Disclaimers: Doctor Who does not belong to me, nor do any of the characters in this oneshot. Doctor Who is property of the BBC and Russell T. Davies. The plot of this oneshot does belong to me though.
A/N: This is a sister story to a previous fic, The Last Stop (Rose). Please read the first fic before reading this one, seeing as how some things are explained in the first fic that are not explained in this one.
Spoilers: All of the first four series of New Who, including the year four specials.
Synopsis: He knew what tonight meant. Tonight was the night that Rose would go back to the TARDIS smelling like him. He held out his hand to her silently, waiting for her to take it. Because she was going to take it. Of that he was quite sure.
Stopping Time (The Doctor)
Take me over when I'm gone
Take me over, make me strong
Take me over when I'm gone
Will they burn for me?
She pulls me in and strips me down
She pulls me in and turns me out
She pulls me in and strips me down to the ground.
Candleburn – Dishwalla
I knew it would happen. Because it had happened before, in a different time, a different life. Before everything became gray. I remembered feeling like I was outside of something when it came to her, held back from understanding what was going on because she had hidden it from me. The past me. And part of it had been her fault. The rest had been my own. I just hadn't known then.
And I hadn't known it would happen that way.
The first time I went to her, it'd been with Donna's question ringing in my ears. "That friend of yours. What was her name?"
"Her name was Rose," I remember replying, a sudden lump in my throat, my vision suspiciously blurred. Even now, thinking back on that moment, I still felt pain in my chest.
"Did you just call me?" she asked him, all long blond hair, curious dark eyes and chips in her hand. Chips for him. He had sent her out into the cold because he'd wanted something to munch on while he had worked on the TARDIS. He'd done the strangest things to her, especially as his Ninth self. Sometimes nothing had satisfied him. Least of all the relationship he'd had with that blond girl there. But she had stuck with him to the end, when they'd had no more future.
He had inadvertently called out her name against his very will. Why had he done that? He had only wanted a glimpse of her. And now he had gone and gotten himself into trouble again. Keeping to the shadows, his hands deep in his pockets, he took a step closer to her, wanting to see. She followed his movements with her eyes, her stare dropping down to his trainers and traveling up his frame. Even as a complete stranger to her, she still made his breath catch at the way her eyes studied his every movement. "I did," he replied tremulously.
"Do I know you?" she asked with a small frown.
He wanted to shout at her that yes, she did know him. She knew him inside out and she held his hearts in the palm of her hand and why didn't she know him yet? He needed her to know him. But he knew why she didn't yet. Because he had come too early. He had chosen that specific time because he had only wanted the glimpse of her. And he shook his head inwardly, helplessly. Who had he been kidding? He had wagered the entire trip on the one glance but with the side plan that if she did happen to encounter him, that she wouldn't recognize him, not just yet.
She didn't know him yet.
"No, I should think not," he murmured almost absentmindedly as he came forth one more step and finally stopped. "It's too early. And I shouldn't have come."
And with that, he whirled from her, needing to be away from her almost as much as he needed to be with her. His blood was pounding in his ears, slight shivers having risen. He was close by. The chips were for him. And he had foolishly wandered into the wrong territory. He ran from her, hearing her call out from behind, but he couldn't stop. It had been a risky game he had just played, a dumb maneuver, especially for him.
He wouldn't be doing it again.
That…was a lie. I was going to do it again. And again. And several more times on top of it. Because as the days wore on, she was the only one who could stop the tick of the clock in my head. When I was with her, there was nothing but her smile, the trail of her hair on my hand and her breath on my lips. The first time, I'd just barely managed to drag myself from her but I had needed her that day. After saying her name to Donna, I had needed the real thing. And when I went to her the second time, it was on Polanthus. The people are very nice there. I had left her to ogle them. It was amusing to watch all the expressions cross her face when she encountered something new. But I had just barely managed to leave before I had shown up. How strange to run into yourself. It wasn't one of my better moments but I had missed him by the skin of my very teeth and I had told myself no more. That one had been too close and if I had done something to change, to ruin, my timeline with her…I would never have forgiven myself. Not when she was the best thing to have ever happened to me.
She'd told me she wanted to see me. As often as I wanted. As if things could ever be that easy. She had even devised a plan to tell me apart from my past self. A blue suit, she'd suggested. Did blue even flatter me? According to her it did.
I had taken on a new companion around that second time, a little bit after. Martha Jones. Brilliant Martha Jones. She'd been intelligent, resourceful. Just about perfect. Except that when I had looked at her, I'd felt nothing. I didn't get that soaring feeling in my chest and the clock did not stop ticking in my head.
And one day, while traveling with Martha, I had come across a witch who had managed to tear down all of my defenses with a single sentence.
"But your heart grows cold, the north wind blows, and carries down the distant...Rose."
I'd returned to her that night after finding an excuse for Martha. I had needed her and she had destroyed me as well, holding my hand in her mother's flat and telling me she loved me. I don't know what I had been thinking. All I'd wanted upon hearing her words was to feel her, to taste her. I knew I had missed her. I didn't know how much until she'd sat next to me asking about her future self and smelling so very much like my Rose.
"No," she murmured, shaking her head. He turned to look at her, his eyes dropping to her mouth and she said it again. "No. That kind of thing…it doesn't happen. Not to us. Because I would never leave you. I never would." Her arms were tight around his but somehow he couldn't make himself even notice she was cutting off his blood flow. "You and me…we're supposed to happen. And I would never stop traveling with you, being with you. The only thing that would ever stop me from traveling with you is if you were to leave me, like…like Sarah Jane." She broke off and he wanted to tell her, to shout at her, that he didn't leave her. That he could never leave her. That things happened because the world was cruel. And that maybe he was just never meant to be happy, not with her, no matter how hard he fought for it. "But to stop, to just leave you," she continued, her voice turning firm. "No. That's not going to happen. Not when I love you as much as I do."
His hearts streaked to a painful stop, his eyes lifting from her mouth to her eyes, to move between them blindly.
"You know that, don't you?" she asked him, almost shaking him. As if he really needed her to convince him. "You know that? That I love you? That I would never, ever want to stop-"
He cut her off, heat rising inside as her words echoed in his head, the clock freezing in mid-tick. Just like that, she could stop time. Futilely, understanding that everything she was could easily dismantle him, he reached for her and kissed her. She was caught by surprise, her breath catching, but a moment later she came alive under his hand. Releasing his arm as she shifted to face him, her hands rose to his face as she pressed to him to return his kiss. And it was such a mistake, what he had just done. He felt himself grimace against her lips, felt his hearts beat out of sync, causing him to feel as if he was falling and standing still at the same time.
Dropping her head, she pressed her forehead to his and he didn't want her to see how much that kiss had just broken him. He had come so far without her in meager weeks. He had been doing so much better. How could the simple mention of her name tear him down so completely? He felt her uncertain laugh in her words. "It can't be that bad, kissing me."
No, he agreed inwardly, wincing even as he lifted his face to her, feeling her fingertips brush lightly against his lips. It was much worse than that. The mere feather-light touch of her hand made him want to abandon all the rules of time and space and stay on that couch forever, held in her embrace. His lips parted slightly as her mouth followed her fingers, as she closed that tiny distance between them. He couldn't breathe, his beating hearts confusing him, deafening him.
And then, pushing down everything inside, he turned his face from hers, his arm winding around her neck to drag her against his shoulder. It was a mistake, all of it. A weak mistake. And he couldn't even know then if he had done something wrong in their line. If he had broken something along the way. Whispering frantically, he breathed against her ear. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry-"
She hesitated, confused. "What?" she asked against his neck, her hand falling to clutch his collar. "Stop saying that. Stop it-"
"I can't keep doing this," he said over her, his shoulders shaking. He found himself stunned at his weakness, afraid for what he may have caused even though he could sense no shift in their timeline. "I can't-"
He needed to get away from her. Right then, he realized it. He came to her because he needed her, each time afraid that he was causing irreparable damage to their line, risking his past and her future on his desire. And he couldn't do it anymore, not if there was the slightest chance that he could erase ever having even known her. The thought sent sheer terror through him and he shoved away from her almost roughly, shooting to his feet. As he turned to escape, he heard her call for him but he couldn't stop. He needed to run, run even if she could no longer join him. And he needed to do it immediately. Making for the door, he burst out of it and ran, her name resounding in his head, the clock ticking ominously.
I was a bleeding idiot. All those trips for one look at her, only to want more with each visit. The kiss had been the last straw to break. I knew after that, I would use any excuse to see her. And I would only want more of her every time. She was intoxicating, especially then that I could open myself to her. My past self, he would rigidly stay just that bit away from her with all those burdens on him. Last of the Time Lords. Defending Earth. All those things that somehow just didn't make sense after awhile when I was with her. I don't know how I managed to be around her for two years without wanting more. Except, therein lies the rub, I suppose. I don't think I ever really went around with her quite so platonically. Every chance given me, I would take her hand or hold her close to me. She always seemed to fit so well, I almost couldn't help myself. And to say that my past self didn't realize it as well is just foolish. He knew it. I knew it. He just couldn't cross that little line.
But I could now. Because once I got that first taste of her, how could I not want a second?
I'd just gotten back from an especially harrowing adventure with Martha. She'd gone home for the night, perhaps for longer, and I had been left alone in the TARDIS. Doing some repair work, I had told Martha. She'd taken that as a sign that I'd wanted to be alone and it had been a while since she'd been home to see her family as it was. So off she'd gone. And off I'd gone as well. I had needed someone who would understand the things I'd seen, the things I'd just been put through. It wasn't often I was taken over by a vicious force. The fact of the matter was, I'd felt uncertain in my own skin. It wasn't comforting, that uncertainty. Every regeneration was a new chance, new features and a new personality. But this had been no regeneration. This had been burning alive, fighting against being consumed by a sinister parasite. One that had almost won and no one would know how close it had come to wiping out the last remaining Time Lord from existence.
