Worth the Wait
Rose sighed with contentment as she lay in her Doctor's arms, his two hearts beating softly in her ear. She felt him lift his hand from her waist, beginning to trace invisible, swirling patterns across her bare back and pressing the occasional kiss to the top of her head. She smiled subconsciously as she recalled everything that had happened in one night; she had gone from doubting what she meant to him to a state of pure bliss with him humming away in her mind, having shown her the whole of his. She'd had him declare his love for her, even if he'd never said those three words, but it meant so much more when he'd shown her the full extent of his love for her. It had all led her right there, to be curled up with him and completely naked in every sense, basking in the afterglow of their love making. She'd had no idea that first times could be so perfect given the stories she'd heard around the estate, but it was even more astounding that of all people in the Universe it was her he chose to be with. "Is that Gallifreyan?" She shifted in his arms, momentarily stilling his movements.
"Yeah. Is it bothering you? Want me to stop?"
She shook her head against him. "It's beautiful."
He began to run his hand across her back again. "As are you."
Rose softly laughed, feeling giddy with love as she kissed his chest on the only spot she could reach without moving. "What are you writing?"
He smiled to himself, pressing his face into her hair. "How I feel about you."
"Oh." She grinned. "What does that one mean?"
He peered down at her. "Which one?"
"Here." She reached across for his hand, mimicking the pattern on his palm.
He closed his fingers around hers, leisurely intertwining them. "I believe in you."
She felt her cheeks flush and smiled, thinking it ridiculous that of all things and people in the Universe he would believe in her. "What about that last one?"
As she spoke he stopped writing, casually slipping his arm back around her waist. "Bad Wolf." He leant down to kiss the inch of her forehead that was accessible from that angle. "You're the Bad Wolf to my Oncoming Storm."
Rose laughed, stretching her limbs and shifting in his embrace so she was face to face with him. "You're so lovely, albeit a bit cheesy at times." Still giggling she lightly kissed him. "I can't believe you've never found love before." She shook her head at him a little. "Not when you're this old but still this magnificent. I wish you didn't have to be so lonely for so long." He lifted his head a little and began feathering kisses across her skin but she raised a hand to his hair, deliberately stilling his movements. "Am I really your first?"
He rested his head back onto the pillow, leaning forward so that his forehead touched hers. "Yup."
"Yes, see for yourself." He pushed a hand into her hair, holding her in place as he focussed on letting her deeper into his mind.
"No need." She withdrew a little, touching his cheek to make him focus back on her face. "I believe you; I'm just a bit in shock. You're over nine hundred years old; it's hard to believe you'd never had sex."
"When you say it like that it sounds awful, thanks."
"No, no, you know that's not what I meant." She softly stroked his hair, kissing his nose with a smile. "On the estate they think there's something wrong with you if you're eighteen and a virgin, but then I know that's not exactly a fair representation of everyone."
"And I'm not a human, Rose. Sex is a very human thing, well not just humans but the attitude they have is very much a human thing. Sex isn't a Time Lord thing, at least not anymore, especially not since the looms. Children had to be created in machines after Time Lords were cursed to be infertile, so sex was seen to be a frivolity, unnecessary and only getting in the way of research and science, and love was an entirely shunned notion. Any companionship was made out of friendship, love they saw as too fickle and something that wouldn't last long enough for our long lives, but oh they missed out on so much." He drew her closer, giving her a lingering kiss as he let the sorrow that had overcome him fade away. "Maybe that's why I never fit in there, I wanted to fall in love right from the start, maybe you're such an impact on me that it rippled back so that I'd yearn for you all my life." He took a deep breath, calming his emotions. "Whilst Time Lords usually don't care for sex we can, clearly, have it and will want to if we fall in love."
Rose watched his expression carefully. "You say that like you're not the only one. Was there someone else you knew that fell in love, another Time Lord?"
"Susan." He smiled at the fond memory of seeing her fall in love. "One of our adventures on earth, she fell in love with a human freedom fighter, David was his name. I made her stay; I wanted her to have a life of love and stability, one where she'd always belong." He tried to bite back the tears that were forming in his eyes but wasn't very successful. "I wanted her to have what I thought I'd never get. They had children."
"Sounds like she was happy." She smiled warmly, knowing there were tears in her eyes too. Remembering the flashes of his life that she'd seen the night before, an image stuck in her mind. "Did she call you 'Grandfather'? Was that her?"
"Yeah. I wasn't her grandfather but it felt right, let me feel like I had a family again."
"What about the children then?" She closed her eyes, trying to recall a clearer version of what she'd seen. "I remember you showing me some children, your children, except I guess with the looms that's not quite right."
"When Time Lords were born, forsaking a better word, they needed someone to effectively adopt them, whilst most would happily be adopted by a welcoming mother, often already with other adopted children, or even by a couple of close friends who wanted a family, some weren't so lucky. Those children you saw were ones that I took into my care, this is long before the TARDIS, they needed a parent and I needed a family. I don't have a biological family, or rather I didn't, but yeah they were my children."
"So you've always been a big softy?" She grinned at him, hoping to lift his mood a little; talking about his people always brought his mood down through that underlying memory that they were all gone.
"Not exactly. I guess I just can't bear to see a child cry. Plus I needed someone to fill that loneliness." He sniffed. "Sort of worked."
"You've got me now, yeah?" She kissed his forehead. "No more lonely Doctor. You're the David to my Susan, or should that be Susan to my David?"
The Doctor shook his head, her grinning face making him smile. "The Doctor to your Rose."
