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Warm this Winter

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They weren’t sure whose idea it had been to start with, though they mutually agreed that it was a good one for several reasons. The TARDIS temperature systems had been on the fritz, and after nearly a full day of furnace-like conditions aboard the ship, Rose had demanded to go somewhere cold.

That, in itself, was completely harmless. As was landing on the Mountains of Valour on the planet of Pavo Alpha. With the dark blue skies and silver snow capped mountains, it was the perfect place to stop feeling like a baked potato in an overheated oven, as Rose put it.

The Doctor, of course, had been happy to oblige, and they had spent the day wandering around one of the sleepy towns nearby. Come evening, they’d had fresh snowfall, and Rose was delighted to see the way the snowflakes caught the slant rays of the red sun and seemed to glow almost pink.

Since the TARDIS was still a bit too warm, they decided to find a place to stay for the night on the mountains instead. A very friendly local pointed them to the house of Mrs. Morgan, a bustling old woman with beady black eyes and hair as white as the snow. She made them both a cup of tea and all but fed them the fruit cake fresh from the oven. Upon hearing that they needed a place to stay the night, she did not even hesitate before handing them the key to a chalet in the mountain along with as much food as the Doctor could fit in his coat pocket.

The path up the mountain was unlit, but Mrs. Morgan’s directions had been very clear. Exactly twenty minutes after they had set out from her house, they came upon a darkened chalet halfway up the mountain. The key slid in easily and the door opened to a spacious, single-roomed hut. Electricity wasn’t an invention on this planet yet, so Rose set about stacking the fireplace with logs from one of the supply cupboards while the Doctor sorted through the food given to them by the kindly Mrs. Morgan.

“Do you know what this reminds of?” asked Rose as she kindled the fire.

“What’s that?” asked the Doctor, carefully pouring out lemonade into two glasses for them.

“Wales,” said Rose. “My cousin Mo had a bloke who owned a place like this somewhere in the Welsh mountains. I went once when I was seven.”

The Doctor smiled as he brought the lemonade to her. “Pavo Alpha was settled by humans from an agrarian colony three planets over. It’s farther away from their sun, which is why it’s so cold here.”

Rose took her lemonade with a cheery ‘Ta!’ as the two of them sat on the lovely squashy sofa and warmed themselves by the fire.

A few minutes passed and Rose finally felt like she could take off her gloves since it was warm enough. When her gloves came off, she was startled when the Doctor snatched up her right hand and peered at it. “That’s new,” he said.

Rose followed his gaze and saw him looking at the white gold ring on her finger. It was nothing extraordinary, just a plain band of the metal, less than five millimetres in width. Rose had even forgotten that she had put it on this morning. “Oh yeah,” she said, chuckling lightly as she carefully extricated her hand from his. “‘S my Nan’s.”

The Doctor had frowned when she’d pulled her hand away, but his curiosity was risen. “I’ve never seen you wear it before,” he said.

Rose fiddled with the ring for a moment before answering. “I got it when we went home the other day,” she said, remembering that it was right after Mickey had stayed behind in the parallel world. She had been moping around and decided to clean out her old jewellery box, just to have something to do. “I got it when she died.”

The Doctor was silent at that, having known that Rose had only been fourteen when her Nan had passed. “It’s very nice,” he said lightly, trying to coax her out of the melancholic mood she had fallen into.

Rose looked up at him and smiled half-heartedly. “The last time I went to visit her in that godawful hospice, she gave it to me and told me to wear it as a wedding band when I got married,” she said.

The Doctor stiffened at the mention of marriage. It was a perpetual reminder that Rose was human and would, in all likelihood, leave one day to pursue a life that her kind desired. Falling in love, getting married, getting a house with carpets and doors, having children, growing old...The Doctor gulped and looked at Rose who was looking into the fire, her eyes telling him that she was in a different world of thoughts entirely.

