“So...where do you want to go?” The Doctor walked around the console towards where Rose sat in the comfy, two seated chair in the control room. He leaned on the console directly in front of her, looking at her, observing what she was doing with his glasses perched on his nose. She had the book she was currently reading open in her lap, said book being ‘Eragon’, but at the sound of his voice she looked up, met his eyes and smiled warmly at him. He smiled back, a smile that reached his eyes and made them sparkle. She closed the book and placed it next to her on the seat, then folded her hands in her lap.
“Oh I don’t know” She thought for a bit...she craved a bit of adventure, they had been floating in the vortex for near four days now while the Doctor tinkered with things he thought were ‘in need of fixing’ and generally just making things blow up, which then put him in a bad mood and in need of a hug with which she happily obliged. He seemed to have read her mind because he chuckled suddenly and swiped the glasses off his face, putting them in his top inside pocket.
“Well...I know somewhere that could be exceedingly dangerous...” Rose grinned and jumped up but he stopped her with a hand around her forearm and looking directly into her eyes. “...but....I wouldn’t want to risk you getting hurt, so we’ll go somewhere safer” Rose was flattered by his protectiveness and obvious care for her well-being, which had intensified since their encounter with ‘Satan’, and she blushed from the deep look he was giving her.
“Besides....” he let go of her and walked towards the monitor, swinging it round so he could see what was happening. “...we should just go somewhere to have fun, that’s what we’re normally trying to do when we land ourselves in trouble” He did that cute little sniff thing and went to the other side of the console to start the TARDIS up. Rose grinned to herself and flicked the switch he had forgotten to flick, which made the TARDIS roar into life. He popped his head around the central column, grinned his thanks and yanked a lever which in turn made the ship jolt violently, sending Rose crashing to the floor. Unfortunately she couldn’t break her fall in time and her head fell back against the metal grating with a sickening crunch. She groaned in pain and grabbed the console to pull herself up but couldn’t manage it, instead falling back down into a half sitting-half kneeling position. A wave of dizziness threatened to overcome her and she grabbed her head just as the Doctor appeared to help her up. He obviously hadn’t realised how badly she had fallen because he walked around laughing, but at seeing her still down on the floor and clutching her head made all amusement on his part vanish in a millisecond.
“Rose?” He ran the last step and kneeled down in front of her, one hand going to hold her face as the other hand went to her waist to help her stand up. She got up shakily, aware of his arm around her waist as his left hand stroked her cheek tenderly.
“Are you alright?” She looked up at him, meeting his concerned eyes and nodding. She soon found out that that hurt, a lot. The Doctor saw her wince and guided her head to his chest, holding her there for a while so she regained her balance. Rose listened to his double heartbeat and sighed, her skull throbbed painfully at the back as if her brain was trying desperately to burst out. She could feel the Doctor’s hand gently caressing the back of her head, trying to find where she had banged it which he soon did because she let out a sharp gasp of pain and he whispered an apology as he reached in his pocket and withdrew the sonic screwdriver. He parted the hair so he could see the damage, still firmly holding her head to his chest and adjusting the sonic screwdriver slightly. Rose heard him messing with the device and tried to turn her head to see what he was doing but he stopped her, guiding her head back to where it was, saying quietly
“It’s alright...trust me” She nodded slightly and relaxed into him as the sonic screwdriver buzzed and she felt the throbbing of her skull dissipate into nowhere. He put the screwdriver away and smoothed her hair back down. She sighed again and brought her arms up around his waist to hug him in thanks. He squeezed her back and she drew back to smile up at him. He smiled back.
“Loads...thanks....where are we anyway?” He let go of her carefully, making sure she was alright to stand on her own and walked back towards the monitor. She followed him, feeling absolutely great; it was as if it had never happened. She felt the back of her head to find it completely healed... no bump, no nothing. She smiled to herself as the Doctor explained to her where they were.
“We’re on Llihtnelis...beautiful place, except the locals can be a bit territorial and are offended ridiculously easily....” He grinned his trillion watt grin at her and added cheerfully “...come on!” She bounded over to the doors, grabbed her red hoody which was thrown over the pillar next to the Doctors coat, and pulled the door open excitedly, with him following close behind. She stopped at the sight before her, her breath taken away by the smell, the sights and the beauty of it all. The only thing that spoiled the beauty of the planet was the sight of the natives; they were, in a word, ugly! Tall and intimidating, their skin looked as if it was dripping off their bodies and they were at least 7 feet tall. She looked up at them in awe, unable to stop the astonished “oh my God” that escaped her lips. She felt the Doctor come to stand behind her and he whispered in her ear, making a tingle go down her spine as his breath washed over her.
