In the beginning, after the end of the earth but before chips, Rose was careful with words. They were a commodity she wasn’t sure how to use with the Doctor. He spoke all the time, but never really said anything at all. On the other hand, Rose spoke her mind constantly. But standing on the bustling London sidewalk that day, her head full of the exploding sun and the end of her world, she treated words like eggshells.
In that crowd of pedestrians, for only the second time since they’d met, the Doctor really spoke. “You think it’ll last forever, people and cars and concrete. But it won’t. One day, it’s all gone. Even the sky. My planet’s gone. It’s dead. It burned, like the Earth. It’s just rocks and dust … I’m a Time Lord. I’m the last of the Time Lords. They’re all gone. I’m the only survivor. I’m left traveling on my own, because there’s no one else.”
I’ve shown you the raw, devastated hearts of me; I’ve made yours raw, too, he said without saying it, his blue eyes so very unyielding. Can you bear that? Can you bear me?
What kind of reply does a nineteen-year-old girl make, when she’s just witnessed the destruction of her planet and seen it restored again with the twirl of a TARDIS rotor? When she’s aching and reeling and standing next to the most mad, wonderful man in existence?
Careful words. Precise. Specific. A small promise. For today, yes. I can bear it. I can bear you.
In the end, after the Olympics but before the final visit to Jackie’s, Rose’s words were careful once more. She stood beside the Doctor on a wind-beaten cliff, overlooking a craggy landscape. This planet had burned long ago, but somehow life sprang up in the wake of destruction. Plants, water, and creatures so magnificent they defied the laws of physics with their flight. The Doctor brought her to this once-decimated place to bask in its beauty. He told her about the impossible odds of regrowth and this planet’s inexplicable, unparalleled existence.
They stood together in comfortable silence for a long time. He turned to her, his hair wild in the breeze. His words were few; his tone held a universe of meaning. “How long are you going to stay with me?”
Here are the beating hearts of me, he said without saying it, his brown eyes so very tender. Miraculous. Whole. Yours.
What kind of reply does a woman give, standing beside the man who has shared with her all of time and space? When he’s exposed the breadth of her bravery and strength, and shown her the infinite wonder of existence?
Rose speaks carefully this time, too – not because she’s uncertain, but because he must understand the depths of her promise. This single word means every part of me, devoted to you in return.
Graphic by bookishandi
# So Andrea made gorgeous graphics for some of my stories # And I wanted to put them where they belonged # Except my old post of this story is SO old (or something I don't even know) # that Tumblr won't let me replace the photo - the option isn't even there # so I'm just going to repost this one # With the graphic # As it should be # bookishandi # THANK YOU I LOVE THESE SO MUCH! # Doctor Who # The Doctor # Rose Tyler # OTP to end all OTPs # fanfic # ficlet
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