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The high-pitched whining sound of the frothing wand lulls Rose into a daze as she swishes it around in the steaming milk. She inhales, the soothing scent reminding her of childhood and chilly winter nights spent indoors, curled up with her mum on a sofa, sipping warm cups of milk while watching old films on telly. Smiling at the memory, she bites her lip in concentration when she notices the temperature gauge approaching fifty, then sixty, little bubbles beginning to form into looming clouds of foam that peak when she lifts the wand up and back down again. This part, she likes, something about it making her feel like she created a tangible work of espresso art, so she pays attention, wanting to get it just right.

“Rose! You need to speed it up, love! We’ve got a long queue forming,” Shareen shouts, as she jots down customer orders in code on the paper cups that are beginning to pile up.

Rose jumps and her hand slips onto the stainless steel pitcher, the resulting burn making her drop the milk onto the floor.

“Fuck!” Rose yells, sucking her throbbing fingers into her mouth.

Shareen’s lips form an ‘o’ shape, the marker in her hand smearing the abbreviated code for a raspberry mocha.

“Ooh, you better put ice on that straight away,” Shareen says, resuming her writing on the cup. “Oi Mickey! Get back here and take Rose’s place!”

Rose scoops some ice into a paper towel and watches as Mickey looks up from the handheld video game he plays at one of the café tables.

“But I’m on a break! Still got ten more minutes,” Mickey says, before returning his attention to the game.

Shareen scowls, adding three more cups to the growing pile of orders. “Sod your break, I have a queue ten people long and a barista down for the count. Get your arse back here!”

Mickey shakes his head, eyes still trained on the screen. “Language, Shareen! This is a place of business.” He holds up his hands to stave off her reply. “Relax, babe, I’m getting up.”

“I’m no one’s babe. Save that for your ex over there and go grab an apron.”

Rose picks up a towel, ducking down to clean up the spilled milk as Mickey walks behind the counter.

“It’s okay, babe, I’ve got it,” he says, leaning down and smiling at her as he takes the towel. “You sure you’re gonna survive that burn, or should I take you to hospital?”

“Oh shut up, Mickey, I’m fine. Hand just slipped is all - I’ll be right as rain in a few minutes. Not sure about how you’ll fare with Shareen though, if you don’t get started on those drinks."

Mickey’s smile fades and he hops up to take his place at the espresso machine, tossing the towel back to Rose.

The throbbing pain of the burn increases and Rose winces at the feel of the rough terry cloth against her skin, longing for the numbness that the ice provided.

Shareen notices, without looking, in that brilliant way of hers that has always been a mystery to Rose. “Stop that, Rose! You need to take care of that burn. Leave it. I’ll mop that up after this lot clears out.”

Rose nods in agreement, grabbing more ice and leaning back on the counter whilst she watches her friends work. After a while, her eyes begin to close, the brightness of the florescent lights and the bustle of the midday rush suddenly too much for her to handle. The book side of the store never made her feel this way, but when her manager asked her to transfer to the café, she couldn’t exactly tell him no. She needed this job and managed to actually like it half the time. If only she could also manage to steam the milk without spilling it too...

A familiar voice makes her eyes fly open, the sound sending a thrill through her that causes her to momentarily forget the pain in her hand.

He focuses on the list of drinks printed on the blackboard above her head, his brown eyes squinting in concentration, little crinkles forming at the bridge of his nose, and she feels relieved that he hasn’t noticed her yet; she needs the time to calm the initial nervous shyness that overcomes her every time she sees him.

“Blimey, but that’s a big menu. I think I’ll keep it simple and have a cappuccino. No hold on, scratch that, your lot doesn’t know how to make them properly - really needs a ceramic mug, not these rubbish paper cups,” he says, a frown forming creases on his forehead

He takes his glasses out of his coat pocket and places them over his nose, as he leans forward to read the menu more closely. “Funny story about the cappuccino. Common myth says the drink got its name from Capuchin monks, but it was actually created by the Vienese in the 19th century. Kapuziner.” He over enunciates the word, letting it roll off of his tongue as if it needs to be savored. “That’s what they called it. Had nothing to do with monks or their baldheads. Well, not directly, anyway. The color of the drink did match their robes when mixed properly.”

“Fascinating,” Shareen says, sounding unimpressed. “Rose, your boyfriend is here!”

Rose ducks her head, and feeling the blood rush to her face, she wraps her arms over her chest and begins to walk backwards towards the kitchen.

“Rose? I didn’t see you there.”

