Well, this is my first Doctor Who fic, so hopefully it's not rubbish. The inspiration for this one came from a fanvid I saw on YouTube using the song "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young" (The link is up on my profile if anyone wants to see it) that involved Nine and Ten, Rose, their friends, and that song, which is from the 1984 movie Streets of Fire. Mostly, I think this started out being a general fic but then turned into Ten/Rose fluff. I blame my muse. A link to the version with lyrics is available on my profile as well.

Ah, well, read and review?


"Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young"

Nineteen-year-old Rose Tyler glanced to her left along the stretch of beach as she heard the familiar sound of the TARDIS materializing—only, instead of the TARDIS, she could see the lean form of the Doctor as he faded in and out view. Then he materialized fully, an unspoken apology in his deep brown eyes and regret mingled with something else on his handsome face. His mouth opened like he was going to say something—but he faded away before more than a few words had fallen, just as Rose was moving towards him.

No! He couldn't leave her here, not again. Rose had just started to rant at the empty space where the Doctor had been when the scene shifted.

She was standing with the Doctor in a forest at the edge of a lake reflecting the fiery orange of the setting sun. The TARDIS was maybe 400 meters away, its blue color never changing, but Rose didn't recall stepping out of its doors and into this breathtaking landscape.

"Doctor," she asked, "where are we?"

Streaks of copper were pulled by the sun through his spiky brown hair when he turned his head to look at her, that excited grin on his face. "Not sure, exactly. Looks like Earth, probably North America, possibly the Rocky Mountains." He stuck out his tongue to taste the air. "Yep. I was right. Well, never been to Colorado before. Let's explore, shall we?" The Doctor started to walk off, but Rose grabbed his arm before he had taken more than a couple of steps. A puzzled expression crossed his face as he looked down at the hand gripping his tricep. "What?"

"It wouldn't kill you to see the sunset, would it?" said Rose, looking back to the lake. The sky was now a mixture of blue, orange, and gold, with streaks of pink thrown in for good measure, and the clouds were varying shades of purple and red. All this was reflected in the calm, glassy surface of the lake.

Rose tore her gaze away from the sight before her to look at the 900-year-old Time Lord beside her. A chill trickled down her spine when she saw that the reflecting light was casting his body in a warm golden glow, the color so similar to that of the one which signaled the start of the regeneration process. But he couldn't regenerate, not yet—it was too soon; besides, she was fairly certain that this was just a dream.

"Lovely, isn't it?" said the Doctor, snapping Rose out of her observations. "Sometimes I forget that your planet has its own natural beauty, especially in those places least touched by you humans." His fingers linked with hers, his touch replacing the chill from earlier and filling Rose with warmth. "Why do you have this need to destroy life for your own selfish needs and ambitions, when you should be protecting it?"

Rose had to fight the urge to roll her eyes. "There are endangered species under protection that are making a comeback, Doctor," she pointed out, "and the United States has several national parks."

"It's not enough. There are only a handful of truly wild places left." The Doctor's brown eyes grew dark, moody. "And there wouldn't be any endangered species if it weren't for you humans destroying their habitats to build your cities in roads, or for you hunting them for sport." Anger flashed in his eyes; then it faded. "It's useless lecturing a human about this. I don't know why I'm even— We were talking about the view, right?"

"Yeah. Then you went off on this tangent, and I saw no possible way of stopping you. And quite insulting us; not all humans want to destroy nature, you know." Rose gave his hand a quick squeeze, letting him know she accepted the unspoken apology.

"Right," the Doctor said briskly after a few seconds, shaking himself as if to be rid of an irritating fly. "Now that it's nearly dark, what do you say we head back to the TARDIS?" He flashed a smile at her that would melt what remained of winter's snowfall off the neighboring peaks and turned on his heel in the direction of the 1950s blue police public call box that was indeed bigger on the inside.

They had only taken a few steps when the ground shuddered violently and ripped open right under their feet. Rose shrieked in surprise and gripped the Doctor tightly, swinging her body around so she was pressed against him. She was vaguely aware that he was grasping her tightly at the small of her back and around her waist; then all that was left was the sensation of falling, falling . . .

Rose's eyes snapped open. Her head spun and her stomach lurched as she remembered falling and never landing. Then her head cleared and her stomach settled as she recognized her surroundings: She was on a red double-decker coach in London. Her head rested against the window, her eyes almost automatically searching for the familiar blue form of the TARDIS, or maybe the lanky brown-haired frame of the Doctor. Where there was one the other wasn't far behind.

