He led her to a teleport and set the coordinates to outside of the dome. "Should put us a few hundred feet away from the house. Still get a chance to walk in the red grass." He smiled.
Raising her eyebrows up in a moment of disbelief she smiled, "Red grass?" For a moment she almost hoped it's smell like some sort of fruit, but really the red grass all on it's own was enough for her to be happy with. She watched what he was doing too, because honestly if something did happen she wanted to make sure she wasn't stuck miles away from the TARDIS in a spot where she would have no way of knowing where to even start. She might've been considered a companion here, but honestly she wasn't going to shy away from paying attention just in case. The thing of it was that she knew how lucky she was to get to visit, and she knew that for all honesty's sake she was certainly not going to forget any of it, but she still kept pushing her thoughts back to Sam and Dean back home. There was just a single day to the battle now, and here she was far away and in the future... while they were unsure of what their future held. Pulling in a deep breath she stood beside the Doctor on the teleport and tried to just think that they were as ready as they'd ever be. That this was going to be fine, because she knew... Rose knew deep down that if something was going to be that bad, the Doctor would be there still. Smiling up at him once more she shook her head, "The red grass, is it like toxic or something?"
"Of course not," the Doctor replied, squeezing her hand gently. "It smells like lilies." With that, he pressed the teleport and they were instantly in a forest not far from his house. The dark orange night sky above them, the red grass at their feet. The trees looked like those on Earth, except the leaves shone a brilliant silver and they seemed to hum along with the wind like a song.
"This was my favorite place as a child. Used to have brilliant adventures in the treetops."
"Lilies," she repeated beneath her breath. It wasn't fruit but it wasn't grass either. Though she wondered if they even had lilies, or if that was just what evolution of the plants had done to the world.. worlds. Before she could even think to ask anything else the teleport had been activated and they were in front of a forest. Rose exhaled the breath she wasn't sure she'd been holding in and stepped away from the Doctor for a moment to take a look around her. The grass was really red, and as she bent down to brush her fingers upon it she could actually smell the floral scent. She wondered what it smelled like fresh cut, or even if it grew too tall to manage.
"Hold on a'minute here," Rose asked of the Doctor as she sat down in the red grass and began to unlace her shoes. Tugging her socks off her feet next she shoved them into her shoes and knotted the laces together to sling them over her shoulder. Standing up she wiggled her toes in the grass, "Yeah, I'm barefoot in red grass and when I'm done my feet are gonna smell like flowers. Could've been funnier if it were roses, but lilies are just as good."
The Doctor laughed and grabbed onto a branch of a tree, easily pulling himself up. Gallifrey was too small for him, he always thought. He wanted the universe but...in having the universe he wanted this back. The simple life, the red grass and the silver-leaved trees. And Rose was scenting her feet with red grass...that was positively silly but still wonderful.
He hopped down and ran over to her. "Come on, I'll show you where to see the meteor showers."
She laughed a bit at him running because honestly when else did you see the Doctor running unless there was something horrible going on. Most times it seemed he was happiest to just let his pace be a casual stroll. Hands in his pockets and all that. Still it was good to take his hand and run toward something that was actually good. Toward something that wasn't for any other reason that to see something she'd never seen before. Well, never seen before and wasn't going to try and kill her or take over the world. This was a different pace altogether for the Doctor and her and she was almost thinking she could get very used to a pace like this. Still the promise of meteor showers and grass that smelled like flowers and a side of the Doctor she'd never seen before seemed like just enough of a new thing for her. No sense in wishing for more when what she had almost felt like too much as it was.
Thinking of just how much too much was for her Rose was drawn back to his comment from before. During their fight... about seeing what was inside his head. It had been a thought that came up now and again but really she was too busy thinking about what needed to be done to help Sam and Ruby and the others that she never thought to ask. But now they were wandering in red fields of grass toward meteor showers years beyond the battle that was being fought probably right now even. Just at nightfall maybe... or just as dawn arrived.
"Before," Rose started out slowly not really sure what she wanted to even ask. "You said something about this not being who you were, that who you were was up in your head. What'd you mean by that? I mean... you wanted to show me that. How could you even do that?"
