My first story! All finished! I know its fluff, adding to the already enormous pile of Rose/Ten fluff pieces out there, but damn, we love them: don't we? (Please, say yes.)
Loads of thanks to Laura x Tennant for being the first to review my writing-efforts and giving me the confidence to actually post it. Girl, you rock!
I reworked this story from a scene that didn't fit into a larger Doctor Who story that's still under construction (and hopefully gets finished before everybody dies of old age).
Hope you enjoy and if you want to review: please be critical but kind. Not only is this my first story, it's actually my first in English. (I'm Dutch, but don't hold that against me, I had absolutely no choice in it. Lol.) Oke, enough prattle. Read.
She's determined to win. Rose frowns in concentration, eyes peeled on the arrangement of objects in front of her. Then she grins and moves her hand to the left corner of the game-board, tapping one of the little red squares with her forefinger. Moving the piece attached to the square diagonally across the board, she pushes it against a yellow cone, takes it from its platform and looks up at the Doctor, sitting across from her. With a triumphant smile she arches forward a little and articulates the words, like he's slow to grasp them: "Check. Mate."
He stares back at her in a mock-patronizing way. "That's not what you say winning this game. You say…" followed by some totally alien word Rose doesn't understand and has no intention of remembering anyway.
"You're such a bad loser," she says, grinning in his face.
Rose stretches her arms and legs, trying to remove the stiffness. They've been sitting in the TARDIS library for hours playing and the only thing she needs right now is the Doctor accepting the fact that she just creamed him. "Glad we're playing this game now. Another round of scrabble and I'd die," she says.
"Oi, what's wrong with scrabble?" He looks peeved.
"Everything. You make up your own words."
"No I don't."
"Yes you do. Last week you pretended bodger is an actual word."
"Is not. And neither is flavicomous."
"Is. It means 'blonde'. You're a lovely flavicomous," he says, grinning broadly.
"Yeah, well. Point is I'm never ever gonna play scrabble with you again. You play dirty. Using words like hepe...hebe...hebespe…"
"See. That's what I mean." She sighs.
He beams. "Brilliant words those. You know in fact …" Rose zones out as he starts a detailed explanation about the relationship between three-dimensional geometry and blondes. She hears him mention something about cavemen and a Mr. Johnson before remembering her little mission. When he pauses for a moment, she quickly interrupts. "I still won the game."
The Doctor frowns. It's true. Despite his, oh…three hundred years practice at this particular game, plus having beaten her about 178 times since they first started playing, she's rapidly gaining ground. In fact: Rose is getting bloody good. He's not having any of that.
As Rose starts gathering up the pieces, the Doctor leans back in his chair, hands behind his head, following her every move. "Lucky I'm such a great teacher," he says, raising one eyebrow.
"If this is about brainpower," she holds his gaze and smiles sweetly, "at least I recognize my defeat, instead of being thrown by it. Like some people…"
The Doctor stares her out. "I let you win."
Rose slams the piece-box shut. "You never knew what hit you. Admit it."
"Will do no such thing. I'm too smart." He looks past her, considering his statement for a bit. Maybe that came out wrong. No problem. He can twist it round. "What I will admit to is that sometimes I'm so smart I lose sight of…other problems. For example: back on New Earth when we became caught up in that whole cat-nuns-in-wimples-human-experimenting thing, I didn't notice you were in trouble. Sorry." Now he knows there's something wrong with the entire line of conversation, but ignores it.
"What d'you mean?" Feeling a sudden rush of warmth flush her cheeks, she turns away. Neither of them has mentioned the incident since it happened, a good while ago. Carefully avoided the subject was a more accurate way to describe it. Hell, 'fearfully tiptoed around' was even better. So why was he now discussing it like they would a shopping-list?
"Well…" he draws out the word, "there was obviously something wrong with you, but I didn't know Cassandra had taken over your body." His courage evaporates as he catches Rose's foul expression and finally realizes they're actually talking about the subject. The scary one.
Bluff, he thinks. "How could I have known?" He hears his own voice go up an octave and cringes.
Rose looks him straight in the eye. "Cassandra took over my body, snogged you silly and you never even suspected it wasn't me?" She's throwing caution to the wind now. "Even I was embarrassed and considering it was my body doing it that's saying something!"
