REMEMBER the last chapters will not be posted here due to adult content
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Part the third
The Doctor threw soft, warm smiles in her direction as he busied himself picking up clutter and shifting the half finished, was that her hair dryer?, off the bed. He finally turned back the sheets and motioned to Rose, like an eager puppy, to give up the spot she seemed stoically stuck to, by the door.
She felt uncertain and a little defensive, his strange behaviour unsettling like the moments of scuffling around dark corridors preceding being discovered by angry looking tripeds with bug eyes and blasters. Trap or, knowing the Doctor, more like some clueless cultural disparity or psychological experiment? Was she this paranoid before running for her life became common place? She realised suddenly that she was more so back then. She’d been hurt, ‘once bitten, twice shy’, by boyfriends and false friends and she’d actually let most of that insecurity go because the Doctor wasn’t like other men, he wasn’t human and didn’t play the same games and she could relax and trust him knowing that he’d never knowingly hurt or take advantage of her.
“No chocolates on the pillow?” she quipped. “Will have to complain to room service.”
He looked confused and then smiled that outrageous smile of his before breaking into laughter. It wasn’t THAT funny.
“What?” he sobered at her sudden, stricken face.
“What’s wrong? What aren’t you telling me?”
What did it say about her that she willingly jumped to threats and destruction and handled it easier than a quiet, awkward moment in the Doctor’s bedroom?
“Nothing…er…nothing’s wrong,” he raised his hands to placate the fast approaching Tyler.
“Why you acting weird?” she crossed her arms over her chest and gave him her best, ‘I’m not buying it’ stare.
“Am I?” he backed away, pulling on an earlobe.
Oh God, this was bad. She could tell. Whatever it was, it was really bad.
“You don’t have a death wish, do you?” he queried suddenly scrutinising her.
Avoidance, sudden shift in conversation and mood, Rose sighed inwardly and braced herself for an Armageddon.
“What?” she decided on not throttling him just yet.
“Back at Madden’s. He pointed a loaded gun at you and you said, ‘Whatever’?”
“No, I don’t have a death wish. I have a life wish and the whole chances of living tend to increase when I’m close to you.”
“So do the chances of dying,” he countered dryly.
“I know the risks,” she paused abruptly, her thumb’s fingernail flying to her teeth.
“You trying to reverse psychologise me into leaving. The whole ‘it’s not you, it’s me, speech? ‘I’m not safe’ and all that jazz ‘cause I’m not biting.”
“Well you are,” Rose released her unconscious tell and stopped. “Rather adorably, actually.”
“What?” she sounded frustrated and confused and began pacing, never a good body language sign. “What are you trying to tell me?”
“How long will you stay with me?” the Doctor shuffled his feet and avoided the sharp point of her raised eyebrow.
“Forever,” she huffed out in exasperation.
He chuckled mirthlessly, “Really Rose, don’t you think that’s a rather naïve and childish reply?”
“Childish now? I’m sure you were nerdy brain scientist at my age, dropping pencils to look up girl’s skirts ‘cause you were too much of a bookworm to ever get a date. I’m sorry I’m just a stupid ape but that’s my answer, always will be,” definite anger now, laced with the first hints of hurt.
“We didn’t use pencils and you’d stay even if I think you’re stupid and childish?” he quipped.
“Yes,” she shrieked then acquiesced. “No? Maybe? Do you?”
He smiled then. “Why do you want to stay with me?”
Rose slumped into a waiting armchair only to jump up and discard the hedgehog looking apparatus as the Doctor grimaced in apology.
“’Cause we make a difference, yeah? It’s not just the discovery and adventure and seeing things that I never just to believe were remotely possible. We help?”
“Not always. Sometimes we can’t.”
“Yeah but we try. That’s worth something, yeah?”
“Playing at being a hero, Rose? You’ll find heroes tend to be miserable and lonely and burdened with responsibility. What do you have to prove? Why fight so hard? You could make a difference on Earth surrounded by friends, family and lovers who support you. Human’s are a social race and you, Rose Tyler, are more social than most. Talk a hind leg of a Perulak, you could and that’s difficult as they only have one leg to begin with and tend to be quite attached to it.”
“You like to think of yourself as a hero then? You’ve got the brooding thing and swishing trench coat down to an art?” she scoffed, hiding her bewilderment at how the conversation got so far away from her and feeling around for the paddle to steer them back.
“I’m no hero,” he contemptibly spat out, like the word tasted of last weeks curry that you forgot was under the bed. “More like a pawn on a chess board or a paid mercenary for justice though I sometimes have to woe her with cruelty and violence. Why stay with me?”
“I told you…”
“Not good enough. Incomplete answer, deduct half marks.”
“Because I’m somebody with you.”
“Ah so you’re using me for your own self-esteem?”
“That’s not fair. I meant that as a compliment. You made me better.”
“I made you into a suicidal martyr with Daddy issues and turned you into a weapon to advance my own view of the universe.”
Rose blanched at that, biting back a sob and failing miserably. She was shaking and overwhelmed, cast adrift on a mental barrage balloon.
She straightened, lengthening her spine, her voice dropping to dangerous, serpentine tones, “You’re not my father and I won’t let you take away every experience I’ve had with you because you think you tricked me into it with promises of ice planets and pink moons and…and…the birth of whole galaxies in seconds. Everything I have done has been my choice, my responsibly, my glory and my shame. Don’t take every single memory I have of you and turn it into a lie,” she pleaded, tears falling freely, retracing tracks that had so recently dried.
