Summary: While under the influence of an alien, mind-altering gas, the Doctor wanders around London for a night, searching for the pink and yellow girl...
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author's Notes: This is a gift for paiger1218 to brighten up a bad day she had. She has a theory that says Rose was the one who bought the Doctor his red Chucks, and I had the desire to put it down onto paper. Then it morphed. A sudden bolt of inspiration later, and we have this story. It's not quite a songfic, no lyrics pop up within the fic, even though it is heavily inspired by a song. More like a song remix, I guess is the best way to describe it, putting the ideas into the Doctor Who world. Hopefully that made some sort of sense. The song used will be revealed at the end - I don't want to give it away too soon, but it's a very appropriate choice in my opinion, and brownies (or other sweet of your choice) to whoever can figure out the song before the end. ;) Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it!
The Places You Walked
“No, I don’t know where he went! I was at the counter to pay, but then when I turned around he was just gone. It’s not like he’s some five year old I have to keep an eye on, I’m pretty sure the Doctor’s more than capable of taking care of himself, even with…oh God. He got a face full of whatever gas the Terasians had sprayed at us, and then hit his head on the TARDIS door. Which means we’ve got a Doctor who might not know which way is up right now wandering around London.” Rose laughed, a slightly crazy and morbid sort of laugh, and clutched at the box in her hands. “I should have known he was out of his head when he said he wanted to go shopping for a new pair of shoes.”
* * *
There was something poking at his foot. Bare feet, now that he thought about it, as much as he could think at the moment, and waggled his toes in the direction of the disturbance. This time something cold and stiff prodded at his foot, and he warily peeled his eyes open, wincing when the harsh golden glare of streetlamps penetrated his optic nerve. It was safe to say that a policeman standing over him with that fluorescent yellow vest and oh-so-stern look on his face was not the first thing he wanted to see. There was something else he wanted to see, someone else, but his brain was so cloudy and full of candy floss at the moment all he could think of was pink and yellow. Not helpful, he told his brain. His brain could barely remember its own name at the moment, indicating that he was probably in a worse state than usual.
“Oi, mate,” the policeman said, “move along. You’re not sleeping out here tonight.”
He just blinked at the copper, not quite sure how to answer that. It finally came to him that he was slumped down in a doorway in a not all that great part of town, if the smell and parties wandering down the street staring at him were any indication. He looked down at himself, two arms, two legs, all covered in brown pinstripes…and no shoes. He should have been wearing shoes. Where did his shoes go?
To his immense surprise, the policeman’s face grew a bit kindlier. “Look, mate, if you can get yourself up and move along, we’ll get you a taxi and you can sleep it off at home, how does that sound?”
It sounded good but for the life of him he couldn’t remember where he parked home. That and there was the slight problem of not having any money. He wrinkled his brow again. There was the very strong chance that he may have spent his last dosh on what the barman claimed was whiskey but in recollection bore absolutely no resemblance to any whiskey he’d ever seen before, and he’d been around the block a few times himself. “Umm…” he stalled, finding that his brain still wasn’t quite where it should be. It was something to do with that weird fruity smelling gas that had been sprayed into his face, hadn’t it? Usually he had quite the strong constitution, but whatever was in there…whoo, what a ride! “Well…”
Right as he was about to give up and fake passing out in order to avoid interrogation, a guardian angel stopped by. Well, three guardian angels really. And to be honest they weren’t guardian angels at all, but three university students, two of which appeared to be just as out of it as he was, although probably because of a different substance than what he’d been hit with. “Hey, Doctor man, how are ya?” the short one with the mop of riotously curly blond hair called out. The boy stumbled a few steps forward, brushing by the copper, and reached out a hand. The other two, a tall and lean boy in a leather jacket and posh jeans and a female of about the same age (wearing, of all things, a cocktail dress and combat boots) came to a sudden stop as well and stared.
Doctor, right, that was his name, well, not really his name but it was what he went by so it was as good a name as any, wasn’t it? He grabbed the boy’s hand and swayed a bit as he was hauled unceremoniously to his feet. “Thanks for finding him, Officer,” the boy said in a surprisingly clear voice. “We’d been wondering where Chrissie’s cousin ended up after the bar turned us all out.” He waved a hand back towards the girl in the combat boots – apparently Chrissie, who was hiding her face in her hands out of sheer embarrassment.
