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Run Away Fly Away Lead Me Astray

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The first time they got in bed together, it was on a planet that Humans called Hanon IV. They’d been awake for thirty hours and Rose was exhausted. The Doctor, well, he would have said he was fine, but he was on the verge of exhaustion, too. Once the crisis was averted, the Hanonians wanted to show their gratitude in the form of offering that they stay in the guest wing of the village chapel for a night.

The Doctor had wanted to decline, but in all of the commotion that day, they had ended up about sixteen kilometres from where they left the TARDIS, and the only other way around this continent was by foot, so Rose had slipped her hand in his, and smiled sleepily at him and said “hey” and nodded their acceptance of the village elder’s kind offer.

They were led up a set of rickety stairs and shown to a spartan bedroom which was not much bigger that the almost-double bed within it. There were several hooks along one wall where they could hang up both their jackets and Rose’s hoodie, and she kicked off her shoes and climbed under the quilt. He had hesitated for a moment, wondering if he should ask if they had a second room spare.

“What are you waiting for?” she’d asked, lifting up the quilt on the unoccupied side of the bed. Hoping this wouldn’t come back to bite him, he removed his shoes and got in, but kept a careful distance. They fell asleep with only their fingers touching.

 

The second time they got in bed together, it wasn’t exactly a bed; it was more of just a wooden pallet with a thin layer of a foam-like material to soften it just a little. They were on a planet called Bajor, many centuries before it would be colonised and nearly destroyed by invaders, enjoying the Festival of Sound that took place twice a year, when the natural resonance pulses in the planet’s core produced the most magnificent Songs, and all over the world, people gathered to perform traditional dances which were accompanied by the planet’s Music.

Rose had said it made her think of the Aurora Borealis, which she had only seen in pictures, and the Doctor had promised to take her to see it for herself one day soon.

There was no crisis that day, and after several hours of dancing, followed by a resplendent communal supper, they wrapped up warm and retired with the rest of the populace, and all the other visitors from near and far come for the festival, to the fields where hundreds upon hundreds of campfires had been lit, and lined with pallets where everyone retired in couples and groups of friends and lovers to listen to the planet’s Night Songs, gentle melodies that lulled them to sleep under the glistening stars.

It was six degrees Celsius, so not huddling close to each other wasn’t an option. They claimed themselves a pallet and lay down as close to the fire as they could. The Doctor insisted Rose lie between himself and the flames, since his physiology could withstand more extreme temperatures than hers. She bent one of her arms under her head to cushion it, and with the other, found his hand and clasped it tightly. He put his other arm around her back to pull her closer still. Contentment permeated them both as they listened to the music and to each other’s breathing as they fell asleep.

 

The third time they got in bed together, they were on Earth, in twenty-sixth century Germany. While they were having lunch in a small café, the TARDIS somehow got nicked. Fortunately, the Doctor was able to build a Thing that would be able to detect where it was, but it was going to take several hours to charge up, and dusk was already falling.

They bought some pyjamas and toiletries and other essentials from a nearby shopping centre, then went in search of a hotel. When the receptionist asked whether they wanted a twin or a double room, they looked at each other as though silently agreeing, and simultaneously said “double, bitte.” Neither of them knew what they had been thinking, but both hoped to themselves that it meant they were getting closer to whatever it was they’d always been heading for. They didn’t correct the receptionist when they addressed them as Mr and Mrs Tyler.

It was a spacious room. The Doctor placed the TARDIS-detecting Thing on the desk spanning part of one wall, and sat down in the chair to continue tinkering with it, as Rose emptied their shopping bag on top of the bed and pulled the tags off of her new pyjamas. She was about to take them into the en-suite to change, but he had his back to her, so she decided to toe the line a little and get changed right there. He didn’t turn around at all, but she noticed his ears and neck flush a little and reckoned he probably knew what she’d done.

Once she was decent again, she went over to stand next to him, crossing an arm over his back and her fingers gently dancing on his shoulder that was furthest from her.

“How’s it coming?” she asked, as he resisted the temptation to lean his head against the side of her waist.

“Nearly done,” he said. “You can go to bed if you want. I won’t be long.”

I won’t be long. Like they were specifically meant to go to bed together. His choice of words made her heart beat faster as she tidied up and lifted the quilt, lying down on her back and relishing the impossibly soft mattress. It probably wasn’t long until he finished up at the desk, but she was itching to have him beside her, so it felt like forever.

