Truths, facts, and other inconvenient realizations

Chapter 1: Truths

Oh, he thought, as a shower of sparks showered over his face and hair. Oh, oh Rassilon.

He rolled himself out from underneath the console and pushed himself up into a sitting position. The room was its usual warm shade of orange, but besides the thrumming of the TARDIS, the room was silent.

He looked at his hand and flexed his fingers. They still felt very new. After all, he had only had them for a little over a month. They were long and thin, but they looked purposeful, and they were dead useful, much better than his old fingers, which he still missed regardless. He had liked that body.

But this one. This body. It explained a lot. It was younger. And ruder. And he might even say, objectively, of course, that it was sexier. Or he liked to think so.

In the past all of his generations seemed to make sense. However, odd and eccentric, or grave and no-nonsense, they always did him justice and served their purposes well. He had to admit, though, that this time he really, really liked this body. And for the first time in what seemed a long time, he actually liked himself.

It wasn't fair to account that all to his new body. Sure, he could wear a suit well, and damn, did he have excellent hair, but he couldn't exactly take credit for it; it wasn't exactly a conscious decision…but he had a theory about that.

This theory involved a certain blonde woman sleeping down the hallway. It was quite late in the night by Earth standards, specifically those of London, and she would likely be asleep for several more of the foreseeable hours.

In his theory, she was the beginning and the end. This made him smile. He'd made Rose sound biblical. Rose Tyler, Defender of Earth. Maybe she was. Biblical, that is. Maybe to the Universe, or maybe just to him.

He jerked himself out of his reverie.

Rose would indeed explain a lot of things about his new body. She was in fact very young. This new body was younger. She wasn't exactly the most soft-spoken woman in the Universe. He loved that. And he wasn't exactly muffling his rudeness. She had big, beautiful brown eyes that almost swirled with amber. This new body, too, had brown eyes. He was fairly certain that they didn't do any kind of swirling, but still, maybe it was some kind of homogenic thing?

No, of course not. He was getting his hopes up. He was over 900 years old. She was barely out of her teens. That was, as she had once put it, one hell of an age gap.

One hell of an age gap, indeed.

He wanted, almost more than anything, to believe that maybe the Universe had done him a favor this time. Maybe this body was made for Rose. Maybe the Universe was going to give him a chance to love somebody…

He rubbed his forehead with the inside of his wrist, kneading out the wrinkles from his furrowed brow.

If this was the case, the Universe was being pretty vague and cryptic about the whole affair.

And, he thought, even if this body did happen to be made for Rose, and maybe, impossibly, somehow, I do actually love her, she probably doesn't love me. I'm an old man. I might not look it, but I am. I'm not healthy for her. I'm too dark and dangerous and rude.

But think of the way you catch her looking at you.

You're tricking yourself. You're seeing what you want to see.

Don't be stupid, you're a Time Lord, you see exactly what's there.

Ugh, Time Lords don't love.

Sure they do!

They don't love humans.

Shows what you know.

Idiot.

Ditto.

He was beginning to think he'd lost his mind. Wouldn't be the first time, now that he thought about it, but those times had always been induced by some alien scheme, and he'd always come out of it.

Maybe he wasn't losing his mind. Maybe he was just in lo—

He didn't want to say it. But he should. He should admit it, because it was the truth. He'd never been one to deny a cold, hard, fact laid out in front of him, and he wasn't about to start now. If he didn't recognize this truth, what's to say he wouldn't start rejecting others? He couldn't have himself rejecting the fabric of the Universe. No, indeed.

He needed to admit that he, unequivocally, was in love with Rose Tyler.