Rating: Light R
Word count: 1844
I thought I'd post the text version, so those who have already seen the video version may feel free to ignore it. I'm simply archiving.
But the livings for a good thing
For some lessons maybe too.
Know until then I’ll be waiting,
Rose sat in the darkness of her room, windows thrown open to reveal the cold night sky. The clutter of her old life had disappeared. Somehow, traveling with The Doctor she had grown use to little. Her desire to fill every inch of space with fluff and color had moderated. Matured perhaps. She was drawn to simplicity now. The furnishings were in soft grays and whites. Her hard wood floor was bare. Clean.
She sat in the center of the room, facing the window. Facing the night sky. Nine months, two weeks, and five days since she had lost him. She kept vigil every night and was not discouraged by a lack of results.
She could feel the barrier in her mind. The great expanse of nothingness. She felt it every time she reached out to him. She felt it when she reached past her house—she would not call it her home. She felt it when she flew out and into space.
She studied. And she meditated. And she called to him.
Where are you?
She knew she had locked onto him once before. If it was possible once, it had to be possible again. No matter how far away he was. No matter the time. No matter the distance across the barren place. The void. She knew he was out there. Somewhere.
Rose lit the single tea light that sat in front of her. It was a simple flame. White paraffin wax. Clear plastic. It was nothing. Tuppence. But it was perfect in its simplicity.
Sitting cross legged, Rose blew out her match and set it on the floor, focusing on the candle flame.
The room had chilled from the night air and a slight breeze made the light flicker. Rose closed her eyes, exhaling a long slow breath, and pictured him in her mind’s eye.
She pictured him how she first met him with his hawkish nose and close clipped hair. The thin mouth that couldn’t keep from smiling. Couldn’t stay angry.
She pictured him as he was now. Hair wild. His skin so fair. The eyes that had transformed from rain water to pools of utter darkness.
Rose’s breath was deep and slow and measured. She held the shape of his hand in hers. She could almost hear his laughter in the distance.
Where are you? she probed the darkness of the beyond. Where are you? I need you.
With a flash of light, the room glowed and Rose arched backward falling. Her body, insubstantial, fell through the floor. Through the earth’s very foundation. She was hurtling through darkness. A blazing comet of ice and fire.
Where are you? she called. Where are you? She stopped when she reached the precipice. It was the farthest she had ever reached. And she had reached it so many times. She knew every rock. Each mote of dust. She knew, no matter how long she stared down into the abyss, her eyes would never reach the bottom. The mist that rose up obscured the sharp rocks. Softened and concealed, but did not lessen the danger. It was here that, against all rules and logic, she felt the power fail. Felt her connection to The Doctor grow tenuous. Her feet. Her hands. Her body became solid. Transported back to the physical plane.
Somehow, after everything, she retained her fear. It was a different place. She’d tried going ‘round. Searched for a trail down and under. Scoured the heights for a bridge over. And yet it remained—stretching out across the distance. An impossible barrier.
“Doctor!” she called. “Doctor!” The sound was caught up by the howling wind. I’m ‘ere! Whether her thoughts made it across, she did not know.
Rose stood at the edge of a sheer drop that fell into infinity. Felt the urge to jump. The compulsion to fling herself over. She took several steps back. Then several more steps. She walked until the gorge was a thin line and collected herself. Then, taking a deep breath, she began to run.
The wind picked up, nudging at her back. Helping her along. She ran until her lugs were on fire and her legs were numb. She ran until there was no turning back. Her toes hit the crest and she leapt into the unknown.
She rushed. Falling. Falling. She hit the other side of the cliff, her hands slipping and sliding to take hold.
The wind sailed up beneath her, whipping her hair around her face. And then—impossibly—her hands secured the rocky face. She was on the other side. Rose gripped the uneven rock, pulling herself up. Her nails scraped as she reached the edge and pulled herself up and over the side. With a cry, she sank to the ground, clutching at solid earth. All her fear tumbled in on her as she choked back a sob, gasping for breath. With determination she regained herself and began her march across the barren waste.
The ground was hard and gray. Like dusty concrete it refused to yield, though her feet made no noise as she made her passage. The wind died down. She felt it now as a cool hand on the small of her back, as though it urged her onward.
