Title- Go On
Show, Ship- Doctor Who. Ten/ Rose (kinda) Rose/ TARDIS (In a non kinky way)
Rating- PG, PGF, YT
Disclaimer- I own the BBC. Well it's a box with BBC written on it in Crayon. But it's mine.
Summary- Rose has beena bit off for a while and the Doctor decideds to ask Mickey why. Good idea?
Go On 1
Go On 2
Go On 3
Go On 4
Were it not for his accidentally overhearing Rose’s revelations, the Doctor never would have suspected that anything was wrong.
The next morning Rose was as bright and vivacious as usual, teasing him and Mickey about ridiculous things and laughing and joking without a care in the world.
Only his intense scrutiny noted that her eyes weren’t as bright as before, circles hidden by make-up were etched into her features, and her smile was that much dimmer.
It was unnerving how easy it was for her to appear all right in front of him and he wondered if she had always been such a good liar and he’d just never known; and wasn’t that a pleasant thought?
How many times had she lied to him? Just stood right there and lied to his face?
He’d never have known … or was this a recent thing? It was driving him mad and the one person he thought he could trust was the one person he seemed not to be able to.
She was sitting across the other side of the console staring into the air, not really aware of her surroundings or that he was looking at her so intently.
Mickey had discovered the TV room and the Doctor had a feeling that he would be there for some time.
Maybe this would be time to have a talk with the other person who knew Rose so well.
“Hmm?” she hummed attention elsewhere.
“Can you keep an eye on the screen for me?” he asked and she spun around to stare at him, eyes wide.
He had rarely ever asked her to pilot the TARDIS and never when he wasn’t around… except…
“What, why?” She pinned him with a hard look and he frowned at the apparent mistrust in it.
Maybe he wouldn’t have to go see Mickey after all, maybe now they could have all this out in the open. “Why, Rose, don’t you trust me?”
“Course I do,” she said quickly and he let out a breath he didn’t realise he was holding at her instant reply. “It’s just…”
“The last time you made me do something in here alone you ran away and got yourself killed.”
“Oh. Ooh!” He made a little ‘o’ with his mouth that Rose found adorable and he shoved his hands in his pockets. “Well, I won’t be doing that again in a hurry. Regeneration is sort of a last resort. Like a get out of jail free card.”
“’kay,” Rose jumped off the seat and looked at the screen. “What am I looking for?”
“If anything goes mauve scream for me. If anything goes yellow call me and if anything goes pink come find me.”
“What if it goes red?”
“Then its just humans being camp, ignore it.” He shot her a flirty grin and she laughed. “Back in a jiff.”
“Jiff?” Rose wrinkled her nose. “Isn’t that a toilet cleaner?” she called after him.
As predicted Mickey was in the TV room, his hands eagerly flicking through the TARDIS’ unparalleled DVD collection.
“You got Resident Evil 6, they made six?”
“Yup,” the Doctor said. “Better than four, not as good as five, but still better than X-Men 3.”
“I saw that,” Mickey offered. “Wasn’t that bad.”
The Doctor rolled his eyes at Mickey’s distinct lack of taste. “Listen, Mickey—”
“What you after?” Mickey interrupted, peering at him and the Doctor was taken aback.
“What makes you think I’m after anything?”
“Only that’s the first time you got my name right.”
“Right, I see,” the Doctor nodded, probably best not to antagonise the little ape until after he got what he wanted. “Just wanted to check in, you know, make sure you are all okay with the running, not wanting to get a head implant or anything?”
“Sudden urge to get surgery?”
“Maybe phone home and alter the fabric of time?”
“No? Great, what’s wrong with Rose?”
Mickey blinked. “And I thought the other Doctor was mad, barking you are.”
He took a deep breath. “I am the other Doctor.”
“I am,” he insisted, wondering if Rose hadn’t said something to Mickey about this. “What did Rose say to you about the regeneration process?”
“Nuffin much, just you went all glowy and morphed into a new face. Like a software upgrade, new package same code. Freaked her out at the time. But I reckon you look better than old big ears.”
And that, he thought, was the marvel of regeneration summed up in a dozen words. “Right, she say anything else?”
“Like what?” Mickey was watching him suspiciously.
“Look, she’s just been a bit off since we last visited Earth and I thought she might have said something to you about what it was, clearly a mistake as you have all the sensitivity of the primordial soup you crawled out of.”
“You’re being rude.”
