Chapter 6- Memories and Tears
He was staring at the ceiling, no shock or surprise registering on his face at her sudden appearance in the room. His eyes flickered to her suddenly, making her heart flip over at the sight of those beautiful eyes.
'Wait 'til you read book seven,' he said, sighing and turning his attention back to the ceiling, 'Oh, I cried.'
What was he talking about?
'You can only watch for now, Rose,' Bad Wolf whispered in her ear, 'you are but a ghost.'
She watched him for a second, until his eyes flickered back to her and creased in a way reminiscent of her first Doctor; reproaching for a silly human mistake.
''Cause it isn't!' there was a pause, during which his gaze switched back to the ceiling, 'It looks like witchcraft but it isn't. Can't be. Are you gonna stand there all night?'
She breathed deeply. He had found someone new and was happy to share a bed with them.
But then she shook off the thoughts of jealousy, reprimanding herself. This was the Doctor. His ideas of boundaries were very different to hers, as she should know very well, having been in many similar situations like this. He was a Time Lord. Sleeping together, to him, meant exactly that. Sleeping in the same bed, not what the average human from her part of town thought.
She walked over to the bed, suddenly nervous. It felt strange to know that it might not be only her following his suggestion, that it was not her that he was talking to or occasionally looking at. She sat on the edge of the bed, smiling when he made room for her.
But he was still staring at the ceiling, as if refusing to look at his new companion properly. Not saying a word. Just… staring blindly at the white plain of the ceiling.
He seemed… older. But that wasn't quite it. He didn't look any greyer; didn't have more lines than when he had seen him on the beach… could it really only have been yesterday? But it seemed exhaustion and weariness seemed to radiate from him, leaking from every pore. He seemed… jaded.
'There's such a thing as psychic energy, but a human couldn't channel it like that.'
She wondered absent-mindedly what trouble he had managed to find for himself. She laughed softly. Five minutes without her and he was already ankle-deep in danger.
Her smile faltered.
With someone else.
iNo, don't go there,/i she told herself, trying to stop herself following the path of jealousy. This person, whoever they were, was a person in themselves. A man or woman that had dreamed of the stars and found the man to show it to them.
'Not without a generator the size of Taurton, no.'
He flipped over suddenly onto his side, Rose's heart following in kind. He was lying on his side, facing her and looking into her- no, his new companion's- face.
'There's something missing, Martha.'
Female, then. She shook her head, sliding down the bed to look at him properly, imprinting his features onto her mind. When had she ever taken the time to stare at him, without the fear of embarrassing herself?
And when would she ever have the chance again?
'Something really close.'
His head fell to the pillow and he was staring into her eyes.
'Staring me right in the face, and I can't see it.'
He looked into her eyes for a moment more, before pain seemed to flitter threw them and they flickered over her shoulder.
'Rose would know.'
He was thinking of her, even now. And his voice; it held such love, it was so soft and gentle. He looked so young, so suddenly. As if she had somehow rejuvenated him, even just at the thought of her. Then his eyes were showing so much pain. His eyes had always been so revealing in this regeneration, but this… this was taking it to a whole new level. She could suddenly see exactly what he was thinking, like a film reel was playing before her eyes; image after image of iher/i laughing, smiling, holding his hand, looking up at him, looking at the stars, running into his arms.
'A friend of mine, Rose,' his voice anchored her to him, 'right now she'd say exactly the right thing.'
And there was something in his voice. Something like… awe.
He looked back at her and the reel flickered to a stop, and then her smile was replaced by an image of a hurt looking girl, lying on the bed next to him, where Rose was lying.
'Still,' he said abruptly, flipping over and gazing back at the ceiling, 'Can't be helped. You're a novice, never mind. I'll take you back home tomorrow.'
iStill rude, I see,/i Rose thought absently.
A second later the candle on the bedside table flickered out, throwing them into darkness. Leaving the Doctor to stare at the ceiling and Rose to stare at the Doctor.
Just watching. Not quite touching- ican I touch him? /i- but just lying next to him in perfect silence. His eyes didn't move. He didn't blink. She couldn't hear him breathing.
The gentle rise and fall of his chest the only sign that he was alive.
She wished –she so wished- that he could see her, i hold/i her. Just know she was there. Tell her that it would all be okay, that he'd figure something out.
But… she wasn't there. Not really. He looked like he was next to her but… he was still in the other universe.
With someone else.
And she was alone.
She swallowed back the threat of tears. Looked down to his hand, lying palm down on the mattress. His fingers bent slightly, leaving a space underneath. The place where her hand should be.
She moved her hand, hesitant in case the dream should shatter with a touch. She slid her hand into its rightful position. In his.
And she gasped.
He was thinking about her, even now. She could see his memories, merging with the copy of her own. A memory of a moment, long in the past. Before the battle, before the Wire, and the Beast and the Isolus.
They stayed the night in a hotel, on some far flung pleasure planet. She had just lost Mickey. He had said- no, insisted- that they take a break from their usual break-neck life. They left Jackie's, went straight, not only to the right planet, but even the right time zone.
They had been put in the same room, and he had suggested moving the beds together so they could chat in bed. They had laughed, talked of everything an nothing. He had held her as she cried, had said that he was safe. That Mickey was happy. She had fallen asleep in the end.
She never knew that he had watched her. He had sat, silently on his bed, watching her sleep. Stroking her hair away from her face. Pressing the lightest of feather light kisses to her cheek.
To her temple.
To her lips.
The Doctor, in the Elizabethan room, tightened his fingers around her hand, making her gasp as she came tumbling back to the here and now. She saw him swallow, his Adams apple bob. A single tear slid down from his now closed eye, soon lost in the unruly locks of his dark hair. His hand tightened again.
His eyes flickered open. Tears glistened in the half-light.
His brow furrowed.
His fingers squeezed hers.
He looked at his hand, the cogs working in his mind, wondering the reason that his hand refused to close.
His eyes widened.
He looked right at her.
Rose's breath caught.
And woke in her bed in the Tyler mansion.
'No!' she cried out, sitting bolt upright. A moment later, Mickey ran in, as he had long been up and sitting idly in his room next door to hers.
'He was there, Mick,' she said, tears springing to her eyes. She lifted her hand up to her lips, then to her chest.
She gasped for breath.
'He knew I was there.'
Mickey moved forward, but stopped as she threw herself almost violently back down onto the mattress, curling into the foetal position around her hand.
'I can go back to him!' she said, burrowing her head into the pillow, 'I just need to sleep! I can go back! In my dreams! I can be with him!'
'Rose…' Mickey stepped forward, touching her shoulder.
She snarl like a wild animal- i like a wolf/i a strange, melodious voice seemed to echo in his mind- lips pulled back viciously, her teeth bared and her hackles raised. He yelped and pulled away.
Her eyes were completely black; dark orbs shining brightly, a golden aura shining around her. Then she blinked, her eyes went back to normal. The gold vanished. She stared at him for a moment.
Tears swelled in her eyes. 'I miss him, Mick.'
He swallowed fear like none that he'd ever felt, sitting on the bed next to her, letting her hold him.