Beta: unbeta'd, but still carefully edited with a Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass :)

I Think I'm A Tad Possessive

He knows he is. Possessive, that is. Well, it was in his genes, wasn't it? Gallifreyans were known to be against sharing, especially sharing lovers. Except Rose isn't his lover, she's his… well, his best and only mate, his brilliant companion, his everything. She didn't belong to him, and he knew that, so why was he so domineering when it came to her?

It started out, ridiculously enough, when he first met her. He hadn't even known her longer than a few hours. She'd just been standing there, looking so sad, watching him leave while Rickey (or whatever his name was) held onto her legs like a child. He'd turned around and felt the smallest twinge of annoyance at seeing what's-his-face draped over Rose Tyler, the feeling too small to be worth noting. But it'd been there; he knew that now.

The feeling grew though, gradually over time. Popped up again not even a week into her travelling with him, when she'd stepped into the console room wearing one of those old-timey gowns that just looked perfect on her— and, like an idiot, he'd blurted out, "Blimey, you look beautiful," only to panic and swiftly correct himself by turning it into a backhanded compliment with a, "Considering that you're human."

Upon walking through the streets of Cardiff he'd noticed that there were men looking her over. He reacted behind her back, glaring at each and every one of them in turn before he stopped, shocked and confused as to why exactly he was doing it in the first place. Well, he'd reasoned, she was his companion after all. It just wouldn't do to have men from the wrong time trying to knock her up.

Then, to his immense annoyance, the 'genius' Adam joined them after the van Statten's museum crisis, flirting with his Rose. As if he deserved it! He had left her behind in the vault, with a bloody Dalek on her heels; had left her behind to die at the hands of a merciless being. Every time Adam glanced sideways at Rose, or attempted to grin suavely and make a 'witty' quip, the Doctor ground his teeth and resisted the prominent urge to wrap his hands around the little idiot's neck and throttle him whilst screaming, "Mine!" Thank Rassilon he'd screwed up and gave the Doctor an excuse to chuck him out of the TARDIS.

It got worse, to the point where he'd been jealous of her dad. Her bloody father, for Rassilon's sake! Although she had nearly ended the world over him. Quite frankly the Doctor wasn't sure what was so special about the man; he was obviously a failure. And yet Rose was completely ignoring the Doctor to sit with Pete Tyler, to talk to him. The Doctor saw the hurt in her eyes when he'd called her a 'stupid ape', and it'd almost made him take it back, but he didn't because he was hurt more, although he'd never tell her.

Was the real reason she'd accepted his offer—only after him telling her that the TARDIS was a time ship—just to get to this man? Had he been used? The thought of being used by Rose Tyler hurt more than it ought to, so he'd lashed out, ruining what he now knew was supposed to be the impossible moment where she had her father back. The Doctor had felt horrible about it afterward, when Pete Tyler had died a second time in front of his daughter and they'd returned to the TARDIS, Rose sobbing into his jacket, alternating between cries of, "Daddy," to, "You're alive… I didn't kill you…" After putting Rose, who'd cried herself to sleep, to bed, the Doctor proceeded to lock himself in his room and hate himself for various things— for being jealous of her father, for ruining her brief time with him, for lashing out and calling her a stupid ape, for dying, for making her cry…

Then stupid, suave, American idiot Jack bloody Harkness showed up, flirting with his Rose, dancing with his Rose— as if he even remotely deserved to look at her, let alone touch her! She'd tried to get the Doctor to dance with her, prompting silent but deadly panic inside of him (well it wasn't as though he deserved to touch her either!) and had even 'resonated concrete' to avoid it. But he'd caved, because she'd looked at him with that tongue-between-teeth grin, and for a few glorious seconds he'd had one hand on her waist and she'd been so close. Then Harkness, true to his word, had teleported them into his ship, and the moment was lost. It wasn't until after they'd saved the world again—and he'd been high on the excitement that nobody, not a single person, had died this time—that he snatched Rose into his hold again and danced with her in the console room, at the same time giving Harkness the silent but serious message: hands off the blonde.

That was the time the Doctor realised a few things about himself, and about Rose. For one thing, that was the day his jealousy had started to hit an all-time high when it came to her. For another, he finally admitted to himself that yes, despite his restraint and constant self-scolding for looking in places he oughtn't, he'd fallen in love with Rose Marion Tyler.

It didn't help at all that Rose kept sending him mixed signals. Well, he was one to talk, since the Doctor was the master of mixed signals, but he really would appreciate it if she'd stop flirting with every pretty boy that turned an eye on her (and there were a lot) and then holding his hand or making enticing quips to him. He knew he wasn't pretty— hell, he looked old enough to be her father in Earth years. By human standards he was probably very average looking, with a too-prominent nose, large ears and a goofy grin. And by the way Rose acted, she only liked pretty boys, handsome boys. That wasn't him. Still, she fooled him sometimes into believing, just for a small second, that she was at least a little interested in him, with tiny sideways glances when she thought he wasn't looking and hesitant touches. These actions always left the Doctor's head whirling with theories— did she know how he felt about her, and was flirting because of it, or was she unknowingly trying to drive him crazy?

It was only when he took her to a binary-system planet called Siras II that his carefully maintained control over his possessiveness shattered. After Jack Harkness joined the crew, the Doctor had been driven up the wall with Jack's constant flirting with Rose. So, to distract both of them, he'd announced they were taking a vacation to Siras II, a planet whose terrain consisted of crystal sands and sparkling ocean. The Doctor had been quite proud of his idea, especially when Rose squealed and tossed her arms around his neck, letting him spin her around a few times as he beamed into her neck. Until, of course, Rose had shown up in a pale pink and entirely see-through beach dress, under which was a snow-white bikini. That, he mused upon landing the TARDIS on the far end of the double-sunlit shore, was something he should have expected. Jack's jaw had dropped to the floor, as had the Doctor's, though Jack hadn't been as discreet.

He also should have remembered that Siras II was known for its extremely good-looking locals, which he didn't until spotting Rose chatting up yet another pretty boy. The Doctor had been strolling over to a vending stand and surprising Rose with a pink fruity beverage when he noticed her leaning far too provocatively to be idle against a fruit cart, smiling and looking up at the lavender-haired, cranial-ridged man through her lashes. Her hips were arched to the side as she watched the bloke 'demonstrate' to her how to know if an Andosian pear was ripe or not by clasping her hand and prodding the fruit with her fingers. And she let him! She didn't even like pears! They both shared a deep, horrid disgust over the terrible excuse of a fruit, and spent ages reminiscing about just how awful pears really were, yet here she was, allowing some git to teach her about Andosian pears.

In that moment inexplicable rage built up inside him, and he turned on his heel and stormed back to the TARDIS instead of stomping over and punching the daylights out of the Siras bum like he wanted to. The TARDIS didn't scold him when he kicked open the doors with his boot and shouted curse words in Gallifreyan loud enough for them to echo down the hall. She let him punch down one of the doors into a room full of stupid knickknacks he'd gotten during his travels, and she even allowed him to pick up every single article of bric-a-brac and hurl it across the room, watching each of them shatter to pieces.

Sinking to his knees in the debris and burying his face in his hands, he knew in that moment that he'd have no choice in the future but to repeat that moment's actions whenever he got jealous. Because he loved her, and he was a possessive, barking mad Gallifreyan, and if he didn't he'd most likely end up hurting somebody. Rose would never stop flirting, and he would never make her truly his.

Upon returning from the TARDIS, stony-faced and still upset, he ignored Jack's, "Hey Doc, where the hell did you storm off to?" but stared straight at Rose. She had deserted the Siras pretty boy and was jogging towards him with a concerned look, bikini-clad breasts bouncing (which he was definitely not looking at).

"Where'd you go?" she asked, frowning up at him and hugging her silk transparent overcoat. "You disappeared suddenly."

"Emergency. TARDIS. Just something that needed repairing," he managed to bite out, wondering where her new friend was.

She didn't believe him, but apparently by the look on his face it was clear to her she shouldn't ask questions. So she smiled, tongue in teeth again, and his whole face went slack, prompting a secret snigger from Jack.

"I'm thirsty," Rose sighed instead, slipping her arm around his and tugging him over to the same vending stand he'd been heading to earlier. "Let's get something pink for me and banana-flavoured for you, yeah?"

The Doctor couldn't help but grin down at her, knowing he looked smitten and goofy. God she was so clever and sweet. "Yeah."

"Something shot with whiskey for me, please!" hollered Jack, not quite ruining the moment but coming close to it.

And it happened again, just as he'd expected.

This time it was on Earth, back in Rose time. She'd requested a visit to Jackie's to drop off some laundry, and to visit Mickey the Idiot— another concept that had him boiling with rage. All four of them (excluding Jackie Tyler, thank Rassilon) went out for chips together, hearing stories about Jack's wacky adventures and having a long but enjoyable argument with Jack over whether or not what they were eating was called 'French fries'; Rose claimed there was nothing French about them, which was a very valid and clever point in the Doctor's opinion. The Doctor hadn't talked much, instead choosing to watch Rose. She looked happier than she ever had amongst her friends, letting out loud, happy laughs whilst shooting him appreciative sideways glances (why, why was she doing that?).

Then everything went to hell when they'd found the last remaining Slitheen, and upon returning to the TARDIS with her Rose had run off with Rickey, alongside his suggestion of going out for dinner and booking into a hotel. A hotel! After watching their whole conversation on the TARDIS monitor, he'd excused himself from Margaret and Jack's presences and hastened to his 'tantrum room' as the TARDIS had once called it, pain and fury in his chest. The TARDIS, being so wonderful, had restocked the whole room with more breakable objects, including a one-of-a-kind vase from the now extinct planet Givonia Prime. He seized it and threw it with all his strength at the wall, where it shattered not just into pieces, but into dust. Rose and Mickey were separated! People who are separated aren't supposed to have dinner, snog and then shag in a fucking hotel! The Doctor, snarling, grabbed another nameless trinket, tossed it on the floor and crushed it beneath his boot. What did Mickey the Idiot, human clown, have that he, almighty and superior Time Lord, didn't?

