Her name was Rose.
The Doctor stared at Donna.
He dare not cry.
He would not cry.
Not in front of her.
He was the Doctor. He was always in control of everything including his emotions. He felt a tear forming in his left eye and he knew he had to break eye contact and go back inside before he lost it completely. Finally after what seemed like ages, the Doctor went back inside the TARDIS and closed the door.
He hurried over to the console praying Donna wouldnt call him back again. He felt tears blurring his vision as he ordered the TARDIS to take him as far away from Donna as they possibly could go.
As the TARDIS began its familiar wheezing rhythm, the Doctor sank down to the floor and finally let his emotions take over as his head fell into his hands and he wept uncontrollably.
As he cried, he laid his head back against the console, and caught something out of the corner of his eye. He looked over to Roses shirt lying on the floor in the corner of the room. He stared at it hating himself for bringing it into the room.
He had gone into her room after he had lost her with the pretense of packing up her things. But looking around at her stuff, memories came flooding back to him and he just couldnt bring himself to do it. Instead, he began rifling through her things; feeling, touching, tasting, smelling trying to hold on to some part of her. Then, he opened her dresser drawer and saw it. The shirt. The shirt she had worn on the first place he had taken her in his current body. Memories flooded his mind. New Earth, The Sisters of Plentitude, The Face of Boe, the cloned humans. It all came rushing back like a tidal wave, threatening to overwhelm him.
He remembered how beautiful she looked in the shirt. How he thought the color purple suited her. He held it to his body and as his fingers held the fabric, he imagined holding her. As he put the shirt to his nose and inhaled, he caught a faint whiff of her scent and tears ran down his cheeks as he remembered smelling that scent a thousand times before whenever they embraced, whenever she lay her head on his shoulder, the smell of her on his fingertips after they had held hands. He had taken her for granted. When she stood with him on Alphasia 5 and they watched the Mantabats flying around them as the suns set in the sky; he asked her how long she would stay with him and smiled as she told him Forever. And he had actually believed that. What an idealistic fool he had been. He should have known. The universe had never treated him with kindness and it never would. Love was both a blessing and a curse. A joy and a torment. Being in love felt so wonderful, but the pain of loss was worse than any torture the Doctor had ever experienced. He wondered if he would ever get over Rose and he feared the day he actually might.
Rising to his feet, the Doctor went and retrieved the shirt and held it to his chest just as he had done so many times when he had waited and prayed for Rose to answer his call. When he had finally found her, he had put the shirt on the railing just in case Rose was able to see it. He didnt want to have to answer a lot of embarrassing questions about it. He had been so upset after the gap had closed that it had completely slipped his mind that the shirt was there until he looked up and Donna was shoving it in his face and screeching at him about abducting Rose. He damned her for doing that and damned himself for being so weak that he had to carry around a shirt like a childs security blanket.
And now, he was at it again.
What am I doing? Its just a shirt. A cheap, little shirt. Its not her, you fool, he muttered to himself.
But in a way it was. It was a link. A tangible link to her and unlike her, it was something he could touch and hold on to. So, he closed his eyes and walked around the console room as the TARDIS flew him to God-knows-where. Walking and holding the shirt and remembering all the happy times they had shared together.
His eyes snapped open as he heard the familiar thump indicating that the TARDIS had landed. He walked over to the computer screen and his face drained of all color as he saw where they had landed.
Oh no. No. Please not here, he said to the TARDIS. Take me somewhere else. Anywhere but here.
Go outside. the TARDIS said telepathically.
No, I wont.
Go outside. Someone needs your help.
Well, theyll just have to help themselves for a change. Im not available.
Go help her.
The Doctor sighed angrily. He knew the TARDIS wouldnt leave no matter how much he pleaded with her. Cursing his ships stubbornness, he stomped towards the front door.
He paused as he realized he was still holding the shirt in his hand. He started to throw it down, but then thought better of it. He needed this tiny bit of comfort right now no matter how goofy it might look to this mystery woman. Besides, given their destination, It seemed appropriate that it accompany him.
