It's Sunday, Today

Rose stumbles into the console room in her pyjamas, two mugs of tea held expertly in one hand as she rubs at her eyes sleepily with her free one.

He pokes his head out from beneath the console, beaming up at her. "Good morning," he calls cheerfully.

"Morning," she smiles, handing him the mugs before scooting into her place next to him. It's an awkward position, but he likes her company and she doesn't mind the squash if it means she's close to him, so all's well that ends well.

He hands her tea back to her and they both sip, staring at each other over the rims of the mugs but pretending they aren't. Eventually, he breaks her gaze and nods his head towards the wiring in a rueful fashion, before continuing to fiddle and poke about with the sonic screwdriver.

As he tinkers, they talk about nothing in particular, nothing life-changing or important, but before too long they are giggling helplessly, mugs pushed aside and sonic screwdriver forgotten. She's clutching her stomach and trying to stop laughing, her head against his shoulder. He's chuckling loudly into her hair, his arm sneaking out and around her, holding her to him. They can feel the vibrations of one another's laughter against their chests, and it makes them giddy with it.

Then Rose wipes at her eyes and says she needs the loo, so she shuffles out of their cosy position to do just that. Her stomach rumbles loudly as she starts to leave, telling him she's hungry. The Doctor calls out to her that he'll meet her in the kitchen in five minutes, finishing up his repairs for the day. He strokes the console apologetically, silently telling her he's sorry for neglecting her, but needs must; Rose's needs, specifically. And then he makes his way to the kitchen.

He's there first, and so he starts making breakfast. When she comes in a few minutes later, he's already made a plateful of toast, and though she shoots him a look for doing their making-breakfast routine without her, she thanks him gratefully when he hands her a slice.

She takes it between her teeth straight from his fingers, and he momentarily gets lost in the way she bites into the succulent toast, residual butter getting left on her lips so that he aches to lick it off.

He doesn't, though, because she gets there first, sweeping her tongue across her bottom lip, then her top.

He shakes himself out of his daze and starts to eat his own toast. But when she stretches her arms up and he can see the bare skin of her stomach, he jumps up and insists he's really got to change the temporal flux capacitor. Or something.

She blinks into the space he hastily vacates, shrugs to herself, and eats the rest of his toast.

-x-

It's about an hour later when he decides he has definitely had enough of fixing things for the day, now. He's been wrestling with his thoughts all morning, but now he's decided to put it all to the back of his mind. Because he misses her, he'll find Rose from whichever room she's disappeared to. Then they'll play a game or watch a film, and he absolutely will stop thinking of her in the way he's been thinking of her. He'll enjoy her companionship, her friendship, and that, he vows to himself, will be enough.

He can't find her for ages.

But when he does...

It turns out that she's in the hot tub, and his vows quickly disintegrate.

"Alright, Doctor?" she calls, seeing him standing awkwardly in the doorway.

"Yep, yes, fine," he blusters, stepping to the room, closer to her, getting a good look.

Her soft, golden hair is swept up in a bun, with random strands fallen out and curling against her cheeks and neck; and she's wearing a purple bikini. He thinks he might just stare at her forever.

"Her TLC done for the day?" she smiles.

"Mmhmm," he agrees distractedly. "I thought we could..."

"What?" she prompts when he trails off.

"Hmm? Oh. Um. Dunno, really. Do something. Watch a film. Or...something," he answers, wincing at his stuttered, ineloquent sentence.

"Why don't you join me in here? Water's lovely," she offers, fiddling with the tub's remote. "I didn't know that it had all these settings, look – the bubbles get stronger, see? It's amazing."

He gapes at her soundlessly.

"Doctor?"

"I don't think...that is, I'm not sure I, um..."

"Oh, come on," she encourages warmly, giggling again. "It's big enough for ten, so there's certainly enough room for two!"

Her laughter is possibly his favourite sound in the universe, and it pulls him towards her like some sort of Siren's call. "Okay," he finds himself saying, as he removes his jacket.

"You actually own swimming trunks then?" she asks curiously, as if she's thought about it and concluded he couldn't possibly own such a garment; not him.

He pauses his undressing to look at her like she's daft. "Of course I do." He leaves his shirt half-buttoned and walks to a cupboard on the other side of the room; locates his trunks and proceeds to wave them at her triumphantly. "See?"