The tender tone of his voice makes Rose stop to look up and her heart begins to race, the clamminess of her hands and flush to her cheeks intensifying when she sees the intensity in his gaze. Everything fades into the background: the classical music playing over the speakers, the chatter of the customers, the knowing glances coming from Shareen and Mickey, the whir of the espresso machine. Suddenly there is only the two of them - the sort of scene she has seen played out a thousand different ways in romantic films, only right now it is happening to her.

She smiles, a feeling of confidence replacing the embarrassment she felt moments ago. “Hello, Doctor.”

His eyes flick to her lips and he runs his hands through his hair, ruffling it so that it sticks straight up. “I-” Removing his glasses, he grabs the corner of his shirt and begins to rub tiny circles into the lenses. “I looked for you earlier over in the bookstore, wanted to tell you about a new novel I’ve been working on.”

“Yeah? I’d love to hear all about it. They moved me over here last week. Meant to tell you, but –” She shrugs, biting her lip, not wanting to let on how many times she has looked at her phone in the past few days, in anticipation of hearing from him. The sound of a throat being cleared brings her back to the present.

“Oi, you two! I’ve got people waiting,” Shareen shouts, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips, as she shakes her head at Rose before focusing on the man in front of her. “Are you actually going to order anything?”

The Doctor pulls on his ear and puts his glasses back on to look at the menu again. “Sorry! Yes, I’ll have a café au lait.” He points at the pastry counter, licking his lips. “And one of these beautiful blueberry scones too.”

“Will that be all, then?” Seeing the Doctor nod, Shareen rings him up on the touch screen cash register and then grabs a pair of tongs to remove the scone, placing it on a white plate. “That will be ten pounds, please.”

“Right. Ten pounds,” he says, reaching into his pockets and pulling out several wadded up notes. “If you have ceramic plates, why not ceramic mugs too?”

“How should I know? I don’t own the store. Your drink will be at the end of the counter when it’s done,” she says, motioning with her chin.

“Oh, you want me to move, of course, of course. These fine people need their coffee too.” The Doctor glances at Rose, opening his mouth to say something, but seeing Shareen’s raised eyebrow, he seems to change his mind and moves to lean against the wall near the drink counter, his hands in the pockets of his long, tan coat. When his drink is called out, he takes it and goes to sit at a table in the corner near the back of the café.

Rose sighs, shooting a glare at the back of Shareen’s head, wishing her friend hadn’t been so rude. With the Doctor out of eyesight, the throb in her hand returns to the forefront of her mind, the skin now bright red and warm from lack of contact with the ice. She bites the inside of her cheek and closes her eyes.

“Oi, Rose, what’s the deal with you and that bloke, anyhow?” Mickey asks, nudging her shoulder, as he grabs the next cup from the counter.

Rose opens her eyes, rolling them at Mickey. “There is no deal, Mickey. We’re just really good mates. Met him about six months ago when he was looking for a Dickens book. We got to talking for awhile and he asked me to go to a reading with him, but I couldn’t go that night – had something I was doing with mum – but every now and then he takes me to things like that, readings and plays and such.“ She pauses, biting her bottom lip and looking up at the ceiling. “And sometimes, he takes me stargazing.”

“Oh, so what, he thought he’d pick up the pretty chav shop girl and educate her a bit, by taking her to all the posh places in London, and then never even makes a move to pull her?” Mickey shakes his head, grimacing.

Rose takes a few deep breaths before she responds. “It’s not like that, Mickey! He’s not like that. Just leave it alone, alright, ‘cause you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I’m sorry, babe. Just worried about you is all. Don’t want you getting hurt again.” Mickey smiles, the sarcasm in his tone gone, replaced by one of genuine affection.

Rose returns his smile, and places her hand on his shoulder. “Thanks, Mickey. I appreciate it, but I can take care of myself. Promise.”

“Rose, why don’t you go join him? You’re pretty much useless back here with that burn anyway,” Shareen says, without turning around for an answer. “And then Mickey will stop chatting and get back to work.”

“Oi! I happen to be a professional multi-tasker!” Mickey shouts, shaking his head as he returns back to the drink orders.

Chewing on her thumb, Rose stands on her toes to try to see the Doctor and finds him staring right back at her. He gives her a little wave and a smile that makes her feel unsteady on her feet, the blood rushing to her face, as her pulse speeds up and she forgets to breathe. She grabs onto the counter to regain her balance and pours herself a cup of water, taking a few sips until she feels somewhat normal again.