He knew it was selfish to want her for himself but he had already fallen, so far and so hard, that he wasn’t certain what he would do with himself if he didn’t have her. He’d tried to keep the distance, with deliberate and hurtful actions, but had only ended up hurting her. He’d learned from his mistakes and begged for her forgiveness, and she had forgiven him. But she was still a bit reluctant to accept his touch. They still held hands when they ran from danger, still hugged each other when they realised that they were okay, but the ease with which they would cuddle and snuggle up to each other was noticeably absent.

They’d fallen over precipice that they had been teetering on the edge of, but somehow they had fallen on the wrong side of it. And this time, the Doctor had no idea how he was supposed to fix it.

He was mulling over the right words to say when the idea struck him. He straightened up at once and did a few, quick calculations in his head.

Rose noticed his excited state and smiled a little. “What’s the matter?” she asked, feeling amused despite herself.

He beamed at her and got to his feet. “Stay right here. I’ll be back soon,” he said, gathering up his coat from the small table where he had tossed it.

“Hang about, where are you off to in the dark?” asked Rose, looking at him like he had lost his mind.

He grinned maniacally, which did little to ease her assumption of temporary insanity. “There is one thing that Pavo Alpha is rather famous for, and if memory serves, it shouldn’t be far from here. I won’t be long, I promise,” he said, his voice softening towards the end.

Rose sighed a little but nodded as the Doctor left the chalet and went out into the dark, snowy night. He could be such a nutter sometimes. Wondering what could be so important that he had to leave the warm chalet for it, Rose eased her thick, snow boots off her legs and lay back on the sofa.

The next thing she remembered was waking up as a slight shiver ran up her spine. She sat up hastily and realised that the fire needed to be fed. Wood on this planet burned through a lot quicker than anything on Earth, and the fire was perilously close to extinguishing completely. Shivering in the sudden cold that had fallen over the chalet, Rose fed more logs into the fire and stayed near it to warm herself.

As the sleepy fog of sleep lifted from her, she realised that she was still quite alone and there was no sign of the Doctor. Knowing him, she was certain that he had managed to find trouble even on a peaceful planet such as this where the locals were the friendliest she had met in a long while. With a heavy sigh, she started to pull her boots back on, fully intending to go in search of him. Worst case scenario, she could go back to Mrs. Morgan’s and ask for help.

She zipped up one of her boots but before she could do up the other one, she heard a noise that she would recognise anywhere: The TARDIS.

Rose jumped to her feet and rushed to the door, fully intending to yell at the Doctor for leaving her behind to get the TARDIS up here. Her hand was on the doorknob but the TARDIS doors swung open before she had a chance to leave the chalet. From the window next to the door, Rose saw an unfamiliar man step out of the TARDIS.

Her mouth fell open as the handsome man in his Edwardian clothes glanced around the snowy landscape with a small frown on his face. Rose started to panic a little. What the hell had he got himself into? Had he regenerated? How long had he been gone?

She pulled the door open, and was immediately hit by the cold gust that nearly knocked her back on her bum. The Doctor, for he had to be the Doctor, turned towards her and gave a small wave. “Hello,” he said, over the loud wind. “Sorry about the unexpected landing.”

“Come inside before you catch a chill,” said Rose, noticing for the first time the pile of snow in front of the chalet.

The Doctor, and goodness he was even more good-looking up close, glanced at her in interest as he walked into the chalet. Rose shut the door behind him and regarded him with slightly wide eyes. “What the hell did you do?” she asked.

“I beg your pardon?” he asked, sounding completely confused.

“You only said you were going out for a bit, and then I wake up and you show up with the TARDIS and a new bloody face,” snapped Rose, glaring at him.

His brow furrowed in further confusion. “Do we know each other, Miss…?”

“Oh god,” said Rose, pressing a hand to her mouth. “You don’t remember?” she asked, her anger morphing into concern.

