Disclaimer: Doctor Who is not mine.
Rose stumbled along the busy London pathway, not paying any attention to the people travelling to work, giving her strange looks and bustling past her. Going against the crowd, she walked on. She closed her eyes and rubbed her face with her hands. Busy Londoners grumbled and jostled her about as she wandered obliviously through the crowd.
She continued onwards, trying to distract herself from her heartache. She overheard the conversations of others; families, couples, friends. Walking by the park, she watched mothers holding hands of tottering infants, fathers proudly running alongside beaming children on bicycles, lovers cuddling close together on benches and it brought tears to her eyes. In her mind, she saw families ripped in two, couples split with no warning, and children crying for their parents.
"You don't know what you have till it's gone." She wanted to go and warn them, but she couldn't bring herself to destroy their happiness as hers had been.
Shaking those unhappy thoughts from her mind, she began to run, slowly and steadily at first but then she became faster and faster till her feet were pounding the pavement, sending her further and further from the people behind her. The beat of her feet on the concrete became the heartbeat of the world beneath her. She felt the rhythm travelling through her feet and round her body. She ran and ran, closing her eyes to the outside world. Soon the tears began to dry on her face but were replaced by fresh tears when she passed a lone jogger. Her lonely heartbeat of feet pounding pavement was joined by another and the world took up its double heartbeat for just a short time. She began to weep uncontrollably, not bothering to hold back her breathless sobs and images of the Doctor flickered before her eyes.
Crying out, she flung herself onwards. The last thing she heard was a horn blaring, tyres screeching and the last thing she felt was the heat of the warm tarmac beneath her fingertips before she blacked out and knew no more.
"You can see her now, Mrs Tyler." A trainee doctor told Jackie who was sitting on one of those plastic chairs you get in hospitals. She was surrounded by Mickey, Pete and a selection of hospital magazines and newspapers that she had been trying to distract herself with.
She leapt up and followed the doctor into the room which held her unconscious daughter.
"We had to do an MRI scan to see if she had brain damage after her…" he paused, "ordeal. We are still waiting for the results and we don't know the extent of her injuries but…" he trailed off. "Oh, We had to remove her jewellery before the process because, well…" he looked slightly sheepish, unsure of what to say. "It's a big magnet." He passed her a small box of Rose's belongings. Jackie sat with her daughter with Pete and Mickey standing by her shoulders.
"Hang on." Jackie exclaimed as she fished through Rose's things and the other two looked up. Jackie was holding up a piece of string and in the middle of it sat the TARDIS key. Mickey looked at her.
"Yeah. That's the TARDIS key. She always has that with her. 'Just in case.' She always says."
No not that." Jackie shook the piece of string gently and it clanked. Pete and Mickey leaned in closer. On the piece of string, next to the key, was a single, smallish, white gold ring. It had writing on the inside and Jackie read it aloud. "Till death do us part…"
"A wedding ring?" Mickey breathed before looking at the unconscious form of his closest friend in a new light. "She was married?" he looked back at the ring, hanging comfortably next to the TARDIS key. "To the Doctor?"
"I don't know Mickey. If only we could ask her." Everyone looked at Rose and wished that they could.
"Doctor." Rose called, but it sounded as if she was speaking through water not air. Colours swirled around her in a vivid spiral as she floated weightlessly through the tunnel of rainbow lights. Faster and faster she felt herself almost falling through the tunnel. "Doctor?" she called again, searching through this dream-like existence. She could hear a heart beating but she couldn't tell if it was her own echoing in her ears or something completely different. Soon she began to hear voices washing over her in her dream state and the words swam round her.
"Her name was Rose… not that you're replacing her… the north wind blows and carries down the distant… Rose… Oh big mistake… that name keeps me fighting… You are not alone… I'm scared… I'm so scared… Because he's lonely… People don't understand time. It's not what you think it is… I saw the list of the dead. It... It said Rose Tyler… Everything she did was so human… Days of old, Doctor, you had companions who could absorb the time vortex... You're flying!"
Rose fell out of the tunnel and tumbled into a peaceful scene of tranquillity. She rolled over a couple of times as she landed in the soft, deep blanket of grass that covered the ground. She could hear a stream trickling in the background and as she sat up and looked around, there was something very surreal about the scene that lay around her. The trees where silver and two suns lit the sky. It felt and looked like every place that Rose had ever been, all rolled into one beautiful image.
"Doctor." She called again. "Doctor?" She stood up on tiptoes and tried to pluck one of the silver leaves off the tree that stood over her. She cried out as light flooded her mind and a vision played in front of her eyes.
"She saw the autons standing in a basement. They were starting to crowd round a blonde girl and suddenly a man appeared and grabbed her hand. "Run." She heard him say. The vision ended as quickly as it had started. She recognised herself and the Doctor but didn't feel as if she was watching through her own eyes.
She reached for another leaf and felt it happening again. She saw herself. She saw herself surrounded by a bright light and beyond that, Daleks. She saw herself speaking then spreading her arms and Rose watched as the words 'Bad Wolf' flew off the wall above her and disappeared in different directions. She watched Daleks disintegrating at her hand. Lastly, she saw the Doctor step forward and kiss her, taking the light from her, then it ended again.
Rose stepped back and looked at the tree, which stood in almost a circle shape of other trees. Beneath the tree before her there was a small pile of dead leaves and when Rose picked one up, there was a flash of an explosion in her mind and a wave of sorrow. She dropped the leaf and stepped away from the tree.
Shaken, she stepped further away and looked round the circle of trees. When she counted, there were ten of them but there was a gap where it looked like three more trees would be but where they were lay just a small mound of soil. She moved to the next tree in the chain, one just before the gap, and placed her hands on the bark of the trunk. An image of the Doctor's grinning tenth incarnation swam into her mind, he looked her in the eye. "Allons-y!" she felt, rather than heard, him say. Moving onto the next tree, across the gap, she did the same. With her hands on the old trunk she saw an old man who, although they had never met, she knew to be the Doctor. The old man tilted his head, "Mm? What's that, my boy?" a voice echoed in her head.
Moving from tree to tree, she found that it was the same for each. A different face, a different phrase but all still the Doctor's. From the ones she knew well, to those she didn't. From, "Fantastic!" to "Would you like a jelly baby?" and even a slightly random but typical Doctor phrase of, "I should like a hat like that."
Once she had done this to each of the trees, she stepped once more up to the tenth tree and looked at it. As she watched, new leaves would unfurl but she noticed they weren't as bright as some of those that already graced the tree's slender branches and some crumpled and died as soon as they were grown. Rose touched one of the bright leaves and she saw herself and the Doctor walking hand in hand, down a crowded London street. Touching one of the dead leaves at the base of the tree, she saw them both standing alone, the day they saw each other for the last time; her on the beach, him in the TARDIS. That was when Rose realised what they were: Memories.