out, but out of fear he would never let go if he let her hold him close to her.
She had come to him a bit later on, approaching him cautiously as he lay beneath the console, and stated that fact 'you kissed her' awaiting him to open up to her.
But how did she feel? He wanted her to open up to him.
"Rose," he said slowly.
"How did you feel when I crashed through that mirror on Arthur?" he asked her gently, grabbing her hand quickly in case she ran away from him.
She blinked. "What?"
Why was he asking her that?
"How did you feel when I left you there?" he asked again, swallowing past the lump in his throat and trying to suppress the great deal of guilt rising up inside him as he plainly stated what he did.
She coughed awkwardly. "Well, I... I knew that was the only way you could save her. It was the only way to save history, too. But yeah. It was the only way to save her, and you were so...enthralled by her...I knew you cared about her, and I just thought that you were doing something you always do, really. Sacrificing other things for the greater good," she answered, her hands shaking even as he held tightly on to one of them.
He took her other hand in his then too, and looked deep into her eyes. "I shouldn't have left you."
She shook her head. "No, it's ok. You had to. I mean, I know it was a little bit stupid of you to leave me and Mickey there when you had no way of getting back, but..."
"It was a lot stupid. Not a little. I'm so sorry," he whispered sincerely, his thumbs tracing circles on the back of her hands.
"It's alright, Doctor. You did what you had to do." Then she chuckled to herself. "And you got the chance to be a hero on a horse, eh? Well, a knight. Maybe not in shining armour, but - "
He cut her off mid sentence/giggle by pressing his lips to hers.
After about ten seconds, her mind caught up with what was going on and she pulled back, gasping in surprise. "Wh – what?" she stuttered.
He dropped her hands and took a step back from her, tugging his ear. "Ah. Um...oh. Sorry. I just...I thought...er..."
"Was that just an accident or are you going to do that again?" she asked, rushing her sentence slightly in embarrassment.
"An accident?" he echoed, a hint of a bemused smile creeping across his face. "What do you mean, an accident?"
"Well...like...if it was just an impulsive thing...or an experiment or something...or...just like, because you feel upset, or..." she trailed off.
"Impulsive, yes. Experiment? Perhaps. Because I'm upset? I don't think so," he replied, smiling softly. "I've wanted to do that for ages," he explained quietly, averting his eyes.
She took a sharp intake of breath. "Really?" she squeaked, aware that her voice was all high-pitched and vaguely embarrassing.
He met her gaze again. "Yeah," he replied, letting out a small chuckle.
"Since when?" she couldn't help but ask.
"Since ever," was his immediate response. Before she could process that, he spoke again. "You should be angry with me."
Rose frowned. "Why? You just kissed me," she replied, sort of dizzily.
"Not about that," he dismissed. "About Reinette," he clarified.
She gulped. "Why?"
"Because I shouldn't have kissed her back, and I shouldn't have gone after her so quickly without thinking, and I shouldn't even have invited her along," he told her.
Her pulse rate sped up. "Why?" she said again.
He leant forward and pressed his forehead to hers. "Because I belong to you," he answered quietly.
"You do?" she croaked out.
"I do," he insisted, twirling a loose strand of her hair between his fingers.
"Oh yeah. You do," she realised, laughing softly. She bumped her nose against his in an affectionate gesture. "Then I am angry," she said. "Bad Doctor."
"You don't sound angry," he retorted.
She pulled back slightly to look him in the eye. "I didn't want to disregard your feelings for her. I didn't think I was justified in feeling so..." she paused, swallowing thickly, "...so jealous. I felt so selfish, so I...I pretended I was ok with the fact that you fell in love with someone that wasn't me, because..."She frowned then, trying to put her thought processes into words. She could come up with only one way. "I pretended I was ok with that because I want you to be happy, Doctor. You deserve to be in love," she murmured. "It's a great feeling."
"Only when someone loves you back," he pointed out, his voice low and wavering slightly.
"Yeah," she agreed. "But she did, Doctor. She did love you back. 'Worth the monsters,' you were," she smiled. "Her Lonely Angel."
He frowned. "I wasn't talking about Reinette."
It was a cliché, and she felt sure she was imagining it because of that fact, but her heart actually skipped a bit. "Right," she breathed.
"Do you - "he started, then stopped himself. He was going to ask her if she loved him back, but then he realised he hadn't actually told her he loved her. Oh, for ages now he had told her in his own way:
little signs of affection
(stroking her hair, holding her too close, kissing her forehead)
and sentences meant for only her to hear
(I'm so glad I met you and I could save the universe but lose you and I'm coming to get you and oh no, I'd love you to come and that was our first date and give her back to me and...et cetera...)
and other people's words not denied
(what use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love)
And he thought she loved him too. In fact, he knew she did. She must do. She must do, otherwise why would she try so hard to be so calm and considerate and lovely about everything that had happened today?
Yeah. He realised now. She must love him. He belonged to her, and she belonged to him, and everyone else was just silly distractions.
"Rose," he murmured softly, and the way he said her name – so quiet, so low, and yet it held such a great power with it, almost like the word was the most precious thing in the universe, the most precious thing that deserved to be spoken with such an incredible reverence, that only he could murmur, because he was the only person to have truly seen the universe, experienced every corner of it, seen different planets and people and foods and wines and wonders and horrors and waterfalls and deserts and colours and fireworks and nebulas and supernovas and chocolates and flowers and he was, quite honestly, the only man qualified to say that in actual fact, his Rose was the most revered thing he had ever come across and oh, she was magnificent and beautiful and fantastic and brilliant and...
...and "I love you," he whispered huskily, because it was true, and no other thing amongst all of that other stuff in the universe was truer than that.
And him saying that, to her, the words she thought she'd never hear from him, and the way he said them, with total honesty and conviction and joy and almost pride...it was enough to evoke tears in her eyes. Happy tears. One rolled down her cheek and he brushed it away with the pad of his thumb as he cradled her head in his hands and pulled her lips to his with the softest of pressures.
Electricity danced through their veins as she pressed closer, moulding herself into his body as they held on and kissed with all that passion and love and wonder they felt inside for the other. Her hands went to his hair and his hands went to her hips and they just fit and this was always supposed to happen and they were so glad it was finally happening. Finally, finally happening. It was beautiful.
This was the truth, he thought. They were in love and it felt better than great, it felt brilliant. He was never going to let go of this. This love. Never going to let go of her. The universe be damned, he'd never let her go.
She belonged to him.
A/N: Hellooo :D I hope you enjoyed this. Please review and let me know what you think! I'll love you as much as the Doctor loves Rose
(well, maybe not quite that much, cos I reckon that's pretty hard to even contemplate. But you get the sentiment.)
p.s. ooh, by the way, a BIG sorry to all of you following Distractions. I know I haven't updated it for like...eugh, over a month...but I'm working on it, so hopefully it won't be too long before I can post chapter 22 :S I guess I just needed a break from it to write some fresh stuff, but hopefully the inspiration will come and more Distractions will come soon. Really sorry for being soooo sloooowwww :S xxx