“Ah,” he said, smiling a little. “I think there’s been a slight misunderstanding. I am the Doctor, and I am guessing we are acquainted with each other. But I don’t think we have quite done that yet.”

Rose’s eyes went wide. “Oh,” she said, realisation crashing upon her. A past version of the Doctor. Well, it was better news than her Doctor having regenerated again and forgotten her. “Should you be here though?” she asked, thinking of Reapers.

“Strictly speaking, no,” said the Doctor as he glanced around the chalet in interest. “I was hoping to land on this planet to sample their rather lovely candied berries but I must have miscalculated slightly. And judging by the weather outside, I doubt I can walk through it,” he added with a glance through the window where the snowfall was intensifying.

“Right yeah,” said Rose. “I guess that’s what my Doc-you went to get. Not sure if he, um you, can get back through all that snow.”

The Doctor gave a small nod before he abruptly turned to her and smiled. “I’m sorry, you still haven’t told me your name,” he said, casually leaning against the closed door.

“Oh, I’m Rose. Rose Tyler,” she said, with a small wave.

“Very nice to meet you, Rose Tyler,” he said with a bright grin that made her blush a little. “Have you been travelling long with me? I assume you must have, since you happen to know about regeneration.”

Rose nodded. “You had a different face when we first met. I think it was almost two years ago,” she said, scrunching her nose as she tried to calculate exactly how long she had known the Doctor. She glanced back at this Doctor, who was regarding her with undisguised curiosity that made her blush deepen a little. “Are you travelling alone now?” she asked, equally as curious about him as he was about her.

“Yes,” he answered, his blue-green eyes flickering with something she couldn’t place for certain. “It’s for the best, I suppose.”

Rose leaned against the sofa, mimicking his casual stance, and observed him quietly. He looked the same age as her Doctor now, but he was shorter than him. His hair was brown too, but longer and curlier in a rather dandy fashion. The green velvet frockcoat over the white shirt, grey waistcoat and cravat only added to the dandy persona. She thought she detected some Scouse in his posh voice but couldn’t be certain.

“So, what trouble has befallen good old Pavo Alpha?” asked the Doctor with a small smile that told Rose that her observation hadn’t gone unnoticed.

“Oh, nothing’s wrong,” she said quickly. “We’re just on a bit of a holiday because the TARDIS heating systems are acting up.”

“I see,” he said. “Well, I do suppose the old girl can be a bit temperamental at times.”

Rose giggled a little. “That’s one way of putting it,” she said fondly.

The Doctor grinned at her, somehow managing to possess the same manic quality to his quiet grin as both her Doctors. “Cheeky,” he teased. “So, any idea how long I’ve been gone?”

“I dunno,” said Rose, brow furrowing. “Not wearing a watch or anything. But it’s been a while.” She glanced out of the window and saw the snowfall starting to ease a bit. “I think I should go out in search of you.”

“Yes, I think we should,” the Doctor agreed, stroking his chin thoughtfully.

Rose looked at him in surprise. “You want to come with me?” she asked.

“Why not,” he said airily. “If nothing else, I shall be an excellent guide through the unfamiliar countryside.”

Despite his casual tone, Rose couldn’t help but ponder the slight glimmer in his eyes. It struck her quite suddenly that it was loneliness. She smiled at once and gave a determined nod. “Right, ‘course,” she said, buttoning up her thick coat and pulling her gloves on. “Though knowing your sense of direction, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna end up guiding you,” she teased.

The Doctor threw his head back and laughed heartily at her teasing tone. He held out his arm to her. “Shall we, Miss Tyler?”

Rose hooked her arm through his and gave him a tongue-touched grin. “Lead on, Sir Doctor.”

It was still quite dark outside, but there was a dim lavender tint in the air that made visibility slightly clearer. The snow was still quite thick, and it was taking all of Rose’s concentration to walk through it and not get stuck in it.

It didn’t leave much room for conversation but as the lights of the chalet disappeared behind them, the Doctor turned to her. “Sir Doctor?” he asked.