The last time I'd burned like that had been the day I'd taken the heart of the TARDIS out of Rose. That night, I had needed to burn again. And I went to the one person who could make me feel that, who could take the pain out of the burning.
She was angry and he knew why. She had just come back from the Madame de Pompadour. And he had left her, frightened her. She had every right to be mad, he told himself, as the blond girl took one look at him and then quickly looked away in irritation. Even now, his past self was sitting in the TARDIS brooding over a silly letter from a French woman he had spent mere hours with. And for her, he had been ready to give up traveling?
He also knew what tonight meant. Tonight was the night that Rose would go back to the TARDIS smelling like him. All over. Smelling of sex, arousal and him. He swallowed as her eyes came to rest on him and wondered momentarily if she could read minds, if she could read the expressions on his face clearly enough. He was going to take her to his TARDIS tonight. And he held out his hand to her silently, waiting for her to take it. Because she was going to take it. Of that he was quite sure.
She asked him what was wrong. He was about to do something that he really shouldn't. But he needed someone, she said, catching on. He nodded in response. And this was going to be the last time, she stated with a smile as she stood up to come closer to him, smelling too much like herself. The sudden assault of that perfect scent drove every thought from his head and he lied quite badly then, a lie that she had caught easily. A lie that had made her smile in pleasure.
He would definitely be coming back, again and again if she allowed him. Because he was beginning to remember now how he would be playing this game. Her Doctor was going to find out. It was only a matter of time. Because he had found out toward the end as well.
Quietly, barely speaking, he led the way back to his TARDIS and looked toward her as she asked whether her Doctor would know she was here. Yes, he would know one day. Once he followed his future self's footsteps and went back for her himself. They would forever be an unending loop, circling after each other and orbiting a small blond girl.
With the thought, he opened his TARDIS to her and followed her in. And once inside, he was overtaken by the vision of her in his TARDIS. Yellow-haired, slender and beautiful, looking around in wonder as she had always done before. Before she had been stripped from him. The image of her ripped down several more of his defenses and he went for it then. Without wishing to look back, he took her then and there, kissing her and dragging her straight to the console. He had expected to use his room but she gestured to the controls, seeming as impatient as him. That would work just as well, he reflected as she stripped him of his tie, as she bent into his neck to kiss him there. He could smell her in the air and this was almost the scent he had caught on her once upon a time in his own TARDIS, reading a letter that never should have mattered as much as he'd let it. Dropping her to the console, lifting his hands to her, he allowed himself to feel every part of her. Smooth skin, soft lips and the overwhelming scent that was pure Rose. He wanted to bury himself in that scent. And he almost felt bad for his past self, sitting at home in a black mood, not knowing that his very tonic was this girl. The girl who was trying to rid him of his shirt at the moment even as he was trying to get her jumper off. Like two teenagers, he mused with an exhilarated inward laugh. He won the little battle, taking her jumper from her, watching as her hair fell down around her shoulders.
She was beautiful, he realized once more as she watched him, as she waited for him to come back to her. She would never be anything less with her golden hair and heaving shoulders, the flush across her cheeks and breasts. And he was in love with her. After everything she had ever done for him, every brink she had brought him back from, he felt it safe to say that he was in love with her and that he loved her. Quite possibly for the rest of his many years and lives. He lifted his hand to her face with the thought, going back to her as he knew he always would. And he kissed her, opening his mouth to her and taking in her gentle sigh, his other hand falling to her breast. Every part of her was perfect. How could he have never allowed himself to touch her like this before? How had he ever held himself back?
He remembered how then. Last of the Time Lords. Defending Earth. Discovering new worlds, new even to him. Refusing to be tethered to one planet, one person. He pulled back from her with the thought, his fingers stiffening on her breast. That was how he had restrained himself. By thinking of others, of everyone else. Not this time, he decided then, his face darkening. Not when the universe owed him so much after taking her from him. He was going to take advantage of these chances. Any way he could-
The brush of her hands across the tender skin of his hip made him jump. He felt her laugh in her kiss, felt the slight brush of her tongue against his parted lips. And a moment later she dropped her hand lower, undoing the button to his pants. That brought him to a sudden stop, feeling his muscles clench against her warm hands, his hand slipping across the blond hair he had trapped to her face.
"Here. Right here. Now," she whispered against his mouth, pressing her forehead to his. He took a step away as she motioned and he watched her as she lowered herself from the console, as she came to stand straight before him. Silently, he allowed her to take both of his hands in hers and place them at the waist of her jeans, directly on the button. She murmured something he didn't quite catch through the sudden rush of his blood in his ears. Something about not wishing to force him but possibly being mad if he didn't follow through.
He unbuttoned the clasp to her jeans, aware that he was fighting something that he knew would inevitably happen. He had already lived through her disappearances at night, had been aware that she had been with someone. It was him that she had been going to, in her future and in his past. What was he fighting any of this for? A moment later, his breath left him as she pushed her jeans off her hips, kicking them aside, and then doing the same with her panties. And as she stepped out of those, he was taken over by her scent. She was aroused, her entire body giving off that heady perfume, causing him to lose focus. She came closer, bringing a hand to his face to kiss his cheek and he turned from her for a brief moment, swallowing her scent whole. It sent him practically reeling, his breath quickening, suffocating.
The smell of her, it was so close to the one he had caught in the TARDIS, the one he would catch in a matter of hours. He just needed to add his own scent to it, something he hadn't been able to catch that night in the TARDIS of the past, one detail he hadn't realized. He had automatically excluded his own scent that night as he had tucked away Madame de Pompadour's letter and watched his own Rose Tyler march away from his questioning glance, off to shower. How could it have been his scent intermingled with her own when he had been in his TARDIS all night? And no future version of him would be foolish enough to cross timelines, not for the sake of one girl.
He wanted to raise his own hand then to proclaim himself the fool for this human. But she was kissing him, small butterfly kisses that led to her lips against his, searching for him. She had murmured something as he'd been in the middle of being floored by her scent and she was reaching for him now, surrounding him with the thick smell of her. It was going to drive him mad, he realized futilely. If the mere scent of her everyday creams and lotions drove him to think about her at the most inopportune times, he could only hope to survive this unconscious assailment.
Struggling to practically remain in control, he moved closer to her just as she led him back toward the console, her hand reaching for the surface. Wordlessly refusing to break the kiss, he bent toward her to slip his arms around her. Every part of her was soft, he noted somewhere in the back of his head as he lifted her slowly back onto the controls. She finished seating herself, her hands falling to his hips, her fingers sliding his pants down. The TARDIS felt almost cold then, his back becoming rigid as his heated skin met pure cool air. A moment later she was shifting to press her heat against his cold skin. It sent a shudder through him, his mouth slipping across hers. That's what she was, a voice inside him whispered as she dragged him close with her legs, trapping him to her. She was fire and heat, red burning coals. The sun. Every part of her threatened to sear the skin from his very bones and he wanted it. He wanted it. And he wanted it right then and there.
His hand moved toward her thigh, to the curve of her knee as he dragged one leg open. A moment later, surrounded by her scent, he entered her almost blindly. She stiffened around him in mid-kiss, her breath caught in her throat, and he was burning. He opened his eyes to look at her hazily. She was flushed, her lips bruised a dark pink, her chest rising and falling rapidly. He couldn't see straight surrounded by the smell of her, his own thoughts stifled somehow. All he knew was that this was how it felt to regenerate. To feel hot and cold at the same time, to shed a skin to become a new person. He had found the whole process there in her body and he would give anything to repeat that sensation. Forever.
"Don't stop," she was whispering as she leaned forward once more. She lifted her hips, taking him with her, a sound leaving him helplessly at the motion. Every single part of her smoldered, setting him on fire. And he had wanted this, this feeling of burning alive. He would rather die this way, any day, than the way he had felt earlier that day. The voice in his head was urging him to burn with her, to allow her to eat him away entirely. Feeling her lift a hand to his face, he raised his head, shivering still as her fingers slid along his cheek to anchor at the nape of his neck. He didn't understand how she could do that to him, make him tremble even as he was scalded. He didn't care a moment later as he pushed the voice away, as he pulled back a little bit only to return to her fully. He was buried to the rim inside of her, her legs tight around him, refusing to let him leave.
He was going to die in the center of her thighs and in the circle of her arms.
Wrapping an arm around the curve of her waist, he supported her to him even as she leaned back, as he began to thrust forcefully. He arched with her, unwilling to let her pull away too far. Nothing would take this burning feeling away from him, he told himself as he pulled out of her heat and then immersed himself once more. Nothing. She returned to his mouth with a small sigh, her legs dangling on either side of him, brushing his waist with each rocking movement. Feeling her fingers tighten on the hair at the nape of his neck, almost yanking, he returned her cruelty with stronger thrusts. The motion caused her hand to slide slightly across the controls, her lips leaving his to cry out loudly, her shout echoing in the silence of the TARDIS. He could feel her heartbeat racing, could hear it in his own ears. And he felt each beat through his entire body, strangely in tune with his own double heartbeat. Pulling her to him on a thrust, he leaned her back further into the console controls, refusing to stop moving, refusing to look back even as the voice in his head reared up once more. She was human. She was young. She wasn't his, didn't belong to him. She would go back to her own Doctor tonight, wouldn't stay with him forever the way he needed her to. He shook his head slightly, grimacing through her heat, somehow wishing to rip his thoughts from his very mind, to lock them away. He didn't want this moment ruined, didn't want to have to think.
A moment later he caught her whisper against his mouth, "Don't think. Don't think-" followed by a sharp, raw cry that sent the hair on the back of his neck to stand in a shiver. Clenching his jaw, feeling control slipping from him, he bent into her neck helplessly, overcome by her fragrance. He would never forget this scent that hovered, the scent he had now completed with his own. It would plague him till the end of his days, this maddeningly beautiful scent that was all their own. She shifted under him, tightening around him almost like a vice and he couldn't help the expression that crossed his face. She caught it as well, turning her face into his and murmuring his name as he thrust into her, forcing her to stretch open for him even as she tightened further still. His name was on her lips as she kissed him, as she cried out against his ear, threatening to consume him. And he wanted her to do it, to burn at him and lick him with her flames until there was nothing left of him anymore. He would rather cease to exist than ever have anything they had between them end.