“Alright, Shareen, I think I will join him for a bit. Suppose I’m due for my lunch break anyway.”

“Right. Sure, sure. Go join with him, Rose,” Shareen says, turning around to wink.

“Oh shut it, Shareen. I’m just gonna sit with him.” Suppressing a smile, Rose turns around to make herself an iced coffee and then grabs her lunch from the back room before making her way over to join the Doctor.

He has his feet propped on the opposite chair, a book in his hands and glasses perched on his nose. Rose shuffles from foot to foot for a moment and then puts her hand on his shoulder, alerting him of her presence.

The book falls into his lap and his glasses slide off his nose onto the table as he plops his feet on the floor, reminding Rose of a cat that has just been startled out of a deep sleep.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you,” Rose says gently.

“Startle me? Oh, you didn’t. Well, yes, you did. Startle me a bit, that is. But it was a welcome startle, as far as startles go.” He runs his hands through his hair and smiles. “Isn’t it funny how words start to sound odd when you say them too many times? Here, why don’t you sit down?” He motions towards the chair opposite of his, leaning down to pull it out for her.

The tiny table doesn’t have enough space for both her lunchbox and her drink, so Rose puts her cup down and removes her sandwich, before sitting down. “Do you mind if I eat my lunch?”

“Not at all!” He points at the scone in front of him. “I brought mine too.”

Rose laughs, unwrapping her sandwich. “That looks better than what I’ve got. Egg mayo – mum’s specialty. Had it everyday for lunch, growing up.” She tucks her hair behind her ears and takes a bite, carefully avoiding using her burnt hand, the pain now a dull but persistent ache. “So, tell me about this novel you’ve been writing.”

He beams, tongue darting out of his mouth and tapping his top lip in a way that makes Rose’s eyes glaze over. “It’s not a novel actually. Well, I say not a novel, but it’s not, not a novel - more of a non-fictiony, historical fiction biographical sort of book, really. Do you know Mary Shelley?”

“Yeah, had to read Frankenstein in secondary school.”

“Ooh, did you? That’s brilliant!” he says, grinning a wide toothy grin. “Anyway, Mary Shelley is the protagonist of the book. Hold on, that’s not quite right. ” He bites his lip, eyes rolling upwards for a moment, before returning his gaze back on Rose. “She’s more of an, erm, invisible background character that heavily influences the real protagonist’s research. But the story is very loosely based on what we know of her life and how as a teenage girl, she inadvertently created a whole new genre. More than anything, though, I think it is about the intersection where reality and fic-” Stopping suddenly, he scowls, eyes focused on the table. “Rose? What’s wrong with your hand?”

“Hmm?” Rose shakes her head and looks down at her injury, now a bright red blister that covers half of her hand. “Oh that. I burnt it earlier. I was steaming the milk and my hand slipped is all. Hazard of the job, yeah?” She shrugs.

“You should really put something on it. It looks like a second degree burn.”

“It’s not as bad as it looks.” She turns her hand over, hiding the burn. “Anyway, I had ice on it earlier.”

He puts his glasses on and reaches his hand across the table, briefly ghosting his fingertips across Rose’s knuckles, the gentle touch creating goose flesh on her bare arms.

“May I?” he asks, before lifting up her hand.

Rose nods and he pulls her hand closer to his face. The pads of his fingers are soft and warm against her skin and she hopes that he can’t sense the way her pulse speeds up at his touch, or the way her mouth has suddenly gone completely dry. He leans in closer to look at the blister, tongue poking out in concentration, and she averts her eyes, focusing on a piece of lint that sits on his suit jacket.

After a few moments, he takes his hand away and removes his glasses. “Yep, definitely a second degree burn, and lucky for you, I have just the thing for it in my car.”

“Really, Doctor, I’m fine and I’ve got to get back to work soon.”

“Now, Rose, if you neglect that burn, you could scar or develop a nasty infection. It’ll only take a moment to treat it and I really do have the perfect cream for it – made it myself. And it’s right outside, so there’s no reason for you to say no.”

“You made a burn cream? Why does that not surprise me.”

“I have many, skills. Thought you knew that by now,” the Doctor says, straightening the knot in his tie and sniffing dramatically.

“Hmm, suppose I do, yeah.” Rose bites her lip. “If I didn’t know better, Doctor, I’d think you were trying to get me alone.”

“I, erm.” His eyes widen and, turning away, he lifts his hand up to scratch at the nape of his neck.

