The Key

It was surprising to the Doctor just how quickly Rose bounced back after his regeneration, a concept that was supposed to be hard for humans to accept. He remembered the looks of horror and fear and devastation that wracked her features after his rather goofy-looking old face vanished in a stream of golden light and was replaced by the dashing man he was today. He hadn't noticed it, not at first; he'd been too busy being excited over changing, anxious to know if his now floofy hair was ginger or not. Then he'd mentioned Barcelona (the planet, not the city) and looked up finally, and saw the hurt on her face, the panic, the loss, and it'd broken both of his hearts.

Faulty regenerations were one thing he always had to consider when 'cheating death'. It had happened before, after all— it had just never happened in front of the person he loved unconditionally. He'd never tell her, of course, but then, there were several things he'd never tell Tyler.

Like, for instance, the fact that he heard nearly everything she and everybody else said when he was outwardly unconscious, dressed in Howard's pinstriped jimjams. It was as though the Doctor's consciousness had been caged, imprisoned in this new body; he kept flitting in and out of awareness, screaming, struggling to get out but unable to be heard. He was forced to listen as Rose explained to her mother that he had two hearts, felt the cold press of a stethoscope to his chest and the warmth of Rose's trembling fingers, heard Jackie's scoff and Mickey the Idiot's shout about making dinner or something stupid like that.

Heard Rose sobbing in the doorway about how he'd 'left' her.

He thrashed and flailed and screamed that he was still here, he hadn't left her, he'd never leave her because she was Rose Tyler and he couldn't leave her because he lo—

Sufficed to say, he may have made a fuss internally, but externally he lay there stiff as a board, useless, with something hard in the pocket of his jimjams poking him in the thigh. A fruit, maybe? Although why anybody would keep a fruit in his or her jimjams pockets was beyond him… maybe 'Howard' was a sleepwalker and got hungry along the way? He'd broken from his fruit debate when he felt Rose's delicately soft lips — lips he'd been dying (properly, no regeneration) to suck on numerous times — by his ear, whispering, "Help me."

So the Doctor, now fuelled with the furious and insatiable desire to protect Rose from anything, everything, pounded and kicked at the invisible cage and fought with all his might to rescue his pink-and-yellow human, and he'd made it to consciousness and saved her from a whirling Christmas tree and a line of Father Christmases. Of course, it didn't help his foggy, hazy mind and pain-wracked new body that Jackie was on a talking rampage, asking what he needed from lemonade to the satsuma he'd found in his pocket (that's what it was!). Then he'd lost consciousness again, for real this time.

It wasn't until after he'd saved the world from the Sycorax invasion, gotten his hand cut off and re-grown in the same minute, and had Christmas dinner with Jackie Tyler and his Rose, paper crown on his head, that the actual terror of losing her because he looked different hit him. As the Earth unknowingly basked in the ashes of the Sycorax ship and stared with delight at the pieces of the ship skimming the atmosphere, the Doctor had had an outwardly silent but internally insane breakdown, panicking to the point of nausea at the prospect of Rose Tyler leaving him. But she hadn't, and here he was now.

After Christmas Rose had disappeared for a bit, the Doctor waiting for her in the TARDIS so they could resume their adventures. He'd been thinking of taking her to New Earth and visiting New New York, just to watch her roll around in the applegrass (or any grass, for that matter), when she bounced back inside now sporting a thin gold chain round her neck, the pendant concealed in her bosom.

"You left to buy a necklace?" the Doctor snorted— human females, the nerve of them.

Rose shook her head, her eyes lit up with concealed excitement. She tugged on the chain, taking the pendant out of her cleavage to show him. It wasn't a pendant— it was the key to the TARDIS he'd given her. His jaw dropped down in pure shock, though he wasn't sure why he was so surprised. After all, it was smart— that way she wouldn't lose it.

"Figured I ought to keep it close, yeah?" she said, fiddling with it and looking at the ground, cheeks flushed. "Just in case."

His jaw moved for a moment but no sound came out. Then he said, masking his shivery surprise behind his usual façade of brightness, "Right-o, clever Rose Tyler. Next stop, New Earth!"

The Doctor waited until Rose had gone to bed, yawning, before hurling himself into the furthest possible recess of the TARDIS, having a silent but albeit intense panic attack. Her body had just been taken over by Cassandra the bitchy trampoline, and now that Cassandra was gone and Rose was no longer a sashaying temptress, he was calm. Not really, but calmer than he had been before.

He'd known something was wrong when Rose started talking oddly, using euphemisms she always used to laugh at in old movies. Well, that had been the second thing he noticed— the first was that her god damn top was unbuttoned showing off the gleaming TARDIS key in her impressive cleavage. He'd spent a fleeting moment wishing he were the one nestled in the valley of her breasts before noticing the talking thing.

Then she'd thrown herself at him, hands fisting in his hair, kissing him furiously. He'd been a hair's breadth from reciprocating with all his might, wrapping his arms around her and dragging her out of the hospital to have his wicked way with her in the applegrass or even an effing supply closet, if need be, before he'd noticed the taste of her saliva. Pure Rose Tyler taste aside (which was fucking delicious, by the way) there was the faint trace of something, something that wasn't quite right. Hypothesising that she must have swallowed an aphrodisiac or something, he'd simply stood there and let her mash her mouth to his, trying not to enjoy it, because something was obviously wrong and she wouldn't be doing this of her own accord.

It certainly didn't help that the way she walked was all hips and little legs (although those weren't half bad either), tempting him to reach over and feel the curve of her derrière, which was also swinging from side to side as though taunting him. It wasn't until he discovered Cassandra was possessing Rose that he immediately stopped looking, touching or even thinking, because despite looking like Rose Tyler she wasn't Rose Tyler anymore, and that was a major turn-off.

