Title: Everything has it’s Time (4/8)
Spoilers: Set after ‘Age of Steel’
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Mystery
Rating: Teen for mature writing style
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and make no financial profit from this writing, just other kinds of profit!
Summary: Rose realises that it isn’t the loss of Mickey that’s hurting her but the feeling that she’s lost the Doctor. One random morning on board the good ship T.A.R.D.I.S., Rose says the one thing she never thought she would ever say.
It was Earth she though, though judging from the more sober attire, the gas lamps flickering to life in the dying sun and the notable absence of planes, trains and automobiles (well at least that weren’t steam powered) she guessed she was at least a hundred years out of her time.
The Doctor and Rose walked slowly and in silence; ghostly figures unnoticed and unaided. One arm held her firmly about the waist and she sagged against him grateful for the support.
Moisture clung to their clothes, globules of rainwater that trickled softly and gently down cheeks, wool and cotton and Rose shivered involuntarily as the sun withdrew what little warmth it had bestowed upon the cold Earth.
The Doctor tightened his grip and steered them in seamless unison toward a white washed tavern with dark wooden foundations and support beams, slightly tarnished from seasons of abrasive weather. The windows were small and quaint and beamed with a welcoming glow. Muffled voices and clinking glassware rumbled from the top of an open half door.
They pushed inside ignoring the sudden hushing silence and the Doctor, looking every bit the rumpled drowned rodent complete with sleekit, spiky mop, winded though the punters and pints toward the gruff but kindly looking barkeep.
“You’re new to these parts.”
It wasn’t a question.
“We don’t get many strangers here since Abbotsworth became the quickest route to the city.”
“Yes, well, my…wife and I got a little lost on our journey. Our transport decided to well, pack it in. Our fault for taking the sequitus route and stopping to sight see. Where are we by the way?”
Rose was still clinging limping like a barnacle; her face buried under a pin stripped arm. She didn’t much feel like reprising her Shiver to his Shake expect in the most literal sense and with the Doctor more withdrawn and subdued than she’d ever seen him, the repartee lacked its usual lustre. Plus in her current state of attire she was more concerned with being misconstrued as a ‘lady of the night’ and felt that shy and demur was more appropriate. The tender, however, couldn’t fail to notice the trail of red encrusted and dying her incongruous peroxide locks.
“You’re in Barrowsville and we don’t want no trouble though if you’re looking for it you’ll find it. Seems the missus (the Doctor didn’t miss the knowing look) and you have come to the wrong town sir.”
The false politeness and syllabic stresses of this address were also not lost upon the Doctor. His shoulders slumped and he exhaled an age old sigh.
“Fine!” He exclaimed ratter loudly holding up his hands and turning slowly to the room at large in a demonstrative and worn manner.
“Truth?” He leaned in conspiratorially, his elbows on the counter, towards the proprietor quirking an eyebrow. Hesitantly the gesture was reciprocated.
“I’m an agent of her majesty (hopefully ‘her’), a spy and this young lady is my mission. She was an exotic dancer in an eastern harem and has invaluable information concerning developmental international weaponry. The catch is, now that her absence has been noticed, foreign assailants have been dispatched to this country to try to intercept us before we can deliver the information. We can’t take any of the main trade routes and I won’t take her to the authorities until I’m certain she’s safe. You see I kind of, well, I’ve come to care for her a great deal.
She collapsed earlier from exhaustion, whacked her noggin off the ground. I don’t know how serious it is. I don’t know if we’ll make it through tomorrow alive and please, I just want to give her one last night to show her that I’ll never forget her.”
The Doctor’s throat caught in a sob and he dried his ‘tears’ on a slop cloth before finishing off with his cutest most kicked puppy expression.
The dumbfounded and oddly frozen gruff giant simply nodded and handed over a key from behind the bar.
The Doctor broke into a grin and clasped his hands in melodramatic vigour.
“Thank you. Thank you and good night.”
“Good luck with that and the other.” A dazed voice shouted after them as the Doctor pulled Rose to the back of the bar and up a spiral staircase to the guest rooms.
She leans in to whisper. “Hmm…What do we need luck for?”
“Espionage and the sex of course.” The Doctor tripped jovially past her now shunned form and pushed his way into the room.
About two minutes later his head emerged from around the door and stared at her down the hall. “What?”