Title: Still The Doctor
Characters and/or Pairings: 10.5/Rose
Summary: “You saved Bergen with paint by numbers dentistry.” She giggled.
“Yup.” He gave her a silly grin that made her want to snog him senseless.
“That settles it then, you really are The Doctor. No one else in the universe is quite that mad. ”
“Did you ever doubt it?”
Word Count: 1,828
This story starts with a beach.
The adventure was over, the worlds were safe, the journey was at its end, and it was time for the heroes to return home from the crusade.
The thing is, The Man Formerly Known as the Doctor thought to himself, I don’t even know where home is.
He knew where he wanted it to be. Anywhere where he could hold Rose Tyler’s hand and see her smile would be home enough for him.
The question was,
Would she even want him?
If not, what would he do and where would he go?
He still had the psychic paper (stolen from the Other One) and a piece of TARDIS coral in his pocket and in time could travel the stars once more.
Still, what fun was travelling without her by his side?
She hadn’t spoken to him since the TARDIS dematerialised. However, her hand was still in his.
He took that as a good sign.
The drive to Bergen was a quiet affair.
Dead quiet really.
But apparently, as he learned, fairy lights and festive decor was a good ice breaker for even the awkwardest of drives.
Awkwardest? He shook his head and added it to his list of words or, in this case, non-words to never use again.
“It’s Christmas.” He said softly. If you can’t say something original say something obvious.
“Yeah,” Rose gave him a small smile, “I guess we’ve been away for quite a while this time. Hope dad’s fabricated a story by now. “
“Yeah,” he doesn’t know what to say to that, so surprisingly, he says nothing.
Technically, it was Christmas Eve, as they discovered when they reached the hotel.
“Very nice,” He said, taking in the hotel suite. It was the size of a large flat with velvets and brocades, in various shades of red and gold. His eyes rested on a monstrous canopy bed with swans on the sides.
This is why the world needs Timelords. Someone has to go back in time and stop Chippendale from designing this monstrosity.
“The gold leaf on the walls makes it very...” There were no words for this room, he decided.
“It is a bit much. Isn’t it?” Rose’s nose wrinkled in distaste, (Rather adorably, he might add.) “But that’s mum for you.”
“Good to see some things haven’t changed.” He beamed. Maybe they’d be alright, after all.
Her smile faded. “But some things have.”
He tried not to show how much that comment hurt.
“I’m not trying to push you away, I’m not,” She continued, “I just need time to understand this.”
“It’s a lot to wrap your head around,” he acknowledged. “I don’t even understand this completely. Donna might but-“
His sentence was cut off by a golden light that was so beautiful, it burned. He let out a blood curling scream and felt his knees buckle beneath him. Rose might have been beside him, but he couldn’t see past the radiant song invading his mind.
His own skin became his prison. He tried to tear himself free, only to find something restraining him.
“I’ve got you.” A voice cooed, “It’s alright. Everything is going to be ok.”
Eventually the pain became too much to bear, and he faded into the merciful darkness.
When he came to, he found himself surrounded by the smell of apple grass, tea, and something else that was pure Rose. It never occurred to him how much he’d missed that scent.
The Doctor, (Was he still the Doctor?) couldn’t help but smile when he discovered she was singing sweetly in his ear. He decided to take a minute to savour the sound of her voice and feeling of her arms around him.
He wondered briefly if the golden light had killed him and he’d gone to heaven.
“Are you ok?” Rose’s voice permeated his happy little bubble.
“He erased her.” He was surprised how calm he felt. “All that life and brilliancy, gone, just like that.”
“There’s nothing you could have done. “ As much as he hated her resignation, he had a feeling she was right.
Still, he was unwilling to accept the death of the woman who was very much like a twin sister to him.
“How would you know?” he snapped.
“I saw it. She was practically wearing it like a neon sign from day one.”
“Why is it that I couldn’t see it then? I’m the Timelord.”
“I think it’s possible that you were so deeply entwined in it that you couldn’t see properly. Like you were one picture in a mosaic.” The Doctor remained silent until he realised what she’d said.
“Just one thing, what do you mean you saw it? Humans can’t see things like that. Jack can, and few others, but that’s cause the Time Agency performed unspeakable experiments on their agents.”
“I think it was Satellite Five.” He shifted a little in his seat; he knew where this was going.
“I looked into the TARDIS, and I’ve been different ever since. I can see things. I survived hundreds of parallel worlds where most operatives went mad after about five-.” Rose paused noticing his discomfort, so finished in a softer tone, “But you know what?”
