There was a buzzing, humming sort of noise. It was familiar enough, but didn't seem to be making any sort of sense.

The Doctor's consciousness stumbled around inside his skull, looking for somewhere to hide from the buzzing and anything else that might try to prod it. The Doctor turned over on his plush, firm pillow and tried to get comfy enough that the buzzing - and his consciousness - would go away.

"...have to wake up... out of... eventu... not... and captured..."

It was Rose, he realized, and that was important for some reason. Why didn't she speak English, then? He knew she knew the language. Didn't she?

He shrugged and shoved his consciousness back into its corner. Who needed reality, anyway? He tried to kick it into submission. It kicked back.

Rose buzzed on quietly about something that should be important. The Doctor ignored her. However, his consciousness finally struggled to its metaphorical feet, staggered over, and fell on him, suddenly and heavily. He immediately became all too aware of where he was, what was going on and, worst of all, exactly how he'd gotten into this position in the first place.

"...I even love you, honest, but I am absolutely not having sex with you."

"What, not ever?" he blurted. Sure, it was fair under the circumstances, but not ever? What'd he do to deserve that, then?


"You're awake!" came Rose's relieved exclamation, followed by an awkward hug that was mostly her breasts in his face. Couldn't help it, really. His head was in her lap, after all. He purred contentment and strongly considered licking to see if the nice fragrance of Rose made for a nice taste of Rose.

Rose let him go and shoved him out of her lap before he could carry out that idea, which was a shame because she smelled delicious. "C'mon, we have to get out of here. Shouldn't take long for you to clear your head, right?"


Clear his head? Why would he want to or need to or whatever?

Still, if Rose wanted them to escape, maybe he ought to do it. Maybe she would change her mind about having sex with him, then. He started digging around for his sonic screwdriver.

"Fucking zoo! Just wait 'til we get out of here. I'll give them a natural environment, all right!"

Rose wasn't happy, apparently. She was so unhappy, in fact, that she was starting to sound like her mother, which did not bode well at all for whoever had got her put in here. He hoped to hell it wasn't him, and not just because she wouldn't have sex with him. Although, that was a large part of it, he also did not want even a trainee Jackie Tyler when he was so obviously vague on details.

Or ever, really.

He found his glasses and decided to put them on. Maybe they would make him smarter - that was what they were supposed to do, after all. Well, they were supposed to make him look smarter, because it was impossible to actually be smarter than a Time Lord genius. Even if he couldn't figure out exactly why Rose wouldn't have sex with him.


"Doctor, what are you looking for?" Rose demanded. "They took your screwdriver. I only managed to talk them out of taking your coat by claiming you got too cold without it."

"Took my screwdriver?" he asked. His voice sounded a bit whiny to his ears, but he didn't care. "What'd they do that for?"

"I dunno!" Rose exclaimed. "Maybe so we couldn't escape?"

"Right. Escape." He looked around at the reasonably comfortable looking bedroom. "Why do we want to escape again?"

Rose gave him a sweet, sympathetic look and ran her hand up the back of his head. His head hurt quite a lot and her hand felt very nice right there where it was particularly pounding, all cool and delicate. "That's got to be pretty bad, there," she said softly. "I didn't think."

"I do the thinking!" he insisted.

"'Course you do," Rose agreed. He thought she might be patronizing him, but Rose was usually far too sweet to do something like that. He was supposed to be the rude one, as well as the not ginger one. "While you're thinking, do you s'pose you could think of us a way out? Now?"

"I have a spare screwdriver," he offered.

"That's good," Rose said excitedly. "Where is it?"

"In the TARDIS."

The noise Rose made at that point might very well have been a sob. The Doctor felt bad about it, because he hated to see Rose cry. Also, if she was crying because of him, she wouldn't be having sex with him until she'd decided he didn't make her cry anymore.

There was something important about that thought, but he couldn't figure out what it was. He'd be willing to bet it had something to do with having sex with Rose.


"Right, that's it, I'm going to hot-wire this thing myself," Rose said. "Paid attention to you often enough. Should have a chance, anyway."

She dashed over to the wall and immediately started prodding buttons. The Doctor reached around her and hit the big red threatening button that must never ever be pressed. Nothing happened, because it wasn't a very good big red threatening, etc. "First finger blue," he suggested.

Rose looked at him as if he were insane (and a quick internal systems check didn't find anything to dispute her theory, so he decided to go with it) but she complied agreeably enough. (As usual, she was at least as crazy as him.) "Next finger yellow," he continued. "Ring finger, green. Pinky blue, thumb red."

