Disclaimer: I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not The Moff, and therefore I don't own Doctor Who...
Disclaimer Take Two: I don't own 'First Time', it belongs to Lifehouse.
Disclaimer Take Three: I don't own 'In the Mood', 'Mills and Boone', the Grand Canyon, the Argentinean Tango, or indeed the Hokey Cokey...for obvious reasons!
Rating: M for...ahem dancing.
A/N: I went to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich last week and I stood with one foot on both hemispheres, a-la-Karen Gillan, but the most interesting thing I saw while I was there was a show at the Planetarium. Unfortunately, it wasn't the one narrated by David Tennant, and the astronomer actually giving the talk looked like a cross between the guy who plays Taylor in Gilmore Girls and the one who plays Mr. Gibbs in Pirates of the Caribbean, but the show was interesting and I suppose a sort of philosophical revelation struck me, as it is wont to do when someone shows you just how tiny you really are compared to the rest of the Universe. Then I got to thinking about TenRose and how their love kind of did span Universes and I quite fancied writing something with Alt!Ten and this little introspective thing was born. I didn't want to make it too romantic or cliché, I wanted it to feel as real as possible because it's always a little bit awkward and clumsy when it's your first time with someone new. Hope I managed that...Enjoy!
A/N Take Two: Reviews feed the plot bunnies and get them off my back...They're also very much appreciated so once you've finished reading, have a go at pressing that purdy li'l button at the bottom of the page...Pretty please with an even prettier Time Lord on top?
Looking at you,
Holding my breath,
For once in my life
I'm scared to death,
I'm taking a chance,
Letting you inside.
Into the unknown
We're lost in this
But it feels like home
First Time - Lifehouse
Love is special. Forget centuries and galaxies; love can span Universes. In contrast, sex is just a blip, a something, an insignificant speck of dust. Sex with Rose Tyler, however, he feels is a necessary something. It's not because she's particularly standout different from all his previous companions, or even the fact that he's human now; it's that she knows that she's nothing particularly special in a long line of not particularly special people. And she doesn't care. There's no bolt of lightening, no fireworks, no candles or aromatherapy oils; it's just them, naked and oh-so ridiculous, and he likes it just fine. She doesn't buy special underwear or prance around in some death-defying boots, she doesn't even try to be sexy, but he doesn't want her to be. As far as Rose Tyler is concerned, he's a Time Lord – or at leastpart Time Lord - and Time Lords don't have sex with the Rose Tylers of this world, so it comes as a bit of a surprise when he asks her about it.
"Rose?" he begins, clearing his throat halfway through her name to try avoiding his usual squeak when venturing into uncharted territory. He fails.
"Yes?" she replies, with some trepidation. Usually when he says her name like that he ends up confessing to ruining her favourite shirt…or worse.
Here comes the throat-clearing again; this must be bad. "Humans have sex, don't they? I mean, I'm pretty sure that after nearly a thousand years flitting around this planet, the one constant has been…dancing, right?"
She stifles a giggle. "Yes, Doctor, humans have sex."
"Then why don't we?"
She is silent for a moment, letting the shock process through her system – The Doctor. Talking about sex. With her. "Are you asking because you want a reason why we don't or is this you proposing that we should?"
He considers this for a moment, before nodding, "Both."
"Oh." She fiddles with a strand of hair that has come loose from her ponytail. She's in her pyjamas, devoid of make-up, her feet covered with her fluffy blue bunny slippers. It's an absurd moment when she contemplates all the times her nineteen-year-old self had dreamt up romantic scenarios where the path to the TARDIS was lined with roses and 'In the Mood' was playing. It was silly teenage stuff but even so, she hadn't really expected this. "Um, I hadn't really thought about it." The lie is out of her mouth before she can stop it and nights of fantasies flash behind her eyes; the Doctor, his hair mussed, those damn glasses perched on the end of his nose, that smug, self-satisfied smirk painting his face as that talented tongue of his delved into places even Rose didn't know existed. She shakes her head. "No, ok, that's not true…but I never thought you would want to…" This is just another variation of the same lie because she has wondered many times over if he might be just another bloke, but this time, it's a lie she can deal with.
"What if I would, then?" he enquires, almost as if he's simply asking her to pass the sonic screwdriver.
"What if you would what?" she asks, certain that she's never been in a more confusing conversation in her life.
