Title: Turn My Wooden Heart (Chapter 4/13)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Romance
Rating: Adult, NC-17
Summary: The Doctor and Rose find themselves wrapped up in a war between two tribes of people. As they sort out the conspiracy surrounding this war, they begin to question their feelings for one another.
Disclaimer: I certainly don't own anyone or anything associated with Doctor Who, but I do enjoy playing with Nine and Rose. ::pets them::
A/N: This fic is thirteen chapters with a short epilogue, and it is nearly complete. I'm going to try to post at least two chapters a week. Also, big thank yous to Tardismate and Amberfocus. You gals have been so much help, and I appreciate all you do.
Previous Chapters: Chapter 1
|| Chapter 2
|| Chapter 3CHAPTER 4
The light filtering in through the leaves high above them was waning, and Rose felt slightly claustrophobic in the deep hole they had lowered her and the Doctor into. The Harack tribe members who had been captured with them had been put in various other pits dug in the Sarhn camp. Instead of wooden prison cells, the Sarhn used holes which were much easier to construct and probably more difficult to escape. The sheer walls rose at least seven additional metres above her head, enough so that standing on the Doctor’s shoulders still wouldn’t provide a hope of freedom.
Rose leaned back against the wall and looked down at the brittle, dead leaves covering the ground. At least she didn’t have to sleep in mud. The Doctor was investigating the walls, running his hands over the dirt. She knew he wouldn’t find anything; she had been lowered into the hole a few minutes before, and she had immediately looked for a way out.
When she glanced up again, he had turned his attention to her. The dim light cast his face in shadows. He approached her and carefully took her face in both his hands. Instinctively, Rose wrapped her fingers around his wrists, pulling him closer. “Are you hurt?”
“No,” she whispered. It took every bit of will power she had left not to lean her face more fully into his palm. He was so tender with her, and she wanted to feel his skin pressed against hers.
“I thought—” He swallowed and continued, “I thought they were going to kill you.”
Rose smiled. “I’m not that easy to kill, you know. Missiles on Downing Street, Jagrafesses, Reapers, Daleks
. I’m virtually indestructible.”
She saw the corners of his eyes crinkle as he smiled at her, that goofy smile she loved so much. The one she was sure she couldn’t live without now. “That you are, Rose Tyler,” he said softly, sliding one of his hands up to smooth her tousled hair. Her heart beat was rapid and strong in her chest, and she wondered if he could hear it as they stood together in this silent world of dirt and darkness.
His body leaned forward slightly, just enough to be noticeable, but he was only watching her, stroking her hair gently with long fingers while his other hand was warm against her cheek and jaw. “I was so worried about you, Doctor,” Rose whispered. “When they put me down here first, I thought they would put you somewhere else… or hurt you.”
“No need to worry about me, Rose.”
“But I do. I do all the time. I--I know you can handle yourself. I know that. It’s just… I want you to be safe because--because…”
“Shhh…” The Doctor moved the hand cupping her cheek and placed his fingertips lightly over her lips. “Virtually indestructible, me.” She was close enough now that she could see the curve of his lips as he smiled at her.
Rose tried to swallow, but her heart had crawled up into her throat. Though his hands were cooler than a normal human’s, his fingers felt like fire upon her mouth. Without much forethought, she parted her lips and rolled her tongue out to wet them. The tip of her tongue bumped against two of his fingers.
The Doctor froze, and she could feel the tension radiating from his body. The calming strokes of the hand in her hair had stopped when his breathing had stopped. When she had dared to lick his fingers. Seconds ticked past, each feeling like an hour to Rose as she stared into his face, unable to see his expression properly.
But it was dark, and she had escaped death today. She could tempt him this much. Just a taste. Her lips parted wider and an infinitesimal tilt of her head allowed the tip of his index finger to press into her mouth. Emboldened by the fact that he hadn’t pulled away yet, Rose closed her lips over the digit and swirled her tongue along the point, over his slightly rough skin and smooth nail.
Just as she moved her head to take more of his finger into her mouth, he jerked it away and pressed his lips against hers. Rose moaned in surprise, her hands flying up to grasp his leather jacket. The Doctor’s hands were holding both sides of her face, tilting her mouth at the right angle so he could properly kiss her. She clutched at him harder as his tongue pressed insistently between her swollen lips, begging entrance, entrance she granted without a second thought.
Too soon, he pulled back and turned his head, aligning his mouth with her ear. Rose could feel his heavy breaths puffing over the shell of her ear before they caressed her neck and dissipated in the darkness of the night. However, when she tried to turn her head to kiss him again, he resisted and stepped away from her.
“No, Rose,” the Doctor said in a husky voice.
“What?” Rose’s head was swimming, and the only thing keeping her upright was the dirt wall behind her.
“We can’t. I
can’t.” His face was hidden in shadows. All she could make out of him was a vague silhouette across the hole from her.
Rose felt her heart constrict in on itself. It had been a mistake. It would have been better not knowing than to have him crush her hopes like this. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled, the tears already collecting in her eyes.
“Don’t apologize,” he whispered. “You’re beautiful, Rose. But we can’t do this. We’re too different; you’re human, and I’m a Time Lord.”
She sniffed and tried to swallow so she could speak without it being obvious her heart was broken. “I know,” Rose managed to choke out without sounding too upset.
“Come here,” the Doctor said, holding his arms open wide for her. Seconds ticked by as Rose considered what she should do. She wanted to feel his arms around her. But was it worth the pain of knowing she would never have more than that? Finally, she decided to take whatever he would give her. That’s how she had been living her life since she met him. She would take whatever he would give.
