wishiknewwho: (TARDIS love)
[personal profile] wishiknewwho
Title: A Love Like Ours
Author: wishiknewwho
Rating: M
Characters: Ten / 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 and summary taken from "Thieves" by She and Him. 
Spoilers: Set during Series 2 after The Age of Steel. 
Summary: "And I know and you know it too, that a love like ours is terrible news."
Beta:  Big thanks to [info]salimali and [info]nipplemuggins for being excited about this and promising me that it did not suck.  They are amazing.
Author Notes: This one kind of gives the Doctor's POV for what happened at the end of the last chapter, so it jumps back a little bit.  Also, I'm pretty sure I messed up where the TARDIS is parked in this ep.


The Doctor awoke with Rose Tyler tangled around him. Her leg was thrown across both of his, her arm holding on to his waist for dear life, and her head nestled under his chin, close enough that he could smell the fruity scent of her hair. He ran his hand up and down the length of her back, revelling in the smooth skin under his palm. She shifted in her sleep and he paused, not wanting to wake her. She’d had a difficult time of it the day before, and she needed to rest.
 
Not to mention he didn’t want her to turn those questioning eyes on him, didn’t want her saying and doing things that would make her all that harder to resist. Because he would have to resist her, he knew that now. What had happened last night had been a mistake, no matter how right it had felt at that moment.
 
The only problem was that he wasn’t sure how to get things back to how they were before. Leaving her was not an option. He couldn’t do that to her, couldn’t drop her back into a life that was going nowhere, not after showing her the universe and how she could be so much more than a shop girl. Besides, he’d tried leaving her once and it obviously didn’t work. The stubborn girl would do just about anything to find her way back to him. What had he done to inspire such love, such devotion in her? He didn’t deserve it, and she certainly didn’t deserve the way he would eventually hurt her if they carried on in this way.
 
Rose’s fingers clutched at his hip and she sighed in her sleep, her breath tickling his chest. The only problem would be giving up this new, wonderful part of their relationship. The night before had been nothing short of incredible. Her kisses, her skin, the sounds she’d made had been even better than he’d imagined. It would be hard to let all of that go, but he knew he must.
 
He’d been warning himself for months not to get too attached, that things could never work between them. Allowing himself to love her would only put her in danger, would make all those difficult choices he had to make in the life he led that much harder. But he was foolish, and last night had been a moment of weakness.
 
Cursing himself for being so stupid, for managing to hurt her when he’d tried so hard not to, he disentangled himself from her, shifting her onto the pillow and hoping she wouldn’t notice that he was gone. He took one last look at her, innocent and beautiful, the early morning sun streaming in through the window and highlighting the blonde of her hair. Her lips pursed and her eyelids flickered; she was dreaming, his perfect chance to make an escape.
 
He tiptoed through the flat and let himself into his ship, pressing his forehead against the door once it was closed. He knew he’d done the right thing, but that didn’t stop a little voice in his head from telling him that it wasn’t too late, that he could go back to her and be there when she awoke. They could do this, take this step, and become something so much more.
 
He shook his head. No, he couldn’t let himself do that; he’d only make a bad situation worse. Resigned, he turned toward the console. He could bury himself in repair work for the next few hours, and then see Rose that afternoon. With any luck, she’d take a cue from him and pretend it had never happened. It wasn’t ideal, but it was the best he could hope for in the situation.
 
He was just lifting the grating when a knock at the door startled him. He made a face. No one ever knocked on the door of his ship. He crossed the ramp and opened the door cautiously.
 
Jackie was on the other side. “Do you think you could move this thing?” she asked.
 
“Haven’t you ever heard of saying ‘hello’?” he replied, letting himself fall into the familiar banter with Jackie. “Or even just leaving well enough alone and not knocking on my door?” 
 
“I’d just like it out of my living room, thanks,” she said, going on as if he’d said nothing. “I have company coming over this afternoon, and I don’t fancy explaining it.”
 
He sighed, but gave her a nod. “Okay, I’ll move her. Give me five minutes.” He made to close the door.
 
“Doctor?” Jackie said.
 
“Yeah?” He fingered the sonic screwdriver in his pocket, wondering if he would ever get around to those repairs. 
 
