It starts out innocently enough.
Well, it starts out ironically enough.
She’s sitting in a company-wide seminar, put on by human resources, about sexual harassment, when her phone vibrates.
I just spent an entire meeting thinking about your breasts. Is that normal?
She writes back carefully neutral, trying to decide if it’s a thing he actually needs reassurance on — unsure if this is a real question, like he frequently asks, about the ins and outs of human living, or if he’s baiting her.
Maybe, she types out.
And then a second later another thought:
Too much distraction will get you written up though.
Not that Pete would write the Doctor — wunderkind of health beverage publicity — up. He’s doing great things for Vitex, spending most of his time there and only setting foot inside Torchwood when absolutely necessary (so, every third alien emergency).
Her phone goes off again a minute later, a block of text filling the screen.
On the contrary, I suggested a drink with hints of cinnamon for the holiday season, to rave reception, you should know. And that’s due to the smell of your body wash and the way it clings to the skin of your chest.
She’s still not got her footing and leaves it be. A moment later, another arrives:
I’ll be buying a case when it comes out.
The next is sent a week later, from a radio interview for Vitex’s new fall offerings. Rose had listened from her computer, typing out a report as the Doctor talked about things like Harvest Blast and Pumpkin Surprise.
I want to bite the round of your shoulder like an apple.
Rose’s face goes hot, still stuck at her desk. She watches the text on the screen scroll by to make room for more.
Do you suppose that’s a sign I’m not getting enough iron?
It continues from there, sometimes three times a day, sometimes not for a month.
She’s not once responded in kind, even though she wants to — wants to tell him about how the smooth marble of the conference table reminds her of that skin above his belly button where the hair stops and she could lick for an hour.
Or about how the scratchy wool of her trousers reminds her of the brush of his sideburns against her thighs.
Or about how perfect her desk would be for decidedly non-work related activities.
Because she’s still not sure if he understands the rush of heat and the way she’s taken to wearing those trousers over and over, just so she can have the friction of something when she closes her legs in a debriefing.
It’s been four months of this, four months of never bringing it up at home, in bed, where it belongs, when he finally graduates to a picture message.
A grainy shot of the front of his trousers, the bottom of his belt just visible at the top, but clear enough to tell his zipper isn’t quite pulled closed, fills her phone, followed by a message.
How do I get this stain out?
She saves the picture down to the phone’s memory and writes back the only logical way.
The grape Vitex stain! Can’t you see it? It’s all wet! Soaked right through to my pants!
And she understands again the way the Doctor talks about seeing timelines, all laid out in front of him and turning on a moment.
Because she sees the two ways this could go. There’s “rinse it with cold water and put on the spares from your desk,” and there’s the way she goes instead:
Kind of dealing with my own wet pants situation over here.
His response is immediate:
Did you spill your lunch, too? We’re quite a pair!
She waits, watches her phone light up again a moment later.
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