Disclaimer: Doctor Who isn't mine. If it was things would be quite different. The BBC owns all and I bow before them.
Written for and wishing lizann5869 a very happy birthday! :)
Many thanks to the ever awesome and wonderful tenroseforeverandever for betaing. I fiddled with it after she looked at it and any mistakes are my own.
Note: While there is mention of a truth serum, it only made Rose blurt out her feelings to the Doctor. There is no dub-con in this, she is completely aware and in control of her actions.
Rose Tyler lay cuddled against the Doctor's shoulder. She basked in the bliss of the afterglow. Finally, after so long, they had taken that final step, bringing them properly together as a couple. Of course, it had taken a truth serum to make her blurt out her feelings, but for once the Doctor hadn't run. He'd swallowed, before confessing his own feelings, and that was it. There had been no more holding back. They had danced. She started giggling, unable to hold it in.
"What?" The Doctor's lips quirked up.
"You definitely have the moves," she said, tracing a finger down his sternum.
The Doctor hummed in agreement. "I told you I did!"
"As much as your ego doesn't need it," she poked him teasingly, "I have to agree." Her face then turned serious. "I mean it, Doctor. I love you. I have since that jail cell in Cardiff and I will for the rest of my life."
The Doctor placed a finger under her chin and drew her lips to his for a sweet kiss. "I've loved you since 'there's me," he shared. "What you saw in a battered, broken soldier… Jack said you had feelings for me, but I could never believe it. Why would you? I still don't understand it,
even now, but I'm thankful that you do."
"What you saw in a simple shop girl," Rose shook her head, but before she could say more, the Doctor shushed her.
"You're brilliant, Rose. You always have been."
"So are you, Doctor. My Doctor." She lay her head back down and started to close her eyes, content to fall asleep. Before she could descend into slumber, though, her mind flitted to memories of the man he had once been. The idea that his leather clad self had never believed himself worthy of her made her heart ache. If only that him could know. "I wish..." she mumbled sleepily.
"Wish what?" The Doctor inquired, as she ran his fingers through her golden strands.
Rose opened her eyes. "Nothing. Just an impossible thought. It doesn't matter." The truth serum wasn't totally out of her system, but she was starting to be able to resist its effects.
"Tell me," the Doctor insisted. "We seem to do the impossible every day."
"It's just," Rose paused as she sat up. She didn't want to hurt this Doctor, to make him think she felt less for him than his former self, because she didn't. She loved completely both the incarnations of him she'd known .
The Doctor followed her lead and sat up also. For once he held his gob in check and waited for her to continue.
"I wish I could tell him. Northern you." Rose whispered, as she bit at her thumb nail. "I know you're him, Doctor. I know you are, but your personality did change and I do miss that you." She looked him in the eyes. "Just as I'd miss this you if you changed again. I'd love the new you, but still miss the previous yous. Does that make sense?"
The Doctor nodded and opened his mouth, but Rose rushed on.
"And it hurts, Doctor, it really hurts, that... that you never knew back then. That I didn't tell you exactly what I felt. Jack tried to convince me to tell you I loved you, Doctor, and that you loved me too. But I just couldn't believe it. And now I wish I'd told leather you. Before you became this you. But like I said, impossible." She sighed.
The Doctor's gaze was intense as studied her. "Actually," he began.
Rose's breath caught in her throat. "What?" He didn't mean….
"There might be a way." The Doctor hedged. He scratched his neck absently, the way he did when he was suggesting something that might not be the best of ideas. "Time Lords have a trick," he began, as he took her hand in his.
"Yes," she urged him to go on. "Sometimes we meet ourselves. It's happened several times throughout my lives. We meet and then the TARDIS helps us put a block in our mind. We don't remember it until it happens again in whatever life we just met. I could get you to him."
Her mouth dropped open. "You mean I really could see him again?"
"I'd have to forget it, afterward, but yeah." The Doctor nodded. "It's possible. But Rose, if I took you there, you can't change anything. If you did-"
Rose squeezed his hand, as images of reapers and 1987 crossed her mind and she shivered. "I know Doctor. I won't. Might change things and we'd never get here. I wouldn't risk that," she assured him. "Or the world. I learned that lesson."
The Doctor gave a satisfied hum. "We'll need to figure out the best time for it, but we can do it. Tomorrow, once the truth serum is fully out of your system, if you'd like.
Rose grinned at him. "Tomorrow it is," she agreed as she snuggled into his side for some much needed sleep.
The next morning Rose dressed and found the Doctor in the galley, his back turned to the door as served up some pancakes and made tea. She wondered if he might have changed his mind, but before she could speak he turned around.
"There you are!" He beamed. "I thought it over and I think the night of Shareen's birthday party would be best. It was after Adam and before Jack, so it'll just be the two of us. You left just before sunset so we can arrive after that. You were wearing your purple shirt with the silver stars and a black hoodie and jeans that night."
Rose blinked at him, surprised he remembered those details. She might not have remembered them herself, if she hadn't had a photo from that night taped to her bedroom mirror. "Sounds good," she agreed, as she took a bite out of the pancakes he offered her.
A short time later, and wearing the outfit the Doctor had described, she found herself between two TARDISes as they sat parked on the Powell Estates.
"Ours is shielded," he told her. "Both from your mum and him. She'll keep our secret." He gave the younger version of his time ship an affectionate pat.
