This one-shot is part of my oncoming series of one-shots about how things would have turned out if Rose had been there in Season 3. I've been dying of the feels these two have been giving me the past few weeks, so here, have this manifestation of my desperate tries to live in denial! *throws fluff at you*

Enjoy! :D

Rose tried not to mention anything when they were shown to their quarters - well, quarter, actually. It was a quite big room, lit by some candles, with a narrow bed standing right next to the desk by the small window.

The young woman felt the Doctor stiffen beside her when his eyes fell on the bed, but he didn't say anything either and bid the man a good night. When the door closed, Rose didn't dare to look in his eyes - she jumped a little when the Doctor started chuckling, taking a couple of long steps to reach the bed, hands in the pockets of his coat.

"Well, it's been a long day, we should get some rest, don't you think?"

She resisted the urge to ask "What?" and scrunched her face. He grinned at her and patted the place next to him on the matress. "C'mon."

Against her will, she felt a wide smile spread on her face as she made her way towards him. He shot her a wide, toothy grin when she sat down next to him, cocking his head to the side.

"You okay?", he asked then, his eyes growing softer.

Rose nodded, still feeling a slight blush grazing her cheeks. "Yeah. 'm fine. You?"

"Oh, I'm splendid! Why wouldn't I be?", he replied, kicked off his shoes and laid down on his back, staring up at the ceiling. Rose hesitated and carefully took in all the signs.

His brow was furrowed. His arms were crossed across his chest, one of his fingers impatiently bouncing up and down. His whole body was tense, as if ready to jump.

Slowly, she took off her shoes and sank down next to him, letting her eyes wander over his face. "Doctor, what is it?", she asked softly, "what's wrong?"

His brown eyes flickered over her face for a moment, away from her eyes, then he sighed and rubbed his brow. "What gave me away? It was the eyebrow, wasn't it, I did this wiggly-raising-thing again, didn't I-"

"Doctor", she cut him off, gently but resolute. "tell me what's wrong."

His eyes met hers again for an instant, then his whole body seemed to breathe out and he relaxed, his head resting on his arms, facing her.

"I feel like ... I missed something, you know, it's ... there's something, something really close, staring me right in the face and I can't see it." He exhaled and their eyes met again. Rose's lips slowly curved to a soft, understanding smile as she watched his worried face. She laid a gentle hand on his cheek and hesitated for a second, searching for words.

"Maybe you're just not ... paying attention to the right things. Maybe ... you have to see the bigger picture. You always worry so much, you do so much, and maybe you need to rest just for once." Her thumb absent-mindedly stroked his face as she spoke. "We'll think of something, promise.", she muttered softly and smiled at him, "But first you need to get some rest."

As she spoke, his expression changed. And there it was again, this look. This ... tender, deep-in-thought look, his lips twitched to the smallest of smiles. His eyes looked almost golden in the candlelight. For some time, not a word left the Doctor's lips, the only thing he did was looking at her like that, his face smooth, no furrowed brow, no raised eyebrow, he seemed completely calm. The spell didn't break the moment he uttered words, so softly, she almost wouldn't have heard them. "Thank you", he breathed, his warm breath tickling her face, and then he smiled at her and, god, she could have looked at this smile forever. Suddenly, his one free arm locked around her, pulled her close and she found herself laying in his embrace. Slowly, she let her hand wander away from his face to the back of his neck and closed her eyes, leaning into him. She heard the grin in his face when he hummed: "I sure would be lost without you, Rose Tyler. Hell, I'd be dead by now."

"Don't say that", she replied quickly and buried her face in his chest.

"But I would be", he said, sounding so innocent and sincere she had to stifle a snort. "If you hadn't been there, I'd have been dead as a kipper after the Daleks came to Station five."

"You would have saved the entire universe."

"And I would have been dead! Blimey, Rose, I'm trying to make a point here!", he replied indignantly and Rose let out a small laugh. "I know, I know, sorry." Her tone grew softer. "I'm glad I met you."

His smiling lips pressed against the crown of her head. "Me too", he mumbled and draped both of his arms around her now. Rose tried to ignore her breath hitching in her throat and to continue breathing normally, but the smalles of sounds escaped her lips when she felt his arms wrapping around her, engulfing her with warmth.

And, God, he wanted to tell her that moment.

The words hung on his lips, just about to drip off, but suddenly they weren't enough, her human tongue not able to express everything, and they had become meaningless in a way. He sighed and buried himself in her small form, holding her as if she was about to slip right through his fingers. "I thought I'd lost you", he suddenly heard himself say, his own voice sounding rasp and alien to him. She sharply sucked in air between her teeth.

"I thought that moment you slipped, you'd ... be ... gone", he managed to croak and his frantic hands roamed her back, trying to pull her even closer. "I'd have lost you, I knew I'd loose you one day because no one ever stays -"

"Doctor", her soft voice interrupted his urgent whispers, her hand found his cheek again and his movements stopped dead on the track as soon as her fingers touched his skin.

"It's alright. I'm here. With you.", Rose whispered, "And I'll stay with you. I signed up, remember?" When he didn't respond, she slowly continued, running her hand up and down his arm. "Remember how I told you they tried to seperate us but would never manage? They didn't. Even Daleks and Cybermen together weren't able to tear us apart, Doctor."

Slowly, he nodded. "You're right" He tightly shut his eyes for a moment and repeated her words all over in his head, like a mantra. They didn't. They try but they will never manage.

When he opened his eyes again, they found her face and the word he'd been searching for the whole time struck him: fascination. That's what she was, he was completely and utterly fascinated by the young woman in his arms, this brilliant, strong, fantastic woman in front of him, the lost girl who had become the woman who had given everything up, just to stay with him.

"What is it?" A small smile was playing on her lips and the Doctor realized he had been staring at her with wide eyes, lips partened slightly, breathing rapidly. Quickly, he shook himself out of his stupor and swallowed hard. "I was just ... thinking ..."

She let it stay with that and didn't push any furhter, accepted that he didn't want to talk about it. Instead, she snuggled into him and closed her eyes, a small smile playing on her full lips, leaving him in an amazed daze. He knew he wouldn't be able to find sleep any time soon - but he couldn't care less. He'd be content just laying there, Rose Tyler in his arms, safe and sound.

He could lay like this for hours, just looking at her, drinking in her soft features, her slightly partened lips, closed eyes, a light blush grazing her cheeks.

His lips brushed against her temple. "Goodnight, Rose." The Doctor smiled softly when she mumbled something unintelligible back at him.

He didn't know what time would have in store for them - but for once, he didn't want to know. Because if there was one thing he knew, one thing he was absoluteley sure of, was that any future with Rose Tyler by his side, couldn't be so bad.

Please leave me a comment, I'd love to hear your opinion! :D