A/N: There are many JE fixits but I think this might be a bit different. This story is not a retelling of JE although references to AU JE events will be discussed. How Rose crossed the void into the parallel universes fascinates me and this story will explore what the void is and what may exist in this dark space between universes.
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who
Rose stood in the cold, wet sand of Bad Wolf Bay stunned by everything that had just transpired. She felt the Doctor's hand in hers and looked up at him. She was a bit baffled at how she should feel about this Doctor who was not her Doctor and yet, some how he was. He squeezed her hand and stared into her eyes as if trying to comfort the tumultuous feelings he knew were overwhelming her. Confusion and despair pulsed through her. She gripped his hand harder shutting her eyes tight as the tears threatened to burst forth.
"Rose, I need your mobile. It's bloody freezing and we need to call your Dad," Jackie said, shivering on the desolate beach. Rose nodded wordlessly at Jackie's request and handed her the phone. The Doctor pulled her into his arms and held her tight. Jackie looked up at him worriedly and he shook his head indicating that he had her.
Jackie walked away talking to Pete explaining where they were and what had happened. Rose sobbed as if she had lost everything. The Doctor held her tight and murmured something comforting into her ear. She pulled back after a while.
"I need a minute alone, okay?"
"Yeah, sure. I'll just be over there on that sand dune," he responded, indicating an area behind him looking at her sadly. He turned, hands in his pockets and trudged slowly away, his red trainers sinking into the wet sand. The icy Norwegian wind whipped her hair around her head as she watched him walk away. She kicked her sodden boots in the sand and sank to her knees. She rubbed her hands over her cold and numb face. She stared at the square impression in the sand where the Tardis had been as she began to tremble from the cold. She'd never been so cold.
"Rose, Sweetheart," Jackie said, looking at her daughter compassionately. "It's gonna be all right. The Doctor's here now and we can be a family. All of us together."
"Mum, you don't get it. The Doctor's still out there and he's gonna be alone."
"But, he's got Donna now. He's not alone."
"But he is. I saw it. When I was travelin across the void, I saw all these timelines. There were these possibilities twisting around and most of them had him alone if I didn't stay with him. Something awful was gonna happen unless I was there to stop it."
"Oh Rose, you can't save everyone and you have the Doctor here too and it's like he said, the walls to the Universe are closed now. You need to accept that." Rose stared at her for a moment and turned to the square impression in the sand. "Come on, it's freezing and we need to get to town. There's a storm rollin in. Pete'll be here tomorrow to take us home." Jackie walked up to Rose and put her arm around her and the two of them walked toward the Doctor who was standing and staring in deep thought at the rough and stormy sea.
After trudging over sand dune after sand dune in the frigid, whipping wind while the Doctor babbled on about the type of sand found on this beach, as well as the potential climate fluctuations associated with the universal retro closure, they finally reached the town. During the trip, Rose kept feeling like she was missing something. Almost like she forgot to do something but she was so tired and overcome with emotional upheaval, she just couldn't figure it out. By the time they reached the inn, Rose was frozen through and tired of listening to her Mum snip at the Doctor while he babbled on about sand and dimensional travel. As they were walking upstairs to their rooms, they passed a mirror and Rose paused. Something in the mirror was off. She swore she saw it warp.
"Rose?" the Doctor called.
She looked up at him and blinked hard. "Sorry, I thought I saw something. Guess I'm just tired." He nodded and gripped her hand pulling her up the stairs. They passed another mirror on the way to their room and she saw the same thing. It almost looked like the mirror wasn't solid and the reflections looked distorted. She kept thinking it felt like a fun house mirror.
"Rose!" the Doctor said loudly, and put his hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him startled.
"Are you all right?" he asked, and looked toward the mirror she was staring at.
"I'm fine just tired. My mind's playin' tricks on me is all." He nodded and led her in to their room. He offered her up the shower first. She undressed and stepped into the steamy, hot shower and felt pinpricks as the hot water hit her cool skin. She had some temporary relief from the constant Norweigan chill until she stepped out of the shower. The cold assaulted her and she shivered and bundled up. As she dried her hair, she looked at the foggy mirror. She reached her hand up and wrote "Doctor" on the mirror. The writing was backwards.
"This is wrong,," she whispered. She tried again this time writing "Rose." When she looked at it, it was a reflection of her name not the way she knew she wrote it. "I'm losin' my mind. After everythin' I'm finally losing it," she murmured to herself. "Sleep, I need sleep." she wiped off the mirror and walked out to find the Doctor laying on the bed. He rolled over to his side and smiled at her.
"Felling better?" he asked.
"A bit. I'm just tired." He nodded and walked over to a table near the window and uncovered some food he had delivered to the room.
"Thanks," Rose told him. He encouraged her to eat while he showered. She sat by the window and bit into one of the sandwiches. She glanced at the window and saw herself but not as she was dressed now. She was standing upright staring straight ahead still dressed in her jeans and blue coat. She turned around and looked at the room but everything was fine. She looked back at the window and saw the same reflection. She shivered again and pulled the robe tighter around herself. She looked over at her clothes and decided to get dressed. When the Doctor came out, he found her sitting on the bed.
"Thought you were tired? Why are you dressed?"
"Something's wrong," Rose answered, staring at the window.
"What do you mean? What's wrong he asked, immediately reaching for his sonic.