The Doctor sniffs once, feigning nonchalance. "Wasn't the end of the world. Not like she was bad at it or something."
(oowh, big mistake)
Rose jumps up from her seat, gripping the edge of the table. "You thought that…that skin trampoline kissing you was me – and you liked it?" she scoffs, "Oh, you obviously never kissed me!"
"Actually, I did. Kiss you. On the Game station – when you were all glowy and stuff. Only to stop all that vortex-energy from killing you, of course," he adds quickly, "it wasn't intended as...something else." He gets up and carefully moves away from the table, strategically placing the chair between him and Rose, whose face is now an alarming shade of red.
She doesn't know what he's rambling on about and isn't in the mood to play connect-the-dots, so she reverts back to the earlier point – in a more calculated, less hysterical tone of voice this time. "You thought Cassandra was me. You didn't notice the difference. That's just bloody insulting."
The Doctor sighs and rolls his eyes. "Rose, how am I supposed to know what it feels like to kiss you? No lasting experience there, sorry."
The minute the words leave his mouth he kicks himself.
Rose locks eyes with him and stalks around the table. "I'll give you some 'lasting' experience, all right." Without further thinking she grabs his jacket lapels, pulling him towards her and kisses him full on his mouth. For the first second there's no reaction either good or bad, but just when she suspects he might be about to return the kiss, he clutches her wrists and starts pushing her away, struggling backwards to regain control. Rose's mind needs another two moments to process what's really happening before she's able to release him, suddenly very clear headed. They stare at each other, the Doctor breathing rapidly, eyes big and wide. Rose breaks the tableau first and runs from the library.
After her hasty retreat the Doctor stays rooted to the spot for another moment, still reeling.
No way she just did that, he thinks. Right. Priorities. Breathe. Regain the power of speech. Should he call after her? Maybe tell her she was right? She's a much better kisser then Cassandra. Then again: Rose might not entirely appreciate the sentiment right now. Not by judging from the colour of her face, before she so rudely left him standing there all alone. Confused and way out of his depth, he slumps down in one of the comfy chairs.
Rose slams her bedroom door shut with a vengeance, images burning through her mind.
O, God. No way she just did that, she thinks. She practically assaulted him. Sitting on the edge of her bed, hiding her face behind her hands, she wills herself not to cry. Ridiculous. Stupid. Why the bloody hell did he bang on about Cassandra like that. Wasn't it bad enough that he was so oblivious to her feelings? Did he have to go and rub it in? She wrings the hem of her shirt. No point thinking about that now. Whatever chances she had, she just blew them away. Letting herself fall backwards on the bed, she grabs the edge of the duvet and pulls it over her head.
A good fifty-eight minutes and twenty-three seconds of waiting in vain for Rose to come back makes the Doctor decide enough is enough, and he stomps down the corridor to her room.
He hesitates before knocking on the door, not knowing what kind of mood she might be in.
There's no answer which worries him slightly.
Opening the door just a crack, he peeks inside. The room is decked out in the usual semi-organized chaos and there is a Rose-shaped heap of duvet on the bed.
"Rose? You all right?"
There comes a little snivel from the direction of the duvet.
He doesn't get it. Why is she so upset? So she kissed him. It wasn't as if he disliked it or anything. She just surprised him and maybe he overreacted somewhat.
(All the while he's thinking this over he completely forgets that a) Rose has absolutely no knowledge of this, that b) he did a little more than overreact by nearly fighting her off and that neither point was likely to strengthen Rose's belief in his undying affection. But being the Doctor he sometimes overlooks the downright obvious.)
"Oh, come on, Rose. Don't be childish like that." He tries to sound stern.
The duvet grumbles at him.
First Upset Rose, now Angry Rose. He sighs. Humans and their emotions.
Getting on his knees beside the bed, he very gingerly lifts one corner of the duvet and peers underneath. Seeing Rose squint and blink back at the light, the Doctor feels a little relieved. At least she hasn't been crying. He gets upset too when she does that. Actually, instead of upset or angry she looks more ashamed, lowering her eyes and avoiding his gaze.
