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19 May 2008 @ 12:14 pm
The Doctor Dreams (Lisa this one's for you) Chapter 3  
Story: Doctor Who, Season 2
Genre: Romance/Angst
Rating: PG-13/Light R?
Word count: 4,003

Minor details: flashbacks are set in the episode New Earth. Also, this fic references two previous Who fics that I wrote in the past--"The Door of Gallifrey" as well as "In a Flash, In a Moment" so if you feel confused feel free to backtrack.
I would also like to say that I worked really hard to perfect Rose's accent and my apologies if it doesn't come through or is distracting. I know ti doesn't match my previous fics exactly, so that's why.



All children grow up, except one.

~ J.M. Barrie

 

 

 

The Doctor exhaled softly; running his fingers over the printed page before closing the book. The cover was dyed leather. A soft lavender blue,  inset with an Arthur Rackham print. He fingered the fine indentation of the title. Smoothed the surface between his palms. Reopened the book. There on the endpaper, in neat but childish scrawl was a name. Rose Tyler.

He closed the book again. The metaphor wasn’t lost on him.

Though he had grown up. Was, in fact, old. So old he thought if he were quiet he could hear his soul creaking. But he had no physical ailments. He threw off the trappings of old age as easily as a bed sheet.

No, it was his heart that pained him. Not his binary system, but his core. His soul. If you believed that.

Icy white heat knifed through him if stood still for just a minute too long. Breathed a little too deeply. Paused to reflect for even a moment. And, though this pain had many names and an even greater multitude of faces, the one that cause him the most grief—

The one that caused him to wake in the night when all was still but his two hearts thundering in his chest, was—  Well it was staring him right in the face not a moment before, wasn’t it? Rose.

The grip of her hand clinging to his was engrained upon his flesh; he didn’t even have to close his eyes. Only think of her and there she was in his arms; her laughter ringing in his ears. They’ll never break us up will they?

His breath was rugged and he felt cold. He wiped sweat from his forehead; rubbed his eyes with his hands. He longed to feel the weight of her leaning against him. To look down into eyes that met his fully. So trusting, so pure and without guile. She had been to him, he thought, completely unguarded.

He had known from that first moment. When she took his hand without question. Oh she might have twittered on about the police—but she had never once pulled away or turned aside.

She was so sweet, so young when they’d met. He remembered her standing on the deck of the Tardis, so proud of herself and yet so self-conscious. Decked out in her nineteenth century costume and making him promise not to laugh. But seeing her standing there had taken his breath away.

She was so very young.

And yet he loved her. Wanted her. The smell of her hair, the feel of it running through his fingers. He imagined her warm and soft and yielding. He imagined her pink mouth curving to smile up at him.

 

~

 

“I told you,” she said in sing-song fashion.

“Indeed you did. Now that you’ve had your bit of fun. Would you be so kind as to help me?” he grunted.

“You’re just not suit’d to ‘eavy liftin,” she snickered.

“Yes thank you, I believe you informed me of that already,” his voice was clipped.

“You’re a wee lit’le pixie man,” she reached up to loosen his tie, but he was frowning and stepped back.

“Excuse me? I’ll have you know that I have lifted entire planets.”

“Not in this incarnation you ‘aven’t.” she looked contemplative “Ya know, I wouldn’t try it either. You’ve a very delicate bone structure.”

“DELICATE?!”

“Yes. Now come ‘ere or you’ll never get that off.” He let out a laborious sigh, making a face, and stood still. Rose, still snickering, but now quietly to herself, took a step forward again and put her hand out. He let go of the tie, still looking somewhat put out.

“I’m so glad my pain amuses you.”

“Well I’m SORRY, but per’aps if ya didn’t cause such a fuss it wouldn’t be so amusin. Really, ya should see your face!”

“Wellllllll,” he grinned then and she lifted the tie over his head.

 

~

 

He shook his head, clearing it of the memory. God he wished that worked sometimes. Forgetting was so temporary. People didn’t know, well how could they know? There was only one of him, and he barely understood it. That eidetic memory he possessed, so clear and so vivid. It was a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in a single package.

