Hello readers! So this is my first Doctor Who fan fiction. Well, I say first, but I have a few others in progress. Well, I say 'in progress'… Anyway, this is a bit of a song fic, so when you reach the part with the song, you might want to go look it up on youtube and listen to it :] It's called 'Not while I'm Around' (Obviously), and it's from the Sweeney Todd Soundtrack. I know the voice isn't really Tennant-esque, but at least you'll know the tune of the song that may want to skip the first 20 seconds or so, it's dialogue. Up to you. I hope you enjoy this story, Allons-y!
He tumbled into the TARDIS, having kicked open the door, daring not disturb the dozing girl in his arms. As it turns out, having your face sucked off by a television really takes it out of you. Though the joy of being together again had kept them going for a while, it wasn't long before the Doctor noticed Rose's eyelids start to droop, and her feet start to drag.
Taking her hand, he started to lead her towards the direction of the TARDIS."Come on, you look like you're going to faint any second."
"You're quite the charmer", she had teased, tongue in teeth. "I feel fine. Besides, you still owe me a dance."
That was true. Since she hadn't gotten to go to the Elvis concert, he had promised her a dance at the party happening down the street. ("We have to see if you still got the moves in this body!" she had giggled). Sighing, he almost gave in. But then she stepped clumsily, the heel of her shoe turning her foot sideways, making her lose her balance and fall over. His quick reflexes allowed her to catch her in his arms. "No, you're too tired. Don't want you knocking everyone over on the dance floor." He grinned widely at the little 'Oi' she gave, before scooping her up into his arms. "We'll go to a ball tomorrow if you want, but now you need some sleep." She protested weakly as her carried her off to the TARDIS, but soon settled in his arms, nestling her head into his chest and closing her eyes. He placed a gentle kiss to the top of her head as she sighed contentedly.
By the time they got to the TARDIS, she had drifted off, sleeping peacefully in his arms. She paused once in the console room, allowing himself a moment just to absorb the moment, to memorize the feeling of her, safe and peaceful, with him. With a small smile planted on his face, she carried her to her room. Once there, he set her down as slowly as possible, set on not waking her up. As gently as he could, he pulled off the pink heels she had insisted on wearing that day, after he promised there would be no running. Well, she didn't do any running at least, he thought miserably. Really, he should stop trying to take her to concerts; she always ended up in danger, whether it was due to a werewolf or a crazed television.
Having successfully removed her shoes, he straightened and simply watched the woman before him. Her hair was falling out of its bun, her headband going lopsided from leaning her head on the pillow. Her pink dress fanned out on the mattress, twisting around her legs.
He finally let his eyes drift to her face. Her lips were twisted into a gentle smile which made his hearts skip a beat. Her eyes were, of course, closed off to him, yet he found his gaze following the slope and shape of them, counting each eyelash that brushed her still-pink cheek. With each sweep of her features, he felt a twisting sensation in his stomach. What would he have done if he lost this? If he lost that tongue-in-teeth smile, or the way she blushed when he winked at her, or the way her eyes twinkled when he brought her somewhere new?
He ran a knuckle softly down her cheek, memorizing the feel of her skin. She sighed sleepily and turned towards his finger, eyes blinking open. She regarded him with bleary eyes. "Doctor?" she mumbled, her eyebrows scrunching up in confusion. He'd forgotten about the way her eyebrows twisted when she was confused. Mentally, he added that to the list of things he loved about her face.
"Sorry", he whispered, "Didn't mean to wake you."
"No, don't worry, I should change anyway", She pushed herself off the bed, stretching a bit, before returning her gaze to the doctor and giving him her best smile, her eyes warm and inviting.
His hearts skipped again. "D'you need anything?"
"Nah, don't worry about me. You should go get some sleep yourself."
"Superior Time Lord biology. Don't need as much sleep as you do." He grinned unconvincingly.
"Well you look pretty tired to me. Just try to get some rest, yeah?"
He sighed. He was exhausted, to tell the truth. Being emotionally drained from the day's events, he just wanted to collapse. Not in his own bed, though; He wanted to stay here, holding Rose to him and making sure she'd never wander off again. The day had been a jumble of rage towards her attacker and fear for her well-being. With his mind still reeling, he highly doubted he could get any rest if he wasn't right there with her. Still, not wanting her to worry about him, he agreed. "I'll try. You make sure to get lots of rest tonight, though."