Sticking it in the waistband of his trousers, he buttoned up his jacket and put on his leather coat. Walking to the door, he put his hand on the door handle, took a deep breath and stepped outside into
He flinched when he saw skyline of New New York. The TARDIS hadnt landed in the exact same place as before but it was pretty close. As the hovercars whizzed over his head towards the city, he got a sudden urge to lie down. Taking off his coat, he spread it on the apple grass and with a sad sigh, lowered himself onto it. Reaching under his jacket for the shirt, he pressed it close to his hearts as he stared up at the sky. As he listened to the cars engines roaring overhead, he turned his head and his eyes misted over as he imagined Rose lying beside him; leaning upon her elbow and smiling at him as she did that day.
Oh my love, he murmured. I miss you so much.
He lay for a few minutes more until the memories became unbearable. Stuffing the shirt back in his waistband, he rose up from the ground, put his leather coat back on and with a sigh of resignation began walking towards a nearby hill wanting to find this mystery woman and do whatever the TARDIS wanted him to do so she would fly him away from here and never return.
Reaching the top of the hill, he looked down and saw that this was the place where his TARDIS had landed before. He looked over at the hospital; he was surprised to find it was no longer there. He frowned in confusion for a moment and then reasoned that it must have been demolished sometime after the sisters arrest to cover up the evidence of their underground labs.
Good riddance, the Doctor muttered.
As he uttered those words, a thought occurred to him. He wondered what had become of the clones? He hoped that someone was helping them assimilate into society and they hadnt been abandoned or shipped off to other labs to be experimented on.
As his eyes drifted over towards the riverbank, he spied a lone woman standing and staring quietly out at the river. The Doctor raised his eyebrows.
I guess this must be the damsel in distress, he said dryly.
He looked around him half expecting Daleks or Cybermen or Slitheen to appear over the horizon and start attacking the women en masse. Seeing none, he looked back at her and watched as she just stood and stared off into the distance.
Okay, what am I supposed to help this woman with? he muttered to himself.
His eyebrows rose as he watched her disrobe. Completely naked, she stood for a few minutes more on the riverbank and then she waded in and slowly walked further into the river. The Doctor watched as she got a few feet out and then lowered herself under the water. He watched waiting for the woman to surface.
Suddenly, the Doctors eyes widened in alarm as he realized what the woman was doing.
Oh no! he cried out as he sped down the hill.
He quickly pulled off his coat, Jacket, and Roses shirt and threw them to the ground as he sped down to the river.
Without a moments thought, he hurried in and dived down where he had last seen the woman go in. Using his respiratory bypass system, he swan down through the murky depths; his eyes adjusting to the gloom as he searched all around him for the woman.
At last, he spied her lying unconscious on the bottom of the river. Wrapping her arms around her, he quickly swam to the surface holding her to him. Once he broke through the surface, he frantically swam for shore noticing out of the corner of his eye that the womans skin was now a pale blue. Heaving himself and the woman up on the riverbank, he got up on his knees and quickly began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Come on, come on, he muttered between breaths.
Just when he was about to lose all hope, the woman sputtered and coughed and the Doctor breathed a sigh of relief as she began to cough up water from her lungs. He quickly took her pulse and smiled as he noticed they were returning to normal. He sat beside her and watched her as she began to breathe normally. When she had recovered enough to speak, he leaned over and smiled at her.
Hello. Im the Doctor. Whats your name?
The woman gasped.
Alexandra, she said.
Nice to meet you.
Am I dead?
No, I saved you.
Why did you do that? she spat out.
The Doctor was taken aback.
Because you were trying to kill yourself!
So, what do you care?
I care because I think suicide is wrong. Its a stupid way to resolve problems. Nothing in life is worth killing yourself over. Especially not for a problem that in the grand scheme of things probably doesnt amount to much.
You dont know my problem.
Well, then tell me. Because I want to know what problem is so insurmountable in your life that you just cant bear to face it head on, the Doctor replied angrily.
