A dreaded songfic. The song is "Hurt" by Christina Aguilera. Have you heard this song? You need to hear this song. This girl can sing ballads like no one else. Heard it in the car a few weeks ago; it got firmly lodged into my brain and came out like this. I wasn't going to include the lyrics, but I wanted to sort of plug them in. They roughly coincide with what I was writing at the time, so maybe you can see my train of thought. But...probably not, as I'm quite a bit off my rocker.

Spoilers: None really to speak of, as it is so incredibly AU it will make your teeth hurt. Doomsday, but only if you know what's going on.

Disclaimer: I own it all!...Now I just have to convince them...

"D-Doctor…w-what are you doing here?" Jackie Tyler glanced behind her shoulder before stepping outside and shutting the door of her flat behind her. She wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the chill breeze and looked up at the handsome visage of the Doctor. His thick, dark hair waved in the breeze, his eyes flickered over her face.

"In the neighbourhood," he said lamely, shrugging. They both knew it was a lie. "Wanted to see Rose, you."

"I thought you didn't contact your companions after you dropped them back, quick as you please," Jackie said snidely. There was something in his eyes—

Seems like it was yesterday when I saw your face
You told me how proud you were, but I walked away
If only I knew what I know today

"You see…I just needed to see her. I just needed to see Rose." He gripped her arms, not noticing the tears that welled up in her eyes, threatening to spill. "I just need to see her, to know she's okay. I don't even have to talk to her. Just tell me where she is, she'll never notice me."


"She's a grown woman, Jackie, you can't keep her from me."

"You don't und—"

"I know what I did was wrong. And I've been fighting with that for a long time, years, in fact…but…some things happened recently, some…visions or…well, they actually happened, but I think I can change them, but I need Rose back. D'you understand? I just need her to come back to me."

"Doctor…I thought you knew." The horror that crossed Jackie's face had his hearts thumping hard in tandem.

"Knew what, Jackie?"

"Ro…Rose died more than six months ago, Doctor."

I would hold you in my arms
I would take the pain away
Thank you for all you've done
Forgive all your mistakes

"No. She put you up to this, right? 'He ever comes back, tell him I'm gone'?" He reached past her, twisting the door knob in his hand and pushed the door open, shoving past her.

"She…she wouldn't do that, Doctor! She got sick and—" He reached Rose's bedroom door and he shoved that door open, too, gripping the doorframe as Jackie trailed off. Rose's bed was bare and the room was in that precarious state of half-packed, as if whoever was packing knew they had to but didn't want to and had to force themselves to do it.

There's nothing I wouldn't do
To hear your voice again
Sometimes I wanna call you
But I know you won't be there

He turned, glowering at Jackie and she took a step back.

"Where's Rose, Jackie?"

"I told you—"

"She's not dead." He shook his head hard. His right heart began to beat harder and somewhere in his mind, he was surprised it didn't just explode. "She's no…" He stumbled back against the wall, praying it would hold him up, because he couldn't anymore. "…not dead, she isn't! Stop playing this game!"

"I'm not playing any game! How do you think I could do that!"

"Jackie…please. Jackie." Horrified, he felt the tears well up, spill over. "No no no…please. She's not dead, she isn't."

"I'm sorry, Doctor." At her words, he gave a little whimper and felt himself slide down until he hit the floor. "I'm so sorry. I thought you knew."

"How? How could I…"

"I didn't know if you'd kept tabs on her or not." Jackie knelt next to him and put a tentative hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, I thought you knew," she repeated.

Oh, I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself by hurting you

He pulled his knees up to his chest, wrapping his arms around them, leaning his forehead against his knees, willing the tears back.

"She can't be dead. She…Rose." His words were muffled, but Jackie could hear the tears and her hand slid down to rub his back.

"How, Jackie? She was so young…"

"I know, love." Jackie wrapped her arm around him, pulling him against her, quelling her own tears when she felt his shuddering breaths. "She…we don't know what happened. I mean, we know but—" He sat back and looked at her and she sighed.

"She was fine…depressed, yeah, for the first month or so…but fine. And then she came down with a cold, but we'd had nasty weather for awhile, so we didn't figure anything of it, you know?" The Doctor nodded and she studied his tear-streaked, drawn face.

"And she wasn't getting over it. The cold, I mean. But we figured it was because you'd left her here—" She didn't miss his wince, but she didn't comment on it. "And she was depressed. They had her on those pills and everything." He looked away, running his hand into his hair and leaving it there, his elbow resting on his knee.

Some days I feel broke inside but I won't admit
Sometimes I just wanna hide 'cause it's you I miss
And it's so hard to say goodbye
When it comes to this

"But then it got worse…bronchitis, pneumonia…so they finally did a chest X-ray and she had a…a mass." Jackie swallowed hard. More than a year on, it was still so difficult to talk about. He looked up at her again but she didn't meet his gaze. "They said surgery would take care of it. They promised surgery would take care of it. So they took her lung and then she barely recovered from that. She started getting sick again and they did more tests and it came back." She covered her face, sobbing. "It came back and…and she was gone by October." She sniffled, wiped her eyes with her sleeve and looked up at him again. His tears had overflowed and he was looking off to the side, biting down hard on his bottom lip.

"I'm sorry, Doctor. But she said your name. The last thing she said was your name."

Would you tell me I was wrong?
Would you help me understand?
Are you looking down upon me?
Are you proud of who I am?

There's nothing I wouldn't do
To have just one more chance
To look into your eyes
And see you looking back

"I shouldn't have left her." He stood with Jackie, hand in hand, at the entrance to the cemetery. "I shouldn't---it was a stupid fight and we…were both being stubborn and I…was too late. I came back too late." He sighed. "It wouldn't be the first time I was late. Hurts more, though."

"Doctor?" But he simply shook his head. Jackie led him through the rain-soaked, winding paths until they came to a small grove of flowering trees.

"What did you see, Doctor?" When he simply turned to her, eyebrows raised, she gestured vaguely. "You said you had…visions…or something."

"Oh." He let out a sigh. "Rose got sucked into the Void. My fault. But I couldn't stop it."

Oh, I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself

Jackie knew it wasn't as simple as all that, but she didn't push him.

"The Void's…nothing. Just…nothing. No up, no down. No light, no dark. Nothing. And I dreamt she got taken there."

Jackie led him to a grave and he swallowed hard. It was so hard to imagine that her tiny little body was in there, her smartass, loving, caring, funny, intelligent, brave demeanour forever silenced.

The thoughts tore through his head…crossing his own timeline, getting her back, apologizing for everything, even if she didn't know what he was gobbing on about.

But would it change the future? That was the problem with Time.

If I had just one more day
I would tell you how much that I've missed you
Since you've been away
Ooh, it's dangerous
It's so out of line
To try and turn back time

He crouched near the headstone, brushing away the blades of grass that had gotten swept up and stuck to it. Feeling the tears well into his eyes again, he read the inscription.

Rose Marion Tyler

1987 – 2006

"Don't mourn for me now

because I'm finally at home

in the Stars"