If it hadn't been for the tight black leather trousers clinging to her thighs in a sort of damp and unsettling yet not unpleasant manner, and the high black heels which were already making her arches ache, and most of all the constriction of her ribcage when she tried to take a deep breath (she looked down approvingly at the way her breasts were sculpted and set off like jewelry by the very tight black leather corset), Donna Noble might have thought it was all a dream.
The Doctor knelt in front of her, head bowed, his weight supported on his hands, naked. Very naked. She tried to take a deep breath. Why was she the one in the very tight clothing and very high heels when he was supposed to be the one being punished here? His ribs stuck out, and his collarbones, and his ankles; blue dents showed under high bones, and made his skin look even paler. She tapped the black leather riding crop against one hand, then didn't want to seem nervous and set it down, on the table with the assortment of other....instruments. Some were familiar -- very familiar, she was sure she'd bought their duplicates from London shops; some were utter unfamiliar, very alien, she guessed, in an intriguing sort of way, but she didn't want to ask about them just now. She had a different role.
They'd done the elementary stuff already. Take off your glasses. Close your eyes. Take off your clothes. No, don't open your eyes. Kneel down. She wasn't stuck exactly, and thank God the hilarious urge to giggle had fizzed off in the first thirty seconds or so, it was just there was a next step to take, and they were apparently going to take it. She tried to take in a deep breath. Damn. Next time (if there was one) she was going to wear a black leather bra, or a regular black lace bra, and he would be happy to get it. No, what was stopping her was the look she'd seen in his eyes when she'd picked an outfit from his very large wardrobe (and why he had a tiny denim mini and footless lace lavender tights she was never going to ask), gone off to change, and come to this room dressed as a fantasy. She'd seen him looking at her tits of course and he was often sort of handsy in a way that jarred against his Last Lonely Timelord image, but this wasn't desire, or even lust. It was like a man dying of thirst in a desert looking at an oasis and knowing it was a dream, but wanting it utterly anyway.
She cleared her throat reflexively and he looked up. It was the first time he'd looked at her since she'd ordered him to strip, and he'd gone what looked like rock-hard when she first showed up (well, what did he expect her to do? Lock the door and ask the TARDIS for the complete run of Eastenders?) but she saw his cock twitch in reaction. She was clothed (well, mostly), he was naked. She was standing, he was kneeling. She was in control, he was....She looked at the silk blindfolds and leather eyeshields on the table for a moment, but it seemed like it would be too easy for him to slip away from her into the darkness, and she didn't want that -- she wanted him to see her seeing him, the turnon and the burning shame the same sensation. She picked up a good thick pair of black leather cuffs instead (had he bought all this stuff at the same time at the Gallifreyan Black Leather Sexual Satisfaction Emporium?) and unsnapped them. He wasn't even breathing that hard, but he wasn't smiling, his eyes were very serious and he stayed absolutely still, gaze fixed on her face, waiting to see what she would do. What she would make him do.
(Of course when they were in this kind of situation -- not that they'd ever been in this kind of situation before exactly -- he was usually madly figuring out some impossible plan to get them safely back to the TARDIS, and it felt odd to already be safely in the TARDIS, and she half-expected to see herself peeking through a door-window frantically gesturing. Nobody's going to rescue you now, Spaceman, she thought, and stepped towards him.)
"Put out your hands."
He loosely cupped his hands together, palms in, and held them out to her.
She couldn't resist rolling her eyes, at the both of them. "No, no. Behind your back!"
He actually hesitated. This was all a show, he could probably snap any restraint she put on him, or even just get up and walk out before she had a chance to pin him down, but it looked surprisingly real. "I can't balance that way."
She didn't roll her eyes again, but became exaggeratedly mock-patient. "That's the point."
He would have laughed, or pulled a funny or stern face, if he hadn't been naked and on his knees. But instead he bowed his head again and stretched his hands out behind him, shifting his weight a bit. Donna squelched the twin urges to flee the room or fling him down on his back and went up to him, close but not touching; she was so close she could feel the faint shield of heat around his body, see the fine sheen of breaking sweat at his temple. She took his hands in hers and snapped the cuffs on, pausing without wanting to at the way the muscles of his upper arms came into relief. The click sounded very loud in the silence, his breathing louder too now, the corset cutting into her chest. If she blacked out he would never let her forget it. She stood impatiently and yanked on the thin leather laces a bit; there was a general deflationary effect, but suddenly her ribs were floating free of her internal organs. He had gone slack-jawed. She nearly glared at him. "No, I'm not taking it off." Wait a minute. She paused for effect."'Not yet." She loosened the laces a little bit more, casually. He swallowed, the air so still she could even hear the slight clicking in his throat. "Maybe later. If you're...." No, she couldn't possibly say If you're a good boy. "If you do whatever I say."
His voice had a hoarse edge now. "I will."
