Sacrifice

Note:

I know it's been 3+ years since Bad Wolf Bay Ver 2, but I still haven't gotten over it yet. There were so many things wrong with the ending of Journey's End that I can write millions of different stories trying to fix them. This is the Rose/10 fix, where Rose will remain with her Doctor.

Please enjoy!

Summary: The Human Doctor looked at Rose and realized, with his singular aching heart, that he was being selfish. So he made a decision. "Except…I'm not him."


"You're back home."

The Norwegian winds were sharp and icy, but Rose Tyler did not notice. She could not notice because every word coming out of the Doctor's mouth impaled her already crumbling heart. Donna started to speak, but her words were just sounds to Rose. She could not look away from the Doctor.

"No," she started desperately, "but I spent all that time, trying to find you. I'm not going back now."

His large brown eyes looked pleadingly at her. They were eyes full of sympathy, pain and lies. She recognized that expression. She'd seen it before on Satellite Five, when he had made an excuse to get her to the Tardis. To send her away.

He was sending her away again, and it broke his hearts.

"But you've got to. Cos we saved the universe at a cost, and the cost, is him. He destroyed the Daleks. He committed genocide. He's too dangerous to be left on his own."

"You made me," the other Doctor put in now, and for the first time Rose looked away from the Doctor, her Doctor, to this new one who was exactly like hers. Her heart raced; flustered by the sight of two men, two identical men who she loved so deeply that she would tear apart Universes to find again. Confusion took her over, and she didn't know if she should be angry or not.

"Exactly. You were born in battle. Full of blood and anger and revenge." He turned to Rose. "Remind you of someone? That's me, when we first met. And you made me better. Now you can do the same for him."

Rose could only breathe out, weakly, "But he's not you…"

"He needs you, that's very me."

Something screamed and imploded in Rose's mind, but confusion occupied her, as if trying to protect her from fully understanding the Doctor's meaning.

Donna joined in again, "It's better than that, though. Don't you see what he's giving you?" She turned to the clone Doctor. "Tell her, go on."

The clone spoke, slowly, "I look like him. Think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything, except..."

He paused and something in his expression shifted. He looked at Rose Tyler, really looked at her, his brown eyes becoming wider. She seemed to be holding her breath, and her pained, bewildered eyes made his stomach ache with sorrow. Oh how he wanted to hold her and take away that sadness, to tell her that he loved her, and that he was human and he could spend the rest of the days with her, growing old with her, that he could share so much with her…

"Except?" Rose repeated, breathlessly.

He broke his gaze to look up at Donna—the Doctor Donna—who smiled at him encouragingly, urging him to tell Rose Tyler why she should choose him over the original Doctor. Why he's better.

Then his gaze turned to him, the Doctor. He was looking at Rose, his eyes full of torment and self-sacrifice. He knew what the Doctor was thinking-he was him after all. He knew that the Doctor's hearts right now were tearing open with every second that passed, every second he was refraining from the powerful urge to throw up his hands, grab Rose Tyler, tell him (the clone), the universe and all that is proper "Tough, I'm taking her!" and fly away with the woman he loved. Abscond, elope. Oh, how his inner mind shook to reign in that selfishness!

The clone Doctor understood because he was experiencing the same thing.

"Go on," urged Donna, "The universe is closing in on us. We haven't got much time!"

Donna! Brilliant, shining Donna. She had his brain, but not his heart(s)! She understood his love, but she could not feel it. Brilliant Donna, if she could only feel just a fraction of what he felt, she would not be saying those words so easily.

He wanted to be selfish, and oh how his mind shook to reign in that selfishness. To stop himself from saying 'I'm part Human. Specifically, the aging part. I'll grow old. And never regenerate. I've only got one life, Rose Tyler. I... could spend it with you. If you want.'

The Human Doctor looked at Rose and realized, with his singular aching heart, that he was being selfish, and he loved her too much to do this to her. Because what was right was this: The Doctor and Rose Tyler in the Tardis. As it should be as long as it can be. That meant he, the other, the extra, the third, needed to be out of that picture.

