He found me asleep, cheeks red and body worn out from crying. He tsked, seeing I had been crying then sat on the edge of the bed delicately, so as not to wake me. For a moment, he inspected his screwdriver, turning it over in his hands. Then he turned his attention to his black – yet lightened with dust and wear – boots, admiring them. Once, he tapped the toes together. I snapped up in bed.
"Oh," he said, looking disappointed. "I didn't mean to wake you."
I threw my arms around his middle and awkwardly buried my face in his neck. It was so we were sort of perpendicular, causing the awkward position. He didn't mind, though, returning the embrace.
"Hullo, princess," he murmured into my neck. Slowly, he pulled away and held his hands to either side of my face, his thumbs tracing the stains. "Why the tears?"
I wiped at my eyes, even though they were dry. "Oh, you know. Boys are just. . .stupid." At the moment, no better word came to mind.
"Agreed. I suggest investing in men rather than boys."
Josh, the boy causing me trouble, was always convinced the Doctor held a special affection for me. While the idea sort of excited me, I tried not to get too attached to it. For one, it would make Josh even more jealous if it were true. In addition to this, I knew the Doctor tended to have female "companions" and I was far from being the first. It was best I didn't get my hopes up. Chances were it was nothing and Josh was just being Josh.
But maybe now. . .now it wouldn't be so bad to test that theory. He was, after all, here when I needed him. That must mean something. And if Josh was wrong, well, I was already in pain. What was a little more?
"And how might you define a man, Doctor?" It was a start.
"Oh, I don't know." He pushed his hair back with his gorgeous fingers. "Long brown hair. Eyes the color of rivers. Owns a TARDIS. . . ."
There was only one man I could think of who fit that description. The Doctor smiled down at me weakly.
I had to do something. And now.
So I did. I stretched some before pressing my lips to his. It was very chaste. Something I'd usually roll my eyes at. But it was so sweet, so perfect for the entire two seconds it lasted. I very soon felt his strong hands on my shoulders, pushing me back.
"I—" But I couldn't think of anything to say beyond that.
Again, the Doctor took my face in his hands. He kissed my forehead.
"Tomorrow. Your tears are barely dry. Tomorrow when your head is clear. I don't want to be the reason for a breakdown, nor do I want to be second best."
I nodded wordlessly.
"Meanwhile," he said, taking a look up the length of my bed, "I think this bed is far too lonely. Sleep in the TARDIS tonight?"
I knew he wasn't offering sex or even to share a bed. Maybe not even a room, though I'd fight that.
"Yeah," I said. "Please." I swung my legs over the edge of the bed.
"What're you doing?" he asked, looking at me as if I was mad.
"Going to the TARDIS…?"
"You can't go outside with bare feet!"
"I've got shoes just over –"
He spoke over me. "Bare feet," he repeated as if it was the most ridiculous thing in the universe. "You are truly mad, woman." I wanted to agree with him and point out I had traveled time and space with him in his crazy blue box, but he kept speaking. "No, I'll be carrying you."
And so he did.