Brushing dust and debris off of himself he stomped out of the room, swearing quietly in Gallifreyan and returning to the console room, where Margaret and Jack both stared at his anger-ridden face. He had better things to think about than Rose and Mickey, like whether or not to send the Slitheen to be executed, how to not be murdered by said Slitheen and what the hell 'Bad Wolf' meant.

It'd been a month since Margaret had looked into the heart of the TARDIS, turned into an egg and had been placed with a lovely Raxacoricofallapatorian family. In that short time span the Doctor had a total of two fits of jealousy— the first being whilst saving the planet Epsilon IV from an infestation of Macra, where Rose had been proposed to by the Epsilonian King; the second being when Rose had been locked in a closet on a penal colony with a prison guard she'd been flirting with. That last one had sent the Doctor into a rage, imagining Rose and that godforsaken guard shagging the daylights out of each other. It had even caused him to be so blinded with fury to the point where he'd gotten several jagged cuts from the various items he'd broken, and hadn't had time to sonic them away before Rose noticed. While he certainly didn't want Rose knowing he threw temper tantrums every time she was checked out by the universe's pretty boys, it'd pleased him in a sick way when she'd exclaimed with worry over the wounds, taking his hands in hers and trailing over the wounds with her thumbs.

Now he was in the shower, standing underneath the spray with one hand pressed against the wall, watching the water swirl down the drain. All throughout the night he'd sat in the dark and trembled with rage at imaginary meetings between Rose and Jack in the TARDIS. This had been prompted by the previous night's banter between the captain and his companion, in which Jack had followed her around the console room for a full ten minutes asking for a goodnight kiss. Rose had refused him, but she was blushing and had a flustered smile, and the Doctor hid his snarl behind the console he'd been tinkering with. He'd spent the next eight hours after that in his room, imagining explicit scenarios: Rose waiting in her room, naked and stretched out on her bed as Jack Harkness slipped through her door, or Rose tiptoeing down the corridor to slip under the captain's covers; or even both of them shagging in the wardrobe room next to his old coats. The thought, to anybody saner than the Doctor, would have been comical (shagging next to his old coats) but they made the Doctor grit his teeth into nubs, shake with suppressed rage and spend a few long moments trying not to break down.

Come morning, he'd hurled himself into a cold shower, and was now shivering from the cold but welcoming the numbness. The TARDIS informed him that Rose had roused and left her bedroom exactly an hour ago. He imagined her frowning at his absence when she entered the kitchen, as he was usually in there to greet her with a cuppa and occasionally (if she was good) pancakes. Instead Jack bloody Harkness was probably there in his place, snogging her against a bulkhead—

A growl startled him out of his reverie and he blinked water out of his eyes, shocked to discover that his fist was now in the wall. The Doctor withdrew his hand, wincing at the throbbing pain in two of his knuckles—no doubt he'd broken some bones—and held his fist underneath the spray, willing it to numb as well. Once it did, he turned the tap off and stepped out, drying himself with his good hand and sonicking his bad one back to normal. He hurled on his clothes, as though truly believing he had to get to the kitchen quick or else Rose would be in a lip lock with Harkness, and ended up putting his jumper on the wrong way. He fixed that and hurried out the door, jumping down the corridor while still pulling on his last boot, his leather jacket hanging on his arm.

When the Doctor threw himself into the kitchen, his hearts practically deflated with relief— Rose was not, as he'd feared, snogging Jack Harkness. Instead she was curled up in a chair with her favourite pink mug, watching said captain flip eggs in a frying pan while singing an Alice Cooper song loudly and severely off-key. She glanced at the Doctor when his head poked in and she beamed, and this time his hearts didn't deflate— they stopped.

"Morning, Doctor!" she grinned, taking a big sip from her mug and getting up. "Jack's makin' us eggs. Fancy a cuppa?" she added, heading towards the cupboard.

"Yes please," he chirped, plopping down in the seat adjacent to her. "Didn't know you could cook, Harkness. I'd've made you make breakfast more often."

"Single guys always know how to cook," Jack commented, as Rose picked up on the song where he'd left off by humming under her breath. "Even the ones that 'shag their way across time and space' as the beautiful Rose put so eloquently."

"Flattery will get you nowhere," Rose said. "Want that banana tea hybrid stuff we got at that alien market, Doctor?"

"Ooh, please," he said eagerly, before scowling at Jack, who'd resumed his singing. "D'you mind?"

"Not at all," Jack grinned, before continuing, "See my lonely life unfold; I see it everydaaaaay; See my lonely mind explode; When I've gone insaaaaaaaaaaane!"

Rose laughed while pulling out the Doctor's favourite mug, and the Doctor's grimace at Jack's awful singing faded. They'd gotten so domestic, she now knew what his favourite mug was. Somehow, that pleased him.

"Don't sing that one, Jack," Rose said, plopping a yellow tea bag into the cup.

"Okay, how 'bout…" He paused, before wielding his spatula like an electric guitar, "No more Mr. Nice Guy; no more Mr. Cle-e-e-ean!"

The Doctor grinned as Rose joined in, wiggling her hips. "No more Mr. Nice Guy; they say he's sick, he's obse-e-e-ene!"

Jack continued to sing while Rose draped herself over the counter, giggling hysterically, her eyes lit up with the same kind of family-like happiness he'd seen when they'd all been out for chips together.

"Didn't know British babes knew Alice Cooper," Jack commented while Rose wiped her eyes.

She scoffed. "Please, that's like saying Americans don't know J. K. Rowling."

"Harry Potter!" the Doctor burst out, delighted.

"The Doctor, logical, scientific Time Lord, reads a children's book series about magic?" Jack teased.

"Yes I do, and I resent your shock, Harkness."

"Don't spoil it," Rose said sharply, pouring steaming water into his tea mug and quickly taking the tea bag out. She knew he liked his tea weak as well? "The seventh one hasn't come out yet."

"For you," Jack retorted, and added for good measure, "It was the best one."

"It was!" the Doctor said gleefully. Leaving out the fact that he'd cried while reading the part where Fred Weasley died, he added, "Perfect way to end the series. Rowling's a bloody brilliant woman."

Rose scowled at him while adding a dash of milk and one teaspoon of sugar to his tea. She knew that's how he took his tea too?

"Thanks," he said, when Rose handed him his mug.

"So, where are we going today?" Rose asked, plopping down back in her seat and taking yet another gulp from her rapidly cooling mug.

The Doctor tried not to lean towards her, as she was doing, but before he could answer her Jack complained, "Breakfast first, then running for our lives, 'kay?"

Rose scowled but sat back in her chair. "You're burning the eggs."

A pause. "Fuck."

They finished their breakfast, Jack taking his sweet time just to annoy Rose, as she'd hurriedly tossed back her eggs and was bouncing impatiently on the jump seat now. The Doctor grinned at her, adoration washing over him at the clear fact that she enjoyed this life, running away from danger, floating around in space with a broken old man and a pervert in a time and space-travelling box. Jack finally strolled into the console room, ignoring Rose's pointed glare for making her wait.

"Welcome, Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness, to Ilzay!" the Doctor burst out, opening the TARDIS doors and tossing one leather-clad arm out in a dramatic sweep.

The planet seemed to be painted with cool colours— the grass was light lavender, the sky a streaky mix of cobalt blue and indigo, and the leaves on the trees were such a dark green they looked almost black. The mushrooms and insects were glowing fluorescent blues and greens. Rose stepped out of the TARDIS and let out a pleased laugh, twirling in a circle. The Doctor's proud expression melted once again into a silly, smitten grin as he watched her. Clad in a TARDIS blue outfit, she looked almost like a native Ilzaya. Well, minus the form-fitting jeans and vest top.

"So, Doc, what's the sitch here in Pandora?" Jack quipped, and Rose snorted.

The Doctor frowned at him— obviously he was missing something. "Didn't I just say this planet was called Ilzay?"

"He's talking about that movie, Avatar, yeah?" Rose explained, linking her arm with the Doctor's. "S'like, there's this planet called Pandora, and at night it glows sort of like here. Came out a couple of decades after my time."

"Never heard of it," sniffed the Doctor, shooting Jack a pointed look.

"It was in your movie database!"

"'Sides, you coulda watched it with me and Jack," Rose said, giving his arm a squeeze. "I offered, remember? You had your head stuck underneath the bleeding console."

The Doctor bit back regret and jealousy at an image of Jack and Rose snuggled up on the couch together in front of the telly and shrugged. "Had repairs to do. But the 'sitch', Harkness, is that the TARDIS has picked up a distress call coming from the easternmost continent on Ilzay—that's where we are now—and being Time Lord and companions, we're answering it."

"What was the distress call?" Rose asked, and the Doctor pulled out his psychic paper and handed it to her. She took it and opened it, reading the message scrawled on the blank paper with a frown. "This is poetry, Doctor."

"Seriously?" Jack snorted, taking the psychic paper and reading it aloud. "Wrath, culprit against the dying light; Ilzaya moonfolk forced in this plight; dwindling crystal shard in the night; felfire weaponry blinds our sight."

"That's the way of the Ilzaya," the Doctor assured them, taking back the paper and slipping his hand into Rose's because, quite frankly, it belonged there. "They communicate through religious and poetic phrases and gestures."

"I've never been a good poet, Doc."

"I have," Rose beamed. "Used to spend hours with my mate Shareen making up poems. Mind you, they were about stupid shit until I turned sixteen." She gripped the Doctor's hand back with excitement, and he tried not to grin stupidly. "Lead the way, Mr. Nine-hundred-years-of-time-and-space!"

"Right-o, Rose Tyler!"

He beamed at his nickname and tugged her towards a sparkling shoreline. The rippling water sparkled like fireflies by the light of Ilzay's three moons, and the sand dusting the shore was—

"White!" Rose burst out, reaching down with her free hand and scooping up a big handful of the pure white sand. "S'like snow!"