“No matter where I was, I could always find you. Even if it wasn’t the right you.”
He looked at her in awe. The TARDIS must gifted her when she saved him. But why didn’t she ever tell him?
“How come you never told me about it?”
“When did we ever talk about anything important?” It was true. Bury it under the rug was practically rule number one back then. He felt an overwhelming urge to punch the Other One in face.
“Listen, I didn’t know Donna very long, and I won’t pretend that I knew her as well as you did, but I can tell you she wouldn’t want you sittin’ around and moping.“
He smiled. “You’re right.” The little bit of Donna in him confirmed her words. “She’d want me to run around, acting bonkers and talking a million miles a minute.”
“You forgot acting like a nine-year-old and putting things in your mouth.” She added, “Come on, it’s Christmas morning, and there’s a heap of real snow out there just waiting for us to enjoy it.”
He smiled as he got off of the ugly thing that someone dared to call a bed. Maybe they could build a snow fort together, just for the fun of it. He’d never really made one for the fun of it before.
Then perhaps they could have hot chocolate when they got back.
The kind with the little marshmallows on top.
As it turned out they didn’t get to build a snow fort.
Instead they opted to walk around this adorable little village of gingerbread houses.
While the houses were cute and all, Rose had to admit the experience was livened up when what looked like and abominable snowman started wreaking havoc around the edible township.
The Doctor, to Rose’s surprise, calmly walked up to it, speaking loudly in a language that could only be described as alien.
The “abominable snowman” replied in the same language, seeming a little calmer now. Whatever it said made the Doctor cast off his jacket and roll up his sleeves. Was he going to punch it?
Her hypothesis was proved wrong when reached into the creature’s mouth.
With a loud “HA!” he pulled out a molar the size of a football. His new friend scooped him up into a large hug before departing. The scene made Rose laugh. The large creature’s embrace made him look comically tiny. Like a rag doll.
“Toothache,” he told the gathering crowd.
The spectators were quiet for a moment before they broke into laughter and applause.
Tooth still in hand, he took a sweeping bow.
“Asmerians are notorious for their bad dental care,” the Doctor said, picking up his jacket.
“You saved Bergen with paint by numbers dentistry.” She giggled.
“Yup.” He gave her a silly grin that made her want to snog him senseless.
“That settles it then, you really are The Doctor. No one else in the universe is that mad. ”
“Did you ever doubt it?”
“Not really, now let’s go back to hotel. It’s almost lunchtime.”
“But what about the snow?” he pouted. They still hadn’t made a fort yet.
“We can play later. Besides, I’ve got a present for you.”
The look he gave her was downright filthy, and she couldn’t help shivering pleasantly at the thought.
Still, they needed to take things slow.
“Not that kind of present. Mind out of the gutter.”
“We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” he said in the tone of voice that meant he was referencing something. She always thought it was kind of cute when he did that.
Still, she hoped paraphrasing wasn’t going to be a thing with him. Charming as it is, it could get very tiring.
“It’s not much and I didn’t get time to wrap it-” Rose began.
“Don’t care, prezzie.” The Doctor jumped up and down.
“Fine, close your eyes and hold out your hands.”
When he complied, a familiar weight was thrust into his eager palms.
His jaw dropped when he opened his eyes.
“My sonic screwdriver,” he breathed, “but how?”
“I was in this parallel world, and you dropped it. I couldn’t just let someone pick it up. So I just put it in my pocket.” Her expression became unreadable; something to puzzle out later, he decided.
He kissed her forehead and she snuggled in close to him just like she used to.
“It’s perfect.” It took him a moment to realise he didn’t just mean the gift.
Coincidentally, this story also ends with a beach.
Far off in the distance, they could just barely hear the residents in Bergen celebrating. But that was just perfect for them.
They would leave for London tomorrow morning, so they sought peace and quiet on the empty beach. Rose and the Doctor had a feeling there wouldn’t be any serenity in their lives for a long time. The two of them figured they should savour it while it lasted.
This time there was breathtaking sunset, no twin suns, or dragons taking flight.
The sky was laden with dark and heavy clouds.
“A storm is brewing.” He gazed out at the sky.
“I know,” she said simply.
“How long are going to stay with me?” he asked.
Her hand slid into his and she smiled.
It was going to be tough. They weren’t so naive to think otherwise. But this time, instead of him trying to send her to higher ground, they would weather the storm together.
Her answer was the same as before.
But this time, he knows it’s the truth.