I love Eight. I love him. I love him I love him I love him. I LOVE HIM!! -runs around squeeing-
Disclaimer: When TCASM takes over the BBC, she says she'll let me write for Doctor Who. But even if she does manage to get around to doing all that, I won't own anything.
SIAPNIAN: If you haven't yet, go to Youtube and look up the Doctor Who Confidential version of the snog in Journey's End, because it is SO much better than the one we got.
Non-Warning: Betad by the wonderful and talented TCASM, as Sister of Mine hasn't been online for the last few days and Kate's forum isn't exactly the busiest of websites. -minor glare at Sister of Mine and random people-
WARNING (in case you didn't get the first one): MAJOR spoilers for Journey's End.
Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.
He stared intently at the green, glowing column before him, dead eyes focussing on it as he tried desperately not to remember what had happened scarcely two minutes before.
He hadn't been able to say it. He couldn't. It wasn't his place to say, not any more, but he wished...
The other him had said it. The one with the human heart, he had said it, trying his best to voice emotions that could never be pinned down and described with mere words. He'd watched as Rose looked at the other him and it seemed that her very soul was swimming in her eyes.
He'd watched as Rose kissed him and he held her to him. Worse, he'd felt it. Felt the tremors that had wracked his body at the simple release of so much pure adoration. He'd echoed the sensations. He had felt Rose's lips burning against his, felt her arms clutching him as if she'd never let him go again, and he knew in that moment he had to leave.
It was something he could never have, he could never intrude upon, never get close to, ever.
He could still feel it. He still wanted to tell her how he loved her, properly, in a language no-one spoke but him.
He hadn't been able to then because he knew that in that moment he wouldn't be able to leave.
This wasn't how it was supposed to end.
Originally, Rose was supposed to be the first to die; the Doctor would be unchanged, as untouched by Time as he always was, and she was supposed to die running. That was how it should have been.
After she last encountered the Time Lord, he'd left his copy with her, as selfless as ever. He was trying to give her his forever, to let her live the one life he would never have been able to give her otherwise.
They were supposed to die slowly, killed by Time itself, in each others' arms as their hearts stopped.
It wasn't supposed to be like this.
She sobbed as she cradled him in her arms, keeping him partially upright, trying to make him stay. He lolled a little to one side, eyes flickering back and forth beneath half-closed lids as the poison deadened his nerves. His greying hair was in disarray and stained red with his own blood, which leaked from an ugly gash going from his scalp to his abdomen.
Twenty years they'd been together, and she'd never thought it would end quite like this.
Oh, she knew that there was a possibility of him being mortally wounded; when one had worked for Torchwood as long as she had, nothing of that sort was unexpected, but she hadn't... properly absorbed the simple fact that it might be like this.
Time had added creases to his face, the unquestionable sign of age subtly altering his boyish features into more sedate lines. He had less hair now, a fact which still irked him, and much of it had faded from its original deep brown colour to a silver shade, but he was still the Doctor and he wasn't supposed to die. Not forever. Not now.
But he was breathing his last, the victim of a Echnalrindiansycsarrial sting he had taken in her place.
She choked as she tried to breathe herself.
"Did I do it?" he murmured, voice trembling a little as the venom attacked his body. "Did I save you?"
"You didn't have to," she whispered back, her inner anguish making it hard to speak.
"But did I save you?" he asked, voice a little sharper now, frantic. His eyes flew open to stare deep into her own and his hand nearly crushed hers as he gripped it with urgency.
She managed to take a breath despite the paralysing spasms of her diaphragm as she fought to keep from breaking down completely. The creature may as well have managed to attack her; she felt like she was being torn apart from the inside out, her soul shattering with every passing second.
"Yeah," she managed to tell him after a moment, her voice breaking along with her heart.
He relaxed, then gasped as a seizure wracked his slender form. She could feel his heart beating erratically against her palm.
"Don't die," she begged him. "Please."
He made a strangled noise. "Rose," he gasped.
She shook. She could feel his life slipping away and tried to convince herself that it was a nightmare.
A very, very vivid nightmare.
All the tension flooded from his body as the seizure ended and his eyes slid shut, but his single human heart still beat against her fingers, slowing now as the poison took its toll.
"I love you," she blurted just before she lost all control of her emotions, tears pouring from her stinging eyes to strike his pallid cheek, mingling with his blood as it dripped from his wounds.
His eyes flickered open and he almost smiled.
"Rose Tyler," he murmured, inhaling shakily for the second part of what he was trying to say.
Her eyelids closed without any conscious order and she held his broken body close to her own.
Life went on, contrary to popular belief. It was different now for Rose and her son and sometimes she wished that it would stop altogether, but it stubbornly continued at her.
Almost three years after he was taken from her, she heard from him again, whispering her name in her head— and she wasn't about to pass it off as her imagination, not now. Not after all that she knew the Doctor could do, all that she had seen him do.
"Right, um," she said, a little uncertainly. Rassilon, their sixteen-year-old son, waited, tapping absently on the door-frame as she threw some random things in a battered pack.
"How long are we going to stay?" he asked.
