Summary: Two prophecies are given at the same time. One prophecy has the potential to shatter his entire world. The other has the potential to bring everything right back. Spoilers for episodes 4x01, 4x02, 4x03, also the Impossible Planet/the Satan Pit.
Disclaimer: Yeeeeeah, right. If I had that power I would have laid claim to Fox Mulder years ago....
Author's Notes: This all started with a hypothetical question: if the Ood's eyes are glowing red here, and they're all connected by one collective brain, does this mean that 1) the Ood from TIP/TSP are connected to this lot and 2) does this mean that TIP/TSP is happening at the exact same time as this? Which then spurred us on to thinking about the two sort of prophecies that could have been said at the exact same time. And while I told myself I was going to work on the next bit of Sonnets, this ended up falling out of the pen instead. It's not quite a reunion fic, but it's a step on the way, so to speak. Maybe it's just one more paean to the power of words. :)
Also, a gift for paiger1218. She knows why. :)
Eris: For the ancient Greeks, the concept of eris defines the combative nature of the universe, often resulting in agons between individuals, countries, and universal forces: Everything exists in a condition of cyclical opposites or contraries: hot-cold, good-evil, black-white, chaos-order. Conditions never remain stationary in a state of perpetual, perfect balance. Peace would naturally find its counterpart in war; hubris would find its counterpart in humility and understanding. Eris describes both the external (the universe/the macrocosm) and the internal (the individual/ the microcosm).
– Dr. D. A. Robinson
Across the reaches of space, deep in the heart of the 4th millennium earth common era, a prophecy is made. “And the lost girl, so far away from home. The valiant child who will die in battle so very soon,” the Beast speaks, shaking them to the core with his unholy hymn.
“Don’t listen,” he orders her, using his own words to negate the poisonous influence of the beast’s words. It’s an untruth, or so he wants to believe, something designed to shake the foundations loose and place doubt in the most firmly held of beliefs.
But there’s one belief even the snarling and flame-spitting visage of the Devil right in his face can never make him doubt. “I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demigods and would-be gods...Out of all that, out of that whole pantheon if I believe in one thing, just one thing, I believe in her.” And oh, does he ever.
Still, when they are back on the TARDIS and the adventure is over for this day, the Doctor goes to visit Rose in her bedroom. He finds her naked beneath her bedcovers, skin scrubbed raw to get the air of the Sanctuary Base off of her skin, and her sobs are muffled in a pillow. He strips off his own clothes and slides into the bed, curling around her back. Her fingers entwine with his and rest against the soft skin of her stomach. “The Beast lied,” he whispers into her hair. “You are not going anywhere, I promise.”
Rose looks over her shoulder at him with a small smile. If he can believe that, then she can try to as well. So she shifts around and presses her lips to his, letting their bodies fall into one another. His eyes fall shut and he loses himself in sensation, ignoring that tiny voice in the back of his head that still speaks in the Beast’s voice. He will not doubt her though, never. With a stroke of his hand and a flick of his tongue he focuses on her, the Valiant Child in his arms who is slowly growing into something more, something bigger and brighter than just a mere child.
But the universe slowly begins to tilt out of eris, and discord sets in, a screeching off-key note in the melody.
Somewhere else, close enough in the grand scheme of time to be nearly the same moment, another set of words is spoken. The Ood, the people that the Beast consumes for its own purposes in the game, offer up their own prophecy. “I think your song must end soon.” There is a moment of puzzlement, but the Doctor brushes it off. Questions and puzzles and songs are just a part of his long, strange life, and if he stopped every time someone said something off the beaten path to him, he’d never get anything done.
Songs of heartbreak, songs of despair, and songs of freedom, he thinks as he and Donna head into the TARDIS and set it moving once more. If that was the Ood’s song, then what did they think his was? A song of adventure, maybe, something highly appropriate as they fly helter-skelter through the vortex to only knows where. Yes, that works quite well. He chooses to ignore the idea of a song of loneliness, which could apply just as well, and focus on the next thing to see and make sure that his new mate is happy on her own adventures across the stars. No matter what happens though, he can’t forget – doesn’t want to forget – the Valiant Girl who forced him to face the music and dance.
The Ood’s translation isn’t as precise as their song is, and a crucial bit of information is lost between the real words of the Ood and what the Doctor heard. They forget to mention that while one song must end, another song always begins. And that sometimes this new song that begins is far better than the previous one. The new song could be symphonic, in a sense, little bits and pieces of a theme, snatches of a melody woven throughout the four movements and not making sense until all is revealed with a bang somewhere in the grand fourth movement. However the Ood don’t know this, but they know one thing. They know another prophecy, one passed through song for ages on the Ood-Sphere and intimately connected to the Doctor’s many songs.
“She is returning.”
At yet another point in time, the songs of two universes collide and harmonize, drawing them back to their original, balanced state. It takes time, though, this process of bringing the universes back into eris. And as things in the universes come back into balance, she can slide through on the melody and the harmony to get back to her home. It’ll take her a while though, to find exactly where she needs to be. She knows this and accepts it, because she’s not the Valiant Child anymore. Rather, she’s the Valiant Woman who’s had her trial by fire and come out the other side wiser than before and knowing just what she wants.
Her first trip back to her home universe doesn’t last long; they’re still perfecting the process and she’s not even got solid form yet, just a bunch of atoms scattered between here and there. But she can still smell the air and see the river and taste the sky on her tongue. Rose looks up at the zeppelin-free sky with eyes full of determination. “I found my way back,” she whispers to the stars, imagining that maybe, just maybe he’ll hear her somehow. “I’m coming home, I promise.” One hand raises and she blows a kiss towards the stars.
She spins and walks off, feeling her atoms being drawn back to the other universe. But now she’s regained something to believe in, something once believed to be just as lost as she was but now found after a long, long time away. She believes in herself, and she believes in him…
Oh, he knows.