Yes, I know that I have unfinished WIPs. I do intend to get back to them, eventually. But I have been working on this plot bunny offline for a little while now. That's right, I said offline. Which means that, unlike my other stories, I actually am a few chapters ahead. :) Which means two things:
1. This has actually been beta'd for a change.
2. This plot will have more depth than my other stories.
This does not, unfortunately, mean that I will update regularly, though I will try to. My time to write is still limited. But I hope that this will be the best story I've ever written. Feel free to disagree!
I'm posting this in honor of Doomsday month.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. If I did, Rose would still be traveling with Peter Capaldi, and River would've married someone else.
Voice Over: Planet Earth is not where I was born. But this is where I thought I'd die. (After all, I'd spent a lot of time there. I mean, I've spent more time on Earth than my own planet! I remember this one time when I... Ahem! Sorry. My gob's getting away from me again.)
For the first nine hundred years or so of my life, nothing happened. (I mean, I traveled, made friends, saved a few planets and such, but nothing had happened that made my life seem like it had a purpose. And then there was the whole Time War thing. That certainly... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'll just stick to the story. Anyway...)
And then I met a girl, (no woman!), named Rose Tyler. I'd grabbed her hand and told her, "Run!" She was fantastic! She stayed even after I changed my face. And I took her away from home in my magical machine. (Wait, did I say magical? There's no such thing as magic! It's science! And she's a TARDIS, not a machine. T-A-R-D-I-S, time and relative dimension in space. But... I guess you already knew that. Sorry.)
I showed her the whole of time and space (just like I did the others, but she showed me who I was inside, and made me a better man!) I thought it would never end. I asked her once, "How long ya gonna stay with me?" "Forever," she'd replied. That's what I thought. But then came the army of ghosts. Then came Torchwood and the War. And that's when it all ended. I am the Doctor. This is the story of how I died.
Voice over fades away
The Doctor was in the kitchen, making banana pancakes, his specialty. "Mornin' Rose! Glad you're up! The TARDIS has indicated that the universe's largest comet is colliding with a black hole somewhere near the Horsehead Nebula. Should be quite the show! You in?"
"It can wait 'til after breakfast, I hope?"
"Time machine, Rose. We can wait until next year, although I'd rather not."
"Great! Then I'm totally in!" she said, poking her tongue between her teeth in a teasing grin.
The Doctor's eyes zeroed in on that piece of pink flesh as if they were pulled by a magnet. He quickly looked away. If he was completely honest with himself, something that he avoided doing at all costs, he would have to admit that his feelings for his pink and yellow companion had ventured far beyond the platonic.
The pancakes were delicious! Rose enjoyed herself immensely. But soon she dropped her napkin. They both went for it. Their hands brushed under the table. Their eyes locked. Rose held her breath. There had always been a sort of tension between the two of them, even before he changed, but ever since Krop Tor, it seemed to be at a breaking point. It was almost as if there was a certain kind of electricity in the air surrounding the two of them. Before she knew what she was doing, she was leaning forward slowly, eyes closed and lips parted and then...
The Doctor sprang up onto his feet, putting what he deemed to be a safer distance between them. "Well, then. Day's a wasting! The sooner we finish our little brekkie, the sooner we can see our comet! Oh, and how about we pop in to see your Mum afterwards?"
Rose tried to hide her disappointment. She narrowed her eyes at him. "You want to go see Mum? Alright, what'd you do?"
"Nothing!" he squeaked. "I just know that you love to see your Mum, and it's been awhile, relative time, and, I uh, thought you'd like to see her!" In truth, he just couldn't stand the tension in the TARDIS. If he was going to get a hold of himself, he needed a chaperone. Who better than Jackie Tyler?
"Alright, but I'm watching you, Mister. Anyway, it'll give me a chance to give her the present I bought for her on that asteroid bazaar the other day. What did you say it was called, again? Basil, Bazol..."
"Right. That was it."
