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Rose's skin was humming – from arousal, and from the Doctor touching her, his fingers brushing across the sleeves of her jumper, moving down to her waist; he started peeling the material away, guiding her with a hand on her shoulder, pressing her back and on to the cushions piled up behind her. This was the Doctor, determined. She'd seen him like this several times since he'd regenerated: attacking the Sycorax leader; driving six words through the heart of Harriet Jones' career; making his suit jacket lie flat to prevent wrinkles. And yet, having the full force of his attention, the intensity of a Time Lord, directed at her was something different entirely.

 

Wonderful, of course, but different.

 

'Reciprocation,' the Doctor began, caressing the word. It came out “Re-cip-ro-ca-tion”, with a rolled “r”, two jaunty syllables, then his voice darkening, drawing out the end, the timbre dancing across her nerves as his lips found a spot on her collarbone that made her eyes fall closed. 'Rose, I think you're going to like that word.'

 

'Yeah?' She asked, though she suspected she already did, if it meant what she thought it did – his tongue and his mouth, and the fantasies her imagination had come up with well before he put on a suit and tie (and then, after the costume change, in sharper, stunning, vivid detail). 'Probably will. But is now really the time for a language lesson?'

 

He paused, then, just as he'd got the jumper over her head. Rose fell back on to the pillows, and she looked up at him to see what had happened. Everything about him was strained, from the tendons in his neck, to the tight press of his lips, to how large his eyes appeared. Her own widened as she realised what she'd said, and what he so obviously wanted to say – she could almost hear it.

 

She fluttered her hands in the air and slapped one over his mouth. 'Don't you dare, Doctor. I'm warnin' you.'

 

He made a noise of protest, muffled, but finally nodded, breathing out a long breath through his nose, his shoulders slumping down as he relaxed. Rose tentatively drew back her hand, still glaring at him, and the Doctor shook his head.

 

'I want points for that, Rose,' he said, leaning over her again, pinning her with his hips. He was keeping most of his weight off her, but there was enough to feel his body, to appreciate his warmth, his muscles and the lithe lines of his frame. 'I could have made that joke – filthy, yes, but completely appropriate,' he continued, letting his fingers ran from the curve of her throat, two parallel streaks of sensation, slowing down as they travelled over her chest, his fingertips on her light, delicate. 'And I didn't.' His mouth followed, a hot, wet trail, and she arched into it, into him, lifting off the lumpy pillow beneath her. 'That's restraint, that is,' the Doctor mumbled, around her nipple, 'and I think we both know that didn't carry over into this body.'

 

'Shut up,' Rose told him, breathlessly, and he did.

 

She pressed her hand to the back of his head, keeping him in place; from the way his tongue flicked against her, and his stifled moans, Rose had to believe the Doctor was probably not in discomfort. Her other breast felt cold, far colder by comparison, and it ached at the lack of attention – a moment later, his hand came up to cup it, fingers stroking, first gently, then increasing the firmness of the touch, finding the right pressure to make Rose forget herself and gasp his name. Hearing that, he changed, moving to the other nipple; the air was a cool shock on wet skin, and his mouth was hot, hotter than she thought possible.

 

Rose lost track of time. With her eyes closed she was able to feel every movement of his tongue or fingers with clarity. At least, at first: soon it all became sparks of pleasure, pooling between her legs, her desire building, making her breathing laboured. She needed something, anything, to give her some relief – his thigh, his mouth, his cock. As it was, all Rose could do was struggle not to ask (beg) him to stop the teasing.

 

Finally, she tugged at his hair, pulling him up.

 

'What?' The Doctor asked, peevish. 'I'm rather busy.'

 

'Reciprocation, Doctor,' Rose reminded him, squirming just enough to help convey the message.

 

'Ohhh! Yes! Yes, yes, yes, right, sorry.' He pushed back his fringe, leaning on one arm. 'But, you really should know that your breasts--,' the sentence stopped abruptly as his face broke into a huge smile. His eyes were twinkling as he looked up at her. 'Rose, have you been holding out on me?'

