A/N: So, this story begins when the Doctor has traveled with Martha for a bit and she leaves, though this story doesn't include that scene. Never really cared for Martha, so the least I had to write her character, the better. This story might continue for quite a while, if reviews want it to. I have anticipated plans for it, and they involve the reappearance of old faces mixed with some new ones. I love to write in new characters, so prepare to be surprised with new loves. Rose is meant to be a mystery, so if you're confused, it's actually a good thing ;)
I hope you like the story, please leave some feedback. Haven't been on here in what feels like centuries. Thanks!
The planet they were on astounded Martha to no end. The skies were soaked in deep reds and oranges. It reminded her of lava, but the Doctor told her it was indeed the sky. The mountains were reddish brown and looked like they had snowcaps, but the Doctor told her that it was ash, not snow.
"This planet is burning itself alive," The Doctor said, looking out across the vast landscape at nothing in particular.
Martha nodded beside him, feeling a deep pain in her chest for this dying planet. "Well, is there any people here? What will they do?"
The Doctor looked down at the ground and then over at Martha. "There's no one here. They've been gone a long while. Probably figured their home was a lost cause and left it to die."
Martha sighed. "They couldn't do anything to save it?"
The Doctor just shook his head. "No. Too far gone."
Martha nodded. She had hoped he would elaborate more, but lately he didn't elaborate on much of anything. He had gotten even more distant than was typical for him. Martha knew he had had a hard time, but Martha tried her best to be there for him. He just didn't want to let her in. She knew why. He was hung up on his last companion, she who plagued Martha's dreams and she didn't even know the girl. It just hurt to want to be so close to him and he didn't want to be close to her. She had handled the rejection time and time again, and she figured she should tell him soon that she had decided to leave. It wasn't going anywhere, he wasn't opening up to her, he kind of acted like he didn't want her there, and that just wasn't going to be okay anymore.
Martha kept the tears inside, pushed them deep down, and stared out at the beautiful wasteland, her jaw hardening. She could do anything. She wasn't a soft person, she was strong and determined to not fall apart because an alien didn't return her feelings. She would survive…she would go on. Hold on…
Something moved…something out on the plains. She glanced at the Doctor, but he hadn't seemed to have noticed it. She looked again, but whatever it was had vanished. She shook her head, trying to clear it.
"Can we go now?" Martha asked.
The Doctor raised an eyebrow but motioned his long arm toward the TARDIS. Martha stepped inside, and the Doctor straightened but looked out over the planet again. His eyes filled with unshed tears as he realized again what the universe kept shoving in his face…
The Doctor turned and entered his TARDIS, feeling the weight of the universe on his shoulders. He felt like he carried it all on his own.
The Doctor stood outside the flats of Powell Estate. It was dark, and he kept to the shadows so he wouldn't be seen. He just wanted to see Rose again. He just needed to see her eyes sparkling in the night one more time. He told himself every time that he was done with this that he could forget her and move on, but he had to be honest…he would never forget Rose Tyler. He knew that most nights she got home about this time and that he had definitely came before Henrik's was blown up thanks to the whole plastic coming alive incident. It was important, of course, that he didn't overlap his timelines. He heard heavy footsteps and turned from his hidden stance to see her, Rose Tyler, running in his direction. She looked different…not at all like he expected her to look. Her hair was long, very long, and braided. There were thick braids and thin braids and they were all woven together. She was wearing what looked like the outfits the Native Americans used to wear. It looked like animal skin shirt and skirt. Her boots looked like leather, as well. Something was off, for sure. She didn't look like his Rose.
She ran, her braids collapsing down her back with each stride. He had been so caught up in seeing her again that he hadn't noticed that her face showed that she was scared, that she was running from something. She was running at breakneck speed, as well. The Doctor straightened slightly, torn as to whether he should make his presence known. He didn't have to wait long.
Rose ran past his vantage point and as soon as she passed where he was hidden behind a dumpster, she dead stopped in the middle of the street. Her back became rigid, and she was breathing heavily as she turned and looked the Doctor right in the eyes. The Doctor's breath was taken away. For so long, he had wanted to see those eyes again, to see her face again. It took the breath right from his lungs, even with his superior Time Lord physiology. Oh. How he had missed her…
"Doc…Doctor?" She breathed, standing still as stone. Her eyes searched the shadows.
How could she possibly know him? Discovered, the Doctor walked into the light from the streetlamps.
"Rose Tyler," The Doctor spoke reverently, coming towards her.
Rose's mouth fell open.
"No, no…what are you doing here?" Rose asked, gesturing to the general area with her arms.
The Doctor looked down, sort of ashamed at himself.
"I, uh…was just passing through. Why do you know me, Rose? It's 2004. You shouldn't know me yet," The Doctor furrowed his brow, thoroughly confused.