“I know!” The Doctor slumped. “I know,” he said more calmly. “Sorry. I’m just—”
“Worried,” Mickey sat down on the red sofa and nodded, “I get that and maybe you have some idea of what I went through when she went off with you, she always came back a bit different. Sometimes I look at her and it’s like I don’t know her any more at all, ya know? I mean me and Rose go way back and then she meets you … the other you and goes swanning off. She always looked so happy when she was with you and then that Captain Jack guy.”
“Did it all change with the regeneration?”
“Nah,” Mickey considered. “Well, a bit. She was pretty broken up that you were sick and that. Even cried on my shoulder a time or two.”
Rose cried? He swallowed a painful lump in his throat. Course she did. She’d just watched you change into someone else and then fall flat on your face.
“She seemed pretty happy again when you went off. Maybe she’s still upset over that whole Sarah-Jane thing, or Madame de Pompom.”
“Pompadour,” he absently corrected. “Why was she upset?”
Mickey looked at him incredulously. “You are joking ain't cha?”
The Doctor was baffled and Mickey laughed derisively.
“Look, mate, if you need help from me on that then there’s no hope for ya.”
The Doctor gave him a blank look.
“In Earth terms, yeah? Rose is like your girlfriend—”
“But we—” the Doctor started, panicked, but Mickey held up a hand.
“I know. But you take her off and show her the stars and hold her hand and take her to dinner and that pretty much means you’re boyfriend-ish.”
The Doctor licked his lips and thought about that. “You know, Mickey the idiot, I’ve been alive for 900 years, I don’t think I’ve ever been described as someone’s boyfriend.”
“Boyfriend-ish!” Mickey clarified quickly. “You’re not her boyfriend. I was her boyfriend. You just have, like, qualities. Then you bring the ex-misses along and Rose suddenly realises that she isn’t the only one. Culture shock. Then you swan off with the French one and Rose realises that she isn’t ever the only one.”
“What?” The Doctor realised that he sounded like Mickey and frowned at himself. “At the risk of sounding like you and abusing the English language, what do you mean ‘isn’t ever the only one?’”
“Well, it’s like you said, ain't it? She’s just latest in a long line. No girl likes to hear that.”
The Doctor looked horrified. “I never said that.”
Mickey shrugged. “Implied then, I heard ya outside the chip shop. I mean you’re like 900, what’s 19 to that? Well, 20 now.”
“Just because I’m older doesn’t mean that I’m old,” the Doctor frowned, thinking on what Mickey had said. “Lots of life left in these old bones, you know. As for what I said…” he trailed off as he tried to think back to standing outside the chip shop. He’d thought he’d been pretty clear to Rose that she was more to him than just some companion. Not you he’d said.
Surely she understood that she was more to him?
He’d given his life for her, changed his face for her. Didn’t she know what that meant?
No, of course she didn’t, mocked a voice in his head with an oddly familiar northern accent, because we never told her did we? Just babbled on about dogs with no noses, which reminds me—we never did take her to
“Hold on.” His ears caught up with his brain. “Did you say she’s 20 now?”
“Yeah, it was her birthday a few weeks ago. Just before you came back to help with the school thing.” Mickey scratched his head. “Didn’t she say?”
The Doctor shook his head. “Maybe she forgot?”
“I text her to say happy birthday first thing, she text back.” Mickey told him bluntly.
The Doctor grimaced. “So she didn’t forget then?”
Mickey grinned and slung an arm over the Doctor’s shoulder.
“What are you grinning at?” he snapped and Mickey’s grin got bigger.
“At least I’m not the universe’s worst boyfriend!” Mickey laughed. “First you forget her birthday, then you take her to meet the ex and then you chuck a French bird in her face. Least I ever did was take her to see a match for our anniversary. What kind of rubbish are you!”
The worst thing was that the Doctor had nothing to say in return.
Nothing repeatable by a human anyway.
Rose poked at the screen wondering exactly what those hexagonal images were. Maybe she’d have to ask the Doctor when he got back from wherever he’d gone. Or not.
The Doctor was always touchy about anything that had to do with his old life and would retreat into silence again. The TARDIS would probably tell her if she really wanted to know and it would save time and effort in navigating the emotional minefield that was the Doctor.
Honestly he had more mood swings that a boatload of pregnant mothers.
And she had noticed that in the last few days he had taken to staring at her out of the corner of his eye—no doubt comparing her to the beautiful and more than slightly dead Madame De Pompadour.
Rose immediately felt guilty for such a catty remark. The woman had died young, after all, after a life confined to court, and who was Rose to criticise her for falling in love with the Doctor.
