Never Had A Life Like This

Zach and his team kindly took them to the closest hospitable planet that the Doctor recognised the name of. They parted ways with the crew because the Time Lord knew that on this planet there was a larger ship, a space cruise in effect, which would get him and Rose across the galaxy in a much more pleasant environment. There was a swimming pool on board and everything. Plus, neither he nor Rose wanted to outstay their welcome with the crew, as welcoming as they had been thus far, for they were returning from an important mission and had their own lives to get on with without the added hassle of two tagalongs.

It had been a few hours since the Doctor had (somewhat illegally) acquired two tickets for their new form of travel, and they were already up travelling through the dark vacuum of space. The room they'd been issued was rather nice. Bathroom, fridge, sofa, armchair, bed. Kettle. The necessities of life, really. Big, wide window, which he was currently staring out of.

"What are we gonna do?" she whispered into the near-darkness.

The Doctor turned his back to the window and watched Rose anxiously biting her lip, pulling a blanket over herself on the bed. In the dim light from the distant star, he could see her eyes fill with tears, and he instantly closed the distance between them, sitting down beside her on the bed. She'd held it together up until now – always strong, always brave, that was Rose. But now that she'd lain in silence for a while, unable to sleep due to her racing thoughts, her true emotions regarding the situation they'd found themselves in arose. He enfolded her into his arms and ran a hand through her hair, stroking soothingly. "Right now, we're gonna get some sleep. We'll face this in the morning."

"But what - " she broke off, her voice wavering, but then continued, insistent, "What are we going to do?"

"It'll be like you said," he murmured softly. "We'll find a planet, get a flat, get a job...same as the rest of the universe."

"But you can't," she said, trying not to cry into his shirt. She lowered her voice to a whisper again, "You can't. You can't be stuck in one place, one time. It's gonna drive you mad."

He closed his eyes and buried his nose in the top of her head, inhaling the comforting, familiar scent of her. "Rose," he said quietly. "Stop worrying about me. Go to sleep." He attempted to unwind his arms from around her but she clung onto him, pulling him down to the mattress with her as she lay on her side. He didn't mind; just pulled her closer.

Lying face to face, he fought back a sob himself as he saw the fear and sorrow etched onto her expression. His Rose should never look like that. He lifted his hand to catch her teardrops and smooth out her frown. "Please, Rose," he whispered hoarsely. "Please just..."

"What?"

He closed his eyes briefly then opened them again and stared into hers in that intense way he did that let her know what he was really feeling. "Please just stay with me."

Her frown deepened, and he sighed; but then she made a promise, "Of course I will. I'll always stay," and he gave her a watery smile. Then, she added softly, "Even when you don't want me to anymore."

He chuckled, and tilted his head. For an utterly entrancing but equally barmy moment, he thought he might ask to kiss her; but then he bumped his nose to hers playfully instead, unsure if anything else would be warranted right now. However, he couldn't resist adding, "Oh, I rather suspect I'll always want you, Rose Tyler."

She swallowed hard. "I hope so," she whispered.

He watched her silently as her eyes began to droop and she finally fell into sleep. And for an hour further, he simply stared at her and stroked the crease of her elbow with his thumb, finding solace from their loss of the TARDIS with her very presence. He was acutely aware of how much he really needed Rose now. He hoped she would stay true to her word and stay with him. He could only do this, only live this strange new life, with her by his side.

He exhaled roughly and bit his lip. "Think we're gonna have to get that shared mortgage, you know," he whispered conversationally to her sleeping form. In her sleep, she wrinkled her nose, and the Doctor laughed. "Hope that was just a coincidence and not you expressing your distaste for sharing a mortgage with me," he chuckled. Then, with sigh that was rather oddly happy-sad, the Doctor fell asleep with his arms wrapped around Rose Tyler.