She glanced at him. The boy might as well have been a carbon copy of his father; his face was a little less angular, his nose a little different, but the deep brown eyes— tinted with just the slightest hint of copper— were the same. The unruly brown hair was the same. The ruthless arrogance and naïve tactlessness... They were exactly the same.
"Not long." She shouldered the pack with only slight difficulty and turned to face Rassilon.
"That said, don't get into trouble, don't blow anything up if there are people around—"
He pouted as she stepped past him, heading for the door. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him shift his own battered pack on his shoulders as she turned the handle.
"—don't go around saying you're part alien..." She turned her head to look at him. "And don't go around insulting people."
He opened his mouth.
"In English or otherwise," she interrupted with a mild glare.
He looked vaguely affronted. "I can't help it if—"
"Yes, I know the entire human race are all idiots, but don't tell them that, okay? They don't like being reminded of it."
She flinched a little at the mental intrusion. Rassilon gave her a vaguely concerned glance.
"Let's go," she said.
"Bloody Earth technology," she muttered as she slopped through what pretty much equated to what would happen if someone took the English Channel and upended it over the country from which it got its name.
She had been forced to abandon the car, as it didn't really like having the English Channel dumped on it and promptly decided to not work any more no matter in how many languages its unfortunate occupants cursed at it. Or how clever Rassilon was in its general direction.
She could see something that looked vaguely like some sort of civilisation and sped up as the English Channel bored of destroying the long-abandoned car and started to aim for her eyes.
She squinted ahead and found that the dark shape wasn't civilisation, it was a large, metal lump on wheels which appeared to have lost everything that might have been construed as control and was now hurtling towards them with a threatening amount of speed.
Rose barely had the chance to take that in before her maternal instincts took over with a vengeance. She gave a warning cry, spinning around and pushing Rassilon away from the vehicle. He yelped in surprise as he stumbled to safety and landed in the mud.
Rose tensed, preparing to dart away from the danger herself. Her eyes locked with her son's for a single moment.
And then the large, metal lump on wheels slammed into Rose's back. There was a crunch, searing agony, and then...
"Hello? Can you hear me?"
The somewhat irritable Rose was tempted to snap something at the misshapen blob talking to her. She nearly did, in fact, and would have had she not been dying at that moment.
She blinked up at the sky— no, ceiling. She didn't bother breathing; she knew as well as anyone else that her time was up, and it hurt anyway. If she just stayed still, it didn't hurt quite as much.
Why was it taking so long? she thought, irritated. She was dying, she was ready to go ahead and get it over with and she'd been hit very effectively with a large, out-of-control lump of metal, so why wasn't she dead yet?
"Just hold on. We'll..."
The blob's words faded into the background as she tuned them out, focussing on the rush of blood in her ears. No, they wouldn't heal her. She didn't want it. She was ready.
Wasn't she supposed to be doing something...?
Norway. Beach. Right.
"Sorry, Doctor," she murmured, a tickle racing from the corner of her mouth as blood bubbled from between her lips at her speech. "Don't think I'm gonna make it there today."
Where was Rassilon? She couldn't see anything; everything around her was distorted, blurred. She was aware only of the pain masking all her thoughts in a blood-red haze.
For the first time since the original Doctor had faded away with his love unspoken, she wanted to die. She just wanted it to end.
As if triggered by her thoughts, the world started to fade around the edges of her vision.
"It's about bloody time," she muttered before she calmly breathed her last.
Rose woke up, gasping, the air burning her lungs as it came. She tried to jerk upright and banged her head on something cold and metallic. Groaning, she sank back into a prone position and began to try to figure out what the hell was happening now.
She'd died. She'd seen enough people die to know what it looked like, and that was textbook death she went through back there. Oh, right, and now she appeared to be under a flimsy sheet of something-or-other and packed into a metal box, and that seemed to fit with what she'd seen as well.
"I do not believe this is heaven," she said, and froze.
Her voice sounded different. Different and familiar.
She licked her lips nervously. "Hello?" she asked, and it sounded different then too. She tried coughing and the difference stubbornly remained.
Her skin was tingly and oversensitive, like she'd just been through a dermal regenerator. Her brain felt like it was on a merry-go-round while her body was stationary and her heart fluttered oddly in her chest.
Almost as if there were two of it.
She disentangled her arm from the thin sheet covering her, pressed her fingers to her neck.
She rested the palm of her hand against one side of her chest.
Boom, boom. Boom, boom.
She moved it to the other.
Boom, boom. Boom, boom.
"Right," she said, and was unsure of how to finish that sentence. She wasn't sure what to think of it, either; none of it made any sense. She decided to ignore it until her brain decided to stop revolving.
Why was it doing that, anyway?
It's because you're suffocating, said a very familiar voice helpfully. Idiot, she added, not quite as helpfully. Are you really so excited about dying that you'd like to do it again?
"Stop it," she told the other her before squirming a bit, trying to figure out a way to escape the...
She paused for a moment. She was naked, freezing and covered with something that obviously had nothing to do with warmth. Something scratchy loosely encircled the big toe of her right foot and she unconsciously twitched her leg at the irritation. The box was barely big enough for her to move at all, let alone do it in any form of comfort.
