Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Travelling with the Doctor was like a drug. All of time and space at her fingertips, it was a high like no other.
The universe could be ruthless and cruel, but there was also beauty and happiness and days when everybody lived. She spent roughly a year with her broody, big eared Doctor. He was angry and bitter, but his devotion was fierce. He was protective of her, his stupid ape.
It was during that year that she began to fall in love with him. Before Adam, before Jack, it was just the two of them spinning through the universe. Inside the TARDIS the whole of creation disappeared, it was just the Doctor and Rose Tyler.
He'd spent countless hours reading to her, her blonde hair sprawled on his lap, his northern accent bringing to life the works of Dickens, Shakespeare, Hemmingway, and countless others. He'd read to her until her breath evened and her conscious was claimed by sleep.
The first night Adam joined them on the TARDIS was the first time she saw his possessive streak. Instead of their usual library reading he'd shown up at her door, book in hand, and a smirk on his lips. He'd discarded his jacket at the foot of her bed, and toed off his boots before crawling under the blankets. Initially she'd been shocked, seeing him nestled in her pink sheets as if it was the most natural of occurrences, it was certainly something she'd never forget.
"Too much sanity maybe madness and madness of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be," he'd said. "Rose Tyler, I'd like to introduce you to a brilliant mad man, Don Quixote. Come along now, we don't have all night," he said patting the bed.
That night he read her the story of Don Quixote, Sancho, and the windmills. Than night her head found a new resting spot laying on his chest, she let his gruff voice and double heartbeat lull her asleep. The next morning she woke enveloped in the Doctor's arms.
The night before, just as she was starting to drift she heard a quiet knock on her door. The Doctor murmured an apology as he shifted her to the pillow before making his way to the door.
"Be nice," she whispered.
The smile he flashed her promised he'd be everything but. Outside stood a flustered shirtless Adam.
"Can I help you?" asked the Doctor.
"I-I'm sorry I thought this was R-R-Rose's bedroom," replied Adam.
"You were right, this is Rose's bedroom. Now let's try this again, can I help you?" said the Doctor smiling.
"No, goodnight," with that Adam ran back to the depths of the TARDIS.
With a silly little triumphant grin the Doctor made his way back to her, "up we go," he said lifting her back to his chest.
"Now where were we?" he asked going back to the book.
"You think you're so impressive," said Rose burrowing herself closer to him.
"I am impressive, did you see how fast that idiot ran?" he said rubbing her arm, "now go to sleep Rose, I'll keep all the idiots away."
After that night, it became a ritual for them. He never read to her in the library again, she'd always find him burrowed in a sea of pink blankets and sheets as he waited for her.
Slowly some of his things started to make their home in her space. The odd pair of dirty socks on the floor, a stack of books on "his" night table, his blue toothbrush next to her pink one. The evidence of his presence made her smile, and made her heart beat a little faster.
When Jack came along things changed a little more. He made it plainly clear to the handsome captain that she was off limits. That night after dancing around the console, he took Jack on a quick tour of the ship, gave him a room, pointed out the galley and left for Rose's room. He found her about to crawl under the covers.
"Wait, come with me," he said taking her hand.
"But Doctor I'm already dressed for bed and I'd like to find out what will happen next, in the book I mean," she replied, taking his hand.
"And you will! Bring the book along and follow me," he told her.
She did as told and left her room, book in tow, holding the Doctor's hand. They walked through several hallways before stopping in front of a dark wooden door with circular carvings.
"I've never seen this door before, where does it go?" she asked, tracing her fingers over the carvings.
"This," he said opening the door, "is my room."
She spent that night in his bed, wrapped up in his black sheets, his arms and his scent. He later confessed that he didn't trust Jack not to join them in her bed. She had laughed at the Doctor's jealousy while silently treasuring the moment they had shared.
Every night after that was spent in either in her room or his. Some days when adventures turned to losses, or the close calls were a little too close, on those night the Doctor didn't read to her, he merely held her closer, as if daring the universe to take her from his grasp.