So he made a decision. "Except…" he continued, letting out a wavering sigh, "I'm not him." It felt like knives tearing at his throats when he uttered those words. His human side was amplifying these emotions. It was raw and insurmountable. These humans—how do they live with so much emotion, and handle it with just one measly heart?

"What?" Donna said, looking at him in alarm. The Doctor stared at him in disbelief.

"You heard me. I'm not him. Rose Tyler loves the Doctor, and I'm not the Doctor." He looked pointedly at the Time Lord, "You know that."

"But—" The Doctor began, but the Human Doctor interrupted, angrily—

"—If you say I am, then it makes me nothing but your clone, and not my own person. You know me, and I know you, and we know that's just unacceptable. I'm not going to take living like that!"

The Doctor was stunned into silence. If the situation wasn't serious, the Human Doctor would have remarked with humor that only he could make himself speechless.

He turned to Rose Tyler. His lovely, brilliant Rose Tyler, who he was going to send away again because he loved her so very much. "I'm not him."

Rose blinked several times, and then looked at her Doctor, waiting for him confirm it, waiting…waiting for him to say something.

"Go darling," her mother's voice cut into her thoughts, startling her. Her mother, tears in her eyes, was smiling at her. "Go. It's where you belong."

"Mum…"

The Human Doctor nudged Rose closer to the Doctor. "Go on. The walls are closing. You lot don't want to be trapped here. Not your place."

"What about you?" Rose asked frantically, "What's going to happen to you?"

Always caring, always worrying, his Rose Tyler. He grinned at her. "Oh, I'll be fine. This Universe needs a Time Lord Hero, well, half human, half time lord hero." Fake bravado, fake ego. The first time he's had to strain and pretend to be full of himself.

Rose looked at him with peculiar and almost skeptical eyes.

"Rose," the Doctor said, taking Rose's shoulders and looking desperately into her eyes, "He…has my memories and he loves you. He's human and he can grow old with you, that's the only difference. He can give you what I can't."

"But I'm not you," the Human Doctor said firmly, "If I tried, I'd be just an imposter. A liar. And a cheap copy, which I'm not."

"That's not what I'm saying!" the Doctor exclaimed.

"No, but that's the implication. Now go! Take her away, Doctor, before it's too late!"

"Doctor, we should go," Donna urged, looking at them uneasily.

"Doctor," Rose began uncertainly, "That day on the beach...what were you going to say?"

"…Does it need saying?" he responded gently, but his eyes exuded intensely what mouth didn't express. Rose glanced at the Human Doctor, who bit savagely on his tongue.

The Doctor looked away from Rose and looked straight into the eyes of the Human Doctor, and found himself startled by the hauntingly familiar expression that his doppelganger wore.

The Human Doctor's eyes were full of sympathy, pain and lies. He recognized that expression. He wore it once on Satellite Five, when he had made an excuse to get Rose to the Tardis, and just a few moments ago, when he tried to convince her and himself that this was the best for Rose, that he would sacrifice his own happiness for her's.

The Human Doctor was sending her away, and it broke his singular heart.

"You're allowed," the Human Doctor said to him, smiling sadly, "Just this once, to be selfish."

The Doctor understood, and he was endlessly grateful. He looked at Rose, took her hands and turned towards the Tardis, pulling her with him before she could say anything. Donna, silenced by the gravity of the moment, followed suit with a sad glance at the lonely Human Doctor.

The Tardis door slammed close behind them. The Doctor released Rose's hands and started circling the Tardis, along with Doctor Donna as they steered the Tardis back into their own universe.

Rose looked shell shocked. Tears welled in her eyes. She stood back, leaning on the railings for support as the Tardis shook. She could not get it out of her mind—that expression of deep anguish that the Human Doctor wore while watching them go.

And then she realized, with pang of guilt and sorrow, that she had not kissed her mother goodbye.


Note:

How was it? Too angsty? Melodramatic?

I'm not sure if I'm going to end it here, or do a full on rewrite from this point. What do you think? Should I add to the already large collection of Rose/10 series rewrites?

[Note, I'm already planning another Rose/Doctor au. Yes, I'm a Rose/10/Doctor shipper, if you haven't noticed by now. I ship them so hard, and I don't even usually like to ship or care that much about ships]