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24 May 2008 @ 01:00 pm
In the Still of the Night, Chapter 4  
Story: Doctor Who, Season 2
Genre: Romance/Angst
Pairing: Rose/Ten
Rating: R
Word count: 2573
Music by Cole Porter

Story set after my fic The Doctor Dreams. They are tenuously tied together in the way all my Who fic seems to be.

In the still of the night
As I gaze from my window

            He stood in the hall between the toilet and the balcony. Stood right on the line. Could feel it under his foot. He looked down. The line was thin. Almost imperceptible. But he saw it. They had fit the hardwood floor right up to the tile. There was no grout. No glue. It was made to fit, one for the other. True craftsmanship. But what would you expect? Barcelona.

            It was a fine line he tread on and he crossed it; from inside to out. It was a warm night. There was a spicy smell on the air like ginger flowers and jasmine. There was a band playing further down the street. Not so you’d hear, but just loud enough that the night was alive. Girls danced in courtyards. Old men sipped coffee in cafes. It was vibrant and colorful.

            It would be easy, he ran his fingers over the rough metal of the railing. It would be so easy to just—take her hand and join them. Eat sugared lilies and drink lapis wine. He ran his tongue over his teeth and wished that, if nothing else, he’d thought to bring the wine just for him.

            He fidgeted with his tie, loosening it. Tightening it. Loosening it again. Finally he just took it off and walked back inside; walked purposefully into the bedroom. There was a desk and beside it sat a white linen covered chair. He almost set his coat there. Went so far as to fold it in half and put it down.

            He picked it up again. He still had the tie thrown over his shoulder and he walked back out of the bedroom and into the front entry. He opened the cupboard where his overcoat already hung and took down another hanger, letting the loop of his tie slip over the hook, and then his jacket. Sleeve over end. Sleeve over end. And then there it was next to the overcoat.

He shut the door. He opened it back up and adjusted the collar so it hung smoothly. He shut the door again. He turned the door handle to reopen it, but then released it, cursing under his breath, and walked back to the hall.

            He stood on the line between the toilet and the balcony. Right over it. He looked down at his shoes. Shoes? He walked back to the entry and crouched down to untie the laces on the right foot and slip it off. Then the other. He scooped them up and reopened the door of the cupboard, aligning them at the foot of his overcoat, and closed the door again.

            He stood in front of the cupboard for a solid minute trying to decide if he should remain in his socks.

            “If Rose were out here she would laugh at you,” he sighed. “I am more clever than Argolins, Bartles, or Chelonians. Much cleverer than Racnoss OR Santorans,” he pressed his lips firmly together.

“But I am still debating socks.” He remembered then that Rose, having worn sandals, was barefoot already. And that decided him. He leaned over to pull off each sock, rolled them together, opened the cupboard once again, and stuffed the socks into the right shoe. He closed the door with purpose and strode over to the bathroom. He knocked softly and heard a click as Rose set something down. She opened the door.

“Sorry,” she said, “I didn’t realize ‘ow long I’d been in ‘ere.”

           

At the moon in its flight
My thoughts all stray to you

 

 Rose stared at herself in the mirror for a long time. Leaned forward so her nose almost touched the glass. And stared. Her hair, brown now, what she liked to think of as chestnut, was held back by a white cloth headband. She blinked at the fine lines that had formed around her eyes. The ones around her mouth that weren’t visible unless she tilted in just the right way. What would one day be wrinkles and laugh lines. She straightened, thinking of the water that ran it’s way down the drain wasted.

Cupping her hands under the faucet she leaned over again and splashed her face. Reached to the right, eyes closed, and squeezed a small portion of cleanser into her hand. She washed the make-up away. The dark mascara; so easy to hide behind. The lipstick and the eyeliner. The sweat and oil and stress of the day.

She remembered when she was a lot younger, maybe fourteen, thinking that if she washed her face long enough she would open her eyes to the skin, the beauty, she’d always wanted. If she bought the right soap she could look like the girls in the magazines.

