Character/Pairing: Ten/Rose, Gemma (an OC), with appearances by Jack, Martha, Donna, and a bunch of other OCs
Rating: This is the part where the rating goes up to R - not very graphic, but still not something that should probably be read at work or in front of impressionable kids.
Summary: "She's been lost, found the key, unlocked the door to the universe, wandered about, took a detour, stopped, stopped some more, then started again. Now, finally, Rose Tyler is on her way home." The Sonnetsverse reunion. Still totally AU from 'The Unicorn and the Wasp'.
Disclaimer: Alas, no. All I've got is a kitten named Fortuna, but she's not for sale.
a/n: *coughs delicately* Okay, let's not get into how long it's been since I posted the last part. In any case, many months of life being an utter bitch, a good hard beta from earlgreytea68 and two glasses of wine later part fifteen is now finished. Please don't keel over from shock - it's my turn to pass out now. :)
Previous parts of Mysterious Ways and the rest of the Sonnetsverse found here.
Thanks for reading!
Chapter Fifteen: Love, Lift Me Up Out of These Blues
Love, lift me up out of these blues
Won't you tell me something true
I believe in you
A mole, living in a hole
Digging up my soul now going down, excavation
I and I in the sky
You make me feel like I can fly so high, elevation
- Elevation, U2
It doesn’t take long for the Doctor and Rose to realize that they may have become slightly lost while running through the hazy streets. The narrow alleys and passageways of Venice are easy to get lost in on a good day, but it’s an even likelier occurrence when the body is filled with the giddy rush of joy and you’re not paying attention to anything but the hand that’s finally holding yours after so long apart.
Eventually, however, they dart down an alleyway that dead-ends at a wrought iron railing that keeps them from falling into a small canal. Rose glances out over the railing and down at the sluggish stream of water. There are a few dinghies tied up beside doors, but aside from that things are silent. “I think we’re lost,” she says, rubbing her arms. It’s not quite warm, and her sari isn’t exactly the best thing to keep the chill away. Suddenly a heavier fabric slips over her shoulders – the Doctor’s tuxedo jacket, still a bit warm from their run and smelling faintly of him. She grips the lapels and sniffs quietly, taking the scent of him inside her.
“Nah, we’re not lost,” the Doctor replies, stepping back from her and looking up at the two buildings that they are crammed between. “We’re still in Venice.”
She shoots him a stern look, resisting the urge to smile. Some things, no matter how long it’s been, never change. Then again, some things do. Their eyes meet for a brief moment and they do share a grin, but then Rose shakes her head. “I don’t know what to say. Again,” she mutters, a nervous laugh slipping out of her mouth.
The Doctor nods and leans against the wall opposite her. “How about starting with how you got here? ‘Cause I have to admit to a very healthy amount of curiosity as to how you accomplished that.”
“I told you,” she shrugs. “You gave me the key.” Rose gestures at her body.
“But what method did you use?” he persists. “I know of quite a few ways to get through universes, but all of them are impossible without the Time Lords. And I know for damn sure that none of them were in that other universe.”
Rose hoists herself onto a ledge built into the wall, careful not to rip the fabric of her outfit. Her legs dangle over the edge, swinging about. “It was a key, literally. I found it on a planet – “
“How’d you get off Earth?”
(That’s his Rose, always finding a way to do things that should be impossible, including making her way out into an unfamiliar universe.)
She giggles and pulls her mask off, tossing it down on the ledge next to her. “Hitched a ride with a lovely couple that had crash landed and caught Torchwood’s attention. Then I told everyone I had taken my sister to Blackpool for the weekend.”
“So Jackie had the baby then?” he asks.
“Yeah,” Rose nods. “’Course, the baby’s almost ten now. Gemma. You might have seen her running around at the party – she’s the one with the fairy wings on her back.”
(The Doctor pushes down the panic when he realizes that the girl who he had run into in the British Museum and Rose’s sister are one and the same. Hmm. He and Gemma would probably have to have a little talk before deciding how to tell Rose this one…)
“Yeah, I think I saw her talking to Donna.” His brow wrinkles, another thought striking him. “You brought your sister with you when you came back? I thought she would have stayed with your mother?”
Rose licks her lips and stares out at the canal. “There was a car accident…” she trailed off, and the Doctor nodded. They’ll come back to that later. This is meant to be a happy night.
