Note: My first attempt at a Doctor Who and Doctor/Rose fic, so i hope it isn't too bad. Apologies if anything is out of character. Thanks for reading and reviews are greatly appreciated :)
The Doctor and Martha paced along the graveyard. In the recent months she hadn't made any time to visit Adeola's grave. When she called her Mum, she always got a little reminder to get some new flowers on her grave. Because it's impossible for someone who lives ten minutes away to go and do it herself.
She wished she could have said goodbye, last time she saw her, Adi was beaming over her new job, big building in Canary Wharf. Promotion became her deathbed.
Martha shook her head and looked down to the flowers in her hand. The beautifully shiny, emerald flowers, matched the green of the stalk, earning strange looks from other mourners. The Doctor had made a quick stop in the Kahleen system, 'The best and most beautiful flowers, Alan Titchmarsh would be turning in his grave.' As witty as he thought himself, she had to bring him down a peg or two, reminding him in her time, Titchmarsh was still very much alive.
She chuckled to herself and found the Doctor looking down at her.
'Yeah' She looked back, taking a deep breath. 'Yeah, fine.'
She knew this was affecting him too. Not Adeola, he never knew her; but the grieving families, and the gravestones… must be cutting pretty close to home for him. Despite his composure, she could see him swallowing loudly, occasionally brushing his hands through his hair, staring off into the distance. As they approached where Adeola's grave lay, he stopped suddenly, and she had to turn back to him.
'What the matter?'
'I… I don't do Graves.'
One look to his eyes, and she didn't contest his decision. He looked like a child. A lost child. She'd never really seen that look before. Not so strongly; Because the Doctor… he always seemed so strong.
'Okay.' She nodded and made her way toward her cousin.
He looked on guiltily as Martha approached the grave. He did it. He ended her beloved cousin's life. Put the sonic screwdriver to her ear and… ended it. Jackie Tyler's furious reminder that he had killed them still rung in his ears.
When he thought about it; the resemblance was incredible. They could have been twins almost. Wonder if she ever realised…
'Not a grave person huh?' Came a cockney voice behind him; he spun on his heels to face her.
'Me either.' She admitted to him, looking down, slightly ashamed.
'Nothing to be ashamed of.' He said quietly. 'We all have our own ways of coping.'
She chuckled a little, and he frowned. Sounded quite… similar.
'Tell me about it, I nearly walked out of my cousin's funeral.' She took a seat on the dark wood bench, and looked up to him. 'I walked out of my aunts.'
He nodded slightly, and took a seat next to her.
'I didn't go to my friends. Didn't feel right.'
'Look at us.' She smiled. 'We could set up our own therapy group.' She finished, making him smirk.
'Therapy… buy a two pound self-help book and a tub of ice cream and your all set.'
'You sound like a girl.'
'My masculinity is quite offended!'
She laughed and twisted the red rose in her hands.
'It's been so long. Does it get easier?'
'You can only decide that for yourself.'
He watched as a huge smirk plastered across her face.
'You've been treatin' yourself to quite a few of those self-help books haven't you?'
'Guilty pleasure' He replied.
'Mine's sci-fi.' She blurted out, shaking her head. 'So sue me, I believe in time travel and stuff.'
'Good theory. I'd stick by it.'
They both laughed together and sat in companionable silence. After a brief moment, the Doctor's curiosity got the better of him.
'What's your name?'
'Anna.' She held out her free hand. 'Anna Tyler.'
His eyes widened for a moment, a little shocked. He shook it off, deeming it a coincidence. He took her hand and shook it firmly.
'Tyler…' He murmured, apparently loud enough for her to hear.
'I know, I know, don't I sound common?' She joked, but it only made him stare at her more.
'The funerals… so many of 'em, so many Tylers you'd think they had a factory. Jake, Derek, Lottie, Mo…'
'Mo?' He suddenly yelled out, before he could stop himself.
'Mo Tyler?' he questioned, knowing he was quite blatantly stating the obvious.
'Yeah… my cousin.. not the one who died, she…' she stuttered back, he didn't have time for this.
'What was her name?'
'I'm sorry?' She asked, what seemed to be almost disbelievingly.
'What was her name?' He asked more urgently and angrily, she shifted, tucking a curl of her wavy blonde hair behind her ears.
'I don't think I should…'
'ANNA!' He almost screamed, making her jump from her seat. 'Please Anna, your cousin…'
'Rose.' She choked out. 'Her name was Rose.'
He stood shocked. No thoughts running through his head, no feelings. Never in a million, billion years did he think past the little family of Jackie, Rose and Mickey. He never thought anything past that. He didn't want to. He sighed and looked regretfully toward his new friend.
'You're going to hate me.' He told her, and waited for the frown to appear on her face.
'I'm the Doctor.'
He felt it. He felt the sharp, pointed slap across his face.
'Oh and the legend of the Tyler slap still rings true.' He rubbed his face. 'Although the Joneses could give you a run for your money.'
'You were supposed to keep her safe.' He watched as the tears began to fall. 'You promised Aunt Jackie you'd keep her safe, and she died, she died with Mickey and Jackie too. She died Doctor!'
How long are you going to stay with me?'
