"The House deleted all the bedrooms," the Doctor tells Amy and Rory from where he sits in his hammock-seat underneath the glass floor. "I should make you two a new bedroom. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"
Rory leans over and whispers something into Amy's ear, and Amy turns to the Doctor, saying, "Okay, Doctor, this time, could we lose the bunk beds?"
"Bunk beds are cool!" he says defensively. "A bed with a ladder! You can't beat that." They both give him those 'seriously, Doctor?' looks that they perfected long again, and he gives in. "It's your room. Up those stairs, keep walking 'till you find it. Off you pop!"
They start up the stairs, but Rory stops, looking back at him. "Doctor, do you have a room?" Before the Doctor can reply, Amy grabs Rory's arm and drags him along behind her up the stairs.
The Doctor swings gently in his hammock seat as he wipes off a few spots on the machinery and then connects two wires, causing a bright spark. He throws down his cloth and heads up to the console; he uses the sonic screwdriver briefly and then makes to use some of the controls, but stops. "Are you there?" he calls out, feeling slightly silly talking to a room, but of course she's not just a room. "Can you hear me? I'm a silly old… Okay. The Eye of Orion, or wherever we need to go."
Next to him, a lever on the console moves on its own, starting the dematerialization, and he laughs. "Hello!" Giddily, he spins around the console, still laughing, shouting out, "Whoo-hoo!"
And then he stops.
The House deleted all the bedrooms.
All the bedrooms.
He's not even aware of deciding to run. He's just running.
Because the TARDIS can wait. She'll be with him until the bitter end. No, right now, he's much more concerned about the memory of someone who will never be with him again.
The lights dim and brighten again twice in the corridor he's barreling down – the TARDIS's way of trying to get his attention, no doubt, but he's got bigger things to worry about. Bigger, stupid, selfish things that he cannot let go of.
He charges right past Amy and Rory, who leap out of the way to let him past; as he runs away, he hears Amy call out, "Doctor, what's going on?" but his footsteps fade out of earshot before she can even finish the last word. He runs as though he's running for his life, because this is far too important to wait a single second longer. Amy can wait. She'll be with him until the bitter end (though, looking at his track record, it's far more likely to be her bitter end than his). Right now, he's only thinking of the girl who will never be with him again.
When he reaches the hall where her bedroom was, he has a moment of panic because he can't find it immediately. No, no, no – this can't be the thing that erases the very last thing he has of her. Out of all the rooms in this bigger-on-the-inside blue box, the one – the only one – that the TARDIS managed to hang onto and keep completely unchanged through her reconstruction just after he regenerated into this body was this one room. Because she knew just how torn up he'd be, just how devastated, if he lost this. This precious, feeble, lingering connection to her. So the TARDIS used a lot of energy to preserve this room. To keep it unchanged for him. After all that, he won't let this take it – take her – away from him.
And then he sees it, and he lets out a breath he didn't realize he was holding.
A plain white wooden door with gleaming Gallifreyan engraved into its surface, shining golden circles that he carved there himself as she watched. He remembers it clearly – making one letter at a time, talking her through it as she looked on curiously, telling her, 'this is an R, this is an O, this is an S, this is an E'. He steps towards the door, cautiously, hesitantly, and reaches out to touch it, running a hand along the dips and ridges of the writing. And then he places a hand on the doorknob and steels himself, preparing for the possibility that it will not be as he remembers it.
And then he turns the doorknob and pushes the door open in one fast, fluid movement.
And he lets out another breath he didn't realize he was holding.
It's fine. It's perfectly fine. Everything about it is perfectly fine.
She did it. His beautiful, sexy, amazing, wonderful blue box did it. She must've managed to isolate this room to prevent House from deleting it, or maybe she just recreated it absolutely perfectly after it was deleted. He's not sure which is true, but he'll think of it as the first option. It makes him feel more connected to her. The second would feel like this wasn't really her room, like it was just a pale imitation, a cheap copy. So he'll go with the first option.
"Oh, you sexy thing," he murmurs, placing a hand on the wall as he addresses the TARDIS. "Thank you."
Again, she dims the lights, once, twice. Acknowledging his thanks. Saying, you're welcome. Saying, I know what it means to you.
It means a great deal to him.
He steps carefully across the threshold, and the thick, fuzzy carpet – a pale shade of banana yellow – dips downward under his feet. Out of all the rooms, this one is the only one that is carpeted. He likes it. It's just so her.
