Dangerous Country Lanes

"I really think you should have just let me drive us there and back." The Doctor glanced across at Rose, bracing himself against the taxi door as it careered around a corner.

"And I keep telling you that you aren't driving without a licence. Until you get one you're only driving the TARDIS."

"You don't drive the TARDIS, you fly her, and I did suggest taking her."

She reached across for his hand. "Would you relax? You're so tense."

"Of course I'm tense." He gripped onto her tighter. "It's dark, these are tiny, and quite frankly dangerous country lanes and this is the worst driving I've ever seen, well maybe not that I've seen but definitely experienced." The taxi sped around a sharp corner and for a moment he was convinced it was going to go off the road.

"We were meant to be staying the night and coming back with Mum, Dad and Tony, it's not my fault you didn't want to stay." As the taxi turned again Rose was almost thrown into his arms. "Don't pretend you didn't love the party, you were constantly grinning at me."

He unclipped his seat belt, scooting over to her and wrapping her in his arms. "That's you, not the party. Point is that I really don't like this, you could even say that I'm a little bit scared."

"We'll be fine." Rose leant forward a little, tapping her knuckles on the glass separating them from the driver. "Slow down!" When he ignored her she knocked harder. "Oi! I said, slow down. Do you want to crash or something?" The only response was a half-hearted shrug, if anything they suspected he'd sped up; Rose looked up at the Doctor with wide eyes. "We're gonna have to jump." She pulled at the handle of the door but it didn't budge and an attempt to smash the window proved just as unsuccessful.

"Who puts the child lock on in a taxi?" He squeezed her tighter. "Oh I'm so sorry for making you leave."

"This isn't your fault." They both noticed the driver slump forward a little and suspected he'd fallen asleep at the wheel; of all the taxi drivers they could have had it had to be an idiot who drove whilst half asleep. Rose brought a hand up to the Doctor's face to make him look her in the eye. "I love you."

He sighed, knowing that in a few hundred yards the road would turn and the vehicle would go flying off the road. But this wasn't how it was supposed to happen; they were meant to go together and this at the most would just cause him to regenerate, he couldn't lose her like this, not to a stupid car crash. "I know." He pulled her even closer, kissing the side of her head. "I…" The taxi lurched off the road, disrupting his train of thought. Instinctively he threw himself across Rose, and then everything went black.

When he woke Rose was peering over him, as she came into focus he smiled despite his pounding headache and aching body. "Love you. I love you too."

"I know, I know." She smiled back, stroking his hair away from his face in an attempt to sooth him. "I love you, Doctor."

For a moment he took in his surroundings, realising he was now lying in the grass at the side of the road, a short way away the taxi was left in flames where it was smashed against a tree. Breathing heavily he raised a hand to her cheek. "Oh Rose, are you hurt?"

She shook her head. "No, no, I'm fine, not a scratch on me. You protected me." She leant down to kiss him, unable to keep the grin from her face. "You're my hero."

He looked back to the flaming shell of the vehicle. "You got me out of there."

"'Course I did."

"You're the hero, well heroine. My beautiful, amazing Rose." He pushed himself up onto one elbow, momentarily reaching for a hug before clutching at his chest with a groan. "Only one heart's beating."

Rose wrapped an arm around him and laid him back onto the floor. "Relax; let your body heal itself."

"I knew something wasn't right." He groaned again and Rose hushed him. "Thought maybe I'd regenerated."

"Nope, same gorgeous, goofy old you." She smiled fondly, successfully helping him relax.

"Thanks, I think." His fingers grabbed at the material above his left, unmoving heart. "Seriously, how do you cope with just one heart?"

Rose softly laughed. "Here." She rested a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry this might hurt, it's the left one, yeah?" He nodded his head and Rose closed her hand into a fist and firmly brought it down above his heart.

For a moment he looked hurt but was soon smiling at her again. "That's got it, thank you, always knew I could count on you."

She delicately ran her fingers along the cuts that were already fading from his face. "Bit of first aid comes in handy with you so accident prone, someone's gotta look after you." He began to sit up again but Rose insistently kept her hand on his shoulder. "Don't move, you're hurt, you'll make it worse." The Doctor pouted at her, much to his contentment swiftly earning himself a kiss. "I've phoned Mum, she and Dad are on their way; won't be long now." He rolled his eyes which didn't go unseen by Rose. "How else did you think we were gonna get home? Well we're probably gonna have to take you back to the hotel we were meant to be staying in."

"As long as I don't end up stuck in a hospital."

She laughed to herself. "And how exactly would that work? We've been in a car accident, my husband's hurt and needs looking after, oh and by the way he's an alien with two hearts, please don't do experiments on him."

Her tone of voice made him laugh, for a moment he forgot the pain he was in. "I love you so much; don't know what I'd do without you." He momentarily looked away from her as he heard a car approach and come to a halt. "Honestly I still hardly believe you're my wife."

Rose squinted at the car as its lights flashed and instantly decided it was her parents. "They're here." A figure walked into the light of the headlamps and Rose waved him over; Pete swiftly made his way to her side with Jackie close behind.

They dropped to their knees beside her, both hugging her tightly. "Oh thank God you're okay, sweetheart!" Her mother squeezed her tightly, as if the strength of her hold would have some effect on how safe Rose would be.

Pete let go of them both and helped the Doctor to slowly sit up. "How are you? Rose sounded worried on the phone."

"I'm gonna be fine." He rubbed his aching head, gratefully leaning on him.

Rose pushed Jackie away, immediately wrapping her arms around the Doctor and firmly kissing his cheek. "It's freezing out here; we should get you in the car." She looked at Pete. "Help me lift him?" He happily obliged and the two of them laid him in the back seat of the car. Rose climbed in with him and rested his head on her lap, continuously stroking his hair in the hope of easing his discomfort.

"Where's Tony?" The Time Lord deliberately tried to shift the conversation in the hope of distracting himself, making his own poor attempt to get comfortable despite the lack of space in the back of the car.

Jackie twisted to look over her shoulder at them from the passenger seat. "He's still at the house being looked after, don't you worry about him. I'm gonna pick him up once we've got you two curled up in a nice warm bed to recuperate."

The Doctor smiled up at Rose, loving the idea of being tucked up in bed with her; sleep sounded extremely welcoming. "Sounds brilliant."

He yawned and she stroked his cheek, flashing a smile at him. "Go on, sleep, you need it and you're not concussed."

Struggling to keep his eyes open, he smiled and raised a hand to her cheek. "Thank you, Rose." He moved his hand to rub his eyes and felt his eyelids grow heavier. "Rose." He fought to stay awake, wanting to tell her just how thankful he was for everything, not just the most recent act of saving his life. He wanted to profess the full extent of his love for her and pour his hearts out to her like he had so many times before but even he knew that he was far too exhausted for any of that.

Hushing him, Rose watched with a smile as he drifted off to sleep and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "I love you."