Title: the girl that time loved
Pairings or Characters: Rose Tyler/Bad Wolf, Ten2, other very, very minor original char
Spoilers: None really. Post Journey's End
Warnings: Character death
Summary: In a parallel world, Rose Tyler gets a new life. She just never planned for this.
This happened after I watched this
www. youtube watchv=FcqdojFsuNo (Remove spaces)
This is how it ends, and begins, standing between two identical men. Or nearly identical, she supposes. One said the words she had waited so long to hear. The other is saying goodbye.
Her old-new Doctor hands them a piece of old wood, a chunk of TARDIS to grow their own. In the background, her Doctors and Donna discuss accelerating the growth, but Rose? Well, she can hear singing. It's all enveloping, beautiful. Ethereal. Whimsical, even.
"I looked into the TARDIS and the TARDIS looked into me," she whispers and startles abruptly. She knows those words, they mean something but the thought passes like water through a sieve. She misses the alarmed look that passes between her Doctors, shakes her head, and looks back up in time to see the TARDIS disappear.
She smiles and takes her new-new Doctor's hand. All will be well.
It starts slowly, she thinks, although why she thinks that is a mystery (she built a dimension cannon at twenty, for god's sake!). At first, it's just tiny bouts of empathy, slightly psychic moments. She finds herself growing more thoughtful, more insightful, and sometimes she just seems to know things. Things she shouldn't know, shouldn't understand. They are just beginning their lives together, her and her new-new Doctor (her new-new Doctor and her new-new self), but they fall in step with each other easily. They set up shop in the east wing of the Tyler mansion, diligently tending to what will someday be their TARDIS.
"Well, if we reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, I think we can-What?" She stops when she notices something indescribable pass across his face. It's gone quickly, replaced with sheer adoration.
"I do love you, Rose Tyler," he says. "And you're quite right. With the polarity reversed, we can attach this cable here and-"
"Yes! That's exactly what I was thinking," she bounces on her feet, hardly able to contain her enthusiasm. "What do you think she'll look like?"
"Well!" He takes a moment to ponder, "with a working chameleon circuit she can be anything. Anything at all, Rose. A refrigerator box, a washing machine... Who knows?"
Rose giggles and decides not to comment on the domesticity of his answers.
It only takes three and half years to complete.
On the morning they wake up to give their TARDIS it's first run, the words BAD WOLF have been spray-painted on the wall outside their flat.
"I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself. I take the words, I scatter-Doctor?" These instances have been coming more and more often. Words and thoughts that are and are not hers.
"Rose," he says and there is something cautious, placating, about his voice. "I think we need to talk."
So they do. He tells her he thinks that when he (old him, Time Lord him) removed the time vortex from her, that some small piece held on, a tiny trace weaving itself around her, building itself around her heart. She wonders what that makes her.
He doesn't know and that scares him, she can read that much in the creases of his face, but he offers her a pretty lie and holds her tighter.
"You are Rose Tyler. The girl that time loved so much, it couldn't let go," he kisses her, grabs her hand and they run toward the future, unknown as it may be. She takes the lie, folds it across her memory, blinks the consonants, kisses the vowels. It's enough for now.
And now it's there. Her very own TARDIS, which incidentally looks like a 1968 Chevy Camero (TARDIS blue, of course. Somethings never change).
Climbing into the passenger seat only to discover another world, her world, she sighs, "A message to lead myself here," she says fondly, as she pats the console. Her TARDIS hums in agreement, caressing her mind, holding her in place.
She doesn't age and he seems to age slower than normal, a quirk left over from his old self, he tells her. They don't say anything else. They travel and run and love and her life is so full, her heart nearly bursts.
While stopping a Dalek invasion on planet called Orion 5, they meet a grifter who introduces herself as Jax (you know, like the game, she tells them) who reminds her so much of Jack it's almost painful. They save the world, of course, but at a price.
I see every single atom of your existence, and I divide them.
(This is when she knows she cannot die.)
In the thirty-second century, they pick up a boy named Danny, a run-a-way with a knack for explosives. When he rigs up a bomb from little more than an aerosol can, a pear and some duct tape, her Doctor calls him Ace. Rose knows it was a slip, his old life bleeding through to this parallel time, but she watches him smile his way through it and the nickname sticks.
There are others, of course there are. Henry and George, a gay couple from the Haight in 1953 and show them world after world of acceptance. World after world of Hope. There's Michael, a draft dodger from the sixth world war, who, through his cowardice, learns about friendship and true bravery. There's a girl named Samantha who was going nowhere until Rose showed her everywhere. Each one is theirs, her's. Her pink and yellow humans, she breathes them in, sews them into her heart.
Each one brings new hope, new laughter. And when they go, they leave a piece of themselves.
Strangely enough, no one they travel with comments on their growing age difference. Or the fact that sometimes Rose's eyes glow gold and her voice goes a bit tinny.
One by one, she watches as everyone she loves dies. This is, after all, the natural order of things.
She watches Pete die. Again. She is home on a visit, when there's a mugging gone so terribly wrong. Rose holds his hand, whispers kind words in his ear, and smiles too brightly.
Fours years later, Jackie is diagnosed with metastatic cancer. It's spread everywhere and the doctors can do nothing more than help make her comfortable. Rose and her Doctor stay planet-side for three months to help take care of her. To say goodbye.