Blindly shoving her against the controls with each thrust, his hand lifted to cup her breast, his other hand rising up her back to clutch at her shoulder from behind. He needed to feel every part of her bared skin against his, needed to hear her cry his name against his mouth. Never his real name, he thought almost mournfully. But the name she knew him by, given life by her voice. It was on her lips, her breasts pushing against his chest as he moved within her, burning.
And she was close, he felt it in the way she was tightening, in the way she clutched at him fiercely. Even the way she was saying his name, with that delicious curve of desperation in its depths. He realized a moment later he was whispering her name the same way, having given himself so completely to the moment inside her that he was climbing to his own peak as well almost unknowingly. He groaned, immersing himself completely, riding her almost in anguish. He was so close he could taste it and so was she.
He opened his eyes to gaze at her, his eyes falling to her lips as they parted around his name again and he wanted to kiss that mouth always. He wanted to see that mouth smile, laugh, moan. And he wanted to see what else that mouth could do. The things he'd never allowed himself to think of before, he was thinking them now and he was grateful she couldn't read minds. He bent to that mouth in mid-thrust, swallowing her yearning gasp and he felt how tightly her arms were holding him, how stiff she held herself. Gauging her body through a haze, unwilling to rupture before her, he lifted her against him with one smooth movement, bringing her down on him almost violently.
The gesture caused her to shatter around him. A cry tore from her, her head falling back from him as he lifted his face to her. And he wanted to see. He needed to see.
The expression on her face almost finished him there as well. Agony seemed to cross her features, her lips parted, her breasts rising against his chest. She was beautiful, beautiful enough to bring him to a stunned stop. Golden hair, full lips he had been dreaming of only moments ago with his name hovering there. A shiver coursed through him even as she trembled around him, as she threatened to break him. Shaking himself from his reverie, he brought his head down only momentarily, aware of how sensitive she had become around him. But he wouldn't have been able to stop even if the end of the world had been at hand. Not when it came to her and this feeling of needing to be complete inside of her.
His hand lifted from her shoulder to cup her by the back of the neck, pulling her down on him, burying himself deep inside with each full, wet thrust. She shuddered around him, bringing a longing moan from him as those shivers raced through her into him, vibrating around him. Forget the world, the voice in his head whispered, her voice echoing just behind it, pushing him on, faster, harder. It urged him frantically to forget everything except her and remember the worlds and the lines he had crossed for her, for this one moment, for more moments like these. And she was asking the same thing against his ear, her hands in his hair as she pushed against him, as she tightened around him in small, fiery shivers. Even her scent, so completely her own as she came down, asked him to forget everything except her for that moment. Forever.
Her name left his lips at the thought of forever, at the thought of always being able to see that expression cross her face as she came around him, as he brought her to climax. He wanted that, could feel it within reach somehow, but as he slid in and out of her slick walls it was the thought of having her always that completed him. The heat inside him boiled over, flames licking at him. He bit into the soft flesh of her neck, her head falling back to allow him as he felt release wash over him in a complete wave of blissful torture. His entire mind flashed white, his frame instinctively becoming rigid around her, inside her, and he was burning. Finally and thankfully, he burned with a brilliantly golden light, his body seeming to purr at the thought that he could smolder and turn to ash and welcome it.
His hand had fallen to her hip mindlessly as he had come inside her. Even now, rocking against her to ride out the last waves, he couldn't seem to let her go, his fingers refusing to loosen their tight grip. She seemed to understand as her hands were still tangled in his damp hair, clutching him as if she would never be able to release him. Not anymore. Breathing hard, murmuring her name through a grimace, he emptied himself completely inside of her, his shoulders trembling. And she was shaking still as well, bending slightly to hold him tightly, her mouth pressing to one of his slick shoulders wearily.
He wouldn't be able to make a single, strong muscle in the morning, he realized weakly. Quite possibly never again, not if he thought of this moment just before. The mere memory would forever rob him of strength, as would the thought of her voice crying out his name as she came around him. Would he even be able to walk properly anymore? His legs trembled even holding him then.
She shifted under him slightly, her fingers trailing through his hair comfortingly. Blinking tiredly, his thoughts slowly waking once more, he turned his head, his mouth brushing against the skin of her cheek as she kissed his shoulder gently. Even the simple gesture sent tremors through him. He raised himself slightly from her to gaze at her with new eyes, searching her face for a change, looking for a regret.
She beat him to the fear a moment later. "Don't tell me you already regret it," she whispered to him quietly, causing him to recoil inwardly. She shook her head, looking somehow tired and yet very much alive. And the slightest bit apprehensive. "I don't want to hear that right now."
He shook his head as well, his arms tightening around her with the last bit of his strength. "I don't regret it. Not now. Not ever," he murmured to her and her happy smile brought time to a stop for him once more. And hovering around them, complete, was the scent that they created with their love for each other.
I remember that night years later. Even now when I stop to think, I remember her walking into the TARDIS that night, smelling of such strong, perfect arousal, a scent I was not used to, not so strongly. I remember looking at her and seeing marks on her neck, marks I had left there myself though I didn't know it then. And the complete anger that overtook me…to this day, very few things have angered me the way those marks did at first. Even her flushed face, too much blood circulating through her body and giving off that feeling of exhilaration. All of it served to cast that silly letter from my thoughts, from my life then and there.
But to my benefit, though I didn't understand then, that was where I first began to suspect.
The second time she left with me, her Doctor had taken her to her mum's flat. Mickey had just been left behind and she wasn't exactly angry with me although anger isn't the proper word for what she was feeling either. She merely didn't want to be around anyone that could remind her of what she had lost. And everything in her life would remind her of that then. She didn't want to be with me, seeing as how I was the one who had allowed him to stay. But her mother also reminded her too much of Mickey. In the end, it wasn't anyone's fault but you can't say that to a grieving human. They need someone to blame even if it's uncalled for. I was a flimsy last resort, not her own Doctor but there was no one else for her to go to.
I had just been through a miserable three months. Well, I couldn't say they were miserable. Indeed, quite the opposite. I'd been human for those three months. We'd been running from creatures, Martha and I. She went home immediately after we returned, having missed her family.
The funny thing is, even as a human, I still dreamt of her. I dreamt of her and sketched her face to hold it close and she was always walking away from me. I told her about the journal again later, much later, when it was just her and me in a world of zeppelins. About how even the fully human me, without my memories, longed for her and couldn't forget her. They made her smile, my words. The second time around. Not the first time though. But the second time, those words made the transition easier still.
However, coming fresh off those events did not leave me in the best mood after either.
He pulled out of a shadow, lifting his head toward the blond girl on the balcony walkway of the Powell Estates. She had her head turned to the night sky as if she could search out that other universe there in the stars, hope to see someone she missed dearly. He watched her, remembering when he had done the same thing. Searching the stars for her, wishing to see her reflected there in the starlight. It was futile, a silly gesture. But in mourning, humans did the strangest things.
So did lonely Time Lords, he mused, gazing up at her.
She dropped her head down and caught sight of him in the light from the street lamp, going still. He was dressed in blue. She would know who he was. Staring down at him, she remained in silence for a long while, merely letting her eyes observe him. She was emotional. He could smell her grief and anger in the air, could feel the spark of it in the slight breeze. But he was almost angry himself. Angry that he couldn't get her out of his head even after she'd been gone for so long. Angry that even as an imbecile of a human, stripped of all his memories of her, he would still long for her and dream about her. He stared back at her, his eyes searching every bit of her face, his jaw clenching. How did one silly human have such a hold on him? How could he be so powerless against her?
She motioned for him to wait curtly and then spun on her heel and entered her mother's flat.
He felt an irrational anger that she would treat him like some sort of animal. But a moment later he pushed it away, bowing his head. She had just lost a friend. More than a friend. A best friend. A former lover. And here he was being human and allowing his emotions to get the better of him. She didn't deserve his anger just as he didn't deserve hers. But he wouldn't hold it against her. He knew she blamed him for leaving Mickey behind. He blamed her for becoming so deeply ingrained in him that he couldn't get her out. But it was hardly her fault that she had managed that. And it was hardly his fault that Mickey had decided to stay behind in the end.
She returned to the door of the flat, calling out a goodbye to her mother before slamming the door roughly behind her. That was meant for him, he reflected wearily. She was coming with him tonight and bringing her anger with her. He watched as she marched toward the staircases and began to climb down to the ground floor. Appearing around the corner of the structure, she strode over to him, radiating different emotions. But no matter what she was feeling, she was feeling it strongly. He waited for her as she neared, white jumper and short denim skirt, and then merely stared at her as she came to a firm stop before him.
"I've had a really bad day," she said to him right off, her arms crossing over her chest.
"Me, too," he replied quietly. And he lifted his hand, taking hold of a wrist and pulling it gently to loosen her stance. She let him take her wrist then slide up to entwine his fingers through hers. When she still did not protest, he turned from the Powell Estates and began to take her with him, back toward his own TARDIS.
The walk there was silent. And from the electricity in the air, the evening would be just as uncomfortable. But he was willing to spend the time with her, willing to just sit with her. Reaching his TARDIS, he unlocked the door and held it open for her.
"Is anyone around?" she asked him, remaining at the doorway.
"No," he answered.
Clenching her jaw slightly, she entered through the doors of the TARDIS, marching up the ramp but staying just that slightest bit back from the console. He closed the door behind himself, studying her silently, reading the rigid lines of her shoulders. She was going to break. He could read it clearly in her frame.
