Rose stirred languidly from slumber the next morning, stretching like a tabby cat basking in the sun on a comfy, conservatory armchair. She purred in pleasure shimmying her hips against the luscious, royal blue, satin sheets that delicately encased her wriggling form.
She lay sprawled out in the middle of a sumptuous, king size bed; the mattress as deliciously soft as a mountain of feathers yet supporting like those memory foam things her mother kept eying on Q.V.C. ‘Bloody bastard of a Time Lord having such a gorgeous bed when he hardly ever sleeps.’
The source of her ire really was a piece of art, large and sturdy with varnished ebony, bog oak twisting and climbing like natural vines from the four corners of the bed and joining one another near the ceiling in a beautiful rectangular frame from which soft, midnight blue and silver laced, voile drapes, cascaded to the floor.
There wasn’t much else in the room that could have imploded dangerously on impact of the crashing T.A.R.D.I.S. and the Rose couldn’t discern whether the items that did litter the floor were broken victims of the ground force attack or of one sonic plus Doctor.
Warm, amber hues of the T.A.R.D.I.S.-style, synthesised dawn informed her that she’d slept through her normal circadian rhythm but, contrary as ever, Rose sank deeper beneath the mattress with the logic that a.) The Doctor hadn’t been to bed yet, b.) This meant he’d lost track of time, incongruously enough, lavishing attention on the T.A.R.D.I.S. which meant that, c.) He’d either be at it all day again so there was no hurry to get up or d.) He’d finally come to bed in which case Rose had no intention of getting up.
Many hours later, when hunger had finally won out. Rose shuffled into the dilapidated, console room. The Doctor was unconscious on top of the pile of pillows that Rose had left yesterday, glasses still in place if a little crooked. Rose allowed herself a few moments to absorb the picture of the sleeping Time Lord into her memory bank as she rarely had the occasion to catch him so defenceless and still, not to mention quiet.
She took in his long, slender limbs, sprawled haphazardly in a position that spoke less of comfort but the necessity of immediate sleep. His suit jacket was rumpled and creased, the top button taut and straining as it had ridden up his chest, the blue Henley shirt untucked in places and puckering in others. The skin of his face appeared so soft and relaxed, sprinkled with freckles like pixie dust. He looked so young, vulnerable and innocent in slumber with his ancient eyes that belied his age and intensity of his soul, gently fluttering beneath his lids.
Rose sighed happily but quickly shrugged off the feeling of tranquillity and appreciation that had stilled her and kicked a converse, clad foot.
“Banana hammock,” the Doctor blinked blearily to wakefulness.
He absently massaged his neck, rolling his head until there was an audible crack and grimace. With cloudy eyes and a comically stereotypical yawn that made his dilated pupils glisten with watery slumber, he looked up at one Rose Tyler, her tongue teasingly poking out of her full lips and her eyes dancing with mirth. He smelt of warmth and sleep and his hair was fluffed, downy and soft accessorising his dishevelled and adorable state.
“What, ‘what?'” he groused.
Rose just laughed. “I’m hungry, yeah? Can you spare a girl a few bob for breaky?”
The Doctor pulled himself up like a puppet adapting to the lack of strings and stretched as he stifled another drowsy yawn.
“You’re brilliant, Rose Tyler. Did I ever tell you that? Food’s right on the money! Breakfast is after all the most important meal of the day, next to brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and supper of course!”
He shook out his extremities groaning a little before jumping up and down, as if to reacquaint himself with his natural bounce, and then held out his hand.
Rose smiled indulgently accepting his in hers as they headed out to scavenge for sustenance.
Unoriginally heading towards the tavern once again they heard the bang of wooden doors of an old coroner’s wagon by the park square as it proceeded to rattle off down the street. Both paused but at Rose’s pleading look they quickly sped through the half door of the warm and welcoming pub.
Bellies pleasantly rotund and bodies lazy and warm they relaxed and sampled the local ale, picking occasionally at the few meagre remains of their breakfast.
Eventually and begrudgingly Rose, rose from her seat and ambled in the direction of the toilet leaving a fidgeting and restless Time Lord to chat to the locals.
“Some drama last night, eh?” he purred in the ear of an elderly gentlemen, who had been innocently sipping at his barleyed brew, before turning the chair beside him around and straddling it, resting his elbows on the back and giving his best encouraging smile.
Luckily in these small towns there wasn’t much else to do but talk so talking was an addictive past time employed by most. “Awful isn’t it? And then again this morning, old Mr. Windsor, out for his morning constitutional. Terrible business, terrible. People are saying they were ‘eart attacks but I’ve got other ideas.”
“Oh?” the Doctor leaned in conspiratorially, balancing on the back legs of the protesting chair.
“Witnesses say both men died with the fear of the almighty clearly writ on their faces. Something smells rotten sonny and it ain’t my missus’ stew, I tells ya.”
The Doctor’s bushy brows rose in curiosity and he was about to theorise further when a high pitched scream resounded about the room.
Rose had wadded into the bathroom and grimaced at the lack of make-up on her face in the mirror. Heaving a sigh she blew the golden strands that had wisped down in tickly tendrils from her pinned up-do and went to pull open the toilet door but it creaked disagreeably in return and wouldn’t budge.
“Sorry didn’t realise there was anyone else in here,” she called in embarrassment but there was no response so she tried again, actually putting some effort and strength behind her tug this time, when suddenly the door flung open in her hands and something white and heavy lunged towards her.
Rose let out a surprised shriek as she tumbled backwards.
Within seconds the bathroom door burst open to reveal a rather panic stricken Doctor. “Rose?” he questioned her wide, stunned eyes and their conjoined gazes slowly lowered to the floor in front of Rose’s feet.
Motionless and awkward, the stiff form of a middle-aged woman lay before them, face deathly pale, eyes glazed and wide in abject horror, gowned in a simple white dress of the period. Rose bit back a sob at the sight of yet another person whose last moral moments had been filled with fear and terror so strong that it marred their features even in death.