Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

-Edgar Allan Poe
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Stepping back from Rose was one of the hardest things the Doctor had ever done. He'd had to put his hands in his pockets just to keep from reaching out for her again. Still, if he made a point of giving his adversaries a chance to save themselves, how could he do any less for Rose? No, he'd had to give her a chance. A chance to pull back. A chance to run.

He'd given her that chance and she'd refused to take it. He had no intention of giving her another one.

The reality of her – her mouth on his, her nearly-naked body pressed along the length of his, the scent of her, the taste of her – left him stunned and he was absolutely still for a moment. Then two. Then his hands were in her hair, cradling her head and tilting her to just the right angle, and finally! Finally, he tasted stroked loved that tantalizing, tempting tongue of hers. As they kissed, they undressed themselves and each other with impatient, greedy hands and he distantly heard the sound of beads falling to the floor. He was going to slow down so that he could savor this, savor her, at any moment now. She wasn't moving any slower than he was, however, and her eager hands and demanding mouth shredded his resolve.

With her arms around his neck and her breasts pressed against his chest, she made a little gasping moan against his mouth when he swept his hands down to her butt and lifted her up against him. Her legs encircled his waist, pressing the hot, wet center of her directly against him. As she rocked herself against him, it was all he could do not to slide into her right then. In moments, she lay on the bed while he knelt over her. She looked up at him, breathing hard, her skin flush, and that tempting tongue of hers licking her lower lip – and even as he told himself once more to slow down, he wanted to fall on her, over her, in her. Right. Now.

"Condom," she whispered.

With the desire roiling through him, his mind filled with the maelstrom of sensation that was Rose, naked and needy in front of him, he was a little less than coherent.


She waved in the general direction of the drawer in her nightstand.


Yes. Of course. A baby, if unlikely, was always a possibility. Good thing one of them had the presence of mind to think of it. He opened the drawer to find one or two intriguing items that gave him all sorts of interesting ideas for the next time or the time after that. He also found an unopened box of condoms, still in the bag from some shop in Cardiff. Mickey. Of course. That thought certainly chilled some of the heat in his blood.

"You going to brood on who I didn't use them with?" Clever girl, reading him like a book.

He looked over at her, saw a hint of trepidation behind the challenge in her eyes, and told himself not to be any more of an idiot than he had to be.

"I might be a mad man, but I could never be that mad." He grinned at her and pulled one of the condoms out.

"'Course, I don't know if this'll be enough," he said, tossing the rest of the 12-pack down on top of the nightstand, next to the bed.

Taking the packet from him, she got to her knees and opened it. He groaned in appreciation of her talented fingers as she rolled it onto him while simultaneously scraping her teeth lightly across his nipple.

Smiling, she murmured, "Promises, promises."

He pushed her back on the bed and followed her down. He wanted to explore every inch of her with his hands and tongue – to catalogue every moan and sigh and note exactly when she lost control – but the desire driving him wasn't going to let that happen this time. He filed the thought, along with the items in her drawer, in the "next time or the time after that" column. Intertwining his fingers with hers, he pinned her hands against the bed, and thrust into her, hard. His smile was one of pure satisfaction when she moaned and arched beneath him.

"Less of a promise. More of a warning."

"Don't think I won't hold you to that." Her laugh turned into a soft groan.

That was the last of any intelligible conversation for quite some time.

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Rose was sitting at the table, sewing beads back onto the top, when Jack came into the kitchen, whistling. He poured a cup of coffee and turned to lean back against the counter.

Rose grinned. "Good party, Jack?"

"Great party, Rose," he replied. "Cynthia was lovely. George was sublime." He winked.

She laughed.

"What about you? Did you have a good time?" He asked, just as the Doctor entered the room.

The Doctor tilted Rose's head back and gave her long kiss. Then he grabbed a biscuit from the jar, told the slack-jawed Jack, "Good morning", and left the room. Jack closed his mouth with an audible click.

Rose grinned. "Best party ever."