:: Three hours later ::

"What about if I'm just allowed to touch them through your t-shirt?"

"Doctor!" she exclaimed, through a giggle.

"What? I'm negotiating. What's wrong with that?" he asked, half-teasing, half-genuinely curious.

"Keep your voice down," she hushed him. "Don't wake Mum up."

"So how many days have to pass before I'm allowed to put my hands on your bum?"

Rose snorted with laughter.

"Because I'd like to do that, you know. Could use that move to pull you against me quite nicely."

"I can't believe we're doing this," she giggled happily.

"Well, you were the one who suggested it."

"I was sort of joking," she pointed out. "Until you got the wine out and plied me with drink."

"I did no such thing. It was Jackie's suggestion, bringing out the leftover wine from New Year's Eve." He leant closer to her and waggled his eyebrows. "Everything comes back down to New Year's Eve, doesn't it?"

"I just can't believe how…how sexual you are when you've had a few drinks," she giggled. "Should've got you drunk months back."

"Time Lords can't get drunk," he frowned at her.

She arched an eyebrow and poked him in the chest. "You're definitely more than a bit tipsy, so I think we've disproved that this evening."

He shook his head at her, indicating his disagreement with her conclusion, and loosened his tie, ignoring the two empty wine bottles sitting on the coffee table in front of them. "I'm not at all tipsy. You're the one who's slurring your words."

"I am not slurring," she protested, reaching a hand over to his side of the sofa to help him with his tie. She untied it and slipped it from around his neck, chucking it haphazardly behind her.

"Oooh is this you seducing me?" he asked, his eyes lighting up as she crawled towards him properly.

"Definitely not," she countered, even as she sat on his lap. "We completely need to stick to the rules and wait."

"I agree," he replied, despite the fact that he was slipping his hands beneath her top already. "Better to wait. Slow and steady wins the race and all that."

"Pretty sure fast and hard would win the race as well though," she muttered under breath, mostly to herself – but the Doctor heard her.

"Oh, don't go and say things like that," he complained, planting his hands on her hips instead, tugging her against him to create a bit of friction. She groaned at the movement and buried her head in his neck.

"Why not?" she mumbled her response. Then she tilted her head back up and grinned cheekily. "Things hard enough already?"

"Rose."

She bit her lip impishly. "You love it."

"Hmm," he hummed non-committally.

She leant her head forwards, her forehead brushing his. He slid his hands up to hold her hair back to stop it tickling his face. They regarded each other with a heated look. "Go on," she whispered. "Say it. I'm drunk. I won't remember."

His eyes glittered mischievously but instead of doing as she asked, he simply tilted his head back an inch and seized her mouth with his. She made a sound of delight against his lips at his kissing technique, and began unbuttoning his shirt.

She was dismayed, therefore, when his hand enclosed around her wrist to disable her quest. "What?" she murmured, breaking their kiss. "Just want to touch you, that's all."

The Doctor sighed. "I know. I want to touch you too, believe me. But we shouldn't do this now."

"Bollocks to waiting," she snorted decidedly. "I want you." She sneaked her hand from his grasp and slid it into the waistband of his trousers. His head rolled back as he gave hiss of pleasure.

"Rose – Rose, we can't," he mumbled, his eyes widening as her touch grew bolder.

"Think this is proof that we can," she grinned cheekily.

"But we shouldn't do this whilst we're drunk."

"Why not?" she scoffed. "We both want this when we're not drunk, too."

"Might be awkward. In the morning," he tried to reason.

"Doctor, I'll probably have a massive hangover tomorrow. This'll be the least of my worries."

The Doctor growled and grabbed her treacherous hands, pinning them either side of his legs against the seat of the sofa. "We need to do what we agreed. We need to just…" He gulped, trying to gather up his self-control when she rocked against him. "We need to just stick to kissing and things, and wait until we're both sober enough to remember this the following morning."

Rose bit her lip, tilting her head to the side contemplatively. He could see that he'd almost persuaded her, so he added something quietly to sway her completely, "Rose, I want to remember every single moment of this. Every. Single. Moment. And I don't want you to rush into this and regret it after. You say you know I'm the same man and imply that you still feel the same, but – but really, you do need more time to get used to this. To me, and to – to this, to what we're becoming."

"Is it the same for you?" she asked softly.

"What do you mean?"

"The way you feel, about me. Is it the same as before? Or do you have to start from scratch when you regenerate?" She lowered her voice even more and nervously, hurriedly, asked, "D'you want to wait to do this once you've – once you've, you know. Fallen back in love with me."

He exhaled roughly. "Rose."

"Tell me, please, just tell me the truth about the way you feel, just this once," she murmured.

He swallowed hard. "You sure you're too drunk at the moment to remember me saying this tomorrow?"

Her heart sped up anxiously. "Yeah. Why, don't you want me to know?"

"Oh I do, Rose," he rushed to assure her, swallowing his nerves. "I do want you to know – I just. It's difficult to acknowledge it, don't you think? Out loud, I mean. It's always been much easier for me to just think it. Because I've known, Rose. All this time with you I've known, in my head. It's just hard to say it, to express it properly, especially since I know I don't deserve you."

"Say it," she whispered.

He took in a deep breath and then released it quickly. "I love you," he whispered. "I love you just as much now as I did before I changed." She smiled slowly and pressed her forehead against his, and he sighed against her lips. "I love you so much. That's why we need to wait. This has to happen when you feel the same."

"I do feel the same."

He shook his head slightly. "Falling in love takes time, Rose."

"Does it?" she countered.

He chuckled. "You're impossible."

"But you love me," she murmured happily. "So impossible isn't so bad."

"Well you're right about that," he told her. "You're right about that."