I think it's Oneshot Day...
Disclaimer: I own neither Doctor Who nor The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I haven't snogged David Tennant either. But a girl can dream, can't she?
The planet is just as he left it.
It's impossible to tell that a year has passed since he last walked here, and he almost wonders if he's messed up the calculations and will soon have to explain his presence to himself, but that couldn't be possible.
There are two pairs of footprints in the light coating of snow, completely undisturbed. There is a scar in the ice where Rose chipped off a piece of a frozen wave; there are the shuffling marks in the snow from when she snuck up behind him and dropped the ice-chips down his back before grinning at him and running off. There are more scars in the crystalline surface from the war this act had initiated; frantic scuffling patterns from Rose's retreat, calmed at the point of their truce.
He swallows, half-lost in the memories so that he can almost see his leather-clad self and his golden-haired angel, laughing.
He had taken her hand and explained why the sea was frozen; she had admired the waves, wide-eyed, drinking in his words. He had wanted to kiss her but had stopped himself.
He wishes he hadn't, now.
The scent of her is still here, faint, but here, protected from wind by the frozen waves towering around him. He closes his eyes and can pretend, for a precious moment, that she is still alive and with him and about to stick ice down his shirt again.
And then he opens them again and the illusion fades, leaving only fresh pain in its wake.
He shakes his head sharply to clear it, and takes a sharp metal object out of his pocket, walking to the nearest wave to chip at the ice, a design imprinted on his soul, far away and yet so familiar, like a lost dream.
"I met a man, once, well, I've met a lot of them at a lot of times but I can honestly say that this was the only one named Slartibartfast, which conveniently separates him from all the other people I've met. You'd like him," he continues wistfully as he carries on carving. "He made Norway, you know."
He can imagine her half-believing scoff.
"He did! The man loved fjords. And glaciers. Taught me some stuff about ice, and, of course, I thought of you— not because you're cold and damp, although you were the one time Jack pushed you into that one lake..." He pauses. "Where was I?"
He imagines her smirk.
"Right, Slartibartfast. He made Norway, and yes, I thanked him for that. Pretty important place to me, you know, what with Bad Wolf Bay and all. Infinitely better than having the rift open up in the middle of an ocean. But..."
He keeps talking and carving until his fingers go numb and the cold sun sets.
The unfeeling light of the stars illuminate him as he smoothes the harsh lines of the ice with his sonic screwdriver until he can do no more to complete the likeness now encased forever in the ice.
Rose's face now stares at him, a knowing smile on her lips and in her eyes, her glacial hair falling around her frozen features.
"Doesn't due you justice, of course— especially since Michelangelo isn't here to help this time, I never was much of a sculptor— but... you should have something to mark the fact that you even existed— just you, not you pretending to be Fortuna— and you really loved this planet, so..."
He scratches in Gallifreyan on the ice next to her likeness.
Defender of the Earth.
He pauses, then writes again, another circle, more little curves and lines.
I won't let you be forgotten, my love.
He signs his real name, little curves and lines enclosed within a circle; a combination he hasn't seen or heard for centuries. And then he turns and walks away.
At midnight, he walks among the frozen waves, remembering all he has lost, and he can't help but feel a kinship with this planet, with its sun still alive but so far away, so weak.
The world is cold, but even its chill is warm compared to the frozen objects which are his hearts.
He gets into the TARDIS and leaves.
Three years later and two weeks earlier, the ship materialises.
"...So I was thinking that it could be the Zygons again, but I dunno," comes a voice, immediately followed by the tall, brown-haired man who had appeared three years earlier and two weeks later.
"Ooh, the Doctor is admitting ignorance, the universe is coming to an end," the blonde just behind him drawls mockingly.
He glares momentarily at her and she just grins innocently at him.
After a pause, she takes his hand and his eyes soften. "Thanks for bringing me back here," she murmurs.
"Your wish is my command," he replies softly, smiling at her like her presence is the most brilliant thing in the universe.
She blinks wordlessly at him, enthralled by his proximity, and he appears similarly affected by her but looks away quickly.
"And I haven't seen this planet in this body yet, so..."
"You sure?" interrupts Rose, indicating a solitary pair of footprints precisely matching the Doctor's.
He looks quizzically at them before following them behind a frozen wave. She ducks a treacherous half-wave dangling menacingly above her and comes to stand at his side.
And they both gape at what they see.
"That's... that's me," says Rose, awed. It is exactly like her in every detail— except, she thinks privately, her likeness radiates a sense of eternity which Rose lacks. And she thinks that the carving is more beautiful.
The Doctor made her look like a goddess. Again.
"Do you make a habit of this, carving statues and stuff of me when I'm not there?" she asks.
"Apparently..." he says. "Look."
She crouches obediently beside him as he indicates the writing etched into the ice.
"What's it say?"
He points to one of the three hieroglyphs. "Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth," he recites.
"What about that one?" she inquires, pointing to another.
"And that one?"
He inwardly flinches and promptly lies. "The date. This was made three years ago, planet-wise. And two weeks in my future." He cannot say "our", not after reading the disturbing message clearly implied in the painfully neat script.
"So we come back in two weeks, then," says Rose cheerfully. If she notices the haunted, fearful look which flickers across his eyes, she doesn't say anything.
"S'pose," he replies, unusually quiet and still. Without warning he gets up, stupid grin firmly in place. "Off we go, then," he almost chirps. "Allons-y," he adds, because it sounds good. He should say it more often, he concludes.
And then, with a wicked grin, he scoops ice chips from the ground below the likeness and stuffs them down Rose's pale blue hoodie as soon as her back is turned.
"Oi!" she yelps before whirling around to face him.
"You are so dead," she says, eyes burning with a wickedly mischievous light before she lunges at him. He falls backwards inelegantly before scrambling to his feet.
They chase each other around the waves until they are both flushed and Rose is out of breath and the message hidden in the ice is forgotten.
Rose is inexplicably reminded of the fact that the TARDIS washer is broken and suggests that they go to her mum's to do the laundry.
And the implied prophecy, etched forever in the ice, becomes all too real.
Wrote this a while ago and just stumbled across it today and figured why not?
R&R... Well, you've already read it, obviously, since you're here, so just R it. The second R, not the first one. The R that involves feedback. -pointed glare-