A moment later she whirled to face him, her expression dark. "Mickey's gone," she said, as if he had asked for him. And she waited for him to respond, her lips tightening into a deep line.
He forced his expression to remain blank. "I know."
It wasn't the answer she'd been waiting on. "Oh, do you?" she demanded crossly, her hands tightening into fists. "You knew?" And when he remained silent she lifted a hand to her hip, motioning. "Of course you do. Time Lord, right. Traveling through space and time. Leaving us behind."
He attempted to stop the grimace from crossing his face. "It wasn't like that."
"Wasn't it?" she asked him. She turned and gestured with her free hand to the TARDIS interior. "Then tell me what it's like! If it wasn't like that. Because you didn't seem to give a damn that you were leaving him behind. That you would let him-"
"Let him what, Rose?" he cut her off. And it was ludicrous that he was having this argument with her, a year too late. That it would be him that she would be fighting with and not his past self. And yet, recalling the day that it had actually happened, he remembered dropping her off at her mother's and then waiting on her to return to him in the TARDIS. Wondering if she would even come back. And when she had returned to him, it had been with an apology on her lips for a reason he hadn't understood then. "You need to get it out of your system," he murmured blindly a moment later, recalling the look on her face and the way she had embraced him a year before, holding him tightly. As if asking for forgiveness.
"I need to get it out of my system?" she asked him in disbelief.
"It wasn't your fault," he said, still seeing that memory and quickly reaching a hand out to her. "You couldn't have stopped him. I couldn't have stopped him. People do things, things they think they need to do. And that was something he needed-"
"Don't you say that to me," she snapped at him, pointing at him with a shaky finger, her other hand clutching her hip with white knuckles. "Don't you say that-"
"And people go," he spoke over her. "It's life. People go and leave others behind-"
"No," she said with a shake of her head. "Not like this. They don't stay behind in other dimensions, never to be heard from again. They don't cross voids to alternate realities and then stay there like…like-" She broke off, shaking her head violently.
"They do it all the time," he retorted, anger rising inside him irrationally. He was going to lose this battle with her somehow, now. He would fix it before she went back to her Doctor and he didn't know how but he would. At this rate, however, he was losing. As she raised her head to glare at him, he murmured, "Sometimes people just decide what's best for them and no one can change their mind. And sometimes they don't get a choice at all and they stay behind. They lose themselves, are lost to others, and you can't get them back. And it happens. It just happens-"
She was staring at him, a slight glimmer of confusion in her eyes. Realizing his words and how close he was to breaking, he whirled away from her to face the doors of the TARDIS.
Sometimes people were ripped from others and trapped in alternate realities with no way of ever returning. Had Mickey been one of those, it would have been a different argument nonetheless. But she wasn't to know of that yet. Not yet.
With a small sigh, lifting a hand to drag it across his face wearily, he composed himself before turning to look at her once more. And when he did he froze at seeing the expression on her face. There were tears in her eyes and she was shaking her head, looking off toward the walls of the TARDIS.
"It's not fair," he whispered in accord with her expression. And he also agreed with those words. Sometimes it just wasn't fair.
"I hate you," she uttered in a voice so soft he almost believed he had misheard her. But he hadn't heard incorrectly even though the expression on her face didn't state that she hated him. Merely that she needed someone to blame and the only way to get her anger across was to use those words. With him.
"Rose," he murmured with a shake of his head.
"I hate you," she said again. As he closed his eyes, she continued on, the tears building. "I hate that you made this all possible. That because of you, this could have happened. Because no one else owns a TARDIS, not that I know of." Her tone became sarcastic, bitter. "And no one else can travel in space and time and between dimensions. No one could have made this happen except you. And I hate you because it's not fair that he would stay behind and-"
"Fair?" He cried, breaking then, his temper boiling over. He was feeling those stupid emotions that humans felt, letting them run away with him and he couldn't stop himself because it wasn't right that she would blame him for Mickey's choice. Not him. Not with him knowing what was to happen between them in a matter of months even if she didn't. It was much too cruel. And especially to use that word around him when all he'd questioned in the last few months had been how unfair everything was around him. "You know what isn't fair, Rose?" he cut her off, his tone sharpening. She snapped her head to look at him, recognizing the dark anger in his voice and he let it all go. "What isn't fair is being stuck in 1913 as a human for three months. That isn't fair. In fact, that's just an insult." He ignored the utter confusion that crossed her face at his words. "But what's worse and even more of a blow is being stuck in 1913 as a human and on top of it, a human with no memories of his life as a Time Lord. More than it being unfair, it's unkind. But to add the little cherry on top, not fair is being stuck in 1913 as a human, with no memories of being a Time Lord and yet somehow still remembering you!"
She recoiled as he marched up the ramp and past her, moving unconsciously to take the TARDIS into the time vortex. He froze at the console however, aware that he had a girl displaced in time in his TARDIS, one that would be unsafe traveling with him now. As if she had ever really been safe traveling with him. But now, with this version of her, he couldn't chance anything. He lowered his hands to the console, wishing to rip controls from the surface, wanting to throw things and becoming physically violent. And how perfect even their anger with each other was. It warmed him inside that he could even be given the chance to argue with her again. Instead of showing that however, he lifted his head to glare at her, ignoring her parted lips and reddening eyes. "Even as a daft human, no memories of anything I have done for the last nine hundred years, I still manage to remember you. Explain that to me."
She blinked at him, managing to only shake her head, no words coming from her.
"Nine hundred years," he said again and he left the console, moving edgily, his frame stiff. "Nine hundred years. No memories. But somehow, in a journal, I draw your face and I dream about you. I dream about you!" She flinched slightly as he motioned to the TARDIS core, waving his arm furiously. And he needed to reel himself in but it felt good to finally unleash, to rage at such an unfair world. It felt good to be angry. "I can remember a blue box, remember that I was a madman called the Doctor! And I can remember that I have two hearts! Not one, as a regular human should have, but two! But what I remember most, what sticks out the most, is that in my dreams, you keep walking away. You always walk away. Now why would I remember that? Of all things, why would I-"
"I don't know!" she screamed at him, cutting him off instantly. And she lifted her hands to her head, pressing her palms to her temples, fingers digging into her hair as she abruptly turned from him to face the doors.
He was left staring at her back miserably, his hearts pounding out of sync. He'd said too much. Did she know? No, she didn't know. He'd only reinforced the fact that at some point they parted ways. In fact, reflecting on his words, he'd made it seem that she had left him. A good idea. No, a bad idea. He suddenly wanted to know what she was thinking desperately. Did she think this was the kind of argument that would make her leave him? He inhaled deeply, feeling as if every part of him was ice cold. He needed to say something to her. He needed to do something.
Aware that her shoulders were shaking, that his very frame was also quivering in fine tremors, he moved toward her, taking hold of an arm. Yanking, he spun her around into him, catching her against his chest. She looked up at him in surprise, reaching to clutch at him automatically and he lifted his other hand to her face, to gaze at her. "I know," he said to her in response and he lifted her chin to him, dipping to press his mouth to hers.
She fought him for less than a moment. Then, no longer seeming to care if she won any fight or if anything had been resolved, she took hold of him tightly, returning his kiss forcefully.
Yes, he sighed inwardly. This was where they would resolve things. Within the next few hours, this was where the problem would be fixed so that she could return to his past self and apologize wordlessly. Shifting his hold, he curled his fingers into her hair and exerted pressure, pulling almost angrily. The gesture broke their kiss, her breath trailing across his lips as she gasped. A moment later, returning his anger, she reached to kiss him once more, her hands taking hold of his suit jacket and yanking it open. His hands were pulled from her and he immediately helped her rid him of the jacket, allowing her to fling it aside. Barely letting her finish, he wrapped his arms around her to drag her close, pressing his frame to hers and exhaling into the kiss as he realized just how well they fit together, her breasts to his chest and hip to hip. He gave himself a moment to revel in the feel of her through his light shirt, through the thin material of his suit pants. But she pulled away slightly, breaking the kiss to look up at him, and the tears were still in her eyes. "I would never leave you," she said to him quietly, desperately, her hand lifting to his face, fingertips brushing his lower lip as he breathed. "I would never leave. I would never walk away-"
"No," he agreed, his air stolen from him. And he bent his head, kissing her once more almost frantically. This was the thrill after the fight, he marveled, feeling her part his lips to taste his tongue, to wrestle with it. This was the makeup portion of the fight, the part that most couples enjoyed after quarreling. As he began to back away toward the TARDIS hallways, he understood that he was enjoying it as well. She was forced to follow or break the kiss and she didn't seem to want to do that. Silently, she moved with him, her hands sweeping around his neck and anchoring there, fingers digging into his hair. He groaned slightly into her mouth as she did so. He loved the feel of her hands in his hair, trailing across his neck. Erogenous areas, his analytical mind whispered and he shushed it dismissively, his tongue slipping across hers, his hands falling to her hips. He didn't care what those areas were as long as she didn't let go. Ever.
She made a small sound as they entered into the TARDIS hallways, floating backward through them blindly, grappling like teenagers. Breaking slightly from him, turning her head and moaning as his mouth trailed across her neck, she murmured thickly, "Where are we going?"
"Does it matter?" he questioned swiftly, biting the skin there and then brushing his tongue across the spot. She tasted strangely salty and sweet at the same time. The salt from the sweat. The sweet from her arousal which was tainting the taste of her, coloring the air around him. He loved the smell of her, especially the scent of her when she was becoming moist. Which she was at the very moment. Even through the earlier anger, through the argument, he could smell her body getting ready for him. Preparing to recreate their scent as soon as he became ready as well. And he was beyond ready then. He managed to drag her a few more steps, cursing how slowly they were moving. He wouldn't make it to a room, any room, not at this rate. Not with her scent beginning to overwhelm him.