He could call her back to him; exact moments and phrases. Exact smiles. The way she brushed her hair out of her eyes when it was windy or shook her head back trying, and failing, to get it out of her face. He’d often wondered why she didn’t pin it back, though he was always glad when she didn’t.

 

~

 

“Alright now this isn’t funny,” Rose pressed each button on the panel of the lift, but they neither lit up nor did the mechanism regain its momentum.

“Who said anything about funny, we’re stuck.”

“No,” she shook her head pressing a few of the buttons harder.

“Yes,” he gently removed her hand from the panel.

“No, get us out!” she shook her arm from his hand, able to move back away from him only so far in the cramped space.

“Now why didn’t I think of that?” he answered sarcastically.

“Oh my god, I can’t breathe!” she started to panic.

“Rose, calm down. Look at me. This is a lift, not a mine shaft. Someone will notice eventually,” he took hold of her shoulders and looked her in the eye; speaking calmly and rationally.

“Eventually?! What about your sonic screwdriver, why don’t you point it at a panel or something?!”

“Yeaaaaaah, I haven’t got it,” he said somewhat sheepishly.

“What? What do you mean you ‘aven’t got it?!”

“I left it behind. Wellll it was in my coat pocket,” he qualified.

“I want you to know that I ‘ate you very extremely much right now,” she said thinly.

“Yes well, good for you,” he was dismissive and arched his back a bit making a face. “Aeuh!”

“Oh lord, not again,” she muttered.

“What?” he regarded her quizzically.

“You know, I’ve seen ya recover from mortal wounds within minutes of them being inflicted. But a minor shoulder injury ‘as ya bellyaching for daaaays. Please explain that to me,” her tone was mocking.

“It hurts,” he whined.

“Now you, before ya became you,” she frowned momentarily, “ ’e was better suited to manual labour,” her eyes glazed over, contemplating what The Doctor would do, were he still the old Doctor and not the new Doctor.

“Oh I knew it,” he said disgustedly.

“Knew what?”

“I knew you were going to bring him up,” he twisted up his face, though with pain at his back or annoyance at the mention of the other Doctor, who could know.

“Well,” she shrugged.

“You like him better than me,” he moped.

“Oh I do not,” she rolled her eyes.

“You do,” he insisted.

Not.

“Just a bit,” he gestured with his thumb and forefinger.

No,” she insisted once again.

“Come on, admit it. It won’t hurt my feelings.”

“Quite the opposite actually,” she leaned back against the wall.

“What?” he looked puzzled.

“Yes you’re right, that was a very confusing sentence, see if ya can wrap your delicate skull around it. I said, the opposite. Therefore, that would mean what?” her sarcasm was palpable.

“Me more than him?” he looked bewildered.

“And ‘e’s got it. Bravo,” her words were derisive.

“Me more than him?!” he looked delighted.

“Alright, you’re pushin it now,” she said tightly.

“Rooooooooose,” his face lit up in a grin.

“Well don’t make a big thing of it,” she grimaced.

“Me more than him,” he stated to himself.

“Oh shut up.” They were quiet for a while.

“Why do like me better?” Rose sighed loudly and rolled her eyes.

“No don’t tell me. It’s the hair isn’t’ it? No! My delicate bone structure. No! My extraordinary wit!”

“I take it back,” she said flatly.

“What?!”

“I said, I take it back,” she restated her words plainly.

“You can’t take it back you already said it,” he looked very unhappy.

“Too bad,” she crossed her arms; with effort in the tight space.

“Oooooooh you’re mad,” he needled her.

“No I’m not.”

“You aaaaaaaare. I made you mad,” he giggled delighted. “I bet he never made you mad.” Rose snorted.

“You’ve got a selective memory. And I’m not mad, I’m annoyed.”

“Oh. Wellllll—” he made a dismissive gesture. “That’s alright then. You get annoyed rather easily.”

“I do not!” she glared.

“So, why’re you annoyed?” he looked genuinely puzzled.

“Why am I annoyed? We are STUCK in a LIFT unable to properly MOVE. And YOU are debating my emotional state and whether I like YOU or YOU BETTER!”

“Oh yeah that,” he jutted out his jaw, seemingly to contemplate the ceiling.  