Now, slumped in the corner hiding behind a rack of coats and the absurd scarf he'd worn in his fourth incarnation, he hugged his legs to his chest and frowned. The TARDIS's humming was slowing down to something low and soothing, and he mentally sent a wave of gratefulness in her direction. It was definitely something he needed, comfort. It'd stop him from storming back down the hall, throwing himself into her bedroom and ravishing her. It also distracted him from the stupid fact that he was jealous of the key, a bloody inanimate object. What he wouldn't give to be that key, just for a little while…

At his last thought the TARDIS seemed to go oddly silent for a brief second, and before he could reach out to her and inquire she bounced back, making the door to his bedroom appear in the corner. He sighed and nodded in agreement, taking a moment to stare at his old leather jacket, which was hung in between his old lab coat and the dress Rose wore in Cardiff. She was strong, his Rose Tyler, and he knew she accepted the new him, but did she miss the old him? The Doctor couldn't really see how, as he hadn't exactly been young-looking or pretty, but he just couldn't erase the memory of her crying at his bedside, saying she'd lost him when he was right there, just looking different.

Breaking himself out of yet another reverie, the Doctor headed towards his bedroom and closed the door, welcoming complete darkness. He'd slept enough during his faulty regeneration period, and wasn't particularly tired, but he knew that if it was dark enough for him not to see anything at all there wasn't a chance he'd find his way into Rose's bedroom.

The Doctor knew Rose would wake up in the morning with a massive headache — side effect of mental possession — so while making Rose a big stack of chocolate chip pancakes he also made her a cuppa and placed two headache cures next to her mug. Just as he was flipping the last pancake onto her plate she padded in, hands covering her eyes, which was a good thing because she didn't notice him gawking at her like an idiot. Rassilon, there ought to be a law against women as provocative as Rose Tyler wearing shorts that short. The TARDIS key was resting on the outside of her chest, sitting proudly on the fabric of her vest top and he tried not to glare at it.

"Mornin' Rose Tyler!" he said, as cheerfully as he could in a quiet voice. "Take the pills— they'll get rid of your headache."

"You're a lifesaver, you are," she mumbled, gulping down the pills with a swallow of tea. Rose finally took her hands from her eyes after a brief second and smiled at him, tongue between her teeth, and he automatically smiled back. How did she do that? How did the sight of her quirked lips make him grin by design?

"Ooh, pancakes!" she chirped, drowning them in syrup and taking a big bite. "Mm…"

He grinned goofily and, upon imagining her making that incredibly sexy sound in a different scenario, popped two pieces of bread into the toaster for himself. Upon turning around and leaning on the counter to watch Rose eat, he instead saw her put down her fork and absently tuck her TARDIS key back into her shirt when it proved to be in the way. The second the key settled itself in between her breasts he felt a soft, tepid pressure envelope his whole body, as though someone warm were hugging him gently. He frowned at the sensation and rubbed his arms, but the feeling didn't go away. The toast popped, startling him and making Rose laugh when he jumped. Grumbling, the Doctor buttered his toast, all the while the sensation was wrapped around him like a comforting sheet.

He hadn't noticed it whilst he and Rose were running for their lives from the lupine wavelength haemovariform, but that feeling of something soft and warm encompassing him stayed with him throughout their entire adventure. It wasn't until he and Rose stepped back into the TARDIS, happily chattering about being knighted, and Rose flopped on the jump seat that the sensation lifted. He frowned, no longer listening to Rose talk about how she couldn't wait to tell her mum. Now that the feeling was gone, he felt oddly cold, and shivered a bit underneath his trench coat.

The Doctor glanced at Rose, who was now stretched out on the seat and absently playing with her TARDIS key, swinging it on its chain. She scowled at him and saying, "And by the way, I am so worth more than a sixpence."

"Whaa?" tumbled from his mouth stupidly, as he was now feeling as though he were swinging from side to side. Where the hell were these sensations coming from?

"Reckon I'm worth more than one bloody extinct coin," Rose continued, oblivious to his spacey attitude.

He forced himself to listen to her, grinning and shrugging. "Well I couldn't exactly say 'credits', as they haven't been invented yet."

"Couldn't have said a couple of quid, at the least?" Rose pouted moodily, examining her key and going adorably cross-eyed.

The Doctor chuckled at her interest in the key, and at her sulkiness. Upon doing the usual dance around the console to put them into the Vortex he remarked, "Rose, the term 'quid' hadn't been invented yet either."

"S'not the point," she frowned, absently tracing the teeth of the key with the tip of her finger.

The TARDIS flung itself into the Vortex and both of them tumbled to the floor; however that wasn't why the Doctor had inhaled sharply and his knees had suddenly given out. At that moment he'd felt the ghosts of a fingertip down his thigh, even though he was fully clothed and had a good two-metre distance between him and the only other person in the room. Scrambling upright he stared down at his leg, naturally seeing nothing there. He was so preoccupied with the sudden sensation he hadn't noticed Rose getting up off the floor until she started to giggle.

"God, I love it when she does that," Rose laughed, sitting upright and running a hand through her hair before noticing the Doctor's look of perplexity. "S'matter Doctor?"

He didn't answer her at first, instead frowning down at his knee. After a bit he straightened out and beamed at her. "Nothing at all, Rose Tyler!" He hoisted himself off the floor and yanked out his sonic screwdriver. "And you're right— I should have said Rose Tyler was worth a billion billion credits. I'll join you for dinner in a mo'; gonna tinker for a bit."

Rose rolled her eyes but beamed, got up properly as well and bounced out of the console room, pulling out her TARDIS key along the way. The Doctor watched her out of the corner of his eye as he pretended to bend down underneath the console with his sonic. When Rose was safely down the corridor he pulled himself back up and began to scan himself with the sonic, checking for evidence of muscle spasms, temporal displacement or Quarkian paradox insects. He frowned when his sonic turned up nothing and proceeded to ask the TARDIS to scan for anything out of the ordinary, only to have his frown deepen when the TARDIS told him everything was as it should be. He internally scowled and asked her what the sodden hell 'everything was as it should be' meant, but the TARDIS merely sent him the equivalent of a cheeky grin before going silent.

Supposing whatever he'd just felt was her doing, he shrugged off his jacket, tossed it onto one of the coral struts and began to tinker. He didn't understand what the purpose was of making him feel oddly, but one thing he knew about his TARDIS was if he ignored it, she'd give up quickly.

At least, he thought he knew.

When the Doctor finally discovered what exactly the TARDIS had done, he'd nearly spontaneously combusted and regenerated twice.