He wished with all his hearts he could tell her. Tell her none of them were dead, far from it. He desperately wished he could make the tears stop falling from her eyes. God the appearance was uncanny, not the looks; Rose was undeniably Rose in her own right. But, they used the same hair dye, Garnier Blonde something or other. Tone was exactly the same, the beautiful bright blonde that used to get brush past his face as he hugged her tightly, the same soulful brown colour of her eyes, which expressed all those brilliant human emotions. He would spend the rest of his life trying to get back this girl's cousin, if there ever was a chance. But he had to move on. Always moving on.
'You destroyed them.' She whispered brokenly, and that comment pierced right into his heart. A thousand things she could have said, millions and she said that. What hurt the most was the truth in her words. The Gelth, The Rachnoss, The Carrionites….
'I'm sorry.' She looked over at him, and the guilt made him turn away. 'I tried.. but i…' He wiped his hands over his face, trying to regain some composure.
'I lost her.'
He felt a small hand on his shoulder, and she looked over to him, he saw the difference. She didn't know him. Not really. Her eyes spoke no feelings toward him, only sympathy and anger mixed up in her grief. Her expression seemed more vacant, trying to work through this in her head.
'I need to know.'
'How did she…'
He shook his head, and took the supportive hand for his shoulder and began to walk away.
'PLEASE!' He heard her shout, but he carried on walking, he needed to get away, get away from this girl, get away from the memories she was giving back to him.
Concentrating so much, he barely registered as he walked straight into Martha Jones.
'Woah!' She smiled, the smile vanishing as she caught his face. 'What's the matter?'
'Back to the Tardis.'
She shrugged and began to walk back.
'You don't waste any time.' She continued walking along, adjusting her jacket.
'Getting restless…. So! Artlon 8? Brilliant cuisine, absolutely brilliant! Ooh they've got these little shells and when you break inside of them you get a treat! Genius, absolute genius whoever thought of that, although come to think of it… Kinder Eggs. We could report them for stealing ideas, make a fortune, give it to orphans!'
He rattled off, as he watched Martha walk over to another grave. Toward a blonde girl in a flowing blue top. She was going toward Anna.
Martha could hear the Doctor blabbering on about Artan something or other but her attention was somewhere else. She could see a young girl. No more than 20, sobbing at a grave, a single red rose in her hand. She was drawn to this girl. Something about her… she wanted to know what was wrong. Maybe she had just found out about someone? She shouldn't be on her own.
Part of her training, she was taught to deal with families given the news of their loved one's death. Hardest part, but someone's got to do it. Her first case… god that hurt. Her mentor's patient had coded in surgery and never came out. He left her with the hardest job, telling the wife and 5 children the 30 year old father had died.
'Hello.' She said, and the young girl turned to her, questioningly.
'Why won't he tell me?' She sobbed.
'Who?' she asked with compassion.
All she got was silence as the young woman stare on, mouth slightly open, eyes unblinking, in a heartbreaking trance to this grave without a body.
As Martha looked down to the offending grave; and double-taked.
Rose Tyler… couldn't be.
She turned her head and got her answer.
The Doctor was staring back, solemn and tears in the corner of his eyes, tears that he'd never spill in front of her. She swallowed and made a resolve. They both needed closure. And she was going to get it too them.
He approached them both, Anna hadn't turned around, and Martha's glare was impossible to look at.
'I'm sorry Anna. I'm sorry but I can't tell you. I really wish I could, but I can't.'
She nodded and sighed, finally looking back at him.
'I need to know one thing… since Rose always used to tell me you were the 'man with all the answers.'
He smiled, remembering Rose chatting happily down her phone to someone in Barcelona. The 'phone girl' had asked how hot it was there. He told her the temperature of Earth Barcelona to try and cover up. Telling her it was -2 over here and they were up to their eyeballs in scarves wouldn't do any good. She told 'phone girl' that she was quoting the man with all the answers. 'Phone girl' finally had a name. Anna Tyler.
'Anything.' He replied with absolute conviction.
'Is she safe?' She asked, using her sleeve to dry her tears and mascara.
'Will she be safe and happy… wherever she is?'
He paused for a moment, wandering if she understood. But he couldn't risk it. As much as he wanted to do this for Rose… he knew he couldn't.
'Oh yes. She's probably eating her body weight in chips and drying out the tea supply… just for me.'
She laughed and hugged him tightly, surprised, he didn't respond at first, but then wrapped his arms around her and comforted her.
'I'm so sorry I took her away from you.'
She broke away and shook her head.
'Not your fault.'
'Not what you said earlier.'
She smiled and poked his arm.
'Shut up.' She paused and pushed the hair from her face, the wind stubbornly blowing it into her face.
'I know she wouldn't have missed it for the world.'
He looked back at her silently; she'd never know how appropriate her wording was.
'Well it's been good meeting you Anna Tyler.'
'Yeah, yeah.' She sniffed, clearing the last tears, and straightening up.
'See you in another life huh?' She shrugged him off, and began to walk away, halfway toward the exit she shouted back to him.
'I DON'T KNOW IF SHE MANAGED TO TELL YOU… BUT SHE REALLY LOVED YOU!'
She didn't wait for his response, as Rose's almost enigmatic cousin left his life.
'Did she tell you?' Martha asked quietly behind him.
'Oh yes.' He replied, his eyes never leaving the headstone.
'And did you love her?' She asked again, wincing at the thought of his answer.
Rose Marion Tyler
Died Age 20
We thought she'd be here forever