Series: Doctor Who.
Characters: Rose, The Doctor (Ten). Briefly mentions Jackie.
Summary: After the events that take place at the Sanctuary Base, the Doctor decides to take Rose somewhere special to celebrate the fact they're still together - and also, maybe, to apologise.
Notes: Spoilers up to The Satan Pit. Written for moonloop.
Rose was fast asleep on the captain's chair, a blanket curled up around her shoulders, her hair covering half her face at the oddest of angles. She'd been there partly at the Doctor's request - he said he was going to "take her somewhere", so she said she'd wait and see, to which he said it wouldn't be any time soon, because he hadn't actually had any ideas yet. So, whilst he waited for that idea to hit him, she'd stayed, as the hours ticked by, each progressive minute feeling tiredness soaking into her limbs. She'd been up for a long time, and it was only really adrenaline that had kept her going, pumping through her fingers and toes, her heart, and her mind. As the danger subsided, it had slowly regressed, and the Doctor had suggested she go to bed a few times, but she'd shook her head, defiant, even as her eyes drooped down and she'd grabbed a few blankets to snuggle into (even though she said she insisted she wasn't tired, and wasn't going to sleep). Eventually, she had simply fallen asleep where she was.
The Doctor, meanwhile, was fine, not tired at all, but oddly subdued. Occasionally, whilst pacing, he watched her sleep, watched the way her breath made her hair tickle her face, but not enough for her to actually wake up. Whilst Rose would quite flatly deny it in her waking hours, she was snoring, ever so slightly. It was so gentle, it could have just been her breathing, but the Doctor listened to her sleeping enough to know it was a snore. Unconsciously or not, it was in time with the whir of the TARDIS - as the central column went up, she breathed in. Down, she breathed out.
He stopped for a little longer than he had before between changing the direction of his paces, choosing instead to walk up to her, and readjusted the blanket that was draped over her. She didn't move, until he backed off, where she pulled a slight face before cuddling up more into the blanket like a small child.
He smiled, ever so slightly. He knew there was another reason she'd insisted on staying with him, one that she hadn't voiced – one that he knew without her having to say anything. Because today, she'd almost lost him. Again. And the Doctor knew Rose enough to know she wasn't going to let that happen anytime soon - never, to be exact. And, deep down, she was scared that by taking her eyes off him, he would vanish into the abyss once more.
"Rose," he said, ever so softly, making the air around them quiver in the meaning the name held. "What would I do without you?"
That was a good question, he thought, even as he received no answer from Rose's peaceful form. One that he would have to answer himself someday; one that he had come close to having to find out today, when he let go, plunging into the dark of the Pit.
The last thing he remembered whilst falling had been Rose's face, and that had broken his hearts in two, even as he hit rock bottom, blacking out, at Satan's will.
And now, looking at her, how could he ever have thought leaving her was a solution? Was even an option? A pit over Rose? How could he even have done that to her?
It shouldn't have been an option, and he couldn't leave her. Wouldn't. Not now, not ever. Even if it was a selfish thought, one that he would have to go against one day, because of the fact that he lov... cared about her, he would have to let her go for her own well being.
For the second time in the same day, he felt his hearts break, a distant weight landing on his chest. Even the TARDIS, always connected with him and his thoughts, whimpered. "Rose," he whispered again. "Rose."
It was then that Rose stirred, either by the saying of her name or not - probably not, as she looked at him through sleep-ridden eyes, matching names and thoughts to the images in front of her. "Doctor?" she queried, a yawn falling out of her mouth too as she spoke.
"You should go back to sleep," he said, returning to his usual bouncy self - mostly - as he went back to his original pacing regime. "Long day and all."
"I wasn't asleep," Rose countered, clambering about out of the blankets. "I wasn't."
The Doctor grinned. "Yeah, yeah," he said, with a very slight smirk, to which earned him a slight shove in the ribs, as Rose had managed to disentangle herself, and was stood up next to him now, still a bit wobbly as the blood flowed back round her body.
"I ain't asleep and I wasn't," she insisted. "Really," she added, as the Doctor looked at her and away again, still grinning to himself with the better knowledge that she had been. "Did..." she suppressed another yawn, "... did you think of somewhere yet?"
Guiltily, he traipsed around his memories for somewhere right to take her, as that was what he should have been thinking about. "No," he admitted. "But I just thought of one," he amended; as he said it, the words became true.
Rose's eyes lit up, sleep partly forgotten. "Where?"
"Seeing is better than saying," the Doctor said, strolling back around the console with Rose shadowing his steps, blankets shimmying along behind her like a wedding dress trail. "Ready?"
She latched onto his arm, still grinning, before she answered. "Always."
He allowed himself to smile back at her, before he pulled a single lever, and the TARDIS launched off properly into the Vortex, twisting and turning, as they held on, being thrown this way and that - something so familiar, but something so thrilling at the same time - especially when you had someone to share the experience with.