“Oh yeah that,” she repeated mockingly.

“Now Rose, there’s no need to become hostile. If you’ll direct your attention to that panel there,” he inclined his head to the left. “You’ll notice that red light blinking. I pushed the emergency call button as soon as I realized the lift had become non-functional.”

“You did?”

“Yes.”

“Oh.”

“I think someone owes someone an apology, hmm?” he stared at her intently.

“Oh you’re going to get a slap you are.” The Doctor chuckled and they were both silent again for several minutes.

“So, you really like me better?”

 

~

 

            Sometimes he thought he could hear her calling to him. It was impossible, he knew. But still. Sometimes. It was like he could hear her. Like when you’re asleep and someone’s music becomes a part of your dream. Or when you can smell someone cooking from your window and you’re suddenly hungry for shepherd’s pie. It was just him wishing, he knew it was.

            He slept little. For his species sleep was practically unnecessary. But when he did sleep, if he indeed slept, he would often wake from dreams of her with feelings of desire stronger than when she had been with him.

            This body and its wants were strange, almost alien. He had grown used to middle age, he thought. And while he had not been immune to sexual fancy, this reclaimed youth was—difficult.

But even that, in and of itself, could be ignored. Dealt with and pushed aside. Except that it was Rose.

 

~

 

“ ‘Ow long’ve we been in ‘ere?” Rose asked after a while.

“Oh I don’t know. An hour?” he answered.

“Well they’re takin their sweet time aren’t they?” she sounded annoyed. She sat back so that she leaned slightly against his shoulder. Then sat back up.

“Oh, sorry, is that the ‘urt one?”

“No, it’s alright,” he lifted his arm as she leaned back again, let it rest over her shoulder.

They were quiet again for a while, just breathing. Her eyes were closed and he thought perhaps she dozed, but then she spoke quietly.

“I guess it’s not so bad, if a bit borin.”

“Bored, when you’re here with me? Bored?” he asked as though shocked and hurt, but then laughed.

“Oh no, you’re riv’tin you are.”

“Well why’s it always on me? Why don’t you come up with something to do?” She looked up at him and made a face.

“Fine. What’s your favorite colour?”

“Blue. Is this a game?”

“I don’t know, I was just wonderin,” she glared a bit, but then looked as though she were preparing herself to ignore him altogether.

“Alright, sorry. Hmmm okay, what’s your favorite book?”

“Peter Pan,” she said drowsily.

“Always wanted to fly off to neverneverland?”

“Somethin like that, yeah,” she smiled through closed lids.

 

~

 

He was asleep when she appeared. There was a bright light behind her like the sun, though it dissipated like fog and it had suddenly been dark again. He didn’t know, was he dreaming? Somehow he let the question go and just let her come to him. Let her flow over him. He’d been so alone, what did it matter how she got here?

Her voice was in his ear; so sweet. And the taste of her in his mouth. It wasn’t real but it was wonderful.

 

~

He sat watching her sleep from across the room. Didn’t trust himself to lie there. Not with her. Just this small distance and he wanted to jump out of his skin.

But no, that wasn’t it. He wanted to forget it all. To just climb back into bed and feel her mold herself around him as she had last night. His soft yellow girl.

He heard her breath change as she roused. She sat up partially, somewhat confused at finding herself in his bed. And then, the memory of the night before dawning on her slowly, she smiled and brushed the hair from her face.

“Mmmm, good morning,” she said drowsily.

“There’s tea, and your clothes are there on the chair beside you,” he said quietly.

“Oh—” she stopped, looking at him with a bewildered expression.

“Here, look, I’ll go outside for a moment so you can get dressed,” he stood, running his hand over his face with a wearied expression.

“Well I don’t see much point after last night,” Rose sat up quickly, the blanket falling to her waist as she did so. Her nipples stood out in the cool air and he turned away, his eyes downcast.

“Ya know, I thought—oh for ‘eaven’s sake ya can look now,” her voice was filled with hurt and exasperation. She waited to speak again until he was facing her. “Would ya mind tellin me what’s goin on? And don’t say nuffin or some kind of excuse. I know what you said to me when we were together. I didn’t imagine it,” her voice was steady but he saw a look in her face like a glass vase teetering on the edge of a shelf. She was standing with her arms a protective barrier across her chest. He crossed the two or three steps between them and sat down on the edge of the bed.

