A/N: Been a while since I've started a good old fashioned Ten / Rose angsty story. Hope you guys enjoy this pilot chapter! :D This will be rated M in future chapters, by the way! But this chapter is all ages :)
"There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle, or to be the mirror that reflects it." -Edith Wharton
Just when Martha Jones thought the Doctor was out of her life for good – she was proven wrong.
Her feet felt soggy in the damp leather shoes that they were currently clad in. Even the white socks underneath were totally soaked, and mud was scattered across her ankles, calves, and even her knees. God, she wanted a shower more than anything else in the world. It wasn't that she wasn't used to running, but running in an emergency while being drenched with rain wasn't number one on her list of favorite activities.
"Rose. Rose Tyler."
That was what the peculiar girl had said a moment before she had passed out in Martha's arms. It didn't take a genius (though Martha was one, anyways) to connect the pieces in this intricate puzzle.
Martha looked down at Rose laying on the medical bed, her features tranquil and her arms folded across her stomach, which rose up and down with each gentle breath she took. This was the Doctor's Rose. There was no doubt about it. This was the woman he had loved and lost. The woman who had broken his hearts.
And, god, why did it hurt to be around her? Martha's head had been pounding rapidly for the last ten minutes. She was used to crises – there was no way it was just the shock getting to her. Martha rubbed at her temples.
"You okay?" Jack Harkness asked from behind her, resting his hand on her shoulder.
God, she loved Jack.
He was reliable, always there and never questioned the strange or weird. Though, of course, that was why he had picked working at Torchwood instead of an office job working nine to five on weekdays. That, and the inevitable fact that he was completely immortal.
"Fine," Martha replied through a lump in her throat.
Martha knew that Jack had known the girl currently reclining in front of them. And… He had said that she was human a while ago. So why, when Martha had found her, did she have two hearts beating in her chest? Things connected to the Doctor kept popping up again and again. Rose Tyler, two hearts, and unconscious. Three things that Martha related to the traveling Time Lord she knew and loved in her head.
"We're going to have to call him, you know," Jack said, rubbing at his forehead. "He won't be happy."
"Why not? Wouldn't he be glad to see Rose again?" Martha asked, genuinely confused. She had never actually seen the Doctor and Rose together – all she knew was that he had loved her. And, knowing the Doctor's eccentric charm, she had probably loved him.
"My head hurts," Jack complained, evidently avoiding her question. "Does your head hurt?"
Martha nodded. She opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, Owen Harper, the Torchwood team medic, spoke up from nearby. Martha had forgotten he was even there.
"She's stable. I can't understand what's wrong with her though." One hand flew to his face and he scratched at his sideburn absent-mindedly. "The two hearts especially isn't making it easy. But from what I can tell… She's healthy. No telling why she passed out." He made a noise of frustration and bounced over to another screen. "Do you guys have headaches? Why does my head hurt so bad? Fuck…"
Jack rolled his eyes. "Language, Owen."
Owen gave a half-hearted shrug but kept his mouth shut. Martha turned to Jack. "Should we call him now?"
Jack shrugged. "It's just a matter of time. Though I thought… I thought she was trapped in a parallel universe. If Rose is here then something is very wrong."
Martha already knew that. In fact, everyone knew that. It was obvious. "I can't stand this headache. I'm calling the Doctor," she decided in her best UNIT voice.
Jack licked his lips and looked at Rose, then back at Martha. "And if he comes and she doesn't wake up? Do you really think he deserves to be put through that again?"
"She'll probably wake up," Owen mused. "But then again, she might not. Since I can't tell what made her pass out, it's a bit hard to tell whether it's permanent or not. It has all the signs of a coma, though. And then some. But if you're going to call him or not, I'd advice you to make up your mind now. Before my head implodes."
Martha produced a sleek, black mobile phone from her pocket. "Jack, are you suggesting we don't tell him? We just nurse her back to health and, if she wakes up, we call him and go 'Oh, hey, your girlfriend from a parallel universe was at Torchwood this whole time! We just figured we'd call you when she woke up, you know. No big deal.'"
