Disclaimer : I don't own Doctor Who… perhaps a good thing.
Author's Note: Warning: This fic contains much angst.
It is set after The Runaway Bride sometime. It is nothing but Ten/Rose post Doomsday... stuff. It's just a one shot. Mostly the Doctor's feelings, with a little kinda-fluff in the middle for some measure.
He has no idea how long he has sat there; on the floor of the Tardis; his back against the central column; staring at nothing. Nothing seems to be all he could see ahead of him now. A numb nothing. And that scares him. But how can there be anything? The thought of life without… her – even thinking her name is an impossible thing to do right now – is unbearable. His chest tightens, the wound clawing at him, making it difficult to breath. How ironic that this is what a broken heart should feel like, yet all he feels is a giant, empty space where his vital, blood-pumping organs once were. There is now only a ripping gash where his hearts had once been.
He knows he probably looks exactly how he feels. After all, he doesn't even know how long he's been sat there. And it feels like he might slowly be decaying, which is an odd thing to think, but feels not altogether untrue. Time seems to have lost all meaning, which should really annoy him – him being a Timelord, time should come naturally – but he just can't find it in him to be remotely irate. He remembers dropping off Donna… walking inside the empty Tardis… dropping down against the control panel… and crying? Did he cry? He can't remember; though probably not. He's too numb for that now, so he probably had been then too.
How long had he sat here though? It feels like forever and only a few minutes at the same time. Sitting, and thinking about… her … not that he hadn't tried to distract himself; thought about standing up, maintenance work on the Tardis, or maybe a walk to remind him who he is… but the crushing pain seems to have harboured him to the spot. He hasn't eaten or drank in a while probably, but the thought of food makes him sick. Not that he could eat or drink even if he wants to… his throat feels so constricted, air is having difficulty pushing its way through never mind solid food. It's all he can do not to grasp his chest with both hands, crawl into a ball, and scream out his pain.
He's vaguely aware of the Tardis, through her hums and buzzing, worrying about him. He has since tuned it out though; too afraid to listen, to hear the worry his ship's hum would indicate. He keeps… picturing her… in his eye, his minds eye; except… the picture doesn't make him feel better at all, like he might hope. She's in pain in his minds eye; her hair flailing around her; her eyes wet and wide; her face scrunched up in horror, in hurt; her fingers grasping the lever; ...her scream before she falls. And he's watching, reaching hopelessly, helpless.
Even though the ability to breathe seems to have vacated him, he's sure his sense of smell is heightened. Her scent seems to linger everywhere; where he's sat, he could smell her; vanilla, honey and… roses. He swallows. The pang of hurt afresh burns his chest. But the dull anger that should come with the fact that thinking about a flower could cause such a pain is not there.
He swallows very hard, and again thinks her name.
He aches. And it's a moment later before he realises an audible groan of pain has just escaped his lips.
He closes his eyes, and her face, masked in pain, flashes in his mind. What he wouldn't do to have her here…
"Doctor, what are you doing ?"
His eyes close tighter. And now he's imaging her sweet voice.
"Me? Nothing, absolutely nothing ."
And he's replying. Except no words have escaped his lips. A reply came with his voice but not by him, and some enthusiasm along with the words. Enthusiasm he recognises at once as his own, but probably never have again. The words are familiar, and he wonders if a memory is playing in his head.
"Then what's with the sneaky grin, eh ? You're up to something ."
His eyes open, and he can hear it clearly, as if she and some other him are talking in the middle of the console room. Though it seems to be coming from above his head... although he supposes it could be coming from inside his head. Not that it matters. He recognises it, and wishes it would be quiet. He cannot bare the pain that comes with her voice.
"Honestly Rose, why do you always think I'm up to something?"
"Coz you usually are ."
More than enough to break his wounds afresh.
With enormous effort, he somehow manages to stand up, hands heavy on the console.
And there she is. As a small hologram, playing just above the controls. She's in a smaller console room, in the holographic bubble, and his holographic, ghostly figure is with her. His hands have just finished dancing around the control panel, and his lips were twitched up in a knowing smile. The holographic him is facing her; his face bearing the happy content features, he now knows will never show on his face again.
The Doctor gulps. He knows this. He's already lived this.
She grins back and walks through the short bubble over to him, standing by him and looking at him curiously. "Up to nothing? Really? Promise that, do ya?" She smiles that smile he could never lie to.
"Well ," he grins sheepishly, and points right at the broken Doctor watching them. "Might be a bit of a holographic camera there ."
She looks at him, in rather mock anger , "We're on camera?! " She rolls her eyes. "Why?"
"Why not? "
She giggles. "Might damage your ego. Seeing how flippant you normally are on screen…or hologram, whatever." Her eyes roll again.
"Oh, really?" The hologram shows the Doctor suddenly pull her into a one armed hug, only to tickle her furiously under her arms with his left hand. Her giggle grows louder.
As he stares at the screen a new wave of pain surges at his chest again, pricks his eyes and closes his throat off. He finds a second later he's shaking. He knows it's the Tardis who put this on. Perhaps she's hoping to wake him up from his void thoughts.
He had her in a vice grip, his hand holding her wrist, her body tight against his. Her laugher continues, as he tickles her with her body so close it looks like he could smell her hair, her cheek inches from his own.
And he could smell her, feel her gentle smooth skin; he remembers it clearly. And with it comes that affectionate feeling he gets whenever he looked at Rose… along with the pain. The deep, gnawing pain.
"Switch it off," he whispers out loud to the Tardis. His voice sounds husky and strange. Different from the small ghost Doctor he's watching. Hard and Empty.
It plays on. She's jumped away from his grip now, and is tickling him back feverously. He leans back against the console, his laugh echoing in rhythm with hers. Somehow, as the broken Doctor watching knew, the tickling stops. And they're stood in close proximity, her stomach touching his, her lips against his chin, his arms on her waist. They stare at each other with steady grins for a few minutes. Now seeming oblivious to the recording.
He pulls her in closer, her head nestled on his shoulder, his eyes close, and they are content; more than ever; to be in one another's presence.
He stares at them; him and her ; in their home; where they belong. "Turn it off," he repeats to the Tardis, his voice even harder when the words were louder.
They hug tighter. He kisses her head gently. Smiling as she fills him up with her presence alone.
He can't bear to see what comes next. His teeth grit together, staring at the scene. "Turn it off!" Louder now. Almost a shout.
The screen goes blank, leaving an unnaturally screaming, abrupt silence in its wake. And yet he can still see it so clearly. Her teasing face stares in front of him, and the wave of ripping pain in his chest takes on a new level. His knees give way and he falls to the floor, back to staring unseeingly at the wall opposite. And he can still see it in his mind. As if the hologram is still playing.
He remembers; pulling back from the hug and holding another gaze with her again; stroking a strand of hair from her cheek; half a smile tugging on his lips; mesmerised by her face - each feature smooth piece of imperfect beauty; his face leaned forward, as if gravity were pulling them together; her lips inches from his own…
He recalls that their noses touched before she closed the gap, the soft bump as they slid side by side. Then her lips touched his… the soft intensity of it, and the incredible fireworks inside of him were enough to send him into a place he thought he'd never go again.
That was just before they visited Jackie… the last time they visited Jackie… the last time they did anything…
He blinks several times, jutting himself back into the present. He pulls his arms around his knees, holding together. Because if he doesn't let go, and tries to hold it together, his chest might fit back into place somehow.
He sits there for a long time, keeping away the tears through force.
But in the end he gives in.
Reviews are real sweet. I understand if you thought it was a little sad of course.