Title- Chapter 7/7
Genre- drama-esquey stuff.
Disclaimer- I only own this in a timey-whimey swirley kind of way.
Summary- The Doctor finds that sometimes the wrong turn can be so very right.
His hands and his mouth were heating her blood, tripping her pulse before she was even fully awake.
Lazily, Rose moved under him, sighing a little as awareness tried to catch hold of her with sneaky fingers. The Doctor hummed low in his throat as he bit her shoulder, licking the mark he had made and she purred under his silver touch.
Her senses were keenly tuned to him—even after all this time—and the need for him that she suppressed for so long rose up, even as her mind flittered around the blurred edges of sleep.
Gently, carelessly, fingertips stroked over warm, soft flesh, relaxed with the last vestiges of sleep and satisfaction. The slide of a tongue, the brush of lips and an erotic whisper close to her ear aroused her and her eyes fluttered to catch the wolfish grin he held on his lips.
Then he said her name.
He said her name the way she hadn’t heard it said in seven years; a mixture of yearning and anticipation, exasperation and affection that still had the ability to trip her heartstrings.
She allowed his own name to leave her lips in a breath of love and his eyes shined.
He whispered her name again—a plea, a prayer, a promise— before his mouth ravished hers and his hand slid down to touch her where she needed him most, shooting her from dreamy desire to urgent want.
Now there was only sensation, the pounding of blood thrumming through veins and slamming against their chests, almost felt by the other. Rose ran her hands over him, thrilling herself with the rediscovery of his body; the spots where he was ticklish, the bits that made him hiss and that place which made him arch into her.
The Doctor was starved for her. For years he’d missed and regretted the three years that he’d spent denying himself. After making love to her so thoroughly last night he’d just lay watching her, not wanting to close his eyes in case she vanished into the darkness.
Exhaustion and anticipation had won out and he’d slept with her cradled in his embrace.
He’d wakened wanting her, just the warm comfort of her beside him in the quiet dawn light. He’d watched her some more, not wanting to disturb her but unable to help his fingers from wandering. He’d only had to touch her, to see her face, to need her again. So desperately.
Her mouth was eager and her hands quick and greedy. Their moods matched and half-delirious he dragged her to him again, craving what she had to offer, knowing somehow that it would never be enough, even if he lived another 900 years. He could see her eyes, gleaming in the half-light, focussed on him as she locked her legs around his waist and her hips surged to allow him entrance.
His breath snagged in his throat as his hearts leaped. He might have tried to speak, to tell her what he was feeling, unable to stay silent for so long, but Rose was pulling him into her, dragging him into a deep hunger that was bigger than them both, until, finally they succumbed.
They slid down together, shuddering as the last of their climax left them and he rested his head against her shoulder, panting ragged breaths against her chest.
Rose smiled down at his tousled hair.
He looked up grinning. “Hello.”
Rose ran her fingers over his lower lip. “I thought I’d dreamed you.”
He leaned on one arm and stared down at her. “Is your imagination that good?”
“No, but your ego is,” she laughed.
He sniffed, somewhat superiorly. “Well, 900 odd years, gives you time to get it right.”
Rose tugged on his hair with mock indignation. “Practised a lot, have you?”
“No.” He stroked her face, tenderness etched into every line on his face. “I read a lot.”
Rose returned the smile but the levity had been replaced by an idle contentment as they stared at each other.
“You don’t look older.” The Doctor traced the edges of her eyes. “Not a single wrinkle, frown line or freckle.”
“You look sadder.” Rose bit her lip. “Were you alone?”
“No, no, no, no,” he breathed and then paused, Rose’s own honesty preventing him from throwing away her concern. “Well, for a while, yes. Then I met Donna who was possibly scarier than your mum. I made her late for her wedding and then the wedding didn’t happen because her fiancée was an evil toad who’d made an alliance with a big spider. Well, when I say big spider, I mean giant spider who wanted to destroy Earth because she’d buried her children down there at the start of the creation of Earth and wanted them to feed on Huon energy. Travelled a bit, saved a race, destroyed an overlord, went to hospital and met…oooh you haven’t met Martha.”
Rose blinked. “Giant spider?”
He frowned. “No, Martha, keep up.”
“Martha Jones, she travels with me.” He bit his lip and reached up to scratch his head in a characteristic display of sheepishness. “It’s quite possible I left her downstairs last night to the mercies of your family.”
Rose muffled a giggle. “Poor girl. We should probably go and rescue her.”
She started to get up only to be stopped by the Doctor’s hand on her waist, holding her back.
