Rose and Romana
Before Rose was even born, the Doctor had another great love. And he's never forgotten her.
He found himself in the TARDIS, but it wasn't his TARDIS. His eyes drifted across the bare, white console room, lingering over the prominent roundels. He saw his old, familiar coat rack, and a ludicrously long scarf draped across it.
At the sight of it, his hearts quickened for a moment, and he put his hand against his chest, slightly shocked. Two hearts. That felt… wrong. Somehow. He couldn't place why. He ran a hand through his hair, still short and tousled and spiky. Looking down, he realized he was wearing his old blue pinstriped suit and red trainers. Still tall and skinny. Still the Tenth Doctor, or close enough, anyway.
So these were memories. They had to be. He hoped they were. He went to the console, distracted by his thoughts, his fingers dancing absently over the controls as he tried to determine his location, barely paying attention. And he smelled something very comforting, very familiar…
"Good morning, Doctor," Romana said, sweeping into the room, a vision in flowing white, the fabric of her long dress clinging over her delicate form.
The Doctor froze. One of his hearts skipped a beat, while the other raced ahead, booming so loudly he was certain she could hear it. As though reading his mind, she smirked. Well, probably literally reading his mind, or at least the vague impressions, he realized, since he'd never been that great a telepath. Barely able to control his thoughts. Always wearing his heart on his sleeve, especially when it came to Romana. He could sense her now, her presence, bright and quick and wry and confident and oh-so-clever. The beautiful presence he'd fallen in love with so desperately all those centuries ago.
His first Romana. So brilliant, so young, yet so self-assured, far more than he remembered being at a mere 140. He'd fallen in love with her so fast, embarrassingly fast. And they had spent those early days flirting and teasing and pretending to ignore each other, imagining they had all of time to dance around their feelings. Before she'd regenerated into someone softer, somehow more dependent on him. And she'd finally let him into her heart, and into her bed.
But here she was, his first Romana, staring at him expectantly, still smirking. That little pursed mouth he'd always wanted to kiss, but somehow never got around to. And suddenly she was in his arms, pressed against his body. He hadn't realized he had dashed across the room to collect her until he was holding her, didn't realize he'd kissed her until his tongue was in her mouth. Tasting her. The lost flavor of Gallifrey, blue roses and red meadows and fresh snow and a hint of cinnamon in the burnt orange sky.
His kisses were fierce, desperate, enveloping her mouth with his as his hands roamed over her body, pushing her against the wall and devouring her.
With a little laugh, she brushed him away. "Now Doctor," she said, keeping a hand on his chest as his hearts hammered loudly. "Don't you think you're being a little uncivilized?"
She began to walk down the hallway, and it was all the Doctor could do to keep himself from running after her, grabbing her and pulling her back to him. That gorgeous taste in his mouth once again. The perfect smell of her skin. The tantalizing feel of her smooth, delicate body. He realized he was panting, practically trembling.
At the end of the hallway, she reached the door to her bedroom, and turned toward him, still wearing that gorgeous, teasing smirk. "Well? Aren't you coming?"
And then he did run, scooping her again into his arms and tumbling into the bed, his hands all over her, tearing away her clothes while trying to undress all at once. He ran his tongue all over her flawless body, tasting her everywhere as she moaned. Kissing every inch. Taking each pert nipple into his mouth in turn, leaving a trail of red marks down her neck. Aroused beyond comprehension at seeing her lose all control, gripping the sheets as her head tossed from side to side, that perfectly controlled calm expression replaced by something raw and primal.
"I loved you," he began to mutter against her neck, voice tremulous, holding her close. "I always did. And I didn't tell you enough. You're ravishing, and brilliant, and I was a fool. Such a fool."
As he entered her body, she entered his mind. All at once, they were one, locked together in a way he hadn't felt since, because there had never been another like her. And there never would be again. All of Gallifrey lost, and this communion, this connection, it was denied him forever.