Rose looked at him in surprise and flushed a little. It was almost too easy to forget that he wasn’t her Doctor. But seeing him like this, all flirty and happy, reminded her of the early days with her Doctor after he had regenerated. Before France and the parallel universe, that is.

She smiled a little and shook off the memories as best as she could since the Doctor was staring at her with open curiosity, obviously expecting an answer. “We got knighted by Queen Victoria recently,” she said, being careful not to give anything else away.

“Sounds quite fun,” he said. “I was knighted once before, but it was by King John. Well, I say it was the King but it is rather debatable, you understand,” he amended, remembering Kamelion and the Master’s ploy.

Rose grinned. “Sounds like an adventure,” she said with a chuckle.

They had been walking uphill the entire time, the Doctor having told her that there was a berry farm not far from the chalet where the owners did indeed sell those infamous candied berries. They rounded the corner now and saw the farmhouse in the distance. However, beside her the Doctor frowned.

“What?” asked Rose.

“Something’s wrong,” said the Doctor. “Look.”

He pointed at the farmhouse but Rose couldn’t see anything wrong with it. It was like any other farmhouse on Earth, which made sense since the colonists had originally been Earthlings. She tried to see what he was trying to point out, when she realised that the farmhouse was quite dark. There were no lights through the windows, nor were there any chimneys letting out smoke. Either the inhabitants were immune to cold or there was no one there.

Dread filled Rose’s heart as she met the Doctor’s gaze. If there was no one there, then her Doctor should have been back ages ago. Where was he?

“Come on, let’s look around. Maybe he’s taken shelter somewhere,” said the Doctor, obviously following her train of thought.

Rose nodded quickly and held his hand as they walked towards the farmhouse. The snow was thicker than ever, making it difficult to maneuver through it.

As they passed a knocked over tree trunk, Rose gasped loudly when she caught a glimpse of brown suede through the thick white snow. Letting go of the Doctor’s hand, she ran towards it.

“Doctor! Doctor!” she called frantically as she knelt in the ground and started to dig through the snow. Her hand encountered frozen skin and she yelped loudly. The younger Doctor joined her in the digging and between them, they managed to dig out the frozen form of the Tenth Doctor.

His eyes were closed and his skin had a bluish tint to it. Rose frantically pressed her ear to his chest and almost collapsed in relief when she heard two hearts beating sluggishly.

“Come on, get his legs,” said the younger Doctor urgently as he hooked his hands under his older self’s arms after making sure that it was indeed safe to move him.

Rose grabbed his legs, feeling a sense of déjà vu as she thought of her and Mickey taking the Doctor back into the TARDIS during the Sycorax invasion. She forced herself to pay attention to the present as she and the Doctor carried her Doctor to the farmhouse nearby.

The door was closed but after a well-placed shove by the Doctor, it fell open. It was dark inside, and not much warmer than what it was outside. They settled the Doctor on top of a rickety old cot in the corner of the room.

“Get the fire going,” said the Doctor sharply as he pulled off his own jacket and began rummaging through it.

Rose looked unwilling to move away from the Doctor, but she obeyed at once. She found some firewood in one of the cupboards and got the fire going. The wood was slightly damp and the fire was taking a while to warm up. Rose could feel her hands shaking, both from the cold and the worry, making it much harder for her to kindle the fire.

“Rose,” came the younger Doctor’s voice from behind her, sounding much gentler than it had before.

Rose turned around and saw him smiling softly at her. “He’s going to be fine. Just help me push the cot towards the fireplace,” he said.

She smiled a little as relief coursed through her, and she jumped to her feet to help the Doctor move the cot with her Doctor closer to the fire. He was looking a little better, having lost the blue tint to his skin though he was still quite pale.

“Shouldn’t we be running him a bath or wrapping him in blankets or something?” she asked, eyes flitting over his form in worry. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust the younger Doctor’s assessment but in her experience, hypothermia couldn’t just be dealt by being near fire.

