Remember to Forget Me by SomeKindOfNature



Summary: After a long and strenuous year under the Master's thumb, the TARDIS crew takes a few moments to breathe. The Doctor and Rose, still coming to terms with the changes in themselves and their relationship, spend an evening alone together. Tensions are high but each is eager to overcome the hurdles between them....as long as no one pushes too far.
Rating: Teen
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Jack Harkness, Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th)
Genres: Angst, Drama, Fluff, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Series
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Bone of His Bone and Flesh of His Flesh
Published: 2020.09.29
Updated: 2020.11.16


Index

Chapter 1: You Left Pieces of Me Along the Side of the Road
Chapter 2: Right After You Said You'd Never Leave Me Alone
Chapter 3: Found Myself on the Wrong Side of the Door
Chapter 4: I'll Come In If You Let Me


Chapter 1: You Left Pieces of Me Along the Side of the Road

Author's Notes: Hello everyone! I know it has been a little bit of a hiatus but ya know....2020. F me. I'm sure you all have a story or two by now...and maybe a few choice curse words. I was distracted by another fandom that has not left my soul and I have to admit, I might have been a bit worried that I couldn't get back into these characters voices. However, I realized that I have room in my heart for two favorite ships... and maybe more.

This piece was originally meant to be a one shot but it grew into this shameless self-indulgent five-part piece of angst and fluff. And I tried...I really did try but I can't find what to cut. Each part has moments that are precious to me. I'll be posting a new chapter each week so maybe you all can let me know. Thank you for reading! I appreciate every view.

Just wanted to give credit to the musicians that inspired this story:

Remember to Forget Me - Blink 182

We Might as Well be Strangers - Keane


Rose's feet pounded on the concrete, each harsh step sending shockwaves up her body. Her lungs burned with exertion and her heart raced like a freight train in her breast. She sucked in another breath of thick humid air that stung her nose with the scent of exhaust, brine, and decomposing waste. She was used to it and even though the Doctor had taken her to so many places where the air was crisp and clean or sweet with the perfume of apple grass, Rose would always hold a special place in her heart for the smell of the urban jungle. It reminded her of home, of her roots. Her life had taken such a strange path since then, it was comforting to know that some things stayed familiar. Even when she didn't recognize much of herself in the mirror these days, she could always recognize the scent of the city.

The Cardiff summer evening was warm, adding extra dampness to her already sweat soaked t-shirt, and Rose questioned for the third time whether running in this heat was a bad idea. It was stifling and her aching muscles were beginning to shake. Her footsteps faltered, sending her reeling toward the ground but she managed to regain her balance. Growling under her breath, she shook head in frustration. Was her body really this weak? She couldn't believe it.

Rose had started to feel more like herself in the last two days; with the notable exception of having her telepathic senses stunted by the dampener she wore and the nightmares that haunted her sleeping hours. She felt stable, if a bit tired. So, when she started out with the decision to run four miles, she hadn't thought it overly ambitious. There was a time in her life when running four miles would be considered an 'easy day'. She used to be strong. She used to have endurance. However, after just one mile, she had turned around and it was damn frustrating.

A sudden cramp in her side left her gasping and her hand flew to her belly, fingers pressing into the soft tissue as if they could somehow stem the tide of pain. Her body was being very clear about its limitations. It was telling her to take a break, but Rose ignored it. Home wasn't far; just down this next alleyway and she would see those blue doors. She turned the corner and froze. The alleyway was empty. Her heart dropped. Where was it? Where was the TARDIS? She spun in a circle, but there was nowhere else to look. Had the Doctor left her? But… he promised. A hot wind breezed into the alley, rolling crumpled papers through it like tumbleweeds in a desert. Deserted, that's what she was…deserted. The song crooning in her ears made her throat tighten around a breath and tears threatened to burst from her eyes. He left her alone.

She ripped the earbuds from her ears and staggered to the mouth of the alley, looking around the neighborhood with wide, terrified eyes. The sun was sinking lower and lower with each passing second. It wasn't long before the streetlights blinked on, lengthening the foreboding shadows in the nooks and crannies of this empty street.
How could he have left her? He wouldn't, he just wouldn't. Maybe, he just moved. Maybe, he needed to jump into the vortex for some repair and had missed his landing spot by a street or two.

Her feet twitched into action before she made the conscious choice to move. She sprinted through the next three streets, searching down every alley. With each empty one, fear settled deeper into heart, constricting the organ in a death grip. Spots began to bloom in front of her vision and Rose, at last, gave into her body's fatigue. She leaned against the brick of a nearby building, letting the cool stone ease her feverish skin as she tried to come to terms with what was happening. He was gone. They had left her.

A hole in her chest was opening up with raw jagged edges that oozed with fresh torment. A gasping sob escaped her lips, but she drew in and held a deep breath, desperate to fight down her grief. After all, she had Jack. She could stay with him and live another half-life on this Earth, like she had in the other universe, but the thought of returning to that numbness and sorrow was more than she could bear. The weight of her grief pulled her down to the ground. She curled in on herself, her chest shuddering with suppressed sobs. A choked cry worked its way up her throat and Rose had to bite down on her tongue to keep it from escaping. She couldn't let it free now. If she started crying, she might never stop.

Rose cradled her head in her hands, startling at the feel of cool metal against her skin. She looked down at the ring on her finger in shock. The telepathic dampener; it was cutting off her connection to the TARDIS. She ripped it from her finger and shoved it into her pocket, sighing in relief as her connection to the TARDIS flared to life. Choking back a sob, Rose walked her hands up the wall at her back until she was standing. She felt a gentle mental tug, drawing her home, and, as she resumed her punishing pace, the muscles in her calves screamed in protest. She skipped the next two alleys and, as she turned the corner into the last one, she almost fell to her knees in gratitude. The warm glow from the TARDIS windows seemed to brighten in welcome as she stumbled closer. Rose doubled over, resting her hands on her knees as she tried to slow her frantic breathing. She reached out and rested one palm against the blue doors. A soft wave of comfort breezed into her mind and the tenuous control that Rose had on her emotions snapped.

Huge gasping sobs tore through her body, the aching exhalations leaving her throat sore. Tears were pouring from her eyes and dripping from the tip of her nose. Rose's face heated and swelled with the force of her weeping but she couldn't stop. Whatever was bubbling up from the box where she locked away her emotions refused to stay hidden any longer. Stable? She was kidding herself. There was nothing stable about this. She was spewing out her agony for all the world to see and hear. It should embarrass her but all she could manage was relief.

It had been two days since the Doctor rejected her, since he said that he didn't need her (as if she ever really believed he did). Despite his apologies and insistence to the contrary, his sharp words had left wounds. Rose had tried to be strong, to push all of her anguish into deep dark corner of her mind but keeping all of that angst balled up inside of her was twisting her into knots. So, she allowed it to pour out of her until her eyes were puffy and her throat was aching.

It was the TARDIS' wave of concern that at last made awareness filter into her mind. She was bawling in the middle of an alley and if she continued on with this shameless display, someone might notice her. Rose sucked in a deep breath and released it on a shaky exhale. She wiped her hands over her face, using the sweat and tears to slick back the errant strands of hair that had escaped her ponytail. She straightened on trembling legs and patted the wooden doors.

"Sorry Old Girl," she choked out. "I thought you had left me."

A warm reassurance filled her as she ran her fingers around the edges of the lock. The doors clicked open beneath her fingers and she smiled. She didn't even need her key. She stepped through and leaned heavily against them, sucking in a huge lungful of sweet cool air. The scent of home hit her nose and her body almost went limp. A blessed numbness was starting to overtake her after her emotional outburst. So deep was it reaching that she almost forgot the source of her frustration.

A muffled crash made her jump, scratching across her nerves like nails on a chalkboard. The Doctor's head poked up from the other side of the console and her throat clenched around a whimper.

His brow furrowed with concern as he took in her disheveled appearance. "Rose? Are you alr-"

"Did you move," she interrupted.

The Doctor had started to circle the console, but her question brought him up short. "What?"

"The TARDIS, did you move her?"

"No. Why?"

Rose ran her hand across her brow. "I must have been turned around."

"What do you mean? What have you been doing? Why are you breathing so hard?"

She pushed off of the doors and rolled her neck as she crossed the distance to the console. "I went for a run."

"Run," he asked with a look of distaste. "What for? We run all the time."

She took a deep breath. "No, you run all the time. I've been stuck in Frankenstein's basement for the last two years. I'm out of practice and I don't want to slow you down."

The accusation in her tone was obvious and a tense silence stretched between them…well, not complete silence. Finally, the song echoing through the room registered in her ears as the aching chords of Keane.

We might as well be strangers…strangers…for all I know of you now.

Her breathing hitched and the Doctor noticed. He reached over and hit a button on the console, cutting off the melody. He rubbed at the back of his neck. "Sorry."

She cleared her throat, shaking her head. "It's fine. I get it. She's connected to you and you feel like…well, I think the implications are clear."

Rose wanted to get out of this room. She could feel the pricking of tears behind her eyes again and sighed, knowing that the numbness never stayed for long. His presence seemed to bring out that kind of confliction in her. She was so angry with him but being this close to him only made her want to draw closer in spite of it. She was just another piece of space junk caught in his gravity, ready and willing to burn herself to ash in his atmosphere. It seemed that it was her fate to tear herself apart for him, to become whatever he needed her to be.

Because just being herself wasn't good enough.

The Doctor's brow pinched, and he swallowed hard. "Rose."