"This is a great place to go skinny dipping!" Jack said happily from behind them.

"It's the lack of proper sunlight that makes Ilzay bioluminescent, and the sand white," the Doctor said, staring at Rose (God she was beautiful). "They do have a sun, but it's extremely far away from Ilzay and only appears once every four months. The moons, however, have their own internal heat source, so Ilzay glows but doesn't freeze."

Rose was looking at him, her lips tinted light lavender in the blue-ish lighting and parted slightly as she listened to him. That was just another quality of many he loved about Rose Tyler— she listened to all of his lectures, even asked for some, despite the fact that they both knew he could run his gob for hours.

"S'that why the Ilzaya called themselves 'moonfolk'?" Rose asked.

He tried not to remark about how her eyes glowed, both from interest and from the light. "Yep. Mind you, try not to offend them. They're not very forgiving."

Rose scoffed. "You're always the one who says something rude and has us running for our lives."

"You like running for our lives," the Doctor remarked unapologetically, grinning down at her.

"I love it, but that's not the point," Rose smiled back, leaning into him a bit.

He wished she wouldn't do that. It made him want to snap out an arm and press her closer, or whirl her around and kiss her senseless, or even shove her down onto the white sand that so fascinated her and have his way with her, whether or not Jack was in proximity (as if he'd mind). But he did none of those things, because she would hate them. Probably.

"So, what do you think the poem means?" she asked, breaking him out of his train of thought.

"Well see, the Ilzaya have this enormous crystal," the Doctor said, trying not to squeeze her tiny, warm hand. "S'like their whole energy source, and it only works when the Ilzaya are happy. According to the TARDIS, the poem says it's stopped working."

"Um. That sounds like magic, Doctor, not science."

"On the contrary, Rose Tyler. The crystal absorbs hormones, endorphins and serotonin produced by the Ilzaya's bodies whenever they're in a positive mood, and breaks down the chemicals into an energy source. It is most certainly not magic," he added, bopping her on the nose with his finger. "That's just fiction."

"Sounds rather creepy," Rose said. "Like, you have no choice but to be happy, else your whole house powers down."

"The Ilzaya are a pre-electricity civilization, Rose," the Doctor chuckled. "By 'energy source' it's mostly oil for lamps."

"How'd they send the distress call then?"

"They didn't actually send it— I'm assuming they wrote it down enough times for the TARDIS to pick up on it. S'the best they can do, at any rate— haven't even got a cross-country transmitter, let alone a subspace transmitter. Like, think High Middle Ages, almost, except instead of swords they have—"

There was a flurry of loud, incoherent shouts, and suddenly there were sharpened sticks pointed at their throats. Jack was even being pushed to the ground behind them, his wrists bound behind him with vines.

"They have spears?" Rose finished for him, as she and the Doctor released their hands to raise them in the air.

"Errr, right," he said awkwardly, before shoving his hands in his jacket pockets and grinning his daft old grin at the lot. "'Lo, I'm the Doctor. This is Rose. That's Jack," he added as an afterthought, jerking his head in Jack's direction.

At his gesture, the group of Ilzaya looked furious. The front one, a man draped in rich indigo cloth, glared down at him, his lavender lip curling over his blue-tinged teeth. "Insolence, amongst this crop of fools! With felfire weaponry at a peasant's throat he mocks the clan regardless!"

"Erm, come again?" the Doctor said, looking wary.

"Doctor, you just insulted them, I think," Rose explained, heart pounding in her throat.

"Invoke your voice, alien female with tresses like the absent sun," the man ordered.

He lowered his spear to make an odd circling gesture around his head with his index fingers before clasping his hands in front of him as though patiently waiting. The Doctor glanced at Rose, who looked pale as a sheet. She had always been good at catching on to alien things wherever they went, like their dance moves and even the way they spoke. That was always an added bonus when it came to travelling with his Rose, his clever, brilliant Rose. But this seemed complicated. Would she be—?

"Um... we beseech your amnesty from the depths of the ocean in our hearts," she said, uncertainly but clearly, and looks of utter shock crossed over the Ilzaya tribe (and the Doctor). "In this night… um, beneath orbs thrice, we have arrived to answer your pleas for aid."

The leader actually dropped his spear, mouth open and staring quite unabashedly at Rose. The Doctor tried not to glare, his teeth gritting as the familiar feeling of jealousy flared up again. That purple arse dare stare at his Rose?

"The fool's say will no longer be summoned; yours will suffice as the goddess," the man said, smiling a little. Hold on a second, did he just call her a goddess? "The moonfolk wholly hail your feet upon our sands and lush. I have been designated the Decider, Alaric. Pray, with eyes like hunter's bark and lips like blossoms, you are?"

As Rose introduced herself, the Doctor shoved aside his jealousy and wondered if perhaps in the future she'd show him some of her poems. If they were any bit as brilliant as what she was coming up with now, he'd feel very content. And a whole lot of other emotions too inappropriate to name.

"Your footsteps will follow mine, blooming Rose," Alaric said, sweeping his hand elegantly across his chest. "I shall convey you to the fragment of the fallen star."

He placed his hand over his heart before the Ilzaya all turned and headed down the shores. Jack was yanked upward by an Ilzaya and kept firmly behind Rose, and the Doctor leaned over towards her.

"Rose, that was fantastic," he said in a whisper-shout.

Rose flushed and grinned, hands coming up to hide her face. "I have no idea how I did that. Just blurted out whatever nonsense came into my head."

He had to stare at her a moment. Rassilon, she was so clever, so smart and gorgeous. It was truly unbelievable that someone like her existed, let alone travelled with him and spoke to him as if he deserved to be in her presence.

"What?" she mumbled, catching him staring, her hand flying up to fiddle with her earring.

"Oh nothing," he said, flushing at being caught. "Just thinkin' about how great I am at picking companions."

She shoved at his shoulder and the Doctor grinned, clasping her hand again as they were escorted into the fluorescent black-blue forest. Out of his peripheral vision he saw Rose blush again, smiling with delight. Oh, she was beautiful when she looked like that. He ought to tell her she's brilliant more often. It was true, after all.

They entered the Ilzaya camp. It was enormous, with huts made of hunter green, glowing bark and tied with blue vines. In the centre of the camp was an enormous bonfire, in which sat a giant crystalline, red-black, jagged structure the size of a small house.

"Why is it inside the fire?" Rose whispered.

"Reckon it's to keep the oil inside liquefied," the Doctor said, hoping the Ilzaya would let him scan it with his sonic.

"The dawn of the age of calm has enveloped us, Ilzaya moonfolk!" Alaric shouted, all the while making sweeping gestures with his arms towards the skies. "Ilsa, Risa, and Aithusa have each smiled upon us and extended their hands in giving!"

The scattered Ilzaya looked straight at Rose, the Doctor and Jack. Alaric beamed and turned to Rose, holding out his hand. Letting go of the Doctor's (cue the flare of anger) she allowed Alaric to take her fingers in his, bring her in the centre for all to see. Her face visibly flushed when everyone's eyes landed on her, even Alaric's.

"And with their offering fell the pond blossom Rose, found by moonfolk dancing along the crystalline sands, pledging to rekindle the fire within the tear of Aithusa's daughter," Alaric continued, and with his words the Ilzaya grabbed each other's hands and raised them in the air, beaming. "With calm oceans in her heart and a lost pup under her wing. As prophesised in the Scrolls of Three Times, we shall be saved by the big bad wolf!"

The Ilzaya cheered whilst Rose looked a bit stunned, staring at Alaric. The Doctor wished he could sprint over there, grab her and run back to the TARDIS with her, though he wasn't sure why. Alaric then proceeded to bring Rose, the Doctor and Jack, who was freed from his bindings, to the largest hut in the village, adorned with lavender grass-woven carpets and draped with silks.

"Nice place for pre-technological people," Jack noted, glancing at the two posh cots. "Um, think they may have gotten something wrong—"

"Did you hear what Alaric said?" Rose interrupted, gripping the Doctor's sleeve. "About the big bad wolf thing?"

"What about it?"

"Doctor, the words 'bad wolf' have cropped up everywhere. That time in Cardiff with Gwyneth, the boy who tagged the TARDIS, Margaret's nuclear power station…" Rose placed her hands on her hips. "S'like it's following us."

He didn't answer, having already noticed this. He was just surprised she had as well.

"Is that why you went all Edvard Munch's 'Scream' on Alaric?" Jack asked, grinning.

Rose blushed in the moonlight and scowled. "I did no such thing, Harkness." She changed the subject. "There seems to be a repetition of threes in their culture. Three moons, three deities, three saviours, three times."

"Well, with all of their jokes about the number three you'd think they'd get three beds," Jack noted. The two turned to him, frowning, and he gestured. "There are only two beds."

The Doctor and Rose paused for a moment, avoiding each other's gazes, knowing full well why the Ilzaya only supplied them with two cots. They, like the rest of the universe, thought the two of them were together. Which they were, but not like that, not in the way the Doctor craved so desperately but would never have.

"S'not the first time," Rose said, trying to sound idle but instead sounding embarrassed.

"Not to worry, I don't need sleep," the Doctor replied, schooling his features into a disarming grin.

This was a lie, of course— normally the Doctor slept once every two weeks, twice if he was particularly exhausted. But truth be told, ever since Jack Harkness had joined the crew and Rose had made it a habit of staying up late, swapping stories of intimate escapades (Jack had a lot more, but that wasn't a surprise) the Doctor had put off sleep for two months. The thought of Rose possibly becoming intimate with the stupid Time Agent—on his ship, while he was only a few rooms away—made pure uncontained rage course through him like fire. As heavy as his eyelids got, whenever the Doctor laid down in his bedroom and shut his eyes, images of a naked Rose Tyler writhing under an equally nude Jack Harkness jolted his mind awake. Ah well, perhaps the Ilzaya would keep him occupied throughout the night.