“Keith, what the hell are you doing?” the Doctor could just hear coming out of her covered mouth. He couldn’t worry about that though, and instead turned to nod at the policeman.
“Yep, cousin,” he confirmed, nodding like a bobble-headed doll. “I’m gonna…go with them.” He waved in the general direction of the other two students.
The blond boy called Keith slung an arm around his shoulders…or at least where he hoped the shoulders would be; being a good head shorter than the Doctor his reach was a bit off. “Don’t worry officer, we’ll take good care of him.”
The policeman was a bit wary, but nodded back at the two faces grinning a bit idiotically at him. “If you’re sure…all right, get out of here. If I see you passed out in another doorway tonight, it’s straight to the drunk tank with you to sleep it off.”
There was a part of him that was still clear (and sounded vaguely like some of his former incarnations, all of whom were a bit disgruntled at this point) and was mentally screaming that he wasn’t drunk, he was drugged by some mad aliens with a penchant for experimentation…but at this time period on Earth that really wouldn’t go over too well. It’d probably go over as well as a lead zeppelin, really, but the zeppelins were over in that other world where Mickey had decided to stay, and certainly not in the sky right now. And that was a whole ‘nother can of worms right there, since he knew the name Mickey but couldn’t remember who he was.
The policeman moved along, the Doctor slumped over, and only Keith’s grip kept him upright and not in a puddle on the ground. “Oh, he’s in a right state, isn’t he?” the boy muttered. “Definitely wasn’t this bad in the bar, and he didn’t have all that much to drink.”
Combat-boot Chrissie stomped over to them, dreadlocks of hair in a few shades not found in nature flying about. That bit right there looked the same color as a Slitheen, come to think of it… “You just told a policeman that this total stranger was my cousin! What the hell is up with you? Did you leave your brains in the shower this morning?”
“He’s not that much of a stranger!” Keith fired back. “We met him in the bar, did a few shots, you know, male bonding sort of stuff.”
“Male bonding my arse!”
“He was a nice guy though, you’d really want to leave him to sleep it off out here in the middle of the bloody street?”
Tall and dark moved over to them, smoke from his cigarette curling out of his mouth like a stream of white feathers. “Keith’s got a point. This isn’t exactly the place to spend a night sleeping rough.”
“Thank you, Roger.”
Chrissie softened, and stole Roger’s cigarette from him, taking a few drags. “How do we know he’s not some loony axe murderer though?”
“Never killed anyone with an axe before, I guarantee,” the Doctor said, feeling he had to stick up for himself somehow. There were a few sins of omission there, but the important bit is he wouldn’t do anything to these little Earthlings who were being kind enough to give his addled arse a helping hand.
“How does this sound,” Roger said, brushing some dark hair aside to reveal dark eyes and pale skin. “He can bunk down in our dorm, we’ll lock the door behind him, and we’ll sleep in your room.”
“I have a single, d’you really think the three of us could fit in there?”
Keith snorted. “Chrissie Singh, scared of a little company?”
Roger arched an eyebrow at her. “It’s not like I wasn’t going to be staying there tonight anyway,” he said, making Chrissie’s golden brown skin flush and making roses in her cheeks. Roses, the Doctor thought. There was something very, very important about that. He was going to have to find out what it meant.
“All right, all right, let’s take him back to the dormitory,” she conceded. “You’re right; I’d feel terrible leaving him out on the street all night, even if he did make me spill my drink all over my skirt back at the pub. There’s a tube station near here, right?”
“I think it was that way,” Keith said, motioning with his head down the block. The arms were still occupied with holding up the Doctor, whose equilibrium was not working like it should.
“All right, let’s go.” Roger moved to the Doctor’s other side and pulled his arm around his shoulders. The two were about equal in height so it made it a bit easier to get about. Finally, the four started off down the street, bobbing and weaving their way towards the tube station.
“Hey, I recognize that bookshop,” the Doctor said, twisting his head about at a passing store. “What on Earth are we doing in Soho?”
