Everyone saw the list. Everyone. Literally, everyone.
Everyone saw her name printed in soulless letters on the cold page, carelessly thrown amongst countless others as if she was just one of many who died and not the one who had sacrificed everything to save the universe.
The Doctor read the list in the quiet of the TARDIS and froze when he saw her name, his breath catching in his throat, burning in his trachea remarkably like a hedgehog would had there been a hedgehog in his trachea.
He'd known, of course. Battle that big, if someone went missing, they were presumed dead. But seeing it there, in stark, incongruous black, it struck him. She was dead. She was alive, but she was dead to him.
He had failed her. He'd sworn he'd protect her, and he had failed.
He curled up, head hidden in his arms, and let himself cry for the first time since the Battle.
Sarah-Jane read the list in the relative peace of her home. She had lost friends in the Battle— everyone had— and she wanted to make sure that those who hadn't contacted her were still, in fact, alive.
She almost skipped over her name, but when it finally registered she stopped breathing.
Not her. Not dear, sweet Rose, who had managed to capture the Doctor's hearts even if she didn't know it. Not the only person Sarah-Jane could talk to about the Doctor who would actually understand. Please, not her...
She took out her cell phone and called the Doctor.
"Is it true?" she asked him as soon as he answered. "The list. Rose's name. Is it true?"
Silence. "She's gone," was all he said.
The break in his voice said it all.
Jack was one of the first to read it— he and his haphazard team, and he felt odd that he hadn't lost anyone. Every single person there was crying, if only a little bit, because the name of someone they knew was on that list. Even Owen was hurting. But he, Jack, secreted in his underground base with the only creatures he considered friends all standing (or, in the case of the pterodactyl, flying) around him? He had no-one. Not even to miss.
His eyes skimmed over the list and he recognised quite a few names from Torchwood One. Idiots. He had told them not to muck around with the rift, and they hadn't listened. They never did.
But he didn't see one person, not even one, that he liked.
He nearly missed it. But right there, halfway down the page; there she was.
He thought his heart stopped, but it still throbbed sharply and painfully in his chest.
Not her, he thought to himself, instinctively backing away from the cold sheets of paper. Not her.
He felt tears begin to pool slowly in his eyes, slipping down his face, eating into his ashen cheeks like acid.
A blaze of anger flared within him as Tosh and Owen glanced over at him, confused, but he paid them no heed as blistering rage seared him inside. How could the Doctor let her die? Why the hell hadn't he protected her like he always swore he would? The second he found that bastard he would kill him. Murder him. Slowly. And make it excruciatingly clear why he was doing it.
He could live with not knowing why he was immortal if only to see the bastard suffer.
Harriet Jones read the list as soon as she could.
Her eyes flickered back up and it felt like the world had stopped.
Rose, who had stood up before the Sycorax bravely and managed to buy enough time for the Doctor to awaken? Who had figured out how to save them all when the missiles struck Downing Street? Who had...
It didn't seem possible.
But there it was.
Her one conscious thought was that the Doctor would be heartbroken.
Zachary Cross-Flane was going through the Archive on their way back to Earth when he found it.
"Oh my—" he managed to say.
"What? What is it?" asked Ida.
He wordlessly showed her the list.
"Oh no," she murmured.
Zach was shaken himself. Rose, dead? Impossible. She had been so... so clever, so resourceful, so full of life, and she had the Doctor's undying protection as well; it had to be a mistake.
"Says she went missing," he said quietly. "They asked the man she had been travelling with what happened, and he just said that she was gone."
"But—" protested Danny, who had finally roused himself out of his half-asleep state enough to process what was happening.
"I know," said Zach.
The next few hours passed in silence.
Shareen and Keisha read the list together. Well, not together, but on the phone, and they considered that as counting.
And then they saw it.
"What?" breathed Shareen.
Keisha was silent as she read it again, and when she spoke, her voice was choked. "I thought... I thought she'd just gone off travelling again and hadn't said good-bye..."
"Me too," cried Shareen. "But she's... I didn't even know she was here, and..."
"Poor John," murmured Keisha when they had both managed to calm down a bit.
Shareen nodded to herself as she remembered the unbearably attractive John Smith. He obviously considered her his entire world, and everyone could see it except Rose herself.
He would be devastated.
Shareen wished that she had actually managed to get his phone number, but this time it was so that maybe she might be able to help him.
God knew she needed help now.
Martha found the list on a table in the library.
She'd had read the list before. But she read it again; she'd no idea why. An inventory, she supposed, of what she had lost: the one sane person in her family, her cousin Adeola.
She shook herself as she completely passed up the O section before she noticed something scribbled near the bottom.
A name, circled.
And a note off to the side, written in sloppy Gallifreyan with little distortions from dried liquid scattered haphazardly across the page.
She momentarily stopped breathing, guilt streaming over her. No wonder the Doctor was so defensive about Rose, so depressed about her. No wonder he had only managed to say her full name a few days before, and even then he had gone off on one of his heartsbroken trances, seeing absolutely nothing for several seconds before he returned to his facade of cheerfulness.
Martha had known for some time that the Doctor absolutely adored the mysterious Rose Tyler. She had just assumed that Rose had left and the Doctor, being the Doctor, had let her go. She had assumed that Rose didn't know what it was she had and decided to go back to normalcy. She had assumed...
But all this time she had just died. In a battle which, Martha knew now, was resolved by the Doctor.
Unexpectedly filled with self-loathing, she went to the console room, list in hand, to find the alien curled in a highly improbable position under the console, patiently trying to do something to the TARDIS which didn't appear to be working, judging by the sparks.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly as soon as the sparks and Gallifreyan cursing died down.
He poked his head above the floor. "What about?" he asked, a confused frown etched between his eyebrows, his hair ruffled from either electric shock or frustration.
Martha indicated the list, and his face fell.
"Ah," he said.
"I'm sorry," she repeated. "I didn't know."
He shook his head. "Nah," he said quietly. "You couldn't have."
And that was when Martha Jones finally gave up hope that the Doctor would ever love her.
But that wouldn't stop her from being there for him if he needed her.