Title: The Truth Behind the Words
Timeline: AU, but sometime between Fear Her and Army of Ghosts. Follow up to On the Mend.
Synopsis: The Doctor still has some secrets to share…and those come with explanations.
Author’s Note: Thanks to fairygothmum for the beta!
Rose smiled as she swept up a small pile of purple sand. It had been two weeks since he’d taken her to Whister…and every day since then, she’d managed to find purple sand somewhere in the TARDIS. He’d been right though…Whister was beautiful, with the silver pools of water nestled in between the large dunes of sand.
She’d never seen anything like it. Purple sand. Not just one shade of purple, but they had counted at least twelve shades…and it had been gorgeous. The sand, the planet…the day. She had ranked it in the top three experiences she’d had with the Doctor.
Seeing him more relaxed than she ever had was one of the reasons she had rated the day so highly. At one point, she had asked him if he was alright. He had given her a bright grin, his eyes sparkling as he leaned back on his elbows with his legs outstretched, and stated that he was more than alright.
And she’d believed him.
The past two weeks had held a different air between them. Not bad different, just…different. He hadn’t volunteered any information about his past, but he hadn’t shied away from answering her if she had asked anything either.
She’d learned more about him in the last fourteen days than she had in the last eighteen months. She smiled as she emptied the dustpan into the bin.
She chuckled, nodding as she slipped the dustpan back into the cabinet. “Yeah. If it wasn’t so pretty, I’d be annoyed about it.”
“Well, you’re the one who decided it would be a good idea to try to bury me.” He grinned as she turned and rolled her eyes at him. “Told you you’d be cleaning up sand for a month.”
“It’s only been two weeks.”
“Yeah…” He replied softly, causing her to tilt her head in concern. He shook his head and reached out to take her hand. “It’s nothing. Really, it’s nothing. Just…thoughts. And you told me not to think so much. So, I’m not. Well, most of the time I’m not. Unless – ”
“Doctor.” She interrupted, arching an eyebrow at him.
He sighed and cleared his throat as he reached into the inner pocket of his jacket with his free hand. He absently rubbed his thumb over her knuckles as he pulled out a piece of folded parchment and handed it to her.
She could plainly make out the “R” in the broken wax seal. She tried to place it, but couldn’t remember ever seeing it before.
“There’s something I need to say. But, we need to start here…” He gestured to the paper in her hand and swallowed thickly. “…with that. And then I need to go further back…before I can go forward with what I need to say.”
She furrowed her brow in confusion and looked into his eyes. “Huh?”
He opened his mouth, closed it, took a deep breath and opened it again. “Read…and then come find me when you’re ready. Take as much time as you need…I’ll wait.”
He squeezed her hand affectionately and then let it go. Before she could question him further, he turned and walked out of the room. She stared at the doorway for a few minutes and then sat down at the table.
She noticed the tremble in her fingers as she carefully unfolded the thick paper. She didn’t notice that the trembling increased as she read the words flowing across the page.
* * *
She found him in the library. He was sitting at the large oak table, his sonic screwdriver in one hand and a piece of a circuit board in the other. She stepped into the room and he looked up, lowering the objects to the surface of the table.
“Lonely angel…” She whispered as she sat down on the chair next to him, placing the letter on the table. “Did you love her?”
He removed his glasses, dropping them onto the table as he ran his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t know her long enough to love her.”
“She loved you.”
“I knew her for less than a day…but she knew me for most of her life.” He answered softly.
“You were going to bring her with us.”
He nodded slowly, not knowing exactly what to say. So, he did the unheard of…and remained quiet.
She saw the glistening in his eyes and the thought crossed her mind that she had never seen him as emotional as he had been for the past two weeks. She lifted her hand and placed her palm against his cheek.
“Talk to me, Doctor.”
He was quiet for a moment longer and then began to speak in a soft, but hurried, tone.
“It was my fault, really. I’m no angel, but…I was so very lonely. You had Mickey and he had you…in more ways than one. I was alone…and she…she wanted me.” He reached up, quickly grabbing her hand as she jerked away from him. “It was all my own fault.”
Tears glistened in her eyes, but she refused to allow them to fall. “What do you mean?”
“I refused you. Not because I wanted to…oh, how I wanted to say the complete opposite to you. But, I said what I thought was the right thing. You offered yourself to me and I said that I couldn’t…because I couldn’t grow old with you.” He swallowed hard and curled his fingers around her hand. “I was so wrong. I knew I was wrong when I watched you go into his room the following night. But, what could I say then?”
