Nightmare

By Kate Carter

He had made it.

It had taken fifteen years, and although half the time had been spent saving the universe, he had found his way through the universes. He had made it. He had gotten back to the parallel universe, back to "Pete's World" and he was going to rescue Rose.

He'd even made it to within five years of when he'd lost her. The TARDIS was in horrible shape and would need at least three months of time to rest and repair. But he'd gotten there, that's what counted.

And he almost cried as he looked up in the sky around him and saw the silver dirigibles flying above London.

But something was wrong.

He ran to the Tyler mansion. It wasn't far, the TARDIS had landed as closely as she could manage in her wounded state. But the stillness as he ran only confirmed it.

There were no birds. There were no cars. There were no people.

Something was very, very wrong.

An eternity later, it seemed, he'd reached the Tyler mansion, and he was horrified as he noticed that the gates were battered in. And his senses seemed to be screaming at him, directing him to where Rose was, as he raced up the stairs and turned the corners and heard the grating metal voice...

And stopped, and fumbled for his sonic screwdriver, and where had it gone, and he'd found it, but it was too late. As he came around the doorway, sonic screwdriver in his hands, he heard "You are not suitable for conversion. You will be deleted." And his eyes met hers for the briefest of seconds, but it seemed like they said everything in that time, the love and the shock and the sorrow and the pain, and then there was the flash of light and she crumpled to the floor.

And he put off everything else to let out the howl of pain that she couldn't utter, as he flew past the Cybermen and gathered her crumpled body to his chest, and he rocked back and forth, holding Rose and crying, sobbing, even worse than when his people had been killed, because Rose had been his hope, she had brought back the light and the joy and the love to his life, and as the Cybermen stood there, uncertain of what to do when their worst enemy was on the floor sobbing in front of them, he suddenly stopped, and giving her the kiss he could never give her in life, had never gotten the chance to give her in life, he laid her carefully on the floor, smoothing her hair tenderly, before he got up, and although the Cybermen could not feel emotions, they came very, very close to feeling fear then, because the reason why he was known as the Oncoming Storm became quite apparent, and the maelstrom raged behind his eyes.

And he killed them, destroyed them. He did something that no Time Lord was ever supposed to do, something that was always taught to be the worst thing anyone could do, something that Rose had shown him he could do. He harnessed the power of the Time Vortex, and he flew through time, and he flew through space, and he crossed the universes, and he killed them all, destroyed them all, and when there were too many he simply destroyed the universe, deeming it a lost cause. And he made them pay, oh, he made them pay, for they did not have the relatively pleasant deaths of being reduced to dust that Rose had given the Daleks, oh no, they suffered, they suffered for what they did to him, what they did to Rose, what they did to the future he should have had...

And then he felt a soft hand caressing his jaw, and kisses peppering his cheek. "Shhh," murmured Rose sleepily against his cheek. "It's only a nightmare."

He turned and wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her shoulder and holding her close. "You're here," he said. The adrenaline in his system began to wear off as the effects of the dream went away.

"I am," Rose said, "and I'm not going anywhere. Now go back to sleep, so you can tease me about how much sleep humans need later."

And she held him, and kissed him, and as he calmed down and fell back to sleep he knew she was right.