A/N: I always wondered what happened to that coat. I'd take it in a heartbeat. Just like the "U-Boat Captain" look, I guess. Wouldn't object if it came with a Chris look-alike either!

I don't own the Doctor or his companions. They just pop 'round for tea every now and again.

Memories of Leather

The Doctor strolled out of the control room and down the hall, his glasses perched on the bridge of his nose, a small electronic device in one hand, his sonic screwdriver in the other. He called out as he prodded the device, "Rose? I'm going to make some tea." He stopped in the doorway to his companion's bedroom. "Do you want a ... cup?" His voice trailed off, as he looked up and caught sight of the young woman standing in the middle of the room.

Rose Tyler stood with her back to the door, wearing her usual jeans and trainers. But it was the garment that covered her upper torso that had rendered the Doctor speechless: a well-worn man's black leather jacket.

"Rose?" he said. She didn't move. "Where did you get that?" he asked, with a slight edge to his voice.

She turned to face him and replied, "At Mum's. I found it in my closet the last time we stopped at home. It was still there from when you ..." Her voice caught.

Shoving his sonic, the device and his glasses quickly into his pockets, he stepped inside, walked toward her, and said softly, "It's okay. I know. I was there, remember?"

He reached out and put his hand on her shoulder. And immediately withdrew it, as an odd sensation passed through his nervous system when his fingers brushed the leather. He stared at them, his eyes wide.

"Doctor?" Rose asked nervously. "You okay?"

"What? Oh, nothing. Sorry." He stammered. Taking her hand, he led her over to the bed, and they sat. "So," he said, "what's brought all this on?"

"Well," Rose began. "Remember a couple of weeks ago when I just had to have that pink sweater and sparkly jeans from home?" The Doctor smiled and nodded, rolling his eyes. "Well, I was rootin' around in the closet, throwin' things in a shopping bag, and then I pushed some clothes aside and, well, there it was."

She stopped and took a deep breath. "It was just so weird, seein' it there, ya know? I took it off the hanger and, well, it just smelled like him. Brought back so many memories." She stood up quickly and walked away from the bed. "Like the time he and I ran under the frozen wave on Woman Wept. And the dungeon in Cardiff, thinkin' we were gonna to die, absorbed by the Gelth."

She turned back to face him. "He danced too." She blinked hard, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. "He always did say he had the moves." She smiled weakly. "And all the times he hugged me, laughin' or cryin' or just bein' still. It just hurt so much."

The Doctor left the bed and slowly walked over to her. "Rose, Rose," he said softly. "You're making it sound like it was someone else. I am him, Rose. I remember all those same things, too."

"Oh, I know. I really do. But," she cried, the tears finally flowing. "It's different. *You're* different!"

"Different how?" he asked apprehensively. Different good, or different bad?"

"Both. Neither! Oh, I don't know!" She tore the jacket off her shoulders, threw it on the bed, and began to weep. "I do know you're the Doctor. I can see it in your eyes. But, well, you don't need me the same way he did."

He pulled her into his arms and stroked her hair as he crooned soft words of comfort, hugging her to his chest. "Don't be silly. Of course I need you. Who else would have taken such good care of me back then? Oh, Rose, please don't cry."

They stood that way for a few minutes. Finally, she looked up at him as her tears subsided. "I'm sorry, Doctor," she said. " I don't know why it bothers me so much. Just put it down to being an emotional human."

Gently brushing her tears away, he smiled and said to her, "Regeneration is a strange phenomenon at the best of times. When it's unexpected like this was, well, let's just say you're entitled to an emotional moment or two."

Rose hugged the Doctor tightly and then stepped way. Picking up the jacket from the bed, she looked at it closely and said, "I think you'd better take this." She held it out to him.

He took it, again feeling that strange tingle at its touch. He gave her one of his lopsided grins. "Tell you what. How about you make us some tea while I return this to the wardrobe room. If you ever feel the need for it again, you'll know where it is."

Rose smiled broadly. "I don't think I will, but thanks!" she said brightly. "Now I'll go get that tea."

They parted ways in the hall, her toward the kitchen and him toward the stairs to the upper levels. Suddenly, she called out, "Doctor?" He turned back to her. "Thank you for being so understanding. I really do love it here with you. I wouldn't change things for the world. It's just, well, I miss him sometimes, is all."

The Doctor smiled and walked away. When he was out of sight, the smile faded and he said to himself, "So do I, Rose. So do I."