He stares after her for a moment, then looks down at his empty hand, then back up at the mesmerizing swing of hair against the background of jacket, then back at the empty hand again. As if he can’t believe she’s gone.
Then he finds his voice. “Oi! Hang on!”
“Rule number one!” he reminds her as he sprints after her. “Don’t wander off!”
The stony beach continues to run along that cliff face for quite some distance. But with her head start, Rose manages to reach a singularly massive cavern carved into that cliff.
And in that cavern…
…she finds a singularly massive creature.
It resembles a whale. A humpback whale, cetacean and gargantuan. But so much bigger, so very much bigger. So big that an actual Earthling humpback would just seem like a pilot fish in comparison.
It sleeps. And as it sleeps, it breathes. And as it breathes, rising and falling with ponderous beautiful slowness, laying there on the floor of that cave, it shimmers green and beautiful in the half-light of the seeming sunset. Where a humpback would have been barnacled, this whale is instead bejeweled.
As it exhales, Rose will be able to feel its whalesong quivering through her, dancing along her bones and her nerves.
It’s talking in its sleep.
The melodic echo of her laugh floats over the cliffs and caverns of this new, strange planet, straight from Rose’s smirking pink lips and right to the Doctor’s biologically advanced ears. The swing of her hair ruffles up in the slight breeze as the manatees soar over their heads, and when she rounds the corner into that cavern yawning lazily before her, Rose almost shouts a victorious, smug tease over her shoulder to him.
Skidding to a stop just before she dashes into the nose of the massive creature snoozing before her, Rose wobbles on the tips over her toes as her arms fling out with the accuracy of balance only a gymnast could manage. She’s dwarfed under the sheer magnitude of the sleeping giant, and her breath snags hard in her chest as she blinks up in awe at it.
It lets out a soft breath, and it washes over Rose with surprising gentleness, smelling like breeze in the middle of May. She curls the fingers of her right hand into her palm, though the left stay flexed, waiting for their counterparts.
The musical mutterings of the massive mammal mumbling before her knock Rose for a loop, and for a minute, all she can do is close her eyes and listen. The soft green glow of the jewels shining on the whale’s back still shine through her eyelids, but she’s listening too carefully to notice. In the back of her mind, she knows she could dance to this dream, could fall into step in next to the Doctor, and she thinks, maybe she will, if he ever catches up.
Quietly, his hand slipped into hers, as if it were always there, waiting for itself to arrive.
“Look at that,” he murmured, softly. “A dream within a dream. She’s hibernating. Well, estivating, it’s summer here. When the winter comes, she’ll wake, and fly out of here and out to the cold waters, and she’ll call to her pod, and they’ll swim together united in song. That’s who she’s singing to, now, as she’s dreaming. Dreaming of their song with hers.”
He smiled softly, and reached out his free hand, almost-but-not-quite touching the ridged flesh of the she-whale’s jaw.
“D’you wanna hear the rest of it? Not just her part, but all of them?”
He wiggled his fingers. “What d’you think?”
She doesn’t answer him at first, though her fingers curl lightly around his to brush the ridge of his knuckles as she squeezes ever-so-lightly, communicating to him what she could never say out loud, what she’s too scared to say at the risk of frightening him off. You are back where you belong, and where you belong is right here.
A quiet giggle escapes her lips from how she’s biting the bottom one, and Rose’s brows arch slightly as the Doctor reaches out to ghost his fingers just over the massive creature’s jaw. “Can we do that?” she asks a bit breathlessly, turning wide, honey-brown eyes his way and blinking once. “Wake her up early? Will she be okay?”
That hand in hers is all the encouragement he needs, it’s all the encouragement he’s ever needed. Rose and The TARDIS, the two cornerstones of his existence. As much as he belonged anywhere, he belonged with them, one hand on The Console, the other wrapped up in Rose’s.
“Oh, we shan’t wake her,” The Doctor tutted, “that’d be rude. We’ll walk with her once upon a dream. And, yeah, should be fine! I don’t make a habit of walking in the thoughts of others, but I’m a trained professional.”
He paused. “Well, I say ‘trained.’”
Rose turns to catch his gaze as the Doctor whisper-rambles to her, bright brown eyes fixing on his equally enthusiastic ones. “You an’ your Disney,” she teases fondly, giving his hand another pulse as her fingers curl closer around his cooler ones.
“What d’you mean, ‘when you say, trained’?” she follows up, reaching with her free hand to pat the whale’s immense, glowing head. It lets out a fluttering arpeggio of a yawn, and Rose jumps back to tuck herself into the Doctor’s side. “Have y’ever done it before? Or are we just wingin’ it?”
Rule 1. Always post the rules
Rule 2. Answer the questions asked by your tagger and write 11 new ones
Rule 3. Tag 11 people and link them to the post
Rule 4. Let them know you’ve tagged them
I was tagged by : drthetasigma10
1. What pets do you have, if any? Bloody hell, sometimes it feels like havin’ th’Doctor means havin’ a puppy. But no, no pets.
2. What fictional world would you live in given half a chance? Fairy-tales. Ones with happy endings.
3. What superhuman ability would you want to have? Flight.
4. Favorite season/weather? Spring. Sunny, no clouds, no rain… just beautiful.
5. For the Whovians, who was your first Doctor? Th’one in th’leather jacket.
6. Atomic Robo versus Hellboy: who wins? Be prepared to justify your answer. ….. who?
7. What’s the most moving piece of music you’ve ever heard? Hmm…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4d09e8puaY
8. Where’s one place in the real world you would give your eye teeth to go (back to)? Back to him.
9. Favorite guilty pleasure? Rubbish telly. Y’know, those Sontaran love dramas… [blush]
10. Most abiding celebrity crush? James Bond.
11. Favorite prime number? Seven.
I promise I’ll get t’the questions soon! Just a bit crazy, an’ th’Doctor’s shouting from the console room!