“Ah yes, the usual methods for treating hypothermia,” said the Doctor as he put his green velvet frockcoat back on. “All excellent treatments for a human being, I’m sure. Not for a Time Lord though, I assure you. We are capable of regulating our core temperature. Once we made sure that he wasn’t out in the snow anymore, he was able to start the healing process by himself. Look.”

Rose looked down at her Doctor again, and saw that he looked a little better than he had a moment ago. Not trusting herself to speak yet, she nodded gratefully at the Doctor and sat down on the floor next to the cot, cradling her Doctor’s semi-frozen hand in both of her own. The floor was cold and more than a bit uncomfortable but she didn’t pay it much attention as she kept her eyes fixed on his form, occasionally rubbing the hand that she was holding.

“Here,” said the younger Doctor as he brought out some musty old cushions from somewhere deep in the farmhouse. He arranged them on the floor so that he and Rose could sit on them as they watched over his older self. He glanced at the young woman out of the corner of his eyes, and felt an unexpected rush of affection for her. She was clearly worried, and was more than likely to be a bit more than angry about the whole thing. Yet the quiet concern in her demeanour was heartening. Whoever he might be in the future, he was lucky enough to have someone who cared so much for his welfare.


Rose jerked awake, having nodded off. She realised that the comfortable surface that she had been resting her head on had been the younger Doctor’s shoulder. She flushed a little and moved away, praying she hadn’t drooled over him. In her disoriented and embarrassed state, it took her a moment to realise that it wasn’t the Doctor whose shoulder she had been using as a pillow that had said her name.

Her gaze snapped to her Doctor on the cot, and warmth blazed through her heart when she saw that his eyes were open, and he was trying to smile drowsily at her.

“Doctor, I’m here,” she said, reaching over and grabbing his hand that had fallen from her grip. Without even thinking, she brushed her lips over it and he made a soft noise of contentment in his throat.

“Sorry...about the berries,” he managed to say.

“Sod the berries,” she said, tightening her grip on his hand. “You never should have gone outside in the first place, you daft alien. I can’t believe I didn’t stop you…”

“Rose,” he said gently.

She stopped ranting and gave him a watery smile. “Just get better, okay?” she said, her voice sounding small as she looked beseechingly at him.

“Your wish is my command,” he said, starting to look a little exhausted again. “I’m gonna drop into a healing coma again.”

“‘Kay,” said Rose softly, brushing her lips over his hand deliberately this time. “I’ll be here.”

He smiled almost blissfully as his eyes fell shut and his breathing became even.

“Amazing,” said the younger Doctor who had been suspiciously quiet the entire time.

Rose looked at him and saw his eyes gleaming with fascination, curiosity and a little amusement. “What?” she asked.

“I believe this has to be the first time when I’ve run into myself and not begun a conversation with a snarky remark,” he said, grinning at her.

“I think he’s pretty out of it still,” said Rose, grinning back at him.

“Oh no, he saw me alright. Even scowled at me when he saw you resting your head on my shoulder,” said the Doctor with a hint of smugness.

“Yeah, sorry ‘bout that,” said Rose, going pink. “Been a long couple of days.”

“I don’t mind at all,” said the Doctor cheerfully. “It is rather wonderful to have company. I had almost forgotten the feeling.”

“Why though?” asked Rose curiously, thinking of Sarah Jane. “I mean, you’ve always travelled with other people, haven’t you?”

“I suppose I have,” he said. “But I was on my own for the last years of my previous incarnation and when I did regenerate into this one, I asked someone to join me. She refused.”

He looked a little morose as he looked at the fireplace instead of her as he spoke. Rose freed one of her hands and gripped his hand in comfort. “You could have asked again,” she suggested lightly.

The Doctor turned to her in surprise. “I don’t ask twice,” he said decisively.

“You did for me,” she said, before she could stop herself.

