LOOKING GLASS SOUL
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SUMMARY: He's the same man but a bit different. He will take the rest of his life, if he has to, to show her that. Post-Journey's End.
"someone just like you has come again..."
-- Yeah Yeah Yeah,"Diamond Sea"
Rose watches as the TARDIS disappears from this world, so unlike before. Yet, it still hurts to watch the blue box fade from this existence, once again without her inside it. Tears roll down her cheeks, smudging the make-up that's caked on her face from tears and sweat of earlier. The wind begins to die down when she feels a hand enclose around hers.
A familiar but different hand wraps itself around hers. She can feel the newness of his skin before the TARDIS console had its chance to callous them. There's one difference between the Doctor and this Doctor. The hand that grips hers tightly feels the way it did after he regenerated, before he slipped into the coma. A warmth spreads from the hand through-out her hand and across her body. She can feel the pulse of his singular heart against her wrist. Another difference, the Doctor's hand had always had a coldness to it while this one, no matter how she tried to shake it off, radiates warmth.
Rose turns to look at the occupant of the hand, and intense brown eyes stare back at her when he catches her gaze. In his eyes she can see the darkness in their depths; she can see the loneliness that her first Doctor's eyes held when she met him that fateful day at Henrick's. His eyes squint in the sunlight of this forsaken beach and already she can see the wrinkles forming around his tired eyes.
The Doctor grips her hand tighter, and with one last look at where the TARDIS had once stood, they turn and walk back towards her mother. A soft but sad smile forms on Jackie's lips, and with her free hand she reaches out towards Rose and the Doctor. The same smile forms on the Doctor's lips when Rose's free hand encloses around her mother's.
"I should be calling your father," Jackie replies, holding up her old and battered mobile from their old universe. No matter how Pete tries to convince her to get another one, she can't seem to let this old thing go.
"How exactly are we getting home?" the Doctor asks, the words foreign and weird on his tongue. Home had always been the TARDIS, but now home would be wherever Rose was.
"Zeppelin," both Rose and Jackie say in unison. Rose looks over at the Doctor, his dark eyes lighting up a bit just around the corners.
"Really?" the Doctor asks, turning to look at Rose fully. The light Rose saw disappears, but the maddening smile that always made her weak at the knees , is beaming back at her.
Rose does not say a word but nods her head at him. She can hear her mum talking to her father over the phone. She can imagine the look on Pete's face while he juggles her little brother and the phone.
"Oh, we have one less passenger," Jackie says sadly into the phone. Her aging eyes sparkle with tears, but she does not let them fall. Her voice seems to pick up a bit when she explains the next part to Pete. "We have another passenger though," she replies into the phone. "You'll see," she replies with a light smile. "Give Tony a kiss for me. I love you," she whispers into the phone then looks over at Rose and the Doctor when she ends the call.
They are looking at her, hands gripped tightly together while they stand not even an inch apart. His shoulder brushes against Rose's occasionally while he stares back at Jackie. Even though Rose does not want to see it, not quite yet when the rejection is still raw, that she shivers at even the smallest touch from this Doctor.
"Your father will be here in awhile," Jackie finally says, tearing her eyes away from them to look down at the wet sand.
The high tide is coming in soon, she knew all too well from the last time she stood on this beach. They would need to get to higher part of the beach, but somewhere Pete could still find them.
"I think we should get to higher ground," Jackie offers, looking up from the wet sand to look at her daughter and the Doctor again.
Rose watches this Doctor look out the ocean beside them. Even though the tide is low, by the time that Pete arrives, the swell of the Bad Wolf Bay would shallow them.
"For once, Jackie, you are right," the Doctor replies. He tugs at Rose's hand and starts to pull her towards a path pass the rocks.
Once they had made it to the rocks, a safe distance from the coming tide, Jackie places her hand upon her daughter's shoulder. Jackie wasn't stupid, she knows how Rose feels. She had lost her husband, the man she loved with all of her heart and shared a child with. Rose and the Doctor never had that kind of relationship, but she knew her daughter loved the other Doctor with all of her heart. She spent twenty years without Pete while Rose spent only a few without the Doctor. The other Doctor gave her the one thing she missed dearly and never thought shed have again, Pete. Now he gave her daughter the same.
"Talk to him," Jackie whispers into Rose's ear before kissing her softly on the cheek. She points to a small bench at top of the hill then begins to walk away.