“Try not to stare at them, they don’t like it” She whipped her head round to look at him.
“So what do they like?” she asked him quietly, trying not to let the creatures notice them standing there. He looked down at her, giving her a long look and taking a deep breath before answering.
“They like...beautiful women, like you... they can be a bit perverted as well. It’s a shame really; gorgeous planet like this and it’s spoiled by the inhabitants. So please...stay close to me, I mean it this time when I say don’t wander off” She smiled and put an arm around his waist
“Don’t worry, like I said...you can’t get rid of me that easily” He grinned and looked towards the horizon, where the sun was now setting and casting a purple glow over everything, he put an arm around Rose’s shoulders to draw her close to him.
“Come on then, let’s have a look around” They set off at a slow walk, arms still around each other, Rose looking around them as they walked, taking in the magnificent sights. The grass was an aqua-marine colour, which glowed slightly and looked velvety and the sky was light pink, streaked with purple from the setting sun and the random weird looking flowers gave off an absolutely gorgeous smell that made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside, a warmth that spread all the way to her toes, although she didn’t know whether that was because the Doctor had his arm around her or the actual scent of said flowers. She sighed contentedly and spotted a small set of brightly coloured stalls a few yards away.
“Doctor?” He squeezed her shoulders briefly in response.
“Will they still be open?” She indicated towards them.
“I imagine so...why wouldn’t they be?” He asked her, slightly amused.
“I dunno... the suns setting, its night-time, just thought everywhere might be closing down for the night” He smiled and explained to her.
“No...this planet thrives at night, closes down during the day; everywhere will just be opening...a new day”
The pink sky had darkened a lot since they had started walking, and the colours had now merged to form a really dark pinky-purple, which Rose thought was quite romantic, and she was surprised at how happy she felt. There was nowhere she would rather be right now and she wished it would go on forever, but she knew it wouldn’t, they would eventually be separated, however cruelly and harshly it might be and Rose knew she would do absolutely anything to make sure she could stay with him as long as she could. The Doctor’s voice softly cut through her thoughts#
“Do you want to go see what’s over there?”
“Ooooh yeah” He chuckled and started to walk them in the direction of the stalls.
They reached the stalls and Rose was immediately gob smacked. There was so many bright and coloured items that she didn’t know where to go first. Lamps lit the small market with an orangey glow that made the place feel warm and inviting. She let out a breathless laugh and stepped away from the Doctor so she could turn in a circle and see everything properly. The Doctor watched her with a grin as she spun slowly around taking everything in, he loved making her laugh, and was glad she was happy...his only fear was losing her, he knew he would one day and the thought pierced his hearts like a cold twisted dagger. He vowed to himself that he would do everything he could to keep her with him, if it meant regenerating again then he would gladly sacrifice another life to stay with her.
A squeal of excitement from her broke his thoughts and he watched her run off towards a bright yellow stall. He stood there, just watching her happily, until he remembered where they were and the dangers. He ran to catch her up and stood on her left side as she picked up a little red trinket that was playing out a soft tune. It was shaped like a rose, but had an alien element about it. The music was weird, intoxicating, and Rose was fascinated by it.
“Let’s have a look” he held his hand out for it and Rose gave him it. He examined it, making sure it wasn’t dangerous.
“Does the music make you feel funny?” he asked her and she shook her head.
“I just think it sounds...really sad” He nodded in understanding.
“Yeah, I think it’s generally for people who have suffered a loss...but it is beautiful” She nodded and a voice from behind the stall suddenly spoke, making her jump.
“You buyin’ that or what?” The Doctor looked at Rose inquiringly.
“Do you want it?” Her face lit up.
“Ooh yes please” He smiled and turned, with his back to Rose, towards the stall-keeper to negotiate a price while Rose looked around inquisitively. She had a look at the other items on the stall, the sound of the Doctors haggling and general hubbub of the market around her.
She saw a huge shadow suddenly cast darkness over the items in front of her and a moment later a clawed hand found its way around her throat and squeezed tightly. She gasped and tried to prise the fingers away as it dragged her backwards away from the stall, the owner of the hand growled quietly into her ear.