Rose mutters a silent curse and starts to apologize, but when he turns back to look at her, the nervous uncertainty has been replaced by hooded eyes and parted lips that make her forget what she was about to say. She feels her cheeks flush and covers up her inability to speak, by sipping from the straw of her iced coffee, hoping the chilled beverage will help her regain some of her composure.

“Well, I always want you for my own, don’t I?” He waggles his eyebrows at her, intensity giving way to playfulness. “So, will you stop being stubborn and come with me?”

Rose laughs and stands up. “Oh, all right, let’s go. Lead the way.”

The Doctor scoots his chair back and jumps up, propelling onto his feet and bouncing up and down on the linoleum.

Letting out a loud guffaw that attracts stares from the surrounding customers, Rose motions for him to walk in front of her and follows behind him, out of the café and through the attached bookstore, definitely not ogling his bum or focusing on the way his tight trousers hug him in all the right places along the way.

When they reach the exit, Rose rushes to catch up with him, touching his shoulder when he stops on the sidewalk. “How come you’ve never mentioned owning a car before? We always walk or take the tube.”

He squints against the sun, wrinkling his nose as he looks up and down the dingy street. “Huh. I thought I parked her just over – oh wait, hold on, sorry.” Cupping his ear, he leans to the left a bit and then grins. “Ah, there she is!”

“Oh, come on, you can’t actually hear your car from here,” Rose says, shaking her head at him.

“Of course not!” the Doctor says with a wink and then, still facing her, begins to walk backwards in the direction of his supposed car. After a few steps, he smiles warmly and holds his hand out to her in invitation, long fingers wiggling against the air in the space between them.

Rose glances down to look at her own hands and clasps them over her stomach, rubbing her thumbs together and refusing to move from her spot on the sidewalk. It takes three seconds of seeing his protruding lower lip for her to break character. Throwing her head back, she exhales the laugh that had been lodged in her throat and extends her uninjured hand, finding his eager fingers interlocking with hers instantly as he pulls her into a run.

They come to a sudden stop in front of a small, rusted, royal blue Mini Cooper. The Doctor releases her hand to pat down his coat, tongue poking out as he digs deeper and deeper into his pockets. Just when Rose is about to ask him exactly how deep they go, he pulls out a pair of keys that he points at the tiny vehicle, and electronically unlocks the doors.

Rose smirks, looking back and forth, from the car to the tall, lanky Doctor. “This is your car? How do you even fit in that thing?”

“Well,” he pauses and tugs on his ear. “She’s much bigger than she looks.”

“Right.” Rose lifts a skeptical eyebrow.

He opens the passenger door and then shakes a finger at her. “Hush, you, and just get in.”

Sticking her tongue out at him, she crouches down to sit on the plush blue seat and surveys the interior of the car, which does, in fact, look bigger inside than she expected. She wonders if he had it custom made, because it suits him perfectly: The dash reminds her of a console for an airship from a science fiction show, the golden hued controls more complex than she cares to try to understand right now, and the expansive back seat is littered with battered books and neat stacks of papers that have maths problems scrawled all over them. It smells like him too, a mixture of cinnamon sticks and ink and a musky library, and she breathes the aroma in, turning her head to point her nose in the direction of his seat, trying to get a better whiff.

The Doctor opens the driver’s side and gets in to sit beside her and Rose quickly leans back into her own seat, hoping he didn’t notice the way she just had her nose buried in the fabric that now sits behind his head.

Thankfully, he seems unaware as he turns to her with a smile. "So, what do you think of her, then?"

Rose wrinkles her nose. "Eh, it's a bit much - the dash could do with a makeover and the seats are a bit too blue." Seeing the beginnings of a scowl forming on his face, she rushes to reassure him. "Only joking! I think it's - sorry, she’s gorgeous, brilliant really. Just don't understand why you've never driven her on one of our trips."

"Well.” He tugs on his ear. “She's a bit unpredictable, at times, and I -" he pauses, averting his eyes, combing his fingers through his hair. "I rather enjoy our long walks, if I'm being honest.”

"Yeah?" she says, reaching over to grasp his chin, gently turning his head back towards her. "Me too."

His eyes are guarded when he meets her gaze, but she doesn’t look away. Daring to rub her thumb lightly over his stubble, she smiles gently, never breaking eye contact, challenging him to believe her desire to have him by her side. Not once during all of their many not dates has he tried to move their relationship forward, and sensing his hesitancy, she has never wanted to push, content with the friendship that they’ve developed over the past several months. Even now, with her pulse racing and his lips only a breath away from hers, she stays still, unwilling to force the moment to what could be an inevitable kiss. Slowly, his expression softens, furrowed brow disappearing as his lips turn up into a smile that forms light crinkles around his eyes.

