Show: Doctor Who
Rating: FRM (light)
Timeline: A few weeks after Floodgate.
Synopsis: Doors open, but not always close. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
Author’s Note: Sequel to Floodgate, bringing this trilogy to a close. Thanks to fairygothmum for the beta!
The Doctor had been pacing for ages...hands jammed into his trouser pockets as he circled the console. Once in a while, his left hand would make its way to the back of his head...fingers lightly scratching at his scalp before returning to his pocket. After every two or three circuits, he’d pause and stare at the door as if he were waiting for it to open.
Which he was.
Donna had been gone for a while now. She’d promised him that she’d be okay...that she just wanted to go for a walk to clear her head. She still hadn’t told him everything that had happened in that parallel timeline...and that worried him more than he let on.
The important thing was that she’d found her way back and was relatively unscathed. But, every so often in the three weeks since their time on Shan Shen, Donna had needed some time alone. He understood...he truly did. Because there were still times when he needed to be alone...to deal with his time on Midnight, or the death of the Master, or...the loss of Rose. But, in regards to Donna, it wasn’t every day that she’d had a Time Beetle stuck to her back...thankfully.
He may have
understood, but it still worried him...and he still paced until she walked back
through that door. They may have been on
Earth...and they may have been in
He breathed a heavy sigh and paused, glancing at the clock on the far wall that Rose had insisted on installing years earlier. He’d give Donna ten more minutes. And if she wasn’t back...he’d go looking for her.
* * *
A little more than an hour had passed when the Doctor stormed back into the TARDIS, water dripping from his drenched suit...his not-so-white Converse squishing noisily against the grating as he stomped up the ramp.
“Where the hell have you been?”
He stopped suddenly and glared at Donna, who was standing next to the jumpseat with her arms folded over her chest.
“Me? Where the hell have you been?”
“I went for a
walk...I told you what I was doing,
“Shut up...” He interrupted with a whisper, his eyes glistening as he wrapped his arms around her.
“Oi! You’re getting me all wet!” She complained loudly, trying to pull out of his hug.
“Just...shut up, Donna. Just for a few minutes, please...” He held her tighter, swallowing thickly as he closed his eyes. “I thought I’d lost you.”
“What?” She asked, genuinely surprised by his reaction.
“You were gone...longer than you normally are when you go for a walk. And so, I went looking for you, but...I couldn’t find you. You weren’t in your usual haunts...” He pulled back and stared into her eyes. “I was worried that something had happened to you.”
A small smile played on her lips. “You overreacted.”
“No...well, maybe a little...” He ran his hand through his wet hair, sighing as he gave a slight shrug of his shoulder. “Okay...maybe, I did. But, I’m responsible for you and – ”
She arched an eyebrow at him and smacked the back of her hand against his chest. “I’m responsible for me, Doctor. You need to get that through that thick, brilliant head of yours.”
“You’re my companion...”
She nodded slowly and wiped the water from her hand onto her jumper. “Yeah, but I can take care of myself. Especially when we’re on Earth, in London, in my own time period. I’m not just going to disappear on you, yeah?”
“Companions rarely do.” He muttered, taking a step back and peeling his drenched suit jacket off.
He exhaled forcefully and tossed the jacket onto the nearest coral strut. “Those who travel with me...they’re either taken from me, decide that it’s in their best interests to stay home, or I leave them for their own good. Rarely do they just disappear...”
Knowing that the first two instances referred to Rose Tyler and Martha Jones, respectively...she tilted her head and leaned against the console. “Who did you leave for their own good?”
He smiled softly and loosened his tie. “Sarah Jane Smith. She gave me an earful just a couple of years ago when we crossed paths...and then Rose gave me an earful...and Mickey decided that he’d chime in with analogies of current loves and exes. All in all, it was a nice reunion. Very me.”
Donna glanced towards the hallway as the Doctor glanced at the monitor. “Reunions tend to be nice...most of the time.”