"Good plan," Owen muttered from behind her.
Jack groaned in annoyance. "Okay, then. Let's call him up and get him all excited only to have him see Rose die within five minutes of getting here?" Spit flew from his mouth as his voice rose mid-sentence.
Owen and Martha stared unblinkingly at him, and Jack looked down at his own hands to see them trembling. He wiped sweat off on his jeans and shoved his hands roughly in his coat pockets. "I love Rose," he said once his voice was steady. "She made me what I am, this atrocity, but I still love her. And I love him, too. And I know they love each other. I'm not putting him through unnecessary pain. So we're going to give it a day, you hear me? One day and if she's still like this, we'll call him."
After a moment, Martha swallowed. "Yeah, okay. Twenty-four hours."
The Doctor found Donna in the library, her legs propped up on the cherry wood coffee table and her head reclined on the sepia colored cushions. She had a book in both of her hands and was staring at the words with interest, her eyes scanning one line, then the next.
When she heard his footsteps her head swung upwards, red hair flopping. "Donna!" he called happily, hands stuffed in his brown pinstripe pockets. "Donna Noble," he accentuated the accents of her name and threw himself down on the couch next to her, eyes twinkling with delight. "What would you say to the planet of Barcelona? The planet, not the city!"
Donna rolled her eyes playfully and doggy eared the corner of one book. The Doctor gasped and grabbed the book from her swiftly, undoing the fold. "That's no good for books, hasn't anyone told you!" he scolded. "Just use a bookmark. There are over a thousand bookmarks in this library, Donna."
"Get me a bookmark then," Donna replied, shrugging.
He did. As he jumped up from the couch to retrieve one, he continued talking. "On Barcelona, they have dogs with no noses! Isn't that just brilliant? That joke never gets old. Never!"
"Sounds great, Doctor," Donna said with a grin that only made his increase. "Barcelona."
"Mind you, I've never actually been there myself. Can you imagine? Me? Never having been somewhere? I've always been too busy, I suppose. I've met people from there, but never set foot on Barcelonian soil. You know, everyone there has purple ears. Well," he tugged at his ear, "not completely purple. More like, it starts pink and then gradients to purple." He saw the humored look on Donna's face and frowned, "And I'm rambling again, aren't I."
"Course you are, you weird Martian," Donna retorted happily, grabbing his forearm and leading him out the door. "Come on, you're going to show me Barcelona. And if they don't have a beach there, I'm gonna kill you."
He groaned. "What is up with humans and beaches? I will never understand it."
Donna stopped walking. "Is that a phone? I think I hear a phone."
The Doctor paused as well, ruffling his hair. "Yep," he popped the 'p'. "Definitely a phone. Must be the one on the console!"
Without warning, he grabbed Donna's hand and they sprinted to the console room, laughing. When they reached the console he picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"It's Martha," the other line said.
"Martha Jones," the Doctor replied happily. His eyebrows shot to his hairline as he looked at Donna. "What can I do for you?"
He heard someone talking in the background. Was that… Jack? "I'm at Torchwood, we need your help with something. It's uh, extremely urgent. Extremely." She repeated the word with even more emphasis, and he nodded.
"I'll be right over."
"What was that about?" Donna asked him.
The Doctor began his usual dance around the console, flipping levers and switching buttons. "Don't know. Emergency at Torchwood. You ever meet Captain Jack, Donna?"
Donna grinned brightly. "Nope. But I've heard the stories. And they usually end with him naked."
By the time the police box materialized in the Torchwood hub, the entire team and Martha were waiting to meet them. Donna stepped out first and hugged Martha before gawking at Jack, who extended his hand. "Captain Jack Harkness."
"Donna Noble," she replied, raising her eyebrows at Martha who simply gave her a knowing look. "Might I say you live up to your reputation, Captain." She gave a wink on the last word.
Then the Doctor exited the police box. His hands were deep in his pockets and he groaned, "Don't start."
