I saw The Runaway Bride (a friend of mine got a tape of it from someone she knew who had been in England at Xmas and taped it) and found a thought growing in my head. So, another reunion fic was what came out of it. Let's face it, I just want them back together.
Don't ask me why it's called Heart to Heart. I just liked it.
Disclaimer: If I could crack the Skasis Paradigm, them I would own DW. But I haven't at the moment, so I don't…
Donna had gone – alone again.
The TARDIS was now in the vortex, its flight path unknown. The Doctor was sitting in the captain's chair, head back, eyes closed and arms crossed over his chest. Another adventure, more saving of the Earth and the apes who inhabit it. Another companion, albeit for a short time. Companion…
The Doctor opened his eyes, hands reaching out for the console and the blue jacket lying on top of it. Soft material met his searching fingertips and he pulled the jacket over to him and looked at it. Rose.
How long had it been? No less than a day. Only a matter of hours since he had seen her face, so pale and lonely on that beach. He couldn't even hold her in his arms one last time. She was a world away, literally. His Rose, his English Rose. He'd never see her again.
It was a weight. He felt depression settling over him as he thought about being separated from her. She had lit up his life, reminded him about the good things in the universe, become companion, then best friend, and then family after the Time War. She was the one who picked him up off the ground, led him away from his guilt and grief. Now she was gone too, and there was no protection from the darkness.
She was everywhere, though. They hadn't known that this would happen. Rose's belongings and clothes were still around; her jacket being a perfect example. The Doctor considered this for a moment, and then stood slowly, the jacket still in his hand. He made his way out of the console room, through the corridors of the TARDIS and to her room. He had been in here only a few times, but it usually looked the same.
It was a general mess, the shelves and surfaces cluttered with one keepsake or another from a distant planet or civilisation. Clothes lay on the floor and her wardrobe was open. Her bed was unmade, and a few discarded clothes lay atop it. The Doctor placed the jacket over the end of her bed, and sat on the bed amid the mess. She was still here, almost, in her possessions. Everything here was hers. The room still felt of her.
He sighed. He hurt so much, but tears wouldn't come. It was almost like it was deeper than that, a never-ending ache. He cast his eyes around the room, landing on Rose's journal. He thought about reading it, but almost immediately berated himself for thinking of it. Just because she was gone didn't mean he could go poking round her room and privacy. He would respect her and leave this room as it was. He did remove one thing, but only one. A photo Rose had of the two of them, taken the Christmas he had regenerated. They were both smiling, not a care in the world, arms around each other's shoulders. Looking at her smiling face, the Doctor felt something give way inside and he began to weep.
He hadn't even got a chance to tell her how her felt. If he had done that, then maybe this would have been easier to deal with. But the words left unspoken hurt almost as much as her leaving. He wished he could have kissed her properly, just the two of them, no possession or life saving. But he never got that chance, and now he never would.
As he looked up he caught sight of himself in a mirror. The great Doctor, the Oncoming Storm, the tenth incarnation of the last Time Lord. He had never been so close to a companion as he had been with Rose. He had died for her, and regenerated even though it scared her half to death. And she had stood by him, cared for him while he slept, promised to stay with him forever.
And all the things he did to her; put her through. Took her to the end of the world and almost got her killed. Took her to Cardiff in the nineteenth century and…almost got her killed. Brought her back a year after they left, then had a missile fired at where they were. Van Statten and the Dalek. Standing by her while she watched her father die. The London Blitz, and Jack. The gamestation, the Anne-Droid, Bad Wolf and the Daleks. Tricking her into going home. Watching her dying slowly before him, burning up with the power of the vortex. Being stupid enough to not explain regeneration properly and scaring her immensely. Then passing out on her, almost making her face the Sycorax alone. The Werewolf. Meeting Sarah-Jane, his being tactless through that. Reinette…jumping through a mirror with hardly a second thought. Five and a half hours she waited. Seeing the parallel world, seeing the parallel Jackie die and the parallel Pete refuse to recognise her. She lost Mickey. She lost her face, after that…lost her identity, lost herself to the Wire. Almost losing her in a black hole, dealing with the Beast. If she had stayed behind…he never would have forgiven himself. Chloe…getting himself trapped and leaving Rose to work it out and rescue him. Torchwood, the War…making her decisions for her. She came back. They were still ripped apart.
