Title: all that glitters is gold (her eyes)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Character/Pairing: Rose Tyler/Bad Wolf/The Moment, Tenth Doctor, brief mentions of the War Doctor, Eleventh Doctor
Summary: Based on this photoset by tumblr user
Warnings: This puts the 10th Doctor just before his meeting with Martha in Smith and Jones. No spoilers from that, only from The Day of the Doctor. Sorry! But the Dahlia Sheng's photoset was too brilliant to pass up.
Disclaimer: I do not own. This is just for fun, yo.
Author Notes: Some dialogue and place names taken from the show. Cross posted on AO3
He closes the door to the TARDIS, muttering things like Trenzalore and I don't want to go. He doesn't. With a brain like his, constantly flipping through places he didn't want to go to was like child's play. For example, on any given day, he had neither the desire to go to brunch on Raxicoricofalliportus nor the will to discuss prison reform with the Judoon over cocktails.
As it is, he only has a bit of time left before he forgets this latest escapade completely and there is only one person with whom he wishes he could share it. If only he could. He would take her to Barcelona, the planet not the city, where the dogs have no noses, and they would walk, and converse quietly, intimately. He would hold her hand, brush a fallen lock of blonde hair from her face, and kiss her cheek. She would listen with her whole body, her eyes shut tight, the way she did when she heard each of his important stories, allowing the light-lost to ink imprint each word behind her eyelids. And as heavenly as that sounds, it just cannot happen.
Bad Wolf girl, I could kiss you!
He could. He did, once and now he can't seem to get it out of his head, an endless loop of maybes and could-have-beens. It's cruel and yet kind. Could she have had something to do with this?
Nah, she's far, far away. Safe.
He wonders what he would give up, to see her one last time. To hold her, to finish the words that always seem to hang between them. Maybe he could take a proper holiday. Diadem's nice this time of year, the most relaxing planet in the galaxy and all that hogwash (Rose would much rather eat chips while lounging on the apple grass of New New Earth, but there is no accounting for taste).
When he goes to enter in a new set of the coordinates, he stops dead in his tracks. It isn't, he supposes, hard to miss. Hindsight, and all. A beautiful blonde woman, relaxing on his console, but it's been a long couple of days, yeah? Cut him some slack, geez. She's smiling both wickedly and fondly in a I know some thing you don't know way.
"Jack would've come up with sixteen completely different innuendos and half-way talked me into his bed by now, Doctor," she drawls out, a slight up-turn of her lips, he nearly trips over his sonic screwdriver, but manages to catches himself just in time.
"Well, thank the cosmos there is only one of him," he tells her, through a forced laugh. A conversation with a lost girl in the engine room. Is this his life now? "Who are you?"
She frowns down at herself, as if wondering inanely if she forgot to put on undergarments, but alas, all there. "I am Rose Tyler," she tells him. After the initial past/present/future thing the Bad Wolf knew exactly where she belonged. (The Venn Diagram of wherever he was to whomever she was is a circle).
"No," he shakes his head vehemently. No. "You're wearing her face but you are not Rose."
"You clever boy," she tells him, jumping from the console to land in his space. "I'm just a wolf."
She growls playfully, swipes at his cheek and he blushes.
"Are you afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, Doctor?" Her eyes glow gold, and he remembers the Daleks and so much death. But he is not afraid. Not him. Never him. Not of her.
"I was never afraid of Bad Wolf," he tells here, indignantly. "I was only afraid of losing her."
"You haven't lost her, Doctor," she whispers so softly he can barely hear the words. "And I am truly her. Mostly. Kinda."
"Oh, really? Were you there when the walls between the realities began to break down? Were you there when a simple pink and yellow human did all she could to save her world only to be nearly tossed into the Void? Where you there on Dårlig Ulv Stranden when I couldn't, I couldn't-" he draws in a shaking, angry breath and loses himself in the moment.
The TARDIS heats up a kettle, opening cabinets and drawers so that Rose can put together two cups of tea. He seems defeated, so very different than the Doctor Rose knows.
Or maybe, so much the same.
"Yes, Doctor, I was there. I was there through it all."
The Doctor shakes his head tiredly. "Perhaps you have the memories but don't-"
"I am her, Doctor. I am all of them. Rose Tyler, Bad Wolf, the Moment. We are one." Her eyes glow again and her voice goes a bit tinny.
"Why are you here?" He whispers, brokenly. The question comes out a bit harsher than it should've, but she's wearing the face of a woman who he loved. A woman he lost. "Isn't your job done?"
She doesn't flinch and her expression is so soft, so very Rose, it makes his chest ache. Reaching out her hand, she runs her fingertips along his cheek and whispers, "a thousand years and a million lifetimes ago, I made a promise to the girl I would one day become."
"Rose?" He questions uncertainly. How can this be real? She nods and takes his hand in hers. It fits there perfectly.
It always will.
"Ask me any five questions, answers only Rose would know?"