His eyes went wide momentarily before a truly lovely smile spread over his face. “Yes,” he said softly as he gazed at his older self on the cot and then back at her. “I expect I would have.”

Rose didn’t quite know what to make of that, so she smiled a little and looked back at her Doctor. The colour was returning to him, and the hand that she was holding was almost the same temperature as the other Doctor’s hand.

“Can I ask you something, Rose?” he began gently when they had been quiet for a few moments.

“Yeah, sure,” said Rose, looking at him again.

“We seem close,” he said, nodding towards his older self and then at her. “Just, how close are we really?”

Rose blew a strand of hair away from her face and chuckled humourlessly. “I dunno,” she said. “I mean, I thought we were...but then with France and all...I really don’t know.” She didn’t even have to look at the Doctor to know that he’d be looking at her with the curiously confused look on his face that would beseech her into blurting out everything. It was funny really; she had known this incarnation of his for less than a few hours but she was already catching onto his various mannerisms.

“You’re thinking of leaving,” he said quietly.

Rose looked at the fire as she dropped the hands she was holding, and fiddled with her Nan’s ring again. On the cot, the Doctor made a small, involuntary noise of protest. “I’ve thought about it, yeah,” she admitted in a small voice. “But I don’t know if I really want to. We were mates, yeah? Best mates. And I miss that more than anything,” she confessed.

“Did I betray your trust?” he asked.

“No,” she said with a sad smile. “You had to save someone important. Someone very important to history and well, you. You had to do it, I knew that. Just...I wish we’d have done it together like we always do.”

There was silence for a few moments and Rose was wondering what the Doctor was thinking when he took her hand gently. She turned to him in surprise.

“I’m sorry,” he said sincerely.

Rose smiled a little. “You don’t have to apologise, Doctor. You’ve done that already and I’ve forgiven you. I swear,” she said truthfully.

“Regardless, it is still bothering you,” he pointed out. “Apparently, I lose my good sense as I get older.”

“Stop it,” said Rose gently, squeezing his hand. “We’re fine, I promise. Or, we will be anyway. Just like always. The old team. Mutt and Jeff. Shiver and Shake.”

“Who’s Shiver?” he asked playfully.

“Oh, you are definitely Shake,” she teased back.

The two of them laughed quietly, and Rose rested her head on his shoulder as she had before. As their laughter subsided into quiet chuckles, she felt his lips press into her hair and she glanced up in surprise. He was looking at her with a tender look in his blue-green eyes. “Rose?” he asked, so quietly that if she had been even an inch away from him she wouldn’t have heard it.

Instead of responding verbally, Rose closed her eyes and leaned forward a little. She felt his nose nuzzle hers before his lips touched hers in a chaste, almost tentative kiss. She inhaled sharply and he started to pull away but she followed his lips with hers, placing a soft kiss on them.

A small groan from the cot alerted them to the fact that they were, in fact, not alone. They pulled away slowly, and Rose could feel her cheeks burning. She couldn’t believe she had just kissed a younger Doctor while her Doctor was in a healing coma less than a foot away from them. Although from the look of things, the younger Doctor looked just as embarrassed about it.

She smiled a little at him and could feel his relief as he returned her smile. He checked the silver pocket watch that was attached to his waistcoat with a silver chain and frowned a little. “It will be morning soon,” he said.

Rose glanced out of the window where it was already getting lighter and nodded. “Are you going to leave?” she asked, torn between not wanting to see him go, and wanting to dispel the awkwardness that had fallen over them.

“Yes, I have to,” he said gently. “I think I have already overstayed my welcome.” He glanced at her as if looking his fill of her to take into a tomorrow that he may or may not remember. “It was very nice to meet you, Rose,” he said. “I am so glad I did.”

“Me too,” she said, feeling tears gathering in her eyes. He smiled that quiet smile at her again and stood up. “Doctor!” she called as she jumped to her feet and stood up in front of him. “Just one thing; find someone. You said yourself how it’s good to have company. So ask someone to travel with you, yeah?”