It was on one of their many adventures, and this one started with a lot of errors on the Doctor's part— he'd meant to take her to a Spring Solstice Festival on Ophelia Omicron's eastern continent in the year 120/Y, and instead landed them in the year 980/X on the southern continent, in the middle of wartime during midsummer. Rose hadn't seemed all that surprised when he'd flung open the TARDIS doors and they were met by a barrage of spiky-armoured soldiers pointing swords at them (which had irked him a bit, because really, it didn't happen that often), looking slightly annoyed whilst putting her hands in the air. She was even more irritated with him after the soldiers threw them into a dank, smelly and almost completely dark prison compound because of her dress.

Now, they were on opposite sides of the room, Rose sitting on a musty cot while the Doctor scanned the iron bars with his sonic and listened half-heartedly to her complaints.

"… bloody Time Lord, bet you twenty quid you didn't even pass your driver's test," she was saying, glancing with a look of disgust at the dark stain on the cot to her right. "Not only did you miss the mark by a hundred and forty years and a continent, you just had to land us smack in the middle of, and I quote you, 'the worst and only war to ever happen on Ophelia Omicron' in a time where it's punishable by death to wear a dress that shows off your knees."

"Maybe you ought to go for more modesty then?" the Doctor replied airily, which was followed by a loud, "Ow!" when Rose nabbed a stone at the back of his head.

"'M serious, Doctor, learn to drive," Rose said moodily, yanking the hem of her light pink sundress down to cover up as much as possible. "Doesn't the TARDIS have an operations manual or something?"


"Where is it?"

He rubbed the back of his neck embarrassedly. "Err… I chucked it into a supernova."

"Why'm I not surprised?" Rose scoffed. "Let me guess, you didn't agree with what it said?"


At this Rose giggled and rolled her eyes, muttering about him being an adorable idiot and not passing his driver's test. He grinned stupidly at her muttering (did she really think he was adorable?) and kept at it with his sonic, hearing the jingling of metal on metal as Rose began playing with her TARDIS key again.

"Why d'you keep playing with that thing?" he asked conversationally, when really he was preening inside.

"S'getting to be a habit," Rose shrugged, closing her hand around it completely. "You're gonna get us out of here, yeah?" She sounded nervous.

There it was again, that strange, warm feeling as though he were snuggling in a warm blanket. "'Course I am, then," the Doctor said indignantly, flashing his sonic at her as though proving a point and wiggling a bit as though trying to snuggle further into the non-existent blanket.

She merely looked worried, turning away to instead inspect her key. Then she did something that shocked the Doctor to his very core— she brought it up to her mouth, slipped it between her lips and started to suck on it.

He whirled his head around so fast he smacked his forehead on the iron bar and clapped a hand over his mouth to stop the moan that nearly flung itself from his throat, for the second the key went into Rose's mouth he felt as though a pair of lips had done exactly what Rose was doing. Except around his—

"ROSE TYLER!" he all but screamed, hurling himself toward her and yanking the key out of her mouth. She nearly jumped out of her skin and stared at him with eyes wide as saucers, lower lip glistening. He was panting like a madman and hadn't yet realised he was literally sitting in her lap.

"What?" she breathed out, chest heaving.

He tried not to notice that, every time she panted, her breasts swelled and dropped provocatively, or the fact that he had one hell of a hard-on. "Um. Keep that out of your mouth."

Her entire posture slumped with relief. "You tryin' to give me a bleedin' heart attack?" she choked out, previously blanched face reddening slowly. "Practically jumped on top of me just to tell me not to put the effing key in my mouth?"

"Erm. Yes. Well…" The Doctor flung himself off her lap, straightened up with a tiny bounce and rubbed the back of his neck, feeling hot, red embarrassment flood from the tops of his ears to his neck. "S'covered in… bacteria, and nasty stuff. Don't want you getting sick."

Rose glared full on at him and told him with a lot of colourful Estate swearing where exactly he could stick his 'bacteria and nasty stuff', to which he replied with a false beam of joviality bordering on mania. Upon reminding her a couple more times with utmost seriousness not to put the blasted key in her mouth he hurled himself back toward the other side of the room, his entire face blanching with horror now that his back was turned and Rose couldn't see him. His Time Lord brain, which was ever so good at making connections from nothing, was piecing everything together with frightening speed. His previous mental wish had been granted by the TARDIS. Somehow, in some way, the TARDIS had connected him to that ruddy piece of metal. A ruddy piece of metal Rose Tyler seemed to enjoy holding, stroking and sucking on. Rassilon help him.

The Doctor kept at it with the sonic, not really taking any readings but still doing it so Rose wouldn't get suspicious. Dozens of excuses that would get Rose to hand over her TARDIS key were formulating in his mind, along with ways to sneak into her room and replace the key with another one lest Rose prove unwilling to part with it. Three times during the silence he opened his mouth to voice one of his excuses, only to find he no longer had a voice. What if she started to ask questions? He could just hear her now, "Doctor I'm not giving up my sodden key 'till you tell me why." And what could he reply to that? He couldn't exactly say, "Well Rose, it turns out the TARDIS has decided to be a bloody imp, so every time you suck on that sodden key it feels like I'm burying my cock in your mouth." He shuddered at his own words, thinking about actually doing that, something he'd dreamt of doing several times, particularly in the shower— ack, not the time!

With a squaring of his shoulders and a firm nod, the Doctor shoved those thoughts out of his mind and concentrated on unlocking the cell door.

When they got back to the TARDIS they were both sweaty, dirty and exhausted, Rose to the point where she actually collapsed on the jump seat and had a twenty minute kip there. During this time the Doctor piloted them into the Vortex, paced a couple of times, stared at Rose for a good five minutes before realising what he was doing and snapping himself out of it, and having a mental panic attack, during which the TARDIS inquired as to what was wrong and he full out ignored her. He was bloody angry with her, angrier than he'd ever been in his life.

Rose woke silently, sitting up slowly and jerking him out of his reverie when her feet hit the metal grating. His eyes snapped to her; her eyes were still closed and she was frowning, moving as though swimming through syrup. She mumbled something about 'shower', 'knackered' and 'hungry' before stumbling out of the console room.

