A Cake Mixture.

The Earth was his enemy.

For so long it had been his friend, but now it would be lucky to get a late Birthday card. If he saw the Earth pass him in the street he most certainly would pretend he hadn't seen it and walk straight by. He had liked the Earth; the Earth had been brilliant; wizard – and he needed to squash the Donna out of him too before he started shopping in the Women's section of Debenhams and watching Colin Firth films.

In fact, he had found himself enjoying Bridget Jones' Diary a little too much, and Rose had eyed him suspiciously all night, at which point he'd had to kiss her until she forgot all about it; not that he'd objected in the slightest to this method of distraction; very effective, in fact.

It was, essentially, a prison. There was no denying it; perhaps it was a nice prison – a nice, fragrant, Rose-smelling prison, with Rose in the prison with him. And with king-sized beds and Rose's little brother to chase around and act childish with. A prison of bricks and Jackie Tyler asking what size in trousers he was – a rational part of him wanted to think that Jackie simply wanted to buy him some more clothes; lovely Jackie, considerate Jackie – but a more dominant part of him thought that she just wanted to think about his leg length and hip measurements in a little too much depth. Either way, he had taken to turning around and walking the way he came whenever he saw her approaching in the hallway of the ever-expansive Tyler mansion.

Rose had asked him why he spent so much time roaming around the corridors, but the truth would hurt her too much, and he knew it. Her heart was special, and it was his to keep safe, and so he had vowed never to say anything to hurt her.

He'd never been in charge of looking after someone's heart before; not really. Being a Time Lord had always seemed to diffuse any sense of responsibility for emotions; he was alien, and therefore could be responsible for no one's feelings. Their lives, maybe, but their feelings were up to them.

"Doctor?" she'd said one night, and he had almost jumped out of his skin. It was the first time she had called him the Doctor, and it sounded like coming home. It sounded like the TARDIS, and Rose, and love all mixed together in one lovely cake mixture with marmalade and honey, and he'd hugged her as though he'd never let go.

And he wouldn't; he would never let go. He would never let go of her hand, and she would never let go of levers – he'd made her promise one night, never to go near a lever again. She'd looked bewildered, then touched and emotional, and then had kissed him until he forgot his name all over again.

He was navigating his way around microwavable baked beans – supervised by an amused Rose – when it had all come pouring out of him.

The little plastic packet wouldn't open, and he had thrown it so hard across the room that she had gasped in shock. The sad looking beans had slid from their packet as though bleeding from a wound, and each tiny little smart-arse bean seemed to be making upset faces at him from the other side of the room, as though vying for Rose's attention.

He had cried, for the first time as a human, over a packet of wounded beans, and Rose had held him tight and rubbed his back until they slid to the floor in a limp pile not too dissimilar to the beans.

Her lips had never tasted so good. So human; so right, yet so wrong.

And just for a moment, the prison was home.


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