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Rose rushed into the Tardis, ignoring the Doctor’s calls behind her. She didn’t want him to see the gash in her palm, didn’t want him to think it was his fault she had been injured. Just past the console, five steps down the hall, round the corner, and she’d be in the infirmary. One quick zap with the dermal regenerator and she’d be good as new. No harm done. No need for him to fret.

She’d barely made it past the jumpseat when the Doctor grumbled, “Ignore me all you like, but the Tardis has a few choice words for the blood you’re droppin’ on the gratin’.”

Caught, Rose stopped and turned around. A trail of crimson droplets led from the blue doors to her feet. She braced for the Doctor’s angry face but, when she finally met his eye, all she saw was concern. His gaze swept over her, looking for any other damage, as he calmly piloted them into the vortex. Then, he gently placed a palm on her back and guided her into the medbay.

Rose hopped onto an exam table, watching as he procured the proper equipment and pulled up a stool. Even though the wound was deep, all she felt was a slight tickled as he slowly glided it along. He worked methodically, checking several times on the healing progress. But he still hadn’t said anything to her. The silence was driving her mad. She knew he was blaming himself.

“Nothing but a scratch now,” Rose said, making light of the injury.

His brow furrowed. “My fault you were scratched in the first place.”

“It wasn’t ,” she firmly insisted.

“Was too.”

“Was not.”

“Was—”

Tired of the argument, Rose slapped her uninjured palm over his mouth. She felt his breath hitch and watched his ears turn pink. His lips were pressed against her skin. It was the most intimate contact they’d ever had. Cheeks flaming, she quickly withdrew her hand and placed it back on her lap.

The Doctor awkwardly cleared his throat and put a bandage on the fresh scar. “There we are. Good as new.” And then he cautiously lifted her hand and placed a gentle kiss on her knuckles.

Surprised by the tender gesture, she could only manage to stutter, “Y-yeah.”

“Let’s have a day in, shall we?” Smiling, he helped her off the table and took her uninjured hand. “Cuddle and a film?”

Feeling the shift in his demeanor and the subtle change in the air, Rose matched his grin. “Fantastic.”