The Doctor had sensed that a storm was coming, but he wasn't expecting this. Forget storm. This was a bloody hurricane, tornado, earthquake, volcano, and tsunami hitting all at once! What had started out as a routine visit to Jackie Tyler had turned into a ghost hunt. Then, what had started out as a few ghosts had turned into 5 million Cybermen. To make matters even worse, four Daleks had turned into millions with the touch of a hand by Mickey the Not-A-Complete-Idiot-But-Still-Screws-Things-Up. (Funny, the Doctor mused to himself. I guess he's grown on me. Still, doesn't have the same ring to it.) Fortunately, the Doctor had a solution. Unfortunately, it could cost him the one thing that he held most dear, and it terrified him. Of course, he wasn't going to admit that.
"Well?!" he asked with enough exuberant glee that even Rose was fooled. "Isn't anyone gonna ask? What is it with the glasses?"
Void stuff. They were all covered in it: Pete, Mickey, Jake, the Doctor, and even Rose. The only one who wasn't was Jackie. But the good news was that the Cybermen and Daleks were covered with it as well; the sheer volume of creatures that could be sucked into the Void would be enough to make the breach close upon itself. Problem solved! Easy peasy!
Except that this created an entirely different set of problems, and Rose knew it. "But it's... like you said, we've all got Void stuff. Me too, 'cos we went to that parallel world." She looked at her hand with the 3D glasses and flexed her fingers, examining the particles floating around them. She pulled the glasses off. "We're all contaminated. We'll get pulled in."
"That's why you've gotta go," the Doctor responded, argued. Suddenly Rose realized what was happening. This very moment, she had to choose between the two people she loved the most: her Mum and the Doctor. The life she'd always wanted as a girl with a Mum and Dad and wealth, or the life with the love of her life, traveling in his TARDIS. It didn't matter that he didn't love her in return: just being with him was worth everything. Her decision was made, seemingly in an instant. But in truth, the decision was made when he'd told her in a northern accent, "It also travels in time." She knew that this is the life she was destined for, and if given another chance, she wouldn't change a thing. There was only one problem, however: she was really gonna miss her Mum!
She turned to Jackie. "I've had a life with you for nineteen years. But then I met the Doctor and... all the things I've seen him do for me. For you. For all of us. For the whole... stupid planet and every planet out there. He does it alone, Mum." She didn't see that behind her, the Doctor was watching her with terrible sadness in his eyes as he silently took a button on a chain out of his pocket. "But not anymore. 'Cos now he's got me."
It all happened so fast. A chain suddenly appeared around her neck, there was a tingling sensation as the world faded from her vision, then it suddenly reappeared again. Except that this time, it wasn't the same world. "Oh no you don't. He's not doing that to me again." She pressed down on the button around her neck. There was the tingling sensation again, and Pete's World faded out of focus, and her original universe reappeared around her. She startled the Doctor when she said, "I think this is the on switch..." He had obviously thought she was gone for good. Git, she thought to herself.
Then,That was the last time I will ever see Mum, and I didn't even tell her goodbye. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. There was work to be done!
The Doctor grabbed Rose roughly by the shoulders, stooping slightly so he could look straight into her eyes. She had to know exactly what she was doing! "Once the breach collapses, that's it. You will never be able to see her again. Your own mother!"
She was very well aware of what she had just done. Please, Doctor, don't make this any harder than it already is! She was not going to cry in front of him! "I made my choice a long time ago, and I'm never gonna leave you." Rose's voice was calm, though it wavered a little. But her confidence that she had made the right choice didn't waver in the least.
He stared at her for a moment, stunned. Then he released his grip. He knew that letting her stay was wrong. He should have sent her straight back to her Mum. But the Doctor was selfish. He wanted, no needed her to stay with him, if he was completely honest with himself. He appeared to be reluctant to allow her to stay, but inside, he was almost giddy with relief and joy!
Rose breathed a sigh of relief. "So what can I do to help?"
