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the shore [parts five to seven]

Title: The Shore
Series: Doctor Who
Characters/Pairing: Rose Tyler & the Doctor
Word Count: 5,000 (total length is 13,000)

Continued from here



PART FIVE

“I take the words, I scatter them, in time and space.
A message to lead myself here.”


Rose reaches her hand up to the top of her head. “Ouch,” she moans aloud to no one in particular. “Well that smarts.” She shakes it off, makes a mental note to better secure the shelf next time around, and climbs to her feet. “Odd. It’s so quiet.”

The TARDIS is clearly stationary. Wherever it was bringing her, they’ve arrived. She checks a small screen set in the wall next to her closet. “Time traveler or not,” she thinks, “a girl’s gotta know what to wear”:

ENVIRONMENT: EARTH, NORWAY, 20° C


“Seriously? Norway? Fantastic. Never anything but fun in Norway!” The sarcasm is wasted on her wardrobe. She strips off the clothes she’s been wearing for who-knows-how-many days and grabs a pair of leggings and her favorite brown boots, laces them haphazardly, and pulls a crème-colored sweater-dress from its hanger. Second guessing just how cold 20° C might be, and remembering being caught in the park unprepared, she slips on a light grey coat, pulls the hood up over her tousled hair, and slips her purple fingerless gloves into the pocket, just in case.

Still rubbing the growing lump on her hairline, Rose makes her way through a maze of corridors. It never ceases to amaze her how natural this life feels, so normal, so… so… so… “Lonely,” she answers herself out loud. She cracks a sad smile, pushes the thought aside, pulls herself together, and reaches her console room. “All right, old girl. I’m done being cross with you. What do you have for me today?”

***


“All right, old girl, what do you have for me today?” The Doctor bounds from the navigation to the diagnostic panel, checking the intertial dampers before jumping over to the helm’s eyepiece. “Definitely Bad Wolf Bay. Dålig Ulv Stranden, Norway. Back on Earth and oooh yes, back on this charming stretch of shore. Can you blame me for not being overwhelmingly ecstatic about this one? As fun as it is to feel the crushing blow of leaving
her behind…” He peers through the eyepiece, leaps backwards, and lunges forward to look again. “Well, this is unexpected. All things considered, it probably ISN’T so unexpected, but here I am, unexpecting. Unexpectant? I think I’m making words up now…”

The Doctor steps back again, this time, with much more composure. He straightens his bowtie, adjusts his suspenders, and runs a hand through his hair with a slight cringe. “Oh, it could look worse,” he thinks, “in fact, it definitely has.” He takes a step toward the door. “Geronimo.”

***


She feels frozen; she feels like the wind has been knocked from her chest; Rose is absolutely paralyzed. “Can you repeat that, please?”

As clear as day, the ship’s voice interface system answers in perfect Norwegian: “Dålig Ulv Stranden”.

“Dålig Ulv Stranden,” Rose intones without emotion. And then she feels her face growing hotter. “Is this some kind of sick joke?!” She’s yelling now and can’t control her shaking. “What is this?! What is ALL of this?!” She’s screaming at the ship because she has no one else to blame. “You’ve taken every thing away from me! EVERY THING. First him. Then my family. You pulled me back into this universe and for what? That poem, why is it following me? You’ve dragged me through the oceans of time to bring me back here? This is bloody torture! I don’t understand… WHY AM I HERE?!”

Without hesitation, the interface answers: “I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart.”

“This is sick. This is absolute rubbish. Or else, I must be mad. That’s it, I’m mad. Or I’m dreaming. That bump on the head, that’s what did it! I’ve finally lost my mind. After all of these years, I end up here…” With an angry fire rising in the back of her throat, she shoves open the exterior door of her TARDIS. “Bad. Wolf. Bay.”

Rose Tyler takes one step outside. Only her face is exposed to the rush of chill. The air is icy, but the sun is blinding. She squints to focus, the familiar shore, at first hazy, becomes quite solid as her eyes adjust to the light. And backlit by this whole scene – the sun, the water, the endless stretches of sand and rock – stands one, tall, unmistakable shape: a bright blue police box from 1963.

***


One-hundred-and-seven years have passed since the Doctor had to leave Rose Tyler on this shore, in a universe severed from his own; one-hundred-and-seven years, one regeneration, and countless narrow escapes, daring defeats, and invaluable friends; one-hundred-and-seven years, and suddenly, as he squints in the bright light to make certain his ancient eyes are not deceiving him, he is staring across a stretch of beach on the edge of Earth… he is staring at beautiful, brave Rose Tyler.