But she didn't see any sign of either the Time Lord or his ship. Disappointment crashed over her like a tidal wave as she realized a large part of her had expected him to be there. The lyrics to an old song played in her mind: Your love is like a tidal wave spinning over my head, drowning me in your promises better left unsaid. You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasy. The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to please. Then the coach rolled to a halt a block outside her flat, and Rose hopped off and headed in the front door.

"Mum, I'm home!" she called out, shutting the door behind her.

Jackie Tyler appeared in the living room almost instantly, a shot of some sort of drink in her hand. Mickey, Rose's ex-boyfriend, popped his head out of the kitchen. His face lit up when he saw her. "Hey, Rose! Finally decided to stay for a while, have you?"

Rose shifted her weight, feeling uncomfortable. The truth was, she felt more at home with the Doctor—wherever he was—than here on Earth with her family. She wasn't even sure she would be here all that long.

And yet . . . whenever she did return, Mickey would be there, doing his best to help out her and the Doctor. Part of the reason she'd gone out with him in the first place was because of his personality and outlook on life, but as soon as she'd met the Doctor . . . She'd left Mickey and Jackie to run off in the TARDIS with the last of the Time Lords. And while Mickey wasn't the Doctor, he was the next best thing—not that she would ever tell Mickey that.

Her silence seemed to answer Mickey's question; his face fell. "You're not staying then. You're going to go off with him again, aren't you." It was not a question.

"Yeah." Rose found it difficult to meet his eyes. "Probably."

"And while you're off God-knows-where doing God-knows-what," Jackie cut in, slamming the now-empty glass down on a nearby stand, "do you even think about how it affects us? You were gone for a whole year, Rose!"

Before Rose could even begin to think of a reply, the vroomp-vroomp of the TARDIS materializing filled the flat. In about thirty seconds, the door was open and the Doctor's head was poking out. A grin split his face when he saw Rose. "C'mon, then, what're you waitin' for?"

She didn't look back at her mum or her ex as she bounded into the TARDIS. The Doctor waved a hand at Jackie and Mickey. "Love to stay," he said insincerely, "but we really must go."

"Now, wait a sec—" Jackie began, starting forward, but the time machine was already gone.

.

According to the Doctor, they were adrift in the Time Vortex. Rose didn't really care; she was more interested in observing him as he moved around the console room. Memories played in her mind: her dancing with the Doctor on the catwalk after they'd saved WWII-era London from the Empty Child; the golden light streaming from his as he regenerated; brief mentions of the Master, another Time Lord who was driven insane by the four-beat pounding of drums in his head.

The Doctor suddenly stopped whatever he was doing and looked up at Rose. "It's late. You're not tired, are you?"

She hadn't noticed that she was until he mentioned it. Fatigue washed over her; all she could manage was a nod.

"Well, go on, then. I'll wake you in a few hours." His warm, dark brown eyes followed her progress down the hallway that led to the bedroom he so rarely used, looking away only when Rose was out of sight. He wasn't worried that she would get lost: Rose knew her way around well enough by now, and he suspected his TARDIS was fond of her, as was he.

He'd lied when he'd told her they were in the Time Vortex. They were hanging in orbit miles above Earth, closer to the moon than anywhere else. Even the nearest star was light-years away. His morals, such as they were, were even more messed up than normal if he didn't feel remorse—or anything but happy, really—over lying to his pretty blonde companion.

Rule Number One: The Doctor lies, he thought. He always did, and usually he ended up causing death wherever he went—most of it by his own hand. The Daleks didn't call him the Oncoming Storm for nothing, after all, and he was really quite fond of humans and their home planet. It would not do to threaten it on his watch—he should know; several alien species had tried. Having a companion helped keep him in control, and more than that, Rose had staved off his loneliness, made him feel cared about. And yes, that sounded sappy, but this body was a tad more emotional—or easier at showing emotions, at least—than his ninth incarnation.

The Doctor sighed and ran a hand through his spiky brown hair. Suddenly he was finding it harder to concentrate than normal, and his attention span was incredibly short on a good day. It was a good thing he wasn't human then; if he were, this body would have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD—and he shuddered at the thought of taking Adderall, or any kind of medicine, really.