She looked down at her ringless finger, understanding that he had heard this last thought. Groaning in frustration, Rose dug the heels of her palms into her eyes. "Goddammit! I'm sorry."

"It's fine. But if it bothers you," he began, cautiously. "Then why don't you wear the dampener."

Irritation burned in her gut and she turned a glare on him. "Why don't you wear it, then? If it's such a perfect fucking solution! Cut yourself off from, not just me, but the TARDIS too. What am I supposed to do? Wear this stupid fucking thing for the rest of my life," she asked, digging the ring out of her pocket and throwing it to the floor. "I won't do it. I hate it. It's stifling and uncomfortable and I won't wear it."

The Doctor's eyes softened. "Rose, I understand but-"

"No! You don't understand," she shouted, her voice faltering. "I couldn't find her. I got turned around in the city and I couldn't find the TARDIS. I thought…" She sniffled, wiping at the tears falling on her cheeks. "I thought you had left me. That's why m'not wearing it. I couldn't find my way home." She turned to walk from the room but paused at the entrance to the corridor and whipped around to face his pained expression. "You know, the only reason that you feel like we're strangers now is because you push me away."

She turned and strode from the console room with long purposeful strides, holding her shoulders back. She was nursing her pride and an aching heart, but she was determined to not let him see how much she hurt even as the song from the console room seemed to follow her down the hall.

For all I know of you now…for all I know of you now…for all I know.

He felt like he didn't know her anymore? What was she supposed to do with that? It wasn't like he had actually tried to know her. He had been avoiding her for two days. Of course, she felt like a stranger. The only time that they had spoken was when he reminded her to keep the telepathic dampener on; like having her in his head was such a fucking chore. She tried to swallow down the ache in her throat, letting an angry tear slip free as she approached her door, but the tell-tell squeak of the Doctors trainers against the floor had her whipping around.

"Rose wait," he called, coming to a stop in front of her. His eyes flitted all over her and his face fell in devastation.

She remembered that she was crying and wiped the moisture off her cheeks. "What?"

The Doctor reached out for her but, before he had breached the careful distance that he maintained between them, his hands dropped back to his side. He shoved them in his pockets and swallowed, scuffing the toe of his trainer against the floor as they descended into uncomfortable silence.

"Was there something you wanted," she asked, raising a brow.

The Doctor shifted on his feet but remained quiet.

"No? Okay then," she stated. "I'm taking a shower."

She moved to the door, but he reached out and grabbed her hand, turning her back toward him. "Wait."

"Wait for what? You haven't said anything. What am I waiting for?"

"I'm sorry." He looked down at their linked hands and brushed his thumb across her ring finger. "I'm sorry that I made you wear that thing. I'm sorry that you couldn't find your way home. And I'm sorry that you're still afraid that I might leave you behind. I know that I haven't inspired a lot trust in that area."

"You're track record is terrible," she agreed.

The Doctor stepped closer, cupping her cheek in his hand. "I know, I know but Rose, I'm not going to leave you behind. The TARDIS is your home. She's not going anywhere without you."

Her lip trembled and she had to look away from his tender gaze. "I thought, because you've been avoiding me the last couple days…."

"I have. I know," he admitted, dropping her hand and slipping his arm around her waist instead. "But…"

Rose rested her hands on his chest, leaning into him. "But?"

The Doctor sighed and breached the few inches that remained between them to rest his brow against hers. She sucked in a sharp breath as he opened up to her, bathing her mind in comfort, soft affection, and a tinge of regret. Her fingers curled around the lapels of his jacket as she pushed up onto her toes, eager to be closer to him. She wanted to press her body to his, wanted to feel his touch against every inch of her feverish skin. She wanted his kiss, knowing that it would taste sweet and crisp, like a glass of cool water. The Doctor released a breathy moan and leaned forward to capture her lips. Rose groaned into his mouth and her eyes fell shut. Their tongues tangled together as her questing fingers slid up his chest and curled into the silky strands of his hair. His hands slipped up her rib cage, thumbs brushing just underneath her breasts. Rose whimpered and he broke the kiss with a soft pop.

She blew out a shaky breath and her eyes fluttered open. "You are so confusing."

"Gods I know, and it's not fair to you," he replied, just as breathless. "I always start out with the best intentions. I wanted to apologize, make sure you were okay, and yet, I end up wrapped around you, kissing you like I'm trying breathe for you."

"I think you did," she said with a small smile.

He chuckled; eyes still glazed from their kiss. "I can't seem to stop touching you. Every time I see you, it feels like I have to."

"I love it when you touch me. I love it when you're wrapped around me, I love," she trailed off. "Is there a reason that we're not doing this all the time?"

The Doctor gave her wry smile. "Haven't we already had this conversation?"

She scoffed. "Yeah, I guess but now you're kissing me in corridors. Maybe it's just me but this feels right. It feels like belonging and safety and home and…" she trailed off, searching his pained expression for any sign of acceptance but, no. It appeared that he was going to remain stubborn. She stepped out of his embrace.

His arms fell to his sides, hands clenching with tension. "Rose I-"

"Please stop," she interrupted with gentle reproach. "I really don't need to hear it again, okay? I get it. There's no changing your mind." She swallowed hard, turning back to the door. "I'm just going to wash my humiliation away."

"Have supper with me," the Doctor blurted out from behind her.

She whipped around with a raised brow. "What?"

He cleared his throat and scratched his fingers through the hair at the back of his neck. "Welll, Jack's with Ianto tonight. I don't expect him back any time soon. It's just us and I was hoping that you would have supper with me. My treat."

Rose barked out a laugh. "Oh, you're going to pay for once?"

"Oi! I've paid."

"Really? 'Cause I'm pretty sure you still owe me ten quid."

"I've taken you to the most beautiful and incredible places in the universe," he argued. "You think that would cover a few measly rounds of chips."

"You've also taken me to some of the deepest, darkest, dungeons," she pointed out. "So, wanna try again?" Rose arched a perfect brow, a smile lifting the edges of her lips.

"Okay, okay. So, I'm a little behind in the reciprocation department. No time like the present to remedy that situation. Whaddya say?"

Her eyes narrowed.

"And then afterwards," he added. "We can get started on your telepathy training."

Her hand drifted up to her mouth, where she nibbled on her thumb nail. "Really? Why? You didn't seem that eager to spend time with me."

"Honestly," he sighed. "I miss you, Rose. What good is having you back if I never get to see you? I just…I miss my best mate."

"I miss mine, too," she replied, biting her lip to keep it from trembling.

"So, is that a yes," he asked.

Rose sized him up. He seemed so relaxed, so carefully relaxed, but as her eyes continued to study him, the façade began to crack. His hands in his pockets curled into fists as he rocked onto his toes and, if she wasn't mistaken, he was holding his breath.

Her heart fluttered. "Throw in a bottle of wine and I'll be there."

"Done."

"A good one."

His face contorted in mock outrage. "What do you take me for, Rose Tyler? As if I'd offer you anything but the best."

She giggled.

A matching goofy grin lit his face. "I'll see you in the library in an hour?"

"Yeah."

"Any requests? Chips?"

"Nah," she replied with a shake of her head. "I think I've had chips at almost every meal since we got here. I have a cravin' for some pad Thai, though."

"Your wish is my command," he said with a bow. "I'll just pop to Thailand and…"

"No!"

He stiffened.

"What I mean is," she continued, ducking his alarmed gaze. "We left Jack before and I don't want to do it again, even by accident. Please? He said there was a restaurant a few streets over. I passed it on my run."

The tension rolled out his shoulders. "If you insist."

"I do."

He gave a long-suffering sigh and leaned against the doorjamb with that intolerable sexy smirk lifting the corner of his mouth. "Then I guess I could take the domestic approach…just this once."

His last words were said in such a low whisper that it sent a shiver coursing from her head to her feet. Rose licked her lips, meeting his dark eyes. "Thank you." Tension crackled between them with an energy that left her tingling. She cleared her dry throat. "Well, I'm just gonna…" She motioned into her room.

He straightened. "Right. Brilliant. Molto bene. See you in the library?"

She nodded and slipped inside, closing the door behind her.

Back to index


Chapter 2: Right After You Said You'd Never Leave Me Alone

Author's Notes: Hello all! I know this is late. I'm sorry. Life has been freaking crazy as I'm sure you have all experienced from time to time. So, what did you think of this chapter? Remember when I started, I said that there were things that I could cut from this to make it a one shot but just didn't want to? Well, most of this chapter is something that I could have cut but idk...I like it. I like the Doctor's awkwardness at the restaurant. I like how he couldn't stop seeing couples everywhere he turned. I just liked it. So, you tell me. Keep it or cut it?


A huge breath rushed out of the Doctor’s lungs and he flipped around to lean heavily against her door, sinking to the floor. That hadn’t gone exactly to plan but…blimey, she was amazing. He buried a hand in his hair, tugging at the chestnut strands and worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. The taste of her still lingered and a soft groan rumbled in his chest. He a was a terrible Time Lord, an even worse friend to her, and yet, he found himself smiling. He was the happiest he had been in days. He had missed her, her smile, her laugh, her wit. He wasn’t lying when he said that he missed his mate… that word had just taken on a different connotation, considering recent events.

He swallowed hard, feeling a flush creep up his neck. He hadn’t meant to kiss her; one thing had just led to another. She was so sad, her face all pink and puffy from tears. He wanted to comfort her, and he did it the best way he knew how, with a hug. After all, a hug wasn’t dangerous. They hugged all the time but this time, he could feel devastation clinging to her mind as tight as her sweaty shirt clung to her thin frame. She was insecure, still scared that he would leave her. The anxiety that was choking her mind had all but demanded his attention because soothing her fears was part of his job now that she was bonded to him. It was just instinct, an instinct that was near impossible to suppress.