And Toby. Her wonderful baby brother. After Jackie passes, he takes a leave from university and travels with them. For nearly a decade, they shows him space and time until he meets a girl on a war-torn planet in the Gamma Quadrant and decides to stay. Rose makes sure to visit him at least once a year until he dies peacefully in his sleep at the ripe old age of ninety three.
And her Doctor, her fantastic, brilliant Doctor-
Once, during one of her more morbid days, she asked him how he wanted to die. This question is hard for her, she doesn't want to think of his mortality. But he will die. And she won't.
Life goes on.
He just smiles and holds his hand out to her. It's answer enough.
She spends her one hundred and second birthday spreading his ashes across a planet he once told her reminded him of Gallifrey.
She still looks twenty.
Everything must come to dust. All things. Everything dies.
She wants to scream and rage and cry, it's not fair. Because it's not. It's not fair and it may never be fair again. For an hour or a minute or a year (she is Time, it doesn't matter) she rages. She hates the world. Hates the universe. She hates the universe. She hates time and the Nestene Consciousness and shop dummies and time-traveling aliens with bigger-on-the inside boxes (hates him, hates herself).
The sun and the moon, the day and night. But why do they hurt?
And now she knows. More than that, she understands. How he felt all those long years, the Doctor and his TARDIS.
And she hates it.
Her TARDIS sings her to sleep. A lullaby half forgotten and so very powerful. In the morning she'll wake and at night she'll sleep and she'll count every minute until she can breathe again.
What she won't do is give up. She's always been a fighter, a warrior. And she's known so much love, done so much good. That has to count for something, right?
Her TARDIS, being infinitely wiser than her, takes her to the Gamma Quadrant, to her brother who hugs her tightly and whispers dreamily of the new life growing inside his beautiful wife's belly.
This is what life is about.
Rose travels back a bit, a mindful TARDIS skirting the edge of could-be paradoxes just to hug Pete and Jackie. She finds Jax, still grifting, still saving the world. She laughs genuinely, ruffles her hair and tells her to never change. She finds a ten-year old, pre-time traveling Danny. They play a game of catch and eat ice cream on a hot summer day. She finds Henry and George, still persecuted there in their own time, but thriving and very much in love. She finds Samantha, who once saw everywhere and who asks for one more spin.
She means to take her to Space Florida, 43rd century. Really, she does.
But, as it so often does, time goes a bit wibbly and then end up smack dab in the middle of a civil war. Brother against brother.
She stands just outside her TARDIS, half blocking the horror from Sam, and she weeps. She weeps for the fallen, and those yet to fall. She weeps for the children, for the siblings and wives.
She weeps for herself, until there are no tears left, because at that moment, Rose is done. Done with it all.
"Can someone explain to me," she demands as she walks into the center of the battle. "Why you make war? What is the purpose? What is so goddamn important that you feel the need to kill each other? Why do you insist brothers kill brothers? Why do you pit friend against friend?" Her voice has gone hard and metallic. This is not a question she asks. It is an order. And on some level, Sam realizes this is not Rose speaking, not exactly. This is Time (Rose is Time, it doesn't matter).
A man steps toward her, hesitantly, he does not lower his gun and he raises his chin defiantly. "And who are you, child," he sneers, "to be interrupting things which a woman like you cannot begin to understand?"
Rose laughs. It is not a happy sound and even the most battle-hardened soldiers flinch at the noise. It is a warning, for those who will listen, who know how to listen. "I am Rose Tyler, little boy. And I suggest you start speaking. Now."
"Please, ma'am. We are fighting for our freedom-" a young man steps forward, his face is bruised and his clothes are bloody. He can't be more than sixteen.
"You best shut up and learn your place, boy!" The same man shouts at the child. Sam can actually see Rose's blood boil, her face flush with rage.
"We do not wish to serve these men any longer, ma'am," he continues, undeterred. "They are cruel and vile. We wish to own our on shops, buy our own bread. We wish to marry for love."
"There will be not one drop of blood spilled. Not. One. Am I understood?" With a simple wave of her hand, every weapon dissolves into a shower of gold sparks. There is fear and awe in the soldiers faces. And relief. "And you shall have your freedom, sweet boy. Just remember," her voice raises, addressing the gathered crowd. "Remember that freedom is hard work, but from this day forth, you shall have it."
Rose steps back and watches as two brothers, one dressed in red, the other in blue, hug as though the haven't hugged in years. Tears stream down their face. Promises of love, of the goddess who brought them peace ring in whispers throughout the would've-been battlefield.
Looking over, Rose sees Sam smile.
And oh. Oh! She remembers this. She remembers her first Doctor, all big ears and leather jacket and his blueblueblue eyes. She remembers his smile, the simple joy that lit him up so brightly it filled her. His words ring in her head as she takes Sam's hand and leads her back into the TARDIS. She spins her companion around the console and whispers, "everybody lives, Sams. Just this once, everybody lives."
I can see everything. All that is. All that was. All that could ever be.
Once upon a time, she was a shop girl called Rose Tyler.
Nearly two hundred years later, she'll hear her name whispered across galaxies, in reverence, in fear.
They'll call her Rose Tyler, Defender of the Galaxy. They'll call her Bad Wolf, the World Eater, Star-Destroyer.
They'll call her the Lonely Goddess.