"What if I would want to? What if, right now, I would very much like to make love to you, Rose Tyler?" There goes that tongue again and she momentarily forgets the argument her brain is having with itself about the merits of the phrase 'making love'. She's never 'made love' with anyone. As far as she's concerned, it's just sex, pure and simple; a little squelchy, a little uncomfortable, a lot of hassle for exactly the same outcome every time and she fairly certain that sex with the Doctor, however superior his Time Lord biology might be, would consist of much the same thing. The simple fact is that, while she very much wants it to be different, experience has taught her that it won't be. Experience has also taught her that she can live with that.
"Um…I don't know…" she stammers. "Can I at least take the bunny slippers off first?"
"Erm, I suppose so," he says, a little uncertain. "Why? Did Mickey have some sort of fetish for them?"
"No…They're just a bit, um, embarrassing, I guess…"
"Oh. Uh, sure…go ahead."
There is silence as she wiggles her toes out of the towelled material, letting the slippers fall to the floor with a quiet smack. He watches her.
"So…" he begins, uncertain of where to take this next. "Where do you want to, um…do this?"
She stifles another giggle but composes herself quickly at the sight of his nervous expression. "Oh, uh, bedroom, I suppose…"
He takes her hand in his slightly sweaty palm and walks determinedly towards their bedroom door. As he reaches for the handle, they both have the same fleeting thought that this is it; they're really doing this. As they walk inside, the room instantly feels smaller, more claustrophobic than it really is. He turns to kiss her, his mouth reaching hers clumsily as he tests the new waters they're venturing into. She responds fairly eagerly, pushing her lips against his as their tongues slide together; it's none of the metaphors that her mum's trashy Mills and Boone would use to describe a kiss, there's no foot-popping or birdsong and the world doesn't melt around them, but it's a nice kiss; it makes her feel safe, and warm, and wanted, and he's a better kisser than anyone else she's ever kissed, but even so, there's only so far a kiss can go before you need to breathe.
She pulls back from him and sinks down onto the bed. He pulls his t-shirt up over his head and she takes a moment to study his naked chest, all the while wondering why it still seems so strange to see him without clothes; almost as if he isn't the Doctor without a substantial amount of material between his skin and her. He stands at awkward odds with her, the gap in between them tantamount to the Grand Canyon. She holds a lightly shaking hand out to him and he steps forward, taking it gratefully and smiling a little sheepishly, as if apologetic for being so nervous. She doesn't blame him because, for once, she's nervous too. She's no blushing virgin and she has known her way around a man's body since she was fourteen years old, but something about the idea of sex with the Doctor makes her feel pressured to impress. He's nearly a thousand years old; he must have been around the block a bit. She voices this opinion to him a little shyly and he sniggers, assuring her that he's a new man; "A born-again virgin, if you like." She smiles. He kisses her. The dance begins again.
Her t-shirt is next, followed quickly by his jeans and her pyjama pants until they're both sitting there on the bed in their underwear. Her bra is plain white cotton and doesn't match the blue knickers she picked out during her early-morning rush and she begins to wish that they'd put a bit more thought into this, that he'd let her plan what she was going to wear, how she was going to do her hair, how much make-up to put on. As far as he's concerned, while she may still have some puppy fat and he can see the dark roots of her hair where it needs re-dying, she's perfect in her own way; there is no one like Rose Tyler in the Universe and he wouldn't have it any other way.
She thinks the steps should be easy since she's perfected them so many times before, but really, this time is less like the Argentinean Tango, and more reminiscent of the Hokey Cokey. The Doctor is something akin to Bambi on ice; elbows follow knees, and all the while she lies there accepting his apologies and doling out some of her own when her foot slips as she wriggles up against the headboard and kicks him in the stomach. It's not perfect or synchronised, nor does it have any sort of specific rhythm, but when he kisses her again and his slim fingers skitter across the tops of her breasts, making her shiver, she realises that synchronicity is for those who aren't looking for Universes, just the dust in between. She traces the waistband of his boxers, stroking across the fine trail of hair from his belly button to the elastic and marvelling at the way his stomach muscles jump back from her touch in the silent darkness of their bedroom. Their breathing is heavy and erratic as he fumbles with the clasp on her bra and she has to reach behind to help him. As he pulls the troublesome garment aside, she suddenly feels inexplicably self-conscious, wondering if they're too big or too small, but he makes an appreciative noise before burying his head in the swell of them, breathing in her scent, exploring her with that talented tongue, and making her just a little breathless as she twirls a strand of his crazy hair around one of her fingers and studies the silhouette of his body on top of hers, illuminated by the dirty yellow of the street lamp that the curtains don't quite manage to keep out.
