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Roxie H.
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Fic - A Night's Comfort - (1/1) - Ten/Rose - K

Date Published: April 17th, 2008
Title: A Night’s Comfort
Series: Scattered Moments
Rating: K
Characters: Ten/Rose
Genre(s): Fluff, romance
Word Count: 1,750
Summary: The Doctor takes a moment to show Rose what their life is when they’re not busy running for their lives.
Disclaimer: The names, images and logos identifying the BBC and their products and services are subject to copyright, design rights and trade marks of the BBC. Used without permission for non-profit, non-commercial personal use.
Fic Type: One-shot.
Author's Note: First of the ‘scattered’ series, which is a series of totally unconnected Doctor/Rose one-shots spawning from a one-word prompt. If you would like to give me a prompt, feel free.
Prompt: Night, from myself.
Excerpt: “You’re like this mysterious man,” Rose continued, as though he hadn’t said a word. “You turn up, all that knowledge in your head, and you help people. An’ it never gets boring, you say. Never ever.”

A Night’s Comfort

“Come on,” the Doctor urged, standing impatiently by the door to the TARDIS. “We haven’t got all day.”

He held out a hand impatiently to Rose, wiggling his fingers enticingly to make her hurry up.

“Just a sec,” Rose responded, not looking up. She was sitting in the captain’s chair, a pen in her hand and a book on her lap. She had been scribbling furiously into the pages for the last half hour, just about the length of time of the Doctor’s patience.

“If you’re not careful,” he warned in jest, “I’m going to go without you.”

Rose looked up and eyed him suspiciously. “You’d never,” she dared.

“I will if you carry on with that,” the Doctor snorted. “Now come on. I want to show you something.”

Rolling her eyes melodramatically, then slung her diary to the floor. It made a loud ‘thud’ as it hit the grille, and Rose slid off the chair. She trotted over to the Doctor, a spring in her step, wound her fingers around his and grinned up at him, her hair falling in her face.

He looked down to her, smiling.

“Where are we?” she asked.

Tilting his head to one side, he tapped his nose and opened the door.

They walked out into darkness. It was night, and the stars above were twinkling down like the winking eyes of gods. They flashed slightly, giving off different shades of colour, as though a rainbow had been scattered across the deep midnight-blue sky like sleeping dust.

The TARDIS had landed on the peak of a large hill, and all around for miles and miles were more hills, and tucked away in the valleys lay colourful settlements, their lights sparkling invitingly up to the Doctor and Rose.

Every hill was covered in a thick layer of snow, though the air was not cold, and in the distance more flakes were falling.

“This is gorgeous,” Rose breathed from the Doctor’s side, and he smiled. He liked surprising her. Sometimes he would tell her where they were going, sometimes he would let her choose, and sometimes he would decide for them. He almost always had something devilish in mind when they went anywhere.

Detaching from Rose, the Doctor wandered to the brink of the hill, staring wisely down to the valleys below.

“Just imagine, Rose,” he said without turning back to her. “Down there, in every one of those settlements is an adventure waiting to happen. Every place has a story to tell, or a secret to unearth, or a promise to keep. That’s the world laid out before us, that is; ours for the taking.”

He turned around and found Rose watching him, darkness reflected in her eyes. Smiling warmly and held out his hand again, wanting to feel her by his side.

She walked towards him. “I can’t believe you’ve been doing this for nine hundred years,” she murmured, staring down to the small buildings below.

“Well, perhaps not quite this,” he admitted, and he tugged her hand playfully. When she looked at him he couldn’t help but look back, searching the depth of her eyes. “It never gets old,” the Doctor continued wistfully. “All that running. All that fighting. You’d think I’d get tired, eventually, but I never ever do. When you think that every place I go has secrets, or stories, or promises... it could never get old.”

Rose smiled. Then, after a moment, it faded and she looked away, letting her thoughts wander out into the night.

“Rose?” the Doctor questioned, not taking his eyes off her.

“How long have you got left?” she asked, looking down to her feet.

The Doctor frowned at the suddenness of the question. “I don’t understand.”

“Alive,” she clarified, still not looking at him. “You’ve been doing this for nine hundred years. When is your time up? You can’t do this forever.”

“Well...” the Doctor puffed out his cheeks, wondering if it really was such a good idea to embark down his biology right now. He put it in the simplest terms he could. “You know I can regenerate. So it’s not about ‘how long’ -- Timelords don’t have a life span like you lot. We get thirteen lives. Then, once those are up – unless you’re very very special – then it’s time.”

“Oh.”

“You sound surprised,” the Doctor chuckled.

“I just keep forgetting that you’re... y’know,” Rose replied, waving a hand in his direction. “Alien.”

He laughed. “We travel time and space in a wooden box that’s bigger on the inside, and you forget I’m an alien?”

