A/N: Thank you so much for all your reviews, and thanks for reading. I hope you'll like the ending. ^^
8. THE DIVINE INTERVENTION
"Thanks again," Martha said, smiling at the Doctor and Rose. "I had so much fun tonight."
"Oh, we did, too," Rose said. "It was great. We should do it again sometime. Maybe...in a normal place, though?"
"Uhm…" Martha glanced at Mickey through the corner of her eye, and he squeezed her hand. "Yeah. Yeah, we'd love to."
Rose's eyes flickered down to Martha and Mickey's joined hands, and she grinned and drew in a breath as though she were going to say something, but bit her lip instead, opening the door the her bedroom. "Yeah. Good night, then," she said and slipped inside with the Doctor.
"So… I should probably get to bed," Martha said. "I'm really tired. Been a long day."
"I'll walk you to your– Can I walk you to your room?"
A smile bloomed on Martha's face, her heart beating a little faster. "Yeah," she said, tugging him with her as she headed down the corridor.
She couldn't say how it had happened, or even who was responsible, but during their walk home from the restaurant, their hands had brushed together and, somehow, just clasped. Neither had acknowledged it and, even though they didn't have to pretend anymore, neither slipped out of the other's grip. They walked in silence, swinging their arms, exchanging shy glances and smiles, until they reached Martha's room.
"Well, this is me," she said, letting go of his hand to grab the door handle.
Mickey leaned his shoulder against the wall. "Yep."
"I, uhm, I had a lovely time. A little bit weird, mind you, but… Didn't expect anything else, going out with those two."
Mickey chuckled. "Yeah. I had a great time, too."
"Yeah." She nodded and tucked her fringe behind her ear. "Think it was enough of a divine intervention, then? Think they're finally gonna…"
"You know what? I don't wanna talk about them."
"I did have a great time, I did, but… Let's do this properly. Just you and me, wearing something nice and grabbing something to eat. In London. Our time. A real date, this time."
She smiled, ducking her head before looking up at him. "Yeah. I'd like that. I, uhm, I'd love that."
Mickey nodded, eyes drifting down to her lips, and butterflies filled her stomach. "Good," he said, meeting her gaze with soft smile.
"Yeah. Good. Uhm, I should probably," she said, nodding at the door behind her. "It's late. So, uhm, good night."
"Yeah, good night." His smile grew into a grin when she didn't move. "Planning on sleeping out in the corridor, eh?"
She took a deep breath, shifted forward and rose on tiptoes, pressing her lips to his. She meant it to be brief, just a quick brush of lips against lips, but the timeship shuddered and Martha wobbled, and he grabbed her waist to steady her. His warm hands on her body ignited her within, made her pulse and feel alive, and the feeling pushed away all thoughts of waiting, going slow, not kissing a bloke on the first date that wasn't really a date. Linking her arms around his neck, she pressed him into the wall and snogged him until she needed a big gulp of breath. She pulled back, resisting the impulse to touch her lips like a teenage girl by letting her hands rest on his shoulders. He looked dazed, a daft grin spreading on his face.
She grinned back. "Saturday?"
"Our date. Our real date. Saturday?"
He cleared his throat. "Yeah. Sounds good."
"'Kay. Good. I, uhm, I better go inside before I do something foolish."
"Oh?" He smirked. "What's that, then?"
"Inviting you in," she said in a breathy voice, feeling her cheeks heat up.
His eyebrows raised and he nodded, lips pressed together in a failed attempt to hide his grin.
"I don't wanna rush into anything new, but we–"
"I know." He cupped her cheek, brushing the apple with his thumb. "And that's all right with me. I'm in no rush. We'll do this in turtle speed. Slow as you like."
"Okay. Good. 'Cause...we fit. Don't we?"
"Yeah." He nodded, sliding his hand to the back of her head and moving in. "I reckon we do," he whispered against her lips before capturing them.
The kissed for another long moment, but when heat began coiling in her stomach, Martha tore herself off him with a giddy smile on her face. "Uhm. Night!" She gave him a peck before twirling around and ducking into her room, already pulling out her mobile to call her sister.
Whistling to himself, Mickey strolled down the corridor with his hands in his pockets. He could do with a nice cuppa in front of the telly before going to bed; he felt much too excited to fall asleep now. However, he changed his plans when he saw Donna sitting at the table in the galley reading a trashy magazine, hands wrapped around a coffee mug.
"Hi, Donna. Can't sleep?"