* * *
“Blimey, this ship always gives me the creeps.”
“Not now, Mum! Besides, the TARDIS will hear you and then she won’t give me the information. Wait…here we go, Terasian Gas.” She read quickly, eyes scanning the translated words on the monitor. “Shit,” Rose muttered. “This is not good. It affects the memory centres of his brain, making him…well, basically making him even more of a nutter than usual.”
“Oh, great. We’ll be lucky if he’s not sectioned by morning.”
“Well then I’m just gonna have to find him before that happens.”
* * *
It could have been a minute that had passed, it could have been a few hours, but his time sense was all off kilter and the next thing he knew he and his newfound friends were in a tube station and he was being hustled unceremoniously onto the train. “Think I had a desktop theme like this once for the TARDIS,” he mused, squinting at the overly bright lights above his head.”
“What’s a TARDIS?” Keith asked, plunking the Doctor down in an empty seat and wincing as his head bounced just a bit against the glass window.
“TARDIS…TARDIS is…” the Doctor trailed off, unknotting his tie and twisting it around his hands a few times. How to explain to them that the best thing that was coming to mind was home? How was a name a home? Not just a name though, it was space and time right at his fingertips.
“I think you just got him even drunker,” Roger sighed, grasping onto the pole next to the Doctor’s seat.
Keith shook his head. “Something’s not right. Maybe he’s got a head injury or something like that?”
Chrissie leaned down to stare into the Doctor’s eyes, dreadlocks falling around his face in a clove scented mass. For some reason he got the sudden and inexplicable urge to cross his eyes at her, so he did. She jolted back a step, and he winked at her, mouth forming a wide grin. “Well, his pupils look all right,” she said, straightening up. “So he’s not got a head injury.”
“Are you sure?” Roger asked, swaying with the movement of the train.
“Sure enough, I guess. My mum taught me well, especially knowing all of the scrapes me and my mates got into on the estate when we were kids.” Chrissie sighed and sat down on the seat next to the Doctor. “Do you remember anything about being in the pub?” she asked him, and he played with his loosened tie some more.
“Hmm. Well, let’s see…” His brain seemed to be even fuzzier than normal, and for some reason he just wanted to go to sleep, maybe that’d clear things up and reset his memory. “I remember…the shots. That wasn’t whiskey, was it?”
Keith snorted into his coat, which turned into a muffled cough. “Nope, Jaeger.”
“Bleh,” the Doctor made a face, showing just how he felt about that drink. “Then…there was something involving a dart board, a stuffed dog, and a fist fight. After that, s’a blank until the policeman came by.”
“We all got tossed out of the pub after the fight,” Roger chimed in. “’Sides, it was closing time at that place anyway and the fight was the perfect excuse to shut it down. We were going to head to another bar but then we saw you getting interrogated by the police. You’ve got a bit of a black eye there, you know.”
The Doctor prodded the tender and swollen area around his left eye. Yeah, he now vaguely recalled a very beefy man who was probably three times his body weight and size driving a massive ham-sized fist right into his face. He suspected he may have made a comment about the man’s mother, but when he thought of mothers all he could come up with was a blurry vision of an older blonde woman with a slap that could bring down all of England who was scarier than a Dalek and those damn Daleks things were bloody horrifying, he knew. Still didn’t make sense in his head though, and he leaned back against the window, shutting his eyes and letting the rocking movement of the train take him away.
“Mate, you are so NOT passing out here on the train,” Keith said, jabbing a finger in the direction of his face. “You might be a scrawny arse, but we’ve still got a bus ride and a bit of a walk ahead of us, and just think of how it’ll look if we hauled something that looks like a corpse into the dorms.”
The Doctor, eyes still closed and brain still off in Neverland, just gave him a thumbs up, making Chrissie groan again.
* * *
“Have you found him, Rose?”
“No, nothing. Been all over where we were today, but no one even recalls seeing him! You’d think they ‘d remember seeing a barefoot bloke in a suit wandering around.”
“Yeah, but it’s after midnight now, so god only knows what’s out on the streets.”
“Mum, that’s not reassuring.”
