AS Levels and Aliens
This was originally a one-shot but then I had more ideas so it's developed into a story and then a story. Hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Nothing you might recognise belongs to me
"Come on, come on!" growled the frustrated Doctor, as he fumbled with the TARDIS key, trying to get it into the lock. Behind him, Rose stood, one hand on his back, clenching tightly and staring behind them at the oncoming, very angry aliens that they had just managed to severely annoy.
"Aha, got it!" the Doctor crowed and wrenched open the door, grabbing Rose at the same time and pulling her in. She stumbled a few steps before grabbing hold of a railing and taking a deep breath. Meanwhile, the Doctor charged around the control panel, configuring a flight plan to get them away from this planet. With a last slam of his hammer on the panel, he exhaled slowly as the TARDIS took them away to safety.
"You OK, Rose?" he asked, looking at his companion.
She looked up. "Yeah," she muttered, shakily, "That was just really close."
The Doctor nodded and went over to her and enveloped her in a hug. Rose pressed her head against his chest and breathed in his scent.
"I'm sorry. I keep getting you in these life or death situations, don't I?" he said, sadly, running his fingers through her blonde hair.
"S'ok," Rose said, into his chest, "I signed up for this. It's not like you didn't warn me,"
The Doctor didn't reply and instead released her and went over to make some good, hot tea for them both. Rose followed him and leant against the doorway, watching him.
"Penny for your thoughts?" asked the Doctor, after a minute,
"You have a penny?" asked Rose,
"Well, no," he admitted, "Do you want to talk about something?"
"I was wondering…" started Rose, "Could we go back to see my mum?"
"Mum, we're back!" called Rose, as she let herself and the Doctor through the front door of the flat, "Mum, you in?"
There was no reply.
"She must be out," Rose shrugged, "Let me just dump this bag and I'll make us some tea."
The Doctor nodded and sank into an armchair while Rose bustled about, putting her backpack in her room. He gazed at the photos scattered around of Rose at different ages growing up. She always seemed happy and full of life… The Doctor rested his forehead in his hands and thought. He had nearly lost Rose yet again today. One day she just wasn't going to make it and he wouldn't be able to bear it if she died. He had such a different relationship with her; compared to his other companions…he had to do this.
"Rose…" he called, softly,
"Yeah?" said Rose, with a typical smile on her face, placing two steaming mugs on the coffee table.
The Doctor took a deep breath.
Jackie Tyler pushed open the door with her shoulder after successfully unlocking it with her key and gratefully put down the heavy bags of shopping with a smile. It was then that she heard it. A sort of choking, gasping sound was coming from the living room. Curiously, she opened the door.
"Oh Mum!" cried her daughter, jumping up from the sofa and throwing her arms around her. "He left me, Mum! He left me!" she choked out, through her tears.
"The Doctor?" breathed out Jackie.
Rose nodded, gasping for breath through her tears.
"Oh, sweetheart," Jackie soothed, rubbing her daughter's back, "Why?" Inside, she was seething. She was going to kill that Doctor if she ever saw him again.
"He said it was just too dangerous! I told him that I didn't care but he said he was sorry and left me," whispered Rose, wiping her streaming eyes.
Jackie tightened her grip on her daughter and listened to her wails. The Doctor had to come back; he couldn't leave Rose alone after showing her this new way of living.
He couldn't be that cruel.
The next few days passed slowly in the Tyler household.
Every morning, Rose would get up and clean her face from the tears of the night before. She would then leave the flat and spend the day sitting outside in the courtyard, waiting for the TARDIS to materialise. Nothing Jackie or her family or friends said could stop her. Each evening, after a fruitless day of waiting, Rose would return to the flat and silently eat her tea before going to bed for another night of desperate crying. It broke Jackie's heart.
After an entire week had passed, Jackie decided it was time to do something. Rose had spent the day waiting as normal and she was currently eating her tea.
"Don't you want your chips?" asked her mother, noticing Rose had pushed them aside.
"No," whispered Rose, her voice hoarse from not being used and crying, "they were the Doctor's and my food." A lone tear slipped down her cheek and Jackie hastened to change the subject.
"So, what are you going to do now?" she asked, "You can't spend the rest of your life waiting for him."
"He'll come back for me," Rose murmured, "He has to!"
"You don't know that, sweetheart," Jackie said, softly, "And time is passing by quickly. You need to get up and do something with your life."