“Is Blackpool the same over there as it is here?” the Doctor asks, quickly changing the subject for the moment.
“Think so. Not sure though, we never actually went. I just looked it up online.” Rose shakes her head, attempting to loosen up some of her hair. “Anyway, getting back to the point. The key was stashed on the planet we went to. By some stroke of luck they let me take it back to Earth.” Her eyes grow even more distant, and the Doctor can’t fathom what she’s seeing at the moment. “And then I unlocked the sky and found myself back here in this universe. That was,” she exhales roughly, “about two, two and a half years ago. I think.”
The Doctor shakes his head, marveling. “You’ve been here all this time and our paths never managed to cross…”
Rose looks back at him, and this time her face is almost apologetic. “I had to stop for a while. Gemma needed a break from the travelling. I was a horrible sister, pulling her all over the planet and never realizing that she needed a place to return to.” She smirks now, thinking back over some of the things that had been said over the past few days. “Of course, now she says she wants to start travelling again, although I can’t tell if it’s because she wants to get out of school.”
The Doctor crosses his arms over his chest, grinning. “Well, it’s been proven that people learn better from experiencing things than just reading about them in books, even though the power of books should never be underestimated.”
“Funny, that’s exactly the excuse Gemma gave. Should I be worried that your brain has reverted to that of a ten year old’s?”
He rolls his eyes. “It’s been a long few years, but I haven’t degenerated that much.”
“What happened?” Rose asks. She can tell that things happened, given that he looks like he’s currently carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Whether he’s forthcoming about the events is a different matter.
The Doctor shrugs. It’s his turn to stare out over the canal, and he can feel the chill from the stone wall seeping in through his dress shirt. “You know how it goes,” he eventually says. “Had to save the Earth a bit from a few old friends of mine. Picked up Martha and Donna. Met Agatha Christie. Saw the end of the universe. Ran into the Ood again.” He stops speaking and turns back to her.
Rose resists the urge to grit her teeth. She can tell that he’s being evasive now, but she’s confident she’ll drag it out of him eventually. Alien or not, she knows he’ll need to get everything out at some point, and she has every intention of being there when he does. It’s just a matter of making the proper arrangements first…
“Come with me,” he says, straightening up off the wall and shoving his hands into his trouser pockets.
Dammit, she needs a few more minutes of trying to collect her thoughts before breaching this subject. Instead, Rose bites her lip and plunges forward. “And what about Gemma?”
The Doctor shrugs again and smiles a bit. “Bring her. Of course.”
Rose grabs onto the ledge, curling her fingers around it. “I can’t. Not yet.”
For a moment, her heart breaks at the look on his face. “Let me explain,” she rushes, wanting to do anything to make him not look like that. “I need a month, just one month, before we can take off with you again. I need to set things up for Gemma on Earth so that if she decides to return someday, she won’t have to build a record from scratch. She’s…not lived the life we have, and she’s so young still. I have to give her that option, you know? And then once that’s set?” Rose smiles widely, face shining in the dark night. “Try and stop us.”
The Doctor nods, the color coming back into his cheeks a bit. He smiles, taking another step closer. “You’re a good big sister, taking care of her like that. And I can wait a month, especially for a cause like that.”
(It’s been ages since there’s been any sort of a child on the TARDIS too. He gets the feeling that he’s going to have to prepare her for this one.)
Rose smirks at him. “Knowing you, you’ll skip ahead anyway.”
“Oi, I can be patient if I need to be.” He winks. “Even after nine-hundred years I’m still learning things. Evolution, you know. We change to move to the next stage of life. Like developing a set of gills for when your planet goes completely underwater.”
(He knows that he is not the same man that he used to be. As much as he would like to recapture the innocence of old, before they were parted, the Doctor knows they won’t be able to. However, that doesn’t mean that what they have changed into is at all bad.)
The Doctor moves close enough to her now that he stands right in between her legs. Then Rose notes the look that’s on the Doctor’s face. There’s an intent there that wasn’t present a few seconds ago. Her stomach plunges, as if it’s suddenly filled with a mass of squirming hummingbirds. She hasn’t seen that sort of look directed towards her in years, but her body recognizes it fully and starts to tingle She reaches out and strokes a thumb across his sharp cheekbone, watching as he blinks slowly in response. His hands go around her neck, fingers cradling the back of her head. A moment that feels like it could be eons passes, and then they lean in at the same time, mouths coming together, and Rose can feel time rushing through her head once more.
