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Title: A Love Like Ours
Author: wishiknewwho
Rating: T
Characters: Ten / Rose
Dislcaimer:I don't own Doctor Who, but if I did there would've been more kissing during Series 2.  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. They are both awesome.

Note: I know I have been horrible, not updating this in ages.  You can find the other chapters beginning here if you need to catch up.  They are all linked.  To add insult to injury, this is the last happy chapter for a while.

Rose awoke to the Doctor’s gentle breathing against her neck.  She’d fallen asleep pressed against his side, but at some point during the night she must have shifted onto her back and his head had pillowed on her chest.  His arm was slung casually around her waist.
She could barely believe it; he’d stayed the night.  She’d been sure that after they’d had sex, he’d disappear like he had the time before.  But he hadn’t.  She tried not to get her hopes up, but a tiny voice in her heart told her that it had to mean something.  She carefully inched herself over so that she could look at him, and he rolled over onto his back.  His eyes were closed, dark eyelashes resting delicately against his cheeks.  She’d never seen him look so young or so still.
She rested her hand over his chest, feeling the steady beat of his hearts under her outstretched fingers.  It was like nothing she’d felt before, yet so natural at the same time.  It felt like something she could get used to, if he’d just give her the chance.  His arm wound around her, pulling her in closer to him as he sighed in his sleep and buried his nose in her hair.  She hummed softly in contentment.
She wished that he would just give in and let her love him.  She knew that he needed her, that she was good for him.  She saw those times when he got lost in his dark thoughts, and she usually managed to pull him back, to remind him that he still had a life.
She told herself that his friendship was enough for her.  He’d already given her so much more than any other man had, than any other man could.  But now that she’d held him, now that he’d touched her and kissed her and made her his, she wasn’t sure if she could handle going back to how they were.  But she’d just have to.  If the choice came down to staying or going, she’d do whatever she must to stay with him.  And maybe he’d come around eventually and realise how good they could be together.  The thought was probably naïve, but she’d always been an optimist.
She tried to stay awake, tried to hold onto this time where he was unguarded, where he belonged to her, but her eyes grew heavier and heavier and when she could finally resist no longer, she fell back asleep.
The Doctor jerked awake, his eyes flying open as he realised he wasn’t in his own bed.  He felt a weight on his chest and strands of hair tickling his skin.  Looking down, he saw Rose.  He hadn’t dreamt it; it had happened again.  Her hand rested over his right heart and he shifted, wrapping her more tightly in his arms.  He knew that he needed to get up soon, but he wasn’t ready just yet.  There was something so safe, so thrilling, so perfect, being wrapped up in her.  It was quite simple, really.  He didn’t want to leave.
He glanced down at her face, her eyelids fluttering as she dreamed.  He wondered what she was dreaming about, wondered if it was something good, if she was sleeping well or if she was too worried about what was happening between them.  He brushed his fingers over her forehead and smoothed her hair down, unable to hold back a smile as she frowned in her sleep.
Maybe they could make it work.  It was a terrifying idea, giving that much of himself to her, opening both of them up to the possibility of so much hurt, but what they were doing lately was just as bad.  If he couldn’t keep himself away from her, then it would be better to go about it the right way.  They could slow down, take their time, and build something between them.  Rose deserved that.
His eyes wandered over her face, and he resolved himself.  He may not be able to give Rose everything she wanted, may not be able to open himself completely to her in the way another man would, but he would give her everything he could.  If he was lucky, it would be enough.
Rose stirred, and he could feel her waking up.  He leaned down and pressed his lips gently to hers, encouraging her to wake.  Her eyes opened, and he watched as her emotions swam from confusion to shock to happiness as she realised that he was still there with her.  He felt a pang in his heart, surprised that such a simple gesture could mean so much to her.
“You stayed,” she murmured, pressing her nose to his chest and inhaling.
“I did,” he agreed.  He knew that he needed to say more, and though the words were difficult for him, he pushed himself on.  “I’m sorry.  That I didn’t last time.  Stay, I mean.”  His tongue felt clumsy as he stumbled over what he was trying to say, but Rose seemed to understand.