Doctor? Doctor, where are you? She walked on. She walked until the ground began to break up. Smaller and smaller pieces of dark grey earth. Small uneven bits of greyness flung themselves out over the darkness. Lighter they became. Smaller. Brighter and brighter. A starfield.
She walked until she came upon a silver stream. A river of molten starlight that flowed on and on. Rose didn’t stop to wonder where the river led. If she should follow it upstream. Or downstream. But merely threw herself in.
She bobbed gently as she rushed along with the current—surprisingly swift. Its light enveloped her with its soft glow. I can cross this space. I can follow this river. I will find you. I will find you. She rode it until she knew nothing else.
A shape in the distance brought Rose back to herself. It took all her might to halt her progress. To grasp a hold of the shore that was no shore and drag herself from the river that was not a river.
There was a hill in the distance. It sat under a fiery orange sky and the wind blew across waves of crimson grass. Rose’s heart stopped and then, somehow, seemed to start again. It thudded in her chest as she broke out into a run. Faster and faster she went until her eyes ran.
At the top of the hill stood a door. It was tall and sturdy. Perhaps oak. She turned and walked round it. It was the same on either side. A simple door. On a simple hill. Though unlike anything she had ever seen or imagined.
After a moment she looked down. There was a brass door knob. It was the shape of a wolf. She laughed suddenly, with hysteria. Grasped hold of it.
It was cold and smooth under her fingers. She twisted it, but it would not turn. She reached for the handle again with both hands, grasping it with all her strength and pushing hard with her whole body. Yet it stood. Impenetrable. She felt herself choking on her own desperation.
Rose staggered against the door. Her head coming to rest upon its unyielding surface. Her fingers loosened their hold. Please open, she begged. Please. This is my only way back.
Her head ached and her eyes ran with tears. The heart within her was already broken, but with this final loss she felt herself begin to crack. To shatter in pieces. She would blow away as dust.
Please, she whispered. A single tear fell tracing its way down the brass plate to rest upon the lock. And then everything went still. The wind died and what life there was on this world was hushed.
A short click sounded and the door swung open. Blinding white light cascaded over her, swarming outward like a host of insects, and enveloping her in its icy song.
Then, slowly, it dissipated. And the sun itself, while unseen, seemed to set. Pale shadows fell over her and, as she stepped through the doorway, she was bathed in the dusky blue of night. The scene before her took her breath away.
It was The Doctor. He lay on his side, facing her. The silvery bedclothes had slid down to expose his chest. His flesh was moon pale in the dim light. His breath was the slow melodious rhythm of sleep. Of rest.
“Oh,” her breath caught. She feared to blink. She covered her mouth, but couldn’t stop her tears from falling. She leant over him, reaching down to brush his hair from his forehead. A stray tear fell, against her will, to land upon his cheek. He inhaled deeply, rousing. His eyes blinked taking a moment before focusing on her.
“Rose?” he sat up suddenly, a face filled with disbelief, but before she could say a word he grasped hold of both her shoulders and swept her into his arms. He held her tight, face in her hair. She pressed her cheek to his, it was wet as her own. She turned into his embrace, molding her mouth to meet his. He yielded easily, falling backward. Wrapping himself round her.
He pulled her back from him slightly so he could see her face. Though tears still fell, his smile was bright. He brushed her face with his hands. His palms warm as they caressed her lips. Her cheek. Her heart leapt as she smiled back at him. He rolled so he was above her, now looking down into her eyes. His smile faded, though it didn’t disappear. He lay his cheek upon her forehead; kissing her temple.
I almost lost you. I thought I had lost you. I thought……..you would live your life. Go on without me.
I am never leaving you.
Rose. She was silent waiting.
“I love you,” his words were a soft as thistledown.
He kissed her again. Without concern. Without hesitation. He drank her down. He drowned in her. Poured over her like a torrential rain. And she held on with all her might. Feeling the fathomless empty space—the void within her—slowly fading away. The desperate shadow that had clung to her—lifted.
She held him to her. Engraved him upon herself with every strain. Each gasp and sigh—a palimpsest of flesh.
When she looked in his eyes she knew, for him, it was the same. She let go, feeling the rush. They crashed like a wave over the sand. His twin heartbeat hummed in her ear as they slowed.
I missed you, he said.
I never left you, her lips pressed his and she heard him echo—