Pairing : Nine/Rose
Genre : Romance/Smut/Angst
Rating : Adult
Word Count : 10423 (total)
Summary : It was hard to believe that it had only been a few hours ago that she had asked him to take her to see her dad -- the father she'd never known. She'd asked, and he'd told her, "Your wish is my command," and it had been the absolute truth. Whatever she asked of him, he would do. He knew that. If he was honest with himself he'd known it for a while now.
Chapter One : Bad Dreams
As soon as they had returned to the time vortex and left November 7th 1987 behind them, Rose mumbled something about being tired. The Doctor made no response, instead he began checking the various displays on the console, with a look of 'do not disturb' about him. Rose remained where she was; leaning against one of the support struts, her fingers picking at the edges of her jacket and looking ill at ease with her surroundings. She lowered her head, avoided the Doctor's gaze, and he let her; it was easier that way.
"I'll go then," she said softly, and stole a quick glance toward him. "Get some rest," she continued. "It's been a long day."
He remained silent, but nodded his head briefly, a non-committal acknowledgment.
Rose pushed away from the strut and dragged her feet across the metal floor of the console room, only stopping when she reached the door leading to the corridors. The Doctor did not look up, but watched her from the corner of his eye as he busily tended to levers and dials as though it was of vital importance, and hoped all the while that the act was convincing.
Rose hesitated, looked at him for a moment and opened her mouth, words on the tip of her tongue, but she thought better of them and swallowed them down unspoken.
The second he heard the door to the corridors close, the Doctor looked up from where he was gripping the console so tightly that his knuckles were white. He let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding and stared at the metal door with eyes that were filled with shadows. There was a part of him that wanted to go after her, but he dismissed the idea almost instantly. However much he wanted to be with her, he knew he had to keep his distance.
It was hard to believe that it had only been a few hours ago that she had asked him to take her to see her dad -- the father she'd never known. She'd asked, and he'd told her, "Your wish is my command," and it had been the absolute truth. Whatever she asked of him, he would do. He knew that. If he was honest with himself he'd known it for a while now.
And so for better or for worse, they had stood at the back of the room and watched Peter Alan Tyler fluff his lines and marry Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Prentice.
Of course, one bite of the cherry hadn't been enough; it never is. That's how they'd ended up at
Rose had watched the scene play out before her eyes, her mother's words coming to life right in front of her. She'd been so horrified by the reality of it all that she couldn't move, she couldn't take a single step toward centre stage. He'd held her hand, because that was all he could do, and she'd stared at the broken pieces of vase and watched her father die.
Around the corner, they had stood side by side, their backs against a wall, heads bowed, the sound of sirens in their ears. Rose had turned to him, tears in her eyes, and asked to try again. He'd known that it was wrong, that it was a mistake; some wishes just aren't meant to be granted, but he hadn't been able to refuse her. So he had done the unthinkable, the inexcusable, the indefensible, he had allowed his hearts to rule his head; he'd done what she asked of him, and this time, Peter Alan Tyler had not died.
Rose hadn't understood the implications of her actions -- the consequences of a man existing who shouldn't. He'd tried to explain but she hadn't wanted to listen, or believe. He'd wanted to make her understand, but she couldn't, or wouldn't. Voices had been raised, and then raised again. He'd shouted and she'd shouted back, so he'd asked her for the TARDIS key, and stormed out, ending it with a dramatic exit and a slammed door. To the untrained eye it could have been mistaken for a lovers' tiff... except that they weren't lovers.
Returning to the TARDIS that wasn't a TARDIS made him realise just how bad things were about to get -- end of the world bad. Even so, his first thought had been for Rose; finding her, keeping her safe.
He sighed heavily and looked back to the console, pushing away the memory. What mattered was Rose; she had lost her father, been with him while he died, and that was something she had to come to terms with on her own. She needed time, and he would give her time. It was the least he could do.
Rose closed the door to her room and leaned back against it. She wiped threatening tears from her eyes with the back of her hand, and blinked repeatedly to keep them at bay. She wasn't going to break down now, not when it was all over and done with. She bit her lip with determination, only stopping when she tasted blood.
Angry with herself for feeling so utterly destroyed when clearly there was no need, she pushed away from the door and headed over to the unmade bed. She stopped short, deciding that she wanted to wash the remains of the day from her before she crawled into bed. She toed off her trainers, pulled off her denim jacket and dropped it to the floor. Then, refusing to think of anything other than the welcoming warmth of a hot shower, she walked toward her bathroom.
