timelord1: (It's 9 and Rose!)
[personal profile] timelord1
Title: How Lovely Are Your Branches
Pairing: 9/Rose
Rating: Teen - always teen. Safer that way.
Summary: The TARDIS materializes around a pine tree. Rose thinks the Doctor did it for her, for Christmas. He's not about to argue.
A/N: Behold, my first *officially* Nine story!! Written for the Doctor Rose Holiday Fixathon, based on this prompt by [livejournal.com profile] turtle_gooseNine and Rose decorate a Christmas tree that the TARDIS materializes around. Special loving thanks to [livejournal.com profile] onabearskinrug for reading it in process and making sure 9 sounded like 9, and not 10 in a leather coat and jumper. :) 


 
The TARDIS made a horrible grinding sound in the last seconds of its materialization cycle, pulling the Doctor out of his concentrated reverie.
 
“Oh, what’s the matter now?” he asked, turning to look at a monitor just as an ungainly, snow-draped branch of pine swung out and hit him in the face. A cloud of powdery snow burst into the air with the impact, which sent him sideways.
 
He righted himself a second later, spitting out a mouthful of frozen needles.
 
“What the hell?” he cried, stepping backwards so he could take in the impressive height of the towering pine tree that had somehow materialized inside the control room. It went nearly to the ceiling, its branches cradling the whole northern quarter of the control console. His first thought was of the sap that would inevitably get all over everything the tree touched. His second thought made him beam.
 
“Fantastic!” he said, taking a quick lap around the tree. “All we need now’s a stand to put it in so we can forget to water it.” He went to his stomach on the metal grating and shifted a panel so he could see where the tree cut off. It went through the bottom of the floor, apparently undamaged. He got to his feet, kicked the grating back into place, and shouted for Rose. He bounded down the hallway, catching her by the hands before she made it into the control room.
 
“Close your eyes.” he said, putting his hand over her face.
 
“What are you on about?” she giggled, pulling at his hand as he led her into the room. “What’s that smell?”
 
“Oh,” he said, snapping his fingers. “Smell’s a dead giveaway. Have a look.” He took his hand off her eyes and the look of joy that passed over his face almost outshone the awestruck smile on Rose’s.
 
“You got us a Christmas tree?” she gasped.
 
“I did!” he said, crossing his arms in front of his chest. “A nice one, too. One of the TARDIS’s many tricks. Materialized right around it without damaging it in the slightest. Always thinking of the environment, me.”
 
Rose grabbed the Doctor into a hug, turning her face in to his shoulder to get a good sniff of his leather coat. “Thank you,” she whispered. She let her cheek rest against him for just a hair longer than someone who was merely a friend would do, and the Doctor made no move to let her go. At the last, just before they parted, he let his head bow slightly so he could smell her hair. He almost kissed the top of her head, but stopped himself with his formidable Time Lord restraint. Damn bloody nuisance, that.
 
“Now,” he said, as soon as they were separate. “I’m guessing you’d like to make something hot to drink, eat some biscuits and hang things from the branches. Am I right?”
 
“Do you have decorations?” Rose asked.
 
The Doctor shrugged. “Not at all. But, we can improvise.”
 
“That’s what we do best,” she said. She held out her hand and he took it, leading her at a run through the TARDIS to gather supplies. He started in the kitchen.
 
“Bananas!” he cried, tossing her a bunch.
 
“What do bananas have to do with Christmas?” she asked, setting them back down on the countertop.
 
He scoffed, shaking his head. “Rose Tyler. Were you at the first Christmas? No. But I was. Believe me when I tell you, bananas were an integral part of the first Christmas.”
 
“Thanks to you,” she chuckled.
 
“Of course thanks to me!” he said. “What’s a baby gonna do with frankincense and myrrh?  Nothing, that’s what. Babies need bananas. Good source-“
 
“Of potassium,” Rose finished for him. “Fine. Bananas it is. What else? Can we pop popcorn and string it together to hang on the tree?” She stepped close and leaned her head against his shoulder, looking up into his eyes.
 
“Why would you want to do that?” he asked. “What if some unsuspecting squirrel goes to eat a piece of it we’ve left behind and chokes to death on the string?”
 
“No popcorn, then,” she said. “What are we going to use for garland?”
 
The Doctor looked at the ceiling for a moment before clapping his hands together and dashing out of the kitchen. He came back moments later holding two ridiculously long, striped scarves. The ends trailed behind him, out the door and into the hallway. “How’s this?” he asked.
 
