The Breaking Storm
Author: Gillian Taylor
Characters: Tenth Doctor, Rose
Summary: The storm is coming...but can the Doctor and Rose's relationship survive the deluge?
Disclaimer: Don't own them. I just like playing with them.
Archive: Sure, just let me know.
A/N: Thanks, as always, to my beta nnwest. I'm not sure where this came from, but I figured I'd add into the post PotW universe with this little fic. Enjoy!
by Gillian Taylor
Thunder rumbled in the distance, promising rain to the sun drenched soil of the planet Barcelona. She watched the rain clouds build themselves into towering spirals as they rushed towards her, but her mind was not on the impending deluge. Instead it dwelt upon tendrils of gold and on the man who had once asked her to come with him through time and space. Rose Tyler closed her eyes, feeling the slight tingle of the electric potential of the atmosphere against her skin. He had left her. Despite everything that had happened, or perhaps because of it, he had left her. Oh, the Doctor was still there, still back at the TARDIS waiting for her to rejoin him, but it was not him.
He was not her Doctor. Her Doctor was gone, replaced by a stranger in a pin striped suit. She had tried looking for hints, for something, anything, that indicated that her Doctor was still within him. However, she saw nothing. His mannerisms, his speech, even his walk had all changed with his body. Yet, how could she mourn his passing when he was there, in front of her, every moment of every day? Lightning flashed through the sky, mimicking her own turbulent emotions. How could she survive without him?
"Rose?" His unfamiliar voice came from behind her, a soft Scottish burr rolling the 'r' in her name. He didn't even say her name like her Doctor had – R-oh-se. She closed her eyes against the sting of tears. "Rose, come back to the TARDIS, you'll get drenched."
She shrugged slightly but made no move to join him. The storm was moving in and she found herself welcoming it.
"Rose?" he asked again as worry crept into his voice. "Rose, what's wrong?"
Suddenly her eyes flashed, echoing the lightning that flashed across the skies as a herald to the deluge to come. "What's wrong?" she sneered, spinning to look at his shocked face. "You want to know what's wrong. Oh that's rich coming from you."
The Doctor's soft brown eyes were wide with concern and shock. "Rose?" he questioned, suddenly recognising that grief had finally set in.
"You died, Doctor. You died and left me here."
"Rose, I'm still here."
"But you're not him!" With a crack of thunder, the storm broke. Water poured from the heavens to mingle with the young woman's tears.
He took an involuntary step back due to both the words and the shear anguish which she had put into each word. 'You're not him.' Her words haunted him and he swallowed slightly as he stepped back towards her, forcing back the emotions that churned inside him. This, of all his regenerations, was swiftly becoming his worst – not because of the regeneration sickness, memory loss, or any of the other common ailments that tended to follow the dodgy process. It was his worst because of what it had done to Rose. He had saved the world – her world, her life, her future – and now, he realized, he could lose her.
"I am him." He insisted. "And I'm me. We're one in the same. Rose, can't you see it?"
"But you're not him. You speak in a Scottish accent. You wear a pin striped suit. He's not in there. You're not my Doctor." She was blinded by grief.
He flinched at the accusation in her tone. "Rose..."
"No. No you don't talk to me in that voice, Doctor. I remember...Emergency Protocol One. I remember that he sent me home. He expected me to stay, to forget about him, to never see him again. Why, Doctor? Why!"
"I could only do what I needed to, what had to be done, only if I knew you were safe. That's why. I had to save the world, but I couldn't lose you in the process."
"What happened, Doctor? Why did you...become you?"
"I didn't want to change, Rose, you have to believe that." The Doctor shoved his hands into the pockets of his trench coat, bowing his head against the onslaught of the storm. "I wanted you to live."
"What happened on Satellite Five, Doctor?" Rose asked while the tears and rain intermingling upon her cheeks as she stared at the familiar stranger.
"I was going to save the world, but I found that I couldn't push the button."
"Prove yourself, Doctor. What are you? Coward or killer?"
"And then you came," he continued, meeting her eyes. "You came in a wave of gold – an angel. An avenging angel bent on saving the world – for me. You looked into the heart of the TARDIS, Rose. You were dying before my eyes and I couldn't let it happen. I couldn't let you die because of me."
Rose's eyes widened as she began to remember. "You kissed me."
He smiled sadly for that had been his greatest wish in his ninth life. The wish had been granted, but at such a price. The price was for it to be his last action in existence, to save her. He had paid that price, and gladly. He ran a hand through his wet hair with a sigh. "Yes, I did. To save you."
"You died because of me. It was my fault." A trembling hand reached up to touch her lips as she remembered the gold, and the press of her Doctor's lips against her own.
"No, you saved me, Rose. You saved me. If you weren't there, I would have been killed by the Daleks. You saved me, just like you always have." Even though he suspected that she would push him away, he strode forward to gather her into his arms.
"But I didn't. You changed. You..." Her sobs were muffled in his shirt and he stroked her wet locks of hair soothingly.
"You did, Rose. I'm still here because of you. You reminded me of what it was like to live again. That was worth any price to me. You are worth any price to me."
She lifted her head from his chest and stared long and hard into his eyes. The silence stretched between them, broken only by the splatter of rain upon the ground and the rumble of thunder in the air. The storm was starting to lift.
Suddenly, Rose Tyler smiled. "Oh, Doctor, there you are."
"I've been here all along, Rose. You just needed to open your eyes."