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Colds and Kissing (3 parts)


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Fandom: Doctor Who, season 2, 10th doctor (David Tennant)/Rose (Billie Piper)

Disclaimer: Boilerplate stuff, I own nothing.

Author's Note: Hi, I'm new to the forum, thought I'd post a couple of sickfic segments from a longer series I'm working on - all stories where the Doctor and Rose end up kissing for reasons other than the obvious. This bit is definitely F, and the sneezing is kind of background to plot - I think the next bit should be a little more fetishy.

When Rose woke up sniffling, she knew it would be a long day.

Keeping up with her Doctor was hard enough at the best of times — maybe it was an alien thing, his seemingly limitless supply of energy. All she knew was, he could go from running for their lives to a celebratory tap dance in the TARDIS without even breaking a sweat. And Rose was in pretty good shape, but there were days when she felt close to collapsing. A headcold just made everything so much worse.

Sighing, she dragged herself out of bed and into the shower, and by the time she made it out to the console room the Doctor was practically bouncing off the walls.

“Rose, there you are! I was beginning to think you’d sleep the day away! Welllll, that’s technically impossible, since we’re in the Vortex, no objective passage of time, but still! You humans have such short lifespans, I’ll never understand how you can bear to spend so much of it sleeping.” Mid-ramble, he swept her into an impromptu hug, and Rose wondered just how bored he got, knocking around his big spaceship all alone every night.

“Not like we humans have much of a choice in the matter, you know. Not everyone has freaky alien stamina. Anyway, ‘m up now. Where – tchoo! – where to?”

“Bless you. I thought maybe Paris during the Enlightenment. Would you believe I’ve never met Voltaire? Brilliant bloke, by all accounts, I always thought we’d get on.” Another sneeze snuck up on Rose, and she hunted through her pockets for a hankie. “Bless you again. Funny thing, blessing someone when they sneeze. Of course, on Earth it’s mostly just tradition, but on Thn’ar it’s dead serious. They lose a bit of their brain matter when they sneeze, quite disgusting, ‘bliseoo’ is the trigger word for the neural repair unit.” He came out of his ramble and focused fully on Rose as she blew her nose. “Are you all right?”

She nodded quickly. “Yeah, fine, just a little headcold is all.”

He visibly deflated. “Right. Well, we can’t have that. Voltaire will wait, just get yourself back to bed. Can I bring you anything? Cup of tea? Chicken soup? Eucalyptus oil? Hot water bottle? Tissues?”

She cut him off. “Don’t – tchoo! – don’t be silly. It’s just a cold, Voltaire sounds lovely.” Truth be told, she had very little idea who Voltaire was, other than French, and she’d have gladly taken a day off, but she knew from experience that the Doctor made a terrible nurse. Not that long ago, she’d broken her ankle, running for her life through some kind of swampland, and even with all the TARDIS’s fancy medical equipment it had taken days to heal. She didn’t think she could handle a repeat of those days, with the Doctor alternately hovering at her side pestering her about whether he could bring her anything, and bouncing off the walls with boredom.

He frowned at her, placing one cool hand on her forehead appraisingly. “No temperature. You sure you’re up for it?”

She laughed, doing her level best not to let it turn into a cough. “Just be hanging about Paris, yeah? Eatin’ croissants while you chat up Voltaire? Think I can handle it.”

“Right, then,” he said, throwing a few levers and bracing himself as they landed. “Rose Tyler, bienvenue à Paris,” he said with really quite an impressive French accent.

“Merci beaucoup,” she said playfully, throwing open the TARDIS door.

And promptly backed up, coughing and holding an arm in front of her face against the icy wind. “It would have to be the dead of winter, wouldn’t it?”

The Doctor stepped out, frowning at the bleak alleyway where they’d landed as if hoping it would somehow turn into the Champs Elysées. “Shouldn’t be. I was aiming for May of 1759, bit after Candide was published. This… isn’t right.”

Rose stood in the doorway, not quite willing to leave the warmth of the TARDIS. “Right. And this – tchoo! heh-tchoo! – this would be the first time you’d ever landed us a bit off,” she teased. “Least it’s only a few months this time, not a hundred years.”

When he pouted, he always reminded her of her two-year-old cousin Bobby. “But the coordinates were right, I know they were. And this doesn’t feel right.” He peered back at her for a moment. “Come on,” he said suddenly, grabbing her hand roughly and tugging her out of the alley.

Rose couldn’t help but snicker when the sign on the corner read “Rue Voltaire.” “Yeah, definitely think your aim was off. ‘Less they named streets after him while he was still alive?” Her teasing cut off abruptly when she saw the worried look on the Doctor’s face. “Hey. S’okay. Still Paris, yeah? I’ve never been before, you can – tchoo! – show me the sights.” She was getting a bit tired of sneezing, and the frigid air didn’t help anything, but this didn’t seem the time to mention it.

“This isn’t right,” he whispered again, and she frowned, looking around.

It certainly wasn’t how she’d imagined Paris to look. The whole street was just a flat grey, lined with dark, windowless brick buildings. Maybe they were in the slums or something?

The Doctor stiffened suddenly. “Do you hear that?”

She was about to remind him that even when her head wasn’t all stopped up with a cold she was no match for his superior Time Lord senses, but he shushed her, pulling her back into the alley and into a shadowed doorway, holding her against his chest.