When they had travelled together before, he could ignore her inner turmoil. Even if it was written on her face, he could claim ignorance. Now that he could feel each and every ounce of hurt, anxiety, and sorrow that he caused her, screaming out of her mind with sharp accusation, how could ignore her? How could he push it aside or push her away? He had to try and console her, open up to her, let her know that she wasn’t alone. However, allowing her past his mind’s defenses and having her pressed against him had created an irresistible temptation. In the heat of the moment, she was thinking about him, the pressure of his body, the feel of his skin, the taste of his kiss.

He loved kissing her, loved the softness of her lips, her taste, and the hushed little mewls that escaped her from time to time. She was so receptive to his touch. Rose responded to him with an enthusiasm that was intoxicating. She would cling to him, curling her fists into his hair and tugging until he felt the distinct urge to press her against the nearest hard surface. They were too desperate for each other and it seemed that ignoring the attraction was only intensifying the problem. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could endure. The Doctor thumped his head against the wood at his back in frustration.

Suddenly, the door opened and he flailed, falling back onto Rose’s carpet. She stood above him clad in only her t-shirt and black knickers, the long length of her creamy toned legs on full display. The Doctor swallowed hard and tried not to think about how it would feel to have those legs clutching his waist, heels digging into the globes of his arse as he thrust into the heat of her body again and again. Would she mewl then? Would she moan? Sigh? Scream out his name? Rose cleared her throat and his eyes snapped to hers, blushing when he realized that he had been caught staring. The Doctor hopped to his feet.

“Sorry,” he said with a shrug.

“What are you doing out here,” she asked.

“Nothing…I was just…erm…”

“Weren’t you getting food?”

“Yes, yes…ummm…I am on my way, Rose Tyler. And I will see you in the library.”

“Uh-huh.”

He started walking backwards down the corridor and her gaze followed him, brows raised in baffled amusement as she leaned against her doorjamb, looking edible in her barely clothed state. His hands were itching for her and he thanked his lucky stars -or perhaps the mercy of his ship- that the first turn toward the console room came faster than he remembered. He was able to block out her delectable figure by darting down it. She was seared into his brain though. He could recall her with perfect detail.

Growling to himself in frustration, the Doctor sprinted the remaining distance to the console room, working off some of his excess…vigor. His energy levels had increased in the last few days. He ran about like a puppy, only half-finishing one project before he was bouncing to the next. He wasn’t sure where this sudden burst of…and who was he kidding? He rubbed a hand down his face. He wasn’t filled with some new wind of vitality. He was horny, randy, turned on, hard up, whatever you wanted to call it. He was desperately, embarrassingly, sometimes painfully, aroused and, having spent the better part of the last millennia manipulating his body’s functions with little thought, it was difficult adjusting to this loss of control. He experienced this when he travelled with Rose before but never to this intensity. What was once a minor annoyance had developed into a full-blown problem.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that had an easy solution. Well, not to his mind anyway. He knew that part of this jump in his libido was due to the bond he shared with Rose. Biological urges weren’t always easy to fight, especially for telepaths. It didn’t help that any time she wasn’t wearing the dampener, he could feel her desire as a constant undercurrent to her thoughts. He was stuck in this emotional feedback loop where her lust triggered his and vice versa. It would help if they could find some stability in their relationship and reach a status quo but he didn’t foresee that happening any time soon.

You could always, ya know…fuck her. That crude thought popped into his head with the mental voice of his dear American friend. Of course, that was Jack’s solution…a very simple-minded solution. However, he couldn’t deny that a not insignificant part of him wanted to give in, to jump into the new intimacy feet first, consequences be damned.

Sighing, the Doctor jogged up the steps to the console and pulled the monitor toward him, typing out a quick question to Jack’s communicator. A less than genial reply followed, providing him with the name of the restaurant, directions, and a sharp reminder that he was busy. The Doctor rolled his eyes and grabbed up his coat from a nearby strut before stalking out into the humid Cardiff evening. He took extra care to ensure the doors were locked and patted the blue wood. Take care of her.

He felt the comforting brush of the TARDIS’ reassurance, even if it was accompanied by a metaphorical eye roll that implied his request was redundant.

Smirking, he turned toward the mouth of the alley and wandered onto the pavement. The night was quiet, hot, and heavy with anticipation. The Doctor flipped up the collar of his coat and made his way up the street, sticking to the shadows of the settled suburban neighborhood. There were few others wandering the city pathways which suited him fine but as he neared the main streets, more and more people began to filter out into the night. He huddled into his coat. The Doctor wasn’t in the mood to deal with crowds of humans and their competing scents of cloying cologne and perfume, masking the underlying stench of sweat and toxins. There was only one human scent that he wanted filling his nose tonight…or ever really.

He shook himself to cover a shudder of desire. The image of Rose in her half-clad state was still burned into his retinas. He saw it every time he closed his eyes: the point of that delicate toe tucked into the arch of her other foot; the sleek line of her toned legs. The black knickers that had clung to her hips were discarded by now, along with the remainder of her clothes. She would just be stepping under the hot spray of the shower where droplets of water would travel over the rise and fall of those shifting muscles and silken skin.

The Doctor huffed and ran a hand through his hair, trying to focus on his surroundings. He picked his way along a maze of streets and clusters of people, at last stopping before a sign indicating his destination. As he approached the entrance, his brows drew down in irritation as he was forced to sidestep two amorous women so wrapped up in each other that they didn’t even register his presence. The Doctor shook his head…typical humans. Rose called him oblivious in jest, but humans were shockingly unobservant, especially in times of arousal. A small rush of endorphins in their systems and any logic or reasoning flew out the window. Those two could be hit by a bus and never even notice.

Although that did say something kind of nice about their devotion to each other. It was sweet, endearing.

What? No! No, it wasn’t. They were vulnerable, out of control. That wasn’t sweet, that wasn’t nice. That was…

“What do you want,” the older woman at the counter asked. It was clear from her dark arched brow and sharp glare that she had asked more than once.

The Doctor swallowed and flushed, mumbling out the order. He paid and took the ticket from her outstretched hand before finding a suitable place to wait. Looking around at the scant number of open tables, he frowned before settling himself against the wall by the counter. His gaze drifted over the various humans laughing and smiling at each table, plodding through their mundane little lives of family dinners, friends’ birthdays, and first dates. His attention was snagged by a couple sitting in front of the arched window and as much as he tried to ignore them in favor of others, his eyes drifted back as if drawn by a magnet.

It was quite an intimate romantic scene. Even he, with his decided lack of expertise in all things romance, could recognize it. The young man and woman were cocooned in the soft light of the flickering candle on the table, talking in hushed tones as the woman’s fingers toyed with the black ribbon tied around a single red rose. A rose…he rolled his eyes. He had brought her a rose on their date, and it was a date. No one could mistake the way her heated gaze studied his face or her coy smile. The Doctor had been on the receiving end of that look. It was formidable and a second later her saw the man’s Adams apple bob in response. He almost laughed until his eyes landed on the rose once again. Rose. She held doctorates in that look.

His brow furrowed. Is this the type of thing she would expect on a ‘date’? The Doctor had never paid much attention to human courting customs. It always seemed like a lot of work for little reward but that was before Rose came into his life. She was worth the effort, the candles, the flowers. Although, she would never want a rose. She was given roses throughout her life by people who saw it as a clever play on her name instead of the tired and agonizing pun that it was. No, Rose would prefer a lily or jasmine or honey suckle. Something heavy with a sweet and intoxicating scent.

“FORTY-TWO!”

The Doctor jumped at the sharp sound of the angry woman’s voice behind the counter. Every eye snapped to him, including the couple he was staring at. He flushed, ducking further into his coat, and looked down at his ticket, as if it held all of the answers to the universe. A large 42 was printed on the top. He rolled his eyes…forty-two. If only it were that simple.

“You,” the woman with silver streaked black hair barked at him again with narrowed eyes. “Get your head out of the clouds and come get your food.” She stormed back through the door to the kitchen, muttering curses in Cantonese that he didn’t need the TARDIS to translate.

The Doctor swallowed, rubbing a hand over his neck as he snatched up the bag and made his way to the door. He dared a last glance to the couple he was watching and wished he hadn’t. They were still staring at him, brows drawn in confusion and irritation. Averting his gaze once more, the Doctor ducked out of the shop. Cardiff’s nightlife was in full swing and people now crowded the walkways, filtering steadily in and out of pubs and restaurants. He groaned and began to dart between the crowd of human bodies as quickly as he dared. When he was a couple streets away from home, the crowds thinned, and he released a breath that he hadn’t known he was holding. He slowed his pace and shook out his coat; if only it was that easy to shake off his embarrassment.

He liked to pretend that he was above such emotions but in truth, he was keenly vulnerable to them, even in his last body. It was something he had revealed to Rose in a moment of frustration when they were walking through New York in the 1970s and brows had raised at their age difference. Rose had frowned and directed a glare toward the onlookers who ducked their heads in shame.

Who cares? They don’t know us. They don’t know what we are. She only clung tighter to his arm in defiance and offered him a dazzling tongue touched grin, conveniently forgetting to mention that neither of them knew what they were either.

He turned down the alley where the TARDIS was parked and just avoided running straight into a couple locked in a passionate embrace. He darted around them at the last second with a superior huff of impatience. Of all the alleys in all of Cardiff, they had to choose this one?