She cocked her head. "You're not coming in?"
"Nah." He tugged on his ear. "This moment is just for you and leather me." He nodded towards their TARDIS. "I'll wait for you inside."
Rose took a deep breath as she stood before the doors to her previous TARDIS. She never dreamed she could see her first Doctor again, and now that she was, she was nervous. There was so much unspoken between this Doctor and herself. Giving herself a mental shake (c'mon Rose, he's already told you how long he loved you), she inserted her key into the lock and turned it.
Stepping inside she saw the long denim clad form of her Nothern Doctor leaning over the TARDIS console. She grinned at the sight and rushed forward.
The Doctor turned around at the sound and his eyes widened in surprise. "Back already? I thought you'd be gone for hours."
She nodded. "I just missed you." She hesitated before him, not knowing quite what to say. She'd already blurted out "I love you" to his next self, thanks to the truth serum. She should've thought through more exactly what to say to this him.
The Doctor squinted as he took her in, his eyes floating from the top of her head, over her face, and down her body.
Deciding action was the best course, Rose wrapped her arms around him before he could speak, hugging him the way he had hugged her in Utah. "I love you," she told him. "I have since Cardiff and will for the rest of my life."
The Doctor flailed in her arms a bit, pulling away slightly, but only enough to look into her eyes. "You're not my Rose," he stated, intrigue written across his face.
Rose gave him a tongue-touched smile. "I've always been your Rose. Since our very first trip. No matter what happens, or who you become. It started here." She motioned between the two of them.
"I regenerated?" He shook his head as he said that. "I regenerated," he repeated, "and you stayed?"
Rose nodded. "Of course I did. I'd stay with you for a hundred of them. Better with two, remember?"
The Doctor beamed. "And we're together?"
"Yeah." Rose grinned at him. "Finally. It took a dose of truth serum to make it happen, but once I told you, you confessed you loved me too. That you had since the beginning. I also mentioned how much I wished I had told you. This you." She bit her lip. "Because I never did."
"Sounds like I was too afraid to do it either. Seems about right." He gave a mirthful chuckle.
She squeezed his hand; they'd both been idiots in the past. "But Doctor?" She slipped her tongue between her teeth once again. "There's something I always imagined, yeah?"
The Doctor grinned at her. "What's that?"
"What it would be like to do..." she let go of his hand and grabbed the lapels of his leather jacket, pulling him close once again, "...this." She crashed their lips together. Noses bumped and teeth clacked as they worked to get the angle exactly right, but it quickly turned into the best first kiss ever - his with her, and hers with this him. Unable to resist, she slipped her tongue into his mouth and he growled, before caressing it with his own.
She finally needed to come up for air and pulled away, laughing at the expression on the Doctor's face. He looked like he'd been clobbered over the head, but was so happy about it. "Rose Tyler," he chuckled, "that was fantastic."
"Wasn't it?" She grinned at him, but then turned serious again. "I mean it, Doctor. I love who you are now. I love who you'll be in a year, or 5 years. But this you will always be the man I first fell in love with. I know you'll have to forget this, but I want you to know, even if it's just for a few minutes."
The Doctor ran his fingers lightly through her hair and then cupped her face. "I want you to know too. From me. I'm a broken old man, Rose. All the things I've seen and done. I don't deserve you, but there you were and you wouldn't listen. You challenged me and made me want to live again.I wanted to be better. All because you showed me how good life could be. It'd been so long since I felt that way. I love you Rose Tyler, and I'm sorry I've never told you, but Gallifrey help me, I do."
With that, the Doctor brushed his lips against hers once more. This kiss was softer, more tender and Rose felt tears prickle in her eyes.
"My Doctor," she whispered into his leather coat. She took in a long lungful of that blessed scent one last time.
"My Rose," he agreed.
Pulling away, Rose knew it was time. As much as she wanted to stay with him a while longer, she'd said (and done) what she'd longed to in her heart of hearts. Any more and she might say something or do something wrong and she couldn't risk shattering this perfect moment - or altering all the moments that were yet to come.
"I've got to go," she told him, squeezing his hand.
"Thank you, Rose," he told her. "For everything." He pressed a final kiss to the top of her head and led her to the TARDIS door.
With a last glance at her first Doctor, Rose gave a little wave as she stepped through the door. He waved back and she swallowed down her tears. They were happy, but bittersweet at the same time.
As she walked towards her TARDIS, Rose wiped her eyes. Her first Doctor wasn't really gone, he'd just changed a bit, and like she'd said, she'd missed her pinstriped Doctor in his absence. But he was waiting for her, and she grinned as the door flew open in greeting.
She raced to meet him and he pulled her into his arms. She laughed as he swung her around in his hug. When he set her down she grabbed his lapels, and just like she'd done with his leather jacket earlier, pulled him down to her level. Lips slid and tongues tangled in the joyous kiss of another reunion.
When she pulled back for breath, the Doctor beamed at her. "Leather me wondered, after I pulled the vortex from you, what it would feel like to kiss you. Just you, with no outside forces. Never realized I already had; that I'd get to remember it."
She blushed. "And now you do?"
"Yep." The Doctor popped his p. "The Old Girl just unlocked the memory. Well done, Rose Tyler!" He cupped her cheeks and leaned in to kiss her again.