"Like what?" Rose choked, "I was doing something with my life with the Doctor. He was my life!"
"Nothing lasts forever, Rose."
"He does," Rose whispered.
Jackie stood up with a sigh. "Rose, sweetheart, you have to face it. He isn't coming back for you. It's over and you have to face that. Move on with your life and get a job, make some money and have a fantastic life. Isn't that what the Doctor would have wanted?"
Throughout her speech, Rose had been getting paler and her eyes were filling up with yet more tears. Now she stood up and spoke in a shaky voice. "That's what he said, a long time ago, just before he regenerated. I'd forgotten 'til now. Oh Doctor!"
With a great heaving sob, Rose ran to her bedroom and the door closed behind her. Jackie sighed again. Oh well, it had been worth a try.
However, by the next morning, something appeared to have changed. Rose appeared at breakfast in a smart suit, with freshly washed hair and carefully applied make-up.
"I'm going down to the job centre," she said, "It's what the Doctor would have wanted," was all she would say when pressed about it.
Rose returned at lunchtime with a thoughtful expression on her face.
"Did you find any good jobs?" Jackie asked,
"Yeah, they have jobs going at Henriks again now they've rebuilt it but…"
"But what?" Jackie asked,
"The lady said that I still wasn't too old to attempt my A-Levels," said Rose, slowly, "My GCSE's are good enough to get me into the local sixth form college and they phoned up and have places left if I want to go."
Jackie considered it for a moment. "Is that what you want to do?"
"I think so," answered Rose, "Can I?"
"It's your life. You can make your own decisions. I'm fine with it, if it's what you really want."
"I'll do it," decided Rose. She smiled at her mother. "College, here I come!"
The next two months flew past. Rose spent most of her time getting ready for the new challenges that lay ahead of her. She still spent a lot of time thinking about the Doctor and still hurt quite a bit from the way he had left her. But, as her Mum had said, she didn't know if he was ever coming back and needed to move on with her life.
Finally it was September the seventh and her first proper day at Stonehill College. She shyly walked in through the gates and looked at her timetable that she had been given on an earlier induction day. She had all four of her chosen AS subjects today, starting with French.
"Hey there! Rose isn't it?" called a voice,
"Yeah," Rose answered, looking at the friendly looking girl who had called her.
"Hi! My name's Kirsty. We're in the same form. So, you taking French?"
"Yeah," Rose said, again, "Are you?"
"Yep, it was my favourite subject at high school. How come you're doing it?"
"I…erm… did a lot of travelling… in France… so I got good at it!" In truth, Rose had absolutely despised French at school and the only reason she was taking it was for some reason the TARDIS translator was still active in her brain and she completely understood all French, whether it was written or spoken. This small thing made her feel closer to the Doctor and made her wonder if it was a sign that maybe, just maybe, the Doctor might someday return.
"Cool!" said Kirsty, "so what other subjects you taking?"
"Erm, law, psychology and history," Rose replied,
"Wow. Any particular reason why?"
"Well…" Rose started. She again couldn't exactly tell Kirsty the truth. She'd taken law because she had discovered several sorts of law on her travels, including English law, and was interested in learning more. Psychology was because she was interested in what made people behave in the ways she had seen during her travels with the Doctor and History was because of the numerous trips to the past she had made. If the Doctor ever returned, it would be fascinating to go back to the periods of history that she had studied and amaze the Doctor with her knowledge. Or maybe not. He probably knew it all already.
Realising that her new friend, Kirsty, was still waiting for an answer, she cast around in her mind for a suitable answer.
"Well," she said, again, "they just appealed to me the most I suppose."
After a hectic first week at college, Rose soon found herself slipping easily into her new routine. She made many friends in her classes and generally spent her free time with them either round the college or in the nearby London. The work, apart from in French, was a little difficult to begin with but as with all the new students, Rose soon got her head around it and enjoyed it. French was a laugh. She was easily the best student in the class and the teacher often relied on her to help some of the others. Kirsty thought she was a genius which Rose denied immediately. That title was reserved for the Doctor only.
Before she knew it, the months had slipped by and it was a couple of days before Christmas. She had just returned home from Christmas shopping in London with Kirsty and some of her other friends when she happened to look at the calendar and her stomach had dropped. It had been exactly six months since she'd last seen the Doctor. Feeling the familiar sadness wash over her, Rose strolled heavily into the kitchen and put the kettle on for a cup of tea.