Rose shrugged her shoulders and sank down onto the cot. Her eyes widened and she bounced a bit, ooh-ing whilst she did so. "Wow, you'd never guess it was this comfortable!"

"Cushioning tissue in the grass they use to weave the mats," the Doctor explained quietly. He wished she'd get up, before he did something they'd both regret, in front of Jack Harkness, no less.

"You're shitting me!" Jack breathed, plopping down on his rear on his own cot. "Are you sure these Pandorans—or whatever they were called—aren't magic?"

"No magic," the Doctor insisted.

"And in the movie they were called the Na'vi," Rose added, hand flying up to play with her earring. Both men looked at her pointedly, and she shrugged again, saying, "Well, s'true."

"That aside, I'm off to get word on the situation with the crystal," the Doctor drawled, starting out the hut.

Before he could push aside the silver-leafed curtain, he felt a warm hand slide into his, a hand he'd forever remember as Rose Tyler's. He turned to her questioningly, to see she had one eyebrow quirked up.

"Doctor, didn't you hear what Alaric said? He said you're… well…" Her whiskey eyes glittered. "Not allowed to speak."

Jack tried to choke back a laugh, failed and accidentally made a snorting sound, and even Rose had to smirk. The Doctor glared at them both when they spared each other knowing looks, prompting a flare of irritation and that stupid jealousy again.

"I could come with you, if you like," Rose offered, tongue in teeth again.

"Nah, you sleep," he ordered. "Gonna scan the crystal, see why s'not accepting endorphins anymore."

Rose stood up anyway and looped her arm with his, and he just couldn't help but melt into putty. "At the very least I ought to tell Alaric. Best if you don't go poking around, only to have them ask what you're doing and you answering with something daft."

Jack snorted again as he began stripping off his t-shirt. Rose looked sharply at him as the Doctor pulled aside the curtain.

"Oi, you'd better have your pants on when I get back," said Rose sharply.

Else I'll have to kill you very, very painfully, Harkness, the Doctor finished in his mind, while channelling an Oncoming Storm glare at the captain.

"But Rose."

"Not whilst I'm sleeping in the same room, Harkness," she said, pointing her finger at him before obediently stepping through the curtain.

The Doctor was torn between emotions. It'd only been two hours since Rose had sought out that idiot Alaric, telling him of the Doctor's intentions with poetic elegance and even getting the hang of some of the hand gestures. Brilliant little human she was. The only downside was that every single word that spewed from the stupid Ilzaya's mouth sounded like flirting to the Doctor, and while Rose conversed with Alaric he had to pretend to be eager to scan the godforsaken crystal, instead of letting everyone know what he really wanted to do.

Rose had flounced off to bed, muttering about hating having to sleep in jeans, and the Doctor was trying to concentrate on why the crystal was suddenly rejecting the endorphins of the Ilzaya people. Try as he may, he found himself drifting off, the sonic slipping through his fingers. Once it even landed in the fire pit, prompting a yelp from him and forcing him to stick his hand into the pit to retrieve it, earning himself shiny burns on three of his fingers. When he wasn't falling asleep, his mind was slipping into stupid scenarios about murdering Alaric or stalking up to the hut and slipping into bed with Rose, Jack Harkness nearby be damned—

"Bollocks," the Doctor swore a third time when he nearly dropped his sonic yet again.

This was getting him nowhere. He couldn't concentrate, and frankly all he could think about were dangerous things that, if heeded, would probably destroy the only good things left in his life. Sighing, he pocketed his sonic and stepped away from the fire. The cool near-morning air bombarded his face, which had been previously bathed with the almost uncomfortable heat of the fire. Rose would probably be asleep by now. Remembering Jack's desire to take his clothes off to 'sleep', the Doctor whirled around on his heel and hurried up to the hut, stepping in as quietly as possible. His calculating gaze landed on Jack's bunk, checking to see if the idiot had at least his trousers on, but he was shocked to see Jack's cot empty. Where the hell could that stupid captain be?

Frowning, the Doctor allowed his eyes to wander, as they always did, to Rose, who was curled up in her own cot underneath a beautiful silk sheet that was far too big for one person. It draped over the ends of the cot and continued another few extra feet. She was using her jumper as a pillow, as the Ilzaya hadn't provided any (he doubted they knew what pillows were) and her lower lip was stuck out in a frown. He noted the large empty space next to her, big enough for him to slip into underneath the obscenely large sheet and—

"Seriously, staring at her in her sleep, Doc?" laughed Jack from behind him.

The Doctor whirled around, ready to send an Oncoming Storm look where needed, but instead he rolled his eyes. Jack was clad in nothing but his pants, his hair tousled.

"Yes, before you ask, I just got laid," Jack added with a smirk. "Apparently I'm well-versed in mating sign language. You should think about getting laid too, you old prude."

"Are you mental?" the Doctor hissed, pushing Jack out of the hut so they could converse without waking Rose. "You can't just go knocking up natives! You could alter the timelines by impregnating one of them!"

"Are you sure we're compatible?"

"S'not as though I scanned any of them with my sonic to check."

"No, that's my thought process," Jack said cheekily, peering through the leaf-curtain. "Is this a habit of yours, watching Rose snooze? Does she always scowl like that? Ooh, have you made her come in her sleep?" He sounded beyond excited at the prospect.

"If you ever say something like that again, I'm chucking you into the nearest supernova," the Doctor growled, pointing a warning finger at him. "For your information, Harkness, I was checking to see if you had your trousers on while in the room with Rose."

"Were you hoping I wasn't?" he winked.

"Actually I'd've throttled you if you didn't. Put them back on before you go in there."

Jack studied him for a moment, making his glare deepen. "You really should go in there and spoon her."

"What?" the Doctor whisper-yelped.

"You look exhausted, boss," Jack said, almost with pity. "Seriously. You need sleep. If you refuse to spoon her, at the very least I'll give you my cot. With me out of it," he added hastily, seeing the Doctor's look. "I've got… other places to sleep." He grinned. "But you really look like you need it. Rose is gonna notice too, and then will you be able to turn her down if she's the one suggesting spooning?"

No, I definitely wouldn't.

His stubbornness wasn't wavered, despite Jack's argument. "No, Jack. Forget it. Appreciate it," he added grudgingly. "But it's not necessary."

Before Jack could argue the Doctor stormed away from the hut, heading not towards the crystal but along the beach he'd strolled down hand-in-hand with Rose hours earlier. He wondered if he ought to hurry back to the TARDIS and have a kip, but knowing how much sleep he'd put off, he'd most likely wake early into the afternoon. Instead he tried not to imagine touching Rose in her sleep, making her writhe and moan under his fingers until she climaxed beautifully.


When Rose awoke, he was already back scanning the crystal with his sonic. He glanced upward, spotting her in his periphery and couldn't help but beam at her. She was so adorable tousled, her hair mussed up from sleep, and despite the obvious exhaustion on her face she grinned back.

"You slept late," the Doctor noted, trying to school his features back into seriousness and failing.

"Probably because it still feels like night," she replied. "What's the time?"

"Eleven a.m. Nearly noon."

"Did you find the problem?" Rose asked, kneeling down by the fire next to him.

She smelled of sleep, Ilzaya grass and pure Rose Tyler. "Yep. It's simple, really— it doesn't have enough endorphins left to make new energy. Just needs a kick-start," the Doctor added at her look of confusion. "Reckon all that's in order is a good old-fashioned party."

"I could do that," Jack's voice called out from behind them.

Rose studied the captain's beam. "Did you shag one of the natives?"

"How did you know?" Jack laughed, squeezing her shoulders and removing them immediately when the Doctor glared.

"You're glowing," she pointed out. "Also, I woke up once and you were gone, but this morning you were there. There's only one thing Jack Harkness would get out of bed for."

"To get into a bed!" Jack finished. "Figuratively speaking, of course. Doesn't have to be a bed, could be the floor or the wall, or in this case up in a tree."

Rose burst out giggling. "You shagged in a tree?"

"You should try it sometime, Tyler," he smirked, glancing at the Doctor as if to say 'and so should you'. "Now, what was it you were sayin' about a party, Doc?"

"The crystal. It needs a boatload of hormones to get it back in working order."

"So why wouldn't we just have an orgy?"

Rose fell to the ground, clutching her sides and laughing whilst the Doctor looked disgruntled. "Jack bloody Harkness, you are so stupid!"

"No, seriously!" Jack insisted, looking just as earnest as he implied. "Wouldn't that be best?"

"Only you would think that," the Doctor said, rolling his eyes.

"I'm going to go tell Alaric that they need to throw a party," Rose giggled, wiping her eyes and getting up. "Not really sure how to say that poetically, though."

The Doctor's grip tightened on his sonic to the point where it made cracking sounds, as he watched her flounce off. Jack hurried to grab his hand and pull the sonic to safety.

"Hey now," he said, watching the Doctor's lip curl into a snarl. "Relax, Doc."

The Doctor barely heard him— his flaming eyes were locked on Rose, who had found Alaric. The jungle idiot had what could only be described as a besotted expression, almost worshipful. Rose was smiling that flirty smile again, letting Alaric stroke her hand and her wrist with his fingers while she spoke in what was sure to be a poetic and elegant manner. The look in the Ilzaya's eyes was something the Doctor saw often in the eyes of those who looked at Rose Tyler—

"Need something in the TARDIS," he heard himself grunt, before he hurled himself onto his feet and sprinted with anger-fuelled speed back to the ship.

Beneath the blinding fury he felt the TARDIS greet him with understanding waves of affection, making the door to his 'tantrum room' appear in front of him, but his time ship's love only made his anger worse. He kicked the door down with his boot, ripping off one of its hinges, and one of his hands flung itself out in search of something to throw. His hand closed around something nameless and slung it hard away from him, where it collided with a glass statuette and sent them both flying across the room in pieces.

