Love From a Rose

A story about how the Doctor comes to terms with how much he actually loves and needs Rose, and the adventures they have together prove his emotions are reciprocated.

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9. Coward

 

Chapter Nine: Coward

 

After returning to his own room and leaving Rose sleeping on her own, (again) the Doctor lay in bed thinking about the nights events and the ever complicating relationship that was developing with his companion.

Putting it very bluntly, the Doctor was scared. The whole "companions are friends only" rule had been utterly overlooked and tossed aside when it came to Rose. But now he knew that they both felt the same way about each other, and he would have to be the one to put up his barriers to keep her out. He didn't want to of course, but with each passing day Rose was getting closer to him. Both physically and emotionally.

To some extent the Doctor did feel selfish, but he knew that the complete pain of one day losing her was enough to stop him in his foolish tracks. Rose was unlike anyone he had ever met, her selflessness took his breath away. Always doing things for others, and putting herself last. That was one of the things he most admired about her, amongst other things of course.

Whenever he pushed her away, the hurt in her eyes was unbearable. It frequently crossed his thoughts that one day Rose would get fed up of him and just leave of her own accord. Causing her pain was the last thing he wanted to do.

"Gah why is this so complicated!" the Doctor groaned, tossing onto his side noisily. Breathing heavily through his nose he reached underneath his pillow to extract a battered journal. This journal contained his thoughts mostly, and the occasional goofy picture of him and Rose. No one knew better than him how precious their time together was, and when it eventually came to an end these memories and pictures would help to ease the loss. Or that was the plan anyway.

The Doctor sat up, letting out several loud yawns in the process. Shuffling the pillows about until it was comfortable he retrieved a pen from the bedside table and began to write in the journal;

"How do I tell her that I can't be with her forever?
She will one day wither and die, but I will just have to keep on living without her.
Every day after Rose is gone she will haunt my dreams and my thoughts. That I know.
Surely keeping her at arms length is the solution. For it is beginning to even terrify me how much she means to me.
My wonderful, brilliant Rose deserves so much more than I can give her.
I've managed to hide my true feelings for her before, for a long period of time. That seems to be the only option I have left."

Placing the pen back down on the side table, the Doctor stretched his arms above his head. Writing always seemed to help him collect his thoughts. It was strange how he could do incredibly difficult physics equations in a split second but whenever he thought about Rose and her enticing tongue between teeth smile his mind went to mush and all methods of rational thinking went well and truly out of the window.

The next morning Rose walked into the TARDIS kitchen, sporting a pale blue dressing down and matching slippers. She had a bone to pick with the Doctor. She saw him seated on one of the stools, gazing intently into what looked like a book of advanced quantum physics.

"Some light morning reading Doctor?" Rose remarked smugly, raising her eyebrows. Sitting opposite him and taking one look at the, what looked like scribbles and complicated alien symbols. He just grunted in response, causing her to roll her eyes and tut quietly.

"Why did you leave last night?" She asked, staring back up at him. Almost desperately willing him to look up and face her.
"I didn't want to stay Rose." the Doctor mumbled in reply, sounding distant and lost in his book.

In Rose's mind he looked as though he had forgotten all about the passionate kiss they had shared. He still wasn't making eye contact with her, and it was starting to get pretty irritating.

"So that kiss meant nothing to you then?" Rose blurted out, her eyes blazing, "Maybe that's just something you do with all your companions, is it? Oh well I'm sorry for even thinking I meant something to you." Standing there waiting for a response, with hands on hips.

The Doctor didn't even blink, he just continued to read his book, flicking the pages nonchalantly.

"I can't bloody believe you sometimes! I want to go and visit mum... Seems like ages since I last saw her. Yeah you can take me home." With particular emphasis on the word "home" she turned on her heel and stormed out, almost knocking over one of the stools on the way.

Tears blinded her vision as she stumbled back into her room, walking over to the wardrobe and throwing a pile of clothes into a rucksack she kept at the end of the bed. Rose felt like being sick, it was one thing being pushed away by the Doctor, but for him to so obviously ignore her own efforts to talk about their relationship was like getting a punched hard in the gut. Why did he have to be so selfish?

Maybe she had been foolish and blind to the Doctor's feelings. Usually when someone kisses you as passionately as he had the night before it would lead you to believe they had some sort of emotional attachment. Whenever Rose felt like she was getting closer and closer to breaking the Doctor's barriers down he would lock her out.
But never like this. Never had he been so cold and unresponsive. Sometimes she wondered if he even remembered she had emotions as well. Or was she just a stupid ape to him? It certainly seemed like that was the case at the moment.

All Rose wanted right now was home.

Of course the Doctor knew just how badly that had hurt Rose. That was extremely obvious. Being the coward he was around her, unleashing the 'oncoming storm' mode didn't appear to be the best thing to do at breakfast. Neither of them needed it. If he was being truthful, having a little time apart was probably a good thing. They both needed to clear their heads of foolish lust and want. As much as he loved her with both his hearts, she drove him up the wall. Always had done since day one, but that was the dynamic of their friendship, forever bouncing off of one another playfully. Laughing and joking about the close encounters they had had. He teased her about being 'jeopardy friendly' and she would laugh along and say she was getting on quite alright actually, thank you very much.

Setting the coordinates for the Powell Estate London, 2006 the Doctor prayed she had only meant the 'take me home' as a short visit. There was no way Rose would want him hanging around the estate waiting for her, she probably didn't even want to see him at all at this moment in time. He could understand that, and was going to keep his distance. Besides, he wasn't going to risk getting a slap from her mother, Jackie. Although if he did, it would be deserved.

"How long till we get there?" A voice asked from the corridor.

"Oh about two minutes, not long at all." The Doctor really hoped he sounded cheerful and firm. But in actual fact his voice probably wavered a few times as he stumbled over his words.

Turning to face the corridor, and trying to hide his sheer terror of being apart from her for any amount of time he smiled apologetically, swiftly looking back down at his converse, which were now mucky and in need of a thorough clean. Mentally adding that to a "to-do list" he had forming in his mind, amongst other things such as; "buy Rose chocolate", "bake a cake with Rose", "take Rose to California and Las Vegas", finally "stop being such a bloody coward and tell Rose how you feel".

The TARDIS juddered ever so slightly as it landed, Rose immediately picked up her rucksack and headed for the door, however the Doctor was one step ahead and opened it for her.
"You sure you don't want me to carry that up for you Rose?" He asked, almost timidly.
"Nah s'ok." She responded her tone monotonous. He nodded feebly,
"How long are you-"
"A week should be enough tah Doctor."
Before Rose could move the Doctor had grabbed her into an awkward hug, brushing his lips against the top of her head, then released her. Cursing under his breath at his utter stupidity and awkwardness.

Rose merely smirked and walked away, waving after her leaving a very worried looking Doctor behind stood in the TARDIS doorway.

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