A/N: Whew, no more university work, which means I can work on this uninterrupted. Hope I have not lost anyone from the lack of updates. Thank you for the reviews for the last chapter, and the amazing amount of story alerts. Just a quick note, this chapter is a little shorter than the others, but the next part is already written, so... here's hoping.
Disclaimer: I own a laptop... does that count?
Over one hundred years of living and he had nothing to show for it except an array of battle scars. It was sad and pathetic; it was fact... and it was killing him inside. He was burdened by the simplistic realisation that no matter how much he craved the silence that came with death, he was cursed to survive.
Alone... forever alone.
He would be known throughout the Universe as the immortal man condemned to a life he no longer wanted. Of course, the whispers would say he was selfish; it would be seen to be a gift, and that made him sick to the core.
This was no gift... it was a one way ticket to hell.
Gulping back his whiskey, Jack slammed the glass down on the wooden surface, giving a barely noticeable nod to the barman. Request met, he swirled the glass around, loosing himself in the motion of the swashing liquid and gave a small sigh.
How had he come to this? The mighty had well and truly fallen, and all he knew for certain was that he was a coward. After everything that had happened recently and all the people who had trusted him with their faith... their lives... he had failed them all, and in doing so had lost his connection to mortality.
He had witnessed too much death; seen too many people he cared for lose their lives, and it had finally broken him. He was physically and emotionally spent. For months now, he had been travelling, but for some reason the pain followed him everywhere he went. He had no one to turn to; even the Doctor was not safe with him around.
It had taken some time but eventually he had realised that no matter what he did, death and destruction seemed to surround him. And this, all of this... the loss, heartache, and guilt... it all boiled down to one conclusion.
Rose Tyler should have let him die.
Darkness surrounded her; the chill it brought encasing her and causing a shiver to run along the back of her spine. Desperately trying to recall anything that would help her find the light, she kept meeting a blank.
Her hope of finding a way out had diminished with every second that passed, although somehow she had an inkling that time was non-existent here. Spinning in a slow circle, she searched the blackness, "where am I?" she thought.
Finding nothing, she crossed her arms as fear settled in the pit of her stomach. She refused to give in, but for some reason she could not fathom, she could feel something approaching.
"A storm is coming".
Spinning at the whispered words from behind she lifted her hands to shield herself. "Who's there?" She cried. The deafening silence caused her to step cautiously back, as she struggled with the urge to run.
"A storm is coming Rose Tyler, and you must be ready?"
"Who are you?" She called, whipping her head round, and desperately trying to look through the darkness. Swallowing the sudden lump in her throat, she breathed in deeply to quell her nerves. "At least let me see you," she forced out.
"They are returning for you, and there is a question you will be faced with."
Becoming angry at the lack of helpfulness from the voice's owner, she glared into the black. "And what would that be?"
A small laugh echoed around her, and she flinched.
"You have a lot of anger in you child. You have been scorned so it is understandable. You want to know the question?"
Unable to speak for the moment she simply nodded, hoping they would see the action.
Suddenly a glowing figure stepped out of the darkness towards her. It was as if a switch had been turned on, as a golden hue surrounded the robed figure and made its way around Rose. Stepping back, she watched helplessly as it encased her; the sudden heat causing her to gasp. As quickly as it had come, it evaporated, leaving her once more in the cold darkness. However, the figure still stood glowing slightly before her. Bright blue eyes shone at her, piercing her with their gaze.
"You know more then you allow others to see. The question is this... are you so filled with hate that you are unable to forgive?"
"What?" She whispered, taken back by the callous words.
"He is coming for you..."
"You are far from stupid Rose Tyler, you already know who I speak of. You can feel the storm approach.. Now... wake up."
"Wait," she cried holding a hand to the figure.
Everything vanished abruptly, and air filled her lungs forcefully, burning her. Gasping she flung her eyelids open and looked around wildly, hoping to see the figure again. Hands clasped her arm, as urgent cries for nurses sounded out. Calming down slowly, she blinked, noticing her mother looming over her.
A cough forced it's way through her lips as she winced at the slight pain it caused in her head. Lifting a hesitant hand, she clutched at the breathing tube lying under her nose, and ripped it away.
"Sweetheart no," Jackie cried trying to place the tube back.
Struggling for a few moments with her mother's hands, she slowly sat up, noticing for the first time the room. She was in a hospital.
