Rose knows lots of stories, but she doesn't know the ones that would give her answers.

She doesn't know that the Lonely God is a new story, that the non-linear nature of those who live unfixed in time make it as old as other tales. She does not know of the Little God, who lived in London long after her and never died. A woman with eyes she'd recognise and a familiar detachment that would make her shiver.

She doesn't know about the time that there were two gods, about how the universe itself was too small for the two of them, or about a world between realities where they say the sun will die if ever those hearts are reunited and that this is why gods must never love.

No one has ever told her about Time's Champion, about secrets boasted of by time-travelling witches, about how the Hand of Omega ended up on Earth. She doesn't know the Rutan Host or that it murmers tales of how the Destroyer and the Peacemaker were one and the same. She knows some of legends people wrote down on Earth, but not why so many of the heroes have human mothers and supernatural fathers, or the origins of the deus ex machina.

There is a history of the Time War by an anonymous author who seems incapable of placing events in chronological order and who writes with anger and sorrow and annontates with details that no one could possibly know. The published version is a poor translation from Old High Gallifreyan, though most agree that the jokes are almost certainly rendered accurately from their original Englsh. (Although no one has ever been able to understand the one about the eyepatches.)

Rose has never read it.

There are people she has never met who could tell her the Doctor's real name if only they had never sat at the feet of the hive nurses and been told that he would come for them if they didn't do as they were told. If they had not chittered ghost stories when the suns were below the horizon and the hunt was gathering. If they had never cursed a bastard child from the House of Lungbarrow, been told what comes of dalliances with aliens, and to listen to your elders or you'll end up like him.

"Whisper it," they would tell her, "in case it summons him."

It meanders backwards, leaking through time to join creation myths and speak of destruction on Skaro, Mondas, Sontar, Mars, and so many other worlds.

It is spoken in different words with different meanings. Sometimes the gods are evil or kind, the Bringer of Darkness or the Healer of Worlds, good or bad with only the slightest hint of grey. Usually they are tricksters like the Oncoming Storm, a myth who travelled with the Dalek conquests and gave his name to rebellions and mutinies.

There is a woman who had a son and knows what she called him. A woman who would tell Rose about a child whose hearts once beat unearthly inside her, and who might tell her that there was another child, later and forgotten. But no one ever asks her, even about the boy.

There is another woman, who married for politics and died before her husband ever claimed the Presidency of High Council of the Time Lords. Were she able to, she would tell the story of a woman on her last life who accepted the arrogant boy who pestered her because she knew the value of a good House and a Prydonian education. She would say that it didn't matter that he was simply avoiding the wife his family had decided on, because he was kind to her and they both loved their children.

There is a woman whose name means "to be admired" and who was raised by her father before he ever met her mother. There is a man in Brisbane with blond hair and strange blood. There was, some believe, something born from a union of two gods who forgot their people's habits in a passionate moment after each believed the other dead. Rose has never heard the stories about what happened to the human woman who looked into time itself, about how the Bad Wolf ran with the Lonely God and about how she left him before she knew about the child he would never return to claim.

She doesn't know about the other stories she appears in, about all the people she could be mistaken for and who are adored by children on a thousand worlds. That some of them die and all of them leave and none of them are ever same again.

Rose is in a lot of stories, pulled along in the wake of the Oncoming Storm. He makes sure she never hears them.