"Whatever I say."
His shoulder and chest muscles stood out too now, with his arms pulled back behind him, and the sweat was beading along his hairline and the upper edge of his lip, catching the light. "I'll do whatever you say. Whatever you want, Donna."
His using her name startled and pleased her, and she smiled, hoping it didn't look like a triumphant smirk. "Yes, you will. Now...." She didn't want him to see her hesitating over the toys, and she could use uncertainty to his advantage. "Shut your eyes. Bow your head again, that's nice. Further. -- Don't open your eyes -- "
He was still the Doctor, so of course he said, "You know, there are blindfo -- "
"Oh, shut up!" It was their usual repartee, but he actually shut up and knelt there, hands behind him, eyes tight shut, head bowed so far his chin was nearly touching his chest. His hair fell over his forehead, into his face, but he didn't move. She just stood there for a moment, slack-jawed herself, then said, "I know there are blindfolds. I don't want to use them. I want you to see. Don't you want to see?"
He was silent a moment, and then forced out, voice lower, "Yes." It was probably the combination of leaning far foward and having his hands tight behind him that made him sound like that. Good God, his hardon hadn't flagged even a centimetre since this had started. By now it must feel like rock. Well, it was a sign she wasn't doing too badly on that front anyway. She picked through the toys a little, purposely making some indistinct rattling, then gave up and went for the first thing that looked halfway familiar, even if mostly from the pages of a catalogue. Lube -- oh, damn. Asking for that was going to be a mood-breaker.
Just then, a soft single ray of light shone down from an outlet above a mirror, discreetly illuminating a recessed cabinet. She let out a sigh of relief and crossed over, heels clicking. Inside were clean and sanitary supplies: fresh folded towels of all sizes, rolls of gauze, disinfectant, bottles of water, and lube in so many flavours some of it must have been chosen by Jack. "Thanks, luv," she murmured, and was grateful she didn't have to deal with a jealous TARDIS....no, it was ridiculous to even think of the TARDIS being jealous of a human. It would have been like an oak being jealous of a flower. Also, technically this meant they were actually in a threesome, with an all-seeing voyeur to boot, but that was somehow oddly comforting. If nothing else, if something went wrong help would actually be right in the room with them.
She put the towels and gauze on the table within easy reach for later and picked up what she'd chosen, holding it down where he couldn't see it as she circled around behind him. She looked at him almost clinically for a moment, then stretched out her leg and tapped his foot.
"Spread your legs."
He hesitated a moment, then awkwardly shifted his weight from one side to the other, gangly but oddly graceful. He winced and she said, "Do your knees hurt?"
She hesitated. "Spread your legs wider."
There was another pause, and he said, "I can't get them any wider by myself. Not like this." Was he angry? No -- frustrated. She bent forward, putting her hand against his shoulder, and felt his weight lean into her as he did his best to obey. He was surprisingly cool -- that was probably the sweat drying -- and dense; he was a pipe cleaner, but his muscles were wiry and strong, not bulky. His leg muscles were visibly trembling, and she sank to the floor next to him, not kneeling upright but helping support him, almost at right angles. He stared ahead, not looking at her, cheek and jaw muscles set tight. "Does that feel better?"
"Yes." After a moment he added, "Thank you."
She bit back De nada or something like it. "Wait a minute...." She wriggled a bit and wound up pressed against him, one thigh in front of his knees, the other braced against the floor, breasts against his arm. She probably couldn't hold this for too long and the structural integrity of the corset lacing was now seriously compromised, but hopefully she'd bring him off in record time from the looks of it and then they'd probably both need a shower (separate showers) and then....what, milk and cookies and pyjamas and a story? Her mind veered away from what might happen after this, like a runner swerving to avoid the edge of a cliff. A black abyss. There was only now. They were in a bubble, the way the TARDIS was a bubble riding the currents of time and space. To stop herself thinking she put one hand on his chest, slid it further down, feeling the tensing muscles of his stomach. Because she'd always wanted to, she touched the hollow at his temple, let her fingers trail down to the almost brutal dip below his cheekbone, along the stark edge of his jaw. He started to turn to her but she gently pushed his his head a little away and up, at an angle, spreading her fingers and easing her hand over his throat, feeling the rapid pulse, down over his collarbone. He let out a long, shuddering sigh and glanced up at her, almost shyly, letting out a sound that was almost a laugh, all breath.
"Does that feel good?"
"Yes...." He did laugh then, just a little, a happy human sound. "Yes, it does."
"How long has it been since you felt good like that?" She meant it to be seductress-y, but it came out honestly curious.
His smile faded into sad lines, and she almost wanted to slap herself. "A long time."