When the doors to the TARDIS were shut, everyone noticed the Doctor stiffen uncomfortably. He froze up, muscles tense. "Martha, what was your emergency? What's in here?"
"I called you because – wait, what do you mean what's in here?" The Doctor didn't hear her last few words, for he was already marching down the hallway. "Doctor! Wait, I need to explain something to you first."
"What's going on?" Donna asked, hurrying along behind him.
Jack stepped in front of the Doctor's path and rested his hands on his shoulders. "Doc, listen. Martha found her on the sidewalk somewhere. She passed out, but she's stable. We made sure she's perfectly-"
"Get out of the way, Jack," the Doctor said in a tone that came out much icier than he had obviously intended. However, it worked, because Jack did as he was told.
Rose looked as stunning as she always had, to say the least. She hadn't changed at all since Martha had discovered her, but since it was a little chilly in the Torchwood hub they had draped a currant colored blanket over her. Her hair was spread neatly underneath her on a fluffy white pillow and her face was relaxed.
Upon seeing her body, the Doctor froze on the top of the stairs. Then, after a moment that felt like ten eternities squashed together, he stepped down two steps at once and reached her in two long strides. He reached Rose and moved one hand to her cheek, as if not believing she was quite real.
Martha, Donna, and Jack couldn't see his face, but what he was feeling was evident from his body language. His entire body was trembling, which was a rather rare sight, and he was touching her so gingerly Donna wouldn't have been surprised to find that his hand wasn't actually making contact with her skin at all. After touching her cheek he swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing up and down.
Then, the Doctor reached down a hand towards Rose's limp fingers. He intertwined their fingers experimentally and looked down at their joined hands. It was then that Donna could finally see his face. She didn't even recognize the man who stood in front of her. Of course it was the Doctor - it had to be. But the innocence of his expression was something she had never seen before on him. It was as if, all this time travelling without Rose, he had had barriers up that blocked anyone seeing what he was truly thinking or feeling. And now they were all gone.
It was as if he wanted to capture this moment and never ever let it go, he was just content to sit there with her hand in his and stroking her cheek in small, circular motions with his thumb. The Doctor sniffled and Donna blinked. He couldn't be crying, could he? Was that possible, the Doctor crying like that? If it was, she had certainly never seen it, and she was willing to be that Martha and Jack hadn't, either.
"She's real," Jack assured, breaking the moment and stepping forward. "But, Doctor, listen to her hearts."
The Doctor didn't tear his eyes away from Rose. He simply used the hand that had previously been on her cheek to feel her heartbeat. Or… Beats. The shock was obvious on his face the moment he heard it. Four consecutive beats. The heartbeat of a Time Lord… Or… A Time Lady.
"Rose," the Doctor let out a choked gasp and finally brought his body close to hers in an awkward one-sided hug. "Rose, what did you do?"
Nobody moved while the Doctor held her body, but eventually he pulled back. "We need to get her into the TARDIS. I need to run tests. How long has she been like this? How long has she been at Torchwood? Tell me everything."
"She's been at Torchwood a day," Jack stated. The Doctor cringed.
The Time Lord picked up Rose's body, one arm supporting her legs and the other supporting her neck. He kissed her forehead briefly before glaring at Jack. "Why didn't you tell me earlier? You should have called me the moment you found her, Jack."
Jack's face paled. "We just thought…"
"No, you didn't think," the Doctor thundered, stepping quickly towards the TARDIS. "She could be dying. Do you care about her at all?"
"Of course I do," Jack blurted, following the Doctor down the hallway. "We made sure she was stable. We just thought we'd give it a day."
"A day? For what to happen?" the Doctor hissed through his teeth. "I don't have time for this. Where's the doctor around here?"
Owen ran up to him. "My name is Owen Harper. I'm the medical guy around here. I've heard a lot about you."
The Doctor just sighed. "Open the door for me."
"You didn't say he was a charmer, Jack," Owen said as he held the door open for the Doctor and Rose.
A/N: Put your thoughts in the review box below and tell me if you think I should continue this or not! :D Thanks for reading!