(Picks up box marked with story title) Found another random Doctor Who oneshot! (Blows off dust; coughs) Yep, still good! Achoo! Achoo! (Sniff) More dust than I thought. I'll leave y'all to it while I find the tissue boxes. Y'all'll need 'em. Achoo!
Summary: While working on the TARDIS one day, the Doctor comes across a message…from Rose. Oneshot. Set anytime after "The Runaway Bride." No companion. Unabashed 10/Rose
Notes: Background music: Doctor Who Season 2 Soundtrack, tracks "14: Rose's Theme" and "10: Hologram."
Disclaimer: Alas, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'" And I don't even own that one; that's John Greenleaf Whittier's Maud Muller. Why is all the good stuff taken?!
He was working on the TARDIS again. It was all he did nowadays, without any companions on board. Just him and the old girl.
He wiped his brow and kept working, careful not to accidentally fix the Chameleon Circuit. He rather liked the TARDIS as a police box. She had had that form for almost fifty years now, ever since the first time he and Susan had visited Earth and the circuit had gotten stuck.
As he was coming out from underneath the console, he ran across something he hadn't seen before. It seemed to be a switch to turn on a hologram. But it wasn't the one he used for his Emergency Program One, he knew that. Curiosity kicked in and he flipped the switch.
Instantly, a light projected from the console and lengthened into a very familiar person.
"Are you sure this is on?" asked the hologram, addressing the ceiling. A faint beep came through, which the Doctor recognized as the TARDIS making an affirmative noise. "Good."
She was wearing what she had worn the day they had visited London in 2012. This must have been made just after they sent the Isolas off to its brothers and sisters.
She cleared her throat and smoothed down her jacket, a motion which the Doctor recognized as nervousness.
"Well," she said, shaking her head so that her blonde hair moved away from her face. "This is Emergency Program Bad Wolf. Doctor, if you're seeing this, then that means I'm no longer with you. That feeling I had, it's been getting stronger the last few days. I don't want to lose you, but if I do, I want to have said this at some point, even if it's just as a hologram."
She paused, chewing her lip in silent thought.
"Ever since you took my hand in yours, I've known that I would be in danger. Actually, since that dungeon in Cardiff." She chuckled. "And I still chose to go with you. I chose, Doctor. And if I'm dead because of that choice, you are not to blame yourself."
The Doctor gaped at the projection. How–
"–did I know you would blame yourself?" Rose completed. "Cause that's just how you are. Well, this you, at any rate. Took me a while to get used to you all happy and different from the Doctor I met, but I got over it. I realized the man I joined and the man I see are the exact same, like a rare diamond with many surfaces."
She sniffled a little, the hologram's slightly running make-up mimicking the original's reaction.
"Now, you, Doctor, are going to stop blaming yourself. You said yourself that you need people to go with you occasionally. Knowing you, you might have already picked up another companion and that's fine. Just don't forget me like you forgot Sarah Jane."
The Doctor winced. She would throw that bit in. She smiled.
"And I imagine you just winced there, 'cause I'd bet that struck a nerve. Just don't do it again, or else it won't be my mum slapping you this time."
The sound of Jackie's hand making contact with his face seemed to reverberate through time and space and his jaw gave a sympathy pain.
"If it turns out I've been trapped or taken prisoner, never to be seen again, well, remember what you said in London when we were watching the fireworks: Never say never ever. As long as I have a breath left in my body, I'll find my way back to you. And no little rule that says the universes will be torn apart will stand in my way."
There was a warning noise and Rose turned her head in that direction before facing forward again.
"That's you right now, I'll bet."
Sure enough, the Doctor heard his own voice in the background, calling Rose's name.
"Just remember, Doctor."
Here, she looked him straight in the eyes and he felt his hearts skip a beat and his breath catch in his throat as he looked into her brown eyes, smoldering with determination and love.
"Have a fantastic life, Doctor. For me."
She reached over to the controls and the hologram flickered out of existence.
The Doctor felt a weird sense of déjà vu as tears began trickling unchecked down his face.
And this time, he didn't staunch the flow of tears as he cried for what might have been.
(Hands out tissue boxes) Okay, so it's more of a sob fest than anything else. But at least this gets this one off my hard drive. And I just couldn't resist making the title what it is.
So, please read, review, and keep the tissue boxes. They're spelled with an Always Full Charm, courtesy of the Harry Potter universe.