She closed her eyes and let her fingertips drift over the TARDIS controls.
“S’me,” she whispered, feeling better saying these things out loud. It was a little daunting to know that the TARDIS could hear what she said inside her head “What’s the picture things?”
She smiled as she was ‘told’ the answer. “I guess counting that way makes as much sense as doing things the human way.”
“Doing what the human way?”
Rose swore and spun around glaring at the Doctor for making her jump.
“It isn’t nice to creep up on people! Gave me a heart attack and, unlike you, I only have the one.”
The Doctor just eyed her. “Who were you talking to? The TARDIS? Does she answer you?”
Rose shrugged one shoulder. “Kind of.” She didn’t explain further and the Doctor just started at her.
“What?” she complained after several moments of feeling truly uncomfortable.
“Why didn’t you tell me it was your birthday?”
“It’s not,” she replied, confused at his sombre face.
“It was and you never mentioned it.” His face was impassive and he stuck his hands in his pockets.
“You used to tell me all sorts of things, whether I was listening or not. Now you barely talk to me. Have I done something wrong, Rose?”
Rose bit the inside of her lip. “We spent my birthday running through swamps on Solaron Megnate, trying to escape being eaten; there really wasn’t time to say ‘hey, I’m older now by a whole day!’. It wasn’t like I deliberately didn’t tell ya, I just … forgot.”
“I thought humans prided themselves on their traditions and rituals?”
His bland face and deadpan expression began to grate on her.
“And I thought maybe that was a little too domestic for you. What would you have done? Put up balloons? Wore a hat, downed shots, done karaoke?”
“Is that what you wanted?”
“Why are we even having this conversation?” Something occurred to her. “Did Mickey say something?”
“Is that what you wanted?” he repeated slowly, his eyes focussed entirely on her.
Rose stared at him for a long moment, trying to read what was going on in his eyes, but he was giving nothing away. The shield he usually placed up when he was upset about something was firmly in place and she could see nothing behind it. Sometimes that creeped her out; it was like looking into one of those two-way mirrors they had in police interrogation rooms, you knew that there was someone on the other side but when you looked into them all you could see was a slightly tainted reflection of yourself, looking puzzled and uncomfortable.
All she could see in the Doctor’s face was an impassive mask mocking her. It had always managed to make her feel afraid and defensive at the same time—a bad combination which ignited her temper.
“Well go on then!” she snapped and he blinked, wrong-footed.
“Whenever we get to this point it’s usually the cue for you to either walk away or threaten to send me home. Is that what this birthday thing is, hey? Just an excuse to start a fight?”
The Doctor glared at her. “I wasn’t starting a fight.”
“Coulda fooled me, Doctor. So I didn’t tell you about my birthday, I lose track of time in the TARDIS. I’ve missed two Christmases, a whole bunch of mate’s birthdays and a Valentines Day. I’ve also missed at least three periods since travelling with you messes up my body clock.” She folded her arms. “Anything else ya wanna know?”
“Now you mention it, I’d like to know why you never told me you could talk to the TARDIS, or why you never come to see me in the chamber or what exactly that yellow flashing light is!”
Rose spun as the console began to flash an alarming colour. The Doctor abandoned their argument and headed for the screen, scanning the read-outs.
“Time stream flux, not dangerous but we need to land pretty sharpish otherwise we might get knocked out of the Vortex. Emergency landing.” He grabbed levers and pushed the pump, cranking the pulsing TARDIS harder. He looked up at her. “Hold on to something.”
Rose grabbed the nearest rail and dug her nails in, her heart racing from the idea of a crash landing as much as the argument they had just started.
She hadn’t realised that she had been so different, or that the Doctor had noticed that she had been slowly backing away from him, trying to preserve the remnants of her heart.
But he had noticed and seemed almost hurt by it. But surely he didn’t really care?
After all he was the Doctor, a sort of intergalactic tour operator. He picked up companions and showed them the universe and dropped them back down when he was bored of them.
Immediately Rose felt a wash of guilt at the uncharitable thought.
It wasn’t his fault that she was feeling more than a little off right now. Well, actually, it was but she wasn’t going to tell him that.
His hands spun on the TARDIS dials and he flicked more switches, his eyes darting all over the place as he tried to stave off disaster.
If only everything were as easy to fix as the TARDIS, he thought as his eyes caught sight of Rose anchoring herself to one of the rails.
He braced himself and prepared to land.