"Got it all?" called her mother, from the lounge,
"Just about," she said, thinking of the presents she had bought. She'd gotten a small something for all of her friends and her mother. She'd also quietly bought a handsome leather writing set for the Doctor, just in case. She'd carefully hidden it at the bottom of her shopping bag so that her mother didn't see it. Jackie appeared to think that she'd gotten over the Doctor leaving her as she never mentioned him anymore. However, six months later, it still hurt just as bad as right afterwards. Rose's hope that he'd come back for her one day was diminishing as more time passed but she knew she'd never completely give up on him. She believed in him.
Early January meant exams. Rose had two exams in Law and Psychology and revised hard for them over the Christmas break. Psychology was first and Rose thought she'd done alright; could have done better. Two days later, it was Law. The minute she turned the paper over, she breathed a sigh of relief at seeing questions she could answer. She left the exam hall with a big smile on her face.
Rose turned and saw Matt, her friend who she sat next to in History. He also took Law and Psychology except in different classes. They had grown quite close during the previous term and was a great laugh.
She greeted him with a smile. "Do you wanna go for a coffee or something?" he asked, after they'd exchanged views of how they'd found the exam.
Rose rubbed her hands together. "Sure. I'm freezing!"
They found an empty table in a nearby café and ordered two hot drinks.
"I'm glad that's over," Matt said, "No more exams until May now!"
"Yeah," Rose said, "I guess my next one will be the French oral,"
"Well, you'll pass that easily enough," laughed Matt, "Seriously, how are you so good at French? I mean, I know you're a couple of years older than the rest of us but Kirsty reckons you're better than the teachers at it!"
Rose laughed, feeling a bit uncomfortable. She was beginning to regret taking French as it was so difficult to explain her ability at it. She couldn't even tell her closest friends about it. They just wouldn't believe it. "I just did some travelling," she said, "But that ended suddenly so I came here."
"Why'd it end suddenly?"
Rose swallowed. "The guy I was with kind of left me…"
"Were you dating?" asked Matt,
"No," Rose sighed, "We were just best friends and he thought it was becoming too dangerous for me…" She stopped and swallowed as tears threatened to fall. Matt watched her closely.
"You alright?" he questioned.
Rose nodded. "It just hurts still,"
"I'm not surprised. What kind of best friend does that? I wouldn't."
"I suppose he had his reasons," Rose sighed, "I just wish he hadn't. It was the best time of my life."
Matt nodded and stared at Rose for a while, with a shrewd look on his face.
"You loved him, didn't you? This mysterious guy, you loved him."
Rose opened her mouth and then suddenly thought. It was true; she did love him. He changed her life for the better and was such a caring person. She could talk to him about anything and he wouldn't laugh if she didn't want him too.
"Yeah," she said, in a low voice, "I loved him. And do you want to know the worse bit of it? I still love him."
Matt's face screwed up with sympathy and he leant over and gave her a hug. It wasn't the same as the Doctor's but nothing ever was. He was truly unique.
"Well, I'm here if you ever need to talk," Matt said, "Maybe you'll see him again. One day, when he's realised what an idiot he's been letting an amazing girl like you go, he'll come running back,"
"Thanks Matt," said Rose, quietly,
The Spring term flew by and before long Rose began to feel nervous about her upcoming exams. There were only a couple of weeks between Easter and the beginning of the exam period so she spent it wisely, either revising alone or with friends.
Exams began and Rose carefully ticked each one off as it passed, heaving a sigh of relief that that particular one was over. Finally, she only had one exam left in early June and surprisingly it was Law again.
"How you feeling?" asked Matt, beforehand,
"Pretty nervous," Rose admitted, biting her lip, "You?"
"Same. Is that why you're looking so down in the mouth?" said Matt,
"Not exactly. Yesterday was exactly a year since I was left behind," Rose said, quietly, "And he's not returned yet."
Matt gave her a hug. "He will, I bet you. Just concentrate on the exam now."
Rose nodded and wished her friend good luck as they began to file in.
"They're over!" yelled Rose, jumping up and down in delight afterwards,
"Yeah!" screamed Matt, grinning in delight, "I swear that exam couldn't have gone better for me. I revised exactly the right things!"
"Cool," said Rose, "I completely forgot parts of question two b but hopefully I'll be ok."
