Posted: 23 October, 2009

Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story that is recognisable from Doctor Who in its many forms. Everything else however (eg. story plot, original characters, etc.) stems from my own imagination and belongs to me. No copyright infringement is intended and I am not profiting financially from this story in any way.

The Truth of It All

As the TARDIS slipped back into the vortex leaving Rose behind, the Doctor's composure finally broke. Bleakly he reached out to take Talia's hand in his own then turned it over, ignoring her smile and the stream of words coming from her lips as he pressed a rapid pattern into the palm. Suddenly, the woman stopped talking and seemed to slump over.

Stepping away from her till he backed into a coral support strut, he then slid down to the floor. His ship's thoughts were sorrowful and rebuking. An unusually vivid reaction from the old girl to someone leaving. But then, Rose had always been more than the usual companion. He ran a comforting hand along the strut behind him, wincing as the ship echoed to him Rose's parting thoughts of 'love/goodbye/missyouboth/lookafterhim'. How she could still care so much after what he'd done, thinking he had no feelings for her, was beyond him.

What she didn't know of course, was that the truth was quite the opposite. He loved her back. Oh did he ever love her back; had for a long time. So much so in fact, that he'd quickly begun to fear what he might do when he lost her. The very thought of the vengeance he would wreak upon those who took her from him gave him nightmares. Having Rose with him gave him such strength. But he'd come to realise that if he lost her, he could easily become a monster in his despair. And so he had always kept her at a distance – best friends and nothing more.

And then had come 'that planet', with the glitter-like drug in the air and that glorious, terrible night in the flower fields (normally his superior biology would lend him some resistance to such things, but that had been one of the cases where he was every bit as susceptible as a human). And in the wake of that night he hadn't known how they would go back to just friends. He found his gaze lingering on her more often and his thoughts straying to places he'd previously managed to avoid. But somehow he managed and things continued on mostly as normal. Until that is, he'd noticed the hope in Rose's eyes, that they would become more in the aftermath of what had happened, and he knew he had to do something.

So, he had started pushing her away. First he would flirt with every beautiful woman he came across, making sure his Rose saw. Then, when he realised that wouldn't be enough to crush her hopes, he knew he had to push her out of his life entirely. It was for the best, after all. And he did it in the most cruelly effective way possible. He played on all her insecurities by bringing aboard a companion who embodied everything Rose didn't think she was but wished she could be.

Talia was physically her opposite, and was intelligent and highly educated, refined and socially important. He made it appear that he was becoming closer and closer to the new woman, at the same time becoming more and more distant from Rose. He played the infatuated suitor and finally, as the terrible coup de grace, he had set up the scene in the control room for her to walk in on, of him and Talia 'together', and him declaring his love.

It was something he'd never said to Rose. Not even on that alien world, with his inhibitions so repressed. When she'd said the words to him then, he wanted nothing more than to say them back. But even drugged some part of him had known it wasn't wise. She couldn't know how unbelievably hard he'd had to struggle to simply remain silent. Nothing had ever been so difficult. Of course, Rose didn't know that. And after hearing him moan those words to Talia, the blonde had come to one possible conclusion. The very one he intended in fact; that he didn't love Rose after all.

He'd known then it was only a matter of time before she asked to be taken home. He hadn't expected it to be so very soon, but again, it was for the best. He'd spied traces of redness in her eyes when she entered the room, and had known she'd been crying despite her cosmetic efforts. Pain had stabbed at him to know he was hurting her but he'd held strong, knowing it had to be done. But that was nothing to the pain he felt when she admitted aloud her feelings for him. He hadn't expected her to be so brave, though he should have.

Though it hurt to see the way her heart broke once again, before his very eyes, he denied her and played as though he was uncomfortable with her admission. Empty platitudes and awkward apologies, even as she begged him to love her back, even a little. Oh his poor hurting Rose. And it was all his fault. And then she left.

Raising a hand to his face he was surprised to find tears on his cheeks. How long had it been since he cried? He raised his knees and pressed his forehead to them. She would never know of course, that it was all a ruse. Never know that Talia was nothing but a machine. Admittedly a very complex and realistic android, but not one with any amount of true sentience. He looked up at said robot with hateful eyes. There was a supernova set to go off on the far edges of the Beryn Galaxy a few minutes from now. Perhaps he would destroy the 'Talia' by throwing her into an exploding sun. Yes, he thought climbing wearily to his feet. That sounded like a fitting end for the despised machine.

And then… and then he would continue on.


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