“Yep...most of the time.” He agreed, turning his head towards her and offering her a gentle smile. “I’m sorry for overreacting.”
“I need to ask you something.”
His smile faded at the sudden change in her demeanor. “Okay...”
“The spider queen...”
“The Racnoss.” He corrected softly, lifting his hand to the back of his head and lightly scratching his scalp.
“Yeah...if I hadn’t been there...” She stared hard at him, not really sure she wanted to know the answer to the question she was getting ready to ask. “Would you have stopped?”
He hesitated for a few seconds and then exhaled a slow breath. “I...didn’t feel that I had much to live for at that time.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
He looked into her eyes and gave a nearly imperceptible shake of his head. “Donna...”
“See, when we were on
the planet of
“Whatever.” She waved a hand at him and then continued. “I got to play with the Time Beetle and ended up in a parallel universe...and things were shit. Everything was so shit because you weren’t there. And you weren’t there because you drowned that night. And I need to know if that’s what really would’ve happened or if it’s something that crazy fortune teller person wanted me to think would’ve happened.”
“What do you want me to say?” He asked after a few moments, his voice soft and thick.
“The truth. This is important, Doctor...really important. Just tell me the truth.”
He swallowed and lowered his eyes as the tears welled again. “I don’t think I would’ve. Stopped, that is.”
Donna nodded, his words confirming her suspicions. “I think that my time in that Doctorless world was about more than some fun by the Trickster’s Brigade. I think that I needed to find someone there...and I think that when I did, it kinda...made a door or something.”
He looked up and furrowed his brow. “What?”
“I made a friend there. And I met up with her tonight...that’s why I was gone longer than usual.”
“Are you supposed to be making sense right now? Because...you’re not. Not in the least. And...”
“Turn around.” She whispered, tears in her own eyes as she gestured towards the hallway behind him. “Just...turn around.”
He slowly turned, his eyes widening as his fingers gripped the console to keep him upright. “Rose?”
Rose Tyler stood in the doorway to the hall, tears streaming down her face as she took a step forward.
And that’s when the Doctor’s knees gave way and he landed on the grated floor. Rose ran to him, kneeling in front of him and wrapping her arms around his neck. He inhaled deeply, breathing in her scent. Her scent that had been imprinted on his mind years earlier. Her scent that was hers alone, one that he’d know anywhere.
His breath hitched in his chest as he swallowed a sob, sliding his arms around her and crushing her painfully thin body against his. “Rose...”
“Doctor...” She whispered, gripping the back of his shirt as she pressed her tear-stained cheek against his. “It’s me...it’s really me...”
“I know...” He choked out before pulling back to look into her eyes. “But...but, how? How is it you and how are you here and – ”
She lifted a shaking hand and gently wiped her fingers through the wet streaks on his face, sure that he didn’t even realize that he was crying. “Donna was forced into my universe...I put my foot in the door to keep it open when she left.”
“I don’t understand...” He whispered, his eyes darting up at Donna. “How did you know she was Rose?”
“I didn’t.” Donna shook her head as she fought back her own tears. “She found me.”
The Doctor’s brow furrowed as he turned his eyes back to Rose. “How did you know who she was?”
“She was just someone who needed help.” Rose gave him a small smile as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “You’ve lost weight.”
“I don’t like sharing chips with anyone else.” He replied, his left hand curling around her ribcage. “You’ve lost weight too...too much.”
“Been too busy to eat.” She answered, fingertips lightly stroking the hair at the nape of his neck.
“Too busy doing what? Because whatever you were busy doing wasn’t as important as – ”
“Finding my way back to you was way more important to me, Doctor.” She whispered before licking her lips. “Can we talk about this later?”
“Rose – ”
“For the love of all that’s holy...would you just kiss her already?” Donna groaned. “Seriously, for the entire time I’ve known you it’s always been about Rose. Rose this and Rose that...and I understood because of everything that happened and all. And now you want to sit there, dripping wet on a steel-grate floor...which can’t be comfortable at all...and talk about the importance of food?”