Once she was properly gone, the Doctor slumped down on the jump seat, inhaled the minute amount of her scent clinging to the leather and then sent a wave of righteous fury towards the TARDIS in his mind. Who the hell did she think she was, forging a telepathic sensory bond between him and Rose's TARDIS key? What the sodden hell was she trying to accomplish, and was she trying to kill him? Or just drive him spare? The TARDIS had at least the good sense to hang her head in shame and nudge him with a tiny poke of affection, but he didn't accept it, instead glaring at her. This wasn't something he'd easily forgive, but if she really wanted him not to be angry with her, she'd break the bond. However, when he suggested this, her demeanour turned stubborn and she showed him an image of Rose's cleavage. Well, to be honest it was the TARDIS key in Rose's cleavage, but truth be told, he didn't notice the key until a second later.

He scowled, trying to block out the image, as it wasn't exactly appropriate to be looking at his companion's chest. The TARDIS sent him the equivalent of a stiff nod, followed by a repetition of 'everything is as it should be' before going silent. Frowning into the leather, the Doctor shouted at her in his mind to get her arse back over here and sever the bond, but she ignored him. Realising he'd have to take matters into his own hands, the Doctor hurled himself off of the jump seat and stormed out of the console.

His glare faded the closer he got to Rose's room, and his nervousness increased. He planned to switch Rose's TARDIS key with a new one, but if she caught him he'd have to explain, and he couldn't come up with a good excuse. Hesitating outside her door, he knocked once extremely softly. No answer. Faintly the Doctor could hear the sounds of the water running in the shower, and he slumped with relief before tiptoeing into her room. Her key and chain were draped over her vanity, along with a tube of mascara and a picture of the old him and Jack. Stuffing his hand into his transdimentional pockets he quickly pulled out a new key, but upon reaching for Rose's old one was met with a shrill ringing noise in his head that could only have come from the TARDIS. Biting back the loud yelp he wanted to utter, the Doctor was then bombarded with the TARDIS's warning that replacing the key wouldn't help— the TARDIS would simply forge a new link with the new key. Swearing under his breath, he high-tailed it out of there, glaring daggers at his plimsolls. He felt angry, betrayed and slightly terrified. Angry, because he had no sodden idea why the hell the TARDIS was doing something so spontaneously stupid. Betrayed, because it was obvious what she'd done was distressing him, and usually the TARDIS did the opposite. Terrified, because he knew he already wanted Rose Tyler in a way that Gallifrey would look down their noses on, and this certainly wasn't helping his self-control. What if he snapped? His control over keeping his distance from Rose Tyler had already been wavering for a while, but what if this broke him?

Realising he'd been standing outside her door when he heard the shower turn off, the Doctor stormed down the hall, stuffing the extra key into his pockets again and heading straight for his room. Perhaps a shower wasn't such a bad idea— after all, he felt sticky and would be damned if he smelled bad around Rose Tyler. The Doctor made his way into the en suite, where the water was already running and steam was gathering on the full-length mirror. Except instead of the showerhead spraying water, the Doctor found the taps filling up the tub. Shrugging and thinking a bath instead might be better, he quickly stripped, draping his absurdly enormous trench coat on the sink and pulling off his suit, trainers and socks.

Sensing the TARDIS had taken her sentience elsewhere, for which he was grateful, he turned and regarded himself in the mirror, wondering if Rose would like this him if she ever saw it. He was thin but not terribly so, his skin fair and muscles slightly prominent; not like his old body, which was toned and strong with golden-kissed skin. Although this time he did have better hair… but then, he'd always sensed Rose adored his old eyes. His new eyes crinkled with a frown and he turned away from his reflection to slip into the bathtub. The Doctor picked up the unscented Akren soap and began to wash leisurely, letting his mind wander between Rose Tyler and complicated mathematical formulas.

Once again, without warning, he felt a snuggly warmness that had nothing to do with the bath envelop him, and the soap dropped into the water as he silently panicked. Rose Tyler was holding her key again. Despite the Doctor's panic his length twitched and rose in anticipation, in remembrance of the Ophelia Omicron prison cell. He prayed to Rassilon, all of the Earth Gods and Suspiria of Galactic Cluster V that Rose would not put it in her mouth. He clenched his fists, closed his eyes and begged to whoever was listening that Rose for once would heed his words, would listen to his instru—

"Ah!" he cried out when he felt a pair of lips slide over the tip of his cock and suck softly.

The Doctor's entire posture snapped to rigidity and his hips bucked upward of their own accord, seeking to bury himself further in the non-existent mouth. He was extremely glad that, a week after Rose had come aboard, that he'd soundproofed his room in case she heard him scream during the night when he dreamt of the Time War, because now strangled groans were flinging themselves from his throat and he couldn't do anything to stop them. With the last coherent thought he begged her to stop, but as if she could hear him and was being the defiant Rose Tyler she was, her mouth slid upward further to engulf him completely. And he was lost. His eyes rolled up into his head and his head fell back, bumping against the wall, mouth open and letting out a symphony of sounds that, if there were anybody to hear him, he'd never admit he'd made. He imagined Rose naked and in his bath, her head bobbing over him, hands splayed over his arse to push him further into her mouth. Though the sensation didn't actually happen, he pictured her clenching her throat and he moaned, long and loud, once again thankful for soundproof walls.

"Rose…" he ground out, pretending she was really there, imagining the sparkle in her eyes that would be present at the sound of her name spoken so lustfully. He closed his mouth to swallow hard only to drop it open once again and whimper her name some more. Her tongue pressed against the base of his cock, running almost too softly to bear across the sensitive tip and he saw stars, stars that only Rose Tyler could show him.

"Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose…"

He couldn't stop the chanting of her name, not now that his mind was hazy with pleasure and the throbbing in his groin was getting sharper. His hips were thrusting upward uncontrollably, his fingers clenching into fists, fingernails digging into his palms as the tightening in his abdomen stretched itself near completion—

And then her mouth left him.

The Doctor let out a strangled cry of desperation, eyes flying open, his imaginary Rose disappearing along with the ministrations. Panting heavily, he waited a split second just in case she started up again before taking himself in his hand with a needy whimper and stroking, trying to bring himself to climax. While he did, he thought of her. Pictured that it was her hand instead of his that was beating the ever-loving daylights out of his cock. He loved her so much, needed her more than oxygen, and he wished he weren't such a coward so he could march into her bedroom and fuck her on that pink bedspread. He pumped furiously now, thrusting into his hand, hips now running the show.

