a madness shared by two (ten/rose, 1/?)

This can’t be right. Absolutely can’t be. Because the Doctor is one-hundred-percent certain that he would remember shagging Rose Tyler. And he doesn’t.

The Doctor wakes up in a bed he doesn’t recognize.

That’s not really what throws him, though. Even if the unfamiliar location is a little disconcerting, he’s woken up in far, far stranger places than a comfortable bed with soft sheets and plush pillows. At this point, if he wakes up in an unfamiliar place that isn’t immediately identifiable as a prison cell or a laboratory (of the evil persuasion), the Doctor generally counts it as a win.

No, what really throws him is the fact that he’s waking up at all. He’d slept for a few hours just two days ago, and he shouldn’t have needed to sleep again so soon. And yet he’s definitely been sleeping. As far as he can tell, he hasn’t been drugged, or knocked out, or subject to any of the plethora of unpleasant things which can induce unconsciousness in a Time Lord. There’s nothing foreign lingering in his system, no chemical aftertaste in his mouth, no residual pain from a physical altercation. There’s just the familiar sensation of his brain kicking back into gear after a period of rest, along with the ache of his muscles protesting when he starts to move towards getting up and out of the strange bed. And – well. That’s…different.

 He doesn’t usually sleep naked.

After a few beats of groggy confusion, the Doctor pulls himself up from his prone position on the bed, the better to take in his unfamiliar surroundings. Unfortunately, those surroundings really only help to multiply the confusion a hundred-fold.

The first thing he realizes is that he’s on the TARDIS.

Honestly, it really shouldn’t have taken him this long to come to that conclusion. There simply aren’t any other beds in the universe as comfortable as the beds on the TARDIS, and the soft omnipresent hum of the ship is a dead giveaway – a constant, comforting background noise that you just can’t find anywhere else.

His mental connection with the old girl does seem a bit off, though – dim or distant, the way it is when they’re separated or when there’s something wrong with her. The Doctor makes a note to run a multi-system diagnostic, to see if he can figure out what’s wrong.

First, though – pants. And trousers. Clothes are going to be a necessity, if he’s going to be leaving this room to do anything.

As he maneuvers himself out of bed, the mystery of where exactly on the TARDIS he is begins to deepen. There are plenty of places on the ship that he visits very rarely, and a few that he considers permanently closed, even if they are technically still accessible. Susan and Romana’s old rooms, for example. But there are very few places that he has legitimately never seen.

This room, apparently, is one of them.

He can’t imagine why, though. It looks like any old bedroom, though it’s nothing like the plain, utilitarian sleeping quarters he calls his own but hardly ever uses. When he does sleep, more often than not it’s in the jump seat or on a couch in the library. It doesn’t look like Rose’s room, either, which last he checked was much smaller than this one, and much more…pink.

That said, this is a room that looks lived in – and as there’s no one else living on the TARDIS apart from him and Rose, the Doctor is really quite baffled. There is a pair of dirty trainers on the side of the bed, and a stack of books on one bedside table. The door to the ensuite is slightly ajar, and the Doctor can see that the bathroom counter is cluttered with toiletries and personal belongings.

As he gets out of the bed to begin hunting down some clothes, it becomes clear that the floor is a bit of a mess. There are haphazard piles of clothes strewn about – jeans and a jumper here, socks and and a hoodie there. He finds his suit trousers and pants in a a heap near the foot of the bed, half-hidden underneath a maroon dressing gown, and pulls them on even as he winces at how wrinkled they’ve become while crumpled up there on the floor.

He’s about to resume the search and look for a shirt when he sees that – oh.

There are knickers on the floor. Ladies’ knickers. Small, pink, lacy ladies’ knickers, resting on top of what looks to be – well.

That looks an awful lot like his suit jacket.

The Doctor steadfastly refuses to draw any conclusions just now, even as the combination of his nudity, the bits of clothing scattered all around the room, and an upsetting lack of short-term memory begins to coalesce into a very distressing picture. Instead, he leaves the suit jacket where it is. Then he picks up the discarded dressing gown, cinches it tight around his waist, and goes in search of Rose.


He finds her in the kitchen.

Rose is sitting on one of the counters, holding a mug of tea in one hand and what looks like a trashy Hyrpaxian magazine in the other, with the cover folded back around for easy one-handed reading. She looks up from it when he walks in, though, and he’s a bit puzzled to see her face fall a little at the sight of him, brows furrowing together in displeasure.

“What? What’s wrong?” he asks, reflexively, because that expression of disappointment is one that simply can’t be allowed to stay on Rose Tyler’s face for long. “Have I got something on my face? Or in my hair?” One hand flies up towards his head in alarm.

Rose brightens a bit at that, disappointment apparently fading into amusement at his flailing. She graces him with a tongue-touched smile. “You’re fine. ‘S just a shame you put clothes on, is all.” Rose gives a little half-shrug, and then winks – winks – at him, before going back to her magazine.

