...And Still She Sleeps... by Tardismate



Summary: He watches her sleep from the chair by the window, the guilt and pain twisting his innards as he realises just what he has done.
Rating: All Ages
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Other Character(s), Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th)
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Character Study, Hurt/Comfort, Introspection, Series
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: ...And Still....
Published: 2008.07.11
Updated: 2008.07.11


...And Still She Sleeps... by Tardismate
Chapter 1: Chapter 7
Author's Notes: Disclaimer: All belongs to Auntie Beeb and RTD, worse luck! (Spoilers for S4-13 Journey's End
Seventh in the ...And Still... series.


It is dark and quiet in their room now, although the noises from earlier that evening are still echoing in his head. He watches her sleep from the chair by the window - the same chair he had taken her from when his want had become too much for him to bear. Now he sits in the same place, the guilt and pain twisting his guts as he remembers just what he has done to her.

He drops his head into his hands and begins to sob silently, sobbing for the pain he has caused her - and will still cause her. Suddenly he realises that he cannot stop, cannot breathe, cannot think straight, and he stands, ready to flee like a startled animal...except he has no air in his lungs and his one heart (one heart - only one) is pounding so hard he thinks she will hear it and wake. He stumbles to the small bathroom, and retches over and over again until he is sure that with the next heave he will have his heart in his hands (it's hers, his heart, and he would gladly leave it with her for safe keeping...if she still wanted it.) Finally he slumps to the floor exhausted, leaning his head against the cool tiles, wishing he could run.

Run. Do what he did best, always...except it wouldn't be the same ever again. No little hand clasped in his, no little smile just for him, no giggle as they ran for their lives...but he could deal with that. He had already, for such a long time, but....

And there it was. That one little word that had changed everything.

But.

He loves her, although after what had happened earlier, he wasn't so sure she would still love him. He still didn't understand what had made him act like that, do that to her. He tries to rationalize it, analyse his actions...and feels the nausea rising again. Slumping over the toilet, the scalding tears drip from his face, as he is unable to stop himself retching again and again until all he can see is the red of his blood in the bowl.

A cold flannel is pressed against his forehead, and gentle hands ease him away to sit back against the tiles, his long legs outstretched, his head tilted back to rest against the wall. He knows he won't able to look her in the eye and as she leans towards him in concern, he ducks his head to avoid doing just that, shame and guilt colouring his face. Cool fingers grip his chin and turn him to face her, concern etched over her beautiful (if somewhat sleepy face). He tries not to face her, oh how he tries, but she will not let him turn away from her. She wipes his blood-stained lips and reaches over to the sink, filling a tumbler with cold water and placing it to his lips saying quietly "Drink."

He does as he is told, draining the glass before handing it back to her with a whispered "Thanks".

He begins to get up, pushing himself up using the wall to support him, needing to get out of the small bathroom, feeling the walls closing in on him. A hand planted squarely in the middle of his chest stops him in his tracks, and he looks into the concerned face of his lover, her eyes shimmering with tears. He has done that to her, he thinks, and pushing her hand off his chest he staggers into their bedroom, tripping over the clothing littering the floor, falling heavily.

He stays where he has fallen, knowing he deserved the pain he was feeling.

"Oh, love, what are you doing to yourself," was whispered into his ear as she hauls his poor unresisting torso into her arms, cradling his head against her chest, her tears hitting his forehead as she kisses him oh-so-gently. That releases the dam inside him, and he begins to explain how sorry he was for what he has done to her, stumbling over his words in his haste to make her understand that he didn't mean to hurt her, would never hurt her again, if only she wouldn't leave him, leave him alone again. He feels and hears her shocked intake of breath as she realises just what he was apologising for, and he tries to struggle out of her arms, but Rose is having none of that.

Gripping him tightly until he gives in and subsides back against her, she tells him that she has no intention of leaving him anywhere alone; how can she, she loves him - and that he hasn't hurt her, not really. She explains she had wanted what they had done almost as much as he had, okay...although, maybe not as roughly would have been nice, but that next time would be better...

He gasps aloud at this, at knowing there would be other times, that she still wants him like that.

She chuckles lightly...has he not realised that she wants him, all of him, all the time. Obviously not. She gently disentangles his arms from around her and pulls him up, leading him to the bed. She feels him begin to shake with emotion - something else new for him, she realises, and helps him back into it, sliding alongside him, resting her head on his chest as his arms gently encircle her.

"Stupid alien," she whispers, a small smile evident in her voice. "No, stupid human," he whispers back, correcting her, feeling her love surround him. They would get through this, he thinks as she begins to slip into sleep once more. He watches her like this for the rest of the night, knowing that it will happen again, afraid of the dreams that will come if he dares to copy her.

And with him watching her, she sleeps on towards the dawn.



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