"Oke. Fair play to you. You won the game," he says. And you're marvellous and brilliant and so much better than me. (He doesn't say that last bit out loud. She might get airs.)
She doesn't answer.
New plan, he muses. This was going to require tact. And as he isn't a natural tactful person (not on a regular basis anyway) he needs to focus. And he can't focus with her looking so lost. And he can't talk to her while she's under there and he's not.
So his inerrant logic leads him to take of his jacket and shoes and crawl under the duvet (at a very respectful distance, mind. No need to get her more upset. It's a rather large duvet anyway.)
"What are you doing?" she asks, hearing her own voice tremble.
Rose can't actually see his face; with the blanket back in place it's now more or less completely dark and rather stuffy. Their combined body heath under the already warm coverings does nothing to cool down certain ideas that she feels sneaking up.
There's an awkward silence and the Doctor is starting to question his own logic when he feels Rose fumble for his hand. Their fingers link together and he lets go of the breath he's been holding for an unhealthy amount of time, inhaling again with immense relief.
"I'm sorry," she mumbles.
"For acting like an idiot. Didn't mean to."
"Why would anything you do be idiotic?"
He knows completely well what she means but there is something about this weird situation, them hiding out like children, that he finds very…comforting.
If she stops talking, she might realize how sultry their little hideout is becoming and desert him.
"You're really going to make me say it, aren't you?" she asks.
(Yes) "No idea what you're talking about."
"I kissed you."
One part of him can't stop cheering while the other part is utterly disgusted at the whole goings on and wants to put a stop to it immediately: before things spin utterly out of control. He wonders briefly about his carefully managed control and if there's a real possibility of losing it.
Rose edges closer, raising their linked hands to her face so he can feel the smooth warm skin under his fingertips.
He swallows. Losing control is definitely an option.
He catches a wisp of something, sweet and earthy like tea and flowers: the fresh sent of the blankets mixed with a Rose smell. He can't see Rose's face in the dark but the aroma fills his senses and conjures up images of her. Rose eating a piece of fruit; the tea she drank this morning – with way too much sugar. If he kisses her right now he might taste it. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find out, he muses, allowing the vivid picture of him tasting Rose's lips to corrode another vital piece of his defences.
All the hugging and hand holding they're always doing never makes him feel like this. Well, hugging her makes him feel other things. Lots of other things actually. But not this – not all the adjectives that come to him right now. (Some of them less than decent)
Or verbs. Admire. Fancy. Misbehave. Transgress. Overstepping boundaries.
Cold reality hits him like a brick in the neck.
Rose gives a little gasp of disappointment as the Doctor suddenly untangles his hand from hers, pulling it away from her face. Her thoughts fly. So he doesn't want this after all. For a few minutes she almost forgot about that earlier embarrassing scene and allowed her hopes to rise – again. But she should've known that him being here is just another one of his little quirks. That everlasting dance they're always doing. That he is always doing, she corrects herself. He's simply far too impulsive: always forgetting (or maybe not even knowing) there's only so much a poor human can take with the running and the flirting and the game-playing. Doesn't mean anything to him. At least not what she wants it to mean. Oh, she wants it to mean so much more than it will ever be. Cassandra the Last Human had been right about one thing: the Doctor is foxy.
And Rose has been looking.
And she likes it.
Being here in this place, concealed and safe from any possible threat with the man she loves thrills her beyond anything. Sadness only hits her when she remembers it isn't going to last and that soon she'll have to face her feelings out in the real world again, both of them alone and together at the same time. She knows he's painfully lonely and it breaks her heart every time it shows through, right before he hides that side away again. She knows she's just a silly human and can't take away all those layers of hurt, but if he would just let her occupy a tiny corner of his true self she believes they could be happy. In the darkness she feels no need to hide the trembling behind her eyes. He'll never know about the single tear running down her cheek.
But he does notice. "Rose, what's wrong?" In the darkness the Doctor's voice sounds heavy with concern and confusion.
"Don't worry. I'm not going to assault you again," she says, "I've learned my lesson."
Helplessly listening to Rose's silent struggle the Doctor forces himself to shut out part of his thoughts – namely the thoughts that ruined his nice moment with the girl he… cares for. He's hurt her. He knows that. The last thing he ever wants to do is hurt her. He acknowledges that at this point in his long life there might be some facts that need addressing.