“All right. I know a cop who owes me one. He should be on duty now, let me give him a ring and see if he’s seen anything. Knowing the Doctor he’s caused all sorts of trouble by now…”
“Thanks, Mum.” For the first time since the Doctor had wandered off, Rose smiled.
* * *
The next time the Doctor regained any sort of coherency, he was being bounced unceremoniously onto a very uncomfortable bed. He groaned as a spring dug into his back. There was a not so savory odor in the air either, and he scrubbed a hand over his nose. Something tapped firmly on his chest, and he opened his eyes to see three heads bobbing above him. “Now listen to me,” Chrissie said. “You stay here and sleep it off. If you can’t sleep, stay in here anyway. If you get desperate, loo’s across the hall, s’got the little figure of a man on the door. Aside from that, stay here! Security sees you wanderin’ around, they’ll call the police and you’ll get locked up for trespassing.”
“Been there, done that,” the Doctor muttered, eyes closing again and head falling back onto the pillow. “Don’t feel like ending up in gaol again today.”
“Great, we picked up a fugitive,” he heard Roger say with a sigh in his voice.
“Why aren’t we locking him in here again?” Keith asked.
There was yet another groan from Chrissie. He understood her frustration, sometimes those apes could be quite silly, especially with stuff as foul as that Jaeger in them. “Because you don’t need a key to unlock the door from inside, wanker. We lock him in here, he turns the handle and gets out. Defeats the purpose a bit. So we leave him here, then barricade ourselves in my room.”
“Gonna be a tight squeeze, that’s for sure.”
“And you’ll be sleeping on the floor, Keith, so grab your blankets.” There was a muffled thud, followed by Keith swearing. The Doctor cracked an eye open and saw the boy fighting to get out of a tangle of blankets that had somehow suddenly draped themselves around his head.
“You’re a bastard, Rog, you know that.”
“All right, everyone out,” Chrissie piped up. She ushered Rog and Keith out of the room, but then turned back to the Doctor. “I’ll pop back in around five a.m. or so, just to check on you. No funny stuff between now and then, you hear me?”
“Yes, ma’am,” The Doctor said, shutting his eyes once more. He heard the door click, and felt the bed spin underneath him. Usually he could handle his drink, he had to be able to with all of the strange people he encountered in his years and years of travelling. Something was very wrong, but for the lives of him it just wasn’t making sense. It had to have been the gas. He’d ended up getting the full force of it, because he’d pushed…he should know this. She was so very important to him, he had to push her out of the way of the gas because it would have killed her in minutes. But he couldn’t remember who she was, and for some reason that hurt more than his feet or his head did right now.
Eventually he gave up and passed out. While his mind didn’t realize it, his body recognized that a couple of hours of sleep, even if it was on a dormitory bed with suspect sheets on it, would help work things out of his system and hopefully get him a little more sane.
* * *
“Was that him?”
“Yeah, and it lucky for us he actually heard something.”
“What did he find out?”
“A bar fight around eleven tonight, someplace in Soho. Don’t know who started it, but right in the middle of things was a skinny bloke in a pinstripe suit who wasn’t wearing any shoes.”
“That’s him!” Rose leapt off the jump seat and ran for the doors of the TARDIS. “What pub was it? We can go talk to the bartender, maybe they’ll know where he is.”
“Rose, everyone got chucked out of the bar right after that, no one’s seen him since. And you need to get some rest too!”
“I’ve got to find him though, he’s not himself right now!”
“But you’re not gonna be able to if you’re so tired you can’t even see straight. It’s two in the morning, and I don’t know about you but I’m bloody exhausted. Sleep at least for a couple of hours, then as soon as the sun comes up we’ll head out and head all over London to find him.”
Rose slumped against the doors of the TARDIS, and Jackie pulled her into a hug. “All right,” Rose whispered. “Just for a few hours.”
“Come on, let’s get you to bed.”
