Amsterdam: May 22, 1992
The day was surreal right from the start. A few hours before sunrise, an alien entity landed in the big canal behind Central Station. So naturally, she and the Doctor spent the pre-dawn bicycling all over Amsterdam, chasing the damned thing (which had assumed the form of a pale-green phosphorescent mass of algae as it traveled from canal to canal.)
The Doctor figured out early on that the thing was searching for diamonds to repair its damaged craft. "But diamond trade moved to Antwerp during the second World War. Of course"
"Of course. So why doesn't it go there?"
"Because it's remarkably stupid," he said. "And it can only possess plant life, which isn't the most mobile kingdom on this planet." Then he started on a long winded explanation about photon frequency and photosynthesis using diamond lasers and he lost her, but she kept pedaling and followed him over bridge after cute little bridge, down dark, bumpy streets and past windows with bored looking whores, most of whom just leaned against the glass and smoked.
"They look depressed," Rose said after they emerged from one such lane.
"They're working the morning shift," he said over his shoulder, like that explained everything. He paused on top of a bridge and balanced, pedaling forward a few inches and back. Rose had to grab the big black iron rail with one hand to balance herself. He held the sonic screwdriver up, high in the air then examined the readings. "That way, hurry," he said. Then he grabbed a handlebar and tore off.
She had to pedal as fast as she could to catch up.
They finally managed to trap it at the wholesale flower market, where it possessed every flower except the tulips and grew into a great big multicolored golem of stems and petals. She wasn't intimidated until it attacked her with clouds of pollen. While she sneezed until her brain ached, the Doctor got to work mixing a solution that he planned to introduce into the sprinkler system.
Then the Doctor got distracted by the sunflower army, and she was busy searching for more weapons so neither of them noticed the cloud of red and white rose petals streaming from the ventilation system. The soft, sweet smelling cloud snuck up behind her and started cramming itself down her nose and throat, swirling around her as she tried to draw enough air to cough or scream.
The swarm engulfed her, like the attack butterflies they encountered on Azuraton VI. She wouldn't have thought flowers could be scary, but as she felt the thorny stalks encircle her ankles and inch up her legs and she slowly choked on the bitter clumps, she feared for her life, just a little. Then she felt herself falling and something prickly tightened around her neck and the warehouse went black.
She woke up with the doctor's fingers in her throat. He scooped out wad after wad of petals from her mouth. Once she began to cough and gag he sat her up and thumped her back. She spat out gobs of spit and white and red and retched a few times. Her eyes watered, and after a few more wracking coughs, she got most of it up.
"There you are," he said with a nervous laugh. He pulled a handkerchief from a coat pocket, releasing an assortment of petals that fluttered to the ground like confetti. He shook the thing clean then wiped the spit from her face and sat back on his heels. "How are you?"
"Death by roses," she said. "Hilarious."
He shook a finger at her and said sternly, "Ironic deaths are not allowed."
She ran her tongue over her teeth and gums and found a few more errant flower bits, spat them, and said, "I need to get this taste out of my mouth." She held out her arms and tried brushing off the smears of color but her skin was stained. "Shower wouldn't hurt either."
He grinned and pulled a strand of hair out of her mouth. "I know just the place."
"After you, Mr. Shannon," said the bellhop. "And may I say what an honor it is to have the vice president--"
"Yes, yes," the Doctor said. He strode in, surveyed the tastefully decorated suite and said, "This will do. Thank you."
After the door shut, Rose took a running start and belly flopped onto the great, big, soft bed. "Vice president of what?"
"Of the hotel chain."
"You're so smart," she said, peeking down the front of her shirt at the wads of assorted flower bits stuck her cleavage. She pulled out one itchy, golf-ball sized purple flower and tossed it at him. "I've got flowers stuck everywhere," she said. She pressed one nostril and blew out the other into her hand, got a glob of God knew what. "Handkerchief?"
He produced it, she took it from him and wiped the floral snot on it, then tossed the sorry thing on the floor.
He loosened his tie and undid the knot, then started on his cuffs. "Shower?"
She rolled over, then over again, enjoying the satiny soft duvet. "You first. I'm in love with this bed. I'm thinking of proposing."
"Can I be your maid of honor?"
"Sure. I'm sure you could put together a hell of a Hen Night."