When the Doctor came, he moaned loud enough for it to be considered a scream, spilling his seed over his thighs and into the bath water, respiratory bypass kicking in when he struggled to draw in breath. His whole body trembled with the aftershocks of his particularly hard orgasm and he revelled in it before the signature flush of shame crept in. Thinking of his most clever companion in such a way, old, genocidal him. He is the one that pushes her away whenever she gets too close; he is the one who refuses to let himself have her, and yet here he was, enjoying the sensations she didn't even know she was giving him.

With a disgusted sigh he stepped out of the tub, towelling off in an almost punishing manner, rubbing his skin so roughly it turned red. The Doctor remarked bitterly in his mind that it was lucky he'd been in private when she decided to stick that god damned key in her mouth— had it been anywhere else… That was it, then. This could never happen again. It was just too dangerous. He reached out to the TARDIS, voicing his urgent concerns and pleading with her to break the connection. The TARDIS merely did the equivalent of an idle pat on the hand and repeated 'everything is as it should be', along with a look that told him he oughtn't be nervous. As if, he huffed at her. How could he not be nervous when he, the Doctor, was at the mercy of a twenty-year-old shop girl who didn't even know it? Convincing himself that the TARDIS wouldn't let that happen, he shuddered back into his clothes and strolled out of his bedroom, trying not to look like he'd done what he'd just done.

And while he made Rose Tyler dinner, and she bounced into the room with her hair wet looking considerably more awake than earlier and bearing the TARDIS key in her cleavage again, he took one look at that key and realised he just couldn't wait until she put it back in her mouth.

The Doctor, being secretly possessive as he was, was less than pleased when Rose jumped to attention after Mickey the Idiot called her, saying he had 'suspicions' about Deffry Vale School. The Doctor himself was sceptical— honestly, the incompetent imbecile was probably just trying to impress Rose. He was slightly put out when he realised that the children were, in fact, a little too well behaved and far too intelligent. It wasn't until he met up with Sarah Jane and the two women immediately began snarking at each other that he witnessed something completely shocking: jealous Rose. Well, that was just one of many possibilities, the others being that Rose was just angry that he hadn't told her of his past companions and was taking it out on Sarah Jane, and the less likely Rose just really didn't like Sarah Jane . Either way, he knew it was inappropriate to get all pleasantly tingly inside whenever Rose glared at his old friend.

Once K-9 was repaired and had identified the oil on the mysterious chips as Krillitane oil, the day had turned to night and Sarah Jane graciously offered to let them stay over at her flat, and so now the four of them, including K-9, were inside the investigative reporter's living room, the Doctor preening over Sarah Jane's computer, Mr. Smith, with K-9 at his heels. He couldn't help but notice Mickey the Idiot and Rose snuggling on the couch, and usually that'd prod at his jealousy nerve, but this time it didn't seem to be about spontaneous cuddling. Rose's head was resting on his chest and Mickey was pressing a kiss to the crown of her head, his hand smoothing back her hair— it looked rather like Mickey was comforting Rose.

He bit his lip, no longer listening to Sarah Jane, who was talking at his side. It'd been a good two hours since the chip shop, when he'd almost let dangerous secrets slip out.

"How many of us have there been travelling with you?

"Does it matter?"

"Yeah, it does, if I'm just the latest in a long line."

"As opposed to what?"

"I thought you and me were… I obviously got it wrong. I've been to the year five billion, right, but this? Now this is really seeing the future. You just leave us behind. Is that what you're going to do to me?"

"No. Not to you."

"But Sarah Jane? You were that close to her once, and now you never even mention her. Why not?"

"I don't age. I regenerate. But humans decay. You wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone who you—"

"What, Doctor?"

"…You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords."

He'd almost said it. Almost told her how he felt. Thankfully he stopped himself before he blurted it out, because if he were to ever tell Rose Tyler just how much he loved her, it wouldn't be when both of them were upset. And he had been telling the truth when he said he wouldn't abandon her. Because Rose Tyler was special, despite her thinking she wasn't. Was more than special, actually— she was his everything. He hadn't told her about his old companions because they didn't particularly matter, not anymore, not now that he had her to lighten up his world. Thinking of Susan or Jamie McCrimmon or Romana just reminded him of what he'd lost, and he'd much prefer to live in the now with what he'd gained. And thinking of the knowledge that one day he'd lose Rose as well… well, that he didn't want to think of at all.

"Doctor?" Sarah Jane's voice cut into his thoughts.

"Hm?" he hummed, blinking owlishly.

Sarah Jane was frowning at him, her eyes wafting between him and where he'd been staring which, he realised with a flush, was at Rose. Her expression went into shock when her eyes met Rose as well. "Did you and Rose have a row?"

"Erm, yeah," he mumbled, willing his blush to go away and returning to Mr. Smith.

Sarah Jane patted his arm, even though she kept her eyes on Rose. "She looks upset. What did you have a row about?" She started. "W-was it me?"

"What? No, no, silly Sarah!" the Doctor grinned, waving a hand not occupied with the sonic at her. "No it… she got angry that I didn't tell her about… well, about my past companions."

Sarah Jane frowned at him as well. "Yes, I'm rather irked at you for that as well."

"Sarah," he whined, pouting at her like a child.

"Don't you 'Sarah' me, Mister," Sarah Jane said. "You should have told her about us all; it wasn't fair for her to have to find out like this."

He stared down at her in amazement, before sighing with relief. He'd been expected something along the lines of 'are you ashamed of me?' or something along those lines, but Sarah Jane seemed only concerned with Rose. Which was odd, considering they'd both been bickering a couple of hours ago.

"I know, Sarah," he mumbled, kicking at nonexistent dust with his hands in his trouser pockets.

"Why didn't you?"

The look on his face must have turned to something akin to devastation, because Sarah Jane's frown dropped into horrified shock. "They're all gone, Sarah. I… I killed them in the Last Great Time War. Gallifrey was destroyed."

"Oh, you poor thing," Sarah Jane said quietly, pulling him into a hug. He hugged back, enjoying the old memories Sarah Jane's scent brought back, feeling ashamed for wishing it was Rose he was hugging.