She had to rescue the situation somehow, so she said, low and warm right in his ear, "I can see that," and reached out and took hold of him. Everything else was instantly wiped off his face. He closed his eyes, tipped his head back and groaned, long and loud, and his weight shifted so much if she hadn't been wedged up against him they both might have fallen. She just held him in her palm a moment, feeling the familiar combination of silk-softness over warm solid weight -- damn if it hadn't been a long time for her, too -- and then squeezed, hard and fast, and braced herself as he rocked back against her, with a loud "Oh!" and a wince.
"That hurt!" She'd given up the advantage of height to help support him; he looked down at her, with a reproving, cheeky grin, coming back to himself a bit.
"It was supposed to," she said dryly, and reached further back, cupping his testicles in one hand, then squeezing very gently. He looked alarmed, then as if he were about to giggle.
She drew her hand back, scowling. "You're joking."
"Sorry. No." He drew a deep breath. "Sorry, I'm a bit -- revved up here." He glanced down at himself, then back up at her, quirking his eyebrows comically. Cheeky bastard. He was getting his feet back under himself again. She drew back, feeling him wobble, off-balance.
"Do you want me to stop?" she asked calmly. He froze.
"No, no, I -- "
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No, Donna, no, look, I'm sorry, I just -- "
"You want me to stay?"
"Yes. Please don't go. I'm sorry. I was just....I'm nervous. Please -- stay."
There was an odd feeling in the room, as if the air pressure had just dropped. She felt hot and cold at the same time. She drew herself up, her hand at the nape of his neck, and then clenched it in his hair, making him look at her. "Say it again."
He looked wild from being pushed off-balance and dragged up, but she pulled on his hair harder. "Say it again. Tell me."
"Please don't leave me. Don't go. Don't go. Please. Stay here with me."
She relaxed her grip, not sure what had passed between them -- it reminded her of the time she'd tried to move an old lamp in her old apartment, in her old life, and hadn't unplugged it first and had gotten such a shock a snippet of time was just gone -- there was nothing but a blaze of white. Was she really here? What the hell were they doing? Both of them were breathing hard, and the air was sharp with sweat. Leather bit into her skin, warm and clinging, as if she'd never be able to peel it off. "All right then," she said aloud without meaning to, and without breaking her gaze, reached down and began to pull him off with long, hard strokes. He gasped, his expression changing from aroused to pained every time, but not looking away or asking her to be more gentle, as if she'd ordered him not to.
It was a bit of a struggle, but if she didn't slow down let alone stop this would be over in about twenty more seconds and that would be a shame, especially since God knew if they would ever do anything like this again. She forced herself to break the rhythm, softening her touch until he was gasping every time, not knowing what to expect. She wanted more than anything to bend down and take him in her mouth and found herself actually looking down, lips opening --
"Donna -- "
She snapped out of it. She stopped moving her hand at all, just holding him, then squeezed, not too hard -- then again, harder, and again, still not in any sort of rhythm, watching him wince, feeling his hips jerk involuntarily against her.
"Donna -- please -- "
"Please what?" she whispered.
"Please -- let me -- "
"Let you what?"
He was flushed, panting, obviously embarrassed, almost shy -- so delicious a picture she felt like eating him with a spoon. "Let me come -- I -- I can't stand it, it almost hurts -- I -- "
She leaned back, giving him her best, brightest, shit-eating I Am In Control Here grin, which she'd perfected on former office managers all over Greater London. "No," she said firmly, but gently, her mouth forming an exaggerated O, shaking her head just a little.
"What?" he said, and it might have been his most honest moment since she'd ever met him; he looked almost indignant, plus turned on, disappointed, confused, taken aback -- a wonderful little bouquet. She grinned and repeated:
He watched her, still breathing hard, but almost smiling, and said, "Oh, right. Right. Your show."
"That's right. And don't you forget it, sunshine."
"How could I? I mean, I -- "
"All right, all right."
" -- do happen to be the one here naked, on my knees, with my hands -- "
"Shut up," she commanded. He actually stopped talking. It was magical. "And don't say anything unless I tell you to. Or ask you something. Or want you to tell me something."
He widened his eyes comically at her.
"I mean it. Not. A. Single. Syllable."
He pressed his lips together, as if sealing them, and she was tempted to laugh, but snapped "Good" instead. She drew back a little further, feeling him lean into her to compensate, and said: "Bend forward."
He hesitated, and she looked at him. He opened his mouth to speak, still looking at her, and she nodded for him to go ahead. This was better than bottles and bottles of champagne.
"I'll lose my balance."
"No you won't, I've got you. More....more, okay, there. Back a little bit. Not that far! All right." She'd worked out the angles as best she could -- she could still reach down to his cock, but his ass was exposed. She put a fingernail very gently on the nape of his neck and drew it slowly down the knobs of his vertebrae, going more slowly until she reached the end of his back, and a shiver of delight rippled clear through him and through her, they were pressed so close she could feel it too -- like lying in the shallows and feeling a little wave go over you. She did it again, more slowly, and again -- then put the narrow end of the beads on his neck, and said "What does that feel like?"
