Rose sat on the bed in the room that the Doctor had given her. She had no idea how such a bedroom happened to be in the TARDIS, but it was the last of her concerns at the moment. She was thinking of her mum, scared silly that her daughter wouldn't be coming home. Ever.
“It's not safe.”
No, it wasn't. She escaped Autons, been almost toast at the end of the world and faced demons with the faces of angels. There were other dangers as well.
“He's not my boyfriend — he's better than that.”
Well, no he wasn't her boyfriend. That didn't stop them flirting at any given opportunity. She had no idea where this was going. If there was a “this” to be going anywhere. He was nine hundred years old, for crying out loud. Rose blinked. That didn't worry her anywhere near as much as it probably should. Half the time she forgot he was alien. Most of the time, he was just an annoying snarky male with a northern accent and a penchant for dangerous situations.
"Well, you can stay there if you want. But right now there's this plasma storm brewing in the Horsehead Nebula. Fires are burning 10 million miles wide. I could fly the TARDIS right into the heart of it and then ride the shock wave all the way out. Hurtle right across the sky and end up anywhere. Your choice."
He'd dangled it in front of her like a carrot. Blatant manipulation, she knew but she hadn't been able to resist. He knew her too well. Plasma fires or Shepard's pie? There was no contest. Still... Rose felt a surge of anger at him.
“Rose?” Displaying his usual bad timing, the Doctor stood at her door.
She shrieked in her anger and flung the nearest thing to hand at him. Which was a trainer. It bounced harmlessly off the TARDIS wall.
“Oi! What was that for?”
“You are such a twat!” She yelled at him. “Well I hope it's bloody worth it!”
“Don't play dumb with me. You... you played me. God, wonders of the universe or tea with my mother. It wasn't fair!”
The Doctor leaned against the wall. “You came though.”
Tears filled her eyes and Rose looked away. “Yes I did, God forgive me. What kind of a daughter does that make me?” She slumped. As angry as she was at him for manipulating her, she was as angry with herself for giving in. But how could she go back to the nine-to-five and Eastenders with dinner on her lap when she'd seen what she'd seen? Something else occurred to her then.
“I lied, didn't I?” She asked him. “When I said I'd be back in ten seconds. It was a lie. I won't go back. I can't; not now I've seen what's out there. Not knowing how much more there is.”
The Doctor crossed her room and sat next to her. “I'm sorry for doing that. For saying what I said. I knew you wouldn't be able to resist. But I've seen you out there, Rose. You love it as much as I do. I couldn't have left you behind; you'd never forgive me. You might not forgive me for pushing you back in. You might not forgive yourself. But answer me one question — do you want to go back?”
Rose stared at him. His expression was utterly serious and his eyes watched her, weighing her. She thought about it. Not seeing the wonders of the universe. Not coming close to dying every five minutes. Not being grabbed by the hand. She swallowed - he was right; she did love it.
She shook her head slowly, never breaking eye-contact. “No,” she confessed in a small voice.
A grin lit his face. “Okay then. You wanted to see this, then?”
“Yes I did.”
And he took her hand and led her to the console room and the wonders of the universe.