What a question. It was a question he'd expected ever since he first offered, but it didn't make answering any easier. He dropped onto a patch of grass and motioned for her to sit next to him. It was warm, but he was safe this close to his old home. He felt safe, at least. The TARDIS was annoyed at being left in the city, but it understood.
"Time Lords, well...Gallifreyans in general, can connect to each other. Mental connections, share emotions and memories. Bit like your television's Vulcan Mind Meld, actually." He scratched the back of his head nervously. "I don't...do it, not often. Sort of a private, frightening place up there. But if you wanted to see..."
Rose tipped her head aside her fingers hesitantly reaching out to brush against his temples after he'd explained, and still sort of half offered. Her eyes met his with understanding, of knowing how painful it could be for someone to see everything about someone else so freely. Pulling her hand back she wrapped her arms around her knees pulled up close to her chest. Resting her chin atop her knees she asked him very honestly, "Do you want me to see I think is more important. I mean this... all this is amazing, but you said it's not you. I do want to know you, but I don't want you to feel like you have to show me that much of yourself to do it Doctor."
She knew how private he was. How he'd had other lives, other companions, other travels and adventures... even after meeting her. She knew that everything he was had to come from somewhere. All the choices he had to make simply because no one else was there to make them, and it wasn't always simple to be that man. She could see it in his eyes when he'd give someone a second chance, and even more when they failed to meet his request. All of that came from somewhere and Rose herself wasn't even sure if she wanted to know where it came from. "I mean... you'd see me too yeah? Like a two way street?"
"Not if you don't want me to," he replied. Did he want her to see? Not everything. No, not everything. The War, he'd block that off fairly strongly. His name, that too. The most terrible things, but not everything. If he started closing all the doors, she'd be left seeing nothing but an empty hallway in his mind.
He nodded and reached down, taking her hands and putting her fingertips against his temples. He did the same to her. "Now, relax your mind. If there's anything you don't want me to see, just imagine a door and shut it, I'll stay away. There'll...be some things you won't understand in my mind just...ask." He wasn't certain he could explain them, but he'd try.
It was with another moment of slight hesitation as he explained further and then took her hands in his. She took a deep breath trying to relax, but knowing she was very nervous at the whole thing. She wanted to know and if this was how it was going to happen she was ready, but this seemed so much more intimate than he was letting on, and maybe it wasn't what she was going to expect. Still his fingers guided hers against his temples, letting them rest there and his were brought to hers. It was a bit odd feeling at first but she shut her eyes and tried to relax. She wasn't even sure what she wouldn't want him to see, because in her heart she thought he should be able to see it all, but then again there was a few mistakes in there with a bloke or two that might not be wise to be sharing. Exhaling once more she tried to relax her mind and not think about all the things that could be in her mind. Instead she let herself focus on the feeling of his fingertips against her temple. Her breathing slowed and she felt her shoulders relax despite her arms raised to leave her fingers at his temples. For a moment she wasn't even sure if it was going to work, but then she felt something... a slight wave of nervous that didn't rightly feel like her own nervous mind. Another deep breath let out slowly and Rose let her mind relax.
This seemed almost too sudden. Too soon. He should've...he didn't know what. Invite her out to coffee, proper date prior to emotional connecting? No, no, no. He would run away if he made too big a production out of it. He took a breath and opened his mind.
As with each connecting, it was as if a hallway appeared behind his eyelids. Rose's mind, each door open to parts of her life, parts of her psyche. His own hallway was significantly longer, more twisted, more confusing. He could feel her nervousness, her insecurity. She worried that parts of herself he wouldn't approve of. He was significantly more adept to scurrying about in someone else's mind so he took a breath and waited for her to orient herself.
It's all right. Just focus. I'm here.
The sound of his voice in her head actually calmed her. It wasn't disorientating at all, it was just him. She could handle him in her mind, because she trusted him. She knew that he wouldn't hurt her, wouldn't take things he saw and make judgment of her. This was her Doctor and she knew how much he meant to her, and in a way she knew that she meant just as much to him. Even with the fights and the time apart. They'd been through so much together, this was just another part of their adventure, just another chapter of their story.