"About bloody time…" She shook her head. "I've been up waiting for you. Couldn't go to bed before I knew how it went, but none of you–" She sucked in a sharp breath, eyes twinkling. "Oooh. Look at you! You're beaming! So...you and Martha, I take it?"
"I don't kiss and tell."
Donna barked out a laugh. "Ha! That's exactly what you did."
Mickey gave her a sheepish grin and grabbed a mug from the cupboard. "Decaf?"
"Yeah. Now, grab a packet of biscuits for me and sit your bum down and tell me everything that happened."
He poured himself some coffee, grabbed her chocolate biscuits, and took a seat opposite her, nicking a treat for himself and dipping it into his mug. "Me and Martha are going on a date on Saturday. A real date, just her and me."
"Well, well, well. Would you look at that. Well done, Mickey Smith. Didn't doubt you for a second. Got any plans?"
"Nah, we just– And it's not like I know any places anymore, is it? Reckon you'll have to help me."
"Oh, leave it to me." She patted his hand with a smile before taking a big bite of her biscuit. "I'll make sure you take her to a really posh place. Don't worry. And what about the other two idiots?"
"I'm not sure how it went, to be honest. We had a lot of fun, but...the Doctor messed up."
"Oh, of course he did! He's completely gormless! Tell me everything!"
Rose stepped out of her en suite, teeth brushed, face washed clean of makeup, body clad in yet another lace-trimmed night-gown hitting her mid-thigh. She sighed when she saw the Doctor picking his new washing machine apart, bits and bobs scattered around him on the floor in piles of various sizes. Tongue curled around his top lip, he extracted a sliver of something glassy and blue with a pair of tweezers, pocketing it in a small ziplock bag.
"Oh. So you're doing that, then?" she said, sitting down on the bed.
He looked up at her, beaming. "Yep! D'you know how long I've wanted one of these? The parts are amazing. And you can't get them anywhere! Well, except on Crebulia, but we all know how easy that is." He pulled a face. "They're so protective of their resources, those Crebulians are. Once–oh must've been three-four hundred years by now–I actually tried to–"
She stretched out her leg and poked him in the side with her toe. "Come to bed?"
"But-but…" His eyes flitted between her and his precious prize. "The Hipson module! Carrots! Blue, delicious carrots, Rose."
"But I want a cuddle," she said, poking him again.
"Ah." He slipped his sonic and specs into his pocket and stood up with a grin on his face, fingers loosening the knot of his tie. "Well, I never could deny you anything, could I?"
Although she managed to bite back the bitter remark on her lips, she couldn't stop a huff as she lay down and curled up on her side. He gave her a concerned look, but shrugged off his oxford, pulled off his trousers and, dressed in his boxer briefs and a t-shirt, crawled into bed with her. Spooning her from behind, one arm around her waist, he buried his face in her hair, nuzzling her neck, before pulling back and resting his chin on top of her head.
"D'you think Mickey and Martha had a good date?"
Rose chuckled, shaking her head. "You're so thick sometimes, Doctor."
"It wasn't for them. It was for us."
"Oooooh. Of course!" He paused for a second. "Why?"
"That competition," she said, running her fingers over the hair on the back of his hand. "How much did you know about it?"
"The gist of it, I suppose."
"You knew about those questions, then?"
"They were a bit raunchier than I'd expected, but–"
"Which means you knew I'd fail."
"I…" He took a deep breath, exhaling in an 'oh'. "That's why you're upset? Because you didn't do well? I didn't think–"
"You knew we were gonna win that whole time anyway, didn't you?"
He waited a short moment before replying. "Yes. You could've got zero, and we still would've won, thanks to the first half of the competition. We're brilliant together."
"Yeah. Brilliant." She snorted. "And you didn't even consider how it would make me feel?"
"What? I– You never used to care about that, Rose. Never had a problem just throwing yourself into the unknown. That's what I like about you. That you don't take yourself too seriously. That we can have a laugh." He squeezed her tighter. "Together."
"Then why are you…"
"I was humiliated," she said, voice soft. "They were all thinking that we weren't a couple! All of them. They thought we were just best mates faking it, or that you were my boytoy and that–"
"Really?" He sniffed. "Boytoy?"
"Oh, my god. Can you please focus?"
"Rose, what does it matter what they think? You'll never see that lot again."
"I know, but–"
"We know what we are. Isn't that what matters?"
She shut her eyes, collecting herself before turning in his arms to face him. He'd furrowed his brow, and she followed the lines with her finger, smoothing out his brow.