“No,” he breathed, “You didn’t imagine it,” he reached out and took her hand. “Although—I thought I did,” he pressed her palm with his thumb and  traced the lines he found there. He didn’t meet her gaze.

“It was just another dream.”

“No, it’s wasn’t. Would ya LOOK at me? I am right ‘ere and you’re missin it,” her words were pleading. He dropped her hand.

“I don’t know who sent you, and I’ll admit they did a damn fine job of it. But you are not Rose. Just a brilliant  simulacrum,” he was on his feet again. Pacing.

“A what?!”

“A beautiful facsimile.”

“I am NOT a facsimile,” her voice was adamant.

“Then how did you get here? Do you even know? Where is here? Do you know that?” he was back on his feet staring her down. Daring her to make a mistake.

“Oh god you're thick! Is that what this is about? You can’t just wake me up and say, Oi Rose I’m real confused about this ‘ole void crossin business, would ya mind explainin that for me? No, ya ‘ave to run all ‘ot and cold and then start on this simulacrum rubbish.”

“You can’t be her.”

“Well. I. Am.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“You don’t believe me? You’re the one oo runs about changin your face whenever it suits ya. You’re the one oo’s impossible. I’m just the girl oo’s walked through three pairs of iron shoes to find ya! But no, you make perfect sense because ya know yourself dontcha? When I do somethin brilliant, well it couldn’t possibly be me could it?” she ran her tongue over her lips and once again brushed hair out of her face. He took her arm at the elbow, drawing her closer to him so he could look down into her eyes. She didn’t blink. Just stared right back at him. Once again, he was the one to look away.

“I want to believe you.” She took her arm back, crossing them again.

“No I don’t think ya do. Or maybe ya do want, but you’re too afraid. I’m not sure what I could say that would prove I am oo I say I am. All I know is that when I first met ya I thought ya were brilliant. And I didn’t even know oo ya were yet,” she smiled at the thought.

“I know ya used to have big ears and an ’uge beak of a nose—and some’ow you’re both just the same as ya always were but also completely different,” she touched his face so he turned toward her again. Stared deep into his eyes.

“And I knew that first time ya took ‘old of my ‘and—that I was safe. Just like I did that Christmas when you became you. Just like I know it now. No matt’r what, as long as I’ve got ‘old of your ‘and, I’ll be alright. I thought back then I’d lost ya. I knew I ‘ad when the rift closed. Please don’t—” she gulped a breath. “Please don’t tell me I’ve lost ya again.”

“Is it really you?”

“It’s really me,” her eyes were pleading. He clasped her face in his hands, staring her straight in the eye. He held her gaze for a long time, never blinking.

“Then tell me how you got here,” his hands squeezed her face, he knew it was too hard. She reached up to take his hand away, flinching.

“ ‘Ow can I?” she shrugged. “ ‘Ow can I say it so it makes sense? I knew—” she stopped and he could see the words forming in her head. “I knew I’d found ya once before. I knew some’ow there ‘ad to be a way to do it again.”

“Wait, what do you mean once before?” he felt suddenly lightheaded. She blushed.

“Nuffin, I shouldn’t ‘ave. Look I—I’ll do whatever ya want. Go wherever ya want.”

“Rose—”

“I’ll do anythin you say,” she looked pale.

“Tell me the truth, Rose,” he spoke quietly, not touching her. He had no idea what she might say. What she might confess. If it was Rose, and he was almost sure it was now, he thought— It must be something, he paused for a moment as it really settled on him. It must be something truly awful if she couldn’t tell him. He saw her swallow slowly and cover her mouth with her hand. She closed her eyes and sighed. Then she spoke, eyes still closed.

“I don’t know ‘ow. I can’t explain it. I’m not as clever as you, I know it,” she opened her eyes, but didn’t look at him as she continued.