“I don’t want to move just yet,” he admitted. “We have so much to say and I’m still not saying it.” He sounded so frustrated that Rose couldn’t help but reach up to kiss his frown away.
He grabbed her hand and fixed her with the stare that made worlds topple and criminals fold with no fuss. It bored right down into her soul, searching out the secrets and trying to tell her his.
“Rose,” he breathed. “I’ve travelled with new people but I’ve not…I’ve never…”
Rose smiled. “It’s okay, you don’t have to—”
“No!” he insisted. “Let me say this. Just, wait.”
Rose waited patiently while her loquacious Doctor searched for the right words.
“I’m not human, Rose. I don’t do ‘domestic’, or feelings or the things that you understand. I understand chemistry, science and logic. Humans fascinate me because they feel so much and allow themselves to feel, you humans are brilliant…just brilliant. You burn so brightly.” His grin faltered slightly. “I never did, was never allowed to. I watched and…” He waved his hands as if the words were just out of his grip and then his expression cleared a little. “You know in science you get elements that sometimes react a certain way to each other? Two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen makes water, always. H2O. Essential to any species, essential to life anywhere, a constant.”
Rose felt that some response was needed. “Yeah.”
He looked away briefly, gathering courage and then gazed at her. “When we met it was like hydrogen meeting oxygen for the first time, finding that piece that fits. We were that element, Rose Tyler. Water is wild and dangerous like rapids…those really cool rapids that people like to surf, or calm and soft like the rivers. Does this make sense?” He asked desperately and all Rose could do was nod, speechless.
“You were that constant for me and then you were gone and it was like—” tears filled his eyes as his throat closed, his words coming out hoarse “—I lost my oxygen, Rose, I couldn’t breathe. Hydrogen can be on its own, it can be with other elements but it’ll never be essential to life without oxygen. What you were—are to me is a force of nature. I can be without you, Rose, but I am so much better with you around.” He raked a hand through his hair. “Do you understand what I’m saying?”
She nodded once, tears spilling off her cheek to land unbidden on her chest.
He smiled lopsidedly and swiped at her damp cheeks. “Only you could ever understand me.”
“Not all the time.”
He inclined his head. “Well, I mumble. But when it mattered, you always knew what to say. I missed that.”
Rose’s heart pounded in her throat. The Doctor may never say those three words but they didn’t matter, they were only words. In his own way he had told her how important she was to him. She was his oxygen. He had to know that he was the same to her, he was her constant; the one thing in her life that she would give up everything for.
The Doctor cleared his throat, somewhat uncomfortable with his own words, her scrutiny and the desperate need that clawed at him. “Are you coming with me?”
Maybe he didn’t know.
Rose grabbed his face. “I…I… I waited for you. Seven years, I never stopped believing that you would try to get back to me if you could. I thought of you every day. I not only love you more than I could ever imagine loving someone. I need you. You’re my constant too, yeah, my hydrogen. Don’t leave me, because I don’t want to live without you any more. I’ve done that and I didn’t like it.”
“You were having a fantastic life,” he protested damply.
Rose shook her head “It’s only fantastic with you in it. I’m coming with you, you can’t get away from me.”
His hearts expanded as the truth of her words resounded around the room. Rose was serious; she wanted to come with him. She loved him. She needed him.
Still he felt the need to warn her.
“You can’t come back to see your family ever again.”
“Idiot,” she said fondly. “You are my family. I’ll miss mum and Heather and even dad. But I made my choice a long time ago and I’m never gonna leave you.”
He closed his eyes as the words echoed and he gripped her, pulling her to him in an impossibly tight embrace. “And this time, I won’t let you go.”
It was almost dinner time when the Doctor and Rose finally emerged from their own slice of paradise and faced the knowing looks of Rose’s family and friends.
Mickey was grinning with his own little smug look at her blushing face and even Misha found it hard to hold back a smile.
Heather was ecstatic to see her big sister even if she had missed her birthday party and most of her post-birthday reminiscing. Pete wasn’t sure whether he should be pleased at Rose’s obvious happiness or protective over the man who had taken his daughter up to her room and not let her out for hours. Jackie had no trouble with either, a hefty hug and warning glance covered both scenarios and it was Rose’s turn to face the unfamiliar.
The dark-skinned woman with the nervous smile was biting her lip and Rose held out her hand.
“Hi, I’m Rose, I’m guessing you’re Martha James?”
“I’m surprised he mentioned me.” Martha shook her hand, humour colouring her voice. “Didn’t think you two would spend much time talking, the way you swept out of here without saying hello.”