I lost the love of my life two days ago. He was killed by a drunk driver and I just cant bear to live without him, okay? Alexandra spat out.
The Doctor stared at Alexandra.
Im sorry, he said sympathetically.
I dont need your pity.
I wasnt giving you pity. I was giving you my condolences.
Well, I dont want that either.
The Doctor sighed as he lowered his head into his hands and shook it. He just got done putting up with Donna; he didnt want another snotty person to deal with. He wanted to just get up and go back to the TARDIS but he knew it wouldnt work. She wouldnt budge until he helped this woman out.
Look, Im sorry, Alexandra said. I just wanted to die and Im a little upset that you rescued me.
Yeah, well, there are some days I feel like chucking it in and killing myself too, but I dont.
Why dont you?
Because I enjoy living too much, the Doctor said. There is a lot of bad in this universe but the good far outweighs the bad and I keep looking for the good in order to keep going. If you did that, you would find that there was so much you had to live for, Alexandra.
John was my life and without him in it, I dont want to go on.
Well, I understand perfectly because I lost the love of my life too and I do want to go on because I know shed want me to.
She looked at him.
You lost someone too?
Yes, I did. She was everything to me like John was to you. And I understand your feelings, Alexandra, really I do. Since I lost her there are some days I just want to go and lie in my bed and let the world pass me by. But like I said, she would never forgive me if I did that.
What was her name?
The Doctor hesitated.
Rose. Her name was Rose, he said.
I love that. Its a beautiful name.
The Doctor smiled.
Yes, it is. A beautiful name for a beautiful lady.
She looked at him.
Howd you meet her?
The Doctor paused. How to explain the Autons and the Nestene Consiousness to her? He decided not to go into that part of it.
bumped into her one day, he said.
Heh, thats how John and I met.
The Doctor smiled, happy to have an opportunity to steer the conversation away from Rose.
Really? What happened? he asked.
I was taking a vacation on Davron. Do you know where that is?
Yes, I do. It is a great place for a vacation.
Well, I was sunning myself on the beach near Arcon City and John was there jogging along and listening to his holodisc player and
She giggled at the memory.
The stupid idiot was so absorbed in the music that he didnt see me and tripped right over me and landed face first in the sand.
The Doctor chuckled.
Kind of an embarrassing way to meet, he said.
Yup, Alexandra said, nodding. But I accepted his apology and he offered to take me out to dinner in return for bothering me. So we went up to a little restaurant up the road and talked and he was just so charming and funny and sweet that I fell in love with him and six months later we were engaged.
She paused and her eyes misted over.
We were going to be married today if that drunk driver hadnt
She trailed off and the Doctor laid a hand on her shoulder, comforting her as she began to cry.
Im so sorry, Alexandra. Really I am, he said.
He watched helplessly as Alexandra cried softly. He didnt know what to do other than sit with her and let her know that someone did care.
After awhile, Alexandras crying lessened to sobs and she looked at the Doctor.
so sorry about that.
Crying in front of you like that.
Alexandra, its perfectly understandable. Its okay to cry in front of other people if you need to.
The Doctor paused remembering how desperate he had been to get away from Donna so she wouldnt see him cry. He felt like a huge hypocrite.
Alexandra sniffed and looked at the Doctor.
what about you and Rose? You said you bumped into her, she said. Then, what happened?
The Doctor flinched.
Please, Alexandra said. I want to hear. I need something to get my mind off John for a moment so I can stop crying. Please? Tell me about her.
The Doctor stared at his hands.
Well, after I
bumped into her. I asked her to accompany me on my travels.
Really? You travel?
Yes, Im an adventurer and I love having people with me when I travel and there was no one with me at the moment and I asked Rose to come along and go to other planets and have adventures with me.
Wow, pretty cool. Beats my job as a personal assistant.
The Doctor laughed.
So, you started out friends and became lovers then? she asked.
Yup. Mind you, I didnt intend for it to be that way. But shes a lot like John. Shes just so amazing and funny and cute that I couldnt help falling in love with her.
