Set after the Doctor and Rose's trip to the parallel universe. Rose is upset and the Doctor doesn't know how to help her. Oneshot. Read and review, please. Sorry if it's awful, but now that it's done there's no use for it sitting around on my harddrive. I had a really strong idea going in, but by the end I'd lost it. Ah well. My very first Doctor Who fic!
The Doctor had said it himself. He was fantastic. He had a mind full of over nine hundred years of memories, and a knowledge that surpassed even that. In his time, he had tackled and overthrown the most villainous and vile species in the universe, often single-handedly. Sycorax, Slitheen, Daleks, Cybermen, Pyrovile, the Gelth... the list went on... and really, he didn't want to think about it. All those species, killed by his hands. But he did it to defend the Human Race. Pudgy and pathetic, they were. Little humanoids roaming around aimlessly, looking up to the stars, questioning, but never asking the roght questions. The Doctor had seen both light and dark in the Human Race. There were those like Lady Cassandra, youth-obsessed and greedy who boiled the blood in his very body with their insolence and stupidity. Recently, it was John Lumic, who, so afraid of death, converted himself and a considerable portion of London into Cybermen, emotions removed. But it was emotions that separated the Human Race from so many others. It was people like Rose Tyler, full of spark and drive and pure passion that were worth saving.
Rose Tyler. The girl, or he should say, woman who fell into his hands and ended up bringing him back. Back from the cold memories, over nine hundred years of them. Of time travels and Time Wars. The anger and the hurt and the fire. She showed him why the Time War was worth fighting. She pulled him out of the piercing darkness and showered him in her light and warmth. She probably didn't even know she was doing it. Rose never saw herself, not really. All she ever saw was the Doctor and his brilliance.
Because he was fantastic, really. His logic was immaculate. He was fluent in every single language in the stars. He could feel the turn of the Earth at his feet and the whoosh as the planets hurtled through space, that infinite dark expanse that made his hearts turn cold but beat faster at the same time. He could even pull off a suit with trainers, easy as pie. But there was one thing he couldn't do. One thing that sent him brain-dead, one thing that was nearly impossible.
He couldn't do emotions.
Well, actually, no. The Doctor got angry, sad, happy, excited, embarrassed, every possible emotion. He was a hugging Doctor, full of smiles and well-meant cheer. The approachable Doctor. The empathetic Doctor. He was friendly enough when he wanted to be. Then why was this so gosh darn difficult?
Rose emerged from the TARDIS wardrobe, blotchy-faced and crying calmly. She was wearing her own clothes, packed for her by Jackie - a pair of jeans with a clingy pink singlet, one she usually wore to bed. The Doctor guessed she didn't care what she looked like right now - there was mascara running down her cheeks and she wasn't wearing any shoes. She refused to make eye contact with the Doctor as she sat down at in the central control area. Of all the homely rooms the TARDIS provided, everyone seemed to converge on the TARDIS control area. Perhaps it was the almost cathartic humming of the heart of the TARDIS; it naturally drew people in. Rose sat in the old beaten sofa and buried her head in her arms, her knees to her chin. Poor Rose, the Doctor thought. Rejected by her parallel father and having to leave Mickey forever, all in one night. Even the Doctor would miss good old Mickey around the TARDIS, poking around and pulling levers he shouldn't and following Rose around like a lost pup. As for Pete Tyler, he was never her father and he would never be. But Rose got weird about her dad - it was obviously a tentative subject for her. The Doctor warned her not to get too close. He tried not to be smug about it, really, but he just did not understand why none of his companions ever listened to him. Most of time, he was right.
Blimey. What would he do? What could he do? He couldn't just leave her there. It was wrenching his hearts to see her so upset. Perhaps she would want a cup of tea. Or a biscuit. A Jammy Dodger? Or maybe something healthier? Grapes? A banana? Mmm. Now the Doctor wanted a banana. Or perhaps that they could both do with some of that hypervodka Captain Jack had left behind on the TARDIS. As a general rule, the Doctor didn't drink, but with a situation like this he might make an exception.
He stole one last glance at Rose's weeping form before heading upstairs to the cooling containment unit. There it was, in an electric blue bottle, just as Jack had left it. The Doctor hoped Jack hadn't been drinking from the bottle as he poured some into two brown mugs (he didn't own martini glasses). By a stroke of luck, there was some vermouth in there too. The Doctor mixed some in both glasses (but not too much, as the Captain had told him) and carefully brought the mug down to Rose. He sat beside her on the mangy sofa and nudged her slightly with the cold porcelain. She took it and gulped down a huge mouthful without hesitation. Suddenly her eyes widened and she began to splutter.