“Thank you,” she said, her voice dropping to an almost inaudible tone.
 
“For what?” he asked, confused.
 
“For bringing her home when she needed me,” Jackie replied. “It’s nice to see you care about her.”
 
He tugged at his ear, not sure what to say to that. “Yes, well...” He let his voice die out, not wanting to say too much lest things got awkward. He gestured back at the control panel. “Well, I’ve got some work to do, so if you don’t mind.”
 
Jackie gave a little nod, a warm look on her face, and she left him. He let out a ragged breath. If Jackie had any idea what he’d just done to her daughter, having sex with her the night before and then leaving her to wake alone, she certainly wouldn’t be thanking him.
 
The guilt threatened to pull him down, and he turned to the console, ready to drown himself in repairs for the next few hours. He hoped the work would be complicated enough to keep his mind off the mess he’d made.
 

~o~

 

Rose blinked a few times as she pushed herself out of bed. Her pyjamas were strewn on the floor, and she gathered them up and got dressed. She didn’t know why she was surprised really, when she woke up alone, she should have expected no less from him. In the dark of night, when things could easily be mistaken for dreams, he had no trouble giving himself to her. But in the daytime, when the reality of what had happened between them was cast in a bright light that didn’t hide anything, he had to run.
 
She stumbled across the corridor and into the shower, letting the hot water wash away the memories of his hands on her skin. She knew that it was in her best interest to forget, to lock her heart away and protect herself. If he’d wanted anything more from her, he’d have been in her bed when she woke up.
 
Once she finished her shower, she combed her fingers through her wet hair, deciding to let it air dry into loose waves instead of fussing with the hairdryer. She carefully applied her makeup and slipped back to her bedroom to get dressed. She could hear her mother moving around in the kitchen, probably making breakfast. She sank to her bed and drew her knees up close to her. She knew that she needed to go out and join her, spend a little time with her before it would be time for her and the Doctor to go, but she wasn’t ready just yet. She needed a few minutes to get herself together; otherwise her mum would be able to tell everything that happened with just one look at her face.
 
Taking a few deep breaths and telling herself that she was fine, that she could deal with it, she got up and went to the kitchen. As she stood in the entrance to the living room, she saw something that made her blood run cold. The TARDIS was gone. He’d landed in the corridor by the front door the evening before, and now it wasn’t there. She felt the panic rise in her throat, bubbling up until she couldn’t breathe. He’d left her. They’d made a huge mistake the night before, and he’d left. He hadn’t pretended like it didn’t happen, and he hadn’t given her a chance to explain that she was fine with things going back to the way they were. Her mind raced, wondering how she could go back to an ordinary life after the things she’d seen, how she could go back to a life without him.
 
“Morning, sweetheart,” Jackie said from the kitchen. “I asked the Doctor to move that machine of his. Couldn’t even get to the door properly. Do you want some toast?”
 
Rose felt relief wash over her as she walked to the window and looked outside, down to the street, where she could see the familiar blue box parked in the courtyard. She sucked in slow, deep breaths, willing herself to calm down. He hadn’t left her. Well, he’d left her alone in the bed, but he hadn’t left her for good. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but she could handle it. She pressed a hand to the window, wondering what she was going to say when she saw him. She desperately hoped that things wouldn’t be awkward, because her friendship with him was one of the most wonderful things she’d ever experienced.
 
“Rose,” Jackie said, her voice verging on harsh. “Come and eat your toast before it gets cold.”
 
Rose pulled herself away from the window and went to the kitchen. She sat at the table and dutifully took a bite of the toast Jackie had made her.
 
Jackie joined her at the table, putting a mug of tea down in front of Rose and cradling her own between her hands. “How long do you think you’ll be staying?” she asked.
 
Rose shrugged and took a large sip of her tea, letting the warm liquid soothe her. When she made tea, it tasted different from time to time, but her mother’s tea was always the same, always familiar. “I don’t know when we’ll be going,” she said. She wondered whether the Doctor would come and find her or if she should go down to the TARDIS.
 
“Is something the matter, sweetheart?” Jackie asked, reaching across the table to put her hand over Rose’s. “You don’t look too well this morning. I hope that you haven’t caught some sort of alien virus. Does he even have medicine in that ship?”
 