The Doctor smiled as he felt a weigh lift off his shoulders. He had been hesitant about talking about Rose but the more he talked, the better he felt.
She sounds great. You wouldnt happen to have a picture of her, do you? Alexandra said. Id love to see what she looks like.
Well, I do. But Id love to see what John looks like as well. Do you have a picture of him?
Yup, I do. Its in my clothes.
She glanced down and suddenly realized she was still nude.
Oh geez! she said, throwing her arms over her breast and crouch. Im sorry. Im sitting her completely starkers.
The Doctor laughed.
Under the circumstances, I think its understandable, he said.
get my clothes back on and get the picture of John for you, she said, gesturing to her clothes lying a few feet away.
The Doctor nodded.
I need to retrieve some of the clothes I threw off when I dove in to save you and Ill get my picture of Rose from them.
Alexandra stared at his damp shirt and trousers.
Oh God, I am so sorry. I made you ruin your clothes.
Oh dont worry about it. Wont be the first pair Ive ruined, the Doctor said, holding up his hand. All that matters to me is youre alive.
Really. Youre a nice woman, Alexandra. I would hate to think a nice woman like you ended up dead at the bottom of a river.
She gave him a soft smile.
Thanks. For everything.
And Im sorry I snapped at you earlier.
The Doctor held up his hand.
I understand completely.
Alexandra nodded. She got up and went over to get her clothes as the Doctor rose and went to retrieve his. He gathered up Roses shirt, his coat, and his jacket and slung them over his arm. Reaching into his inside jacket pocket, he took out the photo of Rose he kept next to his sonic screwdriver and close to his right heart. He stared at it for a moment smiling at the memory before walking back. He laid his clothes on the ground, took his leather coat and spread it out for him and Alexandra as she walked back to him, fully dressed, clutching a small black disc in her hand.
Okay, the Doctor said, settling down on the coat. Lets see what John looks like.
Alexandra settled down to him. She pushed a small button on the disc and a 3D hologram rose up from it. The Doctor smiled as he stared at her and John sitting at a table in a darkened restaurant. They were clinking Champaign glasses together as they smiled for the camera.
Hes very handsome, the Doctor said.
This was taken the night he proposed. He had just gotten down on his knee and asked me, I accepted, and this couple at the next table offered to take our picture. I gave the guy who took it my address and when the disc developed, he sent it to me.
That was nice of him.
Yes, it was. Im so glad he did that.
He looked at the Doctor as he handed her his photo.
Whoa, this is a 2D photograph, she said, staring at it. Ive never seen one before.
She turned it over and looked at the white backing.
Pretty neat. Although I prefer holo-photos myself.
She turned it back over and stared at the photo. She giggled.
This is hilarious. Where was it taken?
The Doctor grinned.
At an amusement park. We went there awhile back on a little holiday and we got on the log ride and at the top of the final hill they snapped our picture. The woman sitting beside me screaming and squeezing the air outta my lungs is Rose.
She is very beautiful. You two look like you had a blast.
Oh we did. Thats why I keep this photo with me. Looking at it reminds me of all the good times we had that day.
Alexandra gave him a sad smile.
Im so sorry she died. She seemed like a good match for you.
shes not dead.
Shes not? Oh my God, where is she then?
The Doctor looked down at his hands.
The Doctor frowned. How to explain it to her without having to go into the concept of parallel universes?
In a far away place and Im not able to be with her anymore.
Because she was taken from me.
Alexandras eyes widened.
Oh my God, she was kidnapped? she said, horrified.
no, nothing like that. She and I got into trouble and her
rescued her and took her away where she would be safe. And Im letting her stay with him and her family so shell be safe.
And shes not safe with you?
Not really, no.
Is this danger related to your adventuring?
Yeah, it is. Um
we get into a lot of danger on our travels.
And did you lie to her when she joined you?
About the danger.
Oh no, I was very upfront with her about that. She knew there would be danger.
And were you in danger before this time?
So why the sudden need to send her away and protect her if she knew what she was getting into and had been through danger with you before?