She had her eyes closed when she heard the chair scrape back and couldn’t resist peeking them open while he got changed. She closed them again before he looked in her direction. Her body sang when his weight hit the mattress, and she scooted closer, pressing herself against him. Just as she drifted off to sleep, she felt his lips press against her forehead.

 

The fourth time they got in bed together, they really had had no excuse. They were on the TARDIS, so her bedroom was just down the hall, and it had been her initial intention to return to it.

She had just finished showing Adam around. Only the basics: how to get between the console room, kitchen, and a bedroom that the TARDIS made up for him. Adam was hopelessly smitten with Rose. And yeah, she thought he was kind of cute, but he really thought he was All That, that A-Levels maketh a person, and she hadn’t even told him she didn’t have any, because she thought he would probably laugh at her, if not to her face, then behind her back.

She thought it would be a nice thing to do, bringing him along and showing him the stars like he had told her he dreamed of, but the Jury was still out on whether or not she wanted to call him a friend.

On another day, she might have at least been happy to show him a bit more of the ship, but the events of this one in particular weighed heavily on her shoulders, and even more so on the Doctor’s. They needed to be there for each other right now. This was about them and only them, and it was something Adam had no business being part of.

So when he asked her to stay with him – and she wasn’t sure, but she thought he probably meant the whole night – she said no, that she would see him in the morning. She hoped she hadn’t given him any false hope.

She’d got the distinct impression that the Doctor thought she planned to stay with Adam. If Hanon IV, or Bajor, or Germany, or all the other times they’d shared any kind of intimacy, had given him any indications, he would know better; but for a genius he could be awfully thick sometimes.

Adam’s bedroom door swished shut behind her, and she began heading along the corridor, tracing the wall with her hand. She didn’t know where the Doctor was at that moment, but she knew the TARDIS would guide her there. When she came to a stop in front of a door which was faintly glowing, she didn’t recognise it.

A little hesitantly, she raised her hand and knocked on the door. “It’s Rose.”

“Come in,” he called, and she pushed open the wooden panel. They were in a bedroom. His bedroom, presumably, and he was sitting cross-legged in the middle of a huge bed. Yeah, there was no way in the universe that the TARDIS would let Adam find his way here, if he decided to come looking for them. They were fine.

“Hey, Doctor,” she said, still surprised at the fact that she was in his bedroom. On other occasions that they’d been in a bedroom, they’d been been in other people’s guest rooms, neutral spaces. But this was his room, his space, and that was very different. Still, she was here at all, which meant he was okay with it. Emboldened by that, she approached the bed. “Budge up, then.”

He acquiesced, and she sat down beside him, taking his hand.

“Are you okay?” he asked, gazing at her with a soft intensity, and she was glad he’d decided to skip over teasing her about their new passenger.

“Yeah,” she said. “Are you?”

He told her about the Time War. The abridged, less brutal version, because the less he had to burden her with, the better; but he had to tell her, because the Time War had shaped him into the man he was in that moment, and he wanted her to know him. He wanted her to have it in mind when she made her choice about them.

She listened carefully, her expression was sympathetic but not pitying; and she rubbed gentle, soothing circles on his back as he spoke.

“I’m sorry,” he said at the end of his tale.

“You have no reason to be,” she said, and he could tell that she still thought that was true.

“I nearly let you die,” he couldn’t believe that she seemed to have already forgiven him.

“You did what you had to, Doctor. It would have destroyed the planet.”

“I could save the world but lose you,” he said, echoing his own words from when they had been trapped in the Cabinet Room.

The Dalek’s words echoed in her mind: ‘what use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love,’ it had said; but she didn’t ask him about it, she couldn’t. What did the Dalek know, anyway? “And didn’t I say, ‘do it’?”

“I don’t deserve the trust you place in me,” his eyes stung, but he didn’t let them overflow.

“Don’t say that, Doctor.”

“Will you stay here tonight?” he asked, wanting nothing more in that moment to keep her beside him, to remind him that she was still alive.

