Pairing : Nine/Rose
Genre : Angst/HC/Smut
Rating : Teen
Word Count : 1552
Status : Complete
Written for a prompt left by fid_gin over at the Jiggery Pokery... is love, ficathon.
The Man Within
Hand in hand they walked over rubble on their way back to the TARDIS, and they looked at their feet more than they looked at their surroundings. In the distance the curfew siren began its sorry wail; calling those left alive back to the shelters.
A cold wind had moved into the city for the night and the air hung damp with the promise of rain. Pieces of litter fluttered along the ground and a metal street sign creaked like old bones.
When they reached the TARDIS the Doctor let go of Rose's hand and fumbled with his keys. The darkness was gathering, closing in around them. Soon the city would be silent under nightfall, except for the sounds of those who refused to give up; those empty eyed souls who still dug through the rubble with bare and bleeding hands.
It had been several days since anyone had been found alive.
The Doctor and Rose had arrived in the city only a day before the first strike had hit. They did what they could, because that was all they could do. They had known it would get worse and it had, much worse, especially after the fourth attack.
Rose had found her place among the innocents, patching up the wounded and consoling the lost and grieving. The Doctor, the self-appointed voice of the people, had stormed into the war-room, demanding to be heard. But politicians and generals alike had refused to listen.
They had called him a rabble-rouser, an insurgent, an outsider, a danger. They'd threatened him with imprisonment. In the end the Doctor had conceded defeat. He could not help those who did not want his help.
And all the while civilization crumbled around them; brought down by self inflicted wounds.
As in most wars, those who moved the pieces on the chess board were not men driven by purity of heart, but gain, profit and glory. And behind closed doors they quietly agreed that foot-soldiers were fodder; expendable for the greater good.
When the final attack came, the blind and the deaf warmongers at last saw the error of their ways. But by then it was too late.
Some lessons are never truly learned, and until they are they will be written and re-written in the history books of every race.
All hope gone, the Doctor had taken hold of Rose's hand and walked with her through the veiled twilight, back to the TARDIS. The shadows of ruins had taken on macabre features, but as they walked, the darkness claimed them. And besides, they had seen far more terrible things in daylight.
The TARDIS door swung open and the Doctor walked inside. He didn't look back at the world they were leaving. Not this time.
Rose followed a foot fall or two behind, closed the door and for a moment leant against it. The hum of the TARDIS touched her heart and she swallowed down the lump in her throat. They'd been gone a week, maybe two, but it felt like months.
She turned away from the doors and looked at the Doctor. He was standing at the console, his back to Rose. She walked over to one of the coral struts and stood watching as with dials and levers they returned to the vortex and the stars.
The Doctor's head bowed, his hands clenched and knuckles whitened. He made no sound.
Rose pushed a lock of her hair behind her ear. She held her breath as the silence between them crushed her bones and pierced her heart. Eventually she took a step forward, then another and another, until she was standing at the Doctor's side. He didn't look at her.
When she could no longer keep the words swallowed down, she spoke the question that had been chewing up her insides since they'd left the city.
"What's going to happen to them?" She bit her lip as she waited for a response. "Doctor?"
Slowly he turned to look at Rose and when he spoke his voice was as hollow as his eyes.
"They'll die," he said quietly. "They'll all die."
She had known of course, but that didn't mean that hearing the words didn't make her heart ache with the hopelessness of it all.
"Can't we…" She stopped suddenly; knowing that there were some questions she could not ask – especially when she already knew the answer. Unshed tears pricked at her eyes and, stubbornly refusing to allow them to fall she brushed them away with the heel of her hand.
Silent, the Doctor watched her. He understood her frustration and grief. He understood the conflict that raged within her, because it fought inside him too.
"I should have tried harder," he said. "If I'd made them understand what they were doing, there might have been a chance. There might have been time."
"They wouldn't listen to you," Rose reminded him.
He stared at her, his eyes full of ghosts, but he said nothing.
Rose moved to take a step away, but as she did the Doctor reached out, took hold of her hand and stopped her.
"How many more worlds do I have to watch burn?"
Seeing the Doctor's pain, his anguish and his inner demons, Rose moved toward him.
"It wasn't your fault," she told him softly. She moved into the circle of his arms, letting him hold her, letting him find strength in her.
She'd been held in his embrace a hundred times, but this time was different, she sensed it. He was reluctant to let her go.
Rose let her head rest on the Doctor's shoulder as he slipped the fingers of one hand through her hair. His thumb stroked soft against the apple of her cheek and he pressed his lips to her forehead.
She pulled back a little, lifted her eyes to meet his and saw the man within. The broken man, the battle scared man. The man he was behind the mask.
"Rose…" he spoke her name instead of the question he could not ask, but she understood all the same.
She returned to his embrace and offered his mouth sweet, soft, persuasive kisses that that broke him in a heartbeat.
"It's alright," she whispered against his mouth, feeling his inner struggle; his reluctance to take what she offered him. She drew back a little, looked at him. "I want this too," she admitted softly, then pressed another kiss to his lips.
Hope fluttered in Rose heart as the Doctor's arms tightened around her. He kissed her with growing insistence, his hands seeking her body, pulling her close and leaving her in no doubt of where this was going. He had seen too much death and now, here with her, he wanted – needed – the affirmation of life.
He lifted her up onto the console and Rose wrapped her legs around his hips as he moved closer. His hands touched her body with an urgency that stole her breath away, and even though she knew what was coming, the suddenness of it still surprised her. All the same, she closed her eyes and willingly let herself be dragged into the dark. She offered no reluctance, no hesitation. He needed this, he needed her – just as much as she needed him.
She heard the fall of his jacket, the drag of a zip. She felt his hand on her knee, her thigh, fingers pushing past damp lace and then…
Her eyes flew open and his fierce kiss swallowed her groan of pleasure. His touch at her centre was sinful and expert. He knew exactly what to do to make her whimper, to keen and to tremble against him.
She wanted to touch him too, but when she tried he pushed her hand away. An urgency of need had taken his mind, and he tugged her to the edge of the console.
Taking a breath as he tore his mouth from hers, Rose met the Doctor's gaze; dark and lost in pain and lust and need.
She wrapped her arms around him as he pushed inside her, buried himself deep within her and lost his soul in hers.
She whispered breathless words of love and desire at his ear as he moved; as he set the rhythm of their dance.
His long fingers pressed between their bodies, stroked and tormented her clit as he moved desperately against her.
He told her to come, he begged her to, and she did, she came hard, crying out his name as her body arched into his touch.
With a one final push deep inside her, his climax followed hers. His seed filled her as he held her tightly, almost afraid to let her go, afraid that none of this was real. He closed his eyes to hold onto the moment as, lost as he was in the bliss of loving her, the sorrows in his hearts died, and all he knew was the warmth of love.
In the morning the Doctor did not speak of the night before, and Rose did not ask him to. Instead he took her to a new planet, a new time, and he offered her a wide smile that she returned ten-fold. And when she slipped her hand into his, he knew with absolute certainly that he would love her forever.