“I missed you, ya know, the old you. I didn’t mean to. I couldn’t ‘elp it. And you were all shiny and new and— I didn’t want to ‘urt your feelins. I don’t want to ‘urt your feelins now. That’s why I never said nuffin about it. I want’d to make sure it really ‘appened, sure. But, it wasn’t worth it. It didn’t matt’r to me by then. It was one weak moment and I’m glad it ‘appened. But I don’t want ya to think that’s what I want. Not anymore,” she babbled.

“Rose, what are you talking about?” he asked, exasperated. She took another breath.

“I don’t know ‘ow it ‘appened, alright. I just—”

“Rose!”

“I closed my eyes and I looked for ya. I called and called. All the time. It worked before. I found ‘im—you,” she corrected herself. “I don’t know ‘ow. I just did. It was like, reaching out across this—massive distance. And it was like, there ya were. Dancin over the rings of Saturn. Look, I don’t want to say anymore, alright. I was with ya. I told ya I loved ya and ‘ow much I missed—” she sighed again.

“And ya looked at me with those gray eyes and ya just told me you were still you. That ya’d never left me.” He leaned back, stared down at her over the end of his nose. He had this vague memory of giant lilies.

“I—I remember,” he said slowly.

“You do?” He saw that vase teetering again. There in her eyes.

“That’s why you said that last night, to me? That you’d never left?”

“I said it cause it’s true. I never left ya. I’m never leavin ya,” she reached out and took both his hands in hers. He could feel the pulse of her blood; steady.

“It was you all along. It was your voice, I wasn’t going mad?”

“I called and called, but you didn’t answer. I didn’t think you could ‘ear me. I didn’t know if I was goin the right way. I just—kept walkin. ”

“You walked?”

“I walked.”

“Across psychic space?”

“ ‘Ow the ‘ell should I know? I just walked until I got to this precipice. There wasn’t any way around or over. I kept comin back to it again and again. And finally I just jumped. Right over. I thought I was gonna die. I slipped on the edge and I don’t know ‘ow long I ‘ung there for, tryin to climb up. And then I just walked. Until I couldn’t walk anymore. Eventually there was this red ‘ill covered in red grass. And the sky was this burnt orange. And at the top of the ‘ill was a door,” the words poured out of her so fast he could barely keep up.

“And you just walked through and were here,” he fought disbelief but he could still hear it in his voice.

“Yeah, more or less,” she said. He sighed, looking down at her.

“You are impossible,” he grinned.

“You believe me?”

“I believe you,” he spoke more softly now. Wasn’t sure even that he’d spoken aloud. She was back in his head and he could hear her. I’m never leavin ya.

“Thank you,” he said. You don’t know—what that means.

Yeah I think maybe I do. She reached up and cradled he face in her hands, standing on tiptoe to reach his mouth. Her lips pressed his and he felt all his uncertainty slipping away. And he felt so content, he almost wondered what he had felt a moment before.

~

 

 

“It’s not so bad is it, stuck in here with me?” The game had lasted only so long as Rose had stayed awake. He spoke again as she rubbed her eyes.

“If you’re lookin for a compliment you’re not gonna get it. You’re lucky I’m letting the ‘ole screwdriver thing go. ‘Ow long was I asleep?”

“For a while. Welllll a few hours. Welllll you were snoring for two after that I didn’t really pay attention.”

“I do NOT snore,” she said adamantly.

“Oh yes you do,” he answered. She whimpered and made a face.

“Really quietly. Almost imperceptibly,” he made a sign with his hand to denote how small. He put his hand in his pocket and his eyes lit up.

“HEY, looky here!” he pulled his hand out to reveal the sonic screwdriver.

“Oh NO, you ‘ave not had that this ENTIRE TIME?!”

“Hmmm you know, now that you mention it, I remember taking it out of my coat so that we wouldn’t get into this sort of situation.”

“I really ‘ate you. We have been in ‘ere for HOURS.” He ignored her, working on the panel for a moment. The lift began to descend.

“What do you care, you had a good nap. We can run over to the Statue of New Liberty. Or you can stay mad, excuse me, annoyed and we can just run along home,” The Doctor feigned seriousness, as did Rose. But then the doors of the lift opened she couldn’t hold back anymore and just laughed.

"Come along Wendy," The Doctor laughed too as they exited the building and walked out and into the sunshine.