He just wanted to see how tangled up she could get, and if she'd hold still and let him lick her while she got untangled. Unfortunately for his clever plot (or whatever you called the clever plots of the crazy but harmless), his suggestions for getting the door opened actually worked.

"You did it!" Rose exclaimed gleefully.

Mind, it wasn't as good as her usual gleeful. She didn't fling her arms around him so he could feel all her lovely soft places pressed up against him. She didn't even bounce up and down so he could watch her breasts. She just grabbed his hand and tugged him toward the door. "Can I at least get a kiss?" he demanded petulantly. It wasn't fair. He'd worked out how to open the door - sorta. Surely that deserved a reward?

"Later," Rose said.

The Doctor thought that was a good idea. If they started kissing later, when they didn't have to run away, they might could just, sorta, not stop. Then, maybe Rose would forget that she wasn't going to have sex with him.


"Watch for guards," Rose ordered quietly. "I see some uniforms up there. I'll be right back."

The Doctor watched her go. Did she know she was beautiful when she was in charge, her pretty face all concentrated and serious and her dark eyes shining with determination and fire? Maybe he should point that out? It sounded like the sort of thing that might make her happy.

If she was happy, she might forgive him for whatever he had done to get her shut up in here that had her annoyed, and then maybe she would have sex with him. Rose changed her mind, sometimes, after all. For example, she'd said he was sorta brown. She... Actually, had she gotten around that? It had been months.

Maybe that was why she wasn't having sex with him, because he was sorta brown instead of... what? Sorta blue, he supposed. He thought he owned a blue suit, along with the blue ties. Maybe he could wear that - even if it was technically depressing - and then maybe Rose would have sex with him.


"There was only the one in my size," Rose said softly.

Oh, that was so not fair. She'd changed her clothes apparently, actually gotten naked and he'd missed it. Right, he was going to be drafting a stern letter to whoever was in charge of nudity, as soon as he got them out of here. Or Rose got them out of here. Or here got away from them.

However that worked. He didn't know or much care at the moment. The point was that Rose had been naked, and now she not only wasn't, she was wearing much more outfit than she'd been wearing before. It was just plain wrong.

On the plus side, it fit her very, very snugly. He reached out and poked her lightly on one of the official black polkadots that followed the professional black racing stripe above her breasts. Rose poked him right back and rolled her eyes. "Behave," she ordered.

He was behaving, he knew that. "Behave," he orated. "Adverb. To act or conduct oneself in a specified manner, especially toward others." He nodded firmly. "I'm behaving." He prodded the same polkadot on the opposite side and decided the right wasn't quite as soft as the left.

He also decided, based entirely on the look on Rose's face, (something between anger and hilarity) that he would not say anything. Humans appreciated symmetry if he remembered rightly, and besides, it wouldn't do for Rose to think he was showing particular favoritism toward one of her breasts. He wasn't really. The firmer one would be just as nice as the softer one, especially to lick. Especially if he was having sex with her.


"Oh, help," Rose muttered, shaking her head and then staring at him. The Doctor wondered if that meant she was contemplating having sex with him, too.

Although help wasn't exactly what was needed. Time, space, and nudity should just about do it. He had time and space. She had had nudity a moment ago, apparently, and he'd missed it, which was a shame, really. "Did you get naked?"

"No," said Rose vaguely, looking around them now and at anything but him, the Doctor realized. She turned back, a cunning expression turning her light smile to a grin of mischief. "Look, I've got an idea. There's only this uniform, so how about I pretend to be a guard transferring you to another cage? They seem to think you're a perfectly acceptable stud animal, so..."

"Stud?" the Doctor asked, wrinkling his nose and trying to think. "Is that a good thing?" he wondered.

Rose chuckled. "No idea. Hold still and let me put these restraints on you."

"Kinky," the Doctor said gleefully.

"Shoulda known," Rose said dryly. The Doctor was almost certain he heard her giggling under her breath behind his back.

And tying his hands behind his back was no good, what was she thinking? If she wanted him unable to touch (which wouldn't be half torture, but he thought he'd survive) then she should tie them in front of him, or above his head. Ooh, or behind his head, and then he could just lie back and watch. He wondered what she'd want to do with him once she had him pinned down. The very idea - or ideas, in this case, lots and lots of them - it was just delicious.

Of course, he didn't have to have bondage. He'd be just as happy - possibly happier - if she was the one tied up. Certainly, he'd be happier if they were both loose to do every single thing that came to mind. It would be brilliant to have wild, free, and uninhibited sex with Rose, at least this first time.


