Last Words


The Doctor's broken a promise he can't remember, and Rose gets the chance to wind him up. Who would pass up an opportunity like that? Not Rose! Post-"The Satan Pit" dribble.

Disclaimer: Doctor Who doesn't belong to me.


The TARDIS is off, the familiar sound of its working more soothing than any lullaby, a sound that Rose could die happy to. The first time she'd heard it she couldn't get to sleep, now it seems like she can't get to sleep without it.

She smiles, rocks back on her heels, and looks at the Doctor. He smiles too, and looks at her, so she assumes a mock-hurt expression.

"What?" he says.

"You broke your promise to me," Rose says, her face straight.

The Doctor's face creases up in confusion. "What do you mean? I haven't promised anything to anyone since... Um..."

"Since you rode a horse through a mirror," Rose prompts.

"Yeah-yeah-yeah, that," the Doctor waves his hands, and frowns. "I promised to do that?"

Rose rolls her eyes. "Uh, you promised to save her and, oh, I don't know, the entire universe, 'cause if you hadn't- BOOM." She claps her hands together.

"See, that's why you're special. Mickey was all, oh, Rose'll be pissed at ya for abandoning you, but I knew you were better," the Doctor says.

"Yeah, well, Mickey hasn't seen them brown things that swallowed you," Rose reminds him. "I know well and good what would have happened otherwise."

"That's 'cause you're brilliant," the Doctor says with a grin, flipping some switches energetically. "Not as brilliant as me, though."

"I'd hit you," Rose says, "except you're avoiding the topic."

"Ah," the Doctor says, scratching his nose apologetically. "Thought you'd forgotten."

"Nope." She rocks on her heels again.

"But what did I promise?"

"Does it matter, you broke it."

The Doctor suddenly looks sad.

"Rose Tyler," he says, "I'm absolutely sincerely sorry for whatever promise I broke that I can't remember making, even considering the fact that I single-handedly managed to put the devil into a black hole."

"Single-handedly?" Rose says, hands on hips, eyebrows raised accusingly.

"I dunno," the Doctor says, "I may have used both hands."

He holds up both of his hands and looks at them.

Rose rolls her eyes. "So, where we going?"

"Time. Space," the Doctor says vaguely. "Somewhere mortgages are few and far between," he adds, his face and tone dark.

"Ah, that'll be Powell Council Estate," Rose says.

"'cause your mum lives there?" The Doctor blinks. "She scares away mortgages?" He looks at the TARDIS controls contemplatively.

Rose smacks him. "No. You're not bringing her onboard, just to 'scare away' mortgages. I dunno, you're a fully grown-up Time Lord, who has taken on the Loch Ness monster, and Daleks, and Cybermen, and the devil, and you're scared of a mortgage?"

"I see what you mean," the Doctor says eventually, squinting. "Your mum's much scarier."

Rose glares.

"Oh, come on," he says after a moment, "what did I promise?"

"You promised to bring that suit back in good condition," Rose says, "and there's a big honking great hole in the helmet."

The Doctor stares at her, glances at the spacesuit, glances back, then narrows his eyes.

"So, the urban myths of my people are true after all," he says eventually.

"What?"

"Parents do inherit their craziness from their children." He grins impishly as he smacks her. "It's a good thing I didn't die in that fall," he adds, smiling a little.

Rose frowns. "Duh."

"Naw," he says, "my last words were terrible."

"Even worse than 'go to your room'?"

The Doctor nods. "Even worse. Mind you, I've had some pretty awful last words in my times."

Rose stares at him, remembers his regenerative powers, and then cocks her head. "Like what?"

"Can't really remember all of them," the Doctor says, scratching his nose again.

"What's the worst you remember?"

"Carrot juice."

"Carrot juice?"

"Yeap."

"Promise me you will never have last words that lame again," Rose says, looking at him.

"'s not hard to be better than carrot juice," the Doctor says. "And I'm not that good with promises, it seems."

"Yeah, you are," Rose says. "You knew what I was asking really."

"Yeah," the Doctor says. "I know."

And it's true. She doesn't have to say it. They both know.

Rose thinks for a second. "Carrot juice?" she says eventually.

The Doctor throws his arms up into the air, and storms off, muttering about apes and carrots and word fixations, and Rose watches him go, and laughs, and takes one last look at the spacesuit with the missing visor.

He could have died, she knows that and feels it sharply, but wants to replace that horrid feeling of associating that spacesuit with his potential death. And she knows just how to do it.

All she has to do is wait until he gets back from his faux-ranting, and make a particular comment about the spacesuit that will make him grumpy.

She pats the carrot-coloured spacesuit, and bides her time.