Author: Winter Ashby (rosweldrmr)
Disclaimer: Doctor Who © R. T. Davies & BBC
Summary: She refuses to think of him as the other doctor, when clearly – there can only be one. (The Human!Doctor & Rose)
Timeline: Post 'Journey's End'.
Authors Notes: The discussion had to come up eventually, about what happened to Doctor Donna, and Rose knows, all too well, what Timelord knowledge can do to a human. Just as a side note, I didn't like the end of JE, but I just don't like the idea that even after traveling across universe's to find him, Rose is still unhappy. This is my attempt to rectify the situation.
"Do you 'fink he's 'appy?" Rose inquires of her precious blue doctor.
(She refuses to think of him as the other doctor, when clearly – there can only be one. And since Rose Tyler now exists in this universe, and finally, finally, so does The Doctor then it must follow suit that he is The Doctor, and not just a doctor. And she loves him as such. Even when he says something like, "Oi! Watch it!" with a bit more spunk that she could recall being able to imagine of him previously. And she chalks this up to his time apart from her. After all, she now says things like, "Let's take the zep today." So they are, in fundamentally inconsequential ways, different – as is the nature of time to change, as she, more than most, is aware. But she is she and he is he and no amount of blue or hearts can change this.)
"Who?" he asks as he fretters over a semi-conductor, wires and bits of ecto-plastiques strewn over end tables and across the floor of what passes for a kitchen in their flat. (He refused to live in Pete's house, said it would be inappropriate. She suspects this is because of the copious amounts of rather noisy sex they have.)
"You." She says as she tips back from the arm of the couch and flops, back first, into the cushions. She can't bring herself to look at him when she asks, because she just knows he'll look defeated and betrayed and deflated. And she hates knowing this, because it means knowing that she is capable of hurting him, cutting so deeply he won't even pretend to try and hide it, like he usually does when he speaks in hushed tones about Gallifrey and the TARDIS, with just one word.
But he surprises her this time, when he looks up at her from the floor. A certain, familiar glint in his eyes and she still manages to blush. "Probably not." He says, wires and bits forgotten, and smiles predatorily and crawls on hands and knees to her side.
She expects him to say something devilish and charming, as she has come to always expect of him these days. Something like, "Because he doesn't have a good shag like I do." But instead his face grows stern for a moment before he snakes a hand up her thigh.
"Why?" she asks, naked in her concern for a man she refuses to believe exists, because the basic principle of it is so shattering, admitting to it would mean tearing her world apart – again. "Doctor Donna would be such a fun companion." She chokes through it, the pain that unexpectedly stabs at her at the near-admission of this paradox – that her Doctor could have another companion, despite the fact that he has her and no TARDIS.
"Rose." He whispers her name, like a spell, and runs his finger along her brow. It's an intimate touch, one that she's finally gotten used to. Something so small, but the implications of, the memories of his lips trailing the same path, makes her shiver. "You know very well that Donna couldn't stay the way she was."
There is a fire behind her eyes at his words. The memory of a beautiful, burning light. A memory she shouldn't have, and connection to a living vessel that, for so long, was her home. This is a connection Rose will never fully understand. A draw, an appeal, a power – lingering still, from her time as a vessel of her own. All flesh and bone, heart and hope, hate and fear. Bad Wolf was borne from this, and dust was made from a mighty empire. A doctor lost, and a doctor gained. A bit of ancient Time Lord technology that allowed her mind to expand, if only a little, to be bigger on the inside.
She looks away from him, in the confined space between their lips, at her shame. This is a thing she, he doesn't speak of. Jack, genocide, the Face of Boe, and banishment. These are things they do not dwell on. Because the repercussions of this will make for a dark day for this doomed couple, lost across voids and straining against the ever-changing fates that conspire to separate them.
"What happened?" she asks, like it was in fact, he who looked this woman in her eyes and informed her she would die.
"Probably wiped her mind. You'd have to erase all memories of me, of time, of anything extraordinary."
Rose gasps at this, because such a fate, she deems, would be worse than death. "To lose everything, you, all that? How could you?"
"She would've died otherwise." He doesn't bother correcting her misuse of the pronoun 'you'. After all, it wasn't this him who made the decision, who touched his fingers to her temples and stole what little purpose her life had.
"Death is better than going back." There is no jest in these words. "She was so important, the most important woman in the universe – and she'll never know it." There is a tear, caught in the corner of her eye, for the woman who gave so much for so many.
"But you remember, and so do I. There are plenty of others too. The entire Ood planet will sing of the Doctor Donna for all time." And he holds her hand when he confesses this. Because he knows she needs it.
"Did you always know?"
"Know?" he quirks an eyebrow and grazes his lips over her cheek.
"All of this. You and me, this place. Another universe, another time, another life. Did you always know how it would end up?" she cries, quietly and he tilts her chin so he can press his cheek to hers, and whisper in her ear.
"I knew from the moment we meet that I would love you until the end of time."
And that's the only truth that really matters, that ever really mattered. It doesn't seem so important that there is still a ghost of another man traveling on to other things, falling in love with other people, because she has the only Doctor that ever mattered. This bit of him, a part (one heart) that loved her from the beginning. This is hers. He is hers. And she thanks him with words and lips and hands tangled in his hair as she pulls him up to join her in the fading afternoon sunlight for another round of noisy sex.
Because she knows, she got the best bit of him.
And part of her, the part that still remembers the vortex swirling in her mind, knows what it's like to see eternity spread out like a tapestry of what if's and could have's and might do's. She couldn't see it then, this fate. Maybe pieces of it, maybe the parts with his hands on her hips, fingers digging into flesh and muscle. Maybe she saw that, all those years ago – or the possibility of it. Along with a million million other possibilities that flew in and out of existence in the time it takes to blink.
So she forgives him for not telling her about the hips thing sooner. But she does wonder, in all his what if's and might do's was there ever a world where they had this (kissing, tongues on necks, sliding and rhythm like the pounding of drums that drives him to tears sometimes) years ago?