A/N: I will not be incorporating anything from the 50th Anniversary episode. So, I guess that makes this story AU? (or RTD-compliant, if you want to look at it that way). And that means no John Hurt. Sorry. I like him well enough, but he doesn't fit into the plot I've got planned for this story.
London, 2007, Original Universe.
Rose and the pinstriped Doctor picked their way among the debris that littered the stairwell of what once was Powell Estate. Disembodied metallic limbs were scattered along the steps. Further up, they spotted a hauntingly familiar metallic head.
"No…" Rose muttered in horror before running up the steps to pick up the head. The Doctor rushed to catch up, then froze at the sight of the metallic head that Rose had picked up.
"Cybermen," the Doctor muttered with a grimace.
"But… how? T-they were in the parallel world. I thought… they're not here, are they?"
The Doctor frowned. "There are Cybermen in this universe, too. I thought they've all gone, but apparently, some survived."
"Then… Mum… did they… was she… she's… oh, God. This could be Mum." Rose stared in horror at the Cyberman head in her hand. Did the Cybermen capture her mother and upgrade her?
With a sad look in his eyes, the Doctor silently took the head away from Rose's grasp. He turned the head upside down and looked inside the neck for organic tissue. When he found one, he scanned it with his sonic screwdriver.
"It's male. It's not Jackie's," said the Doctor before setting the head back down on the steps.
Rose released the breath she didn't realize she had been holding. Part of her felt selfish for being relieved. This Cyberman might have been one of her neighbours who got upgraded, but she couldn't help but feel relieved it wasn't her mother. As long as she wasn't holding her mother's cyberized head in her hands, there was still hope that Jackie might still be alive and safe somewhere.
She glanced at the Cyberman head the Doctor had just set down and muttered a silent apology to the unknown man who lost his humanity to the Cybermen. Then, with a resolute gaze in her eyes, she continued up the stairs and made her way to her mother's apartment.
When they got to Jackie's apartment, Rose froze. The door had been smashed into pieces. There were pieces of wood and drywall scattered on the floor around the doorway.
"Mum!" Rose ran inside.
"Rose, wait!" The Doctor ran after her while taking out his sonic screwdriver— just in case.
Inside, the scene was even worse. There were scorch marks and holes on the wall. The sofa and tables were utterly destroyed. There were pieces of glass everywhere, some from the window, and some from who knows where. Rose searched frantically for her mother. The living room was a mess, but was thankfully devoid of any Jackie Tyler. They checked the kitchen, but Jackie wasn't there, either.
"Mum!" Rose called out while running out of the kitchen and towards her mother's bedroom. She stopped when she saw the door to the bedroom. There was a huge, gaping hole in the door that looked like it had been broken through, but the door hinges and the locks were still intact. Rose drew a sharp breath, then hesitantly stepped through the hole. Not wanting Rose to face any of this alone, the Doctor hurriedly stepped in after her.
"Mum?" Rose's voice croaked as she called out feebly for her mother.
The Doctor scanned the room. There were broken glasses and wood splinters everywhere from the broken windows, doors, and wardrobe. Then, his eyes spied what looked like a bloodied hand poking out from a mountain of broken wood.
"No…" The Doctor whispered in trepidation as he ran to the debris. When Rose noticed, she ran to join him, then froze when she saw the hand poking out from underneath the debris.
"Mum!" Rose cried out, then began to frantically dig her way through the debris.
"No… no no no no…." The Doctor kept muttering as he dug his way through along with Rose. When the debris finally cleared, Jackie's lifeless eyes stared unseeing from underneath the debris of what once was the wardrobe.
"Mum!" Rose cried and cradled her mother's body in her lap. "Mum… wake up… please wake up…"
But Jackie was gone.
They buried Jackie next to Pete's grave, the one place in London that was left untouched by the devastation that had destroyed London. Bodies of flesh and metal scattered all over London, but not here. Not in a forgotten cemetery where the only ones left were already dead.
Rose knelt in front of her parents' gravestones. She had been silent for the past thirty minutes. Her tears had long since dried, but the sadness lingered in her eyes.
I'm sorry, the Doctor said over and over in his mind. To Jackie or Rose, he wasn't sure. To both of them, he supposed. This was his fault. If only he had come here earlier. Jackie would still be alive. And Rose, his brave, brilliant Rose, would still be smiling right now.