 

'Huh?' She shifted on to her elbows. 'What are you talkin' about?'

 

His finger circled a spot underneath her left breast. She shivered, fighting the urge to knock his hand away.

 

'It appears that you have a mole,' he ducked down and inspected it closer. Really, he needed his glasses, but they were in his suit and his suit was definitely not within reach. He was so close that the tip of his nose kept grazing her skin. 'A lovely, adorable, little mole, hidden away.'

 

Rose laughed at his excitement. 'Never knew I had a mole there,' she told him. With the way he was hunched over, she also had a clear view of his mole, well, hers, actually. She felt a rush of warmth and something else, possibly possession – it was the strongest desire to just wrap her arms around him and not let him go. Nudging his ribs with her knee, she asked: 'Are you gonna claim it in the name of “the Doctor”, then?'

 

He pretended to consider it, eyebrows drawing together, and then he ducked his head; he licked a circle around the mole and she nearly twisted away in surprise – her skin was still buzzing from his earlier attention. He held her still, his hand on her hip, and continued drawing with his tongue; the motions made her think of the writing in the TARDIS, the intricate, interconnecting shapes that made up the words he wouldn't translate. I really hope he isn't just writing “The Doctor was here” on me, Rose thought, smiling despite herself.

 

'There,' he said, moving back until his chin rested on her stomach. 'We're even. Well, almost. Still the little matter of reciprocation.'

 

Rose nodded seriously; the way he'd said it, his tone dark like before but with none of the restraint, none of the methodical distortion of consonants and vowels, made her flush, and the warmth from his breath heated her further. It was a sign that his mood had flipped again, from playful to intense, and she had no time to appreciate the change because he was working his way down her body with soft kisses, lips pressing, parting to taste her, sliding, as if he was unable to leave her skin alone, not even for a second.

 

His thumbs brushed against her hipbones, slipping under the elastic of her knickers, and then he was tugging them down; Rose helped, lifting her hips, and it was almost entirely successful – they did tangle around her ankles for a moment, but the Doctor soon had them tossed aside once again.

 

This whole scenario was different from before, on the sofa: then she'd played an active role, and he'd been distracted in his haste; now, Rose felt on display, open to his perusal. She fought the self-consciousness bubbling inside her and tried to relax, tried to enjoy the way the Doctor was smoothing his hands over her legs. She decided to close her eyes – the sight of him down there would be too much, she just knew it – and so it was a surprise when she felt his tongue lick her folds in a broad sweep. Rose cried out and smacked him on the head for shocking her, and for making her be so loud; he looked up at her, completely unapologetic.

 

'You seemed eager to get to the main event,' he said, explaining his actions. His lips were wet, and his eyes so dark, she could barely see any of the chocolate brown she was only just getting used to. 'So was I, to tell the truth.' The Doctor shifted, moving her right leg over his shoulder; he planted kisses along the inside of her thigh. 'Is that all right?'

 

'Y-yeah,' she muttered, running her hand through his hair again; it was a soothing action, she thought, for both of them.

 

He bent his head back to his task, slower this time. There was still no timid exploration, or delicate caresses; he stroked his tongue from her entrance up to her clit – circling around, but not touching her where she was the most sensitive, the most in need of contact – then back down again to tease, thrusting in but not filling her.

 

When Rose began to move, shifting hopelessly, trying to direct his motions, he finally flicked the tip of his tongue against her clit, the single action enough to make her moan and clutch at his hair as she felt a jolt of pleasure. She relaxed, too, no longer worried about being wound tight with no relief, and the Doctor rewarded her by focusing attention there, a stroke or two added to the pattern, bringing her closer to orgasm and then dropping back, carefully, gradually, until she felt like a puddle of sensation.