They stood like that for several minutes, Rose enjoying the familiar feel of being in the Doctor’s arms, pressed against the soft fabric of his tie.

After a bit, she heard what he’d been talking about, a rhythmic pounding that rapidly grew louder until an army came into sight, marching through the streets.

But from what she could see over the Doctor’s shoulder, this was like no army she’d ever seen. They were in uniform, yeah, but more than that, their faces were all exactly alike, a sea of identical features locked in identical grim expressions.

“Okay, maybe I’m just behind on my-“ she paused for a moment to stifle a sneeze against his coat. “On my history, but I don’t remember anything about the French having giant clone armies.”

The Doctor tugged sheepishly at his ear. “It’s possible I was off by more than a few months. From the look of it, we’ve landed smack in the middle of the Révolution Humaine of 2759.”

Rose flashed him a small smile. “A millennium late, then. They still have croissants in 2759?”

He smiled back, one hand absently stroking along her spine. “’Fraid not. Rose, we should get out of here. Full genetic humans are in hiding, the Régime des Sciences is herediforming everyone into tools of the state.

“Herediforming?” She shook her head as he made to explain. “Never mind. My head’s a bit fuzzy, I’m not in the mood for a lecture on science. So are we here to stop it?”

“Nah, they do a fine job of that on their own. Few months from now, human revolutionaries infiltrate the armies, find a way to reverse the herediforming process, it’s nearly a bloodless uprising. Brilliant.” He peered at her worriedly as she stifled another sneeze, sniffling. “Rose, are you-“

He cut off when a contingent of ten clone-soldiers separated from the main group to march down the alley where the Doctor and Rose were hiding. Pressing a finger to his lips, he tugged Rose even closer, folding them both deeper into the shadows.

Rose held her breath, terrified that she’d sneeze and give them away. Single file, the soldiers clattered past, each exactly the same as the last, each keeping his eyes trained straight ahead. After the last had passed them by, Rose let out a sigh of relief.

It was a mistake. Her lungs collapsed into a fit of coughing that echoed harshly in the small stone doorway.

As one, the soldiers snapped around. The Doctor grabbed her hand. “Run!”

And this, Rose reflected as he yanked her through the icy streets, was exactly what she hadn’t wanted to do today. Right now, she could be tucked up in her bed on the TARDIS with a nice hot cup of tea. Even the idea of the Doctor fussing over her didn’t sound so bad.

Instead, she was pushing her way through legions of creepy clones, her vision swimming and her lungs on fire. Every clone they touched snapped around and marched after them. And it was very definitely marching, though fast enough to very nearly keep up with the sprinting Doctor and Rose.

At this point, Rose was pretty sure the only thing keeping her going was adrenaline – adrenaline, and the Doctor all but dragging her along. “Just a bit farther, Rose, come on,” he murmured, and she hated him a bit for not even panting.

Her focus narrowed to the road directly in front of her, as she repeated to herself over and over, “One more step. One more step. One more…” Her foot turned on a broken cobblestone, and she cried out, tumbling to the ground as her hand wrenched out of the Doctor’s grasp.

Any other day, maybe Rose could have pulled herself up quickly enough, caught up with the Doctor, ignored the way her knee was bleeding until they made it to safety. Today, though, her body decided it had had enough, and she stayed where she’d fallen, squeezing her eyes shut to keep from blacking out.

She could hear the Doctor calling her name from somewhere ahead of her, and she could hear the clatter of the clones’ boots against the street as they moved to surround her. She blinked her eyes open.

“What-“ she had to stop as another coughing fit shuddered through her. “What do you want with me?”

“Rose!” the Doctor shouted, struggling to shove his way into the tight circle of clones.

“You will come,” said one of them.

“Look, we’re only passing through, the Doctor and me, we won’t make any trouble if you just – tchoo! – just – heh-tchoo! – just let us go.”

“You will come,” said another clone, in the exact same tone of voice.

The Doctor finally burst through their ranks. “You’re not taking Rose anywhere.”

“You will come as well,” said a third clone.

The Doctor eyed Rose as she rubbed at her streaming eyes and nose, and seemed to decide she wasn’t up to much more running just at the moment. “Right. All right. Only had to ask nicely, yeah? Let’s go.”

He reached down to pull Rose to her feet, and she was pleased to find that she only swayed a very little bit before finding her balance. The clones, still forming a tight circle around their prisoners, began to march back the way they’d come.

The Doctor placed a firm arm around her waist, and she let him lead her forward as she concentrated on staying upright and not sneezing all over him. “What are these clone things, anyway? They remind me of the Cybermen.”

“Bit of the same idea, really. The herediforming suppresses everything that makes them unique, makes them individuals, leaving only a super-soldier shell. At least in this case it’s reversible, the genes are only frozen, not gone.”

“That where they’re taking us, then? To have our genes frozen?”

“Might do, yeah. They probably think we’re revolutionaries, though, they’ll want to take us to their leader for questioning.”

She opened her mouth to ask about the leader, but couldn’t get the question out through a sudden flurry of sneezes.

He rubbed her arm in sympathy, and even through her misery she shivered at the electricity of the contact. The Doctor was as oblivious as always. “Blimey, I’m thick. You must be freezing, here.”

She hadn’t noticed the temperature for a while, actually, but as soon as he mentioned it she couldn’t stop shivering. The solid weight of his coat as he draped it over her shoulders was heavenly. “Thanks. Sorry ‘bout all this, you were right, should’ve stayed in.”