He tossed his jacket over a chair back and leaned over her, tie ends dangling down and tickling her nose. "What about your knickers?"
"What about my knickers?" She swatted at the tie as he continued to tickle her nose with it and she finally grabbed it.
He stood up and she held on and the tie slid smoothly from his collar. This was something that had become part of their routine shortly after he started wearing the suit and tie. She couldn't even remember how it started, and it wasn't like she undressed him, but she pulled his tie from his collar one time, and ever since . . . it was one of their things.
It always made her stomach do the weirdest tumbles. She rolled the polka-dotted brown silk around and around her hands.
"Regarding your knickers," he said, watching her hands as he unbuttoned his shirt. "Any flower petals tucked away down there?"
"Probably." She straightened her skirt, smoothed the hem down her thighs and brought her knees together.
"Aren't you going to check?"
"Shower." She pointed emphatically. "I'll order room service."
He stripped his shirt off and little yellow flower bits fluttered to the ground. A few stuck to his chest. "I could check for you," he offered. "Your knickers, I mean."
"Concern yourself with your own knickers," she said.
He stopped unbuttoning his trousers and looked up at her guiltily. "That would presuppose I wore knickers. Or pants of any sort."
"Get!" She flung a pillow at him. Then she rolled over to her belly, reached for the phone and didn't turn around until she heard the bathroom door shut.
Getting nearly choked to death was exhausting, as was bicycling half the night, so it was only natural that she dozed off. She woke up to the feeling of water droplets hitting the backs of her calves. She could hear the shower running. After a few coughs, she said, "You're dripping on me."
"The hot water's tricky," the Doctor said, "I left it set for you."
She rolled over and saw he was kneeling next to her on the bed, wearing nothing but a towel. He leaned forward, on his hands and knees and dripping deliberately onto her legs. She pulled her knees to her chest and he shook his head like a dog, spraying her. "We ever get an answer to that question?"
"The flowers down the knickers question." He hooked a finger under the hem of her knee-length skirt. "They seemed determined to cram into every orifice, your nose, even your ears." He started to lift her skirt. "I was just wondering--"
She slapped his hand.
He dropped her skirt and pouted. "I only asked because it was a matter of great concern to me."
She climbed off the other side of the bed. "When?"
"In the shower, just now. I thought about the problem at great length."
"Feel free to continue talking," she said, heading for the bathroom and giving him a wide berth. "I'll be out in a bit."
"Not even a hint?" He winked at her.
She stopped in the bathroom doorway, felt the hot water vapor cloud out and around her, smelled the clean scent of shampoo. "Sadly, the contents of my knickers shall have to remain a mystery to you."
"Forever and always."
He clutched his bare chest. "Tragic."
She said, "You'll survive, I'm sure."
"Course I will," he said, his voice losing its playfulness. "I always do."
She couldn't think of anything else to say, so she shut the door behind herself before she could do something stupid.
There was, as it turned out, a handful of only slightly bruised rose petals hiding down the front of her knickers. She gathered them up and carefully deposited them in a neat pile on the countertop.
The Doctor entered the bathroom once while she showered. "Don't mind me," he said. She froze and didn't say anything back, didn't even move until she heard him shut the door. Didn't ask what he was doing and got right back to scrubbing and picking the last traces of floral detritus from her every nook and cranny.
After she finished, she wrapped her freshly scrubbed body in one big fluffy towel and her hair in another. Then she gathered the wilted petals in a loose fist and emerged from the bathroom.
The Doctor sat on the edge of the bed. He still wore just a towel, and ate from the room service cart.
She approached, bit the strawberry he held up for her, then opened her hand and sprinkled the petals next to his plate.
He chewed and swallowed the remainder of his mouthful. Then he rinsed his mouth out with champagne, selected a petal with great care and smiled up at her as he put it on his tongue.
"You're not supposed to--" She cut herself off and just shook her head. After draining her champagne flute and watching him savor the rose petal for far longer than was necessary, she said, "It's like traveling with a two-year-old. Must you put everything in your mouth?"
He nodded, tongue still obviously moving inside his mouth.
"Those are from in my knickers, by the way," she said.
He swallowed. "I can tell. Well, I know they were in someone's knickers, I hoped yours." He reached for another.
She swept the pile off the table. "You're--I'd say perverted, but maybe this is normal for your race."
