A/N: If you recognize it, I don't own it. I meant to make this pretty deep and reflective and about how much they rely on each other, but once the Doctor started flirting… well, I just had to go with it. I've never really written anything flirty before, so I hope it doesn't sound forced.

Learning to Walk

He stumbled against her on the way back to the TARDIS.

"Careful!" Rose caught him, steadied him, until he was back on his feet. She peered at him, concerned, while he chuckled. "Are you still feeling off?"

"Nah." The Doctor paused to consider. "Well, a bit. Takes some getting used to, a new body does. New teeth, new taste buds, new height, new hands and feet." He bounced in his trainers a little, as if still getting used to them. "'S a bit strange."

Rose thought she could imagine. If she suddenly shot up a foot, she imagined that walking would take some getting used to. Even walking in heels was weird, if she hadn't done it for a while.

"You were fine all day. Sword fighting and everything."

"Adrenaline is pretty great," he agreed, grinning cheekily at her as he threw open the TARDIS door. His toe caught on the grating and he went down, only just managing to tuck his shoulder so that he didn't land on his face. "Now that's gone, I'm gonna have to learn to do everything again, I'm afraid." The Doctor glanced over at her, a hint of anxiety in his newly brown eyes. "You don't mind, do you? Might take a few days for me to get my bearings."

"Quiet few days after the week we've had? Nah." Rose smiled and held out her hand for him. "Come on, tough guy, can't lay there all day."

"Could if you wanted to lay down with me. Ooh. That was a flirt. Am I flirty now? I've never been flirty before. I think I like it." The Doctor tossed her another smile. Rose loved his smile, even if it was different from before. It came more easily, now; she was grateful for that. "It helps that I've got a gorgeous companion to flirt with."

"Shameless, you are!" Rose laughed as she helped him up. Then she swatted him. "Need me to hold your hands while you learn walking again? S'what we did for m'cousin Derek when he was little."

"Nah I'll be fine," he said, then corrected himself quickly. "I mean, yes I do, and furthermore it's going to take a couple of weeks at least before I'm as steady as I should be."

"Didn't take you long to remember how to charm a girl, did it?"

"It's your fault. How'm I supposed to not when you're standing there, huh?"

"Laying it on a bit thick now."

"Yeah, s'pose. I'll work on that." The Doctor fell into the jump seat and flung his arms out over the back of it. He kicked his feet up onto the console, stubbed his toe, scowled at his now-longer legs, and swung them up more carefully. Rose sat down next to him and they sat in companionable silence for a while, until he mused, "Shaving's gonna be rubbish the first week."

"You shave?" Rose raised an eyebrow at him. He shrugged.

"Last month, I had to shave every day. Sometimes twice a day, even. Now? Not sure; might only have to once a week, for all I know, but 's gonna take some getting used to. Chin's a lot different this time. And I'm…. ooh, gosh, I think I'm near sighted." The Doctor frowned at her, then frowned at the opposite side of the console room. "Yep, definitely near sighted. Not too bad, but definitely. Still, that just means I'll have to keep you close."

"Everything really does change for you, doesn't it?" He'd said it would, but somehow it hadn't really sunk in that everything changed. Things that human men had their entire life to get used to could change in five minutes for him. He was a stranger, even to himself.

"Yep." He smacked his lips as he pronounced the "p" and flashed her another happy grin. "S'not so bad, really. Can be quite fun. Not some things, though. Taste buds changing around, that's never fun. But I also think different things are beautiful, so I get to go look at everything again and who knows? Something I didn't like last time might be my favorite place now. But," he added, glancing over at her with a smile tugging his lips again, "I don't think my favorite place will change that much."

Rose examined his expression. He looked like he was just itching for her to ask him why. She laughed. "Why?"

"'Cos my favorite place is wherever you are."

She blinked at him, then smiled. "Yeah?"

"'Course." His face turned a little uncertain, as if he wasn't sure he should be talking about this. Then he beamed and changed the subject. "And the best change is always the voice. Love the voices, me! Got a right fine one this time, which is handy 'cos of the gob I've got. Imagine if I had a gravelly old man's voice with a gob like this. Ey? Be terrible. Oh, and Rose?"


"My regenerations are usually influenced by what's around me when it starts." He winked. "I think you'll find that I'm pretty close to your perfect man now."

Rose laughed and kissed him quickly. "Silly man, that's one thing that didn't change." He dropped his head onto her shoulder and hummed contentedly.

"Hey, Rose?"


"Will you hold my hand while I learn how to walk?"