He looked at her sternly. “Rose Tyler, are you apologizing for being ill? My fault, no idea why the TARDIS saw fit to drop us in the middle of a war zone while you’re not at your best.”

She managed a weak laugh. “Don’t you go blaming the TARDIS, this is all on you, Mr. Off-by-a-millennium.”

“Oi! I’ll have you know my coordinates were perfectly accurate, only thing I can figure is the TARDIS thought there was something here – ooh, I think we’ve arrived.”

Sure enough, the clones had stopped in front of a door, the same dull grey as everything else in this city, and opened the circle to allow the Doctor and Rose to enter. “You will enter,” said one of them.

“Right,” the Doctor said brightly. “Off we go, then.”

Rose wasn’t sure what she’d expected the leader of a 28th century French clone army to look like, but she certainly hadn’t been expecting a dumpy, balding, middle-aged bloke in a tweed suit. He barely looked up from his desk as they came in. “Report?”

Three of the clones marched in behind them, shutting the door. “Found at Rue Voltaire and Allée de la Reine. Unherediformed. Resisted capture.”

The man at the desk waved a careless hand. “Take them to the facility at headquarters.”

The Doctor spoke up. “Now, listen, there are a lot of very good reasons why you don’t want to do that–“

The man stared at the Doctor coldly. “You have not been given permission to speak.”

“Well, and when have I ever let that stop me, eh, Rose?” Rose couldn’t help but chuckle in agreement. “Could speak all day, me. Matter of fact, I tend to have this nasty little habit of saying exactly what people don’t want to hear. Like, for example, you must know that this little arrangement you have going here can’t go on forever. Humans tend to find a way to stay human.” Rose sneezed three times in rapid succession. The Doctor cast her a sympathetic glance and fished a clean hankie from deep inside one of his pockets.

She took it gratefully, blowing her nose as delicately as she could. She hated this. Here was the Doctor giving his usual speech about how the bad guys were doomed to failure, and she was just standing by feeling small and miserable and ill.

The man at the desk stared at her with undisguised curiosity. “Why is the female making that noise?”

“Oh, don’t mind Rose, she’s got a bit of a nasty cold just at the moment.”

The man frowned. “Is the temperature relevant?”

The Doctor tutted impatiently. “What? No, not cold as in temperature, cold as in – the words aren’t even the same in French! It’s… oh. Right. 28th century, the rhinovirus has mutated beyond recognition, hasn’t it?” Rose recognized the telltale signs of a Plan forming in the Doctor’s shining eyes. “No telling what might happen, if you turn her while she’s ill. Once her biology’s compatible with your soldiers, she could pass it on to them, a strain they’ve no natural immunity to. Suppose you’ll just have to let us go,” he finished triumphantly. “I’ll get her safely off-planet, not to worry.”

To punctuate the statement, Rose sneezed again into her hankie.

“Quarantine,” the man snapped. “Now. The female will be taken to isolation chamber B. Take the other to be converted as planned.”

Two of the clones stepped forward, grabbing the Doctor by the arm, while a third restrained Rose. “But… no!” Rose objected. She didn’t want to even think of her Doctor transformed into a copy of the creepy thing behind her, and that was assuming something didn’t go horribly wrong with the process because of his alien physiology. “He’ll have to be isolated as well, won’t he? He’s been exposed. Been – tchoo! – been with me all day.”

Surprisingly, it was one of the clones who responded to the objection, even as he dragged the Doctor away with a rather alarming strength. “Exposure minimal. Risk of infection negligible.”

Rose snorted. “Right, and of course you’d know. What, do you have some kind of… virus sense, is that part of the upgrade?”

The Doctor turned toward her automatically to explain. “Not an upgrade, exactly, it only expresses existing, dormant genes. But no, they don’t read viruses, they’re just judging by the standards of the rhinovirus they know, which is much less communicable. Fascinating, really, it’s—“ he changed tracks midsentence when Rose cried out as her clone twisted her arms behind her back. “Oi, you’re hurting her!”

He wrenched his body forward with enough force that one of the clones lost its grip on his arm, and he staggered around in a half-circle, leaving him off balance and barely an inch from colliding with Rose’s chin. An idea occurred to her, and she didn’t let herself think about it for more than a second. “They want communicable?” she shouted, “I’ll give them communicable.” And with that, she tilted her head forward and pressed her lips to the Doctor’s.

It was possibly the least romantic kiss she’d ever had. Both their heads were at awkward angles as the clones held them back, and the Doctor’s lips were motionless against hers with shock. Still, determined to share her germs as thoroughly as possible, she ran her tongue lightly in a circle around his closed lips, marvelling distantly at how soft they were.

She really hoped he wouldn’t hold this against her. At least she’d blown her nose, she wasn’t snotting all over him. Abruptly, he opened his mouth against hers — catching on, must be — his tongue enthusiastically tangling with hers, then rubbing against the roof of her mouth in a motion that made her forget everything, forget the pain in her neck as she strained forward, forget the fact that she couldn’t breathe at all, forget that they had an audience. All she could think was that she wanted him to keep doing that for as long as possible.

Then the clones pulled them apart, and their mouths separated with a smacking sound. Rose gasped for air, and the Doctor stared at her with his mouth open. She noticed that he was perfectly still, not even breathing — respiratory bypass must have kicked in.