It was during one of those nights, as he held her close to his chest, peppering kisses on the crown of her head, that she realized she loved him. But it went beyond that, safely cocooned in her Doctor's arms she realized that he loved her too. Suddenly the hand travelling up and down her back had new meaning. She had never, in all the time she'd travelled with him, had the urge to shift their relationship to something more than what it was. But right now all she'd have to do is till her head a few centimeters and their lips could meet. It was his broken voice that stopped her.
"I'm not ready to let you go, Rose Tyler," he whispered up against her neck.
She couldn't answer, a lump the size of a grapefruit claimed her throat, rendering her speechless. The only comfort she could give him was physical. Her arms drew him closer, her lips found his forehead, a hand caressed his cheek. Her actions silently promised him that she wasn't going anywhere. His own arms pulled her infinitely closer to him, his own lips landed on the corner of her mouth, his own hands held onto her, as of his life depended on it. Both knew the other loved them, both incapable of verbalizing the sentiment, but for now, it was enough.
The next morning neither brought up the moment they'd shared, both scared to break the sacredness of it. Rose went about her usual routine and just as she was about to make a dash for her room, the Doctor grasped her hand. She turned to look at him, tongue peeking through her teeth as she grinned at him. He tugged gently at their joined hands, commanding her closer. Her smile didn't falter as the Doctor brought his arms around her, she kept on smiling as his lips grazed the crown of her head, but her smile was quickly fell as he tilted her chin up. His hand cupped her cheek and he gently let his lips descend on hers. The kiss couldn't have lasted more than a second, but it was filled with promise and love, love so overwhelming it left her breathless.
"I'm not ready to let you go," he repeated, kissing her for a second time. "Get dressed Rose Tyler we're going to Japan," he said guiding her to her room.
"I'll make you a cuppa, fifteen minutes Rose," he whispered leaving her at her door.
Rose couldn't get her body to respond, she was still reeling at the Doctor's actions, holding hands, hugs, sure they've shared those, daily even, but a kiss on the lips, that was new.
Japan had been fun, ended with them running for their lives and straight for the TARDIS, but the adventure had ended in laughter and happiness around the console. It was then that all went to hell.
Satellite 5 happened.
He sent her away, she looked at the vortex, he chose to be a coward, she came back to him.
Rose Tyler stepped out of the TARDIS a goddess, golden tendrils of power and energy pulsated around her, she became Bad Wolf.
With a wave of her hand she destroyed a fleet of Daleks, he begged her to stop, she started to burn, he kissed her, she lived, he died.
A skinny man with sideburns, gravity defying hair, and a mole in between his shoulder blades replaced her leather and big eared Doctor.
At first she was scared, she didn't want to believe her grumpy alien was gone. This new man was so different, manic, twitchy, full of smiles and energy.
"I'm still the Doctor," he told her.
"Rose Tyler I'm still the same man the reads to you every night," he whispered taking a step closer to her.
"I'm still the man that kissed you this morning," he continued, taking another few steps in her direction.
"Very first word I ever said to you. Trapped in that cellar. Surrounded by shop window dummies... oh... such a long time ago. I took your hand... I said one word... just one word, I said...'run'" he said placing a hand on her cheek. "And we never stopped, did we? All across the universe. Running, running, running..."
"Doctor?" she asked, the truth beginning to sink.
"There's my clever girl," he smiled, pressing his lips on her forehead.
A regeneration was certainly something she'd never forget, but the image that had permanently etched itself into her mind was that of the brand-new Doctor laying unconscious on her bed. She had seen him sleep many times but this wasn't like that, something had gone wrong with his transformation.
And of course aliens chose the single instance when the Doctor was incapacitated to invade the world. But Rose couldn't bring herself to care. Her mind was in chaos, as she mourned her leather and big eared Doctor, while at the same time worried for her new skinny one.
