He finds out that his nimble fingers are good for more than fumbling with Jammy Dodgers and fezzes. His hand fits around the brush and his wrist twists with each stroke and dip into the paint.
The canvas starts blank until there’s a smattering of blue and green and turquoise and he can see a flash of blonde hair disappearing behind his bathroom door and the sound of giggles echoing in the shower. He sees eyes, dark and light, filled with compassion and warmth and love and overwhelming passion. He dips a brush into the paint and with a few swipes he finds those eyes peering back at him from the canvas.
He feels the way her collarbones fit in his mouth, the way his tongue swirls around the jut of the bone, and the way she giggled and shied away when he pressed thumbs to the patch of skin just to the right of her collarbone. It was ticklish and she had batted his hand away with a shrieking, “Doctor!” before pouncing on him and searching out his own tickling spots.
The portrait of Rose Tyler was completed with new hands that had never touched her skin. He wondered if it would feel different in this body, if her lips would taste sweeter or bitter with the amount of earl grey she drank. Suddenly, the picture felt false and inauthentic. He observed the beautiful features of Rose Tyler with a desperation to remember how she tasted and felt and smiled and the way her voice filled the silences in his head. He couldn’t remember.
He was forgetting her.
He dropped the brush and staggered back, closing the door on Rose Tyler’s bedroom, encasing the dusty old room with it’s make-up and clothes and hairbrush and now this, a half-remembered image of her, in darkness.
He was forgetting Rose Tyler and that hurt most of all. He promised himself he’d never forget. Not you, never you. He really was getting too old.
photo source (x)
Favourite Fan-Arts of Rose & The Doctor
CREDIT to the artists. I DO NOT OWN.
Headcanon: When TenToo and Rose got married in Pete’s World, they dress up like back when they were in the 1950s, and they leave the chapel on a blue Vespa, complete with a ‘Just Married’ numberplate.
Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the way we expect. - Luna Lovegood
“I’m The Doctor, by the way. What’s your name?” “Rose.”
Her Thief has abandoned hope that Their Rose will ever return. She has not.
He sat in knee-high knots of scarlet grass, fingers twining through the strands and pulling them up by the root. Their smell was bitter; like most things from this place, it was beautiful and seductive without, and foul within. With a snort of derision the last son of Gallifrey tossed the plant aside, but the bitter juice still clung to him, leaving the pads of his fingers stained bright red.
It was a dream. Anywhere, anywhen he saw this place, it was never anything more than a dream. He and the Moment had removed Gallifrey from all Time, and now, save for himself and a few other dusty relics, it might never have existed at all. He idealized this place in his mind, sometimes, but even as the ache of homesickness rose in his chest, the last Gallifreyan - the man known as the Doctor - reminded himself that for all his wishing, in the end all there had been was rot.
A wind swept across the hill where he sat, rushing through the silver leaves and carrying their chime out into the darkening auburn sky. The Doctor took a deep breath. The air was sweeter here than on any planet he’d ever known; it was the air he had been made to breathe. It ruffled his hair, swept through the grass, and swirled at the skirts of the little girl sitting at his feet.
She was beautiful, this little creature; not in the alluring way women were beautiful, not in the way - he swallowed hard - not in the way Rose had been, but in the way a collapsing star was beautiful. She was at once ancient and utterly young; a carefree spirit both dying and being born. Here, her pale, ancient eyes pinned him to the scarlet hills.
“Our Rose,” her voice was a whisper. “Our Rose has gone.”
Sometimes She took this form, in his dreams. He didn’t know if it was actually Her, or just a construction he’d built in his mind so that he could look on his oldest friend with his eyes. He didn’t speak. Didn’t think he’d ever find his voice again, not in the deafening silence of Rose’s absence. But he reached out in his muteness anyway, and found his hands enveloped in small white ones.
“Will you bring her home?”
A sudden memory assaulted him: Rose, frightened and suspicious and pressing herself against the far side of the console room, as far away from his new body as possible.
“Can you change back?”
Her palpable disappointment at his answer had hurt nearly as much as any physical wound, and if he’d had it in his power to ease back into his overlarge ears and Northern burr, he would have in an instant, but he’d been powerless. Now, what She asked of him was just as impossible as taking up an old body, and the sense of drifting helplessness returned. He was only one Time Lord, and one Time Lord could not breach the Void.
She knew that. So why did She ask?
