A/N: Nothing you recognize belongs to me! Quotes taken from "The Parting of the Ways." This fic is in response to larxene_12's prompt on my livejournal-the quote from the Fourth Doctor below. This story is part of my "All Roads Lead Home" series and a companion piece to "The Long and Winding Road. It takes place sometime after Chapter 17. It isn't necessary to read TLAWR to understand this fic.
"You see, I know that although the Daleks will create havoc and destruction for millions of years, I know also that out of their evil must come something good."
-Fourth Doctor, Genesis of the Daleks
There are things she knows in dreams—things that fade into the background of the controlled chaos that is their life, things that she can't vocalize, won't even try. There's a bone-deep knowing, a certainty that washes over her and lingers into that time between sleeping and waking. She remembers places she's never been and people she's never seen—events she couldn't have witnessed.
I can see everything—all that is, all that was, all that could ever be.
She visits the Eye of Orion with a Doctor who wears a stalk of celery pinned to his lapel. She sees him hesitate, realize that he has the opportunity to destroy those who cost him his people and his home. She sees him turn away, unable to end their existence before it properly began. She knows that he regrets this decision, knows that he has agonized over the consequences and the costs. It was a Pyrrhic victory that he won when he finally faced them, the last, the only one who could end a conflict that threatened to unravel the fabric of Time itself. She walks the TARDIS halls and waits for a young girl with a pixie face and dark hair to return from school while a white-haired Doctor mutters uncomplimentary things about humans and tinkers with the console. She sneaks onboard the magnificent ship with a much-younger Sarah Jane and laughs when the clever journalist accuses the Doctor of kidnapping her. She hides one Doctor's recorder in response to a silent plea from his Scottish companion. On a beach with automatic sand she slips her fingers through those of a Doctor sporting a tweed coat and bow-tie while another version of her stretches out on the sand next to a young ginger woman. In Paris she trails behind the Doctor, this time sporting an absurdly long and strangely colored scarf; he laughs at something his companion—the first Time Lady to travel with him since his granddaughter, says. She watches from the shadows when his own people put him on trail—she would have as well, but for crimes against fashion, not the trumped-up charges they present. She shares conspiratorial grins with a brunette with a penchant for explosions and a Doctor with a Scottish burr.
And in the midst of the Time War, she stands beside a Doctor dressed in regency garb. He stands in his TARDIS, one hand on the button that will destroy his world and that of his enemies. His head is bowed, shoulders slumped—he looks defeated, completely and totally. She longs to wrap him in her arms, to whisper to him of the days that will come. She wishes that she could take him away, far away from this terrible, terrible choice—but it is this moment that defines him, will define him, until the end of his life. She covers his hand with her own, and together they save the universe and doom his people. She wraps him in herself, glowing and golden and protects him from the ravages of the Time Lock.
I want you safe, my Doctor.
He will live, her Doctor. And he will change and soft, cultured tones will give way to a warm Northern burr as velvet will give way to leather, and one day he will stumble into the basement of a shop with a left-over bomb from the girl who liked to blow things up and meet a blonde shopgirl surrounded by shop-window dummies come to life. They will run and they will fight and somewhere along the way they'll both fall in love. He will send her away and she will come back because that's who she is, who she's always been. She will rip open his beautiful ship and take in all the power of time and space. She will become more than a human, and he will regenerate to save her. He will change and the version of him that follows will be made for her, crafted so that his body fits her as his soul always has.
When she sleeps, she dreams, and when she dreams, she learns what she has always known, even if she forgot for a little while. It isn't about the planets and the traveling and the running, although those are very nice things. It is the man behind the legend that calls to her, the core of his existence that she recognizes, no matter what face he wore, wears, will wear. She is the Bad Wolf, mate to the Oncoming Storm. They are forces of Time and beyond that, they are the Doctor and Rose Tyler, shaped and molded for each other.
In her dreams she sees possibilities, alternate timelines, echoes. Without the Daleks, without the refining fire of the Time War, terrible though it was, she sees the creation of something worse. He is the Doctor at his darkest—ruthless, manipulative, power-hungry and utterly mad. He is without ethics or mercy, scruples or compassion. He is the Valeyard.
He is a whisper in the dark, and nothing more. She curls around the cool body of her lover, his double-heartbeat loud beneath her ear as she lays her head on his chest. He murmurs something intelligible and she lays a kiss on his collarbone. The TARDIS humms around her and she drifts back into sleep.
There are things she knows in dreams. Gold shimmers behind her eyelids and the wolf howls.
I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself.