The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. That you don’t just give up. You don’t let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what’s right even when everyone else runs away. And I just can’t!
Words still pounding through her veins, Rose collapsed onto the bench to catch her breath. She had taken off from the chip shop and kept running until her lungs burned and her eyes stung, and she hadn’t meant to end up at this empty lot, but here she was. She’d played here every weekend during childhood, kicked around a football with Mickey and his mates. This place was her past – every way London and the Powell Estates had shaped the person she became. The girl who didn’t finish her A-Levels. Who didn’t go to uni. Who worked in a shop and spent her days waiting for the next twenty-four hours, hoping they’d be more exciting than the last twenty-four but never daring to believe.
Mickey’s voice broke her reverie. “You can’t spend the rest of your life thinking about the Doctor.”
How he’d found her, Rose didn’t know – he must’ve run right after her out the door of the chip shop. His words pierced her melancholy bubble. It deflated into a misshapen pile of anger. Was Mickey really so thick? She’d already yelled at him — and her mum – so she didn’t bother to raise her voice again. “How do I forget him?”
“You gotta start living your own life,” Mickey said, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. “A proper life, the sort he’s never had. The sort of life you could have with me.”
The prospect danced through her head. Days working in a shop. Nights watching football on telly with Mickey. Someday, feeding and diapering squalling babies. Buying groceries. Taking a paycheck to the bank. Sweeping the floor and drinking a pint and pining after a position in management.
Funny thing was, there wasn’t anything wrong with any of that. It could be a good life. An excellent one, even. There was real happiness to be found in some of those things.
But Mickey was right – she had to start living her own life. Before the Doctor, she was in a holding pattern that revolved around Mickey and her mum. With the Doctor, she felt like she was along for the ride. And here she was back in London, still in the passenger’s seat. The Doctor might’ve thought he was protecting her, but all he did was show Rose exactly how much the life she was living wasn’t her own. Not once had she decided the destination.
Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.
And that’s what everything came down to. A fantastic life. Anything short of a life with the Doctor would be less than fantastic. It didn’t have anything to do with what the Doctor could show her, or his TARDIS, or his astonishing lifestyle … it was him. The man. Too curious for his own good, moody, intent on fixing everything, prone to stumble into every bit of trouble available. Gruff and rude and imperfect and the only person she could imagine going through life alongside.
This last year of traveling had been eye-opening, and Rose realized she’d been thinking of it as something of a gap year. An adventure before her real life began. But it wasn’t a gap year, not at all. It was the rest of her life.
She wasn’t going to be a passenger anymore. And she wasn’t going to settle for anything less than fantastic. And those two things meant that, no matter how difficult, she had to find her way back to the Doctor.
In that moment of utter clarity, Rose lifted her eyes from her feet and stared at the blacktop of the empty lot. Scrawled in spraypaint were two words she was certain had not been there before.As though they had been written by an invisible hand while her thoughts crystallized, while she seized the controls of her own life, while she made the choice to find a way back to the Doctor, no matter the cost.
# Ania sorry it isn't very good # And sorry it took forever # crazyandsexy # Doctor Who # Rose Tyler # fanfic # ficlet
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