Pairing: 10/Rose, (with a little 9 in later chapters)
Spoilers: This is an AU, Post-Doomsday Reunion Fic. Spoilers include any and all episodes in Series 1-2 of Doctor Who.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, If I did you'd be watching this story on TV
Synopsis: Rose gets a strange visitor who may hold the answers to all she seeks. A romantic Doctor/Rose reunion story, with some action thrown in for good measure.
“Are you coming?”
Rose glanced up from her bed where she was filling two large duffel bags with clothing and personal items. “I don’t know why you’re in such a hurry,” She asked the boy. “We leave at the same amount of time no matter how fast I pack.” She crossed her bedroom to grab a framed photo of her and Mickey mucking about on New Years Eve. She wrapped it in a powder blue dressing gown and stuffed it in beside her fuzzy slippers. Rose checked the alarm clock on the bed stand. They had a little less than two hours left; she hoped Mickey arrived with her parents soon.
“I want to be close to the TARDIS when we cross over.” He explained nervously. “I don’t want to have to go very far without anyone to help if we get detained. You’re dead in my universe, remember?”
Rose stopped packing for a minute and closed her eyes. “Yeah,” She said quietly, “I remember.”
The boy jumped down from the stool upon which he had been perched and walked over to stand next to Rose. “I really want you to come home with me, Rose,” he took her hand in his. “But I need you to be sure that it’s what you really want.”
She looked down at her outfit, a simple pair of khaki trousers, a pink t-shirt, and a denim jacket. It felt so much more natural, so much more like Rose than the elegant lilac pant suit she’d had on that morning. “Yeah,” she answered the boy confidently, squeezing his hand a little. “I’m sure this is what want, but that doesn’t mean I won’t miss the people I leave behind.”
“Speaking of which...” The boy sighed deeply as the front door slammed. Three sets of feet could clearly be heard running frantically up the stairs.
“Rose! Jackie Tyler’s unmistakable voice echoed as it traveled up the stairs and down the hall to where Rose was zipping up her last duffel. She turned just in time to stop her mother’s embrace from hurling her to the floor. “Don’t leave us sweetheart.” Her mum’s voice was thick with tears and muffled against Rose’s shoulder. “Stay here where it’s safe, where people love you.” Jackie pulled back to cup her daughter’s face between her hands. “Stay here and have the life you deserve to have, Rose. It’s what he wanted for you.”
Rose glanced up to the doorway as the remaining three members of her family arrived. Mickey and Pete Tyler walked cautiously into her bedroom, her father carrying six-month-old Charlie against his shoulder. Rose stepped back from her mother to catch her breath. She was starting to get nauseous from so much weeping and wasn’t sure how long she could handle all the good-byes.
“Are you really going, Rose?” Pete handed his son to Jackie and placed a gentle hand on his newfound daughter’s shoulder. “Is this what you want?”
Rose looked up into Pete’s understanding eyes. His compassion knew no bounds. “It is, Dad. I want this so badly.”
Pete pulled Rose into his arms for what could be the last time. A few silent tears leaked from his closed lids. “I wasn’t there when you were growing up and I didn’t really get to be your father for very long, but if this is the last thing I can do for my daughter, then I’ll help you in any way I can.”
“Thank you Daddy,” She whispered, keeping her head bowed against his chest for a moment, trying to memorize the feel of his strong arms around her. It seemed like she was always saying goodbye to this man.
Rose finally lifted her head when Jackie’s protests started to sound startling frantic. “I can’t loose you.” She pleaded, reaching out to cup her daughter’s cheek. “It was just you and me for so long. You’re my baby.”
“You’re going to be fine Mum,” Rose answered her, covering Jackie’s beautifully manicured hand with hers. “I know you’ll miss me. I’m gonna miss you terribly, but I need to go to him.”
Jackie’s famous temper started to boil up. “How do you know this is for real, Rose? This boy could be from anywhere. You don’t know for sure he is what he says he is.”
The child in question piped up from his refuge in the corner. “I know you love your daughter Mrs. Tyler, but I’m not lying. I’m here to take Rose home.”
Jackie let out a desperate cry, hot tears trailing down her cheeks, “This is her home!”
“No mum,” Rose’s voice was gentle as she confronted her mother. “This isn’t my home. I’ve tried mum, I really have. I love you, and dad, and Mickey. I absolutely dote on little Charlie, and I suppose my work at Torchwood has been rewarding…”
“But?” Jackie prompted.
“I’m incomplete. I feel like half a person all the time.” Rose wrapped her arms around her mother, being careful not to crush Charlie. “I know you understand how I feel. If there had been anyway to get Dad back after he died, would you have done it?”
Jackie let out a little sob. Pete came up behind his wife and laid a supporting hand upon her back. “Short of losing you, “Jackie answered. “ I would have moved heaven and earth to get him back.”
“You know why I have to do this Mum.”
“I know,” Jackie voice cracked. “But I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”
Rose pulled back to look into her mother’s eyes, a huge grin illuminating her tear-streaked face. “You’re going to have a fantastic life!”
Jackie chuckled in spite of the situation. “I don’t think so Rose, not without you.”
“Yes you will mum.” Rose wrapped her arms around her mother again. “You’re going to do it for me. Live your life to the fullest, because you know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I’ll be with the Doctor.”
Jackie pulled back to look into her daughters eyes, the grief I her expression now accompanied by a steely determination. “Then you promise me this, Rose Tyler. That man uses the word “impossible” like most people say they haven’t slept in fifty years; everyone knows it doesn’t mean much. If you find a way to come back, or even just to send me word of how you are, you do it. Okay?”