He sobbed just a little as he began to move, as their bodies moved together. She was everywhere in his head, touching every part of him. He let her see everything, felt himself adrift in her presence, in her pleasure. He felt every thrust, every movement, from both perspectives. A repeating infinite of pleasure as she poured her mind into him, her bright sparkling presence, like diamonds, an ocean of white point stars spreading across his thoughts as they moved together. A moment stretching into the infinite, their bodies entwined, their minds entangled. Time had no place here.
And then he felt it, a driving ecstasy pushing him deeper and deeper. Their cries became loud and wild, their movements desperate. Losing themselves in each other. Her skin began to glow, just a little, barely noticeable. Romana grew warm, and so did he, and then he was pulsing inside of her, releasing that golden glow inside of her, lost inside of her, every muscle tensing as he came, as they both came.
And then he was shuddering, panting, as he kissed her. "I've missed you so much, Romana," he said softly, his lips still brushing her skin.
Rose felt his lips against her skin before she was fully awake. She moaned softly and moved closer to him, relishing in his warmth against the chill of the early morning. He was still asleep, Rose could tell. She could feel just the hint of his presence, the way she sometimes did when he dreamed or when he was aroused. When they were this close. Her beautiful half-human Doctor, who could never seem to shield himself from her as well as the original. She sensed his longing, and a strange sort of melancholy, and pure lust as his hands began to roam over her body of their own accord.
"I've missed you so much, Romana," he muttered, his lips brushing softly against her skin.
Rose sat up suddenly, pushing him away. He tumbled off the bed in a boneless heap.
"What did you call me?" she yelled, sitting up straight and pulling the covers over her body.
"What… What happened?" he muttered, from the floor, finally rousing.
"Who the hell is Romana?" she said in a tight, angry voice.
He sat up at the name, using his arms to hold push his upper body off the floor, his legs spread out in front of him. Naked and still sporting an erection. She would have laughed at his wide-eyed surprise if she hadn't been seething with resentment.
"What?" he said, his voice flat.
"Who is Romana?" she repeated, practically shouting every word.
"What? Romana? What, what do you mean?" he asked, suddenly looking abashed as he shifted, curling his legs to his chest and hugging them close.
"Romana! Don't play innocent with me, John Smith."
And the Doctor realized it was serious. She only called him John Smith when she was seriously upset, and even then… He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen such seething bitterness on her face.
"In bed, right this minute, you called me Romana, yeah?"
"What?" he began, then blanched. "Wha… Oh. Oh no. Oh no, Rose. Oh, I'm sorry Rose."
"Yeah, I gathered that much," she said, pouting.
"Romana and I…" he began, then swallowed loudly, his Adam's apple bobbing. "Romana was a Time Lady."
"And we were lovers," he said simply.
And then he backed away as she threw a picture frame at him.
"What?" he said, his voice panicked and high pitched. His back hit the wall as his eyes darted from her face to the floor beside him, where the frame holding a picture of both of them holding hands and smiling lay shattered on the floor. "You threw that at me! You can't do that. You can't… You can't just throw things. I could have been hurt!"
"You lied to me!"
He licked his lips nervously, but didn't reply.
"You said you'd told me about everyone. Everyone who mattered."
"I know," he said, very quietly.
She recognized that expression, that misty look in his eyes. Normally she would have been all sympathy and affection, but she was so disappointed in him. They'd been together for years, now. Married for almost a year. And he'd said he told her about everyone. So she only glared.
"I didn't mean to keep her from you," he continued, his voice low and guarded. He once again brought his knees to his chest, hugging himself and rocking slightly. "I know, Rose. But she meant so much to me, and I was such a fool. And I'm sorry."
"Yeah, you already said that bit," she said harshly, crossing her arms over her chest.
"We traveled together," he continued, his voice suddenly false and casual. "The only Time Lord I ever traveled with. And we fell in love."
"Oh, I don't know," he shrugged, refusing to meet her icy glare. "Not long."
