A/N:Just a tiny bit cliche...mwahahaha XD
Thank Heavens for the Small Sleeping Bag
They don't take time to wonder who it belongs to or why whoever it belongs to isn't there, just crawl into the relatively warmer temperature and dry climate the tiny tent provides.
He lets her go in first. He's chivalrous like that. "Budge over," he requests politely, shoving her in with a hand on the back of her thigh as she scrambles inside on all fours. He most certainly doesn't situate his hand in that position on purpose, especially not since she's wearing a small denim skirt today and thus he's actually touching rained-on bare skin.
If she notices his inappropriately-placed hand she doesn't mention it, just reaches over to switch on a torch lamp she's noticed. "God, it's so cold! This top is soaking wet," she complains, shivering, tugging ineffectually at the hem of her sodden t-shirt as she shifts over to the other corner of the tent to give him and his long legs more room. "Wish I'd worn a coat."
"I did tell you to," he points out. "Should've listened to the good Doctor, now, shouldn't you?"
"Oh great, now he's referring to himself in third person," she grimaces, rolling her eyes as she wrings out her tangled hair. "His 'I told you so' rant is going to go on all night."
"And you're referring to me as if I'm not even here. And I can hear you, you know."
"I know," she mutters. "That was the point." She glances back at him and sees he's pouting, and can't help but laugh. And he's pleased to note that once she's started laughing she can't stop, and he laughs with her because he does like it so very much when she's happy.
"Still!" he grins brightly. "At least we've found a nice tent to commandeer." He looks around them and wrinkles his nose slightly. "Even if it is most definitely smaller on the inside."
She grins back, and he thinks he sees mischief in her eyes so prepares himself for whatever cheekiness she's going to throw his way. "Only one sleeping bag, too."
He follows her gaze to what they're sitting on. He thinks it'd be very useful to cuddle up inside to ward off the cold while they wait for the storm to stop, but of course, he only says, "Ah yes. Shame, that."
"Big shame," she agrees. "I vote that I get it."
His eyes widen theatrically. "And why should you get it?" he demands, but of course he's going to let her have it really; he just can't resist teasing her. She started it.
"Well, you have your big heavy coat. I don't."
"And that's your own fault. Plus, my big heavy coat is soaking wet, too, you know." He contemplates taking it off, but isn't sure he's going to have room to manoeuvre himself out of it.
"Well, I'm human. Don't you have superior blood flow or something?"
His mind boggles at the suggestion. "Pardon?" he squeaks.
"I mean, two hearts, right? Doesn't that keep your circulation going better? Pumps the blood around the body more efficiently?"
He tilts his head to the side thoughtfully, relieved now he comprehends her meaning. "Well, yes, it does. But - "
He cuts himself off when she takes off her top.
He thinks to himself, but now it doesn't. In fact, he's quite sure his hearts are now pumping his blood around his body with one very specific focus, and that isn't very efficient at all, if he only has it one location. How on Earth is he supposed to even think, if that's where it's headed?
However heavy it is now, filled with rainwater, he's so very grateful he kept his coat on. He can't deny that a very useful side effect of picking said coat to wear this regeneration has been the impromptu ability to hide certain things from Rose. Certain things that have, coincidently, been side of effects caused by Rose. Funny, that. Some might say ironic, and that's completely what his life is like nowadays.
"But what?" she prompts, tugging his sleeve to apparently regain his attention. As if his attention has at all wavered from being on her in the last ten seconds (or the last two years.) Far from it, in fact.
"But you shouldn't have taken off your top," he blurts out.
Wishes he hadn't.
"But it's soaking wet," she says, as if he's stupid. She shivers. "Now, let me get into the sleeping bag." She tries to pull it out from under him but he stays very much seated, and for a very good reason, thank you.
"But it is very cold," he tells her ruefully.
"Exactly!" she sighs.
"Bit selfish, Rose Tyler. Stealing the warmth for yourself. I'm cold, too. Perhaps I need warming up more."