“Yeah,” she said with a melancholy smile. “Yeah, I will.” She went to his drawers and retrieved two sets of pyjamas – she didn’t think he’d mind her borrowing a pair of his. She chucked one pair over to him and turned her back to him to get changed, a certain semblance of privacy, but barely anything that counted since she didn’t even bother to make sure he wasn’t looking. Anyway, it wasn’t as if she was planning to initiate sex, and she’d never gotten the impression that he was interested in that, either.

She nipped into the en-suite to find a toothbrush. He was under the quilt when she returned to the bedroom and she climbed in beside him, and they cuddled up together, legs and arms all tangled together. He buried his face in her shoulder. She felt the silent sobbing wrack his body, and she pulled him tighter against her. She couldn’t quite reach his forehead, so she settled for pressing a kiss to the side of his face. A tear rolled down her face. It hurt her to see him in such pain.

 

The first time they got in bed together, they had slept in a village chapel on a planet called Hanon IV. They had woken up to the sound of the bells ringing, which had quickly given Rose a headache and was grating on the Doctor’s nerves, so they very quickly got up, thanked the villagers for their hospitality and set off walking back to their ship.

And then they were on their way to Justicia, and talking about what had happened was quickly forgotten.

The second time they got in bed together, they had slept outside on a wooden pallet, on a planet called Bajor. By the morning the fire had died away, but it was no less cold than it had been the night before, so they were both keen to get back to the TARDIS and warm up in the shower. Not the same shower, though, as tempting as they both might have found that, neither had the courage to suggest it.

And then they were on their way to the Glass Pyramid of San Kaloon.

The third time they got in bed together, they had slept in a room in a hotel in Germany, on Earth, and it had been the comfiest of the beds they’d shared, but they were woken at a stupid hour of the morning by the Thing the Doctor had built blaring loudly to notify them it had detected their stolen TARDIS, which should be in the process of rematerialising where they had left it. They decided to head straight home, just in case the thief was still around, and the Doctor failed to outsmart them a second time. There was an Eiscafé and bakery, opposite the hotel. Rose had been set on having breakfast there, but it was still closed when they left. They made a note to go back there one day.

And then they were on their way to Iceland to see the Northern Lights.

 

The fourth time they got in bed together, they were on the TARDIS. The day before had been rough, what with encountering the last, somehow-surviving Dalek and everything, and the Doctor baring his soul to her. After their heart-to-heart, he had asked Rose to stay with him, even though she had her own bedroom just down the hall.

The next morning when she woke up, he had his elbow on his pillow, propping his head up, and he was watching her, a calm smile on his face. There was neither the need nor the desire in either of them to get up, their forgotten passenger safely locked away from them by their TARDIS, who would never let him spoil the moment.

“Morning,” she returned his smile.

“Morning,” he grinned, wider, and moved his other hand from where it was lying against his side, into the space between them. she mirrored his posture, propping her head up and curling her fingers around his. She was suddenly very aware: aware that she was in his bed; aware that she was wearing his pyjamas; aware that he was looking at her like she was the only other person in the universe; aware that, for the moment, she was, because they had nowhere else to be; aware of his scent floating around her, his lovely, intoxicating scent.  

Aware that there wasn’t going to be a fast-paced ‘and then they were on their way to Mars, or the Omarion Nebula, or Ancient Pyrovillia.’

Her heart was beating so fast that she was sure he must be able to hear it.

She had no idea what to say, but that didn’t matter: she was quite happy, just lying there, just staring into his eyes, being enveloped in his soul. She searched one of his feet out with her own, caressed it with her toes.

“Your feet are cold,” he noted, and she laughed, a silvery sound that made both of his hearts try to escape.

She flashed him a grin and placed both her feet on his leg, pushing the pyjama trouser leg up so she could spread cold even further.

“Oi!” he jerked his leg away.

She sighed dramatically. “Okay, you win.”

“Do you want some socks?” he offered, though not moving to go and get any.

“Guess I’ll need them, if you won’t warm me up,” she mock-huffed, withdrawing her legs to her side of the bed.

In all the months since they’d met, he had wanted to kiss her, but he’d held himself back, kept his distance. There had been times when he thought they were about to, but they’d always been interrupted. They’d been dancing around each other for too long, but now, lying in his bed, laughing together, the TARDIS safely in the Vortex, and the Universe at ease for a brief flash of a moment, with her openly staring at his lips, he could resist no longer; he rushed forward, gathering her in his arms as tightly as he could, and kissed her, his eyes fluttering shut when she made a pleased sound, the blistering heat between them when she kissed him back just as desperately, rippled across his skin.