"How long?" she repeated through clenched teeth.
"I don't know, nine, ten years, maybe?"
"Ten years?" Rose shouted. "Ten bloody years! And you never thought to mention her."
"Ten years isn't that much for a Time Lord…"
"I haven't known you for 10 years! You were with her longer than you've been with me. And you never bloody mentioned her!"
"Rose, please stop shouting," he pleaded softly raising his hands in his defense. "This all happened centuries ago, before you were born."
"Oh, and that's supposed to make me feel better? You were in love with her before I was ever born, known her longer than you've known me, and that's supposed to make me feel better?"
"Look just calm down, ok?"
"Who ended it?" she spat.
He said nothing, his jaw clenched.
"What happened?" she asked, her voice cold and furious.
"Now, um, promise you won't throw anything, ok?" he said, and ran a hand through his hair.
"Tell me right now," she demanded.
"I, er, lost her in a parallel universe," he said uncertainly, his voice rising to a squeak. "Well, more of a pocket universe if you wanna get tech-."
Rose threw a pillow at him, and it him in the face.
"Hey!" he shouted, standing up. "You promised you wouldn't throw anything!"
She reached out for a lamp. "If you recall, you asked. I never answered."
"Rose," he said, his voice tight, now very hurt and very angry on top of everything else. "I was a person, a Time Lord, with a very long and very complicated life before you were even born. So yes, I've been in love before. I've been married before. I've been a dad before, and a grandfather. And you know what? That other Doctor, traveling the universe without you, I'm sure his life is going to continue to be very long and very complicated. Don't you dare blame me for that!"
By the end, he'd started shouting, and pacing, his voice hoarse and dangerous. Rose couldn't help the tears that fell down her cheeks, and took her anger with them.
"I lost her, Rose," he continued, his voice suddenly soft and melancholy. "And by the time I found her again, I'd regenerated into someone else. Cold, and calculating, and so very manipulative. Someone she barely recognized."
She swallowed, feeling suddenly ashamed and foolish. She reached out a hand toward him. "Come here," she said softly.
After a moment of merely glaring at Rose, he sat down on the bed beside her. "She barely recognized me, Rose. And I couldn't blame her. But then I changed again, into someone new, and fell in love with her all over again. Of course, she was beyond me, by then. She'd changed as well. President of the Time Lords. Busy with her own life, her own schemes. And then came the Time War. And I became just another soldier to her, another piece on her chessboard. She'd changed so much. But I still loved her, Rose. I never stopped. I couldn't help it."
Rose sat next to him, laying her head against his shoulder. She took hold of his hand. He was trembling.
"The Daleks…" he began, spitting out the word with distaste. "They took her. And I went after her. Hundreds of us. Thousands. Leading a righteous army of Time Lords. One of the worst…" his voice broke.
She held him closer, silently reassuring him.
"It was vicious, Rose. On both sides. I was vicious. Arcadia was once a beautiful place, and we ravaged it. We tore it apart looking for Romana, even worse than the Daleks had when they'd taken it over. The fall of Arcadia, at my own hand. Oh, I found her, in the end, but I was too late. When we took the prison, they began to execute the prisoners. All of them. And they saved her for last. We butchered every last Dalek, but it was too late. They killed her, again, and again, and again, until there was nothing left to regenerate."
He'd begun to weep softly as he spoke, his whole body shuddering. "I held Romana in my arms, and I told her I loved her. The last thing she said to me was, 'It's not your fault.' And maybe it was better that way. That she didn't live to see what Gallifrey would become. What I would become…"
For a few minutes, Rose cradled him as he wept. Then he took a great deep breath and rubbed his eyes.
"I'm so sorry, Rose," he said in a soft whisper, pressing against her desperately.
"Don't be," she said, and kissed the top of his head. "You're pretty when you cry."
And he laughed, grateful, eternally grateful, that he had this one life to share with her. With his Rose.