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Just a few random thoughts and pictures

Mixed Feelings

Chapter 1. What Do I Feel?

He’d blown it. Again.

He was getting remarkably good at that, he realised. After all the worrying he and Rose had done straight after his regeneration, they’d talked, a little at least, and things had settled back into something resembling “normal”.

Ok, so he’d messed up his landing again, and they never did get to that concert, but they met Queen Victoria, and a werewolf of all things! Now that had been fun.

And then there’d been Sarah Jane, which had been brilliant and horrible all at the same time. He’d been over the moon to see her, but at the same time upset at the realisation of how his perceived abandonment of her had hurt her.

He’d been thrilled to introduce her to Rose too, for about half a second, until the questions started, and the looks. He might be a bit thick at times, despite his massive Time Lord brain, but he knew jealousy when he saw it. He hadn’t missed the crack Mickey had made about “the missus and the ex” either.

He’d tried to explain, gave Rose the whole “curse of the Time Lords” speech, and Rassilon help him he’d almost confessed. He still wasn’t sure what she thought the word on the end of that sentence was going to be, but he strongly suspected she knew exactly what he’d almost said.

So of course he’d panicked, invited Mickey along, despite knowing full well that Rose didn’t want him there. She wanted to be alone with him, wanted to talk, that was pretty clear. Being his usual cowardly self of course, that was the very last thing he wanted to do at that point. So he’d brought Mickey along, hoping he’d act as a buffer of sorts.

And then…well then he’d gotten really stupid. So much for that massive Time Lord brain huh? Yes, Reinette had caught him off guard when she’d kissed him, but he’d responded, almost instantly, kissing her back, raising his hand to grasp her waist and pull her closer, and not once did that little voice in his head have anything to say on the matter.

Oh and then…then he’d gone back through the fireplace, crowing about how he’d just snogged Madame De Pompadour, and Rose had clearly heard him. Despite all that though, she’d still seemed to support his decision on how to save Reinette, as least he thought she had.

When he finally returned, five and a half hours later, she seemed so pleased to see him, and what had he done? Turned right around and gone back for Reinette, leaving Rose standing there. When he returned the next time, alone, she’d barely spoken to him.

She’d gone off with Mickey, and was now probably asleep, tucked up in that bed he’d so often shared with her, and he felt…lost.

He’d contemplated heading for the library, but he knew that same book was waiting there for him, waiting to taunt him for his own stupidity. So he’d sat on the floor of the control room, with his back to the console, for so long he’d almost lost track of time.

He’d read Reinette’s letter again, several times, trying to make sense of his feelings. At first he’d felt such loss, knowing he’d gotten back there too late, with no chance to say goodbye. At least he’d given Sarah Jane that, he thought.

Now he just felt…empty. He knew he hadn’t truly felt anything for Reinette; she was a momentary distraction, a crush at best, an escape from his feelings for Rose at worst. He knew now what those feelings were, despite not being able to vocalise them even to himself, and they terrified him.

He also knew what Rose’s feelings had been, at least until he’d behaved so badly. Now he suspected he truly had done enough to drive her away this time, and he didn’t think there was anything he could do to fix it.

The TARDIS dimmed her lights, yet again, in an effort to get him to move, and do…something. Even she knew this was way beyond a simple plate of chocolate biscuits, but she clearly felt he ought to at least try to fix things.

With a very deep sigh, the Doctor dragged himself to his feet, and began to take the very long walk towards Rose’s bedroom…

Chapter 2. What Does He Feel?

He didn’t seem to care.

Maybe he simply couldn’t feel things the way humans did, that was all she could think of to explain it.

She no longer knew where she stood at all. After all the worrying they’d both done straight after his regeneration, they’d talked, a little at least, and things had settled back into something resembling “normal”.

Well, if you count getting lost on the way to a concert, as normal, and ending up meeting Queen Victoria instead, with added werewolf. Although, that had been fun.

And then there’d been Sarah Jane, which had been unsettling to say the least. She knew how old he was, knew that she couldn’t have been the first person to travel with him, but to meet one of them face to face and have him seem so over the moon to see this other woman; that had been totally unnerving.

He’d seemed thrilled to introduce them to each other too, until he spotted the look on her face. His face had dropped then. It seemed even he wasn’t that oblivious as to not know jealousy when he saw it. The crack Mickey had made about “the missus and the ex” couldn’t have passed him by either.

