a/n: Vignette in the Torchwood basement. This started off as a five times fic...but then I started to worry that working on it was legitimately driving me crazy...so I changed my mind. Blerg. I don't even know. Here, have a very quick read!
She found him in the Torchwood basement, in the cockpit of a salvaged spaceship, with his feet on the dash and a pair of goggles on his head, and as she climbed over pile after pile of uncategorized space rubbish to reach him she was acutely aware that she'd spent her entire adult life doing much the same, with varying degrees of success.
He was tinkering with something, she could see as she got closer, and as he focused on some minute detail, he touched the tip of his tongue to his teeth. Something sparked, and he yelped, dropping the whole mess in his lap.
"Permission to come aboard?" she drawled, leaning in through the passenger side window, her hair tumbling over her shoulder in a gleaming fall, and he reached over to throw the lock, his wounded finger in his mouth.
"Jake's upstairs trying to convince my father to have you fitted with a tracking device," Rose said as she climbed inside, and the Doctor snorted, bending over his work again. Rose realized, with a jolt, that we was building himself a new screwdriver. It was perhaps a bit bulkier than the one she remembered, but it was unmistakable, and she wanted to hug him, suddenly, but she didn't.
"I have a phone," he said, and she picked it up from the dash and held it up to show him. Six missed calls.
He almost smiled. "Yes, well."
"So, ah...what setting are you...working on?" she asked, trying to sound casual. He could be a bit touchy about what he'd lost.
"Zippers," he said quietly, aiming the screwdriver at her. It whirred oddly and puttered out, and Rose's sturdy, canvas jacket remained quite zipped. He threw her a quick, tight-lipped smile and pulled the goggles over his eyes, switching on a hand-held welding torch. "Needs work."
Rose watched him for a while and then reached out, switched off the torch, set the screwdriver aside. Carefully, in the confined space, she climbed onto the wide pilot's seat, settling one knee on each side of him. She reached down, depressing a lever on the side, and planted a palm against his chest, pushing the seat horizontal.
"Rose," he whispered, and took the goggles off.
"Doctor," she said, naming him, and she pulled the zipper down herself.