Everything about this room is so her. The walls are painted a very light shade of pink. The windows look out on 21st century London – the cityscape isn't really there, of course, but the TARDIS tends to show people whatever view would make them feel the most at home (she has taken to alternating between showing him Gallifrey and the Powell Estate) – and are hung with sheer peach-colored curtains. The queen-sized bed juts out into the center of the room, with the head pressed against the back wall; the pillowcases are the same banana-yellow as the floor, and the thick blanket is a shade of pink just a bit more vibrant than the walls. A wide closet with sliding glass doors holds clothes, some of which belonged to her from the beginning, some of which she discovered in the TARDIS wardrobe, took a liking to, and kept. The rest of her clothes are contained in a white wooden dresser topped with a large mirror. All around the outside of the mirror, she's taped up pictures, little memories captured in 4-by-6 inch rectangles of shining paper. She always did like to take pictures wherever they went, just to capture things and remember them. It was never something he chose to do on his own – he remembered everything perfectly anyway – but he went along with it, because it made her happy.
He steps over to the dresser and lifts his hand, brushing his fingers over the smooth surface of one of the photos – specifically, the one she had them take just after 1941, with her, his ninth self, and Jack Harkness all clustered together in front of the console. She and Jack are grinning enthusiastically at the camera; the Doctor, however, looks marginally annoyed. His ninth self wasn't quite as good at putting up with her quirks because he didn't really have many of his own at the time. As soon as he became stranger, he was much better at going along with her strangeness.
He moves his gaze to a picture from later on, a picture in which he's actually smiling. Taken just after the incident with the black hole and the impossible planet. The sides of their heads are pressed together, straight blonde hair mingling with shorter spiked brown strands. Her thick black mascara is smudged from tears she'd cried when she thought he was dead, and he's still wearing that daft orange spacesuit, but they're both grinning like maniacs. Because they made it, and because they're together. Everything else is inconsequential when put beside those two truths.
He lifts a hand to his face and wipes a tear away before it can escape his eye. Bottle-green. That's what color his eyes are now. They're not the same warm chocolate brown color as they eyes that last saw her. These eyes have never seen her, never gazed soulfully into her own eyes – flawless hazel of a sort he's not seen anywhere else, the perfect brown of melted chocolate with a burst of olive green in the very center. These eyes have never looked upon her face. These hands have never locked together with hers. These arms have never held her close to him as she buried her face in his shoulder and he gazed around with the strongest, most protective expression on his face, as though daring the universe to just come and try to hurt her.
This face has never seen her face.
These thoughts, of course, bring on another round of tears which he brushes away before they even touch his cheeks. Leaving the photos and the mirror, he walks over to the closet, pushing the glass doors open and stepping inside. He feels a little strange, as he always does when he does this. His entire upper body is immediately engulfed by the clothes which hang there, and he inhales deeply, breathing in the scent which still lingers there. Her scent, mingled in with a hundred others which he can identify individually. The smell of chips coming off her favorite pink hoodie. The delicate fragrance of applegrass and the more chemical smell of the hospital disinfectant, both emanating from the jacket she wore on New Earth. A faint smell he can identify as his own in his tenth body, imbued into quite a few garments. And beneath it all, the underlying flowery fragrance which fits so perfectly with her name.
She always did smell like roses.
He steps out of her closet and slides the door shut, and then backs up and falls backwards onto the bed. The thick blanket and comfortable mattress both dip under his weight. The number of times since he lost her that he's come in here after a day in which he missed her particularly painfully and fallen onto the bed and just dropped into sleep right there… it's odd for a Time Lord, who needs so little rest (save for healing comas), to fall asleep so easily. But in here, on this bed, surrounded by an aura that is so purely her – so sweet, so soft, so comforting – he does. He's probably slept more here than in his own room – because yes, in answer to Rory's question from earlier, he does have a room…
He stays there for who knows how long. Amy and Rory don't come looking for him, or if they do, they don't find him. They're probably off enjoying their new bedroom. Though he'd rather not think about that.
At some point, he drifts off into sleep, as he often does lying in this bed. He drifts off into sleep surrounded by her reassuring smell, with the muffled noises of 21st century London coming through the window. He drifts off into sleep among everything that is her and hers, among all that he has left of her. He drifts off into sleep with thoughts of Rose Tyler.
He drifts off in his pink and yellow room for his pink and yellow girl.
Okay, so this fic just sort of happened. I was thinking depressive thoughts about the Doctor and Rose – Nine and Rose, Ten and Rose, Eleven and Rose, the whole shebang – and I got to thinking about the implications of the last scene of The Doctor's Wife. So this is sort of my thoughts on what might've happened just after the end of that episode but didn't because Moffat doesn't like Rose. Let me know what you think!