When she’d questioned him later about leaving Sarah Jane behind, and given away her own fears that the same thing would happen to her at some point, he’d tried to explain it to her. He’d given her his “curse of the Time Lords” speech, which she suspected had almost ended in a confession. He hadn’t actually said it of course, just let the sentence tail off into silence, but she was pretty sure she knew exactly what that last word was going to be.

Then he’d invited Mickey along, even though he had to know she didn’t want him there, because he must have heard the sarcasm in her reply when he’d asked her about it. And she definitely didn’t want him there; she needed time alone with the Doctor, time to talk, to maybe even get him to actually finish that sentence once and for all.

And then came Reinette. He’d kissed her. Not only kissed her, but come back through that damn fireplace, crowing about how he’d just snogged Madame De Pompadour. To say she’d been hurt at that point would be a massive understatement, but she’d managed to put it all aside while they figured out what to do to fix things. She hadn’t even reacted when he’d gone riding off through that mirror to save Reinette, as least she hoped she hadn’t.

While he was gone, she’d desperately clung to what he’d said after Sarah Jane; that he wouldn’t leave her behind. She had to believe he would find a way back to her, even if she wasn’t sure what would happen then.

When he finally did get back though, five and a half hours later, she’d had no time to react before he’d turned right around and gone back for Reinette, leaving her just standing there. When he came back the next time, alone, she hadn’t known what to say, or what to feel, so she’d simply walked away.

She’d taken a walk with Mickey, found him a place to sleep, and then gone to her room, intending to sleep herself. As she’d climbed into her bed though, all she could think of was how often the Doctor had shared it with her in the past, and how that might never happen again.

Sleep was impossible, so after fidgeting around for what seemed like hours, and trying not to simply dissolve into a sobbing mess, she’d settled on her back, clutched a small soft toy to her chest, and stared at the ceiling.

She’d wondered what the Doctor was doing. Suspected he was most likely tinkering with the TARDIS, or perhaps reading in the library. She’d even considered getting out of bed to go and look for him, but then her heart had clenched and she’d had to hold back the tears yet again.

What had he really felt for Reinette? Had he fallen for her in the short time he’d known her? Was she just yet another distraction, something shiny to take his mind off how complicated things had become between the two of them since Sarah Jane? Those thoughts only left her questioning yet again if he really felt anything for her at all.

She knew what she felt, had for a long time, even before he regenerated, although she too had never actually said it out loud. He must know though, or why else would he be putting up roadblocks instead of just talking to her. Was he so scared of her feelings, or his own, that he was trying to drive her away?

The TARDIS hummed gently, trying to offer comfort, and although Rose didn’t actually understand her when the TARDIS spoke, she understood the sentiment. She stared at the ceiling again, and gently stroked the wall by the bed in thanks.

Knowing she had to do something, Rose let out a deep sigh, and dragged herself to her feet, then headed out of her bedroom, and began the long walk towards the control room…

Chapter 3. Banging their heads together.

The TARDIS was not at rest as she should have been during the night cycle she’d adopted for the benefit of the humans on board. There was just too muchnoisefor that. Not actual noise of course, this was much more subtle than that.

Whilst she could easily have done so, she’d never pried into the thoughts of those who travelled within her without invitation, but it was hard not to sense when her occupants were distressed in some way.

At that moment, feelings were running so high she had no choice but to “overhear” things, and as a result the TARDIS was unsettled. It was a sensation that she’d decided she disliked immensely, and intended to put an end to.

The male human had long since gone to bed, muttering something about a “stupid alien git” as he’d entered his room, and was now asleep.

The female, who she’d come to think of as her human, had also gone to her room to sleep, but had been unable to do so and was still very much awake, and broadcasting some rather strong emotions. Anger, pain, even fear.

Her Time Lord on the other hand was still in the control room, sitting very still, with his back to the console. He was clearly thinking, and clearly also not happy, since he too was broadcasting rather loudly. Regret, pain, also fear.

Although the TARDIS didn’t really understand these feelings exactly, she was quite certain that both things were related, and decided that the only way anything would be resolved would be, to use a human term, to “bang their heads together”.