 

Adam had been sitting at the kitchen table for two hours when Rose came swanning in, her face bright with laughter, and sent his pulse racing. Gosh, she was beautiful. It took him a few extra seconds to notice she was trailling the Doctor behind her, the two of them joined at the hand, a similarly joyful look on his own face. It made Adam want to shudder; the Doctor had been so grumpy and angry at the Museum, with Van Statten, with him; had barely paid any attention to him when he’d followed them into this marvellous ship. Rose had been the one to take his bag and offer to show him around, albeit the tour had been very brief.

The two of them came to a sudden halt in front of him, silenced, standing there in identical pyjamas, staring at him like they were deer caught in headlights, and quickly dropped their hands, and the Doctor’s face hardened. It was... it was like they had forgotten he was here. Surely not? Rose had definitely seemed interested in him, and she wouldn’t have invited him along if she was planning to promptly forget about him. Surely.

He wasn’t going to ask about it, but the identical pyjamas thing was weird. Maybe it was some kind of TARDIS uniform he would be given once he’d been on board for long enough. They were nice pyjamas, he noted, his eyes following Rose as she crossed the room to the kettle. He liked the way they were shaped on her arse.

“Have you had breakfast?” she asked, turning her gorgeous eyes on him, and he wanted to melt.

“Uh, um...” Adam stammered, “No, I haven’t.”

“Would you like some eggs?” she asked, going into a cupboard for a frying pan. She looked so at home in the Doctor’s kitchen, he didn’t even complain that she was rummaging through the cupboards and drawers and making breakfast. Like it was her own kitchen.

Maybe it was, but didn’t that make it Adam’s kitchen, too? After all, it seemed he lived here now. He ignored the withering look he was getting from the Doctor, who was still standing in the doorway. “Uh, if that’s okay, yes please.”

“How do you like them?” she asked as she poured some olive oil into the pan.

He noted that she didn’t ask the Doctor, and yet she presented him with a plate of fried eggs on toast that he seemed to thoroughly enjoy. It was stupid, Adam thought, being jealous about that. Of course she already knew how the Doctor liked his breakfast. She’d known him longer. Soon enough she’d be able to do the same for him, and if he could ever figure out how to navigate these weird cupboards whose contents changed, then he could cook for her as well, and maybe the Doctor would just leave them alone.

That was unlikely, he knew. He saw the way the Doctor looked at her. And he hadn’t forgotten what that Dalek had said. ‘What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?’ Adam had shuddered when it spoke those words, but for once it wasn’t because of the creature’s grating voice. From the moment the bulkhead closed between them, he’d felt a streak of possessiveness towards Rose, an urge to keep the Doctor away from her. It would be useless, and he knew it, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t prepared to lock horns with him, if he had to.

He’d been so caught up in his thoughts, that he didn’t realise Rose and the Doctor were talking about something. “Be nice,” Rose said, shoving the Doctor’s arm lightly. The Doctor grumbled some words that Adam didn’t hear, but Rose laughed, and then clamped her hand over her mouth. “No, behave,” she said.

“Right, where shall we go today?” the Doctor asked, plastering on a cheery grin that only seemed real in one direction. “How about the Moon?”

Adam squirmed. Rose noticed.

“How about somewhere on Earth, first?” she said. Gratitude and warmth flared in Adam’s chest.

“Right then, Earth it is. How about France?” the Doctor suggested.

“France?” Rose echoed. “Soon as we’re all dressed.”

Adam nodded. “France sounds good.”

He missed the glint in the Doctor’s eye.

They went to France, alright, but it wasn’t twenty-twelve. It was eighteen-thirty-two, and they’d landed slap-bang in the middle of the June Rebellion.

 

“What you wearing that for?” Adam asked, when Rose came back into the kitchen once she was dressed. “Not that you don’t look nice,” he continued, “you look lovely, but it’s a bit, well... old-fashioned, and tattered.”

Rose looked down at her own outfit: an off-white linen blouse, which was belted with a thick piece of leather, and covered by a dusty looking brown trench-coat; an olive-coloured skirt which reached her ankles, and a pair of brown leather boots. The whole ensemble did indeed look well-worn, and certainly seemed to have come out of a bygone era.

