After the first desperate hug, his fingers raking through her hair - all rich and chocolate like her eyes now - and her head buried in his neck - is he wearing a bow tie? - there isn't time. It's all the desperate clasp of hands and unfamiliar voices shouting at them to hurry. Only after everyone is safe and Rose learns that the ginger is called Amy and the pretty one is called Rory, is there a stillness of what-comes-next hanging in the air, the business of who-sleeps where. Domestics.

Rory excuses himself to bed; Amy follows him only a few minutes afterwards. Rose thinks she'll have to grab the other girl for chips later, maybe sweet-talk the Doctor into taking them to see Sarah Jane. Maybe sweet-talk the TARDIS into it instead, if he decides to get stubborn. She stops, for a moment, wonders if he's as obstinate now as he had been before. She glances at him - green eyes darting about, fussing with this and that trinket, hurriedly kicking something under the bed.

"I'm still me," Rose says softly, borrowing his words and placing a hand on his arm. The Doctor tenses, just enough for her to hear a sharp intake of breath. She'll just have to convince him then. Signs tell her more than he does, in this room, not-quite-untouched - a banana peel in the bin, a half-eaten bag of jelly babies on her dresser next to her favorite shirt. This room has been used since she's been gone. Used for what, she can probably guess. He tends to nest when he mourns.

He's turning to say something when she spots it. A smirk tugs at the corner of her mouth as she makes a split-second decision and dives onto the bed for her prize. "Rose, I -" THWUMP. Silence reigns, before the Doctor, a smile dawning in his eyes, takes two strides directly into Rose's personal space, where she's holding a pillow case and fighting a smile like a guilty child. "Rose Tyler," he said slowly, leaning down, nose nearly brushing hers as he reaches behind her. "You're on."

After that it's all a tangle of fwumps and pops and of course, of course he's got the kind of pillows that explode like snow if you hit too hard, so that they're rolling around in a blanket of white down when it devolves fast into a tickle fight, his fingers seeking familiar sensitive spots and driving peals of laughter from her out into the TARDIS. It's almost like a missing part clicking into place, and he can feel the old time ship soaking it up greedily.

Rose tries for payback, really she does, but her hands have their own agenda, and soon tickling turns to caressing and smiles turn to learning what it feels like to be kissed by new lips. Her heart breaks at his fingers digging into her back, and the soft, almost agonized noises he makes, and closing her eyes she'd never be able to tell the difference between bowties and pinstripes and leather.

He leaves -marks-. He's never left marks, not ones she's sure are still going to be on her in a few days, maybe even weeks. She's not even sure he didn't mean to, because she's learned a little Gallifreyan, and the words he says are sharp and hungry and possessive. She responds with things he knows - her lips on his jaw, the backs of her feet against his calves, and the rising tempo of her voice. Oh, she's not going anywhere. Not any time soon.

Later, when they're lying warm and bare while the Doctor artfully arranges curly white feathers in a pattern on her hip, he finally speaks. "You're still you," he says with a shy smile - one she hasn't seen since his eyes were blue. She gives him a tongue-touched grin and reaches across his chest for the bag of jelly babies, and offers him one. "I'm still me."