"Ah, that's good," she replies. He looks at her pointedly and she closes her eyes, mumbling something about how he needn't be self-conscious about getting naked in front of her; she's seen it all already.

"What?" he squeaks indignantly, wondering when she spied on him.

"Well I wasn't gonna let Mum change you into those pyjamas at Christmas, was I?" she retorts, rolling her eyes.

"Ohhhh," he realises, exhaling roughly. "Good."

"Hurry up, then," she urges.

The Doctor does as he's told, and then finally, he's climbing in the hot tub with her.

He sits at the opposite end, and grins at her widely. "This is quite nice, actually."

"See," she grins, tongue poking the corner of her mouth. "Told you."

"So, what do you want to talk about?" he asks her, for something to say that isn't can I swim over and snog you now, please?

"Oh, I dunno..." she ponders, closing her eyes and folding her arms behind her head to lean against. The movement angles her chest directly at him and he swallows convulsively as he watches droplets of water slide down her cleavage while she can't tell he's looking. And then she opens her eyes again and he snaps his gaze back to hers. He smiles at her overly-innocently but she narrows her eyes. "You alright?"

"Yeah, of course – why wouldn't I be?" he asks quickly.

"You look like you've done something naughty," she informs him wisely. "You haven't blown up the kitchen again, have you?"

"No!" he exclaims, offended. He sniffs haughtily. "That was one time, and the TARDIS has forgiven me for it anyway, so stop going on about it and reminding her."

Rose giggles and, as the hot tub is rather deep, she literally has to swim over to him. He shifts restlessly, unsure how close he can allow her to get if he wants to keep a firm hold on his self-control.

"What have you done, then? Why'd you look so guilty?" she asks.

"I don't," he protests weakly. She's right in front of him now, and he really doesn't mean to but he accidently lets his gaze drop to her chest again.

Rose catches him this time and grins mischievously, before splashing him. He splutters in surprise and splashes her right back. Within seconds they're engaged in a splashing war, laughing as they try and outwit each other with their nefarious tactics. Rose dunks her head under abruptly and he narrows his eyes in confusion, squinting at where she's submerged herself and steadily panicking when she does not rise again.

"Rose..." he murmurs, his volume increasing as he stretches out the syllables of her name. "Rooooose? Rose!"

He moves over to where she was, his hands trying to find her under the water where she's hidden by the relentless bubbles, and then all of a sudden he finds himself tackled under water with a giggling Rose on his back.

"What are you doing!" he exclaims, but his voice his full of mirth and his eyes twinkle up at her as he resurfaces and twists to face her, extending his arm out to hold onto the side of the tub to keep them afloat in the deeper water of the middle.

"Winning the battle!" she announces, tongue touching the corner of her mouth as she grins widely.

He chuckles and they both remain staring at each other for a few moments before they simultaneously realise their precarious positions. In their struggle and the Doctor's subsequent defeat, Rose has now ended up straddled above him with her hands on his shoulders. Upon the aforementioned realisation, Rose scrambles back and sits on the seated bit of the tub, watching him carefully as if waiting for his reaction.

He clears his throat and moves back to his end.

The atmosphere becomes a little bit tense for a second, but then Rose's giggles permeate the silence and the Doctor grins.

"You started it," he murmurs, when she looks like she's going to tell him off.

"How did I?" she laughs.

"Weeeelll. By being you," he answers softly.

"Doctor, you were the one staring at me in my bikini."

"And you're the one wearing it," he counters.

"Don't see me staring at you in your trunks, do you?"

"Well, no, but you want to," he tells her cheekily. "Just so happens that you can't see them from there."

She raises an eyebrow. "Well why don't you stand up and see me not-look at them then, too?" she requests, folding her arms defiantly.

"Fine, I will." He does as she asks and stands up in the tub. Her gaze remains studiously on his face, not once slipping lower. "Right, well. There's an explanation for that," he decides.

"Oh yeah?"

"Yep. You said it yourself, earlier. You have already seen me naked. This is nothing special for you. You can't exactly blame me for wanting you to return the favour," he says. His eyes widen when he realises how suggestively he'd phrased that. "I mean, not that I do want you to, er..."

Rose's smile turns deliciously wicked, and she too stands up. "No?"

He swallows hard. "Nope."

She shrugs and says casually, "I will, though. If it makes you feel less embarrassed about me seeing you naked."