“What are you saying now?” She whispered, her hand relaxing in his as she watched the emotions in his eyes.
“The truth behind my words.” He replied quietly.
He turned his chair towards hers and leaned forward, pressing his forehead against hers as he laced their fingers together. He could smell the sweetness of her lip gloss and ached to taste it…just to see if it tasted as sweet as it smelled.
“I love you.” He whispered, his fingers tightening around hers. “I’m in love with you, Rose. I tried so very hard to stop it, but…it’s impossible to not love you.”
“Doctor…” Rose gasped, her eyes widening as she pulled back slightly to look at him.
He stared into her eyes, reaching up with his free hand to tenderly run his fingers through her hair. “I’ve loved you for so long that I can’t remember not loving you. This all sounds so cliché and…human…”
She nearly laughed as he wrinkled his nose at the thought of sounding human. But, his next words caused her to inhale sharply instead.
“I want it to be later, Rose. Please…say it’s later now.”
She didn’t have to ask what he meant. She remembered the conversation they’d had in her bed the night before he had taken her to Whister. And even if she hadn’t remembered, she would’ve figured out what he meant quickly enough when she noticed his eyes dart to her lips…and the tip of his tongue moisten his own.
“It’s been later for a while, Doctor.” Rose replied, lifting her hand to his chest.
He met her gaze once more and, seeing the truth of her words in her eyes, lowered his mouth to hers. His lips caressed hers once, twice before his tongue gently glided along her bottom lip. His groan rumbled deep in his chest and his earlier unasked question was answered.
Her lip gloss was as sweet as it smelled.
She answered his groan with a moan, her mouth opening under his…inviting him to deepen the kiss. He smiled inwardly, releasing his grasp on her fingers and cradling her face between his hands. He wasn’t human…but even he understood that particular invitation. And he accepted it with no hesitation.
Her hands moved under his jacket, sliding around to his back as his tongue stroked hers. Her fingers gripped his shirt as she tore her mouth from his and gasped for breath. He smiled softly, the sound of her gasping heightening his arousal, and moved his mouth to the side of her neck as he wrapped his arms around her.
She trembled in his arms, tilting her head to the side to give him better access. He nipped at her flesh with his lips and teeth before soothing the skin with his tongue.
“God…Doctor…” She breathed, her voice husky with desire.
And then he paused, the sound of her voice reminding him that he should have better control of himself. With a warm sigh against her neck, he pulled back and exhaled shakily.
“We…we should stop. Too fast…it’s all going too fast and when things go too fast no one can think properly. And when no one can think properly, then…” He swallowed hard and sat back in his chair. “Bad things happen. The TARDIS spins out of control and we end up in some time vortex that has no way out and – ”
“What are you talking about?” Rose interrupted, furrowing her brow as she watched him rake his hand through his hair.
“I don’t know.” The Doctor admitted with a nervous chuckle.
Rose stared at him for a minute and then smiled. “You love me.”
He nodded and licked his still-tingling lips. “Yeah.”
“Been a while since you’ve been in this situation?” She placed her hand on his thigh as he nodded again. “Been even longer since you’ve been in this situation with someone you love?”
“Yeah.” He whispered, covering her hand with his.
She smiled in understanding and leaned forward to kiss his cheek. “Then we’ll wait…okay?”
He raised an eyebrow at her, simultaneously thankful and curious. “Why?”
Her eyes sparkled as she stroked his ear with her thumb. “Because I love you.”
His grin was instantaneous, his eyes filling with a brightness that made her grin in return. He pulled her out of her chair and against his chest, the sudden movement causing his own chair to topple backwards.
Rose shrieked in surprise as they landed on the floor, then promptly fell into a mass of giggles as he started laughing. He carefully kicked the fallen chair away and looked into her eyes, his amusement etched on his face.
“That was tops, that!”
“Could’ve killed us both.” Rose snorted, rolling to his side.
“Nah. Height, velocity, angles…all wrong. Knot on the head would’ve been the worst that could’ve happened.”
She grinned and slipped her fingers into his hair as they both sat up. “No knot…”
“Didn’t hit my head.” He replied, giving her a wink. “What do you say about dinner?”
She rolled her eyes and chuckled softly. “How did we end up on the floor with you asking me to dinner?”
“We were bound to end up on the floor one way or the other.” The Doctor answered with a grin, standing up and reaching down to help her up.