“Was that rude?” Rose asked with an impish grin.
“A little, but it’s understandable. He does have a nice arse doesn’t he?”
Rose blushed and tucked her hair behind her ear. “Yeah.”
Martha took pity on Rose and laughed. “It’s Jones by the way, not James, Martha Jones. And you’re the Rose Tyler. The Doctor has told me so much about you.”
“Really?” Rose was surprised; usually when companions left him he didn’t mention them again.
Martha rolled her eyes. “All the time, trust me. Rose this, Rose that. I should hate you, but I’ve seen your old wardrobe and think we can at least be shopping pals.”
Rose grinned. “We can get him to take us to Mellaxis.”
Martha’s eyes widened. “The market planet? Oh, I’d love that. He always said that we couldn’t land there though.” Martha feigned confusion as she glared at him, “He said that the TARDIS was allergic to the atmosphere.”
“I said that!” the Doctor cleared his throat and gave both women a sheepish, somewhat nervous smile. “Really?”
“Well, Martha Jones,” Rose tucked her arm into the other woman’s. “Between you, me and the TARDIS I think we can persuade him and, for lying, I dunno maybe we’ll need a bag-boy?”
Martha smirked at the fear in the Doctor’s eyes. “Oh, I think I’m going to like you, Rose Tyler.”
Rose nodded. “It’s mutual.”
Mickey slapped the very, very panicky Doctor on the back. “Good luck, mate.”
Pete stuck his hands into his pockets feigning nonchalance. “Martha said you’d probably want the TARDIS brought here so I had the TARDIS brought into the garden while you were, uh, busy.”
“She’s all set,” Martha agreed enthusiastically. “We can get going any time.”
Rose looked up at the Doctor. “Through time,”
“And space,” he finished in delight.
“So you’re definitely leaving then?” Jackie said softly, breaking the moment and Rose moved away from Martha to stand in front of her mother.
“I’ve got to,” she said simply. “What I said that day in Torchwood still stands, mum. I made my choice. He’s it.”
“I know you’ve not been happy here, love,” Jackie wrung her hands, tears starting to smear her mascara.
“It’s not my world, mum.”
“He is.” Jackie understood, gesturing to the Doctor and Rose, after glancing back nodded. Jackie let her gaze drift to Pete who held her hand.
And just like that Rose knew it was going to be all right. Her mum might not want her to go, she’d always be her mum’s little girl but Jackie knew what it was like to live without the one you loved and what you’d do to get back to them.
Jackie stared into the eyes of a man she’d never thought to be with again and was prepared to let Rose go to be happy. She’d miss her and resent him but Jackie knew, knew instinctively, that Rose would be loved and cherished.
Every little girl had to grow up and her Rose was finally a woman, making her own way with her own rules, making choices that would be hard.
She gulped and tightened her hold on Pete, sniffing before fixing the Doctor with a look.
“Take care of her and if you can ever make it back for a visit, you’d better or you’ll feel the flat of my hand, see if you don’t.”
The Doctor laughed and then agreed quickly. “I will. I promise.”
“And yourself,” Jackie added, suddenly grabbing him into a hug, tight and fierce. “I don’t want to hear of you regenerating soon. I quite like this version of you. Okay?”
Forgoing the opportunity to tell Jackie that she wouldn’t hear of his regenerating he simply smiled and hugged her back, closing his eyes to remember it. “You don’t scare me, Jackie Tyler.”
Jackie couldn’t speak around the lump in her throat. “Oh get out of here, already.” She gave Rose a frantic embrace, cherishing the feel of her daughter in her arms for the last time. She pulled Pete to her, needing his support now more than ever.
Heather reached up to tug Rose’s hand. “What’s going on, Rose? Are you going away again?”
Rose knelt down to her little sister. “Yeah, Heath, I am.”
Heather started to cry. “But you just got back; can’t you stay even a little bit?”
“We can’t,” the Doctor said regretfully, interrupting. “Every second that breach is open is dangerous to your world. I need to close it so we don’t destroy two universes.”
“But you can come back?” Heather cried.
“We can’t,” Rose apologised. “Two universes would collapse.”
“So?” Heather rubbed her nose; a tiny person in pink looking like her world was breaking.
It yanked at the Doctor’s memory and he had to look away, nodding to Martha who looked uncomfortable.
Rose took a deep breath. “I’ll think of you all the time. Promise. Somewhere in another universe there’ll always be someone thinking about you.”
“S’not as good as having you here,” Heather protested vehemently.
“No, it’s not,” the Doctor swallowed. “But you’ve had Rose for seven years and it’s my turn. I want her back.”
