The Doctor and Rose Tyler do not belong to me I am afraid.
They walked quietly across the beach, hand in hand, the waves washed back and forth, touching their bare feet and warming them gently. The tranquil blue sea glistened from the beams of the beautiful hot sun above. Rose felt the Doctor squeeze her hand warmly, and turned to see him grinning at her. She beamed back.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" he said, looking out at the crystal clear water.
"It really is," she replied, following his gaze.
"No monsters here," he said with a small smile. "Peaceful… like this place should be."
She grinned and leaned her head momentarily on his shoulder. "Makes a change for you. If there were monsters here you'd be savin' the day right 'bout now though."
He looked at her as she lifted her head to meet his eyes. She was surprised to find his face sombre, serious. "Rose, you know… I can't always be there."
"What do you mean?"
"I can't always be there to save you Rose."
She stared at him with a furred brow, not understanding. "What are you talkin' about?"
But suddenly he was staring out at the sea in shock. She turned, trying to see what he was staring at, but nothing was different. It was then she noticed the lack of anything in her hand, and realised the Doctor removed his hand from hers. She spun her head round to him, "Doctor, wha-?"
But he had gone.
There was nothing with Rose except the suddenly cold air. "Doctor?" she called out.
"Doctor!" Her panic increased as huge clouds, setting dark shadows over the beach, suddenly covered the sun. The waves came more ferocious, swashing hard and menacingly against the beach.
Then she saw him, his head bobbing in the sea, and she was just about to call him, call his name so he would come back, when her throat caught. She coughed and choked, and tried, tried so hard, to breathe in gently and deeply. But nothing happened. Her hands went to her throat in horror.
Her windpipe would not suffice to let her breathe though. Her mouth opened and closed uselessly, desperate for breath. She fell to her knees, feeling herself become dizzy. She blinked and for a moment it all disappeared. The sea and sky became a hazy blur. She needed oxygen. She needed oxygen now!
There was a figure running towards her. The Doctor voice, beautiful as it was petrified, rang out to her. She tried to see, tried to fight the blackness consuming her. Feeling for his touch, she pleaded him. "You have to… save me!" she gasped.
Then it all disappeared.
The Doctor put the sonic screwdriver in his mouth, keeping it between his teeth as he prodded the wires in his hands into the complex system of the Tardis. He was under the grating in the console room, working on the maintenance of the time machine and trying hard not to think. Of course, being a Time Lord – and a brilliant thinker to boot – not thinking was proving mighty difficult.
He didn't want to believe that his dream had been anymore than just that – a dream. But it was worrying him increasingly the more he gave up and thought about things. He had to keep reminding himself that Rose was alive and safe in her room, sleeping. Yet the look on her face before she collapsed, dead, right in front of him, continued to play over and over in his minds eye.
The oddest thing was that, normally, he didn't dream. He was a Timelord; he barely slept never mind dreamt. The dream had to mean something more, but what, he just couldn't decipher.
He suddenly stopped what he was doing and took the sonic from his mouth. Finally deciding to give in to what he needed to do settle his peace of mind, he pulled himself up from in the grating and walked quietly across the control room. He stepped quietly through the corridor, putting the sonic in his pocket as he did so and running his hand along the Tardis walls.
Coming to a halt at one of the doors, he hesitated slightly, keeping his ear to the door to check for any movement inside. When he sensed none, he pushed the door two, peeking through the gap to see into the room. The shadows danced as he opened the door a little wider and a little more light filled the room. In the corner was the bed in which Rose was sleeping.
The Doctor listened to her quiet breathing from the doorway for a minute, watched her chest gently rise and fall and her eyelids twitch as she dreamt. Its okay, said a voice in his head told him, your hearts can go back to pulsing normally again – she's still alive. He sighed; he'd done a similar thing last night when she'd first developed the asthma the day before, just checked up on her, see if she was breathing alright. Of course, he'd never tell her that. Sweet Rassilon, what would she think of him?
He shook his head in annoyance with himself for been so worried nothing, and turned around. He was just about to head back to the control room, when small audible moan came from behind him. He looked back at her, lying in the bed. She was twitching in her sleep, groaning something softly. She was having a nightmare.
He walked quietly over to the side of the bed, noticing the heavy frown on her face as she squirmed in her quilt. The Doctor placed his hand to her forehead, and with his other he entwined his hand in hers. "Its okay," he whispered gently. "Rose, I'm here."
