His head felt like it weighed at least twice what it normally did, and his mouth felt like it had been filled with cotton wool. Slowly, he tried to lift his eyelids but apparently they had lead weights attached to them. Finally he was able to open them only to find himself in a strange place.
Nothing in this room looked the least bit familiar. His mind raced back to last night. He remembered Martha giving him an injection and him sneaking away. After that things got fuzzy. In fact, he didn't remember anything after getting out of the truck. Had someone found him and brought him here?
"Good morning," a soft voice called from across the room. "I didn't know when you were going to rejoin the land of the living."
Reflexively, he pulled the bed coverings up to his chest and raised his eyes to seek the owner of the voice. Standing by the door was a strikingly beautiful blonde woman in a sleeveless pink dress. It reminded him of one of those dress he'd seen women wearing in films from the 1950's. It looked wonderful on her.
He'd met some of the most beautiful women in the world, but there was something in this woman's eyes that caught his attention. "Hell… hello," he managed to say despite his dry mouth.
"Hello." She smiled back and caught her tongue in her teeth.
He honestly thought he must be dead. Yes, that was the explanation. He had died, and this woman was welcoming him to the afterlife. Her lips had moved again as she said something that he had missed. It may have been important. "I'm sorry?"
She giggled. "I asked if you would like a cuppa. You know… tea. A superheated infusion of free-radicals and tannins. Good old Twining's Earl Grey."
"Yes, yes, fine." He raked a hand through his hair and noticed that he was wearing neither his suit from last night nor his normal nightly attire. Plain old blue striped cotton jim-jams. Brilliant. But how had he gotten into them?
"How do you take it?" the blonde woman asked.
"Two sugars and milk." Remembering that he should at least try to have some manners, he added a thank you. The woman disappeared into the other room. The Doctor quickly took stock of his surroundings. The room was clean and elegantly decorated but not ornate. Nothing to show signs of a struggle. There was a phone on the bedside table. He quickly picked it up and heard the dial tone. He tried to move his legs. Both were able to move so he sat upright. Okay, so, the phone worked and he wasn't tied up. That was good, very good.
The woman came back in and walked over to set the tea down next to him. He noticed that she smelled quite nice, like lavender, before she stepped away. Cautiously he took a sip of the tea.
"It's not poisoned, if that's what you're worried about," she said, tilting her head to one side like she was studying him. "And if you're hungry, there's a bit of toast left over but it's nearly lunch time."
He wasn't sure what to say what to say or do, so he took a gulp of his tea to show he believed her. The tea made him feel immensely better. His throat was soothed, and his head began to go back to its normal weight. The woman was staring at him, waiting to see if he'd say anything. Maybe she was expecting something from him. Whatever that was would have to wait; he needed to know how he got here.
"Umm, I don't remember much about last night. Can you tell me how I got here? And what happened? Did we…?" He gestured between them and to the bed. He really hoped they hadn't. Her face scrunched adorably as she tried to grasp his meaning. "I mean, did we spend the night together."
"Oh," she said and the look on her face changed to one of comprehension. One corner of her mouth lifted into a half smile. "Yes, we did have a bit of a sleep over. And don't go thinking this is something I normally do, bringing home a drunk man and letting him into my bed." Her tone was teasing, but he still wasn't sure if she meant that they had slept together.
"So you helped me get undressed?" He swallowed, not sure if he wanted to know the answer or not.
She winked. "Oh yes, and you were very compliant. Made me do most of the work, actually. Still, both of us slept well afterwards."
"Was it…?" His voice squeaked with embarrassment, and he felt his skin flush red. This was not good, not good at all. His first time and he couldn't remember it. Worse than that, it sounded like he'd been rubbish at it. Rubbish first time with a beautiful woman. He wanted to curl up and die.
"Was it what?" She had that tongue touched smile on her lips again.
At this point he was sure that he was purple with embarrassment. "Was it good? For you I mean?"
