No way back?

By Marisha

January 2009

Rose stamped her foot angrily and marched out. She hadn't changed! Well, no, that wasn't quite true. She had changed, but to the better! Her mum had no right! No right to judge her or the doctor! What did she really know? Not much, but that wasn't her mum's fault. They kept her out of the loop. Even though the doctor never had said anything, she knew he thought it was better so. Rose couldn't agree more with him. Secretly relieved, for she didn't have to face her mum and confess the dangers in their life. Rose knew she couldn't down tone them and if her mum knew, she would worry herself sick or worse wouldn't let her go again.

Yeah, so what – she changed. Rose slammed the drawer shut. The doctor showed her a new life – a better life. She laughed humorlessly. What a different life to her old lame one: Sleep – work – eat chips. She knew she hurt Mickey back then when she said, there was nothing back for her in her old life. But it was true! She couldn't picture a life without the doctor any more. So if the price was to change, to move constantly, then it was fair and she was more than willing to pay it.

Rose leant into the wall and slid down. Had she really changed that much? She hugged her knees. She knew she was starting to echo the doctor's behaviorisms, the fast-talking, the quick thinking, but she had to. It had become part of her survival instinct. But the look in mum's eyes had said so much more and she accused Rose of losing her humanity. Rose rested her head on her knees. She needed her humanity, her compassion to balance out the doctor. If she lost that, she would be useless to him.

"Rose?" The Doctor poked his head into the room. "Your mum…" He stopped at seeing her on the floor. "Rough day?"

Rose nodded and he slid down beside her. The minutes trickled away silently with the doctor tapping softly his foot to a rhythm only known to him. Rose turned her head and peeked at him with a smile forming. "Think 'tis the longest time I've seen you sitting down."

He flashed her a grin. "Told ya I could do it."

Rose tilted her head back and sighed. "Mum?"

"Still in the control room burning holes in the floor," he chuckled. "I left to avoid being incinerated."

Rose laughed with him and leant her head on his shoulder.

"So what did I do this time?" he asked, sneaking an arm around her.

"Wasn't about you. Well, not directly," Rose answered, closing her eyes. The doctor remained silent, still tapping his left foot.

"I changed," she whispered finally and felt his head twist in surprise.

"So?" He asked. "Change is good."

"Not if you lose yourself."

"Oh, " he stiffened and Rose opened her eyes.

"So, you think it too?"

"Well…" He fidgeted, avoiding her eyes.

She pulled back. "When were you going to tell me?"

"What?" He raised his eyebrows surprised. "Isn't it more for you to tell me?" he added softly.

"No, honestly!" Her eyes were flashing now. "Would you have warned me or just returned me?"

His eyes widened in disbelief. "Rose, what are you talking about?"

He eyes rounded with realization. "This is it, isn't it? That's why mum is still on board."

"Rose, I—" he started, but Rose buried her face in her arms.

"You're dumping me."

Se felt his hand tentatively on her shoulder, pulling her back gently.

"Rose, I'm not dumping you with anybody anywhere," he said. "But if you want to leave then just say so." His eyes were so dark as she tried to read him.

"You don't want me to go?" she asked tentatively.

He smiled sadly. "If you want to leave, I won't make you stay."

"I don't want to leave you."

"Well, then," he said with a grin, relieved. "What's this all about then?"

Rose fidgeted. "Well, I thought… when you didn't answer…time has come."

His eyebrows reached his hairline. "What time?"

"Of you returning me to my old life," Rose's voice quivered.

"But why would I want to do that?" Confusion flashed over his face.

"Because I have changed," she held his gaze.

"Again: SO? That's part of life," he grinned. "You don't want me to go into a full-blown life lecture mode, do you? I could do that, you know."

Rose smiled weakly. "No, thanks."

'Oh, you sure?" His grin widened.

"You are not taking me serious," Rose turned her head away.

He sighed. "I still don't know what we're arguing about."

Her head snapped back. "What good do I serve you if I turn into a second YOU!"

"Well, that would be pretty marvelous – we'd live forever – travel forever. That would be awesome, actually." He conked his head slightly on hers.

She flashed him a shy smile. "It would."

"See, problem solved." He was about to jump up when Rose's hand held him back.

"Mum said I'm losing my humanity."

He fell back. "I knew it! But what does she know!" He tapped his left hand angrily on the ground.

"All she sees is us hopping from one hype to the next – out there just for the fun of it. She thinks I am losing my judgment, my compassion." Rose avoided looking at him. "Turning more and more into you."

"And that would be so bad?" he said quietly.

"Of course not. She doesn't know what we really do."

"And she never can, Rose. She would not understand it."

"I know," Rose looked over her shoulder. The doctor had pulled his knees up, intertwining his hands above them. Rose had never seen him so sad. Gently, she laid her hand on his arm. "I'd like her to understand."

He looked up. "Only a few humans do."

"But what if she is right?" Rose bit her lower lip. "I'm your human counterbalance. What good am I to you, If I lose that?"

He pulled her into an embrace. "Rose Tyler, you'll never lose your compassion."

She leant her head on his shoulder.

"And I need you around, not for being useful, which you aren't by the way all the time, you're quite a handful to be honest, running off on your own— "

She rammed her elbow in his side and he laughed before he kissed her hair. "I need you for being YOU. Now come back with me into the control room to fight off your mother."

The end