Rose embraced her again, her answer coming out in a broken sob. “I promise. But even if I can’t, I want you to picture me happy, out there traveling the stars with my Doctor. And you need to remember that you aren’t alone anymore, mum. You’ve got Dad, and Mickey, and this little fellow here.” Rose pulled her baby brother away from Jackie and into her arms. “I think you’re going to be my biggest regret little man.” She stated while rocking him back and fourth against her chest. “I’m not going to get to see you grow up. You won’t even remember me.”
“We won’t let him forget you.” Pete told her, coming forward to embrace his weeping wife. “We’ll tell him all about his big sister and how she defends another universe.”
“Be good to them.” She instructed her brother. “Mind your manners and eat all your vegetables. Try to keep your Uncle Mickey out of trouble and don’t cause any intergalactic emergencies, okay?” Charlie blew a spit bubble and giggled when it popped. Rose smiled and held him closer. “I’ll take that as a yes. Good-bye Little Bit.” Rose handed Charlie back to Pete and wiped her eyes again.
“Rose, it’s time to go.” The boy had moved to stand beside her again. He spoke softly, as if afraid of her reaction. “Are you ready?”
Rose walked over to Mickey, who had remained still and silent since he’d walked through her bedroom door.
“Mickey,” He looked up as she touched his arm. “Will you drive us?”
The drive to where the TARDIS would be once she and the boy crossed through the void was mostly done in silence. The child had fallen asleep in the back, his adventure finally exhausting him. Rose sat beside a very stoic Mickey. His only signs of distress were the rhythmic pulsing of his jaw muscle and the death grip he had on the steering wheel.
Rose fingered the framed photograph in her hand, tracing the loving faces with one fingertip. Her mum had all but thrown the picture at her as she’d walked out the door, saying it was the only one of them all together. It had been taken at the hospital right after Charlie was born. The newborn lay nestled against Jackie, despite the obvious exhaustion, was glowing with happiness. Pete, Mickey, and Rose all stood around them, wearing similar expressions of love and awe. It was a good memory, one of a few from the past year. Rose looked over at her best friend, reluctant to upset him, but desperate to hear his voice. “Good times yeah?” She asked, referring to the photo in her hands.
“Yeah,” Mickey answered roughly, “good times.”
He parked the car in an ally and activated the emergency brake. “This where the kid said the TARDIS was?”
Rose looked up and down the little street before answering. “Yeah,” She replied. “And what do you know, the blue bin is on this side too. Who woulda guessed?”
Mickey didn’t comment. “How much time have we got left?”
She looked down at her wristwatch, “about five minutes.”
That telltale jaw muscle twitched again. “Better wake the kid then.” He stepped out of the car and closed the door a little too roughly to maintain his unfeeling façade.
“Mickey!” Rose called after she had slammed her own door. “Look at me. Please don’t end it like this.” Her eyes filled again. “Please! I am so sick of crying. I feel like I’ve been doing it for months.”
Mickey couldn’t stand to see her tears. He hurried around the car to enfold her into his arms. “I was trying not to cry too,” he admitted against her hair, his own voice cracking under the strain of too much emotion. “Someone had to be strong.”
“I love you, Mickey,” she breathed heavily against his chest. “You’re my best friend and I hate that I have to say goodbye to you again.”
“I love you too.” He wiped her tears away with his thumbs. “But you’ve only had eyes for him since the start, the Doctor and Rose. I’m just a third wheel, the sidekick, the tin dog. You don’t need me anymore.
Rose smiled despite the pain; he’d always been so much more than that. “I didn’t want to hurt you, Mick.”
“I know. You can’t help who you love.” He let out a bitter laugh. “I guess I’d know that better than anybody, yeah?
“You are amazing, Mickey Smith.” She smiled up at him through glassy eyes, before reaching up to kiss his dusky cheek. “You deserve the best.”
He smiled back, a slight blush belaying the feigned bravado. “Yeah well, of course I do, but since you’re leaving in a couple minutes I’ll have to make due with second.”
Rose returned his smile and hugged him even tighter. They broke apart when they heard the back door on the car slam shut.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” The boy’s hair was all mussed from sleeping and he had marks on his face from the seat cushion. He was holding a duffel bag in each hand. “I could have been pulled back without you!”
“Don’t worry little man.” Rose reassured him as she took one of the bags and placed the framed hospital picture inside. “We’ve got about five minutes to go.”
“All right then.” He took her free hand in his and intertwined their fingers. “From now until then I don’t let go, no matter what.”
Rose looked up at Mickey. “You don’t have to stay, you know. You don’t have to watch us go.”
“Yes I do, Rose,” he replied. “I can’t let you go without having done everything I could to keep you safe. Your mum would skin me alive.” Rose laughed though her tears. “Besides, I want a few more minutes with you.”
“You,” he sternly addressed the boy, “take really good care of Rose. She’s The Best, you hear. You may be out of my reach but the Doctor’ll hurt you for me if anything happens to her.”
“You’re not kidding.” The boy looked nervous for a second. “Why do you think I’m stuck to her like glue?” He looked down at his watch. “About one minute, Rose.”
Rose looked frantically at Mickey’s tear streaked face. He wrapped his arms around her, almost squishing the kid. “I take it all back. If you want to stay I’m here for you.”
“You know I have to go. Give my love to Mum and Dad and Charlie. Don’t let him forget me.”
“Never,” Mickey’s voice was just as strained as hers.
“And be happy Mickey, promise me,” she pleaded. “Find someone to love you properly.”
“You’ve got to let go of him now, Rose!” The boy pulled at her hand with surprising strength.
Mickey stumbled back as he released the woman he’d loved for seemingly forever. His eyes never wavered from her as she slowly faded from sight.