***


One-hundred-and-seven years have passed since Rose Tyler has seen her Doctor, 100% flesh-and-blood-and-two-beating-hearts Time Lord. It takes her a split second to understand what’s happening. A man steps from the blue box and at first, she doesn’t know his face. But it’s only a bat of an eyelash before she understands. She’s seen this face before, if only in her mind’s eye. The angry heat in her throat is replaced by her rising, racing heart. It’s been more than a century and clearly, he’s been reborn at least once, but it’s him. It’s him. “It’s you,” the words are barely audible and she’s choking on them.

She’s not sure how she’s making her legs move because they feel like pure jelly. But she’s running. She’s running faster than she’s ever run before and she suddenly understands that her whole life has not been spent running away from any thing; she’s been running towards this very moment, this very place in space and time. She’s running and her face hurts from smiling and her tears are stinging in the cold air, but she doesn’t care. Every step is closing the distance between them.

***


She’s in his arms. He doesn’t know why, and he’s not sure yet how, but Rose Tyler is in his arms. He should feel detached, it would be safer; he should make himself feel detached; in fact, he should detach himself from her right this very moment. But he doesn’t want to and so, he does not. He holds her. She’s crying and she’s laughing and she’s shaking. He can’t remember ever feeling so fragile and human, but then again, he’s never felt less like an alien than when he is with her. He holds her. And he feels his eyes fill and spill over.

“Hello,” his voice cracks. “I’m the Doctor.”

***


Every cell in her body sings at his touch. She’s seen her fair share of supernova, and she is pretty sure one’s igniting in her chest at this very moment. He’s holding her so much tighter than she thought he would and she’s afraid to pull back. Though she’d really like to see that face again because, my god, she only caught it for a moment, but that lovely young face and those hauntingly ancient eyes were not lost on her. But she’s pressed in his arms and cannot make herself move.

She’s so close, she can hear his heartbeat. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. A strange, familiar drumming… And it all rushes in. She understands. How he found her, how she found him. She found him.

It takes every ounce of strength for Rose to pry herself away. When she finally manages, she tries quite unsuccessfully to avoid getting lost in those smoky green eyes and feels her jelly legs returning. “Okay,” she says, and then, much louder “OKAY!” She reminds herself that she’s not a lovesick teenager, she’s Rose Tyler, and she’s been through A LOT since the last time she stood here with him. And furthermore, damn it, she should be terribly angry with him for everything he has put her through. Isn’t she angry? She searches for anger, and comes up empty-handed. Fine. What about annoyed? She can’t locate that feeling either.

“Um, excuse me,” the Doctor interrupts her stream of consciousness. “But I’d love to hear you say something other than ‘OKAY!’ and maybe not so loudly this time because I’m standing barely a quarter of a meter away from your rather large mouth.”

Rose is stunned. “My rather large WHAT?” Maybe she’s finally locating that anger.

“There you go again, so loud, Rose Tyler. Rose Tyler. Rose Tyler! It really is you, isn’t it? And don’t be cross with me. I love your mouth. I mean, your lips. I mean, your smile. Well, all of it, really. The whole package. Rose Tyler!” And he takes her hand and spins her around on the spot. “Aren’t you just a sight?”

And she’s right back to jelly.

***


The Doctor considers his words very carefully before speaking. She’s shown him her very own TARDIS, grown from the coral that he gave himself (well, a partial version of himself) so long ago. He’s heard her story. He’s still haunted by the lingering pain he saw in her eyes when she spoke of the Human Doctor, and how much she had suffered when she lost him more than seventy years ago. He’s put two and two together, immediately understanding the snail’s pace of her aging – something he had felt quite clever explaining to her, since she had no memory of the day she defeated the Daleks and saved his own life by taking the TARDIS into her veins. He aches for her when he learns she’s been ripped away from her family, but it doesn’t surprise him. She’s jumped dimensions, after all. But the one thing he still isn’t sure of lingers on his tongue. “How did I find you?”

“Actually, I found you,” Rose states matter-of-factly.

“That’s not possible…” he begins, but she cuts him off. “Yes, it is.”

They’re still standing in her control room, leaning against her console. She takes his hand in hers, pulls a few levers, and uses his finger to push a big blue button. Out prints a sheet of paper. He looks bewildered. The same verse E. E. had given him; the same one he had lost…

“Now, at first I thought that these words were following me. Haunting me, really. I thought I might be cursed. But finding you – seeing you there on the bay – suddenly it all made sense. It was never following ME, I was following IT. I was running after it. I was running to you. Because you carry my heart…”

“In my heart,” he finishes, and absentmindedly reaches his hand up to his chest.