Turning her face back to his, he dipped her back slightly with his kiss, taking hold of her and lifting her into him suddenly. She squeaked slightly at the motion as he lifted her frame up onto his, and her legs immediately rose to wind around his waist. Shifting to face a hallway wall, he made for it, pushing her roughly into the hard surface. A cry broke from her mouth as her back met the wall, as he dropped his mouth to her chest. She groaned again almost helplessly, one hand blindly batting at the wall to look for a handhold, the other lifting to tangle in his hair. A curse left her lips, her back arching, hips pressing against his. He was hard and he knew she felt him through the pants, through the denim of her skirt. And it was just one more obstacle in his way. His hands clutching her to him, he let one fall to reach for her skirt, shoving it up to her waist impatiently. He needed to feel her, all of her. Taking hold of her weight with the one hand, he lowered the other to push up the other side of her skirt as well. Her scent was thick in the air, her blood pounding in his ears as he buried his face into her neck. She was making small sounds, irrational incoherent sounds, and the words were vibrating through her throat into him as he nipped at the soft skin of her neck. Every part of her was exuding that damn intoxicating smell of her, threatening to overcome him and he couldn't bear it. Especially with her legs open around him, her heat against his hips.
Lifting his head to allow her to kiss him once more, he managed to murmur an apology, one she didn't seem to understand then by the swift expression on her face. A moment later his hand found the frail fabric of her panties and he yanked fiercely, ripping it. The sound of tearing cloth brought her to pause only for a moment, her hands tightening in his hair. "That was my good pair," she whispered, her breath hot against his mouth.
He hadn't even gotten a chance to see her in it, he reflected almost sadly. "I'll get you another pair," he said into the kiss, his tongue exploring her mouth unrepentantly. She returned the kiss, shifting as he pulled one half of the torn panties from one leg, the other piece hanging uselessly from her thigh. Her legs tightened around him slightly, pulling him unbearably close and he dropped his arm to wind under her to support her, holding her to him as he removed his other hand. He needed his pants off or at least unbuttoned, straining against the material. Whispering into her kiss, he unbuttoned his pants, feeling them drop slightly on his hips as he freed himself from them. And the heat of her was immediately searing him as he pushed his length against her center, feeling her slickness quickly coat the underside of his hard shaft.
His mouth left hers for a moment as he turned his head to the side at the sudden wonderful tremor that went through him, feeling her lips trail against his jaw. Her heady scent was all around him, hanging heavily and disorienting him, and he couldn't say it was an adverse sensation. Far from it, he wanted to drown in it quite willingly, wishing to bathe in it as if it was honey. She murmured something into his ear that he didn't quite catch but he couldn't think, couldn't understand what she was saying, only understanding that she was incredibly hot, burning almost. A small curse left his lips as she bit into the tender spot just below his ear, her tongue brushing his skin. Yielding with a growl, he turned his head back to hers, pulling his hips back just enough to position himself at her opening. And pressing his mouth to hers, shoving her into the wall with the motion once more, he was inside of her with one thrust, filling her completely and causing her to throw her head back with a cry.
Slipping across slick skin, immediately covered with her searing wetness, he pulled out of her, her frame practically wracked with sobs as she shuddered at having had him inside her. Shushing her with his mouth, he rammed back into her, pushing her back into the wall and she went, gasping. She had nothing to hold onto except him and she clutched him fiercely, tightening around him. He moaned aloud, feeling her muscles grasp him inside of her, allowing her to cradle him in her heat. He never wanted to leave that spot, his member quivering inside of her, his shoulders stiff against her curves. She wrapped around him temptingly, her tongue just as hot as her core and he rocked against her hips, wanting more of her, wanting to bury himself deeper. He was in to the hilt, his arms clutching her to him as if he would never let go and he pressed her to the wall to anchor her there. He needed something to lean her up against or a bed to place her upon but he didn't want to leave that place at the same time. What a conundrum, he mused with an inward laugh at himself. Feeling her hands shift across the nape of his neck and into his hair, he pulled out of her and then thrust back in, shoving into her folds. She arched into him, riding him as best as she could, using him to support herself. And he could've stayed there forever, in that one hallway.
"We need a bed," she groaned against his mouth, lifting herself along his shaft and then pushing down on him, taking him inside her deeply. She coated him thickly, her hips lifting and falling, refusing to allow him to break the flow of their coupling.
"Yes," he whispered absentmindedly, his tongue sliding across her lip. And then, hearing her, he pulled his head back, attempting to regain awareness while still firmly anchored inside of her. "A bed. Right. A bed…"
She smiled slightly as he turned his head to center himself on where they were. The blank expression remained on his face however, as he couldn't seem to make himself focus through the wet searing feel of her around him. With a rueful shake of her head, she brought his mouth back to hers, kissing him slowly, deeply. He allowed her, practically throwing himself back at her. She pointed to the first room in the hallway in the middle of a desperate kiss, lifting herself against him and sliding back down his shaft leisurely, erotically, his body almost quivering in surrender. He didn't know how she did it, tear him apart at his seams so completely with a simple gesture. "How about that first room there?" she asked him from far away, nipping at his lips.
He shook his own head through a haze, unwilling to look but aware of the room she spoke of. "No…that's Martha's room. She'd kill me," he groaned, parting his lips to return her kiss and pushing into her still, thrust after sweet thrust. He would take any room at the moment though and he rethought the idea of going into Martha's room. Oh, but she had a key and if she found them there…well, it would just be awkward.
"Put me down," Rose murmured against his mouth.
No, he wasn't about to do that either, his expression told her regretfully as he shoved into her, riding her forcefully, enveloped in her slickness. He was never going to let her go, not when she made him feel like this.
"Then find a room," she groaned and she leaned back against the wall, her eyes closing as he shifted inside of her, his hips meeting hers wetly. He loved the sound of his flesh against hers, the moist sounds of their lovemaking. Swallowing, his heartbeats loud enough to deafen him, he lowered her frame onto his and searched the hall again in a daze. None of the immediate rooms was a place he wanted to be found in case his current companion returned in the middle of the night. Regretfully, he turned his head toward her and she could read his thoughts, it seemed. "Put me down and we'll go to your room."
"Right now?" he asked her hoarsely, his hands falling to the underside of her thighs and lifting her just enough to bring her back down onto his shaft leisurely.
It took her a small perfect moment to respond, both of them arching as she lifted herself only to come back down on him slowly, tightly. "Right now or we'll have ourselves another row," she said, leaning down to kiss him thoroughly.
With a reluctant sound, he hesitated deep inside of her for another long moment. Then, unhappily, he pulled out of her and she unwound her legs from his waist, finding footing on the grated floor once more. With a shake of her head she lowered her skirt back down her hips as he buttoned his pants over his hard length uncomfortably. Reaching down in between her legs, causing him to tilt his head in interest, she dragged down the remaining piece of her panties and pulled it off, lifting it to wave it at him. "Lace. Delicate and expensive. I wore it for you and look how you treat it." She sighed at him, feigning irritation. "Find a room while I look for the other part of it."
He smiled slightly, drawing close to her once more and bending to kiss her, the slightest brush of his mouth. "So you knew this was where we'd end up then? Even being so angry with me?"
She paused as she lifted her eyes to him and they searched each other, their breaths mingling. He could read the arousal in her eyes, taste it on her lips and skin as he dipped once more for another small, gentle kiss, gazing at her. And opening her eyes from his caress, she whispered, "We're always going to end up here, Doctor. It's going to happen, one way or the other, now that I need it."
His lips parted at her words, his dark eyes darting from one of her eyes to the other, seeing the truth there. Yes, they would always end up in each other's arms and beds, now that he needed it as much as she did. Lifting a hand to her face, his fingers trailing across her bottom lip, he nudged her chin up and kissed her slowly, fully. She returned the kiss, her scent hovering around him heavily. "The other hallway, past the next. My room," he murmured as he opened her mouth with his tongue, tasting her slowly, thoroughly. "You know the one. You go on. I'll look for the other piece."
She held the kiss for another long, beautiful moment, her aroma weighing down the air around him as he inhaled her. Then, pulling away from his mouth with a tiny smile, she turned and floated down the hallway, her hands lifting to the zipper at the back of her skirt to undo it. His eyes followed her, trailing down her back to her hips and he swallowed as he caught the dim overhead lighting reflect off slickness on the back of her thighs. She was going to be the end of him, he thought futilely, watching her go and turn the corner of the hallway. With a shake of his head, he turned to search the hallway, grimacing at how tight his pants were around his stiff member still. She had such a profound effect on him, he wondered again how he had ever managed to travel with her and not attempt to devour her from his lust alone. His eyes fell on the small piece of lace fabric in a shadowed corner of the corridor within a moment and he moved to retrieve it, bending just as he heard a key turn in the lock of the TARDIS doors out in the console room. His skin prickling as his hair shot up on the back of his neck, he straightened slowly, uncertain he had heard correctly. A moment later the door opened and he stood stiffly, his hand clutching the fabric tightly in his fist. It could only be Martha. He moved toward the doorway of the TARDIS console room, glad that there was shadow afforded him to hide his erection and his face in darkness.
Martha Jones climbed up the ramp of the TARDIS wearily, her face tired. Seeing his silhouette hovering in the hallway, she motioned to him. "Ah, Doctor. There you are. I'm back. Thought maybe you'd be working on the TARDIS or taking a small break. It's late, I know."
"It's fine," he replied through a lump in his throat, shoving the lace piece into his pocket. "Done visiting then?"
She nodded, her dark skin smooth in the blue light of the TARDIS core as she approached him, coming down the opposite ramp with heavy steps. The exhaustion was clearly written across her face, he noticed with a small sigh of relief. "Quite," she answered him with an emphatic nod. "Trying not to tell them where I've been and who I'm traveling with. It's tough. Would be easier if you would just take me back to them days apart instead of months. You have a time machine, Doctor. It travels through time. Just because we spend three months in a pre-World War era doesn't mean we have to come back three months after the last time I've been to see them." She shook her head at him wearily.