Donna looked down to find both the Doctor and Rose staring up at her. Rose grinned and playfully nudged the Doctor’s shoulder.
“And I thought you could talk...”
“You have no idea.” He chuckled softly, licking his lips as he turned his eyes back to her. “But...she’s right.”
“About the floor being uncomfortable?” Rose asked.
He gave her a scowl. She answered with a wink...which earned her the bright smile that she’d missed so desperately over the past couple of years.
And then his lips were on hers, kissing her tenderly. When he felt her mouth open underneath his, he pulled back and cradled her face in his hands as he stared into her eyes.
“I love you.” He whispered emotionally, eyes glistening as
he quickly continued. “I should’ve said
it so many times before...I should’ve told you when you asked me to dance. I should’ve told you when you kissed me. I should’ve told you during those two days
before we went back to
“I knew. Just like you knew before I told you.” She replied, covering his left hand with her right and turning her head just enough to press a kiss into his palm. “We’ve always known, yeah?”
He nodded slowly, leaning forward to brush his lips across hers. “But, sometimes the words are nice to hear...”
Hearing the TARDIS door open, the Doctor jumped up...pulling Rose with him. Instead of finding an intruder walking in, he found Donna standing in the open doorway with a smile on her face.
“Rain’s stopped...thought I might go check on Mum and Gramps.”
The Doctor slipped his hand into Rose’s and leaned against the console. “You’ll be back, right?”
“Remember what I said earlier?” Donna asked as she stepped out the door.
He nodded slowly and smiled. “You’re not just going to disappear on me.”
“Right.” She grinned and gestured towards them with a
wave of her hand. “You two have a lot of
catching up to do and I’d really rather not be here to hear it. Besides, Gramps would have my head...and yours...if he found out we were in
The Doctor narrowed his eyes as he shook his head. “Donna...I’d never do that...not to you.”
Rose looked up at the Doctor and squeezed his hand before smiling warmly at Donna. “That’s his way of asking you to stay. You know that, right? Sometimes, it’s better not to argue with him and I know I wouldn’t mind getting to know you a bit better. Pretty sure you’ll tell me heaps more about what he’s been up to than he would, too.”
“Hey!” He glared at her...but the smile in his dark eyes completely ruined the effect.
She had a sneaking suspicion that his glare was actually purely for show anyway.
Donna laughed loudly and bid them a goodnight before closing the door, leaving them alone in the TARDIS. The ship that was bigger on the inside, but had seemed so small without Rose Tyler’s presence.
The TARDIS hummed softly and Rose grinned, reaching over to place her hand on the cool coral console. “I missed you too.”
The Doctor arched an eyebrow at her. “You understood that?”
Rose smiled and shrugged a shoulder. “When she lets me...”
“She kept me breathing...on the nights that were just...” He swallowed hard and ran his free hand through his still wet hair. “I’ve missed you so much, Rose. So much that I can’t even...”
“I know what you mean.” She whispered as he trailed off. “I don’t think a word has been invented that describes what I felt when you...when we said goodbye...”
He said nothing, but nodded in understanding. She moved closer to him, placing her left hand on his thigh as she stepped between his legs. She looked down quickly and frowned.
“You’re soaking wet, Doctor. We should get you out of these clothes...” She looked up quickly, blushing as he grinned at her. “I mean...you could get sick and...I didn’t mean that we should get you out of these clothes, but you should go...change...and dry off and – ”
“I’m not opposed to us getting me out of these...” He replied softly, letting go of her hand and hooking his index finger into a belt loop on her jeans. “So, if that’s really what you meant...it’s okay to say it.”
Her mouth dropped open in surprise and he felt his hearts begin to race in his chest. He swallowed, glancing at her lips as he pulled her closer to him.