She gave a little nod and walked her fingers slowly up his chest and to his lips.  He could tell that she wanted to question him about it, but she didn’t, and he felt relieved.  He had just opened himself to the idea of talking to her, of sharing himself with her, but it would be a long time before it got easy for him.  Maybe she knew him better than he thought she did.
She watched him closely for a minute, her brown eyes sparkling and curious, before she finally spoke.  “What are we going to do today?” she asked.
He felt the grin stretch across his face.  She was brilliant, really.  “Well, I thought dancing,” he said.
She arched a playful eyebrow at him and let her eyes wander down the bed, where their bodies were tangled under the sheets.  “Really?” she said, her words incredulous, challenging.
He tapped her nose, slipping easily into the familiar territory of teasing and flirting with her.  “You won’t keep me in this bed all day, Rose, no matter how tempting you are.”
“You don’t think so?” she asked, her voice all innocence as she propped herself up on her arm, allowing the covers to slowly slide a few inches down her body, his eyes following.
It took him less than a second to push her back to the bed and cover her body with his own, her smug laughter ringing out around them.
Rose sat at the kitchen table, wearing her pyjamas, her knees pulled up to her chest as she watched the Doctor make them a cup of tea.  He was lecturing, completely in his element as he extolled the virtues of tea, words she’d heard many times from him.  It was comforting though, the sound of his voice, familiar and encouraging.  He wasn’t babbling, simply talking to her as he always did, and it made her think that, despite all the recent changes between them, they were going to be all right.
She’d been nothing short of shocked to find him in her bed when she awoke earlier.  She’d been even more surprised to realise that he wasn’t acting aloof, wasn’t scurrying away from her the moment she was awake.  He’d even apologised for leaving the time before, and had made love to her again.  The third time had been more light-hearted; it hadn’t held the emotion and the intensity of the times previous.  She wondered what that meant, letting her feet drop to the floor.  Maybe, possibly, he had decided to let himself be with her, to stop trying to deny what was between them.
She offered him a smile as he handed her a cup of tea and he smiled back as he settled himself in the chair opposite hers with his own cup.  She took a slow sip, humming in pleasure as she swallowed the hot, sweet liquid.  He’d made it just how she liked it. 
A bit of awkwardness hung in the air between them as they sat there and drank their tea.  Her eyes kept drifting toward him, but whenever she caught his stare she would look away quickly.  She was afraid that he was formulating a plan to reject her, a way to let her down easily as he told her his multitude of reasons why they would never work together.
She jumped when his bare foot touched hers under the table.  He’d got dressed when she had, but hadn’t put on his shoes or jacket.  Her gaze jerked from the refrigerator to his eyes and saw the amusement flickering there.
“Hello,” he said, laughter in his voice.
She felt her cheeks flush and she looked down at her tea.  He was such a mystery, laughing one minute and serious as anything the next.  She didn’t know what to make of him and he kept her on her toes.  One misstep and he might shut down on her.  She pressed her tongue to the roof of her mouth, trying to think of what to say.  Coming up with nothing, she fell back on the question she’d asked that morning and that he hadn’t really answered.  “Where are we going today?”
“Where would you like to go?” he countered.  His toes curled over hers and it tickled.
She pulled away, tucking her feet up safely on her chair again.  She shrugged.  “You usually decide where we go, unless I’m asking to go home, and we just left there.”  She wasn’t sure why her good mood had faded so quickly.  Maybe she was just tired of all the confusion, of never quite knowing where she stood with him and what he wanted from her.
“Hey,” he said gently, unwinding her hand from her mug and holding it in his own, rubbing his fingers over the back in a soothing motion.  “What’s wrong?”
She glanced up at him and felt tears swim in her eyes.  She hurriedly blinked them back.  “I don’t know,” she said carefully.  Again, she didn’t want to send him running by making things too intimate or domestic.  Whatever it was they had was tenuous enough without her making it worse.
His mouth curved into a worried frown.  “Are you regretting what happened?” he asked, his words deliberate.  She wondered if he was more concerned with what her answer would be, or if things like that were almost too difficult for him to say.