"Do we, though?" she asked and the lines between his eyebrows deepend. She ran her finger down the slope of his nose, letting her hand drop when she reached his top lip. "Look. Nothing's changed for me. I still love you. I'm in love with you…"
She paused, giving him a chance to say something, but he stayed silent, meeting her eye without wavering. Smiling, she found his hand and twined their fingers together.
"S'all right. You don't have to say it. I know you love me too.. But… But what I don't know is how-is how your species express that. How youexpress that. I want…" She bit her lip, searching her mind for words that wouldn't make him feel pressured. "I don't know if you kiss or-or shag–or any of it. And if you don't, then that's fine. I love you no matter what. Okay? I won't leave. This is what's important," she said, snuggling closer. "This. Being close like this. If I have that, then I don't need the other stuff. As far as I'm concerned, we're forever, right?"
"Yeah. But right now I'm waiting. And I've always waited. For you. Uhm, for you to get over whatever it is that you need to get over. For you to be ready to be with me. But you already are, aren't you? 'Cause we are together now. Properly. You've not said, but we are. It's you and me, and you live in my bedroom and you sleep in my bed and we cuddle and all. So… We are. Right?"
"Rose, we were always to–"
"No. Maybe in here," she said, pressing her hand to his chest, "but not– It's different now, isn't it? They way we are, it's different. More."
He nodded again.
"Yeah. But the shagging and that– I need to hear you say that it'll never happen, 'cause I can't take not knowing. I can't take waiting for something that'll never happen. So, you know, just say it. I'd rather hear you say it."
His lips parted, eyes round and attentive, locked on hers. Encouraged by his silence, she quirked her mouth into a soft smile and tilted her chin down, looking up at him through her lashes, fingers dancing up his chest.
"But if you do want me like that, then I can wait. I'll wait until you're ready. Even if it takes years. Maybe a bit impatiently, 'cause I think you're brilliant and gorgeous and…sexy. Really, really sexy," she said, playing with the hairs sticking up from the neckline of his t-shirt, watching his reaction. He looked entranced by her, hanging on to her every word, face slack, eyes focussed, and she had to suppress the triumphant grin threatening to break out.
"And I can stop thinking about all the things I want to do to you. With you. And all the things I want you to do to me. And maybe...maybe we can…" She touched his bottom lip with her fingertips, running her nail along the contour. "Kiss? Are you ready for that? 'Cause this lip, this lip right here, I've got my eye on it for a long, long time, I have. And I've thought about...nibbling on it. Uhm...sucking a bit?" she said, eyes flicking up to his, stomach swooping at his heated gaze. "Something like...this."
She closed her eyes and moved in, stopping when his breath hit her skin, steady and hot. Holding hers, she rested her hand over his right heart and waited for him to take the next step. His arm tightened around her waist, fingers splayed over her back, pushing her closer, and when their lips met, when she felt them soft and welcoming under hers, warmth flooded her chest, looped in her stomach, and spread out in her limbs. The taste of her toothpaste and mouthwash overpowered everything else, but his scent filled her nose, a sweet, spicy smell reminding her of French toast and honey lemon ginger tea.
Before their separation, everytime he'd pulled her in for a hug, she'd fought her instincts and impulses, burrowing her face into his shoulder and breathing him to stop herself from snogging him senseless. During their time apart, she'd spent her nights conjuring up reunion scenarios, hundreds of them by the time she and Mickey had found their way back; all of them ending either with a Doctor so overcome by emotion he kissed her with years of pent up passion, or a Rose who'd found the courage to act on her feelings. Since she'd found him again, she'd had to fight even harder to stay in control, to not push, to respect his boundaries and, although only three weeks had passed, her hope had dwindled more and more with each day.
Now that she finally felt him move his lips with hers, she couldn't help the tears prickling behind her closed lids, nor the shuddering breath she drew through her mouth. He pressed closer to her, foreheads touching, noses smushed, and dipped his tongue inside her mouth in a careful, almost hesitant, move. She angled her head to free her nose, sliding her hand up his chest, neck, the back of his head, nestling her fingers in the unruly strands at the top. The strokes of his tongue grew confident, more passionate, and he gripped her thigh, running his hand up the length of it, under her nightie, until he reached her hip, her knickers, eliciting a soft noise of pleasure from her.
The Doctor jumped back, scrambling out of bed. Rose tried to get out apologetic words for pushing too hard, but could only splutter out incoherent sentences. The sudden change had her so disoriented it took her several seconds to realise he was undressing.
"You're naked," she said, staring at his bare body.
She blinked, mind fighting to catch up. "You mean…?"