 
 
 
oneloveonelight: lordoftimebitchoneloveonelight on May 20th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
I know I took a while to respond, I was at work when I saw this up and Carol (my co-worker) proceeded to yammer on and on. About the $14 she saved at TJ Maxx. Psshtt. So I saved it for when I got home.

But for serious - seriously, this is so wonderful - it was truly a pleasure to read. I mean, some fan-fic (not yours) takes a while to get into, like you have to talk yourself into, "Ok, let's stick with it, it'll get good.." But I didn't feel that way at all with this. I was truly wanting to know what happened next - seriously babe, utterly hooked.

Also, it's really funny, I don't know if you've read one of my fanfics before but I had an elevator fanfic about Buffy and Spike that takes place almost entirely in the elevator. Really! I'll send it to you if you want - I think I have it at work (it's not a wonderful piece, though, I don't think).

But I digress (sorry!) this is truly a wonderful read, especially if the reader has read one of your earlier pieces. It's so cute to hear them talk, especially when they "argue" about which Doctor is the one Rose likes the most. I can't help but melting because it's the sweetest thing and they sound like the most absolutely positively cutest ever married couple. I love that the Doctor didn't really forget his sonic screwdriver. He just wanted to simply... be stuck in an elevator with Rose.

It's wonderful, they acknowledge their special connection, they share moments, they're comfortable just snoozing on each others' shoulder. And I got the ending too... Wendy's Peter Pan... Awesome. *rock*

*strokes Amy's ego because she really, really deserves it*
salymander on May 20th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Pffffft, no worries. I figured Monday's a busy day. No rush :)

That said, YAY! I'm so glad you liked it. I thought of you frequently as I wrote it--knowing what parts I thought you'd laugh at.

LOL, that's SO funny. Great minds huh?

Lmao, well I sure hope it was funny. God I must have erased half their conversation 2-3 times because for whatever reason I was channeling Donna. No I'm srsly. It was actually disturbing. I was like NO this is not a Donna fic! I was going to have The Doctor be actually more injured and Rose was going to give him a massage. But I honestly couldn't get them to speak right. So it had to be the elevator.

lol, they are a married couple to me. They just sorta missed their honeymoon.

I've been thinking of The Doctor as Peter Pan ever since School Reunion with Sarah Jane. I srsly kept seeing Wendy saying to Peter at the end of the play "Oh if only I could go to!" And Peter says, "But you can't, you're all grown up" which of course breaks my heart. So I had to write about it.

Aaw *hugs* I'm so happy you liked it. I was very excited for you to read it, cause I knew it was funny and that you'd laugh. Plus, I'm pretty proud of my 10th Doctor. I thought I got his lingo down pretty well. He lengthens words a lot.
oneloveonelight: screwdriveroneloveonelight on May 20th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
I read it again! Yeah, I know what you mean, by trying not to write in Donna's voice. She's a tad argumentative *chuckles*. I mean, Rose can be too but I definitely see how it'd be hard not to slip into the Donna persona. But I never once thought it was Donna. :D
salymander on May 20th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
God I love that icon.

YAY! I have to admit, I've read it a bunch of times myself. Yeah it was REALLY weird cause I wrote something out thinking Rose and then I'd reread it and I'd be like OH NO DONNA! GO AWAY! Because I wanted Rose to sort of take charge and be a little cranky, but that's Donna's trademark. So it was actually a lot more complicated than I'd imagined at first. You don't actually think about Rose & Donna being similar. But Donna is rather like an older version of Rose. But no, I removed all traces of Donna.

Now if I were going to write Doctor/Donna, which I probably wouldn't but who knows, I would have left in the shoulder massage. I think she's a little more motherly, just because she's not 21. I had had her be like, "Men are such babies. Sit down and let me 'elp you" and then the Doctor being like "Because I'm inclined to think you'll only make it worse" and then , lol if it were Donna she'd say, "Oh I see. SIT DOWN SPACEMAN!" :D
oneloveonelight: nerdgasmoneloveonelight on May 20th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)
Did I mention I really, really, really REALLY liked it? :)
salymander on May 20th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
You did, YAY! *hugs more*