He looked down wistfully at the petals on the floor, then picked up a crispy strip of bacon. "One of the benefits of being the last of my kind. I am the norm." He took a bite, crunched, and swallowed. "I am the mean, the median and the mode."
She sat and picked a strawberry from the bowl. Then she dipped it in the melting whipped cream and licked that off. She did it again because it was good stuff, real whipped heavy cream, sweet and buttery. Third time, she finally sunk her teeth in and when she opened her eyes, the Doctor was just sitting there, staring at her, coffee cup motionless at his lips. "What?"
He took a gulp, then said, "Nothing at all."
She wiped her mouth and stole a piece of toast from his plate. "Were you a pervert?"
"I've had my moments." He finished the bacon and poured more champagne for himself and for her. "Come to think of it, I've had my incarnations." He made eye contact with her and wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
She rolled her eyes and looked away.
"You taste delightful, by the way."
She covered her face. "You weren't supposed to put them in your mouth."
"What about licking? Am I allowed to lick?"
"No. Where are your clothes?"
"Laundry service. What about sniffing? Am I still allowed to sniff?"
"No! You're not allowed to--wait. No really, where are your clothes? And where are my clothes?" She darted to the bathroom. "What am I supposed to wear?"
He pointed at the shopping bags by the door. "Concierge got us a change until our clothes get back."
She pulled a thin turquoise sundress from the bag, then a pair of strappy sandals with low heels. She turned the bag over. That was it. "What about knickers?"
"I believe I was told quite firmly they were none of my concern."
She held the dress up, turned it and examined the laces that criss crossed down the open back. She took the towel off her wet hair, slipped the dress over her head and with a shimmy, dropped the other towel to the floor. After a few adjustments she said to him, "How do I look?"
The hem hit her at the knee and swung out as she twirled for him.
"I'd never know you were knicker-free."
She put her hands on her hips. "And?"
"Well gorgeous, obviously." He sat back and ran his fingers through his hair. "Really, it suits you. You look lovely."
As had been happening more and more since his regeneration, the tone of their interaction made an abrupt turn. His gaze shifted from one of approval to something else. Something that made her feel very shy.
She stood and nodded towards the steamy bathroom. "I'm going to do something with my hair, you put something on."
"Yes ma'am," he said, giving her a playful salute.
She saluted back because what else could she do but continue to play their game.
They spent several hours at the Rijksmuseum. The Doctor took an hour with The Night Watch. Said he knew the drummer and the drunk one in the red hat.
"What about the one in the yellow suit?"
"He was an absolute prick."
For once in a museum like this where he stared endlessly at some old thing or another, she didn't want to wander off. She wanted to stay close to him and hold his hand and while he examined the huge, boring painting, she pretended to look carefully while she investigated every crease and hollow and bend of his fingers with her own.
"No thanks," the Doctor said. He drained the last of his coffee and clanked his mug back to his saucer and gestured to the boy behind the bar for another. Then he brushed his hand back and forth through the skinny leaves of cannibis plant on the low table in front of their couch. "You go ahead."
Rose sank back on the squeaky leather couch and rolled the joint back and forth between her finger and thumb. Tightly rolled for tourists like her. Like them. "You sure?" She bumped her knee against his then held it there. "Does it even do anything to you? Drugs and things?"
"Some things yes, some things no. Different chemistry." His knee began to bounce. "Like dogs and chocolate."
"You're indulging in caffeine," she said, trying to twirl the joint over her fingers but fumbling.
The Doctor caught the slender thing before it hit the ground and tucked it back behind her ear.
"You're so fast," she said. She tapped the joint on her knee then examined it. "Always catching stuff."
"Different nervous system. Another time, I promise, I just feel like staying sharp today. Really, though, indulge yourself. Don't take my refusal as disapproval."
"You don't need to approve of what I do," she said, flicking a match and watching it burn. "You're not my father," she said, flicking it again.
He didn't answer immediately. Then he said, "That's right, I'm not."
Something in his voice distracted her and she watched the match burn for too long. Then she had to shake it out and plunge her fingers into her lemonade. She fingered the ice and hissed. "Ow."
He sighed, shook his head at her and smiled. Then he leaned forward and took the matches out of her hand. "Here, let me."