In the midst of her emotional turmoil she had one belief that still made sense. She clung to desperately. The one thing that never changed or waivered - her faith in the Doctor. She knew that he'd save her when she whispered "help me," in his ear. And save her he did. He woke up with seconds to spare, swaggering out of the TARDIS, with witty replies and quoting Disney films. Seeing him in all his glory, defending her planet with a sword, in nothing more than his jimjams, finally proved he was her Doctor.
After single handedly saving the planet, he left her at her mother's flat, claiming the TARDIS needed his attention. Only a few hours went by before he appeared again. When their eyes met, he didn't say a word, just stood there leaning on a wall giving her a soft smile. Her eyes traveled down his form, gone were the jimjams, gone was the leather, replaced instead by a brown pinstriped suit, a tie, and trainers.
"Hello," she whispered, moving closer to him.
"Hello," he replied, pulling her into a hug.
They sat with her family for Christmas dinner, wearing silly paper crowns on their heads. Even through the smiles and happiness shared in her small estate flat, she was scared he wouldn't want take her along anymore. Little did she know that the Doctor himself was battling the same anxieties. Her fears quickly disappeared as he pointed to the sky showing where they'd be off to next. He took her hand and never let go.
It was the Doctor and Rose Tyler in the TARDIS, just how it should be.
The first few times he read to her were different, he felt different laying next to her. His voice was more animated while he gestured wildly with his hands. Those first few nights Rose had tried to keep a respectable distance between their two bodies, but she couldn't fight her body's instincts. She needed to be closer, and before they could even finish their first book she resumed her old position with her head resting on his chest. The double heart beat that reassuring her and convincing her beyond any doubts that this man was her Doctor.
She never could've anticipated how fast and how deeply she'd fall in love with this new man. His new body was made to be physical, his hand always holding hers, his arms often wrapped around her, his body constantly invading her personal space, and his lips seemed to always find their mark on her forehead, her cheeks, her hands, her lips.
But just like it had been with his past incarnation they never talked about their stolen moments. He certainly treated her differently, more like a significant other, less like a companion. Oh and how he loved her, the words never left his lips but his actions spoke louder than he ever could. He loved her fiercely, he looked at her as if she were the most marvelous being in all of time and space. He orbited around her, like a planet does around a sun.
There were too many times they were mistaken for a married couple, and many more he introduced her as his wife. The chemistry between them was electrifying. Even if they never acknowledged it, the universe could see that Rose Tyler belonged to the Doctor and the Doctor belong to her.
And though this Doctor seemed to be cheery and full of smiles, she quickly realized that he carried the same demons as his last self. He was still the same man, buried in guilt and haunted by his past. He was still rude and sarcastic, even a little mad.
Every time one of their adventures turned sour he still sought her for reassurance, his mantra always being "I'm not ready to let you go yet." She became a source of hope for him. She'd hold him through the night, softly kissing his brow, promising she'd never leave him. She'd spend countless hours telling him about her youth and the silly things only young girls did. Her carefree chatter slowly managed to begin to heal him, it wasn't enough to take away or erase his wounds, but it was enough to sooth him.
Ever since Satellite 5, ever since she looked at the TARDIS and the TARDIS looked into her, Rose had felt a warmth in the back of her mind. Sometimes that warmth would spread to her body, never painfully, always comforting. It never crossed her mind to mention this to the Doctor.
The first time it flared was when Cassandra possessed her body. She felt the warmth enveloped her mind, sealing it safe and away from the crazy flap of skin. The Doctor realized something was wrong the instant her lips crashed on his. She always kissed him shyly, softly, hesitantly. Her kisses were always filled with comfort, hope, love. Cassandra had snogged him thoroughly, it was fast, hard, and meaningless.
It was with one of his half-mad ideas that he managed to save the day and heal everyone. But she could tell that this trip had scared him, the danger had been all too real. It wasn't a day where everybody lived, and to the Doctor no death was acceptable.