“Right,” he said finally. “That was… well. That.” He turned slowly to face the man at the desk, who looked positively murderous. “No denying I’m exposed now, yeah? S’pose it’s quarantine for the both of us.”

“Isolation chambers B and C,” the man ordered, and the Doctor and Rose didn’t resist this time as the clones dragged them forward.

The isolation chamber wasn’t so bad, as these things went. Getting locked up was a bit of an occupational hazard, travelling with the Doctor, so Rose gave only a cursory glance around at the stark grey walls before collapsing onto the surprisingly comfortable bed for a catnap.

As she’d expected, she was woken barely twenty minutes later by the buzz of the sonic screwdriver at the door.

The Doctor crossed the room in three long strides, pulling her from the bed into a tight hug. “You’re all right?”

She hummed her affirmation, and he pulled back enough to grin into her face. “All this technology for genetic nonsense, you’d think they’d have put a bit of effort into decent locks. Forget deadlock sealed, these aren’t even bolted. No guards at the doors, either, although they probably do have cameras in these rooms, so we should probably stop hugging and start running — or, that is — d’you think you can? Should’ve thought of that before, really… I could go lock myself back in, give you a day or two to recover if you like, although after they realize we can escape they might put some guards at the doors, but—“

Rose shrugged out of his hold and grabbed his hand. “Doctor?”

“Yes, Rose?”


It wasn’t their fastest or most graceful getaway, but the nap had helped, and she managed well enough to make it back to the TARDIS, where she promptly collapsed on the jumpseat.

“Next time I’ve got a cold, remind me – tchoo! – remind me of this moment and I swear I’ll go straight to bed, no whining or anything.”

The Doctor looked up from passing the sonic over her wounded knee. “I don’t know. Seems like it worked out in our favour in the end. Interesting medical technique, by the way.”

Rose blushed. “I couldn’t just let them take you away for heredi-whatsit, could I?”

“Herediforming. So naturally, your first thought was a big ol’ germy snog.”

“Getting to be a habit, isn’t it? Snogging our way out of mortal danger.” She thought of something. “Hang on. I can’t have really gotten you sick, can I? Catching cold, it’s a human thing?”

“Actually, they don’t call it the common cold for nothing. One of the only viruses that can be transmitted cross-species.” He paused. “But I should be fine. Superior time lord physiology and all that.”

“Superior time lord ego to go with – tchoo! heh-tchoo!”

The Doctor promptly scooped Rose up into his arms. “Right, then. Let’s get the sick human to bed, shall we?”

Rose snuggled into his hold and let him carry her to her room.

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So, I just started watching David Tennant as the doctor, and I absolutely love him and Billie Piper together, so naturally I love this story!!! And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's more, and possibly that the doctor gets sick as well??? He he he. Thanks for sharing! I think you captured them both wonderfully!

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This is terrific! Who can resist a sneezy Rose; and almost a full-blown sneezing while hiding scene to boot...

Although I have to point out that traditionally companions only *twist* their ankles while running away. [see "An unearthly tickle"]

I am looking forward to more; indeed the thought has got into my head that they could seek out Voltaire at Ferney and inadvertently arrive at CERN in time to convince the scientists that time travel is possible [it must have happened...]

And welcome to the forum.

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Mmm, I really liked this! Ten and Rose have such lovely chemistry and you have their banter down perfectly. It's a great way to work a kiss into the story, it kind of reminded me of the episode with Eleven and the pirates (which was otherwise not so great, imo). Now I'm really curious about the rest of your series. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, and welcome to the forum.

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So, I just started watching David Tennant as the doctor, and I absolutely love him and Billie Piper together, so naturally I love this story!!! And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's more, and possibly that the doctor gets sick as well??? He he he. Thanks for sharing! I think you captured them both wonderfully!

Thanks! I think these two might be my favorite couple in any fandom, just for sheer adorableness. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the Doctor's "superior time lord physiology" totally sets him up for stories like this... evilsmiley03.png

Absolutely brilliant! I'm looking forward to more, and definitely keeping my fingers crossed for a sick Doctor...:twisted:

Your wish is my command!

This is terrific! Who can resist a sneezy Rose; and almost a full-blown sneezing while hiding scene to boot...

Ah, cliches are always fun.

Although I have to point out that traditionally companions only *twist* their ankles while running away. [see "An unearthly tickle"]

True, although not so much on New Who. I figure the Doctor's probably got an automatic ankle untwister stashed somewhere in his med bay, but even he would have trouble with a full-on break.

I am looking forward to more; indeed the thought has got into my head that they could seek out Voltaire at Ferney and inadvertently arrive at CERN in time to convince the scientists that time travel is possible [it must have happened...]

*smiles, nods, and pretends to know things about physics*

And welcome to the forum.

Thanks! Happy to be here.

Awwww!!! :wub: :wub: Am loving this! Very fun! And Hmmm.... communicable.... :twisted: ... *grins*

Yep, I will always make the Doctor sick when possible. That's just how I roll.

more please Posted Image .


Mmm, I really liked this! Ten and Rose have such lovely chemistry and you have their banter down perfectly. It's a great way to work a kiss into the story, it kind of reminded me of the episode with Eleven and the pirates (which was otherwise not so great, imo). Now I'm really curious about the rest of your series. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, and welcome to the forum.

