04 July 2011 @ 05:48 am
One Times Infinity - Chapter 10 (10/Rose AU PG-13 Doctor Who fic)  
Title: One Times Infinity
Author: [livejournal.com profile] darkbunnyrabbit
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Anything up to Doomsday, There will occasionally be canon elements included from any aired episode of Torchwood of Doctor Who, however.
Pairings: Doc/Rose, Rose/Jack
Characters: 10, Rose
Warnings: Flippantly AU
Genre: Adventure, Romance
Beta: None! Oh dear.
Summary: The walls between universes are more fragile than they seem. Once again it falls to the Doctor to save more than one universe...but can he fight what he wants the most? And who is this unseen enemy? A post-Doomsday reunion, of sorts.



Previous Chapters

Trailer



Disclaimer: Yeah. We know it's not mine.

AN: So, about that finishing thing...let's try.

--

One Times Infinity

Chapter Ten: Memorandum


She never said a word to him as he input coordinates and activated the TARDIS' deep scan. It was just as well, because he, a man of so many words, wasn't sure what he'd say to any of the fully justified things she could have said to him. There was a wariness to her stance as she stood off to the side and watched him, and of course there was. He'd destroyed the trust she should have had in him—what she had in the other him, who'd no doubt given up whatever minute chance he had to stop the complete collapse of the universe to ensure that she made it to freedom and safety.

That safety hadn't taken himself into consideration, though, had it? He could always astonish himself with his own despicable nature when he let himself.

But the silence couldn't reign forever. He was ever a talker, and there was only so long he could ignore his company.

“How long were you in this universe before contacting me?”

She gave an almost imperceptible start, as if she'd expected the stalemate to stretch on into infinity. Or, more likely, that she'd been in the middle of a thought process when he'd spoken. Whichever it was, she frowned at him after a moment. “Before I contacted you? You're the one who ran up and kissed me.”

He grit his teeth a moment, before tossing an annoyed glance at her. She really wasn't letting that go. “Before then. How long have you been in this universe? When did you arrive in this universe.”

“...One week.”

Then, by relative universal time, the gap had been open about two weeks. Either it would have grown to a damaging size, or shrunk to a difficult one. Either way, the TARDIS would be able track it to its place easily enough. When he input the modified coordinates, the Rose's blue eyes hardened in sudden shrewdness.

“You can't put me back. My universe is gone.”

He could have risen to the challenge in her tone. He could have fought with her—might even have won—or he could have explained his actions. He might even have apologized, then. He chose not to. “Oh yes. Your Doctor would never have risked sending you through universal walls if there was a chance you could survive—that you made it through without anything to buffer you and survived is one-in-five-billion chance. Well, five-billion-seven-hundred-twenty-six-thousand and ninety.” Rambling came to him as easily as ever, and his hands flew over the console and controls in a practice for once not familiar.

If he had any sense at all, he'd be terrified. If he had any sense at all, he'd not have gone back for her.

“I told you. There's nothing I can do about your universe...and I'm sorry about that, I really am.” He sobered then, slowing in his coordinates to look up at her. She remained wary and confused, and defensive as if she could argue her way out of being dropped off somewhere else. Maybe she could. She was, at her core, Rose Tyler. Not his, never his. But Rose Tyler all the same. “But there's a trace. Just a trace. Whatever shattered your universe left it's mark on you. It might be because you were there, or it might be one of the last things your...me...managed before the end.”

She frowned. “A trace?”

“A remnant. One tiny thread of a connection to whatever destroyed the universe. Like...fingerprints or—no, like a thread snagged on a jacket. It wouldn't know it, even if it's something capable of thought. It's too minute to notice. But for someone as brilliant as me? You're a message in a bottle.” He had no doubt that the entanglement was for that exact reason.

“You can figure out what it was? Stop it?” She looked interested now, hopeful. It might have been the first time he saw hope in those blue eyes...and there was something deeply disquieting about seeing that hope only at the possibility of revenge. Rose should never have to live for revenge.

He had nothing better to offer.