“We should’ve made love that night. Or the next day...or...” He pulled his finger out of her belt loop and edged his fingertips under the hem of her shirt. “We should have made love, Rose.”
“Why didn’t we?” She whispered, her voice trembling as she rubbed her fingers against his thigh.
“I was trying to be gentlemanly...or it was an act of cowardice. I’m not really sure which, to be honest.” He stood up straight and sighed as her hand shifted with his movement. “A mistake, either way...”
“Dance with me, Rose.” He whispered, rubbing his fingers against her skin as she lifted her hand to his chest. “Let’s just start with a dance, okay?”
The TARDIS gave a low rumble causing the Doctor to grin.
“I would take that as a ‘not here’.”
She chuckled softly and took a step back, trying not to gasp when his fingers slipped out from under her shirt. “I know just the place then...”
He took a step forward, grimacing as his shoes squished wetly. “Maybe I’ll change clothes first?”
Her laugh resonated in the room...and warmed his hearts. “Meet you there?”
“Give me ten.” He answered with a quick nod.
He started to rush past her, but stopped suddenly and captured her lips in a warm kiss instead. When his tongue slipped into her mouth, she sighed and reluctantly pulled back. She licked her lips as she gave his chest a soothing rub.
“Go change...I’m not going anywhere.”
He gave her the boyishly excited grin that had always been reserved for her before he turned and ran down the hallway. She swallowed back her tears...these of joy and not intense despair...and ran down the hallway herself, hoping that the TARDIS hadn’t moved the room where she used to go to just...unwind.
* * *
“You’ve picked up a lot of cd’s since I’ve been gone.” She stated when she heard the Doctor walk into the room, her eyes scanning the spines of the cases. “And...you figured out my filing system, just like I said you would. Clever Doctor and all...”
The Doctor chuckled and smoothed his hand down the front of his jacket. “Yeah, but I don’t understand how you came up with that particular system. I understand alphabetical ordering...I don’t understand using the fifth letter as the starting point. And I really don’t understand using the fourth letter as the secondary. But, then that kinda goes along with the fact that you always bought what was listed at number fifty-four on the charts...”
Rose laughed and turned to face him. Her laughter faded as she raised an eyebrow at him.
“Since when do you wear blue?”
He looked down at the blue suit with red pinstripes that he was wearing and shrugged his shoulders. “The brown reminded me too much of you...you always liked the brown. After I lost you...I needed something else to wear once in a while. When it was too hard...you know?”
She smiled softly at him and glanced at his feet. “I like the maroon shoes.”
“Yeah...” She nodded as she gestured towards the stereo. “Figured you would’ve replaced that by now.”
“It’s yours.” He replied with another shrug. “Besides, it works perfectly fine. Had to rewire the speakers a few months ago, though. Were you looking for anything in particular?”
“Well, I was...but, then I got distracted by the fact that the cd collection has pretty much doubled.”
He chuckled softly and looked into her eyes. “It’s in the cd player.”
He sighed softly and pulled his hands out of his pocket as he sat down on the edge of the table. “I listen to it when I miss you. I’m surprised that the TARDIS hasn’t banned it.”
A sad smile appeared on her lips as she walked over to him. “Listen to it a lot?”
“Miss you a lot.” He answered on a whisper. He cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck. “I...think we need a new song, Rose.”
She tilted her head, silently questioning him as she stood in front of him.
“It’s beautiful and it’s very us, but...” He reached out and curled his hand around her hip, pulling her closer to him. “I cry like a blubbering idiot every time I hear it now. And I think that it will only serve to remind me of the time we lost...”
She slid her hands along the lapels of his jacket, allowing her thumb to brush the side of his neck as she moved her hands over his shoulders. “Then we’ll find a new song. A new song for the new us, okay?”
He nodded slowly, glancing at her lips. “Why fifty-four? You’d never tell me...”
Rose blushed lightly. “If you number the alphabet?”
“E-D. Ed?” He furrowed his brow. “You pick music based on some guy named Ed?”