She didn’t think like that now. Not exactly like. But sometimes she still thought if she splashed enough water on her face she could rinse away all the things she didn’t like: fights with her mum, the bewilderment in Mickey’s face, even the hollow look in her own eyes that seemed to show up on sunny days that reminded her of him. Reminded her of motorbikes and apple grass.

But tonight she was with him. She turned slightly to reach the towel behind her and bury her face in it. Tonight was ordinary. There would be no mystical doors. No fog and no fireworks. No dazzling distractions.

She slid off the headband and ran her brush through her hair. She wondered if he would like it this way; if she should have put it back how it was. She knew it didn’t really matter—but she wondered.

 

Now, don't stare. Imagine what you look like to them, all pink and yellow.

 

Rose ran the brush through her hair again. It was still damp in places, but overall, mostly dry. She used her fingernails to part it somewhat sideways so it fell in a wave softening her face. She thought she looked a bit older. Suddenly had no idea what age she might be back on earth. Not that it really mattered. She was simply curious.

There was a knock at the door and she realized she was stalling. She rested the brush on the counter and opened the door.

“Sorry,” she said, “I didn’t realize ‘ow long I’d been in ‘ere.”

 

In the still of the night
All the world is in slumber

 

“Take your time,” he smiled, leaning on the door frame with one arm resting just above his head. He fiddled with his hair a bit, watching her smooth cream over her face. Rub it into her hands and up to her elbows. Watched as she wiped down the counter with the towel. Put each thing away precisely into her bag. So grown up this Rose.

            “Did ya want in?” she asked. He shook his head as she switched off the light and made to pass him, but he stopped her before she could exit the doorway.

            He had removed his weight from the doorframe and stood at his full height; only turning his head down so he could face her. He reached out, fingering the hair that was now dark. Or at least, no longer yellow.

            “I was thinkin I’d change it back—if ya like,” her quiet voice came out as a question. Uncertain. Or perhaps just nervous; careful of him. He shook his head again, fingers slowly sifting from end to end. Catching and combing through it. He ran his thumb along her ear as his other hand came to cup her face. Caress the tension from flesh. She sighed and closed her eyes, seemingly unaware as he leaned forward.

            “You’re perfect exactly as you are,” he whispered, face inches from hers. She opened her eyes to smile and stepped forward, closing the small space between them. Her hands slid round to circle his waist; nose nuzzling his neck. He caught her up in his arms, letting her lean into him.  

            They stood breathing each other awhile. Quiet and still. But after a moment he stepped backward, away from the door. He drew her out and onto the balcony. The ground changed from hardwood to cool tile underfoot as well as the soft moss and vines that crept about the eaves.

He took one of her hands that was at his waist. Drew it up so it rested between his palm and his heart. Let his other hand slide from her neck down to the small of her back, rocking her gently as he did so. Humming the melody that played already in his ear.

 

All the times without number
Darling when I say to you

 

She opened her mouth to speak but then didn’t. This was nice. This was easy. She squeezed his hand and he squeezed back; smiling down at her. He brushed his nose across hers, their faces resting cheek to cheek. They moved to the rhythm of the soft breeze as it played over the branches of trees and canopied awnings.

            Her eyelashes trailed butterfly kisses as she turned to press her lips to his temple. His eyes were closed and she stood on tip toe to kiss their lids. One and then the other. Her hand rested at the base of his neck in the space between his collar and his close cropped hair.            He blinked, opening his eyes.

            Such eyes. They were dark liquid mirrors of worlds. When she gazed into them she could see so many faces. Some old. Some young. One she knew. Another man with eyes like rain. A different man. The same man.

            She saw herself reflected back. Sadness like a shadow. And fear. Worry. He was not young, and she? She was no longer a girl.

 “I’m so sorry, Rose,” his voice was low.

            “You should be ya know. Ya still owe me ten quid,” she brushed it off at first, looked up at him mischievously, “Besides there’s got’a be in’rest by now.” His lips turned up in a smile, but he touched her arm.