Rose couldn’t help but smile with him. “You know what I mean.” She looked up to him again, this time a grin in her eyes. “You’re just so...”

He looked back at her, unblinking. “What?” he asked gently.

She hesitated, and their eyes locked. He wondered if she was brave enough to say what he knew she wanted to say.

“You.”

Smiling quietly to himself, the Doctor glanced up to the sky. He squeezed Rose’s hand. “Yup,” he replied, popping the ‘p’. “I’m me, true as true can be. Well, until I regenerate again.” He glanced quickly at Rose. “Then who am I? I wouldn’t like to think I was somebody else.”

“You’re like this mysterious man,” Rose continued, as though he hadn’t said a word. “You turn up, all that knowledge in your head, and you help people. An’ it never gets boring, you say. Never ever.”

“Nope.”

She frowned inquisitively. “Why not? Nine hundred years – that’d be enough for anybody.”

“Ah, almost anybody,” he corrected, smiling slightly. “Could you do it? If you had nine hundred years and nothing else to do, nowhere else to go... wouldn’t you?”

Rose lapsed into quiet thoughtfulness, her eyes drifting once again to the peaceful places down below. A wind began to whisper around them, lifting a few flakes of snow to dance around them.

“I don’t know.”

“Well,” the Doctor reasoned, looking up into the night sky as snow started to fall heavier around them; the storm was heading their way. “You’re here now, aren’t you? With me?”

“Yeah. Guess I am.”

Hearing the warmth in her voice, the Doctor felt one of his hearts give a content flutter. “There we are then,” he said happily.

The snowflakes began to turn cold on his skin, and he looked at Rose to see if she was ready to go back into the TARDIS. This had only ever been meant as a quick glimpse, to show her some of the beauties that the universe held, as well as the horrors; they were to be ghosts here, barely making an imprint on this quiet little world.

Rose was covered in small crystals of snow, smattered across her as though a child had emptied out a glitter pot on her head.

When she noticed him looking, she asked, “What?” as though she had worn the wrong thing to a party.

“Oh, nothing,” he mused pleasantly, swinging their hands. “I’m just happy.”

Her face lit up; he could see the joy in her eyes. “Really?”

“Oh, yes. Travelling the universe is all well and good, but I don’t think I could do it nearly half so well if I didn’t have... company.”

“You’d probably be dead already,” Rose commented. “If what we’ve been through is anything to go by.”

Chuckling, the Doctor replied, “Yes, I suppose I would. Many more times.”

“Have there been...?” Rose began, bit bit away the rest of her sentence. The Doctor fixed her with an inquisitive gaze, and she continued apprehensively. “A lot? Of... company. I mean. You know.”

He nodded soberly. “Enough,” he said. “Seems I’m a popular man.”

“And not big-headed at all,” Rose teased.

“Watch it,” he admonished, “or I’ll leave you here.”

She looked around them, at their footprints in the snow and the TARDIS standing a few metres away, at the sky stretching out for miles above, at the snow covered hill-tops that spread out in every direction. Then she looked up to the Doctor and smiled, snow swirling in front of her.

“Couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.”

Their eyes met for just a moment and, in that moment, the Doctor saw something glimmering in Rose’s eyes that he had only noticed a few times before. It was subtle, never fighting to the front of the crowd or vying to be noticed – it just sat there, contentedly, and the Doctor suddenly fell a great surge of warmth to the young woman in front of him.

He found himself remembering his old life, what it had been like to look into those eyes behind a different mask, how it had made him feel...

Time was different, now. The aches and pains of the past had dulled into barely anything recognisable, and all the Doctor found himself worrying about these days was where they should go next. Which was, he reflected as they turned to go back to the TARDIS, exactly how it should be.

He released Rose’s hand as they got to the door and he reached inside his pocket for the key.

“I will,” Rose said, and pulled out the shining TARDIS key from around her neck. They looked at each other as she slid it into the lock, and both were remembering the same thing: the first time the Doctor had given it to her. And the only time he had taken it away.

She began to push the door open, but the Doctor suddenly stopped her, holding out his arm to block her from entering. He couldn’t let this moment pass.

“Rose, before we go in...”

“Yeah?” She sounded small, innocent, a tiny human in a large world.

“I just... I wanted to say...” The moments rolled by like eternity, each one bleeding into the next. “Thanks. For the company.”

“My pleasure, Doctor.” Rose smiled, then ducked under his arm and disappeared inside.

The Doctor took a few seconds to look around, at the fast-falling snow and the lights in the sky, and he smiled. Then, thinking little of the towns he was leaving behind in the valleys, he too stepped inside his magical time machine and shut the door.

As the great whirring sounds of the engines filled the air, the TARDIS began to fade out of existence. By the time it had gone the only thing left to suggest that anyone had been there at all were the brief, few footprints in the snow.

End
Tags: fic, fic: a night's comfort, series: scattered moments, ship: ten/rose
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