AUTHOR: Laura H
FANDOM: Doctor Who
CATEGORY: Angst, Romance, Ten/Rose
SPOILERS: Season 1, TCI, CiN special and kinda sorta Doomsday
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me but I fully intend to use them for my own nefarious purposes. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
Authors note: I've just realised that I haven't included something very important in the chapters I've already posted and that is huge thanks to my fab (and very patient) beta eken95.
Sunlight crystallised on the surface of the lake, tiny shimmering points of refracted light that dazzled the girl who stood on the shore. She closed her eyes and raised her face to the warmth as the breeze stirred strands of hair around her face, like a breath. The only sound was the quiet lapping of the water across her bare toes. Rose knew that she had never been so happy and didn’t think she would ever want to leave here.
The silence was disturbed suddenly by the pebbles shifting on the ground beside her and she realised she wasn’t alone.
“You’re here,” she said.
“Yes,” he replied. “Do you know who I am?”
“I… I think I do.” Rose turned to look at him, but his back was to the sun and his face was obscured by the light, his tall frame visible only in silhouette. She cocked her head and screwed up her eyes in an attempt to make out his features. “I can’t see you.”
“No, you’re not supposed to. They won’t allow it.”
But he said nothing, just pushed back his long coat and pushed his hands into his pockets.
“You’ll have to leave soon.”
Rose frowned. “Why? I don’t want to leave.”
“Walls are built and walls fall down. The wolf is always at the gates.”
“That doesn’t even mean anything,” she said, shaking her head.
The warmth, she noticed had turned into a heat that was intensifying and she could feel beads of sweat springing up on her forehead.
The man turned towards the sun and, vaguely, she could make out his profile. Long features beneath tousled hair. He pointed to the light that was almost blinding her now and she saw that the sun had expanded until it was overwhelming the blue of the sky.
“It’s growing, you know.”
“But it’s not supposed to. It’s too quick. I…I know about that. I saw it somewhere.” Rose shook her head, searching for what it was she wanted to say, but the words were gone and she forgot what it was she was talking about anyway.
The light and heat were becoming stronger now until Rose thought she was on fire and somewhere behind she could hear a sound. A low, regular wail was echoing through the hills, building in pitch until it hurt her ears.
"What is that?! Tell me please! I don't...I don't know what's happening."
"Rose, do you know who I am?"
"No! Tell me what that sound is! Tell me who you are!" The sound had become unbearable and her skin felt like it was blistering under the glare of the now enormous sun. "Tell me who you are!"
The strangers hand found hers and his fingers entwined with her own. Rose felt her skin burn with a new kind of heat.
"Rose, you know who I am. You know that I'm the..."
But his words were lost, overwhelmed by the intense siren sound that wailed around her, piercing her brain until her eyes watered. The fire of the supernova was close now, too close. If she stepped forward she would be engulfed by it. Just one step and she would be consumed by the dying star and reduced to ash.
Rose turned to look for the stranger who had stood by her side but he was gone and she was alone once more. Turning back to the light, she reached out her hand, extending her fingers towards the white flames. The fire caught hold and curled around her hand and arm, burning its way along her entire body, until she was completely....
Rose bolted upright and blinked against the brightness of the morning. Her alarm wailed incessantly and she shut it off with a fist.
"Oh so you are awake. I thought you were faking it."
"Yep, sorry," said Mickey, smiling. "Were you expecting the man of your dreams? Who was it this time? George Clooney?"
"No, I... I don't remember. I don't think I was dreaming."
“Sounded like you were. You were mumbling about a doctors appointment or something.”
Rose rubbed her eyes with the balls of her hands and shook her head. “No, I don’t remember.”
"Well, you better get up. Dexter will go mental if you're late again."
"Yeah," said Rose, still feeling groggy and strangely disorientated as if she had woken up in a strange place. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and searched with her feet for her slippers. "Oh, I meant to say I'll be home late tonight. Its late opening and I've said I'll work some overtime."
"Aw, Rose! We're supposed to go and see about the flowers tonight. You said you'd be able to make it!"
