Hello! I know there have been many season 3 rewrites to include Rose over the years, but I thought I'd share my own version. I'm hopeful it will be different enough to keep you engaged, as I plan on including a large amount of original content/storylines. Set after 'the Runaway Bride' but before s3 starts. Enjoy!
The Doctor bolted upright, hearts pounding in his chest as he struggled to pull himself out of the nightmare. Cords and wires were tangled around his legs, trapping him, and he kicked out until he was finally free. He must have fallen asleep tinkering under the console again. It was hardly surprising considering the last time he had consciously decided to sleep was before… well, it was months ago at any rate. Collapsing back onto the floor, the Doctor took a few deep, shuddering breaths.
He knew better than to shut his eyes again.
Every time he tried he was assaulted with images that had burnt themselves onto the inside of his eyelids. Blurry silhouettes transforming into Cybermen. Red and blue beams shooting over his head. The cold, familiar light of a Dalek eyestalk.
And Rose. Always, there was Rose. Most of his nightmares featured her falling into the Void with no Pete Tyler to save her; sucked into nothingness for eternity. Each time he woke up screaming until his throat was hoarse.
When Rose wasn't falling, she was fading. Sometimes they would be standing so close that he could almost feel her hand in his, but no matter how hard they both struggled they could never reach each other.
The Doctor pulled himself upright with a growl, scrubbing furiously at his face before staggering over to the nearest door. Thankfully the TARDIS knew exactly what he needed and he found the kitchen within seconds, kettle already on. It wasn't until he went to pour the water that he realised his hands were shaking.
Rose said about the Daleks…what have they done to her, Doctor? Is she dead?
He squeezed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose as he remembered Jackie's words, which had mirrored his own worst fear. Was she dead because of them? Because of him?
You promised me! You gave me your word!
The Doctor placed both hands on the counter to brace himself as the words echoed through his mind. He stayed in that position, frozen, until the kettle's piercing whistle broke his reverie. With a sigh, he shook his head as if to shake off the unwelcome memories and returned to the tea.
Everything was fine. Jackie hadn't been upgraded into a Cyberman and Rose wasn't dead. They were alright. Alive and well in Pete's world.
He knew that they would try to live good lives. Maybe now Rose would have a chance to meet someone to settle down with. And even though the thought of Rose with someone else made his hearts constrict painfully in his chest, the Doctor couldn't begrudge anything that might bring her happiness. She deserved to be happy.
His mind involuntarily flicked back to that bloody beach in Norway where his hearts had broken at the sight of Rose struggling to keep herself together.
"I l – I love you."
He made a choking sound, halfway between a snort and a sob, as he thought about her last words to him. It was just so Rose. Even though she was clearly hurting she was still trying to comfort him, to let him know that he was loved.
Of course, she could have meant something more than the love of a friend… he instantly berated himself. Even if she had meant it in that way, that she loved him the way he loved her, it was far too late to do anything about it. Still, the Doctor didn't think he'd ever forgive himself for not telling her how just how much she meant to him – how deeply ingrained into his every fibre his love for her ran, and always would run.
And then, just when he had thought the emotionally draining day was over, the fiery Donna had swept through the TARDIS and forced him to re-evaluate his perspective. Without even realising it, Donna Noble had reminded the Doctor exactly why he needed to keep moving. Because there were people out there like her, who needed his help. Because, as much as he hated to admit it, he needed those people as much as they needed him.
Not to mention he had a strong suspicion that a certain blonde would be disappointed if she could somehow know how close he had come to simply giving up.
Donna was brilliant, so he'd tried. He asked her to join him because she'd said he needed someone, and she was right. She turned him down (and rightly so, he admitted to himself). The loss of Rose had hit him harder than anything he'd endured since the Time War and as a result the Doctor had a feeling he may have come off as slightly – or extremely – insane to the poor ex-bride. But he did need someone. It was just unfortunate that the someone in question was trapped in a parallel universe with no way to reach him.
Absently, he took a sip of his tea, only to grimace when he realised it was cold. Blergh. He really should have invested in those cups that detected heat levels from that market he and Rose had visited a while back. Hadn't she been teasing him that he forgot about his tea an awful lot for a Lord of Time?
He didn't have the long to reflect on how much even happy memories with Rose still ached, as the TARDIS chose that moment to lurch violently and he was thrown against the wall, banging his head against the kitchen cupboards.
"Oi! What was that for?" He called out indignantly while rubbing the sore spot on his forehead, which he could feel was already turning into a bump. Thinking the TARDIS was maybe trying to snap him out of his wallowing, he grumbled out loud before moving to the freezer for some ice to stop the swelling. It was only when the ship bucked again and the Doctor slid across the room that he realised something was wrong.
Grabbing at the bench to stop himself from falling, he made his way to the console room, crashing into just about everything on the way as the TARDIS continued to jerk uncontrollably.
"Whoa! What's wrong with you, hey?" He said, as soothingly as he could while being tossed around like a ragdoll.