"You look knackered," he said to her, observing her and hoping she didn't read anything odd from him.
"I'm exhausted," she stressed. "Probably going to knock off as soon as I climb into bed, I think-"
"Would you allow me to help?" he asked her quickly, seeing his chance and taking it, bringing her to a confused stop.
"Allow you to help?" she questioned, tilting her head with a frown.
He lifted a hand to her. "Allow me to help you sleep? It won't hurt. Just need a slight-" He was already touching her face, establishing the mental connection to her. It was wrong, he reflected. And she deserved better. But he couldn't chance her finding Rose on the TARDIS. Not at all. Regretfully, he stared at her as she looked at him and he saw the moment her eyes glazed over, felt when he planted the notion that she needed sleep in her head. At least ten hours. No, better to make it twelve. Rose would return to his past self early in the morning. He would be sure to have her gone before Martha woke.
Nodding hazily, the dark-skinned girl pulled away from his hand, staggering. "Just…need to sleep. Sorry, don't…mean to be rude…"
"Not at all," he said to her quickly and he took hold of her, helping her into her bedroom. Once inside he deposited her on her bed, fully dressed down to her boots unfortunately. But she didn't seem to mind as a moment after hitting her pillow she was immediately unconscious. He waited for a full minute, watching her uncomfortably. Her breaths were deep and even, her face peaceful. Swallowing, he let himself out of her room, closing the door behind himself and hesitating rigidly.
Could he continue to chance it?
A moment later he decided he would very much like to chance it. The mere scent of her in the TARDIS corridor brought him to stiffness once more, straining against the material of his suit pants. Exhaling tiredly, his hand reaching into his pocket to feel the piece of lace, he moved down the hallway and turned the corner, heading toward his room. The second door in the hallway was ajar however, dark inside. He strode to a complete stop, a frown crossing his face. Mickey's room. He hadn't left it like that. In fact, after his companions had left him, he had sealed the rooms, shutting the doors in stony silence, never to open them again. The TARDIS seemed almost neverending, with more than enough rooms for all his traveling companions. But once they were gone, they were gone for good. And a closed door meant just that to him, that they wouldn't be coming back, that he shouldn't ever open the door unless he needed to be reminded of them. He had left Mickey's door shut, same as he had closed Rose's door finally, several months after she had been stranded in the alternate world.
With both hearts pounding in his chest, he moved down the hallway toward Mickey's room and lifted his head, inhaling. She had entered this room, was still inside it. He paused in the doorway, a hand lifting to open the door slowly. She hadn't turned the light on which was fine. His eyes adjusted that much faster in the dark anyway. Following her scent, he entered the bedroom reluctantly, shedding the hallway light across the room and she was sitting on the edge of Mickey's bed, nude, looking the slightest bit lost.
"This is a bad idea," he said softly, gazing at her.
She lifted her head to look up at him, a stubborn clench to her jaw. "I don't care," she huffed and she glanced over her shoulder toward the rumpled bed, pushing aside the blankets and the comforter harshly.
"Rose-" he murmured hesitantly.
"What took so long?" she cut him off, turning to face him once more.
He merely stared at her for a moment, registering the expression on her face. And with a sigh he closed the door behind himself, cutting off the light seeping into the room from the hallway. "Couldn't find the other piece," he said to her, pulling it out of his pocket. There would be no mention of Martha Jones tonight. It had turned quite awkward enough already."It was hiding in the corner of the hallway-"
She shifted across the bed as he neared, already reaching for him. "I don't really care," she said to him, snatching the lace piece from his hand and tossing it aside in the darkness of the room. "Was a rhetorical question. You still haven't learned."
He blinked as he paused before her, his lips parted. "Oh. I see. No. Then I guess I haven't-"
"Hush now," she whispered, reaching for him. And she kissed him in the darkness, her arms winding around his neck. He sighed into her kiss, hesitating before embracing her tightly. If she wasn't going to care, than neither was he.
Moaning softly, her hands tangling in his hair, she arched into him, naked breasts pressing against his chest heavily. He exhaled thankfully, his hands trailing down the sides of her body, counting ribs through her skin, cupping her hips possessively. She was his, he decided then and there, kneading the flesh of her waist and hips. No one else could have her. Ever.
"Come here," she said to him against his lips and she pulled away from his kiss, leaving him to cool in the surrounding air as she took her heat away. His eyes followed her in the darkness and she was falling back onto the bed, leaving her scent all over the sheets and blankets. He swallowed, wanting to rub her perfume over everything in the room, the smell of her wetness and arousal, wanting to make this her new room. One more room that would belong to her. No one else would ever be able to identify the scent in the room except himself. He trailed her wordlessly, unbuttoning his shirt, his eyes fixed on her as he practically yanked it off, aware that she waited for him. That done, he went for his suit pants, unbuttoning them and lowering them on his hips. Kneeling on the bed before her, he took hold of her legs, parting them, fingers tracing small designs on her skin. Pulling her slightly down to meet him, he passed between her thighs, inhaling her deeply. That scent there, he thought hazily. That was the one he would keep forever close to him, the very essence of her and the scent of them mixed together. And hovering there, with her hands reaching for him, he couldn't help himself, dipping down to taste her. She gasped faintly above him, her frame quickly seizing as his tongue passed across her center.
She tasted unbearably sweet as he lapped at her slowly, curiously. He had always been able to catch her scent on the air, on the tip of his tongue when he kissed her, but he had never tasted her in that way, not from the very source. He found he couldn't help his inquisitiveness, opening his mouth to envelop her fully. She bucked under him, a curse leaving her lips and he spoke around her folds, his breath warming her gently. "Naughty mouth there," he murmured.
Her fingers found his hair as he bent toward her once more but she was pulling him, tugging at his hair yearningly. "Here. Up here," she said quietly to him and he rose away from her with a small sound of disdain, climbing across the bed toward her. His lips brushed across her belly, his breath hovering over her cool skin. And her breasts as well, hesitating momentarily to pass across one with the tip of his tongue. But she was still pulling him by his hair, a sensation that was both strangely painful and arousing, a shiver prickling his spine. He would never understand how she could do that, manage to make even pain pleasurable. He straightened before her, his frame above hers finally and she looked up at him, her hands tangling in his hair. She seemed to love his hair, he mused inwardly, his eyes heavy as she pulled and rubbed, twisted and brushed. And he didn't want her to stop playing with his hair either. She would always have this effect on him, this power over him. With the simplest brush of her fingers, she could bring him to his knees, asking for more. He lowered his body down on hers, aware as one of her legs bent across his waist, pulling his hips down to hers tightly. His mouth opened, feeling her heat against him, feeling himself become rock hard again. And with a sigh he bent his head to hers, meeting her lips as she lifted them.
They were always going to be tied together, he decided. Till the end of time when they could no longer run in each other's company, he would forever search her out, one way or the other, for one more time. His last stop. He sank down against her curves, allowing her to hold his weight as his hands lowered to her hips, fingers clasping her roughly. He felt her bare skin against his, the swell of her breasts, her knees bent around his hips, holding him to her. And there was no other place he could ever want to be.
His hands moved toward her thighs, trailing across soft cool skin along the way. The temperature was too cold in the room, he thought at the back of his head. Most times she burned with the heat of a sun but tonight her skin was as cool as his. He curled his fingers under the bend of her knees, parting her legs and unwinding the one leg she had used to pull him to her. And rising from her momentarily, he positioned himself before her, driving back into her where he belonged, where he had been only minutes before. She welcomed him with a lift of her hips and a small soft sigh against his mouth, her fingers tightening in his hair. The slight tickle of pain caused him to growl against her lips, the sound drawing out into a soft groan. She was as tight as she'd been in the hallway, encircling him and holding him inside her slick walls. Dropping a hand to the bed to steady himself, he lifted his head to look at her in the darkness. She couldn't see him at all in the blackness of the room but he could make her out under him, her parted mouth and heaving shoulders. He bent to one of them, his hair brushing against her jaw as she turned her head from him. And as he pulled out of her he felt her hands tighten in his hair, urging him to return. He did so a moment later, a full thrust that pushed her into the bed, her hips digging into the mattress. He pressed his mouth to her shoulder, inhaling her perfume from her skin, attempting a rhythm even as his hearts beat out of sync. She completely ripped him down and apart, each and every time now. All those years that she had been with him and only now, cheating space and time, did she finally manage to tear him apart at his seams so cleanly as to wound him. He exhaled against her shoulder, a hand lifting to her breast just below his chin and he needed to take control of what was going on, needed to still her hands from yanking him apart.
Pulling out of her, lifting a hand to disentangle her hands from his hair, he rose from her, causing her to question him wordlessly but with a small sound. Silently, lifting his fingers to caress her face for a moment, he moved a hand to her knee, urging her to rise. She did so in confusion, still reaching for him and he allowed her to kiss him gently, achingly, in the dark. But it was as far as she got as he turned her onto her knees, pushing her down into the bed once more. He needed her hands out of the way, unable to reach him. If not, the night would be over far too quickly.
Understanding, she settled before him, splaying herself for him to take. He tilted his head almost sadly, his eyes trailing across her skin and hips as if afraid to touch her, to ruin her. How completely and utterly she loved him, the voice inside his head whispered. How easily she would give herself to him. He leaned down over her, his mouth brushing against the small of her back, his breath ghosting across her cooling skin. They were a mere fairy tale in the end, he thought, his face darkening. In the closing stages of their story, she would still be taken from him and he would still be left alone.