"Move, you," Rose ordered as a guard appeared at the other end of the very long hallway they occupied.

"You're enjoying this," the Doctor said in the most suggestive tone possible.

"Starting to think you are," Rose replied quietly. "C'mon, now. Time to escape."

"Where's he off to now?" asked the guard when they reached the end of the corridor.

"Section Six," Rose replied. "Need to run a few more tests." The Doctor seemed to remember that as where they'd come in at. He wondered idly if that was also where he'd gotten the blow to the back of his head that hurt so badly.

"Still not performing?" asked a male guard who'd just appeared next to the female Rose had been talking to first.

The male wasn't exactly the most beautiful specimen of their captors' species, but he was tall and slender with a startlingly attractive face and very blue eyes. The Doctor was suddenly feeling belligerent. Rose grabbed his arm before he could do anything more than move toward the man.

"Looks like he's getting a little feisty now," the lady guard said, laughing. The Doctor couldn't decide if he should ignore her or flirt with her. He wasn't sure if ignoring her would be bad for their situation, which would make Rose mad at him, which meant she wouldn't have sex with him. On the other hand, if he flirted with another woman, Rose would definitely be mad at him and, given the example of most human women, Rose would probably consider it her duty to not have sex with him. Baffled and unsure, he just waggled his eyebrows at Rose and let her decide.

"Looks like you should write down whatever they gave him last, since it seems to be working, finally," said the bloke, smiling in a cheerful sort of triumph.

"Couldn't hurt," Rose said with a shrug. "What'd they give you last?" she asked the Doctor.

"Why ask him?" the lady guard wanted to know.

"Supposed to be clever, this one," Rose said, nudging the Doctor with her foot. "Claims to know everything."

"I do know everything, thank you, Miss..." said the Doctor, indignantly.

"See?" Rose cut him off, grinning a little too much for the Doctor's comfort at the male guard.

To distract whatever was going on that was likely to inhibit his chances of having sex with Rose, the Doctor searched around for some way to change the subject. The only subject that came to mind, of course, was having sex with Rose.


"I guess he doesn't know everything," Rose said, looking up at him, a teasing note in her voice.

The Doctor smiled, relieved to have a topic he could handle. "They gave me a cocktail of several drugs, including an upper with the thoroughly ridiculous street name of 'Cheap Date'. Not one of them has gotten through my superior biology, thanks." He adjusted his glasses and peered at Rose intently through them. "There are many, many ways in which my biology is superior," he assured her.

"Something got through," Rose said, shaking her head.

"Nope," the Doctor insisted, and popped the 'p' at the end. "Just a bad reaction to something in the air here..." His eyes widened in amazement and delight. "That's it!" he exclaimed, bouncing on his trainers for sheer joy, and trying to work out how he could snatch Rose into a hug when his arms were bound behind him. He decided on just crowding her personal space.

"What's it?" Rose asked.

"I'm allergic to certain gases in the praxis spectrum," he explained as fast as he could. "Have a diversity of reactions to them, everything from flu-like symptoms all the way up to neural implosions - you know what those are like, yeah, where I try to fly my ship into the sides of planets just because they're there? And sometimes they're really strange reactions, like hallucinations or the inability to stop thinking about things I can normally force myself not to think about. That's what it is, Rose! I'm allergic!"

The guards were looking very wary at both of them now, but the Doctor didn't care because he was ecstatic to have the solution. Now, maybe they could get this over with and he could have sex with Rose in peace.


"Rose?" said the male guard, looking puzzled at his female counterpart. "Isn't that the name that goes with the new female human?"

"Rose Marion Tyler," the Doctor replied proudly. "She's brilliant, beautiful, and while you were listening to me talk, she stole your gun."

"Stop that," Rose hissed at him, then pointed the gun at the two guards. "Now let us out of here," she ordered.

The two guards laughed. "You're holding it wrong," the Doctor observed.

"Just as well we don't use guns, really," Rose said and, in what seemed like a much better idea at the moment (at least in the Doctor's opinion), she chucked the gun at the male guard's head. There was a familiar, high pitched squealing noise and the two guards fell down, covering their ears. Rose beamed. "Screwdriver. Better every time." She handed the other filched item into the Doctor's bound hands.

Flickering fingers over the controls to adjust the settings, the Doctor first released the restraints and then flicked open the nearest door to the outside. Alarms started shrieking. "Brilliant!" the Doctor shouted triumphantly. "I got us out. Now will you have sex with me?"

"Just shut up and run!" Rose ordered.

