chapter twelve- the fall of adam
Adam wandered the streets of the Powell Estate, disguised under cheap plastic surgery, matches and lighter fluid in hand. Once he did this, he was sure, he'd have closure. He'd wouldn't be a killer anymore. Rose's home would be gone and it'd be her fault and wherever she was, she would know that. Just like her stupidity had gotten her boyfriend killed.
He didn't like to think about that much, though.
But in fact, if he had to be honest, he'd never stopped thinking about that. He should have shot Jackie instead, but at the back of his mind he knew Mickey had gone there specially to save Jackie's life, and he'd gotten exactly what he wanted, which was a bullet through the head and Jackie's life saved.
But why- why on earth had he been so willing to save Rose's mother, and save Rose pain, when he'd been abandoned by her? He didn't get it.
He walked over to the flat where Rose Tyler had once lived, to start the biggest fire of them all. But his mind was preoccupied with his past murder, and he wasn't looking where he was going.
He walked into the Useless Hole.
He was stunned. He lay at the bottom helplessly for a few seconds, and then tried to get out. But he couldn't. And no-one heard when he screamed, because they were too busy evacuating the flats. And as Adam waited, livid, for the police to find him and get him out and arrest him, there wasn't nearly as much fire that night as there should have been.
The day after the fire was sunny but cold. Countless people were milling around the ruined estate, many of them reporters but most of them residents or former residents. Trisha and Shireen were among them.
Trisha stared out, and sighed, and reached into her pocket for Mickey's flat key. She had kept the key all these years. She had kept it even after she had married her husband and bought a nice house for both of them, and recieved her own key and the future that went with it.
Jackie had contacted her, and explained what had happened. She had cried for a long time, and decided never to forget him. She never had.
Neither had Shireen.
"God, it looks even worse from down here," she said, and took a drag on her cigarette. She was nearly fifty and still smoked. "I used to hate this place, but, christ. 'Mazing no-one was killed. Have they caught who did it yet?"
"They have someone," Trisha said.
"Is it...Mitchell? The one who...?"
"Yes. Him," she said quietly.
There was silence between the two of them. All the other people were still talking- talking and taking pictures and discussing how they'd survived.
Maria Sutton approached them, her two kids trailing along behind her. All of them looked like they needed sleep.
"Trisha? Shireen?" Maria called. "I haven't seen you in so long!"
Although they had only vaguely known each other, the three of them shared a hug. Maria, Trisha was quite sure, could use one after what she'd just been through. Then the kids sat by the car and the adults talked about the events of the previous night.
"I guess I'll have to find another place," Maria said lightly. "Still- I'm lucky to be alive, really." She sighed and looked up at the flat. "Me and the kids."
Assorted people in uniform were beginning to shoo the crowds away now. Shireen rolled her eyes and stubbed out her cigarette.
"Well," she said glumly, "the estate's gone. What do you suppose we do now?"
Trisha looked down at the flat key she clutched in her hand. "We rebuild," she said. She looked up at where Mickey's flat had been, and repeated it.
Rose was in the Blue Room, tearfully removing all the things inside it. The laptop and the DVDs and the books. Mickey's mother had asked for them.
The Doctor was helping her, and she was so glad she was with him, but...
If only she could have kept them both. If only.
Her pink Plutonian necklace was round her neck.
As she picked up the books, the choose-your-own adventure novel fell to the floor and landed open, the last page on display.
CONGRATULATIONS! it read. You've saved all your friends and defeated the villain. But surely you could find a way of making things turn out even better- just go back to the beginning and play the game again.
You get a second chance!