After a little gentle prodding from the TARDIS, both human and Time Lord got to their feet, apparently intended to seek out the other. To ensure they did so, and as soon as possible, the TARDIS had already begun to put her plan into action

********************

The Doctor walked slowly down the hallway until he reached Rose’s bedroom door. He knocked softly, too softly he realised when he got no response. “Perhaps she’s ignoring me,” he thought. “It’s no less than I deserve.”

He turned to walk away again, only to be confronted by a solid wall. “You’re joking?” he asked, staring at the ceiling. “Fine, I’ll go in and try to talk to her. Just don’t be surprised if she throws something at me,” he muttered.

He turned back, slowly opened the door and quietly entered the darkened room. After hearing the door snick shut behind him though, he suddenly realised he wasn’t in Rose’s room at all. It smelled all wrong. This was his own room, only….not. “Lights,” he said, and as the light level slowly rose he looked around, taking in his surroundings.

Yes, it was definitely his room. The temporal displacement coil he’d picked up at that market a few days ago still sat on the dresser, right where he’d left it. The dresser itself however seemed to have grown, and was now a good foot wider.

The bed too had changed. In place of his single bed, which he hadn’t actually slept in for some time, there was now a much larger version. While it still had the same dark wood frame, and midnight blue bedding, it now also sported posts at the corners and a frame above, from which matching curtains now hung.

Peering into his ensuite, he’d actually gasped out loud. What had been a perfectly serviceable, if basic, bath tub with overhead shower had disappeared. In its place, there was now a sunken bath, which appeared large enough for four people and a separate shower stall off to one side. All his old towels had gone too, and been replaced by some of the fluffiest, whitest things he’d ever seen.

********************

Rose walked towards the control room, getting more determined with each step. It was time to settle things once and for all, she’d decided. She’d tell him how she felt, and if he didn’t feel the same…well she’d just start packing, it was as simple as that. She didn’t really think is would be simple of course, but things couldn’t continue as they were.

She’d reached the door to the control room, barged through it intent on giving the Doctor a piece of her mind, and stopped dead. As she’d stared around her in astonishment, she’d completely missed the sound of the door softly closing behind her.

She was in a study of sorts, and certainly a room she’d never seen before. In front of her there was a large fireplace with a dark wooden surround, and leather wingback chairs on either side. To the right was a large bookcase, filled with books and the odd random alien item, of the type she’d come to think of as ornamental.

The floor was of the same dark wood, polished by age, with a few small exotic looking rugs dotted around. To her right there was a desk, again in the same dark wood, piled haphazardly with papers and bits of machinery.

She’d never been in the Doctors quarters, but she was certain that was where she now stood. Uncertain for a moment, she turned and contemplated leaving, and realised the door she’d entered through moments ago was no longer there.

********************

The Doctor moved back into the centre of what he could only consider his “new” bedroom, and stared at the ceiling. “Okay, I give up. What are you playing at now?” he asked.

From the far side of the room, through a door he hadn’t noticed before, came a reply. “Oh, I’m not playing at anything. I rather think that’s you! And where the bloody hell has the door gone?”

“What?”

Rose appeared in the doorway in front of him. “The door I came in through, it’s gone. I don’t know what you’re playing at, but you can stop it right now.”

“What?”

Rose stared at the Doctor for a moment. From the utterly confused look on his face, it was clear that he had no idea what was going on either.

“Okay, let’s start again, shall we?” she said, feeling a little calmer, if rather confused. “I came looking for you. I walked through the door to the control room…at least I thought I did, and ended up here, in your…well, study I, suppose. I turned around to leave, and the door was gone.”

“That makes no sense,” the Doctor replied. “For one thing, my study is not attached to my bedroom, and in any case….” He paused for a moment, stared at the ceiling, and laughed.

Rose just continued to stare at him, wondering if he’d finally lost what was left of his mind.

“Sorry,” he spluttered, trying to get his laughter under control. “It’s just that I was on my way to see you too. I swear I walked through your bedroom door, but I found myself in here and…” he said as he looked around him. “Yep, my door’s gone too. I think perhaps someone is trying to tell us something.”

He watched her for a moment, and knew exactly when the penny dropped. “The TARDIS!” she said. “But why? Why move the rooms and why remove the doors, and…. wait…. how long have you had a bed like that?”

