Golden Remnants of Time Travel

Disclaimer: It all belongs to RTD, I own nothing but a strong desire to snog David Tennant's face off...*ahem*...so...yeah, I'm just playing with them for a while...I'll put them back, honest!

Disclaimer Take Two: I also don't own 'Thinking of You', it belongs to Katy Perry.

A/N: First in my 'Another Alternative' series, focussing on the relationship between Alt!Ten and Rose.

A/N Take Two: Um...so I don't even know what inspired this one! It's probably a combination of re-watching Idiots Lantern, crying over Doomsday and repeatedly squeeing over the kiss at the end of Journey's End...it could also have something to do with listening to the DW soundtrack on repeat for three days as an attempt to make law revision somehow bearable...but whatever the reason, this is what it resulted in. It's basically an Alt!TenRose Fic-Of-Angsty-Angst told from Rose's POV about how they cope with everything after Ten leaves them behind. It's slightly AU if only for that fact that I *ahem* subtly changed the colour of Rose's void stuff from green to gold (for reasons explained within!). Oh, and if anyone is confused, 'John' is Alt!Ten...so, um...enjoy, I guess!

A/N Take Three: Please remember that all reviews are greatly appreciated so once you've finished reading, have a go at pressing the purdy li'l button at the bottom of the page...Pretty please with an even prettier Time Lord on top?

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He kissed my lips, I taste your mouth,
He pulled me in, I was disgusted with myself

'Cause when I'm with him I am thinking of you
Thinking of you, what you would do
If you were the one who was spending the night

Thinking of You - Katy Perry

~*~

It was most noticeable in cinemas, so she tried to stay away from them, especially when 3D glasses were involved. She didn't enjoy it; the hidden lie. She didn't want to pretend that she was something she wasn't but the truth was, she didn't think she could bear the look on his face if he found out. It had been bad enough when he'd found her key, the key, hidden in her keepsake box. He hadn't been able to look her in the eye for a week. No, artificial light and red and blue lenses were definitely not allowed.

It wasn't that it looked bad; in fact, it was actually quite beautiful once you got past the impossibility of its existence, it was just that she wouldn't let him wear the suit anymore. She tells him repeatedly that she doesn't need to live with a ghost because she wants him, not who he used to be. The truth, however? The truth was that she couldn't live with a ghost of her better life holding her, kissing her, telling her that he loves her. Reminding her of what she had lost. It would break her, and she knows it.

So how could she expect him to accept her ghost? To live with that heartbreaking memory forever, because it's not like a suit, which can be donated to charity; it's a part of who she is and however much she might want to, she can never change that.

"Well…isn't anyone going to ask, 'what is it with the glasses'?"

"What is it with the glasses?"

Void stuff. She remembers the tiny particles dancing around them all, a tangible threat promising to rip them apart. Everyone had a hazy glow of tiny, beautifully destructive green lights…except her. Looking down at her hand, there had been a faint golden hue to the particles surrounding it. The remnants of the Bad Wolf forever etched into the air around her.

Sometimes she sits next to the fire when he goes to bed early or stays at work late. If she really concentrates, if she really wants to believe, she can see it, glittering across her skin, the firelight making the golden glow appear more concentrated, more pronounced.

It's torture, but it's the most blissful form of torture she has ever experienced. She'll never tell him, but she kept the suit. It's stashed away at her mum and dad's mansion in one of the unused dusty guest rooms. She visits unannounced sometimes, just so that she can see it. Jackie leaves her to it, bustling away to put the kettle on, pretending that she can't hear the sobbing directly above her.

She clutches the soft blue fabric as though she is drowning and the skinny suit in her arms is the only thing that can save her. It still smells of him; that intoxicating miasma of bananas, tea, and the faint metal tang that hung in the air inside the TARDIS. The smell of home.

The colour isn't right, though. It's the suit he chose after her; the newer model. She tries to shake away the guilty feeling that this is how she sees John.

Her eyes are red and puffy when she finally makes her way back down to her mum. Jackie knows not to say anything; one of the rare occasions when she actually shuts up. She just wordlessly pushes a cup of tea across the table. Free radicals and tannins. Jackie understands because she chose to leave her whole world behind for the parallel of her dead husband. She has a newfound respect for Jackie for making that choice; she is having more trouble living with hers.

She loves him, there's no denying that, but it's difficult to know why. She wonders, sometimes, if he has the same problem. Occasionally, she'll catch him staring at her with a look of pure confusion in his eyes, as if he is concentrating very hard on figuring out why he's there. And it hurts. At night, when they make love, she finds herself lost in a sea of doubts and insecurity. When he kisses her hair and shifts his weight to cover her, she finds that her thoughts are quietly mutinous; 'My Doctor would never do this, he would always hold back, stroke my hand, hold me tight. Never this. Never ever.' But she can't believe 'never ever' anymore.

She wants the intimacy that John gives her; she loves it. It makes her feel needed and special and adored, but it feels like an invasion of her Doctor's privacy that she should see his emotions so exposed, naked to the world. And then she remembers that John is not her Doctor; he is a different man with the same face, and the silent, burning tears roll down her cheeks. He pulls away, afraid that he has hurt her, until he realises…and he lets her go. The space between them is bereft of warmth; an imperfect piece of symbolism.

She feels like a traitor, except she doesn't know which of them she has betrayed. The Doctor, by choosing John? John, by not giving herself wholly to him? Or herself, by accepting the false coin, or by thinking that it exists? Maybe she has betrayed all three of them.

She can't help but smile when she sees him in the kitchen, trying to calibrate the toaster for optimum 'jam-to-bread ratio'. It tugs at her heart, even when his jam-covered arms curl around her; he'd always had trouble figuring out what he'd called 'the domestic approach'.

He grins down at her, his glasses askew across the bridge of his nose as he kisses her goofily. The kiss may be playful, but the meaning behind it is painfully clear. He is screaming inside his head, begging her.

"Choose me! Choose me, not him! He couldn't say it, but I will tell you every day and mean every word if you'll just choose me!"

And she does. Every time.