Disclaimer: Sadly, Doctor Who is not mine.


I Have Traveled The Cosmos To Find You
(or, five reunions between the doctor and rose that did not happen, and one that did)

one

There's a crack in the universe, a hairline fracture. It is thin, delicate.

Dangerous, the team of Torchwood scientists say. And Rose, who has faced down countless dangers with an extraordinary man, disregards the warnings. She is human, after all, and her curiosity outweighs caution.

That is, she thinks, the reason she ends up in a child's bedroom in Leadworth.

A young man, who introduces himself as Jeff Angelo, takes her in and listens to her tale with interest. When she has exhausted herself, he smiles, says "I know someone who can help."

Then it's a series of phone calls, Rose listening halfheartedly from the couch. ("- just appeared...Amy's old room...blonde...dunno - ")

When the front door opens nearly an hour later, a redheaded woman storms though. She is frowning at Rose, asks - with just a touch of hostility in her voice "Who're you? How'd you get in my room?"

She is not the first thing Rose notices. It is the man trailing behind her, with impossible hair and a bowtie. His eyes settle on Rose, and they are ancient.

"Oh," Rose breathes, insides clenching. "Are you before or after?"

The man grins, says "Rose Tyler."

(It is the first time he speaks her name in this body. It is not the last.)

two

Rose wakes to the sound of the doorbell. Turning onto her side, she squints at the clock on her bedside table. The glowing numbers inform her that it is past any decent hour to call upon someone. With a sigh, she eases from the covers and makes her way toward the front door of her small home.

She doesn't bother to see who is on the other side, certain it is Jake and Mickey looking for a place to sleep the night. Again, the both of them too drunk to -

"Rose."

Time does not stop at the sound of his voice. Nor does the universe collapse when she reaches for him (or when he reaches for her, it is rather hard to tell - the end result is still the same, their bodies tangled).

three

It's not so much a reunion as it is a sneak preview, of sorts.

The Doctor follows Martha down a general store aisle on the planet Yemin, complaining all the while about silly human needs. Martha ignores him, determined to track down a shampoo not made for aliens. The Old Earth kind, which the cashier cheerfully pointed out was rare in these parts.

They turn a corner, and there - comparing the ingredients on the back of soup cans - is one Rose Tyler. She is juggling both cans in one hand, phone pressed close to her ear.

"One's got phenom...right, phenum - ," she's saying, clearly frustrated. "Honestly, Doctor, does it matter?"

His breath catches, hearts seizing. He longs to go to her, drag her back to the TARDIS. Instead, he slowly pulls Martha away with a quiet "I believe it's that way."

Rose's voice follows them, mocking gently - in what he is sure is suppose to be an imitation of his voice. "The things you humans put into your body, Rose. Chemicals, poisons, every bad and horrible thing you lot can - Well, it taste good, Doctor."

four

It begins again in the year sixty-two sixty, two familiar words following the Doctor like a shadow. And ends, on the planet Georgia, just after the Great And Terrible War That Was.

It happens, like this:

The Doctor looks up. Across an empty field where the Battle of Bad Wolf took place, so does Rose.

There is running, shouts of joy and disbelief. There is faith restored, hope rekindled. There is the soft sound of tears on a young woman's face, the breaking of hearts in an old man. There is a quiet confession pressed tightly into the skin of an alien's neck.

And in a moment, there is the unraveling of a new timeline. A brand new adventure never had before. It is glorious, and they live it.

The Doctor never says 'I love you' - but Rose says it enough for the both of them. And it is enough.

five

They meet at a roller rink.

His suit is blue. It is, strangely, her first thought. Followed quickly by a flurry of - what's happened the universe time and space and he's here gorgeous and alive hair everywhere and at Tony's fifth birthday of all places is there danger oh aliens surrounding Earth an apocalypse just around the corner what happened to the brown a hole in the walls he looks so much older how why how -

He ducks his head when she approaches, says softly "Sorry I'm late. Had a hard time landing."

"You're - " Rose stops, words lodged in her throat with the beginnings of a sob.

"I've brought a gift." He holds up a rectangular box covered in gold paper.

"You stupid man," Rose says, leaning over the package to kiss him.

six

Under a starless sky, Donna Noble says "Why don't you ask her yourself?"