But she was here now and he didn't want the night to end just yet. Reaching out for her, his hands closed around her hips as he neared and she instinctively arched into him, waiting. He didn't leave her long to wait, pulling her toward him and onto his waiting member in one gesture. She cried out as if he had hurt her, impaling her from behind, her walls reflexively stretching once more to accommodate him. He closed his eyes, feeling her heat immediately warm him and take him over, her muscles clenching him tightly. She was wet around him, against his fingers as he dipped under to reach for her. She bucked against his touch, a sound making it past her lips before she clamped down to silence herself. He wished she wouldn't, his fingers playing across her heat. He enjoyed the sounds she made, the cries she released when he was inside her, when he was bringing her to climax. He wanted every utterance from her, wanted to play with the echo of her words and the hum of her tone. And most of all, he wanted to swallow her whole, screaming his name and shouting that she needed him as he pounded into her. Because there were many times he had gone to sleep dreaming of having exactly that from her.
Shaking himself from the daydreams, aware that she was miraculously before him, he pulled out of her slowly, his hands kneading the skin of her hips. Her muscles allowed him to leave but only barely, seeming to reach for him as he withdrew. Inhaling, taking in her scent, he thrust into her once more leisurely, his senses spreading out to encompass her thoroughly. She smelled of her own natural scent, of that sweet blend of arousal and everything that made her Rose. He inhaled her deeply, his fingers tightening on her hips, digging into that slender curve of her. Withdrawing once more, tasting her on the air around him, he thrust again, a bit harder this time, hearing a moan thrum through her body and into him. He shifted inside of her, stretching her, angling himself as he pulled out and then came into her again. Her body arched before him, a breath tangling in her throat and causing his own lips to part at the sound. It was a perfect noise, raw deep in the tone, trailing out into almost a wistful moan. He wished he had been kissing her then to take in that sound.
His fingers dipped deep into her, low enough to feel himself at her center and he began to move earnestly, taking pleasure in feeling how wet she was. All because of him. He lifted his fingers away from her, clutching her by the hips and focusing on the feel of her, the burning heat. She allowed him, throwing her head back, lifting her hips for him. And she was beautiful, even in the darkness, long hair, perfect skin and slender limbs. He gazed down at her from behind, aware of himself thrusting deep into her but almost oblivious to the sensation of pleasure. He was only conscious of that fact that she was bliss in a human body, flawless and scalding him almost painfully. Straightening at her back, he became aware of the sound of his skin against hers, moist, slippery, the scent of his sweat in the air. Almost their scent. Almost enough to complete it. His fingers tightened, threatening to bruise as he rode her almost carelessly then, pounding into her walls. She was making small sounds, reaching for items on the bed to clutch at senselessly, a sheet, the edge of the comforter. Even the wall as he drove into her harder, wanting to hear his skin against hers, feel the heat of her move ever closer to consuming him in searing flames. He wanted it all and he wanted it right at that moment, lost in her and her slickness. He was drenched in her fluids, buried deep inside her heat, slapping against her almost viciously, needing her down to his very core. And he wanted more.
He was alerted to the sounds she was making only when a single moan ended in what seemed to be a sob. Slowing, uncertain he had heard correctly, he bent his head to listen, fighting the rising heat inside of him. He needed to hear her again. And sure enough, the wrong type of shudder went through her frame and into him. He inhaled deeply, frowning, aware of the scent of salt in the air and he had attributed it to sweat. But no, he was wrong. His hand left her hip, moving up along her ribs toward her shoulder, pushing her hair aside to see.
"Keep going," she ordered him thickly over her shoulder, her tone lost in tears.
Feeling pain deep inside, he murmured, "Oh, Rose." And he pulled out of her in one movement, no longer even wishing to finish. He wrapped his arm around her waist as she protested, lifting her to straighten to her knees and he cupped her face, turning her to look at him. It was foolish of him, she couldn't see in the dark anyway, but he could see her and she had been crying for some time now by the tracks on her cheeks. Lifting his other hand as well, he brought her close, kissing her gently, tasting her tears on her lips. And she began to cry completely, falling apart right then and there.
"I knew he was gone," she sobbed against him, her breath warm along his neck as he pulled her to rest along his chest. "I knew he wasn't here and I was mad…but I was ok! And I wanted to see you tonight because he didn't seem to care-"
Ah, she was referring to the past him. But he had cared, he wanted to tell her. He just hadn't known how to deal with a grieving human. And a year later, he still didn't know how to deal with one.
"But then, in the middle of…of…" she motioned to the bed weakly. "I grabbed a pillow and all I could smell was Mickey and I just…I-" she shook her head, breaking off into tears.
The sense of smell, he reflected inwardly. A gift and a curse, that sense. A gift to always have once someone left their scent behind. A curse to encounter on one's worst days, to be reminded of what they had lost. "I told you it was a bad idea, Rose," he murmured against her ear and he grimaced faintly, wishing then that he could do more to help the pain subside, go away.
She nodded quietly, clutching him fiercely as if she would break him from strength alone.
"But it's going to get easier, I promise," he murmured to her. "And who knows, maybe one day you'll see him again." A moment after saying it, he quickly changed gears, rushing on. "Or maybe one day you'll see someone like him and it won't hurt anymore. Because it's only meant to hurt now. But one day, you'll see. It won't hurt and when you think of him you'll hope he's doing well and being as wonderful as you always knew he was."
The words he spoke were complete rubbish, he realized then. She would see him one day, sooner than she knew. And she would have him back, stranded with him in that other world. But if it got easier for her, he would never know. He could only know that it hadn't gotten easier for him and he hadn't helped it along at all, not by going back in time to see her and to bring her here whenever he could. He was fooling no one but himself when he spoke those daft and silly words to her. It wasn't going to get better. Not for him, not once she was gone.
She pulled back slightly from him, a hand lifting in the darkness to wipe tears tracks away. "Yeah," she whispered with a small nod. "You're right. I'm being…I don't know-"
"Human?" he suggested, not unkindly.
"Yeah," she said again, this time with a small laugh. "Human. That's me. Rose Tyler. Human."
He exhaled sadly, lifting a hand to brush away damp strands of hair from her cheek. "Rose Tyler. Extraordinary human," he corrected, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
She looked up at him, attempting to see him in the darkness and he brought her hand to his face, for her to find him. She sighed as her fingers found his jaw, the hollows under his cheekbones. "I was so mean to you before," she said to him softly, her eyes hovering where she thought his mouth was and she was spot on. "I was just so angry-"
"It's fine," he said to her with a small shake of his head.
"It's not fine," she disagreed, shushing him. "It's not fine and I'm sorry. I never meant those words I said. And if…if that's how I sounded the day I leave you…I'm sorry. I don't mean to bring up bad memories of us and if I say those words to you, if I said those words to you…"
He waited, wanting to hush her words with everything he was. She was apologizing for nothing, feeling as if she had hurt him and it was for nothing. Because in the end, there was nothing they could've done, having been ripped apart from each other and separated in two different realities. She had nothing to be sorry for except ever having decided to accompany him from the start. And he doubted she would ever be sorry for having done that the same way he would never have had it any other way.
"I never meant them. I will never mean them. Not to you. Not ever," she concluded, shaking her head at him fiercely.
With a wistful sigh, he bent toward her and wrapped his arms around her slowly, exhaling against her slender frame. She returned the embrace tightly, burying her face in his neck and holding onto him for dear life, the scent of salt still in the air.
"I love you," she murmured against his ear.
He felt himself stiffen against her, those words ringing in his ears the same way they had the day of the beach. The day he had been torn from her new universe and stranded back in his TARDIS alone. He pulled back slightly from her, unaware that hearing those words again would hurt him so deeply. Even when she had said those words in Jackie's flat weeks ago, before they had taken to his bed, he hadn't been able to stomach them because they only reminded him again how cruelly they had been torn apart. Now, hearing them in the darkness of Mickey's room, he still couldn't bear those words, or how raw her voice had been saying them. He brought a hand to her face, watching her as she registered his touch, and he bent to kiss her gently, painfully. Fairytales end, he wanted to tell her, wanted to shout at her. They ended and were done and life moved on and there was nothing they could ever do to go back. It was just how things were.
"We're not done here," she said to him then, bringing him to still in shock. And a second later he understood what she meant as she raised her arms to curl them around his neck. For a long moment he wished beyond all dreams that she had been able to read minds, had been telling him something he didn't know. But no, their fairytale was still on its way to ending. Within a matter of weeks, in fact. He wouldn't be able to come back to her anymore. If he even attempted more trips, he wouldn't find her here any longer and time would finally catch up to him, wholly and completely. The last few months they'd had together, he'd only been putting off his mourning period, tricking himself into thinking he could go on forever. But one day soon he would come back to his past and encounter nothing but her ghost and the empty shell of a Time Lord. And then it would be his past self's turn to travel back in time for her, to forget his pain in her body and soul. He was almost jealous of his past self then. He still had the future ahead of him, a future of encounters with a willful blond girl who could stop his clock so long as she held onto him. So long as he could hold onto her. But one day she too would be gone again and it would be a never ending cycle.
Sighing, feeling the slight burn of tears in his eyes, he turned his face to her, his lips brushing hers and allowing her to find him, to feel him. He had to enjoy these frail moments whenever he could have them. They would be the last unknowing gifts from her. And he held onto that as she lifted a hand to his hair, to tug and tangle there. The touch of her hand and the twist of her fingers. Her breath trailing across his cheek. And the feel of her as she turned him to the bed, pushing him gently onto his back to stradde him. They were all gifts from her even if she didn't realize it.
He settled back, his hands rising to climb the length of her thighs on either side of him, grasping the hollows of her body where leg met hip. She had beautiful curves, soft skin, and he gazed at her in the darkness, very aware that she couldn't see him and wishing momentarily he had turned on a light when entering. But she didn't need to be reminded anymore and he needed to be reminded always of what he was about to lose.
Her hands falling to his chest, she reached down to find him ready for her and she mounted him, taking his head inside of her and coming down his shaft slowly. He preferred it this way, he decided in the end, feeling himself stiffen as she took his length inside herself. He wanted this image in his head always, of having had this with her. How many times had he had fleeting moments with her, moments that were gone within seconds? He couldn't allow this image to be another one of those. Not this one.