She laughed loudly as she shook her head. “No...but, that’s less embarrassing than what it really means...so maybe I should just let you think that.”
He raised an eyebrow and looked at her curiously. “Oh, now you have to tell me.”
Her blush deepened and she bit her bottom lip. He chuckled and lifted his hand to her mouth, gently pulling her lip free from her teeth.
“It can’t be that bad...”
“Oh, it could...” Rose sighed, shifting her gaze to his left sideburn. “Your sideburns are longer...”
“Everly Doctor, okay?” She blurted, moving to take a step back from him.
He tightened his hold on her hip, preventing her movement. “Everly Doctor? What’s that mean?”
She chanced a glance at his eyes, relaxing slightly when she saw no laughter in them. “Promise not to laugh?”
He nodded without hesitation, loosening his hold and slipping his fingers under the hem of her shirt. “I promise.”
After taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly, she began...purposely not meeting his eyes. Just in case he laughed.
“When Shareen and I were young...like thirteen or something, just starting to really notice boys...we made up this thing where we decided that we’d call our latest crush our ‘everly’. You know...like the person we’d love forever or something? It was stupid...and her everly changed every week.”
She smiled softly and shrugged her shoulder. “Her forever meant something different than mine, I guess.”
“So...you had Everly Jimmy?”
Rose snorted and shook her head quickly. “Jimmy never made it close to being everly.”
“But, you...and he...well, you...”
Rose ran her fingers through his hair and smiled as he leaned into her touch. “I was young and stupid...and I didn’t know that the best thing was just around the corner. I mean, when you’re a teenager...three months feels like years, imagine what a couple of years would seem like...”
“Everly Mickey...” He whispered, sliding his hands to her lower back and pulling her closer still.
“Nope...I took everly very serious. Mickey made me happy, and even came close to being everly at one time, but...nope.”
“But, you said that the best thing was right around the corner...”
“Yep...I met him in a basement and we became friends very quickly. Took me travelling and it wasn’t long before I loved him...but, he didn’t become my everly until he took me to New New York.” She toyed with the knot of his tie as she looked into his warm eyes. “Everly Doctor...the only everly I’ve ever had.”
His eyes glistened with a light sheen of tears. But, she wasn’t worried...she could see the smile behind that sheen. Happy tears...good tears.
“Were you, um...did you have a...someone? I mean...if you did…or…do, that’s fine...good, even. I wouldn’t have expected you to...well, I mean...us seeing one another again, it was supposed to be impossible. So...it would be normal to...to move on and...have you broken another man’s heart by leaving to come here? Mickey or...someone...”
“Only Mum’s.” She whispered, pulling a button free on his jacket. “What about you? You and Donna...”
“God, no!” He barked out a laugh as he shook his head. “In fact, I nearly didn’t let her come with me because I was worried...I mean...I just wanted a mate, you know?”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “You wanted to mate?”
“A mate...a, not to. What is it with women hearing ‘to’ instead of ‘a’ in that sentence?” He breathed a heavy sigh and then cleared his throat. “Martha was travelling with me before Donna. She...she fancied me and...it just made things complicated.”
“I fancied you...”
He gave her a crooked smile and glanced at her lips. “I fancied you...that made it less complicated. I didn’t fancy Martha...loved her dearly, but...it was more of a familial love.”
“Oh...” Rose pulled another button free on his jacket and smiled. “What you feel for me isn’t familial, is it?”
“If it is, I’m just an incestuous bastard...” He replied, leaning forward to brush his lips across hers. “Dance with me.”
She unbuttoned the last button and glanced down when her fingers brushed against the front of his trousers...and the hard bulge that couldn’t be disguised as anything other than what it was.
“Is that a euphemism for something else?” She asked with a smile as he inhaled sharply. “Dancing?”