 

'Oh,' Rose murmured after he made her say his name, a breathy gasp, her hips rocking up to meet him. 'You're really good at this.'

 

The Doctor paused in his reciprocation. 'I know!' It was equal parts enthusiasm and arrogance, and she giggled at the very Doctorishness of it, even as he buried his mouth between her legs again.

 

He was good, but through it all, Rose still felt the need for more, more than just his tongue and lips and mouth. The climax she'd have from this alone would be amazing, of course it would be, but one from feeling his fingers inside her as well would be mind blowing. Realising that, the last fragment of her willpower dissolved, and she tried to get his attention.

 

'Doctor?' She said it too quietly for him to notice, so she tried again, louder, tapping him on the back with her foot at the same time. He paused, and she could feel the huff of an indignant sigh against her for interrupting his very important work. Rose finally broke, and begged. 'Please?'

 

That did it. He pulled back, putting her leg back down on the floor and moving to kneel in front of her. Eyes meeting hers, he licked his lower lip, a full sweep of his tongue, clearing away the moisture there before darting back into his mouth; the action seemed so obscene, especially the way he appeared to enjoy it so thoroughly, that it pushed all the air out of Rose's lungs, her ribcage feeling as if it was a size too small. The Doctor wiped his face on his shoulder and leaned forward, framing her body with his.

 

'What do you want, Rose?'

 

There was no smugness in his tone, just breathless interest, as if no question in the entire universe had an answer more important. It was perfect, the way he said it, making her feel sexy rather than shy. She grabbed his arm and pulled him closer, their stomachs pressing together as the distance between them vanished. He was hard – again – and she had a sudden flash of memory, him on the Sycorax ship, waggling his fingers and saying “Time Lord”. No wonder his ego was enormous.

 

'I want more,' she whispered in his ear.

 

His hips jerked in response, involuntarily, it seemed; he gasped, and the head of his cock slipped through her folds, wet and slick and so, so ready for him. The Doctor recovered quickly, throwing her a filthy grin as he settled over her, his mouth nipping at her neck, her shoulder. 'Like this?' He asked, adjusting himself, the angle, too, sliding down until all it'd take was one thrust to fill her. 'Is that what you want?'

 

She nodded, her throat tight; the anticipation was making her head spin, and she didn't trust herself to form a coherent sentence, not when the Doctor was lifting her leg up around his waist, his fingers gripping her thigh, firm, unyielding, digging in to her soft flesh – it wasn't painful, not really, it was just sensation, heightening, deepening, what she was feeling. Rose scraped her nails along his back, and he took it for a sign that she was ready: he plunged forward, smoothly, and she was overwhelmed by it, the feel of him stretching her, inside her, again, after all the teasing, all the wanting.

 

'Greedy,' Rose accused, without much heat. So much for reciprocation, she thought, mentally rolling her eyes.

 

'Oh, very,' he agreed. The Doctor kissed her, briefly, on the mouth, and then kissed his way down her jaw. 'Couldn't help myself,' the continued, and she suppressed a moan, at his words and at him pulling out all the way, then thrusting back in. 'You feel incredible, Rose.'

 

The sound of the Doctor's voice, on edge, strained as he fucked her, sent a stab of excitement down her spine, embarrassment and arousal mixing somewhere in her belly; her heart raced just that tiny bit more. She didn't know how to respond, how to get the same reaction out of him – didn't even know if she could get the same reaction – not this early in their relationship. Instead of trying, she just scratched his back again, harder, this time - he growled, and hooked her legs over his arms, over his shoulders, too, changing the angle so the next stroke hit her deeper, and she could feel the whole length of his cock inside her.

 

Rose didn't think she'd last much longer, not with the way his pelvis met hers with each thrust, enough contact with her clit to send her spiralling towards orgasm. The Doctor was watching her, his eyes bright with lust, with all those other nameless emotions she couldn't bring herself to analyse, but which she depended on so much. As if realising how closely she was looking at him – and afraid of what she might see – he turned his head, obscuring her view, his sideburns brushing against her knee as he found a spot on the inside of her thigh to suck, hard; Rose knew she'd have another hickey to add to her collection, to run her fingers over when she was alone, later, in her room.