He watched as Rose ran her hands along her mother's gravestone. Her final goodbye.
Then, she stood up and turned to look at the Doctor.
"I'm going to find the ones who did this," Rose said with resolute anger in her eyes.
The Doctor nodded. He held out his hand and she took it. Together, they walked back to the TARDIS and set out to find the ones responsible for all this destruction.
They needed to find out what happened. And what better way to do that than to look at security cameras? So, the Doctor and Rose set out to find the room where the building manager of Jackie's apartment kept all the security footage. Unfortunately, upon finding the small storage room, they realized that there was no electricity in the building. In fact, as they searched nearby buildings and abandoned stores, they realized that the entire area had no electricity.
And no people too, for that matter.
Fortunately, the Doctor managed to find an electricity generator in a hardware store not too far from the apartment. With the help of a hover lift that the Doctor managed to dig out from one of the storage rooms in the TARDIS, they hauled the generator to the apartment and hooked it to the security monitors in the storage.
Both stared intently at the monitor as they watched the video in reverse. It started with several explosions all around the apartment. As the flames cleared, the figures of Cybermen were revealed. But that's not all.
"Wait… is that?" The Doctor's eyes widened when he noticed a sickeningly familiar shape looming in the corner of the screen.
It was a Dalek.
"But… they're gone. They should be gone… right, Doctor?" Rose muttered in horror.
"That's… that's impossible! They were all destroyed!" The Doctor said.
As they continued to watch the video in reverse, more and more Daleks and Cybermen appeared in the footage. Putting all the events in the right order, as far as he could tell, ghostly figures started appearing all over the apartment. Strangely enough, none of the humans in the security footage seemed concerned over this. They all just went about their merry ways, some even looked as if they were trying to have a chat with the ghosts.
Then, those ghostly figures solidified to form the Cybermen. When the Cybermen began attacking, people scattered and ran. There was no sound in the footage, but it was clear that the people were all screaming in terror. Not long after, Daleks suddenly streamed into the picture from somewhere off-screen. Then the Daleks started attacking the Cybermen. The Cybermen in the picture lost and were destroyed by the Daleks as a result. Unfortunately, the cameras were destroyed along with the Cybermen, so the footage ended there.
"We need to find out the rest. If there are Daleks out there, then we haven't got any time to lose!" The Doctor spoke hurriedly and unhooked the generator from the monitor.
With the generator in tow, they ran from building to building to look at security footages. The more they looked, the more alarming it became. After defeating the Cybermen, the Daleks started attacking all the humans. People were dying left and right.
But before they could destroy everyone, the Daleks started convulsing, then exploded into tiny atoms.
"What happened? What was that?" Rose asked.
"Delta wave," the Doctor answered grimly. That was what he had planned on using back at the Game Station. "Someone, somewhere, figured out a way to generate delta waves and used it on the Daleks. Problem is, did they refine it? Or was there not enough time?"
"Not enough time…?"
"To refine it."
Rose looked around them. Her eyes lingered on a dead man slumped on the pavement just outside the store they were currently in. There was no blood on the man, except around his nose, which suggested internal bleeding. The man died from the inside out.
"I don't think whoever did it had time to refine it," Rose said sadly.
The Doctor followed her gaze, then nodded grimly. "You might be right."
"Then… if it wasn't refined… everyone else…" Rose trailed off and looked away. Dead. Everyone on Earth was dead, thanks to an unrefined delta wave.
"I'm sorry, Rose. I'm so sorry." The Doctor drew her into a comforting embrace. Rose leaned against his chest and wrapped her arms around him tightly. Her body began to shake as tears fell down her face.
"S'my fault! I should've answered the bloody phone!" Rose sobbed into his chest.
"No, it's my fault, Rose. Not yours. I should have taken you back sooner," the Doctor muttered.
Rose didn't answer. She kept on sobbing into his coat.
The Fifth Doctor followed Rose as she led him along the river bank and towards where he assumed her car was parked. He stared in bemusement at the zeppelins floating lazily in the sky. Such a primitive form of transportation. Still, there's a certain charm about them. Almost like silvery clouds floating in the sky. From time to time, he would see tiny black specks darting amongst the zeppelins.
Wait a minute.
The Doctor paused and looked closely at the black specks in the skies. At first, it was just one or two tiny ones flying in the distance. But then, more and more appear. And they seemed to be growing not only in numbers, but size as well.