“Good, I’m glad,” he finally says and then takes her injured hand. “We should get you taken care of, so you can go back to work - I don’t want to make that new boss of yours angry.”

“Who, Shareen? You don’t need to worry about her. We’ve been friends for ages and ages. And she’s not exactly my boss anyway.”

“Oh? Well, in that case, I’ll take my time.” He winks, before turning to push a series of numbers into a touchscreen on the dash. A secret compartment opens, filled with various tubes and containers, and he reaches in to pull out a jar labeled ‘burn cream’ and a roll of gauze.

Without letting go of Rose’s injured hand, he opens the jar with his free hand and dips his fingers into it.

Rose jerks her hand away, swallowing as she takes in the disgusting, bright green, radioactive looking mixture now all over the Doctor’s hand. “You’re not putting that stuff on my hand.”

He looks up, mouth gaping and eyes widening. “Sorry? But it’s perfectly safe - won’t hurt a bit. I mixed it myself, remember? Well, I say I mixed it myself, but I did have a bit of help.” He scrunches up his nose. “Mind you, it was only a bit, and I tested it extensively on my own skin until I found the proper balance of ingredients. And the color blends in - it won’t turn your hand green, promise.”

Rose bites her thumbnail, staring at the offensive looking cream.

“Oh come on, Rose, it’s only me. You do trust me, don’t you?”

The look in his eyes is so vulnerable and open that Rose wants to pull him into a hug, green goopy stuff all over his fingers, or not. Instead, she smiles, holding out her hand again.

“Of course, always.”

His response is a huge grin, tongue curled and poking between his teeth, and Rose has to stifle the urge to jump on his lap and kiss him until he forgets how to smile like that. She takes a deep, calming breath as his thumb brushes lightly over her burn.

“I’m sorry. Did I hurt you?” he asks.

“Huh? Nope. Not at all. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”

“Right,” he says, brow furrowed. “This is going to feel quite cool and a little bit tingly. I’m just going to rub it in for a while so that your skin absorbs it properly and then I’ll wrap it up in some gauze.”

Rose nods and he begins rubbing the cream in, and while it is indeed cold, it’s the Doctor’s touch that sends a tingly thrill through her and makes her shiver.

After a few moments, the gentle, rhythmic motion of the Doctor’s massaging fingers on her skin relaxes Rose and she lets out a shuddering breath that she didn’t realize she’d been holding.

He finishes with the cream and cuts a strip of gauze that he begins wrapping around her hand, securing it with a small piece of tape.

“There you are, then. Much better!” he says, planting a spontaneous kiss on her knuckles that makes Rose gasp in surprise. He bolts up and retreats, scooting closer to the car door. “I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have done that! Got a bit carried away.”

Rose fidgets with her hoop earring, wondering if now would be a good time to tell him kisses in other places would be more than welcome. “It’s okay. It was nice, actually.” Feeling daring, she leans into him and grabs onto his lapels with her uninjured hand, and pulls him back towards her, wishing that there wasn’t a gear shift in between them. “In fact, I’d really like you to do it again, but maybe a little higher this time.”

His eyes widen and, for a moment, he looks almost like a frightened deer, caught in a trap. Rose starts to backtrack, scrambling for a way to give him some sort of out without embarrassing both of them further, but then his fingers graze her cheek as he wraps his arm around her neck, pulling her closer, until his lips are hovering just above hers.

“Rose Tyler,” he says, gaze travelling down to her lips. And the way he breathes out her name like it’s a singular word sounds like he’s reciting poetry, or a song with only one lyric, sung again and again, set to music that only he can hear. It makes her feel treasured and beautiful. Warmth spreads over her cheeks, and she closes her eyes, waiting for him to do something, anything, that will ease this tension between them.

Finally, he kisses her, and for a few moments, Rose forgets to react, so caught up in the sensation of his lips on hers, gentle yet firm and slightly chapped. Coffee and scones. It’s a thought that shouldn’t affect her, shouldn’t be able to speed up her already racing pulse - as inundated as she is with those smells everyday now - but it’s the Doctor and she can almost taste him, when he practically exhales into her mouth, before he starts to pull away.