Somehow, the Doctor hasn’t noticed until just then that Rose is wearing very, very little clothing. In fact, all she appears to have on is a blue oxford – an oxford very like the one he couldn’t find in the mystery bedroom, that looks very much like it might have come from one of his own ensembles – and a pair of white cotton knickers.

He’s momentarily paralyzed by the sight of Rose’s bare legs, dangling off the counter and crossed at the ankles.

“Rose?” Her name, spoken as a question, comes out quite a lot more high-pitched than the Doctor would’ve liked. Rose, however, doesn’t even look up from her magazine – just makes an mmmm sound in answer, waiting for the rest of his question. “What–” The Doctor makes a concerted effort to take the squeak out of his voice. “What did we do last night?”

That makes Rose look up from her magazine. “What do you mean?” she asks, eyes narrowing slightly.

“Oh, erm – my head’s just a little fuzzy, is all.” The Doctor quickly backpedals, grasping for an excuse that will allow him to fill in the apparently quite considerable gap in his memory – a gap that has led to naked sleeping in unfamiliar beds and suggestive comments over breakfast and half-naked Rose Tylers on his kitchen counters. “Too much sleep. Not good for Time Lord brains.”

Rose gives him a dubious look – and he can’t blame her, as it’s a terrible, transparent excuse – but she answers him anyways. “Same old, same old. Nearly got executed on Melaros V. Stopped a military coup. Left – before the ball in our honor, for which you owe me, as I was promised a party.” Just then, the toaster next to her on the counter dings softly, producing a slice of perfectly browned toast. Rose puts down her magazine and hops off the counter, then extricates the piece of bread from the toaster. “Came back to the TARDIS. Got cleaned up.” She takes a bite of the toast, then speaks around it to finish her summary. “Then we shagged and went to bed.”

The Doctor has to try very, very hard not to visibly gape at her. “What?”

Rose sedately takes another bite of toast and looks at him like he’s just dribbled on his shirt. “What do you mean, what? Improbable adventures, running for our lives, shagging afterwards. Same as always.”


Rose finishes her piece of toast with one particularly large bite, then quirks an eyebrow at him.

This can’t be right. Absolutely can’t be. Because the Doctor is one-hundred-percent certain that he would remember shagging Rose Tyler. And he doesn’t.

Especially not more than once, or on a regular basis, at least one of which seems to be the implication here.

Rose licks the fingers of the hand that had been holding her toast, presumably to clean them of any crumbs left behind. The Doctor makes a very undignified noise.

“Is something wrong?” Rose is still looking at him like he’s slow. “You’re acting a bit strange, Doctor.”

He shakes his head vigorously, because he is not the one acting strangely here, he’s quite certain. “No, no, I’m just – fuzzy. From the sleep, you know.”

Rose puts her mug back down on the counter, next to the abandoned magazine, before stretching her arms above her head. The motion makes the oxford she’s wearing ride up a bit, and the Doctor finds himself once again transfixed by the sight of so much bare skin on display.

Then she’s crossing the room, heading towards where he’s been standing in the doorway this entire time. “You sure you’re all right?” There’s genuine concern in her voice, and it goes a little ways towards soothing the panic that’s creeping up his spine.

The Doctor nods mutely, unable to summon up a verbal response in the face of Rose, half-dressed and so very, very close to him, a vision pulled straight from the fantasies he wasn’t ever planning to admit to. Her eyes are wide and brown and lovely and getting closer, for some reason.


Rose is kissing him.

Her lips are warm and welcoming and so, so soft, and the sensation is so novel, so wonderful, that it takes the a moment for the Doctor to register exactly what’s happening.

He ought to stop her. He ought to bring his hands up to her shoulders and push her away, ought to stop this before it goes any further, because he doesn’t remember Melaros V or a military coup, and he certainly doesn’t remember shagging, of any kind, ever, not with Rose.

Well. He remembers imagining it. He does not, however, remember it actually happening.

All of those concerns seem to have fallen by the wayside at the moment, though. Because his hands are grasping at Rose’s hips, pulling her closer rather than pushing her away, and his lips are giving into the pressure of hers, opening and deepening the kiss as she hums contentedly into his mouth.

But then she’s pulling away. The Doctor makes a sub-vocal noise of hearty disapproval. “I’m going to take a shower,” she says, with a grin. “You’re welcome to join me.”

Rose steps away from him and starts padding down the corridor, and he can’t help but stare dazedly at her while she walks away.

Then the world sort of – wobbles.

It feels like the whole universe is a snowglobe being shaken, and he’s the plastic figurine trapped inside. Rose’s retreating form blurs and goes cloudy before fading out of existence altogether, and the Doctor finds himself having to close his eyes against the dizzying sensation of everything shifting around him.

When he opens them again, he’s no longer standing in the kitchen doorway, wearing wrinkled trousers and a hideous maroon dressing gown. Instead he’s fully dressed in his brown pinstriped suit, standing in front of the TARDIS console, with one hand on the zigzag plotter – halfway through setting a course to a destination that he can’t remember deciding on.

next chapter →

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