She put the joint between her lips, lowered her chin and stared up at him through her lashes. "Ready?"
"And willing," he said. "No, that's not right, and waiting. Ready and waiting." He struck the match and offered her the flame.
She leaned forward and took the first puff.
It certainly was a spring day and so very very bright.
"We could rent bicycles again," she said, skipping along beside him. "Yes, we must."
"You on wheels right now, right. I like your skull the way it is." He rapped his knuckles on her forehead. "Intact. Didn't you have enough of that last night?" He paused on the top of a little bridge and leaned a hip against the side, stared down the canal.
She ran her palm back and forth on the railing, enjoying the texture. "I'm not even that high."
"Course you're not," he said. He put his hand flat between her shoulder blades and rubbed in circles.
A tiny little noise of pleasure escaped her lips and she turned her face up into the dazzling sunlight. Then she stared at the sharp shadows across the canal, then down at her fingers and she squeezed the black metal rail. Felt the steady, gentle stroking in her back and she dropped her chin to her chest. Rounded her back up into his hand and felt his circles widen.
"Mmm," she said. Truth was, the high was starting to creep up on her, sharpening some sensations, dulling others. She bent over the railing further, hips up against the chilly iron and the sparkles on the water's surface just danced back and forth, capturing her attention and holding it hostage.
"Hmm," he said. His hand came to rest on her lower back, on the last gap of bare skin exposed by the dress. Then his fingers traced down her spine to her tailbone and beyond.
She held her breath because all around his touch, her skin prickled with the most delicious sensation. She stayed very, very still and his hand continued to slide down, inch by inch until she felt him cup her rear. As conversationally as she could manage, she asked, "Am high or is your hand on my arse?"
"They're mutually exclusive?" He squeezed her gently, firmly. Then a small commotion passed behind them. A group of tourists in matching orange t-shirts crossed footbridge, snapping away. To her surprise, he left his hand on her and she could hear them taking pictures.
She looked over her shoulder. Actually, more than a few were taking a picture of the two of them. just an anonymous couple, a wiry, dark haired man in khaki slacks and a black t-shirt and a long, stained coat (that he hadn't trusted to the concierge and it still smelled strongly of roses and violets).
They probably took photos that included his hand resting firmly, possessively on the bum of an anonymous blonde girl in a turquoise dress. The two of them would be in all these vacation photo albums like this and that made her laugh out loud and look up at him. He shook his head, gave her a scolding look and mouthed, "High as a kite," which sent her into a fit of giggles.
After the tourists continued on their way and she calmed herself and looked over her shoulder at his hand, which was still right on her bum. "That's a new thing, the ass grabbing."
He squeezed her rear again and said, "I'm a new thing. That okay?"
"I suppose." She wriggled her butt back against his hand until he gave her another squeeze. She smiled and said, "And you wait till I'm high to do this?"
She licked her lips and said slowly, "Whatever the hell it is you think you're doing right now."
"I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing," he said. His touch ventured lower, to where her cheek met the back of her thigh. "And you said you weren't high."
An uncontrollable shudder passed through her leg, then traveled up into her stomach. The shivery feeling bloomed out and out inside her as he continued to make tiny strokes on her bare skin. She took a deep breath and let it out very slowly before she answered him. "You know I was lying."
"That's true." He traced his fingers up and down the crack of her ass, pressing the fabric of the dress between her cheeks then tugging it out and smoothing it down . "Should I stop?"
She ignored his question. "You sure you don't want to smoke? Because right now I feel . . ." she got distracted by a big blue boat drifting down the canal towards them. Big, bright blue boat. Really vivid. Shiny brass trimming a soft purring motor.
She blinked and shook her head. No, wait, she wasn't imagining it. The Doctor was still fondling her arse. She felt like she was dreaming. The vivid canal pulsed before her like a dream, and as clouds passed over the sun, she felt the spring air chill and everything went a little grey.
She shivered and then, just as suddenly as it left, the sunlight returned with its heat and warmth. Every wet and metal and shiny thing before her sparkled to life. Rose's eyes went wide.
"No, I'm fine, my life is one big acid trip as it is." Suddenly, he stepped back.
Instantly, she missed his touch. She turned to see him sliding his coat off, then he pulled it back up to rest on his shoulders, arm holes dangling empty at his sides. "Turn around," he said. "Go on."