The Doctor sighed.
Because Rose became my whole world and wed had so many close calls that I finally decided to just let her be with her family so I wouldnt have to risk seeing her die.
And is she okay with staying with her family?
The Doctor snorted.
No, but she doesnt have a choice either.
Alexandra stared at him in confusion.
Why? Is she on another planet with no way of getting of it?
You could say that. Shes stuck where she is and I have no way to reach her.
But youre not from around here, are you?
The Doctor hesitated.
The Doctor shook his head.
So Im assuming you have transportation that works. So why dont you use it and go get her.
Shes safer where she is.
Yeah, but I bet shes miserable as Hell. I know I would be if that happened to John and me. And Im assuming shes an adult.
Yes, she is.
Well, then its her decision to come along with you then. Let her make her own choice about whether or not she wants to face danger with you. For Christs sake, um, Doctor
She paused and looked at him.
just Doctor, he said to her.
Alexandra raised her eyebrow and gave him an odd look. She shrugged.
Doctor. Go get her, Doctor. If Rose means that much to you then be with her.
She looked at the Doctor who sat staring off into space.
Youre not telling me the whole story, are you? she said. Youre leaving things out, I can just tell from looking at your expression.
The Doctor sighed.
You wouldnt believe me if I told you.
Yeah? Try me.
She pointed over to where the hospital had been.
Doctor, six months ago, they arrested a bunch of alien cat nuns who were apparently growing their own personal batch of human clones to experiment on. Now those clones are living in special detention areas in the city while the mayor and the authorities try to figure out what to do with them. Human clones and cat nuns who run secret labs in the basements of hospitals. So I repeat, Doctor, try me.
The Doctor stared at her for a moment.
Okay, here goes.
He paused for a moment.
Im an alien, he said.
He stared at her waiting for a reaction.
And? Go on.
That doesnt shock you?
Cat nuns, remember.
The Doctor shrugged.
Okay, well, my space ship is just over that hill. It is called the TARDIS and it travels through time and space.
Alexandras eyes were as wide as saucers.
It does? Like a time machine?
Yes, it is a time machine. And since you keep mentioning the cat nuns, I know all about them. Rose and I were the ones to discover their secret labs and get them arrested in the first place.
Well, actually, Cassandra and I discovered the labs, I guess.
He waved his hand dismissively as Alexandra stared at him, confused.
Anyway, Ive been here before with Rose. The whole encounter with the cat nuns and the human clones was one of the adventures we had. And
on another one of our adventures, we fought two evil races that were threatening Old Earth back in the year 2006 and we found a way to suck them into a void between dimensions and Rose was about to follow them in when her father from a parallel dimension popped over, grabbed her and took her back with him. The void closed and she and I were separated forever in two different universes. I managed to find a gap big enough to send a projection of myself through to tell her goodbye but even that closed and now theres no way I can reach her. So there you have it. The whole story.
He folded his arms over his chest as Alexandra stared at him in shock.
Damn, that beats the Hell outta the cat nuns and cloned humans, she said.
Told you it was bizarre.
So, youre just gonna sit here on New Earth and have a pity party and not go after her then?
Im not sitting here having a pity party. Im sitting here trying to convince you not to get back in the water and drown yourself again.
Okay, youve convinced me. Now forget about me and go and get Rose back.
The Doctor let out an exasperated sigh as he looked up at the sky.
Didnt you just hear a word of what I said? She is stuck in a parallel universe with no way for me to get to her. Its impossible.
And youre sure about that?
Yes, Im sure.
Youve tried everything? Every possible thing you can think of to get her back?
The Doctor opened his mouth and paused as Alexandra stared at him expectantly.
Well, no, I guess not EVERY thing. He conceded. But I do know if I do try something and it goes wrong, I collapse this universe and the parallel one.
And shes not worth the risk?
I understand not wanting to collapse universes but Doctor, you have a golden opportunity here. You should count your blessings. Unlike my John, Rose is still alive and I know if it were John, I would search day and night to find a way back to him. Theres still a chance for you to be with her and go to more amusement parks and have more silly photos snapped of you on rides. Take that chance and throw caution to the wind and risk the universes for the one you love.
