A/N: This was written for the Doctor-x-Rose-Club fanfiction contest #8 over on deviantart with the prompt 'The TARDIS needs to recuperate from something, and they're stuck inside for 3 days.'
"Rose, get down!" The Doctor yelled as more sparks flew from the TARDIS console.
Rose, however, had little choice in the matter as the TARDIS suddenly lurched sideways, knocking her to the floor anyway. Deciding that it would be better to just wait it out, she clung to the coral strut nearest to her, watching as the Doctor dashed around the console, flicking switches, pushing buttons, pulling levers and- occasionally- hitting things with a mallet. Whatever the Doctor had done seemed to have worked as the ship stopped lurching and eventually settled down. Taking a deep breath and blowing the hair out of her face, Rose hesitantly peeled her hands from the strut and stood up, dusting herself down. The Doctor was looking as dishevelled as she felt; his hair was a complete mess- Rose wondered idly how he'd managed to get it even messier than usual-, his glasses were slipping down his nose, his tie had been haphazardly blown over one shoulder and his shoelace had come undone. He blinked for a few seconds, before taking a deep breath and collapsing on the control room chair.
"What was that all about?" Rose asked as she hurriedly crossed the expanse of floor that separated her from the Doctor.
"Solar storm," the Doctor answered "the TARDIS flew right into it. Well, I say right into it, we more just caught the edge of it, but still…"
"Hang on, that was just the edge of a solar storm?!" Rose asked, eyes wide.
The Doctor nodded.
"Well, is she ok?" Rose asked, noticing that the lights seemed just that little bit duller than before.
"She's conserving energy," the Doctor replied, glancing up at the lights "that took a lot out of her. She'll need time to rest and regain her energy so she's put herself in lockdown. No getting in or out until she's recovered. And, as we're nowhere near an available rift to help recharge her, I predict it'll take about…Ooh, three days?"
"What do we do for the next three days then? I don't know if you've noticed, but the Vortex isn't exactly full of fun days out!" Rose pointed out, leaning into the Doctor's side.
"Oh come on, Rose Tyler!" The Doctor exclaimed, jumping to his feet suddenly and managing to knock Rose off of the chair "Where's your sense of adventure?! There's plenty of things to do in the TARDIS!"
The Doctor sighed. They had been stuck in the TARDIS for half a day now, and the only other time they had spent so long in the TARDIS was when Rose had caught the flu. At least when Rose had the flu it was keeping him busy with looking after her, the Doctor mused.
"Ro-ose, I'm bored!" he moaned, watching as Rose pottered about the large galley, preparing their cups of tea.
They were just lucky that the TARDIS had enough energy to maintain their electricity and water so that they could at least eat, drink and shower if nothing else.
"Doctor, I'm bored too, but there's nothing we can do about it," Rose replied as she brought their mugs of tea over to the galley table.
"What did you used to do when you were bored? When you were little, I mean," the Doctor asked as he sipped at his tea.
"I dunno, watch TV? Draw something? Most of the time in the summer I was at the park I think," Rose replied, thinking for a few moments.
The Doctor sighed again.
"But there's nothing good on TV!" he complained, slumping back in his chair "I don't want to draw, and we've already been in the TARDIS park!"
Rose stifled a giggle as she remembered earlier that day when they had ventured into the TARDIS park. It hadn't lasted long as the Doctor had been stung by a bee within half an hour of them sitting down on the grass, and he had refused to enter the room since.
"Well, put a DVD on or something," Rose suggested, racking her brain for the things she used to do during those rainy school holidays many years ago.
"No, Rose, I want to do something! Move about, be active- Ooh! The gym!" he exclaimed, eyes lighting up at the idea.
"The gym?" Rose echoed sceptically, looking the Doctor up and down.
Even in his last body, the Doctor had never struck Rose as a gym-going person, and even less so now that he was all pale and skinny with freckles and wild hair.
"Yes, the gym!" the Doctor repeated, beaming "It'll give me a chance to run off some of my energy,"
"Why not just go for a swim in the pool?" Rose asked, frowning.
The Doctor didn't meet her eyes at that, and mumbled something.
"Sorry?" Rose asked in confusion.
"I said 'I lost the pool'" the Doctor mumbled.
"How did you manage to lose the swimming pool?!" Rose asked incredulously, before shaking her head and returning to her tea.
Just over an hour later, Rose found the Doctor in the gym. She hadn't managed to get the antsy Time Lord to stay and eat some lunch, but now she'd had her fill of sandwiches and crisps, she figured she'd join him. Rose had known about the gym for some time now, and had often found Jack in there when he travelled with them, but she'd never seen the Doctor in there before. And, quite frankly, it was disturbing her. Rose found herself gaping at the Doctor as she stood in the doorway of the gym; he was dressed in a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, quite easily lifting weights.