[Blimey that grin is distracting!]
“I’m starting to think I’m being… humored.”
“Oooh, blimey, no.” Rose shakes her head vehemently, giving him the ‘dumb blonde’ look even though she’s anything but. “Big, genius brain like yours? Gettin’ humoured? Don’t think sooo….”
“Fair play t’your mum!” Rose counters back as the blush on her throat spreads right down to her collarbones, and God, if he would only stop that grinning, she could come up with something better than that.
“Oh mum’s the word, is it?”
Ooh, keep that sexy, smug smile off your face.Rose rolls her eyes and tucks her hands into her pockets, holding back a snort.
“Oh, no, see, this gob doesn’t stop for anything!”
She’s pretty sure she could come up with at least three very creative ways to shut him up.
Rose bursts into giggles despite herself. “Trust me. I know.”
He stood there, wrapping his arms around her just a bit tighter, cradling the base of her skull with a hand, caressing her hair softly when a sudden wave of self-consciousness got him. He was ridiculously underdressed only clad in his tight black briefs and a sudden draft made him shiver. How the hell could there have been a draft? He was sure it had nothing to do with Rose’s proximity. As sure as he was about the fact that his ears weren’t that big, they were adequate. Also it definitely was not the arms around his bare waist and the hands just on top of the small of his back. Nope.
When she feels him shiver, Rose pulls back, smoothing her bangs from her eyes and shifting slightly on her feet. “Right, then…” she mumbles softly, more to herself than to him. “Guess, I mean… y’should prob’ly…” she explains helplessly, distracted by how bare he is.
If the Doctor had been paying attention the past three hundred and forty-nine years, he might have noticed the fractures in the skin of the universe left by Rose’s ventures with the Dimension Cannon in her search for him —nothing major, just tiny little ones, but large enough that the TARDIS, if coaxed in just the right way, at just the right time, could slip into and cross through them.
That was what inadvertently led the Doctor here, to a park swing in the middle of a zeppelin-filled London sky.
Not that he’d noticed them, no; his gaze was solely reserving itself for peoples’ faces, looking for that familiar face of Clara Oswin Oswald in the crowds. He never thought to look up, never thought to pay attention to the billboards that still sported Pete Tyler’s face as though there was a play on about him at the West End.
The Doctor sighed, and clonked his feet together. Eight years, he’d been looking — and nothing yet. He was beginning to wonder whether the last Clara he’d met was the last Clara he’d ever find.
If there’s anyone who knows what searching for someone for years and years of her life feels like, it’s Rose Tyler — and doubly so, as she’d found what she’d been searching for, only to have lost him, again, so quickly she sometimes thinks she’s dreamt the entire affair up in the vast, unrealised caverns of her mind. All those little moments, locked up in technicolour as far back as she can push them, because sometimes, looking back hurts too much.
In all honesty, she had tried to do what he’d asked. To have a fantastic life. Rose had tried to be fantastic, as fantastic as she’d once believed he deserved. She and the meta-crisis, they’d put in their time at Torchwood, running and searching and poking and nosing in where they didn’t belong, but it was bound to catch up with them, as all things do, all that dashing about, and one day, it did. She’d always been a fast runner, Rose Tyler, and she was never never faster than when her Doctor’s fingers were locked with hers.
Which was why the instant they’d disappeared, fell from hers as she and the Doctor had been fleeing some mad, fanged creatures living in the underground (the sort he’d called “oh, you are beautiful!” just a few seconds before) tunnels, Rose had skidded to a stop, despite the fact that a train was coming, and they both knew it. Running without him? Never. Not on her life. He’d just tripped, that was surely what it had been, he’d be up in a flash with that mad smile like always was, and—
She can still hear him. The desperation and violent insistence in his voice from the tracks, demanding that she run, that she leave and not turn around. There isn’t a day she doesn’t damn herself for having done what he’d asked. Out of all the times to have listened, with so many she’d simply ignored, that one — Rose Tyler believes she could never forgive herself.
It wasn’t long after that that she turned in her notice at Torchwood. She still gets called in, sometimes, on special consultations when they simply can’t do without her. She stalks into the building with dark circles under her eyes and her hair pulled back in a gravely tight ponytail, and people whisper in her wake.
She couldn’t stand the whispers, each one a tiny, little fracture tearing away at her. Which is why, on the day the Doctor’s out on that battered old swing-set, Rose is doing what she believes is the only useful thing left for her to do: wandering.
“I love you so much I don’t know what to say,” he chuckled weakly against her temple. “Other than I should probably gear up my gardenin’ skills. Don’t want that kind o’ thing happenin’ again.” He was silent again, still holding her in his arms waiting for her tears to dissipate. “I’m sorry.”
Rose nods weakly into his shoulder, still letting out little whimpers and gasps into his shoulder from the tears that apparently won’t stop welling up behind her eyes. “Should prob’ly take a— look at that,” she agrees quietly, trying to laugh and succeeding only in choking around the sound. “Wouldn’t be good if—” she starts again, then sighs quietly and pushes her forehead closer against the cool, bare skin of his shoulder.
“Shhh, I know. I know you are.