A/N: This angsty little ficlet was inspired by the song "Grey" by Ani Difranco. I thought it was perfect for Rose at this point in the show. I highly recommend a listen.
Big thanks to callistawolf for betaing this for me!
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who (oh the things I'd do if I did...).
The sky is grey here. To other people it's perfectly blue, and the only traces of grey are the zeppelins dotting the skyline of the city. But to her, this world is greyscale.
A splash of maroon as she comes across a jumper in the shop that reminds her of her first Doctor. She brings it to her nose and inhales deeply. If she imagines hard enough she can almost smell him. Sage, honey and engine grease.
A bit of red as she pulls on her very own pair of Chucks, an homage to her second Doctor. Her job at Torchwood starts tomorrow and these are perfect for running.
She goes to the pub with Jake and Mickey, puts on a smile and tries to act like she's okay. It's all a front, an attempt to hide the fact that she's worse than she seems, but so far it seems that Pete is the only one fooled. Someone passes her a cigarette and she accepts, taking a long drag. The Doctor would not approve of her poisoning her body in such a way but she disregards the thought. The burning in her lungs helps her forget that she can't breathe anyway.
The ghost of him is everywhere. She moves through the crowded street and sees a pinstriped suit and and untameable head of hair in her peripheral vision, but he's always gone when she turns to look.
Every time she closes her eyes, they're together again. Just for a second, she's with him again, like a tiny dream. Her real dreams are worse. In those they're together in ways they never were in the past, a blur of kisses, caresses, pleasure and love. So much outspoken love. A little piece of her soul dies every time she awakes and finds herself in Pete's monochromatic universe instead of his arms.
Until one night, her dream is different...
She walks away from the group at the beach, following his instructions. It's been months since they were separated, and she isn't sure what to expect. The dream was vague.
Suddenly he appears before her and the world explodes in color. Brilliant hues and shades she'd never noticed before are incredibly vivid. She'd almost forgotten what a world without grey looked like. His image is faded and she realizes he's not really here, he hasn't come back for her.
"Will I ever see you again?"
Those two words hurt more than any injury she's ever had. She doesn't want him to see her cry, but that ship has sailed. She yearns for his touch against her tear-stained cheeks. The colors are beginning to fade again.
"I love you."
"Rose Tyler, I-"
And then he's gone and what's left of her heart shatters.
She stares out at the grey ocean, willing a solution to wash up on the grey shore. Nothing happens.
After weeks of searching, she's finally found paint for her room in her flat. The perfect shade of TARDIS blue. It hurts to remember, but she's desperate. Anything to escape from the grey.