"Doctor?" Rose stopped when she realized he wasn't following her. She doubled back and noticed him staring at the sky. "What is it?"
"That doesn't look like a bird," the Doctor muttered as he kept his gaze on the growing black dots in the sky.
Suddenly, a flash of light appeared out of the corner of his eyes, followed by an unearthly screech and terrified screams. The Doctor and Rose spun, then froze when they saw a dragon-like creature swooping down upon a hapless old lady who had the misfortune of stepping out of her car just as the reaper materialized above her.
"Reapers!" The Doctor and Rose exclaimed at the same time. They paused and looked at each other in surprise.
"You know about the Reapers?" The Doctor asked.
"Yes! Long story. Tell you later. Run!" Rose grabbed his hand and pulled him further down the street.
"No, TARDIS! She's older than most buildings here!" The Doctor pulled her in the other direction, back towards his TARDIS. They ran into the ship and closed the door behind them, just in time to avoid being plucked away by a Reaper.
"Something's wrong. If the Reapers are here, then a massive paradox has just occurred," said the Doctor as he began pacing around the TARDIS.
"Me," Rose said. She wasn't blind. The Reapers appeared not long after the Doctor arrived. Wasn't this exactly what she had feared earlier? The Doctor being here before they met was a huge paradox waiting to happen. And oh, look, a paradox had just occurred.
"What do you mean?" The Doctor spun to look at her questioningly.
"My being here is a paradox. If you're trapped here, you would never have met me. And I would never have ended up in this universe. And yet, here I am. I'm the paradox." Rose looked at him resolutely.
"All the more reason why I should get back to my universe. I need that battery. Where's your car?" The Doctor asked.
"Down the street, about half a block away." Rose glanced at the door uneasily. Even through closed doors, she could still hear their unearthly screech. Those Reapers were probably hovering over the TARDIS right now. "Problem is, how are we going to get there without getting snatched by the Reapers?"
"We won't. You are staying right here."
"I'm not letting you go out there on your own!"
"Rose," the Doctor grabbed her shoulder and looked at her sternly. "You said it yourself. You are the paradox. And that makes you their primary target. I am not risking your life for a car battery. Now stay here!"
"And if the Reapers get you? What then? That's an even bigger paradox. If they kill me, the paradox will resolve itself out. I'm the logical choice." Rose stared at him defiantly. She had seen her first Doctor get eaten by a Reaper before. She'd be damned if she would let him do it again.
"The moment you step out there, they will come after you. You'll not only die, Rose, you will be erased from existence. But they're not targeting me, which gives me an advantage. There's a chance I might be able to avoid them. You don't have that advantage."
"I'm not losing you again!" Rose bit back a sob. "I just… got you back again. And… and now you're going to get yourself killed. It's not fair!"
The Doctor's gaze softened. He looked at her in amazement. "You really do care for me, do you?"
"More than you know." Rose smiled tearfully.
He cupped her cheek with both hands and smiled. "I wish I had met you in this regeneration. I would have loved to have traveled with you."
Rose felt her throat tighten. "Don't… say it like that."
"Like you're saying goodbye."
"Oh, Rose." He sighed sadly. He kissed her forehead. As he did so, Rose felt an odd pressure against her mind. Her eyes grew heavy. She fought to stay awake, but her mind grew heavier and heavier. Before long, her eyes drooped close and she knew no more.
The Doctor rushed to catch her as she fell unconscious. Very gently, he laid her down on the floor.
"I'm sorry," he whispered as he brushed her hair aside. He searched her pockets for her car keys. Once he found it, he stood up, then walked out the TARDIS.
A/N: I'm so sorry for the delay. This chapter was not easy for me to write, so I spent a lot of time debating whether I should go through with it or not.
Please don't kill me.
I love Jackie. Really. I didn't want to do this to Rose, but it couldn't be helped. Jackie couldn't even fight off a Christmas tree, let alone Daleks and Cybermen. It wouldn't have made sense for her to survive while everyone else in the world died.
I hope you're not confused. This chapter is a massive paradox. There are several alternate timelines running simultaneously, that's why you're seeing Rose both in her home universe and in Pete's world after Doomsday. Her past has been rewritten so that she never went to the parallel world at all, which means Rose's presence in Pete's world with Five is now a paradox. That's why the Reapers appeared.