28 September 2010 @ 06:41 am
Finding Me (Doctor Who/Casanova 1/?)  
Title: Finding Me
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: 4x13 Journey's End
Pairings: Rose/Ten.5, possible others in the future
Genre: Angst, Adventure, Romance
Summary: Sometimes things go terribly wrong, and sometimes everything falls apart. And sometimes, the universe expects you to pick up and keep on going anyway.

Disclaimer: Yeah nothing here is mine.

AN: So essentially I've had a plot bunny like this stuck in my head for awhile. It went through many phases as I sat around hoping to see someone write similar, or come across someone willing to RP an angle with it...and eventually, this is what we end up with when I get tired of waiting, apparently.

Nine years before, she couldn't have brought herself to believe she would have found herself here. Five years ago, she'd hoped, but she hadn't believed that they could really make it as long as they had as brilliantly as they had. She'd been hesitant, even afraid to believe things could work themselves out so quickly, and so easily.

Now it felt like second nature to her, and why shouldn't it? She'd spent five years now traveling across a new universe with a new Doctor. She'd only spent two years traveling in the other. Even if Earth still felt a bit strange sometimes, the traveling, the life, the person who wasn't afraid to say the words...even his morning whinging about gray hair (was he imagining that gray hair? When would he get them, it'd been so long since his hair changed on its own, up! Up! Up! Time is burning away and you're just sitting there snoring!), it all felt so normal, she didn't know that she could have gone back to the way it'd been before if she tried.

She didn't want to, and she'd never get the chance, so it didn't matter. She had a whole lifetime to spend still. And it wasn't one she was going to be allowed to squander. Even a little, tiny bit.

Unless sitting around in a cell counted as squandering, but really, that was a quibble.

“You could try t'be more polite.” The man didn't look up at her comment, still doing...something to his cuffs. “Not that I mind th'escaping prisoners thing...but it might give us a bit've time to see the scenery once in awhile before we study its masonry, yeah?”

The cuffs fell to the ground with a surprising amount of clatter. Without the sonic screwdriver, even. Clearly he'd taken to heart what she'd said about the number of times he lost it when they were taken prisoner. Or the cuffs were that painfully simple. She wasn't certain, but the expression the Doctor held as he reached over to undo hers was distracted, rather than disgusted. “Doctor?”

“Did you hear them?” He waited only a moment before continuing, striding toward the rather ineffectual looking wooden door. “Their lieutenant. He said something—couldn't quite catch it through the mob--”

“Which you caused.”

“Something about swapping the magnetic polarity of the planet.” He knelt down in front of the door to study the aging lock a moment, before shoving one of the discarded cuffs into the oversized keyhole.

She frowned, and rubbed at a sore wrist, as she moved to stand behind him. “Doctor, they still hunt witches on this planet. They wouldn't even know what those words mean.”

He gave the door a harsh shove, and the wooden structure swung open. She would have thought it a bit pathetic, but then again she doubted whatever he'd done with the cuffs was an easily achieved thing. Regardless of how he didn't bother to look smug about it. “That's what worries me.”

“Maybe you misheard 'im?” They evidently didn't believe in guards outside the cells, because Rose didn't spot anyone in the halls they sprinted through.

“No.” He flattened himself against a wall, peering into the room that held their things a moment, before wandering into it. Evidently they didn't believe in guarding confiscated materials, either. Which was all the better for retrieving the screwdriver 2.0, but she was beginning to think—as she probably should have from the start—that the Doctor was on to something.

This all seemed rather haphazard and distracted.

“What, then? You think they've got some sort of hidden stash of technology somewhere? Found something, maybe?”

He twisted the screwdriver a bit—to setting 448B, she noted. Scanning for signs of advanced technology in the...something spectrum. She'd practiced with it over the years, as she'd practiced with their young TARDIS, but that one was still a bit tricky for her. “I don't think it's just technology. There's something more.”

She frowned, picking up her wristwatch and supplies from the table, before moving to stand next to him and look down at the screwdriver. “Something to th'East, apparently.”

He offered her a small smile and held out a hand. “What do you think, shall we go see what it is?”

She grinned and interlaced her fingers in an infinitely familiar gesture. “Lets.”

It didn't escape her notice that there lacked any guards in the corridors they maneuvered through. Not one. Even when they broke into a run to cover the distance between them and the technology, no one came to investigate the sounds. The strangest part of it was, she was sure the corridors had been full an hour before, when they'd been led to the cell.

She didn't need to point it out to the Doctor. She could see by his expression that he'd noticed as well. She could see just as easily he hadn't any solid ideas where they'd gone.

Fortunately, they didn't have long to wait. The source of the technology wasn't all that far away from them, only on the other side of the Capitol complex. Behind a significantly sturdier door.