The next time she felt the warmth was while speaking to a werewolf. The alien had recognized the wolf in her, even telling her she shone like a sun. The comment threw of kilt, she didn't know what this being could possibly see that she didn't. She remained distracted for their remaining time in Scotland, dangerously so. Her mind kept flashing back to Satellite 5, to those few minutes she held to power of the universe in her hands. It wasn't a happy memory, far from it. Her Doctor had died to save her.
That night it wasn't the Doctor that needed comfort, it was her. She slipped the book from his hands and crawled into his arms, letting his scent, of wool, tea and time, completely envelope her. His double hearts beating a soothing constant rhythm, chasing away her fears and concerns. He held her all night, doing his best to provide the sense of safety he always received from her.
Their relationship took another turn after she met Sarah Jane Smith. Rose was used to seeing the future, she'd been to the end of the world and back. And as wonderful or sometimes terrifying as it was, time travel was comfortable for her. The Doctor's old companion gave her a glimpse at a possible future. Just the idea that Sarah Jane had traveled with the Doctor and he had left her behind, made her stomach churn in the most unpleasant of ways. It played on her constant fear that her time with the Doctor may soon come to an end, and the realization that there were many companions before her.
She wondered if Sarah Jane had also fallen asleep in her Doctor's arms, she wondered about the kisses they may have shared, making the entire situation almost too much to bare. Her heart ached at the sight of her Doctor and his old companion interacting.
It was uncomfortable for everyone involved. Sarah Jane was jealous, Rose felt threatened, the Doctor felt torn between the two.
Rose tried to keep quiet, keep her thoughts to herself, but it was impossible. After everything they experience, everything they'd built, would he just leave her behind? She had to know. With his hand tightly clasped in hers she let the questions and accusations fall from her lips. Her eyes never wavered from his, watching as each one of her words cut him a little deeper.
"You just leave us behind. Is that what you're going to do to me?" she finally asked, her voice full of emotion.
"No. Not to you," he promised. His eyes whispering her the three words his lips had yet to speak.
And for that moment, his promise was enough for her.
That night one more person joined them in the TARDIS. And even though she wanted nothing more than to burrow next to her Doctor and sleep away her troubles, Mickey Smith needed their attention. Thankfully the Doctor took the lead, showing her friend around the ship, pointing out the different doors, showing him his new room, ending the tour in the kitchen where she waited with three steaming cups of tea.
The Doctor took his tea and left for the console, claiming the Old Girl needed some work. Rose also begged off saying she was tired.
"Do you want me to come with you?" asked Mickey, stopping her at the door.
He didn't know that it had been a while since she actually used her room. He didn't know she was about to get in the Doctor's bed.
"No Mickey, I don't think that's a good idea," she whispered.
"Why not? I know you and I ended things because you were traveling with the Doctor, but now I am too. We could pick up where we left off," he said.
She stayed quiet for a moment, trying to put together the words to answer. "We can't do that, I-I…"
"Shall we be off to bed?" asked the Doctor, stepping into the kitchen, his presence and offer answering any and all questions Mickey might've had. She took his hand and left, not wanting to look back at the man left alone in the kitchen.
Once safely in the familiar black sheets she let the tears fall. Sobs shook her small frame, her hands grasping tightly at the Doctor's suit. The roles were once again reversed. He held her tightly.
"I'm not ready to let you go," she whispered hoarsely, the same words he'd told her countless times.
He murmured reassurances, promising he'd never leave her behind, promising he'd always be with her. But when his words failed to calm her, his lips descended on hers. His kiss was filled with devotion, promise and hope.
"You aren't going anywhere," he whispered breaking the kiss. "You belong by my side."
He didn't know how else to reassure her, so he kissed her, like never before. After a while her tears ceased, their passionate kissing turned gentler, softer, until sleep finally claimed her, still wrapped tightly in her Doctor's embrace.
But the careful promises he built quickly came crashing down the next day, when he went gallivanting after Madame du Pompadour.
They escaped that adventure with a horse and many unspoken words.