Thanks! Yeah, I'll probably post the whole thing on Teaspoon at some point, I'll give you a link if you're interested. Ten/Rose ftw! (And agreed about Curse of the Black Spot. It's been two seasons and I'm still not sure how I feel about Eleven, although he's generated some lovely fic here.)

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Thanks so much for all the nice comments! I'm splitting the second chapter into two segments, so this will be three parts in all. Also. M starts here. And if there's anything specific you want me to work in sneezing-wise, let me know and I'll give it a shot.

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The trouble with superior time lord physiology, the Doctor reflected, was that any illness that managed to sneak past his very efficient immune system was a bit devastating.

Not that he was sick. Not at all. Rose was sick, he was just a bit… stir crazy, that was it. A new adventure and he’d be sorted right out, soon as Rose was up to it.

Meanwhile. There were plenty of things to fix on the TARDIS, important things. He sneezed twice, harshly, and leaned against the console with a groan. Not sick. Not not not.

“So, once more, you haven’t caught my cold?”

The Doctor jumped and spun to face Rose, ignoring the way his aching head protested the sudden movement. “Rose! You’re—“ he cleared his throat, trying to get rid of the congestion in his voice. “you’re up!”

“I’m up. Been sleeping for three days, when you weren’t forcing alien cold remedies down my throat. I don’t think I’ll need to sleep again for a week.”

“That’s – tchsnx – that’s good. Feeling better, then, I take it.”

“Loads. What about you?”

“What about me, what?”

“How are you feeling?”

He frowned at her. “Fine. Magnifico. Molto bene. I’m always all right, Rose Tyler, you know that.”

“So, the coughing and sneezing and looking like you’re about to fall over, that’s you being all right.”

He sniffed, hoping it came off as disdainful and not trying-to-avoid-dribbling-all-over-his-shirt. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Silently, Rose stepped forward to hand him a handkerchief – the same one he’d given her three days ago, if he recalled correctly, thought it’d been cleaned since then. “Thanks. Always like it when— when you—“ he cut off, thinking he needed to sneeze, but his nose was too full even for that. “Whed you give be thigs.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “It’s not a gift, you idiot. Blow your nose before your head explodes.”

He thought about arguing, but he didn’t much fancy his head exploding. Time Lord brains all over the console, and who knew what his new head might look like? Rose might not like the new head. Best to humour her in this. He blew his nose loudly, heaving in a grateful breath through his newly cleared airway. “Right. That was fun. Can’t remember the last time I blew my nose, should make a note to do that every century or so. Now, Rose Tyler, what’s your pleasure? Another day of bed rest, or are you feeling up to a quick trip somewhere?”

She fixed him with a look. Her patented Rose Tyler ‘oh, you daft alien’ look. “You want to go somewhere.”

He avoided her eyes. “Wellllll. Only if you’re well enough, of course.” He stifled yet another sneeze – why wouldn’t that stop? Must be dusty in here.

“So, you and your superior Time Lord physiology aren’t at all in need of a lie down?”

She really shouldn’t say things like ‘lie down.’ Power of suggestion and everything, his eyelids almost felt heavy, which was patently ridiculous. “I’ll have you know that I slept just a few days ago. I’ll be – tchsnxx – fine for days. Don’t need to pass out for hours at a time like an–“ the word ‘ape’ tried to form on his tongue, but this mouth didn’t like that word, even when he was cross and trying not to sneeze. “er, like a human.”

From the look on Rose’s face, she’d heard the word he hadn’t said. “All right, if you say so… take me somewhere.”

He blinked. “You’re sure?”

“Oh, I’m perfectly fine, Doctor, so if you’re all right, go ahead and take us somewhere. Somewhere with lots and lots of running,” she added with a wicked grin.

“Right, then.” He turned to the controls, staring at them for a moment before his brain realized what it was meant to be doing. He turned back. “Absolutely sure? Because you’re still recovering really, I wouldn’t want – tchsnx – to upset your fragile human systems by – tchsnnnnx – going – tchsnx – going out there too soon.” He barely got the sentence out ahead of a fit of sneezing that left him breathless and dizzy.

She just grinned at him, his favourite grin with her tongue poking out the side. Which effectively shattered what little concentration the Doctor was still capable of.

“Of course. You’re fine. Well. Allons-y and all that.” He squared his shoulders, positioning his hands over the controls. They seemed a bit blurred, somehow. Actually, everything seemed a bit blurred. He pulled out his brainy specs. They didn’t help.

The Doctor had piloted his TARDIS several million times, had to be. For two lifetimes now, he’d done it all alone, no guiding influence in the back of his head from Gallifrey. He knew how to do it, how to be in six places at once and coax systems into motion that should’ve been replaced decades ago and all the while silently reassure the old girl that it would be okay, she could do this, really she should take him where he wanted to go, in the right millennium this time.

He could do it. He’d done it before. Hell, he’d done it even when he was half-mad with regeneration sickness. Yes, he’d crashed a bit, but he’d gotten to exactly the right place, that was the thing to focus on.

But then, even half-mad with regeneration sickness he hadn’t felt nearly this wretched. He hit the initialization thrusters and lunged into action, or tried to.

The trick, he decided after a moment, was to rely on muscle memory. Because even if he couldn’t see properly and his limbs were moving at half speed, the ship knew what she was doing, if he could just help her along. He lurched toward the anti-chronoentropy stabilizer, feeling drunk.