“Perfect!” she said, taking the scarves and the bananas back to the control room. They ran around the TARDIS, picking up anything that could pass for a bauble, including a sanctified amulet from the planet Barzek-12. It was a ball of glittering blue stone, the size of a child’s fist, with a pattern of twinkling lights trailing over its surface.
 
“I have to take you there,” the Doctor said, spinning the amulet by the chain as they searched one of the myriad storage rooms. “If I walk out of the TARDIS wearing this thing, they’ll treat us like gods. Technically, I am one of the gods of Barzek-12. That’s a story, that is. Very friendly people, once you get to know ‘em. They walk ‘round naked, and they’ve got green skin with lighter green stripes, right? Well, if you land on Barzek-12, you’d better be naked, green and striped too, or they’ll try to eat your insides. I learned that one the hard way.”
 
Rose stopped digging through a box to smile up at him, “How’d you get away?”
 
“I didn’t,” he said with a shrug. “There I was, tied to a stake, ready to have my belly sliced open and my guts dumped out for smorgasbord, when I got my hand on my sonic screwdriver and soniced my way out of the ropes. They mistook the sonic screwdriver for the scepter of the gods. I wasn’t about to argue. So, a couple coats of green paint and a feast later, they proclaimed me Dokta, God of…something. And gave me this.”
 
“Can we use these?” Rose asked, pulling a pair of large green crystals out of the box. “There’s about a dozen of them in here.”
 
“We can use anything we find, far as I’m concerned,” he said. “These are…what are these? I can’t remember what these are for. Hang on.” He took one and threw it against the wall as hard as he could. It burst in a shower of glitter and popping, squealing fireworks.
 
“That’s right. Party bomb,” he said, tossing the other one gently to Rose. “Might want to save those for New Year’s.”
 
They raided a few more storage rooms and, once they had three large boxes full of festive trinkets, made their way back to the control room. The Doctor started a pot of milk simmering and hauled out the old food replicator to synthesize some sugary-frosted, holiday shaped biscuits.
 
“And please get it right,” he murmured to the ancient device. “They should taste sweet and buttery, not at all like anything else. Particularly capers and lamb. Got it?” He patted the metal housing and went back to the control room to start up a file of Christmas music. Rose was already sorting their collected treasures by color and size to arrange them on the tree. He stood in the doorway and watched her for a while, admiring the care with which she was handling the things he had until that moment regarded as junk cluttering up his ship. She handled him with the same care, as he came to think of it.
 
Before he could sink too far into his thoughts she turned and smiled at him. “You gonna help, or just stand there all night watchin’ me work?”
 
“Oh, I’m for helpin’,” he said, squatting down to help her sort. “Never really paid much attention to most of this rubbish til now. Seeing it all laid out makes it look more important.” He took a wad of dusty fabric and metal out of the box, smoothing the ribbons out against the leg of his jeans.
 
“What’s that one?” Rose asked.
 
“Medal of valor,” he said without looking up. “There was a plague killing the children on the planet Vylokathris. I found the cure.”
 
“I thought you didn’t like sticking around for that sort of nonsense,” Rose teased. “Medals and thanks and all that.”
 
His expression was serious when he looked up at her. “I don’t. The only way to make the cure was to infect myself with the plague and harvest the antibodies. Which left me with none for myself and I spent six weeks in hospital gettin’ over being sick. Saved almost all of the kids, though. Did you know they still celebrate Doctor Day every ninety-first of Grulba? Kids get the day off school and everybody eats cake and shoots off fireworks. We should go sometime? What’s the matter with you?”
 
By the time he reached the end of the story, something had changed in Rose’s face. The lighthearted grin she’d been wearing since first spotting the tree was gone, replaced by a look that was oddly intense. It wasn’t pity, and it looked deeper than the usual admiring glances she gave him when he talked about his past exploits. It looked like an emotion he hadn’t seen turned in his direction in he couldn’t remember how long. One he didn’t have the courage to even think of, let alone entertain the possibility that it could be that.
 
“My Doctor. Whole planets out there celebrate you, and I get you all to myself.” Rose said, crawling over to him on her hands and knees so their faces were inches apart. The urge to close the distance between them and kiss her threatened once again to overpower his long-tested Time Lord restraint. She came closer. Sweat started to bead at the small of his back.
 
“What are you doing?” he asked with a chuckle, inching slightly away from her.
 
“All you ever do is help everyone else. What do you ever do for yourself?” she asked.
 