Before any attempts could be made to fix their broken trust the TARDIS fell into a parallel universe. A universe in which Pete Tyler lived. She came face to face with a man she'd never thought she'd get to see again, but she also came across the Cybermen.
She walked towards the TARDIS content with their outcome. It hadn't been a good day, there were many unnecessary deaths. But at the end the threat had been stopped and she could leave knowing the world was in good hands as Pete had promised to rebuild. Her heart constricted painfully when Mickey told them he was staying. She may not have any romantic feelings left for him, but he still a friend, the best of friends she'll never get to see again.
Once back in their beloved blue box, she waited until the Doctor sent them into the vortex before throwing her arms around his neck. Yes there were many things that needed to be said, they deserved that conversation, but right now she needed her Doctor.
It took a while to get past France and the parallel universe, thankfully time was something they had an abundance of. But slowly they went back to themselves, laughing and dancing through the stars. They became the best of mates during the day, and almost lovers at night. Oh the sights he showed her, the most beautiful of planets, the most magical of times. That was their life, happily spinning through time and space.
But that almost ended when the TARDIS landed them in Krop Tor. The instant she stepped out of the blue box she the warmth, usually reserved for the back of her mind, spread through her entire body.
Krop Tor, the bitter pill, the impossible planet, whatever name they used, it still was hell.
The Doctor said it was a Sanctuary base of human design, but the hours they spent in that God-forsaken planet were anything but human, not even alien, they were something else completely. The TARDIS had tried to warn them, her hums and sloppy landing should've been clue enough, but neither of her precious passengers paid her any heed, they strolled through her doors, laughing at the danger they were about to face. Rose didn't even bat an eye as a peculiar warmth spread through her body.
The first thing they came about were a set of words scribbled on a wall. Part of the message was unreadable, the other part should've told them enough:
Welcome to Hell
But they were Doctor and Rose Tyler, they took danger by the hand and ran with it.
Coming face to face with the Ood was something frightening, their anxieties only increased when they met the crew, they were scared when the quake hit throwing them about like rag dolls. But when Ida Scott showed them the black hole, officially designated K three seven Gen five, then, and only then, did they question ever stepping out of their blue box.
The fact that this planet was orbiting around a black hole wasn't just impossible, it was unheard of, it simply couldn't be a fact. Yet there they were.
The warmth enveloping Rose lessened significantly immediately after the quake. It could've been nerves, it could've been the raw fear running through her body, but deep down she knew neither was the culprit. It was only after chasing the Doctor through half the base, realizing that the TARDIS was in lost, that she put the two together. The warmth she felt had something to do with their time machine. She felt naked without it, vulnerable to all the dangers of the universe. But never mind that, the Doctor was distraught, and as always he gravitated towards her for reassurance. His hand slipping neatly into hers, he needed her to be strong for him. Later, after all this was sorted, she'd mention the warmth.
They were stuck in an impossible planet, with no TARDIS, and only the promise of a "lift" from the captain.
"Well, it could be worse. This lot said they'd give us a lift," she said covering his hand with hers.
He could tell that this was how she was coping, trying to see the good in a terrible situation. But his TARDIS was gone, the last bit of his planet he had left. "And then what?" he replied running a thumb over her own.
"I don't know. Find a planet, get a job, live a life, same as the rest of the universe."
"I'd have to settle down," he said looking a bit pale. "Get a house or something. A proper house with, with doors and things. Carpets. Me, living in a house. Now that, that is terrifying."
"You'd have to get a mortgage," she said, laughing at his reaction.
"Oh, yes," she insisted.
"I'm dying. That's it. I'm dying. It is all over," he was playing it up now.
"What about me? I'd have to get one, too. I don't know, could be the same one. We could both, I don't know, share. Or not, you know. Whatever. I don't know. We'll sort something out," her smile fell, her mind catching up to their new reality.
"C'mere," he said, motioning to the seat next to him.
