To the Past from the Future
Chapter One: Guess Who I
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who and gain nothing from the creation of this story
AN: This is another older story that I am cleaning up and expanding a bit. This is no longer canon because… well you'll find out soon enough. My first book is now available on amazon. If you like my stuff please go and take a look at The Iron Realm by J.M. Briggs! Yes I'm going to be shameless about this for a bit.
The TARDIS was strangely still and silent while the Doctor leaned against the console staring at the door. Martha had just left him with a smile on her face, a rather pained one, but a smile and a promise to see him again. He wasn't sure how to react to her parting words. She'd been through so much and he wasn't blind, he'd been around humans far too long not to notice her crush on him.
There was guilt of course, he knew he'd be haunted by that in regards to Martha for a long time. She'd been wonderful and brilliant and he'd destroyed her life. Not on purpose and not at first, but he knew that using Rose's name was a buffer between them had been a touch cruel. He'd know that he was selfish keeping her around to hold the loneliness and silence back. It was for the best that Martha leave now. She'd been through so much and her family could help her heal, they could support her in a way that he just couldn't. He understood why she needed to go.
Shaking his head, the Doctor reminded himself that this was just how it was going to be. The curse of the last of the Time Lords, his punishment for saving the universe from his own corrupt species. Harsh and oh so fitting. He sighed and turned around, hunching over the TARDIS controls and resisting the small desire inside his chest to cry. He hadn't cried since… he wasn't going to think about that right now. Reaching for one of the levers with a plan to head to the Eye of Orion, the Doctor was unprepared for the door to swing open.
Straightening up, he turned to look and froze as his eyes fell on Rose Tyler standing in the doorway of the TARDIS, sunlight pouring in behind her. His mouth went slack as Rose grinned at him, her tongue slipping over her teeth in that familiar way. For a moment he couldn't move, couldn't breath and felt like both of his hearts had simply stopped beating. Then he sucked in a deep breath and noted that she was still there.
Closing his eyes, the Doctor shook his head before opening them again only to find that the Rose shaped figment of his imagination had closed the TARDIS door and was walking up the ramp toward him. He must still be suffering from the mental shock of the Master's death he decided. All those months locked up in that little cage and trying to relieve happier memories must still be having an impact on him. Rose stopped just a few meters away and smiled at him, she seemed very amused by his disbelief and outright shock. Though he thought he could see a hint of nervousness in those big brown eyes, like she was moments away from crying or being overwhelmed.
"Doctor wasn't there something you were trying to say to me?" Rose asked coyly with a growing smile. The Doctor blinked at her and she took a step forward and added, "Wasn't there something you didn't finish saying at Bad Wolf Bay?"
It was too much. As he breathed in the Doctor caught a whiff of Rose's familiar scent, vanilla mixed with a hint of strawberry from her favorite shampoo. Stumbling back, the Doctor rubbed his eyes and tried to regain control of his senses.
"I've got to get some sleep," he said to himself and partially to the figment of his imagination.
He turned away and began setting the controls, noticing in the corner of his eye that Rose was looking at him in shock. Her expression became a little hurt and his heart clenched painfully at the sight, but he expression faded quickly as a look of pained realization took its place. Her eyes softened and her smile returned, though very sad this time. Then she stepped forward, reached out and pinched him on the arm, hard.
"That hurt! What was that for?" the Doctor snapped, jumping away from and rubbing his arm with a slightly pout.
"You seem to think I'm all in your head Doctor," Rose replied crossing her arms and giving him a pointed look. "Figured it was a good way of disproving that."
"Rose is in the other universe, this is just a reaction to the release of all the stress from the year that never was and being alone again," the Doctor almost growled. "Shouldn't have thought about her so much while locked up. That's it, that's all this is. There is no way to cross the void so therefore you are just an illusion in my mind." He rubbed his arm thoughtfully and muttered, "One that inflicts pain apparently."
There was another conflicted expression on Rose's face. It was amused, sad, frustrated, happy and overwhelmed all at once. Her brown eyes were slightly moist with unshed tears even as she kept smiling softly at him. Then she shook her head fondly, sighed and walked over to the captain's chair where she sat down and made herself comfortable. The Doctor watched her movements carefully and they regarded each other from across the console. It was an odd standoff as he tried to understand why his brain was doing this to him.
"Suppose . . . " Rose offered with a soft nervous look and a blush.
"Suppose?" The Doctor pressed when she trailed off, putting his hands in his pockets and leaning back against the console to keep himself from trying to hug her. Knowing that she was just a figment of his imagination helped him control himself, but a part of him still just wanted to sweep her up in a hug.
"Suppose in the future, your future self found a way to cross the void but you already had a Rose Tyler traveling with you that you met up with in your past. You'd then have to send the younger Rose Tyler from the other universe back to the past to meet you when you remember meeting her again," Rose explained carefully. The Doctor didn't say anything causing Rose to tighten her fists and huff, "Oh come on you're a bloody Time Lord surely you can figure this out!"
The Doctor was staring at her again with a cautious look for a long moment. Then he took a step towards her causing Rose's gaze to soften a bit as she chuckled. Stopping in front of her, the Doctor brought his hands out of his pockets and began to reach towards her. He stopped and pulled his hand back with a thick swallow.
"Okay, so let's say that maybe just maybe you're not a hallucination but then how?"
This caused Rose to blush and drop her eyes down to her feet. After a moment, she answered him,
"Multiple Time Lords can open a passage between universes."
The Doctor frowned and stood again, his eyes darkening as he remembered the recent events that resulted in the Master's death.
"I'm the only Time Lord," he reminded her quietly as his eyes became fixed on his coat hanging over the railing.
"You won't always be," Rose said softly still looking at her feet, causing the Doctor to look back at her. "In the future you and your children are able to open a stable doorway to the alternate universe."
"Time Lords can't have children with other species," the Doctor replied firmly, shaking his head and fighting back images that shouldn't be in his head.
Rose still wouldn't look at him, making the Doctor inch a little closer, this hallucination was making a tiny bit of sense. Swallowing Rose played with her long hair nervously. The Doctor's eyes widened and a little stubborn spark of hope began to zing around in his chest.
"Apparently you can if the mother has carried the Time Vortex, a spark of that makes it possible in the future for me-her to give birth to Gallifreians and lengthens her life span a couple hundred years," Rose explained in a rush as her cheeks reddened.
The Doctor was perfectly still as he rolled it over and over in his head. It made sense even if it violated the First Law of Time in crossing his own time line although technically he hadn't, Rose had but not him. She was the only one who had met herself and Rose would be careful, her experience with the Reapers guaranteed that. A grin spread over his face slowly as he focused again on the embarrassed Rose Tyler.
"So you're a gift from the future to the past."
Rose looked up at him sharply, looking a bit irritated at the comparison, but she smiled upon seeing his grin. The Doctor stepped closer to her and after of hesitation reached for her. His hearts raced fearfully that she might vanish and this was some cruel trick of his mind or worse a trick of the Master's as some final revenge. Then his fingers brushed her warm skin and it was suddenly easier to breathe. Rose smiled and brought her own hand up and placed her palm against his cheek. If tears were gathering in his eyes the Doctor didn't care and could Rose's own eyes becoming teary. His free hand moved automatically to grip Rose's free hand tightly. He pulled Rose up so she was only inches from him.
"Now then Doctor, I believe you have a sentence to finish," Rose reminded him with a watery smile.
"Quite right too," the Doctor breathed, beaming at her like a loon. "Rose Tyler I love you."
Then the Doctor did the only thing he felt was proper in the current situation: he snogged Rose Tyler.