The TARDIS eventually stopped rattling, and the walls went back to where they should be, as did the floor - one vertical and the other horizontal. Rose let go of the chair she'd gone back to holding, testing the waters of the righted world by throwing out her arms wide. "I think we're good. I'm not falling anywhere."
The Doctor was already walking towards the door, looking back at her and resisting the urge to chuckle. "Coming?"
"Yup," Rose said, still not looking at him for another few seconds, before she bounded after him towards the door, blankets still in tow as she bundled them up in her hands to avoid falling over them.
"You can leave those."
"But I want them," she said, pulling a face. "It might be cold, ya know."
He didn't last long against that look. "Oh, all right," the Doctor conceded - it was a feeble argument on Rose's part, but, he couldn't resist the face. He'd do anything for that face. Swiftly, he unlocked the door, before stepping outside, letting Rose jump out after him, blankets and all, then shut the aforementioned door, then locking the TARDIS with a quick turn of the key in his pocket.
By the time he turned back round, Rose was looking away from, staring out into the horizon, in a stupor.
"Good?" the Doctor asked.
She looked at him for a flicker of a second, before her gaze was back to where it had previously been fixed. "Wow. I think that's the word. Just wow. Where are we?"
"Earth," he said, standing next to her. "Sorrento, Italy, to be precise."
"It's gorgeous," Rose said, fully concentrating on the horizon. "Simply gorgeous."
The Doctor had to agree, and it was part of the reason he'd chosen it in the first place. It was late evening, and the dusk was closing in fast, and the sunset - there was nothing else like it, and he'd seen a lot of sunsets. The oranges and the pinks and the blues all blended together mysteriously in the sky, and the sun, the glowing orb in the sky, radiated between them, like a dance partner of the colours in their merry cadence across the sky, and stars flickered in their wake, slowly coming into existence.
And he'd wanted to share it with Rose, even if he'd only just thought of it. A place that she'd love.
"I could sit here all evening," she announced, and she promptly did so, sitting down with her back against the TARDIS, draping the blanket around her shoulders - despite the fact it was Italy, and the day had clearly been warm, the oncoming dark also brought the promise of a cold night.
"Well, we've got the time," the Doctor replied, and she laughed at the not-quite joke. "If you want."
"I love it. Just so you know," she said, her voice soft. He didn't reply to that, but he didn't need to - sometimes, a smile was enough for a reply. Then she looked at him, perhaps a bit coy, but mostly just curious, the usual face that Rose Tyler made when she was worried or concerned. "Aren't you cold?"
"No," he said, perhaps a shade too quickly. It wasn't entirely a lie, but now she mentioned it, it was getting quite cold, and he was only wearing his suit, not his trench coat as well. "Fit as a fiddle up here, I am."
Rose shook her head, expression still intact. "Don't be daft. Get down here," she said, pulling the blanket up on one shoulder, indicating for him to sit down next to her. "You don't want me looking after you if you get a cold. Mum says I can't do it to save my life, let alone hers."
The Doctor blinked, oddly nerved. He wanted to, but there were things he should and shouldn't do. How sitting next to Rose with a blanket was one of them, he wasn't quite sure of, but he was pretty sure it should fall under the 'shouldn't' after the events that they'd been through today. He could just go inside and get something himself, but, Rose was... and... no, he really shouldn't. But... he really wanted to, to show he was sorry.
Reluctantly, he sat down next to her, shuffling slightly closer, but Rose filled the gap on her own, gently nudging against his arm before throwing the blanket over his shoulders as well, latching onto his arm again. "See? There we go."
And now that he was there, it was. It was fine. Right.
The Doctor wasn't quite sure how long they sat there, in silence, as Rose watched the night sky take over the transitioning one, and the stars fully appeared, chasing the sun off until the morrow. It was only as she started to drift off back into sleep, sleep that had been escaping her, that he finally spoke, his thoughts overpowering, him knowing that he had to tell her one thing.
Not the one thing that was most important, but one thing that she had to know about today, after all they'd gone through, after all they'd been through to just survive.
"I'm sorry I left you," he said into her hair, finally allowing himself to half-rest his head against hers. His voice was so quiet, it could have just been an imagination, but... he hoped she heard.
A long time passed before he got his reply. Maybe it wasn't a reply at all, only a thought riddled with sleep; yet, he knew, deep down, that it had to be a reply.
"It's alright," came the soft voice, muffled between blankets and hair. "You came back."
This was written for moonloop as a you-prompt-you-get-a-comment-fic-in-retu
Not much to say, other than that; I'm having withdrawal for one of my favourite pairings and this is just a cute, fluffy piece for that.
Espo (copyrighted to me! ©! No stealing please.) Ten, Rose, and Doctor Who © BBC Wales. This is merely a fanfic written by a fan - there is no determination of any of this happening at all. Thank you.