*walks in hunched over* ...h-hi there lovelies. So I know it may or may not have been six months since I've updated...I don't really have a good excuse, I just kind of gradually forgot about it once school started again and such. But I'm back now! There won't be much left in this story, it's run its course for the most part. If you're still following the story and you're reading this, thank you for being so patient with me as I neglected my writerly (yes, I made up a word) duties. Thank you so much for the positive reviews! I love you all!
Rose greeted the rising sun in the kitchen, sitting at the table and sipping tea as she patiently awaited the Doctor's awakening. It was understandable that he would sleep this late. Last night had been emotionally exhausting for him, recalling the horrid memories he no doubt tried so hard to forget. She wanted him to rest, as he was also recovering from his illness. It wouldn't be long before he brushed off any bodily aches and begged to reclaim the TARDIS and jet off on more universal journeys.
It was extraordinary, really, the fact that he held it in for so long. Had Rose been the one with the experience, she would have told him ages ago. Then again, she had no idea what it was like to be left as the only one in her race alive, and weighed down by the blood of millions of people on her hands. The very thought of it made Rose's heart clench, and she suddenly understood all of the Doctor's precautionary measures against letting Rose know. He didn't just not want to relive them, he didn't want anyone else to share the burden. He didn't want her to worry.
She was just about to get up and check on the Doctor when Jackie strolled in dressed in a pale blue bathrobe. Her hair was damp, presumably from an early morning shower, and she wore furry pink slippers on her feet. She eyed Rose at the table suspiciously. "Where is he?"
Rose rolled her eyes, assuming that her mother had an entire prediction in her head of what went on the last night. "He's still asleep. Fever has gone down and he should be fine in a couple of days."
"Did you sleep in there with him?" She asked, narrowing her eyes.
"Yeah mum, I wasn't about to get kicked out of my own room."
Jackie bit her cheek, raising her eyebrows. "Okay. But really, if I hear any-"
She paused, surprised at the interruption. "What?"
"Could you just...shut up? I'm not gonna leave him in there alone," Rose said breathily, fed up with her mother's implications and the fact that she couldn't understand that leaving the Doctor to deal with his own thoughts alone was completely dangerous.
Surprisingly, Jackie's expression softened as she noticed Rose's worried tone and knit eyebrows. "Sorry. Do you want some eggs? I have cheese so I can make you an omelet," she suggested.
Rose nodded gratefully, taking another sip from her mug. Jackie immediately set to work at the stove, gathering necessary ingredients and setting them on the counter next to her. Suddenly, to Rose's surprise, the Doctor shuffled in, hair sticking up in odd places, (though his hair sticking up in general wasn't unusual,) and his eyes containing dark circles underneath them. He had a bit of color to his face, no longer pale, thankfully, and he didn't seem to be shaking very much when he walked anymore.
He nodded at Jackie, who barely responded, caught up in her cooking, and took a seat across from Rose at the table. His arms folded in front him, resting on the surface of the table, and he set his head down on top of them.
"Feeling better, Doctor?" Rose asked as she reached out a hand to run her fingers through his hair.
He sighed in response and closed his eyes. "Yeah, 'm fine. Just a bit tired, that's all."
She knit her eyebrows and felt his forehead. It was a bit warm, but nothing compared to what it had been days ago. He was obviously getting significantly better and with a bit more rest would be ready to leave.
Jackie swooped in and set a steaming mug in front of the Doctor. He picked his head up precariously and peered into it, then immediately set his head back down in distaste.
"What's wrong?" Rose asked.
She frowned. That was odd. After the past week with countless fevers he should have been absolutely parched. It was a wonder he wasn't inhaling the drink in one breath. "Are you alright?" Stupid question. Obviously he wasn't alright. She expected him to respond with the fact that he was always okay and lie through his teeth. But he didn't, and that was what truly scared her.
"Not really," he said softly, "just feeling a bit like I did a few days ago." He weakly pushed away from the table and stood up, abandoning the still steaming mug. "I think I'm gonna go back to bed, if you don't mind."
"Let me help you-"
"No!" he interrupted sharply. She drew back, letting his voice echo loudly against the walls. Jackie jumped at the stove and turned around. The Doctor's eyes fell to the floor as he realized his actions. "I'm...I'm sorry." Pivoting around, he walked quickly down the hall and back into his room.
Jackie didn't say anything, which Rose was grateful for. The last thing she needed was a lecture on the Doctor's tendencies. There was a one minute period of standing glued to the floor and contemplating all of the possibilities. But Rose was almost positive that this had to do with their conversation last night.
Once the realization came, she rushed in after the Doctor, bursting into the room and practically crashing into her dresser.
He was under the covers in bed turned on his side. He stared blankly at the wall, barely flinching when Rose threw open the door. Not sensing many other options, Rose walked over and sat cross legged on the bed next to him. "Is this about last night?"
He turned over on his back, still not meeting her eyes. "It's a possibility."
She nodded thoughtfully. "Do you regret trusting me with that?"
He instantly shot up so that his face was directly in front of hers. He grabbed her hands loosely and held them in his lap. "Don't ever think that I regret telling you anything. Ever," he said firmly.
Rose smiled. "Okay...so you stormed out of the kitchen, why?" she said, not letting the topic drop.
He dropped his gaze. "I didn't mean to storm out. It just happened. Well, at least I didn't mean to make things hostile."
"You did kind of shout at me."
"I know, I know, I'm sorry," he said quickly.
"So what's bothering you?"
He leaned his head back against the headboard, still sitting up. "I haven't talked about that for centuries, Rose."
She nodded. "Alright, yeah, that was a given. More please."
He swallowed. "I just...reliving them was..." he trailed off. "I had dreams about it last night. Nightmares, really. The same streets I used to walk covered in ash, and strewn bodies, and..." his eyes looked distant, as if physically peering at his diminished home. "I just hate it. My entire race...over and over..."
Rose closed her eyes, relieved. There we go, she thought. "Why didn't you wake me?"
He snorted. "Yeah, the Doctor, last Time Lord waking a human up because of a little bad dream."
She glared at him.
"Okay sorry. I should've told you."
"You never trust me, or anyone else for that matter, Doctor."
He kept his mouth shut.
"Just...promise me you'll come to me next time, okay?"
He half smiled and tucked a stray piece hair behind her ear. "I promise," he repeated solemnly.
"Good. Now please go and eat something."