“Yes. I swear that’s the answer. I was at my wit’s end when I fed this into my communications panel last night. I was delirious, and more tired than I can ever remember being. I felt like I was sleepwalking. I fed it in and nothing happened. So I went to bed, and suddenly, up was down and down was up – my TARDIS was hurtling through space all on its own for the SECOND time in one night. Then, would you believe it, a shelf landed on my head and… It’s not funny. Don’t laugh!”

The Doctor stifles his snicker, imagining her sweet, yellow, sleepy head and a surprised look upon her face. “No, no you’re right. It’s not funny. But the verse, how did you…”

“I found this folded and tucked between the roses last night…” She takes a step closer, holding the page out to him.

But he’s distracted again and starts to pace. “New York. Of course. The TARDIS must have sent E.E. instructions to write the poem and give it to me, knowing very well that I would in turn drop it in the garden. That all makes sense. It really does. Brilliant Rose Tyler,” she smiles at this, but he doesn’t miss a beat, “and my TARDIS, and your TARDIS, one and the same, I presume. Calling out to one another, calling out to itself, helping us find each other. Forcing our hands, really. Clever girls, uhhh, girl. Though what I want to know is why I am here. What brought me here, now, Bad Wolf Bay, more than one-hundred years later?”

“I think I left you a message. A message to lead you here, Doctor. I did it before, didn’t I? What if I sent one more message, one you weren’t meant to get until now? What if this was written all along?”

“Bad Wolf. I saw the words…” he breaks off.

“I figured as much,” she answers. They both are silent.

Again, he’s lost in thought. Weighing the outcome of his next move. This is one of those moments. His choice now will affect every thing that will come to be. There’s no reason to be afraid, and yet, deep down, something about Rose Tyler has always made him petrified. “Well, you’ve heard it all before, Rose. All of time and space. It takes the proverbial cake, you know? But it hasn’t felt much like cake without you. Not even like pie. And I really like pie. Although, maybe sometimes it has been a little like a biscuit… mmmm, what I wouldn’t give for a Jammie Dodger…”

“Is there a point coming, Doctor?” Rose smiles.

“Yes. Right. The point. Will you come with me?” He holds out his hand.

***


Rose spent an honest thirty seconds considering whether or not to go with him. She really did. The only reason it took that long was because she felt she owed it to her home for the past century to give it a good, thorough think through. Memories, like ghosts, weave themselves around every corner, but that doesn’t mean she won’t miss it. She spent thirty seconds on careful inner monologue, but of course she knows what her answer will be. Only one question remains: “And what about my TARDIS?”

“Always the sentimentalist. And quite rightfully so. We’ll absorb her. Well, she’ll absorb herself, really.” They are standing back outside now, the northern sun alighting the sky with fiery reds and pinks as it begins to set. “We just need these two,” with a flick of his wrist, the Doctor motions to both ships, “to exist at the exact same point in space and time. They’re already part of the same whole. They’ll figure it all out.”

“And how will we manage to help them ‘figure it all out’ exactly?”

“We’ll dematerialize your ship, then rematerialize it inside of mine. When the two matrices intersect, yours will be absorbed. Not as if yours had never existed, but as if they had never been apart in the first place.”

Rose smiles. She can’t help but draw parallels.

“Right. You ready?” the Doctor pulls his sonic screwdriver from his jacket pocket. “Wibbly wobbly timey wimey, do your worst. Or rather, your best would be preferred. Definitely best.”

“That’s new!” Rose exclaims, pointing to the screwdriver.

“Oh! You like it? It has claws!”

“Brilliant!” She laughs.

***


The TARDIS stretches outward and inward in the same movement. Light becomes darkness and darkness becomes light. The nature of all life, all that ever was, all that ever will be, is contained within something like a yawn. Without so much as a struggle, two separate entities – part and parcel of the same whole – merge back into one. “Well, that feels better,” she thinks. “The rest, they’ll have to sort out on their own.”

***


“Rose Tyler…” the Doctor begins to speak.

“I’d love to.” She doesn’t need him to finish the thought and reaches her hand into his.

Rose looks down and notices his bowtie for the first time, opens her mouth to speak, and he cuts her off. “I know what you’re thinking.”

Cocking one eyebrow, she demands, “what? Bowties are cool.”

She doesn’t need music. Back in an old blue box, dancing with the man that sets her entire world aflame, Rose feels like she’s tiptoeing on stars. She looks down again, this time into the depths of space. Within the protective bubble cast by the TARDIS, they actually are tiptoeing on stars.

The Doctor places one hand on the small of Rose’s back and dips her. It’s all pitch-blackness, swirling purple galaxies, and bright orange lunar eclipses. She feels drunk on starlight and laughs with her whole body.