She shrugged. “TARDIS picked it out,” she said, sliding a final clasp into her hair and hiding it under a cap whose colour matched her skirt, and whose material resembled tweed.

Adam furrowed his brow. “You let a spaceship choose your clothes for you? How can it do that, anyway?”

“She,” Rose corrected. “The TARDIS is sentient, and she just helps. Makes sure you’re gonna fit in where-ever you’re going. Speaking of,” she took in Adam’s much more modern outfit and gestured vaguely up and down his body. He flushed, and she thought, oh no, but she didn’t mention it. “You’re gonna need to change.”

“I didn’t bring anything that looks like that.”

“No need, the wardrobe will have something. Come with me.” She thought it would be safe. The TARDIS wouldn’t offer him anything that the Doctor wouldn’t want him to have.

“There’s a wardrobe?”

“Three whole floors of it.”

“Some things never cease to amaze.” He stood from the table and followed her down the hallway, reaching for her hand as they walked.

Once she had helped him find something to wear, the TARDIS helpfully shifted his bedroom door into the wardrobe room, and he asked her to wait while he got changed, saying he couldn’t remember the way back to the console room. She said she would and leaned against the wall nearby. He lingered in the doorway for a minute, like he expected her to follow him in, but she stayed put, and a minute later he went inside and shut the door.

She suspected he did remember the way to the console room, or at the very least that that was only part of it. She should really talk to him, make it clear that she wasn’t interested in him the way he was making it quite obvious that he was interested in her. But she didn’t want to hurt him, and so far, he’d been extremely polite and reserved about it, so she decided to leave it for a moment. Maybe, if she was lucky, he would realise on his own that he didn’t stand a chance with her.

The Doctor was already in the console room when they got there. He was wearing the same outfit he always wore, which was hardly a surprise – not that Rose found it had lost any of its appeal. He turned to look at her and his hand froze on the console, his gaze sweeping across her. “You look beautiful,” he said, and Rose made a mental note to wear long skirts more often.

She sensed Adam bristle behind her, but ignored him. “Not so bad, yourself,” she said to the Doctor, beaming at him. For a moment they were the only two people in the universe again, until he turned back to the console.

“So, France, then?” he said, flashing a grin in Adam’s direction.

She’d told him off at breakfast. When Adam had zoned out, she’d said that she understood his reservations about having him on board, but asked him to at least try and be nice. She still felt a bit guilty that they’d completely forgotten him that morning, but, well – what else could be expected of them, when they were lounging in bed together like that, for the first time ever?

If the Doctor was the only other person in the universe, she was sure it still wouldn’t feel empty to her.

And then, the TARDIS was whirring, and they were off.

 

It was instinctive, by now, for Rose and the Doctor to reach for each other’s hands as they wandered off to explore the place where they had landed. It didn’t even occur to them that Adam might think anything of it, and neither of them saw him shoot a glare at the Doctor’s back as he trailed a step behind them.

“This isn’t France,” he said, “well, not… it doesn’t exactly look familiar.”

“Yeah it is,” the Doctor said, pointing at the Elephant of the Bastille. Which, of course, no longer existed, but surely Adam had seen it in drawings.

“Just not France as it would have looked when you were there,” Rose added. As though the clothes hadn’t made that obvious before they even left the TARDIS.

“It’s the nineteenth century,” the Doctor said. “Paris, and the year is eighteen-forty-two.”

A look of unease crossed Adam’s face, struggling to believe he had actually travelled in time.

“Ey-up, what’s this?” They had turned a corner and found themselves on a street lined with people standing solemnly on either side of the road. “Looks like a funeral procession.”

As it turned out, the Doctor’s estimate of when they were had been a decade off, and everything started to pass in a blur when they ended up getting separated when the mourners began rioting, a table nearly landed on the Doctor’s head as he ran under a window that it was flung from, and Adam turned up later with a nasty bruise on his face.

“Stay close behind me,” the Doctor hissed at him. Rose was still missing, and he didn’t have time to be worrying about some idiot who seemed to be developing a habit of leaving her behind. His hearts pounded against his ribs. He couldn’t lose her. No. Hundreds of people were recorded to have been injured or killed in this uprising, and it would completely destroy him if she was counted among the latter number.