Her body complied silently, just grateful to be near him. "We'll sort it out," he murmured pulling her flush up against him.
"And you know what? If I had to get a mortgage, if I had to settle down in a proper house with proper doors and carpets, you'd be right there with me."
"Yeah?" she asked shyly.
"Stuck with you, that's not so bad," she said wrapping her arms around him.
Everything went to wrong after that conversation. The Ood's telepathic field increased from a basic 5 to a basic 20. There was a hull breach. Scooti Manista died. The drill reached point zero. And of course the Doctor volunteered to go down the shaft and explore along with Ida.
"I want that spacesuit back in one piece, you got that?" Rose said, making her way to him.
"Yes, sir." Replied the Doctor, about to put his helmet on.
"It's funny, because people back home think that space travel's going to be all whizzing about and teleports and anti-gravity, but it's not, is it? It's tough," she continued, grasping his wrists before he could pull the helmet on.
"Be careful," she whispered leaning closer, claiming his lips with her own. She didn't care that they were standing in a crowded platform, with an audience. It was selfish, but she needed that kiss.
"I'll see you later," he said with a smile.
"Not if I see you first," she smiled back.
With one last little wave he disappeared ten miles underground.
Ten miles were nothing when you travelled through all of time and space, but in that base, those ten miles felt universes away. Especially when the Beast spoke to her.
"And the lost girl, so far away from home. The valiant child who will die in battle so very soon."
She had no idea what that meant, she just knew that she didn't want to die. She didn't have the Doctor standing next to her, his constant reassuring presence was stuck ten mile underground, ten miles away. He wasn't there to ease her fears and keep her calm, so when the undiluted panic coursed through her, she was paralyzed. There wasn't even gentle warmth in the back of her mind. No, she was stuck in a sanctuary base, orbiting a black hole, thousands of miles and years away from her planet, completely alone.
She barely heard the bullets directed at the crazed ood, her body instinctively reacted, protecting herself, but her mind was so far away. Even as they escaped through the ventilation shafts, even as she saw Mr. Jefferson sacrificing himself, she couldn't pull herself together long enough to form a coherent thought.
When Ida said the Doctor had fallen into the pit, her heart stuttered in her chest. The warmth that had once occupied her mind was replaced by cold numbness. And even as her mind refused to believe he was dead her, heart already mourned him. If he was in fact gone, she couldn't leave him alone in this place.
But that choice was out of her hands as she woke up strapped in rocket flying away from the man that had become the center of her existence. She struggled, threated to shoot the captain, but they couldn't turn back now.
Then the gravity funnel started to destabilize, their rocket to spin through space, heading directly for the black hole. Next to her Toby's voice changed, speaking as the Beast, just as he had done on the base. Every bit of his skin covered in the ancient writing no could understand. When her brown eyes met his crazed red ones something snapped in her. Everything that had happened was this creature's fault.
The Beast took away her Doctor.
Acting quickly, she grabbed a gun, the same one she threated to use on the captain, and shot the shields, shattering them. The vacuum effect was instantaneous, her hands moved on their own, unclasping Toby's safety belt, sending him flying straight into the hungry black sun.
They were seconds away from following in the same path, when their rocket started to turn away from the source of their future demise. Then she heard it, a voice she thought she'd never hear again. It was the Doctor. He was alive, and he was rescuing them. Just like he always did.
She felt the warmth before she even saw the TARDIS. That soft reassuring presence in the back of her mind managing to swiftly calm the majority of her nerves. But she needed her Doctor, she need to have him in her arms and be certain that he was there. And that's was she did, running up the ramp, she wrapped her arms around the Time Lord. He hugged her just a tight, spinning her off the ground, before covering her lips with his.
The universe had failed again, no matter how hard it tried, it'd never be able to keep the Doctor from his Rose.
Once they were safely spinning in the vortex, Rose wanted nothing more than to sleep. She was exhausted, both physically and emotionally.
"I'm so tired," she whispered, pulling the Doctor to their room.