With his voice to focus on, and the trust put firmly where it belonged Rose exhaled once more, this time letting her mind open to his, to him... to let him see so that she too in turn could see him as well.
He waited. Took a breath. Relaxed. He could feel how she was calmed by his voice and he was silently so pleased by that. She trusted him, she felt safe with him. After everything they'd been through, he worried that would stop being the case.
He guided her. Nudged her mind in the direction of his, to the first set of winding doors. Some were firmly closed but others stood slightly ajar for her to see should she want to. One part of him at a time. One piece of him at a time.
It was a bit disorientating to see what she was seeing, and even more difficult to explain it. He was right though it felt like doors and hallways with countless twists and turns that she wasn't even sure where to go. She kept focus though, and moved where she felt him leading her, which was another thing that gave her comfort no matter how odd it seemed in the moment. It wasn't so much as walking through it all either, it was just there for her to look if she wanted to. It wasn't simple, but nothing that confused her so much either. It was him, the way he thought so scattered and not always connected but still always there beneath the surface. In a way it was just as she thought it would be, but she knew this wasn't everything. There were doors that weren't open to her and she respected the boundaries he put in place. Simply growing accustomed to how it felt to be in his mind like this. To follow his lead, follow the path he was setting out for her. Her breathing was slow and steady and her fingertips barely shifted against his temple. She had thought her arms would grow tired, but it actually felt sort of natural to have them relaxed like this. "There's so much... how'd you keep it all straight?"
Well, I've spent 900 years getting used to it. I imagine someone at the age of 10 might ask how you've kept 20 years together up there.
He took a few steps back in their minds, letting her roam a bit more freely. Images of his youth, of his stealing the TARDIS, finding his grandchild...they all shifted and moved to the surface and reawakened for him. Side effect, he was used to it. Well, not used to it used to it, but he could handle it, at least.
She passed the door where his other incarnations slept. Past and future, they slept in the room without windows or exits. He never went in there, himself. Preferred the future incarnations to be more of a surprise.
It slowed a bit that she could make things out, beyond doors she walked through she could actually sort out what events were what, seeing parts of his life that felt very real, very raw and flooded with emotions that she knew he had to keep at bay simply because it was that very thing that could be used against him. All the time... all the worlds and he was still trying to be something much grander. It took part of him away to have to keep it all in here instead of out there. Here though it was right there for her to see, and actually feel. It pulled her chest tight a bit just to see and feel all of it. Still his voice echoed in the back of her mind, a constant steady pulse of sorts that kept her focused, kept her from sinking into the emotions.
She was nearing the hallway where the Time War lay dormant in his mind. He directed her away---the last thing he wanted her to see was a hall with tightly shut doors and walled-up emotions---towards more recent events.
This is the me you know more about, he thought to her. The way I am now.
Not that this part of his mind wasn't terrifying as well. He'd done horrible things in his time, and he got worse after she was taken from him. There was shame there, along with waves of loneliness. He missed her while she was gone. No, that was an understatement.
Drawing in a breath she felt her chin tremble a bit, the emotion she felt was so directly in tune with him. It wasn't forced through a filter or pushed into a certain perspective just to make someone else not feel guilt or the same sadness he felt. It was so lonely... and so heartbroken in a way that she'd never even thought the Doctor had been. Swallowing hard Rose pulled in a shallow breath, watched through a door flooded with red light. The panic and worry that came over her... the TARDIS trapped... the time not being enough... the only way. The girl... Martha... he's worried about her but still worried about everyone else. He could lose her... watching her just float, and the words... Rose knows those words 'I'll save you...' and she knows he wants to believe them. But they repeat and all she can feel is the pain of watching another one slip away. Just like she did...