The Doctor gave her a half smile.
And if I fail and end up collapsing the universes in the process?
Well, I was gonna off myself anyway so I guess if you end up killing me in the process of getting Rose, It would be rude to come back and haunt you, she said.
She held up her hands as the Doctor raised her eyebrows.
Kidding, Im kidding. Im not gonna off myself if you leave. I give you my solemn word.
The Doctor stared at her for a moment, deep in thought.
Come with me. He finally said.
Come with you?
Yeah, come with me. Help me search for Rose.
Why? You think Im gonna rush into the river the moment youre gone?
No. Im just offering you something better than being a personal assistant on New Earth.
Alexandra thought for a moment.
Sounds tempting. But whats the catch?
The Doctor shrugged.
No catch. I just
need someone with me. A friend to share my adventures and have a few laughs with while I take this one in a million chance and figure out a way to get Rose back.
Alexandra considered that.
And therell be danger, I assume.
Yes, Ill be just as upfront with you as I was with Rose. It wont be quiet, it wont be safe, and it wont be calm. But Ill tell you what it will be
He paused and a grin spread over his face.
The trip of a lifetime, he said.
Oooo, well, since you put it that way.
She took his hand and shook it.
The Doctor grinned as he shook her hand.
Welcome aboard, Alexandra
Welcome aboard, Alexandra Stevens. Its nice to have you along. I look forward to having you aboard my TARDIS while I take this crazy chance and go rescue Rose.
TARDIS. My ship. Its just over the hill there, he said pointing.
Cool, Alexandra said, getting up. Well, what are we waiting for? Lets go get Rose!
Well, dont you want to say goodbye to anyone here?
Nah, my moms dead and my dad lives on another planet. Im an only child and I didnt really have anyone in my life besides John. At least no one close enough that they would care if Im leaving. And as for my job, sod it, it didnt pay much anyway.
The Doctor laughed.
Well, I think youll find the job I offer is more exciting.
Exactly. Ive always wanted to go and see the universe and I might as well take a chance too and go out and live.
Thats the spirit.
She smiled as they both got up.
Youre right, Doctor. If you wait long enough, good things always come along that make life worth living.
See I told ya so. So lets get moving then
He paused as he grabbed his coat.
or do you want to be called Alex or something like that?
Alex is fine. I like that better than Alexandra anyway. Alexandra sounds a bit formal
Fair enough, she said.
She took the Doctors hand as they started back over the hill. As they reached the top of the hill, Alex stopped and stared at the TARDIS.
That? she asked, pointing at it.
Yup, thats my ship.
You have got to be kidding me.
Nope, thats it. The TARDIS.
gonna be kinda cramped in there, isnt it?
The Doctor grinned.
Oh no, theres plenty of room inside, come and see!
Alex shook her head as he followed the Doctor down the hill. He got to the door, and spun around with his back to it. He paused a moment with a huge grin on his face as Alex caught up with him and then with a Voila! he threw open the door.
Alexs mouth fell open as she stared inside.
This is amazing, she said.
Yup, thats the word for it.
She grinned at him.
See, heres another impossible thing right before our eyes. A ship thats bigger on the inside than out. So if this impossible thing is possible
Then other impossible things are possible too, he added.
She patted him on the arm.
Just keep thinking that and youll have Rose back in no time, she said.
The Doctor grinned at her. He stepped aside and let Alex inside. As he stared at her looking around the interior in awe, he patted the door.
I take it back, old girl. You knew just what you were doing, he said.
when I started out to write this I meant this as a one shot where Alex would do what Donna did and decline the Doctors offer at the end. But I love writing Alex so much that Ive decided to make a series out of this. Mind you, this relationship will be platonic because Im die-hard Doctor/Rose shipper and nothing will ever change that. But the Doctor does need a friend and a fellow adventurer, so this is the first of the series. I hope you liked it!