His thoughts were running away with him again. He had been going to—what was it? Ah, yes, check in on Rose, make sure she was really sleeping.

His twin hearts sped up in his chest for reasons he did not want to think about too closely as he walked down the corridors to his room, shrugging out of his brown suit jacket as he went and draping it over his arm. He reached the door to his room and opened it enough to see that Rose was in his bed, out cold. Not wanting to disturb her, he tossed the jacket in the general direction of the closet and shut the door softly. As reading had always helped calm him—and he couldn't sleep anyway—he decided to head to the library, maybe brush up on Charles Dickens or Shakespeare. Fine by him, so long as Rose hadn't left any Stephanie Myer novels in there. The Doctor grimaced and shivered at the thought. How that rubbish series had sold so many copies was beyond him. He'd met real vampires and werewolves, after all, and vamps did NOT sparkle. As for the 'wolves, many of the ones he'd met had a taste for human flesh, not vampire.

His fingers were now running along the spines of leather-bound books, his eyes quickly scanning the titles. He finally pulled out Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Memories of meeting the long-dead author in Victorian Cardiff and fighting the Gelf filled his mind; a smile tugged at his mouth. Rose had been with him then, too: It had been her first trip into the past after he'd showed her the end of the world, five billion years in her future.

Rose Tyler was a special one, he reflected. Bad Wolf. She'd looked into the heart of the TARDIS—and therefore the Time Vortex itself—and used that power to save him from the Dalek Emperor, even though her mind hadn't been able to handle it. Yes, she might not be his species, was only a human girl, but she was his human girl—and that was all that really mattered.

The Doctor suddenly realized that he wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything he read, not when everything reminded him of Rose. Rose, who was currently sleeping in his bed.

Don't even go there, he told himself sternly. He couldn't take advantage of her like that, as much as he wanted to. But now that the image was in his head . . .

He cursed under his breath in Galifreyan, knowing he was done for as he slid the book back in place and headed out of the library to his room.

.

The Doctor slipped inside his room, his eyes easily adjusting to the darkness. He made for the closet, fingers already working at his shirt, and reached for nightclothes. Shrugging out of the shirt and trousers, he pulled on the jim-jams—all in the dark. He didn't want to risk waking Rose by turning on the light, and besides, he had really good night vision, far better than that of a human.

Without really thinking about it, he stretched out on the free side of the bed, lying on top of the covers. As Rose was underneath the duvet, he was trying to be a … well, not a gentleman, exactly, but he was trying to lessen the temptation. If he was honest with himself, though, if he was serious about avoiding temptation, he would be sleeping on the couch in the library, not lying here with Rose, his young, pretty, blonde, female, human companion.

He laced his hands behind his head, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. Rassolin help him, he couldn't fight his feelings for her. And given Rose was sleeping he was not going to take advantage of her like that. Maybe when she was awake he'd take her to Barcelona—the planet, not the city—make love to her . . .

But that was only a dream and tonight—tonight was for real.

Rose shifted positions, moving closer to him, and the Doctor stiffened. He'd overstayed his welcome; he really should leave . . . Yet, something about this seemed so natural that he didn't want to leave.

I really should go now before I do something I'll regret, he thought, or stupid. He rolled to his left—and the next thing he knew, he was lying face down on the floor.

So much for not doing anything stupid. Fortunately, it didn't look as if he'd disturbed Rose any: Her breathing was still the steady, deep rhythm of one in the third cycle. (The first stage was dozing, where you were easily awakened; the second was REM, rapid-eye movement, which occurred when the subject was sleeping. If he remembered correctly, there were four sleep cycles.) All this went through his mind in less time than it took to blink as he picked himself up from the floor. This time the Doctor slid under the duvet, only just realizing how cold it was (he suspected the TARDIS had something to do with that).

Rose turned over onto her left side, her head dangerously close to the Doctor's shoulder. Her right hand stretched out, resting lightly on his chest, and he dared not breathe. His hearts sped up into an allegro tempo, and his traitorous body wanted to move even closer.

No! No, nonono, no! She's human . . .

His sleeping companion solved his dilemma by snuggling closer, burying her face in the crook of his neck, the arm banded across his chest tightening. The Doctor's breath hitched in his throat, escaping as a rattling hiss. Any further and he wouldn't be responsible for the consequences.