They stood in snuggly silence for a moment before the Doctor continued, talking in a mumble into her shoulder. "Rose… helps me cope. A lot." He chuckled darkly. "She doesn't even know it."

Sarah Jane stiffened in his embrace, and he pulled back to see her not gaping in shock, but grinning with amazement. "Doctor… d'you love her?"

Had he gone any redder he would have been reminiscent to the Krellat home planet; Sarah Jane beamed at him, her arms still at his shoulders. "You're being silly, Sarah."

"'M not being silly, you're being lovesick!" Sarah Jane whisper-yelped, cheeks flushed from excitement— excitement? "Go on then, admit it!"

"Visual observations conclude that Master has romantic inclinations toward subject Rose," chimed in K-9, earning himself a glare from the Doctor.

Sarah Jane squealed as though she were a ten-year-old schoolgirl instead of an investigative reporter in her forties. "Don't look all pouty about it, Doctor. She's a lovely woman. Pretty. And blonde," she added, nudging him in the side with her elbow. "Still, if you love her, why didn't you tell her about us?"

"Sarah, I'd rather pay attention to what I've got instead of what I've lost," he said quietly, suddenly very interested in his plimsolls.

Sarah Jane patted his arm again, being the understanding friend that she was, and upon one last mention of, "You really ought to tell her how you feel before you lose her too," returned to talking about Mr. Smith.

A couple of hours and a cuppa or two later, Rose and Mickey had gone to bed (in separate rooms, thank Rassilon, otherwise the Doctor would have had a conniption) along with Sarah Jane, while the Doctor stayed behind with Mr. Smith to jiggery-pokery with it and possibly upgrade its systems even though Sarah Jane had laid down a cot for him in the living room. Even though Rose had left a long time ago, and the Doctor should have been concentrating on where he stuck his sonic, he kept glancing over at the couch where she and Mickey had been earlier. Sighing when he found himself unable to keep focus, he lowered his sonic and dragged himself over to the couch, plopping himself down and pressing his face into the cushions, trying to find comfort in her scent. All he could smell, however, was a mixture of her and Mickey the Idiot, and that wasn't doing anything to calm his nerves.

Without thinking, the Doctor wiggled over the spots that smelled like Mickey, trying to erase the other man's scent with his own. Once that was done, he flopped on his back and stared at the ceiling, scowling at it as if it'd wronged him. He shivered a bit underneath his trench coat when he suddenly felt warm, as if he'd been cold all day but hadn't noticed it until he'd gotten under a blanket. The Doctor rubbed at his arms, frowning in confusion, before his stomach jerked as the sensation of a hand brushing over it suddenly happened. Oh no.

He clapped a hand over his mouth to stop the cry that tried to fling itself from his throat as he once again felt a pair of lips encompass him, despite being fully clothed. Unlike the last time he didn't let himself immediately succumb at first as Rose started to suck gently again; instead he felt a crashing wave of fear. He was in Sarah Jane's house, for Rassilon's sake, where either she or Mickey could walk in on him and see him like this. The thought sent a bizarre mixed wave of horror and a sick thrill through him, and, ensuring with his hand that no sound would escape him and alert the other members of the household, he let his eyes slide shut and fell into the sensations.

Once again he imagined Rose was with him, straddling him again, except this time instead of being naked and in the bath she was fully clothed and looking at him as she bobbed over him, smirking slightly as she did so. The thrill at the possibility of being caught was evident in her eyes as well, and as though she were testing his self-control her sucking got fiercer. His head slammed back into the cushions, hips bucking upward into her mouth, and even though he knew she wasn't really there he restrained himself from bucking up too far. Extremely small whimpers were escaping past his lips and fingers, nowhere near the cacophony of sounds he wanted to make, especially since the tightening in his balls was returning full force. His hips jerked up in an uncontrollable rhythm now, hoping, praying that she wouldn't stop too early this time.

She didn't, instead sucking him until he came almost silently, spilling himself in his trousers with a sob of relief. She didn't stop there either, continuing her brilliant ministrations with her mouth until he climaxed no less than three more times, his refractory period apparently nonexistent. When she finally stopped he was completely sated and exhausted, sweat clinging to his forehead and a large damp spot evident on his trousers. In case Sarah Jane had heard him he quickly pulled himself together and sonicked away the spot, wiping his forehead with the back of his arm. Again, shame heated up his face and he held his face in his hands. This was too close. He'd just enjoyed something he didn't remotely deserve in his former companion/best mate's house, for the love of Rassilon. That was it. Once he was back in the TARDIS he was going to get her to sever that link, whether he had to threaten to take her apart piece by piece or not.

With the Krillitanes defeated, K-9 successfully rebuilt, Sarah Jane properly goodbye-d and Rose no longer upset with him, the Doctor was feeling particularly bright and breezy. He'd instructed the two bickering women to take apart the school computers, giving his sonic to Sarah Jane instead of Rose (he was still upset over her putting the effing key in her mouth), confronted Brother Lassa and returned only to see the two women practically on the floor, laughing like old friends. As brilliant as it was to see his old mate and the woman he loved hitting it off at last, it was slightly irritating the way they kept guffawing and pointing at him like he'd just turned purple.

Now they were on board the TARDIS. Rose left the console room arm-in-arm with Mickey, announcing she'd be showing him around the TARDIS. Once she was safely out of view the Doctor sank onto the jump seat, crossed his arms and allowed himself to pout like a child. He'd only agreed to let Mickey on board in case Rose was still angry with him, but it seemed all he'd done was burden himself. All the bloody idiot was gonna do was steal his Rose's attention. Right now, if Mickey the Idiot weren't here, he could be doing any number of things— snuggling with Rose in the common room while they watched a film, snuggling with Rose in the library as he read her Charles Dickens… well, all manner of things that included snuggling with Rose.

The TARDIS chuckled in the back of his mind and sent him a wave of motherly affection. At this he was reminded of his earlier decision, and he uncrossed his arms and glared at the ceiling, demanding that she sever the bond. The TARDIS answered him with a scowl and a stubborn shake of her head.

"Stupid ship," he muttered, only to cry out, "OI!" when the seat underneath him gave way and he went tumbling to the floor.