She concluded for the second time in as many minutes that she was in a morgue. That made sense. They thought she was dead.
She would just have to prove them wrong, then, she decided, and kicked at the door of her prison.
That's the back.
"I was under the impression you were being quiet," she snapped at the first her.
I was under the impression you were trying to escape.
Rose studiously ignored Rose 1 and tried rolling over. She wasn't quite flexible enough.
Rose 1, said Rose 1. Imaginative.
"What else am I going to call you? It's our name, isn't it? How are we to differentiate ourselves?"
In case you haven't noticed, we don't have to. There are only two of us here, we'll know who we're talking to.
Rose rolled her eyes, muttered something impolite about her former self and reached behind her, feeling something resembling the inside of a safe there. She felt around a bit and managed to trip the mechanism; apparently whoever was in possession of the morgue didn't really expect its human cadavers to be able to escape once they were dead. Either that or someone had been terrified of being buried alive.
The light flooded into the tiny capsule and Rose snapped her eyes shut against it. She squirmed out of her box backwards, nearly falling until she grabbed the door above her, hoping that her sudden and irrational fear wasn't true and said door wasn't about to open and impolitely dump a dead person on her.
Rose 1 snorted derisively at her.
"I thought I asked you to be quiet," she told her.
I was being quiet!
"Not at the moment."
Rose 1 fumed.
Rose glanced down and noticed that she really wasn't all that far from the ground, so she wriggled out of her prison, still holding on to the door above her to ensure that she was the right way up, before dropping easily to the floor. The white sheet they'd covered her with fell on top of her and she clumsily disentangled herself from it, struggling with fingers not quite the same shape.
She wrapped the sheet around herself for modesty's sake, as the thin scrap of scratchy fabric would do nothing to keep out the cold (Apparently they didn't think much about the comfort of those who frequented the morgue) and closed the door behind her.
She shivered in the cold as the sudden availability of oxygen cleared her mind enough for her to think, if only a little.
She had regenerated. It had to be regeneration. She had died, and suddenly she wasn't dead any more, her previous personality was arguing with her, and from what she could see her body definitely wasn't the same shape as it had been that morning.
She glanced downwards appreciatively and Rose 1 made a noise surprisingly similar to a growl.
But the point was that she had regenerated. She was human, surely. Surely human. How could she be anything else? She aged, didn't she? She had only one heart...
Well. Not any more, but all the same, she shouldn't be regenerating. She shouldn't be able to; when humans were dead, they stayed dead, and even if they didn't, they stayed in approximately the same shape. And Rose was human.
Obviously not, said Rose 1 irritably.
"But it cannot—"
Look, snapped her previous self, you've got two hearts. You aren't the same shape as you were before you died, and I'm talking to you in our head. Are you intentionally trying to be stupid or does it come naturally now?
Rose grit her teeth together.
So something's happened to make us a Time Lo... Lady? Is it Time Lord or Time Lady?
"How should I know?" muttered Rose, pulling the sheet closer as the chill continued to eat into her bones.
Rose 1 paused. Right, sorry. Anyway, the only person who's going to figure this out is the Doctor, and in case you haven't got amnesia after all that, he was calling me to Bad Wolf Bay earlier. She paused, and Rose felt a shiver of fear race through her first incarnation. And we've got to find Rassilon and make sure he's all right.
Rassilon. Rose might be very different from her previous self, but he was still her son.
Suddenly feeling an intense need to escape, she glanced around the room. There was no-one there to either help or hinder her—
Yeah, sure. It makes so much sense for them to guard a morgue full of dead humans.
—so, pointedly ignoring her previous self's interruptions, she set off in the approximate direction of the door, her feet padding gently on the cold tiles. A strand of hair fell over her eyes and she was considerably surprised to see that it was blonde.
Rose 1 metaphysically threw her hands up in defeat. Figures, she sulked.
Rose couldn't help her slight smile at her irritation. She plodded across the room, poked her head into a hall. Nothing helpful there. She went in the other direction and found a closet that contained something vaguely like one of those hospital gowns that took ten minutes to put on and never really did much for either warmth or modesty anyway.
She took it, wrapped it around herself, and totally failed to get it right. She growled a little and just left it as it was, pulling she sheet she'd awakened with around both her and the slightly less scratchy fabric.
She leaned over and twisted her leg around to pull the tag off of her toe. When she'd managed to finish that, she found herself face-to-face with a reflective bit of tile.
Both she and her past self gawped at the image for a moment.
No, breathed Rose 1.
Rose was having some difficulty with the change herself.
She knew she'd regenerated, she knew what that meant, she knew she wouldn't have looked the same, but why the hell did she look like the carbon copy of Madame du Pompadour?
Dun dun DUN!!
...All right, so it wasn't all that dramatic or surprising.
Bit of a warning for you: I'm in Ohio right now and will remain here until Friday, so you probably won't be getting a lot of updates from me unless I luck out again and Family Members choose to eat at places with WiFi... although that's not much different from normalcy, is it? -slightly meek look-