The Doctor wasn't at all aware of just how vigorously he was grabbing things and lobbing them, crushing them, throwing them to the floor. He was so bloody angry he was seeing stars, and the room was tinted red, like his eyes were staining themselves with the blood he wanted so very much to spill.

Once everything in the room was broken—even the stone pedestals on which the knickknacks had been displayed—the Doctor sank to his knees in the debris. He cradled his head in his hands as his sanity began creeping back, dragging with it the horror at what he'd just done, the utter fear at what this godforsaken jealousy was turning him into, and the maddening truth that this would continue because he would never ever have Rose Tyler for his very own and—

"Jesus Christ in hell, Doc!" choked out Jack Harkness's voice.

The Doctor flinched, ashamed at being caught in such a disgusting position. It was short-lived, however, as Jack didn't hesitate to put his hand on the Doctor's trembling shoulder, and the Doctor's shame bled away in that instant, now knowing Jack understood.

"Doc, you've gotta tell her," Jack sighed. "This is borderline insanity."

"You think I don't know that?" the Doctor snapped, crushing a leftover piece of clay with his fist and turning it to dust. "Gallifreyans…" His posture slumped back into devastation at the mention of his long-dead people. "Gallifreyans are possessive by nature. We're not good at sharing, if you know what I mean."

"Neither am I, when it comes to a girl I really love, which you seriously do," Jack said. "But this, Doc—" He gestured to the dust and pieces, "—is something not even I can get. Rose certainly won't. Can you imagine if she caught you like this?"

"No!" the Doctor cried out, his voice hoarse as he hurled himself around to face Jack. "She can never know about this."

"I know," Jack said seriously. "That's why you have to tell her how you feel, Doc. There's only so many times Rose is going to stay put when I tell her to, every time you run off to break shit. Sooner or later she isn't going to listen, and she's going to come in here and find you either in a pile of dust or hurling things at the walls."

The Doctor neglected to answer for a long period of silence. It was true that Rose could never under any circumstance know where he went every time he 'ran off to break shit' but he also knew telling her that he loved her, to the point where he wanted to break in every face that turned in her direction, was also unacceptable. He didn't voice this fact, but instead nodded curtly to Jack, avoiding his eyes.

"And another thing," Jack said, spurred on by the Doctor's 'acceptance'. "You really need to sleep. If you won't take my bed—with me out of it—at the very least spoon with Rose tonight." The captain grinned when the Doctor shot him a glare. "I'm serious. Not for sex or anything like that, but for sleep. Plus… and don't tell her I told you…" Jack's voice went low and gleeful, "she told me she wouldn't mind if you did."

Jack left, debris crunching under his boots as he did so, leaving the Doctor staring wide-eyed at powder. Shock was flooding through his systems, and now his mind was racing with Jack's words and slight exhaustion. Did Rose actually tell Jack that, or was he lying? If she had told him that, did it mean she really didn't mind or she just wanted him to sleep, or that she really did want to sleep with him? In the same bed of course. Although the very last theory did pang the Doctor, since he was certain that wasn't the case—

The TARDIS sent him a shrill ringing noise in his ear, signalling that Rose had done just as Jack had warned— she hadn't listened to the captain's orders of 'staying put'. With superior Time Lord speed, the Doctor hurled himself out of the dusty room, mentally telling the TARDIS to lock the door behind him. Remembering his grunted excuse to take off, the Doctor grabbed the first object to his right and grinned his goofy grin just as she rounded the corner and spotted him.

"Where did you go?" Rose pouted.

"Needed something from the TARDIS," he said jovially, waving the object in front of her.

Rose frowned at it. "You needed a bar of soap?"

The Doctor emulated her frown and got a proper look at what he'd grabbed— a paper-wrapped bar of shower soap he'd picked up at the last alien bazaar. "Err, though you might like to wash," he answered lamely.

Rose's eyes narrowed and she stepped towards him, making him swallow. Her hand reached up and brushed dust off of his shoulder. "Doctor, you're covered in dust."

"Erm, had to look through some old things to find it," the Doctor lied. "S'a good thing I found it then," he added, grinning at her again.

She finally smiled back and rolled her eyes, mumbling about him being an adorable idiot and pulling him back out of the TARDIS. As they walked back down the beach towards the Ilzaya camp the Doctor's eyes stared at Rose's back as they usually did, except this time instead of thinking about how clever and lovely she was he was imagining scenarios in which he did as Jack had ordered. How easy would it be to just grip her by the shoulders, stare into her curious eyes and tell her he loved her? The answer, apparently, was not easy at all. There was no way in hell he could describe his feelings in words— well, not English ones anyway, but it wasn't like she could understand Gallifreyan. And besides, there was no way she'd ever reciprocate, because she was beautiful, clever Rose and he was just the Doctor, which wasn't even his real name, and he was broken and old and tired and a murderer and—

"Ilzay to Doctor," Rose quipped, and he blinked himself back to reality, realising she'd noticed him staring.

"Sorry, mind was elsewhere," the Doctor said, holding his arm out for her to take, which she did eagerly.

"All the way to Raxacoricofallapatorius, I reckon," she added. "What were you thinking about?"

I was thinking about how hard it is to tell you I love you.

"Bananas," he said instead, with air.

Rose rolled her eyes again. "Bet that's what you really went looking for in the TARDIS." She paused, studying him, before saying, "Bend down a mo'."

He complied, and Rose proceeded to swipe her hand over his cropped hair, dust clouding the air. She started remarking about him being an addict and wondering aloud why bananas were hidden in old dusty items, but the Doctor heard none of it; he was getting a bloody fantastic view down her cleavage, of the smooth rounds of her breasts and a bit of the slope of her stomach, and he was remembering Jack's order to spoon her. If he did, he'd be able to slip his hand underneath her shirt whilst she slept and press his hand against the smoothness. Also, her fingers in his hair felt bloody fantastic…

"RoseIhavesomethingtoaskyou," the Doctor rushed out, face flaming when he realised he'd spoken.

"Hmm?" she hummed, still picking out dust from his hair.

He shivered when her fingers trailed down the back of his neck. "Jack… said I ought to get some sleep."

The Doctor itched with the urge to run away when Rose pulled away from him. When he finally got the courage to look at her, he saw she was looking at him pointedly.

"Yeah, actually I was gonna yell at you for that too, but it looks like Jack beat me to it," she said, and he deflated with relief. "You're not fooling me, Doctor. S'been like two months, I reckon."

The Doctor frowned at her. "How d'you reckon that?"

"A magician never reveals her secrets," Rose grinned, tongue in teeth. "But seriously. I don't mind sleeping in the same bed as you, Doctor. 'Sides, you really need it," she added, biting her lip.

"Oh, I look that terrible, do I?" the Doctor exclaimed, trying to cover up his delight with mock annoyance.

"Actually yeah," Rose said, no longer grinning.

At least she had the decency to look abashed when the Doctor scowled at her. Although in truth he was already eager to crawl into bed with her (for sleeping purposes, by Rassilon) and he was also wondering how she knew he'd been putting off sleep, despite his carefulness to keep it from her.

"Oh, quit frowning," Rose said, her grin back in place. "Get a good night's rest and you'll be fine. Mum always said I looked like hell every time I pulled an all-nighter."

He doubted that. "Why'd you do it then?"

"I'd do it back when I was in school, or during the holidays, or even this one time when Shareen invited me over for one last sleepover— y'know, when 'girlfriends' get too old for it but you just wanna do it one last time, yeah?" Rose giggled. "Apparently, after all-nighters, I'm like you were when the TARDIS got mad at you and hid all the bananas."

"Oi, s'not funny!" the Doctor insisted, when Rose kept laughing. "Stop it, Rose Tyler!"

"Sorry," she gasped out, holding onto his arm for leverage, still giggling madly at the remembrance of the Doctor scowling and snarking at everybody. He looked ready for a repeat performance as he tugged her by her hand down the beach towards the Ilzaya camp.

The Doctor always fancied parties, but only when on the receiving end. He spent the entire day (or remaining hours, as it was too dark to be considered 'day') out with scouting parties picking fruit for a feast. Jack went 'hunting'—which meant he'd lured one of the women into another tree—and Rose stayed behind with Alaric. Not only did he hate organising parties, which had put him into a sullen mood already, constant imaginings of Rose and that stupid Ilzaya together did not help. He ran back to the camp several times to check on her, and each time she was with him, either looking over scrolls, decorating the village with cloth hangings or conversing with poetic ease, and the Doctor could clearly spot a besotted male when he saw one. It didn't help that Rose was either allowing his flirtations or was oblivious to them, as Alaric put his hand on the small of her back one too many times to be subtle or innocent.

It was nearly midnight by the time the Doctor met up with Jack, who looked thoroughly bedraggled with an 'I-just-got-fucked' expression. Rose had spent the whole of the day with the stupid Ilzaya and had talked to the Doctor maybe thrice, which pissed him off since she clearly had no trouble talking to Alaric. The only thing that kept the Doctor from storming back to the TARDIS to break things was the sweet, sweet knowledge that once the day was over, it would be him wrapped around Rose Tyler in the cot. Not a 'Decider', not a Siras beach bum, not Mickey the Idiot, but the Doctor. Each time he saw Rose giggling at something the Ilzaya said, the Doctor closed his eyes, counted backward from ten thousand, recited all of the names of the rulers of Plixidam and dreamed of tossing his long runner's leg around Rose's waist.

"So I've been talking to Alaric," Rose said when the trio reconvened after all the major preparations for the celebration were finished. "And I've learned a few things about Ilzaya culture."

"Oh?" the Doctor said through gritted teeth.

Rose nodded, popping a slice of some shrivelled-looking fruit into her mouth. "The recurring theme of threes is because of the three moons, and because they only have three seasons— a long summer, autumn and a really brief winter." The Doctor was now properly listening, grinning a bit and noting how the tables had turned and Rose was giving the lectures. "They see the moons as deities of the seasons— Ilsa, the left moon, is the goddess of summer, or what they call the 'Goldensong'; Risa, the middle moon, is the goddess of autumn, or 'Firesong'; and Aithusa, the right moon, is the goddess of winter, or 'Frostsong'."

