Summary: As the Doctor encounters a small child who looks eerily familiar he has to see Rose 6 years after their explosive argument bringing up unwanted, unanswered questions.
Disclaimer: I'm afraid I still don't own Doctor Who
Thanks to Cassy, S'rianna, and Viggly for your help with the title and your thoughts!
A Recognised Loss
You and I will meet again, when we're least expecting it, one day in some far off place I will recognize your face, I won't say goodbye my friend, for you and I will meet again.
Rose clutched the piece of paper on which the Doctor had written a Tom Petty quote on – they'd had an argument, unlike any other they'd had before. This was the kind of argument that really does signify the end – she had cried and yelled and thrown things, he had shouted and raged and ducked. Now she stood leaning against the wall of the Powell Estate's block of flats in 2006, her bags around her that she had hastily packed as she cried and screamed, she had opened a bag to get a tissue but instead she had found the note. The note that he must have snuck in there as she yelled abuse at him and threw her bags out of the Tardis doors, a note that made her regret the last 24 hours more than anything in her entire life. Now she was truly alone, well not entirely alone she thought as her hand pressed gently over her stomach – she would never be alone again she knew as she watched the spot where the Tardis had disappeared.
Six Years Later
The Tardis came to a heavy landing in the Powell Estate – the Tardis always landed there when the Doctor came to London – it was her favourite spot – it reminded her of Rose.
'Come on old girl' he told the Tardis 'you know better than to land here – she'll see us one day' he warned the ship who just moaned in return. He sighed as he scratched his head – he had no real reason to be here, he just always popped onto earth checking that no one was invading and everyone was safe – also just to be near her. He hated the way he had left things with Rose – despite being six years later it was still something that bothered him greatly. He'd had other companions after Rose but none of them were the same – no one was as fantastic as she was – and he'd never left any of them in the way he had left Rose. They had spent the night together after drinking heavily – a gift of Jerabka from the planet Jerab – neither of them had realised how strong the drink was until they woke up in bed together. They both pretended it never happened and carried on as normal until two weeks later – that was when Rose snapped. The Doctor didn't know why then and he still didn't know why now, all he knew was that he never should have shouted at her, he never should have made her cry. He'd lost his temper – something he rarely did – he'd challenged her to leave and she had accept it, never one to be outdone she packed her bags and ran out of the Tardis tears falling in her wake. He'd regretted it the moment he'd said it but he could tell from the look in her eyes that apologising was useless – that she really wouldn't be coming back, so he'd given her the note. It was a promise that he was certainly going to fulfil – he just didn't know when.
The Doctor moved to stand in front of a mirror – he was still in his tenth body – his brown hair still stood erratically from his head, his browns eyes were deepened with wisdom, lines nowmarked his face around his eyes and mouth – from pain and laughter. He's travel so far in these last six years but no where felt as quite like home as Earth did – it was the closest place he had to a home after the Tardis – a home he could hardly ever visit though in fear of meeting someone he'd been trying so desperately to avoid. He didn't know how he had managed to remain in the same body for all these years, somehow he seemed to be able to avoid death more often and it was becoming easier each time. He pulled at his skin noting how it was losing elasticity, also how he was starting to look older and more…. what was the word…. dignified? The Doctor stopped playing with his hair and took a deep breath in – he was just going to do what he always did when he came to Earth, have a wander around keeping his eyes pealed and avoiding Rose at all costs. He'd never seen her – from the moment she'd left he'd never seen her again – he didn't know if she even lived in London any more, if she was even alive. But he never gave up hope, just looking for one last glimpse of her to assure himself that he hadn't ruined her.