“But it was a lie.”
“No!” she shrieked and ran at him, hammering clenched fists into his solid chest.
“Don’t you dare!”
When had he tuned into his self-destructive channel? When had he chosen goading her to leave over her actually staying, really staying, with him, forever. Did he hate himself that much? Yes. Could he be that selfless when it came to Rose? No. NO he couldn’t, and he knew why, had always known really but ran from it like the coat on his very back.
She sank to the floor at his feet, her restrained arms hanging limp now in his hands. He ran the pads of his fingers over her knuckles and crouched down beside her, fingering a belligerent strand of hair behind her ear.
“It was a lie. I’m an old, old man. I have lived so long. I’m broken, Rose but you think of me as a hero,” he laughed, expression heavy and grave. “I’m more intelligent than you will ever know. You don’t even have the intellect to grasp the extent of my intellect. I have a frankly fabulous ship that travels in both Space and Time and I can offer you the world and so much more, every star, every beautiful and unique planet, a kaleidoscope of light and life so far beyond your imagination. Oh course, you’d be impressed, bewitched even. I’m quite a catch.” Rose wept afresh forestalling where she assumed this conversation was headed.
“It was wrong of me to lie to you, to take your amazement and awe and take advantage of it. To get you to believe in me and trust me because I have hidden my true self from the universe for so long. Rose, Gallifrey, my home, burned at my own hands. I have massacred millions because sometimes the alternative is slightly less murderous, slightly better. I make choices that sentence innocent people to life or death every day. No matter my intentions, a man that has seen and done what I have can never be a good man. And I hide from you the biggest lie of al because it is so repulsive amid all this truth but I can’t any more. If you choose to stay with me you have to know everything. You have to know…”
Rose was a weeping shell shocked wreck in his arms. He didn’t even know if she was even still processing what he was saying to her.
“You have to know that I’m in love with you.” He went rigidly silent and hung his tired, ancient eyes in shame.
“What?” she hiccupped.
“I know. Ludicrous isn’t it? That you could ever even begin to feel anything other than pity of such a damaged…that’s why I went with the lie of awe and wonder. It’s easier to bear than your pity.”
Rose swiped at her wet cheeks and placed a dripping hand under his chin. When she raised his eyes to hers they were fathomless, so pained, so aware of a thousand years of sometimes horrific life and they were shining and stinging with tears that he just couldn’t hide or control any longer.
“I don’t pity you,” she began gently. “How could I ever pity someone so strong and brave? Who fights so hard even when he’s certain the universe wants him to lose. You can’t pity someone who is more than you can ever hope to be.”
“Oh Rose, you are so much more than you know,” he beseeched her with pleading eyes.
“I don’t just travel with you because I’m somebody with you but because I feel like somebody to you. If I’m trying to prove anything it’s to prove that I’m good enough to be here with you, that you made the right choice. I don’t ever want to disappoint you or make you regret that you asked me into your life.”
“No matter what you do, you never could,” a wistful, sad smile graced his lips.
“I know who you are. I may never know your hundreds of years of history but I see your pain when you come across people who are oppressed and struggling, your compassion when you look on worlds that have torn themselves apart and instead of just giving up on them, you help and hope that they will change and learn. Your love and passion for life and beauty and discovery is so tangible, it’s like it fizzles in the air around you like some invisible current that you can’t help but be sucked into. Your respect and morality when you risk your life for even one other lost soul. You give anyone worth and importance no matter whether they’re a stupid ape or a genius scientist. You give all of yourself, don’t protect anything or hold anything back; every situation has your 100% attention and commitment. You don’t do anything by halves.
But it’s not just great deeds that makes somebody love someone. It’s the little things. The way you hum show tunes absentmindedly while you’re frittering about underneath the console, the way you hold my hand gently, as if it’s something precious even when we’re running for our lives. You’re so attentive and make me feel like the only other person in existence. The way you get so enthusiastic about the smallest of things and your whole face lights up and the mile-a-minute babble reflex takes over,” she smiled, tongue in cheek, and challenged him to disagree.
“I’ve loved you for a very long time but I released that I would be lucky and happy even just to be near you.”
Such a complex myriad of emotion flickered through the Doctor’s expressive eyes, running from shock, to awe, to amusement, confusion, hope, excitement but always hidden beneath, was love.
“I’ve been childish. Hiding from the boogie man in the dark and hoping he’d go away. Thinking that when I lose you it will somehow hurt less if I never admit to myself that I love you when in reality it will hurt more knowing you never knew. I may look like a human but I think, feel and live a long, long life, like a Time Lord. My time with you will be so short and I’m so scared.”
His voice broke and fresh tears welled up in his eyes as Rose pulled him to her, his head smothered in her lap and her loving hands caressing his dishevelled hair.
“But your worth it,” he suddenly looked up. “And you either have to leave, I go crazy trying to deny how you make me feel or I do everything in my power to show you how amazing and wonderful you are and spend the rest of your life making you feel happy and so loved, ‘cause I’m too tired to fight this anymore.”
“Well I’m not going anywhere.”
“Yeah,” looking at the lost boy so vulnerable and exposed in her arms Rose could only think of one course of action so she kissed him, wet and breathy with joined tears and heavy, constricted lungs and warm lips, already reddened from biting and worrying.
To be continued…