It was three hours before they found her lying unconscious, surrounded by rubble. They both ran towards her, and were relieved to see her chest rising and falling.

“We can’t stay here,” Adam said. “We’ll have to carry her.”

“You’ll do nothing of the sort,” the Doctor scowled at him, sliding his arms under her knees and back, and lifting her gently off the ground. She was light enough that he could manage to carry her on his own, and there was no way he was letting anyone else touch her. “Oh, Rose, I’m so sorry,” he whispered to her sleeping form as Adam slunk behind him, wallowing.

He took her straight to the medical bay once they were safely back inside the TARDIS and laid her on one of the biobeds, activating the scanner. It told him that she had a concussion, but otherwise would be fine. Still, he wouldn’t be able to feel better about the diagnosis until she was awake, at least. Adam paced the room, and he wanted to tell him to bugger off, but he had promised Rose he would try to be nice to him, and he was clearly worried about her as well, even if the Doctor didn’t feel like he had any right to be.

“Doctor?” her voice was quiet, and a little pained.

“Rose.”

She lifted one of her hands to him, and he took it, holding it tightly as he ordered the scanner to check her over once more, just to be sure.

“Rose!” Adam was at her other side in a flash when he saw she was awake. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she said. “Just a little dizzy.”

Adam clasped her other hand, even though she hadn’t offered it to him. As much as the Doctor wanted to tell him off for that, Rose could fight her own battles and wouldn’t appreciate him fighting them for her. She didn’t push Adam away, so the Doctor bit his tongue. Adam was no threat to him, to them, and he knew it.

“Sorry about that,” he said, only half smiling. “We’ll be a bit careful not to end up in the middle of such bloodshed next time.”

“It’s okay,” she said, letting go of both their hands so she could push herself up into a sitting position. “Think we should just get some crisps and watch a film, soon as you park the TARDIS in the vortex, away from trouble.”

“That sounds like a wise plan, Rose Tyler,” he said, saying her full name because he liked the way it sounded.

“You want to join us?” she turned to Adam, who, the Doctor thought, should really have seen by now, that he was the odd one out, and said no, and gone back to his bedroom to lick his wounds. Of course, bloody Adam said yes.

Being honest, though, it was petty to blame the animosity he felt towards adam Adam on him being the odd one out; that wasn’t it, at all.

Even though the Doctor knew that Rose didn’t want Adam to sweep her off her feet, he got the distinct impression that Adam was just waiting for her to fall into his arms. That would be her choice, of course; while the Doctor wouldn’t enjoy seeing the two of them together, and even though he might have teased her about it, ultimately, he would accept it and leave them be.

It was because, the fact that Adam that he didn’t know Rose had already fallen into the Doctor’s arms was a meagre defence of him because she’d rejected his advances anyway, and he wasn’t taking heed of that. Rose didn’t seem annoyed about it, but the Doctor would send him home in a nanosecond if he even thought about hurting her.

As if that wasn’t enough, it also bothered the Doctor that Adam had been so comfortable working for GeoComTex, how fondly he spoke of his memories there, and couldn’t help but wondering if he was going to, at his earliest opportunity, turn out to be exactly like Henry van Statten.

“Going to go and get changed into something a bit more comfortable first,” Rose said, swinging her legs over the side of the biobed and leaning on the Doctor for support as she stood up.

“Do you want some help walking?” Adam offered.

The Doctor felt the TARDIS shift her interior layout, and noted with amusement and a little smugness that she’d sent Rose’s and Adam’s bedrooms off in opposite directions away from the medical bay.

“Nah, I’ll be fine,” Rose said, still clinging to the Doctor. “You go find something comfortable as well, I’ll see you in a bit. Thanks, though.”

Adam’s expression became one of disappointment, but nodded and turned and fled.

“Can you help me walk?” Rose asked the Doctor once he was gone.

“It’d be my pleasure.” He wrapped his arm around her as they fell into step.

When her bedroom door closed behind them, she turned around his embrace and leaned up to kiss him gently, briefly on the lips. “Thanks,” she said, before releasing him and walking over to her drawers. “I was thinking I might keep the outfit.”

“I’d have no complaints,” he said. It looked good on her.

She rummaged in a drawer until it produced a light pink pair of loose cotton tracksuit trousers, a grey t-shirt and a dark green hoodie.