How many time had she almost died? She still came with him, never mentioned leaving. She saw the danger, saw the risk, and saw the death. Stayed with him through it all, even when he acted for himself or left her behind. He had been so lucky with her. He had been so lucky…
The Doctor wiped his tears off his face with a hand, standing with the photo still in his grasp. He left everything else in the room exactly as it was, closing the door softly behind him and making his way back to the console room. He put the photo of the two of them – so happy, so carefree…we didn't see this coming, did we Rose? – on the console and sat back in the chair. He sighed, his eyes flicking around the familiar interior of his ship. He eyes fell on the little vial of Huon particles that he had taken from the Torchwood base. He picked it up, playing with it in his hands, twisting and throwing it, watching as it caught the light, the golden sheen of the particles lighting his hands.
Lighting his hands?
He stopped, putting the vial down. No, hands were normal. Those particles should be inert, in that liquid. But they were glowing softly, reacting to the presence of other particles nearby. Oh, of course, the TARDIS. No, wait – there it was again. When he picked the vial up, his hands had a golden sheen across them. Not reflected light from the vial, but a sort of inner light…
Nah, just his eyes playing tricks on him. He had no Huon particles inside him, he wasn't that ancient. He wasn't like the TARDIS, or the Time Vortex, for that matter, didn't have the same – wait…
That wasn't completely true. He had had the Vortex inside him once. The day he regenerated, on the gamestation. He had taken it from Rose, giving his own life to do so. She had looked into the heart of the TARDIS, took the Vortex inside her. He had taken it off her, into him. And now here he was with Huon energy – or, at least its residual mark – inside him. Which could mean…
Yes! No…oh, really? Could he do it? If Donna could get dragged into the TARDIS, the Huon particles allowing her to do so, then there was chance – a slim chance, that maybe the same could be done for Rose. If he had Huon energy – only a little, but some all the same – then she must have some too.
He was on his feet in a second, dashing madly around the console, organising, getting everything ready. Now, it was only a slight chance – there was, after all, no physical way through to the parallel world, or he would have already jumped at the chance and done whatever he could to get there. But particles, particles that were part of the Vortex, no less, now there was a possibility.
It would be luck. Luck that the TARDIS could somehow find a break in the vortex, a way for the Huon energy to connect. He would have to be near a weakness. The Doctor paused in the middle of his manic display. Where, where, where? He could use another supernova to push through a weakness…the rift in Cardiff…somewhere brimming with ancient energies – Stonehenge? Hmmm. Choices, choices.
In the end, and after a few minutes of thought, the Doctor decided he would try with the supernova. He found one, another one, just as beautiful as the one he destroyed for Rose. One more couldn't hurt – she was worth it. As the TARDIS began to draw power from the dying star, the Doctor started to work vehemently at the computer monitor, searching for the briefest weakness he needed. There was one…there…
It didn't need to be a hole as such, just a weakness so that the particles could pass through. He redirected the energy to the point and smiled as it weakened. Now all he needed was for the Huon particles to connect Rose and the TARDIS…she was the only thing in that world that had them so it should be easy. He could only pray she was currently at an emotional extreme, so the particles would activate.
He sat, willing the inert particles to glow, to connect with the TARDIS with Rose, to bring her back to him. If it didn't work, at least he could say he did all he could. If he hadn't tried he would have spent forever wondering if it might have worked. A chance taken was better than forgotten. If it didn't work he would be in no less position than he was in before. The possibility of this working had created a hope inside him – if this failed it would hurt more, sure, but if it meant seeing her again…
He was drawn from his thoughts by a golden glow coming from the vial of Huon particles.
"Oh, yes!" the Doctor cried, leaning forward to the console screen. "Please, please, please! Oh, give me this…"
He looked up; as a figure appeared on the opposite side of the console, skin glowing slightly golden. There was no mistaking who it was. The Doctor was suddenly reminded of the Bad Wolf on the gamestation. Rose had looked more beautiful than ever, but that power and wisdom had come with a price, which he had paid. And he'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
Rose turned, taking in her surrounding with an amazed yet calm eye. Just seeing her, safe, alive, real, before him, the Doctor didn't know what to say. Each hour without her had been painful. But more than that, it was the knowledge he would never see her again that had cut the hurt deep.
She met his gaze, eyes lighting up. But then she shook her head at him, leaning on the railing behind her with a resigned sigh. "Another dream."