 

The feel of his teeth and lips on her soft skin was enough, finally, to tip her over, and it was a surprise. Her orgasm arrived without warning: three, short, beats of pleasure, each punctuated with a whispered “oh”, then a longer, more intense wave, a figurative note, sustained. Distantly, she realised she was clawing at the Doctor's back, his shoulder, scrambling for purchase, it felt, as he lost the rhythm, thrusting erratically, and falling, then, into his own climax soon afterwards.

 

This time, the Doctor managed to roll himself to the side, rather than just collapsing on top of her. He flung an arm over her stomach and pressed his face against her ribs, ignoring the fact he'd knocked over a bowl of crisps and caught his elbow in the jam in the process. Rose ran a hand through his hair – damp and sweaty – and tried to catch her breath.

 

'You were right,' the Doctor said, the words muffled by how he was trying to burrow his way into her chest. 'Practice. That's all we needed. Good, old fashioned practice.' She made a noise she hoped meant she agreed, too tired to come up with something witty. He curled his fingers around, stroking the skin of her belly, idly. 'Rose...do you think the universe would believe it if I said I regenerated into your mother?'

 

That made her take notice. 'What?

 

'I was just thinking that if they did believe it – that Jackie was the Last of the Time Lords, I mean – then I could stay here. Right here. About two centimetres from your left breast.'

 

'What about all those creatures an' planets an' horizons you haven't seen yet?' Rose asked, amused by his take on after-sex conversation.

 

'Well, I'd certainly get there. Eventually. But first I'd have to explore you. And I'd be very thorough.'

 

'Of course,' she agreed, trying not to laugh.

 

The Doctor sighed heavily and shook his head, nuzzling her side as he did so. 'It's no use. No one would believe I'd wear velour.'

 

Now she did laugh, wriggling around in his arms so she could face him. 'Oh, come off it! I've seen what you wore before I met you. Cravats. Velvet. That Technicolour Dreamcoat.' She poked him in the arm for emphasis. 'Not to mention the whole vegetable thing. No one'd bat an eyelid at velour.'

 

He shot her an unimpressed glare, but refrained from commenting; he'd noticed the jam again, and was more focused on trying to lick it from his elbow. Rose was reminded, vividly, of exactly what sort of man she had tied herself to – thankfully, the realisation was not one that filled her with dread, just slight exasperation. She took his arm and craned her neck so she could wipe away the jam with a sweep of her tongue. It was wholly unsurprising to her that the Doctor let out a small, disappointed whine, and then hurried to kiss her whilst she still tasted of raspberry and sugar.

 

Afterwards, she cuddled into him, learning the feel of his body from this angle: discovering how far her fingers could inch their way up his back, or down to his bum; which layering of arms and legs worked best for fitting together snugly, and how to angle her head so she could breathe and still stay close to him. Rose knew that this was the only night they'd have where they felt like this – like everything was new, and exciting, and fresh, and so hopeful her heart ached with it – and as soon as it was over, they'd never get that feeling back, not like this. Because they might have other nights, amazing nights (and she really hoped they would) but none of them would ever be this one.

 

It struck her as unfair, that, for all the Doctor boasted at having a Time Machine, and boasted that he could take her any place or time, he'd never be able to take her back to experience New Year's Eve, 2006, the Powell Estate – a game of Monopoly, a dodgy sofa and a Time Lord - in the same way again.

 

'I don't want this night to be over,' she confessed to his sternum.