Rose removed the rest of her clothes, stepped into the shower and turned the dial so that a steady stream of warm water began to pour down over her body. She let out a long sigh and allowed herself to relax a little as the water drummed against her skin. Tilting her head back she let the water wash away her tears, her mascara, and ultimately the mask she hid behind.
After a while her body relaxed and her thoughts tired, she left the shower, wanting the peace of sleep. She changed into a white cotton top with narrow shoulder straps and pale pink sleep shorts, towel-dried her hair and headed back into her room.
As she approached the bed, something caught her attention on the floor. The TARDIS key had fallen from the pocket of her jacket when she had dropped it to the floor. She looked at it for a second, and then picked it up. Holding it in her clenched hand, she let out an unsteady breath, sat down on the edge of the bed and hesitantly uncurled her fingers; revealing her most precious possession to teary eyes.
Her TARDIS key, quite plain and ordinary, lay in her palm. She stared at it for a moment then her breath caught as her mind filled with images she knew she would never forget. He had stood in front of a Reaper, sacrificed himself in some vain hope that his death would save others.
She felt herself begin to tremble, and more tears fell. It still felt so real. She closed her eyes, tried to push the memory away, but it would not go. It held onto her with teeth and claws and screams.
He had died right in front of her eyes, and she hadn't been able to do anything to stop it. All she could do was stand there and watch as he was taken from her. The Doctor gone, the TARDIS had followed, its key falling to the carpet. She'd picked the key up, held it in her hand, and realised that it wasn't a TARDIS key any more; it was just a key.
Rose set the key on her bedside table, lay down on the bed and curled herself up tight as the pain of recent memory flooded through her.
Her Doctor... she'd thought she'd lost him forever.
The Doctor did his very best to fill his time with repairs, adjustments and various not-so-necessary re-routing of wires. Anything that kept his mind occupied, kept his thoughts from wandering Rose-ward, he seized upon. It took almost three hours of overhauling the TARDIS console, and changing very little, before he finally gave up and closed the panel he had been working on.
Around him the TARDIS had grown quiet, her ever-constant song almost undetectable even to his more than capable ears. He smiled to himself and slipped his sonic screwdriver back into his pocket.
"You know, I don't expect sparkling conversation, but you're practically snoring. I could take offence." The TARDIS let the lights in the console room dim a little, and the Doctor smiled again. "I'm keeping you up," he said quietly. "You should have said something."
The lights faded a fraction more. "Ah," he said with a nod. "That is you saying something." His fingers brushed against the console in an apologetic caress. "We can pick this up again in the morning." He headed to the door to the corridors, pushed it open and the light flickered to gain his attention. He looked back to the console, a frown taking his features, and then he sighed softly. "You don't have to worry about Rose. She's going to be fine," he said quietly. "You know I'd never let anything hurt her." He turned back, pushed the door further open and walked through to the corridors beyond.
Held in her dreams, Rose turned fitfully in her bed, and the white cotton sheets that covered her slipped down her body the more restless she became. She had hoped that sleep would take her away to somewhere safe and warm; instead it returned her to a distorted memory; the church, the Reapers and the screams.
She heard the scratch of claws on stone, on wood, on glass. She saw fear and disbelief on faces that looked through her as if she wasn't there. She could feel the thickening silence of the world outside the church. She could hear screams but did not know if they were real or imagined. She watched as one by one those around her vanished; the Reapers cleansing the wound she had made.
She looked at the Doctor and through her tears she held his gaze. There was no judgement in his eyes, but she knew this was her fault. It was happening because of what she had done.
She saw a Reaper appear above the Doctor and she ran toward him, tried to warn him even as it swooped down and embraced him, devoured him, but it was too late. She watched the TARDIS key spin and tumble through the air, falling endlessly. She screamed, but there was no sound, and then the darkness came, and she was alone.
Her eyes flew open as she woke suddenly, breathless, her hands fisting into tangled bed sheets and her heart racing with fear. Dreams and reality became so confused in those first waking moments that she had to know if the Doctor was still alive. It was all that mattered. Shaking slightly, she got to her feet and headed over to the bedroom door.
She started down the corridor that lead to the console room, but before she had taken more than a couple of steps the lights dimmed, while another corridor, running off to her left seemed to brighten. Taking the hint she turned left and headed down the empty corridor that lead to the Doctor's bedroom. Her pace quickened with every step until without realising it, she was running.