"Ah, hello, Rose!" The Doctor announced, as he spotted her.
He carefully set the weights down and crossed the room.
"How did you manage to lift those weights?!" Rose blurted before she could stop herself.
The Doctor merely grinned.
"I'm stronger than I look," he told her, brushing past her as he headed out of the room "what do you want to do now?"
"You bored of the gym already?" Rose asked, following him down the corridor.
The Doctor nodded.
"Yeah, I don't even know why I thought of going in there. Rose, why did you let me go in there?" the Doctor asked, pouting "I'm gonna ache all over, tomorrow!"
"You were complaining you were bored, I figured it'd at least occupy you for an hour or two," Rose answered.
Rose woke with a jolt, almost falling off the sofa.
"Are you alright?" the Doctor asked, chuckling slightly.
"Yeah," Rose replied, rubbing her eyes "I'm fine. Must have dropped off for a minute or so, there,"
"Try half an hour!" the Doctor replied, still laughing.
Rose attempted to glower at him, but it didn't come off quite as effectively as she'd hoped as her eyes were puffy from lack of sleep.
"Have you tried talking with the TARDIS?" Rose asked tiredly.
"Yep," the Doctor answered, popping the 'p'.
"What did she say?"
"She said she's very sorry, but it was either she locked all the bedrooms off or we have no water or electricity. She figured that we'd prefer to be able to cook and drink rather than starve in our bedrooms," the Doctor answered.
Rose sighed and rubbed her eyes again, forcing herself to sit up. She had gone to go to bed little over two hours ago to find that the corridor hers and the Doctor's bedrooms resided in had been sealed off to 'conserve power', and so the human and the Time Lord had retreated to the library.
"What do we do then?" Rose queried, still half asleep.
"We might as well sleep here," the Doctor answered, gesturing at the room they were currently occupying.
"The library?" Rose concluded sceptically.
"Yeah, why not? I don't sleep that much and you seemed to have slept alright on the sofa," the Doctor pointed out.
"Yeah, until I fell off," Rose grumbled, flopping back down and wincing as her back collided with the hard arm of the sofa.
The Doctor suddenly stood up from his armchair and crossed to the sofa, pulling Rose into a sitting position before pulling his converse off and laying down.
"W-What are you doing?!" Rose asked in confusion as the Doctor shifted her onto his lap.
"Well, I figured if you're lying on me and I have hold of you, you won't fall off the sofa," the Doctor told her, fingers running through her hair.
Rose was about to reply, but she was so comfy, and before she could form a response, her eyes had fluttered shut and her breathing had evened out.
It was early morning- well, as much as you could have an 'early morning' on the TARDIS; strictly speaking, it was early morning for Rose, who had just woken up- and they had been stuck on the TARDIS for almost a full day now. The Doctor had gone and checked the helpful little countdown the TARDIS had put up on the computer screen so that they could see how long it would be before lockdown was over (unfortunately, they still had 50.5 hours left), before busying himself with making breakfast. Rose had headed off to find the shower and hunt down some clothes for the day; with the corridor their bedrooms were down in lockdown, neither of them were able to reach their wardrobes. Of course, the Doctor had items of clothing scattered around the TARDIS, which had been how he'd gotten the t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms he'd been wearing in the gym yesterday. He had offered to head back to the gym and get something similar for Rose to wear- and Jack had told him that having a wardrobe in a gym was silly…Look who's laughing now, Captain?- but Rose had screwed her nose up slightly (although she tried to hide it) and now the Doctor was racking his brain to try and work out what other clothes were hidden in other rooms. Just then, however, Rose entered the galley dressed in a blue t-shirt and jeans.
"Found more clothes then?" the Doctor asked.
"Jus' got out the shower and these were there. I think the TARDIS is tryin' to make up for putting our bedrooms in lockdown," Rose replied as she towel dried her hair.
She sat down at the galley table as the Doctor brought two plates of bacon and eggs over.
"Just two days left, eh?" Rose asked as they tucked into their breakfast.
"Yep," the Doctor replied "and I never thought I'd get so bored of my own TARDIS!"
Rose laughed, understanding what the Doctor meant. Under any other circumstances, the TARDIS offered plenty of things to do, but other than the park, the gym, the library (which had the swimming pool in it- the Doctor really needed to fix that at some point) and the TV room, pretty much every other room had been locked off. Of course, they still had a rather large bathroom, the galley and the control room, but they weren't very amusing and- although they helped pass the time- the Doctor and Rose couldn't really do anything in them together.
"What do we do today?" Rose asked.
The Doctor shrugged.
" Watch a film, maybe?" he suggested.