“Wasn’t meant to be...” He murmured, eyes darkening as he combed his fingers through her hair. “But, thinking about it now...I think if we dance, truly dance...music and steps and all that goes with it? I really think that it’ll just end up with me undressing you and laying you across this table...”
He licked his lips when she gasped, sliding his hand to the back of her neck and shifting closer to the edge of the table. “And...I have to admit that I’m dangerously close to doing that right now.”
“Doctor...” She breathed, slipping her hands under his jacket.
The sound of her voice, thick with desire...the sensation of her hands through the material of his shirt, trembling as he’d fantasized so many times before...
“God, Rose...” He groaned and covered her mouth with his, crushing her against his chest as he pushed his tongue between her lips.
He felt her fingers fumbling with his tie as he pulled his hands away from her long enough to get rid of his jacket. He wanted to smile at her as the tie finally slipped from around his neck, but that would mean he’d have to relinquish her mouth and tongue. And he had no desire to do such a thing.
Until he realized that she was wearing a pull-over shirt...and not a button-up blouse.
He grumbled softly as he tore his mouth from hers and gripped the hem of her shirt. He licked his lips in anticipation as he waited for her to finish with the button she was currently trying to undo on his shirt. His smile finally surfaced when he heard her curse under her breath.
“Rose, leave it...”
Her eyes snapped to his...hers full of frustration, his full of amusement. “This needs to come off!”
He gave her a nod and let go of her, gently pulling her hands from his chest. When she gave a frustrated groan, he winked and reached around to grab the collar of his shirt. Realizing what he was going to do, she grasped the sides of his shirt and untucked it for him.
And then he pulled it over his head...but had forgotten to undo the cuffs. He looked helplessly at his wrists, his eyes widening when he heard Rose mumble ‘fuck it’ and jerked the shirt off his arms. He winced at the sound of the material ripping. After all, it had been one of his favourites...one that Rose had picked out for him on a shopping excursion they had taken on Jasperia not long after they’d returned from Krop Tor.
He forgot all about the ruined shirt when he felt her mouth cover his right nipple.
* * *
Rose smiled lazily as she stroked the Doctor’s fingers…resting back against his chest, stretched out between his legs as he reclined against the arm of the sofa, a thick mink blanket wrapped around their bodies. She had fond memories of this sofa…lying down and reading a magazine or a book while she listened to a random cd, waiting for the Doctor to finish whatever he was working on to come join her.
She had a feeling that her memories of this sofa would only grow fonder now. Now that they’d spent a good part of their evening making love on it. She lifted his hand to her lips, kissing each of his fingers as he pressed soft kisses into her hair. Her eyes drifted around the room, coming to a rest on a box in the corner.
“Mm?” He replied with a sated murmur.
“What’s in the box?” She asked, moving her lips to the inside of his wrist.
“What box?” He whispered as he slid his free hand to her stomach.
She swallowed hard as he circled her navel the tip of his middle finger. “The one in the corner.”
He looked in the direction that she’d waved in and smiled. “Oh…that box.”
She turned her head to look up at him. “How many boxes do you have?”
He chuckled and lightly kissed her lips. “There’re boxes stored all over the TARDIS. But, that one…well…that one’s special.”
“You’re still as confusing as ever, aren’t you?”
He grinned and gently nudged her forward, giving himself just enough room to climb out from behind her. She licked her lips as she watched him walk across the room, not a stitch of clothes on his body. She bit back her groan as he bent down to pick up the box in question.
He gave her a knowing wink as he carried the box back over to the sofa, gesturing for her to shift over with a tilt of his head. “Come on, hurry up…it’s chilly out here.”
She bit down lightly on the tip of her tongue, stopping herself from suggesting ways to warm him up, and moved down just enough for him to get back under the blanket with her. She furrowed her brow when he unceremoniously dumped the box onto her lap.
“You wanted to know what was in the box…so you have to open it.”
She laughed softly as he nudged her shoulder with his. “Okay…there better not be anything alive in here…”
“Why would there be anything…oh, just open it, Rose...”