He approached the TARDIS doors and took a deep breath to center his thoughts, trying to ignore the soft moans and sighs from the mouth of the alley. It was distracting and all too easy to picture he and Rose similarly occupied in one of the many backstreets, cupboards, alcoves or alleys that they found themselves in across the universe. It pained him in a way to think about all the wasted opportunities to hear her muffled keens of pleasure or feel the clutch of her hands on his shoulders.

He slipped inside the doors and slammed them shut behind him, blocking out the sounds. He only hoped that it stopped the images running rampant in his head. The Doctor stayed in place with his head resting against the doors until his hearts slowed and his breaths evened. The heavy weight of the bag in his hand at last prompted him into motion. Rose would be in the library soon and no matter how conflicted he was, he had promised to start training her. Rolling his shoulders, the Doctor straightened and made his way through the console room, determined to not let this evening end with him doing something stupid.

-------------------

Rose checked her appearance in the mirror for the third time and smoothed a brush through her softly styled hair. The heat from her hair dryer had added a soft pink to her cheeks and she had brushed a light layer of mascara onto her eyelashes. She wasn’t sure why she was getting all ‘dolled up’ (as Jack would say) for a night in. It was just a way to put off the torrent of butterflies ready to take flight in her stomach. The routine tasks settled her shaking hands. She smoothed them down her soft cotton vest in a dark purple and her pajama pants in black silk.

Rose didn’t know what was making her so nervous about a simple invitation to supper. She knew The Doctor’s position on taking their relationship farther but there had been something in his eyes that made her knees weak. Eventually, she would have to put her foot down and stop this constant back and forth. The emotional rollercoaster would start to wear on her after a while but until then, she was going to soak up every stolen moment of affection that she could. Enough to make up for those twelve years without him.

Satisfied at her reflection, she straightened her shoulders and left her room, padding along the corridor to the library. As Rose crossed the threshold, her eyes widened. The library was lit by the soft glow of several candles scattered about the room and quiet music drifted through the space. On the table in front of the sofa, their food was laid out in a meticulous manner next to three lily stems tied together with a soft pink ribbon. Her cheeks flushed with heat. Was this a…date? Was he courting her? She didn’t know what else to assume. After all, it all felt so romantic.

She was startled out of her thoughts as the Time Lord in question strode into the room with a bottle of wine in one hand two glasses in the other. He stopped short when he saw her, his eyes skirting up and down the length of her body, leaving shivers in their wake.

The Doctor recovered first, shaking his head. “Uh…I was just…” He lifted the bottle and glasses in explanation before circling the table and setting them both down.

Rose settled on one end of the cushions. “Oh yeah, can’t forget that. It’s the whole reason I’m here after all.”

He straightened after he had filled her glass, with something akin to worry in his eyes.

“I’m kiddin.”

“Oh! Well, that’s good to know, I guess.” He released a nervous chuckle and filled his own glass before sitting on the other end of the sofa.

Rose picked up the small bundle of flowers from the table running the ribbon between her finger and thumb. “Are these for me?”

He studied the liquid in his glass and cleared his throat. “Yes. They’re from the TARDIS gardens. I saw them blooming and thought you might like them.”

She lifted to her nose and inhaled the sweet scent deep into her lungs. “They smell amazing. Thank you. You know when you invited me to supper, I didn’t realize it would be so…”

“So?”

She shrugged and ran the tip of her finger along the edge of the delicate petal. “Nothing…never mind. Just thank you.”

He seemed uncomfortable with her praise as he mumbled out a quick, “You’re welcome”, before snatching up his food and tucking in.

Rose followed suit and picked up her container, scooping a big bite of noodles into her mouth with her chopsticks. She groaned in delight.

“Hungry,” the Doctor asked, glancing up at her with a small smile playing on his lips.

Rose choked down the huge bite and wiped at the corner of her mouth with the back of her hand. “Starvin’”

“Good. You should eat up. You’ll need it later. Telepathy can be…draining.”

She raised a brow. “Yeah?”

He shrugged. “Just at first. Then you get used to it.”

“So, where do we start?”

“You start by eating,” he replied, and then looked down into his container. “And maybe answering a few questions I have.”

“What kind of questions,” she asked, eyes narrowed.

“Nothing invasive just…curious about you, your life over there. Things like that.”

“Fire away.”

They settled into a comfortable ebb and flow of chatter as they ate, squeaking out questions and answers between moans of delight and licking lips. When they had each eaten around a third of their meal, they reached out a hand, offering their container to the other. Rose paused at the familiar ritual. She accepted the Doctor’s take out container with a shy smile as he took hers.

“So, I guess we still share then,” he asked, a teasing sparkle in his eyes.

“Of course,” she replied with a smile, taking a large bite from his curry. “Why would that have changed?” The savory flavor exploded across her tongue, followed by a strong wave of heat. Rose almost coughed but managed to choke down the rest of the bite. She snatched up her wine glass, draining the contents. It didn’t help.

The Doctor quirked a brow at her antics. “You okay?”

She blew out breath, sure that she would see flames shooting from her mouth. “That is a lot of spice, Doctor.”

“Sorry,” he managed to mumble around the large bite of her noodles already working its way into his mouth. “D’yo wanna back?”

“No,” she replied, chuckling. “It’s fine. You seem to be enjoying it.”

He hummed in response and swallowed.

This was…nice. It was almost like a proper date with the candles, the flowers, the easy conversation. Their little Q&A was calming her nerves and they had settled into a relaxed back and forth. She had asked him about his time with Martha and listened happily as he regaled her with tales of Shakespeare, endless motorways, and being stuck in 1969. He had asked about Pete and Jackie. Rose explained the pros and cons of working with the man who had become her father in every way that mattered and tried to spice up stories of her mother’s endless charity balls or philanthropic dinners.

“Sounds like you were less than thrilled about your mother’s new hobbies.”

She shrugged. “I’m glad that she found something to make her happy. It was just boring for me.”

“What are you talking about? You love stuff like that. Dressing up in your finest clothes, dancing the night away? That’s right up your alley.”

She released a delicate snort. “Not when you don’t have anyone to dance with.”

“Oh, I’m sure Mr. Mickety-Mick would dance with you.”

“Oh, he was busy navigating the attention from all of the other girls.”

“You must have drawn your fair share of suitors. You’re a beautiful woman.”

“For a human you mean.”

“For anyone,” he replied, staring into her with those dark sincere eyes.

She cleared her throat and lifted a shoulder before placing her carton on the table. “I don’t know. Beauty doesn’t overcome everything. A lot the men in my circles were either intimidated by me or into me for all the wrong reasons. I think it had a lot to do with the way I projected myself. I was known for being an ice queen, not cruel just…robotic. I made friends. My team and I were close but…I was always separated from them, like I didn’t quite fit. It was like being outside, looking in on a really great party.”

He followed suit, placing the white carton on the table and leaning toward her. “Honesty is the foundation of a good relationship. It’s part of what makes me so bad at them. How could you build a relationship with anyone when you were hiding this large part of yourself?”

She shook her head and looked up at him with a wry grin. “That wasn’t the whole problem because I felt the same way toward Mickey and even Mum to some extent. They were happy to go back to life as usual and that irritated me. I didn’t understand that. After everything that I had seen and done. How could I go back to a fairly normal life? Even working with Torchwood, I was home for dinner a lot of nights. There were bills, food shopping, staff meetings, performance reviews, all those average, ordinary things that are suffocating in their monotony. I never stopped feeling…trapped.”

His brows knit and he swallowed hard before he could no longer bear to hold her gaze. The Doctor slipped off the sofa and began to gather their rubbish and empty glasses together.

Rose cleared her throat and stood. “I can help.”

He motioned her back down with a soft, sad, smile. “Sit, I’ve got it.”

She shifted from foot to foot as she watched his retreating back, twisting the material of her pants between her thumb and forefinger. “Do you want me to go?”

He spun around brows furrowed. “No, why would I want that?”

“I just thought…”

“We still have work to do, Rose.”

Back to index


Chapter 3: Found Myself on the Wrong Side of the Door

Author's Notes: Hello everyone! I'll probably be wrapping this up some time today. So, look out for additional chapters later this evening. There will be another large sequel coming in a few weeks called My Hit and Run. I'm working on another large piece for a different fandom but I'm definitely not abandoning this. I can't get these characters voices out of my head. I will be driven into madness before they allow to forget them.


Rose resumed her seat on the sofa, nibbling her thumb nail between her teeth. The warm contentment that had tinted the room with an almost dreamy glow was slipping away. When the Doctor’s hand wrapped around hers, she jumped. Her eyes swung up to his face and his lips lifted in a small smile as he settled next to her on the sofa in a half cross, his other foot staying flat on the ground.

He brushed his thumb over her knuckles. “Nervous?”

She matched his pose and nodded. “I don’t know why. It’s not like we haven’t done this before.”

“We haven’t, Rose. This won’t be like the times before.”

His serious gaze made her straighten. “What do you mean?”

“You’re a full telepath now. The connection is going to be more…intense.”

She shook her head. “I don’t understand. What-“

He looked down at their joined hands. “Do you remember the Valiant? The first time we, uh… touched?”

Did she remember it? She dreamed about it, the overwhelming press of his mind against her, the sensation of their minds slipping together, twining delicate tendrils of connection between them. She remembered being awash in everything that he is. She was left in awe of him, the complexity of his mind and spirit, and humbled that he would ever feel such naked affection for someone like her. Combine that with the fervent press of his lips, the slight tug of his fingers in her hair, and the groan that rumbled from his chest; let’s just say, intense didn’t begin to describe it. The memory alone was enough to leave heat coiling in her belly.

