By Sharma Wild. First published on A Teaspoon & An Open Mind, 2007.
The memory of a kiss haunts Rose, and even though it has meant that the innocent playfulness between her and the Doctor is gone she cannot regret it.
She had watched him tinker with the controls so many times that it was a comforting sight. She sat on the walkway, looking on as he flicked a switch here, turned a dial there with skilled fingers and a focused expression on his face that made him seem grim and forbidding. But when he looked up from one of the consoles and gave her a wide grin his entire face lit up and it made him look like a reckless schoolboy.
Around them the TARDIS hummed, and Rose fancied she could hear a tone of satisfaction in the noise the time-machine made. And why shouldn’t it be satisfied? After all the Doctor spent hours and hours touching it… Jealousy struck her heart like a dagger.
The TARDIS’ sound changed.
Was she imagining it or was the time-machine laughing at her?
“What do you think, Rose?” The Doctor asked her, unawares of her gloomy thoughts. “Should we take her for a spin and try out the new configurations?”
She nodded and gave him a smile. A week ago she would have joined him at the controls, eagerly anticipating the next adventure, the next death-defying situation he would no doubt put them in. They would have joked and teased each other, acting like two kids, innocently touching and being touched. She would have smacked him on the shoulder when he acted the arrogant know-it-all. He would have tickled her until she giggled so much it made her stomach ache.
But things had changed; the innocence between them was lost.
“Run, Rose!” He grinned madly at her as they dashed through the gallery. Behind them the sound of heavy footfall echoed, telling them that the guards were hot on their heals. He grabbed her hand and steadied her when she tripped on the hem of the long, flowing gown she wore.
They turned around a corner and came to a dead end.
“Now what, Doctor?” She asked, unable to keep a grin off her own face.
“There’s a hidden door here”, he said, skimming his fingers over the wall.
“How come you know so much about the layout of this place?” She asked as he went: “Ah!” And activated the sonic-screwdriver to use it to open the door.
“And if you’ve been here before how come you didn’t know it was illegal to touch the Prince? I can’t believe you patted him on the bottom!” She giggled over the whine of the sonic screwdriver.
“The last time I was here it wasn’t”, the Doctor replied, focused on picking the lock. “I did much more than pat the Crown Prince’s bottom then.”
The door slid aside and he grabbed her hand and pulled her into the darkness. The door closed behind them in the nick of time as the guards came thundering around the corner.
Rose held her breath as the guard’s voices drifted through the wall. Would they find their hiding place? There was hardly any room to move in the small alcove, and she found herself standing pressed up against the Doctor. Her head swam from too much wine, from the excitement of the chase.
Feeling very wobbly all of a sudden, Rose leaned against him, breathing in the warm and comfortable smell of leather, that fragrant after-shave he wore, and of him. And then she felt it, that hot, tingling feeling of things low in her body tightening. Her legs buckled. His arms, that wrapped around her waist and shoulder was the only thing that held her upright.
“Are you alright?” the Doctor whispered and his warm breath tickled her cheek.
She looked up at him. The wine didn’t seem to have affected him, but his eyes were glittering from the chase, his eyes alight with exuberance and joy. His mouth were suddenly so tantalising close and she wondered what he tasted like.
She rose up on her tiptoes and pressed her lips to his…
He had allowed the kiss, but had pulled back when she tried to deepen it, tried to coax his tongue into play. The look in his eyes had been one she couldn’t decipher. When they later escaped from the castle and made their way through the royal gardens to where the TARDIS waited for them he hadn’t taken her hand and entwined their fingers like he usually did.
They hadn’t touched since the kiss. And Rose felt as if she had broken something precious, and yet she couldn’t regret it. Instead she hungered for more kisses. The feeling of the Doctor’s lips burned in her memory, chased her through the day and haunted her dreams. She could feel herself trembling every time he was near, and he didn’t seem to notice.
She sighed and rose to her feet. “I’m off to bed”, she announced and left the control room before he could say anything, ask any questions.
The TARDIS’ humming followed Rose down the hall and into her room. She sank down on her bed and buried her face in her hands.
Hours later the TARDIS floated through space left to its own devices, humming its secret song, as Rose tossed and turned in her bed.
In her dreams Rose wandered through the corridor until she reached the Doctor’s room. The door was opened and she stepped inside. The Doctor was standing in the middle of the room as if he knew she would come.
As the Time Lord slowly walked towards her, her breath caught in her chest and her heart seemed to skip a beat. He moved with such determination; the prowl of a large cat that had his eye on his prey, knowing it wouldn’t get away.