 

The Doctor rubbed her back in soothing circles. 'It doesn't have to!' He told her brightly. 'We could get the TARDIS. We could go to New Year's Eve celebrations around the world – see them all, one after the other. Times Square in New York, then pop down to Sydney. See them shoot fireworks from the Harbour Bridge. Be the first to welcome the new year on Kiritimati Island, though it's all relative, of course.' He tucked her head under his chin and tightened his arms around her. 'But... it wouldn't be the same.'

 

The way he said it, sort of slowly, as if coming to a realisation, made Rose wonder if he actually felt that way, or if he just knew that she did. It's probably not a very Time Lord-y way of thinking, she thought. Shaking herself from her melancholy - it certainly wasn't how she wanted to spend the rest of the evening, especially not one as brilliant as this – Rose looked up at him from under her lashes. 'Doctor...' she began.

 

'Oh no. No, no, no. I know that tone. Never ends well, that one.' He pulled back to look at her; his expression was pre-winced, braced for her demand. 'What do you want?'

 

Rose made her eyes as big as she could. 'Chips?'

 

'Chips?' The Doctor exclaimed, letting her go so he could rub a hand across his face. 'Chips? I've got you expensive chocolates, and champagne, and – and – and three types of soft cheese, and you want fried potatoes?'

 

'With loads of vinegar,' she confirmed, hugging his arm, her cheek pressed against his biceps. She was trying not to smirk as she saw his resolve waver. 'We can get two lots, so you don't even have to share.'

 

'The things I do for you,' he muttered, and she knew she had him.

 

She kissed his cheek, whispering “thank you!” into his ear. Rose jumped up out of their nest of pillows and cushions and blankets for a quick shower and change of clothes.

 

When she came back, she found the Doctor fully dressed – shirt tucked in, shoes tied, suit jacket on and buttoned – and Rose felt a surge of nervousness at seeing him like that, all wrapped in his layers. He said it wasn't only for tonight, she reminded herself, trying to push past the anxiety.

 

He glanced up at her, and broke into another huge smile; instantly, the unease melted, and she felt herself smiling back. The Doctor bounded over to her and grabbed her hand. 'Where should we go?' He asked her, pulling her close. 'The 1960's? Get some real chips, done in drippings, all wrapped up in newspaper.'

 

'You just want me to wear a mini-skirt.'

 

He closed his eyes and sighed happily. 'Would you?'

 

'Time Lord!' Rose scoffed. 'Just like any other bloke when it comes down to it, aren't you?'

 

'Or,' the Doctor started again, ignoring her teasing. He reeled her out, suddenly, a half-twirl, launched with a firm push to her elbow. She laughed in surprise. 'We could skip ahead. See the brave new world of the 22nd Century. They develop a new type of tuber, a cross between a potato and a cassava. A possava, if you will. Or a cassato, well, actually,' he tugged his ear, 'that's a word in Italian, now that I think about it.'

 

He spun her back in, a sloppy circle, one that made her giggle and fall into his chest. His lips pressed against her forehead in a gentle kiss and she wrapped her arms around his neck, relishing being close to him.

 

'Not that I'm not interested in tryin' that new tuber of yours,' Rose said, 'but we should probably just aim for before the shops closed today, yeah?'

 

The Doctor put his hands on her hips, resting them there comfortably; Rose thought they fit perfectly, like they'd been moulded to her curves. 'You make one, tiny error in calculations and you never hear the end of it,' he complained, but his shoulders soon sagged in defeat. 'Fine, chips in south London twelve hours ago.'

 

She kissed him again, mostly because she could; he eagerly kissed her in return, bringing their bodies closer as he deepened it, his mouth opening, sliding across hers, as thorough as if they hadn't kissed a hundred times already this evening. When she drew back, Rose was rather breathless, and it took her a moment to realise that there was a hint of guilt lurking in his face. She narrowed her eyes, worried that he was about to start talking nonsense about this all being a bad idea.

 

'What is it, Doctor?' Her tone was sharp, leaving no room for him to skate around an answer.