The Doctor gave an amused scoff. “Faux-wood.” He rapped his knuckles against it, and though it certainly looked like wood, the answering clang was clearly metallic. “Terrible at pretending to be wood once you're up close. But still far beyond what this culture should have.” Not so far beyond that the sonic had any trouble sending it swinging inward, but if she were unimpressed by the door, she was too distracted by the distinctly technological walls within.

He spoke up before she could, in the form of an appreciative sound. “Oh so that's it. Someone's landed here!” He grinned over at her briefly, before taking a step through the door. She wasn't even surprised to turn around and see a hatch instead of a door when she followed after.

“A perception filter?”

“Not quite. Bit more primitive.” He gestured to the steel-toned walls around them as they walked down the corridor. “This entire building was built around the ship. The outer walls of the ship are adaptive—that's what the faux-wood was outside. The stone would have been faux-stone, too. It's not very efficient, but then, they're hiding from something a bit bigger than clever, nosy village folk.” He glanced over his shoulder. “You're a fugitive. Wanted by three systems, all conveniently at the very longest range this ship can reach.”

She spun around in time to see the Mayor fold her hands over her waist. “I suppose you're here for the reward?”

“I could be.” There was a dangerous caste to his eyes. The sort that he got when he was deeply offended by something. Something worse than willfully causing global disaster, or...doing whatever she'd done to earn a bounty. Rose remembered reading something about it at the last planet they'd visited, but she hadn't paid it much mind. They weren't exactly intergalactic bounty hunters.

The woman must have seen the look, too, because her posture shifted, and she slipped her hands to her hips. “Oh, but you're not, are you? Just unfortunately curious. And very rude.”

“I'm not the one about to kill ten million people.”

She shrugged.

Rose frowned. “But why, though? You're hidden here, yeah? No one's finding you, we wouldn't have even found you, why draw attention to yourself?”

“Because they will.” The Doctor was scowling now, still watching her. “It's only a matter of time, and the people searching for you, they'll only be slowed down by cheap tricks like a faux-skin on your ship. There's a cruiser just outside orbit already. But energy of that magnitude, that will propel this ship of yours far beyond their reach. Even if the cruiser survives and they connect the catastrophe with you, you'll be long gone, and a thousand years out.”

The woman clapped. “You are clever. And still rude. A lady likes to tell her own stories sometimes, you know.”

“Don't do this.” He shook his head. “There's other ways. These people love you, you can't just kill them!”

“What would you have me do? Stay and be caught? You said it yourself, if I stay here, I might as well turn myself in right now. And the sentence I'm facing is death. Do you have any idea the sort of death they have me slated for?”

“What happened at Alpha Five was a mistake, anyone can see that. You could get an appeal.” He took a step forward. “I'll represent you. We'll find a way. Just stop this.”

The woman offered a soft smile, and the kindliness that Rose had seen in it before now seemed twisted and mocking. How did she miss that before? “Generous as your offer is, I can't afford to take my chances. You understand.”

“You're committing genocide!”

“Read the official reports, dear Doctor, I already have before.” She shrugged. “What's one more?”

His hand, which had dropped Rose's some time during his pleading, clenched at his side, and she reached out to touch his arm, stepping forward. It had gone on long enough, obviously the Mayor wasn't going to listen, and Rose wasn't about to let the conversation continue. Not when the subject strayed so close to home. “Fine. Then we'll stop you doing it, and we'll take you back there ourselves. And you can handle th'justice system on your own.”

“You'll stop me.” The woman chortled. “The system's already started, and it can't be stopped. The only thing you'll be doing is accompanying me and my crew, and if you're less rude from here on, I'll let you go on your way when we arrive.”

Rose didn't have time to process her words before the Doctor had her hand in his once more, dashing down the corridors. “Doctor—”

“We'll find a way. It hasn't discharged yet, there'll be a way to divert the energy still!” He led the way down the corridors screwdriver first, following the signal of the machine. She couldn't manage saying anything else at the speed they ran, but the bulkheads already hummed with energy when they skidded to a halt at the open door.

Now they felt the need for a guard, who idly watched the charging machine, instead of the hallway. She rendered the man unconscious while the Doctor sped into the rooms and to the controls of the great machine.

He gave a yelp of pain and recoiled from the controls as she approached. “No luck, Doctor?” He glanced over at her briefly, tucking his free hand into his pocket. The machine crackled ominously as he studied it a moment. “Doctor, how long have we got?”

“Not long. She was stalling us!” He sounded disgusted, and shook his head. “If we'd come straight here--”

“Doctor.” She touched his shoulder. “There's no time for that now, yeah? We've just got to fix it. Nothin' the sonic screwdriver can't handle, yeah? Like you said. She wasn't expecting anyone like us to stop her.”