"Yesterday you said you didn't want to watch a film," Rose reminded him, grinning.
"Yeah, but that was yesterday. And besides, I feel I owe you," the Doctor answered, still shoving bacon in his mouth.
"Why do you owe me?" Rose asked, frowning.
"Because all I did yesterday is complain, and that wasn't fair on you because you're in exactly the same position as me," the Doctor replied.
"Oh, Doctor, you don't have to do that!" Rose protested.
The Doctor shook his head.
"No, but I want to," he answered sincerely.
That night, the Doctor and Rose slept on the sofa again, the Doctor anchoring his companion to him so that she wasn't in danger of slipping off the sofa. They had spent the day watching all the Harry Potter films at Rose's insistence, during which the Doctor swore vehemently that he did not at all resemble that 'Barty Crouch junior fellow', although Rose insisted otherwise. By mid morning the next day, they had been in lockdown for exactly two days and, although the Doctor was more relaxed than when it first happened, he was still restless. Rose watched him sympathetically as he virtually bounded round the library, going from shelf to shelf and spouting off facts about famous writers. She was beginning to wonder how long it would take the Doctor to go completely mad.
The next morning, the Doctor was even worse. He had Rose up at some ridiculously early hour as he jumped around yelling that it was only a matter of hours until the TARDIS was back online and fully functional as he tugged her to the control room. In fact, the 902 year old Time Lord was doing a very good impression of a hyperactive toddler that had had too many sweets.
"Doctor, why don't you sit down and relax for a bit, yeah?" Rose suggested tiredly as she curled up on the control room chair, watching the Doctor bounce about like Tigger.
Sensing Rose's tiredness, the Doctor obligingly sat down on the sofa, quietening considerably.
"Rose," the Doctor asked after a good few seconds of silence "are we just going to sit here for the next six and a half hours in silence?"
"No, Doctor," Rose replied, tiredness still evident in her tone, although she was beginning to wake up a bit more now "but we're not gonna do anythin' too noisy either,"
"What are we going to do then?" the Doctor asked quietly, hand absent-mindedly stroking Rose's hair.
"I dunno, talk?" Rose answered, resting her head on his shoulder.
"That sounds good," the Doctor agreed softly.
Over the next few hours, the Doctor and Rose talked about numerous things, including bunking off of school when they were younger, what planets and times Rose wanted to visit and, lastly, their future.
"How long are you going to stay with me?" the Doctor asked quietly.
"Forever, Doctor," Rose answered equally as quietly, gripping his hand tight "I promise."
"See, that's my problem," the Doctor admitted softly.
"What is?" Rose asked, frowning.
"You're willing to give me your forever, Rose, but you don't stop to think about what you're giving up. If you stay with me, you're never going to be able to meet someone, marry them, have children…And I feel so, so guilty for taking that away from you,"
"You're not taking anything away from me, Doctor," Rose told him, reaching up to cup his cheek "I promise. This is what I want."
"But you deserve better, Rose," the Doctor insisted gently, his eyes wide and dark and imploring her to understand "you deserve all of that, and more. I'd be willing to let you go if you chose that life over this one,"
"A-Are you asking me to leave?" Rose asked worriedly, withdrawing from him and fighting back the tears that sprung forth with his words.
"No!" he insisted quickly, eyes wide "No! But…But if that's what made you happy, then I'd let you go. Because, out of everything in this whole universe, you're the one thing I care most about. I want you to be happy, Rose, that's all I want. I love you so much, but I know you don't feel the same way, and I won't push you, but I don't want you to leave! But if, one day, you decide that's what you want, I won't stand in your way. Even if it's with…With a Slitheen! Because even though it'll hurt so much, the thing I want most is for you to be happy. Even if that means losing you…"
The air between them was suddenly thick of tension, the silence hanging in the air as the two of them stared at each other, equally wide-eyed and unable to believe what had just been said.
"Did…Did you just say that you love me?" Rose asked breathlessly, brow furrowing.
The Doctor blushed, swallowed, and refused to meet her eyes, but nodded anyway.
"Guess you want me to take you home now," he muttered.
"Why?" Rose asked, perplexed and more than slightly frustrated he wouldn't look at her.
"Because your Mum was right all along. I'm in love with you. And now that's made our friendship awkward, and you won't want to travel with me now." The Doctor concluded bitterly.
"Doctor," Rose replied softly "look at me."
When he still wouldn't meet her gaze, Rose reached out and turned his chin so he was looking into her eyes.
"Does this feel like I don't want to travel with you now?" Rose asked softly.
The Doctor's brow furrowed in confusion, but that melted away as Rose knelt up and kissed him gently on the lips. Neither of them noticed as the countdown on the computer screen reached 0.