The Doctor is silent for a minute, but ultimately believes it doesn't matter what he asks. "Okay, Rose Tyler," he begins skeptically. "You won what sporting event when you were how young?
"Gymnastics. Under sevens. I got the bronze," she smiles proudly. "Easy."
"Question two; What was the first thing I said to you?"
"You grabbed my wrist and told me to run. Still too easy! C'mon!"
"Question three, my Rose, and this is a biggie. Possibly the most important question in all of time and space. You ready? Why am I not ginger?" He asks with all the seriousness in the universe.
"Doctor!" She give a full bellied laugh, a cute little snort at the end and it's right then when the Doctor accepts her as his Rose.
He sobers, takes a deep breath and whispers, "and how many times have I kissed you?"
"You know you never actually kissed Rose Tyler, right?"
"That can't be right, can it?"
"The first time I was Bad Wolf," she reminds him.
"Yes. Quite, right. Had to heal you."
"The next time, it was Cassandra." A disgusted groan follows the Doctors exclamations of moisturize me and Rose's fake vomit.
"Last question. Rose Tyler, if I wanted to kiss you now, would you let me?" It's a honest question, one he doesn't know the answer to. But hewants.
"Do you know why I chose this form, Doctor? Do you remember what I said to you all those years ago, half mad and possessing too much power? I see all that is, all that was, all that ever could be. Think about it. When Rose Tyler looked into the heart of the TARDIS, she saw you. She saw the man who regrets so much. She saw the man who would do anything to forget it all. And for one brief, shining moment, she saw a way to change it. She saw my creation, all that I could do and she gave me a piece of herself. She gave me her heart, her morality, her hope, Doctor. I took this form to honor the woman that told me that I could be so much more than a weapon."
"Yeah," he chuckles, a grin lighting up his face. "Good ol' Rose Tyler."
"I was quite clever, wasn't I?
"Brilliant, you," he smiles. "Absolutely brilliant. What exactly was the promise?"
"Ah, yes. Deliver a message. Let' see here," she murmurs distractedly, searching through her pockets.
He raises an eyebrow at her and asks, "bigger on the inside?"
They share a smile and he has to turn away, to remind himself that she isn't his Rose. Not really. Maybe a little.
"Here it is," she says, breaking him from his thoughts and handing him a small, metal cube. He takes a moment to inspect it, his name in Gallifreyan embossed across the back beautifully. He hesitates quickly, before finally pressing play.
A hologram of Rose appears before him, smiling and happy and looking just as she did that day on Satellite 5. He looks back up into warm, hazel eyes and sees the truth of what she is, a triple goddess.
"Hello, Doctor," the image begins. "Bet this is a bit of a surprise, yeah? We didn't know if we could convince you that we were all the same, so you get this, just in case."
"My Rose," the Doctor chokes out, voice rough and eyes wet.
"If you're watching this, then it worked. I am so happy for you, Doctor. I wish you could keep this memory, but too much depends on you forgetting. S'all right, though," Rose tells him. She smiles, pokes her tongue between her teeth, and it's every bit as beautiful as he remembers. "It will be, I promise. Just know that I am safe and loved in that other world. I miss you everyday, but I am not lost. You have so many wonderful adventures awaiting you, and in some small way, I am in a part of every single one of them. I told you forever once. I meant it. Be safe, my Doctor. And to answer your last question, yes. Of course."
The image fades taking the cube along with it and he has to clutch the console to keep himself upright. He closes his eyes and lets the memories wash over him.
"Can't I keep this memory? Just this one thing," he pleads.
"No," she tells him softly. "Not this you. And not for hundreds of years, but eventually?" She leans up, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips.
"Eventually, though? Even, even this?" He pulls her close and is amazed at how effortlessly their lips slot into each other. She tugs at his hair, pulling him harder, closer, wanting to touch him, to taste him. And when they pull back to breath, they push their foreheads together, gasping the same air for as long as possible.
"Of course," she smiles. "The TARDIS is a smart old girl. She'll let you remember when the time is right."
The TARDIS seemingly glowers at the old girl comment until they both dissolve into delighted giggles.
"Is it time?" The Doctor wonders aloud, carding his fingers through her hair as if that alone can keep them both in place.
"Yes," she tells him, mournfully. She wraps him in a quick hug and kisses his temple.
"You know what to do, old friend?" She asks the TARDIS as she pats the console. That TARDIS trills back at her and she laughs again.
"Do," he begins, not knowing if he should voice his thoughts. "Do you know if we'll see each other again?"
She smiles and reaches for him, her form already fading. "Never say never, Doctor. Someday you'll realize that the universe is big, it's vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles. And you... You are my miracle."
"I do love you, Rose Tyler. Bad Wolf, the Moment and everything in-between."
"I know," she smiles.
Then she is gone.
The Doctor shakes his head, momentarily confused. He feels somehow lighter and he can't quite explain it. "Well," he says to the TARDIS, running around the console. "Shall we go check out that hospital in London, old friend? Allons-y!"