The Doctor cleared his throat.

Rose’s amber eyes snapped up to his heated gaze as a blush stole up her neck and onto her cheeks. “Sorry.”

“You’re fine. It’s fine. Everything’s-“

“Fine?”

He released a nervous chuckle. “Yeah.”

Her brow furrowed at the anxiety she could sense from him. “Why do I get the feeling that you’re more nervous about this than I am?”

The Doctor cleared his throat. “Rose, there’s something you need to know.”

She paused, eyes narrowing. “What is it?”

“This is going to strengthen the bond between us.”

“But you said that you wanted this to go away, not get stronger. That was why you wanted me to wear the dampener in the first place.”

“Well, that was before I understood how much it affected you, wasn’t it,” he snapped as he dropped her hand and jumped to his feet. “I don’t want you to hurt, Rose…not the way you hurt today. It’s not fair that you have to cut off one of your senses. I thought that since you haven’t been a full telepath for long, that you wouldn’t notice its absence.” He began to pace, dragging his fingers through his hair in irritation. “Which, in hindsight, I admit was completely misguided. That’s like saying a deaf person who was suddenly given their hearing wouldn’t notice being deaf again. Of course, it was uncomfortable. But if you’re not going to use the dampener, you need to have some kind of psychic barriers in place. I’m the only one on this ship who can teach you and being in each other’s heads is going to make this bond stronger. There’s no way around it.”

Rose grabbed his hand as he passed, bringing him to an abrupt stop. His furrowed brow softened as she rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand. “But if we make it stronger doesn’t that mean that we’re kind of stuck together, at least for the foreseeable future?”

He made a sound of disgust in the back of his throat. “I’m not monster. I never want you to hurt and I want even less to be the cause of it. If it comes down to hurting you like that or protecting my stupid boundaries…well, there’s just no contest, Rose. You’re going win that one every time.”

Rose was holding her breath, examining his tense expression. He was refusing to meet her eye and color was working its way out from under his collar. He was anxious and embarrassed, afraid that he had said too much…but he had said just enough. He felt something for her, even if he was afraid to define it. He was willing to put her needs before his and that was touching.

“Besides,” he continued, voice softening as he at last met her eye. “Stuck with you? That’s not so bad.”

“Yeah?”

He nodded and dropped his chin to study his feet. “So, can we skip the argument? I’ve already made up my mind.”

“Okay,” she replied, voice thick with unspoken emotions.

His head snapped up, surprise at her easy agreement evident in his eyes. “Really?”

Rose nodded and swallowed the lump in her throat. “Yeah.”

The Doctor resumed his position on the sofa with cautious movements. Rose scooted toward him until their knees touched and waited patiently for his instructions.

He swallowed, running his thumbs over the tips of his fingers. “Close your eyes.”

She obeyed and several seconds later, she felt the soft pressure of his fingertips cradling her head. She sucked in a sharp breath, hands reaching up to circle his wrists. Rose was diving into everything he was, feeling it wash over her like a warm breeze.

“Theta,” she breathed and pressed further into his mind, blinded by flashes of memory and deafened by clashing conversations. The soft words of a feminine voice caught her attention.

A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction.

Curiosity having overwhelmed her sense of reason, Rose captured the words, following them back to the memory. An opulent room resolved around her, sporting the kind of décor that she would always remember. The copious quantities of gold made it hard to forget the palace of Louis XVI. Madame de Pompadour stood before her smirking at the shock evident on the Doctor’s face.

The scene ended abruptly as the Doctor in the real world wrenched away from her. Rose winced, rubbing between her brows as she struggled to gain her bearings. She looked up into his wary face and cringed, realizing what she had done.

“I’m sorry,” she groaned. “I didn’t mean…I wasn’t intending to…”

He raised a skeptical brow.

Rose looked down at her lap, ashamed by her behavior and hurt. He was thinking about her?

She heard him sigh and felt his fingers under her chin, lifting it until she met his eyes. “I wasn’t thinking about her,” he assured with soft words. “I was thinking about what she said.”

“A door, once opened, can be stepped through in both directions.”

He nodded. “That’s going to be double true for us. The mind’s natural inclination is to protect itself from anything foreign but for us, because of this bond, our instinct is going to be to discover…everything about each other.”

“And you don’t want that.”

He shrugged, rubbing his hand across the back of his neck. “Rose, there are some things, some memories, that I would never burden you with and there are others that,” he trailed off.

“What?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know, Rose. You’ve lived for thirty-three years. Haven’t you done something that you were ashamed of?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, shouldn’t we be allowed to decide when we share those things with each other?”

Her cheeks flamed pink and her hands came up to cover her face. “Of course. Doctor, I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to apologize. I understand how overwhelming the temptation can be and, like I said, most of it boils down to instincts that aren’t easy to ignore. It’s difficult for me to resist but, aside from the consent aspect, it’s not what we were here to do today. We need to make sure that you have psychic defenses in place and it’s not going to be easy. It will require focus and practice.”

She nodded in agreement. “Okay. I’m ready.”

“Alright, let’s try this again. I think it might help if I give you a little more direction,” he replied. “Close your eyes and try to visualize your mind.”

She obeyed, listening to the soothing lilt of his voice.

“If you had to picture all of your memories, thoughts, ideas, what would that look like? It should be comfortable; it should relax you.”

Rose thought of the TARDIS library, with its rows and rows of books. She was comfortable there, wandering shelf after shelf, running her fingers along the ancient spines. It was her favorite place in the universe; she always felt safe there. She could picture it in her minds eye. Suddenly, it was there. She was standing in front of case after case of dark wood shelves and each one had different door set into its front. Rose walked toward the first one and examined it. This was the door to her room on the estate. A pink piece of construction paper was taped to its surface displaying her name drawn in large block letters, decorated with crudely drawn hearts and flowers. She smiled. Her childhood memories lay beyond this door, a time filled with light and laughter.

She looked across the way to the door on the opposite case. It was the same door, but the childlike scribbled sign was replaced by her name in elegant scripted letters. Intricate colorful flowers twined through the letters, each one penned and shadowed with painstaking detail. Beneath the artwork, in bold block letters read: PLEASE KNOCK FIRST. She shook her head, mouth twisting into a wry smile; ah adolescence. That would hold some of her most cringe worthy memories. She wasn’t what you would call an easy teen. Looking back now, her mother was a saint for even putting up with her.

Rose stepped back, looking down the center walkway, seeing all of the doors that contained a period of her life. The longer that she focused, the more that details began to sharpen. The veins of gold in the marble floor brightened, glittering in the flickering light of the sconces affixed above each door. She turned around and saw the large fireplace and the cozy seating area before it. With each passing second, everything gained clarity.

“Got it,” the Doctor asked.

“Yeah,” she breathed in reply.

“Brilliant. Now I want you to pay attention to what it feels like when I enter your mind.”

“Wait, I thought you were always there?”

“Very good question,” he replied. “That is why this is going to feel a bit different than if a foreign presence was trying to gain access to your mind. Ideally you would work through this with someone that you didn’t already have a connection with but we’re working with what we have. This will feel different than normal though. It’s a deeper connection and it might feel uncomfortable in the beginning.”

“Okay.”

“Ready?”

“Yeah.”

In her physical body, Rose felt the soft weight of his fingers against her temple but that was the last that she was aware of her body as his mind pressed forward into hers. Rose sucked in a breath and released it on a soft long moan. It was almost indescribable; being bombarded all of him to the point of being overwhelmed. Her mind felt like it was stretching to accommodate his essence. It was the kind of feeling that left you breathless, waiting on that razors edge of pleasure and pain, wondering which way you’ll fall. It felt like…

“Rose.”

She startled, whipping toward the sound of his voice. He stood beside her in her mind’s library, staring down at her with heat in his eyes and a smile tugging at his lips.

“Hi,” she said on a breathless whisper.

“Hi.” He looked exactly as he had in the TARDIS library, shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, collar undone, and feet bare.

A single lock of hair fell over his forehead and she sighed. His brows quirked upward in question and Rose shook herself out of her dreamy haze. “Sorry.”

“So,” he asked like she had any idea what he meant.

“So?”

He rolled his eyes. “Did you pay attention?”

“Oh! Yeah…um…”

His gaze turned expectant, as if asking her to elaborate.

“It feels like…err…um…” He gave her that stupid dribbling on her shirt look and Rose snapped. “Sex. Itfeelslikesex.”

His eyes grew wide, brows arching into his hairline.

Rose slapped a hand to her forehead and groaned. “Sorry. I’m sorry.”

“No, no,” he squeaked, rubbing at the back of his neck. “That’s not a horrible description. Although, I think it feels that way because…welllll…it’s us. It won’t feel like this with someone you don’t know well or if someone is trying to force their way into your mind.”

“Well, that makes sense with the sex metaphor doesn’t it? Being forced into sex is painful, sex with someone you don’t know well would be uncomfortable, and sex with a lover is…” She trailed off, realizing that she was rambling about the similarities between telepathy and sex to the Doctor.

An awkward moment of silence settled between them as they stared at each other in shock. The Doctor cleared his throat, but it didn’t help to lower the register of his voice when he said, “Let’s move on.”

Rose cringed. “Okay.”

He stuffed his hands back into his pockets and slipped past her down the center aisle of her library. She scurried after him. He passed shelf after shelf, noting the doors at the end of each stack.

“Looks nice,” he praised, glancing at her from the corner of his eye. “Very organized.”

