The Doctor’s fingers were calloused, worn to the point where he almost couldn’t feel. But Rose’s life, her warmth and youth, was felt in his aged, brittle bones. It overwhelmed him, how much vitality she had left to give. So, not wanting to steal any more of it than his very small share, he pecked her on the lips and gently tipped her off his lap. “I’ll do the mopping up,” he offered, “If you cook the pancakes.”
“Sounds good!” Rose chirped, smiling her Rose-y smile again. She spun around to make her way back to the pancakes when squish. Her barefoot hit the fish goop. “Ah.” She squeaked. Rose lifted her foot for inspection and just saw it make contact with the Doctors trousers. Her hand flew to her mouth, muffling a laugh.
The Doctor leaned against her gently, careful not to knock her off of his lap. His head rested itself on her shoulder, her hair warm against his face. Every connection between them, every touch of a fingertip or strand of hair brushed across electric-charged skin, was a still moment, time slowing around the two of them as they froze for a second before returning to the rest of the world. Every instant, he floated higher.
Arms draped loosely over his shoulders, Rose kissed his neck before nuzzling her face into his shoulder. Every breath, every rise and fall of her chest against his was a reminder of where she was. A reminder of the long journey they had each taken to get to this point. His spanning over nine-hundred years, her’s just a bit over twenty. The Doctor always said he hated taking the slow road, what he didn’t realize is he’d been taking it all his life to get to this point.
The Doctor felt as if her were under a microscope. This all seemed so effortless for Rose, slipping into romance and back into the kitchen with a quick swipe of her fingers through her hair. But for him, every subtle shift of her hips was analyzed, each twitch of her fingers on the back of his neck a sign that required careful and immediate interpretation. He was out of his depth for once, and he wasn’t quite sure he liked it.
Rose’s thumb rubbed circles into the back of his neck. Urging him to relax. If he was worried she was grading his performance, he need not. He had already passed that test. Rose smiled into his lips at the thought. She shifted closer to him, wanting to give him all the signs she could that she was happy.
“Oh, I’d say more than a little bit,” the Doctor smiled, shifting her in his lap so that her legs were to the side and his hands were on the small of her back, disproportionately large to her smaller frame. “Wouldn’t you?” He had always been a bit vain. He leaned her closer to him, whispering “You’re not too bad yourself,” before kissing her.
Her arms wrapped around his neck and she lost herself in the snog. “Mhm.” She mumbled. Rose smiled into his lips at the compliment. Fingers twirling in the Doctor’s hair. Her tongue ran across his bottom lip, chills coursed up her spine. She’d be content spending the rest of her oh-so-human life kissing the Doctor.
“Shut up about the ginger thing,” the Doctor mumbled, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her closer. “I can’t help it.” He dropped the mop to the floor, handle swinging wildly before falling in the goop with a splursh. His other arm found its way around her waist, tugging her into his lap and kissing the side of her head. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Her hands interlocked behind his neck. “S’okay.” She whispered. “At least we know you’re still a little bit foxy.” She smiled, biting her lip. Rose remembered that day clearly. The one day she ever doubted him. She had no idea who he was, and it scared her. But then off he went, saved the day, insulted Jackie, rambled on, and flirted vaguely with her. He was the same as ever. And he was the same now, except now the vague part was gone, which Rose didn’t mind at all.
“Maybe?” The Doctor gingerly set the mop down and leaned into the nearest chair. “Aren’t you supposed to know how to use one of these..” he waved his hand vaguely. “Things?” He hadn’t used a mop since he was a boy back in Gallifrey, his mother yelling in Gallifreyan as he ignored her and painted words on the floor in dirty washwater. He didn’t plan on doing it again, either, since he had been about four feet tall at the time, and the broom about three. And he hadn’t gotten a good deal of cleaning done then.
“Course I do!” Rose tried to look offended, grin peaking through her facade. “Doesn’t mean I’m going to!” Rose slipped down from the counter, slowly making her way around the goo, over to the Doctor. “Here’s me, back from the Capitol not two days. And you already want me mopping your floors?” She neared his chair. “Are you still,” Rose bent to whisper in his ear, her face angled into him. She spoke slowly enunciating each syllable as they rolled off her tongue. “rude and not ginger?”
“What am I even supposed to do with this?” The Doctor picked up the end of the broom skeptically. Rose had always helped him with the mopping. “It looks like a death weapon.” He twirled it around experimentally like a staff, the strings on the end wagging grotesquely as flecks of slime were whirled onto the tiled walls. “A dancing prop?” He began to tap dance, abandoning the idea when he slipped in the fish and nearly fell.
Rose turned around from the would-be-pancakes to face him, unable to contain her laughter. She pulled herself up to sit on the counter top as she smiled, tongue back in her teeth. “So you’re telling me, nine-hundred years of time and space, and you still don’t know how to use a mop?” She teased, elbows on knees as she propped her head on her hands, eye level with the Doctor. The movement allowed her to narrowly miss flying fish goop she could hear make contact with the cupboard behind her.
“Rose,” he called uneasily, careening down the hall with one end of the mop still swinging back and forth in the doorway of the kitchen. “Rose, what am I supposed to do with the mop?” He paused in the doorway, propping himself against the frame and panting as he feebly kicked at the mop, lying lifeless on the linoleum. “It was trying to kill me, I was forced to bring it down.”
She turned around to survey the situation, a giggle escaped. “Are you sure you finished it?” Rose teased, eyebrows raised. “I think it needs to be taught a lesson. One involving pickled fish goop.” She smiled as she gathered cracked the eggs on the side of the sink and emptied them into the bowl. “I couldn’t think of a worse fate-or rather, smellier.” Rose wrinkled her nose, partly from the thought, mostly from the smell rising from the floor.
The Doctor slouched to the closet, couching as a cloud of dust climbed out of the door as he cracked it open. He hadn’t used a mop since Rose had been around either, hadn’t really cleaned anything for fear of wiping away traces of her scent, strands of her hair. Also, he was lazy.
Grumpily yanking the mop out of the closet and accidentally whacking himself in the head while simultaneously smashing a vase, he pitched it into the kitchen, following behind with a preemptive wince, since he knew that he had probably hit something.
Rose stepped around the Doctor cleaning the mess, removing a bowl and spoon from the newly organized cupboards. She unpeeled the bananas into the bowl before gathering the remaining ingredients. She left the banana mashing for the Doctor, because being the nine year old he is it was always his favorite part. As far as domestic came, this was the farthest the two of them had ever really come. Just relaxing at his house, enjoying each others company between adventures.
“I didn’t buy fish,” the Doctor said suspiciously, picking up the jar with two fingers as if it were it were a particularly slimy chunk of mold and he were a normal person. ”Why is there fish on my counter if I didn’t buy fish?” He dropped the bananas on the floor again so that he could run his fingertips over the jar, dipping one cautiously into his mouth. The jar smashed to the ground, slightly greenish goop splattering over the cupboards. “I hate pickled things,” he muttered sullenly.
Rose managed to step out of the way squealing just in time to escape being covered in slime. She smiled. This was so typical of the Doctor; tasting foreign things without a second thought. The clumsiness was new to this Doctor though. In a quirky sorta way it worked for him. Rose laughed “I’ll work on the bananas. You,” She pointed at him. “go grab a mop!” She ordered as she turned to pick up the abused bushel of bananas.