He resurfaces from his expedition of her chest for oxygen and she takes the opportunity to kiss him again before peeling away his boxers. He shimmies out of them and they fall to the floor with a soft thud. Neither of them notices. The first time she touches him, he shivers; a gentle clumsy stroke in a simple rhythm, up and down, up and down. She isn't sure whether to be disappointed that he only has one, very human-looking penis. Just an average bloke with an erection, and yet she knows that it's not really quite like that. It's slightly downy and feels velvety to the touch, and she likes the way he sucks in a breath every time she makes the downward stroke. She licks her lips a little uncertainly, wondering what he might taste like as she bobs her head down and leans over him, taking the tip in her mouth. He tastes salty, and she wonders if she must be imagining the faint tang of bananas; it's almost an afterthought from her senses. She takes as much of him into her mouth as she can manage, letting her lips and tongue take over from the rhythm that her hand had set, and he finds that, whilst he enjoys this particular experience, it's a little sloppy, her teeth keep grazing his skin, and he's afraid that he might come too soon.
He pushes her back gently and she releases him from her mouth with a faint pop, looking somewhat crestfallen at the thought that he hadn't enjoyed it, that she wasn't good enough, but he kisses her again as deeply as he can manage and their bodies slide together, slick with sweat until he has positioned himself over her. His unfathomable brown eyes ask the question that his mouth is afraid to form and she nods a little shakily, peppering his face with light, clumsy kisses as he sinks into her. They lie there for an indeterminate amount of time, studying each other's expressions, getting used to the feel of him inside her, of her surrounding him, coming to terms with the idea that this is something new that they will never be able to go back from. Slowly, and very carefully, he begins to roll his slim hips above her, thrusting in and out of her body. The angle is uncomfortable and she squirms underneath him until he takes the hint and changes it. There is no rhyme or rhythm to their movements; they're utterly erratic and somewhat primal but they've both dreamt about this – whether they're willing to admit to that or not – for a very long time, and they're not about to let this moment go to waste by considering silly things like whether or not they're in time with the other's movements.
She feels a coil of heat tighten somewhere in the vicinity of her stomach and his toes curl against her calves as she kisses his nipple. They don't speak, they just gasp out for oxygen, feeling their way rather than asking because they know that to ask would be to admit that they're afraid of the change in their relationship, however much they know that they both want it. His thrusts become harder, faster, a little less controlled, and he comes with a shout of her name and another word of some long-forgotten language that she hopes sounds like an endearment of some sort. He looks down at her, his brown eyes almost black, and a look of pure guilt covering his face.
"I'm sorry," he whispers. "I couldn't…" But she shuts him up with an insistent kiss and guides his hand to the thatch of curls between her legs. He finds her clit quickly and rubs along it, marvelling at the feel of the thrumming bud of nerves and the way that she writhes when he touches it. Her back arches and she throws her arms around his neck, clinging onto his sweat-soaked body, winding her hands into his mussed halo of hair. She comes, her walls clenching around his softening cock as she cries out the only name she knows him by and he kisses her closed eyelids. He slips out of her and drops, boneless, onto the bed next to her. His hand finds hers and they lie there, fingers intertwined as she shimmies across the bed until her head is on his chest and she can hear his solitary heartbeat. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but neither one of them thinks it was a mistake.
They don't sleep, they merely pretend to; lying in the darkness, listening to the sounds of the other's breathing, feeling the gentle rise and fall of each other's bodies. They don't feel the need for some grand declaration of love, or lust; no centuries, galaxies or Universes, just dust. It's a necessary something.
When the morning comes, he gets up reluctantly and she rolls over, inhaling the scent of him imprinted on the pillow and the still-damp sheets. He comes back from the shower wrapped in a dark blue towel, his hair sticking up at odd angles and dripping down her nose when he leans in to kiss her.
"Any regrets?" he asks, smiling.
"Yes," she says in mock seriousness.
"What's that then, Miss Tyler?"
"You didn't wear the glasses," she admonishes, and he chuckles.
"Next time, then," he promises, and as she walks to the bathroom and turns on the shower, letting the hot water slide down her skin, she knows that there will be a next time and it won't be perfect, and it won't be like it is in books or films, but it's real and it's theirs, and it's a necessary something in the Universe that he promised her on that beach in Norway not so long ago.