Rediscovering his touch is like finding herself for the first time. The last time they danced, the skies of London were filled with Zeppelins, and she was so very young. She had felt so safe with the Doctor, the broken warrior that gave her the keys to the universe. She remembers that Christmas, the day he regenerated. At first, she didn’t know him, but it was so simple to learn to trust him; it was so simple to let him carry her life in his hands; it was so simple to love him. When she began her journey with the Human Doctor, it was like starting over again, only with all of the knowledge of what had come before. Now, his face is once again new, but behind his eyes she sees the weight of worlds and the promise that the best has yet to unfold. And she, for the first time, feels like his equal.



PART SIX

“The universe is big, it's vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.”


It’s been two-hundred-and-sixty-four days since they found each other again on the shore of Bad Wolf Bay. Like two pieces of the same whole, Rose and the Doctor have fallen back into an easy, familiar pattern. Sailing on the sea of time. Catapulting through the expanse of space. Saving this world. Defeating that enemy. So many sunrises. So many sunsets. Yet all the while, Rose is waiting. Her eyes are constantly searching him for a sign.

“It’s almost like playing house,” Rose thinks to herself. “Almost.” In fact, it was only yesterday that he had taken her back to Galaxy M87, New Earth, to shop for silverware. “Silverware!” She still can’t quite believe it. It had been freakishly domestic, and adorable, of course – but new saucers and cups for teatime had not been super high on her list of priorities.

She’s convinced that something about her makes him very, very nervous, and that he’s doing every thing he can to ignore it.

***


He watches her (but only when he’s absolutely sure she won’t see). Just out of the corner of his eye, the Doctor tracks her every move. When she’s worried, her shoulders hunch ever so slightly forward. When she’s lost in important musings, she shifts her hips to the right; when she’s feeling playful, they move to the left. When she’s about to speak her mind, she draws in one short breath followed by one that’s much longer. When she’s tired, she crinkles her nose. And when she’s frustrated with him, she drums two fingernails on her left hand without even realizing she’s doing so.

***


Rose taps her fingers unconsciously on the TARDIS’ display dials as she watches the Doctor hover over the cooling systems, armed with his sonic screwdriver, three beads of sweat clinging to his forehead. Yes, she’s counted them. Without taking his eyes off the task at hand, he slips off his jacket and tosses it onto the chair behind him. She doesn’t take her eyes off of him.

“I’m so sorry, Rose.” He scans the panel again. “It’s burning up in here and I haven’t the slightest clue…”

Under her breath she says, “you can say that again.”

“Hmmm?”

“Oh, nothing.” As frustrated as she might be – and she’s learned a thing or two about frustration since reconnecting with the Doctor – it’s practically impossible to watch him work without feeling dizzily happy.

He bites his lip, sets his screwdriver onto the console, and tosses his hands up into the air. “Makes no sense. Almost as if the cooling sensor’s been manipulated. I can’t even get a proper reading. It’s like the psychic interface,” he picks up the screwdriver and gives it a good whack, “won’t even register my thoughts!” He drops it again and runs his fingers through his hair.

Rose imagines weaving her fingers through his. She imagines how well she’d fit curled into the curve of his back. She imagines what he looks like asleep, his chest rising and falling, the lines on his face softening, all pretenses fading. She inhales sharply. “Either that, or maybe someone’s tampered with your sonic…”

“Pardon?” He spins around to face her, a drop of sweat slides down his jaw. She’s managed to grab his attention.

She smiles and speaks slowly, annunciating each syllable: “May-be some-one’s messed with your son-ic, Doc-tor.”

He runs his thumbs down his suspenders, takes two steps in her direction, and she swears she sees the corner of his mouth twitch. “Oh, is that so, Rose Tyler? Has some-one messed with my son-ic? How would some-one manage that, exactly?”

Rose is poised, ready to sprint. “You really want to know? You’d have to catch the culprit and torture it out of her!” And she bolts from the control room.

***


The Doctor catches up with her just outside her chamber door. He had felt quite proud uploading her room from the TARDIS’ databanks – it had been stored all of these years. She reaches for the handle and he stops her, just barely touching her hand. He tries not to notice that it’s lily white, that there’s a small cut above the second knuckle on her ring finger (and that it’s the softest thing he’s ever touched).

“Rose…”

“Yes, Doctor?” She’s out of breath and grinning ear-to-ear.

There’s not a chance he’s going to tell her what he’s actually thinking (“not a chance!”). “What, precisely, did you disable?” He’s been lost for so long, and he’s so frightened of being found.

Her smile drops. “I hacked it.”