* * *
Unfortunately, sleep didn’t seem to help. When the Doctor opened his eyes a few hours later his head was still stuffed with candy floss, thought he was lucky he knew where his feet were, couldn’t remember where he parked the TARDIS, had an amazingly foul taste in his mouth, and knew he had to find that girl. Not the one who had shut him in this…really disastrous looking dorm room, if the piles of dirty clothes, old plates, and scattered books were anything to go by. Posters of scantily clad page three girls and random bands hung off the walls, and for some reason the mattress of the other bed was half on the floor. The pink and yellow girl, that was the girl he needed. The one with the roses…
The door opened and in walked Chrissie, just barely visible in the early morning gloom. She’d changed out of her gear, and now looked just like any other young woman in a pair of pajama pants with virulently colored cartoon characters on them and a t-shirt. The Slitheen green dreadlocks were still there. Slitheen green, that rolled off the tongue nicely. He’d have to remember that. “How you feeling?” she asked in a soft voice.
“Mmm, could be worse,” he mused, pushing himself to a sitting position on the bed. “At least, it always can be worse, can’t it? At least I’m not outside, or in gaol again.”
Chrissie pulled out a chair by the desk, grimaced, then pushed something off the seat. After scrubbing at it hastily she sat down, still looking at him. “Look, Doctor…that can’t be your real name, can it?”
“Yep, that’s my name. Doctor. Just the Doctor.” He stared idly around the room, counting the spots on the ceiling.
“Why does that sound familiar?” Chrissie muttered to herself.
“’Cause I’m brilliant,” he decided to respond anyway.
“You’re an egomaniac, is what you are,” she said with a smile. “Seriously though, if you give me a name we can help you find out where you’re supposed to be, maybe find someone who knows you.”
The Doctor shook his head, and kept on shaking it, as if he were some daft dog. “Nope, can’t remember anything. Just…”
“I remember roses, something about roses. It’s important, very important, unimaginably important, and I keep pulling a blank,” he spoke through gritted teeth, pulling hard at the ends of his hair.
“Wait, roses?” Chrissie’s feet slapped onto the floor, and she gripped the back of the chair. “Rose Tyler?”
“Who? YES. That’s it.” That was the name, wrapped in that cloud of pink and yellow that he wanted to hug to himself and not let go of. “Rose Tyler,” he whispered. He slipped off the bed and began to pace around the small room, not even noticing the detritus he was stepping on.
“I grew up with her, back on the Powell Estate,” Chrissie said. “She’s a bit infamous now, really. Everyone on the estate knows she ran off a couple of years ago with an older bloke to go travelling who she called the Doctor…” her voice trailed off, and her dark eyes bugged out of her face. She stumbled to her feet and moved to the door. “Jus’-just wait right here for two seconds.”
She ran out of the room, but the Doctor barely noticed it. His mind was far too busy contemplating Rose Tyler and how to find her. The little part of his brain that was like a Rose homing beacon lit up and he knew which direction he had to run in.
By the time Chrissie got back to the room, mobile phone in hand, the Doctor was gone, leaving only footprints behind. “Damn it,” she said, moving out into the hall. She clicked a few buttons on her phone as she headed for the stairwell and held it up to her ear. “Good morning Mum!...no, nothing’s wrong, not really…yes, I know it’s five-thirty in the morning but it’s not like you weren’t awake anyway. Look, could you do me a very quick favor and get me Jackie Tyler’s phone number?”
* * *
The Doctor stared at the plaque marking the park’s entrance, meditating on the name. Something about angels came to mind, but the reference was a blur, all he could see in his head was the pink and yellow Rose. A face had started to come to him, round and pale with hazel eyes sporting too much liner and mascara. A soft pink mouth, and he could just about remember the feel of those lips on his, in calming and heated situations. Feeling determined, he moved into the park, setting off down a path lined in trees that wavered in the early morning mist.
* * *
“Rose, wake up.”
“Mum? What’s goin’ on?”
“You’re not going to believe this one; never thought I’d be grateful for the way gossip flies ‘round this place. Arianna’s daughter Chrissie just rang. You know, the one over at Kings’ College? She spotted the Doctor.”
“Where is he?” Rose sprung out of bed, still fully dressed, and shoved her feet into her trainers.
“From what Chrissie said he’d walked off, but she’s been able to follow him all the way to Ruskin Park.”
