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Title: Here Comes a Feeling You Thought You'd Forgotten 
Author: wishiknewwho
Rating: PG
Characters: Ten II / Rose
Dislcaimer: I don't own Doctor Who and it's probably just as well that I don't because it'd be nothing but hugs and hair ruffling for the foreseeable future. Title taken from the song "Horchata" by Vampire Weekend.
Spoilers: Journey's End. 
Summary: ...and he feels younger than he has in forever. 
Author Notes: Beta'ed by the ever-lovely [livejournal.com profile] salimali


         


He takes her to New York City, to a concert in the basement of a club. He tried to take her to concerts in another life, but they were always diverted by some sort of trouble or another. That doesn’t happen anymore. The universe is no longer his responsibility. Some days this is worrying, but other days he couldn’t be happier to have this freedom, a respite from the dragging weight.
 
 They get off the aeroplane, bags in hand. He has one of those suitcases with little wheels on the bottom and he pulls it along behind him, enjoying the clicks they make over the tiles. This is how he travels now, by zeppelin, by train, by aeroplane. He no longer takes his home with him, but he has his clothes and his books and Rose, and he’s discovered that he really only needs one of these things, and it’s not the clothes or the books.
 
She skips along beside him. “I’ve never been to New York,” she says, and she’s already told him three times, but he doesn’t care. He’s thrilled that he still has things to show her.
 
He tells her he’s taking her out when they get to their room at the hotel. It’s a top floor room, with access to a large balcony where they can see the skyline. It just looks like another city to him, but Rose’s loves it, clasping his arm between her hands as she looks out at the glittering lights on the buildings like they are stars in the sky. He grins at her and ruffles a hand through his hair and tells her to get ready.
 
She bounces off to the bathroom, and he puts on a pair of jeans that are much tighter than he would normally wear. He rationalises with himself; it’s a concert and he’s pretending to be young. He slips on a yellow t-shirt Rose bought him and his Converse. He’s let go of a lot of things and made a lot of changes, but he refuses to give up his shoes. Or his hair. Rose says she likes his hair, although she does wish he’d change his shoes sometimes, especially for things like Vitex parties.
 
She emerges from the bathroom an eternity later, and she looks younger as well. She’s wearing a pair of jeans almost as tight as his, but darker, and a top that hangs off one of her shoulders. She’s done that thing he likes with her hair, where it’s just a little bit curly, like she just woke up. He eyes her up and down and pulls her toward him for a kiss. He can do that now, has been able to for months, and he does it often. 
 
She responds easily to him, her mouth opening under his and welcoming him into the familiar warmth. He bumps his knees against hers, walking her backwards until she’s against the wall. He reconsiders the concert as her hand wanders to his arse, supporting his decision to wear the jeans. It’s New York; they can find a concert tomorrow night. He’d rather explore her body in this hotel room with its black duvet that will look fantastic against her skin.
 
But then she pulls away, rubbing her thumb over his bottom lip. “I got some lipstick on you,” she says. “Are you ready to go?”
 
He’s a little disappointed, but he covers it up. He did promise her, and they’ll be back in a few hours. They can pick up where they left off. He nods and lets her lead him from the room.
 
Outside, the city is still wide-awake although it’s almost eleven o’clock. It’s late spring, and the weather is pleasant, warm without being hot. He’s tired and awake all at the same time, a confusing feeling and he tells Rose.
 
“That’s jet lag,” she says.
 
“What?” He knows what jet lag is, he’s just never experienced it before. He doesn’t like it.
 
She pulls him into a half hug, her arms going around his middle as they walk. “You’ll get used to it. We’ll go to bed at a normal hour tomorrow night.”
 
He’s adjusting to this new human life so well. He thinks so, and everyone else agrees. Rose, Pete, even Jackie. But there are things he doesn’t like, doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to. He doesn’t like the limitations of his body, the idea that in a few short decades he’ll be gone. And he won’t always be out there somewhere, because he cannot travel in time. He’s just a man, and he’s not going to leave much of a mark.
 