With a soft breath, adjusting around him, she lifted herself and then came down once more, a slow rocking motion that brought a sound to his mouth. Yes, he definitely preferred it this way, his fingers tightening on her hips, directing her as well. She fought him still, with her own rhythm, a slight taunting tilt to her head though she couldn't see him. He resisted moving her again, allowing her to lead. He had other things he could reach for. Shifting his hips slightly, his hearts beginning to pound just that slightest bit faster, he lifted a hand to her breast, reaching for her. They were a perfect size, her own heart beating just behind them, her hands pressed to his chest as she raised her hips slowly. She was teasing him with her pace, he realized a moment later as he felt the cool air on his shaft, only there. She tightened her muscles around the head, keeping him hot at that edge before sliding back down and taking his entire length once more. She loved to tease, and he told her as much a moment later through his teeth as she did it once more, holding his head inside of her before descending slowly, leisurely.
"So do you," she whispered and she lowered herself to him, reaching to press her elbows to either side of his head, her fingers trailing into his hair.
Maybe he did, he agreed, reaching his head up off the bed to kiss her, to open his mouth to hers. She returned the kiss gladly, moving her hips against his, lifting herself along his member unhurriedly. And he didn't mind the pace except that she was going to kill him slowly but surely and it would be a painful death in her flames. He lowered his hands to her knees, traveling up the edge of her thighs to her hips. She didn't seem to notice, completely entranced by the play of his tongue against hers.
But she noticed a moment later when he took matters into his own hands, lifting her hips forcefully and bringing her down on him roughly. A cry broke from her, resonating in his kiss and that was the sound he wanted to hear, the sound he wanted to take inside himself. He did it again, yanking her down harder as he thrust up into her just as brutally and that ensuing cry was louder, echoing in the silence of the room. He kissed her just as passionately, just as aggressively as he began to ride her from underneath, understanding that this was how he wanted her even though she would finish him within moments. He didn't care, hearing her gasp under his kiss, hearing his name fall from her lips. They had all night to play nice. For the moment he wanted to show her how much he needed her. And with the thought he shoved her down onto him almost violently, burying himself so deep inside he was certain he would break apart in her heat. She was stiff around him, her chest heaving against his but the expression on her face told him all he needed to know, refusing to allow him to stop. She wanted it as much as he did and he gave it to her, yanking her down onto him desperately, needing to feel her tremble, needing to feel her skin against his, her breasts heavy along his chest. The sounds leaving her lips were lost in his kiss, mixing with his own unintelligible words as he trailed his tongue across hers, as he pumped up into her, needing to find release in her. She was matching him thrust for thrust now, having lost her grip on his hair, instead clutching the sheet of the mattress as if it was her only protection against him. He wanted his hands all over, cursing his body for only coming with two arms. He wanted to hold her hips as he rammed into her from underneath, wanted to envelop her in his arms to hold her against him as he moved inside of her. And he wanted her to never stop as her cries became shouts, his name on her lips as she raised herself from his kiss. He opened his eyes to gaze at her, his hearts running off in two different paths, conscious of the fact that he wouldn't be able to last if she kept that expression on her face. He lifted a hand away from her hips, shifting it under her arms to clutch her by the back of her neck and bringing her mouth back down to his. He needed to say her name when he came inside her and he wanted to say it into her mouth, the same way she did to him when she tortured him. His other hand shifted across her frame, palm pressing to the small of her back to keep her hips in place for him to enter as he needed. And he needed it. He needed her heat, needed to be drenched in her, and he needed her to scream into him, his mouth shifting across hers achingly, helplessly. He was going to burst, hips slamming into hers, pushing deeper and deeper into her burning center. But he was going to take her with him if it was the last thing he did.
Pushing her hips down, rubbing her against him as he thrust into her, he forced her to move, his fingers curled into talons around the back of her neck. She caught his rhythm, a slow raw moan hovering on the tip of her tongue and when she moved she somehow seemed to take him in deeper than before. The heat sent all coherent thought from his mind, gasping against her mouth, shoving her hips further down impossibly. But she was trembling now, every one of his thrusts bringing a sound to her lips and he urged her on, whispering words he didn't understand, recognizing only her name in them. She was nodding, pleading with him through frantic kisses, pushing herself into him and his thrust. She was close, so very close and he could read it in the lines of her body, the way she met his hips.
But he couldn't hold on. He desperately wanted to but he was reaching his peak, her expression and shouts not helping in the least. Reaching up to kiss her once more, he attempted to force his mind elsewhere but all he felt was her and all he saw was her and if he could just…wait-
Above him, riding him fiercely now, she gasped his name over and over, murmuring for him to move faster, to never stop. And those words brought him a small measure of peace. No, he would never stop, not until she asked him to. He whispered that to her, that he wouldn't stop, that he would wait for her always, until the end of time. And with those words, suddenly tightening around him, she brought her lips down to his and shouted his name into his mouth, peaking. He felt the immediate rush of searing heat, felt her tighten around him exquisitely, and he thrust once, twice more before also breaking apart.
A growl left him as he came inside her, his frame trembling, burning. Reaching for her blindly, he yanked her down to him as she gasped, her chest rising unevenly against his. He couldn't speak, couldn't think, keeping her pressed to him as he emptied himself entirely inside of her, their scent surrounding him. Above him, her hands having dug into his hair violently as she'd climaxed, she was still struggling for breath as well, her limbs slick under his. And sensitive as he was, every part of him somehow alive and dulled at the same time, he'd never found her to be quite as heavenly to hold as he did then, feeling the tremors through her nude frame against his. Still reeling, panting under her, he lifted himself to press his mouth to hers, groaning breathlessly. She reached a hand down from his hair, clutching him by the jaw wearily, exhilarated nonetheless as she returned his kiss. And she was still moving, slowing gently, allowing him to ride out the ending waves of his climax inside of her. The mere feel of her, urging him on to the end, sent his hearts spiraling freely, causing him to feel as if he soared.
He loved her. He would always love her. Even if he could never say it to her, even if they were separated soon. He would never be able to stop himself from loving her. Nor would he ever try. And as she lifted from his mouth, dipping to press a butterfly kiss to his lips teasingly with a slight giggle, he chuckled breathlessly, wrapping his arms around her and holding her to him tightly.
I can see, I can still find
You're the only voice my heart can recognize
But I can't hear you now.
I'll never be the same
I'm caught inside the memories,
the promises are yesterday's
and I belong to you.
I just can't walk away
'cause after loving you
I can never be the same.
Never Be the Same – Red
I went to her numerous times after that, my past self slowly becoming aware. It was…interesting, to see him piece it all together even if he finally pieced it together too late. One evening, waiting in an alley for her, I could only marvel at my past self's audacity, following her into the night. The excuse? I wanted to make sure she was ok. The truth? I wanted to meet the person who came calling, who threatened to take her from me. And I watched as they fought in the street, waiting in the back of the alley. I was a fool, feeling threatened. Who was there to threaten me? Who could compete with me? I offered her new worlds, thrills, the ability to travel back and forth in time. What could a human offer her?
A vehicle. A mortgage. A marriage. Children. A life together.
No wonder he'd felt threatened. I watched my past self, almost smiling. Someone was endangering our relationship, someone that she ran to fairly often. Someone who was experiencing her the way he could not. And I remembered feeling the same way, that rush of not knowing, of desperately needing to find out who could be a threat to me. Well. Thinking back on it now, it's not as if it mattered anymore. She still came with me later that night. And she questioned why her room was intact, untouched. Why would she leave all her belongings if she was to leave me? I managed to avoid that one without answering. It had been a bad day. A bad year. My companion at the time had just left me, unable to deal with my type of life, unable to deal with the running and the dangers, needing to be home to care for her family and care about herself finally. I watched her leave, listening to her ramble on about getting out.
"I told her, I always said to her, time and time again I said, 'Get out.' So this is me, getting out."
And the whole time, listening to Martha Jones speak, all I could think was, "Rose would never have left."
By the time I was reunited with Donna, too many things were falling apart. The world was ending unknowingly. I couldn't find a moment to go back to her no matter how desperately I needed her. And my past self had finally figured out the truth the night of the 2012 Olympics, after returning to her from a prison in a child's drawing. The way she'd embraced me, the scent I had caught on her. It was my scent mixed with hers that alerted me to the truth. Almost the scent that I had begun to require. I never mentioned it to her, merely took her hand and told her, "Never say never ever." Because things happened and no one could stop that which was meant to be.
And one day, in between the running and the desire to return to you, Donna used the words that would rip me apart, tear me down to the ground.
It meant you were near, crossing over. And I knew there would be no going back for you, not anymore. I saw the end of my misery close at hand and I went for it blindly, needing it to be true. But it wasn't going to be true, not for two Time Lords. Created from his hand, half human, I would be the one to stay behind with you. I was blessed. You worried for the one left behind, even as I told you that I was him, that I was still him. I was the one you had shared a bed with, the one who had gone back for you until I'd been stripped of all my chances. You questioned where I'd been at the end. I told you the world had been ending and even with a time machine, racing back in time, I wouldn't have had any more chances with you. I wouldn't have even found you. I would only encounter my past self on the path to becoming me. And I would have fled from the sight because no matter how much I loved you, I couldn't bear to see myself so broken. So I hadn't made anymore trips.
But I didn't need to after that. You had crossed worlds for me without the help of a TARDIS. You had returned to me. And in the first of our many moments, standing on the beach and staring at me, you had stopped time. The way you had always been able to. I knew you couldn't accept me, not just yet. But I was going to try my damndest to make you understand everything I had done and everything I had chanced for you, for one more moment with you. Because a long time ago, in another world and another life, when I'd still had two hearts, I promised that I'd wait forever for you, until the end of time. And when you were reminded of that, of what had transpired between us when I'd made that promise, I saw your walls begin to fall. I felt time slow, almost come to a stop as you remembered, as you looked at me with new eyes. Yes, I was still the same man. And I had the rest of my very human life to prove it to you.