"What am I doing here?" She whispered, looking at her mother's worried face.
Shaking her head, Jackie leapt forward and encased Rose in her arms, tears welling in her eyes and beginning their descent down her cheeks.
Lifting a hand to rub her mother's back, she looked to the other side of her at her father. "Dad?"
"You were in a coma," he answered, letting out a relieved sigh, as he smoothed some of the stray strands of hair behind her ear.
"A coma?" She asked, pulling away from the hold her mother had on her.
"Yeah, the doctors said you'd seized and then slipped into a coma," he concluded.
Rubbing her eyes, Jackie shrugged helplessly, "they don't know. When they did some scans, it showed you were fine."
"Oh." Looking around, Rose pulled at her gown uncomfortably, and slid over the bed, swinging her legs around to hang over the edge.
"Miss Tyler," the Nurse cried, moving towards her, "Doctor Adams will be here soon, you have to stay put."
"No, I'm fine," she insisted. She could feel her strength returning in waves, it was almost worrying.
"Rose, you've been in bed for five days," Pete said, grabbing her arm gently.
Shaking him off, Rose breathed in deeply, before slowly sliding off the bed and placing her feet on the floor. Stepping forward, she smiled as she turned quickly, her balance and co-ordination showing no signs of lethargy.
"What the...?" Stepping back the Nurse, poked her head around the door, and shouted for someone to page Doctor Adams again.
"That can't be normal?" Pete asked stepping beside his wife.
Looking at him, Rose shrugged, "nothing's been normal about me for years... now where are my clothes? I have to prepare."
"Sweetheart please, can you just lie back down."
Shaking her head in answer to her mother's question, she walked over to the chair, and began picking up items of clothing. "You might want to turn around." Then without waiting for a response, she slipped the nightgown over her head and dressed in her jeans and hoodie. Taking a seat to place her trainers on she glanced up as a man came running into the room.
Clearing her throat as he stepped towards the bed, she waved when he spun to look at her in shock. "Doctor Adams I take it."
Nodding she finished with her trainers and stood, patting him on the arm, "don't worry, I just checked myself out."
"But... but that's impossible. You were in a..."
"Coma, I know, but I'm better now." Picking up her duffel bag from the floor, she turned and began to make her way out of the room.
"Wait you can't leave," Doctor Adams called.
Stopping she looked over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow, "watch me."
"Rose Tyler... stop."
Turning slowly she looked at her mother, "what?"
Waving a finger at Rose, Jackie walked forward. "You have just woken from a coma, got out of bed and left, in the space of five minutes."
"So? What do you mean by so? What the hell is so important you can't wait a few minutes to get checked out?"
"I have to get prepared." Rose answered cryptically.
"He's coming here."
"Who is?" Jackie asked baffled.
Stepping forward, Pete placed a hand on Jackie's arm and frowned in confusion. "How?"
"I don't know... but he is."
Shaking her head, Jackie frowned at the look on Rose's face, "After what happened, I thought you'd be happy."
"Your Mum's right, isn't it a good thing."
An empty laugh escaped her, as she shook her head, "no. The day I watched the clone died was the day I stopped."
"Stopped what?" Jackie asked.
"Loving him." Then without waiting for anymore protests she left.
Trails of stagnant water left their marks along the cave walls, all seeming to collect at the end and forming a shallow pool. It was dank and dark; no place for entities such as these, but they were forced to stay for here for the time being.
Brushing past the mouldy rock, the robed figure weaved through the narrow passages, making quick work of the long path. Footsteps were barely heard, and holding a hand before them, palm up, a small ball of flame showed the way.
The dim lighting cast an eerie glow and any normal being would be spooked.
Suddenly the corridor of rock opened up into a cavern and there stood in a small circle were four other robed figures, crowding around a large sphere. Hearing the sounds of cloth moving they collectively turned as one to the newcomer.
With a gentle nod, the Sister greeted her companions, and let the ball of flame dissipate into the air. Stepping closer she joined the small space they had opened within the circle, and pulled her hood down.
"It is done," she answered, at their questioning looks.
Pulling her own hood down the oldest of the group nodded, "good. Now we must hope the Timelord can succeed in bringing her back from the brink of death."
"He must," the Sister replied, "otherwise the Universe dies along with Rose Tyler."
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