There's a smirk forming at the corners of his mouth, he can't help it, and he knows she's seen it, seen the accompanying twinkle in his eye. He's starting to flirt, and she's picking up on it, reciprocating, and he's so very pleased about that.
Her stance on the issue changes slightly. "So," Rose grins suggestively, hint of tongue wetting her bottom lip. She always gives as good as she gets, after all, and he adores that about her, always has. "What am I supposed to do about that?"
He arches an eyebrow at her. "You'll just have to freeze, won't you? And let me have the sleeping bag."
She shifts even closer, into the space in which used to be personal but, since Rose came along in his life, has been very much non-existent. Hence the causation of certain aforementioned side effects. "You don't feel the cold as much as I do. And you'd never let me freeze," she murmurs, her voice low.
He almost shivers but suppresses it quickly. He's not giving her the satisfaction. Weeeelll. Not that sort of satisfaction, anyway. She's watching him closely and he abruptly clears all inappropriate thoughts from his mind – well. He says all. He means most. Well. He says most. He means some.
Well. One or two.
He's got a complex mind, though – and actually, despite his quickly re-routing blood flow, he can actually think of several things simultaneously – so he continues speaking as if he's not imagining every which way he could possibly warm her up. "You're right. I wouldn't," he says softly.
She blinks at his tone – now tender instead of flirtatious, and he's pleased to have confused her. He always does this when they're having these moments of banter; injects a little more meaning behind the words – and not in an innuendo way, more of an...emotional way. He confuses her, because she confuses him, and he wants to know what she's thinking but he can't and that frustrates him.
She's careful, the way she teases him, has fun with it but keeps her heart guarded. And sometimes he thinks she's more scared of what they've become than him. Scared that if she pushes it too far, expects too much of him, then this delicate distance between friends and lovers will disintegrate, and not in the good way, not in the way that takes them to bed together but in the way that pulls their friendship apart forever.
She doesn't know, can't possibly, that he can never let her go. Which is why he adds the gentle words that make her heart rate increase even more than his teasing does. Hopes she'll realise, somehow, that actually, he isn't pretending. He cares about her. Too much to openly declare, far too much; so much that it might scare her away if he says it outright, which is why he doesn't.
"Then what are you gonna do about it?" she whispers, a little breathlessly.
He smiles at her in the way he hopes she knows he only smiles for her, could only ever smile for her, considering she's the reason he smiles this way. "I suppose," he begins, and his voice comes out huskier than he perhaps intends, but that's okay because at least she's blushing because of it. His pink and yellow human's become pinker because of his voice, and he can't help it if that thrills him slightly, to know he's flustered her. He thinks of it as getting his own back for the way she affects him. "I could sneak in with you."
Her breath hitches. "Are you sure there's enough room?"
"Would it matter if there wasn't?" he retorts.
"No," she replies automatically, just as he hopes she will. Then she realises what she's said and hastily corrects herself. "I mean, yeah, it does matter, if we can't both...fit."
He continues to stare into her eyes because, quite simply, he can't drag himself away from them. Not even to look at her chest, now heaving in oxygen too quickly to not be noticed. Besides, he's already looked at that particular region of her body when she first removed her top, and gotten away with it, too, so he's not risking doing so again. Anyway, point is, her eyes draw him in and he reckons if he leant a little closer and pushed his forehead to hers...if he let his fingertips come up and rest at her temples...she would absolutely let him into her mind and let him drown in her.
"We could try, I s'pose," she murmurs, and for a brief moment he thinks she's read his thoughts and is answering them. But then he realises she means the sleeping bag and finds he's not actually at all disappointed. In fact, he secretly thinks he'll like the physical closeness even more.
He momentarily considers how very like a human she's made him, but succinctly concludes that he adores her even more for it. As much as he outwardly puts the race down, he's always admired humanity, and if, by some miraculous wonder she's drawn a bit of it out in him, then he's eternally grateful to her. He's needed this, needed her, to make him better, and he feels more complete now than he ever has.