There was a tiny moment of loaded silence from him and she said, "If you ask 'Is it bigger than a bread-box?' I will hurt you, and not in the way you want me to. I will squeeze your testicles as if they were Seville oranges."
"I wasn't going to ask if it was bigger than a bread-box."
"Yes, you were. Don't lie."
"I'm not lying!"
"I think there was a ball gag in that magic toychest....." Donna mused aloud.
"No, no. No gag. I'm sorry...."
"I know there was one, half a mo -- "
"No, no gag! Really. Please. Please don't."
"Oh, that sounds good. Say that again."
"Please don't," he said, pitching his voice a little lower for her, but still meaning it. She shivered.
"All right. -- You were going to make the bread-box joke."
"No I wasn't."
"Yes, you were."
"No I wasn't."
"Yes you were."
"Yes, I was."
"Yes, of course you were. Good God." She took a deep breath, this one thankfully not much unimpeded by the corset at all, and said, "It is not a bread-box," and pressed the tip of the beads up against him, not inserting it yet but holding it firm. He said "Oh" and then "oh" again a second later, low and deep from the chest, almost the beginning of a groan. She'd chosen somewhere in between the smallest-for-very-beginners and largest-let's-make-you-actually-pass-out sizes, decent but not too big, graduated sizes on a wand rather than actual beads on a string (you could never get those really clean, and if Jack had ever used them.....well). She reached down and put her hand on his cock, not squeezing this time, just covering it, and he actually did groan. Now she had to help hold him up and start the beads and -- damn, the lube. Wait, there was a perfectly good pair of hands right behind him. She put the handle against his palm. "Here, hold this. Don't drop it for God's sake. Now, this might be a little cold, sorry, here w -- " She could feel his shoulders shake against her and demanded, irritated, "What? What?"
"No, no, just -- sorry, I -- "
"It's just -- " It was honest laughter, not mocking, and it sounded as if he just gave in to it, helplessly. "Well, I'm the one in the script who's supposed to keep apologizing, here, and you -- I mean it was very nice! Very thoughtful! But -- unwarmed lube is not -- the worst -- I mean, not the most -- "
She couldn't help it, she let out a squawk of laughter too. It was ridiculous, it was all ridiculous, not awfully but almost tenderly so: here they were, dressed for the parts, or rather undressed in his case, all these toys and costumes and tools and scenarios to push the boundaries of desire, reach together for something almost beyond sex, a kind of communion. It was like one of the first times they had met, at the end of an adventure, both sopping wet and bellowing with laughter, appreciating that it was all a comedy. You would have to have the perspective of a god, or to stand outside time and the sorrow it brought, to see that, and she had only ever seen it here with him. She leaned her forehead against his shoulder and wrapped her arms around him and they rocked very slightly back and forth, still laughing together. Finally it subsided and she looked down, and let out such a shriek of disappointment he laughed again, and rubbed his cheek against her hair.
"I know it's a terrible shock, but really, it gets bigger, I mean you already saw -- "
"It was the lube! It was the shock of the cold lube! Wasn't it?"
"I mean, I'm sure just a little application of your -- ow -- well, a little work on your part and it'll -- I said ow, how am I supposed to do it with my hands -- "
"Oh God, and you'd kept it going for what, about half an hour? It must have hurt -- "
"No, no, oh no. Well. In a good way."
She puffed deep breaths in and out and rapidly patted her chest, with the hand still holding the lube, which set them off again, until she put on a terribly stern face and warned, "No. No more. Get that back up at once." They both howled. "On count of three. One. Two. Three. I said three....'"
What saved them was the lacing on the corset had come almost entirely undone, and her breasts pressed loose against his arm and he looked down and said, entirely honestly, "Oh, God," and looked back up as if to kiss her, their foreheads almost touching, and if it had been at any other time she would have let him do it and "just mates" be damned, but she shut her eyes and reached down and, beads and hand and skin slippery with lube (which had warmed up quite a bit by now) hesitantly worked in the first few, trying not to jab, to be gentle. He went completely still. "Is that all right?" she asked, her chin against his shoulder, face almost against his neck. He didn't say anything. "Is that all right? Does it hurt?"
Rendering him speechless this many times in one day had to be a record of some kind. She pushed in again. "Is that too hard....too fast?"
"No -- " But his muscles tightened underneath her. She started to sit up, saying fretfully, "No, no, I'm hurting you," and, unable to hold her with his arms, he said loudly "No! No -- I mean -- it's not...." He went quiet for a moment, then said softly, "When a man....when someone's first inside you...."