She took his hand and laughed as he hauled her to her feet. “And dinner is the best you could come up with?”
“Oh, no…but, if I told you what the best I could come up with is…dinner wouldn’t be had.” He teased, lightly brushing his lips across hers. “Though I’m beginning to rethink that idea.”
“You’re the one who stopped us.” Rose reminded him, returning his kiss before taking a step back from him. “I was more than happy to – ”
“I know.” He interrupted with a smile.
They stood there, eyes locked and smiling at one another, for a few minutes before Rose blew out a quick breath.
He chuckled as she turned and walked out of the library. His eyes drifted down her legs and back up as he carefully adjusted his erection.
“Definitely still have it.” He murmured to himself before following her.
* * *
They’d been nearly halfway through dinner when Rose realized that the Doctor had quit talking and was staring at her instead. She instinctively looked down at her blouse, wondering if she had spilt anything.
She looked back up quickly when she heard his whispered statement.
“I think I was wrong in stopping us.”
He cleared his throat and gestured vaguely towards the hall. “Earlier…in the library – ”
“No. No, no…I know what you’re talking about.” Rose interrupted, dropping her fork onto her plate. “But…what was the whole dropping into a time vortex thing about?”
He smiled as he pushed his plate aside and rested his elbows on the table. He propped his chin in his left hand and looked into her eyes. “I panicked. It’s…been a while, you know.”
“How long?” She asked without thinking, then grimaced. “I mean – ”
“Before you came along. Well before then.” He offered, sliding his right index finger along the stem of his wine glass. “After I met you…”
She tilted her head questioningly as he trailed off. “What?”
“You were who I wanted…are who I want.”
Rose opened her mouth to ask a question, but then thought better of it. The Doctor smiled warmly and answered her anyway.
“I’m not sure I could’ve with her. As much as she wanted to be with me…” He raised his head and sighed heavily. “I would’ve given it a shot, I suppose, but…I couldn’t even respond properly to her kiss.”
“You seemed to respond okay to mine.” Rose stated with a grin.
“Yep…” He responded, returning her grin as he popped his ‘p’.
“How does it work?” She blushed as he raised an eyebrow at her. “I mean…you know…”
“I have a feeling that you know exactly how it works…all of it.” He chuckled as her blush deepened. “But, I think you’re more concerned about the fact that I’m not human. Right?”
When she nodded slowly, he leaned back in his chair and smiled understandingly. “Come here.”
She looked down as he reached across the table and wiggled his fingers at her. “Doctor…”
“Rose…” He countered, his eyes sparkling with amusement.
She sighed and slipped her hand into his as she stood up. “Teaching me something new about Time Lords?”
He shook his head and tugged her closer to him. “You know most of the important stuff. Two hearts, fantastic molecular chemistry, spectacular hair…”
She giggled and reached out with her free hand to lightly ruffle his hair. “Spectacular…”
His eyes darkened slightly as he pushed his chair back and pulled her onto his lap. He inhaled sharply as she turned and straddled his thighs, draping her arms over his shoulders.
“So what is it that you want to show me then?” She whispered, running her thumb along the collar of his shirt.
“Kiss me, Rose.” He replied, glancing at her lips. “Kiss me…and for just a little while, forget that I’m a Time Lord and that we’re in the TARDIS, suspended over the third moon of Antilles. See if you can think…if you can believe that…”
“What? Believe what?” She asked, moving her left hand to the knot of his tie.
“That I’m simply a human man who wants nothing more than to take you to my bed. Pretend I’m just a bloke…a horny bloke…” He licked his lips as desire flashed in her eyes. “Because I am. Right now, Rose…I’m just a bloke who wants to be inside of you.”
She looked down and grinned at the unmistakable bulge in his trousers. “You’re making it pretty easy to believe…”
He swallowed thickly and slid his palms over her thighs. “Kiss me.”
“Are we going to end up on the floor ag – ”
He growled and cut her off by moving his right hand to the back of her head and dragging her down to his mouth. Rose didn’t have much time to think about anything, but she did get one thought in.
He growled. Growled.
And it was possibly one of the sexiest things she had ever heard.
He thrust his tongue into her mouth, swallowing her groan as he held her tightly against him. When he felt her start to fight for control of the kiss, he moved his hands to her hips and allowed her control.
She took over quickly, stroking his tongue with hers before pulling back slightly to nip along his bottom lip with her teeth. He whispered her name, closing his eyes and tilting his head back as his hands pulled her closer to his groin.