"Doctor!" She gasped, clutching at her burning throat.
The Doctor couldn't help but snigger a little bit; he was soon met by Rose's irritated glares. "What? I thought you would have checked what it was first before downing the lot of it!"
"I thought it was water," she whimpered defensively.
"It's a martini," he condescended.
"Who in the blazes serves a martini in a brown mug?"
The Doctor laughed, but Rose remained solemn. She had seemed to calm down a bit now; she was wiping the wet mascara marks off her face with the back of hand, almost ashamed to let the Doctor see her like that. She pulled down her singlet and wrapped her arms more tightly around her legs.
"Can I get you anything?" The Doctor asked, keeping his voice soft and familiar.
"No," said Rose. The Doctor saw there were still tears welling in her eyes - it was that type of uncontrollable crying that could only be healed with time and chocolate. The Doctor silently cursed himself for not having any chocolate in the TARDIS. But to his Time Lord tastebuds, chocolate was ghastly - the equivalent of eating, say, a raw potato for a human. Conversely, the Doctor did like raw potatoes very much.
"Do you want to talk about it?" The Doctor offered, sliding in closer, albeit awkwardly.
"I just want you to know that I'm here if you need me," the Doctor tried again. "I mean, I'm really trying, Rose. I want to help you but you have to give me some insight. Because, frankly, I don't know what to do here. I'm quite hopeless at this, really."
Rose turned to the Doctor, two more fat tears rolling out of eyes and down her cheeks. "You're fantastic. And I know that. And Mickey knows that. And you know it too. And that's why no-one could ever compete with you. Because... well, you're just too good, aren't you?"
She stopped, prompting the Doctor to answer. The Doctor's eyes widened; he shrugged in an act of non-commitment.
"You see, the thing is, Doctor, if I'd never met you I'd still be with Mickey. I woulda never left him and he woulda never left me."
"I'm sorry, Rose. I'm so sorry," the Doctor apologized. His stomach was twisted with guilt. So he'd ruined Rose's life now, then, had he? How many more?
"You don't get it, though do, Doctor? I'm happy!" She said, grinning weakly through her tears.
"You don't look very happy."
"But I am!" She cried out hysterically. "Because I've got no ties left to Mickey! I've got nothing left to go back to! All that time I felt like I was stringing him along and for what? The chance that you might get tired of old Rose Tyler and drop me off on your next stop to London Town?"
"I'm not sure I understand," the Doctor said hesistantly.
"I'm an awful person because I'm happy Mickey's gone because I can finally spend time with you without feeling guilty," Rose wept, the tears now flowing freely down her face. She took another gulp from her brown mug before screwing up her face again. "Isn't that the worst thing you've heard?"
"Not very nearly," said the Doctor soothingly. "Oh, Rose, you are just too human." And with that, he leaned in to kiss her on the forehead, but something powerful overwhelmed him and he found himself pressing his lips against hers and running his hands through her smooth blonde hair. She grasped the lapels of his jacket and crushed her own lips against his. He could feel the wetness of her tears on his cheeks, her breath on his neck as she kissed her way along his hairline. Completely afraid and full of adrenaline, the Doctor moaned. And then it was over, as soon as it had started. Rose fell backwards, still being held by the Doctor, her eyes closed and face unmoving. She had passed out.
Of over nine hundred years of memory, the Doctor had failed to remember that the people of the 51st century had considerably higher alcohol resistance levels. Rose simply was not ready for hypervodka.
The next day Rose woke up with a headache and sour breath, confused at why she wearing her old pyjama singlet with jeans and why her mascara was smudged down her cheeks. The Doctor greeted her with offerings of a hot breakfast at the malachite palace on the planet Lonchaine. It was like he read her mind.
"What happened last night, Doctor?" She murmured, clutching at her throbbing head. She stumbled around the central controls room, sitting down with her head resting on her knees on the old scrappy sofa.
"You don't remember?" The Doctor asked, twiddling a few levers and walking nonchalantly to look at one of the blinking monitors.
The Doctor paused a moment. Should he tell her, this could be the day their relationship goes from one of mutual love and friendship to one of passion and heat. The day he'd silently and simulatenously yearned for but also hoped would never come. He'd had love before. A wife. Children. And they'd been caught up in the life of a Time Lord. And they'd been killed. The Doctor didn't know if he could handle that again, letting himself become attached, only to have it taken away. Besides, what had happened with Rose was probably an act of drunken frivolity brought on by too much hypervodka on an unevolved metabolism. "Nothing happened. Nothing at all."
Of over nine hundred years of memories, this was one better kept to himself.