“No. It's only a thread. Even if I could guess the fabric from the color and the material, or guess the species from the print, I'd need to see the rest of it or...have something to compare it off of to know what it is.” He input the last coordinate, but rather than engage the final circuit, he settled his gaze on Rose. This was a horrible idea. Terrible. So very much could go wrong, and he absolutely shouldn't try this—there were so many reasons he shouldn't do this.

Yet he found the idea more thrilling to him than anything since...than anything in a very long time. “We're going to follow it. Out of the universe. Through the void.”

“But that's--”

“Oh, completely mad. Not the least bit safe. Even if we keep up, we'll probably never make it home, not without a miracle or a particularly brilliant bit of inspiration. But you've been here a week. The hole you fell through is still there, slowly healing but open just wide enough for us to slip through. It doesn't lead anywhere...not anymore. Just the void. But that thing, whatever destroyed your universe, it's out there too. And it doesn't know we've got it on a lead.”

That glimmer of hope in her eyes was stronger now, but she didn't move from where she stood just yet. “But your universe...passing through the walls damages them.”

“It does, yes. But you've already done it, and I have a feeling this one's a bit better up-kept. Your universe was cracked and damaged and ready to unravel already when it shattered...and then whatever came for it crashed through what little structure was left. Like pulling that one middle log from the bottom of the tower. We're passing through the only hole left in the universe. The question you should be asking is...what do we do when that closes while we're out.”

“I don't care.”

The smile he wore at his last statement faded into seriousness.. Her answer didn't surprise him, even if her bluntness was a little shocking. “I didn't think you would.”

“Why ask?” She sounded genuinely curious, though her expression remained neutral.

“Because there isn't an answer. Once it's closed there's no going through it. The TARDIS crashing through the wall without a weakness present would traumatize the wall of the universe and cause the entire universe to collapse as soon as we made it inside.”

She took a step forward so that she could lean on the console...and quite likely so she could study his expression for some sign of dishonesty. Perhaps he earned that mistrust, but there was nothing there for her to see. Because everything he'd just said was completely true.

After a moment, she said, “but you're going.”

He settled his most level, honest gaze on hers. “I'm going.”

For a moment, he expected another question. Maybe that showed how long it'd been since he'd been traveling with Rose. When she spoke, it might have been a warning, or it might simply have been an observation. With his Rose he'd know, with this one he couldn't. It was probably best that way. “You'll be trapped in whatever universe you end up, with a different Earth and a different human race. You'll never make it back here, and you'll never see anyone in this universe ever again.”

For a few moments, he simply watched her. He didn't need to think about it or to let it sink in, he could process every eventuality in the time that it took for her to speak.

He knew exactly what it meant leaving behind.

“I don't care.”

---

Laughter echoed through the room, and she was not about to admit that anyone beside the Doctor happened to be snorting. Even if Adeola--who looked more annoyed than she did amused with the landing--plucked up the fortitude to say she did, though, Rose couldn't say she'd have cared.

She just missed traveling in the TARDIS so much. Even the skinned knees and the knocked heads involved in the rougher trips—maybe especially those. She'd missed it, and she hadn't felt so light since...well, the last trip she'd had in the TARDIS.

He was giggling as he pushed himself up to his knees, and held out a hand to help her stand. Not that he stood still longer than it took for her to take it. He was as hyperactive as ever, and quick to show off his piloting skills. Which, if they included crossing universes in a TARDIS, were quite impressive.

Through the doors gleamed the white walls of Torchwood Tower, and he turned a satisfied smile on Adeola. “What did I tell you? Back before supper!”

The woman gaped, peering over the Doctor's shoulder for a moment, before taking a step out when he moved to the side. “This is...”

He beamed. “I think you've a report to fill, Miss Jones. But if you'll excuse us, there's somewhere we need to be.”

She spun around quickly. “You're leaving?”

Rose had no doubt he had that smug smile of his on his face when he responded. “Not the universe. Not just yet. No need to worry, Miss Jones, we'll be around for a proper goodbye before we go.”

Rose was also very certain he counted on the look of disappointment from Adeola when she nodded, but she made no comment until he closed the door—and by then he'd already started speaking.

“Right! Now, before we go any further, you, Rose Tyler, have a mother to speak to. Properly.” His expression showed no room for argument...and this time she didn't want to. He made his way up to the console and started inputting things once more. “I hate long distance goodbyes.”