Face it, you're gone. The Doctor shifted slightly, and the movement woke Rose. He felt her lips curve in a frown—they were that close—and she couldn't hide the faint tremor that raced through him. Her head lifted, and he saw that some of the fog was fading from her eyes as she puzzled out what position she was in and who was in the bed with her.

Then she slapped him—hard.

"Ow!" the Doctor yelped, rubbing his cheek. "Did you take lessons from your mum last time we stopped in 2005?"

She glared. "Maybe." Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "You didn't try anything funny, did you?"

"No." He had the decency to look wounded, at least. Then he smirked. "You're the one who was up on me, remember."

"You're a total prat."

"I've been called worse. By the way, how's Mickey the idiot?"

". . . What?"

The Doctor smiled. "I knew that would take your mind off this." He was still trying to figure out what this was.

Rose propped herself up on one elbow, running a hand through her long blonde hair. "What would this be, exactly? And how long was I asleep for?"

"I don't know, and about ten minutes, maybe fifteen."

"Ah. Well, in that case, sod off and let me sleep." With that, Rose rested her head back on the pillow, her hand in its former position on the Doctor's chest. Her head wasn't far behind; the close contact made him feel as if he were drowning in fire.

Then her lips grazed his throat, one of her legs rested on top of his, and before he knew it, he was completely gone.


Here are the lyrics in case anyone's interested. All rights go to Jim Steinman for the song.

I've got a dream 'bout an angel on the beach
And the perfect waves are starting to come
His hair is flying out in ribbons of gold
And his touch has got the power to stun
I've got a dream 'bout an angel in the forest
Enchanted by the edge of a lake
His body's glowing in the jewels of light
And the earth below him's starting to shake

But I don't see any angels in the city
I don't hear any holy choirs sing
And if I can't get an angel
I can still get a boy
And a boy'll be the next best thing
The next best thing to an angel
A boy'll be the next best thing

I've got a dream 'bout a boy in a castle
And he's dancing like a cat on the stairs
He's got the fire of a prince in his eyes
And the thunder of a drum in his ears
I've got a dream 'bout a boy on a star
Looking down upon the realm of the world
He's there all alone and dreaming of someone like me
I'm not an angel but at least I'm a girl

I've got a dream when the darkness is over
We'll be lying in the rays of the sun
But it's only a dream and tonight is for real
You'll never know what it means
But you'll know how it feels
It's gonna be over (over)
Before you know it's begun
(Before you know it's begun)

Oh, it's all we really got tonight
Stop your crying hold on (tonight)
Before you know it it's gone (tonight)
Tonight is what it means to be young
Tonight is what it means to be young

Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the restless and the broken-hearted
Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the desperate and the broken-hearted
Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
(Tonight is what it means to be young)
We're dancing for the restless and the broken-hearted
(Before you know it it's gone)
Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
(Tonight is what it means to be young)
We're dancing for the desperate and the broken-hearted
(Before you know it it's gone)

Say a prayer in the darkness for the magic to come
No matter what it seems
Tonight is what it means to be young
Before you know it it's gone
Tonight is what it means to be young
Before you know it it's gone

I've got a dream when the darkness is over
We'll be lying in the rays of the sun
But it's only a dream and tonight is for real
You'll never know what it means
But you'll know how it feels
It's gonna be over (over)
Before you know it's begun
(Before you know it's begun)

Oh, it's all we really got tonight
Stop your crying hold on (tonight)
Before you know it it's gone (tonight)
Tonight is what it means to be young
Tonight is what it means to be young

Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the desperate and the broken-hearted
Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
(Tonight is what it means to be young)
We're dancing for the restless and the broken-hearted
(Before you know it it's gone)

Say a prayer in the darkness for the magic to come
But no matter what it seems
Tonight is what it means to be young
No matter what it seems
Tonight is what it means to be young
Tonight is what it means to be young
Before you know it it's gone
Tonight is what it means to be young
Before you know it it's gone

Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the restless and the broken-hearted
Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the desperate and the broken-hearted

The things they say
And then the things they do
Nothing's gonna stop us if our aim is true

The things they say
And then the things they do
Nothing's gonna stop us if our aim is true

The things they say
And then the things they do
Nothing's gonna stop us if our aim is true

Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the restless and the broken-hearted
Let the revels begin
Let the fire be started
We're dancing for the desperate and the broken-hearted