This was not how Rose expected the day’s events to unfold.
This was supposed to be a peaceful dancing ritual dedicated to the feast of the Reagal Flowers on the continent of the planet Aeter. The white-coloured flowers with gossamer petals produced the orange pollen that turned into gold when mixed with water from the planet and it was the main source of income to the native people (who were a lot like humans). Well, a lot like humans if you don’t take their peach-coloured skin and light purple hair into consideration. Well, the female population of the planet had light purple hair while male population sported brilliant pink. All people were owners of the bluest eyes Rose had ever seen and she might even admit that the blue eyes the Aeter people had were even more beautiful than those of the Doctor’s.
Nah. Not true. Well, the eyes of the Aeter people were undeniably fascinating but the Doctor’s eyes were dearer to Rose’s heart.
Not at this moment, though.
Right at this moment none of the words Rose would use to describe the Doctor would include the terms “dear”, “favourite”, “admire” and “ fancy”.
Rose is standing under the tree branches that barely protect her from the tepid rain that colours her white cotton dress dark blue. The thin fabric clings unpleasantly to her skin and she puts her hands to her breasts hurriedly as she notices that the dress becomes translucent and is plastered over her chest scandalously.
Rose groans loudly and piteously. She looks like a porn star. A carbon copy of one of the ladies on the covers of the magazines Mickey tries so hard to hide from her.
He actually thinks that he succeeds.
Rose tries to pull the cotton fabric of the dress of her skin and damns the ritual for the hundredth time. The ladies took her aways for preparation before the sacred dancing routine and strictly disagreed with her when she tried to leave her knickers and bra under the dress. Obviously, for the Reagal flowers to bloom properly, the performers of the sacred ceremony are supposed to wear nothing but white dresses and trousers without anything underneath. Both men and women had flower wreaths in their hair that were out of elaborate hairstyles and were worn down that evening.
Now, however, the wreath is crumpled and creased because of the violent rain and the transparent bluish petals stick to Rose’s cheeks and neck. Rose prays that the Doctor isn’t about to find her looking like a vapid damsel from the yellowapage books her mother enjoys endlessly and her grandmother wishes to burn (“Jackie, is this how I raised you? What if Rose sees these books! Reading erotica in the light of the day, for shame!”)
Rose would smirk secretly and pretend to be a virtuous girl each time her mother and Nana Prentice would squabble about Jackie’s behaviour and Rose’s upbringing.
What they don’t know won’t hurt them, will it?
Just let them see the popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015.
But enough of that.
Rose’s attempts to un-stick the chemise from her body are worthless because the strong wind seems to be designed to do exactly the opposite. It’s a small consolation that the wind is actually warm, just as the rain is. She dares not to look behind in fear of seeing what’s going on her backside and struggles to make herself invisible behind the tree branches.
She must not let the Doctor see her like this.
Where the hell is he, anyway? He was supposed to be overlooking the ceremony from the roof of the small stone building where the participants were preparing before the dancing but he is nowhere in sight now. The Doctor couldn’t ditch her, he wouldn’t, and he’s not in the crowd of people who dance happily, prancing around the meadow. The rain is a perfectly normal part of the ritual, as it happens, and it rains blue each time the incantations are spoken correctly and each time the dancing is done well. Rose has no idea if it’s a prank the Doctor decided to play on her (come on, Rose is not the brightest when it comes to science but even she knows that rain doesn’t appear from the sky just because a bunch of blokes and birds dance and sing about it) or if the rain on this planet has a voice recognition or something.
Rose doesn’t know how many minutes she hides from the sapphire-coloured droplets of water when the thing she fears the most happens.
The rain seems to be stopping.
And there’s the Doctor walking towards her under the rays of the purplish sun. He looks ridiculously happy and it doesn’t look like he’s bothered by her state of undress. Watered down, stuck to the skin, blue-tinged cottoned undress.
Stupid alien! All dry and comfy in his usual attire consisting of navy jumper, dark blue jeans and patented leather jacket. And he’s smiling, too!
Rose doesn’t know if she wants to feel relieved that the Doctor is not bothered by her almost nakedness or if she should be affronted that he is not interested in her in that way.
Rose decides to wait and see if the Doctor’s calmness is just a careful act.
“Here you are, Rose! Enjoying the experience, are you? This is the fourth time I’ve witnessed the sacred sapphire rain. Mind you, it doesn’t always arrive, some of the natives are clumsy fellas and confuse the dance steps. No dancing - no rain, Rose! Lucky, you are,” the Doctor looks into her eyes and smiles serenely, so proud of himself. He actually landed where he planned on and even in the time period he aimed for.
Rose huffs and rolls her eyes, deciding to ignore his cheerful mood.
The Doctor notices this, of course. Naturally, he still doesn’t notice Rose’s dress and the way she’s almost slouching on herself trying to cover the pinkness of her breasts and to un-stick the dress where her belly is.
“What’s the matter, then, Rose? Or is the weather not to your liking?” he smiles goofily, ridiculously happy about the joke.
Rose decides to lose it that instant.
“Oh, I don’t know, Doctor, what could possibly be the matter? The lovely blue rain that makes my hair look all green, or maybe the fact that I’ve been standing here waiting for you for bloody ever, or maybe the fact that they didn’t allow me to put on my bra and knickers before starting the whole singing in the rain franchise?” Rose’s voice is all strained and shaky, her fingers are clenching and unclenching, her lips are trembling nervously and her breathing is shallow and erratic. She feels unsteady.
The Doctor’s eyes widen at her tirade and Rose knows the exact moment he registers her outfit.
“Yeah, oh, Doctor, is that all you can give me after 900 hundred year old experience? I thought your vocabulary was supposed to be extensive!” Now Rose feels uncomfortable because the Doctor’s face is as red as the Christmas tree ornaments and his eyes are skittering around the landscape but they never focus on her face or on her body.
Rose feels like a drowned rat. Also, she feels rejected, embarrassed and overlooked. She looks down, ashamed of her outburst and quite ready to start her own raining spectacle consisting of tears and scrapes at her cheeks trying to get rid of irritating flower petals that linger on her skin.
Suddenly, the Doctor’s leather jacket is being settled on her shoulders and the Time Lord’s hands are there on her forearms. Rose looks up into the Doctor’s eyes half expecting them to transmit irritation or frustration at her silly behaviour. She is surprised at the tenderness and compassion she sees in his eyes.
Rose wants to cry when the Doctor wipes the fallen petals off her cheeks carefully. She wants to weep when he closes the lapels of his jacket over her body taking care of covering anything Rose wouldn’t be comfortable demonstrating in public. Her lower lip wobbles when the Doctor takes her feverish palm into his hand and tugs her in the direction where the Tardis must be.
These all are good reasons to cry, Rose knows. She’s elated that the Doctor isn’t ashamed of showing that he cares about her, even if only platonically. Maybe he doesn’t see her as the woman she is. He's an alien, after all. So what? He still loves her as his companion, as his closest friend. The Doctor cares about her, takes her feelings into consideration. Rose will choose this friendship over romantic love any day. She can live without romance and the rest.
She doesn’t know how wrong she is until they’re in the console room of the Tardis, until the leather jacket slides off her body and onto the grating, until his broad palms land on her belly and his thumbs caress her skin through the flimsy fabric of the soaked dress, until the Doctor presses his surprisingly warm lips to hers in a slow, smooth kiss.
And there is nothing platonic about it.