First she thought he was being metaphorical, and then she wanted to know how the hell he knew that, and then the idea overtook her and she said softly, "Oh." She reached down and took hold of his cock again, feeling it stir, and began stroking and squeezing, in rhythm with the beads in her other hand, slowing down as she felt him harden against her, slower, slow. She nudged him and he spread his knees wider without being told, leaning more of his weight on her, her feet and legs were going numb and she didn't care, she slowed down even more and felt his body again jerking helplessly with each stroke of her hands. She pushed farther in and whispered in his ear, "Does it hurt....how does it feel?....tell me how it feels...."
"It doesn't hurt, it feels....it...."
"How does it feel?" They were both breathing out heavily each time she went one bead farther in and pulled his cock at the same time, synchronized, the bubble turned opaque and impermeable around them, aware of nothing but the present moment and each other, not even bodies but localized sensations: her hand on his skin, her breath against his neck, his mouth in her hair. She whispered How, how does it....how does it feel.... and he struggled to answer her, between breaths that were almost gasps, until finally she could penetrate him no farther and stopped. She meant to stroke his back with her right hand, but to her surprise he somehow reached up with those long fingers and -- he must be nearly twisting his wrists off -- hooked her hand with one of his fingers, hard and desperate. She turned her arm and laced her fingers through his, the angle awkward but bearable, and almost immediately he gripped her hand so hard she nearly felt her knuckles crack, but didn't think it was conscious on his part. She felt if she weren't holding on to him, she would fly apart, fall through the eddies of space and time and never stop, and he had reached for her, even with his hands cuffed behind his back, whether to anchor himself or her it didn't matter.
She became aware of his voice, ragged, low, repeating only two words over and over.
"Donna....please....please, Donna....Donna....Donna, please...."
She was still stroking him, his knees wide, leaning in to her, and then even his words were gone, there was just stillness and his heavy breathing and then the violent jerk as she stroked him harder and even harder now and said, "Please....please what...." He was silent. "Please what...." she urged.
"Please, let me....please finish...." he begged, voice thick.
"No," she whispered, still working him, "no...." There would be no end, there was no end, they had escaped time completely and would be here forever, held open, poised on the edge, raw bundles of nerves. "Not yet...." Dimly she remembered, and tried to work her hand free of his -- he wouldn't let go, and she said in his ear, "Let go....let -- go -- look, just trust me, all right?" and his fingers flexed and her hand fell away. She reached down, looking down into his face. His eyes were closed, his head lolling back on her shoulder, his weight supported against her shoulder and breast and between her thighs, bearing him up. She said in his ear, "Now," and pulled the beads free all at once, trying her best not to rip and yank, drawing them out in one long smooth motion. His eyes flew open, looking straight into hers, his pupils so dilated there was only a thin ring of brown, somehow very bright against the black. His breath puffed warm into her face as he groaned and came on and all over her hand, the smell noticeably different -- not musky, but spicy, almost like wild mint growing in a garden (did it taste -- ? No, no, she was not thinking about that, not right now).
He was stick-thin but muscled and his whole weight completely relaxed onto her, so after a momentary flail she wound up sitting down with one leg folded under her, him draped across her lap like the Pieta. His face was paler than it had ever been, eyes closed, his breathing very slow. She panicked for a moment, but then thought the TARDIS would probably sound an alarm if he were in danger -- he was just relaxed, that was all, more relaxed than she had ever seen, than he had probably ever been in his long, long life. In his Time Lordy bassinet, if baby Time Lords got such things.
She eased his head onto her thigh -- he didn't move -- and stretched up to the table for a towel, fumbling a bit. She dried off her hand and arm, but couldn't reach his thighs and stomach, or the floor. His hands were still tightly bound; it was as if both of them had forgotten, or it was the natural state of things. She reached over and around him, and unsnapped the cuffs. His arms fell limply down. Was he asleep? No, she didn't think so, for some reason. She rubbed his wrists, which were red and chafed and even now she could see the beginning of bruises, fussing a bit; no broken skin, that was good. She tried, vainly, to smooth his hair.
Questions like Was that good or even Was I good seemed impossible in the face of that stillness. She tried shifting her leg before it went entirely numb and felt a cramp strike her foot. She yelped and finally he did move, turning over in her lap so he was facing up, his eyes still shut. She stopped rubbing his wrists and just held both his hands in hers, aware of how thin his fingers were, his wrists simultaneously strong and delicate. She was tired beyond exhaustion, just floating. She was aware of how aroused she'd become, but she almost felt as if she'd had his climax with him, and if she were able to lie flat right now, she'd probably just go to sleep herself.
She became convinced he was asleep and bent down over him, her hair falling loose and tenting about his face. She started to reach up to brush it back and his fingers gripped hers, again, not as hard as when she'd fucked him but close. His eyes were open, and very dark. Suddenly she was aware of how very alien he really was, in spite of his nearly-human physiology, in spite of how they had just crossed borders and species for each other. They had made a journey together, crossed borders, but to where? To what end? Only now, only here.