Rose shuts it out, away from herself for the moment, trying not to feel that... but she couldn't even shut him all out because just like Martha... Rose trusted him. She feels that anger and frustration and she lets it guide her through the rest of the memory. Through the way it all ends this time. The chapter that she wasn't part of... but could see and feel right now. That pure desperation that he has rushing through him to save her. To bring her back... Rose knows that he'd have done the same for her. If he could've. The agony of the scream that cuts through her... the near relief he almost wants to feel but is all too short as he finally knows what it is. He knows because he's allowed it into himself. It's pulling at her, the pain... the betrayal... the anger... she wants to look away but he's been through it. This is part of him... as hard as it is to feel she knows he felt it even closer, and she won't look away. 'Burn with me.' Rose can feel it in her heart and the heat rising up in her chest because she's almost certain that she would've. "Doctor..." Rose's voice nearly cracks, "You always take the risk... always take it in... all of it." The fear that washes over him in that moment floods her and she nearly buckles from it. Then it's just nothing. She's shut the door because even she can't take that... even she can't watch that...
He feels her buckle and reaches out with one hand to catch her in the physical world. One hand around her tightly, the other to her head, keeping them connected. He felt the adrenaline running through his veins at that memory. Not one he would've chosen for her to revisit from him. But she's right, he does. He can't just let them die, not while he can save them. He would've died to save Martha, if he could. He would never go halfway, even if he didn't have the energy to make it back.
He pushed a different memory towards her, one that she shared. A happy memory? He had them. He picked one at random. New Earth, just after Cassandra left her. Catching her in his arms. The relief, the happiness, the strange attraction that he hadn't really felt for another in a while. He felt a little embarrassed by that admission, but she already knew.
The echo of another memory: "Oh, she knows."
His hand sturdy against her grounds her again, keeps her connected because she's not one to give up easily, and he knows it. Knows she's quite right for most of the things that they'd done together and as that door shuts she can feel him pulling her into something different altogether. Something familiar and comforting. Something she knows as well as he does. The relief and happiness that she can feel is echoed in her own mind. A shared door in a way to an event that they both know. "Go on Doctor... it's the same. Just a different side. Maybe 'bit of Cassandra but still me. In the end at least." It was a good time for Rose too. Happy memories of apple grass and good times where they did save everyone. Saving everyone was always a good time.
He took a breath and pulled back to her memory of the same event. Disorientation, confusion, then seeing him. His emotions for her were not unrequited and that was a beautiful feeling. In the physical world he was aware that they were very close as they connected. Possibly inappropriately so. He thought about letting her go but, well, she might fall. That would be even more inappropriate!
Rose acted and felt with every ounce of her, he could feel that in her mind. Nothing was halfway or partially with her, either, but to her it came naturally not after years of loss and pain. She was so genuine, and she grounded him appropriately. She made him feel human. Or, at the very least, like he belonged.
She knew he belonged, and really he'd always have a spot with her. Always. Even when she was away from him she still felt him there with her. Never too far away from her. She pulled her focus from the shared memory to one of her own. To share as he had shared with her. To a time when they had been apart, but she still let who he was lead her in the choices she made. She lead him through a time with Torchwood, when she saved the day. When things got down to that final moment just like they always seemed to when she had been with him. To where everyone else wanted to pull out and she stayed. Because that's the way he would've wanted it. To where the rift was opening and pulling things in and she stayed tried and true to her post holding onto the remote until the very moment when she was supposed to and the explosion sealed it all in. The pride she had, and yet still the twinge of lonely because the one person she would've wanted to share it with was still too far away from her, no matter how much she thought of him.
He was proud of that memory of hers. Proud that she had done what was right instead of what others wanted. It was so her. It was the way he had always seen her. He let her feel his pride and showed her another memory of his. Shakespeare, danger, and a trio of evil witches. Trying to use words and names against him, including hers. "That name keeps me fighting." Rose. No matter what happened in his lives, he never forgot the ones he loved.
And he did. He loved her. He couldn't say it, that wasn't his way.
It took her a moment but she felt it, not just in her heart, but in her mind as well. The slow pull of breath came in deep, and she held it there trying to hold onto the feeling, that emotion she'd been seeking for a while but wasn't ever sure she'd really feel. It wasn't even something she wanted to quantify or label with just what she was feeling, but she felt it. It wound around her mind and went straight through her without any doubt or fear. It was strong, and it made everything so much more valued in his mind. She was inspiration as much as he was to her, and maybe that shouldn't have meant more, but she clung to that because she knew what it felt like. She recognized that emotion from him, and the rest felt like so much more than she'd put to words.
Than he'd ever put to words.
