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Inside the TARDIS, a flushed Doctor could only gape openly at TARDIS Rose when she pulled back enough to gaze at him. "Always wanted to try that." She admitted to him with a devilish grin. "Much better than I imagined."
"What...Why...How..." Completely flustered, he groaned and tugged himself free of her grasp. He yanked at the ends of his black coattails to straighten it and gave her a stern look.
"A girl has to take a chance sometimes." She shrugged, but didn't try to accost him again. He stood back as she trailed around the center console. He was a natural observer. It hadn't escaped him that this TARDIS creation kept glancing toward the doors of the TARDIS. At first he wondered if she might very well try to leave. But it was something else.
She was fidgeting and being spontaneous in new ways. Was her insecurity about Rose's being back the cause of it? He kept moving so that the console stayed between them, just in case she had further thoughts of stealing kisses.
"Afraid of me, Doctor?" She teased him.
"No. But! You just stay over there for now." He warned without any real threat to his tone.
She nodded compliantly. No use pushing her luck. She was happy she'd gotten that much from him in the end.
After he fussed with the console a few more moments, he moved and started for the door.
TARDIS Rose's eyes widened. She quickly vanished and materialized in his path, blocking his way to the door. "Where are you going?"
"To find Rose." He said as if it were the most obvious answer in the universe. Actually, it was.
"But she needs time to pick the right outfit and sort her makeup out, Doctor. Give her some time. She said she'd be back."
"Oh, I'm sure she won't mind company." The Doctor's anxious look at TARDIS Rose and back to the door said it all. He wanted to get away from her. He wouldn't have minded waiting for Rose, but having been kissed by TARDIS Rose and feeling completely uncomfortable with the situation, he wanted to get out, away from her. He thought that going clothes and makeup shopping with Rose would be a wiser choice than staying alone with her after that.
TARDIS Rose felt terrible. She was failing. She'd gone with her own impulses instead of distracting him some other way. Like pretending there was a problem with the TARDIS. That could have kept him busy for hours, if need be. And she didn't even need hours! Just a bit of time. But she hadn't even done this much right. Suddenly, she began to see that had she been in Rose's shoes instead of stuck here in the TARDIS, she probably would have ended up making the same foolish mistakes.
The Doctor gently pushed TARDIS Rose out of his way and reached for the door. She grabbed at his arm desperately. "But you can't!" She cried out.
His head whipped around. He stared at her. She could feel his eyes trying to read hers, to suss out exactly what it was that was making her behave like this. She prayed he wouldn't work it out. "Why not?" He asked, not moving.
"She...She just needs...Time to..." She nervously stammered, trying to come up with some explanation other than the truth.
"Time to what?" The Doctor shook her off his arm. He eyed her suspiciously. Something was wrong and he now knew it.
"To fix...Her...Her hair." She told him lamely.
His eyes narrowed in on hers and she couldn't help but look away. "You're lying." He accused, turning fully to her. "What is it you're not telling me?" He demanded, quietly threatening.
Rose was wandering with determination in her step. Where was a tall building to jump off of when she needed one? The bustling town they'd landed in all seemed to have only one and two story buildings. Nothing high enough to kill a person.
Aborting a timeline took more work than she thought it would. To think, it hadn't been very long ago she actually wished for death to take her, and it nearly had. Now she was seeking it out even though she didn't want it at all.
She had no time to try to poison herself. There wasn't exactly a local gun shop, so that was out. Hanging herself would work, but she had no rope. She could think of only one lethal weapon that she would be most likely to get her hands on fast enough and accomplish her mission.
A nearby restaurant, maybe even the very one the Doctor had planned on taking her, did have a large kitchen. Kitchens were full of knives.
She found a back entrance and slipped in. She avoided the cooking staff and ran to grab up a large butcher's knife from a counter where it lay. She ran out with it as someone called after her, shouting.
She ignored them and ran down to the other end of the street.
People were looking at her. She looked like quite the sight, already dried blood on her, tear-streaked face, butcher knife in hand. She needed a solitary place to do this. She couldn't in front of all these people. She looked around and spied an empty looking office building. She hurried over. The doors were locked. She no longer cared. She didn't know how long TARDIS Rose could distract the Doctor. She started looking for a way in.
"Nothing. It's nothing." TARDIS Rose insisted to the Doctor, refusing to meet his gaze.
"Then why won't you tell me?" He reached out and took her shoulders when she didn't answer. "You're trying to distract me. Why?" He gave her a slight shake. Not enough to hurt her, but enough to tell her he meant business.
"She's just...Doing the only thing she can do, Doctor. She can't feel right about any of this until she does. She has to fix it." She said quietly, staring at the floor.
The Doctor stared all of four seconds longer before understanding dawned. "Oh, no..." Eyes widening in horror, he released her. "But she can't!" He cried. "No! No, no, no, no, no!" He whirled around, flung the door open, and raced out of the TARDIS.
"But it's too late! Doctor, wait!" TARDIS Rose stared out after his disappearing form. She couldn't do anything about it now. Leaving would only hurry her own death along and the Doctor was already gone. "It's all over now..."
