I just re-watched "The Christmas Invasion," and the very last scene inspired this. Set late in Season 2/28. Surprisingly little angst, considering it's me!
Thanks to Of-Ravens-And-Writing-Desks for catching a tiny typo!
The Doctor's Hands
Before I met Mickey, I dated this piano player for a while. I used to just sit and watch him play, fascinated by his hands. So sure, so precise. The slightest touch of the keys made the most beautiful music. Music that could make you laugh, or cry, or just wonder. There was something undeniably sexy about his hands.
Watching The Doctor fly the TARDIS is kind of like that. It's supposed to have six pilots, he says, but still he goes dashing around the console, his hands finding exactly the right button or switch or lever in endlessly complicated patterns. It's beautiful, really. They know exactly where to go and what to do. I wonder if he even has to think about it at all anymore.
And it's not just when he's piloting the ship, either. Whether he's tinkering with alien technology or cobbling together some device that'll help him save the world, whether he's picking a lock so we can make an escape or reaching out to me or just typing, I keep catching myself watching his hands.
It's funny—there was a short time that I was a bit creeped out by his hands. When that horrible Sycorax cut off The Doctor's hand in the sword fight and he just grew a new one, right there and then, I didn't know whether to laugh or throw up. I mean, apparently it's all totally normal for Time Lords, but sometimes I think he forgets I'm only human. I know I used to forget that he isn't. Not anymore, though—his right hand is a constant reminder of that.
But when he holds my hands, it's a different story altogether. With Mickey, or even with my piano player, holding hands felt warm and comfortable. Holding hands with The Doctor, though, that's an entirely new experience. There's something so much more… intimate about it. Maybe it's because he doesn't touch me all that often otherwise—the occasional hug when we've gotten out of another sticky situation, maybe, but he's never even kissed me properly—but there are times when holding his hand feels like a kiss. Sometimes I think I can tell what he's thinking or feeling just by the way he holds my hand. There's a grip that says "Watch out," one that says "Run for your life," another that says "Isn't this beautiful?" and another that I like to think says "I love you."
I've seen his hands hold weapons and flowers, tools and toys. They can convey an invitation, a warning, or a threat. They can be strong or gentle—or both. They betray his state of mind: the way he runs them through his hair, or fiddles with his sonic screwdriver, or slams his fists into the TARDIS's console. He talks with his hands, too, especially when he gets excited. And there's something so unbearably cute about him when he sticks his hands in his pockets, rocks back on his heels, and grins at me. Makes me want to run up to him and snog him senseless then and there.
I often wonder what his hands would feel like on my face, in my hair. I shiver just thinking about it, and it's not because his hands are always cool. But he never goes there, much as I want him to. And I know he wants to; I can tell by the way he looks at me. But he never does. I used to think he was just being a gentleman—after all, he's what, fifty times my age?—but that's not it.
It's something else I've read in his hands. In those moments when he takes my hand purely out of affection, it's the way he holds on just a little tighter than necessary. As if he's afraid I'll disappear or something. I think he's afraid to let anything happen between us. He's been hurt so many times, I think he doesn't want to risk it again. It breaks my heart. I won't push him.
The TARDIS stops wheezing. "Here we are," The Doctor announces cheerfully. "Pastoralis Major, one of the only completely pristine habitable worlds in the entire galaxy." I turn, and there he is, hands in his pockets, toes up off the deck, and that grin. "Perfect place for a holiday, don't you think, Rose?"
I smile back. How can I not? "Yeah." I can't help but giggle, just a little.
He throws open the doors, and sunshine streams in, bringing with it fresh air laden with the scent of alien flowers. "Well, come on, then. Allons-y!" He takes my hand—holding just a little too tight—and just for the joy of it, we run.