He pulled on his brown coat over his pin stripped suit – it looked exactly the same as the old suit he used to wear but it wasn't – he'd have to change it several times after holes and rips begun to appear in the seams. He fell into his coat relishing in the familiarity of it – he took a breath in and stepped out of the doors into London, England 2012. He took a deep breath in of the crisp October air, it had been a year since he'd last been here – it still looked exactly the same as in 2006, just a new coat of paint, new slabs of paving, new Prime Minster – all the little things had changed– all the big things remained the same. He stood outside the Tardis looking around at the grey concrete walls of the Powell Estate; he was staring at the crisp golden leaves that hung off the trees before they slowly drifted down to the floor making a pile for some deviant child to jump into. He was gazing at the trees and their colours when a suddenly splash of water shot all over his feet and trouser legs. He looked down and saw the remains of a water balloon in the puddle of water that soaked him, he looked up and saw a gang of small children standing about ten feet away all giggling
'Oi!' he shouted as he ran towards them, the children instantly scattered – one was trailing behind weighed down by water balloons. The Doctor reached the little girl and grabbed the back of her hood causing her to stop, she screamed and turned around to look at him – the moment he saw her he stepped back. There was something so familiar about her, the way her blonde curls fell down her face, the deep intense brown eyes that studied him cautiously – he could see the intelligence behind them, her face was that unusual shape which defined her jaw, she had a button nose and small ears. The girl studied him for a moment then smiled cautiously at him – it was her smile that struck him – it was so familiar, he could almost place his finger on who she reminded him of….almost.
A woman had heard the girls' screams and came running as soon as she saw a strange man talking to her daughter – from behind she could see a brown jacket blowing in the cool autumn wind. She ran towards the pair and came to a stop behind the man
'Oi, you sick pervert! Keep the hell away from my daughter' she shouted at him before he turned around.
The Doctor froze the moment he heard that voice – it was a voice he would recognise anywhere, his heart froze and his blood ran cold as he realised why the child look so familiar – who she looked like. He very slowly turned around to face her and sure enough it was Rose Tyler six years older.
Rose froze the moment the man turned around – there was no mistake about it – it was definitely the Doctor – and he had seen her daughter. Her mouth hung open and she couldn't breath she just stared at him as memories from six years ago flashed back in her mind. She pulled herself out of her daze and sharply commanded
'Venetia, come here right now' she told the little girl. Venetia looked up at her mother then to the strange man – she slowly walked over to her mother who instantly put her hands on her shoulders anchoring her in place – almost as though she was trying to hide behind her.
'Venetia' the Doctor said slowly feeling each decibel as he said it – he was testing the new word and found it flowed easily on his tongue, it was a name that he liked. The Doctor looked from the young girl to Rose and back, he didn't have any idea of what to say – luckily Venetia broke the ice.
'He wasn't hurting me mummy' the small voice called out trying to reassure her mother – she could feel the atmosphere. 'I dropped some water at his feet and was apologising' she told her mother her version of the truth. The Doctor grinned at the child, she reminded him of Rose or what she would have been like as a child.
'That's okay' she told the girl 'I just don't want you to speak to him anymore, okay?' she told her. Venetia shook her head in protest
'But mummy!' she began to whine
'That's enough' Rose cut her off staring sharply at her daughter. The Doctor looked at Rose – she had grown into a beautiful woman, but there was something that was bothering him – the little girls' eyes. They were the loveliest colour of brown, deep swirling pools of mysteries – but they conveyed so much intelligence and understanding – too much for a small child to have.
'Hi' he said gently with a small smile to Rose. She looked back at him, her eyes troubled, looking as though she might burst into tears.
'Hey' she gently replied – this was the first time she had spoken to him in six years.
The Doctor looked at the girl again – it was just those eyes…
'How old is she?' he asked curiously – Rose retaliated as though she had been kicked, her mouth tightly clamped shut. She moved as though she was about to leave
'I'm five and one quarter years old' Venetia called out proudly with a wide cherubic grin. The Doctor froze – that's why she looked so familiar, why those eyes haunted him, why Rose looked so scared.
'Is she-' the Doctor began; Rose cut him off with a nod before he fell into silence.
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