Having stood up and gone to her dresser while he was speaking, she triumphantly pulled out a pair of blue pajamas and gave him a smile. "No worries there, I feel like I could sleep for a year right now."
"Okay, not quite that much sleep. It'd be quite the boring year for me if you did that."
"Well you'd still have the TARDIS to keep you company, you could still travel. I hardly think you'd be bored." She replied, walking up to him with a bemused smile on her face.
"Ah, it'd be no fun without you," He grinned.
Her smile softened as she looked up at him."Yeah?"
"Yeah." He gazed at her for a while, letting the moment linger between them, and then continued. "So no wandering off next time! I don't want you getting your face sucked off again. You gave me a good scare today, y'know."
She looked down sheepishly. "M'sorry. But you did drive off without me, so..." She looked up with a teasing smile, but he didn't return it. The grin slipped off her face. It seemed that he hadn't taken that into consideration. She saw him slowly absorb what she said, the guilt shining through in his eyes. Cursing herself for bringing it up, she tried to distract him. "Not to worry, though; I intend to keep my face exactly where it is. " That brought a sad smile to his face. "And I'll stay right by your side next time. Pinky swear," She grinned, holding up her pinky to him. His smile grew, and the brightness returned to his eyes. He caught her pinky with his, before slowly entwining their fingers. They stayed like that for a while, gazing at each other, hands held tightly together. Before Rose cleared her throat. "Erm, I should …change…so", She gestured to their hands, having noticed that the Doctor wasn't planning on letting go anytime soon.
Finally picking up on what she was saying, he dropped her hand as if it burned him. "Right, yes, well…"He looked up awkwardly, the hand that was just holding hers going to the back of his neck. "Rest up, I have promised you a ball in the morning. Gotta make sure you're up for lots of dancing." He winked at her, and her cheeks flushed. "Sweet dreams," he grinned and lowered his lips to her forehead. He lingered there for a moment, and she didn't seem to object. He pulled away a moment later, gave her one last winning smile, before exiting her room.
Rose watched him leave, a dreamy smile planted on her face. After having changed and washed off her makeup, she settled down under the covers, looking forward to a good sleep.
Unfortunately, her dreams would be anything but sweet.
Darkness. That's all it was, endless darkness. How she ended up there, she'd never know. She just knew she was alone. Except, she was never really alone anymore, was she? "Doctor?" she called out, knowing that he must be there somewhere. There was silence. 'He probably just didn't hear me', she reasoned. "Doctor?" she called again, a bit louder. Still no reply. Now she was getting worried. Her voice trembling this time, she called out his name again.
The silence was deafening.
'Okay, don't panic, you've been in plenty of tight spots before, you've gotten yourself out. There has to be something or someone out there.' Thankfully, the rational part of her mind was still functioning. She started to walk, hesitantly, as she didn't know if she was standing on a platform or not. What would happen if she fell anyway? She would just fall into…more darkness. Okay, now she was panicking.
She continued to walk, carefully toeing the ground in front of her before putting her weight done on it. The blackness just stretched on forever, from what she could see. Confident, that she wouldn't fall, she started walking more confidently, determined to find something, anything, that could get her out of here,
Her confident strides were cut short as she hit a wall. A black wall that looked no different from everything else. She placed her hands on it, but of course, she couldn't see those either, due to the lack of light.
A wave of panic overtook her then. What if it wasn't due to the light? What if she was blind? Maybe she was deaf too; Maybe the doctor had responded, but she couldn't hear him. What had happened to her to make her ended up here, in this place, in this state? Her breath quickening, she smoothed her hands over the wall quickly, trying to find something that could help her escape. But then something changed.
Then the wall started to move.
Pushing her backwards with an unstoppably force, the wall led her back to the spot she was at before. Her feet slid on the ground as she pushed against the wall, trying to stop it, but failing miserably. The wall finally stopped, leaving Rose panting from the effort her attempt took. Accepting that there was no exit that way, she turned and went to see if she could get out if she went another direction.
