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Another fic for the Three Little Words ficathon, this time in response to justlook3's prompt, Nine/Rose - lather / rinse / repeat. Big thanks goes to this how-to article about washing a girl's hair sensuously. I hope you all enjoy, and let me know what you think!


There are more than a few things she loves about traveling with the Doctor. She loves seeing things she never could have imagined—planets of ice or fire, planets where the inhabitants are walking, talking animals, planets where most things are radically different from Earth except for that one teeny, tiny similarity. She loves eating the food, meeting the people, celebrating the holidays, everything.

What she doesn’t love is the ridiculous amount of running. Specifically, the ridiculous amount of running from threats she didn’t do anything to provoke. No, no, that one’s all on the Doctor. She accepts no responsibility.

Today’s little adventure had involved running on a planet whose name she can’t pronounce, from aliens whose species name she won’t even try to pronounce. (There had been a lot of tongue clicking involved when the Doctor first told her; she has no idea how he manages to keep all of these languages, names, places, dates straight when she couldn’t even memorize the Prime Minister’s cabinet for a quiz once.) She’d ran, she’d slipped, and she’d fallen down a very steep, very rocky embankment, and while nothing had been broken, the soreness was really setting in three hours later.

The TARDIS has a bath. That’s still something she finds almost laughable. It’s a spaceship, for God’s sake, and yet it has a bath with a plain curtain and towels. When she’d gone home to get clothes, she’d packed her toiletries as well, and she was glad she’d thrown in some bubble bath on an impulse. She needs relaxation after the day they’d had.

She gets settled in the bath, sinking into the hot water with a hiss as it stings against the angry-looking bruises on her chest, stomach, and legs, not to mention the scrapes on her hands and face. She reminds herself of her seemingly-daily resolution to kill the Doctor the next time she sees him, dismisses it just as quickly. Even with all the pain, she wouldn’t miss this for the world.

A light tap on the door is all the warning she’s given before the Doctor enters, and she gives a slightly undignified squeak as she pulls the curtain further down the rod, obscuring everything below her neck from his view. Blimey, doesn’t the man understand the concept of privacy?

Awkwardly, she uncurls her fingers from the curtain and puts her arm back under the water, wincing at the movement. “I’m having a bath.”

“I can see that.”

“So you should probably…” She makes a vague motion, tipping her head towards the door.

“Wanted to make sure you were all right. Not too sore.”

“No worse than it’s been for the past… I can’t even keep track of how many days I’ve been here anymore.” She leans her head back against the wall of the bath, closing her eyes a little.

“Need any help with anything?”

She opens one eye at his offer, at his absolutely nonplussed manner, even though she’s naked in the bath right in front of him. “Pardon?”

“You’re tired, and not quite used to all the running around just yet. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. Was just wondering if there’s anything I could do for you.”

She opens her other eye this time, turning her head to look his way. “Doctor.”


“I… I’m naked. In front of you. And you’re just standing there.” When he doesn’t say anything, she continues, somewhat embarrassed, “You are… absolutely not fazed one bit.”

“Nine hundred years old, Rose. It would take a lot to ‘faze’ me. You think I haven’t seen a naked body before?”

“Have you?” Rose asks, with a devious little smirk, and when he’s about to answer, she holds up a hand to stop him. “I don’t want you rattling off like some alien Casanova. You can wash my hair for me.” She reaches for the shampoo and conditioner on the side of the bath and holds them out. “Lather, rinse, repeat.”

“You assume I don’t know how to wash hair, either,” he says as he walks to the side of the bath and kneels, as Rose wets her hair and he takes the bottles from her, squirting the shampoo into his hands and rubbing them together.

“Please. With that little bit of a nothing you call hair? I’m surprised you even know what those are.” She flicks her hands towards the bottles.

“Quiet.” He massages the shampoo into her hair, noticing how she closes her eyes and makes a soft noise, practically purring. He can imagine other things he can do that will make her do that exact thing, but that is not a place he should allow his mind to go when she’s naked in front of him, so he pushes the thoughts away.

He works his hands all the way down to the ends of her hair, never having noticed before the different shades of gold and brown blending together, the sheer softness of it. The lather coats his hands, makes them sticky, but he can’t say he minds. The scent will linger on them for a while, then, her scent, and he likes that thought very much.

He rinses her hair slowly, running his fingers through it until all the shampoo is gone. As he works in the conditioner, making steady circles with his fingers, Rose moans softly, saying throatily, “I love you for this.”

He realizes that he loves this, too. Just getting the chance to be with her in such a quiet, intimate moment is so new, so momentous, that he’s not sure how to deal with it. He can tell from the shift in her breathing that she’s falling asleep, and he keeps working the conditioner into her hair as he murmurs, “I love you for this, too.”

After he rinses the conditioner out, taking his time and moving slowly so he won’t wake her, he pulls the drain plug and pulls her out of the tub, not caring that his clothes are getting wet, not caring that she is fast asleep and therefore unable to see his ministrations. He wraps her hair and then her body in towels, taking care not to look too long at her, not wanting to violate her privacy, her trust. And then, for a long while, he sits there on the floor of the bathroom, holding her bruised, soaking body in his arms as she sleeps. She’s dead weight in his arms, but it’s a pleasant sort of weight, a weight he wouldn’t mind having there for a long time.

After an hour, he’s rather numb, she’s still asleep, and her hair, when he checks it, is dry. Slowly, he gets up, carrying her to her bedroom on the TARDIS and laying her down in the bed, removing the towels and covering her with the blanket. She murmurs something, curling into herself, the pain from her waking hours seemingly faded and gone in sleep.

He stands there for a moment, watching her, before he decides to not intrude on her unguarded self any longer. He leans down, pressing a soft kiss to her hair. “Good night, Rose.”

And he shuts off the light and leaves the room, shutting the door behind him.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
Love it! Even if Rose fell asleep on him! But the Doctor does put his companions through an awful lot of running so I can't blame her. Thank you for filling my prompt! It's actually the first one I've ever had filled, so I was worried I was doing it wrong!
Jan. 13th, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome; I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 14th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh. This is like warm from the oven pie, or cocoa and a book while its snowing, or opening the windows on the first day that's still winter but is warm enough to be spring.

Just lovely. I simply adore this.
Jan. 14th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much! You're very sweet! I had a lot of fun writing it, so I'm glad it's being enjoyed. :)
Jan. 14th, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
What a sweet story. Makes me feel all warm and toasty.
Jan. 14th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
Awh so sweet and lovely.
Jan. 14th, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
Very nice -- and I love how you did the "I love yous" =)
Jan. 15th, 2011 09:20 am (UTC)
What a great response to that prompt, and a very realistic one at that. One of the great pleasures in life is having someone else brush/wash/run their fingers through your hair.

And this was such a sweet moment between them. :) Great job!
Jan. 16th, 2011 10:47 pm (UTC)
Reading the prompt sparked the most random memory for me of one of those emails about life's little pleasures, one of which was "having a man wash your hair." I don't know why that stayed with me over at least five or six years, but it did, and as soon as I saw the prompt, I had to use it! :) Thanks for the praise!
Jan. 15th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
beautiful :) I love it
Jan. 16th, 2011 06:11 am (UTC)
This gives me the warm fuzzies. Love it. :)
Jan. 16th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
Awww, lovely and as everyone else has said, very warm. :)
Jan. 25th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
Wow, you just made washing hair sound like the most sensual thing in the whole world. This is lovely and a very unique way to get those three little words out in the best way the Doctor knows how without actually saying it directly.

Well done. Putting in my favs list.
Jan. 25th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm very glad you've been enjoying my fics; there's more to come in the future. :D
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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