“Spend time with you.” He’d blurted the words before he could stop himself. He went on, trying to lighten the sudden shift in feeling in the room. “We have fun, don’t we?”
 
He kept his eyes averted from hers. Normally he would look at the ground, or his right arm, or anything to avoid making the wrong sort of eye contact, but she was so close to him there was nowhere to look, apart from either her eyes or her lips. Those soft, pink lips with just a touch of that infernal, chemical-smelling gloss on them that made them look even more inviting. He swallowed and tried to think of anything to get his mind off what her lips might taste like. Slitheens on stripper poles; the Jagrafess vomiting sludge all over everything; Cassandra the skin flap’s last, explosive seconds. It didn’t work.
 
“You know what’s funny?” Rose asked, inching even closer.
 
“What’s funny?” he asked, once he could remember how to speak.
 
“You never look me in the eye when I get this close. What are you looking at?”
 
“Lips,” he bumbled, and then squeezed his eyes tightly shut. “Sugar. I mean nothing. Why do you ask stupid questions like that?”
 
Her face invaded the last bit of personal space he had without touching him. She had him trapped, hands and knees poised on either side of his outstretched legs. Her breath was warm on his cheeks, her scent filling his every intake of air. “Then look me in the eye.”
 
“Thought we were decoratin’ this tree,” he muttered, refusing to make eye contact. If he did, no amount of mental restraint would be able to stop him. It was proof of his immense psychic strength that he was holding on even now.
 
“Look,” Rose whispered. Her head tilted slightly to one side. “Are you trembling, Doctor?”
 
“It’s cold with that tree in here,” he said.
 
“Mighty Time Lord, tremblin’ cos a girl’s getting too close,” she said, inching even closer. “I’ve seen you stare down some pretty horrible monsters without blinkin’. How comes you’re shaking now?”
 
His eyes moved up to hers. The food replicator announced the creation of biscuits with a cheery ding.
 
“Because I want this,” he said, his words softer than a whisper, barely a stirring of breath.
 
“And you’re afraid?” she asked, her voice matching his in softness. When her lips moved to speak, they narrowly missed brushing his.
 
“Yes.”
 
“Afraid that I don’t want the same thing?” she asked. She put her hand on his cheek so gently he breathed an involuntary sigh. He was conquered; had been, ever since he’d first taken her hand.
 
“Yes?”
 
Rose smiled, nibbling on the tip of her tongue. “Are you thick?”
 
“Yes,” he said, taking her lips with his at last. He clutched her tightly, practically smothering her with his kiss. She dug her fingers into his scalp, grasping at the short hairs and the Doctor wished with both his hearts that he’d had longer, thicker hair for her to really tangle her fingers in. It had taken him a while to remember the moves when they first danced together. This muscle memory came back much faster. Judging by the little whimpering sound Rose made as he deepened the kiss, she would never doubt whether he had the moves or not again.
 
***
 
The tree was festooned with medals and amulets, bananas and scarves, and topped with the hollow head of a cyberman suit. Two steaming mugs of drinking chocolate sat waiting next to a plate full of perfect-looking Christmas biscuits that unfortunately tasted like grape bubble gum. The Doctor and Rose were dancing to the Drifters’ recording of “White Christmas,” or at least they were when they could pull apart from kissing each other long enough to dance.
  

In a word - FANTASTIC!

Date: 2011-12-07 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katherine b (from livejournal.com)
Ohhh this was absolutely wonderful! I lol'd at the TARDIS materializing around the tree and the Doctor taking all the credit. Party bombs... heehee. (Might a New Year's sequel be in order?) I adored the decorations - Four's scarf! A Cyberman head for a tree topper! Then a lovely dose of UST, resolved with fluff!

A perfect Christmas treat. I will definitely be checking this out again closer to Christmas. Thanks so much for sharing!

Re: In a word - FANTASTIC!

Date: 2011-12-09 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you! :) I have been considering a New Year's sequel involving party bombs. Shoot, I've been trying to work out how to invent them lol!!! :)

Date: 2011-12-07 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] larxene-12.livejournal.com
“Fantastic!” he said, taking a quick lap around the tree. “All we need now’s a stand to put it in so we can forget to water it.”

*giggle*

This is so sweet. I love Nine/Rose, and this doesn't disappoint!

My favorite part?

“Because I want this,” he said, his words softer than a whisper, barely a stirring of breath.

“And you’re afraid?” she asked, her voice matching his in softness. When her lips moved to speak, they narrowly missed brushing his.

