To live in my world
"Why is it suddenly such a big deal?" The Doctor swirled around, adjusting meters on the control panel.
"'Cause I'm changing," Rose said sadly.
"So what?" He raised his eyebrows. "Change is good."
"Not always." Rose tried to catch his eyes but he had turned around, flipping more switches.
"Would you stop that for a minute?" she asked, exasperated.
The Doctor stopped in his tracks still avoiding looking at her.
Defensive, he dug his hands deep in his pockets. "Jackie is behind this, isn't she?"
Rose ceased her eyebrows. "Why you say that?"
"Because before it didn't matter to you." He bored his shoe into the ground, rubbing at an invisible spot.
Rose put her hands on her hips. "So what?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "All I'm saying is you didn't seem to mind before. You shared my life for some time now and it never has bothered you so far."
Rose grabbed a strand of her hair, twisting it hard. "I was too busy keeping up with you."
He perked up and shot her a glance. "But you liked it."
Rose grinned. "I still do."
His body relaxed and he jumped to the console. "Well, then. Where do you want to go?"
She shrugged her shoulders and turned to the bench. "Dunno – You choose."
She plunged into the seat, grabbing it tight as if expecting a rocky start.
The Doctor looked up and studied her. Her disinterested tone signaled to him clearly that this talk was far from over. He shrugged the nagging feeling off and set the dials. She is so darn strong-minded, he thought, stealing a glance at her. Rose held on so tight her knuckles shown white. He sighed. She won't let me get away with it – might as well find a nice setting."
"Come on." The Doctor grabbed Rose's hand.
Reluctantly, she joined him and stepped out of the TARDIS.
"Whoa." She let go of his hand as she danced towards the orange waterfall.
Grinning smugly he followed her.
"This is gorgeous." Rose turned around to him laughing. A gentle breeze played with her hair as it shifted through the blue trees rustling their leaves. The three suns placed the planet in a warm yellow light. Life forms similar to birds on earth were twittering over the rush of the waterfall.
The Doctor took his coat off and spread it over the light-blue grass right under a purple rock. He plumped down watching Rose's excitement, taking it all in. After a while, she joined him leaning her head on his shoulder. "This is so great."
"I know," he said complacently and Rose punched him in the side.
"Oi!" He put an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close as they leant into the rockface. Why was it so hard to start this topic? he thought as Rose relaxed beside him. I have avoided it so many times – maybe I should just leave it. But Rose had changed him and he knew it. I owe it to her.
He cleared his throat and Rose glanced up. "You wanted to talk," he said finally in a very quiet tone.
Rose's head perked up. "That's why you brought me here?"
He nodded. He could feel her stiffening in his arms, bracing herself against what was to come. Suddenly, she wiggled out of his embrace, sat up and hugged her knees.
"You shared my life," he started. "My life is moving constantly."
"But why?" Rose starred at the blue grass.
He crossed his arms. "Stopping is death."
Rose's head shot around. "What?"
His gaze went past her. "Stopping equals time to reflect."
Rose scrutinized him. "And that would be so bad?"
"If you are over 900 years old," he answered quietly.
Rose watched him silently, waiting for him to go on.
He shrugged. "You know I am out to learn. To gain new experiences – to embrace life."
"Nothing wrong with that," Rose grinned, but her eyes looked scared.
"It's an insatiable hunger," he explained. "It's what keeps me going. I have to move."
"You never stay long?" she asked, turning away from him.
He reached out to touch her hair highlighted by the suns into a halo, but let his hand sink down. So innocent, he thought, saddened. Just being here with her – the vortex is teasing me. Showing me how it could be – a promise never to be fulfilled. To live with her – sharing our lives forever. He kneaded his fingers in anger. But it won't happen. Never will. I'll lose her like all the others—
"Doctor?" Rose turned around and looked at him uncertainly.
He looked up and tried to smile. "Never mind."
"You haven't answered my question," she reminded him gently.
"Your question?" he turned his head disoriented. "Yeah, well…"
"You forgot!" Her eyebrows reached her hairline.
"Oh, nononono," he said quickly. "Just slipped my mind temporarily," he admitted with a grin, but Rose didn't smile back. Her eyes brimmed with sadness as she turned away from him. "Never mind, then." She leapt up and walked away briskly to the purple shore.
"Rose, wait." He jumped up, but she marched on as if she hadn't heard him. "Rose, please."
She stopped still, her back turned to him.
"Rose, you knew what traveling with me would be like right from the first trip. And you loved sharing this life with me." His voice shook slightly as he realized this could be it. She would be leaving him. Noooo! His thoughts screamed, clinging with a tiny hope that this argument would just pass.
Rose looked over her shoulder. "But do I really share your life?"
Her eyes were dark with sorrow and he fought the impulse to just pull her into his arms - to protect her from life. "Of course you do, what are you saying?"