"Right. Running it is." He paused. "Hold up," he said, and turned to look at the pained faces of the collapsed guards. "Escaping is an aphrodisiac," he said. "Also, you have a gas leak in your Praxibetal Hrung containment. I can tell, because..."

"Doctor!" Rose demanded urgently. "Running!"

"Right! Running. Yes, running! Bye!"

They were half a mile away from the zoo (which the Doctor now vaguely remembered they'd actually come to visit, not be captured as exhibits) when Rose demanded, "Are you better yet?"

"Fine, fine. Be better when we can get back to the TARDIS and have sex and go to bed, but I'm fine. Also, I could really do with a pain killer. My head is aching, and the allergic reaction means I can't make it stop. Plus the blow to the head might be what's keeping me from controlling the reaction, not sure."

"Fantastic," Rose said sarcastically. "Just bloody fantastic."

They reached the TARDIS in another few minutes, and Rose pushed the door open. "Get in," she said when the Doctor hesitated in the doorway. "We need to get your head fixed, yeah? Soon?"

"All right," the Doctor agreed, feeling quite petulant. "But I think you should know that I'm sure I at least deserve the right to lick you when I want. We've been together for a really long time, you know, longer than most humans take before they have rights to share toothbrushes..."

"Eeew. You're never sharing my toothbrush," Rose insisted. "I don't care if we start doing blood transfusions, you're not giving me your plaque."

"How d'you even know Time Lords get plaque, then?" he asked, humoring her because she was adorable when she was having revulsion attacks.

"I don't care what you call it. That thing you use to get it off your teeth? Yours is yours and mine is mine."

"What I was saying," the Doctor interrupted, insistently. "We've lived together a long time and we trust each other and everything, right. So you should at least let me lick you when I want. That's all I'm saying."

"Fine, whatever," Rose said and gave him a shove inside the TARDIS.

"Be reasonable," the Doctor pleaded. "I know humans in your time. There was enough acquaintance there to have it off all the way back in that service lift. So, I really think... Hold still." He reached out and snagged her hand, dragging her closer to him, then catching her tighter when she tried to slip away.

Rose stared at him warily, but didn't try too hard to escape him, just let him wrap his arms around her, one around her waist and the other cupping the back of her head. He decided not to pull anything with this embrace, went for full body contact, guiding her slightly higher up the ramp so that they could stand chest to chest and thigh to thigh. Tilting her head, he watched her closely, waited to see what she would do, if maybe she wanted him to stop, or if she'd prefer he just skip this bit and carry her to bed.

She seemed as confused as he felt, but a little shiver went dancing over all of his nerve endings when she tilted her head into his hand and her hips into his body. They fit so perfectly it was ridiculous to even try to pretend otherwise. He lowered his head, slowly, watching her eyes as they drifted closed, like her eyelashes were being gently weighed down with snowflakes. Her head tilted just that tiny bit further, a clear invitation that he couldn't refuse. Her lips looked perfect, sticky sweet and so delicious he just had to taste.

And once he'd tasted, joined his lips to hers, and then flicked his tongue lightly over those pink, pouty lips, he couldn't stop with just one taste. He had to taste all of her, plunder her mouth for every single hint of flavor. There was a bounty of heady experience in kissing Rose, in letting Rose kiss him back, in dipping his tongue inside her mouth, brushing here, prodding there, flicking lightly there, sliding slow and sensual, a dance along her lips and tongue and the roof of her mouth. He put everything he dared give her into that kiss, lonely nights and miracle mornings, music and laughter and hiding tears, wishes and wants and, because he could, because he had to, he even showed her a hint of the depths of the very secret love he held for her.

When they pulled away, they were both breathless, and the Doctor's lips were tingling, his body aroused and begging to be allowed to get back to what they were doing. If the staggered, stunned, and sensual look on her face was anything to judge by, the Doctor ventured to guess that, if they did get back to the kissing, he could very shortly find himself having sex with Rose Tyler.


That was what he'd been trying to think of this whole time. He wasn't allowed to have sex with Rose Tyler, because that was not in the rules. The rules said he was the Doctor, lonely, isolated, brilliant, last of his kind. She was Rose Tyler, the shining light to his wanderer soul. But they had to stay like this because... Because he had absolutely no idea, really, but he'd been doing it this long, so...

"Right. Sorry. Blow to the head. Getting that fixed."

"Good idea," breathed Rose, a trembling hand up over her kiss-swollen lips.