But there are things about this body that are brilliant, too. He feels everything so much deeper. Love, joy, freedom, they all sing through his veins, and just the sensation of Rose’s lips against his skin is enough to set his nerve endings in a spiral. He buries his nose in her hair and inhales, picking out the new smells of the hotel shampoo and whatever product is keeping her hair in that style, until he can smell her underneath. She sighs softly, and he thinks all the shitty things about being human are worth it if this is what he gets in return.
 
The club is hot and crowded and thumping with loud music. The band won’t come on for another half hour. She puts her mouth to his ear and asks him who’s playing. He shrugs. She’s asked several times since he told her they were going to a show, but he won’t tell her that it’s one of her favourite bands and that it’s one of those shows that travel by word of mouth, not by tour date listings. He’ll never tell her how he found out about it, will only say that working for Torchwood has its advantages.
 
She grabs his hand and pulls him through the crowd, winding them in a serpentine path through the throng of people until they are right in the front by the stage. He gives her a look, wondering where she learned that little trick, but she just shrugs and grins enigmatically.
 
It’s not long before the band comes on, and she turns toward him, her mouth falling open. It’s his turn to shrug and pull his own mysterious grin. She kisses him, hard, and then turns back toward the stage.
 
They dance and sing through a set and an encore. He puts his hands in the air and chants along with everyone else, and he feels younger than he has in forever. There’s nothing but him and Rose and the music and a couple hundred other people, all boxed into a hot little room. He knows that there are things that will come soon, a wedding and a house and children, but for tonight there is only this and it is enough. He takes Rose’s hand in his and lifts their hands toward the ceiling as everyone around them starts clamouring for another encore.
 
He is wondering if it is called a second encore or an encore encore when the sprinklers go off, raining freezing water on the crowd. Chaos ensues as everyone makes for the exit, afraid there is a fire. He secures Rose’s hand more tightly in his, and his eyes meet hers as they fight their way through the mob. Her navigating skills are no good with this much panic going on.
 
When they finally stumble out of the club they are soaking wet. His t-shirt clings to him and his trainers make this awful squelching sound with every step he takes. Rose wrings her hair out and then gives it a quick finger-comb, but it’s hopeless. He still thinks she looks pretty, and tells her so.
 
They get a taxi back to the hotel, both of them too wet and tired to walk even though it’s just a few streets over. She leans her head against his shoulder and slips her arms around his waist, her hand going under his t-shirt as she seeks out the warmth of his skin.
 
He gently wakes her when they arrive back at the hotel and they are both quiet in the lift on the way up to their room. He expects her to go into the bathroom and have a shower, but she doesn’t, wandering out onto the balcony instead. He follows her, leaving the glass door open behind him.
 
She stands still for a moment, soaking in the city, before turning back to him. Her eyes are soft in the glow of the artificial lights and she clasps her hands tightly together.
 
“I love you,” she says, just loud enough for him to hear.
 
It’s the first time she’s said the words to him, not the him he used to be, but the man he is now, with all is inconsistencies and failures and hang-ups. He’s known for a while that she’s accepted him, that she loves him, but it is so good to hear the words.
 
He reaches her in two quick strides and gathers her in his arms, pressing her damp body to his, loving the way she moulds perfectly to him. “Yeah?” he asks into the skin of her neck.
 
“Yeah,” she echoes. “I love you.”
 
He hugs her so tightly that his hands are touching opposite sides of her waist. “Never stop telling me,” he says.
 
“Oh I won’t,” she says, giving him that tongue-in-teeth smile that he can’t resist. “I love you, I love you, I love you.” She punctuates each declaration with a kiss to his lips.
 
The words are like the last puzzle piece falling into place, the final twist of the Rubik’s cube, the beginning and the end of everything that’s going to happen to him in this new life.


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January 2012

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