Authors Notes: This fic was written for lillibetm3's Three little words ficathon over at lj. I used a the words marvel, marigold and maximize, a Ten/Rose prompt from jessalrynn . Please enjoy. Beta'd by naughtybunny23.
Since travelling with the Doctor, Rose had seen and been involved in some weird and wonderful things. She's seen alien ghosts, snot green hunting predators from a planet whose name she can barely wrap her pink little tongue around and bat-like creatures inhabiting the bodies of school teachers. Therefore finding herself sitting in the centre of a giant flower with a drop of several feet below really should not be that surprising.
"So the 'Please keep to the paths' sign wasn't enough for you," she groused to a rather red faced Doctor. "You just had to go and get a closer look."
"Weeeell, how was I supposed to know that the flowers of Anima Demeter would just burst out of the ground like that? Obviously they are a little bit sentient and have learned to maximize the nutrients they collect which allows for such rapid growth."
But Rose was having none of it. She was tired and cross and still smarting a little from their recent conversation outside the café about Time Lord curses and humans withering and dying. Now all she needed was a bloody big flower with brains making her feel small and rubbing it in about how unimportant she was in the bigger scheme of things.
"Come on, Rose. It's an adventure," coaxed the Doctor trying to get her to smile. "Just think, it's a great story you can tell your mum next time you go visit her."
"Oh yeah. Guess what mum? We went to visit this planet with giant plants and I got to play ruddy Jack and the Beanstalk," she uttered sarcastically.
"Ah, technically that would be Jack and the Marigold actually."
"We're not on a beanstalk. It's a marigold or Calendula officinalis if you want to be scientific," he explained.
"Oh yes and that makes it sound so much better. Jack and the Calendula offiwhatever." She got to her feet and poked him in the ribs. "Well 'Mr Big Time Lord Brains', how about you figure a way to get us off this thing." With that she turned her back on him again and promptly fell over, an action that sent thousands of pollen specs into the air and covered her from head to foot in the bright golden dust. Swearing colourfully under her breath she nearly missed the Doctor's next words.
"Rose, come and look."
He had his back to her and as she moved to his side he continued to look straight ahead which was probably just as well as he was sure to laugh when he saw her current state.
"Look, Rose," he repeated softly. "Look at how beautiful it is. In two thousand five hundred years this will be the only flora park of its kind."
As she looked out towards the horizon all she could see was a rainbow of colour. It was impossible not to marvel at the thousands of flowers in all shapes and sizes basking in the warmth of the golden sun.
Rose let her bad mood slide away. "There are much worse places to be stuck," she teased, hoping he would understand he was forgiven.
A hand to her cheek brought her attention back to the Doctor. He gazed down at her, eyes overbright, emotions unreadable. "All the other smaller forests will be destroyed by war or make way for progress and civilization but this one will survive but only just. It might have died too except for a miracle. This sanctuary lived because one person decided to keep it safe from destruction. One individual had the heart to take up the battle and never give up despite so many excuses, walls and red tape being thrown in their way. That one individual eventually got a law passed to save this forest of flowers and even though they eventually died that person won't ever be forgotten. The legacy they will leave goes on forever. That person will live in everyone's hearts for eternity."
Rose quickly realised that the Doctor was not speaking about the reservation any longer. With her heart beating frantically she got up the courage to ask him, "What are you saying, Doctor?"
He sighed gently as he took in his beautiful girls face, the pollen of the marigold shining across her features reminded him of that day she appeared to him, glowing like a golden goddess, ready to save his Ninth self. He'd loved her before he changed but in this new body he'd pushed her away. Chance after chance she had given him and time after time he would not surrender. He could deny his hearts no longer.
"I was wrong, Rose," he admitted breathlessly before leaning closer to cover her lips with his own, hoping that she would understand exactly what he was talking about. As she remained still under his kiss, panic set in and he pulled back, afraid to meet her eyes, knowing the condemnation he would see there.
Instead she laughed and as he raised his eyes to her face he could see the pure mirth and happiness reflected within.
"Well I guess even when you've lived for 900 years you can't always be right about everything," she teased graciously before wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling his mouth back to hers. When he'd first kissed her she had been too surprised to respond. After their conversation outside the café she thought that this could never happen but as he deepened the kiss her pulse raced madly, sheer relief and happiness bursting through her whole being at the knowledge of his change of heart. There would still be a need to talk about this but not now. Right now she would do nothing to ruin this moment of perfection.
The kiss grew even more intense as tongues duelled for dominance, passion sparking the need to touch places that until now had only been allowed in each other's dreams. It would be easy just to sink down where they were and allow those dreams to become reality. Easy except for their precarious position atop a giant flower.
It was the Doctor who broke their kiss first. Even so he is breathing hard, a fact that delighted Rose. It was nice to know she can hold such power over someone as worldly as the Time Lord. The feeling was fleeting however as one look from his dark eyes let her know that he can also bring her to her knees in equal measure.
Suddenly he laughed, breaking the intense moment as he fully took in her whole body covered in the pollen. "Look at you, Rose. More yellow then pink today."
Looking down at herself she joined him in his laughter. "You can talk," she chortled as she pointed to his suit. Their impassioned kisses and subsequent closeness have ensued that the brown pin stripe jacket and trousers are also coated in the golden dust.
He drew her close and sweetly kissed her again.
"I know we'll have to talk about this but I won't ever regret this, Rose. You are my saviour, the one who saved me from extinction, the one who never gave up on me. I …" He paused as he struggled to speak the words he'd not said to anyone in centuries.
A warm hand to his cheek eased his mind as her words did his heart.
"It's okay, Doctor. I know. I've always known."
But it's not okay. Not for him. "Oh, Rose. You're way too easy on me. I've been a coward for far too long but no more. I love you, Rose. My beautiful, brave, loyal girl. I love you." His voice is low, barely above a whisper but she heard him.
She was hardly aware of the tears running down her face as she kissed him fiercely, the words she thought she'd never hear him say playing over and over again in her mind.
Eventually they broke apart, euphoria rushing through their blood, both ready to take on the world.
"I suppose I better work out a way to get down," said the Doctor grinning from ear to ear. "Don't want a bee mistaking us for part of the flower. I haven't seen any but I expect they'll be exactly the same and part of the life cycle here just as they are in any other garden … well not exactly the same because they'd be a bit bigger, well a lot bigger really due to the size of the flowers here and …
He turned his devastating smile on her and she almost forgot what she wanted to say. Almost but not quite. The words are too important to forget entirely.
"I love you, too"