Rose watches her mother until she sits down at the bench and looks off into the distance. She turns her head to let her gaze fall on the Doctor. His blue jacket is undone and flaps in the wind while he stares at the spot his old home had once been. A lump forms in her throat, and she hasn't even consider how hard its been for him, how hard it will be for him. She has been here three years and though she had been looking for him in that time, she had lived a life. She looks one last time at her mother, as if to gather strength, then walks over to him.
He barely even notices she sits beside him on the rocks. His brown undershirt in his only defences against the bitter cold that seems to be cutting through her blue leather jacket. She wants to reach over and button his jacket, but her hand comes to rest where it had before. She can feel his singular heart beating beneath her cold hand. His chest muscles is tight and muscular against her hand, and the fabric of his brown shirt is warm and soft.
"I'm sorry," he whispers against the wind, but she hears him.
"For what?" Rose asks, moving her hand away from his chest when he looks over at her.
"For me," he answers simply, his intense brown eyes becoming dark with sadness.
Rose looks at him, keeping on her eyes on his lips because she cant dare to look into his eyes that are filled with sadness, rage, darkness and in their depths, love. She moves her hand that was once on his chest to his hand. Her fingers slides between his, and he wraps his fingers with hers. She can feel unconsciously feel him rubbing his thumb against hers and single tear rolls down her cheek.
"Don't be silly", she finally says, following his gaze to where the magnificent ship had once stood. "You didn't do anything," she breathes out softly. "He's the one that left me, left us behind," she whispers against the wind, but she knows he hears hers.
"I committed genocide, Rose," he cries out, the first time hes shown true human emotion since he told her he loved her and she snogged him senseless.
"True," she whispers and she can feel him tense against her. "That was that world," she whispers and leans close to him, her head inches from his shoulder. "You have a new start in this one," she finishes and smiles her first true smile in hours.
"Its not that easy," he replies as he turns and looks at her fully. Tears are rolling down his cheeks and she can't resist bringing her hand up to wipe them away.
"Why cant it be?" she smiles reassuringly while she wipes the tears off his cheeks.
"Because I'll remember," he whispers over the wind.
"Like he said," she pauses, looking back at the sea. What can she do now, when she is forever sealed from him, but the other different but same version of him is sitting next to her. She will do what he asked her to do when he had the TARDIS take her home from Satellite Five and what he asked of here. "That's what Im here for," she finishes.
She sits in silence with him until she can hear the hum of her fathers zeppelin in the distance. She never thought she would call this reality's Pete her father. He was however, just as kind and giving as her own father. He loved her like her own father would have, and he made her mother happy. In the end, that's all that counts. To see her mother smile like she used to. She can hear her mother's voice in the distance while she nears them, but she doesnt take her eyes away from this Doctor. The Doctor who looking out at the sea like a lost boy, but that's what he is. Born in the middle of a war, killing for revenge and longing for a place he wasn't born for.
When her mother joins them, Rose is sitting as close to the Doctor as she can get. Hisouter thigh rests against hers. Jackie notices when she shivers, but says nothing as the zeppelin begins to form in the distance. When Jackie went back to their old world with Mickey, she never thought shed be leaving Mickey there and bring a version of the Doctor back with them. She didn't think, but she had hoped, Rose would have came back with her. There was no reason to look back at it now, it was time to move on - to help them move on the best a mother could. Even though she hated to admit it sometimes, but she loved the Doctor, this Doctor or the Doctor, like a son.
Jackie stood back watching the couple, the hum of the arriving zeppelin going louder with every second. The Doctor stands to his feet, his fingers still wrapped around Roses. He pulls her gently with him and stands like a statue while their ride draws nearer to them. When the zeppelin stop only inches from the ground, Rose can see her father standing the cockpit area with Tony on his hip. His smile fades a little but never disappears when he notices who shes holding hands with.
"Hello," the Doctor replies when he enters the zeppelin behind Jackie and Rose. Pete continues to stare at him while Tony reaches out for his sister to take him.
"Whats he doing here?" Pete finally said, looking over at Rose while she takes Tony into her arms. The young boy clings to her while he eyes the Doctor curiously.
"We will explain later, dad," Rose replies softly. "Let's just get home," she finishes and smiles while walking hand and hand with the Doctor to a seat.
"Right," Pete breathes out while he watches his daughter, son and the Doctor take a seat near Jackie. Tony bounces on Roses legs while she smiles at him. "Home," Pete finishes while the Doctors nervous and unsure laughter fills the zeppelin.