Hello! This story came to me like – zap, and I basically ran to the computer to write it down. It's really short, and it is how the Doctor feels like during certain moments in the episode "The Runaway Bride". You know, being asked by Donna where his "friend" is, on the rooftop, during the wedding, in the cellar etc.
This is beta'd by the lovely Cooper-Gwen. Thank You!
Disclaimer: I am not the owner of Doctor Who. BBC are. If I was, Billie, David and Russell would never have left the show.
The Doctor dried his tears, and took a deep breath. He'd made Rose cry. Ten minutes ago, she had said that she loved him. She loved him. And he hadn't been able to tell her. He breathed deeply. The terrible, terrible pain was still there, but he knew it wouldn't go away. "Time heals all wounds? I don't think so.", he thought a bit bitterly. But it was time to move on. Someone needed his help. They always did.
He looked up. There was a bride standing there! What?
The bride gasped.
"Who are you?" she said impatiently.
"Where am I?"
"What the hell is this place?"
"What?" He stepped towards the bride.
"You can't do that, I wasn't... We're in flight! That is, that is physically impossible! How did-?"
"Tell me where I am," the bride said. "I demand you tell me right now - where am I?!"
"Inside the TARDIS." How could this possibly have happened?
"It's called the TARDIS!"
"That's not even a proper word! You're just saying things!" she yelled.
"How did you get in here?" He was astonished. A human being couldn't just hop on the TARDIS like a hitchhiker!
"Well, obviously, when you kidnapped me! Who was it? Who's paying ya? Was it Nerys? Oh my god, she's finally got me back. This has got Nerys written all over it," she snarled.
"Who the hell is Nerys?"
"Your best friend!" she replied snarkily.
The problem with Nerys could wait. There was a more pressing question right now.
"Hold on, wait a minute. What are you dressed like that for?"
"I'm going ten-pin bowling. Why do you think, dumbo? I was halfway up the aisle! I've waited all my life for this, I'm just seconds away, and then you, I dunno, drug me or something!" she yelled.
"I haven't done anything!" he shouted in his own defense.
"I'm havin' the police on you! Me and my husband, as soon as he is my husband, we're gonna sue the living backside of ya!"
Unfortunately, the angry bride saw the doors and made a run for it.
"No, wait a minute, wait a minute, don't!" he shouted.
It was too late. The bride had already opened the doors and seen the supernova which he had burnt up to say farewell.
"You're in space." he explained. "Outer space. This is my – spaceship. It's called the TARDIS."
The bride said, a bit shocked:
"How 'm I breathing?"
"The TARDIS is protecting us."
"Who are you?" She was a lot calmer than she had been a couple of minutes ago. The realization that you're in a spaceship, galaxies from your own planet tended to have this effect on people.
"I'm the Doctor. You?"
"Donna." she said, a bit grudgingly.
The Doctor eyed her.
"Yeah. Is that optional?"
"Well, it is for me."
"You're an alien." It seemed as if she couldn't get any more surprised at this point.
The stood in silence for a second and regarded the supernova, until Donna said:
"It's freezing with these doors open."
This shook the Doctor out of his trance and he slammed the doors together.
"I don't understand it, and I understand everything. This, this can't happen! There is no way a human being can lock itself onto the TARDIS and transport itself inside!"
He rummaged through a belt, plucked out a tool and pointed it at Donna, mumbling to himself as he did it.
"Must be – I don't know, some sort of cybertronic connection, something in the temporal field? Maybe something pulling you into a line of the chronon shell, maybe it's something macrobiting your DNA with interior matrix. Maybe a genetics-!" He had to stop there, because Donna had just slapped him in the face.
"What was that for!"
"Get me to the church!" she shrieked.
"Right, fine, I don't want you here anyway! Where is this wedding?"
"Saint Mary's, Haven Road, Chiswick, London, England, Earth, the solar system." She stopped there to catch her breath, and spotted a purple jeans-jacket hanging over a rail. She grabbed it.
"I knew it. Actin' all innocent. I'm not the first, am I. How many women have you abducted?!"
The Doctor looked up, confused, and then saw what she had in her hands. Rose's jacket. He felt as if someone had punched him in the gut. For one moment, he had forgotten the pain. Never the terrible sadness, but the pain, which was caused by the knowledge that he would never ever see Rose again. She didn't know how he felt. She never would know. He hoped she would've guessed it by now, but she wouldn't know. He had had the words on the tip of his tongue, but he hadn't said them. Time had run out on him, on them.
All this came rushing back to him the second he saw her jacket.
"That's my friend's." His voice reflected the pain and sadness that he felt. Donna was oblivious to this.