He should really leave her in peace to get changed, get the TARDIS dematerialised; but no rioting students nor soldiers with muskets, nor the anguished cries of the dying or their loved ones, could penetrate her shields… instead, his feet carried him forward of their own volition. Instead, he lifted the cap from her head and set to work removing the many clasps from her hair and smoothing it down as it fell loose around her shoulders. She leaned her back against his chest and let out a happy sigh.

Gosh, I love you so much, Rose Tyler, he thought, but he couldn’t summon the words to be spoken, just in case they burst the beautiful bubble in which they were ensconced. There would be time enough for taking that step later. He kissed the side of her neck once, and then, fighting against every bone in his body, he stepped back and turned towards the door.

She caught his wrist. “Where are you going?”

“Could do with a change of clothes, myself,” he said. “And need to get the TARDIS in the air.”

“Right, of course,” she nodded, “just – hold me for a minute first though, yeah?”

He was more than happy to oblige.

 

“What shall we watch?” Rose asked, once they’re armed with crisps and lemonade and settled on a large sofa, in a room laid out to resemble a living room.

“What do you want to watch?” he asked.

“I don’t know; something light-hearted and enjoyable.”

“I’ve got just the thing,” he said. “How about Ocean’s Eight?”

“Ocean’s Eight?” she wondered. “Is that the one with George Clooney in it?”

“Nah, that’s Ocean’s Eleven. Ocean’s Eight hasn’t been released yet, for you. It’s Clooney’s character’s sister.” He explained, then: “one of the main characters is played by Rihanna,” he added, remembering Rose had once expressed her love of the singer.

“Ooh, yeah, that sounds good!” she agreed.

The screen flickered on, as Adam came trudging in and sat down next to her. She passed him a can of lemonade and resisted the urge to snuggle up to the Doctor. She realised that very soon her patience was going to wear thin, because she didn’t want to hurt Adam, but she had no intention of spending much more time pretending that nothing’s going on between her and the Doctor; this is their home, and Adam is a guest here, and if he wants to stay, he’ll have to have to accept that he’s the gooseberry.

The film began, and she pushed all other thoughts aside.

At some point, she realised the gap between her and the Doctor had completely disappeared. She was curled up against his side, his leather jacket was gone, and her head was resting on the soft woollen sleeve of his jumper. One set of his fingers was intertwined with hers, and his other hand was placed feather-light on her thigh.

They must have looked the absolute picture of domesticity, and she would have expected him to protest at such a scene, but she was pleased to note that he seemed perfectly content. She lifted their joined hands and kissed the back of his.

At the other end of the sofa, Adam was sitting with his arms crossed and a pout on his face. She should feel a pang of guilt, but she was so happy that she just couldn’t will it into being.

By the end of the film, Adam’s pout has been replaced with a look of utter confusion. “The original trilogy of Ocean’s films was better,” he grumbled as he got to his feet.

“Yeah, well, you would say that.” The Doctor’s tone was accusatory.

Adam glared at him before he turned and stalked out of the room.

“What did you think?” he asked Rose.

“Thought it was wonderful,” she said, stretching. “Loved it, would definitely watch again.”

They turned off the screen, and the lights, and closed the door behind them. They don’t walk far before they’re outside her bedroom door. She’d stayed with him the night before, but that had only been because they’d had a rough day encountering the Dalek and needed to be there for each other. They should really go back to their own separate rooms tonight.

“Goodnight, then,” she said, but neither of them moved.

This morning they’d woken up, and they’d flirted, and they’d kissed.

This afternoon she’d closed her door behind him, and kissed him again and he’d helped her undo her hair, and held her as she cried about the violence that they’d witnessed today in Paris.

This evening, they’d cuddled on a sofa to watch a nice film even though the Doctor had previously insisted he didn’t do domestics.

Right now, they were kissing passionately, and he was was pressing her against her door until it opened, and they fell through it, and they both felt the TARDIS laughing fondly at them.

Soon enough, they were clad in identical pyjamas that the TARDIS had kindly brought from where they’d left them hours ago.

The fifth time they got in bed together, they were curled up as tightly as they possibly could without suffocating, before he finally echoed her words. “Goodnight, then.”

