In this new incarnation, the phrase, “I’m sorry,” came readily to the Doctor’s mind and lips, even when he wasn’t admitting fault. He often said it to express regret or sympathy, or to acknowledge suffering and cosmic injustice that even he couldn’t remedy.
But here on New Earth, watching Cassandra die and be mourned only by a younger version of herself, the Doctor didn’t feel the slightest bit sorry. The phrase didn’t come to his mind or his lips, not once as she cradled her own expiring body and called for help. No regret. No sympathy. Nothing.
For the second time, Cassandra had put Rose in danger. Even more monstrous, Cassandra had violated her. Took Rose’s body, invaded her mind, perused her thoughts – the damning evidence spoken from his own mouth by Cassandra: “You’ve been looking. You like it.”
The Doctor ached to hear of Rose’s feelings; he’d imagined her whispering them, hand clasped with his, body close and warm and deliciously human. But never, never did the Doctor imagine he’d hear them because her autonomy had been taken away and her mind desecrated.
Cassandra had violated the Doctor, as well. Horrifying enough, but something he could perhaps forgive. His race was, after all, telepathic. His mind could accommodate a mingling of consciousnesses; it was equipped for the strain. The human brain, on the other hand, was delicate. Unaccustomed to bearing the weight of two consciousnesses. Miraculously, Cassandra hadn’t obliterated every trace of Rose when she pillaged Rose’s body. Even more miraculously, she hadn’t damaged her intellect or personality or any other of a thousand facets that made Rose Rose.
The Doctor’s hands balled into fists. His hearts thundered, full of shadows and blood. His ears roared and his vision turned grey. His wrath was a shaft of crimson, beaming through the center of his soul, illuminating universes laid to waste and realities annihilated. He saw the turn of the cosmos cease; he saw himself make it happen. His fingers trembled with the need to pull a trigger, to flip a switch, to build engines of destruction and put them to use.
His Rose. Violated. Nearly lost, just as he’d nearly lost her on Satellite Five.
Never again. Not even if he had to tear apart the fabric of reality. Not even if protecting her reduced him to ash and bone.
His Rose. Her voice reeled him back from the precipice, away from unfathomable depths of fury and destruction. He schooled his breath to evenness and his pounding hearts to sedation. For Rose. Because what she needed right now was comfort, not vengeance.
The Doctor’s vision cleared. In front of him, Cassandra was dead. Without a glance back, he followed Rose into the TARDIS.
# I like New Earth # But if you think about the actual experience of having your mind and body violated by another consciousness # The whole thing is actually rather horrifying # Doctor Who # The Doctor # Rose Tyler # Doctor/Rose # OTP to end all OTPs # fanfic # ficlet
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