Now he was rubbing her hands, and he said something, too low for her to make out. She leaned in closer.
"...thank you." His throat sounded raw.
She huffed, not quite a laugh, not sure of what to say.
"Oh -- quite all right. You'll....do for me later -- I mean, no! I mean, take me shopping or, or something."
Her tone sounded false even to her, her voice bright and flat in the deathly quiet room, and his eyes were still deep and dark, pools to drown in. Look away, Donna, look away.
"I will....I mean, I would."
"You would what?" she said sharply, her heart sinking.
Colour was returning to his face, a bit, and his voice was more audible. "'Do' for you....whatever you wanted. Anything." She felt dizzy, but then he added, "Only fair."
She was suddenly, completely disappointed -- it was just an exchange, then, on the physical level. Well, they'd agreed it would be nothing more. The fall felt sickening. Of course, it had been a mistake.
"Oh, fair, well, it doesn't matter." His eyes were now sad, as sad as she felt. "No! No! I didn't mean -- not that it doesn't matter -- but -- " She gave up.
"No, no...." He moved restlessly in her lap, as if trying to get up, then stilled. "I want....to do something like -- that -- for you....anything. Anything you wanted." His face was perfectly serious.
He was still using the language of the scene, but the scene was over, but why....It was oddly terrifying. "Well," she said, trying for her old briskness, "you're not up to anything now, are you -- actually -- wait, can you get up? My leg -- yeah." She finally got her left leg out from under her, groaning ooohhhff involuntarily as the blood and sensation started to rush back, but he stayed still, watching her.
He reached up, then slipped one hand behind her neck, not pulling her down at all but trying to lift himself up to meet her, she could feel his muscles trembling -- she bent down and kissed him, not hard, their mouths pressed together for a long time. She thought of it afterwards always as the first time they'd really kissed, or at any rate the first time it had ever counted, which was the same thing really. She took in a breath, and he kissed her again, almost completely chaste and yearning, as if they were two fifteen-year-olds making out in a darkened front room after everyone had gone to sleep. It was a gesture of such pure affection, it took her breath away. He kissed her again, and she pulled back only because her foot cramped again. "Oh, God -- sorry -- my leg -- " She stretched it out, as he sat up, pounding viciously at the calf muscle.
He winced. "Your leg, my back....God, I told you I couldn't lean forward with my hands behind me like that."
"The point was, so you couldn't touch anything!"
"Well, yes, but does it have to be so -- total?"
"That answers the question, mate, doesn't it?"
He hauled himself up, suddenly looking thin and vulnerable, and dried himself off with another of the thick fluffy towels, but didn't wrap himself in it. He laughed, and said, "Well, and the bed's right there."
"You could have said!"
"You kept telling me to shut up!"
"Best part of the whole thing." He opened his mouth, and she added: "And don't tell me you didn't enjoy me shutting you up. I was there too."
"Oh yes. Were you ever." He looked appreciatively at her chest. The long thin laces were all almost totally undone, hanging down in a mess. She started to try to unloose them, then threw up her hands.
"You wear the leather next time."
"Does that mean you'll be the one shutting up?"
Next time. God, had she really said that? She fell silent, apprehensive, and devoted herself to working off the high, high heels. Her soles burned when they touched the floor. No wonder her foot had cramped. She began stamping it.
"For God's sake, stop that. Come here." He threw the towel down on the bed, then sat on it, wincing a bit. She was immediately contrite.
"Oh, God -- not sore, are you?"
"Well." He rubbed the back of his head, disordering his hair even more thoroughly, which she hadn't thought possible. "A little...."
"I didn't hurt you, did I?" Naturally, none of the anxiety had shown up during the main event, it just had to all come out now.
"Oh no. No no no. Not in a bad way. Not...." He just smiled at her. "Well, you were there...."
"Yes I was," she said lightly, but her leg still hurt. "Ow. Damn."
"I told you, come here....please?"
She had to laugh, and sat down next to him. He reached out for her leg, then slipped off the bed, getting down on one knee. Her mouth dried up. Damn him. He lightly lifted up her foot, then began to massage it slowly and thoroughly, pressing hard but never for long, showing off the movement of his long, thin fingers.
"You flirt," she whispered.
"I'm incorrigible." He pressed his lips to her instep, then trailed the tip of his tongue down to her toes, then turned his head and looked up at her, devilish.
She stared back at him. "You can't want more!"
"Of you?" She looked away.
He pretended to think a moment. "Well. I could do with a bath...and a nap....and a meal....and another bath....and then another nap...."
"That's more like it."
He sat next to her again, hopping back up onto the bed just as if he hadn't had the living daylights fucked out of him a quarter of an hour ago. Bloody alien. "We could stay here...."
She looked around the little spare clean room -- innocent of all history, his immense past, their bubble. "Here?" she echoed, as if it were a remote outpost.