The Doctor was smiling so much it hurt, but he was beyond caring. It had worked, he still couldn't believe it. Was it possible that Rose was right, that this was a dream, and he had fallen asleep at the console? No, it couldn't be. It had worked, she was here.
"Rose," he said softly, still smiling at her and willing himself to move, "Rose, it's not a dream. I…brought you back. You've got these…these particles inside you…I made them connect to the TARDIS…I pulled you through a weak point and back here."
She was staring at him, mouth slightly open and eyes teary. "It's really you, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is." The Doctor could feel his own eyes misting. "It's me."
She broke down at that, tears streaming down her face. The Doctor pulled her into a tight embrace as she cried, tears from his own eyes wetting her hair. The tightness of her arms around his neck betrayed how happy she felt, and she was smiling, a true smile, when she pulled herself from his arms and laid her hands on his shoulders.
"I can't believe this. You said we'd never see each other again."
"I know. New information and all that. You know me – I'll take a slim chance if there is one."
She just laughed, throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him again. There was so much in her eyes – love, hope, joy, excitement – as the Doctor led her back over to the Captain's chairs, her hand held tightly in his. He explained about the Huon particles, noticing that she hardly seemed to be listening, just staring at him with smiling eyes.
"Where were you? And what were you doing?"
"One of the things that activate the Huon particles in humans is emotion," the Doctor explained, as Rose grinned embarrassedly and bit her lip. "I was crying, actually."
When the Doctor raised an eyebrow in question, Rose explained. "It was the year anniversary since…since you – I – left. I was at BadWolf Bay…" She didn't need to go on.
"Riiight…Oh, Jackie! God, she's never going to forgive me for snatching you away like that. She'll think you've vanished…I didn't think about that."
Rose giggled next to him. "Nah, don't worry. I stayed at Torchwood for a little while, but lately I've been travelling, just wandering around, you know? Mum knew I was still upset over what happened. I think she expected not to see me again when I left. That certainly how she acted…besides, she knows about you and your habit of doing strange things like pulling people from one universe to the next. I've got a feeling she won't worry."
She was smiling broadly at him again. "What?" he asked, grinning back at her.
"I still can't believe this, that's all."
He laughed, putting his arm around her and pulling her close. "I can. It's only been, oh, a day for me. But a year for you. I'm so sorry."
"Don't be. It's only been a year of dreams and wishes and false hope. Nothing big. When you're separated so suddenly from someone you love…travelling with, it stays with you."
Her slight hesitation had betrayed her, even though her cover-up had almost worked. The Doctor smiled above her, knowing full well she couldn't see him. Here was his chance to say what had been left unsaid. "I love you, Rose."
He said it simply, off-handily, softly above where her head was on his shoulder. He couldn't help but grin as he felt her tense, and she sat up, turning to look at him with a confused expression. He wiped the grin off his face, rearranging his features into an innocent expression. "What did you say, Doctor?"
"Oh, just something that I should've said before." He answered softly. She was looking at him, waiting for him to say something, so instead he kissed her gently, softly, like he always wished he had had the opportunity and courage to do. She was caught completely by surprise, but relaxed almost instantly, bringing her arms up around his neck.
When they broke apart, Rose sighed happily, tucking her legs up underneath her and leaning on the Doctor, ringing her arms around his waist. His arm was around her shoulders, the hand lazily stroking her hair.
"So," said Rose, breaking the silence, "what brought on this genius spark to get me back here?"
So the Doctor told her about Donna, the Empress of the Racnoss and what had happened. He explained about the Huon particles and their presence in the Vortex and the heart of the TARDIS (this time she seemed to listen properly) and by the end of it all, Rose was silent in his arms, listening to his double heartbeat.
"I'll tell you one thing, though," Rose murmured from where she was, "being pulled through dimensions due to some random particles definitely does take it out of you." She shifted slightly, making herself more comfortable, and leaned back into the Doctor, closing her eyes.
The Doctor sat for a while and listened to her breathing as it became slower and slower, before settling in the slow and steady rhythm of sleep. Once he was sure she was asleep properly, he picked her up gently and took her back to her room, laying her on the unmade bed that she had left only a day ago, as far as the TARDIS and him were concerned.
He sat by her for the rest of the night, almost in disbelief that it had worked. His Rose, his English Rose was back, was here, and was his.
So, yeah…another update of Let the Games Begin is coming soon!