“All right. I’ll be back shortly, hopefully with the Doctor.”
“Here, take the car. I borrowed it from Howard.” Jackie pressed a set of keys into Rose’s hands. Rose hugged her back, then ran out the door of the flat at top speed.
* * *
The car stopped at the curb with a loud screech of brakes. Rose suspected she may have been parked at a bus stop actually, but right now she didn’t really care. She dashed across the street and into the park, running up the path blindly. The park itself was huge, and she didn’t know where to start to find the Doctor. Running had always served them well in the past though, and so she followed the concrete paths deeper and deeper into the park.
Within five minutes of running she spotted Chrissie off in the distance, standing in the middle of a path in her pajamas and smoking a cigarette. “Where is he?” Rose yelled out as she got closer.
Chrissie turned, spotted Rose, and sighed with relief. “It’s okay!” she said, running to meet Rose. When they met up she grabbed Rose’s arms and turned her in the direction of a field. On the edge of the field was a line of trees, beneath one of which was the Doctor, kneeling and staring up at the leaves. “He stopped there about five minutes ago and hasn’t moved since.”
“How’s he been?” Rose asked, not tearing her eyes from him.
“Thought he was drunk at first when we ran into him, but afterwards he was acting too odd for just that. Then I thought maybe he bumped his head on something, but that didn’t look right either,” Chrissie said, taking a drag from her cigarette. “’Course, Roger’s mate Keith probably didn’t help with that after giving him the shots of Jaeger.”
Rose shook her head. “You wouldn’t think it to look at him, but the man’s got a hollow leg. He can hold it. Got a hard head too.” It wasn’t quite the truth, but how else to explain his total alien-ness to a human who wouldn’t understand? “Then what?”
“We found him out on the streets afterwards. We’d all been chucked because of a stupid fight, which your Doctor there caused.”
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Well by that time he was acting more than a bit mental, so the boys decided to take pity on him and haul him back to the dorm with us. Ended up sticking him in Rog and Keith’s room.” Chrissie shot her a sideways glance. “He recognized your name. That’s when he ran for it.”
“He had a bad reaction to some medication earlier today,” Rose said, coming up with a fairly plausible explanation for his mental lapse. “It made him a bit crazy. Thanks for taking care of him.”
“Not a problem,” Chrissie shrugged.
“So how are you doing?” Rose asked politely, even though all she wanted to do was run to the Doctor and hold onto him for dear life.
“Exhausted and hungover, frankly. Aside from that, pretty damn good.”
“And how’s Society Boy?”
“Roger? He’s fine, currently passed out in my bedroom and drooling on the pillow. Found out about the Society Boy nickname last month, and was definitely not too thrilled,” Chrissie snorted, tucking a dreadlock behind her ear as she exhaled a stream of smoke.
“You know, you really ought to stop smoking,” Rose commented idly.
“Now you sound like my mum. After all we’ve been through back when we were in school, if this is the worst thing I brought with me, you all can deal. It could be a hell of a lot worse.” The two girls shared a look. “You’re travelling the world, and I actually made it to uni, something everyone thought would never happen! We’re doing pretty damn good for ourselves.”
“Yeah, we are,” Rose smiled. “Thanks again, Chrissie, for taking care of him.”
“Anytime, you know that. And now, I am going to head back to my lumpy bed, steal the blankets from Roger, and pass out for the next eight hours. It was good seeing you again Rose,” Chrissie said with a smile.
“You too.” Finally, she began moving toward the Doctor, still staring at the tree.
“Oi, Rose?” Chrissie hollered at her.
“Your Doctor’s well fit when he’s not babbling!”
Rose couldn’t help but laugh at that one. Even drugged to the gills some things never changed.
* * *
It was peaceful, this time of day. The Doctor inhaled slowly, feeling the cool morning air flow into his lungs. He stared up at the tree from his position on the grass, content to wait right there until it was time. A feeling had suddenly arisen in the back of his head, stopping him in his tracks. Somehow, and he couldn’t really explain it, but somehow he knew that she was coming.