"You have to," he heard her murmur, eyes tight shut, then she became more frantic and called louder, "Save me!"
"Rose, I'm here, I'm here," he said, squeezing her hand tighter, horrified at the familiarity of those words.
Her eyes shot open and she screamed.
He put arms around her quickly, "Shh," he whispered. "It's okay, it was just a dream. I'm right here. I'm here."
"Doctor?" he heard her croak. She pulled back from him and looked at him through watery eyes. Her lips were quivering, and her breathing was heavy and erratic. She swallowed hard and clenched her fists, trying to stop her hands from shaking. She gave a heavy breath a small nod. "Sorry," she whispered hoarsely.
"No, not sorry," he said with a frown. He stroked her hair and watched her face. "Are you okay?"
She nodded, failing to find voice. Her thoughts still seemed to be consumed by the dream; she stared without seeing at the carpet.
"Rose?" He sat on the bed and put his arms around her shoulder. His eyes then fell on the inhaler on her bedside table and he picked it up and showed it to her. "Need this?"
Her breathing was shallow and heavy. "Okay," she said, swallowing before she took it from him. He watched as she inhaled the medicine deeply before handing it back, somehow finding it in her to smile at him slightly. "Thanks," she muttered softly. She shook her head, "Sorry, I was bein' bit stupid. It was just a dream."
"What was it about?" he asked quietly.
She put her head down on the pillow and brought her quilt up to her neck, staring at the ceiling as the Doctor ran his hand soothingly up and down her arm. "Just…" she frowned slightly. "We was on the beach…"
The Doctor felt his muscles tense. "The beach?" he heard himself say.
"Yeah, it was okay at first, we were just talkin', but then you were… you weren't there. You'd gone an' then it went darker… suddenly my chest… it hurt so much," she shook her head, still frowning at the ceiling, seeing it all so clearly in her minds eye. "It was so hard… to breath. I could feel it, it hurt so much, and I was so scared…
"I was tryin' to call your name. And then I saw you, out at sea… I was scared, and I fell down. You was swimmin' back, and when you got to the beach, you ran towards me but… you were far away, you were disappearin'… you were so far away." She looked up at him tearful, "Then I realised… I was the one disappearin'… I was dying," she whispered softly.
Her head shook and she stared at him intensely, "And then I was dead."
The Doctor stared at her, his face a mask of fear and concern, "Rose," he said, leaning in closer. His eyes bore into her and he hesitated before speaking gently, "It was a dream Rose, just a dream. You're… you're going to be fine. I promise you I will always do everything in my power to make sure you are always fine."
She gave a shaky smile, and leaned forward to wrap her hands around him, giving him a ferocious hug, which he returned tightly. "Thanks, an' I'm sorry for botherin' you," she muttered to his ear.
"No bother, Rose," he murmured back.
She frowned suddenly, pulling back from the hug. "What were you doin' in here anyway? I thought you were in the console room," she enquired.
"I was," he replied. "But I was just passing, and I heard you calling in your sleep..." He tugged on his ear, choosing to talk to her shoulder.
The Doctor cupped her cheek in his hand, looking at the dark circles under her eyes. He smiled gently at her. "You still look tired," he told her. "Time to go back to sleep I think."
She nodded, and he took his hand away, standing up. "Um, Doctor?" Rose bit her lip hesitantly, and he stayed where he was.
"Could you…" she hesitated. "Could you stay with me?"
He smiled at her and sat in the chair by her bed. "Of course, Rose."
"Thanks." She smiled back at him and rolled onto her side, closing her eyes, "Night, Doctor."
"Night Rose," he whispered back through the loom.
He watched as her face fell still and calm, eyes still closed, and gently he stroked his hand across her forehead, moving her blond fringe out of her eyes. She smiled at the contact, as it soothed her tenderly. He watched her; as her chest rose and fell in rhythm, and her breathing became slightly heavier as she slept.
This time he didn't even bother to try and not think about it.
She had had the same dream. He knew she had… the same dream, a different perspective. She had dreamt she died in front of him, just like he had. He could no longer kid himself that this wasn't serious, that this didn't mean anything. He was sure it meant something, but he didn't know what. And, if he was honest, he was truly terrified of the answer.
Reviews are welcomed very much so, as usual.