Never forgotten, and she'd never replaced him. There would never be another Doctor for her after him. He was everything in her universe, and for a moment there she felt like she might have been everything in his.
He felt her return the emotion and he smiled. A real, genuine smile. It was something he hadn't felt in a long time: loving someone and being loved in return. How did that song go? Oh, well, he'd never properly remember it. Their relationship had felt like a lot of steps backward. This was most certainly a step forward. It is, isn't it?
He was a little terrified of his admission. After all, it might change how Rose saw him. Or, at the very least, how they'd react together. What if he failed her somehow? Would she still...would they still...?
She felt the slight moment of worry, the doubt and the panic sort of actually fitted the Doctor a bit more than the calm that she'd felt a moment before. She stifled a laugh, biting on her lower lip a bit hiding a smirk. She pulls at him slightly taking him from the moment he's filling with doubt to the one sure thing she has known all along. To the canyons of greys and violets and the rock formations in the background. To the sight of the rock formations in the skyline that seemed to rise and fall to their own ways, and the winged creatures that seemed like the sky was simply their ocean. She let him feel her confidence, her knowledge, the way she'd simply just known that forever was not just a word tossed out casually. Forever was in her heart, and it was in her mind for so long that it'd been more constant than the words she never thought she'd actually need to say. It calmed her to think of the day, to think of the smile he had when he looked at her and asked the one question she knew she'd always have an answer for. 'Forever.' The word echoed in her memory and she could still feel the reassurance it gave her on that day, the very peaceful calm it settled over nerves, and just the way it made her truly happy to think that forever wouldn't feel so bad if he was there with her.
In the physical world, he leaned forward and pressed his forehead to hers. Forever was an impossible thing for him. Forever implied after she was gone, and he knew that day would come. One day. But he would never forget her, or stop loving her. He'd move on (he'd have to), but Rose Tyler permanently had a part of his hearts.
He opened up a sadder door in his mind to her. The way he was right after the War. Cold and sad, vowing never to love or let anyone else in again, in case they would be hurt or worse. Then came Rose. Bloody stupid girl, he thought at the time. She wormed her way under his skin and never left. Not when she was gone, not ever.
Bit odd to be reminded of the real world in such a way. The contact against her own forehead nearly made her wonder if she was flush from everything or if that was just the presence of someone else's skin to her own. All she could really do in that moment was exhale slowly letting her mouth part to nearly sigh her breath from her lungs. Forever she knew had so many complications, but to her it was simply the only word she could think of, and the only word she'd ever really known that could really pull everything together for her. She could feel the cold winding around her from the newly opened doorway. The sorrow and pain that she herself knew, except from different times. The sorrow and anguish that came from being left behind, from hands that hurt from beating against a wall that failed to yield to her and then the slight sorrow that came knowing... nearly feeling that he was there pressed to the wall clinging onto what they'd just lost. She understood what he was showing her. For once in her life she really did understand why she couldn't do what she had thought she could simply do without him.
The war. It was brutal. It was violent. But beneath it all it left the man before her shrouded in a near darkness that took nearly too long to pierce through. She understood the loss and the hurt and the fear that came with it, because she could feel it. The way it left a chill that stayed no matter how much she tried to focus on the warmth of his forehead to her own. She could feel the desperation and the sheer anger that came with such a vow... to never be hurt like that again. Her fingers slipped lightly still pressed to his temples, but simply shifting of their own accord to a lighter touch, more reassuring than the need to connect. Simply letting him know that letting her in meant something more to her than just knowing him and the adventures and harrowing escapes. It was so much more than that.
It was more than that. And this, all of this...he could only hope she realized how much it meant to him. He wanted to show her his life, he wanted to share himself. It wasn't something he did with everyone. It actually wasn't something he did with anyone. She touched him gently and it felt wrong in a way. He was hardened and wizened, he should be gentle to her, not the other way around. She felt cold in his mind, as well, and he worried if that was physical or from what she was seeing.
He drew back into her mind again, smiling at the childhood she could remember that he only had pieces of. Her first loves, her fears, Rose wore them all on her shoulders rather than hid them. He kept everything inside under a false bravado.