He is in bed with Rose Tyler.
Neither of them is making a move.
Neither of them is leaving.
He is more than nine hundred years old and behaving like a scared teenager.
Oh, he's scared all right.
Scared when he loses sight of her, never knowing if this'll be the day; the day she'll disappear forever. But he doesn't ever let her see that; can't afford to. He has to act like every one of their trips is just another day for him, even when it gets dangerous. Because that's what he does and that's why she's with him. That's their life.
The rapid sound of his own double heartbeat is trying to alert the Doctor to the fact that Rose has gone quiet. Tangibly quiet. But he doesn't really comprehend what it means yet.
Scared when she's near. And this is where it gets tricky for him. He understands the workings of body chemistry just fine (scientist after all), but what he doesn't get is how it keeps affecting him. There are times he's painfully aware of their proximity inducing certain...needs, tempting him to certain...actions. Even at the rare instances of physical attraction he's felt in the past he never acted on it. It's not like he's in the habit of jumping his companions.
Why are they suddenly so close together? Rose must be awfully bad at taking hints. Otherwise she would definitely not bring her face so close to his...
Not even with Rose being so alluring; or when he can barely contain himself from pinning her against the nearest available surface and rip her clothes off where they stand.
...and make sure her breath doesn't touch his neck so tantalizingly every time she exhales...
Putting his emotions through a mental shredder ruthlessly, he finally figures it out. Rose said it herself: he doesn't have to fear her repeating that exercise from before ever again. So if he keeps his distance they'll be fine. She's his friend and that should be enough, he thinks. Distance is the key.
...and not allow his hand near her hip and the patch of skin that he's been stroking for a while now.
...and realizes 'distance' might not precisely apply to their current situation any more.
Aware that he should probably remove the offending hand fast, instead he lets it slide down her leg feeling her shiver under his touch. Oh. Dear. Bare skin. Bare legs. Rose's very naked legs. She must have changed into her pyjama-shirt before getting into bed. His mind starts trashing. Why hadn't he noticed before? Why hadn't she told him off? Why did he continue stroking her?
"Am I giving you mixed signals?"
Although the word doesn't quite cover it, Rose moans inwardly, wishing, praying, this is leading them somewhere new. Last chance. If he doesn't continue she's going to scream. She thinks she might just scream if he continues, except that would be for a whole different reason: a far better one. Despite the situation, she smiles to herself.
This is getting ridiculous, the Doctor thinks. He knows Rose fancies him. On New Earth Cassandra practically shoved that knowledge down his brain. He should make a decision, instead of torturing the woman he loves.
The mental brakes screech his train of thought to a halt – again.
No. He chides himself. Love is when you protect someone. Keep them safe. He puts Rose in danger far too frequently to even consider the idea. If she was ever seriously hurt (or died) it would be his fault; it would be on his head. But the same head is crowded with images of everything that is her. Rose laughing, Rose being brave, Rose crying. Heaven forbid: even Rose snoring. (He watches her sleep sometimes and hopes she never finds out. It's much too stalkery.) The thoughts and emotions race through him until he finally sees it's so astonishingly clear. Loving Rose Tyler. The last piece of their life together that he doesn't want to miss. Not ever.
He wants her and she wants him. Was there any reason left for not doing this? (Oh, he can still think of a million, but he isn't going to.)
He draws closer and feels her tense up.
"Should I stop..." he begins.
"Might have to hurt you then."
Thank Rassilon they're clear on that, he thinks and slips his hand behind her back, pulling her into his embrace. Now her whole body is pressed against him in the most delicious way and Rose's low sigh of pleasure tells him she thinks so too.
He's in her arms and he has nothing left to defend himself against her. No piece of technology in the universe could have saved him from falling in love with her in the most scary, spectacular, extraordinary way. He's done fighting.
So he surrenders.
The next moment Rose feels his mouth on hers; doing all the lovely things she's only dreamed about for far too long. The Doctor's mouth and tongue exploring her neck and his hands roaming over her body soon make any fantasy start to pale against a very tangible reality.