"Check out the brains on Rosie," Jack whistled, impressed.

Rose waved off his compliment with a, "S'nothing. That's what I get for having to listen to Alaric chatter off my ear."

"Though you liked the bloke," the Doctor said, both shocked and delighted.

"He's the Ilzaya equivalent of Jimmy Stone back on Earth," Rose scowled. "A thick-headed jock, if you ask me. All I've been treated to all day was 'A Hundred Great Hunts Led By Alaric'. Took me ages to wheedle what little information I got out of him."

Jack tried to hide his smirk at how thrilled the Doctor looked at this new bit of fact. "Anything else?"

"Found the origin of the crystal," Rose grinned. "S'a lovely story. They call the crystal 'Aithusa's daughter' because a meteorite collided with the third moon and sent a huge chunk flying at the mountain to the north. It cracked open the earth and set loose the crystal."

"Ooh, it broke off from a crystalline geological formation!" the Doctor exclaimed excitedly. "Reckon they'd lead me to it and let me sonic it?"

"Doubt it," Rose said, eating another piece of fruit. "Apparently the site is heavily guarded. S'like sacred ground to them, being the 'birthplace of Aithusa's daughter'."

She patted his hand when his face fell. Jack bounced out of his seat when an attractive lavender-coloured Ilzaya woman grinned at him lasciviously. The Doctor and Rose exchanged perturbed glances when Jack grinned back and muttered something about 'don't wait up' before strolling toward the woman.

"I'm gonna head off," Rose said, standing up and wiping her sticky hands on her jumper. "Coming?"

He felt a swoop at the casualness she was displaying, as though they shared a bed every night (he wished). "Be there in a mo', gonna sonic the crystal again."

Rose rolled her eyes, knowing full well he was just dawdling, and headed up to the hut alone. The Doctor pulled out his sonic and began sonicking the crystal again, double- and triple-checking his readings to a) make sure that a good old fashioned celebration was in fact going to be sufficient and b) to postpone the fact that soon, he'd be sharing a cot with Rose Marion Tyler. He was nervous as hell about it, too, even though Rose seemed fine with it, almost unnervingly so. His mind raced; was she lying when she said she didn't mind, and now that it was happening she regretted it? Was her calmness just a defence mechanism, to hide her horror?

…Was he insane? The answer to the very last was starting to look likely. He was sitting there, sonicking a giant crystal to put off doing nothing more than sleeping in proximity to his companion. A companion who clearly didn't view him as a horrid old man, if her hand-holding, snuggling and cheeky grins were anything to go by. The Doctor lowered his sonic, concluded he was being an idiot, inhaled deeply to calm himself and stood up. Jack, whose 'friend' was waiting for him in a hut three down from their own, quickly joined him.

"So Doc, gonna spoon her?" Jack said cheerily, before adding, "I mean, sleep?"

"Yes, Jack," the Doctor sighed, scowling when Jack all but beamed. "Evidently you're about to do the same, and then some."

"Her name's Eliyah," Jack said, shooting the Ilzaya in question a wink. "Don't understand a word she's saying, except the naughty ones. Don't wait up, lovebirds; I'm not coming back all night, in case you do decide to—what was the word you British use?—shag her."

The Doctor opened his mouth to exclaim how unlikely that was and that he wasn't British, he was alien (and if his cot was free then why was he sharing with Rose?) but Jack grinned at him and bounced off to rejoin Eliyah, slipping his hand unabashedly into her loincloth. The Doctor grimaced, looked away and started to trump up to the hut, hoping Rose was knackered from a long day of listening to Alaric talk about himself and was asleep by now. He realised halfway up that his hands were shaking and he swore under his breath, trying to convince himself to get it together. He'd fought hundreds of species, went face to face with ruddy Daleks, for Rassilon's sake— this should be nothing to him. Except it wasn't nothing because he loved her, and sod it, he was just going to march in there and plop down whether or not she wanted him to.

He shoved aside the silver-leafed curtain and found Rose sitting on the cot, her lower half draped with exquisite silk and her hands rubbing at her eyes. She yawned and regarded him blearily, and he tried to school his features so she wouldn't see his fear, nervousness or his pulsing desire to pounce on her. Without saying anything, she scooted over to the far side of the cot and patted the empty space next to him. She was so clever, his Rose Tyler, sensing that speaking would make things even more awkward, which was now becoming his fault since he was just standing there staring. He forced his feet to move towards the cot, and Rose rolled away from him and snuggled underneath the sheets, yawning again.

The Doctor swallowed a sigh of relief, the uncomfortable air ebbing away as he unlaced his boots and set them aside. He lifted the sheet and slipped under it next to her, inwardly flinching when he was forced to mould his body to hers to stop them both from falling off the cot. Awkwardness returned as he tried to ignore the fact that, despite his arms being rigid at his sides, his body and Rose Tyler's fit together as though shaped for it. He certainly wasn't noticing that the curve of her arse fit snugly against his groin, nor the throbbing below his hips that had started off gentle and was escalating quickly.

His exhaustion from putting off sleep for too long was blanketing him, its weight heavy and warm, and he jumped a bit in alarm when Rose sighed, reached over, grabbed his hand and pulled his arm around her. His heavy eyes flew open and he choked back a gasp, staring at the back of Rose's head. The Doctor wasn't sure whether she had fallen asleep or not and did that out of instinct, or if she was awake and did that on purpose.

In the end, he decided he didn't care which it was (much), tightened his grip on Rose and drifted off into unconsciousness.

He didn't wake like he usually did— with a jolt, from some damnable nightmare. This time he drifted back to consciousness as if floating on a cloud, peacefully, with pleasant warmth and a fantastic scent around him. He kept his eyes closed, internally checking how long he'd been asleep, which turned out to be a full eight hours. He smiled into whatever he had his face buried in, before frowning again. What was his face buried in? The Doctor paused, analysing: smooth skin pressed against his lips, the scent of jasmine mixed in with the scent of Ilzaya sheets and sleep.

Ah. Rose Tyler's neck.

The Doctor burst into full consciousness then and there, moving his limbs a little just to see where they were. His leg was thrown over her hips, pressing her arse into his pelvis. His left arm was underneath her somehow, pillowing her head, while his right was curled around her, hand slipped underneath her vest top and splayed across the warm expanse of her belly.

She began to stir; he slammed his eyes shut again and laboured his breathing, keeping his snuggly position on her, wanting to see how she'd react. Rose sighed, wiggling her bottom (oh don't do that again) and her breathing went all but silent— she was awake. She paused, and the Doctor felt a twinge of nervousness. Would she hate him?

Instead Rose chuckled, ever so softly, and she snuggled herself deeper into him, sighing again with contentment. He forced himself not to grin, delight sweeping through him. Rose's breathing became laboured again as the minutes of silent glee ticked by. When she dropped back off into sleep, the Doctor forced himself to untangle himself from her, lifting her head and replacing his arm with her jumper, the grin he'd been forcing back erupting over his face now that it wasn't buried in Rose Tyler's throat. That was definitely a good sign. Either Rose was just a bloody good friend and was glad to see him letting his guard down, or she—or a part of her—enjoyed this. Taking care not to wake her, he sat up, laced his boots on and stepped out of the hut, stretching in the moonlight. Rassilon, he ought to sleep next to Rose Tyler more often. That was, and he wasn't ashamed to admit it, the best sleep he'd gotten in years.

"Aw, look at you, Doc!" came Jack's hushed exclamation from the shadows.

The Doctor turned to him and immediately cringed back. Jack had forsaken his jeans for the male Ilzaya loincloth.

"Good Lord, Harkness."

"Sexy, isn't it?" he winked. "Back to the point, though, you look great. Did you spoon her?"

"Harkness," the Doctor hissed, listening hard for any indications that Rose was hearing this conversation.

"Don't 'Harkness' me, Mister."

"It's 'Doctor', not 'Mister'."

"Whatever. Did you or did you not spoon Rose Tyler?"

The Doctor scowled at him, though it was diluted from the giddiness of knowing that yes, he did in fact spoon Rose Tyler. And it was fantastic.


Jack beamed, as though the Doctor had just told him he'd won a million credits, and said, "You should do it more often."

The Doctor smirked when Jack echoed his previous thoughts. "Unlikely. Did you check on how the celebration was going, or were you too busy shagging?"

"I peeked at it once or twice during the night. Alaric is still up organising everything. That nutcase just does not sleep."

"Idiot aliens aside," he ground out, "we're leaving soon as Rose wakes up."

"But Doc," Jack whined. "Rose and I wanted to go to the party!"

"I don't. I'm sick o' this ruddy planet already."

"If we leave now, we won't find out if our plan to kick-start the crystal worked," Jack pointed out. "Plus, Rose is gonna be mad. No girl likes planning a party and then not going to it."

While Jack's first point had merit, it was the second one that prodded the Doctor into sighing and saying, "Fine. But once that bleeding crystal is working again we're getting the soddin' hell out of here."

"Fair enough," the captain said gleefully. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue the search for my pants."

"You lost 'em?"

"Sex in trees is easier when one's pants aren't on oneself," Jack said in a knowing tone. "I just have to remember which tree I was in last. Can't seem to find it."

Jack bounced off into the forest and the Doctor chuckled, wondering how they managed to get stuck with such a character.

It took Rose another hour and twenty-three minutes to wake up again—humans and their need for sleep, he chastised—and the first thing she did was bounce out of the hut, her jumper crooked and her hair frazzled. He'd been trying to get the Ilzaya to take him to the site of the geological formation for the past half hour, but all the jungle nuts did was shoot him dirty looks and grip their spears menacingly. He had just given up when he spotted Rose to his side, and he was grateful for the everlasting night when he found himself blushing at the caring smile she gave him.