“Yes.”


:D

I feel bad for not finishing mine yet. There's stories popping up all over the place and I haven't yet gotten around to editing my prompt. I just enjoy reading them too much!!

Date: 2011-12-09 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
There are a lot of great ones out there...I know yours will be one of the greats as well when you get to it. :)

Glad you liked 9!!! I've not been confident writing him until now...

Date: 2011-12-07 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yumimum.livejournal.com
Oh, I'm being spoilt by all the gorgeous Nine fluff lately. Loved it!

Date: 2011-12-09 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
Thank you!!! :)

Date: 2011-12-07 07:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] who-in-whoville.livejournal.com
Wibbling!!!! This was, dare I say it, FANTASTIC!!!

My Doctor. Whole planets out there celebrate you, and I get you all to myself.” Rose said, crawling over to him on her hands and knees so their faces were inches apart. The urge to close the distance between them and kiss her threatened once again to overpower his long-tested Time Lord restraint.

I will be reading this again and again and again. May make it a Christmas tradition to read this when I am feeling a little bit Grinchy.

Date: 2011-12-09 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
*hugs* Thank you, my dear! :) Glad to help provide something to lift the old holiday spirits. :) As I'm something of a grinch myself, maybe I'll use it too lol

Date: 2011-12-07 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fogsblue.livejournal.com
Awww, Nine fluff. There needs to be more of it! This was wonderful.

I love the way he takes credit for it, and I would love to see that tree when it was decorated ;)

Date: 2011-12-09 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
Thank you! :) Yeah, he may not always know what the TARDIS is trying to do, but he's smart enough to just run with it. :)

Date: 2011-12-07 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloose09.livejournal.com
What a beautiful tale you have told. I love's me lots of Nine/Rose fluffiness.

I especially liked this, because if it is all the Doctor gets, then it will be enough for him.
“All you ever do is help everyone else. What do you ever do for yourself?” she asked.

“Spend time with you.” He’d blurted the words before he could stop himself. He went on, trying to lighten the sudden shift in feeling in the room. “We have fun, don’t we?”


Thank you for sharing such fun and tenderness with us. The Doctor's dreams do come true sometimes.


Also, Slitheens on stripper poles needs a fic all to itself. Nine, Rose, and Jack going to a strip club on Raxacoricofallapatorius....where is this fic?

Date: 2011-12-09 05:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
Thank you very much!! :) I've always thought that Rose was really all 9 needed to feel completely happy.

And I think there might just have to be a crack about Slitheen strippers...could be set right after "Boom Town" and just before "Parting of the Ways"...

Date: 2011-12-09 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloose09.livejournal.com
I've always thought that Rose was really all 9 needed to feel completely happy. THIS!

And Yeah for Slitheen strippers!

Date: 2011-12-07 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amberfocus.livejournal.com
I have to say, I'm very impressed. For you never having written Nine, you got him spot on. I totally got swept away in his manic joy and I laughed out loud three times. You're very funny. Then when the fic suddenly turned serious, you drenched them with UST and then Rose's gentle patience and persuasion and the Doctor's sudden braveness in kissing her just made me squee. Literally. The kids are home on early release today and wanted to know why I was squealing. *grins* A wonderful fic and I am very much looking forward to seeing you write more Nine/Rose stories in the future.

Date: 2011-12-09 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
Wow - thank you! :) I will be writing more Nine, now that I've got a handle on how to write him...I wanted to be sure to do him justice, because he was my first Doctor and the reason I fell in love with Dr. Who in the first place... So glad you enjoyed! :)

Date: 2011-12-08 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com
Sheer perfection....ahhh, Nine!! How I miss you darling!!

*Hugs him close*

LOVED THIS.

Date: 2011-12-09 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
*hugs*

Yay!!! Thank you very much!! :) I think I'll try a few more 9 stories in the future. I miss him too - it's a pity Eccleston didn't do more than one season, he was truly fun to watch.

Date: 2011-12-09 11:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monkeyprincess7.livejournal.com
If possible, you just made me love Nine a bit more than I did before, and THAT'S saying something! This was perfect and just that little thing to get me fully in the Christmas spirit XD

Now I want a New Year's fic involving those Party Balls ;)

Date: 2011-12-09 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timelord1.livejournal.com
LOL I'm probably going to throw one together, fear not! :)

What a nice thing to say - I'm very happy you enjoyed it!! Happy Christmas!!! :)

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