“You hacked it?”

“I hacked it. I reversed the electrical interface. It’s reading your thoughts alright, and it’s doing the exact opposite. Imagine that.” Her smirk doesn’t quite look angry, but he’s instantly aware she’s distancing herself.

“That’s brilliant!” He wants to apologize. He wants to tell her that he adores her. He wants to convince her that he’d travel through oceans of dark matter and brave any storm to find her over and over again. “That’s really, really brilliant.”

***


“Space Florida?” Rose, poking her head out of the TARDIS, peeks over the top of her sunnies.

“Space Florida,” the Doctor repeats, patting his coat pockets, in search of his own pair of sunglasses.

“You brought me to Space Florida?”

“It’s a HUGE hit with the ladies!”

“It’s a huge what?”

“A huge hit with the…” the Doctor reconsiders how he’ll finish the thought. “It’s a huge hit with the… married, Scottish gingers…” his eyes dart from side to side, searching for something to get him out of this pickle, “with whom my partnerships have been perfectly platonic?” It’s a question, not a statement. He does have the fondest place in his thoughts where he keeps the girl who waited, Amelia Pond, and her last centurion, Rory Williams (two of his favorite humans, by far). He makes a mental note to bring Rose to meet them, if she ever forgives him.

He steeples his hands, brings his index fingers to his lips, and waits for her let him have it.

Rose starts to laugh. “I’m joking! Don’t look so nervous. I’m not jealous.”

“You’re not?”

“I’m not.”

“Why not?”

“You’d rather I was?”

“That’s not what I…”

“Doctor,” she takes a step closer to him as he takes a step back, “you think I don’t know your M.O.? You think I never traveled with companions? You’re a nutter.”

“Companions? That’s precisely right. Companions. Comrades. Confidants. Cohorts...” He’s wildly animated under the Space Floridian sun.

“Hey, jumpy,” she takes another step towards him, placing a hand on each of his flailing arms, “you don’t need to feel so nervous, you know?”

He fights the urge to put more space between them. “I’m not nervous.”

“You’re nervous.” She’s all smiles (and it makes him want to bolt back into the TARDIS and hide.)

“I’m not!”

Her smile drops a touch, and something like a shadow falls over her features. “Doctor, we need to talk.”

“We are talking.”

“Space Florida,” she twirls around, “is lovely. But it’s hot. My sweater's black and you’re wearing tweed. Plus, we really, really need to have a little chat.”

“Is it going to be an I’m-in-big-trouble-and-you’re-going-to-be-stomiping-around-the-TARDIS-for-days kind of chat, or more of a casual we-need-to-discuss-the-custard-in-the-swimming-pool kind of chat?”

“Wait… why is there custard in the swimming pool?”

“Hmmm?” He tries to feign innocence. “Custard in the pool? Haven’t got a clue what you mean.”

“Okay,” she shakes her head, “does Space Florida have a moon?”

“It does…”

“Fly me to the moon.”

***


She’s sitting next to him on one of the planet’s three deep-orange moons. Safe in the orb of breathable air and gravity projected by the TARDIS, they’re leaning against its outer wall, watching a thick asteroid belt wind itself through the stars.

“It reminds me a little of my solar system,” Rose lifts herself slightly on her hands, pushes back a bit straighter against the wall, and crosses her legs underneath her short, gray skirt. In the process, her hand grazes his and the electric jolt rages a war up her spine.

She wonders if he notices. She’s never known him to be this quiet. She throws herself directly to the point.

“I knew your face.”

He whips his head towards hers. The Doctor’s eyes are big and full of concern. “You knew my… when?”

“Bad Wolf Bay. Almost immediately. You stepped out into the sunlight and it only took a moment. I knew it. I… I had already seen it.”

“How?”

“The first time was over a century ago. It came in a dream. Felt like a nightmare at first. For a long time, actually. I was drowning in fire and I saw your face. It was so hot. I couldn’t breathe. Like being engulfed in flames. And you turned towards me. You spoke. I didn’t know it then, but it was your voice.”

He’s staring at the ground beneath them, still so quiet.

She continues, “you said that you carried my heart in yours. And when I woke up, within minutes, my TARDIS had relayed the poem for the first time. It can’t be coincidence. I’m not imagining it. I think I always must have known that I’d find you; I think I was on my way to you, even then.”

Rose’s breath stops abruptly in her throat, and she inhales long and slow to stay level-headed. “That was the first time. The second time, you saved my life. I was ready to give up. I was going to sacrifice everything. Ready to face death….”

“Rose!”