His mouth opens and closes for a few seconds wordlessly. When she realises he's too speechless to reply, she does something very, very spontaneous and probably something she'll regret later, but she just can't help it. She thinks it'll be funny to see how he reacts.

She takes off her bikini top. She throws it to him.

The Doctor catches it, and instantly sits back down in the water. Trying to act nonchalant, he tosses it over his shoulder and watches her as she puts her hands on her hips as if to say oi. The devilish glint in her eyes excites him but terrifies him. He remembers vaguely that he vowed not to do this, not to even entertain the ideas running through his mind right now concerning Rose anymore, but he simply can't adhere to such a vow when she is standing, submerged to the waist, right in front of him, topless. He wants, so very much, to be the droplets of water cascading down her breasts right now. He shakes his head at himself. No. No, he doesn't.

He'll settle for catching them with his tongue.

"Doctor?" she coughs pointedly, sensing that he's got lost in a little daydream.

His eyes travel back up to hers the slow way. "Yeah?" he answers breathlessly.

He watches as she reaches her hand beneath the water and bends slightly. She looks like she's stepping out of her –

His thought process derails once more when she chucks her bikini bottoms in his direction. He doesn't manage to react quick enough to catch them, this time. They land right in front of him, half-sinking into the water, and he stares at them in shock.

He's really not sure what to say. He's just very glad she can't see past the bubbles of the hot tub to what she's doing to his biological reactions. Namely, causing them.

"Rose?" he murmurs hoarsely.

"Yeah, Doctor?" she grins teasingly.

"I..." he trails off. All the reasons why it's a bad idea shut off in his brain, and he gestures to her lower body as he says, "Water's in the way."

"Oh yeah," she mock-realises. "Well that's not fair." She stands up on her tiptoes just a tiny fraction, and her hips become exposed at the surface of the water.

The Doctor gulps, realising suddenly that if she reveals much more he's likely to spontaneously combust. "Rose, maybe we should - " he cuts himself off abruptly when she moves towards him. "Rose?"

Her gaze twinkles at him and before he has a chance to push her away, she sits on his lap.

"Rose!" he gasps.

"What?" she giggles.

"You're – you're...you're sitting in my lap and you're naked," he stammers out.

"So I am," she replies. "And you...you're not pushing me off."

The Doctor gulps. "No, I'm not, am I?"

"Nope. In fact..." She shifts herself a bit, revelling in the way he squeezes his eyes shut tightly and lets out a long sigh. "...I'd go so far to say as you like it."

"Maybe you're right," he acquiesces. His hands come up to rest at her hips, pulling her more firmly against him, and then he opens his eyes, staring into hers. "That okay with you?"

"Oh yeah," she assures him, leaning forward. She loops her arms around his neck. "Doctor."

"Yeah?"

"You gonna let me kiss you, too?" she grins.

"I'm counting on it," he answers. His fingers dance across her ribcage. "In fact - "

The Doctor doesn't usually like being interrupted. But considering it's Rose that's doing the interrupting, and doing so in a very pleasing way, he decides to love it instead. Just like he loves the feel of her mouth on his. Just like he loves the taste of her lips. Just like he loves her.

"Rose," he murmurs, as she breaks the kiss to breathe.

"Yes, Doctor?" she smiles lazily, running her fingers through his hair.

"You've got absolutely no idea how much you mean to me," he whispers.

"Course I do," she dismisses absently, nuzzling his jaw line. "Best friends, yeah?"

He gathers her closer, smiling into her bare shoulder as he lets his lips touch her skin. "Oh, so much more than that, Rose Tyler." He pauses to kiss his way up her neck. "So much more."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," he assures her firmly. His hands cup her face, tilting her head to look at him. "Rose. I can't ignore what I feel for you anymore."

"Then don't," she murmurs, playfully bumping his nose with hers.

"But I love you," he whispers, sounding so very, very scared. He hears her breath hitch but ploughs on, "And that frightens me, because...because I'll lose you, someday. And I know all this is so complicated, and that we're supposed to be just friends, and I'm supposed to keep all this to myself, but I can't anymore, Rose. I just can't."

She's quiet for a moment, trying to think of the right thing to say.

And then she repeats her words from just now, "Then don't."

And that's the all the agreement he needs before he kisses her again.