She put both hands on the rail and shivered.
He stepped up close behind her, put his arms around her, pressed his body against her back. The big coat hung down along side both of them and she dropped her chin to her chest again.
He kissed the back of her neck. "You cold?" With his hands hidden, he began to touch her again, his fingers venturing lower and bolder. He traced the curve of her arse where it met her thigh, then she felt him gathering the thin, slinky fabric at the back of her dress.
When he touched the back of her thigh, fingers on her bare skin, she flinched, but she kept her mouth shut and her eyes on the canal, on the swaying of the boats. He stood behind her, put one hand on her hip. With his other hand, he began to creep up the inside of her thigh, touching her so lightly, moving so slowly.
When he got to the top, to the part where she felt warm and moist, where her body felt like it was pulsing in time with her heart, he skimmed the hair, then brought his hand out from beneath her dress and smoothed it down her bare arm.
She groaned and leaned back against him, thudding into his chest. She felt his chuckle, felt him grip her hips and push her flush against the railing. "Do it again," she said.
He pressed his hips firmly against her arse, pinning her hips to the railing. He couldn't move her any further forward, but he gave her another push as he said, "Do what?"
Several people on bicycles passed behind them, bells ringing, but she barely heard them. The only thing she was aware of at that moment was the warm, floating feeling that had settled into her chest and head and limbs. That, and the erection nestled against her bum.
She swallowed. "Touch me."
"Here?" He pressed his body against hers, ran his palms down her arms.
"Here?" He squeezed her waist, then her hips, then he began to gather up the back of her skirt, an inch at a time.
"Please," she said, gripping the railing, arching her back and gently pushing her bum against him. She saw people walking down the side of the canal, just yards away. She saw another boat coming straight down the canal at them and she knew they could all see her and the Doctor. Just another couple standing close on the bridge. Nothing special, no one even looked at them.
"How about here," he said, lifting the hem high enough to tuck it over the straps across her back. His fingers explored the crack of her arse, then further down and before she could gasp, he'd pressed one right up inside her pussy. "If you were wearing knickers right now," he whispered in her ear, "They would be very, very damp."
The boat passed below the bridge, and she saw more than a couple tourists staring at them. The Doctor waved with his free hand. "Hello," he called.
The tourists on the boat waved back and Rose tried to keep her mouth shut as he withdrew his finger and slid it right up between her pussy lips.
As soon as the boat passed out of view beneath the bridge she moaned and tilted her hips back, chasing his busy fingers. "Please!"
"Where?" He rubbed against her with infuriatingly small movements.
"Right there," she whispered, struggling to keep her eyes open.
She heard a zipper and his wrist bumping against her rear, then she felt warm, hard skin poking her bum and she gasped.
"Where?" He guided her hips a little to the left until he was nestled right between her cheeks. "There?"
"No," she said.
His fingers were just so very nimble and smooth and then two of them were all the way inside her.
She made a little, high-pitched noise and two scruffy young backpackers a dozen yards away turned and looked at them.
"There? Right there?" His voice was a lot rougher than it had been just a moment ago.
"Please," she begged.
"What?" He teased her, withdrew his fingers till he was just tickling her hair.
She reached back, grabbed hold of his cock and squeezed. "This. Inside. Now. Any more questions?"
"Nah." He wrapped his fingers around hers and stroked her hand up and down his cock a few times. He brought his mouth to her ear and whispered, "Bend over a little more."
One of the backpackers was pointing now. She bent over anyway, more than a little, and gave him a challenging stare.
The angle was a little awkward at first, and though she was wet enough to feel it on her thighs, he popped out the first few tries. He brought his hand to her mouth and said, "Spit. And again." Then he was touching himself and her as well, then he was much slicker and pushing inside and then further and oh God.
Then he had her pinned against the rail. His belly pressed up against her arse, his cock most of the way inside and it gave her a stretch that was almost (but not quite) too much to take all at once.
"Oh," she said. "Oh wow." She stared up at the sky, let her head fall back against his shoulder. Her legs felt weak and as her knees started to shake she felt his hands firm and sure, squeezing her hips. She squeezed back, inside, and wriggled herself down his last inch.
He pulsed inside her and hissed in a breath. "You, you just stay still for a second."
"Fuck me," she said.