Rubbing a spot on his head and unknowingly mussing up his hair, he glared daggers nowhere in particular and threatened to send her into the Void, to take her apart piece by piece and sell those pieces for a measly amount of credits at a sleazy Athionian market. When she ignored him, knowing full well he had no intentions of sending away or taking apart his precious time ship, he gave up with the threats and mentally got on his knees, pleading with her to break the bond and even showing her the scene at Sarah Jane's in which he'd almost gotten caught. It was embarrassing, showing his ship this, but if it convinced her that this was far too dangerous to continue, embarrassment be damned.

He grew angry again when the TARDIS refused again, though she did give him the equivalent of an affectionate pat on the hand and a wave of gratitude for sharing this with her. He didn't need her godforsaken thanks; he needed this to be over. So, at his wit's end, he curled his hands into fists and demanded that she tell him why. Why had she bonded him to that effing object? Why wouldn't she reverse it when clearly it was dangerous and compromising and may well humiliate the Time Lord? And she responded in words, almost— not using a voice, because that was one thing the TARDIS couldn't do, but using an image excerpt from a book he'd once read, as though she'd taken a photograph of the phrase.

Because you love her.

Yes he did. He could admit that. But how was that relevant?

And then he knew what the TARDIS wanted.

Not knowing nor caring how many hours he'd been arguing with the TARDIS, or the possibility of Rose having gone to bed, he gathered himself up and headed outside of the console room, a sort of jittery excitement lying beneath the feeling of determination. He found Rose in the common room, the only source of light coming from the television screen. She was sitting on the couch, legs crossed, Mickey the Idiot nowhere in sight. When she heard him come in, she turned her head and smiled her Rose Tyler smile at him, and this time he didn't let it turn him to butter (much).

"'Lo Doctor," she said, moving over so he could sit next to her.

"Hello, Rose," he replied, allowing his bottomless affection to bleed through his words as he sat down next to her. "Where's the idiot?"

She left the sudden warmth and the insult of her mate unnoticed, picking up the remote and pressing the button so that the listings appeared. "Gone to bed. Want to watch a film? I'm thinking that Sherlock Holmes remake from 2094, yeah?"

He nodded wordlessly, afraid that if he opened his mouth he'd blurt out what he meant to say to her. As if it was second nature to her — which it was, come to think of it — she snuggled into him, wrapping her arms around his frame and leaning her head on his chest. He couldn't help the sigh that passed his lips, cherishing as he always did the feeling of Rose in his hold, knowing that one day she wouldn't be with him and all he'd have were his memories. The Doctor could feel the TARDIS's nudge, reminding him of why he sought her out, and he opened his mouth to tell her just as Rose pulled her key out of her cleavage, eyes locked on the screen.

Knowing exactly what she planned to do with it, he hurriedly grabbed her wrist before it could reach her mouth. Shooting her a chiding look that only partially hid the panic, he said firmly, "What did I say about putting the key in your mouth?"

She stuck her lovely pink tongue out at him, pulling her wrist from his hold. "Why're you so upset about me putting the key in my mouth? S'a habit, is all."

"Yeah, I noticed," the Doctor remarked bitterly, ignoring her look of inquiry. "Just don't do it. There are literally millions of bacteria living on that thing, and you're going and trying to get yourself sick."

"Sod off, Doctor," Rose said almost happily. "You gave me those shots when I came on board, remember? The ones that would make me, and I quote, 'insusceptible to tiny, trivial human diseases'."

"That doesn't mean you should willingly put nasty germs in your mouth, Ro—"

His mouth clamped shut when she promptly stuck it in her mouth, sitting back glaring at him as she did as though to say 'you're not the boss of me'. Her glare faded at the way his eyes rolled back into his head and his eyebrows arched, and she took it out again, staring at the slowly-reddening Time Lord. "What the hell—?"

When his eyes opened again they no doubt betrayed his humiliation, fear and obvious desire to run the hell out of there. Her eyes flitted from the key to his face, and he knew it probably looked like he'd just seen a Dalek. Then slowly a Cheshire grin curled over her face and his face grew hot when he knew that she'd figured it out, especially because of the way her eyes drifted back to him and the way she cooed, "Oh, that's brilliant."

He blinked at her. "Rose?"

Her grin was filthier than sin as she let the key waft back towards her lips, eyes never leaving his. He was both shocked and thrilled at the fact that she knew what she was doing, that she wanted to do it. Then his eyes slammed shut again when the key finally slipped past her lips and met her tongue. He was aware of a strangled moan gurgling at the back of his throat; a jolt of nervousness shot through him over the pleasure, hoping he hadn't just broken whatever spell Rose was under... until she sucked as if to encourage him, and being very eager to make Rose Tyler happy, he obediently uncontrollably dropped his head back and moaned loudly and unabashedly. She chuckled, and the vibrations made him see white, and this was truly the only thing in existence. He didn't hear the whispered sounds coming from the telly, only the rushing sound in his ears and the tiny noises Rose was making.

"How many times, Doctor?" she murmured around the key, continuing her sucking the moment her sentence was finished.

"Hnnnh?" he managed to force out, making it sound more like another groan than a question.

"How many times..." she flicked her tongue and he died a little, "have you got off on this?"


"Tell me Doctor." In retaliation she dragged the key slowly out of her mouth, eyes flicking to where his hips were thrusting up ever so slightly.

"Five!" the Doctor gasped out when the key left her lips, jerking his pelvis hard in search of her mouth.

Rose grinned in delight, putting it back in her mouth and gifting him with one long run of her tongue down its length. "Where?"

"Bath..." he ground out, fisting his hands around the couch cushions. "And Sarah Jane's..."

"Sarah Jane's flat?" she repeated, the tip of the key still in her mouth as she moved herself towards him and swung her leg over his so she was straddling him. "Brilliant."

Rose wrapped her arms around his neck, simultaneously sucking hard on the key and grinding her core down on his extremely prominently erection, and the feeling of being rubbed and sucked on all at once made the loudest moan yet fling itself from his throat. His eyes flew open along with his mouth, drinking in the sight of Rose Tyler willingly on top of him, and he marvelled as he noticed something in her eyes— the sparkle of lust he'd only ever dreamed of. It was there. And she wanted him.