He ordered her to put some settings into the computer. He sounded almost angry, he was so tense. Rose didn't seem the least fazed by his abrupt manner, though she had to admit that she was nervous. Every time he'd tried to send her away before, it was for a good reason. He only ever tried to send her away when the danger was so great that he thought that that was the only way he could keep her safe. They had survived the past incidents, but only barely. One time, the Doctor even regenerated, giving up his life just so she could live. What if she'd just made a huge mistake? The voice of the devil on Krop Tor haunted her. The Valiant Child who will die in battle. She shook it off. She was still with the Doctor. That was all that mattered. Still, she was not out of danger yet. Quite the opposite, actually, as she caught sight of something on the monitor. "We've got Cybermen on the way up."
"How many floors down?"
But her immediate worries were diffused when, surprisingly, it looked as if one of the Cybermen had turned on the others. Odd, that. But awfully lucky. The computer announced that it was ready, and the Doctor grinned at her. "That's more like it, bit of a smile! The old team!" She sounded more confident than she really felt.
The Doctor picked up her litany as he handed her one of the magnaclamps, praying to any god that might listen that this would work and he could keep Rose safe. "Hope and Glory, Mutt and Jeff, Shiver and Shake!"
"Which one's Shiver?" She teased him with her tongue poking between her teeth, trying to cut the tension in the room.
"Oh, I'm Shake." The Doctor beamed at her, clearly sensing her discomfort, and wanting to calm her. Or maybe he was calming himself.
Together they fastened their clamps to the wall, and gave each other a smile of encouragement. "Are you ready?" he asked her, hesitantly.
Rose stared out the window as she assumed her position by her magnaclamp. The Daleks were just on the other side of the glass. She nodded at him. "So are they."
"Let's do it!"
At first, everything went according to plan. When the levers were pulled into the "on" position, there was a sound of rushing wind, and Daleks and Cybermen alike were pulled straight through windows and doors, unable to fight the force of the Void. The Doctor and Rose grinned and shrieked triumphantly. It was working!
But they had celebrated too soon. Suddenly, there was a small explosion of sparks and the lever on Rose's side moved back into the "off" position. The smiles faded from their faces. The suction of the Void had started to ease. Rose reached for the lever while trying to maintain her grip on the clamp, but it was just slightly too far away. She strained to reach it, eventually falling onto it. The Doctor watched, full of dread. Rose whimpered as she struggled with the lever. Finally, she managed to push the lever upright. The Doctor watched with both of his hearts in his mouth. This was it. He was finally going to see her die, and as he expected, it was all his fault!
"Online and locked," the computer intoned. The suction increased once more. But, Rose had nothing to hold on to but the lever. The Doctor cried out to her, imploring her with both his panicked voice and pleading eyes just to "Hang on!" But the Void pulled at her, making it nearly impossible for her to keep her grip. He reached out to her, but in vain.
With one last cry, Rose's grip finally slipped. She fell inexorably towards the Void, crying out.
In a flash, the Doctor saw a possible timeline unfold in front of him as Rose flew backwards. It took only a moment, but it revealed plenty. He saw himself leaning against the white wall, his two hearts shattered, his hand empty, and his face a blank mask. He saw himself alone in the TARDIS, burning up a star to say goodbye, and leaving sentences unfinished. He saw Rose, trapped in another universe, alone. Never had a potential timeline terrified him more.
Pete appeared the moment before Rose reached the breach and she landed in his arms. A second later, the telltale tingling enveloped her, and the world faded and a new world appeared as before. To say that she was distraught was a gross understatement. "Take me back! Take me back!" She began to panic, tears streaming down her face and making her mascara run, pounding on the horrible white wall that separated the two worlds. "TAKE ME BACK!"
Pete took his button from around his neck and looked at it for a moment. "It's stopped working. The Doctor did it. The breach is closed."
Rose was in complete hysterics now. "NOOOOOOO! DOCTOR!" she screamed, pounding her fists on the wall again.
A gentle, trembling hand laid on her shoulder. "Rose..." a man's voice said, so low that it was almost a whisper.
She turned to him. "Doctor..." she breathed.
He took her in his arms, and they embraced. "I'm here, Rose. I'm here."