The second she turned around however, another black wall blocked her from moving.
Heart beating frantically in her chest, she slowly raised her arms and held them up at either side of her. To her horror, her palms flattened against two more walls.
She was trapped in this tiny black box, with no way out, and no way for the Doctor to reach her.
A single tear slipped out, as her hope drifted away. Her breathing was becoming erratic now, and she lost control of herself. Another tear fell, then another, and finally the dams broke and she began to sob uncontrollably. Her cries echoed louder in the tiny room, her fingers shaking against the walls, and-
That wasn't her fingers shaking.
That was the wall moving. Inwards.
The walls were closing in on her.
Desperately, she slammed her hands against the walls, twisting about to see if any of them would give way.
And then she screamed. Long, terrified shrieks echoing off the walls as they inched closer to her body, until she was trapped with the walls pressed against her. And they continued, pressing against her body, squeezing the breathe out of her. Her screams rang through her ears, bouncing of the walls and in her ears. She thought of the Doctor again, knowing that he couldn't save her, wondering what could have happened to him, horrified at the idea that he might have also suffered this fate. Another loud, desperate scream fell from her lips as she realized the Doctor was truly no longer there.
There was only the Darkness, the screaming, and the walls slowly forcing the life out of her.
He sighed heavily as he wiped the sweat off his brow and he sat up under the console. With his mind still reeling over what happened to Rose, he knew sleep was not an option.
She was right; he left her. He didn't protect her. She hadn't really wandered off, she didn't have a choice. She was probably trying to find him when she came across Magpie's shop. This really was his fault.
Putting down his screwdriver, he buried his face in his hands. Maybe he should just tell Rose that the TARDIS needed repairs, and that they should stay in for a while. At least that way he could keep her safe. He knew it was completely unrealistic to have her in his eye line 24 hours a day, but the thought of her slipping off when he wasn't looking terrified him, more now than ever. He would be sure that the next place they went, her hand wouldn't leave his, not for a second.
He straightened up, stretching his back. He'd been hunched under the console for well over an hour, and his muscles were not happy with him. Rubbing his eyes, he figured he should give sleeping a second try. Having abandoned his suit jacket on the jump seat in order to do repairs, he went to grab it.
Before he could move, however, a terrible, drawn out scream filled the air. His chest seized up, forcing him to freeze completely, arm still in the air. Coming out of his daze, he bolted towards Rose's room. He was running impossibly fast, the doors becoming a blur before him. He followed the screaming through the twists and turns of the TARDIS until he reached Rose's room, throwing open the door and bursting in, he found her, curled up in a ball of her bed, clutching that her head. The terrible shrieks fell from her lips uncontrollably. He felt his hearts break at the sight of her. Rushing to her bed, he pried her hands away from her head and smoothed a hand over her forehead. "Rose, Rose it's okay, everything's fine, you're fine", he rushed out, his words coming out quickly as he became frantic. "Rose, Come on, come on, open your eyes, everything's okay", he breathed while shaking her lightly.
With a shaky gasp, Rose's eyes shot open, her gaze bouncing around the room. Her chest rose and fell quickly and she panted for breath. Slowly her body uncurled, having adapted to the space she now considered a blessing. Her eyes finally focused on the Doctor and her breathing started to slow. He continued to smooth the hair away from her forehead. "It's all right now, it's over", he mumbled to her.
"D...doctor?" She whimpered, and he winced as how hoarse and broken her voice sounded. Still, he put on brave face for her.
"That's right, it's me. You've just had a nightmare, alright? It was just a bad dream, it's over now", he coaxed, stroking her hair and giving her a reassuring smile.
"Doctor?" She repeated, as his smile slipped as soon as he realized how close she was to tears. Her face began to crumple.
"Oh, come here", he mumbled as he took her into his arms. She clung desperately to his shirt front as he cradled her to his. She sobbed into his chest as he murmured words of comfort into her hair. He pulled her into his lap so she could be more comfortable, and began to rub her back.
After her sobbing had subsided a bit, he pulled back a bit. "Do you want to tell me what happened?"
She took a few deep breaths to calm herself, then, with a trembling voice, she spoke. "I…I was back in that place I was in…when that…thing took my face."