“Doctor,” Rose shouted over the grinding of gears, “I’m sorry, you don’t have to prove anything to me, just stop before you break something!”

Which was lovely, the Doctor thought, spinning the spatial navigation wheel a half-turn to the left, but he couldn’t exactly stop now, could he?

“Rose,” he shouted back, “If you could not talk to me while I’m trying to—“ why was he shouting? Shouting was a dreadful idea. As evidenced by the way something deep in his throat wrenched out of line, and he doubled over in a coughing fit.

The cloister bell started ringing. Still coughing, the Doctor fumbled for the emergency brake. Never mind where they ended up, if they kept going like this they’d dig a time tunnel straight past the end of the universe.

The TARDIS slammed to a stop like a car hitting a brick wall at a thousand kilometres per hour. The Doctor collapsed to the grating, realizing after a moment that the coughing wasn’t letting him pull any air into his lungs. His respiratory bypass kicked in just long enough to let him take a frantic look around, locate a bruised but otherwise unharmed Rose in the corner, and flash her a quick wink. Then everything went black.

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This is very nice, you write the interaction between them very well :D Looking forward to the third part! :D

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wub.png *sighs* this is just bloody brilliant. Characterisation is lovely and the sneezyness is totally fantastic. I miss Tennant and Piper. Doctor Who just isn't the same.

I think the Doctor needs a Doctor...wink.png

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Very nice :) Sometime I feel likt it's 11 talking but maybe it's just wishfull thinking. I kind of love 11 *blush*

Eager to see what's coming next.....

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Am just loving this! Your characterisation is spot on, I can definitely hear their voices in my head as I'm reading. And the story is great! Can't wait to find out what happens next.... poor Doctor *heehee*

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Again, thanks for all the lovely comments! This is the final part of this particular story, I'll probably write other things in the near future though. And on a loosely related note, does anyone know how to change the title/tags on a thread once it's started? Please and thank you.

The first thing that registered, when he swam back to consciousness some time later, was Rose’s face. It was inches from his own, and it looked as if she’d been crying – the mascara was all smeary around her eyes.

He really hated it when Rose cried, especially when it was because of him. “Rose,” he croaked, wincing at how raw his throat felt.

“Oh God, Doctor, you’re all right.” She buried her head in his neck for a moment in something approximating a hug, but snapped up suddenly to glare at him. “You said you were fine! I mean, I knew you weren’t really, but I didn’t know you were in bad enough shape to nearly crash the TARDIS and then pass out.”

“Not sure I realized that myself, actually.” He shifted a little, trying to sit up, but gave it up as a bad job when his muscles screamed in protest.

“It’s your own fault, you know,” she said, her casual tone belied by her vice-like grip on his hand. “Been sneezing yourself silly for a day and a half now, why couldn’t you just quit waiting on me hand and foot, get some rest yourself?”

He scoffed. “Rest. I’m a Time Lord, Time Lords don’t rest. We don’t get ill, either. Really.”

“What do you call this, then?”

He pondered. “Conspiracy?” he tried.

“Oh, yeah? Who exactly is conspiring against you?”

“The universe, apparently,” he muttered.

“If you say so. Can you stand?”

Once again, he tried to shift himself, but as soon as he managed to lift his head a blinding pain flashed through his skull. “Don’t think so,” he told her ruefully when he could think again.

“Right.” She bit her lip. “You’re skinny this time round, but not so skinny I can lift you. It took me and Mickey both to get you to bed at Christmas. I’ll just… I’ll get you a pillow or something, and you can stay there for a bit.”

While she was gone, he ran a quick self-diagnostic. His body was aching, but he thought that was mostly from the fall. His breath rattled a bit coming in and out, but it was manageable, not likely to trigger a mad coughing fit like earlier. His head ached fiercely, and felt like a solid block of stone to boot, from the congestion, but at least his nose wasn’t running anymore. In fact, he couldn’t breathe through his nose at all anymore. It did seem, he admitted to himself, that he’d caught Rose’s cold and let it get out of hand.

When she returned, the pillow and blanket she held were both uncompromisingly pink. “Couldn’t find your room, sorry, had to grab things from mine.” He rather liked that, actually. His head on Rose’s pillow. And it was lovely and soft. Her hand lingered at the back of his neck, after she’d lifted his head.

“Blimey, you’re freezing! More than usual, I mean. Is that normal, when you’re ill?”

“I told you, I don’t get ill,” he reminded her, but his tone lacked conviction. In the face of her glare, he relented. “Well, on the very rare occasions when a Time Lord immune system doesn’t obliterate a virus straight off, body heat is redirected to the hearts, to burn off infection at its source in the bloodstream. Bit like a human fever, but more efficient, naturally.”

“Naturally. So nothing to worry about, then?”

“Welllll. Not really. The lack of heat means the rest of my body processes might… slow down a bit.” Which explained why his thoughts were moving slower. He shivered, just once, just slightly. He wasn’t even cold, really.

Rose stared at him, then, seeming to come to a decision, curled up against his side, pulling the blanket snug around them both. “Can’t have you freezing, can I?”

He leaned into her. It was lovely and warm, and he could feel himself dropping off. A novel experience, since as a rule he didn’t doze. Orderly, deliberate, hour-long stretches of unconsciousness, that was the Time Lord way. He could only hope the TARDIS didn’t mind him setting up camp on her floor.

