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Title: For Blue Skies
Fandom(s): Doctor Who
Pairing: 10/Rose
Word Count: 500
Rating: K
Warnings: None!
Disclaimer: I don't own them! I just borrow them.
Summary: “What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changin' into?” [...] The past and future words that echo in his head and spur him back, back, back…
Notes: Written for who_contest's Drabble Challenge #9 (theme: forbidden). The inevitable post-"The Waters of Mars" fic that I'm sure is a rite of passage for every Doctor/Rose writer.

Title and epigraph are from Strays Don't Sleep's truly gorgeous "For Blue Skies"; if you'd like to give it a listen, have at it! All credit goes to the proper owners; I make no claim to anything.

“What you couldn’t do, I will
I forgive you.”

- Strays Don’t Sleep

He could find her. He could go back to that market and take her hand and lead her away, away from the bezoolium and the other useless trinkets. He could go back and coax the TARDIS into doing the laundry (no, he thinks, he could demand she do it; no reason he can’t except there are so many reasons but he no longer pays them heed). He could strip her of every reason to go back to Jackie’s that day. He could keep her with him. That would be the greatest victory of all.

He’d save the sun he’d burned and the valiant child he’d lost.

She’d lose her family and her world and the wretched other him but it wouldn’t matter because her hand would be in his and she could make him stop, she’d always been able to make him stop, he should have stopped and he hadn’t because he hadn’t wanted to.

“I don’t care who you are. The Time Lord Victorious is wrong.” Adelaide’s words, not five minutes ago.

“What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changin' into?” Rose’s, years ago but still in the future, in 2012. The past and future words that echo in his head and spur him back, back, back…


Rose Tyler is eighteen and it’s her first day on the job. She’s supposed to be in women’s clothes but Millie is sick and now she’s in men’s. An annoyingly indecisive man is laboring over three ties, all nearly the same shade of blue, and she wants to tell him to sod off, she was supposed to be on her lunch break five minutes ago. But something about him gives her pause. He seems sad. Worn. Older than his years. Like he’s lost someone. And though there’s a pang of hunger in her stomach, a pang of sympathy wins out, and she walks over to him.

“Need help with anythin’?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact. That’d be lovely.” He gives her a grin and holds up two of the ties. “Which do you like best?”

“That one.” She points to the darker blue. It matches the ocean’s depth in his eyes, the weight of little disasters and griefs piling one onto the other.

“You tryin' to impress someone special?” she asks a moment later as he undoes his tie and tries on the new one.

“The missus. Did something wrong, you know.” He swallows. She thinks maybe the tie is too tight and reaches up to help him. When her hands brush his, he flinches, and she murmurs a sorry. He continues. “Hoping she’ll forgive me. She always goes on and on about how I never change my clothes, so I thought a new tie…”

“… is probably just the thing.” Rose grins, tongue against teeth, and finishes fixing it. “I think she’ll forgive you. You’re at least tryin' to change.”

“You think that’s enough?”

“It would be for me.”

Poor bloke, she thinks. He’s about to cry.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2012 05:54 am (UTC)
I like this very much! I especially like your Rose characterization.
Feb. 14th, 2012 12:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it.

(Love the username, by the way! Jane Austen is my favorite author!)
Feb. 19th, 2012 05:49 am (UTC)
Really? I kind of cringe over my username. I made it a while ago and I find it kind of juvenile and embarrassing now (this is the only site that I still use that name on, because it's such a hassle to change), but it's true, Jane Austen is my queen.

(On a side note, do you have a favorite of her novels? Mine's Sense & Sensibility)
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
LOL, I totally understand; I have a username or two like that myself! And funnily enough, my own favorite of her novels is Sense & Sensibility, rivaled only by Mansfield Park. :)
Feb. 14th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)

Sometimes I am almost glad that he finally regenerates, just so he can come to terms with the loss of Rose. He misses her so much -- and he can only loiter at Henrik's a very finite amount of time... SO HEARTBREAKING. It sucks to be a Time Lord.
Feb. 14th, 2012 12:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Snickering, though, a tiny bit because I feel like Ten would wear "It Sucks to be a Time Lord" as a t-shirt.

I agree that his regeneration really comes at the right time. It makes sense, too, that Rose and the Powell Estate are the last Earthly things he sees, because they were the very first things he saw, back then. I think he still misses her, but that he's better able to deal with it as a new man, a man who's a bit more distant from those memories.
Feb. 14th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh...ohh, that was so wrenching and perfect and...

So beautiful and unexpected and timey-wimey.


Thank you.

Feb. 14th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
I wasn't expecting this one myself; it kind of snuck up on me in the middle of a reading for my seminar on evolution. Oops, LOL. I'm glad you liked it; thank you!
Feb. 14th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
Sad, and lovely!!
Feb. 14th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! :)
Feb. 14th, 2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Ten and his angst really do just break my heart into pieces.

This was absolutely lovely. <3
Feb. 14th, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
Mine as well; I think that's why I keep writing it! Thank you!

(By the by, would you mind if I friended you? I always notice and get excited when you review and we seem to have at least a few fandoms in common!)
Feb. 14th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind at all! Love new friends, and I'm friending you too. =D
Feb. 17th, 2012 08:28 am (UTC)
Oh Ten is so angst sometimes! But you gotta love it and the way you had him meeting Rose before he met her was so unexpected and bittersweet :(

This was just lovely! (however, could you help me out with where that quote from Rose comes from in the first section? I don't remember!)
Feb. 17th, 2012 12:24 pm (UTC)
No problem at all! That line is from Episode 6 of Series 1, "Dalek". The Doctor has a gun in his hands and is about to shoot the Dalek, who's just trying to feel the sunlight, and Rose rebukes him sharply by telling him that the Dalek has changed and no longer wants to kill anyone, and asks what he's changing into.

Thank you so much; I'm glad you liked the fic!
Feb. 18th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC)
Oh yeah! Thanks!
Feb. 18th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
Wow. I don't normally read Rose/Ten, but that was beautifully touching. Amazing job.
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I know how hard it can be to read (or write!) a pairing you're iffy on. I appreciate it! :D
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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