He doesn't know if it's his desire to complement Rose, to be compatible with her in every way that includes these human emotions, or whether it's a natural progression for him, having met her, to become more like her. He only knows that whatever the reason - in spite of his species, in spite of the dormant feelings that took generations of Time Lords to adequately repress, in spite of the fact that he's never felt something like this human compulsion before – he wants her. And perhaps even more than that, he wants her to want him back.
"Yeah, we could," he replies quietly. She breaks his intense gaze then, and he obediently moves so that she can wrestle the sleeping bag from beneath him and, unzipping it just far enough, she wriggles herself into it.
"You'll have to take your coat and jacket off," she tells him, but he's already planning on doing that, so she needn't worry. He just needs a few seconds to reassert control over a certain part of his anatomy...yes, that's better. Back to, uh, normal (or not, as the case really is nowadays) he kneels and unbuttons his jacket and shrugs both garments off at the same time – which is actually more difficult than he thinks it'll be and earns an amused laugh from the woman snuggled up on the floor in front of him. He mock-glares at her laughing at him but she knows he's trying not to smile himself.
Coat and jacket finally off, he pauses then, unsure. His light-blue shirt is also soaked through; not only does it feel very wet, but Rose's eyes are very much on his torso so he takes a guess and reckons the material's become transparent. But should he remove it, really? The sleeping bag isn't strictly speaking made for two, therefore the inevitably cramped conditions – conditions which he is very much looking forward to – will mean her barely clothed upper half would be pressed against his bare chest, thus things could get rather...
Fantastic, actually. He thinks a little too fantastic, though, maybe.
She solves the problem for him after a few moments of silent contemplation. "You'd better take that off too, or I'll still end up really cold," she says.
He takes off his shirt. Both of them have neglected to mention that he's got a cooler body temperature than her as well, which could also make things uncomfortable for her. But then, he reckons neither of them wish to talk the other out of this ridiculously sensual idea of snuggling up in a sleeping bag together, so it's a good job they don't pay attention to that particular specific.
He watches her with both curiosity and amusement when she starts to fidget. "Are you okay?" he asks her. He's carefully folding up his shirt and putting it with the rest of their clothing, purely for something to do, something to occupy his hands with.
She sighs heavily, and she looks like she's stretching her arms down the bag, towards her legs, and she's squirming even more. His eyebrows climb his forehead.
Then, suddenly, he's catching a denim skirt in his hands. His left heart almost stops.
"Wha-?" he mutters.
"Sorry. But that denim was so uncomfortable. You'll have to deal with me in just my underwear, I'm afraid," she says. Her words shouldn't sound gorgeous, because she's not using that flirtatious tone anymore; he thinks, actually, that she's nervous, a bit shy, and uncertain of what he'll say about it. The flirty confidence is all gone from her as she refuses to meet his eyes.
But her words sound gorgeous to his ears anyway, because he's a bit...preoccupied in his rather glorious imagery she's just thrust upon him. And thrust really isn't a good word to use in this context right now.
He shivers. Rose thinks he's cold. "Come on then, I won't bite," she smiles sheepishly, unzipping the sleeping bag a bit further.
As much as he's worried about what their soon to be close proximity will do to his self-control, his trousers are very itchy and uncomfortably wet right now. His throat feels dry, but he has to ask. Has to. Just...has to. "Um. Don't take this the wrong way Rose, but..." he trails off. Her face falls. He hastily picks up his sentence again, not wanting her to get upset. "No, wait, I just...I really need to get my trousers off. Is that okay?"
She gasps in surprise. Then bursts out laughing. "Right," she giggles. "Sure. Be my guest."
"Thanks," he smiles, relieved. He's astounded to feel himself blushing, and hopes she hasn't noticed.