Working against each other with a feverish urgency, they feel desperate to make up for all the lost time. Rose gropes at the Doctor's back, clutching at the fabric of his shirt, almost fearful of leaving a single space between them. The Doctor discovers that Rose's lips taste far better then any fruit or tea, that she is soft and firm in all the right places and that nothing is going interrupt them. Not his idiotic fears, not her human emotions, no disasters.
Although they soon have to admit breathlessness is becoming an issue.
The Doctor releases his hold on her for a moment and leans up, jostling back the duvet. His action reveals their rather dishevelled appearances to the light, making them both stare at each other in silly admiration.
"You're a mess," Rose whispers, running her hand through his hair. The way he's looking down at her makes her shiver despite her still flushed face. She's never seen that look before. Dark eyes taking her in, burning with barely hidden excitement. She feels a twinge of shyness return now that they are so…visual again.
"So are you, but you're still beautiful," he says, chuckling as she blushes a lovely shade of pink. Supporting himself on one elbow, slightly hovering over her, he kisses her again teasingly, his movements slower and more deliberate than before. They have time. And he's sure he wants every second of it – of her.
Rose holds his gaze as he reaches up, running his hand along her neckline and shoulder, teasingly light across her chest; trailing over her stomach, the curve of her hips and even further down to her thighs, mapping a steady path across her body. He hesitates a moment before slipping his fingers under the hem of her shirt and tracking up again. She feels the pressure of the mattress beneath her increase as he carefully lowers his weight on top of her. Although she can hardly think at this point it flashes through her that it's actually happening. Him and her, together: about to make love. The Doctor, her best friend, is becoming her lover and it feels so right.
There's no need to hurry but she realizes then that there might still be some barriers between them – mainly of the fabric variety – that need immediate attention.
Before the Doctor knows what's happening Rose wraps a long leg around his waist and twists them round, making it his turn to look up at her. And it's gorgeous. Frankly, she leaves him quite speechless. Which means something fierce, he thinks. It's been a long time since he abandoned his need to keep talking. Feeling Rose's weight shift nicely as she leans over, one hand behind his head, the other moving across his chest, he closes his eyes for a moment to savour the experience…and senses something zip past his face.
His eyes snap open in surprise to the sight of Rose's guilty expression, her hands poised on his chest right next to his half opened shirt – with several buttons missing.
"Oops." She says through clenched teeth.
He starts giggling like a girl.
"Maybe you can help me with this, before I truly accidentally rip up your entire outfit?"
"Rose Tyler. You'll be my undoing," he says, still snickering, "you know that don't you?" (And you may rip up everything I own, I don't care as long as you stay here with me.)
"Only if you want me to," she retorts and continues unbuttoning the rest of his shirt, a little less hasty then before, but not too slow. That would be mean. She finishes the last button, letting her fingers travel over his naked chest lightly, delighting in her new position.
He gulps. "Oh, I want you...to. Yes. Definitely. But now you're finished with that, you might want to undo some other things," Tugging at the sleeve of her t-shirt he leaves very little doubt about his meaning. Rose narrows her eyes slightly. Inside she's blazing but she reckons stalling a little bit longer won't hurt. Much.
"Mmmh, I'm not sure you'd be able to eh, handle something like that. You seemed pretty upset before, when I kissed you. Might not be good for your heart…s." Rose gasps as he suddenly sits up, and encircles her in a tight embrace, a particularly wolfish grin conveying his message before he speaks the words. "Actually, with me being the Doctor and all, I reckon it's quite healthy and that I'm probably going to need lots of it. Lots of Rose. At least three times a- "
He doesn't get much further with that sentence because she cuts him off in the most exquisitely tempting way. And as they are finally together, there's only one way of resolving temptation.
So talking ceases. A little bit longer for once.
When the glowing digits on Rose's alarm clock tell the Doctor that morning is closer than night he believes it whole-heartedly. He feels the need to sleep. Next to her.
Holding her in his arms, warm and heavy with contentment, he watches her sleep for a while.
It doesn't feel wrong this time. He's hers for as long as she wants him. Always was really.
He could make up a long speech about why he didn't act sooner, invent new words just to express all that she makes him feel and maybe one day he will, but not now. Not this night. Leaning forward a little he presses a gentle kiss to her neck, silently telling her everything before finally giving in to sleep.