Chapter Six

The storm decreased in intensity after a few hours and began to slowly die down. The Doctor found a couple more logs in the basement after checking to make sure Rose was sleeping peacefully and he added them to the fire. He stoked the fire and when it was blazing, he sat back down in the chair and folded his hands in his lap while he watched Rose.

She was snoring softly and the firelight illuminated her face. The Doctor thought it made her look ever more gorgeous. He frowned while he remembered what Rebecca had said. Did she say all that because of what happened between her and Matthew or did she look into Rose's mind and see a similar frustration and found a kindred spirit.

Rose, I do love you, I hope you know that, the Doctor thought to himself.

He noticed her stirring and he got up and knelt down beside her. Rose opened her eyes, gazed at him and made a face.

"Ew, you again," she said.

The Doctor gave her arm a playful shove when she giggled at that.

"Had a dream about this house in the TARDIS," Rose said.

"You're fixated on that now. Is that a sign of domesticity?" the Doctor said, making a face.

"I just think it's funny. Me in my house and you coming to visit me and having tea in the dining room. Maybe you can capture a milkman and his float and I can have fresh milk every morning."

"Did I ever tell you that your fantasy life both intrigues and disturbs me?"

Rose giggled and the Doctor smiled when she tousled his hair.

"Rebecca didn't come back then?" she asked.

"Haven't seen or heard from her," the Doctor said with a shrug. "Perhaps she decided to move on or else ran for the hills. In any case, it's been uneventful. Even the storm's dying down now. We'll probably be able to go back home tomorrow."

"And bring the TARDIS back here and take this home with us?"

"No!" the Doctor said while Rose laughed. "This home is staying put!"

"Can we take the sofa at least? I love it!"

"I don't travel through time for you to furniture shop and commit petty larceny. Sofa stays here. I can get you a much grander sofa somewhere else."

"Blast, you're no fun," Rose teased.

They fell silent and both of them stared at the fire for a bit.

"Rose, you do know that I care deeply for you, right?" the Doctor finally said.

"Yes," Rose said.

"I try to show that all the time. I prefer to be a man of action rather than words."

"Really? The way you rabbit on about everything, you coulda fooled me. I'm joking," Rose said, laughing, when she saw the annoyed look on the Doctor's face. "Did Rebecca get to you?"

"She said some things that I didn't like. Accused me of being a typical piggish male who didn't care about anyone but myself. Whoever this Matthew was and I suspect he was the man in the portraits, she loved him deeply but he apparently didn't love her or fell out of love. That's why she killed him."

"God," Rose said, shaking her head. "That poor woman. She must have been desperate."

"Would you do that to me?" the Doctor said, looking back at her.

"Kill you if you didn't love me? Get off, I'm not that barmy. I like this body and I don't want to risk it changing if I plunge a machete into it. She really did get to you."

"I just want you to know that you are loved," the Doctor said. "I admit I'm not an expert on women but I don't want you to think for one moment that I don't care about you and that you aren't loved because you are."

"Doctor, calm down, I get that," Rose said as she played with his hair. "I know you love me. I won't come after you with a knife or something like that."

"It's just that I think it's boring to say I love you when I can just show it," the Doctor said.

"Well, you can show it by taking this house into the TARDIS so we can have tea in it."

"You're not gonna stop fixating on that, are you? Will I have to take that memory out of your head now?"

"Nah, I want to have fun daydreaming about you posting a letter through my mail slot and the letter is an invitation to teatime."

She giggled when the Doctor threw up his hands in mock frustration before he chuckled. Rose played with his hair for a bit until her eyes grew heavy and she fell asleep with her hand near the Doctor's head. The Doctor waited until she was asleep before he got up on his knees. He bent over and kissed the back of Rose's hand.

"Sleep well, my love," he whispered. "I love you and I always will."

Rose didn't stir at that but the Doctor didn't mind. He settled back down beside her and watched the fire dancing in the fireplace while he waited for daylight to come.


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