Rose panics, wrapping her arms around his neck and holding him tightly, parting her lips to reciprocate his kiss. This spurs the Doctor on and he increases the pressure, sliding his lips over hers, again and again, in several chaste kisses that meld into something decidedly less chaste when she lightly bites his bottom lip and he moans. Rose opens her mouth wider, inviting him to explore her mouth with his tongue, and it’s warm and wet and he tastes so wonderful that she wants more. She arches into him, trying to get a better angle, but that sodding gear shift still sits in between them and she almost groans in frustration.

As if reading her mind, the Doctor loops his arms around her waist and pulls her out of her seat and onto his lap, in a move so graceful that she barely realizes what he’s doing until she’s sitting on top of him, feeling his hardening length against the seam of her trousers.

She breaks the kiss, gasping, and he pushes her hair aside, leaning down to plant wet kisses onto her neck and collarbone. Rose moans, and pressing her breasts into his chest and running her fingers through his hair, she lifts up and back down again, gliding her still clothed groin against his erection. He hisses into the crook of her neck and pulls her mouth back to his in a sloppy kiss, jerking his hips up in time with hers, increasing the friction and hitting her in exactly the right spot.

It’s almost embarrassing how quickly she feels her orgasm building - they are both still fully clothed and he has barely even touched her - but the foreplay has been going on for months and just the feel of his cock grazing her clit would almost be enough to send her over the edge. Almost. She needs a little more to get there, so she increases her speed, moving up and down on top of him, and a sudden wave of guilt over her selfishness in barely caring if this feels good for him too washes over her.

But he feels so fantastic and with the way he keeps kissing her so ardently and meeting her thrusts, she decides he must be just as far gone as she is. On the brink of release, she breaks the kiss again and tosses her head down onto his shoulder, biting into the collar of his shirt as she feels the spasms of her orgasm pulsing through her. When it ends, she stills her movements, resting against him and allowing her panting breaths to calm. It takes a few moments before she notices the warm, sticky, wetness on the bottom, midsection of her shirt, and realizes that he must have found release too.

She pulls away, and looks down at him, finding his eyes guarded and withdrawn. “What’s wrong?” she asks, eyes widening with worry.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to happen like that. I had plans...and I went off in my pants like a bloody teenager.” He pushes the palm of his hand into his closed left eye, rubbing roughly against his eyelid.

Rose pulls away a little and gently takes both of his hands into hers, forcing him to look at her. “Hey, shhhh. It’s alright. And besides, I went off in my pants too. Couldn’t you tell?”

“Erm. I thought maybe, yeah. But that’s exactly the point! I should know. It wasn’t very romantic and you deserve romantic, Rose Tyler. That was rubbish, as far as first times go.”

“Well, first off, it wasn’t really our first time, right, so you still have a chance to impress me with romance. Some people call what we just did foreplay and that was some brilliant foreplay, as far as I’m concerned. Not rubbish at all. Felt fantastic, actually.”

“Yeah?” he says, smiling up at her.

“Yes.” She taps her finger against her lips, squinting. “I’ll tell you what though - I don’t think either of us are in any sort of state to be walking around right now, what with the way -" She lifts her eyebrows, looking pointedly at his crotch. “That is all over both of our clothes.”

The Doctor’s mouth drops and his eyes glaze over for a second, a goofy grin spreading across his face. “Blimey, Rose.”

“What? It’s true! And besides, I’m not going back to work. Shrieen will know instantly and I’ll have to deal with her smug looks and comments for the rest of the night. I think I’d much rather scarper off with you.”

“I’d like that.” He smiles, pulling her face down to plant a light kiss on her lips. “I hope it goes without saying that I’ve wanted this -” he gestures back and forth between them “with you for a long time. And I hope it isn’t a one off.”

“Believe me, I have too and nope, definitely not a one off.” She rests her chin on his shoulder for a second, enjoying the way his warm breath hits the crook of her neck. She pulls back and runs her fingers across his stubble. “We’re pretty daft, aren’t we? Waiting so long?”

“Well,” he begins, looking thoughtful. “I didn’t want to lose what we had. You’re my best mate - the best one I’ve ever had, really - and I don’t want to muck that up.”

“I’m scared too, Doctor, but I’m not going anywhere. I’m right where I wanna be.” Seeing his tongue dart out and knowing that it’s finally okay for her to kiss him, she leans down to capture his tongue in a quick snog. When she pulls away, his lips chase after hers, but she places her hands on his shoulders, halting his progression.

“And I’ll let you know if you’re mucking things up,” she tells him, smiling in a way that she hopes is both teasing and reassuring.

The dazed look in his eyes clears and he smiles back. “Promise?”

“Promise.”

She lets him kiss her, then, and several hours pass before they leave the car again.