Sure enough, when he looked across the grassy expanse of the field he saw her walking his way, the girl with the roses in her cheeks, the mist swirling around her legs as she moved. He kept his eyes on her until she drew close and kneeled down right in front of him. “You know, we’ve been looking all night for you,” she said, brushing some hair off his forehead.
“Sorry. I didn’t know anyone was looking for me. Not that it’s a bad thing that you were, but if I knew you were I could have made it a little easier for you?” He trailed off, not even making sense to himself. Didn’t matter though.
“Come on,” Rose said, getting to her feet and tugging at his arm. “Let’s get you home.” They attempted to get the Doctor upright and mobile, but after about three seconds his legs gave out and he fell, dragging Rose back to the ground with him. He cackled with some insane sort of glee, rolling his head back and forth in the grass. Rose sighed and scrambled off of him, sitting down by his head. “And it looks like the gas still hasn’t worn off,” she muttered, watching the cackles mellow out into soft giggles.
Yes, the gas was still making his head all funny, but it didn’t matter. Rose was here, and for right now, everything was just fine. He felt her maneuver his head into her lap. Her fingers stroked through his hair and he arched into her touch, resisting the urge to burrow himself into her skin, take up residence there, and not leave. “Okay,” she said. “From what the TARDIS told me the effects of the gas should only last twenty-four hours, so we’re just going to wait here and watch the sun come up until you feel a little more like yourself.” That sounded good to him. He liked sunrises.
* * *
Okay, now it felt like he had been kicked in the head rather strongly by a Berilamo, and those things had one hell of a kick on them. Maybe it was the extra tentacles that did it. Come to think of it, there had to be a good explanation for why he was laying on the ground in the middle of a park, the Doctor thought as he opened his eyes and took in the scenery around him. It felt like Earth, even through all of the pollution there was just a certain smell about the place that was so distinctly…Earthly. Beneath his head he could feel denim and legs, had to have been Rose. That could only be her hand still in his hair. “Rose?” he asked tentatively, a far cry from how he usually felt.
“Welcome back,” she said, and he squirmed around until he was looking right up at her smiling face.
“Why are we lying in a field?” he asked.
The smile dropped off her face, and her eyes filled with concern. “You don’t remember?”
The Doctor frowned. “I remember…” His brain cycled at rapid speed through all sorts of images and memories until it clicked onto the catalyst. “The gas!” he said, sitting upright and nearly knocking into Rose’s forehead. The memories of the entire night came flooding back, and he groaned as he recalled just what had happened the night before, squeezing his eyes shut in the process. He was never going to live some of this stuff down, so he’d just have to make sure that Rose never found out about it. There could be a possible flaw in that part of the plan though.
“Yeah, the gas,” Rose said, rubbing her hand up and down his back. “You scared us all for a while there when you disappeared.”
“I’m so sorry,” he said, scrubbing his hands over his face and through his hair, sending it into a state of disarray. Sometimes he had to wonder what he did to deserve this woman who loved him so completely. She deserved far better than him, but still she stuck by his side. It was more than a bit humbling, even though he didn’t want to admit that to anyone at all.
“Well I’ve got you now, so that’s what matters, right?” Rose smiled at him, pressing a kiss to his temple. “Do you think you’ll be able to get back to Mum’s flat now?”
“Yep, shouldn’t be a problem.” They helped each other to their feet, and this time no one fell over. The Doctor frowned, looked down, and wiggled his toes into the grass. “Rose?”
“Did I really buy a new pair of red trainers yesterday?”
“Actually they were maroon, and I paid for them, but yes, you did.”
“Right, okay. Well, a spare pair of shoes could always come in handy. I’ll save them for a special occasion.” Still feeling a little playful he grabbed Rose’s hand and swung her in a circle around him, dancing just a bit in the sunlight. Maybe it was the possible after effects of the gas or maybe he was just in a good mood, but as he watched Rose spin around, giggling like a madwoman with her hair shining in the sun, he felt happier than he had for a long, long time. Life was good.
I know there's a place you walked
Where love falls from the trees
My heart is like a broken cup
I only feel right on my knees
I spit out like a sewer hole
Yet still recieve your kiss
How can I measure up to anyone now
After such a love as this?
‘Who Are You’ – The Who