“Everything in your life has been turned upside down. Over and over. And again. All because of me, Rose, because of me. I don’t want—I just—”

“Stop,” she lifted her hand to rest two fingers over his mouth. He was immediately silent. Bewildered. She let her hand drop to her side. Pulled away from him to walk over to the railing. But she didn’t lean on it. Didn’t look down to the people below. Or stare out over the city lights. She turned back to face him, resting the backs of  her elbows on the hard wrought iron.

“I don’t want ya to say that again.”

He came forward, touched her shoulder, but she didn’t look up. Instead she straightened and took his hand, unbuttoning the sleeve. She rolled back the cuff and slid it up his arm partway. Examined his hand. His wrist. She ran her fingers delicately over his skin. There was a very faint white line all the way around. Almost imperceptible. But she knew it was there.

 “Oh that’s nothing. You should have seen one I had a few regenerations back. Impaled by a Snorkelboar.” She looked up then, letting her hair fall back from her face. “Nasty bugger. Almost—” he faltered. She held up his hand so he could see for himself.

“We’re all scarred by the things that happen to us in our lives. Sometimes we’re lucky and we regrow bits we’ve lost. Does it ‘urt you?”

“What?”

“The scar, does it ‘urt you?”

“No, never notice it’s even there— Ah,” he said. His face fell forward a bit so his chin almost touched his chest and he smiled a bit contemplating.

 

Do you love me, as I love you
Are you my life to be, my dream come true

 

“Never no’ice it’s even there,” she repeated his words back to him. He thought then that Rose was the only person he’d ever known who could make him feel foolish and smug, restless, content, and loved all at the same time.

“That’s—brilliant. Really, brilliant. What’s that, the fourth time you’ve bested me?”

“The fifth,” she grinned, pleased.

“Should get yourself a scorecard,” he teased her.

“I ‘ave one,” she replied slyly.

“Oh, do ya now?” he raised an eyebrow.

“Mmmm, yeah,” her grin showed teeth this time.

“Do you?” he squinted a bit, looking down over the end of his nose at her.

“Yeah,” she nodded affirmative. They were both serious, both waiting for the other to blink. To fold. To laugh. He winked and she giggled. His shoulders shook and he snickered. Then they both lost it, laughing riotously, gasping for breath, eyes streaming.

It felt good. To hear her laugh again. To laugh with her again. She was doubled over, still shaking. He went suddenly quiet and she turned her face up as she wiped her eyes.

Perhaps she would have looked quizzically at him. Perhaps she would have poked him in the ribs and got him laughing again. Perhaps she wouldn’t have done either of those things. Behaved entirely different.

He didn’t give her a chance. He reached for her. Drew her close. In one fluid motion she was in his arms. Her chin tilted up to his; cupped firmly in the palm of his hand. His lips came down on hers in the exact instant she sucked in a breath. In so doing she drank his breath. He gave it to her. His essence. His life. His self.

 

Do you love me, as I love you
Are you my life to be, my dream come true

 

His hands slid over her breasts. Down her sides. Buttons loosened. Zippers. The thin cotton dress she wore slipped from her shoulder and fell to the floor. Discarded along with shirt. Trousers.

He cradled her hips against him til he had a hold of her thighs. Hoisted her up so he carried her from tile to hardwood. They fell upon downy sheets; cool against her back. His breath was in her ear. Lips on her collarbone. She tasted shoulder and waist. Pushed him back to devour the sight of him. Drew his length over her.

 

Or will this dream of mine fade out of sight

She met him. There at the center. They stood on the line. Between the inside and the outside. They felt it. Almost imperceptible. But it was there. Two perfect edges. Made to fit. Without glue. Without caulking or nails. Without cement. Two fine hewn pieces made one for the other.

But what would you expect?

 

Like the moon growing dim, on the rim of the hill
In the chill, still, of the night

 

She made a sound as he moved his hand down between them to touch her. A sound he thought he’d die a thousand thousand deaths to hear again. As he moved over her, as they moved together, her lips held to his, swallowing his own words. His own moans. His own sighs.

 

Like the moon growing dim, on the rim of the hill
In the chill, still, of the night

 

She went rigid under him. Arching into his hand. She thought he said her name as he collapsed over her. His twin heartbeats matching the rhythm of her solitary one.