“You’re coming with me gorgeous” and she felt sick as his horrible breath washed over her. The Doctor hadn’t noticed anything and he continued to haggle over this artefact for her. She tried to gasp out his name but the clawed fingers were too tight, so she tried to see if there was anything she could knock over to get his attention. Luckily there was a stall near her with a lot of glass and fragile looking items so she swung her foot out, colliding with the table and making everything on it fall off onto the floor. There was a deafening crash as everything smashed and the Doctor whipped around, surprised, as well as a few other people. The alien holding her stopped dead still, obviously shocked from the sudden noise. As soon as the Doctor saw what was happening, his face contorted with rage and he stormed over, Rose knew she was saved as he stopped within a couple of metres from them, his eyes dark with anger.
“Let her go!” he commanded, glaring at the alien holding her captive. Onlookers all around quickly made themselves scarce, obviously sensing danger. The creature laughed horribly and tightened its hold.
“Not a chance...this one’s pretty, she’s mine!” A tear leaked from her eye as a claw cut through the skin on her neck, which didn’t go un-noticed by the Doctor, who shook his head angrily.
“She’ll never be yours, and I swear...if you hurt her...i’ll make sure you never see daylight again, you won’t see tomorrow arrive NOW GIVE HER BACK TO ME!” He lost all the control he had left as the creature laughed again and brought its other hand up to stroke her cheek and neck, making its way down to her chest and fingering the zip on her hoody. Rose felt physically sick and she caught the Doctors eye as he plunged a hand into his jacket and drew out a carton of pure orange juice and his sonic screwdriver. She saw his love for her radiate out from behind the anger and she knew she’d be alright, she trusted him completely, although she was slightly confused as to what use some orange juice could be. She might have imagined it, but she thought she felt the hand around her neck loosen slightly. When the Doctor spoke again his voice was low and slightly shaky, but dangerous.
“Let. Her. Go. Or this...” he shook the carton so the juice rattled noisily inside “...goes all over you!” Rose felt the creature tremble behind her slightly and realised that something in the orange juice must terrify the species something rotten. A minute passed and the Doctor obviously decided that the creature wasn’t going to give in easily, so he held the sonic screwdriver to the little circular silver foil opening on the top of the carton and blasted it off, a little spurt of orange escaping as he did so. This must have done it because the creature flung her forward so she landed harshly on the stony ground, turned tail and fled before the Doctor could squirt the juice at him. Instead, the Doctor flung the juice to the ground, pocketed the sonic screwdriver and rushed forwards to help her up. His anger evaporated as his arm went around her waist, and his left hand held her right arm as he helped her to stand. She stumbled slightly and the Doctor drew her to him in a comforting hug, one hand holding her head while the other arm was around her back. She trembled slightly and sniffed as she brought her arms up around his waist and held onto him tightly. They stood there for a while until the Doctor was sure her shock had subsided slightly, he pulled back and held her shoulders so he could see her face and examine her properly.
“Are you alright?” He seemed to be asking that question a lot lately, he thought to himself. She looked up into his eyes, her hands on his chest.
“I am now” she told him, making him smile a little. He cupped her chin with his right hand and examined the small cut on her neck. He brushed it lightly with his thumb to wipe off the small droplet of blood and she gasped slightly. He thought it was because it had hurt so he whispered a soft apology, when in actual fact it had been the soft sensation of his skin against hers that had made her gasp. She took a deep breath and looked back into his eyes.
“I’m sorry” she whispered. The Doctor looked at her, confusion etched in every inch of his face.
“Rose? What for?”
“If I hadn’t wanted that object it wouldn’t have happened” He shook his head
“No Rose, it’s my fault, I should have kept you in my sight...I brought you here...” She cut across him
“But I wanted danger...you wouldn’t have brought me here if I hadn’t said that...thought it” She corrected herself. He shushed her.
“No...It’s my fault, I won’t hear it any other way” She opened her mouth to argue but the Doctor shook his head again and put a finger to her lips before stroking her cheek.
“I don’t know what I’d have done if he’d managed to take you” he whispered, lowering his mouth to hers, hesitated slightly to see if she wanted to pull back, then pressed his lips softly against hers. She gasped in surprise before responding, kissing him back eagerly. A warm tingling feeling spread from her lips all the way down through her body to her toes, which left her feeling a bit dazed when he pulled away. He smiled warmly.
“Come on then...you could do with some sleep” He put his arm around her shoulders again, her arm going around his waist, and they headed off back to the TARDIS to get a nice cup of tea and some well deserved shut-eye.