"Where is she now, popped out for a spacewalk?" she said sarcastically.
"She's gone." His voice still reflected his pain, but he felt even worse on the inside. She was gone, gone forever... A couple of months ago, that word, Forever, had meant something totally different.
"Gone WHERE?" Donna said impatiently.
"I lost her." The pain was now so much that he had to look down. He couldn't bear it much longer. A picture of Rose swam past his eyes. Saying that she loved him. He tried to reply, but he had only got out two words. Never again, never ever again would he get the chance to say them. Suddenly he realized that this was the first time he had ever cried in this incarnation.
Donna was still oblivious.
"Well you can hurry up and lose ME!" He still looked down, pushing buttons, almost drowning in his own pain. Finally, Donna noticed that he wasn't all right. She asked (her tone still a bit snarky):
"How d'ya mean, lost?"
Now he looked up, and his eyes were furious. He just wanted to forget the pain. So he stepped forward and took the jacket from her. Just for a nanosecond, he breathed in Rose's smell, then he pulled down the handbrake and said:
The TARDIS shook. The Doctor tried to keep an eye on Donna and the robot and flying the TARDIS hands-free simultaneously. He opened his arms for Donna to jump in. She looked terrified as she looked at the speeding motorway.
"I can't do it!" she said, looking scared.
"Is that what you said to her? Your friend?" The Doctor felt as if he was punched in the gut yet again.
"The one you lost? Did she trust you?" Memories swam before his sight, but these were happy memories: dancing in 1953, eating cakes with edible ball bearings together, laughing, smiling. Her saying ''Forever"...
"Yes, she did." He was absolutely sure of this. "And she is not dead, she is so alive!" This thought comforted him immensely. His eyes were suspiciously wet, but that was from the wind. Or so he told himself.
She got ready.
"Ah, aaaah!" She jumped and came onto the TARDIS. He shut the doors behind her.
The Doctor used a fire extinguisher on the TARDIS as Donna looked at her watch. He coughed.
"Funny thing is, for a spaceship, she doesn't do that much flying. We'd better give her a couple of hours, are you all right?"
"Did we miss it?"
"Yeah." Donna sighed.
"Well, you can book another date."
"'Course we can." Both the Doctor and Donna nodded simultaneously.
"Still got the honeymoon."
"It's just a holiday now."
"Yeah, yeah... Sorry."
"S'not your fault."
"Oh!" The Doctor laughed. "That's a change."
"We should've had a time machine. Then we could go back and get it right." Donna said.
The Doctor pretended to agree.
"Uh, yeah, yeah. But even if I did I couldn't go back on someone's personal timeline. Apparently." he hurried to add.
Donna gave him a look that clearly said: What kind of freak are you?
She sat down on the roof, and he gave her his jacket.
"God you're skinny." she said. "This one would fit a rat!"
He suddenly remembered something.
"Oh, and you'd better put this on." He took a ring out of his pocket.
"Oh, do you have to rub it in?" she complained.
"Those things could trace you; this is a bio-damper. Should keep you hidden." He put the ring on her left hand.
"With this ring, I thee bio-damp.", he said, popping the "p".
"For better or for worse." Donna said gently.
"So come on then, robot Santas, what are they for?"
"Ah, basic robo-scavengers, the Father Christmas stuff is just a disguise. They're trying to blend in. I met them last Christmas."
"Why, what happened then?"
The Doctor was astonished. How could she have failed to see this?
"Great big spaceship. Hovering over London. You didn't notice?" he said incredulously.
"I had a bit of a hangover." He nodded. He looked over London, and quickly found what he was looking for.
"I spent Christmas Day just over there, the Powell Estate, with this..." He faltered. He remembered sitting at the table with Mickey, Jackie and Rose. She had shone like a star that day. They were a family.
"Family, my friend she had this family, well, they were -." My family too. And then he remembered. Rose screaming as she fell towards the Void. Rose crying as she said "I love you". He felt as if someone had stabbed him with a knife.
"Still. Gone now." Everything was gone now. Get over it, he told himself. But he knew he never ever would.
"Your friend. Who was she?" Donna said gently.
He wasn't ready to talk about her. Not yet. It hurt too much. Maybe someday. But not today.
"Question is, what do camouflaged robot mercenaries want with you? And how did you get inside the TARDIS, I dunno."
The Doctor smiled as he saw Donna and her fiancé Lance move to the rhythms with the grace and elegance of a newborn elephant. Then he spotted a man folding together his phone. He went forward and asked if he could borrow it. He then put on his brainy specs and searched for the company which Donna worked for: H.C. Clements. Without anyone noticing it, he swiftly pointed his sonic screwdriver at the phone and saw pictures flashing by. Finally it stopped, and it said: H.C. CLEMENTS. Sole Prop. TORCHWOOD.