"Aw, look at you!" Rose said. "You slept!"

"Jack said the same thing, so I must look better," the Doctor said, trying not to look bashful or as pleased as he felt.

"A thousand times better. Speaking of Jack, where's he shagged off to? Didn't see him all night."

"Last time I saw him, he was hunting for his trousers."

A pause, in which Rose raised her eyebrows at him. "He… lost his trousers?"

The Doctor grinned. "He's positive they're in a tree, but he can't remember which one."

Rose burst into laughter, gripping his arm for support as they started off toward the encampment. And, as his companion giggled hysterically, the Doctor soaked in the feeling of pure happiness and wished it would last forever.

It was around an hour into the celebration that everything started to go wrong.

The party started off well, minus the fact that Alaric simply had to be the centre of attention. He called for everyone's attention with floppy waves of his arms reminiscent to a dolphin and announced (with nonsensical strings of words) the party's beginning, except that he just had to go and dub it 'the Offspring's Rekindling' or some bloody claptrap like that. The natives, true to any stereotype, sang and danced around the bonfire in which the crystal sat. They were separated into two groups by gender, doing some sort of ritualistic dance that involved closeness but zero contact. How this was possible, the Doctor didn't know, but he was just relieved Rose wasn't asking him to join. She, being Rose Tyler and his clever girl, had gotten the hang of the dance in an instant and was in the female group, swaying her hips in sync to the other women. Being a guest of honour to them, they had draped her hair with colourful beads and donned her in silk, which fluttered around her body as she danced.

Jack had returned, having abandoned his loincloth (apparently he found which tree his trousers were in) and, upon gaping at Rose for a full ten minutes and then grinning apologetically when the Doctor glared daggers at him, disappeared once again for reasons well known. The Doctor, who preferred parties thrown by humans or the party-expert race of the Zaal, spent most of his time sonicking the crystal, which started to glow brighter with each minute that ticked by.

Now, the Doctor was frowning at his sonic. The crystal, though being supercharged by all the endorphins flying around, still required a bigger kick-start of energy. Snorting to himself that this would be solved already had they actually gone with Jack's orgy plan, the Doctor got up off his knees and turned to seek out Rose and tell her this.

Instead he got a fantastic view of Alaric pushing Rose against the side of their hut, snogging the stuffing out of her.

Rage slammed on him like a boulder; the corners of his vision went blood red and he once again took off at top speed towards the TARDIS. A 'thick-headed jock', she says, but does that stop her from letting him stick his tongue down her throat?

Rose, meanwhile, yanked herself away from the Ilzaya idiot that had just shoved her against a wall and forced her mouth open. Snarling, she drew back her arm and gave him a slap across the face that Jackie Tyler herself would have been proud of.

"Keep your effin' hands to yourself or I'm cuttin' 'em off and tossin' 'em in the fire, ya bloody wanker!" she snapped, her London slang bleeding into her words with her anger and destroying any possibility of poeticism.

"Doc, wait!" Jack shouted after the blurry black figure that had taken off down the beach with abnormal speed.

Hearing the shout Rose elbowed the dazed-looking Alaric off of her and hurried to find the Doctor. Last she'd seen him, he'd been kneeling by the crystal sonicking it— but now among the still dancing natives, who hadn't noticed anything, the Doctor was nowhere to be found. She spotted Jack at the edge of the forest, shirtless and staring with horror somewhere down the beach. Rose followed his point of view only to see a small black speck running down the shore.

"Doctor?" she called, starting to run after him only to be restrained by Jack's sturdy arms.

"Rose, don't," Jack yelled over the noise, fighting to keep her still as she struggled.

"Let go, Jack, something's wrong with the Doctor!" Rose cried, yanking herself out of his hold and taking off top-speed down the shoreline.

"ROSE!" echoed along the beach after her.


The image of Alaric in a furious lip lock with Rose, his Rose, made utter fury bubble in his chest; he couldn't think straight, all he could think of was punching in Alaric's pretty face until there was nothing left of the idiot but pulp—


— except she wasn't his Rose, because if she was really his he wouldn't be having this problem, constantly furious and filled with hate at others but more so at himself, because he clearly wasn't good enough for Rose Tyler—


— and how could he be good enough for her? She was untainted, beautiful, funny and clever and he was a genocidal maniac who looked old enough to be her father and got jealous at everybody with a dick that looked her way—


— and ran away from the situation, like he was so good at doing, to come into his ship and break things just because he didn't have the fortitude to tell her just how much he lo—


Another crash, then silence. His anger was ebbing away again, replaced with the usual disgust at himself, at the sound of Rose Tyler's voice calling his name. He stood shaking in the middle of the room, dust flying in the air. It was just a subconscious defensive mechanism to snap him out of it, his psyche's way of keeping him from truly breaking down into madness.

Apparently his psyche was a little too good, since he heard it again. "Doctor?"

A gasp sounded from behind him. Granted, it was tiny, but it was still there, and there was no way he was imagining this. Horror flooded his insides, made him see stars. Rose had found him.

"Get out, Rose," he mumbled, shoulders slumping in shame.

She had found him, found his disgusting secret, and now she'd surely leave him. Rose didn't listen; she took a step into the room, coughing in the dusty air, debris cracking under her trainers. "Are… are you all right?"

"I told you to get out, Rose," he snapped, lip curling back in a snarl as his anger returned.

She'd kissed that fucking Ilzaya, so no, he was not all right, by Rassilon. Why couldn't she just do as she was told for once?

She took another step into the room, now only a metre away from where he was standing. "What's the matter?"

Stupid girl. "Didn't I just say—?"

"Tell me what's wrong, Doctor, then I'll go," Rose interrupted.

The Doctor whirled around, glaring at her in the semi-darkness. She flinched back a little at his Oncoming Storm face but held her ground.

"Doesn't this terrify you?" he snarled, fists clenching.

"No," she said firmly.


"I'm not. What's terrifyin' me is that there's something wrong with you, Doctor, and you won't let me help."

"What you can do to help," he ground out, "is not snog every pretty boy that looks your way!"

"Alaric snogged me!" Rose said indignantly. "I also gave him a slap Mum would approve of."

Oh. Oh dear.

He hated himself. He'd misunderstood what had happened, and because of his blunder it had come to this. At the sight of his mask of anger cracking into defeat, Rose hurried forward and flung her arms around his neck. The Doctor's whole body shook and when he gripped her back, his grip was tight, possessive and seeking comfort. She let him burrow his nose into her hair, shivering when he inhaled deeply, and his shaking seemed to lessen. Rose looked over his shoulder, seeing the shards of artefacts scattered across the floor, some even sticking to the walls, and guilt flooded her insides. She would never have flirted with or even talked to Alaric had she known it hurt the Doctor this much. Was this uniquely him, or was this a trait he shared with his long-dead race?

"Tell me why," she murmured to him, her voice quiet as though anything louder would startle him, "you did this."

His grip on her tightened even more, and when he spoke he sounded so broken it made tears prick at the corners of her eyes. "I can't."

"I won't leave." Rose slid a hand onto his cheek. "I'll never leave."

He shuddered again at her words. "You will."

"I won't."

Silence. Then, so shakily to the point of near-incoherency, "My species… we're not good at… sharing."

Rose frowned, not quite understanding. "Sharing what?"

He cringed. "Sharing… people we—"

He swallowed thickly, unable to continue. The Doctor felt her stiffen and pull back a little, and he was terrified again. Now that she understood she would leave him, despite saying she wouldn't. Of course she would.

Instead her face hovered a millimetre away from his, and she whispered, "Doctor, please say it."

"People we love," he rushed out, and at his own words, the weight he hadn't even known was present was lifted off of his chest and he could finally breathe. "Oh, Rose Tyler, I love you so much."

Neither of them could so much as inhale before their lips crashed together, both shivering at the long-awaited, long-craved contact. Her hands were now on the back of his head, nails scraping upward over his cropped hair and he moaned into her mouth because it felt so good. This was so unbelievably new and foreign and fantastic and it felt like it'd taken them too long to get to this point— like it'd been centuries since he'd just been thrilled to wake up entangled around her for the first time. It was such a strange concept, kissing Rose Tyler, but knowing he could made relief and desperation bubble in his chest, and she was crying but it was okay, because so was he.

He pulled back and kissed her tears away, and his name escaped her lips on a sob. "Doctor…"

"Shh," he breathed.

The Doctor moved to kiss her again, but she stopped him by placing her palms on his cheeks, wiping away the moisture she found there with her thumbs. Inhaling deeply, she stared hard into his eyes, lost herself in the brilliance of blue she found there and said, lower lip trembling, "I love you too, Doctor."

The universe could have exploded around him and he wouldn't have noticed. He was pretty sure it had and he and Rose were the only things left in existence. He dove forward, catching her shivering lip between his and found it fitted perfectly there, and whilst he sucked on it and made Rose whimper he internally waged war. Pure blooming happiness at hearing Rose Tyler say that ensemble of words he'd only ever dreamt of her saying fought head-to-head with anger at her for being so jeopardy-friendly, falling in love with a murderer. The urge to pick her up and swing her around in delight battled the urge to break down and cry. So he did a mixture of all four; grinned against her mouth and picked her up and spun her as tears tracked down his face. She half-sobbed half-laughed and brushed away his tears again, before wrapping herself around him as if afraid he'd escape. Her legs closed around his waist as he hoisted her up by her bottom, carrying her out of the room that held the example of his animalistic love for her.

She still smelled like that bloody Ilzaya. He snarled, shoved her against the wall in the corridor and buried his face into her neck, nipping to try and clean her of the scent of the other man. She seemed to understand what he was doing and shrugged off the silk wraps, baring her throat to make it more accessible. He hummed with approval once the silk fluttered to the ground (he stepped on it once just to make sure it knew its place) and growled. Actually growled, like he was an animal, once the Ilzaya's scent was nonexistent and all he could smell was Rose Tyler and himself. As it should be.

