I was waiting and waiting for someone to write this or to find someone who had written this AU, and I couldn't find it! So sorry if this has been done before. Originally this was just going to be a one shot but I think it's going to turn out to be 3 or 4 chapters. We'll see XD I've never written Doctor Who fanfiction before so please excuse me if my characterization is a bit sloppy. Also, I don't really care about spelling, like ever, so sorry if that bugs you, lol.
Summary: While on the rooftop after missing her own wedding, Donna sees a picture of Rose. How will this make her react when she sees Rose after the Adipose incident?
Donna couldn't quite bring herself to care about much of anything. Her eyes scanned the city as she sat on the rooftop, absolutely freezing in her practically ruined wedding gown, but at the same time not feeling the cold one bit. This morning seemed like it was years ago.
She was supposed to have been married by now.
Warm hands slide a suit coat around her shoulders and she threw a thankful smile at the Doctor as he sat next to her. She reached up to pull the jacket more tightly around herself.
"God you're skinny," she scolded him. "This wouldn't fit a rat!"
He smirked over at her as she continued to try and pull the jacket tighter. She felt her fingers brush over an object that was tucked in the inside breast pocket. Not looking up at the Doctor, Donna quickly slipped her hand in the pocket, bringing out a slightly rumpled, folded up photograph.
She glanced up at the Doctor with questioning eyes. He didn't seem like the reminiscent sort. Bit of a loner. But his eyes had watched her take out the photograph and he was now staring at it with a hard, clouded expression. She had seen that look before, just once before…when she had held up the jacket that had belonged to his "friend".
"Sorry," she said quickly, embarrassed at her forwardness. Donna wasn't one for hiding her feelings, no matter what the circumstance, but the look in his eyes made her heart feel a bit colder. She carefully started to put the picture back in the pocket, but his voice made her stop.
His expression had closed off again, a perfectly formed mask of indifference that she was coming to see more and more. He motioned with his head toward the photo.
"You can look at it if you like."
Donna studied him for just a moment, gauging his thoughts. Only knowing this man for, what? Less than an hour probably, and she felt like she was seeing so many different sides of him. Whoever he was, whatever he was, and wherever he was from…he still was capable of feeling very human emotions.
Curiosity got the better of her, and she pulled the photo back out, handling it carefully as she folded it open, revealing the picture.
It was the Doctor…and a young girl. Probably around twenty years old. She wore a pink jacket, her blonde hair pulled back in a messy ponytail and both her hands wrapped tightly around one of the Doctor's arms, pulling him into the picture with her. It looked like one of those amusement park pictures where you pose in front of a very cheesy, very fake background and make silly faces while the camera flashes 7 or 8 times. Clearly the Doctor did not want to be in the picture, but she seemed to have pulled him in just in time. Both their faces were slightly red from laughter.
And neither of them were looking at the camera, just looking at each other.
She looked back up at the Doctor who was resolutely looking off into the distance…looking anywhere but the photograph.
"Who's this then?" Donna asked softly. "Friend of yours?"
The Doctor nodded, matter-of-factly. "Yeah, she…traveled with me for a while." He finally glanced over at the photo. "Rose, her name was Rose." He kept nodding slightly, almost like he was telling himself just as much as telling her. His face turned away again, the same hidden expression still covering it. "She's gone now."
Donna looked down at the photograph studying the girl's face. She looked…happy. She looked…content.
So did the Doctor.
Whatever had happened to her, Donna didn't think Rose would have left by choice. There were probably a lot of dangers in "traveling" with the Doctor, but by the looks of it, this girl found them all worth it.
"She's the one you lost."
It wasn't a question. It made sense, as Donna remembered the jacket and how the Doctor had reacted the same way earlier that day.
"Yeah," the Doctor heaved a heavy sigh, his eyes looking so far into the distance that Donna could not even guess where he was trying to see.
There were many things, many, many more questions that Donna wanted to ask the Doctor: Questions about Rose, why she was lost, how she was lost…why he didn't go find her. But like it or not, this man had just saved her life, and she did not enjoy watching his heart break.
Without another word, she carefully slipped the photo back into the pocket of his jacket, and followed his gaze out into the city. The silence lasted about a minute more, and then the Doctor spoke up, chattering nonsense about biodampers and aliens and slipping a special ring on her finger.
And Donna let him babble. But for his sake, she wouldn't forget about Rose.
The Doctor loved to ramble. The Doctor needed to ramble. Sometimes he felt that if he didn't ramble his thoughts would go nowhere and he would lose all his energy of life. Rambling worked in any situation to help his brain organize the massive amounts of information that he accessed in it. He had used ramblings in all sorts of situations, most of them technical and very useful.
Occasionally, though, he would ramble to change the subject.
And he found himself doing just that, rather forcefully, when Donna finally put the photo away. He barely let himself think about Rose…it was too hard. When she had first pulled the photo out his hearts had almost stopped, forgetting that that bloody things was still in his pockets.
After seeing it again, though, he was sure that he would never let it leave his pockets.
And so he rambled. He rambled to cover up his grief, to cover Donna's embarrassment, the force his mind to think about the real problem at hand and not some impossible problem that he could not fix.
Unfortunately, sometimes his rambling took him in a direction that even his fantastic brain wasn't expecting.
"I spent Christmas Day just over there! The Powell Estate, with this…" his voice lost some of its chipper again as he said the words, "…family." He tried to cover up his slip. "My friend, she had this family, well," he thought of that scene on the beach, Rose in front of him with Jackie, Pete and Mickey standing off in the distance, giving her more love and support than he ever could. "…still does."
Donna stayed quiet, but he still didn't want to look at her. If he kept his face turned away, the wind would dry up any moisture that was threatening to build in his eyes.
"Gone now." He meant to say it with a sense of finality, but his voice came out soft and weak.
"You're friend…Rose?" Donna asked quietly.
Donna really was brilliant, the Doctor had decided. She was short tempered and to the point, the kind of woman that would drive him crazy or be exactly what he needed…or both. She was sitting there, willing to listen, genuinely concerned for whatever he was feeling. And for a moment he thought that he just might tell her everything.
So he did what he had always done in these situations.
He changed the subject, and rambled on.