“Let me finish.” She adjusts her legs, smoothes the front of her skirt, and leans in close. “I didn’t want to exist. But it was you. It was your face. I was ready to fall into nothingness and it was your face that filled me with the strength to stand. To keep fighting. I knew it was you, and it was this face,” she lays her hand against his cheek without hesitation, “it was this face; this face that I didn’t even know yet; this face that I knew I’d do anything to find.”



PART SEVEN

“We're fallin' through space, you and me,”


The Doctor doesn’t deny that he has spent several lifetimes exploring the vulnerability and strength that comes from folding to love. He also doesn’t deny that he concurrently feels like a jaded old man and a naïve spring chicken (such a peculiar expression. “Spring chickens! What about summer budgerigars?”) But he’s finding it harder and harder not to kiss her.

Their relationship has never been anything near typical. So it’s not that he’s necessarily frightened of it collapsing. It’s the simple fact that in a thousand years (give or take), he’s never allowed himself to be so completely overwhelmed by anything quite as miraculous as Rose Tyler.

***


She’s never longed for anything so feverishly. Like drowning in fire. He’s staring at her, his green eyes searching. “Just kiss me,” Rose pleads silently. “Just kiss me. Just kiss me. Just kiss me.”

***


It’s quiet on the moon. Not a sound but the quickened pace of her lungs. Like two new stars burning brightly in the blanket of black, he feels the energy vibrating between them. It doesn’t matter that he’s not touching her yet (and he’s quite sure he’ll explode to pieces when he does). It doesn’t matter where they’ve been, or where they’re going. What matters is that somehow, in the chaos of all things, the unspoken and monumental now is holding them to each other. “What happens now,” he’s debated this internally more times than he’s debated practically anything, “what happens now has always happened, is always happening, will always happen.” And there’s no point in continuing to fight it.

***


Rose, for the first time in what feels like a century, sleeps without dreaming. When she finally stirs, she can’t quite place where she is, or even when she is. But she’s on the TARDIS. The Doctor’s TARDIS. In her own room, in her own bed. Had she ever left?

She twists an arm and curls into a yawn, reaching out to pull the covers back around her and, instead, her hand brushes against the curve of a lightly freckled shoulder. Her breath catches as she scrambles to face him.

The Doctor is sleeping. She’s never seen him sleep. A millennia of battlefields and rejoicing, of losses and discovery – for once, she’s sees it all melt into the gentle rise and fall of his frame.

“Just as it should be,” Rose whispers and the Doctor exhales. That familiar, mischievous smile creeps across her face and she leans in, swearing she’ll never again keep this locked inside.

“My Doctor,” she breathes, the faintest wisps of golden light escape as her mouth hovers above his.

His timing is impeccable. At that moment, his eyes open. “My Rose.” He reaches both hands into the tangles of her yellow hair, pulls her close, and kisses her.

***


The Doctor intertwines his fingers with Rose Tyler’s. They’re standing in the TARDIS console room. They’ve been pretending to argue about where they’re headed next.

“This is it, Rose. You and me. This is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart, you know?”

“I know.”

“This changes every thing. Nothing will ever be the same.”

“I know.” She laughs. His hearts swell.

“This is forever. We can go any place, any time. But we can’t ever go back to before…”

“I know!”

“I have always been, and will always be, absolutely, positively in love with you.”

“I kn---” but she doesn’t get the chance to finish. He’s already pressed her tightly to him. He’s already kissing her, burning up this universe and the next.

Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
mad_teagirl
Oct. 31st, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!! OH MY GOD! THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I HAVE EVER READ IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!

THE E.E.CUMMINGS POEM! THE BAD WOLF BAY SYMMETRY! ROSE EXPELLING THE TARDIS GLOW IN HER SLEEP! I HAVE HEARTS IN MY EYES! HEARTS IN MY EYES!!!!!

YOU'RE THE BEST AND THIS WAS ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WORTH THE WAIT!!! I LOVE IT AND I LOVE YOU
ladyapplesauce
Oct. 31st, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOOOOOOOODNESS!!! I AM JUST SO EXCITED THAT YOU LIKE IT!!!

Honestly, I was so nervous. I'm not sure I've ever been as nervous as I was last night, waiting for you two to read it. It started as such a small project and turned into an entity all on its own. An obsession, even!

I have no idea how it happened, but my all-time favorite poem just seemed to fit so well, I couldn't resist! The Bad Wolf Bay symmetry and Rose expelling the TARDIS glow in her sleep were both your wife's concepts, and I just went with them! I HAD HEARTS IN MY EYES WHILE WRITING!