He smirks when he realises she's closing her eyes to give him some privacy as he – awkwardly, in the small space - pulls off his trousers. Before she has time to open them again, he's crawling in with her, and his arm brushes hers to gently nudge her onto her side so he can settle behind her in the, as predicted, cramped conditions.
She complies with his silent request, opening her eyes and rolling to her right, facing away from him. He zips up the sleeping bag and secretly congratulates them both for their achievement. He considers the inch of space between her back and his front really doesn't need to be there, so he pretends he's got even less room than he really does so that he can press close to her. She doesn't object, thank goodness, and leans back into him slightly herself.
She tilts her head slightly to peer at him over her shoulder. "You didn't turn off the torchlight," she points out, giving him a cheeky grin. "Last one into bed always has to get the light."
His jaw clenches a little, but he tries not to show his inexplicable irritation with her for implying that there is a common or at least previous occurrence of her having experience in such matters, as trivial as they are. He does not want to think about the other two men who have lain with her in exactly this position, the other two men who have not turned off the light before coming to bed with her; doesn't want to think about it but does, because he's so suddenly profoundly jealous that he can't even reply to her.
He extends his arm out of their cocoon and reaches in front of her to where the torch is. He clicks the off switch quickly and drops his arm. It's not inside the sleeping bag but it's resting over her hip, and he likes to think maybe she won't notice that he's using the gesture as a subtle mark of possession.
"Your arm'll get cold," she murmurs, and it sounds as if she's telling him off so he smiles. Then, she's sneaking her own hand out to grab at his. She tugs his arm back into the sleeping bag and he tries not to sigh in disappointment. But then she's pulling his arm around her, letting it rest in exactly the position it has just been in, only now, there's bare skin against bare skin rather than bare skin against fabric and he's mystified and delighted and all things merry, really, at the way she wants him to practically cuddle her.
Her hair's tickling his nose so he shifts his face a little. What he really wants to do is nuzzle the point at which neck meets shoulder, but he's aware that might seem a little presumptuous of him. Plus, he's really, really concentrating on keeping his thoughts nice and pure, trying to counteract the desire that flows through him at simply having her this close to him, having her body pressing back into his. Soft curves against his hips and warm skin touching his.
His fingertips hover above her stomach and he wants to trace his name, or maybe his name and hers, in a heart, on her skin; he realises he's quite quickly become uncharacteristically sappy in these last few thoughts but maybe he doesn't care, maybe he wants to give her romance. Maybe he wants to woo her, if he could, but he knows they're too far gone for that. Too far past that line. They're closer than best friends ought to be, just not quite close enough; but any sort of softly recited poems in her ear or professions of adoration against her hair would be too out of place, too conventional for their love story.
And he likes to think of it as that, a love story, even if it isn't, even if it never is for her. He likes to think that they're slowly stumbling into a relationship every moment that passes. He likes to think that one day, he'll be able to press his lips to the curve of her jaw and wake her up in his bed by it, and that'll be it: they're a couple.
"Doctor," she murmurs into the darkness.
He jumps a bit in surprise, because he'd actually thought she'd fallen asleep; she's been quiet so long. "Yes, Rose?" he whispers. She shivers, and he thinks she's cold; doesn't entertain the notion that she's simply reacting to his breath against her skin, or tries not to anyway. "Am I too cold for you?" he asks.
She shakes her head, and her hand seizes his arm again, wrapping it more fully around her until his palm can't help but splay across her stomach. He swallows thickly when she presses back into him more firmly, and hopes to everything that she will not feel uncomfortable should her motion trigger a now uncontrollable response in his groin.
"You do realise that we've broken into someone's tent?" she says then, starting to giggle. "'Cos I've only just realised. I hope you have a plan, some way to explain ourselves when the owner gets back, 'cos I've got nothing."
He smiles his smile that's only for her again, even though she can't see it. Impulsively, he decides to smile it into her shoulder instead, and the contact of his lips against her skin makes her jerk slightly, bringing him back to his senses and making him realise what he's just done.