His expression softened as he turned to look at her. She knew that look, too. It was one of the ones she'd seen the most, next to his excitable, manic ones. His eyes were warm and so brown, so natural, she could hardly remember when they used to be blue. That ancient knowledge faded somewhat, and the intensity? The intensity was love he never hesitated to voice.

It was one of her favorites.

“...Yeah. You're right.” He smiled, and brought up a hand to touch her cheek. “Don't know where I'd be without you.”

“Stumblin' about some strange alien marketplace makin' an idiot of yourself.” She offered a small, amused grin, which he mirrored quickly enough to soothe the worry that had started to brew in her. “Now, c'mon. Got a world to save, yeah?”

He nodded, glancing at the machine briefly. “Oh, it's simple enough. Here.” He pressed the sonic screwdriver to her hands. “Setting 3EC thirty seconds after I start.”

“We're reversing it?”

“Can't turn it off. Can't discharge it.” He shrugged. “Just need to make a few manual adjustments, use the setting, and we're done!”

“Sounds easy enough, then.” She nodded, glancing down to set the screwdriver. When she looked up, he had that soft look on his face again, but it was gone as soon as she'd noticed, and he started toward the machine.

She grabbed his arm. “Doctor, what aren't you telling me?”

“Quite a bit of technological jargon?” He tried for innocent. Either he'd gotten worse at it, or she'd gotten more familiar with him. Either way, he couldn't have looked more guilty if she'd caught him in the TARDIS cookie jar. In fact he hadn't when she did.

“Doctor, what's wrong?”

“Rose.” The innocent look was only grim now. “Ten million people are going to die if we don't stop that in the next two minutes.”

“I've dealt with two minute deadlines before.” She tightened her grip on his arm. “What's wrong? What's going to happen when you go over there and reverse the flow of that machine?”

His expression wavered. “Could be nothing, Rose. Nothing to worry about.”

Two minutes. She couldn't just stare. She had to keep her wits, or an entire planet would burn. “What's. Going. To happen?”

His expression turned apologetic. So apologetic, And she just...couldn't hold his gaze, because, five and nine years later, it still dragged her back to a beach in the middle of nowhere. It still broke her heart. “Rose, I'm sorry...”

“Tell me what happens!” She needed to know. Right that moment. She needed to know that it'd hurt people, that it'd destroy the ship in orbit, that it'd leave her crippled. That it was anything but what her mind was drawn to.

“All that energy, Rose, it's got to go somewhere. There's only one place it can go without destroying the planet. Without destroying this ship.” He cupped her face in his hands, and she noted the hand he'd tucked in her pocket had an angry red burn across it. “And I'm so, so sorry. There's no other way.”

She shook her head, and when she spoke, she wasn't certain she'd really given voice to her thoughts, or simply thought strongly. It sounded just as loud to her own ears. “We'll run away.”

He smiled that same sad smile she hated to see, and his voice echoed barely louder than hers. “We won't make it.”

“No.” She shook her head, more strongly this time. “No, you can't. You can't!”

“I'm sorry.”

“Stop—stop saying that!” She took a step back, and he took a step forward, refusing to lose contact. “Find another way. You promised me, so you find another way!”

He closed his eyes a moment, and shook his head. “If I had more time...if we'd gotten here sooner, Rose maybe, but there's no time. There's no time, and I'm sorry, Rose. I can't. Not this time.”

His thumbs swept at damp cheeks, and when had she started crying? Or shaking quite so badly?

She found she didn't care.

She opened her mouth to say something, to find some way to change his mind or find another answer, but nothing came. Nothing.

He pulled her up into a kiss not unlike their first on the beach. How very like him to ruin that memory. How very...very...

He rested his forehead against hers. “I love you, Rose.”

Her words came out stuttering, and he kissed her again, gently this time, before dashing underneath the machine, yanking and swapping cords. She screamed something, she was sure. She wasn't certain what, even as she did, but he looked up then. He looked up, and those wonderful brown eyes, those eyes she'd never see again, pleaded silently. It wouldn't reverse without her. Without the screwdriver it'd probably only overload and kill everyone on the planet.

A part of her wished her shaking hands would drop the screwdriver even as she lifted it.

There was a flash of blue—was it the screwdriver or the machine? Someone screamed, and she thought it might have been herself.

The scream faded with the crash of the machine, and there was nothing.

Current Mood: calm
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[identity profile] mysticallight6.livejournal.com on September 28th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Interesting opening. Can't wait for more! :)
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[identity profile] darkbunnyrabbit.livejournal.com on September 28th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
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[identity profile] feerocious.livejournal.com on September 29th, 2010 07:15 am (UTC)
OOOO this looks great :D
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[identity profile] darkbunnyrabbit.livejournal.com on September 29th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D
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