“It’s not fair!” Heather clutched at Rose. “I love you!”
Rose couldn’t think of any words to say to her sobbing baby sister and held her back, kissing her hair. “I love you too, little precious princess. I need you to take care of mum and dad and the Earth, okay. You need to be defender of the Earth now. Got to be a Tyler in charge.”
Heather stepped back, crying into her mother’s expensive dress but, for once, Jackie didn’t even notice; too busy sobbing onto Pete’s coat.
Rose grabbed the Doctor’s hand and stepped away from the tears. “We have to go.”
Pete reached over Jackie’s head to shake hands with the Doctor and to give Rose a genuinely fond look. “You take care now.”
“I will.” Rose smiled weakly. “Trust me on this.”
He bit out a laugh and held Jackie closer. “I’m proud of you, Rose. My daughter.”
The Doctor watched as Rose threw herself at her family and hugged them tightly, weeping openly.
He committed the picture to memory, fixed Jackie and Pete and Heather into his mind and turned to Mickey.
“Look after them, Mickey the idiot.”
“Yeah, I promise. You too.” Mickey waved his hand as Rose came towards him. “We’ve been there and said it all before, babe. I have a life, wife and kid because of you, always best mates, yeah?”
The Doctor cleared his throat over the maudlin scene before clapping his hands. “Right, tears over, allons-y. Still haven’t met anyone called Alonzo, you know, I’m very disappointed.”
“And mad,” Martha added, also very uncomfortable at the emotions and suddenly wishing very much to see her own mother.
“So, here we go.” The Doctor ushered Rose into the garden where the TARDIS sat. He could feel waves of pleasure coming off the machine as Rose stepped into view and the emotion was echoed in him.
She was coming home.
Martha entered the box first and Rose paused on the threshold, staring back at her family.
“I love you all,” she said one last time and stepped inside.
The Doctor stared at the odd group who had become his family. He knew how she felt, he felt like he was going to be closing the door on his family, destroying his own planet again. They’d touched a heart he’d thought had long since grown cold.
Jackie with her unflinching devotion, protectiveness and dedication. Mickey with his loyalty, determination and ambition. Pete with his own brand of integrity, devotion and adaptability and little Heather who had come to embody renewal.
He’d been accepted in a home and made to feel a part of it all. He’d been loved, unconditionally and allowed to love in return without being asked to give himself up. Domesticity without the trap.
Words failed him as he tried to tell them what he wanted to say, how much he needed to thank them for, for giving him Rose, for making things easy, for saving his life.
He opened and closed his mouth twice.
“Thank you,” he whispered to them. “Just…thank you.”
He turned around and closed the door, staring into the heart of the TARDIS as she greeted Rose with warmth and noise.
“She missed you,” he said to Rose.
The Doctor strolled over to the console, feeling better with each step that took him closer to Rose. His hands danced over the controls, setting a course that would navigate them back into the vortex and find the rift that had allowed him to find her again.
Rose closed her eyes as her family faded out of view and the central column swooshed and vibrated, sending them spiralling into the unknown.
The Doctor glanced up at Martha and she nodded leaving the two of them alone, knowing that she would probably see less of the Doctor from now on, but that he would be happy and smiling when she did. It was a fair trade.
He wrapped Rose in his arms and Rose leaned against his chest, eyes closed.
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry that this hurts you.”
“I’ll miss them,” she admitted. “But I wouldn’t give you up again.”
His hearts pounded. “Good, because the universe isn’t often this kind, Rose Tyler and I’m taking you along for the ride.”
His hands tightened. “We’ll get back to Earth and refuel then we’ll go shopping and watch pink sunrises, aqua creatures in mating season. We’ll save planets and dance under the stars. We’ll get arrested and imprisoned and we’ll—”
“Goes without saying.” He laughed. “You, me and Martha and then, at night, it’ll just be you and me.”
“I like the sound of that.”
“Quite right too,” he flinched as those words resounded but Rose smiled.
They were silent for a long moment, just watching the play of stars against the screen as they flickered in and out of the vortex.
“Will we get where we’re going?” She asked softly, watching the stars.
He shrugged. “Possibly. Does it matter?”
“Not really, we always go somewhere interesting,” she grinned impishly up at him. “Even if it is by mistake.”
He leaned down to kiss her on the nose, relishing the contact and knowing that this feeling would never wane. He would always love her as much, if not more. “Oh, I don’t know.” He smiled against her hair. “Some of the best things in my life have happened by mistake.”
And this, having her here in his arms, was the sweetest mistake.