Pairing : Nine/Rose
Genre : Romance/Smut/Angst
Rating : Adult
Word Count : 10423 (total)
Summary : It pained him to admit that he carried such a flaw of character, but there could be no denying it. He had wanted to show her that he was 'the wonderful wizard' and not just 'the man behind the curtain'. He had, after all, told her that he could do anything, forgetting what pride comes before.
Chapter One : Bad Dreams
Chapter Two : More than Trust
Sitting on his bed, the Doctor took off his boots and socks, then stood up and removed his leather jacket. He hung the jacket over the back of a chair, stripped off his jumper and headed into his bathroom. The TARDIS was becoming unusually quiet, which only served to make the thoughts in his head unreasonably loud. His hearts were troubled enough by the events of the day, and he would have preferred not to pick over the bones, but he was finding it more and more difficult to stop himself from doing exactly that.
He stood in front of the basin and turned on the tap, splashing water on his face in an effort to rid himself of the shadows of his memory. He pushed his wet hands through his cropped hair and raked his long fingers against his scalp. He turned off the tap then looked up and stared at his reflection in the large mirror that hung over the basin, and nine hundred years of ghosts stared back at him through weary eyes.
What he had done today, he had done for Rose, he knew that, but in the end it was his own inflated ego that was to blame. It pained him to admit that he carried such a flaw of character, but there could be no denying it. He had wanted to show her that he was 'the wonderful wizard' and not just 'the man behind the curtain'. He had, after all, told her that he could do anything, forgetting what pride comes before.
He had taken the colours of his lady, proven his reckless boast, and risked everything to do it. She had asked him, yes, but he could have -- should have -- said no. He hoped that he had at least learned by his mistake.
The wound had been repaired and time had been healed, setting all things right, but still his hearts were heavy, and he understood why. Rose. He had accused her, hurt her, blamed her, even abandoned her... albeit briefly. He had done unforgivable things, and she had forgiven him. He knew in his hearts that he had no right to love her, but he could not stop.
He sighed heavily, pulled away from his thoughts and reached for a towel to dry himself off. He had just finished when he heard a noise from his room -- the soft creak of his bedroom door being pushed open. Setting the towel down, he glanced briefly to the mirror, squared his shoulders and walked back into his room.
Rose stood in the middle of the floor, her hands clenched into fists at her sides and looking as fragile as he had ever seen her.
"Rose?" he said softly, seeing her turn her head as she let out a broken sigh that sounded like relief.
"Doctor," she said, his name bringing her to life. Her mouth curved into a sudden smile and she took a step forward then stopped, apparently no longer sure of her intention.
"You okay?" He walked slowly toward her, concern in his face.
Her smile faded and she pushed nervous fingers through her blonde hair. "Yeah," she said, without conviction. "I just..." Her shoulders sagged. "Bad dreams," she admitted quietly, avoiding his gaze, and feeling foolish.
The Doctor nodded slightly. He'd expected as much. He closed the small distance between them, taking hold of one of Rose's hands as she looked up at him. Captivated by his closeness she stared silently into the grey-blue of his eyes. He brushed a cool touch across her hand, and her fingers threaded instinctively into his. Without meaning to he reached out and pushed a lock of Rose's blonde hair behind her ear, his fingers softly brushing against her cheek. He realised too late that the intimacy of his touch could give away his most closely guarded secret, and he let his hand fall back to his side.
"Tea," he said brightly. "That's what you need. Chamomile, very calming, relaxing. It'll help you sleep."
"I don't want to sleep," Rose admitted, then lowered her head.
There was a moment of silence between them, then the Doctor gently lifted Rose's chin until she had no choice but to meet the intensity of his eyes.
"They must have been very bad dreams," he said softly.
"They were," Rose said quietly, unwilling to say more.
The Doctor let her go and took a step back, even though he could not bring himself to shift his attention from her. "Rose..."
"Can I stay?" she asked suddenly, and held the Doctor's gaze with renewed bravery.
"Here?" He sounded genuinely surprised by her request.
"Just for a while."
He glanced away slightly, and then shook his head. "That's probably not a good idea."
He looked back at Rose and swallowed. "It's just... not." He surprised even himself with the eloquence of his argument.
She stared at him, refused to look away -- refused to let him look away. "Please."
He sighed, nodded, caved. "Just for a while," he reminded her, laying out his terms. "You need your sleep."
Rose made no comment to that, and instead she crossed to the bed, settling herself comfortably there. The Doctor watched her adjust the pillows until they were just so, and then she smiled at him like warm sunshine. She stared at him for a moment, apparently waiting for him to join her. So he did join her, not because she expected it and not because it seemed the obvious thing to do. He lay down next to her because no matter how wrong he knew it was, there was nowhere in the universe he would rather be than at her side.