A thought occurred. “Rose?”

She tilted her head up to look at him. “What is it, Doctor? I’m sorry, I know this can’t be too comfy, but it’s the best I can do till you can move.”

“No, it’s not that, it’s just… we should really check where we’ve landed.”

She laughed softly. “Not much ‘we’ about it right now, is there?”

He laughed with her, but stopped quickly when it hurt his chest. “Suppose you’re right. Could you just pop over and take a look at the viewscreen, make sure we’re not sitting in a vat of acid or something?”

“Is that likely?” She jumped up, and he mourned the loss of her warmth at his side, shivering again.

Marshalling his energy, he turned his head a bit to watch her at the console, though from his current position he couldn’t see much more than her trainers. “So? What’s out there?”

Her voice, when it came, was uncertain. “I’m… not sure. It’s just all blue and sparkly.”

“What shade of blue?” he asked sharply.

“Um… it’s about the same colour your eyes used to be. And sparkly.”

He made another valiant effort to get up, letting out a groan when his head spun so violently that he nearly blacked out again.

Rose was at his side again in an instant. “What are you doing? I thought you couldn’t move.”

He grunted. “Can’t. I should really just go into a healing coma at this point, but there’s no time, not if we’ve landed in the middle of a rashundi field.” She blinked at him. “It’s a bit like telepathic quicksand, it’ll slowly suck the TARDIS in till there’s nothing left of her but a blue box.”

Rose blanched, and one hand reached out to tentatively stroke a column. “She does feel… off, somehow.”

The Doctor gaped at his mad, brilliant Rose. “You can sense her?” It shouldn’t really be possible for a human, but that was just Rose Tyler all over, wasn’t it?

Then again, more to the point, why couldn’t he feel the old girl? He felt for the corner of his mind that was always full of the TARDIS singing, and found nothing. Alarmed, he tried to reach out toward her, but his telepathic sense was just… gone. Missing.

Closing his eyes, he drew in a shaky breath, casting his awareness inwards. Hearts pumping, blood flowing, pathogens burning away, synapses firing, and… oh. Well, that was inconvenient. His body had automatically shut off blood flow to the telepathic centres of his brain, to stop them getting infected. Clever, really. His telepathic sense was a delicate web of connections. Better to cut off the oxygen supply and go into stasis for a few days than to risk upsetting that balance. Assuming, of course, that he didn’t need to tug his ship out of a rashundi field in the meantime.

No matter. Heaving another breath in and out around the discomfort in his chest, he set about laboriously redirecting his blood where it needed to go. Dimly, he could hear Rose talking, asking a question. He ignored it. His breathing caught on a light cough. He pushed it down. There. Gently, he sent his newly restored mind questing toward the TARDIS.

She responded immediately, a wordless sense of battle against the sucking force of the field, layered with a gentle concern for her incapacitated Doctor.

He impatiently brushed off the latter, framing a request to join with her defending against the threat. He could feel it too, already, pulling against his own defences, but he wasn’t nearly as psychic as the TARDIS, so the field was focusing on her at first.

He concentrated.

Reality shifted.


pull pull pull.

falling, drifting, spinning through endless blue and pull.

time swirling around and down, down a whirlpool, a drain, time draining away, no time. no timeship, no time lord, no time. no. nonononononopull.

no time no motion through time no motion but pull.


pull and there, there there there it lifts, and a sound, a whoosh, not heard but produced, never known from this side but still known and it means… everything. freedom. all of time and space everything that was and is and will be and that’s wrong. memory. singing, gold light. not memory because memory means it’s in the past, there is no past, it’s happening, always, eternal. it hurts.

gonna burn.

then time fills in around, then there is a then. and there’s not just a then, there’s a now and a him and pain, still pain. different pain. no. the music is fading and it can’t, it can’t, never never never. swimming after it.


but something. hands, he has hands, hands being held. and ears, and “Don’t you leave me, don’t you dare, you can just stop glowing right now.”

Glowing. was he… must be, yeah. Memory, it was memory now, experienced differently from the inside of a brain. “You’re gonna burn, Rose.”

“Me? Wish I was burning, you’re just about to freeze my arms off.”

A deep, low moan, and he realized it was him, coming from him and he was so cold, so so cold, one long shiver and nothing, couldn’t think, fading.

“No! Stay with me now!” The words filtered through grey and Rose, it was Rose.

Memory. A different voice, lots of planets have a North. “Rose. C’mere. I think you need a Doctor.”

Lips. Warm and soft and he was so cold but she was there, she was all around him sharing her warmth and he felt it. He felt. And then he didn’t.

. .

This time when the Doctor came round, he didn’t quite manage to open his eyes. Instead, sensation slowly filled in around him. The hard metal grating still digging into his back. Warm arms around him. Pain.

The pain flashed on all at once, and he hurt, everywhere but especially his head. He thought maybe this was the headache that had first inspired the word “headache.”

He lay for a moment getting used to that, and then another feeling crept in. Like an itching, a tingle, getting stronger and stronger until… “HeaTCHUEH!”

Right. So the sneezing thing was happening again. Brilliant. He drew in an experimental breath and his head suddenly snapped forward. “Hetchoo! Heh… Hetch! Hetch hetch hetch! HetCHOO!” When the fit subsided and he got his breath back, it occurred to him to wonder why his sore head hadn’t thumped painfully back against the grating.