"Oh, yes," he said, crawling into bed and grabbing the hem of her nightgown. "This will have to go."
"Are you sure?"
"Well… Suppose it's rather sexy, but I'd rather you were naked."
She laughed–hearty, big chuckles from the pit of her stomach that washed away years worth of insecurities and doubts–and he joined her, resting his forehead against hers until their laughter subsided.
"Are you sure?" she asked, nudging his nose with the tip of hers. "I don't want you to feel like you have to do something you're not ready for."
"Mm. I wasn't. But then you kissed me, Rose, and I found myself very, very ready."
"Oh." She gave him a quick kiss and sat up, pulling off her nightie and slipping out of her knickers before snuggling back into his arms. "Well, then. Protection?"
"Ehm… I'm sterile."
"Oh. That's...uhm, convenient."
"Then you see why I didn't believe the fortune teller. Not that I would, anyway..."
"Yeah. Well, I'm glad that she was wrong."
"Yeah?" he said, watching her with guarded eyes.
"Yes." Rose hugged him close, burrowing her face into his chest. "Don't ever wanna be separated from you again."
"Mm. Me neither," he said, rolling her over onto her back as his mouth descended on hers.
Afterwards, when the Doctor lay on top of Rose, lax, sweaty, and warm, nosing her skin in between kisses to her neck, smelling of sex, of her, softening inside her, when she still had his taste on her tongue, she said, "Why don't you tell me things?"
"Sneaky." He gave her earlobe a nip. "Trying to take advantage of my weak state, are we?"
"I'm serious, Doctor."
"I've told you about the things that are important. I've told you about-about the Time War, about Jenny, the Master, and–"
"The Master… Is that the, uhm, the frenemy? From the year that never was."
He chuckled. "Yes."
"You never told me that, though. Never said his name."
"Does it matter?"
"Does knowing his name change anything?"
"Rose, you know how old I am," the Doctor said with a sigh. "If I were to tell you every little thing that's happened to me, every little detail, we wouldn't do anything but talk about my past. What's the point in telling you all about my old pains? I've told you about the new ones. I've let you share the burden. Because that's what you want, isn't it? It's very human."
"Suppose." She huffed out a laugh and rubbed her eyes. "I forget sometimes, that you're alien. That you don't think like a norm– A human bloke. That I shouldn't expect–"
"Rose…" He moved off her and curled up beside her, leaning his forehead on her temple and whispering in her ear, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about the competition, about making you wait, about not...sharing. I never meant to hurt you, Rose."
"I know. But sometimes you hurt people anyway. Even though you don't mean to."
She felt him nodding. "Sometimes it's still too… Give me time. I'll-I'll try. I'll do better."
"Yes." She turned her head and kissed him. "I need to wash up, though. I'm all sticky. Oh, and I'm hungry."
"Well, no wonder. You only had cake for dinner."
"Nah, I always get peckish after a shag." She grinned and poked him in the chest. "Especially a really, really good shag."
"Oh." He beamed. "Go take a shower and I'll make sure we have something to nibble on when you come back out." Folding his arms under his head, he lay back and watched her, eyebrows raised and a smile spreading from ear to ear.
She sat up, peering at him. "Go on, then."
"Nope. First I'm going to admire you walking to the en suite naked. I've fantasised about this many times, Rose Tyler, and I will not let this opportunity go to waste. I mean… If-if–" He tugged at his ear. "If that's all right with you?"
"Yeah." She laughed and gave him one last kiss, jumping up on her feet and wiggling her hips a little bit extra as she walked to the door.
"...and then they came back from the loo," Mickey said. "Dunno what she and Martha talked about, but Rose was in a much better mood and we had a great time the rest of the night. A few drinks, laughing, chatting, all that. Forgot the time and the owner had to throw us out! Screaming about dawn breaking and all." Mickey laughed. "And we took a stroll home and they looked pretty…" He shrugged. "Well, they usually do, though, don't they? Suppose it doesn't mean anything."
Donna sighed. "Yeah. Well, I have another week to win that bet. Maybe I should just–"
She closed her mouth and looked at the door opening, shooting off an innocent smile at the Doctor entering the room. He stopped, jaw slackening and eyebrows rising, lips working for a moment.
"Oh. You're up." He tightened the rope of his dark blue, knee-length dressing gown. "Should be…oh, at least five am for you lot."
Donna tilted her head to the side, squinting at the Doctor's bare legs and the sliver of naked chest peeping out the front. "Are you naked, Spaceman?"