“Near as I can tell, about an hour,” the Doctor replied, still chuckling a little. “I also have a rather impressive new bathroom it seems, and as you’ve seen my study is also now attached. If you’ll excuse me a moment…” he moved past her into the other room and whistled softly. “It was never this cosy before. Always fancied a nice fireplace,” he said, flopping down into one of the chairs. “Care to join me?”

Rose moved fully into the room again, and then lowered herself into the chair opposite the Doctor. “So we’re stuck in here then?” she asked. “For how long do you think?”

“No idea,” the Doctor replied, shrugging. “Although given the work she’s put in I suppose there are far worse places to be stuck. Oh look, there’s even a little fridge in the corner. We have nibbles!” he exclaimed.

Rose stared at him. “He’s enjoying this,” she thought. What she said though was, “So what’s the point then? Why has she done this?”

“Ah, well…” the Doctor replied. “My guess would be that she’s sensed the atmosphere between us and decided to try to help. The TARDIS might be incredibly intelligent, but she doesn’t really understand emotions as such, just knows things are off and I guess she thought we needed time alone. She’s right I suppose, although this isn’t quite how I’d have gone about it.”

“No,” Rose replied, a little more nastily than she’d intended. “You’d probably have avoided discussing it at all till the problem went away.”

The Doctor just stared at her, unable to argue the point. He had been on his way to see her true, but then again, he probably would have avoided actually dealing with things when he’d gotten there, because he really was crap at this relationship stuff. He’d proved that rather spectacularly earlier hadn’t he?

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, staring at his hands which were now folded in his lap.

“Sorry for what, though?” Rose asked, her voice still hard, and starting to rise in volume. “For running off and leaving me? For hurting my feelings? For snogging your French TART!? For not having the guts to look me in the eye and tell me you’d fallen for someone else, so I could walk away with at least a bit of my dignity intact?” She sagged in her chair, her anger waning, and closed her eyes. “What’s the point?” she muttered to herself.

The Doctor considered things for a moment, well about .048 of a second really. She had been angry; but he’d expected that, what he hadn’t expected was this. She looked defeated. She was giving up, and he knew he no longer had time to debate this with himself any further. “Now or never then,” he thought to himself.

The Doctor rose from his chair and moved to crouch in front of her and gently took her hands in his, hoping that she wouldn’t pull away. “The point is,” he began softly, “…that I’m a stupid, pathetic excuse for a Time Lord, who’s terrified of his own feelings, who’s desperately afraid of messing things up further, who doesn’t know how to even begin to tell the woman he loves how he feels, and who probably deserves one hell of a Tyler slap right now.”

Rose opened her eyes and stared at him, speechless. The Doctor decided silence was better than anger, or defeat, and continued to hold her hands, waiting quietly for her to respond in some way. When she did it wasn’t exactly what he’d been expecting, since he still thought a slap might be a distinct possibility.

Instead, Rose pulled her hands free, then threw herself forward into his arms and buried her head in his shoulder. It took him a second to realise she was crying. At a complete loss as to what he should say, he stroked her back gently, and held her close for a short while, until she raised her head to look at him. “You stupid, bloody idiot,” she said. “Why couldn’t you have told me all that before?”

The Doctor looked at her, a little confused, because despite the tears she seemed to be smiling. “Remember the whole “doesn’t know how to even begin” bit? I really am crap at this, aren’t I? Sorry.”

“Oh, for heaven’s….just….just shut up and kiss me!” Rose demanded.

The Doctor decided that was something he definitely could do, and lowered his head till their lips met.

The TARDIS, meanwhile, decided her work was done for the night, and settled into her resting period. She did not however return the doors just yet, thinking that perhaps her Time Lord and her human might quite like to be left alone for a while yet.

End

********************

Disclaimer: All publicly recognisable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. Original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended. Please, do NOT reproduce this work in any format without the authors permission. Should you wish to share this, the author can be contacted here.

Authors notes:

This is a sequel from Feel and I Still Feel so it’s probably best if you read them first. Again, huge thanks to Mme_de_Pompadour who, in a moment of madness, agreed to BETA for me and as a result gets to suffer my ramblings before everyone else. Yet again she was a huge help in finishing this.

This story has also been archived over at A Teaspoon And An Open Mind, here.

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