 

“So, it's two-hundred-thousand, and it's a spaceship. No, wait a minute, space station, and, er, go and try that gate over there. Off you go.” The Doctor told her as they dashed out of the TARDIS while Adam was still finding his feet. He waggled his eyebrows, which was a bit uncharacteristic, but she thought it suited him.

They shared a grin, both of them utterly ecstatic after their conversation this morning, when they’d woken up face-to-face for the second morning in a row, and had decided to finally, officially call themselves a couple.

She laughed as she confirmed the year – two-hundred-thousand – and was about to pull him in for a quick kiss, but then a dizzy-looking Adam stumbled out of the door.

“Oh my god,” he said, looking about, a bit more shocked by the distant future than by the relatively recent past.

She could feel the adoration in the Doctor’s intent gaze as she enacted, for Adam’s benefit, figuring out where they were.

 

He was so happy, he completely forgot to be annoyed with Adam, forgot that Adam’s not at all trustworthy, and handed him a credit chip without even thinking to check how much money was on it.

Rose is so happy, she didn’t think to ask him for her phone back when the Doctor called them over to where he’s standing with two women, who are no doubt about to present them with a new mystery to solve.

 

“Do you want me to come with you?” Rose offered, when it all got too much for Adam and he decided to go find somewhere quiet to soak it in.

She shouldn’t have given him a key to the TARDIS, she knew she shouldn’t have, but that knowledge was lost somewhere in the haze of her new relationship, and he had said ‘no, no, you stick with the Doctor. You'd rather be with him. It's going to take a better man than me to get between you two,’ and she’d mistakenly assumed all it meant was that he’d realised that she wasn’t into him. It hadn’t even occurred to her that he might have wanted to keep her away, because he was planning to steal information that he could take home and profit on.

 

“Well, don't mention my name. When you get in trouble, just don't involve me,” Cathica said, and walked away.

“That's her gone,” The doctor said, shifting his weight onto his right leg, bringing them closer together. “Adam's given up. Looks like it's just you and me.”

“Yeah,” she agreed, turning and holding his gaze.

“Good.”

“Yep.”

He moved away for a moment to slot the keycard into the lift’s control panel, then came back and took her hand, pulling her in as the lift door closes. Finally alone again, within seconds they were kissing as though their lives depended on it, until the door opened again, and they were hit with a blast of cold air.

 

“He’s not my friend,” the Doctor snapped, and Rose began to protest, but it died in her throat. She had trusted Adam and she was angry at the way he’d turned around and betrayed them like that, nearly getting them killed because of his selfishness, to a lesser extent just like Van Statten had done.

And here he was, babbling about how the fault was actually on the Doctor because he was supposed to be in charge, as though Adam was just a helpless a child who didn’t know any better. He tried to reach for Rose, but she backed out of his way.

The flight back to twenty-twelve England was awkward, but fortunately, what with the TARDIS and everything, it was extremely brief.

Neither of them regretted it when the TARDIS dematerialised without him.

 

“So, where to next?” Rose asked, a few mornings later, while they were lying around and taking far too long to get out of bed and get the day started. Well, it was hardly anyone’s fault that they wanted to take their time over getting settled in to their newly furnished bedroom.

But still, the universe awaited.

“I know just the place,” the Doctor said, leaning over to kiss her thoroughly once more before pushing the quilt away.

I know just the thing, Rose thought as she went through her wardrobe, remembering her mental note to wear more long skirts, she pulled out a pink maxi dress that she was sure hadn’t been there before, and paired it with a purple leather jacket that she also didn’t remember owning.

“Thanks,” she said, patting the wall of the TARDIS.

 

They stepped out of the TARDIS into a sunny day, on a footpath next to a river.

“I know this place,” Rose realised, but she couldn’t quite put a finger on it. She took his hand, linked her fingers through his, and let him lead the way.

“We’ve been here before,” he confirmed. “But last time it was three centuries from now, I thought this would be safer. I did check, though, it’s already open.”

They stepped from the footpath onto a pavement and rounded the corner of a building, onto a Town Square that… “This is where we stayed in the hotel! That’s the place I wanted to have breakfast. You remembered.”

“Course I did!”

“Thanks.” She beamed, sticking her tongue between her teeth, and he grinned, and she leaned up kissed him, and then took off in the direction of the café, dragging him along – fully willingly, mind – by their joined hands, off to get breakfast.