I am so happy it was worth the wait, because you had to wait sooooooo long! I've never made anything quite like this -- it's been ages since I've written fiction and even longer since I've written dialogue. But it was just pure magic being immersed in this world and of course the attachment to the characters was overwhelming.

I love YOU and you were totally worth it! Happy veryveryvery belated birthday <3 <3 <3
peskywhistpaw
Oct. 31st, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
Oh man, oh man, oh man, this is so amazing! I pretty much had to keep from crying throughout the whole thing. I just love how you had them come together, slowly – but at the pace they were meant to, because they're meant to find each other. *melts*

Guh. So lovely.
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 1st, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Guhhhhh thank you SO much! I'm so speechless that someone read it and thought is was lovely. It was first attempt to write fic EVER. So... yeah. Your comments mean the world to me. And I'm thrilled you like the pacing -- I was really careful about the way I bounced between the two of them until they finally find each other. *Sigh* I only finished this a bit over a day ago and I already miss being immersed in their world <3
jackspinkpearl
Nov. 1st, 2011 03:31 am (UTC)
Agghhh, this is BRILLIANT. Brilliant and beautiful and just, ahh, it's lovely. I love it. Great job. Fantastic job!
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 1st, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
Eeeeeee! A million, million thank yous for your sweet words. Putting this out into the universe was THE most nerve-wracking experience. I've never put myself out there like this, and I've never written fic. I am so excited that you enjoyed it <3
jackspinkpearl
Nov. 1st, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
I LOVED it. I'm a sucker for Eleven/Rose and, well, the Doctor/Rose in general, and one thing I LOVE in particular about your fic is the time you take to actually get them together romantically. They clearly love each other, yes, but the Doctor's got a TARDIS-sized ton of hangups about relationships, and so does your Rose (oh, I also love your characterization of Rose as she grows over the years. ahh, so good). Taking the time to develop that romantic aspect is really important, and your fic is pretty singularly awesome for that. :D

p.s. yay, new friend! Adding you back. You've inspired me to stop being a coward and post my own fic!
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 3rd, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so so so much! Ahhhh, "TARDIS-sized ton of hangups"... how true is that?! And my Rose for sure has a lot of her own issues, she's a century older than we've ever known her. I tried to really blend this idea of her being borderline Time Lady and still fundamentally very, very human. I'm a total sucker for Eleven/Rose (and of course, the Doctor/Rose in general, too!) And it was so very important for me to really draw out that space between them before letting them reconnect. I thought of them like their own galaxies, spinning off into space, and yet, something invisible and hidden pulling them back together all the while.

P.S. I'm so excited I've inspired you, new friend! I can't wait to read something of yours :)
sweetevangeline
Nov. 2nd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
I read this while listening to the companion mix and I didn't cry until “What happens now,” he’s debated this internally more times than he’s debated practically anything, “what happens now has always happened, is always happening, will always happen.”

This is amazing. This is...really, just really amazing. I'm pretty speechless over the whole thing. I...yeah. So this is a thing that exists in the world and you made it and that's amazing.
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 2nd, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)
I am so excited that line moved you! It just seemed to fit so well -- two time travelers finally connecting at the exact moment they were always supposed to. It was such a joy to play with that kind of imagery. And I am totally thrilled you were reading while listening to the mix. My sister is so incredibly talented (her fanmixes are some of my most favorite things in the world), and all I could hope was that my story did it justice.

YOU are amazing for giving me such lovely compliments. It's just so overwhelming for me that people are reacting this way to something I wrote. I can't stop smiling <3
sweetevangeline
Nov. 2nd, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC)
The two things - the story and the mix - perfectly compliment each other. They are both so good and so amazing and so narrative.

I actually just read this again because I couldn't bring myself to close the tab last night and figured that I might as well while it's here... : ) And you should give yourself credit! As something as insomniac, I've read a lot of what's out there over the years and this is definitely one of the best things I've come across. It's quite the debut work, definitely. It's actually so good it gave me that undefinable wibbly feeling.

(Of course, I also have "whatever a moon has always meant" engraved inside my wedding ring so maybe we were meant to be, me and this fic...)

Edited at 2011-11-02 11:04 pm (UTC)
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 3rd, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness, the "wibbly" feeling! That makes me feel wonderful. And that's so awesome that you've already re-read it. Thank you so much. I haven't really spent much time reading what else is out there, but I'm definitely going to start now. This began as a birthday present project and turned into something quite larger than itself, I think.

(And I LOVE that you have "whatever a moon has always meant" engraved inside your wedding band! Holy moly. That's INCREDIBLE!)
a_phoenixdragon
Nov. 2nd, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
Beautifully done dear!! Damn...Eleven/Rose huh? AND IT WORKS. Just...WOW!!