"Let's sleep then," he replied, closing the door behind them.
Sitting at the edge of the bed she looked at him, her eyes full with unshed tears. It had been an emotionally turbulent day. She was still hurting, and upset. But so was he. His eyes held an apology, but were just as troubled as hers.
"Let me help you," he asked kneeling in front of her and untying her shoes.
She tried to object but he didn't let up. Once her shoes and socks had gone he walked to his dresser. Pulling a nightgown from the second drawer.
The sight of her things so at home amidst his made her smile. It'd been close to a year since the last time she used her room, and the TARDIS took it up on herself to move all her possessions into the room they now shared.
The Doctor looked at the small grin on her face, rewarding her with an even bigger smile. With her nightgown held gently in his hands he walked back to her. With soft tug he beckoned her to stand. Dropping a soft kiss on her brow he spun her around, her back facing his front. One of his hands reaching around a tugging open the zipper on her jumper, sliding it down her arms and onto the floor.
"Doctor?" she questioned.
"It's been a horrible day Rose, let me take care of you," he said.
She felt his fingers slip under the hem of her shirt, before swiftly pulling it off. He made quick work of her belt, letting it join the small pile on the floor. He unfastened her trousers, hesitating for a moment before sliding them off her hips and down her legs. She stood there in her bra and knickers, completely exposed to the Doctor. Under any other circumstance her cheeks would've flashed hotly with embarrassment, but his actions seemed fueled by love and concern, rather that lust.
A trembling finger slipped under the clasp for her bra, gently snapping it off and letting it join the rest of her clothing on the floor.
"Lift your arms," he said, slipping the gown over her head.
Dropping a soft kiss on her clothed shoulder, he spun her around.
"There you are, now get in bed," he said touching his forehead to hers.
As she settled in the sheets she saw him start to undress himself. First went his tie, then his jacket, then his oxford, he pulled off his belt, toed off his shoes, peeled off his socks, unfastened his trousers letting them drop to the floor. He stood clothed only in his pants. Rose was entranced, never ever had she seen him do this, the countless times they shared a bed he had always been dressed. Occasionally he'd shed his jacket, tie, and socks, but never ever like this.
"Doctor?" she asked quietly.
He ignored her, and crawled under the sheets next to her, "c'mere," he whispered opening his arms.
It was then that she noticed the pain and fear in his eyes, she immediately obliged and nestled her face against his bare chest.
"Are you aright?" she asked
"Yes, now I am," he replied.
His arms tightened around her. "Today could've ended horribly," he continued. "We lost the TARDIS. And I almost lost you."
"But you found us in the end," she said smiling against him. He had voiced her exact thoughts, but feeling his despair he realized he needed comfort even more than her.
"I just need… just for tonight," he whispered.
She realized then that the Doctor had shed his armor, symbolically, by shedding his layers of clothing. He layed bare, physically and emotionally. The warmth of her skin acting as the reassurance he needed. This man loved her, a love so overwhelming that the mere idea of her leaving was crushing his hearts. Sensing his need for closeness made her hold him closer.
"I'm 'ere," she whispered onto his chest, "I'm not going anywhere."
"In my 900 years, I've seen a lot of this universe. I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi-gods and would-be gods, and out of all that, out of that whole pantheon, if I believe in one thing, just one thing, I believe in you," he said in a broken voice.
"Then let me be here for you," she replied, taking a faithful leap into uncharted territory.
"What?" he asked pulling away slightly.
"Let me be here for you Doctor, not as a companion, not as a friend," she repeated.
Even in the darkness of the room, she saw his eyes widen, followed by a sigh, "You've never been just a companion Rose Tyler. You've never been just a friend. But you are human, and your life is so fleeting, gone...in a blink of an eye. Someday you'll leave me, you'll wither and die. If I get any closer…I think I'm already too close at that, but when you're gone, I just…" He couldn't finish the sentence, he couldn't fathom a universe without Rose Tyler by his side.