She grinned and ran the tip of her tongue down his throat before placing a warm, open-mouthed kiss in the hollow. “Maybe we should take this elsewhere?”
The Doctor swallowed as his eyes fluttered open. His fingers gripped her hips tightly as he gave her a nod. “Anywhere you want.”
She gave him a loving smile as she ran the backs of her fingers along his cheek and lowered her voice to a whisper.
“Race you to your room…”
* * *
“Oh, God…” Rose murmured as the Doctor placed a line of warm kisses from the base of her throat to her navel.
She could feel his smile against her belly, the cool linen sheets under her back as he gently nudged her legs apart. Reaching down, she ran her fingers through his hair and tried to recollect the two of them actually undressing.
She remembered racing him down the hall. She remembered rushing into his room and hearing him slam the door shut behind him as he followed her in. She remembered asking him why he shut the door when it was just the two of them. She remembered his smile as he pushed her up against the door and kissed her with more passion than she’d ever experienced.
She vaguely remembered pulling his tie over his head and dropping it to the floor. She had a vision of him lifting her shirt over her head and then flicking open the clasp of her bra. She had a vivid memory of his mouth closing over one of her nipples as he held her against the closed door, her legs wrapped around his waist as he rocked his hips against her.
And she remembered that at that moment it was very easy to believe that he was just a horny bloke who wanted to be inside of her.
She opened her eyes when she felt his lips brush along the inside of her right thigh. She looked down to see his eyes smiling up at her. She grinned at the state of his hair…knowing that she was the cause of its extreme unruliness.
“Hey…” She breathed, curling the fingers of her left hand in the sheet.
“Hey.” He replied, lifting her left leg over his shoulder and resting his chin on her right thigh. “You okay?”
She nodded and offered him a smile. “Yeah, all good.”
“We…don’t have to go further, you know. If you’re not – ”
“What happened to my horny bloke?” She asked, rubbing her left heel against his back.
“Oh, he’s here. But, even the horny bloke loves you…and wonders if you’re really okay with this.” He replied, sliding back up her body and pressing a kiss to her cheek. “It’s okay to stop, Rose.”
“Don’t want to.” She whispered, resting her feet on the mattress and lifting her hands to his chest.
She pushed him quickly, following his body until he was on his back and she was straddling his hips. “Don’t stop now, Doctor.”
He looked up at her, arching an eyebrow as he soothingly rubbed his hands up and down her sides. “Why are you in such a rush?”
When she didn’t answer right away, he pulled himself up and placed a tender kiss on the tip of her nose. “We have all the time in the universe, Rose.”
His eyes darted to her mouth as she bit her bottom lip. “What is it, Rose?”
“Nothing.” She answered quickly, too quickly.
She realized that she had answered too quickly when he carefully lifted her off of him and lowered her body down to the bed. She sighed heavily as he lay down next to her, resting his hand on her hip as he gazed into her eyes.
“For all the talking you’ve been wanting me to do, why are you silencing yourself?” His fingers gently stroked her skin as he watched her think about her answer. “Just…talk to me.”
“No one’s ever taken so much time.” She whispered after a few moments, her eyes trained on his chest.
He inhaled deeply, instantly understanding her meaning. “Look at me, Rose.”
She swallowed hard and then lifted her eyes to his, surprised at how dark they actually were. She started to look away but he stopped her with a quick shake of his head.
“Don’t do that.” He whispered, sliding his hand along her side. “I want to make love with you, Rose. A quick shag isn’t what I’m after. If that’s what I wanted, I would’ve fucked you on the library floor.”
He gave her a reassuring smile as her eyes widened. “I’m a Time Lord, Rose. A very aroused Time Lord, but a Time Lord nonetheless.”
She smiled nervously and traced his nipple with her fingertip. “I thought you were my horny bloke…”
“A horny bloke isn’t what you need, apparently.” He stated, placing a warm kiss on her chin as he rolled her onto her back. “You need the Doctor…and fortunately for you, he’s right here waiting for you.”
She rolled her eyes, but laughed as he grinned at her. Her earlier concerns simply melted away under the heat of his gaze.
“You’re such a – ”
“Now, now…none of that.” He interrupted, sliding his hand up her torso to cup her warm breast. “Let me do this…let me show you…”
“Show me what?” She breathed as his thumb stroked her nipple.
“Love.” He answered, lowering his mouth to her other breast.