Once he was at the console he realised that the beloved ship was well and truly beyond his control. The Doctor did his best to work out what was wrong, leaping around the controls to the best of his abilities, but despite his best efforts he couldn't figure out what was going on. With one final almighty shudder the TARDIS stopped its shaking and the Doctor dove for the main screen to see where they'd ended up.
"Okay old girl, what have you got for me?" He murmured, pulling out his glasses and examining the screen with a slight frown.
It was telling him that they were suspended above the planet Impisi Embi, which he'd never heard of. Hoping for some enlightenment, he broadened the search to distinguish which galaxy Impisi Embi was part of. He was familiar with the answer, the Wavuka galaxy, yet it made things no less confusing. He'd only visited once, regenerations ago, but nothing then had concerned him about the place.
He checked the timestamp and frowned. It was very early on in its creation. So early, in fact, that there'd be no life yet.
Completely baffled, the Doctor supposed he should land on the planet and see why the TARDIS had been pulled here, but the ship refused to move. Even more puzzling was that he could tell that she could move, she just wouldn't. The trip here, he could tell from experience, had been some external force acting on the TARDIS and bringing her to this particular spot, but for whatever reason now that she was here the old girl wanted to stay put.
Throwing his hands up in exasperation and running them through his hair, the Doctor leant back against the jump seat of the console, studying the TARDIS pensively. It was almost as if she were waiting for something. But what –
His train of thought was cut off by a burst of golden light and sharp bang from behind him. Whirling around to face the noise he felt the air sucked out of his lungs at the sight before him.
Rose Tyler, extremely bruised and battered, standing not two metres from him. His hearts stopped; surely he was delusional? That bump he'd taken on the head in the kitchen earlier must have done some real damage because there was no way she could be here. She had to be a dream, or a projection, or a –
He caught her gaze and without a doubt, he knew. She was really here.
Her dark brown eyes were staring at him with a mixture of fear, hope, and confusion.
"Doctor–?" Rose started to ask, but her voice broke. He opened his mouth to answer but no sound came out. She took a step forward but he stayed stock-still, unable to process what was happening. She stumbled slightly, starting to sway, and his brain caught on just in time – she was going to faint. He leapt forward instinctively to catch her as she lost consciousness.
The Doctor lowered her down gently and brushed the hair out of her face, getting his first proper look at her. Her pulse was steady, and she seemed to be a healthy weight. She had a deep scratch on her forehead and a few minor scrapes over her cheeks, but otherwise her face was relatively unharmed. He unzipped her jacket to see that dark bruises had bloomed on her arms beneath more cuts, and he could see dried blood in patches on her shirt and jeans.
Praying it wasn't Rose's blood, he lifted her gently and carried her to the TARDIS med bay, setting her down softly on one of the empty beds. He got the TARDIS to do a body scan to uncover the extent of her injuries then retrieved the things he would need to fix her minor wounds while he waited for the results.
State of the art 80th century medical equipment healed the scrapes and scratches instantly, and he waved a small, wand-like instrument called a füipare over her to speed up the healing of the bruises. It wouldn't get rid of them completely but it would certainly help.
Disturbingly, the Doctor discovered evidence of old wounds, some partially healed while others had faded to scars, all over her.
He fixed what he could and was just waving the füipare over his own forehead when the TARDIS finished her scan of Rose. The Doctor tugged the med bay computer over to himself and looked through the readings, becoming increasingly more worried. Something was wrong, something serious, and the most concerning part was that the TARDIS couldn't identify exactly what it was.
He checked Rose's pulse again and was alarmed to discover it was much fainter than before. The Doctor quickly reread the results to see if he'd missed something; bruises, cuts, a variety of scars, two broken ribs, a fractured femur, and a half-healed broken radius, but other than that she should have been stable.
Except she wasn't.
The TARDIS was telling him that Rose was in serious danger, and he could see for himself she was getting worse. Her breathing was becoming ragged and her temperature was rising at rate that should have been impossible.
Really starting to panic now, the Doctor jumped up and tore through the cabinets, desperate to find anything that could help her. He stopped when he realised that he couldn't give her anything when he didn't know what was wrong in case it made her worse, and he almost screamed in frustration.
He couldn't lose her. Not after she'd only just somehow found a way back to him. There had to be a solution. He ran his hands through his hair, eyes wild as tried to come up with something.
Think, think, think! What did he need? He needed information, but there was none. So, he had to give her something that would heal her regardless of whether or not it knew what was wrong. Where were Jack's bloody nanogenes when he needed them?!
And then something registered. There was one thing he could do, but he didn't know if it would work. And he didn't know what the side effects might be.
But Rose was on her last legs and if he didn't act right now there would be no chance of her recovering. Without any more hesitation, he got to work.
Ta-da! This is just the prologue, I promise it will get better. Please let me know what you thought, the good and the critical feedback both welcomed :)