He hastily retracts his head, tilts it as far away from hers as he can, and hopes that she won't make him remove his arm from around her as well.
"Doctor?" she whispers tentatively, tilting her own head back. As if determined to follow him, his lips, his embrace.
He thinks, for the very first time, maybe she is doing exactly that. Maybe she's waiting for him to make a move so that she can follow him. Maybe she doesn't want to make it herself, because she's afraid he'll reject her.
"Yeah?" his voice croaks out.
She hesitates. He can feel it. She takes in a breath to speak but then stops herself.
But she isn't pulling away from him.
"Rose?" he prompts, moving his head back to where it was before. Summoning all his courage, he lets his lips gently graze her shoulder again as he repeats her name, "Rose."
She sighs softly, relaxing in his hold again. Emboldened, he lets his fingertips stroke her belly, and she quivers at his touch, but does not protest. He takes this as a positive sign and the pad of his thumb draws circles around her navel. It's when her hair falls out of the way as her head turns that he kisses the exposed bit of neck he's wanted to kiss for so long. It's when she moans at his kiss that he knows for sure she's wanted that too.
He doesn't even try and suppress or hide his arousal any longer; knows he probably hasn't been, anyway, with her pressed up against him so securely, so intimately. He leaves a trail of open-mouthed kisses all the way up her neck to her jaw, round to her ear, before sucking her earlobe into his mouth.
She makes that sound again, that delightful little moan that makes him just that little more desperate to have her make the sound over and over. He slides his hand higher, his thumb swiping across the underside of her bra-encased breast, and she shivers. She lifts her leg slightly and, realising her intention, one of his slips in the space between hers. He kisses the juncture between her neck and her shoulder, then nips there lightly – invoking another moan – before biting a little harder, enough to make a mark.
He pauses for a moment, feeling dizzy and a bit anxious he's hurt her – or at least, put a claim on her he doesn't deserve the right to have. She seems to sense his worry, because she closes her hand over the arm that's wrapped around her and squeezes it in reassurance, before whispering, "I'm yours."
He frowns, unsure if he's heard her right. "What?" he asks her neck breathlessly.
She raises her volume to repeat, a tremor in her voice, "I'm yours. If you want."
He smiles. "Only if I can be yours."
She gasps quietly in relief and maybe happiness, or at least that's what he hopes. Her hand on his arm moves to his hand, and she guides it to a more prominent position on her breast; he cups the weight in his hand and his palm must graze her nipple through the thin fabric because she moans in pleasure. She lets her other hand sneak back to clutch at his hip, and he instinctively tries to rock even closer to her as he presses his face into her hair. Inhaling the beautiful scent of strawberry shampoo and Rose, he trails his hand up to her shoulder, where he gently tugs down her bra strap.
They end up giggling softly as she tries to awkwardly get her arm out of the way so that he can pull the bra down a bit, but their giggles soon fade when he's exploring bare breast. His face finds her neck again and he nuzzles it like he's always wanted to, and before he knows it, Rose's hand on his hip has migrated south. She trails her fingers up his thigh as best she can in their position, and he makes a surprised sort of half-growl, half-whimper sound when she slides her hand between their bodies to stroke him. She pauses, and he pants in her ear for several long moments. She's about to resume her quest, but he stops her hand with a quick catch of her wrist, and drags it back around to in front of her. He can feel her confusion in the air and explains softly, "I don't want this to be over too soon."
She relaxes in relief at knowing she's done nothing wrong – on the contrary, she'd done something far too right – and then she tenses again when he guides her hand down her own stomach, down to the waistband of her knickers.
"Doctor..." she says, and it's his turn to pause.
"Yeah?" he replies, and he sounds worried because he is, worried he's pushed things too far and now she's having second thoughts.
"I can hear something..."
"Really?" he breathes out roughly. "All I can hear is the blood rushing through my ears and you."