The Doctor stopped in front of her, and the intense eyes met hers as he reached out and gently cupped her face between his hands. Rose shivered with excitement as the Doctor tenderly caressed her cheek with his thumb. Time seemed to stop.
Rose could hear her own blood pulsing in her ears, making her head feel very light, and slightly dizzy. A small, warm smile curled the Doctor’s lips and suddenly he moved closer and pulled her into his arms. Rose looked into his fathomless eyes for one last questioning moment before desire overwhelmed her, and she crushed her lips to the Time Lord’s.
She let everything flow into the kiss, her fears, her hopes, her tenderness and the burning lust that covered her skin with flames as she melted into his embrace.
The scene suddenly changed and they were lying in the Doctor’s bed, naked skin against naked skin, covered with sweat and flushed by the body heat, inventing ever new ways to express the nameless desire.
Rose moaned against the Doctor’s lips as his fingers lipped down between them to caress her most sensitive spot, teasing her mercilessly…
And TARDIS hummed.
The Doctor sat staring out into the darkness. His thoughts were on the girl sleeping but a few metres away.
“Oh, Rose”, he sighed, recalling the moment they had shared in the dark alcove in an alien castle. It had just been a kiss, a simple touch of lips. But with her it was everything but simple.
“Are you alright?” He whispered taking in the sight of Rose’s flushed cheeks, her heavy-lidded eyes. The feeling of her feminine curves pressed against him was delicious torture and he found himself hoping that the guards would be thorough, that he and Rose would be forced to hide away for hours and hours.
He wrapped his arms a little tighter around her, enjoying the way she leaned her head against his chest, the smell of her sweet perfume, of her.
Then her lips met his in an innocent kiss filled with the promise of becoming something more. He had to force himself to pull away when her lips parted and her tongue darted out to taste of him.
He had to struggle not to simply push her up against the wall and capture those lovely full lips of hers in a passionate kiss that would leave them both breathless.
There had been others through the years of course, with whom he had done more, much much more, that had meant less. But somehow that simple, almost chaste kiss had thrown him out of balance. Like he had done so many times the last week, he wished he could simply turn the clock back and undo it all, heal the wound, mend what was broken.
The Doctor sighed again, knowing better then most that it was impossible to right all the wrongs. He could tell her that race and 900 years separated them, that this… him and her… it was impossible. And he would be lying, because he had felt it too, had felt the stirring of desire and longing, had wanted her to act upon it because he could not.
He rose and exited the control room and walked through the corridor, meaning to go to his own quarters but somehow he ended up standing in front of her door. He leaned his forehead against the cool metal, and was only a little surprised when the door rose with a soft whisper.
He entered the room like he had done so many times before. It had become a nocturnal ritual of his to check in on Rose, just to make sure that she slept peacefully, to make sure that their wild capers and the things she witnessed didn’t give her nightmares.
He stepped closer to the bed on quiet feet. As always was he almost shocked at how beautiful she was, at how sweet and innocent she looked in sleep. He stood there, a tall, looming figure, like a monster in a fairytale come to snatch the princess away. He was about to leave when something made him stop dead in his tracks. A soft whisper: “Doctor…”
Even though he knew she was only talking in her sleep his heart started racing.
“I’m here”, he answered without meaning to, bending over the girl when he should have walked out of the door. His hand moved with a will of its own, tracing the soft curve of her lower lip, sliding to caress the roundness of her cheek. He marvelled at the smooth, silken texture of her skin as he moved his hand down to trail along the delicate neck to come to rest over her heart. Did he imagine it, or did Rose almost imperceptibly arch her back to meet his touch?
“Doctor”, she whispered again, and he realised that she must be dreaming about him… about them… A soft smile played over his features as he brushed his lips over the girl’s.
“I am here”, he whispered, unable to stop himself. He ran his fingers through her silken hair, then capturing her trembling lips again. A moan rose unbidden in his throat as she opened herself to him like a flower opens to the sun. This time he didn’t pull back, instead he drank deeply from her until he caught the flutter of her eyelashes, the quickening rise and fall of her chest as he, in her dreams, brought her closer and closer to the edge of the universe.
“Rose…” He mumbled softly, pressing his forehead to hers for a second. “My sweet Rose…” Then he left as quietly as he had come, the door silently closing behind him.
Rose awoke from her dream with her body tingling, her lips burning with the memory of the kiss they had shared in the alcove, of the kisses the Doctor had given her in her dream. She lifted a hand to her lips. It was as if she could taste him even now, as if the dream had left an imprint on her flesh.
And her body hummed in tune with the TARDIS.