Ouch. He had hoped to never hear that word again. He erased his search and gave the phone back to its owner. He then stood in a corner and let his gaze wander. He first saw the girl called Nerys dancing with a man in a red tie, and then Donna and Lance. He sighed. His gaze fixed on another dancing couple. But this girl was blonde, and her hair was down. He listened to the song as he watched her. He just couldn't help it, his mind was flooded by memories.
Well you took me in, you stole my heart, I cannot roam no more.
This was true. He just couldn't keep on as he had before, not without her. He got a flashback from their adventure on New Earth. She had fallen. He caught her as she fell. He always did. And she caught him. He could almost feel her in his arms. The memories hurt, they hurt with the knowledge: Never again.
'Cause love it stays within you, it doesn't wash up on ashore.
He looked away. He couldn't stand to watch this woman, who looked so much as Rose. He could feel tears in his eyes, but he quickly blinked them away. "Get a grip!" he told himself. Then he saw a cameraman right past the dancing couple. He would go and see if he could see the tape from when Donna disappeared.
"Right, just tell me," Donna said. She was still baffled that there was a secret base hidden underneath the Thames, but this was more important. "These particles. Are they dangerous? Am I safe?"
The Doctor didn't quite know how to answer. He didn't want to worry her.
"Yes." He sounded very unconvinced, mostly because he knew that this was a downright lie.
"Doctor.", she said, and her tone was slightly scolding, in that you've-got-to-tell-me-the-truth-now-tone. "If your lot got rid of Huon particles, why did they do that?"
He had to tell her the truth. His voice was sad as he said:
"Because they were deadly."
Donna looked as if she was going to faint.
"Oh my god."
"I'll sort it out, Donna. Whatever's been done to you, I'll reverse it, I am not about to lose someone else." And he wasn't. He'd just lost Rose (her name brought a fresh wave of pain with it) and he wasn't going to lose Donna too. Suddenly they both heard a great, rasping voice saying:
"Oh, she is long since lost!"
The Doctor stood there, with water and fire all around him. The Empress of the Racnoss screamed in anguish, and Donna was terrified. But as he stood there, with the water streaming around him, he just thought one thing.
I just want to die.
He wanted to escape the pain, to die away from this world. Rose wasn't beside him, and she never would be. So what was the point in living? Death must surely be better than this. It had to be. If death was (as he once heard someone say) only darkness, like being unconscious, but never dreaming and never waking up, it was better than the pain, the pain that would always be with him from now on. Because Rose was not there. Then he heard Donna:
"Doctor! You can stop now!"
She was right, he realized. He could stop now. And one of the reasons why he told himself this, was a tiny voice in the back of his head, which seemed to have been woken up by Donna's call. It said:
"Would she want this? Would Rose have wanted you to give up, to die? She tried to give her life for you several times. Do you think that she would want you to die? She loves you."
So they both got out from the basement underneath the Thames, unscathed and laughing.
"There's just one problem."
"What is it?"
"We've drained the Thames."
They could hear boats in the distance, and they laughed again.
"Just... promise me one thing." Donna said. They were outside her house, and the Doctor was just about to take off in the TARDIS.
"I don't need anyone." he said, denying the obvious truth.
"Yes, you do. 'Cause sometimes… I think you need someone to stop you."
The Doctor nodded. He knew she was right. He knew what would have happened if Donna hadn't told him to stop.
"Yeah." He took a deep breath.
"Thanks then, Donna, good luck. And just... be magnificent."
Donna smiled, and said:
"I think I will, yeah."
They smiled at each other and the Doctor closed the door.
"Doctor!" Donna called after him.
He stuck out his head out of the door again.
"Oh, what is it now?"
"That friend of yours." The Doctor's face fell. But the constant pain wasn't as overwhelming as before. His biggest fear now (though he knew it would never happen) was that he would forget her. So he would accept the pain, if it kept Rose alive in his memories.
"What was her name?"
Her name was starlight and Bad Wolf and the sun and so many more. Rose Tyler, a goddess on seventeen planets and an enemy on another thirty-two. His Rose. His voice was soft, and he could feel the tears in his eyes. And then he smiled a tiny, tiny smile.
"Her name was Rose."
How was it? I know that I tend to become a bit, well, over-emotional (my best friend says
I'm a drama queen), but I really hope it was good. I want it to be good. I just needed to write this, to get some peace of mind.
If one of your favourite songs is (like me) "Love Don't Roam", tell me in the reviews. I need to know what you're thinking.