"Tonight. Together." He smiled, shrugged. "We could just sleep....I mean, if you'd rather go back to your own room, your own things -- "
The stark loneliness of that prospect, after the time she had just spent with him, appalled her. "No. Oh no. I....I'd like to stay. But you, you said...."
"What? What did I say? I say a lot of things, didn't you notice? Never mean half of them. Most of them. Any of them."
"Oh, you and your 'just mates, just a mate' business -- "
"Oh, God -- "
"Don't tell me you didn't mean that!"
"I didn't mean it! Well, I did mean it! I was terrified."
"Terrified? Oh thank you...."
"No, not like that! In a good way."
"Terrified in a good way, I can't wait to hear this one."
"Overwhelmed." His voice slowed, softened. "Knocked out. Blown away."
"No." She looked down, shy. "You never."
"Always." He reached out to touch her hair, then his fingers trailed down her face. "Ginger."
"All the way down...no, you cannot make sure. Not right now. Not before I've had a bath. I have got to get these pants off."
"Ah, now that's what I've been wanting to hear -- ow! What's next, a flogger?"
"Not if you misbehave." She sobered a little and said, "I don't....If you don't want, I...." She didn't feel like she'd been able to finish a sentence in the past hour and a half. I don't want you if you don't want me, that was childish. And he did want her, that was obvious, in one way at least. He was so much older, would live so much longer; she was hardly a mayfly, in comparison. He'd begged, she'd made him beg, for her not to leave him, but she would, whether they wanted it or not, time would see to that.
He raised his hand, the tips of his fingers barely touching her cheek. "I know. I'll...I won't hurt you, Donna."
"You can't promise that," and oh no, she wasn't going to cry now, she really wasn't.
He smiled sadly. "No. But I can try."
She let out a long trembly breath, then reached up and caught his hand, giving it a hard squeeze, and stood up, finally wrenching off the leather top, feeling it unpeel like a thick unpleasant skin, and saw in chagrin the red marks it had left, making her skin look even paler. He whistled, a long, low, entirely honest sound. "Do shut up." She turned her back, sucked in her stomach mightily and jerked down the zipper, then yanked and twisted and fought the damn leather pants down, finally kicking them off with satisfactory violence. She heard him suck in a gasp behind her and snapped, "Oh, what?"
His voice was strangled. "You weren't wearing any....anything else?"
"It would've shown!" She stomped on the leather pants in revenge, then tried to toe them into a corner, but her foot caught on the material instead and she stumbled -- oh, perfect. He leaped up behind her and she felt his hands on her waist, steadying, warm. He drew her back against him and she tipped her head back against his shoulder, feeling that warmth all along where they were pressed together, down her neck, her back, the backs of her thighs....he just held her, breath warm in her hair again, and she felt him lightly kiss the side of her head, a press of the lips and nothing more.
She put his hands over his and squeezed again, then let go, stepping free and just a few feet more across into the tiny neat bathroom -- this space was so spare and self-contained, really meant for just one person, barely fitting two. She didn't think it was his regular room, or that it might regularly exist, even; it might have been called into being just for this. She'd never seen any hint of it before he'd given her directions. The TARDIS was his room, really, or his shell, maybe even his actual mate, as much as he could have one. The lighting in the bathroom was recessed and gentle, not harsh or glaring. There were piles of fluffy towels here too, and unwrapped soaps. She smelled several, finally choosing one that smelled light and fresh, citrusy -- lavender or lemon or verbena, she never knew the names of those things. The rug was as soft and fluffy as the towels, and the water turned on automatically as she stepped in, falling gently straight down from several outlets in the ceiling, rather than jetting out from one head like a regular human's shower.
She stood silent under the warm water for a long time, feeling it heat up when she finally began rubbing the soap over the welts and creases left from the leather, washing away the smell of her own musk and sweat and the Doctor's smells, too. There was a small clear bottle of something sweet but not cloying she supposed was like two-in-one, and worked it through her hair several times before rinsing it all away, over and over again, feeling her hair fall straight and heavy right down her back. When the water began cooling off, just a little, by degrees until it was almost brisk and her skin had gone pink, she stepped out onto the mat, then stopped. How had it known how to do that? Well, that was the way she preferred to shower -- water warm at first, then hot, hotter, and then cooling down to clear her head -- and she had controlled the temperature enough times in her own bathroom by now for the TARDIS to notice, apparently. She stroked one hand down the wall, hard and unyielding and nothing like skin, wishing suddenly for a hand she could touch. She thought the lights dipped once or twice briefly in return, but it might have been her imagination.
The very fluffy, very soft bathrobe behind the door was, of course, perfectly the right size. She pulled it snug around her waist and stepped out in less steam than she expected -- behind her she heard a fan click on, some system blowing it all away -- fully expecting to find him asleep, tucked under the covers with one hand beneath his cheek. He was sitting on the bed, still starkers, trails of hair looking very dark on his chest and arms and thighs.