 

'It's just that we might have a slight problem...' he turned away, pacing a few steps before absent-mindedly messing up the hair at the back of his head. Rose sighed and crossed her arms, and the Doctor hurried to continue. 'That phone call, earlier, the one I told you not to answer...?'

 

She waved for him to go on. 'Yes?'

 

'Yeah, about that... your mobile seems to have lost sync with the TARDIS, and it picked up a call from the wrong timeline. It was from your future – your personal future. It's nothing to worry about,' he reassured her, bouncing back, all boyish charm. 'Just a minor paradox. Minute paradox. A little, baby, incy-wincy paradox we can have fixed in a flash.'

 

There were a number of ways Rose could have reacted to the news, but after travelling with the Doctor for so long, all she found the energy to do was shrug and roll her eyes. 'And then we have chips?'

 

'And then we have chips,' he agreed, holding out his hand for her to take.

 

Twenty-five minutes later (well, thirty minutes, adding in the time it took to unlock Jackie's bedroom door), and three hours earlier, Rose and the Doctor exited the TARDIS doors, their arms full of spray cans. The night was cold, but she'd found her gloves, so she didn't have to worry about losing her thumbs to frostbite. As they walked along, their hips and shoulders bumped occasionally, the simple contact making them glance at each other and break into matching happy, silly grins.

 

'So what is this stuff?' Rose asked the Doctor as they approached a dimly lit street. 'It's not permanent, is it?'

 

'Nah.' He rubbed his nose with his sleeve and peered around, looking for a Mini Cooper with terrible suspension. 'It's a bit brilliant, actually – liquid polymers in a solvent suspension. Dries to create a non-woven material.' At her blank stare, he simplified. 'Think silly string. Fabric-in-a-can.'

 

It was a lot like silly string, Rose discovered as they started covering Mickey's car in silver strands – only it melted together to create a soft, uniform layer, one that reminded her of quilt-padding. There was glitter in the mixture, too, making it reflect off the solitary street light on the corner, almost like metal. With her tongue between her teeth and her brows furrowed in concentration, Rose worked to coat the doors and windows, the wheels and the boot in the material; the Doctor was in charge of the rest, and with his added height, had to be in charge of the roof.

 

Near the end of Rose's last spray can, the Doctor decided they were finished. He looped an arm around her waist and together they admired their handiwork.

 

Rose shook her head in disbelief. 'I can't believe we got caught in a paradox where we had to vandalise Mickey's car.'

 

'Well, he did want to play with the race car,' the Doctor commented mildly. He fished around in his coat pocket and pulled out a handful of small stones. 'Right, if I've timed this correctly – and I have – he should be just about to take of Trisha Delaney's bra.'

 

'Oh, my God,' Rose moaned, covering her face with her hands. 'Is that what this was about? Mickey... cockblocking you earlier?' She smacked him in the arm.

 

'Ow! No, no, no, no, this is about saving the universe, Rose! Or do you want a hole in time and space centred over London?' He asked her sternly. 'Because we can just go now, if you want.' The Doctor sniffed, and she could tell he was preparing for a really good spiel. 'That's right, we'll go off and let England's capital get torn apart, eh? Good bye, Trafalgar Square! Whoops, there goes the British Museum! Sorry about the corgis, Lizzy, but I'm afraid Buckingham Palace's been wiped out of existence, and all because Rose Tyler wanted to have chips.'

 

'Oh, shut up,' she said, finally. 'And throw that bloody rock already.'

 

He did.

 

A shirtless and very irate Mickey Smith appeared at the third-floor window. His eyes bulged as he saw a giant Monopoly playing piece right where he'd parked his car, and then bulged out even further when he saw the two figures – one dressed in a long brown coat, the other in a pink hoodie, her hair, yellow in the light of a street lamp, spilling out of a lumpy knitted, hat – standing next to it.

 

Rose exchanged a look with the Doctor. She held out her hand, her fingers already wiggling, and said: 'Run!'