She gave his question serious consideration.  Both times they’d slept together, she’d had a careless attitude, telling herself that she would take what she could get from him, that she could manage her hurt feelings if and when he pushed her away.  But as time wore on and it became more and more obvious that they were falling into a strange sort of pattern, she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to deal with it.  She’d always thought if they ever got together, things would be easier once that tension between them was released.  But things between them now were only more complicated.  So maybe she did regret it.
“Rose?” he asked, his voice panicky, his fingers tightening on hers.
His eyes were so vulnerable it made her ache.  She looked at him and remembered how sweetly he’d kissed her, how reverent his hands had been as they touched her.  She should probably regret what they had done, but she couldn’t.  “No,” she said, “I just wish...I don’t know what I wish.”
He nodded.  He looked like he wanted to say something, but couldn’t quite get the words to come, so she waited.  After an uncomfortable silence, he finally spoke.  “I don’t know what I’m doing here, Rose.  I’ve never really done anything like this, whatever it is that we’re doing.  I don’t know what is expected of me, what you want me to say.”
She stifled a sigh.  She’d wanted him for so long, wanted just to be with him, but of course they couldn’t go about it the easy way.  A human would have just known what to do, and either been willing to do it or not, but with the Doctor, he wasn’t even sure what was going on.  And she really wasn’t sure if she was up for explaining it to him.  “I guess I just want to know what you want.  From me.”  She forced herself to meet his eyes, knowing that if she wanted him to be mature about this, then she’d have to be an adult, too.
He let go of her hand and took a long sip of his tea, swallowing slowly.  She was nervous; her palms were sweating and she felt a little sick.  After a moment, he stood up and came around to her side of the table.  “I want you,” he said.  “I don’t know what to say past that.  I know that I don’t want you to leave me, and I want us to keep travelling, to keep having adventures.” 
“And what about...?” she asked, letting her voice trail off, not quite sure how to name what had developed between them.
He cupped his hand under her chin and tilted her face up.  His eyes were sincere.  “I’d like to keep doing that, too,” he said softly.  “If you want to.”
“I want to,” she said.  She tried to think of how to tell him that she wanted to keep making love with him, but she also wanted more.  She couldn’t say that she wanted him to be her boyfriend, because that just didn’t fit. 
“Good,” he said, smiling softly at her and moving down to kiss her.
His lips had barely brushed hers when she pulled away, knowing what she needed to tell him, what she needed to make it work.  “But you can’t just ignore all of this,” she said, gesturing between them, “the rest of the time.  You can’t pretend that we’re not together.  It has to be all of the time or none of the time.”  She let out a shaky breath, hoping that he would be okay with that stipulation, hoping that he wouldn’t realise that he couldn’t give her that much and then decide to take it all back.
“Okay,” he said, his hand moving back into her hair.  “I can’t make you any promises, Rose, not like the promises someone else could make.  But if we can move slowly, then maybe.  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Can we try that?” 
“Yes,” she said, her eyes falling closed as his hand slid back into her hair.  He kissed her again, and this time she opened her mouth, allowing him to deepen it.  Her heart sang with relief.  He hadn’t decided to get rid of her and he’d told her that he would try.  It wasn’t much, but it certainly was progress.
When he finally pulled away, his eyes were sparkling and he pressed his forehead to hers.  “Rose Tyler,” he murmured.  No one ever said her name quite like he did.  He grabbed her hand and pressed their palms tightly together.  “Let’s go and have an adventure,” he said.
True to his word from earlier that morning, he did take her dancing, only it was dancing in the anti-gravity fields of Barluik and it was really more bouncing than dancing.  But he held her hand and kissed her over and over and it turned out to be an almost perfect day.  That night he crawled into bed with her and held her tightly, trailing kisses along the back of her neck until she fell asleep.
Time went on as it was wont to do and they grew comfortable in what they had, in what was developing between them, and although neither of them dared give it a name, it was certainly there.  Everything was perfect, until one day suddenly it wasn’t.


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January 2012

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