"That won't happen for a long time Doctor, right now you need me as much as I need you. You've been so strong for so long, let me be here for you. Right now, you need a hand to hold," she said caressing his face.
He didn't reply, he couldn't, there weren't words to completely describe the chaos in his mind. He just closed his eyes a closed the distance between them with his lips. Rose knew this wasn't a yes, yet it wasn't a no.
Hours later she broke the silence with a whisper. "It said I was going to die in battle."
"Well it lied," he replied.
He shifted positions and nuzzled her neck, his lips landing right below her ear, "you belong by my side." His warm whisper, followed by his warm lips managing to dissipate her fears.
"I don't care what that creature said, I'm not ready to let you go."
And she believed him, because if there was one thing she believed in, it was in the Doctor.
For the first time in over 1000 years the Doctor felt the need to stay still. His urge to run was stifled by the very vivid memories of The Impossible Planet. So for two weeks he kept them floating in the vortex. Their days spent exploring the many rooms the TARDIS had to offer, devouring books, eating bananas, and watching intergalactic soaps. Their nights spent wrapped in each other's arms. Lost to all, but each other. It was during those dark hours, that He told her everything, opening a tiny window to his past. He told her stories of the endless fields of red grass, the twin suns and of the lonely boy that ran away to never look back.
During their self-imposed exile the Doctor's behavior started to shoft and change. Small things at first, waking her with whispered endearments, a knuckle tracing softly along her back. He orbited around her like a planet does around its sun. His hand rarely strayed far from hers, his lips leaving whispers of kisses on her warm skin.
Before encountering the Beast, their interactions had been shy and hesitant, almost scared. Now his kisses were certain and his arms held her surely. They discovered a new kind of freedom. Their exchanges were no longer confined to the privacy of their bed. During those fourteen days, they learned to love each other openly and just simply because they could.
But that need to stay still could never be permanent, not when you were the Doctor and Rose Tyler. The Doctor grew restless and fidgety. He had the whole of time and space at his fingertips, yet he found himself strongly attached to the tiny bubble he and Rose had created. On the morning of the fifteenth day he knew it was time to move on.
He'd been awake for hours, laying contently underneath a curtain of blonde hair. A small smile crossed his face as he felt her stir awake.
"Fancy a trip?" he asked, dropping a kiss on her lips.
She nodded, burrowing back under the covers, muffling her words. "In a bit."
From that day on he took her to the end of the universe and back. Choosing planets and times for the sights rather than the adventures. They watched stars being born and suns explode. He wanted to show her all the beautiful things out there; lilac skies, planets made of diamonds, endless fields of singing flowers. He wanted erase any reminder of Krop Tor. But most of all, he wanted to renew her wonder for the universe and her faith in him.
It was during one of these trips that he took her back to Woman Wept. He watched as she looked on at the frozen waves in awe. Her eyes bright, cheeks rosy from the cold, blonde locks dancing wildly in the wind. It was right then that he realized that there would never be another place he’d rather be. It wasn't the imposing landscape before them, or the magic of the traveling through time, it was her, it'd always be her. He'd traveled so far and for so long, seen the most amazing of sights, but he'd never seen them through her eyes. He was addicted to the look of delight she wore. Her life might end in a blink of an eye, but if that short time could be his, he'd take it.
"How long are you gonna stay with me?" he asked her.
"Forever," she replied.
Forever, he repeated in his mind. A single word made his hearts soar, and managed to fill him with something he hadn't had since the Time War, it filled him with hope.
"All right then," he said, rubbing the back of his neck. "If your forever is all I can have, then that's what I'll take."
She spun to look at him, her eyes wide. "I-I…" she began, caught between wanting to cry and wanting to laugh.
"Shhh, we'll have forever to say all those things."
Maybe this was the universe showing him a bit of kindness. A bit of kindness in the form of a young girl that took his hand and ran away with his hearts.
But then again, when was the last time the universe had been kind to him?