(This is why he hasn’t kissed her until now. He knows that if – when he kissed her again, nothing in any universe was going to be able to stop him.)
The first touches are gentle, delicate lips brushing against each other quietly. It’s so obvious that neither one of them has been touched like this in so long. It’s a relief to meet again, a shining beam of moonlight breaking through on a cloud-filled night.
And then, then things change. That seems to be the theme for the night. But change is good.
The Doctor’s hands slide down to Rose’s shoulders and pull her in close. Their bodies press together so tightly that barely a breath can get in between them. The Doctor’s jacket is pushed off her shoulders, taking the outer part of her sari with it. The sheer fabric puddles around her waist and leaves her upper half covered by the skimpy halter top. His hands glide over her midsection, and she shivers. She’s not sure if it’s the wind making her react like that. When his finger tips begin to make circles on the underside of her breasts through the top, it’s definitely not the wind causing the shivers.
She tugs his shirt out of his trousers and strokes the skin of his lower back, making his hips jerk forward into hers. Her hands continue upwards, skin cool from the night air. They then decide to dance around his waistband, dipping under here and there, teasing him oh so carefully.
The Doctor pulls back and stares down at her, eyes wide and practically glowing. Rose can see all too clearly what he’s thinking. They’ve waited far, far too long to get to this point, so why hesitate any longer? And she knows she’s ready. So she nods.
With quick and deft movements the Doctor’s trousers are undone and her skirt is hiked out of the way. As soon as everything’s clear he slams himself inside her. Her legs clutch around his waist, and her eyelids fall shut at the sensation. “You okay?” he whispers. Rose nods, pressing a kiss to the skin behind his ear. He thrusts again, and she exhales roughly into his neck.
There’s something so different about this experience when with a Time Lord, Rose had discovered. Time doesn’t quite make sense like it does during a calm moment. It feels fast and slow all at once, and somewhere in the back of her head it’s like she’s looking into a field of stars and if she doesn’t hold on she’s going to fall head first into the field and be submerged. She has missed this desperately, so now she leans in and nips at his neck, reveling in the rediscovered feeling.
His hand glides up her bare thigh, and she smiles as she feels the writing swirl to the surface. So she throws her head back and lets all of them come out. Nothing’s hidden, not now.
They move together, faster and faster, taking that lost time and turning it into something different, something new. If they were close before then it’s nothing like they are now, bodies and minds and spirits all working towards once singular goal.
When the world finally shatters into splinters of gold and silver for him, the Doctor clutches her tightly around her waist, keeping her as close as possible. And Rose can swear that she almost howls at the sky as her blood races through her system, setting every single nerve ending alight with sparks.
“Oh my god,” she pants against his ear, the first words she’s said since they started.
“That…” The Doctor fumbles for words, fishing around for exactly the right thing to say at this moment. (His brain doesn’t seem to be working as it should be. Small wonder why.) “Yeah.”
Rose giggles, but a scuffling at the entrance of the alleyway makes her quiet down fast. Finally it occurs to her that she and the Doctor just shagged against the wall of a rather dingy alley, where anyone walking or boating by probably got a hell of a show. “Um, we should probably…”
“Yeah,” he nods, pulling back with a slight wince. They begin to get themselves back together, doing up trousers and smoothing out skirts. As Rose is fussing with the length of decorated fabric, the beam of a torch darts down the alley. The Doctor pauses in doing up his jacket, looks up, and groans. “Not them again.”
The Doctor goes off to deal with the carabinieri as Rose attempts to get her sari in some sort of order. It’s nowhere near as nicely done as when Priya had dressed her; it’ll be painfully obvious to everyone that something had happened while they were out. She shakes her head and grins. They’re going to have to explain things anyway, what’s one more thing on top of the rest of it?
Finally the Doctor saunters back over, hands shoved in his trouser pockets once more. “Well, that’s them taken care of.”
Rose nods. “Do you think you can find our way back from here?”
“Ah, we’ll be fine,” he grins. He holds one of his hands out and waggles his fingers. She laughs and runs forward, grabbing it as they walk out of the alley, ready to head back and face the music.