You're amazing, Rose Tyler. Don't hide it, ever.
His words echoed in her mind once more, drawing her into her own memories, into ones she knew so well. Of her and her mum making good on anything they possibly could. Blonde hair streaking in a blur rushing mad around the flat with Jackie racing after her trying just to keep up. Of first dates with Jackie trying to play the over protective parent, but not pulling it off so well as Rose simply dismissed it all with just a simple smile. Always disarming everyone she met, and she knew it in a way. The way her heart raced with her first kiss, and the way her mother held her for the first heart break. She didn't mind him seeing it, and actually felt a bit odd that all her memories before him felt so simple and basic. The doors though were open for him, for whatever he wanted to see, simply because he'd trusted her with things she was positive were things he never meant to show, things that were supposed to stay just his. The good, the bad, the truly inspirational to the downright dull could be his to mill through and see at their face value.
This was Rose Tyler.
This was the girl she had been and the woman she was destined to become, and had grown to be at his side. It had brought back such a wave of her own emotions flooding back to the surface to see all of it as if it was truly experiencing it all over again that she couldn't help but allow herself to sink into it. Her fingers on her one hand, the ones that shifted lightly before slipped up into the Doctor's hair. Just at the edge of his hairline, pushed in nearly an inch, but still giving her something other than skin to feel beneath her touch. She wanted to lace her fingers into his hair more, to pull him closer to her, to let the emotions that were flooding over her, the warmth and happiness be put to some use in the real world. Rose yearned to actually feel the emotions more than just recall them so vividly. It almost wasn't fair to have the emotion relived without the experience to match to it. Even with her eyes shut she could still feel him so close to her, his forehead still pressed to hers and her fingers moving deeper into his hair. One hand still connected at his temple though, knowing it was okay to do that because he had reached for her earlier. Opening her eyes she saw him looking at her, and it wasn't the way he'd seen her before, because this was seeing and knowing what to believe of the other. It wasn't guessing, or trying to assume how the other felt. It was real and he was right there sharing himself... his memories with her.
Such a simple gesture, she nearly joked with herself, but she knew how much it was going to impact everything else. There would be no time after this that would be the same, and no time before this that would actually be able to be termed as anything else but 'before this moment' in her mind. Yet she still considered it a simple thing, because in her memories that was all it had ever been. 'Just a kiss' the boys would say to her, but this would be more. Maybe he knew it was coming, their minds so connected, their thoughts nearly shared, but perhaps she was still hung up on other thoughts that by the time she even knew she was doing anything, it was too late. Her chin tipped upward as her head tipped aside slightly as her mouth brushed lightly to his. She knew if she would've waited for him... she'd been waiting forever. 'Just a kiss' the boys would say... and maybe she could still believe that as her lips pressed to his softly.
He'd kissed her before. Once in his ninth life, pulling the time vortex from her. Once again when she was possessed by Cassandra. But never her, never just them. So much could be meant by a kiss, so much could be fouled up or irreparably damaged by a kiss. And kisses led to more. And who was he to push her towards more? To ruin what he loved with her?
He was always the one to run forward, to seek out the hills while missing the treasure at his feet. But not with this, not with love or romance. He was always so terrified that he might damage what he had that he would miss out on the wonderful other things. But then, there was Rose. Brilliant, beautiful, frustrating Rose, kissing him first. Making him move, making him go forward.
It was what she did. It was why he loved her.
She kissed him softly and he opened his mouth slightly to return the kiss. It was almost impossibly chaste. He took a breath and kissed her again, more firmly. More sure. He didn't doubt how she felt about him and he didn't doubt how he felt so why was he doubting himself? No, no, now was not the time for doubt.
The return of the kiss came first in her mind, that confidence and that rush of emotions that tugged at her heart and made her feel the kiss more than the physical presence on her mouth. Then the breath came and her eyes fluttered shut, sinking back to the warmth of his mouth and the emotion that both of them felt in their their minds. It made her pull in a breath through her nose deep, her chest rising up to fill with the air that had the lingering scent of the red lily scented grass and the scent that wasn't anything she'd ever been able to pinpoint as his scent, but it was familiar, it was a reminder and something she'd never been able to forget even when they were apart. The hand in his hair threaded against his hair further, nearly pulling herself against him as the were standing in the grass still. Her feet nearly feeling like maybe she wasn't in the grass at all, but a few inches above it. Nails that she'd stopped biting a few days into helping Sam and Dean raked against his scalp as the kiss became nothing at all like a simple gesture. It became a starting point in her mind. Not the end of how things had been for them at all, but simply just the start of how their relationship would evolve.