The Doctor removed his face from her neck and stared at her, his gaze hard and full of question. She nodded, answering his unasked question, and stared back, feeling lost in the endless expanse of blue until his eyes slid shut when her fingers scraped over his scalp again. To emphasise her point, Rose tightened her legs around his waist and pressed herself right there, and his eyes shot open again. Instead of looking nervous or shocked as she'd expected, his eyes were dark, pupils enormous and hooded with lust.

"Want you," she exhaled huskily, letting the truth shine through her eyes. A flash of pain and disbelief shadowed his eyes and she rocked her hips again, placing her lips next to his ear and murmuring, "So bad. For so long."

He groaned, long, low and deep, and Rose's stomach fluttered at the sound. His hands squeezed her bottom and she made a show of biting her lip and letting her eyes roll back into her head. He groaned again, this time softly, and Rose grabbed the lapels of his jackets just as his lips found hers again. She shoved the jacket down his shoulders, slipping it off his arms and tossing it into the corner before sliding her hands underneath his olive jumper. The Doctor hummed when her hands splayed against his bare skin, abnormally soft and unbelievably Doctor. Rose pulled away from his lips for the brief second it took for her to pull his jumper over his head, throwing it so it could join his jacket before she returned to his mouth, scraping her nails over his nipples. His gasp gave her the leverage to plunge her tongue into his mouth.

His hands slipped from her bum to her waist, his hips holding her up against the wall. His fingers fisted around the hem of her jumper and unzipped it quickly, shoving it down her body. When all that was left was her vest top, he pulled that over her head and let it join the Ilzaya silk, staring hard at her bra-covered breasts. Slowly he reached up and undid the front clasp, letting the cups fall away and reveal her breasts to him. She felt her nipples pebble underneath his scrutiny and moaned despite herself.

"Precious girl," he whispered.

Sensing that he wouldn't touch her unless she asked for it, Rose rocked her hips against him again in a steady rhythm, murmuring in his ear, "Touch me."

He complied at once, one hand shooting up to her right breast and cupping it in his palm, slipping over her nipple and watching her to see her reaction. She sighed, arching herself into his hand and staring back at him through half-lidded eyes, only to see his face scrunch in pleasure. Seeing such a haunted man get so wrapped up in arousal because of what she felt for him made a sear of heat flash straight down to her sex, and suddenly she needed to get his trousers off now. Her hands plunged down his chest to his jeans, undoing the buttons and the zip. She could feel his erection straining against the denim and she whimpered, shocked to feel actual evidence of his desire for her.

Another groan erupted from him, this one dripping with need, and all thoughts in both of their minds of heading to a bedroom disappeared. She slipped her hand inside his pants and wrapped her fingers around him, hearing him inhale sharply, feeling him shudder. While stroking him she moved her free hand to her own jeans button, fumbling with the clasp; he stopped her by releasing her breast and grabbing her hand. The Doctor undid the buttons easily with the flick of his fingers and she shimmied her hips, trying to manoeuvre her jeans off of her.

"Rose," the Doctor breathed, leaning in to nibble on her neck while rocking his hips into her hand.

"Doctor, please…" she whined when his fingers peeled her knickers down her legs along with her jeans.

Rose angled her hips, guiding his length to her entrance, watching him growl when his tip probed her soaking wet folds.

"See how much I want you?" she murmured, kissing him just as he pushed into her slowly.

Both let out long, shuddering sighs as he filled her, pausing for a moment simply to bask. It'd taken them the better part of a year, secret feelings and a considerable amount of pain to get to this moment and both Rose and the Doctor wanted to commit it to memory. When he began to move, Rose keened into his mouth, trying to rock her hips to bring him deeper. It was slow, sweet and sensual, mimicking the unsaid apologies both wanted to say. She moaned with each thrust, letting him hear her, trying once and for all to prove just how much she wanted this, wanted him. They watched each other, eyes glazing over every time he pushed back into her, and Rose felt deliciously suffocated by the gorgeous blue. One day she'd tell him just how much she adored his eyes, but for now she was having trouble forming coherent sentences besides 'fuck', 'yes' and 'Doctor'— his vocabulary was even smaller, consisting solely of 'Rose' muttered over and over like it was the holiest word in the universe.

His pace quickened, a year of suppressed lust refusing to let it be gentle for very long. He began to pound into her, shuddering every time her moans increased in the slightest pitch, loving the way her legs hooked around him and drove him into her at a different angle.

"Doctor," she gasped out when he slammed into her yet again. "Fuck, unh, Doctor…"

"Rose," he groaned out, before snarling, "My Rose."

"Your Rose," she agreed, crying out when his fingers found her clit.

"Mine, mine, mine, mine," he shouted, now pounding into her so hard her back would surely have bruises. "No one else's. Mine."

"Yours," Rose cried, digging her heels into his bum.

"This is mine," the Doctor growled, pinching her clit. "This is mine." He bit down hard on her neck. "This is mine." He trailed his mouth downward and sucked one of her nipples, feeling the vibrations of her moan in her chest. "All of it's mine."

She clenched around him, head thrown back, not caring if she was moaning like a tart. He slammed into her hard enough to make her think she would break in half; she welcomed the feeling, along with the tightening sensation and the waves of heat washing over her, and she was getting precariously closer—

"Fuck," he groaned.

The sound of the filthy word spewing from the Doctor's lips tossed her over the edge, made her dig her nails into his back and scream, actually scream. With a shout he came with her, spilling his hot seed inside her clenching channel, thrusts shallow and erratic. She whimpered with the aftershocks of her orgasm and slumped in his arms, panting, flushed and wanting to curl up in bed with her Time Lord and fall asleep. He pulled out of her slowly, as though wanting to draw out his time inside her, breathing heavily as well, cheek pressed against her breast. Gradually he lowered them both until they were cuddling in the corridor, Rose in his lap, unspoken love brimming between them.


Both of their heads snapped up, eyes meeting as they both exclaimed, "Jack."

Rose scrambled out of his lap and grabbed her bra at the sound of Jack's footsteps against the TARDIS grating. The Doctor hoisted himself off the floor as Rose gave him a chaste kiss and took off down the corridor, barely a split second before Jack turned the corner and spotted him.

"Harkness!" the Doctor whisper-shouted, grabbing his jacket off the floor and holding it in front of his open trousers.

"I knew it!" the captain grinned, hands on his hips as he regarded the Doctor's bare chest (and the fact that Rose's jumper had been left on the floor). "It's about freaking time. And it explains a lot."

"What the hell are you going on about?" he scowled.

"Well, when Rose took off after you I was going to go after her, but I decide not to in case you two were having a moment," he said. "Then I decide to give you two lovebirds a little more time when the crystal thing suddenly started glowing like a firework." His words made the Doctor, almighty Time Lord, blush from the tops of his ears to his toes. "I'm going to take that as an example of my assumptions being correct. So, aside from being good enough to kick-start the Ilzaya's crystal, was it sweet and slow or fast and crazy?"

"Harkness," the Doctor growled in warning.

"Didn't make it to the bedroom, did you?" Jack beamed, ignoring him. "All that effing UST over this goddamn year, bet you two boffed like animals against the wall—"


"All right, I get it!" Jack shouted gleefully. "I just have one last question."

"Oh?" growled the Doctor.

"Can I join?"


It was weeks later, and the group was back on Siras II. Jack had disappeared hours ago with a local Siras woman and hadn't been seen since, but he wasn't missed. The Doctor and Rose stood at the top of a hill overlooking the beach, clasping hands in front of a fruit cart— Rose clad once again in nothing but a white bikini, the Doctor's coat over her shoulders despite the heat. The vendor was eagerly explaining all of the nutritional benefits of the Andosian pear (a very déja-vu moment, if you asked the Doctor), leaving Rose's smirk and the Doctor's scowl unnoticed.

"… extremely beneficial to the enamel, really strengthens it against even the most potent of natural acids," he was saying, missing the Oncoming Storm glare being shot his way. "S'also packed with juice. Here, lass, if you press your pretty fingers onto this pocket o' juice, you can feel it—"

Without warning the vendor slipped his hand around Rose's free one and manoeuvred her fingers towards the fruit. Glaring daggers, the Doctor accidentally on purpose kicked the back of the cart with his boot, and the three of them watched as the cart of pears began rolling down the hill.


Rose watched with her head cocked to the side as the vendor shouted and tumbled down the hill after his cart, leaving a trail of squished pears and an upturned umbrella in its wake before colliding with a lawn chair. She dropped the pear, placed her hand on her hip and looked pointedly at the Doctor, though unable to stop herself from smiling when he grinned at her.

"I think I'm a tad possessive," he remarked sheepishly.

"Just a tad."

A/N: This was a plot bunny that just would NOT leave me alone :) I am a HUGE Nine/Rose fan (Nine's always been my favourite Doctor. Sorry Ten, you're cute, but that goofy grin and those ears beat it all) and somehow Nine seemed to be the really furious, rugged, possessive type and lo and behold, this was born. Considered not posting this halfway through, but in hindsight I'm glad I did; I'm honoured by the response Featured in this fic were the songs "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" (© Alice Cooper), mentions of the film Avatar (© James Cameron) and the Harry Potter series (© J.K. Rowling; Warner Bros.)

EDITS: Usual punctuation, spelling and grammar clean-up. Took out the Doctor not knowing poetry cos that's stupid. Took out the Tenth Doctor tics Nine had (this used to be a Ten fic before I changed it... didn't do a good editing job beforehand), the Eleven reference (idk where the hell that came from) and the Deathly Hallows reference, since the book didn't come out til 2007... Tbh she could have read it in the TARDIS, but doesn't make sense in the conversation they had. However for this reason, I left in the Avatar, since Rose watched it on the TARDIS.

PS. the science aspects of this are probably ridiculous, but I'm a writer, not a scientist. If it is, do let me know why and how I can correct it :)