Author's Note: Another one that requires a tissue box by your side.
Timeframe: Tenth in the 'Incompatible' series. Right after the beach scene in 'Doomsday'.
Summary: When she was little, she used to run out into the rain. She used to dance around light poles and frolic through puddles. She used to look up at the sky and catch raindrops on her tongue. When she was little, she used to be happy.
Tasting the Raindrops
When she was little, she used to run out into the rain. She used to dance around light poles and frolic through puddles. She used to look up at the sky and catch raindrops on her tongue. She used to giggle and skip home and drip all over her mum's carpet.
When she was little, she used to be happy.
It seems so long ago since that giddy sensation had taken hold of her that she almost can't fathom it as she sits, watching the rain pound on the pavement.
She wants to leave this place. Norway. Bad Wolf Bay. She wants to erase it from existence- or at least her mind. She wants to hate it for what it will always mean to her now.
But she can't. She can't leave. It's the last memory she has of him. The last time she saw his face. The last time she heard his voice. The first time she told him those words.
She can't leave yet. Not until her mind can process that this is it, this is it. Her home. For once impossible is just that: impossible. She's stuck and she doesn't want to believe it.
So she sits, knees drawn up to her chest, as she leans against the porch railing. Pete rented this cottage they're staying at. It's just outside the small town, just a five minute walk to the bay. Everyone is sleeping. The sky's midnight black and not a star is peeking out from under the dark clouds' control. A crack of lightning. A soft rumble of thunder. She doesn't blink. Doesn't move. Just sits there, watching the rain splash into its own puddles.
She wants to live. Wants to feel. Wants to move on. She wants to have that fantastic life she promised him she would have.
But she doesn't know how. She doesn't know where to go from here. He gave her everything she ever needed and now she has nothing.
Slowly, the wind starts to pick up and the rain comes in under the roof. It sprays her bare feet and wets the shins of her jeans, but she doesn't care. She focuses on it. On the sensation of cold and wetness. Focuses on the droplets of water cascading down her toes. She focuses on that feeling of joy from her childhood and marvels at how intense that same feeling had been just a few months ago.
But it's gone now, replaced with mist and rain. And she wants it back.
The first step is the hardest. The second the coldest. And by the third she's too soaked to notice. For a moment, she wonders why she's bothering. She wonders what getting drenched and catching a cold will do to help her.
But the she stops thinking. She lifts her hands and watch the rain fall through her fingers. She licks her lips and then, simply on impulse, she tilts her head back just as she did when she was a child and catches the raindrops on her tongue.
And she laughs. She actually laughs. Almost giggles. It isn't an adventure she wanted, this life, it isn't what she wanted at all. But it's what she has. She has a life, at least. She could be floating timeless in the Void. But she's not.
As she stands there in the rain, her eyes closed and her lips slightly parted, she thinks that maybe Sarah-Jane was right. Maybe he's worth having her heart broken over. He was worth it because now she's older and wiser. She's no longer Rose Tyler, London shop girl. She's Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth, Dame in some time periods, goddess to some planets and a fugitive to others. She's Rose Tyler, the girl who's seen more of the Earth and the Universe than just about anyone else out there.
So maybe she's stuck with this adventure that she hates and never wanted, but she never knew the Doctor to give up on anything Time and Space threw his way.
That's what the Doctor taught her. And that's what Rose Tyler remembered while tasting the raindrops.
Next up is 'More Than A Memory'.