Rose curled against the Doctor and he wrapped an arm around her, holding her close as she rested her head at his shoulder. She gave a content sigh as his fingers brushed against the soft skin of her arm and she snuggled closer.
"Do you want to talk about... anything?" the Doctor asked quietly.
Rose shook her head. "No."
The Doctor said nothing; he just waited. Silence wrapped itself around them, broken after a while by a sound of discontent from Rose. She shifted a little, moved her hand until it rested against one of the Doctor's hearts, took a breath and began.
"He thought you were my boyfriend," she said, the tone of her voice giving nothing away, but she moved herself deeper into the Doctor's embrace.
"Why would he think that?" the Doctor asked softly, unconsciously drawing invisible circles of his language on her bare arm.
"Dunno." Rose shivered against him as he finished the word forever at the curve of her shoulder. "Natural mistake to make, I suppose."
"Is it?" His fingers teased the narrow shoulder strap of Rose's top, then brushed past it and traced the word eternal against the fluttering pulse at the base of her throat.
"Isn't it?" she bit her lip and waited, not knowing that the gentle circular caress at the back of her neck was the word always.
The Doctor was silent for a moment and his touch stilled, he shifted on the bed, moving so that there was a little more distance between their bodies. He leant on one arm and looked at Rose, who lay back in the comfort of the bed.
"What did you tell him?"
She contemplated him for a moment, her brown eyes darkening as she studied his face. "I told him you weren't my boyfriend," she admitted reluctantly, and saw something akin to disappointment shadow his face, but it vanished in a second, and she was left uncertain that it was ever there in the first place.
The Doctor nodded slightly. "I'm sorry about your nightmares, Rose. They're my fault."
Rose looked at him in surprise. "What are you talking about?" she asked. "How are they your fault?"
He frowned a little, amazed that she had to ask. "I took you back," he explained. "I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway."
Rose saw the guilt in his eyes, and refused to let him blame himself. "What happened... it wasn't your fault," she said, conviction in every word. "It was mine."
"No." He shook his head. "You didn't know the risks. I did."
"It was my fault," Rose reiterated.
The Doctor gave an exasperated sigh. "Rose, I'm over nine hundred years old, I think I know whose fault it was."
"Yeah, you do," Rose agreed. "You know it was mine." She scowled at him, annoyed that he was trying to take the blame. "It's just like you said at the flat -- you picked another stupid ape." She drew in a shaky breath and glanced away, her voice falling to a whisper. "An' I'm sorry."
The Doctor looked at her but said nothing. Rose suffered his silence as long as she could, but when it became too much she lifted her curious eyes to meet his.
The Doctor smiled at her and cupped her face in one hand, his fingers pushing into her hair, his thumb rubbing oh so gently at the apple of her cheek. "I shouldn't have said that. I didn't mean it."
Unable to look away from him, Rose swallowed and smiled back at him. She was nervous at first, but on seeing his smile transform into a broad grin, she found herself mirroring him without even thinking to, and soon enough they were like two
"I think..." Rose ventured cautiously, before her breath caught as the Doctor's hand left her cheek and brushed a cool caress down the length of her bare arm. She licked her suddenly dry lips and began again. "I think that we both said stuff we didn't mean."
The Doctor nodded slightly, a confession already in his eyes. "When I asked you to give the TARDIS key back to me..."
Rose tried to stop him. "Doctor, it's okay, you don't have to..."
"I know I walked out on you, made you think that..." He stopped, and then began again. "It was incredibly childish behaviour -- especially for someone my age." He smiled, a little ruefully, his eyes sparkling. "And you were probably right; I would have just waited in the TARDIS for you." He saw surprise illuminate Rose's face, and it tightened his stomach into knots, but he carried on regardless. "I'd never leave you, Rose. I'm not that sort of man." His words carried such depth of emotion that she had never heard before, and she had no choice but to believe him.
A feeling of happiness took her heart and she could do little else but smile at him. He watched her with such intensity that she felt her body blush, and it was nothing short of bliss.
"I always knew you'd come back," she said, her voice soft with laughter that bubbled up from her heart. "What would you do without me?" She lay back in the pillows, and her tongue found its home at the corner of her mouth.
"I don't know," he admitted quietly, shadows returning to dim the sparkle in his eyes as he contemplated the prospect of a life without her.
Rose's smile faded a little as she watched him, then decided that she had still more to tell him. "Outside the church, my dad he..." She hesitated then began again. "He gave me his car keys."
"Car keys?" The Doctor frowned slightly.
"He said he trusted me. He trusted me from the moment he met me." She smiled a little. "That's how it was when I met you. A complete stranger and I trusted you." Her smile grew a little wider and the colour of her cheeks a little pinker. "Only now it's more than trust." Rose took a breath and then reached out and brushed her fingertips across the Doctor's cheek.