She pulled him into a kiss, temporarily losing her train of thought. "This is amazing, no, more than that really. It just overwhelms me that you'd choose to be with me. You could have anyone in the whole Universe at any point in time, marry a million, million people and have children with every one of them if you wanted, and you want me."
"Just you." He nodded, pressing a kiss to the bridge of her nose. "Just Rose Tyler."
She twirled his hair between her fingers, absentmindedly altering the subject. "Thinking about everyone you've ever met, all those thousands of people, there must have been some, not just humans, that were desperate for you to love them; you must have fought off your fair share of women." She chuckled. "And men probably."
He shrugged. "Some, none knew me like you though. I was never comfortable enough to even think about wanting to be so intimate with them, even the ones that were my friends. I know they weren't happy about that, some spreading rumours that I'd been with them, maybe they just wanted people to think I'd chosen them over everyone else or boast about this almighty Time Lord loving them, maybe they actually believed we'd had sex and lost sight of the difference between dreams, fantasy and reality. But I never did. I just knew I wasn't in love and I'd already waited my whole life to fall in love, I wasn't going to give up and give myself up to some random woman just because she thought she knew me enough to love me. Maybe that makes me frigid but I don't care."
She shook her head, once again amazed by how sensitive he was. "It doesn't and I think it's wrong to label someone as frigid, it's their choice. I think you're just a hopeless romantic to feel like that, and it certainly makes me feel less of an idiot for feeling the same." She gently ran her thumb along his jaw line. "No wonder you were so hard to the world, I really see why you hid behind so many walls, well I did before but even more so now, I'm so glad you let me in. You're so sensitive underneath the tough exterior; most people just see the pain and all the walls of jokes, anger and intelligence but if you get past that you're just so… beautiful. Thank you for letting me past all that."
"Couldn't resist you."
She smiled. "Your faith in love is amazing, to wait so long and go through so much without giving up and all because you wanted to fall in love." He reached up to wipe the tears from her eyes. "You were waiting for me." She shuffled closer, nestling into him and pressing her face into his neck to hide her tears.
He stroked her hair away from her face, rubbing her back in the hope of calming the mix of emotions he knew were running through her. "And you're worth the wait."
Much to his surprise she was soon on the verge of laughing, her breath tickling his neck as she exhaled in short bursts. Immediately he lifted his hand to her head, returning to stroking her hair as he tucked the strands behind her ear; as much as he wanted to know the reason for her laughter he loved her laugh too much to want to ask. Calming herself, she pressed a kiss to his collar bone, casually repositioning herself so that she could comfortably look in him in the eye. "How is that even possible?"
"Just because you're you." He shrugged a little, lifting his hand to her face and letting his thumb brush across her cheek and down the side of her face, barely touching her skin. "Because I'm in love with you." With the upmost tenderness he pressed a kiss to her nose and leant his forehead against hers. "So what if I waited over nine hundred years to meet you? I'd wait a thousand times that for you."
The sincerity in his eyes made her feel like crying. "You know, I don't think anyone's ever felt as loved as you make me feel. Please never stop being this open to me."
"Couldn't even if I wanted to. I could never shut you out, never would either."
With a smile she leisurely kissed him. "I knew I was right to wait; thank you so much for proving I was right."
For a lingering moment he watched her intensely. "Talk to me."
"I am." She softly laughed.
"You know what I mean, tell me something; just like I've been telling you things."
Rose stared at him. "Like what? What do you want to know?"
"Anything, even if you think I already know, like why did you wait? So many your age wouldn't have."
She bit her lip thoughtfully for a moment. "Because like you I wanted to wait until I was in love."
"Oh yeah?" He grinned.
"Yes." She nodded, a smile spreading across her face. "Isn't that what it's meant to be about anyway? At least to me it is, maybe I'm just as soppy as you but I've always believed that there's a reason we call it making love."
"Me too." His expression became serious. "And for what it's worth I will only ever make love with you." Rose's heart fluttered in her chest and she found herself beaming at him, filled with warmth and love. He grinned back, cupping her cheek and tenderly kissing the corner of her mouth. "You are so beautiful."
She pulled him back towards her, kissing him firmly. "You know I feel the same, right? 'Cause even though Jimmy gave me my first taste of freedom I never even thought about letting him touch me, and even when I was dating Mickey I knew there was something better waiting for me out there, someone better; you."
"Rose." He lightly brushed her hair away from her face and pressed a kiss to the bridge of her nose.
"Honestly, Doctor, you're it, the one, the love of my life, whatever you want to call it."
"Don't say that." He looked a little disheartened. "Just because I know you're the love of my life doesn't mean I'm yours. You're young, things change, priorities change."
"Don't you dare." She shook her head. "Priorities change when people fall in love and want to settle down, I have that; I already have you and our lives together and the TARDIS. This is what I want and I know this is what you want too."
He smiled, tears in his eyes. "Rose."
She pressed her forehead to his. "I'm going to find a way to get us forever, I promise."
He gently kissed her, nudging her nose with his. "Thank you."
It's only years later, in another universe, when Rose is curled up in his arms, when his beautiful wife is sleeping peacefully in their bed, in their newly grown TARDIS, that he realises why he'd never been able to simply say "I love you" to her.
It was the TARDIS, there in his mind, blocking him from saying those three little words, ones with so much significance regardless of how often he could tell her he was in love with her. But it wasn't because she was opposed to them but rather the opposite, because she loved them both so much.
It was her gift to them; a gift that would give Rose the strength to fight for them, that extra thing to fight for that would get her back to him. And a gift to him, one that would give the Doctor everything he'd ever wanted; a gift that would leave him with the words to finally secure their forever.
A/N: The last scene is set in the SwitchVerse.