"No, no, the place I went to after it…"
As she trailed off, the Doctor's hand stilled on her back. He had just assumed that it was like sleeping; that she would go unconscious when it took her face and she would wake up once it had been returned. He didn't think she'd experienced anything between the time she'd lost her face and when she'd gotten it back.
"What was it like? What happened?" He prodded gently.
"S'just darkness. You can't see anything. You're just trapped in the darkness. I-I called out for you, but you weren't there. So I figured I should try to find a way out myself, so I started walking, but…but I hit a wall, and before I could think of what to do it started pushing me back, and…" She had to stop to breathe, as her confession was just coming out as one long, breathless sentence. He mumbled more words of comfort into her hair. "A-and…so I figured I should see if I could get anyway if I went a different way, but…"
She drifted off again, and bowed her head to hide her watering eyes from him. He pulled her close again. "It's ok, I'm here", he spoke repeatedly. After a few moments, she regained her composure and straightened up again. Shakily, she finished her story, speaking most of it into his chest as she clung to his shirt. The silence stretched between them after she finished, and Rose began to shake again. "P-please say something, I can't handle the silence." And after what she told him, the Doctor knew exactly why.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry", he whispered into her hair. What she'd described sounded terrible, and it had all happened because of him. If he had just waited for her instead of rushing off, she wouldn't have gone to the shop alone, and she wouldn't have had to go through this ordeal.
"I was so scared", she whispered back, obviously trying not to cry.
"I know, I'm sorry, I never should've left you, If I'd just-"
"Hold on", She interrupted, pulling back to look in his eyes. "Doctor, I don't blame you for any of this. You didn't have control over it."
"You should blame me, though-"
"No, I shouldn't", she protested, her voice stronger than it had been during her whole explanation. "You know, I was terrified what I was in that…darkness, but not just for me. I thought you weren't there because you were hurt, because you'd been taken by it as well." She smiled weakly up at him. "I don't doubt you, you know. I know you'll come for me when I need you."
He froze, his arms tensing around her. How did he get to be so lucky? Honestly, He hadn't done anything to deserve her, this wonderful, compassionate woman in his arms whose faith in him never wavered. He stared down at her, mouth moving but forming no words, completely gob smacked by her words.
"…Erm, Doctor? You alright?" She laughed breathily, though a genuine concern in her eyes formed.
He pulled her more tightly against him, jostling her slightly so his lips accidentally brushed her temple. He couldn't bring himself to move them.
"Yeah…Yeah, fine", he breathed against her skin. She was still shaking slightly, and he knew her nerves were far from calm. "I'm still sorry though", he mumbled as he traced lazy circles on her back. "That never should have happened to you."
She curled even further into him in response. "Well we'll just have to make sure it doesn't happen again, yeah?" She laughed, but he could tell it was forced, and her voice still wavered when she spoke. "I think I've learned my lesson about wandering off. You'd think I'd learn it after the whole barrage balloon thing, but…you know, stupid ape and all-"
"Stop it. You're not stupid."
"I just thought I could handle it by myself", she shook her head against his chest and laughed harshly. "Obviously I'm a bit useless without you."
He pulled back at that. "Stop it now. You're only saying all this because you're overtired and wound up from all that's happened." She wouldn't meet his eyes, so he gave her a little nudge. "Come on, where's that Rose Tyler confidence? We both know you're incredible. I could list of a thousand things that make you amazing. So none of this self-bashing you're doing okay?"
She hesitated, but then looked up, a small smile planted on her face. "A thousand things, huh? I might need to hear that list to convince me", she teased.
He grinned. "It's a long list, don't wanna keep you awake reciting it."
"Oh, I don't mind."
He was tempted to tell her just how wonderful she was, to explain what she meant to him, but he knew she needed sleep more than anything. He loosened his grip on her.
"Alright, so you don't wander off, I don't leave you behind. Deal?" He let go of her with one arm and placed his hand in front of her for her to shake.
She smiled, her tongue peeking out from her teeth. "Deal."
He didn't let go of her hand. Keeping his grip, he stared firmly into her eyes, making sure his words were clear. "I won't let anything like this happen to you again. I'll do whatever it takes to keep you safe."