*HUGS*
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 2nd, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Awww... Thank you so much! I simply adore Rose and the Doctor, period. And thought it was so necessary to see her with Eleven. So, heck, might as well write it myself, right? I am so glad it worked for you!

*HUGS!*
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ladyapplesauce
Nov. 2nd, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
*Is dead from your flattery!* Seriously, I am so happy you thought it was beautiful. Thank you :)
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ladyapplesauce
Nov. 3rd, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very, very much! I am just crazy pleased that you liked it <3
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ladyapplesauce
Nov. 4th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
OH WOW! What an honor. Thanks a million :)
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ladyapplesauce
Nov. 4th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm speechless! Now I just need to figure out my next project...
fannishliss
Nov. 3rd, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
crazy brilliant. the ideal doctor/rose story -- you restored them to each other! perfect!

YAY, OH YAY!

gorgeous, poetic, tense, emotional!

YOUR STORY HAS EVERYTHING. YOU RULE!!!

Oh, I'm so happy for them. GOSH!!!


One of my favorite parts:

“That’s new!” Rose exclaims, pointing to the screwdriver.

“Oh! You like it? It has claws!”

“Brilliant!” She laughs.


\o/ TEARS OF JOY, IT IS SO GOOD. \o/
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 4th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
YAY! I am so glad you enjoyed it! The Doctor and Rose desperately needed to be restored to each other, and I'm so happy you thought I did it justice. I tried really hard to give the story a balance of longing, heartache, happiness, comedy... and I'm a poet by nature, so I think that always ends up playing into my prose. I just can't help it!

Oh, and that line was one of my favorites to write! It just came out so naturally. I can so see Eleven's face light up: "It has claws!"

<3
wander_realtai
Nov. 3rd, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Finished, and I absolutely loved it! Simply beautiful. Bravo!
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 4th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
*Blushes* That makes me so happy! Thank you so much :)
tempusborealis
Nov. 4th, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
Oh this was stunning. I couldn't tell you any one thing that I liked - it was all absolutely beautiful. Your prose is gorgeous, so meaningful. I love this whole thing, and it's definitely the best 11/Rose story I've ever read. I can't even. <3


Also, I love Cummings. One of my favorite composers, Eric Whitacre, has done some really lovely setting of his pieces. I'm not a fan of some of Cummings stuff and some of his stuff Whitacre has set, but I highly suggest "the moon is hiding in her hair". http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A4AwQMwIpz8#!
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 4th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness gracious, a million thank yous for saying such sweet things! I can't quite believe you think this was the best Eleven/Rose story, but I am absolutely honored <3

I just adore Cummings and I can't wait to check out this link! I've got a couple of sleepyheads in my house right now, and can't seem to find my headphones, but as soon as I can, I'll give your link a listen! Thank you thank you thank you!
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 4th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
Well THAT was just lovely. Thanks so much for sharing!
amaliak
Nov. 21st, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
This was absolutely beautiful. It really was. It's so lovingly woven together.
An amazing job!!

Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
cheers.
--Lex
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 30th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I tried to weave it with as much love as possible. And I'm quite happy you enjoyed it. Cheers!
robustious
Nov. 23rd, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
I found this throughout the link with the fanmix and it is clearly one the most amazing things I have ever read. just saying. lovely work.
ladyapplesauce
Nov. 30th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
Hurray! Isn't the fanmix just the loveliest thing?! I am so glad you enjoyed the fic as well <3
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ladyapplesauce
Nov. 30th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
Yay! Goodness gracious, thank you so so much :)
mermaids_feet
Dec. 28th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
Since I always try to be in the business of giving constructive criticism, there were a few parts that dragged on a bit, and there was quite a while where I wasn't sure if there was more UST or if you'd just skipped over their getting together like it was bound to happen (which I would have felt very cheated by).

HOWEVER, it was fantastic. I can't believe I read it all in one go, long as it was and late as it was, but it was worth it. All of the confusion and the Bad Wolf (I was crying when Ten II died), and it came together so beautifully and so wonderfully.

Often, when I'm reading Eleven/Rose fics, I start to picture the Doctor in my head as Ten or even, quizzically, Nine, or some strange mash-up of the pair because the writers tend to recycle their old lines. YOU DID NONE OF THAT. It was just so Eleven, and so Rose, halfway between where she started and what she became, and it was BEAUTIFUL and FANTASTIC and I love you. This is a dynamic that could work.

I see why it took you so long. Let me tell you it was worth it. I hope mad_teagirl enjoyed this thoroughly (from what I can see it looks like she did), because this is a truly, epically fantastic birthday present.
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