There was just so much touching, you know? And one day, Rose just couldn’t take the slow, gentle progression anymore.
She thought about all those moments when the Doctor had grabbed her hand and she had secretly shuddered in delight; and now she laughed, remembering feeling that way about holding hands, because now they did even more than that and it still wasn’t enough.
He’d taken to running his fingers through her hair whilst they sat side by side on the sofa watching telly, his arm slung neatly around her shoulders and softly stroking the golden strands. When they were cooking in the galley on the TARDIS, or doing the washing up at Jackie’s after dinner, they would stand side by side and bump shoulders and hips and occasionally throw flour or splash water at each other. In the library, they would curl up together and read, or talk, into the endless night.
In the mornings, he would bound into her room with a cup of tea to wake her up and flop down next to her on her bed, wriggling and bouncing so that she was forced to lift her face from the pillow and groan, “Fine, I’m getting up. Just…two more minutes.” And he beamed when she said that, and stayed right where he was until she finally dragged her eyes open fully and got up; he was so oblivious that she usually had to cough pointedly in order to get him to leave her room so that she could change.
But at some point, all that touching and closeness and snuggling and the occasional forehead-or-cheek-kiss…it had to lead somewhere.
And so that time he sat outside her ensuite bathroom door so that he could talk to her whilst she was getting ready, when she stepped out, refreshed and wrapped in a towel, he had reached out and stroked the soft skin of her ankle, seemingly without thought, and she had stared at him until he realised what he was doing. With a cough and a bluster, he retrieved his hand and jumped up, swallowing thickly at the sight of her, his fingers tingling and itching to sweep her hair away from her neck so that he could follow that water droplet, that water droplet right there, sliding down over her collar bone and pooling somewhere beneath the towel.
And that wasn’t the only thing pooling, oh the heat, the heat and the want and the can’t-haves and really-shouldn’ts, and Rose called him out on it at last, raising her eyebrows at him when he just stood there and watched her, and she said, in a soft but demanding tone, that all this teasing had to stop.
And the look on his face - he was hurt by her words when she hadn’t intended that; he was always misinterpreting things. So she clarified her statement, telling him that things have been heading this way for a long time, things are gonna change, I need things to change, and as she spoke each sentence she stepped closer, and he reflexively stepped back, until she had quite literally backed him into the corner of her bedroom; one look at his face told her he really didn’t mind - his eyes dark and twinkling, his entire posture telling her that he wasn’t backing away because he didn’t want this, didn’t want to believe her words, but instead he was backing away so that she could take command of this situation and show him that it was okay, that the universe wouldn’t implode, that really, he was just a man, and she was just a woman, and oh, the things they could do.