Title: Gemini Rising
Author: A.j.
Rating: PG
Fandom: Doctor Who, Ninth Doctor. Spoilers for 'Rose', an that's it.
Notes: Mistakes are my own.

Summary: She is new, but not so very different.


He shoves her into the lift and turns to fight Autons. Jerks his head away, and the only thing in his brain as the door slams shut is that he's sure Romana is behind him.

The curve of her cheek is the same, maybe even the tilt of her head. He covers his doubletake with a question. Knows it's not her, not really. She doesn't feel the same.

That doesn't stop him from being impressed by the little human's logic given the available information.

Running full-out down the stairs after planting the detonator, he says her name in his head, and wonders how long it will be before her face blurs in his brain.

&

He pokes the white plastic of the cat flap. It went in there. Had to've done.

Strangely, it pokes back. Once.

Twice.

She - Rose - is staring at him and then gone.

She practically drags him into the flat, all curiosity and rationalization, and even in the ruins of her coffee table, she tilts her head and asks.

Walking the towers of her home, she listens, even while saying she doesn't believe.

She challenges him. Silly little shop girl Rose, challenging him.

So he leaves her, the memory of Earth and speed and so much more spinning in her tiny little brain. Tells her to forget.

Scares her because it's only fair.

He looks away when he notices his hands are shaking on the console.

&

He wants to kick himself when he sees her sitting across from the signal location. A nice hard kick to the arse that will leave a big painful bruise. Because it always happens like this. Even with everything gone and new and old and mixed up like a peach in a Cuisinart, there are some immobile constants.

He decides to ask her to come with him - because there's only so much flailing at fate one can do, and the universe has apparently made up her mind on this one - when she pulls the fire alarm. He listens to the stampede of humanity going out the exits and into the streets to the backbeat of the Auton's destruction. Glass and wood shatter behind them, the thing's head is heavy and a bit waxy in his hands, but she's next to him and running.

And despite everything, he feels like smiling.

&

She stares at him like he's thick. Eyebrow raised, face incredulous she stares at him.

He repeats his question, and when he finally gets what's she's trying to say - she really has reason to look at him like he's the village idiot - deja vu hits him like a board to the skull.

For once, it almost doesn't hurt.

Her hand is small in his, but her laughter dashing across the bridge is large.

&

He tries to remember the last time anyone ever listened to him. Ever stopped to hear his warnings. Makes a mental note to visit ancient Greece and bring a woman on a hill a bottle of wine.

The Nestene Consciousness screams and the boy screams and he is screaming.

Later, he remembers that she never did.

He reverses coarse, settles a neat eighteen seconds later, in a rare bout of skill that shows up once a century, and throws open his door. Does something he's never done before. All because she didn't scream.

Just did what needed doing.

He'll never admit that it had anything to do with the curve of her cheek.

She runs toward him and he steps back, letting her come to him.

-fin-