The Doctor's hands flew up and gripped her hips, pulling her down on him deeper. This time it was her turn to moan, and his turn to grin up at her filthily despite the vibrations around the key making his head spin.

"Why only — nnh — five times?" Rose grunted, when she tongued the tip of the key and he bucked up into her. "I put the key in my mouth loads of times."

He looked up at her through half-lidded eyes and told her part of what he'd realised in the console room a few minutes prior. "The TARDIS's fault. Only channelled it to me during the times when no one would catch me."

He keened when she rocked and engulfed the key completely in her mouth. "Wh-what about Mickey?"

Lifting his hand off of her hip, he lifted a finger and wrapped in around the chain, pulling it slowly out of her mouth and whimpering a bit at the feeling. "The idiot isn't going anywhere."

His hand buried into her hair and yanked her down, finally capturing her lips between his and sighing into her mouth with long suppressed relief. She mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like 's'about time' and kissed him so hard his head was forced back onto the cushioning. Her hands trailed up his neck and slipped into his hair, running the pads of her fingers gently over his scalp, the opposite of Cassandra's rough tugs. It was... lovely. So was the more urgent rocking against his throbbing erection she was doing.

He panted raggedly as he let his hands tug at her TARDIS blue jumper, suddenly desperate to see it tossed in the corner of the room. She removed one hand from his hair, the other unwilling to leave, to help him unzip it and tug it off so she was left only in a plain white undershirt. He got rid of that too, ignoring Sherlock's signature exclamation of 'elementary' being muffled completely as the undershirt draped over the left speaker, and it was only when he was undoing her bra that he realised her free hand was now occupying itself with undoing the buttons on his trousers. He pulled away from her mouth to groan properly when Rose dipped her hand inside his trousers and freed his aching cock, the TARDIS key gleaming between her bare breasts.

"While the key is fantastic," she murmured, licking her lips at the sight of him erect through his zip, "I prefer to taste you."

He swore quietly in Gallifreyan when she took him in her hand, and then practically sobbed when she lowered herself and slipped him past her lips. The Doctor ached from the inside out; her mouth actually around his cock was more pleasure than he ever deserved, but when she so clearly wanted to, he couldn't stop himself from bucking up. She kept him in his mouth for what was surely a millennia, contenting herself with simply swirling her tongue and clenching her throat around him, until she finally pulled back and licked the sensitive tip like it was a sweet, and just like that the Doctor half-groaned half-screamed, hands reaching up to fondle her breasts. Rose's hands concurrently travelled in two different directions, one trying to tug off his trousers and the other fondling his sack. He managed to raise himself enough to shimmy his trousers off, whimpering when his movements made his cock hit the back of her throat, and once he was naked from the waist down Rose, without removing her mouth, reached up with her clever hands and clumsily slipped his tie, suit jacket and Oxford off his shoulders.

"Rose, I'm gonna—" he ground out, the rest of his sentence flying out the window along with his sanity when Rose dragged her tongue over his tip again.

She took him out of her mouth for the brief second it took for her to mumble, "Good," before she brought him to the very back of her throat and all but swallowed him.

He hissed as the pleasure snapped, feeling it crackle down his body like a jolt of electricity and even though he wanted to prolong this as long as possible there was nothing he could do because he was coming, and coming hard. The Doctor realised once the aftershocks of his orgasm died down that he was naked and she was not, so he sought to fix that by tugging her jeans and knickers off at the same time. She obediently wriggled to aid him, her jeans joining her jumper and undershirt, and once again he hardened when he reached down to slip his fingers into her folds and found she was absolutely soaked.

Upon moaning as he slipped a digit into her, she glanced down at his semi-erect length and grinned a bit. "Oh, that's fantastic."

He grinned back at her, knowing full well it was fantastic, even before she pulled his wrist to get him to release her before lowering herself on his cock. Once he finally sank into her they both let out a harmony of relieved groans, which continued when she began to rock on him. He gripped her hips again, raising and lowering her on him, trying to help her find a rhythm for the both of them even as he simultaneously kissed her again. They panted into each other's mouths, and the Doctor managed to have a moment of clarity to inwardly chuckle at how they'd gotten to this— his sentient time ship forged a link to an inanimate object that his companion enjoyed putting in her mouth, which she then found out about and now they were naked and shagging on the common room sofa in front of bloody Sherlock Holmes. Take that, Arthur Conan Doyle, he thought stupidly, before his head lolled back and he dug his nails into her waist.

Two and a half years of foreplay was enough for them, so it didn't take long before they both tumbled over the edge together, her clenching muscles milking every last drop out of him. She collapsed onto his chest, both panting raggedly, and he moved them so that he was lying back stretched over the couch, his suit jacket and Oxford pillowing his head, and Rose was quite literally draped over him.

"I love you," Rose mumbled, clearly trying to say it softly enough for him not to hear.

He beamed, smoothed back her hair and kissed the top of her head. "Precious girl, I love you too."

Rose fell asleep on top of him, but the Doctor didn't, instead basking in the afterglow of hormones and his rather ridiculously enormous love for her. His bond with the key still wasn't broken, but now that he knew the TARDIS had only channelled the sensations to him in times when it was more or less safe, he couldn't quite bring himself to be upset. As a matter of fact, knowing Rose was waltzing around the universe with him, wearing something that could compromise his dominance was, oddly enough, a huge turn on. He was at Rose Tyler's mercy. And then he realised the TARDIS had been right.

Everything was as it should be.

A/N: So, yeah. This was kind of silly, but in a good, Rose/Ten smutty way, no? ;) Just something I thought of whilst sitting with my boyfriend (now ex) and sucking on the antique key he gave me that I keep on a chain. He made an innuendo about me putting key in my mouth, to which I replied with a huge gasp and a scream of, "OHMYGOD NEW DOCTOR WHO FIC IDEA!". I think I gave him a heart attack. Anyway, this was born out of it, so hope you enjoyed, probably the silliest thing I've written. PS I've never actually watched SJA, but I did some research, and from what I've gathered Luke didn't come in until AFTER School Reunion. If I'm wrong, please tell me. Review please, I love reviews as much as Ten loves nibbles :3