Finally figuring out that his eyes were open, he looked up at Rose. From the look of things she’d fallen asleep with his head in her lap, and now she was blinking down at him blearily. She was also stroking his hair. That was nice.

“You alive, then?”

He had to take a moment to think about it. And then another moment to figure out how to talk. “Just about, yeah.”

“Good,” she said quietly, her hands still gently running through his hair. “Cause let me tell you, once you stop looking like death you are in for such a slap.”

“What? Whyyy?” He was proud of himself that he managed to draw the word out into a fairly creditable whine before he had to stop and sniffle pathetically.

She laughed, sounding a tiny bit hysterical. “Why? You just almost got yourself regenerated from a headcold! Who does that?”

“It’s not that simple, actually, I was… was…” he managed to turn his head slightly to avoid sneezing in Rose’s face this time. “Etchoo! I was helping the TARDIS to… tchoo! hetchoo! heh… hehtchoo! Blimey, that’s annoying.”

“Bless you. One way to stop you rambling, I suppose. Anyway, I know you were fighting that quicksand thing, I kind of figured that out when you just closed off and started muttering to yourself. We’ve moved, by the way. I didn’t know you could even do that without touching the controls.”

He snorted. “Not easily, let me tell you. So where are we now?”

“I checked while you were asleep. We’re in Cardiff, 1803. Seems to be where she goes when she’s stressed.”

“Never have figured that out. 1803, the rift isn’t even here yet. Tchoo!”

“Bless you again. Anyway, I figure we’re safe here for a bit, as long as the TARDIS isn’t damaged or anything?” She glanced down at him questioningly, and he shrugged.

“Can’t tell anymore, my telepathic sense is going to be shot for days now. You all right, girl?” he called in the general direction of the ceiling. The lights flickered in a reassuring manner. “There you go, then.”

“And you?”

“I… tchoo! I’ve been better,” he admitted.

“No, I actually meant… that is… you haven’t permanently damaged yourself?” He raised an eyebrow at her. “It’s just, even after the TARDIS moved you still came over all funny. You even started sounding like him… you… other you. You know, saying the same things from Satellite Five, and then you, um.”

“Kissed you?” the Doctor supplied helpfully, trying to sound nonchalant about the whole thing. He could feel his ears burning.

“Well, yeah. It’s just, last time you used that cheesy line about needing a Doctor and kissed me, you regenerated right after.”

“Way I feel right now, it might be an improvement,” he joked weakly.

She did slap him then, lightly across the cheek. He raised one hand to his face, more surprised than anything. “Don’t joke about things like that! I was… Doctor, I was so scared for you.”

If he could move, he would have given her a hug, but he had to settle for squeezing her hand. “Grown attached to this model, then?”

She looked away. “Maybe.”

“Don’t worry. The TARDIS was just in my head, not my soul. I was delirious for a minute, that’s all.”

Rose just looked at him, and he knew her eyes were seeing another face. He sighed. “Look, don’t worry. I’m not planning on going anywhere, not for a long time.” He laughed suddenly. “Death by headcold. What an embarrassing way to go, eh? Not… heh… not to mention… hehtchoo! My shortest life yet.”

“Well,” Rose said, suddenly all business. “Like I said, TARDIS should be fine here for a couple of days. So you, mister, are to stay put and rest until I say otherwise.”

He grinned sheepishly. “Yes ma’am.”

“Good.” She slid his head from her lap onto the pillow and stood up, stretching widely. “I think I’ll get a shower. I’m not sure how long I’ve been sitting there, but it’s too long.”

He stared at her incredulously as she made to walk away. “But… you… tchoo!”

“Yeah, Doctor?”

“You’re not going to stay with me?” he asked in a small voice.

“Why?” she asked in alarm. “Are you still feeling cold? Because I thought your alien fever thingy was gone, but if it’s coming back maybe I should—“

“No,” he interrupted quickly. “Nothing like that.”

“What, then?”

His mouth opened and closed a few times. He wondered if he could tell her he just wanted her to keep holding him and stroking his hair until he fell back asleep, without sounding too humany and needy.

Thankfully this was Rose, and as usual she could read his mind. She smiled down at him fondly. “Right. Budge over.”

The TARDIS considerately dimmed the lights, the Doctor settled back into Rose Tyler’s arms, and all was right with the world.

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Very sweet story. :)

Don't know about the tags but I should be able to change the topic title for you if you tell me what you want it changed into. :)

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Very sweet story. :)


Very sweet story. :) Don't know about the tags but I should be able to change the topic title for you if you tell me what you want it changed into. :)

I really just wanted to add the (3 parts) thing. Not a huge deal, it just seems to be standard here. And then I didn't use the Male tag because I thought I could add it after I posted the second part. Sorry, still getting used to how things work turned.gif

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Very sweet story. smile.png Don't know about the tags but I should be able to change the topic title for you if you tell me what you want it changed into. smile.png

I really just wanted to add the (3 parts) thing. Not a huge deal, it just seems to be standard here. And then I didn't use the Male tag because I thought I could add it after I posted the second part. Sorry, still getting used to how things work turned.gif

(3 parts) added to the title. smile.png

No problem. smile.png I'm afraid the tags can only be edited by an admin. blushing.gif

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