“Thank you,” she replied with a tight smile.

As they approached the last of the stacks, the large door at the end of the main walkway became harder to ignore. The Doctor approached it, brushing his fingers over the golden wolf embossed on the wooden surface. He turned to look at her in question.

“That’s the part of my mind that’s connected to the TARDIS and the Time Vortex,” she explained.

He nodded and ran a fingertip over the seam of the doors. Bright golden light arched out of it, caressing his skin. The Doctor’s eyes lit up and he turned back to her with a bright grin.

“That is fascinating.”

Rose rolled her eyes. “Stay focused. Where do we start?”

“Welll,” he replied, jogging back toward the first door with the childlike sign. “As I said before, the connection that is already established between us makes this training difficult. We’re so intwined already, it would probably be more difficult to try and push me out of your mind altogether. So, instead we will start with trying to keep me out of specific thoughts or memories. Think of a memory, let’s make it your first memory.”

Rose scoffed. “Come on, can anyone really know what their first memory is? Time gets all jumbled after a while.”

“Just think.”

“Okay, well…”

“No, no, don’t tell me. Just think.”

Rose cleared her throat and straightened her shoulders. “Okay.”

“That memory is behind this door and your job,” he said, walking backwards toward it. “Is to make sure I can’t open it.”

“What? How am I supposed to do that?”

“Keep it locked.”

“Okay, but how?”

“A lot of telepathy is instinctual. It’s almost impossible to explain the feeling to someone who doesn’t already know. It’s gonna feel like flexing a muscle that you didn’t know you had. Just give it a try. Keep the door locked.”

The Doctor reached for the handle and jiggled it. Rose felt a slight twinge behind her eyes, but the door stayed closed.

He smiled. “Good.”

Rose almost beamed before he grabbed the handle again and wrenched. A sharp burn bloomed in her mind as she tried to keep the handle from turning. Her breaths became choppy, sweat beaded on her brow. Her hands were shaking, and she clenched them in tight fists. Suddenly, her control slipped, the handle turned, and both were sucked into the memory beyond.

Bright white light blinded Rose and she lifted a hand to shield her eyes from the sun filtering through the trees. She looked around. They were in a park; sounds of laughter and excited chatter were ringing in her ears. A soft breeze floated through the branches, brushing against her cheeks.

A squeal of laughter from behind had her whipping around. The Doctor stood next to her mother as she pushed a toddler Rose in one of those child safe swings, a giant smile plastered on her face. She pulled the swing back high and the little girl inside squealed with delight.

“Look how high you are Rose,” her mother cooed. “You want me to let go?”

“Yes! Yes!” Young Rose clapped in anticipation.

“Here ya’ go! Wheee!”

Her mother released the back of the swing and she giggled in abandon, flying through the air.


The memory faded and they both found themselves in her mind’s library once again, staring at the door to her childhood.

The Doctor turned toward Rose with a grin. “You were an adorable child.”

She rolled her eyes. “I failed. That wasn’t adorable.”

He offered a gentle smile. “Don’t get discouraged. It’s difficult. We’ll try again.”

He looked across the aisle to the next door and waggled his brows. “Rose Tyler, the teenage years?”

She groaned and followed after him as he bound toward it. This was going to be a long night.

Back to index


Chapter 4: I'll Come In If You Let Me

Author's Notes: Hello everyone! I know that I promised this yesterday evening but I came up against a plot problem that I needed to sleep on. I had one part of this story written in two different ways. In the end I decided that one scenario was just too far out of character for the Doctor. It bugged me so much that I had to change it.

Anyway, this is the last part of what was supposed to be a one shot story. I really hope you all liked it. I know that it didn't move the plot very far but it did help in establishing how telepathy between the Doctor and Rose works and the challenges with their bond. My next story in this series, My Hit and Run will be coming out in a couple of weeks. So, be on the lookout for that.

Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate all of you.


Several hours later, even the Doctor was frustrated. He had forgotten how taxing this training could be. Rose’s exhaustion was a palpable thing, but they hadn’t made much progress.

“Okay, one more time,” he instructed.

Rose rolled her shoulders and growled, “I can’t do this anymore, Doctor.”

They were standing in front one of the bookcases, facing the door to her room on the TARDIS with its carved flower. “Just one more,” he insisted.

“Fine,” she snapped and braced for his intrusion.

He turned the handle and it gave almost instantly, drawing both of them into the memory beyond.

The TARDIS console room resolved around them. It was late and the room was dark. Sultry music echoed through the space. The Doctor and Rose faced their duplicates dancing chest to chest in the memory.

A lump formed in his throat. He remembered this. It happened in his ninth body, the day they found Jack, the day everyone lived. They had all danced late into the night, but Jack was the first to beg off to sleep. Maybe he had sensed that they needed some time alone.

The Doctor had been so afraid, as he was with every time that Rose was put in harm’s way, but this adventure was different. Her boldness in the face of their peril had set him off kilter. He felt vulnerable around her. He felt like a besotted old fool. And he looked it with the dazed grin on his daft face as Rose in the memory snuggled deeper into his chest. His ninth self pressed a kiss to her hair and the Doctor felt a twinge in his hearts.


The memory ended and they were back in her library, the Doctor left staring at the door in stunned silence.

“That was the first moment that I really knew,” Rose whispered, jerking him from his thoughts.

“Knew what?”

Rose smiled, her eyes drooping with a bone-deep weariness.

“Okay, that’s enough,” he stated, forgetting his question as his brow knit in concern.

The Doctor pulled out of her mind, doing his best to soothe any strain along the way. She would be fatigued after sustaining such a deep telepathic connection for so long. What had felt like one or two hours in their minds was really more like four and he knew that, along with a slight headache, her muscles were bound to be stiff.

So, before Rose could even in open her eyes, the Doctor pulled her into his lap. He cupped her neck in his hand, rubbing at the tense muscles with attentive fingers. Seconds later she was boneless in his arms, her breathy groans brushing against his throat as his Adams apple bobbed in response.

“That was the first time I realized that I was arse over elbow in love with you,” Rose breathed, breaking the comfortable silence.

His hand froze in its ministrations and he pulled back to get a good look at her face. “What?”

She met his gaze with a lazy grin. “Up until that night, I thought it was just a crush. After all, you were impressive. You swept me off my feet. I thought it was natural to feel a bit in awe of you, but that night was different. Your touch was just a little more possessive with Jack around and I won’t lie, I encouraged it. I flirted with him just to feel your grip tighten on my hands and hips. I was shameless, hoping that at some point you would just…” She trailed off.

“Just what?”

Rose’s eyes dropped to his lips and the Doctor shuddered in anticipation, falling on her mouth with a guttural groan of surrender before he could think better of it. Maybe the fact that he was just in her mind, soaked in everything that made Rose Tyler the incredible woman that she is, was having a profound effect on him but his intense need for her had only strengthened. He settled one hand on her hip, holding her tight against him as he buried the fingers of his other hand into her hair, cupping the back of her head so he could explore every inch of her hot mouth.

Fire was consuming him, coursing through his veins and settling as a pleasant warmth, low in his belly. The hand on her hip slipped up her torso, burrowing beneath her shirt. He splayed his fingers across her ribcage, thumb brushing the lace of her bra. Rose shuddered in his arms with a whimper of need. Her fingers found his hair, tangling in the strands and tugging hard enough to make his toes curl. He pulled back, allowing her to suck in a quick breath before he was dipping back down to the temptation of her lips, once again.

“Wait,” she whispered, breath fanning against his mouth.

The Doctor locked down on every muscle at her request and forced his body to go still. He was panting hard against her mouth, their heavy breaths mingling between them. When he was sure that he had himself under control, he pulled back and met her wide-eyed gaze.

“Y-you can’t keep doing this.”

He swallowed hard and nodded, relaxing his hold on her so she could slide off his lap and onto her feet.

Rose stepped back, placing careful distance between them.

He resented every inch of it.

“You can’t keep pulling me close and then pushing me away. Its not right. Its hurtful and confusing. I mean, just what is it that you want from me?”

He shot to his feet, dragging a hand through his already mussed hair. “I don’t know,” he snapped and then tempered his tone. “I don’t know what I want.”

“Well,” she replied with sad resignation. “I can’t tell you what to do but you need to make a decision because this…” She gestured between them. “We can’t keep doing this.”

“I know. I know that it’s not fair to you. I just thought it was all so clear. I thought I was making the right choice in keeping us platonic,” he reasoned. “But…”

“But?”

“I don’t know. I…” He sighed, rubbing a hand over his mouth. “I miss you.”

Rose’s face softened and she reached out a hand to him, which he caught between both of his. “I miss you too.”

“I miss touching you and hugging you and cuddling on the sofa with you,” he admitted, voice catching. “I just don’t know if I can do any of those things now without going too far. Maybe there’s no going back now. Maybe the only choice is…”

“Is what,” she asked, wary of his intention. “Dropping me off back on Earth?”

“No!” He used his grip on her hand to pull her closer. “No, I’m not dropping you off anywhere. Do you hear me? Stop thinking that. I can’t leave you, Rose. I won’t. I’m just not exactly sure what I want us to be and I don’t want to lose my best mate by making the wrong choice.”

“You’re not gonna lose your best mate,” she replied, picking at his shirt sleeves.

“Oh really,” he asked. “Because I’m pretty sure you said that you would leave.”

“Not forever,” she protested. “Just for a little while. Just long enough to get my head on straight and stop feeling this way about you.”

He growled under his breath, not only doubting that she could accomplish this but... “I don’t want you to stop feeling this way about me. I don’t want you stop…”

“Loving you?”