"And quiet. You just stay there quiet and," he stopped and dug his fingers into her hips. "I mean it"
She gave him a squeeze.
He said, "Fuck. Shh. Just, for a moment." Aside from the twitching her cunt did around his cock every he shifted his weight, she stayed completely and utterly still and silent and kept her eyes on the line between black, shadowed water and the sparkling, deep green.
Finally, after waiting just about forever, he let out a ragged sigh. He withdrew half way, then tugged her back against him so sharply it hurt and she bit her lip. She was going hurt tomorrow, going this fast, this rough, but with the bruises from the flower fight, that was already a given. And her thighs were already weak from all the bike riding, so when she pulled off him a little and bumped back against his bony hips it wasn't the smoothest movement.
He didn't seem to care. She did it a few more times and heard him groan, then he had his hands in front of her, grabbing through the front of her dress, fingers rubbing between her legs, tugging her back onto him, good and deep.
A several streets down, she saw a boat start its slow turn onto the canal and head towards them. "Boat," she groaned, arching forward into his hand.
He moved inside her, giving her short, slow thrusts that made her spread her stance wider, bend further over the rail.
"Better come for me soon, then," he said, hitting a rhythm and a very, very good spot with his fingertips.
She closed her eyes, decided not to care about anything but him and this moment. She felt all of it, all the emotion and sensation and tension gathering inside of her, into this tighter and tighter knot.
His breathing grew strained and between her legs, his fingers fumbled. His other hand tightened against her hip and his thrusts grew less controlled, less measured, more frantic. She put her hand over his, brought his fingers to the right place, and that was just enough, just a few more, then she heard the Doctor begging, "Please, please," and that did it.
She grabbed hold of the rail and felt herself shudder from the inside out, felt herself clench around him and come so hard she couldn't even make a noise.
He stayed still for a few moments, saying, "Go on, yes," then, before she finished coming, he shoved her hips forward against the railing with his own.
He gave her one last deep thrust then he slid his arms around her and all along her back, his body went rigid and shook. He squeezed her tight enough to push all the breath from her lungs, but she couldn't care less. He held on and held on and pulsed inside her.
The putter of the approaching motor made her look up, and the thing was only a couple blocks away now. She pried her arms out of his grasp and pulled the coat closed in the front. After she cleared her throat, she said, "Still a boat."
"That's nice," he said, and wiggled forward, still inside her. Then he took a deep breath, chest swelling against her back, and let it out with a sated, "Ahh."
She felt him flinch, which was an interesting sensation to experience so intimately. The whole tension of his body changed behind her and inside of her, slowly, he began to soften. "Yes. I feel wonderful. I feel," he paused. Kissed the top of her head.
He sounded nervous when he finally spoke again. "What about you? That was rather . . . um . . . sudden is the word, I think."
"Unexpected," she said. "Unexpected is the word."
He slid a hand over her ass and between her legs, then cupped her pussy as he slid out. She wondered why for a moment, until she felt something warm and wet flow out of her. After a several moments, he pulled away, and held his messy hand out in front of her, over the river. With his other hand, he tugged down the back of her dress and tucked himself away, then sidestepped and leaned forward on the rail next to her.
He stared down nervously at his closed hand, his wet fingers. "Good unexpected or bad unexpected?" When she didn't answer, he looked at her expectantly. Worried. "Say something," he said.
Her throat felt so tight that she couldn't trust herself to speak, so she peeled his fingers away from his palm and looked at the slick mess. She touched it with two fingers, then brought them to her mouth and sucked.
He blinked and stared from his hand to her mouth, then narrowed his eyes. "Good unexpected?"
She took another taste, then nodded and said, "Good. A good new thing."
He licked his palm clean with a couple of broad swipes of his tongue. The grin he gave her was brighter and more dazzling than anything she'd seen so far that crazy day. "I'm a bad influence on you."
She blushed, but looked him in the eye. "Never said I didn't like licking things."
"Is that right?"
She ran her tongue over her lips. "Come here."
He grabbed her waist and lifted her to sit on the railing. The metal was freezing on her ass, even through the dress, and she made a high pitched squeal of protest. He stopped it with his mouth, and wrapped his arms around her tightly. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him back and below, she heard the rattle of a boat motor, clapping, and one or two whistles.