His eyes softened as he nodded. “You know, Rose? I think I just might,” he said. He paused for an instant before taking her hand again and placing a lingering kiss on the back of it. “Till we meet again, Miss Tyler.”

“Until then, Sir Doctor,” she said, her tongue poking out of the corner of her mouth as she smiled at him.

He gave a courtly bow and kissed her hand again. With a gentle smile at her, he let go of her hand and turned around and left the farmhouse with quick steps. Rose watched him go from the window, until he rounded the corner and disappeared down the path back to his TARDIS. She sighed and realised that she would miss him quite a bit, even though he would most likely have to forget this whole thing.

“Rose?” She turned around and saw her Doctor, looking much better than he had before as he sat up on the cot. “Where’s the fop?” he asked.

“He’s gone,” she said, throwing a slightly admonishing look at him for the term he used to describe his younger self.

He looked unperturbed at her disapproval and started to stand up, only to have the memory of this whole encounter unfurl in his mind. He remembered landing on Pavo Alpha after Grace had turned him down. He’d wanted to get some of their candied berries to cheer himself up but instead of landing near one of the farms that sold it, he had landed in a chalet just as a snowstorm was breaking over the mountain.

He’d met a blonde woman who had known who he was. They’d talked and they had gone in search of his older self who had apparently been gone for hours. They had found him half frozen to death, so they had take him into the abandoned farmhouse and watched over him as he healed.

And then… “I kissed you,” he said.

Rose looked at him in alarm before blushing a bright red. “Well, yeah,” she said.

“And you kissed me back,” he said, remembering the memory yet being unable to recall the precise sensation of having Rose Tyler kissing him.

“Yeah,” she said, going even redder if that was possible. She looked at her shoes instead of him, bracing herself for an onslaught of babble that would signal that the conversation had ended and would never ever be brought up again. She ought to know better than to think never ever.

“Well,” he said. “That’s just unfair, that is.”

Rose looked at him in shock. “Wh-What?” she asked.

“We kissed and I can’t even remember it properly,” he said, like it was the most criminal thing he had heard so far. “How is that fair, Rose Tyler? Hmm?”

“Hang about, you’re not mad?” she asked incredulously.

“Oh, I am furious, I am,” he said, though he didn’t seem angry, just a little indignant and perhaps jealous. “We finally kiss when it’s not the bloody vortex or Cassandra interfering, and I can’t even remember it properly.”

“Would you like to?” she blurted out.

He smiled a little as he stuck his hands in his pockets and looked at her. “Would I like to what, Rose?” he asked.

Rose felt her confidence falter a little but he didn’t look like he was about to start running from her. In fact, he was looking as if he wanted her to make the move. “Would you like to remember? How it felt, I mean,” she said, feeling rather silly as she said it, but determined to keep the game going just the same.

He moved closer to her and took both her hands in his as he smiled softly. “More than anything,” he said tenderly.

Rose smiled slowly as she raised herself up on her tippy toes and let her lips brush lightly against his. The Doctor’s eyes fell shut as he made a small noise in his throat that could only be called a giggle. Feeling her own smile widening, Rose let go of his hands to wrap her arms around his neck. It spurred him into action as he wrapped his own arms around her waist and used them to pull her closer until she was held tightly against him.

Gazing into her eyes for permission, he dipped his head and kissed her again slowly, but with the intensity building with every brush of their lips. Rose sucked his bottom lip into her mouth, delighting in the shudder that ran through him at the sensation. She felt his tongue brush her lips, but she pulled away slightly.

“Remember it yet?” she asked, her eyes wide and innocent even as her cheeks were pink and her breathing was slightly laboured.

The Doctor pouted a little at her for pulling away but grinned back mischievously. “I am not sure, Rose Tyler. I think I might need another reminder.”