She stepped across the distance between them and pressed her face against the warmth of his jumper and chest beneath. The Doctor’s arms enfolded her, and he held her gently, rubbing circles over her back with his hands. “We’ve had a long day. You need some sleep.”
Rose nodded, but didn’t look up at him. He was too close, and she didn’t want to see the expression in his eyes.
When she woke, she was still circled in his arms. They were facing each other with her legs curled up to her chest between them. The Doctor’s face was calm and serene, his eyes closed and his breathing deep and even. And that was the only moment she had with him before the fall-out of the previous night. His eyes slowly opened and adjusted quickly to the dim morning light.
“How’re you feeling?” he asked, pulling his arms away and sitting up.
Rose rolled onto her back and stared at the leaves above them. She felt sick, and her heart felt heavy. “All right.” After a moment of self pity, she sat up and pushed herself off the ground to stand. “What do you think they’re going to do with us?”
“Don’t know,” the Doctor replied, standing and brushing off his trousers. She felt him watching her, but she refused to look at him, busying herself with examining the walls of the hole by the weak sunlight through the trees.
Members of the Sarhn tribe could be heard above as they went about their business. The damp chilliness of morning and being below ground made Rose shiver and wrap her arms around herself. She tilted her head back, but just saw a circle of tree limbs that comprised the sky.
Rose looked over and saw the Doctor offering her his leather jacket. She smiled at him and shook her head. “I’m okay.”
“Take it, Rose.” He pushed it toward her again, his face oddly serious, yet still unreadable to her.
She gave him another weak smile and took the jacket, slipping it over her shoulders and pushing her arms through the armholes into blessed warmth. Rose brought her hands up and pulled the material tighter around her as she inhaled the smells—leather, wet earth, him
. She couldn’t say what he smelled like, but she knew the smell was a comfort to her. It was like coming home. She stared at his back as he turned to look above them, and Rose knew she had fallen too far, too fast. He was right; he was an alien, and she was a human. As much as he might look like a human, he wasn’t, would never be.
That didn’t change that fact that she loved him. Life wasn’t fair.
Rose sat down on the ground again and leaned her back against the wall behind her. Her hands were swallowed by the long sleeves of his jacket, so she brought them up to her face, burying her nose in the leather. Tears threatened, but she blinked them away, unwilling to cry again. Her emotions were just out of control because of the dangerous situation they were in, not because the man—alien—she loved had soundly rejected her.
She saw his boots approach, stopping in front of her outstretched feet. She took a deep, calming breath and let it out. After a moment, he moved to sit beside her, so close their thighs were touching. “You’re the ilsingin with all the secret powers to let us walk into the meadow; get us out of here,” he said, flashing her that damn smile again.
“Unfortunately,” she replied, “I am not
an ilsingin. Looks like we’re trapped until they come back with the ropes.”
“We’ll be fine, Rose. I promise.”
Rose wondered if he was talking about the situation they were in with the Sarhn or if he was referring to the incident from last night. Or maybe both. They were both staring forward, so she couldn’t see his facial expression, and she didn’t want to risk a look. With a deep sigh, Rose nodded. “Yeah, I know.” She laid her head on his shoulder just like she had always done. Because not doing it would have been awkward and unbearable. Because she needed him.
They sat like that for most of the morning, occasionally recalling other dangerous situations they had found themselves in during her travels with the Doctor. Neither of them mentioned the kiss from the night before.
Just as the temperature began warming enough for Rose to shed the leather jacket and return it to the Doctor, three Sarhn poked their heads over the edge of the hole. “She comes first,” one said, pointing at Rose.
“Comes where?” Rose asked.
“To leader, to Great Yorba. There is meeting with Harack.”
“I need to speak with Yorba,” the Doctor insisted.
The Sarhn scowled at the Doctor. “You get your turn soon.”
“Rose isn’t going anywhere without me. You need her to adjust the ropes so you can lift her up.”
The three Sarhn disappeared.
“What do I tell them?” Rose asked, pacing through the scattered leaves of their hole.
The Doctor stopped her with his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him. “You tell them the truth. Tell them we crashed here, that we found Taal, that he said others were responsible for kidnapping and killing the tribe members.”
“We tried that before and it got us locked up. Or—erm—stuck in a hole, I guess.”
“But this time the Sarhn and Harack are talking. They’ll figure out someone else is killing them.” The Doctor glanced up quickly and dropped his voice so no one from above could overhear. “If they don’t let me come with you, tell them there is something beneath the meadow. Tell them you will investigate if they let you go.”
there something beneath the meadow?”
“Don’t know for sure, but it’s unlikely a forest just didn’t grow in that one spot.”
“Could it be—” Rose broke off her question when she saw shadows from the men above them. The three Sarhn were back, and they didn’t look happy.
“Great Yorba says you come with your ilsingin,” one of them said to the Doctor before dropping a rope down.
The Doctor deftly knotted the rope around Rose’s waist and tugged on it so the Sarhn could pull her up. As she was lifted off the ground, she looked at him with wide, frightened eyes. “We’ll be okay, Rose,” he said, watching her rise from the ground. “We’ll be eating chips with your mum soon.”
Rose struggled to smile at him just before two of the Sarhn grabbed her arms and hoisted her up to the ground above. The Doctor really was grasping at straws if he was looking forward to having a bite to eat with her mum.