Pairing: Rose Tyler/The Doctor
Fic Title: Non-Linear Love Story
Rating/Warning(s): Adult / sex
Special Rec: 20/30
Why This Must Be Read: If you like paradoxes, epic romance, and the timey-wimey nature of the TV show then this is the story for you. This author does an amazing job writing the eighth, ninth, and tenth Doctors as well as the younger and older versions of Rose. I loved the slight mystery of this piece, unraveling the Doctor and Rose's respective timelines and watching as they both fall in love.
He studies her, studies the way her eyes squeeze shut and her nose scrunches when he comes close to waking her, studies the way her lips quirk as he pets her hair and smoothes it down. He imprints her upon his memory, forges a memory so sharp that time cannot dull it.
And he wonders.
Her eyes open before his patience runs out. She seems almost surprised and he’s suddenly very glad he hasn’t left this bed. She seems like him in this moment, seems and might be. He wants to ask, wants to skip ahead to the question he wants to ask, dreads to ask.
"Hello," she murmurs quietly, a smile touching her lips as she stretches a bit, as she untangles herself from the blankets enough to wrap an arm around him. He burns and she shivers and they both make a noise that ends much better than it started.
"Hello," he replies because that feels like the thing to say. Even at this point, he’s still following her lead and he still doesn’t mind.
"You’re still here," she tells him as if just realizing this fact, smiling through the haze of sleep.
Really, he has no choice but to kiss her.
"Mm, I am," he replies once they’re done, once she’s half on top of him and looking slightly chilled. "Seems a little rude, leaving without a word."
She looks at him seriously, raises herself up on her arms to look at the top of his head. With the view this allows him, he’s not about to complain or question, simply raise his head to kiss and suck languidly at the skin of her chest. He stops what he’s doing when she asks him an unexpected question.
"What colour would you say your hair is?"
He drops his head back onto the pillow to stare up at her. "Pardon?"
"Your hair colour," she repeats, her fingers in said hair. "It’s not all the way brown, not really ginger, sort of reddish . . . Is there a word for that?"
"Chestnut?" he offers, not seeing what this has to do with anything.
She seems to think it relevant, but for what reason, he cannot hope to fathom. "Chestnut and not rude," she concludes, nodding at him as if this is somehow important. "Food and manners."
"You really do have some rule against making sense in bed, don’t you?" he asks her again.
"Only with you," she answers for the second time this night.
They smile at one another and he searches for something to say. In the end, he rolls over to fish for his jacket off the side of the bed. Finding the velvet by touch, he pulls it up, rummages through his favorite pocket.
"Jelly baby?" he offers, holding the white paper bag out to her.
She laughs and takes one. "Post-coital sweets. Now who doesn’t make sense in bed?"
"Still you, I’m afraid," he replies and he has the horrible feeling that he’s already gone and gotten himself attached. "For instance," he adds, watching her carefully as she pops the sweet into her mouth, "I don’t recall telling you my name."
She stops chewing. It’s always a telltale sign, when they stop chewing.
"And you knew I was a Time Lord before I tried to tell you," he continues, doing nothing more than speaking, simply lying where he is and talking to her in a very calm and collected voice. His eyes don’t drift to the mark he’s made where her shoulder meets her neck. They certainly don’t try to wander, not at all. "Not to mention how very much in stride you’re taking our differences in biology."
She moves and he only watches, watches as she swallows, watches as she leans over him and presses a kiss to his lips. There’s no denial; she’s even vaguely flustered now. "You’re right," she says, pulling away: "I don’t make sense out of bed either."
It occurs to him to catch her hand, to stop her, to do something to prevent her leave-taking. It occurs to him, yet he doesn’t move. She dresses and still he simply watches, feels his hearts fall painfully out of sync as she hides herself from him.
She pulls her trainers on and he plays the only card he has, a card still unfamiliar to him. This is a good body, he knows, a body strong and attractive. He uses his face and his arms and this voice which is so much better than his last one, uses them all and still knows he will fail.
"Come with me."
Dispelling the serious mood he’s straining to sustain, she grins slightly, tongue peeking out between her teeth for all of a second. "Thought I already did," she replies, teasing just that little.
"We could do that some more, too," he offers. In reality, he wants to insist upon it. "But I mean that. Come with me." He’s traveled with people who have kept secrets from him, even journeyed with a few supposed to kill him. She’s worth it, he thinks. They fit so well together and she already knows how to use a fire extinguisher.
His words make her pause, draw her back to the bed. He likes to think that’s the reason, likes to think that some of his unseemly influence on this universe is an influence on her.
She cups his cheek in her human-hot hand and kisses him with a sense of finality. "I meant that, too."
He stands, wishes he were taller again. "You’re not going to tell me your name, are you?"
"Not when I’ve already told you," she says and he can’t imagine how that simple contradiction could feel so significant.
"When?" He doesn’t know her time period, but he can guess her planet. He knows a London accent when he hears one, thinks he’s thinking of the right London.
"Not yet," she tells him and something in her eyes tells him that she’s seeing a different face. She turns from him, crosses to the door.
"Will I love you?" he calls after her, jumbling his pronouns as her hand touches the door handle. He can’t think, can’t move, can’t care that all of his clothes are still on the floor.
She smiles at him over her shoulder, bright and shining and mystifying and fantastic. "Don’t you already?"