He swallowed.

She pushed him back, placing him at arm’s length. “So, what then? You just want me to follow you around the universe, pining after you every day? That’s not fair!”

“Don’t you think I know that? I just said as much,” he argued, ignoring the fact that her words echoed Martha’s parting sentiments. “I know that I’m being selfish and stupid. I know that you deserve better; I just don’t know if I can give it to you.”

Rose’s face pinched in pain and anger. She had a tirade perched on the tip of her tongue and he braced himself for a lashing that never came. Instead, her whole frame drooped, collapsing in on herself like a dying star. “Let me know when you figure it out,” she growled between clenched teeth.

Spinning on her heel, Rose stalked towards the door. The Doctor was rooted in place, staring at his feet and refusing to watch her leave.

“Don’t even start,” he heard her bark.

His head snapped up just as she slipped out the door with a baleful glare to Captain Harkness, leaning against the wall beside it. He raised his hands in surrender and then turned his smirk on the Doctor. He held up two fingers, wiggling them for emphasis.

The Doctor eyes narrowed. “Of course. Perfect! You’re here.”

Jack pushed off the wall and sauntered into the room. “You know I thought I was being generous when I said that it would take two weeks until you came to your senses, but I didn’t think it would be two days.”

“Shut up, Harkness. I really don’t need you-“

“Doc, I’m gonna stop, what I’m sure would be a very terrifying threat, to tell you that it is impossible to take you seriously when you have that.” He glanced towards the Time Lord’s still obvious erection and raised a salacious brow.

He cursed, ripping his shirt from his trousers so that the tails would cover the evidence of his arousal. It would be gone soon enough but he had to try and maintain what little dignity he had left. He glanced up to see Jack’s wide grin and realized that might be a lot less than he thought.

Sighing, he plopped back down on the sofa, cradling his head in his hands. “How much of that did you see?”

Jack shrugged. “Enough that I probably should have paid.”

He turned a disgusted glare on the other man. “So, you just watched us…”

“Hey, what do you want me to say? You guys are hot,” he replied, walking to the corner of the room where the TARDIS kept a bar cart ‘just for him’.

The Doctor rolled his eyes.

“I mean explosive hot,” he continued as he poured a dark liquid into two glasses. He looked down at the bottle in his hands and closed it, shrugging as he tucked it under his arm. “Even the way you look at each other…all those longing gazes.” He sat down in the chair and placed the bottle and glass in front of the Time Lord.

His legs twitched, ready to run from the room. He couldn’t listen to any more of this. What was he being punished for? He thought back to his recent indiscretions with Rose and blushed. Oh, right. “I’m gonna check on her.” He moved to stand but the Captain’s words froze him in place.

“You’re gonna sit your ass down.” He took a sip of his drink. “Trust me, unless you intend on fucking that woman against her door until her legs shake, the best thing you can do for her, is give her some space.”

“But I-“

“Do you,” he interrupted with a blank expression. “Do you intend on fucking her against her door until her legs shake?”

“No,” he squeaked. “Of course not.”

He took another long swallow from the glass. “Can you promise me that it won’t happen?”

“What?”

He fixed the Doctor with a knowing look. “The last thing that poor girl needs is more confusion. So, if you haven’t decided to make love her but don’t trust yourself to know it won’t happen, then I think you should probably just leave her be. So, can you promise me that you will not fuck her against her door until her legs shake?”

“Can you please stop saying that,” he growled.

“Only when you stop thinking it,” he replied with a grin.

“I’m only thinking it because you keep saying it!”

“Doc, stop trying to distract me and answer the question.”

He looked to the door and then back at Jack. After several seconds of silent debate, he sat back on the sofa.

“That’s what I thought.” He nudged the Doctor’s glass closer to him. “Drink.”

He rolled his eyes and snatched it up, tilting it back and forth between his hands. “What’s the point? It won’t affect me. Technically, I guess it could if I drank enough at once, but it wouldn’t last long. My body is just better at filtering out toxins.”

“Yeah, yeah you said that last time but that was 300 years and a whole body ago. I think this time I’ll give you a run for your money.” He clinked his glass against the Time Lord’s, startling him. “Bottoms up.”

“Why?”

Jack hissed after downing the rest of his glass. “Because Doc, sometimes when it comes to matters of the heart, your head gets in the way. You think to much. Maybe you’ll know a bit more about yourself and what you really want.”

He eyed the glass skeptically but shrugged, gulping down the contents in one go. The Doctor placed the empty tumbler in front of the other man, accepting his challenge.

“Okay,” he responded with a frown. “Round two.”

An hour and several bottles of alcohol later, Jack and the Doctor were slumped in their seats. Other than a slight lessening of his normal exuberance, the Time Lord would say he was doing fine. He didn’t feel anything. Wellll, that may be overstating things. He felt something but it wasn’t bringing any type of new clarity. On what bottle was that supposed to happen?

“Okay,” the Captain slurred. “I’ll admit it; you can still drink me under the table.”

The Doctor snorted in derision and contemplated the world through the amber liquid in his glass.

“You’re saying you don’t feel anything?”

He blew out a raspberry between pursed lips. “I think I feel a little tingle. It all feels sort of warm and glowy.”

“Ha! So, you are drunk.”

“Nope. I could still pilot the TARDIS blindfolded.”

“Whatever.”

“Care to make a wager?”

“What good would that do? I would win. You can’t fly with any kind of accuracy on a normal basis. What about that is going to change if you’re drunk?”

“Oi! I resent that. I’m an excellent pilot.”

“If you say so,” he mumbled.

His resigned tone pricked at the Doctor’s ears and he looked up to run keen eyes over his friend. A frown was affixed to his face as he ran his fingers through the flame of a candle, a lost look in his haunted blue eyes. “Why are you here, Jack?”

“Hmmm?”

“Shouldn’t you be in bed with Ianto by now, working on your…oh…fourth time?”

“You seem to think very highly of my abilities. Care to test them out for yourself?”

“As I’ve always said…buy me a drink first.”

“What do you think all of this is,” he asked, motioning to the several bottles on the table.

“My alcohol?” He smirked.

“Doc, we’re friends. What’s yours is mine…or something along those lines. I don’t know. I’m drunk.”

“Jack,” he replied in tone that warned him to cut the bullshit.

He sighed. “Fine, fine. You’re not the only one with relationship problems, okay? Yan kicked me out.”

“Why’s that?”

He lifted a shoulder. “He asked me why I was choosing to travel with you again, leaving him behind, and I guess my answer was unsatisfactory.”

“What was your answer?”

“How could I say no?”

“Would you rather stay?”

“No! I want to come. I’ve missed you guys. Those times that I travelled with you and Rose were some of the best of my life. I can’t pass up an opportunity to see more, experience more.”

“But if it’s going to cause problems with your lover, then is it really worth it?”

“You better make it worth it,” he challenged and then studied his hands. “Besides, Yan will get over it. He understands the nature of our relationship and how…fleeting it is. Well, for me at least.”

The Doctor nodded, staring into the dwindling fire.

“Don’t do that,” Jack chided. “Don’t nod your head with that solemn sage wisdom that says you know my pain. Maybe you did at one time but it’s different now. You have your dream girl to spend the rest of your life with and you’re still pushing her away. You’ll get no sympathy from me.”

He groaned in exasperation. “It’s more complicated than that, Jack.”

“No, it isn’t,” he argued, leaping to his feet. “The only reason that it’s more complicated is because you make it that way. You have a kind, gentle, gorgeous woman who adores you, willing to spend the rest of her long life with you. If I had a gift like that, you wouldn’t find me throwing it away like it was nothing. You don’t refuse that kind of…blessing. And if you don’t understand that, then I don’t know how to help you.”

He stalked from the room, agitation bunching his shoulders. The Doctor didn’t try to stop him, knowing that, the state he was in, he wouldn’t be able to control his anger. Instead, he stood to relatively steady feet, still nursing the last few sips of a drink he never wanted.

He followed Jack’s path out the door, stumbling when his foot caught on doorjamb and spending the next few minutes hissing in pain before righting himself. He wandered the corridors, refusing to admit his true destination until he stopped before a dark wood door with an intricate flower carved into the surface. He rubbed his fingertips over it and raised his hand to knock before deciding that the Captain was right. The best thing he could do was give her some peace.

Running his hand down his face, he stumbled through his door next to hers. He kicked off his trainers and drained the rest of his glass before making his way into the bathroom that they now shared. That same wayward foot caught on the bath rug and sent him sprawling on the floor. The glass in his hand shattered and shards pinged across the tile. He shook the stars out of his eyes, wincing when the door Rose’s room swung open. She poked her head in, bleary eyes narrowed with agitation. The Doctor looked back at her and blushed.

“What are you doin’ in here?”

“Brushing my teeth,” he explained with a sheepish smile.

Her eyes travelled over him and widened in alarm. “Theta, you’re bleedin’!”

The Doctor sat up and looked down at his palm, grimacing at the sharp pieces of glass lodged in his skin. “Oh…that’s uncomfortable.”

“Oh my god!”

“Watch out,” he warned before she could rush to his side. “There’s glass everywhere.”

Rose cursed and ducked back into her room before returning with some slippers on her feet and a small bin. She picked her way toward him with careful steps, gathering up shards of glass along the way. When she felt that she had collected all of the large pieces, Rose came to his side and wrapped her arm around his back, helping him stand.