"Someone's coming," she whispers.
"Not quite yet," he mutters, and she nudges his ribs with her elbow.
"Naughty! I mean it! You've got superior hearing – listen!"
He sighs but does as she asks. And that's when he hears it: a rustling sound outside the tent. He registers that the rain is becoming lighter, almost stopping, and there's now something, or someone, outside.
"Bugger," he whispers.
"See! Told you," she sighs, rolling her eyes. "What're we gonna do?"
He whimpers in annoyance. Actually whimpers. "Ohhhh. Why did they have to come back now, of all times?"
"How the hell are we going to explain us, half naked in a stranger's sleeping bag, practically having..."
"I don't know. Let's hope for the best, though. Maybe we'll just get arrested, not killed."
"Oh, lovely, that'll be," she groans sarcastically.
"Shh, let me handle it," he says. He belatedly removes his hand from her belly and sits up awkwardly, unzipping the sleeping bag. A rush of cold air hits them both and they flinch. It really had been getting rather warm in their nice, small sleeping bag. What a shame their comfort has to be so tragically cut short.
As he scrambles out and reaches for his freezing, wet shirt, a man unzips the entrance to his tent and starts to crawl in, pausing only when he catches the Doctor's compromising position.
"I can explain," the Doctor says quickly, dropping the shirt and holding up his hands.
The man's eyes are wide with surprise and he blinks quickly, as if he's imagining the vision in front of him.
The Doctor takes in a deep breath and explains hurriedly, "Rose and I were out taking a nice stroll in the countryside, when all of a sudden, a storm appears, doesn't it – bad luck, that; we'd thought it was going to be a lovely evening! So anyway, we're soaking wet and stumbling through fields and mud trying to find shelter, when we see this lovely little tent – and I mean that, it is very lovely, I love what you've done with it – and decide that the nice young fellow who it belongs to will be kind-hearted enough to let us dry off inside until the rain stops." The Doctor pauses, looking at the man sheepishly. "Sorry?"
The man stares at him. Then his gaze flickers to Rose, still curled up in the sleeping bag and looking up at him with a matching sheepish expression.
"You had to take all your clothes off, did you?" he asks.
The Doctor's eyes widen. "Weeelll, they were soaking wet. We thought it best to snuggle up and generate warmth through our combined body heat."
"Hence that, then, I suppose?" says the man, nodding towards the Doctor's crotch.
Rose bursts out laughing, and the Doctor turns pink.
"Well," he begins, trying to sound dignified. "Unfortunately – or fortunately, really, depending on your perspective – that is a side effect of being around Rose that I have to consistently endure. It's completely not my fault."
Her laughing stops and her mouth falls open in shock at that implication.
The man eyes him dubiously. "Were you two about to have sex in my bed?"
"No, no, no," the Doctor laughs shakily. "No. Wouldn't dream of it! Well, I might dream of it. But I wouldn't do it!"
Rose raises an eyebrow.
"You have two options," he says, and the Doctor gulps. "One, you leave my tent right now and we say no more about it." The Doctor and Rose's expressions lift; they are fond of this idea. Then the man grins salaciously, "Two...I join you."
The Doctor and Rose look at each other in horror. "Er, thanks, but..." the Doctor begins.
"...we'll take the first option. No offence," Rose finishes for him.
The man shrugs. "Fair enough. The rain's stopped and the temperature's up a bit. You shouldn't be too cold on your way back to...wherever you're from." He smiles politely and nods to Rose. "I'll give you some privacy to get dressed."
He shuffles back out of the tent. Rose and the Doctor look at each other again.
"Well, that went a lot better than I thought it would," he admits, letting out a whoosh of breath in relief.
"Yep," she grins back. "Never imagined we'd get propositioned!"
"Just your type as well," the Doctor grumbles under his breath.
She rolls her eyes. "You're my type."
He starts to smile. "Weeellll...that's good to know."
"Mmhmm," she agrees.