She turned away again, gazing over the purple ripples of the waterfall. Dark clouds had rolled in obscuring the suns. "You keep me at a safe distance," she said so softly, he had to lean forward to understand her.
"What makes you think that?"
Suddenly Rose shot around. "Dunno – like you keep me at arm's length – like giving me the feeling I'm never enough."
He stepped closer to her. "Rose, that's not true. It's -"
Her eyes were steel-hard as looked into his. "Complicated, I know. I wither away and die."
His eyes clouded over, but he held her gaze. "Yes, you do."
"I'm just human," she continued. "I can never be your equal. I'll always be a companion to be replaced."
"Rose, please," he closed the distance between them and placed his hand on her arms, but she turned her head away.
"I'll never be for you what you are for me," she whispered tears streaking down her face now.
Gently, he wiped them away. "I told you about the curse of the Time Lords."
"You have to move on – alone." She still avoided looking at him.
"It's not by my choosing," he said quietly.
"So only a Time Lord can be your real partner," she said peeking at him.
He smiled sadly. "Technically, yes. But there are none left."
"So you're taking on substitutes for a quick fix?" Her face was hard. "It's the only thing we humans serve for in regards to a Time Lord's life, isn't it?"
"Rose," he stepped back hurt, but Rose followed him. "That's why you move constantly, don't you?"
He retreated further, raising his hands defensively as she stabbed her finger at his chest.
"That's why you don't stop. You're afraid to face your life. To stop means to contemplate, to realize and to accept the sadness of your life."
"Rose, please stop." He took a hold of her hand.
"But why?" she said bitterly. "I'm just moving forward. Adjusting to your life style." A harsh laugh escaped her. "Mum's right. I'm turning into a constant traveler like you."
"Rose, stop it," he said angrily. "You'll never be me – no matter how long you travel with me."
"I won't?" She laughed harshly.
"No!" he let go of her hand and pushed her away. "You'll never be as-"
"As what?" she interrupted him, nearly screaming.
His eyes grew hard. "You want to fell what's it like for me?"
"How else can I be close to you?" she said a bit softer.
"But you already are," he tried one more time.
"I want to share," she said, holding his gaze.
His eyes turned even darker with sadness as he rummaged through his coat pockets. Rose watched him intrigued until he retrieved a clear crystal ball with colorful drops trapped inside.
Rose gasped. "That's the paperweight you played with on our first trip into the future."
"It's a memory keeper – it records a Time Lord's life," he explained. "We all have one."
Lost in thought, he joggled the crystal ball in his hands. Not looking at her, he let it rest in his palm and held it out to her.
"Touch it," he ordered emotionlessly.
Rose stepped forward and laid her hands over the ball. Together their hands formed a circle around the crystal. A jet of blue light grabbed Rose, locking her inside a bubble as it extended around them. As if she had hit a fast forward bottom, his 900 years flashed past her. She saw his parents, him playing happily on Gallifrey. In a flash his travels with the other companions flew past them. Adventure – death – leaving them behind – always and always repeating itself. She saw Sarah-Jane, felt what she meant to him, him being ordered back to Gallifrey, him having to leave her behind. The look on her face as the TARDIS dematerialized. Him alone in the TARDIS. The TIME WAR – him pushing the bottom. Gallifrey exploding. Bits and pieces flying around him as he stood alone on the ruins of his people - the last one of the Time Lords.
Rose's eyes widened with each new scene. She tried to pull away, but hard-faced the Doctor held the connection. The empty bitter years flashed by burdened by the knowledge of what he did. Everybody around dies – brings pain. Him retreating from living beings – they just bring more pain. Darkness. Emptiness. Coldness.
Rose screamed before she lost consciousness. He caught her and gently lowered her to the ground holding her tight. After what seemed like an eternity to him, she stirred.
"I didn't know – never imagined," Rose stammered still in his arms.
"I know." He stared into the distance over her head.
"I'm so sorry," she whispered into his shoulder.
He gazeed down, his eyes black with sadness. "No! I am sorry!" He pulled her tight rocking her gently. "I am so sorry; you were never supposed to see."
Rose held on rubbing his back in slow circles. "Why?" her voice sounded muffled from under his coat.
"I didn't want you to lose your fresh outlook on life."
Rose pulled back. "You think I'm not strong enough?"
He looked at her through sad eyes. "No, Rose Tyler – you're strong. So strong you gave me back hope."
She stared at him incredulously. "Me?"
He nodded. "You stood up to me."
She grinned. "I did."
He fixed his eyes on her. "You gave me a reason to go on. You taught me the joy of seeing the universe anew again."
"But I'll never be an equal partner for you," she said dejectedly.
He pulled her close again. "You can't and that's what I love about you."