“Watch your feet,” she cautioned in soft voice as she sat him on the edge of the tub. Rose wrapped a gentle hand around his wrist, examining his wounds with a wince of sympathy. She stood, grabbing a towel from the rack to cradle the injured appendage and catch the blood running in rivulets from his palm. “Does it hurt?”

“Not too bad now. It will probably hurt worse when I take the glass out.”

She shook her head and released an exasperated sigh. “What were you even doing?”

“I told you; brushing my teeth.”

“Well, where did you get the glass?”

“From the library,” he sighed. “Jack and I spent the evening…”

“Drinking? Yeah, I can smell that.”

“Yeah,” he admitted with a shrug. “He said it would help.”

“Never listen to Jack about stuff like that,” she replied with a knowledgeable raise of her brow. “Do you want to go to the infirmary?”

He groaned. “No. I just…I just want to lay down.”

“Are you actually drunk?”

He grimaced and tipped his non-injured hand back and forth.

Rose shook her head. “Okay. Just, stay here. I’ll need to get some things.”

“You don’t have to…You can go back to sleep.”

“And how am I supposed to do that when you’re injured,” she snapped. “You think I’m going to just leave you like this? You must be out of your mind!”

She stalked from the room and it seemed like ages before she returned with gauze and a small aerosol looking can held close to her chest. She knelt in front of him and examined his injury. Blood was pooling in his palm and she ripped open the box of gauze, pulling out several pads. She straightened his fingers to get a better look and he hissed in pain.

Rose released him and growled. “If you would just go to the infirmary.”

“I told you. I don’t need to. It will be healed by morning.”

She rolled her eyes. “Well brace yourself, this might hurt.”

Rose grasped a shard of glass between a piece of gauze and gave a gentle tug. It slipped free of his skin, a new river of blood gushing from the open wound. She dropped it into the bin and pressed a handful of clean gauze against it. She repeated this process several more times before taking his hand between both of hers and pressing hard against the wad of reddening white cloth.

The Doctor grimaced.

“I’m sorry. Just trying to get the bleeding to stop.”

“It’s fine,” he gritted out, keeping his gaze trained on their joined hands and ignoring her curious eyes. “Should be fine in a minute or so.”

“I know. I remember.” She shook her head with a bemused sigh. “What is going on with you tonight?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean…the candle-lit dinner, the kissing, the getting pissed.”

“I am not!”

“You just…” Rose took a deep, patient, breath and let his refusal slide. “Why did you even let Jack drag you into that, anyway? And don’t give me that shite about believing it would help.”

“He made a persuasive argument,” the Doctor mumbled as he rubbed at tired eyes.

She snorted. “I would love to have heard that.”

“He said I needed to get out of my head. Stop thinking so much.”

“And that swayed you?”

He shrugged. “Well, I’ve tried everything else, haven’t I? Thinking about things doesn’t seem to be doing me any good. I just go around in circles.”

“Did drinking help?”

“Not really. I’m still scared of the same things that I was scared of to begin with. Now, all that circling is just making me slightly nauseous.”

“Scared?”

He ducked from her questioning gaze and tried to pull away, but she held fast to his hand. Heeding her glare of warning, the Doctor settled back on the edge of the tub.

“Scared,” she prompted again.

He sighed. “Yes, scared.”

When he refused to elaborate, Rose pulled the gauze away and found that his wounds were already beginning to clot. She nodded and picked up the aerosol can. Holding the edges of the wound closed, she sprayed on an adhesive bandage. They lapsed into a silence as she went about her ministrations and he almost breathed a sigh of relief.

“Why are you scared? What about us together scares you?””

A wry smile twitched at his lips. “Everything.”

Her brows raised. “Everything?”

He chuckled. “Being with you…fuck that, just you. You go against everything I know. Your very existence here is…impossible and yet, here you are, a miracle.”

“And that scares you because?”

“Because…” His eyes ran over her. “Do you know how rare you are for one such as me? My life is all about losing…losing friends, losing family, losing a planet. I’ve lost everything. The idea of having someone around for the long haul? That’s unthought-of. That’s intoxicating. That’s…” He broke off running a hand through his hair. “That’s too much to hope for. You have no idea how much I…covet you.”

Rose shivered under his intense gaze and tried to give a dismissive chuckle. “You’re such a magpie. You flit from one shiny thing to the next. Why do I mean anything to you?”

“Have you met you? You’re enigmatic. You’re a complete mystery. You have bent time and space to your will. You have the power of the universe at your beckon call…”

“So, is that why you’re fascinated by me?”

“No! If you would let me finish…you have the power of the universe at your fingertips and yet you remain a steadfast, gentle, compassionate woman. That power hasn’t corrupted you and I don’t know if anyone else in the universe could do that. You are a singular being, Rose. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” he stated, grasping her chin between his fingers. “I believe in you. You took a broken Time Lord and made him whole again. Time and time again you’ve done the impossible. You surprise me every day just by being exactly who you are.”

Their mingling heated breaths seemed so loud in his ears, echoing off the tiled walls in an endless assault on his senses. His eyes fell to her full lips, but before he could give into temptation, Rose was pulling away and standing to shaky legs.

“There. You’ll be better by morning,” she breathed, a pretty blush staining her cheeks.

“Thank you,” he replied, flexing his hand and trying not to let his disappointment show on his face.

“Okay.” She reached out a hand and helped him to his feet. “Now, it’s time to get to sleep.”

She began to push him toward the door to his room and he resisted. “Uh… Do I have to?”

“Oh,” she replied, coming to a stop. “You said you wanted to lay down.”

“I do, but I wasn’t going to…” He trailed off, looking pitiful.

She sighed and motioned toward her door. “Shift it, Time Lord.”

He tossed her a grateful grin and allowed Rose to herd him into her room. They stopped in front of her bed and her fingers flew over the buttons of his shirt before pulling it off his arms.

“Undressing me again, Rose Tyler?”

“Shut it. This I’ve seen a million times. It’s not a big deal.”

“I’m gonna let you in on a secret,” he whispered as he leaned toward her. “There’s not much you haven’t seen.” He pulled back with a wink.

“Yes, there is,” she blurted out before covering her mouth.

His eyebrow arched as her cheeks pinkened. “Do tell.”

She shrugged and dropped her hand, staring a hole into his chest. “I haven’t seen your mole.”

He gave a dismissive snort and reached for the hem of his undershirt. “Oh, I’ll show you that.”

Her hands halted his. “No, no, no.”

“Why?”

She flushed and swallowed. “Nothing…its just…if we ever do end up together, and I’m not saying we will or that I expect it or…argh! No pressure, but if we ever do, there are some things that I want to…discover for myself.” Her bashful eyes met his.

The Doctor shivered at the implications of that statement. The idea that she would want to explore him, map his body out with her fingertips the way he ached to do to hers, made a groan work its way out of his throat. His arms slipped around her waist, pulling her closer.

Rose halted him, pushing against his chest. “No, not that look.”

“What look?”

“That, ‘I’m about to kiss you until your knees go weak’ look.”

He grinned. “Do I do that?”

“What? Look at me like that? Yes.”

“No,” he replied with a smug quirk of his lips. “Do I make your knees weak?”

Her mouth dropped open. “Ummm…yes.”

A bright full smile lit his face and his arms tightened around her, but she still pushed against him.

“We can’t. You’ve made this an ethical issue now.”

“Ethical issue?”

“Well, because you’re pissed and-“

“Rose, I don’t really feel anything anymore. I-“

“I know. I just…” She sighed. “I don’t want anything to happen between us that you’re going to regret later, and I feel like you might regret this. So please, let’s just lay down and get some sleep.”

He studied her pleading gaze and nodded, releasing his hold on her. She stepped out of his embrace and his eyes followed her as she circled the bed, tossing his shirt over the armchair along the way. They both slipped under the covers, facing each other with a good six inches of space between them as the lights dimmed.

The Doctor was aching inside. He wanted to reach out and gather her close. Perhaps he could be the big spoon to her little one, but he pushed those thoughts aside. She was confused and he would be lying if he said that he wasn’t also, but he wanted, needed, some kind of connection to her.

“What is it,” she asked.

He could feel her probing gaze even in the dark and he swallowed. “I was just wondering if…if I could hold your hand.”

She chuckled, finding his fingers under the covers and twining them with hers. “Always.”

He gave a gentle squeeze. “Good night, Rose.”

She yawned. “Good night, Doctor.”

He watched her for many hours, until her face went slack and peaceful with sleep. The Doctor pulled her hand towards his lips, kissing the back of her fingers. She looked like an angel and about ten years younger with her eyes closed. There was too much knowledge in those eyes, too much pain, and he was so tired of being the cause of it. As he watched her in the dim light, her brow furrowed, a whimper of pain escaping her lips. Rose ripped her hand from his grasp to cover her face.

A small cry parted her lips. “Doctor.”

He reached out, pulling her into the safety of his arms. “I’m here.”

Her fingers curled into his shirt as she burrowed closer.

“I’m here, Rose.” The Doctor rubbed his hand up and down her back, hushing her in soft tones until she at last quieted.

Her body relaxed against his, melting into his side as he rolled to his back. His idle fingers sifted through her silken hair, reveling in the weight of her against him. As much as he didn’t want her to suffer from nightmares, he wouldn’t deny that this was the closeness he was craving. Her head rested on his shoulder, hand still clutching at the material of his white shirt, afraid of losing him, even in sleep. The Doctor pressed a kiss to her forehead and covered it, weaving their fingers together as he allowed his every muscle to relax, allowed his mind to forget about looming decisions. Before long, his eyes were slipping closed, soothed by the gentle rhythm of her heart beating beside both of his.

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