"Rose..." There was a gentle warning in the Doctor's voice, but she ignored it.
"My nightmares..." she began hesitantly, only to have the Doctor interrupt.
"You saw your dad die," he said softly. "Bad dreams are just your brains way of dealing with that." He smiled at her. "Trust me, I'm a doctor."
Rose stared at him. "Yeah, I s'pose," she said, quietly. "Except..." she sighed, suddenly reluctant." I grew up without a dad. He died when I was a baby, and I never knew him. So him dying today is easier to accept I suppose, because I knew it was going to happen -- had already happened." She looked back to the Doctor's face with wide and bright eyes. "Does that make any sense?"
He nodded. "Perfect sense."
He shook his head and grinned. "No."
Rose grinned back at him and rolled her eyes. "Oh and, '1987 is just the
"Sort of, yeah."
She gazed up at the Doctor, losing herself in his insane smile, then taken by an impulse she usually kept firmly under lock and key, she reached out and let her fingers wander into the Doctor's short cropped hair. Almost instantly, the friendship that had sparked between them seemed to change into something new, and time stilled around them, holding them in the moment.
"My nightmares," Rose began quietly, "they weren't about my dad. They were about you. You died, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The Reapers killed you." She blinked away tears. "I lost you forever."
The Doctor moved closer to her, tenderly tracing her jaw with a touch that made her tremble. His body was poised over hers, and Rose wasn't sure when or how that had happened.
"It was only a nightmare, Rose. It wasn't real." His words were no more than a breath as he moved closer against her.
"It was real though," she insisted unhappily. "It happened." She moved one hand to rest at his shoulder, while the other stroked an exploring touch down his chest, her fingernails grazing his skin.
"It was just a nightmare," he repeated softly, and drew her body against his, skin against skin. "This is real, Rose." Then as he held her in his arms, he lowered his mouth to kiss her.
He had kissed her before, not often, but often enough for her to know what to expect -- a fleeting kiss, brief and over before it began. However, that was not what this kiss was; she knew it as soon as his lips touched hers. This kiss was cool, soft, exploring and yet hesitant. It was gentleness and strength, and it made Rose's heart tremble. Then, just as she thought that the Doctor was about to move away from her, he instead drew her closer and deepened the kiss as his hold on her tightened.
He coaxed her lips apart and elicited a soft sigh of contentment from her, which quickly turned into a moan of desire as one hand swept up her body; learning the curve of her hip and waist before finally tracing the swell of her breast. His touch set fire to her blood, making her forget everything but the here and now. His thumb brushed once, then twice, across her nipple, as even under her clothes it hardened to a peak and Rose whimpered from the delicious torment. The sound however broke whatever spell of enchantment they had been under. As even as her body stirred in sure response to his, moving toward him with such depths of need and want that Rose had never known before, she knew that the Doctor was already drawing away from her, retreating back behind the line that had become blurred by their ever-unspoken desire.
She stared at him with wide eyes, her heart racing and her body trembling. She licked her lips and tried to form thought. "Doctor..."
"You need to sleep," he whispered, no room for argument in his voice. "It's been a long day."
The knots in Rose's stomach tightened as she looked at him, watching as the moment they had shared drifted into memory. "Can I stay?" she asked, her words no more than a breath between them.
The colour of the Doctor's eyes turned from steel to quartz as his gaze swept over her body, then back to her questioning eyes. He took a breath. "That's probably not a good idea," he told her, for the second time that night.
"If I stay then the nightmares won't come back." She held her breath as she watched him.
He sighed softly, and then nodded, aware he was beaten. "Stay, then."
Rose stared back at him and released her breath, a smile playing at the corner of her mouth. She said nothing, but instead curled her body against his and closed her eyes.
The Doctor felt a smile tug at the corner of his mouth as he looked at her. He leant in close and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "No more nightmares," he whispered, softly. Then he settled himself at her side and watched her until she fell asleep.
Several hours later, Rose stirred from her slumbers, warm, content and still drowsy. She stretched sleepily and opened her eyes, surprised and disappointed to find herself back in her own room, her own bed. With a resigned sigh, she pushed back the sheets, got up, pulled on her jeans, trainers and a new T-shirt and went to find the Doctor.
She found him in the console room, his attention fixed on one of the screens. On hearing her arrival the Doctor looked up, a broad smile lighting his face, which Rose couldn't help but return.
"It's about time you woke up," he said, circling the console, throwing levers and giving every impression that he was a man with a plan -- or at least half a plan.
Her interest piqued, Rose peered at the console screen and tried to see what had him so animated. "What's the emergency?" she asked.
"It's mauve," he said, throwing another lever.
Rose frowned a little at his obtuse explanation, but his energy was addictive and she could already sense that adventure lay ahead. She stepped up to the console and leant in close to the Doctor.