Rose sighed. “Yes, Mum. There’s a medbay. And I’m not ill. I’m still tired from yesterday. I didn’t sleep well last night.”
 
Jackie frowned, but seemed to accept her answer. “I wish you’d stay here with me for a few days. Let him go off and do his alien stuff, and you can stay here and have some mother-daughter time with me.”
 
Rose swallowed her tea and considered the offer. Maybe she and the Doctor could do with a few days away from each other, time to process what had happened and time for all the awkwardness that would likely be between them to fade. And she had vowed the night before to show her mum how grateful she was for her more often. “Maybe,” she said finally. She wasn’t sure how the Doctor would feel about it, and he might already have something planned for them.
 
Once she finished breakfast, she wandered back to her room. Jackie had gone out for a bit to run a couple of errands, and Rose had declined to go. She’d been distracted while they were eating, and she didn’t want Jackie to figure out that that was something more bothering her. She couldn’t keep relying on the excuse of being tired from the day before.
 
She looked out of the window, down at the TARDIS that still sat in the courtyard. She wondered what he was doing in there. Was he thinking about what they’d done the night before or had he already forgotten? Maybe it meant nothing at all to him and he wasn’t running from her, but merely going on as normal. Last night could have just been another one of his little experiments or experiences. He might not treat her any differently at all.
 
She wondered which would be worse: the awkwardness or indifference.
 
She couldn’t sit still any longer, couldn’t wait for him to come to her. She decided to go down and see him, under the pretence that she wanted to know when they were leaving. At least then she could see how he was handling it.
 
She went down the stairs of her building with a fluttering heart and sweaty palms. He could just be waiting to see her to tell her goodbye, could be working out how to tell her that he doesn’t want her to travel with him anymore. She almost turned back, but her need to know drove her on.
 
She raised her hand to knock on the door of the TARDIS, but remembered that he hadn’t kicked her out yet, and she still had her key. She let herself in, quietly pulling the door closed behind her.
 
The gratings were open, meaning he was somewhere under the console, working. She hovered near the captain’s chair, debating whether she should tell him she was there or wait until he came up.
 
He solved that problem for her, his head popping up from the open square. He gave her a smile, albeit a hesitant one.
 
“Hello,” he said. “Just doing a bit of repair work on the TARDIS. She’s all fussy after our trip to the other dimension.”
 
Rose nodded, her mouth opening and closing as she tried to think of what to say. It seemed he wasn’t going to be kicking her out, but he wasn’t exactly acknowledging what had happened between them either. “When do you think she’ll be ready to travel again?” she asked, deciding on something innocuous. If he wanted to ignore it, she could, too.
 
He tapped his fingers against the grating. “Maybe another day or two?” he guessed. “You could spend some time with your mum if you wanted. I’ll be pretty busy under here.”
 
“Okay,” she said. It sounded like he wanted to get rid of her, and she felt tears sting her eyes at the thought. She’d prepared herself for his indifference, but the reality of it still hurt. She blinked the tears away, hoping he wouldn’t notice that she was trying not to cry.
 
He shifted to move back under the console again, but then his head emerged again. His eyes were warm and sincere as he caught her gaze. “Rose.” He said her name as gently as he’d said it the night before. “When she’s all ready to go, we’ll go somewhere nice. There’s a galaxy a couple of million light years away from here that’s shaped like a tulip. A tulip!” As he spoke, his voice picked up enthusiasm. “What do you think?”
 
“I’d love to see it,” she said, giving him a small smile. Things hadn’t turned out exactly the way she wanted, but they were going to be all right.
 
She spent the next two days with her mother, shopping, getting their nails done, and watching old films that she’d loved as a child. The Doctor was right; it was good for her, and Jackie loved having her home for such an extended time.
 
She was lying on the sofa, half asleep and watching telly when a knock on the door jolted her awake. She got up and found the Doctor on the other side of the door.
 
“She’s ready,” he said, holding out his hand to her, wiggling his fingers in that way that never failed to get her hand in his.
 
She smiled and let him pull her down the stairs and just like that everything went back to normal. Still, she couldn’t help but want more.



Three


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wishiknewwho

January 2012

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