Of course, he couldn't mean what she thought of as soon as he'd said it—he'd been dragged in with his Rose—but she couldn't help a faint frown all the same. “Yeah. Me too.”

He glanced over his shoulder at her a moment, but rather than say...whatever it was that raced through his mind, he nodded to the console on the other side of where he stood. “That button there! C'mon!”

It was maybe too easy to forget exactly where they were going in the thrill of helping fly the TARDIS again...but the gentle set down of the vehicle much better suited the tone of the visit than the earlier bouncing around. The Doctor showed no signs of going to the door this time, he simply nodded. “Go on.”

Her mother's eyes were red when she stepped out of the TARDIS, and Rose barely managed a word before she was enveloped in a hug just as fierce as if she'd gone missing for another year. “Mum...”

It'd been difficult even saying goodbye over mobile. Saying she'd choose to stay with the Doctor even if it meant never seeing her mother ever again was so much easier when it didn't mean saying it to her face. In the spur of the moment and when it was a direct choice between losing her mother or losing the Doctor, it was so much easier to cling to the Doctor.

When it meant going out and searching what, realistically, might be years, and then even if she found him never seeing her mother or Mickey again, or the little brother she'd never see...that wasn't so easy.

“You'll come and see Tony some day.” Jackie sniffled when she finally let go, and very nearly had an authoritative expression. “He's going to be Tony.”

“Tony?”

“Pete had a brother. In this universe. Did you know that? He died when they were little, but his name was Tony...so...we're gonna name him Tony.”

She summoned her best smile. “S'brilliant, Mum. Tony's a brilliant name.”

“I know I can't make you stay...” her voice hitched, and she took a step back, “but—the kettle's on and--”

“I'd love a cuppa, Mum.”

She knew she couldn't promise to return. She couldn't promise she'd ever see her mother or her family or Mickey again. What were the chances she really would? This was a one-way ticket. One single chance to find her Doctor and go back home that'd never come again. And she loved her mother. She loved the family she'd been given and the friends...but they weren't her home. There was only one place that'd ever be home again.

Mickey showed up just about when she finished her cup. “So you're leaving again, then.”

She wanted to apologize, even started to, but he held up a hand to start her. “You're not sorry, Rose. Don't say you are. You've been looking for a chance like this since you got here. You're not sorry. But no one's asking you to be. Cos you're not happy here, Rose, and you're never gonna be. If you stay behind you're gonna hate yourself, cos this isn't where you belong, is it?”

“Mickey...”

Rather than let her finish, he pulled her into a hug. “You just promise one thing. You find him, you make him finish his sentences, and you never let go of what makes you happy. You got that?”

She hiccuped and nodded, and just registered her mother dragging her into another hug. “I love you, Rose. You understand that? No matter what, that's never gonna change. And...and if he ever hurts you, I'll find a way t'give him a good piece of my mind. You make sure he knows it.”

She sniffled even as she laughed. “Yeah. I will.”

She almost expected to see the Doctor standing at the TARDIS door, impatient as ever to leave. Instead, he was sitting in the jump seat of the console room, tinkering with some bit of machinery. When he spotted her, though, he hopped to his feet and made his way over to the stairwell, expression as somber as ever. “Rose...you can stay. If you want. I release you of any previous agreements, if you want to stay, then stay. She's your mother.”

She wanted to say something flippant. 'Everyone leaves home in the end', 'I've already made my choice', something to lighten it or spin it into something less than forever. All she could manage was a shake of her head and a watery smile.

He wrapped his arms around her shoulders, and somewhere along the way she finally began to cry.
 
 
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[identity profile] who-in-whoville.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Well I am glad I found this story today, not 5 years ago!! please do 't wait as long to update. it is really very good.
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[identity profile] darkbunnyrabbit.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
Hah, I'm really trying to speed it up now XD Thank you!
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ext_34969: Doctor Who[identity profile] flareonfury.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
♥ Loved this! ♥ Thanks so much for letting me know it updated. ^.^
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[identity profile] darkbunnyrabbit.livejournal.com on July 4th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I'm happy to!
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