She laughed again and carefully removed the lid. She dropped the lid onto the floor and exhaled a barely audible sigh as she peered inside.
“Wow…these are beautiful.”
He waited until she pulled out one of the trinkets and cleared his throat. “Happy Christmas, Rose.”
She looked up at him in confusion. “What?”
He swallowed and glanced at the object in her hand. “That…well, that’s your Christmas present from me…well, the present from Christmas before last…”
Rose stared at him for a moment and then pulled out another item. Tears filled her eyes as he whispered ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’.
“Oh my God…Doctor…”
“They’re presents for you.” He stated needlessly, realizing she’d already figured it out. “Birthdays, Christmases…”
He smiled as she pulled a crystal dragon from the box. “That’s to commemorate the third anniversary of the day we spent on Clowsida. Remember?”
She nodded slowly as a tear slipped down her cheek. “We argued about whether a cloud was in the shape of a dragon or a flying monkey.”
His eyes sparkled as he reached over and wiped the tear from her skin. “I realized you were right…it was a dragon. If it’d been wearing a fez, it would’ve been a flying monkey.”
“There was definitely no fez…” She chuckled wetly and dug back into the box. “Mum thought I was crazy…buying stuff for you. But, I’d see something and I’d just have to get it, you know?”
He nodded in understanding, opening his mouth to respond…but not getting the words out before she picked up an item that looked like a pyramid made out of amethyst.
She examined it closely and then swallowed. “Is this a plipton?”
“Yeah, I picked it up for your birthday a couple of months ago and…” He narrowed his eyes as a thought suddenly occurred to him. “How did you know it was a plipton?”
“Um…” She moved the box to the side and handed the plipton to him before squirming out from under the blanket. “I’ll be right back, yeah?”
She heard the concern, the fear, in his voice and looked over at him as she picked up his ruined shirt from where it had landed on the floor earlier. She slipped it on, not worried about the torn cuffs, and ran her hand through her mussed hair.
“I’ll be right back, I promise. Just…just stay there, okay?”
He nodded numbly, confusion rushing through him as he curled his fingers around the purple object in his hand. She gave him a warm smile and then ran out of the room.
She’d be back. She promised.
He swallowed thickly and tried to calm the pounding of his hearts.
She promised…and she would never intentionally break a promise.
* * *
She ran back into the room just a few moments later, stopping suddenly when she found him staring at the cd rack…his left hand scratching the back of his head and his right in the pocket of the trousers he had put back on.
Trousers and nothing else.
And she thought that the sight of him standing there, barefoot and no shirt, was probably just as sexy as him standing before her completely bare.
“What are you doing?” She asked, smiling as he looked over at her.
“Thinking about coincidences and parallels.” He replied, allowing his eyes to take in the image of her wearing only his shirt. “I think that shirt looks better on you than it ever did on me.”
He nodded slowly and slipped his left hand into his pocket. “Yeah…even with the torn cuffs…”
“Sorry ‘bout that…” She offered with a grin, letting him know that she was anything but sorry. “Coincidences and parallels, huh?”
“What’s my lucky number, as you used to call it?”
“Twenty-three.” She answered with no hesitation. “Why?”
He swallowed and pulled a cd from the rack and walked over to her. “This was number twenty-three on the charts for the week of the twenty-fifth of April, 1987.”
She furrowed her brow as she took the cd from him. “The twenty-fifth?”
“I, uh…I was in
“Doctor…” She whispered softly, instantly knowing that he’d come to see her as a newborn.
“I missed you so much, Rose. I…I never made contact and you never saw me. But, I had to see you…just glimpses of you.” He cleared his throat and glanced at the cd in her hand. “Turns out that number twenty-three for that week was a pretty huge album.”
Rose nodded, fingers gripping the cd case tightly as he reached up and brushed his fingers through her hair. “Yeah, I used to listen to Mum’s copy…hers was on cassette though.”