“Oh please don’t start, Mickey. You know I’ve been on at Dexter to give me some extra hours. How else do you think we’re going to pay for those flowers, never mind the whole wedding?”
“But this is important to me, Rose.”
“What, you don’t think it is to me?” She walked over to where he stood in the doorway and draped her arms around his neck, leaning against him with her head on his shoulder. For a moment she felt so comfortable that she wanted them both to stay home from work, cuddle up on the couch with tea and toast and watch This Morning, which her mum always moaned hadn’t been the same since Richard and Judy left.
But that wasn’t the life they were living. They worked until it was time to come home. They struggled with the London transport system for half the day. They sat in their tiny living room and ate their dinner from their laps and watched telly until bedtime. Then they slept away the hours until the alarm sounded and it was time to start over again.
As she felt Mickey’s arms reach up to encircle her, Rose felt a pang of sudden guilt at her thoughts, almost as if she was betraying him. Mickey was so good to her. She knew when she got out of the shower her cereal and tea would be sitting on the kitchen table. She knew that he would walk her to the bus stop and wait until the bus had driven out of sight and that he would call her at lunchtime to see how her morning had been. Could she ask for anyone better?
“I’m sorry, Mickey. I didn’t mean to snap. Tell you what, why don’t you meet me for lunch in town and we’ll go to that pizza place. I’ll even treat you to a garlic bread.”
Mickey smiled and kissed her. “Yeah, well it better be the kind with mozzarella or no deal.” He pushed her gently towards the bathroom. “Now will you hurry up and start getting ready!”
Rose walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower, deciding that today she would think about the wedding and the plans that she had been so excited about just a few months ago. But as she stood under the spray and savoured the heat on her skin a treacherous little thought crawled its way into her mind and she wondered if there was nothing more than this.
The Doctor was restless. He'd paced the TARDIS over and over scouring each room as if searching for something, unsure what that something was but convinced he would know it as soon as he saw it. Eventually the sound of his rubber-soled shoes on the metal grate of the floor had begun to irritate him and he'd sunk down against the wall of the last room in which he'd found himself. The wardrobe room.
Coming to Earth hadn't solved anything he realised. It had been a stupid idea. Did he think there was something here for him? Had he honestly thought that this little excursion would fix anything? Stupid.
He scrubbed his hands through his hair and leaned his head back against the cold metal wall, swallowing in an attempt to quell the familiar sensation that was crawling through his brain, the feeling that someone had reached inside him and scooped out a huge piece. He felt hollow.
"So, might as well move on," he said out loud to no one in particular. It was just as he pushed himself to his feet that he saw it.
He didn't own anything pink did he? Then again there were clothes in this room that might not have existed yesterday and may not exist tomorrow. But right now there it was. Pink.
He walked over and pulled it from the rack of silks and tweeds and taffeta. A pink top with a hood and a zipper up the front. He rubbed the cotton sleeve between his fingers. Why had this caught his eye? It was just a top. And yet...
The Doctor spun round with a start.
"Hello?" Even as he spoke, he wondered whether he'd imagined the voice. But no, it had been real. Faint, distant maybe, a cry echoed across a desert but real. He looked back at the garment in his hand. Pink, like the petals of a rose. The Doctor lifted the material to his face and inhaled deeply.
Immediately the room spun. He was at once in the TARDIS and yet...not. A basement... running... danger, as always... and the sensation of his hand grasping another...
And then he was changing, regenerating in the TARDIS control room, his body bursting with light and heat. Only this time he wasn't alone...
He opened his eyes and found that not only was the room no longer spinning, he was no longer standing upright, but was instead flat on his back staring at the ceiling. The Doctor jumped up quickly, suddenly buzzing with energy. Coming to Earth wasn't stupid, he knew that now. There was something here for him and all he had to do was find out what it was. He ran through the corridors of the ship towards the control room and the front door. He had two objectives to fulfil now. One of them was to discover why he was here and what it was he was supposed to be looking for. The other, strange though it seemed, was to go shopping.