Hi all! This is my "autumn" entry for the Seasons Change ficathon at time_and_chips on Livejournal. My only beta was the spell checker on Word, so apologies for all mistakes. Not much more to say, only that I hope you like it!
Disclaimer: If I owned Nine, you would never see me again.
Rose gripped the console harder as the Tardis lurched to an abrupt stop. She looked carefully over to see the Doctor's grinning face washed in the green light of the column. She felt her lips curling to match his smile as he announced their destination, the excitement in his voice thrumming through her veins.
"Here we are, March 29th, 1871. Queen Victoria opening Albert Hall and we have front row seats!"
Before the last word left his mouth Rose ran down the ramp and burst through the doors, ignoring the Doctor's warning about her clothes and just avoided running into a tree trunk.
After the shock registered, she took in the rest of their surroundings. Instead of horses and people in Victorian clothes she saw nothing but trees, almost all without their leaves.
"This isn't London." The Doctor's voice came from behind her, his warm breath on her neck caused her to jump and shiver at the same time.
"Where are we?" Rose asked as she walked further into the forest. Dead leaves crunched beneath her feet and the bare branches dripped with the light drizzle of rain that she only then noticed. "Are we on some sort of forest planet? Like where Jabe came from?"
She didn't have to look to see the sudden stiffness in the Doctor's shoulders. It had become an unspoken rule not to talk about the people that lost their lives because the Doctor touched her lives. And she knew that for some reason Jabe had touched him deeply. It really just slipped out.
"No, her planet looks nothing like this." The leather of his jacked creaked as he crossed his arms. "I think we're still on Earth. It's autumn, obviously, but the end of it."
"I like it," Rose said as she grazed a nearby wet trunk with her fingertips. "Everyone talks about how pretty the leaves look when they change, but I much prefer this part. The trees shook off their old leaves and now they're waiting."
"For what?" The Doctor asked softly. Rose turned to look at him and found herself lost in his intense blue gaze despite the small distance between them. He never failed to do that, trap her with a single look and make her never want to escape. Finally, reluctantly, she looked away.
"For snow," she said, her voice a bit shaky. "That layer of white that gives everything that clean, new look. Like a painting."
He seemed to consider that for a moment and opened his mouth to say something but seemed to change his mind before patting his pockets, in search of something.
"What are you looking for?" She asked as she rejoined him by the Tardis. Her breath hung in the air and her skin just then registered the chill in the air.
"We need to find out where we are, starting by locating the nearest civilization," he answered in that 'you should know this' voice as he continued digging through his pockets.
"Oh, so you need a compass."
The Doctor grinned and shook his head. "You are such a human. Why do I need a compass when I have this?" He pulled out this sonic screwdriver with a satisfied grunt and began fiddling with the settings. "Now…we should find..a city in…that," he pointed to his left. "Direction." He held out his hand and she took it with a tiny giggle before they set out into the misty woods.
"You know," he said after a few minutes of nothing but the crash of leaves beneath their feet and the whisper of the mist falling to the ground. "Trees aren't the only things that can change their appearance without changing what they are."
Rose looked at him in confusion. "I don't understand." His hand gripped her tighter and he sighed.
"Ever since we left Van Statten's museum I've wanted to talk to you about this, but Adam poked his nose in everywhere and I never found the right moment." He stopped and faced Rose, never letting go of her hand. "Rose, if I die--"
"Don't say that." She cut him off, always determined to keep them together. He smiled and briefly cupped her cheek with his cool palm before taking her other hand with it and his lips set into a firm line.
"If something happens and I am about to die--"
A gunshot and angry shout cut him off and they turned to see a group of men in fur coats carrying rifles headed toward them.
"Run!" He shouted and they both sprinted away, the conversation forgotten until it was too late.
Please, please review! I really love knowing that you guys add my fics (or even me) to your favorites, but reviews really help me when I sit down to write my next fic. I love hearing what you have to say, good or not so much. So please, review!