His last memory, as he woke, was the sight of violent red smudges on the tiny pale hands covering his; his stains, becoming Hers.
I’m so alone, and I feel just like somebody else
Man I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same
Well somewhere here in between
these city walls of dying dreams
I think her death, it must be killing me.
Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was in his study reading over another report from UNIT—he was retired, but that didn’t seem to stop them from pestering him—when his wife Doris knocked on the door. He looked up as she stuck her head inside the door. He was grateful for the interruption—any interruption, really. The reports were dry and rather boring and reading for hours gave him a headache even when he wore his glasses.
“It’s the phone for you,” Doris said and held out the cordless.
“Thanks love.” He took it and dropped a kiss on her cheek before he lifted the receiver to his ear. “Lethbridge-Stewart.”
“Sorry to disturb you, sir.” The voice was young, male, and had a bit of a Welsh accent. “My name is Ianto Jones and I work with Torchwood.”
Alistair was on his guard in an instant. UNIT and Torchwood never got along and he’d had his share of headaches dealing with the headstrong, unethical organization. The only reason why the last remnant hadn’t been eradicated after Canary Wharf was that it was easier to let them patrol the Cardiff rift, and they were small enough so that UNIT could easily neutralize them if necessary. “If this is official business, Mr. Jones you’d do better to contact the London offices,” he informed the man.
“Yes, sir, but it’s not official. It’s about the Doctor.”
“I’m going to Cardiff,” he told Doris reluctantly. She reached for her coat. “Alone,” he added, and she raised an eyebrow.
“Don’t you even think about it,” she replied. “He’s my friend too, Alistair—and if you leave here alone I’ll call Sarah Jane.”
He sighed. “Don’t know why I bother some times.”
“I thought you would have learned by now,” his wife agreed.
Ianto Jones’s directions led Alistair and Doris to a small visitor center just off the Millennium Plaza. A young, well-dressed Welshman stood behind the counter. He saluted when they entered. “Brigadier, Mrs. Lethbridge-Stewart.”
“Ianto Jones, I presume,” Alistair responded.
Ianto nodded. “Follow me, please.” He flipped the ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’ in the window and locked the door.
“You said the Doctor is here,” Alistair reminded him.
“Yes, sir. He is.” Ianto led them through a long tunnel and a door worthy of the vault of the Bank of England. “He arrived six hours ago.” He waited for Alistair and Doris to step through, and then closed the massive thing behind them.
Torchwood three was not how the Brigadier had envisioned it. The main room was cavernous, for little to no apparent reason, until he realized that there was a pteridactyl flying around above their heads. Steel catwalks and stairways ringed the edges of the space at regular intervals and there appeared to be doors set into the concrete walls, leading presumably to the more specialized areas of the building. Three massive computers and a host of monitors were arrayed to their left. Two women were standing next to the technology. They were both relatively young. The Asian woman stepped forward. “Toshiko Sato,” she said and held out her hand. Alistair shook it firmly.
The other woman did the same. “Gwen Cooper.”
“Miss Sato,” he replied cordially. “Miss Cooper. I’m Alistair and this is my wife Doris.” She smiled at them as they introduced themselves again. “Now, what happened? Your message over the phone was rather cryptic.”
“Necessity, sir,” Ianto explained. He glanced up to one of the doors, glass instead of metal like the others, but blinds covered it and the large window that was set into the wall beside it. “The Doctor is—distraught—and Jack didn’t want that fact advertised.”
“Distraught?” Doris asked, frowning.
“Start from the beginning,” Alistair ordered.
Toshiko cleared her throat. “I was here when the box—sorry, the TARDIS—appeared. Everyone else was out hunting Weevils. The rift’s been acting up for days.” She brushed her long hair back behind her ear and Alistair noted the haggard look of her face and the dark circles beneath her eyes. None of them looked like they’d been getting enough sleep, he realized. “I’d met the Doctor before and heard his ship—I was at Albion hospital during the Slitheen incident—so I had an idea of what was happening, but it just sat there.”
Always lots of thanks to ABadPlanWellExecuted for being an idea-bouncer extraordinaire.
I wanted to know where in the heck Rose got that edible ball-bearing cake at the end of ‘Fear Her.’ Here’s my answer.
Disclaimer: I do not, nor will I probably ever, own Doctor Who, or its brilliant characters.
Lyrics are from “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” by Jimmy Ruffin.
What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?