“Doctor…” She groaned, sliding her hand into his hair and holding him against her.
He murmured incoherently against her flesh, teasing her nipple into hardness with his tongue before tenderly nibbling at it. Her nails scratched at his scalp as he resumed the slow pace he had started earlier.
“Mm?” He mumbled, slipping his leg between hers as he placed a warm, sucking kiss between her breasts.
“Yeah?” He smiled when she gasped as he pressed his erection against her hip.
“You…you were…drawing…in…in the sand…”
His smile grew as he shifted until he was kneeling between her thighs. He leaned forward and supported his weight with his left hand pressed against the mattress as he caressed her cheek with his right.
“Our names…in Gallifreyan.” He responded, his eyes fluttering as she arched her hips against his. “Rose…”
“Teach me.” She whispered, stroking his chest before wrapping her arms around him.
He nodded absently, leaning down to press a line of kisses along her jaw. “Tomorrow.”
She took a breath and opened her mouth. He wasn’t sure what she was going to say, but smiled brightly as she moaned his name instead as he shifted his hips and slowly entered her.
* * *
To Rose, it felt like hours later when he collapsed at her side and pulled her into his arms. She fought for her breath as her body trembled against him. She met his eyes and gave him a puzzled look. He merely grinned and ran his fingers through her sweat-dampened hair.
“Two hearts come in handy at times. You okay?”
She nodded and shivered as his fingers traced indistinct shapes against her hip. She reached down quickly, covering his hand with hers when he started to move it away.
“Don’t...it feels nice.”
He kissed her lips gently and then rested his head on the pillow, refusing to break eye contact with her. She furrowed her brow, realizing from the way he was looking at her that he’d fallen into deep thought.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, sliding her hand up his arm.
“You…kinda went away.” She lightly tapped his temple with her index finger. “In here…what’s wrong?”
He offered her a smile and traced his name against her hip again. “Everything’s right…”
“So, what were you thinking about?”
He chuckled and leaned into her, brushing his lips across hers. “I figured you’d be a snuggler after sex, not a talker.”
“Doctor…” She sighed, slightly exasperated with his avoidance of her question. “Please don’t go back to hiding things from me again.”
His smile faded as he looked into her eyes. He shook his head slowly as his fingers stilled their movements.
“I won’t. I’m not.”
“Then – ”
“Stay with me.” He interrupted, his voice thick with emotion. “We can travel for as long as you want. Or…we could buy a house in London and travel when the urge strikes. Or…just…just stay with me, Rose.”
Tears filled her eyes as she watched his love for her shine brightly in his. “You wouldn’t be happy living in London…”
“I could be.” He whispered.
She shook her head and reached up to stroke his ear with her thumb. “Mum would drive you crazy.”
He started to protest and then shrugged a shoulder. “Maybe. Probably. But…if it’s what you’d want – ”
“I have what I want.” She stated with certainty. “You, the TARDIS…I’m happy where we are, Doctor.”
He exhaled a soft breath and smiled warmly at her. “So am I.”
She moved closer to him and kissed him deeply, surprised that the taste of her in his mouth didn’t bother her. She chuckled, breaking the kiss and rubbing her palms over his chest when she felt his groan rumble.
“Sleep…shower…another round, if you want.” He sighed as she pressed a soft kiss to his chest. “I was thinking that maybe we could head over to Stasis Twelve in the next few days…or weeks, depending on what we encounter next.”
“What’s Stasis Twelve?” She asked, curling herself up in his arms as she prepared for the detailed explanation that she was sure to come.
“Oh, Rose…it’s beautiful. I can’t believe I haven’t taken you there before, to be honest.” He started, excitement in his voice. “The sky is emerald green and the trees have diamond leaves. The most vibrant colored flowers cover the ground…colors that have no names in English. There’s no describing them…they’re something you just have to see to believe. The air is warm and sweet with the scent of honeysuckle…”
She sighed in contentment, closing her eyes and allowing his voice to lull her to sleep. He continued on with his description for a few more minutes…until he realized that her breathing pattern had changed.
He smiled as he looked down at her, her hands curled against his chest as she slept.
“As beautiful as Stasis Twelve is…it pales in comparison to you.” He whispered, brushing a soft kiss against her forehead.
He reached down, careful not to jostle her too much, and pulled the sheet up over their bodies. She shifted once, twice…and then snuggled closer to him, resting her head upon his chest when he rolled onto his back.
He fell asleep with a smile on his face and his love in his embrace.