Pulling from the kiss she let her mouth remain slack a bit pulling in air that her lungs thought they needed but her mind knew she did, then as if the kiss had never ended at all she felt her own emotions mirrored back to her in the memory she'd just emblazoned within her. And it truly made her smile, because even with that memory that was now hers, she didn't feel any fear from him, or from her... and that was something almost as good as the kiss had been.
She pulled back and he caught her bottom lip for one final quick kiss. How long had it been since he'd kissed someone like that? A very long time. Quite like that? Never. There was only one Rose Tyler and only one time he would experience something like this.
Sometimes, when he kissed someone (Astrid, Nyssa, even Rose with the Time Vortex---) it felt like the end. The end of a relationship, a sort of good-bye. This felt like a beginning. A completely terrifying beginning because he had no idea what would happen next. What should happen next? What should he say or do? 900 years of loving and losing and he was no good at it and completely out of practice.
But this? This was Rose. Rose wasn't just a lover or even just a companion, she was his friend. His very best friend. If they couldn't move in the right direction together then no one could. It felt...right. Safe. Getting there was frightening, but being there wasn't.
He brushed a thumb against her cheekbone and smiled.
Opening her eyes she let her hands slip from him, the one no longer tangled in his hair slide against his jawline and the other that had been so delicately pressed to his temple pulled downward as well to cradle to the other side of his face. It was almost a loss that she felt immediately, not being in his mind with him, not sharing everything being only in her own thoughts and her own emotions. If there was anything Rose could have said about that feeling it was that she suddenly realized how he made her feel more complete, even before this moment. She smiled back up and him, a slight flit of laughter coming as she ducked her head a bit to hide the blush that felt sort of like it belonged to a much younger version of herself. Lifting her head once more she met his eyes and let her happiness shine outwardly, almost as exposed as her memories had been to him moments before. Her hand finally pulled from his features tucking her hair back behind her ear quickly, before realizing how unsure she was of what was next. Usually the deflection and distraction came before the kiss ever happened, pulling them out of the moment before it became a moment. Now the moment seemed ever lasting with it's silence and smiles. Drawing her bottom lip in she could still taste him a bit on her mouth, but pushed the thought away as she finally spoke, "Gettin' late yeah? Probably head in... see just where you spent your time at home for those few years."
What? Move? Now? The thought hadn't even occurred to him. He looked away from her for a moment to the very small cottage not far from them. There would be food, rest, all those things they needed in there. And it was safe. His family was gone, but the cottage was safe. And in the morning...
No, he wouldn't think about that. Not now, not when they were both so happy.
"Yeah, yeah, that'll be good." He pulled back but slid his hand down to take hers. This would be all right, he thought. The two of them. "I can't guarantee the cleanliness, it's been a long time in the past and future."
As he thought it over Rose stooped to pick her shoes up from the ground only to meet his hand when she stood back up with hers. That simple gesture felt more right than anything else and she glanced quickly to it before returning her gaze to the horizon line and the small cottage up ahead, "You have seen my room, yeah? I'm thinkin' it's not gonna be too bad," Rose teased lightly with a gentle squeeze of his hand. The sigh that came from her along with a slight shrug of her shoulders was one that simply fit the mindset she'd put herself in, one of slight accomplishment but one more of understanding and evolution. The footsteps she took brushing in the red grass were toward the future, and really what better place to move forward than in the future itself she thought to herself. It'd be just fine with her if they never looked back at the past the same way, because the time to look back at what had happened had sailed past them with the ghosting of fingertips to temples and the brushing of mouths in a moment shared. Looking back was simple, it was easy, but Rose never backed down from a challenge and she was looking forward to this one.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Total Word Count: 13,002
Written with non-WM muse: banished_dame