"I'd say, hope I didn't use up all the hot water, but that's not really possible here, is it?" she asked, at a loss for anything else to say. She noticed the leather outfit was nowhere to be seen, the table had been folded up or swung back or retracted into a pocket dimension or something, the little cabinet was again hidden. As if none of it had happened. Except for him, naked, sitting looking up at her.
"I don't think so -- never really tried." He got up and smiled, apparently not in the least self-conscious. She tightened the bathrobe a little more. "Won't be long -- you can get into bed if you want. Or....if you...."
"No, I'm tired. I'll stay here." She tried to smile back, but felt her mouth quirk dangerously instead, so she turned her back on him and began fussing with the pillows, drawing down the blankets. He waited, as if he wanted to say something, but she heard the door close behind him and the water start up again. She abandoned all pretense and sat down heavily on the bed. Well, for now, if nothing else, they could at least get some sleep. She was tired. And she hadn't gotten off, that hadn't mattered at the time, it had been so intense, but now she felt a little twitchy and unsatisfied. -- No, no, if she started he would inevitably finish showering in record time and come in, and she didn't want to ask the TARDIS "Pardon, but would you mind locking him in the bathroom until I finished in here?" Her nightgowns were in her own quarters, and she didn't see any pajamas or sleep shirts in here. She undid the bathrobe, hung it neatly on a hook her eye just happened to see on the wall by the bed -- this place was like Narnia, or a fairy tale -- and got under the covers, shivering just a little at the cool sheets. She therapeutically beat up the pillow, hard, made sure the blanket was tucked under her feet the way she liked, wriggled a little on what she was fairly certain was alien support foam. (Or not....foam?) "Would you dim the lights a little?" she asked hesitantly, and they immediately lowered, like obedient servants. Beauty and the Beast, that was it. "A little more....perfect, thanks."
She lay on her left side to slow her heart rate and breathing, which meant she was facing the bathroom door and her eyes opened involuntarily when he stepped out, damp and gleaming, hair slicked back, towel wrapped around his waist. She caught her breath at the light angling off the planes of his jaw and shoulders, the muscles in his arms, his hips. The bathroom light went off and he unwrapped the towel, scrubbing roughly at his hair -- if he did that every time no wonder it stuck up like it did -- and wiping himself down, the dim light still showing the long lines of his arms and legs, the sharp angle of his collarbones and tendons in his neck as he turned his head, pitching the towel casually at the foot of the bed and then sitting down, on top of the covers. She felt him reach out to her more than saw it, and stretched out her own hand, their fingers bumping together. He closed his hand around hers.
"If you want, I can...."
"No, no, get into bed, please. It's cold." He drew back the blankets and slid in next to her, the edges of his ribs and the bones in his arm barely showing. He kept the covers down near his waist, not pulled up to the neck as she habitually did, trying to substitute the warmth of layers of fabric for another person's heat and presence. She reached out, almost without knowing it, and traced the lines of his throat: the two tendons going down, the jut of bone, the smooth slope of muscle up his shoulder to the side of his neck, up behind his ear. He shuddered a little, pleasantly; she could see the gleam of light on his eye, but not really any expression. He turned his head and kissed her hand.
She felt his mouth move against her palm as he said, muffled: "You didn't -- "
"No, no I didn't," she said, dropping her hand and cutting him off. "But now I'd just like to go to sleep." She bit off the please that wanted to follow her words. She felt his hand on her shoulder, drawing her to him, and he pulled her close until her head rested against his shoulder, both arms around her. She felt instantly, dangerously relaxed. His breath stirred her hair. She slipped one arm around his waist, feeling smooth skin, still a little damp, his side rising and falling evenly, in and out. "You sleep, don't you?" she asked idly, really tired now, as if the sex and the worry about the sex and the relaxing shower were all catching up to her at once, in one event, like a wave.
There was a little pause. "I do. Sometimes."
"Not for long, though?" She snuggled down a little and felt his hand move up to her shoulder, idly stroking her skin, his thumb moving in small curves. She closed her eyes.
"No. Not long."
"But nothing's really that long to you, is it?" She yawned in the middle of her own sentence, so the last words came out elongated and she sighed heavily, feeling herself relax more and more, slipping down into unconsciousness like sliding into a dark pool. She thought later that he had only answered her because she was nearly asleep already, and she wouldn't reply then, and might not even remember later.
"When I'm alone....that feels like a long time." She felt his lips against her forehead, again not a kiss, barely a touch, resting there. In the silence she felt his hearts beating under her ear, double time without a human pause, that moment of rest, sounding almost like a gallop but right now, oddly soothing. She said, or thought she said, sleepily slurred, g'night, Doctor, and heard a voice reply, soft and low, sweet and sad: Goodnight, Donna.