“So was mine…originally, I mean. I got the cd a few years later.” He sighed softly and placed his palm against her cheek. “So, you’d know the songs…and you’d know the one that spoke to me?”
“Yeah…” She leaned into his touch, dropping the cd onto the table and lifting her hand to his chest. “In Your Eyes…”
“I come back to the place you are.” He whispered, lowering his mouth to hers and kissing her softly.
When he straightened, they smiled at each other and he shrugged a shoulder. “Purely coincidental…but, so very us.”
“Definitely us.” She agreed, her smile brightening.
Taking a step back from her, he tilted his head. “So…what was so important that you had to run off when you did?”
“What? Oh…oh, yeah…” She glanced down at her left hand, fingers still curled around the object she held.
She took his hand in her free one and led him back over to the sofa, sitting down and pulling him down next to her. When she paused, he looked at her curiously but didn’t say anything…she was obviously trying to collect her thoughts.
Finally, she took a deep breath and looked up at him.
“There was this guy at Torchwood when I worked there…his name was Kaflanatak.”
He arched an eyebrow at her. “That sounds very not…English.”
She chuckled softly and shook her head. “He was a Regallitraxian.”
“Oh…” The Doctor’s eyes widened.
“Kafla knew that I wasn’t…well, he knew I was missing someone terribly. And he used to bring me coffee and we’d talk for hours…” She exhaled softly and shifted nervously. “He told me about his people and their customs. And…one day he asked me to picture a color in my mind. So, I did…and he put this rock in my hand and covered it with his. When I opened it a few minutes later…”
She uncurled her fingers and lifted her hand, revealing a small pyramid-shaped object resting in her palm.
“It was TARDIS blue.” She lowered her voice as she watched his eyes start to glisten. “That’s how I know what a plipton is.”
He reached out, fingers shaking as he carefully lifted the plipton from her hand. He ran his thumb along the smooth edge and watched as she pulled the purple one from the box that was still sitting on the sofa cushion.
“We watched the sunset on Rastra Three. That was the night that I’d realized that I’d fallen in love with you. The sky turned a brilliant shade of purple and you said that it was the most beautiful thing you’d ever seen.”
Rose nodded, remembering that night very well. “And you said that it was the second most beautiful thing you’d seen.”
“You were always the first, Rose.” He whispered.
“Does this mean we’re engaged?” She asked a couple of seconds later, grinning at him.
“I’m rubbish at weddings…especially my own.” He replied, his eyes sparkling as he curled his fingers around the blue plipton. “But, I’ll marry you. If you want to get married, I’ll marry you…”
“I think I’d be pretty rubbish at weddings too.” She stated as she leaned over and placed a kiss above his left heart. “What do you think about us just…being together?”
“For how long?” He answered after a moment.
She smiled adoringly at him and reached up to run her fingers through his incredibly mussed hair. “I’m thinking you’re still my everly, Doctor.”
“My Everly Rose…” He whispered, returning her loving smile as he captured her lips once more.
* * *
Donna entered the TARDIS cautiously.
She made her way down the hall to her room and paused at the Thinking Room. The door was open and she peeked inside, grinning at the state of the room.
An open box on the sofa, the stereo on but with no music playing, a broken lamp on the floor…and clothes strewn about. A shoe here, a tie there, Rose’s jeans draped over the back of a chair in the most haphazard way.
Donna was sure that they’d been hastily thrown across the room.
The lights dimmed in the room and she heard the distinct soft hum from the ship. She ran her fingers along the doorframe and nodded proudly.
“We did good, girl.” She glanced down the hall when she heard a loud giggle.
A loud male giggle…which was followed closely by a loud female giggle.
Donna had never heard that particular sound from the Doctor. Oh, she’d heard him laugh and chuckle and snort…but, she’d never heard him giggle.
She looked up at the ceiling as the TARDIS hummed again.
“We did real good, girl.”