Excerpt from Torchwood file 'Doctor150467'
"… of the Doctor's constant, his ever-present 'companion', we know surprisingly little. Records indicate that there used to be a considerable amount of data available, but it became corrupted several years ago by some sort of computer virus, known as Bad Wolf virus. What remains of the information is sketchy, but one piece of data stands out, as sources say it appeared after Bad Wolf virus corrupted the files. This incongruous piece of data is simply two short sentences – 'a furious Wolf, who knoweth not when to flee' and 'a Storm, an evil wind, which taketh vengeance'. Study has shown these quotes to be from an ancient text concerning Assyrian demons – the Wolf and the Storm are two of the Seven Evil Spirits of Babylonia, though the relevance of this information is uncertain. It has been suggested that the Wolf is a reference to the Bad Wolf virus, but the relevance of the Storm is less clear …"
An hour after the Doctor had vanished for the last time, they still had not left the beach. Jackie and Pete were in the car, taking refuge from the biting Norwegian wind lest they put Jackie's health at risk. Rose refused to leave, taking refuge from her family on a nearby rock. She sat and watched the waves crash against the shore and tried to remember the exact shade of green the last ocean she had seen was. Where had it been? Somewhere obscure with another of the Doctor's unpronounceable alien place names. The details were hazy, but she remembered the Doctor's infectious laughter at her erratic attempts to get her tongue around the name. She bit back an involuntary smile at the memory, not wanting to be happy at a time like this. It didn't feel right. Not yet.
Out of the corner of her eye she saw Mickey slowly saunter over and squat down next to her, resting on his haunches. He followed her eyeline to the horizon and gave a tiny sigh.
"He's not coming back, y'know," he said sadly. Rose nodded, although whether it was to acknowledge his statement or refute it he wasn't certain. "This is one of those times he was right."
"I know," Rose replied in a tiny voice. "I just … I don't want to start forgetting him right now."
"I understand," said Mickey, "but stay here any longer and you'll catch hypothermia or something." He took off his coat and slipped it around Rose's shoulders. She didn't move. Mickey wasn't sure if that was a good sign or a bad one. He watched her for a while, trying to imagine what must have been going on inside her head.
"What did you …" he began, but found he couldn't finish. He cleared his throat and tried again. "Did he say anything?"
Rose nodded again.
"What'd he say?"
"He burnt up a sun just to say goodbye." She turned to look at him and said half-jokingly, half-accusingly, "You never did anything like that."
"Give me some credit, I'm only human," he retaliated in the same tone of voice. They glanced at each other and shared a brief smile before Rose fell silent again. Mickey was surprised to note that she wasn't crying – perhaps she had used up all her tears.
"I told him," she said eventually. Mickey frowned quizzically at her. "I told him I loved him," she clarified.
"You did, did you," he said. It was more of a resigned statement than a question. He'd long believed that Rose had been in love with the Doctor, but she had never actually said it out loud. He was surprised to find that he wasn't hurt by her declaration. He didn't feel betrayed in any way. Her feelings, as far as he knew, hadn't been reciprocated by the Doctor. Certainly he'd cared for her deeply – maybe even loved her in a paternal, 'best mates' kind of way – but he could never feel that strongly about one person. Oh, he knew about Sarah Jane. He knew about Reinette. He'd travelled with the Doctor long enough himself to know that, when it came to women, he was just like any other bloke. The ultimate bachelor, as it were – certainly he 'danced', but he never really settled down and he probably never would. He probably never could. Nine hundred years old, Rose has said. Mickey wasn't surprised by the Doctor's attitudes at all.
"D'you know what he said back?" Rose asked. Mickey shook his head. "He said 'Quite right too'." Mickey chuckled despite himself.
"Sounds like the Doctor," he muttered. Rose was silent. She watched the horizon for a short while, before a sudden thought occurred to her.
"How'd you get involved with Torchwood?"
"Just did," Mickey replied, taken aback slightly. "Me and Jake went to go shut down all the Cybus factories, and we just sort of ended up at Torchwood."
"How long did it take?"
"I mean, how long have you been here?"
"Three years." Rose blinked incredulously. Mickey just shrugged.
"And in those three years, have you … I mean, with anyone … else?" she asked tentatively.
"Well, you and Jake seemed pretty … close …"
"Jake?" laughed Mickey. "Nah. I know which side my bread's buttered, and it ain't that side. Him and Ricky were … y'know … 'together'," (he emphasised his point with air quotes, which made Rose raise a slightly amused eyebrow) "but I told him I wasn't Ricky and I never would be. I was too hung up over y—" He stopped himself before he got any further. Choking back the words, he turned back to face the waves again – but when he felt Rose gently slip her hand into his, he smiled gratefully at her.
"If there's a Torchwood in this world," she said suddenly, "and Torchwood was set up cause of the Doctor … d'you reckon … there might be another Doctor in this world?" Her eyes shone with hope, and Mickey found he hadn't the heart to mislead her in any way. After considering his answer carefully, he tightened his grip on her hand and forced a smile on his face.
"D'you wanna come to Torchwood and find out for yourself?"