“Rose, think about this.”
She grinned, dashing to the other side of the console and, conveniently, out of his reach. “I’m pretty sure I’ve given it plenty of thought.”
The Doctor stared her down from the opposite end of the TARDIS. “And tell me again how taking away my sonic screwdriver was an appropriate course of action?” He made a quick movement to the right, jumping over various cords and electrical wires (all of which he had been attempting to reroute before a particular trouble-making ape of a human decided to torment him for her own amusement), certain that the element of surprise was on his side.
Rose quickly and easily outmaneuvered him, leaving them directly across from one another once more.
His long-held assumption that the element of surprise was an unbeatable force was, obviously, a faulty one. He made a mental note to disregard it in the future.
“You see, Doctor, if you don’t have the sonic screwdriver, you’ll stop your fiddling with the TARDIS.”
“Right, well. You know. Just trying to make sure the old girl doesn’t break down and leave us stranded in time and space. Unimportant, really, in the grand scheme of things.” He leaned forward against the console, feigning nonchalance. “Could be nice, just floating here for a few millennia. You up for that, then?”
Rose gave a careless shrug. “If it will get you to answer my question, then the wasted time would be well worth it.” She brought the sonic screwdriver to the corner of her mouth, smiling coyly.
The Doctor found his eyes locked onto that small point where her lips met, where her small dimple formed, where the sonic screwdriver languidly rested.
He gulped and tried not to stare.
“Besides,” she said, shooting him an amused look. “I’m not the one who needs to travel about constantly. A little relaxation could even be nice, now and then.”
He eyed her intently, smirking as he pushed away from the console, tugging his leather jacket straight before flopping down onto one of the small sofas. “Fine by me.” He stretched his legs out in front of him, crossing them as he brought his hands behind his head, leaning back in his seat. “Jack might be a bit disappointed when he wakes up and finds that our adventuring has been put on hold thanks to your juvenility, but I’ll leave the task of letting him down to you, shall I?”
She smiled sweetly, twirling the sonic screwdriver between her fingers. “Oh, I don’t think that’ll be necessary.”
The Doctor crossed his arms in front of his chest, lifting an eyebrow. “Won’t it?”
Rose let out an exasperated sigh, obviously resisting the urge to stomp her foot in irritation. “It’s a simple question with a simple answer!”
“Simpler still not to answer at all,” the Doctor pointed out, all but sulking on the sofa, feeling a bit like a child who had his favorite toy taken away.
He really was fond of the sonic screwdriver…
“I just want to know where you learned how to...” Rose paused, sending him a wicked grin, “dance.”
The Doctor’s eyes narrowed, taking note of the seductive curve of her lips, the mischievous gleam in her eye, the carefully calculated tilt of her hips.
Playing that game, was she?
“I’m nine hundred years old, Rose,” the Doctor said, standing up quickly and focusing his attention on various knobs and ends, looking everywhere except at her. Tempting her nearer. “I told you, a chap tends to pick these things up, given enough time.”
“But you must remember how,” she insisted. “Must remember who taught you?” She still had that ensnaring smile gracing her features, that enticing bend to her mouth.
She was teasing him.
And the Doctor didn’t take kindly to mockery.
“Nope, can’t say I do,” he replied evenly, watching her out of the corner of his eye.
“So you’re saying you don’t remember your first dance?” Rose prodded, slowly making her way closer to him, thinking it safe.
He had always been best at luring them to him, like mouths to the flame, each and every one.
They never understood how badly he could burn them.
“Sort of, yeah,” he said, his gaze fixed on the console.
Even though he couldn’t see it, he heard her smile. “You’re full of it.”
He turned towards the voice, finding Rose peering over his shoulder, her smirk fading as he locked his eyes with hers, the playfulness quickly becoming intense. “Sort of, yeah.”
He allowed himself a grin when he saw her swallow.
He turned away from his work, bringing his full attention to her as he held out his hands, palms up, offering them to her.
She looked from his hands to his face, eyeing the both warily.
He smiled gently, encouraging her.
Still suspicious (and rightly so), she put the sonic screwdriver in the back pocket of her jeans before hesitantly placing her hands in his.
“You see, Rose,” the Doctor said as he memorized the texture of her soft skin against his calloused fingertips. “Dancing isn’t always a skill that can be taught.”
She sent him a puzzled glance as he set one of her hands on his shoulder, feeling her shiver as he trailed his fingers down her arm.
He tried not to relish the sensation of her trembling against him.
“Oh, you can memorize some steps,” he said dismissively, grasping her remaining hand firmly in his own. “Learn the proper curves and dips of each.”
He gently placed his palm on the small of her back, allowing his touch to linger around the curve of her hip, hearing her small gasp as his cool fingers brushed against the sensitive skin.
“Have the talents and capabilities of your various partners imprinted on your mind.” He pulled her close to him, only allowing mere millimeters to separate their bodies from one another.
Rose looked up to him, startled by the sudden proximity, her brown eyes wide and trusting, so close to his own. Her skin flushed and her pulse quickening. Her stare expectant, her breathing more labored than the situation should have warranted.
In that instant the Doctor idly wondered if she knew how beautiful she was.
“But proper dancing,” he said as he began to sway with her in the soundless room, Rose resting her cheek against the wool of his jumper and allowing him to feel her breath against his chest. “The sort that they make tales about, that become the stuff of legends throughout the universe.” He lowered his head so that he could whisper into her ear. “Those dances can only be experienced, felt. Can only be inspired by the stars. By space and time.”
She shivered again, bringing her gaze to his once more. “And have you had many of those dances, Doctor?”
He gave her another gentle smile, taking in each of her features, each point of pressure created from her body next to his, each small sensation that he could possibly commit to memory. These would become the recollections he would cherish and save throughout time.
“They’re the only ones I bother with.”
He would not burn her. Not this one.
Rose smiled, laugh lines forming in the corner of her eyes. “You’re full of it.”
The Doctor removed his hand from her back, swiftly tugging the sonic screwdriver out of her pocket and reestablishing distance between them, ignoring the bit of him that screamed at the loss.
He was dangerous and she was sacred, something that he should not be permitted to touch for the threat of tarnishing.
So he wouldn’t.
“Sort of, yeah.” He smugly waved the device in front of her face.
Rose’s mouth opened in surprise and a hand went to her, now empty, pocket before she sent him a glare.
The Doctor simply grinned manically and turned to Jack, who had been lingering in the entrance to the control room for several minutes.
“You’re lucky, Jack old boy.” The Doctor clapped the man on the shoulder on his way to his mass of wires. “I’ve just narrowly evaded our slow and painful demise by boredom.”
He grinned, raising an eyebrow. “And how did you manage that?”
The Doctor shrugged as he lowered himself to the floor, frowning at a broken wire. “Talked about dancing.”
Jack snorted above him. “Didn’t look like talking.”
“No,” he heard Rose say softly. “But it felt like dancing."
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