"Need to check your vision, Earth Girl? I'm clearly wearing a dressing gown," he said, quirking an eyebrow, and moved towards one of the cupboards.
Humming on one of the songs the popstar had performed during the competition, he took out a tray and, opening the fridge, placed jam, bread, peanut butter, fruit, cold cuts, juice bottles, and a handful of peppermint patties on it.
"You're in a good mood," Donna said, and winked at Mickey. "You're positively glowing. Almost sparkling, even. Wouldn't you say, Mickey? Doesn't he sparkle?"
"Yeah. All shiny, that one."
The Doctor turned around, tray in his hand, brow furrowed. "What? You're on about that again? Vampires and sparkles and–"
"That's quite the snack, boss," Mickey said with a smug grin.
Donna nodded. "Have you seen his stomach? He took me to the beach once. And let me tell you, I'm never doing that again. First of all, I almost went blind from the sunlight bouncing off his pasty body. Had to wear two sets of shades! Not that that made it any easier looking at him, that skinny streak of nothing. Did you know that his stomach actually is concave." She shook her head. "If you eat all that, Doctor, you'll explode!"
"Yes. I… Weeell, it's not that much, is it?" He cleared his throat, rubbing his neck. "I get the-the...eeer...tinkering munchies! I get quite hungry."
"Oh, so that's not for you and Rose, then?" Mickey asked, waggling his eyebrows at Donna. "She always got a bit peckish afterwards."
"After what?" the Doctor asked, voice squeaky and ears tinted pink.
"Competing," Mickey said with a chuckle.
"Oh. Well, no. She's...asleep. Eer, since it's night time for her. Snoring like a piglet! Probably drooling, too. I'm just…hungry. From tinkering. Did I ever tell you that I get the tinkering munchies? Quite common...amongst my...species. Yep! Eeer. Yep. I better get back and-and get back...on that. The Hipson module! Very important to my crops."
"Yeah, you go do that." Donna gave him an amused smile and stood up, grabbing her mug. "We should probably get to bed soon as well." She finished her coffee and put the mug in the sink. "We have a long day ahead of us."
"Mhm. We're going shopping!"
"Yes! Isn't that right, Mickey?"
"I believe it is. I definitely believe it is."
"Mm. Mickey's offered to carry my bags for me."
"Really?" The Doctor crinkled his brow before splitting into a grin. "I'm glad you're getting along. And, oh, I know the perfect place for you. There's a shopping asteroid in Laxsammon One. The have a whole department dedicated to hats, Donna. How about that, hm? You'd like that."
"Yes, I would. That sounds brilliant."
"Good! Well, I should… Night-night," the Doctor said and left the galley.
Donna straightened her back, one corner of her mouth curled upwards. "Suppose you better start calling me God, Mickey Smith."
Mickey laughed. "Oh? Why's that, then?"
"Well," she said with a nonchalant shrug, "you said it would take a divine intervention to get those two crazy kids shagging. But all it took was the magic touch of a Donna Noble."
"I wouldn't look so smug if I was you."
"No. 'Cause you know what's gonna happen now, right? They're gonna shag everywhere. In cupboards, alleys, behind trees, in the console room…"
Donna's eyes widened and she pulled out her mobile from her pocket, fingers flying over the keypad.
"What are you doing?"
"Adding bells to my shopping list. Think we better sew them onto our clothes so we can warn them that we're approaching. I'd rather spend the rest of my life as a wet nurse to a flock of Adipose babies then walking in on them shagging!" She shuddered. "Eugh, please change the subject. I don't want to risk picturing them in my head."
Mickey laughed. "Excited for tomorrow, then? All them hats and all."
"Nah." Donna made a dismissive hand-wave and pulled a face. "Suppose I'd be better off going alone. Don't want a bored bloke following me around sighing. You'll only slow me down."
"Oh." Mickey lay on a pout. "I was looking forward to it, though."
"No, you weren't."
He stopped acting offended, looking at her with an earnest face. "No, I was."
"Really? You were."
"Yeah. Besides," he said, flexing his arms, "been working out, I have. I'm ready to carry half the shop, if needed."
"Oh, in that case I suppose I better take pity on you and let you come with me," she said, patting him on the shoulder as she walked past him. "Night, then. See you tomorrow. Oh, and Mickey?" She stopped halfway through the door and turned around. "Wear comfortable shoes. I like being there when they open and leaving when they close," she said, cackling to herself as she left.
Mickey chuckled into his coffee mug before downing the last of it, walking back to his room with a spring in his step, smiling all the way.