They lay still, though his lips still wandered over hers. Tongue still crept against her own.

“I love you,” they said. “I love you.”



 
 
 
oneloveonelight: wanttobelieveoneloveonelight on May 25th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
I finally got some time to read this! Yesterday was an interesting day. Heck, I’ve had a couple very interesting days, I’ll write about it later maybe. Anyway…

They go to Barcelona! (I am hoping they do so at some point in real life… well, Doctor Who “real life”, anyway, lol!) But YAY!! Barcelona.

I admit, I didn’t understand what the hardwood/tile line was about at first. I wasn’t sure if The Doctor was nervous or contemplating something or… And then I see him carefully hanging his clothes up, debating on the socks… yup, definitely nervous. (And for the record, yes, always remove socks, lol!!)

I love the descriptions of how each have changed. Rose is different, from her hair color to getting older to her experiences with the Doctor (both good and bad). The Doctor is also different. He SEES Rose now. And he also realizes they fit together perfectly, like the seam between the tile and hardwood. Like his scar, he never noticed how well they meshed; how well two could become one. And they also have a sense of humor that is timed perfectly. Beautiful.

I always thought if the Doctor and Rose were to be together, it wouldn’t be confusing or awkward at all like some romances can be – it’s just easy. Which is exactly what Rose said.

The only thing I was confused by, was (and I swear this isn’t me begging for more sex, lol!) was, I wasn’t sure exactly what they did in bed. I think they were both satisfied but at first, I didn’t get the impression that they completed… the act. Then I re-read the paragraph where it says, “She met him. There at the center.” So, yes! I love that paragraph, don’t change it. And you don’t have to make the story graphic at all but perhaps there should be an addition of a line somewhere that makes it a little more obvious that, yes, they did.

I loved it. I think it’s sooo romantic. I want to go to Barcelona now. :)
dream_harderdream_harder on May 25th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
Is it really confusing? I'm sorry, I'm just not really an NC-17 kinda girl. I really really hate writing sex scenes.But I also hate people who go the other way and don't write them at all. (WTF else is fanfic for?) Which is why I tend to go the metaphor route. I tried to make it more obvious there at the end. But I guess if it really doesn't make sense I can try and work on it some more. I dunno, what do you think?
oneloveonelight: doctorpolaroidbedoneloveonelight on May 25th, 2008 05:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm not complaining at all! It's really romantic and sexy, I just think it needs maybe ONE line, not even a sentence. For example, I think all I would add is this (italics indicate my addition): "She made a sound as he moved his hand down between them to touch her as they moved together." I think if those few extra words were in there, there'd be no confusion.

I honestly love subtlety just as much as something hard-core. Very often, I do prefer interpreting metaphors and reading between the lines than graphic descriptions. This is a beautiful piece, I just wanted to point out where I was a tad confused. No need to bring out the hardcore, if that's not your style! :)
dream_harderdream_harder on May 25th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Oh ok, that's simple enough. When I'm done customizing my new format on here I can do that no problem.

lol, and thanks I'm glad you enjoyed it, I forgot to say that before.

Heh, I always feel like a prude writing sex scenes honestly. I'm like, what I'm fine watching the L-Word but I can't type up a stupid sex scene without blushing and erasing what I've written about a dozen times? lol, and now you know my darkest secret.
dream_harderdream_harder on May 25th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Ok I changed it in the second to last paragraph.
oneloveonelight: nerdgasmoneloveonelight on May 25th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
Awesome!! I think just that little tiny tad really helps. Beautiful!
salymander on May 25th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
YAY! Heh, you're so going to be my beta reader when I'm doing original fiction in grad school.
Angelaequivocal_muse on May 30th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
Wow, you DO really have talent. Nothing cheesy about this love scene. Thankfully! I love the underlying themes !!!
salymander on May 30th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
Aaaw, thanks :)

Yeah no cheese makes me gag, I'm not into that. I've written a fair amount of fluff, but I always try and throw some angst in to even it out. Thanks again!