Rose was freshly showered, her face free of makeup and her hair still damp. She was upside down in a plush gravity chair in their make-shift living room, really a corner of the library that they inhabited as a common area. Rose's gran's afghan draped the divan, and an old quilt she'd found in one of the store rooms was draped over one of her legs.

She smelled like home and love and rain and moonlight, and the Doctor honestly thought she'd rarely looked lovelier. She really was impossible, reading a fiction written in a language she didn't even know and trying to make sense of the plot, her face the picture of amused concentration, her hair hanging like roots beneath her.

He tapped lightly at the doorframe to make sure she noticed him coming in, because her position was too precarious to afford startling her. "Sorry, don't mind me."

He, too, was freshly showered, and freshly medicated. He was actually very lucky Rose got him back when she did, because it turned out that particular allergic reaction was one of the worst ones. It first started inhibiting his neuro-chemical controls, and eventually started shutting down all sorts of voluntary and then involuntary systems. Having high-level control over nearly every possible biological process made losing it both a shocking experience after the fact, and a thoroughly liberating one during.

"Are you feeling better?" Rose asked.

"Yes!" he said, gladly. "Brilliant. Fit as a fiddle, though why a fiddle would want to be fit is beyond me. I catch the meanings - sometimes to the day they're coined - of most idiom in English, but this one's just a news article, really. Still, I'm ok, now... erm. How are you?"

Rose nodded, and gradually the chair tilted her right side up. "Can't complain," she said.

"About earlier," the Doctor began, shifting nervously from foot to foot.

Rose stood up and smiled at him and, if he was reading her right, her smile was decidedly nervous, too. "Don't worry about it," she said. "Seriously, I've had mates get drunk and proposition me before. Even Shireen once, but don't you ever tell her I told you that, she'd die."

The Doctor felt himself start to smile. She wasn't holding it against him. That was good. "I wasn't exactly drunk," he reminded her.

"Yeah, an allergic reaction's worse, though," Rose said. "Not even your fault for drinking too much, right?" She put a hand to his shoulder. "Are you sure you're all right?"

The Doctor looked away and then looked back at her. "I am, I guess, unless you wanted to, I dunno. Tell me off or... or whatever. Ask questions like you always do, I suppose."

Rose laughed. "I'd ask you what gases in the praxis spectrum are, but I'm afraid of the answer. Wouldn't understand it anyway, probably. Still. What would I ask?"

The Doctor opened his mouth to suggest something, but she'd already beat him to it. "Wait, has this happened before?"

"Not this particular one, no. Hrung are extremely rare; this is the only one I've ever seen in captivity. The gas, as you can guess, is rarer."

Rose nodded. "So it's not something I'm liable to run into again, next week, you demanding the right to lick me?"

The Doctor couldn't resist smirking at her. "I dunno," he said playfully. "I enjoyed it, you know."

Rose blushed brightly and the Doctor was about to backpedal when he heard her squeak, "Me too," so softly he suspected she'd not meant him to hear it. Rose dared to look up at him, her eyes bright but wary. "You're a good kisser," she said, almost as if reluctantly.

"I remembered what you said in the cage, you know," he said.

"What? About..." Rose's eyes widened. Apparently she hadn't realized he was aware of her saying she loved him. The Doctor nodded quickly, determined not to let her take it back. Even if she never said it again, it was too precious to him, even just that one time.

Rose squared her shoulders, and looked him in the eye. The Doctor could read mischief, determination, and the intent to change the subject, all right there in her face, as clearly as if he'd had note cards. It sometimes amazed him how open she was, how much she let him inside her thoughts and dreams. "I do have one question, actually. Think I might know the answer, but I'd like to hear you say."

The Doctor swallowed hard and reached up to tug at his ear. "Yeah?" he invited.

"Do you have... are you... could you actually have sex with me?"

The Doctor scratched at the back of his neck and thought about this very, very hard. A couple of universes, at least, hung on his answer, he thought. "No really," he said, and he watched Rose's eyes go dull. That was all he needed.

His arms came up, wrapping around her again, pulling her close. "I couldn't have sex with you, Rose," he said. "Not with you." He swallowed hard, pulled her tighter to keep her from running away. This was absolutely too important for misunderstandings of any kind. "But I could make love with you. If... if that's what you want." Please let me have read her right, he begged whatever powers there might be that listened to the most desperate lonely prayers of broken wanderers and fallen godlings.

Rose stared like she had at the ruins of her world as it blew itself to space dust. "Please say something," the Doctor begged.

"Yes," said Rose. The Doctor blinked, and she tilted her head, caught his eye, set her shoulders firmly. "Yes," she repeated. "Yes, please."