She smiled when she saw him react in such a Doctory manner. "Every reflective surface I look at is wrong. It's like they're warped and when I look at them, they don't reflect what's in front of them."
The Doctor walked up to the window and stared at it. "Rose, it's fine. Look, I'm standing in front of the window waving to myself. See, here I am. This is me waving," he said smiling, as he waved to himself in the reflection of the window. Rose watched and he was correct. There was nothing weird with his reflection.
She walked up and stood next to him and everything looked okay. He turned to grab a sandwich and it changed. "Doctor!" she yelled. He walked over chewing his sandwich and looked at the window.
"What?" he said, as he chewed.
"My reflection. It wasn't me here in this room!" Rose insisted. He sighed and looked at her.
"Rose, get some rest. It's been a long day. You're exhausted."
"You sayin' I'm seein' things?" she asked, perturbed at his attitude.
"I'm saying that you're exhausted and have been traveling through the void. Humans aren't meant to do that. No telling how that may have effected your mind. Could cause all kinds of nasty side effects."
"Great, so you're sayin' I'm losin it."
He walked over and pulled her into his arms. "No, I'm saying you need to get some rest and we'll talk about it in the morning. If you're still seein things, we'll investigate."
She nodded. "All right. Guess I'll just get some rest then." She removed her boots and curled up under the blankets. "Good night."
"Good night, Rose. I promise, everything will be clearer in the morning."
Rose closed her eyes and felt goose bumps pricking her skin and as once again, she shivered from the cold. That night she dreamed about an overwhelming and oppressive darkness. It suffocated her and when she screamed, she could hear no sound. She was alone and yet she was being watched. She knew someone or thing was talking to her but there was no voice. She felt fear and a consuming distress. She tried to run but something was holding her back like she was immersed in a freezing thick black tar. It clung to her and was sucking her deeper into a dark pool and the more she struggled, the deeper she sank. She woke up the next morning screaming.
The Doctor was immediately by her side looking concerned. "It's wrong," she insisted, and jumped out of bed and began pacing.
"What's wrong? Rose, talk to me," he said, walking over to her.
"Something is wrong with me," she said, walking back and forth. She stopped and looked at him her eyes wide. "It's the void"
"What do you mean," he asked, his voice now reflecting his concern.
"I think that maybe I left something in the void. Part of me is still there."
He pulled out his sonic and scanned her. He looked at her, his eyes full of concern and ran his hand through his hair. "We need to get back to Torchwood now. I need to see this dimension canon." he said, taking her hand and pulling her toward the door. Jackie was in the lobby with Pete when they arrived. "We need to get Rose back to Torchwood now!" the Doctor insisted. "We think something may have happened to her in the void."
"What do you mean? What's wrong?" Jackie asked, looking at Rose worried.
"It may be nothing, but we need to check Rose out and look at the dimension canon. Rose crossed the void multiple times and no human is meant to do that."
Pete nodded. "Understood. I have a zeppelin ready. Let's head out," Pete said, with authority. Due to technological advances made in Zeppelin navigation and propulsion, they were back in London in two hours. Pete took Jackie home while Rose and the Doctor went straight to the dimension canon. Rose paced back and forth while the Doctor soniced and examined the canon while softly muttering to himself. Rose walked over to one side of the room which was lined with mirrors that were used to reflect and refract some of the energy necessary to operate the canon. They seemed to shimmer and undulate almost like when a pebble is thrown into a pond. She kept seeing herself inside, trapped. She rubbed her arms up and down as she shivered. She turned around and found the Doctor staring at her.
"Why can't you just accept it?" he asked.
"What? Accept what? What are you talkin about?" Rose asked. He looked unnaturally still, his eyes dark and fathomless.
"This life here with me and your family. It could be good you know. All you have to do is accept it. Accept me."
"Doctor, something's wrong. This isn't about you or what happened at Bad Wolf Bay. Something is wrong with me or maybe we didn't' fix things and the universal walls are still down."
He snorted and paced. "All you had to do was accept things. I would have given you a perfect life, but you can't do that can you? No, you're too stubborn for that." he said, pacing and gesturing with his hands almost angrily.
"What are you talkin about! We have to do something. The universe could collapse if it's not fixed," she said frantically, and then another wave of cold wrapped itself around her. She gasped.
"You know what's wrong don't you?" she whispered, backing away from him.
He looked at her sadly. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. If you had just accepted me and this life, this wouldn't be necessary," he said looking at her, and shaking his head. "You see, no human was ever intended to cross the void much less as many times as you attempted. But then, you're no typical human are you. Especially, not now. Rose backed up until she was almost touching the mirrors. Her breath caught as she watched the mirrors liquefy and the liquid silver pour out of them like a shiny waterfall cascading into rivulets down the wall and pooling at her feet.
"No. This can't be happening. Why are you sayin' this to me? Doctor, Please!"
Suddenly, she felt a horrible pain shoot up her leg. She looked down in horror as the liquid mirror was enveloping her legs. She looked up at the Doctor or image of the Doctor or whatever he might be.
"Doctor, please, help me!"
"It's too late for that now, Rose Tyler. You're mind just wouldn't' accept it."
"No! It hurts. I'm so cold," she cried out, tears flowing down her face and freezing. Her breath puffed out in any icy mist. "Please don't do this!" she begged.
"It's already happened," he said softly. Those were the last words that Rose Tyler heard before she was completely enveloped by the icy, silver liquid and the reality around her dissolved into nothingness.