The TARDIS fades from sight, and he takes her hand. She looks at him, and finds that he is already looking at her.
“You don’t look much like a genocidal maniac,” she says.
He shrugs. “The bloodlust comes and goes.”
She turns to the empty horizon and nods. “I know the feeling,” she says.
He doesn’t know how to do laundry.
“I had this ship,” he says. “Maybe you remember it. Used to fold your knickers for you.”
She drops an armload of bed sheets at his feet. “I’m not folding your pants,” she says. “Not once. Not even a little.”
The dryer shudders, then bursts into flame. He shoves his hands in his pockets and smiles, charmingly. “Let me guess,” he says. “That isn’t supposed to happen.”
They don’t have sex.
“Best snog of your life,” he says, catching the pillow she tosses to him. “Aren’t you even the slightest bit curious?”
“It was not the best snog of my life.”
He collapses onto the sofa, sprawling across his makeshift bed like half a daddy long legs spider in striped pyjamas. “Don’t lie to me, Rose Tyler. It’s beneath you.”
She rolls her eyes. “You are so full of it.”
“If by it you mean raw sex appeal, then yes, I am.”
“Good night, Doctor.”
He sits up. “Rose.”
She pauses in the doorway, turns back to him. “Yeah?”
“I made you swoon.”
She blushes. “Shut up. You did not.”
“You went weak in the knees. I turned you to jelly.” He grins. “Don’t be embarrassed — who could blame you? I’m something of a seduction savant.”
“Sure you are.” She flicks off the light. “See you in the morning, Don Juan.”
For a moment, the flat is silent. Then he calls, “But what if I get lonely?”
The teddy bear squeaks as it hits him in the face.
Sharing a bathroom was not a good idea.
“Oh my god.” Her forehead meets the closed door with a soft thud. “Your hair is fine. It’s better than fine. It’s gorgeous. Heavenly. Choirs of angels celebrate it in three-part harmony while grown men weep. One day, it will end world hunger.” She jiggles the doorknob. “Now will you please get out of there so I can shower and go to work?”
The door opens, and a cloud of steam escapes. He pops his head out, and she can see that he still hasn’t shaved. “Not quite done yet, I’m afraid. You are, of course, welcome to join me at any time.”
“Are you naked?”
“As the day I was born,” he says cheerfully. He thinks about this for a moment. “Well, I should say, as the day I grew fully-formed from a spare hand in a jar. If you want to be technical about it, which I generally do.”
She sighs. “Fine. Put on a towel.” He winks, and his face disappears from sight. After a moment she opens the door. “If you’ve been using my shampoo again,” she says, “I’m going to kick your ass.”
She closes the door behind her.
“Oh, for Christ’s sake. The towel is supposed to go around your waist.”
Half-human or not, he still doesn’t sleep much.
She can feel his breath against her eyelids, and it smells like sour cream and onion crisps.
“Rose, I know you’re awake.”
She rolls onto her side, away from him. “Bugger off.”
“Now now, watch your language. You’re meant to be my role model, remember?” He curls around her, against her, his chest thin and hard along her spine. “Rose. Rose Rose Rose Rose Rose.”
She opens her eyes. “That’s it. Tomorrow I’m taking you to the animal shelter and putting you up for adoption.”
“No one will want me. I’m not house-trained.”
“No kidding.” His arm slips around her waist, and she lets herself lean back into him, just a little. “Did you have another dream?”
“Mmm,” he says, his nose brushing the skin behind her ear.
“A bad one?”
“Fair to middling. Started out all fire and brimstone, but the ending was rather nice.”
“Something like this,” he murmurs, and places a soft kiss on the back of her neck.
She goes very still. “Oh,” she says, and he does it again. His mouth lingers.
“Rose, it occurs to me that you might have misunderstood what I said to you on the beach that day.”
“Oh. Okay.” She swallows. “The first day on the beach or the second?”
“You you, or him you?”
“Me me.” He rests his chin on her shoulder. “It’s my own fault, I suppose. I should have been clearer. You see, when I said ‘I love you’, what I really meant was, ‘I think you’re a babe and would very much like to shag you on a regular basis for the rest of my life.’”
She grins. “Well, you can see how I might have been confused.”
“Oh, absolutely.” The hand at her waist moves to her arm, and he laces his fingers through hers. “Thought it would be best to tell you flat out. You’ve failed to pick up on my more subtle advances.”
“Like that time you set all your clothes on fire and had to spend the rest of the day walking around the flat stark naked?”
“For me, that was subtle.”
“Believe me, I know.” She rolls toward him and they lie face to face, their joined hands resting between them on the bed. “I needed a little time, that’s all. We’re old but sort of new all at once, and I didn’t want to rush into things.”
“Oh, neither did I.” He pauses. “No, sorry, that’s a lie. I wanted very badly to rush into things. All sorts of things. Some of them require stretching first.”
She laughs and feels herself flush with heat. “Were you always like this and I just never knew?”
He purses his lips. “No. Well, yes. Well, sort of.” He sighs. “I used to be much, much better about keeping these things to myself.”
She touches a finger to the corner of his mouth, and her thumb brushes his bottom lip. “What’s changed, do you think?”
“Human sex hormones, for one thing.” He kisses her fingers, her palm. “And maybe…maybe I’m tired of stopping myself. Maybe there’s no reason to, anymore.”
“I could still die first,” she says, very softly.
He nods, and the muscles of his jaw tense. “You could. We’re going to try to avoid that, though.”
“We’ll see,” she says, and kisses him.
He makes a hungry, incoherent sound into her mouth, and she answers by hooking one leg around him, pulling his hips against her own. She feels him harden against her, and when she ends the kiss he stares at her lips, dazed and silent and breathless.
“Why, Doctor,” she says, “are you swooning?”
“Very funny,” he says, his voice low and uneven. “You’re a very funny lady, and I don’t tell you that often enough.”
“You’re pretty funny yourself.” She smiles. “Funny looking.”
“Oh, stop. You’re killing me.” He kisses her again, his mouth hot and slightly salty and she’s cursing herself for wasted time when he wraps an arm around her waist and pulls her on top of him, rolling onto his back so she straddles his hips and that, that is when she hears a loud crunching sound from the general vicinity of his bottom.
They both freeze, and, slowly, he reaches down to investigate. He tugs at something, mutters under his breath. Then he says, “Hold on,” and lifts his hips, arching into her, and for a moment her vision blurs. When she comes to, he’s holding a large, now mostly empty bag of crisps. Sour cream and onion flavour.
He picks the largest crumb from her once-clean bed sheets and offers it to her. “Midnight snack?” he says.
They decide to invest in a larger flat.
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