Rose closed her eyes, lowering her head. "I…Doctor, this…I'm not that Rose."
"What do you mean?" The Doctor asked.
Rose finally came closer to the Doctor and she smiled. "I'm not Rose…Well, it's a little complicated, but I'm not exactly Rose. Not that Rose, anyway."
"Then, who are you?" He asked, afraid to even ask it.
Rose closed her eyes. "I can't tell you. You know how it works."
The Doctor nodded, but his mind was going through every possible explanation trying to figure out what was going on.
"If you're not Rose, what are you doing here?" The Doctor asked, hoping this would be his way into knowing what was going on.
"Well…I'm actually looking for my mate, he's supposed to be…around here somewhere. I got separated from him a while back and we planned to meet back up near here," She explained.
"What kind of mate is it?" The Doctor couldn't help but ask. This version of himself gets so jealous it's ridiculous.
Rose laughed. "Just an old mate. You'd like him, I think."
The Doctor smirked. He probably wouldn't. How dare any other man hang out with his Rose.
"So, I'd better be off," Rose said after a few moments. She began backing away, but then came forward and gave the Doctor a tight hug, "It was great to see you, Doctor."
The Doctor enjoyed Rose's short hug, every moment of it. He savored the feeling of holding her again, of her smell even though it smelled a bit different, the way her hair tickled his face. That's when he felt it. There was a pull inside his hearts and inside his mind, pulling him towards her almost without control. He found himself almost gasping at the strength of this feeling. Rose stiffened in his arms and wrenched herself away. The Doctor had been reaching for that feeling with his mind without control.
Rose stared at him at arm's length. "What…what were you doing?"
"Rose…I feel something…something is different," The Doctor told her.
Rose looked down and turned away from him, his arms falling limp at his sides.
"I have to go," Rose sadly voiced, walking away.
The Doctor ran in front of her, grabbing her shoulders and stopping her.
"Rose, I just felt something I haven't felt in a millennium. Did you…did you feel it, too?" The Doctor asked, almost terrified to hear her answer.
Rose closed her eyes and sighed, dropping her head in defeat. "Doctor, I can't say anything that might jeopardize the future. You know that, so please stop asking."
The Doctor noticed her, really noticed her now. He looked Rose up and down, taking in her unruly hair, her clothes that were made of some sort of leather material, her eyes that were the same deep brown he remembered so well, but there was something hidden deep inside them. He knew there was more to this than Rose was telling him. He felt drawn to her, and it was more than the normal way he felt drawn to her. He decided not to press it. If Rose was from the future, then she knew best what he should and shouldn't know.
"Fine. I just…can't help but have this feeling there's something different about you." He spoke softly, secretly still trying to figure out what was happening.
Rose smiled and reached to touch his arm gently. "Bye, Doctor."
The Doctor smiled and nodded to her. Rose turned and ran away from the Doctor, who watched her until she disappeared from sight. The Doctor waited another hour, but his anticipated younger Rose didn't show. He must have come at a bad time to catch her outside. Sighing heavily, he walked back inside the Tardis.
"Well, she wasn't there, old girl. Where do you wanna go?" He asked his sentient ship, his hearts heavy with loss.
The Tardis answered him with a single resounding hum at the back of his mind, and the Doctor felt just a teeny tiny bit less alone. But, still, he couldn't shake the image of the wild and untamed version of Rose Tyler that he had just met. She didn't look or act like the Rose he knew, but he also knew that it was definitely Rose. How had she projected such powerful telepathy was the real question. He had felt the tendrils of her mind grasping at the edges of his. He had seen just a small glimpse into her soul in that moment, and he felt what she was feeling if only briefly. Confusion, hurt, guilt, sadness, loss, but…one emotion the Doctor would never admit to feeling, at least in this body. He had felt love, and it hadn't been his own. He had felt Rose's love for him and it almost sent him to his knees when there, in the Tardis, he realized that it was the only conclusion for the powerful emotion he had felt when her mind, apparently unknowingly to her, had reached for him. The love of Rose Tyler for her Doctor. Now that is a powerful thing.
Deciding not to wallow anymore, he mentally picked himself up, dusted himself off, and began turning the crisp gears of his ancient mind again.
"Where should we go next, girl?" He asked, this time with a smile on his face.
On a distant planet far into the future:
The Tardis landed with a thud and the Doctor poked his head out, sniffing the air. It felt like he was in the right place, and it smelled like he was in the right place. He stepped out with a smile, ready to see what adventures awaited him, even if he were alone.
I am still deciding whether or not to continue this. Obviously there are tons of unanswered questions, but I also don't have a ton of time. Please review and I thank all of you in advance!