He smile widened. "Best experience like that I've ever had."
"Good, very good." He swallowed and looked up to meet her eyes. "I'd hate for it to have been bad for you since I was drunk and all."
The woman laughed. It was a wonderfully, melodious sound, one that he wished he could hear every minute of every day. The Doctor paused. Where had that thought come from? He'd only just met her, although apparently she had been more intimate with him than anyone else had even dared come close.
"Do you think that we slept together, mate? 'Cause I'm not that kind of bird." She was still laughing at least.
"We didn't." His jaw dropped. How could he have made such incorrect assumptions? He had insulted her, and now he really wanted to curl up and die.
She shook her head. "No, you plum. I found you practically unconscious on the bench outside my hotel last night. You looked a little down on your luck so I brought you up to my room, helped you change and I slept on the sofa."
"Riiight, sorry about presuming that you and I, well, you know. I guess I'm a bit rude and still a little out of it from last night."
"It's not a problem. Didn't get a chance to introduce myself before." She stepped forward and held out a hand. "My name's Rose, Rose Tyler." There was a look on her face as if she was waiting for him to recognize her, but he didn't.
He reached out, took her hand and placed a kiss on her knuckles. The gesture was almost automatic, but it felt more intimate than it normally did. Probably because he wasn't properly dressed and still sitting in her bed. "Pleasure to meet you, Rose Tyler, I'm Pr…" He caught himself. If he had any hopes of spending the remainder of the day without the burdens of his birth, then he definitely could not tell her his real name. "I'm the Doctor."
Rose laughed again. "Bit of a haughty nickname you've got there, Doctor, but it is nice to meet you sober. Or are you hung over? I think I have some aspirin, if you want."
The Doctor shook his head. "No, thank you. I'm allergic actually, and my head feels fine. I think the tea really helped."
"It's my mum's favorite cure-all, tea. She is very British." Rose shook her head. "Do you need a lift somewhere or is there someone I could call for you? You must have someone missing you, handsome bloke that you are." It was her turn to blush now.
Obviously she either had no idea who he was or she was pretending not to know who he was. Either way, he was grateful. "No, there's no one to call. I was planning on doing some sightseeing today."
"All on your own? That's no fun." Rose looked thoughtfully at him. He tensed, waiting to see if she was going to invite herself along. Surprisingly, the thought of spending the day with her wouldn't have been unwelcome. Instead of saying anything she turned and walked to the wardrobe. From inside she pulled out hangers holding his suit and coat. "I hung up your things. Feel free to use the en suite, although the only soaps and shampoos in there might not be your scent. If you want, you can use Jack's. He's got all sorts of manly smelling things in there."
His eyebrows shot up. "Jack?"
"He's my best friend and body guard." She walked over and laid his clothes on the back of a chair.
Tension filled his body. Maybe this was some sort of a trap and the muscle was in the other room waiting to strike. "Why…why do you need a body guard?"
"Oh," Rose replied, sounding a little cagey, "I'm a bit famous and my mum and dad insist that I have protection." She opened a drawer, pulled out a magazine and held it up where he could read it. "See, that's Jack." On the cover was a picture of her with a tall, brown haired, attractive man. The headline read; Is the English Rose's new man her bodyguard? "They like to dissect everything in my life. So if you did recognize me, I appreciate you not saying anything. Anyway, I'll leave you to get ready, Doctor."
She took the magazine and walked towards the door, leaving him in a little bit of a shock as to what just happened. She saved him last night, took care of him and wanted nothing in return. In his experience, people always wanted something in return.
Maybe she was different. She felt like a kindred spirit. Certainly she understood the pressures of public life, and he couldn't just let her walk away. He had taken a step towards the door when she turned back around.
"You could come to lunch with Jack and me, if you wanted to." Rose shrugged but her face couldn't hide her excitement at the prospect of lunch. "Might be more fun than spending the day alone."