AUTHOR: Laura H
FANDOM: Doctor Who
CATEGORY: Angst, Romance, Ten/Rose
SPOILERS: Season 1, TCI, CiN special and kinda sorta Doomsday
Wow! Halfway already!
“Well, that didn’t go to plan,” thought the Doctor, as he and Rose stood hand in hand in the control room of the TARDIS. He was bad at this sort of thing. Give him an alien horde bent on planetary domination and he was in his element, but talking to people one to one was where he fell apart. He was surprised that she’d come this far.
But here she was standing in front of him and he watched her trying to take in the impossible dimensions of the TARDIS interior, her eyes wide, mouth agape, confused and not quite believing the information her eyes were sending to her brain. It was very like the way she had reacted the first time. Only she didn’t remember that, did she?
The Doctor smiled. “So do you like my ship?”
“I don’t quite.. I … I’m not sure I’m getting this.” Rose looked around as if trying to spot what the trick was. “Is it a concealed door or something?” She smiled suddenly as if figuring it out. “We’re in the building next door to the warehouse, aren’t we! There must’ve been an opening, hidden behind a… a curtain. That’s it isn’t it!”
The Doctor shook his head and her smile faltered.
“That’s not it?”
“Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, Rose. What you see outside isn’t how it really is?”
“It’s not actually a police phone box?”
“It's a time machine.”
The Doctor said nothing.
There was a moment of silence and then Rose sighed and nodded. “Ok. Ok, we’ll go with that just now.” She turned towards him. “You can let go now.”
Looking down, the Doctor realised that he was still holding her hand. He smiled.
“You won’t leave?”
“Not straight away. What is it you want to show me?”
“Oh right. Yeah. Just a sec.” He darted over to the console, ignoring the various keyboard interfaces and control panels. What he wanted the TARDIS to do was beyond the scope of any computerized code or programmed instructions. He gazed up at the luminous central column of the computer and spoke to his ship.
“She’s here,” he said. “I found her. Now I need to you show her what you showed me. I need you to remember.” The Doctor spoke softly as he stroked his hand along the tarnished metal of the console and bowed his head. “Please, I need you to remember again.”
Suddenly he turned and sprinted off down the adjoining corridor. “Wait there!” he called over his shoulder.
“Please be there, please be there, please be there,” he muttered to himself, turning a corner.
And there it was. At the end of the passageway there was a door. Still he wasn’t sure whether everything would be the same as it had appeared a few hours ago.
He came to a stop in front of the door and , taking a deep breath, twisted the handle.
A moment later he was back in the control room, grabbing hold of Rose’s hand.
“We have to run! I don’t know how long it'll last!”
“How long what will last? This is starting to get ridiculous y'know!” she cried, as the Doctor pulled her down the corridor behind him.
“Ok, there it is,” he said gesturing to the doorway. Already it’s outline looked fainter to him than it had done a moment ago. “Open it.”
Rose turned to him and opened her mouth as if to object, but something in his expression must have made her reconsider and, not without apprehension, she approached the door and opened it.
There was little left for him to do but stand and watch as she went inside.
Later, when she was thinking back on what she’d found in the room, Rose came to understand that it wasn’t what she saw that provoked her reaction. At no point did she question the fact of their existence. Despite the surreal events of that day and the bizarre sight she was now witnessing, she knew that it was no trick. The items in the room were real and of that there was absolutely no doubt in her mind.
It was what those things meant that sent her running.
The Doctor stood at the threshold of the room as she went inside and at first it looked empty. Just a room containing nothing extraordinary. Then it flickered and a hazy image appeared, grainy like the old cine-film home movies her Grandad Prentiss used to show her. Next to her a table appeared, faint and insubstantial , so that the floor and wall were still visible through it, but solid enough that Rose could see the items that sat on top. A hairbrush, some perfume, a few hair-bands. A mirror stood at it’s centre, but when Rose walked in front of it she cast no reflection.
Against the other wall there was what she assumed was a bed. It was made up neatly with utilitarian grey sheets, but at the bottom lay a fleecy yellow blanket with a little duck motif on the corner. Rose didn’t need to go any closer to know that the words below the duck said ‘I’m quackers about you’.
The image was flickering more now and it was becoming harder to focus on the objects in the room. Remembering the Doctors earlier words to the ship, she whispered, “Please. Just a few minutes longer.”
Next to the bed sat a small metal cabinet. Again there were a few sundry items. A bracelet. A book she had never read. And a photograph in a frame. With shaking hands Rose reached out to pick this latter item up and as it touched her fingers it became solid and constant.
Seconds later it clattered noisily to the ground. Rose knew what this room was.
It was a bedroom. It was her bedroom.
Rose turned and ran, leaving the Doctor, leaving the TARDIS and leaving the picture of her mum and Mickey on the floor of the room, which was empty once more.