Rose found a fist sized rock by the walkway. She picked it up and tossed it into the glass of the door. The glass broke, shattering. Pieces of glass fell inside and outside of the door. She tried to stepped over them, hearing and feeling a few of them crunch under her shoes.
She looked around. Desks, chairs, a coffee maker. She moved through to a door that lead into a hallway. She switched on the hall light. No windows. It would be a safe place to do this. She laughed morbidly at such a thought. Safe. Nothing was safe anymore.
Closing the door behind her, she stepped towards the center of the office-lined hall. She faced away from where she'd entered. She drew the blade up with a shaky hand and studied it. It wasn't too dull at least. Would have made for a more painful experience if she'd had to stab herself multiple times to get the job done. She wanted this to be as painless as possible.
Rose thought about how to do it. She had to. There was no other way. She didn't like thinking about such violent acts, but there was no other way. The Doctor had to know this. He just was too impossibly kind to ever even suggest it, much less make her go through with it. It was all up to her.
She slowly grasped the handle of the butcher knife with both hands. She turned it around to face her stomach. There were plenty of vital organs in there. If she aimed right, and struck deep, there would be no turning back. Then again, if she missed, it could end with her severely injured, stuck alone in a hallway in an unfamiliar place, and unable to finish the job. Thinking better, she raised it up to her chest, just over her heart. Perfect.
He needed her. He needed to tell her. More importantly, he needed to save her.
As he ran, the Doctor scanned the small shops lining each side of the street, calculating the odds of each as a potential direction Rose might have taken. He could feel the adrenaline flowing through him as freely as blood. Rose was going to kill herself. He couldn't allow that to happen.
There was little time to spare. He didn't know where to find her. There was no sign of her. He kept running and looking about, hoping for some clue as to where she might have gone or what she could possibly be thinking doing something so stupid! Why did she have to go and do the right thing? It wasn't right! There had to be another way if she would only give him time to come up with it!
He heard glass shattering in the distance. It was the only signal in this otherwise normal looking town, of anything being out of place. He sprinted towards the sound.
Rose knew she couldn't let herself think too hard about what she was about to do or she would lose her courage. It was simply something she had to do. She'd faced death plenty of times with the Doctor, quite bravely. She couldn't stop now.
She moved the knife out away from herself and closed her eyes. It was time.
The Doctor stared down at the shards of various sizes of glass and the rock that lay just inside the broken office building's door. "Rose?" He called nervously, stepping through the broken door. He looked around and spotted the only other door in the room. Likely leading to the executive offices and bathrooms. What was she doing? Why was she here? It couldn't be a good thing. He hurried over to the door.
Rose held her breath and thrust the blade toward her chest with all her might.
The Doctor flung the door open in time to see Rose's body slumping to the floor. "Rose?!" He shouted. "No!" He hurled himself in her direction, dropping to the floor like a stone before her. "Rose, please...No!" He lifted her gently and turned her onto her back. The knife protruded from her chest. It was deeply embedded into her chest, directly where her heart was. She hadn't missed, after all.
"No..." The Doctor pulled Rose's upper body onto his lap. "Rose, please...You can't! Don't leave me." He whispered achingly. His tears spilled over and fell upon her pale face. The knife was too deep. If he tried to remove it, it would only cause more damage. He felt an extremely faint pulse at her neck, but there was nothing he could do. She was going to die.
Rose had felt the sharp plunge of the blade, and then blacked out. The next thing she knew, she felt something wet falling on her cheeks from above. She heard a voice. The voice sounded scared. It was pleading. Saying things, but she couldn't make them out. "Wha...What's happening?" She breathed weakly. She was barely able to force her eyes open and meet the fuzzy gaze of the man hovering over her. She couldn't feel his arm around her, holding her onto his lap. She did feel the soft fingers trickling through her hair.
"D-Doctor?" She questioned, completely confused. What was happening? What had she done? Then it flooded back to her and the pain only worsened. She grunted and jerked.
"Keep still." The Doctor spoke quietly, trying to keep his words calm. He wasn't calm at all. He was losing Rose all over again, and this time to death. "It's okay, you'll be fine." He assured her with possibly one of his biggest lies ever. "Just a scratch."
Rose could see his face more clearly now. He was crying. He was trying to smile for her, but she could see the immense pain in his eyes. It was there because of her. "I'm sorry, Doctor. I just wanted to-" She was wracked by a coughing fit.
The Doctor did his best to keep her body still during the fit so that it would be less pain for her. "I know. You were very brave, Rose Tyler." He reassured her.
She had questions. Would the world go back to the way it was before? Would it be different? Had she really been all that brave? Would she be back in the world or dead forever? But she was too weak to ask. Instead she gazed up at him longingly after her second coughing fit ended. Her lungs were filling with fluids and her organs were shutting down. What was left of her heart was struggling to keep her body functioning and it was failing.
"Doctor-" She managed to get out before even weaker coughs tried to escape her. She could hardly hear and she now only had tunnel vision. That vision was full of the saddest, sweetest face she would ever know. She stared up at him until her vision blackened and nothingness set in.
"Rose..." He meant to go on. To tell her the things he never dared before, but her pulse had stopped. Her breathing ended.
Rose was dead.