"Yup," said Matt, "I'm just going to the loo. Won't be a minute then we can go celebrate!"
Rose smiled and flopped down on the grass behind her. It was a blazing hot day and Rose closed her eyes from the glare of the sun and let the rays soak into her.
It was then that she heard it.
A familiar whirring, heaving noise that signalled the arrival of something that she held very dear. Rose sat up quickly and shaded the sun from her eyes and searched desperately around, not believing her ears.
There. There it was.
The TARDIS had just materialised in a corner of the college courtyard, the door had opened and a figure in a brown pinstriped suit had just stepped slowly out.
Rose was running before she even realised it. She grabbed the Doctor in a tight embrace and pulled his face down before giving him a bruising, smouldering kiss. Then, she stepped back and slapped him with all her might.
"Rose," choked the Doctor, his hand cradling his cheek, "Oh Rose. I'm so sorry. I was so wrong!"
"You left me," Rose whispered, aware that tears were suddenly rolling down her cheeks, "You abandoned me, like you did Sarah-Jane. I thought we were best friends, I thought you liked having me travel with you. It's been an entire year since I last saw you, I didn't know if you were ever coming back for me. HAVE YOU ANY IDEA WHAT YOU'VE PUT ME THROUGH?" she ended in a shout.
"A year," whispered the Doctor, "It's been an entire year for you? Oh God, I'm so sorry, I really am. It's only been a couple of days for me…"
"AND THAT MAKES IT ALL BETTER, DOES IT?" screamed Rose, "YOU'VE ONLY HAD TO SUFFER FOR THREE DAYS WHERAS I'VE MISSED YOU AND CRIED MY WAY THROUGH THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX DAYS!"
She gave a choked scream and ran forwards, striking his chest over and over again; tears falling uncontrollably. The Doctor let her hit him for a moment before catching hold of her wrists and pulling her into a hug. Her tears soaked his jacket but he didn't mind, instead stroking her back and hair and whispering apologies over and over again.
Eventually, she quietened down and her arms snaked around his waist. "I'm sorry for hitting you," she mumbled into his jacket,
"Don't you dare apologise. It's me that's in the wrong," said the Doctor, tightening his hold on her, "Plus I'm used to being hit by your mother."
He felt Rose chuckle before she turned her head to look up at him, staring at his face. She saw deep regret and shame etched all over his features and something else lingering in his eyes. "Please don't leave me again," she whispered, desperately looking into his eyes.
"Never again," he declared, truthfully, "I couldn't. I won't. I promise."
"Good," Rose sniffed, "'Cause it's been hell for me this past year, knowing the man I love left me behind."
She heard a sharp intake of breath. "You love me?" asked the Doctor, softly,
"Yep," said Rose, suddenly feeling a bit nervous,
"That's great news. 'Cause I love you too."
The Doctor tilted his head down a bit and their lips met in a hesitant kiss, moving gently against one another until they plucked up enough courage to deepen it slightly.
"Rose?" suddenly asked a voice.
Rose turned around and saw Matt staring curiously at her and the Doctor.
"Matt, he's come back! You said he would and you were right!"
Matt smiled. "I'm glad for you, Rose." He took a step forward and addressed the Doctor. "If you ever hurt her again like that, you will have me to answer to," he said seriously, staring the Doctor straight in the eye.
The Doctor didn't flinch and stared straight back. "I promise I won't. I was an idiot and I'm really sorry. Rose means too much to me to do such a stupid and mean thing again."
Matt nodded and turned back to Rose. "I'm gonna go now and leave you two to it. I expect you have some talking to do,"
"Thanks Matt," said Rose,
"I'll see you soon, 'phone me if you need me," replied her friend, before walking away.
Rose turned back to her Doctor. "Who was that then?" he asked,
"Matt. He's one of my best friends. He's been there for me loads of times," answered Rose.
"I really am sorry," the Doctor sighed, pulling Rose close to him,
"I know you are. I believe you. And I forgive you."
The Doctor breathed a sigh of relief. "Love you so much," he whispered, finding Rose's lips for another kiss,
"Me too," she murmured against his lips, "Now can we go home?"
"Home?" the Doctor asked,
The Doctor smiled and grabbed Rose's hand with his own. "Of course."
Together the two lovers walked hand in hand in through the doorway of their spaceship. They were together again at last.
Review please. Constructive criticism is gladly received