Her smile wavered again, and her hand came up to trace his cheek. "Just don't go changing your face on me again, okay?" She pleaded softly.
"Gotten attached to this one, have you?"
"Sort of, yeah."
The two grinned at each other, and the Doctor noticed the color had returned to her face, and her eyes seemed much brighter. "You should get some sleep", he broke the silence, and lowered her from his arms to the bed.
Her bright gaze changed then, a desperate glint in her eyes as her head snapped up to look pleadingly into his own. "W-what if I have the nightmare again?"
He sighed, and sat down on the bed beside her. She had propped herself up on her elbows, obviously not up for sleeping. "I'll be right down the hall, okay? Nothing can get to you, your safe in here. Just remember that."
She nodded and awkwardly settled down on the bed, though he noticed her breathing had turned shaky again. Unwilling to leave her in this state, he twisted on the bed and swung his legs up on top of the covers. "D'you want me to stay for a bit more?" her eyes darted up to him again, obviously afraid to ask, but needing him there with her. And how could he leave her when she needed him? He smiled softly and settled down beside her on top of the covers. She lay on her back, Her faced turned towards him, while he folded his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling as he pondered.
"Now let's see, what helps humans sleep… Don't suppose I could count your sheep for you. Ahh…I could recite the Sycorax dictionary, try to bore you to sleep, buuut then you might have dreams about the Sycorax, don't want that." She giggled a bit at that, and twisted towards him, turning onto her side. "What else, what else…A lullaby? I could try that." He looked at her. "D'you want a lullaby?"
He looked up to meet her bemused gaze. "You sing?"
"Dunno. Haven't tried yet, not in this body," He confessed while turning onto his side to face her. "Might be good, and if it's not, at least you'll get a laugh out of it." He absently toyed with a piece of her hair that had fanned out on the pillow.
"Well, let's see what you got then", she grinned.
"Hmmm…"He hummed in thought, having shifted closer so his lips almost brushed her forehead. She could practically feel his voice vibrating. From their position, she couldn't see his eyes, only his neck before her as his chin grazed her forehead. There was a long pause as he tried to find the right song, but just as she was about to say something, he began.
Nothing's gonna harm you, not while I'm around
Oh yes. He could definitely sing. He shifted back a bit to look at her.
Nothing's gonna harm you, darling, not while I'm around
His hand subconsciously wandered over and traced lines on her bare arm. Her eyes slipped close at his touch.
Demons are prowling everywhere, nowadays
His eyes moved from her arm to her face, taking in her closed eyes and her still-awed features.
I'll send 'em howling, I don't care, I got ways…
His hand moved to brush her hair away from her face.
No one's gonna hurt you, no one's gonna dare
She shifted closer to him, their bodies mere centimeters apart.
Others can desert you, not to worry, whistle I'll be there
His hand fell to her neck, pillowed by her hair. His fingertips weaved through it and traced little circles on the back of her neck.
Demons'll charm you with a smile, for a while, but in time…
His hand shifted back to her face, trailing a knuckle down her cheek.
Nothing can harm you
Her eyes fluttered open, sleepy hazel eyes gazing adoringly into his.
Not while I'm around
They were both still, simply gazing at each other, soft smiles gracing their features.
"Stay?" She whispered.
"Always", he grinned, shifting closer. He rested his arm over her, and she nestled under his chin.
"Thank you", she breathed against his throat, and in a matter of moments, she was asleep. Smiling softly at the girl in his arms, he breathed a soft 'goodnight' against her skin, kissed her forehead, and closed his eyes. Mind finally at ease, he too drifted off.
That night, the two of them dreamt of nothing but the each other, and that dance they had promised.
All that's that! My first completed Doctor Who fanfiction. Hope it was okay, I'll have to adjust to writing for their characters, the Doctor may have seemed a bit sappy, but he's allowed to be in my head canon ;] Reviews are always welcome! I'm considering writing another chapter, in which this song becomes a common occurrence between them (As in, they sing it to each other, or how they cope after Doomsday when the other person isn't around). Not sure yet. Let me know what you think. Lots of love, and enjoy your reading! :]