DISCLAIMER: The mighty Beeb owns Dr Who in all its incarnations. And Russell T Davies is a genius.
CHALLENGE: Written as part of the 1001 Nights Challenge - Time Waits for No One.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Set at the end of "Doomsday" Season 2.
Day After Day
"Here you are. Living a life day after day. The one adventure I can never have."
'Rose Tyler, Defender of the Earth.' Some joke. Bad joke. She tells herself that it's the salt breeze from the ocean making her eyes sting and tear. It feels like it's the end of the earth, the end of everything here at Dårlig Ulv Stranden Bad Wolf Bay but civilisation is just a few miles down the road and if she looks out to sea she can see the huge container ships and other fishing boats heading towards Bergen. Typical of him, really, the grand gesture, using a supernova to power a good-bye and good luck call. So wonderfully bloody typical.
So not the end of anything. Not really Not with a baby brother or sister on the way. Not with her job at Torchwood waiting for her. Not with this new linear life just waiting for her to accept it, grasp it. Live it. One day at a time. It was what he wanted after all.
" And you'll keep on changing. And in forty years time, fifty, there'll be this woman - this strange woman... walking through the marketplace on some planet a billion miles from Earth. She's not Rose Tyler. Not anymore. She's not even human..."
The energy from the TARDIS burned through her. She was everywhere, seeding history with clues. She was Bad Wolf. It was so easy, so obvious. Past, present, future all time was her playground. But it couldn't last. She could feel her still human body begin to fail under the strain. But he was safe and no one died. Not today.
One last thing.
There was time and place. A beach. Bad Wolf Bay. The beginning and the end. It was cold, windswept. Three familiar figures stood in a huddle a little way away, watching and waiting. And there she was, crying, deep, choking, heartbroken sobs.
"I know you don't remember this moment," she said, stepping through time as if it were a doorway. "But you knew it couldn't last forever. You must have. You're not stupid."
"I told him I loved him," her other self shuddered. "I swore I wouldn't, I knew it wasn't fair, but I couldn't help myself. He didn't I've lost him again "
"He might not have said anything but you know he did love you. Very much. He died for you, remember?"
"How do you know that? It hasn't happened for you yet?" Rose asked. This was what Jackie had glimpsed, the part of her that wasn't human any more.
"At this moment I know all things. As you did. It's bloody scary, isn't it? I'm rather glad I won't remember."
"So I you know everything?" Rose tried to get herself back under control. "What's going to happen? What can you tell me? Will I ever will I ever see him again?"
"No that part of your life is over, Rose. You can never go back only forward "
"So this is it, one day after another. Get used to living my life in a straight line all over again, like he said."
Her other self gasped in surprise as she reached out and ran a gentle finger down her cheek. She obviously thought that this Rose was a projection like the Doctor had been. She shuddered and Rose could see the echo of what had happened crawling under her skin, for ever a part of her. Rose couldn't resist. The Doctor had always told her she was too impulsive for her own good. And she was just a little bit curious. She leant in, kissed her other self softly on the lips. She had thought perhaps to give this other self a little of her power, her knowledge but she didn't need to. This Rose was her own woman, and her life, even lived day after day after day, would be extraordinary enough.
As she kissed this Rose she could feel the echo of the Doctor's own touch on her lips, drawing the power out of her into himself, sacrificing a part of himself so that she could continue. For a moment she fought against it but then she let him. She knew it was the right thing to do. She had done enough. And this was too much for any human to bear. Even one who was just a little bit extraordinary.
One last caress. Rose opened her eyes, still brimming with tears but she could see the resolve there. "Time waits for no one. Not even me."
"Tell him goodbye tell him tell him he was fantastic!" Rose said.
"We both were," she smiled. And she was gone.
"Before I go, I just wanna tell you, you were fantastic."
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