I've had this one finished for a while. At first it was just going to be a one chapter thing, but then I thought of another similar themed thing and THEN I had to have a confrontation about it. Well, I say confrontation… Rose and the Doctor are really more of the type who skirt around big issues and only really talk about the small ones. In my opinion the scene in School Reunion was a big outburst of pent up things that happened only once or twice.
Anyway, the beginning of this story was inspired by the line in 'The Wedding of River Song' when the Doctor said 'I could help Rose Tyler with her homework'. Being a HUGE Rose / Doctor shipper, I melted right away. Then I got this idea in my head and had most of it written out during the add breaks before the show was even finished.
"So…" Rose said flopping down on the couch next to the Doctor. They were sitting in the library, an uneasy silence hung about them. But still neither of them said anything. He knew he had a lot to answer for.
He knew Rose was okay with Sarah Jane now… but she knew there had been other companions. And he had just invited Mickey aboard. Perhaps that hadn't been such a good move after all. Sure it would put that little tiny bit of distance between them, which was what he was aiming for… but would he actually be able to stand it?
Mickey was currently getting settled into his own room. The Doctor got the impression Rose wasn't very happy about him coming aboard either. It didn't make much sense… Mickey was her boyfriend… kind of.
Ugh, boyfriend, the word made him seethe. Why had he been so dumb as to let him travel! Now with him back, she'd probably be all over him. And he would have to sit by and watch them make goo goo eyes at each other and… And he would have to try and restrain himself if that idiot kissed her in front of him.
Stupid! Stupid, stupid! There was no point in being jealous, because she had never been his in the first place. He had told her only hours ago why they couldn't be together. It had hurt like anything trying to explain it. He didn't even know why he had said it, it's not like she loved him back…
But then, sometimes when he looked in her eyes, he could see it. The care and the compassion. And that look… as if he were the most important thing in the world to her. And he would never forget that day on Satellite 5 when she had nearly destroyed her life to save him. 'I want you safe… My Doctor'.
He closed his eyes against the memories. Yes, perhaps he saw it. But he couldn't. He couldn't allow himself to. It would hurt them both too much.
'Humans decay. You wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone who you…' He had nearly told her that he loved her…
"So," Rose said again after five more minutes. She had snuggled down more and was now curled up against him. Her earlier hostility had been forgotten. Her hand had slipped into his, it sat there comfortably like it were home. He tried to pretend their closeness didn't affect him. But it was getting pretty hard these days. "John Smith… where did that come from?"
He gave a small little laugh. "One of my companions, Jamie. I was in a tight spot a long, long time ago. Needed an alias. Jamie told them I was John Smith… the name just kind of stuck. I think the only time I haven't used it as an alias was when I used Jamie's name back in Scotland. He was Scottish by the way, wore a kilt and everything." Rose couldn't help but laugh at that. He thought that for a moment she had been rather tense when he had first mentioned Jamie. Until he had mentioned the kilts…
"I used to have a friend called John Smith, you know," she suddenly told him. This sort of surprised him. For such common names, it was a very uncommon name. Because it was so common, no one even dared calling their kids that these days. Hardly anyone actually believed you if you said 'Hi, I'm John Smith'. He was surprised he got away with it half the time.
"He was… well, kind of, my tutor back when I started high school," she continued. "Really sweet, little crazy," she laughed. "Apparently his friends nicknamed him 'the Madman with a Box'… You know, that would be a good name for you."
"Oi!" he protested at being called mad. Rose laughed again and pulled her cheeky grin where she would put her tongue between her teeth. Oh, he loved that grin.
"He kind of reminds me of you actually…"
"Really, what did you two do?" he asked.
"Well, we'd go down to the park and do my homework and talk. That was about it. We only ever went to my place once, Mum slapped him thinking he was stalking me! Well, it's understandable, I was 13 and he was… He never actually told me how old he was, but I guess he was in his late twenties. One of the things that remind me of you was that he was always wearing the same clothes… God, that bowtie! A twenty year old wearing a bowtie!" The Doctor laughed. The only time he ever wore a bowtie was with his tux… he didn't really like bowties. They so weren't cool.
"So that's it?" he said curiously. "He just helped you with your homework?"
"We talked too," she reminded him. "He said I reminded him of another Rose he once knew. He'd, um… he'd fallen in love with her. But something happened to her and it broke his heart… He didn't talk about her much, but he looked so sad. You could see it in his eyes. Actually, that's another thing that reminds me of you… his eyes were old, and sad… just like yours."
"I don't have sad eyes!" he said. She only looked at him, he knew what she meant. He was actually starting to get scared of this man… he sounded too familiar. "Did you ever go round to his place to study?" he asked.
"No… he said he didn't really have a home. He was a bit of a traveller. God, he does sound like you!" she laughed. He gave a small little chuckle too, but to him it sounded rather forced. "I'll tell you one thing though. He was so right about me." She sighed and leaned back into him further, closing her eyes. "He told me that I was going to grow up to be someone incredible… never really believed that bit, but I'm doing something that's just so incredible. Said I'd go out, see the world, and touch the stars. Travel further than people could ever dream. Even if I didn't pass my A levels, I'd still be the smartest person he'd ever know. And have a love so powerful it would stop the devil himself… that's the most I can remember. We always used to talk about more things. But the one thing I always noticed was that he looked so sad… The last time I saw him he told me I wouldn't see him again, because he was going to die…" her voice broke a little.
The Doctor froze beneath her. He wasn't sure whether it was because he was horrified that she had lost a friend that way… Or that he was almost certain this friend was him in the future.
"I'm sorry," he whispered. And he was sorry, for much more than just the loss of her 'John Smith'.
What ever it meant, he only knew one thing. It would mean that he would someday lose his Rose. And it would nearly kill him.
Yeah, sorry, I know Rose seems a bit oblivious to it, but the way I see it: It's been a long day and her brain isn't properly working. Also, the memories are now 8 years old and she can't remember every detail. If he reminds her of the Doctor, she just tells herself it's her mind being weird. So pretty much, at this point of the night her brain isn't working.
And poor Doctor finds out that he's going to loose her AND regerate.